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unprejudiced, or the most refined. I must, however, beg leave to dissent from so great an authority as that of Sir Philip Sidney, in the judgment which he has passed as to the rude style and evil apparel of this antiquated song; for there are several parts in it, where not only the thought, but the language, is majestic, and the numbers sonorous ;1 at least, the apparel is much more

gorgeous than many of the poets made use of in Queen Elizabeth's time, as the reader will see in several of the following quotations.

What can be greater than either the thought or the expres sion in that stanza ?

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This way of considering the misfortunes which this battle would bring upon posterity, not only on those who were born immediately after the battle, and lost their fathers in it, but on those also who perished in future battles, which took their rise from this quarrel of the two Earls, is wonderfully beautiful, and conformable to the way of thinking among the ancient poets.


vitio parentum
Rara juventus.

Hor. Od. 2. 1 1. v. 23.

Posterity, thinn'd by their fathers' crimes,
Shall read with grief the story of their times.

What can be more sounding and poetical, or resemble more the majestic simplicity of the ancients, than the following stanzas ?

IV. D. Blackwell's Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer. Second edition, 8vo., 1736, sect. v. pp. 59, 60.-C.

* Found only in the moderr. poem, except the third line-G.

The stout Earl of Northumberland

A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods

Three summer's days to take.
With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,

All chosen men of night,
Who knew full well, in time of need,

To aim their shafts aright.
The hounds ran swiftly thro' the woods

The nimble deer to take,
And with their cries the hills and dales

An echo shrill did make. 1

Vocat ingenti clamore Cithæron
Taygetique canes, domitrixque Epidaurus equorum:
Et vox assensu nemorum ingeminata remugit.

GEORG. 3, v. 43.
Cithæron loudly calls me to my way;
Thy hounds, Taygetus, open and



High Epidaurus urges on my speed,
Fam'd for his hills, and for his horses' breed;
From hills and dales the cheerful cries rebound;
For echo hunts along, and propagates the sound.

Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come,

His men in armour bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish spears,

All marching in our sight;
All men of pleasant Tividale,

Fast by the river Tweed, &c.

The country of the Scotch warriors, described in these two last verses, has a fine romantic situation, and affords a couple of smooth words for verse. If the reader compares the foregoing six lines of the song with the following Latin verses, he will see how much they are written in the spirit of Virgil.

Adversi campo apparent, hastasque reductis
Protendunt longè dextris; et spicula vibrant;

1 The greater part o. these three fine stanzas belongs to the modern poet. --G

Quique altum Præneste viri, quique arva Gabinæ
Junonis, gelidumque Anienem, et roscida rivis
Hernica saxa colunt:qui rosea rura Velini,
Qui Tetricæ horrentes rupes, montemque Severum,
Casperiamque colunt, Forulosque et flumen Himelle:
Qui Tiberim Faburimque bibunt.

Æn. 11, v. 605, v. 582, 712.

Advancing in a line, they couch their spears

-Præneste sends a chosen band,
With those who plough Saturnia's Gabine land:
Besides the succours which cold Anien yields;
The rocks of Hernicus- -besides a band,
That followed from Velinum's dewy land-
And mountaineers that from Severus came:
And from the craggy cliffs of Tetrica;
And those where yellow Tiber takes his way,
And where Himella's wanton waters play;
Casperia sends her arms, with those that lie
By Fabaris, and fruitful Foruli.


But to proceed :

Earl Douglas, on a milk-white steed,

Most like a Baron bold,
Rode foremost of the company,

W se armour shone like gold.'

Turnus ut antevolans tardum præcesserat agmen, dus
Vidisti, quo Turnus equo, quibus ibut in armis

Our English archers bent their bows,

Their hearts were good and true;
At the first flight of arrows senty

Full threescore Scots they slew.

They clos'd full fast on ev'ry side,

No slackness there was found;
And many a gallant gentleman

Lay gasping on the ground.

· V No. 70, note on this stanza, p. 207.-.

With that there came an arrow keen

Out of an English bow,
Which struck Earl Douglas to the hear!

A deep and deadly blow.?

Æneas was wounded after the same manner by an unknown band in the midst of a parley.

Has inter voces, media inter talia verba,
Ecce viro stridens alis allapsa sagitta est,
Incertum qua pulsa manu

Æn. 12, v. 318.

Thus while he spake, unmindful of defence,
A winged arrow struck the pious prince,
But whether from a human hand it came,
Or hostile god, is left unknown by fame.


But of all the descriptive parts of this song, there are none more beautiful than the four following stanzas, which have a great force and spirit in them, and are filled with very natural circumstances. The thought in the third stanza was never touched by any other poet, and is such an one as would have shined in Homer or in Virgil.

So thus did both these nobles die,

Whose courage none could stain;
An English archer then perceiv'd

The noble Earl was slain.

He had a bow bent in his hand,

Made of a trusty tree,
An arrow of a cloth-yard long

Unto the head drew he.

Against Sir Hugh Montgomery

So right his shaft he set,
The gray-goose wing, that was thereon,

In his heart-blood was wet.

1 Here, the modern poet, has improved upon his original, both in incident and expression.-G.

This fight did last from break of day

Till setting of the sun;
For when they rung the evening biel!,.

The battie scarce was done.

One may observe likewise, that in the catalogue of the slain, the author has followed the example of the greatest ancient poits, not only in giving a long list of the dead, but by diversifying it with little characters of particular persons.

And with Earl Douglas there was slain

Sir Hugh Montgomery;
Sir Charles Carrell, that from the field

One foot would never fly:

Sir Charles Murrel of Ratcliff too,

His sister's son was he;
Sir David Lamb, so well esteemid,

Yet saved could not be.

The familiar sound in these names destroys the majesty of the description : for this reason I do not mention this part of the poem but to shew the natural cast of thought which appears as the two last verses look almost like a translation of Virgil.

in it,


-Cadit et Ripheus justissimus unus
Qui fuit in Teucris et servantissimus æqui,
Diis aliter visum est

Æn. 2, v. 426.

Then Ripheus fell in the unequal fight,
Just of his word, observant of the right:
Heav'n thought not so.


In the catalogue of the English who fell, Witherington's behav. iour is in the same manner particolarized very artfully, as the reader is prepared for it by that account which is given of him in the beginning of the battle; though I am satisfied your little buffoon readers (who have seen that passage ridiculed in Hudi

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