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A Poem.

BY ONE OF THE OLD LIVING POETS

OF GREAT BRITAIN.

“ I, JOHN, WHO ALSO AM YOUR BROTHER AND COMPANION IN TRIBULA-

TION, IN THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST, WAS IN THE ISLE
WHICH IS CALLED PATMOS, FOR THE WORD OF GOD, AND
THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST,”

Revelations i. 9

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PRINTED BY H. E. CARRINGTON, CHRONICLE OFFICE, BATH.

MDCCCXXXII.

377

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In a late Edinburgh Review there is an article in which the writer, speaking, with great respect, of the names of those Poets who distinguished the latter part of the last, and the beginning of the present century, observes that the harps of all those Poets have been long silent.

One of the “ Old living Poets,” in the list of those pointed out, by name, in the Edinburgh Review, has been induced, perhaps by that Review, to shew his ancient harp is not yet unstrung; and he thinks he cannot conclude his labours of this kind better than with a serious and sacred subject more worthy of a far more distinguished name than

his own.

It is, indeed, no wonder there has been so long a silence among the elder living Bards of Britain, when almost every popular British bard of the period named has lived to hear the mimic echoes of his early lyre from nursing-maids and nursery-children !--when the laureat Apollo of the living

1

golden lyre, doubtless more from benevolence than taste, takes courteously by the hand, and, with a bow, brings forward, and presents to the Sisters of the sacred well, a bashful Livery-man, * of great poetical genius, but no education; when, in leading literary journals, the great dispensers of fame and profit, poetical Sempstresses, with a primrose and courtesy, introduced by smiling LadyPatronesses, are sure of a welcome reception; whilst such poets as Croly, and I could mention females of song, almost unrivalled in beauty and pathos, are passed over in utter silence and neglect. All the Lords of Criticism would rise to receive, with welcome gratulations, Fanny KEMBLE; and all the Bards of Britain hail her, among them, as she is hailed by the Quarterly, and that most eloquent and

powerful miscellany-Blackwood's.

An old, grey-headed scholar and poet may not hope for such distinction in his day; but I may marvel that, when uneducated and humble claimants for fame are somewhat ostentatiously brought out of the shade, no notice whatever, or comparatively none, has been taken of a poet whose genius is of a far higher order; who, living in an obscure village in Dorsetshire,-unfriended, unpatronized, without any advantages of education but what he has picked up, casually, in the midst of deprivation, poverty, sorrow, and long disappointment-has often in tears,

* Poems lately edited by Dr. SOUTHEY.

“ Strictly meditated the thankless Muse.”

I allude to Mr. PENNIE, who has just produced a volume, called “ Britain's Historical Drama.” In animated description, in knowledge of English history, in poetical imagery, in language chaste yet forcible, joined with the strictest morality-such a work might not only place him high among the living poets of Great Britain, but among those who have cultivated, with most success, the same pursuits, reaping the same worldly reward ! And yet of such a poet, alas ! poverty and neglect, and almost utter critical silence, is the portion.

I close these remarks with a sigh, that the Oldest of the Living Poets, one of the most powerful and accurate delineator of human passions, yet the humblest, the gentlest, and mildest of human beings, is, whilst I write, taken away

from us for ever. Poor CRABBE !*

* This original poet and amiable man has left two sons in the Church, with no preferment but uncertain curacies.

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