Posts tagged ‘1803’

Sunday, 15 May 2022

The Pedant King, by Jones Inspir’d by John Strachan

The Pedant King, by Jones inspir’d,
To rival antient Greece desir’d.
True taste began to rear her head,
And Gothic grandeur sigh’d and fled.
When Newton banish’d mental night,
A Jones was there to spread the light.
A Jones the simple Indians mourn,
And round his tomb sweet incense burn,
For when he reach’d their fruitful shore,
Base ruthless rapine rag’d no more.
His power their vile oppressors crusht,
And rais’d them suppliant from the dust.
With grateful pleasure, I address
A living branch of such a race,
Who sickness’ baleful rage controls,
And calms with sweetest verse our souls.


Date: 1803

By: John Strachan (1778-1867)

Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Little Witch by Johann Peter Hebel

I whittled at a stick one day, —
‘T was just to pass the time away:
A little girl came tripping by,
With rosy look and witching eye.

With artless smile and simple grace,
She looked me sweetly in my face,
And said, ” That knife is sharp, I ween, —
Another thing will cut as keen. ”

And then she laughed, and said, ” Good-day, ”
And like a dream had flown away;
The voice, the look, was with me still,
When all at once I felt me ill.

I could not work, I could not play;
I saw and heard her all the day.
That witching eye was sharp, I ween;
O, that was what would cut so keen.

I saw and heard her day and night, —
Her voice so soft, her eye so bright:
When others lay in slumber sweet,
I heard the clock each hour repeat

I could not stay and linger so:
Like one entranced, away I go;
Through field and forest, far and wide,
I seek if there the witch doth hide.

By bush and brake, by rock and hill,
Where’er I go, I see her still:
The little girl, with witching eye,
Is ever, ever tripping by.

Through town and village, too, I stray;
At every house I call and say,
” O, can you tell me where to find
The little girl that witched my mind? ”

I’ve sought her many a weary mile;
Methought I saw her all the while:
Ah! if I can’t the witch obtain,
I never shall be well again.


Date: 1803 (original in German), 18?? (translation in English)

By: Johann Peter Hebel (1760-1826)

Translated by: James Gates Percival (1795-1856)

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

A Rum Effect by Robert (George) Howe

“My wife’s so very bad” cry’d Phill‐‐‐
“I fear she’ll never hold it,”
“She ᴋᴇᴇᴘꜱ her bed” “Mine’s worse”
said Will‐‐‐
“The Jade this morning ꜱᴏʟᴅ it.”

From: ‘A Rum Effect’ in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Sat 12 Mar 1803, p. 4.

Date: 1803

By: Robert (George) Howe (1769-1821)

Sunday, 23 August 2020

To the Edinburgh Reviewers: Epistle the First by Alexander Boswell

Ye young Reviewers! listen to my strain!
Pardon my maxims, if they give you pain.
Accept the mild effusions of my pen;—
Ye are the ducklings, I the guardian hen.
I cannot follow—poor old anxious fool,—
But tremble, while you dabble in the pool.
Your early talents promise very fair,
Use them with prudence, cultivate with care.
Blast not my hopes, nor ridicule my fears;
Nor slight the wisdom of a length of years.

A knack at words you have, some fancy too;
But have you judgment, think you, to review ?-
You read I find,—then, like true men of spirit,
You needs must write, that folks may know your merit.
You pace the room, in fancy dealing terror,—
(There, I must hint, you’re rather in an error).
All are not d——d you happen to dislike;
All turn not marble whom your glances strike.—

When the fierce tyger rages o’er the land,
Then to the chase, ye hunters, in a band!
Or when the crocodile, with treacherous tears,
Seeks to decoy and lead us by the ears,
Then to your task, these ravening foes destroy,
We’ll shout your praises with tumultuous joy.
But where’s the honour, where the mighty feat,
To seize a victim that can only bleat?
Why tinge with red the unassuming cheek,
Or tear a linnet with a vulture’s beak?
Come, prythee do not vaunt, and puff, and swell,
That you can see what others see as well.
Toss not your heads about with happy grin,
Proud when you catch a straw, or find a pin.
Is he a lion who can gorge a rat?
Is he Goliath who can crush a gnat?

Treasure this maxim in your thoughts for ever:
“A Critic must be just, as well as clever.”
Cloud not another’s light, that you may shine,
And some politeness with your wit combine.
You must not be so rude, nor so conceited;
A woman surely should be gently treated.
Her poems, like her form, may catch your eye;
She seeks to please, but claims no ardent sigh.
If dress’d with taste, approach her and admire;
If tawdry, pray be silent and retire.
Don’t snatch her cap, and kick it in the air;
Don’t tear her gown, or thrust her from her chair;
Don’t, arms a-kimbo, labour to affront her,
Nor use her as you use poor Mrs. H- r.1

Let not a doctor’s wig your satire aid;
So poor an ally must your cause degrade.
Patterns you are of style, no doubt, of grace;
Then prythee, let us have each critic face;
To each essay prefix the learned head,
That lines and features may at once be read.
Thus he, whom now we deem or black or yellow,
May prove, if colour’d well, a pretty fellow.
If more than usual sharp his phiz, or fuller,
More clever we shall rate his works or duller.

Mild Doctor Langford2, little did’st thou ween,
When with a fair round face, and placid mein,
Amidst the kind restorers of the drown’d
You preach’d humanity to all around.

Ah ! little thought you that each trope and figure
Should pass the ordeal with so much rigour;
That what made Doctors Hawes and Lettsome weep
Should lull a critic, in the north, to sleep;
Who, though by nostrums and gay friends beset,
Upon my life, seems somewhat sleepy yet.

When the tir’d seaman in his hammock swings,
And dreams of rare fresh beef—ecstatic things!
With vacant grasp he snatches at a bit:
So our reviewer at a piece of wit:
Old jests of Joe his college letch provoke,
And, while he doses, struggles for a joke.

We love not petulance—it sickens quite—
‘Tis nauseous—and although you may be right,
More to our feelings than our judgment trusting,
We fain would have you wrong,—’tis so disgusting.

Touch not on topics you can’t understand:—
Why lug his Lordship3 forward sword in hand-
You read the title and a line or two,
And tell us so—Is this then to review?
Why ev’ry trifle to our notice bring,
Merely that you may say a clever thing?

Your Pegasus, we find, is but a colt:
We see him start, dash headlong on, and bolt
He kicks, o’erleaps all bounds, and scorns all check,
The reins of reason loose upon his neck.

Some plants of vigour deck your work, I own,
But flowering weeds are very thickly sown.
If each contributor had equal powers,
I should not grudge the many tedious hours,
Torn from the pastimes that become your age,
To plod for jests, and blot a heavy page.
To Mounier’s candid critic4 praise is due;
Make him your leader, keep him in your view.
Learn to be modest, in your wit be chaste,
Ye are not, yet, all Chesterfields5 in taste.

I move not forward, with Herculean tread .
And iron-mace, to break each Hydra head; .
An humble friend, I offer hints in season,
Watching with fervent hope your dawning reason.
Prosper your youthful efforts to be known!
Whose swelling fame is dearer than my own.

1. Review of Poems. By Mrs. Hunter [Anne Home Hunter (1742-1821)] in the first issue of the Edinburgh Review, 1802.
2. Review of 
Anniversary Sermon of the Royal Humane Society. By W. Langford, D.D. in the first issue of the Edinburgh Review, 1802.
3. William, Earl of Ancrum, afterwards Marquis of Lothian, whose observations in relation to proposed improvements in the arms and accoutrements of light cavalry had been inserted in the “Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.”
4. Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850) was one of the founders of the
Edinburgh Review and served as its editor from 1803 until 1829. He wrote a review of J. J. Mounier’s De l’influence des Philosophes..sur la Revolution de France in the magazine’s first issue which was thought exemplary and the benchmark for the Edinburgh Review’s future reviews and articles.
5. Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope (1694-1773), was considered an arbiter of taste.

From: Boswell, Alexander and Smith, Robert Howie (ed.), The Poetical Works of Sir Alexander Boswell, of Auchinleck, Baronet. Now first collected and edited, with memoir, 1871, Maurice Ogle & Company: Glasgow, pp. 126-131.

Date: 1803

By: Alexander Boswell (1775-1822)

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Crookstone and Langside (from “Clyde”) by John Wilson

By Crookstone Castle waves the still-green yew,
The first that met the royal Mary’s view
When, bright in charms, the youthful princess led
The graceful Darnley to her throne and bed.
Embossed in silver now, its branches green
Transcend the myrtle of the Paphian queen.

But dark Langside, from Crookstone viewed afar,
Still seems to range in pomp the rebel war.
Here, when the moon rides dimly through the sky,
The peasant sees broad, dancing standards fly;
And one bright female form, with sword and crown,
Still grieve’s to view her banners beaten down.

From: Eyre-Todd, George (ed.), Scottish Poetry of the Eighteenth Century, Volume 1, 1896, William Hodge & Co: Glasgow, p. 147.

Date: 1803 (published)

By: John Wilson (1720-1789)

Monday, 17 February 2020

To Hope by Mihály Csokonai Vitéz

To mortal eyes, you, Hope, do seem
a form divinely sweet;
but eyes of gods can pierce the dream
and see your blind deceit.
Unhappy men in times of ill
create you for their easing;
and as their Guardian Angel still
they worship without ceasing.
Why do you flatter me with praise?
Why do you then deride me?
Why in my bosom do you raise
a dubious heart to chide me?
Stay far and fair beyond my reach,
as first my soul you greeted!
I had depended on your speech,
but you have ever cheated.

With jonquil and with daffodil
you planted all my garden,
and introduced a chattering rill
to be my orchard’s warden;
you did bestrew my laughing spring
with many a thousand flowers,
the scents of Heaven did you fling
to perfume all its hours;
my thoughts, like bees, found morning sweet
‘mid garden plots and closes,
and hovered ’round in fragrant heat
above my heavy roses.
One hope possessed my soul apart,
one radiant prospect joyed me,
my garden lay in Lilla’s heart
its wonders never cloyed me.

But, ah, the roses of my ease
Have withered quite away;
my sparkling brook and shady trees
are dead and dry today.
The springtime of my happiness
is winter now instead;
my dreams are gone beyond redress,
my fairy world has fled.
Ah, would you leave me but my lass,
the Lilla of my passion,
I’d let all sad complaining pass
nor mourn in any fashion.
Within her arms I could forget
misfortune, grief, and pain;
no wreath of pearl could match my girl
were she with me again!

Depart from me, O cruel Hope!
Depart and come no more;
for blinded by your power I grope
along a bitter shore.
My strength has failed, for I am riven
by all my doubt and dearth;
my tired spirit longs for Heaven
my body yearns for earth.
I see the meadows overcome
with dark consuming blight;
the vocal grove today is dumb;
the sun gives place to night.
I cannot tune this trill of mine!
My thoughts are all askew!
Ah, heart! Ah, hope! Ah, Lilla mine!
May God remember you!


Date: 1803 (original in Hungarian); 1947 (translation in English)

By: Mihály Csokonai Vitéz (1895-1977)

Translated by: Watson Kirkconnell (1895-1977)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

On the Fashionable Style of Poetry [Excerpt from “Boston. A Poem”] by Winthrop Sargent

Sonnets and riddles celebrate the trees,
And ballad-mongers charter every breeze.
Long odes to monkies, squirrel elegies,
Lines and acrostics on dead butterflies;
Endless effusions, some with Greek bedight,
And hymns harmonious, sweet, as infinite,
So freely flow, that poesy ere long
Must yield to numbers, and expire by song.
Elegiac lays such taste and truth combine,
The lap-dog lives and barks in every line;
Each rebus-maker takes the poet’s name,
And every rhymer is the heir of fame.

From: The Literary Magazine and American Register, Volume 1, 1803, John Conrad & Co: Philadelphia,: p. 191.

Date: 1803

By: Winthrop Sargent (1753-1820)

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Simile by Susanna Haswell Rowson

Passion is like the base narcotic flower,
That flaunts its scarlet bosom to the day;
And when exerting its nefarious power,
Benumbs the sense, and steals the strength away.

In the gay morn attractive to the eye,
Its thin leaves flutter in the wanton wind;
But ere the sun declines, t’will fade and die,
While still its baleful poison lurks behind.

But Love! pure Love! the human soul pervading,
Is like the musk-rose, scenting summer’s breath;
Its charms, when budding in its prime, and fading,
Will even yield a rich perfume in death.

From: Stockton, Annis Boudinot, Rowson, Susanna and Sherman, William Thomas (ed.), In the Number of the Best Patriots: Poetry of Annis Boudinot Stockton and Susanna Rowson, 2013, Open Source, pp. 16-17.

Date: 1803

By: Susanna Haswell Rowson (1762-1824)

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Expiring Amity by Judith Sargent Murray (Honora Martesia)

Of all the ills a mortal lives to mourn,
From friends, from wealth, from a lov’d country torn;
Exil’d by penury-or aught beside,
Which from sweet peace a wanderer may divide.
Yet still resources in the breast arise,
And hope the distant gleam of light supplies;
He may return-his friends again may meet,
Fortune may smile, his joys may be complete;
Forward he looks, and in perspective views,
Scenes which imagination oft pursues.

But that keen anguish, which incessant springs,
Which some new pang with recollection brings,
Offspring of love transform’d to deadly hate,
Unrivall’d stands in the dark book of fate.

The female heart for amity design’d,
Enraptur’d hastes the bands of truth to bind,
But ah, how deep the shafts of sorrow pierce,
When gath’ring glooms her promised joys enhearse,
When friendship dead-upon the sacred bier,
She lives to shed the solitary tear!

How sad to view the once expressive eye,
Which glistened with endearing amity,
Now turn’d indignant-while the glowing cheek,
And every look, a thousand daggers speak!
All up in arms against the friend belov’d,
Who was for many a length’ning year approv’d!
For whom the dearest sympathies were felt,
And in whose breast responsive kindness dwelt.
To see affiance yield its calm retreat,
And Discord mounting the long hallow’d seat!
Malice ejecting each inherent grace,
Which gave to amity and Angel face.

Great God! What deep regrets the heart must swell,
And the bereaved soul to grief impel!
Nought can support, or mitigation yield,
Except indifference the mind enshield;
For at the heart, should that attachment glow,
Which flows spontaneous, and must ever flow,
And though repeated insults it receives,
It still esteems, and still unceasing grieves;
Nought can the anguish of the mind assuage,
Nor distant prospects the lorn soul engage;
Hope, blissful solace, dies within the breast,
We are not e’en in expectation blest,
For well we know if Friendship once expires,
Nor art, nor nature, can relume its fires.


Date: 1803

By: Judith Sargent Murray (Honora Martesia) (1751-1820)