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tremely beautiful, and accompanied by a thought full of that playfulness of fancy and chastened humour for which Cowper is remarkable:

""Tis morning, and the sun, with ruddy orb
Ascending, fires th' horizon: while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaże,

Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray

Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,

And tinging all with his own rosy hue,
From ev'ry herb and ev'ry spiry blade,
Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
In spite of gravity and sage remark
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,

Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance

I view the muscular proportion'd limb
Transform'd to a lean shank. The shapeless pair,
As they design'd to mock me, at my side
Take step for step; and, as I near approach 4
The cottage, walk along the plaster'd wall,
Prepost'rous sight! the legs without the man."

The woodman and his faithful at

tendant have supplied the subject of a much-admired painting, and the dog is well represented on the canvas,

Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd; with pointed ears, And tail cropp'd short; half lurcher and half cur." But here the painter's art must desist, and is left far behind by that of the poet :

"Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk, Wide-scamp'ring, snatches up the drifted snow

With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout, Then shakes his powder'd coat, and barks for joy."

Thisis exquisitely told: had it been Ho

mer's or Virgil's, how often would it have

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been quoted, and what applause would have been lavished on every epithet, or even on every word of the passage! Many other parts of the fifth book are uncommonly happy; particularly the account of the palace of ice, built by the empress of Russia. The genius of Cowper revels amidst the frozen scenery,

and shows that his was very justly enti

tled" the winter-loving muse."

But on other topics he is not less suc

cessful; and his powers are augmented to a degree of magnificence propor tioned to their object; for instance, speaking of Deity, he says, with grandeur befitting the awful theme--

"The unambiguous footsteps of the God,

t

Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing,

And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.”

This great poet's love of freedom also inspires his verse with more than wonted energy; and, in the second book of the Task, he pleads, with most pathetic eloquence, the cause of a longoppressed and degraded race of mankind, nor is it possible to repress the

sigh of regret, when we recollect that. his liberal and feeling heart had ceased to beat before the accomplishment of his generous wish in favour of the hapless negro!

fer

For the verses alluded to, I shall re

my reader to the original, and here transcribe from them only three lines, which are remarkable, because they contain a thought similar to one that was afterwards made use of by the finest orator of the age, and which his mighty talents expanded into a passage per, haps more sublime than any on record from the days of Demosthenes to the

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