« PreviousContinue »
The mighty wights of more pretending states :
No need to tell the talents or the name,
Of all the minor stars which chance creates,
Or whom the city critic estimates.
Whence is it, I would ask, that our good School,
Our School of Painting, is so oft degraded Into a limner's workshop ?-Why, each fool
Must have his smirking face forsooth paraded ;
So many an able artist is persuaded, To give their noble souls to Imitation,
Which else might have conceiv'd—and thus evaded The sneer that's sometimes cast upon our nation, “ These English have no talent for creation.”
But let not those despond, who know what sang
The lovely Graces, of a sister art ?
in Cologne are Beckenham and Schon, the first of whom has done ample justice to many a Rhenish Belle.
A national feast.
What time Edina's social hall · loud rang
In honour of her brave one, soon to part,
And leave his cherish'd home with grateful heart ?
(Adieu to boyish busts, which can impart
THE PROGRESS OF SCULPTURE,
A SONG BY THE GRACES OF CANOVA, NOW ON A VISIT TO
WE, the daughters of Jove, and the children of Greece,
Hither come to the land of the wise and the brave,
The dawn of that freedom, which hastens to save.
1 Alluding to a dinner lately given by the City of Edinburgh, in honour of Mr Macdonald, a young sculptor of great promise, and who has also evinced an admirable taste for Poetry.
Erst banish'd from Athens, soon after from Rome,
Through the Saracen wrath and the Gothic intrusion ; We travelled, for such was our wayfaring doom,
Poor emigrées driven from our realms in confusion.
Sweet Tuscany shelter'd us kindly, and sought,
With the aid of Lorenzo, to guard us from harm; But Monkish exclusion most barbarously brought
On all they deem'd heathen, fell dread and alarm.
Yet, thanks to Apollo, that some, from conviction,
Denied not the powers which the ancients possess'd ; Nor hurld on their works, an unjust malediction,
Nor strove to withhold what whole nations confess'd.
Yes! there rose a Canova-alas! he is gone
Who, with classic conception and Phideas's art, Gave soul, fire, and feeling, and beauty to stone.
How frightful the void he has left in the heart !
To him do we owe this our regeneration,
Fair promise of still smiling days to our state; Where chang'd though the rites, aye, and humbled our station,
We still may abide, spite e'en Ottoman hate.
Spain, down ’mongst the nations, had once her bright day,
When Carmona charm’d, and De Castro delighted; Let us hope that e’re long she may rise from decay, Then her marble shall speak-King's no longer short
France, rarely behind, or in talent or taste,
Hath a head to conceive, and a heart which embraces,
Whate'er in the arts is most precious and chaste;
With fame has she woo'd them, and wood too the Graces.
1 A celebrated Spanish sculptor. He was a Gallician, was reckoned the ablest artist of his day, and contributed much to spread a love of the fine arts in Spain. He died in 1775.
Proud England, advancing with exquisite skill,
Already drinks deep of Antiquity's stream ; So thy Genius, O Scotia ! will doubtless fulfil,
The noblest fair prospects your Sculptors can dream.
Macdonald, unshackled by cold imitation,
Awaken'd and warm’d by the smiles of the Nine, Has call'd into life, by his magic creation,
What? Attica's self might have hail'd as divine !!
Hark! what rude clamour rings on every hand ?
What gloom o'ershadows all that lately smild ? Must fell revolt, then, leave no single land
Unscath'd by strife ?---by discord undefil'd ?
"Twere safer far to pause than get beguild By pseudo-patriots, in some rebel state ;
Let Kaiser pass, we tarry here, my child.