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TO THE REV. WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES,
CANON OF SALISBURY, ETC.
UNHONOUR'd lay poor Butler's nameless grave,
Such were the lines insulted virtue pour’d,
blow, And their's the deed immortalized in shame, Which raised a monarch to a martyr's name. Oh! friend! with me thy thoughtful sorrows
join, Thy heart will answer each desponding line ; Say, when thy hand o'er Ken's neglected grave At once the flowers of love and learning gave; Or when was heard, beneath each listening tree, The lute sweet Arehimage had lent to thee:
Say, while thy day was like a summer dream, And musing leisure met thee by the stream, Where thro' rich weeds the lulling waters crept, And the huge forest's massive umbrage slept, And, summon'd by thy harp's aerial spell, The shadowy tribes came trooping from their cell ; (For still 'twas thine, with all a poet's art, To paint the living landscape of the heart; And still to nature's soft enchantments true, Feel every charm, and catch each varying hue ;) Couldst thou foresee how soon the poet's strain Would wake its satire into truth again; How soon the still-revolving wheel of time Recall the past-each folly, and each crime ; Again the petty tyrant boast his flame, And raise, on fancied ills, a patriot's name; How soon the trembling altar fade away, The hallow'd temple prove the spoiler's prey ; The throne its proud ancestral honours yield, And faction shake the senate and the field; How folly seize, while bleeding freedom wept, That sacred ark which jealous wisdom kept; Which, virtuous Falkland ! saw thy banners wave, Which Somers lived, and Chatham died to save; While history points her awful page in vain, And sees all Butler scorn'd, revive again.
BENHALL, Feb. 1835.
LIFE OF SAMUEL BUTLER.
BY THE REV. JOHN MITFORD.
Samuel BUTLER, the author of Hudibras, was born in the parish of Strensham, in Worcestershire, in 1612,1 and christened February the 14th. A. Wood says, that his father was competently wealthy;? but the anonymous author of a life prefixed to his Poems describes him as in the condition of a yeoman, possessing a very small estate, and renting another; who with difficulty found means to educate his son at the grammarschool at Worcester, under Mr. Henry Bright, a man of high reputation as a scholar, and a Prebendary of the Cathedral. Butler is said to have gone from thence to Cambridge,3 with the cha
| This date is contradicted by Charles Longueville, the son of Butler's friend, and who declared that the poet was born in 1600. Nash dates his baptism February 8, 1612, and says it is entered in the writing of Nash's father, who was churchwarden: he had four sons and three daughters ; the three daughters and one son older than the poet.
4 Dr. Nash discovered that his father was owner of a bouse and a little land, worth about 101. a year, still called Butler's tenement, of which he has given an graving in the title page of his first volume. A. Wood affirms that he had a competent estate of nearly 3001. a year, but held on lease of William Russell, lord of the manor of Strensham.
* A. Wood, bad bis information from Butler's brother; some of his neighbours sent him to Oxford. Mr. Longueville asserted that Butler never resided at Oxford. VOL. I.
racter of a good scholar; but the period and place of his residence seem alike unknown, and indeed it appears doubtful whether he ever received the advantages of an academical education.
For some time he was clerk to Mr. Jefferys, of Earls Croomb, in Worcestershire, an eminent justice of the peace. He employed the ample leisure which his situation afforded in study ; while he also cultivated the arts of painting and music. “The Hogarth of Poetry," says Walpole,
was a painter too :” his love of the pencil introduced him to the acquaintance of the celebrated Samuel Cooper. Some pictures were shown by the family as his, but we presume of no great excellence, as they were subsequently employed to stop broken windows. Dr. Nash says that he heard of a portrait of Oliver Cromwell by him. After this, he was recommended to the notice of the Countess of Kent, living at Wrest, in Bedfordshire, where he had not only the advantage of a library,5 but enjoyed the conversation of the most learned man of his age, the great Selden. Why he subsequently left so advantageous and honourable a situation does not appear, but we find him domesticated under the roof of Sir Samuel Luke, at Cople, or Wood end, a gentleman of a very ancient family in Bedfordshire, one of Cromwell's officers, and a rigid Presbyterian. It is in this place and at this
+ Of our English poets, Flatman and George Dyer were painters. Pope also used the brush under the tuition of Jervas. I recollect no further union of the arts.
; “Butler was not acquainted with the Italian poets. Of Ruggiero he might have truly asserted what he has falsely told of Rinaldo.”-See Neve on the English Poets, p. 79.