« ForrigeFortsett »
Grene yowth, to aige thow mon obey and bow,
"O bittir yowth! that semis delicious;
"This warld is sett for to dissaive us evin;
"Law, luve, and lawtie, gravin law thay ly;
"This poem gives a favourable idea of Kennedy as a versifier. His lines are more polished and smooth than those of his contemporaries. If he is the person against whom Dunbar directed his invective, he has met with hard measure. Dunbar says,
"I lat ye knaw I haif twa Lothian hippis,
"This sarcasm, if serious, is misapplied.
"St. 4. 1. 6. Dryvis in the see of Lollerdry that blawis." Kennedy appears to have been a zealous partisan of what was termed the old faith; whereas the poets his contemporaries were either lukewarm in their religious tenets, or inclined to the new opinions
"The name of Lollard is well known both on the continent and in Britain. The Monkish writers derived it from lolium, and to make the etymology more complete, were guilty of a false quantity, using lollium instead of lolium. It would have been well for the poor Lollards, if this etymology had led their adversaries to apply the parable to their case, and not to set fire to the tares before the harvest of the last day.
"The publisher of the former edition of Knox gravely says, that they took their name from a pious man called Lollard.
"Mosheim, Eccles. Hist. vol. i. p. 744. Note [u] says, that those innovators were termed Lollards from the German lollen. whence the English lull. This alluded to the drawling unison which they appear to have affected in their prayers and religious. hymns. In modern language they would have been termed the sect of the Hum-drums.
"When the Lollards were first discovered in England, the bishops were at a loss how to describe their tenets. In 1387, Henry Bishop of Worcester informed his clergy, that they were lowers of Mahomet;' Wilkin's Concil. vol. iii. p. 202. They who are acquainted with the ecclesiastical history of those times, will recollect many an example of judgments equally precipitate.
"The conclusions of the Lollards, as presented by themselves to parliament in the reign of Richard II. are to be found in Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 221. They are conclusions which Protestants in this age might hold, with the exception of some fanatical conceits, such as the absolute unlawfulness of war.
"They are expressed with a singular naivété. Thus, against the celibacy of the clergy, it is said, Delicata cibaria virorum ecclesiasticorum, volunt habere naturalem purgationem, vel pejorem.That were holy water as efficacious as is pretended, it would be a cure for all sores, the contrary whereof experience teaches: And again, if all the instruments of the passion, such as the nails and the spear are to be venerated, the lips of Judas Iscariot, could they be procured, would prove excellent relics.
"Wilkins in the same vol. iii. p. 225, has preserved the recantation of one William Dynot, a Lollard, made in 1396 before the Archbishop of York. It contains the following expressions: I swere to God, and to all his sayntis upon this holy gospell, that fro this day forward I shall worship ymages with praying, and offering upto them in the worschop of the saintes, that they be made after; and also I shall be buxum to the lawes of holy chirche; and also I shall stand to your declaration, which is heresy or errour, and do thereafter,
"It is remarkable that different Lollards recant different tenets. This looks as if the sect had not been formed, but that every one who presumed to deviate from the onward path of Catholic faith, was comprehended under the general denomination of Lollard." P. 354.
From this specimen it will appear, that to the lovers of national poetry of ancient day, the editor of this volume has presented a rich and valuable treasure. It cannot fail of interesting any man of antiquarian research, even though he be not a native of Scotland.
ART. XI. Freedom; with other Poems. By George Thomas. 12mo. 116 pp. 6s. Ruffy and Evans. 1816.
WE thought that in Mr. Hunt's Descent of Liberty we had witnessed the ne plus ultra of poetical absurdity, till Mr. George Thomas made his appearance. "Gingling tongues"-" Nature playing in guileless anticks"-" harmonious jar"-" man's inversive fancy," and other such sublimities, cross our eye in every page of Mr. George Thomas. If we had wished to impress our readers with a full and perfect idea of absurdity, fettered in rhyme, we could not have desired a happier specimen than the following exordium.
"Hail! Power divine, whose birth th' archangel sung, The earth with peals of bursting gladness rung, Sister of life primeval, of fair light
Assisting minstrel, when the dun crowned night
First moved his car from off the icy polc,
T'unfurl his sable streamers on the goal
Of trembling darkness. Fiends gnashed at thy bright rise,
Irradiate fulgence gleam, diffusing far
A clattering shout of joy, 'mid realms that bar
Of Deity supreme.
"Hail! devote being, of inspiring charms,
Where art's restrictive hand ne'er dared to rove,
We acquit our author of any blasphemous intention, but when he is astride this plunging Pegasus of his, we heartily wish that he would not attempt to mount to the heavens, but content himself with those Bastian bogs, where, if he pleases, he may gallop on, in his own estimation a perfect Pindar.
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