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THE

LIFE OF FRANCIS FAWKES,

BY MR. CHALMERS.

MR. FAWKES was born in Yorkshire about the year 1721. He was edu cated at Leeds, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Cookson, vicar of that parish: from whence he went to Jesus College, Cambridge, and took his bachelor's degree in 1741, and his master's in 1745.

After being admitted into holy orders, he settled at Bramham in Yorkshire, near the elegant seat of that name belonging to Robert Lane, esq. the beautics of which afforded him the first subject for his muse. He published his Bramhamn Park in 1745, but without his name. His next publications were the descriptions of May and Winter, from Gawen Douglas; the former in 1752, the latter in 1754: these brought him into considerable notice as a poetical antiquary, and it was hoped that he would have been encouraged to modernise the whole of that author's works.

About the year last mentioned, he removed to the curacy of Croydon in Surrey, where he had an opportunity of courting the notice of archbishop Her ring, who resided there at that time, and to whom, among other complimentary verses, he addressed an ode on his grace's recovery, which was printed in Dodsley's collection. These attentions, and his general merit as a scholar, induced the archbishop to collate him, in 1755, to the vicarage of Orpington with St. Mary Cray, in Kent. In 1757, he had occasion to lament his patron's death, in a pathetic elegy styled Aurelius, printed with his grace's sermons in 1763, but previously in our author's volume of poems in 1761; about the same time he married miss Purrier of Leeds.

In April 1774, by the late Dr. Plumptre's favour, he exchanged his vicarage for the rectory of Hayes: this, except the office of chaplain to the princess dowager of Wales, was the only ecclesiastical promotion he obtained.

In 1761, he published by subcription a volume of original poems and translations, by which he got more profit than fame. His subscribers amounted to nearly eight hundred, but no second edition was called for. A few pieces are now added from Mr. Nichols' collection; and from the Poetical Calendar, a periodical selection of fugitive poctry, which he published in conjunction with Mr. Woty, an indifferent poet of that time. In 1767 he published an eclogue, entituled Partridge Shooting, so inferior to his other productions that the omission of it cannot be regretted. He was the editor also of a Family Bible, with notes, in 4to. which is a work of very inconsiderable merit, but to which he probably contributed only his name, a common trick among the retailers of "Complete family Bibles."

His translations of Anacreon, Sappho, Bion, Moschus and Musæus, appeared in 1760; and his Theocritus, encouraged by another liberal subcription, in 1767. His Apollonius Rhodius, a posthumous publication, completed by the Rev. Mr. Meen of Emanuel College, Cambridge, made its appearance in 1780, when Mr. Fawkes's widow was enabled, by the kindness of the editor, to avail herself of the subscriptions, contributed as usual very liberally. Mr. Fawkes died August 26, 1777.

was un

These scanty materials are taken chiefly from Mr. Nichols's Life of Bowyer, and little can now be added to them. Mr. Fawkes was a man of a social disposition, with much of the imprudence which adheres to it: although a profound classical scholar, and accounted an excellent translator, he able to publish any of his works without the previous aid of a subscription; and his Bible was a paultry job, which necessity only could have induced him to undertake. With all his failings, however, it appears that he was held in esteem by many distinguished contemporaries, particularly by Drs. Pearce, Jortin, Johnson, Warton, Plumptre and Askew, who contributed critical assistance to his translation of Theocritus.

As an original poet, much cannot be said in his favour: his powers were confined to occasional slight and encomiastic verses, such as may be produced without great effort, and are supposed to answer every purpose when they have pleased those to whom they were addressed. The Epithalamic ode may perhaps rank higher, if we could forget an obvious endeavour to imitate Dryden and Pope. In the elegy on the death of Dobbin, and one or two other pieces, there is a considerable portion of humour, which is a more legitimate proof of genius than one species of poets are disposed to allow. His principal defects are want of judgment and taste; these, however, are less discoverable in his translations; and it was probably a consciousness of limitted powers which inclined him so much to translation. In this he every where displays a critical knowledge of his author, while his versification is smooth and elegant, and his expression remarkably clear. He was once esteemed the best translator since the days of Pope; a praise which, if now disallowed, it is much that it could in his own time have been bestowed with justice.

POEMS

OF

FRANCIS FAWKES

As careless through those groves I took my way
Where Bramham gives new beauty to the day,
(What time Aurora, rising from the main,
With rosy lustre spangled o'er the plain;)
The sylvan scenes a secret joy inspir'd,
And with soft rapture all my bosom fir'd;
When, lo! my eyes a lovely nymph survey'd,
With modest step advancing through the glade:
Her bloom divine, and sweet attractive grace,
Confess'd the guardian Dryad of the place:
The wind that gave her azure 1obe to flow,
Reveal'd a bosom white as 'Alpine snow;
A flowery wreath around her neck she wore,

THE PREFACE.

I SHOULD think a preface to this volume abso-And in her hand a branch of olive bore3: Adown her shoulders fell her auburn hair, lutely unnecessary, except as it furnishes me with an opportunity of returning my thanks That loosely wanton'd with the buxom air, to those gentlemen who have favoured me with The buxom air ambrosial odours shed, their names; and therefore to their candour And sweets immortal breath'd around her head. and indulgence I beg leave to inscribe the My eager eyes o'er all her beauties ran, following sheets. When thus the guardian of the woods began. "Thrice happy! whom the fates propitious Orpington, May 1, 1761. give F. FAWKES. Secure in these sequester'd groves to live, [court, Where Health, fair goddess, keeps her blooming And all the nymphs, and all the graces sport: How beautifully chang'd the scene appears Within the compass of a thousand years! Then fierce Bellona drench'd these plains in blood,

BRAMHAM PARK.
TO ROBERT LANE, ESQ.

Quis caneret nymphas ? quis humum floren

tibus berbis

Written in May 1745.

Spargeret? aut viridi fontes induceret umbrâ ?

VIRG.

THE themes of war to bolder bards belong,
Calm scenes of peace invite my humble song.
Lane, whom kind Heav'n has with mild man-
ners grac❜d,

And bless'd with true hereditary taste,
Your blooming virtues these light lays demand,
Wrote in the gardens which your grandsire 2
plan'd.

When vernal breezes had the glebe unbound,
And universal verdure cloth'd the ground,
Profusely wild the flowers began to spring,
The trees to blossom, and the birds to sing:

• A fine seat in Yorkshire, belonging to George Fox-Lane, esq.

Robert, lord Bingley.

Then virtue wander'd in the lonely wood-
But hear! while I mysterious truths disclose,
Whose dire remembrance wakens all my woes.
In ancient days when Alfred3, sacred name!
(Alfred the first in virtue as in fame)

Paciferæque manu ramum prætendit olivæ. Virg. Æn. viii. 116. • Ambrosiæque comæ divinum vertice odorem Spiravere. Virg. Æn. 1.403. s Alfred. This most accomplished prince began his reign A.D. 872, at a time when the Danes

This barbarous isle with liberal arts refin'd,
Taught wholesome laws, and moraliz'd mankind;
The ruthless Danes o'er all the county ran,
They levell'd cities, and they murder'd man :
Nor fields, nor fanes, nor sex, nor age, were free
From fire and sword, from lust and cruelty.
To tend my father's flock was then my care,
And country swains were wont to call me fair.
Not hence far distant I secur'd my clrarms,
Till rous'd from danger by the din of arms
To a lone cave, with nymphs a chosen few,
Secret I fled, conceal'd from human view;
Secret and safe, til! (storm'd the country round)
Our close retreat the fierce barbarians found.
What could we do the furious foe to shun?-
To die seem'd better than to be undone.
Diana, huntress of the woodland shades,
Chaste guardian of the purity of inaids,
With silver bows supplied the virgin train,
And manly courage to repel the Dane.
But what, alas! avails the manly heart,
When female force emits the feeble dart ?
Though thrice three victims to our vengeance
fell,

Though my keen shafts dispatch'd their chief to
Hell;

Too soon our fate with anguish we deplor'd,
Doom'd to the slaughter of the conquering
sword:
[proves;
But happy they whose sufferings Heav'n ap-
Heav'n will reward that virtue which it loves.
The queen who makes bright chastity her care,
Thus to almighty Jove preferr'd her prayer ;
That we for ever in these shades might rove,
Nymphs of the wood, and guardians of the grove.
Well I remember, as I trembling lay,
Pale, breathless, cold, expiring on the clay,
How by degrees my mortal frame refin'd,
Nor left one earthly particle behind;

dolph,

With a great pow'r of English and of Scots,

In every nerve a pleasing change began,
And through my veins the streams immortal | Are by the sh'riff of Yorkshire overthrown.
Shakespeare's Hen. IV.
? The arms of Percy are, Or, a lion rampant

azure.

A neighbouring village, near which, on the 29th day of March (being Palm Sunday) A. D. battle between the houses of York and Lancaster: 1461, was fought a most remarkable and bloody the number of the Yorkists, headed by Edward, earl of March, amounted to about 40,600 men, the Lancastrians were 60,000. This battle prov◄ ed decisive in favour of the house of York; and in consequence of it, Edward was, in June 1461, crowned king of England, &c. There were killed in this engagement 36,776 men. The rivulet Cock, adjoining to the field of battle, and the river Wharfe, were for several days, in a very extraordinary manner, discoloured with the blood of the slain. For a circumstantial account of this battle, see Drake's Eboracum.

ran:

Soft on my mind ecstatic visions stole,

And beav'n-felt raptures dawn'd upon my soul. É'er since I guard the groves, the woods, the plain,

Chief Dryad of the tutelary train;
Supremely bless'd where all conspires to please;
War, civil war, alone disturbs my ease.
How did my soul recoil with secret dread,
When bold Northumberland his army led,
Ill-fated Britons, whom he brought from far,
Against his sovereign waging horrid war!
I saw the combat on the neighbouring plain,
A knight victorious, and old Percy slain;
I saw his visage, that with auguish frown'd,
And seem'd in rage to roll its eyes around.

after several invasions, had entirely over-run the kingdom, whom by his extraordinary valour and conduct he dispossessed of it. Circa Eglerti tempora, anno Christi 800, nostra littora primùm in festarunt Dani. Postea mare cælo miscentes, multos annos per Angliam grassati, urbibus excišis, templis succensis, & agris vastalis, omnia barbarû immanitate egerunt, verlerunt, rapuerunt.

6 In the year 1408, the old earl of Northumberland and his army was overthrown on Bramham-Moor by sir Thomas Rooksby, then high

8

Borne in mock triumph from the fatal field;
The azure 7 lion on the golden shield
Wav'd vainly rampant. But what horrors chill'd
My heaving heart, and through my bosom thrill'd,
When direful discord Britain's sons compeil'd
To war on Towton's memorable field.
I see the ranks embattled on the plain,
Torrents of blood, and mountains of the slain;
See kindred hosts with rival rage contend,
Deaf to the names of father, and of friend;
The brother by a brother's sword expires,
And sons are slain by unrelenting sires.
The brook, that flow'd a scanty stream before,
Swell'd to a river red with human gore:
Verbeia 9 then in wild amazement stood,
To see her silver urn distain'd with blood;
Verbeia, erst her waters wont to lead
In peaceful murmurs through the flow'ry mead,
To purge her currents from the crimson stain,
Swift pour'd her waves to mingle with the main.
Oft, as with shining share he ploughs the field',
The swain astonish'd finds the massy shield,
On whose broad boss, sad source of various woes,
He views engrav'd the long-disputed rose.
Huge human bones the fruitful furrows hide
Of once-fam'd heroes that in battle died.
Now all dire feuds and curst contentions o'er,
They sleep in peace, and kindle wars no more:
The friend, the foe, the noble and the slave,
Rest undistinguish'd in one common grave,

"But let us now, since genial spring invites,
And lavish nature varies her delights,
Partake the general joy, and sweetly stray,
Where the birds warble, and the waters play;
sheriff of Yorkshire, and the posse comitatus of
the county, and slain in the battle.

The earl Northumberland and the lord Bar

9 Verbeia was the Ron.an name for the river Wharfe; see an ancient inscription quoted by Camden.

10

finibus illis
Agricola, incurvo terram molitus aratro,
Exesa inveniet scabrâ rubigine pila :
Aut gravibus rastris galeas pulsabit inanes,
Grandiaque effossis mirabitur ossa sepulcris.
Virg. Geor. 1.

Where Flora decks the dewy dale with flowers,
And beeches twine their branches into bowers,
The warbling birds, the gales that gently blow,
May tune thy reed, and teach the verse to flow."
Thus spoke the nymph with soft alluring grace,
And led me round the flow'r-embroider'd place;
Through every variegated rural scene

Of shady forest, and of meadow green,
Of winding valleys, and of rising hills,
Of mossy fountains and translucent rills;
Where downs, or level lawns expanded wide,
The groves, the garden, and the wood divide;
Where walks by long-extended walks are crost,
And alleys in meandering alleys lost;
The dubious traces intricately run,
And end erroneous where they first begun :
Where Saxon fanes, that in fair order rise,
With elegant simplicity surprise.
Where'er the nymph directs my ravish'd sight,
New senes appear that give a new delight:
Here spiry firs.extend their lengthen'd ranks,
There viulets blossom on the sunny banks;
Here born-beam hedges regularly grow,
There hawthorns whiten, and wild roses blow.
Luxuriant Flora paints the purple plain,
And in the gardens waves the golden grain;
Curl'd round tail tufted trees the woodbine

weaves

In fond embrace its tendrils with the leaves:
Sweet-scented shrubs a rich perfume exhale,
And health ambrosial floats on every gale.
From rushy-fringed founts rise sparkling rills
That glide in mazy windings down the hills:
Or under pendent shades of oziers flow,
Dispensing moisture to the plants below:
Now, hid beneath the flowery turf, they pass
Ingulph'd, now sport along the velvet grass,
With many an errour slowly-lingering stray,
And murmuring in their course reluctant roll
away;

A varied group of flocks, and herds, and swains, Groves, fountains, fields, and daisy-painted plains;

At Bramham thus with ravish'd eyes we see
How order strives with sweet variety:

|

Nature, kind goddess, joins the aid of art
To plan, to form, and finish every part.

But now beneath the beechen shade reolin'd,
Whose tall top trembling dances in the wind,
Fast by the falling of a hoarse cascade,
What glowing transports all my breast invade!
Down channel'd stone collected currents flow,
And steal obliquely through the vale below;
The feather'd songsters on the trees above
Attune their voices to the notes of love,
Notes so melodiously distinct and clear,
They charm my soul, and make it Heav'n to
hear.

Thence into lucid lakes profusely fall
Foaming, or form the beautiful canal,
So smooth, so level, that it well might pass
For Cytherea's face-reflecting glass,
(Save when mild zephyrs o'er the surface stray,
Corl the light waves, and on his bosom play)
Yet to the bottom so distintly clear,
The eye might number every pebble there;
And every fish that quickly-glancing glides,
Sports in the stream, and shows his silver sides.

If through the glades I turn my raptur'd eyes,
What various views, what lovely landscapes rise?
Here a once-hospitable mansion stands
'Midst fruitful plains, and cultivated lands;
There russet heaths, with fields of corn between,
And peaceful cots, and hamlets intervene :
These far-stretch'd views direct me to admire
A tower dismantled, or a lofty spire,
Or farm imbosom'd in some aged wood,
Or lowing herds that crop the flowery food;
Through these, irriguous vales, and lawns appear,
And fleecy flocks, and nimble-footed deer:
Sun-glittering villas, and bright streams are seen,
Gay meads, rough rocks, hoar hills, and forests
green:

As when Belinda works, with art divine,
In the rich screen some curious, gay design;
Quick as the fair the nimble needle plies,
Cots, churches, towers, or villages arise;

O! what descriptive eloquence can tell The woods, and winding walks of Boscobell "? The various vistas, and the grassy glades, The bowery coverts in sequester'd shades? Or where the wan lering eye with pleasure sees. A spacious amphitheatre of trees? Or where the differing avenues unite, Conducting to more pompous scenes the sight? Lo! what high mounds inmense divide the moor, [shore! Stretch'd from the southern to the northern These are but relics of the Roman way, Where the firm legions march'd in dread array, Where rode the hero in his iron car,

And big with vengeance, roll'd the mighty war: Here oft the curious coins and urns explore, Which future Meads and Pembrokes shall adore; To me more pleasing far yon tranquil dell, Where Labour, Health, and sweet Contentment dweil;

More pleasing far beside yon aged oaks,
Grotesque and wild,the cottage chimney smokes.
Fair to the view old Ebor's temple stands,
The work of ages, rais'd by holy hands;
How firm the venerable pile appears!
Reverend with age, but not impair'd by years.
O! could I build the Heav'n-directed rhyme,
Strong as thy fabric, as thy tow'rs sublime,
Then would the Muse on bolder pinions rise,
And make thy turrets emulate the skies.

Such are the scenes where woodland nymphs resort,

And such the gardens where the Graces sport:
Would fate this verse to future times prolong.
These scenes should bloom for ever in my song.
Not Tempe's plains so beautiful appear,
Nor flow Castalia's sacred springs so clear;
The Muses, had they known this lov'd retreat,
Had left Parnassus for a nobler seat.

Well may these groves in elegance excel, When Lane completes what Bingley plann'd so well;

Bids crystal currents sweetly-murmuring flow, Fair temples rise, and future navies grow. Here Dn might an idle hour employ, And those diversions, which he loves, enjoy;

"Boscobell. A beautiful wood, disposed in an elegant taste, and separated from the gardens by the park.

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