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EPISTLES, ODES, AND OTHER POEMS, by Thos. MOORE, Esq.
(Continued from Vol. 2, No. 5, page 308) M. Moore, next, favours us with a careless epistle to his
friend G. Morgan, Esq. about kissing Lais, who cried while she was kissed ;-and it ends with a post-script, concerning the black-eyed Caty, whom the author had seen at Norfolk in Virginia, of whom he wishes to buy a ribbon and some of her softest love :-in all which there is nothing interesting in the sentiment, or excellent in the style.
Then comes the “Wedding ring,”—which is written for the express purpose of bringing into contempt and abhorrence the marriage-union. In this despicable piece Mr. Moore, with his usual wisdom, endeavours to recommend himself to the affections of a lady, by telling her, plainly, that he roves, at large, among the softer sex, dallying, and sporting with whomsoever he wills.
Though few the years I yet have told,
For many a maid my soul hath prov'd;
To theirs hath been as fondly laid ;
To them have been as warmly said.
Then follow some stanzas, which we are ashamed to quote, and the whole performance ends with the accustomed morality of Mr. Moore. This miserable composition fully proves, that its author is utterly ignorant, and altogether incapable of the feelings of honourable affection, and exalted love ;-all his views are sensual ;-he, in common with all the brutal and the bestial herd, wallows in the stye of promiscuous lust; but
where lust approaches love waves his purple wings, and flies, for ever, from our sight. If love were altogether sensual, then would it perish when our senses fade ;-but, being founded on virtue, and being mingled with evexy dignified, and with every tender emotion of the heart, it continues to strew our path with flowers, long as life continues, nor quits us when we die.
No doubt these efforts of Mr. Moore are intended to benefit the age, in which he lives, by improving the morals, and by burnishing its honour !-Let Mr. Moore,—or, if he be too abandoned, and too much hardened in iniquity, and impudence, let the yet uncontaminated reader listen attentively to the observations of one, who has watched over the baneful progress of licentiousness, and of profigacy, both in this country, and in Europe.
“ And as he roves, unmindful of the storm,
Now follows a whole host of love songs, some few of them smooth and pretty, many very vile, and full of ribaldry, and all in the same strain, about kissing, and squeezing, and panting, and twining, and sighing, and heaving, and so forth ;for Mr. Moore appears to think, that women were made only for man's sensual gratification; as toys, wherewith to play ; as beings of an inferior order, of a grosser substance, and a coarser mould, formed only to administer to the animal appetite of creation's haughty lord;-being,(poor miserable wretch!)
utterly ignorant, that, women were designed to be, and that many of them are, the affectionate, the enlightened companions of man's happier hours,the sharers of his heart,the friends on whose fidelity he depends, on whose judgment he rests, by whose knowledge and understanding he is improved and amended, in whose incorruptible virtue he reposes the most unbounded confidence. Indeed, Mr. Moore loves so many ladies, and dies so very
every one of them, that he reminds us of the situation of poor Mr. Merry, another of the flock of the Cruscan geese; as described by him, who strangled nearly all those same geese, and Mr. Merry, among the rest, some few years since :
“ Canst thou Matilda, &c.—(vide Album. Vol. 3)—Matilda -Nay, then, I'll never trust a madman again. It was but a few minutes since, that Mr. Merry died for the love of Laura Maria ; and, now, is he going to do the same thing for the love of Anna Matilda? what the ladies may say to such a swain, I know not; but, certainly, he is too prone to run wild, and die, &c. &c. Such, indeed, is the combustible nature of this gentleman, that he takes fire at every female signature in the papers ; and I remember, that when Olaudo Equiano, (who, for a black, is not ill featured)—tried his hand at a soft sonnet, and by mistake, subscribed it Olauda, Mr. Merry fell so desperately in love with him, and yelled out such syllables of dolour in consequence of it, that the pitiful-hearted negro was frightened at the mischief he had done, and transmitted, in all haste, the following correction to the editor,-“ For Olaud A, please to read Olaud O, the black Man."
In a song on—“ Lying,”—and in some stanzas on Resemblance,”—Mr. Moore lets us fully into the secret of the despicable, degrading opinion, which he entertains of the female sex, and of his own honour and integrity, as a gentle
Perhaps, no man, since the days of Lord Chesterfield, whose writings, says S. Johnson, teach the manners of a dancing master, and the morals of a prostitute,-has ever laboured so strenuously, and incessantly, to destroy the dignity of the female
sex, and to render women the scorn and the out-casts of
society, as does Mr. Moore, who, certainly, will not be able, on his death-bed, to say, with Addison,—that he never wrote
one line, which, dying, he would wish to blot.” For instance, when he says, ,
Whate'er the heartless world decree,
Howe'er unfeeling prudes condemn,
Than live and die a saint with them.”
quote more of this sort, we presume, is needless. In a song to Nea, Mr. Moore is not contented with giving us a repetition, so often repeated, of the same story of kissing, and squeezing, and twining, and panting, over again,-indeed, with a very small portion of dexterity, he contrives to fill great number of pages of sonneteering, with about an idea and a half, twisted and tortured into a vast variety of shapes, some of which, very often, assume the exact similitude of nonsense)—but he favours us with a little false grammar, in order to heighten our entertainment:
No,-no-on earth there's only she,
So long could bind such folly fast;
Such pure perfection false at last.” In English, it would run thus—“none but I”-(not me) « could make" &c.
In these love songs of Mr. Moore, there is very little of nature, and nothing of those exquisite feelings of the heart, which constitute all the witchery of love ;-his affection, at best, appears to be only animal; and his effusions to his various mistresses, only the jaded strainings of factitious rapture. Take, at a venture, the following compliments to Nea.
That lights the lone Semenda's death,
To wear this rosy leaf for me,
And breathe of something not divine,
In nature, but thy sigh alone ;
The breath of roses for thiné own." &c. &c. How different is all this tawdry, finical nonsense from the language of real, heart-felt affection, as expressed by Burns, in the following verses, obscured, and clouded as are the sentiments by being clothed in harsh and unfinished rythm, and all the uncouthness of the Scottish dialect!
The blissful day, we twa did meet,
Ne'er summer-sun was half sae sweet :
And crosses o'er the sultry line;
Or nature ought of pleasure give!
For thee, and thee alone, I live!
Comes in between to make us part;
It breaks my bliss,-it breaks my heart.” But to turn from the honest, and manly simplicity, the ardent, throbbing affection of Burns, to the tawdry, flimsy tinsel, the forced conceits, the artificial, the miserable, whinning, fraudulent cant of Mr. Moore, is, indeed, like the folly, of leaving the chaste endearments of a virtuous bride, for the boughten smile of a harlot, cold, joyless, loveless, unindeared!!!
In order to refresh his reader Mr. Moore not unfrequently, sprinkles his love-ditties, with a little pure and unalloyed nonsense, as in his address to--“ The Snow-Spirit,”-the four first lines of the last stanza of which runs thus,