Joel Barlow. By Charles Burr Todd. (G. P. Patnam's Sons.)—
Mr. Barlow was a poet of what may be called the pre-Cowper style, his principal production, "The Columbiad," being an epic which it would not be unfair to rank with the productions of Sir Richard Blackmore ; while a more successful effort, "The Hasty Padding," is a burlesque heroic, which is as good an imitation of Pope as can easily be found. Here is a specimen :—
"At last the closing season browns the plain, And ripe October gathers in the grain ;
Deep-loaded carts the spacious corn-house fill, The sack distended marches to the mill ; The labouring mill beneath the burden groans. And showers the future pudding from the stones, Till the glad housewife greets the powdered gold, And the new crop exterminates the old.
Ah ! who can sing, what every wight must feel, The joy that enters with the bag of meal ? A general jubilee pervades the house, Wakes every child, and gladdens every mouse."
Mr. Barlow was also a diplomatist. He went to Paris as representative a the United States in 1788, negotiated, with great skill and success, with the Dey of Algiers, for the release of American captives, and ended his life in a mission which be undertook in 1811 to settle with Napoleon personally some grave difficulties which had arisen between the States and France in reference to the rights of neutrals. In the following year he journeyed to Wilna; but the disastrous retreat was then in full force ; Napoleon was hurrying back to France. Barlow returned from Wilna to Warsaw ; and set out again from Warsaw to Cracow, but died on the journey of inflammation of the langs. This account of a busy and useful life, though specially interesting to American readers, may well meet with a welcome here.