1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Pringle

Anonymous, "Pringle's Ephemerides" The Kaleidoscope NS 8 (22 April 1828) 352.



We have before us a most interesting volume, entitled Ephemerides, or Occasional Poems, by Thomas Pringle, formerly the conductor of a liberal and enlightened journal in Southern Africa. The spirit of this gentleman was found too manly and uncompromising to suit the taste of local colonial governors, and Mr. Pringle, like other honest men, became the victim of oppression, to which, however, he vows eternal hostility in the concluding sonnet of his volume, which we are about to transcribe.

Independent of the intrinsic merit of the poetry, this little volume is peculiarly valuable on account of the notes contained in the appendix, which are so interesting that we shall probably avail ourselves of many of them to enrich the columns of the Kaleidoscope.

TO OPPRESSION.
Oppression! I have seen thee, face to face,
And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow;
But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now,
For dread to prouder feelings doth give place
Of deep abhorrence! Scorning the disgrace
Of slavish knees, that near thy footstool bow,
I also kneel — but with far other vow
Do hail thee and thy herd of hirelings base:
I swear, while life-blood warms my throbbing veins,
Still to oppose and thwart with heart and hand
Thy brutalizing sway — till Afric's chains
Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land,—
Trampling Oppression and his iron rod:
Such is the vow I take — So help me God!