Ramler, Charles William

, a German poet of great celebrity in his own country, but little known here, was born in 1725, at Kolberg, and became professor of belles lettres in a military academy at Berlin. In concert with Leasing, he there edited two ancient poets of the Germans, Logau and Wernike. His Lyrical Antholpgy contributed much to improve the taste of his countrymen, by those changes of diction which almost every poem received from his pen. Sixteen odes of Horace he translated with great felicity, and composed many original imitations of them. His oratorios, which Graun set to music, would have been warmly admired, but in the country of Klopstock. In 1774, he translated the critical works of Batteux, which he accompanied with considerable additions.

Ramler’s odes were first collected apart in 1772; they had been composed on several occasions, during the preceding fifteen years. Their character is peculiarly Horatian, but they have too much the air of close imitation, yet they have procured him the name of the German Horace. He sung the praises of the king of Prussia with as much spirit as Horace did those of Augustus, but with less flattery. He died March 19, 1798. 2


Dict. Hist. Maty’s Review, vol. VIII. from a German biography.