« VorigeDoorgaan »
It is curious to observe what an ef- its perplexing remoteness. We hold fect this rage for antiquity produces, not converse with human flesh and and how it is capable of altering our blood, but with heroic spectres, “who estimation of the intrinsic value of pace about the hills continually," and things, as if either age or scarcity ought that come to us from the breast of to confer true value on things which the ocean. There are neither cities, must have been, and ought ever to be nor civilization, nor society ; but the considered as trifling ; yet they do so, wanderings, and wars, the impulses of whether it be on a cracked Roman jar, nature, and passion in its untamed or a Queen Anne's farthing. An addi- einpire. Mossy stones mark out the tional eclogue of Virgil would weigh dwellings of the dead; the wind curls down, in our eyes, a whole bale of the wave, swells the sail, and agitates common-place Herculaneum manu- the forest; and the silence of night is scripts, whether rolled or unrolled ; broken by gibbering voices, and « airy
suppose I have not the least tongues that syllable mens' names on chance of ever being numbered among sands, and shores, and desert wilderthe associates of the Antiquarian So- nesses." ciety.
Yet, in the narration of the advenVerily, Mr North, the mind of man tures, and in the construction of the is a strange thing, and a heterogeneous fables, a wonderful stretch of invencompound. In confirmation of this tion is exhibited ; and a method is in particular tendency in our nature of sible, even in the most irregular and which we are now speaking, we have inconsistent parts, which is not a litalmost uniformly found, that they who tle surprising. The Epic of Fingal believe in the age and authenticity of contains some passages of heroic beauOssian, will award him no lower a sta- ty, which would thrill the blood of a tion than among the Homers, Dantes, coward, and make him long to be a Miltons, and Shakespeares; whereas, soldier; while the Songs of Selma such as consider him a modern fiction, abound in touches of the most deep will be contented with nothing less and the most artless pathos. than a condemnation of the whole It is strange that Wordsworth, who mass, as little better than rant, bom- has studied so profoundly, and so sucbast, and fustian,--merely because it cessfully, the philosophy of the mateis written by Macpherson ; as if there rial world, should make the never-endwas no such thing as sterling merit, or ing delineation of natural objects and as if a standard of real poetical excel- appearances in these works, the theme lence could exist only in the reader's of his scepticism as to their authentiimagination. We remember a speech city, and of his non-belief concerning of Lord Chatham's, which says, that the blind Ossian, as if blindness is « youth cannot be imputed to any not affirmed of Homer, and known of man as a reproach ;” nor can recent Milton. If Wordsworth has ever dipproduction, we should suppose in the ped into the poems of Blacklock-who same way, be considered a blemish, was born blind-he may there disco(as Mr Hazlitt would fain have it,) in ver that a power of describing the maany work. It is surely no fault in terial world, in all the variety and viScott, Byron, or Campbell, that they cissitude of its presentations, may be have not lived and been gathered to attained, either from a successful mentheir fathers some thousand years tal effort in retaining the delineations ago.
of others; or, by a kind of intuitive The works of Ossian, in the state perception,-though, after the experiin which they are served up to us byment of Locke with his blind man, Macpherson, may be considered rather who thought scarlet colour like the as the raw materials of poetry, than as sound of a trumpet, we would rather exhibiting that art, condensation, and imagine not. selection of thought, which are requi- Moore, in his Introduction to his site to form a finished composition. Irish Melodies, has thrown out a need There is a thronging a profused as- less sarcasm in saying, that if Ireland semblage of lofty and magnificent ima- could have Burns, she would willinggery, seen in the distance, rapidly ly give up all claim to Ossian, as if shifting, shadowing, and indistinct. there was one point of similarity in “ The glory and the splendour of a the constitution of their genius, or as áream," united with its obscurity and if one point of comparison could be si suggested between them. After these invigorate his martial spirit, slept with si insulting taunts, it is but a poor set- a copy of Fingal under his pillow, a off, that Madame de Stael could con- during his Italian campaigns. ceive the absurdity of Milton having
Yours, &c. the possibly derived advantage from Os
CelticuS. sian, in the composition of Paradise Inverness, Nov. 1, 1821. Lost; or that Buonaparte, in order to
ADDRESS TO THE MOON.
TO THE SETTING SUN.
Must thou leave thy blue course in heaven, &c.
Bright child of heaven, with locks of golden ray?
That there to rest thou shapest thy weary way?
And throng around to see thy glory shed,
And view thy beauty, slumbering on its bed ;-
TO THE EVENING STAR.
Star of the falling night! fair is thy light, &c.
Introduction to Songs of Selma.
Serene, above the summit of the hill,
What dost thou see? the bursting winds are still,
The distant torrent now is thundering ;
The rock is now besieged by the main ; The flies of evening, borne on feeble wing,
Hum on their drowsy course along the plain :
Thou smilest on the home-returning swain,Heaven thou behold'st around, and earth without;
Thou sink'st,—the western wave surrounds thy train;
Daughter of Eve! thou glory of the dell,-
ALPIN'S LAMENTATION FOR MORAN.
One of the Songs of Selma.
No hopes, no fears, across
Oh, Morar, Morar, thou art truly low!
His hoary locks bespeak his lengthen'd years,
ROUGE ET NOIR.* The host of tourists who have ma- Or any thing, in short, in which he shonerauded on the continent within these He answered— Cun he win at Rouge et few have inade us familiar with
Noir 2 years, its sights, and weary of thein. Paris, His keen eye finishing the phrase — if so, as the most accessible, has been the He does what no one else can do, you
know.'" most infested ; and its caveaus anil caffés, its spruce theatres, and squalid This is neatly expressed, and the churches, have been reiterated on us description of the Board, probably a in every existing dialect, froin Mayfair difficult task in poetry, our author has to Whitechapel
. But after this cum- executed very cleverly.-P. 35-28. brous plunder, there are left rare bi- The Palais Royal next comes under jour, and the eye which will look into this pleasant pen, and its world of the interior of Parisian manners, may wicked wonders is described with unbe pronounced to have entered, as old usual spirit. We are not exhausted by Vestris said of the Minuet, on a study a toilsome and feeble recapitulation of extensive enough to last him his life. the absurdities or allurements of a
The author of the present poem has place, over which the spirit of the Reapplied himself to a fragment of the gent Orleans seems still to hover; the Palais Royal, and from this has gene- poem strikes at once upon its characrated a volume of verses, alternately teristics, and then darts away in purpathetic and jocular, moral and satiri- suit of the original topic. cal. The mention of Frescati, and the Sulon, is a mere digression; the syste
“ It forms an oblong square with a piazza, matic interest is gathered 'round the Parterres and lime tree alleys in the centre:
There's not an inch, I'm sure, from Ghent two apartments in the Palais Royal,
to Gaza, where so many miserables of all ages
Where youthful blood so much requires a and tongues are undone in the inost
Mentor: expeditious manner every night of the Among a thousand other things, it has a year. His theme is the Rouge et Noir Superb jet d'cau, which strikes you as you table, at which, he protests, that no man can win, and quotes an authority But closely wedged Boutiques and Cafés high among the mighty and undone lend it gamblers of mankind.
An air, I think, much more bizarre than “ 'Tis said, when any told Napoleon
splendid. That such or such a man had talents, or " It is a focus where each principle Whose depth of head might be depended on Of thought and act concentrate to a spot : In mathematics, diplomacy, war,
Where gold is most omnipotent, and will A Poem ; in six cantos, with other Poema. London. Olliers. Pp. 213. 12mo.
Buy love or lace—there's nothing can't be bability, have slept unthanked, but for
Lord Byron and
, A world in miniature, where equal skill
this is an idle delicacy, the stanza is 192 Is taught in sin and science-buth are
free to the human race, “ like a wildtaught ! With dancing, fencing, metaphysics, cheat- Îmitation is of an altogether different 103
goose flies unclaimed of any man." ing, And other things which don't abide re
family. If this were the place to it peating.
trouble ourselves with laying down the En “ It is the heart of Paris, and impels
law on this subject, we should say, 13 Warm poision through her wanton arteries; that there is no imitation except where The honeycomb of vice, whose thousand the peculiarities of an author are transcells
ferred. Crabbe's clearness of rustic i Pour forth the buzzing multitude one description, his vigorous seizure of the lines
form and pressure of village habits
, Loose-trowser'd beaux, and looser-morald and his shrewd and simple pleasantry belles ; on obscure ambition and petty vanity
, With ancient quizzes underneath the trees may attract authorship to the investiReading the daily journals, or conversing; gation of rural life. But the similarity And, here and there, a black-eyed Grisette of subject is not imitation, nor is the nursing.”
encreased acuteness of inquiry, nor is In the Paluis Royal, the Nos. 109, the more pointed vigour of versificaand 154, have probably had a larger tion, nor is the mixture of seriousness proportion of visitants of all nations and pleasantry; for all of those may than any other spot in Paris. Their have arisen naturally in the course of charm is the possession of the Roulet, the general and individual improve and Rouge et Nvir tables. If there ment of poetry. It might as well be ever should be a general history of asserted, that every man who looks vice, the annals of those two suites of through a telescope, is a degraded imi. rooms may form the most pregnant and tator of Galileo; or that the whole most original portion. Half the crimes, rising generation, with their unshatterand all the suicides of Paris, are con- ed faces, are nothing better than pluncocted within those walls. They stand derers of Jenner, and the Glostershire in the centre of the most profligate milk-maids. spot in Europe, and they deserve to The true imitation of Crabbe would stand in its centre. The whole district be in his pressure of trivialities into is the classic ground of iniquity, but the service; in his sending out, stamped within those boundaries are the Campi with equal labour, the unimportant Phlegræi.
and the valuable specimens of his naFrom the Palais Royal the poet mismata rustica ; in the Dutch delight strays to Frescati, the fantastic name of his painted straws, and flies on tanof a celebrated gaming-house on the kards, and red-nosed Boors in extravaBoulevards, the resort of the better gant frolic or maudlin repentance. dressed ruffians of Paris, and of Lon. Lord Byron's strength of expression, don. Want of room prevents us from and that decision of view by which giving a number of other extracts he passes over the feebler features of froin this clever and ingenious volume, the terrain, and seizes on the commandwhich we understand is from the pen ing points, are common property
, neiof a gentlemen of the name of Read, ther his discovery nor that of any man and which does equal honour to his living, but as old as poetry and nature. head and heart.
He may, like other men of talents, The selection of the Ottava Rima have assisted in leading the authorship was judicious, from the general facility of England back into the original track of the measure, and perhaps from it from which bad taste and evil times having become popular through Beppo had turned it away, yet to which it and Whistlecraft. But the use of any was rapidly reverting. But he was not thing that has been used before, seems the earliest even of his day, who stood to sit painfully on the author's con- upon the hill and made signals to the science, and he accordingly attempts multitude wandering through the shade to lighten his obligation to the mo- and the valley. The “ Lay of the Last derns, by shewing that they were in- Minstrel,” if we are to distinguish a debted to a remote ancestry. But peculiar agency, was the morning star Chaucer and Fuirfur would, in all pro- of the modern age. But the transit of