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From Heaven descended to the low roofd house i Inight be raised from any state in the Union.
But what becomes of them? It is one thing to
that this suggestion contains a hint at the Surnamed Peripatetics, and the sect
whole mystery. It seems to be comparativeEpicurean, and the Stoic severe."
ly easy for educated men, blinded to their inSuch is an outline of the remains of the capacity by an unwholesome passion for nochief Athenian edifices, which link ancient toriety which is never the inspiring motive of times with the present, and which, as long as a real poet, to reach a certain degree of excelthere is taste to appreciate or genius to im- lence which may be denominated promising." itate, must arrest the attention and command Many a feather has been shed, and many a the admiration of all the generations of man- wing broken, in attempting to soar beyond kind.
it. We shall not describe Mr. Taylor with the
epithet. We see nothing to justify it in his TAYLOR AND STODDARD.*
volume, on every page of which there is acW E have placed these names together, tual performance. Ma
tual performance. Maturity may indeed add not on acconnt of any fancied resem
to his powers, and further increase his poetiblance between the two poets, but for the
cal insight; but there is no necessity for waitvery opposite reason. We wish to trace the ing, lest we cominit ourselves by a favorablo contrasts which may be exhibited by writers opinion, and no fear that such an opinion will living in the same age, the same country, and
| be falsified by succeeding efforts. under the same system of social relations. Mr. |
Richard Henry Stoddard doubtless has been Stoddard's volume is dedicated with evident styled a promising young poet by half the warmth of feeling to Bayard Tavlor, and the newspaper press; therefore if we venture to natural conclusion is that the poets are per
say that Mr. Stoddard has performed, and sonal friends; yet so far from the intellectual
that the promising season is over with him, Dature of the one having influenced that of
it is not because we do not think that his the other, they are as strikingly opposed in
future poems will exhibit new and greater thought, feeling, and manner of expression,
excellencies, but because we recognize merits as two men well can be.
in his present collection which eminently enThe time has gone by when a volume from title him to respectful consideration. the pen of Mr. Taylor can be dismissed with The evident source of Mr. Stoddard's ina careless line or two. Few writers of our day spiration is a love for ideal beauty, in whathave made more rapid advances into popular ever form it may be manifested. Like all favor, and no one is more justly entitled to admi
to admirers of ideal beauty, he has a strong senthe place which he holds. If we are to trust
sual element in his composition. He is not contemporary criticism, a goodly army of
satisfied with the mere dreams of his imagiwhat are called “promising young poets” |
stes nation, but he must also attempt to realize
them through the medium of imitative art. A Book of Romances, Lyrics, and Songs. By BAYARD | Among the various modes for expressing the TAYLOR. Boston. Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 16mó. Poems. Among By RichaBD HENBY STODDARD. Same publishers. 16o. | SE
sculpture and music, he has chosen poetry as Through fasting that approaches starvation, the one best adapted to his purpose. We unanswered prayers, and repeated discomfitwould not be understood to assert that an ures, the soul of the hero burns undimmed, artist may, at will, express his emotions in and his eyes remain steadily fixed on his purany of the arts; for a man may be insensible pose. Physical suffering only strengthens to an idea expressed in sculpture or music, his resolution, and defeat only nerves him which is perfectly clear to him in poetry or to renewed efforts. Round these ideas the painting; but we assert that all the arts are poet lingers with a triumphant emotion, that but ditterent languages to convey the same proves his sympathies to be centred less in ideas. True art addresses itself to the moral, the outward action of the poem, than in the the intellectual, or the sensual inan; and by power of hunan will—a power which he the predominance of one of these qualities in conceives to be capable of overcoming all the artist, or by varions combinations of the things, even the gods themselves. We have three, all the radical ditferences between men before stated that nature, unless suggestive of genius can be accounted for, and all the of some intellectual émotion, is nothing to Mr. seeming mysteries explained. This truth is Taylor. To arouse himself to song, he must the groundwork of genuine criticism; and the vitalize the world, must make it live, breathe critic who busies liimself about the accidental and feel, must find books in the running circumstances, which bave influenced an ar- brooks, and sermons in stones, or brooks and tist, is only prving into his history, without stones are to him as if they had not been. sounding the depth of his nature. At least In the “Metempsychosis of the Pine," this let criticism start here: it may afterward in-characteristic is finely displayed. The poet dulge in microscopic comparisons of style, and imagines himself to have been a pine, and rein worn-out accusations of imitation : but it traces his experiences while in that state of is a sorry thing to see persons assuming the being. The pine becomes a conscious creadignified office of the critic magnifying mole- ture, revelling in the joys of its own existhills into mountains, and similarities into ence, feeling the sap stir in its veins, and pour thefts. All men are gifted with various fac- through a heart as susceptible as man's. Many ulties, but it is not in the superiority of any poets have recalled the memories which linor all of them that we can account for the ger around a particular tree, or, apostrophisexistence of the poet, who has something of ing it, have bid it relate certain histories, but the divine nature in him, having a creative in Mr. Taylor's poem the tree speaks from energy that is not a result of the degree in within its own nature-not with the feelings which he possesses one or more of the ordi- of a man, not with what we might suppose nary faculties, but is a special distinction with would be the feelings of a common tree, but which he is clothed by the deity.
as a pine of many centuries—and no one can We will proceed to examine our two poets mistake its voice. A nobler use of the draby the principles before stated, not forgetting matic faculty, in lyrical poetry, is not within to compare or contrast them, as there may be our recollection. opportunity. In Mr. Taylor there is a just As may be supposed, Mr. Taylor's poetry equipoise of the moral and intellectual natures, is written under the excitement of passion, while the sensual nature, if not so strong and does not proceed from that laborious proas the former two, is at least calmed and sub- cess of constructing effects, to which a large dued by their united power. With fine ani- number of poets owe their success. The conreal spirits, he has but little taste for gross sequence is that his language is vividly metaanimal enjoyments; and the mischief which phorical, only dealing in similes when in a his unlicensed spirits might commit, is fore- comparative repose, and never going out of seen by a sensitive conscience, and checked the way to hunt up one of those eternal by a mind that sees the end in the act, and likes, which have emasculated our poetic provides to-day against the future. Mr. Tay- style, and are fast becoming a leading characlor's inclinations are for scenes of grandeur. teristic in American verse, to the utter desSublime human actions, nature in her awful truction of every thing like real passion. Mr. revolutionary states, the wild desolation of a Taylor is an instructive study in this respect. inonntain peak or a limitless desert, the storm, He uses ten metaphors to one simile. "Ilis the earthquake, the cataract, the moaning ideas core forth clothed in their figurative forest-these are the chief inspirations of his language, and do not bring it along neatly powers. Whatever is suggestive of high tied up in a separate bundle. From this cause emotions, that act upon his moral nature, there is a sturdy strength and genuine feeland in turn are acted upon by it, forms an ing about his poems, that more than compenunconquerable incentive to his poetical exer- sate for the ingenious trinkets which he destions. Mere word-painting he has no affec- pises, and leaves for the adornment of those tion for. A scene of nature, however beau- who need them. In him imagination pretiful, would be poetically valueless to him, dominates over fancy, and the latter is alunless it moved liis feelings past the point of ways sacrificed to the former. We do not silent contemplation. The first poem in intend to say that Mr. Tavlor is without fanhis volune atfords a striking illustration of cy. Far from it—he has fancy, but it never his apprehension of intellectual bravery. I leads him to be fanciful. His versitica
RICHARD H. STODDARD. tion is polished, correct and various, but can scarcely realize that the dream has passmore harmonious than melodious; that is ed forever. He sees something vital in its to say, the whole rhythmical flow of his verse very ruins. For him the Phidian friezes yet is more striking than the sweetness of par-crown the unplundered Parthenon; the giticular lines. We have not mentioned all the gantic Athena yet gleams through sacerdotal plases of Mr. Taylor's genius. Some of the incense, in all her ivory whiteness, smiling smaller poems in his volume border on the upon reeking altars and sacrificing priests; sensuous; and in “Hylas" he has paid a tri- | Delphos has yet an oracular voice; Bacchus bute to ancient fable worthy of its refined in- and Pan and his Satyrs yet lead their ri. ventors; but scenes of moral and natural sub- otous train through a forest whose every limity are those in which he succeeds best, tree is alive with its dryad, and whose every and by them he should be characterized. fountain is haunted by its potamid; there are
Mr. Stoddard is the precise opposite to his yet patriot veins to glow at the Iliad; Æsfriend. In him the sensual vastly outrankschylus can yet fill a theatre; Pericles yet the moral or the intellectual quality. Let it thunders at Cimon from the Cema, or woos not be supposed that we wish to hold the Aspasia, or tempers the headlong Alcibiades, two latter elements as superior to the former or prepares his darling Athens for the Pelofor poetical purposes; nor do we by asserting ponnesian war. These things Mr. Stoddard the greater preponderance of any one, deny feels while the locomotive shrieks in his ears, the possession of the other two. To the sen- while the omnibus, speeding to the steamship, suous in man we are indebted for the great rattles the glass of his window, while the body of Grecian poetry, and Keats wholly, newsboy cries his monotonous advertisement, and Tennyson in part, are modern instances or his servant hands to him a telegraphic disof what may be achieved by imbibing the patch; and he is right. The body in which spirit of the ancient classics. Shallow critics Grecian art existed, is indeed dead, but the have professed to discover a resemblance be- spirit which animated it is indestructible. tween these English poets and Mr. Stoddard, There will be poets to worship and reproduce and Mr. Taylor has also fallen under the same it, there will be scholars to admire and preaccusation, for no better reason, that we can serve it, when every man's field is bounded conceive, than that all four have drunk at the by a railway, when every housetop is sursame fountain, and enjoyed its inspirations. mounted by a telegraph wire, and when the
Mr. Stoddard's sympathies are almost en-golden calf is again set up amid the people, tirely given up to ancient Grecian art. He to be worshipped as the living God.
With all montiers sont houne now:
From the force of his sympathies, Mr. Stod- | he is rather exquisitely sensitive than prodard can lean but in that direction. Through- foundly passionate, and oftener works up his out his volume there is scarcely a poem which feelings to the act of composition, than seeks is not the offshoot of these feelings. Some of it as an outlet for uncontrollable emotion. llo them are confessedly upon Grecian subjects, is thoroughly, and at every point, an artist. and all of them are animated by a correspond- His genius is never allowed to run riot, but ing spirit. Even his few domestic poems are is always subjected to the laws of a delicate, not treated after that modern manner, which but most severe taste. His poems are probmoralizes in the last stanza, simply to let the ably planned with views to their artistic reader understand how well the poet knows effects, and are then constrncted from his his own meaning. Whatever is beautiful in exhaustless wealth of poetical material, by a Mr. Stoddard's themes is distinctly brought nice adaptation of each part to the perfect forward, while the darker side of his subject whole of his design. If he has less imaginais scarcely touched upon. Take, for example, tion than Mr. Taylor, he has a richer and a poem of great simplicity and tenderness, more glowing fancy; if his figures are less filled with a sorrow so beautiful as almost to apt and striking, they are more elegant and make one in love with grief, and contrast it symmetrical; if the harmonious dignity of his with a poem, on a similar subject, by Bayard versification is less, its melodious sweetness is Taylor :
more; if he has less passion, he has more sen“ Along the grassy slope I sit,
sibility; if moral and physical grandeur are And dream of other years:
not so attractive to him, ideal and natural My heart is full of soft regrets, My eyes of tender tears!
beauty are the only elements in which his The wild been hurmed about the spot,
life is endurable. We might pursue these The sheep-bells tinkled far,
contrasts to the end of our magazine; but if Last year when Alice sat with me
we have called the reader's attention to them, Beneath the evening star!
we have done enough.
From “Love and Solitude," by Mr. Taylor,
we extract the following picture, in order to With all the last year's flowers!
contrast it with the handling of the same I sit alone, and only hear The wild bees on the steep,
subject by Mr. Stoddard in “ The South :" And distant bells that seem to float
"Some island, on the purple plain From out the folds of sleep!"
Stoddard, page 116.
Of Polynesian main,
Where never yet adventurer's prore This is very fine and delicate feeling, soft Lay rocking near its coral shore: ened down to the mildest point of passion;
A tropic mystery, which the enamored deep
Folds, as a beauty in a charmed sleep. but it does not at all resemble the frenzy of
There lofty palins, of some imperial line, grief which follows:
That never bled their nimble wine,
Crowd all the hills, and out the headlands go
To watch on distant reefs the lazy brine
Turning its fringe of snow.
There, when the sun stands high
Upon the burning summit of the sky,
All shadows wither: Light alone
Is in the world: and pregnant grown
With teeming life, the trembling island earth
And panting sea forebode sweet pains of birth:
Which never come :--their love brings never forth
The buman Soul they lack alone."
Taylor, page 26
Hall-way between the frozen zones,
Where Winter reigns in sullen mirth,
The Suminer binds a golden helt
About the middle of the Earth,
The sky is soft, and blue, and bright.
With purple dves at morn and night:
And bright and blue the seas which lie
In perfect rest, and glass the sky;
And sunny bays with inland curves What a desolation of wo! how the whole
Round all along the quiet shore: man is carried away in one overwhelming And stately palms, in pillared rank
Grow down the borders of the banks, passion! A contrast of the opening po- i
And juts of land where billows roar: ems of these two volumes, would be a pleas The spicy woods are full of birds, ant employment, but their length forbids it. And golden fruits, and crimson flowers;
With wreathird vines on every bough, Mr. Taylor's “Romance of the Maize" we
That shed their grapes in purple showers; have mentioned already; Mr. Stoddard's! The emerald meadow's roll their waves
And bask in soft and mellow light; "Castle in the Air" is its complete antithesis.
The vales are full of silver mist, The latter poem is a magnificent day-dream,
And all the folded hills are bright; abounding in luscious imagery, and unrival
Bnt far along the welkin's rim
The purple crags and peaks are dim: led for its minute descriptions of ideal scenery
And dim the gulfs, and gorges blue, and its voluptuous music of versification, by
With all the wooded passes deep;
All steeped in haze, and washed in dew, any siinilar creation since Spenser's “Bower
And bathed in atmospheres of Sleep! of Bliss."
Siddard, page 14. To sum up Mr. Stoddard's poetical charac Passages like these say more for their anter, he has more fancy than imagination, thors than could any commendation from the
critic. Observe how soon mere description is
“ And if a man
Without drawing too much on the tables of contents, we could not enumerate the many note-worthy pieces in these volumes; and it would much exceed our limits to give them even a passing word of coinment. Among Mr.
ENTRANCE TO THE MAMMOTH CAVE. Stoddard's unmentioned poems, the “Hymn to Flora," an "Ode" of delicious melancholy,
THE UNDERGROUND TERRITORIES OF full of exquisite taste and finely-wrought fan
THE UNITED STATES. cies, "Spring," "Autumn," a “Hymn to the
M'HE extraordinary caverns which underBeautiful," "The Broken Goblet," and "Tri
I lie various parts of this country are of a umphant Music," give the reader a clear in
description suitable in extent and magnifisight into his peculiar characteristics, and
cence to the general scale of nature here, in open a vision of ideal beauty that no poet lakes, rivers, cataracts, valleys in which emhas exhibited in such Grecian perfection since
pires are cradled, prairies of scarcely conceivthe death of Keats. A poem, on page 115,
able vastness, and mountains whose bases are is one that awakens peculiar emotions; it
amid perpetual flowers and where frozen seas describes a state of balf consciousness, when
have never intermission of their crashing the senses are morbidly alive, and the per
thunders. In Virginia, New York, and other ceptive faculties are fettered with dreams, or
states, the caves of Weyer, Schoharie, and inspired by a strange memory that bears with many that are less famous but not inferior in in it things not of this world, and hints at a
beauty or grandeur, are well known to travelprevious and different existence.
lers; but the MAMMOTH Cave, under Ken“The yellow moon looks slantly down,
tucky, is world renowned, and such felon Through seaward mists, upon the town;
states as Naples might hide in it from the And like a mist the moonshine falls
scorn of mankind. Considering the common Between the dim and shadowy walls. I see a crowd in every street,
curiosity respecting that strange subterraBut cannot hear their falling feet;
nean country, and the fact of its being resorted They float like clouds through shade and light, to in winter by valetudinarians, on account And seem a portion of the night. The ships have lain, for ages fled,
of its admirable climate—so that our article Along the waters, dark and dead;
is altogether seasonable—we give, chiefly from The dying waters wash no more
a letter by Mrs. Child, a very full description The long black line of spectral shore. There is no life on land or sea,
of this eighth wonder of the world—illustratSave in the quiet moon and me;
ed by engravings from recent drawings made Nor ours is true, but only seems,
under the direction of the Rev. Horace MarWithin some dead old world of dreams!"
**** Stoddard, page 115. tin, who proposes soon to furnish for tourists With this shadowy poem we close, beg- an ample volume on the subject. ging our readers not to be terrified at the “The Mammoth Cave is in the southwest boldness with which we claim so high a place part of Kentucky, about a hundred miles from for the subjects of our review. They have Louisville, and sixty from Harrodsburg that within them which will prove our com- Springs. The word cave is ill calculated to mendations just, and establish thein in the impress the imagination with an idea of its rank assigned by us, with a firmness that will surpassing grandeur. It is in fact a subterraneed no critic's aid, and can be shaken by no nean world; containing within itself territocritic's assault. We but add, let them remem- ries extensive enough for half a score of ber that the fear of the world is the begin- German principalities. It should be named ning of mischief. GEORGE H. BORER. | Titans' Palace, or Cyclops' Grotto. It lies
VOL. V.—NO. 1.-2