Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

less common to all nations, of depre- cendantly unjust, and divertingly im. * ciating each other's literature, and pudent, that it is impossible to help

gia i especially poetical literature.

vingit, once for all, especially as it comes A nation, like a poet, necessarily from a quarter in which good sense, if has a favourite style; the national not great genius, might have been ex. style is only more extended than that pected. It is the prefatory address pre

of the individual. Any national standa fixed to Shadwell's “ Miser," which seard of taste must, of course, be to the commences thus :

nation that owns it, as near perfection Reader, the foundation of this as possible; and because one people is play I took from one of Moliere's, callincapable of entering into some of the ed L'Avare; but that having too few

peculiar feelings of another, these persons, and too little action for an I feelings are ridiculed, or even denied English theatre, I added to both so : to exist. Thus the French, bigotted much that I may call more than half ś to the dramatic unities, and believing of this play my own, and I think I may

that nature and Aristotle are the same, say, without vanity, that Moliere's part the designate the works of Shakespeare, has not suffered in my hand; nor did

“monstrous farces." And when Lord I ever know a French comedy made use Byron, in his Don Juan, first fairly of by the worst of our poets, that was not introduced into English literature that bettered by’em. "Tis not barrenness of fantastic mixture of the serious and co- wit or invention that makes us borrow mic, in which Pulci, and some of the from the French, but laziness; and other precursors of Ariosto, and Ari- this was the occasion of my making use osto himself delighted, many of our of L'Avare !"-Poor Moliere ! It is difhorror-stricken critics imagined, that ficult to read such things as this with the noble poet sat deliberately down to out thinking of Prior's well-known epi. insult and confound the best feelings gram.-" Ned” had probably hit upof our nature. Their very hair stood on this sally of Shadwell's, amongst on end at such couplets as,

his other proofs of the absurdities of “ They grieved for those that perish'a poets; and could his “inverted rule," with the cutter,

as Prior wishes,
And likewise for the bisquit-casks and “ Prove every fool to be a poet,"
butter.”

I am not inclined to think he would So difficult is it to reconcile one's self have turned out half so great a one as at first to any thing that is in opposi- the elegant and witty epigrammatist. tion to a preconceived standard of taste. It may be observed, in conclusion, that The Edinburgh Review has lately let Prior himself was one of the many itself down, by shewing some feelings poets who have preferred their worst of this sort with respect to French lie work. As Milton doated upon terature ; but it is most apparent in radise Regained,” so Prior was enrapour dramatic criticisms, which go be- tured with his prosing poem of “ Soyondall bounds in expressing contempt lomon,” and is said to have been highly for the very opposite styles of our neigh- vexed on hearing that some one had bours. It is hardly necessary to instance put it below the humorous and exquia any particular passage; but a specimen site “ Alma." occurred to me the other day, so trans

T. D. [We have inserted this ingenious paper, on account of its literary merits; but we must take leave to enter our protest against the doctrine which the au. thor attempts to inculcate. We think it indisputable, in so much as poetry is an art, that poets, like other artists, must be the best judges of each other's skill. In what, therefore, relates to the rhythm, the construction of the verse, and to the melody of the numbers, a poet, we conceive, must necessarily be a better judge than any ordinary critic, precisely as a painter is a better judge of pictures, that is, of the style, the drawing, and the colouring, than any ordinary spectator. We think it is paradoxical, therefore, to deny the superiority of a poet's critical judgment ;-and we think so too with respect even to the

[ocr errors]

element of poesy itself. The taste of a gay and jovial Anacreon, is not likely to find the same delight in the solemn and serious compositions of a Milton, a Danté, or a Byron, that he would in those of a Moore: but it does not surely follow, that he is less a judge of poetry than the critic who does not possess the same delicacy of tact in any class of the art. We do not, however, wish to enter into a controversy on the subject, but merely to give a caveat against the principle assumed by our respected correspondent.-C. N.]

GRACIOUS RAIN.

The east wind has whistled for many a day,

Sere and wintry o'er Summer's domain ;
And the sun, muffled up in a dull robe of grey,

Look'd sullenly down on the plain.
The butterfly folded her wings as if dead,

Or awaked e'er the full destined time:
Every flower shrunk inward, or hung down its head

Like a young heart, grief struck in its prime.
I too shrunk and shiver'd, and eyed the cold earth,

The cold heavens, with comfortless looks ;
And I listen'd in vain, for the summer bird's mirth,

And the music of rain-plenish'd brooks.
But, lo! while I listen'd, down heavily dropt

A few tears, from a low-sailing cloud :
Large and slow they descended ; then thicken'd—then stopt -

Then pour'd down abundant and loud.
Oh, the rapture of beauty, of sweetness, of sound,

That succeeded that soft gracious rain !
With laughter and singing the vallies rang round,

And the little bills shouted again.
The wind sunk away, like a sleeping child's breath,

The pavilion of clouds was unfurl'd;
And the sun, like a spirit, triumphant o'er death,

Smiled out on this beautiful world!
On this beautiful world !-such a change had been wrought

By those few blessed drops..Oh! the same
On some cold stony heart might be work'd too (methought,)

Sunk in guilt, but not senseless of shame.
If a few virtuous tears by the merciful shed

Touch'd its hardness, perhaps the good grain
That was sown there and rooted, though long seeming dead,

Might shoot up and flourish again.
And the smile of the virtuous, like sunshine from heaven,

Might chase the dark clouds of despair,
And remorse, when the rock's flinty surface was riven,

Might gush out, and soften all there.
Oh! to work such a change-by God's grace to recal

A poor soul from the death-sleep-to this !
To this joy that the angels partake, what were all
That the worldly and sensual call bliss ?

C.

A Mother's DIRGE OVER HER CHILD.

BRING me flowers all

young

and sweet,
That I may strew the winding sheet,
Where calm thou sleepest, baby fair,
With roseless cheek, and auburn hair!
Bring me the rosemary, whose breath
Perfumed the wild and desart heath;
The lily of the vale, which, too,
In silence and in beauty grew.
Bring cypress from some sunless spot,
Bring me the blue forget-me-not,
That I may strew them o'er thy bier
With long-drawn sigh, and gushing tear !
Oh what upon this earth doth prove
So stedfast as a mother's love!
Oh what on earth can bring relief,
Or solace, to a mother's grief !
No more, my baby, shalt thou lie
With drowsy smile, and half shut eye,
Pillow'd upon my fostering breast,
Serenely sinking into rest!
The grave must be thy cradle now;
The wild-flowers o'er thy breast shall grow,
While still my heart, all full of thee,
In widow'd solitude shall be.

No taint of earth, no thought of sin,
E'er dwelt thy stainless breast within ;
And God hath laid thee down to sleep,
Like a pure pearl below the deep.
Yea! from mine arms thy soul hath flown
Above, and found the heavenly throne,
To join that blest angelic ring,
That aye around the altar sing.
Methought, when

years
had rolld

away,
That thou wouldst be mine age's stay,
And often have I dreamt to see
The boy—the youth-the man in thee!
But thou hast past! for ever gone
To leave me childless and alone,
Like Rachel pouring tear on tear,
And looking not for comfort here!
Farewell, my child, the dews shall fall
At morn and evening o’er thy pall;
And daisies, when the vernal year
Revives, upon thy turf appear.
The earliest snow-drop there shall spring,
And lark delight to fold his wing,
And roses pale, and lilies fair,
With perfume load the summer air !

VOL. X.

2 A

Adieu, my babe! if life were long,
This would be even a heavier song,
But years like phantoms quickly pass,
Then look to us from Memory's glass.

Soon on Death's couch shall I recline;
Soon shall my head be laid with thine;
And sunder'd spirits meet above,
To live for evermore in love!

MORSELS OF MELODY.

PART II. Dear North,

lyrics, but they want the nerve and EXPERIENCE teaches fo—: no, that condensation of song-writing. Neverset of the proverb will not do; expe- theless, I have sent another half dozen, rience makes a wise man. You must according to your desire; though you be convinced now, that song-writing will find them—except one or two, is not my forte. As to the first six perhaps-in exactly the same predica“ Morsels of Melody,"-you observe I did not even pretend to call them

Your sincere Friend, songs, I am exactly of your opinion,

A as who is not, when you speak in sincerity? They may do as sentimental Sept. 1st.

ment.

No. VII.

THE PILLOW OF THE TENT.

'Twas when the summer skies were blue, and when the leaf was green,
When beauteous birds and blossoms on every bough were seen,
That I parted with my gallant love, as to the wars he went;
May dreams of home aye hover round the pillow of his tent.
Though pleasantly the sun illumes the woodland walks and bowers,
And sweetly sounds the stream, amid its broider'd banks of flowers;
Though the chesnut boughs be shady, and the orchard trees be fair,
I only think on days, when with my love I wander'd there.
I care not now, at noon of night, around the park to stray,
But sit and gaze upon the moon, that wends its silent way,
And I think, as on its silver orb I fix my eager sight,
Perhaps my William's eyes have there been also fix'd to-night.
Oh! soon be war's red standard furl’d, for silently by day
I sit and muse on pleasures past, and pine myself away;
And only through the dreams of night for me are pleasures shown,
For I wake, and sigh at morning light, to find myself alone.
Oh! may I hope within thy breast, that now and then may start,
'Mid noisy camps, a pensive thought, that brings thee to my heart;
When round the board, at eventide, the wine-cup circles free,
Be joyous, and give smiles to all, but keep one sigh for me!
How happily these scenes shall look, that now deserted be,
How glad shall be the home, that now is sad, deprived of thee !
Till fame with glory crown thee, and thy course be hither bent,
May dreams of home aye hover round the pillow of thy tent!

No. VIII.

COME, MARY, TO ME!
The sun is sinking brightly

Beyond the glowing seas ;
The birds are singing lightly

From yonder clump of trees;
The labourer hath hied him home,

The ploughboy left the lea;
Come, Mary, 'tis for thee I roam

Come, Mary, to me!
The beds of flowering clover

Exhale a perfume sweet ;
The evening breeze sighs over

The shaded hawthorn seat;
All day I've wish'd this hour to come,

I've thought of meeting thee.
Come, Mary, 'tis for thee I roam,--

Come, Mary, to me!
Oh, fairest! and oh, dearest !

My life I would not give,
When to thee I am nearest,

For such as nobles live ;
I envy none, yet pity some,

Who true love never see.
Come, Mary, 'tis for thee I roam,

Come, Mary, to me!

No. IX.

TO BETSY.

Though, Betsy, another's thou art,

Who often hast clung to my side; And, though 'mid my musings I start,

That another now calls thee his bride; Though the love that between us did bloom,

On thy side is wither'd and cold;
Still it breathes to my heart in its gloom,

As fragrant and fresh as of old !
Ah, me! that the visions of youth

Like rainbows all melt and decay ! That the vows and the pledges of truth,

Should be things that can bind but a day ! That the heart, like the seasons, can turn,

And from sunshine be chill'd into frost ; And the flame, which so brightly could burn,

In an instant be vanish'd and lost!

Then, Betsy, for ever farewell !

Every thought I have cherish'd for thee, In the depth of my bosom shall dwell,

Like a treasure deep hid in the sea. Through the scenes, where so often we roved,

'Twill sooth me all lonely to stray ; Every flower, every spot that was loved,

Shall be hallow', when thou art away!

« ZurückWeiter »