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We will first give a specimen written by Moses, a Jewish physician, ont he birth of a prince. We give it ; not because he was a poet, but because he was a Rabbi, and as connected with this portion of our theme:

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Now let the lion, that was long conceal'd,
Burst from his gloomy cavern, and be free:
O'er the green space of forest and of field,
Heard be his awful voice of majesty;

His strength be felt, his mighty energy
Make the world tremble, till the Moor shall yield
At his fierce frown, and leave his dreaded throne,
To him who comes to claim it for his own."*

"Let the wild eagle wander from his nest,
Pass thro' heaven gates, and reach the breezy sky,
Towering above the mass of clouds on high,
And sit in flames-the highest-mightiest, &c."+

The poets of this time begin to boast of their acquaintance with Greek, Latin, and Italian classics.

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Salga el leon. que estava encogido
En la cueua pobre. dela grant llanura
Mire florestas. vergeles verdura
muestre su gesto. muy esclarecido
abra su boca. e de grant bramido
assy que se espanten. quantos oyran
la bos temerosa. del alto Soldan
e gose del trono. des que proueydo."

+ "El aguila estraña. trasmude su nido
i passa los puertos. dela grant friura
de balle rronpiendo. la grant espessura
asyente en la Cassa. del fuego escondido, &c."

Many a poet have I scann'd;
Homer, Virgil, Dante, too;
Lucan with Boëthius, and
Ovid's art, but may I rue,
If in all, or false or true,
That my eyes have fixed on yet,
I so fair a form have met,

As, my own Infante! you.*

In this collection of Baena is a curious discussion between Pero Ferrus and the Jewish Rabbis. The latter are told that the poet travelling from Alcalá was well received in the synagogues, but was greatly horrified when one morning, just as the day dawned, "a Rabbi, with a mighty long beard, and a great one-eyed Jew, whom the devil had killed in the midst of his guilt, and the Rabbi Judah, roused him with their dreadful cries-cries, he says, which would have upset a house." The Rabbis endeavour to get rid of this home-thrust by protesting that they were only at their usual matin devotions, "asking pardon for past sins and favors for the future." Thus (say they) we unite in great troops at sun-rise, chanting to the holy God of Israel. Whether the poet was satisfied with their explanation does not appear. Baena's own composition (which is often inflated and absurd) consists principally of challenges to different poets of his time to come and dispute with him on divers "subtle matters." Some he dares to answer his posing propositions, others he invites to a gracious reply, by bringing to them the most amusing and hyperbolical flattery; and he summons kings and princes to come and decide between him and his competitors; an honorary office which many of the Kings of Spain were not backward to exercise. Of the way in which these literary gauntlets were thrown down, an example will not be out of place here, though we shall have occasion again to introduce them.

"To all who have a sharp and ready wit
For poetry, to every trobador,

* En muchos. poetas ley
Homero, Vergilio, Dante,
Boeçio, Lucam. de sy
e Quidio. de amante
mas yo ssea. mal andante
Sy en loda. la escriptura
ley tan. gentil figura
Como es la del infante.

To all besides, to those who garnish o'er
With rhyme their subtleties so exquisite;
To polished and to rude, these lines are writ,
However widely scattered they may be,
To all who study art's deep mistery,
Even to the dumb;-this comes, reply to it!

And tell me, Sirs; yes! let your wisdom tell
Whence poetry's derived is it from art?
Is it from genius? from a daring heart?
A tow'ring spirit? or an intellect well
Tuned to discretion? has it much the start
Of folly's self? or can its votaries claim,
By mere presumption bold, a poet's name,
Or must original nature do her part?


Who well shall answer, ev'n by accident,
He shall be conqueror ;-tho' no poet he,
And in his happy fortune we shall see
A check-mate play, by art most excellent."*

"A todos aquellos que son muy agudos en la poetria. que saben trobar

a todos los otros. que saben trobar
los dichos ssotyles. de los muy sessudos
a todos los onbres, envyssos e rrudos
que son derramados. por todas las partes
a todos los sabios. que saben las artes
los fago pregunta. tan bien a los mudos
Desid me señores. por vra mesura
el arte de trobar. ssy es por çiencia
o es por engenio. o es por ffemencia
O es por abdaçia. o es por cordura
o el arte gayosso. ssy toca en locura
o aquel que la sygue. sy sube en el peso
de ser estruydo. su cuerpo con ssesso
ssy non lo manpara. quien fyso natura.


Quien bien rrespondiere. quiça por ventura
sera muy loado. ser mas qui poeta
por ende veamos. quien pone carreta
e juega de mate..por arte madura."

In concluding our inquiries into the Hebrew poetical literature of Spain, in the fifteenth century, we must not omit to notice Vidal Ben Solomon who wrote an exposition of the Jewish faith, under the title "Golden Poetry of David," which was translated into Latin by Wolfius. Moses Ben Chahib composed, about the same time, his " Medicine of the Tongue," which Buxtorff often refers to in his history of Hebrew poetry. Chasdai Kreskas, of Zaragoza, made some poetical translations from the Arabic. Joseph Ezobi, and others, belong to this era, and Isaac Abarbanel, (the Hebrew lion,) though no poet, ought not to be passed over without the introduction, at least, of his name.

And here we must abandon the Spanish Jews. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, their history is one of varied sufferings. The fifth Ferdinand consummated and condensed the injustice and the barbarism of the worst of his predecessors. The banishment of the whole Jewish nation was speedily determined by the first Inquisitor General, and the same was carried into effect with a brutality, whose consequences to its victims are too horrible for contemplation.

There is in the poetry of Spain a singular compound of simplicity and affectation-of labored absurdity, and of free and flowing genius; and as the whimsical peculiarities, which have been often considered as the unerring marks of poetical superiority, seem to attach to no particular class nor era, we shall amuse our readers with a few examples. The seclusion of monastic habits has been the prime cause of all this ingenious and unworthy trifling. Time is of little value to him whose wants are provided for-who takes no thought for the morrow-who has no worldly ambition-whose path is pleasantness on earth -and whose way is clear for heaven. Friendly as have been, on some occasions, the cells of the monastery to deep and elaborate research, and certain as it is that we owe to their solitary retirements very much of the information which lived through the long and dreary centuries of ignorance and misery; they have served, on the other hand, to direct the noblest energies of the mind to the gathering together of cobwebs, and to the pursuit of objects, the most ridiculous and the most unimportant. Shut out from all exercise of the affectionate sympathies-deprived of the means of estimating the value of any one branch of knowledge by the quantity of utility it produces; -necessarily indifferent, perhaps opposed, to the only safe maxim of Christian benevolent exertion, to provide for the greatest happiness of the greatest number, their views and their efforts have always been contracted to a narrow sphere, directed to only a few, and these frequently absurd, pursuits, which they have followed with perfect intensity of application, and a complete concentration of the powers of their minds. In such a

state, whatever be the immediate subject of thought and feeling, soon becomes all important-self-love exaggerates-habit ministers to its tyranny over the character. In the convents of the Peninsula, curious instances of this misapplication of time have fallen under our notice. We knew a worthy Geronimite friar, all whose life was devoted to rearing young canary birds, and whose prime delight it was to measure the width of their gaping mouths; another,―a Franciscan inquisitor, (the pride of his convent and the glory of his native place,) whose thoughts by day, and dreams by night, were all directed to the construction of a wooden orrery; and a pretty uncouth piece of machinery it was, as much like the system of the universe as our monk was like Newton. Every convent has had its company of triflers; and among these we will select, as an instance, Pedro Compostelano, who, in the twelfth century, amused himself and edified posterity with poetry such as this:

"Cum vitio nuper proprio caro victa pareret;
Iratum, nec mente ratum, cor ad ima moveret
Et levitas in mente sitas excedere metas
Auderet, nec res sineret reprehendere cretas.
Et Veneris procul à superis rubrica tumultum
Inferret, nec abhorreret mens turpia multum."

We select these for the curious entanglement of rhyme.
So, again:


"O juvenis, captusque catenis carnis obesæ

Te læsæ. Cor habes? Tabes. Scis quod morieris ?

Et superis cariturus eris, si verba puellæ

Bellæ corde tuo fatuo sectaveris? illa

Stilla manu quamvis pravis blanditur ocellis
Cum mellis calice," &c.

Spain has given us some of the most elaborate specimens of this absurd and wretched patchwork. We have now before us a little MS. volume of verses, written on occasion of the death of the queen of Charles II., which are wholly composed of acrostics, hieroglyphics, and labored pieces of childishness. The words" Maria Luisa de Borbon" are introduced in every way that ingenuity can conceive. In some of the sonnets, every line both begins and ends with the same letter. In others, an echo of Ay! Ay! (Alas! Alas!) is introduced with singular and affected repetition. One or two are worth preserving, as specimens of the way in which the learned of those days wasted away their hours and days. They serve, too, as a

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