Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Like a Hebé in Hercules' arms."

+ The tale of earth,

sionally torn in turn; but what a sub- an isle" (thanks to God, it can't be lime picture of the poet tearing away Old Ireland"), he said at all the creeds in this frantic

way is

" It lay in the giant embrace of the deep this ?--now transpiercing the Nicene, now transfixing the Athanasian, now dandling them playfully on his horns, These lines, though much more fe. and tickling the Augsburg Confession licitous than Mr. Smith's, he had the with the tip of his tail! But although good taste to expunge in the collected he has « stout notions” about the edition of his poems - an example ereeds, he has no doubt whatever that which, here and elsewhere, our author the souls of men are very sadly used may follow with advantage. and abused in this vale of tears. A The poem, however, which the poet greater than our author has told us of intends to write, is really a comprehenthe “base uses” to which the body

sive work. It is, as the lady saysmay be put after death ; but long be

" As wide and daring as a comet's spoom." fore that event, see how the soul suffers :

It is to begin before the creation of

anything, and end after the destruction * In the dark house of the body, cooking of everything, containing

cictuals, lighting fires, Swelters on the starry stranger, to our nature's base desires.

By way of episode or anecdote." God our souls are aproned waiters ! God!

What is this after all, but a poetical our souls are hired slaves.

version of the famous Welch pedigree, Let us hide from life, my brothers ! let us

in the middle of which the genealogist hide us in our graves !"-p. 33.

parenthetically mentions, “ about this What a novel meaning does not the

time the world was created ?" The second class of souls in the first line of

scene concludes, of course, with anthe foregoing quotation give to a fa

other allusion to Marc Anthony and vourite phrase in general use among

Cleopatra. our rural countrymen! How often do

As might have been expected, the we not hear them say, in their genuine

poet has fallen in love with the lady, patois, “Ah! but he had a tindher

and the third scene describes him as soul ;" meaning, of course, one of those

anxiously looking forward to their next ill-treated souls whose occupation in

interview. She has asked him to have this life is "lighting fires!” As to the

a poem ready for that occasion, or as second division, we suppose that the

she expresses it in her truly feminine poet meant only to convey that some

waysouls, like politicians of whom we have

“ Wilt trim a verse for me by this night week ?" heard, were only “ waiters” upon Providence !

Just as she would say to her milliner, As to the “lady" who is intro

in an easy colloquial toneduced into this scene, and with whom "Canst trim a cap for me by this night week ?" the poet of course falls in love-what shall we say of her courage in address

He feels quite satisfied of his own ing the following query to a youth,

love, but he is not so certain of hers.

If she would but return his affection with all the dangerous inclination to

what would he not do for her? We scepticism and ringlets of which we

have heard of many generous probave read above? She is asking him

mises made under similar circumwhat will be the subject of the poem, which he pretty plainly indicates he is

stances, but never anything like the

following. These promissory notes geabout to astonish the world with

nerally drawn at • three months after - Wilt write of some young wanton of an isle,

marriage," and too easily “accepted" Whose beauty so enamoured hath the sea,

by the fair fiancée, are in most cases It clasps it ever in its summer arms,

protested against at the expiration of And wastes itself away on it in kisses ?" that period; but our present lover puts

any fear of that out of the question.

He will begin at the beginning :Moore bad a much better couplet,

“Would she but love me I would live for her." on the same subject, in his early poems. Speaking of some “young wanton of He says (what a pity it was not " with

p. 38.

her,” perhaps a more generous offer), urges their steps to the sea-shore-the but

same dream or vision of "Were she plain night I'd pack her with my stars.** * A maiden singing in the woods alone;"

Well, the idea of a lover making his the same rapture and the same vague mistress up into a brown paper parcel, and mysterious termination. That there and superscribing the package with the are beautiful lines and thoughts here admonitory notice, “brittle ware," or as elsewhere through Mr. Smith's “ this side to be kept uppermost, is

poem we freely admit, but these do not certainly new. But he will do more:- atone or account for his giving an

abridged and more prosaic version of “My spirit, poesy, would be her slave,

what Shelley had already done so in. 'Twould rifle for her ocean's secret hoards, imitably well. Shelley, who described And make her rough with pearls.”

the voice and music of his ideal maiden

in the following lines We trust, for the poor lady's sake, that none of the latter rough ornaments “Her voice was like the voice of his own soul will attach themselves to her eyes.

Heard in the calm of thought : its music It is in this scene occurs the passage,

long, which we have stated so closely re

Like woven sounds of streams and breezes, sembles a celebrated one which we shall

held

His inmost sense suspended its web presently lay before the reader, as to take it out of the class of accidental

Of many-coloured woof and shifting hues," coincidences. Every reader of poetry would never have gone bird-nesting is familiar with the beautiful passage for an illustration like our own poetin Shelley's “Alastor," beginning

" More music! music! music! maid divine ! " There was a poet whose untimely tomb My hungry senses, like a finch's brood, No human hands with pious reverence

Are all a-gape.”—P. 48. reared."

Walter and the lady meet in the He is described as

fourth scene on the banks of a river. A lovely youth

Before repeating the promised poem Strangers have wept to hear his passionate

he again alludes to his departed friend, notes,

“ the feeder of his soul," pointing out And virgins, as unknown he passed, hare the places where they had read the pined,

poets together, where they had drank And wasted for fond love of his wild eyes."

“The breezes blowing in old Chaucer's verse,” The entire passage is too long for quotation, as is the corresponding one

or hung in Mr. Smith's poem, but a few lines “O'er the fine pants and trembles of a line," will point out the resemblance we have referred to. He too describes,

they being, we suppose, the unavoid.

able breaches or inexpressible modu" A lovely youth in manhood's very edge.

lations of the verse. The lady beThe sun-burnt shepherds stared with awful comes impatient for the tale, wbich eyes,

the poet will only recite beside a cer* As he went past, and timid girls upstole tain well, where once With wandering looks to gaze upon his face."

"A prince had woo'd a lady of the land, And again

And when, with faltering lips, he told his

love, * But there was one among that soft-voiced

Into her proud face leaped her prouder band

blood; Who pined away for love of his sweet eyes."

She struck him blind with scorn, then with

an air, In these lines the very words of As if she wore the crowns of all the world, Shelley are adopted, but the resem

She swept right on and left him in the blance runs through the entire episode, dew."-p. 56. which fills more than five pages. As in " Alastor,' we have the same wander

We do not know how it is, but we ings amid the various aspects of lways read this last linenature, the same curiosity and interest " She swept right on and left him in the awakened — the same instinct that dumps,"

as we think the condition of his feel. vered the fresh, red earth. He is ings, and not the position of his feet, shortly after induced by another friend ought to have been described. We of his, a new “ feeder of his soul,” to cannot dwell upon the poem which go down to Bedfordshire with him on Walter reads to the lady, and in which a visit to an old gentleman, named he paints his own, and as it turns out, Mr. Willmott, who has a charming his unsuccessful love for herself. Her daughter of the still more charming fate is sealed. After his declaration name of Violet. This old gentleman she exclaims

must have had the most extraordinary

notions of propriety, as the first even"O Sir! within a month my bridal bells ing they are all assembled in his comWill make a village glad. The fainting fortable parlour, and in his daughter's earth

presence, he sets the two young men Is bleeding at her million golden veins,

singing " roaring songs " which, with. And by her blood I'ın bought. The sun shall see

out the wit or melody, have a thousand

times the warmth and amativeness of A pale bride wedded to grey hair, and eyes Of cold and cruel blue; and in the spring

those of Mr. Thomas Little Miss A grave with daisies on it.”—p. 79.

Violet obligingly joins in this family

concert. Such a beginning, of course, We must not, however, omit men

speedily brings on an appropriate tertioning that the principal character in

mination. The young lady and the the poem recited by Walter, is a young

young visitor Walter, mutually seduce Indian page_" a cub of Ind,” as his each other (we know not which is most proud mistress calls him, and certainly

or least to blame) on " the lawn," the most precocious“ cub” that we ever probably opposite the very window had the misfortune to meet with or read where the good Mr. Willmott is readof. This “lustrous Leopard,” another ing the morning's Times. Remorse pet epithet for Young Ebony, though seizes on Walter ; he flies away; he generally candid enough to declare - bas serious notions of throwing him.

self from some rural “Bridge of Sighs," * How poor our English to his Indian darks !"

but thinks better of it; writes a great was satisfied to put up with his poem, and then rushes headlong into haughty mistress as his mistress, if she dissipation, exactly in the way Byron had no objection. How the modest has described the class of people, who proposition was received may be ima- " First write a novel, and then play the devil." gined. At first, she mocked and

He disappears for three years; returns; sneered at him, principally, as it would

makes an honest woman of Violet, and seem, for his having

the last we hear of them is their going " A chin as smooth as her own."

in together into their house to avoid But fearing, we suppose, that the youth monial quiet perfectly delightful, after

the night dews, with a degree of matriwould promise to use a double quan

the fever of unrest in which author, tity of bear's grease for the future, she

hero, heroine, and reader have been orders him off

so long kept. «Go now, sir go,' Before concluding our observations As thence she warned him with arm-sweep

on this remarkable poem, we must superb, The light of scorn was cold within her eyes."

adduce a few more passages in support

of the opinion we have expressed both of The whole of this episode, we must

its beauties and of its defects. A fatigu. say, appears to us extravagant and ing brilliancy, a straining after novel unreal, with a decided smack of minor

and singular combinations, is, no doubt, theatrical ranting. We cannot further

one of the most obvious characteristics

of our author, but that he can err in the pursue our minute analysis of the poem. The story can be told in a few words. very opposite direction is equally true. The lady, who marries the old gentle; already given, we must offer a few

In addition to the passages of this kind man with the eyes of “cruel blue,”

others. In the first one, we have our keeps her word, and dies exactly at the time she promised. Walter is, of

old friend, Marc Anthony, again :course, much grieved; goes on a pil- "Gods! I cried out, Anthony, grimage to her grave, and is rather Anthony! This moment I could scatter angry that the daisies have not yet co. Kingdoms like halfpence.”—p. 164.

A BOUNCE.

HOW POETS GECK.

A SHELLEY IDEA.

A THUMPING SONG,

THE RUBS OF LIFE.

Waits on them like a menial,"

p. 123.

A CIGLET.

p. 66.

It were easy to multiply passages of "Give me another kiss, and I will take greater and certainly of more striking Death at a Aying leap.”—p. 165.

beauty even than these, but it is un. necessary. We have said enough to

show, that if we cannot be blind to the “Lord ! how poets geck

defects of our author, we are not inAt Fame, their idol.”—p. 138.

sensible to his great and unquestionable merits. He bas gained two im

portant results by his present publica" What oysters were we without love and

tion. He has obtained a hearing, and wine !"-p. 129.

he has awakened expectation - two

memorable triumphs which neither “I sang this song some twenty years ago,

Shelley nor Keats (the influence of (Hot to the ear-tips) with great thumps' of whose writings in the best portions of heart.”—p. 129.

his book is perceptible), ever achieved during their lives, though now, as he

himself truly says: “How frequent in the very thick of life, ** The fame that scorned them while they lived, We rub clothes with a fate that hurries past."

We look with hope and curiosity for “Edward and I

his next work. Let it be a simpler, if See Violet each day, her silks brush both.a loftier temple, to the true divinity of

song, to whose service and worship we

think he is called. To do this he must, " This giglet shining in her golden hair."

in the first place, turn away from his pagan idolatry of images, becoming as

it were the iconoclast of his own fancy. If we reversed the twirl of the ka- He must abandon the affected jargon leidoscope, it must be admitted that a of little cliques and coteries, and use shower of glittering and beautiful the universally received language of thoughts and fancies would fall con- good sense and good taste. He must tinuously before the eye! We must

divest his mind of an idea that seems enumerate a few :

very strongly impressed upon it in the

present poem, that not only “In mighty towns,

"It is love, 'tis love, 'tis love The stars are nearer to us than the fields."

That makes the world go round," but that the same powerful passion is

the one thought and sole occupation of " See the moon Lies stranded on the pallid coast of morn."

everything in creation, from the sun, moon, and stars, which are perpetually ogling each other, to the waves and

winds, that are eternally kissing and “He was one

embracing, as well beings of their own Who could not help it, for it was his nature

species as everything else within their To blossom into sovg, as 'tis a tree's To leaf itself in April."—p. 18.

reach, in the most ardent and extraor

dinary manner. In this respect, his "He had parted with his dearest friends,

present poem is but an expansion of High aspirations, bright dreams, golden

Shelley's little lyric, “Love's Philowinged

sophy": Troops of fine fancies that like lambs did "See the mountains kiss high heaven, play

And the waves clasp one another." Amid the sunshine and the virgin dews,

Finally, he must be less liberal with Thick, lying in the green fields of his

his brilliants, or distribute them with heart, Calm thoughts that dwelt like hermits in

more judgment. Were they all even

of the first water, he must recollect that Fair shapes that slept in fancifullest bowers,

so valueless Hopes and delights. He parted with them as in the “ Valley of Diamonds " itall."-p. 160.

-p. 154.

-p. 149.

A TRUE POET.

his soul;

diamonds were

self,

never

[blocks in formation]

V.

Strip to the wooing wind. From rocks romantic

Plunge in the fresh, green, laughing, quivering brine : Sate thee with kisses of the fair Atlantic,

And then-go home and dine.

A PIC-NIC.

I.

The lake is calm. A crowd of sunny faces

And plumèd heads, and shoulders round and white, Are mirrored in the waters. There are traces

Of merriment in those sweet eyes of light. Lie empty hampers round; in shady places

The hungry throw themselves with ruthless might On lobsters, salads; while Champagne, to cheer 'em, Cools in the brook that murmurs sweetly near 'em.

II.

Green leagues of park and forest lie around;

Wave stately antlers in the glimmering distance; Up from the dusky arches comes a sound

That tells the story of old Pan's existence.
And now in song the summer wind is drowned ;

Now comes a call that conquers all resistance
A dance upon the turf! up, up, instanter !
Away with quarried pie and stained decanter.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »