Изображения страниц

perhaps, he has not the searching tive justice is at work; but it wants knowledge of political events, and cha- its powerful historian–the Age's Sa. racters which such a noble, such a tirist. Our author evidently turns in moral task would require. Retribu- disgust from such a banquet.

“ Sick to the core of thin or deep Pretence,
The attack, false motived, or as false defence;
Of furious partisan, and dirty job,
And bribing candidate, and greedy mob;
Sick of great names, where with all Europe rings,
Of peoples sick, and ministers, and kings,
In soul I turn to scenes beloved of yore,
And fret for Greeks and Catholics no more.
“Granta! beneath whose mildly-cloistering bowers
Swift years I passed, made up of idlest hours;
Ere yet on hearts, in flowing frankness bold,
Unfeeling Time had fixed his freezing hold;
For still this praise be thine, gone spirit of youth !
Thy very vices had their touch of truth-
Granta ! for thee though wreath I never won,
Granta ! receive again thy world-tired son;
Pleased, as of old, by thy calm stream to stray,

And where youth smoothly sped, dream age away." These are beautiful lines, and full of feeling. The character of the unprincipled student is powerfully drawn; his well-timed assumptions of virtue, and just the degrees of it that may not at any one time shock society, but such as with facility may let him drop into the consummate hypocrite, are nicely marked in the picture. We cannot forbear quoting the latter lines of the character.

“E'en when the bishop's mild ordaining hand
Had stricter rule imposed with gown and band,
Our deacon yet of strictness little smacked,
Nor made he vast pretence to what he lacked.

“But when his lot befel to settle down,
A well-paid curate in a thriving town,
Where Mammon and Devotion, each a pride,
Twixt prayer and pelf the ambitious crowd divide,
To his clear interests never quite a dunce,
A change came o'er the outward man at once.
You know him now by somewhat straighter hair,
And a strained look of sanctimonious care,
Which, as must seem, no worldly thought distracts;
And a huge quarto pocket, stuffed with tracts;
And sermon sour; and week-day talk austere ;
Save when he holds some female follower's ear.
Such gifts to rich preferment needs must come,
Or win a trusting wife with-half a plum."

We do not quite discover the truth in the next character introduced the gift. ed Hiero. The blighted promise is poetically and delicately expressed.

“ So some sweet forest plant, born for the shade,
To richer soil, or sunnier skies conveyed,
Though there with stem to worthless stature grown,
Offends with a coarse blossom-not its own."

We have intimated that Mr. Kenyon, be, a moral virtue, and would fling the though having full power to use the entire wrath and energy of his ms. lash, is too sparing. If he could per- into a new subject, we think he migt suade himself that a stronger satiric do the world a benefit. The Satire boldness is, as we really believe it to Part the First, Pretence-of which w

have given specimens, may (and we is the way to be truly forcible. We
think the reader will agree with us) would not advocate the relinquish-
delight the scholar, and somewhat ing torbearance in matters of private
more than amuse the general reader, life. But public characters—what the
but wants the closeness, and—why be arena of politics or courts of law make
ashamed to say it ?-the personality, notorious—all this is public property;
to benefit mankind, by making the and for legitimate use of satire there
vices portraits. But then he must is enough for many hands. We be-
have written anonymously—and why lieve Mr. Kenyon to be very sincere in
not? Horace tells us that, when his the lines which conclude this first part
father wished him to avoid a vice, he of Pretence, for his very satire is the
pointed out its personification in a liv. offspring of amiability.
ing character; and, without doubt, that

" In my own doing's spite,
Little love I the satire which I write.
Harsh drugs, though given but to drive ailments out,
Will sometimes in the giver wake a doubt.
And this the Satirist still must take in trust,

E'en those hate him who own his satire just.” The second part of Pretence, but petual courtship, to that beautiful for a few lines, might have borne an- vision, which is the more loved, as it other title. It is decidedly less satiric, may not be theirs all the days of their and may be termed, Rambling Thoughts lives. Yet it is the poet's world, made in a Library. Critical review of any of this world's materials, wonderfully particular books, ancient or modern, worked upon by a combining, a seis scarcely to be found in it. There is lecting, and, to a far extent, a creating little of keen ridicule in it. All is genius ; and if it be a world that man even rather grave, of a reflective cast, is gifted to make, it is a real one; and and, perhaps, more indicative of the many a time does it reflect a brightauthor's taste and feelings than the ness of its own on that world which, former. He is one of those who live though scarcely more real, is common much in a world of their own, and who to all, and gilds the path of life with are not always well pleased to be the glory of exalted virtue and noble forced out of it. And when they are, thought. Thought! it is indeed not they find themselves, with jarring ele. tangible to the hand like household ments within them, not very fit for stuff—but is it not real? To deny it either. They are not angels that would be to deny reality to the soul, drive them out of their paradise, and and remove responsibility from they bear their discomforts with less man. He who has seen, and touched, composure, as with less respect for the and heard, though the organs were agents that expel them. Hence amia- dead, would hear, and see, and touch; bility itself becomes satiric. All poets for the power of sensation is not in feel sensibly the incompatibility of them, but once communicated, through things without and things within. them, to exist in independent vigour. Poetry, like “true love, never did run So it is that we recall, and dream ; smooth”-if it did it might stagnate- and memory and genius, though invibe dull—the interruptions make the sible, are the living spirits of the heart waters musical and sweet, so the and mind, and make up the better checks the world gives to poetical reality of life. And does not Mr minds keep the passion alive, and they Kenyon so think? Doubtless he does. return, as they are allowed, with per

“And sweet 'twill be, or hope would so believe,
When close round life it's fading tints of eve,
To turn again our earlier volumes o'er,
And love them then, because we've loved before ;
And inly bless the waning hour that brings
A will to lean once more on simple things.
If this be weakness, welcome life's decline !

If this be second childhood, be it mine!"
Genius, memory, and affection were all at work in the composition of the
following true and touching lines.



“Who has not loved, erewhile, to pause and look
On childhood's record in some old school-book,
Name~or grim portrait scrawled in ink-agen
Awakening memories, which had slept till then ?
What if the spirit shrunk in sudden grief,
When the eye lights on some reinembered leaf,
With parent, or beloved friend, once read,
The, now, for-ever-parted—or the dead !
Though for brief space the stroke be still severe,
Not long we shun the line that wakes the tear,
But, stealing back to that love-hallowed page,

With its own balsam its own wound assuage." And where is friendship like the forgets his morning visitors, his idlere poet's friendship? It cherisheth the and loungers, and sends bis compliliving and the dead-loving not less ments into the library to Horace a the present, conversing with the past. Virgil, or Homer, or Milton, or Shak. To him indeed there is no death that speare, according to the vein he would takes away ; does he not take Pisca- be in, and begs their arm to the forest tor with him to the brooks, and what or the field, the glen or the mounfriend he pleases of all those said to tain. Nay, see if it be not so be defunct, in his daily walks? He

• Now-doubly sweet such refuge found with books!
To stray with mild Piscator up the brooks;
With Cowley muse beneath the greenwood tree,
Or taste old Fuller's wise simplicity,
As if his Worthies, though removed their span,
Smack yet too strongly of the living man,
Then backward turn to question Homer o'er,
Or dream of storied ages, rolled before ;
Faint-glimmering now like far-off beacon light

O'er misty ocean scarcely read aright.” Now, then, has he a touch of the incompatibilities, and a vein of satire blends with his high aspirations, and admiration of gifted powers, in whatsoever exer. cised—and the material world” is whipped till the top spin, and all that are on it are giddy, mazed, and foolish.

" To us the mere material world is all ;
Our pride ; our tax; our pleasure and our thrall.
Science, whom scarce the circling spheres may fold,
Chained to a desk we hire to scheme for gold;
Drag from its heights Imagination down,
To please, for daily bread, the modish town;
And daintiest Art, the dreaming child of grace,
Wake from her dream to paint some idiot face.
Virtue herself, born guest of Heaven's high roof,
Gift of the Godhead; gift at once and proof;
E’en her, blind bigots of our planet birth,
E'en her, we fain would fetter down to earth;
Just mark where Bat-Expedience flits at height,
And meanly, there, would bound her eagle-flight.
From such a world, all touch, all ear, all eye,
What marvel, then, if proud abstraction fly;
Amid Hercynian shades pursue his theme,
And leave the land of Locke to gold and steam ?

But thou art not of those who, hence and thence,
Glean for low ends their pic-nic scraps of sense ;
A lofty thinker, proud thy thirst to slake
At truth's well-head, unbribed, for truth's own sake;
Or art thou of the race still more unfit
To wrestle with the clans of worldly wit;
One, whom ere yet thy youngling thought could reach

To wield sweet verse, or een well-painting speech,
Some unseen presence fed with many a dream
Won from old bard, or caught from cloud or stream ;
And still, though turmoiled mid the things that are,
Still dost thou love to muse on Good and fair ;
And, faith outworking from far names sublime,
The brethren-band of every age and clime,
To thy young heart's first creed of virtue cling,
Nor stoop to think her an unreal thing ;
Oh! prize those dreams, oh! guard that crced of thine ;
But guard it hid within thy bosom's shrine ;
To clasp, at silent eve, at unwatched morn,

But let not garish day detect to scorn.” Pretension has been let off a little too easily; but as she is a voluminous and fashionable writer of the present day, and meddles in all matters, and all subjects, the reader will not be sorry to see her a little smartly snubbed, and her pen split, so that hereafter, as somebody says, it may open its wide mouth and speak less.

" So fame is won. Nor only Poct's rhyme
Must feed on flowers and flutter in sublime;
But, like false head that froths on sickly beer,
When drugs belie sweet malt and hop austere,
Church briefs themselves with tropes are mantling o'er,
And humble prose is humble prose no more,
Yet strip, more oft, from each its fine brocade,
How mean the mould of thought beneath displayed !
Thus, posset-stirred, old January pranks
In youthful hose too wide for shrunken shanks ;
Thus when, the booth without, some bumpkin's eye
Hath fed on pictured monster, ten feet high,
Giant or huge Bonassus, from his lair
Hurling at once three hunters high in air,
Let in, his visage takes most rueful touch

To find that In and Out unlike so much.”
Our author in his rage at the perversion of the Muse's art, would gladly go
back to the days, ere writing was known—ages well described. The allusion to
Cadmus is classical and good.

“So sped th' unwriting age-Came Cadmus then,
To leave in doubt if worse his lettered pen,

Or serpents' teeth that grew to armèd men." He would not, however, be content to remain long in those unlettered ages for of the revival of literature he speaks with rapture.

“O matchless line of years, whose generous strife
Reared man's reviving mind to perfect life.
Then Petrarch's native lay refined on love;
Then Angelo the impetuous chisel drove;
Then Oracles, that stirred young Raphael's breast,
Spoke forth in colours, clear as words, exprest;
And learning, made no coldly gainful art,

Was Sacrifice, and offered from the heart.” The teeming Press—no longer to be from the big at their birth, to the called Minerva, for she was not proli- blushing cherub with albums for fic—and ours bears not the mark of wings. We wonder not at our aucoming from Jove's head!!—who can thor's praise of the Caliph Omar, with possibly keep any pace with the litera- which he concludes his satire, and ture of our age? Prolific literature, with which we close our quotations the litter of the Press! Monsters and from it. prodigies of every shape and size

“Come back, long-toiling Faust! come back and see
The produce of thy Good-and-Evil tree;

Count o'er its mingled fruits of joy and pain,
Theis say if thou wouldst plan it o'er again!
Thou too, wise Caliph Omar! who art said
All Alexandria's ovens to have fed,
Visit our shelves once more. Where'er we look,
Pamphlet on pamphlet, book buds out on book;
Turn wheresoe'er we will, new volumes sprout;
Some of fair promise; most lack clearing out.
Come, then, thou Critic-Caliph—come again,
Nor decimate; but take the nine in ten!
B. The ground thus cleared, you plant your own instead,

And shrewdly gain one chance of being read.” Those to whom the roughness of quiet, and thrilling influence ; felt and satire gives no relish, may walk forth acknowledged in with Mr Kenyon into the soft moon

" The silent eye, light, and find a kindred spirit. But And silent pressure of each linked arm." they must bargain for the scene, for Even lovers are hard-hearted in the in his moonlight excursions he is ubi- broad noon, and have their little dif. quitous, and thinks little of a flight ferences of opinion. But the rising from the West Indies to Mola di Gae- moon and the quiet night give more ta. The tenderness in the following than reconciliation. But to those who lines is very exquisite, it is evidently have never differed, whose all is love, engendered by love, and offered in a and they all loving, what are such a Poet's worship to the moon; and the scene and time as this? moon repays the gift with her lucid

“Such eve,
Such blessed eve was ours, when last we stood
Beside the storied shore of Gaëta,
Breathing its citroned air. Silence more strict
Was never. The small wave, or ripple rather,
Scarce lisping up the sand, crept to the ear,
Sole sound ; nor did we break the calm with movement,
Or sacrilege of word; but stayed in peace,
Of thee expectant. And what need had been
Of voicèd language, when the silent eye,
And silent pressure of each linked arm,
Spoke more than utterance? Nay, whose tongue might tell
What hues were garlanding the western sky
To welcome thy approaching! Purple hues
With orange wove, and many a floating flake,
Crimson or rose, with that last tender green
Which best relieves thy beauty. Who may paint
How glowed those hills, with depth of ruddy light
Translucified, and half ethereal made
For thy whito feet to tread on : and, ere long-
Ere yet thosc hucs had left or sky or hiil,
One peak with pearling top confess'd thy coming.
There didst thou pause awhile as inly musing
O'er realm so fair! And, first, thy rays fell partial
On many a scattered object, here and there;
Edging or tripping, with fantastic gleam,
The sword-like aloe, or the tent-roofed pine,
Or adding a yet paler pensiveness
To the pale olive-tree, or, yet, more near us,
Were fickering back from wall reticulate
Of ruin old. But when that orb of thine
Had clomb to the mid-concave, then broad light
Was flung around o'er all those girding cliffs,
And groves, and villages, and fortress towers,
And the far circle of that lake-like sea,
Till the whole grew to one expanded sense
Of peacefulness, one atmosphere of love,
Where the Soul brcathed as native, and mere Body
Sublimed to Spirit.”

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »