« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
principles have not been long since unequivocally promulgated, his family connections should be enquired into, before his professions of faith, however liberal, are admitted as trustworthy.
6. That in the present times it is not only necessary that the principles and opinions of the Candidate should be unquestionable, but that his age, capacity, knowledge of business, stock of imformation, and habits of punctuality, should be sufficient for the task imposed upon him.
-7. And lastly, That where the Candidate is not a tried man, he should undergo a rigid examination, and give pledges as to his future conduct upon as many points as possible ; and that it is better to get a known Reformer, from whatever part of the country he may come, than an untried man, be his promises what they may ; and when you have got a fit man, keep him so, by returning him free of expense, instead of sending him crippled in his fortunes, and broken in spirit, and liable to be tempted to repair his loss at your's and his country's cost.'
Art. IX. Enthusiasm, and other Poems. By Susanna Strickland (now
Mrs Moodie). 12mo. pp. 214. Price 5s. London. 1831.
THIS pleasing little volume claimed at our hands an earlier I notice. Its Author's maiden name has often graced the pages of the Annuals; and to a numerous circle of friends, this publication will be an interesting memorial. Of the poetical feeling and genuine talent displayed in Mrs. Moody's productions, the following spirited lyric will give ample evidence.
"THE SPIRIT OF MOTION.
Spirit of eternal motion!
Ruler of the stormy ocean,
Lifter of the restless waves,
Rider of the blast that raves
Hoarsely through yon lofty oak,
Bending to thy mystic stroke;
Man from age to age has sought
Thy secret-but it baffles thought!
• Agent of the Deity!
Offspring of eternity,
Guider of the steeds of time
Along the starry track sublime,
Founder of each wondrous art,
Mover of the human heart;
Since the world's primeval day
All nature has confessed thy sway.
They who strive thy laws to find
Might as well arrest the wind,
Measure out the drops of rain,
Count the sands which bound the main,
Quell the earthquake's,sullen shock,
Chain the eagle to the rock,
Bid the sun his heat assuage,
The mountain torrent cease to rage.
Spirit, active and divine-
Life and all its powers are thine !
Guided by the first great cause,
Sun and moon obey thy laws,
Which to man must ever be
A wonder and a mystery,
Known alone to him who gave
Thee sovereignty o'er wind and wave
And only chained thee in the grave !'
pp. 126—128. On the very next page we meet with these beautiful stanzas, which will be transcribed.
LINES WRITTEN DURING A GALE OF WIND.
Oh nature ! though the blast is yelling,
Loud roaring through the bending tree,
There's sorrow in man's darksome dwelling,
There's rapture still with thee !
“I gaze upon the clouds wind-driven,
The white storm-crested deep;
My heart with human cares is riven-
O'er these-I cannot weep.
« "Tis not the rush of wave or wind
That wakes my anxious fears,
That presses on my troubled mind,
And fills my eyes with tears ;
"I feel the icy breath of sorrow
My ardent spirit chill,
The dark-dark presage of the morrow,
The sense of coming ill.
I hear the mighty billows rave;
There's music in their roar,
When strong in wrath the wind-lashed wave
Springs on the groaning shore ;
A solemn pleasure in the tone
That shakes the lonely woods,
As winter mounts his icy throne
'Mid storms and wasting floods.
• The trumpet of the angry blast
Peals loud o'er earth and main;
The elemental strife is past,
The heavens are bright again.
* And shall I doubt the healing power
Of Him who lives to save,
Who in this dark appalling hour
Can silence wind aud wave ?
• Almighty Ruler of the storm!
One beam of grace display,
And the fierce tempests that deform
My soul, shall pass away.” pp. 129—131. If all the poems were equal to these specimens, the volume might defy criticism. The inequality is greater than might have been expected ; especially in the versification, which, in some of the poems, is harsh and untunable, while the blank verse is singularly monotonous and heavy. Enthusiasm, we must confess, does not answer to its title ; and Fame will never reach its direction. But The Deluge,' which follows these two poems, bursts upon us with unexpected power. We must make room for this spirited poem.
• VISIONS of the years gone by
Flash upon my mental eye;
Ages time no longer numbers
Forms that share oblivion's slumbers,
Creatures of that elder world
Now in dust and darkness hurled,
Crushed beneath the heavy rod
Of a long forsaken God!
· Hark! what spirit moves the crowd?
Like the voice of waters loud,
Through the open city gate,
Urged by wonder, fear, or hate,
Onward rolls the mighty tide-
Spreads the tumult far and wide.
Heedless of the noontide glare,
Infancy and age are there,
Joyous youth and matron staid,
Blooming bride and blushing maid,
Manhood with his fiery glance,
War-chief with his lifted lance,
Beauty with her jewelled brow,
Hoary age with locks of snow:
Prince, and peer, and statesman grave,
White-stoled priest, and dark-browed slave, —
Plumed helm, and crowned head,
By one mighty impulse led-
Mingle in the living mass,
That onward to the desert pass !
· With song and shout and impious glee,
What rush earth's myriads forth to see?
Hark! the sultry air is rent
With their boisterous merriment!
Are they to the vineyards rushing,
Where the grape's rich blood is gushing ?
Or hurrying to the bridal rite
Of warrior brave and beauty bright?
Ah no! those heads in mockery crowned,
Those pennons gay with roses bound,
Hie not to a scene of gladness-
Theirs is mirth that ends in madness !
All recklessly they rush to hear
The dark words of that gifted seer,
Who amid a guilty race
Favour found and saving grace ;
Rescued from the doom that hurled
To chaos back a sinful world.
Self-polluted, lost, debased,
Every noble trait effaced,
To rapine, lust, and murder given,
Denying God, defying heaven,
Spoilers of the shrine and hearth,
Behold the impious sons of earth!
Alas! all fatally opposed,
The heart of erring man is closed
Against that warning, and he deems
The prophet's counsel idle dreams,
And laughs to hear the preacher rave
Of bursting cloud and whelming wave !
«Tremble Earth! the awful doom
That sweeps thy millions to the tomb
Hangs darkly o'er thee,--and the train
That gaily throng the open plain,
Shall never raise those laughing eyes
To welcome summer's cloudless skies ;
Shall never see the golden beam
Of day light up the wood and stream,
Or the rich and ripened corn
Waving in the breath of morn,
Or their rosy children twine
Chaplets of the clustering vine:-
The bow is bent! the shaft is sped !
Who shall wail above the dead ?
What arrests their frantic course ?
Back recoils the startled horse,
And the stilling sob of fear
Like a knell appals the ear!
Lips are quivering-cheeks are pale
Palsied limbs all trembling fail ;
Eyes with bursting terror gaze
On the sun's portentous blaze,
Through the wide horizon gleaming,
Like a blood-red banner streaming;
While like chariots from afar,
Armed for elemental war,
Clouds in quick succession rise,
Darkness overspreads the skies;
And a lurid twilight gloom
Closes o’er earth's living tomb !
• Nature's pulse has ceased to play,--
Night usurps the crown of day,–
Every quaking heart is still,
Conscious of the coming ill.
Lo, the fearful pause is past,
The awful tempest bursts at last !
Torrents sweeping down amain
With a deluge flood the plain ;
The rocks are rent, the mountains reel,
Earth's yawning caves their depths reveal ;
The forests groan,—the heavy gale
Shrieks out Creation's funeral wail.
Hark! that loud tremendous roar!
Ocean overleaps the shore,
Pouring all his giant waves
O'er the fated land of graves ;
Where his white-robed spirit glides,
Death the advancing billow rides,
And the mighty conqueror smiles
In triumph o'er the sinking isles.
Hollow murmurs fill the air,
Thunders roll and lightnings glare ;
Shricks of woe and fearful cries,
Mingled sounds of horror rise ;
Dire confusion, frantic grief,
Agony that mocks relief,
Like a tempest heaves the crowd,
While in accents fierce and loud,
With pallid lips and curdled blood,
Each trembling cries, “ The flood! the flood !" "