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we will suppose them to be such as naturally and religiously
belong to that tenderest of all ties; but we cannot compliment
him on the felicity with which he has dressed his sentiments. The
introductory lines of the poem are as dull as an indifferent father,
feigning rather than feeling, might have written upon the subject.
In the second stanza he describes himself as impelled by a sort
of necessity to move on in his wandering course :

-For I am as a weed,
Flung from the rock, on ocean's foam to sail

Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail.” Why he must wander thus forlorn, and why, with so pretty a pledge at home, he could not enjoy like other good fathers the sweets of domestic life, we presume not to conjecture; but whence he may probably have learned to describe his wanderings in one of the most original and beautiful similes which occurs in modern poetry we have a strong surmise. In the poem of Mr. Montgomery, “ The World before the Flood,” are the following enchanting lines among a multitude of others of almost equal merit:

“ All else that breathed below the circling sky,
Were link'd to earth by some endearing tie;
He only, like the ocean weed uptorn,
And loose among the world of waters borne,
Was cast companionless, from wave to wave,

On life's rough sea—and there was none to save.
If the above thought was borrowed from Mr. Montgomery,
as we think it must have been, he owes that gentleman much;
ånd we should be glad to see him pay the debt by doing him
further homage, and emulating, if not imitating, his bright and
vigorous strains of manly sentiment.

The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh stanzas are very communicative as to the poet's own state of mind, which he frankly confesses to be the sport of a tumultuous assemblage of undisciplined feelings. This he may think very picturesque; but it is in truth the vulgar case of that crowd of discontented beings, who, in Lord Byron's language, in speaking of himself, have been “ untaught in youth their hearts to tame." He has had the address to trick up this wayward temper in the drapery of the poet's costume, and give it a wild and romantic air; but his Lordship must excuse us if we bluntly tell him, that unless he seeks refuge in something better than in “ lone caves," and among the “airy images of the soul's haunted cell,” he must become at length too substantially miserable even for effect in poetic description. Really, poetry is not to be an excuse for every thing. Nor do we see why, through the medium of verse, a man has

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meet the eye in this beaten track; and the painting in these de scriptions would be often delightful, if the colours had been free from that foul admixture with which the personal character of the Childe has adulterated them. His impertinence is every where; it mixes itself with every scene; the glassy lake, the green valley, the azure distance, and the hoary pile, have all their peace disturbed by the repinings of a moody profligate, who, being destitute of the social principle, supposes himself in love with solitude, and mistakes his quarrel with man whom he has injured, and therefore hates, for a delight in the works of God, whom he has neither loved nor known. There is a species of misanthropy which great poets have well understood, and which excites our commiseration and respect, although we are the objects of its scorn. We can bear to be the objects of that harmless aversion which is the too frequent result of excess even on the virtuous side, and is wont to be produced by the recoil of too sanguine expectations and ill-requited benevolence; but to be told by an insolent renegade from society, by one who is a professed disciple of Epicurus, and whom the poet represents as the “ outlaw of his own dark mind,” that he looks upon us all with sovereign contempt; that he “ holds little in common with us ;" that he cannot “ submit his thoughts to others;" that he has a life within himself to breathe without mankind, and, oh exquisite effrontery! that “ disgust has weaned his heart from all worldlings,” is too provoking patiently to endure.

The Canto now published is in some parts scarcely intelligible; and one of the difficulties we have had to encounter has been to ascertain when Lord Byron speaks in his own character, and when he is the organ of the fictitious character with which he seems so strangely enamoured. It is pretty evident, however, that the poet's own circumstances are first introduced to us. The first line of the poem hobbles terribly.

“ Is thy face like thy mother's, 'my fair child ! ” is a line which, if this poem should go down to a distant age, some sagacious critic, ignorant of the contempt in which our admired versifiers of the present day hold all the demands of the ear, may conjecture to have been framed after the manner of : the epic poets of remoter antiquity, in imitation of the thing described, and to suggest to the mind the vacillating gait of infancy. But we who are in the secret know better; we boast a school of versifiers, who have ingeniously discovered that cadence, and metre, and musical arrangement, are among

the false ornaments and illegitimate arts of poetry.

Into the feelings of Lord Byron as a father we do not enter :.

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we will suppose them to be such as naturally and religiously belong to that tenderest of all ties; but we cannot compliment him on the felicity with which he has dressed his sentiments. The introductory lines of the poem are as dull as an indifferent father, feigning rather than feeling, might have written upon the subject. In the second stanza he describes himself as impelled by a sort of necessity to move on in his wandering course :

-For I am as a weed,
Flung from the rock, on ocean's foam to sail

Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail." Why he must wander thus forlorn, and why, with so pretty a pledge at home, he could not enjoy like other good fathers the sweets of domestic life, we presume not to conjecture; but whence he may probably have learned to describe his wanderings in one of the most original and beautiful similes which occurs in modern poetry we have a strong surmise. In the poem of Mr. Montgomery, “ The World before the Flood,” are the following enchanting lines among a multitude of others of almost equal merit:

“ All else that breathed below the circling sky,
Were link'd to earth by some endearing tie;
He only, like the ocean weed uptorn,
And loose among the world of waters borne,
Was cast companionless, from wave to wave,

On life's rough sea—and there was none to save.” If the above thought was borrowed from Mr. Montgomery, as we think it must have been, he owes that gentleman much; and we should be glad to see him pay the debt by doing him further homage, and emulating, if not imitating, his bright and vigorous strains of manly sentiment.

The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh stanzas are very communicative as to the poet's own state of mind, which he frankly confesses to be the sport of a tumultuous assemblage of undisciplined feelings. This he may think very picturesque ; but it is in truth the vulgar case of that crowd of discontented beings, who, in Lord Byron's language, in speaking of himself, have been 66

untaught in youth their hearts to tame.” He has had the address to trick up this wayward temper in the drapery of the poet's costume, and give it a wild and romantic air; but his Lordship must excuse us if we bluntly tell him, that unless he seeks refuge in something better than in “ lone caves," and among the “airy images of the soul's haunted cell," he must become "at length too substantially miserable even for effect in poetic description. Really, poetry is not to be an excuse for every thing. Nor do we see why, through the medium of verse, a man has

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a right to tell us that, after passing among us his “

young days of passion” he is “grown aged in deeds, not years, and that he has “ found it a world of woe,” unless he will also be content to be told by us in return that this is just that conduct which creates the woe he laments, and makes a wilderness of the social world. The sentiments in the above-mentioned four stanzas show by their inconsistency that they had their birth in affectation. The poet returns, as he declares, to his former“ dreary strain,” in hopes that it may wean him from the weary dream -of selfish grief or gladness," * so that it may fling forgetfulness around him.” And yet in the stanza immediately before it, he says

that in the tale or theme he is about to resume, he finds “ the furrows of long thought and dried up tears ;” and in a few verses further on, he declares himself to “ create” by this recurrence a being more intense.” These are the fretful moods and inconsistencies of persons who, with the world and its vanities clinging fast to their minds, are pleased to strut sometimes in the garb of the philosopher-sometimes in the foppery of sentimental woe. The dregs of exhausted passion are no fit offering to the divinity of solitude, whose libations should be drawn fresh and sparkling from the springs of native feeling deep-seated in the soul.

The eighth stanza is modestly introduced with the words “ something too much of this;” and so we should certainly have thought, if the subject had been exchanged for something better than the second-hand description of that thoroughly disagreeable fellow the 66 Childe."

“ He of the breast which pain no more would feel,

Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but ne'er heal.” We are in the seventh and eighth stanzas let into a little more of his history, and obscurely told how he had been employing the interval since we were last in his company.

66 Of life's en chanted cup," he had been taking another taste.

“ His had been quaff?d too quickly, and he found
The dregs were wormwood ; but he fill'd again,
And from a purer fount, on holier ground,
And deem'd its spring perpetual ; but in vain !
Still round him clung invisibly a chain
Which gallid for ever, fettering though unseen,
And heavy though it clank'd not; worn with pain,

Which pined although it spoke not, and grew. keen,
Entering with every step, he took, through many a scene."

What “that holier ground” might be on which he had filled again his bitter chalice, we can only conjecture. Peradventute he had inflicted upon himself a wife; and if so, we can under

stand the full extent of that inconvenience to a person of the Childe's free humour; and that a chain, not invisible, but tangible and troublesome, might have fastened on him the yoke of vulgar duties. For some time, as appears by the tenth stanza, this man of the woods lived reluctantly among his kind.

“ Secure in guarded coldness, he had mixed

Again in fancied safety with his kind." How long this fit of conformity lasted we learn from the ensuing verses.

“ But who can view the ripened rose, nor seek
To wear it? Who can curiously behold
The smoothness and the sheen of beauty's cheek,
Nor feel the heart can never all

grow

old.” With this apology the poet dismisses his chartered rover to his woods again, exulting in his emancipation from the social slavery of civilized life. And then comes the grand developement of Harold's high pretensions, and of what may be called the moral of this laudable production.

6 But soon he knew himself the most unfit
Of men to herd with Man; with whom he held
Little in common; untaught to submit
His thoughts to others, though his soul was quell'd
In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompellid,
He would not yield dominion of his mind
To spirits against whom his own rebell’d;

Proud though in desolation; which could find
A life within itself, to breathe without mankind.

“ Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends;
Where roll'd the ocean, thereon was his home;
Where a blue sky, and glowing clime, extends,
He had the passion and the power to roam;
The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam,
Were unto him companionship; they spake
A mutual language, clearer than the tome

Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake For Nature's pages glass'd by sunbeams on the lake." (P. 9.) When the prophet exclaims, " Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place, or when our prince of moral poets cries out with honest sensibility,

« Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful and successful war
Might never reach me more. My ear is pained,

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