« PreviousContinue »
Civil to all, compliant and polite,
Here, on this lawn, thy boys and girls shall run, Dispos'd 10 think, : whatever is, is right.' And play their gambols, when their tasks are done ; At home awhile-she in the autumn finds
There, from that window, shall their moiher view The sea an object for reflecting minds,
The happy tribe, and smile at all they do; And change for tender spirits : There she reads, While thou, more gravely, hiding thy delight, And weeps in comfort, in her graceful weeds !" Shalı cry, “O! childish!'' and enjoy the sight!'" Vol. ii. p. 213.
Vol. ii. p. 352. The concluding tale is but the end of the We shall be abused by our political and visit to the Hall, and the settlement of the fastidious readers for the length of this article. younger brother near his senior, in the way But we cannot repent of it. It will give as we have already mentioned. It contains no much pleasure, we believe, and do as much great matter, but there is so much good na- good, as many of the articles that are meant ture and goodness of heart about it, that we for their gratification; and, if it appear absurd cannot resist the temptation of gracing our to quote so largely from a popular and accesexit with a bit of it. After a little raillery, sible work, it should be remembered, that no the elder brother says
work of this magnitude passes into circulation
with half the rapidity of our Journal--and "• We part no more, dear Richard! Thou wilt that Mr. Crabbe is so unequal a writer, and need
at times so unattractive, as to require, more Thy brother's help to teach ihy boys to read; than any other of his degree, some explanaAnd I should love to hear Marilda's psalm,
tion of his system, and some specimens of To keep my spirit in a morning calm, And feel the soft devotion that prepares
his powers, from those experienced and inThe soul to rise above its earthly cares ;
trepid readers whose business it is to pioneer Then thou and I, an independent two,
for the lazier sort, and to give some account May have our parties, and defend them too ; of what they are to meet with on their journey. Thy liberal notions, and my loyal fears, Will give us subjects for our future years;
To be sure, all this is less necessary now than We will for truth alone contend and read,
it was on Mr. Crabbe's first re-appearance And our good Jaques shall o'ersee our creed.'" nine or ten years ago; and though it may not
Vol. ii. pp. 348, 349. be altogether without its use even at present, And then, after leading him up to liis new rather consulted our own gratification than
it may be as well to confess, that we have purchase, he adds eagerly
our readers improvement, in what we have "Alight, my friend, and come,
now said of him; and hope they will forgive I do beseech thee, to that proper home!
(August, 1820.) 1. Endymior: a Poetic Romance. By John KEATS. 8vo. pp. 207. London: 1818. 2. Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems. By John Keats, author of
“ Endymion." 12mo. pp. 200. London: 1820.*
We had never happened to see either of indeed, bear evidence enough of the fact. the se volumes till very lately—and have been They are full of extravagance and irreguexceedingly struck with the genius they dis- larity, rash attempts at originality, interminplay, and the spirit of poetry which breathes able wanderings, and excessive obscurity. through all their extravagance. That imita- They manifestly require, therefore, all the intion of our old writers, and especially of our dulgence that can be claimed for a first atolder dramatists, to which we cannot help tempt:-But we think it no less plain that flattering ourselves that we have somewhat they deserve it: For they are flushed all over contributed, has brought on, as it were, a with the rich lights of fancy; and so coloured second spring in our poetry ;—and few of its and bestrewn with the flowers of poetry, that blossoms are cither more profuse of sweet- even while perplexed and bewildered in their ness, or richer in promise, than this which is labyrinths, it is impossible to resist the intoxinow before us. Mr. Keats, we understand, is cation of their sweetness, or to shut our hearts still a very young man; and his whole works, to the enchantments they so lavishly present.
The models upon which he has formed him* I still think that a poet of great power and self, in the Endymion, the earliest and by promise was lost to us by the premature death of much the most considerable of his poems, are keals, in the twenty-fifth year of his age; and regret that I did not go more largely into the exposi- obviously The Faithful Shepherdess of Fletchtion of his merits, in the slight notice of them, er, and the Sad Shepherd of Ben Jonson ;which I now venture to reprint. But though I can. the exquisite metres and inspired diction of not, with propriety, or without departing from the which he has copied with great boldness and principle which must govern this republication, now fidelity-and, like his great originals, has also supply this omission, I hope to be forgiven for contrived to impart to the whole piece that having added a page or two to the citations, ---by which my opinion of those merits was then illug. true rural and poetical air-which breathes trated, and is again left to the judgment of the reader. I only in them, and in Theocritus—which is at
The fair-grown yew tree, for a chosen bow : Disparts a dew-lipp'd rose. Above his head, And, when the pleasant sun is geuing low, Four lily stalks did their white honours wed Again I'll linger in a sloping mead
To make a coronal; and round him grew To hear the speckled ihrushes, and see feed All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue, Our idle sheep. So be ihou cheered, sweet, Together interiwin'd and trammel'd fresh: And, if thy lute is here, sofily inireai
The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh, My soul to keep in its resolved course.'
Shading iis Ethiop berries; and woodbine,
Of velvet leaves and bugle-blooms divine. “ Hereat Peona, in their silver source Shut her pure sorrow drops, wiih glad exclaim;
“ Hard by, And took a luie, from which there pulsing came Stood serene Cupids watching silently, A lively prelude, fashioning the way
One kneeling to a lyre, touch'd the sirings, In which her voice should wander. ''Twas a lay Muflling to death ihe pathos with his wings! More subtle cadenced, more forest wild
And, ever and anon, uprose to look Than Dryope's lone lulling of her child ;
At the youth's slumber; while another look And nothing since has floaied in the air
A willow-bough, distilling odorous dew, So mournful strange.”—pp. 25-27.
And shook it on his hair ; another fiew
In through the woven roof, and fluttering.wise He then tells her all the story of his love Rain violets upon his sleeping eyes.”—pp. 72, 73. and madness; and gives this airy sketch of the first vision he had, or fancied he had, of of Cybele-with a picture of lions that migh:
Here is another, and more classical sketch, his descending Goddess. After some rapturous excite the envy of Rubens, or Edwin Landintimations of the glories of her gold-burnished hair, he says
" Forth from a rugged arch, in the dusk below,
Came mother Cybele! alone-alone!Indeed, locks bright enough to make me mad!
In sombre chariot : dark foldings thrown And they were simply gordian'd up and braided,
About her majesty, and front death-pale Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded,
With turrets crown'd. Four maned lions hale Her pearl round ears, while neck, and orbed brow; The sluggish wheels; solemn their toothed mass, The which were blended in, I know not how,
Their surly eyes brow-hidden, heavy paws With such a paradise of lips and eyes, Blush-tinted cheeks, half smiles, and faintest sighs, Cowering their lawny brushes. Silent sails
Uplifted drowsily, and nervy tails That when I think thereon, my spirit clings
This shadowy queen attwart, and saints away And melts into ihe vision !"
In another gloomy arch!"--p. 83. " And then her hovering feet! More bluely vein'd, more soft, more whitely sweet
The following picture of the fairy waterThan those of sea-born Venus, when she rose
works, which he unconsciously sets playing in From out her cradle shell! The wind outblows these enchanted caverns, is, it must be conHer scarf into a fluttering pavilion !
fessed, "high fantastical;" but we venture lo 'Tis blue; and overspangled with a million
extract it, for the sake of the singular brilliancy Of little eyes; as though thou wert to shed
and force of the execution.Over the darkest, lushest blue bell bed, Handfuls of daisies."
“So on he hies Overpowered by this “ celestial colloquy Gold dome, and crystal wall, and turquoise floor.
Through caves and palaces of motiled ore, sublime," he sinks at last into slumber—and Black polish'd porticos of awful shade, on wakening finds the scene disenchanted; Till, at the last, a diamond ballustrade and the dull shades of evening deepening over Leads sparkling just above the silvery heads his solitude :
Of a thousand fountains ; so that he could dash
The waters with his spear! But at that splash, " Then up I started.—Ah! my sighs, my tears ! Done heedlessly, those spouting columns rose My clenched hands! For lo! the poppies hung Sudden a poplar's height, and 'gan 10 enclose Dew dabbled on their stalks; the ouzel sung His diamond path with fretwork, streaming round. A heavy ditty ; and the sullen day
Alive, and dazzling cool, and with a sound Had chidden herald Hesperus away,
Haply, like dolphin rumulis, when sweet shells With leaden looks. The solitary breeze
Welcome the car of Thetis! Long he dwells Blusier'd and slepi ; and ils wild self did teaze On this delight; for every minute's space. With wayward melancholy. And I thought, The streams wiih changing magic interlace ; Mark me, Peona! that sometimes it brought, Sometimes like delicalest lattices, Faint Fare-chee-wells—and sigh-shrilled Adieus!" Cover'd with crystal vines: :hen weeping trees
Moving about, as in a gentle wind; Soon after this he is led away by butterflies Which, in a wink. 10 war’ry gauze refin'd to the haunts of Naiads; and by them sent Pour into shapes of curtain'd canopies, down into enchanted caverns, where he sees Spangled, and rich with liquid broideries Venus and Adonis, and great flights of Cupids; Swifier than lightning went these wonders rare ;
or Flowers, Peacocks, Swans, and Naiads fair! and wanders over diamond terraces among And then the water into stubborn streams beautiful fountains and temples and statues, Collecting, mimick'd the wrought oaken beams, and all sorts of fine and strange things. All Pillars, and frieze, and high fantastic roof this is very fantastical: But there are splendid of those dark places, in times far aloof pieces of description, and a sort of wild rich-Cathedrals named!" ness in the whole. We cull a few little mor- There are strange melodies too around him; sels. This is the picture of the sleeping and their effect on the fancy is thus poetically Adonis :
described :“ In midst of all, there lay a sleeping youth
“Oh! when the airy stress Of sondesi beauly. Sideway his face repos'd of Music's kiss in pregnates the free winds, On one white arin, and tenderly unclos'd,
And with a sympathetic touch unbinds By tenderest pressure, a faint damask mouth
Eolian magic from their lucid womus, To slumbery pout; just as the morning south Then old songs waken from forgotten tombs!
Olj dinies sigh above their father's grave! imitations; but we have no longei time for Ghosis of nielodious prophesyings rave
such task. Mr. Keats- has followed his Round every spot where irod Apollo's feet! Bronze clarions awake, and fainily bruit,
original more closely, and has given a deep Where long ago, a Giant battle was ! pathos to several of his stanzas. The widow.
? And from ihe turf a lullaby doih pass,
ed bride's discovery of the murdered body is In every place where infani Orpheus slept !" very strikingly given.
In the midst of all these enchantments he Soon she turn'd up a soiled glove, whereon has, we do not very well know how, another Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies!
She kiss'd it with a lip more chill than stone, ravishing interview with his unknown god
And put it in her bogom, where it dries. dess; and when she again melts away from
Then 'gan she work again ; nor stay'd her care, him, he finds himself in a vast grotto, where But to throw back at vmes her veiling hair. he overhears the courtship of Alpheus and
" That old nurse stood beside her, wondering, Arethusa; and as they elope together, dis
Uniil her heart felt pily to the core, covers that the grotto has disappeared, and At sight of such a dismal labouring ; that he is at the bottom of the sea, under the And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar, transparent arches of its naked waters! The And put her lean hands to the horrid ihing : following is abundantly extravagant; but
Three hours they labour'd at this trivial sore ; comes of no ignoble lineage--nor shames its
At last they felt the kernel of the grave, &c. high descent:
“In anxious secrecy they took it home,
And ihen-ihe prize was all for Isabel ! **" Far had he roam’d,
She calm'd its wild hair with a golden comb; With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
And all around each eye's sepulchral cell Above, around, and at his feet; save things
Pointed cach fringed lash: The smeared loam More dead ihan Morpheus' imaginings !
With tears, as chilly as a dripping well, [kep! Qld rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large She drench'd away :-and still she comb'd, and "Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Sighing all day-and still she kiss'd, and wept! Rudders that for a thousand years had lost The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd " Then in a silken scarf-sweet with the dews With long.forgotten story, and wherein
Of precious flowers pluck'd in Araby, No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
And divine liquids come with odorous ooze But those of Saturn's vintage; mould'ring scrolls, Through the cold serpent-pipe refreshfully,– Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls She wrapp'd it up; and for its ionib did choose Who first were on the earth ; and sculptures rude A garden pot, wherein she laid it by, In pond'rous stone, developing the mood
And cover'd it with mould ; and o'er it set Of ancient Nox;-then skeletons of man,
Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet. Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
“And she forgot the stars, the moon, the sun! And elephant, and eagle-and huge jaw
And she forgot the blue above the trees; Of nameless monster.
And she forgot the dells where waters run, There he finds ancient Glaucus enchanted
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze!
She had no knowledge when the day was done ; by Circe—hears his wild story-and goes with And the new morn she saw not! But in peace him to the deliverance and restoration of thou
Hung over her sweet Basil evermore, sands of drowned lovers, whose bodies were And moisten'd it with tears, unto the core !" piled and stowed away in a large submarine
pp. 72–75. palace. When this feat is happily performed, he finds himself again on dry ground, with
The following lines from an ode to a Nightwoods and waters around him; and
ingale are equally distinguished for harmony not help falling desperately in love with a
and high poetic feeling :beautiful damsel whom he finds there, pining "O for a beaker full of the warm South! for some such consolation; and who tells a Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, long story of having come from India in the With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, train of Bacchus, and having strayed away
And purple-stained mouth ! from him into that forest !-So they vow eter
That I mighi drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim! nal fidelity; and are wafted up to heaven on Fade far away ! dissolve-and quite forget flying horses; on which they sleep and dream What Thou among the leaves hast never among the stars ;—and then the lady melts
known away, and he is again alone upon the earth; The weariness, the fever, and the fret, (groan; but soon rejoins his Indian love, and agrees
Here, -where men sit and hear each other
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, to give up his goddess, and live only for her:
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and But she refuses, and says she is resolved to
dies! devote herself to the service of Diana: But, Where but to think is to be full of sorrow when she goes to accomplish that dedication,
And leaden-eyed despairs. she turns out to be the goddess herself in a
The voice I hear, this passing night was heard new shape! and finally exalts her lover with
In ancient days by emperor and clown! her to a blessed immortality! .
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path We have left ourselves room to say but lit
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for
home, tle of the second volume; which is of a more She stood in tears amid the alien corn! miscellaneous character. Lamia is a Greek
The same that oft-times hath antique story, in the measure and taste of En
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam, dymion. Isabella is a paraphrase of the same
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.” tale of Boccacio wnich Mr. Cornwall has also
pp. 108–111. imitated, under the title of " A Sicilian Story." We know nothing at once so truly fresh, It would be worth while to compare the two genuine, and English,--and, at the same
time, so full of poetical feeling, and Greek | chamber, and of all that passes in that sweet elegance and strap!icity, as this address to and angel-guarded sanctuary: every part of Autumn:
which is touched with colours at once rich
and delicate—and the whole chastened and Season of mists and mellow fruitfulnessClose bosom-friend of the maturing Sun
harmonised, in the midst of its gorgeous disConspiring with him now, to load and bless (run: tinctness, by a pervading grace and purity, With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves that indicate not less clearly the exaltation To bend wiih apples the moss'd cottage trees, than the refinement of the author's fancy. And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ; We cannot resist adding a good part of this To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
description. And still more, later flowers for the bees,
“Out went the taper as she hurried in ! Until they think warm days will never cease ; Its liule smoke in pallid moonshine died : For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. The door she closed ! She panied, all akin " Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store ?
To spirits of the air, and visions wide ! Sometimes, whoever seeks abroad, may find
No uiler'd syllable-or woe beride! Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Bul 10 her heart, her heart was voluble ; Thy hair soft-lified by the winnowing wind;
Pa ning with eloquence her balmy side! Or on a half reap'd furrow sound asleep!
A casement high and treple-arch'd there was, Drows'd with the fumes of poppies; while thy hook All garlanded with carven imageries Spares the next swarth, and all its twined flowers! Of fruits and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass ; And sometimes like a gleaner, thou dost keep And diamonded with panes of quaint device Steady thy laden head, across a brook ;
Innumerable, of stains and splendid dyes, Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
As are the tiger moth's deep-damask'd wings! Thou watchesi the last oozings, hours by hours !
“Full on this casement shown the wintery moon, * Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast, thev?
As down she knelt for Heaven's grace and boon! Think not of them! Thou hast thy music too; Rose bloom fell on her hands, together prest, While barred clouds bloom the soli.dying day, And on her silver cross, soft amethyst ; And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue! And on her hair, a glory like a saini ! "Then in a wailful choir the small gnais mourn She seem'd a splendid angel, newly drest Among the river sallowe; borne aloft
Save wings, for heaven !- Porphyro grew faint, Or sinking, as the light wind lives or dies! She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint! And full grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn ; Hedge.crickets sing ; and now with treble soft,
Anon his heart revives! Her vespers done, The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees; And gath'ring swallows twitter in the skies!" Unclasps her warmed jewels, one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees One of the sweetest of the smaller poems is Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees ! that entitled “The Eve of St. Agnes ;* though Half hidden, like a Mermaid in sea weed, we can now afford but a scanty extract. The Pensive a while she dreams awake, and sees superstition is, that if a maideu goes to bed But dares not look behind, or all the charm is filed! on that night without supper, and never looks up after saying her prayers till she falls
“Soon, trembling, in her soft and chilly nest, asleep, she will see her destined husband by Until the poppied warmıh of Sleep oppress'á
In sort of wakeful dream, perplex'd she lay; her bed-side the moment she opens her eyes. Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away! The fair Madeline, who was in love with the Haven'd alike from sunshine and from rain, gentle Porphyro, but thwarted by an imperi- As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again! ous guardian, resolves to try this spell :-and
"Stolen to this paradise, and so entranc'd, Porphyro, who has a suspicion of her purpose, Porplıyro gaz'd upon her empty dress, naturally determines to do what he can to And listend to her breathing; if it chanc'd help it to a happy issue; and accordingly To sink into a slumb’rous tenderness ? prevails on her ancient nurse to admit him Which when he heard, that minute did he bless, to her virgin bower; where he watches rev- Noiseless as Fear in a wide wilderness,
And breath'd himself;- then from the closet crept, erently, till she sinks in slumber;—and then, And over the hush'd carpet silent stept. arranging a most elegant dessert by her
· Then, by the bed-side, where the sinking moon couch, and gently rousing her with a tender Made a dim silver twilight, soft he set and favourite air, finally reveals himself, and A table, and, half anguish'd, threw thereon persuades her to steal from the castle under A cloth of woven crimson, gold, and jet, &c. his protection. The opening stanza is a fair
"And still she slept-an azure-lidded sleep! specimen of the sweetness and force of the In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender’d; composition.
While he, from forth the closet, brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd ; "St. Agnes Eve! Ah, bitter cold it was ! The owl, for all his feathers, was acold;
With jellies smoother than the creamy curd, The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass, Manna and dates, in argosy transferr'd
And lucent syrups, tinct with cinnamon;
From Fez; and spiced dainties every one,
Those delicates he heap'd with glowing hand,
In the retired quiet of the night,
* And now, my love! my Seraph fair ! awake! the description of the fair maiden's antique Ope thy sweet eyes! for dear St. Agnes' sake!'"
It is difficult to break off in such a course Pearled with the self-eame shower. of citation: But we must stop here; and
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep shall close our extracts with the following
Meagre from its celled sleep;
And the snake, all winter thin, lively lines :
Cast on sunny bank its skin; "O sweet Fancy! let her loose !
Freckled nesi-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest ;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down patiering,
While the autumn breezes sing."
entitled “Hyperion," on the expulsion of
and his younger adherents, of which we canTo banish Even from her sky.
not advise the completion : For, though there - Thou shalt hear
are passages of some force and grandeur, it is Distant harvest carols clear;
sufficiently obvious, from the specimen before Rustle of the reaped corn;
us, that the subject is too far removed from Sweet birds antheming the morn;
all the sources of human interest, to be sucAnd, in the same moment-hark ! 'Tis the early April lark,
cessfully treated by any modern author. Mr. Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Keats has unquestionably a very beautiful Foraging for sticks and straw.
imagination, a perfect ear for harmony, and a Thou shalt, at one glance, behold great familiarity with the finest diction of The daisy and the marigold ;
English poetry; but he must learn not to misWhite-plum'd lilies, and the first
use or misapply these advantages; and neither Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst; Shaded hyacinth, alway
to waste the good gifts of nature and study on Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
intractable themes, nor to luxuriate too reckAnd every leaf, and every flower
lessly on such as are more suitable.
( March, 1819.) Human Life: a Poem. By SAMUEL ROGERS. 4to. pp. 94. London: 1819. These are very sweet verses. They do with strange adventures, embodied in extranot, indeed, stir the spirit like the strong lines ordinary characters, or agitated with turbuof Byron, nor make our hearts dance within lent passions-not the life of warlike paladins, us, like the inspiring strains of Scott; but or desperate lovers, or sublime ruffians-or they come over us with a bewitching soft- piping shepherds or sentimental savages, or ness that, in certain moods, is still more de- bloody bigots or preaching pedlars—or conlightful-and soothe the troubled spirits with querors, poets, or any other species of mada refreshing sense of truth, purity, and ele- men-but the ordinary, practical, and amiable gance. They are pensive rather than pas- life of social, intelligent, and afîectionate men sionate; and more full of wisdom and ten- in the upper ranks of society—such, in short, derness than of high flights of fancy, or over- as multitudes may be seen living every day whelming bursts of emotion—while they are in this country-for the picture is entirely moulded into grace, at least as much by the English — and though not perhaps in the effect of the Moral beauties they disclose, as choice of every one, yet open to the judgby the taste and judgment with which they ment, and familiar to the sympathies, of all, are constructed.
It contains, of course, no story, and no indi. The theme is HUMAN LIFE!--not only the vidual characters. It is properly and pecusubject of all verse”—but the great centre liarly contemplative—and consists in a series and source of all interest in the works of of reflections on our mysterious nature and human beings—to which both verse and prose condition upon earth, and on the marvellous, invariably bring us back, when they succeed though unnoticed changes which the ordinary in rivetting our attention, or rousing our emo- course of our existence is continually bringing tions--and which turns every thing into poetry about in our being; Its marking peculiarity to which its sensibilities can be ascribed, or in this respect is, that it is free from the least by which its vicissitudes can be suggested! alloy of acrimony or harsh judgment, and Yet it is not by any means to that which, in deals not at all indeed in any species of satiriordinary language, is termed the poetry or cal or sarcastic remark. The poet looks here the romance of human life, that the present on man, and teaches us to look on him, not work is directed. The life which it endeav- merely with love, but with reverence; and, ours to set before us, is not life diversified | mingling a sort of considerate pity for the