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When the Spirit of Fragrance is up with the day, . Then come! thy Arab maid will be
Come! if the love thou hast for me
Is pure and fresh as mine for thee,
Fresh as the fountain under ground,
When first 'uis by the lapwing found.
*But if for me thou dost forsake
Some other maid, -and rudely break much in the same taste : though the diction
Her worshipp'd image from its base, is rather more loose and careless.
To give to me the ruin'd place :“ There's a beauty, for ever unchangingly bright, • Then, fare thee well!-I'd rather make Like the long sunny lapse of a summers day's My bow'r upon some icy lake light,
When thawing suns begin to shine, Shining on, shining on, by no shadow made tender, Than trust to love so false as thine!'" Till Love falls asleep in its sameness of splendour. This was not the beauty-oh! nothing like this, This strain, and the sentiment which it That to young Nourmahal gave such magic of bliss ; embodies, reminded the offended monarch of But that loveliness, ever in motion, which plays Like the light upon autumn's soft shadowy days,
his charming Nourmahal; and he names her Now here and now there, giving warmth as it Ries name in accents of tenderness and regret. From the lips to the cheek, from the cheek to ihe “ The mask is off—The charm is wrought!eyes,
And Selim to his heart has caught, Now melting in mist and now breaking in gleams, In blushes more than ever bright, Like the glimpses a saint has of Heav'n in his His Nourmahal, his Haram's Light!”
dreams! When pensive, it seem'd as if that very grace, That charm of all others, was born with her face. We have now said enough, and shown Then her mirth-oh! 'was sportive as ever look enough, of this book, to let our readers unFrom the heart with a burst: like the wild-bird in of it. Its great fault certainly is its excessive
spring | derstand both what it is, and what we think Illum'd by a wit that would fascinate sages, Yet playful as Peris just loos'd from their cages.
finery, and its great charm the inexhaustible While her laugh, full of life, without any controul copiousness of its imagery—the sweetness and But the sweet one of gracefulness, rung from her ease of its diction—and the beauty of the ob
soul; And where it most sparkl?d no glance could dis- cerned. Its finery, it should also be observed,
[cover, jects and sentiments with which it is conIn lip, cheek or eyes, for she brighten'd all over,Like any fair lake that the breeze is upon,
is not the vulgar ostentation which so often When it breaks into dimples and laughs in the sun." disguises poverty or meanness—but the ex.
pp. 302, 303. travagance of excessive wealth. We have We can give but a little morsel of the en
said this, however, we believe before-and chanting Song of the Spirit of Music.
suspect we have little more to say.
All poets, who really love poetry, and live " • For mine is the lay that lightly floats,
in a poetical age, are great imitators; and And mine are the murm'ring dying notes, the character of their writings may often be That fall as soft as snow on ihe sea, And melt in the heart as instantly!
as correctly ascertained by observing whom And the passionate strain that, deeply going,
they imitate and whom they abstain from Refines the bosom it trembles through, imitating; as from any thing else. Mr. As the musk-wind, over the water blowing, Moore, in the volume before us, reminds us Ruffles the wave, but sweetens it too!
oftener of Mr. Southey and Lord Byron, than · The warrior's heart, when touch'd by me, of any other of his contemporaries. The reCan as downy soft and as yielding be
semblance is sometimes to the Roderick of As his own white plume, that high amid death Through the field has shone-yet moves with a ly to his Kehama. This may be partly owing
the first-mentioned author, but most frequentAnd, oh, how the eyes of Beauty glisten, [breath. When Music has reach'd her inward soul,
to the nature of the subject; but, in many Like the silent stars that wink and glisten, passages, the coincidence seems to be more While Heav'n's eternal melodies roll !'» radical-and to indicate a considerable con
pp. 318, 319.
formity, in taste and habits of conception. Nourmahal herself, however, in her Arabian Mr. Southey's tone, indeed, is more assumdisguise, sings a still more prevailing ditty-ing, his manner more solemn, and his diction of which we can only insert a few stanzas.
weaker. Mr. Moore is more lively-his
figures and images come more thickly; and ". Fly to the desert, fly with me!
his language is at once more familiar, and Our Arab tents are rude for thee; But oh! the choice what heart can doubt
more strengthened with points and antitheses. Of tents with love, or thrones without?
In other respects, the descriptive passages in
Kehama bear a remarkable affinity to many • Our rocks are rough; but smiling there Th’ acacia waves her yellow hair,
in the work before us—in the brightness of Lonely and sweet-nor lov'd the less the colouring, and the amplitude and beauty For flow'ring in a wilderness !
of the details. It is in his descriptions of love, • Our sands are bare ; but down their slope
and of female loveliness, that there is the The silv'ry-footed antelope
strongest resemblance to Lord Byron-at least As gracefully and gaily springs
to the larger poems of that noble author. In As o'er the marble courts of Kings.
the powerful and condensed expression of
strong emotion, Mr. Moore seems to us rather There is one other topic upon
which to have imitated the tone of his Lordship’s not quite sure we should say any thing. On smaller pieces--but imitated them as only an a former occasion, we reproved Mr. Moore, original genius could imitate-as Lord Byron perhaps with unnecessary severity, for what himself may be said, in his later pieces, to appeared to us the licentiousness of some of have imitated those of an earlier date. There his youthful productions. We think it a duty is less to remind us of Scott than we can very to say, that he has long ago redeemed that well account for, when we consider the great error; and that in all his latter works that range and variety of that most fascinating and have come under our observation, he appears powerful writer; and we must say, that if as the eloquent champion of purity, fidelity, Mr. Moore could bring the resemblance a and delicacy, not less than of justice, liberty, little closer, and exchange a portion of his su- and honour. Like most other poets, indeed, perfluous images and ecstasies for an equiva- he speaks much of beauty and love; and we lent share of Mr. Scott's gift of interesting and doubt not that many mature virgins and caredelighting us with pictures of familiar nature, ful matrons may think his lucubrations on and of the spirit and energy which never rises those themes too rapturous and glowing to be to extravagance, we think he would be a safely admitted among the private studies of gainer by the exchange. To Mr. Crabbe youth. We really think, however, that there there is no resemblance at all; and we only is not much need for such apprehensions: mention his name to observe, that he and Mr. And, at all events, if we look to the moral Moore seem to be the antipodies of our present design and scope of the works themselves, we poetical sphere; and to occupy the extreme can see no reason to censure the author. All points of refinement and homeliness that can his favourites, without exception, are dutiful, be said to fall within the legitimate dominion faithful, and self-denying; and no other exof poetry. They could not meet in the mid- ample is ever set up for imitation. There is dle, we are aware, without changing their na- nothing approaching to indelicacy even in his ture, and losing their specific character; but description of the seductions by which they each might approach a few degrees, we think, are tried; and they who object to his enchantwith great mutual advantage. The outposts ing pictures of the beauty and pure attachof all empires are posts of peril:—though ment of the more prominent characters would we do not dispute that there is great honour find fault, we suppose, with the loveliness and in maintaining them with success.
the embraces of angels.
(November, 1811.) The Excursion; being a Portion of the Recluse, a Poem. By WILLIAM WordswORTH.
4to. pp. 447. London: 1814.*
This will never do! It bears no doubt the unfortunately not half so visibly as that of his stamp of the author's heart and fancy: But peculiar system. His former poems were
I have spoken in many places rather too bit- I finally resolved, therefore, to reprint my review Terly and confidently of the faults of Mr. Words- of " The Excursion ;'' which contains a pretty full worth's poetry: And forgetting that, even on my view of my griefs and charges against Mr. Wordsown view of them, they were but faults of taste, or worth ; sei forth too, I believe, in a more temperate venial self-partiality, have sometimes visited them, strain than most of my other inculpations,-and of I fear, with an asperity which should be reserved which I think I may now venture to say farther, for objects of Moral reprobation. If I were now to that if the faults are unsparingly noted, the beauties deal with the whole question of his poetical merits, are not penuriously or grudgingly allowed; but though my judgment might not be substantially commended to the admiration of ihe reader with at different, I hope I should repress the greater parto least as much heartiness and good will. of these vivacités of expression: And indeed so But I have also reprinted a short paper on the strong has been my feeling in this way, that, con- same author's “ White Doe of Rylstone,”-in sidering how much I have always loved many of which there certainly is no praise, or notice of the attributes of his Genius, and how entirely I beauties, to set against the very unqualified cenrespect his Character, it did at first occur to me sures of which it is wholly made up. I have done whether it was quite fitting that, in my old age and this, however, not merely because I adhere to these his, I should include in this publication any of those censures, but chiefly because it seemed necessary critiques which may have formerly given pain or to bring me fairly to issue with those who may not offence, to him or his admirers. But, when I re. concur in them. I can easily understand that many flected that the mischief, if there really ever was whose admiration of the Excursion, or the Lyrical any, was long ago done, and that I still retain, in Ballads, rests substantially on the passages which I substance, the opinions which I should now like ' too should join in admiring, may view with greater to have seen more gently expressed, I felt that to indulgence than I can do, the tedious and flat pas. omit all notice of them on ihe present occasion, sages with which they are interspersed, and may might be held to import a retractation which I am consequently think my censure of these works a as far as possible from intending; or even be rep- great deal ioo harsh and uncharitable. Between resented as a very shabby way of backing out of such persons and me, therefore, there may be no sentiments which should either be manfully per• radical difference of opinion, or contrariety as to sisted in, or openly renounced, and abandoned as principles of judgment. But if there be any who untenable.
actually admire this White Doe of Rylstone, or intended to recommend that system, and to we perceive, is now manifestly hopeless; and bespeak favour for it by their individual we give him up as altogether incurable, and merit;—but this, we suspect, must be recom- beyond the power of criticism. We cannot mended by the system-and' can only expect indeed altogether omit taking precautions to succeed where it has been previously estab- now and then against the spreading of the lished. It is longer, weaker, and tamer, than malady ;-but for himself, though we shall any of Mr. Wordsworth's other productions; watch the progress of his symptoms as a matwith less boldness of originality, and less ter of professional curiosity and instruction, even of that extreme simplicity and lowliness we really think it right not to harass him any of tone which wavered so prettily, in the longer with nauseous remedies,-but rather Lyrical Ballads, between silliness and pathos. to throw in cordials and lenitives, and wait in We have imitations of Cowper, and even of patience for the natural termination of the Milton here; engrafted on the natural drawl of disorder. In order to justify this desertion the Lakers—and all diluted into harmony by of our patient, however, it is proper to state that profuse and irrepressible wordiness which why we despair of the success of a more deluges all the blank verse of this school of active practice. poetry, and lubricates and weakens the whole A man who has been for twenty years at structure of their style.
work on such matter as is now before us, Though it fairly fills four hundred and and who comes complacently forward with a twenty good quarto pages, without note, vig- whole quarto of it, after all the admonitions nette, or any sort of extraneous assistance, it he has received, cannot reasonably be exis stated in the title--with something of an pected to change his hand, or check his imprudent candour—to be but “a portion” of pride,” upon the suggestion of far weightier a larger work; and in the preface, where an monitors than we can pretend to be. Invete. attempt is rather unsuccessfully made to ex- rate habit must now have given a kind of plain the whole design, it is still more rashly sanctity to the errors of early taste; and the disclosed, that it is but“ a part of the second very powers of which we lament the perverpart, of a long and laborious work”—which sion, have probably become incapable of any is to consist of three parts!
other application. The very quantity, too, What Mr. Wordsworth's ideas of length are, that he has written, and is at this moment we have no means of accurately judging: But working up for publication upon the old patwe cannot help suspecting that they are libe- tem, makes it almost hopeless to look for any ral, to a degree that will alarm the weakness change of it. All this is so much capital of most modern readers. As far as we can already sunk in the concern; which must be gather from the preface, the entire poem- sacrificed if that be abandoned; and no man or one of them, (for we really are not sure likes to give up for lost the time and talent whether there is to be one or two,) is of a and labour which he has embodied in any biographical nature; and is to contain the permanent production. We were not prehistory of the author's mind, and of the origin viously aware of these obstacles to Mr. Words. and progress of his poetical powers, up to the worth's conversion ; and, considering the pecuperiod when they were sufficiently matured liarities of his former writings merely as the to qualify him for the great work on which result of certain wanton and capricious ex. he has been so long employed. Now, the periments on public taste and indulgence, quarto before us contains an account of one conceived it to be our duty to discourage their of his youthful rambles in the vales of Cum- repetition by all the means in our power. berl and occupies precisely the period of We now see clearly, however, how the case three days! So that, by the use of a very stands ;-and, making up our minds, though powerful calculus, some estimate may be with the most sincere pain and reluctance, formed of the probable extent of the entire to consider him as finally lost to the good biography.
cause of poetry, shall endeavour to be thankThis small specimen, however, and the ful for the occasional gleams of tenderness statements with which it is prefaced, have and beauty which the natural force of his been sufficient to set our minds at rest'in one imagination and affections must still shed particular. The case of Mr. Wordsworth, over all his productions, and to which we Peter Bell the Waggoner, or the Lamentations of affectation and mysticism and prolixity, with
shall ever turn with delight, in spite of the Martha
Rae, or the Sonnets on the Punishment of which they are so abundantly contrastéd. Death, there can be no such ambiguity, or means of reconcilement. Now I have been assured not Long habits of seclusion, and an excessive only that there are such persons, but that almost ambition of originality, can alone account for all those who seek to exali Mr. Wordsworth as the the disproportion which seems to exist be. founder of a new school of poetry, consider these tween this author's taste and his genius; or as by far his best and most characteristic produc- for the devotion with which he has sacrificed tions; and would at once reject from their communion any one who did not acknowledge in them so many precious gists at the shrine of those the traces of a high inspiration. Now I wish it to paltry idols which he has set up for himself be understood, ihat when I speak with general among his lakes and his mountains. Solitary intolerance or impatience of the school of Mr. musings, amidst such scenes, might no doubt Wordsworth, it is to the school holding these be expected to nurse up the mind to the ma. really do not see how I could better explain the jesty of poetical conception,—though it is grounds of my dissent from their doctrines, than remarkable, that all the greater poets lived, by:republishing my remarks on this “White Doe." I or had lived, in the full current of society):
But the collision of equal minds,—the ad- | as a tissue of moral and devotional ravings, in monition of prevailing impressions-seems which innumerable changes are rung upon a necessary to reduce its redundancies, and re- few very simple and familiar ideas:But press that tendency to extravagance or pueril- with such an accompaniment of long words, ity, into which the self-indulgence and self- long sentences, and unwieldy phrases—and adiniration of genius is so apt to be betrayed, such a hubbub of strained raptures and fanwhen it is allowed to wanton, without awe or tastical sublimities, that it is often difficult for restraint, in the triumph and delight of its the most skilful and attentive student to obown intoxication. That its flight should be tain a glimpse of the author's meaning-and graceful and glorious in the eyes of men, it altogether impossible for an ordinary reader seems almost to be necessary that they should to conjecture what he is about. Moral and rebe made in the consciousness that men's eyes ligious enthusiasm, though undoubtedly poetare to behold them,--and that the inward ical emotions, are at the same time but dantransport and vigour by which they are in- gerous inspirers of poetry; nothing being so spired, should be tempered by an occasional apt to run into interminable dulness or mellireference to what will be thought of them by fluous extravagance, without giving the unforthose ultimate dispensers of glory. · An habit- tunate author the slightest intimation of his ual and general knowledge of the few settled danger. His laudable zeal for the efficacy of and permanent maxims, which form the canon his preachments, he very naturally mistakes of general taste in all large and polished so for the ardour of poetical inspiration and, cieties—a certain tact, which informs us at while dealing out the high words and glowonce that many things, which we still love ing phrases which are so readily supplied by and are moved by in secret, must necessarily themes of this description, can scarcely avoid be despised as childish, or derided as absurd, believing that he is eminently original and in all such societies—though it will not stand impressive :-All sorts of commonplace noin the place of genius, seems necessary to the tions and expressions are sanctified in his success of its exertions; and though it will eyes, by the sublime ends for which they are never enable any one to produce the higher employed; and the mystical verbiage of the beauties of art, can alone secure the talent Methodist pulpit is repeated, till the speaker which does produce them from errors that entertains no doubt that he is the chosen must render it useless. Those who have most organ of divine truth and persuasion. But if of the talent, however, commonly acquire this such be the common hazards of seeking inknowledge with the greatest facility ;--and if spiration from those potent fountains, it may Mr. Wordsworth, instead of confining himself easily be conceived what chance Mr. Wordsalmost entirely to the society of the dalesmen worth had of escaping their enchantment,and cottagers, and little children, who form with his natural propensities to wordiness, the subjects of his book, had condescended and his unlucky habit of debasing pathos to mingle a little more with the people that with vulgarity. The fact accordingly is, that were to read and judge of it, we cannot help in this production he is more obscure than a thinking that its texture might have been Pindaric poet of the seventeenth century; considerably improved : At least it appears to and more verbose “than even himself of us to be absolutely impossible, that any one yore ;" while the wilfulness with which he who had lived or mixed familiarly with men persists in choosing his examples of intellecof literature and ordinary judgment in poetry, tual dignity and tenderness exclusively from (of course we exclude the coadjutors and dis- the lowest ranks of society, will be sufficiently ciples of his own school,) could ever have apparent, from the circumstance of his having fallen into such gross faults, or so long mis- thought fit to make his chief prolocutor in this taken them for beauties. His first essays we poetical dialogue, and chief advocate of Provlooked upon in a good degree as poetical idence and Virtue, an old Scotch Pedlar-reparadoxes, - maintained experimentally, in tired indeed from business—but still rambling order to display talent, and court notoriety;- about in his former haunts, and gossiping and so maintained, with no more serious be among his old customers, without his pack lief in their truth, than is usually generated on his shoulders. The other persons of the by an ingenious and animated defence of drama are, a retired military chaplain, who other paradoxes. But when we find that he has grown half an atheist and half a misanhas been for twenty years exclusively em- thrope-the wife of an unprosperous weaver ployed upon articles of this very fabric, and -a servant girl with her natural child—a ihat he has still enough of raw material on parish pauper, and one or two other personhand to keep him so employed for twenty ages of equal rank and dignity. years to come, we cannot refuse him the jus- The character of the work is decidedly tice of believing that he is a sincere convert didactic; and more than nine tenths of it are to his own system, and must ascribe the occupied with a species of dialogue, or rather peculiarities of his composition, not to any a series of long sermons or harangues which transient affectation, or accidental caprice of pass between the pedlar, the author, the old
imagination, but to a settled perversity of chaplain, and a worthy vicar, who entertains | taste or understanding, which has been fos- the whole party at dinner on the last day of
tered, if not altogether created, by the cir- their excursion. The incidents which occur cumstances to which we have alluded. in the course of it are as few and trifling as
The volume before us, if we were to de- can well be imagined ;-and those which the scribe it very shortly, we should characterise different speakers narrate in the course of
their discourses, are introduced rather to il- | rural scenery and open air, that when he was lustrate their arguments or opinions, than for sent to teach a school in a neighbouring vil. any interest they are supposed to possess of lage, he found it “a misery to him ;' and their own.—The doctrine which the work is determined to embrace the more romantic ocintended to enforce, we are by no means cer- cupation of a Pedlar–or, as Mr. Wordsworth tain that we have discovered. In so far as more musically expresses it, we can collect, however, it seems to be neither
“A vagrant merchant, bent beneath his load;" more nor less than the old familiar one, that a firm belief in the providence of a wise and -and in the course of his peregrinations had beneficent Being must be our great stay and acquired a very large acquaintance, which, support under all afflictions and perplexities after he had given up dealing, he frequently upon earth-and that there are indications of took a summer ramble to visit. his power and goodness in all the aspects of
The author, on coming up to this interestthe visible universe, whether living or inani- ing personage, finds him sitting with his eyes mate-every part of which should therefore half shut ;-and, not being quite sure whether be regarded with love and reverence, as ex- he is asleep or awake, stands - some minutes ponents of those great attributes. We can space in silence beside him.—“At length," testify, at least, that these salutary and im- says he, with his own delightful simplicityportant truths are inculcated at far greater
“ At length I hail'd him-seeing that his hat length, and with more repetitions, than in any
Was moist with water-drops, as if the brim ten volumes of sermons that we ever perused. Had newly scoop'd a running stream !It is also maintained, with equal conciseness • "İ'is,' said I, 'a burning day! and originality, that there is frequently much
My lips are parch'd with thirst ;-but you, I guess,
Have somewhere found relief.:» good sense, as well as much enjoyment, in the humbler conditions of life; and that, in Upon this, the benevolent old man points spite of great vices and abuses, there is a rea- him out, not a running stream, but a well in sonable allowance both of happiness and good- a corner, to which the author repairs; and, ness in society at large. If there be any deeper after minutely describing its situation, beyond or more recondite doctrines in Mr. Words- a broken wall, and between two alders that worth's book, we must confess that they have grew in a cold damp nook,” he thus faithescaped us ;-and, convinced as we are of the fully chronicles the process of his retum :truth and soundness of those to which we have alluded, we cannot help thinking that
“ My thirst I slak'd; and from the cheerless spot they might have been better enforced with Withdrawing, straightway to the shade return'd, less parade and prolixity. His effusions on
Where sate the old man on the cottage bench." what may be called the physiognomy of ex- The Pedlar then gives an account of the at ternal nature, or its moral and theological ex- last inhabitants of the deserted cottage beside pression, are eminently fantastic, obscure, and them. These were, a good industrious weaver affected. ---It is quite time, however, that we and his wife and children. They were very should give the reader a more particular ac- happy for a while; till sickness and want of count of this singular performance.
work came upon them; and then the father It opens with a picture of the author toiling enlisted as a soldier, and the wife pined in across a bare common in a hot summer day, that lonely cottage-growing every year more and reaching at last a ruined hut surrounded careless and desponding, as her anxiety and with tall trees, where he meets by appoint- fears for her absent husband, of whom no timent with a hale old man, with an iron-point-dings ever reached her, accumulated. Her ed staff lying beside him. Then follows a children died, and left her cheerless and retrospective account of their first acquaint- alone; and at last she died also; and the cotance-formed, it seems, when the author was tage fell to decay. We must say, that there at a village school ; and his aged friend occu- is very considerable pathos in the telling of pied "one room,--the fifth part of a house'' | this simple story; and that they who can get in the neighbourhood. After this, we have over the repugnance excited by the triteness the history of this reverend person at no small of its incidents, and the lowness of its objects, length. He was born, we are happy to find, will not fail to be struck with the author's in Scotland-among the hills of Athol; and knowledge of the human heart, and the power his mother, after his father's death, married he possesses of stirring up its deepest and the parish schoolmaster-so that he was gentlest sympathies. His prolixity, indeed, it taught his letters betimes: But then, as it is is not so easy to get over. This little story here set forth with much solemnity,
fills about twenty-five quarto pages;
and “From his sixth year, the boy of whom I speak,
abounds, of course, with mawkish sentiment, In summer, tended cattle on the hills !"
and details of preposterous minuteness. When
the tale is told, the travellers take their staffs, And again, a few pages after, that there may and end their first day's journey, without furbe no risk of mistake as to a point of such es- ther adventure, at a little inn. sential importance
The Second Book sets them forward betimes " From early childhood, even, as hath been said, in the morning. They pass by a Village From his sixth year, he had been sent abroad, In summer—to iend herds! Such was his task!" | part of the mountains, the old man tells the
Wake; and as they approach a more solitary In the course of this occupation it is next author that he is taking him to see an old recorded, that he acquired such a taste for) friend of his, who had formerly been chaplain