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The poet, however, puts put all his strength head quarters of the insurgent Earls; and dein the dehortation which he makes Francis scribes the first exploits of those conscientious Norton address to his father, when the prepa- warriors; who took possession of the Catherations are completed, and the household is dral of Durham, ready to take the field.
“Sang Mass, -and tore the book of Prayer,.“ Francis Norton said,
And trod the Bible beneath their feet.'
Elated by this triumph, they turn to the
south. It is for you too late a day!
" To London were the Chieftains bent :
But what avails the bold intent?
A Royal army is gone forth
To quell the Rising of the North ;
They march with Dudley at their head,
And in seven days' space, will to York be led !-
And Neville was opprest with fear;
For, though he bore a valiant name,
His heart was of a timid frame." And live at home in blissful ease.'" The warlike father makes no answer to this So they agree to march back again; at which exquisite address, but turns in silent scorn to
old Norton is sorely afflicted-and Francis the banner,
takes the opportnity to renew his dehortations
-but is again repulsed with scorn, and falls "And his wet eyes are glorified ;"
back to his station in the rear. and forth with he marches out, at the head of
The Fourth Canto shows Emily walking by his sons and retainers.
the fish ponds and arbours of Rylstone, in a Francis is very sad when thus left alone in fine moonshiny night, with her favourite white the mansion-and still worse when he sees Doe not far off. his sister sitting under a tree near the door. " Yet the meek Creature was not free, However, though “he cannot choose but Erewhile, from some perplexity:. shrink and sigh," he goes up to her and says,
For thrice hath she approach'd, this day,
The thought-bewilder'd Emily." " • Gone are they,--they have their desire; And I with thee one hour will stay,
However, they are tolerably reconciled that To give thee comfort if I may.'
evening; and by and by, just a few minutes He paused, her silence to partake,
after nine, an old retainer of the house comes And long it was before he spake :
to comfort her, and is sent to follow the host Then, all at once, his thoughts turn'd round, And fervent words a passage found.
and bring back tidings of their success. The Gone are they, bravely, though misled,
worthy yeoman sets out with great alacrity; With a dear Father at their head!
but not having much hope, it would appear, The Sons obey a natural lord;
of the cause, says to himself as he goes, The Father had given solemn word To noble Percy,--and a force
“Grant that the moon which shines this night, Still stronger bends him to his course.
May guide them in a prudent flight!'"-p. 75, This said, our tears to-day may fall As at an innocent funeral.
Things however had already come to a still In deep and awful channel runs
worse issue—as the poet very briefly and inThis sympathy of Sire and Sons ;
geniously intimates in the following fine lines: Untried our Brothers wer belov'd, And now iheir faithfulness is prov'd;
“Their flight the fair moon may not see ; For faithful we must call them, bearing
For, from mid-heaven, already she That soul of conscientious daring.'
Hath witness'd their captivity !"-p. 75. After a great deal more, as touching and
They had made a rash assault, it seems, on sensible, he applies himself more directly to Barnard Castle, and had been all made prisonthe unhappy case of his hearer-whom he ers, and forwarded to York for trial. thus judiciously comforts and flatters :
The Fifth Canto shows us Emily watching
on a commanding height for the return of her “ Hope nothing, if I thus may speak
faithful messenger; who accordingly arrives To thee a woman, and thence weak;
forthwith, and tells, 'as gently as could be,' Hope nothing, I repeat; for we Are doom'd to perish utierly ;
the unhappy catastrophe which he had come 'Tis meet that thou with me divide
soon enough to witness. The only comfort he The thought while I am by thy side.
can offer is, that Francis is still alive. Acknowledging a grace in this, A comfort in the dark abyss :
" To take his life they have not dar'd. But look not for me when I am gone,
On him and on his high endeavour And be no farther wrought upon.
The light of praise shall shine for ever! Farewell all wishes, all debaie,
Nor did he (such Heaven's will) in vain All prayers for this cause, or for that!
His solitary course maintain ;
Nor vainly struggled in the might
Of duty seeing with clear sight."-p. 85.
He then tells how the father and his eight To forlilude without reprieve."
sons were led out to execution; and how It is impossible, however, to go regularly on Francis, at his father's request, took their with this goodly matter.—The Third Canto banner, and promised to bring it back to Bolbrings the Nortons and their banner to the ton Priory.
The Sixth Canto opens with the homeward | ful doe; but so very discreetly and cautiously pilgrimage of this unhappy youth; and there written, that we will engage that the most is something so truly forlorn and tragical intender-hearted reader shall peruse it without his situation, that we should really have the least risk of any excessive emotion. The thought it difficult to have given an account poor lady runs about indeed for some years in of it without exciting some degree of interest a very disconsolate way, in a worsted gown or emotion. Mr. Wordsworth, however, re- and flannel nightcap: But at last the old white serves all his pathos for describing the white- doe finds her out, and takes again to following ness of the pet doe, and disserting about her her--whereupon Mr. Wordsworth breaks out perplexities, and her high communion, and into this fine and natural rapture. participation of Heaven's grace ;-and deals in this sort with the orphan son, turning from
Oh, moment ever blest! O Pair !
Belov'd of Heaven, Heaven's choicest care! the bloody scaffold of all his line, with their
This was for you a precious greeting,luckless banner in his hand.
For both a bounteous, fruitful meeting. “ He look'd about like one betray'd ;
Join'd are they ; and the sylvan Doe
Can she depart ? can she forego
The Lady, once her playful Peer?
“That day, the first of a reunion
Which was io teer with high communion,
That day of balmy April weather,
They tarried in the wood together.”
pp. 117, 118.
“ When Emily by morning light
Went forth, the Doe was there in sight.
She shrunk :-with one frail shock of pain,
Received and followed by a prayer,
Did she behold-saw once again ;
Shun will she not, she feels, will bear;-
But wheresoever she look'd round
All now was trouble-haunted ground."-p.119.
It certainly is not easy to guess what could
be in the mind of the author, when he penned Of all-disposing Providence,
these four last inconceivable lines; but we Its will intelligibly shown, Finds he the Banner in his hand,
are willing to infer that the lady's loneliness Without a thought to such intent ?"
was cheered by this mute associate; and that pp. 99, 100.
the doe, in return, found a certain comfort in His death is not much less pathetic. A
the lady's companytroop of the Queen's horse surround him, and “ Communication, like the ray reproach him, we must confess with some Of a new morning, to the nature plausibility, with having kept his hands un- And prospects of ihe inferior Creature !" armed, only from dread of death and forfeiture, while he was all the while a traitor in In due time the poor lady dies, and is his heart. The sage Francis answers the buried beside her mother; and the doe con. insolent troopers as follows:
tinues to haunt the places which they had "I am no traitor,' Francis said,
frequented together, and especially to come 'Though this unhappy freight I bear; and pasture every Sunday upon the fine grass It weakens me; my heart hath bled
in Bolton churchyard, the gate of which is Till it is weak—but you beware,
never opened but on occasion of the weekly Nor do a suffering Spirit wrong,
service.-In consequence of all which, we are Whose self-reproaches are too strong!" assured by Mr. Wordsworth, that she is ap
proved by Earth and Sky, in their benignity;' This virtuous and reasonable person, how- and moreover, that the old Priory itself takes ever, has ill luck in all his dissuasories; for her for a daughter of the Eternal Primeone of the horsemen puts a pike into him which we have no doubt is a very great comwithout more ado-and
pliment, though we have not the good luck to ". There did he lie of breath forsaken!"
understand what it means. And after some time the neighbouring peas
“ And aye, methinks, this hoary Pile, nants take him up, and bury him in the church
Subdued by outrage and decay, yard of Bolton Priory.
looks down upon her with a smile, The Seventh and last Canto contains the
A gracious smile, that seems to say,
• Thou, thou art not a Child of Time, history of the desolated Emily and her faith- But Daughter of the Eternal Prime!"
(October, 1829.) 1. Records of Women: with other Poems. By FELICIA HEMANS. 2d Edition. 12mo.
pp. 323. Edinburgh: 1828. 2. The Forest Sanctuary: with other Poems. By FELICIA HEMANS. 2d Edition, with
Additions. 12mo. pp. 325. Edinburgh: 1829. WOMEN, we fear, cannot do every thing; While, in their perceptions of grace, proprinor even every thing they attempt. But what ety, ridicule—their power of detecting artithey can do, they do, for the most part, excel fice, hypocrisy, and affectation—the force and lently—and much more frequently with an promptitude of their sympathy, and their caabsolute and perfect success, than the aspir-pacity of noble and devoted attachment, and ants of our rougher and more ambitious sex. of the efforts and sacrifices it may require, They cannot, we think, represent naturally the they are, beyond all doubt, our Superiors. fierce and sullen passions of men-nor their Their business being, as we have said, with coarser vices-nor even scenes of actual busi- actual or social life, and the colours it receives ness or contention-nor the mixed motives, from the conduct and dispositions of individand strong and faulty characters, by which uals, they unconsciously acquire, at a very affairs of moment are usually conducted on early age, the finest perception of character the great theatre of the world. For much and manners, and are almost as soon instinctof this they are disqualified by the delicacy ively schooled in the deep and more dangerof their training and habits, and the still more ous learning of feeling and emotion; while disabling delicacy which pervades their con- the very minuteness with which they make ceptions and feelings; and from much they and meditate on these interesting observaare excluded by their necessary inexperience tions, and the finer shades and variations of of the realities they might wish to describe- sentiment which are thus treasured and reby their substantial and incurable ignorance corded, trains their whole faculties to a nicety of business of the way in which serious and precision of operation, which often disaffairs are actually managed—and the true closes itself to advantage in their application nature of the agents and impulses that give to studies of a different character. When movement and direction to the stronger cur- women, accordingly, have turned their minds rents of ordinary life. Perhaps they are also -as they have done but too seldom—to the incapable of long moral or political investiga- exposition or arrangement of any branch of tions, where many complex and indeterminate knowledge, they have commonly exhibited, elements are to be taken into account, and a we think, a more beautiful accuracy, and a variety of opposite probabilities to be weighed more uniform and complete justness of thinkbefore coming to a conclusion. They are ing, than their less discriminating brethren. generally too impatient to get at the ultimate There is a finish and completeness, in short, results, to go well through with such discus- about every thing they put out of their hands, sions; and either stop short at some imper- which indicates not only an inherent taste for fect view of the truth, or turn aside to repose elegance and neatness, but a habit of nice in the shade of some plausible error. This, observation, and singular exactness of judghowever, we are persuaded, arises entirely ment. from their being seldom set on such tedious It has been so little the fashion, at any tasks. Their proper and natural business is time, to encourage women to write for publithe practical regulation of private life, in all cation, that it is more difficult than it should its bearings, affections, and concerns; and the be, to prove these truths by examples. Yet questions with which they have to deal in there are enough, within the reach of a very that most important department, though often careless and superficial glance over the open of the utmost difficulty and nicety, involve, field of literature, to enable us to explain, at for the most part, but few elements; and may least, and illustrate, if not entirely to verify, generally be better described as delicate than our assertions. No Man, we will venture to intricate ;-requiring for their solution rather say, could have written the Letters of Madame a quick tact and fine perception, than a pa- de Sevigné, or the Novels of Miss Austin, or tient or laborious examination. For the same the Hymns and Early Lessons of Mrs. Barreason, they rarely succeed in long works, bauld, or the Conversations of Mrs. Marcet. even on subjects the best suited to their ge- Those performances, too, are not only essennius; their natural training rendering them tially and intensely' feminine ; but they are, equally averse to long doubt and long labour. in our judgment, decidedly more perfect than
For all other intellectual efforts, however, any masculine productions with which they either of the understanding or the fancy, and can be brought into comparison. They acrequiring a thorough knowledge either of complish more completely all the ends at man's strength or his weakness, we appre- which they aim; and are worked out with a hend them to be, in all respects, as well quali- gracefulness and felicity of execution which fied as their brethren of the stronger sex: l excludes all idea of failure, and entirely satis60
2 p 2
fies the expectations they may have raised. that belongs to them, from the legends of difWe might easily have added to these in- ferent nations, and the most opposite states of stances. There are many parts of Miss Edge society; and has contrived to retain much of worth's earlier stories, and of Miss Mitford's what is interesting and peculiar in each of them, sketches and descriptions, and not a little of without adopting, along with it, any of the Mrs. Opie's, that exhibit the same fine and revolting or extravagant excesses which may penetrating spirit of observation, the same characterise the taste or manners of the people softness and delicacy of hand, and unerring or the age from which it has been derived. truth of delineation, to which we have allud- She has transfused into her German or Scaned as characterising the purer specimens of dinavian legends the imaginative and daring female art. The same distinguishing traits of tone of the originals, without the mystical woman's spirit are visible through the grief exaggerations of the one, or the painful fierceand piety of Lady Russel, and the gaiety, the ness and coarseness of the other-she has spite, and the venturesomeness of Lady Mary preserved the clearness and elegance of the Wortley. We have not as yet much female French, without their coldness or affectation poetry; but there is a truly feminine tender--and the tenderness and simplicity of the ness, purity, and elegance, in the Psyche of early Italians, without their diffuseness or Mrs. Tighe, and in some of the smaller pieces langour. Though occasionally expatiating, of Lady Craven. On some of the works of somewhat fondly and at large, among the Madame de Staël —her Corinne especially-sweets of her own planting, there is
, on the there is a still deeper stamp of the genius of whole, a great condensation and brevity in her sex. Her pictures of its boundless de- most of her pieces, and, almost without exvotedness—its depth and capacity of suffering ception, a most judicious and vigorous con-its high aspirations—its painful irritability, clusion. The great merit, however, of her and inextinguishable thirst for emotion, are poetry, is undoubtedly in its tenderness and powerful specimens of that morbid anatomy its beautiful imagery. The first requires no of the heart, which no hand but that of a wo- explanation ; but we must be allowed 10 add man's was fine enough to have laid open, or a word as to the peculiar charm and character skilful enough to have recommended to our of the latter. sympathy and love. There is the same ex- It has always been our opinion, that the quisite and inimitable delicacy, if not the very essence of poetry-apart from the pathos, same power, in many of the happier passages the" wit, or the brilliant description which of Madame de Souza and Madame Cottin—to may be embodied in it, but may exist equally say nothing of the more lively and yet melan- in prose~consists in the fine perception and choly records of Madame de Staël
, during her vivid expression of that subtle and mysterious long penance in the court of the Duchesse de Analogy which exists between the physical Maine.
and the moral world—which makes outward But we are preluding too largely; and must things and qualities the natural types and emcome at once to the point, to which the very blems of inward gifts and emotions, or leads heading of this article has already admonish- us to ascribe life and sentiment to every thing ed the most careless of our readers that we that interests us in the aspects of external are tending. We think the poetry of Mrs. nature. The feeling of this analogy, obscure Hemans a fine exemplification of Female and inexplicable as the theory of it may be, is Poetry—and we think it has much of the per- so deep and universal in our nature, that it fection which we have ventured to ascribe to has stamped itself on the ordinary language the happier productions of female genius. of men of every kindred and speech: and
It may not be the best imaginable poetry, that to such an extent, that one half of the and may not indicate the very highest or most epithets by which we familiarly designate commanding genius; but it embraces a great moral and physical qualities, are in reality so deal of that which gives the very best poetry many metaphors, borrowed reciprocally, upon its chief power of pleasing; and would strike this analogy, from those opposite forms of us, perhaps, as more impassioned and exalt- existence. The very familiarity, however, of ed, if it were not regulated and harmonised the expression, in these instances, takes away by the most beautiful taste. It is singularly its poetical effect-and indeed, in substance, sweet, elegant, and tender-touching, per- its metaphorical character. The original sense haps, and contemplative, rather than vehe- of the word is entirely forgotten in the derivament and overpowering; and not only finished tive one to which it has succeeded; and it throughout with an exquisite delicacy, and requires some etymological recollection to even severity of execution, but informed with convince us that it was originally nothing else a purity and loftiness of feeling, and a certain than a typical or analogical illustration. Thus sober and humble tone of indulgence and we talk of a sparkling wit, and a furious blast piety, which must satisfy all judgments, and -a weighty argument, and a gentle stream allay the apprehensions of those who are most —without being at all aware that we are afraid of the passionate exaggerations of poetry. speaking in the language of poetry, and transThe diction is always beautiful, harmonious, ferring qualities from one extremity of the and free—and the themes, though of great sphere of being to another. In these cases, variety, uniformly treated with a grace, orig- accordingly, the metaphor
, by ccasing to be inality and judgment, which mark the same felt, in reality ceases to exist, and the analogy master hand. These themes she has occa- being no longer intimated, of course can prosionally borrowed, with the peculiar imagery duce no effect. But whenever it is intimated,
it does produce an effect; and that effect weable in some little pieces, which seem at first think is poetry.
sight to be purely descriptive-but are soon It has substantially two functions, and ope- found to tell upon the heart, with a deep rates in two directions. In the first place, moral and pathetic impression. But it is in when material qualities are ascribed to mind, truth nearly as conspicuous in the greater part it strikes vividly out, and brings at once be- of her productions; where we scarcely meet fore us, the conception of an inward feeling with any striking sentiment that is not ushered or emotion, which it might otherwise have in by some such symphony of external nabeen difficult to convey, by the presentment ture-and scarcely a lovely picture that does of some bodily form or quality, which is in- not serve as an appropriate foreground to stantly felt to be its true representative, and some deep or lofty emotion. We may illusenables us to fix and comprehend it with a force trate this proposition, we think, by opening and clearness not otherwise attainable; and, either of these little volumes at random, and in the second place, it vivifies dead and inani- taking what they first present 10 us.
-The mate matter with the attributes of living and following exquisite lines, for example, on a sentient mind, and fills the whole visible Palm-tree in an English garden: universe around us with objects of interest
" It wav'd not thro' an Eastern sky, and sympathy, by tinting them with the hues
Beside a fount of Araby ; of life, and associating them with our own It was not fann'd by southern breeze passious and affections. This magical opera- In some green isle of Indian seas, tion the poet too performs, for the most part, Nor did iis graceful shadow sleep in one of two ways-either by the direct
O'er stream of Afric, lone and deep. agency of similies and metaphors, more or “ But far the exil'd Palm-tree grew less condensed or developed, or by the mere
'Midst foliage of no kindred hue;
Thro' the laburnum's dropping gold graceful presentment of such visible objects
Rose the light shaft of orient mould, on the scene of his passionate dialogues or And Europe's violeis, faintly sweet, adventures, as partake of the character of
Purpled the muss-Leds at his feet: the emotion he wishes to excite, and thus
" There came an eve of festal hoursform an appropriate accompaniment or pre
Rich music fill'd ihit garden's bowers : paration for its direct indulgence or display.
I.amps, that from lowering branches hung, The former of those methods has perhaps On sparks of dew soft colours flung, been most frequently employed, and certainly And bright forms glanc'd-a fairy showhas most attracted attention. But the latter,
Under the blossoms, to and fro. though less obtrusive, and perhaps less fre- “ But one, a lone one, 'midst the throng. quently resorted to of set purpose, is, we are
Seem'd reckless all of dance or song: inclined to think, the most natural and effica- He was a youth of dusky mien,
Whereon the Indian sun had beencious of the two; and it is often adopted, we
Of crested brow, and long black hairbelieve unconsciously, by poets of the highest
A stranger, like the Palm-tree, there! order ;-the predominant emotion of their minds overflowing spontaneously on all the
“ And slowly, sadly mov'd his plumes,
Glittering aihwart the lealy glooms: objects which present themselves to their
He pass'd the pale green olives by, fancy, and calling out from them, and colour- Nor won the chesnut flowers his eye; ing with their own hues, those that are natu- But, when to that sole Palm he came, rally emblematic of its character, and in ac- Then shot a rapture through his frame ! cordance with its general expression. It would " To him, 10 him its rustling spoke! be easy to show how habitually this is done, The silence of his soul it broke! by Shakespeare and Milton especially, and It whisper'd of his own bright isle, how much many of their finest passages are
That lii the ocean with a smile ;
Ave, to his ear ihat native tone indebted, both for force and richness of effect,
Had someibing of the sea-wave's moan! to this general and diffusive harmony of the external character of their scenes with the
“ His mother's cabin home, that lay
Where feathery cocoas fring?d the bay ; passions of their living agents—this harmonis
The dashing of his brethren's oar; ing and appropriate glow with which they The conch-note heard along the shore ;kindle the whole surrounding atmosphere, All thro' his wakening bosom swept; and bring all that strikes the sense into unison He clasp'd his country's Tree-and wept ! with all that touches the heart.
“ Oh! scorn him not !:-The strength, whereby But it is more to our present purpose to The patriot girds himself to die, say, that we think the fair writer before us is 'Th' unconquerable power, which fills eminently a mistress of this poetical secret ;
The freeman batiling on his hills
These have one fountain, deep and clear,and, in truth, it was solely for the purpose of
The same whence gush'dihai child-like rear!" illustrating this great charm and excellence in her imagery, that we have ventured upon The following, which the author has named, this little dissertation. Almost all her poems “Graves of a Household,” has rather less of are rich with fine descriptions, and studded external scenery, but serves, like the others, over with images of visible beauty. But these to show how well the graphic and pathetic are never idle ornaments: all her pomps have may be made to set off each other: a meaning; and her flowers and her gems are
" They grew in beauty, side by side, arranged, as they are said to be among Eastern
They fill'd one home with glee ; lovers, so as to speak the language of truth
Their graves are sever'd, far and wide, and of passion. This is peculiarly remark- By mount, and stream, and sea !