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of it, rather than the mental superiority by which it is obtained, that interferes with their enjoyment. Distinction, however won, usually loads to a passion for more distinction; and is apt to engage us in laborious efforts and anxious undertakings: and those, even when successful, seldom repay, in our judgment at It-ait, the e'ase, the leisure, and tranquillity, o: which they require the sacrifice: but it really paspes our imagination to conceive, that the very highest degrees of intellectual vigour, nr fancy, or sensibility, should of themselves be productive either of unhappiness or general dislike.

Harold and his poet next move along the lovely banks of the Rhine, to which, and all their associated emotions, due honour is paid in various powerful stanzas. We pass on, however, to the still more attractive scenes .of Switzerland. The opening is of suitable grandeur.

'But these recede. Above me are the Alps,
The palaces of Nature, whose vast walla
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy ecalps,
And throned Eternity in icy halls,
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche—I he thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet nppals,
Gather nround these summits, as to show

How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below."

On this magnificent threshold, the poet pauses, to honour the patriot field of Moral, and the shrine of the priestess of Aventicum; and then, in congratulating himself on hie folitude, once more moralises his song with something of an apology for its more bitter misanthropies.

"To fly from, need not be to hate mankind;
All are not fit with them to slir and toil,
Nor is it discontent to keep the mind
Deep in its fountain, lest it overboil
In the hot throng," &c.

"The race of life becomes a hopeless flight
To (hose that walk in darkness; on the sea,
The boldest steer but where their ports invite,
But there are wanderers o'er Eternity [shell be.

Whose bark drives on and on, and anchor'd Tie'er
Is it not better, then, to be alone,
And love Earth only for ¡is earthly sake?
By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone,
Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake,
Which feeds it as a mother who doth make
A fair but froward infant her own care,
Kissing its cries sway as these awake.'.'

The cliffs of Meillerie. and the groves of Clarens of coujse, conjure up the shade »f Rousseau; whom he characterises very st'ongly. but charitably, in several enchantit!2 stanzas ;—one or two of which we shall rite as a specimen of the kindred rapture with which the Poet here honours the Apostle if Love.

'' His love was passion's essence! A§ a tree
On fire by lightning, with ethereal flame
Kindled he was, and blasted; for to be
Thus, and enamour'd, were in him the same.
But hi» wa» not the love of living dame,
Nor of the dead who rise upon our dreams,
But of ideal beauty; which became
In him existence, and o'erflowing teems [seems.

. ong hie burning page, dietemper'd though it

TA» breath'd itself to life in Julie, this
Invested her with all lhat'a wild and sweet," &c.

"Clarens! sweet Clarens, birth-place of deep

Love! Thine air is the young breath of passionate


Thy trees take root in Love; the snows above
The very Glaciers have his colours caught,
And sun-set into rose-hues sees them wrought
By rays which sleep there lovingly ! The rocks,
The permanent crags, tell here of Love; who


In them a refuge from the worldly shocks, Which stir and sting the soul with hope that woos,

then mocks.

"All things are here of Aim; from the black pines, Which are his shade on high, and the loud ruar Of torrents, where he listeneth, to the vines Which elope hie green path downward to the


Where the bow'd waters meet him, and adore, Kissing his feet with murmurs; and the wood, The covert of old trees, with trunks all hoar, But light leaves, young as joy, stands where it slood,

Offering to him and his, a populous solitude."

Our readers may think, perhaps, that there is too much sentiment and reflection in these extracts; and wish for the relief of a little narrative or description: but the truth is, that there is no narrative in the poem, and that all the descriptions are blended with the expression of deep emotion. The following picture, however, of an evening calm on tho lake of Geneva, we think, must please even the lovers of pure description—

"Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wide world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction! Once I lov'd
Torn ocean's roar; but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet, as if a sister's voice reprov'd,

That I with stern delights should e'er have been so mov'd.

"It is the hush of night ; and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellow'd and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darken'd Jura, whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep! and drawing near,
There breathes a fiving fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar, [more!

Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol

"At intervals, some bird from out the brakes,
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill;
But that is fancy !—lor the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love instil,
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into nature's breast the spirit of her hues."

The following sketch of a Midsummer night's thunder storm in the same sublime region, is still more striking and original—

"The sky ¡я chang'd !—and such a change! Oh night, [strong!

And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous
Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath to jnd a tongue,
And Jura answers, through her misty nhroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her alón1*

"And ihis is in the night :—Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent Tor slumber! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,—
A portion of the tempest and of tnee!
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea!
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black,—and now, the glee
Of the loud hills shake with its mountain-mirth."

In passing Ferney and Lausanne, there is a fine account of Voltaire and Gibbon; but we have room for but one more extract, and must take it from the characteristic reflections with which the piece is concluded. These, like most of the preceding, may be thought to savour too much of egotism: But this is of the essence of such poetry; and if Lord Byron had only been happier, or in better humour with the world, we should have been delighted with the confidence he has here reposed in his readers :—as it is, it sounds too like the last disdainful address of a man who is about to quit a world which has ceased to have any attractions—like the resolute speech of Pierre—

"For (his vile world and I have long been jangling, And cannot part on belter terms than now. —

The reckoning, however, is steadily and sternly made; and though he does not spare himself, we must say that the world comes off much the worst in the comparison. The passage is very singular, and written with much force and dignity.

"Thus far I have proceeded in a theme
Renew'd with no kind auspices.—To feel
We are not what we have been, and to deem
We are not what we should be ;—and to steel
The heart against itself; and to conceal,
With a proud caution, love, or hate, or aught,—
Passion or feeling, purpose, grief or zeal,—
Which is the tyrant spirit of our thought,

Is a stern task of soul !—No matter !—it is taught.

111 have not lov'd the world—nor the world me!
I have not flutter'd its rank breath; nor bow'd
To its idolatries a patient knee,—
Nor coin'd my cheek to smiles,—nor cried aloud
In worship of an echo. In the crowd
They could not deem me one of such ; I stood
Among them, but not of them," &c.

"I have not lov'd the world, nor the world me'
But let us part fair foes; I do believe,
Though I nave found them not, that there may be
Words which are things,—hopes which will not de-
And virtues which are merciful, nor weave [ceive
Snares for the failing! I would also deem
O'er others' griefs mat some sincerely grieve;
That two or one, are almost what they seem,—

That goodness is no name, and happiness no dream."

The closing stanzas of the poem are extremely beautiful ;—but we are immoveable in the resolution, that no statement of oura ehall ever give additional publicity to the subjects of which they treat.

Wecomenow to "The Prisoner of Chillón." It is very sweet and touching—though we can afford but a short account of it. Chillón is a ruined castle on the Lake of Geneva, in the dungeon of which three gallant brothers were confined, each chained to a separate pillar, till, after long year» of anguish, the two younger died, and were buried under the cold floor of the prison. The eldest was at

length liberated, when worn ont with age and misery—and is supposed, in his joyleíliberty, to tell, in this poem, the sad story of his imprisonment. The picture of their first feelings, when bound apart in this livir.2 tomb, and of the gradual sinking of the:/ cheery fortitude, is full of pity and agony.

"We could not move a single pace;
We could not see each other's face,
But with that pale and livid light
That made us strangers in our sight;
And thus together—yet apart,
Fetter'd in hand, and pin'd in heart;
'Twas still some solace in the dearth
Of the pure elements of earth,
To hearken to each other's speech.
And each turn comforter to each,
Wiih some new hope, or legend old,
Or song heroically bold;
But even these at length grew cold!
Our voices took a dreary tone,
An echo of the dungeon-stone,
A grating sound—not full and free
As they of yore were wont to be.
It might be fancy—but to me
They never sounded like our own."

The return to the condition of the yourecr brother, the blooming Benjamin of the family, is extremely natural and affecting.

"I was the eldest of the three,
And to uphold and cheer the rest,
I ought to do—and did my best;
And each did well in his degree.
The youngest, whom my father lov'd,
Because our mother's brow was giv'n
To him—with eyes as blue as heav'n,
For him my soul was sorely mov'd;
And truly might it be distrest
To see such bird in such a nest;
For he was beautiful as day—
(When day was beautiful to me
As to young eagles, being frei)—
And thus he was as pure and bright,
And in his natural spirit gay.
With tears lor nought but other's ills;
And then they flow'd like mountain rills.

The gentle decay and gradual extinctim of this youngest life, is the most tender and beautiful passage in the poem.

"But he, the favorite and the flow'r.
Most cheiish'd since his natal hour,
His mother's image in fair face,
The infant love of all his race.
His martyr'd lather's dearest thought,
My latest care, for «horn I sought
To hoard my life, that his might be
Less wretched now, and one day free!
He, top, who yet had held untir d
A spirit natural or inspir'd—
He, loo, was struck! and day by day
Was withcr'd on the »talk away.
He faded ; and so calm and meek,
So softly worn, so sweetly weak,
So tearless, yet so tendel—kind.
And griev'd for those he left behind;
Wiili all the while a cheek whose bloom
Was as a mockery of the tomb.
Whose tints as gently sunk away
As a departing rainbow's ray—
An eye of most transparent light,
That almost made the dungeon bright,
And not a word of murmur! uot
A groan o'er his untimely lot,—
A bulo talk of better days.
A litile hope my own to raise.
For I was sunk in silence—lost
In this last loss, of all the mo«;

And ihen the sighe he would suppress

Of fainting nature's feebleness,

More elowly drawn, grew less and lees!

I listen'd, but I could not hear!—

I cali'd, for I was wild with fear;

I cali'd, and thought I heard a sound—

I burst my chain with one strong bound,

And rush'd to him !—I found Aim not,

/ only stirr'd in this black spot,

/only liv'd—/ only drew

Т1Г accursed breath of dungeon-dew."

After this last calamity, he is allowed to be »t large in the dungeon.

"And it was liberly to stride
Along my cell from side to side,
And up and down, and then athwart,
And tread it over every part;
And round the pillars one by one,
Returning where my walk begun,
Avoiding only, as I trod.
My broihers' graves without a sod.'

He climbs up at last to the high chink that admitted the light to his prison; and looks out once more on the long-remembered face of nature, and the lofty forms of the eternal mountains.

"1 saw them—and they were the same,
Tkey were not chang'd like me in frame;
I saw their thousand years of snow
On hiffh—their wide long lake below,
And the blue Rhone in fullest flow;
I heard the torrents leap and gush
O'erchannell'd rock and broken bush;
I saw the white-wall'd distant town,
And whiter sails go skimming down;
And then there was a little isle,
Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view;
A small green isle ; it seem'd no more.
Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,
But in it there were three tall trees.
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it there were waters flowing,
And on it there were young flow'rs growing,

Of gentle breath and hue.
The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seem'd joyous, each and all;
The eagle rode the rising blast;
Methought he never Hew so fast
As then to me he seem'd to fly."

The rest of the poems in this little volume, are less amiable—and most of them, we fear, have a personal and not very charitable application. One, entitled "Darkness," is free at least from this imputation. It is a grand and gloomy sketch of the supposed consequences of the final extinction of the Sun and me Heavenly bodies—executed, undoubtedly, with great and fearful force—but with something of German exaggeration, and a fantastical selection of incidents. The very conception is terrible, above all conception of calamity—and is too oppressive to the imagination, to be contemplated with pleasure, етеп in the faint reflection of poetry.

"The iry earl h •Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air."

Cities and forests are burnt, for light and warmth.

"The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell opon them! Some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept ; and some did rest
Their chin« upon their clenched hands, and smil'd'

And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky.
The pall of a past world! and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth, and howl'd!"

Then they eat each other: and are extinguished!

• The world was void,

The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, luciese—
A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay!
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths;
Ships sailorfess lay rotting on the sea, [dropp'd
And their masts fell down piecemeal: As they
They slept on the abyas without a surge—
The waves were dead ; the tides were in t heir grave,
The moon their mistress had expir'd before;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant nir,
And the clouds'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them—She was the universe."

There is a poem entitled "The Dream," full of living pictures, and written with great beauty and genius—but extremely painful— and abounding with mysteries into which we have no desire to penetrate. "The Incantation" and "Titan" have the same distressing character—though without the sweetness of the other. Some stanzas to a nameless friend, are in a tone of more open misanthropy. This is a favourable specimen of their tone and temper. ,

"Though human, thou didst not deceive me,

Though woman, thou didst not forsake, Though lov'd, thou foreborest to grieve me,

Though slander'd, thou never coaldst shake,— Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me,

Though parted, it was not to fly, Though watchful, 'twas not to defame me,

Nor mule, that the world might belie."

Beautiful as this poetry is, it is a relief at last to close the volume. We cannot maintain our accustomed tone of levity, or even speak like calm literary judges, in the midst of mese agonising traces of a wounded and distempered spirit. Even our admiration is at last swallowed up in a most painful feeling of pity and of wonder. It is impossible to mistake these for fictitious sorrows, conjured up for the purpose of poetical effect. There is a dreadful tone of sincerity, and an energy that cannot be counterfeited, in the expression of wretchedness and alienation from human kind, which occurs in every page of this publication; and as the author has at last spoken out in his own person, and unbosomed his griefs a great deal too freely to his readers, the offence now would be to entertain a doubt of their reality. We certainly have no hope of preaching him into philanthropy and cheerfulness: but it is impossible not to mourn over such a catastrophe of such a mind; or to see the prodigal gifts of Nature, Fortune, and Fame, thus turned to bitterness, without an oppressive feeling of impatience, mortification, and surprise. Where there are snch elements, however, it is eqnally impossible to despair that they may yet enter into happier combinations, —or not to hope this "that puissant spirit"

"yet shall reascend

Self-rais'd, and repossess its native seat." Lalla Rookh; an Oriental Romance.

(November, 1817.)

THERE is a great deal of our recent poetry derived from the East: But this is the finest Orientalism we have had yet. The land of

been poured forth, nor her gorgeousness displayed so profusely to the delighted senses of Europe. The beauteous forms, the dazzling

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'stitution of genius. While it is more splendid

in imagery—(and for the most part in very good taste)—more rich in i.; thoughts

the Sun has never shone out so brightly on the and original conceptions, and more full indeed

children of the North—nor the sweets of Asia

of exquisite pictures, both of all sorts of beauties and virtues, and all sorts of sufferings and crimes, than any other poem that has yet come before us; we rather think we speak the sense

splendours, the breathing odours of the East, of most readers, when we add, that the effect

seem at last to have found a kindred poet in of the whole is to mi

that green isle of the West; whose Genius disappointment with t

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has long been suspected to be derived from a excite admiration rather than any warmer warmer clime, and now wantons and luxuri- sentiment of delight—to dazzle, more than to

ates in those voluptuous regions, as if it felt that it had at length regained its native element. It is amazing, indeed, how much at home Mr. Moore seems to be in India, Persia, and Arabia; and how purely and strictly Asiatic as the colouring and imagery of his book appears. He is thoroughly embued with the character of the scenes to which he transports us; and yet the extent of his knowledge is less wonderful than the dexterity and apparent facility with which he has turned it to account, in the elucidation and embellishment of his poetry. There is not, in the volume now before us, a simile or description, a name, a trait of history, or allusion of romance which belongs to European experience; or does not indicate an entire familiarity with the life, the dead nature, and the learning of the East. Nor are these barbaric ornaments thinly scattered to make up a show. They are showered lavishly over all the work; and form, perhaps too much, the staple of the poetry—and the riches of that which is chiefly distinguished for its richness. We would confine this remark, however, to the descriptions of external objects, and the allusions to literature and history—or to what may be termed the materiel of the poetry before us. The Characters and Sentiments are of a different order. They cannot, indeed, be said to be copies of European nature; but they are still less like that of any other region. They are, in truth, poetical imaginations;– but it is to the poetry of rational, honourable, “onsiderate, and humane Europe, that they inelong—and not to the childishness, cruelty, and profligacy of Asia. It may seem a harsh and presumptuous sentence, to some of our Cosmopolite readers: But from all we have been able to gather from history or recent observation, we should be inclined to say that there was no sound sense, firmness of purpose, or principled goodness, except among the natives of Europe, and their genuine descendants. There is something very extraordinary, we think, in the work before us—and something which indicates in the author, not only a great exuberance of talent, but a very singular con

enchant—and, in the end, more frequently to startle the fancy, and fatigue the attention, by the constant succession of glittering images and high-strained emotions, than to maintain a rising interest, or win a growing . o a less profuse or more systematic display Of attractions. The style is, on the whole, rather diffuse, and too unvaried in its character. But its greatest fault, in our eyes, is the uniformity of its brilliancy—the want of plainness, sim. plicity, and repose. We have heard it observed by some very zealous admirers of Mr. Moore's genius, that you cannot open this book without finding a cluster of beauties in every page. Now, this is only another way of expressing what we think its greatest defect. No work, consisting of many pages, should have detached and distinguishable beauties in every one of them. No great work, indeed, should have many beauties: If it were perfect, it would have but one; and that but faintly perceptible, except on a view of the whole. Look, for example, at what is perhaps the most finished and exquisite production of human art—the design and elevation of a Grecian temple, in its old severe simplicity. What penury of ornament—what rejection of beauties of detail l—what masses of plain surface—what rigid economical limitation to the useful and

the necessary! The cottage of a peasant is

scarcely more o in its structure, and has not fewer parts that are superfluous. Yet what grandeur—what elegance—what grace and completeness in the effect! The whole is beautiful—because the beauty is in the whole: But there is little merit in any of the parts, except that of fitness and careful finishing. Contrast this, now, with a Dutch pleasurehouse, or a Chinese—where every part is meant to be separately beautiful—and the result is deformitv —where there is not an inch of the surface that is not brilliant with varied colour, and rough with curves and angles. – and where the effect of the whole is monstrous and offensive. We are as far as possible from meaning to insinuate that Mr. Moore's poetry is of this description. On the contrary, we

think his ornaments are, for the most part, truly and exquisitely beautiful; and the general design of his pieces very elegant and ingenious: All that we mean to say is, that there is too much ornament—too many insulated and independent beauties—and that the notice, and the very admiration they excite, hurt the interest of the general design; and not only withdraw our attention too importunately from it, but at last weary it out with their perpetual recurrence.

It seems to be a law of our intellectual constitution, that the powers of taste cannot be permanently gratified, except by some sustained or continuous emotion; and that a series, even of the most agreeable excitements, soon ceases, if broken and disconnected, to give any pleasure. No conversation fatigues so soon as that which is made up of points and epigrams; and the accomplished rhetorician, who

• could not ope

His mouth, but out there flew a trope,"

must have been a most intolerable companion. There are some things, too, that seem so plainly intended for ornaments and seasonings only, that they are only agreeable, when sprinkled m moderation overa plainer medium. No one would like to make an entire meal on sauce pitFiante; or to appear in a dress crusted over with diamonds; or to pass a day in a steam of rich distilled perfumes. It is the same with the slittering ornaments of poetry—with splendid metaphors and ingenious allusions, ana all the figures of speech and of thought that constitute its outward pomp and glory. Now, Mr. Moore, it appears to us, is decidedly too lavish of his gems and sweets;—he labours under a plethora of wit and imagination—impairs his credit by the palpable exuberance of his possessions, and would be richer with half his wealth. His works are not only of costly material and graceful design, but they are everywhere glistening with small beauties and transitory inspirations—sudden flashes of fancy, that blaze out and perish: like earth-born meteors that crackle in the lower sky, and unseasonably divert our eyes from the great and lofty bodies which pursue their harmonious Bourses in a serener region.

We have spoken of these as faults of style: But they could scarcely have existed in the ítylp, without going deeper; and though they ñrst strike us a? qualities of the composition inly, we find, upon a little reflection, that the rame general character belongs to the fable, the characters, and the sentiments,—that they al! ?m alike in the excess of their means of attraction,—and fail to interest, chiefly by being too interesting.

In order to avoid the debasement of ordinary or familiar life, the author has soared to i region beyond the comprehension of most of his readers. All his personages are so very beautiful, and brave, and agonising—so totally wrapt up in the exaltation of their vehement emotions, and withal so lofty in rank, and so sumptuous and magnificent in all that relates to their external condition, that the herd of ordipary mortals can scarcely venture to con

ceive of their proceedings, or to sympathise freely with their fortunes. The disasters to which they are exposed, and the designs in which they are engaged, are of the same am bilious and exaggerated character; and all are involved in so much pomp, and splendour, and luxury, and the description of their extreme grandeur and elegance forms so considerable a part of the whole work, that the less sublime portion of the species can with difficulty presume to judge of them, or to enter into the concernments of such very exquisite persons. The incidents, in like manner, are so prodigiously moving, so excessively improbable, and so terribly critical, that we have the same difficulty of raising our sentiments to the proper pitch for them ;—and, finding it impossible to sympathise as we ought to do with such portentous occurrences, are sometimes tempted to withhold our sympathy altogether, and to seek for its objects among more familiar adventures. Scenes of voluptuous splendour and ecstasy alternate suddenly with agonising separations, atrocious crimes, and tremendous sufferings :—battles, incredibly fierce and sanguinary, follow close on entertainments incredibly sumptuous and elegant f—terrific tempests are succeeded by delicious calms at sea: and the land scenes are divided between horrible chasms and precipices, and vales and gardens rich in eternal blooms, and glittering with palaces and temples—while the interest of the story is maintained by instruments and agents of no less potency than insanity, blasphemy, poisonings, religious hatred, national antipathy, demoniacal misanthropy, and devoted love.

We are aware that, in objecting to a work like this, that it is made up of such materials, we may seem to be objecting that it is made of the elements of poetry,—since it is no doubt true, that it is by the use of such materials that poetry is substantially distinguish^ J from prose, and that it is to them it is indebted for all that is peculiar in the delight and the interest it inspires: and it may seem a little unreasonable to complain of a poet, that he treats us with the essence of poetry. We have already hinted, however, that it is not advisable to live entirely on essences; and our objection goes not only to the excessive strength of the emotions that are sought to be raised, but to the violence of their transitions, and the want of continuity in the train of feeling that is produced It may not be amis?, however, to add a word or two more of explanation.

In the first place, then, if we consider how the fact stands, we shall find that all the great poets, and, in an especial manner, all the poets who chain down the attention of their readers, and maintain a growing interest through a long series of narrations, have been remarkable for the occasional familiarity, and even homeliness, of many of their incidents, characters and sentiments. This is the distinguishing feature in Homer, Chaucer, Ari osto, Shakespeare, Dryden, Scott—and will be found to occur, we believe, in all poetry that has been long and extensively popular ; or that is capable of pleasing very strongly, or stirring

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