Abbildungen der Seite

return to the paternal halls of the muses, and banquet on his legitimate aliment. If he be a stranger to such sensations and longings, or derides them as fantastical, he may as well continue Don Juan. We ask only, as Jeremy Diddler says, for information; and should the author's answer be the production of genuine poetry, none would feel more unfeigned delight than ourselves, in the all-hail of an approving public. We have made, from the present attempt, the least exceptionable selections. Some of the stanzas, in which Byron is supposed to apostrophize his epic, are nielancholy enough, and in character:

“ And though with thee, my song and life should cease,

Thou! the last note my harp shall ever strike,
Though now the shuttle flies, that weaves the fleece

To form my shroud and cerement, (for 'tis like,
My heart may hide beneath this soul of Greece,)

Though now the Miner, Death, delves 'neath the dike
That mounds life's meadow from th' encroaching sea,
That sea, which knows no ebb-Eternity !

“ If so it chance that I should perish, ere

Thy tale be told, thy fame and fate be sung,
Be thou my legacy, some bard my heir,

Around whose threshold, poisons thick have clung ;
One who, like me, has felt that .foul is fair,

And fair is foul,'-upon whose couch have hung
Mildews so crass, so murky, and so long,
They blend with thought, and breathe throughout his song."

pp. 8, 9. The whole system of philosophy, and a droll system it is, to be gleaned from the pages of Don Juan, is, we believe, contained in the first of the following stanzas :“ 'Tis a cold, calculating, selfish world;

Helpless as Infancy-hopeless as Age;
Struck out from Chaos-by th' Almighty hurld,

A stepping-stone to Hell-in wisest rage-
Its banner, Blood-by brothers first unsurled

Disease its instrument, and Death its gage-
Woman its only charm, though in her kiss,
Methinks, I still can hear the serpent's hiss.

" Yet, in my boyhood, Woman! I loved thee!

And, as the Jordan mingles its sweet wave
With the dark, bitter waters of that sea,

Whose sluggish surge scarce motion bears, to lave
The shore, where once the mighty and the free

Did home-but now the infidel and slave:
So on my heart's dead lake,' thy streams still flow, 1
Sweet'ning its currents, deep’ning as they grow..

6 'Tis vain, and worse than vain, to think on joys,

Which, like the hour that's gone, return no morc;
Bubbles of folly, blown by wanton boys-

Billows that swell, to burst upon the shore
Playthings of passion, manhood's gilded toys,

(Deceitful as the shell that seems to roar
But proves the mimic mockery of the surge:-)

They sink in sorrow's sea, and ne'er emerge."-p. 23–25. A long apostrophe to Napoleon is so unequal, that we are perplexed in quoting from it. The author gets upon too high a key to escape occasional rhodomontade and bathos. “ Farewell, Napoleon! if thou had'st died

The coward scorpion's death--afraid, asham'd,
To meet Adversity's advancing tide,

The weak had praised thee, but the wise had blam'd ;
But no! though torn from country, child, and bride,

With Spirit unsubdued, with Soul untam’d,
Great in Misfortune, as in Glory high,
Phou daredst to live through life's worst agony.

" Pity, for thee, shall weep her fountains dry!

Mercy, for thee, shall bankrupt all her store!
Valour, shall pluck a garland from on high !

And Honour, twine the wreath, thy temples o'er!
Beauty, shall beckon to thee from the sky!

And smiling Seraphs open wide Heav'n's door!
Around thy head the brightest Stars shall meet,
And rolling Suns play sportive at thy feet!

sé Farewell, Napoleon! a long farewell!

A stranger's tongue, alas! must hymn thy worth ;
No craven Gaul dare wake his Harp to tell,

Or sound in song, the spot that gave thee birth.”—pp. 28–30. We make but one more extract; in which the imitation of the original is well sustained. “Meanwhile, my own dear Daughter! long, too long,

A Father's Pity, and a Father's Prayer,
Have breathed their Blessings, albeit but in Song,

Far from thy Home, although my Heart was there.
Doth to thy infant Mind, no Instinct strong

Suggest his Form--whose Image thou dost wear?
Doth Nature never prompt thee to inquire
Who is my Fatber? or, where is my Sire ?

“ Hast thou been taught to syllable my Name ?

Ada! my Child !--too well I know thou'st not:
To thee my Name is Blackness, and my Fame

A Blight, a Bubble, or perhaps a Blot:
And must it, can it ever be the same?

The Child forget the Parent who begot?

Will nature's intuition ne'er reveal
What Folly, Malice, Hatred, would conceal ?


“ No matter-deeply graven on my Heart,

Painted in colours that can never fade,
Thy infant Image dwells—with wizard Art

To wake its Sunshine, and dispel its Shade.
Though long, long absent, and though far apart,

Each Day hath faithful Fancy still portrayed
Thy ripening, as thy rising Beauties sweet,
Though Presage whispers--we shall never meet.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

“ I stand upon Life's Desert:-I'm alone,

I shelter nothing, and I nothing bear.
Thou Flower that grew beneath methou art gone!

Transplanted, -where? by whom? No matter where.
My Heart sits proudly sullen on its Throne-

Sighs are unfrequent, and Smiles still more rare :
But were I Adamant, yet could one Shock,
Like Moses' Rod, strike Water from my Rock.


• The Loss of Thee, my Child !-Hope, hopeless grows,

And yet the Hope to see thee cannot cease;
It falls--but falls as fruitless as the Snows

That drop in Streams to sink without increase.
With thy dear Name my latest Strain shall close!

My latest Tear shall flow for Thee, and Greecom-
Ada! be thou as beautiful, and free,

As Greece once was—and once again shall be."-pp. 38, 39.
6 Leisure Hours at Sea” is the production of a young gentle-
man in the navy, and contains very fair poetry. He is not an
ambitious writer; and, also, does not seem to claim the merit
of much originality. But his style is unaffected, simple, and
easy; and some of the pieces contained in the volume possess
much pathos and beauty. There is, too, a vein of the purest
moral feeling running through them all, which is as creditable
to his heart, as the amusements of his leisure hours are to his
taste. We select, as a favourable specimen of his general man-
ner, part of the “Lines written in the Island of Elba."

66 The heart that feels as I have felt,

When forced from kindred hearts to sever,
The idol-home where youth has dwelt,

To leave and leave, perchance, forever ;'
Although no sigh may tell its wo,
Will throb with sorrow's deepest throe.

cation of

6 A father's burning hand I wrung;

I kiss'd a mother's pallid clieek ;
But not a word escaped my tonguem

I felt too much--too much to speak!


That parting hour, that sad adieu,
Worlds would not tempt me to renew.

“My foot is on a foreign strand-

But let me wander where I will,
I can't forget my native land ;-

My heart is with my kindred still;
My dreams by night, my thoughts by day,
Are of the lov’d ones far away."

“I think of her whose heart of truth

Is crumbling now to kindred clay;
Eliza, torn in sinless youth

From me, and from the world away :
Upon those lips, my lips have prest,
The festering worm is coiled to rest."

6 I've left my land—I've left thy grave;

All that I love in life or death:
Why am I o'er the heaving wave?

What seek I here?-Fame's fleeting breath?
Oh! what is glory but a name!
This Isle might teach how poor is Fame-

“ The prison-isle of him whose glance

Sent awe throughout the world around;
Who o'er the brow of fallen France

A sun-bright wreath of glory-bound,
A coronal of crowns--each gem

Some conquer'd nation's diadem!

There is very

* Come hither, peasant! tell me, where

Is he who dwelt in yonder vale? * Signor, I neither know nor care;

· He came-he's gone; though short the tale, 'Tis all I have to tell.' He came-

He's gone! oh yes! this, this is Fame!"--pp. 117–120. Mr. Pinkney's poetry we catch a strain of another and a higher mood. His genius demands more especial notice than in these hasty remarks we are able to bestow. little tameness in his compositions, and no lack of imagination. On the contrary, his luxuriance amounts sometimes, perhaps, to a fault; he is too much on the stretch for metaphor, and wings his flight to too remote regions in his quest. So, also, in the selection of poetical language, he is sometimes led to employ expressions that are quaint, in order to be not prosaic. He has an obvious partiality for the manner of Byron, and the tone of thought and cadence of his verses often remind us of the occasional impassioned pieces of that poet. The perusal of this small volume has been refreshing; and, wonderful

indeed for a reviewer! we wished, at turning the last leaf, that there had been more of it. We do not, however, like the largest poem best. It is a story (or rather a fragment of one) of guilty, intense, and unhappy passion; and although redundant with imagery and ornament, is sometimes obscure and extravagant, as such legends generally are. Besides, the age has been overstocked with them; and we believe people are well tired of straining their sensibilities into a consonance and sympathy with the supposed feelings, soliloquies, and confessions of murderers and robbers, who have linked "one virtue with a thousand crimes;" which virtue, after all, probably, consists only in their constancy to an unlawful and immoral attachment. We doubt whether all history, general or domestic, can furnish half the number of refined bravoes celebrated in modern verse. Intense passion soon burns itself out; and it is a vain attempt to paint as sublime, love enduring among the horrors of remorse, and the terrors of penal justice. The subject is a legitimate one for tragedy, where the moral is obvious, and where even the virtues of the culprit cannot extenuate crime or prevent punishment. But in the school of which we speak, we are called upon to admire the nobler qualities, only as under the dominion of a tyrannizing lust, and to sorrow, not for the commission of guilt, but for its unfortunate consequences. Is it not the province of poetry, to gather up the bright relics that have survived the fall-to describe heroism, and love, and friendship, and natural affection, strong in adversity, and triumphing in death? The relish for such excitement, surely, is not extinct; and now, certainly, there is no originality in taking a desperado for a hero. Why then should a man of genius employ the rich resources of his fine and mysterious perception of associations and resemblances, in scattering flowers and perfumes over the couch of a dying ruffian? This has been often and better said ; but good poets are too scarce among us, to render well-meant suggestions idle to one whose promise is as great as that of our author.

Most of our readers, we presume, have seen and admired all or some of the fugitive pieces in this volume. Although our selections from others have already transcended our usual measure, we feel bound not to pass by Mr. Pinkney without any extracts. We have taken, almost at random, two; the one of a sad, the other of a more cheerful, character:

“By woods and groves the oracles

Of the old age were nursed;
To Brutus came in solitude

The spectral warning first,

« ZurückWeiter »