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Rises o'er the blue ;
a modest shrinking,
Float them o'er the tide :
Some that scarce have tarried
To the glad gods there :
For a bride so fair.
With a fond unrest;
On the ocean's breast.
Such is Youth's admiring,
For the higher goal ;
Of the eternal soul.
Wüat a tremendous summer ! - what house, where no domestic sounds can sultry noontides! The blue sky is penetrate, no noise of civic life find enblotched with patches of clouds, leaden- trance. Upon the table beside us stands hued and thunder-charged. There our vase of fresh flowers, plucked in a is not a capful of air throughout certain suburban garden, before the sun the whole heavens ; the breezes of had drunk up all the dew in the early early morning have all stolen away, morn; and there is a glass, and a bottle like Asiatic ladies, to take their siesta. of seltzer-water - nothing stronger, The atmosphere is heavy with electri- upon
the honour of an editor; and half. city, and one feels faint and languid ; a-dozen volumes sent to us by the and the spirits flag, sympathising with Muses, and which we have laid aside the flagging body. Such as is the during the occupation of graver matair, such be our spirits; and as our ters, for an hour of quiet, meditative spirits, such are our humours," saith repose, such as this summer sultriness Jobertus, in his treatise upon fevers. induces. And so the hot, dry air is drying up Theocritus, in his Idyl called “The our very souls — for we are in the city, Graces,” inveighs against the want of baked and blistered, with the sun shin- patronage which poets experienced in ing down in his meridian ferocity, his his days. Everyone loved his money native ardour intensified a thousand- too well to spend it on poets, and was fold by the reflection from flashing glass ready to exclaim —“ Let the gods and candescent flag-ways. The great honour the poets. Homer is sufficient Stagirite was of opinion that heat al- for all; who wants to hear any other? leviates all physical sufferings — “Ca- He is the best of poets who will take lor ad omnes dolores, vel ad plures est nothing from meadjumento;" but not such heat as that
Θεοι τιμώσιν αοιδους under which we are panting in these Τις δέ κεν αλλου ακουσαι Αλις παντεσσιν "Ομηρος, noontides. What shall we do?-shall
Ουτος αοιδών λωστος ός εξ εμευ οισεται ουδεν." we bar it out with closed windows ? Had the Syracusan lived in our days, If we do, we suffocate. Shall we throw he would not have found the popular open every door and casement ? In
appetite for poetry so exceedingly ab. continently we shall have the hot air, stemious, nor, we hope, the public pabearing in with it the thick, white tronage so discouraging. Quite the stifling dust of the street (for the civic contrary. He would find that one aquarius goeth about, but rarely with poet, even though he were Homer, the grateful watering-cart), and a legion would go but a short way in staying of buzzing insects that set one frantic the stomach of this verse-devouring with their tiny trumpeting. There is generation. The “membra disjecta but one thing for us. We will com- of the blind old man would be picked pound, and take a middle course-open to the bone as clean as the limbs of a the windows, shut the jalousies, and chicken at a pic-nic; and we would draw close the summer curtains, and be all the readier to discuss a legion of then betake ourselves to the softest poetæ minores, by way of entremêts. couch, in the darkest corner of the Ay, and we would be contented to room, with a pleasant book or two, pay for our luxuries, too, only we that will not tax our intellect, but ra- like to know that we get the real artither please our fancy, and so conde- cle. When we bargain for swans, or scend to tide over the hours of our ex- thrusbes, or nightingales, we don't like istence till evening brings long shadows to be set down to geese, or buntings, and grateful coolness.
or tomtits. Forthwith we put in practice this The poetic taste is really very creditlaudable design. We lie in the mellow able now-a-days, and for i he most part chiaro oscuro of our little study, far is tolerably healthy too. We are reaway in the remoter regions of the printing all the good old classical au
VOL. XLVI.-NO. CCLXXII.
Then sick at heart I left the human world. My friends, my home, and dwelt in Nature's
“Upon the wild sea shore I made my home,
vailed, To lie, or wander, on the cliff-piled shore, Beneath Night's temple, solemn, gorgeous,
vast, With naught around me but the Eternal's
voice Telling me of mightier things unseen, un
thors of English poetry, from Geoffry Chaucer downwards; while the press daily sends forth new aspirants for poetic fame, with a profuseness that would indicate either that the public is a generous patron of all the sons of song, or that poets are not such poor devils as they were in the days of Oliver Goldsmith or Thomas Otway.
Well, let us see what lies before us for this summer-noon's inspection.
First comes a little volume, turned out in Pickering's best style, a reprint it would seem by the substituted preface. Whatever be the defects of Mr. James Orton-and we shall advert to them ere we close “ The Enthusi. ast”-he has undoubtedly poetic fervor and considerable fancy: With these two are joined a very rich and abundant power of verbiage, and a nice sense of the melodious. He has all the mechanism of poetry, and a great deal more; and so the little volume in our hands is one of which he has no reason to be ashamed, either for its own intrinsic merits, or as giving the promise of better things with advancing years and more matured judgment.
The subject of the poem is the life of a solitary, who retired from the world to fix his abode in the desert, where“ The huge, prone, marble skeleton, Of proud Palmyra now so stilly lies, So vast, so calm, beneath the moonlight pale."
The feelings and character of the Enthusiast are thus sketched by him. self: " From earliest boyhood all the ways of men (In that rude, restless world which prisoned
me) I learned to hate, and soar to higher things, And ne'er forgot my hopes were not of earth. I gazed with wonder on man's rotting cares, I saw that demons once had hoofd the world, Which after rolled a human hell through
But bis happiness is short-lived ; his bride sickens; he bears her through many lands, in a vain search for health, till, at length
"As when far music gently fades away, Or fainter scent comes from the lily's cup, So gradual ebbed her life, to scenes of
The widowed lover wanders away through eastern climes ; and in a vision he is led by his guardian angel through the spirit realms, and his whole life, from birth, is arrayed before him. A succession of scenes are exhibited, in which Mr. Orton displays vividness of thought and expression, and occasionally rises to a grandeur and elevation truly poetic. We might cite many passages to illustrate the writer's power. Here is one, for instance :
“And lo! the sheen of myriad angel wings
cirqued, All hugely round one blazing centre moved ; And toward that central sun my spirit
# " The Enthusiast ; or, the Straying Angel." By James Orton. Pickering.
As the great Florentine meets Bea- Within the Eternal's bosom calmly dwelt, trice in heaven, so the Enthusiast again And God the Father was the All in All. beholds his bride. This scene is well conceived ; passionate on the part of “ As yet the active God, the eternal Son, the earthly lover, but tempered with
Within the Father's bosom calmly slept, unearthly serenity on the part of the
Yet fast was ripening into lifeful birth. heavenly one. She consoles the En. thusiast with the assurance of her
“ All brilliant stars, all suns and systems lay watchful affection :
(Which are but beads strungon God's
All ripening gradual, with the infant-God. " She told how, tho' in heaven, 'twas not
forbid, For those who purely loved fond hearts below,
“All hugeous worlds, and all created things,
With all developments of ontthrown power, To oft descend, when solemn evening fell,
Were for his heritage and governance. And breathe bright comfort o'er the loved
one's soul; How like a moonbeam in my saddened home,
" And all events, and mysteries, thro' all She oft had entered_fondly gazed on me,
Time, Had seen me yearning for her warm embrace,
Creation, fall, redemption, and re-birth, Tumultuous waves of sorrow thro' me roll
Lay mapped in light, within the Eternal's Then poured calm thoughts across my trou
soul." bled soul, And oft had seen, I felt her presence there! The poem before us contains some Then told she of the full calm bliss of heaven, very melodious lyrical snatches interThe loving converse of the myriad souls,
spersed throughout it, which give it Garnered from many a world, now angel lightness and relief, and exhibit a forms."
good deal of skill. We said Mr.
Orton has faults - faults both of conThe attendent angel yields to the ception and composition ; at times he desire of his earthly charge, and discourses to him of the great mysteries
is extravagant in both.
Like most of creation—“Of God, of angels, and
young writers, he is constantly aiming
at too much. Thus his passion occaof fallen man," and tells bim how spirit, sionally is overwrought in sentiment matter, and all things create
as it is overdone, at times, in expres. * Grew like a flower from out the Almighty's breast,
sion. His rhapsodies are not always The seed, the stalk, and final azure bloom." free from turgescence ; his affluence of
diction betrays him into an over-ornaThis is a bigh subject to deal with; he who ventures to soar so high should
mentation. He is too fond of introhave a strong wing to sustain him; ducing epithets which often weaken let him remember the fate of Icarus, the force of his language; and he can and not approach too near the sun.
never resist the temptation of a figure. Our wonder is not that Mr. Orton is
But these are the faults of youth unequal to this excursion, but rather
and genius-an exuberance which cul
ture will control. that he has accomplished his perilous
He has sterling
merits that outnumber them a thou. flight so safely. He has had the sagacity
sand-fold - a true poetic temperament not to investigate those sublime meta
a devout love of the true and the physics too closely, but to content himself with such general description as
beautiful, in moral as in physical conduces to poetic effect and grandeur ;
things, and may yet do far better than as one wbo sails on some calm northern
he has done, when time has matured sea marks, in the distance, the grand late the powers of his mind, and use
his thoughts and teaches him to reglia glittering outline of icy capes with the
with more frugality the stores of his rosy light of heaven upon their awful summits,
the writer cautiously imagination. To this volume are apsteers his way by the well-known chart pended some prose essays, which imthat revelation and pbilosophy have
press us with a very favourable opinion laid down for man's guidance. Here
of the originality as well as the boldis the prelude of his discourse, and we
ness of Mr. Orton's mind. Though think it affords no mean evidence of
we mean to confine ourselves at prepoetic ability :
sent to the realms of poetry, yet there
is so much in these essays that lies close “ Eternity, Infinity, and Power
upon the domains of the Muses, that Power mighty, positive, and absolute, we imperceptibly wander over the
boundary to meet such a passage as ness of the cygnet.
Our surprise this:-
and our pleasure were both consider
able, on opening this last volume of “ The thoughts of a great Poet or original Mr. Tupper's, to find short lines, Thinker, like mountain torrents, sink first simple expressions, and intelligible through the highest talented minds, and sentiments. There is more of heart gradually lapse therethrough, till they sweep and less of mind about these little adown, gathering fulness and force as they
poems than we were disposed to think go, and pour through and fertilise the broad
Mr. Tupper would condescend to. valleys of humanity, where their rich beneficial effects are chiefly and more extensively They are, as he says himself, “not visible. So with the once thin streamlet of
cold pieces of poetical artifice, delibeChristianity; and so with all great teach- rately carved and gilt (whereby, we ings since Time began. So also with each presume, with a very just apprecia. individual mind, which is a minute repre- tion, he would indicate the proversentative, in its spiritual wanderings, back- bial philosophy'), but have grown up, slidings, and aspirations, of The Ages of the from time to time, the natural crop of World."
occasion and circumstance." Now,
we are very much disposed to think We open a book, by Martin Tup- the “natural crop ” is very far super,* with a vague sense of apprehen- perior in hue and perfume to the sion and timidity - somewhat such as
forced vegetation which the author one feels who stands on a rock ere he has, on other occasions, given to the plunges into a sea, of whose depth and
world. One can read through this volume temperature he has no exact know.
and understand it from cover to cover. ledge, though he has sad misgivings He will find many little pieces abound. that it is too deep to fathom and too ing in thoughts, which, if they are not cold to be altogether agreeable. Dr. elevated above the common-place, have Martin Tupper's proverbial philosophy the advantage of not being elevated is one of those vast rhythmical oceans above common sense. We will take whereon the unhappy mariner, who is one lyric at random ; and we might forced to navigate it, wanders about select a dozen such, which one can in much perplexity. The surges of read with real pleasure:Jong-rolling lines sweep him pitilessly before them, drifting him he knows
A WORD OF WISDOM. not where. He sees no shore for which " Make the best of all things, he can make he has no chart to guide
As thy lot is cast; his course ; but ever and anon some
Whatsoe'er we call things,
All is well at last, light breaks through the gloom, which
If meanwhile in cheerful power he is assured is the light of Pbilosophy.
Patience rules the suffering hour. Without a metaphor we have never been able to understand that very "Make the best of all things, bombastic and very pretentious con
Howsoe'er they be ; gregation of philosophic ballucinations. Change may well befall things Very magnificent common-placing it is
If it's ill with thee; indeed; but that does not make philo.
And if well, this present joy sophy. Even though that common
Let no future fears destroy. placing be magnified through the mist
"Make the best of all things,of big words of dubious meaning
That is Wisdom's word; very turgid lines, of interminable
In the day of small things length, and no measure or rythm in
Is its comfort heard, particular – but that does not make And its blessing soothes not less poetry. Nevertheless, Dr. Tupper, for Any heyday of success. these very reasons, has his admirers ;
"Make the best of all things; and we fear it is little short of heresy
Discontent's old leaven to question bis claims to be a great
Falsely would forestall things, philosopher and a great poet.
Antedating heaven; vellous compound, uniting in himself But smile thou and reat content, the wisdom of the owl and the sweet- Bearing trials wisely sent."
* " Lyrics of the Heart and Mind." By Martin F. Tupper. London: Arthur Hall, Virtue, and Co. 1855.