Графични страници
PDF файл

Now, we do not mean to say this is of this sort, and loss philosophy of poetry ; but we will dare to say that another sort — that he had thought it is a very sensible, healthy composi. less about the sublimely intellectual, tion, and written in good tripping and more about the simply intelligible. rhymes withal, which a man may chant We shall content ourselves with one to himself of a summer's day, and other sample, as we think it is full of which are worth remembering. We hopefulness, as indicating a considerwould wish, with all our hearts, that able amendment in Mr. Tupper's mode Mr. Tupper bad written more wisdom ofenunciating his philosophical dogmas.

"Good hath been born of Evil many times,

As pearls and precious ambergris are grown

Fruits of disease, in pain and sickness sowu;
Nations have won their liberty through crimes,

And men through gain of losses : God alone,

Unreachable upon His holy throne,
Needeth not shade to illustrate His light,

Nor less to foil His greatest : but for man
The wrong must riot to awake the right,
And patience grow of pain, as day of night,

And wisdom end what woesome harm began;
And think not to unravel in thy thought

This mingled tissue, this mysterious plan,

This alchemy of good through evil wrought.” The fault which we find in this, as We will take our wit from Lucian, in most Mr. Tupper's productions, And our sense from Cicero, is, that there is more of " mind” than And to Martin drink confusionof “ heart” in it. There is but

Ev TW "mero modico." little of the imaginative faculty about him : he is never warm, he has no co.

“Will you take a cup of slop, sir ?" louring, no imagery, no play, no

Sneaking words you must decline!

Do not be a lady's fop, sir, passion - very cold, very sober

Ημας νυν χρη μεθύσκειν !* and, let us say, so far as this little volume, very sensible. We congratu- Let old maids, with dry grim faces, late him that he has risen to a lower Look upon us black as ink; elevation, if we may be pardoned the We will dissipate “edaces paradoxical expression. When he Curas” with a drop of drink! sang up in the clouds, nobody understood him ; but when he leaves his While they talk at such a rate, O! “sky-larking,” and sinks down to his Of his proverbs, deep and fine, “ nest upon the dewy ground,” he

We will take up dreams from Plato,

Scarce than Farquhar less divine. makes a great deal less noise, but more melody. Apropos of Martin

While they gaze upon his features, Tupper, our ingenious and pleasant

And would scan his snakey verse, friend, “ Trilinguis," sends us a merry We will study Pindar's metres, rant, which we humbly present to all We will Homer's lines rehearse. those who are worshippers of the Tupperian philosophy :

Let the silly Duchess her own

Green tea sip, if 'tis her choice;

Horrid stuff! hysterics Depwr
Addressed to a person who showed an alarming pre- Τοις δειλοισιν ανθρωπους ! !

dilection for the above Triad, Leave the ladies to their Tupper,

While, half mad with palpitation, _Tea-pot poet, -tea-pot fools !

She cries, “æther bring to me!” We will have champagne for supper

We, with Flaccus, will cry, " Bacchus ! We will follow classic rules.

O Lenæus, Evohe!"

Let them babble, let them tease on,

Though we sit up till a mouse I

He is worthy such defence;
He has neither rhyme nor reason,

He has neither sound nor sense.

Hear not o'er the basement creep, Αι μεριμναι καθευδoυσι,

Let us keep them fast asleep!

* Alcæus.


Siccis omnia nam dura,**

wit,” to use the words of Cowper, Providence they say has made;

entangled in the cobwebs of Hence deduce by logic sure a

the schools ;' and so they are laid Premium he on drink has laid.

amongst the cobwels in the dusty

shelves, while his lighter compositions, 'Tis no wonder Xerxes should not Win the laurels monarchs seek ;

his lyrics and Anacreontics, are still “Flumina epota "t could not

read with pleasure. We may say with Nerve the Mede to rout the Greek.


" Who now reads Cowley? If he pleases yet, “ Omne capax urna movet !"

His moral pleases, not his pointed wit:
Ladies, clear your work away!

Forgot his epic, nay Pindaric art;

But still I love the language of his heart." Hissing plague! how well ye love it! Turn the cock and make your tea.

We are not sorry to see a reprint of

Leigh Hunt's poems. More than But the “pia testa”# frisky,

seventy years have now passed over the With a thousand jokes, be mine! Hold it wine, or hold it whiskey,

veteran's head-a life of varied fortune, Ουπερ δεισομαι πιειν ! !

of much trial, and of mutable cele

brity. Praised and censured in each Horace bid his little tidy

case beyond what was just, he has Maiden, Neptune's feast-day crown; continued to share some portion of Saying, “Fili a bumper, Lyde !"

public estimation, notwithstanding the But not “Put the kettle down."

greater men that have since arisen ;

and one takes up his volume to-day When he sent an invitation

with that cordiality of feeling which To his Phyllis, as we're told,

we extend to an old friend who has 'Twasn't “ Tea and conversation," | But “A song and nine-year-old !"

gossiped with us, and sung for us, in

days when we were younger and True, he owns he thump'd them soundly

lighter hearted. We do not mean to When the wine got to his head,

dwell upon this volume, for there is Till the room he saw them round lie, nothing in it that the public have not With his pinches, black and red.

already seen.

The principal composition is “The Paddy too makes his shillelahs

Story of Rimini,” which, with many In the whiskey-feast go round,

faults, is not without beauties. The Till at length you'd swear you feel as subject was one which was full of If you stood on classic ground.

peril, for it had been sketched out by

the hand of the great master of Italian I don't blame the Celtic hero,

song ; but the outlines of Dante, like Nor the punchy poet rate,

those of Retzch, convey more to the But the “rixas super mero

sense and the heart than the most For myself I deprecate.

finished pictures of inferior artists. It “Rectius istis si novisti,"

was these great outlines that Leigh Your improvements let me see ;

Hunt dared to fill in with light and But I hope you'll cry, “ Vicisti !"

shadow, with colour and expressionAnd sit down with mirth and me. nay, he has ventured even farther,

draping the figures with his own We can assure Mr. Tupper that robing, and adding accessories to the we are in very good humour with him picture. We cannot help thinking just at present, and we will part him that he has occasionally diluted the with one word of advice - Let him forceful and energetic power of Dante's give up metaphysics and cento-sylla- brief style, and marred the pathos of bic measures, and take to smaller sub- his simple expressions ; he leaves little jects and smaller lines — let him re. to our own imagination, but fills up member the fate of Cowley. He with minute details the progress of a stuffed his great poems, according to passion that should be ineffable. Thus, the fashion of the times, with what for instance, after a very charming was called philosophy. “His splendid picture of Francesca's garden and an

* Horace, B. I. Ode 18. + Juvenal, Sat. 10. | Horace, B. III. Ode 21.

S B. III. Ode 28. | B. IV. Ode 11.
1 “Stories in Verse," by Leigh Hunt. London: G. Routledge and Co. 1855.

Italian noontide, the poet proceeds to by seeing what the greatest poet after analyse the feelings of the lady; then Shakspeare, who has appeared, could he leads us away from the subject that achieve. Hunt was himself fully sen. should engross all our feelings, by in- sible of the peril he placed himself in terposing the history of Launcelot and by challenging such a comparison, and Queen Genevra. Next he gives us the he deprecates too severe criticism on fair one in her bower, and stops to that head very gracefully, by urging paint her attitude and air, the flow of that the design of his poem is altoher ringlets, the disposition of her gether different in its pretensions. “It bands. “May I come in ?" says is,” he says, “a picture by an immaLauncelot. Francesca answers, with ture hand, of sunny luxuriance overfree and usual tone, “O yes; cer- clouded ; not of a cloud, no less brief tainly." Then the lovers are placed than beautiful, crossing the Gulf of en pose

Tartarus. Those who, after having

seen lightning, will tolerate no other " And Paulo, by degrees, gently embraced, With one permitted arm her lovely waist;

effect of light, have a right to say so, And both their cheeks, like peaches on a tree, and may have the highest critical reaCame with a touch together thrillingly."

son on their side; but those who will How infinitely does this fall short of do otherwise bave perhaps more, for the pathos of Dante's simple line- they can enjoy lightning and a bask in “ Soli eravamo, é senza alcun sospetto,"

the sunshine, too." As a poet, Leigh

Hunt never occupied a high placemas to say nothing of the Cockneyism of an essayist he stands in higher consithe cheeks like peaches on one tree; deration; he has a critical knowledge while the catastrophe suggested with of good poetry, and knows how to such exquisite art by the Florentine's work on the best models. If his good “ La bocca mi baciò tutto tremante,"

taste is sometimes spoiled by man

nerism, it is as frequently fresh and is reversed and ruined by the Lon

genuine. He is often sprightly and doner's emendation

fanciful, and occasionally polished and " And in his arms she wept all in a tremble." elegant; and we shall be glad to find

that the success of this volume will If Leigh Hunt cannot compete with his great Florentine prototype, it is

justify him in publishing the rest of

his miscellaneous poems which have some consolation to him to know, that

not yet been collected. even an Italian poet has failed in like

While we are on collections, let us manner. Silvio Pellico has written a

take a look at another very pretty vofine tragedy upon this favourite theme

lume that has just issued from the of Italian writers. It teems with tender and beautiful touches, like Dante

press. Here are the ballads of Wm.

Harrison Ainsworth,* most of which leaving a thousand things to be thought that will not endure to be spoken ; but

every reader of romances has, we prehe, too, fails where none but a master's

sume, already made acquaintance with.

While one cannot withhold from the hand is sufficient. In the second scene

author of “Rookwood,” the admiraof the third act he makes Paulo remind Francesca of the fatal scene: the

tion due to great ability, it is impossimodern Italian felt the difficulty of

ble not to feel regret that bis talents

have not been always used to good amplifying what his great predecessor had touched, and so he puts into the

purpose. The Jack Shepherd school

of novels has a strong tendency to mouth of the lover almost the very words which Dante gives to the daugh

vitiate public morals as well as public

taste; and we could have been well ter of Guido da Polenta ; but he mars the whole picture by one fatal touch

pleased to see some of those songs full

of vulgar slang and “thieves' Latin,' "—tu tremavi e ratta

reeking with the fumes of the pothouse Ti deleguasti."

or the prison, excluded from the pages After all, Leigh Hunt's poem suffers of this volume. With this drawback, chiefly by comparison. Its actual defects it is as pleasant a companion for a balf are few: we judge of its short-comings hour or so as heart could desire. Mr.

*“ Ballads." By Wm. Harrison Ainsworth. G. Routledge and Co., London, 1855.



Ainsworth knows how to troll out Well-ordered vines and fruit-trees filled a legendary ballad as well as any one The terrace walks ; no branch had gone we could name, with the exception of astray Macaulay or Aytoun. When he sings Since monks, in horticulture skilled, the sword of Bayard, or the ditty of

Had planned those gardens for their Du Guesclin, or the romantic ballads

monast'ry. of Yolande or Esclairmond, we feel that he evokes a true spirit of chivalry

Calm, silent, sunny : whispereth and of love that elevates and improves

No tone about that sleepy Deanery,

Save when the mighty organ's breath our natures; but the singer of romany

Came husht through endless aisles of chants and the chronicler of rappa

greenery. rees and highwaymen deserves no tole- No eastern breezes swung in air ration. Let the laureate of ruffians and The great elm-boughs, or crisped the ivy : cut-throats seek a fitting theatre and a The powers of nature seemed aware suitable auditory.

Dean Willmott's motto was “ Dormivi.” We should say a great deal more about this unpretending volume that next comes to our hand, were it not the

Dean Willmott's mental life was spent

In Arabic and architecture : production of one of our own especial On both of these most eloquent fosterlings. With the name of Mortimer

It was a treat to hear him lecture. Collins,* we feel well assured every His dinners were exceeding fine, one who reads our pages has formed a His quiet jests extremely witty : very pleasant acquaintance. Some of He kept the very best port wine those fine, rich, musical lyrics, which In that superb cathedral city. he seems to throw off from his heart as lightly as the thrush flings out her song

v. from her full throat, and which, from

But oh, the daughter of the Dean!

The Laureate's self could not describe her: time to time, we have sent through the

So sweet a creature ne'er was seen world--some of these, we say, he has

Beside Eurotas, Xanthus, Tiber, put together, and a few others that we

So light a foot, a lip so red, have not seen before : and so he has

A waist so delicately slendersent us a little book-all too little, for Not Cypres, fresh from Ocean's bed, he has omitted many things which we Was half so white and soft and tender. would have gladly seen again. Well, we must, we suppose, be contented with what he gives us.

“ Heigho! the daughter of the Dean! Here is a pleasant picture as any

Beneath those elm-trees apostolic, we have seen for a long time; 'tis one

While autumn sunlight danced between,

We two bad many a merry frolic. which none of our friends have seen

Sweet Sybil Willmott! long ago before :

To your young heart was love a visitor :

And often have I wished to know

How you could marry a solicitor."



* Autumnal sunshine seems to fall

With riper beauty, mellower, brighter, On every favoured garden wall

Whose owner wears the mystic mitre : And apricots and peaches grow,

With hues no cloudy weather weakens, To ripeness laymen never know,

For deans, and canons, and archdeacons.

Now, that is a piece of rich paint. ing; so sunny and warm

so full of quiet repose. What felicity of expression; what skilful rhyming; what a flowing versification ! and then the ending comes upon one so un. awares, with a pathos that is swal. lowed up in its humour, so that we don't know whether to sigh or to smile. One more picture, more charming still — a picture just for such a day as this on which we are now writing. "Tis not new to us, but yet is it not the less grateful :

II. " Dean Willmott's was a pleasant place,

Close under the cathedral shadows; Old elm-trees lent it antique grace;

A river wandered through the meadows.

* “Idyls and Rhymes." By Mortimer Collins. James McGlashan, Dublin ; Orr and Co. London. 1855.



" Earth is lying in Thy summer, O great Sovran of the spheres !

Languidly beside the water stand all day the stately steers :
And the tall green corn is waving, with a wealth of swelling ears.


“All day long the mavis joyous, his sweet song in shadow weaves,

Where the mighty boughs are drooping, heavy with their summer leaves,
And the young birds aye are singing underneath the cottage eaves.

" Earth is lying in its beauty: silently the morning mist

Passes from the sunny mountains, by the soft-winged breezes kissed-
Warm and still the sloping hill, beneath a sky all amethyst.

"O the beauty of the sunset, deepening in purple hues-

And when Hesper rises slowly, bringing on the twilight dews,
Where the woodland streamlets ripple through the dusky avenues.

"O Thou Giver of all gladness ! we, the children of this earth,

Ever would desire to praise Thee, though our songs are nothing worth,
For the rich and fragrant summer, for its music and its mirth-

"For the dense green odorous woods, for the sky's unclouded dome,
For the calm sea, tossing lightly endless lines of starry foam,

Which shall thunder on for ever, till Thou take Thy people home." But we promised not to praise our productions of early life, and, as such, favourite, and so we shall say no more we willingly view them with favour. in the way of eulogy. We will lay him With a cultivated taste and a good aside as a friend whom we shall call to feeling, both of which the author posus again, with but one regret, that he sesses, these ballads are worthy a kindly has left out of the present collection notice. There is a constant flow of some of the finest poems which he has pleasing thought to be found pervadwritten. We hope he will repair this ing the book, and sentiments, often fault by a new and enlarged edition. little above commonplace, are well

Here is another volume of lyrical expressed, and turned with much hapcompositions, which we turn over with piness. The principal composition, much pleasure. If Mr. Allingham's* * The Music-Master," is a well-susmuse never essays the higher poetic tained tale of rustic attachment, with strains, he is, at all events, equal to many passages of beauty and simple the subjects which he has chosen. The pathos, interspersed with pictures of affections of every-day life, the charms sylvan scenery, drawn by no unskilful of changing seasons, and things, and hand. A summer evening in the counthoughts, which will find a response in try has been described by a thousand every heart, are the subjects which he poets, but here is something that is has chosen. They are, he tells us, the still fresh and picturesque :

“And now, 'tis on a royal eventide,

When the ripe month sets glowing earth and air,
And Summer by a stream or thicket-side

Twists amber honeysuckles in her hair,
Gerald and Milly meet by trembling chance,
And step for step are moving, in a trance.

* " The Music-Master," and "Day and Night Songs." By William Allingham. London: G. Routledge and Co. 1855.

« ПредишнаНапред »