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“ Such love as goddesses for heroes feel,
As Thetis felt for Peleus ;" the patriotic and conjugal attachment of Amarantha; the free and graceful simplicity of Ariphilia, the young priestess
“A damsel bright and bold of eye, :
Adorn her fearless brow;" the more majestic form of Eudora ; the affectionate admiration of Timothea for her illustrious consort; and the happy loves of Hyacinthus and Cleora-but, we must forbear. The admirers of Leonidas, however, may be gratified by hearing that several of the principal characters of that work re-appear in the Athenaid. Such are Artemisia, Melibæus, Medon, and others.
The great variety of private adventures which is interwoven with the history, forms one of the most remarkable characteristics of this poem. To some of these we have alluded. They form an excellent relief from the tumults and violent passions of the main action. There is something peculiarly delightful in the spectacle of the hero reposing from the labours of war and counsel, in the enjoyments of home, during the short respite from glorious exertion; and the social feast, the wedding, or the friendly interview, occupying the intermediate space between past victory and future enterprize.
“ Blithest of all the sun's glad beams,
When between storm and storm he gleams." This effect is assisted by the frequent recurrence of description, whether of natural scenery, works of art, or other objects. In these last there is a minute accuracy and a plain and equable beauty, which is not unpleasing. Glover, being chiefly confined in a city, by his employment,* seems to have but a sort of suburban feeling for the beauties of nature; and his occasional sketches of morning and evening assort with the general tone of the poem, like the “sylva inter columnas” of Horace, or the mignonette and “sprigs of mournful mint” in the citizen's window, as described by Cowper. His similes are among his best performances; they are generally happy and original, not excepting those founded on mythological subjects. The following, on Aristides's acceptance of a piece of armour,
* “He write an epic poem, who never saw a mountain !" was the exclamation of Thomson, on the publication of Leonidas. · Glover was a Hamburgh merchant.
presented to him by the wife of Themistocles, we consider very good :
“In smiles, like Saturn at the tribute pure
We have made a collection of a few more, of rather a different kind, which will give the reader a favourable impression of Glover's talent of illustration. We must, however, state that these little specimens occur with long and dreary intervals of prosaic composition between them. Some of them will not, perhaps, be considered as written in the purest taste; yet, in general, they are very well executed, and at any rate, afford examples of the power of description which fell to our author's share.
The change in the countenance of the herald, who had brought proposals from Xerxes to the Chalcidian senate, produced by the entrance of Themistocles, is thus compared :
“As at the aspect of a single cloud,
Besides the beautiful simile in the ensuing passage, there is some spirited versification.
“A sudden trumpet strikes his ear; he sees
Thou more than half myself! my strength decays,
. I have compos'd Pallene's late revolt
There are two good comparisons in this passage:
“Now Sparta's wide encampment on the right
Themistocles, exulting in the restoration of Athens, to be brought about by his means, makes use of the following magnificent image. The genius of Glover, generally buried under the rubbish of dull chronicle, occasionally bursts forth in bright passages like this, which repay the patient reader for his perseverance.
“Superb, her structures shall proclaim
His presence new, and, op'ning to the Sun
Regenerated gloss of plumage, tow'rs,
Sicinus addresses Themistocles in these lovely lines :
“O! thou transcendant, thou stupendous man,
Of glory soft'ning, softens envy's eye.”
“ His ready phalanx from the lines he draws,
Mardonius is thus contrasted with Themistocles :
“Stern he ends ;
A foe is nigh.” We conclude our string of comparisons with the following very animated picture :
“Two more the gen'rous horse, uprearing, dash'd
Is number, drives her well-directed prow
Of the general strain of feeling and principle we need say little; in its mixture of the high-minded and heroic with the tender and domestic, it bears some resemblance to the epic works of Southey, to which it approximates also in a certain bareness of style. The tameness, indeed, of the manner, and its want of vigour and depth, constitute the grand defect of the poem. We never feel ourselves raised above a moderate degree of composed elevation. There are numerous situations of which a poet of a higher order might have availed himselfand the thought frequently occurs to us, how admirable a substratum this or that incident would form for imagery or sentiment. A good painter, taking his subjects from such a work, might breathe into them a life unknown to the original; and a translator of genius would, perhaps, improve it into a much finer poem. Such as the work is, however, we are able to make a considerable number of extracts, which, collected into one point of view, as they are here, will, we think, not only gratify the lover of poetry, but save him the pain and trouble of making his way through the whole thirty books.
Timon, distracted by the violation of his daughter, starting from a broken slumber, thus exclaims, in this fine burst of impassioned poetry, “ he has seen her :”
“ Ah! I have seen my daughter,' he replies,
Unloos'd her zone, dishevellid was her hair ;
Illusion all!' the bard consoling spake;