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At once the body is from sight conceal'd.
This “aged sire” is Trophonius, with whom Mardonius sinks into the cave of the fatal sisters, learns his fate, and instantly
When the dejection which naturally depresses the mind of the Persian hero after his mysterious interview, has been somewhat relieved, his visit to his haram is described in this passage of oriental luxuriance and beauty, which, for its warmth of colouring, is not unworthy of the pen of the author of Lalla Rookh.
“ The midnight hour was past, a season dear
In pond'rous armour cas'd, he scarcely feels
But pale her lip, and wild her brilliant eye.” The concluding battle is related in the author's best manner: the death of Medon, particularly, is an admirable sequel to those of the chosen heroes at Thermopylæ. Indeed, it is remarkable that the poet rises in strength and beauty towards the close. The versification becomes more sustained, and the imagery more fully developed : the sentiments are now no longer thrown at the reader with that sturdy carelessness which was conspicuous in the first and larger portion of the poem; but, on the contrary, the whole bears an air of finish and completeness. This singular amendment, where others usually flag, may, perhaps, in some measure, confirm the idea hinted at above, that these thirty books were intended as the garner or store-house of a poem to be afterwards fashioned out of the materials—and that Glover, finding that he was not likely to live to execute his whole design, bestowed his care and pains in forming the books that were still passing under his hand, more like what the whole would have been, had he hoped to have finished it. It will be recollected, that the work was printed, as we have it, after the death of the author.
The following passage will enable our readers to estimate the pathetic power of Glover, of which it may be considered a favourable specimen. His pathos is not, indeed, deep and overflowing—not like the flower, which, filled with recent dew, until its bosom, no longer able to sustain the rich incumbrance, pours forth its watery treasures, relieving itself and fertilizing the earth around it; yet, it is gentle, harmonious, and might almost be called beautiful, but it is the placid beauty of the “moonlight sleeping upon a bank,” with something of its coldness. The scene is immediately after Acanthè, who conceives a passion for Themistocles, has been rescued by him from the flames and from death.
“ Not so Acanthè's troubles are compos'd.
Without one hope; there, stifling sighs, she melts In silent tears. The sullen
groan of winds, Which shake the roof, the beating rain she bears Unmov’d, nor heeds stern Winter, who benumbs Her tender beauties in his harsh embrace.
O Love! to vernal sweets, to summer's air, To bow'rs, which temper sultry suns at noon, Art thou confin'd? To rills in lulling flow, To flow'rs, which scent thy arbours of recess, To birds, who sing of youth and soft desire ? All is thy empire, ev'ry season thine, Thou universal origin of things, Sole ruler, oft a tyrant. Stealing steps Full frequent draw Acanthè to the door Of her preserver. While he sleeps, and pain Excites no groan to wound her listning ear, Anxiety abates; but passion grows. Then recollecting his intrepid strides Through fiery surge, devouring, as he pass’d, His hair majestic, wreathing round his limbs In torment, which none else to save her life Would face, or could endure, unguarded thought In murm’ring transport issues from her lips.
She could no more.
A parting cloud reveal'd The Moon. Before the silver light she dropp’d On her bare knee, enfeebled by the cold; There fix'd and freezing, from that awful pow'r Of chastity she seem'd invoking help; When, newly-waken'd by her piercing moan, With smarting limbs Themistocles had left His pillow; keener his internal pang, To see an image of despair, the work Of his fallacious art. On his approach, At once the worn remains of spirit fled From her cold bosom, heaving now no more. The twilight glimmers on the rear of night; His painful arms uplift her from the floor, And to her couch with decency of care Commit her lifeless charms. To sense restor’d, Just as the Morn's exploring eye unclos'd, Acanthè, faint and speechless, by a sign Forbids his presence; cautious he retires.
Whole days, whole nights, she saw
We have not been able to persuade ourselves to omit the few extracts which succeed, short as they are. They are a collection of choice flowers, which altogether make up a fragrant wreath.
“ An April Zephyr, with reviving sweets
Artemisia's quitting Mardonius is thus mentioned :
“She departs. Behind her, like the sinking globe of day, She leaves a trail of radiance on his soul.”
Of Melissa, the poet says,
“She o'er the dead through half the solemn night
The death of Masistius is thus beautifully described :
“ In death, resembling sweetest sleep, his eyes
Of whom his friend Mardonius thus speaks; I
humbled at thy loss,
VOL. II. PART I.
The funeral dirge over Ariana is sweet. The two last lines are peculiarly tender.
“On gently-moving air
• Cropp'd is the rose of beauty in her bud,
eye reveal’d the beauties of her mind ;
Lament, ye daughters of Choaspes, wail,
• Once like the fresh-blown lily in the vale,
Themistocles is thus described contemplating an embarkation.
“He said, and, moving tow'rds the beach, observes
But harsh and turbid through its channel foams.” We have had frequent occasion to mention our author's power of local description, in which there is a minuteness and distinctness of delineation, which, as before remarked, we in vain look for in the characters of his poem. The cave of the furies and the conjuration of the seven assassins are executed with a decided and powerful hand.
“ There was a cavern in the bowels deep