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Sob out the name of Mother, then did she
Utter a feeble groan.
He gave, he takes away!
The Lord our God is good !! The metre of Thalaba,' as may be seen from this specimen, has great power, as well as harmony, in skilful hands. It is in accordance with the subject of the poem, and is, as the author himself remarks, 'the Arabesque ornament of an Arabian tale.' Southey had now cast off his revolutionary opinions, and his future writings were all marked by a somewhat intolerant attachment to church and state. He established himself on the banks of the river Greta, near Keswick, subsisting by his pen and a pension which he had received from government. În 1804, he published a volume of Metrical Tales, and in 1805, “Madoc,' an epic poem, founded on a Welsh story, but inferior to its predecessors. In 1810, appeared his greatest poetical work, “The Curse of Kehama,' a poem of the same class and structure as “Thalaba,' but in rhyme. With characteristic egotism, Southey prefixed to · The Curse of Kehama' a declaration that he would not change a syllable or measure for anyone :
Pedants shall not tie my strains
To our antique poets' veins. Kehama is a Hindu rajah, who, like Dr. Faustus, obtains and sports with supernatural power. His adventures are sufficiently startling, and afford room for the author's striking amplitude of description. • The story is founded,' says Sir Walter Scott," upon the Hindu mythology, the most gigantic, cumbrous, and extravagant system of idolatry to which temples were ever erected. The scene is alternately laid in the terrestrial paradise-under the sea-in the heaven of heavens
-and in hell itself. The principal actors are, a man who approaches almost to omnipotence; another labouring under a strange and fearful malediction, which exempts him from the ordinary laws of nature; a good genius, a sorceress, and a ghost, with several Hindustan deities of different ranks. The only being that retains the usual attributes of humanity is a female, who is gifted with immortality at the close of the piece.' Some of the scenes in this strangely magnificent theatre of horrors are described with the power of Milton; and Scott has said that the following account of the approach of the mortals to Padalon, or the Indian Hades is equal in grandeur to any passage which he ever perused:
Far other light than that of day there shone
But far before the car
Darkness itself appear
Shrank inward from the molten atmosphere.
And, lo ! the regions dread-
There rolls the fiery flood,
A sea of flame, it seemed to be
Sea without bound:
For neither mortal nor immortal sight
Could pierce across through that intensest light. When the curse is removed from the sufferer, Ladurlad, and he is transported to his family in the Bower of Bliss, the poet breaks out into that apostrophe to Love which is so often quoted, but never can be read without emotion:
Love. They sin who tell us Love can die. At times deceived, at times oppressed, With Life all other passions fly,
It here is tried and purified, Ali others are but vanity.
Then hath in heaven its perfect rest: In heaven Ambition cannot dwell,
It soweth here with toil and care, Nor Avarice in the vaults of hell :
But the har vest-time of Love is there. Earthly these passions of the earth,
Oh! when a mother meets on high
Hath she not then, for pains and fears, Its holy flame for ever burneth,
The day of woe, the watchful night, From heaven it came, to heaven returneth. For all her sorrows, all her tears, Too oft on earth a troubled guest,
An over-payment of delight? Besides its wonderful display of imagination and invention, and its vivid scene-painting, The Curse of Kehama' possesses the recommendation of being in manners, sentiments, scenery, and costume, distinctively and exclusively Hindu. Its author was too diligent a student to omit whatever was characteristic in the landscape or the people. Passing over his prose-works, we next find Southey appear in à native poetical dress in blank verse. In 1814 he published 'Roderick, the Last of the Goths,' a noble and pathetic poem, though liable also to the charge of redundant description. The style of the versification may be seen from the following account of the grief and confusion of the aged monarch, when he finds his throne occupied by the Moors after his long absence:
The sound, the sight
Roderick received the alms: his wande
Wept like a child.
A Moonlight Scene in Spain.
Breathes forth her hymn of praise. Southey having in 1813, accepted the office of poet-laureate, composed some courtly strains that tended little to advance his reputation. His. Carmen Triumphale’ (1814) and "The Vision of Judg. ment' (1821) provoked much ridicule at the time, and would have passed into utter oblivion, if Lord Byron had not published another
Vision of Judgment'-one of the most powerful, though wild and profane, of his productions, in which the laureate received a merciless and witty castigation, that even his admirers admitted to be not unmerited. The latest of our author's poetical works was a volume of narrative verse, ‘All for Love,' and 'The Pilgrim of Compostella' (1829). He continued his ceaseless round of study and composition,
writing on all subjects, and filling ream after ream of paper with his in lucubrations on morals, philosophy, poetry, and politics. He was offered a baronetcy and a seat in parliament, both of which he prudently declined. His fame and his fortune, he knew, could only be preserved by adhering to his solitary studies; but these were too. ' constant and uninterrupted. The poet forgot one of his own maxims, that ‘frequent change of air is of all things that which most cons duces to joyous health and long life.
From the year 1833 to 1837 he was chiefly engaged in editing the works of Cowper, published in fifteen volumes. About the year 1834, his wife, the early partner of his affections, sank into a state of mental imbecility, ‘á pitiable state of existence,' in which she continued for about three years, and though he bore up wonder: fully during this period of affliction, his health was irretrievably shattered. In about a year and a half afterwards, however, he married a second time, the object of his choice being Miss Caroline Bowles, the poetess. “My spirits,' he says, 'would hardly recover their habitual and healthful cheerfulness, if I had not prevailed upon Miss Bowles to share my lot for the remainder of our lives. There is just such a disparity of age as is fitting; we have been well acquainted with each other more than twenty years, and a more perfect conformity of disposition could not exist.' Some members of the poet's grown-up family seem to have been averse to this union, but the devoted attentions of the lady, and her exemplary domestic . virtues, soothed the few remaining years of the poet's existence. Those attentions were soon painfully requisite. Southey's intellect became clouded, his accustomed labours were suspended, and though he continued his habit of reading, the power of comprehension was gone, “His dearly prized books,' says his son, 'were a pleasure to him almost to the end, and he would walk slowly round his library looking at them, and taking them down mechanically.'
Wordsworth, writing to Lady Frederick Bentinck in July 1840, says, that on visiting his early friend, he did not recognise him till he was told. “Then his eyes flashed for a moment with their former brightness, but he sank into the state in which I had found him, patting with both hands his books affectionately like a child. Three years were passed in this deplorable condition, and it was a matter of satisfaction rather than regret that death at length stepped into shroud this painful spectacle from the eyes of affection as well as from the gaze of vulgar curiosity. He died in his house at Greta on the 21st of March 1843. He left at his death a sum of about £12,000, to be divided among his children, and one of the most valuable private libraries in the kingdom. The life and correspondence of Southey have been published by his son, the Rev. Charles Cuthbert Southey, in six volumes. His son-in-law, the Rev. J. Wood Warter, published his Commonplace Book,' 4 vols., and Selections from his Letters,' 4 vols. In these works the amiable private life of Southey-his indę.
fatigable application, his habitual cheerfulness and lively fancy, and his steady friendships and true generosity, are strikingly displayed, The only drawback is the poet's egotism, which was inordinate, and ' he hasty uncharitable judgments sometimes passed on his contemporaries, the result partly of temperament and partly of his seclusion from general society. Southey was interred in the churchyard of Crosthwaite, and in the church is a marble monument to his memory, a full-length recumbent figure, with the following inscription by Wordsworth on the base of the monument:
Wordsworth's Epitaph on Southey.
Calmed in his soul the fear of change and death. Few authors have written so much and so well, with so little real pop- ularity, as Southey. Of all his prose works, admirable as they are in purity of style, the Life of Nelson' alone is a general favourite. The magnificent creations of his poetry-piled up like clouds at sunset, in the calm serenity of his capacious intellect-have always been duly appreciated by poetical students and critical readers; but by the public at large they are neglected. An attempt to revive them, by the publication of the whole poetical works in ten uniform and cheap volumes, has only shewn that they are unsuited to the taste of the present generation. The reason of this may be found both in the subjects of Southey's poetry, and in his manner of treating them. His fictions are wild and supernatural, and have no hold on human affections. Gorgeous and sublime as some of his images and de. scriptions are, they come like shadows, so depart.' They are too remote, too fanciful, and often too learned. The Grecian mythology is graceful and familiar; but Southey's Hindu superstitions are extravagant and strange. To relish them requires considerable previous reading and research, and this is a task which few will undertake. The dramatic art or power of vivid delineation is also comparatively unknown to Southey, and hence the dialogues in ‘Madoc' and ‘Roderick’ are generally flat and uninteresting. His observation was of books, ņot nature. Some affectations of style and expression