Page images


from any classical or mythological allusions happily “ recollected, and skilfully applied, for of these he sela “ dom avails himself. It is not from any picturesque “ views presented to the mind; for of imaginative poetry “ he has little, or nothing; he cannot conjure up a suc“ cession of images, whether grave or gay, to flit across " the fancy, or play in the eye; yet it is hardly possible " to peruse his passionate scenes without the most pain“ ful interest, the most heart-thrilling delight. This can

only arise--at least, I can conceive nothing else

adequate to the excitement of such sensations-from " the overwhelming efficacy of intense thought devoted to the embodying of conceptions adapted to the “ awful situations in which he has imperceptibly, and “ with matchless felicity, placed his principal characters.

We shall not apologize to our readers for having set before such of them as have yet in reserve the pleasure attendant on a perusal of the original work, this accurate investigation of our author's faults and merits ; couched, as it is, in language far better than we can command, and displaying a depth of research to which few, beside Mr. Gifford, have had time or perseverance enough to attain. Were we, however, so presumptuous as to set our humble wits in opposition to so eminent a critic, we should be inclined to doubt the propriety of the censure passed in such unqualified terms on the imitative character of modern literature.

We scarcely can credit the fact, that in the days which Byron has adorned, and which Scott and Campbell are

* Gifford. Introduction, pp. 36, 37, 38.

still adorning with all the energy that master-minds can alone bestow, this should be made a subject of complaint by one, whose whole life, besides being (we believe) that of piety in all its fervour, and of benevolence in all its purity, was in a literary view so gifted with all that can enrich, and purify, and ennoble the intellect of mankind. But assuredly we are too conscious of our weakness to do more than wonder, where it would be presumptuous vanity to censure; and we had rather suppose it is a fault in us not fully to comprehend his meaning, than that Mr. Gifford erred in thus expressing his opinion.

E. L. (To be continued.]


Merrily echoes the fresh’ning morn,
With the clanging hoof, and the bugle-horn,
The crashing fence, the courser's neigh,
O’er hill and dale, as he bounds away:
But there is one in plunging pride,
A noble steed, yet none to ride :
With mouth unbitted, and feet unshod,
Wildly he spurns the flying sod.

Away! yet, mark'd ye then
That sudden start of sick’ning pain,
As if a cloud came oʻer his brain ?
He staggers : there !

'Tis o'er! With one short desp’rate bound,
And ears that seem'd to drink the sound,
(As onward yell’d each straining hound),

And quivering eyes, he fell.
Oh! many a year, thou gallant steed,
Has pass'd, since just thou prov'dst thy speed,

With arching neck, and flying mane,
Along the verdant fields of Spain,
And heard the bursting onset roar,
By thy wild banks, dark Bidassoa :
Those years have chill'd more hearts than thine,

And many an eye, that gaily then
Glanc'd o'er each squadron's length’ning line,

Has closed to open ne'er again.
They closed, when back proud Gallia reelid
Upon Vimeira's broken field,
Or mid Vittoria's battle wave,
Found soldier's death and soldier's grave:
But thou still on, where'er, like flame,
Rush'd fearfully the British name,
As the river foams along its banks,
'Mong grim Busaco's charging ranks,
Though peal'd the shot, and flash'd the steel,
On wildly dashed'st with thund'ring heel,
Or shared'st the lonely bivouac,
When the mountain clouds lower'd dark and black,
And the lightning glar'd on the blasted trees,
Among the stormy Pyrenees;
Nor ended yet thy bright career,
Till France bent o'er her broken spear,
And proud St. George's standard flew,
Along the plain of Waterloo.
Farewell, thou gallant steed, farewell,
Free as the breeze that sounds thy knell ;

and wild flowers merrily wave,
And the stag is couching on thy grave;
For monument, an oak is there,
Bending its young stem to every air ;
Yet, when three hundred years are fled,
Its gnarled trunk, and aged head,
Shall a wild shadowy glory shed,
Above the charger's lonely bed.



We beg leave to present our readers with a few short specimens, selected from some ancient and ingenious MSS. handed down from father to son, and from nurse to nursery-mạid, from time immemorial, in the Bouverie family. There is strong reason to suspect that the “Musæ O'Connorianæ," so much and so deservedly extolled in the publication of our defunct predecessor, Peregrine Courtenay, Esq. is, in sad reality, basely and treacherously pilfered from this invaluable collection. “ The cat and her kittens

« Γαλέη, συν τοϊς αιλουριδίοις, They put on their mittens, 'Εριoπλέκτους χειρίδας έδυ, To eat a Christmas pie.

Χριστουγενεθλίου The poor little kittens

Ιρού λάγανον κατεδoύντες. They lost their mittens,

"Ομοι ταλάνων αιλουριδίων And then they began to cry.

"Ωλολι χειρίς έριόπλικτος, ,

Τότε δ' ήρξαντο γοναχούντες "O mother dear, we sadly fear *Αι, άι· μήτερ, μήτερ, δεινά δεδοίκαμιν We cannot go to-day,

Ουκ, ουκ ιτέον, σήμερον ημίν, For we have lost our mittens.' "Ουκ εμπόδιαι χειρίδες: • If it be so, ye shall not go, Είν' ώς τάδ' έχει, σήμερον υμίν For ye are naughty kittens.'' 'Ου μην ιτέον, σπέρμα πονηρόν

Σπέρμαιλούρων κακοειδές.” How beautifully simple are these lines ; though, perhaps, the surly critic might, in the plenitude of his power and spite, demand why they should put on their mittens to eat the Christmas pie, and might presume to think that a good appetite and digestion might have sufficed without them. But what can be more easy than to silence this paltry objection ? For what else could they possibly have put on which would rhyme to kittens ? And that something must have been put on is evident; else it must follow, that if nothing was wanted, nothing could possibly have been found to be lost; and thus the whole pathos of the story would be destroyed. But let ug 1 turn from the invidious task of answering the objections which may be made, to the more inspiring one of reviewing the beauties which actually exist

[blocks in formation]

What did they begin to do? Why they began-to cry! Poor creatures! What could be more natural, what more affecting, than this catastrophe? They had lost their mittens, without which (I say it in the envious critic's teeth)-without which, in the present position of affairs, they could not eat the Christmas pie. But they, with a resignation superior to all the misfortunes which fate had imposed on them,

“ O mother dear, we sadly fear
We cannot go to-day,

For we have lost our mittens." ,

And how pathetic the Greek version

« Ουκ, ουκ ιτέον, σήμερον ημίν

Ουκ εμπόδιαι χειρίδες.

I defy the most indifferent reader to pass over these lines without a most overwhelming sensation of the piteous situation of the kittens. The first oux is pathetic enough, the second increases our sympathy, but the third is really, as we said before, overwhelming. The version, too, of euródsai is not without its beauties :

« PreviousContinue »