« PreviousContinue »
les common to all nations, of deprem cendantly unjust, and divertingly im. ciating each other's literature, and pudent, that it is impossible to help giespecially poetical literature.
vingit, once for all, especially as it comes A nation, like a poet, necessarily from a quarter in which good sense, if has a favourite style; the national not great genius, might have been exstyle is only more extended than that pected. It is the prefatory address pre
of the individual. Any national standa fixed to Shadwell's “ Miser," which yard of taste must, of course, be to the commences thus: bi nation that owns it, as near perfection “ Reader, the foundation of this s as possible ; and because one people is play I took from one of Moliere's, call
; de incapable of entering into some of the ed L’Avare; but that having too few į peculiar feelings of another, these persons, and too little action for an is feelings are ridiculed, or even denied English theatre, I added to both so f: to exist
. Thus the French, bigotted much that I may call more than half to the dramatic unities, and believing of this play my own, and I think I may that nature and Aristotle are the same, say, without vanity, that Moliere's part designate the works of Shakespeare, has not suffered in my hand; nor did "monstrous farces.” And when Lord I ever know a French comedy made use Byron, in his Don Juan, first fairly of by the worst of our poets, that was not introduced into English literature that bettered by'em. 'Tis not barrenness of fantastic mixture of the serious and co- wit or invention that makes us borrow mic, in which Pulci, and some of the from the French, but laziness—; and other
precursors of Ariosto, and Ari- this was the occasion of my making use osto himself delighted, many of our of L'Avare !"--Poor Moliere! It is difhorror-stricken critics imagined, that ficult to read such things as this with the noble poet sat deliberately down to out thinking of Prior's well-known epi. insult and confound the best feelings gram.-" Ned” had probably hit upof our nature. Their very hair stood on this sally of Shadwell's, amongst on end at such couplets as,
his other proofs of the absurdities of They grieved for those that perish'd poets; and could his “inverted rule," with the cutter,
as Prior wishes, And likewise for the bisquit-casks and
“ Prove every fool to be a poet," butter.”
I am not inclined to think he would So difficult is it to reconcile one's self have turned out half so great a one as at first to any thing that is in opposi- the elegant and witty epigrammatist. tion to a preconceived standard of taste. It may be observed, in conclusion, that The Edinburgh Review has lately let Prior himself was one of the many itself down, by shewing some feelings poets who have preferred their worst of this sort with respect to French liwork. As Milton doated upon terature ; but it is most apparent in radise Regained,” so Prior was enrapour dramatic criticisms, which go be- tured with his prosing poem of “ Soyondall bounds in expressing contemptlomon,” and is said to have been highly forthe very opposite
styles of our neigh- vexed on hearing that some one had bours
. It is hardly necessary to instance put it below the humorous and exquiany particular passage; but a specim site “ Alma.” occurred to me the other day, so trans
T. D. [We have inserted this ingenious paper, on account of its literary merits ; but we must take leave to enter our protest against the doctrine which the author attempts to inculcate.-We think it indisputable, in so much as poetry is an art, that poets, like other artists, must be the best judges of each other's skill
. In what, therefore, relates to the rhythm, the construction of the verse, and to the melody of the numbers, a poet, we conceive, must necessarily be a better judge than any ordinary critic, precisely as a painter is a better judge of pictures, that is, of the style, the drawing, and the colouring, than any ordinary spectator. We think it is paradoxical, therefore, to deny the superiority of a poet's critical judgment ;-and we think so too with respect even to the
poesy itself. The taste of a gay and jovial Anacreon, is not likely to find the same delight in the solemn and serious compositions of a Milton, a Danté, or a Byron, that he would in those of a Moore: but it does not surely follow, that he is less a judge of poetry than the critic who does not possess the same delicacy of tact in any class of the art. We do not, however, wish to enter into a controversy on the subject, but merely to give a caveat against the principle assumed by our respected correspondent.-C. N.]
The east wind has whistled for many a day,
Sere and wintry o'er Summer's domain;
Look'd sullenly down on the plain.
Or awaked e'er the full destined time:
Like young heart, grief struck in its prime.
The cold heavens, with comfortless looks ;
And the music of rain-plenish'd brooks.
A few tears, from a low-sailing cloud :
Then pour'd down abundant and loud.
Oh, the rapture of beauty, of sweetness, of sound,
That succeeded that soft gracious rain !
And the little bills shouted again.
The wind sunk away, like a sleeping child's breath,
The pavilion of clouds was unfuri'd ;
Smiled out on this beautiful world!
On this beautiful world !-such a change had been wrought
By those few blessed drops.Oh! the same
Sunk in guilt, but not senseless of shame.
Touch'd its hardness, perhaps the good grain
and flourish again.
Might chase the dark clouds of despair,
Might gush out, and soften all there.
A poor soul from the death-sleep-to this!
That the worldly and sensual call bliss ?
A MOTHER'S DIRGE OVER HER CHILD.
BRING me flowers all
No taint of earth, no thought of sin,
Adieu, my babe! if life were long,
Soon on Death's couch shall I recline;
MORSELS OF MELODY.
PART II. Dear North,
lyrics, but they want the nerve and EXPERIENCE teaches fom: no, that condensation of song-writing. Neverset of the proverb will not do; expe- theless, I have sent another half dozen, rience makes a wise man. You must according to your desire; though you be convinced now, that song-writing will find them-except one or two, is not my forte. As to the first six perhaps-in exactly the same predica“ Morsels of Melody,”-you observe I did not even pretend to call them
Your sincere Friend, songs,-I am exactly of your opinion,
A as who is not, when you speak in sincerity? They may do as sentimental
THE PILLOW OF THE TENT.
'Twas when the summer skies were blue, and when the leaf was green,
have there been also fix'd to-night.
I hope within thy breast, that now and then may start,
COME, MARY, TO ME!
Beyond the glowing seas ;
From yonder clump of trees;
The ploughboy left the lea;
Come, Mary, to me!
Exhale a perfume sweet ;
The shaded hawthorn seat ;
I've thought of meeting thee.
Come, Mary, to me!
My life I would not give,
For such as nobles live;
Who true love never see.
Come, Mary, to me!
Though, Betsy, another's thou art,
Who often hast clung to my side; And, though 'mid my musings I start,
That another now calls thee his bride ; Though the love that between us did bloom,
On thy side is wither'd and cold ;
As fragrant and fresh as of old !
Like rainbows all melt and decay ! That the vows and the pledges of truth,
Should be things that can bind but a day ! That the heart, like the seasons, can tụrn,
And from sunshine be chill'd into frost ; And the flame, which so brightly could burn,
In an instant be vanish'd and lost ! Then, Betsy, for ever farewell !
Every thought I have cherish'd for thee, In the depth of my bosom shall dwell,
Like a treasure deep hid in the sea. Through the scenes, where so often we roved,
'Twill sooth me all lonely to stray ; Every flower, every spot that was loved,
Shall be hallow'd when thou art away!