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stance of the almost majestic effects which may be produced in the mind of the reader, by the entire harmony of metre and words, with the thoughts to be expressed, the dialogue we allude to, and the speech of Claudis in Measure for Measure, beginning “ Ay, but to die, and go we know not where,” &c. would immediately and with almost equal claims suggest themselves to us. It is almost impossible to read either without a cold and creeping thrill through the whole body. We will not place the passage which occasioned these remarks, by the side of Spen. ser's Cave of Despair ; indeed the feeling it is intended to excite is wholly of a different nature ; but the resemblance in many circumstances is sufficiently strong; the placid countenance of Despair, and his mild answer to the reproaches of the Knight, bis growing influence over him, and his gradual, though finally imperfect triumph over bis mind, are here closely followed by the composure, the unaltered mien, the “ unabashed

eye,

and

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he had in one or two instances referred to his sources. 33 there was no necessity certainly to tell us, that the line

“ The land was all before them where to choose," was Milton's; but as Dryden's translations from Horace are but little read, it would hav been as well, at page 114, to have re. ferred his readers to the very spirited version of the 29th Ode of the 3d Book.

“ Illa potens sui
Lætusque deget, cui licet in diem
Dixisse vixi, cras vel atrâ

Nube polum, pater occupato
Vel sole puro; non tamen erritum
Quodcunque vetro est efficiet, neque
Diffinget infactumque reddet,

Quod fugiens semel hora vexit."
“ Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call to-day his own.
He who secure within, can say
To-morrow do thy worst, for I have lived to-day.

Be fair or foul, or rain, or shine,

The joys I have possess'd in spite of fate are mine.
Not Hearen itself upon

has

power ; But what has been, has been, and I have had

hour." There is a remarkable coincidence between the fifth and sixth lines of this fine passage, and the third and fouth of the second stanza cited above, but the lines at page 114, are almost a literal imitation of the two in italics.

ту

front

the past

front serene” of the Old Man, after the passionate discourse of his opponent, his panse upon a successful sophism, his increased ardour as he grows more conscious of his strength; and the painful burthen of doubt and dismay which he leaves on the unconvinced, yet shaken mind of the Poet. When we consider one as built upon the model of the other, we by no means intimate that it is a tame, or servile copy. Mr. Southey will not be offended, when we say, that he has not improved upon his master Spenser; it is no small praise to say, that he has sliewn himself his worthy scholar.

One estiart more, and we have done: it is another proof of the wonderful power of this author, in the description of the appearances of Nature. The exact verity, and absolute life of the picture, can indeed, only be felt as they ought to be by those, who have seen such a scene as is here described, but it is not by any mean and uncommon spectacle ; and those even who have never been eye witnesses, may well imagine the original from the copy. The Heavenly Muse is about to show her consoled disciple the future prospects of England.

“ Behold, she cried, and lifting up her hand,

The shaping elements obeyed her will -
A vapour gathered round our lofty stand,

Rolled in thick volumes o'er the Sacred Hill :
Descending then its surges far and near
Filled all the wide subjacent atmosphere.

s« As I have seen from Skiddaw's stony height

The feecy clouds scud round me on their way,
Condense beneath, and hide the vale from sight,

Then opening, just disclose where Derwent lay
Burnished with sunshine like a silver shield,
Or old Enchanter's glass, for magic forms fit field.
“ So at her will, in that receding sheet

Of mist wherewith the world was overlaid,

A living picture moved beneath our feet,” &c. P. 179. The comparisons of the shield, and the magic glass, are in every respect among the happiest we have ever seen; we know enough of mountains and lakes, and their beautifully varying appearances, under the accidents of weather, light and shade, to subscribe to their perfect truth; but every page of Mr. Southey's writings bear testimony to the most accurate observation, and the most vivid feeling of such phenomena.

It will not be difficult to collect our opinion of the whole Poem; in its language pure beyond all its predecessors, in its style chastened, in its versification faultlessly sweet and natural,

and

and replete with a thousand beauties of thought, it has set dig. appointed our expectations. It is not what it professes to be, nor what it should be, a national hymn of thanksgiving and praise; in this point of view its very excellencies are a fault; it is too serious, too reasoning, too plaintive; we are quite of opinio with another, and a congenial Poet on this great occasion —

“ What robe can gratitude employ
So seemly as the radiant vest of Joy?

What steps so suitable as those that move
In prompt obedience to spontaneous measures

Of glory and felicity and love,
Surrendering the whole heart to sacred pleasures."

Art. IV. The Lay of the Laureate-Carmen Nuptiale. By

Robert Soulhey, Esq. Poet Laureate, &c. Longman and Co.

1816. This is a poeni of the same kind with the subject of our pre. ceding article; in the same metre, and in the same solemn strain of feeling : inferior to it perhaps in the beautiful flow of the versification, (in which, indeed, the Pilgrimage has seldom been equalled) but certainly, we think, superior in the inore important qualities of condensed and finished expression, and in the lofti. ness and vigour of thought. It may be inferred from what we have already said in this, and the preceding article, that, in point of conception, we think it liable to the same objections. It professes to be an Epithalanium, it is no such thing; it is a glowing strain of lolly poetry, inculcating the noblest moral ou the purest molives; but, from its general tone, it might as fitly be desigfiated a birth, or a death, as a marriage song. Like the batile of Waterloo, that,

“ Day of all days, surpassing in its fame

All fields of elder or of later name.” The marriage of the Princess Charlotte was a subject for national joy and thanksgiving; like it, too, it was a fair subject for honest pride. Englislımen have a right to be proud, as well as to rejoice, that, in these days of intrigue and çabal, no scheme of aggrandizement or interest, was allowed to deprive that distinguished personage of her birih-right as an Englishwoman. If the experience of ages did not testify to the contrary, it would seem like satile to say, that it requires no small effort of philo. soply, and wise affection, to estimate justly the conteinptible

littleness

littleness of those precarious benefits, which are purchased at the expence of any one right, and genuine feeling of the heart. When in the formation of state marriages, the sacritice demanded is that of the best, the noblest, the purest, and most purifying affection of the heart; when, by such a sacrifice, the perforinauce of the holiest duties is made a custom iudifferent, a task irksome, or a servitude intolerable ; when the heart, that might have opened, under genial influences, to all kindly and cheerful feelings, is frozen up in indifference, or lacerated by despair of unattainable, yet perpetually tempting bappiness, we really want words to express our contempt for the short-sightedoess, or our indignation at the heartlessness of the policy, that can systematically lead to such consequences.

Wo sound it is but little, but it means very much to say, that the noblest virgin of the realm has been allowed the conmon right of her meanest fellow subject; and without fear of the imputation of servility, (from which we have nothing to gain) we will say, that, in this act, the Prince her father has most amply earned the gratitude of the country.

Feeling then, as we do on the subject, we would have had it celebrated in a different mauner. Mr. Southey says, in his own defence :

“ Of awful subjects have I dared to sing,

Yet surely they are such, as viewed aright,
Contentment to thy better mind may bring :

A strain, which haply may thy heart invite
To ponder well, how to thy choice is given
A glorious name on earth, a high reward in heaven.
« Light strains, though cheerful as the hues of spring,

Would wither like a wreath of vernal flowers;
The amaranthine garland, which I bring,

Shall keep its verdure through all after hours;
Yea, while the poet's name is doomed to live,

So long this garland shall its fragrance give." P.68. We think these latter lines are a clue to the poet's feelings; but they are private, and such as we have nothing now to do with; looking on it as a public question, we know no reason, why ile strains that are devoutly joyous, should be light or tran. sitory. In all the sis:er arts, especially in music, we have been taught a different opinion; some of the most glorious and dura. ble monuments of the genius of Handel, are strains of the most exulting joy; in poetry, we need go no further in argument with Mr. Southey, than cite that most beautiful bridal hymm of Spenser, which was floating in his mind, when he wrote the poen before lis. It is solemn and devout, yet it breathes throughout & redundant aud overflowing happiness, it is a magniiicent tri,

umph,

ump', full of satisfaction, and hope, and the cloudless sunshine of faith.

But Mr. Southey has said what we feel both about it, and its author, so well, that we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of citing the passage.

“ But then my master dear arose to mind;

He on whose song, while yet I was a boy,
My spirit fed, attracted to its kind,

And still insatiate of the growing joy:
He on whose tomb these eyes were wont to dwell
With inward yearnings, which I may not tell.
“ He whose green bays shall bloom for ever young,

And whose dear name, whenever I repeat,
Reverence and love are trembling on my tongue ;

Sweet Spenser-sweetest bard; yet not more sweet
Than pure was he, and not more pure than wise,
High-priest of all the Muse's mysteries.
“ I called to mind that mighty master's song,

When he brought home his beautifullesl bride,
And Muila murmured her sweet under song,

And Mole with all his mountain woods replied,
Never to mortal lips a strain was given,
More rich with love, more redolent of heaven.
His cup of joy was mantling to the brim,

Yet solemn thoughts enhanced his deep delight;
A hely feeling fillal jis marriage hymn,

And love aspired with faith a heavenward flight.” P.10. Some such poem we would have had, and still desire to have; shorter than the present, more rapid and glowing; more fit, in a kord, to pass into the mouths of the people, to be remembered and repeated from sire to son, and to recall in the days that are to be, the grateful and exulting feelings of the present moment.

Nvi however that we would have the present poem unwritten; considered as an occasional poem, and such, though they need not indulgence, yet claim some consideration on that score) it appears to us to be among the happiest efforts of Mr. Southey's fertile talent. We wish we had time and space to give our readers a more detailed account of it; perhaps as short a one as we now pri pose to lay before them, may induce them to iuforin themselves more fully of its merits, and to form their own judgment upon

them. It is prefaced with a proem, turning much on the author's own feelings and lot in life; for this and for such passages in , other woris he has frequently been accused of vanity, and intrusive egotism. The charge is a common one against too

many

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