« PreviousContinue »
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
In us such love and reverence from afar,
The characters of Voltaire and Gibbon are drawn with more discrimination than we had reason to expect. What is the noble Lord's opinion of their success, he has not been pleased to impart. What his wishes are he has clearly shewn by his ana. thema against their conquerors.
Of names which unto you bequeath'd a name;
Of Heaven again assail'd, if Heaven the while
Most mutable in wishes, but in mind,
Blew where it listed, laying all things prone,-
And hiving wisdom with each studious year,
And doom'd him to the zealot's ready Hell,
If merited, the penalty is paid;
And when it shall revive, as is our trust,
To the sentiments contained in the last stanza, if not to tho poetry, we bow with unfeigued respect; but though we would not hastily condemn the frailties and the errors of others, yet we wouldn't confound light and darkness, truth and falseh jod in one undistinguished mass. The same hand which committed the sacred charge of truth to our care, will demand it agaia unpolluted at our hands. To condemn the error we are com
manded; to condemn the person we are forbidden. That final judgment rests in a higher tribunal, which we fear for the sake of the noble Lord and of ourselves, will too surely“ deign do more than smile."
The Prisoner of Chillon is the complaint of the survivor of three brothers confined within the Chateau of that name, which is situated between Clarens and Villeneuve. The verses are in the eight svilable metre, and occasionally display some pretty poetry; at all events ihere is little in them to offend. We do not tind any passage of sufficient beauty or originality to warrant an extract, though the whole may be read, not without pleasure by the admirer of this style of versification.
The next poem ibat engages our notice is called DARKNESS, describing the probable state of things upon earth should the Jight and heat of the sun be withdrawn. To so strange and absurd an idea we must of course ascribe the credit of vast originality.
" The world was void,
A lump of death-a chaos of hard clay.
We must confess that criticism is unable to reach a strain so sublime as this. If this be called genius, as we suppose it must, we are of opinion that the madness of that aforesaid quality is much more conspicuous than its inspiration. But after the noble Lord has carried us with him in his air balloon to so bigh an eminence in the sublime, on a sudden he discharges the gas, and down we drop to the lowest depth of the bathos below.
" I stood beside the grave of him who blazed
The comet of a season, and I saw
Which lay unread around it; and I ask'd
He died before my day of Sextonship,
The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.” P. 32. The noble Lord seems to be in the humour of Timon, to invite his friends to a course of empty dishes, which are finally to be discharged at their heads. Profane enough we must own ourselves, for never did we more heartily laugh than at the cost clusion of this burlesque; in which we think the noble Lord has shewn no ordinary talents. So much for the “ Visit to Churchill's grave.
The next poem, called “ The Dream,” contains as usual a long history of “ my own maguificent self.” At the conclusion we are told
" The es The Wanderer was alone as heretofore,
The beings which surrounded him were gone,
Amnen, say also we; for till these dialogues are somewhat more intelligible than many of the verses in this volume, we trust that our philosophy neither of intellect nor of temper will be put to the test by any attempt to interpret them. The next poem is a Chorus in an unfinished Witch Drama, which as it consists wholly of curses upon some devoted victim, the reader will take for granted that the noble Lord has excelled.
We fear that the noble Lord will gain very little credit by the volumes before us. The first is decidedly the best, and coutains some very good lines, plentifully interspersed with his accustomed crudities, but not without a considerable share of poetie merit. The Night Thoughts appear to be the objects of his imitation, but the copy falls very far short of the original. His Lordship's philosophy is at times of the sect of the “ unintelligibles," at least to us ordinary mortals, who have been bred up in the schools of common sense. We do earnestly hope that the noble Lord will at last take his promised repose, and write po more, till he can cease to write about himself. The address to his daughter, with which the Childe Harold concludes, under all those circumstances with which the public are too well acquainted, is written in bad taste, and worse morality. The English nation is not so easily to be whined out of its just and honourable feelings.
Art. VII. The Colonial Policy of Great Brituin, considered with Relation to the North American Provinces, and West