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of the sensuous Present only-what they remember and what they anticipate, belong both to this present lifescarcely to the classical past, and little indeed to the theological future. The best of them is rather an essayist on criticism, than an essayer in poetry.' As we may have something to say of this "Lecture," and eke of the "Oration on Coleridge" another day, we shall now merely remark that the world will not think the worse of Pope, Campbell, and Rogers, because they "never dream of publishing themselves for men inspired." Men inspired need not take that trouble; for sooner or later-and a few years are of no moment-they will be numbered with the greater or lesser prophets. Men not inspired, but puffed up, may publish themselves for Isaiahs, and yet find themselves in the Balaam Box.
It may be very sinful to despise the passive;" but we cannot think it a serious misfortune to any man "to be unconscious of the neuter." Be that as it may, "John A. Heraud, Esq.," who has often" published himself for a man inspired," is here guilty of a gross offence to Campbell. His whole Lecture is a series of plagiarisms—as we, at our leisure, shall show-and he must steal even his insults. But the Quarterly Reviewer always writes like a gentleman-here Mr Heraud does not; and, servilely adopting another man's error, he pompously emits it as his own truth. He talks of the " lieus of the Eternal," and the Last Day, as confidently as of the purlieus of Epping Forest, and the Day of the Hunt. We see the curl of contempt on Campbell's poetic lips-and in his poetic eye the smile of disdain.
"Gertrude of Wyoming," continues the Quarterly Reviewer, "is a more equal and better sustained effort, but contains fewer of those separable passages of mingled terseness and beauty, which form the charm of the Pleasures of Hope. The verse is extremely melodious, and a hue of tenderness is suffused over the whole. The scene it presents is one of almost pastoral simplicity; the feelings dealt with are few, and of no complicated nature; and the characters introduced are such as require no peculiar powers of discrimination. The theme is well adapted to a poet more accomplished in the mechanism of his art, than versed in the
passions of mankind. That quite imaginary personage,
The Stoic of the woods, the man with out a tear,'
is, for the same reason that we gave when speaking of the love-lorn maniac, a fortunate subject for his powers. It is a blemish in the piece that the story, which is sufficiently simple, should have been told in so obscure and abrupt a manner, that the reader is perplexed, and his attention distracted, in putting together the few incidents of which it is composed."
This is poor stuff—and 'tis not “ an honest attempt to determine the question." Having tried "to take the shine out of" the Pleasures of Hope, the appraiser turns the "separable passages of mingled terseness and beauty" in that Poem against Gertrude of Wyoming-which being a tale of almost pastoral simplicity"
with " a hue of tenderness suffused over the whole," did not, in the nature of things, admit of the presence of that of which the absence is noticed as a defect. The character of the poem, however, would have been, on the whole, not ill expressed in the above passage, but for the captious and carping qualifyings that make praise almost look like censure. Let the sweet and bitter waters-as they issue from different sources-keep their own channel: with such mixture there is no refreshment in the cup.
It may be "that the characters introduced are such as require no peculiar powers of discrimination"-Gertrude is no witch-Albert no wizard. But her we love and him we reverence. These are the best-the holiest of emotions-whether felt in peace and joy, or in grief and pity.
"But Thee! my Flower, whose breath was given
By milder genii o'er the deep,
The spirits of the white man's heaven
"It will not be expected that we should examine each of the smaller poems which complete the volume of Mr Campbell's works. The best of his lyrical effusions are so well known, and their merits so vividly appreciated, that nothing would remain to us but the not very grateful task of moderating the applause bestowed on them. We certainly do not acquiesce in the opinion that on these will rest the future fame of Campbell, or that the genius of this poet is peculiarly lyrical. A daring freedom and a boldness of manner sit but ill upon our careful and polished writer; there wants in all these productions-halfsong, half-ode-that appearance of spontaneous effusion which hurries on the sympathy of the reader; the judgment is satisfied, or at least silenced, when the feeling remains cold; and we oftener think that we ought to kindle, than experience the glow itself."
No mention is made by name-no farther allusion to "Ye Mariners of England," "The Battle of Hohenlinden," "The Battle of the Baltic," or "Lochiel's Warning," &c. ; but on "Theodoric"-certainly Mr Campbell's least successful poem-though "we would willingly have said nothing"-we do, nevertheless, pronounce judgment in a full page of contemptuous vituperation.
hardly worth the critic's while; we remember something of the sort in Maga many years ago-Posterity will not care for Theodoric any more than the contemporaneous public. Camp. bell pitched his pipe on too feeble a NO. CCLXXXVI, VOL. XLVI,
key-the tune he played, though it had its pleasant turns, was monotonous his instrument is the lyre-or the "Spartan fife."
In what ode-from Pindar to Collins inclusive-is there "the appearance of spontaneous effusion?" Why should there be? Campbell did not start up from his chair and suddenly sing out, "Ye Mariners of England!" -nor did he desire to "hurry on the sympathy of the reader." His soul was in a state of exalted calm, contemplating the naval power of England-and the presiding spirit of his Ode is that of sedate grandeur. The Battle of the Baltic is a magnificent naval ballad—but there is no hurry" there (the more hurry the less speed) -any more than there was 66 hurry in the Fleet approaching the batteries"As they drifted on their path There was silence deep as death; And the boldest held his breath For a time."
is one of the greatest lines ever written; and yet of such a colloquy it is averred "that the judgment is satisfied, or at least silenced, when the feeling remains cold; and we oftener think we ought to kindle, than experience the glow itself!"
The scrimp quotations given are from the "Last Man," and " On leaving a Scene in Bavaria." Both compositions are praised-and justly; but, though both are fine in their way, they are far from being among Campbell's best; and as the "Last Man,"inconceivable idea-lies open to attack on all sides, he gets a cut or two from the critic, though not on a vital part. So little conversant with Campbell's poetry is his critic, that of the "Lines on leaving a Scene in Bavaria," he says, we never met with it before, except in a newspaper some eight or ten years ago!!"
Is the critic aware of the existence L
of a poem called "O'Connor's Child?" What will posterity, thinks he, think of it? At the risk of being reckoned purblind and stone-deaf by posterity, we predict that posterity will love and admire and worship the genius enshrined there-till posterity ceases to have posterity-and
"Earth's cities have no sound or tread, And ships are drifting with the dead To shores where all are dumb!"
We must now part with Mr Campbell and his critic. Maga, at least, will survive for ever-and should it so happen that all editions of the works of the Bard of Hope-one after the other-at intervals of a century or so-drop into oblivion-remotest posterity may see here as beautiful stanzas of his as any that even then may have been written and be grateful to CHRISTOPHER THE EMBALMer,
STANZAS TO PAINTING.
O thou by whose expressive art Her perfect image Nature sees In union with the Graces start,
And sweeter by reflection please!
"In whose creative hand the hues Fresh from yon orient rainbow shine; I bless thee, Promethéan Muse!
And call thee brightest of the Nine!
"Possessing more than vocal power,
Persuasive more than poet's tongue; Whose lineage, in a raptured hour,
From Love, the Sire of Nature, sprung;
"Does Hope her high possession meet? Is joy triumphant-sorrow flown? Sweet is the trance, the tremor sweet,
When all we love is all our own.
But, oh! thou pulse of pleasure dear, Slow throbbing, cold, I feel thee part; Lone absence plants a pang severe, Or death inflicts a keener dart.
Then for a beam of joy to light In Memory's sad and wakeful eye! Or banish from the noon of night
Her dreams of deeper agony.
"Shall Song its witching cadence roll?
Yea, even the tenderest air repeat, That breathed when soul was knit to soul, And heart to heart responsive beat!
"What visions rise! to charm. to melt! The lost, the loved, the dead are near!
Oh, hush that strain too deeply felt! And cease that solace too severe !
"But thou, serenely silent art!
By Heaven and Love wast taught to lend A milder solace to the heart,
The sacred image of a friend.
"All is not lost! if, yet possest,
"Or. gazing through luxurious tears, Melt o'er the loved departed form, Till death's cold bosom half appears
With life, and speech, and spirit warm.
"She looks! she lives! this tranced hour,
"Yes, Genius, yes! thy mimic aid A treasure to my soul has given, Where beauty's canonized shade
Smiles in the sainted hues of heaven.
"No spectre forms of pleasure fled,
Thy softening, sweetening tints restore; For thou canst give us back the dead,
Even in the loveliest looks they wore.
"Then blest be Nature's guardian Muse, Whose hand her perish'd grace re*
Whose tablet of a thousand hues
The mirror of creation seems.
"From Love began thy high descent;
And lovers, charm'd by gifts of thine, Shall bless thee mutely eloquent,
And call thee brightest of the Nine ! "
Have Joanna Bailie's Dramatic Works in your library? No! Then get them-and begin with "THE BEACON." "The piece," says the gra cious lady," is very short, and can neither be called tragedy nor comedy. It may indeed appear, for a passion so allied to all our cheerful and exhilerating thoughts, to approach too nearly to the former; but HOPE, when its object is of great importance, must so often contend with despondency, that it rides like a vessel on the stormy ocean, rising on the billow's ridge but for a moment. Cheerfulness, the character of common Hope, is, in strong Hope, like glimpses of sunshine in a stormy sky." If such poetry be in the preface, what treasures untold may you not trust to find
in the drama itself! She "ventures to call it a musical drama," and it is so indeed the only musical drama deserving the name that we know of in our language. Joanna takes care to make no people sing in situations in which it is not natural for them to do so; the songs are all sung by those who have little or nothing to act, and introduced when nothing very interesting is going on; and they are supposed not to be spontaneous expressions of sentiment in the singer, but (as songs in ordinary life usually are) compositions of other people, which have been often sung before, and are only generally applicable to the present occasion. In these few words which are almost all her own-this great poetess has laid down the principles on which alone can any musical drama be constructed agreeably to nature.
But why a Musical Drama? Because the passion of HOPE, if long dwelt on in a drama, was in danger, she felt, of turning tiresome and languid-not being so powerfully interesting as those that are more turbulent and at the same time of being sunk into shade, or entirely overpowered, if relieved from it by variety of strongly marked characters in the inferior persons-therefore she introduced songs in several scenes - on the principle she has explained—and now you know why The Beacon is a Musical Drama. But why THE BEACON ?
Because Aurora, a lady resident on a small island of the Mediterranean, about the middle of the fourteenth century, had promised, on the departure of her lover, Ermingard, to the Holy War, to kindle a Beacon on the cliff to guide his ship on his return from Palestine. Years pass-and no tidings of her hero-whom all but she have given up to the grave or the sea. There she nightly sitsdeaf to all remonstrances to all threats and feeds the Beacon-fire, and the fire in her own faithful heart.
Behold, and hear her speak-but not now-for it is broad daylight beside the Beacon-but in a rustic arbour in a Flower-Garden, with her attendant ladies, Edda and Viola, and Terentia her governante-kind as a mother. She mistakes the hour
and Terentia says
"Ter. You are deceived
Three hours have past, but past by you unheeded;
It is the blessed peep of morn,
And aid and safety come when comes the day.'
And so it is the gradual shine
Cloud after cloud begins to glow
A black ning sail is seen to glide;
Ter. Is not her voice improved in
Ed. It is a cheering song.
Aur. It cheers those who are cheer'd. [After a pause.
Twelve years are past.
Their daughters matrons grown, their infants youths,
And they themselves with aged furrows mark'd;
But none of all their kin are yet return'd, No, nor shall ever.
Ter. Still run thy thoughts upon those
Of that small hamlet, whose advent❜rous
To Palestine with noble Baldwin went,
Aur. They perish'd there; and of their dismal fate
No trace remain'd-none of them all return'd.
Didst thou not say so?-Husbands, lovers,
Not one return'd again.
Ter. So I believe.
Aur. Thou but believest then-?
Ter. As I was told.
Ed. Thou hast the story wrong.
Four years gone by, one did return again; But marr'd, and maim'd, and changed-a woful man.
Aur. And what though every limb were hack'd and maim'd,
And roughen'd o'er with scars?-he did
[Rising lightly from her seat.
I would a pilgrimage to Iceland go,
Oh! what a moving thought lurks here !-
Tell it me all :-and oh! another time
Ulrick, the Lord of the Isle, loves Aurora; and, impatient of her inextinguishable Hope, has threatened to Terentia that night to quench the Beacon. On being told of that threat, the spirit of Aurora leaps up-and she indignantly cries—
"He does! Then will we have This night our lofty blaze
A noble fire. Shall through the darkness shoot full many a league
Its streamy rays, like to a bearded star, Preceding changeful-ay, and better times. It may, in very truth. O, if his bark (For many a bark within its widen'd reach
"Wish'd-for gales the light vane veering,
The dark seas traverse) should its light Eyes each passing stranger watching,
Ears each feeble rumour catching,
"In the tower the ward-bell ringing, In the court the carols singing; Busy hands the gay board dressing, Eager steps the threshold pressing, Open'd arms in haste advancing, Joyful looks through blind tears glancing;