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longs to the printer in the first instance, and Dr. Barton's correc- tions overlooked: a case so common as easily to suggest itself.
Fourthly, We could wish the good old custom continued of using accents for the ablative and genitive cases; though the modern stile of printing, which would gladly sacrifice the sense of the passage to the seemliness of the page, forbids it. This is no fault of Dr. Barton's, who probably could not obtain letters thus marked. But they ought to be cast.
Fifthly, There are so many marks of real unequivocal industry in this work, that it needs no parade of research. We could wish, therefore, that Dr. Barton would distinguish his references into those he has actually consulted, and those referred to at second hand; some of which are not in America, as we strongly suspect. If this were attended to, it would obviate a
Sixth objection. In some instances the plant described by Dr. Barton is not mentioned under the same name in the author referred to. For instance, the Gillenia trifoliata, has been separated by a few German botanists from the Spiræa trifoliata of Linnæus. Dr. Barton is at full liberty to separate Gillenia from the genus Spiræa, but he should notice this in citing from Linnæus. These remarks we venture upon, not to obtrude them upon
Dr. Barton's adoption, but on his consideration. He will value them at his own rate. If he had not so much merit as he has, we should not have taken the trouble of hunting up these hypercriticisms: but we are anxious that he should attend in future to minutiæ, which sometimes turn out of more importance than they at first appear.
ART. VI.-Lalla Rookh. An Oriental Romance. By THOMAS
Moore. 4to. London, Longman & Co. 1817. Republished by
brilliant, and fanciful Poet of the present age. His external senses seem more delicate and acute than those of other men; and thus perceptions and sensations crowd in upon him from every quarter, apparently independent of volition, and with all the vehemence and vivacity of instinct. He possesses the poetical temperament to excess, and his mind seems always in a state of pleasure, gladness, and delight, even without the aid of imagination, and by means merely of the constant succession and accumulation of feel. ings, sentiments, and images. The real objects of our every-day world to his eyes glow with all the splendour of a dream, and even during the noon of manhood, he beholds, in all the works of creation, that fresh and unimpaired novelty which forms the glory, and so rarely survives the morning of life. Along with this extreme delicacy and fineness of organization, he possesses an ever-active and creative fancy, which at all times commands the whole range of his previously acquired images, and suddenly, as at the waving
of a magic wand, calls them up into life and animation. Feeling and fancy, therefore, are the distinguishing attributes of his poetical character; yet is he far from being unendowed with loftier qualities, and he occasionally exhibits a strength of intellect, and a power of imagination, which raise him above that class of writers to which he might otherwise seem to belong, and place him triumphantly by the side of our greatest Poets.
With this warmth of temperament, exceeding even the ordinary vivacity of the Irish national character, and with a fancy so lively and volatile, it behoved Mr. Moore, when first starting as a poet in early life, to be cautious in the choice both of his models and his subjects. In both he was most unfortunate; and every lover of virtue must lament, that while his first productions sometimes breathe and glow with genuine feeling and passion, and often exhibit harmless and amusing flights of capricious fancy, they are so fatally infected with a spirit to which we can give no other name than licentiousness, and which is incompatible with that elevation and dignity of moral sentiment essential to the very existence of real Poetry.
But though he was thus early led astray, he soon began to feel how mean and how unworthy were even the highest triumphs won in such a field, and to pant for nobler achievements. Even in his most unguarded and indefensible productions, his ideas were too bright, sparkling, fugitive, and ærial, to become the slavish miniga ters of sensuality. His mind was unduly inflamed, but it was not corrupted. The vital spirit of virtue yet burned strong in his soul, -its flame soon began to glow with less wavering lustre, and with manifest aspiration to its native heaven. The errors and aberrations of his youthful genius seemed forgotten by his soul, as it continued to advance through a nobler and purer region; and it is long since Mr. Moore has redeemed himself-nobly redeemed himself, and become the eloquent and inspired champion of virtue, liberty, and truth.
There can indeed be no greater mistake, than to consider this Poet, since his genius has ripened and come to maturity, as a person merely full of conceits, ingenuity, and facetiousness. his songs are glorious compositions, and will be immortal Whatever is wild, impassioned, chivalrous, and romantic, in the history of his country, and the character of his countrymen, he has touched with a pencil of light,-nor is it too high praise to say of him, that he is the Burns of Ireland. True, that he rarely exhibits that intense strength and simplicity of emotion by which some of the best songs of our great national Poet carry themselves, like music from Heaven, into the depths of our soul--but whenever imagination requires and asks the aid of her sister fancy,--whenever generous and lofty sensibilities, to the glory and triumph of human nature, display themselves in the concentration of patriotism or devotion, then the genius of Moore expands and kindles, and his strains are nobly and divinely lyrical. If Burns surpass him in simplicity and
pathos—as certainly does he surpass Burns in richness of fancy-in variety of illustration—in beauty of language—in melody of verseand, above all, in that polished unity, and completeness of thought and expression, so essential in all lyrical composition, and more particularly so in songs, which, being short, are necessarily disfigured by the smallest violation of language, the smallest dimness, weakness, or confusion in the thought, image, sentiment, or passion.
Entertaining the opinion which we have now imperfectly expressed of Mr. Moore's poetical character, we opened Lalla Rookh with confident expectations of finding beauty in every page; and we have not been disappointed. He has, by accurate and extensive reading, imbued his mind with so familiar a knowledge of eastern scenery—that we feel as if we were reading the poétry of one of the children of the Sun. No European image ever breaks or steals in to destroy the illusion-every tone, and hue, and form, is purely and intensely Asiatic—and the language, faces, forms, dresses, mien, sentiments, passions, actions, and characters of the different agents, are all congenial with the flowery earth they inhabit, and the burning sky that glows over their heads. That proneness to excessive ornament, which seldom allows Mr. Moore to be perfectly simple and natural—that blending of fanciful and transient feelings, with bursts of real passion—that almost bacchanalian rapture with which he revels, amid the beauties of external nature, till his senses seem lost in a vague and indefinite enjoyment-that capricious and wayward ambition which often urges him to make his advances to our hearts, rather by the sinuous and blooming bye-ways and lanes of the fancy, than by the magnificent and royal road of the imagination--that fondness for the delineation of female beauty and power, which often approaches to extravagancy and idolatry, but at the same time, is rarely unaccompanied by a most fascinating tenderness-in short, all the peculiarities of his genius adapt him for the composition of an Oriental Tale, in which we are prepared to meet with, and to enjoy, a certain lawless luxuriance of imagery, and to tolerate a certain rhapsodical wildness of sentiment and passion.
There is considerable elegance, grace, and ingenuity, in the contrivance, by which the four Poems that compose the volume are introduced to the reader. They are supposed to be recited by a young poet, to enliven the evening hours of Lalla Rookh, daughter of the Emperor of Delhi, who is proceeding in great state and magnificence to Bucharia to meet her destined husband, the monarch of that kingdom. Of course, the princess and the poet fall desperately in love with each other—and Lalla looks forward with despair to her interview with her intended husband. But perhaps most novel readers will be prepared for the denouement better than the simple-minded Lalla Rookh, and will not, like her, be startled to find, that Feramorz the poet, and Aliris the king, are one and the same personage. All that relates to Lalla Rookh and her royal and poetical lover, is in prose-but prose of so flowery a kind, that it yields no relief to the mind, if worn out or wearied
by the poetry. Neither do we think Fadladeen, that old musty Mahomedan critic, in any way amusing—though he sometimes hits upon objections to the poetry of Feramorz, which it might not be
very easy to answer. Can it be, that a man of genius like Mr. Moore is afraid of criticism, and seeks to disarm it by anticipation? But let us turn to the poetry.
The first poem is entitled, “The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan.”* It opens thus:
“ In that delightful Province of the Sun,
All glowing from the presence of his God!" This Mokanna is an Impostor, who works upon the enthusiasm of his followers by the assumption of a divine character—and whose ostensible object is the destruction of all false religions, and every kind of tyranny and despotism. When these glorious objects are attained, he is then to throw aside his Silver Veil and admit the ennobled souls of men to gaze upon his refulgent visage. In reality, however, he is a Being of a fiendish and demoniac nature, hating God and man, and burning for power and empire, that he may trainple upon human nature with derision, mockery, and outrage, and thus insult and blaspheme the Eternal. The dominion which he exercises over his superstitious proselytes--the successful progress of his career-his lofty, wild, and mysterious doctrines the splendour of his kingly state—the gorgeous magnificence of his array—the rich moresque-work of his Haram-and the beauties from a hundred realms which it encloses-are all described with great power and effect, though not unfrequently with no little extravagance and exaggeration. In his Haram is Zelica, the heroine of the poem, whom the supposed death of her lover Azim has driven into a kind of insanity. Mokanna so works upon the frenzied enthusiasm of her disordered mind, as to convince her, that before she can enter into heaven, she must renounce her oaths of fidelity to Azim, and bind herself for ever on the earth to him, the Impostor. He conducts her into a charnel-vault, and there, sur
* Khorassan signifies, in the old Persian language, Province, or Region of the sun.-Sir W. Jones. † One of the royal cities of Khorassan.
rounded with the ghastly dead, she takes the fatal oath, and seals it by a draught of human blood. Meanwhile, Azim returns from foreign war, and joins the banners of the Impostor. He then discovers the wicked arts of Mokanna, and the ruin of Zelica-abandons the Silver Veil-joins the army of the Caliph, and routs the Prophet-chief in various battles, till he forces him and his remaining infatuated followers to shut themselves up in a fortress. Mokanna finding farther resistance in vain, poisons all his troops—and after venting his rage, hatred, and contempt on Zelica, leaps into a cistern of such potent poison, that his body is dissolved in a moment. Zelica covers herself with the Silver Veil, and Azim, leading the storming party, mistakes her for Mokanna, and kills her.
We could present our readers with many passages of tenderness and beauty from this singular Poem; but as we shall have occasion to quote some stanzas of that character from “ Paradise and the Peri,” we shall confine ourselves to two extracts, in which Mr. Moore has successfully attempted a kind of composition new to him; the one describing the armament of the Caliph as he marched against the Impostor, and the other, the last fatal feast, at which Mokanna poisons the adherents of his fallen fortunes.
“ Whose are the glided tents that crown the way,
But yester-eve, so motionless around,
Ringing of arms, and flapping in the breeze
+ “A native of Khorassan, and allured southward by means of the water of a fountain between Shiraz and Ispahan, called the Fountain of the Birds, of which it is so fond, that it will follow wherever that water is carried.”