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fore him, at universal dominion, we had almost said, universal
tyranny, over the minds of men.
· Childe Harold is now in Italy; and his first strain rises from
Venice,“ the City of the Sea.' There is, unquestionably, much
vigour in his lament over her fallen greatness,—yet we confess,
that, during the first thirty stanzas of this Canto, the poet's mind
seems scarcely to have kindled into its perfect power; and that
there is not much in them beyond the reach of a far inferior in-
tellect. It seems to us, also, the only part of the poem in which
he forces his own individual feelings into reluctant words, in-
stead of giving vent to them, as is usual with him, in impassion-
ed music. The following stanzas are fine.

Statues of glass-all shiver'd—the long file
Of her dead Doges are declin’d to dust;
But where they dwelt, the vast and sumptuous pile
Bespeaks the pageant of their splendid trust ;
Their sceptre broken, and their sword in rust,
Have yielded to the stranger : empty halls,
Thin streets, and foreign aspects, such as must

Too oft remind her who and what enthrals,
Have flung a desolate cloud o'er Venice' lovely walls.
When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fetter'd thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse,
Her voice their only ransom from afar :
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o'ermaster'd victor stops, the reins
Fall from his hands-his idle scimitar.

Starts from its belt-he rends his captive's chains,
And bids him thank the bard for freedom and his strains.

Thus, Venice, if no stronger claim were thine,
Were all thy proud historic deeds forgot,
Thy choral memory of the Bard divine,
Thy love of Tasso, should have cut the knot
Which ties thee to thy tyrants ; and thy lot
Is shameful to the nations, most of all,
Albion! to thee : the Ocean queen should not

Abandon Ocean's children ; in the fall
Of Venice think of thine, despite thy watery wall.

I lov'd her from my boyhood—she to me
Was as a fairy city of the heart,
Rising like water-columns from the sea,
Of joy the sojourn, and of wealth the mart;
And Otway, Katcliff, Schiller, Shakspeare's art,
Had stamp'd her image in me, and even so,
Although I found her thus, we did not part,

Perchance even dearer in her day of woe, Than when she was a boast, a marvel, and a show. p. 10–12. Escaping from Venice, he presents us with an exquisite moonlight landscape on the banks of the Brenta. Indeed, the whole of this Canto is rich in description of Nature. The love of Nature now appears as a distinct passion in his mind. It is a love that does not rest in beholding, nor is satisfied with describing what is before him. It has a power and being, blending itself with the poet's very life. Etherially and ideally beautiful and perfect, and therefore satisfying the longings of a poet's soul, Nature yet seems to woo with delight his very senses-to love him, frail, weak and lowly as he is, and to breathe upon him the blessedness and glory of her own deep, calm, and mighty existence. Though Byron had, with his real eyes, perhaps seen more of Nature than ever was before permitted to any great .poet, yet he never before seemed to open his whole heart to her genial impulses. But in this he is changed; and, in the third and fourth Cantos of Harold, he will stand a comparison with the best descriptive poets, in this age of descriptive poetry.

The Moon is up, and yet it is not night-
Sunset divides the sky with her-a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountains; Heaven is free:
From clouds, but of all colours seems to be!
Melted to one vast Iris of the West,...,
Where the Day joins the past Eternity ; ;' , ...,

While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest
Floats through the azure air an island of the blest! :
le A single star is at her side, and reigns beter is siis...

With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still..
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Roll'd o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
As Day and Night contending were, until
Nature reclaim'd her order :---gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instili

The odorous purple of a new-born rose, 4 Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within it glows,

Fill’d with the face of heaven, which, from afar,
Comes down upon the waters ; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,

Their magical variety diffuse:
130 And now they change; a paler shadow strews
i Its mantle o'er the mountains ; parting day

Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues 1-4,With a new colour as it gasps away,

The last still loveliest, till — 'tis gone-and all is gray. p. 16, 17,

Passing through Arqua, the mountain-village where Petrarch - went down the vale of years,' he beautifully muses over the remains of his simple mansion and his sepulchre, and then starts away from the peacefulness of the hallowed scene, into one of those terrible fits, which often suddenly appal us in his poetry.

There is a tomb in Arqua ;-rear'd in air,
Pillar'd in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura's lover : here repair
Many familiar with his well-sung woes,
The pilgrims of his genius. He arose
To raise a language, and his land reclaim
From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes :

Watering the tree which bears his lady's name
With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame.

They keep his dust in Arqua, where he died ;

The mountain village where his latter days
· Went down the vale of years; and 'tis their pride
: An honest pride and let it be their praise,

To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
His mansion and his sepulchre; both plain
And venerably simple, such as raise

A feeling more accordant with his strain
Than if a pyramid form’d his monumental fane.

And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt
Is one of that complexion which seems made.'
For those who their mortality have felt,
And sought a refuge from their hopes decay'd
In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade,
Which shows a distant prospect far away
Of busy cities, now in vain display'd,

For they can lure no further; and the ray
Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday,

Developing the mountains, leaves, and flowers,
And shining in the brawling brook, where-by, .
Clear as its current, glide the sauntering hours
With a calm languor, which, though to the eye
Idlesse it seem, hath its morality.
If from society we learn to live,
'Tis solitude should teach us how to die;

It hath no flatterers ; vanity can give
No hollow aid; alone-man with his God must strive : :

Or, it may be, with Demons, who impair
The strength of better thoughts, and seek their prey
In melancholy bosoms, such as were
Of moody texture from their earliest day,

And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay, Deeming themselves predestin'd to a doom Which is not of the pangs that pass away ; Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb, The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom. 18—20. In Ferrara, he vents his pity over the fate of Tasso, and his wrath against the tyrant Alphonso; and after some eloquent eulogiums on Italy and her finest spirits, we find him at Florence. The delight with which the pilgrim contemplates the ancient Greek statues there, and afterwards at Rome, is such as might have been expected from any great poet, whose youthful mind had, like his, been imbued with those classical ideas and associations, which afford so many sources of pleasure, through every period of life. He has gazed upon these masterpieces of art with, as it seems to us, a more susceptible, and in spite of his disavowal, we had almost said with a more learned eye, than can be traced in the effusions of any poet who had previously expressed, in any formal manner, his admiration of their beauty. It may appear fanciful to say so;- but we think the genius of Byron is, more than that of any other modern poet; akin to that peculiar genius, which seems to have been diffused among all the poets and artists of ancient Greece; and in whose spirit, above all its other wonders, the great specimens of Sculpture seem to have been conceived and executed. Modern poets, in general, delight in a full assemblage of persons or ideas or images, and in a rich variety of effect, something not far dissimilar from which is found and admired in the productions of Painters.'' Byron alone seems to be satisfied with singleness, simplicity and unity. He shares, what some consider to be the disadvantages of Sculpture, but what we conceive to be, in no small degree, the sources of that power, which, unrivalled by any other productions, save only those of the poet, breathes from the inimitable monuments of that severest of the arts. His creations, whether of beauty or of strength, are all single creations. He requires no grouping to give effect to his favourites, or to tell his story. His heroines are solitary symbols of loveliness, which require no foil; his hea roes stand alone as upon marble pedestals, displaying the naked power of passion, or the wrapped up and reposing energy of grief. The artist who would illustrate, as it is called, the works of any of our other poets, must borrow the mimic splendours of the pencil. He who would transfer into another vehicle the spirit of Byron, must pour the liquid metal, or hew the stubborn rock. What he loses in ease, he will gain in power. He might draw from Medora, Gulnare, Lara, or Manfred, subjects for relievos, worthy of enthusiasm almost as great as Harold

has himself displayed on the contemplation of the loveliest, and the sternest relics, of the inimitable genius of the Greeks.

But Arno wins us to the fair white walls,
Where the Etrurian Athens claims and keeps
A softer feeling for her fairy halls.
Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps
Her corn, and wine, and oil, and Plenty leaps
To laughing life, with her redundant horn.
Along the banks where smiling Arno sweeps

Was modern Luxury of Commerce born,
And buried Learning rose, redeem'd to a new morn.
• There, too, the Goddess loves in stone, and fills

The air around with beauty ; we inhale
The ambrosial aspect, which, beheld, instils
Part of its immortality ; the veil
Of heaven is half undrawn ; within the pale
We stand, and in that form and face behold
What Mind can make, when Nature's self would fail :

And to the fond idolaters of old
Envy the innate flash which such a soul could mould:
We gaze and turn away, and know not where,
Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart
Reels with its fulness; there--for ever there-
Chain'd to the chariot of triumphal Art,
We stand as captives, and would not depart.
Away!--there need no words, nor terms precise,
The paltry jargon of the marble mart,

Where Pedantry gulls Folly—we have eyes :
Blood-pulse-and breast, confirm the Dardan Shepherd's prize.

Appear’dst thou not to Paris in this guise ?
Or to more deeply blest Anchises ? or, .
In all thy perfect goddess-ship, when lies
Before thee thy own vanquish'd Lord of War ?
And gazing in thy face as toward a star,
Laid on thy lap, his eyes to thee upturn,
Feeding on thy sweet cheek! while thy lips are

With lava kisses melting while they burn,
Showered on his eyelids, brow, and mouth, as from an urn!
Glowing, and circumfused in speechless love,
Their full divinity inadequate
That feeling to express, or to improve,
The gods become as mortals, and man's fate
Has moments like their brightest ; but the weight.
Of earth recoils upon us ;-let it go!
We can recal such visions, and create,

From what has been, or might be, things which grow
Into thy statue's form, and look like gods below. p. 27-29.

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