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"Alnwick Castle," is scarcely inferior to any of them in this respect. We would make an extract or two from this poem, to illustrate our remarks, were it not, that, in order to enjoy its full effect, it should be read as a whole; and, besides, we have no doubt that most of our readers are already familiar with this beautiful composition.
The poem called "Marco Bozzaris," is in a more solemn and lofty strain. We have met with few passages in any English author which stir the blood more powerfully than the following apostrophe. The poet has just related the final combat of this hero for his country, and his death on the field of victory.
"Come to the bridal chamber, Death!
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier,
"But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word;
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Thy sunken eye's unearthly light
To him is welcome as the sight
Of sky and stars to prisoned men:
To the world-seeking Genoese,
Bozzaris! with the storied brave
Greece nurtured in her glory's time,
Even in her own proud clime." &c. pp. 12—14.
This is truly, if we understand any thing of the matter, a magnificent passage, and the versification flows on in a torrent of melody which adds greatly to the effect. The whole poem is written with infinite spirit. The lines on Burns, as they have been read by all the readers of this journal, need not our praise. The following is a very brilliant and fanciful illustration of an old moral lesson. Principiis obsta is as true in love as in medicine.
When the tree of Love is budding first,
Ere yet by shower and sunshine nurst
The wild-bee's slightest touch might wring
As the gentle dip of the swallow's wing
But when its open leaves have found
Pluck them, and there remains a wound
And the bitter tear, that follows, is
When the flame of love is kindled first,
Come on the memory, they pass o'er
But when that flame has blazed into
And smiled in scorn upon the dew
That fell in its first warm hour,
"T is the flame that curls round the martyr's head,
'T is the lamp on the altars of the dead,
Then crush, even in their hour of birth,
And tread his glowing fire to earth,
To shade thy future years,
Nor nurse a heart flame that may be
Quenched only with thy tears.
We wish we could find room for the poem entitled "Magdalen," which we believe has never been published before; but we are obliged to exclude it in favor of another of still greater beauty, likewise given to the public for the first time. We request our readers to compare the following with those commonplace and empty compliments to the female sex, which are the "stuff" that so much poetry "is made of."
Written in the Album of an unknown Lady.
Lady, although we have not met,
Or hazel-heaven knows, not I;
Whether around thy cheek of rose
A maiden's glowing locks are curled,
Or whether, past youth's joyous strife,
I know not-but, whate'er thou art,
For thou art Woman-with that word
Life's dearest hopes and memories come,
In the green bower of home.
What is man's love? His vows are broke
And well the Poet at her shrine
May bend, and worship while he woos;
The inspiration of his line,
His loved one, and his Muse.
If to his song the echo rings
Of Fame 't is Woman's voice he hears;
Smiles, tears,-whose blest and blessing power,
A Poet's immortality. pp. 50-52.
We suppose that we might, if we had leisure and disposition, find a little fault with some half dozen lines in this collection. We might, perhaps, detect a false rhyme or two, single out one or two expressions wanting in force, mention one or two examples of the injudicious use of metaphorical language, and so forth. We prefer, however, simply to suggest these things to the author, in the confidence that they will be corrected when he comes to republish them, as he will do, without doubt, at no distant time, In company with some more elaborate effort of his genius.
Rough Notes taken during some rapid Journeys across the Pampas and among the Andes. By Captain F. B. HEAD. Boston. Wells & Lilly. 1827. 12mo. pp. 264.
Ir in former ages our geographical knowledge has been enlarged by spendid discoveries of vast continents and groups of islands, embosomed in unknown oceans, it is extended and enriched, at the present day, by the less imposing, but more satisfactory process of minute and accurate examination. The wealth which our predecessors accumulated, we have leisure to count over, to determine its value, to estimate its different uses, and to apply it to the purposes of comfort and luxury. It is only since the beginning of the nineteenth century, that the mountains of snow, "the holy father of the sacred stream of India," and the secrets of "the dry nurse of lions," have been brought to light, or rather the work is yet only begun. Within the same period, our own continent, part of our own soil, has been crossed for the first time by the feet of white men, and the great streams which diverge from its centre have been followed out to the Western and Northern oceans. And farther south, the other half of the new world has been, for the first time, freely exposed to the examination of European travellers, and subjected to the influence of European science. Nor is this progress of geographical discovery without an immediate personal interest, in relation to ourselves. South America has already furnished us with Indian rubber overshoes and dry feet; and the interior of Africa and the centre of the Polar Circle will doubtless supply their respective contributions to our bodily comfort, no less than to our mental improvement.
We can hardly point to one of these unknown regions, where the English are not engaged in exploring and examining; following nature to her most secret haunts; observing man in all his varieties, whether of skull and complexion, or of languages, manners, and conditions. While one party is tracing up the sources of the Ganges, and endeavouring to climb the yet unascended summits of the Himmalahs, another is scaling the sides and threading the passes of the Andes, and yet another is following down the current of the mysterious Niger. We may pass the winter with them in the Arctic or the Antarctic seas, or stand by the devoted victims, who lay down their lives under the pestilential heats of Africa.
We e may observe, also, that most of these travellers are military men. The ardor and fortitude, the energy and courage, which