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sometimes be content to pass for a madman, for passages which, had they been properly introduced and skilfully managed, might have had the finest effect. To these higher beauties, narrative poetry adds the charms of description, and all the graces of diction. Indeed, it is difficult to find any poetical beauty that does not fall within its province.

We are glad, therefore, to have our attention so frequently called to poems of this kind. The one before us will not, indeed, bear a comparison with some of the popular productions of the present day: it does not possess any thing of those sublimities of passion of which we have been speaking ; but it is equable and elegant. The subject of the story is the same as that of Ercilla, the Spanish poet,-Valdivia's attempt to subdue Chili, and his defeat in the valley of Arauco. The poem is apparently the work of one who is accustomed to shorter and lighter compositions ; who has all the neatness and prettiness of style necessary in such things ; but who knows nothing of the manage ment of a larger and more complicated piece, of the proper arrangement of action, or grouping of figures. The spirit of the Andes twice calls together the spirits of the fire, but nothing comes of their meetings, and indeed throughout the whole poem we never elsewhere hear of them.

One canto, out of the eight, is wholly devoted to the story of the Missionary: it is common-place, and

uninteresting, and entirely unconnected with the main subject. The Indian warriors meet round a midnight fire, and some of them speak speeches; but we are never made sufficiently acquainted with them to be able to say which is which. One of them goes to consult a wizard; but nothing ensues from it. In short, half the poem is made up of these detached fragments. But it is proper, perhaps, to give our readers the outline of the story.

The commencement of the poem introduces us to the Crush roof of an aged warrior, chief of the mountain tribes,' situated in a lonely and lovely glen, among the wastes ayd wilds of the Andes. Two children, brother and sister, had formerly cheered his solitude: the description of the boy is fanciful and pretty.

• The boy might seem, as beautiful he stood,
A visionary elf-child of the wood;
For in that season of awak’ning life,
When dawning youth and childhood are at strife ;
When on the verge of thought gay boyhood stands
Tiptoe, with glist ning eye and outspread hands;
With airy look, and form and footsteps light,
And glossy locks, and features berry-bright,
And eye like the young eaglet's, to the ray
Of noon, unblenching, as he sails away :

A brede of sea-shells on his bosom strung,
A small stone hatchet o'er his shoulders slung,
With slender lance, and feathers, blue and red,
That, like the heron's crest, wav'd on his head,
Buoyant with hope, and airiness, and joy,
He wander'd through the woods, the loveliest Indian boy.'

p. 10. This boy, Lautaro, had been stolen, from his Llama's skin, by a band of Spaniards. They conveyed him (as the poet afterwards informs us) to Peru, and sold him for a slave. From that state he is delivered by the Missionary, Anselmo, who educates him, becomes attached to him, and, at length, gives him in marriage his adopted daughter whom he brought with him from Spain. Valdivia, the Spanish chieftain, sees Lautaro, takes him for his page, and, on his expedition into Chili, carries him along with him. Anselmo also goes; but the wife and child of Lautaro are left behind at Lima.

Seven years had passed since the mountain-warrior had thus been deprived of his son, when, suddenly, his solitude is disturbed by the shrill notes of a Chilian scout.

• The starting warrior knew the piercing tones,

The signal call of war, from human bones.-
“What tidings from Arauco's vale ?” he cried, -
« Tidings of war and blood,” the Scout replied ;
Then the sharp pipe with shriller summons blew,

And held the blood-red arrow high in view.
Warrior. “ Where speed the foes ?

“ Along the southern main, “ Have pass’d the vultures of accursed Spain." Warrior. “ Ruin pursue them on the distant flood,

“And be their deadly portion-blood for blood !" Scout. “ When, round and red, the moon shall next arise,

« The chiefs attend the midnight sacrifice
“ In Encol's wood, where the great wizard dwells,
" Who wakes the dead man with his thrilling spells ;
“ Tree, Ulmen of the Mountains, they command
“ To lift the hatchet, for thy native land;
• Whilst in dread circle, round the sere wood smoke,
“ The mighty gods of vengeance they invoke ;
" And call the spirits of their fathers slain,
“ To nerve their lifted arm, and curse devoted Spain."
So spoke the Scout of War ;-and o'er the dew,

Onward along the craggy valley, flew.'-pp. 14, 15.
The aged chief obeys the summons, collects his fellow-war-
riors, and bastens to the place of meeting. Resistance against
Valdivia and bis Spaniards is there agreed upon, and battle is


given. Lautaro, that he may not fight against his countrymen, is placed by Valdivia apart from the engagement, with the good Anselmo : but, in the heat of the battle, he sees a Chilian warrior down,

• Upon whose features Memory seem'd to trace,

A faint resemblance of his father's face,' and a Spanish horseman above, ' in act to strike.' He springs forward, dispatches the Spaniard, rallies his yielding countrymen, puts himself at their head, and gains a complete victory. Valdivia and the Missionary are taken prisoners. The former falls a prey to the revenge of the Indians; but Lautaro manages to save the life of Anselmo.

Of course the hero is received by his countrymen with all possible joy. His father had been killed in the battle ; but he finds his sister, and discovers his wife and boy, who had wandered from Lima to seek him. The party return to the home of the old warrior, where they inter his bones; and Anselmo declares, that his bones shall likewise be interred in the same spot. And so the

poem closes. There is, as we said before, little of character and passion in all this, and not one person about whom we feel in the slightest degree interested. Still there is much that pleases : there is a power of description, and the style is certainly elegant. The İndian assembly is strongly painted.

• Far in the centre of the deepest wood,
The assembled Fathers of their country stood.
Midnight was come : the sere-wood fire burnt red,
And on the branches a dim glimmer shed :
The bursting flame, oft with a fitful glance,
Shone full on many a dreadful countenance ;
And every warrior, as his club he rear'd,
With larger shadow, indistinct, appear'd ;
While still, more terrible, his form and mien,

And long wild locks, in the red blaze were seen,' p. 53. The description of morning, with which the fifth canto opens, is pleasing and appropriate.

• 'Tis now rare dawn :-the Andes' distant spires,

One after one, have caught the orient fires.
Where the dun condor shoots his upward flight,
His wings are touch'd with momentary light.
Meantime, beneath the mountain's glittering heads,
A boundless ocean of grey vapour spreads,
That o'er the champain, stretching far below,
Now moves, in cluster'd masses, rising slow,
Till all the living landscape is display'd
In various pomp of colour, light, and shadę.'.

P. 69.

We add the description of Anselmo's cell.

• Fronting the ocean, but beyond the ken

Of public view, and sounds of murm'ring men,-
Of unhewn roots compos’d, and knarled wood,
A small and rustic Oratory stood :
Upon its roof of reeds appear'd a cross,
The porch within was lind with mantling moss ;
A crucifix and hour-glass, on each side-
One to admonish seem'd, and One to guide;
This, to impress how soon life's race is o'er ;
And that, to lift our hopes where time shall be no more.
O'er the rude porch, with wild and gadding stray,
The clust'ring copu weav'd its trellis gay:
Two mossy pines, high bending, interwove
Their aged and fantastic arms above.
In front, amid the gay surrounding flowers,
A dial counted the departing hours,
On which the sweetest light of summer shone,
A rude and brief inscription marked the stone :-

“ To count, with passing shade, the hours,
“ I plac'd the dial’mid the flowers;
“ That, one by one, came forth, and died,
“ Blooming, and with'ring, round its side.
« Mortal, let the sight impart

“ Its pensive moral to thy heart!"
Just heard to trickle through a covert near,
And soothing, with perpetual lapse, the ear,
A fount, like rain-drops, filter'd through the stone -
And, bright as amber, on the shallows shone.
Intent his fairy pastime to pursue,
And, gem-like, hovering o'er the violets blue,
The humming-bird, here, its unceasing song
Heedlessly murmur'd, all the summer long,
And when the winter came, retir'd to rest,
And from the myrtles hung its trembling nest.
No sounds of a conflicting world were near;
The noise of ocean faintly met the ear,
That seem'd, as sunk to rest the noon-tide blast,
But dying sounds of passions that were past;
Or clcsing anthems, when, far off, expire
The lessening echoes of the distant choir.

Here, every human sorrow hush'd to rest,
His pale hands meekly cross'd upon his breast,
Anselmo sat: the sun, with west'ring ray,
Just touch'd his temples, and his locks of grey.
There was no worldly feeling in his eye ;-
The world to him “ was as a thing gone by;"

Now, all his features lit, he rais'd his look,
Then bent it thoughtful, and unclasp'd the book;

pp. 30-32.

And whilst the hour-glass shed its silent sand,
A tame opossum lick'd his wither'd hand.
That sweetest light of slow-declining day,
Which through the trellis pour'd its slanting ray,
Seem'd light from heaven, when angels heard his prayers,
Resting a moment on his few

grey hairs. In the last quotation, the reader finds the regular versification broken by the introduction of an inscription for a dial : and throughout the poem, we find inscriptions, and hymns, and sungs, and addresses, in different measures. Of this practice we have before expressed our disapprobation, and we must do it again. What end does it answer? Is it because such things are generally in such measures ? For the same reason, the speeches might be given in prose. Is it to relieve the monotony of the verse? This monotony is itself owing to the want of skill in the poet. On the other hand, the poet may begin to question us, and demand what there is in the practice that offends us. We answer, that it draws our attention too much to the verse. So long as every thing goes on in regular heroic, we forget the poet and the versification in the subject; but when song-measure is introduced for the sake of a song, the dream is broken, and we think of the propriety of this : we begin to criticise, our feeling is interrupted in its current, and the illusion half destroyed.

Art. VI.-An Enquiry into the Probability and Rationality of Mr.

Hunter's Theory of Life: being the Subject of the first two Anatomical Lectures delivered before the Royal College of Surgeons, London. By John Abernethy, F R S. &c. Professor of Ana

tomy and Surgery to the College. Longman, Hurst, Rees, &c. MR. Abernethy is already known to the public, not only as

standing in the foremost rank of his profession, but also, as a writer of several works which display originality of thought, and patience, and perspicacity of observation.

Modern improvements in medicine have consisted, not so much in the discovery of new truths, as in the detection and renunciation of ancient errors. As a science, it has been reduced within a smaller compass, but what it has lost in bulk, it has gained in solidity. The complication of art has been brought back, wearer at least, to the simplicity of nature, and medical practice as well as theory has become, more than it ever was before, a matter of common sense.

These remarks apply almost equally, to that branch of the philosophy of the human frame, which falls more especially within the province of the surgeon. Surgery was once, and

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