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possess; and, unlike those works, it has little richness of detail or eloquence of language, and still less refinement or finish of detached parts. Upon the whole, if it is a work that deserves and will receive respect and attention, these will be accorded to it more from the nature of its subject, and the name and character of its author, than from

any either positive or even comparative merit of its own.

The plot of this poem comprises simply the last day of Belshazzar's life, including his impious feast, the taking of his city by the Medes and Persians, and his consequent dethronement and death. With these events are connected, by way of episode, the loves of the two Jewish captives, Adonijah and Benina. We shall not be very copious in our extracts, either from the exceptionable or the meritorious parts of this performance, because we do not think that in the one case we should contribute much to the edification, or in the other to the amusement, of the reader; for Mr. Milman's faults are, generally speaking, not glaring enough to serve as warning examples; and his good qualities are better to be appreciated and relished in connexion with each other, than when considered alone. Two or three examples of these latter, however, we will give, and those the best we can find, in order to shew that the poem is inferior to the one noticed in our number for April. But that these examples may have a fair chance of being justly appreciated, we will precede them by one or two of a different kind, in which it appears to us that Mr. Milman has exhibited more than his usual carelessness and haste. In the way of versification nothing can be much worse than the following passage, with which the poem opens. It is to the last degree heavy, inelegant, and monotonous.

The City of Babylon.Morning.
Within the cloud-pavilion of my rest,
Amid the Thrones and Princedoms, that await
Their hour of ministration to the Lord,
I heard the summons, and I stood with wings
Outspread for flight, before the Eternal Throne.
And,' from the unapproached depth of light
Wherein the Almighty Father of the worlds
Dwells from seraphic sight, by glory veil'd,
Came forth the soundless mandate, which I felt
Within, and sprung upon my obedient plumes.
But as I sail'd my long and trackless

voyage
Down the deep bosom of unbounded space,
The manifest bearer of Almighty wrath,
I saw the Angel of each separate star
Folding his wings in terror, o'er his orb
Of golden fire; and shuddering till I pass’d
To
pour

elsewhere Jehovah's cup of vengeance." By the way, it may be here remarked that this destroying angel is an interpolation, as uncalled for as it is inefficient. It adds nothing to the interest and progress of the events, and indeed takes no part in them ; unless we are to receive it as the agency which produces the writing on the wall. And if we are to regard it in this light, it takes from, instead of adding to, the mysterious awfulness of that event.

Surely the following speeches of Belshazzar are neither poetical nor characteristic:

" oh! thou Lord of the hundred thrones, high Nabonassar

THE DESTROYING ANGEL,

And thou my father, Merodach! ye crown'd
This City with her diadem of towers-
Wherefore ?—but prescient of Belshazzar's birth,
And conscious of your destined son, ye toil'd
To rear a ineet abode. Oh, Babylon!
Thou hast him now, for whom through ages rose
Thy sky-exalted towers—for whom yon palace
Reard its bright domes, and groves of golden spires;
In whom, secure of immortality
Thou stand'st, and consecrate from time and ruin,

Because thou hast been the dwelling of Belshazzar!
Again:

Oh ye, assembled Babylon ! fair youths
And hoary Elders, Warriors, Counsellors,
And bright-eyed Women, down my festal board
Reclining! oh ye thousand living men,
Do ye not hold your charter'd breath from me ?
And I can plunge your souls in wine and joy;
Or by a word, a look, dismiss you

all
To darkness and to shame : yet, are ye not
Proud of the slavery that thus enthrals you ?
What king, what ruler over subject man
Or was, or is, or shall be like Belshazzar?
I summon from their graves the sceptred dead
Of elder days, to see their shaine. I cry
Unto the cloudy Past, unfold the thrones
That glorified the younger world : I call
To the dim Future-lift thy veil and show
The destined lords of humankind: they rise,
They bow their veil'd heads to the dust, and own
The throne whereon Chaldea's Monarch sits,

The height and pinnacle of human glory." To put such merely impudent boastings as these into the mouth of a mighty king, is not the way to create an interest in us either towards his life or his death. He should have been invested with at least a semblance of dignity of character; or if it was thought that this could not be done consistently with divine history, he should not have been chosen as a poetical hero at all : for the rise or the fall of such men as Belshazzar is here represented, are matters of equal indifference to us, in a poetical point of view. As a matter of mere history, it may be an impressive fact to know, that a human being was precipitated in a moment from such a height of external greatness. But when we know this as a matter of history, we can be made to feel little additional interest in it as a matter of poetical contemplation, unless the subject of it be represented to us as something essentially different from the rest of his species. Mere place and station will never make a poetical hero, any more than they can detract from one. We willingly contrast these passages with others of a different description. The following is, perhaps, the most poetical passage in the work, and certainly the versification of it, though far from perfect, is better than the author usually produces. The extract is a kind of prophetic anticipation of the fate that awaits Belshazzar; but it is put into the mouth, not very appropriately, of Benina, the Jewish maiden.

“ Go on, in awe And splendour, radiant as the morning star, But as the morning star to be cast down

Into the deep of deeps. Long, long the Lord
Hath bade his Prophets cry to all the world,
That Babylon shall cease! Their words of fire
Flash round my soul, and lighten up the depths
Of dim futurity! I hear the voice
Of the expecting grave I hear abroad
The exultation of unfetter'd earth!-
From East to West they lift their trampled necks,
Th’indignant nations : earth breaks out in scoru;
The valleys dance and sing; the mountains shake
Their cedar-crowned tops! The strangers crowd
To gaze upon the howling wilderness,
Where stood the Queen of Nations. Lo! even now,
Lazy Euphrates rolls his sullen waves
Through wastes, and but reflects his own thick reeds.
I hear the bitterns shriek, the dragons cry;
I see the shadow of the midnight owl
Gliding where now are laughter-echoing palaces!
O’er the vast plain ) see the righty tombs
Of kings, in sad and broken whiteness gleam
Beneath the o’ergrown cypress—but no tomb
Bears record, Babylon, of thy last lord;

Even monuments are silent of Belshazzar!" The following is an animated and picturesque description of the illuminated city on the night of Belshazzar's feast:-

“ But lo! what blaze of light beneath me spreads
O'er the wide city. Like yon galaxy
Above mine head, each long and spacious street
Becomes a line of silver light, the trees
In all their silent avenues break out
In flowers of fire. But chief around the Palace
Wbilens the glowing splendour ; every court
That lay in misty dimness indistinct,
Is traced by pillars and high architraves
Of crystal lamps that tremble in the wind :
Each portal arch gleams like an earthly rainbow,
And o'er the front spreads one entablature
Of living gems of every hue, so bright
That the pale Moon, in virgin modesty,
Retreating from the dazzling and the tumult,
Afar upon the distant plain reposes
Her unambitious beams, or on the bosom

Of the blue river, ere it reach the walls.” Our next extract is a description of the prophet Daniel, on the appearance of those portents which indicate the downfall of the devoted city.

“ Till but lately he was girt
With sackcloth, with the meagre hue of fasting
On his sunk cheek, and ashes on his head;
When, lo! at once he shook from his gray locks
The attire of woe, and callid for wine; and since
He hath gone stately through the wondering streets
With a sad scorn. Amid the heaven-piercing towers,
Through cool luxurious court, and in the shade
Of summer trees that play o'er crystal fountains,
He walks, as though he irod o'er moss-grown ruins,
'Mid the deep desolation of a city
Already by the almighty wrath laid waste.

And sometimes doth he gaze upon the clouds,
As though he recognized the viewless forms
Of arni'd destroyers in the silent skies.
And it is said, that at the dead of night
He hath pour'd forth thy burden, Babylon,
And loud proclaim'd the bowing down of Bel,
The spoiling of the spoiler. Even our lords,
As conscious of God's glory gathering round hin,
Look on him with a silent awe, nor dare

To check his motion, or reprove his speech.”
The following is pleasing and poetical :-

“ The snowy light falls where she treads,
As 'twere a sacred place! in her loose locks
It wanders, even as with a sense of pleasure!
And trembles on her bosom, that hath caught
Its gentle restlessness, and trembles, too,

Harmonious." The last extract we shall give is from the scene which precedes the death of Belshazzar :

The Streets of Babylon in Flames.

BELSHAZZAR.
I cannot fight nor fly: where'er I move,
On shadowy battlement, or cloud of smoke,
That dark unbodied hand waves to and fro,
And marshals me the way to death-to death
That still eludes me. Every blazing wall
Breaks out in those red characters of fate;
And when I raised my sword to war, methought
That dark-stoled Prophet stood between, and seem'd
Rebuking Heaven for its slow consummation
Of his dire words.

I am alone: my slaves
Fled at the first wild outcry; and my women
Closed all their doors against me—for they knew me
Mark'd with the seal of destiny: no hand,
Though I have sued for water, holds a cup
To my parch'd lips; no voice, as I pass on,
Hath bless'd me; from the very

festal garments,
That glitterd in my halls, they shake the dust :

Ev’n the priests spurn'd me, as abhorr'd of Hearen.” The foregoing extracts are doubtless not without merit; but when we say that they are the best we are able to select from the present work, it must be obvious to those who are acquainted with the previous productions of Mr. Milman, that there has been a great falling off in this. We are sincerely sorry that such should be the case, and earnestly advise Mr. Milman to look about him, if he would continue to deserve and retain that reputation which he at present possesses.

In conclusion, we cannot avoid noticing the following passage in the preface to this work :-“ May I presume to hope that this, as well as the preceding works of the same nature, may tend to the advancement of those interests, in subservience to which alone our time and talents can be worthily employed—those of piety and religion?” Surely this is altogether a gratuitous passage, at best--not to say an impertinent one. Mr. Milman may

presume to hope” thus, if he pleases; and there may be good ground for his hope : but to put forth that hope to the public, for no other reason than to make it an occasion of tacitly reproaching the pursuits and performances of every body but himself, and the particular class of persons to which he belongs, is what he may not presume” to do—at least, without being told of it.

A. O.

THE CONFESSIONAL.

NO. III.-LOVE.

or the

“ I have done penance for contemning love;
Whose high imperious thoughts have punish'd me
With bitter fasts, and penitential groans,
With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs :
For in revenge of my contempt of love,
Love hath chased sleep from my enthralled eyes,
And made them watchers of my own heart's sorrow."

Old Play.
They

say that “marriages are made in heaven." I don't know,but I think it not improbable, since many of those seemingly accidental encounters which should naturally leud to marriage, take place in that road which is declared by its frequenters to be the only one leading to beaven ; and which road lies directly through a Methodist meetinghouse. Let no one go about to persuade me that a place of this description is necessarily barren of poetical associations, even to those who are not absolutely satisfied as to the truth of the peculiar doctrines promulgated in it; and that even the anathemas of eternal damnation which are thundered forth there from time to time, from the stentorian lungs of an enthusiastic devotee, may not be made to fall upon the ear

memory with a sound “most musical,” howbeit “most melancholy.” In fact, there is an unseemly erection of the above kind, standing a little to the south of this metropolis, which is to me more redolent of the air of love than is the grotto of Egeria or the rocks of Meillerie; and the voice of its chief priest, though to other believing as well as unbelieving ears apt to grate

harsh discords," is to me

as musical as is Apollo's lute:"--for it was within those walls, and under the sound of that voice, I used to sit for two hours together, twice every Sunday during the space of four long years, secretly sighing away my soul, and fancying that I could actually see it, in the form of a pale lambent flame, borne along on the breath of my mouth, till it reached the shrine to which it was directed, where it became absorbed by the lips and interfused in the eyes that seemed to be unconsciously waiting and watching for it; or, when they were absent, seemed to hover restlessly over the spot where it was accustomed to find them, as if unwilling to remain there, and yet unable to return.

It would afford curious matter for speculation, to trace out the va-. rious causes which contribute to the production of those final opinions that we adopt on any given subject. It has been my lot to associate a good deal with persons who hold in particular aversion the religious sect of which I have just had occasion to speak, and who lose no opportunity of calling in question even the general sincerity of their opinions—to say nothing of the pernicious nature and tendency of those opinions. But it so happens that these persons have never been able

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