« AnteriorContinuar »
"" Bright as the pillar rośe at Heaven's that the hope may be realized ? but command,
who that had the wish would talk of When Israel march'd along the desert • Hybla sweets,' and bloomy vines,' land,
and bid prophetic Hope' tell the Blazed through the night on lonely wilds solicitous parent,
afar, And told the path-a never-setting star :
• Tell, that when silent years have pass'd So, heavenly Genius, in thy course divine,
away, Hope is thy star, her light is ever thine.”
That when his eye grows dim, his tresses
grey, Can you now admit, with the critic, These busy hands a lovelier cot shall 6 That in this catalogue there is not
build, one circumstance which could be se
And deck with fairer flowers his little lected as a manifest violation of pro
And call from Heaven propitious dews bability ; and yet the reader feels
to breathe throughout that it is a collection of
Arcadian beauty on the barren heath.' topics gathered from remote sources, not the result of a strong realization So far the Reviewer; but the whole in the poet's mind ?" Can you now passage is short, so let us quote the tolerate his insulting interrogatory- whole. “ There is here much skilful verse, but
Propitious Power! when rankling cares is there one glow of honest enthu
annoy siasm ?" It is “ instinct with spirit.” The sacred home of Hymenean joy ; Why should Campbell alone, of all our When doom'd to Poverty's sequester'd dell, poets, be blamed for personifying The wedded pair of love and virtue dwell, Hope? It surprises and grieves us Unpitied by the world, unknown to fame, to hear a Quarterly Reviewer ask, Their woes, their wishes, and their hearts " Was Mr Campbell's imagination so
the same inextricably involved in the mythology Oh! there, prophetic Hope! thy smile of Greece, that he could not put into bestow, her mouth an address to the young And chase the pangs that worth should poetical aspirant somewhat nearer to never knowour feelings than such as this?" Are There, as the parent deals his scanty store " Wisdom's walks," the or sacred
To friendless babes, and weeps to give no Nine," the“ Delphian height,” “ Har.
more, monia's daughters," the « Loxian
Tell, that his manly race shall yet assuage murmurs,” « Pythia's awful organ,'
Their father's wrongs, and shield his latter all remote from his feelings and
age. from those of all the young poeti
What though for him no Hybla sweets
distil, cal aspirants now musing by the Isis and the Cam? Then, we need say
Nor bloomy vines wave purple on the hill ;
Tell, that when silent years bave pass'd nothing of the unfairness of selecting
away, eight lines from eighty, to prove that That when his eye grows dim, his tresses Mr Campbell's imagination was "so
grey, inextricably involved in the mytholo- These busy hands a lovelier cot shall build, gy of Greece. They who, like the
And deck with fairer flowers his little field, Quarterly Reviewer, care nothing about And call from Heaven propitious dews to the mythology of Greece, may behold breathe in that splendid passage, as it now Arcadian beauty on the barren heath ; moves before them in “ long resound- Tell, that while Love's spontaneous smile ing march and energy divine,” crowds
endears of glorious images awakening thoughts The days of peace, the sabbath of his years, and sentiments most ennobling to hu
Health sball prolong to many a festive hour manity -- and most“ auspiciously ” The social pleasures of his humble bower." flowing from the lips of Hope, as she What care you now for the critic's stands “ on yon proud height,” hand
". A poor but reputable in hand with Genius, “ the child of couple !" They were so-but“ someHeaven!”
thing more ;" and as the Husband “ The next theme is the Hope of a and Father was " a scholar and a gen. poor but reputable couple, who trust tleman, and a dear friend of Mr that their rising offspring will one day Campbell's, it was natural and proper, relieve their anxieties and administer and graceful, and not a little affecting, to their wants. Who does not wish for the Poet to represent Hope as
breathing encouragement into the Poor widow'd wretch ! 'twas there she sufferer's heart in language with wept in vain, which he had been familiar from boy. Till memory fled her agonizing brain ;hood, and which continued to be But mercy gave, to charm the sense of woe, spoken to him by some of the best, Ideal peace, that truth could ne'er bestow; beloved books in the little library
Warm on her heart the joys of fancy beam, which his wife would not suffer him
And aimless Hope delights her darkest.
dream. to sell even though the quartern loaf was at eighteenpence, and the scrag of
Oft when yon moon has climb'd the mid
night sky, mutton in proportion.
And the lone sea-bird wakes its wildest Please to observe, that there is no
cry, troubled passion in the passage-that
Piled on the steep, her blazing fagots the young poet is contemplating not a
burn, miserablescene-of utter wretchedness
To hail the bark that never can return; - but the sacred home of Hymenean And still she waits, but searce forbears to joy," clouded with care, but not de.
weep prived of sunshine. With such a
That constant love can linger on the mood, poetical imagery is not unac
deep.” cordant-and fancy embellishes at her own pleasure the song of hope. “ The • The second part of the Pleasures wedded pair of love and virtue" are of Hope is chiefly occupied in celenot located in any county-on this brating the anticipation of an immortal or that side of the Tweed. What if life-a glowing theme, and treated their dwelling be in a land of vines ?
with great power.
But here the poet “ Hybla sweets'' is a pardonable pret. has sometimes, in his attention to the tyism; and prettyisms are often found music of his line, and the vigour of in the poetry of natural sentiment. his diction, neglected to secure a As for “ Arcadian beauty,” the word
sound and accurate basis of thought. is a lovely one, and legitimate and
• Unfading Hope! when life's last embers nothing forbids the application of it to burn, any sweet spot on the surface of the When soul to soul, and dust to dust earth, especially if it has been won return'from the barren wilderness by the The return of dust to dust we under. happy labour of contentment.
stand, but that of soul to soul,' if it • The subject most effectively treated have any analogous meaning, implies in this portion of the poem, is the the absorption of the spirit of man Hope of the poor maniac for the into that of his Maker, and therefore return of her shipwrecked lover-an contradicts the hope of a personal im. expectation perpetually disappointed, mortality. Perhaps there is no pas. and perpetually revived. As the feel
sage more elaborate, or more fre, ings of such an individual come rarely quently, and on many accounts more under observation, and must remain justly admired, than the concluding with most of us a subject only for the lines of the poem. imagination, the departure from truth -if any such there be-is not readily
• Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres detected, and the topic affords scope
sublime for the harmonious numbers and ten
Peal'd their first notes to sound the
march of Time, der generalities of the poet." Was ever praise so cautiously and
Thy joyous youth began-but not to
fade. sparingly doled out ? “ The departure
When all the sister planets have de. from truth-if any such there be-is
cay'd ; not readily detected.” Is there or is
When wrapt in fire the realms of ether there not? Answer.
glow, “ Hark! the wild maniac sings, to chide And Heaven's last thunder shakes the the gale
world below; That wafts so slow her lover's distant sail ; Thou, undismay’d, shalt o'er the ruins She, sad spectatress, on the wintry shore, smile, Watch'd the rude surge his shroudless And light thy torch at Nature's funeral
corse that bore, Knew the pale form, and shrieking in
He who regards the destruction of the Clasp'd her cold hands, and fix'd her made world as the era when his future and dening gaze ;
immortal existence shall commence,
may say with truth and beauty that verse; and “Heaven's last thunder his hope lights its torch at nature's shakes the world below.” Hope, unfuneral pile,' inasmuch as the prior dismayed amid the "wrack of matter conflagration of the earth is a neces- and the crash of worlds,” smilts se. sary condition of his felicity. But the renely as Faith. But she is not yet poet is not speaking here of the lost in fruitiongrounds of a present hope_he is cele.
“ For wrapt in fire the realms of ether brating the duration of the sentiment itself—and in doing this he has con
glow;" verted the hope of immortality into an and Hope is Hope, though on the immortal hope. The expectation of verge of heaven. an eternal life cannot surely be said Expunged, therefore, be these to survive when that eternal life bas words-" Hope might with more ac. itself commenced. The hope of im. curacy have been represented as mortality passes away with that ter- throwing her now useless torch upon restrial scene which it cheered and that pile, to be consumed with the rest illuminated; it does fade, for it is lost of the world to which it belonged." in fruition; and, instead of lighting The refutation of all that the critic • her torch at nature's funeral pile, has been saying, lies in these his own Hope might with more accuracy have words_" to be consumed.” While been represented as throwing her now there is life there is Hope. Hope is useless torch upon that pile, to be Hope as long as she has a hand to consumed with the rest of the world hold a torch-or a torch to be held ; to which it belonged.”
to fling it into the fire would have been There is something, but very little, the act of- Despair. in the remark on, “when soul to soul, A word with John A. Heraud, Esq., and dust to dust return”-solet it pass- author of “ The Orarion on Cole. not without due commendation of the ridge,” &c. &c. In a “ Lecture on critic's acuteness ; but we cannot al. Poetic Genius as a Moral Power,” delow to pass the elaborate attempt to livered at the “ Milton Institution," demolish the glorious close of the occurs this portentous paragraph : poem. It is a complete failure, as a " We have now to do wiih the few words will show. The poet has poets who exercise activity. Being, not " converted the hope of immor. we have said, must act in the neuter tality into an immortal hope." The and passive, we have detected it3 critic bas blindly fallen into several eternal operation. But it operates in mistakes-and, in the first place, he Time also, and is diligent in reference has attached to the word “eternal” to sensible ultimates. It is here that a meaning which, in this passage, it the third class of poets are active. does not bear. Hope is rightly said Pope and CAMPBELL and Rogers are by Campbell to be “eternal,” because anxious only for the sensuous form it began with the music of the spheres, the channel of expression in which and continued amid their ruins. All their thoughts shall flow. They prepoetry is full of such passionate exag- fer Act in its lowest spheres to Being gerations and we could cite a thou- in any. Unconscious of the neuter, sand instances where this very word and despising the passive, they inter" eternal”, is applied to transitory pose a set form of speech, and, to do ohjects at the very moment of their them justice, never dream of publish. extinction. Let one suffice : Young, ing themselves for men inspired. If when describing the Last Day, says, they approach the purlieus of the
Eternal and the Ideal, they are sure "There, undermined, down rush th' eternal hills !”
to blunder, Hence Campbell, at the
conclusion of his poem, lights the Further and emphatically_" The torch of Hope at nature's funeral expectation of an eternal life cannot pyre-an error of which any theolosurely be said to survive when that gian might have admonished him. eternal life has itself commenced.” False and injurious predicator of a But it has not commenced_“Nature's state when Faith shall be lost in sight, funeral pile" is a-blaze, but it is not and in which Hope can have no part; yet consumed ; if it were, Hope could since Hope requires Time for its conpot light her torch in the dead ashes. dition, and has no place in Eternity ! Time still is-and the material uni. Such poets as these, are the votaries.
of the sensuous Present only—what passions of mankind. That quite ima. they remember and what they antici- ginary personage, pate, belong boih to this present lifescarcely to the classical past, and little
The Stoic of the woods, the man with. indeed to the theological future. The
out a tear,' best of them is rather an essayist on is, for the same reason that we gave criticism, than an essayer in poetry.” when speaking of the love-lorn ma
As we may have something to say niac, a fortunate subject for his of this “ Lecture," and eke of the
powers. It is a blemish in the piece 66 Oration on Coleridge” another day, that the story, which is sufficiently we shall now merely remark that the
simple, should have been told in so world will not think the worse of obscure and abrupt a manner, that Pope, Campbell, and Rogers, because the reader is perplexed, and his at
dream of publishing tention distracted, in putting together themselves for men inspired.” Men the few incidents of which it is com, inspired need not take that trouble; posed.” for sooner or later and a few years
This is poor stuff—and 'tis not" are of no moment—they will be honest attempt to determine the quesnumbered with the greater or lesser tion.” Having tried “ to take the prophets. Men not inspired, but puffed shine out of" the Pleasures of Hope, up, may publish themselves for Isaiahs,
the appraiser turns the “ separable and yet find themselves in the Balaam
passages of mingled terseness and Box.
beauty" in that Poem against GerIt may be very sinful “ to despise
trude of Wyoming—which being a the passive ;' but we cannot think it tale “ of almost pastoral simplicity" a serious misfortune to any man “ to - with “ a hue of tenderness suffused beunconscious of the neuter.” Be that
over the whole," did not, in the nature as it may, “John A. Heraud, Esq.,"
of things, admit of the presence of who has often “ published himself for that of which the absence is noticed a man inspired,” is here guilty of a
as a defect. The character of the gross offence to Campbell. His whole
poem, however, would have been, on Lecture is a series of plagiarisms-as the whole, not ill expressed in the we, at our leisure, shall show-and he above passage, but for the captious must steal even his insults. But the and carping qualifyings that make Quarterly Reviewer always writes like praise almost look like censure. Let a gentleman_here Mr Heraud does
the sweet and bitter waters—as they not; and, serviiely adopting another issue from different sources_keep man's error, he pompously emits it as
their own channel: with such mixhis own truth. He talks of the “pur
ture there is no refreshment in the lieus of the Eternal,"and the Last Day,
cup. as confidently as of the purlieus of Ep. ping Forest, and the Day of the Hunt.
“ The Stoic of the woods, the man without We see the curl of contempt on Campbell's poetic lips-and in his poetic eye the smile of disdain.
is not quite an imaginary person“ Gertrude of Wyoming," continues age.” Outalissi is Logan Americothe Quarterly Reviewer, “is a more Indianized by genius into the ideal equal and better sustained effort, but _but not out of the sphere of our contains fewer of those separable pas. deepest human sympathies. sages of mingled terseness and beauty, which form the charm of the Pleasures
6. And I could weep; '--the Oneyda chief of Hope. The verse is extremely me.
His descant wildly thus begun : lodious, and a hue of tenderness is suf
. But that I may not stain with grief fused over the whole. The scene it
The death-soog of my Father's son.'" presents is one of almost pastoral simplicity; the feelings dealt with are few, the highest poetry-and ruthful in.
True to nature ! --'tis a creation of
— and of no complicated nature; and the characters introduced are such as re.
deed are the events that wring out
such tearsquire no peculiar powers of discrimination. The theme well adapted to “ He bids me dry the last--the first a poet more accomplished in the me- The only tears that ever burst chanism of his art, than versed in the From Outalissi's soul!".
It may be « that the characters in- keythe tune he played, though it troduced are such as require no pecu- had its pleasant turns, was monotoliar powers of discrimination"-Ger- nous : his instrument is the lyremor trude is no witch-- Albert no wizard. the “ Spartan fife.” But her we love and him we reverence. In what ode_from Pindar to ColThese are the best-the holiest of lins inclusive—is there “ the appearemotions—whether felt in peace and ance of spontaneous effusion?". Why joy, or in grief and pity.
should there be ? Campbell did not “But Thee! my Flower, whose breath was
start up from his chair and suddenly given
sing out, “ Ye Mariners of Englan:l!" By milder genii o'er the deep,
„nor did he desire to “ hurry on the The spirits of the white man's heaven sympathy of the reader.” His soul Forbid not thee to weep :
was in a state of exalted calm, conNor will the Christian host,
templating the naval power of Eng. Nor will thy Father's spirit grieve, land—and the presiding spirit of his To see thee, on the battle's eve,
Ode is that of sedate grandeur. The Lamenting, take a mournful leave
Battle of the Baltic is a magnificent Of her who loved thee most :
naval ballad—but there is no “ hurry" She was the rainbow to thy sight! there—(the more hurry the less speed) Thy sun- thy heaven- of lost delight !
-any more than there was
hurry “ It will not be expected that we
in the Fleet approaching the batteries should examine each of the smaller “ As they drifted on their path poems which complete the volume of There was silence deep as death; Mr Campbell's works. The best of And the boldest held his breath his lyrical effusions are so well known,
For a time.” and their merits so vividly appre- Jeffrey well said, many years ago, ciated, that nothing would remain to that there had been no such prophetic us but the not very grateful task of strain as “ Lochiel's Warning” since moderating the applause bestowed on the “ days of Cassandra”- meaning, them. We certainly do not acquiesce we presume, the days of Æschylus in the opinion that on these will rest when he wrote the Agamemnon. Seer the future fame of Campbell, or that and chieftain speak in character-each the genius of this poet is peculiarly a poetry of his own, inspired by the lyrical. A daring freedom and a
mountains. boldness of manner sit but ill upon
“ And like reapers descend to the harvest our careful and polished writer; there
of death, wants in all these productions-halfsong, half-ode-that appearance of is one of the greatest lines ever writspontaneous effusion which hurries on ten; and yet of such a colloquy it is the sympathy of the reader; the judg- averred that thejudgment is satisfied, ment is satisfied, or at least silenced, or at least silenced, when the feeling when the feeling remains cold; and we remains cold ; and we oftener think oftener think that we ought to kindle, we ought to kindle, than experience the
, than experience the glow itself." glow itself!"
No mention is made by namemno The scrimp quotations given are farther allusion to “ Ye Mariners of from the “ Last Man,” and “ On leav. England," "The Battle of Hohen- ing a Scene in Bavaria.”. Both comlinden,"" The Battle of the Baltic, positions are praised--and justly; but, or "Lochiel's Warning," &c. ; but on though both are fine in their way, they “ Theodoric”-certainly Mr Camp- are far from being among Campbell's bell's least successful poem—though best; and as the “ Last Man,”-an
we would willingly have said no- inconceivable idea_lies open to atthing"-we do, nevertheless, pro- tack on all sides, he gets a cut or two nounce judgment in a full page of from the critic, though not on a vital contemptuous vituperation.
part. So little conversant with Camphardly worth the critic's while; we bell's poetry is his critic, that of the remember something of the sort in “Lines on leaving a Scene in Bavaria," Maga many years ago_Posterity will he says, " we never met with it be. not care for Theodoric any more than fore, except in a newspaper some eight the contemporaneous public. Camp. or ten years ago!!" bell pitched his pipe on too feeble a
Is the critic aware of the existence NO, CCLXXXVI, VOL. XLVI,