Page images

hath, from his very boyish days, sold himself to work iniquity, to injure his fellow-men,-and to blaspheme his God.

What being is there, in a human shape, so cold, and wretched, so dull and despicable,-so vile and degraded, as not to feel the crimson currents of his life play around, and warm his heart, with the full tide of kindness and of love, when he peruses these lines?


"Conceal'd within the shady wood,

A mother left her sleeping child;
And flew, to cull her rustic food,

The fruitage of the forest wild.


"But storms upon her path-way rise,
The mother roams astray and weeping;
Far from the weak, appealing cries
Of him she left so sweetly sleeping.


"She hopes-she fears ;-a light is seen,
And gentler blows the night-wind's breath;
Yet no, 'tis gone-the storms are keen,

The baby may be chill'd to death!


"Perhaps, his little eyes are shaded
Dim by death's eternal chill-
And, yet, perhaps they are not faded,
Life and love may light them still."

But Mr. Moore takes very effectual care to counter-balance the delight which his address to Cara is calculated to impart, by some verses to the "Invisible girl,”—which immediately follow, and have neither sense, nor spirit, nor harmony, to recommend them to our notice ;-the poet is very solicitous in his inquiries, if this invisible girl be really a woman,-how she employs herself;-and whether, or not, she will come and kiss, and embrace him, &c. &c. as Cara does? But ;-Ohe; jam satis est!

We are, next indulged with a piece, in the true namby-pamby style, bearing a strict resemblance to " a song by a person of quality," in Popes miscellanies-entitled, it is Peace and Glory; written at the commencement of the present war, in order no doubt, to stimulate the British people to fight valiantly ;--how well it is calculated to answer this important purpose, we beg that the reader will judge from the following lines :

[ocr errors]


"Is the hour of dalliance over?
Must the maiden's trembling feet
Waft her from her warlike lover,
To the desert's still retreat?
Fare you well!—with sigh we banish
Nymph so fair, and guest so bright;
Yet the smile with which you vanish,
Leaves behind a soothing light.

Soothing light! that long shall sparkle
O'er your warrior's sanguine way,
Through the fields, where horrors darkle,
Shedding hope's consoling ray !—&c. &c.

[ocr errors]

As a poetical effusion of another della Cruscan, very much resembling this sublime flight of Mr. Moore, is already animadverted on, in the true spirit of criticism, by one of the profoundest scholars, and most accomplished satyrists, of modern times, we shall avail ourselves of his observations for the benefit of the Author of "Peace and Glory."

Of this spes altera Romæ, this second hope of the age,the following stanzas will afford a sufficient specimen. They are taken from a ballad, which Mr. Bell, an admirable judge of these matters, calls "a very mellifluous one; easy, artless, and unaffected."


"Gently o'er the rising billows,
Softly steals the bird of night,
Rustling through the bending willows,
Fluttering pinions mark her flight,


"Whither now, in silence bending,
Ruthless winds deny thee rest;
Chilling night-dews, fast descending,
Glisten on thy downy breast.

Seeking some kind hand to guide thee,
Wistful turns thy fearful eye,
Trembling, as the willows hide thee,
Shelter'd from the inclement sky."

The story of this poor owl, who was, at one and the same time, at sea and on land, silent and noisy, sheltered and exposed, is continued through a few more of these-" mellifluous”, stanzas; which the reader, I doubt not, will readily forgive 2 R


me for omitting; more especially, if he reads the Oracle, a Paper,-honoured,-as the grateful Editor very properly has it, by the effusions of this-"artless" gentleman, above all


N. B.—On looking again, I find the Owl to be a Nightingale-N'importe.

We have, then, some sweet lines to Mary, and to a faithless lover, which would be well worthy of transcription, did our limits admit of such a step being taken.

But as the alternation of pleasure and of pain is supposed to heighten the charms of all earthly existence, Mr. Moore immediately plunges us into the profound of bathos,-in a ballad, called "The lake of the dismal Swamp.-If the reader think, as we do, he will be quite satisfied with the insertion of the first stanza.


"They made her a grave, too cold and damp,
For a soul so warm and true;

And she's gone to the lake of the dismal swamp,
Where, all night long, by a fire-fly lamp,

She paddles her white canoe.

But if this should not satiate the reader, peradventure, the second stanza will be sufficient ;-if not, we must refer him to the "Dismal Swamp," itself;-for we cannot prevail on ourselves to transcribe any more of such poetical effusions, which are the inspiration of plenary absurdity, disguised in rhyme.


"And her fire-fly lamp I, soon, shall sec,
And her paddle I, soon, shall hear;
Long and loving our life shall be,

And I'll hide the maid in a cypress tree,
When the foot-step of death is near !"

The Epistle to the Marchioness Dowager of D-ll, from Bermuda, contains some smooth lines; but it abounds with the petto concetto, the little conceits, the trim ornaments, the gew-gaw finery of which the modern Italian versifiers are so much enamoured, and with which the della Cruscan geese, with the late Duke of Leeds at their head, and Mrs. Robinson, and Madame Piozzi, et, hoc genus omne, so much annoyed English literature, some few years since. To this della cruscan assemblage Mr. Moore, undoubtedly, belongs;

[ocr errors]

--and, to the full, as undoubted is it, that he is not the smallest of the flock.

But Mr. Moore is, also, a lyric poet; we cannot, indeed, say of him, what Horace does of a certain ancient bard;

"Monte decurrens, velut amnis, imbres
Quem super notas aluere ripas,
Fervet, immensusque ruit profundo
Pindams ore."

We have, however,-" An irregular Ode called 'the genius of Harmony"-which, together with a vast profusion of very learned notes, (for Mr Moore is a prodigious great scholar, and reads Greek, every day, after dinner) means to prove, that, among other things, according to Cicero and his commentator, Macrobius," the lunar tone is the gravest and faintest on the planetary heptachord."

This ode is so very irregular, as to be entirely unintelligible to us, but, no doubt, it is very refreshing. Gentle reader, take half a dozen lines at a venture, and try you to comprehend it.

"Welcome, my shell!

How many a star has ceas'd to burn,

How many a tear has Saturn's gleaming urn
O'er the cold bosom of the ocean wept,
Since thy ærial spell

Hath in the waters slept!"

O, Reader, if that thou canst read,
Attend unto this stone,

Death is a man, do what you can,
That never spareth none,

Says Martinus Scriblerus, and he says truly. But to return, Reader! dost thou comprehend these irregular effusions of Mr. Moore?-if thou dost, probably, thou wilt be able to perceive the meaning and the import of the following lines extracted from a philosophical rhapsody on the French Revolution, called-The wreath of Liberty; written by the very largest of all the della cruscan geese.

(6 Hang o'er his eye the gossamery tear,
Wreath round her airy harp the timorous joy,
A web-work of despair, a mass of woes,
And o'er my lids the scalding tumour roll.

Now a tumour is a morbid swelling, which is a very pleasant play-thing to roll over the eye-lids, particularly, if it be

scalding. But, a few more lines of this philosophical rhapsody, because it is in the very first style of Della crusca.

"Summer tints begemm'd the scene,
And silky ocean slept in glossy green,
While air's nocturnal ghost, in paly shroud,
Glances with grisly glare from cloud to cloud,
And gaudy zephyrs, fluttering o'er the plain,
On twilight's bosom drop their filmy rain."

And if thou dost understand all this gentle, reader, thou art far beyond the power of any effort of ours to afford to thee ought of improvement or of delight; thou mightest, however, profit by perusing the concluding lines of Mr. Moore's irregular ode to the Genius of Harmony ;--wherefore, thou shalt have them ;-


Such dreams, so heavenly bright,

I swear,

By the great diadem that twines my hair,
And by the seven gems that sparkle there;
Mingling their beams

In a soft iris of harmonious light,
Oh mortal such ecstatic dreams
Thy soul shall know !
Go-to Hispania go !

(to be continued)

THE HOLY BIBLE: containing the Old and New Testaments; together with the Apocrypha: Translated out of the original Tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised: with marginalnotes and references, and the explanatory notes of Ostervald. To which are added an index, an alphabetical table of all the names in the Old and New Testaments, with their significations, tables of scripture measures, and coins, John Brown's concordance, &c. &c. Embellished with maps, and a number of elegant historical engravings.-New-York. Printed and sold by Collins, Perkins and Co. 1807.


HE Holy Sriptures themselves, are, certainly, not an object of review; neither are the concordance, index, table, and notes, now, matters for our critical examination; because their respective value has long since been fixed by public

« PreviousContinue »