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Never trod since time began,
| ful were I to omit mentioning, that, even then, can in any respect be associated with the grand on the shores of those far lakes, the title of vision I have just been describing; and, how
Poet," — however unworthily in that instance ever different the nature of their appeals to the bestowed, - bespoke a kind and distinguishing imagination, I should find it difficult to say on welcome for its wearer; and that the Captain which occasion I felt most deeply affected, who commanded the packet in which I crossed when looking on the Falls of Niagara, or when Lake Ontario *, in addition to other marks of standing by moonlight among the ruins of the courtesy, begged, on parting with me, to be Coliseum. allowed to decline payment for my passage. Some changes, I understand, injurious to
When we arrived, at length, at the inn, in the beauty of the scene, have taken place in the neighbourhood of the Falls, it was too late the shape of the Falls since the time of my to think of visiting them that evening; and I visit to them; and among these is the total lay awake almost the whole night with the disappearance, by the gradual crumbling away sound of the cataract in my ears. The day of the rock, of the nall leafy island which following I consider as a sort of era in my life; then stood near the edge of the Great Fall, and the first glimpse I caught of that wonder- and whose tranquillity and unapproachableness, ful cataract gave me a feeling which nothing in in the midst of so much turmoil, lent it an interest this world can ever awaken again.t It was which I thus tried to avail myself of, in a Song through an opening among the trees, as we of the Spirit of that region 1 :approached the spot where the full view of the
There, amid the island-sedge, Falls was to burst upon us, that I caught this
Just above the cataract's edge, glimpse of the mighty mass of waters folding
Where the foot of living man sinoothly over the edge of the precipice; and
Lone I sit at close of day, &c. &c. 50 overwhelming was the notion it gave me of the awful spectacle I was approaching, that, Another characteristic feature of the vicinity during the short interval that followed, imagin- of the Falls, which, I understand, no longer ation had far outrun the reality; and, vast exists, was the interesting settlement of the and wonderful as was the scene that then | Tuscarora Indians. With the gallant BrockS, opened upon me, my first feeling was that of who then commanded at Fort George, I passed disappointment. It would have been impos- the greater part of my time during the few sible, indeed, for any thing real to come up to weeks I remained at Niagara ; and a visit I
the vision I had, in these few seconds, formed paid to these Indians, in company with him 1 of it; and those awful scriptural words, “ The and his brother officers, on his going to distri
fountains of the great deep were broken up," bute among them the customary presents and can alone give any notion of the vague wonders prizes, was not the least curious of the many for which I was prepared.
new scenes I witnessed. These people received But, in spite of the start thus got by imagin- us in all their ancient costume. The young ation, the triumph of reality was, in the end, men exhibited for our amusement in the race, but the greater; for the gradual glory of the the bat-game, and other sports, while the old scene that opened upon me soon took posses- and the women sat in groups under the sursion of my whole mind; presenting, from day rounding trees; and the whole scene was as to day, soine new beauty or wonder, and, like picturesque and beautiful as it was new to me. all that is most sublime in nature or art, awak- It is said that West, the American painter, ening sad as well as elevating thoughts. I when he first saw the Apollo, at Rome, exretain in my memory but one other dream-claimed instantly, " A young Indian warrior!” for such do events so long past appear, which — and, however startling the association may
• The Commodore of the Lakes, as he is styled.
† The two first sentences of the above paragraph, as well as a passage that occurs in the subsequent column, stood originally as part of the Notes on one of the American Poems,
• Introduced in the Epistle to Lady Charlotte Rawdon, p. 128. of this edition.
$ This brave and amiable officer was killed at Queenston, in Upper Canada, soon after the commencement of the war with America, in the year 1812. He was in the act of cheering on his men when he fell. The inscription on the monument raised to his memory, on Queenston Heights, does but due honour to his manly character.
appear, some of the graceful and agile forms While on the subject of the Canadian Boat which I saw that day among the Tuscaroras Song, an anecdote connected with that once were such as would account for its arising in popular ballad may, for my musical readers at the young painter's mind.
least, possess some interest. A few years since, After crossing “the fresh-water ocean" of while staying in Dublin, I was presented, at his Ontario, passed down the St. Lawrence to own request, to a gentleman who told me that Montreal and Quebec, staying for a short time his family had in their possession a curious at each of these places; and this part of my relic of my youthful days, – being the first journey, as well as my voyage on from Quebec notation I had made, in pencilling, of the air to Halifax, is sufficiently traceable through the and words of the Canadian Boat Song, while few pieces of poetry that were suggested to me on my way down the St. Lawrence, -- and that by scenes and events on the way. And here I it was their wish I should add my signature to must again venture to avail myself of the valu- attest the authenticity of the autograph. I able testimony of Captain Hall to the truth of assured him with truth that I had wholly formy descriptions of some of those scenes through gotten even the existence of such a memoranwhich his more practised eye followed me;
dum; that it would be as much a curiosity to taking the liberty to omit in my extracts, as myself as it could be to any one else, and that far as may be done without injury to the style I should feel thankful to be allowed to see it. or context, some of that generous surplusage In a day or two after, my request was complied of praise in which friendly criticism delights to with, and the following is the history of this indulge.
musical “relic." In speaking of an excursion he had made up In my passage down the St. Lawrence, I had the river Ottawa, — “a stream,” he adds, with me two travelling companions, one of " which has a classical place in every one's whom, named Harkness, the son of a wealthy imagination from Moore's Canadian Boat Song," Dublin merchant, has been some years dead. Captain Hall proceeds as follows: “While To this young friend, on parting with him, at the poet above alluded to has retained all that Quebec, I gave, as a keepsake, a volume I had is essentially characteristic and pleasing in these been reading on the way, - Priestley's Lectures boat songs, and rejected all that is not so, he on History; and it was upon a fly-leaf of this has contrived to borrow his inspiration from volume I found I had taken down, in pencilling, numerous surrounding circumstances, present- both the notes and a few of the words of the ing nothing remarkable to the dull senses of original song by which my own boat-glee had ordinary travellers. Yet these highly poetical been suggested. The following is the form of images, drawn in this way, as it were carelessly my memorandum of the original air : and from every hand, he has combined with such graphic — I had al
老 most said geographical — truth, that the effect is great, even upon those who have never, with their own eyes, seen the · Utawa's tide, nor "flown down the Rapids,' nor heard the bell of St. Then follows, as pencilled down at the same Anne's toll its evening chime;' while the same moment, the first verse of my Canadian Boat lines give to distant regions, previously con- Song, with air and words as they are at present. secrated in our imagination, a vividness of From all this it will be perceived, that, in my interest, when viewed on the spot, of which it own setting of the air, I departed in alınost is difficult to say how much is due to the every respect but the time from the strain our magic of the poetry, and how much to the voyageurs had sung to us, leaving the music of beauty of the real scene.
the glee nearly as much my own as the words.
." It is singularly gratifying," the author adds, “ to dis- no opportunity of keeping up so propitious an intercourse, cover that, to this hour, the Canadian voyageurs never omit The Bourishing village which surrounds the church on the their offerings to the shrine of St. Anne, before engaging in • Green Isle' in question owes its existence and support enany enterprise ; and that during its performance, they omit tirely to these pious contributions.”
Yet, how strongly impressed I had become with this sanction of the order nad been withdrawn. the notion that this was the identical air sung Of course to the reduction thus caused in the by the boatmen, - how closely it linked itself value of the honour was owing its descent in in my imagination with the scenes and sounds the scale of distinction to “such small deer" of amidst which it had occurred to me, - may be Parnassus as myself. I wrote a letter, howseen by reference to a note appended to the ever, full of grateful acknowledgment, to Monglee as first published, which will be found in sieur Hansson, the Vice-Chancellor of the the following pages.*
Order, saying that I was unconscious of having To the few desultory and, perhaps, valueless entitled myself, by any public service, to a recollections I have thus called up, respecting reward due only to the benefactors of manthe contents of our second volume, I have only kind; and therefore begged leave most reto add, that the heavy storm of censure and spectfully to decline it. criticism—some of it, I fear, but too well deserved – which, both in America and in England, the publication of my “Odes and Epistles" drew down upon me, was followed by results which have far more than compen
PREFACE sated for any pain such attacks at the time may bare inflicted. In the most formidable of all
THE THIRD VOLUME. my censors, at that period, - the great master of the art of criticism, in our day, -I have The three satirical Poems, with which this Vofound ever since one of the most cordial and
lume commences, were published originally highly valued of all my friends ; while the without the author's name ; “ Corruption" and good-will I have experienced from more than
“Intolerance" in the year 1808, and “ The one distinguished American sufficiently assures Sceptic" in the year following. The political me that any injustice I may have done to that opinions adopted in the first of these Satiresland of freemen, if not long since wholly for- the Poem on Corruption—was chiefly caught gotten, is now remembered only to be forgiven. up, as is intimated in the original Preface,
As some consolation to me for the onsets of from the writings of Bolingbroke, Sir William criticism, I received, shortly after the appear- Wyndham, and other statesmen of that facance of my volume, a letter from Stockholm, tious period, when the same sort of alliance addressed to “ the author of Epistles, Odes, took place between Toryism and what is now and other poems,” and informing me that “ the called Radicalism, which is always likely to Princes, Nobles, and Gentlemen, who composed ensue on the ejection of the Tory party from the General Chapter of the most Ilustrious, power.f In the somewhat rash effusion, it will Equestrian, Secular, and Chapteral Order of be seen that neither of the two great English St. Joachim," had elected me as a Knight of parties is handled with much respect; and I rethis Order. Notwithstanding the grave and member being taken to task, by one of the few official style of the letter, I regarded it, I own, of my Whig acquaintances that ever looked at first, as a mere ponderous piece of pleasantry; into the poem, for the following allusion to the and even suspected that in the name of St. silencing effects of official station on certain " Joachim” I could detect the low and irre- orators:verent pun of St. Jokehim.
As bees, on flowers alighting, cease their hum, On a little inquiry, however, I learned that So, settling upon places, Whigs grow dumb. there actually existed such an order of knight
But these attempts of mine in the stately, bood; that the title, insignia, &c. conferred by Juvenalian style of satire, met with but little it had, in the instances of Lord Nelson, the
success, never having attained, I believe, Duke of Bouillon, and Colonel Imhoff, who
even the honours of a second edition; and I were all Knights of St. Joachim, been autho- found that lighter form of weapon, to which I rised by the British court; but that since then,
| Bolingbroke himself acknowledges that “ both parties Page 127. of this edition.
were become factions, in the strict sense of the word."
* * *
afterwards betook myself, not only more easy editor of a leading Tory journal † thus liberally to wield, but, from its very lightness, perhaps, expresses himself:-—“We know that some will more sure to reach its mark.
blame us for our prejudice--if it be prejudice, It would almost seem, too, as if the same in favour of Mr. Moore; but we cannot help unembittered spirit, the same freedom from all it. As he tells us himself, real malice with which, in most instances, this
• Wit a diamond brings sort of squib warfare has been waged by me,
That cuts its bright way through' was felt, in some degree, even by those who the most obdurate political antipathies. were themselves the objects of it ;—so gene- We do not believe that any one was ever hurt rously forgiving have I, in most instances, found by libels so witty as those of Mr. Moore: them. Even the high Personage against whom
great privilege of wit, which renders it imposthe earliest and perhaps most successful of my sible even for those whose enemies wits are, to lighter missiles were launched, could refer to
hate them!” and quote them, as I learn from an incident
To return to the period of the Regency:mentioned in the Life of Sir Walter Scott *, In the numerous attacks from the government with a degree of good-humour and playfulness
press, which my occasional vollies of small shot which was creditable alike to his temper and against the Court used to draw down upon me, good sense. At a memorable dinner given by it was constantly alleged, as an aggravation of the Regent to Sir Walter in the year 1815, my misdeeds, that I had been indebted to the Scott, among other stories with which his royal Royal personage thus assailed by me for many host was much amused, told of a sentence kind and substantial services. Luckily, the list passed by an old friend of his, the Lord Justice of the benefits showered upon me from that high Clerk Braxfield, attended by circumstances in
quarter may be despatched in a few sentences. which the cruelty of this waggish judge was | At the request of the Earl of Moira, one of my even more conspicuous than his humour. “The earliest and best friends, his Royal Highness Regent laughed heartily," says the biographer, graciously permitted me to dedicate to him my " at this specimen of Braxfield's brutal humour; Translation of the Odes of Anacreon. I was and 'T' faith, Walter,' said he, “this old big- twice, I think, admitted to the honour of dining wig seems to have taken things as coolly as my at Carlton House; and when the Prince, on tyrannical self. Don't you remember Tom his being made Regent in 1811, gave his meMoore's description of me at breakfast ? –
morable fête, I was one of the crowd - about • The table spread with tea and toast,
1500, I believe, in number -- who enjoyed the Death-warrants and the Morning Post.'”
privilege of being his guests on the occasion. In reference to this, and other less exalted There occur some allusions, indeed, in the instances, of the good-humoured spirit in which Twopenny Post-Bag, to the absurd taste dismy “ innocui sales” have in general been taken, played in the ornaments of the Royal supperI shall venture to cite here a few flattering sen- table at that fêteř; and this violation -- for tences which, coming as they did from a poli- such, to a certain extent, I allow it to have been tical adversary and a stranger, touched me far — of the reverence due to the rights of the Hosmore by their generosity than even by their pitable Joves, which, whether administered by praise. In speaking of the pension which had prince or peasant, ought to be sacred from just then been conferred upon me, and express- such exposure, I am by no means disposed to ing, in warm terms, his approval of the grant, the defend. But, whatever may be thought of the
taste or prudence of some of these satires, there “ A strait waistcoat on him, and restrictions on me,
A more limited monarchy could not well be," exists no longer, I apprehend, much difference of opinion respecting the character of the Royal grew rather provoked with me for not enjoying personage against whom they were aimed. Al- the fun of the parody as much as himself. ready, indeed, has the stern verdict which the While thus the excitement of party feeling voice of History cannot but pronounce upon lent to the political trifles contained in this him, been in some degree anticipated *, in a volume a relish and pungency not their own, sketch of the domestic events of his reign, sup- an effect has been attributed to two squibs, posed to have proceeded from the pen of one wholly unconnected with politics—the Letters who was himself an actor in some of its most from the Dowager Countess of Cork, and from painful scenes, and who, from his professional Messrs. Lackington and Co.I - of which I position, commanded a near insight into the had myself not the slightest notion till I found character of that exalted individual, both as it thus alluded to in Mr. Lockhart's Life of Sir husband and father. To the same high autho- Walter Scott. In speaking of the causes which rity I must refer for an account of the myste- were supposed to have contributed to the comrious “ Bookt," to which allusion is more than parative failure of the Poem of “Rokeby,” the once made in the following pages.
" It is fair to add that, among One of the earliest and most successful of the the London circles, at least, some sarcastic nunerous trifles I wrote at that period, was the flings, in Mr. Moore's Twopenny Post-Bag, Parody on the Regent's celebrated Letter, an- must have had an unfavourable influence on nouncing to the world that he had no predi- this occasion."S lections," &c. This very opportune squib was, Among the translations that have appeared at first, circulated privately; my friend, Mr. on the Continent, of the greater part of my Perry, having for some time hesitated to publish poetical works, there has been no attempt, as it. He got some copies of it, however, printed far as I can learn, to give a version of any of off for me, which I sent round to several mem- my satirical writings, — with the single excepbers of the Whig party; and, having to meet a tion of a squib contained in this volume, ennumber of them at dinner immediately after, titled “Little Man and Little Soulll,” of which found it no easy matter to keep my countenance there is a translation into German verse, by while they were discussing among them the the late distinguished oriental scholar, Profesmerits of the Parody. One of the party, I re- sor Von Bohlen. I Though unskilled, myself, collect, having quoted to me the following de- in German, I can yet perceive — sufficiently scription of the state of both King and Regent, to marvel at it — the dexterity and ease with at that moment,
which the Old Ballad metre of the original is
• Edinburgh Review, No. cxxxv., George the Fourth and $ "See, for instance,” says Mr. Lockhart,“ the Epistle of Queen Caroline.-" When the Prince entered upon public Lady Cork; or that of Messrs. Lackington, booksellers, to life be sas found to have exhausted the resources of a career one of their dandy authors: of pleasure ; to have gained followers without making friends ; " . Should you feel any touch of poetical glow, to bave acquired touch envy and some admiration among the
We've a scheme to suggest :- Mr. Sc-tt, you must know, unthinking multitude of polished society; but not to com- (Who, we're sorry to say it, now works for the Row,) ' nand in any quarter either respect or esteem. The Having quitted the Borders, to seek new renown, portrait wbich we have painted of him is undoubtedly one
Is coming, by long Quarto stages, to Town; of the darkest shade and most repulsive form."
And beginning with Rokeby (the job's sure to pay) † “ There is no doubt whatever that The Book, written by Means to do all the Gentlemen's Seats on the way. Mr. Perceral, and privately printed at his house, under Lord Now, the scheine is (though none of our hackneys can beat Ebon's superintendence and his own, was prepar
him) with the King, and was intended to sound the alarm against | To start a fresh Poet through Highgate to meet him ; Carltoa House and the Whigs." — Ed. Review, ib.
Who, by means of quick proofs - no revises – long coaches * Tesopenny Post-Bag, pp. 153. 155. 1 avail myself of the May do a few villas, before Sc-tt approaches. Deption here of this latter squib, to recant a correction which
Indeed, if our Pegasus be not curst shabby, I too hastily made in the two following lines of it:
He'll reach, without found'ring, at least Woburn Abbey."" * And, though statesmen may glory in being unbought, | Alluding to a speech delivered in the year 1813 by the
In an author, we think, sir, that's rather a fault." Right Hon. Charles Abbott (then Speaker) against Mr. GratForgetting that Pope's ear was satisfied with the sort of rhyme tan's motion for a Committee on the Claims of the Catholics bere used, I foolishly altered (and spoiled) the whole couplet
Author of " The Ancient Indian." to get rid of it.