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On a Landscape of Gaspar Poussin ....................... 483

Inscription for a Tablet at Penshurst.......

485

Extract from Roderick, the last of the Goths....... 486

S. T. COLERIDGE

487

To the River Otter............................................... ib.

A Fragment....................................................

488

PROFESSOR WILSON.......................................................

493

Address to a Wild Deer..................................... ib.

THOMAS MOORE ......................................................... 501

Song .........

ib.

From the Irish Melodies.....

502

From the Irish Melodies....

503

The Arab Maid...............

504

Mutability of Love....

505

Miss BAILLIE.....................

507

The Kitten............................

.......... ib.

From Hope, a Drama...................................... 510

MRS HEMANS....................................................................... 511

The Homes of England......................................

ib.

The Grave of Korner......................................... 512

The Voice of Spring........................................ 515

Miss LANDON............

"............. 517

Ballad of Cresentius.....

ib.

Extracts from the Improvisatrice...

519

Rev. GeoRGE CRABBE ........

521

Phæbe Dawson.

ib.

Rev. George CROLY.................

525

Pericles and Aspasia............. ................................ ib.

The Minstrel's Hour............ ......................... 526

From Sebastian, a Spanish Tale............................. 527

Rev. W. L. BOWLES................................................ 529

South American Scenery.................................... ib.

LEIGA HUNT............................................................ 530

Morning (opening of the Story of Rimini)............ ib.

JAMES HOGG ................................................................. 531

From Mador of the Moor

ib.

547

Arria.-M. J. J............................................... ib.

A Farewell to Scotland.-PRINGLE....................... 548

From Bishop Heber's Journal.-HEBER............... 550

Battle-Hymn..........

Address to the Mummy in Belzoni's Exhibition.-

New MONTHLY MAGAZINE.......

555

The Burial of Sir John Moore.-WOLFE.......... 557

To the Memory of a very Promising Child.-

M'DIARMID .................................................... 559

.......... 551

PRELIMINARY SKETCH

OP

THE HISTORY

OF

EARLY ENGLISH POETRY.

THERE is little in the history of English poetry, previous to the age of CHAUCER, which can either interest the general reader, or gratify a liberal curiosity. His genius rose at once on his native land, like the morning-star after a long night of obscurity ; and on his death the splendour of this illustrious dawn suffered an eclipse of nearly two centuries, when the Reformation ushered in the most poetical period of the English annals, the reign of Elizabeth.

Even on the true fountain-head of our national poetry, antiquaries, in a question which is interesting to themselves alone, are widely divided. Some would trace it to a Celtic origin-to the bards of Armorica or Brittany; others to a Gothic source, or

A

to the Scalds of Scandinavia ; and a third party to the Saracens or Arabians, who founded the Moorish empire in Spain. If the subject were worth investigation or dispute, it would probably be found that truth lies broken and scattered among these contending theories. All that can be positively affirmed is, that the genius of our early poetry is essentially romantic, blending the brilliant extravagancies and fantastic imagery of oriental fiction with the wilder spells and incantations of the north ; and that it may have been largely indebted to every known source, save the classic poetry of Greece and Rome, to which, till a comparatively late period of our history, it owed no direct obligation.

It is, however, labour lost to investigate the ori. gin of what has no longer an existence; for much more is now known of the poetry of every contemporary race than of that of our Saxon ancestors.

The most brilliant period of Anglo-Saxon literature appears to have been about the reign of Alfred, the patron and cherisher of letters and of every li. beral art. This prince, it is said, could repeat many Saxon poems or songs before he could write ; but though he enriched his native language with translations from the Latin, which are still preserved, he made no collection of Saxon poetry.

The Runic Odes, translated with so much of the true Bardic fire by Gray, and the fine specimens of poetry which remain of the Welsh bards, would lead us to form a higher estimate of the poetry of the kindred and neighbouring race of England,

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