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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 neighborhood 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 "hese is the total lay awake almost the whole night with the disappearance, by the graduai crumbling away sound of the cataract in my ears. The day of the rock, of the small 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.f 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 :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
Never trod since time began, smoothly over the edge of the precipice; and
Lone I sit at close of day, &c. &c. so 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 Brock, 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 of it; and those awful scriptural words, “ The and his brother officers, on his going to distribfountains of the great deep were broken up,” ute 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 Bat, i: 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 ice, but the greater; for the gradual glory of the the bat-game, and other sports, while the uld 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, some new beauty or wonder, and, like picturesque and beautiful as it was new to me. all that is most sublime in nature or art, awa- It is said that West, the American painter, kening 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.
This brave and amiable officer was killed at Queenston, The two first sentences of the above paragraph, as well in Upper Canada, soon after the commencement of the war 25 a passage that occurs in the subsequent column, stood with America, in the year 1812. He was in the act of cheeroriginally as part of the Notes on one of the Ainerican Poems, ing on his men when he fell. The inscription on the mona
Introduced in the Epistle to Lady Charlotte Rawdon, meht raised to his memory, on Quceoston Heights, does but p. 184 of this edition.
due honor to his manly character.
A few years
appear, some of the graceful and agile forms popular ballad may, for my musical readers at which I saw that day among the Tuscaroras least, possess some interest. were such as would account for its arising in since, while staying in Dublin, I was presentthe young painter's mind.
ed, at his own request, to a gentleman who After crossing “ the fresh-water ocean" of told me that his family had in their possession Ontario, I passed down the St. Lawrence to a curious relic of my youthful days,--being the Montreal and Quebec, staying for a short time first notation I had made, in pencilling, of the at each of these places ; and this part of my air and words of the Canadian Boat Song, journey, as well as my voyage on from Quebec while on my way down the St. Lawrence,to Halifax, is sufficiently traceable through the and that it was their wish I should add my few pieces of poetry that were suggested to me signature to attest the authenticity of the autoby scenes and events on the way. And here I graph. I assured him with truth that I had must again venture to avail myself of the valu- wholly forgotten even the existence of such a able testimony of Captain Hall to the truth of memorandum ; that it would be as much a my descriptions of some of those scenes through curiosity to myself as it could be to any one which his more practised eye followed me ;- else, and that I should feel thankful to be altaking the liberty to omit in my extracts, as lowed to see it. In a day or two after, my far as may be done without injury to the style request was complied with, and the following or context, some of that generous surplusage is the history of this musical “relic.” of praise in which friendly criticism delights to In my passage down the St. Lawrence, I had indulge.
with me two travelling companions, one of In speaking of an excursion he had made whom, named Harkness, the son of a wealthy up the river Ottawa,—"a stream,” he adds, Dublin merchant, has been some years dead. " which has a classical place in every one's To this young friend, on parting with him, at imagination from Moore's Canadian Boat Song,” | Quebec, I gave, as a keepsake, a volume I had Captain Hall proceeds as follows :—“While been reading on the way,-Priestley's Lectures the poet above alluded to has retained all that on History, and it was upon a fly-leaf of this is essentially characteristic and pleasing in these volume I found I had taken down, in pencilling, boat songs, and rejected all that is not so, he both the notes and a few of the words of the has contrived to borrow his inspiration from original song by which my own boat-glee had numerous surrounding circumstances, present- been suggested. The following is the form of ing nothing remarkable to the dull senses of my memorandum of the original air :ordinary travellers. Yet these highly poetical images, drawn in this way, as it were carelessly and from every hand, he has combined with
such graphic—I had almost 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,' or heard the ' bell of St. Anne's toll its evening chime;' while the same lines give to dis- Then follows, as pencilled down at the same tant regions, previously consecrated in our moment, the first verse of my Canadian Boat imagination, a vividness of interest, when Song, with air and words as they are at present. viewed on the spot, of which it is difficult to From all this it will be perceived, that, in my say how much is due to the magic of the poetry, own setting of the air, I departed in almost and how much to the beauty of the real scene."* every respect but the time from the strain our
While on the subject of the Canadian Boat royageurs had sung to us, leaving the music of Song, an anecdote connected with that once 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 flourishing village which surrounds the church on the thely 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 onuit tirely to these pious contributions."
Yet, how strongly impressed I had become with this sanction of the order had 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 honor 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 re
PREFACE suits which have far more than compensated for any pain such attacks at the time may have inflicted. In the most formidable of all my
THE THIRD VOLUME. censors, at that period,—the great master of the art of criticism, in our day,—I have found The three satirical Poems, with which his ever since one of the most cordial and highly volume commences, were published originally valued of all my friends; while the good-will without the author's name; “ Corruption" and I have experienced from more than one dis “ Intolerance” in the year 1808, and “The tinguished American sufficiently assures me Skeptic” in the year following. The politithat any injustice I may have done to that land cal opinions adopted in the first of these Saof freemen, if not long since wholly forgotten, tires—the Poem on Corruption-were chiefly is now remembered only to be forgiven. caught up, as is intimated in the original Pre
As some consolation to me for the onsets of face, from the writings of Bolingbroke, Sir criticism, I received, shortly after the appear. William Wyndham, and other statesmen of that ance of my volume, a letter from Stockholm, factious 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 Illustrious, 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 this Order. Notwithstanding the grave and remember being taken to task, by one of the official style of the letter, I regarded it, I own, few of my Whig acquaintances that ever looked at first, as a mere ponderous piece of pleasant- into the poem, for the following allusion to the ry: and even suspected that in the name of St. silencing effects of official station on certain ** Joachim” I could detect the low and irrever- erators :ent pan of St. Jokehim.
As bees, on flowers alighting, cease their hum, On a little inquiry, however, I learned that
Bo, settling upon places, Whigs grow dumb. there actually existed such an order of knighthood; that the title, insignia, &c., conferred by But these attempts of mine in the stately, it had, in the instances of Lord Nelson, the Juvenalian style of satire, met with but little Duke of Bouillon, and Colonel Imhoff, who success,-never having attained, I believe, were all Knights of St. Joachim, been author- even the honors of a second edition ; and I ised by the British court ; but that since then, found that lighter form of weapon, to which I
* Page 183 of this edition
† Bolingbroke himself acknowledges that "both parties were become factions, in the strict sense of the word."
afterwards betook myself, not only more easy the editor of a leading Tory journalt to wield, but, from its very lightness, perhaps, erally expresses himself :-“We kno more sure to reach its mark.
some will blame us for our prejudiceIt would almost seem, tos, as if the same prejudice, in favor o Mr. Moore ; but v unembittered spirit, the same freedom from all not help 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 were themselves the objects of it ;-so gener- the most obdurate political antipathies. ously forgiving have I, in most instances, found We do not believe that any one was ey them. Even the high personage against whom by libels so witty as those of Mr. M the earliest and perhaps most successful of my great privilege of wit, which renders it lighter missiles were launched, could refer to sible even for those whose enemies wit. and quote them, as I learn from an incident hate them !" mentioned in the Life of Sir Walter Scott,* To return to the period of the Reg with a degree of good-humor and playfulness In the numerous attacks from the gove which was creditable alike to his temper and press, which my occasional volleys of sn good sense. At a memorable dinner given by against the Court used to draw down u the Regent to Sir Walter in the year 1815, it was constantly alleged, as an aggrav Scott, among other stories with which his royal my misdeeds, that I had been indebte host was much amused, told of a sentence Royal personage thus assailed by me f passed by an old friend of his, the Lord Justice kind and substantial services. Luch Clerk Braxfield, attended by circumstances in list of the benefits showered upon me f which the cruelty of this waggish judge was high quarter may be dispatched in a even more conspicuous than his humor. “ The tences. At the request of the Earl of M Regent laughed heartily," says the biographer, of my earliest and best friends, his Roy
at this specimen of Braxfield's brutal humor; ness graciously permitted me to dedica and, 'I' faith, Walter,' said he, “this old big- my Translation of the Odes of Anacreo wig seems to have taken things as coolly as twice, I think, admitted to the honor d my tyrannical self. Don't you remember Tom at Carlton House; and when the Princ Moore's description of me at breakfast ? being made Regent in 1811, gave his
ble fête, I was one of the crowd-abd "The table spread with tea and toast,
I believe, in number—who enjoyed th Death-warrants and the Morning Post.'"
lege of being his guests on the occasid In reference to this, and other less exalted There occur some allusions, indeed instances, of the good-humored spirit in which Twopenny Post-Bag, to the absurd t my “innocui sales" have in general been taken, played in the ornaments of the Royal I shall venture to cite here a few flattering sen- table at that fête :I and this violationtences which, coming as they did from a polit- to a certain extent, I allow it to hav ical adversary and a stranger, touched me far of the reverence due to the rights of more by their generosity than even by their pitable Jove, which, whether adminis praise. In speaking of the pension which had prince or peasant, ought to be sac just then been conferred upon me, and express- such exposure, I am by no means dis ing, in warm terms, his approval of the grant, de fend. But, whatever may be thoug
* Vol. iii. p. 342. | The Standard, August 24, 1835
"The same fauteuils and girandoles
The same gold asses, pretty souls,
(It being rather hard to raise
taste or prudence of some of these satires, there * A strast 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 o in Mr. Lockhart's Life of Sir husband and father. To the same high author-Walter Scott. In speaking of the causes which ity I must refer for an account of the myste- were supposed to have contributed to the comrious “ Book,"'t to which allusion is more than parative failure of the Poem of “Rokeby,” the once made in the following pages.
biographer says, “ It is fair to add, that, among One of the earliest and most successful of the the London circles, at least, some sarcastic numerous 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 unfavorable 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 Soul,"|| 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 D“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 like he was 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 have acquired much envy and some admiration among the We've a scheme to suggest :-Mr. Sc-11, you must know, eethinking multitude of polished society; but not to com (Who, we're sorry to say it, now works for the Row,? ) mund in any quarter either respect or esteem. * * * The Having quitted the Borders, to seek new renown, portrait which 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. Perceval, and privately printed at his house, under Lord Now, the scheme is (though none of our hackneys can beat Eidra's superintendence and his own, was prepared in concert him) with the King, and was intended to sound the alarm against To start a fresh Poet through Highgate to meet him; Carlton House and the Whigs."— Ed. Review, ib.
Who, by means of quick proofs-no revises-long coachesTropenny Post-Bag, pp. 153, 155. I avail myself of the May do a few villas, before Sc—tt approaches. mention here of this latter squib, to recanta 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 1913 by the
la 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. here used, I foolishly altered (and spoiled) the whole coup
IT Author of "The Ancient Indian." bet to get nd of it.
1 Paternoster Row.