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We think every one must be sensible to the beauty of these lines, and no less so to the difficulty of reading and following them which we have pointed out above.

We quote another passage in which the process of the composition may be distinctly discerned.

• But now I turn me to the setting sun,

Whose broad fire dips behind yon rock, a tower
Fit for the eagle's aerie; day is done,

And earth is hush'd at evening's dewy hour;
Down the high wooded peak a golden shower
Flows through the twinkling leaves, that lightly play
In the cool wind, that wakens from its bower
Hung, where the curling river winds away
Through the green water'd vale, to meet the sheeted bay;

On which the moon, who long had watch'd the set

Of the bright lord, who gives her light, but dims
Her brightness, when they two in heaven are met,
Casts her pale shadow, which as softly swims,

As nymphs, who cleave the waves with snowy limbs,
Like lilies floating on a falling stream,

Whose incense breathing cup now lightly skims
The crinkling sheet, and now with opal gleam
Dips in the brook, and takes from air a brighter beam;

Which is condens'd, and parted into hues,

That charm us in the rainbow;—each wav'd tip
Of the gloss'd petals, in that light imbues
Its paleness with an iris fringe; the lip
Thus takes a sweeter beauty, when we sip
The infant stream of life, from some bright bowl

Fretted with eastern flowers; and as they drip
From the new rose, the pearls of morning roll

Such tints upon the eye, they pass into the soul.' xcvii-xcix.

Here the transition from link to link of the long chain is mostly formed by the relative pronoun-a favourite mode of 'stringing pearls' with our author, but which unfortunately reminds us whenever it occurs, of the structure of the ditty we learned in the nursery,This is the house that Jack built.' If he were not principled against deliberation and selection and emendation, he might easily avoid so embarrassing an association.

Another unfortunate consequence of this impatience of revision is that it leaves some passages in the undefined obscurity in which they first presented themselves to the writer's mind,-under all the awkwardness of a first attempt to express what was indistinctly conceived, and for which the best expressions did not at once occur. What we now refer to is incident to every species of

writing. But in writing verse, especially in a difficult stanza like that of Prometheus, an author may be compelled by the ex igency of the case to adopt at first a mode of speech, which he does not altogether approve, which does not perhaps exactly convey his meaning, and which only serves to complete the verse for the present. Now it is an advantage of revision, that it gives an opportunity to amend all this, to make lucid what was obscure, to put a more significant expression in place of one less so, and to throw into a new form those stauzas which were least felicitously wrought. These advantages our author has forborne, and whatever he may have gained by writing impromptu, there are dark spots which he might have made bright if had not printed impromptu. Take the following specimens:

- hymns that have been sung, of old
Burning on lips of inspiration, glowing
Deep in those ancient hearts of keener mould,
Whose ever restless mind its treasure throwing
In lavish gifts around them, and bestowing
New being on the wanderer of the wild;

Those spirits nerv'd with intellect, all-knowing,
Whose voice now roused in tenor; now they smiled
Reading soft words of love to the delighted child;
With these, and all who,' &c. ix, x.

Here are very obvious improprieties, and an obscurity, which instead of being removed, is only increased by being read in connexion with the other eighteen lines which go to complete the sentence.


hearts have bled, And healed themselves to be all callous.' xv.

'The meeting of two fond eyes, and the beat Of two accordant pulses are above

Planets, that always tend, but never meet.' xix.
'When the glad season with its life imbues

The very clods, and wakens from the slime
Of the low marsh, new forms, that spread a time
A pictur'd mantle o'er it lxxi.
Perhaps there is here a typographical error.
where we meet


In a fair life, a goodness all unfeigned,

Where one long love of purity hath reigned,
And the meek spirit charms us, like the rose

That in a thicket lurks, and there hath gained
Sweetness from all it fed on, till it throws

New fragrance to the wind, we give a heaven to those.' xcii,

'-power to throw
Hope on the impassioned heart, who in her glow
Reads the fond omen of his happy flame.'
'That fond idolater in dying saw,

As the day sunk in glory in the deep,
That rolled in gilt waves o'er it with the sweep
Of a far flashing brightness, there his eye

Beheld his god enshrined;-his soul could leap
At such a calm and holy hour, to lie
Serenely on his couch, and with his loved lord die.'
in the tomb, when the spirit flings
Its faded slough aside, again to run
In a fresh-glowing spoil, that gives the sun
Its light in burnished beauty.'




'Shook for Shaken.'

'so from the doomed rock

Prometheus saw the sea roll near, his torture's mock.' cliv. 'Why was the sense of beauty lent to man? * * * * Why the whole Waste of creation sweetly can control The fixed heart to devotion?"

'O fane

Of Grecian wisdom, that in ruin lours

Over the rage of ignorance, again

Thou shalt be bright,' &c.

Such the smile, hate wrings
From the crushed heart, that hardened as it bore."
then dust to dust

Shall meanly moulder; we shall be a thing
For worms to feast on; do we rightly trust

We shall be then all mind, or it is a vain lust ?" CXXXvii:


-When first-thou, with front of flame


These are examples of inelegancies and improprieties which are wholly needless and inexcusable. We had marked several passages of memorable obscurity, but they are too long to quote. The following are instances of false grammar.




'Those visions, where they wandered, in a maze

Of dreams, that were sublime, and dazzle all who gaze.' lxxxv.


On the dark face of earth in glory burst,

And warmed the seas, and in their bosom nursed, &c.' cxviii.

We will not pursue this minute criticism, though we have given but some of the examples which we have marked. It is obvious that they are imperfections which a patient revision would easily remedy.

Another unavoidable consequence of this system of rapid and

uncorrected composition, is, the frequent recurrence of the same thoughts and images. He who writes a great deal in a short time, will be likely to repeat himself. Examples of this are not wanting in the present work. The skies and the clouds, the sea, the streams and the flowers, are laid under perpetual contribution, and furnish some embellishment for whatever topic comes up. This is apt to give the reader an impression of uniformity and monotony. Yet we ought not to say this without remarking also the wonderful variety in the manner of using these images, so that although trite and commonplace in themselves, there are not many trite and commonplace allusions. Nothing more strongly manifests the superiority of our author's powers, than this constant variety in the midst of sameness. His mind is a sort of kaleidoscope, which keeps a few bright objects before you, and enchants you with their magical changes. But nobody can be amused with the kaleidoscope forever.

We do not mean to imply that there is any deficiency of other imagery, for on the contrary there is much that is new and strik. ing. It is a wide field from which he gathers flowers, and no one can deny that he chooses with skill and taste. Having cited so largely in censure, we should do wrong if we did not also quote in praise. We gladly give place therefore to a few extracts which may afford specimens of his best manner, though we fear we shall be able to bring forward nothing in which our readers will not detect some of his characteristic blemishes. The following stanza contains a very sweet picture.

It was from gazing on the fairy hues,

That hung around the born and dying day,
The tender flush, whose mellow stain imbues

Heaven with all freaks of light, and where it lay

Deep-bosom'd in a still and waveless bay,
The sea reflected all that glow'd above,

Till a new sky, softer but not so gay,
Arch'd in its bosoun trembled like a dove,

When o'er her silken plumes wanders the light of love.' xxvii. So also this, to the bird of Eden. • And thou too hast a voice, and oft at night,

When thy wing winds among the stars, 't is said
By those who watch the sky in fix'd delight,
On fairy dreams of wooing fortune led,

When the cool winds, around the flowery bed
Hid in the garden alcove, long delay,

Because the spot is fragrant, then 't is said
The midnight gazer hears thee far away,
Like a sweet angel's voice, salute the coming day.'


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We copy next, part of the apostrophe to the sun, which is the most sustained and equal passage in the poem.

'Centre of light and energy! thy way

Is through the unknown void; thou hast thy throne,
Morning, and evening, and at noon of day,

Far in the blue, untended and alone:

Ere the first-waken'd airs of earth had blown,
On thou didst march, triumphant in thy light;

Then thou didst send thy glance, which still hath flown
Wide through the never-ending worlds of night,
And yet thy full orb burns with flash as keen and bright."

Thou lookest on the Earth, and then it smiles;

Thy light is hid, and all things droop and mourn;
Laughs the wide sea around her budding isles,

When through their heaven thy changing car is borne:
Thou wheelst away thy flight, the woods are shorn
Of all their waving locks, and storms awake;

All, that was once so beautiful, is torn

By the wild winds, which plough the lonely lake,
And in their maddening rush the crested mountains shake.'

'The vales are thine; and when the touch of Spring
Thrills them, and gives them gladness, in thy light
They glitter, as the glancing swallow's wing
Dashes the water in his winding flight,

And leaves behind a wave, that crinkles bright,
And widens outward to the pebbled shore ;-

The vales are thine, and when they wake from night,
The dews, that bend the grass tips, twinkling o'er
Their soft and oozy beds, look upward and adore.

'The hills are thine ;-they catch thy newest beam,
And gladden in thy parting, where the wood
Flames out in every leaf, and drinks the stream,
That flows from out thy fulness, as a flood
Bursts from an unknown land, and rolls the food
Of nations in its waters;-so thy rays

Flow and give brighter tints, than ever bud,
When a clear sheet of ice reflects a blaze

Of many twinkling gems, as every gloss'd bough plays.

'Thine are the mountains, where they purely lift
Snows that have never wasted, in a sky
Which hath no stain; below the storm may drift
Its darkness, and the thunder-gust roar by,
Aloft in thy eternal smile they lie
Dazzling but cold;-thy farewell glance looks there,
And when below thy hues of beauty die


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