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from which the philosophy of prosperous life would shrink with a feeling almost of horror." This is but too true. With reference to the proposed poem, Fitzadam again wrote to Lord Exmouth, with a modest request for a ticket of admission to Westminster Abbey. Again he received no reply to his communication. This would probably be early in 1821: the coronation took place on the 19th July. He then made unsuccessful attempts to obtain permanent employment in journalism, an avocation certainly unpropitious to poetry. Indeed The Press, in a late article upon Mr. Buchanan, affirms that, “ for a London journalist to be a poet, in any worthy sense, is simply impossible.” Poor Poetry! its ray has had to struggle through many a cloud, many times.
In 1820, Fitzadam gained through Mr. Bell an introduction to Mr. Jerdan, the Editor of the Literary Gazette. Mr. Jerdan appears to have acted towards him with great kindness; he published several of his poems, and in the autumn of that year, learning from Messrs. Whitmore and Fenn that Fitzadam was in distress, he inserted some sort of advertisement for him, wishing to know his whereabouts. Several letters, also, were received by Mr. Jerdan, expressing a willingness to assist in plans for Fitzadam's benefit. Some months elapsed, when Fitzadam appeared with grateful acknowledgment of the intended benefits, but complaining of a letter sent by Mr. Bell, "containing an appeal not very spirited," and declining any assistance save through some suitable literary arrangement. It has been stated, that Fitzadam was not at any time in want, as his father was always in independent circumstances and ready to assist him.
In the Literary Magnet, vol. iii., 1827, p. 46, it is also affirmed that his brother-in-law, the proprietor of the Enniskillen Chronicle, had money and securities in hand belonging to him at the very time when he was supposed to be in want, besides having remitted to him, during three or four years, considerable (?) sums amounting to about 200l. Still the preponderance of evidence is on the side of his poverty. His publishers, Whitmore and Fenn, allude to it, as well as himself, in terms that are unmistakeable. He was of an extremely sensitive nature, willing to endure any suffering rather than be a burden upon either friends or relatives. Through Mr. Jerdan was procured the publication, by Mr. Warren, of Fitzadam's third and last volume of poems, the “ Lays on Land." An application, but an unsuccessful one, had previously been made to Messrs. Longman, to incorporate with this the former volume, and advance a trifle on the two. At this time Fitzadam appears to have been living at 47, Bedford Street, Strand, where he was addressed by Mr. Jerdan as “ J. Williams.
This volume—“Lays on Land,”—met with better treatment than its predecessors, but the publisher is named as “that most unfortunate of booksellers," and the venture met with no success. Again disappointed, and in bad health, Fitzadam returned to Ireland, where he resumed his position as joint-editor of the Enniskillen Chronicle. He died at his post, of decline, after a protracted and tedious illness, two years after the publication of his last attempt. This was on the 7th of June, 1823, and in August of that year we gave a brief obituary of this neglected genius. Miss Landon has bestowed on him a worthy monument in the monody, beginning,
“ It was a harp just fit to pour
Its music to the wind and wave :
Who stood himself amid the brave."
This poem we quoted in our number for September, 1823. In the churchyard of Aghavea, where he is buried, is no memorial of him ; it is believed because he was a Roman Catholic. The Literary Gazette, also, gave a short account of him as follows
“ISMAEL FITZADAM.— The early readers of our Gazette may remember how deep an interest we took in the poetical publications, which were given to the world under the assumed name above described. We found the author in misfortune, and we did our humble endeavour to serve him ; but an honest pride and sense of independence, even in the midst of the severest distress, rendered our efforts less efficacious than we desired. For the little we could accomplish, we were amply repaid by the grateful feelings we had the pleasure to excite in a breast of no ordinary cast; and our columns were enriched by many contributions from the pen of this gifted writer. Depression of spirits, and a cankering sorrow, at the neglect which he experienced from the world, and especially from the profession (the naval service) to which he had devoted his broken hopes, preyed upon Fitzadam's health, and he left London, with an almost broken heart, after vainly trying to attract that notice, which seems only to wait upon wealthy bards, and the sunny favourites of trade and speculation. His manly mind shrank from the baser arts by which some contrive to rise, and he retired, as we now learn, to his native land, to die."
Though long oppressed by ill-health and ill-fate, till a settled melancholy seemed to grow over him, there appears no trace of his having been of fretful or morbid nature. He was independent to the last, and not a single expression can we find of aught but praise and esteem from the few, the very few, who knew him. Verily, he is
having his reward ; and where he is, may be, are listeners to his singing, and many a soul may hear in it the echo of the dark waves, as they moaned around him upon earth, ere the great tide of death bore him above them. This he longed for : shall he not gain it ? He says to his harp, the heart-string lute of Israel within him,
Come, I'll braid thee now-
On barren cliffs, with the wave-weed sour and swart;
Plunge—where we'll sleep in peace and never part.”
We have headed this article with the assumed name of its subject in deference to his own words—“With respect to my nom de guerre, or, rather nom de mer, I have no wish to be known by any other name. It was assumed under the pressure of evil, as indicative of the destiny of a wandering and desolate man; and I have since found no reason to abandon it."
We have made a few selections from Fitzadam's poems, although, without doubt, it is much the best that each reader should select his own favourites himself. It is to be wished that it were possible to refer each to the original, but the books have been long out of print, and are to be found in few libraries. We can only express a hope that some one may think him worthy of further attention, and that he may one day have a chance of appreciation, in a volume actually “published.” For fifty years his works have been in the dust.
It may be well to refer to the quarries from which we have drawn our information, scanty as it is, respecting Ismael Fitzadam. Besides the sources already referred to we may quote, Notes and Queries, 3rd Series, vol. viii., pp. 435, 480, 481, and 546 ; Literary Magnet, vol. ii., 1826, p. 193, and vol. iii., 1827, pp. 46-48; Literary Gazette, 1818, pp. 419, 420 ; 1820, pp. 593, 594 and 635, 636 ; 1821, pp. 326-8 and 1823, PP. 411, 412 : “Auto-biography of W. Jerdan," vol. iii., pp. 39-46, and Appendix C. Poems may also be found in the following corners :- Literary Gazette, 1821, pp. 252, 380, 410, 444, 458; Literary Magnet, vol. i., 1826, pp. 206 and 221, and vol. iii., 1827, p. 48 ;
Auto-biography of W. Jerdan," vol. iii., pp. 317, 318, and A. A. Watts' “Poetical Album," 1825, pp. 103, 104, 190, 191, 285, and 307; but of these latter, all but one appear to be reprints from the published volumes. Doubtless the Enniskillen Chronicle might supply much that would be worth the recovery.
Although it is now idle, we cannot help expressing the wish that the
chances of life had brought Fitzadam to the knowledge of William Blake, at this time not many years from the end of his life, so obscure and so brave. Both were poor; but while poverty was to Fitzadam as a crown of thorns, Blake carried it easily as a child's plaything. Blake's sympathies, which were all flame, could not but have brought good to Fitzadam, who was all cloud and as wanderings of darksome waters. Blake was immeasurably the greater man, and Fitzadam from him might have much increased his strength.
“Minstrel Stolen Moments," though of various contents and including many fine elegies, sonnets, and songs, partakes more of tenderness than power. Almost all of these poems are personal. The following sonnet is perhaps a fair example :
“Low sighs my shepherd harp, poor child of home,
No spirit swells the string to themes of fire :
Majestic genius pours the tempest's ire ;
Then heard up mountain wood with bursting wing.
A zephyr sighing round some dimpled spring,
Thence bending off at eve o'er couch of rose,
Or rock the valley lily to repose,
The “Harp of the Desert” is in the form of a tale on the Battle of Algiers, told by Childe Erie, the Minstrel of the "Desert Harp," to a noble family, whom he meets near the ruins of Carthage. Ancient Carthage, it will be remembered, stood on the north coast of Africa, about 300 miles east of the present Algiers. We quote from this volume a graphic description of a sailor's life
"Oh, Christ ! 'tis strange to think upon,
And sad to tell, and wild to sce,
That seamen grapple smilingly-
The battle, also, is well described, and the suspense of the critical moment in the midst of the fray :
" A moment's hush, when, vast and sheer,
Swept the wave!
So sudden came that grave !
This is, at least, as good as anything of A. A. Watts's, the popular genius of the day. “The Hour of Phantasy” sounds light, but has a ring of alternate bitter and sweet :
“ There is an hour when all our past pursuits,
The dreams and passions of our early day,
The unripe blessedness that dropped away
Of one we loved and lost ; or dying tone,
Haunting the heart with music that has flown,
With images of things no more to be ;
And sweeter dreams of love and purity :-
Perhaps the most perfect piece, in form and melody, is in “ Lays on Land,” of which we quote a portion—to this we have previously alluded as dated from Paris :