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Civil to all, compliant and polite,
Dispos'd to think, whatever is, is right.'
At home awhile-she in the autumn finds
The sea an object for reflecting minds,
And change for tender spirits: There she reads,
And weeps in comfort, in her graceful weeds!''
Vol. ii. p. 213.

The concluding tale is but the end of the visit to the Hall, and the settlement of the younger brother near his senior, in the way we have already mentioned. It contains no great matter; but there is so much good nature and goodness of heart about it, that we cannot resist the temptation of gracing our exit with a bit of it. After a little raillery, the elder brother says

"We part no more, dear Richard! Thou wilt need

Thy brother's help to teach thy boys to read;
And I should love to hear Matilda's psalm,
To keep my spirit in a morning calm,
And feel the soft devotion that prepares
The soul to rise above its earthly cares;
Then thou and I, an independent two,
May have our parties, and defend them too;
Thy liberal notions, and my loyal fears,
Will give us subjects for our future years;
We will for truth alone contend and read,
And our good Jaques shall o'ersee our creed.'"*
Vol. ii. pp. 348, 349.
And then, after leading him up to his new
purchase, he adds eagerly-

"Alight, my friend, and come, I do beseech thee, to that proper home!

We had never happened to see either of these volumes till very lately-and have been exceedingly struck with the genius they display, and the spirit of poetry which breathes through all their extravagance. That imitation of our old writers, and especially of our older dramatists, to which we cannot help flattering ourselves that we have somewhat contributed, has brought on, as it were, a second spring in our poetry; and few of its blossoms are either more profuse of sweetness, or richer in promise, than this which is now before us. Mr. Keats, we understand, is still a very young man ; and his whole works,

I still think that a poet of great power and promise was lost to us by the premature death of Keats, in the twenty-fifth year of his age; and regret that I did not go more largely into the exposition of his merits, in the slight notice of them, which I now venture to reprint. But though I can not, with propriety, or without departing from the principle which must govern this republication, now supply this omission, I hope to be forgiven for having added a page or two to the citations, by which my opinion of those merits was then illus trated, and is again left to the judgment of the reader.

Here, on this lawn, thy boys and girls shall run,
And play their gambols, when their tasks are done;
There, from that window, shall their mother view
The happy tribe, and smile at all they do;
While thou, more gravely, hiding thy delight,
Shalt cry, "O! childish!" and enjoy the sight!''
Vol. ii. p. 352.

(August, 1820.)

1. Endymion a Poetic Romance. By JOHN KEATS. 8vo. pp. 207. London: 1818.

2. Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems. By JOHN KEATS, author of "Endymion." 12mo. pp. 200. London: 1820.*

We shall be abused by our political and fastidious readers for the length of this article. But we cannot repent of it. It will give as much pleasure, we believe, and do as much good, as many of the articles that are meant for their gratification; and, if it appear absurd to quote so largely from a popular and accessible work, it should be remembered, that no work of this magnitude passes into circulation with half the rapidity of our Journal-and that Mr. Crabbe is so unequal a writer, and at times so unattractive, as to require, more than any other of his degree, some explanation of his system, and some specimens of his powers, from those experienced and intrepid readers whose business it is to pioneer for the lazier sort, and to give some account of what they are to meet with on their journey. To be sure, all this is less necessary now than it was on Mr. Crabbe's first re-appearance nine or ten years ago; and though it may not be altogether without its use even at present, it may be as well to confess, that we have rather consulted our own gratification than our readers' improvement, in what we have now said of him; and hope they will forgive

us.

indeed, bear evidence enough of the fact. They are full of extravagance and irregu larity, rash attempts at originality, interminable wanderings, and excessive obscurity. They manifestly require, therefore, all the indulgence that can be claimed for a first attempt :-But we think it no less plain that they deserve it: For they are flushed all over with the rich lights of fancy; and so coloured and bestrewn with the flowers of poetry, that even while perplexed and bewildered in their labyrinths, it is impossible to resist the intoxication of their sweetness, or to shut our hearts to the enchantments they so lavishly present. The models upon which he has formed himself, in the Endymion, the earliest and by much the most considerable of his poems, are obviously The Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher, and the Sad Shepherd of Ben Jonson;— the exquisite metres and inspired diction of which he has copied with great boldness and fidelity-and, like his great originals, has also contrived to impart to the whole piece that true rural and poetical air-which breathes only in them, and in Theocritus-which is at

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"She had,
Indeed, locks bright enough to make me mad!
And they were simply gordian'd up and braided,
Leaving, in naked comeliness, unshaded,
Her pearl round ears, white neck, and orbed brow;
The which were blended in, I know not how,
With such a paradise of lips and eyes,
Blush-tinted cheeks, half similes, and faintest sighs,
That when I think thereon. my spirit clings
And melts into the vision!"

Overpowered by this "celestial colloquy sublime," he sinks at last into slumber-and on wakening finds the scene disenchanted; and the dull shades of evening deepening over his solitude:

Then up I started.-Ah! my sighs, my tears!
My clenched hands! For lo! the poppies hung
Dew dabbled on their stalks; the ouzel sung
A heavy ditty; and the sullen day
Had chidden herald Hesperus away,
With leaden looks. The solitary breeze
Bluster'd and slept; and its wild self did teaze
With wayward melancholy. And I thought,
Mark me, Peona! that sometimes it brought,
Faint Fare-thee-wells and sigh-shrilled Adieus!"

"And then her hovering feet!

More bluely vein'd, more soft, more whitely sweet works, which he unconsciously sets playing in
The following picture of the fairy water-

Than
sea-born Venus, when rose
From out her cradle shell! The wind outblows
Her scarf into a fluttering pavilion!-
'Tis blue; and overspangled with a million
Of little eyes; as though thou wert to shed
Over the darkest, lushest blue bell bed,
Handfuls of daisies."-

these enchanted caverns, is, it must be con-
fessed, "high fantastical;" but we venture to
extract it, for the sake of the singular brilliancy
and force of the execution.—

Soon after this he is led away by butterflies to the haunts of Naiads; and by them sent down into enchanted caverns, where he sees Venus and Adonis, and great flights of Cupids; and wanders over diamond terraces among beautiful fountains and temples and statues, and all sorts of fine and strange things. All this is very fantastical: But there are splendid pieces of description, and a sort of wild richness in the whole. We cull a few little morsels. This is the picture of the sleeping

Adonis:

"In midst of all, there lay a sleeping youth
Of fondest beauty. Sideway his face repos'd
On one white arm, and tenderly unclos'd,
By tenderest pressure, a faint damask mouth
To slumbery pout; just as the morning south

Disparts a dew-lipp'd rose. Above his head,
Four lily stalks did their white honours wed
To make a coronal; and round him grew
All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue,
Together intertwin'd and trammel'd fresh:
The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh,
Shading its Ethiop berries; and woodbine,
Of velvet leaves and bugle-blooms divine.
"Hard by,
Stood serene Cupids watching silently.
One kneeling to a lyre, touch'd the strings,
Muffling to death the pathos wi
his wings!
And, ever and anon, uprose to look
At the youth's slumber; while another took
A willow-bough, distilling odorous dew,
And shook it on his hair; another flew
In through the woven roof, and fluttering-wise
Rain violets upon his sleeping eyes."—pp. 72, 73.

of Cybele-with a picture of lions that migh Here is another, and more classical sketch, excite the envy of Rubens, or Edwin Land

seer!

"Forth from a rugged arch, in the dusk below,
Came mother Cybele! alone-alone !-
In sombre chariot: dark foldings thrown
About her majesty, and front death-pale
With turrets crown'd. Four maned lions hale

The sluggish wheels; solemn their toothed maws,
Their surly eyes brow-hidden, heavy paws
Cowering their tawny brushes.
Uplifted drowsily, and nervy tails
Silent sails
This shadowy queen athwart, and faints away
In another gloomy arch!"-p. 83.

66

So on he hies
Gold dome, and crystal wall, and turquoise floor.
Through caves and palaces of mottled ore,
Black polish'd porticos of awful shade,
Till, at the last, a diamond ballustrade
Leads sparkling just above the silvery heads
Of a thousand fountains; so that he could dash
The waters with his spear! But at that splash,
Done heedlessly, those spouting columns rose
Sudden a poplar's height, and 'gan to enclose
His diamond path with fretwork, streaming round.
Alive, and dazzling cool, and with a sound
Haply, like dolphin tumults, when sweet shells
Welcome the car of Thetis! Long he dwells
On this delight; for every minute's space.
The streams with changing magic interlace;
Sometimes like delicatest lattices,
Cover'd with crystal vines: then weeping trees
Moving about, as in a gentle wind;
Which, in a wink, to wat'ry gauze refin'd
Pour into shapes of curtain'd canopies,
Spangled, and rich with liquid broideries
Of Flowers, Peacocks, Swans, and Naiads fair!
And then the water into stubborn streams
Swifter than lightning went these wonders rare;
Collecting, mimick'd the wrought oaken beams,
Pillars, and frieze, and high fantastic roof
Of those dark places, in umes far aloof
Cathedrals named !''

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Old dinties sigh above their father's grave!
Ghosts of melodious prophesyings rave
Round every spot where trod Apollo's feet!
Bronze clarions awake, and faintly bruit,
Where long ago, a Giant battle was!
And from the turf a lullaby doth pass,
In every place where infant Orpheus slept!"

In the midst of all these enchantments he has, we do not very well know how, another ravishing interview with his unknown goddess; and when she again melts away from him, he finds himself in a vast grotto, where he overhears the courtship of Alpheus and Arethusa; and as they elope together, discovers that the grotto has disappeared, and that he is at the bottom of the sea, under the transparent arches of its naked waters! The following is abundantly extravagant; but comes of no ignoble lineage—nor shames its high descent:

"Far had he roam'd,
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above. around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings!
Qld rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
"Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a thousand years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin

But those of Saturn's vintage; mould'ring scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In pond'rous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox;-then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant, and eagle-and huge jaw
Of nameless monster.'
p. 111.

There he finds ancient Glaucus enchanted by Circe-hears his wild story-and goes with him to the deliverance and restoration of thousands of drowned lovers, whose bodies were piled and stowed away in a large submarine palace. When this feat is happily performed, he finds himself again on dry ground, with woods and waters around him; and cannot help falling desperately in love with a beautiful damsel whom he finds there, pining for some such consolation; and who tells a long story of having come from India in the train of Bacchus, and having strayed away from him into that forest!-So they vow eternal fidelity; and are wafted up to heaven on flying horses; on which they sleep and dream among the stars;-and then the lady melts away, and he is again alone upon the earth; but soon rejoins his Indian love, and agrees to give up his goddess, and live only for her: But she refuses, and says she is resolved to devote herself to the service of Diana: But, when she goes to accomplish that dedication, she turns out to be the goddess herself in a new shape! and finally exalts her lover with her to a blessed immortality!

We have left ourselves room to say but little of the second volume; which is of a more miscellaneous character. Lamia is a Greek antique story, in the measure and taste of Endymion. Isabella is a paraphrase of the same tale of Boccacio which Mr. Cornwall has also imitated, under the title of "A Sicilian Story." It would be worth while to compare the two

53

417

imitations; but we have no longer time for such a task. Mr. Keats has followed his original more closely, and has given a deep pathos to several of his stanzas. The widowed bride's discovery of the murdered body is very strikingly given.

"Soon she turn'd up a soiled glove, whereon

Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies!
She kiss'd it with a lip more chill than stone,

And put it in her bosom, where it dries.
Then 'gan she work again; nor stay'd her care,
But to throw back at times her veiling hair.
"That old nurse stood beside her, wondering,

Until her heart felt pity to the core,
At sight of such a dismal labouring;

And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar,
And put her lean hands to the horrid thing:

Three hours they labour'd at this trivial sore; At last they felt the kernel of the grave, &c. "In anxious secrecy they took it home,

And then-the prize was all for Isabel!
She calm'd its wild hair with a golden comb;
And all around each eye's sepulchral cell
Pointed cach fringed lash: The smeared loam

With tears, as chilly as a dripping well, [kept
She drench'd away-and still she comb'd, and
Sighing all day-and still she kiss'd, and wept!
"Then in a silken scarf-sweet with the dews
Of precious flowers pluck'd in Araby,
And divine liquids come with odorous ooze
Through the cold serpent-pipe refreshfully,-
She wrapp'd it up; and for its tomb did choose
A garden pot, wherein she laid it by,
And cover'd it with mould; and o'er it set
Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet.
"And she forgot the stars, the moon, the sun!
And she forgot the blue above the trees;
And she forgot the dells where waters run,

And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze! She had no knowledge when the day was done; And the new morn she saw not! But in peace Hung over her sweet Basil evermore, And moisten'd it with tears, unto the core !" pp. 72-75.

#

The following lines from an ode to a Nightingale are equally distinguished for harmony and high poetic feeling :

--

"O for a beaker full of the warm South!

Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth!

That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee fade away into the forest dim! Fade far away! dissolve-and quite forget

What Thou among the leaves hast never known

The weariness, the fever, and the fret, [groan;
Here, where men sit and hear each other
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and.
dies!

Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs.

The voice I hear, this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown!
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for

home,

She stood in tears amid the alien corn! The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam, Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn." pp. 108-111. genuine, and English,—and, at the same We know nothing at once so truly fresh,

time, so full of poetical feeling, and Greek | chamber, and of all that passes in that sweet elegance and simplicity, as this address to

Autumn:

and angel-guarded sanctuary: every part of which is touched with colours at once rich and delicate-and the whole chastened and harmonised, in the midst of its gorgeous dis-, tinctness, by a pervading grace and purity, that indicate not less clearly the exaltation! than the refinement of the author's fancy. We cannot resist adding a good part of this description.

[run!

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness-
Close bosom-friend of the maturing Sun!
Conspiring with him now, to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

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'Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes, whoever seeks abroad, may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half reap'd furrow sound asleep!
Drows'd with the fumes of poppies; while thy hook
Spares the next swarth, and all its twined flowers!
And sometimes like a gleaner, thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head, across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours!

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Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are
they?

Think not of them! Thou hast thy music too;
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue!
"Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows; borne aloft
Or sinking, as the light wind lives or dies!
And full grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft,
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gath'ring swallows twitter in the skies!"'

|

One of the sweetest of the smaller poems is that entitled "The Eve of St. Agnes:" though we can now afford but a scanty extract. The superstition is, that if a maiden goes to bed on that night without supper, and never looks up after saying her prayers till she falls asleep, she will see her destined husband by her bed-side the moment she opens her eyes. The fair Madeline, who was in love with the gentle Porphyro, but thwarted by an imperious guardian, resolves to try this spell:-and Porphyro, who has a suspicion of her purpose, naturally determines to do what he can to help it to a happy issue; and accordingly prevails on her ancient nurse to admit him to her virgin bower; where he watches reverently, till she sinks in slumber;-and then, arranging a most elegant dessert by her couch, and gently rousing her with a tender and favourite air, finally reveals himself, and persuades her to steal from the castle under his protection. The opening stanza is a fair specimen of the sweetness and force of the composition.

"St. Agnes Eve! Ah, bitter cold it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was acold;
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold!
Numb were the bedesman's fingers, while he told
His rosary; and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem'd taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet virgin's picture, while his prayers he
saith."

But the glory and charm of the poem is in the description of the fair maiden's antique

"Out went the taper as she hurried in !
Its little smoke in pallid moonshine died:
The door she closed! She panted, all akin
To spirits of the air, and visions wide!
No utter'd syllable-or woe betide!
But to her heart, her heart was voluble;
Pa ning with eloquence her balmy side!

“A casement high and treple-arch'd there was,
All garlanded with carven imageries
Of fruits and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass;
And diamonded with panes of quaint device
Innumerable, of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger moth's deep-damask'd wings!

46

'Full on this casement shown the wintery moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast,
As down she knelt for Heaven's grace and boon!
Rose bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross, soft amethyst;
And on her hair, a glory like a saint!
She seem'd a splendid angel, newly drest
Save wings, for heaven!-Porphyro grew faint,
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint!
"Anon his heart revives! Her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels, one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees!
Half hidden, like a Mermaid in sea weed,
Pensive a while she dreams awake, and sees
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is filed!
In fancy fair, St. Agnes on her bed!
"Soon, trembling, in her soft and chilly nest,
Until the poppied warmth of Sleep oppress'd
In sort of wakeful dream, perplex'd she lay ;
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away!
Haven'd alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again!
"Stolen to this paradise, and so entranc'd,
Porphyro gaz'd upon her empty dress,
And listen'd to her breathing; if it chanc'd
To sink into a slumb'rous tenderness?
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
Noiseless as Fear in a wide wilderness,
And breath'd himself;-then from the closet crept,
And over the hush'd carpet silent stept.
"Then, by the bed-side, where the sinking moon
Made a dim silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguish'd, threw thereon
A cloth of woven crimson, gold, and jet, &c.
"And still she slept-an azure-lidded sleep!
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd;
While he, from forth the closet, brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd;
With jellies smoother than the creamy curd,
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr'd
And lucent syrups, tinct with cinnamon;
From silken Samarcand, to cedar'd Lebanon.
From Fez; and spiced dainties every one,
"Those delicates he heap'd with glowing hand,
On golden dishes, and in baskets bright
Of wreathed silver; sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.
And now, my love! my Seraph fair! awake!
Ope thy sweet eyes! for dear St. Agnes' sake!'"'

It is difficult to break off in such a course of citation: But we must stop here; and shall close our extracts with the following lively lines:

"O sweet Fancy! let her loose!
Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night;

When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the plough-boy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon,
In a dark conspiracy

To banish Even from her sky.
Thou shalt hear
Distant harvest carols clear;
Rustle of the reaped corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn;
And, in the same moment-hark!
'Tis the early April lark,

Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plum'd lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower

THESE are very sweet verses. They do not, indeed, stir the spirit like the strong lines of Byron, nor make our hearts dance within us, like the inspiring strains of Scott; but they come over us with a bewitching softness that, in certain moods, is still more delightful and soothe the troubled spirits with a refreshing sense of truth, purity, and elegance. They are pensive rather than passionate; and more full of wisdom and tenderness than of high flights of fancy, or overwhelming bursts of emotion-while they are moulded into grace, at least as much by the effect of the Moral beauties they disclose, as by the taste and judgment with which they are constructed.

Pearled with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celled sleep;
And the snake, all winter thin,
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down pattering,
While the autumn breezes sing."

The theme is HUMAN LIFE!-not only "the subject of all verse"-but the great centre and source of all interest in the works of human beings-to which both verse and prose invariably bring us back, when they succeed in rivetting our attention, or rousing our emotions and which turns every thing into poetry to which its sensibilities can be ascribed, or by which its vicissitudes can be suggested! Yet it is not by any means to that which, in ordinary language, is termed the poetry or the romance of human life, that the present work is directed. The life which it endeavours to set before us, is not life diversified

(March, 1819.)

Human Life: a Poem. By SAMUEL ROGERS. 4to. pp. 94. London: 1819.

pp. 122-125.

There is a fragment of a projected Epic, entitled "Hyperion," on the expulsion of Saturn and the Titanian deities by Jupiter and his younger adherents, of which we cannot advise the completion: For, though there are passages of some force and grandeur, it is sufficiently obvious, from the specimen before us, that the subject is too far removed from all the sources of human interest, to be successfully treated by any modern author. Mr. Keats has unquestionably a very beautiful imagination, a perfect ear for harmony, and a great familiarity with the finest diction of English poetry; but he must learn not to misuse or misapply these advantages; and neither to waste the good gifts of nature and study on intractable themes, nor to luxuriate too recklessly on such as are more suitable.

with strange adventures, embodied in extraordinary characters, or agitated with turbulent passions-not the life of warlike paladins, or desperate lovers, or sublime ruffians-or piping shepherds or sentimental savages, or bloody bigots or preaching pedlars-or conquerors, poets, or any other species of madmen-but the ordinary, practical, and amiable life of social, intelligent, and affectionate men in the upper ranks of society-such, in short, as multitudes may be seen living every day in this country-for the picture is entirely English - and though not perhaps in the choice of every one, yet open to the judgment, and familiar to the sympathies, of all. It contains, of course, no story, and no individual characters. It is properly and peculiarly contemplative-and consists in a series of reflections on our mysterious nature and condition upon earth, and on the marvellous, though unnoticed changes which the ordinary course of our existence is continually bringing about in our being. Its marking peculiarity in this respect is, that it is free from the least alloy of acrimony or harsh judgment, and deals not at all indeed in any species of satirical or sarcastic remark. The poet looks here on man, and teaches us to look on him, not merely with love, but with reverence; and, mingling a sort of considerate pity for the

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