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considerable length and beauty. He has also pub
[South American Scenery.] lished hymns and other poems. He prepared an edition of Pope's works, which, being attacked by Beneath aërial cliffs and glittering snows, Campbell in his Specimens of the Poets, led to a The rush-roof of an aged warrior rose, literary controversy, in which Lord Byron and Chief of the mountain tribes; high overhead, others took a part. Bowles insisted strongly on The Andes, wild and desolate, were spread, descriptive poetry forming an indispensable part of Where cold Sierras shot their icy spires, the poetical character ; 'every rock, every leaf, And Chillan trailed its smoke and smouldering fires. every diversity of hue in nature's variety.' Camp A glen beneath-a lonely spot of restbell, on the other hand, objected to this Dutch mi- Hung, scarce discovered, like an eagle's nest. nuteness and perspicacity of colouring, and claimed Summer was in its prime; the parrot-flocks for the poet (what Bowles never could have denied) Darkened the passing sunshine on the rocks; nature, moral as well as external, the poetry of thé The chrysomel and purple butterfly, passions, and the lights and shades of human man
Amid the clear blue light, are wandering by; In reality, Pope occupied a middle position, The humming-bird, along the myrtle bowers, inclining to the artificial side of life. Mr Bowles With twinkling wing is spinning o'er the flowers; has outlived most of his poetical contemporaries, The woodpecker is heard with busy bill, excepting Rogers. He was born at King's-Sutton, The mock-bird sings—and all beside is still. Northamptonshire, in the year 1762, and was edu- And look! the cataract that bursts so high, cated first at Winchester school, and subsequently As not to mar the deep tranquillity, at Trinity college, Oxford. He has long held the The tumult of its dashing fall suspends, rectory of Bremhill, in Wiltshire.
And, stealing drop by drop, in mist descends;
Through whose illumined spray and sprinkling dews, Sonnets.
Shine to the adverse sun the broken rainbow hues.
Checkering, with partial shade, the beams of noon, To Time.
And arching the gray rock with wild festoon, O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay Here, its gay network and fantastic twine,
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence The purple cogul threads from pine to pine, (Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
And oft, as the fresh airs of morning breathe, The faint pang stealest, unperceived, away; Dips its long tendrils in the stream beneath. On thee I rest my only hope at last,
There, through the trunks, with moss and lichens white, And think when thou hast dried the bitter tear The sunshine darts its interrupted light,
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear, And ’mid the cedar's darksome bough, illumes, I may look back on every sorrow past,
With instant touch, the lori's scarlet plumes.
Sun-Dial in a Churchyard.
So passes, silent o'er the dead, thy shade,
Brief Time! and hour by hour, and day by day, Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!
The pleasing pictures of the present fade,
And like a summer vapour steal away.
And have not they, who here forgotten lie
(Say, hoary chronicler of ages past), Of sharp December, through my cottage pane
Once marked thy shadow with delighted eye, Dost lovely look, smiling, though in thy wane;
Nor thought it fied-how certain and how fast? In thought, to scenes serene and still as thine,
Since thou hast stood, and thus thy vigil kept, Wanders my heart, whilst I by turns survey
Noting each hour, o'er mouldering stones beneath Thee slowly wheeling on thy evening way; The pastor and his flock alike have slept, And this my fire, whose dim, unequal light, Just glimmering bids each shadowy image fall
And ‘dust to dust’ proclaimed the stride of death. Sombrous and strange upon the darkening wall, Another race succeeds, and counts the hour, Ere the clear tapers chase the deepening night! Careless alike; the hour still seems to smile, Yet thy still orb, seen through the freezing haze, As hope, and youth, and life, were in our power; Shines calm and clear without; and whilst I gaze, So smiling, and so perishing the while. I think around me in this twilight gloom, I but remark mortality's sad doom;
I heard the village bells, with gladsome sound Whilst hope and joy, cloudless and soft, appear
(When to these scenes a stranger I drew near), In the sweet beam that lights thy distant sphere.
Proclaim the tidings of the village round,
While memory wept upon the good man's bier. Hope.
Even so, when I am dead, shall the same bells As one who, long by wasting sickness worn,
Ring merrily when my brief days are gone;
And strangers gaze upon my humble stone !
Enough, if we may wait in calm content
The hour that bears us to the silent sod;
Blameless improve the time that Heaven has lent, Or marks the clouds that o'er the mountain's head,
And leave the issue to thy will, o God.
The Greenwich Pensioners.
By the green banks, where Thames, with conscious Sweet Hope! thy fragrance pure and healing incense pride, steal.
Reflects that stately structure on his side,
hobest for they
Within whose walls, as their long labours close, was born on the 12th of August 1774. He was inThe wanderers of the ocean find repose,
debted to a maternal uncle for most of his education. We wore in social ease the hours away,
Having passed with credit through Westminster The passing visit of a summer's day.
school, he was, in 1792, entered of Baliol college, Whilst some to range the breezy hill are gone,
Oxford. His friends designed him for the church; I lingered on the river's marge alone;
but the poet became a Jacobin and Socinian, and Mingled with groups of ancient sailors gray,
his academic career was abruptly closed in 1794. And watched the last bright sunshine steal away. As thus I mused amidst the various train Of toil-worn wanderers of the perilous main, Two sailors—well I marked them (as the beam Of parting day yet lingered on the stream, And the sun sunk behind the shady reach)Hastened with tottering footsteps to the beach. The one had lost a limb in Nile's dread fight; Total eclipse had veiled the other's sight For ever! As I drew more anxious near, I stood intent, if they should speak, to hear; But neither said a word! He who was blind Stood as to feel the comfortable wind That gently lifted his gray hair: his face Seemed then of a faint smile to wear the trace. The other fixed his gaze upon the light Parting; and when the sun had vanished quite, Methought a starting tear that Heaven might bless, Unfelt, or felt with transient tenderness, Came to his aged eyes, and touched his cheek! And then, as meek and silent as before, Back hand-in-hand they went, and left the shore. As they departed through the unheeding crowd, A caged bird sung from the casement loud; And then I heard alone that blind man say, * The music of the bird is sweet to-day!' I said, 'O Heavenly Father! none may know The cause these have for silence or for wo!' Here they appear heart-stricken or resigned Amidst the unheeding tumult of mankind.
The same year he published a volume of poems in
conjunction with Mr Robert Lovell, under the names There is a world, a pure unclouded clime,
of Moschus and Bion. About the same time he Where there is neither grief, nor death, nor time!
composed his poem of Wat Tyler, a revolutionary Nor loss of friends! Perhaps, when yonder bell
brochure, which was long afterwards published surBeat slow, and bade the dying day farewell, Ere yet the glimmering landscape sunk to night,
reptitiously by a knavish bookseller to annoy its They thought upon that world of distant light;
author. In my youth,' he says, 'when my stock And when the blind man, lifting light his hair,
of knowledge consisted of such an acquaintance with Felt the faint wind, he raised a warmer prayer ;
Greek and Roman history as is acquired in the course Then sighed, as the blithe bird sung o'er his head,
of a scholastic education; when my heart was full of 'No mom will shine on me till I am dead !
poetry and romance, and Lucan and Akenside were at my tongue's end, I fell into the political opinions
which the French revolution was then scattering ROBERT SOUTHEY.
throughout Europe; and following those opinions One of the most voluminous and learned authors with ardour wherever they led, I soon perceived of this period was ROBERT SOUTHEY, LL.D., the that inequalities of rank were a light evil compared poet-laureate. A poet, scholar, antiquary, critic, to the inequalities of property, and those more fearful and historian, Mr Southey wrote more than even distinctions which the want of moral and intellectual Scott, and he is said to have burned more verses culture occasions between man and man. At that between his twentieth and thirtieth year than he time, and with those opinions, or rather feelings (for published during his whole life. His time was their root was in the heart, and not in the underentirely devoted to literature. Every day and hour standing), I wrote. Wat Tyler,' as one
who was imhad its appropriate and select task ; his library was patient of all the oppressions that are done under his world within which he was content to range, and the sun. The subject was injudiciously chosen,
and his books were his most cherished and constant com- it was treated, as might be expected, by a youth of panions. In one of his poems, he says
twenty in such times, who regarded only one side of
the question. The poem, indeed, is a miserable My days among the dead are passed; production, and was harmless from its very inanity. Around me i behold,
Full of the same political sentiments and ardour, Where'er these casual eyes are cast
Southey composed his Joan of Arc, an epic poem, The mighty minds of old :
displaying fertility of language and boldness of My never failing friends are they
imagination, but at the same time diffuse in style, With whom I converse night and day. and in many parts wild and incoherent. In imitaIt is melancholy to reflect, that for nearly three tion of Dante, the young poet condu his heroine years preceding his death, Mr Southey sat among in a dream to the abodes of departed spirits, and his books in hopeless vacuity of mind, the victim of dealt very freely with the 'murderers of mankind, disease. This distinguished author was a native of from Nimrod the mighty hunter, down to the hero Bristol, the son of a respectable shopkeeper, and conqueror of Agincourt
A huge and massy pile
In full-orbed glory, yonder moon divine Massy it seemed, and yet in every blast
Rolls through the dark-blue depths. As to its ruin shook. There, porter fit,
Beneath her steady ray
The desert-circle spreads,
How beautiful is night!
Who, at this untimely hour,
Wanders o'er the desert sands? O'er whose black marble sides a dim drear light
No station is in view, Struggled with darkness from the unfrequent lamp.
Nor palm-grove islanded amid the waste. Enthroned around, the Murderers of Mankind
The mother and her child, Monarchs, the great! the glorious ! the august! The widowed mother and the fatherless boy, Each bearing on his brow a crown of firem
They, at this untimely hour,
Wander o'er the desert sands.
Alas! the setting sun
Saw Zeinab in her bliss, And he who murdered Tully, that cold villain
Hodeirah's wife beloved,
The fruitful mother late,
Whom, when the daughters of Arabia named,
They wished their lot like hers: The royal carcass, Flattery, fawning low,
She wanders o'er the desert sands Fell at his feet, and worshipped the new god.
A wretched widow now,
The fruitful mother of so fair a race;
With only one preserved,
She wanders o'er the wilderness.
No tear relieved the burden of her heart;
Stunned with the heavy wo, she felt like one A deep and hollow voice from one went forth : Half-wakened from a midnight dream of blood. “Thou who art come to view our punishment,
But sometimes, when the boy Maiden of Orleans ! hither turn thine eyes ;
Would wet her hand with tears, For I am he whose bloody victories
And, looking up to her fixed countenance, Thy power hath rendered vain. Lo! I am here,
Sob out the name of Mother, then did she The hero conqueror of Azincour,
Utter a feeble groan. Henry of England!
At length, collecting, Zeinab turned her eyes In the second edition of the poem, published in To Heaven, exclaiming, “ Praised be the Lord !
He gave, He takes away! 1798, the vision of the Maid of Orleans, and every
The Lord our God is good!' thing miraculous, was omitted. When the poem first appeared, its author was on his way to Lisbon, The metre of Thalaba,' as may be seen from this in company with his uncle, Dr Herbert, chaplain to specimen, has great power, as well as harmony, in the factory at Lisbon. Previous to his departure skilful hands. It is in accordance with the subject in November 1795, Mr Southey had married Miss of the poem, and is, as the author himself remarks, Fricker of Bristol, sister of the lady with whom the Arabesque ornament of an Arabian tale.' Coleridge united himself; and, according to De Southey had now cast off his revolutionary opinions, Quincy, the poet parted with his wife immediately and his future writings were all marked by a someafter their marriage at the portico of the church, what intolerant attachment to church and state. to set out on his travels. In 1796 he returned to He established himself on the banks of the river England, and entered himself of Gray's Inn. He Greta, near Keswick, subsisting by his pen, and a afterwards made a visit to Spain and Portugal, and pension which he had received from government. published a series of letters descriptive of his travels. In 1804 he published a volume of Metrical Tales, In 1801 he accompanied Mr Foster, chancellor of and in 1805 Madoc, an epic poem, founded on a the Exchequer, to Ireland in the capacity of private Welsh story, but inferior to its predecessors. In secretary to that gentleman ; and the same year 1810 appeared his greatest poetical work, The Curse witnessed the publication of a second epic, Thalaba of Kehama, a poem of the same class and structure the Destroyer, an Arabian fiction of great beauty and as Thalaba, but in rhyme. With characteristic magnificence. The style of verse adopted by the egotism, Mr Southey prefixed to “The Curse of Kepoet in this work is irregular, without rhyme; and hama' a declaration, that he would not change a sylit possesses a peculiar charm and rhythmical har lable or measure for any onemony, though, like the redundant descriptions in
Pedants shall not tie my strains the work, it becomes wearisome in so long a poem. The opening stanzas convey an exquisite picture
To our antique poets' veins. of a widowed mother wandering over the sands of Kehama is a Hindoo rajah, who, like Dr Faustus, the east during the silence of night :
obtains and sports with supernatural power. His adventures are sufficiently startling, and afford room
for the author's striking amplitude of description. How beautiful is night!
The story is founded,' says Sir Walter Scott, "upon A dewy freshness fills the silent air; the Hindoo mythology, the most gigantic, cumbrous, No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain, and extravagant system of idolatry to which temples Breaks the serene of heaven: were ever erected. The scene is alternately laid in
the terrestrial paradise, under the sea—in the heaven A Christian woman, spinning at her door, of heavens—and in hell itself. The principal actors Beheld him-and with sudden pity touched, are, a man who approaches almost to omnipotence; She laid her spindle by, and running in, another labouring under a strange and fearful male- Took bread, and following after, called him backdiction, which exempts him from the ordinary laws And, placing in his passive hands the loaf, of nature; a good genius, a sorceress, and a ghost, She said, Christ Jesus for his Mother's sake with several Hindostan deities of different ranks. Have mercy on thee! With a look that seemed The only being that retains the usual attributes of Like idiocy, he heard her, and stood still, humanity is a female, who is gifted with immortality Staring awhile; then bursting into tears, at the close of the piece.' Some of the scenes in this Wept like a child. strangely magnificent theatre of horrors are described Or the following description of a moonlight scene:with the power of Milton, and Scott has said that the following account of the approach of the mortals How calmly, gliding through the dark blue sky, to Padalon, or the Indian Hades, is equal in gran- Through thinly-scattered leaves, and boughs grotesque,
The midnight moon ascends! Her placid beams, deur to any passage which he ever perused :
Mottle with mazy shades the orchard slope ; Far other light than that of day there shone
Here o'er the chestnut's fretted foliage, gray Upon the travellers, entering Padalon.
And massy, motionless they spread ; here shine
Upon the crags, deepening with blacker night
Their chasms; and there the glittering argentry A glow, as of a fiery furnace light,
Ripples and glances on the confluent streams. Filled all before them. 'Twas a light that made A lovelier, purer light than that of day Darkness itself appear
Rests on the hills; and oh! how awfully, A thing of comfort; and the sight, dismayed,
Into that deep and tranquil firmament, Shrank inward from the molten atmosphere.
The summits of Auseva rise serene! Their way was through the adamantine rock
The watchman on the battlements partakes Which girt the world of wo: on either side
The stillness of the solemn hour; he feels Its massive walls arose, and overhead
The silence of the earth; the endless sound Arched the long passage ; onward as they ride,
Of flowing water soothes him; and the stars, With stronger glare the light around them spread Which in that brightest moonlight well nigh quenched, And, lo! the regions dread
Scarce visible, as in the utmost depth The world of wo before them opening wide,
Of yonder sapphire infinite, are seen, There rolls the fiery flood,
Draw on with elevating influence Girding the realms of Padalon around.
Towards eternity the attempered mind.
Musing on worlds beyond the grave, he stands,
And to the Virgin Mother silently
Breathes forth her hymn of praise. Could pierce across through that intensest light. Mr Southey, having, in 1813, accepted the office of
poet-laureate, composed some courtly strains that Besides its wonderful display of imagination and intended little to advance
his reputation. His Carmen vention, and its vivid scene-painting, the Curse of Triumphale, and The Vision of Judgment, provoked Kehama' possesses the recommendation of being in much ridicule at the time, and would have passed manners, sentiments, scenery, and costume, distinctively and exclusively Hindoo. Its author was too diligent a student to omit whatever was characteristic in the landscape or the people. Passing over his prose works, we next find Mr Southey appear in a native poetical dress in blank verse. In 1814 he published Roderick, the Last of the Goths, a noble and pathetic poem, though liable also to the charge of redundant description. The style of the versification may be seen from the following account of the grief and confusion of the aged monarch, when he finds his throne occupied by the Moors after his long absence :
The sound, the sight
another Vision of Judgment—one of the most powerShrunk at the ghastly sound, and magnified
ful, though wild and profane of his productions, in The name of Allah as he hastened on.
which the laureate received a merciless and witty
castigation, that even his admirers admitted to be and in his manner of treating them. His fictions not unmerited. The latest of our author's poetical are wild and supernatural, and have no hold on works was a volume of narrative verse, All for Love, human affections. Gorgeous and sublime as some and The Pilgrim of Compostella. He continued his of his images and descriptions are, they come like ceaseless round of study and composition, writing on shadows, so depart.' They are too remote, too fanci. all subjects, and filling ream after ream of paper ful, and often too learned. The Grecian mythology with his lucubrations on morals, philosophy, poetry, is graceful and familiar; but Mr Southey's Hindoo and politics. He was offered a baronetry and a seat superstitions are extravagant and strange. To relish in parliament, both of which he prudently declined. them requires considerable previous reading and reHis fame and his fortune, he knew, could only be search, and this is a task which few will undertake. preserved by adhering to his solitary studies; but | The dramatic art or power of vivid delineation is these were too constant and uninterrupted. The also comparatively unknown to Southey, and hence poet forgot one of his own maxims, that 'frequent the dialogues in Madoc and Roderick are generally change of air is of all things that which most con- flat and uninteresting. His observation was of books, duces to joyous health and long life.' Paralysis at not nature. Some affectations of style and expreslength laid prostrate his powers. He sank into a sion also marred the effect of his conceptions, and state of insensibility, not even recognising those the stately and copious flow of his versification, unwho ministered to his wants; and it was a matter of relieved by bursts of passion or eloquent sentiment, satisfaction rather than regret, that death at length sometimes becomes heavy and monotonous in its stept in to slıroud this painful spectacle from the eyes uniform smoothness and dignity. of affection as well as from the gaze of vulgar curiosity. He died in his house at Greta on the 21st of March 1843. Mr Southey had, a few years before
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. his death, lost the early partner of his affections, and contracted a second marriage with Miss Caroline
This gentleman, the representative of an ancient Bowles, the poetess. He left, at his death, a sum of family, was born at Ipsley Court, Warwickshire, on
He was educated at about L.12,000 to be divided among his children, the 30th of January 1775. and one of the most valuable private libraries in Rugby school, whence he was transferred to Trinity the kingdom. So much had literature, unaided but college, Oxford. His first publication was a small by prudence and worth, accomplished for its devoted volume of poems, dated as far back as 1793. The follower! The following inscription for a tablet to poet
was intended for the army, but, like Southey, the memory of Mr Southey, to be placed in the he imbibed republican sentiments
, and for that cause church of Crosthwaite, near Keswick, is from the father then offered him an allowance of £400 per
declined engaging in the profession of arms. His pen of the venerable Wordsworth :
annum, on condition that he should study the law, Sacred to the memory of Robert Southey, whose with this alternative, if he refused, that his income mortal remains are interred in the neighbouring should be restricted to one-third of the sum. The churchyard. He was born at Bristol, October 4, independent poet preferred the smaller income with 1774, and died, after a residence of nearly 40 years, literature as his companion. On succeeding to the at Greta Hall, in this parish, March 21, 1843.
family estate, Mr Landor sold it off, and purchased
two others in Monmouthshire, where it is said he Ye torrents foaming down the rocky steeps,
expended nearly £70,000 in improvements. The ill Ye lakes wherein the Spirit of Water sleeps,
conduct of some of his tenants mortified and exaspeYe vales and hills, whose beauty hither drew
rated the sensitive land-owner to such a degree, The poet's steps, and fixed him here, on you
that he pulled down a fine house which he had His eyes have closed ; and ye, loved books, no more
erected, and left the country for Italy, where he has Shall Southey feed upon your precious lore,
chiefly resided since the year 1815. Mr Landor's To works that ne'er shall forfeit their renown,
works consist of Gebir, a poem; dramas entitled Adding immortal labours of his own;
Andrea of Hungary, Giovanni of Naples, Fra Rupert, Whether he traced historic truth with zeal
Pericles and Aspasia, &c. His principal prose work For the state's guidance, or the church's weal;
is a series of Imaginary Conversations of Literary Or Fancy, disciplined by studious Art,
Men and Statesmen, three volumes of which were Informed his pen, or Wisdom of the heart,
published in 1824, and three more in 1836. In Or Judgments sanctioned in the patriot's mind
* Gebir' there is a fine passage, amplified by Mr By reverence for the rights of all mankind.
Wordsworth in his Excursion, which describes the Large were his aims, yet in no human breast
sound which sea-shells seem to make when placed Could private feelings find a holier nest.
close to the ear :-
Its polished lips to your attentive ear,
And it remembers its august abodes, Few authors have written so much and so well, And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there. with so little real popularity, as Mr Southey, Of all In Count Julian, a tragedy founded on Spanish story, his prose works, admirable as they are in purity of Mr Landor adduces the following beautiful illustrástyle, the Life of Nelson alone is a general favourite. tion of grief :The magnificent creations of his poetry-piled up like clouds at sunset, in the calm serenity of his ca
Wakeful he sits, and lonely and unmoved, pacious intellect-have always been duly appreciated
Beyond the arrows, views, or shouts of men ; by poetical students and critical readers; but by the
As oftentimes an eagle, when the sun
Throws o'er the varying earth his early ray, public at large they are neglected. A late attempt to revive them, by the publication of the whole
Stands solitary, stands immoveable, poetical works in ten uniform and cheap volumes,
Upon some highest cliff, and rolls his eye, has only shown that they are unsuited to the taste
Clear, constant, unobservant, una based, of the present generation. The reason of this may
In the cold light. be found both in the subjects of Southey's poetry, His smaller poems are mostly of the same medita