« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Poor Little! sweet, melodious bard!
That he, who sang before all,
As void of wit and moral.(1)
Repine not at thy lot;
And critics are forgot.
Bad rhymes, and those who write them;
I really will not fight them.(2) Perhaps they would do quite as well To break the rudely-sounding shell
or such a young beginner :
A very harden'd sinner.
Accept, then, my concession.
My muse admires digression.
May regal smiles attend you!
If worth can recommend you.
Yet since in danger courts abound,
From snares may saints preserve you! And grant your love or friendship ne'er From any claim a kindred care,
But those who best deserve you!
May no delights decoy!
Your tears be tears of joy!
And virtues crown your brow;
Be still as you are now.(3)
To me were doubly dear;
To prove a prophet here.
WHEN I ROVED A YOUNG HIGHLANDER. When I roved a young Highlander o'er the dark heath,
[snow!(4) And climbid thy steep summit, О Norven of To gaze on the torrent that thunder'd beneath,
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below,(5) Untutor'd by science, a stranger to fear,
And rude as the rocks where my infancy grew, No feeling, save one, to my bosom was dear; [you ?
Need I say, my sweet Mary, (6) 't was centred in
(I) These stanzas were written soon after the appeari asce of a severe critique, in a northern review, on a new
publication of the British Anacreon.- (See Edinburgh Rei niew, Jals, 1807, article on Epistles, Odes, and other Poems, by Thomas Little, Esq.-L. E.)
2) A bard (horresco referens) defied his reviewer to mortal combat. If this example becomes prevalent, our periodical censors must be dipped in the river Styx; for what else can secare them from the numerous host of their carged assailants ?
3) of all I bave ever known, Clare has always been I the least altered in every thing from the excellent qualities
and kind affections which attached me to him so strongly at school. I should hardly have thought it possible for | Society (or the world, as it is called) to leave a being with
to little of the leaven of bad passions. I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I have ever heard of him from others, during absence and distance." - Diary, 1821-LE
(1) Morvea, a lofty mountain in Aberdeenshire. "Gor. mal of Snow,is an expression frequently to be found in Orrian.
(5) This will not appear extraordinary to those who have bers accustomed to the mountains. It is by no means un
mon, on attaining the top of Ben-e-vis, Ben-e-bourd, etc. to perceive, between the summit and the valley, clouds poering down rain, and occasionally accompanied by light. bine, while the spectator literally looks down upon the arma, perfectly secure from its effects.
5) Is Lord Byron's Diary for 1813, he says, “I have brea thinking lately a good deal of Mary Duff. How very
that I should have been so utterly, devotedly, fond of fat girl, at an age when I could neither frel passion, nor
heither frel passion, nor
know the meaning of the word! And the effect! My mother used always to rally me about this childish amour; and, at last, many years after, when I was sixteen, she told me one day: 'Oh, Byron, I have had a letter from Edin. burgh, from Miss Abercromby, and your old sweetheart, Mary Duff, is inarried to a Mr. Cockburn.' (Robert Cock burn, Esg. of Edinburgh.] And what was my answer? I really cannot explain or account for my feelings at that moment; but they nearly threw me into convulsions-to the horror of my mother, and the astonishment of every body. And it is a phenomenon in my existence (for I was not eight years old), which has puzzled, and will puzzle me to the latest hour of it."-Again, in January, 1815, a few days after his marriage, in a letter to his friend Captain Hay, the poet thus speaks of his childish attachment:"Pray tell me more or as much as you like, of your cousin Mary. I believe I told you our story some years ago. I was twentyseven a few days ago, and I have never seen her since we were children, and young children too;. but I never forget her, nor ever can. You will oblige me with presenting ber with my best respects, and all good wishes. It may seem ridiculous- but it is at any rate, I hope, not offensive to her nor hers-in me to pretend to recollect any thing about her, at so early a period of both our lives, almost, if not quite, in our nurseries; but it was a pleasant dream, which she must pardon me for remembering. Is she pretty still? I have the most perfect idea of her person, as a child; but Time, I suppose has played the devil with us both.”_L. E.
“Dante is said, as early as nine years old, to have fallen in love with Beatrice; Alfieri, who was himself precocious in the passion, considered such early sensibility to be an unerring sign of a soul formed for the fine arts; and Canova used to say that be was in love when but five years old.” Galt.-P. E.
Yet it could not be love, for I knew not the name,
What passion can dwell in the heart of a child ? But still I perceive an emotion the same
As I felt, when a boy, on the crag-cover'd wild:
I loved my bleak regions, nor panted for new;
From mountain to mountain I bounded along; I breasted the billows of Dee's (1) rushing tide,
And heard at a distance the Highlander's song: At eve, on my heath-cover'd couch of repose,
No dreams, save of Mary, were spread to my view; And warm to the skies my devotions arose,
For the first of my prayers was a blessing on you. I left my bleak home, and my visions are gone;
The mountains are vanish'd, my youth is no more; As the last of my race, I must wither alone,
And delight but in days I have witness'd before: Ah! splendour has raised but embitter'd my lot;
More dear were the scenes which my infancy knew : Though my hopes may have fail'd, yet they are not
forgot; Though cold is my heart, still it lingers with you. ¡ When see some dark hill point its crest to the sky,
I think of the rocks that o'ershadow Colbleen;(2) When I see the soft blue of a love-speaking eye,
I think of those eyes that endear'd the rude scene; When, baply, some light-waving locks I behold,
That faintly resemble my Mary's in hue, I think on the long flowing ringlets of gold,
The locks that were sacred to beauty, and you. Yet the day may arrive when the mountains once more
Shall rise to my sight in their mantles of snow :(3) But while these soar above me, unchanged as before,
Will Mary be there to receive me?-ah, no! Adieu then, ye hills, where my childhood was bred!
Thou sweet flowing Dee, to thy waters adieu ! No home in the forest shall shelter my head,
Al! Mary, what home could be mine but with you?
I WOULD I WERE A CARELESS CHILD.
Still dwelling in my Highland cave,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave;
Accords not with the freeborn soul,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.
Take back this name of splendid sound!
I hate the slaves that cringe around.
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
Through scenes my youth hath known before.
The world was ne'er desigu'd for me:
The hour when man must cease to be?
A visionary scene of bliss:
Awake me to a world like this?
Had friends—my early friends are fled:
When all its former hopes are dead!
Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
The heart-the heart—is lonely still.(5)
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power,
Associates of the festive hour.
In years and feelings still the same,
Where boisterous joy is but a name.
(1) The Dee is a beautiful river, which rises near Mar ' poet who ever lived has assigned as the distingaishing badge Lodge, and falls into the sea at New Aberdeen.
of his brethren, is in every case a dangerous gift. It exag: (2) Colbleen is a mountain near the verge of the High.
gerates, indeed, our expectations, and can often bid its lands, not far from the ruins of Dee Castle.
possessor hope, where hope is lost to reason: but the delu
sive pleasure arising from these visions of imagination re. ) In the spring of 1807, on recovering from a severe
sembles that of a child, whose notice is attracted by a illness, Lord Byron had projected a visit to Scotland. The
fragment of glass to which a sun-beam has given momentary plan was not put into execution : but he thus adverts to it,
splendour. He hastens to the spot with breathless impa. in a letter dated in August, and addressed to his fair cor
tience, and finds the object of his curiosity and expectation respondent of Southwell :"On Sunday, I set off for the
is equally vulgar and worthless. Such is the man of quic) Highlands. A friend of mine accompanies me in my car.
and exalted powers of imagination. His fancy over-estimated riage to Edinburgh. There we shall leave it, and proceed in
the object of his wishes, and pleasure, fame, distinction, are a tandem through the western parts to Inverary, where we
alternately pursued, attained, and despised when in his shall purchase sbelties, to enable us to view places inac.
power. Like the enchanted fruit in the palace of a sor cessible to vehicular conveyances. On the coast we shall
cerer, the objects of his admiration lose their attraction and hire a vessel, and visit the most remarkable of the Hebrides, and, if we have time and favourable weather, mean to sail
value as soon as they are grasped by the adventurer's hand
and all that remains is regret for the time lost in the chase. as far as Iceland, only three hundred miles from the north
and astonishment at the hallucination under which it was ern extremity of Caledonia, to peep at Hecla. I mean to
undertaken. The disproportion between hope and posses collect all the Erse traditions, poems, etc. etc. and trans.
sion, which is felt by all men, is thus doubled to those late, or expand the subject to fill a volume, which may
whom nature bas endowed with the power of gilding a appear next spring, under the denomination of The High
distant prospect by the rays of imagination. These refiee land Harp,' or some title equally picturesque. Wbat would
tions, though trite and obvious, are in a manner forced from you say to some stanzas on Mount Hecla ? They would be written at least with fire."-L.E.
us by the poetry of Lord Byron,- by the sentiments of
weariness of life and enmity with the world which they sa (4) Sassenach, or Saxon, a Gaelic word, signifying either frequently express, and by the singular analogy which Lowland or English.
such sentiments hold with well-known incidents of his life." (5) “ The 'imagination all compact,' which the greatest Sir Walter Scott.-L. E.
And woman, lovely woman! thou,
Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, My hope, my comforter, my all!
But, ah! without the thoughts which then were mine: How cold must be my bosom now,
How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
Invite the bosom to recall the past,
And seem to whisper, as they gently swell,
“ Take, while thou canst, a lingering last farewell! »
When fate shall chill, at length, this sever'd breast,
And calm its cares and passions into rest, Fain would I fly the haunts of men
On have I thought, 't would soothe my dying hour,I seek to shun, not bate, mankind;
If aught may soothe when life resigns her power, My breast requires the sullen glen,
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell, Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell; Oh! that to me the wings were given
With this fond dream, methinks, 't were sweet to die-Which bear the turtle to her nest!
And here it linger'd, here my heart might lie; Then would I cleave the vault of beaven, Here might I sleep where all my hopes arose, To flee away, and be at rest.(1)
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose;
Press'd by the turf where once my childhood play'd;
Mir'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps moved;
| Blest by the tongues that charm’d my youthful ear, Sror of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh, | Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here; Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky; Deplored by those in early days allied, Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
And unremember'd by the world beside. With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod;
September 2, 1807. With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore, Like me, the happy scenes they knew before : Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill, Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still,
[The “ Lines written beneath an Elm at Harrow," Thou drooping Elm! beneath whose boughs 1 lay, | were the last in the little volume printed at Newark And frequent mased the twilight hours away; in 1807. The reader is referred to Mr. Moore's
| Life, for various interesting parliculars respecting (1) “And I said, Oh ! that I had wings like a dove, for the impression produced on Lord Byron's mind by the her would I fly away, and be at rest.”—Psalm lv. 6. celebrated Critique of his juvenile performances, put This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language.
forth in the Edinburgh Review,-a journal which, i (2) Oa losing his natural daughter. Allegra, in April, at that time, possessed nearly undivided influence and 1423, Lord Byron sent her remains to be buried at Harrow, authority. The poet's diaries and letters afford evi
here," he says, in a letter to Mr. Murray, "I once hoped to have laid my own." There is,” he adds, "a spot in the chuch-yard, near the footpath, on the brow of the hill look
as the work of Mr. (now Lord) Brougham; but on ing towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large tree what grounds he had come lo lhal conclusion bearing the name of Peachie or Peachey), where I used | no where mentions. It forms, however, from whalte sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my
| ever pen it may have proceeded, so important a link faroarite spot; but, as I wish to erect a tablet to her
in Lord Byron's literary history, that we insert it at Bemory, the body had better be deposited in the church," and it was so accordingly.---LE.
HOURS OF IDLENESS; a Series of Poems, original and verse with so few deviations in either direction from
translated. By George Gordon, Lord Byron, a that exact standard. His effusions are spread over a Minor. 8vo. pp. 200. Newark, 1807.
| dead flat, and can no more get above or below the level,
than if they were so much stagnant water. As an The poesy of this young lord belongs to the class extenuation of this offence, the noble author is pecuwbich neither gods nor men are said to permit. In- liarly forward in pleading minority. We have it in ideed, we do not recollect to have seen a quantity of the title-page, and on the very back of the volume; it
This memorable criticism has been designated by Moore, had just received a challenge, not knowing how clse to as an article wbich, if not witty in itself, deserves eminently account for the fierce defiance of his looks. Among the the credit of causing wit in others. Never, whilst the short less sentimental effects of the critique upon his mind, he bat glorious race of Byron's genius is remembered, can the used to mention that, on the day he read it, he drank critic, whoever he inay be, that so unintentionally ministered three bottles of claret to his own share after dinner ; to its first start, be forgotten. The effect which the review -- that nothing however relieved him till he had given produced upon the poet can with difficulty be conceived. vent to his indignation in rhyme, and that “after the A friend, who found him in the first moments of excitement first twenty lines he felt himself considerably better." after reading the article, inquired anxiously whether he -P.E.
follows his name like a favourite part of his style. “Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation, Much stress is laid upon it in the preface; and the
'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret:
Far distant he goes, with the same emulation; poems are connected with this general statement of
The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget. his case, by particular dates, substantiating the age at which each was written. Now the law upon the “That fame, and that memory still will he cherish; point of minority we hold to be perfectly clear. It is
He rows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown;
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish; a plea available only to the defeudant; no plaintiff can
Wher decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own." offer it as a supplementary ground of action. Thus, if any suit could be brought against Lord Byron, Now, we positively do assert, that there is nothing for the purpose of compelling him to put into court a better than these stanzas in the whole compass of the certain quantity of poetry, and if judgment were given noble minor's volume. against him, it is highly probable that an exception Lord Byron should also have a care of attempting would be taken, were he to deliver for poetry the con what the greatest poets bave done before him, for tents of this volume. To this he might plead minority; comparisons (as he must have had occasion to see at but, as he now makes voluntary tender of the article, his writing-master's) are odious. Gray's Ode on Eton he hath no right to sue, on that ground, for the price in College should really have kept out the ten hobbling good current praise, should the goods be unmarketable. stanzas On a distant View of the Village and School This is our view of the law on the point; and, we dare of Harrow. to say, so will it be ruled. Perhaps, however, in “Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance reality, all that he tells us about his youth is rather Of comrades in friendship and mischief allied; with a view to increase our wonder than to soften
How welcome to me your ne'er-fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied.” our censures. He possibly means to say, “See how a minor can write! This poem was actually composed In like manner, the exquisite lines of Mr. Rogers, by a young man of eighteen, and this by one of only on a Tear, might have warned the poble author off sixteen!" But, alas! we all remember the poetry of those premises, and spared us a whole dozen such Cowley at ten, and Pope at twelve; and so far from stanzas as the following:hearing, with any degree of surprise, that very poor
“Mild charity's glow, to us mortals below verses were written by a youth from his leaving school
Shows the soul from barbarity clear; to his leaving college, inclusive, we really believe this Compassion will melt where this virtue is felt, to be the most common of all occurrences; that it
And its dew is diffused in a Tear. happens in the life of nine men in ten who are edu “The man doom'd to sail with the blast of the gale, cated in England; and that the tenth man writes bet
Through billows Atlantic to steer, ter verse than Lord Byron.
As he bends o'er the wave, which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear." His other plea of privilege our author rather brings forward in order to waive it. He certainly, however, And so of instances in which former poets had failed. does allude frequently to his family and ancestors— Thus, we do not think Lord Byron was made for transsometimes in poetry, sometimes in notes; and, while | lating, during his nonage, Adrian's Address to his Soul, giving up his claim on the score of rank, he takes care when Pope succeeded so indifferently in the attempt. to remember us of Dr. Johnson's saying, that when a If our readers, however, are of another opinion, they nobleman appears as an author, his merit should be may look at it. handsomely acknowledged. In truth, it is this con
"Ah! gentle, fleeting, wavering sprite, sideration only that induces us to give Lord Byron's
Friend and associate of this clay! poems a place in our review, beside our desire to
To what unknown region borne counsel him, that he do forthwith abandon poetry, and
Wilt thou now wing thy distant flight? turn his talents, which are considerable, and his op
No more with wonted humour gay,
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn." portunities, which are great, to better account.
With this view, we must beg leave seriously to as However, be this as it may, we fear his translations sure him, that the mere rhyming of the final syllable, and imitations are great favourites with Lord Byron. even when accompanied by the presence of a certain We have them of all kinds, from Anacreon to Ossian; number of feet,--nay, although (which does not al- and, viewing them as school exercises, they may pass. ways happen) those feet should scan regularly, and Only, why print them after they have had their day have been all counted accurately upon the fingers,-is and served their turn? And why call the thing in not the whole art of poetry. We would entreat him p. 79(1) a translation, where two. words (Othew Abyczy) to believe, that a certain portion of liveliness, some of the original are expanded into four lines, and the what of fancy, is necessary to constitute a poem; and other thing in p. 81,(2) where hegOVUXTiois rol' upaus that a poem in the present day, to be read, must con- is rendered by means of six hobbling verses? As to tain at least one thought, either in a little degree dif- lis Ossianic poesy, we are not very good judges, being, ferent from the ideas of former writers, or differently in truth, so moderately skilled in that species of comexpressed. We put it to his candour, whether there position, that we should, in all probability, be criticisis any thing so deserving the name of poetry in verses | ing some bit of the genuine Macpherson itself, were like the following, written in 1806; and whether, if a we to express our opinion of Lord Byron's rhapsodies. youth of eighteen could say any thing so uninteresting | If, then, the following beginning of a Song of Bards is to his ancestors, a youth of nineteen should publish by his lordship, we venture to object to it, as far as we
can comprehend it:— What form rises on the roar of
clouds, whose dark ghost gleams on the red stream of * Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu !
tempests? His voice rolls on the thunder; 't is Orla, Abroad or at home, your remembrance imparting New courage, he'll think upon glory and you.
(1) See p. 6, col. 2. (2) Sce p. 6, col. I.
the brown chief of Oithona. He was," etc. After Deprived of many a wholesome meal,
From authors of historic use,
Preferring to the letter'd sage bow;" and "to smile through the tears of the storm."
The square of the hypothenuse. Of this kind of thing there are no less than nine
u Still harmless are these occupations, pages; and we can so far venture an opinion in their
That hurt none but the hapless student, favour, that they look very like Macpherson; and we
Compared with other recreations, are positive they are pretty nearly as stupid and tire
Which bring together the imprudent." some.
We are sorry to hear so bad an account of the colIt is a sort of privilege of poets to be egotists; but lege psalmody as is contained in the following Attic they should use it as not abusing it;" and particularly I stanzas:one wbo piques himself (though indeed at the ripe
"Our choir would scarcely be excused age of nineteen) on being "an infant bard,” (« The art
Even as a band' of raw beginners; less Helicon I boast is youth") - should either not Al mercy now must be refused kbow, or should seem not to know, so much about his
To such a set of croaking sinners. own ancestry. Besides a poem above cited, on the “If David, when his toils were ended, family-seat of the Byrons, we have another of eleven
Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
To us his psalms had ne'er descended : pages, on the self-same subject, introduced with an
In furious mood he would have tore 'em!” apology, "he certainly had no intention of inserting it, but really "the particular request of some But, whatever judgment may be passed on the friends, etc. etc. It concludes with five stanzas poems of this noble minor, it seems we must take oa himself, the last and youngest of a poble line." them as we find them, and be content; for they are There is a good deal also about his maternal ancestors, the last we shall ever have from him. He is, at best, in a poem on Lachin y Gair, a mountain where he he says, but an intruder into the groves of Parnassus: spent part of his youth, and might have learnt that he never lived in a garret, like thorough-bred poets; pibroch is not a bagpipe, any more than duet means and “ though he once roved a careless mountaineer in à ldde.
the Highlands of Scotland," he has not of late enjoyed ! As the author has dedicated so large a part of his this advantage. Moreover, he expects no profit from volume to immortalise his employments at school and his publication; and, whether it succeeds or not, wit college, we cannot possibly dismiss it without pre- is highly improbable, from his situation and pursuits senting the reader with a specimen of these ingenious hereafter," that he should again condescend to become effusions. In an ode with a Greek motto, called an author. Therefore, let us take what we get, and Granta, we have the following magnificent stanzas:
be thankful. What right have we poor devils to be
nice? We are well off to have got so much from a man "There, in apartments small and damp,
of this lord's station, who does not live in a garret, The candidate for college prizes Sits poring by the midnight lamp,
but has the sway” of Newstead Abbey. Again, we Goes late to bed, yet early rises.
say, let us be thankful; and, with honest Sancho, bid “Who reads false quantities in Seale,
God bless the giver, nor look the gift horse in the Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle,
1) The Monthly Reriencers, in those days the next in cir- | must be considered an unusual and a felicitous exception, calation to the Edinburgh, gave a much more favourable by no means disproving the plain rule. If the sublimity and botice of the Hours of Idleness. “These compositions (said the success of the poet's later career have comple they are generally of a plaintive or an amatory cast, with the sinister predictions of the Edinburgh Reviewers, the only an occasional mixture of satire; and they display both ease fhir inference to be drawn is, that an unerring judgment can and strength-both pathos and fire. It will be expected as little be founded on early mediocrity, as on precocious that marks of juvenility and of haste should be discovered genius: the one is not always the harbinger of future in. in these productions, and we seriously advise our young feriority, nor the other the precursor of matured excellence. bard to fulfil with submissive perseverance the duties of Judging strictly with reference to the evidence before them, revision and correction. We discern, in Lord Byron, a de. Byron's reviewers were not unjust, though their severity gree of mental power, and a turn of mental disposition, I might have been tempered with more courtesy, and modified wieb render as solicitous that both should be well culti. | by a kindly hope for the future-- a hope which more invated and wisely directed, in his career of life. He has dulgent critics entertained, from the consideration of the poet's received talents, and is accountable for the use of them. youth, and of the redeeming traits occasionally apparent in We trust that be will render them beneficial to man, and a l the juvenile poems “brought up for judgment." Such, we Soarce of real gratification to himself in declining age. | think, must be the impression made by a perusal of the Then may he properly exclaim with the Roman orator, | Hours of Idleness on every reader unprejudiced by the gi. • Non luhet mibi deplorare vitam, quod multi, et ii docti, I gantic fame of Byron, and such is the opinion pronounced sepe fecerunt; neque me vixisse pænitet: quoniam ita vixi, l by one of his warmest admirers and most eloquent apoloI et non frustra me na cum existimem.'»-Lord Byron repaid | gists, Moore himself, from whom we quote the following the Edinburgh Critique with a Satire- and became himself passage:-“It is but justice to remark, without at the same • Monthly Periecer.-L. E.
time intending any excuse for the contemptuous tone of There may be much temerity in the avowal, but we have criticism assumed by the reviewer, that the early verses orer been among the number of those who regarded the of Lord Byron, however distinguished by tenderness and dawaing of Byron's powers, displayed in the Hours of Idle grace, give but little promise of those dazzling miracles sens, as by no means indicative of the dazzling splendour of poesy with which he afterwards astonished and enof his sabsequent poetical career. There was no extraor. chanted the world; and that if his youthful verses now dinary brilliancy in his juvenile efforts; and though the tree have a peculiar charm in our eyes, it is because we read in its maturity bore goodly fruit, notwithstanding the in. them, as it were, by the light of his subsequent glory."dafferent promise of its earlier blossoms, the circumstance P.E.