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we are well aware that an Irish no
But it is still certain that Mr. bleman either forgets that he is Shee himself proves the contrary to Irish, or at least imposes so far upon be the fact, for he frequently clothes his own anderstanding, as to believe his precepts in the richest 'robes of that the natives of the country are poetic imagery. It is, however, an no countrymen of his. To him imagery that is always just because who is swayed by the dictates of never idly introduced. It nerer common sense, this species of delu- forms any part of his subject, so sion would appear impossible; but that it always appears the mere to him who is acquainted with the dress of a body, which it merely people of whom we speak, it is well ornaments, but never conceals from known to be a fact. ‘Alexander the view. Mr. Shee belongs not thereGreat believed himself to be a God, fore to our modern schools of poetry, and every Irish nobleman believes which are conversant with the imagihimself to be a prince at least, if he native world alone: with them imagebe no better; and has the additional ry is not only ornament, but the satisfaction of believing himself nothing ornamented ;—it is both subIrishman. In fact, an Irish noble- stance and shadow. Hence it may man thinks he possesses
properly be called “Much ado about
nothing," and accordingly has nei· The front of Jove himself,
ther strength, nerve, or energy. An eye like Mars, to threaten and
Poetic imagery soon palls upon the command,
sense when unaccompanied by any A station like the herald Mercury, New lighted on a heaven kissing hill;
thing of a more substantial nature; A combination and a form indeed
but whenever it is used to embellish Where every God did seem to set his
our views of “the naked nature, seal,
and the living grace," and permits To give the world assurance of a man :" this paked nature to be seen through
it, it gratifies at once both the but he can never imagine for a senses and imagination, and imparts moment, that this highly favoured the highest charms and graces of man is a mere Irishman. Hence which poetry is capable. Without Ireland never produced a man of this “ naked nature," however, this talent that was not obliged to trans- ground work of poetry, all imagery is port it to some other country, and not only uninteresting, but childish to extend that intelligence to others, and impertinent, and hence we have, which would have multiplied the in general, from our modern schools, rays, and increased the radiance of only sing-songs, about nothing. science and mental illumination in No traces are to be found in them his native land. Had this illumina of tion taken place, these self-created
“ The varying verse, the full resoundGods would not blush to avow the
ing lipe, country to which they belong. The long majestic march, and energy As an artist, Mr. Shee's merits
divine," are already well known to all that characterized the school of who delight in the productions of Pope and Dryden. To the former taste, and are connoisseurs in paint of these, we would compare Mr. ing. As a poet, perhaps, be is not Campbell, so far as we can form our so well known, because the subject views of his poetic character from of which he treats is interesting his “Pleasures of Hope,"-to the only to the lovers of the arts: to latter we would compare Mr. Shee. the rest of mankind, its principles He wants the exquisite finish of are not only void of interest, but Pope, but possesses all the strength, absolutely unintelligible. Indeed it would seem from its didactic and Like him he is irregular, bold, im
energy, and variety of Dryden. higher beauties of poetry, and this petuous, 'yielding instinctively and higher beauties of poetry, and this unconsciously to all the influences opinion seems to be streugthened by and impulses of passion, and this the motto which Mr. Shre prefixes to, too, in a subject which appeals only his “ Elements of Art."
to the more delicate perceptions and “Ornari præcepta negent contenta, finer feelings of our nature. The, doceri."
works of art require taste, judgment
and experience, to perceive their born elements clothe themselves in beauties; and what depends on the light, softness, and beauty, when exercise of these faculties, seldom touched by the fairy finger of the prompts to enthusiasm, or gives bright eyed muse. It must, however, impulse to the energies of inspired be confessed, that those poets who genius. Indeed it would be idle to have had the art of rendering didacexpect 'such enthusiasm in such a tic subjects poetical, and impregnasubject, from any other than Mr. ting them at the same time with all Shee himself. It was a subject or the fire and enthusiasm of genius, an art, to which he had devoted
very few in number. So himself, and consequently a subject far as regards poetical expression that associated with the recollections in subjects of this nature, Virgil of his earliest years.
These recol- bas, undoubtedly excelled all men lections are the purest and brightest in his Georgics: Pope, perhaps, -the most inspiring, captivating, comes next to him; but shee cerand seductive, that Goat' in light tainly leaves both far behind him in visions round the poet's head. No fire and energy. His description of wonder then that Mr. Shee has the celebrated statues of the Pagan divested his “Elements of Art,” of divinities; of the Olympic Jupiter of all appearance of being a didactic Phidias, at Elis ; his Minerva, at poem. He instructs without seem Athens; the Venus de Medici, the ing to do so : we are imbibing pre- Apollo Belvidere, the Hercules Farcepts that are soon to form our nese, and others, are sketched with taste, and to regulate our judgment such a pencil of light and fire, that while we imagine that we are revel we have some difficulty in conceivling in the brightest worlds of fic- ing how a person who laughs at tion, reposing amid the wildest re the Pagan creed and its imaginary treats of imagination, or twining deities, could feel such enthusiasm the wreaths of fancy round the in such a theme. An extract, howsyren bowers of the seductive muse. ever, from the second canto of the This, indeed, is more than any reader “ Elements of Art," in which this of judgment could promise himself description occurs, will speak more from such a subject as the “ Ele than volumes of criticism. ments of Art;" but the most stub
“ Now throned at Elis first, the Olympic sire
“ Now Pallas too, received her second birth,
“ Lo! first, where dazzling fair, as poets feiga
The vulgar trophies of the sword despise,
“ With modest mien the sov'reign Beauty stands,
“ Each charm divine that Nature's stores supply, To fire the Poet's thought or Painter's eye; Whate'er of Love's elysium Fancy views, . Or Heaven unfolds in vision to the Muse, The carious Artist caught, with care combined, Fix'd as he found, and as he wrought refined, Till rapt, the wave's proud offspring he outvies, And bids a rival from the rock arise. When Nature, watchful of the process, view'd A form so lovely, from a mass so rude ; When, in the wond'rous work, she saw her own, By Art outdone, and e'en excell'd in stone, Amazed, she paused-confess'd the conquering fair, Set her bright seal, and stamp'd perfection there. Yet, while we view those beauties which might move Immortal breasts, and warm a world to love, No coarse emotions rise, no vulgar fires, Profane the sacred passion she inspires; Each sense refined to rapture as we gaze, Like heav'ns pure angels, finds its bliss in praise.
“ But see! where Taste extends her brightest crown, Unclaim'd amid the contests of renown! Lost, in the darkest night of time, his name! By envious fate, defrauded of his fame, The hand divine! to whose high pow'rs we owe The noblest image of a God below! Bright as on Pindus, crown'd by all the Nine, Behold Apollo! Pythian victor shine! With holy zeal, in Delphic splendour placed, And still revered-an oracle of Taste! He owns full tribute to his godhead given, And finds on earth the homage feign'd in hear'n. Not with more awful grace, as sung of yore, That God himself his golden quiver bore; When, o'er the Grecian host, in shafts of fire, He pour'd swift vengear ce at his priest's desire; Erect his mien, with ease, the silver bow Has just let fly its terrors on the foe; While, with triumphant step, and eager eye, He forward moves to see the monster die. Majestic rising from its ample base, The polish'd neck uniting strength and grace, Bears the bright head aloft, and seems to shine, The column of a capital divine! In each light limb elastic vigour proves, A power immortal, and in marble moves;
A form divine, to heav'n's proportions just!
paragon of animals” appear'd!
« Nor less in characters of mortal mould,
" What wonders still the stores of Greece display!
The rich remains of ancient Art arise;
And while in wonder rapt, our ruder age,
“ Touch gently as thou fliest, O Time! with care
“ Hail, awful shade! that o'er the mouldering urn
And wonder at the palace we have raised !'' But if Mr. Shee be carried away by the enthusiasm of his feelings where the ancient works of art become the subject of his pen, he is still more so when he calls our attention to the ancient authors themselves. We canne forbear quoting from his description of Michael Angelo, Raphael, Rubens, whom he denominates the “ Triumvirate of art."
“ Though purest forms from ancient Greece we trace, And in her Sculpture find the school of grace,