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females are, in general, so worthily Stephania, the widow of Crescentius, devoted. Mrs Barbauld may be in- concealing her affliction and resenta cluded, whose excellent education, ment, found means to be introduced and whose leisure, uninterrupted by to the tyrant, and avenged her wrongs maternal duties, placed her nearly in by administering poison to him. the same predicament. Mrs Hemans We extract, as a specimen of the is one of those who actually do re- author's powers, the following descrip quire an apology for coming before the tion of the scene of action, and the public, because she is young, married, crisis of time, when the deluded paand the mother of a fast increasing fa- triots rejoiced in the amnesty acceded mily. We dare not, unpermitted, to thein by the tyrant. admit the reader into the sacred privacy of that domestic circle of which 'Tis morn, and Nature's richest dyes this admirable person forms the cen- Are floating o'er Italian skies : tre and the ornament. Generally Tints of transparent lustre shine speaking, the duties of a mother are Along the snow-clad Apennine ; such as to require undivided atten- The clouds have left Soracte's height, tion ; yet there may be circumstances
And yellow Tiber winds in light, in which every power and talent is The wide Campagna's solitude.
Where tombs and fallen fanes have strew'd called forth and stimulated by the best 'Tis sad amidst that scene to trace affections of the heart. Without far- Those relics of a vanish'd race; ther penetrating into the quiet seclu- Yet o'er the ravaged path of time, sion of a family
every way respectable, Such glory sheds that brilliant clime, where talents of the highest order are Where Nature still, though empires fall, made subservient to virtues still more Holds her triumphant festival; to be valued, it is enough to add, that E’en Desolation wears a smile, her motive for appearing before the Where skies and sunbeams laugh the while; public is so praiseworthy, that the And Heaven's own light, Earth's richest sternest critic, however accustomed to
bloom, contemn the productions of female
Array the ruin and the tomb.
genius, must regard her Muse with sym- But she, who from yon convent tower pathy and indulgence. For the volume Breathes the pure freshness of the hour; itself, however, we claim noindulgence, She, whose rich flow of raven hair and are most willing to let it stand or Streams wildly on the morning air ; fall by its own merits. We are well Heeds not how fair the scene below, aware, that, in reading poetry, the Robed in Italia's brightest glow.
Though throned midst Latium's classic public judges it from the merit it possesses, and the pleasure it gives, little, Th’ Eternal City's towers and fanes,
plains, if at all, biassed by the motives or And they, the Pleiades of earth, circumstances of the author.
The seven proud hills of Empire's birth, The first historical fact which Mrs Lie spread beneath : not now her glance Hemans has selected as the subject of Roves o'er that vast sublime expanse ; a poetical narrative is the treacherous Inspired, and bright with hope, 'tis thrown murder of Crescentius by Otho the On Adrian’s massy tomb alone; third Emperor of Germany, when the There, from the storm, when Freedom former made a bold attempt to shake
fled, off the Saxon yoke, and the still hea. His faithful few Crescentius led; vier one of the Popes, then peculiar- While she, his anxious bride, who now
Bends o'er the scene her youthful brow, ly tyrannical and flagitious. The consul (for such Crescentius was) de- which then could shelter, not in vain.
Sought refuge in the hallow'd fane, fended the Mole of Hadrian as long as possible, till at length Otho, almost But now the lofty strife is o'er, despairing of success, entered into a And Liberty shall weep no more. treaty, in which he pledged his word At length imperial Otho's voice to respect the rights of the Roman ci- Bids her devoted sons rejoice ; tizens and the life of their consul. The glories and the rights of yore,
And he, who battled to restore Immediately on the surrender of the Whose accents, like the clarion's sound, fortress, he beheaded the unhappy pa- Could burst the dead repose around, triot, with many of his adherents. Again his native Rome shall see, The emperor endeavoured, by a pila The sceptred city of the free! grimage soon after, to appease the hore And young Stephania waits the hour rors of his conscience. On his return, When leaves her lord his fortress-tower,
Her ardent heart with joy elate,
the descriptions here is exquisite. InThat seems beyond the reach of fate;
deed, the common accounts of the AlHer mien, like creature from above,
hambra, given by mere matter-of-fact Al vivified with hope and love.
travellers, seem to have acquired from pp. 10.12.
the nature of the subject a high poetic The story, very little deviating from colouring. What a field, then, must the historic narrative, is carried on such a scene, in the height of its priswith great force and pathos, and with tine glory, present to a young and exthe same beauty of diction and loftis uberant imagination! We cannot afness of sentiment.
firm that our author has been able to The Abencerrage is a romance, the proceed with the chastened calmness scene of which is appropriately laid in of mature taste through the enchanta most romantic period, and in the ments of this Arabic Elysium. While country of all others in which the spi- she is tempted to luxuriate in this wilrit of romance was most powerful, and derness of poetie sweets, the interest lingeren longest—in the kingdom of of the story is sometimes suspended. Grenada, where the power of the The parts, each distinctly considered, Moors was first established, and had are beautiful in the extreme: but a the greatest continuance-the time more subdued fancy would have prothat during which Ferdinand and Isa- , duced a more distinct and connected bella succeeded in conquering the last story at the expence of sacrificing Moorish king, and expelling the dis- some luxuriant graces of description ciples of Mahomet from that beauti- It is somewhat singular that simpliful region, which their industry had city, the first charm which poetry cultivated to the highest perfection, possesses in its infancy, is one of the and their arts adorned with the ut- last it attains in its more advanced most magnificence. The fall of their state, the early productions of all moempire in the west appears to have dern poets being deficient in this parbeen hastened by the tyranny of the ticular. We do not include the stumonarch, and the fierce hostility of died simplicity which has been culticontending factions. The resentment vated as an art, and carried to excess of a gallant and deeply-injured chief, by some persons of great and real gee for the wrongs sustained by his fa- nius. Choice is bewildered among mily, forms the basis of this narra- the many fine passages we are tempttive, the materials of wbich are to be ed to extract from the Abencerrage; found scattered in the heroic ballads we shall not, then, interrupt its enreferring to this period, which are so tireness, but content ourselves with frequent in Spain. Hamet, the hero what we hope will not content the of the tale, is another Coriolanus, reader, namely, theintroductory verses, whose deep resentment of the injuries which follow: his family had sustained from the adverse faction leads him to turn his Lonely and still are now thy marble halls,
Thou fair Alhambra ! there the feast is arms against his ungrateful and de
o'er : graded country-that country which And with the mummur of thy fountain. was still dear to him, and the more
falls, endeared for containing one fondi and Blend the wild tones of minstrelsy ne faithful heart, which neither his errors or his misfortunes could alienate. Hushd are the voices that, in years gone His beloved Zayda, the daughter of a
by, Zegris chief, (the enemy of the Aben
Have mourn'd, exulted, menaced, thro' cerrages,) is a lofty and pure-minded
thy towers; heroine, who unites with the tender. Within thy pillar'd courts the grass waves ness of her sex the firmness of the high, most exalted masculine character, And all uncultured bloom thy fairy Devoted in heart to her lover, she is bowers. still faithful to her country and to her Unheeded there the flowering myrtle blows, filial duties. The leading events of
Through tall arcades unmark'd the sunthe narrative are strictly historical, beam smiles, and with these the fate and sufferings And many a tint of soften'd brilliance of the unfortunate lovers are very naa throws turally interwoven. The beauty of O'er fretted walls, and shining peristyles
And well might Fancy deem thy fabrics Bursting in that terrific hour lone,
From fane and palace, dome and tower, So vast, so silent, and so wildly fair, Reveal'd the throngs, for aid divine Some charm’d abode of Beings all un. Clinging to many a worshipp'd shrine ; known,
Fierce titful radiance wildly shed Powerful and viewless, children of the O'er spear and sword, with carnage red, air.
Shone o'er the suppliant and the flying,
And kindled pyres for Romans dying. For there no footstep treads th' enchanted
pp. 178, 179. ground, There not a sound the deep repose per. The Death of Conradin, like that of vades,
our own Arthur of Bretagne, (to Save winds and founts, diffusing freshness whose fate and character that of the round,
Swabian prince bore much resemThrough the light domes and graceful blance,) is an historical fact, melancolonnades.
choly and atrocious in itself, and BriFar other tones have swell'd those courts tish poetry has now given in addition, along,
in both instances, a degree of beauty In days Romance' yet fondly loves to and tenderness to their story that will
for ever shed lustre on the memory The clash of arms, the voice of choral of those early victims of ambition. song,
Charles of Anjou, who usurped the The revels, combats, of a vanish'd race.
dominion of Naples, to which ConAnd yet awhile, at Fancy's potent call,
radin was heir, seeing him greatly be Shall rise that race, the chivalrous, the loved by the people, condemned him bold !
to death, without any the least prePeopling once more each fair, forsaken text to colour the crime. The aphall,
proach of the youthful prince to the With stately forms, the knights and scaffold is thus described : chiefs of old. pp. 55, 56.
But thou, fair boy! the beautiful, the Each of the single events which
brave, form the subject of the succeeding Thus passing from the dungeon to the poems derives fresh interest from the while all is yet around thee which can vivid colours with which it is adorned, and has an ease, and clearness, A charm to earth, and make it bliss to
give which can scarce be expected from an unpractised writer, in more lengthen- Thou on whose form hath dwelt a mo: ed and intricate narratives. Alaric in Italy is written with great spirit, and Till the deep love that not with thee shall there is in the style a degree of so
die lemnity suited to the subject, one, Hath grown too full for utterance--can it indeed, that impresses strongly on
be? every thinking mind the awful retric And is this pomp of death prepared for
thec? bution by which the accumulated crimes of an ambitious people have in Young, royal Conradin! who should'st so many instances been visited. The Of life as yet the sunny smile alone ! following extract describes the en- Oh! who can view thee, in the pride and trance of the Goths into Rome.
Of youth, array'd thus richly for the tomb, Heard ye the Gothic trumpet's blast ?
Nor feel, deep-swelling in his iemost soul, The march of hosts, as Alaric pass'd ? T'hat fearful sound, at midnight deep,
Emotions tyranny may ne'er control ?
Bright victim ! to ambition's altar led, Burst on th' eternal city's sleep :
Crown'd with all Aowers that heaven on How woke the mighty? She, whose will earth can shed, So long had bid the world be still, Her sword a sceptre, and her eye
Who, from th' oppressor towering in his Th' ascendant star of destiny !
pride, She woke-to view the dread array
May hope for mercy--if to thee denied ? Of Scythians rushing to their prey,
There is dead silence on the breathless To hear her streets resound the cries
throng, Pour'd from a thousand agonies ! Dead silence all the peopled shore along, While the strange light of flames, that gave As on the captive moves the only sound, A ruddy glow to Tyber's wave,
To break that calm so fearfully profound,
The low, sweet murmur of the rippling say, the Banks of Carron, where, by wave,
the power of poetical magic, she has Soft as it glides, the smiling shore to lave; conjured up two stalwart and majesWhile on that shore, his own fair herit- tic spirits, holding high converse on age,
themes of deep import. These are no The youthfuil martyr to a tyrant's rage
other than Wallace and the Bruce, Is passing to his fate the eyes are dimi
The tradition which records the geWhich gaze, through tears that dare not
nerous effort of the truest of patriots, flow, on him : He mounts the scaffold-doth his footstep and most disinterested of heroes, to fail ?
win back the descendant of our anDoth his lip quiver ? doth his cheek turn cient monarchs, to assert his claims, pale ?
and liberate his country, is one, we Oh ! it may be forgiven him, if a thought are all willing to credit; a true Scot Cling to that world, for him with beauty would scarce listen to historical doubts fraught,
on the subject. The period of that To all the hopes that promised Glory's noble struggle for national liberty was meed,
dear to the Scottish Muse; and the And all th affections that with him shall heartfelt strains of Blind Harry and
bleed! If, in his life's young day-spring, while the the Archdeacon of Aberdeen still
gleam through the rust of antiquity Of boyhood on his cheek yet freshly glows, to illustrate those gloomy but honourOne human fear convulse his parting able days when the national spirit rose breath,
high against oppression—when eleven And shrink from all the bitterness of lost battles, far from breaking that death!
unconquered spirit, proved only so But no !--the spirit of his royal race
many preludes to the twelfth, that Sits brightly on his brow-- that youthful gave freedom to the country, and unface
fading, as unsullied, glory to its heBeams with heroic beauty-and his eye
roic monarch. Is cloquent with injured majesty.
This is a theme on which a genuHe kneelsbut not to man-his heart shall ine Scot delights to luxuriate. It
has so far kindled the spirit of one Such deep submission to his God alone! of our expatriated countrymen, that And who can tell with what sustaining it has induced him to offer a prize to
power That God may visit him in fate's dread any one who should write the best
poem on this heroic interview, where hour ? How the still voice, which answers every Thoughts that breathe, and words that
burn, May speak of hope, when hope on earth awaked that fire in the mind of the is gone?
Bruce that afterwards blazed out in That solemn pause is o'er--the youth hath such a glorious flame. Mrs Hemans given
has been the successful competitor. One glance of parting love to earth and A lady who knows and admires her, heaven ;
not satisfied with the advantage she, The sun rejoices in th' unclouded sky,
Mrs Hemans, has derived from the Life all around him glows and he must die ! Pp. 247-250.
prize already mentioned, has order
ed 500 copies to be printed at her If any reader considers our stric- own expence, and sold for the autures tedious, and our extracts pro- thor's benefit. The booksellers, with fuse, our best apology is, that the the most generous spirit, refuse the luxury of doing justice to so much wonted emoluments of the trade, genuine talent, adorning so much pri- whether from mere amor patriæ, or vate worth, does not often occur to from a courteous as well as chivalrous tempt us to an excess of this nature.
respect to the fair author ; and it is
to be supposed that a Scottish public, Since writing the above, Mrs He- at least, will be emulous of all this limans has made another public ap- berality. pearance on a field peculiarly inte There is a suggestion in this poem resting to all true Scots, even the me with regard to a monument commemorable field of Falkirk, or, perhaps, morating those worthies, and our it would be more strictly correct to countryman before mentioned pro
FLOWERS TO A YOUNG LADY.
poses leaving a sum towards that na VERSES SENT WITH SOME FAVOURITE tional and very desirable object. We live now in very cordial union with our south country friends, and the be
On a Sprig of Heath. nefits of that union which we so much FLOWER of the waste! the heath-fowl detested, and they so much despised, shuns at the time it took place, are now For thee the brake and tangled wood, found to be mutual and important. To thy protecting shade she runs, One peculiar benefit is only of late Thy tender buds supply her food ; occurrence, yet, perhaps, full as muc Her young forsake her downy plumes, Falued as any of the others; it is, To rest upon thy opening blooms. that our southern neighbours have Flower of the desart though thou art, learned (though late) to appreciate The deer that range the mountain free, the Scottish character, and to discern The graceful doe, the stately hart, and taste Scottish genius even in the Their food and shelter seek from thee ; disguise of our national language, —
The bee thy earliest blossom greets, a language most peculiarly fitted for Gem of the heath, whose modest bloom
And draws from thee her choicest sweets. the vehicle of simple pathos and strong Sheds beauty o'er the lonely moor, sarcastic, or even gaily playful hu- Though thou dispense no rich perfume,
Allan Ramsay proved little Nor yet with splendid tints allure, more than an avant courier ; but Both valour's crest, and beauty's bower, Burns entered their confines with a
Oft hast thou deck'd, a favourite flower, monarch's voice, and cried havoc to flower of the wild ! whose crimson glow vulgar prejudice. He, like Wallace, Adorns the dusky mountain's side, enacted wonders, but, like him, did Not the gay hues of Iris' bow, not live to complete his conquest. Nor gardens artful varied pride, His successor, like Bruce, has estab- With all its wealth of sweets could cheer, lished the Scottish sway in the do- Like thee, the hardy mountaineer. main native to Scottish genius, and in Flower of his heart! thy fragrance mild, these wondrous fictions, which pos- of peace and freedom seems to breathe ; sess so much truth of painting and To pluck thy blossoms in the wild, character, has established a monu And deck his bonnet with the wreath, ment to the national language and Where dwelt of old his rustic sires,– national manners that must be perpe
Is all his simple wish requires. tual. They have, I trust, had the ef- Flower of his dear loved native land ! fect of rekindling that enthusiasm for Alas, when distant, far more dear! the land of our nativity, and the me
When he from some cold foreign sky mory of our forefathers, which travel Looks homeward through the blending and a mixture with strangers was in
tear, danger of diminishing. Let us then That home or thee • he sees no more!
How must his aching heart deplore, cherish this peculiar character, and the honourable remembrance that we
The Passion Flower. were once an independent people. If we cannot, like those ornaments of Thy strange unwonted form, mysterious
flower! our country, embalm our language in immortal verse, or in those more fa To humble yet aspiring thought gives miliar images of Scottish life which Memorial of that sad and solemn hour,
birth, are alike imperishable, we can at least When horror shook, and darkness veil'd bring a stone to the cairn of Wallace,
the earth. to whose memory we owe so much. Does daring fancy thus too far presume, A pittance of little more value than
In thy frail form to trace those picturd this figurative tribute from every Scot
woes, to whom that name is dear, would That brought the willing Victim to the furnish such an addition to the pro tomb posed legacy as would raise a mo Who died in agony-in triumph rose ? nument worthy of the hero, and of Or say, has bounteous Nature's lavish the nation by whom his memory is hand, revered.
That decks the lily in imperial pride,
Heath does not grow in many pasts of America.