« السابقةمتابعة »
Then waited not the murderer for the night,
And slew his babes. The sick, untended then,
But misery brought in love-in passion's strife
Grave and time-wrinkled men, with locks all white,
Till bolder spirits seized the rule, and nailed
pp. 4, 5.
Greece and Rome are thus introduced.
"Oh, Greece! thy flourishing cities were a spoil
Unto each other ; thy hard band oppressed
From thine abominations ; after-times,
Our chiller virtue ; the high art to tame
Far over many a land and age has shone,
And Rome-thy sterner, younger sister, she
Till the North broke its flood-gates, and the waves
pp. 7, 8.
The Reformation is the subject of the following passage.
“ At last the earthquake came--the shock that hurled
To dust, in many fragments dashed and strown,
O'er prostrate Europe, in that day of dread
The spirit of that day is still awake,
The smile of Heaven ;-till a new age expands
For look again on the past years ;-bebold,
The forfeit of deep guilt ;--with glad embrace
The American forest and the Aboriginal Indians are thus described.
" There stood the Indian hamlet-there the lake
Spreads its blue sbeet that flashed with many an oar,
And peace was on the earth and in the air,
Not unavenged. The foeman, from the wood,
No more the cabin smokes rose wreathed and blue,
And ever by their lake lay moored the light canoe.”—pp. 12, 13. There is much more in this volume which we could quote with pleasure, but we must forbear. We will content ourselves with mentioning such poems, in addition to those already named, as appear most worthy of attention. We would select “ The Song of Pitcairn's Island"--Lines" to the Evening Wind"-" To the Past”—“ Monument Mountain"-" The Hunter's Serenade". “ Autumn Woods"- .“ The Disinterred Warrior".
.“ Scene on the Banks of the Hudson”--Sonnets on Midsummer," on
October," and on “ Mutation”, The Walk at Sunset”. “ Hymn to the North Star," and " The Death of the Flowers."
There are some pretty translations, chiefly from the Spanish; but we cannot counsel Mr. Bryant to pursue this branch of composition. Not only is it secondary to that in which he is capable of excelling, but he is not possessed of those qualities which would enable him to be distinguished as a translator. He wants versatility and pliancy of style. He can not invest himself easily in a foreign garb, and dismiss all marks of individual manner. The translations are very pleasing, but they differ scarcely at all from his original poems, except in having less force. They do not enable us to forget the identity. They are still evidently from the hands of Mr. Bryant. Mr. Bryant cannot, perhaps, be said to bave a bad ear for metrical rhythm, but neither has he shown a very good one. Some of his experiments
in metre certainly cannot be called successful. Such are his
Mary Magdalen”-“ Autumn Woods”--Lives “ To a Cloud” --" Hymns of the City.” The short poem called “ The Gladness of Nature" halts awkwardly. Couplets sometimes occur like the following,
“ Artless one, though thou gazest now
O'er the white blossom with earvest brow ;" which, if not positively bad, yet evince an ear not attuned to a delicate sense of metrical melody. The “ Indian Story,” which has in it much good poetical imagery, shambles thus in weak emulation of “ Alonzo the Brave."
But where is she who at this calm hour
Ever watched his coming to see?
The hum of the laden bee." Mr. Bryant does not, we think, always well understand how to adapt bis metre to his subject, or he would not have written on • The Hurricane” in such dancing sing-song as the following.
“ Lord of the winds ! I feel thee nigh,
I know thy breath in the burning sky!
For the coming of the hurricane." His want of metrical polish is rendered very evident by comparison whenever he has adopted the measure of Moore. His blank verse is good, and more satisfactory to the ear than bis other poetry. This may be thought ininute criticism, but, if Mr. Bryant's faults had not been few, we should not have stopped to notice such as these. We cannot advise him to prosecute the sportive style, He does not trifle lightly and gracefully. He has rarely attempted it, and with little success. His “Meditations on Rhode Island Coal," his lines “ To a Musquito,” and “ Spring in Town” are not worthy of his talents. Mr. Bryant is in the main a very uvaffected writer, but there is a little occasional tendency to prettiness— to the namby-pamby Rosa-Matildaism of modern album poetry, against which we would warn him. We have no flagrant instances to adduce; but whoever will look at bis“ Song of the Stars” will see plainly what we nean. These flaunting tags of garish embroidery consort ill with the correct and simple garb in which his thoughts are usually clothed.
We need add little to the preceding observations to express our sense of Mr. Bryant's merits. It will be seen that approbation predominates greatly over censure. We do not consider him a first-rate poet, but we would assign him an honourable station in the second class, and regard him as eminently entitled to that respect which both in this and in his native land his poetical labours will, we trust, never fail to receive.
Art. VI.-Histoire des Gaulois, depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu'à l'entière soumission de la Gaule à la domination Ro
Par Amédée Thierry. Paris. 1828. 3 vols. 8vo. This work of M. Amédée Thierry, the brother of the celebrated historian of the Norman conquest of England, professes to give an account of every thing which is known respecting the Gaulish or Celtic tribes, until the final reduction of Gaul by the Romans in the year 79 of our era. It extends therefore over a very large surface, both in space and time, for the Celts appear in the history of national migrations at a period long anterior to contemporary accounts of passing events, and during the time when they move on the stage, they were carried by their restless, plundering, and military disposition into Asia Minor, Northern Greece, Germany, Gaul, Italy, Spain, Britain, and Ireland. The distinctive characteristics of the whole Celtic
the names of the several Celtic tribes, the history of their movements and migrations, their national affinity, their connections with other races, their forms of civil and military government, and the changes which these underwent, their religious and hierarchical systems, are set forth by M. Thierry in a clear, methodical, and detailed narrative. It might at first seem that the history of a race, not of a state, and above all of a wandering and predatory race, would consist merely of unconnected stories and desultory disquisitions. But there is something peculiar in the history and state of the Celts. If any nation can be said, like individuals, to have a character, to show under different circumstances and at different times, an identity of peculiar dispositions and sentiments, it is true of the Celts that certain broad marks, traced by the hand of nature, may be seen in the character displayed in every page of their history, affording an irresistible proof that different races of mankind are distinguished no less by their mental than their physical peculiarities. Thus, even where the unconnected conquests of various Gaulish tribes are related, we see a sameness of manners and feelings, and find in the subject an unity, though it is neither of time, nor of place, nor of action. There is also another circumstance which gives an almost dramatic interest to the history of this loving and barbarous race.