Page images

slumber on in our present state, without being roused by the rebukes of conscience, or the terrors of eternity. -

“Thus may the pure and holy system of Christian faith and

Christian practice be contaminated in all its parts; and thus may

individuals either neglect, or transgress, as occasion requires, al

most every law, which the Son of God has laid down. If such laxity of principle and conduct be once admitted, it is easy to perceive, that human frailty and corruption could not well claim a greater licence for the indulgence of sinful passions and pursuits.”— P. 43.

The form prescribed for self-examination is exceedingly good, the notes upon the whole service, and the private prayers which follow are written in the spirit of calm and Christian devotion. The whole is sufficiently concise, without omitting any important considerations. We recommend this Manual strongly to all, particularly to the congregations which are composed of those who move in the higher circles of life, and are frequently ignorant of the true principles and tendency of the Christian

religion; from which circumstance it too often happens that

when they begin to think seriously of their unchristian state, they fly for succour to the opposite extreme of fanaticism, and be

come too easy a prey to the designing cant of the puritanical #. We trust that Mr. Hewlett's book will have the circu

ation which it deserves: in his own chapel, when preached in the form of Sermons, the effect of his exhortation was very. powerful.

[ocr errors]

ART. X. Legend of Iona, with other Poems. By JP alter Paterson. 8vo. 352 pp. 12s. Edinburgh, Constable; London, Longman. 1812. - -

THIS Poem is written in direct imitation of the style of W. Scott: and as an imitation it must be allowed to have a very fair proportion of merit. Mr. Paterson is both an elegant and a pretty Poet, too fond however of those little concetti, which, in the eyes of an English reader, seem only to excite a smile. The story of the Legend of Iona is not devoid of interest, and may be read with pleasure. The miscellaneous l’oems are more original than the tale; as a specimen of Mr. Paterson's powers, we shall select a few lines at the close of the “ Holm-Glen,”

descriptive of a hermit of ancient days, and of the wonders of his cell. * -"

“. His harp, that erst had cheered his happier years, .
Yet weaned his drooping age from half its tears;

[ocr errors]

Till, when subdued with age’s last decay,
No more his fingers could its spirit sway,
Upon that sacred bough he hung its strings,
Where now the ivy-shade so closely clings:
And it is said that still the tree retains
The spirit of his harp's enchanting strains;
For oft when evening’s feeble tints decay,
The nighted traveller, on his homeward way, - *
As o'er the Garple's ivied bridge he hies,
While the cold sweat-drops on his temples rise,
Hears the soft tones of music round him flow,
Winding the mazes of the glen below ;
And charmed alike with pleasure and with dread,
Stands like a statue till the notes are fled, *
Then homeward hies, with eager haste to tell
His wondrous stories of the Hermit's Cell.” P. 200.


Art. XI. The Eden of Imagination. By J. H. Reynolds. Cawthorn. 1814.

THERE is a felicity in the title of this Poem that cannot but afford pleasure: we call up with it a thousand recollections and anticipations, and Fancy falls zealously to work to embody

“Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.”

Something, in fact, more agreeable to our own ideas of a ter. restrial paradise, than we imagine our Poet is about to present us with: as Cowley sweetly observes,

“Phansie, wild dame, with much lascivious pride,
By twin-chamelions drawn, does gaily ride;
Her coach there follows, and throngs round about
Of shapes and airy forms an endless rout.
A sea rowls on with harmless fury here ; .
Straight 'tis a field, and trees, and herbs appear.”

And on reading the Poem we found our first feelings correct. This “Eden” may be to Mr. Reynolds a very delightful spot, all that in imagination even he could hope for, but to us it is but a dull, melancholy place, to which even the harmony and delicacy of his numbers cannot reconcile us: so much indeed do we question its congeniality with the feelings and habits of the world, that we doubt, after this specimen of his ability, if any of our flourishing gentlemen of the hammer would be inclined to employ him to furnish a descriptive advertisement of some “de* . . . . , , - - lightful

lightful cottage ornée, or one of their “picturesque residences,” on the banks of an Irish bog. But with this perhaps we have nothing to do ; and, with this exception, we have not of late been more gratified with a trifle, than in the perusal of this little work. The description of evening, with which it opens, exhibits at once a very high poetical ability in the author. The sun has Just set. • . “Each summer cloud that slowly sails away, Bears a light lovely gladness from his ray; The sea still glows in all his golden pride, As if the sum had melted in the tide; * is # # + * * * # * : * * Thus at some moment, when our joys are bright, We look on pleasure as a form of light; And when the brilliance of the time is past, - Still on the mind the recollections last; - - - And memory’s tint, unwilling to depart, Casts a warm, mellow lustre o’er the heart.” This is equally just and elegant. * From what we can collect from scattered notices, Mr. Reymolds is a very young man; of his ultimate success as a Poet, a great deal will depend on himself: he has many of the requisites of a fine one; but study, and true study, is absolutely necessary to excellence. Art and nature must be alike within the grasp of a Poet. In the course of reading therefore to which Mr. Reymolds must of uecessity submit, we would earnestly recommend to him a higher school than the modern: in his “Library” we regretted to find him speaking of Milton and Spencer in mere regular common place commendation; this is the consequence of a superficial knowledge of their extraordinary excellence: we

hope some day to find him discriminating, and dwelling with en

thusiasm on their beauties, not, as now, giving pages to modern

Poets, and clubbing these masters of the divine art into one line,

and shuffling them off in another as if uneasy under their weight.

We have some confidence that this will be the case from the

spirit in which he selects, and the spirit with which he commends

Mr. Wordsworth, and from that truth with which he himself seems capable of examining mature. Our readers will discover. in the concluding extracts, with which we shall now present them, that he has something congenial in feeling even with that extraordinary Poet. - *

“Pll tread the mazes of the winding way, . . . . Breathe o'er again the pleasures of the day, i. Twine the young'shrubs that need the fresh'ning shower, - 4ndread a moral in the smallest flower; - * 3 There


There view the linnet, startled at the breeze, ,
On wing of wildness, flutter through the trees;
* + * # . * * * * *
# . . . . . . . #
And dearer are these lonely walks than all
The heartless pleasures of the crowded ball,
Where heated hands meet hands, to press and part,
Where silence shews the coldness of the heart, , ' ' '...
Or nonsense flits from lip to lip with ease, - 4
In gilded lies, and jaded repartees. -
#, * *

These—these are joys surpassing human art,
Which cast a ray of sunshine on the heart,

Which hush . ruder passion in the breast, -
And breathe of innocence, and whisper rest; - !
These give a pleasure of the purest kind, -
And form at once the banquet of the mind.”

[ocr errors][merged small]

IF we allowed our feelings as reviewers in the slightest degree to influence our judgment, we should of all men be the most certain enemies to the general dissemination of education; not that we could object to men merely being taught to read and write, but for the intimate connection which seems to exist between writing and printing: the moment a young gentleman or ady can string together a few sentences, out they must come; and we have of late years had such an overflowing of these “laborious effects of idleness,” that with nerves, from custom, something less tremblingly alive than they were wont, we cannot but confess we are sometimes terribly shaken at the sight of a new novel; and that a promised treat of hot pressed Fugitive Poetry, requires an extra cup of bark and port wine before we can venture to contend with it. An ode it is true is something less alarming; it shews an honest aim at something creditable, and is less likely to be made the channel of that mawkish sentiment, or the still more offensive ribaldry, which so frequently disgraces the publications we have alluded to. But anonymous poetry of any sort has nothing in it prepossessing to a reviewer. We know not well how to describe the work before us. If the reader will call to his recollection the unsubstantial beings !hat pass before Bradamant, in the third book of Orlando Furioso, or, to come more home, the shadows that appear to Macbeth at the command of the witches; or indeed, and the resemblance Wol, iv. JULY, 1815,

[ocr errors]

: To cheer a breast tormenting thoughts were saddening, - - - Soft music breath’d—an angel's sigh - Just melted from the morning sky, r And heaven's own light beam’d cheerfully. Gay from above, - o With laughing heart, and all enamouring eyes, - - - Descended Love! !" ... . . His airy wings were of the sweetest dies, - . . . . . Rich as the rainbow of the summer skies; - { - Or the bright tints that play'd upon the wing Of bee that hover'd, lightly murmuring, . . . o O'er flowers of Paradises , , . - - o His ringlet cluster'd brow . . . * | Shone in its whiteness like the mountain snow On which the moonbeams rest; . . . . ." o Qh it was clear as the wild sparkling stream, so That runs with morning rays upon its breast; And light as childhood's dream.” - * - - - - # * The author has managed with considerable address not to allude to his hero by name. . - | . . . . . . . . . - - |

« PreviousContinue »