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pp. 50, 51,

in broom or brackon, heath or wood

“As wreath of snow on mountain breast, Sunk brand and spear and bended bow,

Slides from the rock that gave it rest, In osiers pale and copses low;

Poor Ellen glided from her stay, It seem'd as if their mother Earth

And at the Monarch's feet she lay ; Had swallow'd up her warlike birth!

No word her choking voice commands The wind's last breath had toss'd in air,

She show'd the ring-she clasp'd her hands. Pennon, and plaid, and plumage fair

0! not a moment could he brook, The next but swept a lone hill-side,

The gen'rous prince, that suppliant look! Where heath and fern were waving wide;

Gently he rais'd ber-and the while The sun's last glance was glinted back,

Check'd with a glance the circle's smile; From spear and glaive, from targe and jack- Graceful, but grave, her brow he kiss'd, The next, all unreflected, shone

And bade her terrors be dismiss'd :On bracken green, and cold grey stone."

'Yes, Fair! the wand'ring poor Fitz-James pp. 202—205.

The fealty of Scotland claims. The following picture is of a very different

To him thy woes, thy wishes, bring;

He will redeem his signet ring,'" &c. character; but touched also with the hand of

pp. 281–284. a true poet:

We cannot resist adding the graceful wind “Yet ere his onward way he took,

ing up of the whole story :The Stranger casi a ling'ring look, Where easily his eye might reach

“Malcolm, come forth!!--And, and at the word The Harper on the islet beach,

Down kneel'd the Græme to Scotland's Lord. Reclin'd against a blighted tree,

For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues, As wasted, grey, and worn as he.

From thee may Vengeance claim her dues, To minstrel meditation given,

Who, nurtur'd underneath our smile, His rev'rend brow was rais'd to heaven,

Has paid our care by treach'rous wile, As from the rising sun to claim

And sought, amid ihy faithful clan, A sparkle of inspiring flame.

A refuge for an outlaw'd man, His hand, reclin'd upon the wire,

Dishonouring thus thy loyal name.Seem'd watching the awak’ning fire ;

Fetters and warder for the Grame!' So still he sate, as those who wait

His chain of gold the King unstrung, Till judgment speak the doom of fate;

The links o'er Malcolm's neck he flung, So still, as if no breeze might dare

Then gently drew the glittring band; To lift one lock of hoary hair ;

And laid the clasp on Ellen's band !"-p. 288. So still, as life itself were fled, In the last sound his harp had sped.

There are no separate introductions to the Upon a rock with lichens wild,

cantos of this poem; but each of them beBeside him Ellen sate and smil'd," &c. gins with one or two stanzas in the measure

of Spenser, usually containing some reflecThough these extracts have already ex- tions connected with the subject about to be tended this article beyond all reasonable entered on; and written, for the most part, bounds, we cannot omit Ellen's introduction with great tenderness and beauty. The fol

. to the court, and the transformation of Fitz- lowing, we think is among the most striking:James into the King of Scotland. The un- - Time rolls his ceaseless course! The race of yore known prince, it will be recollected, himself Who danc'd our infancy upon their knee, conducts her into the royal presence :

And told our marvelling boyhood legends store,

Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or ses. “With beating heart, and bosom wrung,

How are they blotted from the things that be! As to a brother's arm she clung.

How few, all weak and wither'd of their force, Gently he dried the falling tear,

Wait, on the verge of dark eternity, And gently whisper'd hope and cheer;

Like stranded wrecks—the tide returning hoarse, Her falt'ring steps half led, half staid,

To sweep them from our sight! Time rolls bis Through gallery fair and high arcade,

ceaseless course! Till, at his touch, its wings of pride A portal arch unfolded wide.

" Yet live there still who can remember well, “Within 'twas brilliant all and light,

How, when a mountain chief his bugle blew,"

&c.-pp. 97, 98. A thronging scene of figures bright; It glow'd on Ellen's dazzled sight,

There is an invocation to the Harp of the As when the setting sun has given

North, prefixed to the poem; and a farewell Ten thousand hues to summer even, And, from their tissue fancy frames

subjoined to it in the same measure, written Aërial knights and fairy dames.

and versified, it appears to us, with more than Still by Fiz-James her footing staid ;

Mr. Scott's usual care. We give two of the A few faint steps she forward made,

three stanzas that compose the last :Then slow her drooping head she rais'd, And fearful round the presence gaz'd;

“Harp of the North, farewell! The bills gro* For him she sought, who own'd this state,

dark, The dreaded prince, whose will was fate!

On purple peaks a deeper shade descending; She gaz'd on many a princely port,

In twilighi copse the glow-worm lights her spark; Might well have rul'da royal court;

The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending. On many a splendid garb she gaz'd

Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending. Then turn'd bewilder'd and amaz'd,

And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstreley; For all stood bare; and, in the room,

Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending, Fitz-James alone wore cap and plume !

With distant echo from the fold and lea, To him each lady's look was lent,

And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housOn him each courtier's eye was bent ;

ing bee. Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen,

"Hark! as my ling'ring footsteps slow retire, He stood, in simple Lincoln green,

Some Spirit of the Air has wak'd thy string! The centre of the glitt'ring ring !

'Tis now a Seraph bold, with touch of fire ; And Snowdoun's Knight is Scotland's King! 'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing.

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Receding now, the dying numbers ring

And kept our stoutest kernes in awe, Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell!

Even at the pass of Beal'maha.'"-pp. 146, 147. And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring A wand'ring witch-note of the distant speil

Scarcely more tolerable are such expresAnd now, 'tis silent all!-Enchantress, fare thee sions aswell!"--pp. 289, 290.

“For life is Hugh of Larbert lame ;''These passages, though taken with very Or that unhappy couplet, where the King little selection, are favourable specimens, we himself is in such distress for a rhyme, as to think, on the whole, of the execution of the be obliged to apply to one of the most obscure work before us. We had marked several of saints on the calendar. an opposite character; but, fortunately for Mr. Scott, we have already extracted so much,

" 'Tis James of Douglas, by Saint Serle ;

The uncle of the banish'd Earl.” that we shall scarcely have room to take any notice of them; and must condense all our We would object, too, to such an accumuvituperation into a very insignificant compass. lation of strange words as occurs in these One or two things, however, we think it our three lines :duty to point out. Though great pains have " Fleet foot on the correi; evidently been taken with Brian the Hermit, Sage counsel ; . Cumber;. we think his whole character a failure, and

Red hand in the foray,' &c. mere deformity-hurting the interest of the

Nor can we relish such babyish verses as story by its improbability, and rather heavy

" " He will return :-dear lady, trust :and disagreeable, than sublime or terrible in

With joy, return. He will-he must.'" its details. The quarrel between Malcolm and Roderick, in the second canto, is also

• Nay, lovely Ellen: Dearest ! nay.” ungraceful and offensive. There is something These, however, and several others that foppish, and out of character, in Malcolm's might be mentioned, are blemishes which rising to lead out Ellen from her own parlour; may well be excused'in a poem of more than and the sort of wrestling match that takes five thousand lines, produced so soon after place between the rival chieftains on the another still longer and though they are occasion is humiliating and indecorous. The blemishes which it is proper to notice, begreatest blemish in the poem, however, is the cause they are evidently of a kind that may ribaldry and dull vulgarity which is put into be corrected, it would be absurd, as well as the mouths of the soldiery in the guard-room. unfair, to give them any considerable weight Mr. Scott has condescended to write a song in our general estimate of the work, or of the for them, which will be read with pain, we powers of the author. Of these, we have are persuaded, even by his warmest admirers: already spoken at sufficient length; and must and his whole genius, and even his power now take an abrupt leave of Mr. Scott, by of versification, seems to desert him when he expressing our hope, and tolerably confident attempts to repeat their conversation. Here expectation, of soon meeting with him again. is some of the stuff which has dropped, in That he may injure his popularity by the this inauspicious attempt, from the pen of one

mere profusion of his publications, is no doubt of the first poets of his age or country :- possible; though many of the most celebrated " • Old dost thou wax, and wars grow sharp ;

poets have been among the most voluminous : Thou now hast glee-maiden and harp, but, that the public must gain by this libe. Get thee an ape, and trudge the land, rality, does not seem to admit of any quesThe leader of a juggler band.'—

tion. If our poetical treasures were increased "No, comrade !-no such fortune mine. by the publication of Marmion and the Lady After the fight, these sought our line.

of the Lake, notwithstanding the existence That aged harper and the girl;

of great faults in both those works, it is eviAnd, having audience of the Earl,

dent that we should be still richer if we posMar bade I should purvey them steed, And bring them hitherward with speed.

sessed fifty poems of the same merit; and, Forbear your mirih and rude alarm,

therefore, it is for our interest, whatever it For none shall do them shame or harm.'- may be as to his, that their author's muse • Hear ye his boast !' cried John of Brent, should continue as prolific as she has hitherto Ever to strise and jangling bent :

been. If Mr. Scott will only vary his sub* Shall he strike doe beside our lodge, And yet the jealous niggard grudge

jects a little more, indeed, we think we might To pay the forester his fee!

engage to insure his own reputation against I'll have my share, howe'er it be.'”

any material injury from their rapid parturi

pp. 250, 251. tion; and, as we entertain very great doubts His Highland freebooters, indeed, do not whether much greater pains would enable use a much nobler style. For example :

him to write much better poetry, we would

rather have two beautiful poems, with the "It is, because last evening-tide Brian an augury hath tried,

present quantum of faults—than one, with Of that dread kind which must not be

only one-tenth part less alloy. He will always Unless in dread extremity,

be a poet, we fear, to whom the fastidious The Taghairm call'd; by which, afar, will make great objections; but he may Our sires foresaw the events of war.

easily find, in his popularity, a compensation Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew.'

for their scruples. "Ah! well the gallant brute I knew;

He has the jury hollow in The choicest of ihe prey we had,

his favour; and though the court may think When swept our merry-men Gallangad.

that its directions have not been sufficiently Sore did he cumber our retreat ;

attended to, it will not quarrel with the verdict. (April, 1808.) Poems. By the Reverend George CRABBE. 8vo. pp. 260. London, 1807.* We receive the proofs of Mr. Crabbe's usurp the attention which he was sure y poetical existence, which are contained in commanding, and allowed himself to ti this volume, with the same sort of feeling nearly forgotten by a public, which reckons that would be excited by tidings of an ancient upon being reminded of all the claims which friend, whom we no longer expected to hear the living have on its favour. His former of in this world. We rejoice in his resurrec- publications, though of distinguished merit, tion, both for his sake and for our own : But were perhaps too small in volume to remain we feel also a certain movement of self-con- long the objects of general attention, and demnation, for having been remiss in our in- seem, by some accident, to have been jostled quiries after him, and somewhat too negligent aside in the crowd of more clamorous comof the honours which ought, at any rate, to petitors. have been paid to his memory.

Yet, though the name of Crabbe has not It is now, we are afraid, upwards of twenty hitherto been very common in the mouths of years since we were first struck with the vig- our poetical critics, we believe there are few our, originality, and truth of description of real lovers of poetry to whom some of his “The Village;" and since, we regretted that sentiments and descriptions are not secretly an author, who could write so well, should familiar. There is a truth and a force in many have written so little. From that time to the of his delineations of rustic life, which is calpresent, we have heard little of Mr. Crabbe; culated to sink deep into the memory; and, and fear that he has been in a great measure being confirmed by daily observation, they lost sight of by the public, as well as by us. are recalled upon innumerable occasions With a singular, and scarcely pardonable in- when the ideal pictures of more fanciful audifference to fame, he has remained, during thors have lost all their interest. For our. this long interval, in patient or indolent re- selves at least, we profess to be indebted to pose; and, without making a single move- Mr. Crabbe for many of these strong impresment to maintain or advance the reputation sions; and have known more than one of our he had acquired, has permitted others to unpoetical acquaintances, who declared they

could never pass by a parish work house with* I have given a larger space to Crabbe in this out thinking of the description of it they had republication than to any of his contemporary poets; read at school in the Poetical Extracts. The not merely because I think more highly of him than of most of them, but also because I fancy that volume before us will renew, we trust, and he has had less justice done him. The nature of extend many such impressions. It contains his subjects was not such as to attract either imita- all the former productions of the author, with tors or admirers, from among the ambitious or fan. about double their bulk of new matter; most ciful lovers of poetry; or, consequently, to set him of it in the same taste and manner of comat the head of a School, or let him surround him. self with the zealots of a Sect: And it must also position with the former; and some of a kind, be admitted, that his claims to distinction depend of which we have had no previous example fully as much on his great powers of observation, in this author. The whole, however, is of no his skill in touching the deeper sympathies of our ordinary merit, and will be found, we have nature, and his power of inculcaring, by their means, little doubt, a sufficient warrant for Mr. Crabbe the most impressive lessons of humanity, as or any to take his place as one of the most original, lineations. I have great faith, however, in the in. nervous, and pathetic poets of the present trinsic worth and ultimate success of those more century. substantial attributes; and have, accordingly, the His characteristic, certainly, is force, and strongest impression that the citations I have here truth of description, joined for the most part given from Crabbe will strike more, and sink deeper to great selection and condensation of expres. into the minds of readers to whom they are new sion ;-that kind of strength and originality for by whom they may have been partially forgot, which we meet with in Cowper, and that sort ten), than any I have been able to present from other writers. It probably is idle enough (as well of diction and versification which we admire as a little presumptuous) to suppose that a publica. in “ The Deserted Village” of Goldsmith, or tion like this will afford many opportunities of test. " The Vanity of Human Wishes” of Johnson. ing the truth of this prediction. But, as the ex. If he can be said to have imitated the manner periment is to be made, there can be no harm in of any author, it is Goldsmith, indeed, who

It is but candid, however, afier all, 10 add, that has been the object of his imitation; and yet my concern for Mr. Crabbe's reputation would his general train of thinking, and his views scarcely have led me to devote near one hundred of society, are so extremely opposite, that, pages to the estimate of his poetical merits, had 1 when “The Village” was first published, it noi set some value on the speculations as to the was commonly considered as an antidote or elements of poetical excellence in general, and its moral bearings and affinities-for the introduction an answer

to the more captivating representaof which this estimate seemed to present an occa- tions of " The Deserted Village." Compared sion, or apology.

with this celebrated author, he will be found, we think, to have more vigour and less deli- men of the new school, on the other hand, cacy; and while he must be admitted to be scarcely ever condescend to take their sub inferior in the fine finish and uniform beauty jects from any description of persons at a. of his composition, we cannot help considering known to the common inhabitants of the him as superior, both in the variety and the world; but invent for themselves certain truth of his pictures. Instead of that uniform whimsical and unheard-of beings, to whom tint of pensive tenderness which overspreads they impute some fantastical combination of the whole poetry of Goldsmith, we find in Mr. feelings, and then labour to excite our sym. Crabbe many gleams of gaiety and humour. pathy for them, either by placing them in in. Though his habitual views of life are more credible situations, or by some strained and gloomy than those of his rival, his poetical exaggerated moralisation of a vague and tratemperament seems far more cheerful; and gical description. Mr. Crabbe, in short, shows when the occasions of sorrow and rebuke are us something which we have all seen, or may gone by, he can collect himself for sarcastic see, in real life; and draws from it such feel. pleasantry, or unbend in innocent playfulness. ings and such reflections as every human beHis diction, though generally pure and pow- ing must acknowledge that it is calculated to erful, is sometimes harsh, and sometimes excite. He delights us by the truth, and vivid quaint; and he has occasionally admitted a and picturesque beauty of his representations, couplet or two in a state so unfinished, as to and by the force and pathos of the sensations give a character of inelegance to the passages with which we feel that they are connected. in which they occur. With a taste less dis- Mr. Wordsworth and his associates, on the ciplined and less fastidious than that of Gold- other hand, introduce us to beings whose exsmith, he has, in our apprehension, a keener istence was not previously suspected by the eye for observation, and a readier hand for acutest observers of nature; and excite an the delineation of what he has observed. interest for them—where they do excite any There is less poetical keeping in his whole interest-more by an eloquent and refined performance; but the groups of which it con- analysis of their own capricious feelings, than sists are conceived, we ihink, with equal by any obvious or intelligible ground of symgenius, and drawn with greater spirit as well pathy in their situation. as far greater fidelity.

Those who are acquainted with the Lyrical It is not quite fair, perhaps, thus to draw a Ballads, or the more recent publications of detailed parallel between a living poet, and Mr. Wordsworth, will scarcely deny the jusone whose reputation has been sealed by tice of this representation ; but in order to death, and by the immutable sentence of a vindicate it to such as do not enjoy that adsurviving generation. Yet there are so few vantage, we must beg leave to make a few of his contemporaries to whom Mr. Crabbe hasty references to the former, and by far the bears any resemblance, that we can scarcely least exceptionable of those productions. explain our opinion of his merit, without com- A village schoolmaster, for instance, is a paring him to

some of his predecessors. pretty common poetical character. Goldsmith There is one set of writers, indeed, from has drawn him inimitably; so has Shenstone, whose works those of Mr. Crabbe might re. with the slight change of sex; and Mr. Crabbe, ceive all that elucidation which results from in two passages, has followed their footsteps. contrast, and from an entire opposition in all Now, Mr. Wordsworth has a village schoolpoints of taste and opinion. We allude now master also-a personage who makes no small to the Wordsworths, and the Southeys, and figure in three or four of his poems. But by Coleridges, and all that ambitious fraternity, what traits is this worthy old gentleman dethat, with good intentions and extraordinary lineated by the new poet? No pedantry—no talents, are labouring to bring back our poetry innocent vanity of learning-no mixture of to the fantastical oddity and puling childish indulgence with the pride of power,

and of ness of Withers, Quarles, or Marvel. These poverty with the consciousness of rare ac gentlemen write a great deal about rustic life, quirements. Every feature which belongs to as well as Mr. Crabbe; and they even agree the situation, or marks the character in comwith him in dwelling much on its discomforts; mon apprehension, is scornfully discarded by but nothing can be more opposite than the Mr. Wordsworth; who represents his greyviews they take of the subject, or the manner haired rustic pedagogue as a sort of half crazy, in which they execute their representations of sentimental person, overrun with fine feel. them.

ings, constitutional merriment, and a most Mr. Crabbe exhibits the common people humorous melancholy. Here are the two of England pretty much as they are, and as stanzas in which this consistent and intellithey must appear to every one who will take gible character is pourtrayed. The diction in the trouble of examining into their condition; at least as new as the conception. at the same time that he renders his sketches in a very high degree interesting and beautiful

The sighs which Matthew heav'd were sigha -by selecting what is most fit for descrip

Of one tir'd out with fun and madness ;

The tears which came io Matthew's eyes tion-by grouping them into such forms as

Were Tears of light--the oil of gladness. must catch the attention or awake the mem

" Yet sometimes, when the secret cup ory-and by scattering over the whole such

Of guill and serious thought went round traits of moral sensibility, of sarcasm, and of He seem'd as if he drank it up, deep reflection, as every one must feel to be He felt with spirit so profunnd. natural, and own to be powerful. The gentle- Thou soul of God's besi earthly mould," &c.


A frail damsel again is a character common sary for his readers to keep in view, if they enough in all poems; and one upon which would wish to understand the beauty or prin inany fine and pathetic lines have been ex- priety of his delineations. pended. Mr. Wordsworth has written more A pathetic tale of guilt or superstition may ihan three hundred on the subject : but, in- be told, we are apt to fancy, by the poet hinistead of new images of tenderness, or deli- self, in his general character of poet, with full cate representation of intelligible feelings, he as much effect as by any other person. An has contrived to tell us nothing whatever of old nurse, at any rate, or a monk or parish the unfortunate fair one, but that her name is clerk, is always at hand to give grace to such Martha Ray; and that she goes up to the top a narration. None of these, however, would of a hill, in a red cloak, and cries "O misery!' satisfy Mr. Wordsworth. He has writter, a All the rest of the poem is filled with a de- long poem of this sort, in which he thinks it scription of an old thorn and a pond, and of indispensably necessary to apprise the reader, the silly stories which the neighbouring old that he has endeavoured to represent the women told about them.

language and sentiments of a particular charThe sports of childhood, and the untimely acter-of which character, he adds, “ the death of promising youth, is also a common reader will have a general notion, if he has topic of poetry. Mr. Wordsworth has made ever known a man, a captain of a small trading some blank verse about it; but, instead of vessel, for example, who being past the middle the delightful and picturesque sketches with age of life, has retired upon an annuity, or which so many authors of moderate talents small independent income, to some village or have presented us on this inviting subject, all country, of which he was not a native, or in that he is pleased to communicate of his rustic which he had not been accustomed to live !!! child, is, that he used to amuse himself with Now, we must be permitted to doubt, shouting to the owls, and hearing them an- whether, among all the readers of Mr. Words

To make amends for this brevity, the worth (few or many), there is a single indiprocess of his mimicry is most accurately de- vidual who has had the happiness of knowing scribed.

a person of this very peculiar description ; or " With fingers interwoven, both hands

who is capable of forming any sort of conPress'd closely palm to palm, and to his mouth jecture of the particular disposition and turn Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, of thinking which such a combination of atBlew mimic hootings to the silent owls, tributes would be apt to produce. To us, we That they might answer him."

will confess, the annonce appears as ludicrous This is all we hear of him; and for the and absurd as it would be in the author of an sake of this one accomplishment, we are told, ode or an epic to say, "Of this piece the that the author has frequently stood mute, and reader will necessarily form a very erroneous gazed on his grave for half an hour together! judgment, unless he is apprised, that it was

Love, and the fantasies of lovers, have af- written by ą pale man in a green coat-sitting forded an ample theme to poets of all ages. cross-legged on an oaken stool—with a scrateh Mr. Wordsworth, however, has thought fit to on his nose, and a spelling dictionary on the compose a piece, illustrating this copious sub- table."* ject by one single thought. A lover trots away to see his mistress one fine evening, * Some of our readers may have a curiosity to

zing all the way on the moon; when he know in what manner this old annuirant capiain comes to her door,

does actually express himself in the village of his

adoption. For their gratification, we annex the two “O mercy! to myself I cried,

first stanzas of his story ; in which, with all the at. If Lucy should be dead!"

Tention we have been able to bestow, we have been And there the poem ends!

utterly unable to detect any traits that can be sup.

posed to characterise either a seaman, an annuitant, Now, we leave it to any reader of common or a stranger in a country town. It is a style, on candour and discernment to say, whether the contrary, which we should ascribe, without these representations of character and senti- hesitation, to a certain poetical fraternity in the ment are drawn from that eternal and uni. West of England; and which, we verily believe, versal standard of truth and nature, which of that fraternity.

never was, and never will be, used by any one nui every one is knowing enough to recognise, and no one great enough to depart from with * There is a thorn-it looks so old, impunity; or whether they are not formed,

In truth you'd find it hard to say, as we have ventured to allege, upon certain

How it could ever have been young!

It looks so old and grey. fantastic and affected peculiarities in the Not higher than a two-years' child, mind or fancy of the author, into which it is It stands erect; this aged thorn! most improbable that many of his readers No leaves it has, no thorny points; will enter, and which cannot, in some cases,

It is a mass of knotted joints: be comprehended without much effort and

A wretched thing forlorn,

Il slands erect; and like a stone, explanation. Instead of multiplying instances

With lichens it is overgrown. of these wide and wilful aberrations from ordinary nature, it may be more satisfactory to

" Like rock or stone, it is o'ergrown produce the author's own admission of the

With lichens;-to the very top;

And hung with heavy tufts of moss narrowness of the plan upon which he writes, end of the very extraordinary circumstances

A melancholy crop.

Up from the earth these mosses creep, which he himself sometimes thinks it neces- i And this poor thorn, they clasp it round

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