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'Age has now

“ They stand between the mountains and the sea ; Stamp'd with its signet that ingenuous brow; Awful memorials—but of whom we know not! And, 'mid his old hereditary trees,

The seaman, passing, gazes from the deck. Trees he has climb'd so oft, he sits and sees The buffalo-driver, in his shaggy cloak, His children's children playing round his knees : Points to the work of magic, and moves on. Envying no more the young their energies Time was they stood along the crowded street, Than they an old man when his words are wise ; Temples of Gods! and on their ample steps His a delight how pure ... without alloy;

What various habits, various tongues beset Strong in their strength, rejoicing in their joy! The brazen gates, for prayer and sacrifice! “Now in their turn assisting, they repay

“How many centuries did the sun go round The anxious cares of many and many a day;

From Mount Alburnus to the Tyrrhene sea, And now by those he loves reliev'd, restor's,

While, by some spell render'd invisible, His very wants and weaknesses afford

Or, if approach'd, approached by him alone A feeling of enjoyment. In his walks,

Who saw as though he saw not, they remain'd

As in the darkness of a sepulchre, Leaning

on them, how oft he stops and talks, While they look up! Their questions, their replies, Proclaims that Nature had resum'd her right,

Waiting the appointed time! All, all within Fresh as the welling waters, round him rise,

And taken to herself what man renounc'd; Gladdening his spirit.”-pp. 53–61.

No cornice, triglyph, or worn abacus, We have dwelt too long, perhaps, on a But with thick ivy hung or branching fern, work more calculated to make a lasting, than

Their iron-brown'o'erspread with brightest verdure!

“ From my youth upward have I longed to tread a strong impression on the minds of its readers This classic ground. And am I here at last ? --and not, perhaps, very well calculated for Wandering at will through the long porticoes, being read at all in the pages of a Miscel. And catching, as through some majestic grove, laneous Journal. We have gratified ourselves, Now the blue ocean, and now, chaos-like, however, in again going over it; and hope we Towns like the living rock from which they grew have not much wearied our readers. It is A cloudy region, black and desolate, followed by a very striking copy of verses where once a slave withstood a world in arms. written at Pæstum in 1816—and more char- "The air is sweet with violets, running wild acteristic of that singular and most striking Mid broken sculptures and fallen capitals! scene, than any thing we have ever read, in Sweet as when l'ully, writing down his thoughts, prose or verse, on the subject. The ruins of Sail'd slowly by, two thousand years ago,

For Athens; when a ship, if north-east winds Pæstum, as they are somewhat improperly Blew from the Pæstan gardens, slack'd her course. called, consist of three vast and massive The birds are hush'd awhile; and nothing stirs, Temples, of the most rich and magnificent Save the shrill-voic'd cigala flitting round" architecture; which are not ruined at all, On the rough pediment to sit and sing; but as entire as on the day when they were or the green lizard rustling through the grass, built, while there is not a vestige left of the To vanish in the chinks that Time has made!

And up the fluted shaft, with

short quick motion, city to which they belonged! They stand in a "* In such an hour as this, the sun's broad disk desert and uninhabited plain, which stretches Seen at his setting, and a flood of light for many miles from the sea to the mountains Filling the courts of these old sanctuaries, -and, after the subversion of the Roman (Gigantic shadows, broken and confus'd, greatness, had fallen into such complete obli- Across the innumerable columns flung) vion, that for nearly nine hundred years they Led by the mighty Genius of the Place

In such an hour he came, who saw and told, had never been visited or heard of by any in- Walls of some capital city first appear’d, telligent person, till they were accidentally Half raz’d, half sunk, or scatter'd as in scorn; discovered about the middle of the last cen- -And what within them? what but in the midst tury:—The whole district in which they are

These Three, in more than their original grandeur, situated, though once the most fertile and As if the spoiler had fallen back in fear,

And, round about, no stone upon another! flourishing part of the Tyrrhene shore, has And, turning, left them to the elements." been almost completely depopulated by the Mal'aria; and is now, in every sense of the The volume ends with a little ballad, entiword, a vast and dreary desert. The follow- tled “The Boy of Egremond”—which is well ing lines seem to us to tell all that need be enough for a Lakish ditty, but not quite wortold, and to express all that can be felt of a thy of the place in which we meet it. scene so strange and so mournful.

(Iunc, 1815.)

Roderick The Last of the Goths. By ROBERT Southey, Esq., Poet-Laureate, and Member

of the Royal Spanish Academy. 410. pp. 477. London : 1814.* This is the best, we think, and the most itself in a work of such length; but its worst powerful of all Mr. Southey's poems. It effect is, that it gives an air of falsetto and abounds with lofty sentiments, and magnifi- pretension to the whole strain of the compocent imagery; and contains more rich and sition, and makes us suspect the author of comprehensive descriptions—more beautiful imposture and affectation, even when he has pictures of pure affection—and more im- good enough cause for his agonies and rappressive representations of mental agony and tures. exultation than we have often met with in How is it possible, indeed, to commit our the compass of a single volume.

sympathies, without distrust, to the hands of A work, of which all this can be said with a writer, who, after painting with infinite force justice, cannot be without great merit; and the anguish of soul which pursued the fallen oughi not,

it

may be presumed, to be without Roderick into the retreat to which his crimes great popularity. Justice, however, has some- had driven him, proceeds with redoubled thing more to say of it: and we are not quite emphasis to assure us, that neither his resure either that it will be very popular, or that morse nor his downfal were half so intolerait deserves to be so. It is too monotonous- ble to him, as the shocking tameness of the sea too wordy-and too uniformly stately, tragical, birds who flew round about him in that utter and emphatic. Above all, it is now and then solitude ! and were sometimes so familiar as a little absurd—and pretty frequently not a to brush his cheek with their wings? little affected.

" For his lost crown The author is a poet undoubtedly; but not And sceptre never had he felt a thought of the highest order. There is rather more of pain Repentance had no pangs to spare of rhetoric than of inspiration about him-For trifles such as these. The loss of these and we have oftener to admire his taste and Was a cheap penalty :.. that he had fallen industry in borrowing and adorning, than the Down to the lowest depih of wretchedness, boldness or felicity of his inventions. He His hope and consolation. But to lose

His human station in the scale of things, .. has indisputably a great gift of amplifying To see brute Nature scorn him, and renounce and exalting; but uses it, we must say, rather Its homage to the human form divine!.. unmercifully. He is never plain, concise, or Had then almighty vengeance thus reveal'd unaffectedly simple, and is so much bent upon His punishment, and was he fallen indeed making the most of every thiug, that he is Below fallen man,: . below redemption's reach, .. perpetually overdoing. Éis sentiments and Made lower than the beasts ?"--p. 17. situations are, of course, sometimes ordinary This, if we were in bad humour, we should enough; but the tone of emphasis and pre. be tempted to say, was little better than drive). tension is never for a moment relaxed; and ling ;--and certainly the folly of it is greatly the most trivial occurrences, and fantastical aggravated by the tone of intense solemnity distresses, are commemorated with the same in which it is conveyed : But the worst fault vehemence and exaggeration of manner, as by far, and the most injurious to the effect of the most startling incidents, or the deepest the author's greatest beauties, is the extreme and most heart-rending disasters. This want diffuseness and verbosity of his style, and his of relief and variety is sufficiently painful of unrelenting anxiety to leave nothing to the

fancy, the feeling, or even the plain under* I have, in my time, said petulant and provo standing of his readers—but to have every king things of Mr. Southey :--and such as I would thing set down, and impressed and hammered not say now. But I am not conscious that I was into them, which it may any how conduce to ever unfair to his Poetry : and if I have noted his glory that they should comprehend. There risive a spirit, I think I have never failed to give never was any author, we are persuaded, who hearty and cordial praise to its beauties -- and had so great a distrust of his readers capa. generally dwelt much more largely on the latter city, or such an unwillingness to leave any than the former. Few things, at all events, would opportunity of shining unimproved ; and acnow grieve me more, than to think I might give cordingly, we rather think there is no author, pain to his many friends and admirers, by reprint; who, with the same talents and attainments, ing, so soon after his death, any thing which might has been so generally thought tedious—or genius ; and therefore, though I cannot say that I acquired, on the whole, a popularity so inhave substantially changed any of the opinions 1 ferior to his real deservings. On the present have formerly expressed as to his writings, I only occasion, we have already said, his deservinsert in this publication my review of his last ings appear to us unusually great, and his considerable poem : which may be taken as con; faults less than commonly conspicuous.

But veying my matured opinion of his merits—and will be felt, I trust, to have done no scanty or unwilling though there is less childishness and trifling justice to his great and peculiar powers.

in this, than in any of his other productions,

there is still

, we are afraid, enough of tedious- suggested, more utterly alien to all English ness and affected energy, very materially to prejudices, traditions, and habits of poetical obstruct the popularity which the force, and contemplation, than the domestic history of the tenderness and beauty of its better parts, the last Gothic King of Spain,-a history exmight have otherwise commanded.

tremely remote and obscure in itself, and There is one blemish, however, which we treating of persons and places and events, think peculiar to the work before us; and with which no visions or glories are associated that is, the outrageously religious, or rather in English imaginations. The subject, howfanatical, tone which pervades its whole ever, was selected, we suppose, during that structure ;--the excessive horror and abuse period when a zeal for Spanish liberty, and a with which the Mahometans are uniformly belief in Spanish virtue, spirit and talent, were spoken of on account of their religion alone; extremely fashionable in this country, and and the offensive frequency and familiarity before the universal Spanish people had with which the name and the sufferings of made themselves the objects of mixed conour Saviour are referred to at every turn of tempt and compassion, by rushing prone into the story. The spirit which is here evinced the basest and most insulted servitude that towards the Moors

, not only by their valiant was ever asserted over human beings. From opponents, but by the author when speaking this degradation we do not think they will be in his own person, is neither that of pious redeemed by all the heroic acts recorded in reprobation nor patriotic hatred, but of savage this poem,—the interest of which, we susand bigotted persecution; and the heroic pect, will be considerably lowered, by the late character and heroic deeds of his greatest revolution in public opinion, as to the merits favourites are debased and polluted by the of the nation to whose fortunes it relates.paltry superstitions, and sanguinary fanati- After all, however, we think it must be allowcism, which he is pleased to ascribe to them. ed, that any author who interests us in his This, which we are persuaded would be re-story, has either the merit of choosing a good volting in a nation of zealous Catholics, must subject, or a still higher merit;- and Mr. be still more distasteful, we think, among Southey, in our opinion, has made his story sober Protestants; while, on the other hand, very interesting. Nor should it be forgotten, the constant introduction of the holiest per- that by the choice which he has made, he has sons, and most solemn rites of religion, for secured immense squadrons of Moors, with the purpose of helping on the flagging in their Asiatic gorgeousness, and their cymbals, terest of a story devised for amusement, can turbans, and Paynim chivalry, to give a picscarcely fail to give scandal and offence to all turesque effect to his battles, -and bevies of persons of right feeling or just taste. This veiled virgins and ladies in armour,-and remark may be thought a little rigorous by hermits and bishops, -and mountain villagers, those who have not looked into the work to —and torrents and forests, and cork trees and which it is applied—For they can have no sierras, to remind us of Don Quixote,-and idea of the extreme frequency, and palpable store of sonorous names :—and altogether, he extravagance, of the allusions and invoca- might have chosen worse among more famíliar tions to which we have referred.-One poor objects. woman, for example, who merely appears to The scheme or mere outline of the fable is give alms to the fallen Roderick in the season extremely short and simple. Roderick, the of his humiliation, is very needlessly made to valiant and generous king of the Goths, being exclaim, as she offers her pittance,

unhappily married, allows his affections to "Christ Jesus, for his Mother's sake,

wander on the lovely daughter of Count Julian; Have mercy on thee,”

and is so far overmastered by his passion, as, -and soon after, the King himself, when he

in a moment of frenzy, to offer violence to her hears one of his subjects uttering curses on

person. Her father, in revenge of this cruel

wrong, invites the Moors to seize on the kinghis name, is pleased to say,

dom of the guilty monarch ;-and assuming " Oh, for the love of Jesus curse him not! their faith, guides them at last to a signal and O brother, do not curse ihat sinful soul,

sanguinary victory. Roderick, after performWhich Jesus suffer'd on the cross to save !"

ing prodigies of valour, in a seven-days fight, Whereupon, one of the more charitable audi- feels at length that Heaven has ordained all tors rejoins.

this misery as the penalty of his offences;

and, overwhelmed with remorse and inward " Christ bless thee, brother, for that Christian agony, falls from his battle horse in the midst speech!''

of the carnage : Stripping off his rich armour, -and so the talk goes on, through the greater he then puts on the dress of a dead peasant; part of the poem. Now, we must say we and, pursued by revengeful furies, rushes think this both indecent and ungraceful; and desperately on through his lost and desolated look upon it as almost as exceptionable a kingdom, till he is stopped by the sea ; on the way of increasing the solemnity of poetry, as rocky and lonely shore of which he passes common swearing is of adding to the energy more than a year in constant agonies of peniof discourse.

tence and humiliation,—till he is roused at We are not quite sure whether we should length, by visions and impulses, to undertake reckon his choice of a subject, among Mr. something for the deliverance of his suffering Suathey's errors on the present occasion ;

-people. Grief and abstinence have now so but certainly no theme could well have been changed him, that he is recognised by no one, 54

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and being universally believed to have fallen tyrdom for his sake, and to bear nim company in battle, he traverses great part of his for- in the retreat to which he is hastening. They mer realm, witnessing innumerable scenes of set out together, and fix themselves in a little wretchedness and valour, and rousing, by his rocky bay, opening out to the lonely roar of holy adjurations, all the generous spirits in the Atlantic. Spain, to unite against the invaders. “After a variety of trials and adventures, he at last - Behind them was the desert, off’ring fruit recovers his good war horse, on the eve of a The white sand sparkling to the sun ; in front,

And water for their need; on either side great battle with the infidels; and, bestriding Great Ocean with its everlasting voice, him in his penitential robes, rushes furiously As in perpetual jubilee, proclaim’d into the heart of the fight, where, kindling The wonders of the Almighty, filling thus with the scene and the cause, he instinctively

The pauses of their fervent orisons. raises his ancient war cry, as he deals his Where better could the wanderers rest than here ?" resistless blows on the heads of the misbelievers; and the thrilling words of “Rode- The Second Book begins with stating, that rick the Goth! Roderick and victory!" re- Roderick passed twelve months in penance sounding over the astonished field, are taken and austerities, in this romantic retreat.-At up by his inspired followers, and animate the end of that time, his ghostly father dies; them to the utter destruction of the enemy. and his agonies become more intolerable, in At the close of the day, however, when the the utter desolation to which he is now left. field is won, the battle horse is found without The author, however, is here a little unlucky its rider! and the sword which he wielded in two circumstances, which he imagines and lying at his feet. The poem closes with a describes at great length, as aggravating his brief intimation, that it was not known till unspeakable misery ;-one is the tameness of many centuries thereafter, that the heroic the birds,—of which we have spoken already penitent had again sought the concealment of -the other is the reflection which he very a remote hermitage, and ended his days in innocently puts into the mouth of the lonely solitary penances. The poem, however, both King, that all the trouble he has taken in dig. requires and deserves a more particular ana- ging his own grave, will now be thrown away, lysis.

as there will probably be nobody to stretch The first book or canto opens with a slight him out, and cover him decently up in it! sketch of the invasion, and proceeds to the However he is clearly made out to be very fatal defeat and heart-struck flight of Roderick. miserable; and prays for death, or for the The picture of the first descent of the Moorish imposition of some more active penanceinvaders, is a good specimen of the author's

any thing broader and more impressive manner. He is

But stillness, and this dreadful solitude!” addressing the rock of Gibraltar. " Thou saw'st the dark blue waters flash before

At length he is visited, in his sleep, by a Their ominous way, and whiten round their keeds; her blessing in a gentle voice, and says;

vision of his tender mother; who gives him Their swarthy myriads darkening o'er thy sands. There, on the beach, the misbelievers spread "Jesus have mercy on thee." The air and Their banners, flaunting to the sun and breeze: countenance of this venerable shade, as she Fair shone the sun upon their proud array, bent in sorrow over her unhappy son, are White turbans, glittring armour, shields engraild powerfully depicted in the following allusion With gold, and scymitars of Syrian steel; And gently did the breezes, as in sport,

to her domestic calamities. He traced there, Curl iheir long flags outrolling, and display

it seems, not only the settled sadness of her T'he blazon'd scrolls of blasphemy.”-pp. 2, 3.

widowhood, The agony of the distracted king, as he “But a more mortal wretchedness than when flies in vain from himself through his lost and Had done their work, and in her arms she held

Wiriza's ruffians and the redhot brass ruined kingdom; and the spectacle which Her eyeless husband; wip'd away the sweat every where presented itself of devastation which still his tortures forc'd from every pore ; and terror, and miserable emigration, are rep- Cool'd his scorch'd lips with medicinal herbs, resented with great force of colouring. At And pray'd the while for patience for herself the end of the seventh day of that solitary Best comfort in her curses.”—pp. 23, 24.

And him,--and pray'd for vengeance too! and found and despairing flight, he arrives at the portal of an ancient convent, from which all its holy While he gazes on this piteous countenance, tenants lad retired on the approach of the the character of the vision is suddenly alMoors, except one aged priest, who had staid tered; and the verses describing the alteration to deck the altar, and earn his crown of martyr- afford a good specimen both of Mr. Southey's dom from the infidel host. By him Roderick command of words, and of the profusion with is found grovelling at the foot of the cross, and which he sometimes pours them out on his drowned in bitter and penitential sorrows.-readers. He leads him in with compassionate soothings, and supplicates him before the altar to be of -“And lo! her form was chang'd! comfort, and to trust in mercy. The result is Radiant in arms she stood! a bloody Cross told with great feeling and admirable effect: Gleamid on her breastplate ; in her shield display'd and the worthy father weeps and watches with Rose like the Berecynthian Goddess crown'd

Erect a Lion ramp’d; her helmed head his penitent ihrough the night: and in the With towers, and in her dreadful hand the sword, morning resolves to forego the glories of mar- Red as a fire-brand blaz'd! Anon the tramp

Of horsemen, and the din of multitudes

Each where they fell; and blood-flakes, parch'd Moving to morial conflict, rung around;

and crack'd The baltle-song, the clang of sword and shield, Like the dry slime of some receding flood; War-cries and iumult, strife and hate and rage, And half-burnt bodies, which allur'd from far Blasphemous prayers, confusion, agony,

The wolf and raven, and to impious food Roui and pursuit, and death! and over all

Tempted the houseless dog."--p. 36. The shout of Victory ... of Spain and Victory !”

pp. 24, 25.

While he is gazing on this dreadful scene

with all the sympathies of admiration and In awaking from this prophetic dream, he resolves to seek occasion of active service, from the ruins, and implores him to assist her

sorrow, a young and lovely woman rushes in such humble capacity as becomes his fallen in burying the bodies of her child, husband, fortune ; and turns from this first abode of his and parents, who all lie mangled at her feet. penitence and despair. The Third Book sets him on his heroic pil- heart and kindling eyes, to the vehement nare

He sadly complies; and listens, with beating grimage; and opens with a fine picture.

rative and lofty vow of revenge with which “??was now the earliest morning ; soon the Sun, this heroine closes her story. The story itself Rising above Albardos, pour'd his light

is a little commonplace; turning mainly upon Amid the forest, and with ray aslant Enı'ring its depth illum'd the branchless pines ;

her midnight slaughter of the Moorish capBrighten'd their bark, ting'd with a redder hue

tain, who sought to make love to her after the Its rusty stains, and cast along the floor

sacrifice of all her family; but the expression Long lines of shadow, where they rose erect, of her patriotic devotedness and religious ar. Like pillars of the temple. With slow foot dour of revenge, is given with great energy; Roderick pursued his way."-p. 27.

as well as the effect which it produces on the We do not know that we could extract from waking spirit of the King. He repeats the the whole book a more characteristic passage solemn vow which she has just taken, and than that which describes his emotion on his consults her as to the steps that may be taken first return to the sight of man. and the altered for rousing the valiant of the land to their asaspect of his fallen people. He approaches to sistance. The high-minded Amazon then the walls of Leyria.

asks the name of her first proselyte. “ The sounds, the sight

“ Ask any thing but that! Of turban, girdle, robe, and scymitar,

The fallen King replied. My name was lost And tawny skins, awoke contending thoughts When from the Goths the sceptre past away !”. Of anger, shame, and anguish in the Goth! The unaccustom'd face of human-kind

She rejoins, rather less felicitously, "Then Confus'd him now, and through the streets he went be thy name Maccabee ;" and sends him on an With hagged mien, and countenance like one embassage to a worthy abbot among the Craz'd or bewilder'd.

mountains; to whom he forthwith reports • One stopt him short, Put alms into his hand, and then desir’d,

what he had seen and witnessed. Upon hearIn broken Gothic speech, the moon-struck man

ing the story of her magnanimous devotion, To bless him. With a look of vacancy

the worthy priest instantly divines the name Roderick receiv'd the alms; his wand'ring eye of the heroine. Feli on the money; and the fallen King, Seeing his own royal impress on the piece,

“Oh none but Adosinda!.. none but she, .. Broke out into a quick convulsive voice,

None but that noble heart, which was the heart That seem'd like laughter first, but ended soon

Of Auria while it stood—its life and strength, In hollow groans supprest !

More than her father's presence, or the arm A Christian woman spinning at her door

Of her brave lord, all valiant as he was. Beheld him, and with sudden pity touch'd,

Hers was the spirit which inspir'd old age, She laid her spindle by, and running in

Ambitious boyhood, girls in timid youth, Took bread, and following after call'd him back,

And virgins in the beauty of their spring, And placing in his passive hands the loaf,

And youthful mothers, doting like herself She said, Christ Jesus for his Mother's sake

With ever-anxious love: She breath'd through all Have mercy on thee! With a look that seem'd

That zeal and that devoted faithfulness, Like idiotcy, he heard her, and stood still,

Which to the invader's threats and promises Staring awhile; then bursting into tears

Turn'd a deaf ear alike," &c.-pp. 53–54. Wept like a child !

The King then communes on the affairs of “But when he reach'd The open fields, and found himself alone

Spain with this venerable Ecclesiastic and his Beneaih the starry canopy of Heaven,

associates; who are struck with wonder at the The sense of solitude, so dreadful late,

lofty mien which still shines through his sunk Was then repose and comfort. There he stopt and mortified frame. Beside a little rill, and brake the loaf; And shedding o’er that unaccustom'd food

They scann'd his countenance : But not a trace Painful but quiet tears, with grateful soul

Betray'd the royal Goth ! sunk was that eye He breath d thanksgiving forth; then made his bed of sov’reignty; and on the emaciate cheek On heath and myrtle."'--pp. 28-30.

Had penitence and anguish deeply drawn

Their furrows premature, . . forestalling time, After this, he journeys on through deserted And shedding upon thirty's brow, more snows hamlets and desolated towns, till, on entering Than threescore winters in their natural course the silent streets of Auria, yet' black with Might else have sprinkled there.”—p. 57. conflagration, and stained with blood, the At length, the prelate lays his consecrating Vestiges of a more heroic resistance appear hands on him; and sends him to Pelayo, the before him.

heir-apparent of the sceptre, then a prisoner " Helmet and turban, scymitar and sword,

or hostage at the court of the Moorish prince, Christian and Moor in death promiscuous, lay to say that the mountaineers are still unsub

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