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ings of self-reproach--repinings after misspent time and neglected talent, together with intimations of domestic griefs. We know not what it may all mean, but certain are we that there is an air of sad reality about it—it is no fantastic wo-none of the old fashion of melancholy that may be traced from the days of Ben Jonson's “Master Stephen” down to the times of Lord Byron. is not possible to suspect Hartley Coleridge of play: ing any such small game-of following the wornout device of enacting « Il Penseroso" for effect. His allusions to his poverty do him honour, and we cannot believe that one who has learned to depict nature with the delicacy and fidelity which mark this volume, has been idle, or unprofitably employed. At all events he has before him the time and the power of self-recovery. Throwing aside all distrust of the poetic power of the English tongue, let him not waver or be drawn down by any despondency. Let him call to mind “the labour and intense study," which Milton looked upon as his portion in life, when he conceived the thought of “a work not to be raised from the heat of youth, nor to be obtained by the invocation of dame memory and her syren daughters, but by devout prayer to that eternal Spirit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases." Let him look to his favourite Wordsworth, and see what that career is which befits him who meditates the great achievements in verse -and we have no fear but that at some future day we shall behold him on higher ground than the beautiful effusions in the present volume. It has been our object to make our readers acquainted with a name that is well worth the knowing, and we have thus, we flatter ourselves, been helping Mr. Hartley Coleridge to gain some of his distant fame, à commodity that loses none of its value because it comes from far away. We take our leave of him for the present, by quoting a poem of exquisite finish and beauty, which we have reserved for a final impression :

" THE SABBATH-DAY'S CHILD, To Elizabeth, infant daughter of the Rev. Sir Richard Fleming, Bart. “Pure, precious drop of dear mortality, Untainted fount of life's meandering stream, Whose innocence is like the dewy beam Of morn, a visible reality, Holy and quiet as a hermit's dream: Unconscious witness to the promised birth Of perfect good, that may not grow on earth, Nor be computed by the worldly worth And stated limits of morality, Fair type and pledge of full redemption given, Through Him that saith, “Of such is the kingdom of Heaven.'

"Sweet infant, whom thy brooding parents love
For what thou art, and what they hope to see thee,
Unhallowed spirits and earth-born phantoms flee thee;
Thy soft simplicity, a hovering dove,
That still keeps watch, from blight and bane to free thee;
With its weak wings, in peaceful care outspread,
Fanning invisibly thy pillow'd head,
Strikes evil powers with reverential'dread
Beyond the sulphurous bolts of fabled Jove,
Or whatsoe'er of amulet or charm
Fond Ignorance devised to save poor souls from harm.

“ To see thee sleeping on thy mother's breast,

It were indeed a lovely sight to see-
Who would believe that restless sin can be
In the same world that holds such sinless rest?
Happy art thou, sweet babe, and happy she
Whose voice alone can still thy baby cries,
Now still itself; yet pensive smiles, and sighs,
And the mute meanings of a mother's eyes,
Declare her thinking, deep felicity :

A bliss, my babe, how much unlike to thine,
Mingled with earthly fears, yet cheerd with hope divine.
“ Thou breathing image of the life of Nature !
Say, rather, image of a happy death,
For the vicissitudes of vital breath,
Of all infirmity the slave and creature,
That by the act of being perisheth,
Are far unlike that slumber's perfect peace
Which seems too absolute and pure to cease,
Or suffer diminution, or increase,
Or change of hue, proportion, shape, or feature;
A calm, it seems, that is not, shall not be,

Save in the silent depths of calm eternity.
“A star reflected in a dimpling rill
That moves so slow it hardly moves at all,
The shadow of a white-robed waterfall,
Seen in the lake beneath when all is still,
A wandering cloud, that with its fleecy pall
Whitens the lustre of an autumn moon,
A sudden breeze that cools the cheek of noon,
Not mark'd till miss'd—so soft it fades, and soon-
Whatever else the fond inventive skill
Of Fancy may suggest, cannot supply
Fit semblance of the sleeping life of infancy.
“Calm art thou as the blessed Sabbath eve,

The blessed Sabbath eve when thou wast born;
Yet sprightly as a summer Sabbath morn,
When surely 'twere a thing unmeet to grieve;
When ribbons gay the village maids adorn,
And Sabbath music, on the swelling gales,
Floats to the farthest nooks of winding vales,
: And summons all the beauty of the dales.

Fit music this a stranger to receive;
And, lovely child, it rung to welcome thee,
Announcing thy approach with gladsome minstrelsy.
“So be thy life—a gentle Sabbath, pure
From worthless strivings of the work-day earth:
May time make good the omen of thy birth,
Nor worldly care thy growing thoughts immure,
Nor hard-eyed thrist usurp the throne of mirth
On thy smooth brow. And though fast-coming years
Must bring their fated dower of maiden fears,
Of timid blushes, sighs, and fertile tears,
Soft sorrow's sweetest offspring, and her cure;
May every day of thine be good and holy,
And thy worst wo a pensive Sabbath melancholy.”

Art. X.-Poems by WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

York : 1836.

New

Mr. Bryant's poetical fame is established. He never published an epic, it is true, or even a “six canto quarto tale," but he has long ago inscribed his name as a feeling and tasteful poet upon the Ămerican Parnassus, and has even obtained some bays from the father-land on the other side of the ocean. But it is the misfortune of almost all our native bards, that their efforts are desultory and fugitive. Many write poetry-none write poems. Some of their scraps are very beautiful, opulent in imagery, and characterized by rich and even majestic thoughts; but they are still scraps--occasional, transitory, ephemeral verses,

c" born and dying

With the blest tone that made them." They are sketches, not pictures—little gems that should, on the old poetic rule, be carefully bestowed, until the great effort shall place them where they shall crown the author's life with glory. We are very unwilling, not that such effusions shall be published, but that nothing else shall be published; that American poets of merit should seem afraid and ashamed to concentrate their energies upon some great theme—to study its capabilities, to shape its incidents, to group its characters, and to throw over

it that silken veil of poesy which the true son of the muses fabricates through the mysteries of his imagination. It is comparatively an easy and a humble task to weave a silvery thread or two through twisted flowers, and the effort may fill a page with sweet and tender imagery; a throb or a tear may repay the small pains, the tenuis labor, of such an effort, but it will not preserve the bard in the memories of men, nor carry up his name to the seats of the gods. It hopes not for a high reward, as it emanates not from high deservings; it contemplates no duration of fame, nor does it gain it; it seeks a humble end, like the bee among the gardens, not a daring and lofty flight, like the bird above the clouds; it aims to soften the aspect of time, not to exist among the monuments of eternity.

We fear that Mr. Bryant's ambition is of this order—that he affects the myrtle more than the laurel. The longest effort in the book before us, (which, by the way, is merely, or for the most part, a second edition,) is the poem called " The Ages," consisting of thirty-five Spenserean stanzas. Where would the name of Spenser have been, had he limited the Faery Queen to five-and-thirty stanzas? Yet this very little poem, though boasting no great originality of conception, has passages in it that show Mr. Bryant's power of sustaining a stronger flight with an unwearied wing. We are happy to quote such verses as the following:

V.

“Has nature, in her calm majestic march,

Faltered with age at last ? Does the bright sun
Grow dim in heaven ? or, in their far blue arch,
Sparkle the crowd of stars, when day is done,
Less brightly? When the dew-lipped Spring comes on,
Breathes she with airs less soft, or scents the sky
With flowers less fair than wben her reign begun?
Does prodigal Autumn, to our age, deny
The plenty that once swelled beneath his sober eye?

VI.
“ Look on this beautiful world, and read the truth

In her fair page; see, every season brings
New change, to her, of everlasting youth;
Still the green soil, with joyous living things,
Swarms; the wide air is full of joyous wings,
And myriads, still, are happy in the sleep
Of ocean's azure gulfs, and where he flings
The restless surge. Eternal Love doth keep
In his complacent arms the earth, the air, the deep."

This, though a general and obvious, is a true and happy picture, in sound moral keeping and in healthy tone, worth all the misanthropy in Percival's Prometheus, of which the similarity of measure reminds us. What was to prevent Mr. Bryant from VOL. XX.—NO. 40.

64

devoting his faculties to the sentiment he evidently had in his mind in this little poem,

- to vindicate Eternal Providence,

And justify the ways of God to man,” and to inculcate hope in the sustaining benevolence of the Divinity?—what was to prevent him, we say, from developing this grand there at large, and stamping his name upon a noble poem dedicated to the best interests and hopes of humanity? The attempt, we are sure, would not be below his ambition; that it is not above his powers, the melody and cadence of the following stanzas, as well as the high order of thought which pervades the poem as it is, can witness:

XXI.

:
“Oh, sweetly the returning muses' strain
Swell’d over that famed stream, whose gentle tide
In their bright lap the Etrurian vales detain-
Sweet, as when winter storms have ceased to chide,
And all the new-leaved woods, resounding wide,
Lend out wild hymns upon the scented air :
So to the smiling Arno's classic side

The emulous nations of the west repair,
And kindle their quench'd ums, and drink fresh spirit there.

XXVII.
“Late from this western shore, that morning chased
The deep and ancient night, that threw its shroud
O’er the green land of groves, the beautiful waste,
Nurse of full streams and lifter-up of proud
Sky-mingling mountains that o'erlook the cloud.
Erewhile, where yon gay spires their brightness rear,
Trees waved, and the brown hunter's shouts were loud

Amid the forest, and the bounding deer
Fled at the glancing plume, and the gaunt wolf yelled near.

XXVIII.
“ And where his willing waves yon bright blue bay

Sends up, to kiss his decorated brim,
And cradles, in bis soft embrace, the gay
Young group, of grassy islands born of him;
And crowding nigh, or in the distance dim,
Lifts the white throng of sails, that bear or bring
The commerce of the world ;—with tawny limb,

And belt and beads in sunlight glistening,
The savage urged his skiff like wild bird on the wing.

XXIX.
“ Then, all this youthful paradise around,
And all the broad and boundless mainland, lay
Cooled by the interminable wood, that frowned
O'er mount and vale, where never summer ray
Glanced, till the strong tornado broke his way
Through the gray giants of the sylvan wild ;
Yet many a sheltered glade, with blossoms gay,

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