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Health! thou sun of life, without whose Scotland,” a poem which, next to
beam The fairest scenes of nature seem involved
the “ Sabbath,” we think the best In darkness, shine upon my dreary path ,
of his long productions. It is die Once more; or, with thy' faintest dawn, vided into three parts, the first of give hope,
which contains a description of our That I may yet enjoy thy vital ray! ** woodland songsters; the second, of Though transient be the hope, 'twill be those which migrate in the winter;
most sweet, Like midnight music stealing on the ear,
and the third, of birds of prey. But Then gliding past, and dying slow away. though the poet has followed this Music! thou soothing power, thy charm general arrangement, from the nature is proved
of the subject he is desultory in the Most vividly when clouds o'ercast the details : and it is by no means easy
soul ;-. So light its loveliest effect displays always to trace the principle of assoIn lowering skies, when through the murky ciation by which his transitions are rack
conducted. This is a defect in some A slanting sun-beam shoots, and instant degree attached to all descriptive
limns The etherial curve of seven harmonious poetry. It is also extremely diffi.
cult to render a composition of this Eliciting a splendour from the gloom. nature interesting. Yet Mr Gra.'
Vol. I. p. 41. hame has done much to overcome
the difficulty, and has been so sucThe “ Sabbath Walks” for the cessful in the moral and historical aldifferent seasons of the year, have lusions and references which he has been justly and peculiarly admired. introduced, that we wish he had inAnd the little poem called “ The troduced them morefrequently. When First Sabbath," though somewhat the author was hesitating about a. obscure in one or two places, is a no- name for his poem, we recommended ble specimen of the author's genius. to him the title of “ Caledonian Or-' Yet we cannot but regret that the nithology ;" and indeed, though he chief ideas of these poems, which does not profess the accuracy of a properly belong to the subject of natural historian, we have not found To the Sabbath,” were not introduced any natural history of the tenants of as a part of it.
our woods and heaths more particu. The “ Biblical Pictures" are well lar in its observations, or more cornamed, for a painter might draw from rect in its statements. To the gemost of them, and steal from them nuine lovers of nature this poem will also Promethean fire, to infuse life furnish an exquisite treat, for the au. and beauty into the creations of his thor, in happy accordance with his pencil. We speak not, however, so theme, displays ease, grace, and ra. much of the language, for Mr Gra. pidity, in his delineations of the ha. hame is often careless, as of the de. bits and haunts of the feathered scription and sentiment. They dis. tribes. play the minute acquaintance of the The lovers of variety will find author with scriptural facts, and his abundant gratification. There is as profound reverence for scriptural little similarity between the habits
of a hawk and a red-breast, as there It is now incumbent on us to offer is between those of a highwayman a few remarks on “ the Birds of and an honest housewife ; and as
little resemblance between the cha. Glide shadowing down, and close uper racters of an owl and a cock-sparrow,
their heads. as there is between those of a senator It was upon the eagle's plundered store and a recruit with his new cockade. That WALLACE fared, when hunted from If Mr Grahame then, like a bird, ap A his home, pears to hop from tree to tree, his. A glorious outlaw by the lawless power plumage sometimes irradiated by Of freedom's foiled assassin, England's sun-beams, sometimes obscured in Along the mountain-cliffs, that ne'er were marshes or thickets, it must be re:
clomb membered, that he is following a de. By other footstep than his own, twas there vions subiect, and that he is bound to vious subject, and that he is bound to
His eagle-vision'd genius, towering, plandescribe the humbler and less inte
me The grand emprise of setting Scotland free. resting, as well as the more lofty and He long'd to mingle in the storm of war : elegant of the winged race. We have And as the eagle dauntlessly ascends, pleasure in extracting the following Revelling amid the elemental strife, highly-wrought description of the His mind, sublimed, prefigured to itself Eagle bearing her prey to her young,
Each circumstance of future hard-fought
fields,together with a fine passage about The battle's hubbub loud, the forceful our patriot Wallace, which it very
press, naturally introduces. ob ea
That from his victim hurries him afar;
Recedes, but forward heaves with double Viewing the distant flocks, with ranging
· Vol. II. p. 62, 63. She meditates the prey but waits the time When seas of mist extend along the vale,
Mr Grahame and his family spent a And, rising gradual, reach her lofty shore; Up then to sunny regions of the air considerable part of the summer, 1807, She soars, and looks upon the white at the beautiful village of Roslin. wreathed summits
Here he was chiefly employed in the of mountains, seeming ocean isles; then down
composition of a poem on the aboli. She plunges, stretching through the hazy
tion of the slave trade, an event which
tion of the slave trade, an even deep;
will render that year for ever memo. Unseen she fies, and, on her playful rable. No one who was not actively
quarry, Pounces unseen. The shepherd knows his
engaged in the accomplishment of loss,
that great work, was animated with When high o'erhead he hears a passing more zeal in the cause; and no man bleat,
rejoiced more sincerely than he in the Faint, and more faintly dying far away. glorious triumph by which the strugAnd now aloft she bends her homeward
gle was terminated. A plan was course, Loaded, yet light ; and soon her youngling
formed by Bowyer of Pall. Mall, pair
London, for perpetuating the reJoyful descry her buoyant wing emerge membrance of this consummation, ją And float along the cloud; fluttering they a manner worthy of this enlightened
stoop Upon the dizzy brink, as if they aimed age and country. He proposed to To try the abyss, and meet her coming publish what might be considered as breast;
a national work, consisting of three But soon her coming breast; and out original poems on the abolition, with stretched wings,
splendid embellishments. The per
sons who undertook the poetical part and avowed a small poem in rhyme,en. of the work were, James Monţ, titled, “ The Siege of Copenhagen." gomery, Mr Grahame, and Eliza He describes the apparently pacific Benger.
approach of our feet to the ScandiThis splendid work made its ap- navian coast, the friendly welcome pearance in 1809, and was never much with which it was cheered as it passcirculated. In Scotland it is very ed the Sound, and approached the ca. little known. Qor limits forbid u8 pital; the amazement, dismay, and to offer our intended criticism on resistance of the Danes, the horrors this elaborate work. We shall only of the bombardment, and its dis. observe, that the amiable Montgo- mal success; and concludes by a remery's poem was afterwards pub, monstrance with his countrymen on lished separately iņ a 12mo volume, the alleged injustice and impolicy of and icalled the “ West Indies ;" the painful expedition. We shall that it met with very great and just. only observe, in reference to this af. ly merited success, and that it will flicting topic, Chat as its secret causes transmit his game with honour to have never yet been fully explained, posterity.
so the measure seems more questionIn the mean time Mr Grahame, able in point of morality, as some of who found the pursuits of literature its details were more afflicting to hu. the more delightful from the fame manity, than any in which England which he had already acquired, and has for many years been engaged. from the power which he possessed The calamities of warfare, however, of relaxing or increasing his diligence, are of themselves no proof of its ini. as his health declined or improved, quity, and certainly Mr Grahame has became more and more averse from too much identified both. The fol. his professional labours, and gradual. lowing most exquisitely drawn pic. ly discontinued his connection with ture will atone by its beauty, per. the bar. He was quietly employed haps, for the pain which its perusal in preparing himself for the duties of a clergyman, in which it had been
And now on every side rise sights of his wish at first to engage, and to woe, which his heart, amid all the vicissi. Here instant death, there lingeringly slow. tudes of life, had been more or less In yonder roofless dwelling mark the blaze,
That round the cradled infant lambent attached. He said to a friend, “I
plays; love peace," and both his conversa. And see the little arms outstretched for tion, and many of his peetical allu. aid ;sions, shew how much he hated con. Alas! thy watchful mother low is laid tention, and how unfit he was for Meantime the father, in the hottest fight,
Oft backward looks upon the dreadful mingling in the strife of tongues and o
light, the jarring of selfish interests. He Which still he trusts surmounts some lofty now, therefore, thought, with redou. dome, bled pleasure, of becoming a minister
As yet far distant from his humble home; of the religion of peace : and not on. And still he hopes to see the infant smile,
Whose wicker couch is now its funeral ly his predilection, but his early stu. dies, rendered his preparation for the
P. 6. change easy and pleasant. • In 1808, Mr Grahame published We have much more satisfaction in
extracting the closing passage of the imputed its faults to its didactic poem.
nature ; but this apology will avail
little with those who find it complete. What, Britons, if the Gaul had seized the ly inapplicable to his great prototype.
prize, And stowed each ship with sword.com: At the same time, success in such an pelled allies!
attempt is certainly difficult. We are Ere long they had been yours in open war, indeed disposed to receive lessons in And triumph hailed a second Trafalgar; morality, or the fine arts, from the Or had they reached with stealthy sail the
muses ; but cannot relish their in. coast, No cause had we to fear, or they to boast. structions about ploughs and harrows Should slavery's foot the land of freedom unless they are delivered with exquisoil,
site address ; nor can we readily un. Who but would burn to join the bloody derstand how they should be quali
toil! Yes! let them now their boasted legions
fied to discuss the comparative merits
of drill and broad.cast turnip hus. They'll find each British field an Azin- bandry. COUR.
Agriculturists have in general been
P. 10, 11. deemed He passed the winter, as usual, in Edinburgh, and resided, during the A rough-shod race, who fancy's flowrets greater part of the summer, 1808, scorn,
And trampledown, astares, amid the corn; with his family, at a pleasant villa in Who still in mind man's loftier functions the neighbourhood of Annan. Here
keep, his active mind was occupied in the To fatten calves, and mend the breed of composition of the “ British Geor. sheep; gics," a poem which, together with
The Muses' hill reclaim as useless waste,
Parnassus' plough, and rake the field of long and tedious notes, was printed
taste. about a year afterwards in a splendid quarto. If we may judge from the Though we are not disposed to style in which the volume appeared, give much weight to this charge, we and from the price at which it was can hardly expect that a practical farsold, we should be led to conclude, mer should go to a poetical calendar that, like many a fond parent, he was for instruction about manuring or most attached to the least promising tilling his land ; and, if men of poof his offspring.
lished taste are to be interested in the The title, we think, of this agri art, great skill and delicacy are indis. cultural poem is somewhat rashly pensably necessary on the part of the chosen. The mind of a scholar is poet. thus forced to recal, and to bring in. In consequence of the greater faci. to comparison with it, the Georgics lity with which blank verse may be of the Mantuan Bard, a poem distin. constructed, than that which is bound guished for its beauty and elegance, in the trammels of rhyme, we are disand which has sometimes been pro. posed to be the more rigid in our nounced to be the most exquisitely po. claims upon it, and great is our dis. lished and complete of the composi. appointment on this occasion. Though tions of Virgil. Certain critics who there are many fine passages scattere have treated Mr Grahame's Geor- ed through the twelve divisions of the gics with marvellous indulgence, have work, yet we are compelled to say, that there are very few which we ed it, that many who have never seen have perused with approbation, that it, are familiar with its episodes and refer to the proper business of the descriptions. The account of bee. poem. Mr Grahame, in the best of hives, sent to the moors in July, dehis poems, is not nice about the rules serves, perhaps, to be remembered as of English prosody, nor is he careful much as any other, for the microscopic to consult the ear in his deviations. observation of nature which it evinces, 'We have often two superfluous syl. and for those delicate and unlookedlables in a line, which spoil the sound for touches of good-natured sentiwithout adding any thing to the ment (if we may so express our meansense ; and sometimes by the simple ing) in which we are inclined to think change of a word from one place of Mr Grahame unique. a line to another, we bring out a melodious, instead of a grating and dis
When summer's blow of flowers begins cordant verse.
to fade, Whether to impute this glaring Some to the moorlands bear their hives, to. fault to carelessness, to the want of cull a correct ear for poetical numbers, or The treasures of the heath-bell ; simple to the example of Cowper, who seems
That still extends its purple tint as far to have been his chief favourite, and As eye can reach, round many an upland who sometimes offends in a similar
farm : way, we know not. But in the Bri. There still, of genuine breed, the colly tish Georgics we do not so much
meets, complain even of this, as of the bald
Barking shrill-toned, the stranger rarely
Bi and unadorned precepts in which the While near some rushy ricks of meadow
seen; art of farming is often taught.
hay The following may serve as specie The startled horse stands gazing, then amens.
round His tether-length of twisted hair full
stretched, The seed 'time closed, the fences, hedge, He snorting scours; a toothless harrow • and ditch,
serves Demand your tendance: first the ditches For garden gate, where, duly ranged, the clear,
hives And then with cautious hand the hedges Stand covered till the evening shades de| lop,
scend. , Round at the bottom, tapering by degrees, But when the sun.beams glisten on the As to the top the shears or bill ascends.
Forth fly the stranger tribes, and far and Again,
Spread o'er the purple moor, cheering the Oft times, 'tis true, a single row of thorns
task Is found a feeble fence, but to destroy
Of him who busy digs his winter fuel; That row is not the mode to give it strength. For 'mid these wilds no sound gives sign The error lies in planting single rows;
of life And heedless of variety of soil,
Save hum of bee, or grasshopper's hoarse Clay, sand, or gravel, dry or wet or cold. · chirp;
P. 74, 75.
Or when the heath-fowl strikes her dis
tant call; But let us now attend a little to Or plovers lighting on the half-buried tree,
Scream their dire dirge where once the the beauties of this volume.
linnet sung. Various reviewers have so ransack,
P. 123, 124.