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Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die :
THE BRIDE OF ABYDOS.
Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime ? Where the rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle,
Now melt into sorrow, now madden to crime ? Know ye the land of the cedar and vine ? Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine, Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppress'd with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom; Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; Where the tints of the earth and the hues of the sky, In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, And the purple of ocean is deepest in dye; Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, And all, save the spirit of man, is divine ? 'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the sunCan he smile on such deeds as his children have done? Oh! wild as the accents of lovers' farewell Are the hearts which they bear, and the tales which they tell.
THE POET AND HIS POETRY.
(THOMAS MOORE, is the son of a tradesman at Dublin, and was born on the 28th day of May, 1780. In his youth he evinced so much talent, that his father determined to give him a university education, and he entered a student of Trinity College, Dublin, at the age of fourteen. Before he had completed the twentieth year of his age, he published the translation of the “ Odes of Anacreon," and has ever since been designated by the appellation of Anacreon Moore. In 1817, he published the celebrated poem of “Lalla Rookh,” which brought him increased reputation as a poet, and he became introduced to the best circles, and was acknowledged one of the first social wits of the day. In the same year, he published the “Fudge Family at Paris ;" the materials for which he collected during a short visit to that city. In the following year, he went to Ireland, on which occasion a dinner was given him, and here the Poet took an opportunity of publicly declaring his sentiments both political and national. After composing some very beautiful words to the national melodies of Ireland, and also to the national music of other nations, Mr. Moore published the “Loves of the Angels," a beautiful poem, which if possible, obtained for him a higher reputation than any he had before acquired, as it breathes, throughout, a more pure and chastened spirit. Mr. Moore was the personal friend of Lord Byron, who entrusted to him the MSS. copy of his memoirs, written by himself, to be published after his death, but he was prevailed upon to suppress it, that he might throw a veil over the licentiousness of an age, which the brother poets had not a little pandered to by their writings.
The distinguishing character of the poetry of Thomas Moore, is that of intellectualized sensuality. He is not like Wordsworth, or Coleridge, the poet's poet, nor like Byron, the poet of passion and of strong emotion. He may be designated the poet of the animal feelings, and it has been his aim to give the grosser particles of our common nature, a beauty and a charm such as ought to belong to purity and virtue alone. For this purpose he has endeavoured to entangle the better affections, such as friendship, love, and even religion; and by a sophistry well calculated like that of Lord Byron, to ensnare warm hearts, and weak intellects, together with the exquisite melody and beauty of his verse, he has succeeded in giving a laxity to morals, and producing in his admirers a fantastic sentimentality instead of principle and virtue. His Poetry critically considered, although it may have to deal with the gorgeousness and voluptuousness of oriental romance, while it is glittering, is nevertheless cold. Like a March sun, it seems to sparkle on the bosom of the stream without penetrating its depths. The passion of Love is his principal theme, and he describes all the devotion that its martyrs so frequently exhibit, with great beauty and even pathos. But we are rather dazzled by the brilliancy of the verse, than deeply impressed with the sentiments embodied. He exhibits woman as heroic and devoted to her passion, but rarely exemplifying that high principle of soul, which is her distinguishing and glorious attribute. The passion of love which when sanctified by high and holy motives, is perhaps the greatest of our social blessings, is embellished with the tawdry sentimentality of butterfly conceptions, and more resembles some of those painted monuments of the Elizabethan period, than the pure and classical marbles of the antique. He throws round "life's morning, and “the young
heart's dawn,” flowers of every tint, and wreathes his characters with gems, pearls, and blossoms, that entrance the beholder ; but these beauties when examined are found to be of fading materials. The gems with which they are bedizened are discovered to be manufactured articles, and the flowers are most of them artificial.
There is, however, in true poetry, and in the breathings of genuine poesy, a something that reveals that undying germ of our existence, whose future destiny is the perfection of intellectual and moral beauty, and however the grosser passions may obscure, or the evil principles of our nature endeavour to extinguish, yet that sparkle of Divinity will burst through the glooms by which it is surrounded, and like a pure flame, show that its tendency is upwards, giving high evidence of immortality. The poetry, both of Moore and Byron, contains passages which are calculated to raise man in the scale of being, and to develope in him, noble feelings and generous sentiments, echoes which answer to those aspirations of the spirit, which continually repeat, whence comest thou ? and whither tendest thou ?]
EXTRACTS FROM LALLA ROOKH.
“Oh! let me only breathe the air,
Oh what a pure and sacred thing
Light as the angel shapes that bless
HINDA AND THE GHEBER.
“How sweetly does the moon-beam smile