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glowing even to extravagance, and its sentiments generous, though perhaps tinged slightly with ultra-philanthropy. The poems annexed to it are among his most beautiful compositions. The “ Harp of Sorrow,” somewhat resembling in the thought the first of the Anacreontic Odes, and which is equally appropriate as a preface to the rest, is a fine expression of individual feeling. We extract two stanzas on the Æolian harp :
“ Thus o'er the light Æolian lyre
The winds of dark November stray,
And on its magic pulses play ;
Till all the air around,
Mysterious murmurs fill,
I must also recommend to my readers an exquisite little piece entitled, “A Walk in Spring ;” “ The Dial ;” “Bolehill Trees;" a fine ballad on the Loss of the Britannia ; and a poem on the death of a young lady; who, in her last illness, had been soothed by the perusal of his poems. One of these pieces. “ The Molehill," bears a strong resemblance, in the idea, to a piece of Barry Cornwall's, called “ The Dream ;" in each the poet calls up, in imagination, the forms and scenes in past history, on which his mind has been accustomed to dwell; and the contrast is curious. One surveys the “ mighty past” through a medium like that of a cheerful and lightsome summer morning ; to the other, the view seems overshaded by a calm and gentle twilight. One calls up the shades of olden love, and beauty, and mirth, the wood nymphs, and youthful gods, and festive monarchs, and heroes who lost all the world for love: the other evokes the legislators, and patriots, and inventors, and poets of old time; and if he deviates from his own course it is in his own way :
" With moonlight softness Helen's charms
Break through the spectred gloom.” The one, when once his vision of life, and joy, and beauty is broken by a sound of terror, wakes and sleeps no more; his view is bounded by the sprightly and happy world before him : the other, as the “ vision of the tomb” dissolves, looks beyond his thoughts revert to his own immortal hopes and fears, and he concludes in a strain of pensive hope and humble triumph.
The “ World before the Flood” is, we think, the first of Montgomery's performances. The subject is happy; it is connected with high and beautiful associations ; the age of the patriarchs, as has been well observed, is one golden age; the beau ideal of simplicity and happiness; and the spirit of gentleness and affection which the poet has breathed through all his delineations of the domestic life of the patriarchs, imparts to them a beauty which, in its kind, I know not that I have seen equalled. Southey sometimes approaches to it. The Second Canto, in particular, is one piece of chaste and delicious magic from beginning to end; a consecrated fairy ground—a picture of innocent love, touched with an aërial tint, which makes it the more enchanting. I shall quote the address to Twilight from the Sixth Canto :
“ I love thee, Twilight! as thy shadows roll,
Among the poems subjoined, I am struck particularly with “ The Peak Mountains," " A Daughter to her Mother," and “ Departed Days."
Of “ Greenland” I have scarce time to say any' thing. In want of system, and an air of historical detail, it resembles “ The West Indies ;" but it contains many gorgeous descriptions of icy scenery, and sweet' touches of domestic tenderness. The last Canto, which relates the destruction of the Colony of East Greenland by a succession of calamities, is one rapid succession of magnificent and mournful phantasms—the glories of Nature being introduced, as it were, to throw a splendid pall round the departing hopes of man. The poem opens thus :
“ The moon is watching in the sky; the stars
Are swiftly wheeling on their golden cars ;
Where, poised as in the centre of a sphere,
And leaves behind a rippling wake of light.” The concluding lines in the following description of a Moravian settlement strike us as of extreme beauty :
“Soon, homes of humble form, and structure rude,
Raised sweet society in solitude :
Music of all bis soul's affections made.”
“ Comes there no ship again to Greenland's shore ?
There comes another ;-there shall come no more ;
Congeald to adamant his frame shall last,
On deck, in groupes embracing as they died,
Morn shall return, and noon, and eve, and night
* The Danish Chronicle says, that the Greenland colonists were tributary to the kings of Norway from the year 1023 ; soon after which they embraced Christianity. In its more flourishing period this province is stated to have been divided into a hundred parishes, under the superintendence of a bishop. From 1120 to 1408 the succession of seventeen bishops is recorded. In the last-mentioned year, Andrew, ordained Bishop of Greenland, by Askill, Archbishop of Drontheim, sailed for his diocese; but whether he arrived there, or was cast away, was never known. To bis imagined fate this episode alludes.
Whose conic peak, that earliest greets the dawn,
Naked and pale, before the Judge of all.” Among the concluding poems, there are some of exceeding beauty. The lines entitled “ Incognita” are characteristic (in the conclusion almost too characteristic) of the author. There is a sweetness in the stanza beginning “ Somewhere,” which reminds me of more than one passage of Burns :" Image of One, who lived of yore! Her joys and griefs, alike in vain Hail to that lovely mien,
Would fancy here recall; Once quick and conscious; now no more
now no more Her throbs of ecstacy or pain On land or ocean seen!
Lull'd in oblivion all: Were all earth's breathing forms to pass
With her, methinks, life's little hour Before me in Agrippa's glass, *
Pass'd like the fragrance of a flower, Many as fair as Thou might be,
That leaves upon the vernal wind But Ob! not one,- not one like Thee. Sweetness we ne'er again may find. Thou art no Child of Fancy; -Thou Where dwelt she ?-Ask yon aged tree, The very look dost wear,
Whose boughs embower the lawn, That gave enchantment to a brow, Whether the birds' wild minst relsy Wreathed with luxuriant hair;
Awoke her here at dawn ; Lips of the morn embathed in dew, Whether beneath its youthful shade, And eyes of evening's starry blue;
At noon, in infancy she play'd ; Of all who e'er enjoy'd the sun,
-If from the oak no answer come, Thou art the image of but One.
Of her all oracles are dumb.
-Withdrawn from mortal eye, Whose roses here, unpluck'd by Time, But not extinct, they hold their way, In shadowy tints have stood;
In glory through the sky: While many a winter's withering blast Spirits, from bondage thus set free, Hath o'er the dark cold chamber pass'd, Vanish amidst immensity, In which her once-resplendent form Where human thought, like human sight, Slumber'd to dust beneath the storm! Fails to pursue their trackless flight." Of gentle blood ;-upon her birth Somewhere within created space, Consenting planets smiled,
Could I explore that round, And she had seen those days of mirth, In bliss, or woe, there is a place, That frolic round the child ;
Where she might still be found; To bridal bloom her strength had sprung, And oh ! unless those eyes deceive, Rehold her beautiful and young!
I may, I must, I will believe, Lives there a record, which hath told, That she, whose charms so meekly glow, That she was wedded, widow'd, old? Is what she only seem'd below:How long her date,'twere vain to guess; An angel in that glorious realm, The pencil's cunning art
Where God himself is King; Can but a single glance express,
-But Awe and Fear, that overwhelm One motion of the heart;
Presumption, check my wing;
Upon the symbols of that book,
The judgments on departed souls.
* Henry Cornelius Agrippa, of Nettesheim, counsellor to Charles V. Emperor of Germany,—the author of “ Occult Philosophy," and other profound works, is said to have shown to the Earl of Surrey the image of his mistress Geraldine, in a magical mirror.