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And breath of God softened his heart of steel,
Ath. His ways are dark, and deeply intricate :
Cal. Let not such thoughts plant lilies on thy cheek,
Come, let me bind a chaplet of fresh flowers
To deck thy temples-I will steal an hour
Not always thus, my girl!-when dove-eyed peace
After "Athenia" comes "Lancaster," a poem that has many excellencies, and is worthy of the genius of the writer. It is, however, upon his miscellaneous pieces that Mr. Dawes' reputation as a poet mainly depends. The melody of their versification is truly enchanting. The ideas, too, are worthy of such exquisite expression. The public are aware of the beauties of all these productions, for none have been more liberally transferred to our Fiterary journals. We have space for the shortest only.
ART THOU HAPPY, LOVELY LADY?
In the splendour round thee thrown;
Bring the peace which must have flown?
By the faith which thou hast broken,
That thy heart is sad and lone.
"There was one that loved thee, Mary!
A hope which could not vary,
Till in agony it slept.
He loved thee, dearly loved thee,
Had Mr. Dawes been a common-place poet, or simply a new claimant for distinction, we should have been more prodigal of commendation, and more niggard of blame. Bind up this volume,
without "Geraldine," and you have an admirable collection of poetry, fit to appear worthily, if not the first, in a "Library of American poets."
Some asinine individual, who must have been as partial to paradoxes as his long-eared archetype to thistles, has taken upon himself to remark that there are few or no materials for romance in America. This critic must be nearly related to the observing person of whom Wordsworth remarks:
"A primrose by the river's brim
It would, perhaps, not be too extravagant to say that the poetical resources of our country are boundless. Nature has here granted every thing to genius which can excite, exalt, enlarge, and ennoble its powers. Nothing is narrow, nothing is confined. All is height, all is expansion. Cliffs throw aloft mighty bastions; mountains lift impregnable parapets to the sky; rivers "roll in majesty;" lakes spread abroad like seas; and prairies meet the wide horizon all around with undulations of magnificent verdure. Here, too, are forests, in whose vast, dim cloisters the mind may feel a sense of loneliness and an overwhelming awe, which no fabrics of human rearing could impart; for here, in ancient days, man came to build his altars and to worship. These trees are glorious columns; their leaves are gorgeous tracery; here is a majestical roof, fretted with golden fire;"
"The groves were God's first temples!"
In America, too, are diversities of climate, yielding diversified delights. Here winter erects his palaces of glittering ice; while there spring displays her flowery avenues and her green arcades; here summer shows her silver fountains and her billows of golden grain, when in another region of our vast domain, autumn pours from her exhaustless horn the copious harvest, and transmutes, with a subtle alchemy, the emerald of the woods into ruby and topaz, and
"All the hues that mingle in the rainbow."
Our history, too, is poetical. Let time but wrap it in his mighty shadows, and what were the fables of old compared to our familiar -story! How inspiring, how sublime the contemplation of those few brave hearts who, led by one greater than Leonidas, dared to cast themselves into the rocky defile of freedom, opposed advancing armies, died not, but conquered! The blood tingles and rushes through our veins as we trace these words. Dull, cold, critical as we are, we are almost incited to the utterance of burning thoughts. Shall there, then, be no more poets in our "dear, dear country?" Shall there not be one great poet-that man whose eye can roam over the borders of our land, and see these things of which we have poken? Needs not the spirit of prophecy answer, "Yes?"
LORD DURHAM'S REPORT.*
This document is certainly a very able production, and fully
Report on the Affairs of British North America, from the Earl of Durham, her Majesty's High Commissioner, &c. &c. &c. (Presented by her Majesty's command.) Ordered, by the House of Commons, to be printed, 11th February, 1839.
comprehensive grasp of mind, and of a liberal, enlightened and philanthropic cast of political character, as well as being equally entitled to the inferior distinction of elegance, vigor and clearness as a writer. It will place him in a very favorable attitude relatively to the liberal party at home; and if he should yet turn out to be the man for the noble and brilliant mission of heading that party in the great work of peaceful, civil revolution in which it is engaged, it will do more than the whole previous course of his public nie, to elevate him to that position by proving his competency for it.
We have read the Report with the deepest attention, and with great satisfaction at the full and authoritative testimony which it bears to the general correctness of the views heretofore expressed by the Democratic Review in relation to the Canadas, their past history and future prospects. We by no means regard it as free from imperfections, and recognize in it more than one marked trace of British prejudice, and of the "official" influence by which Lord Durham was surrounded in the Canadas, and by which his actual conduct in his government, however disposed he may have been to keep himself aloof from and above it, was, in point of fact, substantially controlled. It is easy, however, to take these parts with the due allowance; and, with such ample materials of facts and sound views as the Report on the whole presents, to extract, from the very portions in which we can observe the imperfections and errors naturally consequent upon these influences, additional confirmation of the general truths to which, as already remarked, it bears so signal and satisfactory a testimony. In addition to the beneficial influence it is calculated to produce at home, we hope, too, that it will not be without its useful effect, on this side of the water, in putting to shame the flippant ignorance, and the selfish illiberality, which have been so disgracefully exhibited, by a large portion of the American press, in their discourses upon the "pretended grievances" of the Canadians, under the "free and paternal government" of the English ascendency. But, before proceeding to any remarks upon it, it will doubtless be acceptable to our readers that we should lay before them as brief an analysis and summary of the document itself as will suffice to place them in possession of its substance; since its great length (making a document of a hundred and twenty of the large folio pages in which the English parliamentary papers are printed) must make it accessible only to but a very few equal to the undertaking of encountering a state paper of such formidable dimensions. It has not moreover been reprinted in this country, strangely enough we must say, considering the political importance of the document and the interest of the subject to so large a portion of contiguous territory, and the huge amount of English trash with which we are daily crammed by our publishers.
The Report is divided into several distinct portions, under the following titles: 1st, Lower Canada; 2d, Upper Canada; 3d, the Eastern Provinces and Newfoundland; 4th, Disposal of Public Lands. 5th, Emigration,-followed by a general conclusion, recapitulating the outlines of the ground already gone over, and developing the plan of re-organization of the colonies which he proposes, as the only possible remedy for the accumulated disorders which have grown out of a long course of misgovernment, dating back from the conquest of the country. To the whole is added an Appendix, of upwards of sixty pages, containing various illustrative documents, and the addresses of public bodies to Lord Durham on the occasion of his retirement.
1. In the portion relating to Lower Canada, the Report sets out with the statement, that the struggle which has so long agitated the Province is not a mere political contest between the people and government, as he had supposed. Bad as the institutions of the Province were, and serious as were those "defects, in the spirit and practice of the administration in every department of the government, that were quite sufficient to account for a great degree of mismanagement and dissatisfaction," yet for the peculiar and disastrous dissensions of this Province, he soon became satisfied that there existed "a far deeper and more efficient cause,- —a cause which penetrated beneath its political institutions into its social state,— a cause which no reform of constitution or laws, that should leave the elements of society unaltered, could remove; but which must be removed, ere any success could be expected in any attempt to remedy the many grievances of this unhappy Province. I expected" says Lord Durham, "to find a contest between a government and a people. I found two nations warring in the bosom of a single State; I found a struggle, not of principles, but of races; and I perceived that it would be idle to attempt any amelioration of laws or institutions, until we could first succeed in terminating the deadly animosity that now separates the inhabitants of Lower Canada into the hostile divisions of French and English."
He then devotes a large portion of the reoprt to the object of proving and illustrating this position. He says that this national hostility is not a mere aggravation of political discontents; but that all the particular dissensions that arise are but forms of this constant and all-pervading quarrel; and that every contest is one of French and English in the outset, or becomes so ere it has run its course. He acknowledges that it is only of late years that this national hostility has assumed its permanent influence; that "the names of some of the prominent leaders of the rebellion mark their English, while those of some of the most unpopular supporters of the Government denote their French, origin; and that the representatives, if not of