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with Europe, of the use of which you try to convince us." I confess I was not able to give a satisfactory answer to this unexpected objection; and was forced to say, that my ignorance of the Japanese language hindered me from proving the truth of our assertions. But had I been a Japanese orator, I should probably have found some difficulty in refuting this argument.'

In an appendix, the Editor has published a statement of the voyages of Chwostoff and Dawidoff

, to which a frequent reference was made in the two volumes on Captain Golownin's captivity,


ART. VI. Greenland, and other Poems. By James Montgomery,

8vo. pp. 250. 10s. 6d. Boards. Longman and Co. 1819. HE first and longest poem in this collection is confessedly

incomplete; and we regret to be compelled to add that, in our judgment, it is tediously descriptive and uninterestingly episodical. The missionaries, who first Moravianized the dark regions of Greenland, are introduced to our acquaintance very poetically in the first canto, and then withdrawn from our sight (with a very short intervening glimpse) until the third canto; the whole intermediate space being occupied by volcanic mountains, geysers, or boiling fountains, ice-bergs, and ice-blinks, and all the horrible paraphernalia of a polar expedition. These objects are very scientifically, and indeed with much animation, described by Mr. Montgomery: but his poem is a crowded panorama of the curiosities of the northern seas. The historical part, besides, is so very inartificially managed, and is such a mere versification of Crantz and other authorities, that we cannot consider it as adding much life or variety to the long succession of protracted descriptions: the poem, in its present state at least, has no apparent unity of design, nothing to connect its parts; and the heroes themselves rest on bare piety, without colour or discrimination in the character of the pious individuals to recommend them to the reader's interest.

We grieve to give so very unfavourable an account of the work of a writer for whom we have much respect.

Both the sentiments and the style of Mr. Montgomery raise him very much above the herd of vulgar poets : but the present work, besides the faults which we have already enumerated with so much severity of justice, manifests a laxity and a prolixity of versification which tire and offend the ear of taste. Still, with all these drawbacks, the poem has several noble passages, and the opening is particularly finished and effective. Let our readers judge:

• CANTO Canto I. The three first Moravian Missionaries are represented as on their

Voyage to Greenland, in the year 1733. Sketch of the descent,
establishment, persecutions, extinction and revival of the Church of
the United Brethren from the tenth to the beginning of the
eighteenth century. - The origin of their Missions to the West
Indies and to Greenland. *
• The moon is watching in the sky; the stars

Are swiftly wheeling on their golden cars;
Ocean, outstretcht with infinite expanse,
Serenely slumbers in a glorious trance ;
The tide, o'er which no troubling spirits breathe,
Reflects a cloudless firmament beneath;
Where, poised as in the centre of a sphere,
A ship above and ship below appear;
A double image, pictured on the deep,
The vessel o'er its shadow seems to sleep ;
Yet, like the host of heaven, that never rest,
With evanescent motion to the west,
The pageant glides through loneliness and night,
And leaves behind a rippling wake of light.

· Hark! through the calm and silence of the scene,
Slow, solemn, sweet, with many a pause between,
Celestial music swells along the air !
-No ;-'tis the evening hymn of praise and prayer
From yonder deck; wherè, on the stern retired,
Three humble voyagers, with looks inspired,
And hearts enkindled with a holier flame
Than ever lit to empire or to fame,
Devoutly stand: their choral accents rise
On wings of harmony beyond the skies;
And 'midst the songs, that Seraph-Minstrels sing,
Day without night, to their immortal King,
These simple strains, which erst Bohemian hills
Echoed to pathless woods and desert rills ;
Now heard from Shetland's azure bound, - are known
In heaven; and He, who sits


the throne
In human form, with mediatorial power,
Remembers Calvary, and hails the hour,
When, by th’ Almighty Father's high decree,
The utmost north to Him shall bow the knee,
And, won by love, an untamed rebel-race

Kiss the victorious Sceptre of His grace.' Even in this passage, especially towards its end, we think that examples may be found of the loose sort of rambling prose in rhyme which abounds in the professed poetry of our contemporaries.

* The contents of the first canto, as here given, will justify our censure of the plan,

In the retrospect of triumphant Protestants, martyrs to their undaunted faith, we have much spirited writing : but it is disfigured, like the preceding extract, with the novel freedom of long paragraphs of rhyme, consisting of an unconscionable series of over-lapping lines, and seemingly frightened at a period. When it is said of Ziska that he

Deposed his arms and trophies in the dust,

Wept like a babe, and placed in God his trust,' we are told a very unnecessary fact in the last member of the sentence; considering that the whole story of this religious hero proceeds on the supposition of his confidence in Heaven. As a specimen of the prosaic sort of detail with which the volume too largely abounds, yet interspersed with more poetical lines, we select the following:

· Thus Greenland (so that arctic world they named)

Was planted, and to utmost Calpe famed
For wealth exhaustless, which her seas could boast,
And prodigies of Nature on her coast ;
Where, in the green recess of every glen,
The House of Prayer o'ertopt the abodes of men,
And flocks and cattle grazed by summer-streams,
That track'd the valleys with meandering gleams;
While on the mountains ice eternal frown'd,
And growing glaciers deepend tow'rds the ground,
Year after year, as centuries roll'd away,
Nor lost one moment till that judgement-day,
When eastern Greenland from the world was rent,
Ingulph’d, - or fix'd one frozen continent.

i 'Twere long and dreary to recount in rhyme
The crude traditions of that long-lost clime;
To sing of wars, by barbarous chieftains waged
In which as fierce and noble passions raged,
Heroes as subtle, bold, remorseless, fought,
And deeds as dark and terrible were wrought,
As round Troy-walls became the splendid themes
Of Homer's song, and Jove's Olympian dreams ;
When giant prowess, in the iron field,
With single arm made phalanx'd legions yield;
When battle was but massacre, — the strife
Of murderers, steel to steel, and life to life.

- Who follows Homer takes the field too late;
Though stout as Hector, sure of Hector's fate,
A wound as from Achilles' spear he feels,

Falls, and adorns the Grecian's chariot-wheels.' The doctrine so plainly, and we must contend so ingloriously, avowed in the concluding tetrastic, is perhaps a popular opinion among the Gothic bards of the day: but it is the


death-blow to all pure and classical composition.

It seems as if authors of this class could not distinguish between a servile imitation, and a free advantage taken of the rules and examples of antiquity. They appear to have forgotten that all the best poets, of every country, have drunken largely from the Homeric fountain of inspiration; and that, in proportion as subsequent rhymesters, or blank-etteers, have deviated from his general model, they have advanced into barbarous violations of every law of good taste. — We cannot bring ourselves to pass any farther censure on a writer whose works have contributed to elevate and ennoble the sentiments of our poetry, by the most ardent devotion and by the most generous feelings of humanity.

A very pretty episode occurs in the fourth canto, of a German wandering in Greenland: but we prefer to select the simple and pathetic little story with which the poem concludes. The various devastations of Greenland, earthquake, pestilence, human discord, &c. &c. are enumerated, and then follows the sad but gentle tale in question :

« Thus while Destruction, blasting youth and age,

Raged till it wanted victims for its rage;
Love, the last feeling that from life retires,
Blew the faint sparks of his unfuelld fires.
In the cold sunshine of yon narrow dell,
Affection lingers ; there two lovers dwell,
Greenland's whole family; nor long forlorn,
There comes a visitant; a babe is born.
O'er his meek helplessness the parents smiled;
'Twas Hope ; - for Hope is every mother's child:
Then seem'd they, in that world of solitude,
The Eve and Adam of a race renew'd.
Brief happiness! too perilous to last;
The moon hath wax'd and waned, and all is past;
Behold the end : —one morn, athwart the wall,
They mark'd the shadow of a rein-deer fall,
Bounding in tameless freedom o'er the snow;
The father track'd him, and with fatal bow
Smote down the victim ; but before his eyes,
A rabid she-bear pounced upon the prize;
A shaft into the spoiler's flank he sent.
She turn'd in wrath, and limb from limb had rent
The hunter; but his dagger's plunging steel,
With riven bosom, made the monster reel ;
Unvanquish'd, both to closer combat flew,
Assailants each, till each the other slew;
Mingling their blood from mutual wounds, they lay
Stretcht on the carcase of their antler'd prey.

• Meanwhile his partner waits, her heart at rest,
No burthen but her infant on her breast :

With him she slumbers, or with him she plays,
And tells him all her dreams of future days,
Asks him a thousand questions, feigns replies,
And reads whate'er she wishes in his eyes.

Red evening comes; no husband's shadow falls,
Where fell the rein-deer's, o’er the latticed walls:
'Tis night; no footstep sounds towards her door;
The day returns, -- but he returns no more.
In frenzy forth she sallies; and with cries,
To which no voice except her own replies
In frightful echoes, starting all around,
Where human voice again shall never sound,
She seeks him, finds him not : some angel-guide
In mercy turns her from the corpse aside;
Perhaps his own freed spirit, lingering near,
Who waits to waft her to a happier sphere,
But leads her first, at evening, to their cot,
Where lies the little one, all day forgot ;
Imparadised in sleep she finds him there,
Kisses his cheek, and breathes a mother's prayer.
Three days she languishes, nor can she shed
One tear, between the living and the dead;
When her lost spouse comes o'er the widow's thought,
The pangs of memory are to madness wrought;
But when her suckling's eager lips are felt,
Her heart would fain — but oh! it cannot melt
At length it breaks, while on her lap he lies,
With baby wonder gazing in her eyes.
Poor orphan! mine is not a hand to trace
Thy little story, last of all thy race !
Not long thy sufferings; cold and colder grown,
The arms that clasp thee chill thy limbs to stone.

'Tis done : from Greenland's coast, the latest sigh

Bore infant innocence beyond the sky.' The notes subjoined to the poem of Greenland' contain much interesting matter relative to that extraordinary section of the globe.

The minor or miscellaneous poems, which follow, possess (as usual) various degrees of merit. We have some imitations from the Italian; and one that is strikingly expressive of the condensed imagination which is so observable in the shorter poems of the best writers of that nation.

Imitated from the Italian of Crescembini.
" I ask'd the Heavens ; 66 What foe to God hath done
This unexampled deed ?” — The Heavens exclaim,

“ 'Twas Man; and we in horror snatch'd the sun
From such a spectacle of guilt and shame.”

I ask'd

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