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Christian and sirnames get confused intoline, on some grand review dayamong a vast multitude of the same hundreds of thousands of spectators sound, engraved on tombstones or glorying in the sublime spectacle printed in Directories. The moment Heavens ! what a rabble of camp-fola man mounts up on the scale of me lowers! Of gillies pretending to be real diocrity, he is safe from oblivion, and soldiers—in green corduroys-with. may snap his fingers at time. A me wooden muskets
and paper-caps diocre Poet may be shortly defined- treading down the heels of each a man of a million. In poetry, about other's shoes—or marking time, like a devil's dozen of celestial spirits so many “hens on a het girdle," to a stand in the first order of the sera band of instrumental music, consistphim or cherubim. The second and ing of three penny trumpets, and six third orders contain about fifty lesser sonorous small-teeth combs, playing angels—but all of them radiant crea “ Hey tutie tatie,” in a style far sutures, with wings. All “ the rest,” perior to that in which it ever could who have names on earth and in have been skirled up to the heaven, in number about a hundred, are marshalled in the Mediocre pha
Scots wha had wi' Wallace bled, lanx—and constitute the main body
Scots wham Bruce had aften led of the Immortals; and a pretty fellow at the battle of Bannockburn. for impudence you would be, to re Such being the nature of true Poets fuse the gold guinea put into the and true poetry, and such the light in palm of your hand by Apollo enlist which they are regarded by the race ing you as a young recruit into the whom they elevate—what,pray,it may battalion. We verily believe that the be asked, did Mr Jeffrey mean, tother numbers of the grenadier company day, by saying that all the Poets of this --though there be no positive law Age are forgotten? There are few peoagainst it—will never go beyond the ple whom we love and admire more devil's dozen-so high is the standard than Mr Jeffrey—though we believe to which the men must come up, on he does not know it; but why will he, their stocking-soles and with shaved in his elegant and graceful way, speak heads. The
Light-bobs-now a smart such nonsense ? Scott, Byron, Soucompany of fifty-may, perhaps, on they, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Moore, some future day, amount to three- are, he assures us, already all forgotten score—and the battalion, it is proba or nearly som
--fading away-mere ble, may yet reach the number of specks on the distant horizon of men's those who died at Thermopylæ. But clouded memories! Why, our dear were Apollo to constitute us his re sir, you might just as well affirm that cruiting sergeant, and allow us ten the stars are forgotten, because thougallons of Glenlivet on each poet's' sands of coachfuls of people, cohead, we are free to confess that the ming and going to and from evenmountain-dew would not lie heavy ing parties, are not at the time aware on the land, for we do not know that the heavens are full of them above a couple of mediocre young that shepherds are watching by them gentlemen to whom we should offer on the hills--and sailors sailing by the king's bounty-and one of them, them on the seas—and astronomers we believe, would go off in a huff
, counting them in observatories-and and the other hesitate to enlist into occasionally discovering one that had the service, for fear of angering his been invisible to the mole-eyes of mother.
men since the creation. We therefore love all poets, and Yet in all the nonsense Mr Jeffrey all poetry; and the rank of the man ever spoke, or may speak, you always having once been ascertained—which may find some grains of sense-for is done by the human race holding who doubts his sagacity and his geniup its hand--we never thenceforth us? True it is that much admiration do dream of making odious comparisons gaping people ejaculate for things that --but enough for us to know from are admirable, without knowing why his uniform-green and gold-from or wherefore they admire; their jaws the stars on his breast, and the sun get wearied—they begin to yawnon his standard—that such or such a they doze-they sleep--they snore, hero belongs to the Immortals. But and the stars, which are the poetry when the whole regiment deploys of heaven, and poetry, which is the
flowerage as well as herbage of Scott, Crabbe, Wordsworth, Byron, earth-are of course forgotten_by and the Rest, are dark or dead, he their loud-nosed worshippers. But may be assured of immortality; nor, “ millions of spiritual creatures” are without ingratitude, can he assert awake amid that snore; they forget present, or predict future oblivious not the stars of heaven nor the Poets doom to Luminaries, who, whatever of earth. They hear still the music of be its own native lustre, have certhe celestial spheres and the terres- tainly showered over his genius no trial singers. In their memories all small portion of the brilliance with the hymns have an abiding place which it now burns. - while they live, think not
Nothing that blockheads are so " That heaven can want spectators—God proud of as to retail the paradoxes want praise !"
of some distinguished man. T'other The distinction at which we have evening we allowed one to bother a now pointed, seems to us to be one company for some minutes with a which deserves to be attended to by preachment of the above; and having those who might be disposed to bow got him fairly to entangle himself in to the authority of the most ac the net, out of which Mr Jeffrey complished Ex-Editor of the Edin- would have nibbled himself in a moburgh Review, and, without thought, ment, and made his escape with all to adopt the shallow dictum which the agility of a squirrel, we wrapt it lately dropped from his ingenious so round his body from snout to tail, pen.
Your great and good living that he literally seemed one bunch of Poets are indeed forgotten by thou- small-twine, and had not left in him sands who are incapable of remem
so much as the squeak of a mouse. bering what they never felt nor un On being let out of the toils, he took derstood,—the creations of inspired his toddy in silence during the rest genius. All such despicable idola- of the evening, and prated no more ters drop away from their own su
about the oblivion of Byron. perstitions; and soon cease to wor Two living Poets, however, it ship at shrines built only for those seems there are, who, according to who belong to the true religion. But Mr Jeffrey, are never to be dead the true religion stands fast—such ones—two who are unforgetable, and secession strengthens the established who owe their immortality-to what faith-nor will the Poets we have think ye? - their elegance ! That named and others little less illus “ Gracilis Puer," Samuel Rogers, is trious--ever be forgotten, till Lethe one of the dual number. His perfect bursts its banks and overflows the beauties will never be brought to deglobe.
cayin the eyes of an enamouredworld. Not one of our great or good living He is so polished, that time can never "Poets is forgotten at this hour by Mr take the shine out of him—so classiJeffrey himself-nor any of those cri- cally correct are his charms, that to tiques of his own either, in which the end of time they will be among he did noble justice to some of them, the principal Pleasures of Memory. and ignoble injustice to others, ac- Jacqueline, in her immortal lovelicording to the transient or perma- ness, seeming Juno, Minerva, and nent moods by which his taste, feel- Venus all in one, will shed in vain ing, and judgment were swayed. Nor “ tears such as angels weep,” over are his critiques themselves likely to the weeds that have in truth be forgotten-soon or ever; for many business there,”on the forgotten grave of them belong, we verily believe, to of Childe Harold! Very like a whale. our philosophical literature. But Thomas Campbell is the other petthey hold the tenure of their exist- poet," the last of all the flock.”
ence by the existence of the poetry Aye-he, we allow, is a star that will which they sought to illustrate or ob- know no setting; but of this we can, scure; from the “golden urns of assure the whole world, not excluthose Poets” did he “ draw light”—
ding Mr Jeffrey, that were Mr Campthe light in which he is himself con bell's soul deified, and a star in the spicuous—and were it extinguished, sky, and told by Apollo, who placed his literary life would be a blank. him in the blue region, that Scott But if the name of Francis Jeffrey and Byron were both_buried somewill not be forgotten, till those of where between the Devil and the
Deep Sea, he, the author of Lochiel's banks of the Eurotas and Ilissus, in Warning, would either leap from “ music sweeter than their own". Heaven in disdain, or insist on with the spirit of our own poetry, there being instanter one triple con that, like a noble Naiad, dwells in stellation. What to do with his friend the “clear well of English undefiMr Rogers, it might not be easy for led.” In almost all his strains you Mr Campbell to imagine or propose
felt the scholar; but his was no afat such a critical juncture; but we fected or pedantic scholarship-inthink it probable that he would hint trusive most when least required to Apollo, on the appearance of his but the growthof a consummate clasLordship and the Baronet, that the sical education, of which the career Banker, with a few other pretty poets, was not inglorious among the towers might be permitted to scintillate away of Oxford. Bowles was a pupil of to all eternity as their-Tail.
the Wartons-Joe and Tom-God We have long been indulging the
bless their souls-and his name may hope of getting at Mr Bowles--and, be joined, not unworthily, with theirs through the golden mist of the last and with Mason's, and Gray's, and six paragraphs, we have occasionally Collins's-academics all; the works had a glimpse of him at the end of of them all shewing a delicate and a long vista-standing in sables, and exquisite colouring, of classical art, with a shovel hat--beckoning us on that enriches their own English wards to Banwell Hill. Well-we nature. Bowles's muse is always have neared him at last, and must loath to forget-wherever she roam accompany him to that respectable or linger-Winchester and Oxford eminence, as to the top of Fesole, to the Itchin and the Isis. None edu
descry new lands”—“ rivers and cated in those delightful and divine mountains”-not, however, in the haunts will ever forget_them, who
spotted globe” of the moon--but can read Homer, and Pindar, and in merry England.
Sophocles, and Theocritus, and Bion, Mr Bowles has been a poet for and Moschus, in the original. Rhegood forty years--and if his genius dicyna’s ungrateful or renegade do not burn quite so bright as it did sons are those alone who pursued some lustres bygone-yet we do not their poetical studies-in translasay there is any abatement even of tions. They never knew the nature its brightness-it shines with a mel- of the true old Greek fire, lower and also with a more cheer But we are forgetting what we are ful light. Long ago, he was perhaps about that we are along with Mr rather too pensive-too melancholy Bowles,--each with an oaken towel —too pathetic-too woe-begone-in in his hand, ascending Banwell Hill, too great bereavement. Like the night- from the summit of which we shall ingale, he sung with a thorn at his sing a duet, called by him a Lay of breast-from which one wondered the Severn Sea. No; we are hoarse the point had not been broken off by as any crow ;-therefore, now for the perpetual pressure. Yet though ra Rector's Solo. ther monotonous, his strains were But, stop a little. There is no ocmost musical as well as melancholy; casion to hurry ourselves; for we feeling was often relieved by fancy; have just breakfasted, and 'tis six and one dreamed, in listening to his hours till dinner. Let us sit down, elegies, and hymns, and sonnets, of then, on the turf, and discuss Mr moonlit rivers flowing through hoary Bowles's Preface. In it, he informs woods, and of the yellow sands of us that " Shakspeare and Milton are dim-imaged seas murmuring round the great masters of the verse (blank " the shores of old Romance.” A fine verse) I have adopted.” True; but enthusiasm, too, was his—in those besides Shakspeare, there are all the youthful years—inspired by the old dramatists; and besides Milton, poetry of Greece and Rome; and there are Thomson, Armstrong, Dyer, in some of his happiest inspirations, Wordsworth, Southey, and many there was a delightful and original others who must be nameless. Now, union to be found nowhere else Mr Bowles's versification seems to us that we can remember of the spirit to bear much more resemblance to of that ancient song—the pure classi- that of several of those other wrical spirit that murmured by the ters, than to that of either Shakspeare
or Milton, which, in fact, it does not cate' it against the fractions. We resemble at all; and, therefore, he must likewise be once more severe needed not to have mentioned Shak on Mr Bowles, for saying, that Cowspeare and Milton. That they are per often offends against taste in the the great masters of blank verse, as Task. He does not,--but very rarewell as of every thing else belonging ly indeed,—if ever. You might cut to poetry, all the world knows;
but out a few expressions here and there, here they are brought in by the head and by serving them up, one by one and shoulders, for no purpose what on a plate, to a critic, might thereby ever, and instantly make their ex induce him to exclaim,“ Shocking eunt. For this, then, we blame-we--bad taste, indeed!” but both you find fault with Mr Bowles. He ad- and the critic would be fools for mits his error,--apologizes for it,- your pains,--and the expressions is forgiven, and restored to one of would continue, long after you were the highest places in our favour. both dead and buried, to be in good He then facetiously and justly re taste, and in perfect accordance with marks, that in his poem the reader the strong, rough raciness of Cowwill find no specimens of sonorous per's style, surpassed in such essenharmony, ending with such signifi- tial by that of no poet in any lancant words as, of,” “and,"
;”, “ if,” guage. Let Wordsworth and Bowles “ but,” of which we have lately had let Cowper alone, and mind their some splendid examples. We re own points, which are frequently so member, so far back as the first ap- loose, that we wonder their breeches pearance of Manfred, shewing the ab- do not fall down among their heels, surdity of such lame and impotent - which would be awkward any conclusions; yet all the blockheads where out of the profoundest solihave since that drama imitated those tude. Our readers will recollect the crying sins of its versification, and a gentlemanly castigation which the few who are not wholly blockheads. author of the “Essay on the Theory Of blank verse of the kind alluded and Writings of Wordsworth” gave to, Mr Bowles-by way of quizz—is the Great Laker, for his senseless cri. tempted to give the following speci- ticism on a beautiful stanza in Cow
per's “ Alexander Selkirk.” Words
worth had said, that the lines were “ 'Twas summer, and we sail'd to Green
so bad as poetry, that they could not wich in A four-oard boat. The sun was shining, the world, or Mrs Grundy, say to the
be worse as prose. Now, what will and The scene delightful; while we gazed on
following lines of Wordsworth’sown? The river winding, till we landed at
Are they bald, or not-as the palm The Ship,” &c.
of your hand,—the crown of that old
gentleman's head,—the surface of Mr Bowles next defends in his this table ? Poem an intermixture of “ images “ A barking sound the shepherd hears.com and characters from common life,” A sound as of a dog or fox, which might, he opines, be thought at He stops, and searches with his eyes first sight out of keeping with its high- Among the neighbouring rocks. er tone of general colouring; but the And now he thinks he can discern interspersion of the comic, provided A stirring in a brake of fern, the due mock-heroic stateliness be From which immediately leaps out kept up in the language, has often A dog, and, yelling, runs about !!!" the effect of light and shade,-saith We do love rarely to have a slap he well,--as will be apparent, on at the “ sole King of rocky Cumberlooking at Cowper's exquisite
Task, land,”-for not unfrequently, -as in “though he has often offended against the above instance, --he writes like a taste.” The only difficulty is, “ hap- demi-man ; though, in general, it depily to steer” from grave to gay. All lights us to say, like a demi-god. this is very true; but then it is so This by the by-and turn we again very true, and the exceeding truth of to Mr Bowles. He informeth us, it is denied by such a scanty rem
that “the estimation of a poem of nant of the race, and that remnant this nature must depend, first, on entirely tailors, that it was not worth its arrangement, plan, and disposiour excellent bard’s while to vindi- tion; secondly, on the judgment, pro
priety, and feeling, with which,-in and Greek, as a dead tongue. Therejust and proper succession and reliéf, fore, his poem is read by nobody -picture, pathos, moral and religious but college-men, who knew or have reflections, historical notices, or af- heard of his fame in Oxford as a pubfecting incidents, are interwoven.” lic orator, as the glory of New-ColTrue again,-true as steel,-true as lege, and at learned banquets, the blue,-true as Toryism,-true, as tamer of Dr Parr. Not that it has that the Noctes Ambrosianæ are not uncommon merit. It is often exmost entertaining and popular dia- ceedingly picturesque; and throughlogues. But Mr Bowles's lips are not out all the reflections with which it formed for the enunciation of truisms; abounds, you see the man of talent they are too thin, and have too much and observation; but—the Pedant. of the fine downward Ciceronian He wants ease, and nature-of pathos curve of genius and eloquence about he has not one single grain. There them-even,we suspect,for a sermon. is affectation in his simplicity; and But perhaps he is to be pardoned his manliness-for he is manly--is for such axioms, on the ground of rather that of the Fellow of a College, their containing a sly insinuation, than the Citizen of the World. that his Poem, if so estimated, will If he has little smoke, it is bebe found first-rate. Eh? If so, we cause he has less fire. Crowe loved acquit him of stupidity, but convict the country, and lived much in it; him of an organ of self-esteem almost but though with his cudgel in his hand Wordsworthian.
he trudged about the fields, and roads, Mr Bowles would have done well and lanes, to please himself,—with his had he, in his Preface, informed the pen in his hand he thought too much ignorant where Banwell Hill lifts its of pleasing the Fellows' Commonhead, instead of having prosed away rooms in Oxford. And he did please at such length about the plan and them; there he is quoted as one of execution of his Poem. No doubt the English classics ; and let it be it is highly celebrated in its own so, for with all his coldness, quaintneighbourhood; and probably in its ness, and conceit, he was immeasuown county-certainly in its own rably superior to all the Cockneys parish—it would frown upon the pre- that are now crowing among the rusent writer in Blackwood, who ne ral villages and farms where Parvertheless contributed some matter nassus hill slopes down to the plain, to Malte Brun's System of Geography. and where the meadows are often Moreover, Banwell Hill, fortunately sorely parchedwith long long drought. for itself and Mr Bowles, stands with His Poem will live; but only as a in sight of the Sea-possesses a cave book locked up in a library, not as of fossil remains-looks over no in a volume lying at liberty on tables, considerable extent of well-wooded, and sofas, and chairs, and even on well-watered, and by no means cross the carpet, tripping up grown boys grained country, abounding in vil- and girls at play at blind-man's buff
. Tages, granges, thorpes, mansions, Mr Bowles's Banwell Hill will have halls, abbeys, churches, farm-houses, a far more lively life, because Mr cottages, and what not,—the haunts Bowles, though inferior to Mr Crowe of Pan, Apollo, and Priapus, of Flora, as a scholar, and perhaps as a man Pomona, and Ceres, and prodigal of of general talents, as a poet is his food to poet, man, and beast, through- superior far; and, in virtue of the out all seasons of the year.
divine gift of song, will hold a far Such a Hill deserved a poem
from more conspicuous place among the Mr Bowles, just as well as Lewes- Immortals. don Hill deserved one from Mr Banwell Hill-we are speaking Crowe. Old Crowe was a fine fel now of the two poems—is inferior low-a noble creature. He was in. to Lewesdon Hill—in conception. deed a scholar; but, hang him, he It wants the compactness and comwas no poet. He knew the power pression and graphic proportions of language—the English language of Crowe's chef-d'æuvre.
It is a and could also use it; but he wrote lumbering and sprawling and shapeit coldly and stiffy, though correctly less poem, as ever rejoiced in the and classically, just as if he had name of Descriptive. As a work of studied it as he had studied Latin art, it is worthless-and offensive to