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often adorns his vagaries with so much magnificence of diction and splendor of imagery, widely departing, it is true, from his own theory, by the very richness of these ornaments, that we can pardon the overstrained fancies which he renders thus gorgeous and imposing. We are content to hear him say,

"To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

But to the crowd of his servile imitators, who have all his rant, and none of his imagination, all his mysticism, and none of his genius, no such indulgence can be extended. It passeth human patience to see one of these Noodles get down on his knees before a pigweed, and remain there mute with admiration, or staring open-mouthed after a bumble-bee, and calling it "Yellow-breeched philosopher.' If their disorder had not passed the use of medicine, we would counsel them to go and study Cowper's Task, and learn to be ashamed of their mystic ravings and transcendental silliness.

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But we must go back and take leave of Mr. Channing, or rather allow him to take leave of us; for in some very truculent stanzas at the close of his volume, he has bravely thrown down his gauntlet in the face of the whole critical fraternity. The lines are founded on the old myth about Keats being killed by an article in the Quarterly. We wish another hero had been chosen, as the name of this one is rather unmanageable in verse, and betrays into sad perplexities those who are not familiar with the mysteries of the plural number and the possessive case. We pass over some stanzas about critics who "pluck courage from the Bravo's knife, and stick their victims in small streets by dark," and come to the following.

"And most of all let them kill Keats alway,
Or him that can be killed, as sure as steel,
For many Keats's creep about our day,
Who would not furnish Heroes half a meal.

"Who writes by Fate the critics shall not kill,

Nor all the assassins in the great review,

Who writes by luck his blood some Hack shall spill,
Some Ghost whom a Musquito might run through.


"Of Keats' poetry I have small taste,

But trust soine Critics still are in the field,

Whose well-puffed Pills are not composed of paste,
Whose swords of lath with wisdom they do wield.

"For me, I trust they will not spare one line,
Or else in frozen silence may abide,

Pray may they hack like butchers at all mine,
And kill me like that Keats if it betide."

Mr. Channing need not be alarmed; we are fully satisfied that he is not a Keats, and that the utmost malice of the critics cannot harm him.


Our readers may think we have given to these two volumes of "poems" more importance than they deserve; and we should think so, too, but for evidence that is at hand of the extravagant admiration which they have excited in certain quarters. On our table are Miss Fuller's recently published volumes, entitled "Papers on Literature and Art," made up of articles mostly critical in their character, which had previously appeared in the magazines and newspapers the day. One of her essays, on "American Literature," gives a fair specimen of the taste and opinions of that school to which the fair writer belongs, and which is far from being insignificant in point of numbers. Her criticisms are very brief, but comprehensive, and uttered certainly with no lack of confidence. Of Bryant she observes, that " his range is not great nor his genius fertile "; Halleck and Willis" are poets of society "; and Dana "has written so little that he would hardly be seen in a more thickly garnished galaxy.”

"Longfellow is artificial and imitative. He borrows incessantly, and mixes what he borrows, so that it does not appear to the best advantage. He is very faulty in using broken or mixed metaphors. The ethical part of his writing has a hollow, secondhand sound. He has, however, elegance, a love of the beautiful, and a fancy for what is large and manly, if not a full sympathy with it. His verse breathes at times much sweetness; and if not allowed to supersede what is better, may promote a taste for good poetry. Though imitative, he is not mechanical.

"We cannot say as much for Lowell, who, we must declare it, though to the grief of some friends, and the disgust of more, is absolutely wanting in the true spirit and tone of poesy. His interest in the moral questions of the day has supplied the want of vitality in himself; his great facility at versification has enabled

him to fill the ear with a copious stream of pleasant sound. But his verse is stereotyped; his thought sounds no depth, and posterity will not remember him.

"R. W. Emerson, in melody, in subtle beauty of thought and expression, takes the highest rank upon this list. But his poems are mostly philosophical, which is not the truest kind of poetry. They want the simple force of nature and passion, and, while they charm the ear and interest the mind, fail to wake far-off echoes in the heart. The imagery wears a symbolical air, and serves rather as illustration, than to delight us by fresh and glow. ing forms of life.

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"We must here mention one whom the country has not yet learned to honor, perhaps never may, for he wants artistic skill to give complete form to his inspiration. This is William Ellery Channing, nephew and namesake of Dr. C., a volume of whose poems, published three or four years ago in Boston, remains unknown, except to a few friends, nor, if known, would they prob ably excite sympathy, as those which have been published in the periodicals have failed to do so. Yet some of the purest tones of the lyre are his, the finest inspirations as to the feelings and passions of men, deep spiritual insight, and an entire originality in the use of his means." – Vol. 11., pp. 132, 133.

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The volume by the Rev. Charles T. Brooks is so unpretending in character as to be sure of a kind, if not a grateful, reception. It consists solely of translations, the writer being content to act as the herald of other men's thoughts, instead of foisting upon the public his own. His modesty appears not only in the general scheme of the publication, but in the preface, which is written with playful simplicity and frankness, and expresses only the diffident hope, "that this little book may prove light enough for a winter holiday, and weighty enough to last through the next summer." As most of our contemporary bards seem to consider a kind of dogfaced impudence as a necessary attendant of genius, it is pleasant to see them tacitly rebuked by the example of one of their brethren, who is too kind-hearted to inflict a direct castigation upon them. We are not sure but that Mr. Brooks has erred by excess of humility, and by too high an estimate of the merits of his rivals or predecessors. He has done sundry German bards the honor of translating their effu

The fair critic here alludes to the First Series of Channing's poems. We have been reviewing the Second Series, which is thought to excel its predecessor.

sions, when we are quite satisfied that he could have written better poems of his own. His versions are usually spirited and rhythmical, and so far as we have had opportunity to compare them with the originals, they appear tolerably faithful. He does not follow, it is true, the fac-simile plan of translation, now so much in vogue, which only reminds one of the story told of a Chinese artist, who, being engaged to reproduce a fine and costly piece of porcelain to which some accident had happened, followed his instructions so literally as to copy with great skill and labor a crack which extended nearly the whole length of his model.

When the Russian princess, Maria Paulowna, came as a bride to Weimar, in 1804, Schiller undertook to prepare a poetical greeting for her, by writing a little lyric drama, which was represented at the Court Theatre of that Lilliputian duchy. It was a pretty allegory, called The Homage of the Arts, much resembling in form the Masques that were fashjonable under the Tudors and the Stuarts. Some peasants appear in the act of transplanting an orange-tree, richly laden with fruit, and surrounded by maidens and children, who hold it steady with wreaths of flowers. They sing verses congratulating this tree :

"Child of softer, sunnier bowers,

In these natal fields of ours,

Here, henceforth, thy home shall be."

As the tree, or rather the lady, came from St. Petersburg, which is many degrees nearer the north pole than Weimar, we think there was some poetical license in speaking of those "sunnier bowers "; but for this Schiller is not responsible, as he only calls it a tree "aus der fremden Zone," from a foreign zone. But he does term it an orange tree, and as the lady had received the education of a princess, he probably considered her as a hot-house plant; Mr. Brooks, we suppose, by "softer, sunnier bowers," intended to signify a Russian conservatory. Presently, the Genius of Beauty descends, attended by seven goddesses of Art, three of whom, the poet is careful to tell us, are for the plastic arts, and four for the rhetorical and musical ones. Each of these comes forward, and addresses a short poetical compliment to the princess. Two of these speeches may be taken as a sample of Schiller's manner, and of his translator's skill.

"GENIUS [turning toward the Princess].

"Beauty's creative Genius stands before thee,

Attended by the Arts, a sister-band.

'T is we who crown all human works with glory, –
Palace and altar own our voice and hand.
We dwelt long since with thy imperial name,
And she, the lofty one who gave thee birth,
Herself the holy sacrificial flame

Tends with pure hand on her domestic hearth.
She bade us follow thee with this our greeting,
Our smile alone earth's proudest bliss completing.

ARCHITECTURE [with a mural crown on her head, and a golden ship in her hand].

"Enthroned by Neva's banks, I graced thy home;

Thy world-renowned ancestor called me forth;

At his behest I built a second Rome,

The imperial seat and mistress of the North.

A paradise of stateliness, astounding,

Arose beneath my magic wand, one day;
And now life's gay and busy din is sounding
Where yesterday but gloomy fog-banks lay;
Her bristling naval armaments gigantic

Drive back old Belt to his sea-palace, frantic."


Schiller did well to compose this poetical trifle for the sake of complimenting his princely patrons, though the flattery appears un peu lourd for the nineteenth century, rather ponderous specimen of German fancy. But he probably attached little value to it, and it was unwise in him or his literary executors to include it in the edition of his works. What has procured for this Russo-Germanic orange-tree the honor of being again transplanted, and to our republican soil too, is more than we can imagine. We should as soon think of bringing over a German Eilwagen.

Similar remarks might be made about many of the shorter pieces in this volume, which are hardly worth cutting out of the corner of a newspaper, even if they could ever have effected a lodgment there. Why translate what is of little or no value in the original? Many of them are from Freiligrath, a German poet of our own day, who, probably because he thinks the sunny climes of Italy and Greece, and even the far Orient, have now been sufficiently berhymed, has chosen to lay the scene of his poetry in Africa, and stuffs his verses ad nauseam with camels and palm-trees, lions and tigers, giraffes and hippopotamuses. There is something pecu

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