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o Time, who know'st a lenient hand to lay Enough has already been quoted to Suftest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
| shew that Mr. Bowles possesses pow(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense) The faint pang stealest unperceiv'd away, ers of no ordinary kind in that pecuOn thee I rest, my only hope at last,
liar province of poetry which appeals And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
to the best feelings of the heart. I I may look back on every sorrow past,
cannot however forbear giving the folAnd ineet life's peaceful evening with a smile :
lowing eminently beautiful sonnet. As some lone bird at day's departing hour, Sings in the snn-beam of the transient shower, Forgetful though his wings be wet the while. If chance some pensive stranger, bither led, But ob! bow much inust that poor heart endure, (Itis bosom glowing with majestic viewi, Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure. The gorgeons dome, or the proud landscape
hues,) Mr. Bowles is the poet of nature, and
Should ask who sleeps beneath this lonely b
'Tis poor Matilda. To the cloister'd scene, he has lately been engaged in a con A mourner beauteous and unknown she came troversy with Lord Byron, as to which To shed her tears unmark'd, and quench the
flame poetry is the most indebted-nature or
Of fruitless love: yet was her look serene
As the pale moonlight in the midnight isle;
Like that which spoke of a departed friend Lordship's inconsistencies, and shewn And a meek sadness sat upon her smile ;
Far, far remov'd from every earthly ill, himself well able to support an argu
Her woes are buried, and her heart is still. ment. His idea of the true poet is that “ he should have an eye attentive to, Surely every heart must acknowand familiar with, every change of sea- ledge the beauty of these lines ; they son, every variation of light and shade, place before us the tenderest of all of nature, every rock, every tree, and passions ; they tell us the tale of one every leaf in her secret places;" and who loved, and was deceived; they fix he says that “he who has not an eye the imagination on the ceaseless tear, to observe these, must be so far defi- the enduring sigh, the broken heart. cient in one of the essential qualities There is something inexpressibly sweet of a poet." Whether so close an ob- in those words, “ her heart is still;" servance of nature's variety be requi- they tell us that every moment of pain, site to the formation of a poet, may per- every hour of mourning, is past, and haps be doubted, but assuredly there is that a country far other than an earthmuch truth in the remark. As to the still ly one is the reward- a land whence inanimate face of nature, no one is ex- there shall be no more sorrow, neither pected to consider it merely as such. any more sigbing-where the wicked Natural objects become fit subjects for cease from troubling, and where the poetry only in proportion as they can weary are at rest. create ideas in the mind of the behold Such are Mr. Bowles's sonnets; er; for we are not supposed to look pourtraying feelings the most simple upon every scene in the endless diver- in themselves, yet such as are so inwosity around us, with the “brute un- | ven with the human heart, that they conscious gaze.” A flower or a blade can never be forgotten. The commonof grass is, to the contemplative man, est feelings after all are the holiest, a sufficient subject whereby he may when they are rightly understood; and become wiser and better, and, in the the true poet who treads in this path hands of a genuine poet, will affect us is sure of success. We are ever well more than a thousand splendid de- pleased to hear of those sacred reposcriptions of artificial life. Lord By- sitories of feeling which are a part of ron, in his strictures upon Mr. Bowles, ourselves and of every one: we know says that he regards this as the declin- that what affects us will affect others; ing age of poetry. I know not how and that he who calls forth vibrations this can be made out; but possibly it from our hearts, is touching those may be so, if morálity be referred to strings which belong to the whole family as the test. If this be the point in of man. Although Mr. Bowles has which it is declining, to whom are we written works of more acknowledged to look as the chief author of it? per- | merit, and on far higher subjects, yet. haps his Lordship may not be altoge- | the same delicacy of feeling pervades ther aware of the fact, but I fear we them which is observable in his small have little else to do than to address collection of sonnets. May he who him in the language of one of old, and has deserved so well of mankind ever say-" Thou art the man."
be had in remembrance ! and when at No. 32.-VOL. III.
at last the shadows of mortality close that they command my admiration, and around him, may all those happy feel- with them on your pages, I can cheerings he has so sweetly delineated be fully submit to your readers the queshis companions, and, in his own words, tion-Whether the mind of Mr.Wordsfit him
worth“ always like the swallow sweeps "To meet life's peaceful evening with a smile." the ground,” or if it does not at times
In this imperfect sketch I have soar with the eagle to the blissful avoided all the usual flippancies of cri- | abodes of heaven? ticism : upon such subjects they are I do not however mean to assert ever misplaced. I have spoken of that even Wordsworth has no faults. him, not as one who wishes to find fault, The charge of puerility comes too justbut as a disciple. To say that his com ly to be denied as to some of his pieces: positions are faultless, is not intended; yet has he thrown around his “childish but to answer such a question would things” a sweetly interesting charm, only be again recurring to that flat and which no hand but that of a master stale truism, that everlasting echo of could have done. And if it were not an echo, namely, that the best works so, I ask, where is the husband or the of man are imperfeet.
wife, who feel their happiness depen
G. M. dent on their mutual fidelity and love, Bridge-street, Derby.
-where the parent, anxious for the morals of his rising charge, who would
not prefer even the puerilities of WordsVINDICATION OF WORDSWORTH'S worth to the obscenities of Byron? POETRY.
This thought, Sir, brings me to that
which I intended to make the chief MR. EDITOR.
subject of my paper. We will now The observations of your correspon- concede to Aristarchus that his *Lorddent G. M. “ on the genius and wri- ship possesses great and commanding tings of Wordsworth,” accord with powers of poetry, that he writes in my own opinion of his merit. I was the true spirit of a favourite with the therefore glad to see them in your va- muses; yet, Sir, I cannot congratulate luable Magazine. The remarks also him on the possession of abilities, for on Lord Byron's poetry were, I think, the use or abuse of which he must renjust; the censures merited: but Aristar- | der an account to his Maker! Neither chus, in your last No. (col. 810,) comes can I congratulate the land which gave forward with a “ Vindication of Lord him birth. Here are fine powers of Byron's poetry,"in which he“traverses mind devoted not to the developout of the record,” and takes some ment and application of those principains to depreciate the writings of Mr. ples of religion which are adapted to Wordsworth.
alleviate the sorrows of the mind, amid With respect to this poet, I will the wants and miseries to which we venture to say, that the sweeping na- are subject-nor to the suggestion of ture of the censures of Aristarchus will those considerations which increase destroy the whole of the effect intended the well-being of man in a state of soby them. Will any of your readers, Mr. ciety--nor to those which tend to keep Editor, believe that there are nothing under proper regulation the passions but puerilities, in works which many of the soul. No! to exhibit peace of our first critics allow to abound in above the man, to produce peace with beauties? No, Sir, not though Aris- in him, and promote peace around tarchus should again assert it.
him, is not the object of Lord Byron. I cannot bring myself to believe that But here are fine powers of mind devoAristarchus has read the poems ofted to the service of licentious princiWordsworth for himself, or that he has ples, and to the increase of correspondbrought to the study of them all that im. ing conduct; and to loose the bonds partiality and candour which should es, which bind man to man in a state of socipecially distinguish criticismson cotem al amity; and to make him to trifle with porary authors. Has he even attend all that is holy and divine; to repreed to the beautiful extracts from “ the sent him as awretch :--but as if dissaExcursion," quoted by G. M. and the tisfied with the measure of his wretchsonnet on the field of Waterloo ? Iedness, or fearful that his portrait and know not what Aristarchus may think of these, but I am not ashamed to say
* Sed virtus est vera nobilitas,
the original should not correspond | Yield to such afterthought the sole reply
| Which justly It can claim. The nation hears to inflame his mind with those guilty | In this deep knell-silent for threescore years, passions, which are best adapted to An unexampled voice of awful memory. make him one-this is the object of
I am, Sir, Lord Byron!
Your obedient servant, Now, Sir, if this be correct, I will
G, J., assert, that however splendid the pow-i
Christ-Charch, Surrey, ers of Lord Byron's poetry may be,
Sept. 10, 1821. yet having an immoral tendency, they deserve not the approbation of the wise On Natural and Acquired Abilities. and the good. Is a dose of poison less dreadful because presented in a TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL cup of gold, or accompanied with
MAGAZINE sweetmeats? or do the beautiful SIR,—The query, "Which are the most colours of the serpent render its bite valuable, natural or acquired abililess fatal? To him, therefore, who ties ?” having elicited “Observations would not have his mind and con from Iven,”(col. 846,) not exactly conscience defiled--to him who in a word sonant with my sentiments, I beg leave would not be a worse man, or a worse to offer a few remarks on the subject, acquaintance-I recommend an old conscious that your impartiality will precept
| allow them insertion. It is not my in"Touch not, taste not, handle not.” tention here to blame or confute Iven's A word or two, Sir, on the sale of candid reply, but merely, by adducing Lord Byron's poems, and I have done. my own opinion of the matter, to give I need not “ask *Mr. Murray, his your learned readers an opportunity of Lordship's bookseller," on this sub- deciding, with more immediate facility, ject. I have little doubt that they are whether of the two deserves the laurel. extensively read, and have corre- --Palmam qui meruit, ferat. sponding influencc; but that they are For the subsequent reasons, I am read by those whose approbation only induced to prefer acquired abilities. is worth having, I deny. The moral 1st. Because man himself deems them man's book, cannot, must not, be essential.-Were the intellectual enerthus polluted. Neither will they con- gies man possesses from nature, adetinue to be extensively read. I can quate to those which diligence and inform Aristarchus for “his consola- perseverance enable him to attain, tion, that though the number of those would he choose to relinquish the faswho encourage such writings is still cinating, and, in that case, the laudable great, yet that it is lessening. And path of careless ease, for the labours when the empire of right principles and anxieties attendant on the superand moral rectitude shall be establish fluous acquisition of knowledge and ed, the name of Byron shall be remem- wisdom ? would he tamely devote the bered only to his condemnation. I fairest and happiest portion of his tem
I beg, Mr. Editor, to conclude with porary existence, to the arduous task a sonnet of Wordsworth, as another of obtaining what would not benefit specimen to such of your readers as him? No-he is aware that the faculhave not read his works; only assuring ties with which he enters this “bright them that there are many of equal and breathing world” are crude and excellence.
imbecile-he is aware that without
improvement, they will, like rubies in ON THE DEATH OF HIS LATE MAJESTY, their native mine, remain for ever imWard of the law ! dread shadow of a king ! perfect,unknown,and absolutelyworthWhose realm bath dwindled to one stately room, less-and he is also aware that the culWhose universe was gloom immersed in gloom,
tivation of these germs of perfecDarkness as thick as life o'er life could fing, Yet haply choer'd with some faint glimmering tion will expand, refine, and animate Of faith and hope; if thou by nature's doom
their embryo beauties, and, finally, Gently bast sank into the quiet tomb, Why sbould we bend in grief, to sorrow cling,
exalt him to a degree of excellence When thankfulness were best! fresh flowing tears, nearer resembling that of their omniOr where tears flow not, sigh succeeding sigh,
2nd. Because they promote his honour * Your readers are indebted to Aristarchus for this information, since (from whatever
| and welfare through life. The treasures cause) Mr. Murray' has declined putting his of learning are inexhaustible-never name on the title-page of a recent publication. I can the lively pen of eulogy describe
Reigns of great Monarchs-- Alfred the Great.
all their qualities never can the vivid this vale of sorrow to regions of eternal hand of encomium pourtray all their bliss. advantages: amid the chilling storms 4th. Because they awaken reverence of adversity, they inspire resignation and adoration for the Deity.—Though and fortitude-in the smiling hours of we cannot but admit that all rational prosperity, they adorn and irradiate. beings must, in some measure, perThe literary character is considered ceive the superintending providence the ornament of his country, and the of God; yet, alas ! how many melanglory of his friends; his talents are choly instances have we of the darkacquired and matured by long and un-ness and barbarism of those ideas: to remitted attention to the study of men what can this be ascribed ? are we not, and books; his mental powers are ein- collectively, born with the same pasbellished and dignified by the charms sions, the same privileges, and the of science; and, lastly, the tenor of his same spiritual properties? with few conduct through life, generally ensures exceptions, we are. It must be then approbation and esteem, seldom disre- that the natural abilities of the unengard or censure. I have somewhere lightened (incapable of themselves to observed the adage, “ Man is prone to feel, or feeling to appreciate the glories evil;” now, if this allegation be true, of the Creator) are suffered to degeneand I think it can scarcely be doubted rate into passive depravity, instead of -the genial and enchanting quintes- being raised by efficacious instruction sence of rectitude could never pierce and acquired wisdom, to admire the the dark mazes of an uncultivated wonders of nature and nature's God, mind, be its natural abilities what Is it thus with the man whose percipithey may. Education “rears the ten- ent qualifications have been sedulousder thought”-education plants “the ly improved ? No:-he beholds with generous purpose in the glowing reverential awe the divine actions of breast”-in short, to use the emphatic the Father; he regards with grateful words of Addison, “ education draws adoration the amazing and delightful out to view every latent virtue and per- order that pervades all bis operations; fection; which, without such helps, and, to conclude, the more his golden are never able to make their appear- store of knowledge increases, the more ance.
he recognizes the omniscience of that 3rd. Because they are beneficial to Being, whom his ennobled soul volunothers.-Whenever we contemplate the tarily fears, worships, and obeys. nature of the human species, and the
PHILOMATHES. deprivations and infirmities to which Norwich, September 9th, 1821. it is liable, we are almost ready to exclaim with Cicero, “Homines hominum causâ generati fuerunt:" and indeed wocannot be more praiseworthily
MONARCHS. employed, than in striving to further the happiness of a fellow-creature. | ALFRED THE GREAT.-BY A. H. But-can he whose passions are not I SHOULD conceive it impossible for an tempered by the sway of acquired judg impartial individual to rise from the ment and discretion--can he whose perusal of the reign of Alfred the Great, inclinations are uninfluenced by acqui- / without thinking him one of the ablest red morality-can he promote the com- and best monarchs that ever swayed a fort of others ? can he teach them to sceptre. The enthusiasm which natu“ do justly, love mercy, and walk hum- rally attends the consideration of the bly with God ?" No :-the man whose important benefits his wisdom produheart is the seat of pure and philan- ced, is a sufficient apology for directthropic sentiments; whose mind is the ing the attention of the reader to so receptacle of great, and wise, and remote an event. He cannot suffer good principles; whose understanding blame, whose intention it is to recall is enriched with the ample spoils of to unind any circumstances worthy of moral and intellectual erudition ;-he remembrance, but which may be ball instructs them in the various duties of | forgotten amid the multiplicity of sublife, he exposes the specious duplicityjects occupying the human intellect. of vice, he excites in their breasts the Every one is fond of placing before love of virtue, and, ultimately, bis himself, and the minds of others, a precepts conduct them in peace through happy train of events, or of brilliant
REVLECTIONS ON THE REIGNS OF GREAT
Reigns of great Monarchs--- Alfred the Great.
characters in reference to ancient | came not with formal declarations of Greece and Rome; and why should war, or any particular preparations, not a Briton do the same, in reference but as ravagers to lay waste the counto his own country? In order to mark try, and commit depredations. At the internal causes of good effects, to first, when they landed, they harassed penetrate the nature of the human the inhabitants of the place where the mind, discoverable by a search into invasion happened to be, then fled to its designs and policies; and to point their ships, and steered off. They out the tendency of accidents at first always fulfilled their design of carrying sight trivial, we must have recourse to away plunder. At last they invaded former times and remarkable periods. | the kingdom in such numbers, as to
Alfred benefited the nation by two carry all before them. Who then can great services. He overcame the in- | withhold praise from him, whose policy vasion of a foreign enemy by his ma- and virtue effected release to the Engnagement, and restored peace to his lish nation in such circumstances ? people: he regulated the internal go But that for which the nation was vernment, and provided against civil chiefly indebted to this king, was, the commotions and foreign power.
regulations he made concerning the Few are ignorant of his valour, pru- government. A wise lawgiver is always dence, and policy, in driving from the entitled to esteem, both in his own kingdom a set of wretches, who had | and in all future times. Without forced him to put on a disguise, in or-government and law, society could not der to avoid their barbarity. In that subsist; and they cause liberty - for age, when right was little respected, as the great Locke says, “where there when the laws of nations were trampled is no law there is no liberty.” on by those invaders the Danes, one! The benefit derived from equitable might expect to hear of heavy reprisals laws and a good constitution, is a subon the part of Alfred, when fortune, orject upon which I venture with caution, rather wisdom, had given him the ad-but, at the same time, with confidence; vantage. But superior light seemed for, as society is that which induces to illume his soul, for the purpose of great happiness on the human race, pointing out the efficacy and humanity and is of such high value in this state of gentle means, in the treatment of of being; the support by which it is his enemies. Accordingly, he lodged sustained, must be so sacred, as to part of his adversaries in his own realm, merit the notice of a superior mind. and endeavoured to soothe their fierce- | The blessings, however, which fow ness by his forbearance, and make from good government, being readily them faithful subjects by his equity. admitted by sensible men, no reasonThose of the conquered who embraced ing is required to prove them, and Christianity remained in England ; plain actions present themselves while those who did not, had permis- | throughout. sion to go to Flanders.
The protection of the life, liberty, To what extremity Alfred was redu- / and property of its members, is the ced, is well known. Amid the deser- design of society, and the paramount tion of many of his subjects, and à object of a wise legislator. Every variety of ills arising from a swarm of society is supposed to have been estaravagers, he was, for a time, compel-blished, in order to obtain, by its united led to resign his royalty. But notwith power, that happiness for its constitustanding these disasters, by bis wisdom ent members, which it was impossible and virtue he at length restored tran- for them to obtain when single: noquillity and peace.
thing but excellent laws can effect this The prospect of a foreign invasion, purpose; there must be proper regutaken in a political point of view, is a lations to protect the subject from the circumstance demanding the attention assaults of his fellows, to prevent inof the state threatened. It is a funda- testine war, and to foil foreign enemies. mental duty of every society to render As ignorance is the parent of many ills, itself perfect, and to maintain its rights it is the business of the legislator to as a nation against those who would | diffuse knowledge : ignorance, and overturn them. Soldiers are prepared, disorder in government, reciprocally ships of war fitted out, and every pre- assist each other; and when the latter caution is or ought to be taken. In disadvantage exists, it is of the greatthe case of Alfred the Great, the Danes ! est importance to reform it.