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tion, and the exterior of the hospital, rude, simple, and reared only for its use, the poet thus proceeds,

“ On the same rock þeside it stood the churchi,
Reft of its cross, not of its sanctity ;
The vesper. bell, for 'twas the vesper-hour,
Duly proclaiming thro' the wilderness,
• All ye who hear, whatever be your work,
Stop for an instant-move your lips in prayer!'
And just beneath it, in that dreary dale,
If dale it might be called, so near to Heaven,
A little lake, where never fish leaped up,
Lay like a spot of ink amid the snow;
A star, the only one in that small sky,
On its dead surface glimmering. 'Twas a scene
Resenzbling nothing I had left behind,
As tho' all worldly ties were now dissolved ;-
· And, to incline the mind still more to thought,
To thought and sadness, on the eastern shore
Under a butting cliff stood half in shadow
A lonely chapel destined for the dead,
For such as having wandered from their way,
Had perished miserably. Side by side,
Within they lie, a mournful company,
All in their shrouds, no earth to cover them;
Their features full of life, yet motionless
In the broad day, nor soon to suffer change,
Tho' the barred windows, barred against the wolf,

Are always open!" The succeeding section, in which the descent is described, only affords subject for regret, that a more powerful pen was wanting, to depict the sensations wbich must arise to every traveller of feeling, when he quits this isolated abode, so far removed from all trace of human existence, and so surrounded by the grand and sublime appearances of nature. We pass over the stories of "Jorasse" and " Marguerite de Tours,” which contain no incident which might not have been as pleasingly related in prose, and wbich bave derived little embellishment from the band of the poet. The view of the Alps, the barrier which so long protected Italy from the incursion of her northern neighbours ; and which so long appeared to be the insurmountable limit which was placed to her enterprize, forms the subject of another chapter. The following lines are certainly not without merit.

“ Who first beholds those everlasting clouds,
Seed-time and harvest, morning noon and night,
Still when they were, steadfast, immovable;
Who first beholds the Alps-that mighty chain

Of mountains stretching on from east to west,
So massive, yet so shadowy, so etherial,
As to belong rather to Heaven than Earth.
But instantly receives into his soul
A sense, a feeling that he loses not,
A something that informs him 'tis a moment

Whence he may date henceforward and for ever?" To those who have never beheld these awful heights some conception of their appearance may be conveyed; but they who have seen them rising in solitude, and silence almost to the limits of another world, their wilds untracked by any living thing, and their summits white with unmelting snow, must feel that no power of words can adequately express the majesty with which they are clothed.

The passage of Hannibal is only slightly alluded to, and we could not forbear recalling, to the infinite disadvantage of Mr. Rogers, the exquisite colours in which the Roman historian his painted this unparalleled march. After the animated description which places the scene before our eyes, with all the forms of terror and destruction which were presented to the view of the adventurous invaders, we turn with somewhat of disgust from the uninteresting lines which our author has devoted to the same subject. The chapter entitled “ Venice" contains some pleasing passages, in which the rise, and accumulated greatness of the city, with the revolations which it underwent are depicted. The all-pervading influence of the government which could penetrate the most secret, and hidden recesses, is well described.

* What tho' a strange, mysterious Power was then,

Moving throughout, subtle, invisible,
And universal as the air they breathed ;
A Power that never slumbered, never pardoned,

all ear, no where and every where,
Entering the closet and the

No place of refuge for the Doge himself;
Most present when least thought of nothing dropt
In secret, when the heart was on the lips,
Nothing in feverish sleep, but instantly
Observed and judged-a Power that it but glanced at
In casual converse, be it where it might,
The speaker lowered at once his eyes, his voice,
And pointed upward as to God in Heaven -
What tho' that Power was there, he who lived thus,
Pursuing Pleasure, lived as if it were not.
But let him in the midnight air indulge
A word, a thought against the laws of Venice,
And in that hour he yanished from the earth.”

The tale of the Foseari is not forcibly told; and it has already been selected by a writer who with numerous faults, leaves few subjects which he touches, without splendid traces of talent. The tradition of Ginevra derives little interest from the manner of its relation, and it is in fact an instance of the failure of Mr. Rogers to excite sympathy or engage the feelings, even in circumstances most calculated to produce this effect. By the view of Florence no images are suggested to the poet, which might not have occurred to an ordinary traveller---the passage, however, which concludes the volume may be quoted as one of the best which it contains.

But lo, the sun is setting ; earth and sky
One blaze of glory-what but now we saw
As tho' it were not, though it had not been !
He lingers yet ; and lessening to a point,
Shines like the eye of Heaven--then withdraws;
And from the zenith to the utmost skirts
All is celestial red! The hour is come,
When they that on the distant seas are sailing;
Languish from home; and they that in the morn
Said to sweet friends farewell,' melt as at parting;
When, journeying on, the pilgrim, if he hears,
As now we hear it-echoing round the hill,
The bell'that seems to mourn the dying day,
Slackens his pace and sighs, and those he loved
Loves more than ever. But, who feels it not?
And well may we, for we are far away.

Let us retire, and hail it in our hearts.” If Mr. Rogers has failed in the general effect of his poem, we are willing to ascribe it to the choice of a subject foreign from his usual train of thought, and the desultory manner in which it is treated, rather than to want of powers to succeed in one more happily selected. We cannot forbear a few remarks on the subject of blank verse, which for some reason, not easily to be ascertained, he has preferred to rhyme. The genius of our language does not admit of those distinotions of time, upon which the metrical laws of the Greek and Latin were founded. Attempts have been made to establish the fact of an analogy in this respect, but they have invariably been unsuccessful. Spenser among others has given, in his Pastoral on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, an imitation of the Iambic metre: and one of the most powerful of the present poets has proved by several similar experiments, that the alternation of feet, which con

VOL. XX. JULY, 1823.

verse and

stituted the rhythm of ancient verse, cannot be applied to English poetry. To supply what is in fact a defect in modern language, accent was made to perform the part of the regular succession of long, and short syllables. But even this was insufficient to preserve the distinction between

prose, since the commencement and close of the line would bave been so sligbtly marked as to be frequently imperceptible, and the distribution of pauses in the verse would lave made it continually degenerate into declamation. The earlier poets accordingly are invariable in the use of rhyme, which was deemed a necessary adjunct to English poetry, until Milton, borrowing from some of the inferior İtalian writers, introduced blank verse.

Pope and Dryden who were undoubtedly the best acquainted of all our writers, with the metrical powers of our language, were decidedly adverse to its adoption; and public taste has so far sided with them, that of all the works which have been written in this style, few are read without a sensation of weariness, or recurred to, unless as a task. “Poetry," says Jobnson, "may subsist without rhyme, but English poetry will not often please ; nor can rhyme ever be safely spared, but when the subject is able to support itself.” To Milton, Akenside, Thomson, and others whose imaginations are equally brilliant, it may be permitted to reject the adventitious aid of rhyme ; but we cannot avoid wishing that those who can lay no claim to such distinction, would seize whatever means are afforded to establish as wide a barrier as possible between verse and prose.

The notes, which fill their due space in the volume, are merely illustrative of such passages in the text as appeared to require explanation. We shall select one, which as it contains a sentiment singularly at variance with historical fact it may be worth while to notice. It is as follows: "It is remarkable that the noblest works of human genius have been produced in times of tomult; when every man was his own master, and all things were open to all-Homer, Dante, and Milton appeared in such times; and we may add Virgil.” At this gratuitous assertion we cannot but express surprise. It is at variance with the judgment of those who have most ably viewed the subject; and the examples which are adduced in its support, are very far from being favorable to it. That Homer lived in times of tumult there is no reason to believe, An early state of society does not necessarily imply a state of anarchy; and in fact the patriarchal government, which was the first and principal step towards the establishment of hereditary monarchy, was more univer



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sally adopted than any other during the early ages. And on the other hand the Iliad contains a system of regal power, so regular and complete that it would be ahsurd to suppose the author practically unacquainted with its effects. Of Dante and Milton it can hardly be said that their genius depended on living in an age of tumult, since the former wrote his chief poem before the quarrels of the Guelfs, and Ghibellines had compelled him to quit Florence; and the latter when an established, although usurping, government was in quiet possession of supreme authority. It can never be doubted that Virgil owed much of the perfection which he attained, to the protection and excitement which were afforded at the imperial court. And we owe in a great degree to the fostering hand of the monarch, the poem which none have surpassed, and which it is the highest praise of modern attempts, successfully to have imitated. The Augustan age, which our author is pleased to call " a dying blaze of the commonwealth," is the period to which we look for all that is refined and elegant in Roman literature. To enumerate the names by which it was adorned, would be to recount a large proportion of the writers from whom we have imbibed the pure stream of classio learning, and whose works force upon us the reflection that to this source we must refer much of the beauty to wbich our own poets lay claim. In a word it is certain that beneath the mild, and benignant influence, order, and even-banded justice, whatever conduces to mental excellence will receive the best encouragement. While the minds of men are distracted by contending factions, or anxious for the security of personal safety, a thousand causes operate, which check the progress of genius. To the intellectual no less than to the political world may be applied the saying of the sweet poet and moralist of Greece,

'Αναρχίας του μείζον ουκ έστιν κακόν.

Art. X. Body and Soul. 12mo. Pp. 390. Longman

and Co. 1823.
ART. XI. Five Letters, addressed to the Rev. G. Wilkins,

Vicar of St. Mary's, Nottingham; Containing Strictures on
Some Parts of a Publication, entitled, Body and Soul.”
By the Rev. J. H. Browne, A.M. Archdeacon of Ely,
Rector of Cotgrave, and late Fellow of St. John's College,

Cambridge. 8vo. Pp. 72. Hatchard and Sun. 1823.
Art. XII. A Sixth Letter to the Rev. G. Wilkins, Vicar

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