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subjects of tenderness and passion, The imitation of Prior's style in one assembles together the most remote department of Moore's compositions, and discordant agreements, in a man may be evident, by recurring to the ner of all others the least indicative of smoothness and colloquial ease of the true feeling in the poet, and the most following song, taken from the writings destructive of it in his hearers. A good of his prototype, and which, except for many illustrations of this tendency will the absence of any very extravagant con. occur in the course of the extracts we ceits, we might almost have ascribed have afterwards to make.
to the bard of Erin himself
" Dear Cloe, how blubber'd is that pretty face !
Thy cheek all on fire, and thy hair all uncurl'd;
Let us ev'n talk a little like folks of this world.
“ How canst thou presume thou hast leave to destroy
The beauties, which Venus but lent to thy keeping ?
More ordinary eyes may serve people for weeping,
" To be vext at a trifle or two that I writ,
Your judgment at once, and my passion, you wrong:
'Od’s-life! must one swear to the truth of a song?
“ What I speak, my fair Cloe, and what I write, shows
The difference there is betwixt Nature and Art:
And they have my whimsies, but thou hast my heart.
“ The god of us verse-men, (you know, child,) the Sun,
How, after his journey, he sets up his rest:
At night he declines on his Thetis's breast.
“ So, when I am weary'd with wandering all day,
To thee, my delight, in the evening I come :
They were but my visits, but thou art my home,
" Then finish, dear Cloe, this pastoral war;
And let us like Horace and Lydia agree :
As he was a poet sublimer than me."
The style, we think, in which Moore has no doubt greatly contributed to most excels, is where simple tender- their success, that his peculiar and ness of feeling is expressed in the practical knowledge of music enabled simplest language, without aiming at him to adapt them always, with perimagery or ornament. He undoubt- fect felicity in point of accent and edly possesses sensibility, and often articulation, to the melodies with succeeds in giving utterance to it in a which they are associated. touching manner; but he is not We shall give two examples of equally successful where he attempts Moore's lighter lyrics, in which we to combine pathetic with imaginative think great facility of expression is ideas.
united to any thing but facility of It must be observed, with regard to thought. Moore's lyrics, and the circumstance
" Oh! had I leisure to sigh and mourn,
Fanny, dearest! for thee I'd sigh ;
To tears, when thou art nigh.
But, between love, and wine, and sleep,
So busy a life I live,
Is more than my heart can give.
Fanny, dearest of all the dears!
Would be sure to take cold in tears.
« Reflected bright in this heart of mine,
Fanny, dearest! thy image lies ;
If dimm's too often with sighs.
Who view it through sorrow's tear ;
That I keep my eyebeam clear.
Fanny, dearest! the hope is vain ;
I shall never attempt it with rain.”
It is certainly not easy to con that the most sentimental semstress ceive more laborious trifling, or less could be delighted or caught by it, enlivening mirth, than most of the if she understood what it meant. It images in this song, The two last is an incongruous monster, having lines are tolerable : but all the rest no harmony of parts, and altogether would have been poor, even as im. false in feeling and taste. With the promptus in a drawing-room, and nonchalance and levity of libertinism are insufferable when delivered from in its general tone, it has the stiffness the press, as the work, for aught wo of operose study in its details, and is know, of hours or days of mature me. not calculated to please the gay, while ditation. To what persons, we would it must be despised by the severe. ask, is such a song as this address. The next specimen we shall take ed, either as a topic of persuasion from the Irish melodies. It is in a
a source of pleasure? It is different style, and professes to have thinking poorly of the sex, to imagine more seriousness in its merriment.
These lines, we presume, were glasses, will not appear very convin. written to advance the cause of Ca- cing, except to those who are already tholic Emancipation ; but, although satisfied that differences in religion are they have some spirit and plausibility, equally unimportant as the colour of a they are not very cogent, and resolve drinking-cup-a sentiment which is a good deal into a petitio principi. probably not very prevalent among The novel though not striking illus Protestants, and certainly not more so. tration, of the blue and purple punch- among Roman Catholics. The last verse,
if it proves any thing, either as to pub- by any serious or any poetical standlic or as to private practice, seems to ard. Let us turn to some more amprove too much ; as it establishes not bitious or more admired samples of only that different shades of Christian
Moore's lyrical powers. belief are to be overlooked, but that And first, turning to the Irish we should without hesitation marry a melodies. We presume that the Mahometan, or choose our public “ Meeting of the Waters” will be functionaries from the votaries of the considered a fair specimen of Moore's vilest idolatry.
more serious, though not of his most But it is wrong to try these trifles lofty style. Let us examine it.
6 There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet,
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet
6. Yet it wus not that nature had shed o'er the scene
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green ;
"'Twas that friends the beloved of my bosom were near,
Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear,
“ Sweet vale of Avoca ! how calm could I rest
In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best,
We doubt if there be much poetry tain landscape. The third stanza is here. The first verse is commonplace, eminently prosaic. We do not happen and indifferently written. The dis to remember a more pedestrian pastinction between a valley and a vale sage in lyric poetry than the line we do not understand. “ Feeling and
“ Who felt how the best charms of nature life” need not both be given : either
improve ; will do. The image which connects the bloom of the valley with the rays nor is our opinion of the poet's powers of life and feeling, is either unmeaning,
of wing very much exalted by the litor is so obscurely presented to us, as
tle flutter that is attempted in the line to be no image at all. The first couplet that follows. We question if the last of the second stanza reminds us less
stanza is very congruous, as "a bosom of the dreamy loveliness of natural of shade," if there be such a thing, is scenery than of a neatly.covered din- better calculated to protect against a ner-table, well furnished with cham- burning sky than against a cold world. pagne and hock glasses : while the
The idea with which the song con. exclamation
cludes, of hearts mingling like waters, * O no! it was something more exquisite is more of a quibble than of a poetical still,”
figure. might in the same way be best applied Our next example, we believe, is to the gastronomic feelings, or is fitter equally popular, but does not appear to express the admiration of a cockney to be much more deserving of praise than of a poet in the midst of a moun. as a poetical effusion.
“ Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Like fairy-gifts fading away !
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
Would entwine itself verdantly still !
" It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
But as truly loves on to the close,
The same look which she turn'd when he rose.
There is a great deal of good feeling original, must always be pleasing from in the sentiment of this song ; but we their tenderness and beauty. They desiderate in it any poetical genius, were written, we believe, as a tribute such as the subject is calculated to in to the memory of one whose genius spire. The lines are either quite and goodness well deserved the praises prosaic, únrelieved by any novelty of and the tears of poetry:thought or delicacy of expression, or tricked out with imagery little
" I saw thy form in youthful prime, the theme which it is employed to adorn.
Nor thought that pale decay The conclusion of the second stanza is
Would steal before the steps of time,
And waste its bloom away, Mary! very characteristic of its author, Around the dear ruin each wish of my
Yet still thy features wore that light
Which fleets not with the breath, heart,
And life ne'er look'd more truly bright Would entwine itself verdantly still."
Than in thy smile of death, Mary! is entirely in that fanciful style, which is calculated to dissipate feeling by " As streams that run o'er golden mines, calling other and opposite faculties
Yet humbly, calmly glide, into play.
But is the image thus Nor seem to know the wealth that shines presented to us a correct one? If Within their gentle tide, Mary! we understand the poet, he means So veil'd beneath the simplest guise, to represent his mistress as a ruin Thy radiant genius shone, ed building, and himself as an ivy. And that which charm'd all other eyes, bush; and it is easy to compare the
Seem'd worthless in thine own, Mary! verdant embraces of the plant to the strong attachments of affections. But “ If souls could always dwell above, we think there is this confusion in the Thou ne'er had'st left that sphere ; simile, that the ivy's clasp is not ap
Or, could we keep the souls we love, propriately seen until the place be
We ne'er had lost thee here, Mary! comes a ruin. Round the ruined tower Though many a gifted mind we meet, or temple, ivy cannot be said to en.
Though fairest forms we see,
To live with them is far less sweet twine itself verdantly still. It is only suffered to begin its addresses when
Than to remember thee, Mary! the object of them is in ruins. The
There is some tenderness in reality, ivy, therefore, is not a true, any more
and more in appearance, in the lines than it is a natural or a pleasing re
we have next to quote ; but we fear presentation of that love, wbich first
the details will not stand inspection. bestows its adoration where there is youth and beauty, and continues faith “ Has sorrow thy young days shaded, ful and unchanged in declension and
As clouds o'er the morning fleet? decay. The sunflower in the end of
Too fast have those young days faded,
That even in sorrow were sweet. the song, is, in its fabulous or fancied
Does Time, with his cold wing, wither properties, a more correct similitude
Each feeling that once was dear ? of enduring constancy. But, however
Come, child of misfortune ! hither, appropriate it may be for the device
I'll weep with thee tear for tear. of a valentine or the seal of a billetdoux, we can scarcely conceive a
" Has love to that soul so tender, lover of high and heartfelt emotions,
Been like our Lagenian mine? descending to picture, by the sun
Where sparkles of golden splendour flower and “ her god,” the fond devo All over the surface shine. tedness of his own noble spirit.
But if in pursuit we go deeper, The following lines have at least the Allured by the gleam that shone, merit of expressing elegantly and easily Ah! false as the dream of the sleeper, ideas, which, though not striking or Like love, the bright ore is gone.
“ Has Hope, like the bird in the story nian mine, where, if you go below the That flitted from tree to tree
surface, the bright ore " like love" is With the talisman's glittering glory gone ? The illustration is here illus
Has Hope been that bird to thee? trated by the original subject. It On branch after branch alighting,
might have been asked at once with The gem did she still display ;
less trouble, has love been like love? And, when nearest and most inviting,
The story from the Arabian nights is Then waft the fair gem away?
still more far-fetched, and is not more
elevating or affecting. It is the con“ If thus the sweet hours have fleeted,
stant recurrence in Moore's poetry of When sorrow herself look'd bright;
these ingenious, but too remote comIf thus the fond hope has cheated,
parisons, that checks the current of That led thee along so light;
our own feelings, by convincing us If thus, too, the cold world wither
that the poet could not himself be Each feeling that once was dear,
much affected by his subject, when Come, child of misfortune! hither,
he had leisure to look so diligently I'll weep with thee tear for tear."
about him for the images that were to We like the first verse; and, in par express it. The simile of the Lageticular, the lines that truly and ten nian mines is peculiarly unfortunate, derly represent the buoyant joyousness in reminding us of the “ sparkles of of early life, that even sorrow cannot golden splendour" which so often
ess. The ideas in the stanzas that adorn the surface of the poet's own follow, are too curiously wire-drawn domain, without ensuring any very to have much power to move us. We profitable result to those who may may relish a passing allusion to Love's thence be induced « in pursuit to go
“ Hope's delusive mine ;” but a deeper." detailed comparison of its disappoint We think there is considerable ments with the failure of mining specu power in our next example, though lations in Wicklow, is any thing but the rhythm is not melodious on the poetical or pathetic. The second reader's lips, and the subject is not stanza altogether is very poorly and developed with all the imagination or clumsily composed. It seems to run the skill which its wild solemnity might thus :-Has love been like the Lage admit of.
« Oh, ye dead ! oh, ye dead! whom we know by the light you give
Why leave you thus your graves
In far-off fields and waves,
To haunt this spot where all
Those eyes that wept your fall,
« It is true! it is true! we are shadows cold and wan;
But oh! thus even in death,
So sweet is still the breath
That ere condemn'd we go
To freeze 'mid Hecla's snow,
The song which we next insert seems a favourite with the poet's antiSaxon countrymen, who probably rank it on the same level that has been assigned to Bruce's Bannockburn Address in this country. It is not throughout correctly written or power. fully conceived ; but it possesses sufficient energy and enthusiasm to operate, we have no doubt, on an Irish mind like a spark upon tinder.
" O where's the slave so lowly,
Who, could he burst
His bonds at first,
When thus its wing
At once could spring