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See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
western islands have I been,
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne :
Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
When a new planet swims into his ken;
He stared at the Pacific-and all his men
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
(1) Isaiah li. 6; liv. 10.
(2) The pleased surprise of one, who, after exploring many fields of literature, discovered Homer, is here described with much felicity both of conception and phraseology; but Chapman, after all, is only a dim reflection of the noble features of the original.
THE MEMORY OF THE BRAVE.
Of Iser, rolling rapidly. (1) Montgomery has said, perhaps with some degree of pardonable exaggeration, that these stanzas “are almost unrivalled in the association of poetry with picture, pathos with fancy, grandeur with simplicity, and romance with reality." See“ Lectures on Poetry," p. 200.
(2) How sleep, &c.—“Not," says Montgomery,“ how sweetly, soundly, happily ; for all these are included in the simple apostrophe, . How sleep the brave !""
(3) Sweeter sod—Why sweeter? Because of the moral interest associated with it, as the grave of those who died for their country.
(4) Fairy hands, forms unseen—These expressions, as well as the personifications of Honour and Freedom, refer to the influence which the memory of brave patriots diffuses over both the present and the future. The “ fairy hands" and “forms unseen,” are the feelings of gratitude, admiration, and pity, which affect the heart as mournful music does the ear.
(5) A pilgrim grey-A “ pilgrim," because Honour comes from far-from other countries—to visit the shrine ; “grey," because in distant years to come their memory shall still survive.
(6) Freedom, &c.—Freedom repairs thither-to weep alone (“ a weeping hermit ") because they are his children ; "awhile" only, because he has other children still alive, and because time heals sorrow.
(7) Hohenlinden-A village of Germany, about twenty miles from Munich, where General Moreau completely defeated the combined army of Austrians and Bavarians, on the 3rd of December, 1800.
(8) Iser, or Isar--a tributary of the Danube.
But Linden saw another sight,
The darkness of her scenery.
To join the dreadful revelry.
Far flash'd the red artillery.
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
And charge with all thy chivalry!
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.
YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND;2
A NAVAL ODE.
Ye mariners of England !
That guard our native seas ;
The battle and the breeze! (1) Hun--the Austrian foroe.
(2) This spirited lyric well deserves to take rank with “ Rule Britannia " (see p. 190). The main blemish in both is the want of a specific recognition of Almighty power as the only source of our own.
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe! And sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow; While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow. The spirits of your
fathers Shall start from
wave ! For the deck it was their field of fame, And Ocean was their
grave: Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell,
Your manly hearts shall glow, As
ye sweep through the deep, While the stormy winds do blow; While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.
No towers along the steep;
Her home is on the deep.
She quells the floods below,-
When the stormy winds do blow; When the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.
Shall yet terrific burn;
And the star of peace return.
Our song and feast shall flow To the fame of your name,
When the storm has ceased to blow; When the fiery fight is heard no more,
And the storm has ceased to blow.
Campbell. THE MOTHER'S SACRIFICE.
“What shall I render Thee, Father Supreme,
“ Thou hast a little bud
“Thou hast a little harp-
A blight had struck
Again the voice
(1) This beautiful metaphor is also found in Coleridge's “Epitaph on an Infant:
“ Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care,
And bade it blossom there."