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then, we ask you, do you think of the Poetry you have been listening to from our lips-is it worthy or not of Byron and of the Sea?

Why, this silence is mortifying and looks as if mountains, clouds, sky, sun, and nature were unaware of our very existence. We begin now to believe that there is no material world. 'Tis all my eye. Notwithstanding, WE ARE and shall therefore continue to take his lordship into our own hands, and trouble him with a few remarks. He prayed to be the " Spirit of each spot"-who knows but that his prayer has been granted, and that he may not be now at our elbow.

Let us clear our voice. Hem! hem! hem!-The one, great, leading, pervading, prevalent idea of the Address is-is it not that of man's impotence on the ocean contrasted with his power on the earth? On the earth his will triumphs and he is a king-on the ocean it is nought-and he is a slave.

Good. 'Tis a one-sided view of the question but justifiable in an Address. And as the simpler the subject is, the easier too-and if powerfully handled, the grander-we demand the perfection of words. A great poet in a great mood undertakes a great theme, and in the light and gloom, the calm and storm of a great idea to show it to the world that her heart may quake. He must speak like a man when he is likest an angel.

"Roll on, thou deep and dark-blue ocean, roll!"

dark-blue ocean it may not be easy to picture to oneself-but he who can, will have glorious conceptions of the power of man on the amplitude of the sea. The poet's meaning now becomes less obscure-and he says well," man marks the earth with ruin," but not well "his control stops with the shore." That is prosaic-and does not tell. How could he mark the sea with ruin? There is nothing there to ruin-and there can be no contrast.

is spirited and sonorous-and that is well-but it is nothing more-and the initial line should have been a nobler burst. "Deep and dark-blue" are epithets that can neither be much praised nor blamed-to our mind they had been better away-for the images they suggest, if not in dissonance, are not in consonance with the thoughts that follow them-and seem not to suggest them-but to stand by themselves as idle images or rather forms, of speech.

"Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain."

In vain? That is-without injuring thee? But they were not seeking to do so-nor can imagination conceive how they could-and if that be not the poet's meaning, what is it? Ten thousand fleets sweeping over the deep

"Upon the watery plain the wrecks are all thy deed."

Call you that poetry? With the ocean personified before his own eyes, by his own soul, he yet speaks of his deeds "on the watery plain!" To a poet inspired that had been impossible-but "the vision and the faculty divine” were not with him-and he was merely inditing verses.

"Nor doth remain A shadow of man's ravage save his own," is hard to scan, and full of confusion. To extricate any meaning from the words you must alter them, but 'tis hardly worth the pains. You frowntell us then what you understand by "a shadow of man's ravage save his own?" He sinks into thy depths," "Like a drop of rain

to please you, we shall say is good— though we hardly think so-for wrecks on wrecks are shown to our imagination, and thousands of creatures perish

"man" here means men-if not, how unimpassioned the tale of his doom-but" a drop of rain"—one single drop-was never yet seen by itself sinking into the depths of the sea-and further, be assured by us O Neophyte! with Byron in thy breast, that "with bubbling groan" ought not to be there, for a drop of rain melts silently in a moment, and since it is said that "like a drop of rain he sinks," erase the words from your copy, and for rhyme have reason. "Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown."

What! do we find fault with that line? Yes-erase it. The poet is not singing a lament for sailors drowned at sea. He is singing the sea's wrath to man. The sea bids the ship go down-and down she goes-he wastes no thought on the crew-nor on their

wives and sweethearts. What can it
possibly be to him that they sink
Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd,

and unknown?"

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But to cut the matter short-or to take the bull by the horns-the line as it stands, viewing it as an expression of human sympathy and sorrow in the poet's heart forgetting the sea in the sailors, is an ambitious failure. 'Tis a cold accumulation of melancholy circumstances which were all inevitable - of which the opposites were impossible-debarred by nature and fate. There is no pathos in it "not a bit." It is absurd-it is ludicrous-yes-it makes us laugh though, rather than laugh at misery, human or brute, we would choose to pass all our life in the Cave of Trophonius. "Without a grave"-who was to dig it? Show us sexton, spade, sod. As on dry land no man ever yet was drowned-so at sea no man ever yet was buried but in the water-that is first-till the sea perhaps stamps him into the sand. Notwithstanding all that, all men speak of the sailor's grave -though, were they to ask themselves what they meant, they would probably answer-fish. "Uncoffined"why the carpenter had other work during all this stormy homebound voyage than to get up coffins for the crew. The last thing he did was to cut away her masts. But she was water-logged, and would not right blew up without powder which by that time was mire-and then was sucked into the jaws of the Old Onelike Jonah into the whale's belly. Uncoffined, indeed! Why the whole four hundred men were in blue jackets-most of them sober enough in all conscience-but not a few drunk as blazes-some capering about stark mad-and one delirious Jacky Tar dancing a hornpipe on the quarterdeck, maugre the remonstrances of the Chaplain. "Unknelled"-who was to toll the bell? Davy Jonesand he did toll it-the ship's bell-a very Paganini ringing a full peal on its single self-and with most miraculous organ multiplying triple-bobs, and bob-majors-in mockery of the funeral-as if it were a marriageand strange must it have been to the ears of the more tenacious of life and timber among the sinking crew to hear below all that booming, and above it the

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well-known music from the steeples in both towns-both Devonport and Plymouth-welcoming the old Frigate safe back again to the quiet Tamar. To return

"His steps are not upon thy paths-thy fields

stuff.

Are not a spoil for him." Why, you said all that and more not two minutes ago. third time, we do not doubt you might Had you tried it a have still farther diluted it. But what means "his steps are not upon thy paths?" We fear it must be taken literally, and, in that case, it is poor for "his steps are upon thy paths,' while "ten thousand fleets sweep Figuratively it is not true scornful rising of the sea against the over thee." The half-angry, half"vile strength man wields for earth's destruction" may pass for good-very fine to those who love falsettoes. But the stanza, as it grows inhuman, ceases to be English, and as it grows impious, ceases to be grammatical; alive or dead, whom we have ever and we ask forgiveness of all Cockneys, calumniated, on the score of their sins

having been outsinned till they appear to be "frailties that lean to virtue's side," by

"Thou dashest him to earth-there let him LAY!!"

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about the Armaments, which you are Then follow some strong lines at liberty to admire as much as you please, especially

"And monarchs tremble in their capi tals ;"

but pray take notice that they but set in a somewhat different point of view about the sea's disposing of "the vile what was said in the preceding stanza strength he wields for earth's destruction."

"These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,

They melt into thy yest of waves,"
and "the snowy flake" is but the
is mere repetition. "A drop of rain"
same image; and "yest of waves"
is no improvement on Shakspeare's
"yesty waves," " THAT SWALLOW
sca! what an awful expression!
NAVIGATION UP"-Heaven! earth! and

Rome, and Carthage reads grandly at
The stanza about Assyria, Greece,

first sight-and grand let it be; but pray do you distinctly understand the meaning of

"Thy waters wasted them while they were free?"

To our ear the words have no meaning at all-nor have these so much as the writer thought—

"Thou glorious mirror, where th' Al-
mighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests."

We fear the transition is violent from
all that death and destruction to this
physico-theological view of the ocean
as a mirror of Deity; and we can have
no reluctance in saying that these
words are rash, and will not bear re-
flection. Intellect comprehends them
not-Imagination disowns them-they
are rant-perhaps cant; and all that
follows, to "dark heaving" inclusive,
is full of noise-not fury-" signify
ing nothing." "Boundless, endless,
and sublime" is laboured writing, and
fails to make us see in the ocean "the
image of Eternity"-of such Eternity
as is meant herc-nor reconciles us to
its being called "the throne of the In-
visible."

"Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd

mind

are far finer and more philosophical
lines than those; and that the poet
felt not nor knew the meaning of his
own awful words is proved by the
ignorant atheism of

Sees God in clouds, and hears him in the wind,"

66

even from thy slime The monsters of the deep are made"

"Their decay Has dried up realms to deserts."

"Those empires have decayed"that is all that is really said-and 'tis enough. "Not so thou!" on which the whole hangs, is unsubstantial--and therefore the whole sinks into nothing. Earth's empires have fallen, and the Poet laments or rejoices over their fall. But there were no empires on the sea to fall-nothing but winds and

waves. Where, then, the contrast? Nowhere. As well might he have turned to Zahara-and, because the Great Desert remains unchanged, have glorified it above Babylon.

"Time writes no wrinkles on thy azure brow"

The concluding stanza seems to be a general favourite, and is often quoted-nor is it uninteresting as charac

is a conceit, and a most impertinent teristic of the poet's youth. But it comes worse than awkwardly upon the heels of its predecessor, and is but

one.

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an assertion, in the sense it has here'
that would have excited the pity of
Cuvier. It slips sillily in, too, be-
tween lines with which it has no con-
nexion, being immediately preceded
by "the throne of the Invisible," and
immediately followed by

"Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou poorly written; nor could we ever

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rollest now

see the grandeur of " and laid my hand
upon thy mane," though we never

is false-for here are shells.

Let us be reverent, for now the poct could fail to see the absurdity of "as speaks of God. I do here," his Lordship being at the moment on shipboard, whereas in his "joy of youthful sports" we presume he was swimming-occasionally on his back-and, we are willing to believe, "borne like thy bubbles onward" fairly out of his depth, and without bladders.

"cach zone

Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fa-
thomless, alone"-

spared, as all they denote had been
all of which epithets might have been
expressed before, and they are rolled
off for the sake of sound, not sense,
though, after all, the music of the
close is not magnificent.

"Verbal criticism," quotha! What! do you at this time of day dare to tell us that great poets need care nothing about their language, that in its inspiration genius vents its ecstasies in impassioned words which it is impious to criticize, and which it is at once our duty and our delight to accept as they fall from the lips of an oracle. Bah!

bust into Westminster Abbey! Alas,
And they have refused to admit thy
poor Byron! has it come to that at
last! Vanitas vanitatum! All is va-
nity. And why such exclusion? Be-
cause one of the greatest of England's
poets reviled the Christian faith, and
believed not in the immortality of the
soul. Therefore, after death, there
must not be set up in that House of

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Fame, which is a Religious Temple, an image of the Scoffer. We heard one with a loud voice cry-where there was none to answer him-" This world knows nothing of what Byron thought about the next-the friends with whom he walked here knew not if he be

lieved in a hereafter-the great poet, perhaps, had not made up his mind on the subject,-it matters not-up with him beside Milton."

We think on a sublime passage in Pollok's Course of Time.

"Take one example, to our purpose quite.
A man of rank, and of capacious soul,
Who riches had and fame, beyond desire,
An heir of flattery, to titles born,

And reputation, and luxurious life,
Yet, not content with ancestorial name,
Or to be known because his fathers were;
He on this height hereditary stood,

And gazing higher, purposed in his heart
To take another step. Above him seemed
Alone the mount of song, the lofty seat
Of canonized bards; and thitherward,
By nature taught, and inward melody,
In prime of youth he bent his eagle eye.
No cost was spared. What books he wished, he read;
What sage to hear, he heard; what scenes to see,
He saw. And first in rambling schoolboy days
Britannia's mountain-walks, and heath-girt lakes,
And story-telling glens, and founts, and brooks,
And maids, as dew-drops pure and fair, his soul
With grandeur filled, and melody and love.
Then travel came, and took him where he wished.
He cities saw, and courts, and princely pomp ;
And mused alone on ancient mountain-brows;
And mused on battle-fields, where valour fought
In other days; and mused on ruins gray

With years; and drank from old and fabulous wells;
And plucked the vine that first-born prophets plucked;
And mused on famous tombs, and on the wave
Of Ocean mused, and on the desert waste.
The heavens and earth of every country saw,
Where'er the old inspiring Genii dwelt,
Aught that could rouse, expand, refine the soul,
Thither he went, and meditated there.

He touched his harp, and nations heard, entranced.
As some vast river of unfailing source,
Rapid, exhaustless, deep, his numbers flowed,
And opened new fountains in the human heart.
Where Fancy halted, weary in her flight,
In other men, his, fresh as morning, rose,

And soared untrodden heights, and seemed at home,
Where angels bashful looked. Others, though great,
Beneath their argument seemed struggling whiles;
He from above descending, stooped to touch
The loftiest thought: and proudly stooped, as though
It scarce deserved his verse. With Nature's self

He seemed an old acquaintance, free to jest
At will with all her glorious majesty.
He laid his hand upon "the Ocean's mane,"
And played familiar with his hoary locks:
Stood on the Alps, stood on the Apennines,
And with the thunder talked, as friend to friend;
And wove his garland of the lightning's wing,
In sportive twist the lightning's fiery wing,
Which, as the footsteps of the dreadful God
Marching upon the storm in vengeance, seemed;
Then turned, and with the grasshopper, who sung

His evening song beneath his feet, conversed.

Suns, moons, and stars, and clouds, his sisters were ;
Rocks, mountains, meteors, seas, and winds, and storms,
His brothers, younger brothers, whom he scarce
As equals deemed. All passions of all men,
The wild and tame, the gentle and severe;
All thoughts, all maxims, sacred and profane;
All creeds, all seasons, Time, Eternity;

All that was hated, and all that was dear:
All that was hoped, all that was feared, by man,
He tossed about, as tempest, withered leaves;
Then, smiling, looked upon the wreck he made.
With terror now he froze the cowering blood,
And now dissolved the heart in tenderness;
Yet would not tremble, would not weep himself:
But back into his soul retired, alone,

Dark, sullen, proud, gazing contemptuously
On hearts and passions prostrate at his feet.
So Ocean from the plains, his waves had late
To desolation swept, retired in pride,
Exulting in the glory of his might,
And seemed to mock the ruin he had wrought.

"As some fierce comet of tremendous size,
To which the stars did reverence as it pass'd,
So he, through learning and through fancy, took
His flights sublime, and on the loftiest top

Of Fame's dread mountain sat; not soiled and worn,
As if he from the earth had laboured up;

But as some bird of heavenly plumage fair,
He looked, which down from higher regions came,
And perched it there, to see what lay beneath.

"The nations gazed, and wondered much, and praised. Critics before him fell in humble plight, Confounded fell, and made debasing signs

To catch his eye; and stretched and swelled themselves
To bursting nigh, to utter bulky words
Of admiration vast: and many, too,
Many that aimed to imitate his flight,
With weaker wing, unearthly fluttering made,
And gave abundant sport to after days.

"Great man! the nations gazed, and wondered much, And praised; and many called his evil good. Wits wrote in favour of his wickedness; And kings to do him honour took delight. Thus, full of titles, flattery, honour, fame, Beyond desire, beyond ambition, full, He died-he died of what? of wretchedness; Drank every cup of joy, heard every trump

Of fame, drank early, deeply drank, drank draughts That common millions might have quenched; then died Of thirst, because there was no more to drink.

His goddess, Nature, wooed, embraced, enjoyed,
Fell from his arms, abhorred; his passions died;
Died all but dreary, solitary pride;

And all his sympathies in being died.

As some ill-guided bark, well-built and tall,
Which angry tides cast out on desert shore,
And then retiring, left it there to rot

And moulder in the winds and rains of heaven ;
So he, cut from the sympathies of life,
And cast ashore from pleasure's boisterous surge,
A wandering, weary, worn, and wretched thing,

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