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Yes! thou hast many a lone, majestic scene,
Shrined in primæval woods, were despot ne'er hath been.
There, by some lake, whose blue expansive breast
In tints like those that float o'er poet's dreams;
The forests are around him in their pride,
And from those green arcades a thousand tones Wake with each breeze, whose voice through Nature's temple
And there, no traces, left by brighter days,
For glory lost may wake a sigh of grief,
Some grassy mound perchance may meet his gaze,
There man not yet hath marked the boundless plain
The palm his monument, the rock his tower.
Remind him but that they, like him, are wildly free.
But doth the exile's heart serenely there
In sunshine dwell?-Ah! when was exile blest?
-There is a heart-sick weariness of mood,
Such grief is theirs, who, fixed on foreign shore,
Though thought and step in western wilds be free, Yet thine are still the day-dreams of his heart; The deserts spread between, the billows foam, Thou, distant and in chains, art yet his spirit's home.' pp. 6-10. In the following passage, the transition from the degraded and degrading empire of the Turkish sovereigns of Greece, to the romantic era of the Caliphate, is very happily introduced. After comparing the column of the mosque rising amid the landscape a landmark of slavery,' to the dark upas tree, the poet exclaims:
Far other influence pour'd the Crescent's light,
Then foster'd genius lent each Caliph's throne
"Those years have past in radiance-they have past,
They burn-are quench'd-and deepest shadows reign.
In the vast regions of the Moslem's power,-
Where towers oppression midst the deepening glooms, As dark and lone ascends the cypress midst the tombs.
Where now thy shrines, Eleusis! where thy fane,
And oh! ye secret and terrific powers,
How long your power the awe-struck nations sway'd,
And say, what marvel, in those early days,
Thebes, Corinth, Argos !-ye, renown'd of old,
And find the mosque alone-a record of their doom!'
Some of the most spirited stanzas in the poem are those which contain the apostrophe to Athens. The Elgin marbles, which ! are described with not less correctness and skill than enthusiasm, naturally lead the poet to advert to the influence which the study of these works is adapted to have upon our own artists, and he calls upon England, in conclusion, to be what Athens e'er has been.'..
Art. XII. The Arctic Expeditions. A Poem. By Miss Porden. 8vo. pp. 30. 1818.
WE should have noticed this poem before. Perused immediately after the very able and delightful article' in the Quarterly Review, which to a subject half-science, half speculation, succeeded in communicating the illusive interest of romance and the reality of history, it would have accorded well with the reader's feelings. But now, alas! the Expeditions have returned, and the day-dream is ended! Lost Greenland is
VOL. X. N. S.
not found, and Baffin's Bay may still be written Bay by our geographers. What is worse, the predictions of the Quarterly Reviewers have failed to do credit to their weather-wisdom: instead of the chill and wintry season with which they threatened ns, we have had a summer of more than ordinary fertility and pleasantness. Our corn-fields, our orchards, and our hopgrounds have teemed with wealth and luxury; but as to our vines, which, we were told, are, some of these days, to flourish again as they did in the time of our ancestors, the emigrant icebergs have not travelled southward far enough, or the polar barrier has not been sufficiently broken up, to admit of our having that gratification as yet. Devon and Hereford are again flowing with cider, Scotland may boast of her John Barleycorn, and the honest Cambrian may rejoice over his Cwrw; but we citizens must still be content, as heretofore, to be indebted for our port and our raisins to the Dons, and to make up the deficiency of better articles, with currant juice and malt wine. The hope of once more realizing the descriptions of spring given by our elder poets, is now again indefinitely deferred, and those who wish to descant on the vernal beauties of the Queen of the Seasons, must, as we apprehend they did, catch the echo of Greek or Roman strains, and clothe with the charms of Arcadian or Sicilian skies, the cold and capricious clime of a higher latitude.
We regret, we say, that we have deferred our notice of Miss Porden's version of the pleasant soothsayings of the Secretary to the Admiralty, till they have lost much of their effect, or rather, till they have acquired the power of exciting a different effect from what they were intended to produce. This is not the fault of the poetess, who has managed her subject secundum artem, and discovers no small skill in versification. Her production may still claim to rank with any of the prize-poems that either Oxford or Cambridge are accustomed to furnish; and if she might without fear enter the lists in competing for the laurel wreath, the Notes to the present poem, not less than those appended to her former production, discover an ambition of scientific attainments. We think that the lectures at the Royal Institution, to which Miss Porden refers, are proved by the present instance, to be of no small service to the Public.
Without further preface, we shall proceed to lay before our readers a specimen of the poem itself, as the best method now left us, of apologizing for our unfortunate dilatoriness. Adopting the chimerical expectation of discovering the lost colony on the eastern coast of Greenland, the Author exclaims:
The barrier bursts-and Britain, first of all
Or should they live to bless the niggard spot,
Then occur two unfortunate lines, which must be omitted in the next edition.
No day-dreams these of Bard's fantastic brain,
The succeeding lines display talents of no contemptible order. We do not recommend the fair Authoress to resume' this theme, but we pledge ourselves to do her justice, in the event of her venturing upon one of a safer kind, and more permanent in
'Go forth, brave Seamen, reach the fated shore,