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gorgeous for the Bard came to his subject round and round a rose-bush, and then settling full of inspiration; and as it was the inspira- himself down seriously to work, as mute as a tion, here, not of profound thought, but of mouse, among the half-blown petals. Howpassionate emotion, it was right that music at ever, we are not now writing our Confessions the very first moment should overflow the -and what we wished to say about this paspage, and that it should be literally strewed sage is, that in it the one sex is represented as with roses. An imperfect Impersonation is turning away the face from that of the other, often proof positive of the highest state of which may be all natural enough, though poetical enthusiasm. The forms of nature polite on the gentleman's part we can never undergo a half humanizing process under the call it; and, had the female virgin done so, we intensity of our love, yet still retain the cha- cannot help thinking it would have read better racter of the insensate creation, thus affecting in poetry. But for Spring to avert his blushful us with a sweet, strange, almost bewildering, face from the ardent looks of Summer, has on blended emotion that scarcely belongs to either us the effect of making both Seasons seem simseparately, but to both together clings as to a pletons. Spring, in the character of “ ethereal phenomenon that only the eye of genius sees, mildness," was unquestionably a female; but because only the soul of genius can give it a here she is “unsexed from the crown to the presence—though afterwards all eyes dimly toe," and changed into an awkward hobbleterecognise it, on its being shown to them, as hoy, who, having passed his boyhood in the something more vivid than their own faint ex- country, is a booby who blushes black at the perience, yet either kindred to it, or virtually gaze of his own brother, and if brought into one and the same. Almost all human nature the company of the lasses, would not fail to can, in some measure, understand and feel faint away in a fit, nor revive till his face felt the most exquisite and recondite image which a pitcherful of cold water. only the rarest genius could produce. Were “Crown'd with the sickle and the wheaten sheaf, it not so, great poets might break their harps, While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain, and go drown themselves in Helicon.

Comes jovial on," &c.,

is, we think, bad. The Impersonation here is “From brightening fields of ether fair disclosed, Child of the Sun, refulgent SUMMER comes,

complete, and though the sex of Autumn is In pride of youth, and felt through Nature's depth :

not mentioned, it is manifestly meant to be He comes attended by the sultry hours, And ever-fanning breezes, on his way ;

male. So far, there is nothing amiss either While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring one way or another. But “nodding o'er the Averts her blushful face, and earth, and skies,

yellow plain” is a mere statement of a fact in All smiling, to his hot dominion leaves."

nature and descriptive of the growing and Here the Impersonation is stronger -- and ripening or ripened harvestwhereas it is perhaps the superior strength lies in the words applied here to Autumn, as a figure who « child of the Sun.” And here in the words “comes jovial on.” This is not obscurity-or describing Spring, she too is more of an Im- indistinctness—which, as we have said before, personation than in the other passage-avert is often a great beauty in Impersonation ; but ing her blushful face from the Summer's ardent it is an inconsistency and a contradiction--and look. The poet having made Summer mascu- therefore indefensible on any ground either of line, very properly makes Spring feminine; conception or expression. and 'tis a jewel of a picture for ladies should There are no such essential vices as this in always avert their blushful faces from the the “Castle of Indolence” - for by that time ardent looks of gentlemen. Thomson, indeed, Thomson had subjected his inspiration to elsewhere says of an enamoured youth over- thought-and his poetry, guided and guarded powered by the loving looks of his mistress - by philosophy, became celestial as an angel's * From the keen gaze her lover turns away,

song. Full of the dear ecstatic power, and sick

“ See, Winter comes, to rule the varied year, With sighing languishment."

Sullen and sad, with all his rising train, This, we have heard, from experienced per- Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my theme,

These! that exalt the soul to solemn thought, sons of both sexes, is as delicate as it is

And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms ! natural; but for our own simple and single Congenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot, selves, we never remember having got sick on Pleased have I, in my cheerful morn of life,

When nursed by careless Solitude I lived, any such occasion. Much agitated, we can

And sung of Nature with unceasing joy, not deny-if we did, the most credulous would

Pleased have I wander'd through your rough domain; not credit us-much agitated we have been- Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure;

Heard the winds roar, and the big torrents burst; when our lady-love, not contented with fixing

Or seen the deep-fermenting tempest brew'd upon us her dove-eyes, began billing and coo- In the grim evening sky. Thus pass'd the time, ing in a style from which the cushat might Till through the lucid chambers of the south

Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and smiled!” have taken a lesson with advantage, that she might the better perform her innocent part on Divine inspiration indeed! Poetry, that if read her first assignation with her affianced in the by the bedside of a dying lover of nature, pine-grove on St. Valentine's day; but never might in all our long lives got we absolutely sick

“ Create a soul

Under the ribs of death!" ner even squeamish-never were we obliged to turn away with our hand to our mouth--but, What in the name of goodness makes us on the contrary, we were commonly as brisk suppose that a mean and miserable November as a bee at a pot of honey; or, if that be too day, even while we are thus Rhapsodizing, is luscious a simile, as brisk as that same won- drizzling all Edinburgh with the worst of all derful insect murmuring for a few moments imaginable Scottish mists-an Easterly Harr?

scure, snow,

We know that he infests ali the year, but shows Let us then, and all our friends, believe, with his poor spite in its bleakest bitterness in Coleridge, in his beautiful poem of the “NightMarch and in November. Earth and heaven ingale," that are not only not worth looking at in an East- “In Nature there is nothing melancholy," erly Harr, but the Visible is absolute wretched- not even November. The disease of the body ness, and people wonder why they were born. may cause disease in the soul; yet not the less The visitation begins with a sort of character trust we in the mercy of the merciful-not the less haze, waxing more and more wetly ob- less strive we to keep feeding and trimming

till you know not whether it be rain, that spiritual lamp which is within us, even

or sleet, that drenches your clothes in when it flickers · feebly in the dampy gloom, dampness, till you feel it in your skin, then in like an earthly lamp left in a vaulted sepulyour flesh, then in your bones, then in your chre, about to die among the dead. Heaven marrow, and then in your mind. Your blink- seems to have placed a power in our Will as ing eyes have it too--and so, shut it as you mighty as it is mysterious. Call it not Liberty, will, has your moping mouth. Yet the streets, lest you should wax proud; call it not Necesthough looking blue, are not puddled, and the sity, lest you should despair. But turn from dead cat lies dry in the gutter. There is no the oracles of man-still dim even in their eaves-dropping--no gushing of water-spouts. clearest responses-to the Oracles of God, To say it rained would be no breach of vera- which are never dark; or if so, but city, but a mere misstatement of a melancholy

“ Dark with excessive bright” fact. The truth is, that the weather cannot rain, to eyes not constantly accustomed to sustain but keeps spit, spit, spitting, in a style suffi- the splendour. Bury all your books, when cient to irritate Socrates or even Moses him

you feel the night of skepticism gathering self; and yet true, veritable, sincere, genuine, around you—bury them all, powerful though and authentic Rain could not-or if he could you may have deemed their spells to illumi. would not-so thoroughly soak you and your nate the unfathomable-open your Bible, and whole wardrobe, were you to allow him a day all the spiritual world will be as bright as day. to do it, as that shabby imitation of a tenth

The disease of the body may cause disease rate shower, in about the time of an usual to the soul. Ay, madness. Some rapture in sized sermon. So much cold and so much the soul makes the brain numb, and thence wet, with so little to show for it, is a disgrace sudden or lingering death ;-some rupture in to the atmosphere, which it will take weeks of the brain makes the soul insane, and thence the sunniest the weather can afford to wipe off

. life worse than death, and haunted by horrors But the stores of sunniness which it is in the beyond what is dreamt of the grave and all power of Winter in this northern latitude to its corruption. Perhaps the line fullest of accumulate, cannot be immense; and there- meaning that ever was written, isfore we verily believe that it would be too

“Mens sana in corpore sano." much to expect that it ever can make amends

When nature feels the flow of its vital blood for the hideous horrors of this Easterly Harr.

pure and unimpeded, what unutterable gladThe Cut-throat! On such days suicides rush to judgment.(ness, bathes the spirit in that one feeling of

health! Then the mere consciousness of exThat sin is mysterious as insanity--their graves are unintelligible as the cells in Bed- istence is like that emotion which Milton lam. Oh! the brain and the heart of man! speaks of 'as breathed from the bowers of Pa

radiseTherein is the only Hell. Small these regions

“Vernal delight and joy, able to drive in space, and of narrow room-but haunted

All sadness but despair ; may they be with all the Fiends and all the It does more-for despair itself cannot prevail Furies. A few nerves transmit to the soul de- against it. What a dawn of bliss rises upon spair or bliss. At the touch of something, us with the dawn of light, when our life is whence and wherefore sent, who can say-healthful as the sun! Then something that serenes or troubles, soothes or jars—she soars up into life and light, just as you

It feels that it is greater than it knows." may have seen a dove suddenly cleave the sun- God created the earth and the air beautiful shine-or down she dives into death and dark-through the senses; and at the uplifting of a ness, like a shot eagle tumbling into the sea! little lid, a whole flood of imagery is let in

Materialism! Immaterialism! Why should upon the spirit, all of which becomes part of mortals, whom conscience tells that they are its very self, as if the enjoying and the enjoyed immortals, bewildered and bewildering ponder were one. Health flies away like an angel, upon the dust! Do your duty to God and man, and her absence disenchants the earth. What and fear not that, when that dust dies, the spirit shadows then pass over the ethereal surface that breathed by it will live for ever. Feels of the spirit, from the breath of disordered matnot that spirit its immortality in each sacred ter !—from the first scarcely-felt breath of dethought? When did ever religious soul fear spondency, to the last scowling blackness of annihilation? Or shudder to think that, hav- despair! Often men know not what power ing once known, it could ever forget God? placed the fatal fetters upon them—they see Such forgetfulness is in the idea of eternal even that a link may be open, and that one effort death. Therefore is eternal death impossible might fling off the bondage; but their souls are to us who can hold communion with our Ma- in slavery, and will not be free. Till something ker. Our knowledge of Him-dim and remote like a fresh wind, or a sudden sunbeam, comes though it be-is a God-given pledge that he across them, and in a moment their whole exwill redeem us from the doom of the grave. istence is changed, and they see the very va

nishing of their most dismal and desperate ple of Apollo or Plutus, we smile at the idea dream.

of surmounting, so molehillish do they look, “ Somewhat too much of this"--so let us and we kick them aside like an old footstool. strike the chords to a merrier measureto a Let the country ask us for a scheme to pay off “ livelier lilt”- -as suits the variable spirit of the national debt-there she has it; do you reour Soliloquy. Be it observed, then, that the quest us to have the kindness to leap over the sole certain way of getting rid of the blue moon--here we go; excellent Mr. Blackwood devils, is to drown them in a shower-bath. has but to say the word, and a ready-made You would not suppose that we are subject to Leading Article is in his hand, promotive of the blue devils ? Yet we are sometimes their the sale of countless numbers of “my Magavery slave. When driven to it by their lash, zine,” and of the happiness of countless numevery occupation, which when free we resort bers of mankind. We feel and the feeling to as pastime, becomes taskwork; nor will proves the fact-as bold as Joshua the son of these dogged masters suffer us to purchase Nun-as brave as David the son of Jesse-as emancipation with the proceeds of the toil of wise as Solomon the son of David-and as our groaning genius. But whenever the proud as Nebuchadnezzar the son of Nebopoworst comes to the worst, and we almost wish lazzar. We survey our image in the mirror to die so that we might escape the galling and think of Adam. We put ourselves into pressure of our chains, we sport buff

, and into the posture of the Belvidere Apollo. the shower-bath. Yet such is the weakness

“Then view the Lord of the unerring bow, of poor human nature, that like a criminal on The God of life, and poesy, and light,

The Sun in human arms array'd, and brow the scaffold, shifting the signal kerchief from

All radiant from his triumph in the fight. hand to hand, much to the irritation of his ex- The shaft hath just been shot-the arrow bright cellency the hangman, one of the most impa- With an immortal vengeance; in his eye tient of men-and more to the satisfaction of

And nostril beautiful disdain, and might

And majesty flash their full lightnings by, the crowd, the most patient of men and wo- Developing in that one glance the Deity.' men-we often stand shut up in that sentry- Up four flight of stairs we fly—for the bath is looking canvas box, dexterously and sinis

in the double-sunk story-ten steps at a bound trously fingering the string, perhaps for five -and in five minutes have devoured one quarshrinking, and shuddering, and grueing minutes, tern loaf, six eggs, and a rizzar, washing all ere we can summon up desperation to pull down upon ourselves the rushing waterfall! Soon as bowl of coffee,

over with a punch-bowl of congou and a teathe agony is over, we bounce out the colour of

Enormous breakfast, beet-root, and survey ourselves in a five-foot Wild without rule or art! Where nature plays mirror, with an amazement that, on each suc- Her virgin fancies.' cessive exhibition, is still as when we first ex. And then, leaning back on our Easy-chair, we perienced it,

perform an exploit beyond the reach of Euclid “In life's morning march, when our spirits were young." --why, WE SQUARE THE CIRCLE, and to the

utter demolition of our admirable friend Sir By and by, we assume the similitude of an David Brewster's diatribe, in a late number of immense boiled lobster that has leapt out of the pan-and then, seeming for a while to be the Quarterly Review, on the indifference of an emblematical or symbolical representation government to men of science, chuckle over of the setting Sun, we sober down into a faint our nobly-won order, K.C.C.B., Knight Compink, like that of the Morn, and finally subside panion of the Cold Bath. into our own permanent flesh-light, which, as

Many analogies between the seasons of the we turn our back upon ourselves, after the year and the seasons of life, being natural, have fashion of some of his majesty's ministers, re. Had the gods made us poetical

, we should now

been a frequent theme of poetry in all countries. minds us of that line in Cowper descriptive of have poured forth a few exquisite illustrations the November Moon

of some that are very affecting and impressive. “Resplendent less, but of an ampler round.”

It has, however, often been felt by us, that not Like that of the eagle, our youth is renewed a few of those one meets with in the lamentawe feel strong as the horse in Homer-a di- tions of whey-faced sentimentalists, are false vine glow permeates our being, as if it were or fantastic, and do equal violence to all the the subdued spiritual essence of caloric. An seasons, both of the year and of life. These intense feeling of self-not self-love, mind gentry have been especially silly upon the siye, and the farthest state imaginable in this militude of Old Age to Winter. Winter, in wide world from selfishness-elevates us far external nature, is not the season of decay. up above the clouds, into the loftiest regions An old tree, for example, in the very dead of of the sunny blue, and we seem to breathe an winter, as it is figuratively called, though bare atmosphere, of which every glorious gulp is of leaves, is full of life. The sap, indeed, has inspiration. Despondency is thrown to the sunk down from his bole and branchesdogs. Despair appears in his true colours, a down into his toes or roots. But there it is, more grotesque idiot than Grimaldi, and we ready, in due time, to reascend. treat him with a guffaw. All ante-bath diffi- with an old man--the present company alculties seem now-what they really are-faci- ways excepted ;-his sap is not sunk down to liries of which we are by far too much elated his toes, but much of it is gone clean out of the to avail ourselves; dangers that used to ap- system-therefore, individual natural objects in pear appalling are felt now to be lulling se- Winter are not analogically emblematical of curities-obstacles, like mountains, lying in people stricken in years. Far less does the our way of life as we walked towards the tem- / Winter itself of the year, considered as a sea

Not so

66

are we.

son, resemble the old age of life considered as est, gentlest, mildest, meekest, modestest, softa season. To what peculiarities, pray, in the est, sweetest, and sunniest of all God's creacharacter and conduct of aged gentlemen in tures that steal along the face of the earth? So general, do rain, sleet, hail, frost, ice, snow, are we. So much for our similitude-a staring winds, blasts, storms, hurricanes, and occa- and striking one-to Spring. But were you sional thunder and lightning, bear analogy? to stop there, what an inadequate idea would We pause for a reply. Old men's heads, it is you have of our character! For only ask your true, are frequently white, though more fre- senses, and they will tell you that we are much quently bald, and their blood is not so hot as liker Summer. Is not Summer often infernally when they were springalds. But though there hot? So are we. Is not Summer sometimes be no great harm in likening a sprinkling of cool as its own cucumbers ? So are we. Does white hair on mine ancient's temples to the not summer love the shade? So do we. Is appearance of the surface of the earth, flat or not Summer, nevertheless, somewhat “too mountainous, after a slight fall of snow--and much i' the sun ?” So are we. Is not Sumindeed, in an impassioned state of mind, we mer famous for its thunder and lightning ? So feel a moral beauty in such poetical expres- are we. Is not summer, when he chooses, sion as

sorrow shedding on the head of still, silent, and serene as a sleeping seraph ? youth its untimely snows”-yet the natural And so too—when Christopher chooses-are propriety of such an image, so far from justi- not we? Though, with keen remorse we confying the assertion of a general analogy be- fess it, that, when suddenly wakened, we are tween Winter and Old Age, proves that the too often more like a fury or a fiend—and that analogies between them are in fact very few, completes the likeness; for all who know a and felt to be analogies at all, only when Scottish Summer, with one voice exclaimtouched upon very seldom, and very slightly, “So is he!" But our portrait is but halfand, for the most part, very vaguely--the truth drawn; you know but a moiety of our characbeing, that they scarcely exist at all in reality, ter. Is Autumn jovial ?-ask Thomson-So but have an existence given to them by the are we. Is Autumn melancholy ?-ask Alison power of creative passion, which often works and Gillespie-so are we. Is Autumn bright? like genius. Shakspeare knew this well-as--ask the woods and groves-so are he knew every thing else; and, accordingly, he Is Autumn rich ?-ask the whole world gives us Seven Ages of Life--not Four Sea- so are we. Does Autumn rejoice in the

But how finely does he sometimes, by yellow grain and the golden vintage, that, the mere use of the names of the Seasons of stored up in his great Magazine of Nathe Year, intensify to our imagination the ture, are lavishly thence dispensed to all that mental state to which they are for the moment hunger, and quench the thirst of the nations ? felt to be analogous ?

So do we. After that, no one can be so pur

and-bat-blind as not see that North is, in very “Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by the sun of York !" truth, Autumn's gracious self, rather than his

Likeness or Eidolon. But That will do. The feeling he wished to inspire, is inspired ; and the further analogical images “Lo, Winter comes to rule th' inverted year!" which follow add nothing to our feelings, though they show the strength and depth of his into So do we. whose lips they are put. A bungler would “Sullen and sad, with all his rising trainhave bored us with ever so many ramifications

Vapours, and clouds, and storms " of the same idea, on one of which, in our wea- So are we. The great author of the “Seariness, we might have wished him hanged by sons” says, that Winter and his train the neck till he was dead. We are an Old Man, and though single not

“ Exalt the soul to solemn thought,

And heavenly musing!" singular; yet, without vanity, we think ourselves entitled to say, that we are no more like So do we. And, “lest aught less great should Winter, in particular, than we are like Spring, stamp us mortal,” here we conclude the comSummer, or Autumn. The truth is, that we parison, dashed off in few lines by the hand of are much less like any one of the Seasons, a great master, and ask, Is not North, Winter? than we are like the whole Set. Is not Spring Thus, listener after our own heart! Thou feelsharp? So are we. Is not Spring snappish? Iest that we are imaged aright in all our atSo are we. Is not Spring boisterous ? So are tributes neither by Spring, nor Summer, nor

Is not Spring “beautiful exceedingly ?" Autumn, nor Winter; but that the character So are we.

Is not Spring capricious ? So are of Christopher is shadowed forth and reflected we. Is not Spring, at times, the gladdest, gay- by the Entire Year.

sons.

we.

A FEW WORDS ON THOMSON.

POETRY, one might imagine, must be full of and where he seems to us to have overshot his Snow-scenes. If so, they have almost all dis-mark, and to have ceased to be perfectly natusolved-melted away from our memory--as ral. Thusthe transiencies in nature do which they cold

“ Drooping, the ox ly pictured. Thomson's “Winter,” of course,

Stands cover'd o'er with snow, and then demands

The fruit of all his toil." we do not include in our obliviousness and from Cowper's “Task” we might quote many a The image of the ox is as good as possible. most picturesque Snow-piece. But have frost We see him, and could paint him in oils. But, and snow been done full justice to by them to our mind, the notion of his “ demanding the or any other of our poets? They have been fruit of all his toils”-to which we freely acwell spoken of by two-Southey and Coleridge knowledge the worthy animal was well en-of whose most poetical compositions respec- titled-sounds, as it is here expressed, rather tively, “Thalaba” and the “ Ancient Mariner," fantastical. Call it doubtful-for Jemmy was in some future volume we may dissert. Thom- never utterly in the wrong in any sentiment. son's genius does not so often delight us by Againexquisite minute touches in the description of

“The bleating kind nature as that of Cowper. It loves to paint Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth,

With looks of dumb despair." on a great scale, and to dash objects off sweepingly by bold strokes--such, indeed, as have The second line is perfect; but the Ettrick Shepalmost always distinguished the mighty mas- herd agreed with us one night at Ambrose's ters of the lyre and the rainbow. Cowper sets —that the third was not quite right. Sheep, nature before your eyes Thomson before your he agreed with us, do not deliver themselves imagination. Which do you prefer? Both. up to despair under any circumstances; and Be assured that both poets had pored night and here Thomson transferred what would have day upon her--in all her aspects and that been his own feeling in a corresponding conshe had revealed herself fully to both. But dition, to animals who dreadlessly follow their they, in their religion, elected different modes of instincts. Thomson redeems himself in what worship-and both were worthy of the mighty immediately succeedsmother. In one mood of mind we love Cowper

“ Then, sad dispersed, best, in another Thomson. Sometimes the Sea- Dig for the wither'd herb through heaps of snow." sons are almost a Task, and sometimes the Task For, as they disperse, they do look very sad is out of Season. There is delightful distinct- and no doubt are so; but had they been in ness in all the pictures of the Bard of Olney | despair, they would not so readily, and conglorious gloom or glimmer in most of those of stantly, and uniformly, and successfully, have the Bard of Ednam. Cowper paints trees-taken to the digging, but whole flocks had perThomson woods. Thomson paints, in a few

ished. wondrous lines, rivers from source to sea, like

You will not, we are confident, be angry the mighty Burrampooter-Cowper, in many with us for quoting a few lines that occur soon no very wondrous lines, brightens up one bend after, and which are a noble example of the of a stream, or awakens our fancy to the mur- sweeping style of description which, we said mur of some single waterfall. But a truce to above, characterizes the genius of this sublime antithesis-a deceptive style of criticism-and

poet: see how Thomson sings of Snow. Why, in

“From the bellowing east the following lines, as well as Christopher

In this dire season, oft the whirlwind's wing
North in his Winter Rhapsody-

Sweeps up the burden of whole wintry plains
At one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks,

Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills,
Put on their winter-robe of purest white.

The billowy tempest whelms; till upward urged, 'Tis brightness all; save where the new snow melts

The valley to a shining mountain swells, Along the mazy current.”

Tipp'd with a wreath high-curling in the sky." Nothing can be more vivid. 'Tis of the nature Well might the bard, with such a snow-storm of an ocular spectrum.

in his imagination, when telling the shepherds Here is a touch like one of Cowper's. Note to be kind to their helpless charge, address the beauty of the epithet“ brown,” where all them in a language which, in an ordinary that is motionless is white

mood, would have been bombast. “Shep

herds,” says he,“baffle the raging year!” How? Pour forth their brown inhabitants."

Why merely by filling their pens with food.

But the whirlwind was up-
That one word proves the poet. Does it not?
The entire description from which these two

“Far off its coming groan'd, sentences are selected by memory-a critic and the poet was inspired. Had he not been you may always trust to—is admirable; ex- so, he had not cried, “Baffle the raging year;" cept in one or two places where Thomson and if you be not so, you will think it a most seems to have striven to be strongly pathetic, absurd expression.

“The cherish'd fields

“The foodless wilds

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