Page images

quently referred, disapproves, as "too earthly, and '100 familiar " I own that this has always been my own opinion of this, and of a few other passages in Paradise Lost, from which,—so exquisitely is it elaborated, though in so short a time of composition - Paradise Regained is entirely free. How ethereal and supernatural are the two feasts in this poem ; the angelic feast provided for Jesus in the passage above cited,--and the supernatural least provided by Satan to lempt Jesus in the wilderness,+ which we shall hereafter have occasion to present, as an intellectual least for the entertainment of our readers !

Although, however, it is scarcely possible to pass without remark such a poble strain of portic inspiration, as the one above cited, I have quoted it for another purpose,-namely, to illustrate my meaning in the remarks, with which it was introduced, upon the different principles of composition to be distinguished in the two great poems of our Milton. The fall of Sutan in ibis splendid pas.. sage is, as I have already remarked, in the style and spirit of Pae radise Lost. It bears a strong resemblance to Satan's Fall from Heaven in that sublime poem.

It describes " high action.” The style therefore rises, and becomes animated, copious, and sublime. Whereas two lines are enough for the expression of the heavenly mind, and to depict the self-sustained figure and attitude of the unruffled Jesus. How different the characters and the conduct of the iwo ! How nobly are they depicted by the master-hand of the poet! The spirit of Jesus, filly and beautifully expressed by the erect posture in such a perilous situation, is as calm as his own heaven. The spirit of Satan is mole gloomy and disturbed than “ the tossing of those fiery waves,"—where

“ He with his horrid crew
Lay vanquisbed, rolling in the fiery gulph;


With floods and whirlwinds, and tempestuous fire.”

Par : Lost B. 1. 51, 76. of the principle on which the poem of Paradise Regained is composed, and inny which it is to be distinguished from Paradise Losi, I need not add more. It is perfectly suited to the subject, which is that of silent and sacred contemplation. The style is as suitable, and as per lecl as we can imagine it lo be formed. If the reader cannot tiid deligbe and instruction in this last etort of our mighly poel, the deleci, he may l'est assured, esists in his own mind, not in the wosk of his anthor.

But is the Poetry, even in the most popular sense of that word, more dull, less ethereal, and less perieci than that of Paradise Lost? So far as the subject, in any part of it, will admit of amplification,

• Par. Lost, B, ij. 388. See Sir Egerton Brydges nute vol. 2. p. 278. I earnestly recommend this beautiful and cheap Eation, the best yet publish. sd--of Milion's Poetical Works in 6 vol: to be placed in the Colombo-Lin brary, and other public Libraries of the Island.

+ Par. Regd. B. ii. 337-377.

I have shewn by the splendid passage abore cited, the Poet's wing is as strong as ever. He can at will soar into the empyrean, or move with grace and beauty in the lower regions of the air. I will, however, qnole some select passages to set forth, to the con. riction of the most prosaic reader, the varied beauty of this most exquisite Puem, which is second only 10 Paradise Lost. Indeed in none of his works, according to their size, are there to be found more numerous specimens of the different species of moral, didactic, descriptive, and imaginative poetry, than in the neglected poem of Paradise Regained.

But my present remarks have already extended to such a length, that I must deler this pleasing task to a future number. I shall there select some of the more striking passages,--at least those which I consider ihe most perfect; for the more striking are by no means always the most perfect. But Milton has vone of the false glare and glitter of ordinary writers; and the plainest passages are often the most ethereal and sublime in thougbi, and as perfect iy dice tion. Those passages, in connection whh what I have already cited, will show thai his mind had lost none of its power, nor his imagination one ray of its brigbiness, by years and by sorrows. But, as it bas been justly remarked of this great Poet, --" In every des, cription Milton has seized the most picturesque features, and found the most expressive and poetieal words for it. On the mirror of his mind all' creation was delineated in the clearest and most brile liant forms and colours; and he has reflected ihese with such has mony and enchantment of language, as bas never been equalled."



(Written in 1829.)
“Milton ! Thou should'st be living at this hour!" *
But not thy huge two-handed sword to wield,
And smite thine enemies. Methinks a shield
Should shade a great man's wrath, and veil the power,
That stirs the noble, but which is the dower
Of meaner bosoms; while the ample field
Of virtue by deep Quietness is held.
There Wisdom dwells--there is the Muses' bower
There Contemplation folds her silent wings-
And Beauty breathes around her odorous breath;
And Fancy to the heavenly banquet brings
Her loveliest flowers, and evines her choicest preath :
And w'er the whole Imagination Rings
A light that dares the darkest shades of death. B.

• Wordsworth.

english Anthology,



To the silent shadowy Past,
Another year has fleeted fast ;
Another year with all its train
Of mingled p!easure joy and pain.

Another year,
That may bave mark d the anguish'd flow
Of many a flood of bitter woe!

of hope and fear.
And eyes that erst with rapture beam'd,
Within this year, niay oft have stream'd

The bittei tear. And hearts that in its earlier hours Were wreathed by Faney's brightest flow'rs, May now be sear.

And joy may sparkle in the eye,
. That laie was charged with agony.
The promised joy to more deferr’d,
And lovely lips whose lightest word

With Music thrill'd.
Snch lips as chained the gather'd throng,
With melody and sweetest song;

And ever fill'd
The hearer's heart with strange desires,
And kindled passion's quenchless fires,

May now be stillid.
The deeted year mid wild distress,
And summer days of happiness,
Is now fulfill'd.

The heavy hours thai seem'd to cling,
With laggard pace and leaden wing,
Hlave now evanished like a dream,
Or ripple in the faithless stream.

Another year
Before the forvid fancy lies,
With all its bidden mysteries,

To blight and cheer;
And Hope unfolds her pinions light,
And pictures scenes and moments bright,

In fast career.
And may the future realize
The cherish'd visions ibat we prize!
To each most dear.



How often like a brilliant gem unsought,
Or meteor Aashing bright throuyb mounless skies;
Thy image and thy worih, sweet maid, are brought
In all their loveliness before mine eyes;
And with that vision deep emotions rise 1,
From memory's mine of fondly treasured thought,
Sweet as the perfuine from the moss rose shed,
Which lingers on, although the flower be dead !
Alone-in crowds—through joy or witbering pain,
My soul still turns to thee, its guiding star;
The sigb that heaves this aching heart is vain
Thou can'st not hear it brenthe-thou art alar
Dearest !--I would not have its echo mar
Thy bosom's peace-beiween us the deep main
Rolls darkly onward, with a sullen war,
Which seems to say-I we'er may meet thee mure!
I loved thee once, when in my bounding heart
Hope's joyous fount was gushing wild and warm.
That vision from my soul shall ne'er depart
I love thee now --in darkness and in storm,
As fondly as when first I saw thy forın;
And tho' relentless fate doth bid us part,
Remembrance turns to thee withi bopeless will,
'Mid sorrow and despair-I love thee still!
Tho' I no more behold those star like

That sparkle with a mild, a chastened beam,
Itke that which hangs in deep Italian skies,
Or moonlight glancing on a summer stream ;
Thou art my morning thought-my.midnight dream.
To thee my ever waking fancy flies,
And in its fight methinks, I press thy hand,

And clasp those charms, that I may ne'er command ! With the wild waves of destiny to cope "Twere useless now—these aching eyes' can see. On the borizon, the last gleam of hope, Receding into sbade-forsaking meNought now remains, save memory of thee! And if some bright spot to my view should ope, Too soon, alas ! it sinks away from sight. And on my heart descends the veil of endless night! Whate'cr


lot-Oh, may'st thou never know
A pang like that which rends this bosom now,
And never may the murky cloud of woe,
Dim thy bright eye, or stain thy polish'd brow.
Once more, farewell ! oh take


Jatest. vow The last that from this loving heart shall flow; Or bright or dark, my future fate may be, Through weal or wotbis heart musi throb for thee !

B. G.


Ob ! think of me when absent,

And let not distance cast A coldness o'er thy mem'ry,

Or a shadow o'er the past. But every day, each morrow,

Where'er thy home may be; In gladness, or in sorrow,

Oh! think; still tbink of me.

And should's: thou see a stranger

Who like myself doth roam, Far, far away from kindred,

And his dear, his native home ;
Where'er thou tbüs dost meet him,

Oh, let the wand'rer see
How kindly thou canst greet him

For think, Oh ! think of me.

And when the Sabbath calls thor

Unto the House of Prayer, Still let my mem'ry mingle

With thy meditations there. Then, when in solemn silence

All meekly bow the knee Before their great Creator,

Oh! breathe a Prayer for mo.

And when, the old year waning,

Thou giv'st an hour to mirth, With friends assembled round thee

To gree: the New Year's birth. Then, when the rich wine sparkles,

And all is mirth and glee, With toast on toast succeeding, Fill, fill one glass to me.

ED, C. M.

« PreviousContinue »