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which he is afraid to abandon himself. There is much strength, in short, and some impetuous feeling in this poem-but very little softness; some pity for mankind--but very little affection and no enthusiasm in the cause of any living men, or admiration of their talents or virtues. The author's inspiration does not appear to have brought him any beatific visions, nor to have peopled his fancy with any forms of loveliness; and tough his lays are ofien both loud and lofty, they neither “ lap us in Ely

sium,'nor give us any idea that it was in Elysium that they were framed.

The descriptions are often exceedingly good ; and the diction, though unequal and frequently faulty, has on the whole a freedom, copiousness and vigour, which we are not sure that we could match in any cotemporary poet. Scott alone, we think, possesses a style equally strong and natural; but Scott's is more made up of imitations, and indeed is frequently a mere cento of other writers-while Lord Byron's has often a nervous simplicity and manly freshness which reminds us of Dryden, and an occasional force and compression, in some of the smaller pieces especially, which afford no unfavourable resemblance of Crabbc.

The versification is in the stanza of Spencer; and none of all the imitators of that venerable bard have availed themselves znore extensively of the great range of tones and manners in which his example entitles them to indulge. Lord Byron has accordingly given us descriptions in all their extremes;—sonetimes compressing into one stanza the whole characteristic features of a country, and sometimes expanding into twenty the details of a familiar transaction ;-conde-cending, for pages together, to expatiate in minute and ludicrous representations, --and mingling long apostrophes, execrations, and the expression of personal emotion, with the miscellaneous picture which it is his main business to trace on the imagination of his readers. Nut satisfied cven with this license of variety, he has passed at will, and entirely, from the style of Spencer, to that of his own age, and interningkad various lyrical pieces with the solemn stanza of his general measure.

The poem begins with an account of Childe Harold's early profligacy, and the joyless riot in which he wasted his youthful days. - At last,

• Worse than adversity the Childe befall;

Ile tölt the fullness of satiety :

Then loathod he in his native land to dwell.' So he sets sail for Lisbon; and anuses himself on the way with inditing a sort of farewell ballad to his native country, in which there are some strong and characteristic stanzas. The

view of Lisbon, and the Portuguese landscape, is given with con, siderable spirit ;--the marking features of the latter are well summed up in the following lines.

• The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown'd,
The cork trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep,
The mountain moss by scorching skies imbrown'd,
The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must weep,
The tender azure of the unruffled deep,
The orange tints that gild the greenest bough,
The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,

The vine on high, the willow branch below,
Mix'd in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.' p. 17.

There is then a digression, half in the style of invective and half of derision, on the Convention of Cintra; after which the Childe proceeds for Spain. The description of the upland frontier by which he enters, is striking and vigorous.

More bleak to view the hills at length recede,
And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend :
Immense horizon-bounded plains succeed !
Far as the eye discerns, withouten end,
Spain's realms appear whereop her shepherds tend
Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader knows.
Now must the pastor's arm his lambs defend :

For Spain is compass'd by unyielding foes,
And all must shield their all, or share subjection's woes.' p. 23.

After this comes a spirited invocation to the genius of Spain, and her ancient idol of Chivalry; followed by a rapid view of her present state of devastation ; which concludes with a bold personification of Battle.

‘Lo! where the giant on the mountain stands,
His blood-red tresses deep'ning in the sun,
With death-shot glowing in his fiery hands,
And eye that scorcheth all it glares upon.' p. 27.

The following passage affords a good specimen of the force of Lord Byron's style; as well as of that singular turn of sentiment which we have doubted whether to rank among the defects or the attractions of this performance.

• Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice ;
Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high ;
Three gaudy standards fout the pale blue skies ;
The shouts are, France, Spain, Albion, Victory!
The foe, the victin, and the fond ally
That fights for all, but ever fights in vain,
Are met--as if at home they could not die

To feed the crow on Talavera's plain,
And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain.
VOL. XIX, NO. 38.


There fret ;

There shall they rot-Ambition's honour'd fools!
Yes honour decks the turf that wraps their clay!
Vain sophistry !-In these behold the tools,
The broken tools, that tyrants cast away
By myriads, when they dare to pave their way
With human hearts--to what?-a dream alone, &c.
Enough of Battle's minions ! let them play
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame;
Fame, that will scarce reanimate their clay,
Though thousands fall to deck some single name.
In sooth 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim
Who strike, blest hirelings ! for their country's good,
And die, that living might have prov'd her shame;

Perished perchance in some domestic feud,
Or in a narrower sphere wild rapine's path pursu'd.' p. 28-30.
The following is in a more relenting mood.

* Not so the rustic—with his trembling mate
He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,
Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,
Blasted below the dun hot breath of war.
No more beneath soft eve's consenting star
Fandango twirls his jocund castanet :
Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,

Not in the toils of glory would ye
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and man be happy yet !' p. 31.

After this, there is a transition to the maid of Saragoza, and a rapturous encomium on the beauty of the Spanish women; in the very middle of which, the author, who wrote this part of his work in Greece, happens to lift up his eyes to the celebrated peak of Parnassus--and immediately, and without the slightest warning, bursts out into the following rapturous invocation, which is unquestionably among the most spirited passages of the poem. • Oh, thou Parnassus ! whom I now survey,

Not in the phrenzy of a dreamer's eye,
Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,
But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky
In the wild pomp of mountain majesty!
What marvel if I thus essay to sing ?
The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by

Would gladly woo thine echoes with his string,
Though from thy heights no more one Muse will wave her wing.

Oft have I dream'd of thee! whose glorious name
Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore ;
And now I view thee, 'tis, alas ! with shame
That I in feeblest accents must adore.


When I recount thy worshippers of yore
I tremble, and can only bend the knee ;
Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,

But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy
In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee !

Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot,
And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave !
Some gentle Spirit still pervades the spot,

Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious Wave.' p. 38-39.

The author then finds his way back to his subject; and gives us an animated picture of the loose and wanton gayeties of Cadiz, and the divertisements of her Sabbath, as contrasted with the sober enjoyments of a London Sunday. This introduces a very long and minute description of a bull-fight, which is executed, however, with great spirit and dignity, and then there is a short return upon Childe Harold's gloom and misery, which he explains in a few energetic stanzas addressed To Inez.' They exemplify that strength of writing and power of versification with which we were so much struck in some of Mr Crabbe's smaller pieces, and seem to us to give a very true and touching view of the misery that frequently arises in a soul surfeited with enjoyment.

• Nay, smile not at my sullen brow,

Alas ! I cannot smile again ;
Yet heaven avert that ever thou

Should'st weep, and haply weep in vain.
It is not love, it is not hate,

Nor low ambition's honours lost,
That bids me loathe my present state,

And fly from all I priz'd the most.
It is that weariness which springs

From all I meet, or hear, or see :
To me no pleasure beauty brings;

Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom

The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore ;
That will not look beyond the tomb,

But cannot hope for rest before. There are more of those verses; but we cannot now make room for them. The canto ends with a view of the atrocities of the French ; the determined valour of the Spanish peasantry; and some reflections on the extraordinary condition of that people,

Where all are noble, save Nobility ;
None hug a conqueror's chain, save fallen Chivalry!'

Hh 2

p. 50-52.

• They

They fight for freedom who were never free;
A kingless people for a nerveless state,
The vassals combat when their chieftains flee,

True to the veriest slaves of Treachery.' The second canto conducts us to Greece and Albania; and opens with a solemn address to Athens—which leads again to those gloomy and uncomfortable thoughts which seem but too familiar to the mind of the author. • Ancient of days ! august Athena! where,

Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
Gone---glimmering through the dream of things that were.
First in the race that led to glory's goal,
They won, and pass'd away---is this the whole ?
A school-boy's tale, the wonder of an hour !
Son of the morning, rise ! approach you here !
Come---but molest not yon defenceless urn:
Look on this spot---a nation's sepulchre !
Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
Even gods must yield---religions take their turn :
'Twas Jove's.--'tis Mahomet’s---and other creeds
Will rise with other years, till man shall learn

Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds ;
Poor child of doubt and death, whose hope is built on reeds.

Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heaven---
Is't not enough, unhappy thing ! to know
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou would'st be again, and go,
Thou know'st not, reck'st not to what region, so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?

Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?' &c. p. 62-63. The same train of contemplation is pursued through several stanzas: one of which consists of the following moralization on a skull which he gathers from the ruins-and appears to us to be written with great force and originality.

• Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,

Its chambers desolate, and portals foul :
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul :
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit,
And Passion's host, that never brook'd control:

Can all, saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?' p. 64.
There is then a most furious and unmeasured invective or
Lord Elgin, for his spoliation of the fallen city; and when this
is exhausted, we are called upon to accompany Harold in his

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