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that his, but not he himself, shall reign over Britain, and that the man whom he is to fear shall come froin the valley and not from the mountain. Caswallon demands, by what rite he may propitiate Woden, and is ordered to send a virgin to join the Valkyr in heaven; the infatuated savage instantly devotes his own daughter. At this
• A hue like joy Overspread all her face and form, while slow Into the air she brightened, indistinct
Even now, and now invisible.'-p. 61. During their absence, the heralds of Hengist had summoned from all parts the brave and adventurous to join in the conquest of Britain. There is little to praise, and something to censure, in the catalogue which ensues; the united bost embarks, and the fleet anchors in the mouth of the Tyne in the beginning of spring.
Caswallon, it may be remembered, had devoted his daughter to death ; she had lost her mother in her infancy, and his cold neglect, and savage contempt of every thing feminine, had deprived her in effect of her father. He delighted only in the promise and prowess of young Malwyn, and left Lilian to absolute solitude, in a castle in the north. She is a beautiful and most attractive modification of Southey's Laila ; the passage that describes her is almost too ·long for quotation, but we are unwilling to shorten it.
she the while, from human tenderness
Hence all she knew of earthly hopes and fears,
The brooding dove, but murmur'd sounds of joy.'-p.70-72. The conception of this character is perhaps a little improbable, —but we confess that there is something in Lilian which disarmıs our criticism, and we think that Mr. Milman's readers for the most part will have the same feeling. In her deep retreat, Vortimer, the son of Vortigern, had by accident found, and conceived a romantic attachment for the romantic girl, which she warmly returned. We are not told why this mutual fame was not imparted in due form to the father ; but lovers are fond, it is said, of bye-roads to their happiness, and Vortimer's visits were stolen and concealed. It was now long since she had seen him--indeed he had been engaged among the foremost of the British in their attacks on Horsa and the Saxons, and had mainly contributed to the successes which had cooped the invaders up in the isle of Thanet. Lilian now expected him; and walking at fall of eve by the Eamont at the accustomed place of meeting-she hears the trampof a horse approaching, and pranks her dark brown tresses' in the flowing stream to meet his eyes. Instead of Vortimer a much less agreeable object appears before her, her stern and unnatural father, who seizing her roughly, and placing her on his steed, departs in awful silence. Thus far the story is as well told, as conceived; but as our readers will have already observed, Mr. Milman too commonly fails, when his personages begin to speak. It is rather singular, that while he speaks of them, he puts himself, with great truth and force, into their situations, but when they speak for themselves, they uniformly almost put themselves into his; and though nature would require but the fewest, the simplest, the most solemn words to utter their deep distress, or their painful anxiety, they run wild in a display of all bis invention and fertility. Lilian, as her father bears her off, faintly demands whither he is carrying her, and is sternly answered, “To death.' A situation more overpowering to a young female like. Lilian can scarcely be conceived, and the reader, who knows the horrid vow of Caswallon, and his relentless nature, is fully prepared to participate in her agony. Such feelings will be
somewhat relieved by a reply so full of conceit, and repugnant tu
· Death, father, death is comfortless and cold!
Mourn round her.'-p.77.
These lines are followed by others of great beauty: she is borne to a deep and black valley nearly at the well-head of the stream by which she had been sitting; in the recesses around are dimly seen the countenances of dark and cruel men in armour; she hears that her father himself is to be the priest, and to plunge her into the abyss. Her inarticulate prayers for mercy, her tears, her white arms clinging round her father's neck, while in her desperate agony she forgets what an unnatural stranger he is to her; his struggles, his brief delay, and proud resolution; all these are indeed perfectly and painfully drawn. Severe criticism might perhaps object, that there was something almost too pretty in the following lines, but we think that even their prettiness accords well with such a mere fairy-like creation of the fancy as Lilian herself is.
• A sound is in the silent night abroad,
And look'd up lovely to the gazing moon.'-p. 80.
drags it to the shore. His feelings are well described while he sits with the body in his arms, haunted by the miserable presentiment that it is the body of Lilian; and the dread with which he shrinks from the near approach of light after so devoutly desiring it, praying to be relieved from doubt while it was dark, and shuddering at the certainty when the morning was breaking, is very natural.
From Vortimer and Lilian the poet returns to the Saxon feet, and rapidly traces the voyage down the eastern coast to the Isle of Thanet. On the opposite shores of Kent were encamped the Britons under Samor, pining already for the soft luxuries of peace, and sustained only by the example and spirit of their leader. The first measure of the wily Hengist is an offer to retire from the island on permission to sell Kent for a sum of money, which offer, in spite of a noble and indignant harangue from Samor, the Britons accept, and agree to ratify the compact at a solemn festival. This was that deadly feast at Stonehenge, and Mr. Milman prepares our minds for it by a very spirited imitation of the closing lines of the first book of the Georgics, with which every scholar is familiar. We lament that our limits forbid our transferring it entire to these
pages, The festival on the plains of Sarum is ushered in with becoming splendour, and cheerfulness of poetry, which contrasts very well with the tremendous bodings that closed the last book.
The laughing skies
Soft slumber in the war-steed's drooping mane.'-p. 107. With the same brilliancy Mr. Milman paints the long procession, the gorgeous feast, and the eminent among the nobility and warriors of both nations who graced it; he brings to notice, we think, with great happiness, the thoughtless exultation of a
whole people, the entire forgetfulness of past ills, and past causes of hatred, the greedy welcome given to the returning peace. The giddy curiosity too of the females and children form no uninteresting feature in this busy picture. So far all the colours are glowing and gay: they become more sombre as the poet paints the fall of evening, the spectators returning from the feast in long lines, and small parties recounting the pleasures of the day; the picture darkens as we see women watching late for their lords return, children worn out with waiting and composed to rest, maidens inwardly chiding the delay of their lovers; night falls, and one long and lonely blast of a single horn is heard from the plain; the weary women start at the signal of the return, forms are seen in the gloom entering the gates, they preserve a dismal silence; each wife is looking for her husband, each maid for her lover, but they see none but Saxons-Saxons still; and at last their bloody knives uplifted reveal the whole dreadful secret. Here the poet judiciously breaks off-the plunder, the murder, the rape that ensued would have been a common-place consummation to such a picture
-- he has done more wisely; for all the gorgeousness of the feast, the richness of music, the sumptuousness of habiliments, the splendour of the mid-day sun, the bands of bright and manly forms assembled; for all the glowing pride of the day, and all the tender thoughts of the evening, he exhibits to us in the heavy darkness of midnight, "On the wide plain one lonely man.
Bears token of rude strife.'-p. 110. Samor was that sole survivor-stunned and bewildered for the moment by the harrowing scene which he had so miraculously passed unhurt. Within the mysterious ring of Stonehenge he lies down and collects his thoughts; breathing his soul in prayer he solemnly devotes himself to the cause of his country, and the waging of interininable war against the Saxops. His heart then turns to his wife and family, and he hurries homeward-here too the hand of fate was heavy on him; he sees the White Horse banner floating on the walls of the Bright City--his palace plundered, his wife and children all gone; and from a dying daughter he learns the whole dismal tragedy. · Mr. Milman, as usual, has sunk much below himself in the unreasonable speech of this expiring child; but he rises