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As lightly as a graceful bird would o'er the ocean dip,
Would scarcely have its trampling heard above that deafening din.
Oh! the roar of that stupendous forge was louder than the blast
And yet in measured time each stroke fell on the heated bar,
And now, amidst those workmen grim, the venturous pilgrim stands,
"How now," he cries, "pert urchin ?-my child, what brings thee here?"
"Borne on the breath of whispering winds, and of the murmuring waves, "I heard a tale of treasures kept within my father's caves: "I heard of shields of matchless proof, like that to Pluto given, "I heard of javelins, by whose power rocks are asunder riven; "I heard of sceptres powerful as that vast trident wrought "For Neptune on his ocean-throne; and here I have been taught, "Oh! my dread father, that ye forge the thunderbolts of Jove: "I want to prove against them all a weapon framed by Love."
In mute astonishment all gazed on the intruder bold,
And the wily marksman danced for glee, and clapped his dimpled hands.
So shattered he the sceptre-so shattered he the spear,
"That never armour may be forged invincible to Love.
"Go tell thy beauteous mother of the conquests of thy dart, "And pray that she will heal its wounds, once planted in my heart; "For well thou know'st I left the world her beauty doth adorn, "To shun the sting of darts like these, barbed by her ruthless scorn!" VOL. XXV.-No. 145.
No silken slave of luxury-no pampered child of pride-
No pettish airs-no regal frowns disturb her brow serene,
Tall was her graceful form-her limbs were cast in beauty's mould,
For never foot as light as her's flew o'er the flowery fields.
The heavy ears of ripening wheat, as o'er she passed elate,
Bent not so much beneath her feet as by their own rich weight;
The waters, as o'er lake and stream she skimmed with graceful bound,
Even as the bee and butterfly perch lightly on the bough,
Ah, had she ever thus been left to flourish in the wild,
But she is decked in royal robes, and throned, and honoured now,
HYMN TO MORS.†
Daughter of endless Night!
In any imaged form of flesh arrayed;
We build a temple here,
But in what shape shall we thy power enshrine?
What image shall we rear,
That our bowed hearts may venerate as thine?
Queen of the Volsci, and celebrated for the speed and lightness of her foot. She was reared in the woods, and dedicated to Diana, but afterwards ascended the throne, and, after engaging in several successful battles, was slain by a soldier named Aruns who, in revenge, was killed by Diana.
†The ancient goddess of death.
Through every day and hour
Thine acts are manifest-thy work is done;
Alike 'midst winter storm or summer sun.
Still from thy viewless hand shoots many a dart;
One of her stars to show us what thou art.
The goddess of the dawn
Sheds her bright smile upon the eastern hills,
The wakeful shepherds watch by peaceful rills.
Leaves her soft breath upon the balmy wind,
Looks laughing forth upon the busy hind.
The huntress goddess flies
With buskined feet along the mountain's breast,
Of the tired hunter from his midnight rest.
A power more dread, more universal sway,
Hauntest all living things by night and day.
We look for thee in vain,
In the dim twilight, where all shadows rise,
Or darkly hovering between earth and skies;
Of the thick forests when the moon is low;
All things, thy deeds are all of thee we know.
LITERARY censors have long taken a
"Not beggar's brat, on bulk begot,
To rise in church, or law, or state,
And, among the multitude of examples for ever in their mouths, of penury pursuing the footsteps, and disappointment corroding the minds of men of poetic genius, there is no name oftener dragged up, with all its want, dreadful accompaniments of drunkenness, and self-torture, than that of Robert Burns.
Swift, whose bitter words we have quoted, had really no belief in what he wrote, beyond that sort of scornful credit which a witty man will give to the grotesque creations of his own humour. He knew, as well as any man, the privileges and rewards of the poet; but there are conventional subjects of affected bitterness among there are of the satirists, just as
affected admiration among the panegy-
freshest, and perhaps the most enduring, of all the intellectual wreaths yet won for her by her children.
Men, much too readily, adopt as maxims the sententious epigrams of wit; and where "Scot," for a whole century, had been made the rhyme and catch-word of every thing that was tersely sarcastic, pungent, and ridiculous, as well as of much that was admirably provocative of contempt and dislike it speaks more wonderfully than perhaps any other instance of the power of song, since fabulous times, that, mainly through the instrumentality of that literary genius evoked by Burns, a single half-century should have seen such feelings totally dispelled, and their places occupied by a sincere esteem and generous admiration. We who, in Ireland, occasionally smart under the petulance of our small metropolitan wits, so powerless in comparison with the satirists of the reigns of Anne and the First and Second Georges, ought to draw a lesson of patience and courageous hope from the example. Our Poet has not yet arisen. Many eyes, and many eager, affectionate hearts were once turned to Moore, in the hope that, at last, the hour had come, and the man; but taste sickened, and freedom dropt a tear, when we saw the ingenuous muse of the Melodies apprentice himself to the vile arts of a lying and spiteful theology. The noble utterance was stopped, and the national hope crushed back to its sources. But let us sing "Craigstown's growing," and cherish our hope in the language of our encouragers :—
soul, in allaying the splenetic heats of faction, and even in composing the bitter objurgations of theology. Where almost an angel from heaven would be disregarded in the obloquy and clamour of party or sectarian warfare, if a true poet arise, and speak according to his mission, he will undoubtedly be heard-even, as in old times, the bard could put an end to the battles of the Gauls, by shaking his chain of silence between the hosts. That such a man will some day arise among us, as Burns, sixty years since, arose among the Scotch-or as Beranger, in our own generation, has arisen among the Parisians-it is as reasonable, as it is consolatory and cheering, to expect; for, perhaps, no where in the world have so great a multitude of men, at any one time, been set thinking and striving to express great thoughts, as among ourselves, during the very year in which we write; and of the various manifestations of poetic genius with which the past exciting period has been rife, those to which alone the public admiration has fully responded, have been such as expressed generous and noble sentiments; while any pieces affecting the satirical and denunciatory vein so much in vogue a century ago, have met with no commendation beyond the suspicious applauses of the devotees. In London, on the contrary, a frivolous and illconditioned sort of badinage has sprung into popularity, hardly energetic enough to be deemed satire, yet, too petulant to pass for raillery-a sure sign of decaying taste, and of an unhealthy morality.
The Scotch, for much of the severity which they experienced at the hands of the wits of Queen Anne's and the two succeeding reigns, had mainly to thank the offensive extravagancies of their clergy. The "Tale of a Tub" was written, as much for the ridicule of Jack, as for the censure of Peter; and had it not been for the arrogant pretensions of the Presbyterians in the latter parliaments of Anne, we, probably, would never have heard of the loaf forced down Martin's throat, in lieu of a shoulder of mutton-or of the supernumerary tags to my Lord Peter's small-clothes. In
the history of John Bull, the same feeling breaks out in the derogatory character of Peg, and in Jack's antics,
insanity, and suicide-while throughout his verse satires, Swift never misses an opportunity of avenging his polemical quarrel on the beggarliness, the dirtiness, and the selfishness of the Scotch people.
Johnson, a man of too candid a magnanimity to exaggerate in any thing, did not affect to conceal, speaking of their pretensions to learning, an opinion, perhaps more damaging, in consequence of its measured impartiality, than the severest sarcasms of those who denied the obnoxious race all credit for either civility or knowledge. Men bred there," says he, speaking of their universities, "cannot be expected to be often decorated with the splendours of ornamental erudition; but they obtain a mediocrity of knowledge, between learning and ignorance, not inadequate to the purposes of common life, which is very widely diffused among them, and which, countenanced in general by a combination so invidious that their friends cannot defend it, and actuated in particulars by a spirit of enterprise so vigorous that their enemies are constrained to praise it, enables them to find, or make their way to employment, riches, and distinction."
Wilkes's hostility to the administration of Lord Bute, not only revived in the pages of the anomalously-named North Briton, the old libels of the time of Elizabeth, but let loose on the devoted countrymen of the Tory premier the whole ferocious energy of Churchill, whose mind had so thoroughly contracted the habits of the bully, that he never assails an enemy of his own with half the fury that possesses him when espousing the personal or political quarrels of his friend. Nothing but the exhaustion of a desolating war could have kept the Scotch quiet, under the sting of Churchill's Prophecy of Famine: nothing but the utmost brutality could have dictated so cruel a libel. Yet, the introductory part of it is little worse than some of Swift's satirical pictures of the coarseness and brutishness of his own poor countrymen. May the conclusion yet be as applicable to us, as heaven, changing the words of the mocker into unexpected reality, has actually made it to those whose poverty and feebleness it was designed to aggravate!