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As lightly as a graceful bird would o'er the ocean dip,
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,
“ 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,
So shattered he the sceptre-so shattered he the spear, And cleft the very thunderbolts, 'till the gazers thrilled with fear; Then spake again his sire—“ My boy, no farther need we prove “ 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-
Tall was her graceful form_her limbs were cast in beauty's mould,
But she is decked in royal robes, and throned, and honoured now,
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 wbo, in revenge, was killed by Diana.
† Tho ancient goddess of death.
Through every day and hour
Earth thrills beneath thy power,
Still is thy message sent-
Nor hath thy mother lent
The goddess of the dawn
Whilst on the grassy lawn
The goddess of the flowers
Or, from the rosy bowers,
The huntress goddess flies
Startling the heavy eyes
But thou, who dost possess
All vague and bodiless,
We look for thee in vain,
Upon the spacious plain,
Or 'midst the leafy shades
But whilst thy rule pervades
To other deities
But thou hast sacrifice
Well, goddess, might'st thou laugh
Who life's best springs dost quaff,
Strange thoughts will sometimes steal Into our bosoms when we think of thee;
Strange doubts we might reveal,
What if thou only art
But a dependent part
What if from some deep source
Events in every course,
Pause, oh! presumptuous thought;
Bow, as thou hast been taught, Before th' unseen, though mighty, child of Night!
LITERARY censors have long taken a distempered pleasure in trying to terrify our intellectual youth from the pursuit of poetry. Not the most hapless children of the wretched, say they— “ Not beggar's brat, on bulk begot, Nor offspring of a pedlar Scot, Nor boys brought up to cleaning shoes, The spawn of bridewell, or the stews,Are so disqualified by fate, To rise in church, or law, or state, As he, whom Phæbus, in his ire, Hath blasted with poetic fire."
freshest, and perhaps the most endur. ing, 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 ridicu. lous, 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 :“Oh, Lady Mary Anne looked o'er the
castle wa', She saw three bonny boys playing at
the ba', And the youngest, he was the flower
o' them a'. 0! my bonny laddie's young, but he's
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 dreadful accompaniments of want, 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 inan 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 the satirists, just as there are of affected admiration among rists; and the lot of the poet has been a theme for forced pity ever since the appetite for scurrility raised satire to a permanent place in literature. Swift's lines, of course, have no reference to Burns, who, probably, was not born at the time of their composition ; but they carry on their front the mark of that contempt and hatred for Scotland and the Scottish people, which, just before the generation of Burns, flowed in a torrent of obloquy from so many of the ablest pens of the age-and out of which, under God, it was Robert Burns' sincere and generous eloquence, speaking in melodious strains of love, and hope, and courage, that first raised his drooping country, and in the proud position which she has ever since maintained, still crowns her with the
God, to the contemplative man, gives few more signal encouragements to virtue, than the power with which he has invested the words of the poet, speaking the sincere utterances of the
soul, in allaying the splenetic heats of insanity, and suicide-while through. faction, and even in composing the out his verse satires, Swift never misses bitter objurgations of theology. Where an opportunity of avenging his polemialmost an angel from heaven would be cal quarrel on the beggarliness, the disregarded in the obloquy and cia- dirtiness, and the selfishness of the mour of party or sectarian warfare,
Scotch people. if a true poet arise, and speak accord- Johnson, a man of too candid a ing to his mission, he will undoubtedly magnanimity to exaggerate in any be heard-even, as in old times, the thing, did not affect to conceal, speakbard could put an end to the battles ing of their pretensions to learning, of the Gauls, by shaking his chain of an opinion, perhaps more damaging, silence between the hosts. That such in consequence of its measured impara man will some day arise among us, tiality, than the severest sarcasms of as Burns, sixty years since, arose those who denied the obnoxious race among the Scotch—or as Beranger, all credit for either civility or knowin our own generation, has arisen ledge. “ Men bred there," says he, among the Parisians—it is as reason- speaking of their universities, “cannot able, as it is.consolatory and cheering, be expected to be often decorated with to expect ; for, perhaps, no where in the splendours of ornamental erudition; the world have so great a multitude of but they obtain a mediocrity of know. men, at any one time, been set think- ledge, between learning and ignorance, ing and striving to express great not inadequate to the purposes of comthoughts, as among ourselves, during mon life, which is very widely diffused the very year in which we write; and among i hem, and which, countenanced of the various manifestations of poetic in general by a combination so invigenius with which the past exciting dious that their friends cannot defend period has been rife, those to which it, and actuated in particulars by a alone the public admiration has fully spirit of enterprise so vigorous that responded, have been such as expressed their enemies are constrained to praise generous and noble sentiments; while it, enables them to find, or make their any pieces affecting the satirical and
way to employment, riches, and disdenunciatory vein so much in vogue a tinction." century ago, have met with no com, Wilkes's hostility to the administramendation beyond the suspicious ap- tio. of Lord Bute, not only revived plauses of the devotees. In London, in the pages of the anomalously-named on the contrary, a frivolous and ill. North Briton, the old libels of the conditioned sort of badinage has sprung time of Elizabeth, but let loose on the into popularity, hardly energetic devoted countrymen of the Tory preenough to be deemed satire, yet, too mier the whole ferocious energy of petulant to pass for raillery-a sure Churchill, whose mind had so tho. sign of decaying taste, and of an un- roughly contracted the habits of the healthy morality;
bully, that he never assails an enemy The Scotch, for much of the seve- of his own with half the fury that rity which they experienced at the possesses him when espousing the perhands of the wits of Queen Anne's sonal or political quarrels of his friend. and the two succeeding reigns, had Nothing but the exhaustion of a deso. mainly to thank the offensive extrava. lating war could have kept the Scotch gancies of their clergy. The “ Tale quiet, under the sting of Churchill's of a Tub” was written, as much for the Prophecy of Famine: nothing but the ridicule of Jack, as for the censure utmost brutality could have dictated of Peter; and had it not been for the so cruel a libel. Yet, the introducarrogant pretensions of the Presbyte- tory part of it is little worse than rians in the latter parliaments of Anne, some of Swift's satirical pictures of we, probably, would never have heard the coarseness and brutishness of his of the loaf forced down Martin's own poor countrymen. May the conthroat, in lieu of a shoulder of mut. clusion yet be as applicable to us, as ton-or of the supernumerary tags to heaven, changing the words of the mny Lord Peter's small-clothes. In mocker into unexpected reality, has the history of John Bull, the same actually made it to those whose poverty feeling breaks out in the derogatory
and feebleness it was designed to ag. character of Peg, and in Jack's antics, gravate!