Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

please, and never offend by truth or disturb by singularity Every thought must be beautiful per se, every expression equally fine. They do not delight in vulgarisms, but in common places, and dress out unmeaning forms in all the colours of the rainbow. They do not go out of their way to think that would startle the indolence of the reader: they cannot express a trite thought in common words--that would be a sacrifice of their own vanity. They are not sparing of tinsel, for it costs nothing. Their works should be printed, as they generally are, on hot-pressed paper, with vignette margins. The Della Cruscan school comes under this description, but is now nearly exploded. Lord Byron is a pampered and aristocratic writer, but he is not effeminate, or we should not have his works with only the printer's name to them! I cannot help thinking that the fault of Mr. Keats's poems was a deficiency in masculine energy of style. He had beauty, tenderness, delicacy, in an uncommon degree, but there was a want of strength and substance. His Endymion is a very delightful description of the illusions of a youthful imagination, given up to airy dreamswe have flowers, clouds, rainbows, moonlight, all sweet sounds and smells, and Oreads and Dryads fitting by--but there is nothing tangible in it,

nothing marked or palpable--we have none of the hardy spirit or rigid forms of antiquity. He painted his own thoughts and character; and did not transport himself into the fabulous and heroic ages. There is a want of action, of character, and so far, of imagination, but there is exquisite fancy. All is soft and fleshy, without bone or muscle. We see in him the youth, without the manhood of poetry. His genius breathed “vernal delight and joy.”-“ Like Maia's son he stood and shook his plumes," with fragrance filled. His mind was redolent of spring. He had not the fierceness of summer, nor the richness of autumn, and winter he seemed not to have known, till he felt the icy hand of death!

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ESSAY X.

WHY DISTANT OBJECTS PLEASE.

ESSAY X.

WHY DISTANT OBJECTS PLEASE.

Distant objects please, because, in the first place, they imply an idea of space and magnitude, and because, not being obtruded too close upon the eye, we clothe them with the indistinct and airy colours of fancy. In looking at the misty mountain-tops that bound the horison, the mind is as it were conscious of all the conceivable objects and interests that lie between; we imagine all sorts of adventures in the interim; strain our hopes and wishes to reach the air-drawn circle, or to “ descry new lands, rivers, and mountains," stretching far beyond it: our feelings carried out of them. selves lose their grossness and their husk, are rarefied, expanded, melt into softness and brighten into beauty, turning to ethereal mould, sky-tinctured. We drink the air before us, and borrow a more refined existence from objects that hover on the brink of nothing. Where the landscape fades from the dull sight, we fill

« PředchozíPokračovat »