Page images

Thanks to thee, Thomas, thou truly art one of the Scots Worthies, and deservest credit for thy liberality in thus addressing us. You would, no doubt, like "Ye pugilists of England," which has almost (we are no egotists) as much lyrical animation as "Ye Mariners of England;" and which evinces our respect for your talents; in our making you our model in lyrical composition. We heartily commiserate you, in observing that you have so much uphill work with the New Monthly. You had better give the Nympholept your thanks, and dismiss him; and, I am sure you would find it, in every respect, more heartsome, to be enrolled in our triumphant corps. But this is only a hint; and we do not like to press matters; so you need not mention this to Colbourn, unless you are thoroughly convinced of its propriety.

Tom Moore for a guinea! exclaimed we, as we broke open a third packet. This is mindful now; and it raises you in our estimation. Certainly, Tom, thou art a "clever old fellow ;" and, though now and then radico-whiggish, still most of your compositions are much above " Fudge."



Though lately I have been
Inclined, I scarce know why, to roam,
The visitant of many a scene,
More lovely far than aught at home;
Though I have trod Italian vales,

With fruit and flowers for ever bright,
Where daylight comes, ere moonlight fails,
And nightingales enchant the night
With the soft tone, which memory loves,
By glittering streams and bloomy groves.
Though I the wine-clad hills of France

Have wander'd o'er, with bounding heart;
Where, through the evening, peasants dance,
And vow to meet, though doom'd to part;
Yet think not that the shade of thee

Hath been in memory's mirror dim:
Ah, no! old boy, I often see

Thy imaged form, in lith and limb,
Stamped like the sceptred shades, that pass
Before the shrine of Banquo's glass;
And then, absorb'd for season brief,
Upon my outspread hand I lean,
And think of many a dazzling leaf
In Erin's only Magazine!

Think not, dear Kit, when Lauerwinkel
Did drag me from Parnassus' top,
I e'er could force my heart to think ill
Of thee, although the noble fop
Within thy boards could foist his paper,
Translated from unwritten German;
And try, with cant, and cut, and caper,
To please the land's malicious vermin.
No, Kit, I love thy frankness yet;
Thou first to fright, or to cajole us :
Nor did I for a moment fret,

Though forced to gulp the bitter bolus:

Go on, old boy, I love thy fun,

And laugh at all the stupid pigs,

Who shake their heads; but, rum old one,
Don't be so hard upon the Whigs;

Or, by St Patrick, I'm afraid,

That, ere another Christmas fall,
Thy battery guns, so fiercely play'd
With chain-shot, shall destroy us all.

Farewell, old boy! on New-Year's day,
In love, I write this hurried letter,
In hopes the cough is now away,
And that the gnawing gout is better;-
For long, long years, oh mayst thou shine,
The planet of the northern sky,
And Ebony's peerless Magazine
To all the ends of Europe fly!

Farewell, dear North! success to thee,
Thou peerless, restless, jocund fellow;

Though thou hast caused my friends and me

To look a little blue and yellow!

Good Heavens! all poetry together! said we, as the fourth epistle displayed its snowy square before us. We are acquainted, as we before took an opportunity of letting the Public know, with three thousand versifiers, among whom are 1850 men of the greatest genius; but, in gratitude for this acknowledgment of our friendship, we never expected that we were to be inundated with such a torrent of New-Year's day compliments. But modesty ever has its own reward. Whether luckily or not, this one is short.


NORTH! many a time upon thy glory musing,
Mid leafiness, I roam up Hampstead Hill,
When through white clouds Apollo is infusing
Brightness, and milk-maids kneel their pails to fill,

Beside the meek cow ruminant. I feel

That thou hast beat and buffeted me about,

More than the cook-maid doth an old dish-clout;
Yet I must still admire thee;-ribs of steel,
Like Spenser's man, are thine; thou carest not
For blows from soft Italian palms like mine.
Since it must be so, brightly mayst thou shine,
And long. I came to curse, but I cannot ;

Therefore, may thy bright fountain never fail,

And Wisdom's long-jerk'd feather o'er thee swale!

The hepdomadal hand! hear it, O Heavens! and believe, O Earth! The Jupiter of the Olympus of Cockaigne has, instead of launching thunderbolts at us, as he has often threatened, poured a phial of nectar, in the shape of a sonnet, on our bald crown; its kindly influence has extended itself even to the skirts of our robe; and acted as a balsam, also to the ball of our rheumatic toe itself. Well, this is kind, warm-hearted, and just as it should be. When a wanderer returns from the error of his ways, and volunteers a civil call, we know better than to slap the door in his face. Wonders will never cease; and, for all that has happened yet, there may yet subsist between Rimini and ourselves, something "like a how-d'ye-do-Georgy-my-boy sort of familiarity."

But we must get on; for we do not deny, that we sometimes require a nap, like other folks, though we have no ambition that our writings should be considered as soporifics. Well do we know this Miltonic fist! Well do we re

cognise the spell, that awakens in our minds the bold and majestic scenery of mountain solitudes, the wild forest, and the foaming cataract. Thy greetings are honourable to us, and are valued as they deserve to be. The gratulation of one of the purest hearts, and one of the most sublime of British intellects, is surely worth more than a new farthing; and we say so, without disparagement to that neat and sovereign-looking coin. Thanks to Wordsworth!


As from the lowly meadow ground,

With congregated vapours, dank and dense,
O'erhung, a beauteous breaking-up takes place,
When the sun rises; and a mass of clouds,
Fleecy and thin, of half-transparent hue,
In the bright atmosphere evaporate,

Leaving the meadow-ground all fresh and green,
Beneath the morning dews; so did the mass
Of dark designers, and ill-boding men,
Disperse before thee, Christopher, and leave
Only the traces of their flight behind.

Sequester'd, on a rural mount, I dwell
Among the hills; listening, amid my walks,
Thy thunders, stern Lodoar! or noontide song
Of birds amid the branches caroling

Of lofty elm or beech-tree; toppling o'er
Some rocky precipice; and, with its boughs,
Forming a far-encircling coronal,

By Nature hung in its deep leafy mass,
Above the mirror of the silent tarn,

Whose undisturbed waters sleep below.

-Or, haply, when the western heavens are tinged

With orange light, sauntering adown the dale

In solitude, and watching the first ray

Of Evening's glittering star, the loveliest
Of all that stud the glowing galaxy.—

Yet, though sequester'd from the world I dwell,
Nursing in solitude the lofty thought
Of poesy; yet deem not, Christopher,
That, to my musing soul, the busy world
Is as an ocean, whose tremendous waves
Unmoved I hear, far distant; deem not thou,
Bright, venerable sage, that I forget

My English birth-right; that my bosom ne'er

Mourns o'er my country's sorrows; and swells proud
To think the ancient spirit of our clime

Not utterly degenerate hath grown,

But still can boast of thee, and such as thee!

A bright and bold noviciate thou hast pass'd;
And, Christopher, amid thy country's great,
Amid her loftiest and her noblest sons,

Thy name is placed; and at thy parlour-door,
Were Death, the skeleton, to tap to-night:
Openly I speak it, and without the fear
Of contradiction, that no greater head

Hath his scythe humbled, or his shaft laid low.

But why on death dilate, and nature's debt?
Living and life-like, in thy elbow chair
Thou sittest, cherishing thy gouty toe,
Flannel enwrapt, upon the crimson stool,

My Lady Morgan's handsome compliment.
Around thee, in huge piles, like drifted heaps
Of snow piled up by veering winds, are tomes,
Many uncut, with party-colour'd boards,
And with elastic backs, so beautiful!
Written by the living lustres of the land,
Who toil for praise or profit-haply both.-
There in thy parlour snug, with book in hand,
Thou peerest through the pages, scanning out
The worthy, and with most appropriate words,
Telling the world so; while thy sentiments
Are noted by a clerk, a sharp-eyed lad,

With dexterous quill, who wondering looks at thee,
Wondering from whence thy boundless knowledge flows;
And noting what thou bidd'st him on his sheet,-
Sheet of white paper, furrow'd o'er with lines
Of sable manuscript, straightway to be sent
To printing-office, where the devils reside,
Compositors, and men with paper caps ;-
Then, in a novel garb, whereon the face
Of Scotland's sage looks glorious in old age,
Borne on the wing of mails, and carriers' carts,
To the four ends of Britain; and the isle
Erin, her sister,-eke to foreign climes,
Shores Transatlantic, and far Indian lands,
Pack'd in the gloomy hold capacious
Of mighty vessel, for the voyage long,

Well stored with beef and biscuit; likewise rum,
And the pure element; with big-bellied sails
Catching the breeze; and, o'er the ocean deep,
Sailing like heron o'er a peaceful meer.

As, from the central point from where the stone
Descends amid the waters, circles spread
Wider and wider, till they reach the shores
Of the broad lake, so, Christopher, thy sale
Shall year by year increase; and, spreading still
Wider its circuit, to the utmost bound
Even of the habitable globe shall reach,
Teaching, enlightening, humanizing all!

Now, when the Christmas carols have gone by,
And the old year, into the womb of Time
Is swallow'd up, I would take up my pen,
As my heart dictates-health to wish to thee,
Prosperity, and honourable old age!—
To genius, unbefriended in the vale
Of this dim world, oh still the patron be!
And tear away the useless weeds that hide,
From eye of day, the modest violet:
So that the old may reverence thine age,
And the young rise up, as thou passest by.

Another offering at our shrine from Cockney-land! Let us adjust our spectacles-Yes! without doubt it is so-ay, and from Barry Cornwall too; that is what we did not look for; we thought that he had been for some time in bed dreaming night and day of the Deluge. We have been mistaken. Let us see again-be steady our spectacles-this is surely a Supplement to Barry Cornwall's Dream about the Nereides blowing on cow-horns, Nebuchadnezzar— sphinxes-hypogriffs--and aerial mail-coaches. It is certainly very beautiful; and, with your leave, my Public, we shall read it over to you.




Figures there were amid the clouds,-
Whether from sepulchral shrouds
Burst, I know not, yet delight
Came athwart me at the sight,
For in tranced dream I lay
At the close of a cold day.

Lo! a chariot, hot steeds prancing,
And behind, in ether dancing,
Lengthen'd flappings of surtout,
And great-coats with tails of blue.
From green mountains they did come,
Where the eagle his high home
Builds on Snowdon; to the north
Polarwise they sally forth,

To Dunedin by the sea,

And Tontine in West Countrèe.

Who comes riding, sailing thus
On the Hippopotamus?-

O'er the sea-like sky they glide,
But the monster that dire ride
Loves not, for the rider is
Heavy in his densities;

And smoking his curl'd pipe anon:-
That fat vision sailed on!

Crown'd like mother Cybele,

With South-Sea cap and tassel gay,
Titanlike, on war-horse white,
Rushes to the goose-quill fight,
Fierce-eyed warrior, hundred handed,
Like the giant who expanded
His huge might against high heaven,
Till by Olympian fury driven
From the field by heavenly spears,

Overcome with all his peers,

That whelm'd beneath the mountains lie,.
Which overlook green Thessaly.

As great Jove his foot doth lay on,
(Vide plate in Tooke's Pantheon,)
Necks of giants overthrown,
So, on red stool stuff'd with down,
Presses he his dexter heel;-
He waves his hand, the senses reel
Of the nations far outspread,
By his magic power dazzled.
Never, on the Egypt shore,
Greater host bow'd down before
Apis, Osiris, Serapis ;-
Never mightier crowd than this
Knelt to human sway-'tis fled!

The vision shadowy vanished!
But, mid futurity, mine eye
Trails of glory on the sky,
Like Aurora darting forth,

Saw bright glittering-this was North!

Unless we are wofully mistaken, here comes Byron with his famous letter on our Magazine. We know he is blood; but he shall find us a rum customer. If he does not go plump like a bag of wool over the ropes, our name is not Christopher. "By all the gods of Greece and Hellespont," as the tragic Odoherty exclaims, here, in lieu of an epistle, we have more poetry still..

« PreviousContinue »