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And Hope-life's chequering moonlight-smiled asunder
Poor life, there comes no second spring to thee!'
6 « Come, then, my Zoe, on this pilgrimage,
• He ceased; and drew her closer to his breast;
A sudden noise, the cause of which is left unexplained, startles the food pair ; Zoe springs from his side, and the lovers are for ever parted by-eight lines of unrelenting asterisks.
We can make room only for one other extract, wbich paints the poet in the evening of his days, fallen on evil tongues and evil times, but still consoled by the thought that future ages would discharge that debt of gratitude to his memory which his own bad denied.
• There sate an old man by that living tree
Made calm the lifted grandeur of his brow.' In this state he is seen by her whom he had loved in youth ; seen, but in silence—for no interview takes place. Once again only she comes, and disappears like a vision.
• Beneath a church's chancel there were laid
A soul that loved till death, had pass'd away!' No one, we think, who reads these beautiful fragments, can doubt that Mr Bulwer has in him the feeling and imagination of a poet;-a fine ear for versification, and no limited compass of forcible and poetical expression. Their principal fault is an occasional obscurity or inversion of construction, which sometimes, as in Campbell's Gertrude,' renders it necessary to read the stanza three or four times over, before we can be certain of the meaning. Elevation thus gained at the expense of perspicuity, is never an advantage; the plainer the meaning, the more direct and immediate is its influence on the feelings and the heart.
In conclusion, we repeat, we have no wish to meet Mr Bulwer again in the field of satirical poetry; and think it would have been as well, if he had done with his Twins what people generally do with any disagreeable lusus nature-kept them carefully under lock and key, for the inspection of the curious in monsters alone. But let him come forward with such
pocms as that of Milton,' not in the shape of fragments, but with a connected interest, and we will venture to promise his next volume a very different reception from the present. Though Milton is said, notwithstanding the opinions of his friends, to have maintained to the last that his Paradise Regained was
much superior to his Paradise Lost, we trust Mr Balwer is a little more open to conviction as to the comparative merits of his serious and comic performances ; and that, eschewing satire, he will in future devote himself, in his poetical exercises, to that department in poetry, for which, notwithstanding his sneers at the melancholy and gentlemanlike school of versifiers, he is by nature adapted.
We may as well add here, that we had hoped to be able before now to notice Mr Bulwer's Novels, which, though chargeable with some considerable blemishes and misapplications of talent, are yet in many respects vastly superior to most others of their class that have lately appeared ; but we have not hitherto found leisure to re-peruse so many works, read eagerly on their first appearance for amusement only, with the attention requisite for a critical view of their contents.
ART. VIII.- Historic Survey of German Poetry, interspersed with
rarious Translations. By W. Taylor, of Norwich. 3 vols. 8vo. London : 1830.
GERMAN Literature has now
for upwards of half a century been making some way in England; yet by no means at a constant rate, rather in capricious flux and reflux,-deluge alternating with desiccation : never would it assume such moderate, reasonable currency, as promised to be useful and lasting. The history of its progress here would illustrate the progress of more important things; would again exemplify what obstacles a new spiritual object, with its mixture of truth and of falsehood, has to encounter from unwise enemies, still more from unwise friends; how dross is mistaken for metal, and common ashes are solemnly labelled as fell poison ; how long, in such cases, blind Passion must vociferate before she can awaken Judgment; in short, with what tumult, vicissitude, and protracted difficulty, a foreign doctrine adjusts and locates itself among the homeborn. Perfect ignorance is quiet, perfect knowledge is quiet; not so the transition from the former to the latter. In a vague, all-exaggerating twilight of wonder, the new has to fight its battle with the old; Hope has to settle accounts with Fear : thus the scales strangely waver ; public opinion, which is as yet baseless, fluctuates without limit; periods of foolish admiration and foolish execration must elapse before that of true enquiry and zeal according to knowledge can begin.
Thirty years ago, for example, a person of influence and understanding thought good to emit such a proclamation as the fol
lowing: Those ladies who take the lead in society, are loudly
called upon to act as guardians of the public taste as well as • of the public virtue. They are called upon, therefore, to oppose, with the whole weight of their influence, the irrup
tion of those swarms of Publications now daily issuing from o the banks of the Danube, which like their ravaging predeces.
sors of the darker ages, though with far other and more fatal arms, are overrunning civilized society. Those readers whose purer taste has been formed on the correct models of the old classic school, see with indignation and astonishment the Huns and Vandals once more overpowering the Greeks and Romans. • They bebold our minds, with a retrograde but rapid motion, • hurried back to the reign of Chaos and old Night, by distorted
and unprincipled Compositions, which in spite of strong flashes • of genius, unite the taste of the Goths with the morals of Bag
shot.'—' The newspapers announce that Schiller's Tragedy of the Robbers, which inflamed the young nobility of Germany
to enlist themselves into a band of highwaymen, to rob in the • forests of Bohemia, is now acting in England by persons of quality !'*
Whether our fair Amazons, at sound of this alarm-trumpet, drew up in array of war to discomfit those invading Compositions, and snuff out the lights of that questionable private theatre, we have not learned; and see only that, if so, their campaign was fruitless and needless. Like the old Northern Immigrators, those new Paper Goths marched on resistless whither they were bound; some to honour, some to dishonour, the most to oblivion and the impalpable inane; and no weapon or artillery, not even the glances of bright eyes, but only the omnipotence of Time, could tame and assort them. Thus, Kotzebue's truculent armaments, once so threatening, all turned out to be mere Fantasms and Night-apparitions; and so rushed onwards, like some Spectre Hunt, with loud howls indeed, yet hurrying nothing into Chaos but themselves. While again, Schiller's Tragedy of the Robbers, which did not inflame either the young or the old nobility of Germany to rob in the forests of Bohemia, or indeed to do any thing, except perhaps yawn a little less, proved equally innocuous in England, and might still be acted without offence, could living individuals, idle enough for that end, be met with here. Nay, this same Schiller, not indeed by Robbers, yet by Wallensteins, by Maids of Orleans,
* Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education. By Hannah More. The Eighth Edition, p. 41.