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It is the labour,”
'Moonlight' is dedicated to Lord Eldon. the Noble author says, of two days, and presented to Lord Eldon on two accounts.' We shall try the patience and ingenuity of our readers with but one enigmatical extract from this poem;-hoping, at the same time, that Lord Thurlow is less cruelly given than that ancient dealer in riddles, the Sphinx, who made a point of devouring all those that were unable to understand her conundrums.
No soul has flown unto the gate of woe,
Or to the blissful soil, or brush'd the shore
Their tale half told, with a new flight of fools,
On this extraordinary passage,-its blown-about ghosts, and eclectick flight of fools-and on all such extraordinary passages in Lord Thurlow, we would willingly pass no severer sentence than that which a Mufti, whom Toderini mentions, pronounced upon some verses of the Turkish poet Misri ;--* Le scus de ces vers ne peut être connu et entendu de personne que de Dieu et de Misri.'-The Noble author had evidently been reading Dante; and the same process appears to have taken place, which, from his Lordship's peculiar affinities, must always occur upon his immersion into any such writers, - he comes out incrusted with a rich deposit of their faults. Not all the autho rity of Dante can reconcile us to hearing the dog Cerberus called a worm' with an iron throat.'
At length we arrive at a story, which the Noble author has condescended to finish ;-one of those chef-d'oeuvres from the working-house of thought,' which we have already said there is such fulness of delight in contemplating. The Doge's
Daughter' was written, as we are told in the dedication, be the laudable purpose of curing Lord Eldon of the gout:- but I thank God,' says the dedicator, your Lordship's pain lasted 1 ot so long as my labour:-The poem, however, is here ready against any future attack; and we trust the Learned Lord
*De la Literature des Turcs.
+ Quando ci scorse Cerbero il gran vermo-Infern. Cant. 6.— The iron throat' is a tasteful supplement of his Lordship's. — Ariosto calls the devil gran valme infernal. To this there can be ao objection whatever.
will find benefit from the application. It is a conceit of Cowley, in speaking of Ovid's writings during his banishment, that the cold of the country had stricken through the very feet of his verses: '—and we really fear that the feet of Lord Thurlow's verses are not wholly free from that malady, for which he thinks them so sovereign a cure;--they have all its visible symptoms of hobbling and iflation, and indeed are in such a state as to make us feel that it would be barbarous to handle them too roughly. We shall therefore be as gentle in our account of the Doge's Daughter' as possible.
The Poen opens with Aurora leaving the bed of that eternal old gentleman Tithonus, and Apolo
Coming forth with ali his state
From the oriental gate;
Now the Doge was at his prayers ;
Underneath the crystal sea.' p. 1.
We think this Doge must be quite as astonished to find himself at his prayers' between Apollo and Amphitrite, as bis brother Doge was upon seeing himself at the court of Lewis the XIVth.
But yet Heliodora lay,
Turning from the golden day,
And her bosom heav'd with groans,
Fit to melt the marble stones
That jut upon the Adrian shore.' p. 3.
This gorgeous young lady, who lies upon purple, and weeps amber, is the Doge's daughter;-and, not having her recollection very clear about her in waking, she asks her nurse Is not this the fatal day,
Tell me, O Caneura, pray,
I should mount the marriage bed
O day of madness and despair!'
p. 3, 4.
The lover of her own choice is Frangipani ;--she is, of course, superlatively wretched, and thus calls upon the golden air '— of all conceivable and inconceivable things-to pity her!
"O pity me, thou golden air!
The maiden fell upon her back,
All her reason gone to wrack.' p. 5.
The nurse endeavours to console her;-Frangipani, she sug gests, is gone; and it were idle pain' to sigh after him. "Would you with Frangipani go
"An exile, o'er the mountain's snow?
"Wuld you be the windy spouse
"Of a Corsair
But all the eloquence of the nurse is vain ;-the maiden is not to be consoled;--though her talent for sleeping, in such circumstances, is truly enviable.
No more the hapless virgin said;
Long time then the maiden sleep'd.' p. 8.
The nurse's heart is at length touched,-whether by the profoundness of her lady's sorrow, or of her sleep, is left doubtful; and she resolves to assist her in escaping to Frangipani. "I've an old head, and that can tell"There's nothing so impossible, "But that this eve, ere Hesper glow, "To Frangipani thou shalt go "There's never a prince in Italy "With my Heliodore shall lie, "But I'll know the reason why: "Unless, and I myself deceive, "Frangipani give them leave. "›
This good old woman arranges their voyage in the same unaffected style.
To the Port we'll make repair:
"Who will take us in the dark. "' p 11.
The young lady puts on sailors' clothes ;--is told that it will not hurt her chastity' to learn to curse and swear a little; and they embark for Athens.
The Second Canto opens with their arrival in the Athenian Bay;'-they see the Duke Eneus and his court;
And by his side a knight there tode,
Much in semblance like a god; ' p. 18.
who turns out to be Frangipani, though shrewdly suspected at first view to be Apollo:-The Duke and his warriors depart on an expedition against the Pagans; and Heliodora, after remarking that battle is a sweet delight,' resolves to follow them. She applies, for equipment on the occasion, to a facetious ar
mourer, who quotes Anacreon, sings ballads about Achilles, and cries Anani?' whenever he is spoken to. He accommodates her with a ready made suit of armour; and she arrives on the field of battle at the very moment when an able-bodied infidel is attacking her lover Frangipani.
She gave a cry, as doth a dove,
Who death will for her offspring prove;
And, making for himself a ring,
Like Ajax, with his shield and blade,
p. 26, 27.
He recognizes his Heliodora in the prostrate knight; and--in short-the story ends joyously with a marriage.
The Duke of Athens join'd their hands,
Love knit them in his golden bands,
If this does not charm away Lord Eldon's gout, we doubt whether even' my maid's aunt at Brentford' could cure him ; though she, too, used. to work by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is; beyond our element.
The Doge's Daughter, is followed by several translations from Anacreon and Horace.' The sense of the former poet, his Lordship tells us, has never been poetically given except by Cowley. He says also, this, at least, is due to me, that I have not wandered far from my author; nor made that evil, which I found entirely void of it.' If the noble author could have extended this last-mentioned favour to the poetry as well as the morality of his original, we might, perhaps, have been regaled with something better than the stale, musty potpourri of poor Anacreon's roses he has given us. Boileau describes one of the guests, at his well-known dinner, Lamentant
*The remedy is not quite new :-From Buchanan's melancholy elegy upon his Gout, it appears he sometimes took a dose of the poetry of Turnebus- Aonii rarissima gloria cætus.'
tristement une chanson bachique; and heartily do we pity the audience, if they were doomed to more doleful Anacreontiques ' than the following:
• What needs it then the stone t' anoint,
Special, if here you disappoint
The noble translator, however, is sometimes more amusing;as in the Ode, beginning
Yes, I wish, I wish to love;
Cupid of old this thing did move ;
But I, who had no prudent mind,' &c. &c. p. 42. Such flights, however, are rare;-and he has even been at the trouble of inventing for himself a grave, steady sort of blank verse—“ Anacreontique,' to save him from all possible risk of degenerating into the usual airiness of this species of compo
• Then the cup let us accept,
And our wrinkled cares dismiss ;
For what benefit to you,
By solicitude disturb'd?
Have we known whate'er shall be?
And this is poetry-surely, to give the name of poetry to such lines as we have quoted but too abundantly throughout this article,--merely because they are furnished with their proper quota of syllables,-is a stretch of complaisance, only to be equalled by that of Linnæus, when he classed bats with mankind, in consideration of their mamma. Horace has fared no better under his Lordship's hands than Anacreon ;- Si flava excutitur Cloe,' is translated If yellow Cloe go to wrack. There is still another publication on the list-called Ariadne '—But we are so anxious, before we take leave of Lord Thurlow, to give our readers some specimen of his happier efforts, which may excuse, if not justify, us in their eyes for bestowing so many pages on such a writer, that we shall despatch this last production in as few words as possible.
The heroine, Ariadne, is left alone on a desart island by her lover--not Theseus, as in our ignorance we expected, but one • Lord Marineil'—and
And with her tears augments the briny flood,