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me with very sincere regard. When I read the Voyage round the World of James Montgomery,- a description exquisite in conception, imagery, and language,—the author is before me as I saw him in early youth. Lisle Bowles is another name to be marked with a white stone. A delightful spot was Bremhillindeed, is still—with the quaint garden, and the swans, Snowdrop and Lily, sailing up to the parlour window to inquire after their dinner, and Peter the hawk, and the Vicar holding his watch to his ear, to make sure that he had not grown deaf since breakfast. Southey visited the Parsonage when the lovable old man was in his seventy-third year, and presented to the eye of his friend the most entertaining mixture that could be of untidiness, simplicity, benevolence, timidity, and good nature; but nobody smiled at his oddities more heartily than the owner. The poetical merits of Bowles are great. His Sonnets delighted Coleridge, and even Byron acknowledged the excellence of The Missionary.
Of all the elder poets of our time, my examples are less numerous than I had hoped to give. The lines of Wordsworth on Tintern Abbey are omitted from want of room; and the most striking effort of Southey's imagination, the agony of Kailyal at her father's flight, was ill adapted for pictorial use. The fame of Coleridge, however, will not suffer loss by resting on Genevieve, who has caught a new grace from the hand of Millais. Among these earlier poems, the reader will be attracted by the Legend of Kilmeny, which, for a moment, lifts the Shepherd to the side of Burns; by the sunshiny morals of Praed, who reminds me of an Ariosto brought up in England; and by the sea-views and the Dutch painting of Crabbe.
If I could have turned my Preface into an illustrated catalogue, these poems would have furnished agreeable notes : for to many some little story is attached; as in the case of Keats, whose Ode to the Nightingale was written in the Spring of 1819, when the fatal disease lay so heavy at his heart, that Coleridge, meeting him in a lane near Highgate, remarked, “There is death in that hand.” The stanzas beginning “ The sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill” become more affecting when we are told that Scott composed them during the languor of sickness, and that they mark the very spot of their birth, now clothed by rich woodlands,
the work of the Poet's hand. The Elm Tree might also claim a paragraph, to tell of the solemn avenue which inspired it; and certainly Umbrageous Ham” has not been mused in by a more genial visitor, since the frequent feet of Thomson broke the shadows. The noble verses—“ Wine of Cyprus ” — should recall the memory of the blind Scholar to whom they were addressed ; and the compositions of Frances Brown will lose a charm if the shadow on her eyes be forgotten. But of living Poets I may not speak. They are here to speak for themselves in tones of harmony, grandeur, and pathos, to which few ears, I suppose. will be deaf. The list might have been enlarged, but a great Constituency can only be represented by a few Members.
R. A. WILLMOTT.
NOTE.— This new Edition of the “ Poets of the Nineteenth Century” has been enlarged by some additions to the selections originally made ; and two new names worthy of the distinction have been united to those which it at first contained,-1.1., Robert Buchanan and Dora Greenwell. The present volume, therefore, embraces a period of about ninety-eight years, from 1771 to 1869.