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does not particularly offend us. The nine- | the best specimens of our author's power. line stanza of the “Maid of Linden Lane,” One song (we give it entire, for it is is not indeed that of
short, and there is not a line that we can * Those venerable ancient song inditers,
spare,) soars up “like a cloud of fire." It Who soared a pitch beyond our modern writers ;"
is delicate and euphonious, yet rich, pas
sionate, and luxurious. The old anacreonnor has it been generally used by the mod-tic spirit pervades it. Standing alone, it ern ballad writers, Shenstone, Goldsmith, indicates the genius of the poet—the true Mallet, and the rest; who, though they poet-forgetful of the reader, and wrapt in chose to polish, adhered mostly to the old his intense consciousness of the beautiful, metres; and if Mr. Read's deviation be uttering like a prophet the emotions of a full a fault, it is equally ascribable to the Span- soul. ish Ballads of Lockhart, and to Poe's popular ballad of The Raven.
• Bring me the juice of the honey fruit,
The large translucent, amber-hued, To explain many of our author's pecu
Rare grapes of southern isles, to suit liarities of expression, would be to wipe The luxury that fills my mood. the down from the peach, or shake the dew
And bring me only such as grew from the rose ;—they are a part of that Where rarest maidens tend the bowers, "shadow, to be felt, not grasped,” which And only fed by rain and dew is your reviewer's definition of Poetry. Which first had bathed a bank of flowers. We can no more, in “ The Maid of Linden
They must have hung on spicy trees Lane," analyze the exact meaning of
In airs of far enchanted vales,
And all night heard the ecstacies
Of noble-throated nightingales :
So that the virtues which belong than, in “ The Rhyme of the Ancient Mar
To flowers may therein tasted be, riner,” we can explain the meaning of And that which hath been thrilled with song
May give a thrill of song to me. “ The silly buckets on the deck.”
For I would wake that string for thee In following the fate of the two lovers, Which hath too long in silence hung, we feel assured that the relater of the And sweeter than all else should be story, tottering with her staff beneath the The song which in thy praise is sung." weight of years, must have witnessed what
Into such a song as this “the mazy, runshe so feelingly describes; yet we meet a pleasant and satisfactory surprise in the ning soul” of the nightingale's melody
might seem indeed to have been poured. concluding lines:
Of a different, but still of a pleasing « For remember, love, that I
quality, is “ The Butterfly in the City;" Was the maid of Linden Lane."
the sentiment refined, but the measure imThe bustle and activity preceding the bat
perfect. tle, the bray of the trumpet, the waving of of all—the prettiest thing about it is the
“The Beggar of Naples" we like least banners, the neighing of chargers, the belted knights with waving plumes, the thun likening of a smile to ders of artillery, and the “ fiery fray,” are « The earliest primrose of the spring all effective, and have much of Campbell's Which at the brook-side, suddenly in sight spirit; it is only to be regretted that a Gleams like a water sprite." gross error in syntax should mar one of the finest stanzas.
Of a purely meditative character, and
not unlike some of the fine moral touches « Belted for the fiercest fight,
of Longfellow, is " The Deserted Road," And with swimming plume of white, a fair specimen of our author's general Passed the lover out of sight
With the hurrying hosts amain.
« Ancient road, that wind'st deserted
Through the level of the vale,
Sweeping toward the crowded market This ballad, however, affords, by no means, Like a stream without a sail ;
Standing by thee, I look backward,
The sound most sweet to my listening ear,
The child and the mother breathing clear
Within the harvest fields of Sleep."
There are two more stanzas, but there
should not have been; the poem naturally As in youth's departed morn;
and more effectively ends here.
“ The Song for the Sabbath Morning,"
the last two stanzas of the “Night Miss the crowd of jovial teamsters
Thought,” and the two stanzas describing Filling buckets at the wells,
a runnel and a cascade in “ The Light of With their wains from Conestoga,
our Home,” are eminently beautiful. And their orchestras of bells.
Of the “ Alchemist's Daughter,” To the mossy way-side tavern
would say that the dramatic is not Comes the noisy throng no more,
Mr. Read's forte.
Of those remarkable inequalities which
denote at once his genius and his lack of While the old, decrepid tollman,
cultivation or attention, and which expose Waiting for the few who pass,
him on so many sides to the shafts of critReads the melancholy story
icism, we offer some examples. What unIn the thickly springing grass.
pardonable carelessness, what a complete Ancient highway, thou art vanquished ;
falling asleep of the muse in the following: The usurper of the vale Rolls in fiery, iron rattle,
" Conquered at last, the flying tribe descries Exultations on the gale.
Its ancient wigwams burn, and light its native
skies.” Thou art vanquished and neglected ;
But the good which thou hast done, One would scarcely credit that the same Though by man it be forgotten,
author produced what succeeds it. Shall be deathless as the sun. Though neglected, gray and grassy,
“ The pioneers their gleaming axes swing,
The sapling falls, and dies the forest's sire
The foliage fades—but sudden flames upspring,
And all the grove is leafed again with fire.
While gleams the pine tree like a gilded spire,
The homeless birds sail, circling wild and high; The following has a mysterious, dreamy At night the wolves gaze out their fierce desire; romance about it :
For weeks the smoke spreads, blotting all the sky,
by.” The moon looks down on a world of snow,
The expression “twice its size," betrays And the midnight lamp is burning low, And the fading embers mildly glow
the want of study; while the close of the In their bed of ashes soft and deep ;
line is highly poetic. All, all is still as the hour of death ;
Among much that is characterized only I only hear what the old clock saith,
by heaviness and mediocrity, we light ocAnd the mother and infant's easy breath, That flows from the holy land of Sleep.
casionally upon such lines as the following:
“ And heard low music breathe above, around, Or the watchman who solemnly wakes the dark,
As if the air within itself made sound; With a voice like a prophet's when few will hark,
As if the soul of Melody were pent
Within some unseen instrument,
Hung in a viewless tower of air,
And with enchanted pipes beguiled its own despair." With its freight of sleep through the darkness hurled,
“I walked the woods of March, and through the Like a mighty ship, when her sails are furled,
boughs On a rapid but noiseless river borne.
The earliest bird was calling to his spouse ;
And in the sheltered nooks
Or with a noiseless flow
Stole down the brooks;
And where the spring-time sun had longest shone, We should trespass upon our limits to The violet looked up and found itself alone."
indulge in more copious extracts. Our
object has been to give fair play, and show « Through underwood of laurel, and across A little lawn, shoe-deep with sweetest mo88,
that if our author have faults, he has also I passed, and found a lake, which like a shield some of the highest characteristics of the Some giant long had ceased to wield,
true poet. Lay with its edges sunk in sand and stone
Experience is called the great Teacher, With ancient roots and grasses overgrown.” yet how often does experience fail. We
seem to learn no lesson from the mistakes “ And swinging roses, like sweet censers, went made in all times of depreciating each new The village children making merriment.”
aspirant, simply because he is new, and
awarding to genius, too late, the meed that « Hark, how the light winds flow and ebb
might have cheered, encouraged, and perAlong the open halls forlorn ; See how the spider's dusty web
fected it. We think little of the sunlight Floats at the casement, tenantless and torn! that falls along our daily walk, but we
strain the admiring gaze to mark, through The old, old sea, as one in tears, Comes murmuring with its soamy lips,
a telescope, the path of a distant planet. And knocking at the vacant piers,
If we have not mistaken our author, he Calls for its long lost multitude of ships.
will not be killed by one critique.”
There is a vitality in the creations of Against the stone-ribbed wharf, one hull Throbs to its ruin, like a breaking heart :
genius :—mowed down by the pitiless sickle, Oh, come, my breast and brain are full it soon renews its latent growth, and springs
Of sad response—grim silence keep the mart!" afresh in its own glorious atmosphere.
HER WAYS, HER WOMEN, AND HER WINES.
No country is more generally known | fiction, however wild, any range of imaginathan Spain ; few countries, perhaps, are tive ornament, however fantastic, and any less well known. Distracted for the last improbabilities of incident or character, so two centuries by the unparalleled impu- that the “venue” be laid there. Therefore, dence of foreign interference, that unfortu- the stage and the novel have filled their nate but beautiful peninsula has thrilled the pages and scenes with traditional hidalgos world with the romance of her misery. in rags, exacting corregidors, venal alguaHer history enjoys the melancholy privi- zils, and revengeful prime-ministers, plaulege of being dramatic, and with its stir-sible and nature-like enough in Spain, ring incidents the world is well acquainted. though impossible elsewhere. But we are strangely ignorant of the habits, The brigands, too, and the contrabandmanners, and feelings of the Spanish popu- istas — what elements of adventure they lation of the present day. Most of us offer to the young writer ! what a relief to derive our information in this respect from a dull tale lies in a surprise by a party of the pages of Cervantes and Le Sage. The guerilleros! True, all these tit-bits of French humorist, in particular, evinces so romance belong to the past in Spain, as thorough an acquaintance with the interior elsewhere; but while the reading public are life of the Spaniards, that the latter, en- tolerably well aware of the true state of vious of a foreigner's glory, reaped from things in England, France, or even Russia, their own soil
, have taken advantage of they still obstinately cling to the belief that very circumstance to argue,
with that Spain, in the midst of the world's show of probability, that no one but a na- progress, has remained in a stationary state tive of their country could be the author of lethargy for centuries, and that Rip Van of Gil Blas. Strange misfortune of an Winkle, had he fallen asleep in Castile, author, whose genius was so great that under the reign of the English Mary's they refused to believe it was his own ! husband, would have no great cause for
The life-like air of reality impressed wonder upon awaking now. upon those miraculous pages, takes such a Strange though it may appear, this predeep hold on the imagination that it would vailing misconception of the world in rebe difficult to persuade the reader that Gil gard to Spain seems destined to be dispelled Blas is not a trustworthy guide-book even by American writers. The names of Presto this day, and that the personages in that cott and Irving are inseparably connected wonderful picture are not immortal types with her antiquities and her chronicles, and of the Spanish character. This idea has some of our most intelligent travellers have been furthermore kept alive by a host of brought to the task of estimating her condiother writers, great and small, who have tion, in modern times, that candid and undrawn on that inexhaustible source of inci- prejudiced spirit of inquiry, which alone is dent and picturesqueness to supply the weakness of their own invention. With
* GLIMPSES OF SPAIN, OR NOTES OF AN UNFINmost readers a kind of Cimmerian darkness
ISHED TOUR IN 1847, by S. T. Wallis. - New envelopes Spain. They will entertain any 'York, Harper & Brothers.
equal to the enterprise, and which Euro- are derived from the Basque, and what pean explorers could scarcely be expected from the Latin. Nor is this the only conto exercise in the case of the Peninsula. sideration that applies equally to the habits For if it be true that they who have done and the written works of a people. In all the wrong can never forgive, Spain can countries, national character and literature expect neither mercy nor justice from the are found to keep pace together, the latter rest of the continent to which she belongs. as the exponent of the former, and both These remarks occurred to us when we impressed with kindred features. In Spain were perusing the pleasing relation of Mr. it is preeminently so, and the peculiarities Wallis' travels. How much more appro- both of their school of art of their tempriate are they now, that Mr. Ticknor's perament, present a family resemblance work,* a prodigy of labor and learning, that shows them, at one glance, derived has displayed to the world the hidden alike from the same circumstances. wealth of Spanish literature. We can From the age of Count Julian to that of hardly be brought to believe in the eclipse the Cid, during which all of the Visigothic which has fallen upon the glory of Castile, race that yet retained any of the manhood when we look at the wonderful works of of their barbarous progenitors had sought a art she has produced in spite of Inquisition refuge among the mountains of the interior, and tyranny; when we remember the tre- where they acquired fresh energy in a more mendous energies she has put forth under laborious mode of life, and perhaps fresh the most discouraging adversity; when we vitality from admixture with the aboriginal consider that even now, under the pres- race,—what a rude training for the lansure of governmental mismanagement and guage and the character of the Spaniards. injudicious, or even unrighteous laws, her The pure Latin which they spoke, now manufactures are struggling hopefully for tainted with Moorish and Basque, sank into success; when we reflect that, in her ut- a confused chaos, from which the sonorous most hour of need, she has always given Castilian afterwards arose. For in idioms, birth to some worthy son providentially as elsewhere, decay and corruption concommissioned to save her. We can hardly tain within themselves the germs of life. have faith in the decline of the land of the Nor could the exiles of Valencia and Campeador and Zumala Carreguy. Yet Toledo forget, in the rugged fastnesses of there is no denying that she presents, at Biscay and the Asturias, the fair inherithis moment, a lamentable picture of de- tance which the victorious Crescent had generacy and political insignificance. Per-wrested from the Cross. As soon as they haps ethnology might solve the problem, had recovered from their first consternaand reconcile the apparent contradiction tion, they commenced that unrelenting by pointing out, side by side with the de- warfare to the knife, which they pursued cay of the Visigothic population, (which, with indomitable energy until lood like all mongrels, must speedily pass away), | Tolosa had washed out the disgrace of the resurrection of the ancient Iberian Roderick. It was during this desperate spirit, the inextinguishable vitality that hand-to-hand conflict, which lasted five or marks all aboriginal stocks, and the future six centuries, that the Spanish language redemption of classical Hispania by the and the Spanish national character were descendants of those who so long resisted formed. What wonder if both present the Carthaginian and the Roman armies. some rugged features; what wonder if the
But considerations of such a nature idiom is less soft than the Tuscan, and the would carry us too far, and we must be temper of the people full of enthusiastic content to view the Spaniards as they now exaggerations. A nation, born, as it were, appear to us, without distinction of race or on the field of battle, might well be exbreed-precisely as one who studies their pected to possess some of the less amiable literature need spend no time in distin- attributes of the warlike character, and guishing what portions of their language after spending her adolescence in a fierce
religious contest, might be forgiven if reliHISTORY OF Spanish Literature, by George | gious intolerance sometimes mingled with Tieknor—in three volumes. New York, Harper her religious feeling. These circumstances & Brothers.
affected Spanish art; for the hereditary ene