Imatges de pÓgina
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tion which is essential to a great poet, and in Mr Shelley it overshadows even his powers of conception, which are unquestionably very great. It is by no means improbable, however, that this extreme anxiety to embody his ideas in language of a lofty and uncommon cast, may have contributed to that which is undoubtedly the besetting sin of his poetry, its extreme vagueness and obscurity, and its tendency to allegory and personification.

Between the east and west; and half the sky

Was rooff'd with clouds of rich embla. zonry,

Dark purple at the zenith, which still

grew

But when, abandoning these darker themes, he yields himself to the description of the softer emotions of the heart, and the more smiling scenes of Nature, we know no poet who has felt more intensely, or described with more glowing colours the enthusiasm of love and liberty, or the varied aspects of Nature. His descriptions have a force and clearness of painting which are quite admirable; and his imagery, which he accumulates and pours forth with the prodigality of genius, is, in general, equally appropriate and original. How forcible is this Italian sunset, from the first poem in the present collection, entitled Julian and Maddalo, a piece of a very wild, and not a very agreeable cast, but rich in eloquent and fervid painting!

Down the steep west into a wondrous hue
Brighter than burning gold, even to the

rent

Where the swift sun yet paus'd in his de-^

scent

Among the many-folded hills, they were Those famous Euganean hills, which bear,

As seen from Lido through the harbour
piles,

The likeness of a clump of peaked isles-
And then, as if the earth and sea had been
Dissolv'd into one lake of fire, were seen
Those mountains tow'ring, as from waves
of flame,

Hence it is in the vague, unearthly, and mysterious, that the peculiar power of his mind is displayed. Like the Goule in the Arabian Tales, he leaves the ordinary food of men, to banquet among the dead, and revels with a melancholy delight in the gloom of the churchyard and the cemetery. He is in poetry what Sir Thomas Browne is in prose, perpetually hovering on the confines of the grave, prying with a terrible curiosity Said my companion, "I will show you into the secrets of mortality, and speculating with painful earnestness on every thing that disgusts or appals mankind.

soon

As those who pause on some delightful

way,
Though bent on pleasant pilgrimage, we
stood,

Looking upon the evening and the flood,
Which lay between the city and the shore,
Pav'd with the image of the sky: the hoar
And aery Alps, towards the north, ap-
pear'd,

Around the vaporous sun, from which

there came

Through mist, an heav'n-sustaining bulwark, rear'd

The inmost purple spirit of light, and made "Ere it Their very peaks transparent.

fade,"

A better station." So o'er the lagune
We glided; and from that funereal bark
I lean'd, and saw the city, and could mark
How from their many isles, in evening's
gleam,

Its temples and its palaces did seem
Like fabrics of enchantment pil'd to

heav'n.

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And ever as she went, the Image lay With folded wings and unawakened eyes;

And o'er its gentle countenance did play The busy dreams, as thick as summer flies,

and how much it may be injured by a harsh line, an imperfect or forced rhyme, a defective syllable, or, as is often the case here, an unfortunate [] occurring in the middle of a stanza. Others, however, are fortunately in a more finished state; and

Chasing the rapid smiles that would not stay,

sweet sighs

And drinking the warm tears, and the though even in these it is probable that much is wanting, which the last touches of the author would have given, we have no fear but that, imperfect as they are, they will bear us out in what we have said of the powers of the poet.

Inhaling, which, with busy murmur vain,
They had arous'd from that full heart and

brain.

And ever down the prone vale, like a cloud
Upon a stream of wind, the pinnace

went :

Now lingering on the pools, in which abode

The calm and darkness of the deep content

In which they paus'd; now o'er the shallow road

Of white and dancing waters, all besprent

With sand and polish'd pebbles :—mortal boat

In such a shallow rapid could not float. And down the earthquaking cataracts, which shiver

Their snow-like waters into golden air, Or under chasms unfathomable ever Sepulchre them, till in their rage they

tear

A subterranean portal for the river,
It fled, the circling sunbows did up-
bear

Its fall down the hoar precipice of spray,
Lighting it far upon its lampless way.

By far the greater number of the pieces which the present volume contains are fragments, some of them in a very unfinished state indeed; and though we approve the feeling which led the friends of Mr Shelley to collect them all, we question whether a selection, from the more finished pieces, would not have been a more prudent measure, as far as his fame is concerned. It dissolves entirely the illusion which we wish to cherish as to the intuitive inspiration-the estro of poetry-to be thus admitted, as it were, into the workshop of Genius, and to see its materials confused and heaped together, before they have received their last touches from the hand of the poet, and been arranged in their proper order. And it is wonderful how much the effect of the finest poem depends on an attention to minutiæ,

What a quiet stillness breathes over this description of

The Pine Forest

OF THE CASCINE, NEAR PIŠA! We wandered to the Pine Forest That skirts the Ocean's foam, The lightest wind was in its nest, The tempest in its home.

The whispering waves were half asleep,
The clouds were gone to play,
And on the woods, and on the deep,
The smile of Heaven lay.

It seemed as if the day were one
Sent from beyond the skies,
Which shed to earth above the sun
A light of Paradise.

We paused amid the Pines that stood
The giants of the waste,
Tortured by storms to shapes as rude,

With stems like serpents interlaced.
How calm it was !-the silence there

By such a chain was bound,
That even the busy woodpecker
Made stiller by her sound.
The inviolable quietness;

The breath of peace we drew,
With its soft motion made not less

The calm that round us grew.

It seemed that from the remotest seat
Of the white mountain's waste,
To the bright flower beneath our feet,
A magic circle traced ;-

A spirit interfused around,
A thinking, silent life,
To momentary peace it bound
Our mortal Nature's strife.

For still it seemed the centre of
The magic circle there,

Was one whose being filled with love
The breathless atmosphere.

Were not the crocusses that grew

Under that ilex tree,
As beautiful in scent and hue
As ever fed the bee?

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What difference? but thou dost possess
The things I seek, not love them less.
I love Love-though he has wings,
And like light can flee,
But above all other things,
Spirit, I love thee-

O come,

Thou art love and life!
Make once more my heart thy home!

Mutability.

The flower that smiles to-day To-morrow dies;

All that we wish to stay, Tempts and then flies; What is this world's delight? Lightning that mocks the night, Brief even as bright.

Virtue, how frail it is! Friendship too rare!

Love, how it sells poor bliss For proud despair!

But we, though soon they fall, Survive their joy and all Which ours we call.

Whilst skies are blue and bright, Whilst flowers are gay,

Whilst eyes that change ere night Make glad the day;

Whilst yet the calm hours creep, Dream thou-and from thy sleep Then wake to weep.

Swifter far than summer's flight, Swifter far than youth's delight, Swifter far than happy night,

Art thou come and gone: As the earth when leaves are dead, As the night when sleep is sped, As the heart when joy is fled, I am left lone, alone.

Lilies for a bridal bed, Roses for a matron's head, Violets for a maiden dead,

Pansies let my flowers be:
On the living grave I bear,
Scatter them without a tear,
Let no friend, however dear,

Waste one hope, one fear for me. The longer poems, from which we have made no extracts, we think less interesting, though some of them, and particularly the Triumph of Life, an imitation of Petrarch's Trionfi, are written with very peculiar power and originality. Some translations are also included in this volume, of which the Scenes from Goethe's Faust, and Calderon's "Magico Prodigioso," are the most interesting.

с

SCOTS JUDICATURE BILL,

Entituled, "An Act for the better regulating the Forms of Process in the
Courts of Law in Scotland.
I. VIEWS OF GOVERNMENT.

"If it were possible, by proper regulations, to remove these evils," a 66 new cha racter would be given to the administration of justice in Scotland, favourable to the litigants, honourable to the Judges, and, in time, affording effectual relief to the Court of ultimate Appeal."-Report of Mr Cleghorn-Appendix, p. 16.

THE public are aware that the present system of the forms of administering justice in Scotland has been almost entirely regulated, since the Union, by Acts of Sederunt. It is undeniable that great abuses now exist. They have been forced upon the attention of the Legislature by the extraordinary number of appeals from Scotland, in comparison with those from England and Ireland. Some think that all the evils which have arisen are to be traced to the Bench; others, that "the principal point is, that Government shall do its duty by giving us learned, experienced, and conscientious Judges, who have not to learn their law on the of syth, Advocate, p. 196.

are

For agreed that our forms of process "stand in need of some improvement, or at least of some alteration," and that "there never can be a better opportunity than the present, for discussing and ascertaining what are the improvements or alterations most proper to be adopted, and how they can be most effectually carried into execution."-(Opinion of Mr Swinton, W. S.)

This subject originated in the Report of a Committee of the House of Lords. Afterwards, the Act of 4 Geo. IV. c. 85,"to the intent that salutary regulations should be made and established," authorised his Majesty to appoint Commissioners to inquire into the forms of process in the Courts of Scotland, and appeals in the House of Lords. The Presidents of the Session, Exchequer, and Jury Courts, two Ordinary Judges of the Court of Session,-one of the Barons of Exchequer,-the Lord Advocate and Solicitor-General,-two Masters in Chancery,-two English Barris

ers, two Scots Advocates,-and one

Principal Clerk of Session, were ap
pointed Commissioners; and Royal
instructions were issued to those
Commissioners. The opinions of se-
veral eminent and learned persons in
Scotland were taken. Those opi-
nions, in an Appendix, and the Re-
port of the Commissioners, have been
printed. An Act of Parliament has
been since introduced, which, after a
considerable struggle, was got post-
poned till next Session, in order to
afford the people of Scotland an op-
portunity of expressing their opinions.
This liberality on the part of the
Legislature, although nothing more
than what the people were entitled
to expect, will, no doubt, be duly
It is, in-
deed, more liberal than any measure
established by the Acts of Sederunt
of the Scotch Judges since the Union,
as to any of which it was never
thought necessary to take the opinion
of the country.

appreciated by the public.

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It has been truly observed, that no measure since the Union has been set on foot, which is likely to be attended with more important results to Scotland than this Commis sion; and no Scotsman can await the resolutions which may be adopted, without the most anxious solicitude.'

(Opinion of Mr Pat. Robertson, Advocate.)

While appeals are competent to the House of Lords, and decided by an English Judge, it is not difficult to anticipate, that, in the progress of time, the Scotch forms and principles of law must be assimilated to those in England. From a conviction that the English system, upon the whole, is better adapted for dispatch, and the impartial administration of justice, than the Scots system, and that the mode of administering justice in England has been attended with

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