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expected in a young and inexperienced writer. These errors are not discoverable in the works of his middle age; but, unhappily, in wrenching away the weeds from his mind's domain, many of the sweetest flowers, steeped in the morning dews of poetry, have vanished with them. It would seem that it is necessary for a poet to continue an unceasing cultivation of his powers, and to cherish, as much as possible, all imaginative associations. Mr. Moultrie had so long intermitted his addresses to the Muse, that they had become comparatively strangers to each other. A fair being of flesh and blood had monopolized his attentions. No youthful lover could testify more devotion to the maiden mistress of his heart than our poet has shown towards his wife. This amounts to a degree of amiable uxoriousness that would have puzzled Byron. A very large proportion of the poems in this volume seem to have been inspired by conjugal affection: but the author of Don Juan thinks that a husband cannot be a lover. “Think you if Laura had been Petrarch's wife He would have written sonnets all his life!” But Mr. Moultrie has not only shown us that a poet may be at once a husband and a lover, he has also proved how a finer imagination may increase and elevate a parent's pleasures. A severe domestic affliction threw Mr. Moultrie upon his mental resources, and he soon discovered that poetry had charms that could beguile him of his sorrows. His melodious sighs eased
the weight upon his heart. “Most poets,” says Shelley,
“Are cradled into poetry by wrong ;
Mr. Moultrie's earlier poems are remarkable for that vivacity and enthusiasm, which are characteristic of youthful genius in its exulting consciousness of power. They breathe too the spirit of generous admiration, which leads a young poet to imitate the
VOL. II. 2 Q
peculiarities of maturer minds. Byron was at that period in the meridian of his fame, and Mr. Moultrie soon caught his tone and manner. His youthful performances are amongst the best imitations of the noble poet that have yet appeared. Mr. Moultrie's intellectual character has undergone a very striking change. He is no longer gay and buoyant, but a quiet bliss, wholly unallied to mirth and jollity, has taken possession of his heart. A serene religious thoughtfulness has spread its silent mist over the radiant colours of his youthful fancy, and the tumultuous tide of early passion has lost its ruder force, and gradually wound its way into the calmer and deeper channel of domestic love. No poet of the present day has drawn more of his inspiration from his household deities. His own sacred hearth is to him the Muse's altar. He is essentially the poet of domestic life. He is as ignorant of the great world as a child; but he knows and cultivates his own heart, and feels that he has “riches fineless” in his happy human nest. He sings like a bird, to cheer the affectionate mother of his little brood. It is chiefly in obedience to her urgent and repeated solicitations, that he has latterly been so lavish of his song. In the change that has come over the spirit of our poet, it was not to be expected that he would continue to worship his earlier idols. As was said before, Byron has made way for Wordsworth. In Mr. Moultrie's later productions, there is not a single line that reminds us of the author of Childe Harold ; but it is evident, that Wordsworth's pure fancy and calm philosophy have now an ever-present influence upon his genius. The change is a fortunate one, and calls for special congratulation. There is an appearance of less force in Mr. Moultrie's later productions, but perhaps there is a greater depth of thought in them. At all events, there is no question that they are very elegant and refined effusions, and do honor to the head and the heart of the
author. The subjects are generally of a nature to call forth, in
the happiest manner, the peculiar powers of Mr. Moultrie's genius. He is most at home in the tender and pathetic, and in the illustration of the domestic affections. Note.—These Miniature Outlines are merely a collection of brief notices written for the editorial department of a literary journal. They are very incomplete, and are perhaps open to the charge of dogmatism and pretension, coming as they now do from an individual author. As editorial criticisms a certain air of assumption and decision was in some degree excusable. There are many admirable writers, of whom no mention is here made, but who ought to have
found a place in this collection, had it been intended as a full account of the literati of the day.
THE PAST YEAR.
DEPARTED Year ! now sunk to rest
TEN YEARS AND MORE.
I. TEN years and more—ten years and more, Have glided swiftly by, Since first upon our native shore We felt the social tie, And little thought at fate's command To meet upon this distant land.
II. Ten years and more—ten years and more — A cloud is on my heart 1 For like the knell of pleasures o'er When Life's best dreams depart, These words from drear Oblivion's pall Dim throngs of shrouded hopes recall.
III. Ten years and more—ten years and more l— These breathings of the past— These murmurs on Time's twilight shore Far heard o'er “memory's waste,’ Arrest awhile the dreaming ear Like sounds that home-sick wanderers hear.
ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG OFFICER IN INDIA.
OH ! dear were the beautiful dreams of his youth,
But life's sun is sunk, from the scene it hath passed,