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LAMIA, AND OTHER POEMS.
KEATS. THESE poems are very far superior a nymph of whom he is enamoured. to any which their author has previously We give the opening passage, as it will committed to the press. They have enable the reader to feel the airy spirit nothing showy, or extravagant, or with which the young poet sets forth eccentric about them; but are pieces on his career. of calm beauty, or of lone and self-sup- Upon a time, before the faery broods \ported grandeur. There is a fine free: Drove Nymph and Satyr from the prosperous woods, ness of touch about them, like that Before King Oberon's bright diadem, which is manifest in the old marbles, as Sceptre, and mantle, clasp'd with dewy gem, though the poet played at will his fan- Frighted away the Dryads and the Fauns
From rushes green, and brakes, and cow slip'd lawns, cies virginal, and produced his most
The ever-smitten Hermes empty left perfect works without toil. We have
His golden throne, bent warm on amorous theft. perused them with the heartiest pleasure from high Olympus had he stolen light, -før we feared that their youthful au On this side of Jove's clouds, to escape the sight thor was suffering his genius to be en Of his great summoner, and made retreat thralled in the meshes of sickly affec- Into a forest on the shores of Crete.
For somewhere in that sacred island dwelt tation and we rejoice to find these his
A nymph, to whom all hoofed Satyrs knelt; latest works as free from all offensive
At whose white feet the languid Tritons pour'd peculiarities—as pure, as genuine, and as Pearls, while on land they wither'd and adored. lofty, as the severest critic could desire. Fast by the springs where she to bathe was wont, « Lamia,” the first of these poems, is
And in those meads where sometime she might founded on the following passage in
Were strewn rich gifts, unknown to any Muse, Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, which Though Fancy's casket were unlock'd to choose. is given as a note at its close :
Ah, what a world of love was at her feet ! “ Philostratus, in his fourth book de Vita
So Hermes thought, and a celestial heat
Burnt from his winged heels to either ear, Apollonü, hath a memorable instance in this
That from a whiteness, as the lily clear, kind, which I may not omit, of one Menip- Blush'd into roses 'mid his golden hair, pus Lycius, a young man twenty-five years
Pallen in jealous curls about his shoulders bare. of age, that going betwixt Cenchreas and Corinth, met such a phantasm in the habit After seeking the nymph with vain of a fair gentlewoman, which taking him by search through the vales and woods, as the hand, carried him home to her house, in he rests upon the ground pensively, he the suburbs of Corinth, and told him she hears a mournful voice, “such as once was a Phænician by birth, and if he would heard in gentle heart destroys all pain tarry with her, he should hear her sing and but pity," and perceives in a dusky play, and drink such wine as never any brake a magnificent serpent, with the drank, and no man should molest him ; but she, being fair and lovely, would live and lips of a woman, who addresses him die with him, that was fair and lovely to
in human words, and promises to place behold. The young man, a philosopher, the nymph before him, if he will set otherwise staid and discreet, able to mode- her spirit free from her serpent-form. rate his passions, though not this of love, He consents-his utmost wishes are tarried with her a while to his great content, granted—and the brilliant snake, after a and at last married her, to whose wedding, convulsive agony, vanishes, and Lamia's amongst other guests, came Apollonius; soft voice is heard luting in the air. who, by some probable conjectures, found Having enjoyed power during her de. her out to be a serpent, a lamia; and that gradation to send her spirit into distant described by Homer, no substance, but mere places, she had seen and loved Lycius, illusions. When she saw herself descried,
a youth of Corinth, whom she now she wept, and desired A pollonius to be silent, hastens to meet in her new, angelic but he would not be moved, and thereupon beauty. He sees and loves her; and is she, plate, house, and all that was in it, led by her to a beautiful palace in the vanished in an instant: many thousands midst of Corinth, which none ever retook notice of this fact, for it was done in membered to have seen before, where the midst of Greece." Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy." dream of love. But Lycius, at last, be
they live for some time in an unbroken Part 3. Sect. 2. Memb. 1. Subs. 1.
comes restless in his happiness, and The
poem commences with the de- longs to shew his beautiful mistress to scent of Mercury to Crete, in search of the world. He resolves to solemnize
Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other poems. By John Keats, `author of Endymion; in one vol. foolscap 8vo.
publicly his marriage festival, against with a frightful scream, and Lycius is which she tremblingly remonstrates in found, on his high couch, lifeless! vain. Finding she cannot win him There is, in this poem, a mingling of from his purpose,
Greek majesty with fairy luxuriance, She sets herself high-thoughted how to dress which we have not elsewhere scen. The Her misery in fit magnificence :
fair shapes stand clear in their antique And the following is the beautiful re- beauty, encircled with the profuse magsult of her art:
nificence of romance, and in the thick
atmosphere of its golden lustre! About the halls, and to and from the doors, There was a noise of wings, till in short space
“Isabella” is the old and sweet tale of The glowing banquet-room shone with wide-arched the Pot of Basil, from Boccaccio, which grace.
forms the groundwork of Barry CornA haunting music, sole perhaps and lone
wall's delicious Sicilian story. It is Supportress of the faery-roof, made moan
here so differently told, that we need Throughout, as fearful the whole charm might fade. Fresh carved cedar, mimicking a glade
not undertake the invidious task of deOf palm and plantain, met from either side,
ciding which is the sweetest. The High in the midst, in honour of the bride :
poem of Mr. Keats has not the luxury Two palms and then two plantains, and so on, of description, nor the rich love-scenes, From either side their stems branch'd one to one
of Mr. Cornwall; but he tells the tale All down the aisled place; and beneath all
with a naked and affecting simplicity There ran a stream of lamps straight on from wall to wall.
which goes , irresistibly to the heart. So canopied, lay an untasted feast
The following description of Isabella's Teeming with odours, Lamia, regal drest,
visit with her old nurse to her lover's Silently paced about, and as she went,
grave, and their digging for the head, is In pale contented sort of discontent, Mission'd her viewless servants to enrich
as wildly intense as any thing which we The fretted splendour of each nook and niche.
can remember. Between the tree-stems, marbled plain at first,
See, as they creep along the river side, Came jasper pannels; then, anon, there burst
How she doth whisper to that aged Dame, Forth creeping imagery of slighter trees,
And, after looking round the champaign wide, And with the larger wove in small intricacies.
Shows her a knife. — “What feverous hectic Approving all, she faded at self-will,
flame And shut the chamber up, close, hush'd and still,
Burns in thee, child - What good can thee betide, Complete and ready for the revels rude,
That thou should'st smile again " The evenWhen dreadful guests would come to spoil her
ing came, solitude.
And they had found Lorenzo's earthy bed; . The fatal day arrives—the guests as The flint was there, the berries at his head.
Who hath not loiter'd in a green church-yard, cius, comes an unbidden guest-but And let his spirit, like a demon-mole,
Work through the clayey soil and gravel hard,
To see scull, coffin'd bones, and funeral stole: wonder.
Pitying each form that hungry Death hath marr'd, Sost went the music the soft air along,
And filling it once more with human soul? While fluent Greek a vowel'd undersong
Ah ! this is holiday to what was felt Kept up among the guests, discoursing low
When Isabella by Lorenzo knelt. At first, for scarcely was the wine at flow;
She gaz'd into the fresh-thrown mould, as though But when the happy vintage touch'd their brains,
One glance did fully all its secrets tell ; Louder they talk, and louder come the strains
Clearly she saw, as other eyes would know Of powerful instruments :- the gorgeous dyes,
Pale limbs at bottom of a crystal well; The space, the splendour of the draperies,
Upon the murderous spot she seem'd to grow The roof of awful richness, nectarous cheer,
Like to a native lily of the dell: Beautiful slaves, and Lamia's self, appear,
Then with her knife, all sudden, she began
To dig more fervently than misers can.
Soon she turn'd up a soiled glove, whereon
Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies, Soon was God Bacchus at meridian height;
She kiss'd it with a lip more chill than stone, Flush'd were their cheeks, and bright eyes double
And put it in her bosom, where it dries bright:
And freezes utterly unto the bone Garlands of every green, and every scent
Those dainties made to still an infant's cries : From vales deflower'd, or forest-trees branch-rent.
Then 'gan she work again; nor stay'd her care, In baskets of bright osier'd gold were brought
But to throw back at times her veiling hair. High as the handles heap'd, to suit the thought That old nurse stood beside her wondering, Of every guest; that each, as he did please,
Until her heart felt pity to the core Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillow'd at his ease. At sight of such a dismal labouring,
The awful catastrophe is, however, And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar, 1 at hand. In the midst of the festivities
And put her lean hands to the horrid thing : Apollonius fixes his eye upon the cold,
Three hours they labour'd at this travail sore;
At last they felt the kernel of the grave, pallid, beseeching bride-she vanishes And Isabella did not stamp and rave:
.“ The Eve of St. Agnes" is a piece of joyous existence. We do not think any consecrated fancy, which shews how a thing exceeds in silent grandeur the young lover, in the purity of heart, went opening of the poem, which exhibits to see his gentle mistress, the daughter Saturn in his solitude : of a baron, as she laid herself in her Deep in the shady sadness of a vale couch to dream in that holy season Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn. and how she awoke and these lovers
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star, fled into the storm—while the father
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair; and his guests were oppressed with
Forest on forest hung about his head strange night-mare, and the old nurse Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there, died smitten with the palsy. A soft re Not so much life as on a summer's day ligious light is shed over the whole Robs not one light seed from the featherd grass, story. The following is part of the ex
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more quisite scene in the chamber :
By reason of his fallen divinity A casement high and triple-arch'd there was,
Spreading a shade : the Naiad 'mid her reeds Al garlanded with carven imag'ries
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.
Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went, Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground As are the tiger-moth's deep-damask'd wings; And in the midst, 'mong thousand heraldries,
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed : And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the A shielded scutcheon blush'd with blood of queens
Earth, and kings.
His ancient mother, for some comfort yet. Full on this casement shone the wintry moon, And threw warm gules on Madeline's fair breast,
The picture of the vast abode of CyAs down she knelt for heaven's grace and boon; bele and the Titans—and of its gigantic Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest, inhabitants, is in the sublimest style of And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
Æschylus. Lest this praise should be And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
thought extravagant we will make room She seem'd a splendid angel, newly drest, Save wings, for heaven :-Porphyro grew faint :
for the whole. She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal
It was a den where no insulting light taint.
Could glimmer on their tears; where their own Anon his heart revives : her vespers done,
groans Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse, Loosens her fragrant boddice; by degrees
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where. Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees :
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that seem'd Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Ever as if just rising from a sleep, Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
Forehead to forehead held their monstrous horns; In fancy, fair St. Agnes in her bed,
And thus in thousand hugest phantasies But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.
Made a fit roofing to this nest of woe.
Instead of thrones, hard flint they sat upon, Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
Couches of rugged stone, and slaty ridge In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex'd she lay,
Stubborn'd with iron. All were not assembled : Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress'd
Some chain'd in torture, and some wandering. Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Cæus, and Gyges, and Briareus, Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Typhon, and Dolor, and Porphyrion, Blissfully haven'd both from joy and pain ;
With many more, the brawniest in assault, Clasp'd like a missal where swart Paynims pray;
Were pent in regions of laborious breath; Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
Dungeon'd in opaque element, to keep As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.
Their clenched teeth still clench'd, and all their Stol'n to this paradise, and so entranced,
limbs Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
Lock'd up like veins of metal, crampt and And listen'd to her breathing, if it chanced
Without a motion, save of their big hearts
Heaving in pain, and horribly convuls'd
With sanguine feverous boiling gurge of pulse. Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
Mnemosyne was straying in the world ; And over the hush'd carpet, silent, stept,
Far from her moon had Phæbe wandered: And 'tween the curtains peep'd, where, lo!
And many else were free to roam abroad,
But for the main, here found they covert drear. how fast she slept.
Scarce images of life, one here, one there, “Hyperion, a fragment,” is in a very Lay vast and edgeways; like a dismal cirque different style. It shews us old Saturn Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor, after the loss of his empire, and the
When the chill rain begins at shut of eve,
In dull November, and their chancel vault, Titans in their horrid cave, meditating
The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night. revenge on the usurper, and young Each one kept sbroud, nor to his neighbour gave Apollo breathing in the dawn of his Or word, or look, or action of despair.
Creus was one; his ponderous iron mace
He ground severe his skull, with open mouth ***And eyes at horrid working. Nearest him
Asia, born of most enormous Caf,
Shadow'd Enceladus; once tame and mild 11: Now tiger-passioned, lion-thoughted, wroth,
He meditated, plotted, and even nown
We now take leave of Mr. Keats with wonder at the gigantic stride which he has taken, and with the good hope that, if he proceeds in the high and pure style which he has now chosen, he will attain an exalted and a lasting station ainong English poets.
Noctes ATTICÆ.-REVERIES IN A GARRET. CONTAINING SHORT AND ORIGINAL REMARKS ON MEN AND BOOKS, &c.
BY PAUL PONDER, GENT.
Nubes et inania captat.
in order to check the wishes and curiosity 1 REMEMBER an Italian author who of young persons from making their exproposes consigning his state rooms to periments also, they remind me of the the lifferent virtues suiting the noble indifference with which a man hands a inhabitants and guests : chastity, tem- newspaper to his neighbour, after an perance, honour, integrity, &c. In- hour's enjoyment of it, saying, “There's tegrity lodges a prime minister, tempe- nothing in it, sir.” The poet speaks rance a city alderman, and chastity a more philosophically on this subject. young widow of quality, &c. I fear
-For youth no less becomes this writer was somewhat of a wag,
The light and careless livery that it wears, and required a delicate duty from the
Than settled age his tables and his weeds
Importing health and graveness. master of the mansion.
Shakspeare's Hamlet.. ANTIQUITIES.
HEALTH. Students in antiquarian researches are
many, persons labour under valuable persons;
and should be con lowness of spirits, from not being aware sidered as great law officers in the lite- that a very slight medical aid would rary world: as they arrest the hand of liberate them from these “ blue devils. oblivion, and prevent the ravages of Were we all able to distinguish moral time from injuring the views of future from physical evils, we should not so ages, in spite of the indignant exclama- often talk of unhappiness, misery, &c.; tion of time on these useful and diligent and it may be feared that many men purveyors for futurity.
have applied a pistol to their heads in Pox on't, says Time to Thomas Hearne, a great agony of mind, when a few Whatever I forget you learn.
gentle cathartics would have restored To such valuable reporters we are much them to cheerfulness and health. indebted, that as we grow old we do not
FIELDING AND RICHARDSON..!!! subject ourselves to the bitter sarcasm of Junius, of being old men without
Fielding, like a modern portraitthe benefits of experience.
painter or statuary, made his characters
resemble individuals. Richardson, on ADVICE AND CAUTION.
the contrary, painted from fancy, in When old persons inveigh against imitation of the beau ideal, by which the vanitý and nonsense of the world, the statue or painting represented no
real person, but a character macie up of
EVIDENCE ADMITTED. various excellent qualities from different Mr. R.' a staunch lawyer, used frepersons, as in the exhibition of the quently to rate his wife for her unfound. super-excellent Lais. Fielding's Toined stories, for which she was in vain Jones is an individual we often meet requested to bring some authority or with in life ; Sir Charles Grandison an voucher. Once in a passion she told ideal excellence, and compiled from him, that he was a cuckold. Now, others
my dear, replied Mr. R. with the ut« A faultless monster that the world ne'er saw.” niost sung froid, now I believe I may
consider your own assertion as the best DEMOSTHENES AND CICERO. possible evidence. Many ingenious critics have puzzled
AMBITION themselves in making comparisons of
Can only be praise-worthy in any ina the respective merits of these authors, dividual as it produces benefits to manwhen their difference is the more ob- kind, and has real honour in view. vious subject of this discussion. Demos
Otherwise the hero who acts on the thenes might be compared to thunder
selfish motive of making himself great, and lightning, astonishing and terri
is only a robber or a tyrant, a whirlfying the reader; whilst the eloquence
wind and a storm, and a plague. of the Roman orator might be illustrated by artificial fires, which are at once
“ From Macedonia's madman to the Swede." luminous, elegant, and amusive.
Should such facetious writers as MonGIL BLAS AND DON QUIXOTE.
taigne or Rabelais give us an account of These very ingenious and diverting
their own lives, their pleasant anecdotes authors seem calculated to please readers
and candid representations of themselves of very different descriptions. I have
would shut our eyes against the vanity observed that literary men are most de
of writing their own lives. When David lighted with Don Quixote, and men of
Hume in the description of himself disthe world with Gil Blas. Perhaps the
plays cold conceit and the most inhuman preference of Don Quixote in the for
phlegm, we turn our faces with disgust mer may be ascribed to the sympathy
from the pages of a solemn and disgustwhich learned readers feel for the knight,
i ing babbler. whose aberrations of intellect originated from too intense an application to books
BEAUTY. of his own selection, and from whims M en who marry for the beauty only which his own brain engendered. of their wives, found their conjugal
happiness on a very precarious tenure: DRUIDS.
they cannot renew the lease, or repair We learn that the ancient Druids the premises, or enter upon new ones; reckoned their days, not by the course whilst the old one is every day falling to of the sun, but by that of the moon. ruin : and as marriage is a concurrent Perhaps some learned ladies of this age lease, the hope of survivorship is equally have adopted the almanack of the Druids, uncertain. Our early dramatists have and regulate their days, or rather nights, given some useful hints on this delicate by this planet; and the dame of fashion, subjectlike the Satan in Paradise Lost, never
" By her virtue learn to square thinks of the son, but to address him in And level out your life : for to be fair the lines of that immortal bard,
And nothing virtuous, only fits the eye
Of gaudy youth and swelling vanity.” * To tell him how she hates his beams."
Beaumont and Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess. LEARNED LADIES.
CONVERSATION. A person who frequently attended This intercourse has generally been the Royal Institution, and who was regulated by moral remedies. I should both asionished and delighted with the propose physical cures. Men from exunumerous attendance of the fair sex at berant spirits often disturb the equality these scientific lectures, observed with necessary to conversation : I should rea smile somewhat Sardonic, that he commend the lancet to such plethoric saw great advantage arising from that talkers; either to the tongue if it be too circumstance, as he was sure that for rapid, or to the temples if the person the future the sciences would no longer indulges more in talk'than the adjacent have any secrets.
regions may enable him to do well. NEW MONTHLY Mag.-No. 80. Vol. XIV,