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readers as have not met with it, and I astonished if any one should be insentrust you will feel disposed to gratify sible to them. me. I do not pretend to be a critic; “ The Scenes of Infancy” is key. yet I think that I have some ideá den's greatest work, I work which what criticism ought to be, and what possesses many faults and many beaua critic ought not to be.' The duty ties. It is deficient in connection, of criticism,” says Dr Johnson,“ is -the author's oriental learning is unneither to depreciate, nor dignify by naturally obtrusive,-several of the partial representations, but to hold passages are over-laboured,-and some out the light of reason, whatever it of the episodes are coldly conceived may discover; and to promulgate the and artificially written"; but all determinations of truth, whatever she these faults are amply redeemed by shall dictate.” This, as far as I am many descriptions truly faithful, by able to judge, cannot admit of contra- the recollections of the author's boya diction; and I should have been hap- hood, embalmed in strains that are py to have seen the Doctor adhere to worthy of Goldsmith,by patriotic his own precept in writing the Lives feelings nobly expressed and, above of the Poets: precept and practice, all, by those passages in which he has however, are very different things. given vent to his unfeigned sorrow at But let that pass. Criticism, in the parting from his native land with all hands of a man of talent, of learning, its endearments. The following pasof candour, is of essential benefit to sages, though, perhaps, not the best, society. It tends to cherish the blos- are a fair specimen of the spirit, feelsoms of opening genius-it proves à ing, and versification of the work : light to the path of the more illite n
i rate; but when it only appears, like Ah! dear Aurelia ! when this arm shall an ignis fatuus, to lead them astray, guide the mischief is great. For it cannot Thy twilight steps no more by Teviot's be denied, that readers in general are side, very apt to be swayed, -nay, to be When I to "pine in eastern realms have implicitly, led by what they find in Magazines and Reviews. Although And years have pass'd, and thou remain'st I may be deficient in talent and alone, learning, I shall not, I promise you,
Wilt thou, still partial to thy youthful
flame, be deficient in candour; and I shall speak of Leyden's poetry in the
Regard the turf where first I carv'd thy
name, sincerity of my heart. It requires, And think thy wanderer, far beyond the perhaps, a mind of peculiar habits sea, of thought to relish the poetry of False to his heart, was ever true to thee ? Wordsworth or Coleridge, but the Why bend, so - sad, that kind, regretful common feelings of mankind are all view, that is necessary to be brougbt to the As every moment were my last adieu ? perusal of the poetry of Leyden. Ah ! spare that tearful look, 'tis death to There are no metaphysical subtleties,
see, there are no mystical dreams, the
the Nor break the tortur'd heart that bleeds
for thee! visions which arise on his soul, and
That snowy cheek, that moist and gelid the feelings which flow from his heart,
brow, ini are as readily recognized and appre- Those quivering lips, that breathe the unciated by the illiterate as by the finish'd vow, learned. When an author is deter. These eyes, that still with dimming tears mined to set at defiance the ordinary o 'erflow, . associations of mankind, he has no Will haunt me, when thou canst not see right to complain of the severity of my woe. criticism, or of the unpopularity of his Not yet, with fond but self-accusing pain, works,- he has written to please him- Mine eyes reve
monless himMine eyes reverted linger o'er the rain; self, let him therefore be satisfied But, sad, as he that dies in early spring,
When flowers begin to blow, and larks to with his own approbation. But when a man, like Leyden, has poured forth When
When nature's joy a moment warms his the undisguised feelings of his heart,
heart, --feelings which he possesses in com- And makes it doubly hard with life to part, mon with every brother of the hu- I hear the whispers of the dancing gale, man species, there is reason to be And fearful listen for the flapping sail,
Seek in these natal shades a short relief, Once more, inconstant shadow ! by my And steal a pleasure from maturing grief. side
I see thee stalk with vast gigantic stride, Yes ! in these shades, this fond, adoring Pause when I stop, and where I careless mind
bend Had hop'd in thee a dearer self to find, My steps, obsequiously their course ato Still from thy form some lurking grace to t end : glean,
Šo faithless friends, that leave the wretch And wonder it so long remain'd unseen ; to mourn, Hop'd, those seducing graces might impart Still with the sunshine of his days return. Their native sweetness to this sterner heart, Yet oft, since first I left these vallies green, While those dear eyes, in pearly light that I, but for thee, companionless had been. shine,
To thee I talk'd, nor felt myself alone, Fond thought! should borrow manlier While summer-suns and living moonbeams from inine.
beams shone. Ah! fruitless hope of bliss, that ne'er shall Oft, while an infant, playful in the sun,
I hop'd thy silent gambols to outrun, Shall but this lonely heart survive to me? And, as I view'd thee ever at my side, No! in the temple of my purer mind To overleap thy hastening figure tried. Thine imag'd form shall ever live enshrin'd, Oft, when with flaky snow the fields were And hear the vows, to first affection due, Still breath'd- for love that ceases ne'er Beneath the moon I started at thy sight, was true. pp. 327–329.
Eyed thy huge stature with suspicious
n mien, Land of my fathers ! -though no man
And thought I had my evil genius seen.
But when I left my father's old abode, grove here O'er thy blue streams her flexile branches And thou the sole companion of my road, ·
As sad I paus'd, and fondly look'd berear,
hind, Nor scaly palm her finger'd scions shoot, Nor luscious guava wave her yellow fruit,
And almost deem'd each face I met un. Nor golden apples glimmer from the tree
kind, Land of dark heaths and mountains ! thou
While kindling hopes to boding fears gave
place, art free.
Thou seem'dst the ancient spirit of my Untainted yet, thy stream, fair Teviot !
In startled Fancy's ear. I heard thee say, runs, With unatoned blood of Gambia's sons :
64 Ha! I will meet thee after many a day, No drooping slave, with spirit bow'd to When youth's impatient joys, too fierce to toil,
last, Grows, like the weed, self-rooted to the
the And fancy's wild illusions, all are past; soil,
Yes! I will come, when scenes of youth Nor cringing vassal on these pansied meads m
depart, Is bought and barter'd, as the flock he
To ask thee for thy innocence of heart, : feeds.
To ask thee, when thou bidst this light a. Free, as the lark that carols o'er his head,
dieu, At dawn the healthy ploughman leaves Ha! wilt thou blush thy ancestors to his bed,
view ?" Binds to the yoke his sturdy steers with Now, as the sun descends with westering care,
beam, And whistling loud directs the mining share; I see thee lean across clear Teviot's stream: Free, as his lord, the peasant treads the Through thy dim figure, fring'd with wavy
plain, And heaps his harvest on the groaning Their gliding course the restless waters wain ;
hold; Proud of his laws, tenacious of his right, But, when a thousand waves have roll’d 2. And vain of Scotia's old unconquer'd might. I way,
* ab aindo
The incumbent shadow suffers no decay. Dear native vallies ! may ye long retain
Thus, wide through mortal life delusion
the The charter'd freedom of the mountain
reigns; : .. s swain !
The substance changes, but the form reLong mid your sounding glades in union
mains : sweet
Or, if the substance still remains the same, May rural innocence and beauty meet !
We see another form, and hear another And still be duly heard at twilight calm
name. pp. 391_393. From every cot the peasant's chaunted psalm! pp. 374, 375.
Leyden's Ballads appear respecta
ble even when compared with similar Or fist to fist, with gote embrued, compositions of his illustrious friend : The combat's wrathful strife pursued, Sir Walter Scotty-and this is no With eager heart, and fury keen, scanty praise. As they have been Amid the ring on Denholm's bustling long before the public, and are to be green ? found in popular works, it would be
Yes, it was sweet, till fourteen years almost an insult to your poetical read
Had circled with the rolling spheres. ers to give them a quotation.
Then round our heads the tempest sleet I now come to his Miscellaneous
Of fretful cares began to beat ; Pieces, some of which I consider as
As to our several paths we drew, his most successful efforts. The The cold wind of the stranger blew « Ode to an Indian Gold Coin" is, Cold on each face—and hills between with the exception of some confusion Our step uptower'd and Denholm's lovely in the first stanza, a most exquisite green. little poem. It comes nearer than any thing I ever saw to Burus's “Ma-. When the gay shroud and swelling sail ry in Heaven.” Can anything be
Bade each bold bosom court the gale ; more beautifully conceived, or more
The first that tried the eastern sea
Was Gavin, gentle youth, was he! forcibly expressed, than the following
His yellow locks fann'd by the breeze, verses?
Gleam'd golden on the orient seas :
But never shall his steps be seen Slave of the mine! thy yellow light
Bounding again on Denholm's pleasant Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear.-
green. A gentle vision comes by night My lonely widow'd heart to cheer;
We both have seen the ruddy tide, Her eyes are dim with many a tear,
Of battle surging fierce and wide ; That once were guiding stars to mine :
And mark'd with firm unconquer'd soul Her foņd heart throbs with many a fear !
The blackest storms of ocean roll; I cannot bear to see thee shine.
While many a sun-ray, tipt with death, For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave,
Has fall'n like lightning on our path ; . I left a heart that lov'd me true !
Yet, if a bard presage aright, I ween, I cross'd the tedious ocean-wave,
We both shall live to dance once more on To roam in climes unkind and new.
Denholm's green. pp. 180-182, The cold wind of the stranger blew Chill on my wither'd heart :-the grave
The following sonnets are, perhaps, : Dark and untimely met my view And all for thee, vile yellow slave! p. 164. is good a
164. as good as most other sonnets. The verses “ To Mr James Pure On an Old Man Dying Friendless. vis” need only be read to be at once appreciated and admired.
To thee, thou pallid form, o'er whose wan
cheek Purvis, when on this eastern strand The downy blossoms of the grave are With glad surprise I grasp thy hand,
shed ! And memory's, fancy's, powers employ To thee the crumbling earth and clay
In the form’d man to trace the boy ; cold bed · How many dear illusions rise,
Of joys supreme, instead of sorrows, speak. And scenes long faded from my eyes, Deep in the silent grave thou soon shalt Since first our bounding steps were seen
rest; Active and light on Denholm's level green! Nor e'er shalt hear beneath the ridgy Playmate of boyhood's ardent prime!. .
mould" Rememberest thou, in former time,
The howling blast, in hollow murmurs How oft we bade, in fickle freak,
cold, Adieu to Latin terms and Greek,
That sweeps by fits relentless o'er thy To trace the banks where blackbirds
* breast !
16 No warm eye glistens with the dewy tear sung, .. And ripe brown nuts in clusters hung,
For thee, no tongue that breathes to Where tangled hazels twined a screen
heaven the vow, Of shadowy boughs in Denholm's mazy
No hand to wipe the death-drops from
thy brow, Dean?
No looks of love thy fainting soul to cheer! Rememberest thou, in youthful might Then go, forlorn ! to thee it must be Who foremost dared the mimic fight,
. sweet . And, proud to feel his sinews strung, Thy long-lost friends beyond the grave Aloft the knotted cudgel swung ;
to meet. p. 13,
To the Yew.
original, he will be able to judge of When fortune smild, and nature's charms the imitative art; and if he be pose were new,
sessed of those sensibilities the founI lov'd to see the oak majestic tower ; : tain from which poetry springs-he.
I lov'd to see the apple's painted flower, will be competent to distinguish wheBedropt with pencill’d tints of rosy hue. ther the stream be pure or adulteratNow more I love thee, melancholy Yew, ed. A reader, such as I have describWhose still green leaves in solemn si. ed, will, in my opinion, be able to lence wave
judge of the poetry of Leyden, for it Above the peasant's red unhonour'd
is, generally speaking, the poetry of grave, Which oft thou moistenest with the morn.
truth and nature. From this, indeed,
" ing dew.
must be excepted a few of his shorter To thee the sad, to thee the weary fly;
pieces, and not a few passages in the They rest in peace beneath thy sacred “Scenes of Infancy," where the augloom,
thor has endeavoured to work up his · Thou sole companion of the lowly tomb! pictures more with a view to make an No leaves but thine in pity o'er them sigh. impression on the mind of his readers, Lo! now, to fancy's gaze, thou seem'st than to give vent to those legitimate to spread
feelings which the original picture Thy shadowy boughs to shroud me with was calculated to awake in his own the dead. p. 17.
bosom: that is to say, he has dressed
his thoughts in that ornate and artiIt would be a tedious, and, in all
ficial style, which is too generally callprobability, an useless task to enter
ed poetic diction, when he ought to into a minute examination of Ley
- have ushered them forth in the nakden's poetry; and I only would beg. edna
e of the readers of poetry to consult
edness and simple dignity of truth.
And so far he is wrong; but no the work for themselves, and not
human composition can be perfect, to abandon the direction of their own judgments. But what disposition
and there is certainly sufficient evi
dence of genius in the writings of of mind ought a reader to bring to the perusal of poetic composition? I
Leyden to make a candid reader con
fess, that the soul of poetry is there. would not venture so far as Sterne to say," I would go fifty miles on foot
To conclude: Let us contemplate to kiss the hand of that man, whose
of this aspiring man struggling from the
shades of his native obscurity-overa
che generous heart will give up the reins
.coming every obstacle and, at last, of his imagination into his author's
when the harvest of all his hopes, and hands; be pleased, he knows not
of the hopes of his countrymen, seemwhy, and cares not wherefore ;" for
ed lying in full luxuriance before this is making man a merely passive,
him-see him at once cut off by the when he ought to be a rational being.
mysterious hand of Providence. Such Pope speaks with more reason :
a contemplation will engender a minA perfect judge will read each work of wit gled feeling of exultation and sorrow, With the same spirit as its author writ. and will undoubtedly dispose every
man to sit down with a friendly temNow, this is all I wish-I wish a man per of mind to the perusal of any to sit down in singleness of heart to thing that has come from the pen of the perusal of poetry. If his feelings, the late Dr Leyden. notwithstanding, be seared by an im
A BORDERER. moderate love of worldly wealth, or if his imagination be polluted by the pursuit of gross pleasures, he will not DIALOGUES ON NATURAL AND REbe found to be a very adequate judge;
VEALED RELIGION. but if he be feelingly alive to the beauties of nature both animate and
MR EDITOR, inanimates and if he has attended in I now transinit to you a farther some degree to the silent workings of portion of my Dialogues ; but before his own heart, he will be no incapaembarking your readers again in ble judge of the most genuine of all the stream of disputation, I wish species of poetry-the poetry of truth them to pause a little on the position and nature. Yes! I will repeat it with which my last communication if he be alive to the beauties of the concluded. It is what I consider as Vol., VII.
Qq . .
the most original and important part customary conjunction between that of all my speculations, and if I have and some other object; or, in other not succeeded in establishing it on ir- words, having found in many instances refragable grounds, I have yet very that any two kinds of objects, flame little doubt that it will hereafter be and heat, snow and cold, have always completely established by some more been conjoined together; if flame or accurate and profound inquirer. I snow be presented anew to the senses, mean my position, that all our belief, the mind is carried by custom to connected with the system of nature, expect heat or cold, and to berests on a previous intimation con- lieve that such a quality does exist, veyed to us, that there is la system, and will discover itself upon a nearer and, accordingly, that we cannot take approach. This belief is the neces a step in existence without acting upon sary, result of placing the mind' in principles, which, when followed out to such circumstances. It is an operatheir clear consequences, infallibly tion of the soul when we are so situatland us in pure, and perfect theism. ed as unavoidable as to feel the pasIf I am not greatly mistaken, this sion of love, when we receive benefits, theory of belief will be found to open or hatred when we meet with injuinto very elevated views of the hu- ries.” man mind, and of the constant de Mr Hume is here just upon the pendence with which it leans upon verge of the truth, but he has not the Deity. It, indeed, shows us, that hit it, and has exactly made the same " in Him we live, and move, and have blunder in metaphysics, which every our being,” since we cannot think one is prone to do in common life, a thought or perform an action that and which it requires much medita. has not a secret reference to his exist- tion and religious thought to correct. ence., ini
Our minds have become so abituated I think, too, it will be disco- to the order of things around us, that vered, that it is the want of this we forget that it is an order or sysview which forms the great and lead tem, and are but too ready to go on ing defect, in Mr Hume's philoso- through life without any of the devout phy. His system hangs much better sentiments which so beneficent an artogether, and seems to go deeper rangement ought constantly to inspire. into the human mind, than those of Thus we have got the habit of believing the philosophers who have risen to without looking back to the foundation oppose him. When they speak of on which our belief rests, (Mr Hume principles of belief, of which they can mistakes the habit for the foundation,) give no farther account, than that and when we do not see that belief is they invariably exist in all human invariably the same thing with faith, beings, and which, accordingly, they or opinion founded upon faith or trust slump under the vague and general in another Being, we naturally come to name of common sense, they are evi- describe this sentiment in the singular dently not philosophizing they ex- way in which this philosopher has plain nothing; there is no connecting done, that it " is nothing but a more tie by which these different principles vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady are linked together, or by which the conception of an object, than what belief in which they all terminate can the imagination alone is ever able to be shown to be one and the same attain.” I believe Mr Hume's philothing. Mr Hume comes much nearer sophy, amidst all its scepticism, is the the point when he speaks of belief as best key which has yet been given to a sentiment or feeling arising in cer- the human mind : it uplocks the outer tain circumstances, and although his courts of the temple--but the everaccount of what this sentiment is, is lasting gates are not thrown open! extremely defective and inaccurate, Explain only the true nature of belief, yet it is the kind of account which he and the foundation on which it obcould not but give, supposing, as he scurely rests even in the infant mind, did, that there was no principle on - and the clouds of “sceptical doubts," which it rested at all more rational and “ sceptical solutions of these than the mechanical principle of Cus- doubts,” are at once dispelled, the tom or Habit. : “ All belief of matter veil is rent in twain, and the Holy of of fact or real existence (says he) is Holies itself is disclosed to the prosderived merely from some object pre trate but grateful worshipper! , sent to the memory or senses, and a