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works, with a continual explosion of quaint figures and devices, flash after flash, that surprise for the moment, and leave no trace of light or warmth behind them. Or modern poetry in its retrograde progress comes at last to be conštructed on the principles of the modern OPERA, where an attempt is made to gratify every sense at every instant, and where the understanding alone is insulted and the heart mocked. It is in this view only that we can discover that Mr. Moore's poetry is vitiated or immoral,-it seduces the taste and enervates the imagination. It creates a false standard of reference, and inverts or decompounds the natural order of association, in which objects strike the thoughts and feelings. His is the poetry of the bath, of the toilette, of the saloon, of the fashionable world; not the poetry of nature, of the heart, or of human life. He stunts and enfeebles equally the growth of the imagination and the affections, by not taking the seed of poetry and sowing it in the ground of truth, and letting it expand in the dew and rain, and shoot up to heaven,

" And spread its sweet leaves to the air,

Or dedicate its beauty to the sun,”— instead of which he anticipates and defeats his own object, by plucking flowers and blossoms from the stem, and setting them in the ground of idleness and folly-or in the cap of his own vanity, where they soon wither and disappear, “ dying or ere they sicken!” This is but a sort of child's play, a short-sighted ambition. In Milton we meet with many prosaic lines, either because the subject does not require raising or because they are necessary to connect the story, or serve as a relief to other

passages—there is not such a thing to be found in all Mr. Moore's writings. His volumes present us with “a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets” --but we cannot add," where no crude surfeit reigns.” He indeed cloys with sweetness; he obscures with splendour ; he fatigues with gaiety. We are stifled on beds of roses we literally lie “on the rack of restless ecstacy." His flowery fancy“ looks so fair and smells so sweet, that the sense aches at it.” His verse droops and languishes under a load of beauty, like a bough laden with fruit. His gorgeous style is like “ another morn risen on mid-noon.” There is no passage that is not made

up of blushing lines, no line that is not enriched with a sparkling metaphor, no image that is left unadorned with a double epithetall his verbs, nouns, adjectives, are equally glossy, smooth, and beautiful. Every stanza


is transparent with light, perfumed with odours, floating in liquid harmony, melting in luxurious, evanescent delights. His Muse is never contented with an offering from one sense alone, but brings another rifled charm to match it, and revels in a fairy round of pleasure. The interest is not dramatic, but melo-dramatic—it is a mixture of painting, poetry, and music, of the natural and preternatural, of obvious sentiment and romantic costume. rose is a Gul, a nightingale a Bulbul. We might fancy ourselves in an eastern harem, amidst Ottomans, and otto of roses, and veils and spangles, and marble pillars, and cool fountains, and Arab maids and Genii, and magicians, and Peris, and cherubs, and what not? Mr. Moore has a little mistaken the art of poetry for the cosmetic art. He does not compose an historic group, or work out a single figure; but throws a variety of elementary sensations, of vivid impressions together, and calls it a description. He makes out an inventory of beauty—the smile on the lips, the dimple on the cheeks, item, golden locks, item, a pair of blue wings, item, a silver sound, with breathing fragrance and radiant light, and thinks it a character or a story. He gets together a number of fine things and fine names, and thinks that, flung on heaps, they make up a fine poem. This dissipated, fulsome, painted, patch-work style may succeed in the levity and languor of the boudoir, or might have been adapted to the Pavilions of royalty, but it is not the style of Parnassus, nor a passport to Immortality. It is not the taste of the ancients, “ 'tis not classical lore”

nor the fashion of Tibullus, or Theocritus, or Anacreon, or Virgil, or Ariosto, or Pope, or Byron, or any great writer among the living or the dead, but it is the style of our English Anacreon, and it is (or was) the fashion of the day! Let one example (and that an admired one) taken from Lalla Rookh, suffice to explain the mystery and soften the harshness of the foregoing criticism.

“ Now upon Syria's land of roses

Softly the light of eve reposes,
And like a glory, the broad sun
Hangs over sainted Lebanon :
Whose head in wintry grandeur towers,
And whitens with eternal sleet,
While summer, in a vale of flowers,
Is sleeping rosy at his feet.

To one who look'd from upper air,
O’er all th’ enchanted regions there,
How beauteous must have been the glow,
The life, the sparkling from below!

Fair gardens, shining streams, with ranks
Of golden melons on their banks,
More golden where the sun-light falls,
Gay lizards, glittering on the walls
Of ruin'd shrines, busy and bright
As they were all alive with light ;-
And yet more splendid, numerous flocks
Of pigeons, settling on the rocks,
With their rich, restless wings, that gleam
Variously in the crimson beam
Of the warm west, as if inlaid
With brilliants from the mine, or made
Of tearless rainbows, such as span
The unclouded skies of Peristan!
And then, the mingling sounds that come
Of shepherd's ancient reed, with hum:
Of the wild bees of Palestine,

Banquetting through the flowery vales --
And, Jordan, those sweet banks of thine,
And woods, so full of nightingales.”-

The following lines are the very perfection of Della Cruscan sentiment, and affected orientalism of style. The Peri exclaims on finding that old talisman and hackneyed poetical machine, “ a penitent tear”

“ Joy, joy forever! my task is done

The gates are pass'd, and Heaven is won!
Oh! am I not happy? I am, I am
To thee, sweet Eden! how dark and sad
Are the diamond turrets of Shadukiam,
And the fragrant bowers of Amberabad.”

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