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I feel the tears of blood arise
Within thy heart my arrow lies,
Oh! cursed hand! oh! cursed blow!
Oh! happy thou that liest low,
All night the silence seems to flow
A weary, weary way I go, Oriana.
When Norland winds pipe down the sea, Oriana,
I walk, I dare not think of thee,
Thou liest beneath the greenwood tree,
I dare not die and come to thee,
I hear the roaring of the sea,
But the highest of all this young poet's achievements, is the visionary and romantic strain, entitled, "Recollections of the Arabian Nights." It is delightful even to us, who read not the Arabian Nights, nor ever heard of them, till late in lifewe think we must have been in our tenth year; the same heartsoul-mind - awakening year that brought us John Bunyan and Robinson Crusoe, and in which—we must not say with whom-we first fell in love. How it happened that we had lived so long in this world without seeing or hearing tell of these famous worthies, is a mystery; for we were busy from childhood with books and bushes, banks and braes, with libraries full of white, brown, and green leaves, perused in schoolroom, whose window in the slates shewed the beautiful blue braided skies, or in fields and forests, (so we thought the birch coppice, with its old pines, the abode of linties and cushats-for no long, broad, dusty, high-road was there—and but footpaths or sheep-walks winded through the pastoral silence that surrounded that singing or cooing grove,) where beauty filled the sunshiny day with delight, and grandeur the one-starred gloaming with fear. But so it
was; we knew not that there was an Arabian Night in the whole world. Our souls, in stir or stillness, saw none but the sweet Scot
tish stars. We knew, indeed, that they rose, and set, too, upon other climes; and had we been asked the question, should have said that they certainly did so; but we felt that they and their heavens belonged to Scotland. And so feels the fond, foolish old man still, when standing by himself at midnight, with wither ed hands across his breast, and eyes lifted heavenwards, that shew the brightest stars somewhat dim now, yet beautiful as ever; out walks the moon from behind a cloud, and he thinks of long Loch Lomond glittering afar off with lines of radiance that lift up in their loveliness, flush after flush-and each silvan pomp is statelier than the last-now one, now another, of her heron-haunted isles!
But in our egoism and egotism we have forgot Alfred Tennyson. To his heart, too, we doubt not that heaven seems almost always an English heaven; he, however, must have been familiar long before his tenth year with the Arabian Nights' Entertainments; for had he discovered them at that advanced period of life, he had not now so passionately and so imaginatively sung their wonders.
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
WHEN the breeze of a joyful dawn blew free In the silken sail of infancy,
The tide of time flowed back with me
The forward-flowing tide of time;
Anight my shallop, rustling through
In sooth it was a goodly time,
Often, where clear stemmed platans guard
Of breaded blosms unmown, which crept
A goodly place, a goodly time,
A motion from the river won
Of good Haroun Alraschid!
Dark blue the deep sphere overhead,
Of good Haroun Alraschid..
Thence through the garden I was borne-
With dazéd vision unawares
After the fashion of the time,
The fourscore windows all alight
In inmost Bagdat, till there seem'd
Engarlanded and diapered
With inwrought flowers, a cloth of gold,
Sole star of all that place and time,
THE GOOD HAROUN ALRASCHID!
Our critique is near its conclusion; and in correcting it for press, we see that its whole merit, which is great, consists in the extracts, which are "beautiful exceedingly.” Perhaps, in the first part of our article, we may have exaggerated Mr Tennyson's not unfrequent silliness, for we are apt to be carried away by the whim of the moment, and in our humorous moods, many things wear a queer look to our aged eyes, which fill young pupils with tears; but we feel assured that in the second part we have not exaggerated his strength-that we have done no more than justice to his fine faculties -and that the millions who delight in Maga will, with one voice, confirm our judgment—that Alfred Tennyson is a poet.
But, though it might be a mistake of ours, were we to say that he has much to learn, it can be no mistakę to say that he has not a little to unlearn, and more to bring into practice, before his genius can achieve its destined triumphs. A puerile partiality for particular forms of expression, nay, modes of spelling and of pronunciation, may be easily overlooked in one whom we must look on as yet a mere boy; but if he carry it with him, and indulge it in manhood, why it will make him seem silly as his sheep; and should he
Of night new-risen, that marvellous time, continue to bleat so when his head
To celebrate the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.
Then stole I up, and trancedly
The sweetest lady of the time,
Six columns, three on either side,
and beard are as grey as ours, he will be truly a laughable old ram, and the ewes will care no more for him than if he were a wether.
Farther-he must consider that all the fancies that fleet across the imagination, like shadows on the grass or the tree-tops, are not entitled to be made small separate poems of about the length of one's little finger; that many, nay, most of them, should be suffered to pass away with a silent " God bless ye," like butterflies, single or in shoals, each family with its own hereditary character mottled on its wings; and that though thousands of those grave brown, and gay golden images will
be blown back in showers, as if upon balmy breezes changing suddenly and softly to the airt whence inspiration at the moment breathes, yet not one in a thousand is worth being caught and pinned down on paper into poetry, "gently as if you loved him"-only the few that are bright with the "beauty still more beauteous"-and a few such belong to all the orders-from the little silly moth that extinguishes herself in your taper, up to the mighty Emperor of Morocco at meridian wavering his burnished downage in the unconsuming sun who glorifies the wondrous stranger.
Now, Mr Tennyson does not seem to know this; or if he do, he is selfwilled and perverse in his sometimes almost infantile vanity; (and how vain are most beautiful children!) and thinks that any Thought or Feeling or Fancy that has had the honour and the happiness to pass through his mind, must by that very act be worthy of everlasting commemoration. Heaven pity the poor world, were we to put into stanzas, and publish upon it, all our thoughts, thick as mots in the sun, or a summer evening atmosphere of midges!
Finally, Nature is mighty, and poets should deal with her on a grand scale. She lavishes her glorious gifts before their path in such profusion, that Genius-reverent as he is of the mysterious mother, and meeting her at sunrise on the mountains with grateful orisons-with grateful orisons bidding her farewell among the long shadows that stretch across the glens when sunset sinks into the sea-is yet privileged to tread with a seeming scorn in the midst of imagery that to common eyes would be as a revelation of wonders from another world. Familiar to him are they as the grass below his feet. In lowlier moods he looks at them-and in his love they grow beautiful. So did
Burns beautify the daisy-" wee modest crimson-tipped flower!" But in loftier moods, the "violet by the mossy stone," is not "half-hidden to the eye"-it is left unthought of to its own sweet existence. The poet then ranges wide and high, like Thomson, in his Hymn to the Seasons, which he had so gloriously sung, seeing in all the changes of the rolling year "but the varied god,"like Wordsworth, in his Excursion, communing too with the spirit "whose dwelling is the light of setting suns."
Those great men are indeed among
66 Lights of the world and demigods of fame;"
but all poets, ere they gain a bright name, must thus celebrate the worship of nature. So is it, too, with painters. They do well, even the greatest of them, to trace up the brooks to their source in stone-basin or mossy well, in the glen-head, where greensward glades among the heather seem the birthplace of the Silent People-the Fairies. But in their immortal works they must shew us how "red comes the river down;" castles of rock or of cloudlong withdrawing vales, where midway between the flowery foreground, and in the distance of blue mountain ranges, some great city lifts up its dim-seen spires through the misty smoke beneath which imagination hears the hum of life" peaceful as some immeasurable plain," the breast of old ocean sleeping in the sunshine-or as if an earthquake shook the pillars of his caverned depths, tumbling the foam of his breakers, mast-high, if mast be there, till the canvass ceases to be silent, and the gazer hears him howling over his prey-See-see!-the foundering wreck of a three-decker going down head-foremost to eternity.
With such admonition, we bid Alfred Tennyson farewell.
OF venerable Ceres would I sing,
Golden-hair'd, and her daughter Proserpine,
Though the deep-bosom'd nymphs of Ocean all were there.
Sportively gathering they, the sunny hour
Full in her path by Earth, through wile of Jove,
Sweet, joyous flower, by Gods and men beheld,
Then first with gaze of rapture, from whose root, Each one with odoriferous balsam fill'd,
An hundred graceful heads did upward shoot-
Both hands outstretch'd, the admiring Virgin bent
Lash'd his immortal steeds, with loosen'd rein
The maiden shrieking loud to Jove and wailing sore.
She call'd on Jove, supremest, best, in vain—
For neither God nor mortal heard; nor one
Of Ocean's many daughters in her train,
Though piercing were the cries she utter'd, none, Save Hecate the forlorn, within her cave,
Perseus' daughter heard, and mute attention gave.
Pale Hecate, fillet-crown'd, and Helius, he,
Receiving proffer'd gifts from mortal men,
While yet she saw the land and sun-lit sky,
The mountain tops and the deep ocean bed
The wreath-a dark veil o'er her shoulders threw,