« PreviousContinue »
woods of Ontario, and swathe us in the man with the name “ Wheeler” to write windy spray and gray whirling mist of a poem. Since Capt. Simms thought of the Monarch of Cataracts? We remem- sailing through the centre of the earth, ber this--ah! very well! What then? entering by a hole at one Pole, and comIt does not cool us a jot! Here we are ing out at the other, nothing ought to again—the old Babel around us—except seem impossible. Besides, “ Alfred," something larger by two veeks' ab- fortunate pronomen, is something heroic, sence !-dust-business a wilderness of and sounds well. brick-and the same “mighty hum” Mr. Wheeler's motto is a good one
at least very convenient. “Kind Reader, “Paining the calm blue heaven," take
your choice—to cry or laugh.” We accept
the alternative." We might weep and, hotter than ever, the antique sun,
at the idea of a young man of talent aliusque et idem,” incontinently visits
" throwing himself away,” as business us through the window, though we clap
men feelingly express it of promising to the shutters in the red face of him ! But we must not quarrel with Apollo! know that there is any loss in this case,
youth turning poets; but as we do not We want his help-Not in the way of we shall reserve our tears for some bright poetic fury for ourselves-Grace save us!
fellow of whom we may have heardno!
We did versify once, at a wide suffered by his friends to “ appear in rate, though mostly in narrow measureand thought ourself an honor to Parnas- print.” Looking farther, we are afraid
we ought to be more grave--nay, resus. Suddenly, we perceived that almost
spectful. Mr. Wheeler appears to be everybody was doing the same ! We
poet-laureate to “ The New York Soquit, of course, for the Divine few” are now those who have no experience of tion we have never heard. It is not old,
CIETY OF LITERATURE.” Of this instituthe Moon and the Muses—and we plead indeed, but evidently hopeful; it has guilty to being a very little exclusive. held two anniversaries, at both of which Were Flaccus alive, he would certainly Mr. Wheeler was crowned, afterwards point his scorn of the rabble - Odi pro- rhyming at the crowners. In the
fullness fanum Vulgus, et arceo”—at the legions of inspiration, Mr. W. scorns prose in of verse-mongers-taking care to turn his his dedication to these “ Dii Minores”:words into aristocratic prose! No more would he have written “me gelidum which has illumined your pathway, may
trusting that the sunshine of prosperity, nemus, etc. — secernunt populo.” Every: ne'er be shadowed by a single cloud, I body now wanders in · cool woods," have the honor to be
-ALFRED feels inspired, stands by Niagara,” WHEELER.” This we like. When one
worships,” thinks Nature was made for takes it upon him to be inspired, it is him and he for Nature, and takes occa
satisfactory to see him, as it were, totally sion, very likely, to express his contempt
possessed,” like the Scripture maniac for all who are not “poets born.” However, we have need of Apollo's himself with stones," and was hard to
among the tombs,” that kept cutting help. The efforts of these
chain ! many” have accumulated on our table
Earthly " immortality,” the emptiness during the dog-days. We
may want thereof, &c., is a theme particularly afsome inspiration to see where their beau- fected by weak-winged poetic aspirants. ties are.
The pile is something large. They have such a sense of the “ end of Fly-time is a prolific season." flagrantis all things!” The present, hundred and atroce hora caniculæ.” We must be
seventieth, descant is happily on few “ sudden and rash,” or we shall never
pages,--only nineteen,--and loosely get through.
printed. What it lacks, however, in We“ lay hands” on the topmost, with
it makes up in variety; a-benediction, as will appear.
- IMMORTALITY, and other Poems: By Alfred ited under thirteen different measures,
being in the space of nine leaves exhibWheeler.”—Immortality !-a lofty sub- with two or three that are no measures ject, certainly, but-
at all. Like John Bunyan_first of tin“O, Alfred Wheeler !--Phæbus! what a
kers !-- Mr. Wheeler proceeds under the
“ similitude of a dream." Also, for To fill the speaking trump of future fame!" further effect, the dreamer is a “ Pilgrim”
—not a Palmer, gray Palmer from Not that it would be impossible for a Galilee's wave”-nor even an old man
-as he says, “no curved or bended four original lines, constructed altogether form," no crooked staff”--but a youth without the knowledge of the gods. “ of twenty years,” who had strayed
“And fancy now, with quick and magic probably from his mother's house as far
power as the woods. After spoiling the mel. On the sleeper cast the thraldom of an hour; ody of a beautiful 'passage from Byron's And lo! the wild romance that preyed upon “ Dream,” by misquoting it for a motto, his soul, our bard opens, of course, with blank In dreams, still bowed his spirit to its own
No especial farrago of rhyme control.” ever begins but with blank verse —"ex The dream, in four parts, presents to ceeding blank.” Of this there are some
the dreamer four phases of earthly “imtwenty lines, broken in the middle by a mortality," in the persons of Belshazzar, felicitous freak of four short lines in Voltaire, Bonaparte, the Puritans and rhyme-like a sparkling puddle with Washington. Belshazzar's state is, of mud piled on each side.
course, a model of emptiness : “It was the noon,
“ And the pilgrim dreamer murmured low, And birds, escaping from the fervid food
If this be Immortality, of heat that poured upon the shadeless Father of mercy, hear my prayer, oh! fields
Lei me not immortal be!" [No wonder—just the middle of August, a measure which may he called Æolno doubt! We have not seen a warbler (y.e-ou-l!)-ic, cat-a-trimeter, scat!-a-lectto-day !]
ic," lacking one foot”-that is, going on Amid the cooling branches of the grove
three legs-originally imitated, it is supHad nestled. Some with plumage bright posed, from the scampering of a midnight
catawauler over the eaves-gutter. VolUnequaled hues of Heaven's own work- taire, &c., follow, all in different measure manship! &c. &c.
--a few good lines---more, decent-most, While gentle zephyrs sweet
miserable-till the dreamer wakes. What From hill and dale,
No. Any deep
impression abiding with the dreamer And rustling leaves
through life? No. It is simply said that With music like Æolian harps, from tree
he woke; was properly ambitious; grew To tree, gave back the music, -" &c.
old; grew melancholy; hardly knew
what ailed him, neither did his wife--entirely in
“flat” notes for some nine who “ doubted of his love !” lines—breaking with sudden but extreme grace into bastard anapestic--a kind of
“His pilgrimage was well nigh o'er, mellifluous hip-a-te-hop :]
And his soul from earth must soon be
free; “ In short, the scene was a joyous scene, But oh! how much his spirit bore, In this greenwood wild and free;
As the price of IMMORTALITY!" (!!) The winds at play on the leafy green Amid Nature's melody.”
How fully can the Poet enter into the
Pilgrim's sense of the emptiness of earthThe lilting warble of this “ melody,” ly aspiration ! after five such quatrains, ends in a long
Maniac Bride,” which comes liquid “trickling mellowness ”-as, e. g. next, is all equal to the opening: “Oh! tell me, mother, may not I, like them, “Oh! dark was the night and bleak the air, immortal be!"
And the stormy winds were free, an anxious inquiry, said to have been And alone on the heath was a lady fair, uttered by the “ Pilgrim” when he was a
A picture of misery!"' “shaver," on hearing his mother speak Almost everything is of like order. of great men. But,
There are two prayers, in blank verse,
more pious than powerful, and the rhymed “Friendless, now, and lone he stood, be- pieces are constantly full of such pasneath the greenwood tree,
“ most tolerable and not to be And mused upon his pilgrimage to Immor
endured”-as tality;" till “ weary with his fate," he lay down “May we meet them above, far, far through and went to sleep! This position of Where beauty ne'er fades, and hope never things is connected with what follows by dies."
There are occasional verses, in which rusty tinkle four stories down, in the celhe does not halt, and is not entirely com lar; but he-twing-Twing-tink.amon-place. We quote one or two, as tink.” It's of no use!
Wing-heeled good as any we find:
Mercury, with a murrain to him! He
must be a joy to his mother, running on “ TO A LADY ON HER NINETEENTH
Well The Age; a Satire.” “ Another year has rolled its cycle round, “ Alas! kind friends, how poorly can my
To swell the measure of the greedy past;
pen soundThus come the dreams of youth to fade Right! No one will dispute that! If at last,
they did, the continuation would prove
it. The satirist skillfully introduces in Thy bloom has faded not; thy hopes are bright;
the beginning (see 6th line) the word, Thy heart still beats as happy and as gay; angles, to tell the affecting story of
He then tlies off at right
“farewell." Thy spirit has not mourned the cheerless blight
“a maiden once,” who, parting from of hopes that smiled on thee—then her lover with a “ farewell ?" long afterpassed away.
wards, hearing of his death, died, saying
only “farewell !"--an incident in itself, And while the year steals on, my earnest quite simple and touching, but having prayer,
about as much place in a Satire, as a That God may bless thee, shall be fondly rose in a bed of red-peppers. Howgiven;
ever, Mr. W. would have spoiled it any. And every birth-day, though it bring its where. But the transition is happy.
Hurling scorn at those who will not cry Shall tell that thou art so much nearer
at such aflecting things, “because it is Heaven."
not in the fashion,” the poet proceeds : So the song, “Farewell,” not very ori “ And here of fashion let me say a word, giral, is sweet and flowing, and the ll’tis not out of place, nor yet absurd. (?) “ Hunter's Song” quite spirited; yet To speak of themes that number more than always, close by passages no better than these, are others irredeemably Less sad than that with which I have bewretched. Whole pieces, besides, are gun. palpable imitations. Here Tom Moore It is a fact that's no less strange than true, shines through-there, Burns; Brainard's That men will be so weak, and women too, beautiful “ Epithalainium” is transferred As to descend from their high god-like
station, to one place--to another, the whole mea
To be so monkey-like in imitation." sure and spirit of Willis's “ Annoyer," one of the most exquisite things in the Enough! The rest is “ like unto it.” In language.
the whole seven hundred lines of " The Then Mr. Wheeler's “ Satire”—but Age,” there is not a gleam of humor, nor that will be entirely too hot without ice! a line of poetry: Sull, it may have True, « THE NEW YORK SOCIETY OF LITE- satisfied the New York SOCIETY OF TURE” heard it all, at once—they had to! LITERATURE”—and heaven forbid that But that was in the middle of January, we should find fault. with the thermometer at zero. Now, the We have spent ten times more space mercury stands at—let me see--117°!! and time on these productions, than ihey as we are sinners—that is, by our ther- deserved. We have done this for a reamometer.---It has been dropped two or son. Mr. Wheeler's efforts are but a three times, to be sure, and may be the small sample of that immense quantity quicksilver became jolted a little too high of thorough common-place, and barren to start correctly. We must rap it a trifle, imitation, that is constantly put forth some day, on the other end, and rectify it! for poetry by the “rising generation.” But call it 1119_-!!--Heavens ! We Probably, lifteen or twenty such volumes must put some ice under the bulb !--that as the
Pilgrim's Dream, and other is, if we ever get it. Ho, hoy! bring up Poems,” are issued among us every that pitcher ! " Ring.twingle”--we've year-sinfully printed, like that, on the pulled this old thing nine times already-- loveliest paper, and with a wasteful beauty “tling-ting-a-ling"--we can hear the of typography. They do not sell; they
do not live. They bring neither money mans?”. -A stone pitcher, and cold wa. nor fame. They simply daunt, weaken, ter--ice-cold---my Helicon, I ca’ that!" break up, the youthful energy of their What weather, indeed, for spiced potaauthors, by disappointment. Now, we tions ! wish to urge these young men, who
“Heating our Trojan blood with Greekish have mostly the aspiration without the
wine !"afflatus, to turn their attention to other
- Extremum hunc, Arethusa”-fields of intellectual labor. They need not turn tradesmen because they have
“one draught, the last”—then, with refailed as poets—though many of them newed enthusiasm, had better. But let them remember how “ Set forth the labors that adorn the age !" few in the whole history of letters, in
“ The Sale of a Distillery.”—Blank eight or nine cultivated nations, have triumphantly trodden the “Divine Heights.” from the subject is quite too much for
verse,-good, we hope—but the steam They have, many of them, perception, this weather. Death seems to have been taste, talent.
Let these qualities find auctioneer; but whether the man that other spheres. the wings in him, and knows he failed sold, or the purchaser, had the worst of
the bargain, is not evident at once. only from flying too early, he will wisely Mr. Wheeler we do not know. Another “Excursion !"--but from quite
“ The Pedler, and other Poems.”If we did, we could not have spoken another country than high-cheeked Scototherwise. When we candidly assure him, that, in all he has published, there Joose-jointed, double-fisted fellow, with
land. We can see him !-a long-sided, is not only no new thought, but not a
a goose bill nose, and gray eyes full of single espression which has not been used before, what advice would he laughing intelligence !-He's the chap!
—all his home-spun cut too short-wan. have? He may possibly take encourage; dering away from some New England ment from the hint about “the wings!" homestead--bound for anywhere in gen—“perge modo .!”
eral, but in particular for the auspiciOh! you've come, have you?
ous South or easy-hearted West. And rit!!” Did you make the ice,
Tin,—tin,#tin,— “Running upon the sharp wind of the
Above below, without, within, North ?”
Wherever you look you can't begin or did you dig for it
To see anything your money to win, “i the veins of the earth,
But tin-tin,-tin; Where it is baked with frost ?”
And yet he will squeeze
By hook or by crook You would be the one to put“ a girdle
From out some nook round the earth in forty minutes !” Well, Whatever you please, set it down. Here, ihis way !- in the If so it will help him a bargain to pinmiddle of the room: let it radiate cool. And when he is paid, there's nothing more ness on every side !--and put a small said, piece in that thermometer !' That will But lumbering onward with clatter and
dindo. Now--take your thumb out of your
Tin!—tin!—tin!” mouth !-see, now, how much faster you can go away than you came !
Let him go! The glitter of this sun on Lips to the pitcher--would it were that culinary ware is too much for our “ The old oaken bucket! the moss-covered eyes! bucket
“The Lost Pleiad and other Poems.” Yet how glorious this Croton !-coming - Especially “other Poems” - Too many from many miles away, among the cool of them!-some seventy--fugitive! fugi
tive! However ;hills! Forever honored be the skill, and energy, and far foresight of the Sons of “ And though thy saintly form be hid Men! And shall not we, now, in this Beneath thy screwed-down coflin-lid,”New World, place ourselves without dis- that's not a bad couplet !!—But we must paragement by the side of the Pyramid lay all these aside till a different day. Builders of the Nile? Yes! or those who The Coming of the Mammoth, The led the long aqua-ducts of lasting marble Burial of Time, and other Poems.” under the earth for the “ hook-nosed Ro. “ Other Poems" again !-as if saying
ty Ariel !”
to the reader,-if you don't like the body red—the sky grew brazen—and how of this polypus, perhaps you will fancy scorched were the fields and wide forests some of the radii better !–We only know --charred, almost !-Remembered—ah, as yet, about the animal part of the book. how it came into our mind !the terriOf that we informed ourselves slightly ble language of Scripture: " And the the other morning. It seems, as Mr. heavens over thee shall be brass! and the Hirst tells us, the continent, formerly, earth iron under thy feet!”—Thought was black with MAMMOTH-terrible fel. then-strange of those quaint lines : lows—so huge, that
« All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun at noon
No bigger than the moon.". The Indians prayed, and the Great Spirit slew his "favorite cattle” with thunder. But whether they were Mr. Lord's, or balls and fire-all but one. A hardened Coleridge's, we could not recollect !! old patriarch sinner-he! His hide was Then, suddenly, the sun fell down, and
the world was a-fire !.
-Ah! proof. He simply turned tail to the storm,
what a time! with some bellowing-shook his horns at the thunder, and his heels at the light
How is the mercury, I wonder ?
-Whew! Boiled-baked-stewed ning-bounded over the Mississippi
fried — singed— roasted - toasted - and leaped on the top of the Rocky Mountains—and with one jump plunged into whatever like terms are significant of the Pacific Ocean ! SA sprightly old fire ! - What's the use of water?–We've fellow! But, for our part, we believe drunk a pitcher-full! it: our idea is, that the electricity which
“Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would had got into him, by the time he reached melt, the Mississippi, made him limber. But Thaw and resolve itself into a dew !” it would really be too warm work to follow the animal this noontime.
—that is, if this “dew” would only be Poems by W. W. Lord-Beautifully cool, then, like that which lies down in printed! Let us open it at random. narrow glens, or on the under side of
“ low-browed rocks!"—What time can it “ St. Mary's Gift,”—hum, one hasn't forgot the “Eve of St. Agnes —
be ?--One hour “ayont the twal”—just « The Golden Isle"
the highest heat !
“ The bloody sun at noon “ A Peak that from the sea
Just up above our chamber stands.” Shoots upward like a spireThe clouds far down around it lie"-- Yes, and has it all to himself--as he
has had for a month! No one disputes Abrupt—“ Buccaneer"-ish!
his fierce sovereignty.” Onevery side “ Higher, and higher, climbed the sun”. from the long sea-coasts to great Nor
thern Lakes and “rivers of the west,” Something like Coleridge, that!
fields, cattle, men, are scorched brown. And then the measure -this Only a deep stretch of forest, here and noontime, or something, is most sleep- there, --impenetrable greenness holds oppressive !
-The-meas its own. We begin to think that fond
Phæbus has yielded again his reins and
day-steeds to rash Phæton, and the youth -Ancient Mar -Golden Isle -giddy with sudden power-has been -Lord
-Coleridge whirled by the fiery coursers through un
wonted regions of the North, and not genius -Buccan
Shelley very far above the earth. -What a time -Keats, too -Lord
to talk about poetry! For it needs
some inspiration to discuss it properly, -fire !
a fact lost sight of by the great race of -Faith! we must have slept? We small critics! But now
V-your Helicon, must have done it! Thought we heard of “ margent green,” is a very steam-bath ourself talking in sleep-about-what-the singing swans would scald their legs was it!—some mariner's golden isle, or in Arethusa--and we doubt if the springs something and about old bards, that of Delphi have trickled down those lived a great while ago ! Thought it mossy cliffs for a week. And what a grew hotter and hotter—the sun turned time must the Cyclops and swart VulVOL. II.-NO, III.