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will never be found to degenerate into misanthropy. He is particu. larly anxious that this should not be ascribed to a desire on his part to participate in that fashion of affected gloom, which, originated by one of mighty endowments, has, of late years, too much prevailed. He has felt, in those moments of temporary depression of spirits which are incidental to all, more disposed to indulge his inclination to verse than at other seasons; and that his pieces should frequently have taken the hue of his feelings, is by no means extraordinary.'
Nor is it by any means extraordinary, that he should feel a wish to publish them, although this supplies no very strong reason for selecting the effusions of such morbid moods. But we hold it as a favourable sign, when a young writer begins to shake off the shackles of a servile imitation of some popular model, and shews himself able to form a sober and discriminating estimate of the genius which had once warmed and dazzled his boyish fancy. Our opinion of Lord Byron's poetry has been repeatedly given. Much of it is exquisitely and inimitably fine; but, like Thomson's and Young's, his style becomes insufferable in his imitators; and sentiments which, in him, were affectation or lordly spleen, are, in them, grimace and childishness. Mr. Rolle's volume, however, is free from every palpable fault of this kind. The first poem is obviously modelled upon Childe Harold; it is not, however, a servile imitation. It is a clever essay, and would have commanded commendation as a prize poem; it is, evidently, the Author's most serious and laboured effort, and it has served to supply a title to the volume. Yet, notwithstanding all this, the Author is, we make no doubt, aware ere this, that it is neither the best nor the most pleasing poem in the volume ; that it is jejune and savours strongly of the morbid feelings of disconsolate seventeen. The following elegant little poem has a thousand times more • heart' in it.
Golden pathway-golden hours:
Hopes, a cowslip field could bound !' The Exile's Return' is, perhaps, altogether, the most successful poem in the volume ; and we shall give it entire. There are some faults in it, which we should not think it necessary to notice, if they were mere slips of the pen; but, as they are imitated faults and studied slovenliness, we must warn our Author, that bad grammar and bad construction, such illicit versification as parts the verb and its preposition, tyrannically assigning them to separate lines, and still worse, which divides one sentence between two stanzas, leaving the last line of the one to struggle towards the first line of the next, like the severed parts of a worm under the gardener's spade ;-such proceed. ings, we say, can never be legalized by precedent, or tolerated in any minor poet,
"THE EXILE'S RETURN.
My heart is worn by many an hour of care ;
For it was mine in peril oft to share ;
I had this liope to hold me from despair,
• Oft thought I of the cottage in that vale,
With green o'ergrown, and canopied by trees; Where ne'er the songs of birds were known to fail,
And each bright day brought troops of humming bees To the rich verdure mantling o'er the pale,
Sweet woodbine, mossy rose, and fragrant pease:-
When the close branches arboured us around,
A green defiance, and the sloping ground
But springing wild were there ; and not a sound
Is crost, its droning voice hath left my ear;
That in my days of infancy were dear;
Like me were in your spring-now both are sere;
Whence my sad eyes sent forth their last adieu
Is as I left it, fields and lanes I knew,
Such heaps of violets,—there the hawthorn grew,
The griefs of early years stalk from their grave
Thy fondness, be forgotten ?-Yew-trees wave With a sepulchral sadness o'er the earth
Where thou dost sleep; nor love nor health could save Thee from an early tomb; we laid thee where Yon lowly spire pierces the placid air. • Stay thee an instant here, thou aged man ! • Thy thin and frosty locks, methinks, do speak Knowledge of by-gone years; why dost thou scan
My features thus with thy dim vision, bleak
And time-bleached from its hue may be thy cheek,
• Thou wilt not tell me so ! my father dead,
And garner'd 'neath the church-yard hillock--there!
And strangers in my birth-place! where, Oh where
Fond twins together ; she was fond as fair ;
Be blest, though mine no more that much-loved spot,
Yet is each field, each tree a friend, which not
There as in adamant, while all forgot
Amelia's eye was bright, her cheek was fair,
And full and flowing waved her auburn hair ;
Thine eye is dim, thy brow is worn with care,
She wept, and fast and free the big tears came;
Yet even in weeping ye are not the same;
The spirit, not that settled, lifeless, tame,
On with a fond idolatry? is this
My treasure of anticipated bliss ? -
Henceforth thou'rt but a cold and drear abyss !
In the full faith of my long-cherished dream! pp. 13–19. Many of the songs appear to be written for favourite airs; a difficult task, in which few have succeeded. The lines entitled, “Sad will I be no more,' are, we presume, not of this description : they are very touching and elegant. We sympathize with Mr. Rolle's fondness for the violet, but the bee' knows more about flowers and their chronology, than his poet does. We can make room for only one more specimen, and we believe the following will please ur readers.
With which thy griefs are wash'd away,
The heart, and goads it to decay ;
And lost, earth's bosom scattered o'er,
Melt into tears, and are no more.
Itself from the o'erflowing eyes,
And may not vent its agonies :
Without a hope to which to fly;
And yet each burning lid is dry l' pp. 72, 3. The · Poetical Illustrations of Passages of Scripture' possess a very high degree of merit. Indeed, we have not lately met with a volume of sacred poetry that has so much gratified us. In our last Number, we had occasion to remark on the singular want of success which has attended the numerous attempts, some of them by our best poets, to give a metrical form to the translation of the Psalms; notwithstanding which, we maintained the practicability of preserving inviolate, the simplicity of expression and sacred dignity characteristic of the original, in a lyrical version. Had the present volume then been in our hands, we need not, we think, have gone any further for an illustration of our remarks, but might have referred to the following version of the CIIId Psalm, as a happy specimen-we were going to say, an almost perfect specimen, from its very simplicity-of what such poems should be. It is not, indeed, complete, because several of the verses of the Psalm are passed over ; but, in point of closeness, without servility, propriety of diction, and spirit, it leaves little to wish for.
Let all that is within me bless his name!
Who thy diseases heals,
Who for thy frailty feels,
No long-retained anger will he hide;
Of wrath for us; nor will he always chide :