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RUSSIAN POETRY. Poetry, like the elements which Greek, rhetoric and poetry, in Sakonosare necessary to our existence, is paskoe Uchilishchæ. In 1734 he entered common to every climate; it is a, the imperial academy, and two years afterflower that will flourish in any soil

. wards was sent to Germany as a student. Wherever there exists a certain de On his return to Petersburg he was apgree of mental civilization wherever in 1751 he was made associate of the aca

pointed to the professorship of Chemistry ; the imagination, the fancy, and the demy, and in 1760 called to the directorsensibility of man have power to ship of the academical gymnasium and of reach a certain state of develope- the university. He died in 1765. ment—there poetry will inevitably His poems are—two books of an Heroic spring up; and wherever those qua- Epic entitled Peter Velikii, Peter the lities attain their highest and purest Great ; Tamira i Selim, a tragedy; Destate of existence, there will poetry mophont, a tragedy ; Pismo o polze stekla, advance to its loftiest character, and a Poetical Epistle on the Uses of Glass, fulfil its best purpose :-whether it addressed to Shuvalov; Oda na Shchastice, be on the burning plains of the east; J. B. Rousseau ; Vanclunnaje nadezhda

Ode to Happiness, from the French of in the inspiring climate, and beneath Rossiiskoi Imperii, The Garlanded Hope the elysian sky of the south, or in

of the Russian Empire, from the German the frozen regions of the farthest of Professor Junker; eleven spiritual odes; north.

encomiastic odes; forty-nine laudatory inWe have lying before us a little scriptions ; poem on a fire-work; Polydore, work, entitled Russian Anthology.* an Idyl, and sundry smaller pieces; imiThe 'freezing breath of criticism tations of Anacreon, poetical epistics, transwaxes warm and genial at the very lations, &c. &c. name; and accordingly, before open- We are furnished with only two ing the book, we had made up our specimens of this poet's style; and mind to seek for beauties, and not to shall, therefore, turn to others for exseek for faults.-Fortunately, we shall tracts. be able to fulfil our un-critical inten- The Russian poet, whose works tions, with perfect ease and safety to (judging from the examples before our critical consciences. The work us) are most worthy of notice, is before us is really a very interesting Derzhavin.—There is a lofty and susvolume; not only from its entire no- tained style of thought and feeling velty of subject, but on account of about his Ode, entitled “ God, its real and intrinsic merit. As its which indicates a high degree of name indicates, it is a selection from mental power and cultivation ; and the poetry of the Russian nation, from in other parts of the specimens that its earliest period (which is, indeed, are given of his poetry, we discover a very late one) up to the present an active and excursive imagination, time.

and a very vivid and exquisite fancy. It appears, from an introduction – The following is from the ode we by Mr. Bowring, the translator, that have mentioned, entitled “ God.” the poetry of Russia was twin-born In its sublime research, philosophy with her civilization. In fact, she May measure out the ocean-deep—may owes this as well as all her other greatness-to that noblest of barba- The sands or the sun's rays—but, God! rians- the Czar Peter.

for Thec Mr. Bowring considers Lomonosov, There is no weight nor measure :-none (who was born in 1911) as the father of Russian poetry. On this account, Up to Thy mysteries ; Reason's brightest the following slight notice of his life spark, and works will be considered as in- Though kindled by thy light, in vain would teresting


To trace Thy counsels, infinite and dark : Michael Vassiljevich Lomonosov was And thought is lost ere thought can soar born in Cholmognie, in 1711. He was so high, the son of a sailor. He studied Latin and Even like past moments in eternity.



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Specimens of the Russian Poets ; with Preliminary Remarks, and Biographical Notices. Translated by John Bowring, FLS. Fcolscap 8vo. Hunter, London, 1821.

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Thou from primeval nothingness didst call Even to the throne of Thy divinity.
First chaos, then existence ;-Lord, on I am, O God ! and surely Thou must be!

What follows is from the longest
Eternity had its foundation :- all
Sprung forth from Thee :-of light, joy, poem in the collection, entitled " The

Waterfall;" also by Derzhavin. The Sole origin :--all life, all beauty Thine. descriptions of the wolf and the stag, Thy word created all, and doth create;

in the two last stanzas, are nearly as Thy splendor fills all space with rays die good as any thing of the kind can be: vine.

Lo ! like a glorious pile of diamonds bright, Thou art, and wert, and shalt be! Glori.

Built on the steadfast cliffs, the waterfall ous! Great!

Pours forth its gems of pearl and silver Light-giving, life-sustaining Potentate !

light : Thy chains the unmeasured universe sur

They sink, they rise, and, sparkling; round:

cover all Upheld by Thee, by 'Thee inspired with With infinite refulgence ; while its song, brcath!

Sublime as thunder, rolls the woods along Thou the beginning with the end hast

Rolls through the woods -- they send its acbound,

cents back, And beautifully mingled life and death!

Whose last vibration in the desert dies : As sparks mount upwards from the fiery Its radiance glances o'er the watery track, blaze,

Till the soft wave, as wrapt in slumber, So suns are born, so worlds spring forth

lies from Thee ;

Beneath the forest-shade ; then sweetly And as the spangles in the sunny rays

flows Shine round the silver snow, the pageantry A milky stream, all silent, as it goes. Of heaven's bright army glitters in Thy praise.

When the mad storm-wind tears the oak A million torches lighted by Thy hand

asunder, Wander un wearied through the blue abyss ;

In thee its shivered fragments find their They own Thy power, accomplish Thy

tomb ; command,

When rocks are riven by the bolt of thun. All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss.

der, What shall we call them? Piles of crystal As sands they sink into thy mighty womb : light

The ice that would imprison thy proud tide, A glorious company of golden streams

Like bits of broken glass is scattered wide. Lamps of celestial ether burning bright Suns lighting systems with their joyous The fierce wolf prowls around thee—there beams ?

he stands But Thou to these art as the noon to night. Listening—not fearful, for he nothing


: The following is equally worthy of flis red eyes burn like fury-kindled brands, praise. The last stanza, and parti- Like bristles o'er him his coarse fur he cularly the couplet in italics, is extremely fine.

Howling, thy dreadful roar he oft repeats,

And, more ferocious, hastes to bloodier Yes! as a drop of water in the sea,

feats. All this magnificence in Thee is lost :What are ten thousand worlds compared to

The wild stag hears thy falling waters Thee?

sound, And what am I then? Heaven's unnum. And tremblingly flies forward--o'er her ber'd host,

back Though multiplied by myriads, and arrayed She bends her stately horns the noiseless In all the glory of sublimest thought,

ground Is but an atom in the balance weighed Her hurried feet impress not-and her track Against Thy greatness ; is a cypher brought Is lost amidst the tumult of the breeze, Against infinity! What am I then? Nought! And the leaves falling from the rustling Nought ! But the effluence of Thy light divine,

The poet is equally happy and Pervading worlds, hath reach'd my bosom poetical in the reflections excited by

too; Yes! 'in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine

the imaginary scene before him :As shines the sun-beam in a drop of dew! O glory! glory! mighty one on earth! Nought! but I live, and on hope's pinions How justly imaged in this waterfall! fly

So wild and furious in thy sparkling birth, Eager towards Thy presence ; for in Thee Dashing thy torrents-down and dazzling all; I live, and breathe, and dwell; aspiring Sublimely breaking from thy glorious






Majestic thundering, beautiful and bright. Furniture strewed here and there.
How many a wondering eye is turned to And those in higher love I hold

Than sofas rich with silk and gold,
In admiration lost ;-short-sighted men ! Or china vases gay and fair.
Thy furious wave gives no fertility ;

And thou, Lisette ! at evening steal, Thy waters, hurrying fiercely through the Through the shadow-cover’d vale, plain,

To this soft and sweet retreat ;
Bring nought but devastation and distress, Steal, my nymph, on silent feet.
And leave the flowery vale a wilderness. Let a brother's hat disguise
O fairer, lovelier is the modest rill,

Thy golden locks, thy azure eyes ; Watering with steps serene the field, the O'er thee be my mantlc thrown, grove

Bind my warlike sabre on: Its gentle voice as sweet and soft and still

When the treacherous day is o'er, As shepherd's pipe, or song of youthful Knock, fair maiden, at my door; love.

Enter then, thou soldier sweet ! It has no thundering torrent, but it flows

Throw thy mantle at my feet; Unwearied, scattering blessings as it goes. Let thy curls, so brightly glowing, The following is from the same

On thy ivory, shoulders flowing, poem :-the bard fancies the shade Be unbound: thy lily breast of the great Potemkin to pass before Heave, no more with robes opprest!

“ Thou enchantress! is it so ? him.

Sweetest, softest shepherdess !
"Tis he, the hardiest of mortals ; ne, Art thou really come to bless
Sublimely soaring, takes his flight alone, With thy smiles my cottage now?
Creator of his own proud destiny:

O her snowy hands are pressing No footstep near him—that bright path Warmly, wildly pressing mine! his own.

Mine her rosy lips are blessing, Thy fame, Potemkin, shall in glory glow, Sweet as incense from the shrine, While everlasting ages lingering flow. Sweet as zephyr's breath divine

Gently murmuring through the bough ; Beauty and art and knowledge raised to

Even so she whispers now ; him

“ O my heart's friend, I am thine ; Triumphal arches : smiling fortune wove

Mine, beloved one! art thou." Myrtle and laurel wreaths, and victory's What a privileged being he, beam

Who in life's obscurity, Lighted them up with brightness : joy and Underneath a roof of thatch, love

Till the morning dawns above, Play'd round thy flow'ry footsteps : plea- Sweetly sleeps, while angels watch, sure, pride

In the arms of holy love! Walk'd in majestic glory at thy side.

But the stars are now retreating The last stanza is extremely grace- And the little birds are greeting,

From the brightening eye of day, ful and elegant.

Round their nests, the dewy ray. The next poet, whose works are

Hark! the very heaven is ringing noticed in this collection, is Bati- With the matin song of peace: ushkov.

Hark! a thousand warblers singing Nothing can be more amiable and Waft their music on the breeze: pleasant than the greater part of his All to life, to love are waking, poem, addressed “ To my Penates.” From their wings their slumbers shaking; The following are extracts from it:- But my Lila still is sleeping

In her fair and flowery nest ; O Lares ! in my dwelling rest,

And the zephyr, round her creeping, Smile on the poet where he reigns,

Fondly fans her breathing breast; And sure the poet shall be blest.

O'er her cheeks of roses straying, Come, survey my dwelling over ;

With her golden ringlets playing: I'll describe it if I'm able :

From her lips I steal a kiss ;
In the window stands a table,

Drink her breath: but roses fairest,
Three-legged, tott'ring, with a cover, Richest nectar, rapture dearest,
Gay some centuries ago,

Sweetest, brightest rays of bliss,
Ragged, bare and faded now.

Never were as sweet as this. In a corner, lost to fame,

Sleep, thou loved one! sweetly sleep! To honour lost, the blunted sword

Angels here their vigils keep! (That relic of my father's name)

Blest, in innocence arrayed, Harmless hangs by rust devoured.

I from fortune's favours flee; Here are pillaged authors laid

Shrouded in the forest-shade, There, a hard and creaking bed ;

More than blest by love and thee. Broken, crumbling, argile-ware,

Calm and peaceful time rolls by:

O ! has gold a ray so bright

We take leave of this pleasant litAs thy seraph-smile of light

tle poem, with an impression that Throws o'er happy poverty ?

the writer of it cannot fail to be a It really warms our hearts—critics, person of a warm and happy temas we are—to think that such poetry perament, and a gay, graceful, and as this should find its way into the amiable turn of mind. cottages of the Russian peasantry,

Our limits not permitting us to illuminating them

--as it cannot fail give many more extracts, we pass to do—with the rays of pleasure and over the specimens from Zhukovsky, content. In an after part of the same and proceed to those from Karamsin poem, Batiushkov addresses some of the only Russian name that is at his friends in a very spirited and hap- all generally known in this country, py strain.

in connection with literature:-The The following is of Derzhavin, to character of this writer's travelswhom we have introduced the reader translated and published here some above.

years ago,--was not calculated to raise 0! I hear their voices blending:

our expectations very high, with reList! the heavenly echoes come

gard to his poetry. That work indiWafted to my privileged home;

cated an amiable and enthusiastic Music hovers round my head,

tu of mind ; but it was disfigured From the living and the dead.

by an apparently incurable propen. Our Parnassian giant, proud,

sity to indulge in what is understood Tow'ring o'er the rest I see ;

by the term sentimentality. And, like storm or thunder loud,

The specimens here given of his Hear his voice of majesty.

poetry do not exhibit this propensity, Sons and deeds of glory singing

to any very offensive extent; but A majestic swan of light ;

they do not possess much of either Now the harp of angels stringing,

delicacy or originality.- By far the Now he sounds the trump of fight ;

best is a short poem, called “ The 'Midst the muses', graces' throng,

Church-yard.”_We give it entire. Sailing through the heaven along; Horace' strength, and Pindar's fire, Blended in his mighty lyre.

First Voice. Now he thunders, swift and strong,

How frightful the grave ! how deserted and Even like Suna o'er the waste ;

drear! Now, like Philomela's song,

With the howls of the storm-wind-the Soft and spring-like, sweet and chaste,

creaks of the bear, Gently breathing o'er the wild,

And the white bones all clattering toHeavenly fancy's best loved child !

gether! We close our extracts from this

Sccond Voice. poem, by giving the finishing lines :

How peaceful the grave! its quiet how Soon shall we end our pilgrimage ;

deep : And at the close of life's short stage Its zephyrs breathe calmly, and soft is its Sink smiling on our dusty bed :

eep, The careless wind shall o'er us sweep;

And flow'rets perfume it with ether. Where sleep our sires, their sons shall

First Voice. sleep,

There riots the blood-crested worm on the With evening's darkness round our head.

dead, There let no hired mourners weep:

And the yellow skull serves the foul toad No costly incense fan the sod ;

for a bed, No bell pretend to mourn; no hymn

And snakes in its nettle weeds hiss.
Be hcard midst midnight's shadows dim-

Second Voice.
Can they delight a clay-cold clod ?
No! if love's tribute ye will pay,

How lovely, how sweet the repose of the

tomb : Assemble in the moonlight ray, And throw fresh flow'reis o'er my clay :

No tempests are there :--but the nightin. Let my Penates sleep with me

gales come Here bring the cup I loved—the flute

And sing their sweet chorus of bliss. I played and twine its form, though mute,

First Voice. With branches from the ivy-tree !

The ravens of night flap their wings o'er No grave-stone need the wanderer tell,

the grave : That he who lived, and loved so well, 'Tis the vulture's abode :-'tis the wolf's Is sleeping in serenity.

dreary cave,


• Plakalschitzii-women hired to mourn round a corpse.

sca !


Where they tear up the earth with their When moving gently o'er the shadows dan fangs.

Of evening :--and their verge to silver Second Voice.


O what a lovely, soft tranquillity There the coney at evening disports with

Rests on the earth and breathes along the his love, Or rests on the sod ;-while the turtles

Here is no cedar bent with misery; above, Repose on the bough that o'erhangs.

No holy cypress sighs or weeps, as seen

In other lands, where his dark branches First Voice.

green There darkness and dampness with poison. Mourn in the desert o'er neglected graves : ous breath,

Here his all.sheltering boughs he calmly And loathsome decay fill the dwelling of death,

In the dim light, the sacred vigils keeping The trees are all barrcn and bare ! O'er the blest ashes on earth's bosom sleepSecond Voicc.

ing. O soft are the breezes that play round the

Picture of God! upon the prophet's shrine tomb,

Shine brightly—brightly, beautifully shine And sweet with the violet's wafted perfume, And flowers sprung up beneath his innocent

Upon those holy fields where once he trod, With lilies and jessamine fair.

First Voice.

Tulips and aloes and narcissus' sweet,
The pilgrim who reaches this valley of tears, A lovely carpet for the child of God!
Would fain hurry by, and with trembling
and fears,

We do not find any thing very atHe is launched on the wreck-covered tractive in the extracts which Mr. river !

Bowring next gives, from BognadoSccond Voicc.

vich's celebrated poem, called DusThe traveller outworn with life's pilgrimage which follows is extreinely naire and

henka — (Pysche); but the song dreary, Lays down his rude staff, like one that is pretty. weary,

I'm fourteen summers old I trow, And sweetly reposes for ever.

'Tis time to look about me now : In the examples from Dmitriev, Twas only yesterday they said, there is little by which we are en

I was a silly, silly maid ;

'Tis time to look about me row. abled to characterize him. The following is pretty ; it is for the grave The shepherd-swains so rudely stare, of Bogdanovich-who wrote a very

I must reprove them I declare ; beautiful poem on the subject of This talks of beautythat of love

I'm such a fool I can't reprove Psyche, and of whom we shall speak hereafter.

I must reprove them I declare.

'Tis strange-but yet I hope no sin ; Here Love unseen, when sinks the evening Something unwonted speaks within :

Love's language is a mystery, Wets the cold urn with tears, and mourn- And yet I feel, and yet I see,ful thinks,

O what is this that speaks within ? While his sad spirit, sorrow-broken, sinks, The shepherd cries, “ I love thee, sweet ; None now can sing my angel Psyche—none!

“ And I love thec," my lips repeat : Krilov and Khemnitzer follow; Kind words, they sound as sweet to me and from the short specimens which As music's fairest melody ; are given of their style, they seem

“ I love thee," ott my lips repeat. to be pleasant writers of fables: His pledge he brings, I'll not reprove; which is said to be a very favourite Ono! I'll take that pledge of love; mode of composition among the Rus- To thee my guardian dog I'd give, sian poets.

Could I without that guardian live : Next in order, are some extracts

But still i'll take thy pledge of love. from Bobrov's oriental poem, enti- My shepherd's crook I'll give to thee; tled The Khersonida; which Mr.

o'no! my father gave it me Bowring takes occasion to compare From a fond child should ne'er be riven

And treasures by a parent given, with Lallah Rookh. The following

O no! my father gave it me. is good :

But thou shalt have yon lambkin fairThou wondrous brother of the prophet, Nay! 'tis my mother's fondest care ; sun!

For every day she joys to count
So brightly on Medina's temple burning; Each snowy lambkin on the mount ;
And scarce less beautiful the crescent mooth, IU give thee then no lambkin fair.


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