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"The sun weaves around thee
The beams of its splendor;

It painteth with hues of the heavenly iris
The uprolling clouds of the silvery spray.

66

Why speedest thou downward
Toward the green sea?

Is it not well by the nearer heaven?
Not well by the sounding cliff?
Not well by the o'erhanging forest of oaks?
O, hasten not so
Toward the green sea!

Youth, O, now thou art strong, like a god,—
Free, like a god!

"Beneath thee is smiling the peacefullest stillness,
The tremulous swell of the slumberous sea,
Now silvered o'er by the swimming moonshine,
Now golden and red in the light of the west!

"Youth, O, what is this silken quiet,

What is the smile of the friendly moonlight,
The purple and gold of the evening sun,
To him whom the feeling of bondage oppresses?
Now streamest thou wild,

As thy heart may prompt!

But below, oft ruleth the fickle tempest,
Oft the stillness of death, in the subject sea!

"O, hasten not so

Toward the green sea!

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Youth, O, now thou art strong, like a god,—

Free, like a god!

pp. 298, 299.

We have no very poetical associations connected with Holland and the Low Dutch language. The words call to mind a flat, uninteresting country, and a people much addicted to traffic, gin, and tobacco. But they have had poets, those web-footed Dutchmen, and have them still, in goodly numbers, poets who have sung of themes as lofty, and in strains, we are bound to believe, as musical, as if they had inhabited a mountainous region, and had been nurtured by all imaginative and stirring influences. Dr. Bowring, a remarkable linguist and most successful rhythmical translator, assures us that it is so, and has given evidence of his assertion in a respectable volume, which bears the happily selected and

one of the oldest, but certainly the best, of the numerous translations of this immortal poem. Most of his sonnets which are quoted are in the English dress given to them by Mr. R. H. Wilde, whose two volumes of "Conjectures and Researches" respecting Tasso are a most honorable monument to the taste, scholarship, and critical acumen of the writer. Of the crowd of Italian poets who have flourished during the past two centuries, as full notices and specimens are given as will be desired by the ordinary reader.

It only remains for us to notice the collections made to illustrate the history of poetry in Spain and Portugal. Three periods are established in the annals of the former,the first reaching from 1150 to 1500, the second including the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the third coming down to the present day. The comparative barrenness of the latter division reminds one of the mournful decline in the condition and prospects of noble and romantic Spain. Ten pages suffice for notices and specimens of the Spanish poets who have flourished during the last century and a half, while more than five times that number give but an insufficient idea of the rich harvest of poetry, in that storied and picturesque land, during the two preceding centuries. This second period is adorned with the great names of Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderon, of Garcilaso de la Vega, Ponce de Leon, and Ercilla, and a crowd of minor bards, almost any one of which outshines the brightest of those belonging to a later day. The high spirit for which the people were always remarkable was nurtured by their rich and chivalric life, by their widely spread renown in war, and by their marvellous and successful adventures on the ocean and in the newly discovered world. National pride and magnanimity of feeling could not but flourish under such influences as these; the serious and religious element, always predominant in the Spanish character, colored and modified the effects produced by external circumstances, and the spirit of honor, loyalty, and faith imbued all their imaginative literature. Lyric poetry and the drama, the poetry of passionate love or equally passionate devotion, were the particular forms and modes of verse in which their fervid life and excited imaginations were most readily and frequently embodied. There was, perhaps, a tendency to exaggeration in their poetry, flowing from the strong excitement of their minds; but this was kept down in all their works of

the highest class, through the innate gravity and dignity which were manifest in their noble bearing. True pride preserves from bombast, and concentrated passion rarely falls into mere rant. Even the mysticism, to which the rapturous devotional feeling of some of their poets was prone, was checked and overborne by the mandates of a severe taste and carefully nurtured judgment.

The editor was fortunate in being able to select versions of Spanish poetry from the works of a multitude of excellent translators. Bowring, Wiffen, Roscoe, Lord Holland, Shelley, and Bryant are among those to whom he is indebted, and he has, as it were, repaid the loan with a few of his own musical and faithful renderings into English. We have already exhausted our space for quotation, but must find room for the following morsel of exquisite versification by our own Bryant, taken from the anonymous poetry of the earliest period. We know nothing of the source whence it was drawn, but it is one of those cases in which it will appear a mere impertinence to ask whether the version be faithful to the original. The translator who has succeeded so perfectly has made the English verses in every sense his own.

THE SIESTA.

"Airs! that wander and murmur round,
Bearing delight where'er ye blow,-
Make in the elms a lulling sound,

While my lady sleeps in the shade below.
"Lighten and lengthen her noonday rest,
Till the heat of the noonday sun is o'er :
Sweet be her slumbers, though in my breast

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The pain she has waked may slumber no more!
Breathing soft from the blue profound,

Bearing delight where'er ye blow,

Make in the elms a lulling sound,

While my lady sleeps in the shade below.

"Airs! that over the bending boughs,

And under the shadows of the leaves,
Murmur soft, like my timid Vows,

Or the secret sighs my bosom heaves,
Gently sweeping the grassy ground,
Bearing delight where'er ye blow,
Make in the elms a lulling sound,

While my lady sleeps in the shade below.".
No. 128.

VOL. LXI.

20

p. 664.

We would willingly dwell upon the beautiful ballads, which are the most precious part of the early poetry of Spain, and which appear in this volume in very pleasing, but very paraphrastic, versions into English. But we must pass on, to speak very briefly of the specimens of Portuguese poetry. The editor has here adopted the same division into historic periods as in the case of Spain; the materials from which he has drawn were copious, for besides many of the translators already mentioned, Strangford, Adamson, and Mrs. Hemans have made numerous and valuable contributions for a Portuguese anthology. As for the originals, one name is written so high above all the others, that the foreign reader's attention is fastened almost exclusively upon it. Neither the first nor the third period in the literary annals of Portugal seems very rich, if we look at the quality of the wares, rather than their, quantity; and the second appears engrossed, as it were, with the single fame of Camoens, the writer of the national epic, who, in his lifetime, was steeped in poverty to the lips, and died in a hospital. As usual in such cases, a splendid monument was erected to him fifteen years after his death, when his name had become honorable to his country, though his country could no longer be of service to him. The Lusiad" is the heroic poem of Portugal's heroic age; it celebrates one of those grand feats of maritime adventure, which form epochs in the history of the world. Vasco de Gama's great discovery of a passage round the Cape of Good Hope seems hardly to afford sufficient material for an epic; but Camoens himself had followed in this distinguished captain's track, and the story of his own adventures and sufferings in the East Indies might have furnished out a poem of equal or greater length. The merit of the work is probably to be ascribed in a considerable measure to his personal adventures; if he had seen and suffered less, he might have written less forcibly. Misery is the most effectual, as it has been the most common, stimulant of genius. The defects of the poem are nearly as conspicuous as its beauties; overwrought description, an ill-constructed story, and incongruous machinery are great drawbacks from the pleasure given by an epic. These faults, unluckily, are not likely to be lessened in a translation, and Camoens certainly is under no great obligations to Mr. Mickle, who has done the "Lusiad" into English. A better idea of the poetic genius of the

Portuguese bard will be gained from some very pleasing versions of his minor poems.

We have endeavoured to give the reader some idea of the very varied and interesting contents of Mr. Longfellow's volume; but the sketch has necessarily been an exceedingly meagre one. The book abounds with material for the gratification of a cultivated taste, and for the instruction of every mind of a generous and inquiring nature. But it does not admit of abridgment, and the nearest approach to a summary account of it would be to copy its table of contents. suggests many themes for criticism and reflection, which we have reluctantly passed over, and now leave for the unbiased consideration of those who may be able to dwell long and studiously upon its attractive pages.

It

London

ART. IX. Historic Fancies. By the HoN. GEORGE
SYDNEY SMYTHE, M. P. Second Edition.
Henry Colburn. 1844. 8vo. pp. 386.

THE institutions of England seem to have reached a crisis which will require all the wisdom of her wisest statesmen to conduct to a safe and happy issue. Pressed to the earth by a national debt, the extent of which imagination itself can scarcely embrace, hemmed in by vast accumulations of property, side by side with the most sordid poverty, the working classes have reached the lowest point of suffering which human nature can bear. The prodigious emigration to the colonies, and to the United States, increasing every year, scarcely seems to diminish the terrible sum of evil which still exists at home. The destiny of England is a grand, but fearful problem. The cries for relief from millions of agonized human hearts cannot go up for ever in vain. But what measure, or what series of measures, wisely conceived and vigorously executed, are destined to work out her salvation, and raise her to a power and a prosperity even beyond her present imperial greatness, perhaps no human sagacity can as yet foresee.

Among the most curious phenomena, however, which the condition of affairs in England has exhibited to the world

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