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However, be this as it may, we fear his translations and imitations are great favourites with Lord Byron. We have them of all kinds , from Anacreon to Ossian; and, viewing them as school exercises, they may pass. Only, why print them after they have had their day and served their turn? And why call the thing in p. 79, a translation, where two words (0€w deveev) of the original are expanded into four lines, and the other thing in p. 81, where pecovuYTLOS TOP' ó Eccę, is rendered by means of six hobbling verses ? As to his Ossianic poesy, we are not very good judges, being, in truth, so moderately skilled in that species of composition, that we should, in all probability, be criticizing some bit of the genuine Macpherson itself, were we to express our opinion of Lord Byron's rhapsodies. If , then, the following beginning of a “Song of Bards ,' is by his Lordship, we venture to object to it, as far as we can comprehend it. What form rises on the roar of clouds, whose dark ghost gleams on the red stream of tempests ? His voice rolls on the thunder ; 'tis Orlay, the brown chief of Otihona. He was, etc. After detaining this brown chief' some time, the bards conclude by giving him their advice to 'raise his fair locks ;' then to spread them on the arch of the rainbow ;' and 'to smile through the tears of the storm. 'Of this kind of thing there are no less than nine pages; and we can so far venture an opinion in their favour, that they look very like Macpherson ; and we are
positive they are pretty nearly as stupid and tiresome.
It is a sort of privilege of poets to be lego, tists; but they should use it as not abusing it;' and particularly one who piques himself (though indeed at the ripe age of nineteen), of being an infant bard ,'- ('T'he artless Helicon I boast is youth';') should either not know, or should seem not to know, so much about his own ancestry. Besides a poem above cited on the family seat of the Byrons, we have another of eleyen pages, on the self-same subject, introduced with an apology, "he certainly had no intention of inserting it,' but really,
the particular request of some friends, 'etc, etc. It concludes with five stanzas on himself,
the last and youngest of a noble line.' There is a good deal also about his maternal ancestors, in a poem on Lachin y Gair, a mountain where he spent part of his youth , and might have learnt that pibroch is not a bagpipe, any more than duet means a fiddle.
As the autbor has dedicated so large a' part of his volume to immortalize his employments at school and college, we cannot possibly dismiss it without presenting the reader with a 'specimen of these ingenious effusions. In an ode with a Greek motto, called Granta , we have the following magnificent stanzas.
There, in apartments small and damp,
The candidate for college prizes
Goes late to bed, yet early rises,
Who reads false quantities in Sele,
Or puzzles o'er the deep triangle ;
In barbarous latin doom'd to wrangle,
Renouncing every pleasing page,
From authors of historic use ;
The square of the hypothenuse.
Still harmless are these occupations,
That hurt none but the hapless student,
Which bring together the imprudent.
We are sorry to hear so bad an account of the college psalmody as is contained in the following Attic stanzas..
Our choir would scarcely be excus’d,
Even as a band of raw beginners;
To such a set of croaking sinners.
If David, when his toils were ended,
Had heard these blockheads sing before him, To us, his psalms had ne'er descended ;
In furious mood he would have tore 'em !
But whatever judgment may be passed on the poems of this noble minor, it seems we must take them as we find them, and be content ; for they are the last we shall ever have from him. He is at best, he says, but an intruder into the groves of Parnassus; he never lived in a garret, like thorough-bred poets; and though he once roved a careless mountaineer in the Highlands of Scotland ,' he has not of late enjoyed this advantage. Moreover, he expects no profit from his publication ; and whether it succeeds or not, it is highly 'improbable , from his situation and pursuits hereafter,' that he should again condescend to become an author. Therefore, let us take what we get and be thankful. What right have we poor devils to be nice? We are well off to have got so much from a man of this Lord's station, who does not live in a garret, but 'has the sway' of Newstead Abbey. Again, we say, let us be thankful; and, with honest Sancho, bid God bless the giver, nor look the gift horse in the mouth.