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tory, and localities, has eternally betrayed itself. The quantity of proper names, of more than two syllables, has been wrong in three instances out of four; and time, place, and circumstance, have been confounded, in a nianner at once ludicrous and distressing. It would be an invidious and useless task, though it might afford some amusement, to exemplify the enormity of the tresspasses committed upon classic ground, by quotations from works which now slumber in oblivion. It is not very long since we saw an ode on Greece, said in the newspapers to be superior to Lord Byron's verses on the same subject, (from which it was, in fact, adumbrated,) in which the writer continued to plant Mount Ida, (whether the Cretan or Mysian we know not,) in the middle of the Peloponnesus; and to bring the straits of Thermopylæ in loving conjunction with the Dardanelles.
When an utterly ignorant person undertakes to meddle with classical names, we would think the chances even as to his being right or wrong. The fact is, however, otherwise. He is almost invariably wrong. Whoever, for example, will take the trouble to examine the rejected addresses for the NewYork Theatre, will find every one of the muses called by a wrong name; and the tragic writers so bemauled in uncouth metre, that no classical ear has any association with the sound of their names as they must be pronounced. When we find, however, those who have had the benefit of education, falling into the same errors, in so many instances, the fault must be ascribed to the imperfections of the system, or to the ignorance or carelessness of the instructors.
It is not, however, with a view of entering upon this subject, that we have made these remarks. Nothing can, at present, have a more immediate tendency to correct the evils of which we complain, to throw ignorance into the shade, and to inspirit modest talent, than the success of genuine and classical poetry. As well with this hope, as for its intrinsic excellence, we hail with satisfaction the appearance of the volume of poems, just published, by the Rev. Mr. Doane.*
The promise held forth by the typographical beauty of this work, is amply realized in its contents, and the head and the heart may both be benefitted by its perusal. It is obviously the production of an unaffected christian, and an accomplished scholar.
The first part of the volume consists of devotional pieces, which are written with great simplicity and purity, and breathe
* Songs by the Way, chiefly devotional, with translations and imitations, by the Rev. George W. Doane, A. M. New-York. E. Bliss & E. White. Vol. I. No. II.
a spirit of unaffected piety. Among those which follow, “ Thermopylæ,”“ Lines on a very old Wedding Ring," and the spirited apostrophe to the “Sons of the Greeks," have most claim to high poetical merit. The latter we have seen stated in the newspapers to be a better translation of Riga's song than that by Lord Byron. It is not a translation of that song, excepting the first line, and never was intended as such. We extract part of the second piece mentioned. The others have, we believe, already appeared in the public prints.
I like that ringthat ancient ring,
Of massive form, and virgin gold,
As were the sterling hearts of old.
Far, far along the stream of time,
The men and days of deeds sublime.
The tale of well-requited love;
And youthful faith disdain'd to rove-
Though she, unpitying, long denied,
He won his “fair and blooming bride."
They blam'd the lazy-footed hours
Strew'd their glad way with freshest flow'rgico
They stood, in all their youthful pride,
Which bind the husband to his bride:
The gift of ev'ry earthly thing-
For this I like that ancient ring. *
Emblem of plighted troth unbroken,
Of heartfelt, holy love, the token:
For these I like that ancient ring. P. 73, 74, 75. The second part consists of Hymns, translated from the Latin ; some of which, we should think, would form a valuable addition to the collection now sanctioned by the church. The third part, containing versions and imitations of Greek, Latin, and Italian odes, sonnets, &c., is, in our opinion, decidedly the best. They possess a spirit and ease, which translators rarely find compatible with a strict adherence to the meaning of their
original. The free translations from Horace unite these qualities in an eminent degree. For the same reason before assigned, we deem it unnecessary to make extracts from them. The beautiful soliloquy in the Demofoonte of Metastasio, with the exception of a slight error, is very elegantly rendered.
6 Perchè bramar la vita."
One source of pure delight,
And ev'ry age its blight?
In youth, with love's vain fears,
Then sinks, oppress'd with years.
His inmost soul with pain;
What cost so much to gain.
Must gain them, and must guard;
still and scorn are found
Whose follies cheat the eye,
P. 146, 147. In the fourth verse, the translator has inadvertently taken i rei for i re, and destroyed the meaning and the antithesis of
Con l'invidia e la frode. “The guilty hold eternal war with themselves ; the just, with envy and deceit.'
The Idyl of Meleager, “On the Spring,” is rendered with nearly as much faithfulness to the original as the blank verse translation of Elton; and possesses infinitely more smoothness and freedom.
See, wak'd by stormy Winter's parting wing,
Their cells of purest wax, prepard with skill,
P. 153, 154.
It is to be remembered that the contents of this volume have been, in the words of the author, “Songs by the Way,' (loose numbers,' framed in the interval of an arduous avocation, and of severe study.” In the present state of literature among us, the amusements of such minds as our author's, in their hours of relaxation, may be of great benefit to the reading community. This must afford them a proud source of satisfaction, in addition to the solitary and secret pleasure, with which those who have acquired in youth the keys of learning, can unlock its choicest stores in the vacant intervals of after life ; and, in the cessation of business or study, commune with those bright intelligences, whose embodied thoughts have survived the lapse of ages, and still breathe and burn in all the freshness and brightness of their original conception.
Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
REMARKS ON THE PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF THE ANNIVERSARY
OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.
All nations, whether ancient or modern, that have been characterized by even the slightest advances in civilization, have been found to have established national festivals and celebrations. Not satisfied with the expression of that private feeling, in which each individual might indulge, when reflecting on such events, as might have occurred in the history of the community, tending either directly to promote
its interests, or to protect it against threatening danger, mankind seem ever to have thought, that, for a national blessing, there should be an expression of national joy ; that on the recurrence of the day, which, in former times, bad been signalized, by events peculiarly promoting the public good, the public voice should be raised as evidence from each member of the community to the other, and to the world, that their recollection of such events had not been impaired, nor their gratitude for them extinguished.
It may be doubted, whether, in the long range of human annals, there can be found a single exception to this observation; and if there be none, it argues strongly in favour of such a practice, since, whatever has been found uniform and universal, should seem to be in consonance with the soundest dictates of our nature.
In truth, there are but few, who, in so many words, would deny their propriety : and yet it certainly is a source of sincere regret to many, to observe the apathy and indifference, if not, indeed, the contemptuousness of tone and manner, with which the mention of the celebration of the anniversary of American Independence is sometimes received. There are those among us who appear to believe, and we fear many who do really believe, that the day should be passed over in dignified silence; and the reflections and business, and occupations of our sober and industrious citizens, be undisturbed and uninterrupted by the noise, parade, dissipation, and useless expense, so commonly attendant on its celebration. “Where." they argue, " is the propriety of seducing the mechanic from his workshop, the labourer from his business, the school-boy from the restraints and discipline of his school-of turning out a whole people, men, matrons, maids and children, just to spend one day in idleness, profusion and waste ; where no earthly good is to be gained, and much loss must inevitably accrue. Why excite the feelings of the multitude, so liable to run into excess and phrenzy, when all the purposes had in view from a public celebration, might be gained by each man's private reflections ; or, at any rate, by some solemn, but more quiet announcement of it, by the public authority.” “ Let Americans," they continue, “cherish, indeed, the remembrance of the day, when their rights and liberties were proclaimed, but let them do it with that seriousness and silent dignity, that becomes a people at once free and enlightened." Such sentiments are more common than is sometimes imagined, and their prevalence and influence is at times observable ; not merely in those general reflections which are to