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a decisive appeal to any strong feeling of the heart.
Neither of Parnell, nor of Gray, does the Church-yard contain any thing that any church-yard might not contain. Of Parnell, the Church-yard and its envie rons aret hus presented to the reader'sview :'" In distant prospect, a lake : “ resting on its bosom, the moon, sur“ rounded by stars, having for ground a
sky deep azure : on the right, rising grounds, " retiring in dimness from the sight :" on the left, the Church-yard ; or (as he, in imitation of the Hebrew
simplicity, calls it) the place of graves, “ surrounded by a wall, which is laved
by a silent stream: a steeple, belong“ ing, no doubt, to the church: a char6 nel-house, over-canopied with yew :
graves, with their turf osier-bound : “ other graves, with smooth flat stones 66 inscribed : and others still, splendidly c done out with marble, &c."
Gray's Church-yard is thus connected with its adjuncts, and presented to the reader's eye: “ In near prospect, a vil
lage: herds and labourers returning “ home: glimmering landscape : tower “ ivy-mantled, surmounted by an owl, "in profile and perspective, skirting the
moon : rugged elms : shady yew: an 6 old thorn ; and the surface swelling “ here and there with common graves. “ Hard by is a wood, a nodding beech, “ and a brook running over pebbles.”
Of the two designs, taken in a general view, that of Parnell seems the more perfect. The assemblage takes in every thing that a church-yard should contain ; and a gradation of graves is introduced, with due attention to the distinction of ranks, which is not lost even in a church-yard. In this respect, Gray's Church-yard is imperfect; and the imperfection has deprived his meditation of some of its interest: It has, besides, no charnel-house. In other respects, it is much as it should be ; which, at best, iş but a negative merit. The absence of of blemish is not perfection: and of that officer, small will be the claim to praise, whg, complying with the rule of the service, comes out to mount guard in his regimentals.
Of inaccuracy in the formation of the thought, the fourth quatrain furnishes some examples. It is more according to truth, as well as convenience, to suppose a church-yard hedged round with trees, than planted with them. A churchyard is not a thicket. A human body buried at the foot of a large tree, with strong spreading roots, is more consonant to poetry than to practice. It is not true,
that, in an ordinary assemblage of graves, the " turf heaves in mouldering heaps.” If the ground heaves, no doubt the turf will heave with it: but the “heaps,” if they are “ mouldering heaps," must heave through the turf, not the turf in them. 66 Rude forefathers of the hamlet,” is, equivocal. The forefathers of a hamlet should mean other, more ancient, hamlets. But of hamlets there are no genealogies. Among them no degrees of consanguinity are reckoned.
The two following stanzas, contain a paraphrase of the two last lines of the preceding ; viz.
4. Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
and, of this paraphrase, it may be granted that the language is pleasing ; yet of the circumstances brought into view, there is no pointed and respective application to the different orders of dead that are specified. Though the sleepers are subjected to classification, and distinguished into four sets, reapers, tillers, team-drivers, and wood-cutters ; and, though the rousers to morning labour are also enumerated as four; yet the de-. partments are not set off distinctly, nor are the sounds that are to rouse characteristically appropriated to each. Neither the 66
twittering of the swallow," nor the “ clarion of the cock," have reference to one set of sleepers more than to another: and the “
echoing horn" seems to have nothing to do with any
of them. What is meant by the “ breezy call of incense-breathing morn,” as an help to early rising, is not very plain ; though this is one of the lines that it