« ПретходнаНастави »
the author; if so, it is a great one; if not, we must give the people amongst whom the story arose the credit of having a great deal of poetry in them. The effect of these warnings on Lee's mind, the desertion of his companions, his maniac wanderings around the shore and hanging about the cliffs, which he knows must be the scene of his fatal end, are among the finest passages of the poems.
We should know Mr. Dana at once for a student of ocean scenery. There is a spirited freedom, a boldness, in his descriptions of the water, which marks them as original sketches from nature.
We shall close our extracts with a few stanzas, descriptive of the effects of remorse and supernatural warning on Lee's mind :
“ Who's yonder on that long, black ledge,
Poor, idle Matthew Lee!
And rolls the pebbles 'neath his hands;
And scores the smooth, wet sands;
From day to day, the uneven strand ?
But I would go by land;
Lee, go with us, our sloop rides nigh ;
Come! help us hoist her sail.'
Of bright and broad-spread wings
Their backs in long and narrow line,
And send the sparkling brine
No fellowship nor joy for him.
'Though tears will sometimes dim
Chants to his ear a plaining song..
Telling of wo and wrong;
The man should dread to hear!
High up the cliffs, and feel them shake,
Below—and hear it break
And then, come tumbling in its swollen length.” The execution is equal; and we have, in consequence, been puzzled where to begin and where to conclude our extracts. In consequence of the crowding of thought, the author sometimes startles by abruptness; and, in one or two instances, has compressed his language into obscurity. But to those who are often annoyed by diluted thought, and wearied by connecting passages, this closeness is an agreeable change-like the change from a sirocco to a north-wester, there is something bracing in it.
The changes of home contrast agreeably with the story that precedes it. The koren is here subordinate; the poet addresses rather the heart than the imagination. Instead of leading us at a regular pace through the scene of his narrative, with here and there a remark, he often pauses and pours out his heart, as his story awakens and touches him. The affection of two young, humble individuals, their union deferred until the lover shall have earned the means of subsistence, his departure in quest of gain, and return in disappointment, and, lastly, his final departure and death in absence, are the topics of a poetical tale, which is told in a manner full of interest. There is, indeed, a shade of melancholy over the story from the outset, which warns us that the author has no pleasing conclusion in store for us. But every one must have felt, when the spirits are gone, how the glad, bright sky, and laughing earth, seem to persuade us to cheerfulness; and, unless prostrated by a recent blow of misfortune, and deadened until sick of the very light, how the mind of the sorrower is comforted and even excited with the beauty that surrounds us. The beauty that is in the forest, on the cloud, and in all animated creatures, again and again entering our hearts, en
deavours to restore ruined peace, and lay a foundation for happiness and a healthy susceptibility of enjoyment. Thus the author has relieved the melancholy of the tale, by, beautiful descriptions of natural objects and pleasing circumstances, which are employed or come in sight in the course of the story. Even in his descriptions of objects associated with the memory of loss and grief, a sense of the beautiful seems to have survived his sorrow; and, in bidding farewell to the scenes of his youth, he goes to seek nature, where her features shall not call to mind the loved and departed of his early days.
We have no design of tracing the story, and giving glimpses of descriptions in quotations. We offer the reader rather the entire picture of one of the changed inhabitants of the village:
“We reach'd a shop. No letter'd sign display'd
“But soon we came where sat an aged man.
“Good father!' said my guide. He raised his head,
“My friend then question’d him of former days,
« "Dalton !-Full well !--His little son beside.
«« Vulcan !-John! art thou ?
“He gazed on me, half wondering and half lost.
'The effort of the brain; and then he said,
Along the street where the close village lay.” In the Husband's and Wife's Grave, the author's mind, taking a sad tone from the instance of mortality before him, dwells on the mournful change which has taken place, calls up each circumstance of interrupted affection, and laments the impotence of the purest love to preserve the union of two kindred souls. But although he begins in sorrow, he rises into joy as he tells us the dread but glad tidings of immortality. The pure and holy spirit of our religion is with him filling our hearts with the idea of an all-loving God; and as he sings the promise of our faith, death becomes to our clear eye a pleasing image—the grave, a monu. ment of hope :
“O, listen, man!
-The dying bear it; and as sounds of earth
“Why call we then the square-built monument,
“I thank Thee, Father,
Hast sent a sacred light, and that away
In sorrow, Thou art leading me in joy. There are several fugitive pieces, of beauty. We are fond of such poetry. We think there is a unity of idea and strength of language in one of these creations of an excited moment, which the meditated members of a connected undertaking are apt to want. There are no legitimate children of dulness begotten by expectation of friends on an anniversary, nor the elaborations of a happy thought; they are the expressions of the thoughts and feelings, awakened by peculiar circumstances, or single incidents or descriptions of objects in nature, with such remarks as the associations of the poet may have suggested, all executed with a simplicity and beauty which make them like gems in our cabinet.
Mr. Dana is no harper on a tune which has been found to please the public ear--no follower of some popular poet. In all the traces of his study of poetry, (and the volume is full of proofs of a wide and deep study,) we detect no strain of imitation or of mannerism. He has been walking through the gardens of poetry, and appears, not with a sprig gathered here and a flower plucked there, but redolent with the fragrant essence of the bloom which has been around him. An artist-like feeling in the construction of his story, and the management of the characters he has to deal with, shows his familiarity with the creations of the minds that have gone before him. A mastery of our language, both as the vehicle of thought, and the medium of a various and harmonious versification, proves a laborious preparation for the work he has undertaken. These powerful instruments have been employed by a genuine poetic mind, and we have great pleasure in expressing our feeling of the result.
Art. VI.-A Treatise on Gymnastics: taken chiefly from the
German of F. L. Jaun. 8vo. Northampton, Massachusetts: 1828.
The work which we have designated at the head of this article, is a translation from the German treatises of Jahn and Eiselen, with such omissions and additions, as the experience of the translator has shown him to be necessary. For instance, a chapter has been added on the use of the dumb-bells, or armstärker, (arm-strengtheners,) as they are called in Germany. The gentleman to whom we are indebted for the translation, is peculiarly qualified for the task. He was, for a number of years, a scho