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less common to all nations, of depreciating each other's literature, and especially poetical literature.
A nation, like a poet, necessarily has a favourite style; the national style is only more extended than that of the individual. Any national standyard of taste must, of course, be to the nation that owns it, as near perfection as possible; and because one people is tincapable of entering into some of the peculiar feelings of another, these feelings are ridiculed, or even denied to exist. Thus the French, bigotted to the dramatic unities, and believing that nature and Aristotle are the same, designate the works of Shakespeare, "monstrous farces." And when Lord Byron, in his Don Juan, first fairly introduced into English literature that fantastic mixture of the serious and comic, in which Pulci, and some of the other precursors of Ariosto, and Ariosto himself delighted, many of our horror-stricken critics imagined, that the noble poet sat deliberately down to insult and confound the best feelings of our nature. Their very hair stood on end at such couplets as, "They grieved for those that perish'd
with the cutter,
And likewise for the bisquit-casks and butter."
So difficult is it to reconcile one's self at first to any thing that is in opposition to a preconceived standard of taste. The Edinburgh Review has lately let itself down, by shewing some feelings of this sort with respect to French literature; but it is most apparent in our dramatic criticisms, which go beyond all bounds in expressing contempt for the very opposite styles of our neighbours. It is hardly necessary to instance any particular passage; but a specimen occurred to me the other day, so trans
cendantly unjust, and divertingly impudent, that it is impossible to help giving it, once for all, especially as it comes from a quarter in which good sense, if not great genius, might have been expected. It is the prefatory address prefixed to Shadwell's "Miser," which commences thus:
"Reader, the foundation of this play I took from one of Moliere's, called L'Avare; but that having too few persons, and too little action for an English theatre, I added to both so much that I may call more than half of this play my own, and I think I may say, without vanity, that Moliere's part has not suffered in my hand; nor did I ever know a French comedy made use of by the worst of our poets, that was not bettered by 'em. 'Tis not barrenness of wit or invention that makes us borrow from the French, but laziness—; and this was the occasion of my making use of L'Avare!"-Poor Moliere! It is difficult to read such things as this without thinking of Prior's well-known epigram." Ned" had probably hit upon this sally of Shadwell's, amongst his other proofs of the absurdities of poets; and could his "inverted rule," as Prior wishes,
"Prove every fool to be a poet,"
[We have inserted this ingenious paper, on account of its literary merits; but we must take leave to enter our protest against the doctrine which the author attempts to inculcate.-We think it indisputable, in so much as poetry is an art, that poets, like other artists, must be the best judges of each other's skill. In what, therefore, relates to the rhythm, the construction of the verse, and to the melody of the numbers, a poet, we conceive, must necessarily be a better judge than any ordinary critic, precisely as a painter is a better judge of pictures, that is, of the style, the drawing, and the colouring, than any ordinary spectator. We think it is paradoxical, therefore, to deny the superiority of a poet's critical judgment;-and we think so too with respect even to the
element of poesy itself. The taste of a gay and jovial Anacreon, is not likely to find the same delight in the solemn and serious compositions of a Milton, a Danté, or a Byron, that he would in those of a Moore: but it does not surely follow, that he is less a judge of poetry than the critic who does not possess the same delicacy of tact in any class of the art. We do not, however, wish to enter into a controversy on the subject, but merely to give a caveat against the principle assumed by our respected correspondent.-C. N.]
THE east wind has whistled for many a day,
The butterfly folded her wings as if dead,
I too shrunk and shiver'd, and eyed the cold earth,
And I listen'd in vain, for the summer bird's mirth,
But, lo! while I listen'd, down heavily dropt
A few tears, from a low-sailing cloud:
Large and slow they descended; then thicken'd-then stopt
Oh, the rapture of beauty, of sweetness, of sound,
With laughter and singing the vallies rang round,
The wind sunk away, like a sleeping child's breath,
And the sun, like a spirit, triumphant o'er death,
On this beautiful world!—such a change had been wrought
On some cold stony heart might be work'd too (methought,)
If a few virtuous tears by the merciful shed
Touch'd its hardness, perhaps the good grain
That was sown there and rooted, though long seeming dead,
And the smile of the virtuous, like sunshine from heaven,
And remorse, when the rock's flinty surface was riven,
Oh! to work such a change-by God's grace to recal
To this joy that the angels partake, what were all
A MOTHER'S DIRGE OVER HER CHILD.
BRING me flowers all young and sweet,
Bring me the rosemary, whose breath
Bring cypress from some sunless spot,
No taint of earth, no thought of sin,
Yea! from mine arms thy soul hath flown
Methought, when years had roll'd away,
But thou hast past! for ever gone
Farewell, my child, the dews shall fall
The earliest snow-drop there shall spring,
With perfume load the summer air!
Adieu, my babe! if life were long,
Soon on Death's couch shall I recline;
MORSELS OF MELODY.
lyrics, but they want the nerve and condensation of song-writing. Nevertheless, I have sent another half dozen, according to your desire; though you will find them-except one or two, perhaps in exactly the same predicaYour sincere Friend,
EXPERIENCE teaches fo-: no, that set of the proverb will not do; experience makes a wise man. You must be convinced now, that song-writing is not my forte. As to the first six "Morsels of Melody,"-you observe I did not even pretend to call them songs,-I am exactly of your opinion, as who is not, when you speak in sincerity? They may do as sentimental Sept. 1st.
THE PILLOW OF THE TENT.
"TWAS when the summer skies were blue, and when the leaf was green,
Though pleasantly the sun illumes the woodland walks and bowers,
I care not now, at noon of night, around the park to stray,
Oh! soon be war's red standard furl'd, for silently by day
Oh! may I hope within thy breast, that now and then may start,
How happily these scenes shall look, that now deserted be,
COME, MARY, TO ME!
The beds of flowering clover
The shaded hawthorn seat;
Oh, fairest! and oh, dearest!
Come, Mary, 'tis for thee I roam,-
Though, Betsy, another's thou art,
Still it breathes to my heart in its gloom,
Ah, me! that the visions of youth
Then, Betsy, for ever farewell!
Every thought I have cherish'd for thee,
Through the scenes, where so often we roved,