Page images
[ocr errors]

* Like winged dragons, red with gore,

Our lances hiss'd along the shore.'
The following stanzas are quoted from this poem. Regner
Lodbrock was killed in 794, by vipers applied to a wound in
his breast, by Ella in Northumberland:.

• We smote with swords ; I hold, that all
By destiny or live or fall :
Each his certain hour awaits ;
Few can 'scape the ruling Fates.
When I scatter'd slaughter wide,
And launch'd my vessels to the tide,
I deem'd not, I, that Ella's blade
Was dvom'd at last to bow my head ;
But hew'd in every

Scottish bay
Fresh banquets for the beasts of prey.

• We smote with swords ; my parting breath
Rejoices in the pang of death.
Where dwells fair Balder's father dread,
The board is deck'd, the seats are spread!
In * Fiolner's court with costly chcer
Soon shall I quaff the foaming beer,
From hollow skulls of warriors slain !
Heroes ne'er in death complain;
To + Vider's hall I will not bear
The dastard words of weak despair.

• We smote with swords; their falchions bright
(If well they kenn'd their father's plight,
How venom-fill'd a viperous brood
Have gnaw'd his desh and lapp'd his blood)
Thy sons would grasp, Aslauga dear,
And vengeful wake the battle here.
A mother to my

bairns I

Of sterling worth, to make them brave.

• We smote with swords; cold death is near,
My rights are passing to my heir.
Grim stings the adder's forked dart;
The vipers nestle in my heart.
But soon, I wot, shall Vider’s wand
Fixed in Ella's bosom stand.
My youthful sons with rage will swell,
Listening how their father fell:
Those gallant boys in peace unbroken

Will never rest, till I be wroken.'
Gunlaug and Rafen (Vol. II. p. 61) is a poem of a far more
gentle kind than the rest, and seems rather to have been
written under the Pleiades, than under the Great Bear. We
have not room to remark on the others.

* Balder's father, Fiolner and Vider; various names for Odio.
+ Vider was Odin's war name.

Odin's wand, i.e. a war-spear,

The remaining part of this volume consists of original poems, and translations from the German, Danish, Italian, and Spanish. The merit of the original pieces is very moderate : Mr. Herbert's blank verse is harsh and prosaic, and only appears to advantage wben compared with his rhyme, which is false and feeble, and lame and lazy throughout. He should confine himself to translations of other people's thoughts, unless he can express his own better, or had better thoughts to express. Among the translations from the German, the four odes from Gesner are very graceful,-making due allowance for a few dissonant rhymes and languid verses. One of these we shall transcribe :

* It flies, the ship, which bears my

To distant realms away!
May nought, but Cupids, round thee niove;

No breeze, but Zephyr, play!
• Soft, soft, ye billows, heave around !

Upon the rolling sea
Still, as you mark the white waves bound,

My true love, think on me!
The birds here warble in the trees

Their tenderest notes for you,
Each green leaf trembles to the breeze,

Each reed, and shadowy bough.
• Olet thy swelling waves be laid! :-

O hush thee, roaring sea!
Ne'er trusted yet a sweeter maid

Her angel form to thee!
• Pure, as the Sun's reflected blaze

Upon thy glassy flood;
Fair, as of old the lovely grace

Of sea-born Venus stood;
When gods, in sedgy caves that dwell,
Beheld with ravish'd

All naked on her frothy shell

The perfect beauty rise;
Forgot their sports, their nymphs forsook,

Nor reck'd their jealous nood,
But to the shore with eager. look

The queen of love pursued.' Sir Ebba, from the Danish, is as barbarous as the original can be. It is very easy to write what it is difficult to read, and impossible to understand. The Italian Sonnet from P. Salandri, is miserably interior to the original. Mr. Herbert has attempted to translate part of one of Guidi's magnificent olles. To have kept within view of that unrivalled bard in his amazing Hight, is inore than common glory; and not to have abso. lutely failed in transferring his thoughts into a strange language; is to have succeeded well. Mr. Herbert has not extinguished either the spirit or the fire of the original. Among the translations from the Spanish, the “ Ode to a Shin," and the Prophecy of Tayo, pleased us the most. Did it not occur to Mr. Herbert, that the Ode which he has translated from Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola, (Vol. II. page 19, First Part) might have suggested to Metastasio the leading idea of his own inimitable canzonet " La Liberta?"

On the whole, these volumes contain much curious matter, and unquestionably some elegant poetry ;-mingled, however, through indolence or inattention, with too much insipidi:y.


Art. VI. Elementary Evidences of the Truth of Christianity; in a Series

of Easter Catechisms on the Resurrection and other Miracles of Christ: on Prophecy, and on Christ's Testimony of Himself. By the Right Reverend Thomas Burges, D. D. Bishop of St. David's.

12mo. 264 pages. Price 38. Rivingtons. Hatchard. 1806. THE rich, the noble, and the powerful, never appear to

greater advantage, than when they "condescend to persous of low estate,” in order to alleviate their distresses, and supply their necessities : but the learned and the wise, in adapting their compositions to the capacities of the ignorant and the weak, perform a task more difficult, and perhaps still more important. This praise is certainly due to the pious and venerable author of the work before us. Instead of degrading either his dignity or his talents, by addressing his instructions to the understandings of children, he has ceriainly thereby “magnified his office.

He has imitated the pattern, and obeyed the injunctions, of his Divine Master, by thus “ feeding the lambs of Christ's fold.

Hence we are far from being disgusted at the extreme sim. plicity with which these catechetical instructions are introduced. It reminds us, indeed, of the manner in which Socrates conversed with his "pupils ; whn, though persons of literature, genius, and rank, were, in spiritual knowledge, inferior to little children among us. Their Maste; himself left off, where these catechumens begin, Such are the advantages diffused by the Gospel !

As the arguments which are comprised in this rolume, center in the fact of Christ's resurrection, the author intitled the different parts, when published separately, a Series of Easter Catechisms. In their connected state, we think, that title might have been omitted ; especially as it does not apply to the whole of the subject, which is much better denoted by the one now prefixed. The proofs that are adduced, are generally in a high degree simple, natural, and convincing ; and we do not hesitate to say, that the oldest, and most established believer, may derive pleasure and satisfaction from an attentive perusal of this summary.

The former appearance of the work in detached parts, rénders it unnecessary for us to furnish copious extracts from it; and however acceptable they might be to some of our readers, we prefer advising theni to procure the volume, the size and price of which are well suited to extensive circulation. We shall therefore restrict ourselves to the notice of a few passages, which we wish to see amended in a new edition, as they seem to us disparagements of the general excellence and utility of the publication.

To the second part of the Catechism (on the Messiahship of Jesus, and the evidence of Christianity from prophecy, and the propheric knowledge of Christ) a Sermon" on the grounds of our faith in Christ," is prefixed. It contains many fine illustratons of the subject; which, for the sake of uniformity and argument, we would recommend to be digested in a catechetical arrangement, or dispersed among other parts of the work. The author takes no notice of the comparison suggested by the phraseology of his text, (2 Peter i. 19.) between the word of prophecy and another kind of evidence, which, however important, seems to be regarded as less convincing. We know that it is disputed, whether any such comparison was designed; but we apprehend that the apostle's argument may be thus best explained. Though the Almighty by his own voice declared Jesus to be his beloved Son; yet, as this proof was confined to three persons only, it was of inferior utility to the public eridence of prophecy, which is subject to universal observation and rational examination.

In several parts of this performance are introduced new illustrations of texts, many of which are just and useful. A few, however, appear to us exceptionable; and we wish to caution our readers against adopting them, as well as respectfully to suggest to the excellent author the expediency of retrenching them at a future opportunity.

At page, 155, John ili. 13. is thus read : “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which was in heaven." The following note is subjoined: 6. The cominon translation is,' which is in · heaven. The original is o wy, which is used not only for the present and future, but for the past. And so it should be translated in John i. 18."

To this positive, hut bare assertion, his Lordship should certainly have added some reuson for alterations in the common

[ocr errors]

version, which would doubtless be highly acceptable to the advocates of Socinianism. We do not dispute the propriety of understanding the present participle ó w, in some instances, of the past, or of the future ; but we think that it should not be understood of either, except the sense of the connexion evidently requires it. So far is this from being the case in either of these passages, that, whoever believes the omnipresence of Christ, may reasonably regard them as designed to intimate that important truth; and if in the first text, John iii. 13, the participle is translated who was, it makes the expression redundant and tautologous; for he that came down from heaven, must of course have been in heaven, and therefore it was unnecessary to add that he had been there. So superfluous and useless a sentence, would ill accord with the solemn manner in which it is introduced by our Lord, in his previous address to Nicodemus.

Sensible, however, of the weight which our author's opinion may justly carry with it to the reader's mind, we are glad to confront it with that of two ancient Greek Bishops, Chrysostom, and Theophylact, whose testimony acquires force from a consideration, that the language in which they wrote, was the same with that .on which they conimented. The former, in his Homily on the third chapter of John, has this paraphrase of the text: “ Do not think me to be such a teacher as many of the prophets, who were from the earth. I am come to you from heaven. Thither none of the prophets ascended; but there I am conversant *.” And he adds,

For not only in heaven, but also elsewhere, he filleth all things t." Theophylact, in his comment on the New Testament, remarks likewise on this passage, “ Lest any one, on hearing that Christ came down from heaven, should suppose that he is now no longer in heaven, he saith, ó wu tv Twaar--who is in heaven. Think not, because you have heard that the Son of Man came down from heaven, that I am not now there : but I am present, not only here, þodily, but there also, in a Divine nature, am I sitting conjointly with the Father I.” We could summon, were it necessary,

the same evidences against our author's correction of the common version of John xvi. 14, “ He shall receive of mine, that is, from me." p. 193. But {x te iue so evidently signifies, of what belongs to me,” that we think farther argument or testimony needless. More instances of this kind have struck our observation : but, to avoid enlargemeut, we shall assign those only which have been adduced, as our ground of hesitating to acquiesce entirely

[ocr errors]

* . Εγω δε 'εκει διατριβιω.
+ ου γαρ εν 'ερωνω μονον, αλλα και πανταχο, και παντα πληρδι.

Κανταύθα ταφειμι σευματικους, κα'κει σιγκαθομαι σε πατρι & κα 5.

« PreviousContinue »