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The crimson Moon, uprising from the sea,
With large delight foretells the harvest near: Ye shepherds, now prepare your melody,
To greet the soft appearance of her sphere! And, like a page, enamoured of her train,
The star of evening glimmers in the west : Then raise, ye shepherds, your observant strain,
That so of the Great Shepherd here are blest! Our fields are full with the time-ripened grain,. Our vineyards with the purple clusters swell: Her golden splendour glimmers on the main,
And vales and mountains her bright glory tell: Then sing, ye shepherds! for the time is come When we must bring the enriched harvest home.
Roman Catholics, a body then proscribed and depressed by penal enactments, and they seem to have been of the number who, to use his own words, 'hailed the first dazzling outbreak of the French Revolution as a signal to the slave, wherever suffering, that the day of his deliverance was near at hand.' The poet states that in 1792 he was taken by his father to one of the dinners given in honour of that great event, and sat upon the knee of the chairman while the following toast was enthusiastically sent round: May the breezes from France fan our Irish
Oak into verdure.' Parliament having, in 1793, opened the university to Catholics, young Moore was sent to college, and distinguished himself by his classical acquirements. In 1799, while in his nineteenth year, he proceeded to London to study law in the Middle Temple, and publish by subscription a translation of Anacreon. The latter appeared in the following year, dedicated to the Prince of Wales. At a subsequent period, Mr Moore was among the keenest satirists of this prince, for which he has been accused of ingratitude; but he states himself that the whole amount of his obligations to his royal highness was the honour of dining twice at Carlton House, and being admitted to a great fête given by the prince in 1811 on his being made regent. In 1803 Mr Moore obtained an official situation at Bermuda, the duties of which were discharged by a deputy; and this subordinate proving unfaithful, the poet incurred pecuniary losses to a large amount. Its first effect, however, was two volumes of poetry, a series of Odes and Epistles, published in 1806, and written during an absence of fourteen months from Europe, while the author visited Bermuda. The descriptive sketches in this work are remarkable for their
dunce! At the time,' says Mr Moore, when I first began to attend his school, Mr Whyte still continued, to the no small alarm of many parents, to encourage a taste for acting among his pupils. In this line I was long his favourite show-scholar; and among the play-bills introduced in his volume, to illustrate the occasions of his own prologues and epilogues, there is one of a play got up in the year 1790, at Lady Borrowes's private theatre in Dublin, where, among the items of the evening's entertainment, is "An Epilogue, A Squeeze to St Paul's, Master Moore."
Even now, delusive hope will steal
Pursues the murmurers of the deep, And lights them with consoling gleam, And smiles them into tranquil sleep. Oh! such a blessed night as this
I often think if friends were near, How should we feel and gaze with bliss Upon the moon-bright scenery here! The sea is like a silvery lake,
And o'er its calm the vessel glides, Gently, as if it feared to wake
The slumber of the silent tides. The only envious cloud that lowers
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height,
And, scowling at this heaven of light,
Wanted-Authors of all work to job for the season,
Nine times out of ten, if his title is good,
The material within of small consequence is;
That Horace, as clearly as words could express it,
In 1813 Mr Moore entered upon his noble poetical and patriotic task-writing lyrics for the ancient music of his native country. His Irish Songs displayed a fervour and pathos not found in his earlier works, with the most exquisite melody and purity of diction. An accomplished musician himself, it was the effort, he relates, to translate into language the emotions and passions which music appeared to him to express, that first led to his writing any poetry worthy of the name. 'Dryden,' he adds, has hap pily described music as being "inarticulate poetry;" and I have always felt, in adapting words to an ex
The warmth of the young poet's feelings and imagination led him in these epistles to make some slight trespasses on delicacy and decorum, and a second publication of poems, two years afterwards, under the assumed name of Thomas Little-a playful allusion to his diminutive stature-aggravated this offence of his muse. He has had the good sense to be ashamed of these amatory Juvenilia, and genius enough to redeem the fault. Mr Moore now became a satirist not strong and masculine, like Dryden, nor possessed of the moral dignity of Pope-but lively and pungent, with abundance of humorous and witty illustration. The man of the world, the scholar, and the poetical artist, are happily blended in his satiri-pressive air, that I was bestowing upon it the gift of cal productions, with a rich and playful fancy. His articulation, and thus enabling it to speak to others Twopenny Postbag, The Fudge Family in Paris, Fables all that was conveyed, in its wordless eloquence, to for the Holy Alliance, and numerous small pieces myself.' Part of the inspiration must also be attriwritten for the newspapers on the passing topics of buted to national feelings. The old airs were conthe day, to serve the cause of the Whig or liberal secrated to recollections of the ancient glories, the party, are not excelled in their own peculiar walk valour, beauty, or sufferings of Ireland, and became by any satirical compositions in the language. inseparably connected with such associations. Of is difficult to select a specimen of these exquisite the Irish Melodies, in connection with Mr Moore's productions without risk of giving offence; but per- songs, nine parts have been published in succession: haps the following may be found sufficiently irre- they are understood to have been materially useful proachable in this respect, at the same time that it to the poet's fortunes. Without detracting from the contains a full proportion of the wit and poignancy merits of the rest, it appears to us very forcibly, that distributed over all. It appeared at a time when an the particular ditties in which he delicately hints at abundance of mawkish reminiscences and memoirs the woes of his native country, and transmutes into had been showered from the press, and bore the verse the breathings of its unfortunate patriots, are title of Literary Advertisement.' the most real in feeling, and therefore the best. This particularly applies to When he who adores thee,' Oh, blame not the bard,' and 'Oh, breathe not his
* According to the common reading, 'Quodcunque infundis, acescit.'
name; the first of which, referring evidently to the fancy of almost any other poet. It was amidst the fate of Mr Emmett, is as follows:
snows of two or three Derbyshire winters, he says,
When he who adores thee has left but the name
Of his fault and his sorrow behind,
Yes, weep! and, however my foes may condemn,
For Heaven can witness, though guilty to them,
With thee were the dreams of my earliest love,
In my last humble prayer to the Spirit above,
Oh, blessed are the lovers and friends who shall live
Next to the patriotic songs stand those in which a moral reflection is conveyed in that metaphorical form which only Moore has been able to realise in lyrics for music-as in the following exquisite example:
I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,
So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known:
The close of our day, the calm eve of our night; Give me back, give me back, the wild freshness of morning,
Her clouds and her tears are worth evening's best
Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning,
Gave out all its sweets to Love's exquisite flame!
In 1817 Mr Moore produced his most elaborate poem, Lalla Rookh, an oriental romance, the accuracy of which, as regards topographical, antiquarian, and characteristic details, has been vouched by numerous competent authorities. The poetry is brilliant and gorgeous-rich to excess with imagery and ornament-and oppressive from its very sweetness and splendour. Of the four tales which, connected by a slight narrative, like the ballad stories in Hogg's Queen's Wake, constitute the entire poem, the most simple is Paradise and the Peri, and it is the one most frequently read and remembered. Still, the first-The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan-though improbable and extravagant as a fiction, is a poem of great energy and power. The genius of the poet moves with grace and freedom under his load of Eastern magnificence, and the reader is fascinated by his prolific fancy, and the scenes of loveliness and splendour which are depicted with such vividness and truth. Hazlitt says that Moore should not have written 'Lalla Rookh,' even for three thousand guineas -the price understood to be paid by the booksellers for the copyright. But if not a great poem, it is a marvellous work of art, and contains paintings of local scenery and manners unsurpassed for fidelity and picturesque effect. The patient research and extensive reading required to gather the materials, would have damped the spirit and extinguished the
remarkable for industry, genius, and acquirements, ancient fathers-now diving into the human heart, Mr Moore's career has been one of high honour and and now skimming the fields of fancy-the wit or success. No poet has been more universally read, imagination of Moore (for they are compounded toor more courted in society by individuals distin-gether) is a true Ariel, a creature of the elements' guished for rank, literature, or public service. His that is ever buoyant and full of life and spirit. His political friends, when in office, rewarded him with very satires give delight, and hurt not.' They are a pension of £300 per annum, and as his writings never coarse, and always witty. When stung by an have been profitable as well as popular, his latter act of oppression or intolerance, he can be bitter or days will thus be spent in comfort, without the sarcastic enough; but some lively thought or spor anxieties of protracted authorship. He resides in a tive image soon crosses his path, and he instantly cottage in Wiltshire, preferring a country retire- follows it into the open and genial region where he ment to those gay and brilliant circles which he loves most to indulge. He never dips his pen in occasionally enriches with his wit and genius; and malignity. For an author who has written so much he has recently given to the world a complete collec- as Mr Moore has done on the subject of love and tion of his poetical works in ten volumes, to which the gay delights of good fellowship, it was scarce possible to be always natural and original. Some of his lyrics and occasional poems, accordingly, present far-fetched metaphors and conceits, with which they often conclude, like the final flourish or pirouette of a stage-dancer. He has pretty well exhausted the vocabulary of rosy lips and sparkling eyes, forgetting that true passion is ever direct and simple-ever concentrated and intense, whether bright or melancholy. This defect, however, pervades only part of his songs, and those mostly written in his youth. The Irish Melodies' are full of true feeling and delicacy. By universal consent, and by the sure test of memory, these national strains are the most popular and the most likely to be immortal of all Moore's works. They are musical almost beyond parallel in words-graceful in thought and sentiment often tender, pathetic, and heroic-and they blend poetical and romantic feelings with the objects and sympathies of common life in language chastened and refined, yet apparently so simple that every trace of art has disappeared. The most familiar expressions become, in his hands, instruments of power and melody. The songs are read and remembered by all. They are equally the delight of the cottage and the saloon, and, in the poet's own country, are sung with an enthusiasm that will long be felt in the hour of festivity, as well as in periods of suffering and solemnity, by that imaginative and warm-hearted people.
Moore's Cottage, near Devizes.
are prefixed some interesting literary and personal details. When time shall have destroyed the attractive charm of Moore's personal qualities, and removed his works to a distance, to be judged of by their fruit alone, the want most deeply felt will be that of simplicity and genuine passion. He has worked little in the durable and permanent materials of poetry, but has spent his prime in enriching the stately structure with exquisite ornaments, foliage, flowers, and gems. He has preferred the myrtle to the olive or the oak. His longer poems want human interest. Tenderness and pathos he undoubtedly possesses; but they are fleeting and evanescent-not embodied in his verse in any tale of melancholy grandeur or strain of affecting morality or sentiment. He often throws into his gay and festive verses, and his fanciful descriptions, touches of pensive and mournful reflection, which strike by their truth and beauty, and by the force of contrast. Indeed, one effect of the genius of Moore has been, to elevate the feelings and occurrences of ordinary life into poetry, rather than dealing with the lofty abstract elements of the art. His wit answers to the definition of Pope: it is
Nature to advantage dressed, What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed. Its combinations are, however, wonderful. Quick, subtle, and varied, ever suggesting new thoughts or images, or unexpected turns of expression-now drawing resources from classical literature or the
JOHN HOOKHAM FRERE.
In 1817 Mr Murray published a small poetical volume under the eccentric title of Prospectus and Specimen of an intended National Work, by William and Robert Whistlecraft, of Stowmarket in Suffolk, Harness and Collar-Makers. Intended to comprise the most Interesting Particulars relating to King Arthur and his Round Table. The world was surprised to find, under this odd disguise, a happy imitation of the Pulci and Casti school of the Italian poets. The brothers Whistlecraft formed, it was quickly seen, but the mask of some elegant and scholarly wit belonging to the higher circles of society, who had chosen to amuse himself in comic verse, without incurring the responsibilities of declared authorship. To two cantos published in the above year, a third and fourth were soon after added. The poem opens with a feast held by King Arthur at Carlisle amidst his knights, who are thus introduced:
They looked a manly generous generation;
Their accents firm and loud in conversation,
In a valley near Carlisle lived a race of giants; Oft that wild untutored race would draw, and this place is finely described:
Led by the solemn sound and sacred light,
Huge mountains of immeasurable height
A rock was in the centre, like a cone,
A wild tumultuous torrent raged around,
The ladies-They were tolerably well,
That when the castle's capture was effected,
I've a proposal here from Mr Murray.
My dear, you might recover from your flurry,
At Croydon, Epsom, anywhere in Surrey;
But chiefly, when the shadowy moon had shed
The solemn mountains that surrounded
This closes the second canto. The third opens in Discoursing with their echoes all day long,
Their only conversation was, 'ding-dong."
Unfortunately, this happy state of things is broken up by the introduction of a ring of bells into the abbey, a kind of music to which the giants had an insurmountable aversion:
These giant mountains inwardly were moved,
This is evidently meant as a good-humoured satire against violent personifications in poetry. Meanwhile, a monk, Brother John by name, who had opposed the introduction of the bells, has gone in a fit of disgust with his brethren to amuse himself with the rod at a neighbouring stream. Here occurs another beautiful descriptive passage:
A mighty current, unconfined and free,
Ran wheeling round beneath the mountain's shade,