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Oh! sorry stronghold, wrought and planned

With scarce the merit of design-
Hemmed in, o'er-looked on every hand ;
The neighbouring forts, and heights command

Each inmost or more distant line !
Oh! was it that our English blood,
However 'gainst fierce odds, withstood

Victorious and triumphantly,
The battle-shock on open field,
Unaided by the rampart's shield,
That thou wert fashioned thus to be
The grave-yard of our chivalry?
On whom may fall the signal blame,
Be their's the deep and lusting shame,
Be their's the woe, which harrowing roams
Through Britain's desolate bleeding homes-
Be their's with shrinking soul to hear
The phantom wail and shriek of fear,

Yelled constant o'er the severing wave,
From that barbarian distant clime
Of treacherous wrath and damning crime,
Where Britain's thousands for all time,

Have found a wide unhonored grave? Having thus bestowed a poetical imprecation upon the designers of the Kabul cantonments, whom, perhaps, in Parliamentary language, we ought to call upon him to " name;" our author proceeds to describe the state of suppressed feeling at Kabul--the smouldering fires of yet undeveloped rebellion. He asks

Why doth each stalwart Barukzye,
With restless and indignant eye
Each passing Affghan vengeful scan,

Who wears no emblem of his clan ? and then proceeds to answer the question, by saying that the hated Suddozye brood had “ turned a traitor hand” against “ their common country's good” and were lording it uncontrolled :

Upheld by British foemen's gold,

And British aid alone.
The poet then apostrophises the unfortunate Shah, and
plainly demonstrates that he is no supporter of the Palmerston,
Auckland, and McNaghten policy:

Oh! thou Shah Sujah-puppet king-
Imbecile and misgoverning!
Thou. o'er whose long-debased soul,
No virtue holds a due controul ;
Thou, false alike to friend and foe,
False to thy birth-land, and her woe-
Cruel, sagacious, and forsworn,
Beware, beware! The coming morn
Of retribution is at hand,
When the night-darkness of the land,

And fell oppressions cankering blight,
Shall yield to freedom's holier light !
Beware! Fate's keen and vigilant eye
Now gloats above thy destiny.
Full soon one vengeful, Afghan knife
Shall seek thy long proscribed life ;
For vow'd and planned the signal doom
Which shall consign to traitor's tomb !
What, though the striker sear thy name !
Not his shall be the assassin's fame;
But thousands shall applaud the blow
Which lays the tyrant sovereign low,
And vaunt thy double treachery's meed,

A glorious and a patriot deed ! Poor Shah Sujah! He has no friends, not even among the poets. The gentle race deal with him even more ungently than the historians. He tried very hard to convince the world, through our political officers, that he was true to the British cause; but neither the political officers, nor the world, would believe his stories. When he fell at last-when his strange eventful life was ended by assassinationno man sorrowed for his fate. Mr. Mackenzie, it may be remarked, has taken a poetical licence in the couplet, which describes the death of the king.

He says His Majesty fell by “one vengeful Afghan knife;" and then, in a note, quotes a passage from Eyre's Journal, showing that he was shot by a double-barreled gun. The knife of the assassin is, we know, the legitimate instrument sanctioned by poetry and romance, and it has the advantage of rhyming with “ life," which a gun cannot possibly do.

We suspect that our author is not far wrong in his estimate of Shah Sujah's character. That he was the falsest of the false, it is difficult not to believe. We do not mean to say that this is broadly apparent on the surface; for nothing more puzzled our political officers, both before and after the Shah's death, than the part taken by His Majesty in the disastrous rebellion, which terminated his own life. When Mr. Mackenzie

that he was “false alike to friend and foe,” he probably lands, after a flying leap, in the same conclusion, that would be reached, after much diligent investigation and much balancing of evidence, by a pains-taking laborious historian. The Shah probably had no settled purpose of any kind; but was willing to unite himself with one party or another, as his interests or his fears dictated. Intensely selfish, he cared neither for the British, nor for his own countrymen, and would have sacrificed, for any purpose of his own, the one with as much willingness as the other. He was ostensibly going out to attack Jellallabad, when he was murdered ; and, whilst preparing for the expedition, was writing letters of fervent devotion to the British authorities, and urging them to supply him with money. He professed the same loyalty to both parties, and would have been prepared at any moment to ally himself with either, as soon as victory declared itself unmistakeably on one side or the other. What he wanted all along was British money and British support, without British controul. The Company has had many hard bargains in its day; but never such a bargain as that Shah.

says

After thus apostrophising the “ Puppet King," the poet goes on to describe the general longing of the people of Kabul for the return of Dost Mahomed. Britannia is then exhorted to look to her fading laurels,

For Caubul owns one resolute man,

The astute Aminullah Khan. We have then a sketch of the career of this resolute man; and are presently introduced to “ Aminullah’s halls,” where the conspirators are assembling. The picture of the Afghan Sirdars is not a very flattering one. Their antecedents are set forth in the darkest possible colours;

For there be those, whose deeds may vie
With aught of foulest, darkest die;
Whose fiery temperaments may mock
The tempest's most unfett'red shock ;
Whose appetites for blood may suit
.Alone th' untamed and tameless brute
Or those terrific monster forms
Which Afghan superstition deems,
To o’errule the devastating, storms,

And guide the lightning's livid beams. We then have a sort of Homeric catalogue of these worthies, now deep in the conspiracy. “ Sage Aminullah leads the van,” and after him come divers chiefs, whose somewhat impracticable names are thus ingeniously woven into verse :

Moollah Shikor--Nawaub Zemaun
The fierce implacable Sultan Jan ;
Syud Gholam Moyanudin,
The Mullak Momund ; Khan Sherin,
The Mirza of the Kuzzilbashes ;
The Sirdar of the Hazirbashes ;
The bold and chivalrous Shumshudin,

The chieftain of Jubbar Khail ;
The brother of th' exiled Amir,
Gaunt Jubbur Khan and Khojah Mir ;

Abdullah, Lord of Pisheen's vale,
The leader of the Atchukzyes ;

Mahommed Shah-the powerful Khan,
And chieftain of the fierce Ghiljyes ;

Asman, chief Khan of Kohistan,
Taj Mahommed-Abdul Rahim
The Khans Secunder-Zulficar-Kurim,

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And Sultan Khan and Shah Pazi,
With Sirdars of less haught degree.
And never since the race of Ghore,
In the stern boist'rous times of yore,
Allegiance to their Shah forswore,

Was like assemblage known. This, we think, very probable. That such assemblage was ever known at all seems in the last degree problematical. We might take exception to more than one name in this list: but it seems especially hard that poor Khan Sherin Khanthe chief of the Kuzzilbashes, who, Mr. Mackenzie tells us in a note, was the only chief true to the British-should be included among the conspirators. It was a great mistake that we did not make more use of this man. He might have done us good service in our need.

This respectable assembly is harangued by Aminullah Khan, who begins by denouncing the amours of the Feringhis :

And shall we brook the foul disgrace,
The Kaffir heaps on our ancient race ?
Must we our nerveless spirits school,
To fawn and cringe to British rule,
With freedom-birth-land—bought and sold,
For the accurs’d Feringi's gold ?
Shall the Feringi's gentler voice
Ravish unscath'd our household joys ?
The recreant daughters of our land
Stretch out the soft enticing hand
Of fellowship, and all resign
Their yielding nature's frail design,
To amorous dalliance, and their charms
Confide to our oppressors' arms !
The laced Rhoobundis, cast aside,
No longer their bright features hide ;
But, careless of their country's woes,
They wive them with its bitterest foes !
They taunt us-ceaselessly revile,
And insult upon insult pile !
Declares each braggart infidel,
In Afghan promises may dwell
Nor faith nor truth ; that they
A wide interpretation claim
For shameless guile the fitting name ;
That honour's fair and stainless fame

Our household dictates disobey

That no more ruling feature they
In Afghan character descry,
Than dark deceit and treachery !
They tell us too in ribald words,
How Afghan wives despise their lords,

And scandalous proverb quote :
An Afghan dame in Búrka-cover
Is never without a secret lover-

Woe worth each lying throat ! Having said this, and much more besides, in denunciation of the British, he is followed by " Gaunt Jubbur Khan” (we cannot extol the felicity of the epithet) who descants upon the wrongs of the Barukzyes, and promises to revenge the sufferings of his

haughty Shuja's race accurst.” Abdullah Khan Atchukzye is the next speaker, and he does not mince his words more gently than the former speakers.

tribe upon

'Twere waste of words and time to tell
What further in the conference fell-

says Mr. Mackenzie; and the curtain falls on the first canto, the seeds of rebellion having been sown broadcast over the doomed country.

From this dark scene of rebellion and revenge we are suddenly transferred, with good artistical effect, to a paradise of fair women, doubly gentle and doubly delightful after our recent intercourse with the bloodthirsty vindictive Khans. There is some good scenic description; and then we come to this very enticing account of the dames and maidens of Kabul, who are sporting free and unfettered in the open air :

A merrier band hath never yet
'Mid those secluded precincts met,
To hold a festal jubilee,
Than now, in joyance wild and free,
Spirit away the tedious hours,
Disporting mid the laughing bowers,
O'er-clustered thick with autumn flow'rs.
The merry song-note rings on high,
Twin'd with the rheband's harmony,
And the light echoes sweetly roam
Along the Musjid's fretted dome.
Joy, the welcome guest, is there
Caressing fond each maiden fair,
Shedding o'er each fluttering heart
The emblems of his subtle art,
Fanning now with pliant wing
Each secret soft imagining,
Gilding each moment as it flies

With the sunshine of his smile,
While around are sparkling eyes,

Just tribute paying all the while.

A carpet rich in brightest hues
The Musjid's marble floor bestrews ;
And its soft and yielding breast
By damsel forms is lightly press’d.
Grouped around like cluster'd roses,
Here one listless form reposes,
In lolling ease ; another there
Braids her chosen comrade's hair ;
Another yet, and fairer still,
Binds, with happiest taste and skill,
Wreaths of rare and radiant flowers,
Rifled from the neighbouring bowers ;
While her next companion's eyes
Gleam with eloquent surprize,

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