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such a multiplicity of detail. It is the more worth while to notice these minuter traits, because they serve to throw out to greater advantage his parliamentary character, and to shew that it is was not assumed for the purposes of party ambition, but had for its basis, solid intellectual and moral qualities. He was as a man all that he appeared or professed to be as a senator; and with whatever error or pertinacity he was chargeable, there could exist no doubt that in his opinions he was as sincere as he was earnest, and as independent as he was sincere. If he was fallible, he was at least consistent; and those against whom his opposition was directed, knew that they were opposed not merely by an able, but by an honest man. Such a man, surely, might deserve a panegyric that would outlast the memory of his usefulness, but Mr. Whitehouse does not aim at superseding the historian's task. We shall make room for the following apostrophe.
Thou art gone,
Great Spirit! and thy works have followed thee.
Grow up and ripen. Hence our SIDNEYS rose,
The last, but not least honoured of the band
Of British patriots; o'er whose honoured grave
The man of worth, of merit, him alone
In his good deeds, his wide beneficence,
And warm philanthropy. Round WHITBREAD's brow
Art. X. The Lay of the Laureate.
CARMEN NUPTIALE, by Robert
THIS is a poem worthy of the Poet Laureate of England. Mr. Southey has endeavoured to justify the choice by which he has been honoured, not by emulating the courtly lyrics of Mister Pye, but by making poetry the vehicle of sentiments which could in no other shape be offered, and by giving to occasion a voice both of emphasis and of melody.
The Poem is divided into three parts. In the Proem, Mr. Southey indulges in a strain of egotism, which an author may expect that his contemporary critics will resent, but which is sure to prove interesting to the next generation of readers, when the poet only, surviving in his works, is able to tell his own tale. There are no passages in our best poets, that engage our sympathy more than those references to their personal feelings or history, which at the time, perhaps, were charged upon their vanity; but they wrote for friends, rather than for critics; or for that futurity which is sure to participate in the feeling of friendship towards a poet that has deserved its esteem.
Mr. Southey alludes, in the following stanzas, to the obloquy which has been cast upon him, on account of his acceptance of the Laureateship.
'Yea in this now, while Malice frets her hour,
Is foretaste given me of that meed divine;
Here undisturbed in this sequestered bower,
The friendship of the good and wise is mine;
And that green wreath which decks the Bard when dead,
That wreath which in Eliza's golden days
That which rewarded Drayton's learned lays,
Which thoughtful Ben and gentle Daniel bore, . .
Grin Envy through thy ragged mask of scorn!
In honour it was given, in honour it is worn!" pp. 7, 8.
In the subsequent stanzas, the Poet urges the difficulty which the occasion presented to one so unaccustomed to touch
the sweet dulcimer and courtly lute.'
But the example of his master' Spenser, emboldens him to choose for the joyous occasion, a theme partaking of solemnity. He adopts for this purpose the form of an allegory.
The Author imagines that he is present, in a dream, at some great public festival, which is attended with general rejoicing. Such crowds I saw, and in such glad array,
It seemed some general joy had filled the land;
And children, tottering by the mother's hand,
And every one of all that numerous throng
Those joyous colours in his forelock wore,
The hurrying music came on every side;
Westward it came, the East returned the sound;
Eftsoon, methought, I reached a festal hall,
Where guards in order ranged repelled the throng,
But I had entrance through that guarded door,
In honour to the laureate crown I wore.' pp. 19, 20.
The spacious hall, hung round with trophies, and representations, in the painter's universal art,' of the most celebrated victories, is filled with the opulence of Britain's court,'
Her Statesmen, and her Warriors, and her Fair.
There sat a royal Bridegroom and his Bride;
The marks of Brunswick's Royal Line were seen,
Of princely lineage and of princely heart,
The Bridegroom seemed,. . a man approved in fight,
Who in the great deliverance bore his part,
The Saxon Lion, terrible of yore,
The marks of long and cruel bondage bore,
That noble Beast had never felt the chain;
And o'er his shoulders broad the affluent mane
Yet were they of one brood; and side by side
They many a time had met, and quelled his pride,
Suddenly the air is filled with unearthly music, and a hush of reverence and dismay spreads through the assembly, on beholding a heavenly company' appear, and direct their steps to the royal seat. In the congratulations and admonitions addressed to the Royal Bride by these allegorical personages, the Poet artfully conveys the language of his feelings with courtly propriety.
The first that approaches the throne, is a female form with awful port, the majestic leader of the train: the trident of the seas is in her right hand,
The sceptre which that Bride was born to wield ;' and the Red Cross shield is displayed in her left. She exhorts the Princess to
Love peace and cherish peace: but use it so
She is followed by a comely sage with locks of venerable eld,' his earthly name EXPERIENCE, to whom it is given to know all the past, and to enjoy as the meed of patient wisdom, foresight of the future. He presents to the princely pair, the volume of the rights, and usages, and laws which have constituted the greatness of Britain, and charges them to preserve it with reverence and jealous care, as the talisman of England's strength. We must transcribe the ensuing stanzas for the sake of their great beauty.
The next who stood before that royal pair
Ambrosial odours floated all around,
Saints in the memory of the good revered,
In whose pure breast, with pious nurture fed, All generous hopes and gentle virtues grew;
A heavenly diadem adorned his head,..
Most blessed Prince, whose saintly name might move
And now in that right hand, which flinching not
There too came Latimer, in worth allied,
Who to the stake when brought by Romish rage,
The infirmity of flesh and weight of age,
With these, partakers in beatitude,
Bearing like them the palm, their emblem meet, The Noble Army came, who had subdued
All frailty, putting death beneath their feet: Their robes were like the mountain snow,
As tho' they had been dipt in the fountain-springs of light.
By no weak tenderness to life allured,
The victims of that hateful Henry's reign,
And of the bloody Queen, beneath whose sway
O pardon me, thrice holy Spirits dear,
That hastily I now must pass ye by!
No want of duteous reverence is there here;