Obrazy na stronie

glory and triumph of human nature, in which we are prepared to meet with, display themselves in the concentration and to enjoy, a certain lawless luxuriof patriotism or devotion, then the ance of imagery, and to tolerate a cere genius of Moore expands and kindles, tain rhapsodical wildness of sentiment and his strains are nobly and divinely and passion. lyrical. If Burns surpass him in sim There is considerable elegance, plicity and pathos—as certainly does grace, and ingenuity, in the contrive he surpass Burns in richness of fancy ance, by which the four Poems that in variety of illustration-in beauty compose the volume are introduced of language in melody of verse--and to the reader. They are supposed to above all, in that polished unity, and be recited by a young poet, to enliven completeness of thought and expres- the evening hours of Lalla Rookh, sion, so essential in all lyrical compo- daughter of the Emperor of Delhi, sition, and more particularly so in who is proceeding in great state and songs, which, being short, are neces- magnificence to Bucharia to meet her sarily disfigured by the smallest viola- destined husband, the monarch of that tion of language, the smallest dimness, kingdom. Of course, the princess and weakness, or confusion in the thought, the poet fall desperately in love with image, sentiment, or passion.

each other-and Lalla looks forward Entertaining the opinion which we with despair to her interview with her have now imperfectly expressed of Mr intended husband. But perhaps most Moore's poetical character, we opened novel readers will be prepared for the Lalla Rookh with confident expecta- denouement better than the simpletions of finding beauty in every page; minded Lalla Rookh, and will not, and we have not been disappointed. like her, be startled to find, that FeraHe has, by accurate and extensive read morz the poet, and Aliris the king, are ing, imbued his mind with so familiar one and the same personage. All that a knowledge of eastern scenery—that relates to Lalla Rookh and her royal we feel as if we were reading the poe- and poetical lover, is in prose-but try of one of the children of the Sun. prose of so flowery a kind that it yields No European image ever breaks or no relief to the mind, if worn out or steals in to destroy the illusion every wearied by the poetry. Neither do tone, and hue, and form, is purely and we think Fadladeen, that old musty intensely Asiatic-and the language, Mahomedan critic, in any way amusfaces, forms, dresses, mien, sentiments, ing-though he sometimes hits upon passions, actions, and characters of the objections to the poetry of Feramorz, different agents, are all congenial with which it might not be very easy to the flowery earth they inhabit, and answer. Can it be, that a man of gethe burning sky that glows over their nius like Mr Moore is afraid of critiheads. That proneness to excessive cism, and seeks to disarm it by, anticiornament, which seldom allows Mr pation ? But let us turn to the poetry. Moore to be perfectly simple and natu The first poem is entitled, “ The ral--that blending of fanciful and tran- Veiled Prophet of Khorassan.” It sient feelings, with bursts of real pas- opens thus : sion--that almost bacchanalian rapture with which he revels, amid the beau “ In that delightful Province of the Sun, ties of external nature, till his senses

The first of Persian lands he shines upon,

Where all the loveliest children of his beam, seem lost in a vague and indefinite enjoyment, that capricious and wayward And, fairest of all streams, the Murga roves

Flowrets and fruits blush over every stream, ambition which often urges him to Among Merou'st bright palaces and make his advances to our hearts, ra

groves ;ther by the sinuous and blooming bye- There, on that throne, to which the blind ways and lanes of the fancy, than by belief the magnificent and royal road of the Of millions rais'd him, sat the Prophet-chief, imagination—that fondness for the de- The Great Mokanna. O’er his features hung lineation of female beauty and power,

The Veil, the Silver Veil, which he had which often approaches to extravagan

flung cy and idolatry, but at the same time is rarely unaccompanied by a most fas

* Khorassan signifies, in the old Persian cinating tenderness-in short, all the language, Province, or Region of the Sun. peculiarities of his genius adapt him

SIR W. JONES. for the composition of an Oriental Tale, + One of the Royal Cities of Khorassan.

the way,

In mercy there, to hide from mortal sight shut themselves up in a fortress. MoHis dazzling brow, till man could bear the kanna, finding farther resistance in light.

vain, poisons all his troops-and after For, far less luminous, his votaries said,

venting his rage, hatred, and conWere ev'n the gleams, miraculously shed O'er Mousa's cheek, when down the mount

tempt on Zelica, leaps into a cistern of he trod,

such potent poison, that his body is All glowing from the presence of his God !” dissolved in a moment. Zelica covers

herself with the Silver Veil, and Azim, This Mokanna is an Impostor, who works up the enthusiasm of his fol- her for Mokanna, and kills her.

leading the storming party, mistakes lowers by the assumption of a divine

We could present our readers with character and whose ostensible object is the destruction of all false religions, from this singular poem ; but as we

many passages of tenderness and beauty and every kind of tyranny and des

shall have occasion to quote some potism. When these glorious objects stanzas of that character from “ Paraare attained,

he is then to throw aside dise and the Peri,” we shall confine his Silver Veil, and admit the ennobled ourselves to two extracts, in which Mr souls of men to gaze upon his re Moore has successfully attempted a fulgent visage. In reality, however, kind of composition new to him; the he is a Being of a fiendish and demoniac nature, hating God and man, Caliph as he marched against the Im

one describing the armament of the and burning for power and empire, nature with derision, mockery, and adherents of his fallen fortunes. that he may trample upon human postor, and the other, the last fatal

feast, at which Mokanna poisons the outrage, and thus insult and blas

“ Whose are the gilded tents that crown pheme the Eternal. The dominion which he exercises over his supersti- Where all was waste and silent yesterday ? tious proselytes—the successful pro- This City of War, which, in a few short gress of his career-his lofty, wild, and

hours, mysterious doctrines

the splendour of Hath sprung up here, as if the magic powers his kingly state—the gorgeous magni- of Him who, in the twinkling of a star, ficence of his array--therich moresque- Built the high pillared halls of Chilminar, * work of his Haram-and the beauties This world of tents, and domes, and sun

Had conjured up, far as the eye can see, from a hundred realms which it en.

bright armory ! closes are all described with great Princely pavilions, screened by many a fold power and effect, though not unfre- Of crimson cloth, and topped with balls of quently with no little extravagance and gold; exaggeration. In his Haram is Zeli. Steeds, with their housings of rich silver ca, the heroine of the poem, whom the spun, supposed death of her lover Azim has their chains and poitrels glittering in the driven into a kind of insanity. Mokanna so works upon the phrenzied And camels, tufted o’er with Yemen's shells, enthusiasm of her disordered mind, as

Shaking in every breeze their light-toned

bells ! to convince her, that before she can

But yester-eve, so motionless around, enter into heaven, she must renounce So mute was this wide plain, that not a sound her oaths of fidelity to Azim, and bind But the far torrent, or the locust-birdt herself for ever on the earth to him, Hunting among the thickets, could be the Impostor. He conducts her into a charnel-vault, and there, surrounded Yet, hark! what discords now of every

kind, with the ghastly dead, she takes the fatal oath, and seals it by a draught of Shouts, laughs, and screams, are swelling

in the wind ! human blood. Meanwhile, Azim returns from foreign war, and joins the

* 66 The edifices of Chilminar and Balbec banners of the Impostor. He then discovers the wicked arts of Mokanna, Genii, acting under the orders of Jan Ben

are supposed to have been built by the and the ruin of Zelica-abandons the Jan, who governed the world long before Silver Veil-joins the army of the Ca- the time of Adam.” liph, and routs the Prophet-chief in of “A native of Khorassan, and allured various battles, till he forces him and southward by means of the water of a founhis remaining infatuated followers to tain between Shiraz and Ispahan, called the

Fountain of the Birds, of which it is so fond, that it will follow wherever that water is carried.”

sun ;

heard ;

* Moses



fearful pause

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the grave

The neigh ot cavalry ;-the tinkling throngs She saw the board in splendid mockery Of laden camels, and their driver's songs ;

spread, Ringing of arms, and flapping in the breeze Rich censers breathing,—garlands over Of streamers from ten thousand canopies:War-music, bursting out from time to time, The urns, the cups from which they late With gong and tymbolon's tremendous

had quaffed,

All gold and gems, but what had been Or, in the pause, when harsher sounds are

the draught ? mute,

Oh! who need ask, that saw those livid The mellow breathings of some horn or

guests, flute,

With their swollen heads sunk blackening That, far off, broken by the eagle note

on their breasts, Of the Abyssinian trumpet," swell and Or looking pale to Heaven with glassy glare, float !"

As if they sought, but saw no mercy there ;

As if they felt, though poison racked them If this be splendid and magnificent, through, the following is no less wild and ter- Remorse the deadlier torment of the two ! rible.

While some, the bravest, hardiest in the

train 56. 'Twas more than midnight now,ma

Of their false Chief, who on the battle-plain

Would have met death with transport by Had followed the long shouts, the wild ap.

his side, plause,

Here mute and helpless gasped ;~--but as That lately from those Royal Gardens burst, they died, Where the Veiled Demon held his feast ac Looked horrible vengeance with their eyes' curst,

last strain, When Zelica-alas, poor ruin'd heart, And clenched the slackening hand at him In every horror doom'd to bear its part !

in vain. Was bidden to the banquet by a slave,

Dreadful it was to see the ghastly stare, Who, while his quivering lip the summons The stony look of horror and despair, gave,

Which some of these expiring victims cast Grew black, as though the shadows of Upon their soul's tormentor to the last ;

Upon that mocking Fiend, whose Veil now Compassed him round, and, ere he could raised, repeat

Show'd them, as in death's agony they His message through, fell lifeless at her gazed, feet!

Not the long promised light, the brow, Shuddering she went a soul-felt pang of

whose beaming

Was to come forth, all conquering, all reA presage that her own dark doom was near, deeming, Roused every feeling, and brought Reason But features horribler than Hell e'er traced back

On its own brood-no Demon of the Waste, Once more, to writhe her last upon the rack. No church-yard Ghole, caught lingering in All round seemed tranquil ; even the foe

the light had ceased,

Of the blessed sun, ere blasted human sight As if aware of that demoniac feast,

With lineaments so foul, so fierce, as those His fiery bolts ; and though the heavens Th’Impostor now in grinning mockery looked red,

shows. 'Twas but some distant conflagration's • There, ye wise Saints, behold your Light,

spread. But, hark !--she stops-she listens-dread- Ye would be dupes and victims, and ye are, ful tone!

Is it enough? or must I, while a thrill 'Tis her Tormentor's laugh-and now a Lives in your sapient bosoms, cheat you groan,

still ? A long death.groan, comes with it can Swear that the burning death you feel within this be

Is but a trance, with which heaven's joys The place of mirth, the bower of revelry ?

begin ; She enters Holy Alla ! what a sight That this foul visage, foul as e'er disgrac'd Was there before her! By the glimmering Even monstrous man, is_after God's own

light Of the pale dawn, mixed with the flame of brands

* * The Afghauns believe each of the That round lay burning, dropped from life numerous solitudes and deserts of their less hands,

country to be inhabited by a lonely demon, whom they call the Ghoolee Beeabau, or

Spirit of the Waste. They often illustrate *“ This trumpet is often called in Abys- the wildness of any sequestered tribe, by sinia, nesser cano, which signifies the note saying, they are wild as the Demon of the of the eagle." -Note of Bruce's Editor. Waste."-Elphinstone's Caubul.


your Star


so true

one too.

up ?

And that but see !ere I have half-way Thrones have been overturned, and said

altars demolished, by men starting My greetings through, th’ uncourteous souls suddenly up in all the power of savage

are fled. Farewell, sweet spirits ! not in vain ye die, its Prophets and Impostors, its Con

enthusiasm ; and every realm has had If Eblis loves you half so well as I. Ha, my young bride ! 'tis well-take

querors and Kings. The display, inthou thy seat ;

deed, of successful imposture in poNay, come no shuddering didst thou litics or religion has not been confined never meet

to the kingdoms of the East; but The Dead before!—they graced our wed there it has assumed the wildest and ding, sweet,

most extravagant form-has sprung And these my guests to-night have brimmed from, and been supported by, the Their parting cups, that thou shalt pledge mentably overthrown, ruined, and de

strongest passions and has most laBut-how is this ?-all empty ? all drunk graded, the character of man.

Different, indeed, as the situations Hot lips have been before thee in the cup,

in which Mokanna is placed are to Young bride-yet stay-one precious drop those of another fictitious personage, remains,

there is, notwithstanding, a striking Enough to warm a gentle Priestess' veins !

similarity in their characters, and in Here, drink and should thy lover's con- the causes to which the formation of quering arms

that character is attributed-we mean Speed hither, ere thy lip lose all its charms, the Black Dwarf. He comes deformed Give him but half this venom in thy kiss, And I'll forgive my haughty rival's bliss." into the world; the injury, scorn,

misfortunes, and miseries, which that From this very general outline of deformity brings upon him, distort the story, and from these extracts, our his feelings and his reason-inspire readers will perceive that this singu- him with a malignant hatred of his lar Poem abounds in striking, though kind, and a sullen disbelief in the somewhat extravagant, situations, in- goodness of Providence. So far he cidents, and characters. There is bears a general resemblance to Mosomething very fine in the Vision of kanna. But the Black Dwarf is the the Silver Veil floating ever in the van inhabitant of a lonely cottage on a of battle, and in the unquaking and lonely moor ; his life is past in a hiinvincible faith of the Believers in the deous solitude ; the few persons who mysterious Being whose glories it is come in contact with him are low or supposed to shroud. The wildness ordinary mortals; his hatred of his and madness of religious fanaticism kind is sullenly passive, or active only entempests and tumultuates the whole in bursts of passion, of which man, Poem; and perhaps that fanaticism rather than men, is the uninjured obstrikes us with more mournful and ject; while the darkness of his soul melancholy awe, from the wickedness is occasionally enlightened by transient of him who inspires it, and who re- gleams of pity, tenderness, penitence, joicingly awakens both the good and and remorse. But Mokanna starts up bad passions of man, to delude, to from the unknown region of his birth, mock, and destroy him.

at once a Prophet and a Conqueror ; he The character of Mokanna is, we is for ever surrounded with power and think, originally and vigorously con- majesty; and the "Silver Veil” may ceived, though perhaps its formation be supposed to be the shrine of incaris attributed too exclusively to the nate Deity. His hatred of man, and gnawing sense of his hideous deformity horror of himself, urge him to destroy. of countenance. But this is an Eastern He is the Evil Spirit; nor is he satistale; and in all the fictions of the East, fied with bloodshed, though it drench whether they regard characters or a whole land, unless he can also ruin events, nature is described only in her the soul, and create wickedness out of extravagancies. Nor does this proceed misery. Which of these characters is solely from the wayward imagination the most impressive, we shall not deof Eastern genius; for the history of cide. They are both natural ; that is those mighty kingdoms exhibits the to say, we can conceive them to exist wonderful career of many a wild and in nature. Perhaps greater power of fantastic spirit, many a dream-like genius was required to dignify and change, many a mysterious revolution. impart a character of sublimity to t?

wretched and miserable Dwarf, in the And as she listen'd to the Springs stone hut of his own building, than Of Life within, like music flowing: to Mokanna, beneath his Silver Veil, And caught the light upon her wings, and in his Palace of Porphyry:

Through the half-open portal glowing, The character of Zelica is, in many Shouldeer have lost that glorious place."

She wept, to think her recreant race places, touched with great delicacy and beauty, but it is very dimly con

The angel who keeps the gates of ceived, and neither vigorously nor con

light then tells the Peri the condi. tions on which she


be re-admitsistently executed. The progress of

ted into Paradise. that mental malady, which ultimately

" o "Tis written in the Book of Fate, throws her into the power of the im

THE PERI YET MAY BE FORGIVEN postor, is confusedly traced; and very WHO BRINGS TO THIS ETERNAL GATE frequently philosophical observations THE GIFT THAT IS MOST DEAR TO and physical facts on the subject of HEAV'N ! insanity, are given in the most unim- Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin ;passioned and heavy language, when 'Tis sweet to let the Pardon d in.” the Poet's mind should have been en-,

The Peri then flies away in quest of tirely engrossed with the case of the this gift, and in a field of battle beindividual before him. For a long holds a glorious youth slain, when entime we cannot tell whether Mokanna deavouring to destroy the invader of has affected her utter ruin or not, Mr his country. She carries to the gates Moore having the weakness to conceal of Paradise a drop of blood from his that, of which the distinct knowledge heroic heart; but, is absolutely necessary to the under

" Sweet,' said the Angel, as she gave, standing of the poem. There is also a

The gift into his radiant hand,

• Sweet is our welcome of the Brave good deal of trickery in the exhibition he makes of this lady's mental de. But see alas !-the crystal bar

Who died thus for their native land. rangement. Whether she be in the Of Eden moves not ;-holier far Haram, the gardens of the Haram, the Than ev'n this drop the boon must be, age, charnel-house, or the ramparts of a for. That opes the gates of heav'n for thee!"." tress, she is always in some uncommon

Once more the Peri wings her flight, attitude, or some extraordinary scene.

to earth, and, after bathing her plus At one time she is mad, and at another mage in the fountains of the Nile, she is perfectly in her senses; and of- floats over the grots, the balmy groves, ten, while we are wondering at her and the royal sepulchres of Egypt, till unexpected appearance, she is out of at length she alights in the vale of sight in a moment, and leaves us al. Rozetta, near the azure calm of the most as much bewildered as herself. Lake of Mæris. This beautiful scene On the whole, her character is a faile is devastated by the plague, and

“ Just then, beneath some orange trees, Of Azim we could say much, if it Whose fruit and blossoms in the breeze were not that the situations in which were wantoning together, free he is placed so strongly remind us of Like age at play with infancy, Lord Byron's heroes. There is no- Beneath that fresh and springing bower. thing like plagiarism or servile imita Close by the Lake, she heard the moan tion about Mr Moore, but the cur

Of one who, at this silent hour, rent of his thoughts has been drawn

Had thither stolen to die alone ; into the more powerful one of Lord One who, in life, where'er he moved Byron's mind ; and, except that Azim Yet now, as though he ne'er was loved, A

Drew after him the hearts of many ; : is represented as a man of good prin

Dies here--unseen, unwept, by any !"-A ciples, he looks, speaks, and acts, exactly But he is not left alone to die.fr in the style of those energetic heroes

“ But see-who yonder comes by stealth, who have already so firmly established This melancholy bower to seek, themselves in the favour of the public. Like a young envoy, sent by Health, I We confess, therefore, that we have With rosy gifts upon her cheek ! not felt for him the interest due to 'Tis she-far off, through moonlight dim, his youth, beauty, valour, misfortunes,

He knew his own betrothed bride; and death.

She, who would rather die with him,

Than live to gain the world beside ! The next poem is entitled, “ Para

Her arms are found her lover now, dise and the Peri.” It opens thus: His livid cheek to her's she presses, kas 6 One morn, a Peři at the gate

And dips, to bind his burning brow, * * Of Eden stool, disconsolate ;

In the cool lake, her loosen'd tresses."




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