Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

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 cergenius of Moore expands and kindles, tain rhapsodical wildness of sentiment and his strains are nobly and divinely and passion.

S o 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 above all, in that polished unity, and to be recited by a young poet, to completeness of thought and expres- enliven the evening hours of Lalla sion, so essential in all lyrical compo- Rookh, daughter of the Emperor of sition, and more particularly so in “Delhi, who is proceeding in great songs, which, being short, are neces- state and magnificence to Bucharia to sarily disfigured by the smallest viola- meet her destined husband, the motion of language, the smallest dimness, narch of that kingdom. Of course, weakness, or confusion in the thought, the princess and the poet fall desper image, sentiment, or passion.

ately in love with each other and Entertaining the opinion which we Lalla looks forward with despair to have now imperfectly expressed of Mr her interview with her intended hus-i Moore's poetical character, we opened band. But perhaps most novel readers Lalla Rookh with confident expecta- will be prepared for the denouement tions of finding beauty in every page; better than the simple-minded Lalla and we have not been disappointed. Rookh, and will not, like her, be startHe has, by accurate and extensive read. led to find that Feramorz the poet, ing, imbued his mind with so familiar and Aliris the king, are one and the same a knowledge of eastern scenery-that personage. All that relates to Lalla we feel as if we were reading the poe- Rookh and her royal and poetical lover, try of one of the children of the Sun is in prose-but prose of so flowery a No European image ever breaks or kind, that it yields no relief to the steals in to destroy the illusion every mind, if worn out or wearied by the tone, and hue, and form, is purely and poetry. Neither do we think Fadlaintensely Asiatic and the language, deen, that old musty Mahomedan faces, forms, dresses, mien, sentiments, critic, in any way amusing--though passions, actions, and characters of the he sometimes hits upon objections to different agents, are all congenial with the poetry of Feramorz, which it might the flowery earth they inhabit, and not be very easy to answer. Can it be, the burning sky that glows over their that a man of genius like Mr Moore heads. That proneness to excessive is afraid of criticism, and seeks to disa ornament, which seldom allows Mr arm it by anticipation ? But let us Moore to be perfectly simple and natur- turn to the poetry. al-that blending of fanciful and tran. The first poem is entitled, “The sient feelings, with bursts of real pas. Veiled Prophet of Khorassan."* It sion--that almost bacchanalian rapture opens thus: 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, seem lost in a vague and indefinite en- Where all the loveliest children of his beam, joyment—that capricious and wayward Flowrets and fruits blush over every stream, ambition which often urges him to And, fairest of all streams, the Murga roves make his advances to our hearts, ra- Among Merou's + bright palaces and ther by the sinuous and blooming bye

groves ; ways and lanes of the fancy, than by the

There, on that throne, to which the blind

belief magnificent and royal road of the imagination—that fondness for the deli

Of millions rais'd him, sat the Prophet-chief,

The Great Mokanna. O'er his features hung neation 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 fa

• Khorassan signifies, in the old Persian

. scinating tenderness-in short, all the lan

language, Province, or Region of the Sun. peculiarities of his genius adapt him

Sir W. JOXES. for the composition of an Oriental Tale, + One of the Royal Cities of Khorassan.

In mercy there, to hide from mortal sight shut themselves up in a fortress. Mom His 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 Moussa'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 leading the storming party, mistakes. works upon the enthusiasm of his fol- her for Mokanna, and kills her. lowers by the assumption of a divine We could present our readers with character--and whose ostensible object many passages of tenderness and beauty is the destruction of all false religions, from this singular Poem ; but as we 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 de- one describing the armament of the moniac nature, hating God and man, Caliph as he marched against the Ima and burning for power and empire, postor, and the other, the last fatal that he may trample upon human feast, at which Mokanna poisons the nature with derision, mockery, and adherents of his fallen fortunes. outrage, and thus insult and blas- “ Whose are the gilded tents that crown: pheme the Eternal. The dominion the way, 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

Of Him who, in the twinkling of a star, his kingly state—the gorgeous magni

Built the high pillared halls of Chilminar, ficence of his array-the rich moresque

Had conjured up, far as the eye can see, , work of his Haram-and the beauties This world of tents, and domes, and sunfrom 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,

Their chains and poitrels glittering in the supposed death of her lover Azim has

sun ; driven into a kind of insanity. Mo- And camels, tufted o'er with Yemen's shells. kanna so works upon the phrenzied Shaking in every breeze their light-toned enthusiasm of her disordered mind, as 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

heard :the Impostor. He conducts her into a

Yet, hark! what discords now of every charnel-vault, and there, surrounded with the ghastly dead, she takes the Shouts, laughs, and screams, are swelling fatal oath, and seals it by a draught of in the wind ! human blood. Meanwhile, Azim returns from foreign war, and joins the « The edifices of Chilminar and Balbec banners of the Impostor. He then dis- are supposed to have been built by the covers the wicked arts of Mokanna, Genii, acting under the orders of Jan Ben 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 t.“ A native of Khorassan, and allured various battles, till he forces him and

southward by means of the water of a foun.

tain between Shiraz and Ispahan, called the his remaining infatuated followers to

Fountain of the Birds, of which it is so fond,

that it will follow wherever that water is i's

Moses

carried."

head,

float!

train

The neigh of cavalry;-the tinkling throngs She saw the board in splendid mockery Of laden camels, and their drivers' 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, chime;

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, thute,

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,

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 «« 'Twas more than midnight now,-. Of their false Chief, who on the battle-plain fearful pause

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 Veil'd Demon held his feast ac-' Looked horrible vengeance with their eyes' curst,

last strain, When Zelica-malas, poor ruin'd heart, And clenched the slackening hand at him In every horror doom'd to bear its part! i 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 souls' tormentor to the last ;- ; the grave

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 fear,

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 broodno 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 t he light had ceased,

Of the blessed sun, e'er 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. 'T'was but some distant conflagration's "Thcre, ye wise Saints, behold your Light,

your StarBut, hark!-she stops she listense-dread. Ye would be dupes and victims, and ye are. ful tone!

Is it enough ? or must 1, while a thrill 'Tis her Tormentor's laugh-and nową 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 disgraced Was there before her! By the glimmering Even monstrous man, is after God's own light

taste ; 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 hanus,

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

Spirit of the Waste. They often illustrate ." This trumpet is often called in Abus the wildness of any sequestered tribe, by sinia, nesser cano, which signities the note saving, they are wild as the Demon of the of the eagle."--Note of Bruce's editor. Waste." Elphinstone's Caubuk ile ils naked

ist,

spread.

said

up ?

And that—but see !_ere I have half-way Thrones have been overturned, and

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

enthusiasm ; and every realm has had Farewell, sweet spirits ! not in vain ye die,

ase, its Prophets and Impostors, its ConIf Ellis 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 so truc

strongest passions,—and has most laTheir parting cups, that thou shalt pledge

mentably overthrown, ruined, and deone too, But-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

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.'”

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 froin these extracts, our his feelings and his reason,-inspire readers will perceive that this singular him with a malignant hatred of his 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 lonel, 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 i

wretched and miserable Dwarf, in the And as she listep'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

She wept, to think her recreant race

Should e'er have lost that glorious place." 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

in light then tells the Peri the condi

agat sistently executed.

tod

The progress of to

he ninerece of tions on which she may be re-admitthat mental malady, which ultimately bed into Paradise.

? throws her into the power of the ima "

« « 'Tis written in the Book of Fate,

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 unem- 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 bea individual before him. For a long holds a glorious youth slain, when entime we cannot tell whether Mokanna deavouring to destroy the invader of has effected 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, good deal of trickery in the exhibition “Sweet is our welcome of the Brave he makes of this lady's mental de Who died thus for their native land.

gement. Whether she be in the But see, alas !--the crystal bar Haram, the gardens of the Haram, the

Of Eden moves not ;-holier far

Than ev'n this drop the boon must be, 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. At one time she is mad, and at another

to earth, and, after bathing her plushe is perfectly in her senses; and of

Lof mage in the fountains of the Nile, ten, while we are wondering at her

floats over the grots, the balmy groves, unexpected appearance. she is out of and the royal sepulchres of Egypt. till

at length she alights in the vale of sight in a moment, and leaves us almost as much bewildered as herself. Rosetta, near the azure calm of the On the whole, her character is a fail

Lake of Mæris. This beautiful scene

is devastated by the plague, and ure.

“ 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 morn 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

Drew after him the hearts of many :

Yet now, as though he ne'er was loved, is represented as a man of good prin

• Dies here--unseen, unwept, by any !" ciples, he looks, speaks, and acts, exactly But he is not left alone io die. 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, We confess, therefore, that we have With rosy gifts upon her cheek! tot felt for him the interest due to 'Tis shefar off, through moonlight dim, his youth, beauty, valour, misfortunes,

He knew his own betrothed bride ; and death.

She, who would rather die with him, The next poem is entitled, “ Para

Than live to gain the world beside !

Her arms are round her lover now, dise and the Peri.” It opens thus:

His livid cheek to her's she presses, “ One morn, a Peri at the gate

And dips, to bind his burning brow, .. Of Eden stood, disconsolate ;

In the cool lake, her loosen'd tresses'

« AnteriorContinuar »