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Look at the clear Apollo while he plays ;—
Take me, now, now, and let me stand ,
On some such lovely land,
Where I may feel me, as I please,
In dells among the trees,
Or on some outward slope, with ruffling hair,
Be level with the air;
For a new smiling sense has shot down through me,
And from the clouds, like stars, bright eyes are beckoning to roc
'Arrived! arrived! O shady sppts of ground,
"What calmness ye strike round,
Hushing the soul as if with hand on lips!
And are ye seen then but oF animal eyes,
Prone, or side-looking with a blank surmise?
And do ye hear no liner-fancied words
Than the sweet whistle of the repeating birds?
And are ye haunted of no lovelier trips
Than the poor stag's, who startled, as he sips,
Perkt up with timid mouth, from which the water drips?
* O ye whom ancient wisdom, in it's graces,
Made guardians of thwc places;
Ethereal human shapes, perhaps the souls
Of poets imd poetic women, staying
To have their fill of pipes and leafy playing,
Ere they drink heavenly change from nectar bowls;
You finer people of the earth.
Nymphs of all names, and woodland Geniuses,
J see you, here and there, among the trees,
Shrouded in noon-day respite of your mirth:
This hum in air, which the still ear perceives,
Is your unquarrelling voice among the leaves;
And now 1 find, whose are the boughs and stirrings
That make the delicate birds dart so in whisks aod whirrings.'
'Mr. Hunt tells us he gees all this: but does he, as Ire ought, make his reader see it? Or is it not rather Mr. Hunt soltu, looking towards the side scene, and informing his audience of the wonders which he descries, but which never come upon the stage? Is there any illusion in this rhapsody? Do the figures in the landscape move, or docs not the whole smell of oil and varnish?
Then as to the phraseology, which the Author means to partake of antique quaint ness ;— we have been sometimes tempted to suspect that the printer had maliciously changed a word, here and there, to give the passage the effect of Hunt travestie. The 'sudden laps' of the Dryads, ' the back-turned phea'sant' and ' handy squirrel,' ' the fountain's tougue' beginning to 'lap,* the ' whiffling tones of rills,' or 'rounder murmur, 'glib and Jlttxli, of the escaping gush,' are in trnth dazzling novelties which we scarcely know whether to ascribe to, the i oet or the compositor.
We cannot pretend to follow our Author through the whole of his needle-work exhibition of nymplis. There are some passages which are very pleasing, and the poem exhibits throughout the characteristics of indisputable talent. The following bears alt the marks of a design for a drawing: it contains tolerably good directions for an artist, but there is no appeal to the fancy.
* There's a whole bevy, there in that recess
The song of 'the Nepheliads,' is the prettiest thing in the poem: it has more of the lyric spirit as Well as measure, and is upon the whole less disfigured by affectation.
'Ho! we are the nepheliads, we
'Sometimes on the shelves of mountains
Sometimes for a rainbow run
Dotting on the sleepy stone; . , .
.Ami a leafy nook and lone, ,
Where the bark on the small treen
Is with moisture always green;
And lime-tree bowers, and grass-edged lanef
With little ponds that hold the rains,
Where the nice-eyed wagtails glance,
Sipping 'twixt their jerking dance.
'But at night in heaven we sleep,
'Then on the lofty-striking state
Across a brow with parted tress
The Epistles to dear Byron, dear Tom Moore, dear Hazlitt, and others, were worth printing, just to let people see who were the poet's correspondents. Mr. Hunt's attempts at playfulness are not graceful. His ethics and philosophy, which are of course freely dealt out in these familiar effusions, are those of The Round Table. There is a great deal about' Hampstead's * whole merits,' but the worst is, we never get out of the reach of the smoke. A most distressing cockneyitm pervades MrHunt's ideas of the beautiful in' scenery, which, in the sonnet to Horatio Smith, is indeed more than half-avowed. 'Vulgar," he says, is
'He who goes
By suburb gardens which she (nature) deigns to dress,
And he might have added, the Tea-Gardens, with the original of some of his 'fair-limbed nymphs1 and deities, in marble, wood, and lead.
Of the Translations we shall say little, because we can say little that is favourable. They will not give satisfaction to those who are acquainted with the originals; they will not interest those who are not. They are disfigured by Mr. Hunt's usual faults of style, with here and there a touch of more than ordinary vulgarity. For the insertion of one of them, he intimates a sort of apology, and our readers may guess what description of poem it must be, for which Mr. Hunt thinks it advisable to say, he ' needs not apologize;' adding, that while he abominates grossness, he thinks that ' voluptuousness, in the proper 'sense, is rather an ill-used personage.'
Although Mr. Hunt has produced a volume not quite to our taste, nor worthy of his owu talents, we have to acknowledge that his poetry has at least administered to our cheerfulness. We hope he will forgive us, if he condescends to read them, the freedom of our strictures; for whatever he may think of us, we are, not less than ' Sir John Edward Swinburne, Baronet,' very fond of a bust over our ' organ' or book-case, as well as of ' flowers at the end of our room.' 'A love of nature out of 'doors, and of sociality within,' is a disposition we agree with Mr. H. in endeavouring sedulously to cultivate, and we sincerely wish him as much enjoyment arising from these sources, as may consist with that morbid temperament which displays itself in his restless egotism, and his habits of invective against a religion which, while he hates it, he cannot quite disbelieve.
Art. XI. 1. A Report of the Miseries of the Off-Islands of Stilly. pp. 41.
2. Hints on a Plan for the Permanent Support of the Scittu Islanders. Extracted from a .Report of the Miseries off the Islands ofScilly, pp. 16.
Vl/ 1'^ gladly lend our best assistance in giving the utmost
* publicity to these distressing statements, although we can
dto little more than lay before our readers a few extracts from the Report which has been sent us, of which some account has already been given in the newspapers. It seems that accounts of the extremities of sufferings to which the inhabitants living on the islands of Scilly were reduced, had frequently reached Peazance. 'Some particulars,' it is said, 'appeared so shock'ing, as almost to excite suspicion of the whole account ;* bin at length instigated by repeated applications from the inhabitants, some benevolent individuals resolved on visiting the Islands, for the purpose of ascertaining their correctness, and of founding on the result of their inquiries, an appeal to the commiseration and benevolence of the public. Although at St. Mary's, they heard 'enough to prepare their minds for the most heart'rending tales,' the real state of many of the families on the Off-islands, in respect to food, clothes, and means of relief, was such as to exceed all that they could previously have realised. 'It is not sufficient,' the Report states,' to say it was shocking; 'rather, it was truly horrible, to hear their cries and feel our'selves incapable (save with a shilling or two) of alleviating 'their miseries.' And again: 'It is truly astonishing to hear
* the very extraordinary exertions that fathers and mothers 'have made to get bread; and it is impossible to describe the
* desponding tone in which they announced the utter failure of 'their efforts.' One only wonders by what strange tenacity of instinct or habit, the tenants of such dreary rocks cling to them as their country, in preference to any other spot on which they could but starve.
The means of subsistence in these islands, would seem to be at the best both scanty and uncertain in the extreme.
'The land is divided into small portions, and those who have land, endeavour to raise a little corn, and a small crop of potatoes, which, with great care, will last them six months in the year, or more; but the soil is so sandy, and the spray of the salt water is so constantly going over it in the' winter, and is subject to so many casualties, at too much rain or heat, that nothing can be more precarious. The possession of a boat in a family, is also of consequence, as they can occasionally take a little fish, or get a vessel to pilot. Some of the boats have been seized, and many have been wrecked, while other* are too old, so that numerous families have now no boats. To be destitute of land, therefore) and a boat, places a family in the moat deplorable state, as they have then scarcely any one means of employment or support.
'It has often been said, Have they not plenty of fish around the Islands? We have already observed, few have boats:—In addition to this, we found that fish can only be obtained at certain seasons of the year, and when weather will admit. Mr. L. the collector of customs, assured us he had been four months without any fish on his table. It is very often extremely dangerous to be out fishing, as the undertow or revulsion of the sea, and frequently the general swell around the