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While Joy and Fancy round her head
And all the fairy scene dissolv'd in air." The second stanza, though animated, is confused and incoherent in its imagery, and the same fault may be found with the fourth. For this, however, Mrs. Cobbold soon atones. That it was not want of talent which induced her to hurry over the de lineation of the conflict, the following quotation, alluding to the battle of Ligny, will sufficiently prove,
" As bursts the thunder from the cloud,
As beats the hail-storm rattling loud,
With slaughter strew'd the plain,
In heaps of foemen sļain.” There is still more energy in the picture of the rauks of a square, which, after having repelled the repeated charges of cavalry, had been mowed down by the murderous fire of grapeshot. Some German Stanzas, by Bruncker, bear a striking resemblance to it; but it is highly probable that they are not known to Mrs. Cobbold.
“ Even as they stood, in death they lay:
The glazing eye, the livid brow,
Each stiffen'd hand still grasp'd the steel, . In that same mute and horrible array.” The profits of this Ode are intended to be given to the Waterloo Subscription.. .
ART. X. The Duel, a Satirical Poem, in Four Cantos,
with other Poems. By L. O. Shaw. Crown 8vo. 147 pp.
1815. IT does not appear to us that Mr. Shaw is likely ever to attain any great share of reputation as a poet. He is, nevertheless, not without a portion of poetical talent. His “ Duel" is a production which has excited our laughter. It is exceedingly incorrect, but it has much drollery and spirit. The Hudibrastic style seems to be that in which Mr. Shaw is most successful.
The heroes of the piece are a Scotch actor and an Irish prompter, belonging to a company of strolling players; and their boastings and their fears are very ludicrously described. The seconds wisely prevent bloodshed, by the same trick as was practiced some years ago, in the case of a well-known poet and a Scotch reviewer. They load the pistols with paper pellets. The tale of “ Harold” is full of improbability, and is often tame, and often turgid. It, however, contains several striking images, and a few passages which are not without merit. But in fayour of the versification we can say nothing. The verse is blank verse, and very bad of the kind. It is neither flowing nor animated. It falls on the ear with all the monotony of a sledge hammer on an anvil. Mr. Shaw has made a blunder which pumberless writers have made before him, and which, in spite of our frequent warnings, numberless others will make after him. He has taken it into his head that because, in writing blank verse, he is delivered from the trouble of finding similar endings, it is easier to write in blank verse than in rhyme. This is a lamentable mistake. How many times must critics repeat to these gentlemen, that prose cut into lengths, of ten syllables each, is nột blank verse ; that it is nothing more than prose disguised and spoiled. To write well in unrhymed metre, requires a nice ear, and a correct judgment.
Akr. XI. Domestic Pleasures, or the Happy Fire-side.
Illustrated by interesting Conversations. By F. B. Vaux.
12mo. 235 pp. 45. 6d. Parton and Harvey. 1816. THE address to the reader prefixed to this little volume in. forms us, that it is the representation of domestic scenes which actually took place; that it is, in short, the transcript of the daily routine of the occupations of a family, in which the educa. tiou of the younger members of it forms systematically the prominent object of attention. The course of reading in which the children are engaged during the period which the tale embraces, is the Roman History; a sketch of which, given by the children, from the birth of Romulus to the suppression of the Regal power, forms the substance of the narrative. A great variety of incidents, such as usually occur in every domestic circle, interrupt, at proper intervals, this chief pursuit; but Mr. and Mrs. Bernard, the heads of the family, have the im- . provement of their children always uppermost in their thoughts, and nothing is suffered to escape the parents without having some moral or religious lesson extracted from it for the benefit of their children, who, without the distortion of natural character, certainly do great credit, by their remarks and conduct, to their assiduous instructors. If the REMAINS of some one or other of the many divines of the Church of England, who were conform. able as well as pious, instead of those of the fanatical Mr. Cecil, had been selected for Mr. Bernard's table, and if the newly-revived lullaby of the Puritans, when they were preparing to extinguish the knowledge of the Lord, that the predicted period of its plenitude in the earth was fast approaching to its accomplishment, had not escaped the lips of Mrs. B., this in. teresting little work would have had our unqualified commenda. tion: but we do not dwell upon these exceptions. In every other respect, the volume breathes the genuine spirit of the Church of England, and is admirably calculated to improve both the head and the heart. We infer from a distant hint or two which caught our attention, that the rising generation may possibly be benefited by more of these INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS, and if they are carried on with the same spirit as the specimen before us, we cannot but encourage the extension.
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