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The Prophesy of Dante.

Are ye not brave? yes, yet the Ausonian soil
Hath hearts, and hands, and arms and hosts to bring
Against oppression; but how vain the toil,

While still division sows the seeds of woe
And weakness, till the stranger reaps the spoil.
Oh! my own beauteous land! so long laid low,
So long the grave of thy own children's hopes
When there is but required a single blow
To break the chains, yet-yet the avenger stops,

And doubt and discord step twixt thine and thee,
And join their strength to that which with thee copes ;
What is there wanting then to set thee free,

And shew thy beauty in its fullest light?
To make the Alps impassable; and we,
Her sons, may do this with one deed-

-Unite!

He then foretels the dawning of a brighter day; and enumerates the boundless spirits that shall rise from her ashes, and shed a lustre on her name, equal in brilliancy to the splendor of her own skies.

Conquerors on foreign shores, and the far wave,
Discoverers of new worlds which take their name.

Of the former, Alexander of Parma, Spinola, Pescara, Eugene of Savoy, and Montecuco; of the latter, Columbus, Americus Vespucius, and Sebastian Cabot are alluded to; and he dwells, with proud satisfaction, on the fame they shall inherit, and the glory they shall confer. He then adverts to the poets that shall succeed himself, lamenting how few shall soar upon the eagle wing of liberty, and dare to break the bonds of that tyrannical sway, that would damp the etheriai aspirations of the soul, and bind the spirit of genius in the chains of prostitution. But some there shall be, whose voices will be heard amid the storm and the calm, and whose names shall form a splendid halo in their own cloudless firmament. The first to whom he alludes, is Petrarch, who was born at Arezzo in the year 1304. And when we reflect on the disadvantages under which learning then labouredthe difficulty of procuring books, and those only manuscripts, -and, when obtained, the small information to be derived from them, we may look upon Petrarch as one of the first geniuses of the age in which he lived, and the chief restorer of literature to its pristine splendor. His works on rhetoric,

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The Prophesy of Dante.

history, and moral philosophy, have handed down his name to posterity with a signal lustre, and his sonnets to Laura possess a pathos and sensibility, which have called forth the admiration of all who are acquainted with the language in which he wrote. He next addresses Ariosto, whose creative imagination and fanciful genius he pictures with a faithfulness of coloring that does honor to the hand that traced it. This poet, who was born at Reggio, 1474, epjoyed the favor and protection of Charles V. of Germany, who particularly distinguished him and honored with the laurel.

The next whom he introduces, is Tasso, who was born at Sorento, 1544, and while we linger with delight on the effusions of his pensive mind, and the bolder flights of his immortal muse, we imbibe a feeling of disgust at the heartlessness of those who could suffer such genius to pine in penury and want, or attempt to confine within the walls of an earthly prison a spirit that soared beyond the skies. Various were the changes of fortune that this celebrated character experienced; he was imprisoned for killing his adversary in a duel at Naples, and nearly fell a victim to want and misery. Such is a brief outline of the principal characters and events to which our author alludes, and which he clothes in the brightest coloring that fancy can supply. The mighty genius of the noble "Childe" has conjured to our view scenes and circumstances, with which our sweetest recollections are united; and while reviewing the pages of the English Bard, we were led, insensibly, to the consideration of those characters, whose memory he has consecrated by the record of his praise, and whose names he has eulogized in the splendid effusions of his own immortal muse. In taking a review of the "Prophesy of Dante," we could not avoid remarking the same commanding tone of intellectual power and dignified thought which characterize the pilgrimage of "Childe Harold," divested, however, of those misanthropic feelings which are but too evident in the composition of that exquisite Poem. It is true we have little of that energy of passion, that play of imagination, or those touches of sensibility, which distinguish his "Giaour," his "Corsair," and his "Lara;" but we are amply repaid for these by sublimity of style, and a dignified display of historical research; and we feel confident in saying, that the " Prophesy of Dante" will obtain a higher place in the estimation of those who appreciate the 3 N

VOL, I.-NO. VI,

The Prophesy of Dante.

writings of Lord Byron than the dramatic composition contained in the same volume. The language is bold and energetic, not deficient in pathos and sensibility, and displays that enthusiasm of expression and correctnsss of thought, that always attend the emanations of superior genius.

Others may soar on a wilder pinion, and display a more dazzling plumage, but the genius of Byron scarcely ever descends; like that bird whose wing never touches the earth, he soars for ever aloft, rocked on the billowy surface of the clouds, unhurt by the lightnings, and unmoved by the contending elements. Others may exhibit a more playful imagination and a brighter fancy, but the burning vehemence of passion-the exquisite thrillings of sensibility-the deep and intimate knowledge of the human heart, of the feelings which dignify, and the passions which degrade it, are reserved for the pen of a Byron to pourtray. He has many imitators-many followers struggling to reach the eminence at which he has arrived, but no equal; the beautiful imagery of Moore, the creative powers of Scott, and the loftier style of Campbell, may captivate the imagination and play around the heart, but cannot excite an interest equal to the sublime conceptions of Lord Byron. In the poetic world; he stands unrivalled and alone,-a splendid meteor, round which meaner stars revolve, rendered visible only by their distance from their central planet.

In the work before us, we detected some metrical inaccuracies, which, with all our willingness to give the utmost latitude to poetic liceuse, we could not pass unnoticed. The measure, adopted by the noble author, is the terza rima of Dante, which has been hitherto untried in our language, and affords ample scope for the exercise of genius. Less stately and confined than the Spenserean, it presents a wider field for the imagination, and admits a greater freedom of expression, a point particularly desirable in the loftier range of composition.

But in iambic measure, the casual introduction of any other metre must be irregular and inharmonious. In the following passage we find a complete anapæstic line brought in, instead of the iambic, which is used throughout the poem, and the reading of the line destroys the harmony and effect of a sentence otherwise replete with beauty.

And, dying in despondency, bequeath

To the kind world, which scarce will yield a tear,

Review of Conscience, or the Bridal Night.

A heritage enriching all who breathe

With the wealth of a genuine poet's soul.

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We discovered several lines equally irregular with the foregoing, which we forbear to recite, as the insertion of this one will, we trust, be sufficient to shew the impropriety of this metrical aberration.

The noble author has held out an indistinct promise of continuing this work down to the present time should it meet with public approbation; of this we can have no doubt, and we have only to express our hopes that he will redeem the pledge he has given, and favour us with a continuation of the Prophesy of Dante."

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"Conscience; or the Bridal Night. A Tragedy, by James Haynes, Esq. London-Hurst, Robinson and Co.

CONSCIENCE is one of those numerous productions which the present prolific age of writing has poured forth with a liberality that excels that of any former period. Without any intrinsic excellence, it is indebted for its partial existence to the efforts of some favourite performer, or the accidental advantages of external interest. The incidents are tedious and common-place, and such as might readily be brought within the space of one act. The plot is of too local a nature, and is altogether dull and uninteresting, and there is no beauty of imagery in the language, no sublimity in the style, to recompense us for the oft-told tale of parental severity and filial disobedience. The characters are few, and we were in doubt which to select as the principal. From the title we were led to expect a portraiture of the feelings which agitate the human mind by the consciousness of some hidden guilt, or a disclosure of the passionate struggles of the heart from the fear of detection and the probability of punishment; but in this expectation we were disappointed. The character of Lorenzo is so drawn by the author, that we were at a loss to say whether he deserves our pity or condemnation. If guilty, he is one of the tamest villains that ever trod the stage; and if innocent, the moral is bad, and he does not deserve the fate he meets. There is no peculiar trait to fix his character-no decided interest attached to him; there is neither boldness nor energy in his

Review of Conscience, or the Bridal Night.

conduct he is "a tame, enduring slave," who submits to his fate the moment that suspicion is roused against him, almost without a murmur of complaint, or an effort to save himself. The struggles of Conscience, which we expected to see delineated, are confined to a few common-place expressions, suggested by the partial disclosure of his guilt to his friend, and a weak and unmanly exhibition of feeling at the apprehension of a public exposure. But perhaps we shall please our readers best by giving a short abstract of the plot, which is laid in Venice, and the time of action is comprised in one night.

Lorenzo had been left by his father under the guardianship of Rinaldo, who, by forged bonds and oaths, fabricated a debt against his deceased friend, and led his son into the toils of usury, until he became possessed of his entire property. At the moment, however, that his schemes were completed, he died, and left his brother, Arsenio, the heir of his ill got wealth. Against him, Lorenzo institutes a suit, în which, however, he is unsuccessful, and his completę ruin is the consequence. He had been previously enamoured with Elmira, Arsenio's daughter; and through the assistance of his friend Julio, and Rodolpho, the servant of Arsenio, he obtains a private interview with Elmira in her father's house, for the purpose of taking a last farewell before he departed from Venice. Her father had previously intimated his intention of giving her hand to a richer and more fortunate suitor, and, on the knowledge of this circumstance, Lorenzo, apprehensive of the result, urges her to consent to a private union. She hesitates, but on the acquiescence of Rodolpho, who promises his assistance on condition that she return to ask forgiveness of her father, she consents, and flies to a neighbouring convent with Lorenzo, where they are united. She returns, and falling on her knees before her father, tells what she had done, and implores his forgiveness. Arsenio, whose hatred to Lorenzo is only equalled by his avarice and cruelty, at first is obdurate, but, at length, seeming to relent, he consents to receive her to his favor on her promising never to see Lorenzo more. This sacrifice being too great for her feelings to concede, he leaves her with a denunciation of his anger, and she returns in despair to her husband.

His friend, Julio, had made him the offer of a Castle he possessed in a forest west of the city, where they might remain concealed for some time; and they immediately proceed thither. On their way they are attacked by a party of free

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