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THE

LONDON REVIEW,

LONDON

AND

LITERARY JOURNAL.

FEBRUARY, 1822.

QUID SIT PULCHRUM, QUID TURPE, QUID UTILE, QUID NON.

Specimens of the German Lyric Poets : consisting of Translations in Verse, from the Works of Bürger, Goethe, Klopstock, Schiller, fc. Interspersed with Biographical Notices, and ornamented with Engravings on Wood, by the first Artists. London, 1822, octavo, pp. 132.

Hebrews. But all this time we were A

been improved to the extent to but little acquainted with the lyrical which it bas arrived in England, very productions of Europe, unless by an much resembles the gradual expan occasional translation in the volumes sion of self-love in the generous heart. of some voyager, or by the faint It is not contented to have all it's en reflection of their character in an joyments spring and decay within it- English imitation. The present cenself; but spreads it's affections by tury, however, has abundantly supdegrees around, from friends to stran- plied that defect; since an ample trigers, and from strangers to the whole hute from the poetical treasures of world.

Spain, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and “Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to

other countries, has been poured into wake,

the literary stores of Britain. Of the As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; European nations, few have ranked The centre moved, a circle straight suc higher in poetical fecundity, talent, ceeds,

and invention, than that of Germany ; Another still, and still another spreads : wbile, at the same time, only a few Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will poems and tales from some of it's embrace,

most celebrated authors were known It's country next, and next, -all human

in England: and it is singular, that race."

while the Messiah, Lenore, the Death It is through the operation of such of Abel, and Werter, were read and a feeling, that we are so delighted admired, no more interest should have with the enquiry after the progress been excited about the other works of of Poesy in other nations; and the the same writers, or the other poets of consequence ultimately is, that their the same country. works become almost as familiar and The Volume now under consideradear to us as our own. The Melodies tion is intended to introduce some of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, were of the less-known pieces of all these the first steps which we made around eminent men, together with those of our own centre; but our next advance some others of equal fame in Gerwas to a much greater distance, since many, but with whose names Engthe beautiful translations and Para lishmen are almost wholly unacquaintphrases of Sir Wiliiam Jones induced ed. The plan and history of the Work a taste for the sublime imagery and will be best seen from the annexed tender strains of the Oriental Poets, copy of the Advertisement. whose sway in this country never has, and probably never will be, shakev, Translations was published at Berlin,

• The chief portion of the following The Classic Bards of the Greeks and

about twenty years ago, in a Musical Romans had long been our own; and Work, comprising some of the best GerEngland was not insensible to the

man Melodies. The words to those lowering beauties displayed in the Melodies were from the pen of an English Propliccics and Sacred Poems of the gentleman of the name of Beresford, who

vale ;

was long resident in Germany: they met The sun, the lovely queen of night, with so favourable a reception, that the Beneath the deep repair; same Publisher was afterwards induced to And thence, in streamy lustre bright, print them without the music, in two vols. Return more fresh and fair, izmo. accompanied by the original text Tempts thee not yon ætherial space, in opposite columns. The great popu. Betinged with liquid blue ?larity which these Translations obtained Nor tempts thee there thy pictured face, abroad, their scarcity, and the unques. To bathe in worlds of dew?' tionable merit they possess, are the motives which gave rise to the present re The tide in gurgling eddies rose, print of them, without the German con It reach'd his trembling feet: text, an unnecessary appendage to a His heart with fond impatience glows, Publication designed for English readers. The promised joys to meet. A few more Poems, translated from the

So sang the soft, the winning fair : same language, by Mr. Mellish, late Bri Alas! ill-fated swain !tish Consul at Hamburg, have likewise Half-dragg’d, half-pleased, he sinks with been added. To render this little Volume her, complete, the Publishers prevailed upon And ne'er was seen again!" a gentleman, a German by birth, of great taste and knowledge of his native lite.

The following beautiful Song by the rature, to furnish Biographical Sketches of most of the eminent Writers from

same Poet, must remind every reader whose Works the Selection was made of the commencement of the “ Bride These Sketches are partly original, partly

of Abydos.” derived from sources of difficult access, and from the information of persons of “Know'st thou the land, where citrons the bighest arthority on such subjects."

scent the gale, The Volume itself contains seventy

Where glows the orange in the golden three poetical pieces, and twenty bio

Where softer breezes fan the azure skies, graphical notices, which include the

Where myrtles spring, and prouder lauinteresting names of Bürger, Clau

rels rise ? dius, Von Goethe, Hölty, Klopstock, Know'st thou the land ? 'tis there our Von Kotzebue, Von Schiller, Schu

footsteps tend: bart, Stolberg, Voss, and Weisze. And there, my faithful love, our course As these names have already a power

shall end. ful interest with the public, we shall select our specimens chiefly from them, Know'st thou the pile, the colonade sus. not doubting but that they will excite tains, sufficient desire to search into the It's splendid chambers and it's rich do. merits of those German Poets who

mains, are considerably less known. Our Where breathing statues stand in bright first extract sball be from the mas

array, And seem,

• What ails thee, hapless terly Goethe, only remarking, that

maid?' to say, the subject is quite a German Ro

Know'st thou the land? 'tis there our mance, and that it is headed by a

footsteps tend? delicate wood-cut.

And there, my gentle guide, our course « THE FISHER,

shall end. Is gurgling eddies rolld the tide, The wily angler sat ;

Know'st thou the mount, where clouds It's verdant, willow'd bank beside,

obscure the day ; And spread the treach'rous bait.

Where scarce the mule can trace his Reclined he sat in careless mood,

misty way; The floating quill he eyed ;

Where lurks the dragon and her scaly When, rising from the op'ning flood,

brood; A humid maid he'spied.

And broken rocks oppose the headlong

flood? She sweetly sang, she sweetly said, Know'st thon the land ? 'tis there our As gazed the wond'ring swain ;

course shall end ! - Why thus with murd'rous arts invade

There lies our way,--ah, thither let us My placid, harmless reign?

tend !" Ah, didst thou know, how blest, how free,

The finny myriads stray, Thou’dst long to dive the limpid sea, Of Schiller's genius, we select the And live as blest as they.

following grand specimen.

sion;

“ MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, Approach, thirsty topers, no ills shall

annoy, IN THE PARK OF FOTIIERINGAY CASTLE. But wine tiow in plenty, and plenty of joy.

We'll drain the bowl empty, and drink From the Tragedy of Mary Stuart.

away care, Freedom returns,-oh! let me enjoy it,

If endless such pleasures, how happy it

were ! Let me be happy, be happy with me,Freedom invites me,--oh! let me employ And Venus, bright Goddess, the incense it,

shall share, Skimming, with winged step, light o'er And bumpers be quaff’d to the health of the lea,

each fair : Have I escaped from this mansion of In Love's happy triumph each beauty mourning?

shall shine, Holds me no more this sad dungeon of And heighten the joys of the juice of the care?

vine. Let me with thirsty impatience burning, We'll drink, and we'll love, and we'll Drink in the free, the celestial air.-

laugh away care, Thanks to these friendly trees which bide If endless such pleasures, how happy it from me

were !" My prison's bounds, and Batter my illu

Independent of the above, did our Happy Ili dream myself, and gladly free; space allow, we should be happy to Why wake me from my Dream's so

give copies of many other beautiful sweet contusion?

poems contained in this Volume; as, From where yon misty mountains rise on

for instance, Bürger's verses beginhigh,

ning, I can my Empire's boundaries explore, “ How in the charms of countless loves," And those light clouds which steering southwards fly,

in which there is such a beautiful disSeek the mild clime of France's genial play of pious, tender, and delicate senshore ;

timent, that it almost shakes our faith Hastening clouds ! ye meteors that fly, in Schlegel's remark on this poet ; Could I but with you speed through the namely, that “ his feelings are more sky?

bonest and candid, than tender and Tenderly greet me the land of my youth ; delicate:” but had he often written I am in sorrow, I am in restraint, I have none else to bear my complaint;

thus, such negative praise could neFree in ether your path is seen,

ver have been awarded to him. Of Ye are not subject to this tyrant Queen.

a different character is the next poem, Hear'st thon the bugle? blithly resound- entitled “ Love's Witchcraft ; but ing;

the sweet playfulness of it deserves Hear'st thou its blast through wood equal comnendation. The translaand plain?

tion of Leonora is probably the worst Could I once more on my nimble steed in the Volume ; at least it must sound bounding,

unmusical to English ears, after the Join the jocund, the frolicsome train ! delightful version of Spencer. There Again, oh! sadly pleasing remembrance; is a vulgarity, not only in some of the Such were the sounds which so merry and

expressions, but also in the construcclear,

tion of the verse itself, which renders it Oft, when with music the hounds and

wholly unfit for comparison, either with the horn Cheerfully wakened the slumbering the translation already mentioned, or

the imitation of the tale by Sir Walter morn, On the hills of the liighlands delighted Scott. An extract from the poem will,

however, give the best idea of it's

nature. The ensuing drinkiog Song, which has all the vivacious feeling of our “ From sickly dream, sad Leonor' own Morris, is extracted from the ano Upstarts at morning's ray: nymous writers which close the Vo « Art faithless, William ?--or no more? Jume; and with it our poetical spe

How long wilt bide away?' cimens must also be concluded.

He marcli'd in Fredrick's warlike train,

And fonght on Prague's ensanguin'd " To Bacchus, dear Bacchus, an altar I'll plain; raise,

Yet no hind tidings tell, And, full of his presence, grow wild in his

If William speeds him well.” praise.

my ear."

« On ev'ry road, on ev'ry way,

deburg. He was educated at Kloster. As now the crowd appears,

berge, and afterwards studied divinity See young and old their path belay, at the University of Halle. We find Add greet with triendly tears.

him next a teacher in an institution at * Praise God!' each child and matron Dessau, but that situation he quitted to cry'd,

become private tutor to some young LivoAnd Welcome!' many a happy bride : nians, with whom he remained some time But, ah! for Leonor'

at Heidelburg, and subsequently he aco kiss remains in store !

companied them in their travels. In the

year 1794, tie title of Aulic Counsellor Although to fail in the translation of

was conferred upon Matthison, by the a poem so widely celebrated as Bür Prince of flesse Homberg; and, in 1801, ger's Leonora be a great defect, yet he was made a Counsellor of Legation, there are in this Volume sufficient of by the Margrave of Baden. Since 1794, redeeming beauties to cover a fault he has been retained by the Princess of Diuch more considerable. The song

Anhalt Dessau, in the capacity of leeby Burmann, on page 22, beginning,

turer and attendant on her travels : with "Oh gentle be thy slumbers,” is ex

that illustrious personage he visited, in quisitely tender and pathetic ; but the 1795-6, Rome and Naples, and,' in verses entitled “ Death'sCradleSong,”

1799–1801, the Tyrol and Switzerland.

His ordinary place of abode is Wörlitz, br C. L. F. Sander, page 77, have a

near Dessaul. wid feeling about them that is per

Matthison, by his extraordinary tafocily in character with their subject, lent for lyric poetry, has attained such and that is absolutely beautiful. Un- deserved celebrity, that he has long since der Schiller aiso, at page 87, is a been ranked among the most popular grand rushing poem called a Cana Poets of Germany. He is the German dian Death Song," that is fully worthy Gray. His strains possess a degree of of his great name. Indeed the princi- grace and wildness, which is not often pal fault of the translator seems to be

to be met with in the poetical compositoo great a negligence in the choice

tions of his countrynies. His language of words, as if he were totally in- is remarkably correct, and his fictions different to the dignity of poetry, and

bear the impress of Truth and Nature.

That elegance and polish which characfrequently used expressions which not

terize his poems, are equally visible in only debased his verse, but were in

his prose writings. His poetical works fact bordering upon the vulgar. Now,

are published in one small volume, and though simplicity be a principal fea those in prose, consisting principally of ture in poetry, yet it should be re his ' Erinnerungen, in 4 vols. 8vo. membered that it must be an ele Matthison

the editor of the gant simplicity, that admits of no • Lyrische Anthologie,' a selection of thing which is “ common nor un pieces by the German Poets from the clean;" that avoids only pedantic earliest period. This work would have and unnatural epithets, but still se

had a claim to be styled classical, if lects words that are at once chaste, Matthison had not taken the unwarrantdelicate, unsophisticated, and appro

able liberty of altering, and even expriate. Although the chief charac- punging, essential passages in almost teristic of this work be the poetry,

every poem.” yet we cannot pass over the Biogra

To the above copious account of phical Sketches of the various Author's this very pleasing little Volume, we without praise. Though short, they are

have to add only, that it is ornamentin general full of facts; and where ed by twelve engravings, some of any criticism be added, it is the cri- which were from the last designs of ticist of one who fully understands

the late J. Thurston ; and which are his subject, while the language is finely cut in wood by Messrs. Branplain and perspicuoos. We give one

ston, Hughes, White, &c. In fine, extraci.

it is a beautiful addition to our pocti

cal library, and an excellent specimen “ FRIEDRICH MATTITISON was born in of the Lyric Poetry of the Germans. 1701, at Wobendadeleben, near Diag.

R.

was

Italy, a Poem. Part the Firsi. London, 1822, 12mo. pp. 164. Ir th: mishiy pass of countless thie faisest portions of creation waste ; il's tattterd-the march of amlition, and if she dat was once the mistress Ishrain uni war la, laid one of of the worid, unequalled in arts, and

unconquered in arms; she, that was ashamed of the labours of his pen, the chief of empires and the cradle of Genius, and a mens ardens et divinior, the Muses; if she,---fair Italy,--is now have placed him far above the comas it were but the shadow, and the mon herd of ordinary beings, and he impalpable and colourless phantom may laugh to scorn a tbc threats of of her vanished grandeur and colos- foolish men" with as much equanisal greatness: yet“ Italyis still the mity and ease as he has given Lord Poet's song, and the Traveller's won Byron, and the whole race of poets der; and the remnants and recollec- who compose the Satanic School, the lions of her early magnificence form recent castigation we shall all rememthe theme and the feast for both the one ber, and from the effects of which they and the other. What if the Foeman's will not easily recover. We think, hate, and the greater spoiler Time, too, that had the author of “ The have pressed heavy on her people last of the Gothswislied to have and her liberties? What if her name convinced the doubting world, that he of power, and her palaces, and her as well as the absentee and self exiled pillars, and her temples, and the Lord of poetic and sceptical notoriety, wonders of Men's hands, are shattered, could write upon Italy, and could bend mutilated, decaying, and laid low? the bow of Ulysses with his Lordship, What though the “ wrecks” alone of that he would not have buckled on an “ former pride” remain, and the once unknown coat of mail, but would have proud native dwindies into almost placed the laurelled crest of desert less than man, and “ bloodless pomp upon his casque, and with the red and pasteboard triumphs" satisfy her cross device upon his shield, would people?—yet still

have stood manfully forward for “God

and the right.” Neither are we sure “ Far to the right where Apennine as that the triteness and prettiness of the cends,

present poem quite comports with Mr. Bright as the Summer, Italy extends ; Southey's usual and more dignified It's uplands sloping deck the mountain's style of writing,--at all events he is

side, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride; The blank verse is smooth enough,

not altogether to the manner born." While ott some temple's mouldering tops and it has some noble thoughts and

between With

lines, but thero are force, strength, and venerable grandeur mark the scene,”

general nerve wanting ; and we might

as well compare Byron's “ Cain" with and still, too, the magnificent Mediter- glorious Milton's immortal epic, or ranean pays it's homage to her shore, our modern architecture with the and the voluptuous Adriatic stretches Temples of the Greek, as say that it's beautiful arm to woo her on the many parts of this unassuming poem east, and the Apennines and the Alps are equal to most of Southey's acknow"lift their heads to Heaven, though the ledged productions. age of Annibal and Flaininius is no To have done, however, with our more.

own thoughts and surmises, we turn We have been enticed into these at once to the publication by saying, observations from the perusal of the that it consists of a series of pictures, litle volume whose title heads our pre or rather sketches, which are entitled, sent article ; and which is rather an The Lake of Geneva, the Great St. elegant and not ineffective attempt to Bernard, the Descent, Jorasse, Margadescribe the scenery and some of the ret de Tours, the Alps, Como, Bergamo, wonders of that still interesting coun Italy, Venice, Luigi, St. Mark's Place, try which gives the work it's title. the Brides of Venice, Foscari, Argua, It has been pretty generally, as well Ginevra, Florence, and Don Garzia." as positively, ascribed to the author- From such a choice of subjects as is ship of Mr. Southey, though, truth to here presented to us, and all of them tell, we are ourselves extremely scep- possessing some claim upon our notical as to the truth of this; for we can tice, and some lures for our good opiscarcely conceive the Poet Laureate nion, we are almost at fault as from to have the slightest reason, even if what dish of the repast we shall feast he could borrow the Lydian's ring of our readers; we take therefore at invisibility, for concealment, and we random the following characteristic are positive he need not norv be description of ilic cniry upon Fenice.

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