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is wanting; and the machinery and classical allusions of Dr. Ogilvie have the same resemblance to the verse of Homer and Milton, which a leaden statue, fresh from Piccadilly, bears to the sculpture of Phidias or Praxiteles.
For this inferiority, we do not mean to blame the author : we are truly sorry that our duty obliges us to point out his poctical defects; and we should certainly have received much more pleasure from reading as well as from criticizing his work, if it had been intitled to higher commendation. We have industriously looked for passages of merit, and we shall not fail to produce some of those which gave us more satisfaction than the rest.
The invocation, at the opening of the poem, affords a good specimen of the respectable mediocrity which we have ascribed to this writer's talents :
? Thou Power ethereal, by whatever name
Anon re-echoing. There a mightier race
The rock, and howling, seek their in most den." We shall now introduce one of Dr. Ogilvie's supernatural personag-s :
• Though back recoiling, as he eyed the Power
The blue gleam trembled, as from sulphurous ore.' From this sulphureous light, the apparition might perhaps be deemed by the author characteristically national. Bloating the noon is not an English expression; nor is our word bloated, which has a sense different from that intended by the author, ever used but as an adjective. Perhaps Dr. O. meant to write • blotting the noon,' in allusion to Milton's sublime expression of radiant files dazzling the moon.—A simile, in the same book, was evidently written with a view to Milton's imagery:
As when two clouds, with elemental flame
Of Nature rising in his wrath:'The reader may compare this passage with that of our divine poet:
“ As when two black clouds
Over the Caspian, then stand front to front,
To join their dark encounter in mid air :"We shall next transcribe another of Dr. Ogilvie's similes, from a battle-scene:
As when the North from all her mountains pours
By might to conquer, and ungovern’d sway.' This passage is certainly intitled to some credit: but the author has lessened its effect by representing his giant, in the succeeding lines, as swearing at the head of his troops :• blaspheming heaven.
Another simile, in the same book, appears not very illustrative of its object; though, in point of mere language, it is one of the best written passages in the poem:
"As when the sun on India's favour'd clime
To rule, and to direct the rage of war.'
< But He, the spirit celestial, from her birth
A long episode is introduced towards the close of the poem; in which a Druid shews Locrinus, in a vision, the future greatness of the united kingdoms. Here the author has done that which we expected to have found in Mr. Pye's Alfred ; (see our Review for February last;) he has dwelt on the navalglory of this country, and has given a particular detail of the battle of the Nile.
To conclude.-Of Dr. Ogilvie's poetical powers, the reader will form a judgment from the preceding specimens. If they do not rise to the elevation of the Epic, they are far from being contemptible, and ought not to be confounded with some flippant productions of the day. We have observed some faults in the style, which might have been easily avoided. In p. 163, we have this hyperbole,
— ' from his glance the land recoiled ;'-
• While pondering thus, Androgeus took his eye;'-
If the large work before us had been judiciously pruned, and reduced to one half of its present size, it would probably have succeeded better with the public. Some well executed passages certainly occur, which would then have procured for it a perusal, and even reputation' among á certain class of poetical readers. In its present state, we confess that we have found it much too long; and we apprehend that few persons will be able to accomplish a progress through the whole.
Art. III. Remarks on the Cassandra of Lycopbron, a Monody,
By the Rev. H. Meen, B. D. 8vo. 25. Rivingtons A CENTURY has now elapsed since Potter gave to the world his 1 edition of Lycophron; in which he expressed his confidence that, by the labors of himself and of preceding commentators, " adeo plana perspicua et delucida fore omnia, at nunquam posthac Lycophron TE THOTELLË titulo se effere poterit.” Notwithstanding the light which the exertions of these learned men may have thrown on che poem, Lycophron seems still to maintain that rank in poerical society, which the judgment of antient critics assigned to him. His ditficulties may be solved, his intricacies unravelled, and his obscurities illustrated: but we fear that no labor can give an attractive polish to his poetry, nor any ingenuity bestow the
charm of popularity on his numbers. His present commentator, Mr. Meen, is desirous of rescuing him from the censure of the Stagyrite and the ridicule of Lucian. It remains to be proved how far he will succeed in this object. In the present pamphlet, he appears as an able advocate, an ingenious commentator, and a respectable, translator ; and we are sorry that the limits of our work will not allow us to follow him through his, annotations, because we think that his observations are judicious, and his conjectures plausible and happy. A few extracts, however, will suffice to convey to our readers a favorable idea of his talents as a commentator.' . .
• L.,144, 145, 146.
. Πήναις κατεκλώσαντο δηναιας αλός,
Νυμφεία πεντάγαμβρα δαίσασθαι γάμων. .. Cassandra here predicts; that Helen shall have five husbandsa “ Claudæ filiæ antiqui maris [Parcæj neverunt triplicibus staminibus, maritos divisurós nuptiis nuptialia, quinquies-sponsalia.",
"Tidtagelica cannot be right. Æschylus calls Helen adv dogiyata Ggori Agv 695. But the poet probably wrote Tvrayau ence, compounded of πεντάκις and γάμορια, δωρα η δείπνα γαμορτι. «The Fates: have deereed,' says Cassandra, “ that husbands at the wedding shall distribute you dira, bridal presents. The additional word totaydung ascertains how often these presents shall be distributed, viz. five times; i. e. the shall be five times married. The marriage is here expressed by the distribution of those presents, which usually accompanied its celebration, . Meursius proposes to read tportacis, the three Parcæ. But the expression is accurate as it stands. For the Parcz were each of them concerned with these threads, or spindles, as Virgil speaks, around which the threads were rolled :
“ Talia saecia, suis dixerunt, currite, füsis,
Concordes stabili fatorum numine Parcæ." The threads and spindles are both mentioned in a parallel passage pitcior xolartwr oreúzaçux.--585.
- Virgil was very conversant with the poets of this period. He read Lycophron's Cassandra with singular delight; imitating often,' as his custom was, the most admired passages in that poem. .
The information contained in the last passage of the above extract, we must confess, surprised us. We should have been glad to be furnished with Mr. Meen's source of intelligence on this subject.
The impenetrable obscurity of the subsequent passage renders any élucidation acceptable which is at all plausible ; and we do not think that Mr. Meen's explanation is a very forced one, especially as his construction of otip quo & and deostus is more agreeable to the etymology of those words than that which has been generally received i