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Mr. Fuller's "Temple of Fancy," or some other depôt of a similar nature, and there to purchase an immoderate supply of gold leaf to work out his design. We protest against this glittering array of words; it dazzles, it does not charm the senses. A diamond-beetle is a very pretty thing, but an antelope is more graceful, and a lion much more sublime. Mr. Moore's poems are all diamond-beetles.

But all this has very little to do with our friend D. L. R. We have spoken, thus freely of his Ocean Sketches, because he can afford to be blamed a little where there is so much to praise. Hazlitt says, that "those who are tenacious on the score of their faults, show that they have no virtues to bring as a set-off against them." Now D. L. R. having plenty of virtues, will readily allow us to say something of his faults. We have nothing more, however, to say about them, and we are heartily glad of it. But we have much to say of his merits, and happy are we that can we do so in a spirit as sincere as it is cordial. Here is a passage on which we have first lighted in the Ocean Sketches; and who is there amongst our readers who will not recognize the truthfulness of the picture?

How fitfully the struggling day-beams pierce

The veil of heaven! On yon far line of light,
That like a range of breakers streaks the main,
The ocean swan-the snow-white Albatross,
Gleams like a dazzling foam-flake in the sun!-
Gaze upward-and, behold! where parted clouds
Disclose ethereal depths, its dark-hued mate
Hangs motionless on arch-resembling wings,

As though 'twere painted on the sky's blue vault.

Here is another full of graphic power and beauty; it gives us little trouble to find such gems for they are clustering in every page. How finely he describes a ship in a storm :—

Her snow-white sails,

Outspread like wings of some gigantic bird
Struck with dismay, are fluttering in the gale,
And sound like far-off thunder. Now the heart
Of ocean quails to its profoundest depths ;-

The dark heavens groan,-the wildly scattered clouds,
Like routed hosts, are thickly hurrying past

The dim-discovered stars. Up lofty bills,

Or down wide-yawning vales, the lone ship drives
As if to swift destruction. Still she braves,
Though rudely buffetted by tempest-fiends,
The elemental war. Ah! that dread wave,
As though some huge sea-monster dealt the blow,
Hath made her start and tremble !-Yet again,
For one hushed moment, with recovered power,
She proudly glides in majesty serene,

Calm as silver cloud on summer skies,

Or yon pale moon amid the strife of heaven!

These are, we think, fair specimens of the Ocean Sketches; they are of the "average quality" of the whole, and have been culled with no particular care. Of the lesser poems we have marked a number for extract, and we are at a loss how to choose amongst them. The following lines will, we are sure, find an echo in many a lonely exile's breast. They are touchingly beautiful and plaintive:




The skies are blue as summer seas- -the plains are green and bright-
The groves are fair as Eden's bowers-the streams are liquid light—

The sun-rise bursts upon the scene, like glory on the soul,

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In that sweet hour when Fancy's spell inebriates the brain,
And breathing forms to phantoms turn, and lost friends live again,
Oh! what a dear, delirious joy unlocks the source of tears,

While, like unprisoned birds, we seek the haunts of happier years!

As a sort of appendix to these lines we must quote a stanza from an exqui. site poem entitled "Consolations of exile," and we wish that we could extract the whole:


Fair children! still, like phantoms of delight,

Ye haunt my soul on this strange distant shore,
As the same stars shine through the tropic night
That charmed me at my own sweet cottage door.
Though I have left ye long, I love not less;
Though ye are far away, I watch ye still;
Though I can ne'er embrace ye, I may bless,
And e'en though absent, guard ye from each ill!
Still the full interchange of soul is ours,

A silent converse o'er the waters wide,
And fancy's spell can speed the lingering hours

And fill the space that yearning hearts divide.

And now what better can we do than let our readers know how the "Home visions" of the poet were realized, when once again he trod the shores of his own native land. Oh! is it not worth a few years' exile-a few years of heartsolitude in a strange land-to feel the exulting spirit, the bounding pulse, the access of animal life, the buoyancy, the hopes which stir within us, when we plant our foot upon the strand of Merry England, and feel its mild airs breathing on us once more? How well do we remember all the sensations which D. L. R. has so beautifully described. We, at least, can vouch for the truth of the verses. How naturally does the poet allude to the first sight of his native fields and their spirit-stirring influence on his soul:—

And when among my native fields I wandered in the sun,

I felt as if my morn of life had only just begun.

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But when upon my wildering doubts reflection flashed the truth,
Oh! never in my childhood years, nor in my fervid youth,
So deep a rapture thrill'd my breast as while I gazed around,

We doubted, whether we would quote these lines, as there is a passage of a similar tendency in a delightful Essay on Children, which we had half promised ourselves to cite in this review. We hardly know which most to admire, the passage in the essay or in the poem; but we could not resist the temptation of giving a sort of unity to the three last quotations; they, indeed, form a series of beautiful pieces, each serving to illustrate the others. But we must be more chary of extracts or we shall soon run out of our bounds.

We have as yet said nothing of D. L. R's sonnets; but we are not there. fore blind to their merits. They are most of them exquisitely finished and full of genuine poetry. We think that, with the exception of Milton's and Wordsworth's, they are equal to any in the language. We have neither time nor inclination in the present place, to speak of the capabilities of the sonnet; there has been much controversy on the subject, and should any of our readers wish to carry on the enquiry, we would refer them at once to the preliminary observations which introduce D. L. R.'s masterly essay on the mysterious sonnets of Shakespeare, whilst we take at random a few of D. L. R.'s own, and offer them to the admiration of those who prefer following us in our criticisms.


Ye seem not, sweet ones, formed for human care

Your dreams are tinged by heaven ;-your glad eyes meet

A charm in every scene; for all things greet

The dawn of life with hues divinely fair!

How brightly yet your laughing features wear
The bloom of early joy! Your bosoms beat
With no bewildering fear,-your cup is sweet-
The manna of delight is melting there!
Twin buds of life and love! my hope and pride!
Fair, priceless jewels of a father's heart!
Stars of my home! No saddening shadows hide
Your beauty now. Your stainless years depart
Like glittering streams that softly murmur by,
Or white-winged birds that pierce the sunny sky!


Oh! now glad Nature bursts upon mine eye!
The night of care is o'er. Deep rapture thrills
My waking heart; for Life's deforming ills,
That come like shadows when the storm is nigh,
Foreboding strife, at length have floated by,
And left my spirit free!-The sky -lark trills
His matin song; the cloud-resembling hills
In dim cerulean beauty slumbering lie,
And form the throne of Peace; the silver stream
Is sparkling in the sun-its bright waves seem
Instinct with joy; the verdant breast of earth
Teems with delight. The past is like a dream,
A dull trance broken by the voice of mirth,
Or grey mist scattered by the morning beam !


Oh! there are green spots on the path of time
The morning traveller, passing gaily by,
Views with irreverent and careless eye,-
Till, with reverted gaze, when doomed to climb
With ceaseless toil adversity's rough steep,
He marks them in the shadowy distance lie
Like radiant clouds, that o'er an April sky,
'Mid gloom and strife, in silent beauty sleep.
Scenes of departed joy,-now mourned in vain!
To which my weary feet can ne'er return,
Farewell!-farewell!-Alas! how soon we learn,
Urged o'er Life's later paths of care and pain,
Where hang the shadows of the tempest stern,


Our paths are desolate, and far apart-
Our early dreams have vanished ;-never more
May we together mingle, as before,

Our fond, impassioned spirits. Quick tears start
As eager memories rush upon my heart,

And rend oblivion's veil. E'en now the store
Of star-like spells that softly glimmered o'er
The twilight maze of youth, a moment dart
Their clouded beams on Care's reverted eye.
Alas! the promise of the past hath been

A brief though dear delusion ?-All things fly
My onward way, and mock the lengthening scene,-
Through Life's dim mist thy form oft seemeth nigh,
Though lone and distant as the Night's fair Queen.

There are two poems, which we would fain quote entire did not their extreme length prevent us. The one is called Retrospection, the other Stanzas to my Child. We must, however, cite an extract from each of them, before we pass on to the consideration of D. L. R.'s merits as a prose writer. The latter of the two poems will lose nothing by a comparison with those exquisite verses of Leigh Hunt's commencing.

Sleep breathes at last from out thee

Thou little patient boy.

And we do not think that any higher praise than this could be bestowed on a domestic poem.


'Tis sweet on this far strand,

When memory charms the fond reverted eye,

To view that hallowed land

Where early dreams like sun-touched shadows lie!


The dear familiar forms,

That caught the fairest hues of happier hours,
Flash forth through after storms,

As bursts of light between autumnal showers.


The green-wood's loveliest spot

The summer walk-the cheerful winter fire

The calm domestic cot

The village church with ivy-covered spire


Each scene we loved so well

With faithful force the mind's true mirror shows,

As Painting's mighty spell

Recalls the past, and lengthened life bestows.

I see my own first hours,
While lingering over thine;

I see thee pluck the fresh spring-flowers,
An artless wreath to twine;
The same bright hues their beauty yields
As those I sought in dewy fields,

When kindred bliss was mine;
And while by memory thus beguiled,
I almost deem myself a child.

Ah! dearest child, if thou
A child couldst thus remain,

And I for ever gaze as now
On one without a stain

Of earthly guilt or earthly care,
With heart as pure and form as fair
As sainted spirits gain,

Methinks e'en this drear world might seem

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We have already given a general estimate of the character of D. L. R.'s genius. Those remarks bore an equal reference to his prose and his poetical works. The spirit of all his writings is there faithfully described; but we shall be expected to say something in this place about the style of his prose-writings; and most honestly do we record our opinion that in grace of diction and felicity of expression few writers have surpassed D. L R. There is a delicacy and refinement, without an approach to coxcombry, in all his essays, which has seldom been equalled. It would be impossible to find in any one of his productions a coarse or vulgar expression. All that he has written bears the impress of an exquisite taste and a cultivated mind. There is no straining after effect, no glaring display of words, no vicious colouring in D. L. R.'s essays; all is quiet, elegance and subtle grace; the chaste beauties of his style are in fine keeping with the delicacy of his sentiments; he offends neither in thought nor diction. He has been a great reader in his day, and his reading is self-evident in his works; but there is no ostentatious display of it; it does not look like scrapbook learning. His illustrations are always apt and striking, and seem as though they had been naturally called to his memory by the previous reflexions, which they are made to exemplify, and not, as in the writings of some pedants we could name, as though the reflexion were merely a peg on which to hang a long string of portfolio-preserved book-scraps. There is often great subtlety in D. L. R.'s critical observations and much depth and knowledge of human nature in his moral essays and sketches of character. His reading has been chiefly in poetry, biography and critical history. He is neither a classic, nor a mathematician, nor a natural-pbilosopher; but he is a moralist and a first rate critic. We would take his opinion of a poem, or an essay, or a painting, or an actor sooner than that of any person we know. He has his prejudices, as have all critics, whose writings are worth a jot, but they are neither very numerous nor very strong. He is a cordial admirer of such writers as Wordsworth, Shelley, Hazlitt, Keats, Leigh Hunt and Charles Lamb; but he can read Pope and Addison with pleasure, though he cannot tolerate Johnson's inflations, any where else than in Boswell's book. If we were to liken him to any living writer, it would be to Leigh Hunt purified of his conceits. He has less fancy than Hunt, but he has more taste, and though not such a good linguist, he has an equal acquaintance with English literature and full as much critical discrimination. In the Literary Leaves there are some able criticisms on Drummond, Pope, Brydges, Mrs. Charlotte Smith and others, as likewise a most subtle enquiry into the character of Shakespeare's Shylock. We entirely agree with D. L. R. in the estimate there formed; there is an exculpatory spirit pervading it, which to us is most pleasant, for we cordially execrate national prejudices. Though in this country, alas! they are most rife. It would be an injury to D. L. R. to extract a portion of this article, and our limits will scarcely permit us to give the criticism entire. We must seek for quotations in those essays which are more of a moral

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