Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors]

visitation. These are inconveniences, great in themselves, and greater in the mischief of their operation; and they would not exist, if the offices of the clergyman were fixed to one church, and to the devout performance therein, of morning and afternoon service." P.1.

Agreeing entirely with the sentiments thus expressed, we have only to regret, that they are not fortified as they might have been in the following pages. The writer ouļht to have been aware, that the evil of which he complains is not general; that there are dioceses in which single services are hardly known; that they have given way in many instances to the existing law, or rather perhaps to the good feeling of the incumbents, excited and directed by the admonition of their bishops; that the same result may be obtained in every instance by the exercise of a little zeal and discretion, and that consequently there is no need for the interference of the legislature.

[ocr errors]

ART.IV.1. The Book of Psalms in an English Metrical

Version, founded on the Basis of the authorized Bible Translation, and compared with the original Hebrew: with Notes, critical and illustrative. By the Right Rev. Richard Mant, D.D. M.R.I. A. Lord Bishop of Down and Connor: Oxford, Parker; London, Rivingtons. 1824. 2. Songs of Solyma; or, a new Version of the Psalms of David; the long ones being compressed, in general, into two Parts or Portions of Psalmody, comprising their prophetic - Evidence and principal Beauties. By Baptist Noel Turner, M.A. some time Fellow of Emanuel College, Cambridge, Rector of Denton, in Lincolnshire, and Wing, in

Rutland. 1824: 3.-Irad and Adah; a Tale of the Flood-Poems - Specimens

of a new Translation of the Psalms. By Thomas Dale,

of Bene't College, Cambridge. Of the three works' now on our table, the two which we have placed first have these laudable objects in view; an improvement on the former versions of the Psalms as compositions, and the rationalization, if we may so speak, of our Church psalmody. The name of Bishop Mant is sufficient alone to command attention and respect; it is a name which has ever appeared in conjunction with some public advantage; and therefore, while we generally state, that we do not consider the Bishop entirely to have attained

[ocr errors]

his object,' we state it with every applause of his motive, every appreciation of his industry, and every admiration of his talents and learning. We think the Bishop has been unsuccessful, principally because he has not adhered to the excellent principle laid down in his title-page'; that of taking the authorized version as the basis of his translation, no less in phraseology than interpretation. Like all his predecessors, he fails through his redundancy; a cause which weakens all translations, and those of the Psalms more especially, whose beauty would less frequently be diminished by the subtraction than by the addition of an expression or idea. Still is he very superior to Brady and Tate; and the version is such as might be used with real devotional feeling in our churches, which great part of the other cannot. Perhaps we are too fastidious; our standard of perfection in metrical versions of the Psalms is certainly very high ; but we shall not be satisfied till we meet with a version which is altogether worthy of the Liturgy with which it is to be connected; and of this, difficult as its production may be, we do not altogether despair.

The “Songs of Solyma” are intended for church worship only: they are only extracts from the Psalms, of a convenient length for singing, and a good deal adapted and spiritualized. If in preferring selections to an entire version, Mr. Turner has been judicious, he falls in one respect infinitely below Bishop Mant, inasmuch as he purposely deserts the authorized version, and gives into all the verbose nothingness of Brady and Tate. Mr, T. professes to have begun his work when an octogenarian ; every praise, therefore, is due to his zeal and industry; but the version strongly partakes of that character of poetry which was popular in his youth, and which least of any school merits

Mr. Dale's work we only notice in this article on account of the Psalms at the end. As we are a good deal interested in the subject of Psalmody, we were anxious to see what had been done towards its improvement by a gentleman of known poetical powers. We unhesitatingly say, that if Mr. Dale will produce a version of equal excellence with the Psalms which he has translated in this volume, he will approach nearer the standard of excellence in this respect than any author we know, Still he is far too negligent of the style of the

prose version, and nothing but a considerable share of poetic genius could, with this negligence, have enabled him to attain the success which he actually has achieved. His metres, too, are often not adapted to those simple

the name.

melodies commonly used in our churches, and which might
give adequate expression to the highest conceivable degree
of poetical excellence. The metres in common use ought
at all events to be retained, as they are by far the best
suited to the expression of beauties whose very essence is
simplicity.
: We shall conclude this article by giving from each of the
works before us a version of the CXXXVIIth Psalm; which
will be found a fair specimen of the rest, as the beauties
of this Psalm are of a kind to exhibit the peculiar excel-
lencies and failings of those who undertake to give it a metri-
cal form.

BISHOP MANT.
By Babel's streams we sat, and wept;

Our thoughts, O Zion, dwelt on thee;
Meanwhile our harps, in silence, slept

Aloft on many a willow tree.
« For they who led us far away,

With taunts inflam'd our bitter wrongs ;
. Come, sing,' they cried, 'a mirthful lay;

- Come, sing us one of Zion's songs.'
« Remote from Zion's holy hill,

And slaves beneath a stranger king;
How shall we show our tuneful skill,

And how Jehovah's anthem sing?
“ O Salem, lovely Salem, thee

If e'er my heart forget to love;
Then may my hand forgotten be,

That wont the warbling strings to move;
And may my tongue its utterance cease,

If I omit thee in my joy;
Or other theme than Salem's peace

My rapture's loftiest strains employ. . “ Remember, Lord, on Édom's race,

The wrongs of Salem's fatal day:
• Down, down,' they shouted'; · from the base,

Down, down to earth, her glories lay!'
« Proud child of Babel ! blest is he,

Who quits thee for thy ruthless wound;
Blest, who shall seize, by God's decree,

And dash thy infants on the ground.
MR. TURNER'S ADAPTATION, FROM 'MR. BULLEN.
“ Proud Babylon's waters among,

We grieved, lovely Sion, for thee;
Our harps on the willow trees hung,

As sad and as silent as we..

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« Then they who occasion'd our wrongs,

And still would our sorrows affront,
Bade us sing one of Solyma's songs,

As late, in her courts, we were wont. 6 Our voioes how can we prepare,

Jehovah's great acts to proclaim ?
His mercy and truth to declare,

’Mongst strangers who know not His. Name? “ Yes, Solyma, thee have I loved ;

If I love not thy palaces still,
May my tongue in my mouth be unmoved,

My right hand be bereft of its skill.”

· MR. DALE.

By Babylon's proud stream we sate,

And tears gushed quick from every eye; When our own Zion's fallen state,

Came rushing on our memory ; And there, the willow groves among,

Sorrowing our silent harps we hung. “ For there our tyrants in their pride

Bade Judah raise th' exulting strain ; And our remorseless spoilers cried,

• Come breathe your native hymns again ;' Oh how, in stranger-climes can we

Pour forth Jehovah's melody? “ When thou, loved Zion, art forgot,

Let this unworthy hand decay! When Salem is remembered not,

Mute be these guilty lips for aye! Yea! if in transport's liveliest thrill

Thou, Zion, art not dearer still? « Think, Lord! on Edom, and repay

Her crụel hate with equal woes; Think, how on Zion's fatal day,

Her ruthless sons invoked our foes ; Haste! haste! the lordly, towers o'erthrow,

And lay proud Salem's bulwarks low. « Daughter of Babel! doomed ere long

The retributive hour to mourn;
Blest be the man, who Zion's wrong

Shall on thy guilty head return;
Blest he, who grasps thy serpent-brood,
And dies the rocks with infant-blood."

Art. V. The Pleasures of Society; a Poem. 8vo. 60 pp.

Rivingtons. 1824.

We are not aware that the world is in very particular want of the lesson which this poem is intended to convey. The eremitical life has few votaries among us; and our anonymous author gains an easy, if not a glorious victory, over the admirers of silence and solitude. His object, however, is evidently a good one-to expose misantrophy, and to encourage contentment.

And as far as this can be done in a desultory semi-didactic poem of fifty pages, his performance is entitled to commendation. The thoughts are more remarkable for simplicity than strength; but the versification is always easy, and occasionally vigorous. The lines to Freedom, which justly claims a place among the Pleasures of Society, give a fair specimen of the author's manner :

“ Hence too fair Freedom waves her golden wings
O'er the wide earth, and kindred feeling brings,
Proclaims her sacred cause to all around,
And distant nations hail the welcome sound
Of justice, which unites in one accord
King and the priest, the peasant and the lord;
The social compact, which in union binds
The struggling chaos of contending minds;
In even course man's rival passions run,
As circling planets round the ruling sun;
Checked by firm equity and righteous sway,
The tyrant's ruthless marth or people's lawless way.

She to loved Albion's fair and sea-girt isle,
Gave the first token of her earliest smile;
From her white cliffs commenced her glorious flight,
In all the splendour of celestial light;
Shook the stern tyrant from his blood-stained throne,
Bade him man's rights, and equal justice own;
Took from the slave Oppression's galling chain, i

And made his bosom feel the manly thought again.” P. 15. It would be wrong to hold out the flattering prospect of popularity to the writer of this little poem; this work must take its chance among the countless trifles of the day, and the chance is not much in his favour. His just and unaffected sentiments would produce as much, if not more effect in prose than in poetry. The fury for rhyme has had its day, and is gone; and it may be doubted, whether even the following pretty verses, with which we take leave of our Pleasures, will obtain half the admiration which is bestowed upon Mrs. Sherwood's Nursery Tales, or Sir Walterish Novels of Mr. Galt.

[ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »