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'For thee, rash youth, no suppliant sues,
Harp of the North, farewell! The bills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
author; and in bringing out the shaded and imperfect character of Roderick Dhu, as a contrast to the purer virtue of his rival, Mr. Scott seems to have fallen into the common error, of making him more interesting than him whose virtues he was intended to set off, and converted the villain of the piece in some measure into its hero. A modern poet, however, may perhaps he pardoned for an error, of which Milton himself is thought not to have kept clear, and for which there seems so natural a cause in the difference between poetical and amiable characters."-JEFFREY.]
:"And now, waving myself, let ine talk to you of the Prince Regent. He ordered me to be presented to him at a ball; and after some sayings peculiarly pleasing from royal lips, as to my own attempts, he talked to me of you and your immortalities :
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark,
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending. Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy ; Thy numbers sweet with nature's vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea, And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee. Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp !
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Through secret woes the world has never known, When on the weary night dawn'd wearier day,
And bitterer was the grief devour'd alone. That I o’erlive such woes, Enchantress! is thine own. Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some Spirit of the Air has waked thy string!
he preferred you to every bard past and present, and asked which of your works pleased me most. It was a difficult question. I answered, I thought the ‘Lay.' He said his own opinion was nearly similar. In speaking of the otbers, I told him that I thought you more particularly the poet of Princes, as they never appearde more fascinating than in "Marmion' and the 'Lady of the Lake.' He was pleased to coincide, and to dwell on the description of your James's as no less royal than poetical. He spoke alternately of Homer and yourself, and seemed well acquainted with both," etc. - Letter from Lord Byron to Sir Walter Scott, July 6, 1812. BYRON'S Life and W’orks, vol. ii. p. 156.]
'Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,
'Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing. Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell, And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
A wandering witch-note of the distant spellAnd now, 'tis silent all!--Enchantress, fare thee well!
(“On a comparison of the merits of this poem with the two former productions of the same unquestioned genius, we are inclined to bestow on it a very decided preference over both. It would perhaps be difficult to select any one passage of such genuine inspiratiou, as one or two that might be pointed out in the Lay of the Last Minstrel-and, perhaps, in strength and discrimination of character, it may fall short of Marmion; although we are loath to resign either the rude and savage generosity of Roderick, the romantic chivalry of James, or the playful simplicity, the affectionate tenderness, the modest courage, of Ellen Douglas, to the claims of any competitors in the last-mentioned poem. But, for interest and artificial management in the story, for general ease and grace of versification, and correctness of language, the Lady of the Lake must be universally allowed, we think, to excel, and very far excel, either of her predecessors."-Critical Review.)
(“There is nothing, in Mr. Scolt, of the severe and majestic style of Milton-or of the terse and fine composition of Pope-or of the elaborate elegance and melody of Campbell-or even of the flowing and redundant diction of Southey,- but there is a medley of bright images and glowing, set carelessly and loosely togethera diction tinged successively with the careless richness of Shak. speare, the harshness and antique simplicity of the old romances, the homeliness of vulgar ballads and anecdotes, and the sentimental glitter of the most modern poetry-passing from the borders of the ludicrous to those of the sublime-alternately minute and energetic-sometimes artificial, and frequently negligent, but always full of spirit and vivacity-abounding in images, that are striking at first sight to minds of every contexture-and never expressing a sentiment which it can cost the most ordinary reader any exertion to comprehend. Upon the whole, we are inclined to think more highly of the Lady of the Lake than of either of its author's former publications. We are more sure, however, that it has fewer faults, ihan that it has greater beauties; and as its beauties bear a strong resemblance to hose with which the public has been already made familiar in these celebraled works, we should not be surprised if its popularity were less splendid and remarkable. For our own parts, however, we are of opinion, that it will be oftener read hereafter than either of them; and that if it had appeared first in the series, their reception would have been less favourable than that which it has experienced. It is more polished in its diction, and more regular in its versification; the story is constructed with infinitely more skill and address ; there is a greater proportion of pleasing and tender passages, with much less antiquarian detail ; and, upon the whole, a larger variety of characters, more artfully and judiciously contrasted. There is nothing so fine, perhaps, as the battle in Marmion-or so picturesque as some of the scattered sketches in the Lay; but there is a richness and a spirit in the whole piece, which does not pervade either of these poems-a profusion of incident, and a shifting brilliancy of colouring, that reminds us of the witchery of Ariosto—and a constant elasticity, and occasional energy. which seem to belong more peculiarly to the author now before us."-JEFFREY.)