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BARTHELEMY in his Anacharsis gave this title to certain elegies which treated of the oppression of the Messenians by the Spartans: Delavigne invests it with a somewhat arbitrary generic acceptation, as descriptive of poems applicable to all analogous circumstances, of whatever nation. He seems to boast of having intro duced into the literature of his country a new species of poem. It is very evident that he would have been glad if events had not supplied him with the occasion. The "redeunt Saturnia regna" is not his motto.

There is accordingly a large portion of readers with whom the warelegies of Delavigne will not be popular. Neither his auspicious pronomen of Casimir, nor the budding promise of his sirname, will stand that poet in stead who profanely mourns over the catastrophe of Waterloo. Robert Southey (I like him best without the esquire the plain Robert reminds me of old times and old principles), Robert Southey once said, "I am one of those who cannot wish success to an unjust cause, because my country supported it; and if there be any one who can, I desire not that man's approbation." We might worthily sympathize with our countrymen's prowess; and in the instance of Waterloo, while the laurels were fresh, this prowess was not disjoined in men's expectations from the hope of rational freedom and the improvement and peace of nations. We had not yet learnt that parchment was only a bit of skin torn from a sheep's back, and that a seal to a public instrument was nothing in the world but a lump of coloured bees'wax mixed up with a little rosin. We were therefore rather surprised at the practical comment on manifestoes concerning the internal rights of nations, furnished by the fact of the desired king being escorted to the door of his senate by British troops with lighted matches. Simple men

are apt to imagine that the battle of Waterloo shows to disadvantage by the side of the old-fashioned battle of the Boyne: the effect of the latter was the putting down "the right divine of kings to govern wrong" at once and for ever: whereas among the results of the former they see a confederacy of kings, not against their own people only, but against the people of every country under heaven; a conspiracy of the few against the many; the press "curbed, and kept curbed;" "learned men not wanted;" the Inquisition re-settled warm in their seats, and the miracles of Prince Saint Hohenlohe in full bloom.

This, however, is a matter of taste. For the sentiment which supplies the inspiration of the French poet, he may defend himself by the plea that it is epidemic. "A lively demoiselle of the second class," relates a sensible writer, who published an inquiry into the duties of Christians with respect to war, "gave her suffrage for war and glory with much animation; and when I represented the attendant miseries, put to flight all scruples with the heroic argument, “Plutôt la guerre, plutôt la guerre, que la France ainsi avilie."

Some good-natured allowance may be made for the declamations of a Frenchman, whose pride has been "hurt past all surgery," and whose heart is in his verses. He has warm feelings and a short memory. Blenheim, and Quebec, and Maida, and Vittoria, are not in his chronological table. The space traversed by his eye is filled only with Waterloo. He thinks we have a single trophy. I think we have more in number and better in quality than this.

He will talk with us on the theme of France "until his eyelids can no longer wag." But he has a word to spare for Greece, and one (wormwood in its moral) for Naples. His elegies come forth "like angel visits,

* Letters descriptive of a tour through France, &c. by John Sheppard.

few and far between." It were to be wished that he had exerted the fire and tenderness of his heart and fancy more frequently and copiously on the theme of Greece. The pathetic and romantic incident which he has versified and adorned from the travels of Pouqueville, is an earnest of what he might effect in this free and fair career of poetic glory. His elegy "on the ruins of pagan Greece," though elegant and brilliant, is too much like the production of an artist. The appeal to Christian Greeks harmonizes ill with the licentious fable of Leda, and the restoration of the idols of heathen Athens. That they are Christians we are reminded by the reply of the old shepherd who, when interrogated about the tomb of Eurydice, answers that what the poet sees is the grave of his daughter; and that the blood, which he mistakes for that

of a sacrifice, is that of her brothers spilt by the hands of mussulmen. After this, we have no inclination for statues and metamorphoses.

Delavigne is the author of two tragedies-the Sicilian Vespers, and Paria; and a comedy-the Comedians: but his fame seems rather to rest on his elegies. He has a free flow and choice of metre and expression, and exhibits warmth and boldness of sentiment, with a power of condensing his thoughts in few. words: and he has added another proof of the facilities of his native tongue in the sweet and lucid diction with which he has clothed the sensible imagery, of nature. But his chief merit is his masculine energy and the fire of national honour which his pieces breathe; and which entitle him to the name of the French Tyrtæus. LACENTO.


They breathe no longer: let their ashes rest;
Clamour unjust and calumny

They stoop'd not to confute; but flung their breast
Against the legions of your enemy,

And thus avenged themselves: for you they die.

Wo to you, wo! if those inhuman eyes

Can spare no drops to mourn your country's weal;

Shrinking before your selfish miseries;

Against the common sorrow hard as steel:
Tremble-the hand of death upon you lies;

You may be forced yourselves to feel.

But no-what son of France has spared his tears
For her defenders, dying in their fame;

Though kings return, desired through lengthening years,
What old man's cheek is tinged not with her shame ?

What veteran, who their fortune's treason hears,

Feels not the quickening spark of his old youthful flame ?

Great heaven! what lessons mark that one day's page!
What ghastly figures that might crowd an age!
How shall th' historic Muse record the day,
Nor starting cast the trembling pen away?

Hide from me-hide those soldiers overborne,

Broken with toil; with death-bolts crush'd, and torn ;
Those quivering limbs with dust defiled;

And bloody corses upon corses piled:
Veil from mine eyes that monument
Of nation against nation spent

In struggling rage, that pants for breath:

Spare us the bands thou sparedst-death!

Oh VARUS!-where the warriors thou hast led?

RESTORE OUR LEGIONS!-give us back the dead!

I see the broken squadrons reel;

The steeds plunge wild with spurning heel;

Our eagles trod in miry gore,

The leopard standards swooping o'er ;

The wounded on their slow cars dying,
The rout disorder'd, wavering, flying;
Tortured with struggles vain, the throng

Sway, shock, and drag their shatter'd mass along ;
And leave behind their long array

Wrecks, corses, blood, the foot-marks of their way.
Through whirlwind smoke and flashing flame,
O grief! what sight appals mine eye?
The sacred band with generous shame,

Sole 'gainst an army, pause-to die!
Struck with the rare devotion, 'tis in vain
The foes at gaze their blades restrain ;
And proud to conquer hem them round;
the cry
Returns, "the guard surrender not-they die.'
"Tis said, that when in dust they saw them lie,
A reverend sorrow for their brave career
Smote on the foe: they fix'd the pensive eye,
And first beheld them undisturb'd with fear.

See then these heroes, long invincible,

Whose threatening features still their conquerors brave; Frozen in death those eyes are terrible;

Feats of the past their deep-scarr'd brows engrave;

For these are they, who bore Italia's sun,

Who o'er Castilia's mountain barrier pass'd; The north beheld them o'er the rampart run, Which frosts of ages round her Russia cast: All sank subdued before them, and the date

Of combats owed this guerdon to their glory,
Seldom to Franks denied, to fall elate

On some proud day, that should survive in story.
Let us no longer mourn them; for the palm
Unwithering shades their features stern and calm:
Franks! mourn we for ourselves; our land's disgrace;
The proud mean passions that divide her race;
What age so rank in treasons? to our blood
The love is alien of the common good:
Friendship, no more unbosom'd, hides her tears,
And man shuns man, and each his fellow fears;
Scared from her sanctuary Faith shuddering flies
The din of oaths, the vaunt of perjuries.

O curst delirium! jars deplored

That yield our home-hearths to the stranger's sword!
Our faithless hands but draw the gleaming blade
To wound the bosom which its point should aid.

The strangers raze our fenced walls;
The castle stoops, the city falls;
Insulting foes their truce forget;
Th' unsparing war-bolt thunders yet:
Flames glare our ravaged hamlets o'er,
And funerals darken every door:

Drain'd provinces their greedy prefects rue,
Beneath the lilied or the triple hue;

And Franks disputing for the choice of power
Dethrone a banner or proscribe a flower.
France!-to our fierce intolerance we owe
The ills that from these sad divisions flow:
Tis time the sacrifice were made to thee
Of our suspicious pride, our civic enmity:

Haste-quench the torches of intestine war;
Heaven points the lily as our army's star;
Hoist then the banner of the white-some tears

May bathe the thrice-dyed flag which Austerlitz endears.
France! France! awake-with one indignant mind!
With new-born hosts the throne's dread precinct bind ;
Disarm'd, divided, conquerors o'er us stand;
Present the olive, but the sword in hand.

And thou! oh people, flush'd with our defeat,
To whom the mourning of our land is sweet,
Thou witness of the death-blow of our brave!
Dream not that France is vanquish'd to a slave:
Gall not with pride th' avengers yet to come;
Heaven may remit the chastening of our doom:
A new Germanicus may yet demand

Those eagles wrested from our Varus' hand.


Messene's daughter, weeping o'er her hearse,
Muse, that in plaintive and majestic verse
Sing'st grand reverses, noble woes,
Thou left'st thy natal bower, when Francia lay
Like Greece a captive: homeward bend thy way,
And weep for griefs more terrible than those.
"Twixt Evan's mountain and the beetling steep
Of Tænarus, the shore-pent surges sweep
Bathing sad Coron's walls: no more the same,
This barb'rous sound supplants Colone's name:
All, all is lost to Greece; sweet Plato's tongue,
The palm of combats, prodigies of art,
Into the waste of years depart,

And ev❜n the names on which entranced we hung.
These wave-beat walls, half crumbled with the shock
Of bolts which Venice launch'd against the rock,
Are Coron: o'er th' unpeopled precinct waves
The crescent, and the Turk reigns calm o'er graves;
See ye the turbans o'er the ramparts stray?

The flag profane that chased the blessed cross away?
See ye the horse-hair standards flout the towers?
Hear ye the misbeliever's voice, that pours

Its watch-cry on the hollow-dashing strand?

The arquebuss is gleaming in his hand.

The sun hangs hovering o'er the ocean's bound,
And gazes on the clime of yore renown'd:
Ev'n as the weed-clad lover's eyes explore
His mistress' features, though they bloom no more,
Yet is their charm more touching, fix'd in death;
How lingering sinks his orb!-what balm the breath
Of eve's gale whispers !-how the blazing wave
Sparkles with flush of light the day-star gave!
But day can gild no more the region of the slave.
Hark! 'tis the stifled dash of balanced oars!
With equal rise and fall their strokes are plied;
His eye still bent upon those sunset shores,

One in a skiff is skimming the salt tide:

A servant of the temple, 'tis his care
To deck the altar; fill the fuming air
From the waved censer; to the words divine
Respond, and minister the mystic wine.

He drops the oars; a lute his grasp supplies;
O'er the twitch'd trembling chord his finger flies;
He lifts his voice, a prophet strain ;

The hymn of David seems to breathe again :
But like the halcyon's low, sweet, ominous cry,
Which turns the seaman pale, for storm is nigh.

"Haunts! where my foot-sole dares not rest,
In the lone bark the chord is prest,
And nightly sends its low-breathed sound
To the hoarse billows roaring round:
Our sad estate my theme has been,
As captive Hebrews sigh'd their moan
Beneath the drooping willows green

That arch'd the streams of Babylon.

But they could still adore the Lord! though slaves
They fearless mourn'd beside their fathers graves;
Mingling their tears they mingled hopes; but I
To weep in peace an exile fly.

Thy ministers of wrath, they wrest
The last poor fluttering flimsy vest
That veils the widow's keen distress,
That screens the orphan's wretchedness:
With ruffian gripe they re-demand

The wheat-ear glean'd upon our field ;
And gold must cross their grasping hand
For the fresh rills our fountains yield.

Gold! they have ravish'd it; the treasures fell
From our stripp'd shrines by shameful oracle
Of dicer's lot: their gems profanely graced
The pack by whom our deer are chased.
Thy voice, O Nature! once so dear,
Is stifled by the stranger's fear;
The brother sees his brother low,
Nor rushes to revenge the blow:

The aged man resigns the meal,

His children's board, the robber's booty; The mother hears their trampling heel With curses on her daughter's beauty.

The youthful Levite is their fury's prey:

In loathsome bonds they work his bloom's decay;
Should his roused soul endure their shames no more,
The club is drench'd in guiltless gore.

Kings, when our Greece their help demands,
Are niggard of their armed bands;
Dispute th' appendage of their crowns,
People enslaved and shatter'd towns;
And while the Turkish poniards drain
Our Christian blood, the despots then,
As flocks are parted on the plain,

Share and allot the tribes of men.
A fleeting narrative, a vain appeal

Speaks of our woes to hearts that cannot feel;
Courts in luxurious ease the tale admire ;
And are we brethren? yet expire?

The bird that wings the fields has rest
And shelter in his cradling nest;
The fawn has couch'd within the glade;
The hare beneath the herbage-blade:

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