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He on whose tomb these eyes were wont to dwell,
And whose dear name whenever I repeat,
Sweet Spenser,—sweetest Bard; yet not more sweet
If this be a genuine and not, in some degree at least, a factitious admiration (which we can hardly suppose with a man of Mr. Southey's taste), it is singular that he should so late have postponed his imitations-for such we apprehend it is his intention that they should be esteemed-especially when he informs us, that even in his childhood on Spencer's song " his spirit fed, attracted to its kind.” For our own part, excepting that they make pretensions to an allegori. cal form, we should scarcely have known that any resemblance was intended. Properly speaking, we doubt if this Carmen Nuptiale be an allegory, for though characters of the kind are introduced, it does not at all satisfy the definition of Plutarch, “ where one thing is related and another understood,” or the other distinctions pointed out by Hughes in his clever Essay on poetry of that species. It is not however very important to settle this point, and we will proceed to give some specimens of the body of this production. While musing upon his “ master dear,” the poet supposes himself to fall asleep, and he immediately begins to dream that he is in the street amidst the bustle attendant upon the royal marriage: he obtains entrance, it does not exactly appear how, into the Hall of Victory of Carlton House; what he there saw he thus describes :
“ Amid that Hall of Victory side by side,
Conspicuous o'er the splendid company,
In her fair cheek, and in her bright blue eye,
The Bridegroom seem'd,-a man approved in fight,
And had pursued the recreant Tyrant's flight
“Guerdant before his feet a Lion lay,
The Saxon Lion, terrible of yore,
The marks of long and cruel bondage bore,
That noble beast had never felt the chain;
And o'er his shoulders broad the affluent mane
Yet were they of one brood; and side by side
They many a time had met, and quelled his pride,
Cowering and crippled to his den retire.” Their throne represented as supported by Honour and Faith; and while the poet is employed in gazing at the wond'rous sight, suddenly the air " is filled with solemn music breathing round," and Britannia (whose attributes are minutely described with little variation from the representation of her upon the reverse of a halfpenny) enters and addresses the royal bride as follows:
“ Daughter of Brunswick's fated line, she said,
While joyful realms their gratulations pay,
We too descend upon this happy day,
The weight of empire in a day of woe!
The joys which from domestic virtue flow,
As in his father's he, learn thou to tread;
No other change be felt than of the head
“Love peace and cherish peace; but use it so
That war may find thee ready at all hours;
Be swift and sure: then put forth all the powers
Depart, nor lay the falchion from thy side!
Thy power shall then be dreaded far and wide:
Thou mayest again defy the world's collected might.” She moves off majestically, and is followed by Experience, who presents
“ — a goodly volume, which he laid
Between that princely couple on the throne.” And next to bim approaches “ the Angel of the English Church,” accompanied by “ Edward the spotless Tudor," Cranmer, Latimer, and a crowd of “ partakers in beatitude” and martyrdom, among whom why Ridley, the firm unshaken Ridley, is not distinguished we know not, unless Mr. southey's laureate loyalty was shocked by the sermon of that bishop against Queen Mary, and in favour of Lady Jane Grey. "The Angel makes rather a long speech against Popery, “that Harlot old,” whose seductions and machinations Mr. Southey at the present moment seems rather unreasonably to dread, and thus winds up the oration, speaking of the established church :
“ Built on a rock, the fabric may repel
Their utmost rage, if all within be sound:
Woe to her then there needs no outward wound !
The light of piety should shine far seen,
Thus from the influence of an honoured Queen,
When piety and joy went hand in hand;
The old observances which cheered the land,
The household prayers which, honouring God's high name,
Kept the lamp trimmed and fed the sacred flame.” The Angel of the Church and the saintly train vanish, and their place is occupied by “ another minister of bliss,” one of that angelic company
“Who, guardians of the rising human race,
Alway in Heaven behold the Father's face.” The object of this mission is to exhort the Princess to use her influence in promoting the great object of the education of the lower classes. Although none but common-place topics are introduced into this harangue, yet the purpose is good, and the language by no means infelicitous. Mr. Southey has always been very laudably zealous in his exertions on this subject, and our readers will recollect, that in his “ Pilgrimage to Waterloo,” he travelled no little distance out of his course for the sake of introducing it. The eight subsequent stanzas are spoken by the Angel to the Princess Charlotte :
“I plead for babes and sucklings, he began,
Those who are now, and who are yet to be:
"The vital welfare of humanity:
In answer to a nation's prayers, thy love,
The deepest, holiest joy of earth shalt prove,
Most weak and helpless of all breathing things,
No different law for Peasants or for Kings,
Of honour or dishonour, good or ill!
To take from circumstance their woe or weal;
“ Is it then fitting that one soul should pine
For lack of culture in this favoured land ?
Perish, like seeds upon the desert sand?--
The State must this state-malady redress!
The path of duty, leads to happiness,
The children in the way that they should go.
How large a part were banished from below?
An inbred taint disposing it for ill?
And discipline by love the pliant will !
Two female personages called Speranza and Charissa (Hope and Charity we suppose), next pass in the procession, and pausing before the throne, unfold “ earth's melancholy map," to shew how great a space is yet covered with the darkness of ignorance and idolatry. Speranza represents the duty of this country to diffuse 6 the sacred word of Heaven,” calls upon the Redeemer to speed the work, and concludes by invoking a blessing on “ this happy island.”
“ A strain of heavenly harmony ensued,
Such as but once to mortal ears was known,
Who in their orders stand around the Throne :
And hid my face, unable to endure
In fear and yet in trembling joy, for sure