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these pieces of a versifier who can stand alone and take his own independent course; so that, however much we may have been pleased with the present effusions, sure we are that Mr. Simmons could still acquit himself to better effect, should he aim at higher results and undertake a heavier task. In that case he will rise above the Magazine and Annual order; and come forth with more deserving things than the imitation either of the spirit or the phraseology of a Byron, a specimen of which we now cite.
Byron !-Rousseau !—and thou the youngest and
O'er the grim portals of the past a spell,
Were ye not born with love for ever rushing,
may I claim with ye, sad brotherhood -
Then come and watch with me—for I, like ye,
Then come with your sad smiles, and say, there yet
Now turn to Elegiac Poems; and here we have most manifest proofs of real sorrow wringing the bosom of a parent, yearning over the loss and memory of a child ; superadded to poetical feeling and spirit, that have, no doubt, long been exercised and solaced by efforts in the tuneful art. A severer test could hardly be proposed than that of the single theme of grief and personal experience, for any one to handle with varied power and adequacy. How was a man to diversify his notes and his emotions when recording of one so dear and near? The only answer that can be offered for so many varia
tions and arresting utterances as appear in this collection of elegies, is that the writer has united his child's brief and infantine history to everything around; thus watering the most trifling as well as the most impressive objects and events with the floods of his affection, and rearing monuments wherever memory could find a spot to plant its foot.
There are some twenty-nine poems in the small volume, and yet not one that the reader would wish to exclude,-not one that has not some new cause to explain or circumstance to bewail. The perfect and unlaboured truth of the effusions is particularly welcome ; this truth and adherence to nature being seen in the minute accuracy of the ideas and pictures, and showing that the parent has an abundant fountain of sorrow that can not take other than natural channels, however meandering these may be. How sad, yet accordant to experience are the three stanzas that we first quote, describing the grave
and the domestic hearth on the funeral eve!
No taper burns beside thy lonely bed ;
And none are near thee but the silent dead.
For we uncheered beside it sit alone,
In angry gusts against our casement blown.
That both our hearts are there, where thou dost keep
For the first time unwatched, thy lonely sleep.
The investment even of toys with tenderest and swelling emotion is happily exemplified in the following lines ; the streaming eyes and the bursting heart, or perchance the wan check and the longing for departure were there,-
This chest, an homely cabinet, although
But wouldst thou know what treasures thus are dear,
Some books, of those that children love, are here,
Dearer to us than golden treasures wide ! But time brings balm ; intense and crushing sorrow is not ceaseless and utterly unhealing.
And what though now we from this grief express
But little save its bitter, yet be sure
It shall not, cannot evermore endure.
But comforts shall arise, like fountains sweet
Fresh springing in a salt and dreary main,
In the waste ocean, an unlooked for gain.
And as when some fair temple is o'erthrown
By earthquake, or by hostile hand laid waste,
A confused ruinous heap, and all defaced.
Yet visit that fall'n ruin by and by,
And what a hand of healing has been there !
On the green sward which all the place doth wear!
And what rich odours from the flowers are borne,
From flowers and flowering weeds, which even within
Have made their home, yea thence their sustenance wint!
So Time no less has gentle skill to heal :
When our fair hopes have fall'n, our earth-built towers,
With a new overgrowth of leaves and flowers!
Art. VII.- A Voyage of Discovery towards the North Pole, Per
formed in his Majesty's Ships Dorothea and Trent, under the Command of Captain Buchan, R.N., 1818. By Captain F.
W. BEECHEY, R.N. Bentley. The narrative of this voyage is “Published by authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.” But having been performed so long back as 1818, being a companion to the first expedition under Captain Ross,-that officer endeavouring to arrive at the Pacific by the more westerly direction of Baffin's Bay, whilst Captain Buchan was to steer towards the Pole direct from Spitzbergen,-one cannot but consider the delay of the appearance of the volume to be somewhat strange, now that the intense curiosity that at one time was excited with regard to our arctic voyagers has greatly subsided. Reasons, however, are assigned for the lateness of publication, Captain Buchan not conceiving that his journal “possessed sufficient interest to engage the attention of the general reader."
Captain Beechey, who served in the second vessel as one of the lieutenants under Franklin, has at length executed the task; and although the long delay must rob the narrative of much of the freshness that would have attached to it, had it been published on the return of the expedition, yet it is worthy of notice, that the book is one of the best of its class, and must hereafter maintain a high character both as a literary composition and on account of its intrinsic value. Its style is plain, manly, and forcible. It presents many cidents of an interesting nature.
It abounds with sensible sugges. tion and pertinent reflection, being thoroughly winnowed of the trivial and the dry. The volume too affords some novelty even at this late period; for the design of the voyage was to steer through the open sea direct to the Pole, and thence to make the passage to the Pacific. The narrative consequently gives the strugglings with floating ice, rather than the monotony of long detention in fields. True, a voyage in an arctic region must ever offer many circumstances that will have much of the same character in the case of all vessels navi. gating these seas. But the immense icebergs, their fantastic shapes, and strange vagaries, with a vast number and variety of other sights peculiar to those inhospitable climes, must ever in a skilfully written account have stirring novelty for the general reader, and the excitement which frightful and sudden danger, with as sudden escapes, always affords. The voyage, as we have already indicated, was over a portion of the globe entirely new to the discoverers, and so totally different in its natural phenomena from those to which they had been accustomed either in their own country, or in parts of the earth nearer the equator, that they experienced at almost every step a deeper and a deeper interest. Even trifles invested the scenes and
the occasions with excitement. An extract will set this fact in a striking point of view.
Nothing made so deep an impression upon our senses as the change from alternate day and night, to which we had been habituated from our infancy, to the continued daylight to which we were subjected as soon as we crossed the Arctic circle. Where the ground is but little trodden, even trifles are interesting; and I do not, therefore, hesitate to describe the feelings with which we regarded this change. The novelty, it must be admitted, was very agreeable; and the advantage of constant daylight, in an unexplored and naturally boisterous sea, was too great to allow us even to wish for a return of the alternations above alluded to: but the reluctance we felt to quit the deck, when the sun was shining bright upon our sails, and to retire to our cabins to sleep, often deprived us of many hours of necessary rest ; and when we returned to the deck to keep our night-watch, if it may be so called, and still found the sun gilding the sky, it seemed as if the day would never finish.
What, therefore, at first promised to be so gratifying, soon threatened to become extremely irksome; and would, indeed, have been a serious inconvenience, had we not followed the example of the feathery tribe, which we daily observed winging their way to roost, with a clock-work regularity, and retire to our cabin at a proper hour, where, shutting out the rays of the sun, we obtained that repose which the exercise of our duties required.
At first sight, it will, no doubt, appear to many persons that constant daylight must be a valuable acquisition in every country; but a little reflection will, I think, be sufficient to show that the reverse is really the case, and to satisfy a thinking mind, that we cannot overrate the blessing we derive from the wholesome alternation of labour and rest, which is in a manner forced upon us by the succession of day and night. It is impossible by removing to a high latitude, to witness the difficulty there is in the regulation of time, the proneness that is felt by the indefatigable and zealous to rivet themselves to their occupations, and by the indolent and procrastinating to postpone their duties, without being truly thankful for that all-wise and merciful provision with which Nature has endowed the more habitable portions of the globe.
An arctic view at midnight may be taken as a companion scene, with its equivalent of reflections.
The progress of a vessel through such a labyrinth of frozen masses is one of the most interesting sights that offer in the Arctic seas; and being at this time wholly new to us, many, even of those persons not naturally curious, were kept out of their beds until a late hour to partake of the enjoyment of the scene.
There was, besides, on this occasion, an additional motive for remaining up: very few of us had ever seen the sun at midnight; and this night happening to be particularly clear, his broad red disk curiously distorted by refraction, and sweeping majestically along the Northern horizon, was an object of imposing grandeur, which riveted to the deck some of our crew, who would perhaps have beheld with indifference the less imposing effect of