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النشر الإلكتروني

The sons of Spain are up in arms against the sons of Spain;

And the hostile blood of sire and son runs curdling on the plain;

For the land of the vine, and the land of song, and the land of high emprize,

Is scath'd by the lurid lightning glare of haughty Cava's eyes.

O, what avail'd the gests of yore-the deeds of the olden time?
Ages of gallant deeds were stain'd by one foul moment's crime.
Your kingdom gone-your crown a scorn-a mockery your name-
Soul lost, and body lost, and lost the record of your fame!

The good is gone-the bad remains-it ne'er shall pass away.
You die; but many live to blight and blast your memory.

For the land of the vine, and the land of song, and the land of high emprize,
Is scathed by the lurid lightning glare of haughty Cava's eyes.

IF I might, without incurrring the charge of nationality, introduce a translation from the German as an ingredient of my Horæ Hispanicæ,, I should be inclined to subjoin the following little ditty. I shall probably screen myself from the above imputation, by offering it merely in the form of a note upon the "Song for the Morning of the Day of St John the Baptist," to which such ample justice has been done by my predecessor. This will also, perhaps satisfy the scruples of your officer, whose duty it is to search my bale of goods, outvoiced as Spanish, and who might otherwise be inclined to denounce the commodity as contraband. I picked up the original one evening of last July, in the beautiful village of Blankanese, on the Elbe, where the ungenial zephyrs kept me for a day or two, closely pent up in a land which I loved much, but yearning to return to one which I loved more. I transcribed it from an almanack lent me by my host, and in which the name of the author is givenFREDERICK STRICKER. It exhibits a parallel superstition to that which is alluded to in the production of your former correspondent, and pertaining to another country. The superstitious influence of the Baptist is felt at all points of the compass. Fires are duly lighted after sunset upon the "eve of St John," on the mountains which lie to the south of Dublin, (and which embellish the vicinity of that city, with a variety of romantic scenery, rarely to be met within four miles of a metropolis ;) and your correspondent recollects to have been stopped, when a boy, on his return with a party from an excursion into the county of Wicklow, by a line of country cars drawn across the road, at the village of Stillorgan, the owners of which had adopted this mode of exacting" something towards the bon-fire." These localities will not be deemed irrelevant to the pages of an "IRISH MAGAZINE."

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*See No. XLIV. page 197, column 1, line 29.

+ The glow-worm is denominated in German Johanniswürmchen.

With noiseless tread

To her chamber she sped,

Where the spectral moon her white beams shed:-
"Bloom here-bloom here, thou plant of pow'r,
To deck the young bride in her bridal hour!"
But it droop'd its head that plant of pow'r,
And died the mute death of the voiceless flow'r;
And a wither'd wreath on the ground it lay,
More meet for a burial than bridal day.

And when a year was past away,
All pale on her bier the young maid lay!
And the glow-worm came
With its silvery flame,

And sparkled and shone
Thro' the night of St John,

As they clos'd the cold grave o'er the maid's cold clay.

The following note is added in the German :-" According to a provincial custom in Lower Saxony, every young girl plucks a sprig of St John's Wort on mid-summer night, and sticks it into the wall of her chamber. Should it, owing to the dampness of the wall, retain its freshness and verdure, she may reckon upon gaining a suitor in the course of the year; but, if it droop, the popular belief is, that she also is destined to pine and wither away."

ON POETIC INSPIRATION.

We have frequently heard poets of eminence lament their inability to call up their wonted powers of poetic composition, and even of poetic thought, when summoned, by any sudden emergence, to the exercise of their mighty vocation. A landscape of surpassing beauty-an event of individual moral interest, or of national and universal import, would seem, to the by-standers, calculated to awaken the muse from her deepest slumber. But it is all in vain. The landscape may lie in all its expanse of loveliness before him-the tale of woe or of wonder may be told in his ear, and his heart may throb higher than that of the ordinary mortal; but he breathes no accents correspondent to his lofty emotions-his thoughts, he imagines, lie too deep for tears, or are too exalted for mirth, and he suffers the event to pass by him into oblivion,

Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung. The reason of all this will be apparent, if we attentively consider the causes and the occasions of poetic inspiration. It will be granted, we venture to suppose, on reflection, that we only think at all, in preference to, or to supply the place of corporeal exertion; and that we only think poeti cally in preference to, or to supply the place of corporeal enjoyment. Reason

ing may be considered the employment of the mind, as the indulgence of the imagination is its amusement. Man perpetually oscillates between the attractions of his mental and corporeal faculties; and the more he indulges the one, the more is he necessarily restricted in his enjoyment of the other. His finite powers are too limited-his expanse of perception is too narrow to comprehend, at the same time, all the gratifications which the faculties of his double nature can produce, or he would approach nearer in felicity to those mighty beings who precede him in the scale of intelligence and fruition. Love alone, of all our pleasures, unites, in a considerable degree, the functions of our moral and physical powers; and hence, love is the most delightful of our sensations. From this fact, then, that the simultaneous enjoyment of the delights flowing from these two distinct, though intimately connected, sources of pleasure, is incompatible with the frame and constitution of our nature, may be explained the phenomenon we have been pointing out to observation.

We will suppose the poet to be reclining in an arbour on a calm summer's evening-a landscape, in all the luxuriance of verdure, spread out before his eye-a stream murmuring at his feet

-the birds, in a neighbouring grove, chaunting their vespers-the fragrance of wild-flowers over his head-and, above all, the soft mellow light of evening, clothing every surrounding object in hues of tenfold beauty. What scene can be imagined better calculated to arouse his poetic energies? Yet poetry, at least good poetry, in such a situation, most certainly he will not produce. Or, if he should make a successful effort, it will only be by foregoing his corporeal gratification, and will be but remotely, if at all, connected with the scene before him. If he gives nature the rein, his enjoyment will be entirely corporeal; and the intellect, with a kind of suspended exertion, will be only so far in activity as it may assist in administering to the gratification of the senses. In truth, we never resort to the inward prospects of the mind, till those without are deficient in interest or in splendour; for realities would be the sole objects of our attention, were they as beautiful as the forms of fancy. Or, suppose him placed amid wilder and more romantic sceneryamid forests, and mountains, and lakes, and cataracts. Here again, he finds nothing, in his own mind, surpassing the magnificent prospect around him; his soul spurns at the shadows of the imagination, while a still loftier reality is towering before his eyes; and he takes the shortest way to his gratification by dwelling, bodily, and without mental reserve or interruption, on the unimaginable and indescribable grandeur of external nature. It is only when absence, lapse of time, or (which is more intimately connected with our argument) an incapacity or temporary distaste for physical enjoyment, has

sent him back in imagination to the scene with which he was then so enraptured, that he learns to consider it as a fit subject on which to exercise his poetical powers. His passions, which were then in their highest state of excitement, are now in repose; and his judgment, which was then in abeyance, is now at hand to guide and correct his imagination. And the scene itself, which then paralyzed his discriminating powers by the oppressive intenseness of its reality, is now softened down, like every thing past, with tender and shadowy recollections.

Poetry, the most natural, and, therefore, the most pleasing kind of it-Sir Walter Scott's poetry for instance-is not a direct ebullition of the feelings, but a description of them-it is a history of recollections. It is the language of passion revised by the judgment; not the foam that rides on the wave, but the mound thrown up by its perpetual tossing. That poetry, and of the noblest kind, may be written while the mind is in a state of violent excitement, Lord Byron's is a striking instance. However, even in this case, most poets will prefer the actual enjoyment to the description of it; and wait till the storm has subsided, before they attempt to sketch a history of the effects it has produced. But all corporeal gratification must, during such a process, be singularly excluded; mental excitement, and mental labour, must so occupy and absorb the faculties, as not to leave a single feeling connected with self, beyond the simple consciousness of material existence.

THE AYRSHIRE LEGATEES:

RESPONSIVE NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.

We have been exceedingly surprised at a letter which we received soon after the publication of our last number, complaining, with great severity, of an alleged liberty that we have taken with many respectable characters; and treating the whole that we have published respecting the Pringle family as an ingenious but impertinent fiction. In his notion, Mr A. B. is not singular; an impudent and illiterate person in the townhead of Irvine, had already assumed the same view of the subject, and railed at us in very ill set terms, for the freedom with which his ancient and venerable native town (from which, we suppose, he has never strayed) had been used by us in our adaptation of Mr M'Gruel's contributions to the purposes of our Magazine. To such addresses VOL. VIII.

2Z

we were advised not to reply, and perhaps the advice was prudent; but the natural urbanity of our own disposition overcame the counselling of our friends; and, as we would rather be accused of imprudence, than suspected of any deficiency in politeness and delicate consideration, for the feelings even of anonymous correspondents, we have ventured, in this manner, to notice the animadversions of Mr A. B. At the same time, we beg freely to tell him, that it does not appear to us he has adduced any thing to weaken our confidence in the authenticity of the letters transmitted to us by Mr M'Gruel, while we do think, that the distance of his own residence from the parish of Garnock, where he has confessedly never been, precludes him from being admitted as evidence. Indeed his whole reasoning seems to us purely theoretical, and founded upon hypothetical premises; than which nothing can be more fallacious, especially in an attempt, as in this case, to controvert the existence of actual facts.

The letter that bears the signature of " Martha Glibbans," we are convinced, is from a male pen; besides, we do not think that the lady who plays so important a part in the correspondence of our Kilwinning friend, is called Martha; and, therefore, we have only to say, that if the writer will call at Mr Blackwood's shop, any day between the hours of twelve and two o'clock, he may have his paper again. Perhaps if he would try his hand at a poem, we might be found more accessible, as it is well known that we are afflicted with a very great scarcity of poetical contributions.

The second letter of Pacificus, from Port-Glasgow, is too long; besides, we have, in the opinion of many of our most judicious friends, said quite enough about the "steeple and bell" of that reputable town.

We really know not what answer to give to Mr Colin M'Kempoch of Gourock; for the truth is, we had never heard of that town before, and had no conception that "the port" had any such rival in splendour and taste. We hope and trust, that his letter is not a Greenock hoax; but we have had so many strange epistles from that place, some of them threatening to bring us into court, that we are very suspicious of every letter which bears the Greenock post-mark; and we beg leave to say to Mr M'Kempoch, (if there is such a person, which we very much doubt,) that it argues but little for the consequentiality of his town, that it has not a post-office of its own.

We have been exceedingly diverted by the waggish note from Mr Buchanan Bogle, of Glasgow. We did not think that there was so much humour in the whole city; for it is a current opinion, that the weak lime punch in use there, has a great effect in imbecilitating the understanding, and souring the milk of human kindness. We should feel ourselves indebted to Mr Bogle, if he would occasionally furnish us with a paper, in the same style, for the benefit of the public, and the particular amusement of our readers; but we entreat him to avoid all personalities.

The lady who writes from Pultney-street, Bath, must be sensible that she cannot expect our co-operation in a further diffusion of the subject to which she alludes. In the winter, when we were first visited with that gouty rheumatism, which has never since left our agonized limbs, (that is twenty-one years ago,) we have often, both at the upper and lower rooms, admired the Juno-form of Miss W. Alas! that she is still Miss W- ; but a sagacious dowager of that epoch, once remarked to us, that although Nature had designed Miss Wfor a duchess, vanity would make her an old maid.

As to General L, with his jokes and his jibes, if he has removed to Clifton, it is a movement of less consequence to the interests of the empire, than the one which occasioned the bad health that induced him to ask leave to re

turn home. But, as we have already said, we will not lend ourselves to any thing satirical; and it does not at all depend on us whether the Pringles may or may not visit Bath. They regulate their own motions; and, except a very slight knowledge of the doctor, which we accidentally acquired by speaking with him from Mr Blackwood's shop door, as he stood on M'Gregor's steps, the family are entire strangers to us.

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The dippers at Mr Murray's, and the politicians at Mr Ridgeway's, need be under no apprehension. It is true, as they suspected, that Mr Andrew Pringle has given a very queer account of them both; but we have resolved not to insert it; but, on account of the wit of the portraiture, we could not refrain from allowing a few confidential friends to participate in the amusement it afforded. Lest it might hurt the feelings of any worthy friends of ours, it has never been permitted to pass the threshold of our sanctuary—the backshop-nor shall it.

THE AYRSHIRE LEGATEES;

Or, The Correspondence of the Pringle Family.

No. VII.

WHILE Mr M'Gruel, regardless of his regular customers, was dancing the highland fling on Goatfield, with Miss Meg Gorbals of Glasgow, Mr Snodgrass was obliged to walk into Irvine, in order to get rid of a raging tooth, which had tormented him for more than a week. The operation was so delicately and cleverly performed by the surgeon, to whom he applied, one of those young medical gentleman, who, after having been educated for the army or navy, are obliged, in this weak piping time of peace, to glean what practice they can amid their native shades, that the amiable divine found himself in a condition to call on Miss Isabella Todd. Mr M'Gruel insinuates that another ache besides the toothache occasioned his visit; the relief of which, very much depends on what Doctor Pringle's determination may be with respect to the resignation of the parish of Garnock—at least of the stipend; for that excellent pastor has declared that no consideration of money will induce him to separate himself from his flock.

During this visit, Saunders Dickie, the postman, brought a London letter to the door, for Miss Isabella; and Mr Snodgrass having desired the servant to inquire if there were any for him, had the good fortune to get the following from Mr Andrew Pringle; a copy of which, Mr M'Gruel procured for us, when, on his return from Arran, he called on Mr S. at the Manse,

ANDREW PRINGLE, ESQ. TO THE REV. MR CHARLES SNODGRASS.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I NEVER receive a letter from you without experiencing a strong emotion of regret, that talents like yours should be wilfully consigned to the sequestered vegetation of a country pastor's life. But we have so often discussed this point, that I shall only offend your delicacy if I now revert to it more parti

cularly, I cannot, however, but remark, that although a private station may be the happiest, a public is the proper sphere of virtue and talent, so clear, superior, and decided as yours. I say this with the more confidence, as I have really, from your letter, obtained a better conception of the Queen's case, than from all that I have been

The literary luminaries who make their appearance at 50, Albemarle-street, are called Murray's dips, on account of their way of dipping into his new publications.

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