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long to his genius, he has not drawn his pen till his fairy jaunt has placed him in the heart of Bucharia. Here he has taken his stand, and opening his treasures of information, has collected all names of musical or portentous sound, all legends of amatory lore, until he has filled his exhausted magazines with new ammunition; and here the bard has begun his mysterious lay of all pervading passion, till the very groves have seemed to feel the impulse, and to ring with rapture, and nothing has been left unsensualized through all the creation around him, whether men or women, or birds, or bees, or butterflies, or trees, or winds, or waterfalls. Now really, we think that to all this the phrase of "too delicious," which are the terms in which the valley of Cashmere is described, may be properly applied. We are so cloyed before we come to the end of Mr. Moore's quarto volume, with these stimulating sweets, as to be ready almost to wish ourselves in a garden of leeks and onions to relieve our senses, that we may not
"Die of a rose in aromatic pain."
Though beautiful forms and female graces, though delicious scenery, flowers of all hues, and fruits of all flavour, may well deserve to captivate a poet's imagination, and exercise his descriptive powers, yet surely it may be questioned, whether these agreeable topics will bear to be made almost the constant theme of so many pages; and whether a sickliness is not felt to come over the mind, and a weariness almost bordering upon disgust, when beauty itself has constant possession of our fancy, for ever compelling admiration, for ever dancing in vision before us, and intercepting the view of all other objects. Contemplating things through Mr. Moore's poetry is like looking through a prismatic spectrum, which exhibits nature in the colours of the rainbow. Who does not grow tired, after a time, of the deceptious glare, and long to see things as they are, however homely they may be. Besides all which, we must ever think that real poetry, such as a great deal of what is produced by Mr. Moore has a title to be called, has claims to a nobler use and destination than to the endless whimperings of these turbaned lovers and their silly sultanas. We have but little hope, however, of ever bringing Mr. Moore over to our sentiments, because, besides the dominancy of his depraved habits of writing, we doubt whether he does not annex in idea something of sacredness to these images and descriptions on which his pen has so long been employed; for we observe a strange, mystical, we had almost said fanatical, use of the word holy," in conjunction with what we should have thought to have been composed of very carnal and common materials. The breezes are holy; the flowers are holy; the lakes are holy; the moon
is holy, as giving light to lovers; Cashmere with its feast of roses is holy; the music of the haram is holy; and, as we have observed before, the eyes of the ladies have "holy revealings." We are not sorry that, as the poet has chosen to make so cheap a use of this epithet, he has not applied it to any subject of the Bible when it has seemed proper to him to allude to it. To the story of the patriarch Joseph, and his chaste repulse of the wife of Potiphar, he seems to annex nothing very holy. He whom he calls the Hebrew boy, was nevertheless the peculiar care of Jehovah himself; and if this circumstance had impressed that awe upon the mind of the poet which true "holiness" ought to impart, he would scarcely have imaged him on the walls of a polluted haram as "turning to gaze," and,
Wishing that heaven and she could both be won."
When we reviewed this gentleman's late publication of "A Series of Sacred Songs," we intimated our fears that his new subject had taken but an imperfect hold of his heart; that he was Wishing that heaven and sin could both be won;" and our fears have been but too well confirmed by his return to what perhaps he may choose to call his holy themes-to feasts of roses in the holy vale of Cashmere, the holy revealings of female eyes, and the holy music of the haram. This relapse of his muse we most sincerely regret, and could have wished him to have once more plunged her into the river Jordan, if haply thus these feverish fancies might.thereby have been cooled, and the stains of her leprosy have been washed away.
It has occurred to us to make these few observations on a style of poetry which, after the example of two or three men of genius, is usurping the place of all that is useful, natural, simple, and sublime. But we are most afraid of its moral and political effects. The time is arrived in which, such is the freedom with which opinions may be promulgated, doctrines derided, morality ridiculed, and authority defied,-in which the power of the press acts so widely and so efficaciously,-that the quality of our popular literature is become of an importance as great-as life, and property, and home, and protection, are precious. If we look at the world as it is, and has been, we dare not, without giving the lie to all history and observation, deny that a nation demoralized is never free, that lust and cruelty dwell constantly together, that a voluptuous homage paid to woman's charms argues no respect for her character or her comforts; and that, in proportion as man is sensualized, woman is degraded. It is melancholy to observe how foolish misses, and their more foolish mammas, overlook a truth so important to themselves,
and with what avidity they devour these hyperbolical compliments of our amatory poets to the damask roses of their cheeks, the dark blue lustre of their eyes, and their thousand other charms, while they forget that in countries where these things are most celebrated in song, women are merchandize, and men are their proprietors, the reward of beauty is imprisonment for life, and those eyes, and cheeks, and thousand other charms, are the fading property of capricious lust. But it is now time to look into these poems with a little more particularity, though we shall claim to be excused from any thing like detailed criticism on a work which founds itself on the fictions of Oriental extravagance, and proceeds without moral, or purpose, or plan, through two or three wild love-stories, in a tissue of flowery language, amorous description, and rambling vehemence. We may remark also by the way, that the Oriental learning collected in the notes has the rawness of recent acquisition-the bloom of yesterday's gathering. Mr. Moore seems to be as yet only a novice in the holy college of Cashmere.
The main story thus begins:
"In the eleventh year of the reign of Aurungzebe, Abdalla, King of the Lesser Bucharia, a lineal descendant from the Great Zingis, having abdicated the throne in favour of his son, set out on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Prophet; and, passing into India through the delightful valley of Cashmere, rested for a short time at Delhi on his way. He was entertained by Aurungzebe in a style of magnificent hospitality, worthy alike of the visitor and the host, and was afterwards escorted with the same splendour to Surat, where he embarked for Arabia. During the stay of the Royal Pilgrim at Delhi, a marriage was agreed upon between the Prince, his son, and the youngest daughter of the Emperor, Lalla Rookh ;-a Princess described by the poets of her time, as more beautiful than Leila, Shirine, Dewildé, or any of those heroines whose names and loves embellish the songs of Persia and Hindostan. It was intended that the nuptials should be celebrated at Cashmere; where the young King, as soon as the cares of empire would permit, was to meet, for the first time, his lovely bride, and after a few months' repose in that enchanting valley, conduct her over the snowy hill into Bucharia." (P. 1, 2.)
The departure of Lalla Rookh, from Delhi, is next described, in which a very copious account is given us of the splendour of the cavalcade by which she is accompanied, but which we must leave to the reader's imagination; neither need we consume any time in detailing the delights of her journey, which was through a succession of beautiful and romantic scenes, save that it is important to point the reader's attention to Feramorz, a young poet of Cashmere, celebrated for his recital of the stories of the East, whom his Royal Master had permitted to accompany the Princess on her journey, to beguile its tediousness by the exercise of his
agreeable talents. The four stories which compose the volume, viz. the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, Paradise and the Peri, the Fire-worshippers, and the Light of the Haram, are related by the young Feramorz to the Princess of Delhi, in the course of her journey to Cashmere; and in the sequel the poet, who is described to be as beautiful as Crishna, the Indian Apollo, obtains entire possession of the heart of the Princess. As the Princess becomes more sensible of the progress of this dangerous attachment, her natural cheerfulness deserts her, and she sinks under a depression which alters her looks, and injures her health. The journey, however, is accomplished, and with a heavy heart she prepares to meet her future Lord, the young King of Bucharia. Seated on a magnificent throne, the Monarch awaits the coming of his bride. With trembling feet, and revolting affections, she scarcely ascends the marble steps, which conduct to the great saloon; the Prince descends, and who should this Prince be but Feramorz himself, at once the graceful minstrel of Cashmere, and the magnificent Sovereign of Bucharia. The happiness of the Royal Pair was complete, and the Princess, "to the day of her death, in memory of their delightful journey through the vale of Cashmere, never called her King by any other name than Feramorz." We had nearly forgotten to mention that our poet has diversified his narrative, which of itself cannot be said to be very sprightly or interesting, by the introduction of a character, which, it is probable, may not have been uncommon at the Courts of these indolent and voluptuous Monarchs. This was Fadladeen, the Grand Chamberlain, who attended the Princess on her journey, to adjust the ceremonials, and to superintend all the arrangements which were necessary to be attended to on this important occasion. This person is represented as a bigoted Mussulman, whose whole religion consisted in a punctilious observance of the minutest forms and ceremonies, and as a pretender to profound criticism, being the depositary at once of his master's conscience and his taste. By this man, whom the author intends we should perceive to be very shallow, vain, and envious, certain criticisms are pronounced at the conclusion of every story recited by the young poet, which, we cannot help suspecting, are meant in anticipation of the dull, vapid, unfeeling dogmas we Reviewers were likely to pronounce in the examination of this sublime production. Notwithstanding this ingenious anticipatory defence, we are constrained by the truth to confess, that we do adopt many of the strictures of the Great Chamberlain, as having sense and reason on their side.
The first of these stories, told by the graceful poet of Cashmere to the enamoured Princess, is, "the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan,” the outline of which is as follows:
Mokanna, the Prophet-King of Khorassan, a region of eastern Persia, had his royal throne and residence at Merou, the capital city of his empire, to which throne he had been raised by the blind belief of his followers, whom, by his arts and impostures, he had persuaded to worship him as one sent from heaven with a divine commission, to bring devout believers to Paradise. A silver veil concealed the Prophet's aspect from the view of mortals, in mercy, as it would seem, to save them from the splendours of that brow which no mortal could support. Determined to give "freedom to the world," the Prophet, on a certain day, received into his awful presence the various chieftains who had come to support his claims to universal conquest, and to hear his assurances of the immortality of blessedness, which he was to procure for them -in return. Of this number was young Azim, a new proselyte, and the hero of the tale, who offered himself and his irresistible sword before the throne of the impostor. In the midst of this pageant we have a hint given us of the Prophet's real character, by an allusion to the curtained galleries of the Haram, seen between the lofty pillars of porphyry, which surround the hall of audience. Among the fair prisoners in this impure sojourn was the beauteous Zelica, who had formerly loved the accomplished Azim, when in the groves of Bokhara they passed their first years of innocence together, in mutual love and delight. The youthful lover had left this happy repose to join the standard of Persia, whose troops were marching against Byzantium. The solitary maid, whom one cannot but accuse of a good deal of impatience, during the absence of Azim, which promised only to be temporary, threw herself into the Haram of the Prophet-King, and surrendered her innocence to him, upon terms of his translating her to Heaven, and there making her the everlasting bride of her beloved Azim. If there was any thing a little hard of digestion in all this, the author has with great skill removed the difficulty, by making the heroine a little crazed through grief at losing her lover; yet not so but that her senses might be easily restored, whenever they were wanted to carry on the story, and might come and go in a very poetical sort of alternation. A terrible account is given us of an oath, which this fair nymph is made to take in a charnel-house, never to leave the side of the Prophet; and from this moment her case becomes irreparable and thus the poet represents it:
"From that dead hour, entirely, wildly given