12 OCTOBER 1850, Page 19


exhibits very considerable ability in the qualities which Fete make- up a:poem, but the writer' does-net succeed in ueing the poem itself Iias Verse• is easy, sweet, and flowing ; imagery rich and appropriate; many passages have the-vital power which is called poetical s irit ; but the longer poems want subject, and that &sporition an •relatron, of parts which is called structure. This deficiency. may originate in a want of originality or independence of mind ; for although Mr. Cassels is not a coin- mon imitator, his verses continually recall the idea of some other writer,.especially. of Keats or Shelley. This„no doubt,, argues the absenemar that property of genius which by making, everything its own. that it looks upon_produeea congruity in its worker; but. the faults. of Mr_. Cassels in the choice and treatment of his sub, jeetsinvolve errors of a more tangible kind, which eouldhave been remidiaby judgment. There are three leading poems in the volume; Eidolon, Aloeseg, and:Pygmalion: Eitiolon; "or the Course of a Simi," is designed to trace the mental career of a poet, arid` in so doing to illustrate several iimichmter monirs,-.Las that aetion, not contemplation, is the endaf life ;.and..that diffierdtiel and. sorrows.are necessary to form the eharaeter; There- is- nothing strikingly new. in these-ge- neral ideas ; the manner-in which they are treated-is rather strange seal:II-mire]. than deriving.noxelty or force front & well-chosen em-

bodiment. i

The poem is allegorical without an. allegory. The poet or soul is placed in a desert island, where he is supposed, to be trained:, by oenversation with , a " spirit," us' well- as by observation, of the • nature around-him and: by reflection;: butin fact the greater part ii foregone conclusion—he tells to the spirit what he has known or: felt already: There are' descriptive, and reflective passages of great power and beauty in the- poem; but there is such an absence of human interestin a fiction which bete illustrate- human character, 1 and the fiction itself is so improbable and ill-constructed, that Eido- lands another. example of good. materials, marred by a bad design. Aleesta is-founded upon. the well-known story is which, m wife buried alive and awaking from her trance. returns to her husband; aniLis repulsed, by him. in an agony of ;supesistitiowi, term ; experiences alike rejection from her family ; and then takes- re- fuge with a former- lover, to whom tho-Pope adjudges: her when. thetquestion- is' raised: Whether- fain or fiction, the story should be l,eft, where it was found ; for it not pleasing inits images; and- imtCe.extteme. at itmkind to touch any general sympathy—indeed4. altogether unfitted for purposes of -art, although Mr. Leigh Hunt

didiselect it fen the subject of atragedy. Cassell seems to have added some minor features ; one of which is that the father sells

his Iiiughter-to a defbrmed` suitor, - to- cover losses at play ; another

is the appearance of the true lover as the procession. passes from church, which he stops and bullies ; a third is, that the wife is

supposed-to die on her wedding-day. We do. not think that any

genius 'could impart nature and interest to such an anomalous sub-• pet, an morethan to various similar tales that originated in a totally different state of manners, morals, and opinion. Neither.'

is the darker part of the tale well adapted: to the, powers of. Mr. j

Cassels, which- are best fitted to paint the beautiful. The opening

scene of Afreste is an example of his descriptive talent " There was a garden sloping to-the West,

Smooth'd downward from the giant Apennines, The serried outlines of whose hoary crest -Blent with the distant heavens in. mystic lines, Atcrentide with golden.splendours drest, When the red remits farewell greeting shines; A palace topp',d it, from whose terraced height Wound a broad stair of marble,.snowy, white.

" And paths went wandering-beneath the sweep Of orange bougheand trelliced vines, whose leaves.

Giire.in.their parting many elmnsient peep (If the blue sky, as through soft-tintaeaves; Aro:Loft they led toarbeure shaded deep.

As are the nooks the mid-way forest weaves,

And-carven forma of nymphs and dryads gleam'd

Through leafy screens, as though a poet dream'.d.

" A. fountain rippled in the midst, and threw

Coolness into the sky; thoseulptor's.thought,

A quaint coneeit—Aurora flinging dew

Upon the earth—the marble finely wrought,

Till through the Iris-tinted' drops it grew Warm with existence, all its fair limbs fraught With grace and motion—'twos a thing so human, The heart forgot the goddess in the woman.

Eidolon,., or the Course of a Soul, aild. other Poems., By Walter B. Cassels. Published by Pickering.


ia Beside the fame of SAS fair fountain stood I A, maiden. traaeid with its melting sound ; or For rillet murmurs are to pensive mood . , /isc- ',Sheet as the nun-drops to the thirsty grotmd. it

The tale gives: a picture of the corrupt state of morale at Cyprus ;.

points the struggles of a lofty but rugged nature,, such as Dye"

malion is described, to find something loveable among the beautier of 'the island.; his recurrence to his art when he fails ; and finally, his dissatisfaction with. the marble he has created, till it is endowed, with life. The piece is not. thmbest of. the three, for it has tine

dreamy vagueness., of Keats, and occasionally a. touch of ohildisbmr

ness such as belongs to • the affectedly simple school; but it has.paie- regalia merit,—as this description. f Cyprua and. the life led. there.

" Amid it riseth Olympus, Stately- and grand as the throne of the gads, Andthe Oland sleeps 'neath. its shadow

Like a fair babe 'Reath the care of its father.

Streams clear aethe diamond.

Evermore wander around it, Like the vein'.4 tide through our. members„ Quick. with the blessings of beauty,, And health and verdurous pleasure, Filling with yellow sheaves

And plenty the bosom.of Ceres;

Calling forth flowers from the slumbering earth, Like thoughts from the dream of.a poet,

Till the island throughout is a garden,,

The child and the plaything orsummer.

" In 1-luscious_ clusters the fruit hangs

In the sunshine, melting away.

From sweetuess to sweetness ;

The grapes- clustering 'mid. leaves,

That awe. their bright hue to the eye. Like the setting, of rubies ; The nectarines and the pomegranates Glowing, with crimson ripeness, And the orange trees with their blossoms Yielding sweet odour to every breeze, As the incense flows from the censer. " Weir is languid with pleasure and love, Lulling the sense to dreama Elysian, Maknig life seem a-glorious trance, Full of bright visions of heaven, Safe ftom the touch of-reality,

Toil none—wo none—pain,

Wild and illusive as sleep-revelations. Time to be poured' like wine from a ()hence Sparkling and jpyyous fbr ay, Dram% amid mirth and music, The brows circled with ivy,

And.the goblet at last like a gift

Thrust in the bosom of slumber.

"Thus are-the-people-of Cyprus; Young men and old making holyday, Decking- them daintily forth In robes of Sidonian purple; The maidens all beauteous, but wanton, Foolishly flinging youth's gifts, Its jewels—its nchast adornment, Like dross on the altar of pleasure ; Letting the worm of mortality Eat out their hearts till they bear Only the semblance of angels."

. There are minor poems of'varions degrees of merit, but hardly any of them complete or satisfying. That there is poetical power in Mr.. Cassels is not,to be doubted ; but it will require time„ Cul-

tivation,. and, the exercise of sound judgment, to. produces true


fir ' ' " ' The noonday sun -fti 'edifice sfileadour strowilf,"1‘ 141' I (‘I'l .vo■•

old say."

“Rie.. nit ;- died e fen-menthe efteetteede, in bringing child into the .7'w/ration. iotuidod upon the classical fietion, and some "aura world i.fOrwhich Emily amply provided; and Vrhen some years had elapsed, about the endurance of beauty, is intended to be grounded upomik., and her grief and regret had subsided, she married Charlie.- Miller." fdf'estiek, end' airetrided. to he toom • locked' Like .badtlesd t tigli who* tnanreorowatkoi.seee, itt'ene in- hisnitnith, iand.blewsout bib brains.' Whilst on liert2 expeessime rippling Ja lftitf wheliotlie,door wastroteiropen he . And weed ill ease what the KALI no Whiebeyer it. 'might. tie,,,,iit' Wentitittet that . was afihettng 'him so tie , •-•to--, nab mature*, sweett,,t theiodies should gam . . ,n -re hi xe Rimy i , ; , poll, true womanlike, gitqlhiti Hay' Dilleti wo! must be light , 11 , ..of 1 ' The-heart/a Itell-rapture-threogit the Rig. of pain: t Ii,i.417.-." prlil hibli. Seri& 'hied to cheer hiielircireled,onhim, gave him sweet , . ; .,..1,,cf She was,, maiden 4, whose rook wpm, ,, , ill I. ,, , ,i, Id I, imi trom Valle/MR they tool; their- leleeeruld he handed her into Mr. t., .rt ).:1 The spirit irro'd all ita Tairest ues,, , ,)„,, , .. ,,, . ,fit As ou tbe undimm'a suinmer ski- serene •"` "."... .1- '1 ' Phlhiltokfiieted at las futlierein-ltneedoorl and; on:being : cy 7 nev'aeext hbe:eigleiretitred with tender theem. . .l' ,,t Iedli.94