19 MAY 1866, Page 19

Eastern Gleams. Metrical Essays and Poems on the Gospel History.

(Longmans.)—Romances and Minor Poems. By H. Glasaford Bell.

(Macmillan.)—We have here two volumes of pleasing verse, but scarcely of a character to interest any one out of the circle of the writers. We open the latter volume at random, and we hit upon a couple of lines that at once convince us that the anther is not destined for poetic immortality. They occur in a poem headed "Mary Queen of Scots," and form part of the description of the French Court,— " Next him the Guises, who so well fame's steepest heights assailed, And walked ambition's diamond ridge, whore bravest hearts have failed."

We were rather longer in doubt in the case of Eastern Gleams; with the help of Scriptural allusions and Scripture language prose may be dis- guised for a considerable time, especially when there is much genuine religious feeling, as in the present volume. But at length we came to the following stanza, and tho confusion of ideas at once settled the question in our mind, to say nothing of the difficulty of reading the last line:—

" See o'er the Past the venerable arch Of Titus rear its graven witness high, Serenely watching Time's triumphant march, While scornful Doubt impotent passeth by."