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The following are proofs of our author's skill in amalgamating modern names with heroic verse.

Wythe, Mason, Pendleton, with Henry join'd,
Rush, Rodney, Langdon, friends of human kind.'
Mackpherson, Cheeseman share the general's doom,
Meigs, Morgan, Dearborn, planning deeds to come.'
But paulo majora canamus.

High stalks, from surge to surge, a demon form,
That howls thro' heaven, and breathes a billowing storm,
His head is hung with clouds; his giant-hand
Flings a blue flame far flickering to the land;
His blood-stain'd limbs drip carnage as he strides,
And taint with gory grume the staggering tides;
Like two red suns his quivering eye-balls glare,
His mouth disgorges all the stores of war,

Pikes, muskets, mortars, guns and globes of fire,

And lighted bombs with fusing trails expire!' p. 159.

This is WAR:-a fit mate for him we find in the following book. On Mr. Joel Barlow's polite invitation,

then, curst goddess!'

She comes, the fiend !-her grinning jaws expand,
Her brazen eyes cast lightning o'er the strand,
Her wings, like thunder-clouds, the welkin sweep,
Brush the tall spires and shade the shuddering deep;
She gains the deck, displays her wonted store,
Her cords and scourges wet with prisoners' gore;
Gripes, pincers, thumb-screws spread beneath her feet,
Slow poisonous drugs, and loads of putrid meat;
Disease hangs drizzling from her slimy locks,

And hot contagion issues from her box!' p. 181.


This is CRUELTY!-Such examples of ludicrous horror at once disarm and defy criticism.

In his preface Mr. Barlow maintains, that in a general engagement, the shock of modern armies is beyond comparison more magnificent, more sonorous, more discolouring to the face of nature than the ancient could have been, and consequently more susceptible of pomp and variety of description. To shew our author to the utmost advantage, we had selected for quotation a naval engagement,' the like of which, we acknowledge, cannot be found in Greek or Roman song; but our limits are too narrow, by many square inches, to contain it. This we regret exceedingly, because it would not only have proved how much more magnificent, sonorous, and discolouring a modern battle is than an ancient one, but also how much greater a poet Joel Barlow is, than

Homer or Virgil. tled in a few lines,

The latter point, however, may be setand we must find room for them.

• From van to rear the roaring deluge runs,
The storm disgorging from a thousand
Each like a vast volcano, spouting wide


His hissing hell-dogs o'er the shuddering tide!' p. 234.
Till war, impatient of the lingering strife
That tires and slackens with the waste of life,
Opes with engulphing gape th' astonish'd wave,
And whelms the combat whole in one vast grave.
For now th' imprison'd powder caught the flames,
And into atoms whirl'd the monstrous frames
Of both th' entangled ships; the vortex wide
Roars like an Etna thro' the belching tide,
And blazing into heaven and bursting high,
Shells, carriages and guns obstruct the sky;
Cords, timbers, trunks of men the welkin sweep,
And fall on distant ships, or shower along the deep.'

pp. 235, 236. Throughout the seventh book, the American war is thus carried on with a vigour unparallelled in poetry: in every line, the author, like one of his heroes,

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At length the surrender of Cornwallis puts an end to the canto and the contest. Here we had the consolation to find the dishonour of our country celebrated in rhymes almost as miserable as we could wish.


The eighth book commences with a Hymn to Peace," four hundred and thirty lines long! As it needs no other recommendation to induce the reader to pass it over, we must call his attention to a few lines in which the favourite feature of Mr. Barlow's style is exhibited in manifold beauty:-the single nominative Presence' governs nine verbs, the last of which, in its turn, governs a triplet of accusatives.

Borne thro' the expanse with his creating voice
Thy presence bade the unfolding worlds rejoice,
Led forth the systems on their bright career,
Shaped all their curves and fashion'd every sphere,
Spaced out their suns, and round each radiant goal,
Orb over orb, compell'd their train to roll,
Bade heaven's own harmony their force combine,
Taught all their host symphonious strains to join,
Gave to seraphic harps their sounding LAYS,

Their JOYS to angels, and to men their PRAISE.'

These are succeeded by eight lines (parallel lines, we might call them,) seven of which begin with the emphatical preposition From.'

• From scenes of blood,-
From numerous friends,-

From blazing towns,

From houseless hordes,' &c. &c. &c.

This is downright carpentry in rhyme; words wrought by square and rule, and with meaning or without it wedged dovetailed and joined together like the timbers of a dwelling;

such journey-work of the mind, as may be done in verse by any hand, to any pattern or size, from an epigram to an


We must be very brief in noticing the two remaining books. The ninth furnishes a retrospect of things physical, moral and intellectual from the birth of the universe to the present state of the world:'-we may add, embracing more subjects than would supply materials for a hundred histories, a thousand epic poems, and a million philosophical treatises. The speech of Columbus on the rise and decay of civilization and arts in ancient states, includes many noble and affecting sentiments, occasionally expressed in language so much like genuine poetry as easily to be mistaken for it. At the close, Hesper extols the federal form of government to be first established in the United States, and afterwards adopted by all the world. Columbus, of course, is overjoyed at this, and not satisfied with hearing of these golden days desires to see them. Hesper acquiesces; and in the tenth book unfolds the apocalypse of human perfection, the millennium of philosophy. If the Christian scriptures are cunningly devised fables, the reveries of Joel Barlow may be true. The scene opens with amazing magnificence.

• So shone the earth, as if the sideral train,
Broad as full suns, had sail'd th' æthereal main,
When no distinguish'd orb could strike the sight,
But one clear blaze of all-surrounding light

O'erflow'd the vault of heaven.'- p. 315.

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Nor is this splendor the most extraordinary circumstance of this vision; the great globe itself' is flattened out, like a lump of dough under a rolling pin, that Columbus, at one glance, may descry all lands, all seas,' then known or since discovered, which


-Round the pair in bright expansion rise,

And earth, in one vast level, bounds the skies.' P. 316.

Truly it would have been more ingenious, and not a whit less marvellous or probable, to have given Columbus a pair of eyes that could see round the world; as we have heard of cockney-sportsmen, armed with guns of such excentric bore, that the shot from them would turn the corner

of a hen-roost, or being discharged from the north side of a hay-stack, would infallibly kill a sow and covey of sucking pigs sunning themselves on the south. Be this, however, as it may, we do not doubt that on such a scene, and in such a light, Columbus would behold all the strange things here recorded, and be as fully assured of their future realization as if he had dreamed of them in his own bed without any supernatural prompting. But these extatic glories so overwhelm our senses both of seeing and comprehending, that we gladly hurry over all the intervening metamorphoses of man to the consummation of his nature, when by his own reason and strength he shall be sufficiently wise, virtuous, and puissant to take the reins of the nether universe into his hands, and be his own providence. (See p. 327. &c.) Then shall assemble in Egypt, as being the midsite,'-' the monumental clime' of the world, a congress deputed from all nations, to establish universal peace and federalism. The delegated sires' are to meet in a magnificent temple, consecrated to the genius of the earth,' which man will naturally enough be disposed to worship, when he has no longer any thing either to hope or fear from heaven. Behold then the philosophical rites to be performed before this image, set up in the plain of Memphis, at which all people, and kindred, and nations, are to fall down!

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• South of the sacred mansion, first resort

The assembled sires, and pass the spacious court.

Here in his porch EARTH'S FIGURED GENIUS Stands,
Truth's mighty mirror poising in his hands;
Graved on the pedestal and chased in gold,
MAN'S noblest arts their symbol forms unfold,
His tillage and his trade; with all the store
Of wondrous fabrics and of useful lore:
Labors that fashion to his sovereign sway
Earth's total powers, her soil and air and sea;
Force them to yield their fruits at his known call,
And bear his mandates round the rolling ball.
Beneath his footstool all destructive things,
The mask of priesthood and the mace of kings,
Lie trampled in the dust; for here at last
Fraud, folly, error all their emblems cast.
Each envoy
here unloads his wearied hand
Of some old idol from his native land;

One flings a pagod on the mingled heap,

One lays a crescent, one A CROSS to sleep;

Swords, sceptres, mitres, crowns and globes and stars,
Codes of false fame and stimulants to wars

Sink in the settling mass; since guile began,

These are the agents of the woes of man.' pp. 339, 340.

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The congress then discuss the interests and define the boundaries of all nations, after which the poem concludes abruptly with a speech of Hesper, by way of epilogue. But we must not forget to tell our readers, that before the building of this Babel the whole earth' is again to be of one language.' We presume the many new and almost unutterable words, which startle us in every page of the Columbiad, are the first lispings of this simple, universal sound,' (p. 330.) which, like the hissing of geese, and the braying of asses, will be the language of the species all over the globe, and like the simple, universal sounds' of the aforementioned animals, will be adequate to convey every idea of which the two-legg'd unfeathered thing, called man, will then be capable. This (however lightly some people may be disposed to treat it,) will be as great an improvement in speech, as Mr. Barlow himself, in a note (p. 352), anticipates in the graphic art,' by which the whole train of impressions now made upon the mind by reading a long and well written treatise, may be conveyed by a few strokes of the pen, and be received at a glance of the eye!'-There is a word in the English tongue, not a very classical but a very comprehensive one, which, by a few strokes of the pen, communicates at one glance of the eye the whole train of impressions made on the mind by reading many a treatise as long and as well printed as the Columbiad. But since we dare not even name this word without an adequate authority, we will quote one example from a conversation piece, in the Vicar of Wakefield, where it is frequently used by Mr. Burchell. My dear creature,' replied our peeress, (Lady Blarney to Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs) I was ever an admirer of all Dr. Burdock's little pieces; for except what he does, and our dear Countess at Hanover square, there's nothing comes out but the most lowest stuff in nature; not a bit of high life 'FUDGE!" among them.'

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We certainly do not mean to express the entire merits of the poem before us by this ungracious monosyllable, which would be comprising an Iliad in a nutshell. On the contrary, we think the Columbiad one of the most extraordinary productions of the age; it is the work of an uncommon but very perverted mind. The same talents and information which have been exhausted in heaping together this mountain of all the miseries of bad verse, had they been directed by elegant taste, and ennobled by religious principle, might have raised a monument more durable than brass to the honour of the poet and his country. We have already mentioned one use which may be made of this production ;-that of supply

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