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every muse, and became master of them all-sighing at length for some higher and holier source of poetical feeling, he turns to the east, and listens with rapture to its prophetic melodies--subdued by the strain, he lets fall the lyre, seizes the harp of Sion and of Erin, at once the emblem of piety and patriotism, and gives its boldest and most solemn chords to his own impassioned inspirations of country and of religion.”
Moore wrote, besides the Irish Melodies, a large number of songs, many of which are still the delight of the social circle. His prolific muse also produced, in 1816, a volume of Sacred Songs, of exquisite poetical beauty and high devotional feeling. The following are amongst the most favourable specimens of this portion of his works :
Were not the sinful Mary's tears
An offering worthy heaven,
When bringing every balmy sweet,
Her day of luxury stor'd,
The precious odours pour'd!
And wip'd them with that golden hair,
Where once the diamond shone;
Which shine for God alone
Were not those sweets, so humbly shed
That hair- those weeping eyes— And the sunk heart that inly bledHeaven's noblest sacrifice ?
Thon, that hast slept in error's sleep,
Oh! wouldst thou wake in heaven, Like Mary kneel, like Mary weep,
Love much-and be forgiven !
VIRTUE TRUE HAPPINESS.
The bird let loose in eastern skies,
When hast'ning fondly home,
Where idle warblers roam.
Above all low delay,
Nor shadow dims her way
So grant me, God, from every care
And stain of passion free,
To hold my course to thee !
My soul as home she springs; Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
Thy freedom in her wings !
GOD—THE SOURCE OF CONSOLATION.
How dark this world would be,
We could not fly to Thee!
When winter comes, are flown;
Must weep those tears alone.
But Thou wilt heal that broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Breathes sweetness out of woe.
When joy no longer soothes or cheers,
And even the hope that threw
Is dimm'd and vanish'd too-
Did not Thy wing of love
Our peace-branch from above?
With more than rapturous ray;
We never saw by day.
ISRAEL'S SONG OF TRIUMPH.
Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea !
His chariots, his horsemen, all splendid and brave. How vain was their boast! for the Lord had but spoken,
And chariots and horsemen are sunk in the wave. Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea ! Jehovah has triumph’d_his people are free.
Praise to the Conqueror, praise to the Lord !
Of those she sent forth in the hour of her pride ? For the Lord hath looked out from his pillar of glory,
And all her brave thousands are dash'd in the tide. Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea ! Jehovah has triumph'd-his people are free.
EVENINGS IN GREECE.
Moore's volume bearing the above-mentioned title is a deservedly popular production. The scene is laid in the Island of Zea. A poetical narrative forms a link for many beautiful melodies. Some of these, such as “The sky is bright,” and “The Balaika,” are well known in the world of song. The lines on Memory, and the hymn to Mary, Star of the Sea, are exquisitely poetical.
Thou paintest joy gone by ;
But mournfully shine and die.
That former days recall,
Thy tears efface them alī.
Thou paintest grief that's past;
But those of sorrow last.
Dárk pictures of past ill,
But makes them darker still.
MARY, STAR OF THE SEA.
O'er ocean's sunny sleep,
Their home beyond the deep;
The shores with gladness smile,
And lutes, their echoes blending,
Are heard from isle to isle;
Now ocean toils no more,
Where all was strife before.
Its short tempestuous day,
Shine all its storms away.
we pray, to thee !
LALLA ROOKH. In 1817 Moore published “ Lalla Rookh.” This beautiful poem was warmly welcomed by the literary world, and has lived down Hazlitt's cynical remark that, “Moore ought not to have written it even for three thousand guineas.” There may, perhaps, be too much ornament in this poem, but a greater critic than Hazlitt (the late Lord Jeffrey) thus writes of Lalla Rookh, in the Edinburgh Review of November, 1817 :
“ There is a great deal of our recent poetry derived from the east, but this is the finest orientalism we have had yet. The Land of the Sun has never shone out so brightly on the children of the north, nor the sweets of Asia been poured forth, nor her gorgeousness displayed so profusely to the delighted senses of Europe. The beauteous forms, the dazzling splendour, the breathing odours of the East seem at last to have found a kindred poet in the Groen Isle of the West.