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In banquet-rooms of high-born thanes he loved
To welcome in his guests, and make them dine.
Then went the grace-cup round ; the cloth removed,
Toasts follow'd,-some too strong for gentler spirits



Rich as the colours of the rainbow shone
His eloquent discourse, whate'er the theme;
Whether he spoke of mighty statesmen gone,
Their names like bubbles, buoyant on Time's stream—
Glittering, though evanescent as a dream;

Or as his guests with old Falernian warm'd,

Flash'd with the goblet round wit's frequent beam : Sunny old man! his imagery charm'd

Ripe scholars, wise self-love his satire oft alarm'd.


Kenilworth Castle! history relates

Its pristine grandeur, and tradition tells
A tale of more than even romance creates,
Though fancy aids the work with magic spells,
Of pomp, that splendours of the East excels.
What deities salute the Virgin Queen * ?

Each sea-god who in coral cavern dwells!

Triton and Proteus strange, in vesture green

Diana with her nymphs-the gods of Greece are seen!

* See Laneham's Letter describing the magnificent pageants presented before Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle in 1575; also Gascoigne's Princely Pleasures.



And Glory, with her glittering wings extended,
Mantles at sunset these time-hallowed towers :
Here features beautiful with stern are blended;
Evergreen ivy arches rough imbowers,

And crumbling walls are crown'd with gay wild flowers

As if in mockery of their former state;
Luxuriantly green through frequent showers
Thickens the couch-grass near the castle-gate,
Where gaudy vassals stood their lord's approach to wait.


And are the ensigns of thy grandeur gone,
(“Thus unlamented pass the proud away!")
Proud Leicester-thou aspirant to the throne,
Homaging with thy chivalrous array
The Gloriana of our Spenser's lay?
Thou art immortalised, but not thy lot

To have the guerdon of Fame's purest ray

By genius pour'd around thy name by Scott;

The portrait is too true to life-'twere best to be forgot!


I would have ventured a few stanzas in praise of Warwick Castle, that rivals "the proud keep of Windsor, rising in the majesty of proportion, and girt with the double belt of its kindred and coeval towers," were I not aware that no description of mine could do it adequate justice. I have selected a stanza or two from an unpublished Poem,

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Lines on Warwick Castle," that has been much admired.

author is, I believe, a physician of eminence at Edinburgh.

"Discern ye not the mighty master's power
In yon devoted saint's uplifted eye ?*

That clouds the brow and bids already lower

O'er the first Charles + the shades of sorrow nigh?
That now on furrowed front of Rembrandt gleams;
Now breathes the rose of life and beauty there,

In the soft eye of Henrietta ‡ dreams,

And fills with fire the glance of Gondomar ? §

"Here, to Salvator's solemn pencil true,

Huge oaks swing rudely in the mountain blast;
Here grave Poussin on gloomy canvas threw

The lights that steal from clouds of tempest past.
And see from Canaletti's glassy wave,

Like eastern mosques, patrician Venice rise!
Or marble moles that rippling waters lave,

Where Claude's warm sunsets tinge Italian skies.


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"Hark! from the depths beneath the proud saloon
The water's moan comes fitful and subdued,
Where in mild glory yon triumphant moon

Smiles on the arch that nobly spans the flood.
And here have kings and hoary statesmen gazed,
When spring with garlands decked the vale below,
Or when the waning year had lightly razed

The banks where Avon's lingering fountains flow."

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What commentators and eulogists, English or German, can do justice to Shakspeare? And he was born at Stratford in this county; "Think of that, my masters," and on this day (April 23rd). Seven cities laid claim to Homer; Stratford claims Shakspeare, and no town or city in the world can dispute that claim.

Let us feast on his works to-day; and if they want any garnish, let it be the garnish of Mrs. Jameson's admirable "Characteristics of Women." How beautiful (perhaps a little too ornamented) is the chapter on "Juliet!" Mrs. Jameson has sprung a new mine; she has discovered unsuspected beauties in Shakspeare, inexhaustible as his foster-mother Nature.

In Drake's "Memorials of Shakspeare," there are some admirable delineations of the characters of the great poet by the most distinguished writers of the present day, - Schlegel, Göthe, Campbell, Coleridge. Perhaps the finest of the sketches, all of which are excellent in their way, is that taken from Blackwood's Magazine (p. 93). But no description of Shakspeare's genius by a writer of talent and taste can convey to the reader what the writer himself must feel. To attempt such a description is

Oh Shakspeare!

"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet."

"Each year brings forth its millions; but how long
The tide of generations shall roll on,

And not the whole combined and countless throng

Compose a mind like thine !-though all in one

Condensed their scattered rays, they would not form a sun."


This note may seem impertinent; but surely a Warwickshire man is privileged to be garrulous about his Shakspeare.

P. 223, 1. 1.

And Warwickshire of Somerville can boast.

"A greater than Somerville," Michael Drayton, was born at Hartshill in Warwickshire, 1563. See his Life in the Biographia Britannica, vol. iii. page 1744, folio edition. In the thirteenth song of his Poly-Olbion, Drayton gives us a lively description of a stag-hunt in the forest of Arden, in Warwickshire. The comprehensive largeness which this Ardene once extended (before ruine of her woods) makes the Author limit her with Severne and Trent."-Illustrations to the thirteenth song in the Poly-Olbion, folio edit. 1613, page 216.

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"Lux Haresulla tibi (Warwici villa tenebris
Ante tuas cunas obsita) prima fuit.

Arma, viros, veneres, Patriam modulamine dixti:

Te Patriæ resonant, arma, viri, veneres."

P. 223, 1. 8.

Yet Warton offered up, as was most meet,
Incense of praise to Dugdale in a sonnet sweet.


Deem not devoid of elegance the sage,
By fancy's genuine feelings unbeguiled,
Of painful pedantry the poring child,

Who turns of these proud domes the historic page,
Now sunk by time, and Henry's fiercer rage:
Think'st thou the warbling Muses never smiled
On his lone hours? Ingenuous views engage
His thoughts, on themes unclassic falsely styled
Intent, while cloister'd Piety displays

Her mouldering roll; the piercing eye surveys
New manners, and the pomp of early days,
Whence culls the pensive bard his pictured stores.
Nor rough nor barren are the winding ways
Of hoar antiquity, but strown with flowers.

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