Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage

By Michael Thorpe | Go to book overview

18.

Unsigned review of Ambarvalia in the Literary Gazette

21 April 1849, lxv, 292-3

The Literary Gazette had already given The Bothie a hostile reception, complaining in its notice of 18 August 1849, of its ‘affectations, absurd terms, and ridiculous versifying’ (see No. 9).

Arcades Ambo1 and a queer couple. Clough goes it through sixty-four pages, and Burbidge finishes off the volume. To do our best office for the former, we quote some lines which may compare with the poetry of the period of gentlemen who wrote with ease two centuries agone.

[Quotes ‘Away, haunt thou not me’ and ‘My wind is turned to bitter north’ entire. ]

Who would expect from one that could write such passable verse as this, such trash as the annexed, entitled Natura Naturans?


Beside me, —in the car, —she sat,
She spake2 not, no, nor looked to me:
From her to me, from me to her,
What passed so subtly stealthily?
As rose to rose that by it blows
Its interchanged aroma flings;
Or wake to sound of one sweet note
The virtues of disparted strings.


Beside me, nought but this! —but this,
That influent as within me dwelt
Her life, mine too within her breast,
Her brain, her every limb she felt:
We sat: while o’er and in us, more
And more, a power unknown prevailed,

1 ‘Both Arcadians’ (Virgil, Eclogues VII, 4).

2 For spoke. [Critic’s note. ]


-85-

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