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tened and colder style of modern poetry, at tion, a spirit of excitement prevailed wherever the commencement of the nineteenth centu- the conflict had extended its influence, and ry, partook too much of the artificiality of accident (to speak humanly) confirmed its the preceding stage. A variety of poets, in sway. A morbid, hereditary temperament, the best sense of the term, had purified it acting on a personal defect, and co-operating greatly, and were rapidly reducing it to a with early mortifications; enhanced, too, by simple and natural form; but it was a form tasting the very bitterness of profligacy, and corrected and restrained by the recollections elevated by accession to rank; all these adof preceding ages. The spirit of Scott was ventitious circumstances combined at the mo. infusing a preparatory but irregular vigor, ment to create a poet adapted to the time and when Byron burst forth with a success pro- the exigency. The dark spirit of misan. portioned, not merely nor entirely to his own thropy, brooding over the troubled waters, energy, but to the wants of the human heart; made it pregnant with a new and fearful cre and hence the secret of his domination over ation, in which existing elements were enthe mind, abroad as well as at home; for larged to excesses. Restlessness became foreign nations, like ourselves, had been, with elevation of soul; hatred, magnificence; few exceptions, quiescent, and led by precedents.

vengeance, sublimity; and love, the sole representative of virtue. Passion was the atThe Greek muse, consonant with her Ori- mosphere of this state; a moral globe, that ental paternity, possessed an energy and knew but the torrid and the frozen zones.warmth unknown to her successors. Pindar Unlike the strong and various picture-forms and Sappho may be adduced as evidence of of Homer, and the lofty and varied picturethis but while they, like Homer, displayed thoughts of Shakspeare, the subjects of Byron the powers of the mind, and the passions and were single sculptures, peopling each its emotions of the body, which produced so desert, and fixing the gazer's eye on itself. strong an influence on their countrymen and The mouldings of the human frame were held followers, including the tragic poets, still the secondary, if not altogether disregarded, by softness and purity of taste congenial with the chisel of the poetical Michael Angelo; their climate and refinements, shed its Ionian the scalpel removed the outer layers to de. elegance over their compositions, and pre-velop the energy of muscular anatomy; and vented the full, stern, and muscular development of bardic energies. The colder taste of Rome followed its masters with a long interval of power, for which a more finished grace, a singular felicity, and a calmer majesty, were substituted. Barbaric wars and discoveries had gradually enlarged, for modern times, the sphere of national poetry the wild romances of Ariosto; the elegant imagery and happy tenderness of Tasso; the concentrating gloom of Dante; the varied graces of description and sentiment lavished by the pen of Camoens, the poet of beauty; and the religious loftiness of Milton, breathing of that inspiration which, high and We have dwelt upon this for two reasons. awful in itself, and corresponding to the sa- In the first place, because it has become the cred purposes that produced it, was, least of fashion to consider Byron as the mere meteor any, adapted to the expression of every-day of an hour, and his popularity factitious and life;-all fell confessedly short of our grow-accidental; while, in fact, on every youthful ing necessities. Shakspeare alone, from the mind his power is as great now as it was in ample stores of that wonderful mind, gave his and our day on our own; for he that illustration to feeling, and a voice to thought; gave feelings the shape and utterance they and he, with some fragments of Moliere, Boileau, and Pope, supplied the warm impulses and subtle definitions of genius and wit to the laboring bosom of mankind.

even beauty, in his hands, stood disrobed of all but her cestus. Circumstances create characters, but characters re-act upon circumstances. Whatever the fiercest passions might have wrought formerly was lost to the world of language beyond the dark hints of Dante. But in Byron they found at length their genuine poet. If the philosophy of life bears Homer's impress, and the philosophy of feeling is Shakspeare's, the philosophy of passion is unquestionably Byron's, in the might that gave shape to confusion, defined indistinctiveness, and portrayed the very void of the soul.

vainly yearned for before, must live with the language of those feelings, at least till, with Homer and Shakspeare, they are driven out by mightier spirits of their own class and But a long, fierce, and desolating war, that kind. Our second reason is more germane shook society to its centre, and uprooted to our immediate subject; since the view we long-fixed and eternal principles, as the Pelion have taken of the great poet will prepare and Ossa of its gigantic strife, induced and readers for the conclusion that, the greater left a sad change amidst the recent calm of part of his powers being created by foreign civilization. Diffused with that very civiliza- circumstances, Turkey and her children,

our

though the scene of many sketches, cannot | interest towards that country, and removed so be expected to supply the staple of a mind much of the indifference that previously essentially northern, whether Gothic or Teu-existed as to its political and social condition, tonic. that some account of one, and this the most

The prolongation of tones, and the swell and fall of the natural voice in the various moods of passion or excitement, invariably producing the first elements of music, its lengthened notes and varieties of cadence: the music, consequently, presents but a softer and regulated impression of the excitement which the words tended to express; and hence arises that wildness, remarked in every national melody, presumably derived from the earlier ages of existence.

But while we, then, warn the reader not influential portion of her literature, may not to expect that the bards of the land whence be unacceptable to readers at large. The our great poet drew his warmest inspirations little that has been known, in England at must necessarily possess similar powers of least, on this subject, has been so imperfect genius, or even a kindred turn of thought, in itself, and so blended with our notions of we freely admit that, to a certain degree, the other eastern states, as to leave any thing tones of inspiration must be the same. The rather than a distinct impression of Turkish intensity of atmospheric heat in tropical cli- attainments in poetry. mates, while it produces a lassitude of body Before proceeding to offer to our readers that communicates itself freely to the spirit, some slight specimens of the most distintill existence becomes a weight, and the mind guished amongst Turkish poets from the a mere interval; while it thus sublimates the volume before us, it may not be amiss to cast intellect into an abstraction, it also rarefies a previous glance at the early history of their similarly the material powers, and sublimes literature in this department. Amongst bar. sense into sentiment. Feelings, therefore, barous nations, the first and strongest emoare, from physical not less than moral causes, tions are rapidly reduced to song; and the divested of that robe which refinement spreads earliest poetry or national songs of the Tarover the lower and less noble outlines of the tar tribes were the relics of their earliest histohuman frame; and for which, in the inter- ry; nor in uncivilized life, where the passions course of more polished life, the caution of predominate, could it be otherwise. the Turk has substituted a thick veil of imperturbability, and the art of the Persian a more showy tissue of falsehood. When not led astray by imitation of the literary models of the latter nation, the tone of Turkish poetry is, as we have already stated, earnest and warm; but it is certainly deficient in that highest attribute of genius, the judgment that concentrates, while it checks, the efforts of imagination for its noblest aims. This deficiency is least apparent in the nations most open to foreign intercourse; for the light of The words and tones, therefore, being but intellect, like that of the system, is but an the expression of an actual feeling in the first intimate commixture of diversified and mul- instance, were necessarily united and indititudinous rays, and we may exemplify the visible in their origin, though afterwards case with two neighboring nations. The divorced; and thus we find, as among the early refinement of France procured for her Arabs, who of all nations have most caresoil and literature an early influx-of foreign fully cherished their early habits, that the intercourse, indeed, but it was the intercourse most prominent of their leaders were also of admiration the tribute of barbarism to re- their greatest poets, and that every burst of finement. A contrary effect attended the feeling was originally uttered in song. The isolation of Germany, delighted so long with trace of this practice remains in the literature her own nationality; and the result abroad of the Semitic stock, who have best preservwas apathy or depreciation. These were ed the patriarchal habits of their ancestors. the two extremes of the case of nations. The The Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian works alerror of excess rendered France severe even ternate verse with prose in more modern, to classical affectation; more Grecian than equally with ancient, times, and have thus Greece herself, and satisfied to lose a portion retained, as a refinement of taste and an exof her natural light rather than suffer the hibition of fancy, the form which, in a ruder detection of spots upon the surface. The period, was simply the utterance of feeling. absence of foreign intercourse has affected We are justified in referring on this subGermany reversely; the shades of her disc ject to the nations specified above, since, inwere protruded, as affording light of them-dependent of the reasons assigned, it is well selves, till common vision ached with the known that Turkish literature in general folcontrast, and her nationality became pecu- lows the same course; and that the compoliarity, irregular even to madness. sitions of both Arab and Persian, the latter The rising importance of Turkey to East- more especially, have served in a great deern Europe has excited so great a degree of gree as the models of the Turks.

In the ir.

regularity of their latter nomade existence, and doubtful notices of their existence are these last appear to have altogether lost even scattered through subsequent history; but it the traces of that poetry which was original- is not till the ninth century after Christ that ly so boasted in the deserts. Yet, from all we can gather now, they must have made a great progress in the art of poesy at that time, for the celebrated Songs of the Tatars, already referred to, appear to have been something more than the rudest and earliest of Arabic compositions that have reached our times, and in a greater degree connected and historical; probably, therefore, more like the romantic ballads of Spain and Germany; and further, in the days of Sultan Mahmoud of Ghazni, to have furnished a portion of the ground-work for the Persian poetical histo

rian.

we learn with any certainty of their condition and historical relations. It appears that they were then possessed of a literature, and that the commencement of this might be referred to a very remote period; that they used a native alphabet, or character, as well as that of their Chinese neighbors; and that history and poetry were carefully cultivated in their schools; the latter retaining the so-called Book of Oghuz, the earliest name of celebri ty in Tatar history, and whose reputed volume was a compendium of the wisdom of their ancestors, compiled in verse.

The letters and language of the Ouighours To the celebrity of the Shah-nameh, then, appear from the agreement of Eastern hisand the interest it excited beyond even the torians to have been the source of civilizabounds of its own proper empire, we may tion amongst the neighboring tribes from the attribute, in a great degree, the loss of the earliest ages; and though the oldest existing less finished Tatar efforts. Ferdousi's histo- relics of their literature can scarcely date beric poem, embracing necessarily so large a yond the 10th century, there seems no rea. portion of Tatar achievements, and preserv- son to doubt the existence of their annals at ing the fame of their Afrasiab from whom a period when even the Chinese and PerSeljouk boasted his descent, would not mere- sians were fain to borrow from them the traly supplant the native romances of those countries with their most learned and polished writers and courts, but also be the means of more widely extending any existing taste for the works of his great predecessors, contemporaries, and followers, in the Pehlivi and Persian languages. Such we know was actually the case; nor was this the only consequence of Persian fame; since the admiration thus awakened precluded all attempts at originality amongst the Tatar tribes, and the utmost of their subsequent efforts has been confined to imitation of their masters.

The Turkish literature springs originally from a double source, according to the best investigations. The Eastern or most antient was that of the Ouighours, the original and pure representatives of the Turks, and whose traces ascend and are lost in the re

motest antiquity. The western branch is far more modern, since it aspires only to the Seljoukian tribes, who, previously to the Ottoman irruption into Europe, inhabited the wastes of Turcomania, indifferently under the names of Kumani, Oghuzi, and Balbi or Valabi, which last may perhaps be traced in the Valabi dynasty of Guzerat.

ditions of their origin. The Jama-al-tuarikh, compiled about the commencement of the 14th century by Rasheed-Eddeen, contains all that remained of those annals at that period, but confused with a mass of other and foreign traditions. The Ouighours, however, were clearly the most enlightened of the subjects of Jenghiz Khan, since they were the secretaries of the conqueror, and taught the use of letters by his command to the Manchou Tatars on the north-eastern borders of the Great Wall of China, as we learn from the historians of the latter kingdom. Their creed, if we may rely on Persian writers, was derived from Tangout or Tibet. When Jagatai assumed the empire, he gave his name also to the literature of the Ouighours.

Although containing some words apparently of Chinese origin, these are so few, and so much altered from the original, that it is evident the Ouighour language and race had a widely different source from the Chinese. As still spoken in the vicinity of Cashgar, the strength and simplicity of this dialect bear reasonable evidence of its antiquity; but the relics of their literature that have descended The Ouighours, properly Scythians, ap- to us go back no farther than the 11th cenpear to have been the most early cultivated tury at the utmost, and the manuscript that of all the Tatar tribes of the East.* The preserves the single specimen of that period best account of their origin dates it nearly is itself but a transcript, and of the 15th. A before the Christian era. Slight short extract from this can not be unacceptable or misplaced, since it may not be generally known to our readers; and it is singular that the conversational or dramatic turn of the work itself assimilates it rather to Chi

3000 years

* We use largely, though with corrections, the admirable dissertation prefixed to David's Grammaire Turque.

From Eastern skies the gales of Spring exhale,

nese or Indian than Persian and Arabic | ready noticed, considerably later in history; composition. We would versify it thus :- though the preservation of the name of Ghuz or Oghuz as the lineal descendants of that renowned ancestor, and the extreme veneration for the volume that bears his name, would seem to claim for this race (and, joined with other causes, not improbably,) a derivation from the earliest times. We give one specimen from the Baron's volume in our translation.

And Eden's fairest paths our footsteps hail.
Earth spreads her carpet; through the Fishes
sign,

Before the Ram, the Sun's full glories shine;
Fresh, welcome foliage every trunk indues,
And brightening nature robes in loveliest
hues.

See, with the caravan from far Khitai
The verdure comes, the softest zephyrs play;
Flowers crowd the earth; the rose its charm
receives;

Camphire and Ayât decked once more with
leaves;

The freshened branches bursting buds beset,
The morning brings the breath of violet;
The wild-bird, dove, kalkak, and parrot,
spring

For prey; or build; or ply the sportive wing.
Shrieks the shrill crane; the gladdening par-

tridge flies

To the dark brows that shade Khan Ghazi's eyes;

The steed knows him who guides the rein at
will;

The sword knows him who teaches it to kill;
Dominion, him who founded first its throne:
And woman, him who made her first his own.

The language of the Kunen or Kumanen is generally considered derived partially from the Ouighours. The source might be comKumani branch are derived, though doubtmon to both; but by writers in general the fully, from the Chinese Tatars, as some extant wrecks of their own narratives also inform us; and some trace of Chinese words in their language would tend to confirm the allegation. We know little beyond this, and their union with the Ghuz about A. D. 1000 Of the Kirghiz, an ancient tribe, neigh- and subsequent dispersion, but that they posbors and rivals of the Ouighours in civiliza-sessed a class of poets or minstrels, from tion, and who are often confounded with whose works about three or four hundred them, two short poetical specimens have scattered lines were preserved and collected been given to the world by the Baron de Me- about the beginning of the fourteenth cenyendorff.

Oh! be his life prolonged to utmost age,
As Locman's days, the favored and the sage!

See yon tents, the rich man's place;
One sole daughter boasts his race:
Still at home each burning noon,
Wandering nightly with the moon,

Look on this snow;-more fair my bosom's
rise:

Yon lamb's blood vies not with my cheeks's rich dyes:

The fire-scathed tree stands blackening on the hill,

tury, by order of Sultan Walid.

Though the Seljoukian literature influenced the tribes as long as they remained in their native wastes,so soon as they entered upon that tide of war and conquest that brought them with such rapidity to the very heart of the falling Greek empire, the Turks émancipated themselves from the yoke of their earlier poetical teachers, and even in Asia Minor assumed a new tone. But this was merely an exchange of their models; and the rugged style of their ancestors was supplanted by an imitation of the Persian compositions that had so long excited their admiration. They even carried, as is not unusual, that admiration to the length of not The most celebrated period of the Jaga-their new masters. merely imitating, but exceeding the faults of As they afterwards cartaian literature, which includes che commen-ried into the graver style of history an affectaries of Timur, occurs however too late for tation of methodical, sometimes puerile arour view of Turkish poetry, as it dates about rangement, and a finical nicety of precithe period of the taking of Constantinople, sion, so in their earliest poetical efforts they and consequently after the separation of the

Yet mark my hair-its hue is blacker still: Let royal scribes toil ceaseless :-canst thou think

Mine eye-brows' lines not darker than their ink?

Turks from the Tatars.*

The second source to which we have referred, that of the Seljoukians, appears, as al

* A volume of Poetry, in the Cashan dialect, now lying before us, deserves favorable mention hereafter.

adopted a tone of spirituality and mysticism far beyond even the Persians themselves, and which, as the distinguishing characteristic of the Turkish poetry, was preserved, followed, and, if possible, enlarged upon by their

successors.

Unfortunately for the Turks, this taste for mysticism, which has so much and so de

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218

servedly contributed to keep their works and science is a religious duty for all true belie July, their authors from the general eye of read. vers." The encouragement given by Ma ers, and to confine them to the obscurity hommed II. to literature universally is the they appear to have sought, was developed best proof of the sense in which the precepts in Persia to its fullest extent, as concerns that of the Koran are construed by the Turks. country, about the middle of the 13th century, and just before the commencement of rature boasts of not much less than three It is a singular fact that the Ottoman lite. the Turkish empire. The Persian abstrac- thousand poets, and numbers amongst them tions, therefore, of Jelaleddin Roumi and his not only every class of men, from the hum. son found minds eager to admire and imi- blest upwards to the Sultans themselves, but tate the extravagance of their novel aberra- occasionally women also, and of no comtions. It was not confined, among the mon celebrity. The diffusion of knowledge, Turks, to a single channel. Ethic and di- therefore, was much more general amongst dactic, panegyrical, lyric, romantic, heroic, them than supposed; nor will this be sur and religious poetry, all followed the prevail-prising to such of our readers as have had ing mysticism, from which translation itself personal experience how often, in Eastern was not kept free. Jasid-ougli, Elwan, countries, the attainments of women, even Chelebi, Daji, Nesimi, Sheiki, Ahmedi, when indirectly acquired, have raised them Aashik-pasha, and Sudr-Eddin, all stamped to a par with the opposite sex. Some speciwith mystical allusion the character of their mens of this kind we trust to lay before the national poetry, and Elwan transferred it reader in the course of our labors, and now even to his Persian originals, in the very turn to the earliest period of Turkish com. first era of the Ottoman empire and litera-position.

ture.

He was

The vulgar opinion that the Mahomme- Mâli, is claimed by the Turks as the first of Mohammed Sudr Eddin, surnamed Abul dan religion is opposed to enlightenment and their poets, though his labors were not conintellectual cultivation, and which our author fined to their language alone, for he wrote confutes from the Koran itself, can only be in Arabic also, and was in Persian, the rival excusable in the utter ignorance of historical and opponent of Nazir-Eddin. facts. It could never need a refutation or a cotemporary with Jelaleddin Roumi and his notice with those who recollect the life and son Walid, and died about the year 1270. labors of its founder, or recall the ardent ad- He is not, however, according to Baron Von miration of the Arabs for the style of the Hammer, strictly considered as a Turkish Koren, and which they consider as a suffi- poet in general by his countrymen; but the cient proof of its celestial origin. But the mystic tone which he adopted from Persia, imputations that Arabia has so triumphantly and which he was undoubtedly the first to answered have been suffered to prevail impress upon the national mind, gives him, against the Turks, owing to the existing ig. we think, an unquestionable right to the place norance of their history, institutions, and assigned him. literature. To say nothing, however, of the such as the Seal of Perfection and the Key The names of his works, denunciations of the Koran, which are evi- of Mysteries, indicate the peculiarity of his dently directed against the elegant literature taste and genius; but, amidst all the confu of erring creeds alone, and which are suffi- sion of the style and thoughts, some passages ciently counteracted by the Prophet's own of great beauty, and even simplicity are found example and that of his followers, the Turks, in his works. in embracing the Mahommedan religion, as- fame of his successor. He is lost however, in the suredly lost nothing of their native fondness for the refinement of science and literature, derness of his writings (or, love,) deAashik, so named from the mystic ten. as the most careless reader of history must rives his epithet of Pasha also mystically, be aware. The permission by the Koran from the celebrity of his learning and piety; of all sciences to the Moslemans was freely a repayment at least in kind, and not unusual used in Nicomedia and Asia-Minor by the amongst his countrymen. Turkish proselytes; and Othman, himself Von Hammer, one of the richest sheiks of He was, says descended from the Ghuzi, and little likely his time, but lived, nevertheless, the life of a to disregard or impair the fame of his coun- simple dervise, from conscientious motives. trymen, the astronomer Ulug-Begh, gave, He was born at Hirshari in Australia, in with his kingdom, his dying injunction to his the reign of Sultan Orchan, the successor of son Orchan, to cultivate the arts and enjoy- Othman, and died at no very advanced age, ments of life; an injunction religiously fol- in the reign of Amurath I. His Divan, or lowed by his successors, and echoed by the great work, in imitation of Jelaleddin's, is a inscription of the conqueror in the library he collection of mystical poetry exceeding ten founded at Constantinople:-"The study of thousand distichs, and divided into ten books,

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