By Ticknor & Fields. 18mo.. The Wanderer and Clylemnestra. Boston :
THE author of these poems is Robert Bulwer Lytton, the son of the eminent novelist. Though still very young, he has reached the honor of being arrayed in Ticknor and Fields’s “blue and gold,” the paradisiacal condition of contemporary poets ; and his works occupy, in words, though not in matter, as much space as Tennyson’s. The volume includes all the poems which Lytton has published up to the present time. The general characteristics of his Muse are fluency, fancy, melody, and sensibility. The diligent reader will detect, throughout the volume, the traces of the author’s sympathy with other poets, especially Tennyson, and, amid all the opulence of expression and intensity of feeling, will be sensible of the lack of decided original genius and character. There is evidence of intellect and imagination, but they are at present tossed somewhat wildly about in a tumult of sensations and passions, and have not yet mastered their instruments. But the poems, as they are the product of a young man, so they possess all the attractions which allure young readers. It would not be surprising, if they obtained a popularity equal to those of Alexander Smith ; for they give even more musical utterance to the loves, hopes, exultations, regrets, and despairs of youth, and indicate the same hot blood. They are also characterized by similar vagueness of thought and vividness of fancy, in those passages where sensibility turns theorist and philosophizes on its gratified or baffled sensations,—while they generally evince wider culture, larger superficial experience of life, a more controlling sense of the beautiful, and an equal facility of selfabandonment to the passion of the moment.
Leaving out those poems winch are repetitions or imitations, a thin volume might be made containing some striking examples of original perception and original experience. Among these the charming little piece entitled “Madame La Marquise” would hold a prominent place. After making, however, all deductions from the pretensions of the volume, it may be said, that, the father, at the same age, did not indicate so much talent as the son.