« AnteriorContinuar »
Since first in childhood ’midst the vines ye played,
And sent glad singing through the free blue sky!
Ye were but two !-and when that spirit passed,
Woe for the one, the last !
Woe, yet not long !-She lingered but to trace
Thine image from the image in her breast;
Once, once again to see that buried face
But smile upon her ere she went to rest!
Too sad a smile !—its living light was o'er,
It answered hers no more!
The Earth grew silent when thy voice leparted,
The Home too lonely whence thy step had fled;
What then was left for her, the faithful-hearted ?
Death, death, to still the yearping for the dead!
Softly she perished-be the flower deplored
Here, with the Lyre and Sword!
Have ye not met cre now-So let those trust,
That meet for moments but to part for years,
That weep, watch, pray, to hold back dust from dust,
That love where love is but a fount of tears!
Brother ! sweet Sister !-peace around ye dwell;
Lyre, Sword, and Flower, farewell!
Beautiful as this is, we can place a fit companion by its side in the lines which L. E. L. has written to illustrate the engraving of The Decision of the Flower,' from Goethe's Faustus. They are at once playful, and replete with tender sentiment.
... 'Tis a history
Handed from ages down; a nurse's tale.
There is a flower, a purple flower,
Sown by the wind, nursed by the shower,
O'er which Love has breathed a power and spell
The truth of whispering hope to tell.
Lightly the maiden's cheek has prest
The pillow of her dreaming rest,
Yet a crimson blush is over it spread
As her lover's lip had lighted its red.
Yes, sleep before her eyes has brought
The image of her waking thought,-
That one thought hidden from all the world.
Like the last sweet hue in the rose-bud curled.
The dew is yet on the grass and leaves,
The silver veil which the morning weaves,
To throw o'er the roses, those brides which the sun
Must woo and win ere the day be done.
She braided back her beautiful hair
O'er a brow like Italian marble fair.
She is gone to the fields where the corn uprears
Like an eastern army its golden spears.
The lark flew up as she passed along,
And poured from a cloud bis sunny song ;
And many bright insects were on wiog,
Or lay on the blossoms glistening;
And with scarlet poppies around like a bower,
Found the maiden her mystic flower.
Now, gentle flower, I pray thee tell
If my lover loves me, and loves me well;
So may the fall of the morning dew
Now I number the leaves for my lot,
He loves not, he loves me, he loves me not,
He loves me, yes, thou last leaf, yes,
I'll pluck thee not, for that last sweet guess!
" He loves me," "Yes," a dear voice sigbed :-
And her lover stands by Margaret's side.
Great though be the masculine names which adorn these pages, we are sure the proudest of them would be flattered by following in this train. Yet we are at a loss whom to station foremost. Stand forth, however, James Hogg, for thy verse is chivalrous, imaginative, and gallant.
INVOCATION TO THE QUEEN OF THE FAIRIES.
No Muse was ever invoked by me,
But a harp uncouth of olden key;
And with her have I ranged the border green,
The Grampians stern, and the starry sheen;
With my gray plaid fapping around the strings,
And my ragged coat with its waving wings.
But ay my heart beat quick and high,
When an air of heaven in passing by
Breathed on the mellow chords, and then
I knew it was no earthly strain ;
But a rapt note borne upon the wind
From some blest land of unbodied kind;
But whence it flew, or whether it came
From the sounding rock, or the solar beam,
Or the seraph choir, as passing away
O'er the bridge of the sky in the showery day,
When the cloudy curtain pervaded the east,
And the sun-beam kissed its watery breast;
In vain I looked to the cloud over head;
To the echoing mountain, dark and dread;
To the sun-fawn fleet, and aërial bow ;
I knew not whence were the strains till now.
They were from thee, thou radiant dame,
O'er Fancy's region that reign'st supreme !
Thou lovely thing of beauty so bright,
Of everlasting new delight;
Of foible, of freak, of gambol and glee ;
Of all that teases,
And all that pleases,
All that we fret at, yet love to see.
In petulance, pity, and passions refined,
Thou emblem extreme of the female mind!
Thou seest thyself, and smil'st to see
A shepherd kneel on his sward to thee;
But sure thou wilt come, with thy tuneful train,
To assist in his last and lingering strain.
O come from thy halls of the emerald bright,
Thy bowers of the green and the mellow light,
That shrink from the blaze of the summer noon,
And ope to the light of the modest moon;
I long to hail the enchanting mien
or my loved Muse, my Fairy Queen,
Her rokelay of green with its starry hue,
Its warp of the moonbeam and weft of the dew;
The smile where a thousand witcheries play,
And the eye that steals the soul away ;
The strains that tell they were never mundane,
And the bells of her palfrey's flowing mane;
Ere now have I heard their tinklings light,
And seen my Queen at the noon of the night
Pass by with her train in the still moonlight."
Then she, who raised old Edmund's lay
Above the strains of the olden day ;
And waked the bard of Avon's theme
To the visions of a midnight's dream;
And even the harp that rang abroad
O'er all the paradise of God,
And the sons of the morning with it drew,
By her was remodelled and strung anew.
Come thou to my bower deep in the dell,
Thou Queen of the land 'twixt heaven and hell,
That land of a thousand gilded domes,
The richest region that Fancy roams !
I have sought for thee in the blue harebell,
And deep in the foxglove's silken cell,
For I feared thou hadst drank of its potion deep,
And the breeze of this world bad rocked thee asleep.
Then into the wild rose I cast mine eye,
And trembled because the prickles were nigh,
And deemed the specks on the foliage green
Might be the blood of my Fairy Queen;
Then gazing, wondered if blood could be
In an immortal thing like thee!
I have opened the woodbine's velvet vest,
And sought in the lily's snowy breast;
At gloaming lain on the dewy lea
And looking to a twinkling star for thee,
That nightly mounted the orient sheen,
Streaming with purple and glowing with green,
And thought, as I eyed its changing sphere,
My Fairy Queen might sojourn there.
Then would I sigh and turn me around,
And lay my ear to the hollow ground,
To the little air-springs of central birth
That bring low murmurs out of the earth;
And there would I listen in breathless way,
Till I heard the worm creep through the clay,
And the mole deep grubbing in darkness drear,
That little blackamoor pioneer ;
Nought cheered me, on which the daylight shone,
For the children of darkness moved alone;
Yet neither in field nor on flowery heath,
In heaven above nor in earth beneath,
lo star nor moon nor midnight wind,
His elvish Queen could her Minstrel find.
But now have I found thee, thou vagrant thing,
Though where I neither may say nor sings
But it was in a home so passing fair
That an angel of light might have lingered there ;
It was in a palace never wet by the dew,
Where the sun never shone, and the wind never blew.
Where the ruddy cheek of youth ne'er lay,
And never was kissed by the breeze of day;
As sweet as the woodland airs of even,
And pure as the star of the western heaven :
As fair as the dawn of the sunny east,
And soft as the down of the solan's breast.
Yes, now have I found thee, and thee will I keep,
Though spirits yell on the midnight steep,
Though the earth should quake when nature is still,
And the thunders growl in the breast of the hill.
Though the moon should scowl through her pall of gray,
And the stars fling blood on the Milky Way ;
Since now I have found thee I'll hold thee fast
Till thou garnish my song ,-it is the last :
Then a maiden's gift that song shall be,
And I'll call it a Queen for the sake of thee.
As a contrast, we copy the honourable picture of domestic happiness and affection which Allan Cunningham has painted, with his pen dipped in all the colours of truth.
THE POET'S BRIDAL DAY SONG.
O! my love's like the steadfast sun,
Or streams that deepen as they run ;
Nor boary hairs, por forty years,
Nor moments between sigbs and tears,
Nor nights of thought, nor days of pain,
Nor dreams of glory dreamed in vain,-
Vor mirth, nor sweetest song which flows
To sober joys and soften woes,
Can make my heart or fancy flee
One moment, my sweet wife, from thee!
Even while I muse, I see thee sit !
In maiden bloom and matron with
Fair, gentle as when first I sued,
Ye seem, but of sedater mood;
Yet my heart leaps as fond for thee
As when, beneath Arbigland tree,
We stayed and wooed, and thought the moon
Set on the sea an hour too soon;
Or lingered 'mid the falling dew,
When looks were fond and words were few.
Though I see smiling at thy feet
Five sons and ae fair daughters sweet;
And time and care and birth-time woes
Have dimmed thine eye, and touched thy rose ;
To thee and thoughts of thee belong
All that charms me of tale or song ;
When words come dowu like dews unsought
With gleams of deep enthusiast thought,
And fancy in her heaven flies free-
They come, my love, they come from thee.
O, when more thought we gave of old
To silver than some give to gold;
'Twas sweet to sit and ponder o'er
What things should deck our humble bower!
'Twas sweet to pull, in hope, with thee
The golden fruit from Fortune's tree;
And sweeter still to choose and twine
A garland for these locks of thine-
A song-wreath which may grace my Jean,
While rivers flow and woods are green.
At times there come, as come there ought,
Grave moments of sedater thought,
When Fortune frowns, nor lends our night
One gleam of her inconstant light;
And bope, that decks the peasant's bower,
Shives like the rainbow through the shower;
O then I see, while seated nigh,
A mother's heart shine in thine eye;
And proud resolve and purpose meek,
Speak of thee more than words can speak;
I think the wedded wife of mine
The best of all that's not divine !
Poets can imagine what they please. How different from the foregoing is the following, signed Bion, but evidently by a hand of superior order !
FIDELITY.--(From the Spanish.)
One cve of beauty, when the sun
Was on the stream of Guadalquiver,
To gold converting, one by one,
The ripples of the mighty river ;
Beside me on the bank was seated
A Seville girl with auburn hair,
And eyes that might the world have cheated,
A wild, bright, wicked, diamond pair !
She stooped, and wrote upon the sand,
Just as the loving sun was going,
With such a soft, small, shining hand,
I could have sworn 'twas silver flowing.
Her words were three, and not one more,
What could Diana's miotto be?
The Syren wrote upon the shore-
· Death, not inconstancy!'
And then her two large languid eyes
So turped on mine, that, devil take me,
I set the air on fire with sighs,
And was the fool she chose to make me.
Saint Francis would have been deceived
With such an eye and such a hand :
But one week more, and I believed
As much the woman as the sand.
It is one of the charins of this little book, that every new subject changes its tone, and that we are amused by the transitions, from grave to gay-from serious to sportive. Thus Mr. Montgomery, in his Friends,' again recalls us to sober thoughts.
Friend after friend departs ;
Who hath not lost a friend?
There is no union here of hearts
That finds not here an end ;
Were this frail world our final rest,
Living or dying none were blest.
Beyond the flight of time,
Beyond the reign of death,
There surely is some blessed clime
Where life is not a breath;
Nor life's affections transient fire,
Whose sparks fly upwards and expire!
There is a world above
Where parting is unknown;
A long eternity of love
Formed for the good alone;
And faith beholds the dying here
Translated to that glorious sphere !
Thus star by star declines,
Till all are past away ;
As morning high and higher shines
To pure and perfect day :
Nor sink those stars in empty night,
But hide themselves in Heaveo's own light.
Mr. Bowles bas a very striking dramatic sketch on a historical passage, of which it is rather extraordinary that Shakspeare did not make any use in his Richard III.; we allude to the Aying of Elizabeth with her second son to the sanctuary, as related by Speed. But this is too long for quotaion, and we
THE SWALLOW AND THE RED-BREAST.
The swallows at the close of day,
When autumn shone with fainter ray,
Around the chimney circling fiew,
Ere yet they bade a long adieu
To climes where soon the winter drear
Shall close the unrejoicing year.
Now with swift wing they skim aloof,
Now settle on the crowded roof,