Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

came

sworn

Her song had raised the spirit of her race Had wedded with the Summer, when a Upon her eloquent brow. She had just

steed told

Stood at Lord Herbert's gate,--and IsaOf the young Roland's deeds, how he

belle had stood

Had wept farewell to Roland, and had Against a host and conquer'd ; when there

given

Her blue scarf for his colours. He was A pilgrim to the hall-and never yet

gone Had stranger asked for shelter and in vain ! To raise his vassals, for Lord Herbert's The board was spread, the Rhenish flask

towers was drain'd;

Were menaced with a siege ; and he had Again they gather'd round the hearth, again

By Isabelle's white hand that he would The maiden raised her song ; and at its

claim close, -

Its beauty only as a conqueror's prize. "I would give worlds, she said, to see Autumn was on the woods, when the blue this chief,

Rhine This gallant Roland ! I could deem him all Grew red with blood :-_Lord Herbert's A man must honour and a woman love!'

banner flies, · Lady, I pray thee not recall those words, And gallant is the bearing of his ranks. For I am Roland !' From his face he But where is he who said that he would threw

ride The hood and pilgrim's cloak, -and a At his right hand to battle ? ---Roland ? young knight

where Knelt before Isabelle !'

Oh! where is Roland ? They loved ;-they were beloved. Oh,

Isabelle has watched happiness !

Day after day, night after night, in vain, I have said all that can be said of bliss, Till she has wept in hopelessness, and In saying that they loved. The young thought heart has

Upon old historics, and said with them, Such store of wealth in its own fresh wild There is no faith in man's fidelity ! pulse ;

Isabelle stood upon her lonely tower ; And it is Love that works the mine, and And as the evening-star rose up, she saw brings

An armed train bearing her father's banIts treasure to the light. I did love once, Loved as youth-woman-Genius loves ; In triumph to the castle. Down she flew though now

To greet the victors :--they had reached My heart is chilld and seard, and taught

the hall to wear

Before herself. What saw the maiden That falsest of false thingsa mask of

there? smiles ;

A bier !-her father laid upon the bier ! Yet every pulse throbs at the memory Roland was kneeling by the side, his face Of that which has been! Love is like the Bowed on his hands and hid ;- but Isaglass,

belle That throws its own rich colour over all, Knew the dark curling hair and stately And makes all beautiful. The morning

form, looks

And threw her on his breast. He shrank Its very loveliest, when the fresh air

away Has tinged the cheek we love with its glad As she were death, or sickness, or despair. red;

• Isabelle ! it was I who slew thy father !' And the hot noon flits by most rapidly, She fell almost a corpse upon the body. When dearest eyes gaze with us on the It was too true! With all a lover's speed, page

Roland had sought the thickest of the fight; Bearing the poet's words of love : and then He gain'd the field just as the crush beThe twilight walk, when the link'd arms

gan; can feel

Unwitting of his colours, he had slain The beating of the heart ; upon the air The father of his worshipp'd Isabelle ! There is a music never heard but once, A light the eyes can never see again ; They met once more :--and Isabelle was Each star has its own prophecy of hope,

changed And every song and tale that breathe of As much as if a lapse of years had past : love

She was so thin, so pale, and her dim eye Seem echocs of the heart.

Had wept away its luxury of blue.

She had cut off her sunny hair, and wore And time past by

A robe of black, with a white crucifix : As time will ever pass, when love has lent It told her destiny-her youth was vowed His rainbow plumes to aid his flight--and To Heaven. And in the convent of the Spring

isle,

ner

[ocr errors]

less :

That day she was to enter, Roland stood The rack, the chain, the axe, the wheel,
Like marble, cold, and pale, and motion. And, worst of all, his own red steel.
The heavy sweat upon his brow was all I saw him once before ; he rode
His sign of life. At length he snatch'd the Upon a coal-black steed,
scarf

And tens of thousands throng'd the road
That Isabelle had tied around his neck, And bade their warrior speed.
And gave it her, -and pray'd that she His helm, his breastplate, were of gold,
would wave

And graved with many dint that told Its white folds from the lattice of her cell Of many a soldier's deed ; At each pale rising of the evening-star, The sun shone on his sparkling mail, That he might know she lived. They part. And danced his snow-plume on the gale.

ed. - Never Those lovers met again ! But Roland built But now he stood chained and alone, A tower beside the Rhine, and there he The headsman by his side, dwelt,

The plume, the helm, the charger gone ; And every evening saw the white scarf The sword, which had defied waved,

The mightiest, lay broken near ;
And heard the vesper-hymn of Isabelle And yet no sign or sound of fear
Float in deep sweetness o'er the silent river. Came from that lip of pride ;
One evening, and he did not see the scarf, And never king or conqueror's brow
He watch'd and watch'd in vain ; at length Wore higher look than his did now.

his hope Grew desperate, and he pray'd his Isa He bent beneath the headsman's stroke belle

With an uncover'd eye ; Might have forgotten him :--but midnight A wild shout from the numbers broke came,

Who throng'd to see him die.
And with it came the convent's heavy bell, It was a people's loud acclaim,
Tolling for a departed soul ; and then The voice of anger and of shame,
He knew that ISABELLE was dead ! Next A nation's funeral cry,
day

Rome's wail above her only son,
They laid her in her grave;—and the moon Her patriot and her latest one."
Upon a mourner weeping there :--that So far for Miss Landon. We trust
tomb

that she will continue sedulously to Was Roland's death-bed !”

cultivate her powers, and that in due

course of time we may be favoured by We also insert the

another effusion of her muse, when

her mind is more matured by expeBALLAD OF CRESENTIUS.

rience, and expanded by additional “ I look'd upon his brow,-no sign

stores of knowledge. It is but a poor Of guilt or fear was there, He stood as proud by that death-shrine

compliment that we pay her, when we As even o'er Despair

tell her that she is the cleverest girl in He had a power ; in his eye

print. It will be in her own power to There was a quenchless energy,

arrive at more positive distinction. A spirit that could dare

We hope that all the bon-bons which The deadliest form that Death could take, have been distributed to her with unAnd dare it for the daring's sake.

wonted liberality by the stern censors

of books, will not spoil her; and that He stood, the fetters on his hand, we shall have to greet her as cordially He raised them haughtily ;

at her next appearance as we do now; And had that grasp been on the brand, It could not wave on high

and, of course, Miss L., under a differWith freer pride than it waved now.

ent name. Is not that a good wish to Around he looked with changeless brow

end with ? On many a torture nigh:

rose

[blocks in formation]

HORÆ GERMANICÆ.

No. XVII.

SCHILLER'S FIESKO. Among Schiller's plays, perhaps be played with energy and skill, other there is not any one that has more wise the effect would be lost; and “ capabilities” of being rendered ef where an author finds it difficult fective and interesting in another lan- enough to obtain adequate representaguage, than the “ Conspiracy of Fi. tives even for one hero, and one heroesko.' From beginning to end it ex ine-this obstacle is indeed almost in hibits a bustle and variety of incident surmountable. and situation, with a passionate liveli For the same reason (that is, beness of dialogue, and strength in the cause the characters are so numerous,) delineation of character, which are we shall not insist on analysing the truly admirable. But it has been less complicated underplots, but set down noticed than the others, because, with only such notices as will render a few much energy, it combines many faults, extracts intelligible. The less need and because the catastrophe (especial- be said, because bad translations (in ly the accidental death of the heroine, prose) of the“Fiesko” have been alreaby the hand of her husband) seems dy published, and the story (if nothing exactly calculated to provoke the cen more) can be judged of by them. sures of minor critics. Nothing, how Fiesko, Count of Levagna, who, at ever, could be more easy than to an early age, has obtained the highest change the concluding scenes if requi- distinction as a soldier, and has marsite;

nor would there be any difficulty ried a lady of very noble birth, enterin modifying the dialogues regarding tains a mortal hatred towards the the intended fate of Bertha, (part of house of Doria, the then reigning the underplot,) in such manner that Dukes of Genua, not, indeed, against they would not prove offensive to the the old Duke Andreas, but against his over-fastidious delicacy of an English nephew, the Crown-Prince Giannet. reader or auditor, who cannot forgive tino, whose enormous wickedness renin Schiller, that boldness which he ders the supreme power vested in his approves, even in his own minor au family highly dangerous and oppresthors, provided time has given them a sive. Fieskó has already, at the comsanction.

mencement of the play, laid plans for As to the “ Fiesko” being written, a revolution, and in order to conceal like the “ Robbers,” in prose, this ob- those plans more effectually, he leads jection has been obviated already by a life of seeming careless festivity, and Dr Reinbeck, whose edition of the even abandoned libertinism. Above play (in very good blank verse) we all, he pretends to have fallen veheshall have recourse to at this time. In- mently in love with the Princess Julia, deed, there can be no good reason why the sister of Giannettino, a woman of the “ Robbers” should not be treated great beauty, but of unbounded vanity, in like manner.

The fashion of wri- and almost fiendish wickedness.-[in ting tragedies in prose has long since this respect, her character, as Schiller, gone by in Germany as well as here; in one of his letters, confesses, rather and there can be little doubt, that a oversteps the immodesty of narefacimento of the “Robbers," (for, ture.")--Consequently, he neglects in a country where Shakespeare is re the society of his amiable wife, to modelled, so must Schiller be,) would whoin he has not imparted his plans, obtain great applause, if properly con their success depending wholly on his densed, and wrought down to that le- being able to keep up this assumed vel, which is suited to the powers of part, to which the distress suffered by English actors, and the so called re his Countess obviously contributes. fined taste of English audiences. With If he can but wait unsuspected, and deFiesko, the difficulties would be great- lude the minds of persons in power, er, particularly because it could not be until his plans are fully ripened, that carried through by means of three or is, until the arrival of certain troops four good performers. Not only are in the harbour of Genua, he can then the dramatis personæ numerous, but throw aside the mask, ‘and carry his there are many characters, which must great designs openly into execution.

The under-plot is made up by the Leon. (Lost tu thought.) proceedings of the Genuese nobility, But, that she dream'd of ruling in his heart, who not being at first in the secret,

That on his memory dwelt her form alone, imagine that Fiesko is really become

Of her alone all nature spoke with him ! indifferent to his duties, and to the Ha, whither am I wandering ?—that the

world, public weal,- also, by the crimes of

With all its bravery, were nothing more Prince Giannettino, and a certain ne

Than the fine gem whereon her beauteous gro, whom he has hired to assassinate

form Fiesko, but wliom the latter discovers, For his delight was graven,—that he loved pardons, (pro tempore,) and afterwards her, renders subservient to his own pur

Loved Julia!--Here, your arm; I pray you, poses. But by far the most interest

child, ing personages are Fiesko himself, and Support me! his countess. At the commencement

(Pause. The music is again hcard of the play, the latter fully believing

from within.) in the guilt of her husband as to his

Hark! Was that Fiesko's voice,

That rose above the tumult? Can he intrigue with the Princess Julia, en

laugh, ters pale and disordered, attended by

When Leonora weeps in solitude ? two female friends. She has broken

But no,-'twas not his voice,-'twas away, in her masquerade dress, from Gianettino's, a grand entertainment given by Fies The rough tones of that clownish Doria. ko, in order to keep up his assumed Rosab. It was, signora. But, I pray character. At a distance are heard the

you, come. loud sounds of music, and all the tu

In that chamber mult of a large assembly.

Leon. Bella, thou art pale,

Thou liest! Even now I trace it in thine Leonora, (tearing off her mask.)

eyes, No more, I'll hear no more !

Even in the Genuesan countenance, I am degraded,,lost !

The looks of all I read a mystery. Rosabella. Nay, dearest lady!

(Covering her face.) Leon. Before mine eyes, how shame. Enough-the habitants of Genda less !_In the sight

Know more than to Fiesko's loving wife Even of all Genua's nobility.

May be disclosed.

(Much moved.) Soph. How jealousy contrives Before my weeping eyes, oh Rosabella ! All things to aggravate ! Rosab. Yet, reckon this for what it was, Leon. (With melancholy enthusiasm.)

While he was yet Than playful gallantry!

Fiesko-Was HIMSELF, i' the laurel grove, Leon. How, gallantry?

Amid the blushing band of maidens there, Their shameless interchange of stolen How came he, like a God, a young Apollo, looks,

With all Antinous' grace and symmetry ! His anxious watching every glance of hers, How proudly and majestic then he moved, The long-protracted kiss, that, on her arm As if on youthful shoulders lightly borne Imprinted, left a flame-red spot,-nay, Came with him all the pomp of Genua ! more,

How did our timid looks steal after him, His mood of deep and rapturous thought, And if they met the lightning of his eyes, as if

They tremblingly recoil'd, as if surprised Th' external world had melted from around In sacrilege ; and yet, oh Rosabella, him,

How eagerly did we drink up those looks, And in the realms of space he was alone, How enviously we counted those bestowed With this dear Julia ! Playful gallantry ? On others, even upon a bosom friend ! Go, go! Thou hast not loved. Dispute They were, like Eris' apple, thrown among

not then With me, what are love's tokens !

And loviriy eyes gleamed wilder, and soft Sophia. Dearest countess,

hearts Then be it so. -One husband lost, 'tis Beat stormily—Affection's bonds were broke said,

By jealous strife. Is ten Cicesbeos won.

Rosab. Ay, truly, I remember, Leon. A husband lost?

'Twas like the tumult of an insurrection, The current of his love but for a space All women strove to gain this matchless Hath wandered, and thou deem'st Fiesko prize. lost?

Leon. And now to call him mine ! Oh! Away, away !_There's poison on thy

fearful lot tongue,

Too much good fortune! Genua's greatest 'Twas guiltless badinage, -'twas mockery.

hero! Say, Rosabella ?

Mine, in whom nature hath combined all Rosab. Doubtless, 'twas no more.

gifts!

no more

us,

and joy

Hear, Child, I cannot longer hide it from whole play, the character of the Moor you,

is well kept up, and affords one of the But will at once entrust you with my heart's best specimens of a mercenary villain Most secret thoughts...As with Fiesko

that have been yet produced. In the placed

third scéne comes a very lively interBefore the sacred altar I did stand,

view between Fiesko and Julia, in And waited silent, for the church's bless

which the former makes vehement love ing, Then, like a gleam of lightning through my

to the princess. Then an interview soul,

between Giannettino, and his creature Arose the bold and lofty thought-Fi Lomellin, when the prince first beesko,

trays his design of obtaining possesThe man whose hand now gently rests in sion, by violence, of Bertha, the beautithine

ful daughter of Verrina, one of the (Hush-mark if no one watches our dis first noblemen in the city. The whole course!)

of the first, second, and third acts, is Thy husband-(Girl, if at that mighty

occupied by a constant variety of thought

scenes, exhibiting with increased Thy heart not higher heaves, then woe to thee!)

strength of colouring, the unhappiThine own Fiesko one day will release

ness and jealousy of Leonora, the waGenua from slavish bonds.

vering character of Fiesko, who though Rosab. How ? On that day,

a republican, yet aims, like other reSuch dreams could haunt a woman's breast?

publicans, at the acquisition of power, Leon. Ay, Rosa

the cabals and conflicts of the noblesse, Well may'st thou wonder ;-mid the pride the fates of Bourgognino and Bertha,

the latter of whom is grossly insultEven of that bridal-day !_But though a ed by Giannettino, in consequence of woman,

which, her lover (Bourgognino) is I feel mine own nobility of blood,

driven to despair, (whereupon he beAnd cannot patiently look on, and mark How the proud tree of Doria lifts its boughs

comes a conspirator,) and her father, In triumph o'er my nobler ancestors.

in a fit of frenzy, invokes on her a Andreas, 'tis true, is mild, benevolent; curse, never to be recalled, until such The good old man may still be Genua's

time as the present government is

overthrown, and the dishonour she But the vile Giannettino is his nephew';

has sustained amply compensated.That man so stained by crimes, is his next Then there are the constantly recurheir :

ring short scenes with the Moor HasAnd then Fiesko-Weep for me, good girls ! (one of the acting principles of Fiesko loves the sister of this demon !

evil,) with Giannettino, who, at a pubRosah. Unhappy fate!

lic meeting of the Senate, behaves in Leon. Go now-and mark the hero,

a manner the most outrageous, and The idol of all Genua,—where he sits

then forms a plan for assassinating Amid his paramours and parasites, Tickling their ears with coarse, unseemly

twelve of the nobili, and placing him, wit,

self at once on the throne, &c. &c. With stories, not of battles—but intrigues.

It would be requisite to give longer That is Fiesko!-Genua so hath lost extracts than we have now room for, Her warrior-I my husband !

in order to afford a proper view of the Rosab. Speak not loudly ;

very great merits of this tragedy. Some one approaches !

[The powerful scene relating to BerLeon. Fly then—'tis perchance tha alone occupies twenty pages. ] Fiesko, and my clouded looks might now “ Fiesko” exhibits truly a concentraDisturb his mirth.

tion of varied interest, an exuberance Exeunt.

of effective genius, and we doubt not

that in its composition, Schiller (who To this succeeds an interview be was then but a very young man) felt tween the wicked prince Giannettino himself inspired and elevated in no and Hassan the Moor, in which the ordinary degree. former instructs the latter how he is The third act commences with the to assassinate Fiesko; and on the following soliloquy. The scene is a Moor's suggestion that he must, im hall in Fiesko's house, with a balcony mediately after the deed, fly from Ge- and large glass door in the back-ground, nua, the Prince rashly pays him with through which is visible the red light a large sum beforehand. Through the of the dawning day.

duke ;

san,

« AnteriorContinuar »