Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

STANZAS

From the Spanish.

BLOW light, thou balmy air,

My lady's couch above ;
Blow lightly there, ye winds, and spare

The slumbers of my love.
Let no rude blast be found

To mar her gentle sleep ;
But all around a dreamy sound,

And drowsy murmur, creep.
O fly! thou balmy air,

And by her couch remain ;
Go, blend thee with her breath, and bear

Its balm to me again;
But lightly go, and gently blow-

Blow softly as my strain.
Blow gently, do not break

The stillness of her sleep;
I would not make my love awake,

Nor raise those lids to weep.
Ye winds, that, borne in happier hour,

May wanton as ye will ;
If round her bower ye have the power, ...

To creep and murmur still,
O lightly go, and gently blow,
And let her slumber still.

EDIN. Rev.

ERIN MAVOURNEEN, FAREWELL!

From the European Magazine.”

THE last breeze from Erin

Has pass’d o'er my brow,
The gale of the ocean

Is over me now;
I leave thee, my country !

Farewell !-though thou art
The life pulse that stirs me,
The veins of my heart :.

Erin Mavourneen, farewell !

I gaze where the bright sun

Falls back to the west, And tinges the blue clouds

That hang o'er thy breast : The barque bears me from thee

To sail o'er the deep, While on thy green bosom I gaze, and I weep ;

Erin Mavourneen, farewell !

I weep, for thy spring-time

Of beauty is o’er ;
And feel, while my dimm'd eye

Is on thy loved shore ;
Like the mourner, when, fixing

His gaze on the dead,
He bends o'er the cold earth
Whose spirit is filed ;

Erin Mavourneen, farewell !

The tear-drooping willow

Hangs over thy lyre ; The chill-blast hath broken

Each soul-stirring wire : Through the gloom of thy darkness

No day-beam appears ; And thy sweet type, Ierne, Is gemm'd by thy tears ;

Erin Mavourneen, farewell !

Farewell! for no longer

I gaze on thy shore ; The mists are between us,

I view thee no more ! Perhaps to my country

I breathe the last strain ; Perhaps I may never Behold thee again ;

Erin Mavourneen, farewell !

Though in darkness, Ierne,

Thy sun may have set;
Thy emerald bosom

I ne'er can forget;
And while o'er the deep ocean

The breeze bears my barque,
My heart, like its billow,
Heaves deeply and dark :-

Erin Mavourneen, farewell !

HAPPINESS.

From 66 Colton's Lacon."

WHAT is earthly happiness ? that phantom of which we hear so much and see so little; whose promises are constantly given and constantly broken, but as constantly believed ; that cheats us with the sound instead of the substance, and with the blossom instead of the fruit. Like Juno, she is a goddess in pursuit, but a cloud in possession, deified by those who cannot enjoy her, and despised by those who can. Anticipation is her herald, but Disappointment is her companion ; the first addresses itself to our imagination, that would believe, but the latter to our experience that must. Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route. Aristippus pursued her in pleasure, Socrates in wisdom, and Epicurus in both; she received the attentions of each, but bestowed her endearments on neither ; although, like some other gallants, they all boasted of more favours than they had received. Warned by their failure, the stoic adopted a most paradoxical mode of preferring his suit; he thought, by slandering, to woo her ; by shunning, to win her ; and proudly presumed, that, by fleeing her, she would turn and follow him. She is deceitful as the calm that precedes the hurricane, smooth as the water on the verge of the cataract, and beautiful as the rainbow, that siniling daughter of the storm, but, like the mirage in the desert, she tantalizes us with a delusion that distance creates, and that contiguity destroys. Yet, when unsought, she is often found, and when unexpected, often obtained; while those who seek for her the most diligently fail the most, because they seek her where she is not. Anthony sought her in love ; Brutus in glory ; Cæsar in dominion ;-the first found disgrace, the second disgust, the last ingratitude, and each destruction. To some she is more kind, but not less cruel ; she hands them her cup, and they drink even to stupefaction, until they doubt whether they are men with Philip, or dream that they are gods with Alexander. On some she smiles as on Napoleon, with an aspect more bewitching than an Italian sun; but it is only to make her frown the more terrible, and by one short caress to embitter the pangs of separation. Yet is she, by uni. versal homage and consent, à queen ; and the passions are the vassal lords that crowd her court, await her mandate, and move at her control. But like other mighty sovereigns, she is so surrounded by her envoys, her officers, and her ministers of state, that it is extremely difficult to be admitted to her presence chamber, or to have any immediate communication with herself. Ambition, Avarice, Love, Revenge, all these seek her, and her alone ; alas ! they are neither presented to her, nor will she come to them. She dispatches, however, her envoys unto them—mean and poor representatives of their queen. To Ambition, she sends Power ; to Avarice, Wealth ; to Love, Jealousy ; to Revenge, Remorse ; alas ! what are these, but so many other names for vexation or disappointment. Neither is she to be won by flatteries or by bribes : she is to be gained by wag. ing war against her enemies, much sooner than by paying any par. ticular court to herself. Those that conquer her adversaries, will find that they need not go to her, for she will come unto them. None bid so high for her as kings ; few are more willing, none more able to purchase her alliance at the fullest price. But she has no more respect for kings than for their subjects; she mocks them indeed with the empty show of a visit, by sending to their palaces all her equipage, her pomp, and her train, but she comes not herself. What detains ber? She is travelling incognita to keep a private assignation with Contentment, and to partake of a tete a tete, and a dinner of herbs in a cottage. Hear then, mighty queen! what sovereigns seldom hear, the words of soberness and truth. I neither despise thee too little, not desire thee too much ; for thou wieldest an earthly sceptre, and thy gifts cannot exceed thy dominion. Like other potentates, thou also art a creature of circumstance, and an ephemeris of time. Like other potentates, thou also, when stripped of thy auxiliaries, art no longer competent even to thine own subsistence ! nay, thou canst not even stand by thyself. Unsupported by Content on the one hand, and by Health on the other, thou fallest an unwieldy and bloated pageant to the ground.

THE TROPICAL NIGHT.

THE tropical night keeps pace with the tropical day. The nights are uncommonly bright and serene. The stars which spangle the etherial vault emit a radiance which is unknown in Europe, and gild the hemisphere with an inconceivable brilliancy. Constellations, which are invisible in England, here display their beauties, and shine through all the summer without being intercepted with a shade. The magnitudes of these stars appear to be enlarged ; and many which, through obstructing mediums are invisible in the northern latitudes, are here conspicuous through the purity of the air. Some stars of the first magnitude, which the peculiar position of the heavens conceal from the higher latitudes, are not only visible in these climes, but shine with a lustre peculiar to themselves. The planets put on a more resplendent appearance, and display a refulgence which is exclusively applicable to the Torrid Zone. Their aspects are bolder and more striking than in other climates : and their radiance increases as well as that of the fixed stars. They glow with a brightness which, in this season, is sullied with no obstruction, and intermitted only by the periodical revolutions of the system. To increase the glory of this enchanting scene, “ the moon makes her appearance, not in “ clouded majesty," but in rem

splendent brilliancy; diffusing a light which seems to originate in native lustre. In her presence the stars, both erratic and fixed, are ap. parently eclipsed, and deprived of half their honours ; while her light is sufficient for the transaction of almost any business in the open air. The smallest print may be read without difficulty, and distant objects may plainly be seen. By her light the finest landscapes in nature are presented to the eye of the spectator ; he gazes with admiration and wonder on the beauties which swarm around him, and wanders into the pathless regions of fancy without satiety or disgust. At the same time the air is tranquil and serene, and contributes greatly to heighten the general beauties of the night. Not a single cloud hides any portion of the vast expanse, or interrupts the contemplative mind in its pursuit of those meditations, which the solemnity of the scene and the stillness of the night had conspired to raise. It is a season which invites to serious thought, while it soothes the perturbations of the heav. ing bosom, and spreads tranquillity through all the powers of the soul. It is a season which awakens the mind to serious reflections; and carries the intellectual powers beyond the horizon which circumscribes the scene. It is a season calculated to convey the soul into futurity ; to an. ticipate realities which lie beyond the grave; to connect what is past with that which is to come, and to make the mind deeply susceptible of consolation or remorse. In every country inhabited by man, the silence of night has been esteemed as congenial to meditation ; but though " night has been fair virtue's immemorial friend,” yet, perhaps, there is no region on the earth, of which it can be said with more propriety, that “ the conscious moon, through every distant age, has held a lamp to wisdom.”

The beauty of the tropical night, in the summer season, surpasses all the powers of description.' The lustre of the planets seem to increase in proportion to that of the fixed stars; the bodies of all appear magnified, and, on account of that appearance, they seem to approximate towards the earth. The brightness of Mars, of Jupiter, and of Venus, is so transcendent as to outshine the most splendid appearance that the heavens ever presented to our view in this country. Venus, in particular, occasionally appears horned like a little moon, and her light is so transcendently beautiful, as even to cast a shadow from the houses, trees, and other objects which tend to offer obstruction.

And when to these appearances, we add the moon rising in solemn and silent grandeur to heighten the magnificent scenery, it brightens the prospect while it expands the mind; and raises the sublime phenomena to the summit of more than earthly grandeur. There are, perhaps, but few places on the globe to which these lines of Homer can apply with greater exactness than to a West Indian summer's night:

“ As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
O’er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole,

« AnteriorContinuar »