« AnteriorContinuar »
And while we eye the rolling tide,
Away so fast,
To-morrow than to-day :
Like them decay.
Are doom'd to fall :
And swallow all.
To that sad wave;
Within the grave.
“O mil veces con migo reducido."
My partner through life's thorny track,
Hath given thee to thy country back?
With thee the dancing moments flew;
Unfelt the icy breezes blew.
We Aed the stormy ocean's roar:
Fate bore in safety to the shore.
Swept to the ocean as it pass'd,
Again to buffet with the blast.
Thy thankful tear and prayer be given.
And pour my silent thanks to Heaven.
A home and harbour for our age,
Our passions with our pilgrimage!
The first to bloom, the last to die:
A constant spring and cloudless sky,
Then come, the hasting moments flee,
The rustic board and wine invite:
To steep those moments in delight!
The amorous poems are in general exceedingly interesting. Though disfigured by occasional conceits or agudezas, as they are gently styled by the Spanish critics, their defects are much more than redeemed by frequent pathos, and by a constant gracefulness of conception and expression, which is very much increased by the melody of the regular recurrence of the rhymes and choruses. The following anonymous little piece affords a fáir specimen of this class.
“ Ebro caudaloso." 0! broad and limpid river,
0! elms that to the breeze 0! banks so fair and gay,
With waving branches play, O! meadows verdant ever,
0! sands, where oft at ease 0! groves in green array,
Her careless footsteps stray : 0! if in field or plain
0! if in field or plain My love should hap to be,
My love should chance to be,
Ask if her heart retain
A thought of me.
0! warbling birds that still
Salute the rise of day,
And plain and valley fill
With your enchanting lay :
.0! if in field or plain
My love should hap to be,
Ask if her heart retain
A thought of me.
We shall conclude our extracts with two “ chanzonetas,” from the amorous department.
“ Aunque con semblance ayrado."
Disdain and cruelty:
That ye have look'd on me.
And angry glances lay :
Of gazing on their ray?
My wounded bosom be,
For ye have look'd on me.
And hoped to work me wo,
And life for death bestow :
Disdain and cruelty;
Since ye have look'd on me.
The next forms an excellent pendant to the preceding.
“ Ojos bellos no os ficis." Fair Eyes ! be not so proudly gay
In these your golden years :
The smile that gilds the cheek to-day,
To-morrow turns to tears.
So used to victories,
His love's unkindness lies.
My few remaining years,
May'st yet lament in tears.
So bright with beauty's arms,
Than thy resplendent charms.
My sorrows and my fears,
May'st yet lament in tears.
Shalt with sad eye discover
Of thy too faithful lover.
That in thine eyes appears ;
Ye shall repent in tears.
As grows thy cruelty;
My hopes decay and die.
While mine such sadness wears?
To wail that death with tears?
ON LIPS AND KISSING,
Which blessed still themselves do kiss." As the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine inserted a paper upon Noses in one of his earlier numbers, I hope he will think I am rather advancing than receding in dignity of subject, if I request admission for a few remarks on lips, an appendage that administers so much more copiously to our gratifications than that cartilaginous projection which in many human subjects may be defined as a mere carneous snuff-box, affixed between the two eyes. How various, delicate, and delightful, on the contrary, are the functions of the lips! I purpose not to treat them anatomically, or I might expatiate on the exquisite flexibility of those muscles, which by the incalculable modulations they accomplish, supply different languages to all the nations of the earth, and hardly ever fatigue the speaker, though they so often prove wearisome to the auditor. Nor shall I dwell upon the opposite impressions which their exercise is calculated to excite, from the ruby mouth of a Corinna
warbling immortal verse and Tuscan air,” to the lean-lipped Xantippe deafening her hen-pecked mate, or the gruff voice of the turnkey who wakes you out of a sound sleep, to tell you it is seven o'clock, and you must get up directly to be hanged. But I shall proceed at once to external beauty, although it must be admitted, before I enter into the mouth of my subject, that there is no fixed standard of perfection for this feature, either in form or colour. Poor Mungo Park, after having turned many African women sick, and frightened others into fits, by his unnatural whiteness, was once assured by a kind-hearted woolly-headed gentleman, that though he could not look upon him without an involuntary disgust, he only felt the more compassion for his misfortune; and upon another occasion he overheard a jury of matrons debating whether a female could be found in any country to kiss such emaciated and frightful lips. How Noah's grandchildren, the African descendants of Ham, came to be black, has never yet been satisfactorily explained, and it were therefore vain to inquire into the origin of their enormous lips, which do not seem better adapted to a hot climate than our own; but there is good reason to believe that the ancient Egyptians were as ponderously provided in this respect as their own bull-god, for the Sphinx has a very Nubian mouth, and the Memnon's head, so far from giving us the idea of a musical king who could compete with Pan or Apollo, rather tempts us to exclaim in the language of Dryden
“ Thou sing with him, thou booby! never pipe
Was so profan’d to touch that blubber'd lip.” Belzoni may grub for ever in the ruins of Thebes before he will find the representation of a single Egyptian half so well made as himself; for a more angular and awkward set of two-legged animals seem never to have existed. They must have worshipped monkies on account of their resemblance to their own human form divine ; and we cannot attribute their appearance to the unskilfulness of the artist rather than the deformity of the subject, for the drawings of animals are always accurate, and sometimes extremely graceful.
All this only makes it the more wonderful that Cecrops, by leading a colony from the mouths of the Nile to Attica, should found a nation which, to say nothing of its surpassing pre-eminence in arts and arms, attained in a short period that exquisite proportion and beauty of form of which they have left us memorials in their glorious statues, and have thus eternally fixed the European standard of symmetry and loveliness. The vivid fancy of the Greeks not only peopled woods, waves, and mountains with imaginary beings, but by a perpetual intermingling of the physical and moral world, converted their arms, instruments, and decorations into types and symbols, thus elevating inanimate objects into a series of hieroglyphics, as they had idealised their whole system of mythology into a complicated allegory. To illustrate this by recurring to the subject of our essay. Many people contemplate the classical bow of the ancients without recollecting that its elegant shape is supplied originally by Nature, as it is an exact copy of the line described by the surface of the upper lip. It is only by recalling this circumstance that we can fully appreciate that curious felicity which appropriated the lip-shaped bow to Apollo the god of eloquence, and to Cupid the god of love, thus typifying that amorous shaft, which is never so powerfully shot into the heart as through the medium of a kiss. It is in this spirit of occult as well as visible beauty that classical antiquity should be felt and studied. No upper lip can be pronounced beautiful unless it have this line as distinctly defined as I now see it before me in a sleeping infant. I am sorry to be personal towards my readers, particularly those of the fair sex, but, my dear Madam, it is useless to consult your glass, or complain that the mirrors are not half so well made now as they were when you were younger. By biting them you may indeed make “your lips blush deeper sweets,” but you cannot bid them display the desiderated outline. Such vain endeavours, like the formal mumbling of prayers, “are but useless formalities and lip-labour." Yours are, in fact, (be it spoken in a whisper) what a friend of mine denominates sixpenny lips, from their tenuity, and maintains them to be indicative of deceit. He, however, is a physiognomist, which I am not, or at least only to a very modified extent. All those muscles which are flexible and liable to be called into action by the passions may, I conceive, permanently assume some portion of the form into which they are most frequently thrown, and thus betray to us the predominant feelings of the mind: but as no emotions can influence the collocation of our features, or the fixed constituents of our frame, I have no faith in their indications. As to the craniologists and others who maintain that we are made angels and devils, not by wings at our shoulders or tails at our backs, but by the primitive bosses upon our skulls, I recommend them a voyage to one of the South Sea islands, where they will find the usual diversity of individual character, although all the infants' heads are put into a frame at the birth, and compelled to grow up in the shape of a sugar-loaf. Not that Spurzheim would be embarrassed by this circumstance. He would only pronounce from their mitre-like configuration that they had the organ of Episcopativeness.
Nay, Miss, I have not been so absorbed in this little digression, but that I have observed you endeavouring to complete the classical contour of your mouth by the aid of lipsalve, as if bees-wax and rouge could supply what the plastic and delicate hand of Nature has failed to impress. Cupid has not stamped his bow upon your mouth, yet I swear by those lips, (I wish you would take a hint from one of our Little though by no means one of our minor poets, and call upon me to kiss the book, that they are beautifully ripe and ruddy,
“Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
And yet an union in partition."
“ Flammea dilexi, modicumque tumentia labra,
Quæ mihi gustanti basia plena darent:" and if any one should object that an Egyptian præfect was a bad judge of beauty, you may safely maintain that the elegies which bear his name, were in fact composed by monks of the middle
whose competency to decide upon such a subject will hardly be disputed. Those lips are full and round, but beware of their being tempted into a froward expression, for, if
“ Like a misbehaved and sullen wench
Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love," I will supply thee with no more eulogiums from either monks or præ