Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ANASTASIUS TO HIS CHILD, ALEXIS, SLEEPING.

Sleep, oh, sleep, my dearest one,

While I watch thy placid slumbers, And pour, in low and pensive tone, To lull thee, wild and plaintive

numbers. If my tears thy pillow steep, Sleep-thou canst not see me weep!

I think of all I am, the while, of guilt's dark hours, and life all

blasted, And thou the only thing to smile

Upon the heart, so wildly wasted: Oh, what can tell the rush of thought, With joy, grief, rapture, anguish,

fraught!

Thy cheek is pillow'd on mine arm,

As if secure that thee it shielded, And there a flush more deeply warm

The pressure to its tint hath yielded : Thy hand, which mine did lately clasp, Dwells there, relaxing in its grasp. I love to view thy beauteous face, To cheer me thro' the day's long

toiling; I love its every change to trace, Shaded by thought -- in pleasure

smiling: Amid the world, with pride I see All eyes do homage unto thee: But, oh, this hour is most-most dear,

When, even from the friendly stealing, I seek my only pleasure here,

And fix on thee my every feeling; When thou dost seem all-all mine

own. To live, breathe, smile, for me alone. And, oh, to guard thee thus from ill,

No other joy can rank before it. When ev'n thy sleep seems conscious

still How true a love is watching o'er it! Such perfect confidence is shown In this defenceless hour alone.

But with a thrill of keener pain,
A shuddering dread has now o'er-

come me, That dries those kindly tears again,Oh, should the future tear thee from

me!
Ah me, ah me! I hold thee now-
Shall I ask ever-where art thou ?
I cannot call thee back again,

Nor o'er again these joys be living, And thousand worlds were pledg'd in

vain, To give what now this hour is giving; But I shall writhe in fruitless woe, With pangs, which no, I do not know.

Yet wherefore thus perversely run

To boded ill from present pleasure? I know not why; but lives there one, Who binds his life in one rich trea

sure, Whom the wild thought has never

crost, “ What should I feel, were this but

lost ?”

Sleep, thou can'st not know the love,

Which passes all of outward showing; Much may my looks, words, actions

prove, But how much more untold is glow.

ing! And now, in silent loneliness, It passes all I most express.

Should he now wake, and see my face So chang'd by passions, fiercely

blending, Would he not deem, that in my place Some fiend was o’ér his pillow bend

ing? I speak too loud-he seems disturb'dMy wild emotion must be curb’d.

A tender sadness melts my soul,
And Memory, with her train attend-

ing,
Seems all her pages to unroll,

While Hope her airy dreams is

· blending. My tears are sweet; yet see not thou, Lest thou mistake their drops for woe.

Hark, his lips move; and gently frame, In dreamy slumber, words half

broken. Ah, was not that?-it is my name, Which by those cherub lips is

spoken! I feel a thrill of vivid joy, To know that I his thoughts employ. He fear'd, that, ere his eyes could

close, A weary vigil mine should number,

Dear innocent! he little knows

What childish innocence display'd, How quickly youth shakes hands E'en in that hand so careless laid !

with slumber E'en ere my voice had soften'd, thou . When to my own near couch I steal, Wert in oblivion, deep as now. . I'll listen still to hear thee breathNow gently I withdraw my arm, 'Till with that lullaby I feel

Fearful thy quiet sleep of breaking; Sleep's dewy mantle o'er me wreathThou giv'st no token of alarm,

ing: And pleas'd I see thee not awaking; How sweet the sound, how welcome The taper sbaded with my hand,

dear, Gazing on thee awhile I stand.' Which tells me what I love is near! How beautiful in his repose !

But first, ere I can calm recline, The long dark lash the white lid In silent prayer I kneel beside thee, fringing,

And sue each blessing may be thine, The rich hair clustering on his brows, Long forfeited, or still denied me. And the blue vein his forehead Now one last kiss, with caution given, tinging.

And I resign my watch to Heav'n. The Sonnets are in general more or less good. The following is in the spirit of Cowper:

TO PEACE.
While rapt I lie near this lone waterfall,
Gazing upon it, 'till, at every gush,
The waters seem with wilder force to rush,
And whiter foam, adown their rocky wall,
While o'er me, high in air, yon cedars tall
Wave their wide arms; come, gentlest Peace! and hush
Each thought, at which thy virgin cheek might blush,
And, if thou canst, thy empire past recal
Within my breast. Ah, wherefore shouldst thou fly?
I do not love the world's turmoiling sphere;
Ambition never hurld me from on high,
No dreams of wealth excite my hope or fear:
Then why to me thy soothing voice deny ?

Ah, wherefore vainly do I woo thee here?
The following is tender :-

THE LOVE, THAT CANNOT DIE.
Oh, dearer than the dearest, thro’ this sea
Of doubts, and troubles, and perplexing fears,
Where my frail bark, with trembling caution, steers,
What is't, that guides me, but the love of thee ?
'Tis said, that love, with time, will cease to be,
But mine has stood the silent lapse of years,
Undimm'd by absence-uneffaced by tears,
Yea, deeper graved by all my misery!
They said I should forget thee-did they know
The depth and nature of a love, like mine?
That there are streams, which cannot cease to flow,
That there are rays which must for ever shine?
Alas, their eyes are ever fix'd below!
What should they reck, or ken of things divine ?

There are likewise a few religious pieces, containing more devotion than poetry. It is a common, and, to a considerable

to the the judicial and as boly venturpersons oubt to relis

extent, a just remark, that religious poetry seldom succeeds. To what is this failure, so far as it exists, to be attributed ? Are we to ascribe it to the overawing nature of the subject? or is it that poets set themselves formally down to write on religious subjects, and that constraint is fatal to genius ? or that those who have made the attempt were for the most part deficient in ability? or that their abilities lay in another direction? It is a delicate and a difficult subject; nor is this, perhaps, the place for its discussion. We wish, however, that it were otherwise. The disunion between moral and intellectual beauty is surely an unnatural one. We wish to see all the rays of excellence converge to one point. We wish to see its various branches prove their relationship by a kindly coalition.

We had intended to make some remarks on the melancholy spirit which prevails throughout the present volume, with a reference to the religious sentiments of the writer ; but as we are not invested in the judicial robe of the “ British Review," or the “ Christian Observer," and as besides “ The Etonian” is but a novice in such matters, we can only venture a word or two. Mr. Townsend must be well aware that many persons object to Christianity (we speak not of any particular system, but to religion in the abstract,) as inspiring gloom; or, at least, as not affording the consolations which its votaries ascribe to it; and they ground their opinion on the lives and writings of many of its followers. It is easy to reply, that melancholy arising from constitutional or other causes, has been erroneously attributed to religion; that Cowper's mind was naturally disordered ; and that Young and Johnson would have been happier if they had been more religious. This may be very true; but will it satisfy the objectors ? or is it to be expected that they will take the trouble to investigate all the individual cases? Mr. Townsend has doubtless the promotion of Christian piety at heart; but did it never occur to him, that the publication of a work, in which its power to comfort the afflicted is so little displayed, was so far calculated to prejudice the cause, by adding another to the list of discouraging examples ? The authority of Cowper will probably be canonical with our writer.

“ True Pięty is cheerful as the day:

Can weep, indeed, and have a suffering groan

For others' woes—but smiles upon her own.” But we are advancing beyond our depth; and shall therefore conclude with apologizing to Mr, Townsend for our hasty criticisin, and with assuring him that we shall be happy to meet him again.

a udihimgey. WRITTEN IN À LADY'S ALBUM.

"When thought is warm, and fancy flow's, What will not argument sometimes suppose?"

COWPER.

SHOULD chance send down to distant time
This motley thing of prose and rhyme,
Which friendly hands have thickly sown
With others' wisdom-or their own;
How will the men of future days,
(When this one age, with all its blaze
Of science, war, and minstrel lay,
Has vanish'd like a cloud away)
How will they ponder o'er this page,
The little minor of an age,
Reflecting, as it onward winds,
The outline of departed minds !
How will they scan with eye intent
The sparks of song and sentiment,
Like floating clouds, of many a nue,
Strown o'er the welkin's surface blue!
To them the record shall unfold
What their grave fathers were of old ;.
What they disliked, and what approved,
And how they thought and how they loved.
-There shall the mingled forms appear,
Of timid Joy, and tender Fear;
Wisdom, with calm looks fix'd above ;
The spectre of departed Love;
Ambition's bright and restless eye,
Still chasing Immortality;
And downcast Sorrow, in her shroud ;
And young Hope, laughing through the cloud;
And Nature, in her robe of green,
Shall ’midst the varied group be seen.

Their hearts, äs'o'er the page they stray,
Shall feel its sympathetic sway;
For the same summer-breeze that blew
In days of yore, delights'us too;
And the same loves, and joys, and fears,
Are still man's lot through endless years.
And Hope's full blood shall mantle high,
And pity weep o'er 'woes gone by,

And worth shall kindle at the lays
That flow in truth's and virtue's praise ;
And youthful love shall blush, when told
How youthful lovers felt of old; .
And beauty heave the half-heard sigh
For unrequited constancy.

-And they shall think upon the lot .
Of those who liv'd when they were not,
Whose being yet with theirs was twined,
With that sweet feeling, undefined,
Wherewith we view the days gone by
Of unremember'd infancy.
- And while delighted they survey
These relics of an earlier day,
They'll think well pleas’d of her, whose hand
Combined them in one fragrant band,
And bade them bloom in endless prime,
Like flowrets on the tomb of Time...

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Essay on Lions.

This. This is old Ninny's tomb.

Lion. Oh!(The Lion roars.)
Dem. Well roared, Lion.
Thes. Well run, Thisbe.

Dem. And then came Pyramus.
· Lys. And so the lion vanished.”.

Midsum. Night's Dream.

It is not a little remarkable, that among the many eminent Naturalists, ancient and modern, with whose writings we are acquainted, no one, as far as we know, has made any mention of that extraordinary species, the British Lion. Juvenal says, that the English whale or shark was the largest of its kind; and common experience will teach us, that although since his time this animal has taken to a land life, yet even still he retains many traits of his original character, and can drink and duck, bite and spout, better than any Frenchman or gudgeon of them all. But no poet has celebrated, or philosopher described, the much more astonishing creature of British growth which we first mentioned. The silence of foreigners we shall attribute to envy; but the silence of our own countrymen is to us quite inexplicable, seeing that this famous island has not wanted most able heralds of her fame, in all its parts ; and even Goldsmith has devoted sundry pages of accurate English to so common an object as a cow. Every one has heard of the African Lion, and of the Asiatic

« AnteriorContinuar »