Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

One of the many fine words which the most uneducated † According to the superstition of the West Countries, if you bad about this time a constant opportunity of arquiring from meet the Devil, you may either cut him in half with a straw, or the sermoos in the pulpit, and the proclamations on the you may cause him instantly to disappear by spitung over his

horns.

Porter,

Alas! to mend the breaches wide

He made for these poor ninnies, They all must work, whate'er betide, Both days and months, and pay beside (Sad news for Avarice and for Pride)

A sight of golden guineas.

presume to offer to the public a silly tale of old-fashioned love and five years ago, I own I should have allowed and felt the force of this objection. But, alas! explosion has succeede

explosion so rapidly, that novelty itself ceases to appear new, and it is possible that now even a simple story,wholly uninspired with politics or personality, may find some attention amid the bab bub of revolutions, as to those who have remained a long time by the falls of Niagara, the lowest wb ispering becomes distinct ly audible.

S. T.C
Dec. 21, 1799.

But here once more to view did pop

The man that kept his senses. And now he cried—“ Stop, neighbors ! stop! The Ox is mad! I would not swop, No, not a school-boy's farthing top

For all the parish fences.

O LEAVE the lily on its stem;

O leave the rose upon the spray; O leave the elder bloom, fair maids!

And listen to my lay.

" The Ox is mad! Ho! Dick, Bob, Mat!

What means this coward fuss ? Ho! stretch this rope across the plat"T will trip him up

or if not that, Why, damme! we must lay him flat

See, here's my blunderbuss !”

A cypress and a myrtle-bough

This morn around my harp you twined Because it fashion'd mournfully

Its murmurs in the wind.

[blocks in formation]

I play'd a sad and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story, An old rude song, that fitted well

That ruin wild and hoary.

INTRODUCTION TO THE TALE OF THE

DARK LADIE. The following Poem is intended as the introduction to a somewhat longer one. The use of the old Ballad word Ladie for Lady, is the only piece of obsoleteness in it; and as it is professedly a tale of ancient times, I trust that the affectionate lovers of venerable antiquity (as Camden says) will grant me their pardon, aod perhaps may be induced to admit a force and propriety in it A heavier objection may be adduced against the author, that in these times of fear and expectation, when novelties emplode around us in all directions, he should

She listen'd with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace, For well she knew, I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand; And how for ten long years he wood The Ladie of the Land :

[blocks in formation]

The little cloud-it Poats away,

Away it goes; away so soon ?
Alas! it has no power to stay :
Its hues are dim, its hues are gray-

Away it passes from the moon!
How mournfully it seems to fly,

Ever fading more and more, To joyless regions of the sky

And now 't is whiter than before !
As white as my poor cheek will be,

When, Lewti! on my couch I lie,
A dying man for love of thee.
Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind
And yet thou didst not look unkind.

O'er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot
Crushing the purple whoris ; while oft unseen.
Hurrying along the drifted forest-leaves,
The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil,
I know not, ask not whither! A new joy,
Lovely as light, sudden as summer gust,
And gladsome as the first-born of the spring,
Beckons me on, or follows from behind,
Playmate, or guide! The master-passion quell'a,
I feel that I am free. With dun-red bark
The fir-trees, and the unfrequent slender oak,
Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake
Soar up, and form a melancholy vault
High o'er me, murmuring like a distant sea.

I saw a vapor in the sky,

Here Wisdom might resort, and here Remorse, Thin, and white, and very high;

Here too the lovelorn man who, sick in soul, I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud :

And of this busy human heart aweary, Perhaps the breezes that can fly

Worships the spirit of unconscious life Now below and now above,

In tree or wild-flower.—Gentle Lunatic! Have snatch'd aloft the lawny shroud

If so he might not wholly cease to be, Of Lady fair-that died for love.

He would far rather not be that, he is; For maids, as well as youths, have perish'd

But would be something, that he knows not of, From fruitless love too fondly cherish'd.

In winds or waters, or among the rocks!
Nay, treacherous image! leave my mind
For Lewti never will be kind.

But hence, fond wretch ! breathe not contagior Hush! my heedless feet from under

here! Slip the crumbling banks for ever:

No myrtle-walks are these: these are no groves Like echoes to a distant thunder,

Where Love dare loiter! If in sullen mood They plunge into the gentle river.

He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore The river-swans have heard my tread,

His dainty feet, the brier and the thorn And startle from their reedy bed.

Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird O beauteous Birds ! methinks ye measure Easily caught, ensnare him, O ye Nymphs, Your movements to some heavenly tune!

Ye Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! O beauteous Birds ! 't is such a pleasure And you, ye Earth-winds! you that make at mom To see you move beneath the moon,

The dew-drops quiver on the spiders' webs! I would it were your true delight

You, O ye wingless Airs ! that creep between To sleep by day and wake all night.

The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze,

Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon, I know the place where Lewti lies,

The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bedWhen silent night has closed her eyes :

Ye, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, It is a breezy jasmine-bower,

Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. The nightingale sings o'er her head :

Chase, chase him, all ye Fays, and elsin Gnomes ! Voice of the Night! had I the power

With prickles sharper than his daris bemock That leafy labyrinth to thread,

His little Godship, making him perforce And creep, like thee, with soundless tread, Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's back I then might view her bosom white Heaving lovely to my sight,

This is my hour of triumph! I can now As these two swans together heave

With my own fancies play the merry fool, On the gently swelling wave.

And laugh away worse folly, being free.

Here will I seat myself, beside this old, Oh! that she saw me in a dream,

Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine And dreamt that I had died for care ;

Clothes as with net-work : here will I couch my All pale and wasted I would seem,

limbs, Yet fair withal, as spirits are! I'd die indeed, if I might see

Close by this river, in this silent shade,

As safe and sacred from the step of man
Her bosom heave, and heave for me!

As an invisible world-unheard, unseen,
Soothe, gentle image! soothe my mind!
To-morrow Lewti may be kind.

And list’ning only to the pebbly brook

That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound 1795.

Or to the bees, that in the neighboring trunk
Make honey-hoards. The breeze, that visits mo
Was never Love's accomplice, never raised

The tendril ringlets from the maiden's brow, THE PICTURE, OR THE LOVER'S And the blue, delicate veins above her cheek; RESOLUTION.

Ne'er play'd the wanton-never half-disclosed

The maiden's snowy bosom, scattering thence Througi weeds and thorns, and matted underwood Eye-poisons for some love-distemper'd youth, I force my way; now climb, and now descend

Who ne'er henceforth may see an aspen-grove

Shirer in sunshine, but his feeble heart

Placeless, as spirits, one soft water-sun Shall flow away, like a dissolving thing.

Throbbing within them, Heart at once and Eye!

With its soft neighborhood of filmy clouds Sweet breeze ! thou only, if I guess aright,

The stains and shadings of forgotten tears, Liftest the feathers of the robin's breast,

Dimness o'erswum with lustre! Such the hour That swells its little breast, so full of song,

of deep enjoyment, following love's brief fends , Singing above me, on the mountain-ash.

And hark, the noise of a near waterfall! And thou too, desert Stream! no pool of thine,

pass forth into light-I find myself Though clear as lake in latest summer-eve,

Beneath a weeping birch (most beautiful Did e'er reflect the stately virgin's robe,

Of forest-trees, the Lady of the woods), The face, the form divine, the downcast look

Hard by the brink of a tall weedy rock Contemplative! Behold! her open palm

That overbrows the cataract. How bursts Presses her cheek and brow! her elbow rests The landscape on my sight! Two crescent hills On the bare branch of half-uprooted tree,

Fold in behind each other, and so make That leans towards its mirror! Who erewhile

A circular vale, and land-lock'd, as might seem, Had from her countenance turn'd, or look'd by With brook and bridge, and gray stone cottages, stealth

Half hid by rocks and fruit-trees. At my feet, For fear is true love's cruel nurse), he now

The whortle-berries are bedew'd with spray, With stedfast gaze and unoffending eye,

Dash'd upwards by the furious waterfall. Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes

How solemnly the pendent ivy mass Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain,

Swings in its winnow: all the air is calm. Een as that phantom-world on which he gazed,

The smoke from cottage-chimneys, tinged with But not unheeded gazed : for see, ah! see,

light, The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks

Rises in columns ; from this house alone, The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow,

Close by the waterfall, the column slants, Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glove bells :

And feels its ceaseless breeze. But what is this? And suddenly, as one that toys with time,

That cottage, with its slanting chimney-smoke, Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm

And close beside its porch a sleeping child, Is broken-all that phantom-world so fair

His dear head pillow'd on a sleeping dogVanishes, and a thousand circlets spread,

One arm between its fore-legs, and the hand And each misshapes the other. Stay awhile,

Holds loosely its small handful of wild-flowers, Poor youth, who scarcely darest lift up thine eyes! Unfilleted, and of unequal lengths. The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon

A curious picture, with a master's haste The visions will return! And lo! he stays :

Sketch'd on a strip of pinky-silver skin, And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms

Peel'd from the birchen bark! Divinest maid! Come trembling back, unite, and now once more

Yon bark her canvas, and those purple berries The pool becomes a mirror ; and behold

Her pencil! See, the juice is scarcely dried Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there,

On the fine skin! She has been newly here ; And there the half-uprooted tree—but where,

And lo! yon patch of heath has been her couchO where the virgin's snowy arm, that lean'd

The pressure still remains! O blessed couch! On its bare branch? He turns, and she is gone!

For this mayst thou flower early, and the Sun, Homeward she steals through many a woodland Slanting at eve, rest bright, and linger long

Upon thy purple bells ! O Isabel ! Which he shall seek in vain. Il-fated youth!

Daughter of genius! stateliest of our maids ! Go, day by day, and waste thy manly prime

More beautiful than whom Alcæus wooed, In mad love-yearning by the vacant brook,

The Lesbian woman of immortal song! Till sickly thoughts bewitch thine eyes, and thou

O child of genius! stately, beautiful, Behold'st her shadow still abiding there,

And full of love to all, save only me, The Naiad of the Mirror!

And not ungentle e'en to me! My heart,

Why beats it thus ? Through yonder coppice-wood Not to thee,

Needs must the pathway turn, that leads straightway

On to her father's house. She is alone!
O wild and desert Stream! belongs this tale:
Gloomy and dark art thou-the crowded firs

The night draws on—such ways are hard to hit

And fit it is I should restore this sketch, Spire from thy shores, and stretch across thy bed,

Dropt unawares, no doubt. Why should I yearn Making thee doleful as a cavern-well:

To keep the relic? 't will but idly feed Save when the shy king-fishers build their nest

The passion that consumes me. Let me haste ! On thy steep banks, no loves hast thou, wild stream!

The picture in my hand which she has left,

She cannot blame me that I follow'd her; This be my chosen haunt-emancipate

And I may be her guide the long wood through
Prom passion's dreams, a freeman, and alone,
I rise and trace its devious course. O lead,
Lead me to deeper shades and lonelier glooms.
Lo! stealing through the canopy of firs,

THE NIGHT-SCENE.
How fair the sunshine spots that mossy rock,
Isle of the river, whose disparted waves

A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT.
Dart of asunder with an angry sound,
How soon to reunite! And see! they meet,
Each in the other lost and found : and see You loved the daughter of Don Manrique ?

maze

SANDOVAL.

« ZurückWeiter »