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POMPEII. A POEM WHICH OBTAINED THE CHANCELLOR'S MEDAL AT THE CAMBRIDGE COMMENCEMENT
Oì! land 10 Memory and to Freedom dear, Heedless, like him, the impending stroke await, Land of the melting lyre and conquering spear, And sport and wanton on the brink of fate. Land of the vine-clad hill, the fragrant grove,
What 'vails it that where yonder heights aspire, Of arts and arms, of Genius and of Love,
With ashes piled, and scathed with rills of fire, Hear, fairest Italy. Though now no more Gigantic phantoms dimly seem to glide, * The glittering eagles awe the Atlantic shore, In misty files, along the mountain's side, Nor at thy feet the gorgeous Orient flings To view with threatening scowl your fated lands, The blood-bought treasures of her tawny Kings, And toward your city point their shadowy hands? Though vanished all that formed thine old renown, In vain celestial omens prompted fear, The laurel garland, and the jewelled crown, And nature's signal spoke the ruin near. The avenging poniard, the victorious sword, In vain through many a night ye viewed from far Which reared thine empire, or thy rights restored, The meteor flag of elemental war Yet still the constant Muses haunt thy shore, Unroll its blazing folds from yonder height, And love to linger where they dwelt of yore. In fearful sign of earth's intestine fight. If e'er of old they deigned, with favouring smile, In vain Vesuvius groaned with wrath supprest, To tread the sea-girt shores of Albion's isle, And muttered thunder in his burning breast. To smooth with classic arts our rugged tongue, Long since the Eagle from that flaming peak And warm with classic glow the British song, Hath soared with screams a safer nest to sook. Oh! bid them snatch their silent harps which wave Awed by the infernal beacon's fiuul glare, On the lone oak that shades thy Maro's grave, The howling fox hath left his wonteďlair; And sweep with magic hand the slumbering strings, Nor dares the browsing goat in venturous leap To fire the poet.-For thy clime he sings, To spring, as erst, from dizzy steep to steep.Thy scenes of gay delight and wild despair, Man only mocks the peril. Man alone Thy varied forms of awful and of fair.
Defies the sulphurous flame, the warning groan. How rich that climate's sweets, how wild its While instinct, humbler guardian, wakes and saves, storms,
Proud reason sleeps, nor knows the doom it braves What charms array it, and what rage deforms, But see the opening theatre invites Well have they mouldering walls, Pompeii
, known, The fated myriads to its gay delights. Decked in those charms, and by thai rage o'er In, in, they swarm, tumultuous as the roar thrown.
Of foaming breakers on a rocky shore. Sad City, gayly dawned thy latest day,
The enraptured throng in breathless transport viewe And poured its radiance on a scene as gay. The gorgeous temple of the Tragic Muse. The leaves scarce rustled in the sighing breeze; There, while her wand in shadowy pomp arrays In azure dimples curled the sparkling seas, Ideal scenes, and forms of other days, And as the golden tide of light they quaffed, Fair as the hopes of youth, a radiant band, Campania's
sunny meads and vineyards laughed, The sister arts around her footstool stand, While gleamed each lichened oak and giant pine To deck their Queen, and lend a milder graco On the far sides of swarthy Apennine.
To the stern beauty of that awful face. Then mirth and music through Pompeii rung; Far, far, around the ravished eye surveys Then verdant wreaths on all her portals hung; The sculptured forms of Gods and heroes blazo. Her sons with solemn rite and jocund lay, Above the echoing roofs the peal prolong Hailed the glad splendours of that festal day. Of lofty converse, or melodious song, With fillets bound the hoary priests advar.ce, While, as the tones of passion sink or swell, And rosy virgins braid the choral dance.
Admiring thousands own the moral spell, The rugged warrior here unbends awhile
Melt with the melting strains of fancied wo, His iron front, and deigns a transient smile; With terror sicken, or with transport glow. There, frantic with delight, the ruddy boy
Oh! for a voice like that which pealed of old Scarce treads on earth, and bounds and laughs with Through Salem's cedar courts and shrines of gold, joy.
And in wild accents round the trembling dome From every crowded altar perfumes rise
Proclaimed the havoc of avenging Rome; In billowy clouds of fragrance to the skies. While every palmy arch and sculptured tower The milk-white monarch of the herd they lead, Shook with the footsteps of the parting power. With gilded horns, at yonder shrine to bleed; Such voice might check
your tears, which idly stroati And while the victim crops the broidered plain, For the vain phantoms of the poet's dream, And frisks and gambols towards the destined fane, They little deem that like himself they stray To death, unconscious, o'er a flowery way;
Dio Cassius relates that figures of gigantic size appeared for some time previous to the destruction of Pom.
peli, on the summits of Vesuvius. This appearance was See Eustace's description of the Tomb of Virgil, on probably occasioned by the fantastic forms which the tho Neapolitan coast.
smoke from the crater or the volcano assumed.
Might bid those terrors rise, those sorrows flow; Yet ere, dire Fiend, thy lingering tortures cease For other perils, and for nearer wo. (cloud And all be hushed in still sepulchral peace,
The hour is come. Even now the sulphurous Those caves shall wilder, darker deeds behold Involves the city in its funeral shroud,
Than e'er the voice of song or fable told, And far along Campania's azure sky
Whate'er dismay may prompt, or madness dare, Expands its dark and boundless canopy. [height, Feasts of the grave, and banquets of despair. The Sun, though throned on heavea's meridian Hide, hide the scene; and o'er the blasting sight Burns red and rayless through that sickly night. Fling the dark veil of ages and of night. Each bosom selt at once the shuddering thrill, Go, seek Pompeii now:-with pensive tread At once the music stopped. The song was still. Roam through the silent city of the dead. None in that cloud's portentous shade might trace Explore each spot, where still, in ruin grand, The fearful changes of another's face.
Her shapeless piles and tottering columns stand, But through that
horrid stillness each could hear Where the pale ivy's clasping wreaths o'ershade His neighbour's throbbing heart beat high with fear. The rained icmple's moss-clad colonnade,
A moment's pause succeeds. Then wildly rise Or violets on the hearth's cold marble wave, Grief's sobbing plaints and terror's frantic cries. And muse in silence on a people's grave. The gates recoil; and towards the narrow pass Fear not.-No sign of death thine eyes shal In wild confusion rolls the living mass,
scare, Death-when thy shadowy sceptre waves away No, all is beauty, verdure, fragrance there. From his sad couch the prisoner of decay, A gentle slope includes the fatal ground 'Though friendship view the close with glistening eye, With odorous shrubs and tufted myrtles crowned ; And love's fond lips imbibe the parting sigh, Beneath, o'ergrown with grass, or wreathed witi By torture racked, by kindness soothed in vain,
flowers, The soul still clings to being and to pain.
Lie tombs and temples, columns, baths, and towers But when have wilder terrors clothed thy brow, As if, in mockery, Nature seems to dress Or keener torments edged thy dart than now, In all her charms the beauteous wilderness, When with thy regal horrors vainly strove And bids her gayest flowerets twine and bloom The law of Naturo and the power of Love? In sweet profusion o'er a city's tomb. On mothers, babes in vain for mercy call, With roses here she decks the untrodden path, Beneath the feet of brothers, brothers fall. With lilies fringes there the stately bath; Behold the dying wretch in vain upraise
The acanthus'* spreading foliage here she weaves Towards yonder well-known face the accusing gaze; Round the gay capital which mocks its leaves; See trampled to the earth the expiring maid There hangs ihe sides of every mouldering room Clings round her lover's feet, and shrieks for aid. With tapestry from her own fantastic loom, Vain is the imploring glance, the frenzied cry; Wallflowers and weeds, whose glowing hues supplı All, all is fear; to succour is to die.
With simple grace the purple's Tyrian dye. Saw ye how wild, how red, how broad a light The ruined city sleeps in fragrant shade, Burst on the darkness of that mid-day night, Like the pale corpse of some Athenian maid, t As fierce Vesuvius scattered o'er the vale
Whose marble arms, cold brows, and snowy neck Her drifted flames and sheets of burning hail, The fairest flowers of fairest climates deck, Shook hell's wan lightnings from his blazing conc: Meet types of her whose form their wreaths array, And gilded heaven with meteors not its own? Of radiant beauty, and of swift decay.
The morn all blushing rose; but sought in vain Advance, and wander on through crumbling halls, The snowy villas and the flowery plain,
Through prostrate gates and ivied pedestals, The purpled hills with marshalled vineyards gay, Arches, whose echoes now no chariots rouse, The domes that sparkled in the sunny ray. Tombs, on whose summits goats undaunted browse. Where art or nature late hath deck'd the scene See where yon ruined wall on earth reclines, With blazing marble or with spangled green, Through weeds and moss the half-seen painting There, streaked by many a fiery torrent's be:,
shines, A boundless waste of hoary ashes spread. Still vivid midst the dewy cowslips glows,
Along that dreary waste where lately rung Or blends its colours with the blushing rose. The festal lay which smiling virgins sung,,
Thou lovely, ghastly scene of fair decay, Where rapture echoed from the warbling lute, In beauty awful, and midst horrors gay, And the gay dance resounded, all is mute. Renown more wide, more bright shall
gild thy name,
Oh! who may sing that hour of mortal strife, Whose copious lips with rich persuasion streamed,
Bend, glorious spirits, from your blissful bowers,
• The capital of the Corinthian pillar is carved, as is One cheerless blank, one rayless mist is there,
well known, in imitation of the acanthns. Mons. de
Chateaubriand, as I have found since this poem was Thoughts, senses, passions, live not with despair.
written, has employed the same image in his Travels. Haste, Famine, haste, to urge the destined close, It is the custom of the modern Greeks to adore And lull the horrid scene to stern repose.
corpses profusely with fowers
The wand of eloquence, whose magic sway Now shall thy deathless memory live entwinod The sceptres and ihe swords of earth obey, With all that conquers, rules, or charms the And every mighty spell, whose strong control
mind, Could nerve or melt
, could fire or soothe the soul. Each lofty thought of Poet or of Sage, And thou, sad city, raise thy drooping head, Each grace of Virgil's lyre or Tully's page. And share the honours of the glorious dead. Like theirs whose Genius consecrates thy tomb, Had Fate reprieved thee till the frozen North Thy fame shall snatch from time a greener bloom Poured in wild swarms its hoarded millions forth, Shall spread where'er the Muse has rear'd her Till blazing cities marked where Albion trod,
throne, Or Europe quaked beneath the scourge of God,* And live renowned in accents yet unknown;, No lasting wreath had graced thy funeral pall, Earth's utmost bounds shall join the glad acclaim, No fame redeemed the horrors of thy fall. And distant Camus bless Pompeii's name.
THE BATTLE OF IV RY.
[Knight's QUARTERLY MAGAZINE, 1824.]
IRENRY the Fourth, on his accession to the French crown, was opposed by a large part of his subjects, under
the Duke of Mayenne, with the assistance of Spain and Savoy. In March, 1590, he gained a decisive victory over that party at Ivry. Before the battle, he addressed his troops, “My children, if you lose sight of your colours, rally to my white plume-you will always find it in the path to honour and glory." His conduct was answerable to his promise. Nothing could resist his impetuous valour, and the leaguers underwent a total and bloody defeat. In the midst of the rout, IIenry followed, crying, “Save the French!" and his clemency added a number of the enemies to his own army.
Hikin's Biographical Dictionary.)
Now glory tu the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are !
Oh! how our hearts were beating, when at the dawn of day,
The king is come to marshal us, in all his armour drest,
Hurrah! the foes are moving! Hark to the mingled din
• The well-known name of Attila
Now God be praised, the day is ours! Mayenne hath turned his rein D'Aumale hath cried for quarter-the Flemish Count is slain, Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds before a Biscay gale; The field is heaped with bleeding steeds, and flags, and cloven mail; And then we thought on vengeance, and all along our van, “Remember St. Bartholomew," was passed from man to man; But out spake gentle Henry then, “ No Frenchman is my foe; Down, down with every foreigner; but let your brethren go.' Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war, As our sovereign lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarre !
Ho! maidens of Vienna! Ho! matrons of Lucerne ! Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never shall return : Ho! Philip, send for charity, thy Mexican pistoles, That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen's souls Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be bright! Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve, keep watch and ward to-night! For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath raised the slavo, And mocked the counsel of the wise and the valour of the brave. Than glory to his holy name, from whom all glories are ; And glory to our sovereign lord, King Henry of Navarre.
MADAME D’ARBLA Y.*
(EDINBURGH Review, JANUARY, 1843.]
THOUGH the world saw and heard little of to be made public. Our hopes, it is trie, wert Madame D'Arblay during the last forty years not unmixed with fears. We could not forget of her life, and though that little did not add to the fate of the Memoirs of Dr. Burney, which her fame, there were thousands, we believe, were published ten years ago. That unfortuwho felt a singular emotion when they learned nate book contained much that was curious that she was no longer among us. The news and interesting. Yet it was received with a of her death carried the minds of men back at cry of disgust, and was speedily consigned to one leap, clear over two generations, to the oblivion. The truth is, that it deserved its time when her first literary triumphs were doom. It was written in Madame D'Arblay's won. All those whom we had been accus- later style—the worst style that has ever been tomed to revere as intellectual patriarchs, known among men. No genius, no informaseemed children when compared with her; for tion, could save from proscription a book so Burke had sat up all night to read her writ- written. We, therefore, opened the Diary with ings, and Johnson had pronounced her supe- no small anxiety, trembling lest we should light rior to Fielding when Rogers was still a school. upon some of that particular rhetoric which boy, and Southey still in petticoats. Yet more deforms almost every page of the Memoirs, strange did it seem that we should just have and which it is impossible to read without a lost one whose name had been widely cele- sensation made up of mirth, shame and loathbrated before anybody had heard of some illus- ing. We soon, however, discovered to our trious mon who, twenty, thirty, or forty years great delight, that this Diary was kept before ago, were, after a long and splendid career, Madame D'Arblay became eloquent. It is, for borne with honour to the grave. Yet so it the most part, written in her earliest and best was. Frances Burney was at the height of manner; in true woman's English, clear, nafame and popularity before Cowper had pub- tural, and lively. The two works are lying lished his first volume, before Porson had gone side by side before us, and we never turn from up to college, before Pitt had taken his seat in the Memoirs to the Diary without a sense of the House of Commons, before the voice of relief. The difference is as great as the differErskine had been once heard in Westminsterence between the atmosphere of a perfumer's Hall. Since the appearance of her first work, shop, fetid with lavender water and jasmine sixty-two years had passed; and this interval soap, and the air of a heath on a fine morning had been crowded, not only with political, but in May. Both works ought to be consulted by also with intellectual revolutions. Thousands every person who wishes to be well acquainted of reputations had, during that period, sprung with the history of our literature and our man up, bloomed, withered, and disappeared. New ners. But to read the Diary is a pleasure; to kinds of composition had come into fashion, read the Memoirs will always be a task. had gone out of fashion, had been derided, had We may, perhaps, afford some harmless beer forgotten. The fooleries of Della Crusca, amusement to our readers if we attempt, with and the fooleries of Kotzebue, had for a time the help of these two books, to give them an bewitched the multitude, who had left no trace account of the most important years of Madame behind them; nor had misdirected genius been D'Arblay's life. able to save from decay the once flourishing She was descended from a family which bore schools of Godwin, of Darwin, and of Rad- the name of Macburney, and which, though cliffe. Many books, written for temporary probably of Irish origin, had been long settled effect, had run through six or seven editions, in Shropshire, and was possessed of consider and had then been gathered to the novels of able estates in that county. Unhappily, many Afra Behn, and the epic poems of Sir Richard years berüre her birth, the Macburneys began, Blackmore. Yet the early works of Madame as if of set purpose and in a spirit of deter. D'Arblaz, in spite of the lapse of years, in mined rivalry, to expose and ruin themselves. spite of ce change of manners, in spite of the The heir-apparent, Mr. James Macburney, popularity deservedly obtained by some of her offended his father by making a runaway rivals, continued to hold a high place in the match with an actress from Goodman's Fields. public esteem. She lived to be a classic. Time The old gentleman could devise no more judiset on her fame, before she went hence, that cious mode of wreaking vengeance on nis seal which is seldom set except on the fame undutiful boy than by marrying the cook. of the departed. Like Sir Condy Rackrent in The cook gave birth to a son named Joseph, the tale, she survived her own wake, and over- who succeeded to all the lands of the family, heard the judgment of posterity.
while James was cut off with a shilling. The Having always felt a warm and sincere, favorite son, however, was so extravagant, hough not a blind admiration for her talents, that he soon became as poor as his disinve rejoiced to learn that her Diary was about herited brother. Both were forced tu earn
their bread by their labour. Joseph turned • Diary and Letters of Madome D'Arblay. 5 vols. dancing-master, and settled in Norfolk. James
struck off the Mac from the beginning of huo
ovo, London. 1812