« PreviousContinue »
Then fled as quickly from my view,
And left no beauteous trace behind,
Save only in my musing mind.
There memory garners up the smile,
So faint a smile it hardly seem'd,
Then in her blue eye mildly beam'd.
And there the voice is treasured well,
That stole like music to my ear,
We hear, yet scarcely seem to hcar.
And there the look that last she gave,
That seem'd in gentle phrase to tell,
We met again, she wish'd me well.
And there false Hope, that tells such. lies!
Oft whispers in my partial ear,
Again my pensive heart will cheer.
But should hard chance or bitter fate,
That o'er our pains and pleasures reign,
Ordain we ne'er shalt meet again,
Still whisper Hope, when time is o'er,
When stopp'd life's ever ebbing tide,
In Heav'n, where all the stars abide.
TUE ARABIAN DESERTED VILLAGE.
AX ELEGY BY LEBID BEN RABIAT ALAMARY.
THIE author of this poem was a native of Yeman. He was cotemporary with Mo.
hammed, and already celebrated as a poet when the prophet began to promulgate his doctrines. Lebid for a while united with the other Arabian wits, in ridiculing the new faith ; but at length, about the sixth year of the Hejra, he declared tim.
sell a convert.
The cause of his conversion, as related by several writers, appears not inconsistent
with his poetical character. It was customary at that time, amongst the poets in Arabia, to affix to the portal of
the temple of Mecca any compositiöt which they brought possessed superior ex. cellence, as a sort of challenge; and whoever accepted the challenge, placed his own production near his antagonist's, by which means the public were enabled to
examine and decide upon the merits of each. Lebid having written a moral poem which was greatly admired, affixed it, according
to the prevailing custom, to the gate of the Caaba ; for some time no person át. tempted to rival a composition which had obtained such universal approbation; but at length Mohammed produced the chapter of the Koran entitled Becret, and exhibited his pretended revelation upon the gate of the temple, by the side of Le. bid's poem. Lebid was one of the foremost to read his opponent's works; he had not however perused many verses before he exclaimed, “No one could write these words without the inspiration of God," and immediately embraced Moham.
medanism. He now renounced all profane poetry, and, resolving to consecrate his talents to the
service of religion, employed his pen, from this time, either upon subjects of piety, or in answering the sarcastic pieces which Amriolkais and the other Arabian poets were continually pouring forth. By this means he rendered himself es. tremely serviceable to Mohammed, and was always treated by him with the utmost
distinction. Lebid fixed his abode in the city of Cufa, where he died at a very advanced age. His
last words are still preserved, and it must be confessed they breathe more the spirit of a wit than that of a devotee; they were as follows:
"I am going to enjoy the novelty of death, but it is a novelty by no means agreea
This elegy, as is evident from its nature, must have been written previous to Lebid',
change of religion. Its subject is one that must be ever interesting to a feeling mind--the return of a person, after a long absence, to the place where he had spent his early years—it is in fact an Arabian Deserted Village.
• It is a custom with the Arabian women, in order to give the veins of their hands and arms a more brilliant appearance, to make slight punctures along them, and to rub into the incisions a blue powder, which they renew occasionally as it happens to wear out.
I see the maids with timid steps ascend,
The streamers wave in all their painted pride,
And vainly strive the charms within to hide.
What graceful forms those envious folds enclose!
What melting glances through those curtains play!
Through yonder veils their sportive young survey.
The bandmovid on-to trace their steps I strove ;
I saw them urge the camel's hastening flight,
Snatch'd them forever from my aching sight.
Nor since that morn have I NAWARA seen,
The bands are burst which held us once so fast,
And sad Reflection adds that they are past.
The vapour here alluded to, called by the Arabians Serab, is not unlike in appear. ance (and probably proceeding from a similar cause) to those white mists which we often see horering over the surface of a river in a summer's evening after a hot day. They are very frequent in the sultry plains of Arabia, and, when seen at a distance, resemble an expanded lake ; but upon a nearer approach, the thirsty traveller perceives his deception.
DOMESTIC LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
Thomas B. Wait and Sons, of Boston, propose to publish a collection of the state papers and public documents of the United States, relating to their intercourse with foreign nations, from the period of the accession of Mr. Jefferson to the presidency. As it most unfortunately happens that instead of a regular annual register, which, for the credit of the country, as well as for its great utility, we ought certainly to have had, we have nothing more than a broken series of abortive attempts at such a publication, we think this proposed collection of state papers not only highly useful, but, in fact, almost indispensable to our public men, and, indeed, to every man of education who takes an interest in the history and politics of his country. The publishers promise that nothing shall be omitted, and that no political remarks shall be made. It is intended to be merely a book of commodious reference, on the plan of Debrett's State Papers. This is as it should be; and we confidently trust that no narrow, party feeling will induce them to swerve from this laudable impartiality. It is to be printed with a copious index, in three or four octavo volumes, of about 500 pages each.
The same booksellers propose to publish, by subscription, a uniform and elegant edition of all Cicero's writings, in the best English translations, together with his life by Middleton, and some valuable tracts connected with it. This is a spirited undertaking. We should not have supposed that there was any demand which could warrant such a publication ; but the booksellers are the best judges in these matters, and if, in the present instance, they are right in their judgment, it will only afford an additional proof to those which are every day afforded of the increase of literary curiosity and good taste in the great body of the reading public in the United States. In this instance, as in several others, we have anticipated the enterprise of the British booksellers. There is no uniform English edition of the translations of Cicero's works. A friend of ours some time ago sent out an order to London for a complete set of these translations. It was executed with some difficulty; and when they arrived a squeamish book collector would not have been a little shocked by the motley and irregular appearance of the set. It would be ridiculous to attempt to recommend this undertaking by any eulogy of Cicero, a writer to whom the common suffrage of the learned world for nearly two thousand years has awarded the palm of every species of eloquence. Nò translation has yet done full justice to the elevation, the harmony, and the grace of his style ; but, though these flowers of language may fade when transplanted to another soil, there must always remain a solid and imperishable trunk of sound learning and rich sense.
This edition is to be introduced by the life of the author, by Dr. Conyers Middleton, a writer who, in spite of Pope's sneer at his
easy Ciceronian style So Latin, and yet so Eoglish all the while,"
has secured to himself the rank of a second rate English classic, and is one of those authors whom we always expect to see in every library next after the works of Shakspeare and Milton, of Addison and Johnson, and the other Dii majorum gentium of British literature. Several minor critical tracts are to be added to this life. We know little of the principal