Page images

Tho' Daniel gaz'd 'till gazing was in vain,

He still prolonged his lamentation sad,
Oh ! a'nt I to be pitied ?-not a grain

Of land but this cold stone is to be had,
0! Daniel, Daniel, it is now quite plain

You drank too much, and stagger'd here, my lad ;
That MOUNTAIN Daisy, and that Paddy Blake
Oh, Lord! Oh, Lord ! my heart will surely break !"

He look'd again, around him and around,

Nothing but bog, like sea of silvery light,
Could meet his view. The moon full, bright, and round,

Shone the pure mistress of the wild to-night,
And all was calm as death ;-no living sound

Disturbed the deep repose. Poor luckless wight!
Save when at distance croaking in the bog,
Dan heard (like Leslie) some old bluff bull-frog.

And now he thought upon the hours he'd spend

'Till death would end his sorrows; for no chance
Had he of 'scaping, and he could not send

For help or succour; there was no advance,
Retreat, or hope, for him ; no man could bend

Hither his way; when as a hasty glance
He threw above, he saw a body skim,
Dimming the light, between the moon and him.

And wondrous was th' eclipse, a murky cloud

Blotted the moon's fair visage from the sky,
And all in motion seem'd the awful shroud,

Towards the sad spot where Dan was forced to lie ;
And hark ! he hears thick pinions rustling loud,

And while he gazed with terror-stricken eye,
Down swoop'd a bird. “ I see, quoth Dan, my dear,
That you're an eagle come to see me here.”

And now the thunder-clapping of his wings

Had ceased, the bird had perch'd close by a stream,
The glorious bird of Jove ! the bog still rings

With the loud echo of his mountain scream;
His glossy feathers, midnight-dark, he flings

In majesty around him ; a bright gleam
Of moonshine sparkled on his mighty head;
He spoke-next month I'll tell you what he said.


No IX.
Rosamundama Tragedy ;

By CHARLES THEODORE KÖRNER. In briefly commenting on the transla- we wish to deprive our readers of the tions, with which we present our read- freest possible choice of what they are ers from the living poets of Germany, to admire or to censure. But there is it may no doubt be considered our a wide, and for many reasons justifiduty to avoid, as much as possible, able, difference between the feelings any direct panegyric; nor even, were which we entertain towards living auit ever so much in our power, should thors, and that mood of admiring



templation and regret with which we strugglings of his noble spirit turned pay our respectful hoinage to the de- into the mysterious realms of the “inparted spirit of Körner. With regard ward life, and, at other times, these to living authors, so far as the ques- impulses as readily accommodated tion relates to themselves, we know themselves to outward achievements ;not that praise is of much consequence or, according to the German expresto them.' Where the light of true ge- sion, which is hardly translateable, nius burns, it has its own internal or

“ Seine Gedichte wurden Thaten, und supernatural resources; applause is seine Thaten Gedichte.” In his situ-heard with indifference; and even ation as theatre poet at Vienna, after coldness and neglect, if observed having already produced two volumes at all, only serve to rouse of excellent comedies, he brought out tions by which attention may be “ Xrine” and “ Rosamunda," both commanded. Sufficient examples not only distinguished by their poetimight easily be found to prove this cal beauty, but (especially the former) position, if it were worth while at admirably adapted to the tumultuous present to look for them—but enough spirit of the times. Then, when the of this. There have been individuals genius of his countrymen, aided by in our own country (H. K. White a the Cossacks, had begun to manifest mong the latest), who have been ad- itself in military ardour against the umired and eulogized on account of surpations of the French, Körner, like their untimely fate-though their li- Camoens, resolved to shew that he terary productions were little more could wield the sword as well as the than imperfect buds of promise. But pen, and took his place therefore as Körner, who perished in his twenty- adjutant in a volunteer regiment of second year, has achieved a variety of horse, which was immediately called works which would have done honour into actual service. In this new stato the most mature and practised ge- tion it might have been supposed that. nius. In fact, we have had no indi- the habits of authorship would be vidual in our country, who, in that broken, and in a country less imbued respect, can be brought into competi- with the spirit of literature than Gertion with him. Chatterton, had he many, this might have been the result; survived, might have excelled every but Körner, instead of writing less, author ; but he is the only one whom seemed now more industrious than we can venture to bring into the lists ever, though it is true that his com-Henry Kirke White, and several positions were comparatively short and others, have been praised, and justly desultory. He now published a vopraised; but on our shores the me- lume, entitled the “ Lyre and Sword,” rits of Körner are yet wholly un

of which the contents are, to this day, known; and it is time, surely, that a cherished with enthusiasm by his few words of eulogium should be de- countrymen. Being, at one time, left voted to his memory.

dangerously (and as it was supposed Perhaps the most singular circum- mortally) wounded, in the recesses of a stance attending the brief life of our forest, he wrote in his pocket-book a author was, that he shrunk from no sonnet, which we shall insert in some worldly duty, but was exposed to every future Number of this series, devoted distracting influence of outward occu exclusively to the life of Körner. pations, while, notwithstanding this, like manner, after having recovered he wrote more than in the same course from this accident, only one hour beof years the most retired student could fore the commencement of that battle have been expected to accomplish. in which our hero was shot through While yet a mere youth, he was ap- the body, he wrote the beautiful lines, pointed to the office of Theater Dichter entitled “ Address to a Sword,” which (literally Theatre Poet) at Vienna, (a we will also, at some time or another, station to which we have nothing equi- translate, and which he was tranquilly valent in this country), and here he reading to a friend at the moment when was as much distinguished by worldly they heard the signal for attack. Such prudence and social virtue as by the events, improbable as they would seem superiority of his genius. In short, even in a romance, are, in this instance, his character as a man and an author literally true. Körner fell near Rowere, to an unexampled degree, blend- senberg, in Mecklenburgh, on the ed together -- alternately were the 28th August 1813.



w the tells



[ocr errors]

There have been half-witted critics, Henry the Second of England had thi not few in number, who have im- married Leonora, the divorced wife of Les i puted to the German School, as they Lewis, King of France, on account of bis sagaciously term it, (as if there were her rich possessions, whose revenues

but one school in Germany where there were amply sufficient to enable him to

are hardly two authors that resemble support his then tottering throne and nie each other), the invariable attributes power. This queen had become to baket of mysticism,-improbability,-fata- him the mother of four sons-and on list lism,--demonology;--and a special de- might have continued in good terms mm i light in dwelling on every instance of with her second husband, (though he o te the most horrible crimes. These en- had never loved her), had he not, in cout lightened judges, who, like the French a distant hunting excursion, met with dei poets

, having neither spirit nor pa- the beautiful Rosamund Clifford, with tience to invent any thing new, desire whom he fell so desperately in love, The fit a basis of historical truth, and almost that he resolved to stop at no measures

mathematical tenability, for every to effect the gratification of his pasHe: work, are here met on their own sion. For this purpose he appeared lite ground by a youth, who, without before Lord Clifford in the assumed on ever being in England, has chosen a character of a simple knight or bainst 2 plot purely English, of which several of ron of competent fortune--won easily Come our own countrymen had attempted, the affections of Rosamund, and, oba

in vain, to improve the capabilities - tained her father's consent for an im

and who has, on this, founded a most mediate marriage, which regularly enharts affecting tragedy, admirably adapted sued. Not long after, Lord Clifford

to scenic representation. Here no ob- discovered the true rank of his supjections on the score of improbability, posed son-in-law, and consequently demonology, or other extravagance, can the nullity of the marriage ; but havbe alleged. There are no crimes-no ing then no alternative, he was obligsupernatural agencies—in a word, no ed to acquiesce in circumstances, and

events that history has not authorised. to assist in a plan by which his daughthe The supposition of Rosamund's perfect ter's peace of mind might be secured.

unconsciousness of guilt, and of Ri- The king, of course, retained his as

chard's visionary and also guiltless sumed character and title; and after meg a passion, are the only additions which the death (which shortly occurred) of

are exclusively the work of the poet. Lord Clifford, made choice of WoodThere are twoother tragedies of Körner stock castle for the residence of Rosa

“Xryne," already mentioned), and mund, on account of its retired situa

the Robber's Pride," which are equal- tion, and the beauty of its forest sceto find ly free from those attributes vulgarly nery. There, in a park or garden,

ascribed to the “ German School," of surrounded by a high wall, lived our which those, who have been accustom- heroine, shut out from all commerce ed to talk in this country, are deplore with the world, and believing that her ably ignorant. How then is it to be husband, Count Plantagenet, was for wondered at that they do not even sus certain, and only temporary reasons, pect the existence of those bright lu- obliged to keep their marriage concealminaries which are now gradually ri- ed. The delusion was the more readily sing into full splendour in Denmark, kept up, as, by the prudence of Sir and even in Sweden ! But to return Thomas O'Neale, the castellan-no The story of Rosamund Clifford is stranger was ever admitted within the known to every one who has read the walls of the castle. history of England. A temptation

The first scene of act first opens might offer itself to a bibliographer in the garden at Woodstock. Prince to transcribe from old Chronicles, va Richard (afterwards the celebrated herious notices of her life.-Nor are ro of the Crusades) has been hunting, there wanting black-letter poets, (Dray- with his friend Southwell, in the foton, for example) who have commemo- rest; and with a romantic enthusiasm, rated her unhappy fate. We proceed, having heard Rosamund's voice at the however, to give only a brief and hasty window, has rightly conceived the idea abstract of the plot--and the antiquary that her beauty of person must be as must excuse us if we do not even take exquisite as the tones of her voice Hume's history from the shelf, but ad were ravishing. Jereexclusivelytotheplan of ourauthor. He is, of course, utterly ignorant of


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

ze hivi

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

discover, if possible, the true character In morning dew: or if our eyes are moist, si prin efectivos

first time, introduced to Queen Leon Malignant cloud this heaven ! The world with leave the

his father's connexion with the hero quent visits to Woodstock. In scene sauce ine, and far less suspects that she is of eighth we have a spirited and effective 32 matronly estate, and the mother of dialogue between the king and queen, e two children. The prince has, there in which the former reproaches the fore, at the risk of his neck, (and that latter with instigating or abetting the of his friend,) insisted on getting into rebellious dispositions of his sons, of the garden, by climbing up into a whom he believes that John, the tree, from the branches of which they youngest prince, alone is faithful to drop to the ground, on the other him. The queen, on the other side, sa side of the wall, where, notwithstand- reproaches him, by harsh and signifie quer pesert, ing all the remonstrances of Southwell, cant inuendos, with his infidelity, he now watches for a sight of his vi- which, by his evasive answers, best lore, sionary idol. In the highly poetical comes more manifest—and being left :* speeches of Richard in this dialogue, alone, she utters a soliloquy full of se*2* we gain immediate insight into his bitterness and the thirst of revenge. romantic character.

The first, second, and third scenes Their conversation is interrupted by of act second contain the various plotthe sound of approaching steps, on tings of the queen and Armand to foswhich they retire into the wood, and ter the rising spirit of rebellion against Sir T. O'Neale appears, instructing, her husband, and

to fan it into an im wesen, for the first time, his son George in mediate flame. For this purpose she arite those mysteries respecting Rosamund holds a long consultation with ner which we have already recapitulated. sons, Henry and Godfrey-Richard ige

In scene third, George O'Neale is also present, but on receiving a letter introduced to the heroine ; and on be- from his friend Southwell, at Wood- sarri zess ing soon afterwards left alone, utters a stock, rushes instantly from the asbeautiful soliloquy, (in rhyme,) which sembly without having agreed to any we cannot venture, at present, to proposition, but, on the contrary, extranslate. She is then surprised by pressed the most decided indignation the sudden apparition of Richard from against all that he has heard. We the wood, who, when interrogated as have now some very beautiful scenes to the cause of this intrusion, declares at Woodstock castle, especially an exthat there is no risk he would not run quisite soliloquy of Rosamund, but eszperanza for such a moment of rapture. He we must pass all these over in silence, then throws himself at her feet, at and go on to the first appearance of a nu se once to express his admiration, and Henry in company with the heroine. to solicit pardon; to all which Rosa

ACT II. mund only replies by angry repri SCENE IX.-Rosamund, Henry. mands, cutting sarcasms, and, finally, by disdain and contempt.


Ros. My Henry !

Hen. Rosamund ! being left alone with Southwell, then

Ros. Com'st thou at last? breaks out into violent expressions of Three long, long days thou hast again been surprise and indignation.

absent ! he could have borne, but her expres- Oh! will these restless wanderings never end? sions of contempt irritate him so much, Three long, long days ! that he declares himself unalterably

Hen. Each hour has on my soul resolved to brave every obstacle, -to Pressed with a weight-as of eternity visit this proud beauty again, and to

In horrible protraction. Oh could I win her for his bride, even if he should Such woes indeed avert !

Ros. Of this no more! perish in the attempt. All this, how- Now art thou here! I hold thee in mine arms! ever, is the youthful extravagance of Leave, then, thy sufferings to the noisy world! the moment. His presence is required Bring them not with thee to these peaceful at court by the queen; and he imme bowers ! diately leaves Woodstock, persuading Here, 'tis the flowers alone that weep,

when Southwell to remain there in order to

bathed of the scornful beauty.

'Tis with tears of joy!

Hen. Oh may no fate In scene we are, for the

fear not ! ora, who, in conversation with her fa. There let the stormy waves of life rage on; vourite, Armand, becomes fully aware But like a rock I stand, and heed them not! of the king's infidelity, and his fre- Not undefended goes the warrior forth !

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Her anger

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

for me

Tyson Dally mine hours away, while thus my hus.

His faithful armour covers his bold breast; Hen. Yet if the storm indeed should come, he Yet in the days unguarded, of repose,

And tear at last the faithful roots from earth, ndefe When but thin silk wraps hisluxurious frame, And break the branches; or the thunderbolt and Then finds the murderous dagger its free way,

Rend even the stem asunder ? cache ; And evil demons, that lay hid, at once Ros. So let it be ! peting Break forth and triumph! Here, oh here Then shall the ivy wither and die too! is sen alone,

For she more firmly than the roots adhere Let me have peace; and then let England To life, twin'd round the tree. rage,

Hen. (aside.) Oh! shall the pride Let Nature's laws be horribly reversed, Never be mine, unto the world to tell othAnd every sinful deed come forth in sunlight; How noble is the soulthat here hath lov'd me? and e Here let me but have peace, and then I fear Ros. Now for thy secret cause of grief? not!

Hen. I came Ros. Our children, love, have prattled Straightway from court; there I beheld the much of thee!

throne UN É I am so glad when thus the little ones By faction's rage assaild; I saw the king Lisp, in mine arms, thy name; and for their Misunderstood even by his dearest friends ; father

For this I griev'd. What boots it the poor Ask me so fondly, “ If he will not come

Henry, Home to them soon, and play with them That England styles him her good king ?. once more ?"

That still lion e They are indeed dear children! Richard still, The barons have obeyed him and that Ireinto a Whene'er the door is opened, calls aloud,

land " There comes my father! He will bring is peacefully subdued ; and even that Eu

rope - Rice A sword at last! He will not break his pro- Acknowledges in him a dauntless warrior ! mise !”

Still wretched is the king, condemned to Hen. That boy will be a soldier, and a

bear brave one!

The matrimonial chain with one whom he I.have high hopes of him!

Deeply despises-knowing, too, the treason Ros. And yet to-day

Of his unnatural sons, that now are arm'd mor, Thou art not cheerful, Henry! On thy brow Against their father? Where is then the indies Each furrow wont to disappear, when thus

fortune Thy Rosamund embrac'd thee! but alas ! That he perchance deserv'd ? Aye, he in'Tis not so now !What is the cause, dear

deed, husband ?

Deserv'd a better fate ;-his ardent zeal Hen. Nought of importance. But these. For the land's welfare, and his subjects' gloomy times

Will leave no mind at rest.

His sympathy with every noble deed,
Ros. Nay, there is more

His restless efforts for the good of all-
The bw Than this to-day. Oh tell it me! This right Even when at times he faild_Aye, this
Of a fond wife, if others are denied,

indeed I may demand of thee. Let me but share

Desery'd a better fate! Yet he must now 1, Ho Thy sorrows and thy toils ! -See! thou art Catch, éven by stealth, at every drop of joy; drawn

And every transient hour of bliss so gain'd,
From home, andlife around thee rages wildly; ('Tis but a shadow !) from all eyes conceal !
Thou stand’st with thy proud heart alone, His marriage vows have made his people
to brave

The stormy waves undaunted; but oh grant But he remains the slave of his own throne,
That I may hold my place in that wild tumult; A splendid sacrifice to save his country.
There should I be; nor idly in repose

Ros. O how I do compassionate the king !

Hen. By heaven, he is not of thy tears band

unworthy ! With deep deceit and faction wild contends ! Ros. Thou art with thy whole heart to See, yonder oak, that long has brav'd the

him devoted

Is it not so ?
And heavenward sends its mighty boughs ;

Hen. His unimparted grief,

That sometimes is unconsciously betrayed, is is it trusts in the old strength of its tried roots, Indeed háth mov'd me! And still may trust them. Yet behold, the

Ros. Tis methinks a lot

Fearful, and chilling to the soul to be
And slender ivy, with affection's grasp

Thus with a being uncongenial joined,
Clings round the item, as if to hold it fast! With whom there is no love nor confidence.
Oh leave then to this ivy, though it were

Perchance to know that in some other heart
All but a dream-Oh leave the consolation, Throb

the deep sympathetic chords of love ; Io think that; in the embraces of true love, Yet, by indissoluble bonds controllod, Her oak blooms more securely !-Leave

her That knowledge to conceal or to forget.

Here virtue, that is wont to smile so mildly, bao Almost appears terrific, when the rights

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

'tis true,


[ocr errors]


This joy!

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »