Page images
PDF

That let light in upon the gloomy woods,
A shape peeps from the breezy forest-top,
Arch with small pucker'd mouth and mocking eye:
The morn has enterprise-deep quiet droops
With evening-triumph when the sun takes rest-
Voluptuous transport when the corn-fields ripen
Beneath a warm moon like a happy face:
And this to fill us with regard for man,
Deep apprehension of his passing worth,
Desire to work his proper nature out,
To ascertain his rank and final place,
For all these things tend upward-progress is
The law of life--man is not man as yet:
Nor shall I deem his object served, his end
Attain'd, his genuine strength put fairly out,
While only here and there a star dispels
The darkness-here and there a towering mind
O'erlooks its crawling fellows: when the host
Is out at once to the despair of night;
When all mankind is perfected alike,
Equal in full-blown powers-then, not till then,
Begins the general infancy of man.

EGLAMOR.

He, no genius rare, Transfiguring in fire or wave or air At will, but a poor gnome that, cloister'd up In some rock-chamber with his agate cup, His topaz rod, his seed-pearl, in these few And their arrangement finds enough to do For his best art. Then, how he loved that art! The calling marking him a man apart From men-one not to care, take counsel for Cold hearts, comfortless faces, (Eglamor Was neediest of his tribe,) since verse, the gift, Was his, and men, the whole of them, must shift Without it, e'en content themselves with wealth And pomp and power, snatching a life by stealth. So Eglamor was not without his pride! The sorriest bat which cowers through noontide While other birds are jocund, has one time When moon and stars are blinded, and the prime Of earth is its to claim, nor find a peer.

EXTRACTS FROM SORDELLO.
CARYATIDES BY SUNSET.

Bor quick
To the main wonder now. A vault, see; thick
Black shade about the ceiling, through fine slits
Across the buttress suffer light by fits
Upon a marvel in the midst : nay, stoop-
A dullish gray-streak'd cumbrous font, a group
Round it, each side of it, where'er one sees,
Upholds it-shrinking caryatides
Of just-tinged marble like Eve's lilied flesh
Beneath her Maker's finger, when the fresh
First pulse of life shot brightening the snow:
The font's edge burdens every shoulder, so
They muse upon the ground, eyelids half closed,
Some, with meek arms behind their backs disposed,
Some, cross'd above their bosoms, some, to veil
Their eyes, some, propping chin and cheek so pale,
Some, hanging slack an utter helpless length
Dead as a buried vestal whose whole strength
Goes when the grate above shuts heavily;
So dwell these noiseless girls, patient to see,
Like priestesses because of sin impure
Penanced for ever, who resign'd endure,
Having that once drunk sweetness to the dregs;
And every eve Sordello's visit begs
Pardon for them: constant as eve he came
To sit beside each in her turn, the same
As one of them, a certain space: and awe
Made a great indistinctness, till he saw
Sunset slant cheerful through the buttress chinks,
Gold seven times globed; surely our maiden shrinks,
And a smile stirs her as if one faint grain
Her load were lighten'd, one shade less the stain
Obscured her forehead, yet one more bead slipt
From off the rosary whereby the crypt
Keeps count of the contritions of its charge?
Then with a step more light, a heart more large,
He may depart, leave her and every one
To linger out the penance in mute stone.

AN INCIDENT AT RATISBON.
You know we French storm'd Ratisbon:

A mile or so away
On a little mound, Napoléon

Stood on our storming day;
With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,

Legs wide, arms lock'd behind,
As if to balance the prone brow

Oppressive with its mind.
Just as perhaps he mused, “My plans

That soar, to earth may fall
Let once my army-leader Lannes

Waver at yonder wall;"
Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew

A rider, bound on bound
Full-galloping; nor bridle drew

Until he reach'd the mound.
Then off there flung in smiling joy,

And held himself erect
Just by his horse's mane, a boy :

You hardly could suspect-
(So tight he kept his lips compress'd,

Scarce any blood came through,)
You look'd twice e'er you saw his breast

Was all but shot in two.
“Well,” cried he, “Emperor, by God's grace

We've got you Ratisbon!
The marshal's in the market-place,

And you'll be there anon
To see your flag-bird flap his vans

Where I, to heart's desire,
Perch'd him.” The chief's eye flash'd; his plans

Soar'd up again like fire.
The chief's eye flash'd; but presently

Soften'd itself, as sheathes
A film the mother eagle's eye

When her bruised eaglet breathes : " You're wounded!” “Nay,” his soldier's pride

Touch'd to the quick, he said; “ I'm kill'd, sire!" And, his chief beside,

Smiling the boy fell dead.

RICHARD HENRY HORNE.

Mr. HORNE belongs to the intellectual bro- | This he accomplishes, but nopion hesitattherhood of whom we have already given ing to fulfil his agreement, the giants make specimens in the notices of DARLEY, BROWN- | war against him and carry off Merope, with ING, and others. He has written several dra whom Orion lives happily in a secluded grove matic poems and sketches, among which are until the king discovers his retreat and deThe Death of Marlowe, Cosmo de' Medici, prives him of sight. In his wretchedness, and Gregory the Seventh, all of which have deserted by Merope, he seeks the aid of Eos, met the approval of the critics. His latest who unseals his eyes and loves him with an production (excepting The New Spirit of the affection which satisfies his soul. The jea. Age, of which he acknowledges himself to be lous Artemis now destroys him; but repents, the editor only) is Orion, an epic poem, and joins with Eos in a prayer to Zeus for which, aside from its intrinsic merits, will the restoration of his life. The prayer is find its record in the Curiosities of Litera- | granted; Orion is made immortal, placed ture for the novel circumstances of its pub- | among the constellations, and enjoys for ever lication. It was offered to the public at vari- | the love of Eos. This slight outline of the ous prices, commencing with a farthing and fable is necessary to a proper understanding rising through successive stages to a half- of the extracts from the poem which are given crown in its fourth edition. In Orion we have in this volume. modern transcendentalismı wedded to the old Mr. Horne is also author of an Essay on Greek mythology. Orion, wandering in the Tragic Infiuence, and an Introduction to Schlemountains of Chios, encounters Artemis, who gel's Lectures on Dramatic Literature and loves him, and by her love elevates his na- | Art; and he was associated with WORDSture, but fails to make him happy. In a dream WORTH, Leigh HUNT, Miss BARRETT, and he sees Merope, the daughter of Enopion, | others, in the production of Chaucer Modernking of Chios, who warns him to beware of ized, to which he prefixed an admirable essay Artemis, and on awaking he seeks and wins on the riches of English poetry and the dethe affection of the princess. The king de velopment of the principles of versification, rides his pretensions, but promises him the by which the rhythm of CHAUCER is fully hand of his daughter if in six days he will sustained, and which no poet who has a love destroy the beasts and serpents of the island. | for his art should fail to read.

MORNING.

EXTRACTS FROM ORION.
THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF ORION.
The scene in front two sloping mountains' sides
Display'd; in shadow one and one in light.
The loftiest on its summit now sustain'd
The sun-beams, raying like a mighty wheel
Half seen, which left the forward surface dark
In its full breadth of shade; the coming sun
Hidden as yet behind: the other mount,
Slanting transverse, swept with an eastward face
Catching the golden light. Now while the peal
Of the ascending chase told that the rout
Still midway rent the thickets, suddenly
Along the broad and sunny slope appear'd
The shadow of a stag that fled across,
Follow'd by a giant's shadow with a spear.

O'er meadows green or solitary lawn,
When birds appear earth's sole inhabitants,
The long, clear shadows of the morning differ
From those of eve, which are more soft and vague,
Suggestive of past days and mellow'd grief.
The lights of morning, even as her shades,
Are architectural, and pre-eminent
In quiet freshness, midst the pause that holds
Prelusive energies. All life awakes,
Morn comes at first with white, uncertain light;
Then takes a faint red, like an opening bud
Seen through gray mist; the mist clears of; the sky
Unfolds; grows ruddy; takes a crimson fush;
Puts forth bright sprigs of gold, which soon ere,

panding

In saffron, thence pure golden shines the morn; Through wildest haunts and lairs of savage beasts. Uplifts its clear, bright fabric of white clouds, With long-drawn howl, before him troop'd the All tinted, like a shell of polish'd pearl,

wolves With varied glancings, violet gleam and blush; The panthers, terror-stricken, and the bears Embraces nature; and then passes on,

With wonder and gruff rage; from desolate crags Leaving the sun to perfect his great work. Leering hyenas, griffin, hippogriff,

Skulk’d, or sprang madly, as the tossing brands

Flash'd through the midnight nooksand hollowscold, SUMMER NOON.

Sudden as fire from flint; o'er crashing thickets,

With crouch'd head and curl'd fangs dash'd the wild There was a slumbrous silence in the air, By noon-tide's sultry murmurs from without

Gnashing forth on with reckless impulses, [boar, Made more oblivious. Not a pipe was heard

While the clear-purposed fox crept closely down From field or wood; but the grave beetle's drone

| Into the underwood, to let the storm,

Whate'er its cause, pass over. Through dark fens, Pass'd near the entrance: once the cuckoo call'd

Marshes, green rushy swamps, and margins reedy, O'er distant meads, and once a horn began

Orion held his way—and rolling shapes Melodious plaint, then died away. A sound

Of serpent and of dragon moved before him Of murmurous music yet was in the breeze,

With high-rear'd crests, swan-like, yet terrible, For silver gnats that harp on glassy strings,

And often looking back with gem-like eyes. And rise and fall in sparkling clouds, sustain'd

All night Orion urged his rapid course Their dizzy dances o'er the seething meads.

In the vex'd rear of the swist-droving din,

And when the dawn had peer’d, the monsters all BUILDING OF THE PALACE OF POSEIDON. Were hemm'd in barriers. These he now o'erheap'd

With fuel through the day, and when again For him I built a palace underground,

Night darken'd, and the sea a gulf-like voice Of iron, black and rough as his own hands. Sent forth, the barriers at all points he fired, Deep in the groaning, disembowel'd earth, Mid prayers to Hephæstos and his ocean-sire. The tower-broad pillars and huge stanchions, Soon as the flames had eaten out a gap And slant supporting wedges I set up,

In the great barrier fronting the ravine Aided by the Cyclops who obey'd my voice, That ran down to the sea, Orion grasp'd Which through the metal fabric rang and peal'd Two blazing boughs; one high in air he raised, In orders echoing far, like thunder-dreams.

The other, with its roaring foliage, trail'd With arches, galleries, and domes all carved Behind him as he sped. Onward the droves So that great figures started from the roof

Of frantic creatures with one impulse rollid And lofty coignes, or sat and downward gazed Before this night-devouring thing of flames, On those who strode below and gazed above With multitudinous voice and downward sweep I fill'd it; in the centre framed a hall :

Into the sea, which now first knew a tide, Central in that, a throne; and for the light, And, ere they made one effort to regain Forged mighty hammers that should rise and fall The shore, had caught them in its flowing arms, On slanted rocks of granite and of fint,

And bore them past all hope. The living mass, Work’d by a torrent, for whose passage down Dark heaving o'er the waves resistlessly, A chasm I hew'd. And here the god could take, At length, in distance seem'd a circle small, Midst showery sparks and swathes of broad, gold fire, Midst which one creature in the centre rose, His lone repose, lulld by the sounds he loved; Conspicuous in the long, red, quivering gleams Or, casting back the hammer-heads till they choked That from the dying brands stream'd o'er the waves. The water's course, enjoy, if so he wish'd, It was the oldest dragon of the fens, Midnight tremendous, silence, and iron sleep. Whose forky flag-wings and horn-crested head

O'er crags and marshes regal sway had held;

And now he rose up like an embodied curse, ORION'S EXTIRPATION OF TIIE BEASTS

| Froin all thedoom'd, fast sinking-some just sunkFROM CHIOS.

Look'd landward o'er the sea, and Alapp'd his vans,
Fresh trees he fell’d and wove

Until Poseidon drew them swirling down.
More barriers and fences; inaccessible
To fiercest charge of droves, and to o'erleap

RESTORATION OF ORION.
Impossible. These walls he so arranged
That to a common centre each should force

Now had Poseidon with tridental spear
The flight of those pursued; and from that centre Torn up the smitten sea, which raged on high
Diverged three outlets: one, the wide expanse With grief and anger for Orion slain;
Which from the rocks and inland forests led; And black Hephæstos deep beneath the earth
One was the clear-skied windy gap above

A cold thrill felt through his metallic veins, A precipice; the third, a long ravine fran Which soon with sparkling fire began to writhe Which through steep slopes, down to the seashore Like serpents, till from each volcanic peak Winding, and then direct into the sea.

Burst smoke and threatening flames. Day hid his Orion, in each hand

And while the body of Orion sunk fhead, Waving a torch, his course at night began, Drawn down into the embraces of the sea,

The four winds with confronting fury arose, Which beats thy reasoning down to silent truth, And to a common centre drove their blasts,

And therefore deem I thou with me wilt seek Which, meeting, brake like thunder-stone, or shells The throne of Zeus, who may receive our prayers, Of war, far scattering. Shipwreck fed the deep. Nor from our supplications utterly No moon had dared the ringing vault to climb; Take sorrow's sweetness, which hath secret hope, No star, no meteor's steed; and ancient night Like honey drops in some down-fallen flower." Shook the dishevell'd lightning from her brows, Her lofty pallid visage Artemis Then sank in deeper gloom. Ere long the roar Raised slowly, but with eyes still downward bent Rolld through a distant yawning chasm of flame, Upon the ocean rolling dark below, Dying away, and in the air obscure,

And answer'd, “ I will go with thee." The twain Feverish and trembling-like the breath of one Departed heavily on their ascent (reach'd Recovering from convulsion's throes—appear'd Through the gray air, and paused not till they Two wavering misty shapes upon a mount: The region of Olympos, where their course Whence now a solemn and reproachful voice, Was barrier'd by a mass of angry cloud With broken pauses spake, and thus lamented: Piled up in surging blackness, with a gleam

“Call it not love !-oh never yet for thee Of smouldering red seen through at intervals. Did love's ambrosial pinions fan the hours, The sign well understood, both goddesses To lose themselves in bliss, which memory Knelt down before the cloud, and Artemis Alone can find, so to renew their life,

Broke silence first, with firm yet hollow voice: Thou couldst not ever thus enjoy, thus give

Father of gods, and of the populous earth! Thy nature fully up; thine attributes,

Who know'st the thoughts and deeds we most would Whate'er of loveliness or high estate

And also know'st the secret thrill within, [hide; They own'd, surrendering all before love's feast, Which owns no thought nor action, yet comprises And in his breath to melt. How shall we name Life's sole excuse for what seems worthiest hateThy passion-ice-pure, self-entire, exacting Extremes and madden'd self-opposing springsAll worship, for a limited return?

Not always thus excused, -0 Zeus! receive But how, ah me! shall time record the hour, Our prayers, and chiefly mine, which pardon sue, When with thy bow-its points curved stiflly back, Besides the dear request. Grant that the life Like a snake's neck preparing for a spring

Of him these bands, once dazzling white, have slain, Thou stood'st in lurid ire behind a cloud,

May be to earth restored.” More had she said, And loosed the fatal shaft! Where then was love? | But the dark pile of clouds shook with the voice Oh Artemis! Oh miserable queen!

| Of Zeus, who answer'd: “He shall be restored; Call it pride, jealousy, revenge-self-love;

But not return'd to earth. His cycle moves No other. Thou repliest not. Wherefore pride? Ascending !” The deep sea the announcement Thou gavest thyself that wound, rejecting one And from beneath its ever-shifting thrones (heard; Who to thee tender'd all his nature; noble, I The murmuring of a solemn joy sent up. Though earth-born, as thou knew'st when first ye The cloud expanded darkly o'er the heavens, And thou not Zeus with a creator's power [met, Which, like a vault preparing to give back His being to re-make? Thou answerest not. The heroic dead, yawn'd with its sacred gloom, Why jealous, but because thou saw'st him happy And iron-crown'd Night her black breath pour'd Without thee, tho'cast off by thee. Then wherefore Destroy ? Revenge, the champion of self-love, To meet the clouds that from Olympos rolld Can make his well-known sign. Oh, horrible ! Billows of darkness with a dirging roar, Despair to all springs up from murder'd love, Which by gradations of high barmony And smites revenge with idiotcy of grief,

Merged in triumphal strains. Their earnest eyes Seeing itself. But wake, and look upon

Fill'd with the darkness, and their hands still clasp'd, My loss unutterable. What hast thou gain'd? Kneeling, the goddesses bright rays perceived, Nothing but anguish; and for this accomplish'd Reflected, glance before them. Mute they rose His death, my loss, and the earth's loss beside With tender consciousness; and, hand in hand, Of that much needed hand. I curse thee not - I Turning, they saw, slow rising from the sea, Thouhast, indeed,cursed methou know'stitwell.” The luminous giant clad in blazing stars,

With face bow'd o'er her bosom, Artemis, New-born and trembling from their Maker's breathAs in sad trance, remain'd. The night was gone; Divine, refulgent effluence of love. The day had dawn'd, but she perceived it not; With pale gold shield, like a translucent moon Nor Eos knew that any light had pass'd

Through which the morning with ascending cheek From her rent robes. But hope unconsciously Sheds a soft blush, warming cerulean veins; Grew up in her, and yet again she spake:

With radiant belt of glory, typical “Ah me! alas! why came this great affliction, Of happy change that o'er the zodiac round Which, indeed, seems beyond all remedy,

Of the world's monstrous fantasies shall come; Though scalding tears from our immortal eyes And in his hand a sword of peaceful power, Make constant arcs in heaven. Beauty avails not Streaming like a meteor to direct the earth Where power is needed. Seek we, then, for power, To victory over life's distress, and show (glooms; That some reviving or renewing beam

The future path whose light runs through death's May call him back, now pale in the deep sea. | In grandeur, like the birth of motion, rose Thou answerest not. I think thou hast a heart, The glorious giant, towards his place in heaven.

around

FRANCES KEMBLE BUTLER.

Mrs. Butler is a daughter of Charles, which in this respect have been more fortuKemble, and a niece of John Philip KEMBLE nate. The volume of her shorter poems puband Mrs. SIDDONS. After a brilliant career lished in Philadelphia in 1844 entitles her to at the Drury Lane Theatre, she in 1832 came be ranked with the first class of living Eng. with her father to the United States, where | lish poetesses. Their general tone is melanshe played with unprecedented success in the choly and desponding; but they are vigorous principal cities, confirming a reputation already in thought and execution, and free from the acquired as the greatest British actress of the sickly sentiment and puerile expression for age. In 1834 she retired from the stage and which so much of the verse of the day is was married to Mr. Pierce Butler of Phila- | chiefly distinguished. She has written besides delphia.

the works before mentioned A Journal, which Mrs. BUTLER is among the few of her pro- | was published on her return from this country fession who have been eminent in the world to London. It is a clever, gossipping book, of letters. Her dramas, Francis the First and with such absurdities of opinion as might have the Star of Seville, were written when she been expected from a commentator on national was very young, and do not retain possession character of her age and position: very amusof the stage, though superior to many pieces / ing and very harınless.

THE PRAYER OF A LONELY HEART. 1 The fleshly casket, that may not contain them,

Let me come nigh to thee ;-accept them thou, I am alone-Oh be thou near to me,

Dear Father!-Fount of love! Compassionate God! Great God! from whom the meanest are not far. When in my spirit burns the fire, the power Not in presumption of the daring spirit,

That have made men utter the words of angels, Striving to find the secrets of itself,

And none are near to bid me speak and live: Make I my weeping prayer; in the deep want Hearken, O Father! Maker of my spirit! Of utter loneliness, my God! I seek thee;

God of my soul, to thee I will outpour
If the worm may creep up to thy fellowship, The hymns resounding through my troubled mind,
Or dust, instinct with yearning, rise towards thee. The sighs and sorrows of my lonely heart,
I have no fellow, Father! of my kind;

The tears and weeping of my weary eyes :
None that be kindred, none companion to me, Be thou my fellow, glorious, gracious God!
And the vast love, and harmony, and brotherhood, And fit me for such fellowship with thee!
Of the dumb creatures thou hast made below me,
Vexes my soul with its own bitter lot.

ON A FORGET-ME-NOT,
Around me grow the trees, each by the other ;

BROUGHT FROM SWITZERLAND. Innumerable leaves, each like the other, Whisper and breathe, and live and move together. / Flower of the mountain! by the wanderer's hand Around me spring the flowers; each rosy cup

| Robb'd of thy beauty's short-lived sunny day; Hath sisters leaning their fair cheeks against it.

Didst thou but blow to gem the stranger's way, The birds fly all above me; not alone,

And bloom to wither in the stranger's land? But coupled in free fellowship, or mustering

Hueless and scentless as thou art, A joyous band, sweeping in companies

How much that stirs the memory, The wide blue fields between the clouds;—the clouds

How much, much more, that thrills the heart, Troop in society, each on the other

Thou faded thing, yet lives in thee! Shedding, like sympathy, reflected light.

Where is thy beauty? in the grassy blade snow; The waves, a multitude, together run

There lives more fragrance and more freshness To the great breast of the receiving sea :

Yet oh! not all the flowers that bloom and fade Nothing but hath its kind, its company,

Are half so dear to memory's eye as thou. O God! save I alone !-then, let me come,

The dew that on the mountain lies, Good Father! to thy feet; when, even as now,

The breeze that o'er the mountain sighs, Tears, that no human hand is near to wipe,

Thy parent stem will nurse and nourish; O’erbrim my eyes, oh wipe them, thou, my Father! But thou—not e'en those sunny eyes, When in my heart the stores of its affections,

As bright, as blue as thine own skies, Piled up unused, lock'd fast, are like to burst

Thou faded thing! can make thee flourish.

2 R

469

« PreviousContinue »