We shall conclude with another lit- What !he exclaimed, when, shuddering tle section, in which our author makes at the sight, as much of a Statue, as Ginevra has The boy breathed out, I stood but on shewn us he can make of a Picture. my guard.' These two passages, come what will

• Dar'st thou then blacken one who never of the rest of the volume, must survive. Who would not set his foot upon a worm ?

wrong'd thee, Don GARZIA.

Yes, thou must die, lest others fall by

thee, Among the awful forms that stand assembled

And thou shouldst be the slayer of us all.' In the great square of Florence, may be

Then from Garzia's side he took the dag

ger, That Cosmo, not the father of his country,

That fatal one which spilt his brother's

blood; Not he so styled, but he who play'd the Tyrant,

And, kneeling on the ground, " Great

God !' he cried,
Clad in rich armour like a Paladin,
But with his helmet off--in kingly state,

· Grant me the strength to do an act of Aloft he sits upon his horse of brass ;

justice, And they, who read the legend underneath, How can I spare myself, sparing none

Thou knowest what it costs me; but alas, Go and pronounce him happy. Yet there

else? is A Chamber at Grosseto, that, if walls

Grant me the strength, the will—and oh!

forgive Could speak and tell of what is done

The sinful soul of a most wretched son. within, Would turn your admiration into pity.

'Tis a most wretched father who implores

it.” Half of what passed died with him ; but Long on Garzia’s neck he hung, and wept

the rest, All he discovered when the fit was on,

Tenderly, long press'd him to his bosom ; All that, by those who listen'd, could be And then, but while he held him by the

arm, glean'd From broken sentences and starts in sleep,

Thrusting him backward, turned away his

face, Is told, and by an honest chronicler.

And stabb'd him to the heart. Two of his sons, Giovanni and Garzia, (The eldest had not seen his sixteenth sum

Well might De Thou,

When in his youth he came to Cosmo's mer)

court, Went to the chase; but one of them, Giovanni,

Think on the past; and, as he wander'd

through His best beloved, the glory of his House,

The ancient palace—through those ample Return'd not ; and at close of day was found

spaces Bathed in his innocent blood. Too well,

Silent, deserted—stop awhile to dwell alas,

Upon two portraits there, drawn on the

wall The trembling Cosmo guess'd the deed, the doer ;

Together, as of two in bonds of love,

One in a Cardinal's habit, one in black, And, having caused the body to be borne In secret to that Chamber-at an hour

Those of the unhappy brothers, and infer

From the deep silence that his questions When all slept sound, save the disconso

drew, late Mother, Who little thought of what was yet to

The terrible truth. come, And lived but to be told—he bade Garzia For poor humanity, when he beheld

Well might he heave a sigh Arise and follow him. Holding in one hand

That very Cosmo shaking o'er his fire,

Drowsy and deaf and inarticulate,
A winking lamp, and in the other a key
Massive and dungeon-like, thither he led ;

Wrapt in his night-gown, o'er a sick man's

mess, And, having entered in and lock'd the In the last stage-death-struck and deadly

door, The father fixed his eyes upon the soni,

pale ; And closely question'd him. No change At once his nurse and his interpreter.

His wife, another, not his Eleanora, betray'd Or guilt or fear. Then Cosmo lifted up The bloody sheet . Look there ! Look have quoted too much from so small a

The author may perhaps think we there!' he cried, · Blood calls for blood and from a fa- volume; but the fact is, that except ther's hand!

it be written by Lord Byron, the read-Unless thyself wilt save him that sad ing public will have very little to say, office.

just at present, to any volume of verses, be it large or small. Scotland, for ex- dens green Albyn, with the rumbling ample, is a country full of readers, of his gig. and talkers too; yet we venture to say,

N.B. We wish such authors as this three copies of this book will not have would not neglect sending us presentabeen sold in Scotland, up to the day tion copies of their works. But for the this number of The Magazine issues purely accidental circumstance of our forth to fill Auld Reekie with her observing a little extract from this vomonthly dream of delight. We trust lume, in Mr Samuel Hunter's Herald several copies more may be disposed of of last week, we should never have the day after ; indeed we should not purchased it; and our readers (at least wonder if we were to be the means of 999 to 1000 of them) would never have selling two or three dozens of them heard of it. And when the author is here, and perhaps half a dozen into the informed, which he now is, that (albargain throughout Glasgow and the ways excepting John BULL) we never Gorbals, and other rural districts of read newspapers at all, now-a-days, our ancient kingdom. The author, he will bless his stars to see how narwho has probably been in the habit of rowly he has shaved the corner of obabusing Blackwood, will, the moment livion. he fees himself commended by us, be- “ Never read any paper but John gin to talk very smoothly about that Bull ?" we think we hear (to speak great national work, in his own little cockneyishly) some God-bless-mycircle ;

as every body has some soul-good-sort-of-body say to himself influence, his talk will certainly sell, -"No,certainly, and why should we ? if it were but among his aunts and would ye have us to read Joseph Hume's cousins, an additional bundle of Num- speeches, or anybody's speeches, when ber LXII. and, perhaps, among the we can read John Bull's summaries, kindred, they may order a set or two and sing John Bull's songs?” from the beginning. Thus shall there There is but one newspaper in the be great gain on both sides, in con- world, and the name thereof is John sequence of this little article ; and, Bull. But “ 'Ware digression” is as to the booksellers, Lord! what a our motto; and most assuredly we do hugging there will be the next time not suspect John Bull of having writEbony sports his figure in the Row, ten “ Italy, a Poem.” or our worthy friend Mr Rees glad

The Widow's TALE AND OTHER POEMS. It is worth notice, that scarcely any and shores, of inaccessible precipices one of the poets of our days who has and yawning caverns, by the amenity received the guerdon of popularity, has of greenwood bowers, of bee-haunted neglected the study of rural nature. It rocks, of bubbling springs and trilling seems now to be an established canon, streamlets, and smooth-sliding rivers, that the poet shall have his eyes and and glassy lakes by the tints and ears open and alert wherever the beau- odours of flowers,-by the voices of ties or the sublimities of the country birds, and animals, and insects,-and are perceptible, taking the term in an by hundreds of other objects from ample signification, as embracing earth, without; all which were

“ doff'd and ocean, and sky. It is expected of aside” by the rhymers of good Queen him who puts his hand upon the strings Anne's and the first George's time; or of the lyre, that “his fine spirit be if alluded to at all, the picture was not touched to fine issues,” by the glory of drawn from the originals, but from the sun and moon-by the countless Virgil's pastorals, or some other timecombinations, either of calm or storm, hallowed exemplar for common-place into which the winds, the clouds, and books, and common-place memories. the waves are wrought-by the effects The imagination also was in those times of dews, mists, rains, and frosts—by allowed to be dormant, as far as rethe savage grandeur of rocks and moun- spected its magical dealings with outtains, of forests and wilds, of heaths of-door materials. In the poetry of the

* The Widow's Tale, and other poems; by the author of Ellen Fitzarthur.Longman and Co. London. 12mo. Os. 6d.

Wits we can expect none of those im- great poets, to say that he is a writer palpable gossamer-links, which are too of the same kind as Milton and Shakefine for the touch of reason, but which speare, is absurd: verse is common to wave visibly before the eye of fancy, them, and verse is all which they have and form perceptible connections be- in common.”. He is the poet of the tween remote ideas-we seek in them, town and of the schools-exquisite in for none of that iridescent colouring of satire and ethics, in mock-heroics and truth, for which the eye must be pro- vers de societé, in a prologue or a reflecperly stationed to bring out its beauty tive epistle, in an epitaph or an epigram --they deal in none of those imagina- —but these are not the moulds into tive comparisons, resemblances, sym- which the highest order of poets natupathies, antipathies, relations, disso- rally cast their ore. Baser materials nances, and indemonstrable attribu- than "thoughts that breathe and words tives, with which the inner sense is that burn" will do to be so worked up; to accord, and in which the mind is to and in Pope's poetical temperament he have faith, as long as the world of fic- had no such pulses as must have throbtion is the region we tread in, but which bed along every vein of him who clothwe are not found to carry into actual ed passion with all the magnificence of life and expose to the work-day world's imagination in Lear, and wantoned coarse and churlish rubs—they knew with the many-twinkling wings of fannothing of that glamour which hallows cy in the Midsummer-Night's Dream things of every-day's growth, and of and the Tempest. even-beaten pathway occurrences,

It is remarkable,” says Wordswhich makes us love the moonlight worth, “ that excepting a passage or for better reasons than that of its al- two in the Windsor Forest of Pope, lowing us to dispense with a lantern,- and some delightful pictures in the which shews us more in Stonehenge poems of Lady Winchelsea, the poetry than a great many large stones and a of the period intervening between the great deal of greensward,—which sees publication of the Paradise Lost and something beyond much valuable tim- the Seasons, does not contain a single ber, while we rove in mid-day dark- new image of external nature, and ness beneath the “ extravagant arms” scarcely presents a familiar one, from of the Norman Conqueror's forest, and which it can be inferred that the eye which can exalt a daisy or a primrose of the Poet had been steadily fixed upinto a potent talisman, having command on his'object, much less that his feel. over the treasures in the cells of me- ings had urged him to work upon it in mory or of affection, while to the true the genuine spirit of imagination.” prosaic man,

We cannot complain of any such

omission now, in the general spirit of - "a primrose by a river's brim,

the poetry of the age. We have reA yellow primrose is to him,

turned to drink at the old cisterns, and And it is nothing more."

have found the springs as copious and Undoubtedly Pope is the greatest of as fresh as they were in the olden time. all those of our writers of verse, who The author before us, putting forth no owe scarce any part of their fame to pretensions to be ranked among the their accurate pencilling after nature, greater lights of the poetic sky, is, notor to the rich visions conjured up amid withstanding, fully participant in what the halo-light of imagination. Never- Southey calls the great revival of our theless, he is never undeserving of at- days. Her talent of observation has tention, for, independently of his skill not been idle, nor has that of imaginain versification, there is, as Southey tion been suffered to rust. We speak says in his Preface to · Specimens of of the writer of the book as a female ; the later English Poets,'—that hasty for however the delicacy, the purity, but clever coup-d'ail of this departe the enthusiasm for home and homement of our literature,—"a bottom of born happiness, so apparent in every sound sense in him.” In the Anglo- page of Ellen Fitzarthur," may have Gallican school, (such it merits to be convinced us of it, yet here, in the called, for our palates were then spoilt Conte à mon Chien,” we have the for the racy taste of our ancestors, by explicit avowal. We were prepared to a foolish deference to France,) Pope expect something good from the pen must be allowed to be the very first in which produced the work we spoke of, excellence, but to class him with and are not disappointed. The execution of “ Ellen Fitzarthur” was beauti, We will not abridge the plot of the ful; it was indeed far beyond the me- piece, but will introduce our readers to rits of the mere story itself. Like the the characters. “A narrow path, like doors of the Temple of the Sun in Ovid, a pale grey thread” leads to the cottage, the skill of the artificer was greater and half way down this little frequentthan the intrinsic worth of the metal ed walk, on which the workman displayed it.

a traveller now The ground-work of the story was de- is gazing on the scene below; fective in novelty. This is by no means In coarse and tatter'd garb is he, the case in many of the poems of the And he looks like one return'd from sea, present little book; and the same taste- Whose sallow cheek, and wither'd form, ful eye for the picturesque, and the Have borne the brunt of sun and storm. same command of the vivid language

P. 4. of poetry, are happily exerted on less

After a pause, the lonely man " depre-occupied subjects.

The longest composition in it is the scends the path, (half-path, halffirst, and it gives the name to the book. stair,”) and stands before the cot and

its inmates. It is a pathetic narrative, in which the Tale which the Widow tells is only a “ Close by the open door is placed part. We select the following as a A high-backd wicker chair, —'tis faced

There sits one specimen of the sort of sketching which To the bright sunset. the hand of this tasteful artist so freely Whose eyes towards that setting sun produces. The effect of the evening- Are turn'd in vain—its lustre falls light of summer in a rocky glen is de- Unheeded on those sightless balls; scribed in the outset, and the scene of From her plaited coif, the evening ray

But, on the silver hairs that stray the story is thus laid :

Reposes, and with mellow light

Edges the folds of her kerchief white. “ Half down one rifted side was seen That aged matron's chair beside, A little shelf, a platform green,

A little damsel, azure-eyed A nook of smiling solitude,

And golden-hair'd, sings merrily, Lodged there in Nature's frolic mood. The while her restless fingers ply There, many an ash and aspen grey, The tedious woof of edging fine ; From rent and fissure forced its way, And, as across the lengthening line, And where the bare grey rock peeped With lightning speed the bobbins fly, through,

The little maid sings merrily."-Pp. 6, 7. Lichens of every tint and hue Marbled its sides; and mossy stains

To those who shall deliver themEnseam'd their vegetable veins.

selves up to the pathos of the story, The streamlet gush'd from that rocky wall, we announce that there is a turning And close beside its sparkling fall point of consolation in it. Although A little cot, like a martin's nest,

there is much sowing in tears, yet the Clung to that lonely place of rest.

poor widow is allowed to reap some The living rock its walls supplied North, east, and south ; the western side, three interlocutors in this cheerful

little harvest in joy. We leave the With fragments of the pale grey stone, Was rudely built, whose silv'ry tone

state. Contrasted with its chaste repose

“ A blackbird in that sunny nook The hollyhock and briar rose.

Hangs in his wicker cage--but look! Beneath the thatch, where woodbines clung, What youthful form is her's; whose care In wicker cage a blackbird hung ;

Has newly hung the favourite there? And a ceaseless murmur met the ear, 'Tis Agnes !-Hark that peal of bells From the busy hum of a beehive near. The Sabbath invitation swells, In many a crevice of the rock,

And forth they come, the happy three, The wall-flower and far-fragrant stock The re-united family. Sprung up; and every here and there, The son leads on, with cautious pace, Collected with industrious caré,

His old blind parent, in whose face, A little patch of shallow mould

Age-worn and care-worn though it be, Was gay with flowers ; there, spiked with The bright reflection you may see gold,

Of new-born happiness. And she, Tall rockets bloomed, and borage blue, With restless joy who bounds along, And pinks, and sweet valerian grew;

Beginning oft the oft-check'd song, Here thyme, and pennyroyal green, (Check’d by remembrance of the day) And balm and marjoram were seen ;

A moment then less wildly gay, And many a herb, of virtues known She moves demurely on her way, To rustic pharmacy alone."-Pp. 2, 3. Clasping her new-found father's hand..

[ocr errors]

But who can silence at command

effects of the sudden sunshine on the The soaring sky-lark's rapturous strain ? The mountain rue-buck, who can rein ?

birds—the passing of a train of cows Agnes' gay spirit bursts again

from the pasture-and lastly, of a Discretion's bonds—a cobweb chain !

flock of sheep, which And off she starts in frolic glee,

“ wind into the stream of light Like fawn from short restraint set free.”

That pours across the road,

And all the moving mass is bright
P. 67.

In one broad yellow flood. “The April Day,” even without the date of “ 20th, 1820,” would, from its freshness and accuracy, have suggested the shepherd saunters last_but why the supposition that it was from actual That ewe? and why, so piteously, observation. No heedless or unskilful eye could have caught the marks and Swung in his

careless hand, she sees,

Looks up the creature's face ? tokens, which must have been noted

(Poor ewe !) a dead cold weight, down at the minute they occurred. The little one, her soft warm fleece “ All day the low-hung clouds have dropt

So fondly cherish'd late. Their garner'd fullness down ;

But yesterday, no happier dam All day that soft grey mist hath wrapt

Ranged o'er those pastures wide Hill, valley, grove, and town.

Than she, fond creature! when the lamb There has not been a sound to-day

Was sporting by her side. To break the calm of nature ;

It was a new-born thing—the rain Nor motion, I might alınost say,

Pour'd down all night-it's bed Of life or living creature :

Was drench'd and cold. Morn came again, Of waving bough, or warbling bird,

But the young lamb was dead. Or cattle faintly lowing;

Yet the poor mother's fond distress I could have half believed I heard

It's every art had tried The leaves and blossoms growing,

To shield, with sleepless tenderness, I stood to hear - I love it well,

The weak one at her side. The rain's continuous sound,

Round it all night, she gather'd warm Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,

Her woolly limbs_her head Down straight into the ground.

Close curved across its feeble form ; For leafy thickness is not yet

Day dawn’d, and it was dead. Earth's naked breast to skreen,

She saw it dead...she felt, she knew Though every dripping branch is set

It had no strength, no breath, -With shoots of tender green.

Yet how should she conceive, poor ewe! Sure, since I look'd at early morn,

The mystery of death ? Those honeysuckle buds

It lay before her stiff and cold... Have swellia to double growth ; that thorn

Yet fondly she essay'd Hath put forth larger studs ;

To cherish it in love's warm fold, That lilac's cleaving cones have burst,

Then restless trial made; The milk-white flowers revealing ;

Moving, with still reverted face, Even now, upon my senses first

And low complaining bleat, Methinks their sweets are stealing :

To entice from their damp resting-place, The very earth, the steamy air,

Those little stiffening feet. Is all with fragrance rife!

All would not do, when all was tried.. And grace and beauty every where

Love's last fond lure was vain ; Are flushing into life.

So quietly by its dead side, Down, down they come—those fruitful

She laid her down again.”---Pp.75–78. stores !

The rest of the volume is occupied Those earth-rejoicing drops !

by the Sea of Life-William and Jean, A momentary deluge pours,

a most touching narrative-Conte å Then thins, decreases, stops.

mon Chien, of which the half-sportive, And, ere the dimples on the stream half-serious introduction is admirable ; Have circled out of sight,

it is addressed to her old spaniel, with Lo! from the west, a parting gleam

whom she is in the habit of holding Breaks forth, of amber light.

a colloquy :

“Ay, let them laugh who understand But yet behold—abrupt and loud,

No utterance, save of human speech--Comes down the glittering rain ;

We have a language at command The farewell of a passing cloud

They cannot feel, we cannot teach. The fringes of its train.”—Pp. 70–73. Yes, thy dark eye informeth mine

With sense than words more eloquent, Want of space forbids us from pur- Thy very ears, so long and fine, suing the details of the picture-the Are flexibly intelligent."...P. 126.

« 前へ次へ »