ページの画像
PDF

the castellated summit, which overbung the valley, and the feet of the wild chanois were heard rebounding from the neighbouring rocks; these accorded with the gentle feelings of his mind, but the strong spirit which sofre quently overcame him, listeneil with intense delight to the dreadful roar of an immense torrent, wbich was precipitated from the summit of an adjoining cliff, among broken rocks and pines, overturned and uprooted, or to tbe still mightier voice of the avalanche, suddenly descending with the accumulated snows of a hundred years. In tbe morning he met the object of his unhappy passion. Her eyes were dim with tears, and a cloud of sorrow had darkened the light of her lovely countenance.

"For some time there was a mutual constraint in their manner, which both were afraid to acknowledge, and nei. ther was able to dispel. Even the uncontrollable spirit of the wanderer was oppressed and overcome, and he wished he had never returned to the dwelling of his ancestors. The lady was equally aware of the awful peril of their situation, and without tbe knowledge of her husband, she prepared to depart from the castle, and take the veil in a convent situated in a neighbouring valley.

With this resolution she departed on the following morbing ; but, in crossing an Alpipe pass, which conducted by a nearer route to the adjoining valley, she was enveloped in mists aud vapour, and lost all knowledge of tbe surroundiog country. The clouds closed in around ber, and a tremendous ihunder storm took place in the valley beneath. While breathing a silent prayer to heaven for this providential escape, strange sounds were heard, as of some disembodied voice floating among the clouds; suddenly she perceived, within a few paces, the figure of the wanderer tossing his arms in the air, his eyeinflamed, : and bis general aspect wild and distracted; he then apa. peared meditating a deed of sin, she rushed towards him, and, clasping him in her arms, dragged him back. wards just as he was about to precipitate himself into the gulpb below.

Overcome by bodily fatigue, and agitation of mind, they remained for some time in a state of insensibility. The brother first revived from his stupor, and finding her whose image was pictured in his soul, lying by his side, with her arms resting upon his shoulder; he believed for a moment that he must have executed the dreadful deed he had meditated, and had wakened in heaven. The gen.

tle form of the lady was again re-animated, and slowly she opened her beautiful eyes. She questioned him regarding the purpose of his visit to that desolate spot; a full explanation of their mutual sensations took place, and they confesesd the passion which consumed them.

"The sun was now high in heaven; the clouds of the morning had ascended to the loftiest Alps; and the mists

into their airy elements dissolved were. As the god of day advanced dark vallies were suddenly illuminated, and lovely lakes brightened like mirrors among the hills, their waters sparkling with the fresh breeze of the morning. The most beautiful clouds were sailing in the air, some breaking on the mountain tops, and others resting on the sombre pines, or slumbering on the unilluminated vallies. The shrill whistle of the marmot was no longer heard, and the chamois had bounded to its inaccessible retreat. The vast range of the neighbouring Alps was next distinctly visible, and presented to the eyes of the beholders, 'glory beyond all glory ever seen.'

In the mean time a change had taken place in the feelings of the mountain pair, which was powerfully strengthened by the glad face of nature. The glorious hues of earth and sky seemed indeed to sanction and rejoice in their mutual happiness. The darker spirit of the brother had now fearfully overcome him. The dreaming predictions of his most imaginative years appeared realized in their fullest extent, and the voice of prudence and of nature was inaudible amidst the intoxication of his joy. The object of his affection rested in his arms in a state of listless happiness, listening with enchanted ear to his wild and impassioned eloquence, and careless of all other sight or sound.

She too had renounced her morning vows, and the convent was unthought of, and forgotten. Crossing the mountains by wild and unfrequented paths, they took up their abode in a deserted cottage, formerly frequented by goatherds, and the hunters of the roe. On looking down for the last time from the mountain top, on that delight. ful valley in which she had so long lived in innocence and peace; the lady thought of her departed mother, and her heart would have died within her, but the wild glee of the brother again rendered ber insensible to all other sensations, and she yielded to the sway of her fatal passion...

There they lived secluded from the world, and supported, even through evil, by the intensity of their pas

sions for each other. The turbulent spirit of the brother was at rest; he had found a being endowed with virtues like his own, and as he thought, destitute of all his vices. The day dreams of his fancy had been realised, and all that he had imagined of beauty or affection, was embodied in that form which he could call bis owu.

On the inorning of her departure, the dreadful truth burst upon the mind of her wretched husband. From the first arrival of the dark-eyed stranger a gloomy vision of future sorrow had haunted him by day and by nigbt. Despair and misery now made him their victim, and that awful malady, which he inherited from his ancestors, was the immediate consequence. He was seen, for the last time, among some stupendous cliffs, which overhung the river, and his hat and cloak were found by the chamois hunters at the foot of an ancient pine.

Soon too was the guilty joy of the survivors to terminate; the gentle lady, even in felicity, felt a load upon her heart. Her spirit had burned too ardently, and she knew it must, ere long, be extinguished. Day after day the lily of her cheek enroached upon the rose, till at last she assumed a monumental paleness, unrelieved, save by a transcient and hectic glow. Her angelic form wasted away, and soon the flower of the valley was no more.

The soul of the brother was dark, dreadfully dark, but his body wasted not, and his spirit caroused with mure fearful strength. The sounding cataract haunted him like a passion. He was again alone in the world, and his mind endowed with more dreadful energies. His wild eye sparkled with unnatural light, and his raven hair hung beavy on his burning temples. He wandered among the forests and the mountains, and rarely entered his once beloved dwelling, from the windows which he had so often beheld the sun sinking in a sea of crimson glory.

He was found dead in that same pass in which he had met his sister among the mountains ; his body bore no marks of external violence, but his countenance was convulsed by bitter insanity.

[graphic]

SONNET ON SEEING THE GRAVE OF AN UNFORTUNATE GIRL. A PASSING sigh is due to every bier ;

Yet he who came with mournful ditties vain,

On every grave to murmur and complain,
Must drop on this a more peculiar tear.
Fly far from hence, ye righteous and severe!
Who ne'er the grief of honour's stain,

For one, alas! whom sore remorse has slain,
And shame for erring love, lies sleeping here,
0! Agnes I have wept on many a tomb

Of some that like the flowers in ripe decline,
And some in bud had fallen, and some in bloom;

And most o'er infant graves would I repine:
Yet thou hast taught me, by the sadder doom,

To weep that such a grave has not been thine!

POPULAR LITERATURE OF 1824. AMONG the most profitable speculations of this year, may be reckoned Sayings and Doings by Theodore Hook, and the Tales of a Traveller by Washington Irving. The publisher of the former of these very popular works is said to have paid £800. for the copyright. . As sketches of men and manners, and of the philosophy of every-day life, they are inimitable; Mr. Irving may be said to have laid the foundation of his fame by his Sketch Book and Bracebridge-Hall, and in his department he is without a rival. He may be deemed the Goldsmith of the present day.

Sir Walter Scott, who may now be said to have passed the zenith of his glory: he writes periodically..

It must always be gratifying to intelligent minds to see genius thus liberally rewarded ; but it would be doubly grateful, were writings of more acknowledged soundnes s and decided utility patronized with greater zeal. Life is but short, and wiih'this maxim before us the improvement of the mind should certainly take precedence in li.

terature: but the public ordain it otherwise. Be this as it may, mere works of imagination will never stand the test of time, because all pleasure sickens by repetition. Philosophy will at length prevail in spite of these meretricious allurements, and conduct us to ber refreshing springs, whence flow exhaustless instruction and infinite delight.

ODE TO RELIGION.

For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His van't be wrong, whose life is in the right;
All must be false, that thwart this one great end,
And all of God, that bless man kind or mend. Pope,

HAIL, pure Religiou! sacred science!

Best learnt from Holy Writ:
Teach me to bid the world defiance;

Make flesh and blood submit.
Correct and moderate each passion;

But not its use exclude;
Since heaven made us in this fashion,

And all it made is good.
Doubts concerning immortality,

Whene'er they rise repel;
Fix my faith in the reality

Of judgement, heav'n, and hell.
Thy name but one, yet how various

Different climes adore!
Nor are thy documents mysterious,

When stript of priestly lore.
Oft ceremony's made thy essence;

Farce assumes thy face;
Each party arrogates thy presence;

Yet how few share thy grace!
Thou art not those singularities

That sectaries applaud;
Nor the vain-glorious charities,

From riches got by fraud.
Nor art thou transubstantiation,

Chrism, beads, nor keys ;
Penance, nor excommunication;

Pardons, nor jubilees;
Nor organs, chantings, elocution,

Imposition of hands;
Nor consecration, absolution,

Cassocks, scarfs, roses, bands:

« 前へ次へ »