ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Sweet as the cloisterd virgin's vesper hymn,
Whose spirit, happily dead 10 eartbly hopes,
Already lives in heaven, Abrupt the song
Ceased, tremulous and quick a cry
Of joyful wonder roused the astonishid Maid,
And instant Madelon was in her arms;
No airy form, no unsubstantial shape:
She felt her friend, she prest her to her heart,
Their lears of rapture mingled.

She drew back,
And eagerly she gazed on Madelon,
Then fell upon her neck again and wept.
No more she saw the long-drawn lines of grief,
The emaciate form, the hue of sickliness,
The languid eye: youth's loveliest freshness now
Mantled her cheek, whose every lineament
Bespake the soul at rest, a holy calm,
A deep and full tranquillity of bliss.
« Thou then art come, my first and dearest friend'»
The well known voicc of Madelon began;
« Thou then art come! and was thy pilgrimage
So sbort on earth ? and was it painful too,
Painful and slıort as mine ? But blessed they
Who from the crimes and miseries of the world
Early escape!»

Nay,» Theodore replied,
« She hath not yet fulfill'd her mortal work.
Permitted visitant from earth she comes
To see the seat of rest, and oftentimes
In sorrow shall her soul remember this,
And, patient of her transitory woe,
Partake the anticipated peace again.»

Soon be that work perform'd!» the Maid exclaim'd :
« O Madelon! O Theodore! my soul,
Spurning the cold communion of the world,
Will dwell with you! but I shall patiently,
Yea even with joy, cndure the allotted ills
Of which the memory in this better state
Shall heighten bliss. That hour of agony,
When, Madelon, I felt thy dying grasp,
And from thy forehead wiped the dews of death,
The very horrors of that hour assume
A shape that now delights.»

« O earliest friend!
I too remember,»» Madelon replied,
« That hour, thy looks of watchful agony,
The suppress'd grief that struggled in thine eye
Endearing love's last kindness. Thou didst know
With what a deep and melancholy joy
I felt the hour draw on : but who can speak
The unutterable transport, when mine eyes,
As from a long and dreary dream, unclosed
Amid this peaceful vale, unclosed upon
My Arnaud; he had built me up a bower,
A bower of rest.--See, Maiden, where he comes,
His manly lineaments, his beaming eye
The same, but now a holier innocence
Sits on his cheek, and loftier thoughts illame
The enligliten'd glance.»

They met: what joy was theirs
He best can feel, who for a dear friend dead
Hath wet the midnight pillow with his tears.
Fair was the scene around; an ample vale
Whose mountain circle at the distant verge
Lay softend on the sight; the near ascent

Rose bolder up, in part abrupt and bare,
Part with the ancient majesty of woods
Adoro'd, or lifting high its rocks sublime.
The river's liquid radiance roll'd beneath,
Beside the bower of Madelon it wound
A broken stream, whose shallows, though the waves
Rolld on their way with rapid melody,
A child might tread. Behind, an orange-grove,
Its gay green foliage starrd with golden fruit ;
But with what odours did their blossoms load
The passing gale of eve! less thrilling sweet
Rose from the marble's perforated tloor,
Where kneeling at ber prayers, the Moorish queen
lohaled the cool delight, 8 and whilst she ask'd
The prophet for his promised paradise,
Shaped from the present scene its utmost joys.
A goodly scene! fair as that faery land
Where Arthur lives, by ministering spirits borne
From Camlan's bloody banks: or as the groves
Of earliest Eden, where, so legends say,
Enoch abides, and he who, rapt away
By fiery steeds, and chariotted in fire,
Passd in his mortal form the eternal ways;
And John, beloved of Christ, enjoying there
The beatific vision, sometimes seen

The distant dawning of eternal day,
Till all things be fulfilled.

Survey this scene!»
So Theodore address'd the Maid of Arc;
« There is no evil here, no wretchedness,
It is the heaven of those who nurst on earth
Their nature's gentlest feelings. Yet not here
Centering their joys, but with a patient hope,
Waiting the allotted hour when capable
Of loftier callings, to a better state
They pass; and lither from that better state
Frequent they come, preserving so those tics
Which through the infinite progressiveness
Complete our perfect bliss.

« Even such, so bless u,
Save that the memory of no sorrows past
Heighten'd the present joy, our world was once,
In the first æra of its innocence,
Ere man had learnt to bow the knee to man.
Was there a youth whom warm affection filld,
He spake his honest heart; the earliest fruits
His toil produced, the sweetest flowers that decka
The sunny bank, he gather'd for the maid,
Nor she disdain d the gift: for Vice not yet
Had burst the dungeons of her hell, and reard
Those artificial boundaries that divide
Man from his species. State of blessedness!
Till that ill-omen'd hour when Cain's stern son
Delvd in the bowels of the earth for gold,
Accursed bane of virtue,... of such force
As poets feign dwelt in the Gorgon's locks,
Which whoso saw, felt instant the life-blood
Cold curdle in his veins, the creeping flesh
Grew stiff with horror, and the heart forgot
To beat. Accursed hour! for man no more
To Justice paid his homage, but forsook
Her altars, and bow'd down before the shrine
Of Wealth and Power, the idols he had made.
Then hell enlarged herself, her gates flew wide,
Her legion fiends rush'd forth. Oppression came,
Whose frown is desolation, and whose breath

That strew the thorny path of life with flowers!
Glory to thee, Preserver! To thy praise
The awakened woodlands echo all the day
Their living melody; and warbling forth
To thee her twilight song, the nightingale
Holds the lone traveller from his way, or charms
The listening poet's ear. Where Love shall deign
To fix his seat, there blameless Pleasure sheds
Her roseate dews; Content will sojourn there,
And Happiness behold affcction's eye
Gleam with the mother's smile. Thrice happy he
Who feels thy holy power! He shall not drag,
Forlorn and friendless, along life's long path
To age's drear abode; he shall not waste
The bitter evening of his days unsoothed;
But Hope shall cheer his hours of solitude,
And Vice shall vainly strive to wound his breast,
That bears that talisman; and when he meets
The eloquent eye of Tenderness, and hears
The bosom-thrilling music of her voice,
The joy he feels shall purify his soul,
Ind imp it for anticipated heaven.»

NOTES.

[ocr errors]

Blasts like the pestilence; and Poverty,
A meagre monster, who with withering touch
Makes barren all the better part of man,
Mother of Miseries. Then the goodly carth
Which God had framed for happiness, became
One theatre of woe, and all that God
Vad given to bless free men, these tyrant fiends
His bilterest curses made. Yet for the best
Hath he ordained all things, the All-wise!
For by experience roused shall man at length
Dash down his Moloch-idols, Samson-like,
And burst his fetters, only strong while he
Fears for their strength. Then in the deep abyss
Oppression shall be chain'd, and Poverty
Die, and with her her brood of miseries;
And Virtue and Equality preserve
The reign of Love, and earth shall once again
Be paradise, where Wisdom shall secure
The state of bliss which Ignorance betray'd »
« Oh age of happiness!» the Maid exclaim'd,
«Roll fast thy current, Time, till that bless'd age
Arrive! and happy thou, my Theodore,
Permitted thus to see the sacred depths
Of Wisdom!»

Such,» the blessed spirit replied,
« Beloved! such our lot: allowed to range
The vast infinity, progressive still
In knowledge and increasing blessedness,
This our united portion. Thou hast yet
A little while to sojourn amongst men:
I will be with thee! there shall not a breeze
Wanton around thy temples, on whose wing
I will not hover near! and at that hour
When from its fleshly sepulchre let loose,
Thy phonix soul shall soar, O best-beloved !
I will be with thee in thine agonies,
And welcome thee to life and happiness,
Eternal iolinite beatitude !»
He spake, and led her near a straw-roofd cor,
Love's palace. By the virtues circled there,
The cherub listen'd to such melodies,

aye, when one good deed is register'a
Above, re-echo in the halls of heaven.
Labour was there, his crisp locks floating loose,
Clear was his cheek, and beaming his full eye,
And strong his arm robust; the wood-nymph Health
Suill follow'd on his path, and where he trod
Fresh flowers and fruits arose. And there was Hope,
The general friend; and Pity, whose mild eye
Wept o'er the widow'd dove: and loveliest form,
Majestic Chastity, whose sober smile
Delights and awes the soul; a laurel-wreath
Restrain'd her tresses, and upon her breast
The snow-drop hung its head, 9 that seem'd to grow
Spontaneous cold and fair : still by the maid
Love went submiss, with eye more dangerous
Than fancied basilisk lo wound whoe'er
Too bold approach'd; yet anxious would he read
Her every rising wish, then only pleased
When pleasing. Hymning him the song was raised.

Note 1, page 79, col. 1.

Passive faculty.
MAY says of Serapis,

Erudit at placide hamanam per somnia mentom,
Nocturnaque quiete docet; nulloque labore
Hic tantum porta est pretiosa scientia, nullo
Excutitur studio rerum. Mortalia corda
Tunc Deus iste docet, cum sunt minus apta doceri,
Cum nullum obsequium præstant, meritisque fatentur
Nil sese debere suis ; tunc recta scientes
Cum nil scire valent. Non illo tempore sensus
Humanos forsan dignatur numen inire,
Cum propriis possunt per se discursibus uti,
Ne forte humanâ ratio divina coiret.

Sup. Lucani.

As

Note 2, page 79, col. 1.

And all things are that seem. I have met with a singular tale to illustrate this spiritual theory of dreams :-Guntrum, king of the Franks, was liberal to the poor, and he himself experienced the wonderful effects of divine liberality. One day as he was hunting in a forest he was separated from his companions, and arrived at a little stream of water with only one comrade. Here he found himself oppressed by drowsiness, and reclining his head upon the servant's lap went 10 sleep. The servant saw a little beast creep out of the mouth of his sleeping master, and go immediately to the streamlet, which it vainly attempted to cross; he drew his sword and Jaid it across the water, over which the little beast past and crept into a hole of a mountain on the opposite side; from whence it made its appearance again in an hour, and returned by the same means into the king's mouth. The king then awakened, and told his companion he had dreamt that he was arrived upon the bank of an immense river, which he had crossed by a bridge of iron, and from thence came to a mountain in which a great quantity of gold was concealed. The servant then related what he had behel:), and they both went to examine the mountain, where upon digging they discovered an immense weight of gold.-I stumbled upon this tale in a book entitled Spainx, Theo

[ocr errors][merged small]

!

logico-Philosophica. Autore Johanne Hied feldio, Ec- the circumstance which occasioned it. Facilius elephas clesiaste Ebersbachiano. 1621.

per foramen acus, is among the Hebrew adages colThe same story is in Matthew of Westminster; it is lected by Drusius ; the same metaphor is found in two added that Guntrum applied the treasures thus found other Jewish proverbs, and this appears to determine to pious uses. For the truth of this theory there is the the signification of xanhos, Mati. xix, 24. evidence of a monkish miracle. When Thurcillus was

Note 6, page 82, col. 2. about to follow St Julian and visit the world of souls, his

Large draughts of molten gold, guide said to him, «Let thy body rest in the bed, for thy

The same idea, and almost the same words, are in spirit only is about to depart with me; and lest the body one of Ford's plays. The passage is a very fine one: should appear dead, I will send into it a vital breath.»

There is a place, The body, however, by a strange sympathy, was

(List, daughter!) in a black and hollow vault, affected like the spirit; for when the foul and fetid Where day is never seen; there shines no sun, smoke which arose from the tithes withheld on earth But flaming horror of consuming fires ;

A lightless sulphur, choak'd with smoaky fogo had nearly suffocated Thurcillus, and made him couch

Of an infected darkness. To this place twice, those who were near his body said that it

Dwell many thousand thousand sundry sorts coughed twice about the same time.- Matthew Paris. Of never-dying deaths: there damned souls Note 3, page 81, col, 1.

Roar without pity, there are gluttons fod

With toads and adders: there is burning oil
An outcast forth,

Pour'd down the drunkard's throat, the usurer
Werter,

Is forced to sup whole drughts of molien gold;
Note 4, page 81, col. 2.

There is the murderer for ever stabbid,

Yet be can never die; there lies the wanton
Or deeper sable dyed.

On racks of burning steel, whilst in his soul These lines strongly resemble a passage in the Pha He seels the torment of his raging lust. ronnida of Williain Chamberlayne, who has told an

'T' is pity she's a Whore. interesting story in uncouth rhymes, and mingled subli I wrote this passage wlien very young, and the idea, mity of thought and beauty of expression with the trite as it is, was new to me. It occurs I believe in quaintest conceits, and most awkward inversions. most descriptions of hell, and perhaps owes its origin On a rock more high

to the fate of Crassus. Than Nature's common surface, sbe beholds

Note 7, page 84, col. 2.
The mansion bouse of Fate, wbich thus unfolds

Titus was here.
Its sacred mysteries. A line within
A quadrate placed, both ibese encompast in

During the siege of Jerusalem, «the Roman comA perfect circle was its form ; but what

mander, with a generous clemency, that inseparable Its matter was, for us to wonder at,

attendant on true heroism, laboured incessantly, and to Is undiscover'd left. A tower ibere stand, At erery angle, where Time's fatal bands

the very last moment, to preserve the place. With this The impartial Parcæ dwell; i' the first sbe sees

view, he again and again intreated the tyrants to surClotho the kindest of the Destinies,

render and save their lives. With the same view also, From immaterial essences to cull

after carrying the second wall, the siege was interThe seeds of life, and of them frame the wool For Lachesis to spin ; about her fie

mitted four days: to rouse their fears, prisoners to the Myriads of souls, that yet want flesh to lie

number of five hundred or more, were crucified daily Warm'd with their functions in, whose strength bestows

before the walls; till space, Josephus says, was wantThat power by which man ripe for misery grows.

ing for the crosses, and crosses for the captives.» Her next of objects was that glorious tower

Churton's Bampton Lectures.
Where that swift-Ginger'd nymph that spares no hour
From mortals' service, draws tbe various threads

If any of my readers should enquire why Titus of life in several lengths ; to weary beds

Vespasian, the delight of mankind, is placed in such Of age extending some, whilst others in

a situation - I answer, for this instance of « his

geneTheir infancy are broke: some bluckt in sin,

cy, that inseparable attendant on true heOthers, the favourites of Heaven, from whence Their origin, candid with innocence;

roism ! » Some purpled in afflictions, others dyed

Note 8, page 86, col. 2.
In sanguine pleasures : some in glittering pride

Inhaled the cool deligbt.
Spun to adorn the earth, whilst others wear
Rags of deformity, but knots of care

In the cabinet of the Alhambra where the queen used No thread was wholly free from. Next to this

to dress and say her prayers, and which is still an enFair glorious tower, was placed ibat black abyss

chanting sight, there is a slab of inarble full of small Of dreadful Atropos, the haleful seat of death and horroor, in each room repleat

holes, through which perfumes exhaled that were kept With lazy damps, loud groaps, and the sad siglit

constantly burning beneath. The doors and windows Of pale grim ghosts, those terrours of the nigby

are disposed so as to afford the most agreeable proTo this, the last stage that the winding clew

spects, and to throw a soft yet lively light upon the of life can lead mortality unto, Fear was the dreadful porter, which let in

eyes. Fresh currents of air too renew every instant All guests sent thither by destructive sin.

the delicious coolness of this apartment.--Fron the It is possible that I may have written from the re- sketch of the History of the Spanish Moors, prefixed collection of this passage. The conceit is the same, to Florian's Gonsalvo of Cordova. and I willingly attribute it 10 Chamberlayne, a poct to

Note

9, page 87, col. 1. whom I am indebted for many hours of delight.

The snow-drop bung its head.
Note 5, page 82, col. 2.

The grave matron does not perceive how time has
Shall the bage camel pass.

impaired her charms, but decks her faded bosom with I had originally written cable instead of camel. The the same snow-drop that seems to grow on the breast alteration would not be worth noticing were it not for of the virgin.-P. H.

[ocr errors]

Thalaba the Destroyer.

A RHYTHMICAL ROMANCE.

Ποιηματων ακρατης η ελευθερια, και νομος εις, το δοξαν τω ποιητη.

LUCIAN, Quomodo Hist, Scribenda.

PREFACE.

No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,

Breaks the serene of heaven :
In full-orb'd glory yonder Moon divine

Rolls through the dark blue depths,

Beneath her steady ray

The desert-circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.'

How beautiful is night!

I.

Who at this untimely hour
Wanders o'er the desert sands ?

No station is in view,
Nor palm-grove islanded amid the waste.

The mother and her child,
The widowed mother and the fatherless boy,

They at this untimely hour
Wander o'er the desert sands.

In the continuation of the Arabian Tales, the Domdaniel is mentioned; a Seminary for evil Magicians, under the Roots of the Sea. From this seed the present komance has grown. Let me not be supposed to prefer the rhythm in which it is written, abstractedly considered, to the regular blank verse; the noblest measure, in my judgment, of which our admirable language is capable. For the following Poem I have preferred it, because it suits the varied subject; it is the Arabesque ornament of an Arabian tale.

The dramatic sketches of Dr Sayers, a volume which no lover of poetry will recollect without pleasure, induced

me, when a young versifier, to practise in this rhythm. I felt that while it

gave

the

poet a wider range of expression, it satisfied the ear of the reader. It were easy to make a parade of learning, by enumerating the various feet which it admits; it is only needful to observe, that no two lines are employed in sequence which can be read into one. Two six-syllable lines, it will perhaps be answered, compose an Alexandrine : the truth is, that the Alexandrine, when harmonious, is composed of two six-syllable lines.

One advantage this metre assuredly possesses,... the dullest reader cannot discort it into discord: he may read it prosaically, but its flow and fall will still be perceptible. Verse is not enough favoured by the English reader : perhaps this is owing to the obtrusiveness, the regular Jews’-harp twing-twang, of what has been foolishıly called heroic measure. I do not wish the

improvisatoré tune;. . but something that denotes the | sense of harmony, something like the accent of feeling..

like the tone which every Poet necessarily gives to Poetry.

Cintra, October, 1800.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

BOOK I.

Worse and worse, young Orpbane, be thy payne,
If''thou due vengeance doe forkeare,
Till gailtie blood ber guerdon do obtayne.

Faery Queen, B. a, Can.).

No tear reliev'd the burthen of her heart; Stunn'd with the heavy woe, she felt like one Half-waken'd from a midnight dream of blood.

But sometimes when the boy

Would wet her hand with tears, And, looking up to her fix'd countenance, Sob out the oame of MOTHER, then did she

Ulter a feeble groan,
At length collecting, Zeinab turn'd ber eyes
To leaven, exclaiming, « Praised be the Lord !

He gave, lie takes away!3
The Lord our God is good !>>

I. How beautiful is night! A dewy fresbness fills the silent air,

She cast her eyes around,

Famine and Thirst were there .. And then the wretched Mother bowed her head,

And wept upon her child.

V. « Good is he?» cried the boy, Why are my brethren and my sisters slain ?

Why is my father kill'd ?
Did ever we neglect our prayers,
Or ever lift a hand unclean to heaven?
Did ever stranger from our tout

Unwelcom'd turn away?
Mother, he is not good !»

VI.
Then Zeinab beat her breast in agony,

« O God, forgive my child !

He knows not what he says ! Thou know'st I did not teach him thoughts like these :

O Prophel, pardon him!»

VII.
She had not wept till that assuaging prayer, ..
The fountains of her eyes were opend then,

And tears reliev'd her heart.
She rais'd her swimming eyes to heaven,

« Allah, thy will be done!
Bencath the dispensation of thy wrath

I groan, but murmur not.
A day will come, when all things that are dark
Will be made clear;.. then shall I know, O Lord,

Why in thy mercy thou hast stricken me!
Then see and understand what now

My heart believes and feels!»

XII.
A sudden cry of wonder
From Thalaba arous'd her;

She rais'd hier head, and saw
Where high in air a stately palace rose.

Amid a grove embower'd
Stood the prodigious pile ;

Trees of such ancient majesty
Tower'd not on Yemen's happy bills,
Nor crown'd the stately brow of Lebanon.

Fabric so vast, so lavishly enrich'd,
For Idol, or for Tyranl, never yet

Rais'd the slave race of man,
In Rome, nor in the elder Babylon,

Nor old Persepolis,
Nor where the family of Greece

Hymnd Eleutherian Jove.
Here studding azure tabletures 5

And ray'd with feeble light,
Star-like the ruby and the diamond shone:

Here on the golden lowers

The yellow moon-beam lay,
Here with white splendour floods the silver wall.

Less wonderous pile and less magnificent
Sennamar built at Birah,6 though his art

Seald with one stope the ample edilice, And made its colours, like the serpent's skin, Play with a changeful beauty: him, its Lord,

Jealous lest after effort might surpass The now unequall'd palace, from its height

Daslid on the pavement down.

VIII.
Young Thalaba in silence heard reproof,

His brow in manly frowns was knit,

With manly thoughts his heart was full. « Tell me who slew my father?» cried the boy.

Zeinab replied and said, « 1 kuew not that there liv'd thy father's foe.

The blessings of the poor for him

Went daily up to Heaven, In distant lands the traveller told his praise;..

I did not think there livd

Hodeirali's enemy.”

IX. « But I will hunt him through the earth !>>

Young Thalaba exclaim'd. « Already I can bend my father's bow,

Soon will my arm have strength To drive the arrow.feathers to his lieart.»

XIII.
They enter'd, and through aromatic paths

Wondering they went along.
At length, upon a mossy bank,

Beneath a tall mimosa's shade,
Which o'er him bent its living canopy,

They saw a man reclin'd.
Young he appear'd, for on bis cheek there shone

The morning glow of health,
And the brown beard curld close around his chio.

Nie slept, but at the sound
Of coming feet awaking, fix'd his eyes
In wonder, on the wanderer and her child.

« Forgive us,» Zeinab cried,

« Distress hath made us bold.
Relieve the widow and the fatherless!
Blessed are they who succour the distrest;
For them hath God appointed Paradise.»

X. Zeinab replied, « 0 Thalaba, my child,

Thou lookest on to distant days, And we are in tlie desert, far from men!»

XI.
Not till that moment her afflicted heart

Had leisure for the thought.
She cast her eyes around :
Alas! no tents were there

Beside the bending sands;
No paim-tree rose lo spot the wilderness,
The dark blue sky clos 'd roun,

And rested like a dome
Upon the circling waste.

XIV.
He heard, and he look'd up to heaven,
And tears ran down his checks :

« It is a human voice!
I thank thee, O my God!..

How many an aye hath past
Since the sweet sounds have visited my car!"

I thank thee, O my God.
It is a human voice !>>

« 前へ次へ »