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James Henry Leigh Hunt, der Sohn eines Geistlichen der anglikanischen Kirche, ward am 19. October 1784 zu Southgate in Middlesex geboren, besuchte die Schule von Christ's Hospital und widmete sich dann literarischen Bestrebungen. Ein eifriger Anhänger der Reform hatte er harte Verfolgungen auszustehn, die er jedoch mannhaft überwand. Er lebte eine Zeit lang in Italien, in näherer Verbindung mit Lord Byron und kehrte dann nach England zurück, wo er vorzüglich bei Zeitschriften betheiligt ist.
Seine Dichtungen (Juvenilia, Feast of the Poets, Francesca da Rimini u. A. m.) erfreuen sich reicher Phantasie, grosser Lebhaftigkeit und warmen Gefühls, sind aber nicht immer frei von Affectation.
Taste, but with a reverent care;
See her whitest lilies
Chill the silver showers,
of the flowers.
and unto graces,
Of a use the finest,
Painteth us, the teachers of the end of use;
Travellers, weary eyed,
Bless us, far and wide; (Think, whene'er you see us, what our beauty
Unto sick and prison'd thoughts we give sudden
Not a poor town window
Loves its sickliest planting,
But its wall speaks loftier truth than Babylonian breath.
vaunting All who see us love us, We befit' all places:
Sagest yet the uses, Unto sorrow we give smiles,
Mix'd with our sweet juices, graces.
Whether man, or May-fly, profit of the balm;
As fair fingers heal’d
Knights from the olden field, Mark our ways, how noiseless
We hold cups of mightiest force to give the All, and sweetly voiceless,
wildest calm. Though the March-winds pipe, to make our pas- Ev’n the terror, poison, sage clear;
Hath its plea for blooming; Not a whisper tells
Life it gives to reverent lips, though death to Where our small seed dwells,
the presuming. Nor is known the moment green, when our tips
And oh! our sweet soul-taker, We thread the earth in silence,
That thief, the honey maker, In silence build our bowers, And leaf by leaf in silence show, till we laugh What a house hath he, by the thymy glen!
In his talking rooms a - top, sweet flowers.
How the feasting fumes,
Till the gold cups overflow to the inouths of men! The dear lumpish baby
The butterflies come aping Humming with the May-bee,
Those fine thieves of ours, Hails us with his bright stare, stumbling through And flutter round our rifled tops, like tickled
flowers with flowers. The honey-dropping moon, On a night in June,
See those tops, how beauteous! Kisses our pale pathway leaves, that felt the
What fair service duteous bridegroom pass.
Round some idol waits, as on their lord the Age, the wither'd clinger,
Nine? On us mutely gazes,
Elfin court 'twould seem; And wraps the thought of his last bed in his
And taught, perchance, that dream childhood's daisies. Which the old Greek mountain dreamt, upon
nights divine. See (and scorn all duller
To expound such wonder Taste) how heav'n loves colour;
Human speech avails not; How great Nature, clearly, joys in red and Yet there dies no poorest weed, that such a glory
exhales not. green; What sweet thoughts she thinks Of violets and pinks,
Think of all these treasures, And a thousand flushing hues, made solely to Matchless works and pleasures,
Every one a marvel, more than thought can say;
the grass ;
Then think in what bright show'rs
Oh! pray believe that angels We thicken fields and bow'rs,
From those blue dominions, And with what heaps of sweetness half stifle Brought us in their white laps down, 'twixt their wanton May:
golden pinions. Think of the mossy forests
By the bee-birds haunted,
Yes, still he's fix'd, and sleeping!
Seems going by one's ear,
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regain'd the place, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
"By God!" cried Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat; "No love," quoth he, "but vanity sets love a task like that!"
The Glove and the Lions. King Francis was a hearty king, and lov'd a royal sport,
The nobles fill'd the
And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court; benches round, the ladies by their side, And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sigh'd:
And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.
O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights What is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights? How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles
In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes, and bites, And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles?
A Fish answers.
Amazing monster! that, for aught I know,
For ever stare! O flat and shocking face, Grimly divided from the breast below! Thou, that on dry land horribly dost go
With a split body, and most ridiculous pace Prong after prong, disgracer of all grace, Long-useless-finn'd, hair'd, upright, unwet, slow!
O breather of unbreathable, sword-ship air,
How canst exist! How bear thyself, thou dry
I sometimes see of ye an actual pair
The Fish turns into a Man, and then into Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel. a Spiril, and again speaks.
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Indulge thy smiling scorn, if smiling still,
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, O man! and loathe, but with a sort of love;
And saw, within the moonlight in his room, For difference must itself by difference prove: Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, And, with sweet clang, the spheres with music An angel, writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold: One of the spirits am I, that at their will Live in whate'er has life
And to the presence in the room he said, fish, eagle, “What writest thou?” The vision rais’d its head,
dove No hate, no pride, beneath nought, nor above, And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answer'd, “The names of those who love the A visiter of the rounds of God's sweet skill.
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so;" Man's life is warm, glad, sad, 'twixt loves and Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then, Boundless in hope, honour'd with pangs Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”
austere, Heaven-gazing; and his angel-wings he craves: The angel wrote and vanish'd. The next night The fish is swift, small-needing, vague yet It came again, with a great wakening light,
And shew'd the names whom love of God had A cold sweet silver life, wrapp'd in round waves,
bless’d, Quicken'd with touches of transporting fear. And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton, die Tochter von Thomas und die Enkelin von Richard Brinsley Sheridan, ward in London 1808 geboren, vermählte sich in ihrem neunzehnten Jahro mit dem Hon. George Chapple Norton und ward später von ihm, nach englischer Sitte, öffentlich vor Gericht der Untreue angeklagt, ging aber rein und fleckenlos aus diesem skandalösen Process, dem, wie es hiess, eine politische Intrigue zu Grunde lag, hervor. Eine Trennung von ihrem Gatten erfolgte; Mistress Norton nahm darauf ihren Wohnsitz auf längere Zeit in Paris
Sie hat zwei grössere Dichtungen The Sorrows of Rosalie und the Undying One, so wie viele kleinere lyrische Poesieen geschrieben, die sich sämmtlich durch Grazie, Energie und Gedankenfülle, weniger jedoch durch schöpferische Phantasie auszeichnen,
The Mourner s.
Low she lies, who blest our eyes
Through many a sunny day;
The life ath past away!
Where we neither die nor sleep;
Then wherefore do we weep?
The heart is cold, whose thoughts were told
In each glance of her glad bright eye;
She scarce seemed made to die.
Where the saints their calm watch keep;
Then wherefore do we weep?