« VorigeDoorgaan »
Worshipped at holy distance, and around
Hallowed and meekly kissed the saintly ground ;
Not for thou wert a princess, but that Love
Had robed thee with a glory, and arrayed
Thy lineaments in beauty that dismayed
Oh! not dismayed—but awed, like One above;
And in that sweet severity there was
A something which all softness did surpass
I know not how-thy genius mastered mine
My star stood still before thee:-if it were
Presumptuous thus to love without design,
That sad fatality hath cost me dear ;
But thou art dearest still, and I should be
Fit for this cell which wrongs me, but for thee.
The very love which locked me to my chain
Hath lightened half its weight ; and for the rest,
Though heavy, lent me vigour to sustain,
And look to me with undivided breast
And foil the ingenuity of Pain.
It is no marvel—from my very birth
My soul was drunk with love, which did pervade
And mingle with whate'er I saw on earth;
Of objects all inanimate I made
Idols, and out of wild and lonely flowers,
And rocks, whereby they grew a paradise,
Where I did lay me down within the shade
Of waving trees, and dreamed uncounted hours,
Though I was chid for wandering ; and the wise
Shook their white aged heads o'er me, and said,
Of such materials wretched men were made,
And such a truant boy would end in woe,
And that the only lesson was a blow;
And then they smote me, and I did not weep,
But cursed them in my heart, and to my haunt
Returned and wept alone, and dreamed again
The visions which arise without a sleep.
And with my years my soul began to pant
With feelings of strange tumult and soft pain ;
And the whole heart exhaled in One Want,
But undefined and wandering till the day
I found the thing I sought-and that was thee,
And then I lost my being all to be
Aborbed in thine the world was past away-
Thou didst annihilate the earth to me!
I loved all solitude—but little thought
To spend I know not what of life, remote
From all communion with existence, save
The maniac and his tyrant; had I been
Their fellow, many years ere this had seen
My mind like their's corrupted to its grave;
But who hath seen me writhe, or heard me rave?
Perchance in such a cell we suffer more
Than the wrecked sailor on his desert shore ;
The world is all before him-mine is here,
Scarce twice the space they must accord my bier.
What though he perish, he may lift his eye,
And with a dying glance upbraid the sky.
I will not raise my own in such reproof,
Although 'tis clouded by my dungeon roof.
Yet do I feel at times my mind decline,
But with a sense of its decay :- I see
Unwonted lights along my prison shine ;
And a strange demon, who is vexing me
With pilfering pranks and petty pains, below
The feeling of the healthful and the free ;
But much to One, who long hath suffered so,
Sickness of heart, and narrowness of place,
And all that may be borne, or can debase.
I thought mine enemies had been but man,
But spirits may be leagued with them all Earth
Abandons—Heaven forgets me;-in the dearth
Of such defence, the Powers of Evil can,
It may be, tempt me further, and prevail
Against the outworn creature they assail.
Why in this furnace is my spirit proved
Like steel in tempering fire ? because I loved,
Because I loved what not to love, and see,
Was more or less than mortal and than me.
IX. I once was quick in feeling that is o'er ; My scars are callous, or I should have dashed My brain against these bars, as the sun flashed In mockery through them :-if I bear and bore The much I have recounted, and the more Which hath no words, 'tis that I would not die, And sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie Which snared me here, and with the brand of shame Stamp madness deep into my memory, And woo compassion to a blighted name, Sealing the sentence which my foes proclaim. No-it shall be immortal !--and I make A future temple of my present cell, Which nations yet shall visit for my sake. While thou Ferrara! when no longer dwell The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down, And crumbling piecemeal, view thy hearthless halls,
A Poet's wreath shall be thine only crown,
A Poet's dungeon thy most far renown;
While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled walls,
And thou Leonora ! thou-who wert ashamed
That such as I could love_who blushed to hear
To less than monarchs that thou couldest be dear,
Go! tell thy brother that my heart, untamed
By grief, years, weariness- and it may be
A taint of that he would impute to me
From long infection of a den like this,
Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss,
Adores thee still; and add that when the towers
And battlements which guard his joyous hours
Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot,
Or left untended in a dull repose,
This—this shall be a consecrated spot !
But Thou—when all that Birth and Beauty throws
Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have
One half the laurel which o'ershades my grave.
No power in death can tear our names apart,
As none in life could rend thee from my heart.
Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate
To be entwined for ever-but too late!
From Moore's “ Fables for the Holy Alliance.”
LET me a moment,-ere with fear and hope
Of gloomy, glorious things, these leaves I ope-
As one, in fairy tale, to whom the key
Of some enchanter's secret hall is given,
Doubts, while he enters, slowly, tremblingly,
If he shall meet with shapes from hell or heaven, Let me, a moment, think what thousands live O’er the wide earth this instant, who would give, Gladly, whole sleepless nights to bend the brow Over these precious leaves as I do now. How all who know and where is he unknown ? To what far region have his songs not flown, Like PsaPHON's birds,* speaking their master's name In every language, syllabled by fame? How all who've felt the various spells combined Within the circle of that splendid mind,
Like pow'rs deriv'd from many a star, and met
Together in some wondrous amulet,
Would burn to know when first the light awoke
In his young soul, and if the gleams that broke
From that Aurora of his genius, rais'd
More bliss or pain in those in whom they blaz'd-
Would love to trace th' unfolding of that power,
Which hath grown ampler, grander, every hour ;
And feel, in watching o'er its first advance,
As did the Egyptian travellert, when he stood
By the young Nile, and fathom’d with his lance
The first small fountains of that mighty flood. They, too, who ’mid the scornful thoughts that dwell In his rich fancy, tinging all its streams, As if the Star of Bitterness, which fell On earth of old, had touch'd them with its beams, Can track a spirit, which, though driven to hate, From Nature's hands came kind, affectionate ; And which ev'n now, struck as it is with blight, Comes out at times, in love's own native light How gladly all, who've watched these struggling rays Of a bright ruin'd spirit, through his lays, Would here enquire as from his own frank lips,
What desolating grief, what wrongs had driven That noble nature into cold eclipse
Like some fair orb that, once a sun in heaven,
And born, not only to surprise, but cheer
With warmth and lustre all within its sphere
Is now so quench’d, that of its grandeur lasts
Nought, but the wide, cold shadow which it casts ?
Eventful volume! whatsoe'er the change
Of scene and clime th' adventures, bold and strange
The griefs—the frailties, but too frankly told
The loves, the feuds, thy pages may unfold,
If Truth, with half so prompt a hand unlocks
His virtues as his failings—we shall find
The record there of friendships, held like rocks
And enmities, like sun-touch'd snow resign'd
Of fealty, cherish'd without change or chill
In those who serv'd him young, and serve him still
Of generous aid, given with that noiseless art
Which wakes not pride to many a wounded heart-
Of acts—but, no--not from himself must aught
Of the bright features of his life be sought.
While they who court the world, like MILTON's cloud,
"Turn forth their silver lining” on the crowd,
This gifted being wraps himself in night,
And, keeping all that softens, and adorns,
And gilds his social nature hid from sight,
Turns but its darkness on a world he scorns.
From “ Travels of Anacharsis."
AFTER the battle which the great Cyrus gained against the Assyri. ans, the plunder was divided, and a superb tent, and a female captive who surpassed all the others in beauty, reserved for that prince. This captive was Panthea, queen of Susiana. Abradates her husband was then in Bactrinana, whither he had gone to bring up some succours to the Assyrian army.
Cyrus refused to see the princess, and confided her to the custody of a young Median nobleman, nanied Araspes, who had been educated with him. Araspes described the humiliating situation in which she was *found. “She was,” said he, “in her tent, sitting on the ground, surrounded by her women, in the habit of a slave, with her head bowed down and covered with a veil. We desired her to arise, and all her attendants rose at the same tiine. One of us wishing to comfort her, said to her, We know that your husband deserved your love by his illustrious qualities ; but Cyrus, to whom you are destined, is the most accomplished prince of the East. At these words she tore her veil, and her sighs and tears, and the cries of her women, painted in the liveliest manner her distressful situation. We had more time to observe her, and are enabled to assure you, that Asia has never produced a beauty comparable to her : but of this you will soon judge for yourself.”
“ No,” said Cryrus, 6 what you have said is an additional motive why I should avoid her. Were I to see her once, I should wish to see her again, and should be in danger of forgetting in her company the care of my fame and future conquests.” “ And can you really believe, then," replied the young Median, “ that beauty exercises her power with so im. perious a sway, as to force us to neglect our duty in despite of our. selves ? Why then does she not equally tyrannize over all hearts ? Why do we not sigh with incestuous passion for those from whom we have received, or to whom we have given life ? Because the laws prohibit us. The laws therefore are more powerful than love. But were they to com. mand us to be insensible to hunger and thirst, to cold and heat, they would be universally disobeyed. Nature therefore is more powerful than the laws. Love in like manner would be irresistible, if it were invincible in its own nature. We therefore do not love but when our will permits us to love."
“ If we could impose on ourselves this yoke at will,” replied Cyrus, “ &t will might we throw it off: yet have I seen lovers shed tears of an.