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Full text of "The poems of Felicia Hemans"

5 



POEMS 



OF 



FELICIA HEMANS 



MURRAY AND GIBE, EDINBURGH, 
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE. 



v7l(U 






THE POEMS 



OF 



FELICIA HEMANS. 



COMPLETE COPYRIGHT EDITION. 



WILLIAM P. NIMMO, 

LONDON : 14 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND ; 

AND EDINBURGH. 

1875- 



CONTENTS 



JUVENILE POEMS. 

Page 

On my Mother's Birthday. Written at the age of eight 1 

A Prayer. Written at the age of nine . . ib. 

Address to the Deity. Written at the age of eleven . ib. 

Shakspeare. Written at the age of eleven . . 2 
To my Brother and Sister in the country. Written at 

the age of eleven . . . . ib. 

Sonnet to my Mother. Written at the age of twelve t'6. 

Sonnet. Written at the age of thirteen . . 3 

Rural Walks. Written at the age of thirteen . t'6. 

Sonnet. Written at the age of thirteen . . t'6. 
England and Spain ; or, Valour and Patriotism. 

Written at the age of fourteen ... 4 

THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS, &c. 

The Silver Locks. Addressed to an Ancient Friend 10 

To my Mother . . . . . .11 

To my Younger Brother. On his Return from Spain, 
after the fatal Retreat under Sir John Moore 
and the battle of Corunna . . ib. 

To my Eldest Brother, with the British army in Portugal 12 
Lines written in the Memoirs of Elizabeth Smith . t'6. 
The Ruin and its Flowers . . . .13 

Christmas Carol . . . . . .14 

The Domestic Affections . . . .15 

To Mr Edwards, the Harper of Conway . . 19 

Epitaph on Jlr W , a celebrated Mineralogist . 20 

Epitaph on the Hammer of the aforesaid Mineralogist t'6. 
Prologue to The Poor Gentleman. As intended to be 
performed by the Officers of the 34th Regiment 
at Clonmel ..... 21 

THE RESTORATION OP THE WORKS OF ART 

TO ITALY . . . . .22 

MODERN GREECE . . . . .28 

Critical Annotations . 42 

TRANSLATIONS FROM CAMOENS 

AND OTHER POETS. 

Sonnet 70 ...... 43 

Sonnet 282. From Psalm 137 .... ib. 

Part of Eclogue 15 . . . .44 

Sonnet 271 ...... 44 

Sonnet 186 . . . . .t'6. 

Sonnet 108 . . . . .44 



Sonnet 23. To a Lady who died at Sea . .45 

Sonnet 19 ...... ib. 

" Que estranho caso de amor!" . . ib. 

Sonnet 58 . . . . . . ib. 

Sonnet 173 ...... ib. 

Sonnet 80 ...... 46 

Sonnet 239. From Psalm 137 ... t'6. 

Sonnet 128 t'6. 

" Polomeu apartamento " .... ib. 

Sonnet 205 ...... 47 

Sonnet 133 ...... t'6. 

Sonnet 181 ...... t'6. 

Sonnet 278 t'6. 

"Mi nueve y dulce querella" .... t'6. 

METASTASIO. " Dunque si sfoga in pianto " . t'6. 

" Al furor d'avversa Sorte " . . 48 

" Quella onda che ruina " . . . ib. 

" Leggiadra rosa, le cui pure foglie " . . ib. 

" Che speri, instabil Dea, di sassi e spir.e" . t'6. 

" Parlagli d'un periglio " . . .t'6. 

" Sprezza il furor del ven to " . . ib. 

" Sol pu6 dir che sia contento " . . t'6. 

" Ah ! frenate le piante imbelle! " . . 4!) 
VINCENZO DA FILICAJA. " Italia ! Italia! O tu cui 

di6 la sorte "..... il>. 

PASTORINI. "Genovamia! se con asciutto ciglio " t6. 

LOPE DE VEGA. " Estese el cortesano " . . t'6. 
FRANCISCO MANUEL. On ascending a Hill leading to 

a Convent ..... t'6. 
DELLA CASA. Venice . . . .50 
IL MARCHESE CORNELIO BENTIVOGLIO. " L'anima 

bella, che dal vero Eliso" . . . t'6. 

QUEVEDO. Rome buried in her own Ruins . . t'6. 
EL CO.VDE JUAN DE TARSis. " Tu, que la dulce vida 

en tiernas anos " .... t'6. 
TORQUATO TASSO. " Negli anni acerbi tuoi, pur- 

purea rosa "..... t'6. 
BERNARDO TASSO. " Quest' ombra che giammai non 

vide il sole " . . . . .51 

PETRARCH. "Chivuolvederquantunquepu&iiatura" ib. 

" Se lamentar augelli, o verdi fronde" . t'6. 
PIETRO BEMBO. " O Muerte ! que stieles ser " t'6. 
FRANCESCO LORENZINI. "O Zefiretto, che movendo 

vai" ...... ib 

GESNER. Morning Song . . .52 

German Song. " Madchen, lernet Amor kennin" . it. 

CHAULIEU. " Grotte, d'ou sort ce clair ruisseau" . ib. 



20475 



" 



CONTENTS. 



GARCILASO DB VEOA. " Coved de vuestra alegre 
primavera" ..... 

LORENZO DE MEDICI. Violets 
PIXDEMONTE. On the Hebe of Canova 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Lines written in a Hermitage on the Sea-shore 
Dirge of a Child ..... 

Invocation ...... 

To the Memory of General Sir E D P K M 

To the Memory of Sir H Y E LL S, who fell in 

the battle of Waterloo .... 
Guerilla Song. Founded o'n the story related of the 

Spanish patriot Mina . . 

The Aged Indian, ..... 

Evening amongst the Alps .... 

Dirge of the Highland Chief in " Waverlcy " 

The Crusaders' War-Song .... 

The Death of Clanronald .... 

To the Eye ...... 

The Hero's Death, ..... 

Stanzas on the Death of the Princess Charlotte 

WALLACE'S INVOCATION TO BRUCE. 
Advertisement by the Author, &c. 

TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 

The Abencerrage . . . . . 

The Widow of Crescentius . ' 
The Last Banquet of Antony and Cleopatra . 
Alaric in Italy ...... 

The Wife of Asdrubal 

Heliodorus in the Temple .... 

Night-scene in Genoa. From Sismondi's "llipub- 

liques Italiennes ..... 
The Troubadour and Richard Cceur-de-Lion . 
The Death of Conradin .... 

Critical Annotations 



THE SCEPTIC . 

Critical Annotations 



Page 

52 
53 

ib. 



G7 



101 
103 
105 

106 
113 



SUPERSTITION AND REVELATION . . .114 

ITALIAN LITERATURE. 

The Basvigliana of Monti .... 118 

The Alcestis of Alfieri . . . . .121 

II Conte di Carmagnola. A tragedy. By Alessandro 

Manzoni ...... 125 

Caius Gracchus. A tragedy. By Monti . . 133 

PATRIOTIC EFFUSIONS OF THE ITALIAN POETS. 

Vincenzo da Filicaja ..... 138 

Carlo Maria Maggi ..... t6. 

Alessandro Marchetti . . . . . ff>. 

Alessandro Pegolotti ..... ft. 

Francesco Maria de Conti. The Shore of Africa ib. 



Jeu-d'Esprit on the word ' 
The Fever-Dream 



Barb 1 



139 
ib. 



DARTMOOR 



WELSH MELODIES. 

Paj? 

The Harp of Wales. Introductory stanzas . . 145 

Druid Chorus on the Landing of the Romans . ib. 

The Green Isles of Ocean . . . .146 

The Sea-Song of Gafran .... ib. 

The Hirlas Horn . . . . .t'6. 

The Hall of Cynddylan . . . .147 

The Lament of Llywarch Hen . . . ib. 

Grufydd's Feast . . . . .148 

The Cambrian in America .... ib. 

Taliesin's Prophecy . . . ib. 

Owen Glyndwr's War-Song .... 149 

Prince Madoc's Farewell .... ib. 

Caswallon's Triumph ..... 150 

Howel's Song ...... ib. 

The Mountain Fires . . . . . ib. 

EryriWen ...... 151 

Chant of the Bards before their Massacre by Edward I. ib. 
The Dying Bad's Prophecy .... 152 

The Fair Isle. For the melody called the "Welsh 

Ground " ..... ib. 

The Rock of Cader Idris .... ib. 

THE VESPERS OP PALERMO . . .153 

Critical Annotations .... 188 

Stanzas to the Memory of George the Third . . 187 

TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 

The Maremma ...... 191 

A Tale of the Secret Tribunal . . .194 

The Caravan in the Deserts .... 210 

Marius amongst the Ruins of Carthage . . 212 

A Tale of the Fourteenth Century. A Fragment . 213 

Belshazzar's Feast ..... 219 

The Last Constantino ..... 221 

Annotations on the Last Constantino . . 234 

The League of the Alps ; or, the Meeting of the Field 

of GrUtli ,7, 



SONGS OF THE CID. 



The Cid's Departure into Exile 
The Cid's Deathbed 
The Cid's Funeral Procession 
The Cid's Rising 



GREEK SONGS. 



The Storm of Delphi 
The Bowl of Liberty 
The Voice of Scio 
The Spartans' March 
The Urn and Sword 
The Myrtle Bough 



238 
16. 
239 
241 



241 

242 
243 
ib. 
244 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

On a Flower from the Field of GrUtli . . 244 

On a Leaf from the Tomb of Virgil . . . 245 

The Chieftain's Son . . . . .t'6. 

A Fragment ..... fft. 

England's Dead . . . . . 246 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

the Meeting of the Bards. Written for an Eistedd- 
vod, or meeting of Welsh Bards, held in Lon- 
don, May 22, 1822 . . . .246 

The Voice of Spring ..... 247 

Elysium ...... 249 

The Funeral Genius. An Ancient Statue . . 250 

The Tombs of Platasa . . . . .251 

The View from Castri . . . . .16. 

The Festal Hour . . . . .252 

Song of the Battle of Morgarten . . . 253 

Ode on the Defeat of King Sebastian of Portugal and 
his army in Africa. Translated from the Spanish 
ofUerrera . . . . .254 

SEBASTIAN OF PORTUGAL . . . .256 

THE SIEGE OF VALENCIA . . . .262 

Advertisement by the Author, . . . ib. 

Critical Annotations .... 292 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Song. Founded on an Arabian Anecdote . . 293 

Alp-Horn Song. Translated from the German of Tieck 294 

The Cross of the South .... ib. 

The Sleeper of Marathon .... 295 

To Miss F. A. L. on her Birthday . . . i&. 

Written on the First Leaf of the Album of the Same . ib. 

To the Same, on the Death of her Mother . . 296 

From the Spanish of Garcilaso de la Vega . . ib. 

From the Italian of Sannazaro . . . ib. 
Appearance of the Spirit of the Cape to Vasco de Gama. 

Translated from Camoens . . . 297 

A Dirge 298 

TRANSLATION'S FROM HORACE. 

To Venus . . . . . . 298 

To his Attendant . . . . .16. 

To Delius ...... 299 

To the Fountain of Bandusia . . ib. 

To Faunus ... . . ib. 

DE CHATILLON ; OR, THE CRUSADERS . . 300 

Critical Annotations .... 315 

THE FOREST SANCTUARY . . . .316 

Critical Annotations .... 336 

LAYS OF MANY LANDS. 

Moorish Bridal-Song ..... 338 

The Bird's Release . . . ib. 

The Sword of the Tomb. A Northern Legend . 339 

Valkyriur Song ..... 340 

The Cavern of the Three Tells. A Swiss Tradition . 341 

Swiss Song. On the Anniversary of an Ancient Battle 342 

The Messenger Bird ..... 343 
Answer to The-Messenger Bird, by an" American 
Quaker Lady .... note, ib. 
The Stranger in Louisiana . ... .16. 

The Isle of Founts. An Indian Tradition . . 344 

The Bended Bow ..... 345 

He never smiled again ..... 346 

Coeur-de-Lion at the Bier of his Father . . ib. 

The Vassal's Lament for the Fallen Tree . . 347 

The Wild Huntsman ... 348 



Brandenburg Harvest-Song. From the German of 

La Motte Fouque 1 .... 343 

The Shade of Theseus. An Ancient Greek Tradition 349 

Ancient Greek Son of Exile . . . . ib. 

Greek Funeral Chant, or Myriologue . . ib. 

Greek Parting Song ..... 351 

The Suliote Mother ..... 352 

The Farewell to the Dead .... 353 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

I go, Sweet Friends ! . . . . . 354 

Angel Visits ...... ib. 

Ivy Song. Written on receiving some Ivy-leaves 

gathered from the ruined Castle of Rheinfels, 

on the Rhine . . . . . t&. 

To one of the Author's children on his Birthday . 355 

On a Similar Occasion . . . . ib. 

Christ Stilling the Tempest .... ib. 

Epitaph over the Grave of Two Brothers . . 356 

Monumental Inscription . . . . ib. 

The Sound of the Sea . . . . . ib. 
The Child and Dove. Suggested by Chantrey's statue 

of Lady Louisa Russell .... 357 

A Dirge ib. 

Scene in a Dalecarlian Mine . . . ib. 
English Soldier's Song of Memory. To the air of " Am 

Rhein! Am Rhein ! " . . . 358 

Haunted Ground .... ib. 
The Child of the Forests. Written after reading the 

Memoirs of John Hunter . . . 359 

Stanzas to the Memory of * * * . . . 360 

The Vaudois Valleys . . . . . ib. 

Song of the Spanish Wanderer . . . 361 

The Contadina. Written for a Picture . . ib. 

Troubadour Song ..... t!). 

The Treasures of the Deep .... ib. 

Bring Flowers ...... 362 

The Crusader's Return ..... 363 

Thekla's Song ; or, the Voice of a Spirit. From the 

German of Schiller' .... 364 

The Revellers ...... ib. 

The Conqueror's Sleep ..... 365 

Our Lady's Well ..... i&. 

The Parting of Summer .... 366 

The Songs of our Fathers . . . . ib. 

The World in the Open Air . . . .367 

Kindred Hearts . . . . . ib. 

The Traveller at the Source of the Nile . . 368 

Casablanca ...... 369 

The Dial of Flowers ..... 16. 

Our Daily Paths . . . . .370 

The Cross in the -Wilderness . . . .371 

Last Rites . . . . . .372 

The Hebrew Mother . . . . ib. 

The Wreck . . . . . .373 

The Trumpet . . . . . .374 

Evening Prayer at a Girls' School . . ib. 
The Hour of Death . . . . .375 

The Lost Pleiad ..... f6 

The Cliffs of Dover . ... 376 

The Graves of Martyrs . . . . ib. 

The Hour of Prayer ..... 377 

The Voice of Home to the Prodigal . . ib. 

The Wakening ...... 378 

The Breeze from Shore . ... ft. 



viii CONTENTS. 




Page 




Page 


The Dying Improvisatore .... 


379 


,, .-.. , f cl "n 


434 






Music of Yesterday ..... 


ib. 


The Birds of Passage .... 


ib. 


The Forsaken Hearth ..... 


380 


The Graves of a Household 


. 435 


The Dreamer ...... 


ib. 


Mozart's Requiem .... 


. ib. 


The Wings of the Dove .... 


381 


Tl ft Tmlr*p in T 1V1 


436 






Psyche borne by Zephyrs to the Island of Pleasure 


382 


Christmas Carol .... 


437 


The Boon of Memory ..... 


ib. 


A Father Reading the Bible 


ib. 


Dramatic scene between Bronwylfa and Rhyllon 


383 


The Meeting of the Brothers 


ib. 






The Last Wish .... 


. 438 


RECORDS OF WOMAN. 




Fairy Favours .... 


. 439 






Critical Annotations 


. 440 


Arabella Stuart . 


385 






The Bride of the Greek Isle .... 


388 


SONGS OF THE AFFECTIONS. 




The Bride's Farewell ..... 


389 






The Switzer's Wife ..... 


391 


A Spirit's Return .... 


. 442 


Properzia Rossi ..... 


392 


The Lady of Provence . 


. 446 


Gertrude ; or, Fidelity till Death 


394 


The Coronation of Inez de Castro 


. 448 


Imelda ...... 


ib. 


Italian Girl's Hymn to the Virgin 


449 


Edith. A Tale of the Woods 


' 396 


To a Departed Spirit .... 


ib. 


The Indian City ..... 


398 


The Chamois Hunter's Love 


. 450 


The Peasant Girl of the Rhone 


401 


The Indian with his Dead Child 


ib. 


Indian Woman's Death-Song . . . 


402 


Song of Emigration .... 


. 451 


Joan of Arc in Rheims .... 


403 


The King of Arragon's Lament for his Brother 


. 452 


Pauline . . ' . 


404 


The Return ..... 


. 453 


Juana ....... 


405 


The Vaudois Wife .... 


ib. 


The American Forest Girl .... 


406 


The Guerilla Leader's Vow 


. 454 


Costanza ...... 


407 


Thekla at her Lover's Grave 


. 455 


Madeline. A Domestic Tale .... 


408 


The Sisters of Scio .... 


ib. 


The Queen of Pmssia's Tomb .... 


409 


Bernardo del Carpio .... 


. 456 


The Memorial Pillar . . . . . 


410 


The Tomb of Madame Langhans 


. 457 


The Grave of a Poetess .... 


411 


The Exile's Dirge .... 


ib. 






The Dreaming Child .... 


. 458 


MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 




The Charmed Picture .... 


ib. 


The Homes of England .... 
The Sicilian Captive ..... 


412 

ib. 


Parting Words ..... 
The Message to the Dead 
The Two Homes .... 


. 459 
ib. 
. 460 


Ivan the Czar ..... 


413 


The Soldier's Deathbed 




Carolan's Prophecy ..... 
The Lady of the Castle. From the " Portrait Gallery," 


414 


The Image in the Heart 
The Land of Dreams .... 


ib. 

. 402 


an unfinished poem .... 
The Mourner for the Barmecides 
The Spanish Chapel ..... 
The Kaiser's Feast ..... 


416 

417 
418 
419 


Woman on the Field of Battle 
The Deserted House .... 
The Stranger's Heart .... 
To a Remembered Picture 


. ib. 
. 463 
. 464 
ib. 


Tasso and his Sister ..... 


420 










Come Home ..... 


465 


Ulla ; or, The Adjuration .... 


421 


The Fountain of Oblivion 


ib. 


To Wordsworth ..... 


422 






A Monarch's Deathbed .... 


423 


MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 




To the Memory of Heber .... 


ib. 






The Adopted Child ..... 


ib. 


The Bridal-Day .... 


. 466 


Invocation ...... 


424 


The Ancestral Song .... 


. 467 


Korner and his Sister ..... 


ib. 


The Magic Glass .... 


. 468 


The Death-Day of Korner .... 


425 


Corinne at the Capitol . 


. 469 


An Hour of Romance . . ... 


427 


The Ruin ..... 


ib. 


A Voyager's Dream of Land .... 


ib. 


The Minster ..... 


. 470 


The Effigies ...... 


428 


The Song of Night 


. 471 


The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England 


429 


The Storm-Painter in his Dungeon 


ib. 




ib. 




472 


The Departed ...... 


430 


The Parting Ship .... 


. 473 


The Palm-Tree ..... 


ib. 


The Last Tree of the Forest 


ib. 


The Child's Last Sleep. Suggested by a Monument 




The Streams ..... 


. 474 


of Chantrey's ..... 


431 


The Voice of the Wind 


. 475 


The Sunbeam . . . . . . 


ib. 


The Vigil of Arms .... 


. 476 


Breathings of Spring ..... 


432 


The Heart of Bruce in Melrose Abbey 


. ib. 


The Illuminated Citv ..... 


ib. 




477 


The Spells of Home ..... 


433 


The Beings of the Mind 


. ffi. 




ib 




478 









CONTENTS, 



Page 

Tasso's Coronation ..... 479 

The Better Land . . . &,. 
The Wounded Eagle . . . . .480 

Sadness and Mirth . . . . . ii. 

The Nightingale's Death-Song . . . 481 

The Diver . . . . . . ib. 

The Requiem of Genius .... 482 

Triumphant Music ..... 483 

Second-Sight ...... 16. 

The Sea-Bird flying inland . . . .484 

The Sleeper ...... 6. 

The Mirror in the Deserted Hall . . . fb. 

To the Daughter of Bernard Barton, the Quaker Poet 485 

The Star of the Mine ..... 0>. 

Washington's Statue. Sent from England to America ib. 
A Thought of Home at Sea . . .486 

To the Memory of a Sister-in-Law . . ib. 

To an Orphan ...... ib. 

Hymn by the Sickbed of a Mother . . . 487 

Where is the Sea? Song of the Greek Islander in Exile ib. 
To my own Portrait . . . . .16. 

No More . . . . . . 488 

Passing Away ...... 489 

The Angler ...... ib. 

Death and the Warrior .... 490 

Song. For an air by Hummel . . ib. 
To the Memory of Lord Charles Murray, son of the 
Duke of Atholl, who died in the cause and 

lamented by the people of Greece . . ib. 
The Broken Chain . . . . .491 

The Shadow of a Flower .... ib. 

Lines to a Butterfly resting on a Skull . . ib. 

The Bell at Sea 492 

The Subterranean Stream .... ib. 

The Silent Multitude . . . . .493 

The Antique Sepulclire . . . ib. 

Evening Song of the Tyrolese Peasants . . 494 

The Memory of the Dead . . . ib. 

He walked with God ..... 495 

The Rod of Aaron . . . . ib. 

The Voice of God . . . . ib. 

The Fountain of Marah . . . .496 

The Penitent's Offering .... ib. 

The Sculptured Children .... ib. 

Woman and Fame ..... 497 

A Thought of the Future . . . .498 

The Voice of Music . . . . ib. 

The Angel's Greeting . . . . .499 

A Farewell to Wales . . . . . iZ>. 

Impromptu Lines addressed to Miss F. A. L. on re- 
ceiving from her some Flowers when confined 

by illness ..... t6. 

A Parting Song ..... 500 

We return no more ..... tZi. 

To a Wandering Female Singer . . . 501 

Lights and Sliades ..... t6. 

The Palmer ...... ib. 

The Child's First Grief .... 502 

To the New-Born . . . . . ib. 

The Death-Song of Alcestis . . . ib. 

The Home of Love ..... 503 

Books and Flowers ..... 504 

For a Picture of St Cecilia attended by Angels . 505 
The Brigand Leader and his Wife. Suggested by a pic- 
ture of Eastlake's . . 500 



1'age 

The Child's Return from the Woodlands . . 506 

The Faith of Love ..... o07 

The Sister's Dream, ..... ib 

A Farewell to Abbotsford . . . . . 508 

O'Connor's Child . . . . . tZ>. 

The Prayer for Life ..... 509 

The Welcome' to Death .... ib. 

The Victor ...... 510 

Lines written for the Album at Rosanna . . ib. 

The Voice of the Waves. Written near the scene of 

a recent Shipwreck .... 511 

The Haunted House . . . . . ib. 

The Shepherd-Poet of the Alps . . .512 

To the Mountain-Winds .... 514 

The Procession .'..... 515 

The Broken Lute . . . . . ib. 

The Burial in the Desert . . . .516 

To a Picture of the Madonna . . . .517 

A Thought of the Rose . . . .518 

Dreams of Heaven . . . . . ib. 

The Wish ...... 11 

Written after visiting a Tomb near Woodstock, in the 

county of Kilkenny . . . . ib. 

Epitaph ....... 520 

Prologue to the Tragedy of Fiesco . . . ib. 

To Giulio Regondi, the Boy Guitarist . . ib. 

O ye Hours ! . . . . . ib. 

The Freed Bird . . . . .521 

Marguerite of France . . . . . ib. 

The Wanderer . . . . . .523 

The Last Words of the Last Wasp of Scotland . ib. 

To Caroline . ... 524 

The Flower of the Desert .... ib. 

Critical Annotations . . . . ib. 

HYMNS FOR CHILDHOOD. 

Introductory Verses ..... 528 

The Rainbow . . . . . .529 

The Sun ...... 16. 

The Rivers ...... ib. 

The Stars ...... 530 

The Ocean ...... ib. 

The Thunderstorm . . . . . 531 

The Birds ...... ib. 

The Skylark. Child's Morning Hymn . . 532 

The Nightingale. Child's Evening Hymn . . ib. 

The Northern Spring . . . . .533 

Paraphrase of Psalm 148 . . . ib. 

LYRICS, AND SONGS FOR MUSIC. 
NATIONAL LYRICS. 

The Themes of Song . . . . - 534 

Rhine Song of the German Soldiers after Victory. To 

the air of " Am Rhein ! Am Rhein ! " . ib. 

A Song of Delos . . . . .535 

Ancient Greek Chant of Victory . . . 536 

Naples. A Song of the Syren . . . t&. 

The Fall of D'Assas. A Ballad of France . . 537 

The Burial of William the Conqueror . . ib. 

SONGS OF A GUARDIAN SPIRIT. 

Near thee ! still near thee ! 538 

Oh ! Droop thou not ... . ib. 



CONTENTS. 



SONGS OF SPAIN*. 



Ancient Battle-Song ... 

The Zegri Maid 

The Rio Verde Song 

Seek by the Silvery Darro 

Spanish Evening Hymn . 

Bird that art Singing on Ebro's Side ! 

Moorish Gathering-Song 

The Song of Mina's Soldiers . . 

Mother ! Oh, sing me to rest . 

There are Sounds in the Dark Roncesvalles 



Tare 
539 

ib. 

ib. 
540 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 
541 

16. 

16. 



SONGS FOR SUMMER HOURS. 

And I too in Arcadia . 541 

The Wandering Wind . . . . .542 

Ye are not miss'd, fair Flowers ! . . t6. 

The Willow Song ib. 

Leave me not yet . . 543 

The Orange Bough . . . . .16. 

The Stream set Free . . . . ib. 

The Summer's Call . . . . . ib. 

Oh ! Skylark, for thy Wing ! . . . .544 

SONGS OF CAPTIVITY. 
Introduction ...... 545 

The Brother's Dirge . . . . ib. 

The Alpine Horn ..... t6. 

ye Voices ! . . . . .t'6. 

1 Dream of all things Free . . . .546 
Far o'er the Sea . . . . . t&. 
The Invocation . ... t'6. 
The Song of Hope . . . . .16. 

MISCELLANEOUS LYRICS. 

The Call to Battle 547 

Mignon's Song. Translated from Goethe . . t'6. 

The Sisters. A Ballad . . . . .548 

The Last Song of Sappho . . , .549 

Dirge ....... ib. 

A. Song of the Rose . . . . .550 

Night-Blowing Flowers .... 551 

The Wanderer and the Night-Flowers . . t'6. 

Echo-Song ...... ib. 

The Muffled Drum . . . . .552 

The Swan and the Skylark .... j'6. 

The Curfew-Song of England . . . .553 

Genius Singing to Love .... 554 

Music at a Deathbed . . . . ib. 

Marshal Schwerin's Grave .... 555 

The Fallen Lime-Tree ..... fl>. 

The Bird at Sea . . . . . .556 

The Dying Girl and Flowers . . . ib. 

The Ivy Song ...... 557 

The Music of St Patrick's . . . . to. 

Keene ;*or, Lament of an Irish Mother over her Son 558 
Far Away ...... 

The Lyre and Flower ..... 559 

Sister ! since I met thee last . . . fb. 

The Lonely Bird . . . . .16. 

Dirge at Sea ...... t'6. 

Pilgrim's Song to the Evening Star . . . 560 

The Meeting of the Ships . . . . i&. 

Come Away ...... ib. 

Fair Helen of Kirkconnel .... 561 

Music from Shore . . . . . ib. 



rge 

Look on me with thy cloudless eyes . . .561 

If thou hast crush 'd a flower .... 562 

Brightly hast thou fled . . . . . '& 

The Bed of Heath ..... t6. 

Fairy Song ...... ib. 

What Woke the Buried Sound . . .563 

Sing to me, Gondolier ! .... t'6. 

Look on me thus no more . . . ib. 

O'er the far blue Mountains . . . . t&. 

thou Breeze of Spring \ . . . . ib. 

Come to me, Dreams of Heaven ! 564 

Good-Night ...... t'6. 

Let her Depart . . .16. 

How can that Love so deep, so lone . . . 565 

Water-Lilies. A Fairy Song . . . t'6. 

The Broken Flower . . . . . t"6. 

1 would we hod not met again . ib. 
Fairies' Recall ...... ib. 

The Rock beside the Sea . . . .566 

O ye Voices gone !..... t'6. 

By a Mountain-Stream at rest . . i&. 

Is there some Spirit sighing . . . .t'6. 

The Name of England . . . . .567 

Old Norway. A Mountain War-song . . ib. 

Come to me, Gentle Sleep ! . . . ib. 

SCENES AND HYMNS OF LIFE. 

Preface 568 

The English Martyrs. A scene of the days of Queen 

Mary ...... ib. 

Flowers and Music in a Room of Sickness . . 573 

Cathedral Hymn ..... 574 

Wood Walk and Hymn . . . .576 

Prayer of the Lonely Student .... 577 

The Traveller's Evening Song .... 579 

Burial of an Emigrant's Child in the Forests . t'6. 

Easter-Day in a Mountain Churchyard . . 581 
The Child Reading the Bible . . .583 

A Poet's Dying Hymn .... t'6. 

The Funeral-Day of Sir Walter Scott . . 585 

The Prayer in the Wilderness . . . 586 
Prisoners' Evening Service. A Scene of the French 

Revolution . . . . .587 

Hymn of the Vaudois Mountaineers in times of Per- 
secution ..... 588 

Prayer at Sea after Victory .... 589 

The Indian's Revenge. Scene in the life of a Moravian 

Missionary ..... 590 

Evening Song of the Weary .... 592 

The Day of Flowers . . . . . ib. 

Hymn of the Traveller's Household on his Return in 

the Olden Time . . . . .594 

The Painter's Last Work .... 595 

A Prayer of Affection . . . . . 596 

Mother's Litany by the Sick-bed of a Child . . t6. 
Night-Hymn at Sea. The words written for a melody 

byFelton. .... 597 

SONNETS. 
FEMALE CHARACTERS OF SCRIPTURE. 

Invocation ...... t& 

Invocation continued . . . . t&. 

The Song of Miriam . . . . .565 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

Ruth 598 

Tlie Vigil of Rizpah . . . ib. 

The Reply of the Shunamite Woman . . . ib. 

The Annunciation . . . . ib. 

The Song of the Virgin .... 599 

The Penitent anointing Christ's Feet . . ib. 

Mary at the Feet of Christ . . . . ib. 

The Sisters of Bethany after the Death of Lazarus . ib. 

The Memorial of Mary ..... 599 

The Women of Jerusalem at the Cross . . ib. 

Mary Magdalene at the Sepulchre . . . 600 

Mary Magdalene bearing Tidings of the Resurrection . ib. 

SONNETS, DEVOTIONAL AND MEMORIAL. 

The Sacred Harp . . . . .600 

To a Family Bible . . . . ib. 

Repose of a Holy Family. From an old Italian Picture ib. 

Picture of the Infant Christ with Flowers . . 601 
On a Remembered Picture of Christ an Ecce Homo 

by Leonardo da Vinci . . . . ib. 

The Children whom Jesus Blessed . . . ib. 

Mountain Sanctuaries . . . . . ib. 

The Lilies of the Field . . ib. 
The Birds of the Air . . . . .602 

The Raising of the Widow's Son - . ib. 

The Olive Tree ...... ib. 

The Darkness of the Crucifixion . . . ib. 

Places of Worship . . . . . ib. 

*Old Church in an English Park . . .603 

A Church in North Wales .... id. 

Louise Schepler ..... tb. 

To the Same ...... ib. 

: 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

The Two Monuments ..... 604 

The Cottage Girl ..... ib. 

The Battle-Field . . . . .605 

A Penitent's Return . . . . ib. 

A Thought of Paradise . . . .606 

Let us Depart ...... ib. 

On a Picture of Christ Bearing the Cross painted by 

Velasquez . . . . . 607 

Communings with Thought .... ib. 

The Water-Lily 608 

The Song of Penitence. Unfinished . . .609 

Troubadour Song . . . . . ib. 

The English Boy . . . . . ib. 

To the Blue Anemone ..... 610 

SCENES AND PASSAGES FROM GOETHE. 

Scenes from " Tasso " ..... 611 

Scenes from " Iphigenia." A Fragment . . 515 



RECORDS OF THE SPRING OF 1S34. 



A Vernal Thought ..... 

To the Sky 

On Records of Immature Genius 

On Watching the Flight of a Skylark 

A Thought of the Sea . 

Distant Sound of the Sea at Evening . 

The River Clwyd in North Wales 

Orchard- Blossoms . . . . . 

To a Distant Scene ..... 

A Remembrance of Grasmere .... 

Thoughts connected with Trees 

The Same ...... 

On Reading Paul and Virginia in Childhood 

A Thought at Sunset ..... 

Images of Patriarchal Life .... 

Attraction of the East ..... 

To an Aged Friend ..... 

A Happy Hour . 

Foliage ...... 

A Prayer ...... 

Prayer continued . ' 

Memorial of a Conversation .... 

RECORDS OF THE AUTUMN OF 1831. 

The Return to Poetry .... 

To Silvio Pellico, on Reading his " Prigione " 

To the Same released ..... 

On a Scene in the Dargle .... 

On the Datura Arborea .... 

On Reading Coleridge's Epitaph . 

Design and Performance .... 

Hope of Future Communion with Nature 

Dreams of the Dead ..... 

The Poetry of the Psalms .... 

DESPONDENCY AND ASPIRATION 

The Huguenot's Farewell .... 

Antique Greek Lament .... 

THOUGHTS DURING SICKNESS. 

Intellectual Powers ..... 

Sickness like Night . . 

On Retzsch's Design of the Angel of Death . 

Remembrance of Nature .... 

Flight of the Spirit ..... 

Flowers ...... 

Recovery ...... 

Sabbath Sonnet. Composed by Mrs Hemans a few days 
before her death .... 



Paga 

617 



APPENDIX 
INDEX . 
INDEX TO FIRST LINES 



ib. 
618 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 
619 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 
620 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 
620 
621 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 
622 



622 

ib. 

ib. 
623 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 

ib. 
624 

ib. 

ib. 
636 
627 



627 
ib. 
ib. 
ib. 
ib. 
ib. 



ib. 

630 
642 
647 



CHRONOLOGY 



OF 



MRS HEMANS' LIFE AND WORKS 



1793. 

FELICIA DOROTHEA BROWNE, born at Liverpool, 
Sept 25. 

1800, (set. 7.) 

Removes with family from Liverpool to 
Gwrych, near Abergele, Denbighshire. Shortly 
afterwards composes Lines on her Mother's 
Birthday. 

1804, (11.) 

Spends winter in London. Writes thence 
letter in rhyme to brother and sister in Wales. 

1808, (15.) 

Collection of poems printed in 4to. England 
and Spain written. Becomes acquainted with 
Captain Hemans. 

1809, (16.) 

Family remove to Bronwylfa in Flintshire. 
.Pursues her studies in French, Italian, Spanish, 
and Portuguese. Acquires the elements of 
German; and shows a taste for drawing and 
music. 

1812, (19.) 

Domestic Affections and other poems published. 
Marries Captain Hemans. Takes up residence 
at Daventry, Northamptonshire. 

1813, (20.) 

Son Arthur born. Returns to Bronwylfa. 



1816, (23.) 

Publishes Restoration of the Works of Art to 
Italy ; also Modern Greece. 

1818, (25.) 

Makes Translations from Camoens and others. 
Publishes Stanzas on the Death of Princess 
Charlotte, (Blackwood's Magazine, April.) 

1819, (26.) 

Tales and Historic Scenes published. Gains 
prize for best poem on the Meeting of Wallace 
and Bruce. Captain Hemans takes up residence 
in Italy. Family consists of five sons. 

1820, (27.) 

Publishes poem of Sceptic. Becomes ac- 
quainted with Bishop Heber and his brother 
Richard. Corresponds with Mr Gifford. Con- 
tributes papers on Foreign Literature to Edin- 
burgh Magazine. Publishes Stanzas to the Memory 
of George the Third. Visits Wavertree Lodge, 
near Liverpool, (October.) 

1821, (28.) 

Poem of Dartmoor obtains prize offered by 
Royal Society of Literature. Corresponds with 
Rev. Mr Milman, and Dr Croly. Writes Vespers 
of Palermo. Extends her German studies. 
Writes Welsh Melodies. 



CHRONOLOGY OF LIFE AND WORKS. 



1822, (29.) 

Siege of Valencia, and Songs of the Cid written ; 
also dramatic fragment of Don Sebastian. 

1823, (30.) 

Contributes to Thomas Campbell's New Monthly 
Magazine. Voice of Spring written, (March.) 
Siege of Valencia published, along with Last 
Constantino and Belshazzar's Feast. Vespers of 
Palermo performed at Covent Garden, (Dec. 12.) 

1824, (31.) 

Composes De Chatillon, revised MS. of which 
unfortunately lost. Writes Lays of Many Lands. 
Removes with family from JBronwylfa to 
Rhyllon. 

1825, (32.) 

Treasures of the Deep, The Hebrew Mother, 
The Hour of Death, Graves of a Household, The 
Cross in the Wilderness, and many other of her 
best lyrics written. 

1826, (33.) 

The Forest Sanctuary published, together with 
Lays of Many Lands. Commences correspon- 
dence with Professor Norton of Boston, U.S., 
who republishes her works there. 

1827, (34.) 

Mrs Hemans loses her mother (llth January.) 
Writes Hymns for Childhood, which are first 
published in America. Corresponds with Joanna 
Baillie, Anne Grant, Mary Mitford, Caroline 
Bowles, Mary Howitt, and M. J. Jewsbury. 
Writes Korner to his Sister, Homes of England, 
An Hour of Romance, The Palm-Tree, and many 
other lyrics. Health becomes impaired. 

1828, (35.) 

Publishes with Mr Blackwood Records of Woman, 
and collected Miscellanies, (May.) Contributes 
regularly to ElackicoocFs Magazine. Visits Waver- 
tree Lodge early in summer. Removes to village 
of Wavertree with family in September. 

1829, (36.) 

Writes Lady of Provence, To a Wandering 
Female Singer, The Child's First Grief, The 
Better Land, and Miscellanies. Voyages to Scot- 
land, (June,) and visits Mr Henry MTCenzie, Rev. 
Mr Alison, Lord Jeffrey, Sir Walter Scott, Captain 



Hamilton, Captain Basil Hall, and other distin- 
guished literati. Returns to England, (Sept.) 
A Spirit's Return composed. 

1830. (37.) 

Songs of the Affections published. Visits the 
Lakes and Mr Wordsworth. Domiciles during 
part of summer at Dove's Nest, near Ambleside. 
Revisits Scotland, (Aug.) Returns by Dublin 
and Holyhead to Wales. 

1831. (38.) 

State of health delicate. Quits England for last 
time, (April,) and proceeds to Dublin. Visits the 
Hermitage, near Kilkenny, and Woodstock. Re- 
turns to Dublin, (Aug.) Writes various lyrics. 

1832. (39,) 

Health continues greatly impaired. Writes 
Miscellaneous Lyrics, Songs of Spain, and Songs 
of a Guardian Spirit. 

1833. (40.) 

Feels recruited during spring. Writes Songs of 
Captivity, Songs for Summer Hours, and many of 
Scenes and Hymns of Life. Composes Sonnets 
Devotional and Memorial. Commences trans- 
lation of Scenes and Passages from German 
Authors, (December.) 

1834. (41.) 

Hymns for Childhood published (March;) 
also National Lyrics and Songs for Music. 
Paper on Tasso, published in New Montldy 
Magazine, (May.) Writes Fragment of Paper on 
Iphigenia. Records of Spring 1834 written, 
(April, May, June.) Is seized with fever; during 
convalescence retires into county of Wicklow. 
Returns to Dublin in autumn, and has attack of 
ague. Composes Records of Autumn 1834. 
Writes Despondency and Aspiration, (Oct. and 
Nov.) The Huguenot's Farewell and Antique 
Greek Lament, (Nov.) Thoughts during Sickness 
written, (Nov. and Dec.) Retires during conval- 
escence to Redesdale, a country-seat of the Arch- 
bishop of Dublin. 

1835. (42.) 

Returns to Dublin, (March.) Debility gradually 
increases. Corresponds regarding Sir Robert 
Peel's appointment of her son Henry. Dictates 
Sabbath Sonnet, (April 26.) Departs this life,(16th 
May.) Remains interred in vault beneath St 
Anne's Church, Dublin. 



THE 



POETICAL WOEKS 



OF 



MRS H E M A N S 



JUVENILE POEMS 



ON MY MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF EIGHT. 

CLAD in all their brightest green, 
This day the verdant fields are seen ; 
The tuneful birds begin their lay, 
To celebrate thy natal day. 

The breeze is still, the sea is calm, 
And the whole scene combines to charm : 
The flowers revive, this Charming May, 
Because it is thy natal day. 

The sky is blue, the day serene, 
And only pleasure now is seen ; 
The rose, the pink, the tulip gay, 
Combine to bless thy natal day. 



A PRAYER. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF XIN'E. 

GOD ! my Father and my Friend, 
Ever thy blessings to me send ; 
Let me have Virtue for my guide, 
And Wisdom always at my side. 
Thus cheerfully through life I'll go, 
Nor ever feel the sting of woe ; 



Contented with the humblest lot 
Happy, though in the meanest cot. 



ADDRESS TO THE DEITY. 

WRITTEN- AT THE AGE OF ELEVEN'. 

THE infant muse, Jehovah ! would aspire 
To swell the adoration of the lyre : 
Source of all good ! oh, teach my voice to sing 
Thee, from whom Nature's genuine beauties 

spring; 

Thee, God of truth, omnipotent and wise, 
Who saidst to Chaos, " let the earth arise.'' 
Author of the rich luxuriant year ! 
Love, Truth, and Mercy in thy works appear : 
Within their orbs the planets dost Thou keep, 
And e'en hast limited the mighty deep. 
Oh ! could I number thy inspiring ways, 
And wake the voice of animated praise ! 
Ah, no ! the theme shall swell a cherub's note ; 
To Thee celestial hymns of rapture float. 
'Tis not for me in lowly strains to sing 
Thee, God of mercy, heaven's immortal King ' 
Yet to that happiness I'd fain aspire 
Oh ! fill my heart with elevated fire : 
With angel-songs an artless voice shall blend, 
The grateful offering shall to Thee ascend. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Yes ! Thou wilt breathe a spirit o'er my lyre, 
And "fill my beating heart with sacred fire ! " 
And when to Thee my youth, my life, I've given, 
Raise me to join Eliza, 1 blest in Heaven. 



SHAKSPEARE. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF ELEVEN. 

[One of her earliest tastes was a passion for Shakspeare, 
which she read, as her choicest recreation, at six years old ; 
and in later days she would often refer to the hours of romance 
she had passed in a secret haunt of her own a seat amongst 
the branches of an old apple-tree where, revelling in the 
treasures of the cherished volume, she would become com- 
pletely absorbed in the imaginative world it revealed to her. 
The following lines, written at eleven years old, may be ad- 
duced as a proof of her juvenile enthusiasm. Memoir of 
Mrs llemans by her Sister, p. 6, 7.] 

I LOVE to rove o'er history's page, 

Recall the hero and the sage ; 

Revive the actions of the dead, 

And memory of ages fled : 

Yet it yields me greater pleasure, 

To read the poet's pleasing measure. 

Led by Shakspeare, bard inspired, 

The bosom's energies are fired ; 

We learn to shed the generous tear, 

O'er poor Ophelia's sacred bier ; 

To love the merry moonlit scene, 

With fairy elves in valleys green ; 

Or, borne on fancy's heavenly wings, 

To listen while sweet Ariel sings. 

How sweet the " native woodnotes wild" 

Of him, the Muse's favourite child ! 

Of him whose magic lays impart 

Each various feeling to the heart ! 



TO MY BROTHER AXD SISTER IX THE 
COUNTRY. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF ELEVEN". 

[At about the age of eleven, she passed a winter in London 
with her father and mother ; and a similar sojourn was re- 
peated in the following year, after which she never visited the 
metropolis. The contrast between the confinement of a town 
life, and the happy freedom of her own mountain home, was 
even then so distasteful to her, that the indulgences of plays 
and sights soon ceased to be cared for, and she longed to 
rejoin her younger brother and sister in then- favourite rural 
haunts and amusements the nuttery wood, the beloved 
apple-tree, the old arbour, with its swing, the post-office tree, 
in whose trunk a daily interchange of family letters was estab- 

1 A sister whom the author had lost. 



lished, the pool where fairy ships were launched (generally 
painted arid decorated by herself,) and, dearer still, the fresh 
free ramble on the seashore, or the mountain expedition to 
the Signal Station, or the Roman Encampment. In one of 
her letters, the pleasure with which she looked forward to her 
return home was thus expressed in rhyme. Mem. p. 8, 9.] 

HAPPY soon we'll meet again, 

Free from sorrow, care, and pain ; 

Soon again we'll rise with dawn, 

To roam the verdant >dewy lawn ; 

Soon the budding leaves we'll hail, 

Or wander through the well-known vale ; 

Or weave the smiling wreath of flowers ; 

And sport away the light-wing'd hours. 

Soon we'll run the agile race ; 

Soon, dear playmates, we'll embrace ; 

Through the wheat-field or the grove, 

We'll hand in hand delighted rove ; 

Or, beneath some spreading oak, 

Ponder the instructive book ; 

Or view the ships that swiftly glide, 

Floating on the peaceful tide ; 

Or raise again the caroll'd lay ; 

Or join again in mirthful play; 

Or listen to the humming hees, 

As their murmurs swell the breeze ; 

Or seek the primrose where it springs ; 

Or chase the fly with painted wings ; 

Or talk beneath the arbour's shade ; 

Or mark the tender shooting blade : 

Or stray beside the babbling stream, 

When Luna sheds her placid beam ; 

Or gaze upon the glassy sea 

Happy, happy shall we be ! 



SONNET TO MY MOTHER. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGB OF TWELVE. 

, To thee, maternal guardian of my youth, 

I pour the genuine numbers free from art 
The lays inspired by gratitude and truth ; 

For thou wilt prize the effusion of the heart 
Oh ! be it mine, with sweet and pious care, 
To calm thy bosom in the hour of grief; 
With soothing tenderness to chase the tear, 
With fond endearments to impart relief : 
Be mine thy warm affection to repay 

With duteous love in thy declining hours ; 
My filial hand shall strew unfading flowers. 
Perennial roses, to adorn thy way : 
Still may thy grateful children round thee smile 
Their pleasing care affliction shall beguile. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



SONNET. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN. 

Tis sweet to think the spirits of the blest 

May hover round the virtuous man's repose ; 
And oft in visions animate his breast, 

And scenes of bright beatitude disclose. 
The ministers of Heaven, with pure control, 

May bid his sorrow and emotion cease, 
Inspire the pious fervour of his soul, 

And whisper to his bosom hallow'd peace. 
Ah, tender thought ! that oft with sweet relief 

May charm the bosom of a weeping friend, 
Beguile with magic power the tear of grief, 

And pensive pleasure with devotion blend ; 
While oft he fancies music, sweetly faint, 
The airy lay of some departed saint. 



RURAL WALKS. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OP THIRTEEN. 

OH ! may I ever pass my happy hours 

In Cambrian valleys and romantic bowers ; 

For every spot in sylvan beauty drest, 

And every landscape, charms my youthful breast. 

And much I love to hail the vernal morn, 

When flowers of spring the mossy seat adorn ; 

And sometimes through the lonely wood I stray, 

To cull the tender rosebuds in my way ; 

And seek in every wild secluded dell, 

The weeping cowslip and the azure bell ; 

With all the blossoms, fairer in the dew, 

To form the gay festoon of varied hue. 

And oft I seek the cultivated green, 

The fertile meadow, and the village scene ; 

Where rosy children sport around the cot, 

Or gather woodbine from the garden spot. 

And there I wander by the cheerful rill, 

That murmurs near the osiers and the mill ; 

To view the smiling peasants turn the hay, 

And listen to their pleasing festive lay. 

I love to loiter in the spreading grove, 

Or in the mountain scenery to rove; 

Where summits rise in awful grace around, 

With hoary moss and tufted verdure crown'd ; 

Where cliffs in solemn majesty are piled, 

" And frown upon the vale" with grandeur wild : 

And there I view the mouldering tower sublime, 

Array'd in all the blending shades of Time. 

The airy upland and the woodland green, 
The valley, and romantic mountain scene ; 



The lowly hermitage, or fair domain, 

The dell retired, or willow-shaded lane ; 

" And every spot in sylvan beauty drest, 

And every landscape, charms my youthful breast." 



SONNET. 



WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN. 

[In 1808, a collection of her poems, which had long been 
regarded amongst her friends with a degree of admiration 
perhaps more partial than judicious, was submitted to the 
world, in the form (certainly an ill-advised one) of a quarto 
volume. Its appearance drew down the animadversions of 
some self-constituted arbiter of public taste, 1 and the young 
poetess was thus early initiated into the pains and perils 
attendant upon the career of an author ; though it may here 
be observed, that, as far as criticism was concerned, thia was 
at once the first and last tune she was destined to meet with 
any thing like harshness or mortification. Though this unex- 
pected severity was felt bitterly for a few days, her buoyant 
spirit soon rose above it, and her effusions continued to be 
poured forth as spontaneously as the song of the skylark.] 



I LOVE to hail the mild and balmy hour 

When evening spreads around her twilight veil 
When dews descend on every languid flower, 

And sweet and tranquil is the summer gale. 
Then let me wander by the peaceful tide, 

While o'er the wave the breezes lightly play ; 
To hear the waters murmur as they glide, 

To mark the fading smile of closing day. 
There let me linger, blest in visions dear, 

Till the soft moonbeams tremble on the seas; 
While melting sounds decay on fancy's ear, 

Of airy music floating on the breeze. 
For still when evening sheds the genial dews, 
That pensive hour is sacred to the muse. 

1 The criticism referred to, and which, considering the cir- 
cumstances under which the volume appeared, was certainly 
somewhat ungenerous, and quite uncalled for, ran as follows: 
" We hear that these poems are the ' genuine productions 
of a young lady, written between the ages of eight and thir- 
teen years,' and we do not feel inclined to question the intel- 
ligence ; but although the fact may insure them an indulgent 
reception from all those who have ' children dear,' yet, when 
a little girl publishes a large quarto, we are disposed to 
examine before we admit her claims to public attention. 
Many of Miss Browne's compositions are extremely jejune. 
However, though Miss Browne's poems contain some errone- 
ous and some pitiable lines, we must praise the ' Reflections 
in a ruined Castle,' and the poetic strain in which they are 
delivered. The lines to ' Patriotism ' contain good thoughts 
and forcible images ; and if the youthful author were to con- 
tent herself for some years with reading instead of writing, 
we should open any future work from her pen with an expec- 
tation of pleasure, founded on our recollection of this publi- 
cation ; though we must, at the same time, observe, that 
premature talents are not always to be considered as signs of 
future excellence. The honeysuckle attains maturity before 
the oak." Monthly Review, 1809. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



ENGLAND AND SPAIN; OR, VALOUR 
AND PATRIOTISM. 

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN. 

" His sword the brave man draws, 

And asks no omen but his country's cause." POPE. 

[New sources of inspiration were now opening to her view. 
Birthday addresses, songs by the seashore, and invocations 
to fairies, were henceforth to be diversified with warlike 
tlienie-> ; and trumpets and banners now floated through the 
dreams in which birds and flowers had once reigned para- 
mount. Her two elder brothers had entered the army at an 
early age, and were both serving in the 23d Royal Welsh 
Fusiliers. One of them was now engaged in the Spanish 
campaign under Sir John Moore ; and a vivid imagination 
and enthusiastic affections being alike enlisted in the cause, 
her young mind was filled with glorious visions of British 
valour and Spanish patriotism. In her ardent view, the days 
of chivalry seemed to be restored, and the very names which 
were of daily occurrence in the despatches, were involun- 
tarily associated with the deeds of Roland and his Paladins, 
or of her own especial hero, " The Cid Ruy Diaz," the Cam- 
peador. tinder the inspiration of these feelings, she composed 
a poem entitled " England and Spain," which was published 
and afterwards translated into Spanish. This cannot but be 
considered as a very remarkable production for a girl of four- 
teen ; lofty sentiments, correctness of language, and historical 
knowledge, being all strikingly displayed in it. Memoir, 
p. 10, 11.] 

Too long have Tyranny and Power combined 
To sway, with iron sceptre, o'er mankind ; 
Long has Oppression worn th' imperial robe, 
And Rapine's sword has wasted half the globe ! 
O'er Europe's cultured realms, and climes afar, 
Triumphant Gaul has pour'd the tide of war : 
To her fair Austria veil'd the standard bright ; 
Ausonia's lovely plains have own'd her might ; 
While Prussia's eagle, never taught to yield, 
Forsook her towering height on Jena's field ! 

gallant Frederic ! could thy parted shade 
Have seen thy country vanquish'd and betray'd, 
How had thy soul indignant mourn 'd her shame, 
Her sullied trophies, and her tarnish'd fame ! 
When Valour wept lamented BRUNSWICK'S doom, 
And nursed with tears the laurels on his tomb ; 
When Prussia, drooping o'er her hero's grave, 
Invoked his spirit to descend and save ; 
Then set her glories then expired her sun, 
And fraud achieved e'en more than conquest won ! 

O'er peaceful realms, that smiled with plenty 

gay> 

Has desolation spread her ample sway ; 
Thy blast, Ruin ! on tremendous wings, 
Has proudly swept o'er empires, nations, kings. 



Thus the wild hurricane's impetuous force 
With dark destruction marks its whelming course, 
Despoils the woodland's pomp, the blooming plain, 
Death on its pinion, vengeance in its train ! 
Rise, Freedom, rise ! and, breaking from thy 

trance, 

Wave the dread banner, seize the glittering lance ! 
With arm of might assert thy sacred cause, 
And call thy champions to defend thy laws ! 
How long shall tyrant power her throne main- 
tain? 

How long shall despots and usurpers reign ? 
Is honour's lofty soul for ever fled ! 
Is virtue lost ? is martial ardour dead ? 
Is there no heart where worth and valour dwell, 
No patriot WALLACE, no undaunted TELL ? 
Yes, Freedom ! yes ! thy sons, a noble band, 
Around thy banner, firm, exulting stand ; 
Once more, 'tis thine, invincible to wield 
The beamy spear and adamantine shield ! 
Again thy cheek with proud resentment glows, 
Again thy lion-glance appals thy foes ; 
Thy kindling eye-beam darts unconquer'd fires, 
Thy look sublime the warrior's heart inspires : 
And, while to guard thy standard and thy right, 
Castilians rush, intrepid, to the fight, 
Lo ! Britain's generous host their aid supply, 
Resolved for thee to triumph or to die ; 
And Glory smiles to see Iberia's name 
Enroll'd with Albion's in the book of fame ! 

Illustrious names ! still, still united beam, 
Be still the hero's boast, the poet's theme : 
So, when two radiant gems together shine, 
And in one wreath their lucid light combine ; 
Each, as it sparkles with transcendant rays, 
Adds to the lustre of its kindred blaze. 

Descend, Genius ! from thy orb descend ! 
Thy glowing thought, thy kindling spirit lend ! 
As Memnon's harp (so ancient fables say) 
With sweet vibration meets the morning ray, 
So let the chords thy heavenly presence own, 
And swell a louder note, a nobler tone ; 
Call from the sun, her burning throne on high, 
The seraph Ecstasy, with lightning eye ; 
Steal from the source of day empyreal fire, 
And breathe the soul of rapture o'er the lyre ! 

Hail, Albion ! hail, thou land of freedom's 

birth! 

Pride of the main, and Phoenix of the earth ! 
Thou second Rome, where mercy, justice, dwell, 
Whose sons in wisdom as in arms excel ! 



ENGLAND AND SPAIN. 



5 



Thine are the dauntless bands, like Spartans 

brave, 

Bold in the field, triumphant on the wave ; 
In classic elegance and arts divine, 
To rival Athens' fairest palm is thine ; 
For taste and fancy from Hymettus fly, 
And richer bloom beneath thy varying sky, 
Where Science mounts in radiant car sublime 
To other worlds beyond the sphere of time ! 
Hail, Albion, hail ! to thee has fate denied 
Peruvian mines and rich Hindostan's pride, 
The gems that Ormuz and Golconda boast, 
And all the wealth of Montezuma's coast : 
For thee no Parian marbles brightly shine, 
No glowing suns mature the blushing vine ; 
No light Arabian gales their wings expand, 
To waft Sabaean incense o'er the land ; 
Xo graceful cedars crown thy lofty hills, 
No trickling myrrh for thee its balm distils ; 
Not from thy trees the lucid amber flows, 
And far from thee the scented cassia blows : 
Yet fearless Commerce, pillar of thy throne, 
Makes all the wealth of foreign climes thy own ; 
From Lapland's shore to Afric's fervid reign, 
She bids thy ensigns float above the main ; 
Unfurls her streamers to the favouring gale, 
And shows to other worlds her daring sail : 
Then wafts their gold, their varied stores to thee, 
Queen of the trident ! empress of the sea ! 

For this thy noble sons have spread alarms, 
And bade the zones resound with Britain's arms ! 
Calpe's proud rock, and Syria's palmy shore, 
Have heard and trembled at their battle's roar ; 
The sacred waves of fertilising Nile 
Have seen the triumphs of the conquering isle ; 
For this, for this, the Samiel-blast of war 
Has roll'd o'er Vincent's cape and Trafalgar ! 
Victorious RODNEY spread thy thunder's sound, 
And NELSON fell, with fame immortal crown'd 
Blest if their perils and their blood could gain, 
To grace thy hand, the sceptre of the main ! 
The milder emblems of the virtues calm 
The poet's verdant bay, the sage's palm 
These in thy laurel's blooming foliage twine, 
And round thy brows a deathless wreath com- 
bine : 

Not Mincio's banks, nor Moles' classic tide, 
Are hallow'd more than Avon's haunted side ; 
Nor is thy Thames a less inspiring theme 
Than pure Ilissus, or than Tiber's stream. 

Bright in the annals of th' impartial page, 
Britannia's heroes live from age to age ! 



From ancient days, when dwelt her savage race, 
Her painted natives, foremost in the chase, 
Free from all cares for luxury or gain, 
Lords of the wood and inonarchs of the plain ; 
To these Augustan days, when social arts 
Refine and meliorate her manly hearts ; 
From doubtful Arthur hero of romance, 
King of the circled board, the spear, the lance 
To those whose recent trophies grace her shield, 
The gallant victors of Vimeira's field ; 
Still have her warriors borne th' unfading crown- 
And made the British flag the ensign of renown. 

Spirit of ALFRED ! patriot soul sublime .' 
Thou morning-star of error's darkest time ! 
Prince of the Lion-heart ! whose arm in fight, 
On Syria's plains repell'd Saladin's might ! 
EDWARD ! for bright heroic deeds revered, 
By Cressy's fame to Britain still endear'd ! 
Triumphant HENRY ! thou, whose valour proud, 
The lofty plume of crested Gallia bow'd ! 
Look down, look down, exalted shades ! and 

view 

Your Albion still to freedom's banner true ! 
Behold the land, ennobled by your fame, 
Supreme in glory, and of spotless name : 
And, as the pyramid indignant rears 
Its awful head, and mocks the waste of years ; 
See her secure in pride of virtue tower, 
While prostrate nations kiss the rod of power ! 

Lo ! where her pennons, waving high, aspire, 
Bold Victory hovers near, " with eyes of fire !" 
While Lusitania hails, with just applause, 
The brave defenders of her injured cause; 
Bids the full song, the note of triumph rise, 
And swells th' exulting psean to the skies ! 

And they, who late with anguish, hard to tell, 
Breathed to their cherish'd realms a sad farewell .' 
Who, as the vessel bore them o'er the tide, 
Still fondly linger'd on its deck, and sigh'd ; 
Gazed on the shore, till tears obscured their sight, 
And the blue distance melted into light 
The Royal exiles, forced by Gallia's hate 
To fly for refuge in a foreign state 
They, soon returning o'er the western main, 
Ere long may view their clime beloved again : 
And as the blazing pillar led the host 
Of faithful Israel o'er the desert coast, 
So may Britannia guide the noble band 
O'er the wild ocean to their native land. 
glorious isle ! sovereign of the waves ! 
Thine are the sons who " never will be slaves ! " 



JUVENILE POfMS. 



See them once more, with ardent hearts advance, 
And rend the laurels of insulting France; 
To brave Castile their potent aid supply, 
And wave, Freedom ! wave thy sword on high ! 

Is there no bard of heavenly power possess'd 
To thrill, to rouse, to animate the breast ? 
Like Shakspeare o'er the secret mind to sway, 
And call each wayward passion to obey? 
Is there no bard, imbued with hallow'd fire, 
To wake the chords of Ossian's magic lyre ; 
Whose numbers breathing all his flame divine, 
The patriot's name to ages might consign ? 
Eise, Inspiration ! rise ! be this thy theme, 
And mount, like Uriel, on the golden beam ! 

Oh, could my muse on seraph pinion spring, 
And sweep with rapture's hand the trembling 

string! 

Could she the bosom energies control, 
And pour impassion'd fervour o'er the soul ! 
Oh, could she strike the harp to Milton given, 
Brought by a cherub from th' empyrean heaven ! 
Ah, fruitless wish ! ah, prayer preferr'd in vain, 
For her the humblest of the woodland train ; 
Yet shall her feeble voice essay to raise 
The hymn of liberty, the song of praise ! 

Iberian bands ! whose noble ardour glows 
To pour confusion on oppressive foes ; 
Intrepid spirits, hail ! 'tis yours to feel 
The hero's fire, the freeman's godlike zeal ! 
Xot to secure dominion's boundless reign, 
Ye wave the flag of conquest o'er the slain; 
Xo cruel rapine leads you to the war, 
Nor mad ambition, whirl'd in crimson car. 
No, brave Castilians ! yours a nobler end, 
Your land, your laws, your monarch to defend ! 
For these, for these, your valiant legions rear 
The floating standard, and the lofty spear ! 
The fearless lover wields the conquering sword, 
Fired by the image of the maid adored ! 
His best-beloved, his fondest ties, to aid, 
The father's hand unsheaths the glittering blade ! 
For each, for all, for ev'ry sacred right, 
The daring patriot mingles in the fight ! 
And e'en if love or friendship fail to warm, 
His country's name alone can nerve his dauntless 
arm ! 

He bleeds ! he falls ! his death-bed is the field ! 
His dirge the trumpet, and his bier the shield ! 
His closing eyes the beam of valour speak, 
The flush of ardour lingers on his cheek ; 



Serene he lifts to heaven those closing eyes, 
Then for his country breathes a prayer and 

dies ! 

Oh ! ever hallow'd be his verdant grave 
There let the laurel spread, the cypress wave ! 
Thou, lovely Spring ! bestow, to grace his tomb, 
Thy sweetest fragrance, and thy earliest bloom ; 
There let the tears of heaven descend in balm, 
There let the poet consecrate his palm ! 
Let honour, pity, bless the holy ground, 
And shades of sainted heroes watch around ! 
'Twas thus, while Glory rung his thrilling knell, 
Thy chief, Thebes ! at Mantinea fell ; 
Smiled undismay'd within the arms of death, 
While Victory, weeping nigh, received his breath ! 

thou, the sovereign of the noble soul ! 
Thou source of energies beyond control ! 
Queen of the lofty thought, the generous deed, 
Whose sons unconquer'd fight, undauntedbleed, 
Inspiring Liberty ! thy worshipp'd name 
The warm enthusiast kindles to a flame ; 
Thy charms inspire him to achievements high, 
Thy look of heaven, thy voice of harmony. 
More blest with thee to tread perennial snows, 
Where ne'er a flower expands, a zephyr blows ; 
Where Winter, binding nature in his chain, 
In frost-work palace holds perpetual reign ; 
Than, far from thee, with frolic step to rove 
The green savannas and the spicy grove ; 
Scent the rich balm of India's perfumed gales, 
In citron-woods and aromatic vales : 
For oh ! fair Liberty, when thou art near, 
Elysium blossoms in the desert drear ! 

Where'er thy smile its magic power bestows, 
There arts and taste expand, there fancy glows ; 
The sacred lyre its wild enchantment gives, 
And every chord to swelling transport lives ; 
There ardent Genius bids the pencil trace 
The soul of beauty, and the lines of grace ; 
With bold Promethean hand, the canvass warms, 
And calls from stone expression's breathing forms. 
Thus, where the fruitful Xile o'erflows its bound, 
Its genial waves diffuse abundance round, 
Bid Ceres laugh o'er waste and sterile sands, 
And rich profusion clothe deserted lands. 

Immortal Freedom ! daughter of the skies ! 
To thee shall Britain's grateful incense rise. 
Ne'er, goddess ! ne'er forsake thy favourite isle, 
Still be thy Albion brighten'd with thy smile ! 
Long had thy spirit slept in dead repose, 
While proudly triumph'd thine insulting foes ; 



ENGLAND AND SPAIN. 



Vet, though a cloud may veil Apollo's light, 
Soon, with celestial beam, he breaks to sight : 
Once more we see thy kindling soul return, 
Thy vestal-flame with added radiance burn ; 
Lo ! in Iberian hearts thine ardour lives, 
Lo ! in Iberian hearts thy spark revives ! 

Proceed, proceed, ye firm undaunted band ! 
Still sure to conquer, if combined ye stand. 
Though myriads flashing in the eye of day 
Stream'd o'er the smiling land in long array, 
Though tyrant Asia pour'd imnumber'd foes, 
Triumphant still the arm of Greece arose ; 
For every state in sacred union stood, 
Strong to repel invasion's whelming flood ; 
Each heart was glowing in the general cause, 
Each hand prepared to guard their hallow'd 

laws; 

Athenian valour join'd Laconia's might, 
And but contended to be first in fight ; 
From rank to rank the warm contagion ran, 
And Hope and Freedom led the flaming van. 
Then Persia's monarch moum'd his glories lost, 
As wild confusion wing'd his flying host; 
Then Attic bards the hymn of victory sung, 
The Grecian harp to notes exulting rung ! 
Then Sculpture bade the Parian stone record 
The high achievements of the conquering sword. 
Thus, brave Castilians ! thus may bright renown 
And fair success your valiant efforts crown ! 

Genius of chivalry ! whose early days 
Tradition still recounts in artless lays; 
Whose faded splendours fancy oft recalls 
The floating banners and the lofty halls, 
The gallant feats thy festivals display 'd, 
The tilt, the tournament, the long crusade; 
Whose ancient pride Eomance delights to hail, 
In fabling numbers, or heroic tale : 
Those tunes are fled, when stern thy castles 

frown'd, 

Then- stately towers with feudal grandeur crown'd ; 
Those times are fled, when fair Iberia's clime 
Beheld thy Gothic reign, thy pomp sublime ; 
And all thy glories, all thy deeds of yore, 
Live but in legends wild, and poet's lore. 
Lo ! where thy silent harp neglected lies, 
Light o'er its chords the murmuring zephyr sighs; 
Thy solemn courts, where once the minstrel sung, 
The choral voice of mirth and music rung; 
Now, with the ivy clad, forsaken, lone, 
Hear but the breeze and echo to its moan : 
Thy lonely towers deserted fall away, 
Thy broken shield is mouldering in decay. 



Yet, though thy transient pageantries are gone, 
Like fairy visions, bright, yet swiftly flown; 
Genius of chivaky ! thy noble train, 
Thy firm, exalted virtues yet remain ! 
Fair truth, array'd in robes of spotless white, 
Her eye a sunbeam, and her zone of light; 
Warm emulation, with aspiring aim, 
Still darting forward to the wreath of fame ; 
And purest love, that waves his torch divine, 
At awful honour's consecrated shrine; 
Ardour, with eagle-wing and fiery glance; 
And generous courage, resting on his lance ; 
And loyalty, by perils unsubdued; 
Untainted faith, unshaken fortitude ; 
And patriot energy, with heart of flame- 
These, in Iberia's sons are yet the same ! 
These from remotest days their souls have fired, 
" Nerved every arm," and every breast inspired ! 
When Moorish bands their suffering land possess'd, 
And fierce oppression rear'd her giant crest, 
The wealthy caliphs on Cordova's throne 
In eastern gems and purple splendour shone ; 
Theirs was the proud magnificence that vied 
With stately Bagdat's oriental pride ; 
Theirs were the courts in regal pomp array'd, 
Where arts and luxury their charms display'd ; 
'Twas theirs to rear the Zehrar's costly towers, 
Its fairy-palace and enchanted bowers ; 
There all Arabian fiction e'er could tell 
Of potent genii or of wizard spell 
All that a poet's dream could picture bright, 
One sweet Elysium, charm'd the wondering sight ! 
Too fan 1 , too rich, for work of mortal hand, 
It seem'd an Eden from Armida's wand ! 

Yet vain their pride, their wealth, and radiant 

state, 

When freedom waved on high the sword of fate ! 
When brave Ramiro bade the despots fear, 
Stern retribution frowning on his spear ; 
And fierce Almanzor, after many a fight, 
O'erwhelm'd with shame, confess'd the Christian's 
might. 

In later times the gallant Cid arose, 
Burning with zeal against his country's foes ; 
His victor-arm Alphonso's throne maintain'd, 
His laureate brows the wreath of conquest gain'd! 
And still his deeds Castilian bards rehearse, 
Inspiring theme of patriotic verse ! 
High in the temple of recording fame, 
Iberia points to great Gonsalvo's name ! 
Victorious chief! whose valour still defied 
The arms of Gaul, and bow'd her crested pride; 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



With splendid trophies graced his sovereign's 

throne, 

And. bade Granada's realms his prowess own. 
Nor were his deeds thy only boast, Spam ! 
In mighty FERDINAND'S illustrious reign ; 
Twas then thy glorious Pilot spread the sail, 
Unfurl'd his flag before the eastern gale ; 
Bold, sanguine, fearless, ventured to explore 
Seas unexplored, and worlds unknown before. 
Fair science guided o'er the liquid realm, 
Sweet hope, exulting, steer'd the daring helm ; 
While on the mast, with ardour-flashing eye, 
Courageous enterprise still hover'd nigh : 
The hoary genius of th' Atlantic main 
Saw man invade his wide majestic reign 
His empire, yet by mortal unsubdued, 
The throne, the world of awful solitude. 
And e'en when shipwreck seem'd to rear his 

form, 

And dark destruction menaced in the storm ; 
In every shape when giant-peril rose, 
To daunt his spirit and his course oppose ; 
O'er ev'ry heart when terror sway'd alone, 
And hope forsook each bosom but his own : 
Moved by no dangers, by no fears repell'd, 
His glorious track the gallant sailor held ; 
Attentive still to mark the sea-birds lave, 
Or high in air then: snowy pinions wave. 
Thus princely Jason, launching from the steep, 
With dauntless prow explored th' untravcll'd 

deep ; 

Thus, at the helm, Ulysses' watchful sight 
View'd ev'ry star and planetary light. 
Sublime COLUMBUS ! when, at length descried, 
The long-sought land arose above the tide, 
How every heart with exultation glow'd, 
How from each eye the tear of transport flow'd ! 
Xot wilder joy the sons of Israel knew 
When Canaan's fertile plains appear';! in view. 
Then rose the choral anthem on the breeze, 
Then martial music floated o'er the seas ; 
Their waving streamers to the sun display'd, 
In all the pride of warlike pomp array'd. 
Advancing nearer still, the ardent band 
Hail'd the glad shore, and bless'd the stranger 

land ; 

Admired its palmy groves and prospects fair, 
With rapture breathed its pure ambrosial air : 
Then crowded round its free and simple race, 
Amazement pictured wild on every face ; 
Who deem'd that beings of celestial birth, 
Sprung from the sun, descended to the earth. 
Then first another world, another sky, 
Beheld Iberia's banner blaze on high ! 



Still prouder glories beam on history's page, 
Imperial CHARLES ! to mark thy prosperous age 
Those golden days of arts and fancy bright, 
When Science pour'd her mild, refulgent light ; 
When Painting bade the glowing canvass breathe 
Creative Sculpture claim'd the li ving wreath ; 
When roved the Muses in Ausonian bowers, 
Weaving immortal crowns of fairest flowers ; 
When angel-truth dispersed, with beam divine, 
The clouds that veil'd religion's hallow'd shrine 
Those golden days beheld Iberia tower 
High on the pyramid of fame and power ; 
Yain all the efforts of her numerous foes, 
Her might, superior still, triumphant rose. 
Thus on proud Lebanon's exalted brow, 
The cedar, frowning o'er the plains below, 
Though storms assail, its regal pomp to rend, 
Majestic, still aspires, disdaining e'er to bend ! 

When Gallia pour'd to Pavia's trophied plain, 
Her youthful knights, a bold, impetuous train : 
When, after many a toil and danger past, 
The fatal morn of conflict rose at last ; 
That morning saw her glittering host combine, 
And form in close array the threat'ning line ; 
Fire hi each eye, and force in ev'ry arm, 
With hope exulting, and with ardour warm ; 
Saw to the gale their streaming ensigns play, 
Their armour flashing to the beam of day ; 
Their gen'rous chargers panting, spurn the ground, 
Roused by the trumpet's animating sound ; 
And heard in air their warlike music float, 
The martial pipe, the drum's inspiring note ! 

Pale set the sun the shades of evening fell, 
The mournful night- wind rung their funeral 

knell; 

And the same day beheld their warriors dead, 
Their sovereign captive,, and their glories fled ! 
Fled, like the lightning's evanescent fire, 
Bright, blazing, dreadful only to expire ! 
Then, then, while prostrate Gaul confess'd her 

might, 

Iberia's planet shed meridian light ! 
Nor less, on famed St Quintin's deathful day, 
Castilian spirit bore the prize away 
Laurels that still their verdure shall retain, 
And trophies beaming high in glory's fane ! 
And lo ! her heroes, warm with kindred flame. 
Still prpudly emulate their fathers' fame ; 
Still with the soul of patriot-valour glow, 
Still rush impetuous to repel the foe ; 
Wave the bright falchion, lift the beamy spear, 
And bid oppressive Galh'a learn to fear ! 



ENGLAND AND SPAIN. 



Be theirs, be theirs unfading honour's crown, 
The living amaranths of bright renown ! 
Be theirs th' inspiring tribute of applause, 
Due to the champions of their country's cause ! 
Be theirs the purest bliss that virtue loves, 
The joy when conscience whispers and approves ! 
When every heart is fired, each pulse beats high, 
To fight, to bleed, to fall, for liberty; 
When every hand is dauntless and prepared 
The sacred charter of mankind to guard ; 
When Britain's valiant sons their aid unite, 
Fervent and glowing still for freedom's right, 
Bid ancient enmities for ever cease, 
And ancient wrongs forgotten sleep in peace. 
WTien, firmly leagued, they join the patriot band, 
Can venal slaves their conquering arms withstand? 
Can fame refuse their gallant deeds to bless ? 
Can victory fail to crown them with success ? 
Look down, Heaven ! the righteous cause 

maintain, 

Defend the injured, and avenge the slain ! 
Despot of France ! destroyer of mankind ! 
What spectre-cares must haunt thy sleepless 

mind ! 

Oh ! if at midnight round thy regal bed, 
When soothing visions fly thine aching head ; 
When sleep denies thy anxious cares to calm, 
And lull thy senses in his opiate balm ; 
Invoked by guilt, if airy phantoms rise, 
And murder'd victims bleed before thine eyes; 
Loud let them thunder in thy troubled ear, 
"Tyrant ! the hour, th' avenging hour is near ! " 
It is, it is ! thy star withdraws its ray 
Soon will its parting lustre fade away ; 
Soon will Cimmerian shades obscure its light, 
And veil thy splendours in eternal night ! 
Oh ! when accusing conscience wakes thy soul 
W T ith awful terrors and with dread control, 
Bidsthreat'ning forms, appalling, roundthee stand, 
And summons all her visionary band; 
Calls up the parted shadows of the dead, 
And whispers, peace and happiness are fled ; 
E'en at the time of silence and of rest, 
Paints the dire poniard menacing thy breast ; 
Is then thy cheek with guilt and horror pale ] 
Then dost thou tremble, does thy spirit fail ] 
And wouldst thou yet by added crimes provoke 
The bolt of heaven to launch the fatal stroke i 
Bereave a nation of its rights revered, 
Of all to morals sacred and endear'd? 
And shall they tamely liberty resign, 
The soul of life, the source of bliss divine ? 
Canst thou, supreme destroyer ! hope to bind, 
In chains of adamant, the noble mind ] 



Go, bid the rolling orbs thy mandate hear 
Go, stay the lightning in its wing'd career ! 
No, tyrant ! no ! thy utmost force is vain 
The patriot-arm of freedom to restrain. 
Then bid thy subject-bands in armour shine, 
Then bid thy legions all their power combine ! 
Yet couldst thou summon myriads at command, 
Did boundless realms obey thy sceptred hand, 
E'en then her soul thy lawless might would spurn, 
E'en then, with kindling fire, with indignation 
bum ! 

Ye sons of Albion ! first in danger's field, 
The sword of Britain and of truth to wield ! 
Still prompt the injured to defend and save, 
Appal the despot, and assist the brave ; 
Who now intrepid lift the generous blade, 
The cause of Justice and Castile to aid ! 
Ye sons of Albion ! by your country's name, 
Her crown of glory, her unsullied fame ; 
Oh ! by the shades of Cressy's martial dead, 
By warrior-bands at Agincourt who bled ; 
By honours gain'd on Blenheim's fatal plain, 
By those in Victory's arms at Minden slain ; 
By the bright laurels WOLFE immortal won, 
Undaunted spirit ! valour's favourite son ! 
By Albion's thousand, thousand deeds sublime, 
Eenown'd from zone to zone, from clime to clime; 
Ye British heroes ! may your trophies raise 
A deathless monument to future days ! 
Oh ! may your courage still triumphant rise, 
Exalt the "lion banner" to the skies ! 
Transcend the fairest names in history's page, 
The brightest actions of a former age ; 
The reign of Freedom let your arms restore, 
And bid oppression fall to rise no more ! 
Then soon returning to your native isle, 
May love and beauty hail you with their smile ; 
For you may conquest weave th' undying wreath, 
And fame and glory's voice the song of rapture 
breathe ! 

Ah ! when shall mad ambition cease to rage 1 
Ah ! when shall war his demon-wrath assuage ] 
When, when, supplanting discord's iron reign, 
Shall mercy wave her olive-wand again ] 
Not till the despot's dread career is closed, 
And might restrain'd and tyranny deposed ! 

Return, sweet Peace, ethereal form benign ! 
Fair blue-eyed seraph ! balmy power divine ! 
Descend once more ! thy hallow'd blessings bring, 
Wave thy bright locks, and spread thy downy wing ! 
Luxuriant plenty, laughing in thy train, 
Shall crown with glowing stores the desert-plain: 



10 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Young smiling Hope, attendant on thy way, 
Shall gild thy path with mild celestial ray. 
Descend once more, thou daughter of the sky ! 
Cheer every heart, and brighten every eye ; 
Justice, thy harbinger, before thee send, 
Thy myrtle-sceptre o'er the globe extend : 
Thy cherub-look again shall soothe mankind, 
Thy cherub-hand the wounds of discord bind ; 
Thy smile of heaven shall every muse inspire, 
To thee the bard shall strike the silver lyre. 
Descend once more ! to bid the world rejoice 
Let nations hail thee with exulting voice, 
Around thy shrine with purest incense throng, 
Weave the fresh palm, and swell the choral song ! 
Then shall the shepherd's flute, the woodland 

reed, 

The martial clarion and the drum succeed ; 
Again shall bloom Arcadia's fairest flowers, 
And music warble in Idalian bowers. 
Where war and carnage blew the blast of death, 
The gale shall whisper with Favonian breath ; 
And golden Ceres bless the festive swain, 
Where the wild combat redden'd o'er the plain. 
These are thy blessings, fair benignant maid ! 
Return, return, in vest of light array'd ! 
Let angel-forms and floating sylphids bear 
Thy car of sapphire through the realms of air : 
With accents milder than ^olian lays, 
When o'er the harp the fanning zephyr plays, 
Be thine to charm the raging world to rest, 
Diffusing round the heaven that glows within thy 

breast ! 

Thou ! whose fiat lulls the storm asleep ! 
Thou, at whose nod subsides the rolling deep ! 
Whose awful word restrains the whirlwind's force, 
And stays the thunder in its vengeful course ; 
Fountain of life ! Omnipotent Supreme ! 
Robed in perfection ! crown'd with glory's beam ! 
Oh ! send on earth thy consecrated dove, 
To bear the sacred olive from above; 
Restore again the blest, the halcyon time, 
The festal harmony of nature^s prime ! 
Bid truth and justice once again appear, 
And spread their sunshine o'er this mundane 

sphere ; 

Bright in their path, let wreaths unfading bloom, 
Transcendant light their hallow'd fane illume ; 
Bid war and anarchy for ever cease, 
And kindred seraphs rear the shrine of Peace; 
Brothers once more, let men her empire own, 
And realms and monarchs bend before the throne , 
While circling rays of angel-mercy shed 
Eternal haloes round her sainted head ! 



THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS, 
AXD OTHER POEMS. 

[In 1812, another and much smaller volume, entitled The 
DomesticAffections, and other Poems, was given to the world 
the last that was to appaar with the name of Felicia Browne ; 
for, in the summer of the same year, its author exchanged 
that appellation for the one under which she has become so 
much more generally known. Captain Hemans had re- 
turned to Wales in the preceding year, when the acquain- 
tance was renewed which had begun so long before at Gwrych ; 
and as the sentiments then mutually awakened continued 
unaltered, no further opposition was made to a union, on 
which (however little in accordance with the dictates of 
worldly prudence) the happiness of both parties seemed so 
entirely to depend. Memoir, p. 24.] 

THE SILVER LOCKS. 

ADDRESSED TO AN AGED FRIEND. 

THOUGH youth may boast the curls that flow 

In sunny waves of auburn glow ; 
As graceful on thy hoary head 
Has Time the robe of honour spread, 
And there, oh ! softly, softly shed 
His wreath of snow ! 

As frost-work on the trees display 'd 
When weeping Flora leaves the shade, 

E'en more than Flora, charms the sight ; 

E'en so thy locks of purest white 

Survive, in age's frost-work bright, 
Youth's vernal rose decay 'd ! 

To grace the nymph whose tresses play 

Light on the sportive breeze of May, 
Let other bards the garland twine, 
Where sweets of every hue combine ; 
Those locks revered, that silvery shine, 
Invite my lay ! 

Less white the summer-cloud sublime, 
Less white the winter's fringing rime ; 

Xor do Belinda's lovelier seem 

(A Poet's blest immortal theme) 

Than thine, which wear the moonlight beam 
Of reverend Time ! 

Long may the graceful honours smile, 

Like moss on some declining pile ; 
much revered ! may filial care 
Around thee, duteous, long repair, 
Thy joys with tender bliss to share, 
Thy pains beguile ! 



THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS. 



Long, long, ye snowy ringlets, wave ! 

Long, long, your much-loved beauty save ! 
May bliss your latest evening crown, 
Disarm life's winter of its frown, 
And soft, ye hoary hairs, go down 
In gladness to the grave ! 

And as the parting beams of day 
On mountain-snows reflected play, 
And tints of roseate lustre shed ; 
Thus, on the snow that crowns thy head, 
May joy, with evening planet, shed 

His mildest ray ! 
August 18, 1309. 



TO MY MOTHER. 
IF e'er from human bliss or woe 
I feel the sympathetic glow ; 
If e'er my heart has learn 'd to know 

The generous wish or prayer ; 
Who sow'd the germ with tender hand ? 
Who mark'd its infant leaves expand 1 

My mother's fostering care. 
And if one flower of charms refined 
May grace the garden of my mind, 

'Twas she who nursed it there : 
She loved to cherish and adorn 

Each blossom of the soil ; 
To banish every weed and thorn 

That oft opposed her toil ! 

And oh ! if e'er I sigh'd to claim 
The palm, the living palm of fame, 

The glowing wreath of praise ; 
If e'er I wish'd the glittering stores 
That Fortune on her favourite pours ; 
'Twas but that wealth and fame, if mine. 
Round thec with streaming rays might shino, 

And gild thy sun-bright days ! 

Yet not that splendour, pomp, and power 
Might then irradiate every hour ; 
For these, my mother ! well I know, 
On thee no raptures could bestow ; 
But could thy bounty, warm and kind, 
Be, like thy wishes, unconfined, 
And fall as manna from the skies, 
And bid a train of blessings rise, 

Diffusing joy and peace ; 
The tear-drop, grateful, pure, and bright, 
For thee would beam with softer light 
Than all the diamond's crystal rays, 
Than all the emerald's lucid blaze ; 



And joys of heaven would thrill thy heart 
To bid one bosom-grief depart, 
One tear, one sorrow cease ! 

Then, oh ! may Heaven, that loves to bless, 

Bestow tjie power to cheer distress ; 

Make thee its minister below, 

To light the cloudy path of woe ; 

To visit the deserted cell, 

Where indigence is doom'd to dwell ; 

To raise, when drooping to the earth, 

The blossoms of neglected worth ; 

And round, with liberal hand, dispense 

The sunshine of beneficence ! 

But ah ! if Fate should still deny 

Delights like these, too rich and high ; 

If grief and pain thy steps assail, 

In life's remote and wintry vale ; 

Then, as the wild -Eolian lyre 

Complains with soft entrancing number, 
When the lone storm awakes the wire, 

And bids enchantment cease to slumber ; 
So filial love, with soothing voice, 
E'en then shall teach thee to rejoice ; 
E'en then shall sweeter, milder sound, 
When sorrow's tempest raves around ; 
While dark misfortune's gales destroy, 
The frail mimosa-buds of hope and joy ! 



TO MY YOUNGER BROTHER, 

OS HIS RETURN FROM SPAIN, AFTER THE FATAL RETREAT 
UNDER SIR JOHN MOORE, AND THE BATTLE OF CORUNNA. 

THOUGH dark are the prospects and heavy the hours, 
Though life is a desert, and cheerless the way ; 

Yet still shall affection adorn it with flowers, 
Whose fragrance shall never decay ! 

And lo ! to embrace thee, my Brother ! she flies, 
With artless delight, that no words can bespeak ; 

With a sunbeam of transport illuming her eyes, 
With a smile and a glow on her cheek ! 

From the trophies of war, from the spear and the 
shield, 

From scenes of destruction, from perils unblest; 
Oh ! welcome again, to the grove and the field, 

To the vale of retirement and rest. 

Then warble, sweet muse ! with the lyre and the 

voice, 
Oh ! gay be the measure and sportive the strain ; 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



For light is my heart, and my spirits rejoice 
To meet thee, my Brother ! again. 

When the heroes of Albion, still valiant and true, 
Were bleeding, were falling, with victory crown'd, 

How often would fancy present to my view 
The horrors that waited thee round-! 

How constant, how fervent, how pure was my 

prayer, 
That Heaven would protect thee from danger 

and harm ; 

That angels of mercy would shield thee with care, 
In the heat of the combat's alarm ! 

How sad and how often descended the tear, 
(Ah, long shall remembrance the image retain !) 

How mournful the sigh, when I trembled with 

fear 
I might never behold thee again ! 

But the prayer was accepted, the sorrow is o'er, 
And the tear-drop is fled, like the dew on the 

rose ; 
, Thy dangers, our tears, have endear'd thee the 

more, 
And my bosom with tenderness glows. 

And oh ! when the dreams, the enchantments of 

youth, 

Bright and transient, have fled like the rain- 
bow away ; 

My affection for thee, still unfading in truth, 
Shall never, oh ! never decay ! 

Xo time can impair it, no change can destroy, 
Whate'er be the lot I am destined to share ; 

It will smile in the sunshine of hope and of jov, 
And beam through the cloud cf despair ! 



TO MY ELDEST BROTHER. 

(WITH THE BRITISH ARMY IN PORTUGAL.) 

How many a day, in various hues array'd, 
Bright with gay sunshine, or eclipsed with shade, 
How many an hour, on silent wing is past, 
my loved Brother ! since we saw thee last ! 
Since tiien has childhood ripen'd into youth, 
And fancy's dreams have fled from sober truth ; 
Her splendid fabrics melting into air, 
As sage experience waved the wand of care ! 
Yet still thine absence wakes the tender sigh, 
And the tear trembles in affection's eye ! 



When shall we meet again ? with glowing ray. 
Heart-soothing hope illumes some future day ; 
Checks the sad thought, beguiles the starting 

tear, 

And sings benignly still that day is near ! 
She, with bright eye, and soul-bewitching voice, 
Wins us to smile, inspires us to rejoice ; 
Tells that the hour approaches, to restore 
Our cherish'd wanderer to his home once more ; 
Where sacred ties his manly worth endear, 
To faith still true, affection still sincere ! 
Then the past woes, the future's dubious lot, 
In that blest meeting shall be all forgot ! 
And joy's full radiance gild that sun-bright hour, 
Though all around th' impending storm should 

lower. 

Xow distant far, amidst the intrepid host, 
Albion's firm sons, on Lusitania's coast, 
(That gallant band, in countless dangers tried, 
Where glory's pole-star beams their constant 

guide,) 

Say, do thy thoughts, my Brother, fondly stray 
To Cambria's vales and mountains far away ? 
Does fancy oft in busy day-dreams roam, 
And paint the greeting that awaits at home ? 
Does memory's pencil oft, in mellowing hue, 
Dear social scenes, departed joys renew; 
In softer tints delighting to retrace 
Each tender image and each well-known face 1 
Yes, wanderer ! yes ! thy spirit flies to those 
Whose love, unalter'd, warm and faithful glows. 

Oh ! could that love, through life's eventful 

hours, 
Illume thy scenes and strew thy path with 

flowers ! 

Perennial joy should harmonise thy breast, 
Xo struggle rend thee, and no cares molest ! 
But though our tenderness can but bestow 
The wish, the hope, the prayer, averting woe, 
Still shall it live, with pure, unclouded flame, 
In storms, in sunshine, far and near the 

same ! 

Still dwell enthroned within th' unvarying heart, 
And, firm and vital, but with life depart ! 
Bronwylfa, Feb. 8, 1811. 



LINES 

WRITTEN IN THE .MEMOIRS OK ELIZABETH SMITH. 

thou ! whose pure, exalted mind, 
Lives in this record, fair and bright ; 



THE RUIX AND ITS FLOWERS. 



O thou ! whose blameless life combined 
Soft female charms, and grace refined, 
With science and with light ! 
Celestial maid ! whose spirit soar'd 

Beyond this vale of tears 
Whose clear, enlighten'd eye explored 
The lore of years ! 

Daughter of Heaven ! if here, e'en here, 

The wing of towering thought was thine ; 
If, on this dim and mundane sphere, 
Fair truth illumed thy bright career, 
With morning-star divine ; 
How must thy bless'd ethereal soul 
Now kindle in her noon-tide ray, 
And hail, unfetter'd by control, 
The Fount of Day ! 

E'en now, perhaps, thy seraph eyes, 

Undimm'd by doubt, nor vcil'd by fear, 
Behold a chain of wonders rise 
Graze on the noon-beam of the skies, 

Transcendant, pure, and clear ! 
E'en now, the fair, the good, the true, 

From mortal sight conceal'd, 
Bless in one blaze thy raptured view, 
In light reveal'd ! 

If here the lore of distant time, 

And learning's flowers, were all thine own 
How must thy mind ascend sublime, 
Matured in heaven's empyreal clime, 

To light's unclouded throne ! 
Perhaps e'en now thy kindling glance 

Each orb of living fire explores, 
Darts o'er creation's wide expanse, 
Admires adores ! 

Oh ! if that lightning-eye surveys 
This dark and sublunary plain ; 

How must the wreath of human praise 

Fade, wither, vanish, in thy gaze, 
So dim, so pale, so vain ! 

How, like a faint and shadowy dream, 
Must quiver learning's brightest ray ; 

While on thine eyes, with lucid stream, 

The sun of glory pours his beam, 
Perfection's day ! 



[The reader may contrast these early lines of Mrs Hema:is 
with the maturer ones on the same subject by Professor Wil- 
son. Poems, vol. ii. p. 140-9.] . 



THE RUIX AXD ITS FLOWERS. 

SWEETS of the wild ! that breathe and bloom 
On this lone tower, this ivied wall, 

Lend to the gale a rich perfume, 
And grace the ruin in its fall. 

Though doom'd, remote from careless eye, 

To smile, to flourish, and to die 
In solitude sublime, 

Oh ! ever may the spring renew, 

Your balmy scent and glowing hue, 
To deck the robe of time ! 

Breathe, fragrance ! breathe ! enrich the air, 
Though wasted on its wing unknown ! 

Blow, flowerets ! blow ! though vainly fair, 
Xeglected and alone ! 

These flowers that long withstood the blast, 

These mossy towers, are mouldering fast, 
While Flora's children stay 

To mantle o'er the lonely pile, 

To gild Destruction with a smile, 
And beautify Decay ! 

Sweets of the wild ! uncultured blowing, 
Neglected in luxuriance glowing ; 
From the dark ruins frowning near, 
Your charms in brighter tints appea)', 

And richer blush assume ; 
You smile with softer beauty crowu'd, 
Whilst all is desolate around, 

Like sunshine on a tomb ! 

Thou hoary pile, majestic still, 

Memento of departed fame ! 
While roving o'er the moss-clad hill, 

I ponder on thine ancient name ! 

Here Grandeur, Beauty, Valour sleep, 
That here, so oft, have shone supreme j 

While Glory, Honour, Fancy, weep 
That vanish'd is the golden dream ! 

Where are the banners, waving proud, 
To kiss the summer-gale of even 

All purple as the morning-cloud, 

All streaming to the winds of heaven 1 

Where is the harp, by rapture strung 
To melting song or martial story 1 

Where are the lays the minstrel sung 
To loveliness or glory ? 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Lorn Echo of these mouldering walls, 
To thee no festal measure calls ; 
No music through the desert halls, 

Awakes thee to rejoice ! 
How still thy sleep ! as death profound 
As if, within this lonely round, 
A step a note a whisper d sound 

Had ne'er aroused thy voice ! 

Thou hear'st the zephyr murmuring, dying, 
Thou hear'st the foliage waving, sighing ; 
But ne'er again shall harp or song, 
These dark deserted courts along, 

Disturb thy calm repose. 
The harp is broke, the song is fled, 
The voice is hush'd, the bard is dead ; 
And never shall thy tones repeat 
Or lofty strain or carol sweet 

With plaintive close ! 

Proud Castle ! though the days are flown 

When once thy towers in glory shone ; 

When music through thy turrets rung, 

When banners o'er thy ramparts hung, 

Though 'midst thine arches, frowning lone, 

Stern Desolation rear his throne ; 

And Silence, deep and awful, reign 

Where echo'd once the choral strain ; 

Yet oft, dark ruin ! lingering here, 

The Muse will hail thee with a tear ; 

Here when the moonlight, quivering, beams, 

And through the fringing ivy streams, 

And softens every shade sublime, 

And mellows every tint of Tune 

Oh ! here shall Contemplation love, 

Unseen and undisturb'd, to rove ; 

And bending o'er some mossy tomb, 

Where Valour sleeps or Beauties bloom, 

Shall weep for Glory's transient day 

And Grandeur's evanescent ray ; 

And listening to the swelling blast, 

Shall wake the Spirit of the Past 

Call up the forms of ages fled, 

Of warriors and of minstrels dead, 

Who sought the field, who struck the lyre, 

With all Ambition's kindling fire ! 

Nor wilt thou, Spring ! refuse to breathe 

Soft odours on this desert air ; 
Refuse to twine thine earliest wreath, 

And fringe these towers with garlands fair ! 

Sweets of the wild, oh ! ever bloom 
Unheeded on this ivied wall ! 



Lend to the gale a rich perfume, 
And grace the ruin in its fall ! 

Thus round Misfortune's holy head, 
Would Pity wreaths of honour spread ; 
Like you, thus blooming on this lonely pile, 
She seeks Despair, with heart-reviving smile ! 



CHRISTMAS CAROL. 

FAIR Gratitude ! in strain sublime, 
Swell high to heaven thy tuneful zeal ; 

And, hailing this auspicious tune, 
Kneel, Adoration ! kneel ! 



For lo ! the day, th' immortal day, 
When Mercy's full, benignant ray 
Chased every gathering cloud away, 

And pour'd the noon of light ! 
Rapture ! be kindling, mounting, glowing, 
While from thine eye the tear is flowing, 

Pure, warm, and bright ! 

'Twas on this day oh, love divine ! 
The Orient Star's effulgence rose ; 

Then waked the Morn, whose eye benign 
Shall never, never close ! 

CHORUS. 

Messiah ! be thy name adored, 

Eternal, high, redeeming Lord ! 

By grateful worlds be anthems pour'd 

Emanuel ! Prince of Peace ! 
This day, from heaven's empyreal dwelling, 
Harp, lyre, and voice, in concert swelling, 

Bade discord cease ! 

Wake the loud paean, tune the voice, 
Children of heaven and sons of earth ! 

Seraphs and men ! exult, rejoice, 
To bless the Saviour's birth ! 



Devotion ! light thy purest fire ! 
Transport ! on cherub wing aspire ! 
Praise ! wake to Hun thy golden lyre, 

Strike every thrilling chord ! 
While, at the Ark of Mercy kneeling, 
We own thy grace, reviving, healing, 

Redeemer ! Lord ! 



THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS. 



THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS. 

WHENCE are those tranquil joys in mercy given, 
To light the wilderness with beams of heaven ] 
To soothe our cares, and through the cloud diffuse 
Their temper'd sunshine and celestial hues 1 
Those pure delights, ordain'd on life to throw 
Gleams of the bliss ethereal natures know ] 
Say, do they grace Ambition's regal throne, 
When kneeling myriads call the world his own ? 
Or dwell with Luxury, in th' enchanted bowers 
Where taste and wealth exert creative powers ] 

Favour'd of heaven ! Genius ! are they thine, 
When round thy brow the wreaths of glory shine ; 
While rapture gazes on thy radiant way, 
Midst the bright realms of clear and mental day ] 
No ! sacred joys ! 'tis yours to dwell enshrined, 
Most fondly cherish'd, in the purest mind ; 
To twine with flowers those loved, endearing ties, 
On earth so sweet so perfect in the skies ! 

Nursed in the lap of solitude and shade, 
The violet smiles, embosom'd in the glade 
There sheds her spirit on the lonely gale, 
Gem of seclusion ! treasure of the vale ! 
Thus, far retired from life's tumultuous road, 
Domestic Bliss has fixed her calm abode 
Where hallow'd Innocence and sweet Repose 
May strew her shadowy path with many a rose. 
As, when dread thunder shakes the troubled sky, 
The cherub, Infancy, can close its eye, 
And sweetly smile, unconscious of a tear, 
While viewless angels wave their pinions near ; 
Thus, while around the storms of Discord roll, 
Borne on resistless whig from pole to pole, 
While War's red lightnings desolate the ball, 
And thrones and empires in destruction fall ; 
Then calm as evening on the silvery wave, 
When the wind slumbers in the ocean cave, 
She dwells unruffled, hi her bower of rest, 
Her empire Home ! her throne, Affection's breast ! 

For her, sweet Nature wears her loveliest blooms, 
And softer sunshine every scene illumes. 
When Spring awakes the spirit of the breeze, 
Whose light whig undulates the sleeping seas ; 
When Summer, waving her creative wand, 
Bids verdure smile, and glowing life expand ; 
Or Autumn's pencil sheds, with magic trace, 
O'er fading loveliness, a moonlight grace ; 
Oh ! still for her, through Nature's boundless reign, 
No charm is lost, no beauty blooms in vain ; 



While mental peace, o'er every prospect bright, 
Throws mellowing tints and harmonising light ! 
Lo ! borne on clouds, in rushing might sublime, 
Stern Whiter, bursting from the polar clime, 
Triumphant waves his signal-torch on high, 
The blood-red meteor of the northern sky ! 
And high through darkness rears his giant-form, 
His throne the billow, and his flag the storm ! 
Yet then, when bloom and sunshine are no more, 
And the wild surges foam along the shore, 
Domestic Bliss, thy heaven is still serene, 
Thy star unclouded, and thy myrtle green ! 
Thy fane of rest no raging storms invade 
Sweet peace is thine, the seraph of the shade ! 
Clear through the day, her light around thee 

glows, 

And gilds the midnight of thy deep repose ! 
Hail, sacred Home ! where soft Affection's hand 
With flowers of Eden twines her magic band ! 
Where pure and bright the social ardours rise, 
Concentring all their holiest energies ! 
When wasting toil has dimm'd the vital flame, 
And every power deserts the sinking frame, 
Exhausted nature still from sleep implores 
The charm that lulls, the manna that restores ! 
Thus, when oppress'd with rude, tumultuous cares, 
To thee, sweet Home ! the fainting mind repairs ; 
Still to thy breast, a wearied pilgrim, flies, 
Her ark of refuge from uncertain skies ! 

Bower of repose ! when, torn from all we love, 
Through toil we struggle, or through distance rove; 
To thee we turn, still faithful, from afar 
Thee, our bright vista ! thee, our magnet-star ! 
And from the martial field, the troubled sea, 
Unfetter'd thought still roves to bliss and thee ! 

When ocean-sounds in awful slumber die, 
No wave to murmur, and no gale to sigh ; 
Wide o'er the world when Peace and Midnight reign. 
And the moon trembles on the sleeping main ; 
At that still hour, the sailor wakes to keep, 
Midst the dead calm, the vigil of the deep ! 
No gleaming shores his dim horizon bound, 
All heaven and sea and solitude around ! 
Then, from the lonely deck, the silent helm, 
From the wide grandeur of the shadowy realm, 
Still homeward borne, his fancy unconfined, 
Leaving the worlds of ocean far behind, 
Wings like a meteor-flash her swift career, 
To the loved scenes, so distant, and so dear ! 

Lo ! the rude whirlwind rushes from its cave, 
And Danger frowns the monarch of the wave ! 



i6 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Lo ! rocks and storms the striving bark repel, 
And Death and Shipwreck ride the foaming swell ! 

Child of the ocean ! is thy bier the surge, 
Thy grave the billow, and the wind thy dirge 1 
Yes ! thy long toil, thy weary conflict o'er, 
No storm shall wake, no perils rouse thee more ! 
Yet, in that solemn hour, that awful strife, 
The struggling agony for death or life, 
E'en then thy mind, embittering every pain, 
Retraced the image so beloved in vain ! 
Still to sweet Home thy last regrets were true, 
Life's parting sigh the murmur of adieu ! 

Can war's dread scenes the hallow'd ties efface, 
Each tender thought, each fond remembrance 

chase 1 

Can fields of carnage, days of toil, destroy 
The loved impression of domestic joy 1 

Ye daylight dreams ! that cheer the soldier's 

breast, 

In hostile climes, with spells benign and blest, 
Soothe his brave heart, and shed your glowing ray 
O'er the long march through Desolation's way ; 
Oh ! still ye bear him from th' ensanguined plain, 
Armour's bright flash, and Victory's choral strain, 
To that loved Home where pure affection glows, 
That shrine of bliss ! asylum of repose ! 
When all is hush'd the rage of combat past, 
And no dread war-note swells the moaning blast ; 
When the warm throb of many a heart is o'er, 
And many an eye is closed to wake no more ; 
Lull'd by the night-wind, pillow'd on the ground, 
(The dewy deathbed of his comrades, round !) 
While o'er the slain the tears of midnight weep, 
Famt with fatigue, he sinks in slumbers deep ! 
E'en then, soft visions, hovering round, portray 
The cherish'd forms that o'er his bosom sway ; 
He sees fond transport light each beaming face, 
Meets the warm tear-drop and the long embrace ! 
While the sweet welfcome vibrates through his 

heart, 
" Hail, weary soldier ! never more to part ! " 

And lo ! at last, released from every toil, 
He comes ! the wanderer views his native soil ! 
Then the bright raptures words can never speak 
Flash in his eye and mantle o'er his cheek ! 
Then Love and Friendship, whose unceasing 

prayer 

Implored for him each guardian-spirit's care ; 
Who, for his fate, through sorrow's lingering year, 
Had proved each thrilling pulse of hope and fear; 



In that blest moment, all the past forget 
Hours of suspense and vigils of regret ! 

And oh ! for him, the child of rude alarms. 
Rear'd by stern danger in the school of arms ! 
How sweet to change the war-song's pealing note 
For woodland-sounds in summer air that float ! 
Through vales of peace, o'er mountain wilds to roam , 
Andbreathehisnativegales, thatwhisper 'Home !' 

Hail, sweet endearments of domestic ties, 
Charms of existence ! angel sympathies ! 
Though Pleasure smile, a soft Circassian queen ! 
And guide her votaries through a fairy scene, 
AVhere sylphid forms beguile their vernal hours 
With mirth and music in Arcadian bowel's ; 
Though gazing nations hail the fiery car 
That bears the Son of Conquest from afar, 
While Fame's loud paean bids his heart rejoice, 
And every life-pulse vibrates to her voice ; 
Yet from your source alone, in mazes bright, 
Flows the full current of serene delight ! 

On Freedom's wing, that every wild explores, 
Through realms of space, th' aspiring eagle soars ! 
Darts o'er the clouds, exulting to admire, 
Meridian glory on her throne of fire ! 
Bird of the Sun ! his keen unwearied gaze 
Hails the full noon, and triumphs in the blaze ; 
But soon, descending from his height sublime. 
Day's burning fount, and light's empyreal clime, 
Once more he speeds to joys more calmly blest, 
Midst the dear inmates of his lonely nest ! 

Thus Genius, mounting on his bright career 
Through the wide regions of the mental sphere, 
And proudly waving in his gifted hand, 
O'er Fancy's worlds, Invention's plastic wand. 
Fearless and firm, with lightning-eye surveys 
The clearest heaven of intellectual rays ! 
Yet, on his course though loftiest hopes attend, 
And kindling raptures aid him to ascend, 
(While in his mind, with high-born grandeur 

fraught, 

Dilate the noblest energies of thought ;) 
Still, from the bliss, ethereal and refined, 
Which crowns the soarings of triumphant mind, 
At length he flies, to that serene retreat, 
Where calm and pure the mild affections meet ; 
Embosom'd there, to feel and to impart 
The softer pleasures of the social heart ! 

Ah ! weep for those, deserted and forlorn, 
From every tie by fate relentless torn ; 



THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS. 



See, on the barren coast, the lonely isle, 
Mark'd with no step, uncheer'd by human smile, 
Heart-sick and faint the ship-\vreck'd wanderer 

stand, 

Raise the dim eye, and lift the suppliant hand ! 
Explore with fruitless gaze the billowy main, 
And weep and pray and linger but in vain ! 

Thence, roving wild through many a depth of 

shade, 

Where voice ne'er echo'd, footstep never stray 'd, 
He fondly seeks, o'er cliffs and deserts rude, 
Haunts of mankind midst realms of solitude ! 
And pauses oft, and sadly hears alone 
The wood's deep sigh, the surge's distant moan ! 
All else is hush'd ! so silent, so profound, 
As if some viewless power, presiding round, 
With mystic spell, unbroken by a breath, 
Had spread for ages the repose of death ! 
Ah ! still the wanderer, by the boundless deep, 
Lives but to watch and watches but to weep ! 
He sees no sail in faint perspective rise, 
His the dread loneliness of sea and skies ! 
Far from his cherish'd friends, his native shore, 
Banish'd from being to return no more ; 
There must he die ! within that circling wave, 
That lonely isle his prison and his grave ! 

Lo ! through the waste, the wilderness of snows, 
With faulting step, Siberia's exile goes ! 
Homeless and sad, o'er many a polar wild, 
Where beam, or flower, or verdure never smiled ; 
Where frost and silence hold their despot-reign, 
And bind existence in eternal chain ! 
Child of the desert ! pilgrim of the gloom ! 
Dark is the path which leads thee to the tomb ! 
While on thy faded cheek the arctic air 
Congeals the bitter tear-drop of despair ! 
Yet not that fate condemns thy closing day 
In that stern clime to shed its parting ray ; 
Xot that fair nature's loveliness and light 
Xo more shall beam enchantment on thy sight ; 
Ah ! not for this far, far beyond relief, 
Deep in thy bosom dwells the hopeless grief; 
But that no friend of kindred heart is there, 
Thy woes to mitigate, thy toils to share ; 
That no mild soother fondly shall assuage 
The stormy trials of thy lingering age ; 
Xo smile of tenderness, with angel power, 
Lull the dread pangs of dissolution's hour ; 
For this alone, despair, a withering guest, 
Sits on thy brow, and cankers in thy breast ! 
Yes ! there, e'en there, in that tremendous clime, 
Where desert grandeur frowns in pomp sublime ; 



Where winter triumphs, through the polar night, 
In all his wild magnificence of might ; 
E'en there, affection's hallow'd spell might pour 
The light of heaven around th' inclement shore ! 
And, like the vales with gloom and sunshine 

graced, 

That smile, by circling Pyrenees embraced, 
Teach the pure heart with vital fires to glow, 
E'en 'midst the world of solitude and snow ! 
The halcyon's charm, thus dreaming fictions feign, 
With mystic power could tranquillise the main ; 
Bid the loud wind, the mountain billow sleep, 
And peace and silence brood upon the deep ! 

And thus, Affection, can thy voice. compose 
The stormy tide of passions and of woes ; 
Bid every throb of wild emotion cease, 
And lull misfortune in the arms of peace ! 

Oh ! mark yon drooping form, of aged mien, 
Wan, yet resign'd, and hopeless, yet serene ! 
Long ere victorious time had sought to chase 
The bloom, the smile, that once illumed his face, 
That faded eye was dimm'd with many a care, 
Those waving locks were silver'd by despair ! 
Yet filial love can pour the sovereign balm, 
Assuage his pangs, his wounded spirit calm ! 
He, a sad emigrant ! condemn'd to roam 
In life's pale autumn from his ruin'd home, 
Has borne the shock of Peril's darkest wave, 
Where joy and hope and fortune found a 

grave ! 

Twos his to see Destruction's fiercest band 
Rush, like a Typhon, on his native land, 
And roll triumphant on their blasted way, 

I In fire and blood, the deluge of dismay ! 

! L'nequal combat raged on many a plain, 
And patriot-valour waved the sword in vain ! 
Ah ! gallant exile ! nobly, long, he bled, 
Long braved the tempest gathering o'er his head ! 
Till all was lost ! and horror's darken'd eye 
Roused the stern spirit of despair to die ! 

Ah ! gallant exile ! in the storm that roll'd 
Far o'er his countiy, rushing uncontroll'd, 
The flowers that graced his path with loveliest 

bloom, 

Torn by the blast, were scatter'd on the tomb ! 
When carnage burst, exulting in the strife, 
The bosom ties that bound his soul to life, 
Yet one was spared ! and she, whose filial smile 
Can soothe his wanderings and his tears beguile, 
E'en then could temper, with divine relief, 
The wild delirium of unbounded grief; 



1 8 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



And, whispering peace, conceal with duteous art 
Her own deep sorrows in her inmost heart ! 
And now, though time, subduing every trace, 
Has mellow'd all, he never can erase ; 
Oft will the wanderer's tears in silence flow, 
Still sadly faithful to remember'd woe ! 
Then she, who feels a father's pang alone, 
(Still fondly struggling to suppress her own.) 
With anxious tenderness is ever nigh, 
To chase the image that awakes the sigh ! 
Her angel-voice his fainting soul can raise 
To brighter visions of celestial days ! 
And speak of realms, where Virtue's wing shall soar 
On eagle-plume to wonder and adore ; 
And friends, divided here, shall meet at last, 
Unite their kindred souls and smile on all the 
past ! 

Yes ! we may hope that nature's deathless ties, 
Uenew'd, refined, shall triumph in the skies ! 
Heart-soothing thought ! whose loved, consoling 

powers 

With seraph-dreams can gild reflection's hours, 
Oh ! still be near, and brightening through the 

gloom, 

Beam and ascend ! the day-star of the tomb ! 
And smile for those, in sternest ordeals proved, 
Those lonely hearts, bereft of all they loved. 

!.> ! by the couch where pain and chill disease 
la every vein the ebbing life-blood freeze ; 
Where youth is taught, by stealing, slow decay. 
Life's closing lesson in its dawning day ; 
Where beauty's rose is withering ere its prime, 
Unchanged by sorrow and unsoil'd by tune ; 
There, bending still, with fix'd and sleepless eye, 
There, from her child, the mother learns to die ; 
Explores, with fearful gaze, each mournful trace 
Of lingering sickness in the faded face ; 
Through the sad night, when every hope is fled, 
Keeps her lone vigil by the sufferer's bed ; 
And starts each morn, as deeper marks declare 
The spoiler's hand the blight of death is there ! 
He comes ! now feebly in the exhausted frame, 
Slow, languid, quivering, burns the vital flame : 
From the glazed eye-ball sheds its parting ray 
Dim, transient spark, that fluttering fades away ! 
Fauit beats the hovering pulse, the trembling heart ; 
Yet fond existence lingers ere she part ! 

"Tis past ! the struggle and the pang are o'er, 
And life shall throb with agony no more ; 
While o'er the wasted form, the features pale. 
Death's awful shadows throw their silvery veiL 



Departed spirit ! on tliis earthly sphere 

Though poignant suffering mark'd thy short 

career, 

Still could maternal love beguile thy woes, 
And hush thy sighs an angel of repose ! 

But who may charm her sleepless pang to rest, 
Or draw the thorn that rankles in her breast ? 
And, while she bends hi silence o'er thy bier, 
Assuage the grief, too heart-sick for a tear ? 
Visions of hope in loveliest hues array 'd, 
Fair scenes of bliss by fancy's hand portray'd ! 
And were ye doom'd with false, illusive smile, 
With flattering promise, to enchant awhile 1 
And are ye vanish'd, never to return, 
Set in the darkness of the mouldering urn ? 
Will no bright hour departed joys restore '! 
Shall the sad parent meet her child no more 1 
Behold no more the soul-illumined face, 
The expressive smile, the animated grace ! 
Must the fair blossom, wither 'd hi the tomb, 
Revive no more in loveliness and bloom 1 
Descend, blest faith ! dispel the hopeless care, 
And chase the gathering phantoms of despair ; 
Tell that the flower, transplanted in its morn, 
Enjoys bright Eden, freed from every thorn ; 
Expands to milder suns, and softer dews, 
The full perfection of immortal hues ; 
Tell, that when mounting to her native skies, 
By death released, the parent spirit flies ; 
There shall the child, hi anguish mourn'd so long, 
With rapture hail her midst the cherub throng, 
And guide her pinion on exulting flight, 
Through glory's boundless realms, and worlds of 
living light. 

Ye gentle spirits of departed friends ! 
If e'er on earth your buoyant wing descends ; 
If, with benignant care, ye linger near, 
To guard the objects in existence dear ; 
If, hovering o'er, ethereal band ! ye view 
The tender sorrows, to your memory true ; 
Oh ! in the musing hour, at midnight deep, 
While for your loss affection wakes to weep : 
While every sound hi hallow'd stillness lies, 
But the low murmur of her plaintive sighs ; 
Oh ! then, amidst that holy calm be near, 
Breathe your light whisper softly in her ear ; 
With secret spells her wounded mind compose, 
And chase the faithful tear for you that flows : 
Be near when moonlight spreads the charm you 

loved 

O'er scenes where once your earthly foototep 
roved. 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Then, while she wanders o'er the sparkling dew, 
Through glens and wood-paths, once endear'd 

by you, 

And fondly lingers in your favourite bowers, 
And pauses oft, recalling former hours ; 
Then wave your pinion o'er each well-known vale, 
Float in the moonbeam, sigh upon the gale ; 
Bid your wild symphonies remotely swell, 
Borne by the summer-wind from grot and dell ; 
And touch your viewless harps, and soothe her soul 
With soft enchantments and divine control ! 
Be near, sweet guardians ! watch her sacred rest, 
"When Slumber folds her in his magic vest ; 
Around her, smiling, let your forms arise, 
Retum'd in dreams, to bless her mental eyes ; 
Efface the memory of your last farewell- 
Of glowing joys, of radiant prospects tell ; 
The sweet communion of the past renew, 
Reviving former scenes, array'd in softer hue. 

Be near when death, in virtue's brightest hour, 
Calls up each pang, and summons all his power ; 
Oh ! then, transcending Fancy's loveliest dream, 
Then let your forms unvcil'd around her beam ; 
Then waft the vision of unclouded light, 
' A burst of glory, on her closing sight ; 
Wake from the harp of heaven th' immortal strain, 
To hush the final agonies of pain ; 
With rapture's flame the parting soul illume, 
And smile triumphant through the shadowy gloom ! 
Oh ! still be near, when, darting into day, 
Th' exulting spirit leaves her bonds of clay ; 
Be yours to guide her fluttering wings on high 
O'er many a world, ascending to the sky ; 
There let your presence, once her earthly joy, 
Though dimm'd with tears and clouded with alloy, 
Now form her bliss on that celestial shore 
Where death shall sever kindred hearts no more. 

Yes ! in the noon of that Elysian clime, 
I Beyond the sphere of anguish, death, or time ; 
Where mind's bright eye, with renovated fire, 
i Shall beam on glories never to expire ; 
i Oh ! there th' illumined soul may fondly trust, 
; More pure, more perfect, rising from the dust, 
Those mild affections, whose consoling light 
Sheds the soft moonbeam on terrestrial night, 
Sublimed, ennobled, shall for ever glow, 
Exalting rapture not assuaging woe ! 



TO MR EDWARDS, THE HARPER OP 
CONWAY. 

[Some of the happiest days the young poetess ever passed 
were during occasional visits to some friends at Conway, where 
the charms of the scenery, combining all that is most beauti- 
ful in wood, water, and ruin, are sufficient to inspire the most 
prosaic temperament with a certain degree of enthusiasm ; 
and it may therefore well be supposed how fervently a soul 
constituted like hers would worship Nature at so fitting a 
shrine. With that happy versatility which was at all times a 
leading characteristic of her mind, she would now enter with 
child-like playfulness into the enjoyments of a mountain 
scramble, or a pic-nic water party, the gayest of the merry 
band, of whom some are now, like herself, laid low, some far 
away in foreign lands, some changed by sorrow, and all by 
time; and then, in graver mood, dream away hours of pen- 
sive contemplation amidst the gray ruins of that noblest of 
"Welsh castles, standing, as it then did, in solitary grandeur, 
unapproached by bridge or causeway, flinging its broad shadow 
across the tributary waves which washed its regal walls. These 
lovely scenes never ceased to retain their hold over the imagi- 
nation of her whose youthful muse had so often celebrated 
their praises. Her peculiar admiration of Mrs Joanna 
Baillie's play of Ethwald was always pleasingly associated 
with the recollection of her having first read it amidst the 
rums of Conway Castle. At Conway, too, she first made 
acquaintance with the lively and graphic Chronicles of the 
chivalrous Froissart, whose inspiring pages never lost their 
place in her favour. Her own little poem, "The Ruin and 
its Flowers," which will be found amongst the earlier pieces 
in the present collection, was written on an excursion to the 
old fortress of Dyganwy, the remains of which are situated 
on a bold promontory near the entrance of the river Conway ; 
and whose ivied walls, now fast mouldering Into oblivion, once 
bore their part bravely in the defence of Wales; and are 
further endeared to the lovers of song and tradition as having 
echoed the complaints of the captive Elphin, and resounded 
to the harp of Taliesin. A scarcely degenerate representative 
of that gifted bard l had, at the time now alluded to, his 
appropriate dwelling-place at Conway ; but his strains have 
long been silenced, and there now remain few, indeed, on 
whom the Druidical mantle has fallen so worthily. In the 
days when his playing was heard by one so fitted to enjoy its 
originality and beauty, 

" The minstrel was infirm and old ; " 

but his inspiration had not yet forsaken him ; and the follow- 
ing lines (written in 1811) will give an idea of the magic 
power he still knew how to exercise over the feelings of his 
auditors.] 

MIXSTREL ! whose gifted hand can bring 
Life, rapture, soul, from every string ; 
And wake, like bards of former time, 
The spirit of the harp sublime ; 
Oh ! still prolong the varying strain ! 
Oh ! touch th' enchanted chords again ! 

1 Mr Edwards, the Harper of Conway, as he was generally 
called, had been blind from his birth, and was endowed with 
that extraordinary musical genius by which persons suffering 
under such a visitation are not unfrequently indemnified. 
From the respectability of his circumstances, be was not 



20 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



Thine is the charm, suspending care, 
The heavenly swell, the dying close, 
The cadence melting into air, 
That lulls each passion to repose ; 
While transport, lost in silence near, 
Breathes all her language in a tear. 

Exult, Cambria ! now no more 
With sighs thy slaughter'd bards deplore : 
What though Plinlimmon's misty brow 
And Mona's woods be silent now, 
Yet can thy Conway boast a strain 
UnrivalTd in thy proudest reign. 

For Genius, with divine control, 
AVakcs the bold chord neglected long, 
And pours Expression's glowing soul 
O'er the wild Harp, renown'd in song ; 
And Inspiration, hovering round, 
Swells the full energies of sound. 

Now Grandeur, pealing La the tone, 
Could rouse the warrior's kindling fire, 
And now, 'tis like the breeze's moan, 
That murmurs o'er th' Eolian lyre : 
As if some sylph, with viewless wing, 
Were sighing o'er the magic string. 

Long, long, fair Conway ! boast the skill 
That soothes, inspires, commands, at will ! 
And oh ! while rapture hails the lay, 
Far distant be the closing day, 
When Genius, Taste, again shall weep, 
And Cambria's Harp lie hush'd in sleep ! 



EPITAPH ON MR W , 

A CELEBRATED MINERALOGIST. 1 

STOP, passenger ! a wondrous tale to list 
Here lies a famous Mineralogist. 

called upon to exercise his talents with any view to remuner- 
ation. He played to delight himself and others ; and the 
innocent complacency with which he enjoyed the ecstasies 
called forth by his skill, and the degree of appreciation with 
which he regarded himself, as in a manner consecrated, by 
l>eing made the depositary of a direct gift from Heaven, were 
as far as possible removed from any of the common modifica- 
tions of vanity or self-conceit. 

1 " Whilst on the subject of Conway, it may not be amiss 
to introduce two little pieces of a very different character from 
the foregoing, [Lines to Mr Edward the Harper,] which 
were written at the same place, three or four years afterwards, 
and will serve as a proof of that versatility of talent before 
alluded to. As may easily be supposed, they were never in- 
tended for publication, but were merely a jm d'esprit of the 
moment, in good-humoured raillery of the indefatigable zeal 
and perseverance of one of the party in his geological re- 
searches." Memoir, p. 20. 



Famous indeed ! such traces of his power, 
He's left from Peumaenbach to Penmaenmawr, 
Such caves, and chasms, and fissures in the rocks. 
His works resemble those of earthquake shocks i 
And future ages very much may wonder 
What mighty giant rent the hills asunder, 
Or whether Lucifer himself had ne'er 
Gone with his crew to play at foot-ball there. 

His fossils, flints, and spars, of every hue, 
With him, good reader, here lie buried too 
Sweet specimens ! which, toiling to obtain, 
He split huge cliffs, like so much wood, in twain. 
We knew, so great the fuss he made about them, 
Alive or dead, he ne'er would rest without them; 
So, to secure soft slumber to his bones, 
We paved his grave with all his favourite stones. 
His much-loved hammer's resting by his side ; 
Each hand contains a shell-fish petrified : 
His mouth a piece of pudding-stone incloses, 
And at his feet a lump of coal reposes : 
Sure he was born beneath some lucky planet! 
His very coffin-plate is made of granite. 

Weep not, good reader ! he is truly blest 
Amidst chalcedony and quartz to rest : 
Weep not for him ! but envied be his doom, 
Whose tomb, though small, fur all he loved had 

room : 

And, ye rocks ! schist, gneiss, whate'er ye be, 
Ye varied strata ! names too hard for me 
Sing, " Oh, be joyful ! " for your direst foe 
By death's fell hammer is at length laid low. 

Ne'er on your spoils again shall W riot. 

Clear up your cloudy brows, and rest in quiet 
He sleeps no longer planning hostile actions, 
As cold as any of his petrifactions ; 
Enshrined in specimens of every hue, 
Too tranquil e'en to dream, ye rocks, of you. 



EPITAPH 

ON THE HAMMER OF THE AFORESAID MINERALOGIST. 

HERE in the dust, its strange adventures o'er, 
A hammer rests, that ne'er knew rest before. 
Released from toil, it slumbers by the side 
Of one who oft its temper sorely tried ; 
Xo day e'er pass'd, but in some desperate strife 
He risk'd the faithful hammer's limbs and life : 
Xow laying siege to some old limestone wall, 
Some rock now battering, proof to cannon-ball 
Xow scaling heights like Alps or Pyrenees, 
Perhaps a flint, perhaps a slate to seize ; 
But, if a piece of copper met his eyes, 
He'd mount a precipice that touch'd the skies, 



JUVENILE POEMS. 



And bring down lumps so precious, and so many, 
I'm sure they almost would have made a penny ! 
Think, when such deeds as these were daily done, 
"\Yhat fearful risks this hammer must have run. 
And, to say truth, its praise deserves to shine 
In lays more lofty and more famed than mine : 
Oh ! that in strains which ne'er should be forgot, 
Its deeds were blazon'd forth by Walter Scott ! 
Then should its name with his be closely link'd, 
And live till every mineral were extinct. 
Rise, epic bards ! be yours the ample field 

Bid W 's hammer match Achilles' shield : 

As for my muse, the chaos of her brain, 
I search for specimens of wit in vain ; 
Then let me cease ignoble rhymes to stammer, 
And seek some theme less arduous than the ham- 
mer; 

Remembering well, " what perils do environ " 
Woman or " man that meddles with cold iron." 



PROLOGUE TO THE POOR GENTLEMAN, 

AS INTENDED TO BE PERFORMED BY THE OFFICERS OF THE 
34TH REGIMENT AT CLONMEL. 1 

Enter Captain GEORGE BROWNE, in the character of 
Corporal Foss. 

TO-MGHT, kind friends, at your tribunal here, 
Stands " The Poor Gentleman," with many a fear ; 
Since well he knows, whoe'er may judge his cause, 
That Poverty's no title to applause. 
Genius or Wit, pray, who'll admire or quote, 
If all their drapery be a threadbare coat ? 
Who, in a world where all is bought and sold, 
Minds a man's worth except his worth in gold ) 
Who'll greet poor Merit if she lacks a dinner ! 
Hence, starving saint, but welcome, wealthy sinner ! 
Away with Poverty ! let none receive her, 
She bears contagion as a plague or fever ; 
*' Bony, and gaunt, and grim " like jaundiced eyes, 
Discolouring all within her sphere that lies. 
" Poor Gentleman ! " and by poor soldiers, too ! 
Oh, matchless impudence ! without a sous ! 
In scenes, in actors poor, and what far worse is, 
With heads, perhaps, as empty as then 1 purses, 
How shall they dare at such a bar appear ? 
What are their tactics and ruanrouvres here 1 

While thoughts like these come rushing o'er 

our mind, 

Oh ! may we still indulgence hope to find ! 
Brave sons of Erin ! whose distinguished name 
Shines with such brilliance in the page of Fame, 

i These verses were written about the same time as the pre- 
ceding humorous epitaphs. 



And you, fair daughters of the Emerald Isle t 
View our weak efforts with approving smile ! 
School'd in rough camps, and still disdaining art 
111 can the soldier act a borrow'd part ; 
The march, the skirmish, in this warlike age, 
Are his rehearsals, and the field his stage ; 
His theatre is found in every land, 
Where wave the ensigns of a hostile band : 
Place him in danger's front he recks not where 
Be your own Wellington his prompter there, 
And on that stage he trusts, with fearful mien, 
He'll act his part in glory's tragic scene. 
Yet here, though friends are gaily marshall'd 

round, 

And from bright eyes alone he dreads a wound, 
Here, though in ambush no sharpshooter's wile 
Aims at his breast, save hid hi beauty's smile ; 
Though all unused to pause, to doubt, to fear, 
Yet his heart sinks, his courage fails him here. 
No scenic pomp to him its aid supplies, 
No stage effect of glittering pageantries : 
No, to your kindness he must look alone 
To realise the hope he dares not own ; 
And trusts, since here he meets no cynic eye, 
His wish to please may claim indemnity. 

And why despair, indulgence when we crave 
From Erin's sons, the generous and the brave ? 
Theirs the high spirit, and the liberal thought, 
Kind, warm, sincere, with native candour fraught ; 
Still has the stranger, in their social isle, 
Met the frank welcome and the cordial smile, 
And well their hearts can share, though unexpress'd, 
Each thought, each feeling, of the soldier's breast. 

[As, in the present collected edition of the writings of Mrs 
Hemans, chronological arrangement has been for the first 
time strictly attended to, a selection from her Juvenile com- 
positions has been given, chiefly as a matter of curiosity for 
her real career as an authoress cannot be said to have com- 
menced before the publication of the section which immedi- 
ately follows. 

In a very general point of view, the intellectual history of 
Mrs Hemans' mind may be divided into two distinct and sepa- 
rate eras the first of which may be termed the classical, and 
comprehends the productions of her pen, from " The Restora- 
tion of the Works of Art to Italy," and " Modern Greece," 
down to the " Historical Scenes," and the " Translations from 
Camoens ;"and the last, the romantic, which commences with 
" The Forest Sanctuary," and includes " The Records of 
Woman," together with nearly all her later efforts. In regard 
to excellence, there can be little doubt that the last section as 
far transcends the first as that does the merely Juvenile Poems 
now given, and which certainly appear to us to exhibit occa- 
sional scintillations of the brightness which followed. Even after 
the early poetical attempts of Cowley and Pope, of Chatterton, 
Kirke White, and Byron, these immature outpourings of sen- 
timent and description may be read with an interest which 
diminishes not by comparison.] 



22 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY. 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF AET TO ITALY. 

[" The French, who in every invasion have been the scourge of Italy, and have rivalled or rather surpassed the rapacity o 
the Goths and Vandals, laid their sacrilegious hands on the unparalleled collection of the Vatican, tore its masterpiece 
from their pedestals, and, dragging them from their temples of marble, transported them to Paris, and consigned them to 

the dull sullen halls, or rather stables, of the Louvre But the joy of discovery was short, and the triumph 

of taste transitory." EUSTACE'S CUistical Tour through, Italy, vol. ii. p. 60.] 



' Italia, Italia ! tu cui die la sorte 
Dono infelice di belleiza, ond' hai 
Funesta dote d'infiniti guai, 
Che n fronts serittc per gran doglia port* ; 
Deh, fosai ta men beila, o almen piu forte." 



LA>'D of departed fame ! whose classic plains 
Have proudly echo'd to immortal strains ; 
Whose hallo w'd soil hath given the great and brave, 
Day-stars of life, a birth-place and a grave ; 
Home of the Arts ! where glory's faded smile 
Sheds lingering light o'er many a mouldering pile ; 
Proud wreck of vanish'd power, of splendour fled, 
Majestic temple of the mighty dead ! 
Whose grandeur, yet contending with decay, 
Gleams through the twilight of thy glorious day ; 
Though rlimm'd thy brightness, riveted thy chain, 
Yet, fallen Italy ! rejoice again ! 
Lost, lovely realm ! once more 'tis thine to gaze 
On the rich relics of sublimer days. 

Awake, ye Muses of Etrurian shades, 
Or sacred Tivoli's romantic glades ; 
"VVake, ye that slumber in the bowery gloom 
"Where the wild ivy shadows Virgil's tomb ; 
Or ye, whose voice, by Sorga's lonely wave, 
Swell'd the deep echoes of the fountain's cave, 
Or thrill'd the soul in Tasso's numbers high 
Those magic strains of love and chivalry ! 
If yet by classic streams ye fondly mve, 
Haunting the myrtle vale, the laurel grove, 
Oh ! rouse once more the daring soul of song, 
Seize with bold hand the harp, forgot so long, 
And hail, with wonted pride, those works revered, 
Hallow'd by time, by absence more endear'd. 

And breathe to Those the strain, whose warrior- 

might 

Each danger stemm'd, prevail'd in every fight 
Souls of unyielding power, to storms mured, 
Sublimed by peril, and by toil matured. 
Sing of that Leader, whose ascendant mind 
Could rouse the slumbering spirit of mankind ; 
Whose banners track'd the vanquished Eagle's flight 
O'er many a plain, and dark sierra's height ; 



Who bade once more the wild heroic lay 
Record the deeds of Roncesvalles' day ; 
Who, through each mountain-pass of rock and snow, 
An Alpine huntsman, chased the fear-struck foe ; 
Waved his proud standard to the balmy gales, 
Rich Languedoc ! that fan thy glowing vales, 
And 'midst those scenes renew'd th' achievements 

high 
Bequeath'd to fame by England's ancestry. 

Yet, when the storm seem'd hush'd, the conflict 

past, 

One strife remain'd the mightest and the last ! 
Nerved for the struggle, in that fateful hour 
Untamed Ambition summond all his power : 
Vengeance and Pride, to frenzy roused, were there, 
And the stern might of resolute Despair. 
Isle of the free ! 'twas then thy champions stood, 
Breasting unmoved the combat's wildest flood ; 
Sunbeam of battle ! then thy spirit shone, 
Glow'd in each breast, and sunk with life alone. 

hearts devoted ! whose illustrious doom 
Gave there at once your triumph and your tomb, 
Ye firm and faithful, in the ordeal tried 
Of that dread strife, by Freedom sanctified ; 
Shrined, not entomb'd, ye rest in sacred earth, 
Hallow'd by deeds of more than mortal worth. 
What though to mark where sleeps heroic dust, 
Xo sculptured trophy rise, or breathing bust, 
Yours, on the scene where valour's race was ruu, 
A prouder sepulchre the field ye won ! 
There every mead, each cabin's lowly name, 
Shall live a watchword blended with your fame ; 
And well may flowers suffice those graves to crown 
That ask no um to blazon their renown ! 
There shall the bard in future ages tread, 
And bless each wreath that blossoms o'er the 
dead ; - 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY. 



Revere each tree whose sheltering branches wave 
O'er the low mounds, the altars of the brave ! 

i Pause o'er each warrior's grass-grown bed, and hear 
In every breeze some name to glory dear ; 
And as the shades of twilight close around, 
With martial pageants people all the ground. 
Thither unborn descendants of the slain 
Still throng as pilgrims to the holy fane, 
While as they trace each spot, whose records tell 
Where fought their fathers, and prevail'd, and fell, 
Warm in their souls shall loftiest feelings glow, 
Claiming proud kindred with the dust below ! 
And many an age shall see the brave repair 

'. To learn the Hero's bright devotion there. 

And well, Ausouia ! may that field of fame, 
From thee one song of echoing triumph claim. 
Land of the lyre ! 'twas there th' avenging sword 
Won the bright treasures to thy fanes restored ; 
Those precious trophies o'er thy realms that throw 
A veil of radiance, hiding half thy woe, 
, And bid the stranger for awhile forget 

How deep thy fall, and deem thee glorious yet. 

Yes, fair creations ! to perfection wrought, 
Embodied visions of ascending thought ! 
Forms of sublimity ! by Genius traced 
In tints that vindicate adoring taste ! 
I Whose bright originals, to earth unknown, 
Live in the spheres encircling glory's throne ; 
Models of art, to deathless fame consign'd, 
Stamp'd with the high-born majesty of mind ; 
Yes, matchless works ! your presence shall restore 
One beam of splendour to your native shore, 
And her sad scenes of lost renown illume, 
As the bright sunset gilds some hero's tomb. 

Oh ! ne'er, in other climes, though many an eye 
Dwelt on your charms, in beaming ecstasy 
Xe'er was it yours to bid the soul expand 
With thoughts so mighty, dreams so boldly grand, 
As in that realm, where each faint breeze's moan 
Seems a low dirge for glorious ages gone ; 
Where midst the ruin'd shrines of many a vale, 
E'en Desolation tells a haughty tale, 
j And scarce a fountain flows, a rock ascends, 
But its proud name with song eternal blends ! 

Yes ! in those scenes where every ancient stream 
Bids memory kindle o'er some lofty theme ; 
Where every marble deeds of fame records, 
Each ruin tells of Earth's departed lords ; 
1 And the deep tones of inspiration swell 
From each wild olive-wood, and Alpine dell ; 



Where heroes slumber on their battle plains, 
Midst prostrate altars and deserted fanes, 
And Fancy communes, in each lonely spot, 
With shades of those who ne'er shall be forgot ; 
There was your home, and there your power imprest, 
With tenfold awe, the pilgrim's glowing breast ; 
And, as the wind's deep thrills and mystic sighs 
Wake the wild harp to loftiest harmonies, 
Thus at your influence, starting from repose, 
Thought Feeling, Fancy, into grandeur rose. 

Fair Florence ! queen of Arno's lovely vale ! 
Justice and Truth indignant heard thy tale, 
And sternly smiled, in retribution's hour, 
To wrest thy treasures from the Spoiler's power. 
Too long the spirits of thy noble dead 
Mourn'd o'er the domes they rear'd in ages fled. 
Those classic scenes their pride so richly graced, 
Temples of genius, palaces of taste, 
Too long, with sad and desolated mien, 
Reveal'd where Conquest's lawless track had been ; 
Reft of each form with brighter light imbued, 
Lonely they frown'd, a desert solitude. 
Florence ! th' Oppressor's noon of pride is o'er, 
Rise in thy pomp again, and weep no more ! 

As one who, starting at the dawn of day 
From dark illusions, phantoms of dismay, 
With transport heighten'd by those ills of night, 
Hails the rich glories of expanding light ; 
E'en thus, awakening from thy dream of woe, 
While heaven's own hues in radiance round thee 

glow, 

With warmer ecstasy 'tis thine to trace 
Each tint of beauty, and each line of grace ; 
More bright, more prized, more precious, since 

deplored 

As loved lost relics, ne'er to be restored 
Thy grief as hopeless as the tear-drop shed 
By fond affection, bending o'er the dead. 

Athens of Italy ! once more are thine 
Those matchless gems of Art's exhaustless mine. 
For thee bright Genius darts his living beam, 
Warm o'er thy shrines the tints of Glory stream, 
And forms august as natives of the sky 
Rise round each fane in faultless majesty 
So chastely perfect, so serenely grand, 
They seem creations of no mortal hand. 

Ye at whose voice fair Art, with eagle glance, 
Burst in full splendour from her deathlike trance 
Whose rallying call bade slumbering nations wake. 
And daring Intellect his bondage break 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY. 



Beneath whose eye the lords of song arose, 
And snatch'd the Tuscan lyre from long repose, 
And bade its pealing energies resound 
With power electric through the realms around ; 
high in thought, magnificent in soul ! 
Bom to inspire, enlighten, and control ; 
Cosmo, Lorenzo ! view your reign once more, 
The shrine where nations mingle to adore ! 
Again th' enthusiast there, with ardent gaze, 
Shall hail the mighty of departed days : 
Those sovereign spirits, whose commanding mind 
Seems in the marble's breathing mould enshrined; 
Still with ascendant power the world to awe, 
Still the deep homage of the heart to draw ; 
To breathe some spell of holiness around, 
Bid all the scene be consecrated ground, 
And from the stone, by Inspiration wrought, 
Dart the pure lightnings of exalted thought. 

There thou, fair offspring of immortal Mind ! 
Love's radiant goddess, idol of mankind ! 
Once the bright object of Devotion's vow, 
Shalt claim from taste a kindred worship now. 
Oh ! who can tell what beams of heavenly light 
Flash'd o'er the sculptor's intellectual sight, 
How many a glimpse, reveal'd to him alone, 
Made brighter beings, nobler worlds, his own ; 
Ere, like some vision sent the earth to bless, 
Burst into life thy pomp of loveliness ! 

Young Genius there, while dwells his kindling 

eye 

On forms instinct with bright divinity, 
While new-born powers, dilating in his heart, 
Embrace the full magnificence of Art ; 
From scenes by Raphael's gifted hand array 'd, 
From dreams of heaven by Angelo portray 'd : 
From each fair work of Grecian skill sublime, 
Seal'd with perfection, " sanctified by time ;" 
Shall catch a kindred glow, and proudly feel 
His spirit burn with emulative zeal : 
Buoyant with loftier hopes, his soul shall rise, 
Imbued at once with nobler energies ; 
O'er life's dun scenes on rapid pinions soar, 
And worlds of visionary grace explore, 
Till his bold hand give glory's daydream birth, 
And with new wonders charm admiring earth. 

Venice exult ! and o'er thy moonlight seas 
Swell with gay strains each Adriatic breeze ! 
"What though long fled those years of martial fame 
That shed romantic lustre o'er thy name ; 
Though to the winds thy streamers idly play, 
And the wild waves another Queen obey ; 



Though quench'd the spirit of thine ancient race, 
And power and freedom scarce have left a trace ; 
Yet still shall Art her splendours round thee cast, 
And gild the wreck of years for ever past. 
Again thy fanes may boast a Titian's dyes, 
Whose clear soft brilliance emulates thy skies, 
And scenes that glow in colouring's richest bloom 
With life's warm flush Palladian halls illume. 
From thy rich dome again th' unrivalTd steed 
Starts to existence, rushes into speed, 
Still for Lysippus claims the wreath of fame, 
Panting with ardour, vivified with flame. 

Proud Racers of the Sun ! to fancy's thought 
Burning with spirit, from his essence caught, 
Xo mortal birth ye seem but forin'd to bear 
Heaven's car of triumph through the realms of 

air; 

To range uncurb'd the pathless fields of space, 
The winds your rivals in the glorious race ; 
Traverse empyreal spheres with buoyant feet, 
Free as the zephyr, as the shot-star fleet ; 
And waft through worlds unknown the vital ray, 
The flame that wakes creations into day. 
Creatures of fire and ether ! wing'd with light, 
To track the regions of the Infinite ! 
From purer elements whose life was drawn, 
Sprung from the sunbeam, offspring of the dawn 
What years, on years in silence gliding by, 
Have spared those forms of perfect symmetry ! 
Moulded by Art to dignify alone 
Her own bright deity's resplendent throne. 
Since first her skill their fiery grace bestow'd 
Meet for such lofty fate, such high abode, 
How many a race, whose tales of glory seem 
An echo's voice the music of a dream, 
Whose records feebly from oblivion save 
A few bright traces of the wise and brave ; 
How many a state, whose pillar'd strength sublime 
Defied the storms of war, the waves of tune, 
Towering o'er earth majestic and alone, 
Fortress of power has flourish 'd and is gone ! 
And they, from clime to clime by conquest borne, 
Each fleeting triumph destined to adorn, 
They, that of powers and kingdoms lost and won 
Have seen the noontide and the setting sun, 
Consummate still in every grace remain, 
As o'er their heads had ages roll'd in vain ! 
Ages, victorious in then- ceaseless flight 
O'er countless monuments of earthly might ! 
While she, from fair Byzantium's lost domain, 
Who bore those treasures to her ocean-reign, 
'Midst the blue deep, who rear'd her island throne, 
And called th' infinitude of waves her own ; 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY. 



Venice the proud, the Kegent of the sea, 
Welcomes in chains the trophies of the Free ! 

And thou, whose Eagle towering plume unfuii'd 
Once cast its shadow o'er a vassal world, 
Eternal city ! round whose Curule throne 
The lords of nations knelt in ages flown ; 
Thou, whose Augustan years have left to time 
Immortal records of their glorious prime ; 
When deathless bards, thine olive-shades among, 
Swell'd the high raptures of heroic song ; 
Fair, fallen Empress ! raise thy languid head 
From the cold altars of th' illustrious dead, 
And once again with fond delight survey 
The proud memorials of thy noblest day. 

Lo ! where thy sons, O Rome ! a godlike train, 
In imaged majesty return again ! 
Bards, chieftains, monarchs, tower with mien 

august 

O'er scenes that shrine their venerable dust. 
Those forms, those features, luminous with soul, 
Still o'er thy children seem to claim control ; 
With awful grace arrest the pilgrim's glance, 
Bind his rapt soul in elevating trance, 
And bid the past, to fancy's ardent eyes, 
From time's dun sepulchre in glory rise. 

Souls of the lofty ! whose undying names 
Rouse the young bosom still to noblest aims ; 
Oh ! with your images could fate restore 
Your own high spirit to your sons once more ; 
Patriots and Heroes ! could those flames return 
That bade your hearts with freedom's ardours burn ; 
Then from the sacred ashes of the first, 
Might a new Rome in phoenix grande\ir burst ! 
With one bright glance dispel th' horizon's gloom, 
With one loud call wake empire from the tomb ; 
Bind round her brows her own triumphal crown, 
Lift her dread asgis with majestic frown, 
Unchain her eagle's wing, and guide his flight 
To bathe his plumage in the fount of light ! 

Tain dream ! Degraded Rome ! thy noon is o'er; 
Once lost, thy spirit shall revive no more. 
It sleeps with those, the sons of other days, 
Who fixd on thee the world's adoring gaze ; 
Those, blest to live, while yet thy star was high, 
More blest, ere darkness quench'd its beam, to die ! 

Yet, though thy faithless tutelary powers 
Have fled thy shrines, left desolate thy towers, 
Still, still to thee shall nations bend their way, 
Revered in ruin, sovereign in decay ! 



Oh ! what can realms in fame's full zenith boast 
To match the relics of thy splendour lost ! 
By Tiber's waves, on each illustrious hill, 
Genius and Taste shall love to wander still ; 
For there has Art survived an empire's doom, 
And rear'd her throne o'er Latium's trophisd 

tomb : 

She from the dust recalls the brave and free, 
Peopling each scene with beings worthy thee ! 

Oh ! ne'er again may War, with lightning-stroke, 
Rend its last honours from the shatter'd oak ! 
Long be those works, revered by ages, thine, 
To lend one triumph to thy dim decline. 

Bright with stern beauty, breathing wrathful fire. 
In all the grandeur of celestial ire, 
Once more thine own, th' immortal Archer's form 
Sheds radiance round, with more than Being 

warm ! 

Oh ! who could view, nor deem that perfect frame 
A living temple of ethereal flame ? 

Lord of the daystar ! how may words portray 

Of thy chaste glory one reflected ray 1 

Whate'er the soul could dream, the hand could 

trace, 

Of regal dignity and heavenly grace ; 
Each purer effluence of the fair and bright, 
Whose fitful gleams have broke on mortal sight 
Each bold idea, borrow'd from the sky, 
To vest th' embodied form of Deity ; 
All, all in thee, ennobled and refined, 
Breathe and enchant, transcendently combined ! 
Son of Elysium ! years and ages gone 
Have bow'd in speechless homage at thy throne, 
And days unborn, and nations yet to be, 
Shall gaze, absorb'd in ecstasy, on thee ! 

And thou, triumphant wreck, 1 e'en yet sublime, 
Disputed trophy, claimed by Art and time : 
Hail to that scene again, where Genius caught 
From thee its fervours of diviner thought ! 
Where He, th' inspired One, whose gigantic mind 
Lived in some sphere to him alone assign'd ; 
Who from the past, the future, and th' unseen 
Could call up forms of more than earthly mien : 
Unrivall'd Angelo on thee would gaze, 
Till his full soul imbibed perfection's blaze ! 
And who but he, that Prince of Art, might dare 
Thy sovereign greatness view without despair 1 

1 The Belvidere Torso, the favourite study of Micliael 
Angelo, and of many other distinguished artists. 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY. 



Emblem of Rome ! from power's meridian hurl'd, 
Yet claiming still the homage of the world. 

What hadst thou been, ere barbarous hands 

defaced 

The work of wonder, idolised by taste ? 
Oh ! worthy still of some divine abode, 
Mould of a Conqueror ! ruin of a God ! l 
Still, like some broken gem, whose quenchless beam 
From each bright fragment pours its vital stream, 
Tis thine, by fate unconquer'd, to dispense 
From every part some ray of excellence ! 
E'en yet, inform'd with essence from on high, 
Thine is no trace of frail mortality ! 
Within that frame a purer being glows, 
Through viewless veins a brighter current flows ; 
Fill'd with immortal life each muscle swells, 
In every line supernal grandeur dwells, 

Consummate work ! the noblest and the last 
Of Grecian Freedom, ere her reign was past : 2 
Xurse of the mighty, she, while lingering still, 
Her mantle flow'd o'er many a classic bill, 
Ere yet her voice its parting accents breathed, 
A hero's image to the world bequeathed ; 
Enshrined in thee th' imperishable ray 
Of bigh-soul'd Genius, foster'd by her sway, 
And bade thee teach, to ages yet unborn, 
What lofty dreams were hers who never shall 
return ! 

And mark yon group, transfrx'd with many a throe, 
Seal'd with the image of eternal woe : 
With fearful truth, terrific power, exprest, 
Thy pangs, Laocoon, agonise the breast, 
And the stem combat picture to mankind 
Of suffering nature and enduring mind. 



1 " Quoique cette statue d'Hercule ait 'te 1 maltraitfe et 
mutilee d'une maniere Strange, se trouvant sans tete, sans 
bras, et sans jambes, elle est cependant encore un chef- 
d'oeuvre aux yeux dcs connoisseurs ; et ceux qui savent percer 
dans les myst&res de Part, se la repre"sentent dans toute sa 
beauW. L'Artiste, en voulant repre"senter Hercule, a forme' 
nn corps ideal audessus de la nature * * * Get Hercule 
paroit done ici tel qu'il put etre lorsque, purine" par le feu des 
foiblesses de 1' humanit^, il obtint 1' immortality et prit place 
aupres des Dieux. II est repre'sente' sans aucun besoin de 
nourriture et de reparation de forces. Les veines y sont tout 
invisibles." WIXCKELMAXX, Histoire de V Art chez let 
Ancient, torn, ii. p. 248. 

" Le Torso d' Ilercule paroit un des derniers ouvrages 
parfaits que 1'art ait produit en Grece, avant la perte de sa 
]ibe>W. Car apres que la Grece fut rcMuite en province 
Romaine, 1'histoire ne fait mention d'aucun artiste cdlebre 

da cette nation, jusqu'aux temps du Triumvirat Romain." 

VfOfCKKUUmr, ibid. torn. ii. p. 250. 



Oh, mighty conflict ! though his pains intense 
Distend each nerve, and dart through every sense; 
Though fix'd on him, his children's suppliant eyes 
Implore the aid avenging fate denies ; 
Though with the giant-snake in fruitless strife, 
Heaves every muscle with convulsive life, 
And in each limb existence writhes, enroll'd 
Midst the dread circles of the venom'd fold ; 
Yet the strong spirit lives and not a cry 
Shall own the might of Xature's agony ! 
That furrow'd brow unconquer'd soul reveals, 
That patient eye to angry Heaven appeals, 
That struggling bosom concentrates its breath, 
Xor yields one moan to torture or to death ! 3 

Sublimest triumph of intrepid Art ! 
With speechless horror to congeal the heart, 
To freeze each pulse, and dart through every vein 
Cold thrills of fear, keen sympathies of pain ; . 
Yet teach the spirit how its lofty power 
May brave the pangs of fate's severest hour. 

Turn from such conflicts, and enraptured gaze 
On scenes where painting all her skill displays : 
Landscapes, by colouring dress'd in richer dyes, 
More meliow'd sunshine, more unclouded skies, 
Or dreams of bliss to dying martyrs given, 
Descending seraphs robed in beams of heaven. 

Oh ! sovereign Masters of the Pencil's might, 
Its depths of shadow and its blaze of light ; 
Ye, whose bold thought, disdaining every bound, 
Explored the worlds above, below, around, 
Children of Italy ! who stand alone 
And unapproach'd, midst regions all your own ; 
What scenes, what beings bless'd your favour 'd 

sight, 
Severely grand, unutterably bright ! 

3 " It is not, in the same manner, in the agonised limbs, 
or in the convulsed muscles of the Laocoon, tliat the secret 
grace of its composition resides ; it is in the majestic air of 
the head, which has not yielded to tuffcring, and in the deep 
serenity of the forehead, which seems to be still tuptrior to 
all its afflictions, and significant of a mind that cannot be 
subdued." ALISON'S Ettayt, vol. ii. p. 400. 

" Laocoon nous offre le spectacle de la nature humainedans 
la plus grande douleur dont elle soit susceptible, sous 1' image 
d'un homme qui tache de rassembler centre elle toute la 
force del' esprit. Tandis que 1' execs de la souffranee enfle 
les muscles, et tire violemment les nerfs, le courage se montre 
sur le front gonfle": la poitrine s'e'Ieve avec peine par la 
ne'cessite' de la respiration, qui est egalement contrainte par 
le silence que la force de 1' ame impose a la douleur qu'elle 
voudroit e'touffer * * * * Snn air est plaintif, et non 
criard." WIXCBBLMA.VX, Hittoire de I' Art che: k* Ancient, 
torn. ii. p. 214. 



THE RESTORATION OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY. 



Triumphant spirits ! your exulting eye 
Could meet the noontide of eternity, 
And gaze untired, undaunted, uncontroll'd, 
On all that Fancy trembles to behold. 

Bright on your view such forms their splendour 

shed 

As burst on prophet-bards in ages fled : 
Forms that to trace no hand but yours might dare, 
Darkly sublime, or exquisitely fair ; 
These o'er the walls your magic skill array 'd, 
Glow in rich sunshine, gleam through melting shade, 
Float in light grace, in awful greatness tower, 
And breathe and move, the records of your power. 
Inspired of heaven ! what heigh ten'd pomp ye cast 
O'er all the deathless trophies of the past ! 
Round many a marble fane and classic dome, 
Asserting still the majesty of Rome 
Round many a work that bids the world believe 
What Grecian Art could image and achieve, 
Again, creative minds, your visions throw 
Life's chasten'd warmth and Beauty's mellowest 

glow. 
And when the Morn's bright beams and mantling 

dyes 

Pour the rich lustre of Ausonian skies, 
Or evening suns illume with purple smile 
The Parian altar and the pillar'd aisle, 
Then, as the full or soften'd radiance falls 
On angel-groups that hover o'er the walls, 
Well may those temples, where your hand has shed 
Light o'er the tomb, existence round the dead, 
Seem like some world, so perfect and so fair, 
That nought of earth should find admittance there, 
Some sphere, where beings, to mankind unknown, 
Dwell in the brightness of their pomp alone ! 

Hence, ye vain fictions ! fancy's erring theme ! 
Gods of illusion ! phantoms of a dream ! 
Frail, powerless idols of departed time, 
Fables of song, delusive, though sublime ! 
To loftier tasks has Roman Art assign'd 
Her matchless pencil, and her mighty mind ! 
From brighter streams her vast ideas flow'd, 
With purer fire her ardent spirit glow'd. 
To her 'twas given in fancy to explore 
The land of miracles, the holiest shore ; 
That realm where first the Light of Life was sent, 
The loved, the punish'd, of th' Omnipotent ! 
O'er Judah's hills her thoughts inspired would stray, 
Through Jordan's valleys trace their lonely way ; 
By Siloa's brook, or Almotana's deep, 1 
Chain'd in dead silence, and unbroken sleep ; 

1 Almotana. The name given by the Arabs to the Dead Sea. 



Scenes, whose cleft rocks and blasted deserts tell 
Where pass'd th' Eternal, where his anger fell ! 
Where oft his voice the words of fate reveal'd, 
Swell'd in the whirlwind, in the thunder peal'd, 
Or, heard by prophets in some palmy vale, 
" Breathed still small " whispers on the midnight 

gale. 

There dwelt her spirit there her hand portray'd, 
Midst the lone wilderness or cedar-shade, 
Ethereal forms with awful missions fraught, 
Or patriarch-seers absorb'd in sacred thought, 
Bards, in high converse with the world of rest, 
Saints of the earth, and spirits of the blest. 
But chief to Hun, the Conqueror of the grave, 
Who lived to guide us, and who died to save ; 
Him, at whose glance the powers of evil fled, 
And soul return'd to animate the dead; 
Whom the waves o wn'd and sunk beneath his eye, 
Awed by one accent of Divinity ; 
To Him she gave her meditative hours, 
Hallow'd her thoughts, and sanctified her powers. 
O'er her bright scenes sublime repose sne threw, 
As all around the Godhead's presence knew, 
And robed the Holy One's benignant mien 
In beaming mercy, majesty serene. 

Oh ! mark where Raphael's pure and perfect line 
Portrays that form ineffably divine ! 
Where with transcendant skill his hand has shed 
Diffusive sunbeams round the Saviour's head ; 2 
Each heaven-illumined lineament imbued 
With all the fulness of beatitude, 
And traced the sainted group, whose mortal sight 
Sinks overpower 'd by that excess of light ! 

Gaze on that scene, and own the might of Art, 
By truth inspired, to elevate the heart ! 
To bid the soul exultingly possess, 
Of all her powers, a heighten'd consciousness ; 
And, strong in hope, anticipate the day, 
The last of life, the first of freedom's ray ; 
To realise, in some unclouded sphere, 
Those pictured glories feebly imaged here ! 
Dim, cold reflections from her native sky, 
Faint effluence of " the Dayspring from on high !" 

[This poem is thus alluded to by Lord Byron, in one of his 
published letters to Mr Murray, dated from Diodati, Sept. 
30th, 1818 : " Italy or Dalmatia and another summer may, 
or may not, set me off again. ... I shall take Felicia 
Hemans's Restoration, &c., with me it is a good poem 
very."] 

2 The Transfiguration, thought to be so perfect a specimen 
of art, that, in honour of Raphael, it was carried before his 
body to the grave. 



MODERN GREECE. 



MODERN GREECE. 



' O Greece ! thou sapient nurse of finer arts, 
Which to bright Science blooming Fancy bore, 
Be this thy praise, that thou, and thou alone, 
In these hast led the way, in these excell'd, 
Crown'd with the laurel of assenting Time." 

THOMSON'S Liberty. 



OH ! who hath trod thy consecrated clime, 
Fair land of Phidias ! theme of lofty strains ! 
And traced each scene that, midst the wrecks 

of time, 

The print of Glory's parting step retains ; 
Nor for awhile, in high-wrought dreams, forgot, 
Musing on years gone by in brightness there, 
The hopes, the fears, the sorrows of his lot, 
The hues his fate hath worn, or yet may wear ; 
As when, from mountain-heights, his ardent eye 
Of sea and heaven hath track'd the blue infinity ] 



Is there who views with cold unalter'd mien, 
His frozen heart with proud indifference fraught, 
Each sacred haunt, each unforgotten scene, 
"Where Freedom triumph'd, or where Wisdom 

taught ? 

Souls that too deeply feel ! oh, envy not 
The sullen calm your fate hath never known : 
Through the dull twilight of that wintery lot 
Genius ne'er pierced, nor Fancy's sunbeam shone, 
Nor those high thoughts that, hailing Glory's 

trace, 
Glow with the generous flames of every age and race. 



But blest the wanderer whose enthusiast mind 
Each muse of ancient days hath deep imbued 
With lofty lore, and all his thoughts refined 
In the calm school of silent solitude ; 
Pour'd on his ear, midst groves and glens retired, 
The mighty strains of each illustrious clime, 
All that hath lived, while empires have expired, 
To float for ever on the winds of time ; 
And on his soul indelibly portray'd 
Fair visionary forms, to fill each classic shade. 



Is not this mind, to meaner thoughts unknown, 
A sanctuary of beauty and of light 1 
There he may dwell in regions all his own, 
A world of dreams, where all is pure and bright. 



For him the scenes of old renown possess 
Komantic charms, all veil'd from other eyes ; 
There every form of nature's loveliness 
Wakes in his breast a thousand sympathies ; 
As music's voice, in some lone mountain dell, 
From rocks and caves around calls forth each 
echo's swell. 



For him Italia's brilliant skies illume 

The bard's lone haunts, the warrior's combat- 

plains, 

And the wild rose yet lives to breath and bloom 
Round Doric Ptestuni's solitary fanes. 1 
But most, fair Greece ! on thy majestic shore 
He feels the fervours of his spirit rise ; 
Thou birth-place of the Muse ! whose voice of yore 
Breathed in thy groves immortal harmonies ; 
And lingers still around the well-known coast, 
Murmuring a wild farewell to fame and freedom lost. 



By seas that flow in brightness as they lave 
Thy rocks, th' enthusiast rapt in thought may 

stray, 

While roves his eye o'er that deserted wave, 
Once the proud scene of battle's dread array. 
ye blue waters ! ye, of old that bore 
The free, the conquering, hymn'd by choral 

strains, 

How sleep ye now around the silent shore, 
The lonely realm of ruins and of chains ! 
How are the mighty vanish'd in their pride ! 
E'en as their barks have left no traces on your tide. 



Hush'd are the Paeans whose exulting tone 
Swell'd o'er that tide 2 the sons of battle sleep 

1 " The Paestan rose, from its peculiar fragrance and the 
singularity of blowing twice a-year, is often mentioned by 
the classic poets. The wild rose, which now shoots up among 
the ruins, is of the small single damask kind, with a very 
high perfume ; as a farmer assured me on the spot, it flowers 
both in spring and autumn." SWINBURNE'S Travels in the 
Two Sicilies. 

2 In the naval engagements of the Greeks, " it was usual 



MODERN GREECE. 



29 



The wind's wild sigh, the halcyon's voice alone 
Blend with the plaintive murmur of the deep. 
Yet when those waves have caught the splendid 

hues 

Of morn's rich firmament, serenely bright, 
Or setting suns the lovely shore suffuse 
With all their purple mellowness of light, 
Oh ! who could view the scene, so calmly fair, 
Nor dream that peace, and joy, and liberty were 

there ? 



Where soft the sunbeams play, the zephyrs blow, 
Tis hard to deem that misery can be nigh ; 
Where the clear heavens in blue transparence 

glow, 

Life should be calm and cloudless as the sky ; 
Yet o'er the low, dark dwellings of the dead, 
Verdure and flowers in sumrner-bloommay smile, 
And ivy-boughs their graceful drapery spread 
In green luxuriance o'er the ruin'd pile ; 
And mantling woodbine veil the wither'd tree; 
And thus it is, fair land ! forsaken Greece, with 

thee. 



For all the loveliness, and light, and bloom 
That yet are thine, surviving many a storm, 
Are but as heaven's warm radiance on the tomb, 
The rose's blush that masks the canker-worm. 
And thou art desolate thy morn hath pass'd ! 
So dazzling in the splendour of its sway, 
That the dark shades the night hath o'er thee cast 
Throw tenfold gloom around thy deep decay. 
Once proud in freedom, still in ruin fan-, 
Thy fate hath been unmatch'd in glory and 
despair. 



For thee, lost land ! the hero's blood hath flow'd, 
The high in soul have brightly lived and died ; 
For thee the light of soaring genius glow'd 
O'er the fair arts it form'd and glorified. 
Thine were the minds whose energies sublime 
So distanced ages in their lightning-race, 
The task they left the sons of later time 
Was but to follow their illumined trace. 
Now, bow'd to earth, thy children, to be free, 
Must break each link that binds their filial hearts 
to thee. 



for the soldiers before the fight to sing a paean, or hymn, to 
Mars, and after the fight another to Apollo." See POTTER'S 
Antiquities of Greece, vol. ii. p. 155. 



Lo ! to the scenes of fiction's wildest tales, 
Her own bright East, thy son, Morea ! flies, 1 
To seek repose midst rich, romantic vales, 
Whose incense mounts to Asia's vivid skies. 
There shall he rest ? Alas ! his hopes in vain 
Guide to the sun-clad regions of the palm : 
Peace dwells not now on oriental plain, 
Though earth is fruitfulness, and air is balm ; 
And the sad wanderer finds but lawless foes, 
Where patriarchs reign'd of old in pastoral repose. 



Where Syria's mountains rise, or Yemen's groves, 

Or Tigris rolls his genii-haunted wave, 

Life to his eye, as wearily it roves, 

Wears but two forms the tyrant and the slave! 

There the fierce Arab leads his daring horde 

Where sweeps the sand-storm o'er the burning 

wild ; 

There stern Oppression waves the wasting sword 
O'er plains that smile as ancient Eden smiled ; 
And the vale's bosom, and the desert's gloom, 
Yield to the injured there no shelter save the tomb. 



But thou, fair world! whose fresh unsullied 

charms 

Welcomed Columbus from the western wave, 
Wilt thou receive the wanderer to thine arms,' 3 
The lost descendant of the immortal brave 'i 
Amidst the wild magnificence of shades 
That o'er thy floods their twilight-grandeur cast, 
In the green depth of thine untrodden glades 
Shall he not rear his bower of peace at last 1 
Yes ! thou hast many a lone, majestic scene, 
Shrined in primeval woods, where despot ne'er 

hath been. 



There by some lake, whose blue expansive breast 
Bright from afar, an inland ocean, gleams, 
Girt with vast solitudes, profusely dress'd 
In tints like those that float o'er poet's dreams: 

1 The emigration of the natives of the Morea to different 
parts of Asia is thus mentioned by Chateaubriand in his 
Ilindraire de Paris a Jerusalem " Parvenu au dernier 
degre" du malheur, le Moralte s'arrache de son pays, et va 
chercher en Asie un sort moins rigoureux. Vain espoir ! il 
retrouve des cadis et des pachas jusques dans les sables du 
Jourdain et dans les deserts de Palmyre." 

2 In the same work, Chateaubriand also relates his having 
met with several Greek emigrants who had established them- 
selves in the woods of Florida. 



MODERN GREECE. 



Or where some flood from pine-clad mouutaiu 

pours 

Its might of waters, glittering in their foam, 
Midst the rich verdure of its wooded shores, 
The exiled Greek hath fix'd his sylvan home : 
So deeply lone, that round the wild retreat 
Scarce have the paths been trod by Indian hunts- 
man's feet. 



The forests are around him in their pride, 
The green savannas, and the mighty waves ; 
And isles of flowers, bright-floating o'er the tide, 1 
That images the fairy worlds it laves, 
And stillness, and luxuriance. O'er his head 
The ancient cedars wave their peopled bowers, 
On high the palms their graceful foliage spread, 
Cinctured with roses the magnolia towers; 
And from those green arcades a thousand tones 
Wake with each breeze, whose voice through Na- 
ture's temple moans. 



And there, no traces left by brighter days 
For glory lost may wake a sigh of grief ;' 
Some grassy mound, perchance, may meet his 

gaze, 

The lone memorial of an Indian chief. 
There man not yet hath mark'd the bouryiless 

plain 

With marble records of his fame and power ; 
The forest is his everlasting fane, 
The palm his monument, the rock his tower : 
Th' eternal torrent and the giant tree 
Remind him but that they, like him, are wildly 

free. 

XVTL 

But doth the exile's heart serenely there 
In sunshine dwell ] Ah ! when was exile blest 1 
When did bright scenes, clear heavens, or sum- 
mer air, 

Chase from his soul the fever of unrest 1 
There is a heart-sick weariness of mood, 
That like slow poison wastes the vital glow, 
And shrines itself in mental solitude, 
An uncomplaining and a nameless woe. 

" La grace est toujours unie a la magnificence dans les 
scenes de la nature : et tnndis que le courant du milieu en- 
tralne vers la mer les cadavres des pins et des chenes, on voit 
sur les deux courants latcraux, remonter, le long des rivages 
des lies flottantes de Pistia et de Ndnuphar, dont les roses 
jaunes s'elevent comme de petits papillons." Description of 
the Banks of the Mississippi, CHATEAUBRIAND'S Atala. 



That coldly smiles midst pleasure'sbrightest ray, 
As the chill glacier's peak reflects the flush of day. 



Such grief is theirs, who, fix'd on foreign shore, 
Sigh for the spirit of their native gales, 
As pines the seaman, midst the ocean's roar, 
For the green earth, with all its woods and vales. 
Thus feels thy child, whose memory dwells 

with thee, 

Loved Greece ! all sunk and blighted as thou art 
Though thought and step in western wilds be free, 
Yet thine are still the daydreams of his heart : 
The deserts spread between, the billows foam, 
Thou, distant and hi chains, are yet his spirit's 

home. 



In vain for him the gay liannes entwine, 
Or the green fire-fly sparkles through the brakes, 
Or summer-winds waft odours from the pine, 
As eve's last blush is dying on the lakes. 
Through thy fair vales his fancy roves the while, 
Or breathes the freshness of Cithasron's height, 
Or dreams how softly Athe us' towers would smile, 
Or Sunium's rums, in the fading light ; 
On Corinth's cliff what sunset hues may sleep, 
Or, at that placid hour, how calm th' J2geau deep ! 



What scenes, what sunbeams, are to him like 

thine } 

(The all of thine no tyrant could destroy !) 
E'en to the stranger's roving eye, they shine 
Soft as a vision of remember'd joy. 
And he who comes, the pilgrim of a day, 
A passing wanderer o'er each Attic hill, 
Sighs as his footsteps turn from thy decay, 
To laughing climes, where all is splendour still; 
And views with fond regret thy lessening shore, 
As he would watch a star that sets to rise no more. 



Realm of sad beauty ! thou art as a shrine 
That Fancy visits with Devotion's zeal, 
To catch high thoughts and impulses divine, 
And all the glow of soul enthusiasts feel 
Amidst the tombs of heroes for the brave 
Whose dust, so many an age, hath been thy soil, 
Foremost in honour's phalanx, died to save 
The land redeein'd and hallow'd by their toil ; 
And there is language in thy lightest gale, 
That o'er the plains they won seems murmuring 
yet their tale. 



MODERN GREECE. 



xxn. 

And he, whose heart is weary of the strife 
Of meaner spirits, and whose mental gaze 
Would shun the dull cold littleness of life, 
Awhile to dwell amidst sublimer days, 
Must turn to thee, whose even- valley teems 
With proud remembrances that cannot die. 
Thy glens are peopled with inspiring dreams, 
Thy winds, the voice of oracles gone by ; 
And midst thy laurel shades the wanderer hears 
The sound of mighty names, the hymns of vanish'd 
years. 



Through that deep solitude be his to stray, 
By Faun and Oread loved in ages past, 
Where clear Peneus winds his rapid way 
Though the cleft heights, in antique grandeur 

vast. 

Romantic Tempe ! thou art yet the same 
Wild, as when sung by bards of elder tune :* 
Years, that have changed thy river's classic 

name, 2 

Have left thee still in savage pomp sublime ; 
And from thine Alpine clefts and marble caves, 
In living lustre still break forth the fountain waves. 



Beneath thy mountain battlements and towers, 
Where the rich arbute's coral berries glow, 3 

1 " Looking generally at the narrowness and abruptness of 
this mountain-channel, (Tempe,) and contrasting it with the 
course of the Peneus through the plains of Thessaly, the 
imagination instantly recurs to the tradition that these plains 
were once covered with water, for which some convulsion of 
nature had subsequently opened this narrow passage. The 
term vale, in our language, is usually employed to describe 
scenery in which the predominant features are breadth, 
beauty, and repose. The reader has already perceived that 
the term is wholly inapplicable to the scenery at this spot, 
and that the phrase, vale of Tempe, is one that depends on 

poetic fiction The real character of Tempe, 

though it perhaps be less beautiful, yet possesses more of 
magnificence than is implied in the epithet given to it. . . 
. . . To those who have visited St Vincent's rocks, below 
Bristol, I cannot convey a more sufficient idea of Tempe, 
tlian by saying that its scenery resembles, though on a much 
larger scale, that of the former place. The Peneus, indeed, 
as it flows through the valley, is not greatly wider than the 
Avon ; and the channel between the cliffs is equally con- 
tracted in its dimensions : but these cliffs themselves are 
much loftier and more precipitous, and project their vast 
masses of rock with still more extraordinary abruptness over 
the hollow beneath." HOLLAND'S Travels in Albania, SfC. 

2 The modern name of the Peneus is Salympria. 

3 " Towards the lower part of Tempe, these cliffs are peaked 
in a very singular manner, and form projecting angles on the 



Or midst th' exuberance of thy forest bowers, 
Casting deep shadows o'er the current's flow, 
Oft shall the pilgrim pause, in lone recess, 
As rock and stream some glancing light have 

caught, 

And gaze, till Nature's mighty forms impress 
His soul with deep sublimity of thought ; 
And linger oft, recalling many a tale, 
That breeze, and wave, and wood seem whisper- 
ing through thy dale. 



He, thought-entranced, may wander where of old 
From Delphi's chasm the mystic vapour rose, 
And trembling nations heard then: doom foretold 
By the dread spirit throned midst rocks and 

snows. 

Though its rich fanes be blended with the dust, 
And silence now the hallow'd haunt possess, 
Still is the scene of ancient rites august, 
Magnificent in mountain loneliness ; 
Still inspiration hovers o'er the ground, 
Where Greece her councils held, 4 her Pythian 

victors crown'd. 



Or let his steps the rude gray cliffs explore 
Of that wild pass, once dyed with Spartan blood, 
When by the waves that break on GEta's shore, 
The few, the fearless, the devoted, stood ! 
Or rove where, shadowing Mantinea's plain, 
Bloom the wild laurels o'er the warlike dead, 5 
Or lone Platsea's ruins yet remain 
To mark the battle-field of ages fled : 
Still o'er such scenes presides a sacred power, 
Though Fiction's gods have fled from fountain, 
grot, and bower. 

vast perpendicular faces of rock which they present towards 
the chasm ; where the surface renders it possible, the sum- 
mits and ledges of the rocks are for the most part covered 
with small wood, chiefly oak, with the arbutus and other 
shrubs. On the banks of the river, wherever there is a small 
interval between the water and the cliffs, it is covered by the 
rich and widely spreading foliage of the plane, the oak, and 
other forest trees, which in these situations have attained a 
remarkable size, and in various places extend their shadow 

far over the channel of the stream The rocks 

on each side of the vale of Tempe are evidently the same ; 
what may be called, I believe, a coarse bluish-gray marble, 
with veins and portions of the rock in which the marble is of 
finer quality." HOLLAND'S Travels in Albania, SfC. 

* The Amphictyonic Council was convened in spring and 
autumn at Delphi or Thermopylae, and presided at the 
Pythian games which were celebrated at Delphi every fifth year. 

* " This spot, (the field of Mantinea,) on which so many 
brave men were laid to rest, is now covered with rosemary 
and laurels." POUIJUEVILLE'S Travds in Oic Morea. 



MODERN GREECE. 



Oh ! still unblamed may fancy fondly deem 
That, lingering yet, benignant genii dwell 
Where mortal worth has hallow'd grove or 

stream, 

To sway the heart with some ennobling spell ; 
For mightiest minds have felt their blest control 
In the wood's murmur, in the zephyr's sigh, 
And these are dreams that lend a voice and soul, 
And a high power, to Nature's majesty ! 
And who can rove o'er Grecian shores, nor feel, 
Soft o'er his inmost heart, their secret magic steal 1 



Yet many a sad reality is there, 
That Fancy's bright illusions cannot veil. 
Pure laughs the light, and balmy breathes the air, 
But Slavery's mien will tell its bitter tale ; 
And there, not Peace, but Desolation, throws 
Delusive quiet o'er full many a scene 
Deep as the brooding torpor of repose 
That follows where the earthquake's track hath 

been ; 

Or solemn calm on Ocean's breast that lies, 
When sinks the storm, and death has hush'd the 

seamen's cries. 



Hast thou beheld some sovereign spirit, hurl'd 
By Fate's rude tempest from its radiant sphere, 
Doom'd to resign the homage of a world, 
For Pity's deepest sigh and saddest tear 1 
Oh ! hast thou watch'd the awful wreck of mind 
That weareth still a glory in decay ? 
Seen all that dazzles and delights mankind 
Thought, science, genius to the storm a prey; 
And o'er the blasted tree, the wither'd ground, 
Despair's wild nightshade spread, and darkly 
nourish round ? 



So mayst thou gaze, in sad and awe-struck 

thought, 

On the deep fall of that yet lovely clime : 
Such there the ruin Time and Fate have wrought, 
So changed the bright, the splendid, the sublime. 
There the proud monuments of Valour's name, 
The mighty works Ambition piled on high, 
The rich remains by Art bequeath'd to Fame 
Grace, beauty, grandeur, strength,and symmetry, 
Blend in decay ; while all that yet is fair 
Seems only spared to tell how much hath perish'd 

there ! 



There, while around lie mingling in the dust 
The column's graceful shaft, with weeds o'er> 

grown, 

The mouldering torso, the forgotten bust. 
The warrior's urn, the altar's mossy stone 
Amidst the loneliness of shatter'd fanes, 
Still matchless monuments of other years 
O'er cypress groves or solitary plains, 
Its eastern form the minaret proudly rears : 
As on some captive city's min'd wall 
The victor's banner waves, exulting o'er its fall. 



Still, where that column of the mosque aspires, 
Landmark of slavery, towering o'er the waste, 
There science droops, the Muses hush their lyres 
And o'er the blooms of fancy and of taste 
Spreads the chill blight ; as in that orient islo 
Where the dark upas taints the gale around, 1 
Within its precincts not a flower may smile, 
Xor dew nor sunshine fertilise the ground ; 
Xor wild birds' music float on zephyr's breath, 
But all is silence round, and solitude, and death. 



Far other influence pour'd the Crescent's light 
O'er conquer'd realms, in ages pass'd away ; 
Full and alone it beam'd, intensely bright, 
While distant climes in midnight darkness lay. 
Then rose th' Alhambra, with its founts and 

shades, 

Fair marble halls, alcoves, and orange bowers : 
Its sculptured lions, 2 richly wrought arcades, 
Aerial pillars, and enchanted towers ; 
Light, splendid, wild, as some Arabian tale 
Would picture fairy domes that fleet before the 

gale. 



Then fostcr'd genius lent each caliph's throne 
Lustre barbaric pomp could ne'er attain ; 

1 For the accounts of the upas or poison tree of Java, now 
generally believed to be fabulous, or greatly exaggerated, set 
the notes to DARWIN'S Botanic Garden. 

2 " The court most to be admired of the Alhambra is that 
called the court of the Lions ; it is ornamented with sixty 
elegant pillars of an architecture which bears not the least 
resemblance to any of the known orders, and might be called 

the Arabian order But its principal ornament, 

and that from which it took its name, is an alabaster cup, six 
feet in diameter, supported by twelve lions, which is said to 
have been made in imitation of the Brazen Sea of Solomon's 
temple." BURGOA.VNE'S Travels in Spain. 



MODERN GREECE. 



33 



And stars unnumber'd o'er the orient shone, 
JBright as that Pleiad, sphered in Mecca's fane. 1 
From Bagdat's palaces the choral strains 
Rose and re-echoed to the desert's bound, 
And Science, woo'd on Egypt's burning plains, 
Rear'd her majestic head -with glory crown'd ; 
And the wild Muses breathed romantic lore 
From Syria's palmy groves to Andalusia's shore. 

XXXV. 

Those years have past in radiance they have 

past, 

As sinks the daystar in the tropic main ; 
His parting beams no soft reflection cast, 
They burn are quench'd and deepest shadows 

reign. 

And Fame and Science have not left a trace 
In tho vast regions of the Moslem's power, 
Regions, to intellect a desert space, 
A wild without a fountain or a flower, 
Where towers Oppression midst the deepening 

glooms, 
As dark and lone ascends the cypress midst the 

tombs. 



Alas for thee, fair Greece ! when Asia pour'd 
Her fierce fanatics to Byzantium's wall ; 
When Europe sheath'd, in apathy, her sword, 
And heard unmoved the fated city's call. 
Ko bold crusaders ranged their serried line 
Of spears and banners round a falling throne ; 
And thou, last and noblest Constantino ! 2 
Didst meet the storm unshrinking and alone. 
Oh ! blest to die in freedom, though in vain 
Thine empire's proud exchange the grave, and 
not the chain ! 



Hush'd is Byzantium 'tis the dead of night 
The closing night of that imperial race ! 3 
And all is vigil but the eye of light 
Shall soon unfold, a wilder scene to trace : 



1 " Sept des plus fameux parmi les anciens poetes Ara- 
Mques sont designes par les ^crivains orientaux sous le noru 
de Pkiade Arabiqitf, et leurs ouvrages e"taient suspendus 
autour de la Caaba, ou Mosque de la Mecque." SISMO.VDI, 
Literature du Midi. 

- " The distress andiail of the last Constantine are more 
glorious than the long prosperity of the Byzantine Csesars." 
GIBBON'S Decline and Fall, &c. vol. xii. p. 226. 

3 See the description of the night previous to the taking of 
Constantinople by Mahomet II. GIBBON'S Decline and Fall, 
&c. vol. xii. p. 225. 



There is a murmuring stillness on the train 
Thronging the midnight streets, at morn to die ; 
And to the cross, in fair Sophia's fane, 
For the last tune is raised Devotion's eye ; 
And, in his heart while faith's bright visions rise, 
There kneels the high-soul'd prince, the summon'd 
of the skies. 



Day breaks in light and glory 'tis the hour 
Of conflict and of fate the war-note calls 
Despair hath lent a stern, delirious power 
To the brave few that guard the rampart walls. 
Far over Marmora's waves th' artillery's peal 
Proclaims an empire's doom in every note ; 
Tambour and trumpet swell the clash of steel , 
Round spire and dome the clouds of battle float j 
From camp and wave rush on the Crescent's host, 
And the Seven Towers 4 are scaled, and all is won 
and lost. 



Then, Greece ! the tempest rose that burston thee, 
Land of the bard, the warrior, and the sage ! 
Oh ! where were then thy sons, the great, the free, 
Whose deeds are guiding stars from age to age ? 
Though firm thy battlements of crags and snows, 
And bright the memory of thy days of pride, 
In mountain might though Corinth's fortress rose, 
On, unresisted, roll'd th' invading tide ! 
Oh ! vain the rock, the rampart, and the tower, 
If Freedom guard them not with Mind's uncon- 
quer'd power. 

XL. 

Where were th' avengers then, whose viewless 

might 

Preserved inviolate their awful fane, 5 
When through the steep defiles, to Delphi's 

height, 

In martial splendour pour'd the Persian's tram 1 
Then did those mighty and mysterious Powers, 
Arm'd with the elements, to vengeance wake, 
Call the dread storms to darken round their 

towers, 
Hurl down the rocks, and bid the thunders break ; 



1 " This building (the Castle of the Seven Towers i is men- 
tioned as early as the sixth century of the Christian era, as a 
spot which contributed to the defence of Constantinople ; and 
it was the principal bulwark of the town on the coast of the 
Propontis, in the last periods of the empire." POL-QI-EVILLE'S 
Travels in the Morea. 

5 See the account from Herodotus of the supernatural de- 
fence of Delphi. MITFORD'S Greece, vol. i. p. 396-7. 



34 



MODERN GREECE. 



Till far around, with deep and fearful clang, 
Sounds of unearthly war through wild Parnassus 
rang. 



Where was the spirit of the victor-throng 
Whose tombs are glorious by Scamander's tide, 
Whose names are bright in everlasting song, 
The lords of war, the praised, the deified 1 
Where he, the hero of a thousand lays, 
Who from the dead at Marathon arose 1 
All arm'd ; and beaming on the Athenians' gaze, 
A battle-meteor, guided to their foes 1 
Or they whose forms to Alaric's awe-struck eye, 2 
Hovering o'er Athens, blazed in airy panoply ? 

XLTL 

Ye slept, heroes ! chief ones of the earth ! 3 
High demigods of ancient days ! ye slept : 
There lived no spark of your ascendant worth 
When o'er your land the victor Moslem swept. 
No patriot then the sons of freedom led, 
In mountain pass devotedly to die ; 
The martyr-spirit of resolve was fled, 
And the high soul's unconquer'd buoyancy ; 
And by your graves, and on your battle-plains, 
Warriors ! your children knelt to wear the stran- 
ger's chains. 

XLm. 

Now have your trophies vanish'd, and your homes 
Are moulder'd from the earth, while scarce 

remain 

E'en the faint traces of the ancient tombs 
That mark where sleep the slayers or the slain. 
Your deeds are with the days of glory flown, 
The lyres are hush'd that swell'd your fame afar, 
The halls that echo'd to their sounds are gone, 
Perish'd the conquering weapons of your war 4 

" In succeeding ages the Athenians honoured Theseus as 
a demigod, induced to it as well by other reasons as because, 
when they were fighting the Medes at Marathon, a consider- 
able part of the army thought they saw the apparition of The- 
seus completely armed, and bearing down before them upon 
the barbarians." LANGHORXE'S Plutarch, Life ofTheseut. 

s " From Thermopyle to Sparta, the leader of the Goths 
(Alaric) pursued his victorious march without encountering 
any mortal antagonist ; but one of the advocates of expiring 
paganism lias confidently asserted that the walls of Athens 
were guarded by the goddess Minerva, with her formidable 
aegis, and by the angry phantom of Achilles, and that the 
conqueror was dismayed by the presence of the hostile deities 
of Greece." GIBBON'S Decline and Fall, &c. voL v. p. 183. 

'' Even all the chief ones of the earth." ISAIAH, sir. 

"How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war 
perished ! " SAMUEL, book ii. chap. L 



And if a mossy stone your names retain, 
'Tis but to tell your sons, for them ye died in 



Yet, where some lone sepulchral relic stands, 
That with those names tradition hallows yet, 
Oft shall the wandering son of other lands 
Linger in solemn thought and hush'd regret. 
And still have legends mark'd the lonely spot 
Where low the dust of Agamemnon lies ; 
And shades of kings and leaders unforgot, 
Hovering around, to fancy's vision rise. 
Souls of the heroes ! seek your rest again, 
Nor mark how changed the realms that saw your 
glory's reign. 



Lo, where th' Albanian spreads his despot sway 
O'er Thessaly's rich vales and glowing plains, 
Whose sons in sullen abjectness obey, 
Nor lift the hand indignant at its chains : 
Oh ! doth the land that gave Achilles birth, 
And many a chief of old illustrious line, 
Yield not one spirit of unconquer'd worth 
To kindle those that now in bondage pine ? 
No ! on its mountain-air is slavery's breath, 
And terror chills the hearts whose utter'd plaints 
were death. 



Yet if thy light, fair Freedom, rested there, 
How rich in charms were that romantic clime, 
With streams, and woods, and pastoral valleys 

fair, 

And wall'd with mountains, haughtily sublime ! 
Heights that might well be deem'd the Muses' 

reign, 

Since, claiming proud alliance with the skies, 
They lose in loftier spheres their wild domain 
Meet home for those retired divinities 
That love, where nought of earth may e'er intrude, 

Brightly to dwell on high, in lonely sanctitude. 

XLVH. 

There in rude grandeur daringly ascends 
Stern Pindus, rearing many a pine-clad height ; 
He with the clouds his bleak dominion blends, 
Frowning o'er vales in woodland verdure bright. 
"W ild and august in consecrated pride, 
There through the deep-blue heaven Olympug 

towere, 

Girdled with mists, light-floating as to hide 
The rock-built palace of immortal powers ; 



MODERN GREECE. 



35 



Where far on high the sunbeam finds repose, 
Amidst th' eternal pomp of forests and of snows. 



Those savage cliffs and solitudes might seem 
The chosen haunts where Freedom's foot would 

roam ; 

She loves to dwell by glen and torrent-stream, 
And make the rocky fastnesses her home. 
And in the rushing of the mountain flood, 
In the wild eagle's solitary cry, 
In sweeping winds that peal through cave and 

wood, 

There is a voice of stern sublimity, 
That swells her spirit to a loftier mood 
Of solemn joy severe, of power, of fortitude. 



But from those hills the radiance of her smile 
Hath vanish'd long, her step hath fled afar ; 
O'er Suli's frowning rocks she paused a while, 1 
Kindling the watch-fires of the mountain war. 
And brightly glow'd her ardent spirit there, 
Still brightest midst privation : o'er distress 
It cast romantic splendour, and despair 
But fann'd that beacon of the wilderness ; 
And rude ravine, and precipice, and dell 
Sent their deep echoes forth, her rallying voice to 
swell. 



Dark children of the hills ! 'twas then ye wrought 
Deeds of fierce daring, rudely, sternly grand ; 
As midst your craggy citadels ye fought, 
And women mingled with your warrior band. 
Then on the cliff the frantic mother stood 2 
High o'er the river's darkly-rolling wave, 
And hurl'd, in dread delirium, to the flood 
Her free-born infant, ne'er to be a slave. 
For all was lost all, save the power to die 
The wild indignant death of savage liberty. 



Now is that strife a tale of vanish'd days, 
With mightier things forgotten soon to lie ; 
Yet oft hath minstrel sung, in lofty lays, 
Deeds less adventurous, energies less high. 

1 For several interesting particulars relative to the Suliote 
warfare with Ali 1'asha, see HOLLAND'S Travels in Albania. 

2 " It is related, as an authentic story, that a group of 
Suliote women assembled on one of the precipices adjoining 
the modern seraglio, and threw their infants into the chasm 
below, that they might not become the slaves of the enemy." 
HOLLAND'S Travels, &c. 



And the dread struggle's fearful memory stiL 
O'er each wild rock a wilder aspect throws : 
Sheds darker shadows o'er the frovraing hill, 
More solemn quiet o'er the glen's repose ; 
Lends to the rustling pines a deeper moan, 
And the hoarse river's voice a murmur not its own. 



For stillness now the stillness of the dead 
Hath wrapt that conflict's lone and awful scene ; 
And man's forsaken homes, in ruin spread, 
Tell where the storming of the cliffs hath been. 
And there, o'er wastes magnificently rude, 
What race may rove, unconscious of the chain ? 
Those realms have now no desert unsubdued, 
Where Freedom's banner may be rear'd again : 
Sunk are the ancient dwellings of her fame, 
The children of her sons inherit but their name. 



Go, seek proud Sparta's monuments and fanes ! 
In scatter'd fragments o'er the vale they lie ; 
Of all they were not e'en, enough remains 
To lend their fall a mournful majesty. 3 
Birth-place of those whose nameswefirst revered 
In song and story temple of the free ! 
thou, the stern, the haughty, and the fear'd, 
Are such thy relics, and can this be thee ? 
Thou shouldst have left a giant wreck behind, 
And e'en in ruin claim'd the wonder of mankind. 



For thine were spirits cast in other mould 
Than all beside and proved by ruder test ; 
They stood alone the proud, the firm, the bold, 
With the same seal indelibly imprest. 
Theirs were no bright varieties of mind, 
One image stamp'd the rough, colossal race, 
In rugged grandeur frowning o'er mankind, 
Stern, and disdainful of each milder grace ; 
As to the sky some mighty rock may tower, 
Whose front can brave the storm, but will not rear 
the flower. 



Such were thy sons their life a battle-day ! 
Their youth one lesson how for thee to die ! 
Closed is that task, and they have passed away 
Like softer beings train'd to aims less high. 



3 The ruins of Sparta, near the modern town of Mistra, are 
very inconsiderable, and only sufficient to mark the site of 
the ancient city. The scenery around them is described by 
travellers as very striking. 



MODERN GREECE. 



Yet bright on earth their fame who proudly fell, 
True to their shields, the champions of thy 

cause, 

Whose funeral column bade the stranger tell 
How died the brave, obedient to thy laws I 1 
O lofty mother of heroic worth, 
How couldst thou live to bring a meaner offspring 

forth? 



Hadst thou but perish'd with the free, nor known 
A second race, when glory's noon went by, 
Then had thy name in single brightness shone 
A watchword on the helm of liberty ! 
Thou shouldst have pass'd with all the light of 

fame, 

And proudly sunk in ruins, not in chains. 
But slowly set thy star midst clouds of shame, 
And tyrants rose amidst thy falling fanes ; 
And thou, surrounded by thy warriors' graves, 
Hast drain'd the bitter cup once mingled for thy 

slaves. 



K"ow all is o'er for thee alike are flown 
Freedom's bright noon and slavery's twilight 

cloud ; 

And in thy fall, as in thy pride, alone, 
Deep solitude is round thee as a shroud. 
Home of Leonidas ! thy halls are low ; 
From their cold altars have thy Lares fled ; 
O'er thee, unmark'd, the sunbeams fade or 

glow, 

And wild-flowers wave, unbent by human tread ; 

And midst thy silence, as the grave's profound, 

A voice, a step, would seem as some unearthly 

sound. 



Taygetus still lifts his awful brow 
High o'er the mouldering city of the dead, 
Sternly sublime ; while o'er his robe of snow 
Heaven's floating tints their warm suffusions 

spread. 

And yet his rippling wave Eurotas leads 
By tombs and ruins o'er the silent plain ; 
While, whispering there, his own wild graceful 

reeds 
Rise as of old, when hail'd by classic strain ; 



1 The inscription composed by Simonides for the Spartan 
monument in the pass of Thermopylae has been thus trans- 
lated : ' Stranger, go tell the Lacedemonians tliat we have 
obeyed their laws, and that we lie here." 



There the rose-laurels still in beauty wave, 2 
And a frail shrub survives to bloom o'er Sparta's 
grave. 



Oh, thus it is with man ! A tree, a flower, 
While nations perish, still renews its race, 
And o'er the fallen records of his power 
Spreads in wild pomp, or smiles in fairy grace. 
The laurel shoots when those have pass'd away. 
Once rivals for its crown, the brave, the free ; 
The rose is flourishing o'er beauty's clay, 
The myrtle blows -when love hath ceased to be ; 
Green waves the bay when song and bard are fled, 
And all that round us blooms is blooming o'er the 
dead. 

LX. 

And still the olive spreads its foliage round 

Morea's fallen sanctuaries and towers. 

Once its green boughs Minerva's votaries 

crown'd, 

Deem'd a meet offering for celestial powers. 
The suppliant's hand its holy branches bore ; 3 
They waved around the Olympic victor's head ; 
And, sanctified by many a rite of yore, 
Its leaves the Spartan's honour'd bier o'erspread. 
Those rites have vanish'd but o'er vale and hill 
Its fruitful groves arise, revered and hallow'd still. 4 



Where now thy shrines, Eleusis ! where thy fane 
Of fearful visions, mysteries wild and high 1 
The pomp of rites, the sacrificial train, 
The long procession's awful pageantry ] 
Quench'd is the torch of Ceres 5 all around 
Decay hath spread the stillness of her reign ; 
There never more shall choral hymns resound 
O'er the hush'd earth and solitary mam, 

3 " In the Eurotas I observed abundance of those famous 
reeds which were known in the earliest ages; and all the 
rivers and marshes of Greece are replete with rose-laurels, 
while the springs and rivulets are covered with lilies, tube- 
roses, hyacinths, and narcissus orientalis." POUQUEVILLE'S 
Travels in the Morea. 

3 It was usual for suppliants to carry an olive branch bound 
with wool. 

* The olive, according to Pouqueville, is still regarded with 
veneration by the people of the Morea. 

5 It was customary at Eleusis, on the fifth day of the 
festival, for men and women to run about with torches in 
their hands, and also to dedicate torches to Ceres, and to 
contend who should present the largest. This was done in 
memory of the journey of Ceres in search of Proserpine, dur- 
ing which she was lighted by a torch kindled in the flames of 
Etna. PORTER'S Antiquities of Greece, vol. i. p. 392. 



MODERN GREECE. 



37 



Whose wave from Salamis deserted flows, 
To bathe a silent shore of desolate repose. 



And oh, ye secret and terrific powers ! 
Dark oracles ! in depth of groves that dwelt, 
How are they sunk, the altars of your bowers, 
Where Superstition trembled as she knelt ! 
Ye, the unknown, the viewless ones ! that made 
The elements your voice, the wind and wave ; 
Spirits ! whose influence darken'd many a shade, 
Mysterious visitants of fount and cave ! 
How long your power the awe-struck nations 

sway'd, 
How long earth dreamt of you, and shudderingly 

obey'd ! 



And say, what marvel, in those early days, 
While yet the light of heaven-born truth was not, 
If man around him cast a fearful gaze, 
Peopling with shadowy powers each dell and grot ? 
Awful is nature hi her savage forms, 
Her solemn voice commanding in its might, 
And mystery then was in the rush of storms, 
The gloom of woods, the majesty of night ; 
And mortals heard Fate's language in the blast, 
And rear d your forest-shrines, ye phantoms of the 
past ! 



Then through the foliage not a breeze might sigh 
But with prophetic sound a waving tree, 
A meteor flashing o'er the summer sky, 
A bird's wild flight reveal'd the things to be. 
All spoke of unseen natures, and convey'd 
Their inspiration ; still they hover'd round, 
Hallow'd the temple, whisper'd through the 

shade, 

Pervaded loneliness, gave soul to sound ; 
Of them the fount, the forest, murmur d still, 
Their voice was in the stream, their footstep on 

the hill 



Now is the train of Superstition flown ! 
Unearthly beings walk on earth no more ; 
The deep wind swells with no portentous tone, 
The rustling wood breathes no fatidic lore. 
Fled are the phantoms of Livadia's cave, 
There dwell no shadows, but of crag and steep ; 
Fount of Oblivion ! in thy gushing wave, 1 
That murmurs nigh, those powers of terror sleep. 
1 The fountains of Oblivion and Memory, with the Hercy- 



Oh that such dreams alone had fled that clime! 
But Greece is changed in all that could be changed 
by time ! 

LXVI. 

Her skies are those whence many a mighty bard 
Caught inspiration, glorious as their beams ; 
Her hills the same that heroes died to guard, 
Her vales, that foster'd Art's divinest dreams ! 
But that bright spirit o'er the land that shone, 
And all around pervading influence pour'd, 
That lent the harp of ^Eschylus its tone, 
And proudly hallow'd Lacedsemon's sword, 
And guided Phidias o'er the yielding stone, 
With them its ardours lived with them its light 
is flown. 



Thebes, Corinth, Argos ! ye renown'd of old, 
Where are your chiefs of high romantic name 1 
How soon the tale of ages may be told ! 
A page, a verse, records the fall of fame, 
The work of centuries. We gaze on you, 
cities ! once the glorious and the free, 
The lofty tales that charm'd our youth renew, 
And wondering ask, if these their scenes could be) 
Search for the classic fane, the regal tomb, 
And find the mosque alone a record of their doom ! 



How oft hath war his host of spoilers pour'd, 
Fair Elis ! o'er thy consecrated vales ? 2 
There have the sunbeams glanced on spear and 

sword, 

And banners floated on the balmy gales. 
Once didst thou smile, secure in sanctitude, 
As some enchanted isle mid stormy seas ; 
On thee no hostile footstep might intrude, 
And pastoral sounds alone were on thy breeze. 
Forsaken home of peace ! that spell is broke : 
Thou too hast heard the storm, and bow'd beneath 

the yoke. 

LXIX. 

And through Arcadia's wild and lone retreats 
Far other sounds have echo'd than the strain 



nian fountain, are still to be seen amongst the rocks near 
Livadia, though the situation of the cave of Trophonius, in 
their vicinity, cannot be exactly ascertained. See HOLLAND'S 
Travels. 

2 Elis was anciently a sacred territory, its inhabitants being 
considered as consecrated to the service of Jupiter. All armies 
marching through it delivered up their weapons, and reeeirsd 
them again when they had passed its boundary. 



MODERN GREECE. 



Of faun and dryad, from their woodland seats, 
Or ancient reed of peaceful mountain-swain ! 
There, though at times Alpheus yet surveys, 
On his green banks renew'd, the classic dance, 
And nymph-like forms, and wild melodious 

lays, 

Revive the sylvan scenes of old romance ; 
Yet brooding fear and dark suspicion dwell 
Midst Pan's deserted haunts, by fountain, cave, 

and dell. 



But thou, fair Attica ! whose rocky bound 
All art and nature's richest gifts enshrined, 
Thou little sphere, whose soul-illumined round 
Concentrated each sunbeam of the mind ; 
Who, as the summit of some Alpine height 
Glows earliest, latest, with the blush of day, 
Didst first imbibe the splendours of the light, 1 
And smile the longest in its lingering ray ; 
Oh ! let us gaze on thee, and fondly deem 
The past awhile restored, the present but a 
dream. 



Let Fancy's vivid hues awhile prevail 
Wake at her call be all thou wert once more ! 
Hark ! hymns of triumph swell on every gale 
Lo ! bright processions move along thy shore ; 
Again thy temples, midat the olive-shade, 
Lovely in chaste simplicity arise ; 
And graceful monuments, in grove and glade, 
Catch the warm tints of thy resplendent skies ; 
And sculptured forms, of high and heavenly 

mien, 
In their calm beauty smile around the sun-bright 



Again renew'd by Thought's creative spells, 
In all her pomp thy city, Theseus ! towers : 
Within, around, the light of glory dwells 
On art's fair fabrics, wisdom's holy bowers. 
There marble fanes in finish'd grace ascend, 
The pencil's world of life and beauty glows ; 
Shrines, pillars, porticoes, in grandeur blend, 
Rich with the trophies of barbaric foes ; 
And groves of platane wave in verdant pride, 
The sage's blest retreats, by calm Ilissus' tide. 



1 " We are assured by Thueydides that Attica was the 
province of Greece in which population first became settled, 
and where the earliest progress was made toward civilisation." 
MITFORD'S Greece, vol. i. p. 35. 



Bright as that fairy vision of the wave, 
Raised by the magic of Morgana's wand, 2 
On summer seas that undulating lave 
Romantic Sicily's Arcadian strand ; 
That pictured scene of airy colonnades, 
Light palaces, in shadowy glory drest, 
Enchanted groves, and temples, and arcades, 
Gleaming and floating on the ocean's breast ; 
Athens ! thus fair the dream of thee appears, 
As Fancy's eye pervades the veiling cloud of years. 



Still be that cloud withdrawn oh ! mark on high, 
Crowning yon hill, with temples richly graced, 
That fane, august in perfect symmetry, 
The purest model of Athenian taste. 
Fair Parthenon ! thy Doric pillars rise 
In simple dignity, thy marble's hue 
Unsullied shines, relieved by brilliant skies, 
That round thee spread their deep ethereal blue ; 
And art o'er all thy light proportions throws 
The harmony of grace, the beauty of repose. 



And lovely o'er thee sleeps the sunny glow, 
When morn and eve in tranquil splendour reign, 
And on thy sculptures, as they smile, bestow 
Hues that the pencil emulates in vain. 
Then the fair forms by Phidias wrought, unfold 
Each latent grace, developing in light ; 
Catch, from soft clouds of purple and of gold, 
Each tint that passes, tremulously bright ; 
And seem indeed whate'er devotion deems, 
While so suffused with heaven, so mingling with 
its beams. 



2 Fata Morgana. This remarkable aerial phenomenon, 
which is thought by the lower order of Sicilians to be the 
work of a fairy, is thus described by Father Angelucci, whose 
account is quoted by Swinburne : 

" On the 15th August 1643, I was surprised, as I stood at 
my window, with a most wonderful spectacle : the" sea that 
washes the Sicilian shore swelled up, and became, for ten 
miles in length, like a chain of dark mountains, while the 
waters near our Calabrian coast grew quite smooth, and in 
an instant appeared like one clear polished mirror. On this 
glass was depicted, in chiaro-scuro, a string of several thou- 
sands of pilasters, all equal in height, distance, and degrees 
of light and shade. In a moment they bent into arcades, 
like Roman aqueducts. A long cornice was next formed at 
the top, and above it rose innumerable castles, all perfectly 
alike ; these again changed into towers, which were shortly 
after lost in colonnades, then windows, and at last ended in 
pines, cypresses, and other trees." SWI.VBURXE'S Travels in 
the Two Sit it ift. 



MODERN GREECE. 



39 



But oh ! what words the vision may portray, 
The form of sanctitude that guards thy shrine ] 
There stands thy goddess, robed in war's array, 
Supremely glorious, awfully divine ! 
With spear and helm she stands, and flowing 

vest, 

And sculptured fegis, to perfection wrought ; 
And on each heavenly lineament imprest, 
Calmly sublime, the majesty of thought 
The pure intelligence, the chaste repose 
All that a poet's dream around Minerva throws. 



Bright age of Pericles ! let fancy still 
Through time's deep shadows all thy splendour 

trace, 

And in each work of art's consummate skill 
Hail the free spirit of thy lofty race : 
That spirit, roused by every proud reward 
That hope could picture, glory could bestow, 
Foster'd by all the sculptor and the bard 
Could give of immortality below. 
Thus were thy heroes form'd, and o'er their 

name, 
Thus did thy genius shed imperishable fame. 



Mark in the throng'd Ceramicus, the train 
Of mourners weeping o'er the martyr 'd brave : 
Proud be the tears devoted to the slain, 
Holy the amaranth strew'd upon their grave ! l 
And hark ! unrivalTd eloquence proclaims 
Their deeds, their trophies, with triumphant 

voice ! 

Hark ! Pericles records their honour'd names ! a 
Sons of the fallen, in their lot rejoice : 
What hath life brighter than so bright a doom? 
What power hath fate to soil the garlands of the 

tomb! 



1 All sorts of purple and white flowers were supposed by 
the Greeks to be acceptable to the dead, and used in adorn- 
ing tombs ; as amaranth, with which the Thessalians decor- 
ated the tomb of Achilles. POTTER'S Antiquities of Greece, 
vol. ii. p. 232. 

2 Pericles, on his return to Athens after the reduction of 
Samos, celebrated in a splendid manner the obsequies of 
his countrymen who fell in that war, and pronounced himself 
the funeral oration usual on such occasions. This gained 
him great applause ; and when he came down from the ros- 
trum the women paid their respects to him, and presented 
him with crowns and chaplets, like a champion just returned 
victorious from the lists. LANOHORXE'S Plutarch, Life of 
Pericles. 



LXXIX. 

Praise to the valiant dead ! for them doth art 
Exhaust her skill, then: triumphs bodying forth ; 
Theirs are enshrined names, and eveiy heart 
Shall bear the blazon'd impress of their worth. 
Bright on the dreams of youth their fame shall 

rise, 

Their fields of fight shall epic song record ; 
And, when the voice of battle rends the skies, 
Their name shall be their country's rallying 

word ! 

While fane and column rise august to tell 
How Athens honours those for her who proudly 

felL 



City of Theseus ! bursting on the mind, 
Thus dost thou rise, in all thy glory fled ! 
Thus guarded by the mighty of mankind, 
Thus hallow'd by the memory of the dead : 
Alone in beauty and renown a scene 
Whose tints are drawn from freedom's loveliest 

ray. 

'Tis but a vision now yet thou hast been 
More than the brightest vision might portray ; 
And every stone, with but a vestige fraught 
Of -thee, hath latent power to wake some lofty 

thought. 



Fall'n are thy fabrics, that so oft have rung 

To choral melodies and tragic lore ; 

Now is the lyre of Sophocles unstrung, 

The song that hail'd Harmodius peals no more. 

Thy proud Piraeus is a desert strand, 

Thy stately shrines are mouldering on their 

hill, 

Closed are the triumphs of the sculptor's hand, 
The magic voice of eloquence is still ; 
Minerva's veil is rent 3 her image gone ; 
Silent the sage's bower the warrior's tomb o'er- 
thrown. 

3 The peplus, which is supposed to have been suspended as 
an awning over the statue of Minerva in the Parthenon, 
was a principal ornament of the Panathenaic festival ; and it 
was embroidered with various colours, representing the battle 
of the gods and Titans, and the exploits of Athenian heroes. 
When the festival was celebrated, the peplus was brought 
from the Acropolis, and suspended as a sail to the vessel, 
which on that day was conducted through the Ceramicus and 
principal streets of Athens, till it had made the circuit of the 
Acropolis. The peplus was then carried to the Parthenon, 
and consecrated to Minerva. tree CHANDLER'S Travelt, 
STUART'S Athens, <$<;. 



MODERN GREECE. 



Yet in decay thine exquisite remains 
Wondering we view, and silently revere, 
As traces left on earth's forsaken plains 
By vanish'd beings of a nobler sphere ! 
Not all the old magnificence of Rome, 
All that dominion there hath left to time 
Proud Coliseum, or commanding dome, 
Triumphal arch, or obelisk sublime, 
Can bid such reverence o'er the spirit steal, 
As aught by thee imprest with beauty's plastic seal. 



Though still the empress of the sunburnt waste, 

Palmyra rises, desolately grand 

Though with rich gold ' and massy sculpture 

graced, 

Commanding still, Persepolis may stand 
In haughty solitude though sacred Nile 
The first-born temples of the world surveys, 
And many an awful and stupendous pile 
Thebes of the hundred gates e'en yet displays ; 
City of Pericles ! oh who, like thee, 
Can teach how fair the works of mortal hand may 

be? 



Thou led'st the way to that illumined sphere 
"Where sovereign beauty dwells; and thence 

didst bear, 

Oh, still triumphant in that high career ! 
Bright archetypes of all the grand and fair. 
And still to thee th' enlighten'd mind hath flown 
As to her country, thou hast been to earth 
A cynosure, and, e'en from victory's throne, 
Imperial Rome gave homage to thy worth ; 
And nations, rising to their fame afar, 
Still to thy model turn, as seamen to their star. 



Glory to those whose relics thus arrest 
The gaze of ages ! Glory to the free ! 
For they, they only, could have thus imprest 
Their mighty image on the years to be ! 
Empires and cities in oblivion lie, 
Grandeur may vanish, conquest be forgot, 
To leave on earth renown that cannot die, 
Of high-soul'd genius is th' unrivaU'd lot 
Honour to thee, Athens ! thou hast shown 
What mortals may attain, and seized the palm alone. 



1 The pildine amidst the ruins of Persepolis is still, accord- 
ing to Winckelmann, in high preservation. 



LXXXVI. 

Oh ! live there those who view with scornful 

eyes 

All that attests the brightness of thy prime ? 
Yes ; they who dwell beneath thy lovely skies, 
And breathe th' inspiring ether of thy clime ! 
Their path is o'er the mightiest of the dead, 
Their homes are midst theworks of noblest arts; 
Yet all around their gaze, beneath their tread, 
Not one proud thrill of loftier thought imparts. 
Such are the conquerors of Minerva's land, 
Where Genius first reveal'd the triumphs of his 
hand ! 



For them in vain the glowing light may smile 
O'er the pale marble, colouring's warmth to shed, 
And in chaste beauty many a sculptured pile 
Still o'er the dust of heroes lift its head. 
Xo patriot feeling binds them to the soil, 
Whose tombs and shrines their fathers have not 

rear'd ; 

Their glance is cold indifference, and their toil 
But to destroy what ages have revered 
As if exulting sternly to erase 
Whate'er might prove that land had nursed a 
nobler race. 



And who may grieve that, rescued from theii 

hands, 

Spoilers of excellence and foes to art, 
Thy relics, Athens ! borne to other lands, 
Claim homage still to thee from every heart 
Though now no more th' exploring stranger's 

sight, 

Fix'd in deep reverence on Minerva's fane, 
Shall hail, beneath their native heaven of light, 
All that remain'd of forms adored in vain ; 
A few short years and, vanish'd from the scene, 
To blend with classic dust their proudest lot had ! 

been. 



Fair Parthenon ! yet still must Fancy weep 
For thee, thou work of nobler spirits flown. 
Bright, as of old, the sunbeams o'er thee sleep 
In all their beauty still and thine is gone ! 
Empires haw sunk since thou wert first revered, 
And varying rights have sanctified thy shrine. 
The dust is round thee of the race that rear'd 
Thy walls ; and thou their fate must soon ba 
thine ! 



MODERN GREECE. 



But when shall earth again exult to see 
Visions divine like theirs renew'd in aught like 
theel 



Lone are thy pillars now each passing gale 
Sighs o'er them as a spirit's voice, which moan'd 
That loneliness, and told the plaintive tale 
Of the bright synod once above them throned. 
Mourn, graceful ruin ! on thy sacred hill, 
Thy gods, thy rites, a kindred fate have shared : 
Yet art thou honour'd in each fragment still 
That wasting years and barbarous hands had 

spared ; 

Each hallow'd stone, from rapine's fury borne, 
Shall wake bright dreams of thee in ages yet un- 
born. 



Yes ! in those fragments, though by time defaced 
And rude insensate conquerors, yet remains 
All that may charm th' enlighten'd eye of taste, 
On shores where still inspiring freedom reigns. 
As vital fragrance breathes from every part 
Of the crush'd myrtle, or the bruised rose, 
E'en thus th' essential energy of art 
There in each wreck imperishably glows ! x 
The soul of Athens lives in every line, 
Pervading brightly still the ruins of her shrine. 



Mark on the storied frieze the graceful train, 

The holy festival's triumphal throng, 

In fair procession to Minerva's fane, 

With many a sacred symbol, move along. 

There every shade of bright existence trace, 

The fire of youth, the dignity of age ; 

The matron's calm austerity of grace, 

The ardent warrior, the benignant sage ; 

The nymph's light symmetry, the chief's proud 

mien 
Each ray of beauty caught and mingled hi the scene. 



Art unobtrusive there ennobles form, 3 
Each pure chaste outline exquisitely flows ; 

1 " In the most broken fragment, the same great principle 
of life can be proved to exist, as in the most perfect figure," 
is one of the observations of Mr Haydon on the Elgin 
Marbles. 

2 " Every thing here breathes life, with a veracity, with an 
exquisite knowledge of art, but without the least ostentation 
or parade of it, which is concealed by consummate and mas- 
terly skill." CANOVA'S Letter to the Earl of Elgin. 



There e'enthe steed, withhold expression warm, 3 
Is clothed with majesty, with being glows. 
One mighty mind hath harmonised the whole ; 
Those varied groups the same bright impress 

bear; 

One beam and essence of exalting soul 
Lives in the grand, the delicate, the fair; 
And well that pageant of the glorious dead 
Blends us with nobler days, and loftier spirits fled. 



conquering Genius ! that couldst thus detain 
The subtle graces, fading as they rise, 
Eternalise expression's fleeting reign, 
Arrest warm life in all its energies, 
And fix them on the stone thy glorious lot 
Might wake ambition's envy, and create 
Powers half divine : while nations are forgot, 
A thought, a dream of thine hath vanquish'd 

fate! 

And when thy hand first gave its wonders birth, 
The realms that hail them now scarce claim'd a 

name on earth. 



Wert thou some spirit of a purer sphere 
But once beheld, and never to return ] 
No we may hail again thy bright career, 
Again on earth a kindred fire shall burn ! 
Though thy least relics, e'en in ruin, bear 
A stamp of heaven, that ne'er hath been re- 
new'd 

A light inherent let not man despair : 
Still be hope ardent, patience unsubdued ; 
For still is nature fair, and thought divine, 
And art hath won a world in models pure as 
thine. 4 



Gaze on yon forms, corroded and defaced 
Yet there the germ of future glory lies ! 

3 Mr West, after expressing his admiration of the horse's 
head in Lord Elgin's collection of Athenian sculpture, thus 
proceeds: " We feel the same, when we view the young 
equestrian Athenians, and, in observing them, we are in- 
sensibly carried on with the impression that they and their 
horses actually existed, as we see them, at the instant when 
they were converted into marble." WEST'S Second Letter to 
Lord Elgin. 

* Mr Flaxman thinks that sculpture has very greatly im- 
proved within these last twenty years, and that his opinion 
is not singular because works of such prime importance as 
the Elgin Marbles could not remain in any country without 
a consequent improvement of the public taste, and the talents 
of the artist. See the Evidence tjiven in reply to Interroga- 
tories from the Committee on the Elgin Marblet. 



42 



MODERN GREECE. 



Their virtual grandeur could not be erased ; 

It clothes them still, though veil'd from com- 
mon eyes. 

They once \vere gods and heroes 1 and beheld 

As the blest guardians of their native scene ; 

And hearts of warriors, sages, bards, have swell'd 

With awe that own'd their sovereignty of mien. 

Ages have vanish'd since those hearts were cold, 
And still those shatter'd forms retain their god- 
like mould. 



Midst their bright kindred, from their marble 
throne 

They have look'd down on thousand storms of 
time; 

Surviving power, and fame, and freedom flown, 

They still remain'd, still tranquilly sublime ! 

Till mortal hands the heavenly conclave marr'd. 

The Olympian groups have sunk, and are forgot 

Not e'en their dust could weeping Athens guard ; 

But these were destined to a nobler lot ! 

And they have borne, to light another land, 
The quenchless ray that soon shall gloriously ex- 
pand. 



Phidias ! supreme in thought ! what hand but 

thine, 

Inhuman works thus blending earth and heaven, 
O'er nature's truth had spread that grace divine, 
To mortal form immortal grandeur given ] 
What soul but thine, infusing all its power 
In these last monuments of matchless days, 
Could from their ruins bid young Genius tower, 
And Hope aspire to more exalted praise ; 
And guide deep Thought to that secluded height 
Where excellence is throned in purity of light ? 



And who can tell how pure, how bright a flame, 
Caught from these models, may illume the west? 
What British Angelo may rise to fame, 3 
On the free isle what beams of art may rest 1 

1 The Theseus and Ilissus, which are considered by Sir T. 
Lawrence, Mr Westmacott, and other distinguished artists, 
to be of a higher class than the Apollo Belvidere, " because 
there is in them a union of very grand form, with a more 
true and natural expression of the effect of action upon the 
human frame than there is in the Apollo, or any of the other 
more celebrated statues." See The Evidence, %c. 

2 " Let us suppose a young man at this time in London, 
endowed with powers such as enabled Michael Angelo to 
advance the arts, as he did, by the aid of one mutilated speci- 
men of Grecian excellence in sculpture, to what an eminence 



Deem not, England ! that by climes confined, 
Genius and taste diffuse a partial ray ; 3 
Deem not the eternal energies of mind 
Sway'd by that sun whose doom is but decay ! 
Shall thought be foster'd but by skies serene ] 
No ! thou hast power to be what Athens e'er hath 
been. 



But thine are treasures oft unprized, unknown, , 
And cold neglect hath blighted many a mind, 
O'er whose young ardours had thy smile but 

shone, 

Their soaring flight had left a world behind ! 
And many a gifted hand, that might have 

wrought 

To Grecian excellence the breathing stone, 
Or each pure grace of Eaphael's pencil caught, 
Leaving no record of its power, is gone ! 
While thou hast fondly sought, on distant coast, 
Gems far less rich than those, thus precious, and 

thus lost 



Yet rise, Land, in all but art alone ! 
Bid the sole wreath that is not thine be won ! 
Fame dwells around thee Genius is thine own ; 
Call his rich blooms to life be thou their sun ! 
So, should dark ages o'er thy glory sweep, 
Should thine e'er be as now are Grecian plains, 
Nations unborn shall track thine own blue 

deep 

To hail thy shore, to worship thy remains ; 
Thy mighty monuments with reverence trace, 
And cry, " This ancient soil hath nursed a glorious 

race ! " 

might not such a genius carry art, by the opportunity of 
studying those sculptures, in the aggregate, which adorned 
the temple of Minerva at Athens ? " WEST'S Second Letter 
to Lord Elgin. 

3 In allusion to the theories of Du Bos, Winckelmann, 
Montesquieu, &c., with regard to the inherent obstacles in 
the climate of England to the progress of genius and the arts. 
See HOARE'S Epochs of the Arts, p. 84, 85. 

EXTRACTS FROM CONTEMPORARY REVIEWS. 

Blacktcood's Mayazine. " In our reviews of poetical pro- 
ductions, the better efforts of genius hold out to us" a task at 
once more useful and delightful than those of inferior merit. 
In the former the beautiful predominate, and expose while 
they excuse the blemishes. But the public taste would receive 
no benefit from a detail of mediocrity, relieved only by the 
censure of faults uncompensated by excellencies. We have 
great pleasure in calling the attention of our readers to the 
beautiful poem before us, which we believe to be the work of 
the same lady who last year put her name to the second edition 
of another poem on a kindred subject, " The Restoration of the 



TRANSLA TIONS. 



43 



TRANSLATIONS FROM CAMOENS, AND OTHEE POETS. 

" Siamo nati veramente in un secolo in cui gl'ingesni o gli studj degli uomini sono rivolti all' utilita. L'Agricoltura, Is 
Arti, il Commercio acquistano tutto dl novi lumi dalle ricerche de' Saggi ; e il voler farsi un nome tentando di dilettare, 
quand' altri v'aspira con piu giustizia giovando, sembra impresa dura e difficile." SAVIOLI. 



SONNET 70. 
" Na metade do ceo subido ardia." 

HIGH in the glowing heavens, with cloudless beam, 

The sun had reach'd the zenith of his reign, 
And for the living fount, the gelid stream, 

Each flock forsook the herbage of the plain : 
Midst the dark foliage of the forest shade, 

The birds had shelter'd from the scorching ray ; 
Hush'd were their melodies and grove and glade 

Resounded but the shrill cicada's lay : 
When, through the grassy vale, a love-lorn swain, 
To seek the maid who but despised his pain, 

Breathing vain sighs of fruitless passion, roved : 
" Why pine for her," the slighted wanderer cried, 
" By whom thou art not loved ] " and thus replied 

An echo's murmuring voice "Thou art not 
loved/" 



Works of Art to Italy" namely, Mrs Ilemans of North Wales. 
That the author's fame has not altogether kept pace with her 
merit, we are inclined to think is a reproach to the public. 
Poetry is at present experiencing the fickleness of fashion, and 
may be said to have had its day. Very recently, the reading 
public, as the phrase is, was immersed in poetry, but seems 
to have had enough ; and, excepting always that portion of 
it who are found to relish genuine poetry on its own in- 
trinsic account, and will never tire of the exquisite enjoyment 
which it affords, the said public seldom read poetry at all. 

" But so little is that excitement which the bulk of readers 
covet necessarily connected with poetry, that these readers 
have tired even of romances in a metrical form, and are 
regarding all their late rhythmical favourites alike, with that 
sort of ingratitude with which repletion would lead them to 
regard a banquet when the dishes are removing from the 
table. But this is no proof that these great poets have for- 
feited their title to be admired. They are fixed orbs, which 
stand just where they did, and shine just as they were wont, 
although they seem to decline to the world, which revolves 
the opposite way. But if the world will turn from the poet, 
whatever be his merit, there is an end of his popularity, 
inasmuch as the most approved conductor of the latter is the 
multitude, as essentially as is the air of the sound of his voice. 
Profit will also fail from the lack of purchasers ; and poetry, 
high as it may intrinsically seem, must fall, commercially 
speaking, to its ancient proverbially unprofitable level. Yet 
poetry will still be poetry, however it may cease to pay ; and 



SONNET 282. 

FROM PSALM CXXXTII. 
" Na ribeira de Euprates assentado." 

WRAPT in sad musings, by Euphrates' stream 

I sat, retracing days for ever flown, 
While rose thine image on the exile's dream, 

much-loved Salem ! and thy glories gone : 
When they who caused the ceaseless tears I shed, 

Thus to their captive spoke "Why sleep thy 

lays? 
Sing of thy treasures lost, thy splendour fled, 

And all thy triumphs in departed days ! 
Know'st thou not Harmony's resistless charm 
Can soothe each passion, and each grief disarm ] 

Sing then, and tears will vanish from thine eye." 
With sighs I answer'd, " When the cup of woe 
Is fill'd, till misery's bitter draught o'erflow, 

The mourner's cure is not to sing but die." 



although the acclaim of multitudes is one thing, and the still 
small voice of genuine taste and feeling another, the nobler 
incense of the latter will ever be its reward. 

" Our readers will now cease to wonder that an author like 
the present, who has had no higher aim than to regale the 
imagination with imagery, warm the heart with sentimenteand 
feeling, and delight the ear with music, without the foreign 
aid of tale or fable, has hitherto written to a select few, and 
passed almost unnoticed by the multitude. 

"With the exception of Lord Byron, who has made the 
theme peculiarly his own, no one has more feelingly con- 
trasted ancient with modern Greece. 

" The poem on the Restoration of the Louvre Collection, 
has, of course, more allusions to ancient Rome ; and nothing 
can be more spirited than the passages in which the author 
invokes for modern Rome the return of her ancient glories. 
In a cursory but graphic manner, some of the most cele- 
brated of the ancient statues are described. Referring our 
readers, with great confidence, to the works themselves, our 
extracts may be limited." 

Edinburgh Monthly Review. " The grand act of retribu- 
tion the restoration of the treasures of the Louvre occa- 
sioned Mrs Ilemans' first publication. " Modern Greece "next 
appeared, and soared still higher into the regions of beauty 
and pathos. It is a highly promising symptom, that each 
new effort of her genius excels its predecessor. The present 
volume strikingly confirms this observation, and leads us to 
think that we have yet seen no more than the trials of her 
strength." 



44 



TRANSLA TIONS. 



PART OF ECLOGUE 15. 
" Se 14 no assento da maior alteza." 

IF in thy glorious home above 

Thou still recallest earthly love, 

If yet retain'd a thought may be 

Of him whose heart hath bled for thee ; 

Eemember still how deeply shrined 
Thine image in his joyless mind: 
Each well-known scene, each former care, 
Forgotten thou alone art there ! 

Remember that thine eye-beam's light 
Hath fled for ever from his sight, 
And, with that vanish'd sunshine, lost 
Is every hope he cherish'd most. 

Think that his life, from thee apart, 
Is all but weariness of heart; 
Each stream, whose music once was dear, 
Now murmurs discord to his ear. 

Through thee, the morn, whose cloudless rays 
Woke him to joy in other days, 
Now, in the light of beauty drest, 
Brings but new sorrows to his breast. 

Through thee, the heavens are dark to him, 
The sun's meridian blaze is dun; 
And harsh were e'en the bird of eve, 
But that her song still loves to grieve. 

All it hath been, his heart forgets, 
So alter 'd by its long regrets ; 
Each wish is changed, each hope is o'er, 
And joy's light spirit wakes no more. 



SONNET 271. 
" A formosura desta fresca serra." 

Tmsmountain-scene with sylvan grandeur crown'd, 

These chestnut -woods, in summer verdure 

bright ; 
These founts and rivulets, whose mingling sound 

Lulls every bosom to serene delight ; 
Soft on these hills the sun's declining ray ; 

This clime, where all is new ; these murmuring 

seas; 
Flocks, to the fold that bend their lingering way; 

Light clouds, contending with the genial breeze ; 



And all that Nature's lavish hands dispense, 
In gay luxuriance, charming every sense, 

Ne'er in thy absence can delight my breast : 
Nought, without thee, my weary soul beguiles : 
And joy may beam; yet, midst her brightest 
smiles, 

A secret grief is mine, that will not rest. 



SONNET 186. 
" Os olhos onde o casto Amor ardia." 

THOSE eyes, whence Love diffused his purest light, 

Proud in such beaming orbs his reign to show ; 
That face, with tints of mingling lustre bright, 

Where the rose mantled o'er the living snow; 
The rich redundance of that golden hair, 

Brighter than sunbeams of meridian day ; 
That form so graceful, and that hand so fair, 

Where now those treasures 1 mouldering into 

clay ! 

Thus, like some blossom prematurely torn, 
Hath young Perfection wither'd in its morn, 

Touch'd by the hand that gathers but to blight ! 
Oh, how could Love survive his bitter tears ! 
Shed, not for her, who mounts to happier spheres, 

But for his own sad fate, thus wrapt in starless 
night ! 



SONNET 108. 
" Brandas aguas do Tejo que passando." 

FAIR Tajo ! thou whose calmly-flowing tide 

Bathes the fresh verdure of these lovely plains, 
Enlivening all where'er thy waves may glide, 

Flowers, herbage, flocks, and sylvan nympha 

and swains. 
Sweet stream ! I know not when my steps again 

Shall tread thy shores; and while to part I 

mourn, 
I have no hope to meliorate my pain, 

No dream that whispers I may yet return ! 
My frowning destiny, whose watchful care 
Forbids me blessings and ordains despair, 

Commands me thus to leave thee, and repine 
And I must vainly mourn the scenes I fly, 
And breathe on other gales my plaintive sigh, 

And blendmy tears with other waves than thine! 



TRANSLATIONS. 



45 



SONNET 23. 

TO A LADY WHO DIED AT SEA. 
" Chara minha inimiga, em cuja mao." 

Taou to whoso power my hopes, my joys I gave, 

fondly loved ! my bosom's dearest care ! 
Earth, which denied to lend thy form a grave, 

Yields not one spell to soothe my deep despair ! 
Yes ! the wild seas entomb those charms divine, 

Dark o'er thy head th' eternal billows roll ; 
But while one ray of life or thought is mine, 

Still shalt thou live, the inmate of my soul. 
And if the tones of my uncultured song 
Have power the sad remembrance to prolong, 

Of love so ardent, and of faith so pure ; 
Still shall my verse thine epitaph remain, 
Still shall thy charms be deathless in my strain, 

While Time, and Love, and Memory shall endure. 



SONNET 19. 
" Alma minha gentil, que te partiste." 

SPIRIT beloved ! whose wing so soon hath flown 

The joyless precincts of this earthly sphere, 
How is yon Heaven eternally thine own, 

Whilst I deplore thy loss, a captive here ! 
Oh ! if allow'd hi thy divine abode 

Of aught on earth an image to retain, 
Remember still the fervent love which glow'd 

In my fond bosom, pure from every stain. 
And if thou deem'd that all my faithful grief, 
Caused by thy loss, and hopeless of relief, 

Can merit thee, sweet native of the skies ! 
Oh ! ask of Heaven, which call'd thee soon away, 
That I may join thee in those realms of day, 

Swiftly as thou hast vanish'd from mine eyes. 



" Que estranbo caso de amor ! " 

How strange a fate in love is mine ! 

How dearly prized the pains I feel ! 
Pangs, that to rend my soul combine, 

With avarice I conceal : 
For did the world the tale divine, 



My lot would then be deeper woe 
And mine is grief that none must know. 

To mortal ears I may not dare 

Unfold the cause, the pain I prove ; 
'Twould plunge in ruin and despair 

Or me, or her I love. 
My soul delights alone to bear 
Her silent, unsuspected woe, 
And none shall pity, none shall know. 

Thus buried in my bosom's urn, 

Thus in my inmost heart conceal'd, 
Let me alone the secret mourn, 

In pangs unsoothed and unreveal'd. 
For whether happiness or woe, 
Or life or death its power bestow, 
It is what none on earth must know. 



SONNET 58. 
" Se as penas com que Amor tao mal me trata." 

SHOULD Love, the tyrant of my suffering heart 

Yet long enough protract his votary's days 
To see the lustre from those eyes depart, 

The lode-stars 1 now that fascinate my gaze ; 
To see rude Time the living roses blight 

That o'er thy cheek their loveliness unfold, 
And, all unpitying, change thy tresses bright 

To silvery whiteness, from their native gold ; 
Oh ! then thy heart an equal change will 

prove, 
And mourn the coldness that repell'd my love, 

When tears and penitence will all be vain ; 
And I shall see thee weep for days gone by, 
And in thy deep regret and fruitless sigh, 

Find amplest vengeance for my former pain. 



SONNET 178. 

" Jd cantei, jd chorei a dura guerra." 

OFT have I sung and mourn'd the bitter woes 
Which love for years hath mingled with my fate, 

While he the tale forbade me to disclose, 
That taught his votaries their deluded state. 

1 " Your eyes are lode-stars." SHAKSPEARE. 



4 6 



TRANSLA TIONS. 



Nymphs ! who dispense Castalia's living stream, 

Ye, who from Death oblivion's mantle steal, 
Grant me a strain in powerful tone supreme, 

Each grief by love inflicted to reveal : 
That those whose ardent hearts adore his sway, 
May hear experience breathe a warning lay 

How false his smiles, his promises how vain ! 
Then, if ye deign this effort to inspire, 
When the sad task is o'er, my plaintive lyre, 

For ever hush'd, shall slumber in your fane. 



SOXXET 80. 
" Co:no quando do mar tempestuoso." 

SAVED from the perils of the stormy wave, 

And faint with toil, the wanderer of the main, 
But just escaped from shipwreck's billowy grave, 

Trembles to hear its horrors named again. 
How warm his vow, that Ocean's fairest mien 

No more shall lure him from the smiles of home ! 
Yet soon, forgetting each terrific scene, 

Once more he turns, o'er boundless deeps to roam. 
Lady ! thus I, who vainly oft in flight 
Seek refuge from the dangers of thy sight, 

Make the firm vow to shun thee and be free : 
But my fond heart, devoted to its chain, 
Still draws me back where countless perils reign, 

And grief and ruin spread their snares for me. 



SOXXET 239. 

FROM PSALM CXXXVH. 
" Em Babylonia sobre os rios, quando." 

BESIDE the streams of Babylon, in tears 

Of vain desire, we sat ; remembering thee, 
hallow'd Sion ! and the vanish'd years, 

When Israel's chosen sons were blest and free : 
Our harps, neglected and untuned, we hung 

Mute on the willows of the stranger's land ; 
When songs, like those that in thy fanes we sung, 

Our foes demanded from their captive band. 
" How shall our voices, on a foreign shore," 
(We answer'd those whose chains the exile wore,) 

" The songs of God, our sacred songs, renew ? 
If I forget, midst grief and wasting toil, 
Thee, Jerusalem ! my native soil ! 

May my right luind forget its cunning too /" 



SOXNET 128. 
" Iluma admiravel herva se conbece." 

THERE blooms a plant, whose gaze from hour to 
hour 

Still to the sun with fond devotion turns, 
Wakes when Creation hails his dawning power, 

And most expands when most her idol burns : 
But when he seeks the bosom of the deep, 

His faithful plant's reflected charms decay ; 
Then fade her flowers, her leaves discolour'd weep, 

Still fondly pining for the vanish'd ray. 
Thou whom I love, the day-star of my sight ! 
When thy dear presence wakes me to delight, 

Joy in my soul unfolds her fairest flower : 
But in thy heaven of smiles alone it blooms, 
And, of their light deprived, in grief consumes, 

Bom but to live within thine eye-beam's powen 



" Polomeu apartamento." 

AMIDST the bitter tears that fell 

In anguish at my last farewell, 

Oh ! who would dream that joy could dwell, 

To make that moment bright 1 
Yet be my judge, each heart ! and say, 
Which then could most my bosom sway, 

Affliction or delight 1 

It was when Hope, oppress'd with woes, 
Seem'd her dim eyes in death to close, 
That rapture's brightest beam arose 

In sorrow's darkest night. 
Thus, if my soul survive that hour, 
'Tis that my fate o'ercame the power 

Of anguish with delight. 

For oh ! her love, so long unknown, 
She then confess'd was all my own, 
And in that parting hour alone 

Reveal'd it to my sight. 
And now what pangs will rend my soul, 
Should fortune still, with stern control, 

Forbid me this delight ! 

I know not if my bliss were vain, 
For all the force of parting pain 
Forbade suspicious doubts to reign, 

When exiled from her sight : 
Yet now what double woe for me, 
Just at the close of eve, to see 

The dayspring of delight ! 



TRA NSLA TIONS. 



47 



SONNET 205. 
" Quern diz que Amor he falso, o enganoso." 

HE who proclaims that Love is light and vain, 

Capricious, cruel, false in all his ways, 
Ah ! sure too well hath merited his pain, 

Too justly finds him all he thus portrays : 
For Love is pitying, Love is soft and kind. 

Believe not him who dares the tale oppose ; 
Oh ! deem him one whom stormy passions blind, 

One to whom earth and heaven may well be foes. 
If Love bring evils, view them all in me ! 
Here let the world his utmost rigour see, 

His utmost power exerted to annoy : 
But all his ire is still the ire of love ; 
And such delight in all his woes I prove, 

I would not change their pangs for aught of 
other joy. 



SONNET 133. 
" Doces e claras aguas do Mondego." 

WAVES of Mondego ! brilliant and serene, 

Haunts of my thought, where memory fondly 

strays, 
Where hope allured me with perfidious mien, 

Witching my soul, in long-departed days ; 
Yes, I forsake your banks ! but still my heart 

Shall bid remembrance all your charms restore, 
And, suffering not one image to depart, 

Find lengthening distance but endear you more. 
Let Fortune's will, through many a future day, 
To distant realms this mortal frame convey, 

Sport of each wind, and tost on every wave ; 
Yet my fond soul, to pensive memory true, 
On thought's light pinion still shall fly to you, 

And still, bright waters ! in your current lave. 



SONNET 181. 
" Onde acharei lugar tao apartado." 

WHERE shall I find some desert-scene so rude, 
Where loneliness so undisturb'd may reign, 

That not a step shall ever there intrude 
Of roving man, or nature's savage train 



Some tangled thicket, desolate and drear, 

Or deep wild forest, silent as the tomb, 
Boasting no verdure bright, no fountain clear, 

But darkly suited to my spirit's gloom ] 
That there, midst frowning rocks, alone with 

grief 
Entomb'd in life, and hopeless of relief, 

In lonely freedom I may breathe my woes. 
For oh ! since nought my sorrows can allay, 
There shall my sadness cloud no festal day, 

And days of gloom shall soothe me to repose. 



SONNET 278. 
" Eu vivia de lagrimas isento." 

EXEMPT from every grief, 'twas mine to live 

In dreams so sweet, enchantments so divine, 
A thousand joys propitious Love can give 

Were scarcely worth one rapturous pain of mine. 
Bound by soft spells, in dear illusions blest, 

I breathed no sigh for fortune or for power ; 
No care intruding to disturb my breast, 

I dwelt entranced in Love's Elysian bower : 
But Fate, such transports eager to destroy, 
Soon rudely woke me from the dream of joy, 

And bade the phantoms of delight begone : 
Bade hope and happiness at once depart, 
And left but memory to distract my heart, 

Retracing every hour of bliss for ever flown. 



" Mi nueve y duke querella." 

No searching eye can pierce the veil 
That o'er my secret love is thrown ; 

No outward signs reveal its tale, 
But to my bosom known. 

Thus, like the spark whose vivid light 

In the dark flint is hid from sight, 
It dwells within, alone. 



METASTASIO. 
" Dunque si sfoga in pianto." 

IN tears, the heart oppress'd with grief 
Gives language to its woes ; 

In tears, its fulness finds relief, 
When rapture's tide o'erflows ! 



TRANSLATIONS. 



"Who, then, unclouded bliss would seek 

On this terrestrial sphere ; 
When e'en Delight can only speak, 

Like Sorrow in a tear ] 



" Al furor d'avversa Sorte." 

HE shall not dread Misfortune's angry mien, 
Xor feebly sink beneath her tempest rude, 

Whose soul hath learn'd, through many a trying 

scene, 
To smile at fate, and suffer unsubdued. 

In the rough school of billows, clouds, and storms, 
Xursed and matured, the pilot learns his art : 

Thus Fate's dread ire, by many a conflict, forms 
The lofty spirit and enduring heart ! 



" Quella onda che ruina." 

THE torrent wave, that breaks with force 
Impetuous down the Alpine height, 

Complains and struggles in its course, 
But sparkles, as the diamond bright. 

The stream in shadowy valley deep 
May slumber in its narrow bed ; 

But silent, in unbroken sleep, 
Its lustre and its life are fled. 



" Leggiadra rosa, le cui pure foglie." 

SWEET rose ! whose tender foliage to expand 

Her fostering dews the Morning lightly shed, 
Whilst gales of balmy breath thy blossoms fann'd, 

And o'er thy leaves the soft suffusion spread : 
That hand, whose care withdrew thee from the 
ground, 

To brighter worlds thy favour'd charms hath 

borne ; 
Thy fairest buds, with grace perennial crown'd, 

There breathe and bloom, released from every 

thorn. 
Thus, far removed, and now transplanted flower ! 

Exposed no more to blast or tempest rude, 
Sheltered with tcndercst care from frost or shower, 

And each rough season's chill vicissitude, 
Now may thy form in bowers of peace assume 
Immortal fragrance, and unwithering bloom. 



" Che speri, instabil Dea, di sassi e spine." 

FORTUNE ! why thus, where'er my footsteps tread, 

Obstruct each path with rocks and thorns like 

these] 

Think'st thou that 7 thy threatening mien shall 
dread, 

Or toil and pant thy waving locks to seize ] 
Reserve the frown severe, the menace rude, 

For vassal-spirits that confess thy sway ! 
My constant soul should triumph unsubdued, 

Were the wide universe destruction's prey. 
Am I to conflicts new, in toils untried ? 
Xo ! I have long thine utmost power defied, 

And drawn fresh energies from every fight 
Thus from rude strokes of hammers and the wheel, 
With each successive shock the temper'd steel 

More keenly piercing proves, more dazzling 
bright. 



" Parlagli d'un periglio." 

WOULDST thou to Love of danger speak] 
Veil'd are his eyes, to perils blind ! 

Wouldst thou from Love a reason seek ? 
He is a child of wayward mind ! 

But with a doubt, a jealous fear, 
Inspire him once the task is o'er ; 

His mind is keen, his sight is clear, 
Xo more an infant, bund no more. 



" Sprezza il furor del vento." 

UXBEXDIXG midst the wintry skies, 

Rears the firm oak his vigorous form, 
And stern in rugged strength, defies 
The rushing of the storm. 

Then sever'd from his native shore, 
O'er ocean-worlds the sail to bear, 
Still with those winds he braved before, 
He proudly struggles there. 



" Sol pu6 dir che sia contento." 

OH ! those alone whose sever'd hearts 

Have mourn'd through lingering years in vain, 

Can tell what bliss fond Love imparts, 
When Fate unites them once again. 



TRAXSLA TIOXS. 



49 



Sweet is the sigh, and blest the tear, 

Whose language hails that moment bright, 

When past afflictions but endear 
The presence of delight ! 



" Ah ! frenate le piante imbelle ! " 

AH ! cease those fruitless tears restrain ! 

I go misfortune to defy, 
To smile at fate with proud disdain, 

To triumph not to die ! 

I with fresh laurels go to crown 

My closing days at last, 
Securing all the bright renown 

Acquired in dangers past. 



YINCENZO DA FILICAJA. 
" Italia ! Italia ! O tu cui die la sorte." 

ITALIA ! O Italia ! thou, so graced 

With ill-starr'd beauty, which to thee hath been 
A dower whose fatal splendour may be traced 

In the deep-graven sorrows of thy mien ; 
Oh that more strength, or fewer charms were thine ! 

That those might fear thee more, or love thee less, 
Who seem to worship at thy radiant shrine, 

Then pierce thee with the death-pang's bitter- 
ness! 

Not then would foreign hosts have drain'd the tide 
Of that Eridanus thy blood hath dyed : 

Nor from the Alps would legions, still renew'd, 
Pour down ; nor wouldst thou wield an alien brand, 
And fight thy battles with the stranger's hand, 

Still, still a slave, victorious or subdued ! 



Triumphs far less than suffering virtue shine ! 
And on the spoilers high revenge is thine, 

While thy strong spirit unsubdued remains. 
And lo ! fair Liberty rejoicing flies 
To kiss each noble relic, while she cries, 

"Hail! thouyhin ruins, thou, icert ne'er in chains!" 



LOPE DE VEGA. 
" Zstese el cortesano." 

LET the vain courtier waste his days, 
Lured by the charms that wealth displays, 

The couch of down, the board of costly fare ; 
Be his to kiss th' ungrateful hand 
That waves the sceptre of command, 

And rear full many a palace in the air ; 
Whilst I enjoy, all unconfined, 
The glowing sun, the genial wind, 

And tranquil hours, to rustic toil assign'd ; 
And prize far more, in peace and health, 
Contented indigence than joyless wealth. 

Not mine in Fortune's fane to bend, 

At Grandeur's altar to attend, 
Reflect his smile, and tremble at his frown ; 

Nor mine a fond aspiring thought, 

A wish, a sigh, a vision, fraught 
With Fame's bright phantom, Glory's deathless 
crown ! 

Nectareous draughts and viands pure 

Luxuriant nature will insure ; 

These the clear fount and fertile field 

Still to the wearied shepherd yield ; 

And when repose and visions reign, 
Then we are equals all, the monarch and the swain. 



PASTORINI. 
" Geneva mia ! se con asciutto ciglio." 

IF thus thy fallen grandeur I behold, 

My native Genoa ! with a tearless eye, 
Think not thy son's ungrateful heart is cold ; 

But know I deem rebellious every sigh ! 
Thy glorious ruins proudly I survey, 

Trophies of firm resolve, of patriot might ! 
And in each trace of devastation's way, [sight. 

Thy worth, thy courage, meet my wandering 



FRANCISCO MANUEL. 

OX ASCENDING A HILL LEADING TO A CONVENT. 
" Xo bases temeroso, o peregrine !" 

PAUSE not with lingering foot, pilgrim ! here , 

Pierce the deep shadows of the mountain-side ; 
Firm be thy step, thy heart unknown to fear 

To brighter worlds this thorny path will guide. 
Soon shall thy feet approach the calm abode, 

So near the mansions of supreme delight ; 
Pause not, but tread this consecrated road 

'Tis the dark basis of the heavenly height. 



TRANSLA TIONS. 



Behold, to cheer thee on the toilsome way, 
How many a fountain glitters down the hill ! 

Pure gales, inviting, softly round thee play, 
Bright sunshine guides and wilt thou linger still] 
Oh ! enter there, where, freed from human strife, 

Hope is reality, and time is life. 



BELLA CASA. 



" Quest! palazzi, e queste logge or colte." 

THESE marble domes, by wealth and genius graced, 

With sculptured forms, bright hues, and Parian 

stone, 
Were once rude cabins midst a lonely waste, 

Wild shores of solitude, and isles unknown. 
Pure from each vice, 'twas here a venturous train 

Fearless in fragile barks explored the sea ; 
Not theirs a wish to conquer or to reign, 

They sought these island precincts to be free. 
Ne'er in their souls ambition's flame arose, 
No dream of avarice broke their calm repose ; 

Fraud, more than death, abhorr'd each artless 

breast: 

Oh ! now, since fortune gilds their brightening day, 
Let not those virtues languish and decay, 

O'erwhelm'd by luxury, and by wealth opprest! 



IL MARCHESE CORNELIO BENTIVOGLIO. 
" L'anima bella, che dal vero Eliso." 

THE sainted spirit which, from bliss on high, 

Descends like dayspring to my favour'd sight, 
Shines in such noontide radiance of the sky, 

Scarce do I know that form, intensely bright ! 
But with the sweetness of her well-known smile, 

That smile of peace! she bids my doubts depart, 
And takes my hand, and softly speaks the while, 

And heaven's full glory pictures to my heart. 
Beams of that heaven in her my eyes behold, 
And now, e'en now, in thought my wings unfold, 

To soar with her, and mingle with the blest ! 
But ah ! so swift her buoyant pinion flies, 
That I, in vain aspiring to the skies, 

Fall to my native sphere, by earthly bonds 
deprest. 



QUEVEDO. 



HOME BURIED IN HER OWN 
" Buscas en Roma a Roma, o peregrino ! " 

AMIDST these scenes, pilgrim ! seek'st thou 
Rome] 

Vain is thy search the pomp of Rome is fled; 
Her silent Aventine is glory's tomb ; 

Her walls, her shrines, but relics of the dead. 
That hill, where Caesars dwelt in other day?, 

Forsaken mourns, where once it tower 'd sublime; 
Each mouldering medal now far less displays 

The triumphs won by Latium than by Time. 
Tiber alone survives the passing wave 
That bathed her towers now murmurs by her 
grave, 

Wailing with plaintive sound her fallen fanes. 
Rome ! of thine ancient grandeur all is past, 
That seem'd for years eternal framed to last : 

Nought but the wave a fugitive, remains. 



EL COXDE JUAN DE TARSIS. 
" Tu, que la dulce vida en tiernas anos." 

THOU, who hast fled from life's enchanted bowers, 

In youth's gay spring, in beauty's glowing morn, 
Leaving thy bright array, thy path of flowers, 

For the rude convent-garb and couch of thorn; 
Thou that, escaping from a world of cares, 

Hast found thy haven in devotion's fane, 
As to the port the fearful bark repairs 

To shun the midnight perils of the main 
Now the glad hymn, the strain of rapture pour, 

While on thy soul the beams of glory rise ! 
For if the pilot hail the welcome shore 

With shouts of triumph swelling to the skies, 
Oh ! how shouldst tliou the exulting pjean raise, 
Now heaven's bright harbour opens on thy gaze ! 



TORQUATO TASSO. 
" Xegli anni acerbi tuoi, purpurea rosa." 

THOU in thy morn wert like a glowing rose 
To the mild sunshine only half display Yl, 

That shunn'd its bashful graces to disclose, 
And hi its veil of verdure sought a shade : 



TRANS LA TIONS. 



Or like Aurora did thy charms appear, 

(Since mortal form ne'er vied with aught so 

bright,) 
Aurora, smiling from her tranquil sphere, 

O'er vale and mountain shedding dew and light. 
Now riper years have doom'd no grace to fade ; 
Nor youthful charms, in all their pride array'd, 

Excel, or equal, thy neglected form. 
Thus, full expanded, lovelier is the flower, 
And the bright day-star, in its noontide hour, 

More brilliant shines, in genial radiance warm. 



BERNARDO TASSO. 
" Quest' ombra che giammai non vide il sole." 

THIS green recess, where through the bowery gloom 

Ne'er, e'en at noontide hours, the sunbeam 

play'd, 
Where violet-beds in soft luxuriance bloom 

Midst the cool freshness of the myrtle shade ; 
Where through the grass a sparkling fountain steals, 

Whose murmuring wave, transparent as it flows, 
No more its bed of yellow sand conceals 

Than the pure crystal hides the glowing rose ; 
This bower of peace, thou soother of our care, 
God of soft slumbers and of visions fair ! 

A lowly shepherd consecrates to thee ! 
Then breathe around some spell of deep repose, 
And charm his eyes in balmy dew to close, 

Those eyes, fatigued with grief, from tear-drops 
never free. 



PETRARCH. 

" Chi vuol veder quantunque pu6 natura." 

THOU that wouldst mark, in form of human birth, 

All heaven and nature's perfect skill combined, 
Come gaze on her, the day-star of the earth, 

Dazzling, not me alone, but all mankind : 
And haste ! for Death, who spares the guilty long, 

First calls the brightest and the best away ; 
And to her home, amidst the cherub throng, 

The angelic mortal flies, and will not stay ! 
Haste ! and each outward charm, each mental grace, 
In one consummate form thine eye shall trace, 

Model of loveliness, for earth too fair ! 
Then thou shalt own how faint my votive lays, 
My spirit dazzled by perfection's blaze : 

But if thou still delay, for long regret prepare. 



" Se lamentar angelli, o verdi fronde." 

IF to the sighing breeze of summer hours 

Bend the greenleaves; if mourns aplaintive bird; 
Or from some fount's cool margin, fringed with 
flowers, 

The soothing murmur of the wave is heard ; 
Her whom the heavens reveal, the earth denies, 

I see and hear : though dwelling far above, 
Her spirit, still responsive to my sighs, 

Visits the lone retreat of pensive love. 
"Why thus in grief consume each fruitless day," 
(Her gentle accents thus benignly say,) 

"While from thine eyes the tear unceasing 

flows? 

Weep not for me, who, hastening on my flight, 
Died, to be deathless ; and on heavenly light 

Whose eyes but open'd, when they seem'd to 
close ! " 



VERSI SPAGNUOLI DI PIETRO BEMBO. 
" O Muerte ! que sueles ser." 

THOU, the stern monarch of dismay, 
Whom nature trembles to survey, 
Death ! to me, the child of grief, 
Thy welcome power would bring relief, 

Changing to peaceful slumber many a care. 
And though thy stroke may thrill with pain 
Each throbbing pulse, each quivering vein ; 
The pangs that bid existence close, 
Ah ! sure are far less keen than those 

Which cloud its lingering moments with despair. 



FRANCESCO LORENZIXI. 



" O Zefiretto, che movendo vai." 



of the breeze ! whose dewy pinions light 

Wave gently round the tree I planted here, 
Sacred to her whose soul hath wing'd its flight 

To the pure ether of her lofty sphere ; 
Be it thy care, soft spirit of the gale ! 

To fan its leaves in summer's noontide hour ; 
Be it thy care that wintry tempests fail 

To rend its honours from the sylvan bower. 
Then shall it spread, and rear th' aspiring form, 
Pride of the wood, secure from every storm, 



TRANS LA TIONS. 



Graced with her name, a consecrated tree ! 
So may thy Lord, thy monarch of the wind, 
Ne'er with rude chains thy tender pinions bind, 

But grant thee still to rove, a wanderer wild 
and free ! 



GESNER. 

MORNING SONa 
" Willkommen, frulie morgensonn." 

HAIL ! morning sun, thus early bright ; 

Welcome, sweet dawn ! thou younger day ! 
Through the dark woods that fringe the height, 
Beams forth, e'en now, thy ray. 

Bright on the dew it sparkles clear, 

Bright on the water's glittering fall, 
And life, and joy, and health appear, 
Sweet Morning ! at thy call. 

Now thy fresh breezes lightly spring 

From beds of fragrance, where they lay, 
And roving wild on dewy wing, 
Drive slumber far away. 

Fantastic dreams, in swift retreat, 

Now from each mind withdraw their spell ; 
While the young loves delighted meet, 
On Rosa's cheek to dwell. 

Speed, zephyr ! kiss each opening flower, 

Its fragrant spirit make thine own ; 
Then whig thy way to Rosa's bower, 
Ere her light sleep is flown. 

There, o'er her downy pillow fly, 

Wake the sweet maid to life and day ; 
Breathe on her balmy lip a sigh, 
And o'er her bosom play ; 

And whisper, when her eyes unveil, 

That I, since morning's earliest call, 
Have sigh'd her name to ev'ry gale 
By the lone waterfall. 



GERMAN SONG. 

" Madchen, lernet Amor kennen." 

LISTEN, fair maid ! my song shall tell 
How Love may still be known full well- 



His looks the traitor prove. 
Dost thou not see that absent smile, 
That fiery glance replete with guile 1 

Oh ! doubt not then 'tis Love. 

When varying still the sly disguise, 
Child of caprice, he laughs and cries, 

Or with complaint would move ; 
To-day is bold, to-morrow shy, 
Changing each hour, he knows not why, 

Oh ! doubt not then 'tis Love. 

There's magic in his every wile, 
His lips, well practised to beguile, 

Breathe roses when they move ; 
See ! now with sudden rage he burns, 
Disdains, implores, commands, by turns. 

Oh ! doubt not then 'tis Love. 

He comes, without the bow and dart, 
That spare not e'en the purest heart ; 

His looks the traitor prove ; 
That glance is fire, that mien is guile, 
Deceit is lurking in that smile 

Oh ! trust him not 'tis Love ! 



CHAULIEU. 
" Grotte, d'oii sort ce clair ruisseau." 

THOU grot, whence flows this limpid spring, 
Its margin fringed with moss and flowers, 
Still bid its voice of murmurs bring 
Peace to my musing hours. 

Sweet Fontenay ! where first for me 

The dayspring of existence rose, 
Soon shall my dust return to thee, 
And midst my sires repose. 

Muses ! that watch'd my childhood's morn, 

Midst these wild haunts, with guardian eye- 
Fair trees ! that here beheld me born, 
Soon shall ye see me die. 



GARCILASO DE VEGA. 
" Coyed de vuestra alegre primavera." 

ENJOY the sweets of life's luxuriant May 
Ere envious Age is hastening on his way 



TRANSLA TIONS. 



53 



With snowy wreaths to crown the beauteous 

brow ; 

The rose will fade when storms assail the year, 
And Time, who changeth not his swift career, 

Constant in this, will change all else below ! 



LORENZO DE MEDICI. 



" Non di verdi giardin ornati e colti." 

WE come not, fair one ! to thy hand of snow 

From the soft scenes by Culture's hand array 'd; 
Not rear'd in bowers where gales of fragrance blow, 

But in dark glens, and depths of forest shade ! 
There once, as Venus wander' d, lost in woe, 

To seek Adonis through th' entangled wood, 
Piercing her foot, a thorn that lurk'd below 

With print relentless drew celestial blood ! 
Then our light stems, with snowy blossoms fraught, 
Bending to earth, each precious drop we caught, 

Imbibing thence our bright purpureal dyes ; 
We were not foster'd in our shadowy vales 
By guided rivulets or summer gales 

Our dew and air have been Love's balmy tears 
and sighs ! 



PINDEMONTE. 

ON THE HEBE OP CANOVA. 
" Dove per te, celeste ancilla, or vassi ? " 

WHITHER, celestial maid, so fast away ? 

What lures thee from the banquet of the skies 'i 
How canst thou leave thy native realms of day 

For this low sphere, this vale of clouds and sighs 1 
O thou, Canova ! soaring high above 

Italian art with Grecian magic vying ! 
We knew thy marble glow'd with life and love, 

But who had seen thee image footsteps flying ? 



Here to each eye the wind seems gently playing 
With the light vest, its wavy folds arraying 

In many a line of undulating grace; 
While Nature, ne'er her mighty laws suspending, 
Stands, before marble thus with motion blending, 

One moment lost in thought, its hidden cause 
to trace. 

[A volume of translations published in 1818, might have 
been called by anticipation, " Lays of many Lands." At the 
time now alluded to, her inspirations were chiefly derived 
from classical subjects. The "graceful superstitions" of 
Greece, and the sublime patriotism of Rome, held an influ- 
ence over her thoughts which is evinced by many of the works 
of this period such as " The Restoration of the Works of Art 
to Italy," " Modern Greece," and several of the poems which 
formed the volume entitled " Tales and Historic Scenes." 

" Apart from all intercourse," says Delta, " with literary 
society, and acquainted only by name and occasional corre- 
spondence with any of the distinguished authors of whom 
England has to boast, Mrs Hemans, during the progress of 
her poetical career, had to contend with more and greater 
obstacles than usually stand in the path of female authorship. 
To her praise be it spoken, therefore, that it was to her own 
merit alone, wholly independent of adventitious circum- 
stances, that she was indebted for the extensive share of popu- 
larity which her compositions ultimately obtained. From 
this studious seclusion were given forth the two poems which 



. 

appears; and she makes us feel, that she has marked out a 
path for herself through the regions of song. The versification 
is high-toned and musical, in accordance with the sentiment 
and subject ; and in every page we have evidence, not only of 
taste and genius, but of careful elaboration and research. 
These efforts were favourably noticed by Lord Byron ; and 
attracted the admiration of Shelley. Bishop Heber and other 
judicious and intelligent counsellors cheered her on by their 
approbation : the reputation which, through years of silant 
study and exertion, she had, no doubt, sometimes with 
brightened and sometimes with doubtful hopes, looked for- 
ward to as a sufficient great reward, was at length unequivo- 
cally and unreluctantly accorded her by the world ; and, 
probably, this was the happiest period of her life. The 
Translations from Camoens ; the prize poem of Wallace, as 
also that of Dartmoor, the Tales and Historic Scenes, and 
the Sceptic, may all be referred to this epoch of her literary 
career." Biographical Sketch, prefixed to Poetical Remains, 
1836. 

In reference to the same period of Mrs Hemans' career, 
the late acute and accomplished Miss Jewsbury (afterwards 
Mrs Fletcher) has the following judicious observations : 

" At this stage of transition, her poetry was correct, classi- 
cal, and highly polished ; but it wanted warmth : it partook 
more of the nature of statuary than of painting. She fettered 
her mind with facts and authorities, and drew upon her me- 
mory when she might have relied upon her imagination. She 
was diffident of herself, and, to quote her own admission, 
' loved to repose under the shadow of mighty names.' " 
Athenaum, Feb. 1831.] 



54 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



LINES 

WRITTEN IN A HERMITAGE ON THE SEA-SHORE. 

WANDERER ! would thy heart forget 

Each earthly passion and regret, 

And would thy wearied spirit rise 

To commune with its native skies ; 

Pause for a while, aad deem it sweet 

To linger in this calm retreat ; 
And give thy cares, thy griefs, a short suspense, 
Amidst wild scenes of lone magnificence. 

Unmix'd with aught of meaner tone, 
Here Nature's voice is heard alone : 
When the loud storm, in wrathful hour, 
Is rushing on its wing of power, 
And spirits of the deep awake, 
And surges foam, and billows break, 
And rocks and ocean-caves around 
Reverberate each awful sound 
That mighty voice, with all its dread control, 
To loftiest thought shall wake thy thrilling soul. 

But when no more the sea-winds rave, 
When peace is brooding on the wave, 
And from earth, air, and ocean rise 
No sounds but plaintive melodies ; 
Soothed by their softly mingling swell, 
As daylight bids the world farewell, 
The rustling wood, the dying breeze, 
The faint low rippling of the seas, 
A tender calm shall steal upon thy breast, 
A gleam reflected from the realms of rest. 

Is thine a heart the world hath stung, 
Friends have deceived, neglect hath wrung 1 
Hast thou some grief that none may know, 
Some lonely, secret, silent woe 1 
Or have thy fond affections fled 
From earth, to slumber with the dead ? 
Oh ! pause awhile the world disown, 
And dwell with Nature's self alone ! 
And though no more she bids arise 
Thy soul's departed energies, 
And though thy joy of life is o'er, 
Beyond her magic to restore ; 
Yet shall her spells o'er every passion steal, 
And soothe the wounded heart they cannot heal. 



DIRGE OF A CHILD. 

No bitter tears for thee be shed, 

Blossom of being ! seen and gone ! 
With flowers alone we strew thy bed, 

blest departed One ! 
Whose all of life, a rosy ray, 
Blush'd into dawn and pass'd away. 

Yes ! thou art fled, ere guilt had power 

To stain thy cherub-soul and form, 
Closed is the soft ephemeral flower 

That never felt a storm ! 
The sunbeam's smile, the zephyr's breath, 
All that it knew from birth to death. 

Thou wert so like a form of light, 

That heaven benignly call'd thee hence, 
Ere yet the world could breathe one blight 

O'er thy sweet innocence : 
And thou, that brighter home to bless, 
Art pass'd, with all thy loveliness ! 

Oh ! hadst thou still on earth remain'd, 

Vision of beauty ! fair, as brief ! 
How soon thy brightness had been stain'd 

With passion or with grief ! 
Now not a sullying breath can rise 
To dim thy glory in the skies. 

We rear no marble o'er thy tomb 

No sculptured image there shall mourn ; 
Ah ! fitter far the vernal bloom 

Such dwelling to adorn. 
Fragrance, and flowers, and dews, must be 
The only emblems meet for thee. 

Thy grave shall be a blessed shrine, 

Adorn'd with Nature's brightest wreath; 
Each glowing season shall combine 

Its incense there to breathe ; 
And oft, upon the midnight air, 
Shall viewless harps be murmuring there. 

And oh ! sometimes in visions blest, 

Sweet spirit ! visit our repose ; 
And bear, from thine own world of rest, 
Some balm for human woes ! 



.MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



55 



What form more lovely could be given 
Than thine to messenger of heaven 1 1 



IXYOCATIOX. 

HUSH'D is the world in night and sleep 

Earth, sea, and air are still as death ; 
Too rude to break a calm so deep 

"Were music's faintest breath. 
Descend, bright visions ! from aerial bowers, 
Descend to gild your own soft silent hours. 

In hope or fear, in toil or pain, 

The weary day have mortals pass'd ; 
Xow, dreams of bliss ! be yours to reign, 
And all your spells around them cast ; 
Steal from their hearts the pang, their eyes the 

tear, 
And lift the veil that hides a brighter sphere. 

Oh, bear your softest balm to those 

Who fondly, vainly, mourn the dead ! 
To them that world of peace disclose 

Where the bright soul is fled : 
Where Love, immortal in his native clime, 
Shall fear no pang from fate, no blight from 
time. 

Or to his loved, his distant land 

On your light wings the exile bear, 
To feel once more his heart expand 

In his own genial mountain-air ; 
Hear the wild echoes well-known strains repeat, 
And bless each note, as heaven's own music 
sweet. 

But oh ! with fancy's brightest ray, 

Blest dreams ! the bard's repose illume ; 
Bid forms of heaven around him play, 

And bowers of Eden bloom ! 
And waft his spirit to its native skies 
Who finds no charm in life's realities. 

Xo voice is on the air of night, 

Through folded leaves no murmurs creep, 
Nor star nor moonbeam's trembling light 

Falls on the placid brow of sleep. 
Descend, bright visions ! from your airy bower : 
Dark, silent, solemn is your favourite hour. 

1 Vide Annotation from Quarterly Sfvine, p. 62. 



TO THE MEMORY OF 

GENERAL SIR E D P K M. 2 

BRAVE spirit ! mourn'd with fond regret, 

Lost in life's pride, in valour's noon, 
Oh, who could deem thy star should set 
So darkly and so soon ! 

Fatal, though bright, the fire of mind 

Which mark'd and closed thy brief career, 
And the fair wreath, by Hope entwined, 
Lies wither'd on thy bier. 

The soldier's death hath been thy doom, 
The soldier's tear thy mead shall be ; 
Yet, son of war ! a prouder tomb 
Might Fate have rear'd for thee. 

Thou shouldst have died, high-soul'd chief ! 

In those bright days of glory fled, 
When triumph so prevail'd o'er grief 
We scarce could mourn the dead. 

Noontide of fame ! each tear-drop then 

Was worthy of a warrior's grave : 
When shall affection weep again 
So proudly o'er the brave 1 

There, on the battle-fields of Spain, 

Midst Roncesvalles' mountain-scene, 
Or on Vitoria's blood-red plain, 
Meet had thy deathbed been. 

2 Major-general Sir Edward Pakenham, the gallant officer 
to whose memory these verses are dedicated, fell at the head 
of the British troops in the unfortunate attack on New 
Orleans, 8th January 1814. " Six thousand combatants on 
the British side," says Mr Alison, " were in the field : a 
slender force to attack double their number, intrenched to 
the teeth in works bristling with bayonets and loaded with 
heavy artillery." History of Europe, vol. x. p. 743. 

The death of Sir Edward is thus alluded to in the official 
account of General Keane, communicating the result of the 
action: " The advancing columns were discernible from 
the enemy's line at more than two hundred yards' distance, 
when a destructive fire was instantly opened, not only from 
all parts of the enemy's line, but from the battery on the 
opposite side of the river. The gallant Pakenham, who, 
during his short but brilliant career, was always foremost in 
the path of glory and of danger, galloped forward to the 
front, to animate his men by his presence. He had reached 
the crest of the glacis, and was in the act of cheering his 
troops with his hat off, when he received two balls, one in 
the knee and another in the body. He fell into the arms 
of Major Macdougal, his aide-de-camp, and almost instantly 
expired." Edinr. An. Regist. 1815, p. 356. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



We mourn not that a hero's life 

Thus in its ardent prime should close ; 
Hadst thou but fallen in nobler strife, 
But died midst conquer'd foes ! 

Yet hast thou still (though victory's flame 

In that last moment cheer'd thee not) 
Left Glory's isle another name, 
That ne'er may be forgot : 

And many a tale of triumph won 

Shall breathe that name in Memory's ear, 
And long may England mourn a son 
Without reproach or fear. 



TO THE MEMORY OF 

SIR H T E LL S, 

WHO FELL IN THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. 

" Happy are they who die in youth, when their renown :s 
around them." OSSIAN. 

WEEP'ST thou for him, whose doom was seal'd 
On England's proudest battle-field ] 
For him, the lion-heart, who died 
In victory's full resistless tide ? 

Oh, mourn him not ! 
By deeds like his that field was won, 
And Fate could yield to Valour's son 

No brighter lot. 

He heard his band's exulting cry, 
He saw the vanquish'd eagles fly ; 
And envied be his death of fame ! 
It shed a sunbeam o'er his name 

That nought shall dun : 
No cloud obscured his glory's day, 
It saw no twilight of decay. 

Weep not for him ! 

And breathe no dirge's plaintive moan, 
A hero claims far loftier tone ! 
Oh, proudly shall the war-song swell, 
Recording how the mighty fell 

In that dread hour, 

When England, midst the battle-storm 
The avenging angel rear'd her form 

In tenfold power. 

Yet, gallant heart ! to swell thy praise, 
Vain were the minstrel's noblest lays ; 



Since he, the soldier's guiding star, 
The Victor-chief, the lord of war, 

Has own'd thy fame : 
And oh ! like his approving word, 
What trophied marble could record 

A warrior's name 1 



GUERILLA SONG. 

FOUNDED O.V THE STORY RELATED OF THE SPANISH 
PATRIOT 5IIXA. 

OH ! forget not the hour when through forest 

and vale 

We return'd with our chief to his dear native halls; 
Through the woody sierra there sigh'd not a gale, 
And the moonbeam was bright on his battlement- 
walls ; 

And nature lay sleeping in calmness and light, 
Round the home of the valiant, that rose on our 
sight. , 

We enter'd that home all was loneliness round, 
The stillness, the darkness, the peace of the grave ; 
Not a voice, not a step, bade its echoes resound : 
Ah, such was the welcome that waited the brave ! 
For the spoilers had pass'd, like the poison-wind's 

breath, 
And the loved of his bosom lay silent in death. 

Oh ! forget not that hour let its image be near, 
In the light of our mirth, in the dreams of our rest, 
Let its tale awake feelings too deep for a tear, 
And rouse into vengeance each arm and each breast, 
Till cloudless the dayspring of liberty shine 
O'er the plains of the olive and hills of the vine. 



THE AGED INDIAN. 

WARRIORS ! my noon of life is past, 
The brightness of my spirit flown ; 

I crouch before the wintiy blast, 
Amidst my tribe I dwell alone ; 

The heroes of my youth are fled, 

They rest among the warlike dead. 

Ye slumberers of the narrow cave ! 

My kindred chiefs in days of yore ! 
Ye fill an unreniember'd grave, 

Your fame, your deeds, are known no more. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



57 



The records of your wars are gone, 
Your names forgot by all but one. 

Soon shall that one depart from earth, 
To join the brethren of his prime ; 

Then will the memoiy of your birth 
Sleep with the hidden things of time. 

With him, ye sons of former days ! 

Fades the last glimmering of your praise. 

His eyes, that hail'd your spirits' flame, 
Still kindling in the combat's shock, 

Have seen, since darkness veil'd your fame, 
Sons of the desert and the rock ! 

Another and another race 

Rise to the battle and the chase. 

Descendants of the mighty dead ! 

Fearless of heart, and firm of hand ! 
Oh, let me join their spirits fled 

Oh ! send me to their shadowy land. 
Age hath not tamed Ontara's heart 
He shrinks not from the friendly dart. 

These feet no more can chase the deer, 
The glory of this arm is flown ; 

Why should the feeble linger here 
When all the pride of life is gone 1 

Warriors ! why still the stroke deny ] 

Think ye Ontara fears to die ] 

He fear'd not in his flower of days, 

When strong to stem the torrent's force, 

When through the desert's pathless maze 
His way was as an eagle's course ! 

When war was sunshine to his sight, 

And the wild hurricane delight ! 

Shall, then, the warrior tremble now ? 

Now when his envied strength is o'et 
Hung on the pine his idle bow, 

His pirogue useless on the shore 1 
When age hath dirom'd his failing eye, 
Shall he, the joyless, fear to die ? 

Sons of the brave ! delay no more 
The spirits of my kindred call. 

'Tis but one pang, and all is o'er ! 
Oh, bid the aged cedar fall ! 

To join the brethren of his prime, 

The mighty of departed tune. 



EVENING AMONGST THE ALPS. 

SOFT skies of Italy ! how richly drest, 

Smile these wild scenes in your purpureal glow ! 
What glorious hues, reflected from the west, 

Float o'er the dwellings of eternal snow ! 
Yon torrent, foaming down the granite steep, 

Sparkles all brilliance in the setting beam ; 
Dark glens beneath in shadowy beauty sleep, 

Where pipes the goat-herd by his mountain- 
stream. 
Now from yon peak departs the vivid ray, 

That still at eve its lofty temple knows ; 
From rock and torrent fade the tints away, 

And all is wrapt in twilight's deep repose : 
While through the pine-wood gleams the vesper 

star, 
And roves the Alpine gale o'er solitudes afar. 



DIRGE OF THE HIGHLAND CHIEF IN 
"WAVERLEY." 1 

Sox of the mighty and the free ! 

High-minded leader of the brave ! 
Was it for lofty chief like thee 
To fill a nameless grave ] 
Oh ! if amidst the valiant slain 

The warrior's bier had been thy lot, 
E'en though on red Culloden's plain, 
We then had moum'd thee not. 

1 These very beautiful stanzas first appeared in the Edin- 
burgh Annual Register for 1815, (p. 255,) with the following 
interesting heading. 

" A literary friend of ours received these verses with a 
letter of the following tenor : 

'"A very ingenious youn/j friend of mine hasjttft sent me 
the enclosed, on reading Waverley. To you the world gives 
that charming work , and if in any future edition you should 
like to insert the Dirge to a Highland Chief, you would do 
honour to 

Your Sincere Admirer.' 

" The individual to whom this obliging letter was addressed, 
having no claim to the honour which is there done him, does 
not possess the means of publishing the verses in the popular 
novel alluded to. But that the public may sustain no loss, 
and that the ingenious author of Waverley may be aware of 
the honour intended him, our correspondent has ventured to 
send the verses to our Register." 

Notwithstanding the mysticism in the note about the "very 
ingenious young friend of mine" and "your sincere ad- 
mirer," on the one hand ; and the disclaimer by "a literary 
friend ofourt," on the other, there can be little doubt that 
the Dirge was sent by Mrs Hemans to Sir AValter, then Mr 
Scott, and by him to the Register of which he himself 
wrote that year the historical department. Vide Lock- 
hart's Life of Scott, vol. iv. p. 80. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



But darkly closed thy dawn of fame, 

That dawn whose sunbeam rose so fair ; 
Vengeance alone may breathe thy name, 

The watchword of Despair ! 
Yet, oh ! if gallant spirit's power 

Hath e'er ennobled death like thine, 
Then glory mark'd thy parting hour, 
Last of a mighty line ! 

O'er thy own towers the sunshine falls, 

But cannot chase their silent gloom ; 

Those beams that gild thy native walls 

Are sleeping on thy tomb ! 
Spring on thy mountains laughs the while, 

Thy green woods wave in vernal air, 
But the loved scenes may vainly smile : 
Not e'en thy dust is there. 

On thy blue hills no bugle-sound 

Is mingling with the torrent's roar ; 
Unmark'd, the wild deer sport around : 

Thou lead'st the chase no more ! 
Thy gates are closed, thy halls are still, 

Those halls where peal'd the choral strain ; 
They hear the wind's deep murmuring thrill, 
And all is hush'd again. 

No banner from the lonely tower 

Shall wave its blazon'd folds on high ; 
There the tall grass and summer flower 

Unmark'd shall spring and die. 
No more thy bard for other ear 

Shall wake the harp once loved by thine 
Hush'd be the strain thou canst not hear, 
Last of a mighty line ! 



THE CRUSADERS' WAR-SOXG. 

CHIEFTAINS, lead on ! our hearts beat high 

Lead on to Salem's towers ! 
\Vho would not deem it bliss to die, 

Slain in a cause like ours ? 
The brave who sleep in soil of thine, 
Die not entomb'd but shrined, Palestine ! 

Souls of the slain in holy war ! 

Look from your sainted rest. 
Tell us ye rose in Glory's car, 

To mingle with the blest ; 
Tell us how short the death-pang's power, 
How bright the joys of your immortal bower. 



Strike the loud harp, ye minstrel train ! 

Pour forth your loftiest lays ; 
Each heart shall echo to the ttraiu 

Breathed in the warrior's praise. 
Bid every string triumphant swell 
Th' inspiring sounds that heroes love so welL 

Salem ! amidst the fiercest hour, 

The wildest rage of fight, 
Thy name shall lend our falchions power, 

And nerve our hearts with might. 
Envied be those for thee that fall, 
Who find their graves beneath thy sacred -wall. 

For them no need that sculptured tomb 

Should chronicle their fame, 
Or pyramid record their doom, 

Or deathless verse their name ; 
It is enough that dust of thine 
Should shroud their forms, blessed Palestine ! 

Chieftains, lead on ! our hearts beat high 

For combat's glorious hour ; 
Soon shall the red-cross banner fly 

On Salem's loftiest tower ! 
We burn to mingle in the strife, 
Where but to die insures eternal life. 



THE DEATH OF CLAXRONALD. 

[It was in the battle of Sheriffmoor that young Clanronald 
fell, leading on the Highlanders of the right wing. His 
death dispirited the assailants, who began to waver. But 
Glengarry, chief of a rival branch of the Clan Colla, started 
from the ranks, and, waving his bonnet round his head, 
cried out, " To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for mourn- 
ing ! " The Highlanders received a new impulse from his 
words, and, charging with redoubled fury, bore down all 
before them. See the Quarterly Review article of " Cul- 
loden Papers."] 

OH, ne'er be Clanronald the valiant forgot ! 
Still fearless and first in the combat, he fell ; 
But we paused not one tear-drop to shed o'er the 

spot, 

We spared not one moment to murmur "Farewell." 
We heard but the battle-word given by the chief, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief ! " 

And wildly, Clanronald ! we echo'd the vow, 
With the tear on our cheek, and the sword in our 

hand ; 

Young son of the brave ! we may weep for thee now, 
For well has thy death been avenged by thy band, 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



59 



When they join d in wild chorus the ciy of the 

chief, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief ! " 

Thy dirge in that hour was the bugle's wild call, 
The clash of the claymore, the shout of the brave ; 
But now thy own bard may lament for thy fall, 
And the soft voice of melody sigh o'er thy grave 
"While Albyn remembers the words of the chief, 
'' To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief ! " 

Thou art fallen, O fearless one ! flower of thy race ! 
Descendant of heroes ! thy glory is set : 
But thy kindred, the sons of the battle and chase, 
Have proved that thy spirit is bright in them yet ! 
Nor vainly have echo'd the words of the chief, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief ! " 



TO THE EYE. 

THROXE of expression ! whence the spirit's ray 
Pours forth so oft the light of mental day, 
Where fancy's fire, affection's mental beam, 
Thought, genius, passion, reign in turn supreme, 
And many a feeling, words can ne'er impart, 
Finds its own language to pervade the heart : 
Thy power, bright orb ! what bosom hath not felt, 
To thrill, to rouse, to fascinate, to melt ! 
And, by some spell of undefined control, 
With magnei>innuence touch the secret soul ! 

Light of the features ! in the morn of youth 
Thy glance is nature, and thy language truth ; 
And ere the world, with all-corrupting sway, 
Hath taught e'en thee to flatter and betray, 
Th' ingenuous heart forbids thee to reveal, 
Or speak one thought that interest would conceal. 
While yet thou seem'st the cloudless mirror given 
But to reflect the purity of heaven, 
Oh ! then how lovely, there unveil'd, to trace 
Th' unsullied brightness of each mental grace ! 

When Genius lends thee all his living light, 
Where the full beams of intellect unite ; 
When love illumes thee with his varying ray, 
Where trembling Hope and tearful Rapture play; 
Or Pity's melting cloud thy beam subdues, 
Tempering its lustre with a veil of dews ; 
Still does thy power, whose all-commanding spell 
Can pierce the mazes of the soul so well, 
Bid some new feeling to existence start 
From its deep slumbers in the inmost heart. 



And oh ! when thought, in ecstasy sublime, 
That soars triumphant o'er the bounds of time. 
Fires thy keen glance with inspiration's blaze, 
The light of heaven, the hope of nobler days, 
(As glorious dreams, for utterance far too high, 
Flash through the mist of dim mortality :) 
Who does not own, that through thy lightning- 
beams 

A flame unquenchable, unearthly, streams 1 
That pure, though captive effluence of the sky, 
The vestal-ray, the spark that cannot die ! 



THE HERO'S DEATH. 

LITE'S parting beams were in his eye, 
Life's closing accents on his tongue, 
WTien round him, pealing to the sky, 
The shout of victory rung ! 

Then, ere his gallant spirit fled, 

A smile so bright illumed his face 
Oh ! never, of the light it shed, 

Shall memory lose a trace ! 

His was a death whose rapture high 

Transcended all that life could yield ; 
His warmest prayer was so to die, 
On the red battle-field ! 

And they may feel, who loved him most, 

A pride so holy and so pure : 
Fate hath no power o'er those who boast 
A treasure thus secure ! 



STANZAS 



THE DEATH OF THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE. 

[" H<Has ! nous composions son histoire de tout ce qu'on 
peut imaginer de plus glorieux. . . . Le passd et le present nous 
garantissoient 1'avenir. . . . Telle e'toit 1'agreable histoire que 
nous faisions ; et pour achever ces nobles projets, il n'y avoit 
que la duree de sa vie ; dont nous ne croyions pas devoir 
etre en peine, car qui eflt pu seulement penser, que lea 
annees eussent do manquer a une jeunesse qui sembloit si 
vive ? " BOSSUET.] 



MARK'D ye the mingling of the city's throng, 
Each mien, each glance, with expectation bright? 



6o 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Prepare the pageant and the choral song, 
The pealing chimes, the blaze of festal light ! 
And hark ! what rumour's gathering sound is nigh?- 
Is it the voice of joy, that murmur deep 1 
Away ! be hush' d, ye sounds of revelry ! 
Back to your homes, ye multitudes, to weep ! 
Weep ! for the storm hath o'er us darkly pass'd, 
And England's royal flower is broken by the blast ! 



Was it a dream 1 so sudden and so dread 
That awful fiat o'er our senses came ! 
So loved, so blest, is that young spirit fled, 
Whose early grandeur promised years of fame ? 
Oh ! when hath life possess'd, or death destroy 'd 
More lovely Hopes, more cloudlessly that smiled? 
When hath the spoiler left so dark a void 1 
For all is lost the mother and her child ! 
Our morning-star hath vanish'd, and the tomb 
Throws its deep lengthen'd shade o'er distant 
years to come. 



Angel of Death ! did no presaging sign 
Announce thy coining, and thy way prepare ] 
No warning voice, no harbinger was thine, 
Danger and fear seem'd past but thou wert there ! 
Prophetic sounds along the earthquake's path 
Foretell the hour of nature's awful throes ; 
And the volcano, ere it burst in wrath, 
Sends forth some herald from, its dread repose : 
But thou, dark Spirit ! swift and unforeseen, 
Cam'st like the lightning's flash, when heaven is 
all serene. 



And she is gone ! the royal and the young, 
In soul commanding, and in heart benign ! 
Who, from a race of kings and heroes sprung, 
Glow'd with a spirit lofty as her line. 
Now may the voice she loved on earth so well 
Breathe forth her name unheeded and in vain ; 
Nor can those eyes on which her own would dwell 
Wake from that breast one sympathy again : 
The ardent heart, the towering mind are fled, 
Yet shall undying love still linger with the dead. 



Oh, many a bright existence we have seen 
Quench'd in the glow and fulness of its prime ; 
And many a cherish'd flower, ere now, hath been 
Cropt ere its leaves were breathed upon by time. 
We have lost heroes in their noon of pride, 
Whose fields of triumph gave them but a bier ; 



And we have wept when soaring genius died, 
Check'd in the glory of his mid career ! 
But here our hopes were centred all is o'er : 
All thought in this absorb'd, she was and is no 
more ! 



We watch'd her childhood from its earliest hour, 
From every word and look blest omens caught ; 
While that young mind developed all its power, 
And rose to energies of loftiest thought. 
On her was fix'd the patriot's ardent eye 
One hope still bloom'd, one vista still was fair ; 
And when the tempest swept the troubled sky, 
She was our dayspring all was cloudless there; 
And oh ! how lovely broke on England's gaze, 
E'en through the mist and storm, the light of 
distant davs. 



Xow hath one moment darken'd future years, 
And changed the track of ages yet to be ! 
Yet, mortal ! midst the bitterness of tears, 
Kneel, and adore th' inscrutable decree ! 
Oh ! while the clear perspective smiled in light, 
Wisdom should then have temper'd hope's excess. 
And, lost One ! when we saw thy lot so bright, 
We might have trembled at its loveliness. 
Joy is no earthly flower nor framed to bear.. 
In its exotic bloom, life's cold, ungenial air. 



All smiled around thee : Youth, and Love, and 

Praise, 

Hearts all devotion and all truth were thine ! 
On thee was riveted a nation's gaze, 
As on some radiant and unsullied shrine. 
Hen-ess of empires ! thou art pass'd away 
Like some fair vision, that arose to throw 
O'er one brief hour of life a fleeting ray, 
Then leave the rest to solitude and woe ! 
Oh ! who shall dare to woo such dreams again ! 
Who hath not wept to know that tears for thee 

were vain? 



Yet there is one who loved thee and whose soul 
With mild affections nature form'd to melt ; 
His mind hath bow'd beneath the stern control 
Of many a grief but this shall be unfelt ! 
Years have gone by and given his honour'd head 
A diadem of snow ; his eye is dim ; 
Around him Heaven a solemn cloud hath spread- 
The past, the future, are a dream to him ! 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



61 



Yet, in the darkness of his fate, alone 1 
He dwells on earth, while thou in life's full pride 
art gone ! 



The Chastener's hand is on us we may weep, 
But not repine for many a storm hath pass'd, 
And, pillow'd on her own majestic deep, 
Hath England slept, unshaken by the blast ! 
And War hath raged o'er many a distant plain, 
Trampling the vine and olive in his path ; 
While she, that regal daughter of the main, 
Smiled in serene defiance of his wrath ! 
As some proud summit, mingling with the sky, 
Hears calmly far below the thunders roll and die. 



Her voice hath been th' awakener and her name 
The gathering-word of nations. In her might, 
And all the awful beauty of her fame, 
Apart she dwelt, in solitary light. 
High on her cliffs, alone and firm she stood, 
Fixing the torch upon her beacon-tower 
That torch whose flame, far streaming o'er the flood, 
Hath guided Europe through her darkest hour. 
Away, vain dreams of glory ! in the dust 
Be humbled, Ocean-queen ! and own thy sentence 
just! 



Hark ! 'twas the death-bell's note ! which, full 

and deep, 

Unmix'd with aught of less majestic tone, 
While all the murmurs of existence sleep, 
Swell'd on the stillness of the air alone ! 
Silent the throngs that fill the darken'd street, 
Silent the slumbering Thames, the lonely mart ; 
And all is still, where countless thousands meet, 
Save the full throbbing of the awe-struck heart ! 



1 " I saw him last on this terrace proud, 

Walking in health and gladness ; 
Begirt with his court and in all the crowd 
Xot a single look of sadness. 

" The time since he walk'd in glory thus, 

To the grave till I saw him carried, 
Was an age of the mightiest change to ut, 
But to him a night unvaried. 

" A daughter beloved a queen a son 

And a son's sole child had perish'd ; 
And sad was each heart, save the only one 
By which they were fondest cherish "d." 

" The Contrast," written under Windsor Terrace, 17th Feb. 
1S20, by Horace Smith, Esq. 



All deeply, strangely, fearfully serene, 
As in each ravaged home th' avenging 
been. 



one hail 



The sun goes down in beauty his farewell, 
Unlike the world he leaves, is calmly bright ; 
And his last mellow'd rays around us dwell, 
Lingering, as if on scenes of young delight 
They smile and fade but, when the day is o'er, 
What slow procession moves with measured 

tread? 

Lo ! those who weep, with her who weeps no more, 
A solemn train the mourners and the dead ! 
While, throned on high, the moon's untroubled ray 
Looks down, as earthly hopes are passing thus away. 



But other light is in that holy pile, 
Where, in the house of silence, kings repose ; 
There, through the dim arcade and pillar'd aisle, 
The funeral torch its deep-red radiance throws. 
There pall, and canopy, and sacred strain, 
And all around the stamp of woe may bear ; 
But Grief, to whose full heart those forms are vain, 
Grief unexpress'd, unsoothed by them is there. 
No darker hour hath Fate for him who mourns, 
Than when the all he loved, as dust, to dust 
returns. 

XV. 

We mourn but not thy fate, departed One ! 
We pity but the living, not the dead ; 
A cloud hangs o'er us 3 " the bright day is done,' ; 
And with a father's hopes, a nation's fled. 
And he, the chosen of thy youthful breast, 
Whose soul with thine had mingled every thought 
He, with thine early fond affections blest, 
Lord of a mind with all things lovely fraught ; 
What but a desert to his eye, that earth, 
Which but retains of thee the memory of thy 
worth 1 



Oh ! there are griefs for nature too intense, 
Whose first rude shock but stupifies the soul ; 
Nor hath the fragile and o'erlabour'd sense 
Strength e'en to feel at once their dread control. 
But when 'tis past, that still and speechless hour 
Of the seal'd bosom and the tearless eye, 
Then the roused mind awakes, with tenfold powet 
To grasp the fulness of its agony ! 

1 " The bright day is done, 

And we are for the dark." SHAKSPEARE. 



62 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Its death-like torpor vanisli'd and its doom, 
To cast its own dark hues o'er life and nature's 
bloom. 



And such Ms lot whom thou hast loved and left, 
Spirit ! thus early to thy home recall'd ! 
So sinks the heart, of hope and thee bereft, 
A warrior's heart, which danger ne'er appall'd. 
Years may pass on and, as they roll along, 
Mellow those pangs which now his bosom rend ; 
And he once more, with life's unheeding throng, 
May, though alone in soul, in seeming blend ; 
Yet still, the guardian-angel of his mind 
Shall thy loved image dwell, in Memory's temple 
shrined. 



Yet must the days be long ere time shall steal 
Aught from his grief whose spirit dwells with thee : 
Once deeply bruised, the heart at length may heal, 
But all it was oh ! never more shall be. 
The flower, the leaf, o'erwhelm'd by winter snow, 
Shall spring again, when beams and showers return, 
The faded cheek again with health may glow, 
And the dim eye with life's warm radiance burn ; 
But the pure freshness of the mind's young bloom, 
Once lost, revives alone in worlds beyond the tomb. 



But thou ! thine hour of agony is o'er, 

And thy brief race in brilliance hath been run ; 

While Faith, that bids fond nature grieve no more, 

Tells that thy crown though not on earth is won. 

Thou, of the world so early left, hast known 

Nought but the bloom and sunshine and for thee, 

Child of propitious stars ! for thee alone, 

The course of love ran smooth 1 and brightly free. 

Not long such bliss to mortal could be given : 

It is enough for earth to catch one glimpse of heaven. 

xx. 

What though, ere yet the noonday of thy fame 
Rose in its glory on thine England's eye, 
The grave's deep shadows o'er thy prospect camel 
Ours is that loss and thou wert blest to die ! 
Thou mightst have lived to dark and evil years, 
To mourn thy people changed, thy skies o'ercast; 
But thy spring morn was all undimm'd by tears, 
And thou wert loved and cherish'd to the last ! 

1 " The course of true love never did run smooth." 

SHAKSPEARE. 



And thy young name, ne'er breathed in ruder tone, 
Thus dying, thou hast left to love and grief alone. 



Daughter of Kings ! from that high sphere look 

down 

Where still, in hope, affection's thoughts may rise; 
Where dimly shines to thee that mortal crown 
Which earth display'd to claim thee from the skies. 
Look down ! and if thy spirit yet retain 
Memory of aught that once was fondly dear, 
Soothe, though unseen, the hearts that mourn in 

vain, 

And in their hours of loneliness be near ! 
Blest was thy lot e'en here and one faint sigh, 
Oh ! tell those hearts, hath made that blest 

eternity! 2 

2 These stanzas were dated, Brownwhylfa, 23d Dec. 1817, 
and first appeared in Blachwood's Magazine, vol. iii. April 
1818. 

EXTRACT FROM QUARTERLY REVIEW. 

" The next volume in order consists principally of trans- 
lations. It will give our readers some idea of Mrs Hemans' 
acquaintance with books, to enumerate the authors from 
whom she has chosen her subjects ; they are Camoens, 
Metastasio, Filicaja, Pastorini, Lope de Vega, Francisco 
Manuel, Delia Casa, Cornelio Bentivoglio, Quevedo, Juan 
de Tarsis, Torquato and Bernardo Tasso, Petrarca, Pietro 
Bembo, Lorenzini, Gesner, Chaulieu, Garcilaso de Vega 
names embracing almost every language in which the muse 
has found a tongue in Europe. Many of these translations 
are very pretty, but it would be less interesting to select any 
of them for citation, as our readers might not be possessed of 
or acquainted with the originals. We will pass on, therefore, 
to the latter part of the volume, which contains much that 
is very pleasing and beautiful. The poem which we are 
about to transcribe is on a subject often treated and no 
wonder; it would be hard to find another which embraces 
so many of the elements of poetic feeling ; so soothing a 
mixture of pleasing melancholy and pensive hope ; such an 
assemblage of the ideas of tender beauty, of artless playful- 
ness, of spotless purity, of transient yet imperishable bright- 
ness, of affections wounded, but not in bitterness, of sorrows 
gently subdued, of eternal and undoubted happiness. We 
know so little of the heart of man, that when we stand by 
the grave of him whom we deem most excellent, the thought 
of death will be mingled with some awe and uncertainty ; 
but the gracious promises of scripture leave no doubt as to 
the blessedness of departed infants ; and when we think 
what they now are and what they might have been, what 
they now enjoy and what they might have suffered, what 
they have now gained and what they might have lost, we 
may, indeed, yearn to follow them; but we must be selfish 
indeed to wish them again ' constrained ' to dwell in these 
tenements of pain and sorrow. The ' Dirge of a Child,' 
which follows, embodies these thoughts and feelings, but in 
more beautiful order and language : 

" No bitter tears for thee be shed," etc. Vide page 55. 



WALLACE'S INVOCATION TO BRUCE. 



WALLACE'S INVOCATION TO BRUCE. 1 



" Great patriot hero ! ill-requited chief ! " 



THE morn rose bright on scenes renown'd, 
Wild Caledonia's classic ground, 
Where the bold sons of other days 
Won their high fame in Ossian's lays, 
And fell but not till Carron's tide 
With Roman blood was darkly dyed. 
The morn rose bright and heard the cry 
Sent by exulting hosts on high, 
And saw the white-cross banner float 
(While rung each clansman's gathering-note) 
O'er the dark plumes and serried spears 
Of Scotland's daring mountaineers ; 



1 Advertisement by the Author. " A native of Edinburgh, 
and member of the Highland Society of London, with a view 
to give popularity to the project of rearing a suitable national 
monument to the memory of Wallace, lately offered prizes 
for the three best poems on the subject of that illustrious 
patriot inviting Bruce to the Scottish throne. The follow- 
ing poem obtained the first of these prizes. It would have 
appeared in the same form in which it is now offered to the 
public, under the direction of its proper editor, the giver of 
the prize ; but his privilege has, with pride as well as plea- 
sure, been yielded to a lady of the author's own country, 
who solicited permission to avail herself of this opportunity 
of honouring and further remunerating the genius of the 
poet ; and, at the same time, expressing her admiration of 
the theme in which she has triumphed. 

" It is a noble feature in the character of a generous and 
enlightened people, that, in England, the memory of the 
patriots and martyrs of Scotland has long excited an interest 
not exceeded in strength by that which prevails in the coun- 
try which boasts their birth, their deeds, and their sufferings." 

[" Mrs Hemans was recommended by a zealous friend in 
Edinburgh to enter the lists as a competitor, which she accord- 
ingly did, though without being in the slightest degree san- 
guine of success ; so that the news of the prize having been 
decreed to her was no less unexpected than gratifying. The 
number of candidates, for this distinction, was so over- 
whelming as to cause not a little embarrassment to the judges 
appointed to decide on their merits. A letter, written at this 
time, describes them as being reduced to absolute despair by 
the contemplation of the task which awaited them, having to 
read over a mass of poetry that would require a month at least 
to wade through. Some of the contributions were from the 
strangest aspirants imaginable ; and one of them is mentioned 
as being as long as Paradise Lost, At length, however, the 
Herculean labour was accomplished ; and the honour awarded 
to Mrs Hemans, on this occasion, seemed an earnest of the 
warm kindness and encouragement she was ever afterwards 
to receive at the hands of the Scottish public." Memoir, 
p. 31-2. 

Although two-thirds of the compositions sent to the arbiters, 
on the occasion alluded to, are understood to have been mere 
trash, yet several afterwards came to light, through the press, 



[ As, all elate with hope, they stood, 
I To buy their freedom with then" blood. 

The sunset shone to guide the flying, 
And beam a farewell to the dying ! 
The summer moon, on Falkirk's field, 
Streams upon eyes in slumber seal'd ; 
Deep slumber not to pass away 
When breaks another morning's ray, 
Nor vanish when the trumpet's voice 
Bids ardent hearts again rejoice : 
What sunbeam's glow, what clarion's breath, 
May chase the still cold sleep of death 1 

of very considerable excellence. We would especially men- 
tion " Wallace and Bruce, a Vision," published in Constable '$ 
Magazine for Dec. 1819 ; and " Wallace," by James Hogg, 
subsequently included in the fourth volume of his Collected 
Works Edin. 1822, p. 143-160. 

" The Vision " is thus prefaced : " Though far from enter- 
ing into a hopeless competition with Mrs Hemans, I think 
the far-famed interview of our patriot heroes ought not to 
be left entirely to English celebration. Mrs Hemans has 
adorned the subject with the finest strains of pure poetry. 
Receive here, as a humble contrast, a simple strain of genuine 
Scottish feeling, flowing from a mind that owns no other muse 
but the amor patria, and seeks no other praise but what 
is due to heartfelt interest in the glory of our ancient king- 
dom, and no higher name than that of ' a kindly Scot.' " 

The Ettrick Shepherd is equally gallant in his laudations, 
and forgets his discomfiture in generous acknowledgement of 
the merits of his rival. " This poem," (Wallace,) says he, 
" was hurriedly and reluctantly written, in compliance with 
the solicitations of a friend who would not be gainsayed, to 
compete for a prize offered by a gentleman for the best poem 
on the subject. The prize was finally awarded to Mrs Felicia 
Hemans ; and, as far as the merits of mine went, very justly, 
hers being greatly superior both in elegance of thought and 
composition. Had I been constituted the judge myself, I 
would have given hers the preference by many degrees ; and 
I estimated it the more highly as coming from one of the 
people that were the hero's foes, oppressors, and destroyers. 
I think my heart never warmed so much to an author for any 
poem that ever was written." 

Acceptable praise this must have been, coming from such 
a man as the Author of " The Queen's Wake" a produc- 
tion entitled to a permanent place in British poetry, indepen- 
dently of the extraordinary circumstances under which it was 
composed. Whatever may be its blemishes, taken as a whole, 
" Kilmeny," " Glenavin," " Earl Walter," " The Abbot 
Mackinnon," and " The Witch of Fife " more especially the 
first and the last possess peculiar merits, and of a high kind ; 
and are, I doubt not, destined to remain for ever embalmed 
in the memories of all true lovers of imaginative verse. Poor 
Hogg was the very reverse, of Anta-us he was always in 
power except when he touched the earth.] 



WALLACE'S INVOCATION TO BRUCE. 



Shrouded in Scotland's blood-stain'd plaid, 
Low are her mountain-warriors laid ; 
They fell, on that proud soil whose mould 
"Was blent with heroes' dust of old, 
And, guarded by the free and brave, 
Yielded the Roman but a grave ! 
Nobly they fell ; yet with them died 
The warrior's hope, the leader's pi'ide. 
Vainly they fell that martyr host 
All, save the land's high soul, is lost. 
Blest are the slain ! they calmly sleep, 
Nor hear their bleeding country weep ! 
The shouts of England's triumph telling 
Reach not their dark and silent dwelling ; 
And those surviving to bequeath 
Their sons the choice of chains or death, 
May give the slumberer's lowly bier 
An envying glance but not a tear. 

But thou, the fearless and the free, 
Devoted Knight of Ellerslie ! 
No vassal-spirit, form'd to bow 
"\Vhen storms are gathering, clouds thy 

brow ; 

No shade of fear or weak despair 
Blends with indignant sorrow there ! 
The ray which streams on yon red field, 
O'er Scotland's cloven helm and shield, 
Glitters not there alone, to shed 
Its cloudless beauty o'er the dead : 
But where smooth Carron's rippling wave 
Flows near that deathbed of the brave, 
Illuming all the midnight scene, 
Sleeps brightly on thy lofty mien. 
But other beams, Patriot ! shine 
In each commanding glance of thine, 
And other light hath fill'd thine eye 
With inspiration's majesty, 
Caught from th' immortal flame divine 
Whigh makes thine inmost heart a shrine ! 
Thy voice a prophet's tone hath won, 
The grandeur Freedom lends her son ; 
Thy bearing a resistless power, 
The ruling genius of the hour ! 
And he, yon Chief, with mien of pride, 
Whom Carron's waves from thee divide, 
Whose haughty gesture fain would seek 
To veil the thoughts that blanch his cheek, 
Feels his reluctant mind controll'd 
By thine of more heroic mould : 
Though struggling all in vain to war 
With that high soul's ascendant star, 
He, with a conqueror's scornful eve, 
Would mock the name of Liberty. 



Heard ye the Patriot's awful voice ? 
" Proud Victor ! in thy fame rejoice ! 
Hast thou not seen thy brethren slain, 
The harvest of the battle-plain, 
And bathed thy sword in blood, whose spot 
Eternity shall cancel not 1 
Rejoice ! with sounds of wild lament 
O'er her dark heaths and mountains sent, 
With dying moan and dirge's wail, 
Thy ravaged country bids thee hail ! 
Rejoice ! while yet exulting cries 
From England's conquering host arise, 
And strains of choral triumph tell 
Her Royal Slave hath fought too well ! 
Oh, dark the clouds of woe that rest 
Brooding o'er Scotland's mountain-crest ! 
Her shield is cleft, her banner torn, 
O'er martyr'd chiefs her daughters mourn, 
And not a breeze but wafts the sound 
Of wailing through the land around. 
Yet deem not thou, till life depart, 
High hope shall leave the patriot's heart ; 
Or courage to the storm inured, 
Or stern resolve by woes matured, 
Oppose, to Fate's severest hour, 
Less than unconquerable power ! 
No ! though the orbs of heaven expire, 
Thine, Freedom ! is a quenchless fire ; 
And woe to him whose might would dare 
The energies of thy despair ! 
No ! when thy chain, Bruce ! is cast 
O'er thy land's charter 'd mountain-blast, 
Then in my yielding soul shall die 
The glorious faith of Liberty ! " 

" Wild hopes ! o'er dreamer's mind that 

rise !" 

With haughty laugh the Conqueror cries. 
(Yet his dark cheek is flush'd with shame, 
And his eye fill'd with troubled flame ;) 
" Vain, brief illusions ! doom'd to fly 
England's red path of victory ! 
Is not her sword unmatch'd in might 1 
Her course a torrent in the fight ? 
The terror of her name gone forth 
Wide o'er the regions of the north ] 
Far hence, midst other heaths and snows, 
Must freedom's footstep now repose. 
And thou in lofty dreams elate, 
Enthusiast ! strive no more with Fate .' 
'Tis vain the land is lost and -won : 
Sheathed be the sword its task is done. 
Where are the chiefs that stood with thee 
First in the battles of the free ! 



WALLACE'S INVOCATION TO BRUCE. 



The firm in heart, in spirit high 1 
They sought yon fatal field to die. 
Each step of Edward's conquering host 
Hath left a grave on Scotland's coast." 

" Vassal of England, yes ! a grave 
Where sleep the faithful and the brave ; 
And who the glory would resign 
Of death like theirs, for life like thine 1 
They slumber and the stranger's tread 
May spurn thy country's noble dead ; 
Yet, on the land they loved so well, 
Still shall their burning spirit dwell, 
Their deeds shall hallow minstrel's theme, 
Their image rise on warrior's dream, 
Their names be inspiration's breath, 
Kindling high hope and scorn of death, 
Till bursts, immortal from the tomb, 
The flame that shall avenge their doom ! 
This is no land for chains away ! 
O'er softer climes let tyrants sway. 
Think'st thou the mountain and the storm 
Their hardy sons for bondage form ? 
Doth our stern wintry blast instil 
Submission to a despot's will 1 
No ! we were cast in other mould 
Than theirs by lawless power coutroll'd ; 
The nurture of our bitter sky 
Calls forth resisting energy ; 
And the wild fastnesses are ours, 
The rocks with their eternal towers. 
The soul to struggle and to dare 
Is mingled with our northern air, 
And dust beneath our soil is lying 
Of those who died for fame undying. 

" Tread'st thou that soil ! and can it be 
Xo loftier thought is roused in thee 1 
Doth no high feeling proudly start 
From slumber in thine inmost heart 1 
No secret voice thy bosom thrill, 
For thine own Scotland pleading still 1 
Oh ! wake thee yet indignant, claim 
A nobler fate, a purer fame, 
And cast to earth thy fetters riven, 
And take thine offer'd crown from heaven. 
Wake ! in that high majestic lot 
May the dark past be all forgot ; 
And Scotland shall forgive the field 
Where with her blood thy shame was seal'd. 
E'en I though on that fatal plain 
Lies my heart's brother with the slain ; 
Though, reft of his heroic worth, 
My spirit dwells alone on earth ; 



And when all other grief is past, 

Must this be cherish'd to the last 

Will lead thy battles, guard thy throne, 

With faith unspotted as his own; 

Nor in thy noon of fame recall 

Whose was the guilt that wrought his fall." 

Still dost thou hear in stern disdain ] 
Are Freedom's warning accents vain ? 
No ! royal Bruce ! within thy breast 
Wakes each high thought, too long suppress'd. 
And thy heart's noblest feelings live, 
Blent in that suppliant word "Forgive !" 
" Forgive the wrongs to Scotland done ! 
Wallace ! thy fairest palm is won ; 
And, kindling at my country's shrine, 
My soul hath caught a spark from thine. 
Oh ! deem not, in the proudest hour 
Of triumph and exulting power 
Deem not the light of peace could find 
A home within my troubled mind. 
Conflicts by mortal eye unseen, 
Dark, silent, secret, there have been, 
Known but to Him whose glance can trace 
Thought to its deepest dwelling-place ! 
'Tis past and on my native shore 
I tread, a rebel son no more. 
Too blest, if yet my lot may be 
In glory's path to follow thee ; 
If tears, by late repentance pour'd, 
May lave the blood-stains from my sword !* 

Far other tears, Wallace ! rise 
From the heart's fountain to thine eyes ; 
Bright, holy, and uncheck'd they spring, 
While thy voice falters, " Hail ! my King ! 
Be every wrong, by memory traced, 
In this full tide of joy effaced : 
Hail ! and rejoice ! thy race shall claim 
A heritage of deathless fame, 
And Scotland shall arise at length 
Majestic in triumphant strength, 
An eagle of the rock, that won 
A way through tempests to the sun. 
Nor scorn the visions, wildly grand, 
The prophet-spirit of thy land : 
By torrent-wave, in desert vast, 
Those visions o'er my thought have pass'd ; 
Where mountain vapours darkly roll, 
That spirit hath possess'd my soul ; 
And shadowy forms have met mine eye. 
The beings of futurity ; 
And a deep voice of years to be 
Hath told that Scotland shall be free ! 



66 



WALLACE'S INVOCATION TO BRUCE. 



He comes ! exult, thou Sire of Kings ! 

From thee the chief, th' avenger springs ! 

Far o'er the land he comes to save, 

His banners in their glory wave, 

And Albyn's thousand harps awake 

On hill and heath, by stream and lake, 

To swell the strains that far around 

Bid the proud name of Bruce resound ! 

And I but wherefore now recall 

The whisper'd omens of my fall 1 

They come not in mysterious gloom 

There is no bondage in the tomb ! 

O'er the soul's world no tyrant reigns, 

And earth alone for man hath chains ! 

What though I perish ere the hour 

When Scotland's vengeance wakes in power ? 

If shed for her, my blood shall stain 

The field or scaffold not in vain : 

Its voice to efforts more sublime 

Shall rouse the spirit of her clime ; 

And in the noontide of her lot, 

My country shall forget me not !" 



Art thou forgot? and hath thy worth 
Without its glory pass'd from earth ? 
Rest with the brave, whose names belong 
To the high sanctity of song ! 
Charter'd our reverence to control, 
And traced in sunbeams on the soul, 
Thine, Wallace ! while the heart hath still 
One pulse a generous thought can thrill 
While youth's warm tears are yet the meed 
Of martyr's death or hero's deed, 
Shall brightly live from age to age, 
Thy country's proudest heritage ! 
Midst her green vales thy fame is dwelling, 
Thy deeds her mountain winds are telling, 
Thy memory speaks in torrent-wave, 
Thy step hath hallow'd rock and cave, 
And cold the wanderer's heart must be 
That holds no converse there with thee ! 
Yet, Scotland ! to thy champion's shade 
Still are thy grateful rites delay'd ; 
From lands of old renown, o'erspread 
With proud memorials of the dead, 
The trophied urn, the breathing bust, 
The pillar guarding noble dust, 
The shrine where art and genius high 
Have labour'd for eternity 
The stranger comes : his eye explores 
The wilds of thy majestic shores, 
Yet vainly seeks one votive stone 
Raised to the hero all thine own. 



Land of bright deeds and minstrel-lore ! 
Withhold that guerdon now no more. 
On some bold height of awful form, 
Stern eyrie of the cloud and storm, 
Sublimely mingling with the skies, 
Bid the proud Cenotaph arise : 
Not to record the name that thrills 
Thy soul, the watch-word of thy Tiilfc 
Not to assert, with needless claim, 
The bright for ever of its fame ; 
But, in the ages yet untold, 
When ours shall be the days of old, 
To rouse high hearts, and speak thy pride 
In him, for thee who lived and died. 

[These verses were thus critically noticed at the time of 
publication : 

" When we mentioned in the tent, that Mrs Hemans had 
authorised the judges who awarded to her the prize to send 
her poem to us, it is needless to say with what enthusiasm the 
proposal of reading it aloud was received on all sides ; and at 
its conclusion thunders of applause crowned the genius of the 
fair poet. Scotland has her Baillie Ireland her Tighe 
England her Hemans." Blackicood's Manaziiv:, vol. v. Sept. 
1819. 

" Mrs Hemans so soon again ! and with a palm in her 
hand ! We welcome her cordially, an<i rejoice to find the 
high opinion of her genius which we lately expressed so un- 
equivocally confirmed. 

"On this animating theme, (the meeting of Wallace and 
Bruce,) several of the competitors, we understand, were of 
the other side of the Tweed a circumstance, we learn, which 
was known from the references hefore the prizes were deter- 
mined. Mrs Hemans's was the first prize, against fifty-seven 
competitors. That a Scottish prize, for a poem on a subject 
purely, proudly Scottish, has been adjudged to an English 
candidate, is a proof at once of the perfect fairness of the 
award, and of the merit of the poem. It further demonstrates 
the disappearance of those jealousies which, not a hundred 
years ago, would have denied to such a candidate any thing 
like a fair chance with a native if we can suppose any poet 
in the south then dreaming of making the trial, or viewing 
Wallace in any other light than that of an enemy, and a 
rebel against the paramount supremacy of England. We 
delight in every gleam of high feeling which warms the two 
nations alike, and ripens yet more that confidence and sym- 
pathy which bind them together in one great family." Edin. 
Monthly Review, vol. ii. 

The estimation into which the poetry of Mr Hemans was 
rising at this time, (1819,) is indicated by the following pas- 
sage, from a clever and not very lenient satire, entitled 
" Common Sense," then published, and currently believed 
to have emanated from the pen of the Rev. Mr Terrot, now 
Diocesan Bishop of Edinburgh. When alluding to the female 
writers of the age, Miss Baillie is the first mentioned and 
characterised. He then proceeds 

"Next I'd place 

Felicia Hemans, second in the race ; 

I wonder the Reviews, who make such stir 

Oft about rubbish, never mention her. 

They might have said, I think, from mere good breeding 

llistress Felicia's works are worth the reading." 

" Mrs Hemans," adds the critical satirist in a note, " is 
a lady, (a young lady, I believe,) of very considerable 
merit. Her imagination is vigorous, her language copious 
and elegant, her information extensive. I have no means of 
ascertaining the extent of her fame, but she certainly deserves 
well of the republic of letters." 

The worthy bishop has lived to read " The Records of 
Woman ; " and, we have no doubt, rejoices to know that 
the aspirant of 1819 has now taken her place among British 
classics.] 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



67 



TALES AND HISTOEIC SCENES. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 

[The events with which the following tale is interwoven 
are related in the Historic, de las Guerras Civilcs de Granada. 
They occurred in the reign of Abo Abdeli, or Abdali, the last 
Moorish king of that city, called by the Spaniards El Rey 
Chico. The conquest of Granada, by Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella, is said by some historians to have been greatly facili- 
tated by the Abencerrages, whose defection was the result 
of the repeated injuries they had received from the king, 
at the instigation of the Zegris. One of the most beautiful 
halls of the Alhambra is pointed out as the scene where so 
many of the former celebrated tribe were massacred ; and 
it still retains their name, being called the " Sala de los 
Abencerrages." Many of the most interesting old Spanish 
ballads relate to the events of this chivalrous and romantic 
period.] 

" Le Maure ne se venge pas parce que sa colere dure encore, maij 
parce quo la vengeance seul pent ecarter de sa tete le poids d'infiimie 
dont il est accable. II se venge, parce qu'a sesyeui il n'y a qu'une ame 
Lasse qui puisse pardonner les afi'ronte ; et il nourrit sa rancune, parce 
que s'il la sentoit s'eteindre, il croiroit avec elle avoir perdu une vertu." 

glSMONDI. 



LOXELT and still are now thy marble halls, 
Thou fair Alhambra ! there the feast is o'er ; 

And with the murmur of thy fountain-falls 
Blend the wild tones of minstrelsy no more. 

Hush'd are the voices that in years gone by 
Have mourn'd, exulted, menaced, through thy 
towers ; 

Within thy pillar'd courts the grass waves high, 
And all uncultured bloom thy fairy bowers. 

Unheeded there the flowering myrtle blows, 
Through tall arcades unmark'd the sunbeam 
smiles, 

And many a tint of soften'd brilliance throws 
O'er fretted walls and shining peristyles. 

And well might Fancy deem thy fabrics lone, 
So vast, so silent, and so wildly fair, 

Some charm'd abode of beings all unknown, 
Powerful and viewless, children of the air. 

For there no footstep treads th' enchanted ground, 
There not a sound the deep repose pervades, 

Save winds and founts, diffusing freshness round, 
Throughthe light domes and graceful colonnades. 



Far other tones have swell'd those courts along 
In days romance yet fondly loves to trace 

The clash of arms, the voice of choral song, 
The revels, combats of a vanish'd race. 

And yet awhile, at Fancy's potent call, 

Shall rise that race, the chivalrous, the bold ; 

Peopling once more each fair forsaken hall 

With stately forms, the knights and chiefs of old. 

The sun declines : upon Nevada's height 

There dwells a mellow flush of rosy light ; 
Each soaring pinnacle of mountain snow 
Smiles in the richness of that parting glow, 
And Darro's wave reflects each passing dye 
That melts and mingles in th' empurpled sky. 
Fragrance, exhaled from rose and citron bower, 
Blends with the dewy freshness of the hour ; 
Hush'd are the winds, and nature seems to sleep 
In light and stillness ; wood, and tower, and steep, 
Are dyed with tints of glory, only given 
To the rich evening of a southern heaven 
Tints of the sun, whose bright farewell is fraught 
With all that art hath dreamt, but never caught. 
Yes, Nature sleeps ; but not with her at rest 
The fiery passions of the human breast, [sound, 
Hark ! from th' Alhambra's towers what stormy 
Each moment deepening, wildly swells around 2 
Those are no tumults of a festal throng, 
Not the light zambra 1 nor the choral song : 
The combat rages 'tis the shout of war, 
'Tis the loud clash of shield and scimitar. 
Within the Hall of Lions, 2 where the rays 
Of eve, yet lingering, on the fountain blaze ; 
There, girt and guarded by his Zegri bands, 
And stern in wrath, the Moorish monarch stands : 
There the strife centres swords around him wave, 
There bleed the fallen, there contend the brave ; 
While echoing domes return the battle-cry, 
" Revenge and freedom ! let the tyrant die ! " 
And onward rushing, and prevailing still, 
Court, hall, and tower the fierce avengers filL 
But first and bravest of that gallant train, 
Where foes are mightiest, charging ne'er in vain ; 

1 Zambra, a Moorish dance. 

2 The Hall of Lions was the principal one of the Alhambra, 
and was so called from twelve sculptured lions which sup- 
ported an alabaster basin in the centre. 



68 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



In his red hand the sabre glancing bright, 
His dark eye flashing with a fiercer light, 
Ardent, untired, scarce conscious that he bleeds, 
His Aben-Zurrahs a there young Hamet leads ; 
While swells his voice that wild acclaim on high, 
" Revenge and freedom ! let the tyrant die ! " 

Yes ! trace the footsteps of the warrior's wrath 
By helm and corslet shatter'd in his path, 
And by the thickest harvest of the slain, 
And by the marble's deepest crimson stain : 
Search through the serried fight, where loudest cries 
From triumph, anguish, or despair, arise ; 
And brightest where the shivering falchions glare, 
And where the ground is reddest he is there. 
Yes ! that young arm, amidst the Zegri host, 
Hath well avenged a sire, a brother, lost. 

They perish'd not as heroes should have died, 
On the red field, in victory's hour of pride, 
In all the glow and sunshine of their fame, 
And proudly smiling as the death-pang came : 
Oh ! had they thus expired, a warrior's tear 
Had fioVd, almost in triumph, o'er their bier. 
For thus alone the brave should weep for those 
Who brightly pass in glory to repose. 
Not such then: fate : a tyrant's stern command 
Doom'd them to fall by some ignoble hand, 
As, with the flower of all then: high-bom race, 
Summon'd Abdallah's royal feast to grace, 
Fearless in heart, no dream of danger nigh, 
They sought the banquet's gilded hall to die. 
Betray 'd, unarm'd, they fell the fountain wave 
Flow'd crimson with the life-blood of the brave, 
Till far the fearful tidings of then- fate 
Through the wide city rang from gate to gate, 
And of that lineage each surviving son [won. 
Rush'd to the scene where vengeance might be 

For this young Hamet mingles in the strife, 
Leader of battle, prodigal of life, 
Urging his followers, till their foes, beset, 
Stand faint and breathless, but undaunted yet. 
Brave Aben-Zurrahs, on ! one effort more, 
Yours is the triumph, and the conflict o'er. 

But lo ! descending o'er the darken'd hall, 
The twilight-shadows fast and deeply fall, 
Nor yet the strife hath ceased though scarce 
they know, [f oe ; 

Through that thick gloom, the brother from the 

1 Aben-Zurrahs : the name thus written is taken from the 
translation of an Arabic MS. given in the third volume of 
Bourgoanne's Travels through Spain. 



Till the moon rises with her cloudless ray, 

The peaceful moon, and gives them light to slay. 

Where lurks Abdallah? midst his yielding train 
They seek the guilty monarch, but in vain. 
He lies not number'd with the valiant dead, 
His champions round him have not vainly bled ; 
But when the twilight spread her shadowy veil, 
And his last warriors found each effort fail, 
In wild despair he fled a trusted few, 
Kindred in crime, are still in danger true ; 
And o'er the scene of many a martial deed, 
The Vega's 2 green expanse, his flying footsteps lead. 
He pass'd th' Alhambra's calm and lovely bowers, 
Where slept the glistening leaves and folded flowers 
In dew and starlight there, from grot and cave, 
Gush'd in wild music many a sparkling wave ; 
There on each breeze the breath of fragrance rose, 
And all was freshness, beauty, and repose. 

But thou, dark monarch ! in thy bosom reign 
Storms that, once roused, shall never sleep again. 
Oh ! vainly bright is nature in the course 
Of him who flies from terror or remorse ! 
A spell is round him which obscures her bloom, 
And dims her skies with shadows of the tomb ; 
There smiles no Paradise on earth so fair 
But guilt will raise avenging phantoms there. 
Abdallah heeds not, though the light gale roves 
Fraught with rich odour, stolen from orange- 
groves ; [rise, 
Hears not the sounds from wood and brook that 
Wild notes of nature's vesper-melodies ; 
Marks not how lovely, on the mountain's head, 
Moonlight and snow their mingling lustre spread ; 
But urges onward, till his weary band, 
Worn with their toil, a moment's pause demand. 
He stops, and turning, on Granada's fanes 
In silence gazing, fix'd awhile remains 
In stern, deep silence : o'er his feverish brow, 
And burning cheek, pure breezes freshly blow, 
But waft in fitful murmurs, from afar, 
Sounds indistinctly fearful as of war. 
What meteor bursts with sudden blaze on high, 
O'er the blue clearness of the starry sky ] 
Awful it rises, like some Genie-form, 
Seen midst the redness of the desert storm, 
Magnificently dread above, below, 
Spreads the wild splendour of its deepening glow. 



2 The Vega, the plain surrounding Granada, the scene of 
frequent actions between the Moors and Christians. 

3 An extreme redness in the sky is the presage of tht< 
Simoom. See BRUCE'S Travels. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



69 



Lo ! from the Alhambra's towers the vivid glare 
Streams through the still transparence of the air ! 
Avenging crowds have lit the mighty pyre, 
Which feeds that waving pyramid of fire ; 
And dome and minaret, river, wood, and height, 
From dim perspective start to ruddy light. 

Oh Heaven ! the anguish of Abdallah's soul, 
The rage, though fruitless, yet beyond control ! 
Yet must he cease to gaze, and raving fly 
For life such life as makes it bliss to die ! 
On yon green height, the mosque, but half reveal'd 
Through cypress-groves, a safe retreat may yield. 
Thither his steps are bent yet oft he turns, 
Watching that fearful beacon as it burns. 
But paler grow the sinking flames at last, 
Flickering they fade, their crimson light is past ; 
And spiry vapours, rising o'er the scene, 
Mark where the terrors of their wrath have been. 
And now his feet have reach'd that lonely pile, 
Where grief and terror may repose awhile ; 
Embower'd it stands, midst wood and cliff on high, 
Through the gray rocks a torrent sparkling nigh : 
He hails the scene where every care should cease, 
And all except the heart he brings is peace. 

There is deep stillness in those halls of state 
Where the loud cries of conflict rang so late ; 
Stillness like that, when fierce the Kamsin's blast 
Hath o'er the dwellings of the desert pass'd. 1 
Fearful the calm nor voice, nor step, nor breath 
Disturbs that scene of beauty and of death : 
Those vaulted roofs re-echo not a sound, 
Save the wild gush of waters murmuring round 

1 Of the Kamsin, a hot south wind, common in Egypt, 
we have the following account in Volney's Travels : " These 
winds are known in Egypt by the general name of the winds 
of fifty days, because they prevail more frequently in the fifty 
days preceding and following the equinox. They are men- 
tioned by travellers under the name of the poisonous winds 
or hot winds of the desert : their heat is so excessive, that it 
is difficult to form any idea of its violence without having 
experienced it. When they begin to blow, the sky, at other 
times so clear in this climate, becomes dark and heavy ; the 
sun loses his splendour, and appears of a violet colour ; the 
air is not cloudy, but gray and thick, and is filled with a sub- 
tle dust, which penetrates every where : respiration becomes 
short and difficult, the skin parched and dry, the lungs are 
contracted and painful, and the body consumed with internal 
heat. In vain is coolness sought for ; marble, iron, water, 
though the sun no longer appears, are hot : the streets are 
deserted, and a dead silence pervades every where. The 
natives of towns and villages shut themselves up in their 
houses, and those of the desert in tents, or holes dug in the 
earth, where they wait the termination of this heat, which 
generally lasts three days. Woe to the traveller whom it sur- 
prises remote from shelter : he must suffer all its dreadful 
effects, which are sometimes mortal." 



In ceaseless melodies of plaintive tone, 
Through chambers peopled by the dead alone. 
O'er the mosaic floors, with carnage red, 
Breastplate and shield and cloven helm are spread 
In mingled fragments glittering to the light 
Of yon still moon, whose rays, yet softly bright, 
Their streaming lustre tremulously shed, 
And smile in placid beauty o'er the dead : 
O'er features where the fiery spirit's trace 
E'en death itself is powerless to efface ; 
O'er those who flush'd with ardent youth awoke, 
When glowing morn in bloom and radiance broke, 
Nor dreamt how near the dark and frozen sleep 
Which hears not Glory call, nor Anguish weep ; 
In the low silent house, the narrow spot, 
Home of forgetfulness and soon forgot. 

But slowly fade the stars the night is o'er 
Morn beams on those who hail her light no more; 
Slumberers who ne'er shall wake on earth again, 
Mourners, who call the loved, the lost, in vain. 
Yet smiles the day oh ! not for mortal tear 
Doth nature deviate from her calm career : 
Nor is the earth less laughing or less fair, 
Though breaking hearts her gladness may not share. 
O'er the cold urn the beam of summer glows, 
O'er fields of blood the zephyr freshly blows ; 
Bright shines the sun, though all be dark below. 
And skies arch cloudless o'er a world of woe ; 
And flowers renew'd in spring's green pathway 

bloom, 
Alike to grace the banquet and the tomb. 

Within Granada's walls the funeral rite 
Attends that day of loveliness and light ; 
And many a chief, with dirges and with tears, 
Is gather'd to the brave of other years : 
And Hamet, as beneath the cypress shade 
His martyr'd brother and his sire are laid, 
Feels every deep resolve and burning thought 
Of ampler vengeance e'en to passion wrought ; 
Yet is the hour afar and he must brood 
O'er those dark dreams awhile in solitude. 
Tumult and rage are hush'd another day 
In still solemnity hath pass'd away, 
In that deep slumber of exhausted wrath, 
The calm that follows in the tempest's path. 

And now Abdallah leaves yon peaceful fane, 
His ravaged city traversing again. 
No sound of gladness his approach precedes, 
No splendid pageant the procession leads ; 
Where'er he moves the silent streets along, 
Broods a stem quiet o'er the sullen throng. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



No voice is heard ; but in each alter'd eye, 
Once brightly beaming when his steps were nigh, 
And in each look of those whose love hath fled 
From all on earth to slumber with the dead, 
Those by his guilt made desolate, and thrown 
On the bleak wilderness of life alone 
In youth's quick glance of scarce-dissembled rage, 
And the pale mien of calmly-mournful age, 
May well be read a dark and fearful tale 
Of thought that ill the indignant heart can veil, 
And passion like the hush'd volcano's power, 
That waits in stillness its appointed hour. 

No more the clarion from Granada's walls, 
Heard o'er the Vega, to the tourney calls ; 
No more her graceful daughters, throned on high, 
Bend o'er the lists the darkly-radiant eye : 
Silence and gloom her palaces o'erspread, 
And song is hush'd, and pageantry is fled. 
"Weep, fated city ! o'er thy heroes weep- 
Low in the dust the sons of glory sleep ! 
Furl'd are their banners in the lonely hall, 
Their trophied shields hang mouldering on the 

wall, 

Wildly their chargers range the pastures o'er 
Their voice in battle shall be heard no more. 
And they, who still thy tyrant's wrath survive, 
Whom he hath wrong'd too deeply to forgive, 
That race of lineage high, of worth approved, 
The chivalrous, the princely, the beloved 
Thine Aben-Zurrahs they no more shall wield 
In thyproud cause the conquering lance and shield : 
Condemn'd to bid the cherish'd scenes farewell 
Where the loved ashes of their fathers dwell, 
And far o'er foreign plains as exiles roam, 
Their land the desert, and the grave their home. 
Yet there is one shall see that race depart 
In deep though silent agony of heart : 
One whose dark fate must be to mourn alone, 
Unseen her sorrows and their cause unknown, 
And veil her heart, and teach her cheek to wear 
That smile in which the spirit hath no share- 
Like the bright beams that shed theirfruitlessglow 
O'er the cold' solitude of Alpine snow. 

Soft, fresh, and silent is the midnight hour, 
And the young Zayda seeks her lonely bower ; 
That Zegri maid, within whose gentle mind 
One name is deeply, secretly enshrined. 
That name in vain stern reason would efface : 
Harriet ! 'tis thine, thou foe to all her race ! 

And yet not hers in bitterness to prove 
The sleepless pangs of unrequited love 



Pangs which the rose of wasted youth consume, 
And make the heart of all delight the tomb, 
Check the free spirit in its eagle flight, 
And the spring-morn of early genius blight : 
Not such hergrief though nowshewakes to weep, 
While tearless eyes enjoy the honey-dews of sleep. 1 

A step treads lightly through the citron-shade, 
Lightly, but by the rustling leaves betray"d 
Doth her young hero seek that well-known spot, 
Scene of past hours that ne'er may be forgot ] 
'Tis he but changed that eye, whose glance of fire 
Could like a sunbeam hope and joy inspire, 
As, luminous with youth, with ardour fraught, 
It spoke of glory to the inmost thought : 
Thence the bright spirit's eloquence hath fled, 
And in its wild expression may be read [shade, 
Stern thoughts and fierce resolves now veil'd in 
And now in characters of fire portray'd. 
Changed e'en his voice as thus its mournful tone 
Wakes in her heart each feeling of his own. 

" Zayda ! my doom is fix'd another day 
And the wrong'd exile shall be far away ; 
Far from the scenes where still his heart must be, 
His home of youth, and, more than all from thee. 
Oh ! what a cloud hath gathered o'er my lot 
Since last we met on this fair tranquil spot ! 
Lovely as then the soft and silent hour, 
And not a rose hath faded from thy bower ; 
But I my hopes the tempest hath o'erthrown, 
And changed my heart, to all but thee alone. 
Farewell, high thoughts ! inspiring hopes of praise ! 
Heroic visions of my early days ! 
In me the glories of my race must end 
The exile hath no country to defend ! 
E'en in life's morn my dreams of pride are o'er, 
Youth's buoyant spirit wakes for me no more, 
And one wild feeling in my alter'd breast 
Broods darkly o'er the ruins of the rest. 
Yet fear not thou to thee, in good or ill, 
The heart, so sternly tried, is faithful still ! 
But when my steps are distant, and my name 
Thou hear'st no longer in the song of fame ; 
When Time steals on, in silence to efface 
Of early love each pure and sacred trace, 
Causing our sorrows and our hopes to seem 
But as the moonlight pictures of a dream, 
Still shall thy soul be with me, in the truth 
And all the fervour of affection's youth 1 
If such thy love, one beam of heaven shall play 
In lonely beauty o'er thy wanderer's way." 

1 " Enjoy the honey-heavy-dew of slumber." SHAKSPEARX. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



"Ask not if such my love ! Oh ! trust the mind 
To grief so long, so silently resign'd ! 
Let the light spirit, ne'er by sorrow taught 
The pure and lofty constancy of thought, 
Its fleeting trials eager to forget, 
Rise with elastic power o'er each regret ! 
Foster'd in tears, our young affection grew, 
And I have learn'd to suffer and be true. 
Deem not my love a frail, ephemeral flower, 
Nursed by soft sunshine and the balmy shower ; 
No ! 'tis the child of tempests, and defies, 
And meets imchanged, the anger of the skies ! 
Too well I feel, with grief's prophetic heart, 
That ne'er to meet in happier days we part. 
We part ! and e'en this agonising hour, 
When love first feels his own o'erwhelming power, 
Shall soon to memory's fix'd and tearful eye 
Seem almost happiness for thou wert nigh ! 
Yes ! when this heart in solitude shall bleed, 
As days to days all wearily succeed, 
When doom'd to weep in loneliness, 'twill be 
Almost like rapture to have wept with thee ! 

" But thou, my Hamet ! thou canst yet bestow 
All that of joy my blighted lot can know. 
Oh ! be thou still the high-soul'd and the brave, 
To whom my first and fondest vows I gave ; 
In thy proud fame's untarnish'd beauty still 
The lofty visions of my youth fulfil. 
So shall it soothe me, midst my heart's despair, 
To hold undimm'd one glorious image there ! " 

" Zayda, my best-beloved ! my words too well, 
Too soon, thy bright illusions must dispel ; 
Yet must my soul to thee unveil'd be shown, 
And all its dreams and all its passions known. 
Thou shalt not be deceived for pure as heaven 
Is thy young love, in faith and fervour given. 
I said my heart was changed and would thy 

thought 

Explore the ruin by thy kindred wrought, 
In fancy trace the land whose towers and fanes, 
Crush'd by the earthquake, strew its ravaged 

plains ; 

And such that heart where desolation's hand 
Hath blighted all that once was fair or grand ! 
But Vengeance, fix'd upon her burning throne, 
Sits midst the wreck in silence and alone ; 
And I, in stern devotion at her shrine, 
Each softer feeling, but my love, resign. 
Yes ! they whose spirits all my thoughts control, 
Who hold dread converse with my thrilling soul ; 
They, the betray'd, the sacrificed, the brave, 
Who fill a blood-stain'd and untimely grave, 



Must be avenged ! and pity and remorse 
In that stern cause arc banish'd from my course. 
Zayda ! thou tremblest and thy gentle breast 
Shrinks from the passions that destroy my rest ; 
Yet shall thy form, in many a stormy hour, 
Pass brightly o'er my soul with softening power, 
And, oft recall'd, thy voice beguile my lot, 
Like some sweet lay, once heard, and ne'er forgot. 

" But the night wanes the hours too swiftly fly, 
The bitter moment of farewell draws nigh ; 
Yet, loved one ! weep not thus in joy or pain, 
Oh ! trust thy Hamet, we shall meet again ! 
Yes, we shall meet ! and haply smile at last 
On all the clouds and conflicts of the past. 
On that fair vision teach thy thoughts to dwell, 
Nor deem these mingling tears our last fare- 
well!" 

Is the voice hush'd, whose loved expressive tone 
Thrill'd to her heart and doth she weep alone? 
Alone she weeps ; that hour of parting o'er, 
When shall the pang it leaves be felt no more 1 
The gale breathes light, and fans her bosom fair, 
Showering the dewy rose-leaves o'er her hair ; 
But ne'er for her shall dwell reviving power 
In balmy dew, soft breeze, or fragrant flower, 
To wake once more that calm serene delight, 
The soul's young bloom, which passion's breath 

could blight - 

The smiling stillness of life's morning hour, 
Ere yet the day-star burns in all his power. 
Meanwhile, through groves of deep luxurious 

shade, 

In the rich foliage of the South array'd, 
Hamet, ere dawns the earliest blush of day, 
Bends to the vale of tombs his pensive way. 
Fair is that scene where palm and cypress wave 
On high o'er many an Aben-Zurrah's grave. 
Lonely and fair, its fresh and glittering leaves 
With the young myrtle there the laurel weaves, 
To canopy the dead ; nor wanting there 
Flowers to the turf, nor fragrance to the air, 
Nor wood-bird's note, nor fall of plaintive stream 
Wild music, soothing to the mourner's dream. 
There sleep the chiefs of old their combats o'er, 
The voice of glory thrills their hearts no more. 
Unheard by them th' awakening clarion blows ; 
The sons of war at length in peace repose. 
No martial note is in the gale that sighs 
Where proud their trophied sepulchres arise, 
Mid founts, and shades, and flowers of brightest 

bloom 
As, in his native vale, some shepherd's tomb. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



There, -where the trees their thickest foliage 

spread 

Dark o'er that silent valley of the dead ; 
Where two fair pillars rise, embower'd and lone, 
Not yet with ivy clad, with moss o'ergrown, 
Young Hamet kneels while thus his vows are 

pour'd, 

The fearful vows that consecrate his sword : 
" Spirit of him who first within my mind 
Each loftier aim, each nobler thought enshrined, 
And taught my steps the line of light to trace 
Left by the glorious fathers of my race, 
Hear thou my voice ! for thine is with me still, 
In every dream its tones my bosom thrill, 
In the deep calm of midnight they are near, 
Midst busy throngs they vibrate on my ear, 
Still murmuring 'vengeance ! ' nor in vain the call, 
Few, few shall triumph in a hero's fall ! 
Cold as thine own to glory and to fame, 
Within my heart there lives one only aim ; 
There, till th' oppressor for thy fate atone, 
Concentring every thought, it reigns alone. 
I will not weep revenge, not grief, must be, 
And blood, not tears, an offering meet for thee ; 
But the dark hour of stern delight will come, 
And thou shalt triumph, warrior ! in thy tomb. 

" Thou, too, my brother ! thou art pass'd away, 
Without thy fame, in life's fair dawning day. 
Son of the brave ! of thee no trace will shine 
In the proud annals of thy lofty line ; 
Nor shall thy deeds be deathless in the lays 
That hold communion with the after-days. 
Yet, by the wreaths thou might'st have nobly won, 
Hadst thou but li ved till rose thy noontide sun ; 
By glory lost, I swear ! by hope betray'd, 
Thy fate shall amply, dearly, be repaid : 
War with thy foes I deem a holy strife, 
And to avenge thy death devote my life. 

" Hear ye my vows, spirits of the slain ! 
Hear, and be with me on the battle-plain ! 
At noon, at midnight, still around me bide, 
Rise on my dreams, and tell me how ye died ! " 



CANTO II. 

" Oh : ben prowide il Cielo 
Ch' tTom per delitti mai lieto non sia.' 

FAIR laud ! of chivalry the old domain, 
Land of the vine and olive, lovely Spain 



Though not for thee with classic shores to via 
In charms that fix th' enthusiast's pensive eye; 
Yet hast thou scenes of beauty, richly fraught 
With all that wakes the glow of lofty thought ; 
Fountains, and vales, and rocks, whose ancient name 
High deeds have raised to mingle with their fame. 
Those scenes are peaceful now : the citron blows, 
Wild spreads the myrtle, where the brave repose. 
No sound of battle swells on Douro's shore, 
And banners wave on Ebro's banks no more. 
But who, unmoved, unawed, shall coldly tread 
Thy fields that sepulchre the mighty dead? 
Blest be that soil ! where England's heroes share 
The grave of chiefs, for ages slumbering there ; 
Whose names are glorious in romantic lays, 
The wild, sweet chronicles of elder days 
By goatherd lone and rude serrano sung 
Thy cypress dells and vine clad rocks among. 
How oft those rocks have echo'd to the tale 
Of knights who fell in Roncesvalles' vale ; 
Of him, renown'd in old heroic lore, 
First of the brave, the gallant Campeador ; 
Of those, the famed in song, who proudly died 
When Rio Verde roll'd a crimson tide ; 
Or that high name, by Garcilaso's might 
On the Green Vega won in single fight. 1 

Round fair Granada, deepening from afar, 
O'er that Green Vega rose the din of war. 
At morn or eve no more the sunbeams shone 
O'er a calm scene, in pastoral beauty lone ; 
On helm and corslet tremulous they glanced, 
On shield and spear in quivering lustre danced. 
Far as the sight by clear Xenil could rove, 
Tents rose around, and banners glanced above ; 
And steeds in gorgeous trappings, armour bright 
With gold, reflecting every tint of light, 
And many a floating plume and blazon'd shield 
Diffused romantic splendour o'er the field. 

There swell those sounds that bid the life-blood 

start 

Swift to the mantling cheek and beating heart : 
The clang of echoing steel, the charger's neigh, 
The measured tread of hosts in war's array ; 
And, oh ! that music, whose exulting breath 
Speaks but of glory on the road to death : 
In whose wild voice there dwells inspiring power 
To wake the stormy joy of danger's hour ; 
To nerve the arm, the spirit to sustain, 
Rouse from despondence, and support in pain ; 

1 Garcilaso de la Vega derived his surname from a single 
combat (in which he was the victor) with a Moor, on the 
Vega of Granada. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



73 



And, midst the deepening tumults of the strife, 
Teach every pulse to thrill with more than life. 

High o'er the camp, in many a broider'd fold, 
Floats to the wind a standard rich with gold : 
There, imaged on the cross, his form appears 
Who drank for man the bitter cup of tears l 
His form, whose word recall'd the spirit fled, 
Now borne by hosts to guide them o'er the dead ! 
O'er yon fair walls to plant the cross on high, 
Spain hath sent forth her flower of chivalry. 
Fired with that ardour which, in days of yore, 
To Syrian plains the bold crusaders bore ; 
Elate with lofty hope, with martial zeal, 
They come, the gallant children of Castile ; 
The proud, the calmly dignified : and there 
Ebro's dark SOBS with haughty mien repair, 
And those who guide the fiery steed of war 
From yon rich province of the western star. 2 

But thou, conspicuous midst the glittering scene, 
Stern grandeur stamp'd upon thy princely mien ; 
Known by the foreign garb, the silvery vest, 
The snow-white charger, and the azure crest, 3 
Young Aben-Zurrah ! midst that host of foes, 
Why shines thy helm, thy Moorish lance ] Disclose ! 
Why rise the tents where dwell thy kindred train, 
son of Afric ! midst the sons of Spain 1 
Hast thou with these thy nation's fall conspired, 
Apostate chief ! by hope of vengeance fired 1 
How art thou changed ! still first in every fight, 
Hamet the Moor ! Castile's devoted knight ! 
There dwells a fiery lustre in thine eye, 
But not the light that, shone in days gone by ; 
There is wild ardour in thy look and tone, 
But not the soul's expression once thine own, 
Nor aught like peace within. Yet who shall say 
What secret thoughts thine inmost heart may 
sway ? 

1 " El Rey D. Fernando bolvi6 a la Vega, y pus6 su Real 
a la vista de Iluecar, a veyute y seys dias del mea de Abril, 
adonde fue fortificado de todo lo necessario ; poniendo el 
Christiano toda su gente en esquadron, con todas sus van- 
deras tendidas, y su Real Estandarte, el qual llevava por 
divisa un Christo crucificado." Historia de las Guerras 
Civile* de Granada. 

2 Andalusia signifies, in Arabic, the region of the evening 
or the west; in a word, the Ilesperia of the Greeks. See 
CASIKI'S Bibliot. Arabico-IIispana, and GIBBON'S Decline 
and Fall, &c. 

3 " Los Abencerrages salieron con su acostumbrada librea 
azul y blanca, todos llenos de ricos texidos de plata, las 
plumas de la niisma color ; en sus adargas, su acostumbrada 
divisa, salvages que desquLxalavan leones, y otros un mundo 
que lo deshazia un selvage con un baston." Gucrrai Civiles 
de Granada. 



No eye hut Heaven's may pierce that curtain'd 

breast, 
Whose joys and griefs alike are unexpress'd. 

There hath been combat on the tented plain ; 
The Vega's turf is red with many a stain ; 
And, rent and trampled, banner, crest, and shield 
Tell of a fierce and well-contested field. 
But all is peaceful now : the west is bright 
With the rich splendour of departing light ; 
Mulhacen's peak, half lost amidst the sky, 
Glows like a purple evening-cloud on high, 
And tints, that mock the pencil's art, o'erspread 
Th' eternal snow that crowns Veleta's head ; 4 
While the warm sunset o'er the landscape throws 
A solemn beauty, and a deep repose. 
Closed are the toils and tumults of the day, 
And Hamet wanders from the camp away. 
In silent musings rapt : the slaughter'd brave 
Lie thickly strewn by Darro's rippling wave. 
Soft fall the dews but other drops have dyed 
The scented shrubs that fringe the river side, 
Beneath whose shade, as ebbing life retired, 
The wounded sought a shelter and expired. 5 
Lonely, and lost in thoughts of other days, 
By the bright windings of the stream he strays, 
Till, more remote from battle's ravaged scene, 
All is repose and solitude serene. 
There, 'neath an olive's ancient shade reclined, 
Whose rustling foliage waves in evening's wind, 
The harass'd warrior, yielding to the power, 
The mild sweet influence of the tranquil hour, 
Feels by degrees a long-forgotten calm 
Shed o'er his troubled soul unwonted balm ; 
His wrongs, his woes, his dark and dubious lot, 
The past, the future, are awhile forgot ; 
And Hope, scarce own'd, yet stealing o'er his breast, 
Half dares to whisper, "Thou shalt yet be blest !" 

Such his vague musings but a plaintive sound 
Breaks on the deep and solemn stillness round ; 
A low, halt-stifled moan, that seems to rise 
From life and death's contending agonies. 
He turns: Who shares with him that lonely shade] 
A youthful warrior on his death-bed laid. 
All rent and stain'd his broider'd Moorish vest, 
The corslet shatter'd on his bleeding breast ; 
lu his cold hand the broken falchion strain'd, 
With life's last force convulsively retain'd ; 

* The loftiest heights of the Sierra Nevada are those called 
Mulhacen and Picaclio de Veleta. 

5 It is known to be a frequent circumstance in battle, that 
the dying and the wounded drag themselves, as it were 
mechanically, to the shelter which may be afforded by any 
bush or thicket on the field. 



74 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



His plumage soil'd with dust, with crimson dyed, 
And the red lance in fragments by his side : 
He lies forsaken pillow'd on his shield, 
Kis helmet raised, his lineaments reveal'd. 
Pale is that quivering lip, and vanish'd now 
The light once throned on that commanding brow ; 
And o'er that fading eye, still upward cast, 
The shades of death are gathering dark and fast. 
Yet, as yon rising moon her light serene 
Sheds the pale olive's waving boughs between, 
Too well can Hamet's conscious heart retrace, 
Though changed thus fearfully, that pallid face, 
Whose every feature to his soul conveys 
Some bitter thought of long-departed days. 

" Oh ! is it thus," he cries, "we meet at last 1 
Friend of my soul in years for ever past ! 
Hath fate but led me hither to behold 
The last dread struggle, ere that heart is cold, 
Receive thy latest agonising breath, 
And with vain pity soothe the pangs of death ] 
Yet let me bear thee hence while life remains, 
E'en though thus feebly circling through thy veins, 
Some healing balm thy sense may still revive ; 
Hope is not lost and Osmyn yet may live ! 
And blest were he whose timely care should save 
A heart so noble, e'en from glory's grave." 

Roused by those accents, from his lowly bed 
The dying warrior faintly lifts his head ; 
O'er Hamet's mien, with vague uncertain gaze, 
His doubtful glance awhile bewilder'd strays ; 
Till by degrees a smile of proud disdain 
Lights up (hose features late convulsed with pain ; 
A quivering radiance flashes from his eye, 
That seems too pure, too full of soul, to die ; 
And the mind's grandeur, in its parting hour, 
Looks from that brow with more than wonted 
power. 

" Away ! " he cries, in accents of command, 
And proudly waves his cold and trembling hand. 
"Apostate, hence ! my soul shall soon be free 
E'en now it soars, disdaining aid from thee. 
'Tis not for thee to close the fading eyes 
Of him who faithful to his country dies ; 
Not for thy hand to raise the drooping head 
Of him who sinks to rest on glory's bed. 
Soon shall these pangs be closed, this conflict 

o'er, 

And worlds be mine where thou canst never soar : 
Be thine existence with a blighted name, 
Mine the bright death which seals a warrior's 

fame !" 



The glow hath vanish'd from his cheek his eye 
Hath lost that beam of parting energy ; 
Frozen and fix'd it seems his brow is chill ; 
One struggle more that noble heart is stilL 
Departed warrior ! were thy mortal throes, 
Were thy last pangs, ere nature found repose, 
More keen, more bitter, than th' envenom'd dart 
Thy dying words have left in Hamet's heart ? 
Thy pangs were transient; his shall sleep no more, 
Till life's delirious dream itself be o'er ; 
But thou shalt rest in glory, and thy grave 
Be the pure altar of the patriot brave. 
Oh, what a change that little hour hath wrought 
In the high spirit and unbending thought ! 
Yet, from himself each keen regret to hide, 
Still Hamet struggles with indignant pride ; 
While his soul rises, gathering all its force, 
To meet the fearful conflict with remorse. 

To thee, at length, whose artless love hath been 
His own, unchanged, through many a stormy 

scene ; 

Zayda ! to thee his heart for refuge flies ; 
Thou still art faithful to affection's ties. 
Yes ! let the world upbraid, let foes contemn, 
Thy gentle breast the tide will firmly stem ; 
And soon thy smile and soft consoling voice 
Shall bid his troubled soul again rejoice. 

Within Granada's walls are hearts and hands 
Whose aid in secret Hamet yet commands ; 
Xor hard the task, at some propitious hour, 
To win his silent way to Zayda's bower, 
When night and peace are brooding o'er the world, 
When mute the clarions, and the banners furl'd. 
That hour is come and, o'er the arms be bears, 
A wandering fakir's garb the chieftain wears : 
Disguise that ill from piercing eye could hide 
The lofty port, and glance of martial pride ; 
But night befriends through paths obscure he 

pass'd, 

And hail'd the lone and lovely scene at last ; 
Young Zayda's chosen haunt, the fair alcove, 
The sparkling fountain, and the orange grove : 
Calm in the moonlight smiles the still retreat, 
As form'd alone for happy hearts to meet. 
For happy hearts ! not such as hers, who there 
Bends o'er her lute with dark unbraided hair ; 
That maid of Zegri race, whose eye, whose mien, 
Tell that despair her bosom's guest hath been. 
So lost in thought she seems, the warrior's feet 
Unheard approach her solitary seat, 
Till his known accents every sense restore 
" My own loved Zayda ! do we meet once more 1" 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



75 



She starts, she turns the lightning of surprise, 
Of sudden rapture, flashes from her eyes ; 
But that is fleeting it is past and how- 
Far other meaning darkens o'er her brow : 
Changed is her aspect, and her tone severe 
" Hence, Aben-Zurrah ! death surrounds thee 

here !" 

''Zayda ! what means that glance, unlike thine own] 
What mean those words, and that unwonted tone ? 
I will not deem thee changed but in thy face, 
It is not joy, it is not love, I trace ! 
It was not thus in other days we met : 
Hath time, hath absence, taught thee to forget ? 
Oh ! speak once more these rising doubts dispel : 
One smile of tenderness, and all is well !" 

" Not thus we met in other days ! oh, no ! 
Thou wert not, warrior, then thy country's foe ! 
Those days are past we ne'er shall meet again 
With hearts all warmth, all confidence, as then. 
But thy dark soul no gentler feelings sway, 
Leader of hostile bands ! away, away ! 
On in thy path of triumph and of power, 
Xor pause to raise from earth a blighted flower." 

" And ihou, too, changed ! thine earthly vow 

forgot ! 

This, this alone, was wanting to my lot ! 
Exiled and scorn'd, of every tie bereft, 
Thy love, the desert's lonely fount, was left ; 
And thou, my soul's last hope, its lingering beam, 
Thou ! the good angel of each brighter dream, 
Wert all the barrenness of life possest 
To wake one soft affection in my breast ! 
That vision ended fate hath nought in store 
Of joy or sorrow e'er to touch me more. 
Go, Zcgri maid ! to scenes of sunshine fly, 
From the stern pupil of adversity ! 
And now to hope, to confidence, adieu ! 
If thou art faithless, who shall e'er be true 1" 

"Hamet ! oh, wrong me not ! I too could speak 
Of sorrows trace them on my faded cheek, 
In the sunk eye, and in the wasted form, 
That tell the heart hath nursed a canker-worm ! 
But words were idle read my sufferings there, 
Where grief is stamp'd on all that once was fair. 

" Oh, wert thou still what once I fondly deem'd, 
All that thy mien express'd, thy spirit seem'd, 
My love had been devotion ! till in death 
Thy name had trembled on my latest breath. 
But not the chief who leads a lawless band 
To crush the altars of his native land ; 



Th' apostate son of heroes, whose disgrace 
Hath staiu'd the trophies of a glorious race ; 
Not him I loved but one whose youthful name 
Was pure and radiant in unsullied fame. 
Hadst thou but died, ere yet dishonour's cloud 
O'er that young name had gather'd as a shroud, 
I then had mourn'd thee proudly, and my grief 
In its own loftiness had found relief; 
A noble sorrow, cherish'd to the last, 
When every meaner woe had long been past. 
Yes ! let affection weep no common tear 
She sheds when bending o'er a hero's bier. 
Let nature mourn the dead a grief like this, 
To pangs that rend my bosom, had been bliss ! " 

" High-minded maid ! the time admits not now 
To plead my cause, to vindicate my vow. 
That vow, too dread, too solemn, to recall, 
Hath urged me onward, haply to my fall. 
Yet this believe no meaner aim inspires 
My soul, no dream of power ambition fires. 
No ! every hope of power, of triumph, fled, 
Behold me but th' avenger of the dead ! 
One whose changed heart no tie, no kindred knows, 
And in thy love alone hath sought repose. 
Zayda ! wilt thou his stern accuser be ] 
False to his country, he is true to thee ! 
Oh, hear me yet ! if Hamet e'er was dear, 
By our first vows, our young affection, hear ! 
Soon must this fair and royal city fall, 
Soon shall the cross be planted on her wall ; 
Then who can tell what tides of blood may flow, 
While her fanes echo to the shrieks of woe 1 
Fly, fly with me, and tet me bear thee far 
From horrors thronging in the path of war : 
Fly, and repose in safety till the blast 
Hath made a desert in its course and pass'd ! " 

"Thou that wilt triumph when the hour is como 
Hasten'd by thee, to seal thy country's doom, 
With thee from scenes of death shall Zayda fly 
To peace and safety ? Woman, too, can die ! 
And die exulting, though unknown to fame, 
In all the stainless beauty of her name ! 
Be mine, unmurmuring, undismayed, to share 
The fate my kindred and my sire must bear. 
And deem thou not my feeble heart shall fail, 
When the clouds gather and the blasts assail. 
Thou hast but known me ere the trying hour 
Call'd into life my spirit's latent power ; 
But I have energies that idly slept, 
While withering o'er my silent woes I wept ; 
And now, when hope and happiness are fled, 
My soul is firm for what remains to dread ? 



7 6 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Who shall have power to suffer and to bear 

If strength and courage dwell not with Despair 1 

" Hamet ! farewell retrace thy path again, 
To join thy brethren on the tented plain. 
There wave and wood in mingling murmurs tell 
How, hi far other cause, thy fathers fell ! 
Yes ! on that soil hath Glory's footstep been, 
Names unforgotten consecrate the scene ! 
Dwell not the souls of heroes round thee there, 
Whose voices call thee in the whispering ah* ] 
Unheard, in vain they call then* fallen son 
Hath stain'd the name those mighty spirits won, 
And to the hatred of the brave and free 
Bequeath'd his own through ages yet to be ! " 

Still as she spoke, th' enthusiast's kindling eye 
Was lighted up with inborn majesty, 
While her fair form and youthful features caught 
All the proud grandeur of heroic thought, 
Severely beauteous. 1 Awe-struck and amazed, 
In silent trance a while the warrior gazed, 
As on some lofty vision for she seem'd 
One all-inspired each look with glory beam'd, 
While, brightly bursting through its cloud of woes, 
Her soul at once in all its light arose. 
Oh ! ne'er had Hamet deem'd there dwelt enshrined 
In form so fragile that unconquer'd mind ; 
And fix'd, as by some high enchantment, there 
He stood till wonder yielded to despair. 

" The dream is vanish'd daughter of my foes ! 
Reft of each hope the lonely wanderer goes. 
Thy words have pierced his soul ; yet deem thou not 
Thou couldst be once adored, and e'er forgot f 
Oh, form'd for happier love, heroic maid ! 
In grief sublime, in danger undismay'd, 
Farewell, and be thou blest ! all words were vain 
From him who ne'er may view that form again 
Hun, whose sole thought resembling bliss, must be, 
He hath been loved, once fondly loved, by thee ! " 

And is the warrior gone 1 doth Zayda hear 
His parting footstep, and without a tear 1 
Thou weep'st not, lofty maid ! yet who can tell 
What secret pangs within thy heart may dwell ? 
They feel not least, the firm, the high in soul, 
Who best each feeling's agony control. 
Yes ! we may judge the measure of the grief 
Which finds in misery's eloquence relief; 
But who shall pierce those depths of silent woe 
Whence breathes no language, whence no tears 
may flow ? 
1 " Severe in youthful beauty." MILTON. 



The pangs that many a noble breast hath proved, 
Scorning itself that thus it could be moved ] 
He, He alone, the inmost heart who knows, 
Views all its weakness, pities all its throes ; 
He who hath mercy when mankind contemn, 
Beholding anguish all unknown to them. 

Fair city ! thou that midst thy stately fanes 
And gilded minarets, towering o'er the plains, 
In eastern grandeur proudly dost arise 
Beneath thy canopy of deep-blue skies ; [wave, 
While streams that bear thee treasures in their 
Thy citron-groves and myrtle-gardens lave : 
Mourn,' for thy doom is fixed the days of fear, 
Of chains, of wrath, of bitterness, are near ! 
Within, around thee, are the trophied graves 
Of kings and chiefs their children shall be slaves. 
Fair are thy halls, thy domes majestic swell, 
But there a race that rear'd them not shall dwell ; 
For midst thy councils discord still presides, 
Degenerate fear thy wavering monarch guides 
Last of a line whose regal spirit flown 
Hath to their offspring but bequeath'd a throne, 
Without one generous thought, or feejing high, 
To teach his soul how kings should live and die. 

A voice resounds within Granada's wall, 
The hearts of warriors echo to its call. 3 
Whose are those tones, with power electric fraught 
To reach the source of pure exalted thought ! 

See, on a fortress tower, with beckoning hand, 
A form, majestic as a prophet, stand ! 



2 Granada stands upon two hills, separated by the Darro. 
The Xenil runs under the walls. The Darro is said to carry 
with its stream small particles of gold, and the Xenil of silver. 
When Charles V. came to Granada with the Empress Isabella, 
the city presented him with a crown made of gold, which had 
been collected from the Darro. See BOURGOAN.VE'S and other 
Travels. 

3 " At this period, while the inhabitants of Granada were 
sunk in indolence, one of those men whose natural and im- 
passioned eloquence has sometimes aroused a people to deeds 
of heroism, raised his voice in the midst of the city, and 
awakened the inhabitants from their lethargy. Twenty 
thousand enthusiasts, ranged under his banners, were pre- 
pared to sally forth, with the fury of desperation, to attack 
the besiegers, when Abo Abdeli, more afraid of his subjects 
than of the enemy, resolved immediately to capitulate, and 
made terms with the Christians, by which it was agreed that 
the Moors should be allowed the free exercise of their religion 
and laws; should be permitted, if they thought proper, to 
depart unmolested with their effects to Africa ; and that he 
himself, if he remained in Spain, should retain an extensive 
estate, with houses and slaves, or be granted an equivalent 
in money if he preferred retiring to Barbary." See JACOB'S 
Travelt in Spain. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



77 



His mien is all impassiou'd, and liis eye 

Fill'd with a light whose fountain is on high ; 

Wild on the gale his silvery tresses flow, 

And inspiration beams upon his brow ; [gaze, 

While, thronging round him, breathless thousands 

As on some mighty seer of elder days. 

" Saw ye the banners of Castile display 'd, 
The helmets glittering, and the line array 'd 1 
Heard ye the march of steel-clad hosts T' he cries ; 
" Children of conquerors ! in your strength arise ! 
high-born tribes ! names unstain'd by fear ! 
Azarques, Zegris, Almoradis, hear I 1 
Be every feud forgotten, and your hands 
Dyed with no blood but that of hostile bands. 2 
Wake, princes of the land ! the hour is come, 
And the red sabre must decide your doom. 
Where is that spirit which prevail'd of yore, 
When Tank's bands o'erspread the western shore 1 3 
When the long combat raged on Xeres' plain, 4 
And Afric's tecbir swell'd through yielding Spain] 5 

1 Azarques, Zegris, Almoradis, different tribes of the Moors 
of Granada, all of high distinction. 

- The conquest of Granada was greatly facilitated by the 
civil dissensions which at this period prevailed in the city. 
Several of the Moorish tribes, influenced by private feuds, 
were fully prepared for submission to the Spaniards ; others 
had embraced the cause of Muley el Zagal, the uncle and 
competitor for the throne of Abdallah, (or Abo Abdeli,) and 
all was jealousy and animosity. 

3 Tarik, the first leader of the Arabs and Moors into Spain. 
*' The Saracens landed at the pillar or point of Europe. The 
corrupt and familiar appellation of Gibraltar (Gebel al Tarik) 
describes the mountain of Tarik ; and the intrenchments of 
his camp were the first outline of those fortifications which, 
in the hands of our countrymen, have resisted the art and 
power of the house of Bourbon. The adjacent governors in- 
formed the court of Toledo of the descent and progress of the 
Arabs ; and the defeat of his lieutenant Edeco, who had 
been commanded to seize and bind the presumptuous stran- 
gers, first admonished Roderic of the magnitude of the danger. 
At the royal summons, the dukes and counts, the bishops and 
nobles of the Gothic monarchy, assembled at the head of their 
followers ; and the title of king of the Romans, which is em- 
ployed by an Arabic historian, may be excused by the close 
affinity of language, religion, and manners, between the 
nations of Spain." GIBBOX'S Decline and Fall, &c. voL ix. 
p. 472, 473. 

* " In the neighbourhood of Cadiz, the town of Xeres has 
been illustrated by the encounter which determined the fate 
of the kingdom ; the stream of the Guadalete, which falls 
into the bay, divided the two camps, and marked the advan- 
cing and retreating skirmishes of three successive days. On 
the fourth day, the two armies joined a more serious and 
decisive issue. Notwithstanding the valour of the Saracens, 
they fainted under the weight of multitudes, and the plain of 
Xeres was overspread with sixteen thousand of their dead 
bodies. ' My brethren,' said Tarik to his surviving com- 
panions, ' the enemy is before you, the sea is behind ; whither 
would ye fly ? Follow your general ; I am resolved either to 



Is the lance broken, is the shield decay'd, 

The warrior's arm unstrung, his heart dismay 'd ] 

Shall no high spirit of ascendant worth 

Arise to lead the sons of Islam forth ? 

To guard the regions where our fathers' blood 

Hath bathed each plain, and mingled with each 

flood; 

Where long their dust hath blended with the soil 
Won by their swords, made fertile by their toil ? 

" ye sierras of eternal snow ! 
Ye streams that by the tombs of heroes flow, 
Woods, fountains, rocks of Spain ! ye saw their 

might 

In many a fierce and unforgotten fight 
Shall ye behold their lost, degenerate race 
Dwell midst your scenes in fetters and disgrace 
With each memorial of the past around, 
Each mighty monument of days renown'd 1 
May this indignant heart ere then be cold, 
This frame be gather'd to its kindred mould ! 
And the last life-drop circling through my veins 
Have tinged a soil untainted yet by chains ! 

" And yet one struggle ere our doom is seal'd, 
One mighty effort, one deciding field ! 
If vain each hope, we still have choice to be 
In life the fetter'd, or in death the free ! " 

Still while he speaks each gallant heart beats 

high, 

And ardour flashes from each kindling eye ; 
Youth, manhood, age, as if inspired, have caught 
The glow of lofty hope and daring thought ; 
And all is hush'd around as every sense 
Dwelt on the tones of that wild eloquence. 

But when his voice hath ceased, th' impetuous cry 
Of eager thousands bursts at once on high ; 
Rampart, and rock, and fortress ring around, 
And fair Alhambra's inmost halls resound. 
" Lead us, O chieftain ! lead us to the strife, 
To fame in death, or liberty in life ! " 

lose my life, or to trample on the prostrate king of the Ro- 
mans.' Besides the resource of despair, he confided in the 
secret correspondence and nocturnal interviews of Count 
Julian with the sons and the brother of Witiza. The two 
princes, and the Archbishop of Toledo, occupied the most 
important post : their well-timed defection broke the ranks 
of the Christians ; each warrior was prompted by fear or sus- 
picion to consult his personal safety ; and the remains of the 
Gothic army were scattered or destroyed in the flight and 
pursuit of the three following days." GIBBON'S Decline and 
Fall, &c. vol. ix. p. 473, 474. 

5 The tecbir, the shout of onset used by the Saracens in 
battle. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



zeal of noble hearts ! in vain displayed ! 
Now, while the burning spirit of the brave 
Is roused to energies that yet might save 
E'en now, enthusiasts ! while ye rush to claim 
Your glorious trial on the field of fame, 
Your king hath yielded ! Valour's dream is o'er; 1 
Power, wealth, and freedom are your own no more; 
And for your children's portion, but remains 
That bitter heritage the stranger's chains. 



CANTO III. 

" Fermossi al fin il cor che bako tanto. 

HIPPOLIIO PJKDHXONTK. 

HEROES of elder days ! untaught to yield, 
Who bled for Spain on many an ancient field ; 
Ye that around the oaken cross of yore 2 
Stood firm and fearless on Asturia's shore, 
And with your spirit, ne'er to be subdued, 
Hallow'd the wild Cantabrian solitude ; 
Rejoice amidst your dwellings of repose, 
In the last chastening of your Moslem foes ! 
Rejoice ! for Spain, arising in her strength, 
Hath burst the remnant of their yoke at length, 
And they, in turn, the cup of woe must drain, 
And bathe their fetters with then: tears in vain. 
And thou, the warrior born in happy hour, 3 
Valencia's lord, whose name alone was power, 
Theme of a thousand songs in days gone by, 
Conqueror of kings ! exult, Cid ! on high ; 
For still 'twas thine to guard thy country's weal, 
In life, in death, the watcher for Castile ! 

Thou, in that hour when Mauritania's bands 
Rush'd from their palmy groves and burning lands, 
E'en in the realm of spirits didst retain 
A patriot's vigilance, remembering Spain ! 4 

1 The terrors occasioned by this sudden excitement of 
popular feeling seem even to have accelerated Abo Abdeli's 
capitulation. " Aterrado Abo Abdeli con el alboroto y 
temiendo no ser ya el DueGo de un pueblo amotinado, se 
apresur6 a concluir una capitulation, la menos dura que podia 
obtenir en tan urgentes circumstancias, y ofrecio entregor a 
Granada el dia seis de Enero." Paseos en Granada, vol. i. 
p. 298. 

The oaken cross, carried by Pelagius in battle. 

3 See Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, in which that warrior 
is frequently styled, " he who was born in happy hour." 

* " Moreover, when the Miramamolin brought over from 
Africa against King Don Alfonso, the eighth of that name, 
the mightiest power of the misbelievers that had ever been 
brought against Spain, since the destruction of the kings of 
the Goths, the Cid Campeador remembered his country in 



Then at deep midnight rose the mighty sound, 
By Leon heard in shuddering awe profound, 
As through her echoing streets, iu dread aiTay, 
Beings once mortal held their viewless way 
Voices from worlds we know not and the tread 
Of marching hosts, the armies of the dead, 
Thou and thy buried chieftains: from the grave 
Then did thy summons rouse a king to save, 
And join thy warriors with unearthly might 
To aid the rescue in Tolosa's fight. 
Those days are past the crescent on thy shore, 
realm of evening ! sets, to rise no more. 5 
"\Yhat banner streams afar from Vela's tower ? 6 
The cross, bright ensign of Iberia's power ! 
What the glad shout of each exulting voice ! 
"Castile and Aragon ! rejoice, rejoice !" 
Yielding free entrance to victorious foes, 
The Moorish city sees her gates unclose, [lance, 
And Spain's proud host, with pennon, shield, and 
Through her long streets in knightly garb advance. 

Oh ! ne'er in lofty dreams hath Fancy's eye 
Dwelt on a scene of statelier pageantry, 
At joust or tourney, theme of poet's lore, 
High masque or solemn festival of yore. 
The gilded cupolas, that proudly rise 
O'erarch'd by cloudless and cerulean skies ; 
Tall minarets, shining mosques, barbaric towers, 
Fountains and palaces, and cypress bowers : 
And they, the splendid and triumphant throng, 
With helmets glittering as they move along, 
With broider'd scarf and gem-bestudded mail, 
And graceful plumage streaming on the gale ; 



that great danger ; for the night before the battle was fought 
at the Xavas de Tolosa, in the dead of the night, a mighty 
sound was heard in the whole city of Leon, as if it were the 
tramp of a great army passing through ; and it passed on to 
the royal monastery of St Isidro, and there was a great 
knocking at the gate thereof, and they called to a priest who 
was keeping vigils in the church, and told him that tlie cap- 
tains of the army whom he heard were the Cid Ruydiez, and 
Count Ferran Gonzalez, and that they came there to call up 
King Don Fernando the Great, who lay buried in that church, 
that he might go with them to deliver Spain. And on the 
morrow that great battle of the Xavas de Tolosa was fought, 
wherein sixty thousand of the misbelievers were slain, which 
was one of the greatest and noblest battles ever won over the 
Moors." SOCTHEY'S Chronicle of the Cid. 

5 The name of Andalusia, the region of evening, or of the 
west, was applied by the Arabs not only to the province so 
called, but to the whole peninsula. 

6 " En este dia, para siempre memorable, los estandartes 
de la Cruz, de St Jago, y el de los Reyes de Castilla se trerao- 
laran sobre la torre mas alta, llamada de la Vela; y un 
exercito prosternado, inundandose en lagrimas de gozo y re- 
conocimiento, asistio al mas glorioso de los es^ectaculos." 
Paseos en Granada, vol. i. p. 299. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



79 



Shields, gold-emboss'd, and pennons floating far, 
And all the gorgeous blazonry of war, 
All brighten'd by the rich transparent hues 
That southern suns o'er heaven and earth diffuse 
Blend in one scene of glory, form'd to throw 
O'er memory's page a never-fading glow, [brave, 
And there, too, foremost midst the conquering 
Your azure plumes, Aben-Zurrahs ! wave. 
There Hamet moves ; the chief whose lofty port 
Seems nor reproach to shun, nor praise to court ; 
Calm, stern, collected yet within his breast 
Is there no pang, no struggle, unconfess'd 1 
If such there be, it still must dwell unseen, 
Nor cloud a triumph with a sufferer's mien. 

Hear'st thou the solemn yet exulting sound 
Of the deep anthem floating far around 1 
The choral voices, to the skies that raise 
The full majestic harmony of praise 1 
Lo ! where, surrounded by their princely train, 
They come, the sovereigns of rejoicing Spain, 
Borne on their trophied car lo ! bursting thence 
A blaze of chivalrous magnificence ! 

Onward their slow and stately course they bend 
To where th' Alhambra's ancient towers ascend, 
Rear'd and adorn'd by Moorish kings of yore, 
Whose lost descendants there shall dwell no more. 

They reach those towers irregularly vast 
And rude they seem, in mould barbaric cast i 1 
They enter to their wondering sight is given 
A genii palace an Arabian heaven ! a 
A scene by magic raised, so strange, so fair, 
Its forms and colour seem alike of air. 



1 Swinburne, after describing the noble palace built by 
Charles V. in the precincts of the Alhambra, thus proceeds : 
" Adjoining (to the north) stands a huge heap of as ugly 
buildings as can well be seen, all huddled together, seemingly 
without the least intention of forming one habitation out of 
them. The walls are entirely unornamented, all gravel and 
pebbles, daubed over with plaster by a very coarse hand ; 
yet this is the palace of the Moorish kings of Granada, indis- 
putably the most curious place within that exists in Spain, 
perhaps in Europe. In many countries you may see excel- 
lent modern as well as ancient architecture, both entire and 
in ruins ; but nothing to be met with any where else can 
convey an idea of this edifice, except you take it from the 
decorations of an opera, or the tales of the genii." SWIN- 
BURNE'S Travels through Spain. 

2 " Passing round the corner of the emperor's palace, you 
are admitted at a plain unornamented door in a corner. On 
my first visit, I confess, I was struck with amazement as I 
Btept over the threshold, to find myself on a sudden trans- 
ported into a species of fairy land. The first place you come 
Jo is the court called the Communa, or del Mesucar, that is, 



Here, by sweet orange-boughs half shaded o'er, 

The deep clear bath reveals its marble floor, 

Its marginfringedwith flowers, whose glowing hues 

The calm transparence of its wave suffuse. 

There round the court, where Moorish arches bend, 

Aerial columns, richly deck'd, ascend ; 

Unlike the models of each classic race, 

Of Doric grandeur or Corinthian grace, 

But answering well each vision that portrays 

Arabian splendour to the poet's gaze : 

Wild, wondrous, brilliant, all a mingling glow 

Of rainbow-tints, above, around, below; 

Bright streaming from the many-tinctured veins 

Of precious marble, and the vivid stains 

Of rich mosaics o'er the light arcade, 

In gay festoons and fairy knots display'd. 

On through th' enchanted realm, that only seema 

Meet for the radiant creatures of our dreams, 

The royal conquerors pass while still their sight 

On some new wonder dwells with fresh delight. 

Here the eye roves through slender colonnades, 

O'er bowery terraces and myrtle shades ; 

Dark olive-woods beyond, and far on high 

The vast sierra mingling with the sky. 

There, scattering far around their diamond spray, 

Clear streams from founts of alabaster play, 

Through pillar'd halls, where, exquisitely wrought, 

Rich arabesques, with glittering foliage fraught, 

Surmount each fretted arch, and lend the scene 

A wild, romantic, oriental mien : 

While many a verse, from eastern bards of old, 

Borders the walls in characters of gold. 3 

Here Moslem luxury, in her own domain, 

Hath held for ages her voluptuous reign 

Midst gorgeous domes, where soon shall silence 

brood, 
And all be lone a splendid solitude. 

the common baths : an oblong square, with a deep basin oi 
clear water in the middle ; two flights of marble steps leading 
down to the bottom ; on each side a parterre of flowers, and 
a row of orange-trees. Round the court runs a peristyle 
paved with marble ; the arches bear upon very slight pillars, 
in proportions and style different from all the regular orders 
of architecture. The ceilings and walls are incrustated with 
fretwork in stucco, so minute and intricate that the most 
patient draughtsman would find it difficult to follow it, unless 
he made himself master of the general plan." SWINBURNE'S 
Travels in Spain. 

3 The walls and cornices of the Alhambra are covered with 
inscriptions in Arabic characters. " In examining this abode 
of magnificence," says Bourgoanne, " the observer is every 
moment astonished at the new and interesting mixture cf 
architecture and poetry. The palace of the Alhambra may 
be called a collection of fugitive pieces ; and whatever dura- 
tion these may have, time, with which every thing passes 
away, has too much contributed to confirm to them that 
title." See BOURGOANNE'S Travels in Spain. 



So 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Now wake their echoes to a thousand songs, 
From mingling voices of exulting throngs ; 
Tambour and flute, and atabal are there, 1 
And joyous clarions pealing on the air ; 
While every hall resounds, " Granada won ! 
Granada ! for Castile and Aragon ! " 2 

'Tis night from dome and tower, in dazzling 

maze, 

The festal lamps innumerably blaze ; 3 
Through long arcades then- quivering lustre gleams, 
From every lattice tremulously streams, 
Midst orange-gardens plays on fount and rill, 
And gilds the waves of Darro and Xenil ; 
Red flame the torches on each minaret's height, 
And shines each street an avenue of light ; 
And midnight feasts are held, and music's voice 
Through the long night still summons to rejoice. 

Yet there, while all would seem to heedless 

eye 

One blaze of pomp, one burst of revelry, 
Are hearts unsoothed by those delusive hours, 
Gall'd by the chain, though deck'd awhile with 

flowers ; 

Stem passions working in th' indignant breast, 
Deep pangs untold, high feelings unexpress'd, 
Heroic spirits, unsubmitting yet 
Vengeance and keen remorse, and vain regret. 



1 Atabal, a kind of Moorish drum. 

2 " Y ansi entraron en la ciudad, y subieron al Alhambra, 
y encima de la torre de Comares tan famosa se Ievant6 la 
enal de la Santa Cruz, y luego el real estandarte de los dos 
Christianos reyes. Y al panto los reyes de annas, a grandes 
bozes dizieron, ' Granada ! Granada ! por su magestad, y 
por la reyna su muger.' La serinissima reyna D. Isabel, que 
vio la seiial de la Santa Cruz sobre la hermosa torre de 
Comares, y el su estandarte real con ella, se hinco de Rodillas, 
y di6 infinitas gracias a Dios por Li victoria que le avia dado 
contra aquella gran ciudad. La musica real de la capilla del 
rev luego a canto de organo cant6 Te Deum laudamat. Fue 
tan grande el plazer que todos lloravan. Luego del Alhambra 
sonaron mil instrumentos de musio.\ de belicas trompetas. Los 
Moros amigos del rev, que querian ser Christianos, cuya 
cabeza era el valerosa Muca, tomaron mil dulzaynasy afia- 
files, sonando grande ruydode atambores por toda la ciudad." 
Historia delat Guerrat Civilei de Granada. 

8 " Los cavalleros Moroa que avemos dicho, aquella noche 
jugaron galanamente alcancias y caflas. Andava Granada 
aquella noche con tanta alegria, y con tantas luminarias, que 
parecia que se ardia la terra." Hittoria de lot Guerrat Civile* 
de Granada. 

Swinburne, in his Travels through Spain, in the years 1775 
and 1776, mentions, that the anniversary of the surrender of 
Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella was still observed in 
the city as a great festival and day of rejoicing ; and that 
the populace on that occasion paid an annual visit to the 
Moorish palace. 



From yon proud height, whose olive-shaded brow 
Commands the wide luxuriant plains below, 
Who lingering gazes o'er the lovely scene, 
Anguish and shame contending in his mien 
He who of heroes and of kings the son, 
Hath lived to lose whate'er his fathers won ; 
Whose doubts and fears his people's fate have seal'd, 
Wavering alike in council and in field ; 
Weak, timid ruler of the wise and brave, 
Still a fierce tyrant or a yielding slave. 

Far from these vine-clad hills and azure skies, 
To Afric's wilds the royal exile flies ; 4 
Yet pauses on his way to weep in vain 
O'er all he never must behold again. 
Fair spreads the scene around for him too fair, 
Each glowing charm but deepens his despair. 
The Vega's meads, the city's glittering spires, 
The old majestic palace of his sires, 
The gay pavilions and retired alcoves, 
Bosom'd in citron and pomegranate groves ; 
Tower-crested rocks, and streams that wind in light, 
All in one moment bursting on his sight, 
Speak to his soul of glory's vanish'd years, 
And wake the source of unavailing tears. 
Weep'st thou, Abdallah } Thou dost well to 

weep, 

feeble heart ! o'er all thou couldst not keep ! 
Well do a woman's tears befit the eye 
Of hun who knew not as a man to die. 3 

The gale sighs mournfully through Zay da's bower, 
The hand is gone that nursed each infant flower. 
No voice, no step, is in her father's halls, 
Mute are the echoes of their marble walls ; 
No stranger enters at the chieftain's gate, 
But all is hush'd, and void, and desolate. 

There, through each tower and solitary shade, 
In vain doth Hamet seek the Zegri maid : 
Her grove is silent, her pavilion lone, 
Her lute forsaken, and her doom unknown ; 
And through the scene she loved, unheeded flows 
The stream whose music lull'd her to repose. 

4 " Los Gomeles todos se passeron en Africa, y el Rev 
Chico con ellos, que no quiso estar en Espaiia, y en Africa le 
mataron los Moros de aquellas partes, porque perdio a 
Granada." Gucrras Civilet de Granada. 

s Abo Abdeli, upon leaving Granada, after its conquest by 
Ferdinand and Isabella, stopped on the hill of Padul to take 
a last look of his city and palace. Overcome by the sight, 
he burst into tears, and was thus reproached by his mother, 
the Sultaness Ayxa, " Thou dost well to weep like a woman, 
over the loss of that kingdom which thou knewest not how to 
defend and die for like a man." 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



81 



But oh ! to him, whose self-accusing thought 
Whispers 'twas he that desolation wrought ; 
He who his country and his faith betray'd, 
And lent Castile revengeful, powerful aid ; 
A Toice of sorrow swells in every gale, 
Each wave low rippling tells a mournful tale : 
And as the shrubs, untended, unconfined, 
In wild exuberance rustle to the wind, 
Each leaf hath language to his startled sense, 
And seems to murmur " Thou hast driven her 

hence ! " 

And well he feels to trace her flight were vain, 
"Where hath lost love been once recall'd again ? 
In her pure breast, so long by anguish torn, 
His name can rouse no feeling now but scorn. 
bitter hour ! when first the shuddering heart 
Wakes to behold the void within and start ! 
To feel its own abandonment, and brood 
O'er the chill bosom's depth of solitude. 
The stormy passions that in Hamet's breast 
Have sway'd so long, so fiercely, are at rest ; 
The avenger's task is closed : l he finds too late 
It hath not changed his feelings, but his fate. 
He was a lofty spirit, tum'd aside [pride, 

From its bright path by woes, and wrongs, and 
And onward, in its new tumultuous course, 
Borne vrith too rapid and intense a force 
To pause one moment in the dread career, 
And ask if such could be its native sphere. 
Now are those days of wild delirium o'er, 
Their fears and hopes excite his soul no more ; 
The feverish energies of passion close, 
And his heart sinks in desolate repose, [less 

Turns sickening from the world, yet shrinks not 
From its own deep and utter loneliness. 

There is a sound of voices on the air, 
A flash of armour to the sunbeam's glare, 
Midst the wild Alpuxarras ; 2 there, on high, 
Where mountain-snows are mingling with the sky, 
A few brave tribes, with spirits yet unbroke, 
Have fled indignant from the Spaniard's yoke. 

ye dread scenes ! where nature dwells alone, 
Severely glorious on her craggy throne ; 

1 " El reymand&, que si quedavan Zegris, queno viviessen 
en Granada, por la maldad qui hizieron contra los Abencer- 
rages." Gucrras Civiles de Granada. 

- " The Alpuxarras are so lofty that the coast of Barbary, 
and the cities of Tangier and Ceuta, are discovered from their 
summits; they are about seventeen leagues in length, from 
Veles Malaga to Almeria, and eleven in breadth, and abound 
with fruit trees of great beauty and prodigious size. In these 
mountains the wretched remains of the Moors took refuge." 
BOURGOANXE'S Travels in Spain. 



Ye citadels of rock, gigantic forms, 

Veil'd bji the mists and girdled by the storms, 

Ravines, and glens, and deep resounding caves, 

That hold communion with the torrent-waves ; 

And ye, th' unstain'd and everlasting snows, 

That dwell above in bright and still repose ; 

To you, in every clime, in every age, 

Far from the tyrant's or the conqueror's rage, 

Hath Freedom led her sons untired to keep 

Her fearless vigils on the barren steep. 

She, like the mountain-eagle, still delights 

To gaze exulting from unconquer'd heights, 

And build her eyrie in defiance proud, 

To dare the wind, and mingle with the cloud. 

Now her deep voice, the soul's awakener, swells, 
Wild Alpuxarras ! through your inmost dells. 
There, the dark glens and lonely rocks among, 
As at the clarion's call, her children throng. 
She with enduring strength has nerved each frame, 
And made each heart the temple of her flame, 
Her own resisting spirit, which shall glow 
Unquenchably, surviving all below. 

There high-born maids, that moved upon the 

earth 

More like bright creatures of aerial birth, 
Xurslings of palaces, have fled to share 
The fate of brothers and of sires ; to bear, 
All undismay'd, privation and distress, 
And smile the roses of the wilderness : 
And mothers with their infants, there to dwell 
In the deep forest or the cavern cell, 
And rear their offspring midst the rocks, to be, 
If now no more the mighty, still the free. 

And midst thatbaud are veterans, o'er whose head 
Sorrows and years their mingled snow have shed : 
They saw thy glory, they have wept thy fall, 
royal city ! and the wreck of all [main 

They loved and hallow'd most : doth aught re- 
For these to prove of happiness or pain ? 
Life's cup is drain'd earth fades before their eye; 
Their task is closing they have but to die. 
Ask ye why fled they hither 1 that their doom 
Might be, to sink unfetter'd to the tomb. 
And youth, in all its pride of strength, is there, 
And buoyancy of spirit, form'd to dare 
And suffer all things fall'n on evil days, 
Yet darting o'er the world an ardent gaze, 
As on the arena where its powers may find 
Full scope to strive for glory with mankind. 
Such are the tenants of the mountain-hold, 
The liigh in heart, unconquer'd, uncontroll'd : 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



\ 5y day, the huntsmen of the wild by night, 
Unwearied guardians of the watch-fire's light, 
They from their bleak mnjestic home have caught 
A sterner tone of unsubmitting thought, 
While all around them bids the soul arise 
To blend \vith nature's dread sublimities. 
But these are lofty dreams, and must not be 
Where tyranny is near : the bended knee, 
The eye whose glance no inborn grandeur fires, 
And the tamed heart, are tributes she requires ; 
Kor must the dwellers of the rock look down 
On regal conquerors, and defy their frown. 
What warrior-band is toiling to explore 
The mountain-pass, with pine-wood shadow'd o'er, 
Startling with martial sounds each rude recess, 
Where the deep echo slept in loneliness? 
These are the sons of Spain ! Your foes are near, 
exiles of the wild sierra ! hear ! 
Hear ! wake ! arise ! and from your inmost caves 
Pour like the torrent in its might of waves ! 

Who leads the invaders on 1 his features bear 
The deep-worn traces of a calm despair ; 
Yet his dark brow is haughty and his eye 
Speaks of a soul that asks not sympathy. 
'Tis he ! 'tis he again ! the apostate chief; 
He comes in all the sternness of his grief. 
He comes, but changed in heart, no more to wield 
Falchion for proud Castile in battle-field, 
Against his country's children though he leads 
Castilian bands again to hostile deeds : 
His hope is but from ceaseless pangs to fly, 
To rush upon the Moslem spears, and die. 
So shall remorse and love the heart release, 
Which dares not dream of joy, but sighs for peace. 
The mountain-echoes are awake a sound 
Of strife is ringing through the rocks around. 
Within the steep defile that winds between 
Cliffs piled on cliffs, a dark, terrific scene, 
Where Moorish exile and Castilian knight 
Are wildly mingling in the serried fight. 
Red flows the foaming streamlet of the glen, 
Whose bright transparence ne'er was stain'd till 

then; 

While swell the war-note and the clash of spears 
To the bleak dwellings of the mountaineers, 
Where thy sad daughters, lost Granada ! wait 
In dread suspense the tidings of their fate, 
But he whose spirit, panting for its rest, 
Would fain each sword concentrate in his breast 
Who, where a spear is pointed, or a lance 
Aim'd at another's breast, would still advance 
Courts death in vain ; each weapon glances by, 
As if for him 'twere bliss too great to die. 



Yes, Aben-Zurrah ! there are deeper woes 
Reserved for thee ere nature's last repose ; 
Thou know'st not yet what vengeance fate can 

wreak, 

Xor all the heart can suffer ere it break. 
Doubtful and long the strife, and bravely fell 
The sons of battle in that narrow dell ; 
Youth in its light of beauty there hath pass'd, 
And age, the weary, found repose at last ; 
Till, few and faint, the Moslem tribes recoil, 
Borne down by numbers and o'erpower'd by toil. 
Dispersed, dishearten'd, through the pass they fly, 
Pierce the deep wood, or mount the cuff on high ; 
While Hamet's band in wonder gaze, nor dare 
Track o'er their dizzy path the footsteps of despair 

Yet he, to whom each danger hath become 
A dark delight, and every wild a home, 
Still urges onward undismay'd to tread 
Where life's fond lovers would recoil with dread. 
But fear is' for the happy they may shrink 
From the steep precipice or torrent's brink ; 
They to whom earth is paradise their doom 
Lends no stern courage to approach the tomb : 
Xot such his lot, who, school'd by fate severe, 
Were but too blest if aught remain'd to fear. 1 
Up the rude crags, whose giant masses throw 
Eternal shadows o'er the glen below ; 
And by the fall, whose many-tinctured spray 
Half in a mist of radiance veils its way, 
He holds his venturous track : supported now 
By some o'erhanging pine or ilex bough ; 
Xow by some jutting stone, that seems to dwell 
Half in mid-air, as balanced by a spell. 
Xow hath his footstep gain'd the summit's head, 
A level span, with emerald verdure spread, 
A fairy circle there the heath-flowers rise, 
And the rock-rose unnoticed blooms and dies ; 
And brightly plays the stream, ere yet its tide 
In foam and thunder cleave the mountain side : 
But all is wild beyond and Hamet's eye 
Roves o'er a world of rude sublimity. 
That dell beneath, where e'en at noon of day 
Earth's charter'd guest, the sunbeam, scarce can 

stray ; 

Around, untrodden woods ; and far above, 
Where mortal footstep ne'er may hope to rove, 
Bare granite cliffs, whose fix'd, inherent dyes 
Rival the tints that float o'er summer skies : 2 

1 " Plut a Dieu que je craignisse ! " Andromaqve. 

3 Mrs Radcliffe, in her journey along the banks of the 
Rhine, thus describes the colours of granite rocks in the 
mountains of the Bergstrasse. " The nearer we approached 
these mountains, the more we had occasion to admire the 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



And the pure glittering snow-realm, yet more high, 
That seems a part of heaven's eternity. 

There is no track of man where Hamet stands, 
Pathless the scene as Lybia's desert sands ; 
Yet on the calm still air a sound is heard 
Of distant voices, and the gathering- word 
Of Islam's tribes, now faint and fainter grown, 
Now but the lingering echo of a tone. 

That sound, whose cadence dies upon his ear, 
He follows, reckless if his bands are near. 
On by the rushing stream his- way he bends, 
And through the mountain's forest zone ascends ; 
Piercing the still and solitary shades 
Of ancient pine, and dark luxuriant glades, 
Eternal twilight's reign : those mazes past, 
The glowing sunbeams meet his eyes at last, 
And the lone wanderer now hath reach'dthe source 
Whence the wave gushes, foaming on its course. 
But there he pauses for the lonely scene 
Towers in such dread magnificence of mien, 
And, mingled oft with some wild eagle's cry, 
From rock-built eyrie rushing to the sky, 
So deep the solemn and majestic sound 
Of forests, and of waters murmuring round 
That, rapt in wondering awe, his heart forgets 
Its fleeting struggles and its vain regrets. 
What earthly feeling unabash'd can dwell 
In nature's mighty presence 1 midst the swell 
Of everlasting hills, the roar of floods, 
And frown of rocks, and pomp of waving woods ! 
These their own grandeur on the soul impress, 
And bid each passion feel its nothingness. 

Midst the vast marble cliffs, a lofty cave 
Rears its broad arch beside the rushing wave ; 
Shadow' d by giant oaks, and rude and lone, 
It seems the temple of some power unknown, 
Where earthly being may not dare intrude 
To pierce the secrets of the solitude. 
Yet thence at intervals a voice of wail 
Is rising, wild and solemn, on the gale. 
Did thy heart thrill, Hamet ! at the tone 1 
Came it not o'er thee as a spirit's moan ? 
As some loved sound that long from earth had fled, 
The unforgotten accents of the dead ! 

various tints of their granites. Sometimes the precipices were 
of a faint pink, then of a deep red, a dull purple, or a blush 
approaching to lilac ; and sometimes gleams of a pale yellow 
mingled with the low shrubs that grew upon their sides. The 
day was cloudless and bright, and we were too near these 
heights to be deceived by the illusions of aerial colouring ; the 
real hues of their features were as beautiful as their magnitude 
was sublime." 



E'en thus it rose and springing from his trance 
His eager footsteps to the sound advance. 
He mounts the cliffs, he gains the cavern floor ; 
Its dark green moss with blood is sprinkled o'er 
He rushes on and lo ! where Zayda rends 
Her locks, as o'er her slaughter'd sire she bends, 
Lost in despair ; yet, as a step draws nigh, 
Disturbing sorrow's lonely sanctity, 
She lifts her head, and, all-subdued by grief, 
Views with a wild sad smile the once-loved chief; 
While rove her thoughts, unconscious of the past, 
And every woe forgetting but the last. 

" Com'st thou to weep with me ? for I am left 
Alone on earth, of every tie bereft. 
Low lies the warrior on his blood-stain'd bier ; 
His child may call, but he no more shall hear. 
He sleeps but never shall those eyes unclose ; 
'Twas not my voice that lull'd him to repose ; 
Nor can it break his slumbers. Dost thou mourn] 
And is thy heart, like mine, with anguish torn ] 
Weep, and my soul a joy in grief shall know, 
That o'er his grave my tears with Hamet's flow V 

But scarce her voice had breathed that well- 
known name, 

When, swiftly rushing o'er her spirit, came 
Each dark remembrance by affliction's power 
Awhile effaced hi that o'erwhelming hour, 
To wake with tenfold strength : 'twas then her eye 
Resumed its light, her mien its majesty, 
And o'er her wasted cheek a burning glow 
Spreads, while her lips' indignant accents flow. 

"Away! I dream ! Oh, how hath sorrow's might 
Bow'd down my soul, and qucnch'd its native light 
That I should thus forget ! and bid thy tear 
With mine be mingled o'er a father's bier ! 
Did he not perish, haply by thy hand, 
In the last combat with thy ruthless band 1 
The morn beheld that conflict of despair : 
'Twas then he fell he fell! and thou wert 

there ! 

Thou ! who thy country's children hast pursued 
To their last refuge midst these mountains rude. 
Was it for this I loved thee? Thou hast taught 
My soul all grief, all bitterness of thought ! 
'Twill soon be past I bow to heaven's decree, 
Which bade each pang be minister'd by thee." 

" I had not deem'd that aught remain'd below 
For me to prove of yet untasted woe ; 
But thus to meet thee, Zayda ! can impart 
One more, one keener agony of heart. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Oh, bear me yet ! I would have died to save 

My foe, but still tby father, from the grave ; 

But in the fierce confusion of the strife, 

In my own stern despair and scorn of life, 

Borne wildly on, I saw not, knew not aught, 

Save that to perish there in vain I sought. 

And let me share thy sorrows ! hadst thou known 

All I have felt in silence and alone, 

E'en thou mightst then relent, and deem, at last, 

A grief like mine might expiate all the past 

"But oh! for thee, the loved and precious flower, 
So fondly rear'd in luxury's guarded bower, 
From every danger, every storm secured, 
How hast thou suffer'd ! what hast thou endured ! 
Daughter of palaces ! and can it be 
That this bleak desert is a home for thee ! 
These rocks thy dwelling ! thou, who shouldst 

have known 

Of life the sunbeam and the smile alone ! 
Oh, yet forgive ! be all my guilt forgot, 
Nor bid me leave thee to so rude a lot ! " 

" That lot is fix'd 'twere fruitless to repine : 
Still must a gulf divide my fate from thine. 
I may forgive but not at will the heart 
Can bid its dark remembrances depart. 
No, Hamet ! no ! too deeply are these traced ; 
Yet the hour comes when all shall be effaced ! 
Not long on earth, not long, shall Zayda keep 
Her lonely vigils o'er the grave to weep. 
E'en now, prophetic of my early doom, 
Speaks to my soul a presage of the tomb ; 
And ne'er in vain did hopeless mourner feel 
That deep foreboding o'er the bosom steal ! 
Soon shall I slumber calmly by the side 
Of him for whom I lived, and would have died ; 
Till then, one thought shall soothe my orphan lot, 
In pain and peril I forsook him not. 

"And now, farewell ! behold the summer-day 
Is passing, like the dreams of life, away. 
Soon will the tribe of him who sleeps draw nigh, 
With the last rites his bier to sanctify. 
Oh, yet in time, away ! 'twere not my prayer 
Could move their hearts a foe like thee to spare ! 
This hour they come and dost thou scorn to fly? 
Save me that one last pang to see thee die !" 
E'en while she speaks is heard their echoing tread ; 
Onward they move, the kindred of the dead. 
They reach the cave they enter slow their pace, 
And calm deep sadness marks each mourner's face ; 
And all is hush'd, till he who seems to wait 
In silent stern devotedness his fate, 



Hath met their glance then grief to fury turns: 
Each mien is changed, each eye indignant burns, 
And voices rise, and swords have left their sheath . 
Blood must atone for blood, and death for death ! 
They close around him : lofty still his mien, 
His cheek uiialter'd, and his brow serene. 
Unheard, or heard in vain, is Zayda's cry ; 
Fruitless her prayer, unmark'd her agony. 
But as his foremost foes their weapons bend 
Against the life he seeks not to defend, 
Wildly she darts between each feeling past, 
Save strong affection, which prevails at last. 
Oh, not in vain its daring ! for the blow 
Aim'd at his heart hath bade her life-blood flow; 
And she hath sunk a martyr on the breast 
Where in that hour her head may calmly rest, 
For he is saved ! Behold the Zegri band, 
Pale with dismay and grief, around her stand : 
While, every thought of hate and vengeance o'er, 
They weep for her who soon shall weep no more. 
She, she alone is calm : a fading smile, 
Like sunset, passes o'er her cheek the while ; 
And in her eye, ere yet it closes, dwell 
Those last faint rays, the parting soul's farewell. 

" Now is the conflict past, and I have proved 
How well, how deeply thou hast been beloved ! 
Yes ! in an hour like this 'twere vain to hide 
The heart so long and so severely tried : 
Still to thy name that heart hath fondly tlirill'd, 
But sterner duties call'd and were fulfiU'd. 
And I am blest ! To every holier tie 
My life was faithful, and for thee I die ! 
Nor shall the love so purified be vain ; 
Sever'd on earth, we yet shall meet again. 
Farewell ! And ye, at Zayda's dying prayer, 
Spare him, my kindred tribe ! forgive and spare ! 
Oh ! be his guilt forgotten in his woes, 
While I, beside my sire, in peace repose.'' 

Xow fades her cheek, her voice hath sunk, and 

death 

Sits in her eye, and struggles in her breath. 
One pang 'tis past her task on earth is done, 
And the pure spirit to its rest hath flowu. 
But he for whom she died oh ! who may paint 
The grief to which all other woes were fault 1 
There is no power in language to impart 
The deeper pangs, the ordeals of the heart, 
By the dread Searcher of the soul survey 'd : 
These have no words nor are by words portray 'd. 

A dirge is rising on the mountain-air, 
Whose fitful pwells its plaintive murmurs bear 



THE WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 



Far o'er the Alpuxarras ; wild its tone, 

And rocks and caverns echo, " Thou art gone ! " 

" Daughter of heroes ! thou art gone 
To share his tomb who gave thee birth : 

Peace to the lovely spirit flown ! 
It was not form'd for earth. 

Thou wert a sunbeam in thy race, 

Which brightly pass'd and left no trace. 

" But calmly sleep ! for thou art free, 
And hands unchain'd thy tomb shall raise. 

Sleep ! they are closed at length for thee, 
Life's few and evil days ! 

Nor shalt thou watch, with tearful eye, 

The lingering death of liberty. 

" Flower of the desert ! thou thy bloom 

Didst early to the storm resign : 
We bear it still and dark their doom 

Who cannot weep for thine ! 
For us, whose every hope is fled, 
The time is past to mourn the dead. 

" The days have been, when o'er thy bier 
Far other strains than these had flow'd ; 

Now, as a home from grief and fear, 
We hail thy dark abode ! 

We, who but linger to bequeath 

Our sons the choice of chains or death. 

" Thou art with those, the free, the brave, 

The mighty of departed years; 
And for the slumberers of the grave 

Our fate hath left no tears. 
Though loved and lost, to weep were vain 
For thee, who ne'er shalt weep again. 

" Have we not seen despoil'd by foes 

The land our fathers won of yore ? 
And is there yet a pang for those 

Who gaze on this no more 1 
Oh, that like them 'twere ours to rest ! 
Daughter of heroes ! thou art blest ! " 

A few short years, and in the lonely cave 
Where sleeps the Zegri maid, is Hamet's grave. 
Sever'd in life, united in the tomb 
Such, of the hearts that loved so well, the doom ! 
Their dirge, of woods and waves th' eternal 

moan ; 

Their sepulchre, the pine-clad rocks alone. 
And oft beside the midnight watch-fire's blaze, 
Amidst those rocks, in long-departed days, 



(When freedom fled, to hold, sequester'd there, 
The stern and lofty councils of despair,) 
Some exiled Moor, a warrior of the wild, 
Who the lone hours with mournful strains beguiled, 
Hath taught his mountain-home the tale of those 
Who thus have sufler'd, and who thus repose. 



THE WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

["In the reign of Otho III. Emperor of Germany, the 
Romans, excited by their Consul, Crescentius, who ardently 
desired to restore the ancient glory of the Republic, made a 
bold attempt to shake off the Saxon yoke, and the authority 
of the popes, whose vices rendered them objects of universal 
contempt. The Consul was besieged by Otho in the Mole of 
Hadrian, which long afterwards continued to be called the 
Tower of Crescentius. Otho, after many unavailing attacks 
upon this fortress, at last entered into negotiations ; and, 
pledging his imperial word to respect the life of Crescentius, 
and the rights of the Roman citizens, the unfortunate leadef 
was betrayed into his power, and immediately beheaded, 
with many of his partisans. Stephania, his widow, conceal- 
ing her affliction and her resentment for the insults to which 
she had been exposed, secretly resolved to revenge her hus- 
band and herself. On the return of Otho from a pilgrimage 
to Mount Gargano, which perhaps a feeling of remorse had 
induced him to undertake, she found means to be intro- 
duced to him, and to gain his confidence ; and a poison ad- 
ministered by her was soon afterwards the cause of his pain- 
ful death." SISMONDI, History of the Italian Republics, 
vol. i.] 



" L'orage peut bris 



nent les fleurs qui tienncnt encore 



MIDST Tivoli's luxuriant glades, 
Bright-foaming falls, and olive shades, 
Where dwelt, in days departed long, 
The sons of battle and of song, 
No tree, no shrub its foliage rears 
But o'er the wrecks of other years, 
Temples and domes, which long have been 
The soil of that enchanted scene. 

There the wild fig-tree and the vine 
O'er Hadrian's mouldering villa twine ; 1 

1 " J'e'tais alle 1 passer quelques jours seuls a Tivoll. Je 
parcourus les environs, et surtout celles de la Villa Adriana. 
Surpris par la pluie au milieu de ma course, je me reYugiai 
dans les Salles des Thermes voisins du Pdcile, (monumens da 
la villa,) sous un figuier qui avait renversd le pan d'un mur 
en sYlevant. Dans un petit salon octogone, ouvert devant 
moi, une vigne vierge avait perce 1 la voute de I'ddince, et son 
gros cep lisse, rouge, et tortueux, montait le long du mur 
comme un serpent. Autour de moi, a travers les arcades des 
ruines, s'ouvraient des points de vue sur la Campagne Ro- 
maine. Des buissons de sureau remplissaient les salles de- 
sertes ou venaient se rcfugier quelques merles solitaires. 



86 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCEXES. 



The cypress, in funereal grace, 
Usurps the vanish'd column's place ; 
O'er fallen shrine and ruin'd frieze 
The -wall-flower rustles in the breeze ; 
Acanthus-leaves the marble hide 
They once adorn'd in sculptured pride; 
And nature hath resumed her throne 
O'er the vast works of ages flown. 

Was it for this that many a pile, 
Pride of Hissus and of Nile, 
To Anio's banks the image lent 
Of each imperial monument I 1 
Now Athens weeps her shatter'd fanes, 
Thy temples, Egypt, strew thy plains ; 
And the proud fabrics Hadrian rear"d 
From Tibur's vale have disappear'd. 
We need no prescient sibyl there 
The doom of grandeur to declare ; 
Each stone, where weeds and ivy climb, 
Reveals some oracle of Time ; 
Each relic utters Fate's decree 
The future as the past shall be. 

Halls of the dead ! in Tibur's vale, 
Who now shall tell your lofty tale \ 
Who trace the high patrician's dome, 
The bard's retreat, the hero's home ? 
When moss-clad wrecks alone record 
There dwelt the world's departed lord, 
In scenes where verdure's rich array 
Still sheds young beauty o'er decay, 
And sunshine on each glowing hill 
Midst ruins finds a dwelling still. 

Sunk is thy palace but thy tomb, 
Hadrian ! hath shared a prouder doom. 2 



Les fragmens de majonnerie dtaient tapiss<*es de feuilles de 
scolopendre, dont la verdure satine"e se dessinait comme un 
travail en mosa'ique sur la blancheur des marbres : fa et la de 
hauls typres remplayaient les colonnes tomWes dans ces palais 
de la Mort ; 1'acanthe sauvage rampait a leurs pieds, sur des 
de'bris, comme si la nature sVtait plu a reproduire sur ces 
chefs-d'ceuvre iimtilts d'architecture, 1'ornement de leur 
beauts' passee." CHATEAUBRIAND'S Souvenirs d' Italic. 

1 The gardens and buildings of Hadrian's villa were copies 
of the most celebratedscenes and edifices in his dominions 
the Lyceum, the Academia, the Prytaneum of Athens, the 
Temple of Serapis at Alexandria, the Vale of Tempe, &c. 

- The mausoleum of Hadrian, now the castle of St Angelo, 
was first converted into a citadel by Belisarius, in his suc- 
cessful defence of Rome against the Goths. " The lover of 
the arts," says Gibbon, "must read with a sigh that the 
works of Praxiteles and Lysippus were torn from their lofty 
pedestals, and hurled into the ditch on the heads of the be- 
siegers." He adds, in a note, that the celebrated Sleeping 



Though vanish'd with the days of old 

Its pillars of Corinthian mould ; 

Though the fair forms by sculpture wrought, 

Each bodying some immortal thought, 

Which o'er that temple of the dead 

Serene but solemn beauty shed, 

Have found, like glory's self, a grave 

In time's abyss or Tiber's wave ; 3 

Yet dreams more lofty and more fair 

Than art's bold hand hath imaged e'er. 

High thoughts of many a mighty mind 

Expanding when all else declined, 

In twilight years, when only they 

Recall'd the radiance pass'd away, 

Have made that ancient pile their home, 

Fortress of freedom and of Rome. 

There he, who strove in evil days 
Again to kindle glory's rays, 
Whose spirit sought a path of light 
For those dim ages far too bright 
Crescentius long maintain'd the strife 
Which closed but with its martyr's life, 
And left th' imperial tomb a name, 
A heritage of holier fame. 
There closed De Brescia's mission high, 
From thence the patriot came to die ; 4 

Faun of the Barberini palace was found, in a mutilated state, 
when the ditch of St Angelo was cleansed under Urban VIII. 
In the middle ages, the Moles Hadriani was made a per- 
manent fortress by the Roman government, and bastions, 
outworks, &c. were added to the original edifice, which had 
been stripped of its marble covering, its Corinthian pillars, 
and the brazen cone which crowned its summit. 

8 " Les plus beaux monumens des arts, les plus admirables 
statues, ont e'tfe jetees dans le Tibre, et sent cachees sous 
ses flots. Qui sait si, pour les chercher, on ne le de'tournera 
pas un jour de son lit ? Mais quand on songe que les chefs- 
d'oeuvres du g(5nie humain sent peut-etre la devant nous, et 
qu'un ceil plus percant les verrait a travers les ondes, 1'oa 
iprouve je ne sais quelle Emotion, qui renait a Rome sans 
cesse sous diverses formes, et fait trouver une socie'te' pour 
la pensd-e dans les objets physiques, muets partout aUleurs." 
MAD. DE STAEL. 

* Arnold de Brescia, the undaunted and eloquent champion 
of Roman liberty, after unremitting efforts to restore the 
ancient constitution of the republic, was put to death in the 
year 1155 by Adrian IV. This event is thus described by 
Sisuiondi, Histoire ckt Itcpubliques Itallcnnes, voL ii. pages 
63 and 6i>. " Le pntfet demeura dans le chateau Saint 
Ange avec son prisonnier : il le fit transporter un matin sur 
la place destinee aux executions, devant la porte du peuple. 
Arnaud de Brescia, e'leve' sur un bQcher, fut attache 1 a un 
poteau, en face du Corso. II pouvoit me'surer des yeux les 
trois longues rues qui aboutissoient devant son e'chafaud ; 
elles font presqu' une moitid de Rome. C'est la qu'habi- 
toient les hommes qu'il avoit si souvent appele's a la liberty. 
Ils reposoient encore en paix, ignorant le danger de leur legis- 
lateur. Le tumulte de 1'exe'cution et la flamme du bOcher 



THE WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 



And thou, whose Roman soul the last 

Spoke with the voice of ages past, 1 

Whose thoughts so long from earth had fled 

To mingle with the glorious dead, 

That midst the world's degenerate race 

They vainly sought a dwelling-place, 

Within that house of death didst brood 

O'er visions to thy ruin woo'd. 

Yet, worthy of a brighter lot, 

Bienzi, be thy faults forgot ! 

For thou, when all around thee lay 

Chain'd in the slumbers of decay 

So sunk each heart, that mortal eye 

Had scarce a tear for liberty 

Alone, amidst the darkness there, 

Couldst gaze on Rome yet not despair ! 2 

''Tis mom and nature's richest dyes 
Are floating o'er Italian skies ; 
Tints of transparent lustre shine 
Along the snow-clad Apennine ; 
The clouds have left Soracte's height; 
And yellow Tiber winds in light, 
Where tombs and fallen fanes have strew'd 
The wide Campagna's solitude. 
'Tis sad amidst that scene to trace 
Those relics of a vanish'd race ; 
Yet, o'er the ravaged path of time 
Such glory sheds that brilliant clime, 
Where nature still, though empires fall, 
Holds her triumphant festival 
E'en desolation wears a smile, 
Where skies and sunbeams laugh the while ; 
And heaven's own light, earth's richest bloom, 
Array the ruin and the tomb. 

But she, who from yon convent tower 
Breathes the pure freshness of the hour ; 

rdveillerent les Remains ; ils s'armerent, ils accoururent, 
mais trop tard ; et les cohortes du pape repousserent, avec 
' leurs lances, ceux qui, n'ayant pu sauver Arnaud, vouloient du 
moms recueillir ses cendres comrne de prdcieuses reliques." 

1 " Posterity will compare the virtues and failings of this 
extraordinary man ; but in a long period of anarchy and ser- 
vitude, the name of Rienzi lias often been celebrated as the 
deliverer of his country, and tlie last of the Roman patriots." 
GIBBON'S Decline and Fall, &c. vol. xii. p. 362. 

2 " Le consul Terentius Varron avoit fui honteusement 
jusqu'a Venouse. Get homme, de la plus basse naissance, 
n'avoit &.& 6le\& au consulat que pour mortifier la noblesse : 
mais le snat ne voulut pas jouir de ce malheureux tri- 
omphe ; il vit combien il dtoit ne'cessaire qu'il s'attirat dans 
cette occasion la confiance du peuple il alia au-devant 
Varron, et le remercia de ce qu'il n'avoit pas desesptrt de 
la rcpubliquc." MONTESQUIEU'S Grandeur et Decadence 
des Romains. 



She, whose rich flow of raven hair 

Streams wildly on the morning air, 

Heeds not how fair the scene below, 

Robed in Italia's brightest glow. 

Though throned midst Latium's classic plains 

Th' Eternal City's towers and fanes, 

And they, the Pleiades of earth, 

The seven proud hills of Empire's birth, 

Lie spread beneath ; not now her glance 

Roves o'er that vast sublime expanse ; 

Inspired, and bright with hope, 'tis thrown 

On Adrian's massy tomb alone ; 

There, from the storm, when Freedom fled, 

His faithful few Cresceutius led ; 

While she, his anxious bride, who now 

Bends o'er the scene her youthful brow, 

Sought refuge in the hallow'd fane, 

Which then could shelter, not in vain. 

But now the lofty strife is o'er, 
And Liberty shall weep no more. 
At length imperial Otho's voice 
Bids her devoted sons rejoice ; 
And he, who battled to restore 
The glories and the rights of yore, 
Whose accents, like the clarion's sound, 
Could burst the dead repose around, 
Again his native Rome shall see 
The sceptred city of the free ! 
And young Stephania waits the hour 
When leaves her lord his fortress-tower 
Her ardent heart with joy elate, 
That seems beyond the reach of fate ; 
Her mien, like creature from above, 
All vivified with hope and love. 

Fair is her form, and in her eye 
Lives all the soul of Italy ; 
A meaning lofty and inspired, 
As by her native day-star fired ; 
Such wild and high expression, fraught 
With glances of impassion'd thought, 
As fancy sheds, in visions bright, 
O'er priestess of the God of Light ; 
And the dark locks that lend her face 
A youthful and luxuriant grace, 
Wave o'er her cheek, whose kindling dyes 
Seem from the fire within to rise, 
But deepen'd by the burning heaven 
To her own land of sunbeams given. 
Italian art that fervid glow 
Would o'er ideal beauty throw, 
And with such ardent life express 
Her high- wrought dreams of loveliness, 



88 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Dreams which, surviving Empire's full, 
The shade of glory still recall. 

But see ! the banner of the brave 
O'er Adrian's tomb hath ceased to wave. 
"Tis lower'd and now Stephania's eye 
Can well the martial train descry, 
Who, issuing from that ancient dome, 
Pour through the crowded streets of Rome. 
Now from her watch-tower on the height, 
With step as fabled wood-nymph's light, 
She flies and swift her way pursues 
Through the lone convent's avenues. 
Dark cypress groves, and fields o'erspread 
With records of the conquering dead, 
And paths which track a glowing waste, 
She traverses in breathless haste ; 
And by the tombs where dust is shrined 
Once tenanted by loftiest mind, 
Still passing on, hath reach'd the gate 
Of Rome, the proud, the desolate ! 
Throng'd are the streets, and, still renew'd, 
Rush on the gathering multitude. 
Is it their high-soul'd chief to greet 
That thus the Roman thousands meet ] 
With names that bid then- thoughts ascend, 
Crescentius ! thine in song to blend ; 
And of triumphal days gone by 
Recall th' inspiring pageantry ] 
There is an air of breathless dread, 
An eager glance, a hurrying tread ; 
And now a fearful silence round, 
And now a fitful murmuring sound, 
Midst the pale crowds, that almost seem 
Phantoms of some tumultuous dream. 
Quick is each step and wild each mien, 
Portentous of some awful scene. 
Bride of Crescentius ! as the throng 
Bore thee with whelming force along, 
How did thine anxious heart beat high, 
Till rose suspense to agony ! 
Too brief suspense, that soon shall close, 
And leave thy heart to deeper woes. 

Who midst yon guarded precinct stands, 
With fearless mien but fetter'd hands 1 
The ministers of death are nigh, 
Yet a calm grandeur lights his eye ; 
And in his glance there lives a mind 
Which was not form'd for chains to bind, 
But cast hi such heroic mould 
As theirs, th' ascendant ones of old. 
Crescentius ! freedom's daring son, 
Is this the guerdon thou hast won ] 



Oh, worthy to have lived and died 
In the bright days of Latium's pride ! 
Thus must the beam of glory close 
O'er the seven hills again that rose, 
When at thy voice, to burst the yoke, 
The soul of Rome indignant woke ? 
Vain dream ! the sacred shields are gone, 1 
Sunk is the crowning city's throne : 2 
Th' illusions, that around her cast 
Then- guardian spells, have long been past 3 
Thy life hath been a shot-star's ray, 
Shed o'er her midnight of decay ; 
Thy death at freedom's ruin'd shrine 
Must rivet every chain but thine. 

Calm is his aspect, and his eye 
Now fix'd upon the deep blue sky, 
Now on those wrecks of ages fled 
Around in desolation spread 
Arch, temple, column, worn and gray, 
Recording triumphs pass'd away ; 

1 Of the sacred bucklers, or ancilia of Rome, which were 
kept in the temple of Mars, Plutarch gives the following 
account : " In the eighth year of >"uma's reign, a pestilence 
prevailed in Italy ; Rome also felt its ravages. AVhile the 
people were greatly dejected, we are told that a brazen buckler 
fell from heaven into the hands of Xuma. Of this he gave a 
very wonderful account, received fromEgeria and the Muses: 
that the buckler was sent down for the preservation of the 
city, and should be kept with great care ; that eleven others 
should be made as like it as possible in size and fashion, in 
order that, if any person were disposed to steal it, he might 
not be able to distinguish that which fell from heaven from 
the rest. He further declared, that the place, and the mea- 
dows about it, where he frequently conversed witli the 
Muses, should be consecrated to those divinities ; and that 
the spring which watered the ground should be sacred to the 
use of the Vestal Virgins, daily to sprinkle and purify 
their temple. The immediate cessation of the pestilence is 
said to have confirmed the truth of this account." Lift of 
Numa. 

3 " Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, thecrouminq 
city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the 
honourable of the earth ?" Isaiah, chap. 23. 

3 " Un melange bizarre de grandeur d'ame et de foiblesse 
entroit des eette cheque '.I'onzieme siecle) dans le caractere 
des Remains. Un mouvement ge'ne'reux vers les grandes 
choses faisoit place tout-a-coup a I'abattement ; ils passoient 
de la liberti la plus orageuse, a la servitude la plus avilis- 
sante. On auroit dit que les mines et les portiques deserts 
de la capitate du monde, entretenoient ses habitans dans le 
sentiment de lenr impuissance ; au milieu de ces monumens 
de leur domination passde, les citoyens e'prouvoient d'une 
maniere trop decourageante leur propre nullite'. Le noni des 
Remains qu'ils portoient ranimoit fre'quemment leurentliou- 
siasme, comme il le ranime encore aujourd'hui ; mas bientot 
la vue de Rome, du forum desert, des sept collines de nouveau 
rendues au paturage des troupeaux, des temples dfeoles, des 
monumens tombant en mine, les ramenoit a sentir qu'ils 
n'etoient plus les Remains d'autrefois." SISMONDI, Hiiloirt 
di-t Republiques Italienna, Tol. i. p. 172. 



THE WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 



Works of the mighty and the free, 

\Yhose steps on earth no more shall be, 

Though their bright course hath left a trace 

Nor years nor sorrows can efface. 

Why changes now the patriot's mien, 

Erewhile so loftily serene \ 

Thus can approaching death control 

The might of that commanding soul ] 

No ! Heard ye not that thrilling cry 

Which told of bitterest agony 1 

He heard it, and at once, subdued, 

Hath sunk the hero's fortitude. 

He heard it, and his heart too well 

Whence rose that voice of woe can tell ; 

And midst the gazing throngs around 

One well-known form his glance hath found 

One fondly loving and beloved, 

In grief, in peril, faithful proved. 

Yes ! in the wildness of despair, 

She, his devoted bride, is there. 

Pale, breathless, through % the crowd she 

flies, 

The light of frenzy in her eyes : 
But ere her amis can clasp the form 
Which life ere long must cease to warm 
Ere on his agonising breast 
Her heart can heave, her head can rest 
Chock'd in her course by ruthless hands, 
Mute, motionless, at once she stands ; 
With bloodless cheek and vacant glance, 
Frozen and fix'd in horror's trance ; 
Spell-bound, as every sense were fled, 
And thought o'erwhelm'd, and feeling dead ; 
And the light waving of her hair, 
And veil, far floating on the air, 
Alone, in that dread moment, show 
She is no sculptured form of woe. 

The scene of grief and death is o'er, 
The patriot's heart shall throb no more : 
But hers so vainly form'd to prove 
The pure devotedness of love, 
And draw from fond affection's eye 
All thought sublime, all feeling high 
When consciousness again shall wake, 
Hath now no refuge but to break. 
The spirit long inured to pain 
May smile at fate in calm disdain, 
Survive its darkest hour, and rise 
In more majestic energies. 
But in the glow of vernal pride, 
If each warm hope at once hath died, 
Then sinks the mind, a blighted flower, 
Dead to the sunbeam and the shower ; 



A broken gem, whose inborn light 
Is scatter'd ne'er to re-unite. 



PART II. 

HAST thou a scene that is not spread 
With records of thy glory fled ? 
A monument that doth not tell 
The tale of liberty's farewell] 
Italia ! thou art but a grave 
Where flowers luxuriate o'er the brave, 
And nature gives her treasures birth 
O'er all that hath been great on earth. 
Yet smile thy heavens as once they smiled 
When thou wert freedom's favour'd child : 
Though fane and tomb alike are low, 
Tune hath not dimm'd thy sunbeam's glow ; 
And, robed in that exulting ray, 
Thou seem'st to triumph o'er decay 
Oh, yet, though by thy sorrows bent, 
In nature's pomp magnificent ! 
What marvel if, when all was lost, 
Still on thy bright enchanted coast, 
Though many an omen warn'd him thence, 
Linger'd the lord of eloquence, 1 

1 " As for Cicero, he was carried to Astyra, where, finding 
a vessel, he immediately went on board, and coasted along 
to Circa-urn with a favourable wind. The pilots were pre- 
paring immediately to sail from thence, but whether it was 
that he feared the sea, or had not yet given up all his hopes 
in Csesar, he disembarked, and travelled a hundred furlongs 
on foot, as if Rome had been the place of his destination. 
Repenting, however, afterwards, he left that road, and made 
again for the sea. He passed the night in the most per- 
plexing and horrid thoughts ; insomuch, that he was some- 
times inclined to go privately into Czesar's house, and stab 
himself upon the altar of his domestic gods, to bring the 
divine vengeance upon his betrayer. But he was deterred 
from this by the fear of torture. Other alternatives, equally 
distressful, presented themselves. At last he put himself in 
the hands of his servants, and ordered them to carry him by 
sea to Cajeta, where he had a delightful retreat ni the sum- 
mer, when the Etesian winds set in. There was a temple of 
Apollo on that coast, from which a flight of crows came with 
great noise towards Cicero's vessel as it was making land. 
They perched on both sides the sail-yard, where some sat 
croaking, and others pecking the ends of the ropes. All 
looked upon this as an ill omen ; yet Cicero went on shore, 
and, entering his house, lay down to repose himself. In the 
meantime a number of the crows settled in the chamber- 
window, and croaked in the most doleful manner. One of 
them even entered it, and, alighting on the bed, attempted 
with its beak to draw off the clothes with which he had 
covered his face. On sight of this, the servants began to 
reproach themselves. ' Shall we,' said they, ' remain to be 
spectators of our master's murder? Shall we not protect 
him, so innocent and so great a sufferer as he is, when the 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Still gazing on the lovely sky, 

Whose radiance woo'd him but to die ] 

Like him, who would not linger there, 

Where heaven, earth, ocean, all are fair 1 

Who midst thy glowing scenes could dwell, 

Nor bid awhile his griefs farewell ] 

Hath not thy pure and genial air 

Balm for all sadness but despair I 1 

No ! there are pangs whose deep-worn trace 

Not all thy magic can efface ! 

Hearts by unkindness wrung may learn 

The world and all its gifts to spurn ; 

Time may steal on with silent tread, 

And dry the tear that mourns the dead, 

May change fond love, subdue regret, 

And teach e'en vengeance to forget : 

But thou, Remorse ! there is no charm 

Thy sting, avenger, to disarm ! 

Vain are bright suns and laughing skies 

To soothe thy victim's agonies : 

The heart once made thy burning throne, 

Still, while it beats, is thine alone. 

In vain for Otho's joyless eye 
Smile the fair scenes of Italy, 
As through her landscapes' rich array 
Th' imperial pilgrim bends his way. 
Thy form, Crescentius ! on his sight 
Rises when nature laughs in light, 
Glides round him at the midnight hour, 
Is present in his festal bower, 
With awful voice and frowning mien, 
By all but him unheard, unseen. 
Oh ! thus to shadows of the grave 
Be every tyrant still a slave ! 

Where, through Gargano's woody dells, 
O'er bending oaks the north wind swells, 3 

brute creatures give him marks of their care and attention ? ' 
Then, partly by entreaty, partly by force, they got him into 
his litter, and carried him towards the sea." PLUTARCH, 
Life of Cicero. 

1 " Now purer air 

Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires 
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive 
All sadness but despair." MILTON. 

8 Mount Gargano. "This ridge of mountains forms a very 
large promontory advancing into the Adriatic, and separated 
from the Apennines on the west by the plains of Lucera and 
San Severo. We took a ride into the heart of the mountains 
through shady dells and noble woods, which brought to our 
minds the venerable groves that in ancient times bent with 
the loud winds sweeping along the rugged sides of Garganus : 

' Aquilombus 

Querceta Gargani laborant, 
Et foliU viduantur orm.'-HoRAcu. 



A sainted hermit's lowly tomb 
Is bosom'd in umbrageous gloom, 
In shades that saw him live and die 
Beneath their waving canopy. 
Twas his, as legends tell, to share 
The converse of immortals there ; 
Around that dweller of the wild 
There "bright appearances" have smiled, 
And angel-wings at eve have been 
Gleaming the shadowy boughs between. 
And oft from that secluded bower 
Hath breathed, at midnight's calmer hour, 
A swell of viewless harps, a sound 
Of warbled anthems pealing round. 
Oh, none but voices of the sky 
Might wake that thrilling harmony, 
Whose tones, whose very echoes made 
An Eden of the lonely shade ! 
Years have gone by ; the hermit sleeps 
Amidst Gargano's woods and steeps ; 
Ivy and flowers have half o'ergrown 
And veil'd his low sepulchral stone : 
Yet still the spot is holy, still 
Celestial footsteps haunt the hill ; 
And oft the awe-struck mountaineer 
Aerial vesper-hymns may hear 
Around those forest-precincts float, 
Soft, solemn, clear, but still remote. 
Oft will Affliction breathe her plaint 
To that rude shrine's departed saint, 
And deem that spirits of the blest 
There shed sweet influence o'er her breast. 

And thither Otho now repairs, 
To soothe his soul with vows and prayers ; 
And if for him, on holy ground, 
The lost one, Peace, may yet be found, 
Midst rocks and forests, by the bed 
Where calmly sleep the sainted dead, 
She dwells, remote from heedless eye, 
With nature's lonely majesty. 

Vain, vain the search ! his troubled breast 
Nor vow nor penance lulls to rest : 
The weary pilgrimage is o'er, 
The hopes that cheer'd it are no more. 
Then sinks his soul, and day by day 
Youth's buoyant energies decay. 

" There is still a respectable forest of evergreen and com- 
mon oak, pine, hornbeam, chestnut, and manna-ash. The 
sheltered valleys are industriously cultivated, and seem to be 
blest with luxuriant vegetation." SWINBURNE'S Travels. 

3 " In yonder nether world where shall I seek 

His bright appearances, or footstep trace ? " MILTON 



THE WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 



The light of health his eye hath flown, 

The glow that tinged his cheek is gone. 

Joyless as one on whom is laid 

Some baleful spell that bids him fade, ' 

Extending its mysterious power 

O'er eveiy scene, o'er every hour : 

E'en thus lie withers ; and to him 

Italia's brilliant skies are dim. 

He withers in that glorious clime 

Where Nature laughs in scorn of Time ; 

And suns, that shed on all below 

Their full and vivifying glow, 

From him alone their power withhold, 

And leave his heart in darkness cold. 

Earth blooms around him, heaven is fair 

He only seems to perish there. 

Yet sometimes will a transient smile 
Play o'er his faded cheek awhile, 
When breathes his minstrel boy a strain 
Of power to lull all earthly pain 
So wildly sweet, its notes might seem 
Th' ethereal music of a dream, 
A spirit's voice from worlds unknown, 
Deep thrilling power in every tone ! 
Sweet is that lay ! and yet its flow 
Hath language only given to woe ; 
And if at times its wakening swell 
Some tale of glory seems to tell, 
Soon the proud notes of triumph die, 
Lost in a dirge's harmony. 
Oh ! many a pang the heart hath proved, 
Hath deeply sufler'd, fondly loved, 
Ere the sad strain could catch from thence 
Such deep impassion'd eloquence ! 
Yes ! gaze on him, that minstrel boy 
He is no child of hope and joy ! 
Though few his years, yet have they been 
Such as leave traces on the mien, 
And o'er the roses of our prime 
Breathe other blights than those of tune. 

Yet seems his spirit wild and proud, 
By grief unsoften'd and unbow'd. 
Oh ! there are sorrows which impart 
A sternness foreign to the heart, 
And, rushing with an earthquake's power, 
That makes a desert in an hour, 
Rouse the dread passions in their course, 
As tempests wake the billows' force ! 
'Tis sad, on youthful Guide's face, 
The stamp of woes like these to trace. 
Oh ! where can ruins awe mankind 
Dark as the ruins of the mind 1 



His mien is lofty, but his gaze 
Too well a wandering soul betrays : 
His full dark eye at tunes is bright 
With strange and momentary light, 
Whose quick uncertain flashes throw 
O'er his pale cheek a hectic glow : 
And oft his features and his air 
A shade of troubled mystery wear, 
A glance of hurried wildness, fraught 
With some unfathomable thought. 
Whate'er that thought, still unexpress'd 
Dwells the sad secret in his breast ; 
The pride his haughty brow reveals 
All other passion well conceals 
He breathes each wounded feeling's tone 
In music's eloquence alone ; 
His soul's deep voice is only pour'd 
Through his full song and swelling chord. 

He seeks no friend, but shuns the train 
Of courtiers with a proud disdain , 
And, save when Otho bids his lay 
Its half unearthly power essay 
In hall or bower the heart to thrill, 
His haunts are wild and lonely still. 
Far distant from the heedless throng, 
He roves old Tiber's banks along, 
Where Empire's desolate remains 
Lie scatter'd o'er the silent plains ; 
Or, lingering midst each ruin'd shrine 
That strews the desert Palatine, 
With mournful yet commanding mien, 
Like the sad genius of the scene, 
Entranced in awful thought appears 
To commune with departed years. 
Or at the dead of night, when Rome 
Seems of heroic shades the home ; 
When Tiber's murmuring voice recalls 
The mighty to their ancient halls ; 
When hush'd is every meaner sound, 
And the deep moonlight-calm around 
Leaves to the solemn scene alone 
The majesty of ages flown 
A pilgrim to each hero's tomb, 
He wanders through the sacred gloom ; 
And midst those dwellings of decay 
At times will breathe so sad a lay, 
So wild a grandeur in each tone, 
'Tis like a dirge for empires gone ! 

Awake thy pealing harp again, 
But breathe a more exulting strain, 
Young Guido ! for awhile forgot 
Be the dark secrets of thy lot, 



9 2 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



And rouse th' inspiring soul of song 

To speed the banquet's hour along I 

The feast is spread, and music's call 

Is echoing through the royal hall, 

And banners wave and trophies shine 

O'er stately guests in glittering line ; 

And Otho seeks awhile to chase 

The thoughts he never can erase, 

And bid the voice, whose murmurs deep 

Rise like a spirit on his sleep 

The still small voice of conscience die, 

Lost in the din of revelry. 

On his pale brow dejection lowers, 

But that shall yield to festal hours ; 

A gloom is in his faded eye, 

But that from music's power shall fly ; 

His wasted cheek is wan with care, 

But mirth shall spread fresh crimson there. 

Wake, Guido ! wake thy numbers high, 

Strike the bold chord exultingly ! 

And pour upon the enraptured ear 

Such strains as warriors love to hear ! 

Let the rich mantling goblet flow, 

And banish aught resembling woo ; 

And if a thought intrude, of power 

To mar the bright convivial hour, 

Still must its influence lurk unseen, 

And cloud the heart but not the mien ! 

Away, vain dream ! on Otho's brow, 
Still darker lower the shadows now ; 
Changed are his features, now o'erspread 
With the cold paleness of the dead ; 
Now crimson'd with a hectic dye, 
The burning flush of agony ! 
His lip is quivering, and his breast 
Heaves with convulsive pangs oppress'd ; 
Now his dim eye seems fixd and glazed, 
And now to heaven in anguish raised ; 
And as, with unavailing aid, 
Around him throng his guests dismay'd, 
He sinks while scarce his struggling breath 
Hath power to falter "This is death !" 

Then rush'd that haughty child of song, 
Dark'Guido, through the awe-struck throng. 
Fill'd with a strange delirious light, 
His kindling eye shone wildly bright ; 
And on the sufferer's mien awhile 
Gazing with stem vindictive smile, 
A feverish glow of triumph dyed 
His burning cheek, while thus he cried : 
" Yes ! these are death-pangs on thy brow 
Is set the seal of vengeance now ! 



Oh ! well was mix'd the deadly draught, 
And long and deeply hast thou quaff 'd; 
And bitter as thy pangs may be, 
They are but guerdons meet from, me ! 
Yet these are but a moment's throes 
Howe'er intense, they soon shall close. 
Soon shalt thou yield thy fleeting breath 
My life hath been a lingering death, 
Since one dark hour of woe and crime, 
A blood-spot on the page of time ! 

" Deem'st thou my mind of reason void 1 
It is not frenzied but destroy'd ! 
Ay ! view the wreck with shuddering thought- 
That work of ruin thou hast wrought ! 
The secret of thy doom to tell, 
My name alone suffices well ! 
Stephania ! once a hero's bride ! 
Otho ! thou know'st the rest he died. 
Yes ! trusting to a monarch's word, 
The Roman fell, untried, unheard ! 
And thou, whose every pledge was vain, 
How couldst thou trust in aught again ! 

" He died, and I was changed my soul, 
A lonely wanderer, spuru'd control. 
From peace, and light, and glory hurl'd, 
The outcast of a purer world, 
I saw each brighter hope o'erthrown, 
And lived for one dread task alone. 
The task is closed, fulfill'd the vow 
The hand of death is on thee now. 
Betrayer ! in thy turn betray 'd, 
The debt of blood shall soon be paid ! 
Thine hour is come the tune hath been 
My heart had shrunk from such a scene ; 
That feeling long is past my fate 
Hath made me stern as desolate. 

" Ye that around me shuddering stand, 
Ye chiefs and princes of the land ! 
Mourn ye a guilty monarch's doom 1 
Ye wept not o'er the patriot's tomb ! 
He sleeps unhonour'd yet be mine 
To share his low, neglected shrine. 
His soul with freedom finds a home, 
His grave is that of glory Rome ! 
Are not the great of old with her, 
That city of the sepulchre ? 
Lead me to death ! and let me share, 
The slumbers of the mighty there ! " 

The day departs that fearful day 
Fades in calm loveliness away : 



THE LAST- BANQUET OF ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 



93 



From purple heavens its lingering beam 
Seems melting into Tiber's stream, 
And softly tints each Eoman hill 
With glowing light, as clear and still 
As if, unstain'd by crime or woe, 
Its hours had pass'd in silent flow. 
The day sets calmly it hath been 
Mark'd with a strange and awful scene : 
One guilty bosom throbs no more, 
And Otho's pangs and life are o'er. 
And thou, ere yet another sun 
His burning race hath brightly run, 
Released from anguish by thy foes, 
Daughter of Rome ! shalt find repose. 
Yes ! on thy country's lovely sky 
Fix yet once more thy parting eye ! 
A few short hours and all shall be 
The silent and the past for thee. 
Oh ! thus with tempests of a day 
We struggle, and we pass away, 
Like the wild billows as they sweep, 
Leaving no vestige on the deep ! 
And o'er thy dark and lowly bed 
The sons of future days shall tread, 
The pangs, the conflicts, of thy lot, 
By them unknown, by thee forgot. 



THE LAST BANQUET OF ANTONY AXD 
CLEOPATRA. 

[" Antony, concluding that he could not die more honour- 
ably than in battle, determined to attack Caesar at the same 
time both by sea and land. The night preceding the execu- 
tion of this design, he ordered his servants at supper to render 
him their best services that evening, and fill the wine round 
plentifully, for the day following they might belong to another 
master, whilst he lay extended on the ground, no longer of 
consequence either to them or to himself. His friends were 
affected, and wept to hear him talk thus ; which when he 
perceived, he encouraged them by assurances that his expec- 
ations of a glorious victory were at least equal to those of an 
wnourable death. At the dead of night, when universal 
ilence reigned through the city a silence that was deepened 
>y the awful thought of the ensuing day on a sudden was 
leard the sound of musical instruments, and a noise which 
esembled the exclamations of Bacchanals. This tumultuous 
procession seemed to pass through the whole city, and to go 
out at the gate which led to the enemy's camp. Those who 
reflected on this prodigy concluded that Bacchus, the god 
whom Antony affected to imitate, had then forsaken him." 
I.AXGHORNE'S Plutarch.'] 

THY foes had girt thee with their dread array, 
stately Alexandria ! yet the sound 

Of mirth and music, at the close of day, 

Swell'd from thy splendid fabrics far around 



O'er camp and wave. Within the royal hall, 
In gay magnificence the feast was spread ; 

And, brightly streaming from the pictured wall, 
A thousand lamps their trembling lustre shed 

O'er many a column, rich with precious dyes, 

That tinge the marble's vein, 'neath Afric's burn- 
ing skies. 

And soft and clear that wavering radiance play'd 

O'er sculptured forms, that round the pillar'd 

scene 
Calm and majestic rose, by art array 'd 

In godlike beauty, awfully serene. 
Oh ! how unlike the troubled guests, reclined 

Round that luxurious board ! hi every face 
Some shadow from the tempest of the mind, 

Rising by fits, the searching eye might trace, 
Though vainly mask'd in smiles which are not 
mirth, [of earth. 

But the proud spirit's veil thrown o'er the woes 

Their brows are bound with wreaths, whose 
transient bloom 

May still survive the wearers and the rose 
Perchance may scarce be wither' d, when the tomb 

Receives the mighty to its dark repose ! 
The day must dawn on battle, and may set 

In death but fill the mantling wine-cup high ! 
Despair is fearless, and the Fates e'en yet 

Lend her one hour for parting revelry. 
They who the empire of the world possess'd 
Would taste its j oys again, ere all exchanged for rest 

Its joys ! oh, mark yon proud Triumvir's mien, 

And read their annals on that brow of care ! 
Midst pleasure's lotus-bowers his steps have been: 

Earth's brightest pathway led him to despair. 
Trust not the glance that fain would yet inspire 

The buoyant energies of days gone by ; 
There is delusion in its meteor fire, 

And all within is shame, is agony ! 
Away ! the tear in bitterness may flow, [woe. 
But there are smiles which bear a stamp of deeper 

Thy cheek is sunk, and faded as thy fame, 

lost, devoted Roman ! yet thy brow, 
To that ascendant and undying name, 

Pleads with stern loftiness thy right e'en now. 
Thy glory is departed, but hath left 

A lingering light around thee : in decay 
Xot less than kingly though of all bereft, 

Thou seem'st as empire had not pass'd away. 
Supreme in ruin ! teaching hearts elate 
A deep prophetic dread of still mysterious fate ,' 



94 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



But them, enchantress queen ! whose love hath 
made 

His desolation thou art by his side, 
In all thy sovereignty of charms array' d, 

To meet the storm with still unconquer'd pride. 
Imperial being ! e'en though many a stain 

Of error be upon thee, there is power 
In thy commanding nature, which shall reign 

O'er the stern genius of misfortune's hour ; 
And the dark beauty of thy troubled eye 
E'en now is all illumed with wild sublimity. 

Thine aspect, all impassion'd, wears a light 

Inspiring and inspired thy cheek a dye, 
"Which rises not from joy, but yet is bright 

"With the deep glow of feverish energy. 
Proud siren of the Nile ! thy glance is fraught 

"With an immortal fire in every beam 
It darts, there kindles some heroic thought, 

But wild and awful as a sibyl's dream ; 
For thou with death hast communed to attain 
Dread knowledge of the pangs that ransom from 
the chain. 1 

And the stern courage by such musings lent, 

Daughter of Afric ! o'er thy beauty throws 
The grandeur of a regal spirit, blent 

"With all the majesty of mighty woes : 
"While he, so fondly, fatally adored, 

Thy fallen Roman, gazes on thee yet, 
Till scarce the soul that once exulting soar'd 

Can deem the day-star of its glory set ; 
Scarce his charm'd heart believes that power can be 
In sovereign fate, o'er him thus fondly loved by 
thee. 

But there is sadness in the eyes around, 

"Which mark that ruin'd leader, and survey 
His changeful mien, whence oft the gloom profound 

Strange triumph chases haughtily away. 
" Fill the bright goblet, warrior guests ! " he cries ; 

" Quaff, ere we part, the generous nectar deep ! 
Ere sunset gild once more the western skies 

Your chief in cold forgetfulness may sleep ; 
"While sounds of revel float o'er shore and sea, 
And the red bowl again is crown'd but not for me. 

1 Cleopatra made a collection of poisonous drugs, and being 
desirous to know which was least painful in the operation, 
she tried them on the capital convicts. Such poisons as were 
quick in their operation , she found to be attended with violent 
pain and convulsions : such as were milder were slow in their 
effect : she therefore applied herself to the examination of 
venomous creatures ; and at length she found that the bite 
of the asp was the most eligible kind of death, for it brought 
on a gradual kind of lethargy. See PLUTARCH. 



" Yet weep not thus. The struggle is not o'er, 

victors of Philippi ! many a field 
Hath yielded palms to us : one effort more ! 

By one stern conflict must our doom be seal'd. 
Forget not, Romans ! o'er a subject world 

How royally your eagle's wing hath spread, 
Though, from his eyrie of dominion hurl'd, 

Now bursts the tempest on his crested head ! 
Yet sovereign still, if bauish'd from the sky, 
The sun's indignant bird, he must not droop but 
die.' 1 

The feast is o'er. Tis night, the dead of night 

Unbroken stillness broods o'er earth and deep ; 
From Egypt's heaven of soft and starry light 

The moon looks cloudless o'er a world of 

sleep. 
For those who wait the mom's awakening bearcs, 

The battle-signal to decide their doom, 
Have sunk to feverish rest and troubled dreams; 

Rest that shall soon be calmer in the tomb ; 
Dreams dark and ominous, but there to cease, 
"When sleep the lords of war in solitude and peace. 

Wake, slumberers ! wake ! Hark ! heard ye not 

a sound 

Of gathering tumult 1 Xear and nearer still 
Its murmur swells. Above, below, around. 
Bursts a strange chorus forth, confused and 

shrill. 
Wake, Alexandria ! through thy streets the tread 

Of steps unseen is hurrying, and the note 
Of pipe, and lyre, and trumpet, wild and dread, 

Is heard upon the midnight air to float ; 
And voices, clamorous as in frenzied mirth, 
Mingle their thousand tones, which are not of the 
earth. 

These are no mortal sounds their thrilling strain 

Hath more mysterious power, and birth more 

high; 
And the deep horror chilling every vein 

Owns them of stern terrific augury. 
Beings of worlds unknown ! ye pass away, 

ye invisible and awful throng ! 
Your echoing footsteps and resounding lay 

To Caesar's camp exulting move along. 
Thy gods forsake thee, Antony ! the sky 
By that dread sign reveals thy doom "Despair 
and die !" 2 



2 " To-morrow in the battle think on me, 

And fall thy edgeless sword ; despair and die ! " 

Richard III. 



ALAKIC IN ITALY. 



95 



ALARIC IX ITALY. 

[After describing the conquest of Greece and Italy by the 
German and Scythian hordes united under the command of 
Alaric, the historian of The Decline and Fall of the Roman 
Empire thus proceeds: ""Whether fame, or conquest, or 
riches, were the object of Alaric, he pursued that object with 
an indefatigable ardour, which could neither be quelled by 
adversity nor satiated by success. No sooner had he reached 
the extreme land of Italy, tlian he was attracted by the 
neighbouring prospect of a fair and peaceful island. Yet even 
the possession of Sicily he considered only as an intermediate 
step to the important expedition which he already meditated 
against the continent of Africa. The straits of Rhegium and 
Messina are twelve miles in length, and, in the narrowest 
passage, about one mile and a half broad ; and the fabulous 
monsters of the deep the rocks of Scylla and the whirlpool of 
Chary bdis could terrify none but the most timid and unskilful 
mariners : yet, as soon as the first division of the Goths had 
embarked, a sudden tempest arose, which sunk or scattered 
many of the transports. Their courage was daunted by the 
terrors of a new element ; and the whole design was defeated 
by the premature death of Alaric, which fixed, after a short 
illness, the fatal term of his conquests. The ferocious cha- 
racter of the barbarians was displayed in the funeral of a 
hero, whose valour and fortune they celebrated with mourn- 
ful applause. By the labour of a captive multitude, they 
forcibly diverted the course of the Busentinus, a small river 
that washes the walls of Consentia, The royal sepulchre, 
adorned with the splendid spoils and trophies of Rome, was 
constructed in the vacant bed ; the waters were then restored 
to their natural channel, and the secret spot where the re- 
mains of Alaric had been deposited was for ever concealed by 
the inhuman massacre of the prisoners who had been em- 
ployed to execute the work." Decline and Fall of the Roman 
Empire, vol. v. p. 329.] 

HEARD ye the Gothic trumpet's blast 1 
The march of hosts as Alaric pass'd 1 
His steps have track'd that glorious clime, 
The birth-place of heroic time ; 
But he, in northern deserts bred, 
Spared not the living for the dead, 1 
Xor heard the voice whose pleading cries 
From temple and from tomb arise. 
He pass'd the light of burning fanes 
Hath been his torch o'er Grecian plains ; 

1 After the taking of Athens by Sylla, " though such 
numbers were put to the sword, there were as many who laid 
violent hands upon themselves in grief for their sinking coun- 
try. What reduced the best men among them to this despair 
of finding any mercy or moderate terms for Athens, was the 
well-known cruelty of Sylla : yet, partly by the intercession of 
Midias and Calliphon, and the exiles who threw themselves 
at his feet partly by the entreaties of the senators who 
attended him in that expedition, and being himself satiated 
with blood besides, he was at last prevailed upon to stop his 
hand ; and in compliment to the ancient Athenians, he said, 
' he forgave the many for the sake of the few, the living for 
the dead.' " PLUTARCH. 



And woke they not the brave, the free, 
To guard their own Thermopylae 1 
And left they not their silent dwelling, 
When Scythia's note of war was swelling ? 
No ! where the bold Three Hundred slept, 
Sad freedom battled not but wept ! 
For nerveless then the Spartan's hand, 
And Thebes could rouse no Sacred Band ; 
Nor one high soul from slumber broke 
"When Athens own'd the northern yoke. 

But was there none for tkee to dare 
The conflict, scorning to despair 1 
City of the seven proud hills ! 
"Whose name e'en yet the spirit thrills, 
As doth a clarion's battle-call 
Didst thou, too, ancient empress, fall 1 
Did no Camillus from the chain 
Eansom thy Capitol again ? 
Oh, who shall tell the days to be 
No patriot rose to bleed for thee ! 

Heard ye the Gothic trumpet's blast ? 
The march of hosts as Alaric pass'd ] 
That fearful sound, at midnight deep, 2 
Burst on the Eternal City's sleep : 
How woke the mighty ? She whose will 
So long had bid the world be still, 
Her sword a sceptre, and her eye 
Th' ascendant star of destiny ! 
She woke to view the dread array 
Of Scythians rushing to their prey, 
To hear her streets resound the cries 
Pour'd from a thousand agonies ! 
While the strange light of flames, that gave 
A ruddy glow to Tiber's wave, 
Bursting in that terrific hour 
From fane and palace, dome and tower, 
Reveal'd the throngs, for aid divine, 
Clinging to many a worshipp'd shrine : 
Fierce fitful radiance wildly shed 
O'er spear and sword, with carnage red, 
Shone o'er the suppliant and the flying, 
And kindled pyres for Romans dying. 

Weep, Italy ! alas, that e'er 
Should tears alone thy wrongs declare ! 

2 " At the hour of midnight the Salarian gate was silently 
opened, and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremen- 
dous sound of the Gothic trumpet. Eleven hundred and 
sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the imperial 
city, which had subdued and civilised so considerable a por- 
tion of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the 
tribes of Germany and Scythia." Decline and Fall of the 
Roman Empire, vol. v. p. 311. 



9 6 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



The time hath been when thy distress 
Had roused up empires for redress ! 
Now, her long race of glory run, 
Without a combat Rome is won, 
And from her plunder'd temples forth 
Rush the fierce children of the North, 
To share beneath more genial skies 
Each joy their own rude clime denies. 

Ye who on bright Campania's shore 
Bade your fair villas rise of yore, 
With all their graceful colonnades, 
And ciystal baths, and myrtle shades, 
Along the blue Hesperian deep, 
Whose glassy waves in sunshine sleep 
Beneath your olive and your vine 
Far other inmates now recline ; 
And the tall plane, whose roots ye fed 
With rich libations duly shed, 1 
O'er guests, unlike your vanish'd friends, 
Its bowery canopy extends. 
For them the southern heaven is glowing, 
The bright Falernian nectar flowing ; 
For them the marble halls unfold, 
Where nobler beings dwelt of old, 
Whose children for barbarian lords 
Touch the sweet lyre's resounding chords, 
Or wreaths of Psestan roses twine 
% To crown the sons of Elbe and Rhine. 
Yet, though luxurious they repose 
Beneath Corinthian porticoes 
While round them into being start 
The marvels of triumphant art 
Oh ! not for them hath Genius given 
To Parian stone the fire of heaven, 
Enshrining in the forms he wrought 
A bright eternity of thought. 
In vain the natives of the skies 
In breathing marble round them rise, 
And sculptured nymphs of fount or glade 
People the dark-green laurel shade. 
Cold are the conqueror's heart and eye 
To visions of divinity ; 
And rude his hand which dares deface 
The models of immortal grace. 

Arouse ye from your soft delights ! 
Chieftains ! the war-note's call invites ; 

1 The plane-tree was much cultivated among the Romans, 
on account of its extraordinary shade ; and they used to 
nourish it with wine instead of water, believing (as Sir W. 
Temple observes) that " this tree loved that liquor as well as 
those who used to drink it under its shade." See the notes to 
MELMOTH'S Pliny. 



And other lands must yet be won, 
And other deeds of havoc done. 
Warriors ! your flowery bondage break , 
Sons of the stormy North, awake ! 
The barks are launching from the steep 
Soon shall the Isle of Ceres weep, 2 
And Afric's burning winds afar 
Waft the shrill sounds of Alaric's war. 
Where shall his race of victory close ] 
When shall the ravaged earth repose ? 
But hark ! what wildly mingling cries 
From Scythia's camp tumultuous rise 1 
Why swells dread Alaric's name on air 1 
A sterner conquerer hath been there ! 
A conqueror yet his paths are peace, 
He comes to bring the world's release ; 
He of the sword that knows no sheath, 
The avenger, the deliverer Death ! 

Is then that daring spirit fled 1 
Doth Alaric slumber with the dead 1 
Tamed are the warrior's pride and strength. 
And he and earth are calm at length. 
The land where heaven unclouded shines, 
Where sleep the sunbeams on the vines ; 
The land by conquest made his own, 
Can yield him now a grave alone. 
But his her lord from Alp to sea 
No common sepulchre shall be ! 
Oh, make his tomb where mortal eye 
Its buried wealth may ne'er descry ! 
Where mortal foot may never tread 
Above a victor-monarch's bed. 
Let not his royal dust be hid 
'Neath star-aspiring pyramid ; 
Nor bid the gather'd mound arise, 
To bear his memoiy to the skies. 
Years roll away oblivion claims 
Her triumph o'er heroic names ; 
And hands profane disturb the clay 
That once was fired with glory's ray ; 
And Avarice, from their secret gloom, 
Drags e'en the treasures of the tomb. 
But thou, leader of the free ! 
That general doom awaits not thee : 
Thou, where no step may e'er intrude, 
Shalt rest in regal solitude, 
Till, bursting on thy sleep profound, 
The Awakener's final trumpet sound. 
Turn ye the waters from their course, 
Bid Nature yield to human force, 



1 Sicily was anciently considered as the favoured and pec* 
liar dominion of Ceres. 



THE WIFE OF AS DRUB A L. 



97 



And hollow in the torrent's bed 
A chamber for the mighty dead. 
The work is done the captive's hand 
Hath well obey'd his lord's command. 
"Within that royal tomb are cast 
The richest trophies of the past, 
The wealth of many a stately dome, 
The gold and gems of plunder d Rome; 
And when the midnight stars are beaming, 
And ocean waves in stillness gleaming, 
Stern in their grief, his warriors bear 
The Chastener of the Nations there ; 
To rest at length from victory's toil, 
Alone, with all an empire's spoil ! 

Then the freed current's rushing wave 
Rolls o'er the secret of the grave ; 
Then streams the martyr d captives' blood 
To crimson that sepulchral flood, 
Whose conscious tide alone shall keep 
The mystery in its bosom deep. 
Time hath past on since then and swept 
From earth the urns where heroes slept ; 
Temples of gods and domes of kings 
Are mouldering with forgotten things ; 
Yet not shall ages e'er molest 
The viewless home of Alaric's rest : 
Still rolls, like them, the unfailing river, 
The guardian of his dust for ever. 



THE WIFE OF ASDRUBAL. 



t"This governor, who had braved death when it was at a 
distance, and protested that the sun should never see him 
survive Carthage this fierce Asdrubal was so mean-spirited 
as to come alone, and privately throw himself at the con- 
queror's feet. The general, pleased to see his proud rival 
humbled, granted his life, and kept him to grace his triumph. 
The Carthaginians in the citadel no sooner understood that 
their commander had abandoned the place, than they threw 
open the gates, and put the proconsul in possession of Byrsa. 
The Romans had now no enemy to contend with but the nine 
hundred deserters, who, being reduced to despair, retired into 
the temple of Esculapius, which was a second citadel within 
the first : there the proconsul attacked them ; and these un- 
happy wretches, finding there was no way to escape, set fire 
to the temple. Ai the flamee spread, they retreated from one 
part to another, till they got to the roof of the building: 
there Asdrubal's wife appeared in her best apparel, as if the 
day of her death had been a day of triumph ; and after hav- 
ing uttered the most bitter imprecations against her husband, 
whom she saw standing below with Emilianus, ' Base 
coward ! ' said she, ' the mean things thou hast done to save 
thy life shall not avail thee ; thou shalt die this instant, at 
least in thy two children.' Having thus spoken, she drew 
out a dagger, stabbed them both, and while they were yet 



struggling for life, threw them from the top of the temple, and 
leaped down after them into the flames." Ancient Universal 
History.] 

THE sun sets brightly but a ruddier glow 
O'er Afric's heaven the flames of Carthage throw. 
Her walls have sunk, and pyramids of fire 
In lurid splendour from her domes aspire; 
Sway'd by the wind, they wave while glares the 

sky 

As when the desert's red simoom is nigh ; 
The sculptured altar and the pillar'd hall 
Shine out in dreadful biightness ere they fall ; 
Far o'er the seas the light of ruin streams 
Rock, wave, and isle are criinson'd by its beams ; 
While captive thousands, bound in Roman chains, 
Gaze in mute horror on their burning fanes ; 
And shouts of triumph, echoing far around, 
Swell from the victors' tents with ivy crown'd. 1 
But mark ! from yon fair temple's loftiest height 
What towering form bursts wildly on the sight, 
All regal in magnificent attire, 
And sternly beauteous in terrific ire ? 
She might be deem'd a Pythia in the hour 
Of dread communion and delirious power ; 
A being more than earthly, in whose eye 
There dwells a strange and fierce ascendency. 
The flames are gathering round intensely bright, 
Full on her features glares their meteor light ; 
But a wild courage sits triumphant there, 
The stormy grandeur of a proud despair ; 
A daring spirit, in its woes elate, 
Mightier than death, untameable by fate. 
The dark profusion of her locks unbound 
Waves like a warrior's floating plumage round ; 
Flush'd is her cheek, inspired her haughty mien 
She seems the avenging goddess of the scene. 
Are those her infants, that with suppliant cry 
Cling round her shrinking as the flame draws nigh, 
Clasp with their feeble hands her gorgeous vest, 
And fain would rush for shelter to her breast ] 
Is that a mother's glance, where stern disdain, 
And passion, awfully vindictive, reign ? 

Fix'd is her eye on Asdrubal, who stands 
Ignobly safe amidst the conquering bands ; 
On him who left her to that burning tomb, 
Alone to share her children's martyrdom ; 
Who, when his country perish'd, fled the strife, 
And knelt to win the worthless boon of life. 
"Live, traitor ! li ve !" she cries, "sirice dear to thee, 
E'en in thy fetters, can existence be ! 

1 It was a Roman custom to adorn the tents of rictors 
with ivy. 



9 8 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Scorn'd and dishonour'd live ! with blasted name, 
The Roman's triumph not to grace, but shame. 
slave in spirit ! bitter be thy chain 
With tenfold anguish to avenge my pain ! 
Still may the manes of thy children rise 
To chase calm slumber from thy wearied eyes ; 
Still may their voices on the haunted air 
In fearful whispers tell thee to despair, 
Till vain remorse thy wither'd heart consume, 
Scourged by relentless shadows of the tomb ! 
E'en now my sons shall die and thou, their sire, 
In bondage safe, shalt yet in them expire. 
Think'st thou I love them not 1 ? 'Twas thine to fly 
'Tis mine with these to suffer and to die. 
Behold their fate ! the arms that cannot save 
Have been their cradle, and shall be their grave.'' 

Bright in her hand the lifted dagger gleams, 
Swift from her children's hearts the life-blood 

streams; 

With frantic laugh she clasps them to the breast 
Whose woes and passions soon shall be at rest ; 
Lifts one appealing, frenzied glance on high, [eye. 
Then deep midst rolling flames is lost to mortal 



HELIODORUS IX THE TEMPLE. 

[From Maccabees, book ii. chapter 3, verse 21. " Then it 
would have pitied a man to see the falling down of the multi- 
tude of all sorts, and the fear of the high priest, being in such 
an agony. 22. They then called upon the Almighty Lord to 
keep the things committed of trust safe and sure, for those 
that had committed them. 23. Nevertheless Heliodorus 
executed that which was decreed. 24. Xow as he was there 
present himself, with his guard about the treasury, the Lord 
of Spirits, and the Prince of all Power, caused a great appari- 
tion, so that all that presumed to come in with him were 
astonished at the power of God, and fainted, and were sore 
afraid. 25. For there appeared unto them a horse with a 
terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair cover- 
ing ; and he ran fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his 
fore-feet, and it seemed that he that sat upon the horse had 
complete harness of gold. 26. Moreover, two other young 
men appeared before him, notable in strength, excellent in 
beauty, and comely in apparel, who stood by him on either 
side, and scourged him continually, and gave him many 
sore stripes. 27. And Heliodorus fell suddenly to the 
ground, and was compassed with great darkness; but they 
that were with him took him up, and put him into a litter. 
28. Thus him that lately came with great tram, and with 
all his guard into the said treasury, they carried out, being 
unable to help himself with his weapons, and manifestly 
they acknowledged the power of God. 29. For he by the 
hand of God was cast down, and lay speechless without all 
hope of life."] 

A SOUND of woe in Salem ! mournful cries [pale, 
Rose from her dwellings youthful cheeks were 



Tears flowing fast from dim and aged eyes, 
And voices mingling in tumultuous wail ; 
Hands raised to heaven in agony of prayer. 
And powerless wrath, and terror, and despair. 

Thy daughters, Judah ! weeping, laid aside 
The regal splendour of their fair array, 

With the rude sackcloth girt their beauty's pride, 
And throng'd the streets in hurrying, wild 
dismay ; 

While knelt thy priests before His awful shrine 

Who made of old renown and empire thine. 

But on the spoiler moves ! The temple's gate, 
The bright, the beautiful, his guards unfold ; 

And all the scene reveals its solemn state, 

Its courts and pillars, rich with sculptured gold ; 

And man with eye unhallow'd views th' abode, 

The sever'd spot, the dwelling-place of God. 

Where art thou, Mighty Presence ! that of yore 
Wert wont between the cherubim to rest, 

Veil'd in a cloud of glory, shadowing o'er 
Thy sanctuary the chosen and the blest '! 

Thou ! that didst make fair Sion's ark thy throne. 

And call the oracle's recess thine own ! 

Angel of God ! that through the Assyrian host, 
Clothed with the darkness of the midnight hour, 

To tame the proud, to hush the invader's boast, 
Didst pass triumphant in avenging power, 

Till burst the day-spring on the silent scene, 

And death alone reveal'd where thou hadst been. 

Wilt thou not wake, Chastener ! in thy might, 
To guard thine ancient and majestic hill, 

Where oft from heaven the full Shechinah's light 
Hath stream'd the house of holiness to fill '\ 

Oh ! yet once more defend thy loved domain, 

Eternal One ! Deliverer ! rise again ! 

Fearless of thee, the plunderer uadismay'd 
Hastes on, the sacred chambers to explore 

Where the bright treasures of the fane are laid, 
The orphan's portion and the widow's store : 

What recks his heart though age unsuccour'd die. 

And want consume the cheek of infancy ? 

Away, intruders ! hark ! a mighty sound ! 

Behold, a burst of light ! away, away ! 
A fearful glory fills the temple round, 

A vision bright in terrible array ! 
And lo ! a steed of no terrestrial frame, 
His path a whirlwind and his breath a flame ! 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 



99 



His neck is clothed with thunder, 1 and his mane 
Seems waving fire the kindling of his eye 

Is as a meteor ardent with disdain 

His glance, his gesture, fierce in majesty ! 

Instinct with light he seems, and form'd to bear 

Some dread archangel through the fields of air. 

But who is he, in panoply of gold, [form, 

Throned on that burning charger? Bright his 

Yet in its brightness awful to behold, 
And girt with all the terrors of the storm ! 

Lightning is on his helmet's crest and fear 

Shrinks from the splendour of his brow severe. 

And by his side two radiant warriors stand, 
All arm'd, and kingly in commanding grace 

Oh ! more than kingly godlike ! sternly grand, 
Their port indignant, and each dazzling face 

Beams with the beauty to immortals given, 

Magnificent in all the wrath of heaven. 

Then sinks each gazer's heart each knee is bow'd 
In trembling awe ; but, as to fields of fight, 

Th' unearthly war-steed, rushing through the 

crowd, 
Bursts on their leader in terrific might ; 

And the stern angels of that dread abode 

Pursue its plunderer with the scourge of God. 

Darkness thick darkness ! low on earth he lies, 
Rash Heliodorus motionless and jpale 

Bloodless his cheek, and o'er his shrouded eyes 
Mists, as of death, suspend their shadowy veil; 

And thus th' oppressor, by his fear-struck train, 

Is borne from that inviolable fane. 

The light returns the warriors of the sky 

Have pass'd, with all their dreadful pomp, away ; 

Then wakes the timbrel, swells the song on high 
Triumphant as in Judah's elder day ; 

Rejoice, city of the sacred hill ! 

Salem, exult ! thy God is with thee still. 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 

[" En meme temps que les Gdnois poursuivoient avec 
ardeur la guerre contre Pise, ils dtoient de'chire's eux-memes 
par une discorde civile. Les consuls de I'anne'e 1169, pour 

1 " Hast thou given the horse strength ? Hast thou clothed 
his neck with thunder ? "Job, chap, xxxix. v. 19. 



re'tablir la paix dans leur patrie, au milieu des factions sourdes 
a leur voix et plus puissantes qu'eux, fureut obliges d'ourdir 
eruquelque sorts une conspiration. Us commencerent par 
s'assurer secretement des dispositions pacifiques de plusieurs 
des citoyens, qui cependant (Hoient entraine's dans les emeutes 
par leur parente avec les chefs de faction ; puis, se concertant 
avec le ve'ne'rable vieillard, Hugues, leur archevdque, ils 
firent, long-temps avant le lever du soleil, appeler au son des 
cloches les citoyeus au parlement : ils se flattoient que la 
surprise et 1'alarnie de cette convocation inattendue, au 
milieu de I'obscuritd de la nuit, rendroit 1'assemble'e et plus 
compjete et plus docile. Les citoyens, en accourant au 
parlement gdndral, virent, au milieu de la place publique, le 
vieil archeveque, entour<5 de son clerge en habit de ce>e- 
mouies, et portaut des torches allurne'es; tandis que les 
reliques de Saint Jean Baptiste, le protecteur de Genes, 
ikoient exposces devant lui, et que les citoyens les plus 
respectables portoient a leurs mains des croix suppliantes. 
Des que 1'assemble'e fut forme'e, le vieillard se leva, et de sa 
voix casse'e il conjura les chefs de parti, au nom du Dieu de 
paix, au nom du salut de leurs ames, au nom de leur patrie 
et de la liberte", dont leurs discordes entraineroient la ruine, 
de jurer sur 1'evangile 1'oubli de leurs querelles, et la paix a 
venir. 

" Les heVauts, dts qu'U eut fini de parler, s'avancerent 
aussitot vers Roland Avogado, le chef de 1'uue des factions, 
qui e'toit present a I'assemblee, et, secondes par les acclama- 
tions de tout le peuple, et par les prieres de ses parens eux- 
m6mes, ils le sommerent de se conformer au vceu des consuls 
et de la nation. 

" Roland, a leur approche, decliina ses habits, et, s'asseyant 
par terre en versant des larmes, il appela a haute voix les 
morts qu'il avoit jure 1 de venger,, et qui ne lui permettoient 
pas de pardonner leurs vieilles offenses. Comme on ne 
pouvoit le determiner a s'avancer, les consuls eux-memes, 
1'archeveque et le clergd, s'approcherent de lui, et, renouve- 
lant leurs prieres, ils 1'entrainerent enfin, et lui firent jurer 
sur 1'dvangile 1'oubli de ses inimitie's passees. 

" Les chefs du parti contraire, Foulques de Castro, etlngo 
de Volta, n'e'toient pas pre'sens a 1'assemble'e, mais le peuple 
et le clergd se porterent en foule a leurs maisons; ils les 
trouverent deja e'branle's par ce qu'ils venoient d'apprendre, 
et, profitant de leur Emotion, ils leur firent jurer une re"con- 
ciliation sincere, et donner le baiser de paix aux chefs de 
la faction opposee. Alors les cloches de la ville sonnerent 
en tdmoignage d'alldgresse, et 1'archeveque de retour sur la 
place publique entonua un Te Deum avec tout le peuple, en 
honneur du Dieu de pair qui avoit sauvd leur patrie." 
Histoire des Repulliquet Italiennes, vol. ii. pp. 149-150.] 

IN Genoa, when the sunset gave 
Its last warm purple to the wave, 
No sound of war, no voice of fear, 
Was heard, announcing danger near : 
Though deadliest foes were there, whose hate 
But slumber'd till its hour of fate, 
Yet calmly, at the twilight's close, 
Sunk the wide city to repose. 

But when deep midnight reign'd around, 
All sudden woke the alarm-bell's sound, 
Full swelling, while the hollow breeze 
Bore its dread summons o er the seas. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Then, Genoa, from their slumber started 
Thy sons, the free, the fearless-hearted ; 
Then mingled with th' awakening peal 
Voices, and steps, and clash of steel. 
Arm, warriors ! arm ! for danger calls ; 
Arise to guard your native walls ! 
With breathless haste the gathering throng 
Hurry the echoing streets along ; 
Through darkness rushing to the scene 
Where their bold counsels still convene. 

But there a blaze of torches bright 
Pours its red radiance on the night, 
O'er fane, and dome, and column playing, 
With every fitful night-wind swaying : 
Now floating o'er each tall arcade, 
Around the pillar'd scene display'd, 
In light relieved by depth of shade : 
And now, with ruddy meteor glare, 
Full streaming on the silvery hair 
And the bright cross of him who stands 
Rearing that sign with suppliant hands, 
Girt with his consecrated train, 
The hallow'd servants of the fane. 
Of life's past woes the fading trace 
Hath given that aged patriarch's face 
Expression holy, deep, resign'd, 
The calm sublimity of mind. 
Years o'er his snowy head have pass'd, 
And left him of his race the last, 
Alone on earth yet still his mien 
Is bright with majesty serene; 
A.nd those high hopes, whose guiding star 
Shines from th' eternal worlds afar, 
Have with that light illumed his eye 
Whose fount is immortality, 
And o'er his features pour'd a ray 
Of glory, not to pass away. 
He seems a being who hath known 
Communion with his God alone, 
On earth by nought but pity's tie 
Detain'd a moment from on high ! 
One to sublhner worlds allied, 
One from all passion purified, 
E'en now half mingled with the sky, 
And all prepared oh ! not to die 
But, like the prophet, to aspire, 
In heaven's triumphal car of fire. 
He speaks and from the throngs around 
Is heard not e'en a whisper'd sound ; 
Awe-struck each heart, and fix'd each glance, 
They stand as in a spell-bound trance : 
He speaks oh ! who can hear nor own 
The might of each prevailing tone : 



" Chieftains and warriors ! ye, so long 
Aroused to strife by mutual wrong, 
Whose fierce and far-transmitted hate 
Hath made your country desolate ; 
Now by the love ye bear her name, 
By that pure spark of holy flame 
On freedom's altar brightly burning, 
But, once extinguished, ne'er returning ; 
By ah 1 your hopes of bliss to come 
When burst the bondage of the tomb ; 
By Him, the God who bade us live 
To aid each other, and forgive 
I call upon ye to resign 
Your discords at your country's shrine, 
Each ancient feud in peace atone, 
Wield your keen swords for her alone, 
And swear upon the cross, to cast 
Oblivion's mantle o'er the past ! " 

No voice replies. The holy bands 
Advance to where yon chieftain stands, 
With folded arms, and brow of gloom 
O'ershadow'd by his floating pluiuc. 
To him they lift the cross in vain : 
He turns oh ! say not with disdain, 
But with a mien of haughty grief, 
That seeks not e'en from heaven relief. 
He rends his robes he sternly speaks 
Yet tears are on the warrior's checks : - 
" Father ! not thus the wounds may close 
Inflicted by eternal foes. 
Deem'st thou thy mandate can efface 
The dread volcano's burning trace ? 
Or bid the earthquake's ravaged scene 
Be smiling as it once hath been ] 
No ! for the deeds the sword hath done 
Forgiveness is not lightly won ; 
The words by hatred spoke may not 
Be as a summer breeze forgot ! 
'Tis vain we deem the war-feud's rage 
A portion of our heritage. 
Leaders, now slumbering with their fame, 
Bequeath'd us that undying flame ; 
Hearts that have long been still and cold 
Yet rule us from their silent mould ; 
And voices, heard on earth no more, 
Speak to our spirits as of yore. 
Talk not of mercy ! blood alone 
The stain of bloodshed may atone ; 
Nought else can pay that mighty debt, 
The dead forbid us to forget" 

He pauses. From the patriarch's brow 
There beams more lofty grandeur now ; 



THE TROUBADOUR AND RICHARD CCEUR DE LION. 



101 



His reverend form, his aged hand, 
Assume a gesture of command ; 
His voice is awful, and his eye 
Fill'd with prophetic majesty. 

" The dead ! and deem'st thou they retain 
Aught of terrestrial passion's stain ? 
Of guilt incurr'd in days gone by, 
Aught but the fearful penalty ] 
And say'st thou, mortal ! blood alone 
For deeds of slaughter may atone 1 
There hath been blood by Him 'twas shed 
To expiate every crime who bled ; 
Th' absolving God, who died to save, 
And rose in victory from the grave ! 
And by that stainless offering given 
Alike for all on earth to heaven ; 
By that inevitable hour 
When death shall vanquish pride and power, 
And each departing passion's force 
Concentrate all in late remorse ; 
And by the day when doom shall be 
Pass'd on earth's millions, and on thee 
The doom that shall not be repeal'd, 
Once utter 'd, and for ever seal'd 
I summon thee, child of clay ! 
To cast thy darker thoughts away, 
And meet thy foes in peace and love, 
As thou wouldst join the blest above." 

Still as he speaks, unwonted feeling 
Is o'er the chieftain's bosom stealing. 
Oh, not in vain the pleading cries 
Of anxious thousands round him rise ! 
He yields : devotion's mingled sense 
Of faith, and fear, and penitence, 
Pervading all his soul, he bows 
To offer on the cross his vows, 
And that best incense to the skies, 
Each evil passion's sacrifice. 

Then tears from warriors' eyes were flowing 
High hearts with soft emotions glowing ; 
Stern foes as long-loved brothers greeting, 
And ardent throngs in transport meeting ; 
And eager footsteps forward pressing, 
And accents loud in joyous blessing ; 
And when their first wild tumults cease, 
A thousand voices echo " Peace I " 

Twilight's dim mist hath roll'd away, 
And the rich Orient bums with day ; 
Then as to greet the sunbeam's birth, 
Rises the choral hymn of earth 



Th' exulting strain through Genoa swelling, 
Of peace and holy rapture telling. 

Far float the sounds o'er vale and steep, 
The seaman hears them on the deep 
So mellow'd by the gale, they seem 
As the wild music of a dream. 
But not on mortal ear alone 
Peals the triumphant anthem's tone ; 
For beings of a purer sphere 
Bend with celestial joy, to hear. 



THE TROUBADOUR AND RICHARD CCEUR 
DE LION. 

[" Not only the place of Richard's confinement," (when 
thrown into prison by the Duke of Austria,) " if we believe 
the literary history of the times, but even the circumstance 
of his captivity, was carefully concealed by his vindictive 
enemies ; and both might have remained unknown but for 
the grateful attachment of a Provencal bard, or minstrel, 
named Blondel, who had shared that prince's friendship and 
tasted his bounty. Having travelled over all the European 
continent to learn the destiny of his beloved patron, Blondel 
accidentally got intelligence of a certain castle in Germany, 
where a prisoner of distinction was confined, and guarded 
with great vigilance. Persuaded by a secret impulse that this 
prisoner was the King of England, the minstrel repaired to 
the place ; but the gates of the castle were shut against him, 
and he could obtain no information relative to the name or 
quality of the unhappy person it secured. In this extremity, 
lie bethought himself of an expedient for making the desired 
discovery. He chanted, with a loud voice, some verses of a 
song which had been composed partly by himself, partly by 
Richard ; and to his unspeakable joy, on making a pause, he 
heard it re-echoed and continued by the royal captive. (llist. 
Troubadours.) To this discovery the English monarch is 
said to have eventually owed his release." See RUSSELL'S 
Modern Europe, vol. i. p. 369. 

THE Troubadour o'er many a plain 

Hath roam'd unwearied, but in vain. 

O'er many a rugged mountain-scene 

And forest wild his track hath been : 

Beneath Calabria's glowing sky 

He hath sung the songs of chivalry ; 

His voice hath swcll'd on the Alpine breeze, 

And rung through the snowy Pyrenees ; 

From Ebro's banks to Danube's wave, 

He hath sought his prince, the loved, the brave ; 

And yet, if still on earth thou art, 

Monarch of the lion-heart ! 

The faithful spirit, which distress 

But heightens to devotedness, 

By toil and trial vanquish'd not, 

Shall guide thy minstrel to the spot. 



102 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



He hath reach'd a mountain hung with vine, 
And woods that wave o'er the lovely Rhine : 
The feudal towers that crest its height 
Frown in unconquerable might ; 
Dark is their aspect of sullen state 
No helmet hangs o'er the massy gate J 
To bid the wearied pilgrim rest, 
At the chieftain's board a welcome guest ; 
Vainly rich evening's parting smile 
Would chase the gloom of the haughty pile, 
That midst bright sunshine lowers on high, 
Like a thunder-cloud in a summer sky. 

Not these the halls where a child of song 
Awhile may speed the hours along ; 
Their echoes should repeat alone 
The tyrant's mandate, the prisoner's moan, 
Or the wild huntsman's bugle-blast, 
When his phantom train are hurrying past 3 
The weary minstrel paused his eye 
Roved o'er the scene despondingly : 
Within the length'ning shadow, cast 
By the fortress-towers and ramparts vast, 
Lingering he gazed. The rocks around 
Sublime in savage grandeur frown'd ; 
Proud guardians of the regal flood, 
In giant strength the mountains stood 
By torrents cleft, by tempests riven, 
Yet mingling still with the calm blue heaven. 
Their peaks were bright with a sunny glow, 
But the Rhine all shadowy roll'd below ; 
In purple tints the vineyards smiled, 
But the woods beyond waved dark and wild ; 
Nor pastoral pipe nor convent's bell 
Was heard on the sighing breeze to swell ; 
But all was lonety, silent, rude, 
A stern, yet glorious solitude. 

But hark ! that solemn stillness breaking, 
The Troubadour's wild song is waking. 



1 It was a custom in feudal times to hang out a helmet on 
a castle, as a token that strangers were invited to enter, and 
partake of hospitality. So in the romance of " Perceforest," 
" ils fasoient mettre au plus hault de leur hostel un heaulme, 
en signe que tous les gentils hommes et gentilles femmes en- 
trassent hardiment en leur hosUl comme en leur propre." 

- Popular tradition has made several mountains in Ger- 
many the haunt of the wild Jager, or supernatural hunts- 
man. The superstitious tales relating to the TJnterburg are 
recorded in Eustace's Classical Totir; and it is still believed 
in the romantic district of the Odenwald, that the knight of 
Rodenstein, issuing from his ruined castle, announces the 
approach of war by traversing the air with a noisy armament 
to the opposite castle 01 Schnellerts. See the " Manuel pour 
Its Voyayevrs tur le Rhin," and " Autumn on the Rhine." 



Full oft that song in days gone by 
Hath cheer'd the sons of chivalry : 
It hath swell'd o'er Judah's mountains lone, 
Hermon ! thy echoes have learn'd its tone ; 
On the Great Plain 3 its notes have rung, 
The leagued Crusaders' tents among ; 
'Twas loved by the Lion-heart, who won 
The palm in the field of Ascalon ; 
And now afar o'er the rocks of Rhine 
Peals the bold strain of Palestine. 

THE TROUBADOUR'S SONG. 

" Thine hour is come, and the stake is set," 
The Soldan cried to the captive knight, 

" And the sons of the Prophet in throngs are met 
To gaze on the fearful sight. 

" But be our faith by thy lips profess'd, 

The faith of Mecca's shrine, 
Cast down the red-cross that marks thy vest, 

And life shall yet be thine." 

" I have seen the flow of my bosom's blood, 

And gazed with undaunted eye ; 
I have borne the bright cross through fireandflood, 

And think'st thou I fear to die 1 

"I have stood where thousands, by Salem's towers, 

Have fall'n for the name Divine ; 
And the faith that cheer'd their closing hours 

Shall be the light of mine." 

'' Thus wilt thou die in the pride of health, 
And the glow of youth's fresh bloom ? 

Thou art offer'd life, and pomp, and wealth, 
Or torture and the tomb." 

"I have been where the crown of thorns was twined 

For a dying Saviour's brow ; 
He spum'd the treasures that lure mankind, 

And I reject them now !" 

3 The Plain of Esdraelon, called by way of eminence the 
" Great Plain ;" in Scripture, and elsewhere, the " field of 
Megiddo," the " Galilsean Plain." This plain, the most fer- 
tile part of all the land of Canaan, has been the scene of many 
a memorable contest in the first ages of Jewish history, as 
well as during the Roman empire, the Crusades, and even 
in later times. It has been a chosen place for encampment 
in every contest carried on in this country, from the days of 
Xabuchodonosor, King of the Assyrians, until the disastrous 
march of Buonaparte from Egypt into Syria. 'Warriors out 
of " every nation which is under heaven " have pitched their 
tents upon the Plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the va- 
rious banners of their nations wet with the dews of Hermon 
and Thabor. Dr Clarke's Travels. 



THE DEATH OF CON RAD IN. 



103 



" Art thou the son of a noble line 

In a land that is fair and blest ] 
And doth not thy spirit, proud captive ! pine 

Again on its shores to rest ? 

" Thine own is the choice to hail once more 

The soil of thy father's birth, 
Or to sleep, when thy lingering pangs are o'er, 

Forgotten in foreign earth." 

" Oh ! fair are the vine-clad hills that rise 

In the country of my love ; 
But yet, though cloudless my native skies, 

There's a brighter clime above ! " 

The bard hath paused for another tone 
Blends with the music of his own ; 
And his heart beats high with hope again, 
As a well-known voice prolongs the strain. 

" Are there none within thy father's hall, 

Far o'er the wide blue main, 
Young Christian ! left to deplore thy fall, 

With sorrow deep and vain]" 

" There are hearts that still, through all the past, 

Unchanging have loved me well ; 
There are eyes whose tears were streaming fast 

When I bade my home farewell. 

" Better they wept o'er the warrior's bier 

Than th" apostate's living stain ; 
There's a land where those who loved when here 

Shall meet to love again." 

'Tis he ! thy prince long sought, long lost, 
The leader of the red-cross host ! 
Tis he ! to none thy joy betray, 
Young Troubadour ! away, away ! 
Away to the island of the brave, 
The gem on the bosom of the wave ; 1 
Arouse the sons of the noble soil 
To win their Lion from the toil. 
And free the wassail-cup shall flow, 
Bright in each hall the hearth shall glow ; 
The festal board shall be richly crown'd, 
While knights and chieftains revel round, 
And a thousand harps with joy shall ring, 
When merry England hails her king. 

1 " This precious stone set in the sea." Richard IT. 



THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 

[" La defaite de Conradin ne devoit mettre une terme ni 
a ses malheurs, ni aux vengeances du roi (Charles d' Anjou.) 
L'amour du peuple pour Phe'ritier le"gitime du trone avoit 
delate 1 d'une maniere effrayante ; il pouvoit causer de nou- 
velles revolutions, si Conradin demeuroit en vie ; et Charles, 
revetant sa defiance et sa cruaute 1 des formes de la justice, 
resolut de faire perir sur P^chafaud le dernier rejeton de la 
Maison de Souabe, Punique esperance de son parti. Tin 
seul juge Provencal et sujet de Charles, dont les historiens 
n'ont pas voulu conserver le nom, osa voter pour la mort. 
d'autres se renfermerent dans un timide et coupable silence ; 
et Charles, sur Pautorite 1 de ce seul juge, fit prononcer, par 
Robert de Bari, protonotaire du royaume, la sentence de 
mort contre Conradin et tous ses compagnons. Cette sen- 
tence fut communique'e a Conradin, comme il jouoit aux 
cchecs ; on lui laissa peu de temps pour se pre'parer a 
son execution, et le 26 d'Octobre il fut conduit, avec tous 
ses amis, sur la Place du Marche 1 de Naples, le long du 
rivage de la mer. Charles itoit present, avec toute sa cour, 
et une foule immense entouroit le roi vainqueur et le roi 
condamni. Conradin dtoit entre les mains des bourreaux ; 
il detacha lui-meme son manteau, et s'^tant mis a genoux 
pour prier, il se releva en s'ecriant : ' Oh, ma mere, quelle 
profonde douleur te causera la nouvelle qu'on va te porter 
de moi ! ' Puis il tourna les yeux sur la foule qui 1'entouroit ; 
il vit les larmes, il entendit les sanglots de son peuple ; alors, 
de'tachant son gant, il jeta au milieu de ses sujets ce gage 
d'un combat de vengeance, et rendit sa tete au bourreau. 
Apres lui, sur le meme e'chafaud, Charles fit trancher la 
tete au Due d'Autriche, aux Comtes Gualferano et Barto- 
lommeo Lancia, et aux Comtes Gerard et Galvano Dono- 
ratico de Pise. Par un rafinement de cruaute 1 , Charles voulut 
que le premier, fils du second, pr^c^dat son pere, et mourut 
entre ses bras. Les cadavres, d'aprts ses ordres, furent 
exclus d'une terre sainte, et inhumes sans pompe sur le rivage 
de la mer. Charles II. cependant fit dans la suite batir sur 
le mdme lieu une e'glise de Carmelites, comme pour appaiser 
ces ombres irrite'es." SISMONDI'S Rifpttbliqucs Ituliennes.] 

No cloud to dim the splendour of the day . 
Which breaks o'er Naples and her lovely bay, 
And lights that brilliant sea and magic shore 
With every tint that charm'd the great of yore 
Th' imperial ones of earth, who proudly bade 
Their marble domes e'en ocean's realm invade. 
That race is gone but glorious Nature here 
Maintains unchanged her own sublime career, 
And bids these regions of the sun display 
Bright hues, surviving empires pass'd away. 

The beam of heaven expands its kindling smile 
Reveals each charm of many a fairy isle, 
Whose image floats, in softer colouring drest, 
With all its rocks and vines, on ocean's breast. 
Misenum's cape hath caught the vivid ray, 
On Roman streamers there no more to play ; 
Still, as of old, unalterably bright, 
Lovely it sleeps on Posilippo's height, 



104 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



With all Italia's sunshine to illume 
The ilex canopy of Virgil's tomb. 
Campania's plains rejoice in light, and spread 
Their gay luxuriance o'er the mighty dead ; 
Fair glittering to thine own transparent skies, 
Thy palaces, exulting Naples ! rise ; 
While far on high Vesuvius rears his peak, 
Furrow'd and dark with many a lava streak. 

Oh, ye bright shores of Circe and the Muse ! 
Rich with all nature's and all fiction's hues, 
Who shall explore your regions, and declare 
The poet err'd to paint Elysium there ? 
Call up his spirit, wanderer ! bid him guide 
Thy steps those syren-haunted seas beside ; 
And all the scene a lovelier light shall wear, 
And spells more potent shall pervade the air. 
What though his dust be scatter'd, and his urn 
Long from its sanctuary of slumber torn, 1 
Still dwell the beings of his verse around, 
Hovering in beauty o'er th' enchanted ground ; 
His lays are murmur'd in each breeze that roves 
Soft o'er the sunny waves and orange-groves ; 
His memory's charm is spread o'er shore and sea, 
The soul, the genius of Parthenope ; 
Shedding o'er myrtle shade and vine-clad hill 
The purple radiance of Elysium still. 

Yet that fair soil and calm resplendent sky 
Have witness'd many a dark reality. 
Oft o'er those bright blue seas the gale hath borne 
The sighs of exiles never to return. 2 
There with the whisper of Campania's gale 
Hath mingled oft affection's funeral wail, 
Mourning for buried heroes while to her 
That glowing land was but their sepulchre. 3 
And there, of old, the dread mysterious moan 
Swell'd from strange voices of no mortal tone ; 
And that wild trumpet, whose unearthly note 
Was heard at midnight o'er the hills to float 

1 The urn supposed to have contained the ashes of Virgil 
has long since been lost. 

- Many Romans of exalted rank were formerly banished to 
some of the small islands in the Mediterranean, on the coast 
of Italy. Julia, the daughter of Augustus, was confined many 
rears in the isle of Pandataria, and her daughter Agrippina, 
the widow of Germanicus, afterwards died in exile on the 
same desolate spot. 

3 " Quelques souvenirs du coeur, quelques noms de femmes, 
r^clament aussi vos pleurs. C'est a Misene, dans le lieu 
meme ou nous sommes, que la veuve de Pompee Cornelie 
conserva jusqu'a la rnort son noble deuil. Agrippine pleura 
long-temps Germanicus sur ces bords : un jour, le meme 
assassin qui lui ravit son epoux la trouva digne de le suivre. 
L'ile de Nisida fut temoin des adieux de Brutus et de Porcie." 
MADAME DE STAEL, Corinne. 



Around the spot where Agrippina died, 
Denouncing vengeance on the matricide.* 

Pass'd are those ages yet another crime, 
Another woe, must stain th' Elysian clime. 
There stands a scaffold on the sunny shore 
It must be crimson'd ere the day is o'er ! 
There is a throne in regal pomp array'd, 
A scene of death from thence must be survey'd. 
Mark'dye the rushing throngs ? each mien is pale, 
Each hurried glance reveals a fearful tale : 
But the deep workings of th' indignant breast, 
Wrath, hatred, pity, must be all suppress'd ; 
The burning tear awhile must check its course, 
Th' avenging thought concentrate all its force ; 
For tyranny is near, and will not brook 
Aught but submission in each guarded look. . 

Girt with his fierce Provencals, and with mie:n 
Austere in triumph, gazing on the scene, 3 
And in his eye a keen suspicious glance 
Of jealous pride and restless vigilance, 
Behold the conqueror ! Vainly in his face 
Of gentler feeling hope would seek a trace ; 
Cold, proud, severe, the spirit which hath lent 
Its haughty stamp to each dark lineament : 
And pleading mercy, in the sternness there, 
May read at once her sentence to despair t 

But thou, fair boy ! the beautiful, the brave, 
Thus passing from the dungeon to the grave, 
While all is yet around thee which can give 
A charm to earth, and make it bliss to live ; 
Thou on whose form hath dwelt a mother's ey, 
Till the deep love that not with thee shall die 
Hath grown too full for utterance Can it be ! 
And is this pomp of death prepared for thee 1 

* The sight of that coast, and those shores where the crime 
had been perpetrated, filled Nero with continual horrors ; 
besides, there were some who imagined they heard horrid 
shrieks and cries from Agrippina's tomb, and a mournful 
sound of trumpets from the neighbouring cliffs and hills. 
Xero, therefore, flying from such tragical scenes, withdrew 
to Naples See Ancient Universal Hittory. 

5 " Ce Charles," dit Giovanni Villani," fut sage et prudent 
dans les conseils, preux dans les armes, apre et forte redoute 
de tous les rois du monde, magnanime et de hautes pensees 
qui Pegaloient aux plus grandes entreprises; indbranlable dans 
1'adversite, ferme et fidele dans toutes ses promesses, parlant 
peu et agissant beaucoup, TH riant pretquejamait, decent 
comme un religieux, zele 1 catholique, apre a rendre justice, 
feVoce dans ses regards. Sa taille etoit grande et nerveuse, 
sa couleur olivatre, son nez fort grand. II paroissoit plus fait 
qu'aucun autre chevalier pour la majeste royale. II ne dor- 
moit presque point. Jamais il ne prit de plaisir aux mimes, 
aux troubadours, et aux gens de cour." SISMOXDI, Rejmb- 
liquet Italitnnes, vol. iii. 



THE DEA TH OF CONRADIN. 



10; 



Young, royal Conradin! who shouldst have known 
Of life as yet the sunny smile alone ! 
Oh ! who can view thee, in the pride and bloom 
Of youth, array 'd so richly for the tomb, 
Nor feel, deep swelling in his inmost soul, 
Emotions tyranny may ne'er control 1 
Bright victim ! to Ambition's altar led, [shed, 
Crown'd with all flowers that heaven on earth can 
Who, from th' oppressor towering in his pride, 
May hope for mercy if to thee denied ? 
There is dead silence on the breathless throng, 
Dead silence all the peopled shore along, 
As on the captive moves the only sound, 
To break that calm so fearfully profound, 
The low, sweet murmur of the rippling wave, 
Soft as it glides, the smiling shore to lave ; 
While on that shore, his own fair heritage, 
The youthful martyr to a tyrant's rage 
Is passing to his fate : the eyes are dim [him. 
Which gaze, through tears that dare not flow, on 
He mounts the scaffold doth his footstep fail 3 
Doth his lip quiver] doth his cheek turn pale ! 
Oh ! it may be forgiven him if a thought 
Cling to that world, for liim with beauty fraught, 
To all the hopes that promised glory's meed, 
And all th' affections that with him shall bleed ! 
If, in his life's young dayspring, while the rose 
Of boyhood on his cheek yet freshly glows, 
One human fear convulse his parting breath, 
And shrink from all the bitterness of death ! 

But no ! the spirit of his royal race 
Sits brightly on his brow : that youthful face 
Beams with heroic beauty, and his eye 
Is eloquent with injured majesty. 
He kneels but not to man ; his heart shall own 
Such deep submission to his God alone ! 
And who can tell with what sustaining power 
That God may visit him hi fate's dread hour ] 
How the still voice, which answers every moan, 
May speak of hope when hope on earth is gone? 

That solemn pause is o'er the youth hath given 
One glance of parting love to earth and heaven : 
The sun rejoices in th' unclouded sky, 
Life all around him glows and he must die ] 
Yet midst his people, undismay'd, he throws 
The gage of vengeance for a thousand woes ; 
Vengeance that, like their own volcano's fire, 
May sleep suppress'd a while but not expire. 
One softer image rises o'er his breast, 
One fond regret, and all shall be at rest ! 
" Alas, for thee, my mother ! who shall bear 
To thy sad heart the tidings of despair, 



When thy lost child is gone?" that thought can 

thrill 

His soul with pangs one moment more shall still. 
The lifted axe is glittering in the sun 
It falls the race of Conradin is run ! 
Yet, from the blood which flows that shore to stain, 
A voice shall cry to heaven and not in vain ! 
Gaze thou, triumphant from thy gorgeous throne, 
In proud supremacy of guilt alone, 
Charles of Anjou ! but that dread voice shall be 
A fearful summoner e'en yet to thee ! 

The scene of death is closed the throngs depart, 
A deep stern lesson graved on every heart. 
No pomp, no funeral rites, no streaming eyes, 
High-minded boy ! may grace thine obsequies. 
vainly royal and beloved ! thy grave, 
Unsanctified, is bathed by ocean's wave ; 
Mark'd by no stone, a rude, neglected spot, 
Unhonour'd, unadorn'd but unforgot; 
For thy deep wrongs in tameless hearts shall live, 
Now mutely suffering never to forgive ! 

The sunset fades from purple heavens away 
A bark hath anchor'd in the unruffled bay : 
Thence on the beach descends a female form, 1 
Her mien with hope and tearful transport warm ; 
But life hath left sad traces on her cheek, 
And her soft eyes a chasten'd heart bespeak, 
Inured to woes yet what were all the past ! 
She sank not feebly 'neath affliction's blast, [tell 
While one bright hope remain'd who now shall 
Th' uncrown'd, the widow'd, how her loved one 

fell] 

To clasp her child, to ransom and to save, 
The mother came and she hath found his grave! 
And by that grave, transfix'd hi speechless grief, 
Whose deathlike trance denies a tear's relief, 
Awhile she kneels till roused at length to know, 
To feel the might, the fulness of her woe, 
On the still air a voice of anguish wild, 
A mother's cry is heard " My Conradin ! my 

child!" 



1 " The Carmine (at Naples) calls to mind the bloody 
catastrophe of those royal youths, Conradin and Frederick of 
Austria, butchered before its door. Whenever I traversed 
that square, my heart yearned at the idea of their premature 
fate, and at the deep distress of Conradin's mother, who, 
landing on the beach with her son's ransom, found only a 
lifeless trunk to redeem from the fangs of his barbarous con- 
queror." SWINBURNE'S Trawls in the Ttco Sicilitt. 

EXTRACTS FROM CONTEMPORARY REVIEWS. 

Quarterly Review. " ' Tales and Historic Scenes' is a collec- 



io6 



THE SCEPTIC. 



tion, as tlie title imports, of narrative poems. Perhaps it was 
not on consideration that Mrs Ileraans passed from a poem 
of picture-drawing and reflection to the writing of tales ; but 
if we were to prescribe to a young poet his count of practice, 
this would certainly be our advice. The luxuriance of a young 
fancy delights in description, and the quickness and inexpe- 
rience of the same age, in passing judgments, in the one 
richness, in the other antithesis and effect, are too often more 
sought after than truth: the poem is written rapidly, and 
correctness but little attended to. But in narration more 
care must be taken : if the tale be fictitious, the conception 
and sustainment of the characters, the disposition of the 
facts, the relief of the soberer parts by description, reflection, 
or dialogue, form so many useful studies for a growing artist. 
If the tale be borrowed from history, a more delicate task is 
added to those just mentioned, in determining ho^far it may 
be necessary, or safe, to interweave the ornaments of fiction 
with the groundwork of truth, and in skilfully performing 
that difficult task. In both cases, the mind is compelled to 
make a more sustained effort, and acquires thereby greater 
vigour, and a more practical readiness in the detail of the art. 
" The principal poem in this volume is The Abencerrage. 
It commemorates the capture of Granada by Ferdinand and 
Isabella, and attributes it, in great measure, to the revenge 
of Ilamet, chief of the Abencerrages, who had been induced 
to turn his arms against his countrymen the Moors, in order 
to procure the ruin of their king, the murderer of his father 
and brothers. During the siege he makes his way by night 
to the bower of Zayda, his beloved, the daughter of a rival 
and hated family. Her character is very finely drawn ; and 
she repels with firmness all the solicitations and prayers of 
the traitor to his country. The following lines form part of 
their dialogue, they are spirited and pathetic, but perfectly 
free from exaggeration, 

' Oh ! wert thou still what once I fondly deetn'd, 1 " etc. 

Edinburgh Monthly Review. "The more we become ac- 
quainted with Mrs Hemans as a poet, the more we are de- 
lighted with her productions, and astonished by her powers. 
She will, she must, take her place among eminent poets. If 



she has a rival of her own sex, it is Joanna Baillie ; but, even 
compared with the living matkrt of the lyre, she is entitled 
to a very high distinction. .... 

" Mrs nemans manifests, in her own fine imagination, a 
fund which is less supported by loan than the wealth of some 
very eminent poets whom we could name. We think it im- 
possible that she can write by mere rule, more than on credit. 
If she did, her poetry would lose all its charms. It is by 
inspiration as it is poetically called by a fine tact of sym- 
pathy, a vivacity and fertility of imagination, that she pours 
forth her enchanting song and ' builds her lofty rhyme.' 
The judicious propriety wherewith she bestows on each 
element of her composition its due share of fancy and of 
feeling, much increases our respect for her powers. With 
an exquisite airiness and spirit, with an imagery which quite 
sparkles, are touched her lighter delineations ; with a rich 
and glowing pencil, her descriptions of visible nature : a 
sublime eloquence is the charm of her sentiments of mag- 
nanimity ; while she melts into tenderness with a grace in 
which she has few equals. 

" It appears to us that Mrs Hemans has yielded her own 
to the public taste in conveying her poetry in the vehicle of 
tales." 

Conttabk't Magazine. " The Abeneerrage is a romance, 
the scene of which is appropriately laid in a most romantic 
period, and in the country of all others in which the spirit of 
romance was most powerful, and lingered longest in the 
kingdom of Granada, where the power of the Moors was first 

established, and had the greatest continuance 

The leading events of the narrative are strictly historical, and 
with these the fate and sufferings of the unfortunate lovers 
are very naturally interwoven. The beauty of the descrip- 
tions here is exquisite Choice is bewildered 

among the many fine passages we are tempted to extract from 
The Abencerrage. 

"If any reader considers our strictures tedious, and our 
extracts profuse, our best apology is, that the luxury of doing 
justice to so much genuine talent, adorning so much private 
worth, does not often occur to tempt us to an excess of this 
nature." 



THE SCEPTICS 



" Leurraison, qu'ils prennent pour guide, ne preente a leur esprit que dea conjectures et dea embarras; le= absurdite* 
ou ils tombent en niant la Religion deriennent plus insoutenables que les Terites dont la hauttur les etonne ; et pour ne 
vouloir pas croiie dea mysteres incomprehensibles, ils suivent 1'une apres 1'autre d'incomprehensibles erreurs." BOSSCKT. 



WHEN the young Eagle, with exulting eye, 
Has learn'd to dare the splendour of the sky, 

1 " The poem of The Sceptic, published in 1820, was one 
in which her revered friend* took a peculiar interest. It 
had been her original wish to dedicate it to him, but he 
declined the tribute, thinking it might be more advantageous 
to her to pay this compliment to Mr Gifford, with whom she 
was at that time in frequent correspondence, and who entered 
Dr Luxmoore, Bishop of St Asaph. 



And leave the Alps beneath him in his course, 
To bathe his crest in morn's empyreal source ; 

very warmly into her literary undertakings, discussing them 
with the kindness of an old friend, and desiring her to com- 
mand frankly whatever assistance his advice or experience 
could afford. Mrs Hemans, in the first instance, consented 
to adopt the suggestion regarding the altered dedication ; but 
was afterwards deterred from putting it into execution, by a 
fear that it might be construed into a manoeuvre to propitiate 



THE SCEPTIC, 



107 



Will his free wing, from that majestic height, 
Descend to follow some wild meteor's light, 
Which far below, with evanescent fire, 
Shines to delude and dazzles to expire ? 
No ! still through clouds he wins his upward way, 
And proudly claims his heritage of day ! 
-And shall the spirit, on whose ardent gaze 
The dayspring from on high hath pour'd its blaze, 
Turn from that pure effulgence to the beam 
Of earth-born light that sheds a treacherous gleam, 
Luring the wanderer from the star of faith 
To the deep valley of the shades of death \ 
What bright exchange, what treasure shall be given, 
For the high birthright of its hope in heaven \ 
If lost the gem which empires could not buy, 
What yet remains 1 a dark eternity ! 

Is earth still Eden 1 might a seraph guest 
Still midst its chosen bowers delighted rest ] 
Is all so cloudless and so calm below, 
We seek no fairer scenes than life can show ? 
That the cold Sceptic, in his pride elate, 
Rejects the promise of a brighter state, 
And leaves the rock no tempest shall displace, 
To rear his dwelling on the quicksand's base 1 

Votary of doubt ! then join the festal throng, 
Bask in the sunbeam, listen to the song, 
Spread the rich board, and fill the wine-cup high, 
And bind the wreath ere yet the roses die ! 

the good graces of the Quarterly Review; and from the 
slightest approach to any such mode of propitiation, her 
sensitive nature recoiled with almost fastidious delicacy." 
Memoir, p. 31. 

" One of the first notices of The Sceptic appeared in the 
Edinburgh Monthly Magazine; and there is something in 
its tone so far more valuable than ordinary praise, and at the 
same time so prophetic of the happy influence her writings 
were one day to exercise, that the introduction of the con- 
cluding paragraph may not be unwelcome to the readers of 
this little memorial. After quoting from the poem, the 
reviewer thus proceeds, 'These extracts must, we think, 
convey to every reader a favourable impression of the talents 
of their author, and of the admirable purposes to which her 
high gifts are directed. It is the great defect, as we imagine, 
of some of the most popular writers of the day, that they are 
not sufficiently attentive to the moral dignity of their per- 
formances ; it is the deep, and will be the lasting reproach of 
others, that in this point of view they have wantonly sought 
and realised the most profound literary abasement. With 
the promise of talents not inferior to any, and far superior to 
most of them, the author before us is not only free from every 
stain, but breathes all moral beauty and loveliness; and it 
will be a memorable coincidence if the era of a woman's sway 
in literature shall become coeval with the return of its moral 
purity and elevation.' From suffrages such as these, Mrs 
Hemans derived not merely present gratification, but en- 
couragement and cheer for her onward course. It was still 
dearer to her to receive the assurances, with which it often 



'Tis well thine eye is yet undimm'd by time, 
And thy heart bounds, exulting in its prime ; 
Smile then unmoved at Wisdom's warning voice, 
And in the glory of thy strength rejoice ! 

But life hath sterner tasks ; e'en youth's brief 

hours 

Survive the beauty of their loveliest flowers ; 
The founts of joy, where pilgrims rest from toil, 
Are few and distant on the desert soil ; 
The soul's pure flame the breath of storms must fan, 
And pain and sorrow claim their nursling Man ! 
Earth's noblest sons the bitter cup have shared 
Proud child of reason ! how art thou prepared ? 
When years, with silent might, thy frame have 

bow'd, 

And o'er thy spirit cast their wintry cloud, 
Will Memory soothe thee on thy bed of pain 
With the bright images of pleasure's train 1 

Yes ! as the sight of some far-distant shore, 
Whose well-known scenes his foot shall tread no 

more, 

Would cheer the seaman, by the eddying wave 
Drawn, vainly struggling, to th' unfathom'd grave ! 
Shall Hope, the faithful cherub, hear thy call. 
She who, like heaven's own sunbeam, smiles for all] 
Will she speak comfort 1 Thou hast shorn her 

plume, 
That might have raised thee far above the tomb, 

fell to her lot to be blessed, of having, in the exercise of the 
talents intrusted to her, administered balm to the feeling* of 
the sorrowful, or taught the desponding where to look for 
comfort. In a letter written at this time to a valued friend, 
recently visited by one of the heaviest of human calamities 
the loss of an exemplary mother she thus describes her own 
appreciation of such heart-tributes: 'It is inexpressibly 
gratifying to me to know, that you should find any thing I 
have written at all adapted to your present feelings, and that 
The Sceptic should have been one of the last books upon 
which the eyes, now opened upon brighter scenes, were cast. 
Perhaps, when your mind is sufficiently composed, you will 
inform me which were the passages distinguished by the 
approbation of that pure and- pious mind : they will be far 
more highly valued by me than any thing I have ever 
written.' Ibid. pp. 334-4. 

" It is pleasing to record the following tribute from Mrs 
Hannah More, in a letter to a friend who had sent her a copy 
of The Sceptic. ' I cannot refuse myself the gratification of 
saying, that I entertain a very high opinion of Mrs Hemans's 
superior genius and refined taste. I rank her, as a poet, 
very high, and I have seen no work on the subject of her 
Modern Greece which evinces more just views, or more 
delicate perceptions of the fine and the beautiful I am glad 
she has employed her powerful pen, in this new instance, 
on a subject so worthy of it ; and, anticipating the future 
by the past, I promise myself no small pleasure in the per- 
usal, and trust it will not only confer pleasure, but benefit." " 
Ibid. 



io8 



THE SCEPTIC. 



And hush'd the only voice whose angel tone 
Soothes when all melodies of joy are flown ! 

For she was born beyond the stars to soar, 
And kindling at the source of life, adore ; 
Thou couldst not, mortal ! rivet to the earth 
Her eye, whose beam is of celestial birth ; 
She dwells with those who leave her pinion free, 
And sheds the dews of heaven on all but thee. 

Yet few there are so lonely, so bereft, 
But some true heart, that beats to theirs, is left ; 
And, haply, one whose strong affection's power 
Unchanged may triumph through misfortune's 

hour, 

Still with fond care supports thy languid head, 
And keeps unwearied vigils by thy bed. 

But thou whose thoughts have no blest home 

above, 

Captive of earth ! and canst thou dare to lore? 
To nurse such feelings as delight to rest 
Within that hallowM shrine a parent's breast, 
To fix each hope, concentrate every tie, 
On one frail idol destined but to die ; 
Yet mock the faith that points to worlds of light, 
Where sever'd souls, made perfect, re-unite ? 
Then tremble ! cling to every passing joy, 
Twined with the life a moment may destroy ! 
If there be sorrow in a parting tear, 
Still let "for ever " vibrate on thine ear ! 
If some bright hour on rapture's wing hath flown, 
Find more than anguish in the thought 'tis 

gone! 

Go ! to a voice such magic influence give, 
Thou canst not lose its melody, and live ; 
And make an eye the lode-star of thy soul, 
And let a glance the springs of thought control : 
Gaze on a mortal form with fond delight, 
Till the fair vision mingles with thy sight ; 
There seek thy blessings-, there repose thy trust, 
Lean on the -willow, idolise the dust ! 
Then, when thy treasure best repays thy care, 
Think on that dread "for ever " and despair ! 

And oh ! no strange, unwonted storm there needs 
To wreck at once thy fragile ark of reeds. 
Watch well its course explore with anxious eye 
Each little cloud that floats along the sky : 
Is the blue canopy serenely fair ? 
Yet may the thunderbolt unseen be there, 
And the bark sink when peace and sunshine sleep 
On the smooth bosom of the waveless deep ! 



Yes ! ere a sound, a sign, announce thy fate, 
May the blow fall which makes thee desolate ! 
Xot always heaven's destroying angel shrouds 
His awful form in tempests and in clouds ; 
He fills the summer air with latent power, 
He hides his venom in the scented flower, 
He steals upon thee in the zephyr's breath, ' 
And festal garlands veil the shafts of death ! 

Where art thou then, who thus didst rashly cast 
Thine all upon the mercy of the blast, 
And vainly hope the tree of life to find 
Rooted in sands that flit before the wind ? 
Is not that earth thy spirit loved so well, 
It wish'd not in a brighter sphere to dwell, 
Become a desert now, a vale of gloom, 
O'ershadow'd with the midnight of the tomb 1 
Where shalt thou turn ? It is not thine to raise 
To yon pure heaven thy calm confiding gaze 
Xo gleam reflected from that realm of rest 
Steals on the darkness of thy troubled breast ; 
Not for thine eye shall Faith divinely shed 
Her glory round the image, of the dead ; 
And if, when slumbers lonely couch is prest, 
The form departed be thy spirit's guest, 
It bears no light from purer worlds to this ; 
Thy future lends not e'en a dream of bliss. 

But who shall dare the gate of life to close, 
Or say, thus far the stream of mercy flows? 
That fount unseal'd, whose boundless waves 

embrace 

Each distant isle, and visit every race, 
Pours from the throne of God its current free, 
Xor yet denies th' immortal draught to thee. 
Oh ! while the doom impends, not yet decreed, 
While yet th' Atoner hath not ceased to plead 
While still, suspended by a single hair, 
The sharp bright sword hangs quivering in the air, 
Bow down thy heart to Him who will not break 
The bruised reed ; e'en yet, awake, awake ! 
Patient, because Eternal, 1 He may hear 
Thy prayer of agony with pitying ear, 
And send his chastening Spirit from above, 
O'er the deep chaos of thy soul to move. 

But seek thou mercy through his name alone, 
To whose unequall'd sorrows none was shown ; 
Through Him, who here in mortal garb abode, 
As man to suffer, and to heal as God ; 
And, born the sons of utmost time to bless, 
Endured all scorn, and aided all distress. 

1 " He is patient, because He is eternal." ST AUGUSTIJTR. 



THE SCEPTIC. 



109 



Call thou on Him ! for he, in human form, 
Hath walk'd the waves of life, and still'd the storm. 
He, when her hour of lingering grace was past, 
O'er Salem wept, relenting to the last 
Wept with such tears as Judah's monarch pour'd 
O'er his lost child, ungrateful, yet deplored ; 
And, offering guiltless blood that guilt might live, 
Taught from his Cross the lesson to forgive ! 

Call thou on Him ! His prayer e'en then arose, 
Breathed in unpitied anguish for his foes. 
And haste ! ere bursts the lightning from on high, 
Fly to the City of thy Refuge, fly I 1 
So shall th' Avenger turn his steps away, 
And sheath his falchion, baffled of its prey. 

Yet must long days roll on, ere peace shall brood, 
As the soft halcyon, o'er thy heart subdued ; 
Ere yet the Dove of Heaven descend to shed 
Inspiring influence o'er thy fallen head. 
He who hath pined in dungeons, midst the shade 
Of such deep night as man for man hath made, 
Through lingering years if call'd at length to be 
Once more, by nature's boundless charter, free 
Shrinks feebly back, the blaze of noon to shun, 
Fainting at day, and blasted by the sun. 

Thus, when the captive soul hath long remaiii'd 
In its own dread abyss of darkness chain' d, 
If the Deliverer, in his might at last, 
Its fetters, born of earth, to earth should cast, 
The beam of truth o'erpowers its dazzled sight, 
Trembling it sinks, and finds no joy in light. 
But this will pass away : that spark of mind, 
Within thy frame unquenchably enshrined, 
Shall live to triumph in its brightening ray, 
Born to be foster'd with ethereal day. 
Then wiltthou bless the hourwhen o'er thee pass'd, 
On wing of flame, the purifying blast, 
And sorrow's voice, through paths before untrod, 
Like Sinai's trumpet, call'd thee to thy God ! 

But hopest thou, in thy panoply of pride, 
Heaven's messenger, affliction, to deride 1 
In thine own strength unaided to defy, 
With Stoic smile, the arrows of the sky 1 
Torn by the vulture, fetter'd to the rock, 
Still, demigod ! the tempest wilt thou mock ?- 
Alas ! the tower that crests the mountain's brow 
A thousand years may awe the vale below, 

1 " Then ye shall appoint you cities, to be cities of refuge 
for you ; that the slayer may flee thither which killeth any 
person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities of 
refuge from the avenger." Numbers, chap. xxxv. 



Yet not the less be shatter 'd on its height 

By one dread moment of the earthquake's might ! 

A thousand pangs thy bosom may have borne, 

In silent fortitude or haughty scorn, 

Till comes the one, the master-anguish, sent 

To break the mighty heart that ne'er was bent. 

Oh ! what is nature's strength ] The vacant eyo. 
By mind deserted, hath a dread reply ! 
The wild delirious laughter of despair, 
The mirth of frenzy seek an answer there ! 
Turn not away, though pity's cheek grow pale, 
Close not thine ear against their awful tale. 
They tell thee Reason, wandering from the ray 
Of Faith, the blazing pillar of her way, 
In the mid-darkness of the stormy wave 
Forsook the struggling soul she could not save ! 
Weep not, sad moralist ! o'er desert plains 
Strew'd with the wrecks of grandeur mouldering 

fanes, 

Arches of triumph, long with weeds o'ergrown, 
And regal cities, now the serpent's own : 
Earth has more awful ruins one lost mind, 
Whose star is quench' d, hath lessons for mankind 
Of deeper import than each prostrate dome 
Mingling its marble with the dust of Rome. 

But who with eye unshrinking shall explore 
That waste, illumed by reason's beam no more ? 
Who pierce the deep mysterious clouds that roll 
Around the shatter'd temple of the soul, 
Curtain'd with midnight '\ Low its columns lie, 
And dark the chambers of its imagery; 3 
Sunk are its idols now and God alone 
May rear the fabric by their fall o'erthrown ! 
Yet from its inmost shrine, by storms laid bare, 
Is heard an oracle that cries " Beware ! 
Child of the dust ! but ransorn'd of the skies ! 
One breath of heaven, and thus thy glory dies ! 
Haste, ere the hour of doom draw nigh to Him 
Who dwells above, between the cherubim ! " 

Spirit dethroned ! and check'd in mid career 
Son of the morning ! exiled from thy sphere, 
Tell us thy tale ! Perchance thy race was run 
With science in the chariot of the sun ; 
Free as the winds the paths of space to sweep, 
Traverse the untrodden kingdoms of the deep, 
And search the laws that nature's springs control, 
There tracing all save Him who guides the 
whole ! 

2 " Everyman in the chambers of his imagery." Ezekid, 
chap. viii. 



110 



THE SCEPTIC. 



Haply thine eye its ardent glance had cast 
Through the dim shades, the portals of the past ; 
By the bright lamp of thought thy care had fed 
From the far beacon-lights of ages fled, 
The depths of time exploring, to retrace 
The glorious march of many a vanish'd race. 

Or did thy power pervade the living lyre 
Till its deep chords became instinct -with fire, 
Silenced all meaner notes, and swell'd on high, 
Full and alone, their mighty harmony ; 
While woke each passion from its cell profound, 
And nations started at th' electric sound ? 

Lord of th' ascendant ! what avails it now, 
Though bright the laurels waved upon thy brow] 
What though thy name, through distant empires 

heard, 

Bade the heart bound, as doth a battle-word 1 
Was it for this thy still unwearied eye 
Kept vigil with the watchfires of the sky, 
To make the secrets of all ages thine, 
And commune with majestic thoughts that shine 
O'er Time's long shadowy pathway ? hath thy mind 
Sever'd its lone dominions from mankind, 
For this to woo their homage ! Thou hast sought 
All, save the wisdom with salvation fraught, 
Won every wreath but that which will not die, 
Nor aught neglected save eternity ! 

And did all fail thee in the hour of wrath, 
When burst th' o'erwhelming vials on thy path 1 
Could not the voice of Fame inspire thee then, 
spirit ! sceptred by the sons of men, 
With an immortal's courage, to sustain 
The transient agonies of earthly pain ? 
One, one there was, all-powerful to have saved 
When the loud fury of the billow raved ; 
But him thou kneVst not and the light he lent 
Hath vanish'd from its ruin'd tenement, 
But left thee breathing, moving, lingering yet, 
A thing we shrink from vainly to forget ! 
Lift the dread veil no further ! Hide, oh hide 
The bleeding form, the couch of suicide ! 
The dagger, grasp'd in death the brow, the eye, 
Lifeless, yet stamp'd with rage and agony ; 
The soul's dark traces left in many a line 
Graved on Ms mein, who died "and made no sign!" 
Approach not, gaze not lest thy fever'd brain 
Too deep that image of despair retain. 
Angels of slumber ! o'er the midnight hour 
Let not such visions claim unhallow'd power, 
Lest the mind sink with terror, and above 
See but th' Avenger's arm, forget th'Atoner'slove ! 



Thou ! th' unseen, th' all-seeing ! Thou whose 

ways, 

Mantled with darkness, mock all finite gaze, 
Before whose eyes the creatures of Thy hand, 
Seraph and man alike, in weakness stand, 
And countless ages, trampling into clay 
Earth's empires on their march, are but a day ; 
Father of worlds unknown, unnumber'd ! Thou, 
With whom all tune is one eternal now, [breath 
Who know'st no past nor future Thou whose 
Goes forth, and bears to myriads life or death ! 
Look on us ! guide us ! wanderers of a sea 
Wild and obscure, what are we, reft of Thee ? 
A thousand rocks, deep-hid, elude our sight, 
A star may set and we are lost in night ; 
A breeze may waft us to the whirlpool's brink, 
A treacherous song allure us and we sink ! 

Oh ! by His love, who, veiling Godhead's light, 
To moments circumscribed the Infinite, 
And heaven and earth disdain'd not to ally 
By that dread union Man with Deity ; 
Immortal tears o'er mortal woes who shed, 
And, ere he raised them, wept above the dead ; 
Save, or we perish ! Let Thy word control 
The earthquakes of that universe the soul ; 
Pervade the depths of passion ; speak once more 
The mighty mandate, guard of every shore, 
" Here shall thy waves be stay'd ;" in grief, in pain, 
The fearful poise of reason's sphere maintain. 
Thou, by whom suns are balanced ! thus secure 
In Thee shall faith and fortitude endure ; 
Conscious of Thee, unfaltering, shall the just 
Look upward still, in high and holy trust, 
And by affliction guided to Thy shrine, 
The first, last thought of suffering hearts be Thine. 

And oh ! be near when, clothed with conquering 

power, 

The King of Terrors claims his own dread hour : 
When on the edge of that unknown abyss 
Which darkly parts us from the realm of bliss, 
Awe-struck alike the timid and the brave, 
Alike subdued the monarch and the slave, 
Must drink the cup of trembling l when we see 
Xought in the universe but Death and Thee, 
Forsake us not ! If still, when life was young, 
Faith to thy bosom, as her home, hath sprung, 
If Hope's retreat hath been, through all the past, 
The shadow by the Rock of Ages cast, 
Father, forsake us not ! When tortures urge 
The shrinking soul to that mysterious verge 

1 " Thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, 
and wrung them out." Itaiah, chap. li. 



THE SCEPTIC. 



When from thy justice to thy love we fly, 
On nature's conflict look with pitying eye ; 
Bid the strong wind, the fire, the earthquake cease, 
Come in the "small still voice," and whisper 
Peace ! J 

For oh ! 'tis awful ! He that hath beheld 
The parting spirit, by its fears repell'd, 
Cling in weak terror to its earthly chain, 
And from the dizzy brink recoil, in vain ; 
He that hath seen the last convulsive throe 
Dissolve the union fonn'd and closed in woe, 
Well knows that hour is awfuL In the pride 
Of youth and health, by sufferings yet untried, 
We talk of Death as something which 'twere sweet 
In glory's arms exultingly to meet 
A closing triumph, a majestic scene, 
Where gazing nations watch the hero's mien, 
As, undismay'd amidst the tears of all, 
He folds his mantle, regally to fall ! 
Hush, fond enthusiast ! Still, obscure, and lone, 
Yet not less terrible because unknown, 
Is the last hour of thousands : they retire 
From life's throng'd path, unnoticed to expire. 
As the light leaf, whose fall to ruin bears 
Some trembling insect's little world of cares, 
Descends in silence while around waves on 
The mighty forest, reckless what is gone ! 
Such is man's doom ; and, ere an hour be flown, 
Start not, thou trifler ! such may be thine own. 

But, as life's current in its ebb draws near 
The shadowy gulf, there wakes a thought of fear, 
A thrilling thought which, haply mock'd before, 
We fain would stifle but it sleeps no more ! 
There are who fly its murmurs midst the throng 
That join the masque of revelry and song : 
Yet still Death's image, by its power restored, 
Frowns midst the roses of the festal board; 
And when deep shades o'er earth and ocean brood, 
And the heart owns the might of solitude, 
Is its low whisper heard "? a note profound, 
But wild and startling as the trumpet sound 
That bursts, with sudden blast, the dead repose 
Of some proud city, storm'd by midnight foes ! 

Oh ! vainly Eeason's scornful voice would prove 
That life had nought to claim such lingering love, 
And ask if e'er the captive, half unchain'd, 
Clung to the links which yet his step restrain'd. 

1 " And behold the Lord passed by, and a great and strong 
wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before 
the Lord ; but the Lord was not in the wind : and after the 
wind an earthquake ; but the Lord was not in the earthquake : 



In vain Philosophy, with tranquil pride, 
Would mock the feelings she perchance can liide, 
Call up the countless armies of the dead, 
Point to the pathway beaten by their tread, 
And say" What wouldst thou ] Shall the fix'd 

decree, 

Made for creation, be reversed for tJiee ? " 
Poor, feeble aid ! Proud Stoic ! ask not why- 
It is enough that nature shrinks to die. 
Enough, that horror, which thy words upbraid, 
Is her dread penalty, and must be paid ! 
Search thy deep wisdom, solve the scarce defined 
And mystic questions of the parting mind, 
Half check'd, half utter'd : tell her what shall burst, 
In whelming grandeur, on her vision first, [world 
When freed from mortal films what viewless 
Shall first receive her whig, but half unfurl'd 
What awful and unbodied beings guide 
Her timid flight through regions yet untried ; 
Say if at once, her final doom to hear, 
Before her God the trembler must appear, 
Or wait that day of terror, when the sea 
Shall yield its hidden dead, and heaven and earth 

shall flee 1 

Hast thou no answer 1 Then deride no more 
The thoughts that shrink; yet cease not to explore 
The unknown, the unseen, the future though the 

heart, 

As at unearthly sounds, before them start ; 
Though the frame shudder, and the spirits sigh, 
They have their source in immortality ! [denies, 
Whence, then, shall strength, which reason's aid 
An equal to the mortal conflict rise ? 
When, on the swift pale horse, whose lightning pace, 
Where'er we fly, still wins the dreadful race, 
The mighty rider comes oh whence shall aid 
Be drawn to meet his rushing, undismay'd ? 
Whence, but from thee, Messiah ! thou hast 

drain'd 

The bitter cup, till not the dregs remain'd ; 
To thee the struggle and the pangs were known, 
The mystic horror all became thine own ! 

But did no hand celestial succour bring, 
Till scorn and anguish haply lost their sting? 
Came not th' Archangel, in the final hour, 
To arm thee with invulnerable power ?- 
Xo, Son of God ! upon thy sacred head 
The shafts of wrath their tenfold fury shed, 

and after the earthquake a fire ; but the Lord was not in the 
fire : and after the fire a still small voice." Kings, book i. 
chap. 19. 



THE SCEPTIC. 



From man averted and thy path on high 
Pass'd through the straight of fiercest agony : 
For thus the Eternal, with propitious eyes, 
Received the last, the almighty sacrifice ! 

But wake ! be glad, ye nations ! from the tomb 
Is won the victory, and is fled the gloom ! 
The vale of death in conquest hath been trod. 
Break forth in joy, ye ransom'd ! saith your God ; 
Swell ye the raptures of the song afar, 
And hail with harps your bright and Morning 
Star. 

He rose ! the everlasting gates of day 
Received the King of Glory on his way ! 
The hope, the comforter of those who wept, 
And the first-fruits of them in Him that slept, 
He rose, he triumph'd ! he will yet sustain 
Frail nature sinking in the strife of pain. 
Aided by Him, around the martyr's frame 
"When fiercely blazed a living shroud of flame, 
Hath the firm soul exulted, and the voice 
Raised the victorious hymn, and cried, Rejoice ! 
Aided by Him, though none the bed attend 
Where the lone sufferer dies without a friend, 
He whom the busy world shall miss no more 
Than morn one dewdrop from her countless store, 
Earth's most neglected child, with trusting heart, 
Call'd to the hope of glory, shall depart ! 

And say, cold Sophist ! if by thee bereft 
Of that high hope, to misery what were left 1 
But for the vision of the days to be, 
But for the comforter despised by thee, 
Should we not wither at the Chastener's look, 
Should we not sink beneath our God's rebuke, 
When o'er our heads the desolating blast, 
Fraught with inscrutable decrees, hath pass'd, 
And the stern power who seeks the noblest prey 
Hath call'd our fairest and our best away ? 
Should we not madden when our eyes behold 
All that we loved in marble stillness cold, 
No more responsive to our smile or sigh, 
Fix'd frozen silent all mortality ] 
But for the promise, " All shall yet be well," 
Would not the spirit in its pangs rebel 
Beneath such clouds as darkeu'd when the hand 
Of wrath lay heavy on our prostrate land ; 
And thou, 1 just lent thy gladden'd isles to bless, 
Then snatch'd from earth with all thy loveliness, 
With all a nation's blessings on thy head, 
England's flower ! wert gather'd to the dead ? 

1 The Princess Charlotte. 



But thou didst teach us. Thou to every heart 

Faith's lofty lesson didst thyself impart ! 

When fled the hope through all thy pangs which 

smiled, 

When thy young bosom o'er thy lifeless child 
Yearn'd with vain longing still thy patient eye 
To its last light beam'd holy constancy ! 
Torn from a lot in cloudless sunshine cast, 
Amidst those agonies thy first and last, 
Thy pale lip, quivering with convulsive throes, 
Breathed not a plaint and settled in repose ; 
While bow'd thy royal head to Him whose power 
Spoke in the fiat of that midnight hour, 
Who from the brightest vision of a throne, 
Love, glory, empire, claim'd thee for his own, 
And spread such terror o'er the sea-girt coast, 
As blasted Israel when her ark was lost ! 

" It is the will of God ! " yet, yet we hear 
The words which closed thy beautiful career ; 
Yet should we mourn thee in thy blest abode, 
But for that thought ' It is the will of God ! " 
Who shall arraign th' Eternal's dark decree 
If not one murmur then escaped from thee . ( 
Oh ! still, though vanishing without a trace, 
Thou hast not left one scion of thy race, 
Still may thy memory bloom our vales among, 
Hallow'd by freedom and enshrined in song ! 
Still may thy pure, majestic spirit dwell 
Bright on the isles which loved thy name so well, 
E'en as an angel, with presiding care, 
To wake and guard thine own high virtues there. 

For lo ! the hour when storm-presaging skies 
Call on the watchers of the land to rise, 
To set the sign of fire on every height, 2 
And o'er the mountains rear with patriot might, 
Prepared, if summon'd, in its cause to die, 
The banner of our faith, the Cross of victory ! 
By this hath England conquer'd. Field and flood 
Have own'd her sovereignty : alone she stood, 
When chains o'er all the sceptred earth were 

thrown, 

In high and holy singleness, alone, 
But mighty in her God and shall she now 
Forget before th' Omnipotent to bow 1 
From the bright fountain of her glory turn, 
Or bid strange fire upon his altars burn? 
No ! sever'd land, midst rocks and billows rude, 
Throned in thy majesty of solitude, 
Still in the deep asylum of thy breast 
Shall the pure elements of greatness rest, 

8 " And set up a sign of fire." Jeremiah, chap. vi. 



THE SCEPTIC. 



Virtue and faith, the tutelary powers, 

Thy hearths that hallow, and defend thy towers ! 

Still, where thy hamlet vales, chosen isle ! 
In the soft beauty of their verdure smile, 
Where yew and elm o'ershade the lowly fanes 
That guard the peasant's records and remains, 
May the blest echoes of the Sabbath-bell 
Sweet on the quiet of the woodlands swell, 
And from each cottage-dwelling of thy glades, 
'\Yhen starlight glimmers through the deepening 

shades, 

Devotion's voice in choral hymns arise, 
And bear the land's warm incense to the skies. 
There may the mother, as with anxious joy 
To heaven her lessons consecrate her boy, 
Teach his young accent still the immortal lays 
Of Zion's bards, in inspiration's days, 
"When angels, whispering through the cedar shade, 
Prophetic tones to Judah's harp convey'd ; 
And as, her soul all glistening in her eyes, 
She bids the prayer of infancy arise, 
Tell of His name who left his throne on high, 
Earth's lowliest lot to bear and sanctify, 
His love divine, by keenest anguish tried, 
j And fondly say "My child, for thee He died ! " 

[What follows is worthy of being here recorded. Thirteen 
years after the publication of the Sceptic, and when the 
author, towards the termination of her earthly career, was 
residing with her family in Dublin, a circumstance occurred 
by which Mrs Hemans was greatly affected and impressed. 
A stranger one day called at her house, and begged earnestly 
to see her. She was then just recovering from one of her 
frequent illnesses, and was obliged to decline the visits of all 
but her immediate friends. The applicant was therefore told 
that she was unable to receive him ; but he persisted in en- 
treating for a few minutes' audience, with such urgent impor- 
tunity that at last the point was conceded. The moment he 
was admitted, the gentleman (for such his manner and 
appearance declared him to be) explained, in words and tones 
of the deepest feeling, that the object of his visit was to 
acknowledge a debt of obligation which he could not rest 
satisfied without avowing that to her he owed, in the first 
instance, that faith and those hopes which were now more 
precious to him than life itself; for that it was by reading her 
poem of The Sceptic he had been first awakened from the 
miserable delusions of infidelity, and induced to " search the 
Scriptures." Having poured forth his thanks and benedic- 
tions in an uncontrollable gush of emotion, this strange but 
interesting visitant took his departure, leaving her over- 
whelmed with a mingled sense of joyful gratitude and won- 
dering humility. Memoir, p. 255-6.] 

CRITICAL EXTRACTS FROXI REVIEWS. 

yorth American Review. " In 1820 Mrs Hemans pub- 
lished The Sceptic, a poem of great merit for its style and its 
sentiments, of which we shall give a rapid sketch. She con- 
siders the influence of unbelief on the affections and gentler 
part of our nature, and, after pursuing the picture of the 
misery consequent on doubt, shows the relief that may be 



found in the thoughts that have their source in immortality. 
Glancing at pleasure as the only resort of the sceptic, she 
turns to the sterner tasks of life : 

* E'en youth's brief bourn 
Survive the beauty of their loveliest flowers ; 
The soul's pure flame the breath of storms must ton, 
And pain and sorrow claim their nursling Man.' 

But then the sceptic has no relief in memory ; for memory 
recalls no joys but such as were transitory, and known to be 
such ; and as for hope 

' She, who like heaven's own sunbeam, smiles for an, 
Will she speak comfort ? Thou hast shorn her plume, 
That might have raised thee far above the tomb, 
And hush'd the only voice whose angel-tone 
Soothes when all melodies of joy are flown." 

"The poet thenasks, if an infidel dare love; and, having 
no Home for his thoughts in a better world, nurse such feel- 
ings as delight to enshrine themselves in the breast of a 
parent. She addresses him on the insecurity of an attach- 
ment to a vain idol, from which death may at any tune 

divide him 'forever.' For relief the infidel is 

referred to the Christian religion, in a strain which unites 

the fervour of devotion with poetic sensibility 

The poem proceeds to depict, in a forcible manner, the unfor- 
tunate state of a mind which acquires every kind of know- 
ledge but that which gives salvation ; and, having gained 
possession of the secrets of all ages, and communed with the 
majestic minds that shine along the pathway of tune, neglects 
nothing but eternity. Such a one, in the season of suffering, 
finds relief in suicide, and escapes to death as to an eternal 
rest The thought of death recurs to the mind of the poet, 
and calls forth a fervent prayer for the divine presence and 
support in the hour of dissolution ; for the hour, when the 
soul is brought to the mysterious verge of another life, is an 
' awful one.' .... This is followed by an allusion to 
the strong love of life which belongs to human nature, and 
the instinctive apprehension with which the parting mind 
muses on its future condition, and asks of itself mystic 
questions, that it cannot solve. But through the influence of 
religion 

He whom the busy world shall miss no more 
Than morn one dewdrop from her countless store, 
Earth's most neglected child, with trusting heart, 
Call'd to the hope of glory, shall depart.' 

"After some lines expressing the spirit of English patriotism, 
in a manner with which foreigners can only be pleased, the 
poem closes with the picture of a mother teaching her child 
the first lessons of religion, by holding up the divine example 
of the Saviour. 

" We have been led-into a longer notice of this poem, for 
it illustrates the character of Mrs Hemans's manner. "We 
perceive in it a loftiness of purpose, an earnestness of thought, 
sometimes made more interesting by a tinge of melancholy, 
a depth of religious feeling, a mind alive to all the interests, 
gratifications, and sorrows of social life." PROFESSOR 
NORTON. 

Edinburgh Monthly Review. "We have on more than 
one occasion expressed the very high opinion which we enter- 
tain of the talents of this lady ; and it is gratifying to find 
that she gives us no reason to retract or modify in any degree 
the applause already bestowed, and that every fresh exhibi- 
tion of her powers enhances and confirms her claims upon 
our admiration. Mrs Hemans is indeed but in the infancy of 
her poetical career ; but it is an infancy of unrivalled beauty, 
and of very high promise. >"ot but that she has already 



114 



SUPERSTITION AND REVELATION. 



performed more than has often been sufficient to win for other 
candidates no mean place in the roll of fame, but because 
what she has already done shrinks, when compared with 
what we consider to be her own great capacity, to mere inci- 
pient excellence the intimation rather than the fulfilment of 
the high destiny of her genius. 

. . . . " The verses of Mrs Hemans appear the spon- 
taneous offspring of intense and noble feeling, governed by a 
clear understanding, and fashioned into elegance by an ex- 
quisite delicacy and precision of taste. With more than the 
force of many of her masculine competitors, she never ceases 
to be strictly feminine, in the whole current of her thought 
and feeling, nor approaches by any chance the verge of that 
free and intrepid course of speculation, of which the boldness 
is more conspicuous than the wisdom, but into which some 
of the most remarkable among the female literati of our times 
have freely and fearlessly plunged. She has, in the poem 
before us, made choice of a subject of which it would have 
been very difficult to have reconciled the treatment, in the 
hands of some female authors, to the delicacy which belongs 
to the sex, and the tenderness and enthusiasm which form its 
finest characteristics. A coarse and chilling cento of the 
exploded fancies of modern scepticism, done into rhyme by 
the hand of a woman, would have been doubly disgusting, 
by the revival of absurdities long consigned to oblivion, and 
by the revolting exhibition of a female mind shorn of all its 
attractions, and wrapt in darkness and defiance. But Mrs 
Hemans has chosen the better and the nobler cause, and, 
while she has left in the poem before us every trace of vigo- 
rous intellect of which the subject admitted, and has far 
transcended in energy of thought the prosing pioneers of un- 
belief, she has sustained throughout a tone of warm and con- 
fiding piety, and has thus proved that the humility of hope 
and of faith has in it none of the weakness with which it has 



been charged by the arrogance of impiety, but owns a divine 
and mysterious vigour residing under the very aspect of gentle- 
ness and devotion." 

Quarterly Review. "Her last two publications are works 
of a higher stamp ; works, indeed, of which no living poet 
need to be ashamed. The first of them is entitled The Sceptic, 
and is devoted, as our readers will easily anticipate, to advo- 
cating the cause of religion. Undoubtedly the poem must 
have owed its being to the circumstances of the times to a 
laudable indignation at the course which literature in many 
departments seemed lately to be taking in this country, and 
at the doctrines disseminated with industry, principally (but 
by no means exclusively, as has been falsely supposed) among 
the lower orders. Mrs Hemans, however, does not attempt 
to reason learnedly or laboriously in verse ; few poems, osten- 
sibly philosophical or didactic, have ever been of use, except 
to display the ingenuity and talent of the writers. People are 
not often taught a science or an art in poetry, and much less 
will an infidel be converted by a theological treatise in verse. 
But the argument of The Sceptic is one of irresistible force to 
confirm a wavering mind ; it is simply resting the truth ot 
religion on the necessity of it on the utter misery and help- 
lessness of man without it. This argument is in itself avail- 
able for all the purposes of poetry : it appeals to the imagina- 
tion and passions of man ; it is capable of interesting all our 
affectionate hopes and charities, of acting upon all our natu- 
ral fears. .Mrs Hemans has gone through this range with 
great feeling and ability ; and when she comes to the mind 
which has clothed itself in its own strength, and relying 
proudly on that alone in the hour of affliction, has sunk into 
distraction in the contest, she rises into a strain of moral 
poetry not often surpassed : 

' Oh, what is nature's strength ? The vacant eye, 
By mind deserted, hath a dread reply,' etc."] 



SUPERSTITION AND REVELATION, 



AN UNFINISHED POEM. 



BEIJTGS of brighter worlds ! that rise at times 
As phantoms with ideal beauty fraught, 
In those brief visions of celestial climes 
Which pass like sunbeams o'er the realms of thought, 
Dwell ye around us 1 are ye hovering nigh, 
Throned on the cloud, or buoyant in the air 1 
And in deep solitudes, where human eye 
Can trace no step, Immortals ! are ye there ? 
Oh ! who can tell 1 what power, but Death alone, 
Can lift the mystic veil that shades the world 
unknown 1 



But Earth hath seen the days, ere yet the flowers 
Of Eden wither'd, when reveal'd ye shone 



In all your brightness midst those holy bowers 
Holy, but not unfading, as your own ! 
While He, the child of that primeval soil, 
With you its paths in high communion trode, 
His glory yet undimm'd by guilt or toil, 
And beaming in the image of his God, 
And his pure spirit glowing from the sky, 
Exulting in its light, a spark of Deity. 



Then, haply, mortal and celestial lays, 
Mingling their tones, from nature's temple rose, 
When nought but that majestic song of praise 
Broke on the sanctity of night's repose, 
With music since unheard : and man might trace 
By stream and vale, in deep embow'ring shade, 



SUPERSTITION AND REVELATION. 



Devotion's first and loveliest dwelling-place, 
The footsteps of th' Omnipotent, who made 
That spot a shrine, where youthful nature cast 
Her consecrated wealth, rejoicing as He pass'd. 



Short were those days, and soon, sons of Heaven! 
Your aspect changed for man. In that dread hour, 
When from his paradise the alien driven 
Beheld your forms in angry splendour tower, 
Guarding the clime where he no more might dwell 
With meteor-swords : he saw the living flame, 
And his first cry of misery was " Farewell ! " 
His heart's first anguish, exile : he became 
A pilgrim on the earth, whose children's lot [not. 
Is still for happier lands to pine and reach them 

v. 

Where now the chosen bowers that once beheld 
Delight and Love their first bright sabbath keep? 
From all its founts the world of waters swell'd, 
And wrapt them in the mantle of the deep ! 
For He, to whom the elements are slaves, 
In wrath unchain 'd the oceans of the cloud, 
And heaved the abyss beneath, till waves on waves 
Folded creation in their mighty shroud; 
Then left the earth a solitude, o'erspread 
With its own awful wrecks a desert of the dead. 



But onward flow'd life's busy course again, 
And rolling ages with them bore away 
As to be lost amidst the boundless main, 
Rich orient streams their golden sands convey 
The hallow'd lore of old the guiding light 
Left by tradition to the sons of earth, 
And the blest memory of each sacred rite 
Known in the region of their father's birth, 
When in each breeze around his fair abode [God. 
Whisper'd a seraph's voice, or lived the breath of 



Who hath not seen, what time the orb of day, 
Cinctured with glory, seeks the ocean's breast, 
A thousand clouds all glowing in his ray, 
Catching brief splendour from the purple west ] 
So round thy parting steps, fair Truth ! awhile 
With borrow'd hues unnumber'd phantoms 

shone ; 

And Superstition, from thy lingering smile, 
Caught a faint glow of beauty not her own, 
Blending her rites with thine while yet afar 
Thine eye's last radiance beam'd, a slow-receding 

star. 



Yet still one stream was pure one sever'd shrine 
Was fed with holier fire, by chosen hands ; 
And sounds, and dreams, and impulses divine, 
Were in the dwellings of the patriarch bands. 
There still the father to his child bequeath'd 
The sacred torch of never-dying flame ; 
There still Devotion's suppliant accents breathed 
The One adored and everlasting Name ; 
And angel guests would linger and repose 
Where those primeval tents amid their palm-trees 



But far o'er earth the apostate wanderers bore 
Their alien rites. For them, by fount or shade, 
Nor voice, nor vision, holy as of yore, 
In thrilling whispers to the soul conveyed 
High inspiration : yet in every clime, 
Those sons of doubt and error fondly sought 
With beings, in their essence more sublime, 
To hold communion of mysterious thought ; 
On some dread power in trembling hope to lean, 
And hear in every wind the accents of th' 
Unseen. 



Yes ! we have need to bid our hopes repose 
On some protecting influence : here confined, 
Life hath no healing balm for mortal woes, 
Earth is too narrow for th' immortal mind. 
Our spirits burn to mingle with the day, 
As exiles panting for their native coast, 
Yet lured by every wild-flower from their way, 
And shrinking from the gulf that must be 

cross'd. 

Death hovers round us : in the zephyr's sigh, 
As in the storm, he comes and lo ! Eternity .' 



As one left lonely on the desert sands 
Of burning Afric, where, without a guide, 
He gazes as the pathless waste expands 
Around, beyond, interminably wide ; 
While the red haze, presaging the Simoom, 
Obscures the fierce resplendence of the sky, 
Or suns of blasting light perchance illume 
The glistening Serab 1 which illudes his eye : 
Such was the wanderer Man, in ages flown, 
Kneeling in doubt and fear before the dread 
Unknown. 

1 Serab, mirage. 



SUPERSTITION AND REVELATION. 



XII. 

His thoughts explored the past and where were 

they, 

The chiefs of men, the mighty ones gone by 1 
He turn'd a boundless void before him lay, 
Wrapp'd in the shadows of futurity. 
How knew the child of Nature that the flame 
He felt within him struggling to ascend, 
Should perish not with that terrestrial frame 
Doom'd with the earth on which it moved, to blend] 
How, when affliction bade his spirit bleed, 
If 'twere a Father's love or Tyrant's wrath de- 
creed ? 

xni. 

Oh ! marvel not if then he sought to trace 
In all sublimities of sight and sound, 
In rushing winds that wander through all space, 
Or midst deep woods, with holy gloom em- 

brown'd, 

The oracles of Fate ! or if the train 
Of floating forms that throng the world of sleep, 
And sounds that vibrate on the slumberer's brain, 
When mortal voices rest in stillness deep, 
Were deem'd mysterious revelations, sent 
From viewless powers, the lords of each dread 

element. 



Was not wild Nature, in that elder-time, 
Clothed with a deeper power 1 earth's wandering 

race, 

Exploring realms of solitude sublime, 
Not as we see, beheld her awful face ! 
Art had not tamed the mighty scenes which met 
Their searching eyes ; unpeopled kingdoms lay 
In savage pomp before them all was yet 
Silent and vast, but not as in decay ; 
And the bright daystar, from his burning throne, 
Look'd o'er a thousand shores, untrodden, voice- 
less, lone. 

xv. 

The forests in their dark luxuriance waved, 
With all their swell of strange JEolian sound ; 
The fearful deep, sole region ne'er enslaved, 
Heaved, in its pomp of terror, darkly round. 
Then, brooding o'er the images, imprest 
By forms of grandeur thronging on his eye, 
And faint traditions, guarded in his breast, 
Midst dim remembrances of infancy, 
Man shaped unearthly presences, in dreams, 
Peopling each wilder haunt of mountains, groves, 
and streams. 



Then bled the victim then in every shade 
Of rock or turf arose the votive shrine ; 
Fear bow'd before the phantoms she portray d, 
And Nature teeni'd with many a mystic sign. 
Meteors, and storms, and thunders ! ye whose 

course 

E'en yet is awful to th' enlighten'd eye, 
As, wildly rushing from your secret source, 
Your sounding chariot sweeps the realms on high, 
Then o'er the earth prophetic gloom ye cast, 
And the wide nations gazed, and trembled as ye 

pass'd. 



But you, ye stars ! in distant glory burning, 
Nurtured with flame, bright altars of the sky ! 
To whose far climes the spirit, vainly turning, 
Would pierce the secrets of infinity 
To you the heart, bereft of other light, 
Its first deep homage paid, on Eastern plains, 
Where Day hath terrors, but majestic Night, 
Calm in her pomp, magnificently reigns, 
Cloudless and silent, circled with the race 
Of some imnumber'd orbs, that light the depths of 
space. 



Shine on ! and brightly plead for erring thought, 

Whose wing, unaided in its course, explored 

The wide creation, and beholding nought 

Like your eternal beauty, then adored 

Its living splendours ; deeming them inform'd 

By natures temper'd with a holier fire 

Pure beings, with ethereal effluence warm'd, 

Who to the source of spirit might aspire, 

And mortal prayers benignantly convey 

To some presiding Power, more awful far than they. 



Guides o'er the desert and the deep ! to you 
The seaman turn'd, rejoicing at the helm, 
When from the regions of empyreal blue 
Ye pour'd soft radiance o'er the ocean-realm ; 
To you the dweller of the plains address'd [own ; 
Vain prayers, that call'd the clouds and dews your 
To you the shepherd, on the mountain's crest, 
Kindled the fires that far through midnight shone, 
As earth would light up all her hills, to vie 
With your immortal host, and image back the sky. 



Hail to the queen of heaven ! her silvery crown 
Serenely wearing, o'er her high domain 



SUPERSTITION AND REVELATION. 



117 



She walks in brightness, looking cloudless down, 
As if to smile on her terrestrial reign. 
Earth should be hush'd in slumber but the night 
Calls forth her worshippers ; the feast is spread, 
On hoary Lebanon's umbrageous height 
The shrine is raised, the rich libation shed 
To her, whose beams illume those cedar-shades 
Faintly as Nature's light the 'wilder' d soul pervades. 



But when thine orb, all earth's rich hues restoring, 
Came forth, sun ! in majesty supreme, 
Still, from thy pure exhaustless fountain, pouring 
Beauty and life in each triumphant beam, 
Through thine own East what j oyous rites prevail'd ! 
"WTiat choral songs re-echo'd ! while thy fire 
Shone o'er its thousand altars, and exhaled 
The precious incense of each odorous pyre, 
Heap'd with the richest balms of spicy vales, 
And aromatic woods that scent the Arabian gales. 

xxir. 

Yet not with Saba's fragrant wealth alone, 
Balsam and myrrh, the votive pile was strew'd ; 
For the dark children of the burning zone 
Drewfrenzy from thy fervours, andbedew'd [scene, 
With their own blood thy shrine ; while that wild 
Haply with pitying eye, thine angel view'd, 
And though with glory mantled, and severe 
In his own fulness of beatitude, 
Yet mourn'd for those whose spirits from thy ray 
Caught not one transient spark of intellectual day. 



But earth had deeper stains. Ethereal powers ! 
Benignant seraphs ! wont to leave the skies, 
And hold high converse, midst his native bowers, 
With the once glorious son of Paradise, [strains 
Look'd ye from heaven in sadness! were your 
Of choral praise suspended in dismay, 
When the polluted shrine of Syria's plains 
With clouds of incense dimm'd the blaze of 1 day 1 
Or did ye veil indignantly your eyes. [fice ] 

While demons hail'd the pomp of human sacri- 



And well the powers of evil might rejoice, 
When rose from Tophet's vale the exulting cry, 
And, deaf to Nature's supplicating voice, 
The frantic mother bore her child to die ! 
Around her vainly clung his feeble hands 
With sacred instinct : love hath lost its sway, 
While ruthless zeal the sacrifice demands, 
And the fires blaze, impatient for their prey. 



Let not his shrieks reveal the dreadful tale ! 
Well may the drum's loud peal o'erpower an 
infant's wail ? 



A voice of sorrow ! not from thence it rose ; 
Twas not the childless mother. Syrian maids, 
Where with red wave the mountain streamlet flows, 
Keep tearful vigil in their native shades. 
With dirge and plaint the cedar-groves resound, 
Each rock's deep echo for Adonis mourns : 
Weep for the dead ! Away ! the lost is found 
To life and love the buried god returns ! 
Then wakes the timbrel then the forests ring, 
And shouts of frenzied j oy are on each breeze's wing ! 



But fill'd with holier joy the Persian stood, 
In silent reverence, on the mountain's brow, 
At early dayspring, while the expanding flood 
Of radiance burst around, above, below 
Bright, boundless as eternity : he gazed 
Till his full soul, imbibing heaven, o'erflow'd 
In worship of th' Invisible, and praised 
In thee, Sun ! the symbol and abode 
Of life, and power, and excellence the throne 
Where dwelt the Unapproach'd, resplendently 
alone. 1 



What if his thoughts, with erring fondness, gave 
Mysterious sanctity to things which wear 
Th' Eternal's impress 1 if the living wave, 
The circling heavens, the free and boundless air- 
If the pure founts of everlasting flame, 
Deep in his country's hallow'd vales enshrined, 
And the bright stars maintain'd a silent claim 
To love and homage from his awestruck mind ! 
Still with his spirit dwelt a lofty dream 
Of uncreated Power, far, far o'er these supreme. 

xxvni. 

And with that faith was conquest. He whose narno 
To Judah's harp of prophecy had rung 

1 At an earlier stage in the composition of this poem, th 
following stanza was here inserted : 

" Nor rose the Marian's hymn, sublimely swelling 

In full-toned homage to the source of flame, 
From &bri rear'd by man, the gorgeous dwelling 

Of such bright idol-forms as art could frame. 
Be rear'd no temple, bade no walls contain 

The breath of incense or the voice of prayer; 
But made the boundless universe his fane, 

The rocks his altar-stoneadoring there 
The Being whose Omnipotence pervades 
All deserts and all depths, and hallows loneliest shadM." 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



He, of whose yet unborn and distant fame 
The mighty voice of Inspiration sung, 
He came, the victor Cyrus ! As he pass'd, 
Thrones to his footstep rock'd, and monarchs lay 
Suppliant and clothed with dust; while nations cast 
Their ancient idols down before his way, 
Who in majestic march, from shore to shore, 
The quenchless flame revered by Persia's children 
bore. 



[In the spring of 1820, Mrs Ilenians first made the ac- 
quaintance of one who became afterwards a zealous and valu- 
able friend, revered in life, and sincerely mourned in death 
Bishop Heber, then Rector of Hodnet, and a frequent visitor 
at Bodryddan, the residence of his father-in-law, the late 
Dean of St Asaph, from whom also, during an intercourse of 
many years, Mrs Hemans at all times received much kindness 
and courtesy. Mr Reginald Heber was the first eminent 
literary character with whom she had ever familiarly asso- 
ciated ; and she therefore entered with a peculiar freshness of 
feeling in to the delight inspired by his conversational powers, 
enhanced as they were by that gentle benignity of manner, 
so often the characteristic of minds of the very highest order. 
In a letter to a friend on this occasion, she thus describes her 
enjoyment: " I am more delighted with Mr Heber than I 
can possibly tell you ; his conversation is quite rich with anec- 
dote, and every subject on which he speaks had been, you 
would imagine, the whole study of his life. In short, his society 
has made much the same sort of impression on my mind that 
the first perusal of Ivanhoe did ; and was something so per- 
fectly new to me, that I can hardly talk of any thing else. I 
had a very long conversation with him on the subject of the 
poem, which he read aloud, and commented upon as he pro- 
ceeded. His manner was so entirely that of a friend, that I 
felt perfectly at ease, and did not hesitate to express all my 
own ideas and opinions on the subject, even where they did 
not exactly coincide with his own." 

The poem here alluded to was the one entitled Superstition 



and Ke.vda.tion, which Mrs Hemans had commenced some 
time before, and which was intended to embrace a very ex- 
tensive range of subject. Her original design will be best 
given in her own words, from a letter to her friend Miss Park: 
" I have been thinking a good deal of the plan we discussed 
together, of a poem on national superstitions. 'Our thoughts 
are linked by many a hidden chain,' and in the course of my 
lucubrations on this subject, an idea occurred to me, which 
I hope you will not think me too presumptuous in wishing 
to realise. Might not a poem of some extent and importance, 
if the execution were at all equal to the design, be produced, 
from contrasting the spirit and tenets of Paganism with those 
of Christianity ? It would contain, of course, much classical 
allusion ; and all the graceful and sportive fictions of ancient 
Greece and Italy, as well as the superstitions of more barbar- 
ous climes, might be introduced to prove how little consola- 
tion they could convey in the hour of affliction or hope, in 
that of death. Many scenes from history might be portrayed 
in illustration of this idea ; and the certainty of a future state, 
and of the immortality of the soul, which we derive from 
revelation, are surely subjects for poetry of the highest class. 
Descriptions of those regions which are still strangers to the 
blessings of our religion, such as the greatest part of Africa, 
India, &c., might contain much that is poetical ; but the 
subject is almost boundless, and I think of it till I am startled 
by its magnitude." 

Mr Heber approved highly of the plan of the work, and 
gave her every encouragement to proceed in it ; supplying 
her with many admirable suggestions, both as to the illustra- 
tions which might be introduced with the happiest effect, and 
the sources from whence the requisite information would best 
be derived. But the great labour and research necessary to 
the development of a plan which included the superstitions 
of every age and country, from the earliest of all idolatries 
the adoration of the sun, moon, and host of heaven, alluded 
to in the book of Job to the still existing rites of the Hindoos 
would have demanded a course of study too engrossing to 
be compatible with the many other claims, both domestic and 
literary, which daily pressed more and more upon the author's 
time. The work was, therefore, laid aside ; and the fragment 
now first published is all that remains of it, though the pro- 
ject was never distinctly abandoned.] 



ITALIAN LITEKATUKE. 1 



THE BASVIGLIANA OF MONTI. 

FROM SISMONDl's " LITTERATURK DU MIDI." 

VINCENZO MONTI, a native of Ferrara, is 
acknowledged, by the unanimous consent of the 

1 " About this time (1820) Mrs Remans was an occasional 
contributor to the Edinburgh Mimtfily Magazine, then con- 
ducted by the Rev. Robert Morehead, whose liberal cour- 
tesy in the discharge of his editorial office associated many 
agreeable recollections with the period of this literary inter- 
course. Several of her poems appeared in the above-men- 
tioned periodical, as also a series of papers on foreign litera- 



Italians, as the greatest of their living poets. 
Irritable, impassioned, variable to excess, he is 
always actuated by the impulse of the moment. 
Whatever he feels is felt with the most enthu- 
siastic vehemence. He sees the objects of his 
thoughts they are present, and clothed with 

ture, Which, with very few exceptions, were the only prose 
compositions she ever gave to the world ; and indeed to these 
papers such a distinctive appellation is perhaps scarcely 
applicable, as the prose writing may be considered subordi- 
nate to the poetical translations, which it is used to intro 
duce." Memoir, p. 41. 



THE BASVIGLIANA OF MONTI. 



119 



life before him, and a flexible and harmonious 
language is always at his command to paint them 
with the richest colouring. Persuaded that poetry 
is only another species of painting, he makes the 
art of the poet consist in rendering apparent, to 
the eyes of all, the pictures created by his imagi- 
nation for himself ; and he permits not a verse 
to escape him which does not contain an image. 
Deeply impressed by the study of Dante, he has 
restored to the character of Italian poetry those 
severe and exalted beauties by which it was 
distinguished at its birth ; and he proceeds from 
one picture to another with a grandeur and dig- 
nity peculiar to himself. It is extraordinary that, 
with something so lofty in his manner and style 
of writing, the heart of so impassioned a character 
should not be regulated by principles of greater 
consistency. In many other poets, this defect 
might pass unobserved : but circumstances have 
thrown the fullest light upon the versatility of 
Monti, and his glory as a poet is attached to 
works which display him in continual opposition 
to himself. Writing in the mifist of the various 
Italian revolutions, he has constantly chosen 
political subjects for his compositions, and he has 
successively celebrated opposite parties in pro- 
portion to their success. Let us suppose, in his 
justification, that he composes as an improvisatore, 
and that his feelings, becoming highly excited by 
the given theme, he seizes the political ideas it 
suggests, however foreign they may be to his 
individual sentiments. 1 In these political poems 
the object and purport of which are so different 
the invention and manner are, perhaps, but 
too similar. The Basviglia/na, or poem on the 
death of Basville, is the most celebrated ; but, 
since its appearance, it has been discovered that 
Monti, who always imitated Dante, has now also 
very frequently imitated himself. 

Hugh Basville was the French Envoy who was 
put to death at Rome by the people, for attempt- 
ing, at the beginning of the Revolution, to excite 
a sedition against the Pontifical government. 
Monti, who was then the poet of the Pope, as he 
has since been of the Republic, supposes that, at 
the moment of Basville's death, he is saved by a 
sudden repentance, from the condemnation which 
his philosophical principles had merited. But, 

1 The observation of a French author (Le Censeur du Dic- 
tionnaAre det Girouettei) on the general versatility of poets, 
Eeems so peculiarly appropriate to the character of Monti, 
that it might almost be supposed to have been written for the 
express purpose of such an application. " Le cerveau d'un 
poete est d'une cire molle et flexible, oil s'imprime naturelle- 



as a punishment for his guilt, and a substitute for 
the pains of purgatory, he is condemned by 
Divine Justice to traverse France until the crimes 
of that country have received their due chastise- 
ment, and doomed to contemplate the misfor- 
tunes and reverses to which he has contributed 
by assisting to extend the progress of the Revo- 
lution. 

An angel of heaven conducts Basville from pro- 
vince to province, that he may behold the desola- 
tion of his lovely country. He then conveys him 
to Paris, and makes him witness the sufferings 
and death of Louis XVI., and afterwards shows 
him the Allied armies prepared to burst upon 
France, and avenge the blood of her king. The 
poem concludes before the issue of the contest 
is known. It is divided into four cantos of three 
hundred lines each, and written in terza rima, 
like the poem of Dante. Not only many expres- 
sions, epithets, and lines are borrowed from the 
Divine Comedy, but the invention itself is similar. 
An angel conducts Basville through the suffering 
world ; and this faithful guide, who consoles and 
supports the spectator-hero of the poem, acts pre- 
cisely the same part which is performed by Virgil 
in Dante. Basville himself thinks, feels, and 
suffers, exactly as Dante would have done. Monti 
has not preserved any traces of his revolutionary 
character he describes him as feeling more pity 
than remorse and he seems to forget, in thus 
identifying himself with his hero, that he has at 
first represented Basville, and perhaps without 
foundation, as an infidel and a ferocious revolu- 
tionist. The Basvigliana is, perhaps, more re- 
markable than any other poem for the majesty 
of its verse, the sublimity of its expression, and 
the richness of its colouring. In the first canto the 
spirit of Basville thus takes leave of the body : 

"Sleep, beloved companion of my woes, 
Rest thou in deep and undisturb'd repose ; 
Till at the last great day, from slumber's bed, 
Heaven's trumpet-summons shall awake the dead. 

"Be the earth light upon thee, mild the shower, 
And soft the breeze's whig, till that dread hour ; 
Xor let the wanderer passing o'er thee, breathe 
Words of keen insult to the dust beneath. 

ment tout ce qui le flatte, le seduit, et 1'alimente. La must 
du chant n'a pasdepartie; c'est une etourdie sans conse- 
quence, qui folatre e'galement et sur de riches gazons et sur 
d'arides bruyeres. Un poete en de'lire chante indifferemment 
Titus et Thamask, Louis 12e et Cromwell, Christine de 
Suede et Stanchon la Vielleuse." 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



" Sleep them iu peace ! Beyond the funeral pyre, 
There live no flames of vengeance or of ire ; 
And midst high hearts I leave thee, on a shore 
Where mercy's home hath been from days of yore." 

Thus to its earthly form the spirit cried, 
Then turn'd to follow its celestial guide ; 
But with a downcast mien, a pensive sigh, 
A lingering step, and oft reverted eye 
As when a child's reluctant feet obey 
Its mother's voice, and slowly leave its play. 

Night o'er the earth her dewy veil had cast, 
When from th' Eternal City's towers they pass'd, 
And rising in their flight, on that proud dome, 
Whose walls enshrine the guardian saint of Rome, 
Lo ! -where a cherub-form sublimely tower'd, 
But dreadful in his glory ! Sternly lower'd 
Wrath in his kingly aspect. One he seem'd 
Of the bright seven, whose dazzling splendour 

beam'd 

On high amidst the burning lamps of heaven, 
Seen in the dread, o'erwhelming visions given 
To the rapt seer of Patmos. Wheels of fire 
Seem'd his fierce eyes, all kindling in their ire ; 
And his loose tresses, floating as he stood, 
A comet's glare, presaging woe and blood. 
He waved his sword its red, terrific light 
With fearful radiance tinged the clouds of night ; 
While his left hand sustain'*!, a shield so vast, 
Far o'er the Vatican beneath was cast 
Its broad, protecting shadow. As the plume 
Of the strong eagle spreads in sheltering gloom 
O'er its young brood, as yet untaught to soar ; 
And while, all trembling at the whirlwind's roar, 
Each humbler bird shrinks cowering in its nest, 
Beneath that wing of power, and ample breast, 
They sleep unheeding ; while the storm on high 
Breaks not their calm and proud security. 

In the second canto, Basville enters Paris with 
his angelic guide, at the moment preceding the 
execution of Louis XVI. 

The air was heavy, and the brooding skies 
Look'd fraught with omens, as to harmonise 
With his pale aspect. Through the forest round 
Not a leaf whisper'd and the only sound 
That broke the stillness was a streamlet's moan 
Murmuring amidst the rocks with plaintive tone, 
As if a storm within the woodland bowers 
Were gathering. On they moved and lo ! the 

towers 

Of a far city ! Nearer now they drew ; 
And all reveal'd, expanding on their view, 



The Babylon, the scene of crimes and woes 
Paris, the guilty, the devoted, rose ! 

In the dark mantle of a cloud array'd, 
Viewless and hush'd, the angel and the shade 
Enter'd that evil city. Onward pass'd 
The heavenly being first, with brow o'ercast 
And troubled mien, while in his glorious eyes 
Tears had obscured the splendour of the skies. 
Pale with dismay, the trembling spirit saw 
That alter'd aspect, and, in breathless awe, 
Mark'd the strange silence round. The deep- 
toned swell 

Of life's full tide was hush'd ; the sacred bell, 
The clamorous anvil, mute ; all sounds were fled 
Of labour or of mirth, and in their stead 
Terror and stillness, boding signs of woe, 
Inquiring glances, rumours whisper'd low, 
Questions half-utter'd, jealous looks that keep 
A fearful watch around, and sadness deep 
That weighs upon the heart ; and voices, heard 
At intervals, in many a broken word 
Voices of mothers,* trembling as they press'd 
Th' unconscious infant closer to their breast ; 
Voices of wives, with fond imploring cries, 
And the wild eloquence of tears and sighs, 
On their own thresholds striving to detain 
Their fierce impatient lords ; but weak and vain 
Affection's gentle bonds, in that dread hour 
Of fate and fury Love hath lost his power ! 
For evil spirits are abroad, the air 
Breathes of their influence. Druid phantoms there, 
Fired by that thirst for victims which of eld 
Raged in their bosoms fierce and uncontroll : d, 
Rush, in ferocious transport, to survey 
The deepest crime that e'er hath dimm'd the day. 
Blood, human blood, hath stahrd then: vests and 

hair, 

On the winds tossing, with a sanguine glare, 
Scattering red showers around them ! Flaming 

brands 

And serpent scourges in their restless hands 
Are wildly shaken. Others lift on high 
The steel, th' envenom'd bowl ; and, hurrying by, 
With touch of fire contagious fury dart 
Through human veins, fast kindling to the heart. 
Then comes the rush of crowds ! restrain'dnomore, 
Fast from each home the frenzied inmates pour; 
From every heart affrighted mercy flies, 
While her soft voice amidst the tumult dies. 
Then the earth trembles, as from street to street 
The tramp of steeds, the press of hastening feet, 
The roll of wheels, all mingling in the breeze, 
Come deepening onward, as the swell of seas 



THE ALCESTIS OF ALFIERI. 



121 



Heard at the dead of midnight ; or the moan 
Of distant tempests, or the hollow tone 
Of the far thunder ! Then what feelings press'd, 
O wretched Basvillo ! on thy guilty breast ; 
What pangs were thine, thus fated to behold 
Death's awful banner to the winds unfold ! 
To see the axe, the scaffold, raised on high 
The dark impatience of the murderer's eye, 
Eager for crime ! And he, the great, the good, 
Thy martyr-king, by men athirst for blood 
Dragg'd to a felon's death ! Yet still his mien, 
Midst that wild throng, is loftily serene ; 
And his step falters not. hearts unmoved ! 
Where have you borne your monarch 1 He who 

loved 

Loved you so well ! Behold ! the sun grows pale, 
Shrouding his glory in a tearful veil ; 
The misty air is silent, as in dread, 
And the dim sky with shadowy gloom o'erspread ; 
While saints and martyrs, spirits of the blest, 
Look down, all weeping, from their bowers of rest. 

In that dread moment, to the fatal pile 
The regal victim came ; and raised the while 
His patient glance, with such an aspect high, 
So firm, so calm, in holy majesty, 
That e'en th' assassins' hearts a moment shook 
Before the grandeur of that kingly look ; 
And a strange thrill of pity, half-renew'd, 
Ran through the bosoms of the multitude. 

Like Hun, who, breathing mercy to the last, 
Pray'd till the bitterness of death was past 
E'en for his murderers pray'd, in that dark hour 
When his soul yielded to affliction's power, 
And the winds bore his dying cry abroad 
" Hast thou forsaken me, my God ! my God ]" 
E'en thus the monarch stood ; his prayer arose, 
Thus calling down forgiveness on his foes 
" To Thee my spirit I commend," he cried ; 
" And my lost people, Father ! be their guide ! " 

But the sharp steel descends the blow is given, 
And answer'd by a thunder-peal from heaven ; 
Earth, stain'd with blood, convulsive terrors owns, 
And her kings tremble on their distant thrones ! 



THE ALCESTIS OF ALFIERI. 

THE Alcestis of ALFIERI is said to have been the 
last tragedy he composed, and is distinguished to 
a remarkable degree by that tenderness of which 



his former works present so few examples. It 
would appear as if the pure and exalted affection 
by which the impetuosity of his fiery spirit was 
ameliorated during the latter years of his life, had 
impressed its whole character on this work, as a 
record of that domestic happiness in whose bosom 
his heart at length found a resting-place. Most 
of his earlier writings bear witness to that " fever 
at the core," that burning impatience of restraint, 
and those incessant and untameable aspirations 
after a wider sphere of action, by which his youth 
was consumed; but the poetry of Alcestis must 
find its echo in every heart which has known the 
power of domestic ties, or felt the bitterness . of 
their dissolution. The interest of the piece, how- 
ever, though entirely domestic, is not for a mo- 
ment allowed to languish; nor does the conjugal 
affection, which forms the mainspring of the 
action, ever degenerate into the pastoral insipidity 
of Metastasio. The character of Alcestis herself, 
with all its lofty fortitude, heroic affection, and 
subdued anguish, powerfully recalls to our ima- 
gination the calm and tempered majesty distin- 
guishing the masterpieces of Greek sculpture, in 
which the expression of mental or bodily suffering 
is never allowed to transgress the limits of beauty 
and sublimity. The union of dignity and afflic- 
tion impressing more than earthly grandeur on 
the countenance of Niobe, would be, perhaps, the 
best illustration of this analogy. 

The following scene, in which Alcestis announces 
to Pheres, the father of Admetus, the terms upon 
which the oracle of Delphos has declared that his 
son may be restored, has seldom been surpassed 
by the author, even in his most celebrated pro- 
ductions. It is, however, to be feared that little 
of its beauty can be transfused into a translation, 
as the severity of a style so completely devoid of 
imagery, must render it dependent for many in- 
communicable attractions upon the melody of the 
original language. 



ACT L SCENE II. 
ALCESTIS, PHERES. 

A Ic. Weep thou no more ! monarch, dry thy 

tears ! 

For know, he shall not die ; not now shall fate 
Bereave thee of thy son. 

Phe. What mean thy words? 
Hath then Apollo is there then a hope ? 

Ale. Yes ! hope for thee hope by the voice 
announced 



122 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



From the prophetic cave. Nor would I yield 
To other lips the tidings, meet alone 
For thee to hear from mine. 

Phe. But say ! oh ! say, 
Shall then my son be spared ? 

Ale. He shall, to thee. 
Thus hath Apollo said Alcestis thus 
Confirms the oracle be thou secure. 

Pke. sounds of joy ! He lives ! 

Ale. But not for this, 

Think not that e'en for this the stranger Joy 
Shall yet revisit these devoted walls. [death 

Phe. Can there be grief when from his bed of 
Admetus rises ] "What deep mystery lurks 
Within thy words ? What mean'st thou 1 Gracious 

heaven ! 

Thou, whose deep love is all his own, who hcar'st 
The tidings of his safety, and dost bear 
Transport and life in that glad oracle 
To his despairing sire ; thy cheek is tinged 
With death, and on thy pure ingenuous brow, 
To the brief lightning of a sudden joy, 
Shades dark as night succeed, and thou art wrapt 
In troubled silence. Speak ! oh, speak ! 

Ale. The gods 

Themselves have limitations to their power 
Impassable, eternal and their will 
Resists not the tremendous laws of fate : 
Nor small the boon they grant thee in the life 
Of thy restored Admetus. 

Phe. In thy looks 

There is expression, more than in thy words, 
Which thrills my shuddering heart. Declare, what 

terms 

Can render fatal to thyself and us 
The rescued life of him thy soul adores 1 

A Ic. father ! could my silence aught avail 
To keep that fearful secret from thine ear, 
Still should it rest unheard, till all fulfill'd 
Were the dread sacrifice. But vain the wish ; 
And since too soon, too well it must be known, 
Hear it from me. 

Phe. Throughout my curdling veins 
Runs a cold, deathlike horror ; and I feel 
I am not all a father. In my heart 
Strive many deep affections. Thee I love, 
fair and high-soul'd consort of my son ! 
More than a daughter ; and thine infant race, 
The cherish'd hope and glory of my age ; 
And, unimpair'd by time, within my breast, 
High, holy, and unalterable love 
For her, the partner of my cares and joys, 
Dwells pure and perfect yet. Bethink thee, then, 
In what suspense, what agony of fear, 



I wait thy words ; for well, too well, I see 
Thy lips are fraught with fatal auguries, 
To some one of my race. 

Ale. Death hath his rights, 
Of which not e'en the great Supernal Powers 
May hope to rob him. By his ruthless hand, 
Already seized, the noble victim lay, 
The heir of empire, in his glowing prime 
And noonday, struck : Admetus, the revered, 
The bless'd, the loved, by all who own'd his sway 
By his illustrious pai'ents, by the realms 
Surrounding his and oh ! what need to add, 
How much by his Alcestis 1 Such was he, 
Already in th' unsparing grasp of death 
Withering, a certain prey. Apollo thence 
Hath snatch'd him, and another in his stead, 
Though not an equal (who can equal him 1) 
Must fall a voluntary sacrifice. 
Another, of his lineage or to him 
By closest bonds united, must descend 
To the dark realm of Orcus in his place, 
Who thus alone is saved. 

Phe. What do I hear] 

Woe to us, woe ! what victim ? who shall be 
Accepted in his stead 1 

Ale. The dread exchange 

E'en now, father ! hath been made ; the prey 
Is ready, nor is wholly worthless him 
For whom 'tis freely offer'd. Nor wilt thou, 
mighty goddess of th' infernal shades ! 
Whose image sanctifies this threshold floor, 
Disdain the victim. 

Phe. All prepared the prey ! 
And to our blood allied ! Oh, heaven ! and yet 
Thou bad'st me weep no more ! 

Ale. Yes ' thus I said, 
And thus again I say, thou shalt not weep 
Thy son's, nor I deplore my husband's doom. 
Let him be saved, and other sounds of woe 
Less deep, less mournful far, shall here be heard, 
Than those his death had caused. With some few 

tears, 

But grief, and mingled with a gleam of joy, 
E'en while the involuntary tribute lasts, 
The victim shall be honour 'd who resign'd 
Life for Admetus. Would'st thou know the prey, 
The vow'd, the willing, the devoted one, 
Offer'd and hallow'd to th' infernal gods, 
Father ! 'tis I. 

Phe. What hast thou done 1 Oh, heaven ! [saved 
What hast thou donol And think'st thou he is 
By such a compact 1 Think'st thou he can live 
Bereft of thee ? Of thee, his light of life, 
His very soul ! Of thee, beloved far more 



THE ALCESTIS OF ALFIERL 



123 



Than his loved parents than his children more 
More than himself? Oh no ! it shall not bel 
Thou perish, Alcestis ! in the flower 
Of thy young beauty ! perish, and destroy 
Not him, not him alone, but us, but all, 
Who as a child adore thee ! Desolate 
"Would be the throne, the kingdom, reft of thee. 
And think'st thou not of those whose tender years 
Demand thy care 1 thy children ! think of them ! 
thou, the source of each domestic joy, 
Thou, in whose life alone Admetus lives, 
His glory, his delight, thou shalt not die 
While I can die for thee ! Me, me alone, 
The oracle demands a wither'd stem, 
Whose task, whose duty, is for him to die. 
My race is run the fulness of my years, 
The faded hopes of age, and all the love 
Which hath its dwelling in a father's heart, 
And the fond pity, half with wonder blent, 
Inspired by thee, whose youth with heavenly gifts 
So richly is endow" d ; all, all unite 
To grave in adamant the just decree, 
That I must die. But thou, I bid thee live ! 
Pheres commands thee, Alcestis live ! 
Ne'er, ne'er shall woman's youthful love surpass 
An aged sire's devotedness. 

Ale. I know 

Thy lofty soul, thy fond paternal love ; 
Pheres, I know them well, and not in vain 
Strove to anticipate their high resolves. 
But if in silence I have heard thy words, 
Now calmly list to mine, and thou shalt own 
They may not be withstood. 

Phe. What canst thou say 
Which I should hear! I go, resolved to save 
Hun who with thee would perish ; to the shrine 
E'en now I fly. 

Ale. Stay, stay thee ! 'tis too late. 
Already hath consenting Proserpine, 
From the remote abysses of her realms, 
Heard and accepted the terrific vow 
Which binds me, with indissoluble ties, 
To death. And I am firm, and well I know 
None can deprive me of the awful right 
That vow hath won. 

Yes ! thou mayst weep my fate, 
Mourn for me, father ! but thou canst not blame 
My lofty purpose. Oh ! the more endear'd 
My life by every tie the more I feel 
Death's bitterness, the more my sacrifice 
Is worthy of Admetus. I descend 
To the dim shadowy regions of the dead 
A guest more honour'd. 



In thy presence here 
Again I utter'd the tremendous vow, 
Now more than half fulfill'd. I feel, I know, 
Its dread effects. Through all my burning veins 
Th' insatiate fever revels. Doubt is o'er. 
The Monarch of the Dead hath heard he calls, 
He summons me away and thou art saved, 

my Admetus ! 

In the opening of the third act, Alcestis enters, 
with her son Eumeles, and her daughter, to com- 
plete the sacrifice by dying at the feet of Proser- 
pine's statue. The following scene ensues be- 
tween her and Admetus. 

A Ic. Here, my faithful handmaids ! at the feet 
Of Proserpine's dread image spread my couch ; 
For I myself e'en now must offer here 
The victim she requires. And you, meanwhile, 
My children ! seek your sire. Behold him there, 
Sad, silent, and alone. But through his veins 
Health's genial current flows once more, as free 
As in his brightest days : and he shall live 
Shall live for you. Go, hang upon his neck, 
And with your innocent encircling arms 
Twine round him fondly. 

Eum. Can it be indeed, 
Father, loved father ! that we see thee thus 
Restored 1 What joy is ours ! 

A dm. There is no joy ! 
Speak not of joy ! Away, away ! my grief 
Is wild and desperate. Cling to me no more ! 

1 know not of affection, and I feel 
No more a father. 

Eum. Oh ! what words are these ? 
Are we no more thy children ] Are we not 
Thine own 1 ? Sweet sister! twine around his neck 
More close ; he must return the fond embrace. 

A dm. children ! my children ! to my soul 
Your innocent words and kisses are as darts, 
That pierce it to the quick. I can no more 
Sustain the bitter conflict. Every sound 
Of your soft accents but too well recalls 
The voice which was the music of my life. 
Alcestis ! my Alcestis ! was she not 
Of all her sex the flower ? Was woman e'er 
Adored like her before ] Yet this is she, 
The cold of heart, th' ungrateful, who hath left 
Her husband and her infants ! This is she, 

my deserted children ! who at once 
Bereaves you of your parents. 

Ale. Woe is me ! 

1 hear the bitter and reproachful cries 

Of my despairing lord. With life's last powers, 



124 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



Oh ! let me strive to soothe him still. Approach, 
My handmaids, raise me, and support my steps 
To the distracted mourner. Bear me hence, 
That he may hear and see me. 

Adm. Is it thou] 

And do I see thee still ] and com'st thou thus 
To comfort me, Alcestis 1 Must I hear 
The dying accents th us ? Alas ! return 
To thy sad couch return ! 'tis meet for me 
There by thy side for ever to remain. 

Ale. For me thy care is vain. Though meet for 
thee [are these, 

Adm. voice ! looks of death ! are these, 
Thus darkly shrouded with mortality, 
The eyes that -were the sunbeams and the life 
Of my fond soul 1 Alas ! how faint a ray 
Falls from their faded orbs, so brilliant once, 
Upon my drooping brow ! How heavily, 
With what a weight of death thy languid voice 
Sinks on my heart ! too faithful far, too fond. 
Alcestis ! thou art dying and for me ! 

Alcestis ! and thy feeble hand supports 

With its last power, supports my sinking head, 

E'en now, while death is on thee ! Oh! the touch 

Rekindles tenfold frenzy in my heart. 

I rush, I fly impetuous to the shrine, 

The image of yon ruthless Deity, 

Impatient for her prey. Before thy death, 

There, there, I too, self-sacrificed, will fall. 

Vain is each obstacle in vain the gods 
Themselves would check my fury. I am lord 

Of my own days and thus I swear 

Ale. Yes! swear, 

Admetus ! for thy children to sustain 
The load of life. All other impious vows. 
Which thou, a rebel to the sovereign will 
Of those who rule on high, mightst dare to form 
Within thy breast, thy lip, by them enchain'd, 
Would vainly seek to utter. Seest thou not, 
It is from them the inspiration flows 
Which in my language breathes ? They lend me 
power, [fuse 

They bid me through thy strengthen'd soul trans- 
High courage, noble constancy. Submit, 
Bow down to them thy spirit Be thou calm ; 
Be near me. Aid me. In the dread extreme 
To which I now approach, from whom but thee 
Should comfort be derived ? Afflict me not, 
In such an hour, with anguish worse than death. 
O faithful and beloved, support me still ! 

The choruses with which this tragedy is inter- 



spersed are distinguished for their melody and 
classic beauty. The following translation will give 
our readers a faint idea of the one by which the 
third act is concluded. 

Ale. My children ! all isfinish'd. Xow, farewell ! 
To thy fond care, Pheres ! I commit 
My widow'd lord : forsake him not. 

Eum. Alas ! 

Sweet mother ! wilt thou leave us ? From thy side 
Are we for ever parted 1 

Phe. Tears forbid 

All utterance of our woes. Bereft of sense, 
More lifeless than the dying victim, see 
The desolate Admetus. Farther yet, 
Still farther, let us bear him from the sight 
Of his Alcestis. 

A Ic. my handmaids ! still 
Lend me your pious aid, and thus compose 
With sacred modesty these torpid limbs 
When death's last pang is o'er. 

Chorus. 

Alas ! how weak 
Her struggling voice ! that last keen pang is near. 

Peace, mourners, peace ! 
Be hush'd, be silent, hi this hour of dread ! 

Our cries would but increase 
The sufferer's pang ; let tears unheard be shed, 

Cease, voice of weeping, cease ! 

Sustain, friend ! 

Upon thy faithful breast, 
The head that sinks with mortal pain opprest ! 

And thou assistance lend 

To close the languid eye, 
Still beautiful in life's last agony. 

Alas, how long a strife ! 
What anguish struggles in the parting breath, 

Ere yet immortal life 

Be won by death ! 

Death ! death ! thy work complete ! 
Let thy sad hour be fleet, 
Speed, in thy mercy, the releasing sigh ! 

No more keen pangs impart 

To her, the high in heart, 
Th' adored Alcestis, worthy ne'er to die. 

Chorus of Admetus. 

"Tis not enough, oh no ! 
To hide the scene of anguish from his eyes ; 

Still must our silent band 

Around him watchful stand, 
And on the mourner ceaseless care bestow, 
That his ear catch not grief's funereal cries. 



IL CONTE DI CARMAGNOLA. 



125 



Yet, yet hope is not dead, 

All is not lost below, 
While yet the gods have pity on our woe. 

Oft when all joy is fled, 

Heaven lends support to those 
Who on its care in pious hope repose. 

Then to the blessed skies 
Let our submissive prayers in chorus rise. 

Pray ! bow the knee, and pray ! 
What other task have mortals, born to tears, 
Whom fate controls with adamantine sway ?- 

ruler of the spheres ! 
Jove ! Jove ! enthroned immortally on high, 

Our supplication hear ! 

Nor plunge in bitterest woes 
Him, who nor footstep moves, nor lifts his eye 

But as a child, which only knows 

Its father to revere. 



IL CONTE DI CAEMAGNOLA ; 

A TRAGEDY. 
BY ALESSANDRO MANZONI. 

FRANCESCO BUSSONE, the son of a peasant in 
Carmagnola, from whence his nom-de-guerre was 
derived, was born in the year 1390. Whilst yet a 
boy, and employed in the care of flocks and herds, 
the lofty character of his countenance was observed 
by a soldier of fortune, who invited the youth to 
forsake his rustic occupations, and accompany him 
to the busier scenes of the camp. His persuasions 
were successful, and Francesco entered with him 
into the service of Facino Cane, Lord of Alessan- 
dria. At the time when Facino died, leaving 
fourteen cities acquired by conquest to Beatrice 
di Tenda, his wife, Francesco di Carmagnola was 
amongst the most distinguished of his captains. 
Beatrice afterwards marrying Philip Visconti, Duke 
of Milan, (who rewarded her by an ignominious 
death for the regal dowery she had conferred upon 
him,) Carmagnola entered his army at the same 
time; and having, by his eminent services, firmly 
established the tottering power of that prince, 
received from him the title of Count, and was 
placed at the head of all his forces. The natural 
caprice and ingratitude of Philip's disposition, 
however, at length prevailed; and Carmaguola, 
disgusted with the evident proof of his wavering 
friendship and doubtful faith, left his service and 
his territories, and after a variety of adventures 



took refuge in Venice. Thither the treachery oi 
the Duke pursued him, and emissaries were 
employed to procure his assassination. The plot, 
however, proved abortive, and Carmagnola was 
elected captain-general of the Venetian armies, 
during the league formed by that republic against 
the Duke of Milan. The war was at first carried 
on with much spirit and success, and the battle 
of Maclodio, gained by Carmagnola, was one of 
the most important and decisive actions of those 
times. The night after the combat, the victorious 
soldiers gave liberty to almost all their prisoners. 
The Venetian envoys having made a complaint 
on this subject to the Count, he inquired what 
was become of the captives ; and upon being in- 
formed that all, except four hundred, had been 
set free, ho gave orders that the remaining ones 
also should be released immediately, according to 
the custom which prevailed amongst the armies 
of those days, the object of which was to prevent 
a speedy termination of the war. This proceed- 
ing of Carmagnola's occasioned much distrust and 
irritation in the minds of the Venetian rulers; 
and their displeasure was increased when the 
armada of the Republic, commanded by II Trevi- 
sani, was defeated upon the Po, without any 
attempt in its favour having been made by the 
Count. The failure of their attempt upon Cre- 
mona was also imputed to him as a crime ; and 
the Senate, resolving to free themselves from a 
powerful chief, now become an object of suspi- 
cion, after many deliberations on the best method 
of carrying their designs into effect, at length 
determined to invite him to Venice, under pre- 
tence of consulting him on their negotiations for 
peace. He obeyed their summons without hesi- 
tation or mistrust, and was every where received 
with extraordinary honours during the course of 
his journey. On his arrival at Venice, and before 
he entered his own house, eight gentlemen were 
sent to meet him, by whom he was escorted to 
St Mark's Place. When he was introduced into 
the ducal palace, his attendants were dismissed, 
and informed that he would be in private with 
the Doge for a considerable tune. He was 
arrested in the palace, then examined by the 
Secret Council, put to the torture, which a wound 
he had received in the service of the Republic 
rendered still more agonising, and condemned to 
death. On the 5th May 1432 he was conducted 
to execution, with his mouth gagged, and be- 
headed between the two columns of St Mark's 
Place. With regard to the innocence or guilt 
of this distinguished character, there exists no 



126 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



authentic information. The author of the tragedy, 
which we. are about to analyse, has chosen to 
represent him as entirely innocent, and probabi- 
lity at least is on this side. It is possible, that 
the haughtiness of an aspiring warrior, accustomed 
to command, and impatient of control, might 
have been the principal cause of offence to the 
Venetians ; or perhaps their jealousy was excited 
by his increasing power over the minds of an 
obedient army; and, not considering it expedient 
to displace him, they resolved upon his destruc- 
tion. 

This tragedy, which is formed upon the model 
of the English and German drama, comprises the 
history of Carmagnola's life, from the day on 
which he was made commander of the Venetian 
armies to that of his execution, thus embracing 
a period of about seven years. The extracts we 
are about to present to our readers, will enable 
them to form their own opinion of a piece which 
has excited so much attention in Italy. The first 
act opens in Venice, in the hall of the Senate. 
The Doge proposes that the Count di Carmagnola 
ehould be consulted on the projected league be- 
tween the Republic and the Florentines, against 
the Duke of Milan. To this all agree : and the 
Count is introduced. He begins by justifying 
his conduct from the imputations to which it 
might be liable, in consequence of his appearing 
as the enemy of the Prince whom he had so 
recently served : 

He cast me down 

From the high place my blood had dearly won; 

And when I sought his presence, to appeal 

For justice there, 'twas vain ! My foes had form'd 

Around his throne a barrier : e'en my life 

Became the mark of hatred ; but in this 

Their hopes have fail'd I gave them not the tune. 

My life ! I stand prepared to yield it up 

On the proud field, and hi some noble cause 

For glory well exchanged ; but not a prey, 

Not to be caught ignobly in the toils 

Of those I scorn. I left him, and obtain'd 

With you a place of refuge ; yet e'en here 

His snares were cast around me. Now all ties 

Are broke between us; to an open foe, 

An open foe I come. 

He then gives counsel in favour of war, and 
retires, leaving the Senate engaged in delibera- 
tion. War is resolved upon, and he is elected 
commander. The fourth scene represents the 
house of Carmagnola, His soliloquy is noble; 



but its character is much more that of English 
than of Italian poetry, and may be traced, with- 
out difficulty, to the celebrated monologue of 
Hamlet 

A leader or a fugitive ] To drag 

Slow years along in idle vacancy, 

As a worn veteran living on the fame 

Of former deeds to offer humble prayers 

And blessings for protection owing all 

Yet left me of existence to the might 

Of other swords, dependent on some arm 

Which soon may cast me off; or on the field 

To breathe once more, to feel the tide of life 

Rush proudly through my veins to hail again 

My lofty star, and at the trumpet's voice 

To wake ! to rule ! to conquer ! Which must be 

My fate, this hour decides. And yet, if peace 

Should be the choice of Venice, shall I cling 

Still poorly to ignoble safety here, 

Secluded as a homicide, who cowers 

Within a temple's precincts 1 Shall not he 

Who made a kingdom's fate, control his own ! 

Is there not one among the many lords 

Of this divided Italy not one 

With soul enough to envy that bright crown 

Encircling Philip's head ] And know they not 

'Twas won by me from many a tyrant's grasp, 

Snatch'd by my hand, and placed upon the brow 

Of that ingrate, from whom my spirit burns 

Again to wrest it, and bestow the prize 

On him who best shall call the prowess forth 

Which slumbers in my arm 1 

Marco, a senator, and a friend of the Count, 
now arrives, and announces to him that war is 
resolved upon, and that he is appointed to the 
command of the armies, at the same time advis- 
ing him to act with caution towards his enemies 
in the Republic. 

Car. Think'st thou I know not whom to deem 

my foes ? 
Ay, I could number all. 

Mar. And know'st thou, too, [art 

What fault hath made them suchl Tis that thou 
So high above them : 'tis that thy disdain 
Doth meet them undisguised. As yet not one 
Hath done thee wrong: but who, when so resolved, 
Finds not his tune to injure 1 In thy thoughts, 
Save when they cross thy path, no place is theirs; 
But they remember thee. The high in soul 
Scorn and forget ; but to the grovelling heart 
There is delight hi hatred. Rouse it not ; 



IL CONTE DI CARMAGNOLA. 



127 



Subdue it, while the power is yet thine own. 
I counsel no vile arts, from which my soul 
Revolts indignantly thou know'st it well : 
But there is yet a wisdom, not unmeet 
For the most lofty nature, there is power 
Of winning meaner minds, without descent 
From the high spirit's glorious eminence, 
And would'st thou seek that magic, it were thine. 

The first scene of the second act represents 
part of the Duke of Milan's camp near Maclodio. 
Malatesti, the commander-in-chief, and Pergola, a 
Condottiere of great distinction, are deliberating 
upon the state of the war. Pergola considers it 
imprudent to give battle, Malatesti is of a con- 
trary opinion. They are joined by Sforza and 
Fortebraccio, who are impatient for action, and 
Torello, who endeavours to convince them of its 
inexpediency. 

Sfo. Torello, didst thou mark the ardent soul 
Which fires each soldier's eye 1 

Tor, I mark'd it well. 

I heard th' impatient shout, th' exulting voice 
Of Hope and Courage ; and I turn'd aside, 
That on my brow the warrior might not read 
Th' involuntary thought whose sudden gloom 
Had cast deep shadows there. It was a thought, 
That this vain semblance of delusive joy 
Soon like a dream shall fade. It was a thought 
On wasted valour doom'd to perish here. 

For these what boots it to disguise the truth? 
These are no wars in which, for all things loved, 
And precious, and revered for all the ties 
Clinging around the heart for those whose smile 
Makes home so lovely for his native land, 
And for its laws, the patriot soldier fights ! 
These are no wars in which the chieftain's aim 
Is but to station his devoted bands, 
And theirs, thus fix'd to die ! It is our fate 
To lead a hireling train, whose spirits breathe 
Fury, not fortitude. With burning hearts 
They rush where Victory, smiling, waves them on ; 
But if delay'd, if between flight and death 
Pausing they stand is there no cause to doubt 
What choice were theirs ? And but too well our 

hearts 

That choice might here foresee. Oh ! evil times, 
When for the leader care augments, the more 
Bright glory fades away ! Yet once again, 
This is no field for us. 

After various debates, Malatesti resolves to 



attack the enemy. The fourth and fifth scenes 
of the second act represent the tent of the Count 
in the Venetian camp, and his preparations for 
battle. And here a magnificent piece of lyric 
poetry is introduced, in which the battle is de- 
scribed, and its fatal effects lamented with all the 
feeling of a patriot and a Christian. It appears 
to us, however, that this ode, hymn, or chorus as 
the author has entitled it, striking as its effect 
may be in a separate recitation, produces a much 
less powerful impression in the situation it occu- 
pies at present. It is even necessary, in order to 
appreciate its singular beauty, that it should be 
re-perused, as a thing detached from the tragedy. 
The transition is too violent, in our opinion, from 
a tragic action, in which the characters are repre- 
sented as clothed with existence, and passing be- 
fore us with all their contending motives and 
feelings laid open to our inspection, to the com- 
parative coldness of a lyric piece, where the 
author's imagination expatiates alone. The poet 
may have been led into this error by a definition 
of Schlegel's, who, speaking of the Greek choruses, 
gives it as his opinion, that " the chorus is to be 
considered as a personification of the moral 
thoughts inspired by the action as the organ of 
the poet, who speaks in the name of the whole 
human race. The chorus, in short, is the ideal 
spectator." 

But the fact was not exactly thus. The Greek 
chorus was composed of real characters, and ex- 
pressed the sentiments of the people before whose 
eyes the action was imagined to be passing : thus 
the true spectator, after witnessing in represen- 
tation the triumphs or misfortunes of kings and 
heroes, heard from the chorus the idea supposed 
to be entertained on the subject by the more en- 
lightened part of the multitude. If the author, 
availing himself of his talent for lyric poetry, and 
varying the measure in conformity to the subject, 
had brought his chorus into action introducing, 
for example, a veteran looking down upon the 
battle from an eminence, and describing its vicis- 
situdes to the persons below, with whom he might 
interchange a variety of national and moral reflec- 
tions it appears to us that the dramatic effect 
would have been considerably heightened, and 
the assertion that the Greek chorus is not com- 
patible with the system of the modern drama 
possibly disapproved. We shall present our 
readers with the entire chorus of which we have 
spoken, as a piece to be read separately, and one 
to which the following title would be much more 
appropriate. 



128 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



The Battle of Maclodio (or Macalo.) An Ode. 

Hark ! from the right bursts forth a trumpet's 

sound, 

A loud shrill trumpet from the left replies ! 
On every side hoarse echoes from the ground 
To the quick tramp of steeds and warriors rise, 
Hollow and deep and banners, all around, 
Meet hostile banners waving to the skies ; 
Here steel-clad bands in marshall'd order shine, 
And there a host confronts their glittering line. 

Lo ! half the field already from the sight 
Hath vanish'd, hid by closing groups of foes ! 
Swords crossing swords flash lightning o'er the 

fight, 

And the strife deepens and the life-blood flows ! 
Oh ! who are these ? What stranger in his might 
Comes bursting on the lovely land's repose 1 
What patriot hearts have nobly vow'd to save 
Their native soil, or make its dust their grave ? 

One race, alas ! these foes one kindred race, 
Were born and rear'd the same fair scenes among! 
The stranger calls them brothers and each face 
That brotherhood reveals ; one common tongue 
Dwells on their lips the earth on which we trace 
Their heart's blood is the soil from whence they 

sprung. 

One mother gave them birth this chosen land, 
Circled with Alps and seas by Nature's guardian 

hand. 

Oh, grief and horror ! who the first could dare 
Against a brother's breast the sword to wield ? 
What cause unhallow'd and accursed, declare, 
Hath bathed with carnage this ignoble field? 
Think'st thou they know 1 they but inflict and 

share 

Misery and death, the motive unreveal'd ! 
Sold to a leader, sold himsdf to die, 
With him they strive they fall and ask not 

why. 

But are there none who love them ? Have they 

none 

No wives, no mothers, who might rush between, 
And win with tears the husband and the son 
Back to his home, from this polluted scene 1 
And they whose hearts, when life's bright day is 

done, 

Unfold to thoughts more solemn and serene, 
Thoughts of the tomb why cannot they assuage 
The storms of passion with the voice of age ] 



Ask not ! the peasant at his cabin-door 
Sits calmly pointing to the distant cloud 
Which skirts th' horizon, menacing to pour 
Destruction down o'er fields he hath not plough' d. 
Thus, where no echo of the battle's roar 
Is heard afar, even thus the reckless crowd 
In tranquil safety number o'er the slain, 
Or tell of cities burning on the plain. 

There mayst thou mark the boy, with earnest gaze 
Fix'd on his mother's lips, intent to know, 
By names of insult, those whom future days 
Shall see him meet in arms, their deadliest foe. 
There proudly many a glittering dame displays 
Bracelet and zone, with radiant gems that glow, 
By lovers, husbands, home in triumph borne, 
From the sad brides of fallen warriors torn. 

Woe to the victors and the vanquish'd ! woe ! 
The earth is heap'd, is loaded with the slain ; 
Loud and more loud the cries of fury grow 
A sea of blood is swelling o'er the plain. 
But from th' embattled front, already, lo ! 
A band recedes it flies all hope is vain, 
And venal hearts, despairing of the strife, 
Wake to the love, the clinging love of life. 

As the light grain disperses in the air, 
Borne from the winnowing by the gales around, 
Thus fly the vanquish'd in their wild despair, 
Chased, sever'd, scatter'd, o'er the ample ground. 
But mightier bands, that lay in ambush there, 
Burst on their flight; and hark ! the deepening sound 
Of fierce pursuit ! still nearer and more near, 
The rush of war-steeds trampling in the rear. 

The day is won ! They fall disarm'd they yield, 
Low at the conqueror's feet all suppliant lying ! 
Midst shouts of victory pealing o'er the field, 
Ah ! who may hear the murmurs of the dying ? 
Haste ! let the tale of triumph be reveal'd ! 
E'en now the courier to his steed is flying, 
He spurs he speeds with tidings of the day, 
To rouse up cities in his lightning way. 

Why pour ye forth from your deserted homes, 
eager multitudes ! around him pressing 1 
Each hurrying where his breathless courser foams, 
Each tongue, each eye, infatuate hope confessing ! 
Know ye not whence th' ill-omen'd herald comes, 
And dare ye dream he comes with words of bless- 
ing 1 ? 

Brothers, by brothers slain, lie low and cold, 
Be ye content ! the glorious tale is told. 



IL CONTE DI CARMAGNOLA. 



129 



I hear the voice of joy, th' exulting cry ! 
They deck the shrine, they swell the choral strains : 
E'en now the homicides assail the sky 
With paeans, which, indignant heaven disdains ! 
But from the soaring Alps the stranger's eye 
Looks watchful down on our ensanguined plains, 
And, with the cruel rapture of a foe, 
Numbers the mighty, stretch'd in death below. 

Haste ! form your lines again, ye brave and true ! 
Haste, haste ! your triumphs and your joys sus- 
pending. 

Th' invader comes : your banners raise anew, 
Rush to the strife, your country's call attending ! 
Victors ! why pause ye ] Are ye weak and few? 
Ay ! such he deem'd you, and for this descending, 
He waits you on the field ye know too well, 
The same red war-field where your brethren fell. 

thou devoted land ! that canst not rear 
In peace thine offspring ; thou, the lost and won, 
The fair and fatal soil, that dost appear 
Too narrow still for each contending son ; 
Receive the stranger, in his fierce career 
Parting thy spoils ! Thy chastening is begun ! 
And, wresting from thy kings the guardian sword, 
Foes whom thou ne'er hadst wrong'd sit proudly 
at thy board. 

Are these infatuate too ! Oh ! who hath known 
A people e'er by guilt's vain triumph blest ? 
The wrong' d, the vanquish'd, suffer not alone, 
Brief is that joy that swells th' oppressor's breast. 
What though not yet his day of pride be flown, 
Though yet heaven's vengeance spare his haughty 

crest, 

Well hath it mark'd him and decreed the hour, 
When his last sigh shall own the terror of its power. 

Are we not creatures of one hand divine, 
Form'd in one mould, to one redemption born ? 
Kindred alike where'er our skies may shine, 
Where'er our sight first drank the vital morn ? 
Brothers ! one bond around our souls should twine, 
And woe to him by whom that bond is torn ! 
Who mounts by trampling broken hearts to earth, 
Who bows down spirits of immortal birth ! 

The third act, which passes entirely in the tent 
of the Count, is composed of long discourses be- 
tween Carmagnola and the Venetian envoys. One 
of these requires him to pursue the fugitives after 
his victory, which he haughtily refuses to do, 
declaring that he will not leave the field until he 



has gained possession of the surrounding fortresses. 
Another complains that the Condottieri and the 
soldiers have released their prisoners, to which 
he replies, that it is an established military cus- 
tom ; and, sending for the remaining four hundred 
captives, he gives them their liberty also. This 
act, which terminates with the suspicious observa- 
tions of the envoys on Carmagnola's conduct, is 
rather barren of interest, though the episode of 
the younger Pergola, which we shall lay before 
our readers, is happily imagined. 

As the prisoners are departing, the Count ob- 
serves the younger Pergola, and stops him. 

Car. Thou art not, youth ! 
One to be number'd with the vulgar crowd. 
Thy garb, and more, thy towering mien, would speak 
Of nobler parentage. Yet with the rest 
Thou minglest, and art silent ! 

Per. Silence best, 

chief ! befits the vanquish'd. 
Car. Bearing up 

Against thy fate thus proudly, thou art proved 
Worthy a better star. Thy name 1 

Per. 'Tis one 

Whose heritage doth impose no common task 
On him that bears it ; one which to adorn 
With brighter blazonry were hard emprise : 
My name is Pergola. 

Car. And art thou, then, 
That warrior's son ! 

Per. I am. 

Car. Approach ! embrace 
Thy father's early friend ! What thou art now 

1 was when first we met. Oh ! thou dost bring 
Back on my heart remembrance of the days, 
The young, and joyous, and adventurous days, 
Of hope and ardour. And despond not thou ! 
My dawn, 'tis true, with brighter omens smiled, 
But still fair Fortune's glorious promises 

Are for the brave ; and, though delay'd awhile, 
She soon or late fulfils them. Youth ! salute 
Thy sire for me ; and say, though not of thee 
I ask'd it, yet my heart is well assured 
He counsell'd not this battle. 

Per. Oh ! he gave 

Far other counsels, but his fruitless words 
Were spoken to the winds. 

Car. Lament thou not. 

Upon his chieftain's head the shame will rest 
Of this defeat ; and he who firmly stood 
Fix'd at his post of peril hath begun 
A soldier's race full nobly. Follow me, 
I will restore thy sword. 



130 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



The fourth act is occupied by the machinations 
of the Count's enemies at Venice ; and the jealous 
and complicated policy of that Republic, and the 
despotic authority of the Council of Ten, are skil- 
fully developed in many of the scenes. 

The first scene of the fifth act opens at Venice 
in the hall of the Council of Ten. Cannagnola is 
consulted by the Doge on the terms of peace 
offered by the Duke of Milan. His advice is re- 
ceived with disdain, and, after various insults, he 
is accused of treason. His astonishment and in- 
dignation at this unexpected charge are expressed 
with all the warmth and simplicity of innocence. 

Car. A traitor ! I ! that name of infamy 
Reaches not me. Let him the title bear 
Who best deserves such meed it is not mine. 
Call me a dupe, and I may well submit, 
For such my part is here ; yet would I not 
Exchange that name, for 'tis the worthiest still. 
A traitor ! I retrace in thought the time 
When for your cause I fought ; 'tis all one path 
Strew'd o'er with flowers. Point out the day on 

which 

A traitor's deeds were mine ; the day which pass'd 
Unmark'd by thanks, and praise, and promises 
Of high reward ! What more ? Behold me here ! 
And when I came to seeming honour call'd, 
When in my heart most deeply spoke the voice 
Of love, and grateful zeal, and trusting faith 
Of trusting faith ! Oh, no ! Doth he who comes 
Th' invited guest of friendship dream of faith ? 
I came to be ensnared ! Well ! it is done, 
And be it so ! but since deceitful hate 
Hath thrown at length her smiling mask aside, 
Praise be to heaven ! an open field at least 
Is spread before us. Now 'tis yours to speak, 
Mine to defend my cause ; declare ye then 
My treasons ! 

Doge. By the secret college soon 
All shall be told thee. 

Car. I appeal not there. 

What I have done for you hath all been done 
In the bright noonday, and its tale shall not 
Be told in darkness. Of a warrior's deeds 
Warriors alone should judge ; and such I choose 
To be mine arbiters my proud defence 
Shall not be made in secret. All shall hear. 

Doge. The time for choice is past. 

Car. What ! Is there force 
Employ'd against me? Guards ! (raisinghis voice.) 

Doge. They are not nigh. 
Soldiers ! (enter armed men.) Thy guards are these. 

Car. I am betray'd ! 



Doge. 'Twas then a thought of wisdom to disperse 
Thy followers. Well and justly was it deem'd 
That the bold traitor, in his plots surprised, 
Might prove a rebel too. 

Car. E'en as ye list. 
Now be it yours to charge me. 

Doge. Bear him hence, 
Before the secret college. 

Car. Hear me yet 

One moment first. That ye have doom'd my death 
I well perceive ; but with that death ye doom 
Your own eternal shame. Far o'er these towers, 
Beyond its ancient bounds, majestic floats 
The banner of the Lion, in its pride 
Of conquering power, and well doth Europe know 
/ bore it thus to empire. Here, 'tis true, 
No voice will speak men's thoughts ; but far beyond 
The limits of your sway, in other scenes, 
Where that still, speechless terror hath not reach'd, 
Which is your sceptre's attribute, my deeds 
And your reward will live in chronicles 
For ever to endure. Yet, yet, respect 
Your annals, and the future ! Ye will need 
A warrior soon, and who will then be yours ? 
Forget not, though your captive now I stand, 
I was not born your subject. No ! my birth 
Was midst a warlike people, one in soul, 
And watchful o'er its rights, and used to deem 
The honour of each citizen its own. 
Think ye this outrage will be there unheard ? 
There is some treachery here. Our common foes 
Have urged you on to this. Full well ye know 
I have been faithful still. There yet is time. 

Doge. The time is past. When thou didst meditate 
Thy guilt, and in thy pride of heart defy 
Those destined to chastise it; then the hour 
Of foresight should have been. 

Car. mean in soul ! 

And dost thou dare to think a warrior's breast 
For worthless life can tremble ? Thou shalt soon 
Learn how to die. Go ! When the hour of fate 
On thy vile couch o'ertakes thee, thou wilt meet 
Its summons with far other mien than such 
As I shall bear to ignominious death. 



SCENE II. The House of Carmagnola. 
ANTONIETTA, MATILDA. 

Mat . The hours fly fast, the morn is risen, and yet 
My father comes not ! 

Ant. Ah ! thou hast not learn'dv 
By sad experience, with how slow a pace 
Joys ever come ; expected long, and oft 



IL CONTE DI CARMAGNOLA, 



Deceiving expectation ! while the steps 
Of grief o'ertake us ere we dream them nigh. 
But night is past, the long and lingering hours 
Of hope deferr'd are o'er, and those of bliss 
Must soon succeed. A few short moments more, 
And he is with us. E'en from this delay 
I augur well. A council held so long 
Must be to give us peace. He will be ours. 
Perhaps for years our own. 

Mat. mother ! thus 

My hopes too whisper. Nights enough in tears, 
And days in all the sickness of suspense, 
Our anxious love hath pass'd. It is full time 
That each sad moment, at each rumour'd tale, 
Each idle murmur of the people's voice, 
We should not longer tremble, that no more 
This thought should haunt our souls E'en now, 

perchance, 
He for whom thus your hearts are yearning dies ! 

A nt. Oh ! fearful thought but vain and dis- 
tant now ! 

Each joy, my daughter, must be bought with grief. 
Hast thou forgot the day when, proudly led 
In triumph midst the noble and the brave, 
Thy glorious father to the temple bore 
The banners won in battle from his foes ] 

Mat. A day to be remember'd ! 

Ant. By his side 

Each seem'd inferior. Every breath of air 
Swell'd with his echoing name ; and vre, the while 
Station'd on high and sever"d from the throng, 
Grazed on that one who drew the gaze of all, 
While, with the tide of rapture half o'erwhelm'd, 
Our hearts beat high, and whisper' d "We are his." 

Mat. Moments of joy! 

Ant. What have we done, my child, 
To merit such 1 Heaven, for so high a fate, 
Chose us from thousands, and upon thy brow 
Inscribed a lofty name a name so bright, 
That he to whom thou bear'st the gift, whate'er 
His race, may boast it proudly. What a mark 
For envy is the glory of our lot ! 
And we should weigh its joys against these hours 
Of fear and sorrow. 

Mat. They ate past e'en now. [hush'd ! 

Hark ! 'twas the sound of oars ! it swells 'tis 
The gates unclose. mother ! I behold 
A warrior clad in mail he comes, 'tis he ! 

Ant. Whom should it be if not himself? my 
husband ! (She comes forward.) 

(Enter GOXZAGA and others.) 

Ant. Gonzaga ! Where is he we look'd for] 
Where] 



Thou answer'st not ! Oh, heaven ! thy looks are 

fraught 
With prophecies of woe ! 

Gon. Alas ! too true 
The omens they reveal ! 

Mat. Of woe to whom ] 

Gon. Oh ! why hath such a task of bitterness 
Fallen to my lot ? 

Ant. Thou wouldst be pitiful, 
And thou art cruel. Close this dread suspense ; 
Speak ! I adjure thee,'in the name of God ! 
Where is my husband ] 

Gon. Heaven sustain your souls 
With fortitude to bear the tale ! My chief 

Mat. Is he return'd unto the field ] 

Gon. Alas ! 

Thither the warrior shall return no more. 
The senate's wrath is on him. He is now 
A prisoner ! 

Ant. He is a prisoner ! and for what ? 

Gon. He is accused of treason. 

Mat. Treason ! He 
A traitor ! Oh ! my father ! 

Ant. Haste ! proceed, 

And pause no more. Our hearts are nerved for all. 
Say, \vhat shall be his sentence ] 

Gon. From my lips 
It shall not be reveal'd. 

Ant. Oh ! he is slain ! 

Gon. He lives, but yet his doom is fix'd. 

Ant. He lives ! 

Weep not, my daughter ! 'tis the time to act. 
For pity's sake, Gonzaga, be thou not 
Wearied of our afflictions. Heaven to thee 
Intrusts the care of two forsaken ones. 
He was thy friend ah ! haste, then, be our guide ; 
Conduct us to his judges. Come, my child ! 
Poor innocent, come with me. There yet is left 
Mercy upon the earth. Yes ! they themselves 
Are husbands, they are fathers ! When they sign'd 
The fearful sentence, they remember'd not 
He was a father and a husband too. 
But when their eyes behold the agony [melt : 
One word of theirs hath caused, their hearts will 
They will, they must revoke it. Oh ! the sight 
Of mortal woe is terrible to man ! 
Perhaps the warrior's lofty soul disdain'd 
To vindicate his deeds, or to recall 
His triumphs won for them. It is for us 
To wake each high remembrance. Ah ! we know 
That he implored not, but our knees shall bend, 
And we will pray. 

Gon. Oh, heaven ! that I could leave 
Tour hearts one ray of hope ! There is no ear, 



132 



ITALIAN LITERA TURE. 



No place for prayers. The judges here are deaf, 

Implacable, unknown. The thunderbolt 

Falls heavy, and the hand by which 'tis launch'd 

Is veil'd in clouds. There is one comfort still, 

The sole sad comfort of a parting hour, 

I come to bear. Ye may behold him yet. 

The moments fly. Arouse your strength of heart. 

Oh ! fearful is the trial, but the God 

Of mourners will be with you. 

Mat. Is there not 
One hope 1 

Ant. Alas ! my child ! 

SCEXE IV. A Prison. 
CABMAOVOLA. 

They must have heard it now. Oh ! that at least 
I might have died far from them ! Though their 

hearts 

Had bled to hear the tidings, yet the hour, 
The solemn hour of nature's parting pangs 
Had then been past. It meets us darkly now, 
And we must drain its draught of bitterness 
Together, drop by drop. ye wide fields, 
Ye plains of fight, and thrilling sounds of arms ! 

proud delights of danger ! Battle-cries, 
And thou, my war-steed ! and ye trumpet-notes 
Kindling the soul ! Midst your tumultuous joys 
Death seem'd all beautiful. And must I then, 
With shrinking cold reluctance, to my fate 

Be dragg'd, e'en as a felon, on the winds 
Pouring vain prayers and impotent complaints ? 
And Marco ! hath he not betray'd me too ? 
Vile doubt ! That I could cast it from my soul 
Before I die ! But no ! What boots it now 
Thus to look back on life with eye that turns 
To linger where my footstep may not tread ] 
Now, Philip ! thou wilt triumph ! Be it so ! 

1 too have proved such vain and impious joys, 
And know their value now. But oh ! again 
To see those loved ones, and to hear the last, 
Last accents of their voices ! By those arms 
Once more to be encircled, and from thence 

To tear myself for ever ! Hark ! they come ! 
God of mercy, from thy throne look down 
In pity on their woes ! 



SCENE V. 

AXTONIETTA, MATILDA, GOXZAGA, and 

CARMAGXOLA. 
Ant. My husband ! 



Mat. my father ! 

Ant. Is it thus 

That thou returnest ? and is this the hour 
Desired so long ! 

Car. ye afflicted ones ! 

Heaven knows I dread its pangs for you alone. 
Long have my thoughts bcenusedtolookon Death, 
And calmly wait his time. For you alone 
My soul hath need of firmness ; will ye, then, 
Deprive me of its aid ? When the Most High 
On virtue pours afflictions, he bestows 
The courage to sustain them. Oh ! let yours 
Equal your sorrows ! Let us yet find joy 
In this embrace : 'tis still a gift of heaven. 
Thou weep'st, my child ! and thou, beloved wife ! 
Ah ! when I made thee mine, thy days flow'd on 
In peace and gladness ; I united thee 
To my disastrous fate, and now the thought 
Embitters death ! Oh ! that I had not seen 
The woes I cause thee ! 

Ant. Husband of my youth ! [bright, 

Of my bright days, thou who didst make them 
Piead thou my heart ! the pangs of death are there, 
And yet e'en now I would not but be thine. 

Car. Full well I know how much I lose in thee ; 
Oh ! make me not too deeply feel it now. 

Mat. The homicides ! 

Car. No, sweet Matilda, no ! 
Let no dark thought of rage or vengeance rise 
To cloud thy gentle spirit, and disturb 
These moments they are sacred. Yes ! my wrongs 
Are deep, but thou, forgive them, and confess, 
That, e'en midst all the fulness of our woe, 
High, holy joy remains. Death ! death ! our foes, 
Our most relentless foes, can only speed 
Th' inevitable hour. Oh ! man hath not 
Invented death for man ; it would be then 
Madd'ning and insupportable : from heaven 
'Tis sent, and heaven doth temper all its pangs 
With such blest comfort as no mortal power 
Can give or take away. My wife ! my child ! 
Hear my last words they wring your bosoms now 
With agony, but yet, some future day, 
'Twill soothe you to recall them. Live, my wife ! 
Sustain thy grief, and live ! this ill-starr'd girl 
Must not be reft of all. Fly swiftly hence, 
Conduct her to thy kindred : she is theirs, 
Of their own blood and they so loved thee once ! 
Then, to their foe united, thou becamest 
Less dear ; for feuds and wrongs made warring 

sounds 

Of Carmagnola's and Visconti's names. 
But to their bosoms thou wilt now return 
A mourner ; and the object of their hate 



CAWS GRACCHUS. 



133 



"Will be no more. Oh ! there is joy in death ! 

And thou, my flower ! that, midst the din of arms, 

"\Vert born to cheer my soul, thy lovely head 

Droops to the earth ! Alas ! the tempest's rage 

Is on thee now. Thou tremblest, and thy heart 

Can scarce contain the heavings of its woe. 

I feel thy burning tears upon my breast 

I feel, and cannot dry them. Dost thou claim 

Pity from me, Matilda ] Oh ! thy sire 

Hath now no power to aid thee, but thou know"st 

That the forsaken have a Father still 

On high. Confide in Him, and live to days 

Of peace, if not of joy ; for such to thee 

He surely destines. Wherefore hath He pour'd 

The torrent of affliction on thy youth, 

If to thy future years be not reserved 

All His benign compassion ! Live ! and soothe 

Thy suffering mother. May she to the arms 

Of no ignoble consort lead thee still ! 

Gonzaga ! take the hand which thou hast press'd 

Oft in the morn of battle, when our hearts 

Had cause to doubt if we should meet at eve. 

Wilt thou yet press it, pledging me thy faith 

To guide and guard these mourners, till they join 

Their friends and kindred \ 

Gon. Rest assured, I will. 

Car. I am content. And if, when this is done, 
Thou to the field returnest, there for me 
Salute my brethren ; tell them that I died 
Guiltless ; thou hast been witness of my deeds, 
Hast read my inmost thoughts and know'st it 

well. 

Tell them I never with a traitor's shame 
Stain'd my bright sword. Oh, never ! I myself 
Have been ensnared by treachery. Think of me 
When trumpet-notes are stirring every heart, 
And banners proudly waving in the air, 
Think of thine ancient comrade ! And the day 
Following the combat, when upon the field, 
Amidst the deep and solemn harmony 
Of dirge and hymn, the priest of funeral rites, 
With lifted hands, is offering for the slain 
His sacrifice to heaven ; forget me not ! 
For I, too, hoped upon the battle-plain 
E'en so to die. 

Ant. Have mercy on us, heaven ! 

Car. My wife ! Matilda ! Xow the hour is nigh, 
And we must part. Farewell ! 

Mat. Xo, father ! no ! * [and then 

Car. Come to this breast yet, yet once more, 
For pity's sake depart ! 

Ant. No ! force alone 
Shall tear xis hence. 

(A sound of arms is heard.) 



Mat. Hark ! what dread sound ! 
Ant. Great God ! 

(The door is half opened, and armed men 
enter, the chief of u-hom advances to 
the Count. His wife and daughter 
fall senseless.) 

Car. God ! I thank thee. most merciful ! 
Thus to withdraw their senses from the pangs 
Of this dread moment's conflict ! 

Thou, my friend, 

Assist them, bear them from this scene of woe, 
And tell them, when their eyes again unclose 
To meet the day that naught is left to fear. 

Notwithstanding the pathetic beauties of the 
last act, the attention which this tragedy has ex- 
cited in Italy must be principally attributed to 
the boldness of the author in so completely eman- 
cipating himself from the fetters of the dramatic 
unities. The severity with which the tragic poets 
of that country have, in general, restricted them- 
selves to those rules has been sufficiently remark- 
able to obtain, at least, temporary distinction for 
the courage of the writer who should attempt to 
violate them. Although this piece comprises a 
period of several years, and that, too, in days so 
troubled and so " full of fate " days in which the 
deepest passions and most powerful energies of 
the human mind were called into action by the 
strife of conflicting interests there is, neverthe- 
less, as great a deficiency of incident, as if " to be 
born and die" made all the history of aspiring 
natures contending for supremacy. The character 
of the hero is portrayed in words, not in actions ; 
it does not unfold itself in any struggle of opposite 
feelings and passions, and the interest excited for 
him only commences at the moment when it ought 
to have reached its climax. The merits of the 
piece may be summed up in the occasional energy 
of the language and dignity of the thoughts ; and 
the truth with which the spirit of the age is cha- 
racterised, as well in the development of that 
suspicious policy distinguishing the system of the 
Venetian government, as in the pictures of the 
fiery Condottieri, holding their councils of war 

" Jealous of honour, sudden and quick in quarrel." 



CAIUS GRACCHUS. 

A TRAGEDY, 
BY MOXTI. 

THIS tragedy, though inferior in power and 



134 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



interest to the Aristodemo of the same author, is 
nevertheless distinguished by beauties of a high 
order, and such as, in our opinion, fully establish 
its claims to more general attention than it has 
hitherto received. Although the loftiness and 
severity of Roman manners, in the days of the 
Republic, have been sufficiently preserved to give 
an impressive character to the piece, yet those 
workings of passion and tenderness without 
which dignity soon becomes monotonous, and 
heroism unnatural have not been (as in the tra- 
gedies of Alfieri upon similar subjects) too rigidly 
suppressed. 

The powerful character of the high-hearted 
Cornelia, with all the calm collected majesty which 
our ideas are wont to associate with the name of 
a Roman matron, and the depth and sublimity 
of maternal affection more particularly belonging 
to the mother of the Gracchi, are beautifully con- 
trasted with the softer and more womanish feel- 
ings, the intense anxieties, the sensitive and pas- 
sionate attachment, embodied in the person of 
Sicinia, the wife of Gracchus. The appeals made 
by Gracchus to the people are full of majestic 
eloquence ; and the whole piece seems to be ani- 
mated by that restless and untameable spirit of 
freedom, whose immortalised struggles for ascen- 
dency give so vivid a colouring, sb exalted an 
interest, to the annals of the ancient republics. 

The tragedy opens with the soliloquy of Caius 
Gracchus, who is returned in secret to Rome, 
after having been employed in rebuilding Carthage, 
which Scipio had utterly demolished. 

Caius, in Rome behold thyself ! . The night 
Hath spread her favouring shadows o'er thy path : 
And thou, be strong, my country ! for thy son 
Gracchus is with thee ! All is hush'd around, 
And in deep slumber ; from the cares of day 
The worn plebeians rest. Oh ! good and true, 
And only Romans ! your repose is sweet, 
For toil hath given it zest ; 'tis calm and pure, 
For no remorse hath troubled it. Meanwhile, 
My brother's murderers, the patricians, hold 
Inebriate vigils o'er their festal boards, 
Or in dark midnight councils sentence me 
To death, and Rome to chains. They little deem 
Of the unlook'd-for and tremendous foe 
So near at hand ! It is enough. I tread 
In safety my paternal threshold. Yes ! 
This is my own ! mother ! my wife ! 
My child ! I come to dry your tears. I come 
Strengthen'd by three dread furies : One is wrath, 
Fired by my country's wrongs; and one deep love, 



For those, my bosom's inmates ; and the third 
Vengeance, fierce vengeance, for a brother's blood ! 

His soliloquy is interrupted by the entrance of 
Fulvius, his friend, with whose profligate charac- 
ter and unprincipled designs he is represented 
as unacquainted. From the opening speech made 
by Fulvius (before he is aware of the presence of 
Caius) to the slave by whom he is attended, it 
appears that he is just returned from the perpe- 
tration of some crime, the nature of which is not 
disclosed until the second act. 

The suspicions of Caius are, however, awakened, 
by the obscure allusions to some act of signal but 
secret vengeance, which Fulvius throws out in the 
course of the ensuing discussion. 

Fitl. This is no time for grief and feeble tears, 
But for high deeds. 

Caius. And we will make it such. [friends 

But prove we first our strength. Declare, what 
(If yet misfortune hath her friends) remain 
True to our cause 1 

Fid. Few, few, but valiant hearts ! 

Oh ! what a change is here ! There was a time 
When, over all supreme, thy word gave law 
To nations and their rulers ; in thy presence 
The senate trembled, and the citizens [word, 
Flock'd round thee in deep reverence. Then a 
A look from Caius a salute, a smile, [friend, 
Fill'd them with pride. Each sought to be the 
The client, ay, the very slave, of him, 
The people's idol ; and beholding them 
Thus prostrate in thy path, thou, thou thyself, 
Didst blush to see their vileness ! But thy fortune 
Is waning now, her glorious phantoms melt 
Into dim vapour ; and the earthly god, 
So worshipp'd once, from his forsaken shrines 
Down to the dust is hurl'd. 
Caius. And what of this ? 
There is no power in fortune to deprive 
Gracchus of Gracchus. Mine is such a heart 
As meets the storm exultingly a heart 
Whose stern delight it is to strive with fate, 
And conquer. Trust me, fate is terrible 
But because man is vile. A coward first 
Made her a deity. 

But say, what thoughts 
Are foster'd by the people 1 Have they lost 
The sense of their misfortunes 1 Is the name 
Of Gracchus in their hearts reveal the truth 
Already number'd with forgotten things] 



CAT US GRACCHUS. 



135 



Ful. A breeze, a passing breeze, now here, now 

there, 

Borne on light pinion such the people's love ! 
Yet have they claims on pardon, for their faults 
Are of their miseries : and their feebleness 
Is to their woes proportion'd. Haply still 
The secret sigh of their full hearts is thine. 
But their lips breathe it not. Their grief is mute; 
And the deep paleness of their timid mien, 
And eyes in fix'd despondence bent on earth, 
And sometimes a faint murmur of thy name, 
Alone accuse them. They are hush'd for now 
Not one, nor two, their tyrants ; but a host 
Whose numbers are the numbers of the rich, 
And the patrician Romans. Yes ! and well 
May proud oppression dauntlessly go forth, 
For Rome is widow'd ! Distant wars engage 
The noblest of her youth, by Fabius led, 
And but the weak remain. Hence every heart 
Sickens with voiceless terror ; and the people, 
Subdued and trembling, turn to thee in thought, 
But yet are silent. 

Caius. I will make them heard. 
Rome is a slumbering lion, and my voice 
Shall wake the mighty. Thou shalt see I came 
Prepared for all ; and as I track'd the deep 
For Rome, my dangers to my spirit grew 
Familiar in its musings. "With a voice [waves 
Of wrath the loud winds fiercely swell'd ; the 
Mutter'd around; heaven flash'd in lightning forth, 
And the pale steersman trembled : I the while 
Stood on the tossing and bewilder'd bark, 
Retired and shrouded in my mantle's folds, 
With thoughtful eyes cast down, and all absorb'd 
In a far deeper storm ! Around my heart, 
Gathering in secret then, my spirit's powers 
Held council with themselves; and on my thoughts 
My country rose, and I foresaw the snares, 
The treacheries of Opimius, and the senate, 
And my false friends, awaiting my return. 

Fulvius ! I wept ; but they were teard of rage ! 
For I was wrought to frenzy by the thought 
Of my wrong'd country, and of him, that brother 
Whose shade through ten long years hath sternly 

cried 
" Vengeance ! " nor found it yet. 

Ful. It is fulfill'd. 

Caius. And how ? 

Ful. Thou shalt be told. 

Caius. Explain thy words. 

Ful. Then know (incautious that I am !) 

Caius. Why thus 
Falters thy voice 1 Why speak'st thou not 1 



Ful. Forgive ! 
E'en friendship sometimes hath its secrets. 

Caius. No ! 
True friendship never ! 

Caius afterwards inquires what part his brother- 
in-law, Scipio Emilianus,'is likely to adopt in their 
enterprises. 

His high renown 

The glorious deeds, whereby was eam'd his name 
Of second Africanus ; and the bund, 
Deep reverence paid him by the people's hearts, 
Who, knowing him their foe, respect him still 
All this disturbs me : hardly will be won 
Our day of victory, if by him withstood. 

Ful. Yet won it shall be. If but this thou fear'st, 
Then be at peace. 

Caius. I understand thee not [waste 

Ful. Thou wilt ere long. But here we vainly 
Our tune and words. Soon, will the morning break, 
Nor know thy friends as yet of thy return ; 
I fly to cheer them with the tidings. 

Caius. Stay ! 

Ful. And wherefore 1 

Caius. To reveal thy meaning. 

Ful. Peace ! 
I hear the sound of steps. 

This conversation is interrupted by the entrance 
of Cornelia, with the wife and child of Caius. 
They are about to seek an asylum in the house 
of Emilianus, by whom Cornelia has been warned 
of the imminent danger which menaces the family 
of her son from the fury of the patricians, who 
intend, on the following day, to abrogate the laws 
enacted by the Gracchi in favour of the plebeians. 
The joy and emotion of Gracchus, on thus meet- 
ing with his family, may appear somewhat incon- 
sistent with his having remained so long engaged 
in political discussion, on the threshold of their 
abode, without ever having made an inquiry after 
their welfare ; but it would be somewhat unrea- 
sonable to try the conduct of a Roman (parti- 
cularly in a tragedy) by the laws of nature. Be- 
fore, however, we are disposed to condemn the 
principles which seem to be laid down for the 
delineation of Roman character in dramatic poetry, 
let us recollect that the general habits of the 
people whose institutions gave birth to the fearful 
grandeur displayed in the actions of the elder 
Brutus, and whose towering spirit was fostered to 
enthusiasm by the contemplation of it, must have 
been deeply tinctured by the austerity of even 



136 



ITALIAN LITERATURE. 



their virtues. Shakspeare alone, without com- 
promising the dignity of his Romans, has disen- 
cumbered them of the formal scholastic drapery 
which seems to be their official garb, and has 
stamped their features with the general attributes 
of human nature, without effacing the impress 
which distinguished " the men of iron," from the 
nations who " stood still before them." 

The first act concludes with the parting of Caius 
andFulvius in wrath and suspicion Cornelia hav- 
ing accused the latter of an attempt to seduce her 
daughter, the wife of Scipio, and of concealing the 
most atrocious designs under the mask of zeal for 
the cause of liberty. 

Of liberty 
What speak'st thou, and to whom ? Thou hast 

no shame 

No virtue and thy boast is, to be free ! 
Oh ! zeal for liberty ! eternal mask 
Assumed by every crime ! 

In the second act, the death of Emilianus is 
announced to Opimius the consul, in the presence 
of Gracchus, and the intelligence is accompanied 
by a rumour of his having perished by assassina- 
tion. The mysterious expressions of Pulvius, and 
the accusation of Cornelia, immediately recur to 
the mind of Caius. The following scene, in which 
his vehement emotion, and high sense of honour, 
are well contrasted with the cold-blooded sophistry 
of Fulvius, is powerfully wrought up. 

Caius. Back on my thoughts the words of Ful- 
vius rush, 
Like darts of fire. All hell is in my heart ! 

(Fulvius enters.) 
Thou comest in time. Speak, thou perfidious 

friend ! 

Scipio lies murder'd on his bed of death ! 
Who slew him ? 

Ful. Ask'st thou me 1 

Caius. Thee ! thee, who late 
Didst in such words discourse of him as now 
Assure me thou 'rt his murderer. Traitor, speak ! 

Ful. If thus his fate doth weigh upon thy heart, 
Thou art no longer Gracchus, or thou ravest ! 
More grateful praise and warmer thanks might 

well 

Reward the generous courage which hath freed 
Rome from a tyrant, Gracchus from a foe. 

Caius. Then he was slain by thee ? 

Ful. Ungrateful friend ! 
Why dost thou tempt me ] Danger menaces 



Thy honour. Freedom's wavering light is dun ; 
Rome wears the fetters of a guilty senate ; 
One Scipio drove thy brother to a death 
Of infamy, another seeks thy fall ; 
And when one noble, one determined stroke 
To thee and thine assures the victory, wreaks 
The people's vengeance, gives thee life and fame 
And pacifies thy brother's angry shade, 
Is it a cause for wailing 1 Am I call'd 
For this a murderer 1 Go ! I say once more, 
Thou art no longer Gracchus, or thou ravest ! 
Caius. I know thee now, barbarian ! Would'sfc 

thou serve 
My cause with crimes 1 

Ful. And those of that proud man 
Whom I have slain, and thou dost mourn, are they 
To be forgotten ? Hath oblivion then 
Shrouded the stern destroyer's ruthless work, 
The famine of Numantia? Such a deed 
As on our name the world's deep curses drew ? 
Or the four hundred Lusian youths betray'd, 
And with their bleeding, mutilated limbs 
Back to their parents sent 1 Is this forgot ? 
Go, ask of Carthage ! bid her wasted shores 
Of him, this reveller in blood, recount 
The terrible achievements ! At the cries, 
The groans, th' unutterable pangs of those, 
The more than hundred thousand wretches, 

doom'd 

(Of every age and sex) to fire, and sword, 
And fetters, I could marvel that the earth 
In horror doth not open ! They were foes, 
They were barbarians, but unarm' d, subdued, 
Weeping, imploring mercy ! And the law 
Of Roman virtue is, to spare the weak, 
To tame the lofty ! But in other lands, 
Why should I seek for records of his crimes, 
If here the suffering people ask in vain 
A little earth to lay their bones in peace ? 
If the decree which yielded to their claims 
So brief a heritage, and the which to seal 
Thy brother's blood was shed if this remain 
Still fruitless, still delusive, who was he [clared 
That mock'd its power 1 Who to all Rome de- 
Thy brother's death was just, was needful 1 Who 
But Scipio ? And remember thou the words 
Which burst in thunder from thy lips e'en then, 
Heard by the people ! Caius, in my heart 
They have been deeply treasured. He must die, 
(Thus did'st thou speak) this tyrant ! We have need 
That he should perish ! I have done the deed ; 
And call'st thou me his murderer ? If the blow 
Was guilt, then thou art guilty. From thy lips 
The sentence came the crime is thine alone. 



PATRIOTIC EFFUSIONS. 



J37 



I, thy devoted friend, did but obey 
Thy mandate. 

Caius. Thou my friend ! I am not one 
To call a villain friend. Let thunders, fraught 
With fate and death, awake to scatter those 
Who, bringing liberty through paths of blood, 
Bring chains ! degrading Freedom's lofty self 
Below e'en Slavery's level ! Say thou not, 
Wretch ! that the sentence and the guilt were 

mine ! 

I wish'd him slain ! 'tis so but by the axe 
Of high and public justice that whose stroke 
On thy vile head will falL Thou hast disgraced 
Unutterably my name : I bid thee tremble ! 

Ful. Caius, let insult cease, I counsel thee : 
Let insult cease ! Be the deed just or guilty, 
Enjoy its fruits in silence. Force me not 
To utter more. 

Caius. And what hast thou to say 1 

Ful. That which I now suppress. 

Caius. How ! are there yet, 
Perchance, more crimes to be reveal'd ? 

Fid. I know not. 

Caius. Thou know'st not 1 Horror chills my 

curdling veins ; 
I dare not ask thee further. 

Ful. Thou dost well 

Caius. What saidst thou 1 

Ful. Nothing. 

Caius. On my heart the words 
Press heavily. Oh ! what a fearful light 
Bursts o'er my soul ! Hast thou accomplices 1 

Ful. Insensate ! ask me not. 

Caius. I must be told. 

Ful. Away ! thou wilt repent. 

Caius. No more of this, for I will know. 

Ful. Thou wilt 1 
Ask then thy sister. 

Caius (alone.) Ask my sister ! What ! 
Is she a murderess 1 Hath my sister slain 
Her lord ? Oh ! crime of darkest dye ! Oh ! name 
Till now unstain'd, name of the Gracchi, thus 
Consign'd to infamy ! to infamy 1 
The very hair doth rise upon my head, 
ThriJl'd by the thought ! Where shall I find a 

place 

To hide my shame, to lave the branded stains 
From this dishonour'd brow 1 What should I do 1 
There is a voice whose deep tremendous tones 
Murmur within my heart, and sternly cry, 
"Away ! and pause not slay thy guilty sister !" 
Voice of lost honour, of a noble line 
Disgraced, I will obey thee ! terribly 
Thou call'st fur blood, and thou shalt be appeased. 



PATRIOTIC EFFUSIONS OF THE ITALIAN 
POETS. 

WHOEVER has attentively studied the works of 
the Italian poets, from the days of Dante and 
Petrarch to those of Foscolo and Pindemonte, 
must have been struck with those allusions to the 
glory and the fall, the renown and the degrada- 
tion, of Italy, which give a melancholy interest to 
their pages. Amidst all the vicissitudes of that 
devoted country, the warning voiceofher bards has 
still been heard to prophesy the impending storm, 
and to call up such deep and spirit-stirring recol- 
lections from the glorious past, as have resounded 
through the land, notwithstanding the loudest 
tumults of those discords which have made her 

" Long, long, a bloody stage 
For petty kinglings tame, 
Their miserable game 
Of puny war to wage." 

There is something very affecting in these vain, 
though exalted aspirations after that independence 
which the Italians, as a nation, seem destined 
never to regain. The strains in which their high- 
toned feelings on this subject are recorded, pro- 
duce on our minds the same effect with the song 
of the imprisoned bird, whose melody is fraught, 
in our imagination, with recollections of the green 
woodland, the free air, and unbounded sky. We 
soon grow weary of the perpetual violets and 
zephyrs, whose cloying sweetness pervades the 
sonnets and canzoni of the minor Italian poets, 
till we are ready to "die in aromatic pain;" nor 
is our interest much more excited even by the 
everlasting laurel which inspires the enamoured 
Petrarch with so ingenious a variety of concetti, 
as might reasonably cause it to be doubted whether 
the beautiful Laura, or the emblematic tree, are 
the real object of the bard's affection ; but the 
moment a patriotic chord is struck, our feelings 
are awakened, and we find it easy to sympathise 
with the emotions of a modern Roman, sur- 
rounded by the rums of the Capitol ; a Venetian 
when contemplating the proud trophies won by 
his ancestors at Byzantium; or a Florentine 
amongst the tombs of the mighty dead, in the 
church of Santa Croce. It is not, perhaps, now 
the tune to plead, with any effect, the cause of 
Italy ; yet cannot we consider that nation as 
altogether degraded, whose literature, from the 
dawn of its majestic immortality, has been con- 
secrated to the nurture of every generous prin- 
ciple and ennobling recollection ; and whose 
"choice and master spirits," under the most 



138 



ITALIAN LITERA TURE. 



adverse circumstances, have kept alive a flame, 
which may well be considered as imperishable, 
since the "ten thousand tyrants" of the land 
have failed to quench its brightness. We present 
our readers with a few of the minor effusions, in 
which the indignant though unavailing regrets of 
those who, to use the words of Alfieri, are 
" slaves, yet still indignant slaves," * have been 
feelingly portrayed. 

The first of these productions must, in the 
original, be familiar to every reader who has any 
acquaintance with Italian literature. 



VINCENZO DA FILICAJA. 



from the mountain's brow the gathering 
shades 

Of twilight fall, on one deep thought I dwell : 
Day beams o'er other lands, if here she fades, 

Nor bids the universe at once farewell. 
But thou, I cry, my country ! what a night 

Spreads o'er thy glories one dark sweeping pall ! 
Thy thousand triumphs, won by valour's might 

And wisdom's voice what now remains of all 1 
And see'st thou not th' ascending flame of war 
Burst through thy darkness, reddening from afar? 

Is not thy misery's evidence complete 7 
But if endurance can thy fall delay, 
Still, still endure, devoted one ! and say, 

If it be victory thus but to retard defeat. 



CARLO MARIA MAGGI. 

I CRT aloud, and ye shall hear my call, 

Arno, Sessino, Tiber, Adrian deep, [sleep 

And blue Tyrrhene ! Let him first roused from 

Startle the next ! one peril broods o'er all. 

It nought avails that Italy should plead, 
Forgetting valour, sinking in despair, 
At strangers' feet ! our land is all too fair; 

Nor tears, nor prayers, can check ambition's speed. 

In vain her faded cheek, her humbled eye, 

For pardon sue ; 'tis not her agony, 

Her death alone may now appease her foes. 

Be theirs to suffer who to combat shun ! 

But oh, weak pride ! thus feeble and undone, 
Nor to wage battle nor endure repose ! 

1 " Schiavi siam, ma schiavi ognor frementi." ALFIERI. 



ALESSANDRO MARCHETTI. 

ITALIA ! oh, no more Italia now ! 

Scarce of her form a vestige dost thou wear : 
She was a queen with glory mantled thou, 

A slave, degraded, and compell'd to bear, [care 

Chains gird thy hands and feet; deep clouds of 
Darken thy brow, once radiant as thy skies ; 

And shadows, born of terror and despair 
Shadows of death have dimm'd thy glorious eyes. 
Italia ! oh, Italia now no more ! 

For thee my tears of shame and anguish flow ; 
And the glad strains my lyre was wont to pour 

Are changed to dirge-notes : but my deepest woe 
Is, that base herds of thine own sons the while 
Behold thy miseries with insulting smile. 



ALESSANDRO PEGOLOTTI. 

SHE that cast down the empires of the world, 

And, in her proud triumphal course through 

Rome, 
Dragg'd them, from freedom and dominion hurl'd, 

Bound by the hair, pale, humbled, and o'ercome : 
I see her now, dismantled of her state, 

Spoil'd of her sceptre, crouching to the ground 
Beneath a hostile car and lo ! the weight 

Of fetters, her imperial neck around ! 
Oh ! that a stranger's envious hands had wrought 

This desolation ! for I then would say, 
" Vengeance, Italia ! " in the burning thought 

Losing my grief : but 'tis th' ignoble sway 
Of vice hath bow'd thee ! Discord, slothful ease, 
Theirs is that victor car; thy tyrant lords are these. 



FRANCESCO MARIA DE CONTI. 

THE SHQEE OF AFRICA. 

PILGRIM ! whose steps those desert sands explore, 

Where verdure never spreads its bright array ; 
Know, 'twas on this inhospitable shore 

From Pompey's heart the life-blood ebb'd away. 

Twas here betray'd he fell, neglected lay ; 
Nor found his relics a sepulchral stone, 

Whose life, so long a bright triumphal day, 
O'er Tiber's wave supreme in glory shone ! 
Thou, stranger ! if from barbarous climes thy birth, 
Look round exultingly, and bless the earth 

Where Rome, with him, saw power and virtue die ; 
But if 'tis Roman blood that fills thy veins, 
Then, son of heroes ! think upon thy chains, 

And bathe with tears the grave of liberty. 



JEU-U ESPRIT ON THE WORD "BARB.", 



139 



JEU-D 1 ESPRIT OX THE WORD "BARB." 

[" It ns either during the present or a future visit to the 
same friends, 1 that the jeu-d'etprit was produced which Mrs 
Ilemacs used to call her ' sheet of forgeries ' on the use of the 
word Barb. A gentleman had requested her to furnish him 
with some authorities from the old English writers, proving 
that this term was in use as applied to a steed. She very 
shortly supplied him with the following imitations, whieli 
were written down almost impromptu : the mystification suc- 
ceeded perfectly, and was not discovered until some time after- 
wards." Memoir, p. 43.] 

THE warrior donn'd his well-worn garb, 

And proudly wared his crest, 
He mounted on his jet-black barb, 

And put his lance in rest. PERCY'S Reliques. 

Eftsoons the wight, withouten more delay, 
Spurr'd his brown barb, and rode full swiftly on 
his way. SPENSER. 

Hark ! was it not the trumpet's voice I heard ] 
The soul of battle is awake within me ! 
The fate of ages and of empires hangs 
On this dread hour. Why am I not in arms 1 
Bring my good lance, caparison my steed ! 
Base, idle grooms ! are ye in league against me ? 
Haste with my barb, or, by the holy saints, 
Ye shall not live to saddle him to-morrow ! 

MASSINGER. 

No sooner had the pearl-shedding fingers of the 
young Aurora tremulously unlocked the oriental 
portals of the golden horizon, than the graceful 
flower of chivalry and the bright cynosure of 
ladies' eyes he of the dazzling breastplate and 
swanlike plume sprang impatiently from the 
couch of slumber, and eagerly mounted the noble 
barb presented to him by the Emperor of Aspra- 
montania. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY'S Arcadia. 

See'st thou yon chief whose presence seems to rule 
The storm of battle 1 Lo ! where'er he moves 
Death follows. Carnage sits upon his crest 
Fate on his sword' is throned and his white barb, 
As a proud courser of Apollo's chariot, 
Seems breathing fire. POTTER'S JSschylus. 

Oh ! bonnie look'd my ain true knight, 

His barb so proudly reining ; 
I watch'd hun till my tearfu' sight 

Grew amaist dim wi' straining. 

Border Minstrelsy. 



1 The family of the late Henry Park, Esq., AVavertree 
Lodge, near Liverpool. 



Why, he can heel the lavolt, and wind a fiery 
barb, as well as any gallant in Christendom. He's 
the very pink and mirror of accomplishment. 

SHAKSPEARE. 
Fair star of beauty's heaven ! to call thee mine, 

All other joys I joyously would yield ; 
My knightly crest, my bounding barb resign, 

For the poor shepherd's crook and daisied field; 
For courts or camps no wish my soul would prove, 
So thou wouldst live with me, and be my love ! 

EARL OF SURREY'S Poems. 
For thy dear love my weary soul hath grown 

Heedless of youthful sports : I seek no more 
Or joyous dance, or music's thrilling tone, 

Or joys that once could charm in minstrel lore, 

Or knightly tilt where steel-clad champions meet, 

Borne on impetuous barbs to bleed at beauty's feet. 

SHAKSPEARE'S Sonnets. 

As a warrior clad 

In sable arms, like chaos dull and sad, 
But mounted on a barb as white 
As the fresh new-born light, 
So the black night too soon 
Came riding on the bright and silver moon, 

Whose radiant heavenly ark 
Made all the clouds, beyond her influence, seem 

E'en more than doubly dark, 
Mourning, all widow'd of her glorious beam. 

COWLEY. 



[Amongst the very few specimens that have been preserved 
of Mrs Hemans's livelier effusions, which she never wrote 
with any other view than the momentary amusement of her 
own immediate circle, is a letter addressed about this time to 
her sister who was then travelling in Italy. The following 
extracts from this familiar epistle may serve to show her 
facility in a style of composition which she latterly entirely 
discontinued. The first part alludes to a strange fancy pro- 
duced by an attack of fever, the description of which had 
given rise to many pleasantries being an imaginary voyage 
to China, performed in a cocoa-nut shell with that eminent 
old English worthy, John Evelyn.] 

APROPOS of your illness, pray give, if you please, 
Some account of the converse you held on high seas 
With Evelyn, the excellent author of " Sylva," 
A work that is very much prized at Bronwylfa. 
I think that old Neptune was visited ne'er 
In so well-rigg'd a ship, by so well-matched a pair. 
There could not have fallen, dear H., to your lot any 
Companion more pleasant, since you're fond of 

botany, 

And his horticultural talents are known, 
Just as well as Canova's for fashioning stone. 



140 



THE FEVER DREAM. 



Of the vessel you sail'd in, 1 just will remark 
That I ne'er heard before of so curious a bark. 
Of gondola, coracle, pirogue, canoe, 
I have read very often, as doubtless have you ; 
Of the Argo conveying that hero young Jason ; 
Of the ship moor'd by Trajan in Nemi's deep basin ; 
Of the galley (in Plutarch you'll find the description) 
Which bore along Cydnus the royal Egyptian ; 
Of that wonderful frigate (see "Curse of Kehama") 
Which wafted fair Kailyal to regions of Brama, 
And the venturous barks of Columbus and Gama. 
But Columbus and Gama to you must resign a 
Full half of their fame, since your voyage to China, 
(I'm astonish'd no shocking disaster befel,) 
In that swift-sailing first-rate a cocoa-nut shell ! 

I hope, my dear H., that you touch'd at Loo Choo, 
That abode of a people so gentle and true, 
Who with arms and with money have nothing to do. 
Ho w calm must their lives be ! so free from all fears 
Of running in debt, or of running on spears ! 
Oh dear ! what an Eden ! a land without money ! 
It excels e'en the region of milk and of honey, 
Or the vale of Cashmere, as described in a book 
Full of musk, gems, and roses, and call'd " Lalla 
Rookh." 

But, of all the enjoyments you have, none would 

e'er be 

More valued by me than a chat with Acerbi, 
Of whose travels related in elegant phrases 
I have seen many extracts, and heard many praises, 
And have copied (you know I let nothing escape) 
His striking account of the frozen North Cape. 
I think 'twas in his works I read long ago 
(I've not the best memory for dates, as you know,) 
Of a warehouse, where sugar and treacle were stored, 
Which took fire (I suppose being made but of board) 
In the icy domains of some rough northern hero, 
Where the cold was some fifty degrees below zero. 
Then from every burnt cask as the treacle ran out, 
And in streams, just like lava, meander'd about, 
You may fancy the curious effect of the weather, 
The frost, and the fire, and the treacle together. 
When my first for a moment had harden'd my last, 
My second burst out, and all melted as fast ; 
To win their sweet prize long the rivals fought on, 
But I quite forget which of the elements won. 

But a truce with all joking I hope you'll excuse 

me, 

Sincelknow you still love to instruct andamuseme, 
For hastily putting a few questions down, 
To which answers from you all mywishes will crown ; 



For you know I'm so fond of the land of Corinue 
That my thoughts are still dwelling its precincts 

within, 

And I read all that authors, or gravely or wittily, 
Or wisely or foolishly, write about Italy ; [tour, 
From your shipmate John Evelyn's amusing old 
To Forsyth's one volume, and Eustace's four, 
In spite of Lord Byron, or Hobhouse, who glances 
At the classical Eustace, and says he romances. 
Pray describe me from Venice, (don't think it 

a bore,) 

The literal state of the famed Bucentaur, 
And whether the horses, that once were the sun's, 
Are of bright yellow brass, or of dark dingy bronze ; 
For some travellers say one thing, and some say 

another, [pother. 

And I can't find out which, they all make such a 
Oh ! another thing, too, which I'd nearly forgot, 
Are the songs of the gondoliers pleasing or not 7 
These are matters of moment, you'll surely allow, 
For Venice must interest all even now. 

These points being settled, I ask for no more 
hence, [Florence. 

But should wish for a few observations from 
Let me know if the Palaces Strozzi and Pitti 
Are finish VI ; if not 'tis a shame for the city 
To let one for ages was e'er such a thing 1 
Its entablature want, and the other its wing. 
Say, too, if the Dove (should you be there at Easter, 
And watch her swift flight, when the priests have 

released her) 

Is a turtle, or ring-dove, or but a wood-pigeon, 
Which makes people gulls in the name of Religion? 
Pray tell if the forests of famed Vallombrosa 
Are cut down or not ; for this, too, is a Cosa 
About which I'm anxious as also to know 
If the Pandects, so famous long ages ago, 
Came back (above all, don't forget this to mention) 
To that manuscript library called the Laurentian. 

Since I wrote the above, I by chance have 
found out, [doubt ; 

That the horses are bright yellow brass beyond 
So I'll ask you but this, the same subject pursuing, 
Do you think they are truly Lysippus's doing? 
When to Xaples you get, let me know, if you will, 
If the Acqua Toffana's in fashion there still ; 
For, not to fatigue you with needless verbosity, 
'Tis a point upon which I feel much curiosity. 
I should like to have also, and not written shabbily, 
Your opinion about the Piscina mirabile ; 
And whether the tomb, which is near Sannazaro's, 
Is decided bv vou to be really Maro's. 



DARTMOOR. 



141 



DAKTMOOK. 



A PRIZE POEM. 

[In 1820, the Royal Society of Literature advertised their intention of awarding a prize for the best poem on " Dartmoor ; " 
and, as might have been expected, many competitors entered the field. In the following June, the palm was awarded to Mrs 
Hemans for the composition which follows. 

She thus writes to the friends who had been the first to convey to her the pleasing intelligence of her success : 
" What with surprise, bustle, and pleasure, I am really almost bewildered. I wish you had but seen the children, when the 

prize was announced to them yesterday The Bishop's kind communication put us in possession of the 

gratifying intelligence a day sooner than we should otherwise have known it, as I did not receive the Secretary's letter till this 
morning. Besides the official announcement of the prize, his despatch also contained a private letter, with which, although it 
is one of criticism, I feel greatly pleased, as it shows an interest in my literary success, which, from so distinguished a writer 
as Mr Croly, (of course you have read his poem of Paris,) cannot but be highly gratifying."] 

" Come, bright Improvement ! on the car of Time, 
And rule the spacious world from clime to clime. 
Thy handmaid, Art, shall every wild explore, 
Trace every wave, and culture every shore." CAMPBELL. 

" May ne'er 

That true succession fail of English hearts, 
That can perceive, not less than heretofore 
Our ancestors did feelingly perceive, 

the charm 

Of pious sentiment, diffused afar, 

And human charity, and social love." WORDSWORTH. 



AMIDST the peopled and the regal isle, 
Whose vales, rejoicing in their beauty, smile ; 
Whose cities, fearless of the spoiler, tower, 
And send on every breeze a voice of power; 
Hath Desolation rear'd herself a throne, 
And mark'd a pathless region for her own 1 
Yes ! though thy turf no stain of carnage wore 
When bled the noble hearts of many a shore ; 
Though not a hostile step thy heath-flowers bent 
When empires totter' d, and the earth was rent ; 
Yet lone, as if some trampler of mankind 
Had still'd life's busy murmurs on the wind, 
And, flush'd with power in daring pride's excess, 
Stamp'd on thy soil the curse of barrenness ; 
For thee in vain descend the dews of heaven, 
In vain the sunbeam and the shower are given, 
Wild Dartmoor ! thou that, midst thy mountains 

rude, 

Hast robed thyself with haughty solitude, 
As a dark cloud on summer's clear blue sky, 
A mourner, circled with festivity ! 
For all beyond is life ! the rolling sea, 
The rush, the swell, whose echoes reach not thee. 
Yet who shall find a scene so wild and bare 
But man has left his lingering traces there 1 
E'en on mysterious Afric's boundless plains, 
Where noon with attributes of midnight reigns, 

1 "In some parts of Dartmoor, the surface is thickly strewed 
with stones, which in many instances appear to have been 
collected into piles, on the tops of prominent hillocks, as if 
in imitation of the natural Tors. The Stone-barrows of 



In gloom and silence fearfully profound, 
As of a world unwaked to soul or sound. 
Though the sad wanderer of the burning zone 
Feels, as amidst infinity, alone, 
And naught of life be near, his camel's tread 
Is o'er the prostrate cities of the dead ! 
Some column, rear'd by long-forgotten hands, 
Just lifts its head above the billowy sands 
Some mouldering shrine still consecrates the scene, 
And tells that glory's footstep there hath been. 
There hath the spirit of the mighty pass'd, 
Not without record ; though the desert blast, 
Borne on the wings of Tune, hath swept away 
The proud creations rear'd to brave decay. 
But thou, lone region ! whose unnoticed name 
No lofty deeds have mingled with their fame, 
Who shall unfold thine annals 1 who shall tell 
If on thy soil the sons of heroes fell, 
In those far ages which have left no trace, 
No sunbeam, on the pathway of their race 1 
Though, haply, in the unrecorded days 
Of kings and chiefs who pass'd without their praise, 
Thou mightst have rear'd the valiant and the free, 
In history's page there is no tale of thee. 

Yet hast thou thy memorials. On the wild, 
Still rise the cairns, of yore all rudely piled, 1 

Dartmoor resemble the cairns of the Cheviot and Grampian 
hills, and those in Cornwall." See COOKE'S Topographical 
Survey of Devonshire. 



142 



DARTMOOR. 



But hallow'd by that instinct which reveres 
Things fraught with characters of elder years. 
And such are these. Long centuries are flown, 
Bow'd many a crest, and shatter'd many a throne, 
Mingling the urn, the trophy, and the hust, [dust. 
With what they hide their shrined and treasured 
Men traverse Alps and oceans, to behold 
Earth's glorious works fast mingling with her mould: 
But still these nameless chronicles of death, 
Midst the deep silence of the unpeopled heath, 
Stand in primeval artlessness, and wear 
The same sepulchral mien, and almost share 
Th' eternity of nature, with the forms [storms. 
Of the crown'd hills beyond, the dwellings of the 

Yet what avails it if each moss-grown heap 
Still on the waste its lonely vigils keep, 
Guarding the dust which slumbers well beneath 
(Xor needs such care) from each cold season's 

breath ] 

Where is the voice to tell their tale who rest, 
Thus rudely pillow'd, on the desert's breast ? 
Doth the sword sleep beside them ? Hath there been 
A sound of battle midst the silent scene 
Where now the flocks repose 1 did the scythed car 
Here reap its harvest in the ranks of war ? 
And rise these piles in memory of the slain, 
And the red combat of the mountain-plain ] 

It may be thus : the vestiges of strife, 
Around yet lingering, mark the steps of life, 
And the rude arrow's barb remains to tell 1 
How by its stroke, perchance, the mighty fell 
To be forgotten. Vain the warrior's pride, 
The chieftain's power they had no bard, and died. 2 
But other scenes, from their untroubled sphere, 
The eternal stars of night have witness'd here. 
There stands an altar of unsculptured stone, 3 
Far on the moor, a thing of ages gone, 
Propp'd on its granite pillars, whence the rains 
And pure bright dews have laved the crimson 

stains 

Left by dark rites of blood : for here, of yore, 
When the bleak waste a robe of forest wore, 
And many a crested oak, which now lies low, 
Waved its wild wreath of sacred mistletoe 

1 Flint arrow-heads have occasionally been found upon 
Dartmoor. 

3 " Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona 
Multi ; sed omnes illachrymabiles 
Urgentur, ignotique longa 
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro." HORACE. 

" They had no poet, and they died." POPB'S Translation. 
8 On the east of Dartmoor are some Druidical remains, one 



Here, at dim midnight, through the haunted 

shade, 

On druid-harps the quivering moonbeam play'd, 
And spells were breathed, that fill'd the deepening 

gloom 

With the pale, shadowy people of the tomb. 
Or, haply, torches waving through the night 
Bade the red cairn-fires blaze from every height, 4 
Like battle-signals, whose unearthly gleams 
Threw o'er the desert's hundred hills and streams, 
A savage grandeur ; while the starry skies 
Rang with the peal of mystic harmonies, 
As the loud harp its deep-toned hymns sent forth 
To the storm-ruling powers, the war-gods of the 

Xorth. 

But wilder sounds were there : th' imploring cry 
That woke the forest's echo in reply, 
But not the heart's ! Unmoved the wizard train 
Stood round their human victim, and in vain 
His prayer for mercy rose ; in vain his glance 
Look'd up, appealing to the blue expanse, 
Where in their calm immortal beauty shone 
Heaven's cloudless orbs. "With faint and fainter 

moan, 

Bound on the shrine of sacrifice he lay, 
Till, drop by drop, life's current ebb'd away ; 
Till rock and turf grew deeply, darkly red, 
And the pale moon gleam'd paler on the dead. 
Have such things been, and here 1 where stillness 

dwells 

Midst the rude barrows and the moorland swells, 
Thus undisturb'd ] Oh ! long the gulf of time 
Hath closed in darkness o'er those days of crime, 
And earth no vestige of their path retains, 
Save such as these, which strew her loneliest plains 
With records of man's conflicts and his doom, 
His spirit and his dust the altar and the tomb. 

But ages roll'd away : and England stood 
With her proud banner streaming o'er the flood ; 
And with a lofty calmness in her eye, 
And regal in collected majesty, 
To breast the storm of battle. Every breeze 
Bore sounds of triumph o'er her own blue seas ; 
And other lands, redeem'd and joyous, drank 
The life-blood of her heroes, as they sank 

of which is a Cromlech, whose three rough pillars of granite 
support a ponderous table-stone, and form a kind of large 
irregular tripod. 

4 In some of the Druid festivals, fires were lighted on all 
the cairns and eminences around, by priests, carrying sacred 
torches. All the household fires were previously extinguished , 
and those who were thought worthy of such a privilege, were 
allowed to relight them with a flaming brand, kindled at the 
consecrated cairn-fire. 



DARTMOOR. 



On the red fields they won; whose wild flowers 

wave 
Now in luxuriant beauty o'er their grave. 

'Twas then the captives of Britannia's war 1 
Here for their lovely southern climes afar 
In bondage pined ; the spell-deluded throng 
Dragg'd at ambition's chariot-wheels so long 
To die because a despot could not clasp 
A sceptre fitted to his boundless grasp ! 

Yes ! they whose march had rock'd the ancient 

thrones 

And temples of the world the deepening tones 
Of whose advancing trumpet from repose 
Had startled nations, wakening to their woes 
Were prisoners here. And there were some whose 

dreams [streams, 

Were of sweet homes, by chainless mountaiii- 
And of the vine-clad hills, and many a strain 
And festal melody of Loire or Seine ; 
And of those mothers who had watch'd and wept, 
When on the field the unshelter'd conscript slept, 
Bathed with the midnight dews. And some were 

there 

Of sterner spirits, harden'd by despair ; 
Who, in their dark imaginings, again 
Fired the rich palace and the stately fane, 
Drank in their victim's shriek, as music's breath, 
And lived o'er scenes, the festivals of death ! 

And there was mirth, too ! strange and savage 

mirth, 

More fearful far than all the woes of earth ! 
The laughter of cold hearts, and scoffs that spring 
From minds for which there is no sacred thing ; 
And transient bursts of fierce, exulting glee 
The lightning's flash upon its blasted tree ! 

But still, howe'er the soul's disguise were worn, 
If from wild revelry, or haughty scorn, 
Or buoyant hope, it won an outward show, 
Slight was the mask, and all beneath it woe. 

Yet, was this all 1 Amidst the dungeon-gloom, 
The void, the stillness of the captive's doom, 
Were there no deeper thoughts 1 And that dark 

power 

To whom guilt owes one late but dreadful hour, 
The mighty debt through years of crime delay'd, 
But, as the grave's, inevitably paid ; 

1 The French prisoners, taken in the wars with Napoleon , 
were confined in a depot on Dartmoor. 



Came he not thither, in bis burning force, 
The lord, the tamer of dark souls Remorse 1 

Yes ! as the night calls forth from sea and sky, 
From breeze and wood, a solemn harmony, 
Lost when the swift triumphant wheels of day 
In light and sound are hurrying on their way : 
Thus, from the deep recesses of the heart, 
The voice which sleeps, but never dies, might start, 
Call'd up by solitude, each nerve to thrill 
With accents heard not, save when all is still ! 

The voice, inaudible when havoc's strain 
Crush'd the red vintage of devoted Spain ; 
Mute, when sierras to the war-whoop rung, 
And the broad light of conflagration sprung 
From the south's marble cities; hush'd midst cries 
That told the heavens of mortal agonies ; 
But gathering silent strength, to wake at last 
In concentrated thunders of the past ! 

And there, perchance, some long-bewildcr'd 

miiid, 

Torn from its lowly sphere, its path confined 
Of village duties, in the Alpine glen, 
Where nature cast its lot midst peasant men ; 
Drawn to that vortex, whose fierce ruler blent 
The earthquake power of each wild element, 
To lend the tide which bore his throne on high 
One impulse more of desperate energy ; 
Might when the billow's awful rush was o'er 
Which toss'd its wreck upon the storm-beat shore, 
Won from its wanderings past, by suffering tried, 
Search'd by remorse, by anguish purified 
Have fix'd, at length, its troubled hopes and fears 
On the far world, seen brightest through our tears; 
And, in that hour of triumph or despair, 
Whose secrets all must learn but none declare, 
When, of the things to come, a deeper sense 
Fills the dun eye of trembling penitence, 
Have turn'd to Him whose bow is in the cloud, 
Around life's limits gathering as a shroud 
The fearful mysteries of the heart who knows, 
And, by the tempest, calls it to repose ! 

Who visited that deathbed ? Who can tell 
Its brief sad tale, on which the soul might dwell, 
And learn immortal lessons ] Who beheld 
The struggling hope, by shame, by doubt repell'd 
The agony of prayer the bursting tears 
The dark remembrances of guilty years, 
Crowding upon the spirit in their might ? 
He, through the storm who look'd, and there was 
light! 



144 



DARTMOOR. 



That scene is closed ! that wild, tumultuous 

breast, 

With all its pangs and passions, is at rest ! 
He, too, is fallen, the master-power of strife, 
Who woke those passions to delirious life ; 
And days, prepared a brighter course to run, 
Unfold their buoyant pinions to the sun ! 

It is a glorious hour when Spring goes forth 
O'er the bleak mountains of the shadowy north, 
And with one radiant glance, one magic breath, 
Wakes all things lovely from the sleep of death ; 
While the glad voices of a thousand streams, 
Bursting their bondage, triumph in her beams ! 

But Peace hath nobler changes ! O'er the mind, 
The warm and living spirit of mankind, 
Her influence breathes, and bids the blighted heart, 
To life and hope from desolation start ! 
She with a look dissolves the captive's chain, 
Peopling with beauty widow'd homes again ; 
Around the mother, in her closing years, 
Gathering her sons once more, and from the tears 
Of the dim past but winning purer light, 
To make the present more serenely bright. 

Nor rests that influence here. From clime to 

clime, 

In silence gliding with the stream of time, 
Still doth it spread, borne onwards, as a breeze 
With healing on its wings, o'er isles and seas. 
And as Heaven's breath call'd forth, with genial 

power, 

From the dry wand the almond's living flower, 
So doth its deep-felt charm in secret move 
The coldest heart to gentle deeds of love ; 
While round its pathway nature softly glows, 
And the wide desert blossoms as the rose. 

Yes ! let the waste lift up the exulting voice ! 
Let the far-echoing solitude rejoice ! 
And thou, lone moor ! where no blithe reaper's 

song 

E'er lightly sped the summer hours along, 
Bid thy wild rivers, from each mountain-source 
Hushing in joy, make music on their course ! 
Thou, whose sole records of existence mark 
The scene of barbarous rites in ages dark, 
And of some nameless combat ; hope's bright eye 
Beams o'er thee in the light of prophecy ! 
Yet shalt thou smile, by busy culture drest, 
And the rich harvest wave upon thy breast ! 
Yet shall thy cottage smoke, at dewy morn, 
Rise in blue wreaths above the flowering thorn, 



And, midst thy hamlet shades, the embosom'd spire 
Catch from deep-kindling heavens their earliest 

fire. 



Thee, too, that hour shall bless, the balmy close 
Of labour's day, the herald of repose, 
Which gathers hearts in peace ; while social mirth 
Basks in the blaze of each free village hearth ; 
While peasant-songs are on the joyous gales, 
And merry England's voice floats up from all her 

vales. 

Yet are there sweeter sounds ; and thou shalt hear 
Such as to Heaven's immortal host are dear. 
Oh ! if there still be melody on earth 
Worthy the sacred bowers where man drew birth, 
When angel-steps their paths rejoicing trode, 
And the air trembled with the breath of God ; 
It lives in those soft accents, to the sky 1 
Borne from the lips of stainless infancy, [sprung, 
When holy strains, from life's pure fount which 
Breathed with deep reverence, falter on his tongue. 

And such shall be thy music, when the cells, 
Where Guilt, the child of hopeless Misery, dwells, 
(And, to wild strength by desperation wrought, 
In silence broods o'er many a fearful thought,) 
Resound to pity's voice ; and childhood thence, 
Ere the cold blight hath reach'd its innocence, 
Ere that soft rose-bloom of the soul be fled, 
Which vice but breathes on and its hues arc dead, 
Shall at the call press forward, to be made 
A glorious offering, meet for Him who said, 
" Mercy, not sacrifice ! " and, when of old 
Clouds of rich incense from his altars roll'd, 
Dispersed the smoke of perfumes, and laid bare 
The heart's deep folds, to read its homage there ! 

When some crown'd conqueror, o'er a trampled 

world 

His banner, shadowing nations, hath unfurl'd, 
And, like those visitations which deform 
Nature for centuries, hath made the storm 
His pathway to dominion's lonely sphere, 
Silence behind before him, flight and fear ! 
When kingdoms rock beneath his rushing wheels, 
Till each fair isle the mighty impulse feels, 
And earth is moulded but by one proud will, 
And sceptred realms wear fetters, and are still ; 
Shall the free soul of song bow down to pay, 
The earthquake homage on its baleful way ? 



1 In allusion to a plan for the erection of a great national 
school-house on Dartmoor, where it was proposed to educate 
the children of convicts. 



WELSH MELODIES. 



145 



Shall the glad harp send up exulting strains 
O'er burning cities and forsaken plains ? 
And shall no harmony of softer close 
Attend the stream of mercy as it flows, 
And, mingling with the murmur of its wave, 
Bless the green shores its gentle currents lave ] 

Oh ! there are loftier themes, for him whose eyes 
Have search'd the depths of life's realities, 
Than the red battle, or the trophied car, 
"Wheeling the monarch-victor fast and far ; 
There are more noble strains than those which swell 
The triumphs ruin may suffice to tell ! 

Ye prophet-bards, who sat in elder days 
Beneath the palms of Judah ! ye whose lays 
With torrent rapture, from their source on high, 
Burst in the strength of immortality ! 



Oh ! not alone, those haunted groves among, 

Of conquering hosts, of empires crush'd, ye sung, 

But of that spirit destined to explore, 

With the bright day-spring, every distant shore, 

To dry the tear, to bind the broken reed, 

To make the home of peace in hearts that bleed; 

With beams of hope to pierce the dungeon's gloom. 

And pour eternal star-light o'er the tomb. 

And bless'd and hallow'd be its haunts ! for there 
Hath ma*a's high soul been rescued from despair ! 
There hath th' immortal spark for heaven been 

nursed; 

There from the rock the springs of life have burst 
Quenchless and pure ! and holy thoughts, that rise 
Warm from the source of human sympathies 
Where'er its path of radiance may be traced, 
Shall find their temple in the silent waste. 



WELSH MELODIES. 



THE HARP OF WALES. 

INTRODUCTORY STANZAS, INSCRIBED TO THE RUTHI.V 
WELSH LITERARY SOCIETY. 

HARP of the mountain-land ! sound forth again 
As when the foaming Hirlas 1 horn was crown'd, 

And warrior hearts beat proudly to the strain, 
And the bright mead at wain's feast went round : 

Wake with the spirit and the power of yore ! 

Harp of the ancient hills ! be heard once more ! 

Thy tones are not to cease ! The Roman came 
O'er the blue waters with his thousand oars : 

Through Mona's oaks he sent the wasting flame ; 
The Druid shrines lay prostrate on our shores : 

All gave their ashes to the wind and sea 

Ring out, thou harp ! he could not silence thee. 

Thy tones are not to cease ! The Saxon pass'd, 
His banners floated on Eryri's gales ; 3 

But thou wert heard above the trumpet's blast, 
E'en when his towers rose loftiest o'er the vales ! 

Thine was the voice that cheer'd the brave and free ; 

They had their hills, their chainless hearts, and thee. 

Those were dark years ! They saw the valiant fall, 
The rank weeds gathering round the chieftain's 
board, 

1 Hirlas, from Mr, long, and glat, blue or azure. 

2 Eryri, the "Welsh name for the Snowdon mountains. 



The hearth left lonely in the ruin'd hall 

Yet power was thine a gift in every chord ! 
Call back that spirit to the days of peace, 
Thou noble harp ! thy tones are not to cease ! 



DRUID CHORUS OX THE LANDING OF 
THE ROMANS. 

BY the dread and viewless powers 

Whom the storms and seas obey, 
From the Dark Isle's 3 mystic bowers, 

Romans ! o'er the deep away ! 
Think ye, 'tis but nature's gloom 

O'er our shadowy coast which broods? 
By the altar and the tomb, 

Shun these haunted solitudes ! 

Know ye Mona's awful spells 1 

She the rolling orbs can stay ! 
She the mighty grave compels 

Back to yield its fetter'd prey ! 
Fear ye not the lightning stroke ? 

Mark ye not the fiery sky 1 
Hence ! around our central oak 

Gods are gathering Romans, fly ! 

3 Ynyt Dywyll, or the Dark Island an ancient name for 
Anglesey. 



146 



WELSH MELODIES. 



THE GREEN ISLES OF OCEAN. 1 

WHERE arc they, those green fairy islands, reposing 
In sunlight and beauty on ocean's calm breast 1 
What spirit, the things which are hidden disclosing, 
Shall point the bright way to their dwellings of rest? 

Oh ! lovely they rose on the dreams of past ages, 
The mighty have sought them, undaunted in faith; 
But the land hath been sad for her warriors and 
sages, [death. 

For the guide to those realms of the blessed is 

. Where are they, the high-minded children of glory, 
Who steer'd for those distant green spots on the 

wave 1 

To the winds of the ocean they left theirwildstory, 
In the fields of their country they found not a grave. 

Perchance they repose where the summer-breeze 

gathers 

From the flowers of each vale immortality's breath; 
But their steps shall be ne'er on the hills of their 

fathers [death. 

For the guide to those realms of the blessed is 



THE SEA-SONG OF GAFRAN. 2 

WATCH ye well ! The moon is shrouded 

On her bright throne ; 
Storms are gathering, stars are clouded, 

Waves make wild moan. 
'Tis no night of hearth-fires glowing, 
And gay songs and wine-cups flowing ; 
But of winds, in darkness blowing, 

O'er seas unknown ! 

In the dwellings of our fathers, 

Round the glad blaze, 
Now the .festive circle gathers 

With harps and lays ; 

1 The " Green Islands of Ocean," or " Green Spots of 
the Floods," called in the Triads " Gwerddonan Llion," 
(respecting which some remarkable superstitions have been 
preserved in Wales,) were supposed to be the abode of the 
Fair Family, or souls of the virtuous Druids, who could not 
enter the Christian heaven, but were permitted to enjoy this 
paradise of their own. Gafran, a distinguished British chief- 
tain of the fifth century, went on a voyage with his family to 
discover these islands ; but they were never beard of after- 
wards. This event, the voyage of Merddin Emrys with his 
twelve bards, and the expedition of Madoc, were called the 
three losses by disappearance of the island of Britain. See 



Now the rush-strewn halls are ringing, 
Steps are bounding, bards are singing, 
Ay ! the hour to all is bringing 
Peace, joy, or praise. 

Save to us, our night-watch keeping, 

Storm-winds to brave, 
While the very sea-bird sleeping 

Rests in its cave ! 

Think of us when hearths are beaming, 
Think of us when mead is streaming, 
Ye, of whom our souls are dreaming 

On the dark wave ! 



THE HIRLAS HORX. 

FILL high the blue hirlas that shines like the wave 3 
When sunbeams are bright on the spray of the 

sea; 
And bear thou the rich foaming mead to the brave, 

The dragons of battle, the sons of the free ! 

To those from whose spears, in the shock of the 

fight, [the field ; 

A beam, like heaven's lightning, 4 flash'd over 

To those who came rushing as storms in their might. 

Who have shiver'd the helmet, and cloven the 

shield ; 

The sound of whose strife was like oceans afar, 
When lances were red from the harvest of war. 

Fill high the blue hirlas ! cup-bearer, fill 

For the lords of the field in their festival's hour, 
And let the mead foam, like the stream of the hill 

That bursts o'er the rock in the pride of its power : 
Praise, praise to the mighty, fill high the smooth 
horn 

Of honour and mirth, 5 for the conflict is o'er ; 
And round let the golden-tipp'd hirlas be borne 

To the lion-defenders of Gwynedd's fair shore, 
Who rush'd to the field where the glory was won, 
As eagles that soar from their cliffs to the sun. 

W. O. PUGHE'S Cambrian Biography; also Cambro- Briton, 
1124. 

2 See note to the " Green Isles of Ocean." 

3 " Fetch the horn, that we may drink together, whose 
gloss is like the waves of the sea ; whose green handles show 
the skill of the artist, and are tipped with gold." From the 
Hirlas Horn of OWAIN CYFEILIOO. 

* " Heard ye in Maelor the noise of war, the horrid din 
of arms, their furious onset, loud as in the battle of Bangor, 
where fire flashed out of their spears ? " From the same. 

6 " Fill, then, the yellow-lipped horn badge of honour 
and mirth." From the same. 



WELSH MELODIES. 



Fill higher the Tiirlna ! forgetting not those 

Who shared its bright draught in the days 

which are fled ! 
Though cold on their mountains the valiant repose, 

Their lot shall be lovely renown to the dead ! 
While harps in the hall of the feast shall be strung, 

While regal Eryri with snow shall be crown'd 
So long by the bards shall their battles be sung, 

Andtheheartof the hero shall burn at the sound. 
The free winds of Maelor 1 shall swell with their 

name, 
And Owain's rich hirlas be fill'd to their fame. 



THE HALL OF CTODDYLAH. 

THE Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy to-night ; 2 
I weep, for the grave has extinguish'd its light ; 
The beam of the lamp from its summit is o'er, 
The blaze of its hearth shall give welcome no more ! 

The Hall of Cynddylan is voiceless and still, 
The sound of its harpings hath died on the hill ! 
Be silent for ever, thou desolate scene, 
Nor let e'en an echo recall what hath been ! 

The Hall of Cynddylan is lonely and bare, 
No banquet, no guest, not a footstep is there ! 
Oh ! where are the warriors who circled its board ? 
The grass will soon wave where the mead-cup 
was pour'd ! 

The Hall of Cynddylan is loveless to-night, 
Since he is departed whose smile made it bright ! 
I mourn; but the sigh of my soul shall be brief, 
The pathway is short to the grave of my chief ! 

1 Maelor, part of the counties of Denbigh and Flint, ac- 
cording to the modern division. 

2 " The Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night, 
Without fire, without bed 
I must weep awhile, and then be silent. 

The Hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night, 
Without fire, without being lighted 
Be thou encircled with spreading silence ! 

The Hall of Cynddylan is without love this night, 

Since he that own'd it is no more 

Ah Death ! it will be but a short tune he will leave me. 

The Hall of Cynddylan it is not easy this night, 

On the top of the rock of Hydwyth, [cling feast* ! " 

Without its lord, without company, without the cir- 

OH-ES'S Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hen. 
8 " What I loved when I was a youth is hateful to me 
now." 



THE LAMENT OF LLYWARCH HEN. 

[Llywarch Hen, or Llywarch the Aged, a celebrated bard 
and chief of the times of Arthur, was prince of Argoed, sup- 
posed to be a part of the present Cumberland. Having 
sustained the loss ol his patrimony, and witnessed the fall of 
most of his sons, in the unequal contest maintained by the 
North Britons against the growing power of the Saxons, 
Llywarch was compelled to fly from his country, and seek 
refuge in Wales. He there found an asylum for some time 
in the residence of Cynddylan, Prince of Powys, whose fall 
he pathetically laments in one of his poems. These are still 
extant ; and his elegy on old age and the loss of his sons, is 
remarkable for its simplicity and beauty. See Cambrian 
Biography, and OWEN'S Heroic Elegies and other poems of 
Llywarch Hen."] 

THE bright hours return, and the blue sky is 

ringing 

With song, and the hills are all mantled with bloom ; 
But fairer than aught which the summer isbringing, 
The beauty and youth gone to people the tomb ! 
Oh ! why should I live to hear music resounding, 
Which cannot awake ye, my lovely, my brave ? 
Why smile the waste flowers, my sad footsteps 

surrounding 1 
My sons ! they but clothe the green turf of 

your grave ! 

Alone on the rocks of the stranger I linger, 
My spirit all wrapt in the past as a dream ! 
Mine ear hath no joy in the voice of the singer, 3 
Mine eye sparkles not to the sunlight's glad beam; 
Yet, yet I live on, though forsaken and weeping ! 
grave ! why refuse to the aged thy bed, 
When valour's high heart on thy bosom is sleeping, 
When youth's glorious flower is gone down to the 
dead ! 

Fair were ye, my sons ! and all kingly your bearing, 
As on to the fields of your glory ye trode ! [ing, 
Each prince of my race the bright golden chain wear- 
Each eye glancing fire, shrouded now by the sod ! 4 
I weep when the blast of the trumpet is sounding, 
Which rouses ye not, my lovely ! my brave ! 
When warriors and chiefs to their proud steeds 
are bounding, [grave ! 5 

I turn from heaven's light, for it smiles on your 

* " Four and twenty sons to me have been 

AVearing the golden chain, and leading princes." 
Elegies of Llywarch Hen. 

The golden chain, as a badge of honour, worn by heroes, 
is frequently alluded to in the works of the ancient British 
bards. 

& " Hardly has the snow covered the vale, 

When the warriors are hastening to the battle ; 
I do not go, I am hinder'd by infirmity." 

Elegies of Llywarch Hen. 



WELSH MELODIES. 



GRUFYDD'S FEAST. 

[" Grufydd ab Rhys ab Tewdwr, having resisted the Eng- 
lish successfully in the time of Stephen, and at last obtained 
from them an honourable peace, made a great feast at his 
palace in Ystrad Tywi to celebrate this event. To this feast, 
which was continued for forty days, he invited all who would 
come in peace from Gwynedd, Powyt, the Dcheubarth, Glam- 
organ, and the marches. Against the appointed time he 
prepared all kinds of delicious viands and liquors ; with every 
entertainment of vocal and instrumental song ; thus patronis- 
ing the poets and musicians. He encouraged, too, all sorts 
of representations and manly games, and afterwards sent 
away all those who had excelled in them with honourable 
gifts." Cambrian Biography."] 

LET the yellow mead shine for the sons of the brave, 
By the bright festal torches around us that wave ! 
Set open the gates of the prince's wide hall, 
And hang up the chief's ruddy spear on the wall ! 
There is peace in the land we have battled to save : 
Then spread ye the feast, bid the wine-cup foam 

high, 1 
That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die ! 

Let the horn whose loud blast gave the signal for 

fight, 

With the bees sunny nectar now sparkle in light ; 2 
Let the rich draught it offers with gladness be 

crown'd, [sound ! 

For the strong hearts in combat that leap'd at its 

Like the billows' dark swell was the path of 

their might, 

Red, red as their blood, fill the wine-cup on high, 
That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die ! 

And wake ye the children of song from their dreams, 
OnMaelor's wild hills and byDyfed's fair streams ! 3 
Bid them haste with those strains of the lofty and 

free, 

Which shall flow down the waves of long ages to be. 
Sheath the sword which hath given them un- 

perishing themes, [high, 

And pour the bright mead : let the wine-cup foam 
That those may rejoice who have fear'd not to die ! 



THE CAMBRIAN IN AMERICA. 

WHEN the last flush of eve is dying 

On boundless lakes afar that shine ; 

1 Wine, as well as mead, is frequently mentioned in the 
poems of the ancient British bards. 

- The horn was used for two purposes to sound the alarm 
in war, and to drink the mead at feasts. 

3 Dyfed, (said to signify a land abounding with streams of 
water,) the modern Pembrokeshire. 



When winds amidst the palms are sighing, 
And fragrance breathes from every pine : 4 

When stars through cypress-boughs are gleaming, 
And fire-flies wander bright and free, 

Still of thy harps, thy mountains dreaming, 
My thoughts, wild Cambria ! dwell with thee ! 

Alone o'er green savannas roving, 

Where some broad stream in silence flows, 
Or through th' eternal forests moving, 

One only home my spirit knows ! 
Sweet land, whence memory ne'er hath parted !' 

To thee on sleep's light wing I fly ; 
But happier could the weary -hearted 

Look on his own blue hills and die ! 



TALIESIX'S PROPHECY. 

[A prophecy of Taliesin relating to the ancient Britons is 
still extant, and has been strikingly verified. It is to the 
following effect : 

" Their God they shall worship, 
Their language they shall retain, 
Their land they shall lose, 
Except wild Wales."] 

A VOICE from time departed yet floats thy hills 
among, [sung : 

Cambria ! thus thy prophet bard, thy Taliesin 
" The path of unborn ages is traced upon my soul, 
The clouds which mantle things unseen away 

before me roll, [pass'd, 

A light the depths revealing hath o'er my spirit 
A rushing sound from days to be swells fitful in 

the blast, [tongue 

And tells me that for ever shall live the lofty 
To which the harp of Mona's woods by freedom's 

hand was strung. 

" Green island of the mighty ! 5 1 see thine ancient 

race 
Driven from their fathers' realm to make the rocks 

their dwelling-place ! 

1 see from Uthyr's 6 kingdom the sceptre pass away, 
And many a line of bards and chiefs and princely 

men decoy. 
But long as Arvon's mountains shall lift their 

sovereign forms, 
And wear the crown to which is given dominion 

o'er the storms, 

4 The aromatic odour of the pine has frequently been men- 
tioned by travellers. 

5 Ynys y Cedeirn, or Isle of the Mighty an ancient name 
given to Britain. 

6 UthyrPendragon, king of Britain, supposed to have been 
the father of Arthur. 



WELSH MELODIES. 



149 



So long, their empire sharing, shall live the lofty 

tongue 
To which the harp of Mona's woods by freedom's 

hand was strung ! " 



OWEN GLYNDWR'S WAR-SONG. 

SAW ye the blazing star ? l 

The heavens look'd down on freedom's war, 

And lit her torch on high ! 
Bright on the dragon crest 2 
It tells that glory's wing shall rest, 

When warriors meet to die ! 
Let earth's pale tyrants read despair 

And vengeance in its flame ; 
Hail ye, my bards ! the omen fair 

Of conquest and of fame, 
And swell the rushing mountain air 

With songs to Glendwr's name. 

At the dead hour of night, 

Mark'd ye how each majestic height 

Burn'd in its awful beams ] 
Red shone th' eternal snows, 
And all the land, as bright it rose, 

Was full of glorious dreams ! 
eagles of the battle, 3 rise ! 

The hope of Gwynedd wakes ! 4 
It is your banner in the skies 

Through each dark cloud which breaks, 
And mantles with triumphal dyes 

Your thousand hills and lakes ! 

A sound is on the breeze, 

A murmur as of swelling seas ! 

The Saxon on his way ! 
Lo ! spear and shield and lance, 
From Deva's waves, with lightning glance, 

Reflected to the day ! 
But who the torrent-wave compels 

A conqueror's chain to bear '} 



1 The year 1402 was ushered in with a comet or blazing 
Star, which the bards interpreted as an omen favourable to 
the cause of Glendwr. It served to infuse spirit into the 
minds of a superstitious people, the first success of their 
chieftain confirmed this belief, and gave new vigour to their 
actions. PENNANT. 

2 Owen Glendwr styled himself the Dragon ; a name he 
assumed in imitation of TJthyr, whose victories over the 
Saxons were foretold by the appearances of a star with a dragon 
beneath, which Uthyr used as his badge ; and on that account 
it became a favourite one with the Welsh. PENNANT. 



Let those who wake the soul that dwells 
On our free winds, beware ! 

The greenest and the loveliest dells 
May be the lion's lair ! 

Of us they told, the seers, 

And monarch bards of elder years, 

Who walk'd on earth as powers J 
And in their burning strains, 
A spell of might and mystery reigns, 

To guard our mountain-towers ! 
In Snowdon's caves a prophet lay: 5 

Before his gifted sight, 
The march of ages pass'd away 

With hero-footsteps bright ; 
But proudest in that long array, 

Was Glendwr's path of light ! 



PRINCE MADOC'S FAREWELL. 

WHY lingers my gaze where the last hues of day 
On the hills of my country in loveliness sleep 1 

Too fair is the sight for a wand'rer, whose way 
Lies far o'er the measureless worlds of the deep ! 

Fall, shadows of twilight ! and veil the green shore, 

That the heart of the mighty may waver no more ! 

Why rise on my thoughts, ye free songs of the land 
Where the harp's lofty soul 011 each wild wind 

is borne ] 
Be hush'd, be forgotten ! for ne'er shall the hand 

Of minstrel with melody greet my return. 
No ! no ! let your echoes still float on the breeze, 
And my heart shall be strong for the conquest of 
seas ! 

'Tis not for the land of my sires to give birth 
Unto bosoms that shrink when their trial is nigh; 

Away ! we will bear over ocean and earth 
A name and a spirit that never shall die. 



s " Bring the horn to Tudwrou, the Eagle of Battles." 
See the Hirlas Horn of OWAIN CYFEILIOG. The eagle is a 
very favourite image with the ancient Welsh poets. 

* Gwynedd, (pronounced Gwyneth,) North Wales. 

s Merlin, or Merddin Emrys, is said to have composed his 
prophecies on the future lot of the Britons, amongst the 
mountains of Snowdon. Many of these, and other ancient 
prophecies, were applied by Glyndwr to his own cause, 
and assisted him greatly in animating the spirit of his fol- 
lowers. 



150 



U'ELSH MELODIES. 



My course to the winds, to the stars, I resign ; 
But my soul's quenchless fire, my country ! is 
thine. 



CASWALLON'S TRIUMPH. 

[Caswallon (or Cassivelaunus) was elected to the supreme 
command of the Britons, (as recorded in the Triads,) for the 
purpose of opposing Caesar, under the title of Elected Chief of 
Battle. Whatever impression the disciplined legions of Rome 
might have made on the Britons in the first instance, the 
subsequent departure of Cassar they considered as a cause of 
triumph ; and it is stated that Caswallon proclaimed an as- 
sembly of the various states of the island, for the purpose of 
celebrating that event by feasting and public rejoicing. 
Cambrian Biography.] 

FROM the glowing southern regions, 
Where the sun-god makes his dwelling, 

Came the Roman's crested legions 
O'er the deep, round Britain swelling. 

The wave grew dazzling as he pass'd, 

With light from spear and helmet cast : 

And sounds in every rushing blast 
Of a conqueror's march were telling. 

But his eagle's royal pinion, 

Bowing earth beneath its glory, 
Could not shadow with dominion 

Our wild seas and mountains hoary ! 
Back from their cloudy realm it flies, 
To float in light through softer skies ; 
Oh ! chainless winds of heaven arise ! 

Bear a vanquish'd world the story ! 


Lords of earth ! to Rome returning, 

Tell how Britain combat wages, 
How Caswallon's soul is burning 

When the storm of battle rages ! 
And ye that shrine high deeds in song, 

holy and immortal throng ! 

The brightness of his name prolong, 
As a torch to stream through ages ! 

1 " I have rode hard, mounted on a fine high-bred steed, 
upon thy account, O thou with the countenance of cherry- 
flower bloom. The speed was with eagerness, and the strong 
long-hamm'd steed of Alban reached the summit of the high 
land of Bran." 

3 " My loving heart sinks with grief without thy sup- 
port, O thou that hast the whiteness of the curling waves ! 

I know that this pain will avail me nothing 

towards obtaining thy love, O thou whose countenance is 
bright as the flowers of the hawthorn 1 " HOWEL'S Ode to 
Myfanwy. 



HOWEL'S SONG. 

[HOWEL ab Einion Llygliw was a distinguished bard of 
the fourteenth century. A beautiful poem, addressed by 
him to Myfanwy Vychan, a celebrated beauty of those tunes, 
is still preserved amongst the remains of the Welsh bards. 
The ruius of Myfanwy's residence, Castle Dinas Bran, may 
yet be traced on a high hill near Llangollen.] 

PRESS on, my steed ! I hear the swell * 
Of Valle Crucis' vesper-bell, 
Sweet floating from the holy dell 

O'er woods and waters round. 
Perchance the maid I love, e'en now, 
From Dinas Bran's majestic brow, 
Looks o'er the fairy world below, 

And listens to the sound ! 

I feel her presence on the scene ! 

The summer air is more serene, 

The deep woods wave in richer green, 

The wave more gently flows ! 
fair as ocean's curling foam ! 2 
Lo ! with the balmy hour I come 
The hour that brings the wanderer home, 

The weary to repose ! 

Haste ! on each mountain's darkening crest 
The glow hath died, the shadows rest, 
The twilight star on Deva's breast 

Gleams tremulously bright ; 
Speed for Myfanwy's bower on high ! 
Though scorn may wound me from her eye, 
Oh ! better by the sun to die, 

Than live in rayless night ! 



THE MOUNTAIN FIRES. 



[" The custom retained in Wales of lighting fires (Coelcerthf) 
on November eve, is said to be a traditional memorial of tho 
massacre of the British chiefs by Hengist, on Salisbury 
plain. The practice is, however, of older date, and had 
reference originally to the Alban Elted, or new-year." 
Cambro-Briton. 

When these fires are kindled on the mountains, and seen, 
through the darkness of a stormy night, casting a red and 
fitful glare over heath and rock, their effect is strikingly pic- 
turesque.] 

LIGHT the hills ! till heaven is glowing 
As with some red meteor's rays ! 

Winds of night, though rudely blowing, 
Shall but fan the beacon-blaze. 



WELSH MELODIES. 



Light the hills ! till flames are streaming 
From Yr Wyddfa's sovereign steep, 1 

To the waves round Mona gleaming, 
Where the Koman track'd the deep ! 

Be the mountain watch-fires heighten'd, 

Pile them to the stormy sky ! 
Till each torrent-wave is brignten'd, 

Kindling as it rushes by. 
Now each rock, the mist's high dwelling, 

Towers in reddening light sublime ; 
Heap the flames ! around them telling 

Tales of Cambria's elder time. 

Thus our sires, the fearless-hearted, 

Many a solemn vigil kept, 
When, in ages long departed, 

O'er the noble dead they wept. 
In the winds we hear their voices 
., " Sons ! though yours a brighter lot, 
When the mountain-land rejoices, 

Be her mighty unforgot ! " 



ERYRI WEN. 

[" Snowdon was held as sacred by the ancient Britons, as 
Parnassus was by the Greeks, and Ida by the Cretans. It is 
still said, that whosoever slept upon Snowdon would wake 
inspired, as much as if he had taken a nap on the hill of 
Apollo. The Welsh had always the strongest attachment to 
the tract of Snowdon. Our princes had, in addition to their 
title, that of Lord of Snowdon." PENNANT.] 

THEIRS was no dream, monarch hill, 
With heaven's own azure crown'd ! 

Who call'd thee what thou shalt be still, . 
White Snowdon ! holy ground. 

T/tey fabled not, thy sons who told 

Of the dread power enshrined 
Within thy cloudy mantle's fold, 

And on thy rushing wind ! 

1 Yr Wyddfa, the Welsh name of Snowdon, said to mean 
the conspicuous place, or object. 

- Dinas Emrys, (the fortress of Ambrose,) a celebrated 
rock amongst the mountains of Snowdon, is said to be so 
called from having been the residence of Merddin Emrys, 
called by the Latins Merlinus Ambrosius, the celebrated 
prophet and magician : and there, tradition says, he wrote 
his prophecies concerning the future state of the Britons. 

There is another curious tradition respecting a large stone, 
on the ascent of Snowdon, called Maen du yr Arddu, the 
black stone of Arddu. It is said, that if two persons were to 
sleep a night on this stone, in the morning one would find 



It shadow'd o'er thy silent height, 

It fill'd thy chainless air, 
Deep thoughts of majesty and might 

For ever breathing there. 

Nor hath it fled ! the awful spell 

Yet holds unbroken sway, 
As when on that wild rock it fell 

Where Merddin Emrys lay 1 2 

Though from their stormy haunts of yore 

Thine eagles long have flown, 3 
As proud a flight the soul shall soar 

Yet from thy mountain-throne ! 

Pierce then the heavens, thou hill of streams ! 

And make the snows thy crest ! 
The sunlight of immortal dreams 

Around thee still shall rest. 

Eryri ! temple of the bard ! 

And fortress of the free ! 
Midst rocks which heroes died to guard, 

Their spirit dwells with thee ! 



CHANT OF THE BARDS BEFORE THEIR 
MASSACRE BY EDWARD I. 4 

RAISE ye the sword ! let the death-stroke be given; 
Oh I swift may it fall as the lightning of heaven ! 
So shall our spirits be free as our strains 
The children of song may not languish in chains ! 

Have ye not trampled our country's bright crest] 
Are heroes reposing in death on her breast 1 
Red with their blood do her mountain-streams flow, 
And think ye that still we would linger below? 

Rest, ye brave dead ! midst the hills of your sires, 
Oh ! who would not slumber when freedom expires] 
Lonely and voiceless your halls must remain 
The children of song may not breathe in the chain ! 

himself endowed with the gift of poetry, and the other would 
become insane. WILLIAMS'S Observations on the Snotcdon 
Mountains. 

3 It is believed amongst the inhabitants of these moun- 
tains, that eagles have heretofore bred in the lofty clefts of 
their rocks. Some wandering ones are still seen at times, 
though very rarely, amongst the precipices. WILLIAMS'S 
Observations on the Snowdon Mountains. 

* This sanguinary deed is not attested by any historian of 
credit. And it deserves to be also noticed, that none of the 
bardic productions since the time of Edward make any alli> 
sion to such an event. Cambro-Briton, vol. i., p. 195. 



152 



WELSH MELODIES. 



THE DYIXG BARD'S PROPHECY. 1 

THE hall of harps is lone to-night, 

And cold the chieftain's hearth : 
It hath no mead, it hath no light ; 

No voice of melody, no sound of mirth. 

The bow lies broken on the floor 

Whence the free step is gone ; 
The pilgrim turns him from the door [stone. 

"\\Tiere minstrel-blood hath stain'd the threshold 

"And I, too, go : my wound is deep, 

My brethren long have died ; 
Yet, ere my soul grow dark with sleep, 

Winds ! bear the spoiler one more tone of pride ! 

" Bear it where, on his battle-plain, 

Beneath the setting sun, 
He counts my country's noble slain 

Say to him Saxon, think not all is won. 

'' Thou hast laid low the warrior's head, 

The minstrel's chainless hand : 
Dreamer ! that numberest with the dead 

The burning spirit of the mountain-land ! 

'' Think'st thou, because the song hath ceased, 

The soul of song is flown ] 
Think'st thou it woke to crown the feast, 

It lived beside the ruddy hearth alone 1 

" No ! by our wrongs, and by our blood ! 

We leave it pure and free ; 
Though hush'd awhile, that sounding flood 

Shall roll in joy through ages yet to be. 

" We leave it midst our country's woe 

The birthright of her breast ; 
We leave it as we leave the snow 

Bright and eternal on Eryri's crest. 

We leave it with our fame to dwell 

Upon our children's breath ; 
Our voice in theirs through tune shall swell 

The bard hath gifts of prophecy from death. 

He dies ; but yet the mountains stand, 

Yet sweeps the torrent's tide ; 
And this is yet Aneurin's 2 land 

Winds ! bear the spoiler one more tone of pride ! 

1 At the time of the supposed massacre of the Welsh bards 
by Edward the First. 
8 Aneurin, one of the noblest of the Welsh bards. 



THE FAIR ISLE. 3 

FOR THE MELODY CALLED THE " WELSH GROUND." 

[The Bard of the Palace, under the ancient Welsh princes, 
always accompanied the army when it marched into an 
enemy's country ; and, while it was preparing for battle or 
dividing the spoils, he performed an ancient song, called 
Unbennaeth Prydain, the Monarchy of Britain. It has beer, 
conjectured that this poem referred to the tradition of the 
Welsh, that the whole island had once been possessed by their 
ancestors, who were driven into a corner of it by their Saxon 
invaders. When the prince had received his share of the 
spoils, the bard, for the performance of this song, was rewarded 
with the most valuable beast that remained. JONES'S His- 
torical Account of the Welsh Bards.] 

I. 

SONS of the Fail- Isle ! forget not the time 
Ere spoilers hadbreathed the free air of your clime ; 
All that its eagles behold in their flight [height. 
Was yours, from the deep to each storm-mantled 
Though from your race that proud birthright be 

torn, 
Unquench'd is the spirit for monarchy born. 



Darkly though clouds may hang o'er us awhile, 
The crown shall not pass from the Beautiful Isle. 



Ages may roll ere your children regain 
The land for which heroes have perish'd in vain ; 
Yet, in the sound of your names shall be power, 
Around her still gathering in glory's full hour. 
Strong in the fame of the mighty that sleep, 
Your Britain shall sit on the throne of the deep. 



Then shall their spirits rejoice in her smile, 
Who died for the crown of the Beautiful Isle. 



THE ROCK OF CADER IDRIS. 

[It is an old tradition of the Welsh bards, that on the 
summit of the mountain Cader Idris, is an excavation resem- 
bling a couch ; and that whoever should pass a night in that 
hollow, would be found in the morning either dead, in a 
a frenzy, or endowed with the highest poetical inspiration.] 

I LAY on that rock where the storms have their 

dwelling, cloud ; 

The birthplace of phantoms, the home of the 

3 Ynys Prydain was the ancient Welsh name of Britain, 
and signifies fair or beautiful i$le. 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



153 



Around it for ever deep music is swelling, 

The voice of the mountain- wind, solemn and loud. 

Twos a midnight of shadows all fitfully streaming, 

Of wild waves and breezes, that mingled their 

moan ; [i^g j 

Of dim shrouded stars, as from gulfs faintly gleam- 
And I met the dread gloom of its grandeur alone. 

I lay there in silence a spirit came o'er me ; 

Man's tongue hath no language to speak what 

I saw ; [me, 

Things glorious, unearthly, pass'd floating before 

And my heart almost fainted with rapture and 

awe. 
I viewed the dread beings around us that hover, 

Though veil'd by the mists of mortality's breath ; 
And I call'd upon darkness the vision to cover, 

For a strife was within me of madness and death. 

I saw them the powers of the wind and the ocean, 
The rush of whose pinion bears onward the 
storms ; 



[" The Welsh Melodies, which first introduced Mrs 
Hemans to the public as a song-writer, had already made 
their appearance. Some of them are remarkable for the 
melody of their numbers in particular, the song to the well- 
known air, " Ar hyd y nos." Her fine feeling for music, in 
which, as also in drawing, she would have signally excelled, 
could she have bestowed the time and patient labour requisite 
for obtaining mastery over the mechanical difficulties of these 
arts, assisted her not only in her choice of measures, but also 
of her words ; and, although in speaking of her songs, it 
must be remarked that some of the later ones are almost too 
fall of meaning to require the further clothing of sweet sound, 



Like the sweep of the white-rolling wave was their 

motion 
I felt their dim presence, but knew not their 

forms ! 
I saw them the mighty of ages departed 

The dead were around me that night on the Mil : 
From their eyes, as they pass'd, a cold radiance 

they darted, 

There was light on my soul, but my heart's 
blood was chill. 

I saw what man looks on, and dies but my spirit 
"Was strong, and triumphantly lived through 

that hour ; 
And, as from the grave, I awoke to inherit 

A flame all immortal, a voice, and a power ! 
Day burst on that rock with the purple cloud 

crested, 

And high Cader Idris rejoiced in the sun ; 
But oh ! what new glory all nature invested, 
When the sense which gives soul to her beauty 
was won ! : 



instead of their being left, as in outline, waiting for the 
musician's colouring hand, they must be all praised as flowing 
and expressive ; and it is needless to remind the reader how 
many of them, united with her sister's music, have obtained 
the utmost popularity. She had well studied the national 
character of the Welsh airs, and the allusions to the legen- 
dary history of the ancient Britons, which her songs con- 
tain, are happily chosen. But it was an instinct with Mrs 
Hemans to catch the picturesque points of national char- 
acter, as well as of national music : in the latter she 
always delighted." CHORLEY'S Memorials of Mrs Hemans, 
p. 80-1.] 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS. 

[" Mrs Hemans was at this time (1821) occupied in the composition of her tragedy, ' The Vespers of Palermo,' which she 
originally wrote without any idea of offering it for the stage. The sanguine recommendations, however, of Mr Reginald 
Heber, and the equally kind encouragement of Mr Milman, (to whose correspondence she was introduced through the medium 
of a mutual friend, though she had never the advantage of his personal acquaintance,) induced her to venture upon a step 
which her own diffidence would have withheld her from contemplating, but for the support of such high literary authorities. 
Indeed, notwithstanding the flattering encomiums which were bestowed upon the tragedy by all who read it, and most espe- 
cially by the critics of the green-room, whose imprimatur might have been supposed a sufficiently safe guarantee of success, 
her own anticipations, throughout the long period of suspense which intervened between its acceptance and representation, 
were far more modified than those of her friends. In this subdued tone of feeling she thus wrote to Mr Milman : ' As I 
cannot help looking forward to the day of trial with much more of dread than of sanguine expectation, I most willingly 
acquiesce in your recommendations of delay, and shall rejoice in having the respite as much prolonged as possible. I begin 
almost to shudder at my own presumption, and, if it were not for the kind encouragement I have received from you and Mr 
Reginald Heber, should be much more anxiously occupied in searching for any outlet of escape, than in attempting to overcome 
the difficulties which seem to obstruct my onward path.' " Memoir, p. 81-2.] 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO, 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 



COUNT EI PROCIDA. 

RAIMOND DI PROCIDA, hif Son. 

ERIBERT, Viceroy. 

DE Couci. 

MONTALBA. 

GUIBO. 



ALBERT!. 

A.VSELMO, a Monk. 



VlTTORIA. 

CONSTANCE, Sister to Eribert. 



Nobles, Soldiert, Messengers, Vassals, Peasants, &e. &c. SCENE Palermo. 



ACT I. 
SCENE I. A Valley, with vineyards and cottages. 

Groups of Peasants PKOCIDA, disguised as 
a> Pilgrim, among them. 

1st Pea. Ay, this was wont to be a festal time 
Iri days gone by ! I can remember well 
The old familiar melodies that rose 
At break of morn, from all our purple hills, 
To welcome in the vintage. Never since 
Hath music seem'd so sweet. But the light hearts 
Which to those measures beat so joyously, 
Are tamed to stillness now. There is no voice 
Of joy through all the land. 

2d Pea. Yes ! there are sounds 
Of revelry within the palaces, 
And the fair castles of our ancient lords, 
Where now the stranger banquets. Ye may hear 
From thence the peals of song and laughter rise 
At midnight's deepest hour. 

3d Pea. Alas ! we sat, 
In happier days, so peacefully beneath 
The olives and the vines our fathers rear'd, 
Encircled by our children, whose quick steps 
Flew by us in the dance ! The time hath been 
When peace was in the hamlet, wheresoe'er 
The storm might gather. But this yoke of France 
Falls on the peasant's neck as heavily 
As on the crested chieftain's. We are bow'd 
E'en to the earth. 

Pea.'s Child. My father, tell me when 
Shall the gay dance and song again resound 
Amidst our chestnut-woods, as in those days 
Of which thou 'rt wont to tell the joyous tale 1 

1st Pea. When there are light and reckless 

hearts once more 

In Sicily's green vales. Alas, my boy ! 
Men meet not now to quaff the flowing bowl, 
To hear the mirthful song, and cast aside 
The weight of work-day care : they meet to speak 
Of wrongs and sorrows, and to whisper thoughts 
They dare not breatho aloud. 

Pro. (from the lackground) Ay, it is well 



So to relieve th' o'erburthen'd heart, which pants 
Beneath its weight of wrongs ; but better far 
In silence to avenge them ! 

An Old Pea. What deep voice 
Came with that startling tone 1 

1st Pea. It was our guest's, 
The stranger pilgrim who hath sojourn' d here 
Since yester-morn. Good neighbours, mark him 

well : 

He hath a stately bearing, and an eye L accorc ^ 3 
Whose glance looks through the heart. His mien 
111 with such vestments. How he folds around him 
His pilgrim-cloak, e'en as it were a robe 
Of knightly ermine ! That commanding step 
Should have been used in courts and camps to 

move. 
Mark him ! 

Old Pea. Nay, rather mark him not ; the tunes 
Are fearful, and they teach the boldest hearts 
A cautious lesson. What should bring him here 2 

A Youth. He spoke of vengeance ! 

Old Pea. Peace ! we are beset 
By snares on every side, and we must learn 
In silence and in patience to endure. 
Talk not of vengeance, for the word is death. 

Pro. (coming forward indignantly.) 
The word is death ! And what hath life for thee, 
That thou shouldst cling to it thus ? thou abject 

thing ! 

Whose very soul is moulded to the yoke, 
And stamp'd with servitude. What ! is it life 
Thus at a breeze to start, to school thy voice 
Into low fearful whispers, and to cast 
Pale jealous looks around thec, lest, e'en then, 
Strangers should catch its echo? Is there aught 
In this so precious, that thy furrow'd cheek 
Is blanch'd with terror at the passing thought 
Of hazarding some few and evil days, 
Which drag thus poorly on 1 

Some of the Peas. Away, away ! 
Leave us, for there is danger in thy presence. 

Pro. Why, what is danger ] Are there deeper 

ills 

Than those ye bear thus calmly? Ye have drain'd 
The cup of bitterness till naught remains 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



155 



To fear or shrink from therefore, be ye strong ! 
Power dwelleth with despair. Why start ye thus 
At words which are but echoes of the thoughts 
Lock'd in your secret souls ] Full well I know 
There is not one among you but hath nursed 
Some proud indignant feeling, which doth make 
One conflict of his life. I know thy wrongs 
And thine and thine ; but if within your breast 
There is no chord that vibrates to my voice, 
Then fare ye well. [say on ! 

A Youth (coming forward.) No, no ! say on, 
There are still free and fiery hearts e'en here, 
That kindle at thy words. 

Pea. If that indeed 
Thou hast a hope to give us 

Pro. There is hope 

For all who suffer with indignant thoughts 
Which work in silent strength. What ! think ye 

heaven 

O'erlooks the oppressor, if he bear awhile 
His crested head on high 1 I tell you, no ! 
Th" avenger will not sleep. It was an hour 
Of triumph to the conqueror, when our king, 
Our young brave Conradin, in life's fair morn 
On the red scaffold died. Yet not the less 
Is Justice throned above ; and her good time 
Comes rushing on in storms : that royal blood 
Hath lifted an accusing voice from earth, 
And hath been heard. The traces of the past 
Fade in man's heart, but ne'er doth heaven forget. 

Pea. Had we but arms and leaders, we are meii 
Who might earn vengeance yet; but wanting these, 
What wouldst thou have us do ? 

Pro. Be vigilant ; 

And when the signal wakes the land, arise ! 
The peasant's arm is strong, and there shall be 
A rich and noble harvest. Fare ye well. 

[Exit PROCTDA. 

1st Pea. This man should be a prophet : how 

he seem'd 

To read our hearts with his dark searching glance 
And aspect of command ! and yet his garb 
Is mean as ours. 

2d Pea. Speak low ; I know him well. 
At first his voice disturb'd me, like a dream 
Of other days ; but I remember now 
His form, seen oft when in my youth I served 
Beneath the banners of our kings ! 'Tis he 
Who hath been exiled and proscribed so long, 
The Count di Procida. 

Pea. And is this he 1 

Then heaven protect him ! for around his steps 
Will many snares be set. 

1st Pea. He comes not thus 



But with some mighty purpose doubt it not ; 
Perchance to bring us freedpm. He is one 
Whose faith, through many a trial, hath been proved 
True to our native princes. But away ! 
The noontide heat is past, and from the seas 
Light gales are wandering through the vineyards ; 

now 
We may resume our toil. Exeunt Peasants. 

SCENE II. The Terrace of a Castle. 
EKIBERT, VITTORIA. 

VU. Have I not told thee, that I bear a heart 
Blighted and cold 1 Th' affections of my youth 
Lie slumbering in the grave ; their fount is closed, 
And all the soft and playful tenderness 
Which hath its home in woman's breast, ere yet 
Deep wrongs have sear'd it all is fled from mine. 
Urge me no more. 

Eri. lady ! doth the flower 
That sleeps entomb'd through the long wintry 

storms, 

Unfold its beauty to the breath of spring, 
And shall not woman's heart, from chill despair, 
Wake at love's voice ? 

Vit. Love ! make love's name thy spell, 
And I am strong ! the very word calls up 
From the dark past, thoughts, feelings, powers, 

array'd 

In arms against thee ! Know'st thou whom I loved, 
While my soul's dwelling-place was still on earth 1 
One who was born for empire, and endow'd 
With such high gifts of princely majesty, 
As bow'd all hearts before him ! Was he not 
Brave, royal, beautiful ] And such he died ; 
He died ! hast thou forgotten ? And thou'rt here, 
Thou meet'st my glance with eyes which coldly 

look'd, 

Coldly ! nay, rather with triumphant gaze, 
Upon his murder ! Desolate as I am, 
Yet in the mien of thine affianced bride, 
my lost Conradin ! there should be still 
Somewhat of loftiness, which might o'erawe 
The hearts of thine assassins. 

Eri. Haughty dame ! 

If thy proud heart to tenderness be closed, 
Know danger is around thee : thou hast foes 
That seek thy ruin, and my power alone 
Can shield thee from their arts. 

Vit. Provencal, tell 

Thy tale of danger to some happy heart 
Which hath its little world of loved ones round, 
For whom to tremble ; and its tranquil joys 



1 5 6 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



That make earth Paradise. I stand alone ; 
They that are blest may fear. 

Eri. Is there not one 

Who ne'er commands in vain 1 Proud lady, bend 
Thy spirit to thy fate ; for know that he, 
Whose car of triumph in its earthquake path, 
O'er the bow'd neck of prostrate Sicily, 
Hath borne him to dominion ; he, my king, 
Charles of Anjou, decrees thy hand the boon 
My deeds hare well deserved; and who hath power 
Against his mandates 1 

Vit. Viceroy, tell thy lord 

That, e'en where chains lie heaviest on the land, 
Souls may not all be fetter'd. Oft, ere now, 
Conquerors have rock'd the earth, yet faildto tame 
Unto their purposes that restless fire 
Inhabiting man's breast. A spark bursts forth, 
And so they perish ! 'Tis the fate of those 
Who sport with lightning and it may be his. 
Tell him I fear him not, and thus am free. 

Eri. 'Tis well. Then nerve that lofty heart to 

bear 

The wrath which is not powerless. Yet again 
Bethink thee, lady ! Love may change hath 

changed 

To vigilant hatred oft, whose sleepless eye 
Still finds what most it seeks for. Fare thee well. 
Look to it yet ! To-morrow I return. 

[Exit ERIBERT. 

Vit. To-morrow ! Some ere now have slept 

and dreamt 

Of morrows which ne'er dawn'd orne'erforthem; 
So silently their deep and still repose 
Hath melted into death ! Are there not balms 
In nature's boundless realm, to pour out sleep 
Like this on me 1 Yet should my spirit still 
Endure its earthly bonds, till it could bear 
To his a glorious tale of his own isle, [work, 

Free and avenged. Thou shouldst be now at 
In wrath, my native Etna ! who dost lift 
Thy spiry pillar of dark smoke so high, [still, 
Through the red heaven of sunset ! sleep'st thou 
With all thy founts of fire, while spoilers tread 
The glowing vales beneath 1 

[PROCIDA enters, disguised. 
Ha ! who art thou, 

Unbidden guest, that with so mute a step 
Dost steal upon me ? 

Pro. One o'er whom hath pass'd 
All that can change man's aspect ! Yet not long 
Shalt thou find safety in forgetfulness. 
I am he, to breathe whose name is perilous, 
Unless thy wealth could bribe the winds to silence. 
Know'st thou this, lady] [He shows a ring. 



Vit. Righteous heaven ! the pledge 
Amidst his people from the scaffold thrown 
By him who perish'd, and whose kingly blood 
E'en yet is unatoned. My heart beats high 
Oh, welcome, welcome ! thou art Procida, 
Th' Avenger, the Deliverer ! 

Pro. Call me so, 

When my great task is done. Yet who can tell 
If the returnd be welcome 1 Many a heart 
Is changed since last we met. 

Vit. Why dost thou gaze, 
With such a still and solemn earnestness, 
Upon my alter'd mien 1 

Pro. That I may read 
If to the widow'd love of Conradin, 
Or the proud Eribert's triumphant bride, 
I now intrust my fate. 

Vit. Thou, Procida ! 
That thou shouldst wrong me thus ! prolong 

thy gaze 
Till it hath found an answer. 

Pro. 'Tis enough. 

I find it in thy cheek, whose rapid change 
Is from death's hue to fever's ; in the wild 
Unsettled brightness of thy proud dark eye, 
And in thy wasted form. Ay, 'tis a deep 
And solemn joy, thus in thy looks to trace, 
Instead of youth's gay bloom, the characters 
Of noble suffering : on thy brow the same 
Commanding spirit holds its native state, 
Which could not stoop to vileness. Yet the voice 
Of Fame hath told afar, that thou shouldst wed 
This tyrant Eribert. 

Vit. And told it not 

A tale of insolent love repell'd with scorn 
Of stern commands and fearful menaces 
Met with indignant courage 1 Procida ! 
It was but now that haughtily I braved 
His sovereign's mandate, which decrees my hand, 
With its fair appanage of wide domains 
And wealthy vassals, a most fitting boon, 
To recompense his crimes. I smiled ay, smiled 
In proud security ; for the high of heart 
Have still a pathway to escape disgrace, 
Though it be dark and lone. 

Pro. Thou shalt not need 
To tread its shadowy mazes. Trust my words : 
I tell thee that a spirit is abroad 
Which will not slumber, till its path be traced 
By deeds of fearful fame. Yittoria, live ! 
It is most meet that thou shouldst live, to see 
The mighty expiation ; for thy heart 
(Forgive me that I wrong'd its faith !) hath nursed 
A high, majestic grief, whose seal is set 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



157 



Deep on thy marble brow. 

Vit. Then thou canst tell 
By gazing on the wither'd rose, that there 
Time, or the blight, hath work'd ! Ay, this is in 
Thy vision's scope : but oh ! the things unseen, 
Untold, undreamt of, which- like shadows pass 
Hourly o'er that mysterious world, a mind 
To ruin struck by grief ! Yet doth my soul, 
Far midst its darkness, nurse one soaring hope, 
Wherein is bright vitality. 'Tis to see 
His blood avenged, and his fair heritage, 
My beautiful native land, in glory risen, 
Like a warrior from his slumbers ! 

Pro. Hear'st thou not 

With what a deep and ominous moan the voice 
Of our great mountain swells ? There will be soon 
A fearful burst ! Vittoria ! brood no more 
In silence o'er thy sorrows, but go forth 
Amidst thy vassals, (yet be secret stilL) 
And let thy breath give nurture to the spark 
Thoirlt find already kindled. I move on 
In shadow, yet awakening in my path 
That which shall startle nations. Fare thee well. 

Vit. When shall we meet again 1 Are we not 
those [not 

Whom most he loved on earth, and think'st thou 
That love e'en yet shall bring his spirit near, 
While thus we hold communion ? 

Pro. Yes, I feel 

Its breathing influence whilst I look on thee, 
Who wert its light in life. Yet will we not 
Make womanish tears our offering on his tomb ; 
He shall have nobler tribute ! I must hence, 
But thou shalt soon hear more. Await the time. 
[Exeunt separately. 



SCENE III. TJie Sea-shore. 
RAIHOND DI PROCIDA, CONSTANCE. 

Con. There is a shadow far within your eye, 
Which hath of late been deepening. You were 

wont, 

Upon the clearness of your open brow, 
To wear a brighter spirit, shedding round 
Joy like our southern sun. It is not well, 
If some dark thought be gathering o'er your soul, 
To hide it from affection. Why is this! 
My Raimond, why is this! 

Raim. Oh ! from the dreams 
Of youth, sweet Constance, hath not manhood still 
A wild and stormy waken ing] They depart 
Light after light, our glorious visions fade, 
The vaguely beautiful ! till earth, unveil'd, 



Lies pale around ; and life's realities 

Press on the soul, from its unfathom'd depth 

Rousing the fiery feelings, and proud thoughts, 

In all their fearful strength ! 'Tis ever thus, 

And doubly so with me ; for I awoke 

With high aspirings, making it a curse 

To breathe where noble minds are bow'd, as here; 

To breathe ! It is not breath ! 

Con. I know thy grief, 

And is 't not mine 1 for those devoted men 
Doom'd with their life to expiate some wild word, 
Born of the social hour. Oh ! I have knelt, 
E'en at my brother's feet, with fruitless tears, 
Imploring him to spare. His heart is shut 
Against my voice ; yet will I not forsake 
The cause of mercy. 

Raim. Waste not thou thy prayers, 
gentle love ! for them. There's little need 
For pity, though the galling chain be worn 
By some few slaves the less. Let them depart ! 
There is a world beyond the oppressor's reach, 
And thither lies their way. 

Con. Alas ! I see 
That some new wrong hath pierced you to the soul. 

Raim. Pardon, beloved Constance, if my words, 
Fromfeelingshourly stung, have caught, perchance, 
A tone of bitterness. Oh ! when thine eyes, 
With their sweet eloquent thoughtfulness, are fix'd 
Thus tenderly on mine, I should forget 
All else in their soft beams ; and yet I came 
To tell thee 

Con. What ? What wouldst thou say] Oh speak ! 
Thou wouldst not leave me ! 

Raim. I have cast a cloud, 

The shadow of dark thoughts and ruin'd fortunes, 
O'er thy bright spirit. Haply, were I gone, 
Thou wouldst resume thyself, and dwell once more 
In the clear sunny light of youth and joy, 
E'en as before we met before we loved ! 

Con. This is but mockery. Well thou know'st 

thy love 

Hath given me nobler being ; made my heart 
A home for all the deep sublimities 
Of strong affection ; and I would not change 
Th' exalted life I draw from that pure source, 
With all its checker'd hues of hope and fear, 
E'en for the brightest calm. Thou most unkind ! 
Have I deserved this ? 

Raim. Oh ! thou hast deserved 
A love less fatal to thy peace than mine. 
Think not 'tis mockery ! But I cannot rest 
To be the scorn'd and trampled thing I am 
In this degraded land. Its very skies, 
That smile as if but festivals were held 



i 5 8 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



Beneath their cloudless azure, weigh me down 
With a dull sense of bondage, and I pine 
For freedom's charter'd air. I would go forth 
To seek my noble father : he hath been 
Too long a lonely exile, and his name 
Seems fading in the dim obscurity 
Which gathers round my fortunes. 

Con. Must we part ? 

And is it come to this 1 Oh ! I have still 
Deem'd it enough of joy with thee to share 
E'en grief itself. And now ! But this is vain. 
Alas ! too deep, too fond, is woman's love : 
Too full of hope, she casts on troubled waves 
The treasures of her soul ! 

Raim. Oh, speak not thus ! 
Thy gentle and desponding tones fall cold 
Upon my inmost heart. I leave thee but 
To be more worthy of a love like thine; 
For I have dreamt of fame ! A few short years, 
And we may yet be blest. 

Con. A few short years ! 
Less time may well suffice for death and fate 
To work all change on earth; to break the ties 
Which early love had form'd ; and to bow down 
Th' elastic spirit, and to blight each flower 
Strewn in life's crowded path ! But be it so ! 
Be it enough to know that happiness 
Meets thee on other shores. 

Raim. Where'er I roam, 

Thou shalt be with my soul ! Thy soft low voice 
Shall rise upon remembrance, like a strain 
Of music heard in boyhood, bringing back 
Life's morning freshness. Oh ! that there should be 
Things which we love with such deep tenderness, 
But, through that love, to learn how much of woe 
Dwells in one hour like this ! Yet weep thou not ! 
We shall meet soon ; and many days, dear love ! 
Ere r depart. 

Con. Then there's a respite still. 
Days ! not a day but in its course may bring 
Some strange vicissitude to turn aside 
Th' impending blow we shrink from. Fare thee 

well. (Returning.) 

Oh, Raimond ! this is not our last farewell ! 
Thou wouldst not so deceive me 1 

Raim* Doubt me not, 
Gentlest and best beloved ! we meet again. 

[Exit CONSTANCE. 

Raim. (after a pause.) When shall I breathe in 

freedom, and give scope 
To those untameable and burning thoughts, 
And restless aspirations, which consume 
My heart i' th' land of bondage ] Oh ! with you, 
Ye everlasting images of power 



And of infinity ! thou blue-rolling deep, 
And you, ye stars ! whose beams are characters 
Wherewith the oracles of fate are traced 
With you my soul finds room, and casts aside 
The weight that doth oppress her. But my 

thoughts 

Are wandering far ; there should be one to share 
This awful and majestic solitude 
Of sea and heaven with me. 

[PROCIDA enters unobserved. 

It is the hour 
He named, and yet he comes not 

Pro. (coming forward.) He is here. 

Raim. Now, thou mysterious stranger thou, 

whose glance 

Doth fix itself on memory, and pursue 
Thought like a spirit, haunting its lone hours 
Reveal thyself; what art thou! 

Pro. One whose life 

Hath been a troubled stream, and made its way 
Through rocks and darkness, and a thousand 

storms, 

With still a mighty aim. But now the shades 
Of eve are gathering round me, and I come 
To this, my native land, that I may rest 
Beneath its vines in peace. 

Raim. Seek'st thou for peace 1 
This is no land of peace : unless that deep 
And voiceless terror, which doth freeze men's 

thoughts 

Back to their source, and mantle its pale mien 
With a dull hollow semblance of repose, 
May so be call'd. 

Pro. There are such calms full oft 
Preceding earthquakes. But I have not been 
So vainly school'd by fortune, and inured 
To shape my course on peril's dizzy brink, 
That it should irk my spirit to put on 
Such guise of hush'd submissiveness as best 
May suit the troubled aspect of the times. 

Raim. Why, then, thou 'rt welcome, stranger, 

to the land 

Where most disguise is needful. He were bold 
Who now should wear his thoughts upon his brow 
Beneath Sicilian skies. The brother's eye 
Doth search distrustfully the brother's face ; 
And friends, whose undivided lives have drawn 
From the same past their long remembrances, 
Xow meet in terror, or no more ; lest hearts 
Full to o'erflowing, in their social hour, [winds 
Should pour out some rash word, which roving 
Might whisper to our conquerers. This it is, 
To wear a foreign yoke. 

Pro. It matters not 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



159 



To Viim who holds the mastery o'er his spirit. 
And can suppress its workings, till endurance 
Becomes as nature. We can tame ourselves 
To all extremes, and there is that in life 
To which we cling with most tenacious grasp, 
Even when its lofty aims are all reduced 
To the poor common privilege of breathing. 
Why dost thou turn away 1 

Saint. What wouldst thou with me 1 
I deem'd thee, by th' ascendant soul which lived 
And made its throne on thy commanding brow, 
One of a sovereign nature, which would scorn 
So to abase its high capacities 
For aught on earth. But thou art like the rest. 
What wouldst thou with me ? 

Pro. I would counsel thee. 

Thou must do that which men ay, valiant men 
Hourly submit to do ; in the proud court, 
And in the stately camp, and at the board 
Of midnight revellers, whose flush'd mirth is all 
A strife, won hardly. Where is he whose heart 
Lies bare, through all its foldings, to the gaze 
Of mortal eye ] If vengeance wait the foe, 
Or fate th' oppressor, 'tis in depths conceal'd 
Beneath a smiling surface. Youth, I say, 
Keep thy soul down ! Put on a mask ! 'tis worn 
Alike by power and weakness, and the smooth 
And specious intercourse of life requires 
Its aid in every scene. 

Raim. Away, dissembler ! 
Life hath its high and its ignoble tasks, 
Fitted to every nature. Will the free 
And royal eagle stoop to learn the arts 
By which the serpent wins his spell-bound prey 1 
It is because I will not clothe myself 
In a vile garb of coward semblances, 
That now, e'en now, I struggle with my heart, 
To bid what most I love a long farewell, 
And seek my country on some distant shore, 
Where such things are unknown ! 

Pro. (exultingly.) Why, this is joy : 
After a long conflict with the doubts and fears, 
And the poor subtleties, of meaner minds, 
To meet a spirit, whose bold elastic wing 
Oppression hath not crush'd. High-hearted youth, 
Thy father, should his footsteps e'er again 
Visit these shores 

Raim. My father ! what of him s 
Speak ! was he known to thee ? 

Pro. In distant lands 

With him I've traversed many a wild, and look'd 
On many a danger ; and the thought that thou 
Wert smiling then in peace, a happy boy, 
Oft through the storm hath cheer'd him. 



Raim. Dost thou deem 
That still he lives 1 Oh ! if it be in chains, 
In woe, in poverty's obscurest cell, 
Say but he lives and I will track his steps 
E'en to earth's verge ! 

Pro. It may be that he lives, 
Though long his name hath ceased to be a word 
Familiar in man's dwellings. But its sound 
May yet be heard ! Raimond di Procida, 
Rememberest thou thy father ? 

Raim. From my mind 

His form hath faded long, for years have pass'd 
Since he went forth to exile : but a vague, 
Yet powerful image of deep majesty, 
Still dimly gathering round each thought of him, 
Doth claim instinctive reverence ; and my love 
For his inspiring name hath long become 
Part of my being. 

Pro. Raimond ! doth no voice 
Speak to thy soul, and tell thee whose the arms 
That would enfold thee now ? My son ! my son ! 

Raim. Father ! Oh God ! my father ! Now 

I know 
Why my heart woke before thee ! 

Pro. Oh ! this hour 
Makes hope reality ; for thou art all 
My dreams had pictured thee ! 

Raim. Yet why so long 

E'en as a stranger hast thou cross'd my paths, 
One nameless and unknown 1 and yet I felt 
Each pulse within me thrilling to thy voice. 

Pro. Because I would not link thy fate with 

mine, 

Till I could hail the dayspring of that hope 
Which now is gathering round us. Listen, youth ! 
Thou hast told me of a subdued and scorn'd 
And trampled land, whose very soul is bow'd 
And fashion'd to her chains : but 7 tell thee 
Of a most generous and devoted land, 
A land of kindling energies ; a land 
Of glorious recollections ! proudly true 
To the high memory of her ancient kings, 
And rising, in majestic scorn, to cast 
Her alien bondage off ! 

Raim. And where is this 1 

Pro. Here, in our isle, our own fair Sicily ! 
Her spirit is awake, and moving on, 
In its deep silence mightier, to regain 
Her place amongst the nations ; and the hour 
Of that tremendous effort is at hand. [life 

Raim. Can it be thus indeed? Thou pour'st new 
Through all my burning veins ! I am as one 
Awakening from a chill and deathlike sleep 
To the full glorious day. 



i6o 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



Pro. Thou shalt hear more ! 
Thou shalt hear things which would which will, 

arouse 

The proud free spirits of our ancestors 
E'en from their marble rest. Yet mark me well ! 
Be secret ! for along my destined path 
I yet must darkly move. Now, follow me, 
And join a band of men, in whose high hearts 
There lies a nation's strength. 

Raim. My noble father ! 

Thy words have given me all for which I pined 
An aim, a hope, a purpose ! And the blood 
Doth rush in warmer currents through my veins, 
As a bright fountain from its icy bonds 
By the quick sun-stroke freed. 

Pro. Ay, this is well ! 

Such natures burst men's chains ! Now follow me. 

[Exeunt. 



ACT II. 

SCENE I. Apartment in a Palace. 
ERIBEET, CONSTANCE. 

Con. Will you not hear me ? Oh ! that they 

who need 

Hourly forgiveness they who do but live 
While mercy's voice, beyond th' eternal stars, 
Wins the great Judge to listen, should be thus, 
In their vain exercise of pageant power, 
Hard and relentless ! Gentle brother ! yet 
'Tis in your choice to imitate that heaven, 
Whose noblest joy is pardon. 

Eri. 'Tis too late. 

You have a soft and moving voice, which pleads 
With eloquent melody but they must die. 

Con. What ! die ! for words 1 for breath 

which leaves no trace 
To sully the pure air wherewith it blends, 
And is, being utter'd, gone 1 Why, 'twere enough 
For such a venial fault to be deprived 
One little day of man's free heritage, [deem 

Heaven's warm and sunny light ! Oh ! if you 
That evil harbours in their souls, at least 
Delay the stroke, till guilt, made manifest, 
Shall bid stern justice wake. 

Eri. I am not one 

Of those weak spirits that timorously keep watch 
For fair occasions, thence to borrow hues 
Of virtue for their deeds. My school hath been 
Where power sits crown'd and ann'd. And, mark 

me, sister ! 
To a distrustful nature it might seem 



Strange, that your lips thus earnestly should plead 
For these Sicilian rebels. O'er my being 
Suspicion holds no power. And yet, take note^ 
I have said, and they must die. 

Con. Have you no fear] 

Eri. Of what 1 that heaven should fall ? 

Con. No ! But that earth 
Should arm in madness. Brother ! I have seen 
Dark eyes bent on you, e'en midst festal throngs, 
With such deep hatred settled in their glance, 
My heart hath died within me. 

Eri. Am I then 

To pause, and doubt, and shrink, because a girl, 
A dreaming girl, hath trembled at a look 1 

Con. Oh ! looks are no illusions, when the soul, 
Which may not speak in words, can find no way 
But theirs to liberty ! Have not these men 
Brave sons or noble brothers ] 

Eri. Yes ! whose name 
It rests with me to make a word of fear 
A sound forbidden midst the haunts of men. 

Con. But not forgotten ! Ah ! beware, beware ! 
Nay, look not sternly on me. There is one 
Of that devoted band, who yet will need 
Years to be ripe for death. He is a youth, 
A very boy, on whose unshaded cheek 
The spring-time glow is lingering. 'Twas but now 
His mother left me, with a timid hope 
Just dawning in her breast : and I I dared 
To foster its faint spark. You smile ! Oh ! then 
He will be saved ! 

Eri. Nay, I but smiled to think 
What a fond fool is Hope ! She may be taught 
To deem that the great sun will change his course 
To work her pleasure, or the tomb give back 
Its inmates to her arms. In sooth, 'tis strange ! 
Yet, with your pitying heart, you should not thus 
Have mock'd the boy's sad mother : I have said 
You should not thus have mock'd her ! Now, 
farewell ! [Exit ERIBERT. 

Con. brother ! hard of heart ! for deeds like 

these 

There must be fearful chastening, if on high 
Justice doth hold her state. And I must tell 
Yon desolate mother that her fair young son 
Is thus to perish ! Haply the dread tale 
May slay her too for heaven is merciful. 
'Twill be a bitter task ! [Exit CONSTANCE. 



SCENE II. A ruined Tower surrounded ly woods. 

PROCIDA, VITTORIA. 
Pro. Thy vassals are prepared, then ] 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



161 



Tit. Yes; they wait 
Thy summons to their task. 

Pro. Keep the flame bright, 
But hidden till this hour. Wouldst thou dare, lady, 
To join our councils at the night's mid watch, 
In the lone cavern by the rock-hewn cross ] 

Vit. What should I shrink from 2 

Pro. Oh ! the forest-paths 

Are dim and wild, e'en when the sunshine streams 
Through their high arches ; but when powerful 

night 

Comes, with her cloudy phantoms, and her pale 
Uncertain moonbeams, and the hollow sounds 
Of her mysterious winds ; their aspect then 
Is of another and more fearful world 
A realm of indistinct and shadowy forms, [this 
Waking strange thoughts almost too much for 
Our frail terrestrial nature. 

Vit. Well I know [abodes 

All this, and more. Such scenes have been th' 
Where through the silence of my soul have pass'd 
Voices and visions from the sphere of those 
That have to die no more ! Nay, doubt it not ! 
If such unearthly intercourse hath e'er 
Been granted to our nature, 'tis to hearts 
Whose love is with the dead. They, they alone, 
Unmadden'd could sustain the fearful joy 
And glory of its trances ! At the hour 
Which makes guilt tremulous, and peoples earth 
And air with infinite viewless multitudes, 
I will be with thee, Procida. 

Pro. Thy presence 

Will kindle nobler thoughts, and, in the souls 
Of suffering and indignant men, arouse 
That which may strengthen our majestic cause 
With yet a deeper power. Kuow'st thou the spot? 

Vit. Full well. There is no scene so wild and 

lone, 

In these dun woods, but I have visited 
Its tangled shades. 

Pro. At midnight, then, we meet. 

[Exit PROCIDA. 

Vit. Why should I fear ] Thou wilt be with 

me thou, 

Th' immortal dream and shadow of my soul, 
Spirit of him I love ! that meet'st me still 
In loneliness and silence ; in the noon 
Of the wild night, and in the forest depths, 
Known but to me ; for whom thou giv'st the winds 
And sighing leaves a cadence of thy voice, 
Till my heart faints with that o'erthrilling joy ! 
Thou wilt be with me there, and lend my lips 
Words, fiery words, to flush dark cheeks with shame 
That thou art unavenged ! [Exit VICTORIA. 



SCENE III. A Chapel, with a monument on which, 
is laid a sword. Moonlight. 

PROCIDA, KAIMOND, MONTALBA. 

Mon. And know you not my story ? 

Pro. In the lands 

Where I have been a wanderer, your deep wrongs 
Were number'd with our country's ; but their tale 
Came only in faint echoes to mine ear. 
I would fain hear it now. 

Mon. Hark ! while you spoke, 
There was a voice-like murmur in the breeze, 
Which even like death came o'er me. 'Twas a night 
Like this, of clouds contending with the moon, 
A night of sweeping winds, of rustling leaves, 
And swift wild shadows floating o'er the earth, 
Clothed with a phantom life, when, after years 
Of battle and captivity, I spurr'd [dreams 

My good steed homewards. Oh ! what lovely 
Eose on my spirit ! There were tears and smiles, 
But all of joy ! And there were bounding steps, 
And clinging arms, whose passionate clasp of love 
Doth twine so fondly round the warrior's neck 
When his plumed helm is doff 'd. Hence, feeble 
thoughts ! [mine ! 

I am sterner now, yet once such dreams were 

Raim. And were they realised 1 

Mon. Youth ! ask me not, 
But listen ! I drew near my own fair home 
There was no light along its walls, no sound 
Of bugle pealing from the watch-tower's height 
At my approach, although my trampling steed 
Made the earth ring, yet the wide gates were thrown 
All open. Then my heart misgave me first, 
And on the threshold of my silent hall 
I paused a moment, and the wind swept by 
With the same deep and dirge-like tone which 

pierced 

My soul e'en now ! I call'd my struggling voice 
Gave utterance to my wife's, my children's names. 
They answer'd not. I roused my failing strength, 
And wildly rush'd within. And they were there. 

Raim. And was all well 1 

Mon. Ay, well ! for death is well : 
And they were all at rest ! I see them yet, 
Pale in their innocent beauty, which had fail'd 
To stay the assassin's arm ! 

Raim. Oh, righteous Heaven ! 
Who had done this 1 

Mon. Who ! 

Pro. Canst thou question, wJto? 
Whom hath the earth to perpetrate such deeds, 
In the cold-blooded revelry of crime, 
But those whose yoke is on us ? 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



Raim. Man of woe ! 
What words hath pity for despair like thine ? 

Jfon. Pity ! fond youth ! My soul disdains 

the grief 

Which doth unbosom its deep secrecies 
To ask a vain companionship of tears, 
And so to be relieved ! 

Pro. For woes like these 
There is no sympathy but vengeance. 

Mon. None ! 

Therefore I brought you hither, that your hearts 
Might catch the spirit of the scene ! Look round ! 
We are in th' awful presence of the dead ; 
Within yon tomb they sleep whose gentle blood 
Weighs down the murderer's soul. They sleep ! 

but I 

Am wakeful o'er their dust ! I laid my sword, 
Without its sheath, on then* sepulchral stone, 
As on an altar ; and the eternal stars, 
And heaven, and night, bore witness to my vow, 
No more to wield it save in one great cause 
The vengeance of the grave ! And now the hour 
Of that atonement comes ! 

[He takes the sword from the tvnib. 

Raim. My spirit burns ! 
And my full heart almost to bursting swells. 
Oh, for the day of battle ! 

Pro. Eaimond, they 

Whose souls are dark with guiltless blood must die, 
But not in battle. 

Raim. How, my father ] 

Pro. No! 

Look on that sepulchre, and it will teach 
Another lesson. But the appointed hour 
Advances. Thou wilt join our chosen band, 
Noble Montalba ? 

Mon. Leave me for a time, 
That I may calm my soul by intercourse 
With the still dead, before I mix with men 
And with their passions. I have nursed for years, 
In silence and in solitude, the flame 
Which doth consume me ; and it is not used 
Thus to be look'd or breathed on. Procida ! 
I would be tranquil or appear so ere 
I j oin your brave confederates. Through my heart 
There struck a pang but it will soon have pass'd. 

Pro. Remember ! in the cavern by the cross. 
Now follow me, my son. 

{Exeunt PROCIDA and RAIMOXD. 
Mon. (after a pause, leaning on the tomb.) [life 

Said he, " My son ? " Now, why should this man's 
Go down in hope, thus resting on a son, 
And I be desolate 1 How strange a sound 
Was that " my son /" I had a boy, who might 



Have worn as free a soul upon his brow [him 
As doth this youth. Why should the thought of 
Thus haunt me 1 When I tread the peopled ways 
Of life again, I shall be pass'd each hour 
By fathers with their children, and I must 
Learn calmly to look on. Methinks 'twere now 
A gloomy consolation to behold 
All men bereft as I am ! But away, [hearts, 
Vain thoughts ! One task is left for blighted 
And it shall be fulfill'd. Exit MOXTALBA. 

SCENE IV. Entrance of a Cave, surrounded ~by 
rocks and forests. A rude Cross seen among 
the rocks. 

PROCIDA, RAIIIOXD. 

Pro. And is it thus, beneath the solemn skies 
Of midnight, and hi solitary caves, 
Where the wild forest creatures make their lair 
Is't thus the chiefs of Sicily must hold 
The councils of their country ] 

Raim. Why, such scenes 
In their primeval majesty, beheld 
Thus by faint starlight and the partial glare 
Of the red-streaming lava, will inspire 
Far deeper thoughts than pillar'd halls, wherein 
Statesmen hold weary vigils. Are we not 
O'ershadow'd by that Etna, which of old 
With its dread prophecies hath struck dismay 
Through tyrants' hearts, and bade them seek a 
home [now, 

In other climes 1 Hark ! from its depths, e'en 
What hollow moans are sent ! 

Enter MOXTALBA, Guroo, and other Sicilians. 

Pro. Welcome, my brave associates ! We can 
share [haunt 

The wolf's wild freedom here ! Th' oppressor's 
Is not midst rocks and caves. Are we all met .' 

Sicilians. All, all ! 

Pro. The torchlight, sway'd by every gust, 
But dimly shows your features. Where is he 
Who from his battles had return'd to breathe 
Once more without a corslet, and to meet 
The voices and the footsteps and the smiles 
Blent with his dreams of home 1 Of that dark tale 
The rest is known to vengeance ! Art thou here, 
With thy deep wrongs and resolute despair, 
Childless Montalba 1 

Mon. (advancing.) He is at thy side. 
Call on that desolate father in the hour 
When his revenge is nigh. 

Pro. Thou, too, come forth, 
From thine own halls an exile ! Dost thou make 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



163 



The mountain-fastnesses thy dwelling still, 
"While hostile banners o'er thy rampart walls 
Wave their proud blazonry ? 

1st Sicilian. Even so. I stood 
Last night before my oivn ancestral towers 
An unknown outcast, while the tempest beat 
On my bare head. What reck'd it ) There was joy 
Within, and revelry ; the festive lamps 
Were streaming from each turret, and gay songs 
I' th' stranger's tongue, made mirth. They little 

deem'd 

Who heard their melodies ! But there are thoughts 
Best nurtured in the wild ; there are dread vows 
Known to the mountain echoes. Procida ! 
Call on the outcast, when revenge is nigh. 

Pro. I knew a young Sicilian one whose heart 
Should be all fire. On that most guilty day 
When, with our martyr 'd Conradin, the flower 
Of the land's knighthood perish'd ; he of whom 
I speak, a weeping boy, whose innocent tears 
Melted a thousand hearts that dared not aid, 
Stood by the scaffold with extended arms, 
Calling upon his father, whose last look 
Turn'd full on him its parting agony. 
The father's blood gush'd o'er him ! and the boy 
Then dried his tears, and with a kindling eye, 
And a proud flush on his young cheek, look'd up 
To the bright heaven. Doth he remember still 
That bitter hour] 

2d Sicilian. He bears a sheathless sword ! 
Call on the orphan when revenge is nigh, [men 

Pro. Our band shows gallantly but there are 
Who should be with us now, had they not dared 
In some wild moment of festivity 
To give their full hearts way, and breathe a wish 
For freedom ! and some traitor it might be 
A breeze perchance bore the forbidden sound 
To Eribert : so they must die unless 
Fate (who at tunes is wayward) should select 
Some other victim first ! But have they not 
Brothers or sons among us 1 

Gui. Look on me ! 

I have a brother a young high-soul'd boy, 
And beautiful as a sculptor's dream, with brow- 
That wears amidst its dark rich curls, the stamp 
Of inborn nobleness. In truth, he is 
A glorious creature ! But his doom is seal'd 
With theirs of whom ye spoke ; and I have knelt 
Ay, scorn me not ! 'twas for his life I knelt 
E'en at the viceroy's feet, and he put on 
That heartless laugh of cold malignity 
We know so well, and spurn'd me. But the stain 
Of shame like this takes blood to wash it off, 
And thus it shall be cancell'd ! Call on me, 



When the stern moment of revenge is nigh. 

Pro. I call upon thee now! The land's high soul 
Is roused, and moving onward, like a breeze 
Or a swift sunbeam, kindling nature's hues 
To deeper life before it. In his chains, 
The peasant dreams of freedom ! Ay, 'tis thus 
Oppression fans th' imperishable flame 
With most unconscious hands. No praise be hers 
For what she blindly works ! When slavery's cup 
O'erflows its bounds, the creeping poison, meant 
To dull our senses, through each burning vein 
Pours fever, lending a delirious strength 
To burst man's fetters. And they shall be burst ! 
I have hoped, when hope seem'd frenzy ; but a 

power 

Abides in human will, when bent with strong 
Unswerving energy on one great aim, 
To make and rule its fortunes ! I have been 
A wanderer in the fulness of my years, 
A restless pilgrim of the earth and seas, 
Gathering the generous thoughts of other lands, 
To aid our holy cause. And aid is near : 
But we. must give the signal. Now, before 
The majesty of yon pure heaven, whose eye 
Is on our hearts whose righteous arm befriends 
The arm that strikes for freedom speak ! decree 
The fate of our oppressors. 

Mon. Let them fall 

When dreaming least of peril ! when the heart, 
Basking in sunny pleasure, doth forget [sword 
That hate may smile, but sleeps not. Hide the 
With a thick veil of myrtle; and in halls 
Of banqueting, where the full wine-cup shines 
Red in the festal torchlight, meet we there, 
And bid them welcome to the feast of death. 

Pro. Thy voice is low and broken, and thy words 
Scarce meet our ears. 

Mon. Why, then, I must repeat 
Their import. Let th' avenging sword burst forth 
In some free festal hour and woe to him 
Who first shall spare ! 

Raim. Must innocence and guilt 
Perish alike ? 

Mon. Who talks of innocence 1 
When hath their hand been stay'd for innocence ! 
Let them all perish ! Heaven will choose its own. 
Why should their children live ? The earthquake 

whelms 

Its undistinguish'd thousands, making graves 
Of peopled cities in its path and this 
Is heaven's dread justice ay, and it is well ! 
Why then should we be tender, when the skies 
Deal thus with man ? What if the infant bleed ? 
Is there not power to hush the mother's pangs J 



164 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



What if the youthful bride perchance should fall 
In her triumphant beauty \ Should we pause \ 
As if death were not mercy to the pangs 
Which make our lives the records of our woes } 
Let them all perish ! And if one be found 
Amidst oui- band to stay th' avenging steel 
For pity, or remorse, or boyish love, 
Then be his doom as theirs ! [A pause. 

Why gaze ye thus .' 
Brethren, what means your silence ! 

Sicilians. Be it so ! 

If one among us stay th' avenging steel 
For love or pity, be his doom as theirs ! 
Pledge we our faith to this ! [to this .' 

Raim. (rushing forward indignantly.) Our faith 
Xo ! I but dreamt I heard it ! Can it be 1 
My countrymen, my father ! is it thus 
That freedom should be won ] Awake ! awake 
To loftier thoughts ! Lift up exultingly, 
On the crown'd heights and to the sweeping winds, 
Your glorious banner ! Let your trumpet's blast 
Make the tombs thrill with echoes ! Call aloud, 
Proclaim from all your hills, the land shall bear 
The stranger's yoke no longer ! What is he 
Who carries on his practised lip a smile, 
Beneath his vest a dagger, which but waits 
Till the heart bounds with joy, to still its beatings? 
That which our nature's instinct doth recoil from, 
And our blood curdle at ay, yours and mine 
A murderer ! Heard ye 1 Shall that name with 

GUI'S 

Go down to after days 1 friends ! a cause 
Like that for which we rise, hath made bright 

names 

Of th' elder time as rallying-words to men 
Sounds full of might and immortality ! 
And shall not ours be such 1 

Mon. Fond dreamer, peace ! 
Fame ! What is fame ] Will our unconscious dust 
Start into thrilling rapture from the grave ! 
At the vain breath of praise '< I tell thee, youth 
Our souls are parch'd with agonising thirst, 
Which must be quench'd, though death were in 

the draught : 

We must have vengeance, for our foes have left 
Xo other joy unblighted. 

Pro. ruy son ! 

The tune is past for such high dreams as thine. 
Thou know'st not whom we deal with : knightly faith 
And chivalrous honour are but things whereon 
They cast disdainful pity. We must meet 
Falsehood with wiles, and insult with revenge. 
And, for our names whate'er the deeds by which 
We burst our bondage is it not enough 



That in the chronicle of days to come, 

We, through a bright " For Ever,'' shall be cali'd 

The men who saved their country ? 

Raim. Many a land 

Hath bow'd beneath the yoke, and then arisen 
As a strong lion rending suken bonds, 
And on the open field, before high heaven, 
Won such majestic vengeance as hath made 
Its name a power on earth. Ay, nations own 
It is enough of glory to be cali'd 
The children of the mighty, who redeem'd 
Their native soil but not by means like these. 

Mon. I have no children. Of Montalba's blood 
Xot one red drop doth circle through the veins 
Of aught that breathes 1 Why, what have / to do 
With far futurity ] My spirit lives 
But in the past. Away ! when thou dost stand 
On this fair earth as doth a blasted tree 
Which the warm sun revives not, then return, 
Strong in thy desolation : but till then, 
Thou art not for our purpose ; we have need 
Of more unshrinking hearts. 

Raim. Montalba ! know 
I shrink from crime alone. Oh ! if my voice 
Might yet have power among you, I would say, 
Associates, leaders, be avenged ! but yet 
As knights, as warriors ! 

Mon. Peace ! have we not borne 
Th' indelible taint of contumely and chains 1 
We are not knights and warriors. Our bright 

crests 

Have been defiled and trampled to the earth. 
Boy ! we are slaves and our revenge shall be 
Deep as a slave's disgrace. 

Raim. Why, then, farewell : 
I leave you to your counsels. He that still 
Would hold his lofty nature undebased, 
And his name pure, were but a loiterer here. 

Pro. And is it thus indeed ] dost thou forsake 
Our cause, my son ! 

Raim. father ! what proud hopes 
This hour hath blighted ! Yet, whate'er betide, 
It is a noble privilege to look up 
Fearless in heaven's bright face and this is mine, 
And shall be still. [Exit RAIHOSD. 

Pro. He's gone ! Why, let it be '. 
I trust our Sicily hath many a son 
Valiant as mine. Associates ! 'tis decreed 
Our foes shall perish. We have but to name 
The hour, the scene, the signal. 

Mon. It should be 
In the full city, when some festival 
Hath gather'd throngs, and lull'd infatuate hearts 
To brief securitv. Hark ! is there not 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



165 



A sound of hurrying footsteps on the breeze 1 
We are betray 'd. Who art thou ? 

YITTORIA enters. 

Pro. One alone 

Should be thus daring. Lady, lift the veil 
That shades thy noble brow. 

[She raises her veil the Sicilians draiv lad 
with respect. 

Sicilians. Th' affianced bride 
Of our lost king ! 

Pro. And more, Montalba ; know 
Within this form there dwells a soul as high 
As warriors in their battles e'er have proved, 
Or patriots on the scaffold. 

Vit. Valiant men ! 

I come to ask your aid. You see me, one 
Whose widow'd youth hath all been consecrate 
To a proud sorrow, and whose life is held 
In token and memorial of the dead. 
Say, is it meet that lingering thus on earth, 
But to behold one great atonement made, 
And keep one name from fading in men's hearts, 
A tyrant's will should force me to profane 
Heaven's altar with unhalloVd vows and live 
Stung by the keen unutterable scorn 
Of my own bosom, live another's bride ] [lady ! 

Sicilians. Never! oh, never ! Fear not, noble 
Worthy of Conradin ! 

Vit. Yet hear me still 
His bride, that Eribert's, who notes our tears 
With his insulting eye of cold derision, [works, 
And, could he pierce the depths where feeling 
Would number e'en our agonies as crimes. 
Say, is this meet ? 

GUI. We deem'd these nuptials, lady, 
Thy willing choice ; but 'tis a joy to find 
Thou'rt noble still. Fear not ; by all our wrongs, 
This shall not be. 

Pro. Vittoria, thou art come 
To ask our aid but we have need of thine. 
Know, the completion of our high designs 
Requires a festival ; and it must be 
Thy bridal ! 

Vit. Procida ! 

Pro. Nay, start not thus. 
'Tis no hard task to bind your raven hair 
With festal garlands, and to bid the song 
Rise, and the wine-cup mantle. No nor yet 
To meet your suitor at the glittering shrine, 
Where death, not love, awaits him ! 

Vit. Can my soul 
Dissemble thus ] 

Pro. We have no other means 



Of winning our great birthright back from those 
Who have usurp'd it, than so lulling them 
Into vain confidence, that they may deem 
All wrongs forgot ; and this may be best done 
By what I ask of thee. 

Mon. Then we will mix 

With the flush'd revellers, making their gay feast 
The harvest of the grave. 

Vit. A bridal day ! 

Must it be so ] Then, chiefs of Sicily, 
I bid you to my nuptials ! but be there [alone 
With your bright swords unsheathed, for thug 
My guests should be adorn'd. 

Pro. And let thy banquet 
Be soon announced ; for there are noble men 
Sentenced to die, for whom we fain would pur- 
chase 
Reprieve with other blood. 

Vit. Be it then the day 
Preceding that appointed for their doom, [boasts 

GUI. My brother ! thou shalt live ! Oppression 
Xo gift of prophecy ! It but remains 
To name our signal, chiefs ! 

Mon. The Vesper-bell ! 

Pro. Even so the Vesper-bell, whose deep- 
toned peal 

Is heard o'er land and wave. Part of our band, 
Wearing the guise of antic revelry, 
Shall enter, as in some fantastic pageant, 
The halls of Eribert ; and at the hour 
Devoted to the sword's tremendous task, 
I follow with the rest. The Vesper-bell ! 
That sound shall wake th' avenger ; for 'tis come, 
The time when power is in a voice, a breath, 
To burst the spell which bound us. But the night 
Is waning, with her stars, which one by one 
Warn us to part. Friends to your homes ! your 

homes ? 

That name is yet to win. Away ! prepare 
For our next meeting in Palermo's walls. 
The Vesper-bell ! Remember ! 

Sicilians. Fear us not. 
The Vesper-bell ! [Exeunt omnes. 



ACT IH. 

SCENE I. Apartment in a Palace. 
ERIBERT, VITTORIA. 

Vit. Speak not of love it is a word with deep 
Strange magic in its melancholy sound, 
To summon up the dead ; and they should rest, 
At such an hour, forgotten. There are things 



1 66 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



We must throw from us, when the heart would 

gather 

Strength to fulfil its settled purposes ; 
Therefore, no more of love ! But if to robe 
This form in bridal ornaments to smile 
(I can smile yet) at thy gay feast, and stand 
At th' altar by thy side ; if this be deem'd 
Enough, it shall be done. 

Eri. My fortune's star [love, 

Doth rule th' ascendant still ! (Apart.) If not of 
Then pardon, lady, that I speak of joy, 
And with exulting heart 

Vit. There is no joy ! 

Who shall look through the far futurity, 
And, as the shadowy visions of events 
Develop on his gaze, midst their dim throng, 
Dare, with oracular mien, to point, and say, 
" This will bring happiness T Who shall do this] 
Who, thou and I, and all ! There's One, who sits 
In His own bright tranquillity enthroned, 
High o'er all storms, and looking far beyond 
Their thickest clouds ! but we, from whose dull 

eyes 

A grain of dust hides the great sun e'en u'e 
Usurp his attributes, and talk, as seers, 
Of future joy and grief ! 

Eri. Thy words are strange. 
Yet will I hope that peace at length shall settle 
Upon thy troubled heart, and add soft grace 
To thy majestic beauty. Fair Vittoria ! 
Oh ! if my cares 

Vit. I know a day shall come 
Of peace to all. Ev*n from my darken'd spirit 
Soon shall each restless wish be exorcised, 
Which haunts it now, and I shall then lie down 
Serenely to repose. Of this no more. 
I have a boon to ask. 

Eri. Command my power, 
And deem it thus most honour'd. 

Vit. Have I then 

Soar'd such an eagle pitch, as to command 
The mighty Eribert 1 And yet 'tis meet ; 
For I bethink me now, I should have worn 
A crown upon this forehead. Generous lord ! 
Since thus you give me freedom, know, there is 
An hour I have loved from childhood, and a sound 
Whose tones, o'er earth and ocean sweetly bearing 
A sense of deep repose, have lull'd me oft 
To peace which is forgetfulness ; I mean 
The Vesper-bell. I pray you let it be 
The summons to our bridal. Hear you not 1 
To our fair bridal ! 

Eri. Lady, let your will 
Appoint each circumstance. I am too bless'd, 



Proving my homage thus. 

Vit. Why, then, 'tis mine 
To rule the glorious fortunes of the day, 
And I may be content. Yet much remains 
For thought to brood on, and I would be left 
Alone with my resolves. Kind Eribert ! 
(Whom I command so absolutely,) now 
Part we a few brief hours ; and doubt not, when 
I'm at thy side once more, but I shall stand 
There to the last ! 

Eri. Your smiles are troubled, lady 
May they ere long be brighter ! Time will seem 
Slow till the Vesper-bell. 

Vit. 'Tis lovers' phrase 

To say Time lags ; and therefore meet for you ; 
But with an equal pace the hours move on, 
Whether they bear, on their swift silent wing, 
Pleasure or fate. 

Eri. Be not so full of thought 
On such a day. Behold, the skies themselves 
Look on my joy with a triumphant smile 
Unshadow'd by a cloud. 

Vit. 'Tis very meet 
That heaven (which loves the just) should wear 

a smile 

In honour of his fortunes. Now, my lord, 
Forgive me if I say farewell until 
Th' appointed hour. 

Eri. Lady, a brief farewell. 

[Exeunt separately. 

SCEXE II. The Sea-shore. 
PEOCIDA, RAIMOSD. 

Pro. And dost thou still refuse to share the 

glory 
Of this, our daring enterprise 1 

Raim. father ! 

I, too, have dreamt of glory, and the word 
Hath to my soul been as a trumpet's voice, 
Making my nature sleepless. But the deeds 
Whereby 'twas won the high exploits, whose tale 
Bids the heart burn, were of another cast 
Than such as thou requirest. 

Pro. Every deed 

Hath sanctity, if bearing for its aim 
The freedom of our country ; and the sword 
Alike is honour'd in the patriot's hand, [gave 
Searching, midst warrior hosts, the heart Avliich 
Oppression birth, or flashing through the gloom 
Of the still chamber, o'er its troubled couch, 
At dead of night. 

Raim. (turning away.) There is no path but one 
For noble natures. 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



167 



Pro. Wouldst them ask the man 
Who to the earth hath dash'd a nation's chains, 
Rent as with heaven's own lightning, by what means 
The gloi-ious end was won ] Go, swell th' acclaim ! 
Bid the deliverer, hail ! and if his path, 
To that most bright and sovereign destiny, 
Hath led o'er trampled thousands, be it call'd 
A stern necessity, but not a crime ! 

Raim. Father ! mysoul yet kindlesatthethought 
Of nobler lessons, in my boyhood learn'd, 
Ev'n from thy voice. The high remembrances 
Of other days are stirring in the heart [men 

Where thou didst plant them ; and they speak of 
Who needed no vain sophistry to gild [mine ! 
Acts that would bear heaven's light and such be 
O father ! is it yet too late to draw 
The praise and blessing of all valiant hearts 
On our most righteous cause ? 

.Pro. What wouldst thou do? 

Raim. I would go forth, and rouse th' indignant 

land 

To generous combat. Why should freedom strike 
Mantled with darkness 1 Is there not more strength 
Ev'n in the waving of her single arm 
Than hosts can wield against her 1 /would rouse 
That spirit whose fire doth press resistless on 
To its proud sphere the stormy field of fight ! 

Pro. Ay ! and give time and warning to the foe 
To gather all his might ! It is too late. 
There is a work to be this eve begun 
When rings the Vesper-bell ; and, long before 
To-morrow's sun hathreach'd i'th' noonday heaven 
His throne of burning glory, every sound 
the Provencal tongue within our walls, 
As by one thunderstroke (you are pale, my son) 
Shall be for ever silenced ! 

Raim. What ! such sounds 
As falter on the lip of infancy, 
In its imperfect utterance 1 or are breathed 
By the fond mother as she lulls her babe ] 
Or in sweet hymns, upon the twilight air 
Pour'd by the timid maid ? Must all alike 
Be still'd in death? and wouldst thou tell my heart 
There is no crime in this ? 

Pro. Since thou dost feel 
Such horror of our purpose, in thy power 
Are means that might avert it. 

Raim. Speak ! oh speak ! 

Pro. How would those rescued thousands bless 

thy name 
Shouldst thou betray us ! 

Raim. Father ! I can bear 
Ay, proudly woo the keenest questioning 
Of thy soul-gifted eye, which almost seems 



To claim a part of heaven's dread royalty, 
The power that searches thought. 

Pro. (after a pause?) Thou hast a brow 
Clear as the day and yet I doxibt thee, Raimond ! 
Whether it be that I have learn'd distrust 
From a long look through man's deep-folded heart ; 
Whether my paths have been so seldom cross'd 
By honour and fair mercy, that they seem 
But beautiful deceptions, meeting thus 
My unaccustonYd gaze : howe'er it be 
I doubt thee ! See thou waver not take heed. 
Time lifts the veil from all things ! [Exit PBOCIDA. 

Raim. And 'tis thus 

Youth fades from off our spirit ; and the robes 
Of beauty and of majesty, wherewith 
We clothed our idols, drop ! Oh, bitter day ! 
AVhen, at the crushing of our glorious world, 
We start, and find men thus ! Yet be it so ! 
Is not my soul still powerful in itself 
To realise its dreams 1 Ay, shrinking not 
From the pure eye of heaven, my brow may well 
Undaunted meet my father's. But, away ! [yet 
Thou shalt be saved, sweet Constance ! Love is 
Mightier than vengeance. [Exit RAIMOND. 

SCENE III. Gardens of a Palace. 
CONSTANCE alone. 

Con. There was a time when my thoughts 

wander'd not 

Beyond these fairy scenes ! when but to catch 
The languid fragrance of the southern breeze 
From the rich flowering citrons, or to rest, 
Dreaming of some wild legend, in the shade 
Of the dark laurel foliage, was enough 
Of happiness. How have these calm delights 
Fled from before one passion, as the dews, 
The delicate gems of morning, are exhaled 
By the great sun ! [RAIMOND enters, 

Raimond ! oh ! now thou'rt come 
I read it in thy look to say farewell 
For the last time the last ! 

Raim. No, best beloved ! 
I come to tell thee there is now no power 
To part us but in death. 

Con. I have dreamt of joy, 
But never aught like this. Speak yet again ! 
Say we shall part no more ! 

Raim. No more if love 

Can strive with darker spirits ; and he is strong 
In his immortal nature ! All is changed 
Since last we met. My father keep the tale 
Secret from all, and most of all, my Constance, 



1 68 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



From Eribert my father is return'd : 
I leave thee not. 

Con. Thy father ! blessed sound ! 
Good angels be his guard ! Oh ! if he knew 
How my soul clings to thine, he could not hate 
Even a Provencal maid ! Thy father ! now 
Thy soul will be at peace, and I shall see 
The sunny happiness of earlier days 
Look from thy brow once more ! But how is this ] 
Thine eye reflects not the glad soul of mine ; 
And in thy look is that which ill befits 
A tale of joy. 

Raim. A dream is on my souL [ing 

I see a slumberer, crown'd with flowers, and smil- 
As in delighted visions, on the brink 
Of a dread chasm ; and this strange fantasy 
Hath cast so deep a shadow o'er my thoughts, 
I cannot but be sad. 

Con. Why, let me sing 

One of the sweet wild strains you love so well, 
And this will banish it. 

Raim. It may not be. 
gentle Constance ! go not forth to-day : 
Such dreams are ominous. 

Con. Have you then forgot 
My brother's nuptial feast ] I must be one 
Of the gay train attending to the shrine 
His stately bride. In sooth, my step of joy [love] 
Will print earth lightly now. What fear'st thou, 
Look all around ! the blue transparent skies, 
And sunbeams pouring a more buoyant life 
Through each glad thrilling vein, will brightly chase 
All thought of evil. Why, the very air [realms 
Breathes of delight ! Through all its glowing 
Doth music blend with fragrance ; and e'en here 
The city's voice of jubilee is heard, 
Till each light leaf seems trembling unto sounds 
Of human joy ! 

Raim. There lie far deeper tilings 
Things that may darken thought for life, beneatli 
That city's festive semblance. I have pass'd 
Through the glad multitudes, and I have mark'd 
A stern intelligence in meeting eyes, 
Which deem'd their flash unnoticed, and a quick, 
Suspicious vigilance, too intent to clothe 
Its mien with carelessness ; and now and then, 
A hurrying start, a whisper, or a hand 
Pointing by stealth to some one, singled out 
Amidst the reckless throng. O'er all is spread 
A mantling flush of revelry, which may hide 
Much from unpractised eyes ; but lighter signs 
Have been prophetic oft. 

Con. I tremble ! Raimond ! 
What may these things portend ? 



Raim. It was a day 
Of festival like this ; the city sent 
Up through her sunny firmament a voice 
Joyous as now ; when, scarcely heralded 
By one deep moan, forth from his cavernous depths 
The earthquake burst; and the wide splendid scene 
Became one chaos of all fearful things, 
Till the brain whirl'd, partaking the sick motion 
Of rocking palaces. 

Con. And then didst thou, 
My noble Raimond ! through the dreadful paths 
Laid open by destruction, past the chasms, [given 
WTiose fathomless clefts, a moment's work, had 
One burial unto thousands, rush to save 
Thy trembling Constance ! she who lives to bless 
Thy generous love, that still the breath of heaven 
Wafts gladness to her soul ! 

Raim. Heaven ! heaven is just ! 
And being so, must guard thee, sweet one ! still. 
Trust none beside. Oh ! the omnipotent skies 
Make their wrath manifest, but insidious man 
Doth compass those he hates with secret snares,. 
Wherein lies fate. Know, danger walks abroad, 
Mask'd as a reveller. Constance ! oh, by all 
Our tried affection, all the vows which bind 
Our hearts together, meet me in these bowers, 
Here, I adjure thee, meet me, when the bell 
Doth sound for vesper prayer ! 

Con. And know'st thou not 
'Twill be the bridal hour] 

Raim. It will not, love ! 

That hour will bring no bridal ! Naught of this 
To human ear ; but speed thou hither fly, 
When eveningbrings that signal. Dost thou heed ? 
This is no meeting by a lover sought 
To breathe fond talcs, and make the twilight groves 
And stars attest his vows ; deem thou not so, 
Therefore denying it ! I tell thee, Constance ! 
If thou wouldst save me from such fierce despair 
As falls on man, beholding all he loves 
Perish before him, while his strength can but 
Strive with his agony thou'lt meet me then. 
Look on me, love ! I am not oft so moved 
Thou'lt meet me ] 

Con. Oh ! what mean thy words ? If then 
My steps are free, I will. Be thou but calm. 

Raim. Be calm ! there isacoldand sullen calm, 
And, were my wild fears made realities, 
It might be mine; but, in this dread suspense 
This conflict of all terrible fantasies, 
There is no calm. Yet fear thou not, dear love ? 
I will watch o'er thee still. And now, farewell 
Until that hour ! 

Con. My Raimond, fare thee well. [Exeunt- 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



169 



SCENE IV. Room in the Citadel of Palermo. 
ALBEBTI, DE Couci. 

De Cou. Saidst thou this night 1 

Alb. This very night and lo ! 
E'en now the sun declines. 

De Cou. What ! are they arm'd ? 

Alb. All arm'd, and strong in vengeance and 
despair. 

De-Cou. Doubtful and strange the tale ! Why 
was not this reveal'd before 1 

Alb. Mistrust me not, my lord ! 
That stern and jealous Procida hath kept 
O'er all my steps (as though he did suspect 
The purposes, which oft his eye hath sought 
To read in mine) a watch so vigilant 
I knew not how to warn thee, though for this 
Alone I mingled with his bands to learn 
Their projects and their strength. Thou know'st 

my faith 
To Anjou's house full well. 

De Cou. How may we now 
Avert the gathering storm ? The viceroy holds 
His bridal feast, and all is revelry. 
'Twas a true-boding heaviness of heart 
Which kept me from these nuptials. 

Alb. Thou thyself 

May'st yet escape, and haply of thy bands 
Rescue a part, ere long to wreak full vengeance 
Upon these rebels. 'Tis too late to dream 
Of saving Eribert. E'en shouldst thou rush 
Before him with the tidings, in his pride 
And confidence of soul, he would but laugh 
Thy tale to scorn. 

De Cou. He must not die unwarn'd, 
Though it be all in vain. But thou, Alberti, 
Rejoin thy comrades, lest thine absence wake 
Suspicion in their hearts. Thou hast done well, 
And shalt not pass unguerdon'd, should I live 
Through the deep horrors of th' approaching 
night. 

Alb. Noble De Couci, trust me still. Anjou 
Commands no heart more faithful than Alberti'?. 

{Exit ALBERTI. 

De Cou. The grovelling slave ! And yet he 

spoke too true ! 

For Eribert, in bund elated joy, 
Will scorn the warning voice. The day wanes 

fast, 

And through the city, recklessly dispersed, 
Unarm'd and unprepared, my soldiers revel, 
E'en on the brink of fate. I must away. 

[Exit DE Couci. 



SCENE V. A Banqueting Hall. Provencal Nobles 
assembled. 

l$t Noble. Joy be to this fair meeting ! Whc 

hath seen 
The viceroy's bride ] 

Id Noble. I saw her as she pass'd 
The gazing throngs assembled in the city. 
'Tis said she hath not left for years, till now, 
Her castle's wood-girt solitude. 'Twill gall 
These proud Sicilians that her wide domains 
Should be the conqueror's guerdon. 

3d Noble. 'Twas their boast 

With what fond faith she worshipp'd still the name 
Of the boy Conradin. How will the slaves 
Brook this new triumph of their lords 1 

2d Noble. In sooth, 

It stings them to the quick. In the full streets 
They mix with our Provencals, and assume 
A guise of mirth, but it sits hardly on them. 
'Twere worth a thousand festivals to see 
With what a bitter and unnatural effort 
They strive to smile ! 

1st Noble. Is this Vittoria fair? 

2d Noble. Of a most noble mien ; but yet her 

beauty 

Is wild and awful, and her large dark eye, 
In its unsettled glances, hath strange power, 
From which thoult shrink as I did. 

1st Noble. Hush ! they come. 

Enter ERIBERT, YITTORIA, CONSTANCE, and others. 

Eri. Welcome, my noble friends ! there must 

not lower 

One clouded brow to-day in Sicily ! 
Behold my bride ! 

Nobles. Receive our homage, lady ! 

Vit. I bid all welcome. May the feast we offer 
Prove worthy of such guests ! 

Eri. Look on her, friends ! 
And say if that majestic brow is not 
Meet for a diadem ] 

Tit. 'Tis well, my lord ! 

When memory's pictures fade 'tis kindly done 
To brighten their dimm'd hues 1 

1st Noble (apart.) Mark'd you her glance ? 

2d Noble (apart.) What eloquent scorn was there! 

Yet he, th' elate 
Of heart, perceives it not. 

Eri. Now to the feast ! 

Constance, you look not joyous. I have said 
That all should smile to-day. 

Con. Forgive me, brother; 



170 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



The heart is wayward, and its garb of pomp 
At times oppresses it. 

Eri. Why, how is this ? 

Con. Voices of woe, and prayers of agony, 
Unto my soul have risen, and left sad sounds . 
There echoing still. Yet would I fain be gay, 
Since 'tis your wish. In truth, I should have been 
A village maid. 

Eri. But being as you are, 
Not thus ignobly free, command your looks 
(They may be taught obedience) to reflect 
The aspect of the time. 

Vit. And know, fair maid ! 
That, if in this unskill'd, you stand alone 
Amidst our court of pleasure. 

Eri. To the feast ! 

Kowletthe red wine foam! There should be mirth 
When conquerors revel ! Lords of this fair isle ! 
Your good swords' heritage, crown each bowl, and 

pledge 

The present and the future ! for they both 
Look brightly on us. Dost thou smile, my bride? 

Vit. Yes, Eribert ! thy prophecies of joy 
Have taught e'en me to smile. 

Eri. 'Tiswell. To-day 
I have won a fair and almost royal bride ; 
To-morrow let the bright sun speed his course, 
To waft me happiness ! my proudest foes 
Must die ; and then my slumber shall be laid 
On rose-leaves, with no envious fold to mar 
The luxury of its visions ! Fair Vittoria, 
Your looks are troubled ! 

Vit. It is strange but oft, 
Midst festal songs and garlands, o'er my soul 
Death comes, with some dull image ! As you spoke 
Of those whose blood is claim'd, I thought for them 
Who, in a darkness thicker than the night 
E'er wove with all her clouds, have pined so long, 
How blessed were the stroke which makes them 

things 

Of that invisible world, wherein, we trust, 
There is at least no bondage ! But should ice, 
From such a scene as this, where all earth's joys 
Contend for mastery, and the very sense 
Of life is rapture should -we pass, I say, 
At once from such excitements to the void 
And silent gloom of that which doth await us 
Were it not dreadful ? 

Eri. Banish such dark thoughts ! 
They ill beseem the hour. 

Vit. There is no hour 
Of this mysterious world, in jov or woe, 
But they beseem it well ! Why, what a slight 
Impalpable bound is that, th' unseen, which severs 



Being from death ! And who can tell how near 
Its misty brink he stands ? 

1st Nolle (aside.) What mean her words] 
2d Noble. There's some dark mystery here. 
Eri. No more of this ! 

Pour the bright juice, which Etna's glowing vines 
Yield to the conquerors ! And let music's voice 
Dispel these ominous dreams ! Wake, harp and 

song ! 
Swell out your triumph ! 

A Messenger enters, bearing a letter. 

Mes. Pardon, my good lord ! 
But this demands 

Eri. What means thy breathless haste, 
And that ill-boding mien ? Away ! such looks 
Befit not hours like these. 

Mes. The Lord De Couci 

Bade me bear this, and say, 'tis fraught with tidings 
Of life and death. 

Vit. (hurriedly.) Is this a tune for aught 
But revelry ? My lord, these dull intrusions 
Mar the bright spirit of the festal scene ! 

Eri. (to the Messenger.) Hence ! Tell the Lord 

De Couci, we will talk 
Of life and death to-morrow. [Exit Messenger. 

Let there be 

Around me none but joyous looks to-day, 
And strains whose very echoes wake to mirth ! 

A band of the conspirators enter, to the sound of 
music, disguised as shepherds, bacchanals, <tc. 

Eri. What forms are these ? What means this 

antic triumph ? 

Vit. 'Tis but a rustic pageant, by my vassals 
Prepared to grace our bridal. Will you not 
Hear their wild music 1 Our Sicilian vales 
Have many a sweet and mirthful melody, 
To which the glad heart bounds. Breathe ye 

some strain 
Meet for the time, ye sons of Sicily ! 

One of the Masquers sings. 

The festal eve, o'er earth and sky, 

In her sunset robe looks bright, 
And the purple hills of Sicily 

With their vineyards laugh in light ; 
From the marble cities of her plains, 

Glad voices mingling swell ; 
But with yet more loud and lofty strains, 

They shall hail the Ycsper-bell ! 

Oh ! sweet its tones, when the summer breeze 
Their cadence wafts afar, 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



To float o'er the blue Sicilian seas, 

As they gleam to the first pale star ! 
The shepherd greets them on his height, 

The hermit in his cell ; 
But a deeper voice shall breathe to-night, 
In the sound of the Vesper-bell ! 

[The bell rings. 
Eri. It is the hour ! Hark, hark ! my bride, 

our summons ! 

The altar is prepared and crown'd with flowers, 
That wait 



Tit. The victim ! 



[A tumult heard without. 



PROCIDA and MOXTALBA enter, with others, armed. 

Pro. Strike ! the hour is come ! 
Vit. "Welcome, avengers ! welcome ! Now, be 
strong ! 

(The conspirators throw off their disguise, and rush 
with their swords drawn upon the Provencals. ERI- 
BERT is wounded, and falls.) 

Pro. Now hath fate reach'd thee, in thy mid 

career, 
Thou reveller in a nation's agonies ! 

(The Provencals are driven off, pursued by the 
Sicilians.) 

Con. (supporting ERIBERT.) My brother ! oh, 

my brother ! 
Eri. Have I stood 

A leader in the battle-fields of kings, 
To perish thus at last 1 Ay, by these pangs, 
And this strange chill, that heavily doth creep, 
Like a slow poison, through my curdling veins, 
This should be death ! In sooth, a dull exchange 
For the gay bridal feast ! 

Voices (without.) Remember Conradin ! spare 

none ! spare none ! 

Vit. (throwing off her bridal wreath and orna- 
ments.) This is proud freedom ! Now my 
soul may cast, 

In generous scorn, her mantle of dissembling 
To earth for ever ! And it is such joy, 
As if a captive from his dull cold cell 
Might soar at once, on charter'd wing, to range 
The realms of starr'd infinity ! Away ! 
Vain mockery of a bridal wreath ! The hour 
For which stem patience ne'er kept watch in vain 
Is come ; and I may give my bursting heart 
Full and indignant scope. Now, Eribert ! 
Believe in retribution ! What ! proud man ! 
Prince, ruler, conqueror ! didst thou deem 
heaven slept ] 



" Or that the unseen, immortal ministers, 
Ranging the world to note e'en purposed crime 
In burning characters, had laid aside 
Their everlasting attributes for thee ? " 
blind security ! He in whose dread hand 
The lightnings vibrate, holds them back, until 
The trarnpler of this goodly earth hath reach'd 
His pyramid height of power ; that so his fall 
May with more fearful oracles make pale 
Man's crown'd oppressors ! 

Con. Oh ! reproach him not ! 
His soul is trembling on the dizzy brink 
Of that dim. world where passion may not enter. 
Leave him in peace. [the rescue ! 

Voices (without.) Anjou ! Anjou ! De Couci, to 

Eri. (half raising himself .) My brave Provencals! 

do ye combat still 1 

And I your chief am here ! Now, now I feel 
That death indeed is bitter ! 

Vit. Fare thee well ! 

Thine eyes so oft with their insulting smile [this, 
Have look'd on man's last pangs, thou shouldst by 
Be perfect how to die ! Exit VICTORIA. 

RAUIOXD enters. 

Nairn. Away, my Constance ! 
Now is the time for flight. Our slaughtering bands 
Are scatter'd far and wide. A little while 
And thou shalt be in safety. Know'st thou not 
That low sweet vale, where dwells the holy man 
Anselmo ? he whose hermitage is rear'd 
Mid some old temple's ruins 1 Round the spot 
His name hath spread so pure and deep a charm, 
'Tis hallow'd as a sanctuary wherein 
Thou shalt securely bide, till this wild storm 
Have spent its fury. Haste ! 

Con. I will not fly ! 

"While in his heart there is one throb of life, 
One spark in his dim eyes, I will not leave 
The brother of my youth to perish thus, 
Without one kindly bosom to sustain 
His dying head. 

Eri. The clouds are darkening round. 
There are strange voices ringing in mine ear 
That summon me to what ] But I have been 
Used to command ! Away ! I will not die, 
But on the field [He dies. 

Con. (kneeling by him .) Heaven ! be merciful 
As thou art just ! for he is now where naught 
But mercy can avail him. It is past ! 

GUIDO enters with his sivord drawn. 

Gui. (to RAIMOND.) I've sought thee long why 
art thou lingering here ? 



172 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



Haste, follow me ! Suspicion with thy name 
Joins that word Traitor ! 

Raim. Traitor ! Guido 1 

Gui. Yes ! 

Hast thou not heard that, with his men-at-arms, 
After vain conflict with a people's wrath, 
De Couci hath escaped ? And there are those 
Who murmur that from thee the warning came 
Which saved him from our vengeance. But e'en yet, 
In the red current of Provencal blood, 
That doubt may be effaced. Draw thy good sword, 
And follow me ! 

Raim. And thou couldst doubt me, Guido ! 
'Tis come to this ! Away ! mistrust me still. 
I will not stain my sword with deeds like thine. 
Thou knowst me not ! 

Gui. Raimond di Procida ! 
If thou art he whom once I deem'd so noble 
Call me thy friend no more ! [Exit GUIDO. 

Raim. (after a pause.) Rise, dearest, rise ! 
Thy duty's task hath nobly been fulfill'd, 
E'en in the face of death ; but all is o'er, 
And this is now no place where nature's tears 
In quiet sanctity may freely flow. 
Hark ! the wild sounds that wait on fearful deeds 
Are swelling on the winds, as the deep roar 
Of fast-advancing billows ; and for thee 
I shame not thus to tremble. Speed ! oh, speed ! 

Exeunt. 



ACT IV. 

SCENE I. A Street in Palermo. 
, PROCIDA enters. 

Pro. How strange and deep a stillness loads the 

air, 

As with the power of midnight ! Ay, where death 
Hath pass'd, there should be silence. But this hush 
Of nature's heart, this breathlessness of all things, 
Doth press on thought too heavily, and the sky, 
With its dark robe of purple thunder-clouds, 
Brooding in sullen masses o'er my spirit, 
Weighs like an omen ! Wherefore should this be ? 
Is not our task achieved the mighty work 
Of our deliverance ! Yes ; I should be joyous : 
But this our feeble nature, with its quick 
Instinctive superstitions, will drag down 
Th' ascending soul. And I have fearful bodings 
That treachery lurks amongst us. Raimond ! 

Raimond ! 

Oh, guilt ne'er made a mien like his its garb ! 
It cannot be ! 



MONTALBA, GCIDO, and other Sicilians enter. 

Pro. Welcome ! we meet in joy ! 
Xow may we bear ourselves erect, resuming 
The kingly port of freemen ! Who shall dare, 
After this proof of slavery's dread recoil, 
To weave us chains again ? Ye have done well. 

^fon. We have done well. There needs no choral 

song, 

Xo shouting multitudes, to blazon forth 
Our stem exploits. The silence of our foes 
Doth vouch enough, and they are laid to rest, 
Deep as the sword could make it. Yet our task 
Is still but half achieved, since with his bands 
De Couci hath escaped, and doubtless leads 
Their footsteps to Messina, where our foes 
Will gather all their strength. Determined hearts 
And deeds to startle earth, are yet required 
To make the mighty sacrifice complete. 
Where is thy son 1 

Pro. I know not. Once last night 
He cross'd my path, and with one stroke beat down 
A sword just raised to smite me, and restored 
My own, which in that deadly strife had been 
Wrench'd from my grasp ; but when I would have 

press'd him 

To my exulting bosom, he drew back, 
And with a sad, and yet a scornful smile, 
Full of strange meaning, left me. Since that hour 
I have not seen him. Wherefore didst thou ask 1 

Mon. It matters not. We have deep things to 

speak of. 
Know'st thou that we have traitors in our councils ? 

Pro. I know some voice in secret must have 

warn'd 

De Couci, or his scatter'd bands had ne'er 
So soon been marshall'd, and in close array 
Led hence as from the field. Hast thou heard 

aught 
That may develop this ] 

Mon. The guards we set 

To watch the city gates, have seized, this morn, 
One whose quick fearful glance, and hurried step, 
Betray'd his guilty purpose. Mark ! he bore 
(Amidst the tumult, deeming that his flight 
Might all unnoticed pass) these scrolls to him 
The fugitive Provencal. Read and judge ! 

Pro. Where is this messenger 1 

Mon. Where should he be ? 
They slew him in their wrath. 

Pro. Unwisely done ! 
Give me the scrolls. [He read*. 

Xow, if there be such things 
As may to death add sharpness, yet delay 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



173 



The pang which gives release ; if there be power 
In execration, to call down the fires 
Of yon avenging heaven, whose rapid shafts 
But for such guilt were aimless ; be they heap'd 
Upon the traitor's head ! Scorn make his name 
Her mark for ever ! 

Mon. In our passionate blindness, 
We send forth curses, whose deep stings recoil 
Oft on ourselves. 

Pro. Whate'er fate hath of rum 
Fall on his house ! What ! to resign again 
That freedom for whose sake our souls have now 
Engrain'd themselves in blood ! Why, who is he 
That hath devised this treachery 1 To the scroll 
Why fix'd he not his name, so stamping it 
With an immortal infamy, whose brand [vile 1 
Might warn men from him ] Who should be so 
Alberti 1 In his eye is that which ever [race 
Shrinks from encountering mine ! But no ! his 
Is of our noblest Oh ! he could not shame 
That high descent ! Urbino 1 Conti 1 No ! 
They are too deeply pledged. There's one name 

more ! 

I cannot utter it ! Now shall I read 
Each face with cold suspicion, which doth blot 
From man's high mien its native royalty, 
And seal his noble forehead with the impress 
Of its own vile imaginings ! Speak your thoughts, 
Montalba ! Guido ! Who should this man be 1 

Mon. Why, what Sicilian youth unsheathed last 

night 

His sword to aid our foes, and turn'd its edge 
Against his country's chiefs 1 He that did this, 
May well be deem'd for guiltier treason ripe. 

Pro. And who is he 1 

Mon. Nay, ask thy son. 

Pro. My son ! 

What should he know of such a recreant heart ! 
Speak, Guido ! thou'rt his friend ! 

Gui. I would not wear 
The brand of such a name ! 

Pro. How 1 what means this ] 
A flash of light breaks in upon my soul ! 
Is it to blast me 1 Yet the fearful doubt [fore, 
Hath crept in darkness through my thoughts be- 
And been flung from them. Silence ! Speak not 

yet! 

I would be calm and meet the thunder-burst 
With a strong heart. [A pause. 

Now, what have I to hear ] 
Your tidings ] 

Gui. Briefly, 'twas your son did thus ! 
He hath disgraced your name. 

Pro. Mv son did thus ! 



Are thy words oracles, that I should search 
Their hidden meaning out 1 What did my son 1 
I have forgot the tale. Repeat it, quick ! [we 

Gui. 'Twill burst upon thee all too soon. While 
Were busy at the dark and solemn rites 
Of retribution ; while we bathed the earth 
In red libations, which will consecrate 
The soil they mingled with to freedom's step 
Through the long march of ages : 'twas his task 
To shield from danger a Provencal maid, 
Sister of him whose cold oppression stung 
Our hearts to madness. 

Mon. What ! should she be spared 
To keep that name from perishing on earth ] 
I cross'd them in their path, and raised my 

sword 

To smite her in her champion's arms. We fought 
The boy disarm'd me ! And I live to tell 
My shame, and wreak my vengeance ! 

Gui. Who but he 

Could warn De Couci, or devise the guilt 
These scrolls reveal I Hath not the traitor still 
Sought, with his fair and specious eloquence, 
To win us from our purpose ] All things seem 
Leagued to unmask him. 

Mon. Know you not there came, 
E'en in the banquet's hour, from this De Couci, 
One, bearing unto Eribert the tidings 
Of all our purposed deeds 2 And have we not 
Proof, as the noon-day clear, that Raimond loves 
The sister of that tyrant ! 

Pro. There was one 

Who mourn'd for being childless ! Let him now 
Feast o'er his children's graves, and I will join 
The revelry ! 

Mon. (apart.) You shall be childless too ! 

Pro. Was't you, Montalba ! Now rejoice, I say! 
There is no name so near you that its stains 
Should call the fever'd and indignant blood 
To your dark cheek ! But I will dash to earth 
The weight that presses on my heart, and then 
Be glad as thou art. 

Mon. What means this, my lord 1 
Who hath seen gladness on Montalba's mien ! 

Pro. Why, should not all be glad who have no 

sons 
To tarnish their bright name 1 

Mon. I am not used 
To bear with mockery. 

Pro. Friend.! By yon high heaven, 
I mock thee not ! 'Tis a proud fate to live 
Alone and unallied. Why, what's alone ? 
A word whose sense is free ! Ay, free from all 
The venom'd stings implanted in the heart 



174 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



By those it loves. Oh. ! I could laugh to think 
0' th' joy that riots in baronial halls, 
When the word comes "A son is born ! " A son! 
They should say thus " He that shall knit your 

brow 

To furrows, not of years and bid your eye 
Quail its proud glance to tell the earth its shame, 
Is born, and so rejoice !" Then might we feast, 
And know the cause ! Were it not excellent ] 

Mon. This is all idle. There are deeds to do : 
Arouse thee, Procida ! 

Pro. Why, am I not 

Calm as immortal justice ! She can strike, 
And yet be passionless and thus will I. 
I know thy meaning. Deeds to do ! 'tis well. 
They shall be done ere thought on. Go ye forth : 
There is a youth who calls himself my son. 
His name is Eaimond in his eye is light 
That shows like truth but be not ye deceived ! 
Bear him in chains before us. We will sit 
To-day in judgment, and the skies shall see 
The strength which girds our nature. Will not this 
Be glorious, brave Montalba 1 Linger not, 
Ye tardy messengers ! for there are things 
Which ask the speed of storms. 

[Exeunt GDIDO and others. 
Is not this well ? 

Mon. 'Tis noble. Keep thy spirit to this proud 

height 

(Aside.) And then be desolate like me ! My woes 
Will at the thought grow light. 

Pro. What now remains 

To be prepared ? There should be solemn pomp 
To grace a day like this. Ay, breaking hearts 
Require a drapery to conceal their throbs 
From cold inquiring eyes ; and it must be 
Ample and rich, that so their gaze may not 
Explore what lies beneath. [Exit PROCIDA. 

Mon. Now this is well ! 
I hate this Procida ; for he hath won 
In all our councils that ascendency [been 

And mastery o'er bold hearts, which should have 
Mine by a thousand claims. Had he the strength 
Of wrongs like mine ] No ! for that name his 

country 

He strikes ; my vengeance hath a deeper fount : 
But there's dark joy in this! And fate hath barr'd 
My soul from every other. [Exit MONTALBA. 

SCENE II. A Hermitage surrounded by the Ruins 
of an Ancient Temple. 

CONSTANCE, ANSELMO. 
Con. 'Tis strange he comes not! Is not this the still 



And sultry hour of noon ? He should have been 
Here by the daybreak. Was there not a voice 1 
" No ! 'tis the shrill cicada, with glad life 
Peopling these marble ruins, as it sports 
Amidst them in the sun." Hark ! yet again ! 
No ! no ! Forgive me, father ! that I bring 
Earth's restless griefs and passions, to disturb 
The stillness of thy holy solitude : 
My heart is full of care. 

Ans. There is no place 
So hallow'd as to be unvisited 
By mortal cares. Nay, whither should we go 
With our deep griefs and passions, but to scenes 
Lonely and still, where He that made our hearts 
Will speak to them in whispers 1 I have known 
Affliction too, my daughter. 

Con. Hark ! his step ! 
I know it well he comes my Raimond, welcome! 

YITTORIA enters, CONSTANCE shriids lack on 
perceiving her. 

Oh, heaven ! that aspect tells- a fearful tale. 

Tit. (not observing her.) There is a cloud of 

horror on my soul ; 

And on thy words, Anselmo, peace doth wait, 
Even as an echo, following the sweet close 
Of some divine and solemn harmony : 
Therefore I sought thee now. Oh ! speak to me 
Of holy things and names, in whose deep sound 
Is power to bid the tempests of the heart 
Sink, like a storm rebuked. 

Ans. What recent grief 
Dai'kens thy spirit thus 1 

Vit. I said not grief. 

We should rejoice to-day, but joy is not [wreathe 
That which it hath been. In the flowers which 
Its mantling cup, there is a scent unknown, 
Fraught with a strange delirium. All things now 
Have changed their nature : still, I say, rejoice ! 
There is a cause, Anselmo ! We are free 
Free and avenged ! Yet on my soul there hangs 
A darkness, heavy as the oppressive gloom 
Of midnight fantasies. Ay, for this, too, 
There is a cause. 

Ans. How say'st thou, we are free 1 ! 
There may have raged, within Palermo's walls, 
Some brief wild tumult ; but too well I know 
They call the stranger lord. 

Vit. Who calls the dead 

Conqueror or lord? Hush ! breathe it not aloud, 
The wild winds must not hear it ! Yet again, 
I tell thee we are free ! 

Ans. Thine eye hath look'd 
On fearful deeds, for still their shadows hang 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



J75 



O'er its dark orb. Speak ! I adjure tliee : say, 
How hath this work been wrought ) 

Vit. Peace ! ask me not ! 

Why shouldst thou hear a tale to send thy blood 
Back on its fount ) We cannot wake them now ! 
The storm is in my soul, but they are all 
At rest ! Ay, sweetly may the slaughter'd babe 
By its dead mother sleep ; and warlike men, 
Who midst the slain have slumber'd oft before, 
Making their shield their pillow, may repose 
Well, now their toils are done. Is't not enough? 

Con. Merciful heaven ! have such things been] 

And yet 

There is no shade come o'er the laughing sky ! 
I am an outcast now. 

Ans. Thou whose ways 
Clouds mantle fearfully ! of all the blind 
But terrible ministers that work thy wrath, 
How much is man the fiercest ! Others know 
Their limits yes ! the earthquakes, and the 

storms, 

And the volcanoes ! he alone o'erleaps 
The bounds of retribution ! Couldst thou gaze, 
Vittoria ! with thy woman's heart and eye, 
On such dread scenes unmoved ) 

Vit. Was it for me 

To stay th' avenging sword) No, though it pierced 
My very soul ! Hark ! hark ! what thrilling shrieks 
Ring through the air around me ! Canst thou not 
Bid them be hush'd) Oh ! look not on me thus ! 

Ans. Lady ! thy thoughts lend sternness to the 

looks 

Which are but sad ! Have all then perish'd) all? 
Was there no mercy ! 

Vit. Mercy ! it hath been 
A word forbidden as th' unhallow'd names 
Of evil powers. Yet one there was who dared 
To own the guilt of pity, and to aid 
The victims ! but in vain. Of him no more ! 
He is a traitor, and a traitor's death 
Will be his meed. [his name ! 

Con. (coming forward.) Oh, heaven ! his name, 
Is it it cannot be ! 

Vit. (starting.) Thou here, pale girl ! ['scaped 
I deem'd thee with the dead! How hast thou 
The snare ! Who saved thee, last of all thy race ! 
Was it not he of whom I spake e'en now, 
Haimond di Procida) 

Con. It is enough : 

Now the storm breaks upon me, and I sink. 
Must he too die ) 

Vit. Is it e'en so ? WTiy then, 
Live on thou hast the arrow at thy heart ! 
" Fix not on me thy sad reproachful eyes " 



I mean not to betray thee. Thou may'st live ! 
Why should Death bring thee his oblivious balms ! 
He visits but the happy. Didst thou ask 
If Raimond too must die ? It is as sure 
As that his blood is on thy head, for thou 
Didst win him to this treason. 

Con. When did men 

Call mercy treason? Take my life, but save 
My noble Raimond ! 

Vit. Maiden ! he must die. 
E'en now the youth before his judges stands ; 
And they are men who, to the voice of prayer, 
Are as the rock is to the murmur'd sigh 
Of summer-waves ! ay, though a father sit 
On their tribunal. Bend thou not to me. 
What wouldst thou) 

Con. , Mercy ! Oh ! wort thou to plead 
But with a look, e'en yet he might be saved ! 
If thou hast ever loved 

Vit. If I have loved ! 
It is that love forbids me to relent. 
I am what it hath made me. O'er my soul 
Lightning hath pass'd and sear'd it. Could I weep 
I then might pity but it will not be. 

Con. Oh, thou wilt yet relent ! for woman's heart 
Was form'd to suffer and to melt. 

Vit. Away ! 

Why should I pity thee 1 Thou wilt but prove 
What I have known before and yet I live ! 
Nature is strong, and it may all be borne 
The sick impatient yearning of the heart 
For that which is not ; and the weary sense 
Of the dull void, wherewith our homes have been 
Circled by death ; yes, all things may be borne ! 
All, save remorse. But I will not bow down 
My spirit to that dark power; there was no guilt ! 
Anselmo ! wherefore didst thou talk of guilt ) 

Ans. Ay, thus doth sensitive conscience quicken 

thought, 

Lending reproachful voices to a breeze, 
Keen lightning to a look. 

Vit. Leave me in peace ! 
Is't not enough that I should have a sense 
Of things thou canst not see, all wild and dark, 
And of unearthly whispers, haunting me 
With dread suggestions, but that thy cold words, 
Old man, should gall me, too) Must all conspire 

Against me) thou beautiful spirit! wont 

To shine upon my dreams with looks of love, 
Where art thou vanish'd ? Was it not the thought 
Of thee which urged me to the fearful task, 
And wilt thou now forsake me) I must seek 
The shadowy woods again, for there, perchance, 
Still may thy voice be in my twilight-paths ; 



i 7 6 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



, Here I but meet despair ! [Exit VICTORIA. 

Ans. (to CONSTANCE.) Despair not thou, 
My daughter ! He that purifies the heart 
With grief will lend it strength. [say 

Con. (endeavouring to rouse herself.) Did she not 
That some one was to die ? 

Ans. I tell thee not 

Thy pangs are vain for nature will have way. 
Earth must have tears : yet in a heart like thine, 
Faith may not yield its place. 

Con. Have I not heard 

Some fearful tale 1 Who said that there should rest 
Blood on my soul ? What blood ? I never bore 
Hatred, kind father ! unto aught that breathes : 
Raimond doth know it well. Raimond ! High 

heaven ! 

It bursts upon me now ! And he must die ! 
For my sake e'en for mine ! 

Ans. Her words were strange, 
And her proud mind seem'd half to frenzy wrought; 
Perchance this may not be. 

Con. It must not be. 
Why do I linger here 1 [She rises to depart. 

Ans. Whore wouldst thou go I 

Con. To give their stern and unrelenting hearts 
A victim in his stead. 

Ans. Stay ! wouldst thou rush 
On certain death 1 

Con. I may not falter now. 
Is not the life of woman all bound up 
In her affections ?- What hath she to do 
In this bleak world alone '1 It may be well 
For man on his triumphal course to move, 
Uncumber'd by soft bonds ; but we were born 
For love and grief. 

Ans. Thou fair and gentle thing, 
Unused to meet a glance which doth not speak 
Of tenderness or homage ! how shouldst thou, 
Bear the hard aspect of unpitying men, 
Or face the King of Terrors ? 

Con. There is strength 

Deep-bedded hi our hearts, of which we reck 
But little, till the shafts of heaven have pierced 
Its fragile dwelling. Must not earth be rent 
Before her gems are found 1 Oh ! now I feel 
Worthy the generous love which hath not shunn'd 
To look on death for me ! My heart hath given 
Birth to as deep a courage, and a faith 
As high in its devotion. [Exit CONSTANCE. 

Ans. She is gone ! 

Is it to perish ? God of mercy ! lend 
Power to my voice, that so its prayer may save 
This pure and lofty creature ! I will follow- 
But her young footstep and heroic heart 



Will bear her to destruction, faster far 

Than I can track her path. [Exit ANSELMO. 



SCENE Ill.ffall of a Public Building. 

PROCIDA, MONTALBA, Guroo, and others, seated as 
on a Tribunal. 

Pro. The morn lower'd darkly ; but the sun 

hath now, 

With fierce and angry splendour, through the clouds 
Burst forth, as if impatient to behold 
This our high triumph. Lead the prisoner in. 

RATMOXD is brought in, fettered and guarded. 

Why, what a bright and fearless brow is here ! 
Is this man guilty 1 Look on him, Montalba ! 

Mon. Be firm. Should justice falter at a look I 

Pro. No, thou say'st well. Her eyes are filleted, 
Or should be so. Thou, that dost call thyself 
But no ! I will not breathe a traitor's name 
Speak ! thou art arraign'd of treason. 

Raim. I arraign 

You, before whom I stand, of darker guilt, 
In the bright face of heaven; and your own hearts 
Give echo to the charge. Your very looks 
Have ta'en the stamp of crime, and seem to shrink, 
With a perturb'd and haggard wildness, back 
From the too-searching light. Why, what hath 

wrought 

This change on noble brows ? There is a voice 
With a deep answer, rising from the blood 
Your hands have coldly shed ! Ye are of those 
From whom just men recoil with curdling veins, 
All thrill'd by life's abhorrent consciousness, 
And sensitive feeling of a murderer's presence. 
Away ! come down from your tribunal seat, 
Put off your robes of state, and let your mien 
Be pale and humbled ; for ye bear about you 
That which repugnant earth doth sicken at, 
More than the pestilence. That I should live 
To see my father shrink ! 

Pro. Montalba, speak ! [not. 

There's something chokes my voice but fear me 

Mon. If we must plead to vindicate our acts, 
Be it when thou hast made thine own look clear, 
Most eloquent youth ! What answer canst thou 

make 
To this our charge of treason ' 

Raim. I will plead 

That cause before a mightier judgment-throne, 
Where mercy is not guilt. But here I feel 
Too buoyantly the glory and the joy 
Of my free spirit's whiteness ; for e'en now 



THE VESPERS OF- PALERMO. 



The embodied hideousness of crime doth seem 
Before me glaring out. Why, I saw thee, 
Thy foot upon an aged warrior's breast, 
Trampling out nature's last convulsive heavings. 
And thou, thy sword valiant chief ! is yet 
Red from the noble stroke which pierced at once 
A mother and the babe, whose little life 
Was from her bosom drawn ! Immortal deeds 
For bards to hymn ! 

GUI. (aside.) I look upon his mien, 
And waver. Can it be 1 My boyish heart 
Deem'd him so noble once ! Away, weak thoughts ! 
Why should I shrink, as if the guilt were mine, 
From his proud glance 1 

Pro. thou dissembler ! thou, 
So skill'd to clothe with virtue's generous flush 
The hollow cheek of cold hypocrisy, 
That, with thy guilt made manifest, I can scarce 
Believe thee guilty ! look on me, and say 
Whose was the secret warning voice, that saved 
De Couci with his bands, to join our foes, 
And forge new fetters for th' indignant land ? 
Whose was this treachery } [Shows him papers. 
Who hath promised here 
(Belike to appease the manes of the dead) 
At midnight to unfold Palermo's gates, 
And welcome in the foe 1 Who hath done this, 
But thou a tyrant's friend ? 

Raim. Who hath done this 1 
Father ! if I may call thee by that name 
Look, with thy piercing eye, on those whose smiles 
Were masks that hid their daggers. There, per- 
chance, 

May lurk what loves not light too strong. For me, 
I know but this there needs no deep research 
To prove the truth that murderers may be traitors, 
Even to each other. 

Pro. (to MONTALBA.) His unaltering cheek 
Still vividly doth hold its natural hue, 
And his eye quails not ! Is this innocence 1 

Mon. Xo ! 'tis th' unshrinking hardihood of crime. 
Thou bear'st a gallant mien. But where is she 
Whom thou hast barter'd fame and life to save, 
The fair Provencal maid ? What ! know'st thou 

not 

That this alone were guilt, to death allied 1 
Was 't not our law that he who spared a foe 
(And is she not of that detested race 1) 
Should thenceforth be amongst us as a foe 1 
Where hast thou borne her 1 speak ! 

Raim. That Heaven, whose eye 
Burns up thy soul with its far-searching glance, 
Is with her : she is safe. 

Pro. And by that word 



Thy doom is seal'd. Oh, God ! that I had died 
Before this bitter hour, hi the full strength 
And glory of my heart ! 

CONSTANCE enters, and rushes to RAIMOND. 

Con. Oh ! art thou found ? [thee ! 

But yet, to find thee thus ! Chains, chains for 
My brave, my noble love ! OS with these bonds; 
Let him be free as air : for I am come 
To be your victim now. 

Raim. Death has no pang 

More keen than this. Oh ! wherefore art thou here 
I could have died so calmly, deeming thee 
Saved, and at peace. 

Con. At peace ! And thou hast thought 
Thus poorly of my love ! But woman's breast 
Hath strength to suffer too. Thy father sits 
On this tribunal ; Raimond, which is he 1 [heart 

Raim. My father ! who hath lull'd thy gentle 
With that false hope 1 Beloved ! gaze around 
See if thine eye can trace a father's soul 
In the dark looks bent on us. 

[CONSTANCE, after earnestly examining the coun- 
tenances of the Judges, falls at the feet of 
PROCIDA. 

Con. Thou art he ! 

Xay, turn thou not away ! for I beheld 
Thy proud lip quiver, and a watery mist 
Pass o'er thy troubled eye ; and then I knew 
Thou wert his father ! Spare him ! take my life ! 
In truth, a worthless sacrifice for his, 
But yet mine all. Oh ! he hath still to run 
A long bright race of glory. 

Raim. Constance, peace ! 
I look upon thee, and my failing heart 
Is as a broken reed. 

Con. (still addressing PROCIDA.) Oh, yet relent ! 
If 'twas his crime to rescue me behold 
I come to be the atonement ! Let him live 
To crown thine age with honour. In thy heart 
There's a deep conflict ; but great Nature pleads 
With an o'ermastering voice, and thou wilt yield! 
Thou art his father ! 

Pro. (after a pause.) Maiden, thou'rt deceived ! 
I am as cairn as that dead pause of nature 
Ere the full thunder bursts. A judge is not 
Father or friend. Who calls this man my son ] 
My son ! Ay ! thus his mother proudly 

smiled 

But she was noble ! Traitors stand alone, 
Loosed from all ties. Why should I trifle thus ? 
JBear her away ! 

Raim. (starting forward.) And whither? 



I 7 8 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



Mon. Unto death. [perish'd 1 

Why should she live, when all her race have 

Con. (sinking into the arms of RAIM<T>.) 
Raimond, farewell ! Oh ! when thy star hath 

risen 

To its bright noon, forget not, best beloved ! 
I died for thee. 

JRaim. High Heaven ! thou see'st these things, 
And yet endurest them ! Shalt thou die for me, 
Purest and loveliest being ? but our fate 
May not divide us long. Her cheek is cold 
Her deep blue eyes are closed : should this be 

death 

If thus, there yet were mercy ! Father, father ! 
Is thy heart human 1 

Pro. Bear her hence, I say ! 
Why must my soul be torn ? 

ANSELMO enters holding a Crucifix. 

Ans. Now, by this sign 

Of heaven's prevailing love ! ye shall not harm 
One ringlet of her head. How ! is there not 
Enough of blood upon your burthen'd souls 1 
Will not the visions of your midnight couch 
Be wild and dark enough, but ye must heap 
Crime upon crime 1 Be ye content : your dreams, 
Your councils, and your banquetings, will yet 
Be haunted by the voice which doth not sleep, 
E'en though this maid be spared ! Constance, 

look up ! 
Thou shalt not die. 

Raim. Oh ! death e'en now hath veil'd 
The light of her soft beauty. Wake my love ! 
Wake at my voice ! 

Pro. Anselmo, lead her hence, 
And let her live, but never meet my sight. 
Begone ! my heart will burst. 

Raim. One last embrace ! 
Again life's rose is opening on her cheek ; 
Yet must we part. So love is crush'd on earth ! 
But there are brighter worlds ! Farewell, fare- 
well ! 

{He gives Jier to the care of ANSELMO. 

Con. (slowly recovering.) There was a voice which 

call'd me. Am I not 

A spirit freed from earth ? Have I not pass'd 
The bitterness of death ? 

Ans. Oh, haste away ! [leased 

Con. Yes ! Raimond calls me. He too is re- 
From his cold bondage. We are free at last, 
And all is well. Away ! 

[She is led out by AS 

Raim. The pang is o'er, 
And I have but -to die. 



Mon. Now, Procida, 
Comes thy great task. Wake ! summon to thino 

aid 

All thy deep soul's commanding energies ; 
For thou a chief among us must pronounce 
The sentence of thy son. It rests with thee. 

Pro. Ha ! ha ! Men's hearts should be of softer 

mould 

Than in the elder time. Fathers could doom 
Their children then with an unfaltering voice, 
And we must tremble thus I Is it not said 
That nature grows degenerate, earth being now 
So full of days] 

Mon. Rouse up thy mighty heart. 

Pro. Ay, thou say'st right. There yet are souls 

which toAver 

As landmarks to mankind. Well, what's the task 1 
There is a man to be condemn'd, you say ? 
Is he then guilty 1 

All. Thus we deem of him, 
With one accord. 

Pro. And hath he naught to plead ? 

Raim. Naught but a soul unstain'd. 

Pro. Why, that is little. 
Stains on the soul are but as conscience deems 

them, 
And conscience may be sear'd. But for this 

sentence ! 

Was 't not the penalty imposed on man, 
E'en from creation's dawn, that he must die 1 
It was : thus making guilt a sacrifice 
Unto eternal justice ; and we but 
Obey heaven's mandate when we cast dark souls 
To th" elements from among us. Be it so ! 
Such be his doom ! Ihave said. Ay,nowmy heart 
Is girt with adamant, whose cold weight doth press 
Its gaspings down. Off! let me breathe in freedom! 
Mountains are on my breast ! [He sinks lack. 

Mon. Guards, bear the prisoner 
Back to his dungeon. 

Raim. Father ! oh, look up ; 
Thou art my father still ! 

Gui. (leaving the tribunal, throws himself on the 
neck of RAUIOXD.) Oh ! Raimond, Raimond ! 
If it should be that I have wrong'd thee, say 
Thou dost forgive me. 

Raim. Friend of my young days, 
So may all-pitying heaven ! 

[RAIMOITD is led out. 

Pro. Whose voice was that ? 
Where is he 1 gone 1 Now I may breathe once 

more 
In the free air of heaven. Let us away. 

[Exeunt omnes. 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



179 



ACT V. 

SCENE I. A Prison dimly lighted. 
RAUIOND sleeping. PROCIDA enters. 

Pro. (gazing upon him earnestly.) Can he 
Then sleep? Th' overshadowingnighthath wrapt 
Earth at her stated hours ; the stars have set 
Their burning watch ; and all things hold their 

course 

Of wakefulness and rest ; yet hath not sleep 
Sat on mine eyelids since but this avails not ! 
Andthusfo slumbers ! "Why, this mien doth seem 
As if its soul were but one lofty thought 
Of an immortal destiny ! " his brow 
Is calm as waves whereon the midnight heavens 
Are imaged silently. Wake, Eaimond ! wake ! 
Thy rest is deep. 

Bairn, (starting up.) My father! Wheref ore here? 
I am prepared to die, yet would I not 
Fall by thy hand. 

Pro. 'Twas not for this I came. 

Raim. Then wherefore? and upon thy lofty brow 
Why burns the troubled flush ? 

Pro. Perchance 'tis shame. 
Yes, it may well be shame ! for I have striven 
With nature's feebleness, and been o'erpower'd. 
Howe'er it be, 'tis not for thee to gaze, 
Noting it thus. Rise, let me loose thy chains. 
Arise, and follow me ; but let thy step 
Fall without sound on earth : I have prepared 
The means for thy escape. 

Raim. What ! thou 1 the austere, 
The inflexible Procida ! hast thou done this, 
Deeming me guilty still ! 

Pro. Upbraid me not ! 

It is even so. There have been nobler deeds 
By Roman fathers done, but I am weak. 
Therefore, again I say, arise ! and haste, 
For the night wanes. Thy fugitive course must be 
To realms beyond the deep ; so let us part 
In silence, and for ever. 

Raim. Let him fly 

Who holds no deep asylum in his breast 
Wherein to shelter from the scoffs of men ; 
I can sleep calmly here. 

Pro. Art thou in love 
With death and infamy, that so thy choice 
Is made, lost boy ! when freedom courts thy grasp? 

Raim. Father ! to set th' irrevocable seal 
Upon that shame wherewith ye have branded me, 
There needs but flight. What should I bear from 

this, 
My native land ? A blighted name, to rise 



And part me, with its dark remembrances, 
For ever from the sunshine ! O'er my soul 
Bright shadowings of a nobler destiny 
Float in dim beauty through the gloom ; but here 
On earth, my hopes are closed. 

Pro. Thy hopes are closed ! 

And what were they to mine ? Thou wilt not fly ! 
Why, let all traitors flock to thee, and learn 
How proudly guilt can talk ! Let fathers rear 
Their offspring henceforth, as the free wild birds 
Foster their young : when these can mount alone, 
Dissolving nature's bonds, why should it not 
Be so with us? 

Raim. father ! now I feel 
What high prerogatives belong to Death. 
He hath a deep though voiceless eloquence, 
To which I leave my cause. " His solemn veil 
Doth with mysterious beauty clothe our virtues, 
And in its vast oblivious folds, for ever 
Give shelter to our faults." When I am gone, 
The mists of passion which have dimm'd my name 
Will -melt like day-dreams ; and my memory then 
Will be not what it should have been for I 
Must pass without my fame but yet unstain'd 
As a clear morning dewdrop. Oh ! the grave 
Hath rights inviolate as a sanctuary's, 
And they should be my own ! 

Pro. Now, by just Heaven, 
I will not thus be tortured ! Were my heart 
But of thy guilt or innocence assured, 
I could be calm again. "But in this wild 
Suspense this conflict and vicissitude 

Of opposite feelings and convictions What ! 

Hath it been mine to temper and to bend 
All spirits to my purpose ? have I raised 
With a severe and passionless energy, 
From the dread mingling of their elements, 
Storms which have rock'd the earth ? and shall 

I now 

Thus fluctuate as a feeble reed, the scorn 
And plaything of the winds ? " Look on me, boy ! 
Guilt never dared to meet these eyes, and keep 
Its heart's dark secret close. pitying Heaven ! 
Speak to my soul with some dread oracle, 
And tell me which is truth. 

Raim. I will not plead. 
I will not call th' Omnipotent to attest 
My innocence. No, father ! in thy heart 
I know my birthright shall be soon restored ; 
Therefore I look to death, and bid thee speed 
The great absolver. 

Pro. my son ! my son ! 

We will not part in wrath ! The sternest hearts, 
Within their proud and guarded fastnesses, 



i8o 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO, 



Hide something still, round which their tendrils 

cling 

With a close grasp, unknown to those who dress 
Their love in smiles. And such wert thou to me ! 
The all which taught me that my soul was cast 
In nature's mould. And I must now hold on 
My desolate course alone ! Why, be it thus ! 
He that doth guide a nation's star, should dwell 
High o'er the clouds, in regal solitude, 
Sufficient to himself. 

Raim. Yet, on the summit, 

When with her bright wings glory shadows thee, 
Forget not him who coldly sleeps beneath, 
Yet might have soar'd as high ! 

Pro. No, fear thou not ! 

Thoult be remember'd long. The canker-worm 
0' th' heart is ne'er forgotten. 

Raim. " Oh ! not thus 
I would not thus be thought of." 

Pro. Let me deem 

Again that thou art base ! for thy bright looks, 
Thy glorious mien of fearlessness and truth, 
Then would not haunt me as the avenging powers 
Follow'd the parricide. Farewell, farewell ! 
I have no tears. Oh ! thus thy mother look'd, 
When, with a sad, yet half-triumphant smile, 
All radiant with deep meaning, from her deathbed 
She gave thee to my arms. 

Raim. Now death has lost 
His sting, since thou believ'st me innocent ! 

Pro. (wildly.) Thou innocent ! Am I thy mur- 
derer, then 1 

Away ! I tell thee thou hast made my name 
A scorn to men ! No ! I will not forgive thee ; 
A traitor t What ! the blood of Procida 
Filling a traitor's veins \ Let the earth drink it. 
Thou wouldst receive our foes ! but they shall 

meet 

From thy perfidious lips a welcome, cold 
As death can make it. Go, prepare thy soul ! 

Raim. Father ! yet hear me ! 

Pro. No ! thou 'rt skill'd to make 
E'en shame look fair. Why should I linger thus ? 

[Going to leave the prison, he turns back for 
a moment. 

If there be aught if aught for which thou need'st 
Forgiveness not of me, but that dread Power 
From whom no heart is veil'd delay thou not 
Thy prayer, time hurries on. 

Raim. I am prepared. 

Pro. 'Tis well. [Exit PROCIDA. 

Raim. Men talk of torture ! Can they wreak 
Upon the sensitive and shrinking frame, 



Half the mind bears and lives ? My spirit feela 
Bewilder'd ; on its powers this twilight gloom 
Hangs like a weight of earth. It should be morn ; 
Why, then, perchance, a beam of heaven's bright 

sun 

Hath pierced, ere now, the grating of my dungeon, 
Telling of hope and mercy ! 

[Exit into an inner ctlL 



SCENE II. A Street of Palermo. 
Many Citizens assembled. 

1st Cit. The morning breaks; his time is almost 

come: 
Will he be led this way ] 

2d Cit. Ay, so 'tis said 

To die before that gate through which he purposed 
The foe should enter in ! 

3d Cit. 'Twas a vile plot ! 
And yet I would my hands were pure as his 
From the deep stain of blood. Didst' hear the 

sounds 
I' the air last night ! 

2d Cit. Since the great work of slaughter, 
Who hath not heard them duly at those hours 
Which should be silent ) 

3d Cit. Oh ! the fearful mingling, 
The terrible mimicry of human voices, 
Iii every sound, which to the heart doth speak 
Of woe and death. 

2d Cit. Ay, there was woman's shrill 
And piercing cry ; and the low feeble wail 
Of dying infants ; and the half-suppress'd 
Deep groan of man in his last agonies ! 
And, now and then, there swell'd upon the breeze 
Strange, savage bursts of laughter, wilder far 
Than all the rest. 

1st Cit. Of our own fate, perchance, 
These awful midnight wailings may be deem'd 
An ominous prophecy. Should France regain 
Her power among us, doubt not, we shall have 
Stern reckoners to account with. Hark ! 

[The sound of trumpets heard at a distance. 

2d Cit. 'Twas but 
A rushing of the breeze. 

3d Cit. E'en now, 'tis said, 
The hostile bands approach. 

[The sound is heard gradually drawing nearer. 

2d Cit. Again ! that sound 
Was no illusion. Nearer yet it swells 
They come, they come ! 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



181 



PBOCIDA enters. 

Pro. The foe is at your gates ; 
But hearts and hands prepared shall meet his onset. 
Why are ye loitering here ? 

Cit. My lord, we came 

Pro. Think ye I know not wherefore ] 'twas 

to see 

A fellow-being die ! Ay, 'tis a sight 
Man lores to look on ; and the tenderest hearts 
Recoil, and yet withdraw not from the scene. 
For this ye came. What ! is our nature fierce, 
Or is there that in mortal agony 
From which the soul, exulting in its strength, 
Doth learn immortal lessons 1 Hence, and arm ! 
Ere the night-dews descend, ye will have seen 
Enough of death for this must be a day 
Of battle ! 'Tis the hour which troubled souls 
Delight in, for its rushing storms are wings 
Which bear them up ! Arm ! arm ! 'tis for your 

homes, 
And all that lends them loveliness Away ! 

[Exeunt. 



SCEXE III. Prison of RAIMOXD. 
RAIMOXD, AXSELMO. 

Bairn. And Constance then is safe ! Heaven 

bless thee, father ! 
Good angels bear such comfort. 

Ans. I have found 

A safe asylum for thine honour'd love, 
Where she may dwell until serener days, 
With Saint Rosalia's gentlest daughters those 
Whose hallow'd office is to tend the bed 
Of pain and death, and soothe the parting soul 
With their soft hymns : and therefore are they 

call'd 
' Sisters of Mercy/' 

Raim. Oh ! that name, my Constance ! 
Befits thee well. E'en in our happiest days, 
There was a depth of tender pensiveness 
Far in thine eyes' dark azure, speaking ever 
Of pity and mild grief. Is she at peace 1 

Ans. Alas ! what should I say 1 

Raim. Why did I ask, 
Kn owing the deep and full devotedness 
Of her young heart's affections ] Oh ! the thought 
Of my untimely fate will haunt her dreams, 
Which should have been so tranquil ! and her 

soul, 

Whose strength was but the lofty gift of love, 
Even unto death will sicken. 



Aiis. All that faith 

Can yield of comfort, shall assuage her woes ; 
And still, whate'er betide, the light of heaven 
Rests on her gentle heart. But thou, my son ! 
Is thy young spirit master'd, and prepared 
For nature's fearful and mysterious change 1 

Raim. Ay, father ! of my brief remaining task 
The least part is to die ! And yet the cup 
Of life still mantled brightly to my lips, [name 
Crown'd with that sparkling bubble, whose proud 
Is glory ! Oh ! my soul, from boyhood's morn, 
Hath nursed such mighty dreams ! It was my hope 
To leave a name, whose echo from the abyss 
Of time should rise, and float upon the winds 
Into the far hereafter ; there to be 
A trumpet-sound, a voice from the deep tomb, 
Murmuring Awake ! Arise ! But this is past ! 
Erewhile, and it had seem'd enough of shame 
To sleep forgotten in the dust ; but now 
Oh, God ! the undying record of my grave 
Will be Here sleepsatraitor ! One, whose crime, 
Was to deem brave men might find nobler 

weapons 
Than the cold murderer's dagger ! 

Ans. Oh ! my son, 

Subdue these troubled thoughts ! Thou wouldst 
not change [bang 

Thy lot for theirs, o'er whose dark dreams will 
The avenging shadows, which the blood-stain'dsoul 
Doth conjure from the dead ! 

Raim. Thou'rt right. I would not. 
Yet 'tis a weary task to school the heart, 
Ere years or griefs have tamed its fiery spirit 
Into that still and passive fortitude, [hour 

Which is but learn'd from suffering. Would the 
To hush these passionate throbbings were at hand ! 

A ns. It will not be to-day. Hast thou not heard 
But no the rush, the trampling, and the stir 
Of this great city, arming in her haste, 
Pierce not these dungeon-depths. The foe hath 

reach'd 

Our gates, and all Palermo's youth, and all 
Her warrior men, are marshall'd, and gone forth, 
In that high hope which makes realities, 
To the red field. Thy father leads them on. 

Raim. (starting up.) They are gone forth ! my 

father leads them on ! 
All all Palermo's youth ! No ! one is left, 
Shut out from glory's race ! They are gone forth ! 
Ay, now the soul of battle is abroad 
It burns upon the air ! The joyous winds 
Are tossing warrior-plumes, the proud white foam 
Of battle's roaring billows ! On my sight 
The vision bursts it maddens ! 'tis the flash, 



1 82 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



The lightning-shock of lances, and the cloud 
Of rushing arrows, and the broad full blaze 
Of helmets in the sun ! The very steed 
With his majestic rider glorying shares 
The hour's stern joy, and waves his floating mane 
As a triumphant banner ! Such things are 
Even now and I am here ! 

Ans. Alas, be calm ! 

To the same grave ye press, thou that dost pine 
Beneath a weight of chains, and they that rule 
The fortunes of the fight. 

Raim. Ay ! Thou canst feel 
The calm thou wouldst impart ; for unto thee 
All men alike, the warrior and the slave, 
Seem, as thou say'st, but pilgrims, pressing on 
To the same bourne. Yet call it not the same : 
Their graves who fall in this day's fight will be 
As altars to their country, visited 
By fathers with their children, bearing wreaths, 
And chanting hymns in honour of the dead : 
Will mine be such ] 

VITTORIA rushes in wildly, as if pursued. 

Vit. Anselmo ! art thou found ! 
Haste, haste, or all is lost ! Perchance thy voice, 
Whereby they deem heaven speaks, thy lifted cross, 
And prophet mien, may stay the fugitives, 
Or shame them back to die. 

Ans. The fugitives ! 

What words are these ? The sons of Sicily 
Fly not before the foe ? 

Vit. That I should say 
It is too true ! 

Ans. And thou thou bleedest, lady ! 

Vit. Peace ! heed not me when Sicily is lost ! 
I stood upon the walls, and watch'd our bands, 
As, with their ancient royal banner spread, 
Onward they march'd. The combat was begun, 
The fiery impulse given, and valiant men [lo ! 
Had seal'd their freedom with their blood when, 
That false Alberti led his recreant vassals 
To join th' invader's host. 

Raim. His country's curse 
Rest on the slave for ever ! 

Vit. Then distrust, 

E'en of their noble leaders, and dismay, 
That swift contagion, on Palermo's bands 
Came like a deadly blight. They fled ! Oh shame ! 
E'en now they fly ! Ay, through the city gates 
They rush, as if all Etna's burning streams 
Pursued their winged steps ! 

Raim. Thou hast not named 
Their chief Di Procida he doth not fly ? 

Vit. Xo ! like a kingly lion in the toils, 



Daring the hunters yet, he proudly strives : 
But all in vain ! The few that breast the storm, 
With Guido and Montalba, by bis side, 
Fight but for graves upon the battle-field. 

Raim. And I am here ! Shall there be power, 

God! 

In the roused energies of fierce despair, 
To burst my heart and not to rend my chains ? 
Oh, for one moment of the thunderbolt 
To set the strong man free ! ['twere a deed 

Vit. (after gazing upon him, earnestly.) Why, 
Worthy the feme and blessing of all time, 
To loose thy bonds, thou son of Procida ! 
Thou art no traitor ! from thy kindled brow 
Looks out thy lofty soul ! Arise ! go forth ! 
And rouse the noble heart of Sicily 
Unto high deeds again. Anselmo, haste ; 
Unbind him ! Let my spirit still prevail, 
Ere I depart for the strong hand of death 
Is on me now. [She sinks back against a pillar. 

Ans. Oh, heaven ! the life-blood streams 
Fast from thy heart thy troubled eyes grow dim. 
Who hath done this! 

Vit. Before the gates I stood, 
And in the name of him, the loved and lost, 
With whom I soon shall be, all vainly strove 
To stay the shameful flight. Then from the foe, 
Fraught with my summons to his viewless home, 
Came the fleet shaft which pierced me. 

Ans. Yet, oh yet, 
It may not be too late. Help, help ! 

Vit. (to Raimond.) Away ! 
Bright is the hour which brings thee liberty ! 

Attendants enter. 

Haste, be those fetters riven ! Unbar the gates, 
And set the captive free ! 

(The Attendants seem to hesitate.) Know ye not her 
Who should have worn your country's diadem 1 
Att. lady ! we obey. 

{They take off RAUIOND'S chains. He sprinyt 
up exultinyly. 

Raim. Is this no dream ? 

Mount, eagle ! thou art free ! Shall I then die 
Not midst the mockery of insulting crowds, 
But on the field of banners, where the brave 
Are striving for an immortality 1 
It is e'en so ! Now for bright arms of proof, 
A helm,*a keen-edged falchion, and e'en yet 
My father may be saved ! 

Vit. Away, be strong ! 
And let thy battle-word, to rule the storm, 
Be Conradin. [He rushes ovt. 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



183 



Oh. ! for one hour of life, 

To hear that name blent with th' exulting shout 
Of victory ! It will not be ! A mightier power 
Doth summon me away. 

Aiis. To purer worlds 
Raise thy last thoughts in hope. 

Tit. Yes ! he is there, 
All glorious in his beauty ! Conradin ! 
Death parted us, and death shall reunite ! 
He will not stay it is all darkness now ! 
Night gathers o'er my spirit. [She dies. 

Ans. She is gone ! 

It is an awful hour which stills the heart 
That beat so proudly once. Have mercy, heaven ! 
[He kneels beside her. 



SCENE IV. Before the Gates of Palermo. 
Sicilians flying tumultuously towards the Gates. 

Voices, (without.) Montjoy! Montjoy! St Denis 

for Anjou ! 
Provencals, on ! 

Sicilians. Fly, fly, or all is lost ! 

RAIMOND appears in the gateway armed, and 
carrying a banner. 

Raim. Back, back, I say ! ye men of Sicily ! 
All is not lost ! Oh ! shame ! A few brave hearts 
In such a cause, ere now, have set their breasts 
Against the rush of thousands, and sustain'd, 
And made the shock recoil. Ay, man, free man, 
Still to be call'd so, hath achieved such deeds 
As heaven and earth have marvell'd at ; and souls, 
Whose spark yet slumbers with the days to come, 
Shall burn to hear, transmitting brightly thus 
Freedom from race to race ! Back ! or prepare 
Amidst your hearths, your bowers, your very 

shrines, 

To bleed and die in vain ! Turn ! follow me ! 
" Conradin, Conradin ! " for Sicily 
His spirit fights ! Remember " Conradin ! " 

{They begin to rally round him. 
Ay, this is well ! Now, follow me, and charge ! 

[The Provencals rush in, but are repulsed by 
the Sicilians. Exeunt. 



SCENE V. Part of the Field of Battle. 

MONTALBA enters wounded, and supported by RAI- 
ND, whose face is concealed by his helmet. 



Raim. Here rest thee, warrior. 



Mon. Rest ! ay, death is rest, 
And such will soon be mine. But, thanks to thee, 
I shall not die a captive. Brave Sicilian ! 
These lips are all unused to soothing words, 
Or I should bless the valour which hath won, 
For my last hour, the proud free solitude 
Wherewith my soul would gird itself. Thy name 1 

Raim. 'Twill be no music to thine ear, Montalba. 
Gaze read it thus ! 

[He lifts the visor of his helmet. 

Mon. Raimond di Procida ! 

Raim. Thou hast pursued me with a bitter hate : 
But fare thee well ! Heaven's peace be with thy 

soul ! 

I must away. One glorious effort more, 
And this proud field is won. [Exit RAIMOND. 

Mon. Am I thus humbled] 

How my heart sinks within me ! But 'tis Death 
(And he can tame the mightiest) hath subdued 
My towering nature thus. Yet is he welcome ! 
That youth 'twas in his pride he rescued me ! 
I was his deadliest foe, and thus he proved 
His fearless scorn. Ha ! ha ! but he shall fail 
To melt me into womanish feebleness. 
There I still baffle him the grave shall seal 
My lips for ever mortal shall not hear 
Montalba say " forgive 1" [He dies. 



SCENE VI. Another part of the Field. 
PROCIDA, Guroo, and other Sicilians. 

Pro. The day is ours ; but he, the brave unknown, 
Who turn'd the tide of battle he whose path 
Was victory who hath seen him ? 

ALBERTI is brought in wounded and fettered. 

Alb. Procida ! 

Pro. Be silent, traitor ! Bear him from my sight. 
Unto your deepest dungeons. 

Alb. In the grave 

A nearer home awaits me. Yet one word 
Ere my voice fail thy son 

Pro. Speak, speak ! 

Alb. Thy son 

Knows not a thought of guilt. That trait'rous plot 
Was mine alone. [He is led away. 

Pro. Attest it, earth and heaven ! 
My son is guiltless ! Hear it, Sicily ! 
The blood of Procida is noble still ! 
My son ! He lives, he lives ! His voice shall speak 
Forgiveness to his sire ! His name shall cast 
Its brightness o'er my soul ! 

Gui. day of joy ! 



1 84 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



The brother of my heart is worthy still 
The lofty name he bears ! 

AXSELMO enters. 

Pro. Anselmo, welcome ! 
In a glad hour we meet; for know, my son 
Is guiltless. 

Ans. And victorious ! By his arm 
All hath been rescued. 

Pro. How ! the unknown 

Ans. Was he ! 

Thy noble Raimond ! by Vittoria's hand 
Freed from his bondage, in that awful hour 
When all was flight and terror. 

Pro. Now my cup 

Of joy too brightly mantles ! Let me press 
My warrior to a father's heart and die ; 
For life hath naught beyond. Why comes he not? 
Anselmo, lead me to my valiant boy ! 

Ans. Temper this proud delight. 

Pro. What means that look 1 
He hath not fallen ] 

Ans. He lives. 

Pro. Away, away ! 

Bid the wide city with triumphal pomp 
Prepare to greet her victor. Let this hour 
Atone for all his wrongs ! [Exeunt. 



SCENE VII. Garden of a Convent. 



ND is led in, wounded, leaning on Attendants. 

Raim. Bear me to no dull couch, but let me die 
In the bright face of nature ! Lift my helm, 
That I may look on heaven. 

1st Att. (to 2d Attendant.) Lay him to rest 
On this green sunny bank, and I will call 
Some holy sister to his aid ; but thou 
Return unto the field, for high-born men 
There need the peasant's aid. [Exit 2d Attendant. 

(To Bairn.) Here gentle hands 

Shall tend thee, warrior ; for, in these retreats, 
They dwell, whose vows devote them to the care 
Of all that suffer. May'st thou li ve to bless them ! 
[Exit 1st Attendant. 

Rzim. Thus have I wish'd to die ! 'Twas a 

proud strife ! 

My father bless'd th' unknown who rescued him, 
(Bless'd him, alas, because unknown !) and Guido, 
Beside him bravely struggling, call'd aloud, 
"Noble Sicilian, on !" Oh ! had they deem'd 
'Twas I who led that rescue, they had spurn'd 
Mine aid, though 'twas deliverance ; and their looks 
Had fallen like blights upon me. There is one, 
Whose eye ne'er turn'd on mine but its blue light 



Grew softer, trembling through the dewy mist 
Raised by deep tenderness ! Oh, might the soul, 
Set in that eye, shine on me ere I perish ! 
Is't not her voice ] 

COXSTASCE enters speaking to a Sun, icko turns 
into another path. 

Con. Oh, happy they, kind sister ! 
Whom thus ye tend ; for it is theirs to fall 
With brave men side by side, when the roused heart 
Beats proudly to the last ! There are high souls 
Whose hope was such a death, and 'tis denied ! 
[Site approaches RAIMOXD. 

Young warrior, is there aught Thou here, my 

Raimond ! 
Thou here and thus ! Oh ! is this joy or woe 1 

Raim. Joy, be it joy! my own, my blessed love ! 
E'en on the grave's dim verge. Yes ! it is joy ! 
My Constance ! victors have been crown'd ere now, 
With the green shining laurel, when their brows 
Wore death's own impress and it may be thus 
E'en yet, with me ! They freed me, when the foe 
Had half prevail'd, and I have proudly earn'd, 
With my heart's dearest blood, the meed to die 
Within thine arms. 

Con. Oh ! speak not thus to die ! 
These wounds may yet be closed. 

[She attempts to bind his wounds. 
Look on me, love ! 

Why, there is more than life in thy glad mien 
'Tis full of hope ! and from thy kindled eye 
Breaks e'en unwonted light, whose ardent ray 
Seems bom to be immortal ! 

Raim. 'Tis e'en so ! 

The parting soul doth gather all her fires 
Around her ; all her glorious hopes, and dreams, 
And burning aspirations, to illume 
The shadowy dimness of the untrodden path 
Which lies before her ; and encircled thus, 
Awhile she sits in dying eyes, and thence 
Sends forth her bright farewell. Thy gentle cares 
Arc vain, and yet I bless them. 

Con. Say not vain ; 
The dying look not thus. We shall not part ! 

Raim. I have seen death ere now, and known 

him wear 
Full many a changeful aspect. 

Con. Oh ! but none 

Radiant as thine, my warrior ! Thou wilt live ! 
Look round thee ! all is sunshine. Is not this 
A smiling world 1 

Raim. Ay, gentlest love ! a world 
Of joyous beauty and magnificence, 
Almost too fair to leave ! Yet must we tame 



THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



185 



Our ardeiit hearts to this ! Oh, weep thou not ! 
There is no home for liberty, or love, 
Beneath these festal skies ! Be not deceived ; 
My way lies far beyond ! I shall be soon 
That viewless thing, which, with its mortal weeds 
Casting off meaner passions, yet, we trust, 
Forgets not how to love ! 

Con. And must this be 1 

Heaven, thou art merciful ! Oh ! bid our souls 
Depart together ! 

Raim. Constance ! there is strength 
"Within thy gentle heart, which hath been proved 
Nobly, for me : arouse it once again ! 
Thy grief unmans me and I fain would meet 
That which approaches, as a brave man yields 
'With proud submission to a mightier foe. 
It is upon me now ! 

Con. I will be calm. 

Let thy head rest upon my bosom, Raimond, 
And I will so suppress its quick deep sobs, 
They shall but rock thee to thy rest. There is 
A world (ay, let us seek it !) where no blight 
Falls on the beautiful rose of youth, and there 
I shall be with thee soon ! 

PROCIDA and ANSELMO enter. PROCIDA, on seeing 
RAIMOND, starts back. 

Am. Lift up thy head, 

Brave youth, cxnltingly ! for lo ! thine hour 
Of glory comes ! Oh ! doth it come too late ] 
E'en now the false Alberti hath confess'd 
That guilty plot, for which thy life was doom'd 
To be th' atonement. 

Raim. Tis enough ! Rejoice, 
Rejoice, my Constance ! for I leave a name 
O'er which thou may'st weep proudly ! 

[He sinks back. 
To thy breast 

Fold me yet closer, for an icy dart 
Hath touch'd my veins. 

Con. And must thou leave me, Raimond 1 
Alas ! thine eye grows dim its wandering glance 
Is full of dreams. 

Raim. Haste, haste, and tell my father 
I was no traitor ! 

Pro. (rushing forward.) To thy father's heart 
Return, forgiving all thy wrongs return ! 
Speak to me, Raimond ! thou wert ever kind, 
And brave, and gentle ! Say that all the past 
Shall be forgiven ! That word from none but thee 
My lips e'er ask'd. Speak to me once, my boy, 
My pride, my hope ! And it is with thee thus 1 
Look on me yet ! Oh ! must this woe be borne ? 

Raim. Off with thiswcightof chains ! itisnotmeet 



For a crown'd conqueror ! Hark ! the trumpet's 
voice ! 

[A sound of triumphant music is heard gra- 
dually approaching. 

Is't not a thrilling call ? What drowsy spell 
Benumbs me thus ? Hence ! I am free again ! 
N"ow swell your festal strains the field is won ! 
Sing to me glorious dreams. [He dies. 

Ans. The strife is past ; 
There fled a noble spirit ! 

Con. Hush ! he sleeps v 
Disturb him not ! 

Ans. Alas ! this is no sleep 
From which the eye doth radiantly unclose : 
Bow down thy soul, for earthly hope is o'er ! 

[The music continues approaching. GUIDO 
enters with Citizens and Soldiers. 

Cfui. The shrines are deck'd, the festive torches 

blaze 

Where is our brave deliverer ? We are come 
To crown Palermo's victor ! 

Ans. Ye come too late. 

The voice of human praise doth send no echo 
Into the world of spirits. [The music ceases. 

Pro. (after a pause.) Is this dust 
I look on Raimond 1 'Tis but a sleep ! a smile 
On his pale cheek sits proudly. Raimond, wake ! 
Oh, God ! and this was his triumphant day ! 
My son, my injured son ! 

Con. (starting.) Art thou his father ! [eye, 

I know thee now. Hence ! with thy dark stern 
And thy cold heart ! Thou canst not wake him now ! 
Away ! lie will not answer but to me - 
For none like me hath loved him ! He is mine ! 
Ye shall not rend him from me. 

Pro. Oh ! he knew [more ! 

Thy love, poor maid ! Shrink from me now no 
He knew thy heart but who shall tell him now 
The depth, th' intenseness, and the agony, 
Of my suppress'd affection 1 I have learn'd 
All his high worth in time to deck his grave. 
Is there not power in the strong spirit's woe 
To force an answer from the viewless world 
Of the departed 1 Raimond ! speak ! forgive ! 
Raimond ! my victor, my deliverer ! hear ! 
Why, what a world is this ! Truth ever bursts 
On the dark soul too late : and glory crowns 
Th' unconscious dead. There comes an hour to 

break 

The mightiest hearts ! My son ! my son ! is this 
A day of triumph ! Ay, for thee alone ! 

[He throws himself upon the body of RAIMOND. 
Curtain falls. 



1 86 



ANNOTATIONS ON THE VESPERS OF PALERMO. 



ATCN'OTATrOVS O.V THE " VESPERS OF PALERMO." 

" The Vespers of Palermo was the earliest of the dramatic 
productions of our author. The period in which the scene is 
laid, is sufficiently known from the title of the play. The 
whole is full of life and action. The same high strain of moral 
propriety marks this piece as all others of her writings. The 
hero is an enthusiast for glory, for liberty, and for virtue : 
and on his courage, his forbearance, the integrity of his love, 
making the firmness of his patriotism appear doubtful, rests 
the interest of the plot. It is worthy of remark, that some of 
its best parts have already found their way into an excellent 
selection of pieces for schools, and thus contribute to give 
lessons of morality to those who are most susceptible of the 
interest of tragedy. 

" It may not be so generally remembered, that the same 
historical event was made the subject of a French tragedy, 
about the same time that the English one was written, and 
by a poet now of great popularity in France. We hesitate 
not to give the preference to Mrs Hemans, for invention and 
interest, accurate delineation of character, and adherence to 
probability. Both the tragedies are written in a style of 
finished elegance." PROFESSOR NORTON in Forth American 
Review, 1827. 



It was in 1821, as mentioned in the prefatory note, that 
Mrs Hemans composed The Vespers of Palermo, and that the 
MS. was handed over to the Managing Committee of Covent 
Garden. Two years elapsed before her doubts regarding its 
fate were removed, and the result was as follows. In giving 
it here, let the reader remember, meanwhile, that we are 
carried forward, for the space of time mentioned, beyond the 
pale of our literary chronology : 

" After innumerable delays, uncertainties, and anxieties," 
writes her sister, " the fate of the tragedy, so long in abeyance, 
was now drawing to a crisis. Every thing connected with its ap- 
proaching representation was calculated to raise the highest 
hopes of success. ' All is going on,' writes Mrs Hemanson the 
27th November, ' as well as I could possibly desire. Only a 
short time will yet elapse before the ordeal is over. I received 
a message yesterday from Mr Kemble, informing me of the 
unanimous opinion of the green room conclave in favour of 
the piece, and exhorting me to " be of good courage." 
Murray has given me two hundred guineas for the copyright 
of the " tragedy, drama, poem, composition, or book," as it 
is called in the articles which I signed yesterday. The ma- 
nagers made exceptions to the name of Procida why or where- 
fore I know not ; and out of several others which I proposed to 
them, The Vespers of Palermo has been finally chosen.' 

" Under these apparently favourable auspices, the piece 
was produced at Covent Garden on the night of December 
12, 1823, the principal characters being taken by Mr Young, 
Mr C. Kemble, Mr Yates, Mrs Bartley, and Miss F. H. Kelly. 
Two days had to elapse before the news of its reception could 
reach St Asaph. Not only Mrs Hemans's own family, but 
all her more immediate friends and neighbours, were wrought 
up to a pitch of intense expectation. Various newspapers 
were ordered expressly for the occasion, and the post-office 
was besieged at twelve o'clock at night, by some of the more 
zealous of her friends, eager to be the first heralds of the 
triumph so undoubtingly anticipated. The boys had worked 
themselves up into an uncontrollable state of excitement, and 
were all lying awake ' to hear about mamma's play ;' and 
perhaps her bitterest moment of mortification was, when she 
went up to their bedsides, which she nerved herself to do almost 
immediately, to announce that all their bright visions were 



dashed to the ground, and that the performance had ended 
in all but a failure. The reports in the newspapers were 
strangely contradictory, and, in some instances, exceedingly 
illiberal : but all which were written in anything like an un- 
biassed tone, concurred entirely with the private accounts, 
not merely of partial friends, but of perfectly unprejudiced 
observers, in attributing this most unexpected result to the 
inefficiency of the actress who personated Constance, and 
who absolutely seemed to be under the influence of some 
infatuating spell, calling down hisses, and even laughter, on 
scenes the most pathetic and affecting, and, to crown all, 
dying gratuitously at the close of the piece. The acting of 
Young and Kemble in the two Procidi, was universally pro- 
nounced to have been beyond all praise, and their sustained 
exertions showed a determination to do all possible justice to 
the author. It was admitted that, at the fall of the curtain , 
applause decidedly predominated : still the marks of disap- 
probation were too strong to be disregarded by the managers, 
who immediately decided upon withdrawing the piece, till 
another actress should have fitted herself to undertake the 
part of Constance, when they fully resolved to reproduce it. 
Mrs Hemans herself was very far from wishing that this fresh 
experiment should be made. ' Mr Kemble,' writes she to a 
friend, ' will not hear of The Vespers being driven off the stage. 
It is to be reproduced as soon as Miss Foote, who is now un- 
well, shall be sufficiently recovered to learn her part ; but 
I cannot tell you how I shrink, after the fiery ordeal through 
which I have passed, from such another trial. Mr Kemble 
attributes the failure, without the slightest hesitation, to what 
he delicately calls " a singularity of intonation in one of the 
actresses." I have also heard from Mr Milman, Mr J. T. 
Coleridge, and several others, with whom there is but one 
opinion as to the cause of the disaster.' 

" Few would, perhaps, have borne so unexpected a reverse 
with feelings so completely untinged with bitterness, or with 
greater readiness to turn for consolation to the kindness and 
sympathy which poured in upon her from every side. It 
would be doing her injustice to withhold her letter to Mr 
Milman, written in the first moments of disappointment. 

Bronwylfe, Dec. 16, 1823. 

" ' MY DEAR SIR, It is difficult to part with the hopes of 
three years, without some painful feelings ; but your kind 
letter has been of more service to me than I can attempt to 
describe. I will not say that it revives my hopes of success, 
because I think it better that I should fix my mind to pre- 
vent those hopes from gaining any ascendency ; but it sets in 
so clear a light the causes of failure, that my disappointment 
has been greatly softened by its perusal. The many friends 
from whom I have heard on this occasion, express but one 
opinion. As to Miss Kelly's acting, and its fatal effect on 
the fortunes of the piece, I cannot help thinking that it will 
be impossible to counteract the unfavourable impression which 
this must have produced, and I almost wish, as far as relates 
to my own private feelings, that the attempt may not be 
made. I shall not, however, interfere in any way on the 
subject. I have not heard from Mr Kemble ; but I have 
written both to him and to Mr Young, to express my grate- 
ful sense of their splendid exertions in support of the piece. 
As a female, I cannot help feeling rather depressed by the 
extreme severity with which I have been treated in the morn- 
ing papers. I know not why this should be, for I am sure 
I should not have attached the slightest value to their praise; 
but I suppose it is only a proper chastisement for my teme- 
rity for a female who shrinks from such things has certainly 
no business to write tragedies. 



STANZAS TO THE MEMORY OF GEORGE III. 



187 



" For your support and assistance, as well as that of my 
other friends, I cannot be too grateful ; nor can I ever consider 
any transaction of my life unfortunate, which has given me 
the privilege of calling you a friend, and afforded me the 
recollection of so much long-tried kindness. Ever believe 
me, my dear sir, most faithfully, your obliged 

" ' F. HEMANS.' 

"Notwithstanding the determination of the managers again 
to bring forward The Vespers, a sort of fatality seemed to 
attend upon it, and some fresh obstacle was continually arising 
to prevent the luckless Constance from obtaining an efficient 
representative on the London stage. Under these circum- 
stances, Mr Kemble at length confessed that he could not 
recommend the reproduction of the piece ; and Mrs Hemans 
acquiesced in the decision, with feelings which partook rather 
of relief than of disappointment. She never ceased to speak 
in the warmest terms of Mr Kemble's liberal and gentlemanly 
conduct, both before and after the appearance of the piece, and 
of his surpassing exertions at the time of its representation. 

" It was with no small degree of surprise that, in the 
course of the following February, she learned , through the 
medium of a letter from Mrs Joanna Baillie, 1 tliat the 
tragedy was shortly to be represented at the Edinburgh theatre 
Mrs Henry Siddons undertaking the part of Constance. 
The play was brought out on the 5th of April, and the fol- 
lowing particulars of its reception, transmitted by one of the 
zealous friends who had been instrumental in this arrange- 
ment, will prove how well their kindly intentions were fulfilled : 

" ' The tragedy went off in a style which exceeded our most 
sanguine expectations, and was announced for repetition on 
AVednesday, amidst thunders of applause. The actors seem 
to have done wonders, and every one appeared to strain every 
nerve, as if all depended on his own exertions. Vandenhoff 
was the elder, and Calcraft the younger Procida. The first 
recognition between father and son, was acted by them to 
such perfection, that one of the most hearty and unanimous 
plaudits followed that ever was heard. 

1 Though Mrs Hemans had never the advantage of being personally 
known to this gifted and excellent lady, the occasional interchange of 
letters which, from this time forward, was kept up between them, was 
regarded as one of the most valuable privileges she possessed. It was 
always delightful to her when she could love the character, as well as 
admire the talents, of a celebrated author ; and nevar, surely, was there 
*n eiample better fitted to call forth the willing tribute of veneration, 
both towards the woman and the poetess. In one of her letters to Mrs 
Baillie, Mrs Hemans thus apologised for indulging in a strain of egotism, 



" Every reappearance of the gentle Constance won the 
spectators more and more. The scene in the judgment-hall 
carried off the audience into perfect illusion, and handker- 
chiefs were out in every quarter. Mrs Siddons's searching 
the faces of the judges, which she did in a wild manner, as if 
to find Raimond's father was to save him, was perfect. 
She flew round the circle went, as if distracted, close up to 
judge after judge paused before Procida, and fell prostrate 
at his feet. The effect was magical, and was manifested by 
three repeated bursts of applause.' 

" A neatly turned and witty epilogue, surmised, though 
not declared, to be the production of Sir Walter Scott, was 
recited by Mrs H. Siddons. When deference to a, female was 
there laid claim to, loud bursts of applause ensued ; but when 
generosity to a stranger was bespoken, the house absolutely 
rang with huzzas." 

" ' I knew how much you would rejoice," wrote Mrs 
Hemans to a warm-hearted friend, ' in the issue of my Edin- 
burgh trial ; it has, indeed, been most gratifying, and I think, 
amongst the pleasantest of its results I may reckon a letter 
from Sir Walter Scott, of which it has put me in possession. 
I had written to thank him for the kindness he had shown 
with regard to the play, and hardly expected an answer ; but 
it came, and you would be delighted with its frank and un- 
affected kindliness. He acknowledges the epilogue, " stuffed," 
as he says it was, " with parish jokes, and bad puns ; " and 
courteously says, that his country folks have done more credit 
to themselves than to me, by their reception of The Vespers.' 

" To another uncompromising champion she wrote : ' I 
must beg you will " bear our faculties meekly : " you really 
seem to be rather in an intoxicated state ; and if we indulge 
ourselves in this way, I am afraid we shall have something to 
sober us. I dare say I must expect some sharp criticism from 
Edinburgh ere all this is over ; but any thing which deserves 
the name of criticism I can bear. I believe I could point out 
more faults in The Vespers myself than any one has done 
yet."' Memoir, pp. 69-76. 

which the nature of their acquaintance might scarcely seem to justify. 
" The kindly warmth of heart which seems to breathe over all your 
writings, and the power of early association over my mind, make me 
feel, whenever I address you, as if I were writing to a friend." 

It would have been very dear to her could she have foreseen how 
graciously that " kindly warmth of heart " would be extended to those 
of her children, who are more fortunate than herself, in enjoying the 
personal intercourse she would have prized so highly. 



STANZAS TO THE MEMORY OF 
GEORGE THE THIRD. 



" Among many nations was there no King like him." NKHIVIAH. 
" Know ye not that there U a prince and a great man fallen thii day 
in Israel ? "SAMUEL. 



ANOTHER warning sound ! The funeral bell, 
Startling the cities of the isle once more 

With measured tones of melancholy swell, 
Strikes on th' awaken'd heart from shore to 
shore. 

He at whose coming monarchs sink to dust, 
The chambers of our palaces hath trod ; 



And the long-suffering spirit of the just, 

Pure from its ruins, hath return'd to God ! 
Yet may not England o'er her father weep : 
Thoughts to her bosom crowd, too many, and too 
deep. 

Vain voice of Reason, hush ! they yet must flow, 

The unrestrain'd, involuntary tears ; 
A thousand feelings sanctify the woe, 

Roused by the glorious shades of vanish'd years. 
Tell us no more 'tis not the time for grief, 

Now that the exile of the soul is past, 
And Death, blest messenger of heaven's relief, 

Hath borne the wanderer to his rest at last ; 



i88 



STANZAS TO THE MEMORY OF GEORGE III. 



For him, eternity hath tenfold day : [way. 

We feel, we know, 'tis thus yet nature will have 

What though amidst us, like a blasted oak, 

Sadd'ning the scene where once it nobly reign'd, 
A dread memorial of the lightning stroke, 

Stamp'd with its fiery record, he remain'd ; 
Around that shatter'd tree still fondly clung 

Th' undying tendrils of our love, which drew 
Fresh nurture from its deep decay, and sprung 

Luxuriant thence, to Glory's ruin true ; 
While England hung her trophies on the stem, 
That desolately stood, unconscious e'en of THEM. 

Of them unconscious ! Oh, mysterious doom ! 

Who shall unfold the counsels of the skies 1 
His was the voice which roused, as from the tomb, 

The realm's high soul to loftiest energies ! 
His was the spirit o'er the isles which threw 

The mantle of its fortitude ; and wrought 
In every bosom, powerful to renew 

Each dying spark of pure and generous thought ; 
The star of tempests ! beaming on the mast, 1 
The seaman's torch of Hope, midst perils deepen- 
ing fast. 

Then fromth' unslumbering influence of his worth, 

Strength, as of inspiration, fill'd the land ; 
A young but quenchless flame went brightly forth, 

Kindled by him who saw it not expand ! 
Such was the will of heaven. The gifted seer, 

Who with his God had communed, face to face, 
And from the house of bondage and of fear, 

In faith victorious, led the Chosen Race ; 
He through the desert and the waste their guide, 
Saw dimly from afar the promised land and died. 

full of days and virtues ! on thy head 

Centred the woes of many a bitter lot ; 
Fathers have sorrow'd o'er their beauteous dead, 
Eyes, quench'd in night, the sunbeam have for- 
got; 

Minds have striven buoyantly with evil years, 
And sunk beneath their gathering weight at 

length ; 

But Pain for thee had fill'd a cup of tears, 
Where every anguish mingled all its strength ; 
By thy lost child we saw thee weeping stand, 
And shadows deep around fell from th' Eternal's 
hand. 

1 The glittering meteor, like a star, which often appears 
about a ship during tempests ; if seen upon the main-mast, 
is considered by the sailors as an omen of good weather. 
See DAMPIER'S Voyages. 



Then came the noon of glory, which thy dreams 

Perchance of yore had faintly prophesied ; 
But what to thee the splendour of its beams ] 

The ice-rock glows not midst the summer's 

pride ! 
Nations leap'd up to joy as streams that burst, 

At the warm touch of spring, their frozen chain, 
And o'er the plains, whose verdure once thy nursed, 

Roll in exulting melody again ; 
And bright o'er earth the long majestic line 
Of England's triumphs swept, to rouse all hearts 
but thine. 

Oh ! what a dazzling vision, by the veil 

That o'er thy spirit hung, was shut from thee, 
When sceptred chieftains throng'd with palms to 
hail 

The crowning isle, th' anointed of the sea ! 
Within thy palaces the lords of earth 

Met to rejoice rich pageants glitter'd by, 
And stately revels imaged, in their mirth, 

The old magnificence of chivalry. 
They reach'd not thee amidst them, yet alone, 
Stillness and gloom begirt one dim and shadowy 
throne. 

Yet there was mercy still ! If joy no more 

Within that blasted circle might intrude, 
Earth had no grief, whose footstep might pass o'er 

The silent limits of its solitude ! 
If all unheard the bridal song awoke 

Our hearts' full echoes, as it swell'd on high ; 
Alike unheard the sudden dirge, that broke 

On the glad strain, with dread solemnity ! 
If the laud's rose unheeded wore its bloom, 
Alike unfelt the storm that swept it to the tomb. 

And she who, tried through all the stormy past 

Severely, deeply proved, in many an hour 
Watch'd o'er thee, firm and faithful to the last, 

Sustain'd, inspired, by strong affection's power ; 
If to thy soul her voice no music bore 

If thy closed eye and wandering spirit caught 
No light from looks, that fondly would explore 

Thy mien, for traces of responsive thought ; 
Oh ! thou wert spared the pang, that would have 

thrill'd 

Thine inmost heart, when death that anxious 
bosom still'd. 

Thy loved ones fell around thee. Manhood's prime, 
Youth with its glory in its fulness, age 

All, at the gates of their eternal clime 

Lay down, and closed their mortal pilgrimage ; 



STANZAS TO THE MEMORY OF GEORGE III. 



189 



The land wore ashes for its perish'd flowers, 
The grave's imperial harvest. Thou meanwhile 

Didst walk unconscious through thy royal towers, 
The one that wept not in the tearful isle ! 

As a tired warrior, on his battle-plain, 

Breathes deep in dreams amidst the mourners 
and the slain. 

And who can tell what visions might be thine ? 

The stream of thought, though broken, still 

was pure ! 
Still o'er that wave the stars of heaven might shine 

Where earthly image would no more endure ! 
Though many a step, of once familiar sound, 

Came as a stranger's o'er thy closing ear, 
And voices breathed forgotten tones around, 

Which that paternal heart once thrill'd to hear : 
The mind hath senses of its own, and powers 
To people boundless worlds, in its most wander- 
ing hours. 

Nor might the phantoms to thy spirit known 

Be dark or wild, creations of remorse ; 
Unstain'd by thee, the blameless past had thrown 

No fearful shadows o'er the future's course : 
For thee no cloud, from memory's dread abyss, 

Might shape such forms as haunt the tyrant's 

eye; 
And, closing up each avenue of bliss, 

Murmur their summons, to " despair and die ! " 
No ! e'en though joy depart, though reason cease, 
Still virtue's ruin'd home is redolent of peace. 

They might be with thee still the loved, the tried, 

The fair, the lost they might be with thee still ! 
More softly seen, in radiance purified 

From each dim vapour of terrestrial ill. 
Long after earth received them, and the note 

Of the last requiem o'er their dust was pour'd, 
As passing sunbeams o'er thy soul might float 

Those forms, from us withdrawn to thee re- 
stored ! 

Spirits of holiness, in light reveal'd, 
To commune with a mind whose source of tears 
was seal'd. 

Came they with tidings from the worlds above, 

Those viewless regions where the weary rest 1 
Sever'd from earth, estranged from mortal love, 

Was thy mysterious converse with the blest 1 
Or shone their visionary presence bright 

With human beauty 1 did their smiles renew 
Those days of sacred and serene delight, 

When fairest beings in thy pathway grew 1 



Oh ! heaven hath balm for every wound it makes, 
Healing the broken heart; it smites, but ne'er 
forsakes. 

These may be fantasies and this alone, 

Of all we picture in our dreams, is sure ; 
That rest, made perfect, is at length thine own, 

Rest, in thy God immortally secure ! 
Enoughfor tranquil faith ; released from all [brow, 

The woes that graved heaven's lessons on thy 
No cloud to dim, no fetter to enthrall, 

Haply thine eye is on thy people now ; 
Whose love around thee still its offerings shed, 
Though vainly sweet, as flowers, grief's tribute to 
the dead. 

But if th' ascending, disembodied mind, 

Borne on the wings of morning to the skies, 
May cast one glance of tenderness behind 

On scenes once hallow'd by its mortal ties, 
How much hast thou to gaze on ! All that lay 

By the dark mantle of thy soul conceal'd , 
The might, the majesty, the proud array 

Of England's march o'er many a noble field- 
All spread beneath thee, in a blaze of light, 
Shine like some glorious land view'd from an 
Alpine height. 

Away, presumptuous thought ! Departed saint ! 

To thy freed vision what can earth display 
Of pomp, of royalty, that is not fault, 

Seen from the birth-place of celestial day] 
Oh ! pale and weak the sun's reflected rays, 

E'en in their fervour of meridian heat, 
To him who in the sanctuary may gaze 

On the bright cloud that fills the mercy-seat ! 
And thou may'st view, from thy divine abode, 
The dust of empires flit before a breath of God. 

And yet we mourn thee ! Yes, thy place is void 

Within our hearts ! there veil'd thine image dwelt, 
But cherish'd still ; and o'er that tie destroy'd, 

Though faith rejoice, fond nature still must melt. 
Beneath the long-loved sceptre of thy sway, 

Thousands were bom, who now in dust repose; 
And many a head, with years and sorrows gray, 

Wore youth's bright tresses when thy star arose ; 
And many a glorious mind, since that fair dawn, 
Hath fill'd our sphere with light, now to its source 
withdrawn. 

Earthquakes have rock'd the nations: things 

revered, 
Th' ancestral fabrics of the world, went down 



190 



STANZAS TO THE MEMORY OF GEORGE III. 



In ruins, from whose stones Ambition rear'd 
His lonely pyramid of dread renown. 

But when the fires that long had slumber'd, pent 
Deep in men's bosoms, with volcanic force, 

Bursting their prison-house, each bulwark rent, 
And swept each holy barrier from their course, 

Firm and unmoved, amidst that lava-flood, 

Still, by thine arm upheld, our ancient landmarks 
stood. 

Be they eternal ! be thy children found 

Still to their country's altars true like thee ! 
And while " the name of Briton " is a sound 

Of rallying music to the brave and free, 
With the high feelings at the word which swell, 

To make the breast a shrine for Freedom's flame, 
Be mingled thoughts of him who loved so well, 

Who left so pure, its heritage of fame ! 
Let earth with trophies guard the conqueror's dust, 
Heaven in our souls embalms the memory of the 
just. 

All else shall pass away ! the thrones of kings, 

The very traces of their tombs depart ; 
But number not with perishable things 

The holy records Virtue leaves the heart, 
Heir-looms from race to race ! And oh ! in days 

When, by the yet unborn, thy deeds are blest, 
When our sons learn "as household words " thy 
praise, 

Still on thine offspring may thy spirit rest ! 
And many a name of that imperial line, 
Father and patriot ! blend, in England's songs, 
with thine ! 

[" The last poem is to the memory of his late Majesty : 
unlike courtly themes in general, this is one of the deepest 
and most lasting interest. Buried as the King had long been 
in mental and visual darkness, and dead to the common joys 
of the world, his death, perhaps, did not occasion the shock, 
or the piercing sorrow which we have felt on some other 
public losses ; but the heart must be cold indeed that could, 
on reflection, regard the whole fortune and fate of that vene- 



rable, gallant, tender-hearted, and pious man, without a 
more than common sympathy. There was something in his 
character so truly national his very errors were of so amiable 
a kind, his excellences bore so high a stamp, his nature was 
so genuine and unsophisticated, he stood in his splendid 
court, amidst his large and fine family, so true a husband, 
so good a father, so safe an example he so thoroughly 
understood the feelings, and so duly appreciated the virtues, 
even the uncourtly virtues of his subjects and, with all this, 
the sorrows from heaven rained down upon his head in so 
' pitiless and pelting a storm : ' all these his high qualities 
and unparalleled sufferings form such a subject for poetry, 
as nothing, we should imagine, but its difficulty and the 
expectation attending it, would prevent from being seized 
upon by the greatest poets of the day. We will not say that 
Mrs Hemans has filled the whole canvass as it might have 
been filled, but unquestionably her poem is beyond all com- 
parison with any which we have seen on the subject ; it is 
full of fine and pathetic passages, and it leads us up through 
all the dismal colourings of the foreground to that bright and 
consoling prospect which should close every Christian's reflec- 
tions on such a matter. An analysis of so short a poem is 
wholly unnecessary, and we have already transgressed our 
limits ; we will, therefore, give but one extract of that sooth- 
ing nature alluded to, and release our readers : 

' Yet was there mercy still ! If joy no more,' etc. 

" It is time to close this article. 1 Our readers will have 
seen, and we do not deny, that we have been much interested 
by our subject. Who or what Mrs Ilemans is, we know not : 
we have been told that, like a poet of antiquity 

Tristia vits 

Solatur cantu,' 

If it be so, (and the most sensible hearts are not uncommonly 
nor unnaturally the most bitterly wounded,) she seems, from 
the tenor of her writings, to bear about her a higher and a 
surer balsam than the praises of men, or even the ' sacred 
muse' herself can impart. Still there is a pleasure, an inno- 
cent and an honest pleasure, even to a wounded spirit, in 
fame fairly earned ; and such fame as may wait upon our 
decision, we freely and conscientiously bestow. In our 
opinion, all her poems are elegant and pure in thought and 
language ; her later poems are of higher promise, they are 
vigorous, picturesque, and pathetic." Quarterly Review, 
vol. xxiv.] 

1 This critique, from the pen of the venerable and distinguished 
Editor, William Gifford, Esq., comprehended strictures on "The 
Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy," "Tales and Historic 
Scenes in Verse," "Translations from Camoens," etc., "The 
Sceptic," and " Stanzas to the Memory of the late King.' 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



191 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 

SECOND SERIES. 

[After the first collection of her Tales and Historic Scenes, it is pretty evident that Mrs Hemans contemplated a second 
leries, although her design was never so extensively carried out as to induce the publication of another volume under the 
name title. But, as the compositions we refer to all belong to this period of our author's literary progress, we have ventured 
not only so to class, but so to christen them, as Malachi Malgrowther would say, " for uniformity's sake." 

THE MAREMMA. 

L" JSELLO BELLA PiETRA had espoused a lady of noble 
family at Sienna, named Madonna Pia. Her beauty was 
the admiration of Tuscany, and excited in the heart of her 
husband a jealousy, which, exasperated by false reports and 
groundless suspicions, at length drove him to the desperate 
resolution of Othello. It is difficult to decide whether the 
lady was quite innocent, but so Dante represents her. Her 
husband brought her into the Maremma, which, then as 
now, was a district destructive of health. He never told his 
unfortunate wife the reason of her banishment to so danger- 
ous a country. He did not deign to utter complaint or accu- 
sation. He lived with her alone, in cold silence, without 
answering her questions, or listening to her remonstrances. 
He patiently waited till the pestilential air should destroy the 
health of this young lady. In a few months she died. 
Some chronicles, indeed, tell us that Xello used the dagger 
to hasten her death. It is certain that he survived her, 
plunged in sadness and perpetual silence. Dante had, in 
this incident, all the materials of an ample and very poetical 
narrative. But he bestows on it only four verses. He meets 
in Purgatory three spirits. One was a captain who fell fight- 
ing on the same side with him in the battle of Campaldino ; 
the second, a gentleman assassinated by the treachery of the 
House of Este ; the third was a woman unknown to the poet, 
and who, after the others had spoken, turned towards him 
with these words : 

Eecorditi di me ; the son la Pia, 

Salsi colui che inanellata pria 
Disposando m' avea con la sua gemma.' " 

PURGATORIO, cant. v. 
Edinburgh Revinc, No. Ivii.] 

THERE are bright scenes beneath Italian skies, 



Sunshine, and bloom, and verdure ! Can it be 
That these but charm us with destructive wiles ] 
Where shall we turn, Nature, if in thee 
Danger is mask'd in beauty death in smiles ? 
Oh ! still the Circe of that fatal shore, [yore ! 
Where she, the Sun's bright daughter, dwelt of 

There, year by year, that secret peril spreads, 
Disguised in loveliness, its baleful reign, 
And viewless blights o'er many a landscape sheds, 
Gay with the riches of the south, in vain ; 
O'er fairy bowers and palaces of state 
Passing unseen, to leave them desolate. 

And pillar'd halls, whose airy colonnades 
Were form'd to echo music's choral tone, 
Are silent now, amidst deserted shades, 
Peopled by sculpture's graceful forms alone ; 
And fountains dash unheard, by lone alcoves, 
Neglected temples, and forsaken groves. 



Where glowing suns there purest light diffuse, 
Uncultured flowers in wild profusion rise, 
And nature lavishes her warmest hues ; 
But trust thou not her smile, her balmy breath 
Away ! her charms are but the pomp of Death ! 

He in the vine-clad bowers, unseen, is dwelling, 
Where the cool shade its freshness round thee 

throws ; 

His voice, in every perfumed zephyr swelling, 
With gentlest whisper lures thee to repose ; 
And the soft sounds that through the foliage sigh 
But woo thee still to slumber and to die. 

Mysterious danger lurks, a syren there, 

Not robed in terrors, or announced in gloom, 

But stealing o'er thee in the scented air, 

And veil'd in flowers, that smile to deck thy tomb; 

How may we deem, amidst their deep array, 

That heaven and earth but flatter to betray 1 



And there, where marble nymphs, in beauty 

gleaming, 

Midst the deep shades of plane and cypress rise. 
By wave or grot might Fancy linger, dreaming 
Of old Arcadia's woodland deities. 
Wild visions ! there no sylvan powers convene : 
Death reigns the genius of th' Elysian scene. 



Ye, too, illustrious hills of Rome ! that bear 
Traces of mightier beings on your brow, 
O'er you that subtle spirit of the air 
Extends the desert of his empire now ; 
Broods o'er the wrecks of altar, fane, and dome, 
And makes the CaDsars' ruin'd halls his home. 

Youth, valour, beauty, oft have felt his power. 
His crown'd and chosen victims : o'er their lot 
Hath fond affection wept each blighted flower 
In turn was loved and mourn'd, and is forgot. 
But one who perish'd, left a tale of woe, 
Meet for as deep a sigh as pity can bestow. 

A voice of music, from Sienna's walls, 
Is floating joyous on the summer air ; 
And there are banquets in her stately halls, 
And graceful revels of the gay and fair, 



192 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



And brilliant wreaths the altar have array 'd, 
Where meet her noblest youth and loveliest maid. 

To that young bride each grace hath Xature given 
Which glows on Art's divinest dream : her eye 
Hath a pure sunbeam of her native heaven 
Her cheek a tinge of morning's richest dye ; 
Fair as that daughter of the south, whose form 
Still breathes and charms, in Vinci's colours warm. 1 

But is she blest ? for sometimes o'er her smile 
A soft sweet shade of pensiveness is cast ; 
And in her liquid glance there seems awhile 
To dwell some thought whose soul is with the past : 
Yet soon it flies a cloud that leaves no trace, 
On the sky's azure, of its dwelling-place. 

Perchance, at times, within her heart may rise 
Remembrance of some early love or woe, 
Faded, yet scarce forgotten in her eyes 
Wakening the half-formed tear that may not flow, 
Yet radiant seems her lot as aught on earth, 
Where still some pining thought comes darkly o'er 
our mirth. 

The world before her smiles its changeful gaze 
She hath not proved as yet ; her path seems gay 
With flowers and sunshine, and the voice of praise 
Is still the joyous herald of her way ; 
And beauty's light around her dwells, to. throw 
O'er every scene its own resplendent glow. 

Such is the young Bianca graced with all 
That nature, fortune, youth, at once can give ; 
Pure in their loveliness, her looks recall 
Such dreams as ne'er life's early bloom survive : 
And when she speaks, each thrilling tone is fraught 
With sweetness, born of high and heavenly thought. 

And he to whom are breathed her vows of faith 
Is brave and noble child of high descent, 
He hath stood fearless in the ranks of death, 
Mid slaughter'd heaps, the warrior's monument ; 
And proudly marshall'd his carroccio's 2 way 
Amidst the wildest wreck of war's array. 

And his the chivalrous commanding mien, [grace ; 
Where high-born grandeur blends with courtly 
Yet may a lightning glance at times be seen, 
Of fiery passions, darting o'er his face, 

1 An allusion to Leonardo da Vinci's picture of his wife 
Mona Lisa, supposed to be the most perfect imitation of 
nature ever exhibited in painting. 

A sort of consecrated war-chariot. 



And fierce the spirit kindling in his eye [die. 
But e'en while yet we gaze, its quick wild flashes 

And calmly can Pietra smile, concealing, 

As if forgotten, vengeance, hate, remorse ; 

And veil the workings of each darker feeling, 

Deep in his soul concentrating its force ; 

But yet he loves Oh ! who hath loved, nor known 

Affection's power exalt the bosom all its own ? 

The days roll on and still Bianca's lot 
Seems as a path of Eden. Thou mightst deem 
That grief, the mighty chastener, had forgot 
To wake her soul from life's enchanted dream ; 
And, if her brow a moment's sadness wear, 
It sheds but grace more intellectual there. 

A few short years, and all is changed ; her fate 
Seems with some deep mysterious cloud o'ercast. 
Have jealous doubts transform'd to wrath and hate, 
The love whose glow expression's power surpass'd? 
Lo ! on Pietra's brow a sullen gloom 
Is gathering day by day, prophetic of her doom. 

Oh ! can he meet that eye, of light serene, 
Whence the pure spirit looks in radiance forth, 
And view that bright intelligence of mien 
Form'd to express but thoughts of loftiest worth, 
Yet deem that vice within that heart can reign 1 
How shall he e'er confide infeughton earth again 1 ! 

In silence oft, with strange vindictive gaze. 
Transient, yet fill'd with meaning, stern and wild, 
Her features, calm in beauty, he surveys, 
Then turns away, and fixes on her child 
So dark a glance as thrills a mother's mind 
With some vague fear scarce own'd, and undefined. 

There stands a lonely dwelling, by the wave 
Of the blue deep which bathes Italia's shore, 
Far from all sounds, but rippling seas that lave 
Gray rocks with foliage richly shadow'd o'er, 
And sighing winds, that murmur through the wood. 
Fringing the beach of that Hesperian flood. 

Fair is that house of solitude and fair 
The green Maremma, far around it spread, 
A sun-bright waste of beauty ; yet an air 
Of brooding sadness o'er the scene is shed, 
Xo human footstep tracks the lone domain, 
The desert of luxuriance glows in vain. 

And silent are the marble halls that rise 

''Mid founts, and cypress walks and olive groves : 



THE MA RE MM A. 



193 



All sleep in sunshine, 'neath cerulean skies, 
And still around the sea-breeze lightly roves ; 
Yet every trace of man reveals alone, 
That there life once hath flourish'd and is gone. 

There, till around them slowly, softly stealing, 
The summer air, deceit in every sigh, [ing, 

Came fraught with death, its power no sign reveal- 
Thy sires, Pietra, dwelt in days gone by ; 
And strains of mirth and melody have flow'd 
Where stands, all voiceless now, the still abode. 

And thither doth her Lord remorseless bear 
Bianca with her child. His alter'd eye 
And brow a stern and fearful calmness wear, 
While his dark spirit seals their doom to die ; 
And the deep bodings of his victim's heart 
Tell her from fruitless hope at once to part. 

It is the summer's glorious prime and blending 
Its blue transparence with the skies, the deep, 
Each tint of heaven upon its breast descending, 
Scarce murmurs as it heaves in glassy sleep, 
And on its wave reflects, more softly bright, 
That lovely shore of solitude and light. 

Fragrance in each warm southern gale is breathing, 
Deck'd with young flowers the rich Maremma 

glows, 

Neglected vines the trees are wildly wreathing, 
And the fresh myrtle in exuberance blows, 
And, far around, a deep and sunny bloom 
Mantles the scene, as garlands robe the tomb. 

Yes ! 'tis thy tomb, Bianca ! fairest flower ! 
The voice that calls thee speaks in every gale, 
Which, o'er thee breathing with insidious power, 
Bids the young roses of thy cheek turn pale ; 
And fatal in its softness, day by day, 
Steals from that eye some trembling spark away. 

But sink not yet ; for there are darker woes, 
Daughter of Beauty ! in thy spring-morn fading 
Sufferings more keen for thee reserved, than those 
Of lingering death, which thus thine eye are shading ! 
Nerve then thy heart to meet that bitter lot : 
Tis agony but soon to be forgot ! 

VMiat deeper pangs maternal hearts can wring, 
Than hourly to behold the spoiler's breath 
Shedding, as mildews on the bloom of spring, 
O'er Infancy's fan- cheek the blight of death ] 
To gaze and shrink, as gathering shades o'ercast 
The pale smooth brow, yet watch it to the last ! 



Such pangs were thine, young mother ! Thou 

didst bend 

O'er thy fair boy, and raise his drooping head ; 
And faint and hopeless, far from every friend, 
Keep thy sad midnight vigils near his bed, 
And watch his patient, supplicating eye 
Fix'd upon thee on thee ! who couldst no aid 

supply ! 

There was no voice to cheer thy lonely woe 
Through those dark hours : to thee the wind's low 

sigh, 

And the faint murmur of the ocean's flow, 
Came like some spirit whispering " He must die !" 
And thou didst vainly clasp him to the breast, 
His young and sunny smile so oft with hope had 

blest. 

Tis past that fearful trial ! he is gone ! 
But thou, sad mourner ! hast not long to weep ; 
The hour of nature's charter'd peace comes on, 
And thou shalt share thine infant's holy sleep. 
A few short sufferings yet and death shall be 
As a bright messenger from heaven to thee. 

But ask not hope not one relenting thought 
From him who doom'd thee thus to waste away, 
Whose heart, with sullen, speechless vengeance 

fraught, 

Broods in dark triumph o'er thy slow decay ; 
And coldly, sternly, silently can trace 
The gradual withering of each youthful grace. 

And yet the day of vain remorse shall come, 
When thou, bright victim ! on his dreams shalt rise 
As an accusing angel and thy tomb, 
A martyr's shrine, be hallow'd in his eyes ! 
Then shall thine innocence his bosom wring, 
More than thy fancied guilt with jealous pangs 
could sting. 

Lift thy meek eyes to heaven for all on earth, 
Young sufferer ! fades before thee. Thou art lone : 
Hope, Fortune, Love, smiled brightly on thy birth, 
Thine hour of death is all Affliction's own ! 
It is our task to suffer and our fate 
To learn that mighty lesson, soon or late. 

The season's glory fades the vintage lay 
Through joj-ous Italy resounds no more ; 
But mortal loveliness hath pass'd away, 
Fairer than aught in summer's glowing store. 
Beauty and youth are gonebehold them such 
As death hath made them with his blighting touch ! 



194 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



The summer's breath came o'er them and they 

died! 

Softly it came to give luxuriance birth, 
Call'd forth young nature in her festal pride, 
But bore to them their summons from the earth ! 
Again shall blow that mild, delicious breeze, 
And wake to life and light all flowers but these. 

Xo sculptured urn, nor verse thy virtues telling, 
lost and loveliest one ! adorns thy grave ; 
But o'er that humble cypress-shaded dwelling 
The dew-drops glisten and the wild-flowers wave 
Emblems more meet, in transient light and bloom, 
For thee, who thus didst pass in brightness to the 
tomb ! 



A TALE OF THE SECEET TRIBUNAL. 

[The Secret Tribunal, 1 which attained such formidable 
power towards the close of the fourteenth century, is men- 
tioned in history as an institution publicly known so early as 
in the year 1211. Its members, who were called Free Judges, 
were unknown to the people, and were bound by a tremen- 
dous oath, to deliver up their dearest friends and relatives, 
without exception, if they had committed any offence cog- 
nisable by the tribunal. They were also under an obligation 
to relate all they knew concerning the affair, to cite the 
accused, and, in case of his condemnation, to pursue and put 
him to death wherever he might be met with. The proceed- 
ings of this tribunal were carried on at night, and with the 
greatest mystery ; and though it was usual to summon a 
culprit three tunes before sentence was passed, yet persons 
obnoxious to it were sometimes accused and condemned 
without any citation. After condemnation, it was almost 
impossible for any one to escape the vengeance of the Free 
Judges, for their commands set thousands of assassins in 
motion, who had sworn not to spare the life of then- nearest 
relation, if required to sacrifice it, but to execute the decrees 
of the Order with the most devoted obedience, even should 
they consider the object of their pursuit as the most innocent 
of men. Almost all persons of rank and fortune sought 
admission into the society; there were Free Judges even 
amongst the magistrates of the imperial cities, and every 
prince had some of their Order in his council. When a 
member of this tribunal was not of himself strong enough to 
seize and put to death a criminal, he was not to lose sight of 
him until he met with a sufficient number of his comrades 
for the purpose, and these were obliged, upon his making 
certain signs, to lend him immediate assistance, without 
asking any questions. It was usual to hang up the person 
condemned, with a willow branch, to the first tree; but if 
circumstances obliged them to despatch him with a poniard, 
they left it in his body, that it might be known he had not 
been assassinated, but executed by a Free Judge. All the 
transactions of the Sages or Seers (as they called themselves) 
were enveloped in mystery, and it is even now unknown by 
what signs they revealed themselves to each other. At length 
their power became so extensive and redoubtable, that the 

1 See the works of Baron Bock, and Professor Kramer. 



Princes of the Empire found it necessary to unite their exer- 
tions for its suppression, in which they were at length suc- 
cessful. 

The following account of this extraordinary association Is 
given by Madame de Stae'l: " Des juges myste'rieux, in- 
connus 1'un a 1'autre, toujours masques, et se rassemblant 
pendant la nuit, punissoient dans le silence, et gravoient 
seulement sur le poignard qu'ils enfoncoient dans le sein du 
coupable ce mot terrible : TRIBUNAL SECRET. Us prc- 
venoient le condamne, en faisant crier trois fois sous les 
fenetres de sa maison, Malheur, Malheur, Malheur ! Alors 
rinfortune" savoit que par-tout, dans 1'e'tranger, dans son 
concitoyen, dans son parent meme, il pouvoit trouver son 
meurtrier. La solitude, la foule, les villes, les campagnes, 
tout toit rempli par la presence invisible de cette conscience 
arme'e qui poursuivoit les criminels. On concoit comment 
cette terrible institution pouvoit etre ne'cessaire, dans un 
temps oil chaque homme toit fort centre tous, au lieu que 
tous doivent etre forts centre chacun. II falloit que la jus- 
tice surprit le criminel avant qu' il put s'en de"fendre ; mais 
cette punition qui planoit dans les airs cotnme une ombre 
vengeresse, cette sentence mortelle qui pouvoit receler le sein 
meme d'un ami, frappoit d'une invincible terreur." 
L' Allemagne, vol. ii.] 

XIGHT veil'd the mountains of the vine, 
And storms had roused the foaming Rhine, 
And, mingling with the pinewood's roar, 
Its billows hoarsely chafed the shore, 
While glen and cavern, to their moans 
Gave answer with a thousand tones : 
Then, as the voice of storms appall'd 
The peasant of the Odenwald, 1 
Shuddering he deem'd, that, far on high, 
'Twas the wild huntsman rushing Ly, 
Riding the blast with phantom speed, 
With cry of hound and tramp of steed, 
While his fierce train, as on they flew, 
Their horns in savage chorus blew, 
Till rock, and tower, and convent round, 
Rang to the shrill unearthly sound. 

Vain dreams ! far other footsteps traced 
The forest paths, in secret haste ; 
Far other sounds were on the night, 
Though lost amidst the tempest's might, 
That fill'd the echoing earth and sky 
With its own awful harmony. 
There stood a lone and ruin'd fane, 
Far in the Odenwald's domain, 
Midst wood and rock, a deep recess 
Of still and shadowy loneliness. 
Long grass its pavement had o'ergrown, 
The wild-flower waved o'er the altar stone, 
The night-wind rock'd the tottering pile, 
As it swept along the roofless aisle, 

1 The Odenwald, a forest district near the Rhine, adjoin- 
ing the territories of Darmstadt. 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



195 



For the forest boughs and the stormy sky 
Were all that minster's canopy. 

Hany a broken image lay 
In the mossy mantle of decay, 
And partial light the moonbeams darted 
O'er trophies of the long-departed ; 
For there the chiefs of other days, 
The mighty, slumber 'd, with their praise : 
'Twas long since aught but the dews of heaven 
A tribute to their bier had given, 
Long since a sound but the moaning blast 
Above their voiceless home had pass'd. 
So slept the proud, and with them all 
The records of their fame and fall ; 
Helmet and shield, and sculptured crest, 
Adom'd the dwelling of their rest, 
And emblems of the Holy Land 
Were carved by some forgotten hand. 
But the helm was broke, the shield defaced, 
Andthe crest through weeds might scarce be traced ; 
And the scatter'd leaves of the northern pine 
Half hid the palm of Palestine. 
So slept the glorious lowly laid, 
As the peasant in his native shade ; 
Some hermit's tale, some shepherd's rhyme, 
All that high deeds could win from tune ! 

What footsteps move, with measured tread, 
Amid those chambers of the dead 1 
What silent, shadowy beings glide 
Low tombs and mouldering shrines beside, 
Peopling the wild and solemn scene 
With forms well suited to its mien ? 
Wanderer, away ! let none intrude 
On their mysterious solitude ! 
Lo ! these are they, that awful band, 
The secret Watchers of the land, 
They that, unknown and uncontroll'd, 
Their dark and dread tribunal hold. 
They meet not in the monarch's dome, 
They meet not in the chieftain's home ; 
But where, unbounded o'er their heads, 
All heaven magnificently spreads, 
And from its depths of cloudless blue 
The eternal stars their deeds may view ! 
Where'er the flowers of the mountain sod 
By roving foot are seldom trod ; 
Where'er the pathless forest waves, 
Or the ivy clothes forsaken graves ; 
Where'er wild legends mark a spot, 
By mortals shunii'd, but unforgot, 
There, circled by the shades of night, 
They judge of crimes that shrink from light ; 



And guilt, that deems its secret known 
To the One unslumbering eye alone, 
Yet hears their name with a sudden start, 
As an icy touch had chill'd its heart, 
For the shadow of th' avenger's hand 
Rests dark and heavy on the land. 

There rose a voice from the ruin's gloom, 
And woke the echoes of the tomb, 
As if the noble hearts beneath 
Sent forth deep answers to its breath. 

" When the midnight stars are burning, 
And the dead to earth returning ; 
When the spirits of the blest 
Rise upon the good man's rest ; 
When each whisper of the gale 
Bids the cheek of guilt turn pale ; 
In the shadow of the hour 
That o'er the soul hath deepest power, 
Why thus meet we, but to call 
For judgment on the criminal 1 
Why, but the doom of guilt to seal, 
And* point th' avenger's holy steel ? 
A fearful oath has bound our souls, 
A fearful power our arm controls ! 
There is an ear awake on high 
E'en to thought's whispers ere they die ; 
There is an eye whose beam pervades 
All depths, all deserts, and all shades : 
That ear hath heard our awful vow, 
That searching eye is on us now ! 
Let him whose heart is unprofaned, 
Whose hand no blameless blood hath stain'd 
Let him, whose thoughts no record keep 
Of crimes in silence buried deep, 
Here, in the face of heaven, accuse 
The guilty whom its wrath pursues !" 

'Twas hush'd that voice of thrilling sound ! 
And a dead silence reign'd around. 
Then stood forth one, whose dim-seen form 
Tower'd like a phantom in the storm ; 
Gathering his mantle, as a cloud, 
With its dark folds his face to shroud, 
Through pillar'd arches on he pass'd, 
With stately step, and paused at last, 
Where, on the altar's mouldering stone, 
The fitful moonbeam brightly shone; 
Then on the fearful stillness broke 
Low, solemn tones, as thus he spoke : 

" Before that eye whose glance pervades 
All depths, all deserts, and all shades ; 



196 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Heard by that car awake on high 

E'en to thought's whispers ere they die 

With all a mortal's awe I stand, 

Yet with pure heart and stainless hand. 

To heaven I lift that hand, and call 

For judgment on the criminal ; 

The earth is dyed with bloodshed's hues 

It cries for vengeance. I accuse ! " 

" Name thou the guilty ! say for whom 
Thou claini'st th' inevitable doom ! 

" Albert of Lindheim to the skies 
The voice of blood against him cries ; 
A brother's blood his hand is dyed 
With the deep stain of fratricide. 
One hour, one moment, hath reveal'd 
What years in darkness had conceal'd, 
But all in vain the gulf of tune 
Refused to close upon his crime ; 
And guilt that slept on flowers shall know 
The earthquake was but hush'd below ! 
Here, where amidst the noble dead. 
Awed by their fame, ho dare not tread ; 
Where, left by him to dark decay, 
Their trophies moulder fast away, 
Around us and beneath us lie 
The relics of liis ancestry 
The chiefs of Lindheim's ancient i - ace, 
Each in his last low dwelling-place. 
But one is absent o'er his grave 
The palmy shades of Syria wave ; 
Far distant from his native Rhine, 
He died unmourn'd, in Palestine ! 
The Pilgrim sought the Holy Land, 
To perish by a brother's hand ! 
Peace to his soul ! though o'er his bed 
No dirge be pour'd, no tear be shed, 
Though all he loved his name forget, 
Tliey live who shall avenge him yet ! " 

" Accuser ! how to thee alone 
Became the fearful secret known]" 

" There is an hour when vain remorse 
First wakes in her eternal force ; 
When pardon may not be retrieved, 
When conscience will not be deceived. 
He that beheld the victim bleed, 
Beheld, and aided in the deed 
When earthly fears had lost their power 
Reveal'd the tale in such an hour, 
Unfolding, with his latest breath, 
All that gave keener pangs to death." 



" By Him, th' All-seeing and Unseen, 
Who is for ever, and hath been, 
And by th' Atoner's cross adored, 
And by th' avenger's holy sword, 
By truth eternal and divine, 
Accuser ! wilt thou swear to thine ]" 
'' The cross upon my heart is prest, 
I hold the dagger to my breast ; 
If false the tale whose truth I swear, 
Be mine the murderer's doom to bear !" 

Then sternly rose the dread reply 
" His days are number' d he must die ! 
There is no shadow of the night 
So deep as to conceal his flight ; 
Earth doth not hold so lone a waste 
But there his footsteps shall be traced ; 
Devotion hath no shrine so blest 
That there in safety he may rest. 
Where'er he treads, let Vengeance there 
Around him spread her secret snare ! 
In the busy haunts of men, 
In the still and shadowy glen, 
When the social board is crown'd, 
When the wine-cup sparkles round ; 
When his couch of sleep is prcst, 
And a dream his spirit's guest ; 
When his bosom knows no fear, 
Let the dagger still be near, 
Till, sudden as the lightning's dart, 
Silent and swift it reach his heart ! 
One warning voice, one fearful word, 
Ere morn beneath his towers be heard, 
Then vainly may the guilty fly, 
Unseen, unaided, he must die ! 
Let those he loves prepare his tomb, 
Let friendship lure him to his doom ! 
Perish his deeds, his name, his race, 
Without a record or a trace ! 
Away ! be watchful, swift, and free, 
To wreak th' invisible's decree. 
'Tis pass'd th' avenger claims his prey : 
On to the chase of death away ! " 

And all was still. The sweeping blast 
Caught not a whisper as it pass'd ; 
The shadowy forms were seen no more, 
The tombs deserted as before ; 
And the wide forest waved immense 
In dark and lone magnificence. 
In Lmdheim's towers the feast had closed 
The song was hush'd, the bard reposed ; 
Sleep settled on the weary guest, 
And the castle's lord retired to rest. 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



197 



To rest ! The captive doom'd to die 
May slumber, when his hour is nigh ; 
The seaman, when the billows foam, 
Rock'd on the mast, may dream of home ; 
The warrior, on the battle's eve, 
May win from care a short reprieve : 
But earth and heaven alike deny 
Their peace to guilt's o'erwearied eye ; 
And night, that brings to grief a calm, 
To toil a pause, to pain a balm, 
Hath spells terrific in her course, 
Dread sounds and shadows, for remorse 
Voices, that long from earth had fled, 
And steps and echoes from the dead ; 
And many a dream whose forms arise 
Like a darker world's realities ! 
Call them not vain illusions born, 
But for the wise and brave to scorn ! 
Heaven, that the penal doom defers, 
Hath yet its thousand ministers, 
To scourge the heart, unseen, unknown, 
In shade, in silence, and alone, 
Concentrating in one brief hour 
Ages of retribution's power ! 
If thou wouldst know the lot of those, 
Whose souls are dark with guilty woes, 
Ah ! seek them not where pleasure's throng 
Are listening to the voice of song ; 
Seek them not where the banquet glows, 
And the red vineyard's nectar flows : 
There, mirth may flush the hollow cheek, 
The eye of feverish joy may speak, 
And smiles, the ready mask of pride, 
The canker-worm within may hide. 
Heed not those signs ! they but delude ; 
Follow, and mark their solitude ! 

The song is hush'd, the feast is done, 
And Lindheim's lord remains alone 
Alone in silence and unrest, 
With the dread secret of his breast ; 
Alone with anguish and with fear, 
There needs not an avenger here ! 
Behold him ! Why that sudden start 1 
Thou hear'st the beating of thy heart ! 
Thou hear'st the night-wind's hollow sigh, 
Thou hear'st the rustling tapestry ! 
No sound but these may near thee be ; 
Sleep ! all things earthly sleep but thee. 

Xo ! there are murmurs on the air, 
And a voice is heard that cries " Despair ! ' 
And he who trembles fain would deem 
'Twas the whisper of a waking dream. 



Was it but this 1 Again, 'tis there : 
Again is heard " Despair ! Despair ! " 
'Tis past its tones have slowly died 
In echoes on the mountain side ; 
Heard but by him, they rose, they felL 
He knew their fearful meaning well, 
And shrinking from the midnight gloom, 
As from the shadow of the tomb, 
Yet shuddering, turn'd in pale dismay, 
When broke the dawn's first kindling ray, 
And sought, amidst the forest wild, 
Some shade where sunbeam never smiled. 

Yes ! hide thee, guilt ! The laughing morn 
Wakes in a heaven of splendour born ! 
The storms that shook the mountain crest 
Have sought their viewless world of rest. 
High from his clifls, with ardent gaze, 
Soars the young eagle in the blaze, 
Exulting, as he wings his way, 
To revel in the fount of day ; 
And brightly past his banks of vine, 
In glory, flows the monarch Rhine ; 
And joyous peals the vintage song 
His wild luxuriant shores along, 
As peasant bands, from rock and dell, 
Their strains of choral transport swell ; 
And cliffs of bold fantastic forms, 
Aspiring to the realm of storms, 
And woods around, and waves below, 
Catch the red Orient's deepening glow, 
That lends each tower, and convent spire, 
A tinge of its ethereal fire. 

Swell high the song of festal hours ! 
Deck ye the shrine with living flowers ! 
Let music o'er the waters breathe ! 
Let beauty twine the bridal wreath ! 
While she, whose blue eye laughs in light, 
Whose cheek with love's own hue is bright, 
The fair-hair'd maid of Lindheim's hall, 
Wakes to her nuptial festival. 
Oh ! who hath seen, in dreams that soar 
To worlds the soul would fain explore, 
When, for her own blest country pining, 
Its beauty o'er her thought is shining, 
Some form of heaven, whose cloudless eye 
Was all one beam of ecstasy ! 
Whose glorious brow no traces wore 
Of guilt, or sorrow known before ! 
Whose smile, undimm'd by aught of earth, 
A sunbeam of immortal birth, 
Spoke of bright realms, far distant lying, 
Where love and joy are both undying ! 



198 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



E'en thus a vision of delight, 

A beam to gladden mortal sight, 

A flower whose head no storm had bow'd, 

Whoso leaves ne'er droop'd beneath a cloud, - 

Thus, by the world unstain'd, untried, 

Seem'd that beloved and lovely bride ; 

A being all too soft and fair 

One breath of earthly woe to bear ! 

Yet lives there many a lofty mind, 

In light and fragile form enshrined ; 

And oft smooth cheek and smiling eye 

Hide strength to suffer and to die ! 

Judge not of woman's heart in hours 

That strew her path with summer flowers, 

When joy's full cup is mantling high, 

When flattery's blandishments are nigh ; 

Judge her not then ! within her breast 

Are energies unseen, that rest ! 

They wait their call and grief alone 

May make the soul's deep secrets known. 

Yes ! let her smile midst pleasure's train, 

Leading the reckless and the vain ! 

Firm on the scaffold she hath stood, 

Besprinkled with the martyr's blood ; 

Her voice the patriot's heart hath steel' d, 

Her spirit glow'd on battle-field ; 

Her courage freed from dungeon's gloom 

The captive brooding o'er his doom ; 

Her faith the fallen monarch saved, 

Her love the tyrant's fury braved ; 

No scene of danger or despair, 

But she hath won her triumph there ! 

Away ! nor cloud the festal morn 
With thoughts of boding sadness born ! 
Far other, lovelier dreams are thine, 
Fair daughter of a noble line ! 
Young Ella ! from thy tower, whose height 
Hath caught the flush of Eastern light, 
Watching, while soft the morning air 
Parts on thy brow the sunny hair, 
Yon bark, that o'er the calm blue tide 
Bears thy loved warrior to his bride 
Hun, whose high deeds romantic praise 
Hath hallow'd with a thousand lays. 

He came that youthful chief, he came 
That favour'd lord of love and fame ! 
His step was hurried as if one 
Who seeks a voice within to shun ; 
His cheek was varying, and express'd 
The conflict of a troubled breast ; 
His eye was anxious doubt, and dread, 
And a stern grief, might there be read : 



Yet all that mark'd his alter 'd mien 
Seem'd struggling to be still unseen. 
With shrinking heart, with nameless fear, 
Young Ella met the brow austere, 
And the wild look, which seem'd to fly 
The timid welcome of her eye. 
Was that a lover's gaze, which chill'd 
The soul, its awful sadness thrill'd 1 
A lover's brow, so darkly fraught 
With all the heaviest gloom of thought 1 
She trembled ne'er to grief inured, 
By its dread lessons ne'er matured, 
Unused to meet a glance of less 
Than all a parent's tenderness, 
Shuddering she felt, through every sense, 
The deathlike faintness of suspense. 

High o'er the windings of the flood, 
On Lindheim's terraced rocks they stood, 
Whence the free sight afar might stray 
O'er that imperial river's way, 
Which, rushing from its Alpine source, 
Makes one long triumph of its course, 
Rolling in tranquil grandeur by, 
Midst Nature's noblest pageantry. 
But they, o'er that majestic scene, 
With clouded brow and anxious mien, 
In silence gazed ! for Ella's heart 
Fear'd its own terrors to impart ; 
And he, who vainly strove to hide 
His pangs, with all a warrior's pride, 
Seem'd gathering courage to unfold 
Some fearful tale, that must be told. 

At length his mien, his voice, obtain' d 
A calm, that seem'd by conflicts gain'd, 
As thus he spoke " Yes ! gaze a while 
On the bright scenes that round thee smile ; 
For, if thy love be firm and true, 
Soon must thou bid their charms adieu ! 
A fate hangs o'er us, whose decree 
Must bear me far from them or thee ; 
Our path is one of snares and fear, 
I lose thee, if I linger here ! 
Droop not, beloved ! thy home shall rise 
As fair, beneath far-distant skies ; 
As fondly tenderness and truth 
Shall cherish there thy rose of youth. 
But speak ! and, when yon hallow'd shrine 
Hath heard the vows which make thee mine, 
Say, wilt thou fly with me, no more 
To tread thine own loved mountain shore, 
But share and soothe, repining not, 
The bitterness of exile's lot 1 " 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



199 



" Ulric ! thou know'st how dearly loved 
The scenes where first my childhood roved ; 
The woods, the rocks, that tower supreme 
Above our own majestic stream, 
The halls where first my heart beat high 
To the proud songs of chivalry. 
All, all are dear yet these are ties 
Affection well may sacrifice ; 
Loved though they be, where'er thou art, 
There is the country of my heart ! 
Yet is there one, who, reft of me, 
Were lonely as a blasted tree ; 
One, who still hoped my hand should close 
His eyes, in Nature's last repose ; 
Eve gathers round him on his brow 
Already rests the wintry snow ; 
His form is bent, his features wear 
The deepening lines of age and care ; 
His faded eye hath lost its fire ; 
Thou wouldst not tear me from my sire ? 
Yet tell me all thy woes impart, 
My Ulric ! to a faithful heart, 
Which sooner far oh ! doubt not this 
Would share thy pangs, than others' buss !" 

" Ella, what wouldst thou 1 'tis a tale 
Will make that cheek as marble pale ! 
Yet what avails it to conceal 
All thou too soon must know and feel ? 
It must, it must be told prepare, 
And nerve that gentle heart to bear. 
But I oh, was it then for me 
The herald of thy woes to be ! 
Thy soul's bright calmness to destroy, 
And wake thee first from dreams of joy 1 
Forgive ! I would not ruder tone 
Should make the fearful tidings known, 
I would not that unpitying eyes 
Should coldly watch thine agonies ! 
Better 'twere mine that task severe, 
To cloud thy breast with grief and fear. 

" Hast thou not heard, in legends old, 
Wild tales that turn the life-blood cold, 
Of those who meet in cave or glen, 
Far from the busy walks of men ; 
Those who mysterious vigils keep, 
When earth is wrapt in shades and sleep, 
To judge of crimes, like Him on high, 
In stillness and in secrecy 1 
Th' unknown avengers, whose decree 
'Tis fruitless to resist or flee ? 
Whose name hath cast a spell of power 
O'er peasant's cot and chieftain's tower ? 



Thy sire oh, Ella ! hope is fled ! 
Think of him, mourn him, as the dead ! 
Their sentence, theirs, hath seal'd his doom, 
And thou may'st weep as o'er his tomb ! 
Yes, weep ! relieve thy heart oppress'd, 
Pour forth thy sorrows on my breast ! 
Thy cheek is cold thy tearless eye 
Seems fix'd in frozen vacancy. 
Oh, gaze not thus ! thy silence break : 
jJSpeak ! if 'tis but in anguish, speak !" 

She spoke at length, in accents low, 
Of wild and half-indignant woe : 
"He doom'd to perish ! he decreed 
By their avenging arm to bleed ! 
He, the renown' d in holy fight, 
The Paynim's scourge, the Christian's might ! 
Ulric ! what mean'st thou 1 not a thought 
Of that high mind with guilt is fraught ! 
Say, for which glorious trophy won, 
Which deed of martial prowess done, 
Which battle-field, in days gone by, 
Gain'd by his valour, must he die 1 
Away ! 'tis not his lofty name 
Their sentence hath consign'd to shame 
'Tis not his life they seek. Recall 
Thy words, or say he shall not fall ! " 

Then sprung forth tears, whose blest relief 
Gave pleading softness to her grief : 
" And wilt thou not, by all the ties 
Of our affianced love," she cries, 
" By all my soul hath fix'd on thee, 
Of cherish'd hope for years to be, 
Wilt thou not aid him ? wilt not thou 
Shield his gray head from danger now 1 
And didst thou not, in childhood's morn, 
That saw our young affection born, 
Hang round his neck, and climb his knee, 
Sharing his parent smile with me ] 
Kind, gentle Ulric ! best beloved ! 
Now be thy faith in danger proved ! 
Though snares and terrors round him wait, 
Thou wilt not leave him to his fate ! 
Turn not away in cold disdain ! 
Shall thine own Ella plead in vain ? 
How art thou changed ! and must I bear 
That frown, that stern, averted air ? 
What mean they ?" 

" Maiden, need'st thou ask ] 
These features wear no specious mask. 
Doth sorrow mark this brow and eye 
With characters of mystery ? 



20O 



TALES AXD HISTORIC SCENES. 



This this is anguish ! Cau it be ! 
And plead'st thou for my sire to me ? 
Know, though thy prayers a death-pang give, 
He must not meet my sight and live ! 
"Well may'st thou shudder ! Of the band 
"Who watch in secret o'er the land, 
"Whose thousand swords 'tis vain to shun, 
Th' unknown, th' unslumbering I am one ! 
My arm defend him ! What were then 
Each vow that binds the souls of men, 
Sworn on the cross, and deeply seal'd 
By rites that may not be reveal'd ? 
A breeze's breath, an echo's tone, 
A passing sound, forgot when gone ! 
Nay, shrink not from me I would fly, 
That he by other hands may die ! 
What ! thinlv'st thou I would live to trace 
Abhorrence in that angel face ? 
Beside thee should the lover stand, 
The father's life-blood on his brand ) 
No ! I have bade my home adieu, 
For other scenes mine eyes must view. 
Look on me, love ! Now all is known, 
Ella ! must I fly alone ?' 

But she was changed. Scarce heaved her 

breath ; 

She stood like one prepared for death, 
And wept no more ; then, casting down 
From her fair brows the nuptial crown, 
As joy's last vision from her heart, 
Cried, with sad firmness, " We must part ! 
'Tis past! These bridal flowers, so frail 
They may not brook one stormy gale, 
Survive too dear as still thou art 
Each hope they imaged ; we must part ! 
One struggle yet and all is o'er : 
We love and may we meet no more ! 
Oh ! little know'st thou of the power 
Affection lends in danger's hour, 
To deem that fate should thus divide 
My footsteps from a father's side ! 
Speed thou to other shores I go 
To share his wanderings and his woe. 
Where'er his path of thorns may lead, 
Whate'er his doom, by heaven decreed, 
If there be guardian powers above 
To nerve the heart of filial love, 
If courage may be won by prayer, 
Or strength by duty I can bear ! 
Farewell ! though in that sound be years 
Of bh'ghted hopes and fruitless tears, 
Though the soul vibrate to its knell 
Of joys departed yet, farewell ! 



Was this the maid who seem'd, erewhile^ 
Born but to meet life's vernal smile ? 
A being, almost on the whig, 
As an embodied breeze of spring 1 
A child of beauty and of bliss, 
Sent from some purer sphere to this 
Not, in her exile, to sustain 
The trial of one earthly pain ; 
But, as a sunbeam, on to move, 
Wakening all hearts to joy and love ? 
That any form, with footsteps free, 
And radiant glance could this be she ? 
From her fair cheek the rose was gone, 
Her eye's blue sparkle thence had flown ; 
Of all its vivid glow bereft, 
Each playful charm her lip had left. 
But what were these ] on that young face, 
Far nobler beauty fill'd their place ! 
'Twas not the pride that scorns to bend, 
Though all the bolts of heaven descend ; 
Not the fierce grandeur of despair, 
That half exults its fate to dare ; 
Nor that wild energy which leads 
Th' enthusiast to fanatic deeds : 
Her mien, by sorrow unsubdued, 
Was fix'd in silent fortitude ; 
Not in its haughty strength elate, 
But calmly, mournfully sedate. 
'Twas strange, yet lovely to behold 
That spirit in so fair a mould, 
As if a rose-tree's tender form, 
Unbent, unbroke, should meet the storm. 

One look she cast, where firmness strove 
With the deep pangs of parting love ; 
One tear a moment in her eye 
Dimm'd the pure light of constancy ; 
And pressing, as to still her heart, 
She tum'd in silence to depart. 
But Ulric, as to frenzy wrought, 
Then started from his trance of thought : 

" Stay thee ! oh, stay ! It must not be 
All, all were well resign'd for thee ! 
Stay ! till my soul each vow disown, 
But those which make me thine alone ' 
If there be guilt there is no shrine 
More holy than that heart of thine : 
There be my crime absolved I take 
The cup of shame for thy dear sake. 
Of shame ! oh no ! to virtue true, 
Where thou art, {here is glory too I 
Go now ! and to thy sire impart, 
He hath a shield ha Ulric's heart, 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



And thou a home ! Remain, or flee, 
In life, in death I follow thee ! " 

" There shall not rest one cloud of shame, 
Ulric ! on thy lofty name ; 
There shall not one accusing word 
Against thy spotless faith be heard ! 
Thy path is where the brave rush on, 
Thy course must be where palms are won : 
Where banners wave, and falchions glare, 
Son of the mighty ! be thou there ! 
Think on the glorious names that shine 
Along thy sire's majestic line ; 
Oh. last of that illustrious race ! 
Thou wert not born to meet disgrace ! 
Well, well I know each grief, each pain, 
Thy spirit nobly could sustain ; 
E'en I unshrinking see them near, 
And what hast thou to do with fear ? 
But when have warriors calmly borne 
The cold and bitter smile of scorn 1 
'Tis not for thee ! thy soul hath force 
To cope with all things but remorse ; 
And this my brightest thought shall be, 
Thou hast not braved its pangs for me. 
Go ! break thou not one solemn vow ; 
Closed be the fearful conflict now ; 
Go ! but forget not how my heart 
Still at thy name will proudly start, 
When chieftains hear, and minstrels tell, 
Thy deeds of glory. Fare thee well ! " 
And thus they parted. Why recall 
The scene of anguish known to all ? 
The burst of tears, the blush of pride, 
That fain those fruitless tears would hide ; 
The lingering look, the last embrace, 
Oh ! what avails it to retrace ?- 
They parted in that bitter word 
A thousand tones of grief are heard, 
Whose deeply-seated echoes rest 
In the fair cells of every breast. 
Who hath not known, who shall not know, 
That keen yet most familiar woe 1 
Where'er affection's home is found, 
It meets her on the holy ground ; 
The cloud of every summer hour, 
The canker-worm of every flower. 
Who but hath proved, or yet shall prove, 
That mortal agony of love ] 

The autumn moon slept bright and still 
On fading wood and purple hill ; 
The vintager had hus-h'd his lay, 
The fisher shunn'd the blaze of day, 



And silence, o'er each green recess, 
Brooded in misty sultriness. 
But soon a low and measured sound 
Broke on the deep repose around ; 
From Lindheim's tower a glancing oar 
Bade the stream ripple to the shore. 
Sweet was that sound of waves which parted 
The fond, the true, the noble-hearted ; 
And smoothly seem'd the bark to glide, 
And brightly flow'd the reckless tide, 
Though, mingling with its current, fell 
The last warm tears of love's farewell. 

PART II. 

Sweet is the gloom of forest shades, 
Then- pillar'd walks and dim arcades, 
With all the thousand flowers that blow, 
A waste of loveliness, below. 
To him whose soul the world would fly, 
For nature's lonely majesty : 
To bard, when wrapt in mighty themes, 
To lover, lost in fairy dreams, 
To hermit, whose prophetic thought 
By fits a gleam of heaven hath caught, 
And, in the visions of his rest, 
Held bright communion with the blest : 
'Tis sweet, but solemn ! There alike 
Silence and sound with awe can strike. 
The deep Eolian murmur made 
By sighing breeze and rustling shade, 
And cavern'd fountain gushing nigh, 
And wild-bee's plaintive lullaby : 
Or the dead stillness of the bowers, 
When dark the summer-tempest lowers ; 
When silent nature seems to wait 
The gathering thunder's voice of fate ; 
When the aspen scarcely waves in air, 
And the clouds collect for the lightning's glare-- 
Each, each alike is awful there, 
And thrills the soul with feelings high, 
As some majestic harmony. 

But she, the maid, whose footsteps traced 
Each green retreat in breathless haste 
Young Ella linger'd not to hear 
The wood-notes, lost on mourner's ear. 
The shivering leaf, the breeze's play, 
The fountain's gush, the wild-bird's lay 
These charm not now ; her sire she sought, 
With trembling frame, with anxious thought, 
And, starting if a forest deer 
But moved the rustling branches near, 
First felt that innocence may fear. 



202 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



She reach'd a lone and shadowy dell, 
Where the free sunbeam never fell ; 
'Twas twilight there at summer noon, 
Deep night beneath the harvest moon, 
And scarce might one bright star be seen 
Gleaming the tangled boughs between ; 
For many a giant rock around 
Dark in terrific grandeur frown'd, 
And the ancient oaks, that waved on high, 
Shut out each glimpse of the blessed sky. 
There the cold spring, in its shadowy cave, 
Ne'er to heaven's beam one sparkle gave, 
And the wild flower, on its brink that grew, 
Caught not from day one glowing hue. 

'Twas said, some fearful deed untold 
Had stain'd that scene in days of old ; 
Tradition o'er the haunt had thrown 
A shade yet deeper than its own ; 
And still, amidst th' umbrageous gloom, 
Perchance above some victim's tomb, 
O'ergrown with ivy and with moss, 
There stood a rudely-sculptured Cross, 
Which, haply, silent record bore 
Of guilt and penitence of yore. 

Who by that holy sign was kneeling, 
With brow unutter'd pangs revealing, 
Hands clasp'd convulsively in prayer, 
And lifted eyes and streaming hair, 
And cheek, all pale as marble mould, 
Seen by the moonbeam's radiance cold ? 
Was it some image of despair 
Still fix'd that stamp of woe to bear 1 
Oh ! ne'er could Art her forms have wrought 
To speak such agonies of thought ! 
Those deathlike features gave to view 
A mortal's pangs too deep and true ! 
Starting he rose, with frenzied eye, 
As Ella's hurried step drew nigh ; 
He turn'd, with aspect darkly wild, 
Trembling he stood before his child ! 
On, with a burst of tears, she sprung, 
And to her father's bosom clung. 

"Away ! what seek'st thou here?" he cried, 
" Art thou not now thine Ulric's bride 1 
Hence, leave me leave me to await, 
In solitude, the storm of Fate ; 
Thou know'st not what my doom may be, 
Ere evening comes in peace to thee." 

" My father ! shall the joyous throng 
Swell high for me the bridal song 1 



Shall the gay nuptial board be spread, 
The festal garland bind my head, 
And thou in grief, in peril, roam, 
And make the wilderness thy home ? 
No ! I am here with thee to share 
All suffering mortal strength may bear ; 
And, oh ! whate'er thy foes decree, 
In life, in death, in chains, or free 
Well, well I feel, in thee secure ; 
Thy heart and hand alike are pure ! " 

Then was there meaning in his look, 
Which deep that trusting spirit shook ; 
So wildly did each glance express 
The strife of shame and bitterness, 
As thus he s,poke : " Fond dreams, oh hence ! 
Is this the mien of Innocence ] 
This furrow'd brow, this restless eye 
Read thou this fearful tale, and fly ! 
Is it enough ? or must I seek 
For icords, the tale of guilt to speak ] 
Then be it so I will not doom 
Thy youth to wither in its bloom ; 
I will not see thy tender frame 
Bow'd to the earth with fear and shame. 
No ! though I teach thee to abhor 
The sire so fondly loved before ; 
Though the dread effort rend my breast, 
Yet shalt thou leave me and be blest ! 
Oh ! bitter penance ! thou wilt turn 
Away in horror and in scorn ; 
Thy looks, that still through all the past 
Affection's gentlest beams have cast, 
As lightning on my heart will fall, 
And I must mark and bear it all ! 
Yet though of life's best ties bereaved, 
Thou shalt not, must not, be deceived ! 

" I linger let me speed the tale 
Ere voice, and thought, and memory fail. 
Why should I falter thus to tell 
What heaven so long hath known too well 1 
Yes ! though from mortal sight conceal'd, 
There hath a brother's blood appeal'd ! 
He died 'twas not where banners wave, 
And war-steeds trample on the brave ; 
He died it was in Holy Land 
Yet fell he not by Paynini hand ; 
He sleeps not with his sires at rest, 
With trophied shield and knightly crest ; 
Unknown his grave to kindi'ed eyes, 
But I can tell thee where he lies ! 
It was a wild and savage spot, 
But once beheld and ne'er forgot ! 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



203 



I see it now that liauuted scene 
My spirit's dwelling still hath been ; 
And he is there I see him laid 
Beneath that palm-tree's lonely shade. 
The fountain-ware that sparkles nigh 
Bears witness with its crimson dye ! 
I see th' accusing glance he raised, 
Ere that dim eye by death was glazed ; 
Ne'er will that parting look forgive ! 
I still behold it and I live ! 
I live ! from hope, from mercy driven, 
A mark for all the shafts of heaven ! 

" Yet had I wrongs. By fraud he won 
My birth-right ; and my child, my son, 
Heir to high name, high fortune born, 
Was dooni'd to penury and scorn, 
An alien midst his fathers' halls, 
An exile from his native walls. 
Could I bear this ? The i-ankling thought, 
Deep, dark, within my bosom wrought ; 
Some serpent, kindling hate and guile, 
Lurk'd in my infant's rosy smile, 
And when his accents lisp'd my name, 
They woke my inmost heart to flame ! 
I struggled are there evil powers 
That claim their own ascendant hours ? 
Oh ! what should thine unspotted soul 
Or know or fear of their control 1 
Why on the fearful conflict dwell ? 
Vainly I struggled, and I fell 
Cast down from every hope of bliss 
Too well thou know'st to what abyss ! 

"'Twos done ! that moment hurried by 
To darken all eternity. 
Years roll'd away, long evil years, 
Of woes, of fetters, and of fears ; 
Nor aught but vain remorse I gain'd 
By the deep guilt my soul which stain'd. 
For, long a captive in the lands 
Where Arabs tread then- burning sands, 
The haunted midnight of the mind 
Was round me while in chains I pined, 
By all forgotten, save by one 
Dread presence which I could not shun. 
How oft, when o'er the silent waste 
Nor path nor landmark might be traced, 
When slumbering by the watch-fire's ray, 
The Wanderers of the Desert lay, 
And stars, as o'er an ocean shone, 
Vigil I kept but not alone ! 
That form, that image, from the dead, 
Still walk'd the wild with soundless tread ! 



I've seen it in the fiery blast, 
I've seen it where the sand-storms pass'd ; 
Beside the Desert's fount it stood, 
Tinging the clear cold wave with blood ; 
And e'en when viewless, by the fear 
Curdling my veins, I knew 'twas near ! 
Was near ! I feel th' unearthly thrill, 
Its power is on my spirit still ! 
A mystic influence, undefined, 
The spell, the shadow of my mind ! 

"Wilt thou yet linger ? Time speeds on; 
One last farewell, and then begone ! 
Unclasp the hands that shade thy brow, 
And let me read thine aspect now! 
No ! stay thee yet, and learn the meed 
Heaven's justice to my crime decreed. 
Slow came the day that broke my chain, 
But I at length was free again ; 
And freedom brings a burst of joy, 
E'en guilt itself can scarce destroy. 
I thought upon my own fair towers, 
My native Rhine's gay vineyard bowers, 
And in a father's visions, press'd 
Thee and thy brother to my breast. 
'Twas but in visions. Canst thou yet 
Recall the moment when we met ] 
Thy step to greet me lightly sprung, 
Thy arms around me fondly clung ; 
Scarce aught than infant seraph less 
Seem'd thy pure childhood's loveliness. 
But he was gone that son for whom 
I rush'd on guilt's eternal doom ; 
He for whose sake alone were given 
My peace on earth, my hope in heaven 
He met me not. A ruthless band, 
Whose name with terror fill'd the land, 
Fierce outlaws of the wood and wild 
Had reft the father of his child. 
Foes to my race, the hate they nursed, 
Full on that cherish'd scion burst. 
Unknown his fate. No parent nigh, 
My boy ! my first-bom ! didst thou die ! 
Or did they spare thee for a life 
Of shame, of rapine, and of strife 1 
Livest thou, unfriended, unalliecl, 
A wanderer lost, without a guide ? 
Oh ! to thy fate's mysterious gloom 
Blest were the darkness of the tomb ! 

" Ella ! 'tis done my guilty heart 
Before thee all unveil'd depart ! 
Few pangs 'twill cost thee now to fly 
From one so stain'd, so lost as I ; 



204 



TALES AXD HISTORIC SCENES. 



Yet peace to thine untainted breast, 
E'en though it hate me ! be thou blest ! 
Farewell ! thou shalt not linger here 
E'en now th' avenger may be near : 
"Where'er I turn, the foe, the snare, 
The dagger, may be ambush'd there ; 
One hour and haply all is o'er, 
And we must meet on earth no more. 
No, nor beyond ! to those pure skies 
"Where thou shalt be, I may not rise ; 
Heaven's -will for ever parts our lot, 
Yet, oh ! my child ! abhor me not ! 
Speak once ! to soothe this broken heart, 
Speak to me once ! and then depart !" 

But still as if each pulse were dead, 
Mute as the power of speech were fled, 
Pale as if life-blood ceased to warm 
The marble beauty of her form ; 
On the dark rock she lean'd her head, 
That secm'd as there 'twere riveted, 
And dropt the hands, till then which press'd 
Her burning brow, or throbbing breast. 
There bearn'd no tear-drop in her eye, 
And from her lip there breathed no sigh. 
And on her brow no trace there dwelt 
That told she suffer'd or she felt. 
All that once glow'd, or smiled, or beam'd, 
Now fix'd, and quench'd, and frozen seem'd ; 
And long her sire, in wild dismay, 
Deem'd her pure spirit pass'd away. 

But life return'd. O'er that cold frame 
One deep convulsive shudder came ; 
And a faint light her eye relumed, 
And sad resolve her mien assumed. 
But there was horror in the gaze, 
Which yet to his she dared not raise; 
And her sad accents, wild and low, 
As rising from a depth of woe, 
At first with hurried trembling broke, 
But gather'd firmness as she spoke. 
"I leave thee not whate'er betide, 
My footsteps shall not quit thy side ; 
Pangs, keen as death niy soul may thrill, 
But yet thou art my father still ! 
And, oh ! if stain'd by guilty deed, 
For some kind spirit, tenfold need, 
To speak of heaven's absolving love, 
And waft desponding thought above. 
Is there not power in mercy's wave 
The blood-stain from thy soul to lave ] 
Is there not balm to heal despair, 
In tears, in penitence, in prayer J 



My father ! kneel at His pure shrine 
Who died to expiate guilt like thine, 
Weep and my tears with thine shall blend, 
Pray while my prayers with thine ascend, 
And, as our mingling sorrows rise, 
Heaven will relent, though earth despise ! " 

" My child, my child ! these bursting tears, 
The first mine eyes have shed for years, 
Though deepest conflicts they express, 
Yet flow not all in bitterness ! 
Oh ! thou hast bid a wither'd heart 
From desolation's slumber start ; 
Thy voice of pity and of love 
Seems o'er its icy depths to move 
E'en as a breeze of health, which brings 
Life, hope, and healing, on its wings. 
And there is mercy yet ! I feel 
Its influence o'er my spirit steal ; 
How welcome were each pang below, 
If guilt might be atoned by woe ! 
Think'st thou I yet may be forgiven ] 
Shall prayers unclose the gate of heaven ] 
Oh ! if it yet avail to plead, 
If judgment be not yet decreed, 
Our hearts shall blend their suppliant cry, 
Till pardon shall be seal'd on high ! 
Yet, yet I shrink ! Will Mercy shed 
Her dews upon this fallen head 1 
Kneel, Ella, kneel ! till full and free 
Descend forgiveness, won by thee ! " 

They knelt before the Cross, that sign 
Of love eternal and divine ; 
That symbol, -which so long hath stood 
A rock of strength, on time's dark flood, 
Clasp'd by despairing hands, and laved 
By the warm tears of nations saved. 
In one deep prayer their spirits blent, 
The guilty and the innocent ; 
Youth, pure as if from heaven its birth, 
Age, soil'd with every stain of earth, 
Knelt, offering up one heart, one cry, 
One sacrifice of agony. 

Oh ! blest, though bitter be their source 
Though dark the fountain of remorse, 
Blest are the tears which pour from thence, 
Th' atoning stream of penitence ! 
And let not pity check the tide 
By which the heart is purified ; 
Let not vain comfort turn its course. 
Or timid love repress its force ! 
Go ! bind the flood, whose waves expand, 
To bear luxuriance o'er the land ; 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



205 



Forbid the life-restoring rains 
To fall on Afric's burning plains ; 
Close up the fount that gush'd to cheer 

The pilgrim o'er the waste who trode ; 
But check thou not one holy tear 

Which Penitence devotes to God ! 

Through scenes so lone the wild-deer ne'er 
Was roused by huntsman's bugle there 
So rude, that scarce might human eye 
Sustain their dread sublimity 
So awful, that the timid swain, 
Nurtured amidst their dark domain, 
Had peopled with unearthly forms 
Their mists, their forests, and their storms, 
She, whose blue eye of laughing light 
Once made each festal scene more bright ; 
Whose voice in song of joy was sweetest, 
Whose step in dance of mirth was fleetest, 
By torrent wave and mountain brow, 
Is wandering as an outcast now, 
To share with Lindheim's fallen chief 
His shame, his terror, and his grief. 

Hast thou not mark'd the ruin's flower, 

That blooms in solitary grace, 
And, faithful to its mouldering tower, 

Waves in the banner's place 1 
From those gray haunts renown hath pass'd, 
Time wins his heritage at last ; 
The day of glory hath gone by, 
With all its pomp and minstrelsy : 
Yet still the flower of golden hues 
There loves its fragrance to diffuse, 
To fallen and forsaken things 
With constancy unalter'd clings, 
And, smiling o'er the wreck of state, 
With beauty clothes the desolate. 
E'en such was she, the fair-hair'd maid. 
In all her light of youth array 'd, 
Forsaking every joy below 
To soothe a guilty parent's woe, 
And clinging thus, in beauty's prime, 
To the dark ruin made by crime. 
Oh ! ne'er did heaven's propitious eyes 
Smile on a purer sacrifice ; 
Ne'er did young love, at duty's shrine, 
More nobly brighter hopes resign ! 
O'er her own pangs she brooded not, 
Nor sank beneath her bitter lot ; 
No ! that pure spirit's lofty worth 
Still rose more buoyantly from earth, 
And drew from an eternal source 
Its gentle, yet triumphant force : 



Roused by affliction's chastening might 

To energies more calmly bright, 

Like the wild harp of airy sigh, 

Woke by the storm to harmony ! 

He that in mountain-holds hath sought 

A refuge for unctinquer'd thought, 

A charter'd home, where Freedom's child 

Might rear her altars in the wild, 

And fix her quenchless torch on high, 

A beacon for Eternity ; 

Or they, whose martyr spirits wage 

Proud war with Persecution's rage, 

And to the deserts bear the faith 

That bids them smile on chains and death ; 

Well may they draw, from all around, 

Of grandeur clothed in form and sound, 

From the deep power of earth and sky, 

Wild nature's might of majesty, 

Strong energies, immortal fires, 

High hopes, magnificent desires ! 

But dark, terrific, and austere, 
To him doth nature's mien appear, 
Who midst her wilds would seek repose 
From guilty pangs and vengeful foes ! 
For him the wind hath music dread, 
A dirge-like voice that mourns the dead ; 
The forest's whisper breathes a tone 
Appalling, as from worlds unknown ; 
The mystic gloom of wood and cave 
Is fill'd with shadows of the grave ; 
In noon's deep calm the sunbeams dart 
A blaze that seems to search his heart ; 
The pure, eternal stars of night 
Upbraid him with their silent light ; 
And the dread spirit, which pervades 
And hallows earth's most lonely shades, 
In every scene, in every hour, 
Surrounds him with chastising power 
With nameless fear his soul to thrill, 
Heard, felt, acknowledged, present still ! 

'Twas the chilly close of an autumn day, 
And the leaves fell thick o'er the wanderers' way; 
The rustling pines, with a hollow sound, 
Foretold the tempest gathering round; 
And the skirts of the western clouds were spread 
With a tinge of wild and stormy red, 
That seem'd, through the, twilight forest bowers 
Like the glare of a city's blazing towers. 
But they, who far from cities fled, 
And shrunk from the print of human tread, 
Had reach'd a desert scene unknown, 
So strangely wild, so deeply lone, 



2O6 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



That a nameless feeling, unconfess'd 

And undefined, their souls oppress'd. 

Rocks piled on rocks, around them huiTd, 

Lay like the ruins of a world, 

Left by an earthquake's final throes 

lu deep and desolate repose 

Things of eternity whose forms 

Bore record of ten thousand storms ! 

While, rearing its colossal crest 

In sullen grandeur o'er the rest, 

One, like a pillar, vast and rude, 

Stood monarch of the solitude. 

Perchance by Roman conqueror's hand 

Th" enduring monument was plann'd ; 

Or Odin's sons, in days gone by, 

Had shaped its rough immensity, 

To reai', midst mountain, rock, and wood, 

A temple meet for rites of blood. 

But they were gone, who might have told 

That secret of the times of old ; 

And there, in silent scorn it frown'd, 

O'er all its vast coevals round. 

Darkly those giant masses lower'd, 

Countless and motionless they tower'd ; 

No wild-flower o'er their summits hung, 

No fountain from then* caverns sprung ; 

Yet ever on the wanderers' ear 

Murmur'd a sound of waters near, 

With music deep of lulling falls, 

And louder gush, at intervals. 

Unknown its source nor spring nor stream 

Caught the red sunset's lingering gleam, 

But ceaseless, from its hidden caves, 

Arose that mystic voice of waves. 1 

Yet bosom'd midst that savage scene, 

One chosen spot of gentler mien 

Crave promise to the pilgrim's eye 

Of shelter from the tempest nigh. 

Glad sight ! the ivied cross it bore, 

The sculptured saint that crown'd its door : 

Less welcome now were monarch's dome, 

Than that low cell, some hermit's home. 



1 The original of the scene here described is presented by 
the mountain called the Feldberg, in the Bergstrasse : " Des 
masses ^nonnes de rochers, entassees 1'une sur 1'autre depute 
le sommet de Ja montagne jusqu'a son pied, viennent y 
presenter un aspect superbe qu' aucune description ne saurait 
rendre. Ce furent, dit-on, des g(5ans, qui en se livrant un 
combat du haut des montagnes, lancerent les uns sur les 
autres ces e'normes masses de rochers. On arrive, avec beau- 
coup de peine, jusqu'au sommet du Feldberg, en suivant un 
sentier qui passe a cote 1 de cette chaine de rochers. On 
entend continuellement un bruit sourd, qui parait venir d'un 
ruisseau au dessous des rochere ; mais on a beau descendre, 
on se glissant a travers les ouvertures qui s'y trouvent, on ne 



Thither the outcasts bent their way, 
By the last lingering gleam of day ; 
When from a cavern'd rock, which cast 
Deep shadows o'er them as they pass'd, 
A form, a warrior form of might, 
As from earth's bosom, sprang to sight. 
His port was lofty yet the heart 
Shrunk, from him with recoiling start ; 
His mien was youthful yet his face 
Had nought of youth's ingenuous grace ; 
Nor chivalrous nor tender thought 
Its traces on his brow had wrought 
Yet dwelt no fierceness in his eye, 
But calm and cold severity, 
A spirit haughtily austere, 
Stranger to pity as to fear. 
It seem'd as pride had thrown a veil 
O'er that dark brow and visage pale, 
Leaving the searcher nought to guess, 
All was so fix'd and passionless. 

He spoke and they who heard the tone 
Felt, deeply felt, all hope was flown. 
" I've sought thee far in forest bowers, 
I've sought thee long in peopled towers, 
I've borne th' dagger of th' UNKNOWN 
Through scenes explored by me alone ; 
My search is closed nor toils nor fears 
Repel the servant of the Seers ; 
We meet 'tis vain to strive or fly : 
Albert of Lindheim, thou must die ! " 

Then with clasp'd hands the fair-hair'd maid 
Sank at his feet, and wildly pray'd : 
" Stay, stay thee ! sheath that lifted steel ! 
Oh ! thou art human, and canst feel ! 
Hear me ! if e'er 'twas thine to prove 
The blessing of a parent's love ; 
By thine own father's hoary hah*, 
By her who gave thee being, spare ! 
Did they not, o'er thy infant years, 
Keep watch, in sleepless hopes and fears ! 

ddcouvrira jamais le ruisseau. La colonne, dite Riesensaule, 
se trouve un peu plus haut qu'a la moitte de la montagne ; 
c'est un bloc de granit taille 1 , d'une longueur de 30 pieds et 
d'un diametre de 4 pieds. II y a plus de probability de croire 
que lesanciens Germains voulaient faire de ce bloc une colonne 
pour 1'eiiger en 1'honneur de leur dieu Odin, que de pr&endre, 
comme le fort plusieurs auteurs, que les Remains aient eu le 
dessein de la transporter dans leur capitale. On voit un 
peu plus haut un autre bloc d'une forme presque carree, qu' 
on appelle Riesenaltar, (autel du geant,) qui, a en juger par 
sa grosseur et sa forme, e'tart destine 1 a servir de pie'destal 
a la colonnade susdite." Manuel pour let Voyageurs sur It 
Bhin. 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



Young warrior ! thou wilt heed my prayers, 
As thou wouldst hope for grace to theirs !" 

But cold th' Avenger's look remain'd, 
His brow its rigid calm maintaiu'd : 
"Maiden ! 'tis vain my bosom ne'er 
Was conscious of a parent's care ; 
The nurture of my infant years 
Froze in my soul the source of tears j 
' Tis not for me to pause or melt, 
Or feel as happier hearts have felt. 
Away ! the hour of fate goes by : 
Thy prayers are fruitless he must die ! " 

"Rise, Ella ! rise !" with steadfast brow 
The father spoke unshrinking now, 
As if from heaven a martyr's strength 
Had settled on his soul at length : 
''Kneel thou no more, my noble child, 
Thou by no taint of guilt denied ; 
Kneel not to man ! for mortal prayer, 
Oh ! when did mortal vengeance spare 1 
Since hope of earthly aid is flown, 
Lift thy pure hands to heaven alone, 
And know, to calm thy suffering heart, 
My spirit is resign'd to part. 
Trusting in Him who reads and knows 
This guilty breast, with all its woes. 
Rise ! I would bless thee once again, 
Be still, be firm for all is vain ! " 

And she was still. She heard him not 
Her prayers were hush'd, her pangs forgot ; 
All thought, all memory pass'd away, 
Silent and motionless she lay, 
In a brief death, a blest suspense 
Alike of agony and sense. 
She saw not when the dagger gleam'd 
In the last red light from the west that 

stream'd ; 

She mark'd not when the life-blood's flow 
Came rushing to the mortal blow ; 
While, unresisting, sank her sire, 
Yet gather'd firmness to expire, 
Mingling a warrior's courage high 
With a penitent's humility. 
And o'er him there th' Avenger stood, 
And watch'd the victim's ebbing blood, 
Still calm, as if his faithful hand 
Had but obey'd some just command, 
Some power whose stern, yet righteous will 
He deem'd it virtue to fulfil, 
And triumph'd, when the palm was won, 
For duty's task austerely done. 



But a feeling dread and undefined, 
A mystic presage of the mind, 
With strange and sudden impulse ran 
Chill through the heart of the dying man; 
And his thoughts found voice, and his bosom 

breath, 

And it seem'd as fear suspended death, 
And nature from her terrors drew 
Fresh energy and vigour new. 

" Thou saidst thy lonely bosom ne'er 
Was conscious of a parent's care ; 
Thou saidst thy lot, in childhood's years, 
Froze in thy soul the source of tears : 
The tune will come, when thou, with me, 
The judgment throne of God wilt see 
Oh ! by thy hopes of mercy, then, 
By His blest love who died for men, 
By each dread rite, and shrine, and VOTV, 
Avenger ! I adjure thee now ! 
To him who bleeds beneath thy steel, 
Thy lineage and thy name reveal. 
And haste thee ! for his closing ear 
Hath little more on earth to hear 
Haste ! for the spirit, almost flown, 
Is lingering for thy words alone." 

Then first a shade, resembling fear, 
Pass'd o'er th' Avenger's mien austere ; 
A nameless awe his features cross' d, 
Soon in their haughty coldness lost. 

" What wouldst thou 1 Ask the rock and wild, 
And bid them tell thee of their child ! 
Ask the rude winds, and angry skies, 
Whose tempests were his lullabies ! 
His chambers were the cave and wood, 
His fosterers men of wrath and blood ; 
Outcasts alike of earth and heaven, 
By wrongs to desperation driven ! 
Who, in their pupil, now could trace 
The features of a nobler race ? 
Yet such was mine ! if one who cast 
A look of anguish o'er the past, 
Bore faithful record on the day 
When penitent in death he lay. 
But still deep shades my prospects veil ; 
He died and told but half the tale. 
With him it sleeps I only know 
Enough for stern and silent woe, 
For vain ambition's deep regret, 
For hopes deceived, deceiving yet, 
For dreams of pride, that vainly tell 
How high a lot had suited well 



208 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



The heir of some illustrious line, 
Heroes and chieftains of the Rhine ! " 

Then swift through Albert's bosom pass'd 
One pang, the keenest and the last, 
Ere with his spirit fled the fears, 
The SOITOWS, and the pangs of years ; 
And, while his gray hairs swept the dust, 
Faltering he murmur'd, " Heaven is just ! 
For thee that deed of guilt was done, 
By thee avenged, my son ! my son ! " 
The day was closed the moonbeam shed 
Light on the living and the dead, 
And as through rolling clouds it broke, 
Young Ella from her trance awoke- 
Awoke to bear, to feel, to know 
E'en more than all an orphan's woe. 
Oh ! ne'er did moonbeam's light serene 
With beauty clothe a sadder scene ! 
There, cold in death, the father slept 
There, pale in woe, the daughter wept ! 
Yes ! s/te might weep but one stood nigh. 
With horror in his tearless eye, 
That eye which ne'er again shall close 
In the deep quiet of repose ; 
No more on earth beholding aught 
Save one dread vision, stamp'd on thought. 
But, lost in grief, the Orphan Maid 
His deeper woe had scarce survey' d, 
Till his wild voice reveal'd a tale 
Which seeni'd to bid the heavens turn pale ! 
He call'd her, " Sister ! " and the word 
In anguish breathed, in terror heard, 
Reveal'd enough : all else were weak 
That sound a thousand pangs could speak. 
He knelt beside that breathless clay, 
Which, fix'd in utter stillness, lay 
Knelt till his soul imbibed each trace, 
Each lino of that unconscious face ; 
Knelt, till his eye could bear no more 
Those marble features to explore ; 
Then, starting, turning, as to shun 
The image thus by Memory won, 
A wild farewell to her he bade, 
Who by the dead in silence pray'd; 
And, frenzied by his bitter doom, 
Fled thence to find all earth a tomb ! 

Days pass'd away and Rhine's fair shore 
In the light of summer smiled once more ; 
The vines were purpling on the hill, 
And the corn-fields waved in the sunshine still. 
There came a bark up the noble stream, 
With pennons that shed a golden gleam, 



With the flash of arms, and the voice of song, 

Gliding triumphantly along ; 

For warrior-forms were glittering there, 

Whose plumes waved light hi the whispering air ; 

And as the tones of oar and wave 

Their measured cadence mingling gave, 

'Twas thus th' exulting chorus rose, 

While many an echo swell'd the close : 

" From the fields where dead and dying 
On their battle-bier are lying, 
Where the blood unstauch'd is gushing, 
Where the steed uucheck'd is rushing, 
Trampling o'er the noble-hearted, 
Ere the spirit yet be parted ; 
Where each breath of heaven is swaying 
Knightly plumes and banners playing. 
And the clarion's music swelling 
Calls the vulture from his dwelling ; 
He comes, with trophies worthy of his line, 
The son of heroes, Ulric of the Rhine ! 
To his own fair woods, enclosing 
Vales in sunny peace reposing, 
Where his native stream is laving 
Banks, with golden harvests waving, 
And the summer light is sleeping 
On the grape, through tendrils peeping ; 
To the halls where harps are ringing, 
Bards the praise of warriors singing, 
Graceful footsteps bounding fleetly, 
Joyous voices mingling sweetly ; 
Where the cheek of mirth is glowing, 
And the wine-cup brightly flowing, 
He comes, with trophies worthy of his line, 
The son of heroes, Ulric of the Rhine ! " 

He came he sought his Ella's bowers, 
He traversed Lindheim's lonely towers ; 
But voice and footstep thence had fled, 
As from the dwellings of the dead, 
And the sounds of human joy and woe 
Gave place to the moan of the wave below. 
The banner still the rampart crown'd, 
But the tall rank grass waved thick around 
Still hung the arms of a race gone by 
In the blazon'd halls of their ancestry, 
But they caught no more, at fall of night, 
The wavering flash of the torch's light, 
And they sent their echoes forth no more 
To the Minnesinger's 1 tuneful lore^ j 

For the hands that touch'd the harp were gone, 
And the hearts were cold that loved its tone ; 

1 Minnesingers, (bards of love,) the appellation of the Ger- 
man minstrels in the Middle Ages. 



A TALE OF THE SECRET TRIBUNAL. 



209 



And the soul of the chord lay mute and still, 
Save when the wild wind bade it thrill, 
And woke from its depths a dream-like moan, 
For life, and power, and beauty gone. 

The warrior tum'd from that silent scene, 
Where a voice of woe had welcome been ; 
And his heart was heavy with boding thought, 
As the forest-paths alone he sought. 
He reach'd a convent's fane, that stood 
Deep bosom'd in luxuriant wood ; 
Still, solemn, fair it seem'd a spot 
Where earthly care might be all forgot, 
A-nd sounds and dreams of heaven alone 
To musing spirit might be known. 

And sweet e'en then were the sounds that 

rose 

On the holy and profound repose. 
Oh ! they came o'er the warrior's breast 
Like a glorious anthem of the blest ; 
And fear and sorrow died away 
Before the full majestic lay. 
He enter'd the secluded fane, 
Which sent forth that inspiring strain ; 
He gazed the hallow'd pile's array 
Was that of some high festal day ; 
Wreaths of all hues its pillars bound, 
Flowers of all scents were strew'd around ; 
The rose exhaled its fragrant sigh, 
Blest on the altar to smile and die ; 
And a fragrant cloud from the censer's breath 
Half hid the sacred pomp beneath ; 
And still the peal of choral song 
Swcll'd the resounding aisles along ; 
Wakening, in its triumphant flow, 
Deep echoes from the graves below. 

Why, from its woodland birthplace torn. 
Doth summer's rose that scene adorn 1 
Why breathes the incense to the sky ] 
Why swells th' exulting harmony 1 
And see'st thou not yon form, so light 
It seems half floating on the sight, 
As if the whisper of a gale, 
That did but wave its snowy veil, 
Might bear it from the earth afar, 
A lovely but receding star ! 
Know that devotion's shrine e'en now 
Receives that youthful vestal's vow 
For this, high hymns, sweet odours rise, 
A jubilee of sacrifice ! 
Mark yet a moment ! from her brow 
Yon priest shall lift the veil of snow, 



Ere yet a darker mantle hide 

The charms to heaven thus sanctified : 

Stay th^e ! and catch their parting gleam, 

That ne'er shall fade from memory's dream. 

A moment ! oh ! to Ulric's soul, 

Poised between hope and fear's control, 

What slow, unmeasured hours went by, 

Ere yet suspense grew certainty. 

It came at length. Once more that faco 

Reveal'd to man its mournful grace ; 

A sunbeam on its features fell, 

As if to bear the world's farewell ; 

And doubt was o'er. His heart grew chill : 

Twas she though changed 'twas Ella still ! 

Though now her once-rejoicing mien 

Was deeply, mournfully serene ; 

Though clouds her eye's blue lustre shaded, 

And the young cheek beneath had faded, 

Well, well he knew the form, which cast 

Light on his soul through all the past ! 

'Twas with him on the battle-plain, 

Twas with him on the stormy main : 

Twas in his visions, when the shield 

Pillow'd his head on tented field ; 

Twas a bright beam that led him on 

Where'er a triumph might be won 

In danger as in glory nigh, 

An angel-guide to victory ! 

She caught his pale bewilder'd gaze 
Of grief half lost in fix'd amaze. 
Was it some vain illusion, wrought 
By frenzy of impassion'd thought 1 
Some phantom, such as Grief hath power 
To summon in her wandering hour ] 
No ! it was he ! the lost, the mourn'd 
Too deeply loved, too late return'd ! 
A fever'd blush, a sudden start, 
Spoke the last weakness of her heart ; 
Twas vanquish'd soon the hectic red 
A moment flush'd her cheek, and fled. 
Once more serene her steadfast eyo 
Look'd up as to Eternity ; 
Then gazed on Ulric with an air, 
That said the home of Love is there ! 

Yes ! there, alone it smiled for him, 
Whose eye before that look grew dim. 
Not long 'twas his e'en thus to view 
The beauty of its calm adieu ; 
Soon o'er those features, brightly pale, 
Was cast th' impenetrable veil ; 
And, if one human sigh were given 
By the pure bosom vow'd to heaven, 



210 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



'Twas lost, as many a murmur'd sound 
Of grief, " not loud, but deep," is drown'd, 
In hymns of joy, which proudly rise 
To tell the calm untroubled skies 
That earth hath banish'd care and woe, 
And man holds festivals below ! 



THE CARAVAN IN THE DESERTS. 

CALL it not loneliness to dwell 
In woodland shade or hermit dell, 
Or the deep forest to explore, 
Or wander Alpine regions o'er ; 
For nature there all joyous reigns, 
And fills with life her wild domains : 
A bird's light wing may break the air, 
A wave, a leaf, may murmur there ; 
A bee the mountain flowers may seek, 
A chamois bound from peak to peak ; 
An eagle, rushing to the sky, 
Wake the deep echoes with his cry ; 
And still some sound, thy heart to cheer, 
Some voice though not of man is near. 
But he, whose weary step hath traced 
Mysterious Afric's awful waste 
Whose eye Arabia's wilds hath view'd, 
Can tell thee what is solitude ! 
It is to traverse lifeless plains, 
Where everlasting stillness reigns, 
And billowy sands and dazzling sky 
Seem boundless as infinity ! 
It is to sink, with speechless dread, 
In scenes unmeet for mortal tread, 
Sever'd from earthly being's trace, 
Alone amidst eternal space ! 

'Tis noon and fearfully profound, 
Silence is on the desert round ; 
Alone she reigns, above, beneath, 
With all the attributes of death ! 
No bird the blazing heaven may dare, 
No insect bide the scorching air ; 
The ostrich, though of sunborn race, 
Seeks a more shelter'd dwelling-place ; 
The lion slumbers in his lair, 
The serpent shuns the noontide glare. 
But slowly wind the patient train 
Of camels o'er the blasted plain, 



1 The mirage, or vapour assuming the appearance of 
water. 

2 See the description of the Simoom in Brace's Travels. 



Where they and man may brave alone 
The terrors of the burning zone. 
Faint not, pilgrims ! though on high, 
As a volcano, flame the sky ; 
Shrink not, though as a furnace glow 
The dark-red seas of sand below ; 
Though not a shadow, save your own, 
Across the dread expanse is thrown. 
Mark ! where your feverish lips to lave, 
Wide-spreads the fresh transparent wave ! 
Urge your tired camels on, and take 
Your rest beside yon glistening lake ; 
Thence, haply, cooler gales may spring, 
And fan your brows with lighter wing. 
Lo ! nearer now, its glassy tide, 
Reflects the date-tree on its side 
Speed on ! pure draughts and genial air, 
And verdant shade, await you there. 
Oh, glimpse of heaven ! to him unknown 
That hath not trod the burning zone ! 
Forward they press they gaze dismay'd 
The waters of the desert fade ! 
Melting to vapours that elude 
The eye, the lip, they vainly woo'd. 1 

What meteor comes 1 A purple haze 
Hath half obscured the noontide rays : 2 
Onward it moves in swift career, 
A blush upon the atmosphere. 
Haste, haste ! avert th' impending doom, 
Fall prostrate ! 'tis the dread Simoom ! 
Bow down your faces till the blast 
On its red wing of flame hath pass'd, 
Far bearing o'er the sandy wave 
The viewless Angel of the Grave. 

It came 'tis vanish'd but hath left 
The wanderers e'en of hope bereft ; 
The ardent heart, the vigorous frame, 
Pride, courage, strength, its power could 

tame. 

Faint with despondence, worn with toil, 
They sink upon the burning soil, 
Resign'd, amidst those realms of gloom, 
To find their deathbed and their tomb. 3 

But onward still ! yon distant spot 
Of verdure can deceive you not; 
Yon palms, which tremulously seem'd 
Reflected as the waters gleam'd, 



3 The extreme languor and despondence produced by the 
Simoom, even when its effects are not fatal, have been de- 
scribed by many travellers. 



THE CAR A VAN IN THE DESERTS. 



Along th' horizon's verge display'd, 
Still rear their slender colonnade 
A landmark, guiding o'er the plain 
The Caravan's exhausted train. 
Fair is that little Isle of Bliss 
The desert's emerald oasis ! 
A rainbow on the torrent's wave, 
A gem embosom'd in the grave, 
A sunbeam on a stormy day 
Its beauty's image might convey ! 
Beauty, in horror's lap that sleeps, 
While silence round her vigil keeps. 

Rest, weary pilgrims ! calmly laid 
To slumber in th' acacia shade : 
Rest, where the shrubs your camels bruise 
Their aromatic breath diffuse ; 
"Where softer light the sunbeams pour 
Through the tall palm and sycamore ; 
And the rich date luxuriant spreads 
Its pendant clusters o'er your heads. 
Nature once more, to seal your eyes, 
Murmurs her sweetest lullabies ; 
Again each heart the music hails 
Of rustling leaves and sighing gales : 
And oh ! to Afric's child how dear 
The voice of fountains gushing near ! 
Sweet be your slumbers ! and your dreams 
Of waving groves and rippling streams ! 
Far be the serpent's venom'd coil 
From the brief respite won by toil ; 
Far be the awful shades of those 
Who deep beneath the sands repose 
The hosts, to whom the desert's breath 
Bore swift and stern the call of death. 
Sleep ! nor may scorching blast invade 
The freshness of the acacia shade, 
But gales of heaven your spirits bless, 
With life's best balm Forgetfulness ! 
Till night from many an urn diffuse 
The treasures of her world of dews. 

The day hath closed the moon on high 
Walks in her cloudless majesty. 
A thousand stars to Afric's heaven 
Serene magnificence have given 
Pure beacons of the sky, whose flame 
Shines forth eternally the same. 
Blest be their beams, whose holy light 
Shall guide the camel's footsteps right, 
And lead, as with a track divine, 
The pilgrim to his prophet's shrine ! 
Rise ! bid your Isle of Palms adieu ! 
Again your lonely march pursue, 



While airs of night are freshly blowing, 
And heavens with softer beauty glowing. 

Tis silence all : the solemn scene 
Wears, at each step, a ruder mien ; 
For giant-rocks, at distance piled, 
Cast their deep shadows o'er the wild. 
Darkly they rise what eye hath view'd 
The caverns of their solitude 1 
Away ! within those awful cells 
The savage lord of Afric dwells ! 
Heard ye his voice ? the lion's roar 
Swells as when billows break on shore. 
Well may the camel shake with fear, 
And the steed pant his foe is near. 
Haste ! light the torch, bid watchfires throw 
Far o'er the waste, a ruddy glow; 
Keep vigil guard the bright array 
Of flames that scare him from his prey ; 
Within their magic circle press, 
wanderers of the wilderness ! 
Heap high the pile, and by its blaze, 
Tell the wild tales of elder days, 
Arabia's wond'rous lore, that dwells 
On warrior deeds and wizard spells ; 
Enchanted domes, mid scenes like these, 
Rising to vanish with the breeze ; 
Gardens, whose fruits are gems, that shed 
Their light where mortal may not tread ; 
And spirits, o'er whose pearly halls 
Th' eternal billow heaves and falls. 
With charms like these, of mystic power, 
Watchers ! beguile the midnight hour. 

Slowly that hour hath roll'd away, 
And star by star withdraws its ray. 
Dark children of the sun ! again 
Your own rich orient hails his reign. 
He comes, but veil'd with sanguine glare 
Tinging the mists that load the air ; 
Sounds of dismay, and signs of flame, 
Th' approaching hurricane proclaim. 
'Tis death's red banner streams on high 
Fly to the rocks for shelter ! fly ! 
Lo ! dark'ning o'er the fiery skies, 
The pillars of the desert rise ! 
On, in terrific grandeur wheeling, 
A giant-host, the heavens concealing, 
They move, like mighty genii-forms, 
Towering immense midst clouds and storms. 
Who shall escape ! with awful force 
The whirlwind bears them on their course ; 
They join, they rush resistless on 
The landmarks of the plain are gone ; 



212 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



The steps, the forms, from earth effaced, 
Of those who trod the burning waste ! 
All whelm'd, all hush'd ! none left to bear 
Sad record how they perish'd there ! 
No stone their tale of death shall tell 
The desert guards its mysteries well ; 
And o'er th' unfathom'd sandy deep, 
Where low their nameless relics sleep, 
Oft shall the future pilgrim tread, 
Nor know his steps are on the dead. 



MARIUS AMONGST THE RUINS OF 
CARTHAGE. 

[" Marios, during the time of his exile, seeking refuge in 
Africa, had landed at Carthage, when an officer, sent by the 
Roman governor of Africa, came and thus addressed him : 
" Marius, I come from the Prsetor Sextilius, to tell you that 
he forbids you to set foot in Africa. If you obey not, he will 
support the Senate's decree, and treat you as a public enemy." 
Marius, upon hearing this, was struck dumb with grief and 
Indignation. He uttered not a word for some time, but re- 
garded the officer with a menacing aspect. At length the 
officer inquired what answer he should carry to the governor. 
" Go and tell him," said the unfortunate man, with a sigh, 
" that thou hast seen the exiled Marius sitting on the ruins 
of Cartilage." PLUTARCH.] 

'TWAS noon, and Afric's dazzling sun on high 
With fierce resplendence fill'd th' unclouded sky; 
No zephyr waved the palm's majestic head, 
And smooth alike the seas and deserts spread ; 
"While desolate, beneath a blaze of light, 
Silent and lonely, as at dead of night, 
The wreck of Carthage lay. Her prostrate fanes 
Had strew'd their precious marble o'er the plains ; 
Dark weeds and grass the column had o'ergrown, 
The lizard bask'd upon the altar stone ; 
Whelm'd by the ruins of their own abodes, 
Had sunk the forms of heroes and of gods ; 
While near dread offspring of the burning day ! 
Coil'd midst forsaken halls the serpent lay. 

There came an exile, long by fate pursued, 
To shelter in that awful solitude. 
Well did that wanderer's high yet faded mien 
Suit the sad grandeur of the desert scene : 
Shadow'd, not veil'd, by locks of wintry snow, 
Pride sat, still mighty, on his furrow'd brow ; 
Time had not quench'd the terrors of his eye, 
Nor tamed his glance of fierce ascendency ; 
While the deep meaning of his features told 
Ages of thought had o'er his spirit roll'd, 
Nor dinam'd the fire that might not be controll'd ; 
And still did power invest his stately form, 
Shatter'd, but yet uncouquer'd, by the storm. 



But slow his step and where, not yet o'er- 

thrown, 

Still tower*d a pillar midst the waste alone, 
Faint with long toil, his weary limbs he laid, 
To slumber in its solitary shade. 
He slept and darkly, on his brief repose, 
Th' indignant genius of the scene arose. 
Clouds robed his dim unearthly form, and spread 
Mysterious gloom around his crownless head, 
Crownless, but regal still. With stern disdain, 
The kingly shadow seem'd to lift his chain, 
Gazed on the palm, his ancient sceptre torn, 
And his eye kindled with immortal scorn ! 

"Andsleep'st thou, Roman?" ciied his voice 

austere ; 

" Shall son of Latium find a refuge here ? 
Awake ! arise ! to speed the hour of Fate, 
When Rome shall fall, as Carthage desolate ! 
Go ! with her children's flower, the free, tho 

brave, 

People the silent chambers of the grave : 
So shall the course of ages yet to be, 
More swiftly waft the day, avenging me ! 

" Yes, from the awful gulf of years to come, 
I hear a voice that prophesies her doom ; 
I see the trophies of her pride decay, 
And her long line of triumphs pass away, 
Lost in the depths of time while sinks the star 
That led her march of heroes from afar ! 
Lo ! from the frozen forests of the North, 
The sons of slaughter pour in myriads forth J 
Who shall awake the mighty ? will thy woe, 
City of thrones ! disturb the realms below ? 
Call on the dead to hear thee ! let thy cries 
Summon their shadowy legions to arise, 
Array the ghosts of conquerors on thy walls ! 
Barbarians revel in their ancient halls, 
And their lost children bend the subject knee, 
Midst the proud tombs and trophies of the free. 
Bird of the sun ! dread eagle ! born on high, 
A creature of the empyreal thou, whose eye 
Was lightning to the earth whose pinion waved 
In haughty triumph o'er a world enslaved ; 
Sink from thy heavens ! for glory's noon is o'er, 
And rushing storms shall bear thee on no more ! 
Closed is thy regal course thy crest is torn, 
And thy plume banish'd from the realms of morn. 
The shaft hath reach'd thee ! rest with chiefs 

and kings, 

Who conquer'd in the shadow of thy wings ; 
Sleep ! while thy foes exult around their prey, 
And share thy glorious heritage of day ! 



A TALE OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. 



213 



But darker years shall mingle with the past, 
Aud deeper vengeance shall be mine at last. 
O'er the seven hills I see destruction spread, 
And Empire's widow veils with dust her head. 
Her gods forsake each desolated shrine, 
Her temples moulder to the earth, like mine : 
Midst fallen palaces she sits alone, 
Calling heroic shades from ages gone, 
Or bids the nations midst her deserts wait 
To learn the fearful oracles of Fate ! 

" Still sleep'st thou, Roman 1 Son of Victory, rise ! 
Wake to obey th' avenging Destinies ! 
Shed by thy mandate, soon thy country's blood 
Shall swell and darken Tiber's yellow flood ! 
My children's manes call awake ! prepare 
The feast they claim ! exult in Rome's despair ! 
Be thine ear closed against her suppliant cries, 
Bid thy soul triumph in her agonies ; 
Let carnage revel e'en her shrines among, 
Spare not the valiant, pity not the young ! 
Haste ! o'er her hills the sword's libation shed, 
And wreak the curse of Carthage on her head ! '' 

The vision flies a mortal step is near, 
Whose echoes vibrate on the slumberer's ear ; 
He starts, he wakes to woe before him stands 
Th' unwelcome messenger of harsh commands, 
Whose faltering accents tell the exiled chief 
To seek on other shores a home for grief. 
Silent the wanderer sat but on his cheek 
The burning glow far more than words might speak ; 
And, from the kindling of his eye, there broke 
Language where all th' indignant soul awoke, 
Till his deep thought found voice : then, calmly 

stern, 

And sovereign in despair, he cried, " Return ! 
Tell him who sent thee hither, thou hast seen 
Marius, the exile, rest where Carthage once hath 

been ! " 



A TALE OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. 

A FRAGMENT. 

THE moonbeam, quivering o'er the wave, 
Sleeps in pale gold on wood and hill, 

The wild wind slumbers in its cave, 
And heaven is cloudless earth is still ! 

The pile that crowns yon savage height 

With battlements of Gothic might, 
Rises in softer pomp array'd, 
Its massy towers half lost in shade, 

Half touch'd with mellowing light ! 



The rays of night, the tints of time, 

Soft-mingling on its dark-gray stone, 
O'er its rude strength and mieu sublime, 

A placid smile have thrown. 
And far beyond, where wild and high, 
Bounding the pale blue summer sky, 
A mountain vista meets the eye, 
Its dark, luxuriant woods assume 
A pencil'd shade, a softer gloom : 
Its jutting cliffs have caught the light, 
Its torrents glitter through the night, 
While every cave and deep recess 
Frowns in more shadowy awfulness. 
Scarce moving on the glassy deep 
Yon gallant vessel seems to sleep ; 

But darting from its side, 
How swiftly does its boat design 
A slender, silvery, waving line 

Of radiance o'er the tide ! 
No. sound is on the summer seas, 

But the low dashing of the oar, 
And faintly sighs the midnight breeze 

Through woods that fringe the rocky shora. 
That boat has reach'd the silent bay 
The dashing oar has ceased to play ; 
The breeze has murmur'd and has died 
In forest shades, on ocean's tide. 
No step, no tone, no breath of sound 
Disturbs the loneliness profound ; 
And midnight spreads o'er earth and main 

A calm so holy and so deep, 
That voice of mortal were profane 

To break on nature's sleep ! 
It is the hour for thought to soar 

High o'er the cloud of earthly woes ; 
For rapt devotion to adore 

For passion to repose ; 
And virtue to forget her tears, 
In visions of sublimer spheres ! 
For oh ! those transient gleams of heaven, 
To calmer, purer spirits given, 
Children of hallow'd peace, are known 
In solitude and shade alone ! 
Like flowers that shun the blaze of noon, 
To blow beneath the midnight moon, 
The garish world they will not bless, 
But only live in loneliness ! 

Hark ! did some note of plaintive swell 

Melt on the stillness of the air ? 
Or was it fancy's powerful spell 

That woke such sweetness there ? 
For wild and distant it arose, 
Like sounds that bless the bard's repose, 



214 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



When in lone wood, or mossy cave, 
He dreams beside some fountain wave, 
And fairy worlds delight the eyes 
Wearied with life's realities. 

Was it illusion] Yet again 
Rises and falls th' enchanted strain, 

Mellow, and sweet, and faint 
As if some spirit's touch had given 
The soul of sound to harp of heaven 

To soothe a dying saint ! 
Is it the mermaid's distant shell, 

Warbling beneath the moonlit wave ? 
Such witching tones might lure full well 

The seaman to his grave ! 
Sure from no mortal touch ye rise, 
Wild, soft, aerial melodies ! 
Is it the song of woodland-fay 

From sparry grot, or haunted bower ? 
Hark ! floating on, the magic lay 

Draws near yon ivied tower ! 
Now nearer still, the listening ear 
May catch sweet harp-notes, faint yet clear; 
And accents low, as if in fear, 

Thus murmur, half suppress'd : 
" Awake ! the moon is bright on high, 
The sea is calm, the bark is nigh, 

The world is hush'd to rest ! " 
Then sinks the voice the strain is o'er, 
Its last low cadence dies along the shore. 

Fair Bertha hears th' expected song, 
Swift from her tower she glides along ; 
N"o echo to her tread awakes, 
Her fairy step no slumber breaks ; 
And, in that hour of silence deep, 
While all around the dews of sleep 
O'erpower each sense, each eyelid steep, 
Quick throbs her heart with hope and fear, 
Her dark eye glistens with a tear. 
Half-wavering now, the varying cheek 
And sudden pause her doubts bespeak, 
The lip now flush' d, now pale as death, 
The trembling frame, the fluttering breath ! 
Oh ! in that moment, o'er her soul 
What struggling passions claim control ! 
Fear, duty, love, in conflict high, 
By turns have won th' ascendency ; 
And as, all tremulously bright, 
Streams o'er her face the beam of night, 
What thousand mix'd emotions play 
O'er that fair face, and melt away. 
Like forms whose quick succession gleams 
O'er fancy's rainbow-tinted dreams ; 



Like the swift glancing lights that rise 
Midst the wild cloud of stormy skies, 

And traverse ocean o'er ; 
So in that full, impassion'd eye 
The changeful meanings rise and die, 

Just seen and then no more ! 
But oh ! too short that pause. Again 
Thrills to her heart that witching strain : 
" Awake ! the midnight moon is bright : 
Awake ! the moments wing then- flight ; 

Haste ! or they speed in vain ! " 

call of Love ! thy potent spell 
O'er that weak heart prevails too well ; 
The " still small voice " is heard no more 
That pleaded duty's cause before, 
And fear is hush'd, and doubt is gone, 
And pride forgot, and reason flown ! 
Her cheek, whose colour came and fled, 
Eesumes its warmest, brightest red, 
Her step its quick elastic tread, 

Her eye its beaming smile ! 
Through lonely court and silent hall, 
Flits her light shadow o'er the wall ; 
And still that low, harmonious call 

Melts on her ear the while ! 
Though love's quick ear alone could tell 
The words its accents faintly swell : 
" Awake ! while yet the lingering night 
And stars and seas befriend our flight : 

Oh ! haste, while all is well ! " 

The halls, the courts, the gates, are past> 
She gains the moonlit beach at last. 
Who waits to guide her trembling feet ] 
Who flies the fugitive to greet \ 
He, to her youthful heart endear'd 
By all it e'er had hoped and fear'd, 
Twined with each wish, with every thought 
Each day-dream fancy e'er had wrought, 
Whose tints portray with flattering skill 
What brighter worlds alone fulfil ! 
Alas ! that aught so fair should fly 
Thy blighting wand, Reality ! 

A chieftain's mien her Osbert bore, 
A pilgrim's lowly robes he wore 
Disguise that vainly strove to hide 
Bearing and glance of martial pride : 
For he in many a battle-scene, 
On many a rampart breach had been ; 
Had sternly smiled at danger nigh, 
Had seen the valiant bleed and die, 
And proudly rear'd on hostile tower, 
Midst falchion clash and arrowy shower, 
Britannia's banner high ! 



A TALE OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. 



And though some ancient feud had taught 

His Bertha's sire to loathe his name, 
More noble warrior never fought 

For glory's prize or England's fame. 
And well his dark, commanding eye, 

And form and step of stately grace, 
Accorded with achievements high, 
Soul of emprise and chivalry, 

Bright name, and generous race ! 
His cheek, embrown'd by many a sun, 
Tells a proud tale of glory won, 
Of vigil, march, and combat rude, 
Valour, and toil, and fortitude ! 
E'en while youth's earliest blushes threw 
Warm o'er that cheek their vivid hue, 
His gallant soul, his stripling form, 
Had braved the battle's rudest storm ; 
When England's conquering archers stood, 
And dyed thy plain, Poitiers ! with blood, 
When shiver'd axe, and cloven shield, 
And shatter'd helmet, strew'd the field, 
And France around her king in vain 
Had marshall'd valour's noblest train 
j In that dread strife his lightning eye 
Had flash'd with transport keen and high, 
And midst the battle's wildest tide, 
Throbb'd his young heart with hope and pride. 

Alike that fearless heart could brave 
Death on the war-field or the wave ; 
Alike in tournament or fight, 
That ardent spirit found delight ! 
Yet oft, midst hostile scenes afar, 

Bright o'er his soul a vision came, 
Rising like some benignant star, 
On stormy seas or plains of war, 

To soothe, with hopes more dear than fame, 

The heart that throbb'd to Bertha's name ! 
And midst the wildest rage of fight, 
And in the deepest calm of night, 
To her his thoughts would wing their flight 

With fond devotion warm ; 
Oft would those glowing thoughts portray 
Some home, from tumults far away, 

Graced with that angel form ! 
And now his spirit fondly deems 
Fulfill'd its loveliest, dearest dreams ! 

"Who, with pale cheek, and locks of snow, 
In minstrel garb attends the chief! 

The moonbeam on his thoughtful brow 
Reveals a shade of grief. 

Sorrow and time have touch'd his face 

With mournful yet majestic grace, 



Soft as the melancholy smile 
Of sunset on some ruin'd pile ! 
It is the bard, whose song had power 
To lure the maiden from her tower 
The bard, whose wild inspiring lays, 
E'en in gay childhood's earliest days, 
First woke, in Osbert's kindling breast, 
The flame that will not be represt, 
The pulse that throbs for praise ! 
Those lays had banish'd from his eye 
The bright soft tears of infancy, 
Had soothed the boy to calm repose, 
Had hush'd his bosom's earliest woes ; 
And when the light of thought awoke, 
When first young reason's day-spring broke, 
More powerful still, they bade arise 
His spirit's burning energies ! 
Then the bright dream of glory warm'd, 
Then the loud pealing war-song charm'd, 
The legends of each martial line, 
The battle-tales of Palestine : 
And oft, since then, his deeds had proved 
Themes of the lofty lays he loved ! 
Xow, at triumphant love's command, 
Since Osbert leaves his native land, 
Forsaking glory's high career 
For her than glory far more dear ; 
Since hope's gay dream and meteor ray 
To distant regions point his way, 
That there Affection's hands may dress 
A fairy bower for happiness ; 
That fond devoted bard, though now 
Time's wintery garland wreathes his brow, 
Though quench'd the sunbeam of his eye, 
And fled his spirit's buoyancy, 
And strength and enterprise are past, 
Still follows constant to the last ! 
Though his sole wish was but to die 
Midst the calm scenes of days gone by, 
And all that hallows and endears 
The memory of departed years 
Sorrow, and joy, and time, have twined 
To those loved scenes his pensive mind ; 
Ah ! what can tear the links apart 
That bind his chieftain to his heart ? 
What smile but his with joy can light 
The eye obscured by age's night ! 
Last of a loved and honour'd line, 
Last tie to earth in life's decline, 
Till death its lingering spark shall dim, 
That faithful eye must gaze on him ! 

Silent and swift, with footstep light, 
Haste on those fugitives of night. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



They reach the boat the rapid oar 
Soon wafts them from the wooded shore : 
The bark is gain'd ! A gallant few, 
Vassals of Osbert, form its crew ; 
The pennant, in the moonlight beam, 

With soft suffusion glows ; 
From the white sail a silvery gleam 

Falls on the wave's repose ; 
Long shadows undulating play, 
From mast and streamer, o'er the bay ; 
But still so hush'd the summer air, 
They tremble, midst that scene so fair, 
Lest morn's first beam behold them there. 
Wake, viewless wanderer ! breeze of night ! 
From river wave, or mountain height, 
Or dew-bright couch of moss and flowers, 
By haunted spring in forest bowers ; 
Or dost thou lurk in pearly cell, 
In amber grot, where mermaids dwell, 
And caveru'd gems their lustre throw 
O'er the red sea-flowers' vivid glow ? 
Where treasures, not for mortal gaze, 
In solitary splendour blaze, 
And sounds, ne'er heard by mortal ear, 
Swell through the deep's unfathom'd sphere 1 
What grove of that mysterious world 
Holds thy light wing in slumber furl'd '< 
Awake ! o'er glittering seas to rove : 
Awake ! to guide the bark of love ! 
Swift fly the midnight hours, and soon 
Shall fade the bright propitious moon ; 
Soon shall the waning stars grow pale, 
E'en now but lo ! the rustling sail 
Swells to the new-sprung ocean gale ! 
The bai-k glides on their fears are o'er; 
Recedes the bold romantic shore, 

Its features mingling fast. 
Gaze, Bertha ! gaze : thy lingering eye 
May still each lovely scene descry 

Of years for ever past ! 

There wave the woods, beneath whose shade 
With bounding step thy childhood play'd, 
Midst ferny glades and mossy lawns, 
Free as their native birds and fawns ; 
Listening the sylvan sounds, that float 
On each low breeze, midst dells remote 
The ringdove's deep melodious moan, 
The rustling deer in thickets lone ; 
The wild-bee's hum, the aspen's sigh, 
The wood-stream's plaintive harmony. 
Dear scenes of many a sportive hour, 
There thy own mountains darkly tower ! 
Midst their gray rocks no glen so rude 
But thou hast loved its solitude ! 



Xo path so wild but thou hast known, 

And traced its rugged course alone ! 

The earliest wreath that bound thy hair 

Was twined of glowing heath-flowers there. 

There in the day-spring of thy year's, 

Undirnm'd by passions or by tears, 

Oft, while thy bright, enraptured eye 

Wander'd o'er ocean, earth, or sky, 

While the wild breeze that round thee blew, 

Tinged thy warm cheek with richer hue. 

Pure as the skies that o'er thy head 

Their clear and cloudless azure spread, 

Pure as that gale whose light wing drew 

Its freshness from the mountain dew, 

Glow'd thy young heart with feelings high, 

A heaven of hallow'd ecstasy ! 

Such days were thine ! ere love had drawn 

A cloud o'er that celestial dawn ! 

As the clear dews in morning's beam 

With soft reflected colouring stream, 

Catch every tint of eastern gem 

To form the rose's diadem, 

But vanish when the noontide hour 

Glows fiercely on the shrinking flower 

Thus in thy soul each calm delight, 

Like morn's first dew-drops, pure and bright, 

Fled swift from passion's blighting fire, 

Or linger'd only to expire ! 

Spring on thy native hills again 

Shall bid neglected wild-flowers rise, 
And call forth, in each grassy glen, 

Her brightest emerald dyes ! 
There shall the lonely mountain rose, 
Wreath of the cliffs, again disclose ; 
Midst rocky dells, each well-known stream 
Shall sparkle in the summer beam ; 
The birch, o'er precipice and cave, 
Its feathery foliage. still shall wave, 
The ash midst rugged clefts unveil 
Its coral clusters to the gale, 
And autumn shed a warmer bloom 
O'er the rich heath and glowing broom. 
But thy light footstep there no more 
Each path, each dingle shall explore. 
In vain may smile each green recess, 
Who now shall pierce its loneliness ] 
The stream through shadowy glens may stray, 
Who now shall trace its glistening way 1 
In solitude, in silence deep, 
Shrined midst her rocks, shall Echo sleep, 
Xo lute's wild swell again hall rise 
To wake her mystic melodies. 
All soft may blow the mountain air, 
It will not wave thy graceful hair ! 



A TALE OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY. 



217 



The mountain rose may bloom and die, 
It will not meet thy smiling eye ! 
But like those scenes of vanish'd days, 

Shall others ne'er delight ; 
Far lovelier lands shall meet thy gaze, 

Yet seem not half so bright ! 
O'er the dim woodlands' fading hue 

Still gleams yon Gothic pile on high ; 
Gaze on, while yet 'tis thine to view 

That home of infancy ! 
Heed not the night-dew's chilling power, 
Heed not the sea-wind's coldest hour, 
But pause and linger on the deck, 
Till of those towers no trace, no speck, 

Is gleaming o'er the main ; 
For when the mist of morn shall rise, 
Blending the sea, the shore, the skies, 
That home, once vanish'd from thine eyes, 

Shall bless them ne'er again ! 

There the dark tales and songs of yore 

First with strange transport thrill'd thy soul, 
E'en while their fearful mystic lore 

From thy warm cheek the life-bloom stole. 
There, while thy father's raptured ear 
Dwelt fondly on a strain so dear, 
And in his eye the trembling tear 

Reveal'd his spirit's trance ; 
How oft, those echoing halls along, 
Thy thrilling voice has swell'd the song 
Tradition wild of other days, 
Or troubadour's heroic lays, 

Or legend of romance ! 
Oh ! many an hour has there been thine, 

That memory's pencil oft shall dress 
In softer shades, and tints that shine 

In mellow'd loveliness ! 
"While thy sick heart, and fruitless tears, 

Shall mourn, with fond and deep regret, 
The sunshine of thine early years, 

Scarce deem'd so radiant till it set ! 
The cloudless peace, unprized till gone, 
The bliss, till vanish'd hardly known ! 

On rock and turret, wood and hill, 
The fading moonbeams linger still , 
Still, Bertha ! gaze on yon gray tower, 
At evening's last and sweetest hour, 
"While varying still, the western skies 
Flush'd the clear seas with rainbow dyes, 
"Whose warm suffusions glow'd and pass'd, 
Each richer, lovelier, than the last. 
How oft, while gazing on the deep, 
That seem'd a heaven of peace to sleep, 



As if its wave, so still, so fair, 

More frowning mien might never wear, 

The twilight calm of mental rest 

Would steal in silence o'er thy breast, 

And wake that dear and balmy sigh 

That softly breathes the spirit's harmony ! 

Ah ! ne'er again shall hours to thee be given 

Of joy on earth so near allied to heaven ! 

Why starts the tear to Bertha's eye 1 
Is not her long-loved Osbert nigh ] 
Is there a grief his voice, his smile, 
His words, are fruitless to beguile 1 
Oh ! bitter to the youthful heart, 

That scarce a pang, a care has known, 
The hour when first from scenes we part, 

Where life's bright spring has flown ! 
Forsaking, o'er the world to roam, 
That little shrine of peace our home ! 
E'en if delighted fancy throw 
O'er that cold world, her brightest glow, 
Painting its untried paths with flowers, 
That will not live in earthly bowers, 
(Too frail, too exquisite, to beat- 
One breath of life's ungenial air ;) 
E'en if such dreams of hope arise 
As heaven alone can realise, 
Cold were the breast that would not heavo 
One sigh, the home of youth to leave ; 
Stern were the heart that would not swell 
To breathe life's saddest word farewell ! 
Though earth has many a deeper woe, 
Though tears more bitter far must flow, 
That hour, whate'er our future lot, 
That first fond grief, is ne'er forgot ! 

Such was the pang of Bertha's heart, 

The thought, that bade the tear-drop start ; 

And Osbert by her side 
Heard the deep sigh, whose bursting swell 
Nature's fond struggle told too well ; 
And days of future bliss portray'd, 
And love's own eloquence essay' d, 

To soothe his plighted bride ! 
Of bright Arcadian scenes he tells, 

In that sweet land to which they fly ; 
The vine-clad rocks, the fragrant dells 

Of blooming Italy. 
For he had roved a pilgrim there, 
And gazed on many a spot so fair 
It seem'd like some enchanted grove, 
Where only peace, and joy, and love, 
Those exiles of the world, might rove, 

And breathe its heavenly air ; 



218 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



And, all unmix'd with ruder tone, 
Their "wood-notes wild" be heard alone ! 
Far from the frown of stern control, 
That vainly would subdue the soul, 
There shall their long-affiauced hands 
Be join'd in consecrated bands. 
And in some rich, romantic vale, 

Circled with heights of Alpine snow, 
Where citron-woods enrich the gale, 
And scented shrubs their balm exhale, 

And flowering myrtles blow ; 
And midst the mulberry boughs on high 
Weaves the wild vine her tapestry ; 
On some bright streamlet's emerald side, 
Where cedars wave in graceful pride, 
Bosom 'd in groves, their home shall rise, 
A shelter'd bower of paradise ! 
Thus would the lover soothe to rest 
With tales of hope her anxious breast ; 
Nor vain that dear enchanting lore 
Her soul's bright visions to restore, 
And bid gay phantoms of delight 
Float in soft colouring o'er her sight. 

Youth ! sweet May-morn, fled so soon, 

Far brighter than life's loveliest noon, 
How oft thy spirit's buoyant power 
Will triumph, e'en in sorrow's hour 

Prevailing o'er regret ! 
As rears its head th' elastic flower 
Though the dark tempest's recent shower 

Hang on its petals yet ! 

Ah ! not so soon can hope's gay smile 
The aged bard to joy beguile ; 
Those silent years that steal away 
The cheek's warm rose, the eye's bright ray, 
Win from the mind a nobler prize, 
E'en all its buoyant energies ! 
For him the April days are past, 

When grief was but a fleeting cloud; 
No transient shade will sorrow cast, 

When age the spirit's might has bow'd ! 
And, as he sees the land grow dim, 
That native land now lost to him, 
Fix'd are his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, 
And long hi speechless grief he stands : 

So desolately calm his air, 
He seems an image wrought to bear 
The stamp of deep, though hush'd despair. 
Motion and life no sign bespeaks, 
Save that the night-breeze, o'er his cheeks, 

Just waves his silvery hair ! 
Nought else could teach the eye to know 
He was no sculptured form of woe ! 



Long gazing o'er the dark'ning flood, 
Pale in that silent grief he stood, 
Till the cold moon was waning fast, 

And many a lovely star had died, 
And the gray heavens deep shadows cast 

Far o'er the slumbering tide ; 
And, robed in one dark solemn hue, 
Arose the distant shore to view. 
Then, starting from his trance of woe, 
Tears, long suppress'd, in freedom flow, 
While thus his wild and plaintive strain 
Blends with the murmur of the mam : 

THE BARD'S FAREWELL. 

" Thou setting moon ! when next thy rays 

Are trembling on the shadowy deep, 
The land, now fading from thy gaze, 

These eyes in vain shall weep ; 
And wander o'er the lonely sea, 
And fix their tearful glance on thee 
On thee ! whose light so softly gleams [streams. 
Through the green oaks that fringe my native 

" But midst those ancient groves, no more 

Shall I thy quivering lustre hail ; 
Its plaintive strain my harp must pour 

To swell a foreign gale. 
The rocks, the woods, whose echoes woke 
When its full tones their stillness broke, 
Deserted now, shall hear alone 
Thebrook's wild voice, the wind's mysterious moan. 

" And oh ! ye fair, forsaken halls, 

Left by your lord to slow decay, 
Soon shall the traphies on your walls 

Be mouldering fast away ! 
There shall no choral songs resound, 
There shall no festal board be crown' d ; 
But ivy wreathe the silent gate, 
And all be hush'd, and cold, and desolate. 

" No banner from the stately tower 

Shall spread its blazon'd folds on high ; 
There the wild brier and summer flower, 

Unmark'd, shall wave and die. 

Home of the mighty ! thou art lone, 

The noonday of thy pride is gone, 

And, midst thy solitude profound, 

A step shall echo like unearthly sound ! 

" From thy cold hearths no festal blaze 
Shall fill the hall with ruddy light, 
Nor welcome with convivial rays 
Some pilgrim of the night. 



BELSHAZZARS FEAST. 



But there shall grass luxuriant spread, 
As o'er the dwellings of the dead ; 
And the deep swell of every blast 
Seem a wild dirge for years of grandeur past. 

" And I my joy of life is fled, 

My spirit's power, my bosom's glow ; 
The raven locks that graced my head, 

Wave in a wreath of snow ! 
And where the star of youth arose 
I deem'd life's lingering ray should close, 
And those loved trees my tomb o'ershade, 
Beneath whose archingbowers my childhood play'd. 

" Vain dream ! that tomb in distant earth 

Shall rise, forsaken and forgot ; 
And thou, sweet land that gavest me birth ! 

A grave must yield me not. 
Yet, haply, he for whom I leave 
Thy shores, in life's dark winter eve, 
When cold the hand, and closed the lays, 
And mute the voice he loved to praise, 
O'er the hush'd harp one tear may shed, 

And one frail garland o'er the minstrel's bed !'' 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 

TWAS night in Babylon : yet many a beam, 
Of lamps far glittering from her domes on high, 
Shone, brightly mingling in Euphrates' stream 
With the clear stars of that Chaldean sky, 
Whose azure knows no cloud : each whisper'd sigh 
Of the soft night-breeze through her terrace bowers, 
Bore deepening tones of joy and melody, 
O'er an illumined wilderness of flowers ; [towers. 
And the glad city's voice went up from all her 

But prouder mirth was in the kingly hall, 
Where midst adoring slaves, a gorgeous band, 
High at the stately midnight festival, 
Belshazzar sat enthroned. There luxury's hand 
Had shower'd around all treasures that expand 
Beneath the burning East ; all gems that pour 
The sunbeams back ; all sweets of many a land 
Whose gales waft incense from their spicy shore 
But mortal pride look'd on, and still demanded 



With richer zest the banquet may be fraught, 
A loftier theme may swell the exulting strain ! 



The lord of nations spoke, and forth were 

brought 

The spoils of Salem's devastated fane. 
Thrice-holy vessels ! pure from earthly stain, 
And set apart, and sanctified to Him 
Who deign'd within the oracle to reign, 
Reveal'd yet shadow'd ; making noonday dim, 
To that most glorious cloud between the cherubim. 

They came, and louder peal'd the voice of song, 
And pride flash'd brighter from the kindling eye ; 
And He who sleeps not heard the elated throng, 
In mirth that plays with thunderbolts, defy 
The Rock of Zion ! Fill the nectar high, 
High in the cups of consecrated gold ! 
And crown the bowl with garlands, ere they die, 
And bid the censers of the temple hold 
Offerings to Babel's gods, the mighty ones of old! 

Peace ! is it but a phantom of the brain, 
Thus shadow'd forth, the senses to appall, 
Yon fearful vision ] Who shall gaze again 
To search its cause ? Along the illumined wall, 
Startling yet riveting the eyes of all, 
Darkly it moves, a hand, a human hand, 
O'er the bright lamps of that resplendent hall, 
In silence tracing, as a mystic wand, 
Words all unknown, the tongue of some far-distant 
land ! 

There are pale cheeks around the regal board, 
And quivering limbs, and whispers deep and low, 
And fitful starts ! the wine, in triumph pour'd, 
Untasted foams, the song hath ceased to flow, 
The waving censer drops to earth and lo ! 
The king of men, the ruler, girt with mirth, 
Trembles before a shadow ! Say not so ! 
The child of dust, with guilt's foreboding sight, 
Shrinks from the dread Unknown, the avenging 
Infinite ! 

" But haste ye ! bring Chaldea's gifted seers, 
The men of prescience ! Haply to their eyes, 
Which track the future through the rolling spheres, 
Yon mystic sign may speak in prophecies." 
They come the readers of the midnight skies, 
They that gave voice to visions but hi vain ! 
Still wrapt in clouds the awful secret lies, 
It hath no language midst the starry train, 
Earth has no gifted tongue heaven's mysteries to 
explain. 

Then stood forth one, a child of other sires, 
And other inspiration ! one of those 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Who on the willows hung their captive lyres, 
And sat and wept, where Babel's river flows. 
His eye was bright, and yet the pale repose 
Of his pure features half o'erawed the mind ; 
Telling of inward mysteries joys and woes 
In lone recesses of the soul enshrined; 
Depths of a being seal'd and sever'd from mankind. 

Yes ! what was earth to him, whose spirit pass'd 
Time's utmost bounds! on whose unshrinking sight 
Ten thousand shapes of burning glory cast 
Then- full resplendence 1 Majesty and might 
Were in his dreams ; for him the veil of light 
Shrouding heaven's inmost sanctuary and throne, 
The curtain of th' unutterably bright, 
Was raised ! to him. in fearful splendour shown, 
Ancient of Days ! e'en Thou madest thy dread 
presence known. 

He spoke the shadows of the things to come 
Pass'd o'er his soul : " King, elate in pride ! 
God hath sent forth the writing of thy doom 
The one, the living God, by thee defied ! 
He, in whose balance earthly lords are tried, 
Hath weigh'd, and found thee wanting. 'Tis de- 
creed 

The conqueror's hands thy kingdom shall divide, 
The stranger to thy throne of power succeed ! 
Thy days are full : they come, the Persian and 
the Mede !" 

There fell a moment's thrilling silence round 
A breathless pause ! the hush of hearts that beat, 
And limbs that quiver. Is there not a sound, 
A gathering-cry, a tread of hurrying feet ! 
'Twas but some echo in the crowded street, 
Of far-heard revelry ; the shout, the song, 
The measured dance to music wildly sweet, 

1 As originally written, the following additional stanzas 
(afterwards omitted) concluded this poem : 

Fallen is the golden cit/ ! In the dust, 
Spoil'd of her crown, dismantled of her state, 
She that hath made the strength of towers her trust 
Weeps by her dead, supremely desolate ! 
She that beheld the nations at her gate, 
Thronging in homage, shall be call'd no mope 
Lady of kingdoms ! Who shall mourn her fate ? 
Her guilt is full, her march of triumph o'er 
What widow d land shall now her widowhood deplore ? 

Sit thou in silence ! Thou that wert enthroned 
On many waters ' thou, whose augurs read 
The language of the planets, and disown'd 
The mighty Name it blazons ! veil thy head, 
Daughter of Babylon ! The sword is red 

Is on thre, O most proud ! for thou hast said, 

" I am, and none beside I " Th' Eternal spoke ; 

Thy glory was a spoil, thine idol-gods were broke ! 



That speeds the stars their joyous course along 
Away ! nor let a dream disturb the festal 
throng ! 

Peace yet again ! Hark ! steps in tumult flying, 
Steeds rushing on, as o'er a battle-field ! 
The shouts of hosts exulting or defying, 
The press of multitudes that strive or yield ! 
And the loud startling clash of spear and shield, 
Sudden as earthquake's burst ; and, blent with 

these, 

The last wild shriek of those whose doom is seal'd 
In their full mirth ! all deepening on the breeze, 
As the long stormy roll of far-advancing seas ! 

And nearer yet the trumpet's blast is swelling, 
Loud, shrill, and savage, drowning eveiy cry ; 
And, lo ! the spoiler in the regal dwelling, 
Death bursting on the halls of revelry ! 
Ere on their brows one fragile rose-leaf die, 
The sword hath raged through joy's devoted 

train ; 

Ere one bright star be faded from the sky, 
Red flames, like banners, wave from dome and 

fane; 
Empire is lost and won Belshazzar with the 

slam. 1 

[Belshazzar's Feast had previously been published in the 
Collection of Poems from Living Authors, edited for a bene- 
volent purpose by Mrs Joanna Baillie. Memoir, p. 68. 

" Miss Baillie's volume contained several poems by Mrs 
Hemans ; some jeuxd'esprit, by the late Miss Catherine 
Fansliawe, a woman of rare wit and genius, in whose society 
Scott greatly delighted ; and, inter alia, Mr AVilliam Towi- 
son's early ballad of Polydore, which had been originally 
published under Scott's auspices, in the Edinburgh Register 
for 1810." LOCKHART'S Life of Scott, vol. v. p. 287.- 

It is worthy of remembrance that Sir Walter's own " Mac- 
duffs Cross," and Southey's lively and eccentric nursery 
rhymes on the " Cataract of Lodoar," first made their appear- 
ance in the collection referred to.] 



But go thou forth, O Israel ! wake ! rejoice ! 
Be clothed with strength, as in thine ancient day ! 
Renew the sound of harps, th' exulting voice, 
The mirth of timbrels ! loose the chain, and say 
God hath redeem 'd his people ! from decay 
The silent and the trampled shall arise ! 
Awake ! put on thy beautiful array, 
O long-forsaken Zion ! to the skies 
Send up on every wind thy choral melodies ! 

And lift thy head .'Behold thy sons returning 
Eedeem'd from exile, ransom'd from the chain, 
Light hath revisited the house of mourning : 
She that on Judah's mountains wept in vain. 
Because her children were not, dwells again 
Girt with the lovely ! Through thy streets once m. 
City of God ! shall pass the bridal train, 
And the bright lamps their festive radiance pour, 
And the triumphal hymns thy joy of youth restore 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



" Thou strivcst nobly, 

When hearts of sterner stuff perhaps had sunk ; 
JVnd o'er thy fall, if it be so decreed, 
Good men will mourn, and brave men will shed tear* 

Fame I look not for ; 
But to sustain, in Heaven's all-seeing eye, 
Before my fellow men, in mine own sight, 
With graceful virtue and becoming pride, 
The dignity and honour of a man, 
Thus station 'd as I am, I will do all 
That man may do." 

Miss BAILLIE'S " Constantine Pateologus.' 



THE fires grew pale on Rome's deserted shrines, 

In the dim grot the Pythia's voice had died ; 

Shout for the City of the Constautines, 

The rising city of the billow-side, 

The City of the Cross ! great ocean's bride, 

Crown'd with her birth she sprung ! Long ages 

past, 

And still she look'd in glory o'er the tide, 
Which at her feet bai'baric riches cast, 
Pour'd by the burning East, all joyously and fast. 



Long ages past ! they left her porphyry halls 
Still trod by kingly footsteps. Gems and gold 
Broider'd her mantle, and her castled walls 
Frown'd in then- strength ; yet there were signs 

which told 

The days were full. The pure high faith of old 
Was changed ; and on her silken couch of sleep 
She lay, and murmur'd if a rose-leaf's fold 
Disturb'd her dreams ; and call'd her slaves to 

keep 
Their watch, that no rude sound might reach her 

o'er the deep. 



But there arc sounds that from the regal dwelling 
Free hearts and fearless only may exclude ; 
'Tis not alone the wind at midnight swelling, 
Breaks on the soft repose by luxury woo'd ! 
There are unbidden footsteps, which intrude 
Where the lamps glitter and the wine-cup flows ; 
And darker hues have stain'd the marble, strew'd 
With the fresh myrtle aud the short-lived rose ; 
And Parian walls have rung to the dread march 
of foes. 

i The army of Mohammed the Second, at the siege of 
Constantinople, was thronged with fanatics of all sects and 
nations, who were not enrolled amongst the regular troops. 



A voice of multitudes is on the breeze, 
Remote, yet solemn as the night-storm's roar 
Through Ida's giant-pines ! Across the seas 
A murmur comes, like that the deep winds bore 
From Tempe's haunted river to the shore 
Of the reed-crown'd Eurotas ; when, of old, 
Dark Asia sent her battle-myriads o'er 
Th' indignant wave, which would not be controll'd, 
But past the Persian's chain in boundless freedom 
roll'd. 



And it is thus again ! Swift oars are dashing 
The parted waters, and a light is cast [flashing 
On their white foam-wreaths, from the sudden 
Of Tartar spears, whose ranks are thickening fast. 
There swells a savage trumpet on the blast, 
A music of the deserts, wild and deep, 
Wakening strange echoes, as the shores are pass'd 
Where low midst Dion's dust her conquerors sleep, 
O'ershadowing with high names each rude sepul- 
chral heap. 



War from the West ! the snows on Thracian hills 
Are loosed by Spring's warm breath ; yet o'er the- 

lands 

Which Hsemus girds, the chainless mountain-rills 
Pour down less swiftly than the Moslem bands. 
War from the East ! midst Araby's lone sands, 
More lonely now the few bright founts may be, 
While Ismael's bow is bent in warrior-hands 
Against the Golden City of the sea. l 
Oh ! for a soul to fire thy dust, Thermopylae ! 



Hear yet again, ye mighty ! Where are they 
Who, with their green Olympic garlands crowu'd, 
Leap'd up in proudly beautiful array, 
As to a banquet gathering, at the sound 
Of Persia's clarion 1 Far and joyous round, 
From the pine forests, and the mountain snows, 
And the low sylvan valleys, to the bound 
Of the bright waves, at freedom's voice they rose ! 
Hath it no thrilling tone to break the tomb's 
repose 1 



They slumber with their swords ! the olive shades 
In vain are whispering their immortal tale ! 

The Sultan himself marched upon the city from Adrianople ; 
but his army must have been principally collected in tha 
Asiatic provinces, which he had previously visited. 



222 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



In vain the spirit of the past pervades [vale. 

The soft winds, breathing through each Grecian 
Yet must thou wake, though all unarm'd and pale, 
Devoted City ! Lo ! the Moslem's spear, 
Red from its vintage, at thy gates ; his sail 
Upon thy waves, his trumpet in thine ear ! 
Awake ! and summon those, who yet per- 
chance may hear ! 



Be hush'd, thou faint and feeble voice of weeping ! 
Lift ye the banner of the Cross on high, 
And call on chiefs, whose noble sires are sleeping 
In their proud graves of sainted chivalry, 
Beneath the palms and cedars, where they sigh 
To Syrian gales ! The sons of each brave line 
From their baronial halls shall hear your cry, 
And seize the arms which flash'd round Salem's 
shrine, Palestine ! 

And wield for vou the swords once waved for 



All still, all voiceless ! and the billow's roar 
Alone replies ! Alike their soul is gone 
Who shared the funeral-feast on (Eta's shore, 
And theirs that o'er the field of Ascalon 
Swell'd the crusaders' hymn ! Then gird thou on 
Thine armour, Eastern Queen ! and meet the hour 
\Vhich waits thee ere the day's fierce work is done 
With a strong heart : so may thy helmet tower 
Unshiver'd through the -storm, for generous hope 
is power ! 

XL 

But linger not, array thy men of might ! 
The shores, the seas, are peopled with thy foes. 
Arms through thy cypress groves are gleaming 

bright, 

And the dark huntsmen of the wild, repose 
Beneath the shadowy marble porticoes 
Of thy proud villas. Nearer and more near, 
Around thy walls the sons of battle close ; 
Each hour, each moment, hath its sound of fear, 
Which the deep grave alone is charter'd not to hear ! 



Away ! bring wine, bring odours, to the shade 1 
Where the tall pine and poplar blend on high ! 

1 " Hue vina, et unguenta, et minium breves 

Flores amcen* ferre jube rosae." HORACE. 
- The castle of the Seven Towers is mentioned in the 
Byzantine history, as early as the sixth century of the Chris- 
tian era, as an edifice which contributed materially to the 
defence of Constantinople ; and it was the principal bulwark 



Bring roses, exquisite, but soon to fade ! 
Snatch every brief delight, since we must die ! 
Yet is the hour, degenerate Greeks ! gone by, 
For feast in vine-wreath'd bower or pillar'd hall ; 
Dun gleams the torch beneath yon fiery sky, 
And deep and hollow is the tambour's call, [fall. 
And from the startled hand th' untasted cup will 



The .night the glorious oriental night, 
Hath lost the silence of her purple heaven, 
With its clear stars ! The red artillery's light, 
Athwart her worlds of tranquil splendour driven, 
To the still firmament's expanse hath given 
Its own fierce glare, wherein each cliff and tower 
Starts wildl y forth ; and now the air is riven [lower, 
With thunder-bursts, and now dull smoke-clouds 
Veiling the gentle moon, in her most hallow'd hour. 



Sounds from the waters, sounds upon the earth, 
Sounds in the air, of battle ! Yet with these 
A voice is mingling, whose deep tones give birth 
To faith and courage ! From luxurious ease 
A gallant few have started ! O'er the seas, [sign ; 
From the Seven Towers, 2 their banner waves its 
And Hope is whispering in the joyous breeze, 
Which plays amidst its folds. That voice was thine; 
Tlnj soul was on that band, devoted Constantino. 



Was Rome thy parent ] Didst thou catch from her 
The fire that lives in thine undaunted eye ? 
That city of the throne and sepulchre 
Hath given proud lessons how to reign and die ! 
Heir of the Caesars ! did that lineage high, 
Which, as a triumph to the grave, hath pass'd 
With its long march of spectred imagery, 3 
Th' heroic mantle o'er thy spirit cast 1 
Thou ! of an eagle-race the noblest and the last ! 



Vain dreams ! Upon that spirit hath descended 
Light from the living Fountain, whence each 

thought 

Springs pure and holy ! In that eye is blended 
A spark, with earth's triumphal memories fraught, 
And, far within, a deeper meaning, caught 

of the town on the coast of the Propontis, in the later periods 
of the empire. Fora description of this building, see POUQ.UE- 
VILLE'S Travels. 

3 An allusion to the Roman custom of carrying in pro- 
cession, at the funerals of their great men, the images of their 
ancestors. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



223 



From worlds unseen. A hope, a lofty trust, 
Whose resting-place on buoyant wing is sought 
(Though through its veil seen darkly from the 
dust) [the just. 

In realms where Time no more hath power upon 



Those were proud days, when on the battle-plain, 
And in the sun's bright face, and midst th' array 
Of awe-struck hosts, and circled by the slain, 
The Roman cast his guttering mail away, 1 
And while a silence, as of midnight, lay 
O'er breathless thousands at his voice who started, 
Call'd on the unseen terrific powers that sway 
The heights, the depths, the shades ; then, fear- 
less-hearted, 

Girt on his robe of death, and for the grave de- 
parted ! 



But then, around him as the javelins rush'd, 
From earth to heaven swell'd up the loud acclaim ; 
And, ere his heart's last free libation gush'd, 
With a bright smile, the warrior caught his name 
Far-floating on the winds ! And Victory came, 
And made the hour of that immortal deed x 
A life, in fiery feeling ! Valour's aim 
Had sought no loftier guerdon. Thus to bleed 
Was to be Rome's high star ! He died and had 
his meed. 



But praise and dearer, holier praise be theirs, 

Who, iu the stillness and the solitude 

Of hearts press'd earthwards by a weight of cares, 

Uncheer'd by Fame's proud hope, th' ethereal food 

Of restless energies, and only view'd 

By Him whose eye, from his eternal throne, 

Is on the soul's dark places ;. have subdued 

And vow'd themselves with strength till then 

unknown, 
To some high martyr-task, in secret and alone. 

1 The following was the ceremony of consecration with 
which Decius devoted himself in battle : He was ordered by 
Valerius, the Pontifex Maximus, to quit his military habit, 
and put on the robe he wore hi the senate. Valerius then 
covered his head with a veil, commanded him to put forth 
his hand under his robe to his chin, and, standing with both 
feet upon a javelin, to repeat these words: " O Janus, 
Jupiter, liars, Romulus, Bellona ! and ye, Lares and 
Novensiles ! All you heroes who dwell in heaven ! and all 
ye gods who rule over us and our enemies especially ye gods 
of hell ! I honour you, invoke you, and humbly entreat you 
to prosper the arms of the Romans, and to transfer all fear 
and terror from them to their enemies ; and I do, for the 



Theirs be the bright and sacred names, enshrined 
Far in the bosom ! for their deeds belong, 
Not to the gorgeous faith which charm'd mankind 
With its rich pomp of festival and song, 
Garland, and shrine, and incense-bearing throng ; 
But to that Spirit, hallowing, as it tries 
Man's hidden soul in whispers, yet more strong 
Than storm or earthquake's voice ; for thence arise 
All that mysterious world's unseen sublimities. 

XXI. 

Well might thy name, brave Constantino ! awake 
Such thought, such feeling ! But the scene again 
Bursts on my vision, as the day-beams break 
Through the red sulphurous mists : the camp, the 

plain, 

The terraced palaces, the dome-capt fane, 
With its bright cross fix'd high in crowning grace ; 
Spears on the ramparts, galleys on the main, 
And, circling all with arms, that turban'd race 
The sun, the desert, stamp'd in each dark haughty 

face. 



Shout, ye seven hills ! Lo ! Christian pennons 

streaming 

Red o'er the waters ! 2 Hail, deliverers, hail ! 
Along your billowy wake the radiance gleaming, 
Is Hope's own smile ! They crowd the swellingsail, 
On, with the foam, the sunbeam and the gale, 
Borne, as a victor's car ! The batteries pour 
Their clouds and thunders ; but the rolling veil 
Of smoke floats up the exulting winds before ! 
And oh ! the glorious burst of that bright sea 

and shore ! 



The rocks, waves, ramparts, Europe's, Asia's coast, 
All throng'd ! one theatre for kingly war ! 
A monarch, girt with his barbaric host, 
Pouits o'er the beach his flashing scimitar ! 



safety of the Roman people, and their legions, devote myself, 
and with myself the army and auxiliaries of the enemy, to 
the infernal gods, and the goddess of the earth." Decius 
then, girding his robe around them, mounted his horse, and 
rode full speed into the thickest of the enemy's battalions. 
The Latins were, for a while, thunderstruck at this spectacle ; 
but at length recovering themselves, they discharged a shower 
of darts, under which the Consul fell. 

2 See Gibbon's animated description of the arrival of five 
Christian ships, with men and provisions, for the succour 
of the besieged, not many days before the fall of Con- 
stantinople. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 
xii. p. 215. 






TALES AX/) HISTORIC .sr/iAY:.v. 



Dark tribes arc tossing javelins from afar, 
Hands waving banners o'er each battlement, 
Decks, with their serried guns, army'd to bar 
The promised aid : but hark ! a shout is sent 
Up from the noble barks ! the Moslem line is 
rent ! 



On, on through rushing Hume and arrowy shower, 
The welcome prows have cleft their rapid way; 
And, with the shadows of the vesper hour, 
Furl'd their white sails, and anchor'd in the bay. 
Then were the streets with song and toreh-fire gay, 
Then the I ! reek wines tlow'd mantling in the light 
Of festal halls; and there w;us joy ! the ray 
l >f dying eyes, a moment wildly bright 
The sunset of the soul, ere lost to mortal sight. 



For vain that feeble succour ! Day by day 
Th' imperial towers ore crumbling, and the .sweep 
Of the vast engines, in their ceaseless play, 
Comes powerful, as when heaven unbinds the deep ! 
Man's heart is mightier than the castled steep, 
Yet will it sink when earthly hope is fled ; 
Man's thoughts work darkly in such hours, and sleep 
Flies far ; and in their mien, the walls who tread, 
Things by the brave untold nitty fearfully be read! 

xxvr. 

It was a sad and solemn task, to hold 
Their midnight-watch on that beleaguer'd wall ! 
As the sea-wave beneath the bastions roll'd, 
A sound of fate was in its rise and fall ; 
The heavy clouds were as an empire's pall, 
The giant shadows of each tower and fane 
Lay like the grave's ; a low mysterious call 
Breathed in the wind, and, from the tented plain, 
A voice of omens rose with each wild martial strain. 

XXVII. 

For they might catch the Arab chargers neighing, 
The Thracian drum, the Tartar's drowsy song ; 
Might almost hear the soldan's banner swaying, 
The watchword mutter'd in some eastern tongue. 
Then flash'd the gun's terrific light along 
The marble streets, all stillness not repose ; 
And boding thoughts came o'er them, dark and 
strong ; 

1 " The summits of the lofty rocks in the Carnatic, par- 
ticularly nbout the Ghauts, are sometimes covered with the 
bamboo tree, which grows in thick clumps, and is of such 
uncommon aridity that, in the sultry season of the year, the 
friction occasioned by a strong dry wind will literally produce 



For heaven, earth, air, speak auguries to those 
Who see their uumber'd hours fast pressing to the 
close. 

XXVIII. 

But strength is from the Mightiest ! There is one 

Still in the breach and on the rampart seen, 

Whose check shows paler with each morning sun, 

And tells in silence how the night hath been 

In kingly halls a vigil : yet serene 

The ray set deep within his thoughtful eye ; 

And there is that in his collected mien, 

To which the hearts of noble men reply 

With iires, partaking not this frame's mortality ! 

XXIX. 

Yes ! call it not of lofty minds the fate 
To pass o'er earth in brightness but alone ; 
High power was made their birthright, to create 
A thousand thoughts responsive to their own ! 
A thousand echoes of their spirit's tone 
Start into life, where'er their path may be, 
Still following fast; as when the wind hath blown 
O'er Indian groves, 1 a wanderer wild and free, 
Kindling and bearing flames afar from tree to tree! 



And it is thus with thee ! thy lot is cast 

On evil days, thou C;esar ! yet the few, 

That set their generous bosom to the blast 

Which rocks thy throne the fearless and the true, 

Hear hearts wherein thy glance can still renew 

The free devotion of the years gone by, 

When from bright dreams th' ascendant Romau 

drew 

Enduring strength ! States vanish ages fly 
But leave one task unchanged to suffer and to die ! 



These are our nature's heritage. But thou, 
The crowii'd with empire ! thou wert call'd to share 
A cup more bitter. On thy fever 'd brow 
The semblance of that buoyant hope to wear, 
Which long had pass'd away; alone to bear 
The rush and pressure of dark thoughts, that canio 
As a strong billow in their weight of care, 
And with all this to smile ! For earth-born frame 
These are stern conflicts, yet they pass, unknown 
to fame ! 

sparks of fire, which, frequently setting the woods in a blaze, 
exhibit to the spectator stationed in a valley surrounded by 

uLznitk-ont .though imperfect circle of fire." Xv 
to KINDKHSLKY'S tynriimvw <)/" Hindoo Literature. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



225 



XXXII. 

Her glance is on the triumph, on the field, 
On the red scaffold ; and where'er, in sight 
Of human eyes, the human soul is steel'd 
To deeds that seem as of immortal might, 
Yet are proud Nature's ! But her meteor-light 
Can pierce no depths, no clouds ; it falls not where 
In silence, and in secret, and in night, 
The noble heart doth wrestle with despair, 
And rise more strong than death from its unwit- 
ncss'd prayer. 

XXXIII. 

Men have been firm in battle ; they have stood 
With a prevailing hope on ravaged plains, 
And won the birthright of their hearths with blood, 
And died rejoicing, midst their ancient fanes, 
That so their children, undefiled with chains, 
Might worship there in peace. But they that stand 
"When not a beacon o'er the wave remains, 
Link'd but to perish with a ruin'd land, 
Where Freedom dies with them call these a 
martyr-band ! 

xxxiv. 

But the world heeds them not. Or if, perchance, 
Upon their strife it bend a careless eye, 
It is but as the Roman's stoic glance 
Fell on that stage, where man's last agony 
Was made his sport, who, knowing one must die, 
Reck'd not which champion ; but prepared the strain, 
And bound the bloody wreath of victory, 
To greet the conqueror ; while, with calm disdain, 
The vanquish'd proudly met the doom he met in 



xxxv. 

The hour of Fate comes on ! and it is fraught 
With this of Liberty, that now the need 
Is past to veil the brow of anxious thought, [bleed, 
And clothe the heart, which still beneath must 
With Hope's fair-seeming drapery. We are freed 
From tasks like these by misery : one alone 
Is left the brave, and rest shall be thy meed, 
Prince, watcher, wearied one ! when thou hast 
shown [and throne. 

How brief the cloudy space which parts the grave 

XXXVI. 

The signs are full. They are not in the sky, 
Nor in the many voices of the air, 

1 Those who steer their westward course through the middle 
of the Propontis may at once descry the high lands of Thrace 
and Bithynia, and never lose sight of the lofty summit of 



Nor the swift clouds. No fiery hosts on high 
Toss their wild spears : no meteor banners glare, 
No comet fiercely shakes its blazing hair ; 
And yet the signs are full : too truly seen 
In the thinn'd ramparts, in the pale despair 
Which lends one language to a people's mien, 
And La the ruin'd heaps where wall and towers 
have been ! 

XXXVII. 

It is a night of beauty : such a night 
As, from the sparry grot or laurel-shade, 
Or wave in marbled cavern rippling bright, 
Might woo the nymphs of Grecian fount and glade 
To sport beneath its moonbeams, which pervade 
Their forest haunts ; a night to rove alone 
Where the young leaves by vernal winds aresway'd, 
And the reeds whisper with a dreamy tone 
Of melody that seems to breathe from worlds 
unknown ; 

xxxvm. 

A night to call from green Elysium's bowers 
The shades of elder bards ; a night to hold 
Unseen communion with th' inspiring powers 
That made deep groves their dwelling-place of old; 
A night for mourners, o'er the hallow'd mould, 
To strew sweet flowers for revellers to fill 
And wreathe the cup for sorrows to be told 
Which love hath cherish'd long. Vain thoughts i 

be still ! 
It is a night of fate, stamp'd with Almighty Will ! 

TTTTT. 

It should come sweeping in the storm, and rending 
The ancient summits in its dread career ! 
And with vast billows wrathfully contending, 
And with dark clouds o'ershadowing every sphere ! 
But He, whose footstep shakes the earth with fear, 
Passing to lay the sovereign cities low, 
Alike in His omnipotence is near, 
When the soft winds o'er spring's green pathway 

blow, 
And when His thunders cleave the monarch 

mountain's brow. 



The heavens in still magnificence look down 
On the hush'd Bosphorus, whose ocean stream 
Sleeps with its paler stars : the snowy crown 
Of far Olympus, 1 in the moonlight gleam, 

Mount Olympus, covered with eternal snows. Decline and 
Fall, &c. vol. ill p. 8. 



226 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



Towers radiantly, as when the Pagan's dream 
Throng'd it with gods, and bent th' adoring knee; 
But that is past and now the One Supreme 
Fills not alone those haunts, but earth, air, sea, 
And Time, which presses on to finish his decree. 



Olympus, Ida, Delphi ! ye, the thrones 
And temples of a visionary might, 
Brooding in clouds above your forest zones, 
And mantling thence the realms beneath with 

night: 

Ye have look'd down on battles Fear and Flight, 
And arm'd Revenge, all hurrying past below ! 
But there is yet a more appalling sight 
For earth prepared than e'er, with tranquil brow, 
Ye gazed on from your world of solitude and snow ! 



Last night a sound was in the Moslem camp, 
And Asia's hills re-echo'd to a cry [tramp 

Of savage mirth ! Wild horn and war-steeds' 
Blent with the shout of barbarous revelry, 
The clash of desert-spears ! Last night the sky 
A hue of menace and of wrath put on, 
Caught from red watch-fires, blazing far and high, 
And countless as the flames in ages gone> 
Streaming to heaven's bright queen from shadowy 
Lebanon ! 



But all is stillness now. May this be sleep 
"Which wraps those Eastern thousands ] Yes ! 

perchance 

Along yon moonlit shore and dark-blue deep, 
Bright are their visions with the Houri's glance, 
And they behold the sparkling fountains dance 
Beneath the bowers of paradise that shed 
Rich odours o'er the faithful ; but the lance, 
The bow, the spear, now round the slumberers 

spread, [dead. 

Ere Fate fulfil such dreams, must rest beside the 



May this be sleep, this hush ? A sleepless eye 
Doth hold its vigil midst that dusky race ! 
One that would scan th' abyss of destiny 
E'en now is gazing on the skies to trace, 
In those bright worlds, the burning isles of space, 
Fate's mystic pathway : they the while, serene, 
Walk in their beauty ; but Mohammed's face 

1 Mohammed II. was greatly addicted to the study of 
astrology. His calculations in this science led him to fix 



Kindles beneath their aspect, 1 and his mien, 
All fired with stormy joy, by that soft light ia 
seen. 



Oh ! wild presumption of a conqueror's dream, 
To gaze on those pure altar-fires, enshrined 
In depths of blue infinitude, and deem 
They shine to guide the spoiler of mankind 
O'er fields of blood ! But with the restless mind 
It hath been ever thus ! and they that weep 
For worlds to conquer, o'er the bounds assign'd 
To human search, in daring pride would sweep, 
As o'er the trampled dust wherein they soon must 
sleep. 

XLTI. 

But ye ! that beam'd on Fate's tremendous night, 
When the storm burst o'er golden Babylon ; 
And ye, that sparkled with your wonted light 
O'er burning Salem, by the Roman won ; 
And ye, that calmly view'd the slaughter done 
In Rome's own streets, when Alaric's trumpet-blast 
Rang through the Capitol : bright spheres ! roll 

on ! 

Still bright, though empires fall ; and bid man cast 
His humbled eyes to earth, and commune with 

the past. 

XLVH. 

For it hath mighty lessons ! from the tomb, 
And from the ruins of the tomb, and where, 
Midst the wreck'd cities in the desert's gloom, 
All tameless creatures make then: savage lair, 
Thence comes its voice, that shakes the midnight 

air, 

And calls up clouds to rlim the laughing day, 
And thrills the soul ; yet bids us not despair, 
But make one Rock our shelter and our stay, 
Beneath whose shade all else is passing to decay ! 



The hours move on. I see a wavering gleam 
O'er the hush'd waters tremulously fall, 
Pour'd from the Caesars' palace ; now the beam 
Of many lamps is brightening in the hall, 
And from its long arcades and pillars tall 
Soft graceful shadows undulating lie 
On the wave's heaving bosom, and recall 
A thought of Venice, with her moonlight sky, 
And festal seas and domes, and fairy pageantry. 



upon the morning of the 29th of May, as the fortunate hour 
for a general attack upon the city. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE, 



227 



But from that dwelling floats no mirthful sound ! 
The swell of flute and Grecian lyre no more, 
Wafting an atmosphere of music round, 
Tells the hush'd seaman, gliding past the shore, 
How monarchs revel there ! Its feasts are o'er 
Why gleam the lights along its colonnade 1 
I see a train of guests in silence pour 
Through its long avenues of terraced shade, 
Whose stately founts and bowers for joy alone 
were made ! 



In silence, and in arms ! With helm with 

sword 

These are no marriage garments ! Yet e'en now 
Thy nuptial feast should grace the regal board, 
Thy Georgian bride should wreathe her lovely brow 
With an imperial diadem I 1 but thou, 
fated prince ! art calTd, and these with thee, 
To darker scenes ; and thou hast learn'd to bow 
Thine Eastern sceptre to the dread decree, 
And count it joy enough to perish being free ! 



On through long vestibules, with solemn tread, 
As men, that in some time of fear and woe, 
Bear darkly to their rest the noble dead, 
O'er whom by day their sorrows may not flow, 
The warriors pass : their measured steps are slow, 
And hollow echoes fill the marble halls, 
Whose long-drawn vistas open as they go 
In desolate pomp ; and from the pictured walls, 
Sad seems the light itself which on their armour 
falls! 



And they have reach'd a gorgeous chamber, bright 

With all we dream of splendour ; yet a gloom 

Seems gather'd o'er it to the boding sight, 

A shadow that anticipates the tomb ! 

Still from its fretted roof the lamps illume 

A purple canopy, a golden throne ; 

But it is empty ! hath the stroke of doom 

Fallen there already 1 Where is He, the One, 

Born that high seat to fill, supremely and alone 1 



Oh ! there are times whose pleasure doth efface 
Earth's vain distinctions ! When the storm beats 
loud, 

1 Constantino Palaeologus was betrothed to a Georgian 
princess, and the very spring which witnessed the fall of 



When the strong towers are tottering to their base, 
And the streets rock, who mingle in the crowd 1 
Peasant and chief, the lowly and the proud, 
Are in that throng ! Yes, life hath many an hour 
Which makes us kindred, by one chast'ning bow'd, 
And feeling but, as from the storm we cower, 
What shrinking weakness feels before unbounded 
power ! 



Yet then that Power, whose dwelling is on high, 
Its loftiest marvels doth reveal, and speak, 
In the deep human heart more gloriously, 
Than in the bursting thunder ! Thence the weak, 
They that seem'd form'd, as flower-stems, but to 

break [name 

With the first wind, have risen to deeds whose 
Still calls up thoughts that mantle to the cheek, 
And thrill the pulse ! Ay, strength no pangs could 

tame [and flame ! 

Hath look'd from woman's eye upon the sword 



And this is of such hours ! That throne is void, 
And its lord comes uncrown'd. Behold him stand, 
With a calm brow, where woes have not destroy'd 
The Greek's heroic beauty, midst his band, 
The gather'd virtue of a sinking land 
Alas ! how scanty ! Now is cast aside 
All form of princely state ; each noble hand 
Is press'd by turns in his : for earthly pride 
There is no room in hearts where earthly hope 
hath died ! 



A moment's hush and then he speaks he speaks ! 
But not of hope ! that dream hath long gone by: 
His words are full of memory as he seeks, 
By the strong names of Rome and Liberty, 
Which yet are living powers that fire the eye, 
And rouse the heart of manhood ; and by all 
The sad yet grand remembrances, that lie 
Deep with earth's buried heroes ; to recall 
The soul of other years, if but to grace their fall ! 



His words are full of faith ! and thoughts, more 

high 

Than Rome e'er knew, now fill his glance with light; 
Thoughts which give nobler lessons how to die, 
Than e'er were drawn from Nature's haughty might ! 

Constantinople had been fixed upon as the time for convey- 
ing the imperial bride to that city. 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



And to that eye, with all the spirit bright, 
Have theirs replied in tears, which may not shame 
The bravest in such moments ! 'Tis a sight 
To make all earthly splendours cold and tame, 
That generous burst of soul, with its electric 
flame ! 



They weep those champions of the Cross they 

weep, 

Yet vow themselves to death ! Ay, midst that train, 
Are martyrs, privileged in tears to steep 
Their lofty sacrifice ! The pang is vain, 
And yet its gush of sorrow shall not stain 
A warrior's sword. Those men are strangers 

here : l 

The homes they never may behold again, 
Lie far away, with all things blest and dear, 
On laughing shores, to which their barks no more 

shall steer ! 



Know'st thou the land where bloom the orange 

bowers] 2 
Where, through dark foliage, gleam the citron's 

dyes? 

It is their own. They see their fathers' towers 
Midst its Hesperian groves in sunlight rise : 
They meet, in soul, the bright Italian eyes 
Which long and vainly shall explore the main 
For then* white sails' return : the melodies 
Of that sweet land are floating o'er their brain 
Oh ! what a crowded world one moment may 

contain ! 



Such moments come to thousands ! few may die 
Amidst their native shades. The j oung, the brave, 
The beautiful, whose gladdening voice and eye 
Made summer in a parent's heart, and gave 
Light to their peopled homes; o'er land and wave 
Are scatter'd fast and far, as rose-leaves fall 
From the deserted stem. They find a grave 
Far from the shadow of th' ancestral hall, 
A lonely bed is theirs, whose smiles were hope to all ! 

LXI. 

But life flows on, and bears us with its tide, 
IS'or may we, lingering, by the slumberers dwell, 

1 Many of the adherents of Constantine, in his last noble 
stand for the liberties, or rather the honour, of a falling 
empire, were foreigners, and chiefly Italians. 

- This and the next line are an almost literal translation 
from a beautiful song of Goethe's : 



Though they were those once blooming at our side 
In youth's gay home ! Away ! what sound's deep 

swell 

Comes on the wind? It is an empire's knell, 
Slow, sad, majestic, pealing through the night ! 
For the last time speaks forth the solemn bell 
Which calls the Christians to their holiest rite, 
With a funereal voice of solitary might. 



Again, and yet again ! A startling power 
In sounds like these lives ever; for they bear, 
Full on remembrance, each eventful hour 
Checkering life's crowded path. They fill the air 
When conquerors pass, and fearful cities wear 
A mien like joy's; and when your brides are led 
From their paternal homes ; and when the glare 
Of burning streets on midnight's cloud waves red, 
And when the silent house receives its guest 
the dead. 3 



But to those tones what thrilling soul was given 
On that last night of empire ! As a spell 
Whereby the life-blood to its source is driven, 
On the chill'd heart of multitudes they fell. 
Each cadence seem'd a prophecy, to tell 
Of sceptres passing from their line away, 
An angel-watcher's long and sad farewell, 
The requiem of a faith's departing sway, 
A throne's, a nation's dirge, a wail for earth's decay. 



Again, and yet again ! from yon high dome, 
Still the slow peal comes awfully; and they 
Who never more, to rest in mortal home, 
Shall throw the breastplate off at fall of day, 
Th' imperial band, in close and arm'd array, 
As men that from the sword must part no more, 
Take through the midnight streets their silent way, 
Within their ancient temple to adore, 
Ere yet its thousand years of Christian pomp are 
o'er. 

LXV. 

It is the hour of sleep : yet few the eyes 

O'er which forgetfulness her balm hath shed 

In the beleaguer'd city. Stillness lies, 

With moonlight, o'er the hills and waters spread. 

" Kennst da das land, wo die zitrcnen bluhn 
Mit dunkeln laub die gold orangen gluhn ? " etc. 

' The idea expressed in this stanza is beautifully amplified 
in Schiller's poem, " Das Lied der Glocke." 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



229 



But not the less, with signs and sounds of dread, 
The time speeds on. Xo voice is raised to greet 
The last brave Constantine ; and yet the tread 
Of many steps is in the echoing street, 
And pressure of pale crowds, scarce conscious why 
they meet. 



Their homes are luxury's yet ; why pour they thence 
With a dim terror in each restless eye ] 
Hath the dread car which bears the pestilence, 
In darkness, with its heavy wheels roll'd by, 
And rock'd their palaces, as if on high [board 
The whirlwind pass'd 1 From couch and joyous 
Hath the fierce phantom beckon'd them to die ! 1 
Xo ! what are these ] for them a cup is 
pour'd [and the sword. 

More dark with wrath, man comes the spoiler 

LXVII. 

Still, as the monarch and his chieftains pass 
Through those pale throngs, the streaming torch- 
light throws 

On some wild form, amidst the living mass, 
Hues, deeply red like lava's, which disclose 
What countless shapes are worn by mortal woes ! 
Lips bloodless, quivering limbs, hands clasp'd in 
prayer, [shows 

Starts, tremblings, hurryings, tears ; all outward 
Betokening inward agonies, were there : [despair ! 
Greeks ! Romans ! all but such as image brave 

LXVIII. 

But high above that scene, in bright repose, 
And beauty borrowing from the torches' gleams 
A mien of life, yet where no life-blood flows, 
But all instinct with loftier being seems, 
Pale, grand, colossal : lo ! th' embodied dreams 
Of yore ! Gods, heroes, bards, in marble wrought, 
Look down, as powers, upon the wild extremes 
Of mortal passion ! Yet 'twas man that caught, 
And in each glorious form enshrined immortal 
thought ! 



Stood ye not thus amidst the streets of Rome 1 
That Rome which witness' d, in her sceptred days, 
So much of noble death] When shrine and dome, 
Midst clouds of incense, rang with choral lays, 



heard in the streets at midnight ; and also by the appearance 
of a gigantic spectre, who summons the devoted person by 
name. 




As the long triumph pass'd, with all its blaze 
Of regal spoil, were ye not proudly bcrne, 
sovereign forms ! concentring all the rays 
Of the soul's lightnings 1 did ye not adorn 
The pomp which earth stood still to gaze on, and 
to mourn ] 



Hath it been thus ? Or did ye grace the halls, 
Once peopled by the mighty ? Haply there, 
In your still grandeur, from the pillar'd walls 
Serene ye smiled on banquets of despair, 2 
Where hopeless courage wrought itself to dare 
The stroke of its deliverance, midst the glow 
Of living wreaths, the sighs of perfumed air, 
The sound of lyres, the flower-crown'd goblet's 
flow. [ings now ! 

Behold again ! high hearts make nobler ofier- 



The stately fane is reach'd and at its gate 
The warriors pause. On life's tumultuous tide 
A stillness falls, while he whom regal state 
Hath mark'd from all, to be more sternly tried 
By suffering, speaks : each ruder voice hath died, 
While his implores forgiveness ! " If there be 
One midst your throngs, my people ! whom, in 

pride 

Or passion, I have wrong'd ; such pardon free 
As mortals hope from heaven, accord that man to 

me !" 

LXXII. 

But all is silence ; and a gush of tears 
Alone replies ! He hath not been of those 
Who, fear'd by many, pine in secret fears 
Of all ; th' environ'd but by slaves and foes, 
To whom day brings not safety, night repose, 
For they have heard the voice cry, " Sleep no more/" 
Of them he hath not been, nor such as close 
Their hearts to misery, till the time is o'er, 
When it speaks low and kneels th' oppressor's 
throne before ! 

Lxxin. 

He hath been loved. But who may trust the love 
Of a degenerate race 1 in other mould 
Are cast the free and lofty hearts that prove 
Their faith through fiery trials. Yet behold, 

2 Many instances of such banquets, given and shared by 
persons resolved upon death, might be adduced from ancient 
history. That of Vibius Virius, at Capua, is amongst the 
most memorable. 



230 



TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES. 



And call him not forsaken ! thoughts untold 
Have lent his aspect calmness, and his tread 
Moves firmly to the shrine. What pomps unfold 
Within its precincts ! Isles and seas have shed 
Their gorgeous treasures there, around th" im- 
perial dead. 



'Tis a proud vision that most regal pile 
Of ancient days ! The lamps are streaming bright 
From its rich altar, down each pillar'd aisle, 
Whose vista fades in dimness ; but the sight 
Is lost in splendours, as the wavering light 
Develops on those walls the thousand dyes 
Of the vein'd marbles, which array their height, 
And from yon dome, the lode-star of all eyes, 1 
Pour such an iris-glow as emulates the skies. 

LXXV. 
But gaze thou not on these ; though heaven's own 

hues 

In their soft clouds and radiant tracery vie 
Though tints, of