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Until, for very sympathy
With the unfathomed mystery,
I cried, “Here I resign my breath,
Here let me taste the cup of Death!"

Once, twice, thrice,
That goblet wrought to a rare device
She held again to lips of mine,
But mocked them with its frozen wine,
Till they were numb of the dusky ice,

And drink of the waters till they impart
A generous sense, and a human heart.”
And all at once, around me rose
A mingled mutiny of woes,
And my soul discerned these sounds to be
The wail of a wide humanity;
Till my bosom heaved responsive sighs,
And tremulous tears were in my eyes.

Once, twice, thrice,
That goblet wrought to a rare device
She held to fevered lips of mine,
And at their instant touch, the wine
Flowed freely from the dusky ice.

And then a voice within me said,
“Wouldst thou journey to the dead ?--
Shed this mantle, and pass for ever
Into the black, eternal river?-
For very sympathy, depart
From the tumult of this heart?
Knowst thou not that mightier river,
Rolling on in darkness ever,
Ever sweeping, coiling, boiling,
Howling, fretting, wailing, toiling,
Where every wave that breaks on shore
Is a human heart that can bear no more ?"

Once, twice, thrice,
That goblet wrought to a rare device
She held to fevered lips of mine,
But mocked them with the frozen wine,
Till they were numb on the dusky ice.

I drank new life, I could not stop,
But drained it to its latest drop,
Till the Phantom with the goblet rare
Dissolved into the shadowy air-
Dissolved into the outer gloom,
And once more I was in my room;
Yet oft before my waking eyes
The figures of that goblet rise
The angels and the fiends at strife,
And Youth 'twixt warring Death and Life-
The domes--the gnomes--mysterious things!
And Love descending on luminous wings.

Once, twice, thrice,
That goblet wrought to a rare device
Fair Memory holds to lips of mine,
And bathes them with the sacred wine,
The tribute of that dusky ice.

And then in sorrow and shame I cried,
“Oh, take me to that river's side,
And I will shun the languid shore,
And plunge me into the dark uproar,

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She opes the window early,

To give me air and sun, Then sitteth sadly at my side

To toil till day is done;
And when she rests her weary hands,

And drops a tear on me,
My sweetest fragrance I impart

And cheer her gratefully.

You tell of fresh green meadows,

Of upland, hill, and glade, Of the many merry sisters,

And the still and pleasant shade; Of fragrant flowers around you,

Of a laughing, noisy brook, Tripping gaily at your feet all day,

Reflecting every look.
You say we'll have sweet music

With the early morning light, That the nightingale will cheer us,

Through all the summer night; That the humming-bird and bee

Shall do my bidding every day, Bring all the city news to me

From friends so far away.

The children, poor and wretched,

Smile as they gaze on me, And often stop in passing

And praise me timidly; So I cannot leave my noisy home,

Though brighter are your hours; I have the love of many hearts,

You've but the love of flowers.

You say I must be lonely,

That you tremble for my health, That the fresh and fragrant breezes

Are worth the city's wealth;
But could you see the fair young girl

That ministers to me,
You'd say how happy was my lot,

Cherished so tenderly.

My gentle mistress seemeth ill,

I sometimes think she'll die; Then send the robin and the thrush,

To bear me where she'll lie; And come to me, sweet sister,

Where sombre willows wave, And side by side, we'll weep and watch

Over her early grave.





It is a fact that it is with the inferior por- | siping amiability in sharing it, which may be tions of French literature we are most exten- fairly set down to his account. sively acquainted in a popular way. Everybody has read the high-flavoured novels and Who can behold the ripened rose nor seek

To wear it? stories of Sue, Dumas, Dudevant, De Kock, and the rest of that school-very clever and very talented—but dashed and blended with though it may afterwards wither in his hanthe melodramatic and the extravagant to an


In the following we would merely presume unwholesome degree. Suiting the tastes of the many, the publication of their works is a good to indicate some of the more sparkling founspeculation, and hence the facility with which taigs of French literature—directing to them English-speaking people are introduced to the attention of our young and intellectual them. For these reasons of trade, acting in a readers, that they may “better the instruction,” circle, the better literature of our sister repub- and in the way of reading and study, enjoy lic is comparatively unappreciated.

And it what a certain old king—we forget his namemay naturally be a received impression, there offered a reward for,—a new pleasure. fore, that the literature of modern France is

Glancing along the array of French poetry, an affair of sentiment and passion, chiefly, the eye is first attracted by the picturesque champagne and gunpowder-in keeping with muse of Victor Hugo-Baron Victor Hugo. the social and political character the people there have earned, for all sorts of exciting and terrible things. However true this idea may be to the nature of the “ literary lower empire” we have spoken of, it is a mistaken one, as regards modern French literature. In the departments of History, Poetry, Ethics, and Science they exhibit qualities and tendencies as excellent as those of any other literatureancient or modern. Perhaps of these denominations French Poetry is that which is least appreciated by foreigners. The robust and massive elements of prose are more easily transfused than the subtile and unaccommodating spirit of poesy-racy on its own soil, and evaporating, in a more or less degree, in a strange atmosphere. And this is the case when verse is even well translated. An intimacy with a language-not a mere knowledge of it—is necessary to comprehend it; and then there are the equivalent parallel thought, tone and word to be premised. Nevertheless, though these are good reasons why foreign poetry The Gothic ambition of this poet was highly cannot necessarily be so favourably or gene- gratified—crowned, in fact, a couple of years rally appreciated as prose, they are not always conclusive against the wish to appro- bore his blushing honours thick upon him

ago. He was made a Baron by Guizot, and priate what is another's, which would seem to be an instinct, and to animate human nature,

But when he thought, good, easy man, full surely from Queens, Kings, and Presidents, down to

His greatness was a ripeningtranslators and others, whom we scruple to name along with such respectable people. But there came that frost—that chilling frost—the it is difficult for a man to keep the knowledge unmannerly outbreak of 1848, which brought of a good thing to himself; and there's a gos- his nobility to the level of August 4th, 1789,VOL. VI.



“the Saint Bartholemew of the privileged , is at home among the courts, castles, cathedrals, orders," as Burke called it. So, he has been and tournaments—the goblins, wizards, heraldforced (Hugo, not Burke) to put his patent in ries, and pageantries of the mediæval times. It his pocket for awhile-like Mozart, who on his loves the prestige of feudal nobility, and hears way through the piebald principalities of ancestral voices in old historic localities. It Germany used, after his father's prudent strikes us there is more in a name than Shakeadvice, to hang out his Pope's Cross in some speare thinks. A rose called dandelion will places, and put it up in others. However, not smell as sweet as by its own name. We things have already taken a turn in France have a fancy that a name has an influence on in Paris, at least-and Victor Hugo may character. Three names (we might easily get shortly exhibit his patent at his button-hole if more) occur to us in seeming proof of this. We he likes—that is, if he may not actually do so wonder if Scott, Hugo, and Thierry would have as affairs stand in that republic of a year. distinguished themselves, each in his manner Matters there are getting on a reculons, and and matter, if their chivalrous and mediæval some more restorations would seem to be in

names did not prompt their pride and direct the wind. Victor Hugo is prouder of his title, we the current of their studies. Now, there is believe, than of the authorship of Notre Dame. Dickens ;—his name is plebeian. No ancestor of In this he resembles Lord Byron, (who con- his name ever rode on a freebooter's foray from sidered an old English Baron the first of digni- a lordly keep, or kept the lists against a Chasties—even when no longer a schoolboy)—and, telherault, or coming from a monastery, sucmust we add, Sir Walter Scott? Yes; for with ceeded Chilperic; and see the character of the that healthful Cervantic mind of his—so like man's mind : despising the pomp and circumChaucer's in many of its features—Scott would stance of old or modern times, and forming his rather be rated as descendant or kinsman of beautiful creations on little parish paupers, the cattle-stealing chief of Harden, than the Cheerybles and Tom Pinches—as if he had said man who drew Jeannie Deans, and the Jewess, with Tennyson, of whose verse he is an ardent Balfour of Burley, and the Baron of Bradwar- admirer,dine. And we may remark how much Scott resembles Shakespeare, in one particular—if not

Howe'er it be, it seems to me in others. Both were thinking more of build

'Tis only noble to be good;

Kind hearts are more than coronets, ing houses for themselves and their families,

And simple faith than Norman blood. than of that edifice of immortality which the world has inherited in their names. Shake- We will pursue this digression no longer, but speare, in one of his Sonnets written after he there may be something more than fancy in it. had made money as a stage-manager, com- Coming to Victor Hugo :-he is one of the plains of the degradation and loss of respecta- first of French lyric poets, not the first. His bility he endured by writing and acting plays! fame will rest less upon his Nôtre Dame, a How unlike Milton in this respect, who put work truer to its Gothic details and the dishimself under a solemn course of intellectual tinctives of a historic period than to human training, before he strode prepense upon the nature and probability (in this far inferior to epic stage, and challenged a renown that the Sir Walter Scott), less upon his dramas, which world should not willingly let die !


are more remarkable for a certain pomp of who also made his literature a subordinate style and imagery, and an exaggeration of consideration, was rebuked by Voltaire for his character, than for the sweet touches of huaffectation, while it was probably no affecta- manity which make Shakespeare akin to the tion, but a truth of character now countenanced whole world—than upon his lyrics. Though by loftier examples. Perhaps there is some- he does not think so himself, probably; for, thing after all in that preference for high with a wonderful self-delusion, he fancies he station, and that looking back to feudal times could be to Shakespeare what Napoleon was to and pretensions, if philosophy would but hunt Charlemagne. But his lyric poetry gives him it out. It may be these great intellects have celebrity enough. In this he seems to run not exhibited such tendencies for nothing. through all modes of the lyre, and be master

But, as we were saying, Victor Hugo is proud of them. In 1822, being twenty years old, he of his countship ; it suits his name, which has published his Odes and Ballads. In his Odes something Merovingian in it. He as long he showed himself a legitimist—the poet of been at the head of what the French have royalty and the denouncer of Napoleon. That called, by a rather loose kind of nomenclature, did not hinder him, however, from worshipping the romantic school of poetry, contradistin the memory of the buried Emperor afterwards, guished from the classical. His genius, cer- and in a very little time, too! His father was tainly, like that of Scott, exhibits a strong a General of the Empire. But his mother was leaning to the chivalrous period of society, and I a royalist, and her sentiments early impressed

To-day he will return, I trow,

Back by his noble master's side, He is no vulgar lover now; I lift my long-dejected brow;

My love it is my pride.

The Duke returns and brings, elate,

His torn and honoured banner here: Maidens, come stand beneath the gate, To see his Highness pass in state

And my bold cymbalier.

the mind of the young poet, giving one more instance of the truth of Napoleon's saying, that the mother greatly influences the character of the child. The Ballads contain some sweet pieces, breathing the simple spirit of the earlier times of knighthood and the troubadours—such 29 Ecoute-moi Madelaine, and La Fiancée du Timbalier. The last is as follows. There has been a good deal said about translation-from Horace down; we think a man has the best chance of doing his victim justice who gives him as literally as possible. Horace advises a free translation; that is very good when your translator is equal to the original—a Shelley, & Coleridge, or a Hunt. But we have been much struck with a certain opinion of Chaucer's - to wit:

Come, see his charger harnessed gay

For this day's noble pageant, bound Beneath his rider with a neigh, And toss his proud head all the way,

With purple feathers crowned.

Maidens, you dress too slowly, come

To see my soldier-love advance; His cymbals will strike gaily home, And mingled with the rolling drum,

Make every bosom dance.

“Whoso shall tellen a tale after a man,

He muste reherse as nigh as ever he can,
Everich word, if it be in his charge,
All speke he never so rudely and so large;">

Come, see him, too, so proudly wear

The mantle by my fingers drest; My true-love, he will look so fair, And like a chief with lofty air,

Bear his steel cap and crest.

and so in the matters following, we hate observed this fine-hearted old troubadour's advice, as much as possible.

A gipsy woman yesterday

Behind a pillar called me near, And said-may Heaven her weird gainsay!-There should be missed from the array

A certain cymbalier!


Monseigneur, le Duc de Bretagne, etc.

My lord, the Duke of bold Bretagne,

Was to the battle boune afar; From Nantz' good city to Mortagne, He sent by mountain and the plain

His arrière-ban of war!

Truce to sad thoughts!--come, come along!

I hear the war-drum close at hand;
Look at the women in a throng,
And flowers and floating flags among

Purple pavilions grand!

Barons were there whose blazons bold

Deck many a moated castle wall; And famous knights in war grown old, And squires and men-at-arms enrolled

My true-love with them all.

Now two and two the host comes by ;

And first the pikemen, stout and slow; Next, under pennons flaunting high, Barons in cloaks of silken soy

And caps of velvet go.

To Aquitaine he went away,

One of the cymbaliers; but he Looked quite a captain-one would sayWith such an air, in doublet gay,

All golden-seamed to see.

Then priests in chasubles; then prance

The heralds on their steeds of white, While on their tabards they advance Their master's proper cognizance

Emblazoned there aright.

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them one evening while looking at a beautiful But thou wilt go, lone journeying night and day,

With ever watchful glance; thy horse's hoof sunset. But if he was looking at a sunset, he

Striking the sparkles from the rocky way, should have originated Occidentales. Passing

While on thy lance, extended high aloof,
this by, we believe that his youth, spent in The demons of the night will blindly hit
Spain and familiar with the architectural rem- Their ghastly wings and rend them as they flit.
nants, literary notices and traditions of the

If thou return, come o'er yon far dark hill,
Moorish occupation, left on his mind impres- That seems a camel's back, and turn once more
sions which afterwards revealed themselves. To find my faithful hut;-remember still
The Orientales, in fact, only refer to European

Its round roof like a bee-hive, and the door,

Its only door, still opened to the sky, scenes and characters—in Spain and part of

Whence from afar the early swallows fiy. Turkey. When we consider that they were published before he was twenty-five years old, But shouldst thou not--ah! sometimes think upon we must hold a high opinion of Victor Hugo's

Our desert maids, our soft-voiced sisters gay

Who dance on the plateau at set of sun; poetical genius. The sentiment of these lyrics

0, young white man, upon thy rapid way, is generally true to the scene and character of

Fair passage-bird, remember, more than one their subjects, and there is a warm glow of May hold thy memory dear, when thou art gone. mingled romance and orientalism in them, which

Adieu! thy path lies straight; avoid the sun took the public after the manner of Byron's and

That gilds the brown, but burns the white man's Scott's splendid poetic fragments and narra

brow, tives, in English-speaking land. But with a And our wide wastes impassable, and shun

The old and withered beldame, bending low; difference. The latter possess an irregular

And those that with their white mysterious wands power—a fluent energy contrasting with the

In the dim eve make circles on the sands. sentimental polish and point of the French lyrics. It is curious that, under a general Coming back to the Morisco ground of Spain, view, this poetry of the Anglo-Saxon tempera- Victor Hugo finds himself at home in a Gothic ment should exhibit itself in narrative and ballad. movement, while the lively, subtle Gauls should diffuse themselves in the psychological and

A MOORISH ROMANCE. moral affections :-one would have inferred the very contrary. At all events, Victor Hugo has

Don Rodrigue est a la chasse, etc. set forth the sentiment of his Orientales, in a very graceful and attractive manner—"

“painted Rodrigo to the chase is gone,

But sword or corslet bears he none; and chiselled” as he says himself—making

The summer's day to noon has rolled, them very difficult of rendering. There is And now, beneath the greenwood tree, truth and simplicity in the following :

On shady sward reposes he

Reposes Don Rodrigo bold.

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