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And chequered as the heavy branches sway
For some misdeed.”. We may select the following, too, from a little fragment called 6 Portraits."
“Behind her followed an Athenian dame,
Then came a dark-brow'd spirit, on whose head
At last, came one whom none could e'er mistake
In dark requital for its banquet-death." The last poem, called “ Diego de Montilla," is, like Gyges, all imitation of Don Juan, and is liable to the same remarks. It is the longest piece, we think, in the collection; extending to some eighty or ninety stanzas; and though it makes no great figure in the way of sarcasm, or lofty and energetic sentiment, it comes nearer, perhaps, than its immediate prototype, to the weaker and more innocent pleasantry of the Italian ottava rima-and may fairly match with either, as to the better qualities of elegance, delicacy, and tenderness. There is, as usual, not much
of a story. Don Diego falls in love with a scornful lady, and pines on her re
jection of him; on which her younger sister falls secretly in love with him and when he sets out on his travels to forget his passion, droops and fades in his absence, and at last dies of a soft and melancholy decline. Diego returns to mourn over her : and, touched to the heart by her pure and devoted love, sequesters himself in his paternal castle, and lives a few calm and pensive years in retirement, when he dies before middle age, for the sake of his faithful victim. There is no profligacy and no horror in all this; no mockery of virtue and honour, and no strong mixtures of buffoonery and grandeur. Most certainly there is not any thing like the power, used or misused, that we have felt in other poems in the same measure; but there is nevertheless a great deal of beauty, and a great deal of poetry and pathos.
("O, melancholy Love: amidst thy fears,
Thy darkness, thy despair, there runs a vein
The pride of sorrow that will not complain-
The lov'd one will discover-and in vain,
Lock'd in her heart of hearts, from every gaze
In grief that never while it flows allays
And robs her bright eyes of their natural rays.
Done to the archer blind that he should dart
In bitter anguish, ay, endure the smart
While the dark arrow canker'd at thy heart?
When rich clouds in the golden sunset lay. 141
That come like music at the close of day
As 'twere from very sweetness. She was gay,
A clear transparent colour sate awhile:
And round her mouth there played a gentle smile,
It could not, tho'it strove, at last beguile;
Branching about in all its windings plain.
The girl was dying. Youth and beauty-all
Men love or women boast of was decaying,
Before the touch of death, who seem'd delaying,
The maiden to his home. At last, arraying
And, smiling as though her lover whispered, died." Diego comes just after her death.
“ He saw her where she lay in silent state,
Cold and as wbite as marble; and her eye,
Was-after the fashion of mortality,
None could withstand, were gone ; and there did lie
And gazed awhile upon her : then he bent
Her wait awhile for him, for that he meant
And 'gainst the margin of the coffin leant,
And spoke in soothing sorrow of the dead,
And mourn'd that one so gracious should have fled
Poor girl, (and often to that talk she led,)
The feeble scrawl into his hand, and told
And love had come too late, she grew more bold,
(I think the phrase was when her hand was cold,')
And through, and wept and pondered on each page.
And touch'd like sorrow at its second stage,
And scarcely quitted his ancestral home,
of birth and beauty."
Knew well its benefactor, and he'd feed
And, like the Thracian Shepherd, as we read,
Behind him winged things, and many a tread
None were admitted would he muse, when first
Had in his early infancy been nurs'd,
Or lov'd to see the great Apollo burst
Cradled within a forest's bosom, he
And, when the inland breeze was fresh and free,
Tossing upon the waters listlessly.
Pass'd there in quiet beauty, and at night
And shook o'er all the leaves her kisses bright,
And there the west wind often took his flight
Sheds calm refreshing light, and eyes that burn
Unto his softer page with pleasure turn:
Or the soft welling of a Naiad's urn.
Scarcely the shadow of bis name: the sun,
Fall now alike upon him : he hath done
And in his place another spirit may run
Through every maze of dim mortality."} We have quoted more of this than we intended, and must now turn us to our sterner work again. We hope, however, that this is not to be our last meeting with Mr. Cornwall. We are glad to see a new edition of his Dramatic Scenes advertised. We ought to bave noticed that pleasing little volume before, and should have made a few extracts from it here, if we had not mislaid our copy. As it is, we can safely recommend it to all who are pleased with what has now been extracted, [Mr. Comwall
, in a dedicatory sonnet to a lady, young and beautiful, alaost insinuates that these lays may be bis last. He has done nothing—and he
has done mucii,-nothing that he may not easily excel, much that not many will easily equal. We must not, therefore, hear him speaking seriously of giving over before be bas fairly begun-every body seems to think kindly and hopefully of him-he has smoothed the raven face of periodical criticism till it has smiled he has done more than that, he has acquired the friendship of all true lovers of poetry. We must not be unreasonable-let him write when, what, and how he chooses—but he must remember, that as the gift of inspiration has been won, so can it be retained and strengthened only by constant, devout, and severe worship.]
Blackwood's Ed. Mag. March.
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