Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

in the world. It agitates either hemi- and whose performances, neverthe sphere. In the sublime language of less, are monthly, weekly, daily and Milton, it perplexes monarchs with hourly, received with hesitation by fear of change. British statesmen, in the bookseller—and with neglect by a word, whether we look to the east the book-buyer. Can these things be or to the west, to the north or to the new to any lady or gentleman who south, to India or to Persia, to Tur- has cast an observant glance upon the key, to Greece, to Naples, to Spain, course of affairs in the present crisis ? to Portugal, to Wirtemberg, to Mexi- No-they are universally known co, to Brazil, to Poyais, to Russia, to they are palpable—they are acknowFrance, or to ill-fated, unhappy, dis- ledged truths. And what is to be united Ireland, whichever way we the consequence, if whenever Dr Soucast our eyes, I repeat it, we shall they publishes a quarto poem, and find that those persons in whom fate, nobody buys it, he is to apply to his fortune, or merit, have reposed the friend Mr Broughain to petition Parsway of the affairs of this great em- liament for redress? What is Parlia. pire, have, as the saying is, their ment to do? Suppose Parliament buys hands full of business. England lost up one edition and makes a bonfire but the last year one of the first of of it, will not this munificence enher statesmen from excess of busi- courage the poet to put forth another ness. The weight of business must quarto, equally bulky and equally annot be unnecessarily increased the popular, in the Spring of the immepublic burdens, too, must be dimi- diately succeeding year. What ?—Is nished. The tax on the carriage of the House of Commons to buy up stones coastways has been abolished this quarto too ?-Is the British Parthat on barilla has been re-established. liament to buy up the opera omnia of But this is not all. Improvement must Platonist Taylor ?--Are the public renot hesitate nor stumble in her majes- positories of this empire to be cramtic march. The spirit of Hume walks. med with Mr Macvey Napier's disEre long, as Mr Henry Cockburn sertation on the Scope and Tendency lately remarked to Lord Rosslynn, it of Bacon? Are the two Houses to take is to be hoped that this great man will in the supererogatory copies of the even thrust his hand into the pockets Edinburgh Review—and thereby make of the sinecurists of Scotland. And is up to its industrious compilers for that this a time for calling upon the legis- deficit of individual favour which belature of this mighty empire to em- gins to throw a shade of disgrace upbarrass themselves with the capacious- on the whole intellectual character of ness of canvas, the cost of casts, the the incomprehensible age in which we paucity of picture-purchasers, and the have had the misfortune to be born? waste and desert baldness of white- Is the House of Lords to be compelled washed church-walls, destitute of gild to sustain the sinking pinions of a ed frames, and resplendent with no certain member of their own noble rapture-raising representations of Hic eyry? Are they to pass a bill, declaram, Habakkuk, and Holofernes? The ring that “ Christian, or the Island," supposition is monstrous, and will cer- is as good a poem as “ The Bride of tainly receive no sanction either from Abydos,” and inflicting the pains and therepresentatives of the British nation penalties of a high crime and misdein parliament assembled, or from the

meanor upon

all who took in the broDirector General.

chures of John Murray, and yet heApply the principle elsewhere, and sitate to take in the equally wellconsider for a moment what would be printed brochures of John Hunt? No the infallible result. Painters are not --De maximis non curat Prætor. We the only artists whose works fail at are a free people, we received the holy times to invest them with a lordly bequest of liberty from our forefan proportion of the perishable good thers, and we will hand it down unthings of this sublunary and imper- tarnished to our posterity. It is the fect world. There are poets--there sacred privilege of Britons to admire, are prosers too, who, in their own and therefore to purchase, just what opinion, bene meruerunt Reipublicæ, pictures, and what books, they choose. (far be it from us to assert that their That privilege is inborn and inalienopinion is wrong as to this matter,) able, and the minister who dares to trench upon it, owes his head to the of the Scottish Regalia," -- a performblock, and his name to the execration ance which, if Mr Cruikshank is to of the world.

admit any designs but his own, apI propose in my next Lecture to pur- pears almost worthy of being transsue this subject, and to direct the at- ferred to copper for the use of the tention of my hearers, 1st, to the me- “ Points of Humour.” rits of Julio Romano, as a caricatu- Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the rist ;-and, 2dly, to those of Mr Ged- honour to wish you, respectfully, a des, and, in particular, to his truly good evening ! excellent caricature of the “ Discovery

The “ Points of Humour” are to appear in occasional Numbers. No. I. contains about a dozen etchings, and 50 pages of very well written letter-press. The work is published by C. Baldwyn, Newgate Street, London, and the price, per Number, is only 8s., which is dog-cheap, as things go.

[ocr errors]

NEW POETICAL TRANSLATIONS-WIFFEN-ROSE-GOWER.

No branch of literature seems to a long while encountered a volume have been cultivated during the sea- more entitled to the praise of ELEson that has just expired, with more GANCE. First of all, it is, as to exdistinguished success than that of poet- ternals, one of the most chaste and ical translation. So much, indeed, has beautiful specimens of typographical been done in this department, that art and embellishment that ever issued we find it quite inconsistent with our from the English press. And, what limits to draw the attention of our is of greater moment, the jewel is readers into the various meritorious quite worthy of the rich casket in works that have accumulated upon which it is placed. Mr Wiffen's own our table. We cannot, however, per- prose introduction is a model of that mit the month, which may be consi- species of composition, full, clear, yet dered as the last of the book-buying concise, and above all, entirely unafportion of the year, to pass away with- fected. Of the poetical versions themout saying a few words concerning selves, we shall only say, that the Odles each of three publications, which we and Lyrical Pieces are much superior think more especially entitled to the to the Eclogues ; and that they are attention of the lovers of polite litera- so just because Garcilasso's originals ture.

were in these cases more worthy of The first of these is a complete inspiring Mr Wiffen's muse. Our translation of the Poetical Works of translator is a perfect master of the Garcilasso De La Vega, by Mr J. H. language in which Garcilasso wrote; Wiffen. It is strange enough to find and he renders him into English with an English Quaker attempting to trans- the ease, the gracefulness, and the fuse the beauties of one of the most majestic flow, of an English poet. stately and chivalric of Castilian Garcilasso was, as almost all the bards. Mr Wiffen, however, has con- great Spanish geniuses have been, a trived to lay aside his drab suit, and soldier; he was noble, brave, courto wear the lofty plume and embroid- teous, amorous, the mirror of Castia ered mantle of the gallant Spaniard, lian honour and Castilian love; he as naturally as if he had never been died, after a life of enterprize, misforaccustomed to figure among humbler tune, and glory, at the early age of habiliments. We really have not for thirty; he is the Surrey, and more

1. The Works of Garcilaso de la Vega, surnamed the Prince of Castilian Poets, translated into English Verse ; with a Critical and Historical Essay on Spanish Poetry, and a Life of the Author. By J. H. Wiffen. London ; Hurst, Robinson, and Co. 1823.

2. The Orlando Furioso, translated into English Verse, from the Italian of Ludovico Ariosto ; with Notes. By William Stewart Rose. London; Murray. 1823.

3. Faust; a Drama. By Goethe. • And Schiller's Song of the Bell ; translated by Lord Francis Leveson Gower. London ; Murray. 1823.

than the Surrey of Spanish letters. Consults not now, it can but kiss We should willingly allot many pages

The amorous lute's dissolving strings, to him and his worthy translator,

Which murmur forth a thousand things but, for the present, we must confine

Of banishment from bliss. ourselves to a couple of specimens.

6. The following Ode was addressed Through thee, my dearest friend and by Garcilasso to a young Neapolitan

best lady, (called the Flower of GNIDO, Grows harsh, importunate, and grave; from the quarter of the city of Naples Myself have been his port of rest in which she lived,) at the time when

From shipwreck on the yawning wave; a friend of the poet's was enamoured

Yet now so high his passions rave

Above lost reason's conquer'd laws, of her. Nothing, we apprehend, can

That not the traveller ere he slays be more perfectly elegant

The asp, its sting, as he niy face
THE FLOWER OF GNIDO.

So dreads, or so abhors.
1.

7. “ Had I the sweet resounding lyre, “ In shows on rocks, sweet Flower of Whose voice could in a moment chain

Gnide, The howling wind's ungovern'd ire, Thou wert not cradled, wert not born, And movement of the raging main, She who has not a fault beside On savage hills the leopard rein,

Should ne'er be signalized for s corn; The lion's fiery soul entrance,

Else, tremble at the fate forlorn
And lead along, with golden tones, Of Anaxárete, who spurn'd
The fascinated trees and stones,

The weeping Iphis from her gate,
In voluntary dance ;

Who, scoffing long, relenting late,

Was to a statue turn'd. 2. * Think not, think not, fair flower of

8. Gnide,

" Whilst yet soft pity she repellid, It e'er should celebrate the scars,

Whilst yet she steel'd her heart in pride, Dust rais'd, blood shed, or laurels dyed, From her friezed window she beheld, Beneath the gonfalon of Mars,

Aghast, the lifeless suicide ; Or, borne sublime on festal cars,

Around his lily neck was tied The chiefs who to submission sank What freed his spirit from her chains, The rebel German's soul of soul,

And purchased with a few short sighs And forged the chains that now control For her immortal agonies, The frenzy of the Frank.

Imperishable pains. 3.

9. “ No, no ! its harmonies should ring 66 Then first she felt her bosem blesd In vaunt of glories all thine own ;

With love and pity ; vain distress! A discord sometimes from the string Oh what deep rigours must succeed Struck forth to make thy harshness known. This first sole touch of tenderness ! The finger'd chords should speak alone Her eyes grow glazed and motionless, Of beauty's triumphs, Love's alarms, Nail'd on his wavering corse, each bone And one who, made by thy disdain Hard’ning in growth, invades her flesh, Pale as a lily clipt in twain,

Which, late so rosy, warm, and fresh, Bewails thy fatal charms.

Now stagnates into stone. 4.

10. “Of that poor captive, too contemn'd, “ From limb to limb the frosts aspirc, I speak, his doom you might deplore Her vitals curdle with the cold ; In Venus' galliot-still condemn'd The blood forgets its crimson firc, To strain for life the heavy oa .

The veins that e'er its motion roll'd; Through thee no longer, as of yore, Till now the virgin's glorious mould He tames the unmanageable steed, Was wholly into marble changed, With curb of gold his pride restrains,

On which the Salaminians gazed, Or with press d spurs and shaken reins Less at the prodigy amazed Torments him into speed.

Than of the crime avenged. 5.

11. * Not now he wields for thy sweet sake “ Then tempt not thou Fate's angry arms, The sword in his accomplish'd hand, By cruel frown or icy taunt ; Nor grapples, like a poisonous snake, But let thy perfect deeds and charms The wrestler on the yellow sand :

To poets' harps, Divinest, grant The old heroic harp his hand

Themes worthy their immortal vaunt: VOL. XIV.

D

THE PROGRESS OF PASSION FOR HIS

LADY.

Else must our weeping strings presume My life in peril, dreading lest the die To celebrate in strains of woe,

Of that day's battle should be lost, dismay The justice of some signal blow,

Made the hot blood boil in my veins, until That strikes thee to the tomb."

Reclaim'd, it sank into as cold a chill. The next is valuable, not only for

3. the great beauty of its language, (to

“ I stood spectator of their chivalry; which Wiffen does, on the whole, jus

Fighting in my defence, my Reason tired tice) but as presenting one of the most And faint from thousand wounds became, happy specimens of that particular

and I, vein, which was produced by the mix- Unconscious what the insidious thought inture of Italian ornament, with the spired, deep native sentiment of Castilian Was wishing my mail'd Advocate to quit passion.

The hopeless quarrel,-never in my life
Was what I wish'd fulfillid with so much

ease,
For, kneeling down, at once she closed the

strife, 1.

And to the Lady did her sword submit, « Once more from the dark ivies, my

Consenting she should have me tor her proud harp!

slave, I wish the sharpness of my ills to be

As victory urged, to slaughter or to save, Shown in thy sounds, as they have been

Whichever most might please. shown sharp

Then, then indeed, I felt my spirit rise, In their effects ; I must bewail to thee

That such unreasonable conditions c'er The occasions of my grief, the world shall

Had been agreed to; anger, shame, sur. know

prise, Wherefore I perish ; I at least will die At once possess'd me, fruitless as they were; Confess'd, not without shrift:

Then follow'd grief to know the treaty done, For by the tresses I am dragg'd along

And see my kingdom in the hands of one By an antagonist so wild and strong,

Who gives me life and death each day, and That o'er sharp rocks and brambles, stain.

this ing so

Is the most moderate of her tyrannies. The pathway with my blood, it rushes by, Than the swift-footed winds themselves

4. more swift ;

“ Her eyes, whose lustre could irradiate And, to torment me for a longer space,

well It sometimes paces geritly over flowers, The raven night, and dim the mid-day sun, Sweet as the morning, when I lose all trace Changed me at once by some emphatic Of former pain, and rest luxurious hours; spell But brief the respite ! in this blissful case

From what I was I gazed, and it was Soon as it sees me, with collected powers,

done. With a new wildness, with a fury new,

Too finish'd fascination ! glass'd in mine, It turns its rugged road to repursue.

The glory of her eye-balls did imprint

So bright a fire, that from its heat malign 2.

My sickening soul acquired another tint. “ Not by my own neglect, into such harm The showers of tears I shed assisted more Fell I at first, 'twas destiny that bore, This transformation ; broken up, I found, And gave me up to the tormenting charm, Was my past peace and freedom; in the For both my reason and my judgment

Of my fond heart, an all-luxuriant ground, To guard me, as in bygone years they well The plant whereof I perish, struck its root Had guarded me in seasons of alarm; Deep as its head extended high, and dense But, when past perils they compared with

As were its melancholy boughs ; the fruit those

Which it has been my wont to gather They saw advancing, neither could they thence, tell

Sour is a thousand times for one time Or what to make of such unusual foes,

sweet, How to engage with them, or how repel; But ever poisonous to the lips that eat. But stared to see the force with which they caine,

5. Till, spurr'd on by pure shame,

“ Now, flying from myself as from a curse, With a slow pace and with a timid eye, In search of her who shuns me as a foe, At length my reason issued on the way, I speed, which to one error adds a worse ; And more and more as the fleet foe drew And, in the midst of toil, fatigue, and woe, nigh,

Whilst the forged irons on my bound limbs The more did aggravating doubt display ring,

core

swore

Find myself singing as of old, but oh, But this one grief, and even the rising
How soon are check'd the causeless songs ghost
I sing,

Of dead joy, gliding by, is heeded not ;
If in myself I lock my thoughts ! for there I keep no chronicle of bygone bliss,
I view a field where nought but brambles But feel alone, within my heart and brain,
spring,

The fury and the force of present pain. And the black night-shade, garlanding de. spair,

8. Hope in the distance shows me, as she flies, “ In midst of all this agony and woe, Her fluttering garments and light step, but A shade of good descends my wounds to ne'er

heal; Her angel face,-tears rush into my eyes' Surely, I fancy, my beloved foe At the delusion, nor can I forbear

Must feel some little part of what I feel. To call her false as the mirage that kills So insupportable a toil weighs down The thirsty pilgrim of the sandy waste, My weary soul, that, did I not create When he beholds far-off, 'twixt seeming Some strong deceit of power, to ease the hills,

weight, The stream he dies to taste ;

I must at once die-die without my crown With eager eye he marks its Jucid face, Of martyrdom, a register'd renown, And listens, fancying that he heard it roar, Untalk'd of by the world, unheard, unBut, when arrived in torment at the place, view'd! Weeps to perceive it distant as before. And thus from my most miserable estate

I draw a gleam of good. 6.

But soon my fate this train of things re

verses, “Of golden locks was the rich tissue wove,

For, if I ever from the storm find peace, Framed by my sympathy, wherein with

Peace nurtures fear, and fear my peace disa shame My struggling Reason was entrapp'd, like

perses,

Swift as a rainbow arch'd o'er raging seas : Love

Thus from the flowers which for a space In the strong arms of Appetite, the fame

console, Whereof drew all Olympus to regard The Fire-God's capture ; but 'twere out

Springs up the serpent that devours my

soul. of place For me this capture to go gaze, debarr'd

9. Of that whereby to contemplate the case.

“ ODE! if men, seeing thee, be seized with So circumstanced I find myself! the field

fright Of tournament is clear'd, the foe descried,

At the caprice, inconstancy, and shock Alarm'd I stand, without a spear or shield, Closed are the barriers, and escape denied.

Of these conflicting fancies of my brain,

Say that the cause thereof-tormenting Who at my story is not terrified! Who could believe that I am fall'n so low,

pain

Is stable, fixt, and changeless as a rock. That to the grief I hurry from, my pride Is oft-times found so little of a foe,

Say thou, that its fierce might That, at the moment when I might regain. So storms my heart that it must yield, ere

long, A life of freedom, I caress my chain,

Even to a foe more terrible and strong; And curse the hours and moments lately

To Him, from whom all cross themselves lent

-to save ; To freer thoughts,as diournfully mis-spent! The power whose home is in the lonely

7. " This fancy is not always paramount,

These beautiful verses will, we For of a brain so wild the phantasies trust, sufficiently recommend Mr Wif. Sleep not a moment; Grief at times will fen to the notice of our readers. He mount

is engaged in a work of still great. The throne of Slavery; and her sceptre er importance-a new translation of seize,

Tasso into English ottava rima, and So that my fancy shrinks as from its place, we confess that we look forward with To shun the torture of its frightful face, the highest expectation to a JeruThere is no part in me but frenzied is,

salem executed by such a hand. InAnd waila by me in turn ; on my wild deed, Mr Wiffen has already pub

track, Afresh protesting at the blind abyss,

lished a small specimen of his TasI tura affrighted back.

SO ;--and there can be no doubt, Not urged by reason, not by judgment, that, when his work is finished, he

must find himself in possession of a Discretion of the mind is wholly lost ; very enviable reputation. On comAll is become a barrenness or blot, paring the fragment he has print

grave!"

this

« ForrigeFortsæt »