« ForrigeFortsæt »
that we shall quote, the difficulty being nourishment of such 'poetic genius as shine less to find instances, than to choose among out in Horace, Propertius, Petrarch, Dante, them:
Boccaccio, Tasso, Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare,
Jonson, and was not without its inBut herkeneth, Jordings, O word, I you fúence upon Dryden, Pope, Byron, Shelley pray,
and a host of others, some of whom, perThat all the Severaine actes, dare I say, haps, will be preserved from eternal obli. Of victories in the Olde Testament
vion, by a few lines or a single verse they Thurgh veray God, that is omnipotent, learned to sing in the gardens of AcadeWere done in abstinence and prayere : mus; Loketh the Bible, and ther yo mow it lere.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever, If indeed the dialogue of Chaucer was
Why is it that Horace was not more the modeled upon that of Boccaccio, it was favorite of Mæcenas and Augustus than he certainly not the worst thing he borrowed has ever been alike with statesmen and from him. Nor does it seem to have been philosophers, men of action and men of the only thing he derived from his Italian contemplation, wits and students ?
но predecessor. Another point of resem makes no secret of his art, if indeed it blance between the English and Italian should be called an art. He refers the poets may be found in the frequent ap- poet, and in an especial manner him who pearance of some doctrine or conception attempts that department or species of drawn from Plato. This was an author,
poesy to which the narrative poem beabove all others, fitted to train the mind to longs,-to the Platonie philosopby as to contemplate subjects of every order, and the store-house or fountain whence he is 10 pass with ease from the lightest and to draw thought, good sense, wisdom and most trivial jest to the loftiest speculations that ethereal, essential truth which is neiof theology. A strikirg example of this ther to be defined nor described. is to be found in the profound and magnifi. We have previously insisted upon the cent Platonism in the exordium of the last necessity of a certain dramatic passion in speech of Theseus, concerning the divine all good poetry, sometimes merely breathchain of love, that binding all things to ing a gentle spirit into the verse, sometimes gether, maintains the order and the beauty tumultuous as a stormy sea, again sinking of the system of the world. There is intenderly and languidly into the heart, or deed an immense and inexhaustible re-rousing the soul with the most violent ex. servoir of the purest and richest material citement, varied incessantly in a thousand for poetic thought in the writings of the ways, but always flowing on and making Athenian philosopher, streams of wbich itself felt. We must, however, carefully may be traced flowing through the litera- distinguish this from that morbid and upture of modern Italy and of England, and natural manner to which the namo“ spaswherever they appear, sparkling with a modic,” has very aptly been applied. Po. lucid ray peculiarly thoir own and distin-ets, affecting this style, have passion inguishable from every thing else, there we deed, but it is affected and inflated to such find that the strongest and most eloquent; à degree, and is so invariably out of placo, as well as the sweetest flights of song have that it wearies and annoys the mind. That been attained by the poet whose inspira- which we consider as true and regular has tion was caught from this source. Prolific been well described by Pope as an indeed must that mind heve been, and equalled fire and rapture, which is so forlargely endowed by nature, which, after cible in Homer, that no man of a true poaffording to theology, to metaphysics, to etical spirit is master of himself, while he pure dialectics, to the science of morals, to reads him. What he writes, is of the most · social and political science, to Logic and animated 'nature imaginable; every thing Rhetoric such ample stores, such profuse moves, every thing lives, and is put in acand abounding wealth, had yet 'a copious tion. If a council be called, or a battlo treasure to bestow upon the world for the fought, you are not coldly informed of what.
was said or done aş from a third person ;, reserving further comment for some future the reader is hurried out of himself by the occasion. foree of the Poet's imagination, and turns FEBUARY, 1864. in one place to a hearer, in another to a spectator. The course of his verses regembles that of the army he describes. THE CAVALIER'S SERENADE. “They pour along like a fire that sweeps the whole earth before it.” It is, however, [From the papers of the late Charles Bradenremarkable that his fancy, which is every
baugh.] where vigorous, is not discovered immedi.
Yon silent star his flashing shield ately at the beginning of his poom in its fullest splendour; it grows in the progress
Hangs on the welkin steep,
While he and I alone a field both upon himself and others, and becomos on fire, like a chariot wheel, by its
Watch o'er my darling's sleep. own rapidity. Exact disposition, just of the South wind dreams the lily-bell, thought, correct elocution, polished num- And the woodbine of the bee bers, may have been found in a thousand; Oh! faithful star, look in and tell, but this poetic fire, this “vivida vis animi," Does my rose-bud dream of me? in a very few. Even in works where all
Beneath that bosom's sweet unrest, those are imperfect or neglected, this can overpower criticism, and make us admire
What dainty fancies bide,
As folded in a flowret's breast even while we disapprove. Nay, where this appears, though attended with absur.
The prisoned odours hide. dities, it brigtens all the rubbish about it, Yet at my voice these phantoms pass till we see nothing but its own splendour. And melt in tender fear, This fire is discerned in Virgil, but dis- Like fairies on the moon-lit grass cerned as through a glass, reflected from
A distant step who hear. Homer, more shining than fierce, but every where equal and constant. In Lucan and
O! fettered bird! O! startled fawn! Statius, it bursts out in sudden, short, and
Thee wait I to behold, interrupted flashes : in Milton, it glows
As happy clouds await the dawn like a furnace kept up to an uncommon
That turns their locks to gold. ardour by the force or art: in Shakespeare,
Awake! blithe nature's playmate fairit strikes before we are aware, like an ac
All darkness she beguiles, cidental fire from heaven: but in Homer,
Who scatters on the longing air and in him only, it burns everywhere
The largess of such smiles ! clearly and every where irresistibly.” Nor is the similitude here suggested by
Almost I feel as if it might Pope, inapplicable to Chaucer. He may Thy timid beauty wrong .'be compared to one of those Christmas To weave-oh! chaplet of delight!
fires of the olden time, kindled with Thy graces into song, huge and sturdy logs of oak in the vast
The chant of brooks in forest dark, fire-place of some hospitable baronial
The night song of the sea, hall, blazing incessantly day and night,
The airy lyric of the lark, which though it may sink a little while, the dance goes on, or the merry revels are
Thy minstrelsy should be! forward, or while the company around are BALTIMORE, MD. absorbed in listening intently to some le. gendary tale, yet when fresh fuel is heaped on, and the brands stirred, flashes up again No END OF IT.--"Put out your tongue a with livelier flames, sending a thousand little further,” said a physician to a female sparks upward and roaring with a gene- patient; a little further, ma'am, if you rous welcome to all, in sympathy with please-a little further still.” their holiday happiness and joviality. But tor, do you think there is no end to a wo• here we must leave him for the present, man's tongue ?” cried the fair invalid.
" Why, doc. the . Gazette. I don't know that I ever UNDER THE MISTLETOE;
knew, for we young fellows were no poli.
ticians. A Story of Two Christmas Days and Two
Then we had another song in our tents Kisses.
or in our rooms, sitting round the fire, and
shouting enough to blow the roof off:BY THE AUTHOR OF "A DAUGHTER OF EVE." I am an old man; so old am I that, We'll rant and we'll roar like true British
sailors, looking back, life seems so very long, and
We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt yet so short, that I do not quite know whether many things did not happen in a
main; dream. I am hale and hearty, and merry,
Until we catch sight of the shores of old
England, for the matter of that; and when I laugh my laugh rings out clearly and loud; they
And I hope, my own true love, to see say; so much so tlrat it makes the people you again. around me, especially my grandchildren and nephews and nieces, laugh too. And And in those days our voices did rant when I laugh the old times come back and roar, and the ra ters rung again; but when others, who are silent now, laugh I've got a cold now, and my voice isn't with me, and then I am suddenly still, and what it was; and I must not wake the the laugh dies away; and when I think of little children, or I'd sing it to you now. it its empty echoes fill my brain just as if Yes; people think me very merry. And it were a sleep-laughter in a dream. so, bless Heaven! I am; for I try to stand
When I stop laughing so suddenly for upright, four-square to the world, as a man the merriment and enjoyment, and, for the should; but, being an old man, I have matter of that, the grief and pain of old blank places in my heart now, where no men, are short and sudden, like those of love grows; barren spots in my memory, children-my grandchildren, and nephews and chill and numbed parts in my feelings and nieces, have a great difficulty to atop whereto I cannot look back; and whereon too; and they choke, and nudge fach I dare not tread and touch lest sudden pain
“ Ah! that is a good story, should come back, like the shooting of an Uncle; almost as good as the story you told old, old wound. yesterday.”
But I've merry recollections and green Told yesterday; let me see what it was
spots, too. Just as you see in churchyards that I told yesterday? How long ago it where there are barren patches under the seems; it must be longer ago than the time when I was only twenty years old, a stal
yew trees; so there are elsewhere fertile wart, brave fellow in yellow. breeches, and little tombs, which, in the summer
ones, which tender hands love to deck; black leggins, a heavy brass-bound leather helmet with a white plume tipped with such pleasant graves are they, where some
and the spring, are very gay with flowers. red, and a clanking sword, which I now could not list with my two hands. I was
one lies with happy memories about them
-good children, sweet sisters, or dear a royal volunteer then, prepared to resist
wives-who lived in peace and died hap. the French; and I and some of my company were encamped in white tents on the pily, and upon whose memory a halo rests coast of Kent; and we had a song, too, a Such graves are for the young, not for the
Jike fleeting sunshine in a distant field. good song, about Boney :
old; and they who are young and happy We'll still make 'em run, and still make go and sit in the summer afternoon near 'em sweat
to the grave, and plant sweet-smelling In spite of old Boney and the Brussels filowers in the mould, which blossom and Gazette.
spring up, and look gay still, like the calm
memory of the happy dead. But I don't quite remember what that gen- But, deary me! I am talking now liko tleman had to do with the inspiration of an old man, a very old man, as I think I
other and say,
am; but then I've got such spots in my, with Joe, and Joe beat me, and Alice dry brain yet, and pleasant ones to dwell on. laughed; and then I shot against Joe, and
Been in love? Yes, I should think I he beat me too, and she laughed the more; have; how else could I ave grandchild and I wrestled with him and threw him, dren, those people who laugh so well and and she didn't laugh then, but ran to see lieartily when I laugh, and make me tell whether he was hurt, and said it wasn't how old I am a score of times, and say fair for Joe to tackle a big fellow like me, how well I am looking? Well, well; although he was nigh an inch taller. In some of them want me to look ill, I think; short, I could not please her any how! but I'II laugh and live to spite 'em. No, Well, it was one day when we heard no; I don't mean that you know. How that the flat-bottomed boats of old Boney can I live but as long as I have breath? were not coming over, and that the Army and breath and life are in the hands of of Boulogne had melted bit by bit away, One greater than us all!
like a snow drift, that we made a night of Been in love! I think I was talking of it. Ay, it was a night, too! and, being not that, was I not? Yes, been in love! Well, and in the summer, we must needs keep we just did love when I was a young fel- up the fun till the sun came up over the 'low, and I recollect my wife, my Alice, seacoast, looking red and angry at our that left my side but now it soems, and folly. Well, Joe and I-the two Joes, as yet it's twenty years ago; and I recollect they called us-ran down to the beach and her, as I loved her, when she was very washed our hot faces, and plunged in the · young, and I love her now. She was a fresh, salt waves, and were in a few mo. merry one, was Alice; we used to walk,ments as fresh and as merry as larks. and laugh, and talk together like two Arid, after dressing, Joe must needs take a friends. I think that she could do any. walk with mo—who was nothing loth, you thing but drink and smoke, and tell an un- must' know-along the edge of the cliff. truth, or do a wrong action. Her face was The seas for centuries have been washing a sweet oval face; her hair a dark brown, that chalk-bound coast, and at intervals nearly black; and her eyes a deep blue, there stands up pillars of chalk, with the full of merriment at one moment, ay, at sea around them, and with little green all moments, except when she heard a sad patches of land, a few yards square, on the story or was touched with pain for any one top of them. The people call such a place else, and then they grew deeper as they “No Man's Land,” and no man can owo filled with tears. Not for herself. She it
, truly. Well, Joe came to one of these, never cried for herself that I know of, for a few feet-say twelve-from the cliff, she never had a day's illness. But she and, turning to me, he said, “Joe Junior,", was terribly cut up when her poor brother said he-I think I see his bright face now died, and that you see was how I knew _“I challenge you to leap up on that . No her. Her brother was my right hand man Man's Land,' I do!" in my company. Many's the time that “Joe,” said I, hurriedly, “don't be a he stood shoulder to shoulder with me, fool! It may be it would give way at top, good at drill, good at a song-good at any and if it did not how could you jump back thing. He used to livo near the coast; without a run? You'd be stuck a.top and, indeed, he joined us, and I was one there, like a mad sentinel or a pillar saint. of his tent-fellows, and his chum. Well, I'm not going to jump it." he knew people that I know, and we were “But I am!” said he. And, before I soon friends; and he took me home to could hinder him, if indeed I had tried, show me Alice. He was always talking he took a run and jumped. . about her, and she about him; and, when It was so sudden that I could only stand he was there, scarce a look did she give aghast when I saw him there. He stood, me. Her brother Joe-his name was Joe, indeed, but for a moment, and then he and mine, too-could do everything, and took a step back, and would have jumped was the be-all and end-all of the world, I back, when I heard a rumbling sound, and used to think; and so one day I tried to run | half the top of the “No Man's Land"
parted, and the chalk and earth, and Joo, had subsided into solemn talk, and were too, fell down with a crash upon the speaking of poor Joe, were surrounded, rocky coast below.
and it was insisted that Alice should play I ran round the little creek to the other 100; and she, in a solemn, quiet way, smil side of the small bay and, throwing myself ing sadly and yet sweetly too, took me bedown on the turf, stretched my neck over, neath the Christmas bough and kissed me looked out, and cried out “ Joe! Are you on my lips. hurt, Joe?"
Ay, it's many years ago, but I feel it A faint voice came up, and I could see now. My heart beat so fast that I hardly the poor fellow struggling under a huge dared return it; but I put my arm around piece of chalk which seemed to hold him her and took her gently to the bay window down in agony. He smiled in a glasily of the old hall, saying, as I pressed her way, with his whitened face, and said, hand, “Alice, dear Alice, did you 'mean Run, Joe, run! The tide's coming in!" that kiss ?"
Well, I did run; and we gat ropes from Well, I need not tell you what she an. the tents, and a few strong fellows held swered, 'tis fifty years ago-fifty years ago! these as I swung over the cliff, just reach- and I am surrounded by Alice's dear granding poor Joe as the cold sea water was children; and there is one, a little thing lap, lap, laping up to his mouth, taking with light and golden hair that will deepen away his breath and then running back, into brown, who plays around my knees crawling over him and leaving bubbles of and tells me her little stories, her sorrows, salt foam as if in sport. I got him out, and her joys; so quick, so sudden, so hur. but he could not stand. Some bones were ried in their conting and their going that broken, and he was sadly bruised; so that they are like my own, and, as we talk, we I. was forced to tie him to a rope, and they grow quite friends and companions, like hauled him up, and afterwards pulled me my Alice was to me. up, and we took him home.
Bless you, she understands it all! She Well, well! to make a long story short, is a woman in her pretty ways; her poulpoor Joe died, with my praises on his lips, ings, pettings, and quarrelings. She manand poor Alice bowed her head like a
her household of one wax doll and broken lily. It was a long time before she two wooden ones, and tells me, for the wax got over it, and summer had grown into doll is the larly and the wooden ones are winter, and winter to summer, to autumn, the servants in mob caps and stuff gowns, and to winter again. The threatened in when they are impudent and do no work, rasion was all over; our swords were get: and when they gossip with a wooden ting rusty, our uniforms dusty, and when policeman, who belongs to her brother, the holidays came I left the firm in which little Joe. I had just become a partner, and went to So we are fast friends, little Alice and spend a fortnight at my old friend's in I; and to-night, on Christmas night, I Kent.
noticed that she would not dance nor play Alice was there, well and cheerful now, with the pink and shiny-faced little boys and reconciled to her loss, though we often who were so unuaturally tidy and clean in talked of poor Joe; and as the days wore their new knickerbockers with red stockon we grew closer together, and she called ings; but she came and sat by me and me by my name, and seemed to have trans- talked softly in the fireliglıt as Alice did, ferred her brother's love to nie. She never and made me think of fifty years ago. And told me so nor let others see till one only think how old times come back a:d merry Christmast night, when she rejected new times like the old; only just think all her cousins and her other friends, and that when her mother told her she should would only dance with me,
choose a sweetheart, she got a little bit of We had the. mistletve, too. At last, one mistletoe, and climbing slily on my knee, madcap fellow proposed that the ladies holding me in talk as if to hide her purshould kiss the gentlemen all round when pose—though I guessed it soon, I'll tell and how they could; and Alice and I, who you-she put her little doll-like arms