Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Of late, in one of those most weary hours,
When life seems emptied of all genial powers,
A dreary mood, which he who ne'er has known
May bless his happy lot, I sate alone;
And, from the numbing spell to win relief,
Call’d on the past for thought of glee or grief.
In vain! bereft alike of grief and glee,
I sate and cower'd o'er my own vacancy!
And as I watch'd the dull continuous ache,
Which, all else slumbering, seem'd alone to wake;
O friend ! long wont to notice yet conceal,
And soothe by silence what words cannot heal,
I but half saw that quiet hand of thine
Place on my desk this exquisite design,
Boccaccio's garden and its faëry,
The love, the joyance, and the gallantry!
An idyl, with Boccaccio's spirit warm
Framed in the silent poesy of form.
Like flocks adown a newly-bathed steep

Emerging from a mist: or like a stream
Of music soft that not dispels the sleep,
But casts in happier moulds the slumberer's

dream, Gazed by an idle eye with silent might The picture stole upon my inward sight. A tremulous warmth crept gradual o'er my chest, As though an infant's finger touch'd my breast. And one by one (I know not whence) were brought All spirits of power that most had stirr'd my

thought. In selfless boy hood, on a new world tost Of wonder, and in its own fancies Jost; Or charm'd my youth, that kindled from above, Loved ere it loved, and sought a form for love; Or lent a lustre to the earnest scan Of manhood, musing what and whence is man! Wild strain of scalds, that in the sea-worn cares Rehearsed their war-spell to the winds and waves ;

HOARSE Mævius reads his hobbling verse
To all, and at all times;
And finds them both divinely smooth,
His voice as well as rhymes.

But folks say Mævius is no ass;
But Mævius makes it clear
That he's a monster of an ass-
An ass without an ear!

THERE comes from old Avaro's grave
A deadly stench-why, sure, they have
Immured his soul within his grave!

Or fateful hymn of those prophetic maids,

Fair cities, gallant mansions, castles old, That callid on Hertha in deep forest glades ; And forests, where beside his leafy hold Or minstrel lay, that cheer'd the baron's feast; The sullen boar hath heard the distant horn, Or rhyme of city pomp, of monk and priest, And whets his tusks against the gnarled thorn; Judge, mayor, and many a guild in long array, Palladian palace with its storied halls ; To high-church pacing on the great saint's day, Fountains, where love lies listening to their falls; And many a verse which to myself I sang, Gardens, where Aings the bridge its airy span, That woke the tear, yet stole away the pang,

And nature makes her happy home with man; Of hopes which in lamenting I renew'd.

Where many a gorgeous flower is duly fed And last, a matron now, of sober mien,

With its own rill, on its own spangled bed, Yet radiant still and with no earthly sheen, And wreathes the marble urn, or leans its head, Whom as a faëry child my childhood woo'd A mimic mourner, that with veil withdrawn E’en in my dawn of thought-Philosophy. Weeps liquid gems, the presents of the dawn, Though then unconscious of herself, pardie, Thine all delights, and every muse is thine: She bore no other name than poesy ;

And more than all, th' embrace and intertwine And, like a gift from heaven, in lifesul glee, Of all with all in gay and twinkling dance ! That had but newly left a mother's knee,

'Mid gods of Greece and warriors of romance, Prattled and play'd with bird, and flower, and stone, See ! Boccace sits, unfolding on his knees As with elfin playfellows well known,

The new-found roll of old Mæonides ;* And life reveal'd to innocence alone.

But from his mantle's fold, and near the heart,

Peers Ovid's Holy Book of Love's sweet smart It Thanks, gentle artist! now I can descry

O all-enjoying and all-blending sage, Thy fair creation with a mastering eye,

Long be it mine to con thy mazy page, And all awake! And now in fix'd gaze stand, Where, half-conceal'd, the eye of fancy views Now wander through the Eden of thy hand; Fauns, nymphs, and winged saints, all gracious to Praise the green arches, on the fountain clear

thy muse! See fragment shadows of the crossing deer, And with that serviceable nymph I stoop,

Still in thy garden let me watch their pranks,

And see in Dian's vest between the ranks
The crystal from its restless pool to scoop.
I see no longer! I myself am there,

Of the trim vines, some maid that half believes

The vestal fires, of which her lover grieves, Sit on the ground-sward, and the banquet share. 'Tis I, that sweep that lute's love-echoing strings, With that sly satyr peering through the leaves ! And gaze upon the maid, who gazing sings:

* Boccaccio claimed for himself the glory of having first Or pause and listen to the tinkling bells

introduced the works of Homer to his country. From the high tower, and think that there she

+ I know few more striking or more interesting proofs dwells.

of the overwhelming influence which the study of the With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possest,

Greek and Roman classics exercised on the judgments, And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest.

feelings, and imaginations of the literati of Europe at the commencement of the restoration of literature, than the

passage in the Filocopo of Boccaccio: where the sage in. The brightness of the world, O thou once free,

strucier, Racheo, as soon as the young prince and the And always fair, rare land of courtesy !

beautiful girl, Biancafiore had learned their letters, sets 0, Florence! with the Tuscan fields and hills! them to study the Holy Book, Ovid's Art of Love. “In. And famous Arno fed with all their rills ;

comincid Racheo a mellere il suo officio in essecuzione Thou brightest star of star-bright Italy !

con intera sollecitudine. E loro, in breve tempo, inseg.

nato a conoscer le lettere, fece legere il santo libro d'Or. Rich, ornate, populous, all treasures thine,

vidio, nel quale il sommo poeta mostra, come i santi The golden corn, the olive, and the vine.

fuochi di Venere si debbano ne freddi cuori occendere."


luxa MYSTEMIET 72 born in Irvine, Ag-! by the stand animpercbable tesor of his lifesante, in 1971. His parents be get to the church even more than by his entirat-the persuasive of the Units Brethren, costs taidd Morae ad csaviseing advocate of religion. In his per. Vant, seet by to mene Izbercus in England, sual appearasoe, Mcatgomery is ratber below than 204 31:1 me limited in Scatland. Haring pre- abcte the male stature: his countenance is vuruly syari.ed for a stytt time at 2 višiage in the pericarly bland and tranquil; and but for the Irish emty of Antrim, they pluged the future poe: occasional sparklings of a clear gray eye, it could at the school of their society at Furick, Lear Lxeris, scarcely be described as expressive. and embarked for the West Indies as missionaries very early in life, Montgomery published a aming the negro slaves. They were the victims of volume of perns. They were not, it would appear, teir zeal and humanity; the bustrand died in Bar- farourably received ty the publie; and he writes, badoes, and the wife in Tobago.

| the disappointment of bis premature poetical bopes After remaining two years at Fulnick, and, like brought with it a blight which bis mind has never other men of genius, disappointing the expectations recovered. “ For many years," he adds, “I was of his friends as a student, “ from very indolence,” as mute as a moulting bird; and when the power he was placed by them in a retail shop at Mirfield of song returned, it was without the energy, selfnear Wakefield. This ungenial employment he confidence, and freedom which happier minstrels considered himself--not being under indentures, among my contemporaries have manifested." The at liberty to relinquish at the end of two years, Wanderer of Switzerland was published in 1805; with a view to try his fortune in the great world. the West Indies, in 1810; the World before the After spending other two years at a village near Flood, in 1813; Greenland in 1819; the Pelican Rotherham, and a few inonths with a bookseller in Island, in 1827: he has since contented himself London, he engaged as an assistant with Mr. with the production of occasional verses. Joseph Gales of Sheffield, who, published a news Those who can distinguish the fine gold from the paper ;-to the management of which, in 1794, he " sounding brass” of poetry, must place the name succeeded. This, though conducted with compara- of James Montgomery high in the list of British tive moderation, exposed him to much enmity-prets ; and those who consider that the chiefest rather inherited from his predecessor than actually duty of such is to promote the cause of religion, incurred by himself. The liberty of the press in virtue, and humanity, must acknowledge in him those days was, like faith,“ the substance of things one of their most zealous and efficient advocates. hoped for;" a sentence of condemnation, or even a He does not, indeed, often aim at bolder flights of word of reproach, against men in “high places,” | imagination ; but if he seldom rises above, he derer was punished as libellous. Montgomery did not sinks beneath, the object of which he desires the indeed share the fate of some of his stern sectarian attainment. If he rarely startles us, he still more forefathers; but in lieu of maiming and pillory, rarely leaves us dissatisfied; he does not attempt he had to endure fine and imprisonment. Within that to which his powers are unequal, and there eighteen months, and when he had scarcely arrived fore is at all times successful. To the general at manhood, his exertions in the cause of rational reader, it will seem as if the early bias of his mind freedom had twice consigned him to a jail. During and his first associations had tinged—we may not the thirty years that followed, however, he was say tainted—the source from whence he drew his permitted to publish his opinions, without being inspirations, and that his poems are “sicklied o'ero the object of open persecutions. Wearied out, at with peculiar impressions and opinions wbich fail length, he relinquished his newspaper, in 1825. to excite the sympathy of the great mass of manRecently one of the government grants to British kind. We should, however, recollect, that, although worthies has been conferred upon him ; and-it he has chiefly addressed himself to those who think must be recorded to his honour-by Sir Robert Peel. with him, his popularity is by no means confined

The poet continues to reside in Sheffield, to them; but that those who read poetry for the esteemed, admired, and beloved: a man of purer delight it affords them, and without any reference mind, or more unsuspected integrity, never existed. to his leading design, acknowledge his merit, and He is an honour to the profession of letters; and contribute to his fame.




ADVERTISEMENT. The historical facts alluded to in The Wanderer of Switzerland may be found in the supplement to Coxe's Travels, in Planta's History of the Helvetic Confederacy, and in Zschokke's Invasion of Switzerland by the French, in 1798, translated by Dr. Aikin.

SHEPHERD. “Welcome, wanderer as thou art,

All my blessings to partake ; Yet thrice welcome to my heart,

For thine injured country's sake. « On the western hills afar

Evening lingers with delight, While she views her favourite star

Brightening on the brow of night. “ Here, though lowly be my lot,

Enter freely, freely share All the comforts of my cot,

Humble shelter, homely fare. “ Spouse, I bring a suffering guest,

With his family of grief ;
Give the weary pilgrims rest,
Yield the exiles sweet relief.”

“I will yield them sweet relief:

Weary pilgrims! welcome here; Welcome, family of grief,

Welcome to my warmest cheer.”


A Wanderer of Switzerland and his family, consisting of

his wise, his daughter, and her young children, emigrating from their country, in consequence of its subjugation by the French, in 1798, arrive at the cottage of a shepherd, beyond the frontiers, where they are hospitably entertained.

“WANDERER, whither dost thou roam ?

Weary wanderer, old and gray;
Wherefore hast thou left thine home

In the sunset of thy day ?



“When in prayer the broken heart

Asks a blessing from above, Heaven shall take the wanderer's part,

Heaven reward the stranger's love."

« In the sunset of my day,

Stranger! have lost my home: Weary, wandering, old, and gray

Therefore, therefore do I roam. “ Here mine arms a wife enfold,

Fainting in their weak embrace ; There my daughter's charms behold,

Withering in that widow'd face. “ These her infants, their sire,

Worthy of the race of Tell, In the battle's fiercest fire,

In his country's battle fell!"

SHEPHERD. “Haste, recruit the failing fire,

High the winter-fagots raise ; See the crackling flames aspire ;

O how cheerfully they blaze ! “Mourners, now forget your cares,

And, till supper-board be crown'a, Closely draw your fireside chairs;

Form the dear domestic round,”

SHEPHERD, “ Switzerland, then, gave thee birth ?”

WANDERER. “ Ay—'twas Switzerland of yore; But, degraded spot of earth,

Thou art Switzerland no more: “O’er thy mountains sunk in blood,

Are the waves of ruin hurl'd; Like the waters of the flood Rolling round a buried world.”

SHEPHERD. 6 Yet will time the deluge stop ;

Then may Switzerland be blest; On St. Gothard's* hoary top

Shall the ark of Freedom rest.”

WANDERER, “ Host, thy smiling daughters bring,

Bring those rosy lads of thine; Let them mingle in the ring With these poor lost babes of mine."

SHEPHERD. “ Join the ring, my girls and boys;

This enchanting circle, this Binds the social loves and joys:

'Tis the fairy ring of bliss !"


“O) ye loves and joys! that sport

In the fairy ring of bliss,
Oft with me ye held your court:

I had once a home like this ! “ Bountiful my former lot

As my native country's rills; The foundations of my cot

Were her everlasting hills. • But those streams no longer pour

Rich abundance round my lands; And my father's cot no more

On my father's mountain stands.

“No!-irreparably lost,

On the day that made us slaves, Freedom's ark, by tempest tost,

Founder'd in the swallowing waves.”

* St. Gothard is the name of the highest mountain in the canton of Uri, the birthplace of Swiss independence.


“ By a hundred winters piled,

When the glaciers,* dark with death,
Hang o'er precipices wild,

Hang-suspended by a breath:
“If a pulse but throb alarm,

Headlong down the steeps they fall ;
For a pulse will break the charm,-

Bounding, bursting, burying all.
“ Struck with horror stiff and pale,

When the chaos breaks on high,
All that view it from the vale,

All that hear it coming, die:-
“ In a day and hour accurst,

O’er the wretched land of Tell,
Thus the Gallic ruin burst,

Thus the Gallic glacier fell !”

“ Hush that melancholy strain ;

Wipe those unavailing tears.


“Nay-I must, I will complain ;

'Tis the privilege of years:
“ 'Tis the privilege of wo

Thus her anguish to impart:
And the tears that freely flow
Ease the agonizing heart.”

“ Yet suspend thy griefs a while ;

See the plenteous table crown'd;
And my wife's endearing smile

Beams a rosy welcome round.
“ Cheese, from mountain dairies prest,

Wholesome herbs, nutritious roots,
Honey, from the wild-bee's nest,

Cheering wine and ripen'd fruits :
“ These, with soul-sustaining bread,

My paternal fields afford :-
On such fare our fathers fed ;

Holy pilgrim! bless the board,”

“Stranger-friend, the tears that flow

Down the channels of this cheek,
Tell a mystery of wo

Which no human tongue can speak. “ Not the pangs of hope deferr'd'

My tormented bosom tear:
On the tomb of hope interr'd

Scowls the spectre of despair.
“ Where the Alpine summits rise,

Height o'er height stupendous hurl'd;
Like the pillars of the skies,

Like the ramparts of the world: “Born in freedom's eagle nest,

Rock'd by whirlwinds in their rage,
Nursed at freedom's stormy breast,

Lived my sires from age to age.
High o'er Underwalden's vale,

Where the forest fronts the morn;
Whence the boundless eye might sai]

O’er a sea of mountains borne ;
“ There my little native cot

Peep'd upon my father's farm :-
0! it was a happy spot,

Rich in every rural charm!
“ There, my life, a silent stream,

Glid along, yet seem'd at rest;
Lovely as an infant's dream

On the waking mother's breast.
« Till the storm that wreck'd the world,

In its horrible career,
Into hopeless ruin hurl'd

All this aching heart held dear.
“ On the princely towers of Berne

Fell the Gallic thunder-stroke;
To the lake of poor Lucerne,

All submitted to the yoke.
“Reding then his standard raised,

Drew his sword on Brunnen's plain ;*
But in vain his banner blazed,

Reding drew his sword in vain.
'“Where our conquering fathers died,

Where their awful bones repose,
Thrice the battle's fate he tried,

Thrice o’erthrew his country's foes.
“ Happy then were those who fell

Fighting on their father's graves !
Wretched those who lived to tell

Treason made the victors slaves !


After supper, the Wanderer, at the desire of his host,

relates the sorrows and sufferings of his country during the invasion and conquest of it by the French, in connexion with his own story.


* Brunnen, at the foot of the mountains, on the borders “ WANDERER! bow'd with griefs and years,

of the Lake of Uri, where the first Swiss patriots, Walter

Furst of Uri, Werner Stauffacher of Schwitz, and Arnold Wanderer, with the cheek so pale,

of Melchtal in Underwalden, conspired against the ty. O give language to those tears !

ranny of Austria in 1307, again in 1798, became the seat Tell their melancholy tale.”

of the diet of these three forest cantons.

† On the plains of Morgarthen, where the Swiss gained

their first decisive victory over the force of Austria, and * More properly the avalanches; immense accumula- thereby secured the independence of their country ; Aloys lions of ice and snow, balanced on the verge of the moun. Reding, at the head of the troops of the little cantons, Uri, tains in such gubile suspense, that, in the opinion of the Schwilz, and Underwalden, repeateilly repulsed the natives, the tread of the traveller may bring them down invading army of France. in destruction upon him. The glaciers are more perma # By the resistance of these small cantons, the French nent masses of ice, and formed rather in the valleys than General Schawenbourg was compelled to respect their on the summits of the Alps.

independence, and gave them a solemn pledge to that

« AnteriorContinuar »