Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

He calls thee now from this rude, stormy world,
To thy Reucemer's breast. And thou wilt die,
As thou hast lived, my duteous, holy Blanche,
In trusting and serene submissiveness,
Humble, yet full of Heaven.

Blanche. Now is there strength
Infused through all my spirit. I can rise
And say,—" Thy will be done !"

D'Aubigne. Seest thou, my child,
Yon faint line in the west? The signal star
Of our due evening service, gleaming in
Through the close dungeon grating? Mournfully
It seems to quiver; yet shall this night pass,
This night alone, without the lifted voice
Of adoration in our narrow cell,
As if unworthy fear, or wavering faith
Silenced the strain ? No! let it waft to Heaven
The prayer, the hope of poor mortality,
In its dark hour once more! And we will sleep,-
Yes,-calmly sleep, when our last rite is closed.

EXERCISE CXL.
HEART AND HEAD.

SUSAN FENIMORE COOPER. 1. There are two different fountains whence inspiration flows to the writer—the intellect and the heart—thought and feeling Thought makes the best artist, has greater foresight, a wiser command of means, gives greater completeness, higher finish But heart has a power even beyond this, a power of life and soul, more entirely swaying human sympathy and action; it has more freshness, more originality, more sincerity—its highest influences are even more enduring.

* See Exercise LXXX.

2. Thought sees truth, and reveals it, or often may conceal it. Heart feels truth itself, and, with a generous fullness of eloquence, all its own, to which no enthousiasme de commande* can ever áttain. compels conviction. Many a highly polished classic Sonnet lies in cold neglect on the library shelf, while the humble ballad, full of true natural feeling, is preserved in affectionate, living remembrance. These two great influences, intellect and feeling, are found acting in partial independence of each other

3. What a man writes with the intellect only, may be entirely foreign to his own life-work wholly artificial; what he really writes from his heart, must necessarily have the same coloring as his character-flowing from his own inmost nature, and carry with it something of the inherent force of truth. “Have a heart, and know it,” is the advice of the great Polish poet. It is, however, where both powers are called into action, in all their fullness, that the noblest writings are produced. Where a strong intellect plans, and a generous, upright heart works, there we may look for a great book.

4. Imitation can never, for this reason, attain to the very highest and most effective excellence—it is a work of the head only; it may be very skillful, quite faultless, very successful in its way, but the soul and spirit must ever be wanting. Genius, like the wonderful thrushf of the American wood, may have its many voices, it may even condescend to sing its lays to borrowed tunes : the careless wayfarer is deceived; passing along, he fancies that he hears the robin, or the ground-sparrow; but, when the rare creature pours forth its own noble song, he pauses with upward gaze, and lingers, lost in delight, listening to those • native wood notes wild.”

* Forced feeling ; feigned enthusiasm.

+ Of this remarkable bird a celebrated ornithologist observes that “in dark and gloomy weather, when other birds are sheltered and silent, the clear notes of the Wood Thrush are heard through the dropping woods, from dawn to dusk, so that the sadder the day, the sweeter and more constant is his song. His clear and interrupted whistle is often nearly the only voice of melody heard by the traveler, at mid-day, in the heat of summer, as he traverses the silent wilderness, remote from the haunts of men "

EXERCISE CXLI.

WILLIAN COLLINS was born at Chichester, England, on Christmas day, 1720. He died in the year 1756. Aided by his uncle, for his father was puor, he received a college education. His writings, even while a student in college, gave decided indications of superior power, though, strange to say, they were treated with utter neglect. And stranger still is the fact, that, even after the production of his later and more finished pieces, the same inexplicable neglect attended him. This disappointment of his hopes quito overpowered him: depressing and finally deranging his sensitive spirit. And yet “his works,” says an appreciative critic, "are imbued with a fine, ethereal fancy and purity of taste; and, though like the poems of Gray, they are small in number and amount, they are rich in vivid imagery and beautiful description.” We give below his now celebrated “Ode on the Passions."

1 Fauns, or Fau'ni, is the name applied by the Romans to certain gods of the woods, held in especial reverence by the tillers of the soil. They are represented as having the legs, feet, and ears of goats, and the remaining parts those of a human being

DRY'Ads, or DRY' A DES, that is, Wood-Nymphs, form one of the various classes of nymphs, or female deities, with which the imagination of the ancient Greeks peopled the woods and groves. The nymphs were the attendants of the goddesses. They waited on Juno and Venus, and, arrayed in the attire of a huntress, accompanied Diana in the chase.

8 SATYRS, or SATYRI, were a sort of demi-gods presiding over, or dwelling in, the country. They had feet and legs like those of goats, short horns on the head, and the whole body covered with hair. Tho Satyrs were among the Greeks what the Fauns were among the Romans. They were very fond of music, and always appeared at the festivals of Bacchus, dancing, and playing on musical instruments.

* TEM'PE, 1 valley in Thessaly in ancient Greece, between Mount Olympus at the north and Ossa at the south, through which flower the river Peneus. It is greatly celebrated by the poets.

ODE ON THE PASSIONS.

WILLIAM COLLINS.

When Music, heavenly maid ! was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shel.,
Thronged around her magic cell;
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting;

By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round,
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madness ruled the hour,
Would prove his own expressive.power.

II.
First FEAR his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords, bewildered laid ;
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.

III.
Next ANGER rushed, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings

IV.
With woeful measures wan DESPAIR,
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air;
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

v.
But thou, O HOPE! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail.

Still would her touch the strain prolong;

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She called on Echo still through all the song;

And, where her sweetest theme she chose,

A soft, responsive voice was heard at every close;
And HOPE enchanted smiled, and waved her goldeu hair.

VI.
And longer had she sung; but with a frown

REVENGE impatient rose :
He tl'rew his blood-stained sword in thunder down,

And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,

And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe;

And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.

VII.
Thy numbers, JEALOUSY, to naught were fixed;

Sad proof of thy distressful state;
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed,
And now it courted LOVE, now raving called on HATE

VIII.
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale MELANCHOLY sat retired,
And, from her wild sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul;

And dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole :

Or o'er some haunted stream with fond delay,
Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.

« AnteriorContinuar »