Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

They wished their lot like hers:
She wanders o'er the desert sands

A wretched widow now,
The fruitful mother of so fair a race;

With only one preserved,

She wanders o'er the wilderness.
No tear relieved the burden of her heart;
Stunned with the heavy woe, she felt like one
Half-wakened from a midnight dream of blood.

But sometimes, when the boy

Would wet her hand with tears,
And, looking up to her fixed countenance,
Sob out the name of Mother, then did she

Utter a feeble groan.
At length, collecting, Zeinab turned her eyes
To heaven, exclaiming, “ Praised be the Lord !

He gave, He takes away!
The Lord our God is good !”

AUTUYN.

MOONLIGHT SCENE.

How calmly, gliding through the dark-blue sky,
The midnight moon ascends! Her placid beams,
Through thinly-scattered leaves, and boughs grotesque,
Mottle with mazy shades the orchard-slope :
Here o'er the chestnut's fretted foliage, gray
And massy, motionless they spread; here shine
Upon the crags, deepening with blacker night
Their chasms; and there the glittering argentry
Ripples and glances on the confluent streams.
A lovelier, purer light than that of day
Rests on the hills; and 0, how awfully
Into that deep and tranquil firmament
The summits of Auseva rise serene !
The watchman on the battlements partakes
The stillness of the solemn hour; he feels
The silence of the earth; the endless sound
Of flowing water soothes him ; and the stars,
Which in that brightest moonlight well-nigh quenched,
Scarce visible, as in the utmost depth
Of yonder sapphire infinite, are seen,
Draw on with elevating influence
Towards eternity the attempered mind.
Musing on worlds beyond the grave he stands,
And to the Virgin Mother silently
Breathes forth her hymn of praise.

218

H. COLERIDGE.

HARTLEY COLERIDGE, the eldest son of the great poet of the same name, was born at Clevedon A.D. 1796. In his early childhood a poem of Wordsworth's,“O thou whose Fancies from afar are brought," was inscribed to him; and, at a yet earlier period, he was addressed by his father in lines entitled “Frost at Midnight.” To the last hour of his life these poems seemed to delineate Hartley Coleridge, and record what they had prophesied. His childhood passed like a dream, for he was ever in reverie; and the rest of his life partook largely of the same character. In 1808 he was placed, as a day-scholar, under the care of the Rev. John Dawes, at Ambleside, and thus found himself in frequent intercourse with many of the most emi. nent poets then living, including his uncle Mr. Southey, and Wordsworth. In 1815 he went to Oxford. His genius soon made itself known there; and he obtained a fellowship at Oriel College, which promised a secure provision for the rest of his life. Unfortunately he had not the self-control necessary in order to withstand the convivial temptations to which he was constitutionally subject. He lost his appointment; and that loss he never recovered. He continued, throughout a desultory life, to make literature his main pursuit. In 1832 he published his Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and the next year a volume of poems. His latter years were spent at the “ Nab Cottage," on the banks of Rydal Water. Here he lived in the midst of literary pursuits, alternated with frequent wanderings amid the vales of the north, endeared to all his neighbours by his cordiality and ready sympathies yet more than by his rare literary and conversational powers. He died of bronchitis Jan. 6, 1849.

That infirmity of will which is so touchingly acknowledged and deplored in the poetry of Hartley Coleridge was the cause doubtless of his not reaching a far higher place in literature. His poems are excellent alike for soundness of thought, descriptive power, fancy, and felicity of diction; and their moral tone is elevating. His sonnets are very remarkable. They are the most imaginative part of his writings, as well as the most highly finished; and possess that indescribable union of sweetness and subtle pathos for which the sonnets of Shakespeare are so remarkable.

SONNET.

If I have sinn'd in act, I may repent ;
If I have err'd in thought, I may disclaim
My silent error, and yet feel no shame:
But if my soul, big with an ill intent,
Guilty in will, by fate be innocent,
Or, being bad, yet murmurs at the curse
And incapacity of being worse,

That makes my hungry passion still keep Lent
In keen expectance of a carnival;
Where, in all worlds that round the sun revolve
And shed their influence on this passive ball,
Abides a power that can my soul absolve?
Could any sin survive and be forgiven-
One sinful wish would make a hell of heaven!

TO THE NAUTILUS.

Where Ausonian summers glowing

Warm the deep to life and joyance;
And gentle zephyrs, nimbly blowing,
Wanton with the waves, that, flowing
By many a land of ancient story,
And many an isle renown'd in glory,
Leap along in gladsome buoyance,-

There, Marinere,

Dost thou appear
In fiery pinnace gaily flashing,

Through the white foam proudly dashing ;
The joyous playmate of the buxom breeze,
The fearless fondling of the mighty seas.
Thou the light sail boldly spreadest,

O’er the furrow'd waters gliding ; Thou nor wreck nor foeman dreadest, Thou nor helm nor compass needest : While the sun is bright above thee, While the bounding surges love thee, In their deepening bosoms hiding,

Thou canst not fear,

Small Marinere!
Though the tides, with restless motion,

Bear thee to the desert ocean
Far as the ocean stretches to the sky,
'Tis all thine own, 'tis all thine empery.
Lame is Art; and her endeavour

Follows Nature's course but slowly,
Guessing, toiling, seeking ever,
Still improving, perfect never.
Little Nautilus ! thou showest
Deeper wisdom than thou knowest,-
Lore which man should study lowly.

Bold faith and cheer,
Small Marinere!

Are thine within thy pearly dwelling,

To thee a law of life compelling,
Obedience perfect, simple, glad, and free,
To the Great Will that animates the sea !

CAMPBELL.

THOMAS CAMPBELL was born in Scotland, A.D. 1777. He was very early brought into notice by the success of his first poem, The Pleasures of Hope. Still more admired were his minor poems, which appeared several years later; and his Gertrude of Wyoming, a tale rich in beauty and pathos, raised him to a reputation shared by but few. During a long literary life, Campbell sustained the unusual and flattering reproach of publishing too little. He wrote with that care which the greatest genius can turn to the best account, and without which its products have little chance of reaching posterity. The labour with which Campbell composed teaches us, however, another danger, from which poetry may suffer as much as from care. lessness. His was too often an ill-directed labour, less regardful of what is essential in poetry than solicitous about its ornaments. In repeated corrections the main thought seems frequently to have escaped him; and many a passage powerfully condensed, and ex. hibiting high touches of art, is deficient in the humbler requisites of sound logic, and correctness of grammar and diction. His lyrics, however, especially his naval odes, possess a noble fire and energy which disposes the reader to overlook imperfections of detail, though of that kind in which imperfection is most to be regretted. Camp. bell died in the year 1843.

THE BATTLE OF THE BALTIC.

Of Nelson and the north
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark's crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand,
In a bold determined hand,
And the prince of all the land
Led them on.

Like Leviathans afloat,
Lay their bulwarks on the brine;
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line:

It was ten of April morn by the chime.
As they drifted on their path
There was silence deep as death;
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.
But the might of England flush'd
To anticipate the scene;
And her van the fleeter rush'd
O'er the deadly space between.
“Hearts of oak !" our captains cried ; when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.
Again ! again ! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back ;-
Their shots along the deep slowly boom ;-
Then cease- and all is wail,
As they strike the shatter'd sail ;
Or, in conflagration pale,
Light the gloom.
Out spoke the victor then,
As he hail'd them o'er the wave;
“Ye are brothers ; ye are men !
And we conquer but to save :
So peace instead of death let us bring.
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
With the crews, at England's feet,
And make submission meet
To our king.”
Then Denmark bless'd our chief,
That he gave her wounds repose :
And the sounds of joy and grief
From her people wildly rose,
As death withdrew his shades from the day ;
While the sun look'd smiling bright
O'er a wide and woful sight,
Where the fires of funeral light

Died away

Now joy, old England, raise !
For the tidings of thy might

« НазадПродовжити »