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his study and reading-room of the sha. return to us. We waited for them in dowed copse, the stream, the lake, and vain ; the sea, by its restless moaning, the waterfall. III health and continual seemed to desire to inform us of what we pain preyed upon his powers, and the so. would not learn :--but a veil may well be litude in which we lived, particularly on drawn over such misery. The real an. our first arrival in Italy, although con guish of these moments transcended all genial to his feelings, must frequently the fictions that the most glowing ima. have weighed upon his spirits; those gination ever pourtrayed : our seclusion, beautiful and affecting “ Lines, written the savage nature of the inhabitants of in dejection at Naples," were composed the surrounding villages, and our imme. at such an interval; but when in health, diate vicinity to the troubled sea, com. his spirits were buoyant and youthful to bined to imbue with strange horror our an extraordinary degree.
days of uncertainty. The truth was at Such was his love for nature, that every last known,--a truth that made our loved page of his poetry is associated in the and lovely Italy appear a tomb, its sky a minds of his friends with the loveliest pall. Every heart echoed the deep lament; scenes of the countries which he inha. and my only consolation was in the praise bited. In early life he visited the most and earnest love that each voice bestowed, beautiful parts of this country and Ire. and each countenance demonstrated, for land. Afterwards the Alps of Switzer. him we had lost,-not, I fondly hope, for land became his inspirers. “ Prometheus ever : his unearthly and elevated nature is Unbound” was written among the de- a pledge of the continuation of his being, serted and flower-grown ruins of Rome; although in an altered form. Rome re. and when he made his home under the ceived his ashes : they are deposited be. Pisan hills, their roofless recesses har. neath its weed-grown wall, and “the boured him as he composed “ The Witch world's sole monument" is enriched by of Atlas,"
,” “ Adonais,” and “ Hellas." his remains. In the wild but beautiful Bay of Spezia, the winds and waves which he loved be. This volume, which contains a came his playmates. His days were chief. republication of his “ Alastor," a ly spent on the water ; the management
collection of all his smaller poems of his boat, its alterations and improve. which have been scattered through ments, were his principal occupation. At different periodical works, with the night, when the unclouded moon shone addition of severalunpublished poems on the calm sea, he often went alone in
and fragments, and some translahis little shallop to the rocky caves that tions from the Greek and modern bordered it, and sitting beneath their shel.
languages, possesses exactly the same ter, wrote “ The Triumph of Life,” the
beauties and defects which characlast of his productions. The beauty but strangeness of this lonely place, the refin. terize his published works-the same ed pleasure which he felt in the compa- the same, or rather greater careless
solemnity-the same obscuritynionship of a few selected friends, our en. tire sequestration from the rest of the ness, and the same perfection of world, all contributed to render this pe- poetical expression. It is this last riod of his life one of continued enjoy- quality which will always give to ment. I am convinced that the two Shelley an original and distinct chamonths we passed there were the happi. 'racter among the poets of the age ; est he had ever known : his health even and in this, we have little hesitation rapidly improved, and he was never bet. in saying, that we consider him deter than when I last saw him, full of cidedly superior to them all. Every spirits and joy, embark for Leghorn, that word he uses, even though the idea he might there welcome Leigh Hunt to he labours to express be vague, or Italy. I was to have accompanied him, but illness confined me to my room, and
exaggerated, or unnatural, is intensethus put the seal on my misfortune. His ly poetical. In no writer of the age
is the distinction between poetry and vessel bore out of sight with a favourable wind, and I remained awaiting his return
prose so strongly marked: deprive by the breakers of that sea which was
his verses of the rhymes, and still about to engulph him.
the exquisite beauty of the language, He spent a week at Pisa, employed in
the harmony of the pauses, the arkind offices towards his friend, and en
rangement of the sentences, is perjoying with keen delight the renewal of ceptible. This is in itself a talent of their intercourse. He then embarked with no ordinary kind, perfectly separate Mr Williams, the chosen and beloved in its nature, though generally found sharer of his pleasures and of his fate, to united with that rigour of imagina
tion which is essential to a great Between the east and west ; and half the poet, and in Mr Shelley it over
sky shadows even his powers of concep
Was rooft'd with clouds of rich embla. tion, which are unquestionably very zonry, great. It is by no means improbable, Dark purple at the zenith, which still however, that this extreme anxiety Down the steep west into a wondrous hue to embody his ideas in language of a lofty and uncommon cast, may have Brighter than burning gold, even to the contributed to that which is undoubt. Where the swift sun yet pausd in his deedly the besetting sin of bis poetry, its extreme vagueness and obscurity, Among the many-folded hills,—they were and its tendency to allegory and per- Those famous Euganean hills, which sonification.
bear, Hence it is in the vague, unearth. As seen from Lido through the harbour ly, and mysterious, that the peculiar piles, power of his mind is displayed. Like The likeness of a clump of peaked isles the Goule in the Arabian Tales, he And then, as if the earth and sea had been leaves the ordinary food of men, to Dissolv'd into one lake of fire, were seen banquet among the dead, and revels Those mountains tow'ring, as from waves with a melancholy delight in the
of flame, gloom of the churchyard and the Around the vaporous sun, froin which
there came cemetery. He is in poetry what Sir Thomas Browne is in prose, perpe. Their very peaks transparent.
The inmost purple spirit of light, and made
“ Ere it tually hovering on the confines of the grave, prying with a terrible curiosity Said my companion, “I will show you
fade," into the secrets of mortality, and speculating with painful earnestness on
A better station.” So o'er the lagune every thing that disgusts or appals We glided; and from that funereal bark mankind.
I lean'd, and saw the city, and could mark But when, abandoning these darker How from their many isles, in evening's themes, he yields himself to the de- glean, scription of the softer emotions of the Its temples and its palaces did seem heart, and the more smiling scenes of Like fabrics of enchantment pild to Nature, we know no poet who has heav'n. felt more intensely, or described with
How delicately beautiful are these more glowing colours the enthu
stanzas from the Witch of Atlas ! siasm of love and liberty, or the varied aspects of Nature. His descrip- And down the streams which clove those tions have a force and clearness of
mountains vast painting which are quite admirable ; Around their inland islets, and amid and his imagery, which he accumu. The panther-peopled forests, whose shade lates and pours forth with the prodi- cast gality of genius, is, in general, equal.
Darkness and odours, and a pleasure
hid ly appropriate and original. How forcible is this Italian sunset, from
In melancholy gloom, the pinnace past, the first poem in the present collec
By many a star-surrounded pyramid
Of icy crag cleaving the purple sky, tion, entitled Julian and Maddalo,
And caverns yawning round unfathom. a piece of a very wild, and not a very
ably. agreeable cast, but rich in eloquent and fervid painting!
The silver noon into that winding dell,
With slanted gleam athwart the forest As those who pause on some delightful tops, way,
Temper'd like golden evening, feebly fell ; Though bent on pleasant pilgrimage, we A green and glowing light, like that stood,
which drops Looking upon the evening and the flood, From folded lilies in which glowworms Which lay between the city and the shore,
dwell, Pav'd with the image of the sky: the hoar When earth over her face night's manAnd aery Alps, towards the north, ap
tle wraps ; pear'd,
Between the severed mountains lay on Through mist, an hcav’n-sustaining bul- high, wark, rear'd
Over the stream, a narrow rist of sky.
And ever as she went, the Image lay and how much it may be injured by With folded wings and unawakened a harsh line, an imperfect or forced eyes ;
rhyme, a defective syllable, or, as is And o'er its gentle countenance did play often the case here, an unfortunate The busy dreams, as thick as summer [ ) occurring in the middle of a fies,
stanza. Others, however, are fortuChasing the rapid smiles that would not nately in a more finished state ; and
stay, And drinking the warm tears, and the though even in these it is probable sweet sighs
that much is wanting, which the last
touches of the author would have Inhaling, which, with busy murmur vain, They had arous'd from that full heart and given, we have no fear but that, imbrain.
perfect as they are, they will bear us
out in what we have said of the And ever down the prone vale, like a cloud powers of the poet. Upon a stream of wind, the pinnace What a quiet stillness breathes went :
over this description of Now lingering on the pools, in which abode
The Pine Forest The calm and darkness of the deep OF THE CASCINE, NEAR PISA! content
We wandered to the Pine Forest In which they pausid ; now o'er the shal
That skirts the Ocean's foam, low road
The lightest wind was in its nest, of white and dancing waters, all be. The tempest in its home.
sprent With sand and polish'd pebbles :-mor. The whispering waves were half asleep, tal boat
The clouds were gone to play, In such a shallow rapid could not float. And on the woods, and on the deep,
The smile of Heaven lay. And down the earthquaking cataracts, which shiver
It seemed as if the day were one Their snow-like waters into golden air,
Sent from beyond the skies,
Which shed to earth above the sun Or under chasms unfathomable ever
A light of Paradise. Sepulchre them, till in their rage they tear
We paused amid the Pines that stood A subterranean portal for the river,
The giants of the waste, It fled, the circling sunbows did up. Tortured by storms to shapes as rude, bear
With stems like serpents interlaced. Its fall down the hoar precipice of spray, Lighting it far upon its lampless way.
How calm it was the silence there
By such a chain was bound, By far the greater number of the That even the busy woodpecker pieces which the present volume con
Made stiller by her sound. tains are fragments, some of them The inviolable quietness ; in a very unfinished state indeed ; The breath of peace we drew, and though we approve the feeling With its soft motion made not less which led the friends of Mr Shelley The calm that round us grew. to collect thein all, we question It seemed that from the remotest seat whether a selection, from the more
Of the white mountain's waste, finished pieces, would not have been To the bright Aower beneath our feet, a more prudent measure, as far as his
A magic circle traced ; fame is concerned. It dissolves entirely the illusion which we wish to
A spirit interfused around, cherish as to the intuitive inspira- To momentary peace it bound
A thinking, silent life, tion—the estro of poetry-to be thus
Our mortal Nature's strife. admitted, as it were, into the workshop of Genius, and to see its mate. For still it seemed the centre of rials confused and heaped together, The magic circle there, before they have received their last Was one whose being filled with love touches from the hand of the poet,
The breathless atmosphere. and been arranged in their proper Were not the crocusses that grew order. And it is wonderful how Under that ilex tree, much the effect of the finest poem As beautiful in scent and hue depends on an attention to minutiæ, As ever fed the bee ?
We stood beside the pools that lie I sit upon the sands alone,
The lightning of the noon-tide ocean And each seemed like a sky
Is flashing round me, and a tone Gulphed in a world below ;
Arises from its measur'd motion,
How sweet ! did any heart now share A purple firmament of light,
in my emotion.
Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content surpassing wealth In which the massy forests grew,
The sage in meditation found, As in the upper air,
And walk'd with inward glory crown'dMore perfect both in shape and hue
Nor fame, nor pow'r, nor love, nor Than any waving there.
leisure. Like one beloved, the scene had lent
Others I see whom these surround, To the dark water's breast
Smiling they live and call life pleasure ; Its every leaf and lineament
To me that cup has been dealt in ano. With that clear truth expressed.
ther measure. There lay for glades and neighbouring Yet now despair itself is mild, lawn,
Even as the winds and waters are ; And through the dark green crowd I could lie down like a tired child, The white sun twinkling like the dawn And weep away the life of care Under a speckled cloud.
Which I have borné and yet must bear,
Till death like sleep might steal on me, Sweet views, which in our world above
And I might feel in the warm air Can never well be seen,
My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea Were imaged by the water's love
Breathe o'er my dying brain its last Of that fair forest green,
monotony And all was interfused beneath Within an Elysium air,
Some might lament that I were cold,
As I, when this sweet day is gone, An atmosphere without a breath,
Which my lost heart, too soon grown old, A silence sleeping there.
Insults with this untimely moan ; Until a wandering wind crept by,
They might lament, for I am one Like an unwelcome thought,
Whom men love not, and yet regret, Which from my mind's too faithful eye
Unlike this day, which, when the sun Blots thy bright image out.
Shall on its stainless glory set,
Will linger, though enjoy'd, like joy in For thou art good, and dear, and kind,
memory yet. The forest ever green, But less of peace in S-'s mind,
The following lines also appear to Than calm in waters seen.
us extremely beautiful, though, in We should pity any one who could order to preserve the full effect of the peruse the following affecting lines, rythm, they require some manageentitled “ Stanzas written in dejec
ment in the reading. tion, near Naples," without the
Lines strongest sympathy for their unfore tunate author.
When the lamp is shattered
The light in the dust lies deadThe sun is warm, the sky is clear,
When the cloud is scattered The waves are dancing fast and bright, The rainbow's glory is shed. Blue isles and snowy mountains wear When the lute is broken,
The purple noon's transparent light Sweet tones are remembered not ;
When the lips have spoken,
As music and splendour
Survive not the lamp and the late,
The heart's echoes render
With green and purple seaweeds strown; No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruined cell, Like light diseolv'd in star-show'rs, Or the mournful surges thrown:
That ring the dead seaman's knell.
When hearts have once mingled, What difference ? but thou dost possess Love first leaves the well-built nest, The things I seck, not love them less.
The weak one is singled
I love Love—though he has wings, 0, Love! who bewailest
And like light can flee, The frailty of all things here,
But above all other things, Why choose you the frailest
Spirit, I love thee
Thou art love and life! O come, For your cradle, your home, and your bier ?
Make once more my heart thy home!
The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies ; Will rot, and thine eagle home
All that we wish to stay, Leave the naked to laughter,
Tempts and then flies ; When leaves fall and cold winds come.
What is this world's delight ?
Lightning that mocks the night, The following appear to us very Brief even as bright. much in the style of our old English lyric poets of the age of Charles I.
Virtue, how frail it is !
Friendship too rare !
Love, how it sells poor bliss
For proud despair ! Spirit of Delight!
But we, though soon they fall, Wherefore hast thou left me now
Survive their joy and all Many a day and night?
Which ours we call. Many a weary night and day "Tis since thou art Bed away.
Whilst skies are blue and bright,
Whilst flowers are gay, How shall ever one like me
Whilst eyes that change ere night Win thee back again ?
Make glad the day ; With the joyous and the free
Whilst yet the calm hours creep, Thou wilt scoff at pain.
Dream thou- and from thy sleep
Then wake to weep.
Swister far than summer's flight,
Swister far than youth's delight, Thou with sorrow art dismayed ;
Swifter far than happy night, Even the sighs of grief
Art thou come and gone : Reproach thee, that thou art not near, As the earth when leaves are dead, And reproach thou wilt not hear.
As the night when sleep is sped, Let me set my mournful ditty
As the heart when joy is fled, To a merry measure,
I am left lone, alone. Thou wilt never come for pity,
Lilies for a bridal bed, Thou wilt come for pleasure ;
Roses for a matron's head, Pity then will cut away
Violets for a maiden dead, Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.
Pansies let my flowers be : I love all that thou lovest,
On the living grave I bear,
Scatter them without a tear,
Let no friend, however dear,
Wasté one hope, one fear for me. And the starry night ; Autumn evening, and the morn
The longer poems, from which we When the golden mists are born. have made no extracts, we think less I love snow, and all the forms
interesting, though some of them, Of the radiant frost ;
and particularly the Triumph of I love waves, and winds, and storms, Life, an imitation of Petrarch's TriEvery thing almost
onfi, are written with very peculiar Which is Nature's, and may be
power and originality: Some transUntainted by man's misery.
lations are also included in this voI love tranquil solitude,
lume, of which the Scenes from And such society
Goethe's Faust, and Calderon's “MaAs is quiet, wise, and good ;
gico Prodigioso," are the most inBetween thee and me
teresting VOL. XV.