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came like a blast from the desert, and laid they answered not. They turned their my green head low. The spring returned faees away: thin darkness covered their with its showers; no leaf of mine arose ! beauty. They were like stars, on a rainy The virgins saw me silent in the hall; hill, by night, each looking faintly through they touched the harp of joy. The tear
her mist.' was on the cheek of Malvina : the virgins “ Pleasant be thy rest, O lovely beam ! beheld me in my grief. Why art thou sad ? soon hast thou set on our bills! The steps they said, thou first of the maids of Lu. of thy departure were stately, like the moon, tha ?
Was he lovely as the beam of the on the blue-trembling wave. But thou hast morning, and stately in thy sight?' left us in darkness, first of the maids of
“ Pleasant is thy song in Ossian's ear, Lutha! We sit at the rock, and there is daughter of streamy Lutha! Thou hast no voice ; no light but the meteor of fire ! heard the music of departed bards in the Soon hast thou set, O Malvina, daughter of dream of thy rest, when sleep fell on thine generous Toscar! But thou risest like the eyes, at the murmur of Moruth. When beam of the east, among the spirits of thy thou didst return from the chase, in the friends, where they sit, in their stormy day of the sun, thou hast heard the music halls, the chambers of the thunder! A of bards, and thy song is lovely! It is cloud hovers over Cona. Its blue cuiling lovely, ( Malvina! but it melts the soul. sides are high. The winds are beneath it, There is a joy in grief when peace dwells with their wings. Within it is the dwelling in the breast of the sad. But sorrow of Fingal. There the hero sits in darkness. wastes the mournful, o daughter of Tos- His airy spear is in his hand. His shield, car! and their days are few! They fall half-covered with clouds, is like the darkened away, like the flower on which the sun moon; when one-half still remains in the hath looked in his strength, after the mil- wave, and the other looks sickly on the dew has passed over it, when its head is field ! heavy with the drops of night. Attend to “ His friends sit around the king, on the tale of Ossian, O maid! He remem- mist! They hear the songs of Ullin : he bers the days of his youth!
strikes the balf-viewless harp. He raises Read in tears, daughter of our love,
the feeble voice. The lesser heroes, with a the opening and the close of Berra.
thousand meteors, light the airy hall. Mal
vina rises in the midst; a blush is on her thron—the last of Ossian's songs.
cheek. She beholds the unknown faces of “ Bend thy blue course, O stream ! her fathers. She turns aside her humid round the narrow plain of Lutha. Let the
eyes. Art thou come so soon ?' said Fingreen woods hang over it, from their hills ; gal, daughter of generous Toscar ! Sadthe sun look on it at noon. The thistle is ness dwells in the halls of Lutha. My aged there on its rock, and shakes its beard to son is sad! I hear the breeze of Cona, the wind. The fower hangs its heavy that was wont to lift thy heavy locks. It head, waving at times, to the gale. " Why comes to the hall, but thou art not there. dost thou awake me, O gale ?' it seems to Its voice is mournful among the arms of say: 'I am covered with the drops of thy fathers ! Go, with thy rustling wing, heaven. The time of my fading is near, the O breeze! sigh on Malvina's tomb. It blast that shall scatter my leaves. To- rises yonder beneath the rock, at the blue morrow shall the traveller come: he that stream of Lutha. The maids are departed saw me in my beauty shall come. His
eyes to their place. Thou alone, O breeze, will search the field, but they will not find mournest there!'
So shall they search in vain for the “ But who comes from the dusky west, voice of Cona, after it has failed in the supported on a cloud? A smile is on his field. The hunter shall come forth in the
gray, watery face.
His locks of mist fly morning, and the voice of my harp shall not on wind.
He bends forward on his airy be heard. " Where is the son of car-borne spear. It is thy father, Malvina!! Why Fingal ?' The tear will be on his cheek ! shinest thou, so soon, on our clouds,' he says, Then come thou, O Malvina ; with all thy • O lovely light of Lutha ? But thou wert music, come ! Lay Ossian in the plain of sad, my daughter. Thy friends had passed Lutha : let his tomb rise in the lovely field. away.
The sons of little men were in the “ Malvina ! where art thou, with thy hall. None remained of the heroes, but songs, with the soft sound of thy steps ? Ossian king of spears !! Son of Alpin, art thou near ? where is the " And dost thou remember Ossian, cardaughter of Toscar ? 'I passed, O son of borne Toscar, son of Conloch ? The batFingal, by Torlutha's mossy walls. The tles of our youth were many.
Our swords smoke of the hall was ceased. Silence was
went together to the field. They saw us among the trees of the hill. The voice of coming like two falling rocks. The sons of the chase was over. I saw the daughters the stranger fled.
There come the war. of the bow, I asked about Malvina, but riors of Cona!' they said.
Their steps ear!
are in the paths of the flying !' Draw near, is the aged moon: thy sword a vapour half son of Alpin, to the song of the aged. The kindled with fire. Dim and feeble is the deeds of other times are in my soul. My chief who travelled in brightness before ! memory beams on the days that are past: But thy steps are on the winds of the deon the days of mighty Toscar, when our sert. The storms are darkening in thy path was in the deep. Draw near, son of hand. Thou takest the sun in thy wrath, Alpin, to the last sound of the voice of and hidest him in thy clouds. The sons of Cona!"
little men are afraid. A thousand showers
descend. But when thou comest forth in The son of Alpin must now be his thy mildness, the of the morning is guide, but not long—for Ossian may
near thy course. The sun laughs in his not survive Malvina. He sings to the blue fields. The gray stream winds in its son of the friend of his youth a dying vale. The bushes shake their green heads song of his own deeds of old, and of in the wind. The roes bound toward the Toscar, the father of her, the beloved desert. one, now a ghost; and this is the fare- 6. There is a murmur in the heath! the well of Ossian.
stormy winds abate! I hear the voice of
Fingal. Long has it been absent from mine “ Such were my deeds, son of Alpin, “ Come, Ossian, come away,” he when the arm of my youth was strong. says. Fingal has received his fame. We Such the actions of Toscar, the car-borne passed away, like flames that had shone for son of Conloch. But Toscar is on his flying
Our departure was in renown. cloud. I am alone at Lutha. My voice is
Though the plains of our battles are dark like the last sound of the wind, when it for
and silent, our fame is in the four gray sakes the woods. But Ossian shall not be
stones. The voice of Ossian has been heard. long alone. He sees the mist that shall re
The harp has been strung in Selma. “Come, ceive his ghost. He beholds the mist that
Ossian, come away,” he says ; shall form his robe, when he appears on his
with thy fathers on clouds.' I hills. The sons of feeble men shall behold
come, thou king of men ! The life of Os. me, and admire the stature of the chiefs of sian fails. I begin to vanish on Cona. My old. They shall creep to their caves. They steps are not seen in Selma. Beside the shall look to the sky with fear : for my
stone of Mora I shall fall asleep. The steps shall be in the clouds. Darkness shall.
winds whistling in my gray hair, shall not roll on my side.
awaken me. Depart on thy wings, O wind, Lead, son of Alpin, lead the aged to
thou canst not disturb the rest of the bard. his woods. The winds begin to rise. The
The night is long, but his eyes are heavy. dark wave of the lake resounds. Bends
Depart, thou rustling blast. there not a tree from Mora with its branches
66. But why art thou sad, son of Fingal ? bare ? It bends, son of Alpin, in the rust
Why grows the cloud of thy soul? The ling blast.
My harp hangs on a blasted chiefs of other times are departed. They branch. The sound of its strings is mourn
have gone without their fame. The sons ful. Does the wind touch thee, O harp, or of future years shall pass away.
Another is it some passing ghost ? It is the hand of
race shall arise. The people are like the Malvina! Bring me the harp, son of Al.
waves of ocean ; like the leaves of woody pin. Another song shall rise. My soul
Morven, they pass away in the rustling blast, shall depart in the sound. My fathers
and other leaves lift their green heads on shall hear it in their airy hall. Their dim
high. faces shall hang with joy from their clouds ;
"• Did thy beauty last, O Ryno ? Stood and their hands receive their son. The
the strength of car-borne Oscar ? Fingal aged oak bends over the stream.
It sighs himself departed 1 The halls of his fathers with all its moss. The withered fern
forgot his steps. Shalt thou then remain, whistles near, and mixes, as it waves, with
thou aged bard! when the mighty have Ossian's hair.
failed ? But my fame shall remain, and 6. Strike the harp, and raise the song : grow like the oak of Morven ; which lifts its be near, with all your wings, ye winds.
broad head to the storm, and rejoices in the Bear the mournful sound away to Fingal's
course of the wind.'” Bear it to Fingal's hall, that he may hear the voice of his son: the
And now, our good children, when voice of him that praised the mighty !
asked, Have you READ OSSIAN ? you 666 The blast of the north opens thy gates,
will answer, “Yes—at the feet of ChrisO king! I behold thee sitting on mist dimly topher.
The mirthful are often the gleaming in all thine arms. Thy form now
most melancholy, and know best that is not the terror of the valiant. It is like there is " a joy in grief.” That is the a waterý cloud; when we see the stars be- chief charm of the poetry at which you hind it with their weeping eyes. Thy shield have now been looking, as at the
moon,“ seen but by glimpses," or the for man,"-yet there, methinks, our soft-burning stars.
We shall say no
friend out-herauded Heraud. more about the genius of Ossian. What made us think just now, we We never write critiques, you know, wonder, of the American Indians ? on any great poet ; and it has even We dare say you never saw these been said, that, during our whole cri- verses, written half-a-century ago by tical career, we have never shown fa- Philip Freneau, a descendant of the vour to original genius, but have be. French Protestants, who went to Amestowed laurel crowns only on minor rica upon the revocation of the Edict worthies like ourselves-congenial spi- of Nantes. rits. Be it so. “ Pride was not made
Edinburgh : Printed
by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work.
With the exception of some scenes This want of authentic materials for from Lopé and Guillen de Castro, con- the private history of one, who, even in tained in Lord Holland's Life of Lopé his own day, was the object of some de Vega, the first English specimens of interest and curiosity, and whose dratranslation from the Spanish Theatre, mas had certainly eclipsed in popularity we believe, appeared in this Maga- those of his predecessors and contemzine; where Lope's Sancho Ortiz de poraries, may, however, in Shaklas Roelas,* and Calderon's Devotion speare's case, have been in some degree of the Cross,t his Courtesy not Love,f accounted for by the fact, that his and his Dancing-Master, s were ana- habits and employments disinclined lysed at length, with liberal extracts, him to letter-writing, while his theain which the peculiarities of the Spa- trical associates and rival authors were nish dramatic versification, on which too much occupied with their own so much of the effect of the original bustling and precarious employments, depends, were in general imitated in to find time for recording the memoEnglish. These specimens of that rabilia of a brother dramatist, whose noble theatre, it is our intention, from vast superiority to themselves their time to time, to resume: and in the very proximity to him prevented them mean time, to preface our translations from appreciating. by some general remarks on the great- The extreme meagreness of our inest ornament of the Spanish drama, formation, however, with regard to the Calderon de la Barca.
prince of Spanish dramatists, Calderon
de la Barca, is more unaccountable, We know little of the private life of when we recollect, that from about 1628 Shakspeare. The incidents of his his. to his death in 1687, he lived at the tory, prior to his leaving Warwick. Spanish Court, the favourite of two shire, are few and doubtful. Even the successive monarchs, Philip IV. and incidents of his theatrical career in Charles II.--that he was a man of rank London, so far as they are establish- and of learning, enjoying all the sweets ed from any authentic sources, af- of lettered ease—that his fame, eclipsford but slight glimpses of the out- ing even that of Lopé, was spread over ward surface of the poet's character; all Europe, and his pieces imitated on and after his return to Stratford, his every stage. And yet, of his personal life is for the biographer a mere history we know nothing more, at the blank. As a man, in short, Shak- present day, than what is contained in speare is to us little more than a name. the meagre notice prefixed by his friend
• Vol. xviii. p. 680. † Vol. xviii. p. 83. Vol. xvii. p. 641. S Vol. xx. p. 539.
NO, CCXC. VOL. XLVI.
and editor, Don Juan de Vera Tassis, to coupled with the facilities afforded the collected edition of his works, (un- by a musical language, copious in dertaken by bim in 1685,) in which the rhymes, and by occasional repetitions incidents are as scanty as the style is of the same incidents and imagery, pompous and unmeaning. The sub- enabled him to produce a drama in stance of the whole is simply this: That a space of time, which, though long he was the descendant of a noble fami- if compared with that usually given by ly, and born in 1601; that he studied Lopé to his brilliant improvisations, at Salamanca, and afterwards served certainly appears wonderfully short in during some campaigns in Italy and comparison with that which an English Flanders; that in consequence of the dramatist would have bestowed upon success of some of his earlier dramas, a play of corresponding length. he was invited by Philip IV. (himself It is certainly singular, that in the a passionate admirer of the drama, and, case of a person so distinguished as it is said, the author of some theatrical Calderon, enjoying in his own day the pieces of tolerable merit,) to the court favour of successive sovereigns, and of Madrid, where he received the ap- the proud title of “ Phænix of Poets," pointment of court poet, and continued no lise but this meagre memorial of till 1652, (when he entered into holy Vera Tassis should have appeared ; orders,) to pour out tragedies and co- and that no correspondence, or documedies for the stage, with equal fa- ments illustrative of his character or his cility, brilliancy, aud success. From poetical views, have yet been published. that time to his death, his composi. It is difficult to believe that such mations, though in a dramatic form, and terials do not exist in Spain, if sufficient not unfrequently on subjects of a se- zeal and perseverance were bestowed cular character, were chiefly Autos on their acquisition : and we could Sacramentules, and Loas, pieces of a scarcely point out a subject of greater spiritual, moral, or religious character. interest and novelty for a critical biogra. The whole number of his plays con- phy than that which a life of Calderon, tained in Vera Tassis' collection, (ex- constructed from materials of suffi. cluding those on religious subjects,) cient minuteness and personal interest, amounts to a hundred and eight. Twelve combined with an impartial and temothers, intended by Vera Tassis for the perate appreciation of his works, would tenth volume of his works, were never afford. printed, and are supposed to be now The task would undoubtedly be a lost.
difficult one. The sudden and total The number here mentioned is negleet into which not only the works great; but, after all, the dramatic acti- of Calderon, but that of all the Spanish vity of Calderon is scarcely greater dramatists of the early school, sank than that of Shakspeare. The thirty-six upon the introduction of the French plays of Shakspeare range over a period taste into Spain, under the Bourof only seventeen years, (1597 to 1614;) bons, and from which, in their own the one hundred and twenty of Calderon country, they have never emerged, has --if Schlegel's statement be correct, that left the theatre of Calderon with a most he began to write for the stage when corrupted and mutilated text—so coronly fourteen years old-must be distri- rupt, indeed, as to be occasionally buted over a period of seventy-three unintelligible, notwithstanding the years, in which case his fertility, though attempts at emendation by Vera Tasstill great, is by no means astonish- sis and A pontes. Frequently noing. It would be a mistake, no doubt, thing exists, except the internal evito suppose that Calderon rivalled dence of style, or allusions to passing or sought to rival the almost preter- events, or the date of representation, natural rapidity of Lopé, to whom - to mark the date of the composition of twenty-four hours, it is said, were any particular play. All of them are sufficient for the composition of a play. left without the slightest commentary On the contrary, his plots were gene- to explain the many difficulties arising rally carefully studied and digested, sometimes from a real obscurity in the the combinations of the intrigue very ideas themselves, sometimes from a artfully and elaborately prepared, the form of expression now antiquated, brilliant passages in his dramas highly sometimes from plays on words which wrought up; though long practice
and escape the notice of the foreign readerextensive acquaintance with the stage, and still more frequently from the per