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Grenadiers, lightbobs, inch-people all,
Some graceful pair, or more to see
A RURAL RETREAT.
Enter John OF SALISBURY with A Boort.
John of S. Formosam resonare doces Amaryllida sylvas.
Let me pause here, both tongue and foot; such
melody Of words doth strike the wild-birds mute to hear it! Honey-lipp'd Virgil, 'tis an ignorant truth To name thee—Sorcerer; for thou dost indeed Enchant by happiest art!—Here is a place To meditate thy sylvan music in, Which seems the very echo of these woods, As if some dryad taught thee to resound it. Oh gentle breeze, what lyrist of the air Tunes her soft chord with visionary hand To make thy voice so dulcet! Oh ye boughs Whispering with numerous lips your kisses close How sweet ye mingle secret words and sighs! Doth not this work grow warmer with the hum Of fervent bees, blithe murmurers at their toil, Minstrels most bland! Here the dim cushat, perch'd Within his pendulous arbour, plaintive woos, With restless love-call, his ne'er distant mate; While changeful choirs do flit from tree to tree, All various in their notes, yet chiming all Involuntary, like the songs of cherubim. Oh, how by accident, apt as art, drops in Each tone to make the whole harmonial. [sounds And when need were, thousands of wandering Though aimless, would, with exquisite error sad, Fill up the diapason : Pleasant din So fine that even the cricket can be heard [mark'd Soft fluttering through the grass. Long have I The silver toll of a clear-dipping well Peal in its bright parishioners, ouphes and elves: "Tis nigh me, certes'—I will peer between These honeysuckles for it—Lo! in verity A Sylph, with veil-fallen hair down to her feet, Bending her o'er the waters, and I think Giving them purer crystal from her eyes— Oh learned John, but thou art grown fantastic As a romancer'
The RF is a mighty dawning on the earth, Of human glory: dreams unknown before Fill the mind's boundless world, and wondrous birth Is given to great thought: or the deep-drawn lore, But late a hidden fount, at which a few Quaff'd and were glad, is now a flowing river, Which the parch'd nations may approach and view, Kneel down and drink, or float in it for ever: The bonds of spirit are asunder broken, And matter makes a very sport of distance; On every side appears a silent token Of what will be hereafter, when existence Shall even become a pure and equal thing, And earth sweep high as heaven, on solemn wing.
Gon will'd creation: but creation was not The cause of that Almighty Will of God, But that great God's desire of emanation: Beauty of human love the object is; But love's sweet cause lives in the soul's desire For intellectual, sensual sympathies: Seeing a plain-plumed bird, in whose deep throat We know the richest power of music dwells, We long to hear its linked melodies: Scenting a far-off flower's most sweet perfume, That gives its balm of life to every wind, We crave to mark the beauty of its bloom: But bird nor flower is that volition's cause: [laws. But music and fine grace, graven on the soul, like
Let the trim tapers burn exceeding brightly And the white bed be deck'd as for a goddess, Who must be pillow'd, like high vesper, nightly On couch ethereal' Be the curtains fleecy, Like vesper's fairest when calm nights are breezy— Transparent, parting—showing what they hide, Or strive to veil—by mystery deified The floor, gold-carpet, that her zone and boddice May lie in honour where they gently fall, Slow loosened from her form symmetrical— Like mist from sunlight. Burn, sweet odours, burn! For incense at the altar of her pleasure' Let music breathe with a voluptuous measure, And witchcrafts trance her wheresoe'er she turn.
LEigh HUNT says of him, “He is a poet; he is overflowing with fancy and susceptibility, and not without the finest subtleties of imagination.” Praise from a high source, and not ill deserved.
THE POETRY OF EARTH.
“The Poetry of Earth is never dead,” Even in the cluster'd haunts of plodding men. Before a door in citied underground, Lies a man-loving, faith-expression'd hound— To pastoral hills forth tending us; to den Of daring bandit; and to regions dread Of mountain-snows, where others of its kind Tend upon man's, as with a human mind. A golden beetle on the dusty steps Crawls, of a wayside-plying vehicle, Where wending men swarm thick and gloomily: We gaze; and see beneath the ripening sky The harvest glisten; and that creature creeps Upon the sunny corn, radiantly visible !
-oTHE SERE OAK-LEAVES.
Why do ye rustle in this vernal wind, Sere leaves' shaking a dread prophetic shroud Over the very cradle of the spring 4 Like pertinacious Age, with warnings loud, Dinning the grave into an infant’s mind, And shadowing death on life's first imaging ! Why to these teeming branches do ye cling, And with your argument renascence cloud; Whilst every creature of new birth is proud, And in unstain'd existence revelling! Fall, and a grave within the centre find' And do not thus, whilst all the sweet birds sing, The insects glitter, and the flower'd grass waves,
. Blight us with thoughts of winter and our graves! *
A thous AND swans are o'er the waters sailing, And others in the reeds and rushes brood, And more are flying o'er the sunny flood; And all move with a grandeur so prevailing, That long we stand, without a breath inhaling, In admiration of their multitude, And the majestic grace with which endued They float upon the waves, their pride regaling. The sky is blue and golden; clear as glass, The sea sweeps richly on the glowing shingle; All vernal hues in the near woods commingle; And exquisite beauty waves along the grass; But these things seem but humbly tributary To the white pomp of that vast aviary 1
Mr. BRowNING's first appearance as an author was in 1835, when he published Paracelsus, a dramatic poem founded on the history of the celebrated professor of that name at Basil, in the days of Luther and ERAsylus. He has since written three tragedies, entitled Strafford, King Victor and King Charles, and A Blot in the 'Scutcheon; and many shorter pieces, most of which are included in his Bells and Pomegranates, issued by Moxon in 1843. There are in Mr. BRowNING's writings vigour, force of character, and passionate strength; but unhappily few of them are adapted to the popular apprehension. They are not easily read in the boudoir, where the
EXTRACT FROM PARACELSU.S.
With still a flying point of bliss remote, A happiness in store afar, a sphere Of distant glory in full view, thus climbs Pleasure its heights for ever and for ever ! The centre-fire heaves underneath the earth, And the earth changes like a human face; The molten ore bursts up among the rocks, Winds into the stone's heart, outbranches bright In hidden mines, spots barren river-beds, Crumbles into fine sand where sunbeams bask– God joys therein!.... Earth is a wintry clod; But spring-wind, like a dancing psaltress, passes Over its breast to waken it; rare verdure Buds here and there upon rough banks, between The wither'd tree-roots and the cracks of frost; The grass grows bright, the boughs are swollen with Like chrysalids impatient for the air; [blooms, The shining dorrs are busy; beetles run Along the furrows, ants make their ado; Above birds fly in merry flocks—the lark Soars up and up, shivering for very joy; Afar the ocean sleeps; white fishing-gulls Flit where the strand is purple with its tribe Of nested limpets; savage creatures seek Their loves in wood and plain; and God renews His ancient rapture! Thus he dwells in all, From life's minute beginnings, up at last To man—the consummation of this scheme Of being—the completion of this sphere Of life: whose attributes had here and there Been scatter'd o'er the visible world before, Asking to be combined—dim fragments meant To be united in some wondrous whole— Imperfect qualities throughout creation, Suggesting some one creature yet to make
perusal of MooRE and Rogers is the highest exertion of intellect. Indeed, with some striking merits which will give them an influence in the formation of the taste of another generation, they are deformed by so many novelties of construction, and affectations of various kinds, that few will have patience to wade through his marshes to cull the fiowers with which they are scattered. Mr. BRowNING's Blot in the 'Scutcheon was acted in 1843, under the management of Mr. MACREADY. Though its dramatic qualities were in direct opposition to the prevailing style of the stage, it met with a hearty reception from the best critics.
... some point Whereto those wandering rays should all converge; Might: neither put forth blindly, nor controll’d Calmly by perfect knowledge—to be used At risk—inspired or check'd by hope and fear; Knowledge: not intuition, but the slow Uncertain fruit of an enhancing toil, Strengthen’d by love; love: not serenely pure, But power from weakness, like a chance-sown plant, Which, caston stubborn soil, puts forthchangedbuds, And softer stains, unknown in happier climes: A blind, unfailing, and devoted love, And half-enlighten'd, often-checker'd trust. Anticipations, hints of these and more Are strewn confusedly everywhere—all seek An object to possess and stamp their own; All shape out dimly the forthcoming race, The heir of hopes too fair to turn out false, And man appears at last: so far the seal Is put on life: one stage of being complete, One scheme wound up; and from the grand result A supplementary reflux of light Illustrates all the inferior grades, explains Each back step in the circle; not alone The clear dawn of those qualities shines out, But the new glory mixes with the heaven And earth. Man, once descried, imprints for ever His presence on all lifeless things—the winds Are henceforth voices, wailing, or a shout A querulous mutter, or a quick, gay laughNever a senseless gust now man is born : The herded pines commune, and have deepthoughts, A secret they assemble to discuss, glare When the sun drops behind their trunks which Like grates of hell: the peerless cup afloat Of the lake-lily is an urn; some nymph Swims bearing high above her head: no bird
Whistles unseen, but through the gaps above
That let light in upon the gloomy woods,
EXTRACTS FROM SORDELLO. CARYAtides by sunset.
But quick To the main wonder now. A vault, see; thick Black shade about the ceiling, through fine slits Across the buttress suffer light by fits Upon a marvel in the midst; nay, stoop— A dullish gray-streak'd cumbrous font, a group Round it, each side of it, where'er one sees, Upholds it—shrinking caryatides Of just-tinged marble like Eve's lilied flesh Beneath her Maker's finger, when the fresh First pulse of life shot brightening the snow: The font's edge burdens every shoulder, so They muse upon the ground, eyelids half closed, Some, with meek arms behind their backs disposed, Some, cross'd above their bosoms, some, to veil Their eyes, some, propping chin and cheek so pale, Some, hanging slack an utter helpless length Dead as a buried vestal whose whole strength Goes when the grate above shuts heavily; So dwell these noiseless girls, patient to see, Like priestesses because of sin impure Penanced for ever, who resign'd endure, Having that once drunk sweetness to the dregs; And every eve Sordello's visit begs Pardon for them: constant as eve he came To sit beside each in her turn, the same As one of them, a certain space: and awe Made a great indistinctness, till he saw Sunset slant cheerful through the buttress chinks, Gold seven times globed; surely our maiden shrinks, And a smile stirs her as if one faint grain Her load were lighten'd, one shade less the stain Obscured her forehead, yet one more bead slipt From off the rosary whereby the crypt Keeps count of the contritions of its charge? Then with a step more light, a heart more large, He may depart, leave her and every one To linger out the penance in mute stone.
HE, no genius rare, Transfiguring in fire or wave or air At will, but a poor gnome that, cloister'd up In some rock-chamber with his agate cup, His topaz rod, his seed-pearl, in these few And their arrangement finds enough to do For his best art. Then, how he loved that art! The calling marking him a man apart From men—one not to care, take counsel for Cold hearts, comfortless faces, (Eglamor Was neediest of his tribe,) since verse, the gift, Was his, and men, the whole of them, must shift Without it, e'en content themselves with wealth And pomp and power, snatching a life by stealth. So Eglamor was not without his pride! The sorriest bat which cowers through noontide While other birds are jocund, has one time When moon and stars are blinded, and the prime Of earth is its to claim, nor find a peer.
Just as perhaps he mused, “My plans
Mr. HoRNE belongs to the intellectual brotherhood of whom we have already given specimens in the notices of DARLEy, BrownING, and others. He has written several dramatic poems and sketches, among which are The Death of Marlowe, Cosmo de' Medici, and Gregory the Seventh, all of which have met the approval of the critics. His latest production (excepting The New Spirit of the Age, of which he acknowledges himself to be the editor only) is Orion, an epic poem, which, aside from its intrinsic merits, will find its record in the Curiosities of Literature for the novel circumstances of its publication. It was offered to the public at various prices, commencing with a farthing and rising through successive stages to a halfcrown in its fourth edition. In Orion we have modern transcendentalism wedded to the old Greek mythology. Orion, wandering in the mountains of Chios, encounters Artemis, who loves him, and by her love elevates his nature, but fails to make him happy. In a dream he sees Merope, the daughter of OEnopion, king of Chios, who warns him to beware of Artemis, and on awaking he seeks and wins the affection of the princess. The king derides his pretensions, but promises him the hand of his daughter if in six days he will
destroy the beasts and serpents of the island.
EXTRACTS FROM ORION.
THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF ORION.
The scene in front two sloping mountains' sides Display’d; in shadow one and one in light. The loftiest on its summit now sustain'd The sun-beams, raying like a mighty wheel Half seen, which left the forward surface dark In its full breadth of shade; the coming sun Hidden as yet behind: the other mount, Slanting transverse, swept with an eastward face Catching the golden light. Now while the peal Of the ascending chase told that the rout Still midway rent the thickets, suddenly Along the broad and sunny slope appear'd The shadow of a stag that fled across,
Follow'd by a giant's shadow with a spear. 466
This he accomplishes, but OEnopion hesitating to fulfil his agreement, the giants make war against him and carry off Merope, with whom Orion lives happily in a secluded grove until the king discovers his retreat and deprives him of sight. In his wretchedness, deserted by Merope, he seeks the aid of Eos, who unseals his eyes and loves him with an affection which satisfies his soul. The jealous Artemis now destroys him; but repents, and joins with Eos in a prayer to Zeus for the restoration of his life. The prayer is granted; Orion is made immortal, placed among the constellations, and enjoys for ever the love of Eos. This slight outline of the fable is necessary to a proper understanding of the extracts from the poem which are given in this volume. Mr. HoRNE is also author of an Essay on Tragic Influence, and an Introduction to Schlegel's Lectures on Dramatic Literature and Art; and he was associated with Wordsworth, Leigh HUNT, Miss BARRETT, and others, in the production of Chaucer Modernized, to which he prefixed an admirable essay on the riches of English poetry and the development of the principles of versification, by which the rhythm of Chaucer is fully sustained, and which no poet who has a love for his art should fail to read.
O'Em meadows green or solitary lawn, When birds appear earth's sole inhabitants, The long, clear shadows of the morning differ From those of eve, which are more soft and vague, Suggestive of past days and mellow'd grief. The lights of morning, even as her shades, Are architectural, and pre-eminent In quiet freshness, midst the pause that holds Prelusive energies. All life awakes, Morn comes at first with white, uncertain light; Then takes a faint red, like an opening bud Seen through gray mist; the mist clears of; the sky Unfolds; grows ruddy; takes a crimson flush; Puts forth bright sprigs of gold,—which soon ex