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All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of love,
And feed his sacred flame.
Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruined tower.
The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene, Had blended with the lights of eve; And she was there, my hope, my joy, My own dear Genevieve!
She leaned against the armed man, The statue of the armed knight; She stood and listened to my lay
Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve!
She loves me best whene'er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.
I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story--
An old rude song that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the knight that wore Upon his shield a burning brand; And that for ten long years he wooed The lady of the land.
I told her how he pined; and ah! The deep, the low, the pleading tone With which I sang another's love, Interpreted my own.
She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
And she forgave me that I gazed
Too fondly on her face.
But when I told the cruel scorn
Which crazed this bold and lovely knight,
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night;
But sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once,
In green and sunny glade,
There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a fiend,
This miserable knight!
And that, unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The lady of the land;
And how she wept and clasped his knees,
And how she tended him in vain-
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain.
And that she nursed him in a cave;
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest leaves
A dying inan he lay;
His dying words-but when I reached That tenderest strain of all the ditty, My faltering voice and pausing harp Disturbed her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve-
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng;
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long!
She wept with pity and delight,
She blushed with love and virgin shame;
And like the murmur of a dream
I heard her breathe my name. Her bosom heaved, she stept aside; As conscious of my look she steptThen suddenly, with timorous eye, She fled to me and wept. She half enclosed me with her arms, She pressed me with a meek embrace, And bending back her head, looked up And gazed upon my face.
'Twas partly love, and partly fear, And partly 'twas a bashful art, That I might rather feel than see The swelling of her heart.
I calmed her fears; and she was calm, And told her love with virgin pride; And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous bride!
[Picture of a Dungeon.]
[From the tragedy of Remorse."]
And this place our forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom
To each poor brother who offends against us-
Most innocent, perhaps and what if guilty?
Is this the only cure? Merciful God!
Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up
By ignorance and parching poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart
And stagnate and corrupt, till, changed to poison,
They break on him like a loathsome plague-spot!
Then we call in our pampered mountebanks-
And this is their best cure! uncomforted
And friendless solitude, groaning and tears,
And savage faces at the clanking hour,
Seen through the steam and vapours of his dungeon
By the lamp's dismal twilight! So he lies
'Circled with evil, till his very soul
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By sights of evermore deformity!
With other ministrations thou, O Nature,
Healest thy wandering and distempered child :
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets;
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters ;
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
His angry spirit healed and harmonised
By the benignant touch of love and beauty.
[From Frost at Midnight."]
Dear babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings heard in this deep calm
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe, shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and, by giving, making it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the evedrops fall,
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet moon.
Love, Hope, and Patience in Education.
O'er wayward childhood wouldst thou hold firm rule,
And sun thee in the light of happy faces;
Love, Hope, and Patience, these must be thy graces,
And in thine own heart let them first keep school.
For as old Atlas on his broad neck places
Heaven's starry globe, and there sustains it, so
Do these upbear the little world below
Of education-Patience, Love, and Hope.
Methinks I see them grouped in seemly show,
The straitened arms upraised, the palms aslope,
And robes that touching as adown they flow,
Distinctly blend, like snow embossed in snow.
O part them never! If Hope prostrate lie,
Love too will sink and die.
But Love is subtle, and doth proof derive
From her own life that Hope is yet alive;
And bending o'er, with soul-transfusing eyes,
And the soft murmurs of the mother dove,
Woos back the fleeting spirit, and half supplies;
Thus Love repays to Hope what Hope first gave to Love.
Yet haply there will come a weary day,
When overtasked at length
Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way.
Then with a statue's smile, a statue's strength,
Stands the mute sister, Patience, nothing loath,
And both supporting, does the work of both.
Youth and Age.
Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding like a bee-
Both were mine! Life went a-Maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
When I was young? Ah, woful when !
Ah, for the change 'twixt now and then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er airy cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along:
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather,
When Youth and I lived in't together.
considerable length and beauty. He has also published hymns and other poems. He prepared an edition of Pope's works, which, being attacked by Campbell in his Specimens of the Poets, led to a literary controversy, in which Lord Byron and others took a part. Bowles insisted strongly on descriptive poetry forming an indispensable part of the poetical character; every rock, every leaf, every diversity of hue in nature's variety.' Campbell, on the other hand, objected to this Dutch minuteness and perspicacity of colouring, and claimed for the poet (what Bowles never could have denied) nature, moral as well as external, the poetry of the passions, and the lights and shades of human manners. In reality, Pope occupied a middle position, inclining to the artificial side of life. Mr Bowles has outlived most of his poetical contemporaries, excepting Rogers. He was born at King's-Sutton, Northamptonshire, in the year 1762, and was educated first at Winchester school, and subsequently at Trinity college, Oxford. He has long held the rectory of Bremhill, in Wiltshire.
O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest, unperceived, away;
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile-
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam of the transient shower,
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while:
Yet, ah! how much must that poor heart endure
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!
Winter Evening at Home.
Fair Moon! that at the chilly day's decline
Of sharp December, through my cottage pane
Dost lovely look, smiling, though in thy wane;
In thought, to scenes serene and still as thine,
Wanders my heart, whilst I by turns survey
Thee slowly wheeling on thy evening way;
And this my fire, whose dim, unequal light,
Just glimmering bids each shadowy image fall
Sombrous and strange upon the darkening wall,
Ere the clear tapers chase the deepening night!
Yet thy still orb, seen through the freezing haze,
Shines calm and clear without; and whilst I gaze,
I think around me in this twilight gloom,
I but remark mortality's sad doom;
Whilst hope and joy, cloudless and soft, appear
In the sweet beam that lights thy distant sphere.
Or turns his ear to every random song
Heard the green river's winding marge along,
The whilst each sense is steeped in still delight:
With such delight o'er all my heart I feel
Sweet Hope! thy fragrance pure and healing incense
[South American Scenery.]
Beneath aërial cliffs and glittering snows,
The rush-roof of an aged warrior rose,
Chief of the mountain tribes; high overhead,
The Andes, wild and desolate, were spread,
Where cold Sierras shot their icy spires,
And Chillan trailed its smoke and smouldering fires.
A glen beneath-a lonely spot of rest-
Hung, scarce discovered, like an eagle's nest.
Summer was in its prime; the parrot-flocks
Darkened the passing sunshine on the rocks;
The chrysomel and purple butterfly,
Amid the clear blue light, are wandering by;
The humming-bird, along the myrtle bowers,
With twinkling wing is spinning o'er the flowers;
The woodpecker is heard with busy bill,
The mock-bird sings-and all beside is still.
And look! the cataract that bursts so high,
As not to mar the deep tranquillity,
The tumult of its dashing fall suspends,
And, stealing drop by drop, in mist descends;
Through whose illumined spray and sprinkling dews,
Shine to the adverse sun the broken rainbow hues.
Checkering, with partial shade, the beams of noon,
And arching the gray rock with wild festoon,
Here, its gay network and fantastic twine,
The purple cogul threads from pine to pine,
And oft, as the fresh airs of morning breathe,
Dips its long tendrils in the stream beneath.
There, through the trunks, with moss and lichens white,
The sunshine darts its interrupted light,
And 'mid the cedar's darksome bough, illumes,
With instant touch, the lori's scarlet plumes.
Sun-Dial in a Churchyard.
So passes, silent o'er the dead, thy shade,
Brief Time! and hour by hour, and day by day,
The pleasing pictures of the present fade,
And like a summer vapour steal away.
And have not they, who here forgotten lie
(Say, hoary chronicler of ages past),
Once marked thy shadow with delighted eye,
Nor thought it fled-how certain and how fast?
Since thou hast stood, and thus thy vigil kept,
Noting each hour, o'er mouldering stones beneath; The pastor and his flock alike have slept,
And 'dust to dust' proclaimed the stride of death. Another race succeeds, and counts the hour,
Careless alike; the hour still seems to smile, As hope, and youth, and life, were in our power; So smiling, and so perishing the while.
I heard the village bells, with gladsome sound
(When to these scenes a stranger I drew near),
Proclaim the tidings of the village round,
While memory wept upon the good man's bier. Even so, when I am dead, shall the same bells Ring merrily when my brief days are gone;
As one who, long by wasting sickness worn,
Weary has watched the lingering night, and heard, While still the lapse of time thy shadow tells,
Heartless, the carol of the matin bird
And strangers gaze upon my humble stone!
Salute his lonely porch, now first at morn
Goes forth, leaving his melancholy bed;
He the green slope and level meadow views,
Delightful bathed in slow ascending dews;
Or marks the clouds that o'er the mountain's head,
In varying forms, fantastic wander white;
Enough, if we may wait in calm content
The hour that bears us to the silent sod; Blameless improve the time that Heaven has lent, And leave the issue to thy will, O God.
The Greenwich Pensioners.
When evening listened to the dripping oar,
Forgetting the loud city's ceaseless roar,
By the green banks, where Thames, with conscious
Reflects that stately structure on his side,
A huge and massy pile-
Massy it seemed, and yet in every blast
As to its ruin shook. There, porter fit,
Remorse for ever his sad vigils kept.
Pale, hollow-eyed, emaciate, sleepless wretch,
Inly he groaned, or, starting, wildly shrieked,
Aye as the fabric, tottering from its base,
Threatened its fall-and so, expectant still,
Lived in the dread of danger still delayed.
They entered there a large and lofty dome,
O'er whose black marble sides a dim drear light
Struggled with darkness from the unfrequent lamp.
Enthroned around, the Murderers of Mankind-
Monarchs, the great! the glorious! the august!
Each bearing on his brow a crown of fire-
Sat stern and silent. Nimrod, he was there,
First king, the mighty hunter; and that chief
Who did belie his mother's fame, that so
He might be called young Ammon. In this court
Cæsar was crowned-accursed liberticide;
And he who murdered Tully, that cold villain
Octavius-though the courtly minion's lyre
Hath hymned his praise, though Maro sung to him,
And when death levelled to original clay
The royal carcass, Flattery, fawning low,
Fell at his feet, and worshipped the new god.
Titus was here, the conqueror of the Jews,
He, the delight of human-kind misnamed;
Cæsars and Soldans, emperors and kings,
Here were they all, all who for glory fought,
Here in the Court of Glory, reaping now
The meed they merited.
As gazing round,
The Virgin marked the miserable train,
A deep and hollow voice from one went forth:
Thou who art come to view our punishment,
Maiden of Orleans! hither turn thine eyes;
For I am he whose bloody victories
Thy power hath rendered vain. Lo! I am here,
The hero conqueror of Azincour,
Henry of England!'
In the second edition of the poem, published in 1798, the vision of the Maid of Orleans, and everything miraculous, was omitted. When the poem first appeared, its author was on his way to Lisbon, in company with his uncle, Dr Herbert, chaplain to the factory at Lisbon. Previous to his departure in November 1795, Mr Southey had married Miss Fricker of Bristol, sister of the lady with whom Coleridge united himself; and, according to De Quincy, the poet parted with his wife immediately after their marriage at the portico of the church, to set out on his travels. In 1796 he returned to England, and entered himself of Gray's Inn. He afterwards made a visit to Spain and Portugal, and published a series of letters descriptive of his travels. In 1801 he accompanied Mr Foster, chancellor of the Exchequer, to Ireland in the capacity of private secretary to that gentleman; and the same year witnessed the publication of a second epic, Thalaba | the Destroyer, an Arabian fiction of great beauty and magnificence. The style of verse adopted by the poet in this work is irregular, without rhyme; and it possesses a peculiar charm and rhythmical harmony, though, like the redundant descriptions in the work, it becomes wearisome in so long a poem. The opening stanzas convey an exquisite picture of a widowed mother wandering over the sands of the east during the silence of night :
How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air; No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain, Breaks the serene of heaven:
The metre of 'Thalaba,' as may be seen from this specimen, has great power, as well as harmony, in skilful hands. It is in accordance with the subject of the poem, and is, as the author himself remarks, the Arabesque ornament of an Arabian tale." Southey had now cast off his revolutionary opinions, and his future writings were all marked by a somewhat intolerant attachment to church and state. He established himself on the banks of the river Greta, near Keswick, subsisting by his pen, and a pension which he had received from government. In 1804 he published a volume of Metrical Tales, and in 1805 Madoc, an epic poem, founded on a Welsh story, but inferior to its predecessors. In 1810 appeared his greatest poetical work, The Curse of Kehama, a poem of the same class and structure as Thalaba,' but in rhyme. With characteristic egotism, Mr Southey prefixed to 'The Curse of Kehama' a declaration, that he would not change a syllable or measure for any one
Pedants shall not tie my strains To our antique poets' veins.
Kehama is a Hindoo rajah, who, like Dr Faustus, obtains and sports with supernatural power. His adventures are sufficiently startling, and afford room for the author's striking amplitude of description. The story is founded,' says Sir Walter Scott, 'upon the Hindoo mythology, the most gigantic, cumbrous, and extravagant system of idolatry to which temples were ever erected. The scene is alternately laid in