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BERNARD BARTON, one of the Society of Friends, published in 1820 a volume of miscellaneous poems, which attracted notice both for their elegant simplicity, and purity of style and feeling, and because they were written by a Quaker. The staple of the whole poems,' says a critic in the Edinburgh Review, is description and meditation-description of quiet home scenery, sweetly and feelingly wrought out-and meditation, overshaded with tenderness, and exalted by devotion-but all terminating in soothing and even cheerful views of the condition and prospects of mortality.' Mr Barton was employed in a banking establishment at Woodbridge, in Suffolk, and he seems to have contemplated abandoning his profession for a literary life. On this point Charles Lamb wrote to him as follows: Throw yourself on the world, without any rational plan of support beyond what the chance employ of booksellers would afford you! Throw yourself rather, my dear sir, from the steep Tarpeian rock slap-dash headlong upon iron spikes. If you have but five consolatory minutes between the desk and the bed, make much of them, and live a century in them, rather than turn slave to the booksellers. They are Turks and Tartars when they have poor authors at their beck. Hitherto you have been at arm's length from them-come not within their grasp. I have known many authors want for breadsome repining, others enjoying the blessed security of a counting-house-all agreeing they had rather have been tailors, weavers-what not?-rather than the things they were. I have known some starved, some go mad, one dear friend literally dying in a workhouse. Oh, you know not-may you never know the miseries of subsisting by authorship!' There is some exaggeration here. We have known authors by profession who lived cheerfully and comfortably, labouring at the stated sum per sheet as regularly as the weaver at his loom, or the tailor on his board; but dignified with the consciousness of following a high and ennobling occupation, with all the mighty minds of past ages as their daily friends and companions. The bane of such a life, when actual genius is involved, is
its uncertainty and its temptations, and the almost
invariable incompatibility of the poetical tempe-
rament with habits of business and steady ap-
plication. Yet let us remember the examples of
Shakspeare, Dryden, and Pope- all regular and
constant labourers-and, in our own day, of Scott,
Southey, Moore, and many others. The fault is
more generally with the author than with the book-
seller. In the particular case of Bernard Barton,
however, Lamb counselled wisely. He has not the
vigour and popular talents requisite for marketable
literature; and of this he would seem to have been
conscious, for he abandoned his dream of exclusive
authorship. Mr Barton has since appeared before
the public as author of several volumes of miscella-Tinged by the sunbeams with reflected dyes,
neous poetry, but without adding much to his repu-
Mimics the bow of day
tation. He is still what Jeffrey pronounced him Arching in majesty the vaulted skies;
'a man of a fine and cultivated, rather than of a bold
and original mind.' His poetry is highly honourable
to his taste and feelings as a man.
Noble the mountain stream,
Bursting in grandeur from its vantage-ground;
Glory is in its gleam
brightness-thunder in its deafening sound! Mark, how its foamy spray,
And thus, while I wandered on ocean's bleak shore,
And surveyed its vast surface, and heard its waves roar,
I seemed wrapt in a dream of romantic delight,
And haunted by majesty, glory, and might!
Power and Gentleness, or the Cataract and the
Thence, in a summer-shower,
Steeping the rocks around-O! tell me where
Could majesty and power
Be clothed in forms more beautifully fair?
And I stood all alone on that gentle hill,
With a landscape so lovely before me;
And its spirit and tone, so serene and still,
Seemed silently gathering o'er me.
Far off was the Deben, whose briny flood
By its winding banks was sweeping;
And just at the foot of the hill where I stood,
The dead in their damp graves were sleeping.
How lonely and lovely their resting-place seemed!
An enclosure which care could not enter;
And how sweetly the gray lights of evening gleamed
On the solitary tomb in its centre !
When at morn or at eve I have wandered near,
And in various lights have viewed it,
With what differing forms, unto friendship dear,
Has the magic of fancy endued it!
Sometimes it has seemed like a lonely sail, A white spot on the emerald billow; Sometimes like a lamb, in a low grassy vale, Stretched in peace on its verdant pillow.
But no image of gloom, or of care, or strife, Has it ever given birth to one minute; For lamented in death, as beloved in life, Was he who now slumbers within it.
He was one who in youth on the stormy seas
Was a far and a fearless ranger;
Who, borne on the billow, and blown by the breeze,
Counted lightly of death or of danger.
Yet in this rude school had his heart still kept
All the freshness of gentle feeling;
Nor in woman's warm eye has a tear ever slept
More of softness and kindness revealing.
And here, when the bustle of youth was past,
He lived, and he loved, and he died too;
Oh! why was affection, which death could outlast,
A more lengthened enjoyment denied to?
But here he slumbers! and many there are
Who love that lone tomb and revere it; And one far off who, like eve's dewy star, Though at distance, in fancy dwells near it.
BRYAN WALTER PROCTER.
BRYAN WALTER PROCTER, better known by his assumed name of Barry Cornwall, published, in 1815, a small volume of dramatic scenes of a domestic character, in order,' he says, 'to try the effect of a more natural style than that which had for a long time prevailed in our dramatic literature.' The experiment was successful; chiefly on account of the pathetic and tender scenes in Mr Procter's sketches. He has since published Marcian Colonna, The Flood of Thessaly, and other poems: also a tragedy, Mirandola, which was brought out with success at Covent Garden theatre. Mr Procter's later productions have not realised the promise of his early efforts. His professional avocations (for the poet is a barrister) may have withdrawn him from poetry, or at least prevented his studying it with that earnestness and devotion which can alone insure success. Still, Mr Procter is a graceful and accomplished writer. His poetical style seems formed on that of the Elizabethan dramatists, and some of his lyrical pieces are exquisite in sentiment and diction.
Address to the Ocean.
O thou vast Ocean! ever sounding sea!
Thou symbol of a drear immensity!
Thou thing that windest round the solid world
Like a huge animal, which, downward hurled
From the black clouds, lies weltering and alone,
Lashing and writhing till its strength be gone.
Thy voice is like the thunder, and thy sleep
Is as a giant's slumber, loud and deep.
Thou speakest in the east and in the west
At once, and on thy heavily laden breast
Fleets come and go, and shapes that have no life
Or motion, yet are moved and meet in strife.
The earth hath nought of this: no chance or change
Ruffles its surface, and no spirits dare
Give answer to the tempest-wakened air;
But o'er its wastes the weakly tenants range
At will, and wound its bosom as they go:
Ever the same, it hath no ebb, no flow:
But in their stated rounds the seasons come,
And pass like visions to their wonted home;
And come again, and vanish; the young Spring
Looks ever bright with leaves and blossoming;
And Winter always winds his sullen horn,
When the wild Autumn, with a look forlorn,
Dies in his stormy manhood; and the skies
Weep, and flowers sicken, when the summer flies.
Oh! wonderful thou art, great element:
And fearful in thy spleeny humours bent,
And lovely in repose; thy summer form
Is beautiful, and when thy silver waves
Make music in earth's dark and winding caves,
I love to wander on thy pebbled beach,
Marking the sunlight at the evening hour,
And hearken to the thoughts thy waters teach-
Eternity Eternity-and Power.
It was a dreary place. The shallow brook
That ran throughout the wood, there took a turn
And widened: all its music died away,
And in the place a silent eddy told
That there the stream grew deeper. There dark trees
Funereal (cypress, yew, and shadowy pine,
And spicy cedar) clustered, and at night
Shook from their melancholy branches sounds
And sighs like death: 'twas strange, for through the
They stood quite motionless, and looked, methought,
Like monumental things, which the sad earth
From its green bosom had cast out in pity,
To mark a young girl's grave. The very leaves
Disowned their natural green, and took black
And mournful hue; and the rough brier, stretching
His straggling arms across the rivulet,
Lay like an armed sentinel there, catching
With his tenacious leaf straws, withered boughs,
Moss that the banks had lost, coarse grasses which
Swam with the current, and with these it hid
The poor Marcelia's deathbed. Never may net
Of venturous fisher be cast in with hope,
For not a fish abides there. The slim deer
Snorts as he ruffles with his shortened breath
The brook, and panting flies the unholy place,
And the white heifer lows, and passes on;
The foaming hound laps not, and winter birds
Go higher up the stream. And yet I love
To loiter there: and when the rising moon
Flames down the avenue of pines, and looks
Red and dilated through the evening mists,
And chequered as the heavy branches sway
To and fro with the wind, I stay to listen,
And fancy to myself that a sad voice,
Praying, comes moaning through the leaves, as 'twere
For some misdeed. The story goes-that some
Neglected girl (an orphan whom the world
Frowned upon) once strayed thither, and 'twas thought
Cast herself in the stream: you may have heard
Of one Marcelia, poor Nolina's daughter, who
Fell ill and came to want? No! Oh, she loved
A wealthy man, who marked her not. He wed,
And then the girl grew sick, and pined away,
And drowned herself for love.
Now to thy silent presence, Night!
Is this my first song offered: oh! to thee
That lookest with thy thousand eyes of light-
To thee, and thy starry nobility
That float with a delicious murmuring
(Though unheard here) about thy forehead blue;
And as they ride along in order due,
Circling the round globe in their wandering,
To thee their ancient queen and mother sing.
Mother of beauty! veiled queen!
Feared and sought, and never seen
Without a heart-imposing feeling,
Whither art thou gently stealing!
In thy smiling presence, I
Kneel in star-struck idolatry,
And turn me to thine eye (the moon),
Fretting that it must change so soon:
Toying with this idle rhyme,
I scorn that bearded villain Time,
Thy old remorseless enemy,
And build my linked verse to thee.
Not dull and cold and dark art thou:
Who that beholds thy clearer brow,
Endiademed with gentlest streaks
Of fleecy-silvered cloud, adorning Thee, fair as when the young sun 'wakes, And from his cloudy bondage breaks,
And lights upon the breast of morning, But must feel thy powers; Mightier than the storm that lours, Fairer than the virgin hours
That smile when the young Aurora scatters Her rose-leaves on the valleys low, And bids her servant breezes blow.
Not Apollo, when he dies,
In the wild October skies,
The lady, pale as now she sleeps,
An age upon that couch hath lain,
Yet in one spot a spirit keeps
His mansion, like a red-rose stain;
And, when lovers' ghosts complain,
Blushes like a new-born flower,
Or as some bright dream of pain
Dawneth through the darkest hour.
Once-but many a thought hath fled,
Since the time whereof I speak-
Once the sleeping lady bred
Beauty in her burning cheek,
And the lovely morn did break
Through the azure of her eyes,
And her heart was warm and meek,
And her hope was in the skies.
But the lady loved at last,
And the passion pained her soul,
And her hope away was cast,
Far beyond her own control;
And the clouded thoughts that roll
Through the midnight of the mind,
O'er her eyes of azure stole,
Till they grew deject and blind.
He to whom her heart was given,
When May music was in tune,
Dared forsake that amorous heaven,
Changed and careless soon!
O, what is all beneath the moon
When his heart will answer not!
What are all the dreams of noon
With our love forgot!
Heedless of the world she went,
Sorrow's daughter, meek and lone,
Till some spirit downwards bent
And struck her to this sleep of stone.
Look! Did old Pygamalion
Sculpture thus, or more prevail,
When he drew the living tone
From the marble pale!
An Invocation to Birds.
Come, all ye feathery people of mid air,
Who sleep 'midst rocks, or on the mountain summits
Lie down with the wild winds; and ye who build
Your homes amidst green leaves by grottos cool;
And ye who on the flat sands hoard your eggs
For suns to ripen, come! O phenix rare!
If death hath spared, or philosophic search
Permit thee still to own thy haunted nest,
Perfect Arabian-lonely nightingale!
Dusk creature, who art silent all day long,
But when pale eve unseals thy clear throat, loosest
Thy twilight music on the dreaming boughs
Until they waken;-and thou, cuckoo bird,
Who art the ghost of sound, having no shape
Material, but dost wander far and near,
Like untouched echo whom the woods deny
Sight of her love-come all to my slow charm!
Come thou, sky-climbing bird, wakener of morn,
Who springest like a thought unto the sun,
And from his golden floods dost gather wealth
(Epithalamium and Pindarique song),
And with it enrich our ears; come all to me,
Beneath the chamber where my lady lies,
And, in your several musics, whisper-Love!
SCENE I. A Room. WENTWORTH-AMELIA. Amelia. You have determined, then, on sending Charles To India?
Amel. Poor boy! he looks so sad and pale,
He'll never live there. 'Tis a cruel lot
At best to leave the land that gave us birth,
And sheltered us for many a pleasant year;
The friends that loved us, and the spots we loved,
For such a distant country. He will die.
Remember-'tis Amelia's prophecy.
Oh! do not be so harsh to the poor youth.
Do not desert your better nature. Nay-
You will not send him, Wentworth?
Went. He will sail
In twenty days.
Amel. How can you be so cruel ? He shall not go.
Went. Madam, you interest
Yourself too much, methinks, for this young man.
His doom is settled; that be sure of.
Went. I say your tenderness, your-folly for This boy becomes you not.
Amel. He is gone;
And I am here-oh! such a weary wretch.
Oh! father, father, what a heart had you
To cast me on the wide and bitter world
With such a friend as this! I would have toiled
From the pale morning 'till the dusk of night,
And lived as poorly, and smiled cheerfully,
Keeping out sorrow from our cottage home.
And there was one who would have loved you too,
And aided with his all our wreck of fortune.
You would not hear him; and-and did I hear
His passionate petitioning, and see
His scalding tears, and fling myself away
Upon a wintry bosom, that held years
Doubling my own. What matters it?-'tis past.
I will be still myself: who's there?
Ch. 'Tis I.
You are in tears?
Amel. Away. Draw down the blinds;
The summer evenings now come warmly on us.
Go, pluck me yonder flower.
Ch. This rose-mean you?
Too gay for earnest talk. Who has been here? Amel. No one; I will not tell; I've made a vow, And will not break it, 'till-until I'm pressed.
Ch. Then let me press you.
Amel. Silly boy, away;
Go gather me more flowers, violets.
Ch. Here let me place them in your hair.
Amel. No, no;
The violet is for poets: they are yours.
O rare! I like to see you bosom them.
Had they been golden, such as poets earned,
You might have treasured them.
Ch. They are far more
To me for they were yours, Amelia.
Amel. Give me the rose.
Ch. But where shall it be placed?
Amel. Why, in my hand-my hair. Look how it blushes!
To see us both so idle. Give it me.
Where? where do ladies hide their favourite flowers
But in their bosoms, foolish youth. Away-
'Tis I must do it. Pshaw! how sad you look,
And how you tremble.
Ch. Dear Amelia.
Amel. Call me your mother, Charles.
Ch. My guardian
Amel. Ah! name him not to me. Charles, I have been
Jesting awhile; but my dark husband's frown
Comes like a cloud upon me. You must go
Far, my dear Charles, from the one friend who loves
Ch. I know it.
Amel. For myself,
I shall think of you often, my dear Charles.
Think of me sometimes. When your trumpet sounds,
You'll recollect the coward you knew once,
Over the seas in England?
Ch. Spare my heart.
Amel. I do not think you have a heart: 'tis buried. Ch. Amelia, oh! Amelia, will you never
Know the poor heart that breaks and bursts for
Oh! do not take it ill; but now believe How fond, and true, and faithful