Imágenes de página

Che sa ridere e trescar.
Ah, cupido! è meglio innanzi
Che fra morti ignudo io danzi
Dar gli affanni ai venti e al mar.

Foscolo's Essays on Petrarch.



THE imagery in the following lines is highly poetic; but the antiquated style in which it is written, and the spirit of imitation that characterizes its author, cannot be too much censured. The poet who cannot rise to fame by following the impulse of his own genius, will never become immortal by serving a servile apprenticeship to the Muses.-ED.

It was the wild midnight-
A storm was on the sky;
The lightning gave its light,

And the thunder echoed by.

The torrent swept the glen,

The ocean lashed the shore;
Then rose the Spartan men,

To make their bed in gore!

Swift from the deluged ground

Three hundred took the shield;
Then, in silence, gathered round
The leader of the field!

He spoke no warrior word,
He bade no trumpet blow;
But the signal thunder roar'd,
And they rush'd upon the foe.

The fiery element

Show'd with one mighty gleam, Rampart, and flag, and tent,

Like the spectres of a dream.

All up the mountain's side,
All down the woody vale,
All by the rolling tide

Waved the Persian banners pale.

And foremost from the pass,
Among the slumbering band,
Sprang King Leonidas,

Like the lightning's living brand.

Then double darkness fell,

And the forest ceased its moan: But there came a clash of steel, And a distant dying groan.

Anon, a trumpet blew,

And a fiery sheet burst high, That o'er the midnight threw, A blood-red canopy.

A host glared on the hill;
A host glared by the bay;
But the Greeks rush'd onwards still,

Like leopards in their play.

The air was all a yell,

And the earth was all a flame, Where the Spartan's bloody steel On the silken turbans came.

And still the Greek rush'd on,
Where the fiery torrent roll'd,
Till, like a rising sun,
Shone Xerxes' tent of gold.

They found a royal feast,

His midnight banquet there; And the treasures of the East Lay beneath the Doric spear.

Then sat to the repast

The bravest of the brave! That feast must be their last, That spot must be their grave.

They pledged old Sparta's name
In cups of Syrian wine,
And the warriors deathless fame
Was sung in strains divine.

They took the rose-wreathed lyres From eunuch and from slave, And taught the languid wires

The sounds that freedom gave.

But now the morning star

Crown'd Eta's twilight brow; And the Persian horn of war From the hills began to blow.

Up rose the glorious rank,
To Greece one cup pour'd high-
Then, hand in hand they drank
"To immortality!"

Fear on King Xerxes fell,

When, like spirits from the tomb, With shout and trumpet knell, He saw the warriors come.

But down swept all his power,

With chariot and with charge; Down pour'd the arrowy show'r, Till sank the Dorian's targe.

They gather'd round the tent,

With all their strength unstrung; To Greece one look they sent, Then on high their torches flung.

Their king sat on the throne,
His captains by his side,
While the flame rush'd roaring on,
And their Pæan loud replied;

Thus fought the Greek of old!
Thus will he fight again!
Shall not the self-same mould
Bring forth the self-same men?


We are pleased with the following lines, but we should fear to recommend them to imitation. The warrior seems to have no great delicacy of feeling in declaring his passion so abruptly to his companion; and we feel disappointed by the poet totally concealing from us the tender scene that is supposed to have taken place between the lovers. We are only told abruptly, and rather unceremoniously, that" the struggle's past.' In this there is a want of tenderness.-ED.

One moment more, ere fast and far,
The battle-field I press ;

That past, I grasp my cymetar,

And glory's form caress.

Those bright blue eyes,-how tearful now
That face,-ah! pale indeed ;-

To clasp that hand, to kiss that brow,—
One moment rein thy steed!

And then, 'midst other scenes,-with thee,-
I'll drown this bitter agony.

Thou wilt not chide, for thou hast known,
What 'tis such joy to hold!

One moment then, few may be flown
Ere we in death lie cold!

The struggle's past!Her golden hair
Waves on my helmet's crest;
Her angel face, all pictur'd fair,

Sleeps on a soldier's breast:
And to this faithful heart I strain
The form I ne'er may clasp again.

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