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Become a thing, or nothing, save to rank
XCVI. In chronological cominemoration,
But let me to my story : I must own Some dall MS. oblivion long has sank,
If I have any fault, it is cligressionOr graven stone found in a barrack's station
Leaving my people to proceed alone, In digging the foundation of a closet,
While I soliloquize beyond expression; May turn his name up as a rare deposit.
But these are my addresses from the throne,
Which put off business to tlie ensuing session; XC. And glory long has made the sages smile
Forgetting each omission is a loss to 'Tis something, nothing, words, illusion, wind
The world, not quite so great as Ariosto. Depending more upon the historian's style,
XCVII. Than on the name a person leaves behind.
I know that what our neighbours call longueurs' Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle: (We've not so good a word, but have the thing, The present century was growing blind
In that complete perfection which ensures To the great Marlborougli's skill in giving knocks,
An epic from Bob Southey every spring) Until his late Life by Archdeacon Coxe.
Form not the true temptation which allures
The reader; but 'twould not be hard to bring
Some fine examples of the épopée Milton's the prince of poets-so we say;
To prove its grand ingredient is eniui. A little heavy, but no less divine:
XCVIII. An independent being in his day
We learn from Horace, ‘Homer sometimes sleeps: Learn'd, pious, temperate in love and wine;
We feel without hiin: Wordsworth sometimes But his life falling into Johnson's way,
wakes, We're told this great high priest of all the Nine
To show with what complacency he creeps, Was whipt at college-a harsh sire-odd spouse,
With his dear • Waggoners,' around his lakes. For the first Mrs. Milton left his house
He wishes for a boat' to sail the deeps-
Of ocean2-No, of air: and then he inakes All these are, certes, entertaining facts,
Another outcry for a little boat,' Like Shakspeare's stealing deer, Lord Bacon's And drivels seas to set it well afloat. bribes;
XCIX. Like Titus' youth, and Cæsar's earliest acts;
If he must fain sweep o'er the ethereal plain, Like Burns (whom Doctor Currie well describes);
And Pegasus runs restive in his ‘Waggon,' Like Cromwell's pranks; but although truth exacts Could he not beg the loan of Charles Wain, These amiable descriptions from the scribes,
Or pray Medea for a single dragon ? As most essential to their hero's story,
Or if too classic for his vulgar brain, They do not inuch contribute to his glory.
Ile feard his neck to venture such a nag on, XCIII.
And he must needs mount nearer to the moon, All are not moralists, like Southey, when
Could not the blockliead ask for a balloon? He prated to the world of Pantisocracy;'
C. Or Wordsworth, unexcised, unhired, who then Pedlars, and Boats,'and. Waggons!' 0, ye shades Season' his pedlar poems with democracy;
Of Popc and Dryden, are we come to this: Or Coleridge, long before his flighty pen
That trash of such sort not alone evades Let to the Morning Post its aristocracy;
Contempt, but from the bathos' vast abyss When he and Southey, following the same path, Floats scumlike uppermost; and these Jack Cades Espoused two partners (milliners, of Bath).
Of sense and song, above your graves may hiss
The little boatman'and his Peter Bell'
Can sneer at him who drew 'Achitophel'
The very Botany Bay in moral geography ; Their loyal treason, renegado vigour,
T'our tale : The feast was over, the slaves gone, Are good manure for their more bare biography. The dwarfs and dancing girls had all retired; Wordsworth's last quarto, by the way, is bigger The Arab lore and poet's song were done,
Than any since the birthday of typography; And every sound of revelry expired;
The rosy flood of twilight's sky admired.
Ave Maria ! o'er the earth and sea, xc.
That heavenliest hour of heaven is worthiest thee!
The time, the clime, the spot, where I so oft Are things which in this century don't strike
Have felt that moment in its fullest power The public mind-so few are the elect;
Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft, And the new births of both their stale virginities While swung the deep bell in the distant tower, Have proved but dropsies, taken for divinities,
Or the faint dying day hymn stole aloft,
And not a breath crept through the rosy air,
Are gather'd round us by thy look of rest; And yet the forest leaves seem'd stirr'd with Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast. prayer.
Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the Ave Maria ! 'tis the hour of prayer!
heart Ave Maria ! 'tis the hour of love!
Of those who sail the scas, on the first day Ave Maria ! may our spirits dare
When they from their sweet friends are torn apart; Look up to thine and to thy Son's above !
Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way, Ave Maria ! oh that face so fair!
(dove As the far bell of vesper makes him start, Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty Seeming to weep the dying day's decay; What though 'tis but a pictured image strike Is this a fancy which our reason scorns! That painting is no idol-'tis too like.
Ah ! surely nothing dies but something mourns.* CIV.
CIX. Some kinder casuists are pleased to say,
When Nero perish'd by the justest doom, In nameless print--that I have no devotion :
Which ever the destroyer yet destroy'd, But set those persons down with me to pray,
Amidst the roar of liberated Rome, And you shall see who has the properest notion Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd, of getting into heaven the shortest way:
Some hands unseen strew'd flowers upon his My altars are the mountains and the ocean,
tombot Larth, air, stars--all that springs from the great Perhaps the weakness of a heart not void Whole,
Of feeling for some kindness done, when power Who hath produced, and will receive the soul. Had left the wretch an uncorrupted hour. CV.
CX. . Sweet hour of twilight ! in the solitude
But I'm digressing: what 02 earth has Nero, Of the pine forest, and the silent shore
Or any such like sovereign buffoons, Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,
To do with the transactions of my hero, Rooted where once the Adrian wave flow'd o'er
More than such madmen's fellow-man - the To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,
moon's Evergreen forest; which Boccaccio's lore
Sure my invention must be down at zero, And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me,
And I grown one of many 'wooden spoons' How have I loved the twilight hour and thee! Of verse (the name with which we Cantabs please CVI.
To dub the last of honours in degrees.) The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,
CXT. Making their summer lives one ceaseless song, I feel this tediousness will never do Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine,
'Tis being too epic, and I must cut down And vesper bells that rose the boughs along : (In copying) this long canto into two : The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
They'll never find it out, unless I own His hell-dogs and their chase, and the fair The fact, excepting some experienced few : throng,
And then as an improvement 't will be shown: Which learn'd from this example not to fly
I'll prove that such the opinion of the critic is, From a true lover-shadow'd my mind's eye.
Fron Aristotle passim.--See IIoTeKYS.
* Era gia l' ora che volge 'l disio,
A'naviganti, e 'ntenerisce il cuore, Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer,
Lo dich' han detto a' dolci amici a dio; To the young bird the parent's brooding wings,
E che lo nuovo peregrin' d'amore The welcome stall to the o'erlabour'd steer.
Punge, se ode Squilla di lontano,
Che paia 'l giorno pianger che si muore.' Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clings,
DANTE'S Purgatory, canto viii. Whate'er our household gods protect of dear, + See 'Suetonius' for this fact.
CANTO THE FOURTH.
1. NOTHING so difficult as a beginning
In poesy, unless perhaps the end;
The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend,
Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend, Being pride, which leads the mind to soar too far, Till our own weakness shows us what we are.
And sharp Adversity, will teach at last
That neither of their intellects are vast :
We know not this--the blood flows on too fast;
They were alone once more ; for them to be
Thus was another Eden: they were never Weary, unless when separate: the tree
Cut from its forest root of years—the river Damm'd from its fountain-the child from the knec
And breast inaternal wean'd at once for ever,Would wither less than these two torn apart: Alas! there is no instinct like the heart
XI. The heart--which may be broken: happy they!
Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould, The precious porcelain of human clay,
Break with the first fall: they can ne'er behold The long year link'd with heavy day on day,
And all which must be borne, and never told; While life's strange principle will often lie Deepest in those who long the most to die.
XII. Wham the gods love, die young,' was said of yore,
And many deaths do they escape by this: The death of friends, and that which slays even
And wish'd that others held the same opinion : They took it up when my days grew more mellow,
And other minds acknowledged my dominion. Now my sere fancy 'falls into the yellow
Leaf,' and Imagination droops her pinion,
'Tis that I may not weep; and if I weep, 'Tis that our nature cannot always bring
Itself to apathy, for we must steep
Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep :
Against the creed and morals of the land,
I don't pretend that I quite understand
But the fact is, that I have nothing plann'd,
This way of writing will appear exotic :
Who sang when chivalry was more Quixotic, And reveli'd in the fancies of the time, (despotic;
True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, kings
Perhaps no better than they have treated me,
Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to sec. But if it gives them pleasure, be it so;
This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free:
To their own hearts' most swect society;
With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms; he Sigh'd to behold them of their hours bereft,
Though foe to love; and yet they could not be Meant to grow old, but die in happy spring, Before one charm or hope had taken wing.
Pure blood to stagnate, their great hearts to fail : The blank grey was not made to blast their hair;
But like the climes that know nor snow nor hail, They were all summer : lightning might assail
AT shiver them to ashes, but to trail
The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is, Except mere breath; and since the silent shore
Awaits at last even those who longest iniss
for them : They found no fault with Time, save that he fled;
They saw not in themselves aught to condemn : Each was the other's mirror, and but read
Joy sparkling in their dark eyes like a gem; And knew such brightness was but the reflection Of their exchanging glances of affection.
The least glance better understood than words, Which still said all, and ne'er could say too much;
A language, too, but like to that of birds, Known but to them, at least appearing such
As but to lovers a true sense affords: Sweet playful phrases, which would seem absurd To those who have ceased to hear such, or ne'er heard.
Xv. All these were theirs, for they were children still,
And children still they should have ever been: They were not made in the real world to fill
A busy character in the dull scene;
A nymph and her beloved, all unseen
found Those their bright rise had lighted to such joys
As rarely they beheld throughout their round; Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate:
And these were not of the vain kind which cloys, He felt a grief; but knowing cause for none, For theirs were buoyant spirits, never bound His glance inquired of hers for some excuse
By the mere senses; and that which destroys For feelings causeless, or at least abstruse. Most love, possession, unto them appear'd
XXIII. A thing which each endearment more endear'd. She turn'd to him, and smiled, but in that sort XVII.
Which makes not others smile; then turn'd Oh beautiful ! and rare as beautiful!
aside: But theirs was love in which the mind delights Whatever feelings shook her, it seem'd short, To lose itself, when the old world grows dull,
And master'd by lier wisdom or her pride: And we are sick of its hack sounds and sights, When Juan spoke, toomit might be in sportIntrigues, adventures of the common school,
Of this their mutual feeling, she replied, Its petty passions, marriages, and fights,
If it should be so--but-it cannot be Where Hymen's torch but brands one strumpet Or I at least shall not survive to see.' more,
XXIV. Whose husband only knows her not a wh-re.
Juan would question further, but she press'd XVIII.
His lip to hers, and silenced him with this, Hard words; harsh truth; a truth which many And then dismiss'd the omen from her breast, know.
Defying augury with that fond kiss: Enough.—The faithful and the fairy pair,
And no doubt of all methods 'tis the best. Who never found a single hour too slow,
Some people prefer wine-'tis not amiss; What was it made them thus exempt from care ? I have tried both : so those who would a part take Young innate feelings all have felt below,
May choose between the headache and the heartWhich perish in the rest, but in them were
ache. Inherent; what we mortals call romantic,
Woman or wine, you'll liave to undergo :
Both maladies are taxes on our joys, An opium-dream of too much youth and reading,
But which to choose I really hardly know; But was in them their nature or their fate :
And if I had to give a casting voice, No novels e'er had set their young hearts
For both sides I could many reasons show, bleeding;
And then decide, without great wrong to either, For Haidée's knowledge was by no means great,
It were much better to have both than neither. And Juan was a boy of saintly breeding;
XXVI. So that there was no reason for their loves
Juan and Haidée gazed upon each other More than for those of nightingales or doves.
With swimming looks of speechless tenderness, XX.
Which mix'd all feelings, friend, child, lover, They gazed upon the sunset : 'tis an hour
brother, Dear unto all, but dearest to their eyes,
All that the best can mingle and express For it had made them what they were the power
When two pure hearts are pour'd in one another, Of love had first o'erwhelm'd them from such
And love too much, and yet can not love less; skies,
But almost sanctify the sweet excess. When happiness had been their only dower,
By the inimortal wish and power to bless. And twilight saw them link'd in passion's ties;
XXVII. Charm'd with each other, all things charm'd that Mix d in each other's arms, and heart in heart, brought
Why did they not then dic?--they had lived too The past still welcome as the present thought.
Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart; I know not why, but in that hour to-night,
Years could but bring them cruel things or Even as they gazed, a sudden tremor came.
wrong ; And swept, as 'twere, across their hearts' deliglit,
The world was not for them, nor the world's art Like the wind o'er a harp-string, or a name,
For beings passionate as Sapplo's song: When one is shook in sound, and one in sight;
Love was born with them, in them, so intense, And thus some boding flash'd through either It was their very spirit-not a sense. frame,
XXVIIT. And call'd from Juan's breast a faint low sigh,
They should have lived together deep in woods, While one now tear arose in Haidée's eye.
Unseen as sings the nightingale; they were XXII.
Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes That large black prophet-eye seem'd to dilate,
Call'd social, haunts of Hate, and Vice, and Care: And follow far the disappearing sun,
How lonely every freebori creature broods ! As if their last day of a happy date
The sweetest song-birds nestle in a pair : With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were The eagle soars alone; the gull and crow gone.
Flock o'er their carrion, just like men below.
With all his keen worn look and Grecian grace; Now pillow'd cheek to cheek, in loving sleep,
And starting, she awoke, and what to view! Haidée and Juan their siesta took,
O powers of heaven! what dark eye meets she A gentle slumber, but it was not deep,
there? For ever and anon a something shook
'Tis-'tis her father's-fix'd upon the pair ! Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would creep;
XXXVI. And Haidee's sweet lips murmur'd like a brook,
Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking fell, A wordless music, and her face so fair
With joy and sorrow, hope and fear, to see, Stirr'd with her dream, as rose-leaves with the air ;
Him whom she deem'd a habitant where dwell XXX.
The ocean buried, risen fro:n death, to be Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream
Perchance the death of one she loved too well; Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind
Dear as her father had been to Haidée, Walks o'er it, was she shaken by the dream,
It was a moment of that awful kindThe mystical usurper of the mind
I have seen such-but must not call to inind. O'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem
XXXVII. Good to the soul which we no more can bind;
Up Juan sprang to Haidée's bitter shriek, Strange state of being ! (for 'tis still to be)
And caught her falling, and from off the wall Senseless to feel, and with scal'd eyes to see.
Snatch'd down his salre, in hot haste to wreak XXXI.
Vengeance on hiin who was the cause of all. She dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore,
Then Lambro, who till now forbore to speak, Chain d to a rock; she knew not how, but stir Smiled scornfully, and said, 'Within my call, She could not from the spot, and the loud roar A thousand scimitars await the word ; Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening Put up. young man, put up your silly sword.' her;
XXXVIII. And o'er her upper lip they seem'd to pour,
And Haidée clung around him: Juan, 'tisUntil she sobb'd for breath, and soon they were 'Tis Lambro-'tis my father! Kneel with me Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high He will forgive us-yes-it must be-yes. Each broke to drown her, yet she could not dic. Oh, dearest father, in this agony XXXII.
Of pleasure and of pain, even while I kiss Anon she was released, and then she stray'd
Thy garment's hem with transport, can it be O'er the sharp shingles with her bleeding feet, That doubt should mingle with my filial joy? And stumbled alınost every step she made:
Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this boy." And something roll'd before her in a sheet,
XXXIX. Which she must still pursue, howe'er afraid;
High and inscrutable the old man stood, 'Twas white and indistinct, nor stopp'd to meet Calin in his voice, and calın within his eyeller glance or grasp, for still she gazed, and grasp'u, Not always signs with him of calmest mood : And ran, but it escaped her as she clasp'u.
He lookd upon her, but gave no reply:
Then turn'd to Juan, in whose cheek the blood The dream changed: in a cave she stood, its wails Oft came and went, as there resolved to die; Were hung with marble icicles, the work
In arins, at least, iie stood in act to spring Of ages on its water-fretted halls,
On the first foe whom Lambro's call might bring. Where waves might wash, and seals might breed
XL. and lurk ;
*Young man, your sword!' So Lambro once more Her hair was clripping, and the very balls Of her Wack eyes seem'il turn'd to tears, and
Juan replied, 'Not while this arm is free! inurk
The old man's cheek grew pale, but not with dread, The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they
But drawing from his belt a pistol, he caught,
Replied, 'Your blood be then on your own head.' Which froze to marble as it fell-she thought.
Then look'd close at the flint, as if to see
'Twas fresh-for he had lately used the lockAnd wet, and cold, and lifeless, at her feet,
And next proceeded quietiy to cock,
Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now!) That cocking of a pistol, when you know
A moment more will bring the sight to bear Of his quench'd heart; and the sea-dirges low Upon your person, twelve yards off, or so; Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's song,
A gentlemanly distance, not too near,
If you have got a foriser friend for foe;
But after being fired at once or twice,
The car becomes morc Irish, and less nice. Faded, or alter' l into something new
XLI, Like to her father's features, till each trace
Lambro presented, and one instant more More like and like to Lambro's aspect grew
Had stopp'd this can:o, and Don Juan's breath,