Puslapio vaizdai

same contemplative mood, and calm temperament, that had sat so gracefully on him in his earlier phasis. He indulges in that error, so common among public men, of weighing private virtue or vice lightly, in comparison with the superior importance to mankind of his public transactions ; he philosophizes away to his conscience the taint that has come upon some of the best parts of his original character; and pleases himself with feeling that the strength and generosity of his nature have not at all events been impaired.

We are prepared, in short, to find Adriana van Merestyn replaced in the second part of the romance by a heroine of a far different stamp. The following lines come as a sort of envoy to the first drama

'-Rest thee a space : or if thou lovest to hear
A soft pulsation in thine easy ear,
Turn thou the page, and let thy senses drink
A lay that shall not trouble thee to think.
Quitting the heroine of the past, thou'lt see
In this prefigured her that is to be,
And find what life was hers before the date
That with the Fleming's fortunes linked her fate.
This sang she to herself one summer's eve,
A recreant from festivities that grieve
The heart not festive; stealing to her bower,

With this she whiled away the lonely evening hour.'-vol. i. p. 26 1. These beautiful lines introduce a separate lyrical poem, which, if the author had written nothing else, would, as it seems to us, have been sufficient to fix an elegant reputation. We must content ourselves with broken fragments from the lay of Elena.' "A bark is launched on Como's lake, · Her mother sixteen years hefore A maiden sits abaft;

The burthen of the baby bore : A little sail is loosed to take

And though brought forth in joy, the day The night-wind's breath, and waft So joyful, she was wont to say, The maiden and her bark


In taking count of after years, Across the lake and up the bay.

Gave birth to fewer hopes than fears. And what doth there that lady fair

For seldom smiled
Upon the wayelet tossed

The serious child,
Before her shines the evening star, And as she passed from childhood grew
Behind her in the woods afar

More far-between those smiles, and few The castle lights are lost.

More sad and wild. What doth she there? The evening And though she loved her father well, air

And though she loved her mother more, Lifts her locks, and her neck is bare; Upon her heart a sorrow fell, And the dews, that now are falling fast, And sapped it to the core. May work her harm, or a rougher blast And in her father's castle nought

May come from yonder cloud ; She ever found of what she sought, And that her bark might scarce sustain, And all her pleasure was to roam So slightly built ;-then why remain, Amongst the mountains far from home, And would she be allowed

And through thick woods, and whereTo brave the wind and sit in the dew

soe'er At night on the lake, if her mother knew ? She saddest felt, to sojourn there ;


And oh! she loved to linger afloat On the lonely lake in the little boat!

• It was not for the forms,--though fair, Though grand they were beyond com

It was not only for the forms
Of hills in sunshine or in storms,
Or only unrestrained to look
On wood and lake, that she forsook

By day or night

Her home, and far
Wandered by light

Of sun or star.
It was to feel her fancy free,

Free in a world without an end,
With ears to hear, and eyes to see,

And heart to apprehend. It was to leave the earth behiud, And rove with liberated mind, As fancy led, or choice or chance, Through wildered regions of romance.

Much dreaming these, yet was she

A sure prognostic that the day
Will not unclouded pass away.
Too young she loved, and he on whom
Her first love lighted, in the bloom
Of boyhood was, and so was graced
With all that earliest runs to waste.
Intelligent, loquacious, mild,
Yet gay and sportive as a child,
With feelings light and quick, that came
And went like flickerings of flame;
A soft demeanour, and a mind
Bright and abundant in its kind,
That, playing on the surface, made
A rapid change of light and shade,
Or, if a darker hour perforce
At times c'ertook him in his course,
Still, sparkling thick like glow-worms,

Life was to him a summer's road :-
Such was the youth to whom a love
For grace and beauty far above
Their due deserts, betray'd a heart
Which might have else performed a

prouder part.


much awake
To portions of things earthly, for the sake
Whereof, as with a charm, away would fit
The phantoms and the fever intermit.
Whatso' of earthly things presents a face
Of outward beauty, or a form of grace,
Might not escape her, hidden though it
From courtly cognisance; 'twas not with

As with the tribe who see not nature's

boons, Save by the festal lights of gay saloons ; Beauty in plain attire her heart could

Yea, though in beggary, 'twas beauty

Devoted thus to what was fair to sight,
She loved too little else, nor this aright,
And many disappointments could not
This born obliquity, or break the lure
Which this strong passion spread: she

grew not wise,
Nor grows: experience with a world of

sighs Purchased, and tears and heart-break

have been hers, And taught her nothing: where she

erred she errs.

First love the world is wont to call
The passion which was now her all.
So be it called; but be it known
The feeling which possessed her now
Was novel in degree alone;
Love early marked her for his own;
Soon as the winds of Heaven had blown
Upon her, had the seed been sown
In soil which needed not the plough;
And passion with her growth had grown,
And strengthened with her strength;

and how
Could love be new, unless in name,
Degree and singleness of aim?
A tenderness had filled her mind
Pervasive, viewless, undefined ;-
As keeps the subtle fluid oft
In secret, gathering in the soft
And sultry air, till felt at leogth,
In all its desolating strength
So silent, so devoid of dread,
Her objectless affections spread ;
Not wholly unemployed, but squandered
At large where'er her fancy wandered-
Till one attraction, one desire
Concentred all the scattered fire;
It broke, it burst, it blazed amain,
It flashed its light o'er hill and plain,
O'er Earth below and Heaven above, -
And then it took the name of love.


• Be it avowed, when all is said,
She trod the path the many tread.
She loved too soon in life; her dawn
Was bright with sunbeams, whence is


"How fared that love ? the tale so old,
So common, needs it to be told?
Bellagio's woods, ye saw it through
first accost to last adieu ;

来 *


Its changes, seasons, yon can tell, — But she that loved them—she is far,
At least you typify them well.

Far from her native shore.
First came the genial, hopeful Spring,
With bursting buds and birds that sing, "A foreign land is now her choice,
And fast though fitful progress made

A foreign sky above her,
To brighter suns and broader shade. And unfamiliar is each voice
Those brighter suns, that broader shade, Of those that say they love her.
They came, and richly then array'd A priuce's palace is her home,
Was bough and sward, and all below And marble floor and gilded dome,
Gladdened by Summer's equal glow. Where festive myriads nightly meet,
What next? 'a change is slowly seen,

Quick echoes of her steps repeat. And deepeneth day by day

And she is gay at times, and light The darker, soberer, sadder green

From her makes many faces bright ; Prevenient to decay.

And circling flatterers hem her in

Assiduous each a word to win, "What followed was not good to do, And smooth as mirrors each the while Nor is it good to tell;

Reflects and multiplies her smile. The anguish of that worst adieu

But fitful were those smiles, nor long Which parts with love and honour too, She cast them to that courtly throng; Abides not,--so far well.

And should the sound of music fall The human heart cannot sustain

Upon her ear in that high hall, Prolonged, unalterable pain,

The smile was gone, the eye that shone And not till reason cease to reign

So brightly would be dimmed anon, Will nature want some moments brief And objectless would then appear, Of other moods to mix with grief: As stretched to check the starting tear. Such and so hard to be destroyed

The chords within responsive rung, That vigour which abhors a void; For music spoke her native tongue. And in the midst of all distress, Such nature's need for happiness ! . And then the gay and glittering crowd And when she rallied thus, more high Is heard not, laugh they e'er so loud; Her spirits ran, she knew not why, Nor then is seen the simpering row Than was their wont in times than these Of Aatterers, bend they e'er so low; Less troubled, with a heart at ease. For there before her, where she stands, So meet extremes ; so joy's rebound The mountains rise, the lake expands; Is highest from the hollowest ground; Around the terraced summit twines So vessels with the storm that strive The leafy coronal of vines; Pitch higher as they deeplier drive. Within the watery mirror deep

Nature's calm converse lies asleep; Well had it been if she had curbed Above she sees the sky's blue glow, These transports of a mind disturbed ; The forest's varied green below, For grief is then the worst of foes

And far its vaulted vistas through When, all intolerant of repose,

A distant grove of darker hue, It sends the heart abroad to seek

Where mounting high from clumps of oak From weak recoils exemptions weak; Curls lightly up the thin gray smoke; After false gods to go astray,

And o’er the boughs that over-bower Deck altars vile with garlands gay, The crag, a castle's turrets towerAnd place a painted form of stone An eastern casement mantled o'er On Passion's abdicated throne.

With ivy flashes back the gleam

Of sun-rise,-it was there of yore « On Como's lake the evening star

She sat to see that sun-rise pour
Is trembling as before;

Its splendour round-she sees no more, An azure flood, a golden bar,

For tears disperse the dream.' There as they were before they are,

266–286. We have, limited by our allotted space, been obliged to omit many of the finest stanzas of this lyric. It will be more popular, we suspect, with the mass of readers, than the noblest pages of the two dramas which it links together; yet, if we be not mistaken, it is introduced chiefly to show that the author, if he had chosen,

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--vol. i. p.

might have employed, with brilliant success, in these dramas, a class of ornaments which he has, on principle, disdained to intermingle in their dialogue. His masculine ambition woos seriously the severer graces. We have quoted, therefore, from the lay of Elena' thus largely, on purpose to arrest the attention of those who have been so long accustomed to admire poetry of one particular school in its original masters admirable) as to have lost, in some measure, the power of believing that there may be poetry equally fervid, and powerful, where the execution, as well as the sentiment, is more chastened. But to return to the story before us.

This beautiful Italian lady has of late been domiciled' with the Duke of Bourbon, father-in-law to the exiled Earl of Flanders, and uncle to the boy King of France. She has fallen into the hands of Artevelde, and conceived for him a passion far stronger than the reader of her lay' could have dreamt she would still be capable of; she loves the regent for himself—and he loves her also; but the now hopelessly disturbed temper of his mind is with bold and happy art made to break out even at the moment when she has first told him her love.

The lady has accompanied the regent's camp to the frontier; his application to the court of England has just been rejected; the Duke of Bourbon has induced his nephew of France to muster the strength of his kingdom in the cause of the Earl of Flanders : -(the whole portraiture, by the way, of this stripling monarch, is worthy of Scott himself—it has even a Shakspearian airinesss of touch about it ;)—a French envoy has arrived with a secret message from Bourbon, intimating that, if Artevelde will restore Elena, he may yet induce the giddy king to suspend his march, and acknowledge the regent as a lawful sovereign. Philip has allowed the envoy, Sir Fleureant de Heurlée, freedom to deliver letters to the lady herself, and referred the decision of her fate wholly to her own choice. Elena refuses to depart. In going the rounds of his camp at midnight, Artevelde perceives light in her pavilion-he enters, and every one foresees the issue. This is the close of the dialogue. We need not invite special attention to what we quote: here all real lovers of poetry will be as one. Artevelde. The tomb received her charms

In their perfection, with no trace of time
Nor stain of sin upon them; only death
Had turned them pale. I would that you had seen her

Alive or dead.

I wish I had, my lord ;
I should have loved to look upon her much ;
2 D



For I can gaze on beauty all day long,

And think the all-day-long is but too short.
Artevelde. She was so fair, that in the angelic choir

She will not need put on another shape
Than that she bore on earth. Well, well,—she's gone,
And I have tamed my sorrow. Pain and grief
Are transitory things no less than joy,
And though they leave us not the men we were,
Yet they do leave us. You behold me here
A man bereaved, with something of a blight
Upon the early blossoms of his life
And its first verdure, having not the less
A living root, and drawing from the earth
Its vital juices, from the air its powers:
And surely as man's health and strength are whole
His appetites regerminate, his heart
Re-opens, and his objects and desires
Shoot up renewed. What blank I found before me
From what is said you partly may surmise ;

How I have hoped to fill it may I tell ?
Elena. I fear, my lord, that cannot be.

Then am I doubly hopeless. What is gone,
Nor plaints, nor prayers, nor yearnings of the soul,
Nor memory's tricks, nor fancy's invocations,
Though tears went with them frequent as the rain
In dusk November, sighs more sadly breathed
Than winter's o'er the vegetable dead, -
Can bring again: and should this living hope,
That like a violet from the other's grave
Grew sweetly, in the tear-besprinkled soil
Finding moist nourishment—this seedling sprung
Where recent grief had like a ploughshare passed
Through the soft soul, and loosened its affections-
Should this new-blossomed hope be coldly nipped,
Then were I desolate indeed! a man
Whom heaven would wean from earth, and nothing leaves
But cares and quarrels, trouble and distraction,
The heavy burthens and the broils of life.

Is such my doom? Nay, speak it, if it be.
Elena. I said I feared another could not fill

The place of her you lost, being so fair

And perfect as you give her out.

A perfect woman is not as a coin,
Which being gone, its very duplicate
Is counted in its place. Yet waste so great

"Tis true,

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