Page images
PDF

Genuss an seinem hohen Dascyn einigermassen verkümmert. Der deutsche Bewunderer jedoch, hierdurch nicht geirrt, folgte mit Aufmerksamkeit einem so seltenen Leben und Dichten in aller seiner Excentricität, die freilich um desto auffallender seyn muste, als ihres Gleichen in vergangenen Jahrhunderten nicht wohl zu entdecken gewesen und uns die Elemente zur Berechnung einer solchen Bahn völlig abgingen. Indessen waren die Bemühungen des Deutschen dem Engländer nicht unbekannt geblieben, der davon in seinen Gedichten unzweideutige Beweise darlegte, nicht weniger sich durch Reisende mit manchem freundlichen Gruss vernehmen lies. Sodann aber folgte, überraschend, gleichfalls durch Vermittlung, das Originalblatt einer Dedication des Trauerspiels Sardanapalus in den ehrenreichsten Ausdrücken und mit der freundlichen Anfrage, ob solche gedachtem Stück vorgedruckt werden könnte. Der deutsche mit sich selbst und seinen Leistungen im hohen Alter wohlbekannte Dichter durfte den Inhalt jener Widmung nur als Aeusserung eines trefflichen, hochfühlenden, sich selbst seine Gegenstände schaffenden, unerschöpflichen Geistes mit Dank und Bescheidenheit betrachten; auch fühlte er sich nicht mzufrieden, als, bei mancherlei Verspätung, Sardanapal ohne ein solches Vorwort gedruckt wurde, und fand sich schon glücklich im Besitz eines ithographisten Fac simile, zu höchst werthem Andenken. Doch gab der ede Lord seinen Vorsatz nicht auf, dem deutschen Zeit- und Geist-Gemisen eine bedeutende Freundlichkeit zu erweisen; wie denn das Trauerviel Werner ein höchst schätzbares Denkmal an der Stirne führt. Hiertach wird man denn wohl dem deutschen Dichtergreise zutrauen, dass er en 80 gründlich guten Willen, welcher uns auf dieser Erde selten begegnet, von einem so hoch gefeierten Manne ganz unverhofft erfahrend, ich gleichfalls bereitete mit Klarheit und Kraft auszusprechen, von welcher Hochachtung er für seinen unübertroffenen Zeitgenossen durchdrun

, ron welchem theilnehmenden Gefühl für ihn er belebt sey. Aber die Aufgabe fand sich so gross, und erschien immer grösser, jemehr man by säher trat; denn was soll man von einem Erdgebornen sagen, dessen Verdienste durch Betrachtung und Wort nicht zu erschöpfen sind? Als deter ein junger Mann, Herr Sterling, angenehm von Person und rein von siten, im Frühjahr 1823 seinen Weg von Genua gerade nach Weimar baha, und auf einem kleinen Blatte wenig eigenhändige Worte des vereksten Mannes als Empfehlung überbrachte, als nun bald darauf das GeFicht verlautete, der Lord werde seinen grossen Sinn, seine mannigfaltiga Kräfte, an erhabengefährliche Thaten über Meer verwenden, da war Lick länger zu zaudern und eilig nachstehendes Gedicht geschrieben:

Ein freundlich Wort kommt, eines nach dem andern,

Von Süden her und bringt uns frohe Stunden;
Es ruft uns auf zum Edelsten zu wandern,

Nicht ist der Geist doch ist der Fuss gebunden.
Wie soll ich dem, den ich so lang' begleitet,

Nun etwas Traulich's in die Ferne sagen?
Ihm, der sich selbst im Innersten bestreitet,

Stark angewohnt, das tiefste Weh zu tragen.
Wohl sey ihm doch, wenn er sich selbst empfindet!

Er wage selbst sich hochbeglückt zu nennen,
Wenn Musenkraft die Schmerzen überwindet;

Und wie ich ihn erkannt, mög' er sich kennen.
Weimar, den 22 Juny, 1823.

sten De werths mit eintrat,'

Es gelangte nach Genua, fand ihn aber nicht mehr daselbst; schon w der treffliche Freund abgesegelt und schien einem jeden schon weit en fernt; durch Stürme jedoch zurückgehalten, landete er in Livorno, ihn das herzlich gesendete gerade noch traf, um es im Augenblicke s ner Abfahrt, den 24 July 1823, mit einem reinen schön-gefühlten Bli erwiedern zu können; als werthestes Zeugniss eines würdigen Verhältniss unter den kostbarsten Documenten vom Besitzer aufzubewahren. So se uns nun ein solches Blatt erfreuen und rühren und zu der schönst Lebenshoffnung aufregen musste, so erhält es gegenwärtig durch d unzeitige Ableben des hohen Schrcibenden den grössten schmerzlichst Werth, indem es die allgemeine Trauer der Sitten- und Dichterwelt üb seinen Verlust für uns leider ganz insbesondere schärft, die wir na vollbrachtem grossen Bemühen hoffen durften, den vorzüglichsten Gei den glücklich erworbenen Freund und zugleich den menschlichsten Sieg persönlich zu begrüssen. Nun aber erhebt uns die Ueberzeugung, da seine Nation, aus dem, theilweise gegen ihn aufbrausenden, tadelnde scheltenden Taumel plötzlich zur Nüchternheit erwachen und allgem begreifen werde, dass alle Schalen und Schlacken der Zeit und d Individuums, durch welche sich auch der beste hindurch und heraus arbeiten hat, nur augenblicklich, vergänglich und hinfällig gewesen, wogeg der staunungswürdige Ruhm, zu dem er sein Vaterland für jetzt u künftig erhebt, in seiner Herrlichkeit gränzenlos und in seinen Folg unberechenbar bleibt. Gewiss, diese Nation, die sich so vieler gross Namen rühmen darf, wird ihn verklärt zu denjenigen stellen, durch sie sich immerfort selbst zu ehren hat.”

LORD BYRON'S LAST LINES.

"Tis time this heart should be unmoved The sword, the banner, and the field,

Since others it has ceased to move; Glory and Greece around us see; Yet, though I cannot be beloved,

The Spartan borne upon his shield Still let me love.

Was not more free. My days are in the yellow leaf;

Awake! not Greece-she is awake! The flowers and fruits of love are gone: Awake my spirit- think through wh The worm, the canker and the grief, My life-blood tastes its parent Jake -, Are mine alone.

And then strike hon The fire that in my bosom preys

I tread reviving passions down, Is like to some volcanic isle;

| Unworthy Manhood - unto thee No torch is kindled at his blaze

Indifferent should the smile or frown A funeral pile.

Of beauty be. The hope, the fears, the jealous care,

Jif thou regret thy youth, why live? The exalted portion of the pain

The land of honourable death And power of love I cannot share, Is here-up to the field, and give But wear the chain.

Away thy breath! But 'tis not here—it is not here

Seek out-less often sought than foun Such thoughts should shake my soul,

A soldier's grave, for thee the best :

Then look around, and choose thy grou nor nowWhere glory seals the hero's bier,

And take thy rest. Or binds his brow. Missolunghi, February, 1824.

CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.

A ROMA UN T.

L'anirers est une espèce de livre dont on n'a lu que la première page, quand on n'a
ya que son pays. J'en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouvé également
manraises. Cet examen ne m'a point été infructueux. Je haissais ma patrie.

utes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi lesquels j'ai vécu, n'ont
recsacilié avec elle. Quand je n'aurais tiré d'autre bénéfice de mes voyages que
cedula, je n'en regretterais ni les frais, ni les fatigues.

LE COSMOPOLITE.

PRE FACE.

I as following Poem was written, for the The stanza of Spenser, according to one of past part, amidst the scenes which it attempts our most successful poets, admits of every to describe. It was begun in Albania, and variety. Dr. Beattie makes the following the parts relative to Spain and Portugal were observation: “Not long ago I began a poem

pased from the author's observations in in the style and stanza of Spenser, in which bhe countries. Thus much it may be neces- I propose to give full scope to my inclination, ray to state for the correctness of the descrip- and be either droll or pathetic, descriptive bai. The scenes attempted to be sketched or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the Ein Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, humour strikes me; for, if I mistake not, Greece. There for the present the poem the measure which I have adopted admits a: its reception will determine whether equally of all these kinds of compositions." Beauthor may venture to conduct his read- Strengthened in my opinion by such authorito the capital of the East, through Ionia ty, and by the example of some in the highest and Phrygia: these two cantos are merely order of Italian poets, I shall make no apology Sperimental.

for attempts at similar variations in the folI letitious character is introduced for the

lowing composition; satisfied that, if they ale of giving some connexion to the piece,

are unsuccessful, their failure must be in the "Lhowever. makes no vretention to re execution, rather than in the design sanctionzdarity. It has been suggested to me by

ed by the practice of Ariosto, Thomson, and Trade, on whose opinions I set a high value,

Beattie. Bata this fictitious character, “Childe Ha

ADDITION TO THE PREFACE. "I may incur the suspicion of having

I have now waited till almost all our periodinded some real personage: this I beg

Sical journals have distributed their usual kie, ance for all, to disclaim-Harold is

portion of criticism. To the justice of the child of imagination, for the purpose I generality of their criticisms I have nothing e fated. In some very trivial particn- to object; it would ill become me to quarrel lin, and those merely local, there might be

cht be with their very slight degree of censure, 248 for such a notion ; but in the main when, perhaps, if they had been less kind pelata. should hope, none whatever.

they had been more candid. Returning, there

fore, to all and each my best thanks for their walmost superfluous to mention that liberality, on one point alone shall I venture de appellation Childe," as “Childe Wa- an observation. Amongst the many objections 3. Childe Childers," is used as more con- justly urged to the very indifferent character

ant with the old stracture of versifica- of the "vagrant Childe” (whom, notwithand which I have adopted. The “Good standing many hints to the contrary, I still Sight," in the beginning of the first canto, maintain to be a fictitious personage), it has a suggested by “Lord Maxwell's Good been stated, that besides the anachronism, in the Border Minstrelsy, edited by he is very unknightly, as the times of the

Knights were times of love, honour, and so th the different poems which have been forth. Now it so happens that the good old abed on Spanish subjects, there may be times, when “l'amour du bon vieux tems, l'asotne slight coincidence in the first mour antique" flourished, were the most Thich treats of the Peninsula, but it profligate of all possible centuries. Those only be casual; as, with the exception who have any doubts on this subject may con

** concluding stanzas, the whole of sult St. Palaye, passim, and more particuels poem was written in the Levant. larly vol. 11. page 69. The vows of chivalry

[ocr errors]

were no better kept than any other vows Before the days of Bayard, and down to whatsoever, and the songs of the Trouba- those of Sir Joseph Banks (the most chasti dours were not more decent, and certainly and celebrated of ancient and modern times) were much less refined, than those of Ovid.- few exceptions will be found to this state The “Conrs d'amour, parlemens d'amour ou ment, and I fear a little investigation wil. de courtoisie et de gentilesse,” had much teach us not to regret these monstrous mum more of love than of courtesy or gentleness.- meries of the middle ages. See Roland on the same subject with St. Pa I now leave "Childe Harold” to live hi laye.- Whatever other objection may be ur-day, such as he is; it had been more agreea. ged to that most unamiable personage Childe ble, and certainly more easy, to have draw Harold, he was so far perfectly knightly in his an amiable character. It had been easy to var attributes-—"No waiter, but a knight tem- nish over his faults, to make him do more an plar."--By the by, I fear that Sir Tristram express less, but he never was intended as a and Sir Lancelot were no better than they example, further than to show that earl should be, although very poetical persona- perversion of mind and morals leads to satiet ges and true knights “sans peur,” though not of past pleasures and disappointment in ne “sans reproche.”-If the story of the insti- ones, and that even the beauties of nature tution of the “Garter” be not a fable, the and the stimulus of travel (except ambition knights of that order have for several centu- the most powerful of all excitements), ai ries borne the badge of a Countess of Salis- lost on a soul so constituted, or rather mi: bury, of indifferent memory. So much for directed. Had I proceeded with the Poen chivalry. Burke need not have regretted that this character would have deepened as h its days are over, though Maria Antoinette drew to the close; for the outline which was quite as chaste as most of those in whose once meant to fill up for him was, with som honours lances were shivered, and knights exceptions, the sketch of a modern Timo anhorsed.

perhaps a poetical Zeluco.

TO IANTHE. Not in those climes where I have late been Mine shall escape the doom thine cyı straying,

assign Thongh Beauty long hath there been match- To those whose admiration shall succeed,

less deem'd; But mix'd with pangs to Love's even lov Not in those visions to the heart displaying

liest hours decreed. Forms which it sighs but to have only

dream'd,

Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the Gazelle Hath aught like thee in truth or fancy seem'd: Now brightly bold or beautifully shy, Nor, having seen thee, shall I vainly seek Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwell To paint those charms which varied as they Glance o'er this page, nor to my ver beam'd

deny To such as see thee not my words were weak; That smile for which my breast might vain To those who gaze on thee what language

sigh, could they speak? Could I to thee be ever more than friend :

This much, dear maid, accord; nor questi Ah! may'st thou ever be what now thou art,

why Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring, To one so young my strain I would commen As fair in form, as warm yet pure in heart, Bat bid me with my wreath one matchle Love's image upon earth without his wing,

lily blend. And guileless beyond Hope's imagining! And surely she who now so fondly rears Such is thy name with this my verse Thy youth, in thee, thus hourly brightening,

twined; Beholds the rainbow of her future years, And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast Before whose heavenly hues all sorrow On Harold's page, lanthe's here enshrine

disappears. Shall thus be first beheld, forgotten last :

My days once number'd, should this homag Young Peri of the West!--'tis well for me

past My years already doubly number thine; Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee,

of him who hailed thee, loveliest as the And safely view thy ripening beauties shine;

wast, Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline, Such is the most my memory may desire; Happier, that while all younger hearts shall Though more than Hope can claim, cou bleed,

Friendship less requir

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

)

CANTO I.

And spoil'd her goodly lands to gild his

waste, 0.tkou! in Hellas deem'd of heavenly birth, Nor calm domestic peace had ever deign'd Meedium d or fabled at the minstrel's will!

to taste. Siace samed full oft by later lyres on earth, Mae dare not call thee from thy sacred hill: And now Childe Harold was sore sick at Ya there I've wander'd by thy vaunted rill;

heart, leighed o'er Delphi's long-deserted And from his fellow bacchanals would flee; shrine,

'Tis said, at times the sullen tear would start, Where

, sare that feeble fountain, all is still; But Pride congeal'd the drop within his ee : Jer bote my shell awake the weary Nine Apart he stalk'd in joyless reverie, To grze so plain a tale—this lowly lay of And from his native land resolved to go, mine.

And visit scorching climes beyond the sea; Whileme in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,

With pleasure druggd he almost longed for

woe, The se in Virtue's ways did take delight;

And e'en for change of scene would seek ut spent his days in riot most uncouth,

the shades below. Lattend with mirth the drowsy ear of Night. id me! in sooth he was a shameless wight, The Childe departed from his father's hall: egiven to revel and ungodly glee; hacarthly things found favour in his sight So old, it seemed only not to fall,

It was u vast and venerable pile; prancubines and carnal companie, la faunting wassailers of high and low Yet strength was pillar'd in each massy aisle.

Monastic dome! condemned to uses vile! degree.

Where Superstition once had made her den Lille Harold was he hight:-- but whence

Now Paphian girls were known to sing and

smile; his name I brake long, it suits me not to say;

And monks might deem their time was come I lor it, that perchance they were of fame, If ancient tales say true, nor wrong these

agen, had been glurions in another day: las ne sad losel soils a name for aye,

holy men. Home mighty in the olden time; bal } that heralds rake from coffin'd clay,

Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood er farid prose, nor honied lies of rhyme, Strange pangs would flash along Childe ate hizzon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.

rold's brow,

As if the memory of some deadly feud (kilde Harold bask'd hijn in the noon-tide Or disappointed passion lark'd below: sun,

But this none knew, nor haply cared to know; temportag there like any other fly;

For his was not that open, artless soul Los bad before his

little day was done That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow, De bias might chill him into misery.

Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole, Ballongere scarce a third of his pass’d by,

Whate'er this grief mote be, which he Here than adversity the Childe befell;

could not control.
Her frie the fulness of satiety:
Tbez kathed he in his native land to dwell, And none did love him—though to hall and
Ruth seem'd to him more lone than Ere-

bower
mite's sad cell. Ile gather'd revellers from far and near,

He knew them flatt'rers of the festal hour; through Sin's long labyrinth had run, The heartless parasites of present cheer. Ser made atonement when he did amiss, Yea! none did love him—not his lemans dat nighid to many though he loved but one,

dearAnd that loved

one, alas? could ne'er be his. But pomp and power alone are woman's care, i, kappy be! to 'scape from him whose And where these are light Eros finds a feere; kiss

Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by Sad barn pollution unto aught so chaste;

glare, Who wody had left her charms for vulgar And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs bliss,

might despair.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »