Page images
PDF
EPUB

put in the pockets of all enthusiasts in poetry, and endure with the language. Five of these are The Ancient Mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan, Genevieve, and Youth and Age. Some, that more personally relate to the poet, will be added for the love of him, not omitting the Visit of the Gods, from Schiller, and the famous passage on the Heathen Mythology, also from Schiller. A short life, a portrait, and some other engravings perhaps, will complete the book, after the good old fashion of Cooke's and Bell's editions of the Poets ; and then, like the contents of the Jew of Malta's casket, there will be

Infinite riches in a little room.

LOVE; OR, GENEVIEVE.

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of Love,

And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I

Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,

Beside the ruin'd tower.

The moonlight stealing o’er the scene,

Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,

My own dear Genevieve !

She leant against the armèd man,

The statue of the armed knight;
She stood and listen’d to my lay,

Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope! my joy! my Genevieve'
She loves me best wheneer I sing

The songs that make her grieve.

I play'd a soft and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving storyAn old rude song, that suited well

That ruin wild and hoary.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace, For well she knew I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand; And that for ten long years he woo'd

The lady of the land.

I told her how he pind, and-ah!

The deep, the low, the pleading tone With which I sang another's love,

Interpreted my own.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace, And she forgave me, that I gaz'd

Too fondly on her face !

But when I told the cruel scorn

That crazed that bold and lovely knight, And that he cross'd the mountain-woods,

Nor rested day nor night:

That sometimes from the savage den,

And sometimes from the darksome shade, And sometimes starting up at once

In green and sunny glade,

There came and look'd him in the face

An angel beautiful and bright ; And that he knew it was a fiend,

This miserable knight!

And that, unknowing what he did,

He leap'd amid a murderous band, And sav'd from outrage worse than death

The lady of the land !

And how she wept and claspt his knees;

And how she tended him in vain

And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain;

And that she nurs'd him in a cave;

And how his madness went away, When on the yellow forest leaves

A dying man he lay.

His dying words—but when I reach'd

That tenderest strain of all the ditty, My faltering voice and pausing harp

Disturb'd her soul with pity.

All impulses of soul and sense.

Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve; The music and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,

An undistinguishable throng, And gentle wishes long subdued,

Subdued and cherished long.

She wept with pity and delight,

She blush'd with love and virgin shame: And like the murmur of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heav'd-she stept aside,

As conscious of my look she steptThen suddenly, with timorous eye,

She fled to me and wept.

She half enclos'd me in her arms,

She press’d me with a meek embrace: And bending back her head, look'd up,

And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love and partly fear,

And partly t was a bashful art That I might rather feel than see,

The swelling of her heart.

I calm’d her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride,

And so I won my Genevieve,
My own, my beauteous bride!

I can hardly say a word upon this poem for very admiration. I must observe, however, that one of the charms of it consists in the numerous repetitions and revolvings of the words, one on the other, as if taking delight in their own beauty.

KUBLA KHAN.

SUGGESTED TO THE AUTHOR BY A PASSAGE IN PURCHAS'S PILGRIMAGE.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan1

A stately pleasure-dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man,

Down to assunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossom'd many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh, that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill, athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forc'd;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thrasher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks, at once and ever,
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion,
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reach'd the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:

Andmid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war.2
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome, with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she play'd,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 't would win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

1“ In Xanadu.”-I think I recollect a variation of this stanza, as follows:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-house ordain,
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man,

Down to a sunless main.

The nice-eared poet probably thought there were too many ns in these rhymes; and man and main are certainly not the best neighbors : yet there is such an open, sounding, and stately intonation in the words pleasure-house ordain, and it is so superior to pleasure-dome decree, that I am not sure I would not give up the correctness of the other terminations to retain it.

But what a grand flood is this, flowing down through measure. less caverns to a sea without a sun! I know no other sea equal

« PreviousContinue »