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As they beheld him dragg'd along, earth-bow'd
By chains that scarce his sinking limbs could trail.
The robbers' hand had stript his golden mail;
And in his naked side an arrow's barb
At every step dropp'd blood upon his garb.
He spake not; but his heavy eye complain’d,
With pain and travel drowzed: his arms were chain'd;
And idled by his side the scymetar
That once had smote them like an evil star.
That night the festival had lasted long,
Joyous with Tartar games : the wrestler strong
Had show'd his naked majesty of limb;
The juggler play'd his wonders; and the mime
Stoop'd to reluctant mirth the features grim
Of the throned lords of war; and, last of all,
The Almai's jeweld dance had witch'd the hall.
The dance was ended, and the banquet done.
Deep rang the trumpet from the Sultan's throne-
The captive's death-sign; and a giant slave
Flourish'd the falchion o'er him. Osmyn gave
One look to Heaven, and then his weary eye
Sank from man's face for ever. One last sigh
Was for his love. He kiss'd his bugle's rim,
Rapt in the fantasies, delicious, dim,
That hopeless passion leaves to kill the mind;
And pray'd for life a moment, but to wind
That horn in memory of the Peri grove.
The echo whisper’d, sweet as tales of love
Shed in a maiden's ear. The crowd were spell’a!
The sound arose, around the hall it swellid,
Grew fierce and fiercer, grew a whirlwind's roar!
With a strange sudden shattering on the floor
His chains fell off: thick lightnings fill'd the dome,
A mass of solid splendour, gem and plume
Glaring in wild white flame on every brow,
All terrible distinctness : still the blow
Hung o'er him ; but the headsman look'd a stone :
Each chief seem'd spell’d, a statue on his throne.
The captive sprang within the canopy,
And dragg’d the struggling Sultan out to die.
Down cleft the scymetar his turban star.
The conqueror gazed upon his dying glare;
Then flung the head along the cloth of gold.
A dying thunder-peal through midnight rollid.
And the rich curtain rose to sounds of wings,
And fragrance cool, as when the twilight flings
Its pinions o'er the earth, dew-bath’d: the throne
Bore a veil'd Vision ! mantled with a zone
Silvery and slight as moonbeams. Osmyn felt
The madness of the moment; and he knelt,
And pour’d his burning soul in passion's sighs.
Slow rose the veil, and show'd the starry eyes
And lips like opening roses,—'twas his love !
Then with sweet smile the Peri soar'd above,
Kindling the air with radiance, and was gone.
Silence and darkness sate upon the throne:
And Osmyn, with a wild and desperate tread,
Rush'd through the camp; the mighty spell had spread ;
And all its myriads look'd a host of stone.
He pass'd away—unheard, unseen, alone!
ANTOINE HEROET, AND MELLIN DE SAINT GELAIS.
Avia Pieridum peragro loca.
Antoine Heroet, how strange has considered those writers to be soever his name may now appear, in
followers of Marino, who is very his own day was thought worthy of lavish in his descriptions, and much being put in competition with Cle- disposed, in Ovid's manner, to play ment Marot, who has had the better upon his words, but not at all metafortune of being still at least talked physical : for it is possible that a of. Joachim du Bellay, in his De- writer may be highly metaphysical, fence and Illustration of the French and yet free from conceits; as he Language, in which he has spoken may be full of conceits, and yet not of both more than once, informs us in the least open to the charge of of the qualities by which each of being metaphysical. them had attracted his own parti La Parfaite Amie, The Perfect cular set of admirers. One man, Mistress, the first poem in Heroet's says he, will tell you that he likes collection, is in a strain of excessive Marot, because he is easy, and not Platonic refinement throughout. But far removed from the matter of com- he has clothed his abstruse concepmon discourse ; another, that Heroet tions language that is utterly depleases him, because his verses are void of affectation, and besides nearlearned, grave, and elaborate. It er to that of the present day than has happened as might be expected- Marot's. I have selected an allethe natural vein of the one has out- gorical story out of the second book, lasted the erudition of the other. which, however mysterious the al
Heroet may properly be called a lusion in it may be, is yet, for the metaphysical poet. Johnson, with cleanness of the expression, (if I may some latitude of expression, has given be allowed such a phrase), compathat name to Cowley, and some of rable to some of the choice passages the other wits in Charles the Second's in our dramatic writers of Elizabeth's time; and, with still less propriety, age.
On dit que pleine est une isle de biens,
D'arbres, de fruits, de plaisante verdure,
Qu en elle ha faict son chef-d'ouvre Nature.
Et qu'immortelz les hommes y vivans
Sont, tous plaisirs, et delices suyvans.
Là ne se rend, ny jamais n'ha esté
Froideur d’yver, ny la chaleur d'esté.
La saison est un gracieux printemps,
Ou tous les plus malheureux sont contens.
De son bon gré terre produit le bien,
On ne dit point entre eux ny tien, ny mien.
Tout est commun, sans peine, et jalousie,
Raison domine, et non pas fantaisie.
Chascun sçait bien ce, qu'il veult demander,
Chascun sçait bien ce, qu'il fault commander ;
Ainsi chascun ha tout ce, qu'il demande,
Chascun sçait bien ce, qu'ha faire commande.
Cette ysle là se nomme fortunee,
Et comme on dit, par Royne est gouvernee,
Si bien parlant, si sçavante et si belle,
Que d'un rayon de la grand beauté d'elle
Tous les païs voisins sont reluisans.
Quand elle voit arriver courtisans,
(Comme y en ha de si tres curieux, Vol. V.
Qu'ilz n'ont aucun danger, devant les yeux)
Et aspirer à la felicité,
Qu'elle promest à ceux de sa cité,
Les estrangers faict ensemble venir,
Lesquelz devant que vouloir retenir,
Envoye tous dormir quelque saison.
Quand assez ont dormy selon raison,
On les resveille, et viennent devant elle :
Bien ne leur sert excuse ne cautelle ;
Ny beau parler, ny les importuns cris:
Dessus leurs frons sont leurs songes escrits.
Qui ha les chiens, et les oy seaux songé,
Ha promptement de la Royne congé:
On les renvoye avecques telles bestes.
Qui ha résvé d'estre rompeur de testes,
D'entretenir guerre, et sedition,
Honneurs mondains, extreme ambition,
Semblablement est de la court banny.
Qui ha le front pasle, mort, et terny,
Monstrant desir de biens, et de richesse,
De luy ne veult la Royne estre maistresse.
Bref, des dormeurs nul en l'isle retient,
Sinon celuy, quand esveillé revient,
Qui ha songé de la grand' beauté d'elle:
Tant de plaisir ha d'estre et sembler belle,
Que tel songeur en l'isle est bien venu.
Tout ce discours est pour fable tenu :
Mais qui premier l'ha faict, et recité,
Nous ha voulu dire une verité.
Opuscules d'Amour, par Heroet, La Borderie, et autres Divins
Poetes. A Lyon, par Jean de Tournes, 1547, p. 46.
There is an isle
Full, as they say, of good things; fruits and trees
And pleasant verdure: a very master-piece
Of Nature's; where the men immortally
Live, following all delights and pleasures. There
Is not, nor ever hath been, winter's cold
Or summer's heat: the season still the same,
One gracious spring, where all, e'en those worst used
By Fortune, are content. Earth willingly
Pours out her blessing: the words “ thine” and “mine”
Are not known ʼmongst them: all is common, free
From pain and jealous grudging. Reason rules,
Not Fantasy : that every one knows well
What he would ask of other; every one,
What to command: thus every one hath that
Which he doth ask; what is commanded, does.
This island hath the name of Fortunate;
And, as they tell, is govern’d by a Queen
Well spoken, and discreet, and therewithal
So beautiful, that, with one single beam
Of her great beauty, all the country round
Is render'd shining. When she sees arrive
(As there are many so exceeding curious
They have no fear of danger 'fore their eyes)
Those who come suing to her, and aspire
After the happiness which she to each
Doth promise in her city, she doth make
The strangers come together ; and forthwith,
Ere she consenteth to retain them there,
Sends for a certain season all to sleep.
When they have slept so much as there is need,
Then wake they them again ; and summon them
Into her presence. There avails them not
Excuse or caution ; speech, however bland,
Or importunity of cries. Each bears
That on his forehead written visibly
Whereof he hath been dreaming. They, whose dreams
Have been of birds and hounds, are straight dismiss'd;
And, at her royal mandate, led away,
To dwell thenceforward with such beasts as these.
He, who hath dream'd of sconces broken, war,
And turmoils, and seditions, glory won,
And highest feats achieved, is, in like guise,
An exile from her court; whilst one, whose brow
Is pale, and dead, and wither’d, showing care
Of pelf and riches, she no less denies
To be his queen and mistress. None, in brief,
Reserves she of the dreamers in her isle,
Save him, that, when awaken'd he returns,
Betrayeth tokens that, of her rare beauty,
His dreams have been. So great delight has she,
In being and in seeming beautiful,
Such dreamer is right welcome to her isle.
All this is held a fable; but who first
Made and recited it, hath in this fable
Shadowed a truth. Another passage, in the third book of this poem, is curious, as it shows what the prevalent taste in female beauty was at that time.
Amour n'est pas enchanteur si divers,
Que les yeux noirs face devenir verds,
Qu’un brun obscur en blancheur cleré tourne,
Ou qu'un traict gros du visage destourne:
Mais s'il se trouve assis en cæur gentil,
Si penetrant est son feu, et subtil,
Qu'il rend le corps de femme transparent,
Et se presente au visage apparent
Je ne sçay quoy, qu'on ne peut exprimer,
Qui se faict plus que les beautés aimer. (P. 58.)
Love is not such a strange enchanter
That he can change a black eye to a hazel,
Or turn dark brown into a pearly white,
Or shape a grosser feature into fineness.
And yet, when seated in a gentle heart,
So subtle and so piercing is his fire,
He makes a woman's body all transparent ;
And, in her visage, doth present to view
I know not what, that words cannot express,
Which makes itself be more, than beauty, loved. This is one of the many instances, quet, of the Androgynon: a poetical in which the early French poets have epistle to Francis I. is prefixed to it. spoken of the “yeux verds,” “ green His other pieces are much in the eyes,” (which I have taken the li
same style. berty of translating into hazel,) as I have learnt nothing more con- ' being admired above all others. So cerning this writer than that he was we find in Romeo and Juliet, act iii. made Bishop of Digne by Francis I. SC. 5.
that he was, nevertheless, like MaAn eagle, madam, rot, suspected of Calvinism, and Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye. that he died in the year 1568.
The next poem, by Heroet, is In this same volume (which, by the formed on the fiction, in Plato's Ban- way, is printed in a running type of
uncommon neatness, and is in De printed at Paris, 1551, in 16mo. as that
Bure's Bibliographie,) at p. 237, is a date is posterior to the date of the
poem entitled, Nouvel Amour, which present volume.
I find, by a manuscript note, to be There is a fine description in it of
by the Sieur Papillon, though the the trouble throughout all nature, at
writer of the note must be mis a quarrel between Venus and her son.
taken in saying (as he does), that it It ends thus :-
is extracted from a similar book,
En lamentant, puis la terre s'ouvrit,
Et de noirceur sa face elle couvrit.
Dessus les tours apparurent les fees,
En robes d'or, et d'argent estoffees :
Et murmuroient entre elles rudement,
Craignant de veoir perir le firmament.
Et fut ouy en ce temps miserable,
Trois fois un son, horrible, espouvantable,
De gros marteaux, de chesnes, et de fers,
Du plus profond abisme des enfers. (P. 263.)
Earth with a dismal scream was severed ;
And gathering darkness o'er her visage spread.
Upon the tops of towers the fays were seen
To trail long robes of gold and silver sheen;
And mutter'd, as they pass'd, their uncouth wonder,
Fearing the firmament should fall asunder.
And thrice was heard, in that ill-omen'd day,
A sound, that might the stoutest heart affray,
Of heavy hammers, clanking chains, and bars,
That mix'd in deepest hell their horrid jars.
The dispute is settled by the intervention of Jupiter.
At p. 269, there follows a letter in rhyme, called Le Discours de Voyage de Constantinople, envoyé dudit lieu à une Damoyselle de France, par le Seigneur de Borderie.
"An account of a Voyage to Constantinople, sent from the said place to a young French Lady, by the Seigneur de Borderie.” On their way, among other places, they touch at Athens.
Nous n'eusmes pas un demy jour loysir,
De voir ce lieu, ou prenons grand plaisir,
Voyant encor de la cité superbe
Les fondemens tous entiers, couvres d'herbe.
Leur grand dessaing assez donnoit entendre,
Qu'elle pouvoit grand espace comprendre.
Ayant aussi un theatre apperçeu,
Que le long temps desmolir n'avoit sceu;
Sur grands piliers de marbre bien assis,
Seize de long, et de fronc six à six,
Duquel les Grece avoient faict à leur guise,
De Saint André une nouvelle Eglise ;
Ayant un mur au dedens faict en cerne,
Que l'oeil jugeoit assez estre moderne. (P.318.) “We had not half a day's leisure of marble, handsomely placed, sixallowed us to see this place, where teen lengthwise, and, in front, six by we were much delighted, beholding six. The Greeks, after their fashion, the foundations of the noble city en- had made of it a church, dedicated tire, and covered with grass. Their to Saint Andrew; having a round extensive traces sufficiently marked wall within, manifestly of modern the great space which it has com- construction.” prized. We perceived also a theatre, The remainder is, for the most which length of time had not been part, equally humble with this exable to demolish, upon great pillars tract.