Page images

Between two worlds life hovers like a star, Some people would impose now with 'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's

anthority, verge:

Turpin's or Monmouth Geoffry's Chronicle; How little do we know that which we are! Men whose historical superiority How less what we may be! The eternal surge Is always greatest at a miracle. Of time and tide rolls on, and bears afar But Saint Augustine has the great priority, Our bubbles; as the old burst, new energe, Who bids all men believe the impossible, Lash'd from the foam of ages; while the Because 'tis 80. Why nibble, scribble, graves

quibble, he Of empires heave but like some passing Quiets at once with “quia impossibile.”


And therefore, mortals, cavil not at all;
Believe :-if 'tis improbable, you must;
And if it is impossible, you shall :

"Tis always best to take things upon trust. CANTO XVI.

I do not speak profanely, to recal

Those holier mysteries, which the wise and Tan antique Persians taught three useful

just things,

Receive as gospel, and which grow more Todraw the bow, to ride, and speak the truth.

rooted, This was the mode of Cyrus, best of kings – As all truths must, the more they are A mode adopted since by modern youth.

disputed. Bows have they, generally with two strings; Horses they ride without remorse or ruth; At speaking truth perhaps they are less I merely mean to say what Johnson said,


That in the course of some six thousand years, But draw the long bow better now than ever. All nations have believed that from the dead

A visitant at intervals appears :

And what is strangest upon this strange head, The cause of this effect, or this defect, - Is, that whatever bar the reason rears “For this effect defective comes by cause,” 'Gainst such belief, there is something Is what I have not leisure to inspect;

stronger still But this I must say in my own applause, In its behalf, let those deny who will. Of all the Muses that I recollect, Whate'er may be her follies or her flaws In some things, mine's beyond all contra- The dinner and the soirée too were done,


Thesupper too discuss'd, the dames admired, The most sincere that ever dealt in fiction. The banqueteers had drop'd off one by one

The song was silent, and the dance expired:

The last thin petticoats were vanish’d, gone And as she treats all things, and ne'er Like fleecy clouds into the sky retired,


And nothing brighter gleam'd through the From any thing, this Epic will contain

saloon A wilderness of the most rare conceits, Than dying tapers, and the peeping moon. Which you might elsewhere hope to find

in vain. "Tis true there be some bitters with the The evaporation of a joyous day


Is like the last glass of Champagne, without Yet mix'd so slightly that you can't complain, | The foam which made its virgin-bumpergay; But wonder they so few are, since my tale is Or like a system coupled with a doubt; **De rebus cunctis et quibusdam aliis." Or like a soda-bottle when its spray

Has sparkled and let half its spirit out;

Or like a billow left by storins behind, But of all truths which she has told, the most Without the animation of the wind; True is that which she is about to tell. I said it was a story of a ghostWhat then? I only know it so befel. Or like an opiate which brings troubled rest, Have you explored the limits of the coast, Or none; or like-like nothing that I know Where all the dwellers of the earth must Except itself;-such is the human breast;


A thing, of which similitudes can show 'Tis time to strike such puny doubters No real likeness,-like the old Tyrian vest

dumb as

Dyed purple, none at present can tell how, The sceptics who would not believe Co- If from a shell-fish or from cochincal.


So perish every tyrant's robe pioco-meal!

But next to dressing for a rout or ball, Where many a Gothic ornament remaind, Undressing is a woe; our robe de chambre In chisel'd stone and painted glass, and all May sit like that of Nessus and recal That tiine has left our fathers of their Hall. Thoughts quite as yellow, but less clear

than amber. Titus exclaim'd, “I've lost a day!” Of all Then, as the night was clear, though cold, The nights and days most people can

he threw remember,

His chamber-door wide open - and went (I have had of both, some not to be disdain'd)

I wish they'd state how many they have Into a gallery, of a sombre hue,

Long, furnish'd with old pictures of great


Of knights and dames heroic and chaste too, And Juan, on retiring for the night,

As doubtless should be people of high birth. Felt restless, and perplexed, and compro

But by dim lights the portraits of the dead mised ;

Have something ghastly,desolate,and dread. He thought Aurora Raby's eyes more bright Than Adeline (such is advice) advised;

The forms of the grim Knights and pictured If he had known exactly his own plight,

Saints He probably would have philosophised;

Look living in the Moon; and as you turn A great resource to all, and ne'er denied

Backward and forward to the echoes faint Till wanted; therefore Juan only sigh’d.

Of your own footsteps- voices from the urn
Appear to wake and shadows wild and quaint

Start from the frames which fence their He sigh’d;- the next resource is the full

aspects stern, Moon,

As if to ask how you can dare to keep Where all sighs are deposited ; and now

A vigil there, where all but death should It happen'd luckily, the chaste orb shone

sleep. As clear as such a climate will allow; And Juan's mind was in the proper tone To hail her with the apostrophe—“Oh, And the pale smile of Beauties in the grave,

Thou !"

The charms of other days, in starlight Of amatory egotism the Tuism,

gleams Which further to explain would be a truism. Glimmer on high; their buried locks still

Along the canvass; their eyes glance like But lover, poet, or astronomer,

dreams Shepherd, or swain, whoever may behold, On ours, or spars within some dusky cave, Feel some abstraction when they gaze on her: But death is imaged in their shadowy beams. Great thoughts we catch from thence (besi- A picture is the past; even ere its frame

des a cold

Be gilt, who sate hath ceased to be the same. Sometimes, unless my feelings rather err); Deep secrets to her rolling light are told; The ocean's tides and mortals' brains she As Juan mused on mutability,


Or on his mistress-terms synonimousAnd also hearts, if there be truth in lays. No sound, except the echo of his sigh,

Or step ran sadly through that antique

house, Juan felt somewhat pensive, and disposed When suddenly he heard, or thought so, For contemplation rather than his pillow :

nigh, The Gothic chamber, where he was enclosed, A supernatural'agent,or a mouse, Let in the rippled sound of the lake's billow, Whose little nibbling rustle will embarrass With all the mystery by midnight caused; Most people as it plays along the arras. Below his window waved (of course) a

willow; And he stood gazing out on the cascade It was no mouse; but lo! a monk, array'd That flash'd and after darken'd in the shade. In cowl and beads and dusky garb, appear’d,

Now in the moonlight, and now lapsed in

shade, Upon his table or his toilet,—which With steps that trod as heavy, yet unheard; of these is not exactly ascertain'd

His garments only a slight murmur made; (I state this, for I am cautious to a pitch He moved as shadowy as the sisters weird, Of nicety, where a fact is to be gain'd) But slowly; and as he passed Juan by, A lamp burn'd high, while he leant from Glanced, withont pausing, on him a bright a niche,



[ocr errors]


Juan was petrified; he had heard a hint A paragraph, I think about Horne Tooke, Of such a spirit in these halls of old, Undrest, and rather slowly went to bed. But thought, like most men, there was There couch'd all snugly on his pillow's nothing in't

nook, Beyond the rumour which such spots unfold, With what he had seen his phantasy he fed, Coin’d from surviving superstition's mint, And though it was no opiate, slumber crept Which passes ghosts in currency like gold, Upon him by degrees, and so he slept. But rarely seen, like gold compared with

And did he see this? or was it a vapour ?

He woke betimes; and, as may be supposed,
Ponder'd upon his visitant or vision,

And whether it ought not to be disclosed, Once, twice, thrice pass'd, repass’d—the At risk of being quizz’d for superstition.

thing of air,

The more he thought, the more his mind Or earth beneath, or heaven, or t’other place;

was posed; And Juan gaz'd upon it with a stare,

In the mean time his valet, whose precision Yet could not speak or move; but, on its base Was great, because his master brook'd no As stands a statue, stood: he felt his hair

lese, Twine like a knot of snakes around his face; Knock'd to inform him it was time to dress. He tax'd his tongue for words, which were

not granted, He dress'd; and, like young people, he was To ask the reverend person what he wanted.


To take some trouble with his toilet, but The third time, after a still longer pause, Aside his very mirror soon was put;

This morning rather spent less time upon't; The shadow pass'd away-but where? the His curls feli negligently o'er his front,


His clothes were not curb'd to their usual cut, Was long, and thus far there was no great His very neckcloth's Gordian knot was tied

Almost a hair's breadth too much on one side. To think his vanishing unnatural: Doors there were many, through which, by

the laws

And when he walk'd down into the saloon, Of physics, bodies whether short or tall

He sate him pensive o'er a dish of tea, Might come or go; but Juan could not state which he perhaps had not discover'd soon, Through which the Spectre seem'd to eva- Had it not happen'd scalding hot to be,

Which made him have recourse unto his

spoon ;

So much distrait he was, that all could see He stood – how long he knew not, but it That something was the matter --Adeline


The first-but what she could not well An age-expectant, powerless, with his eyes

divine. Straind on the spot where first the figure

gleam'd; Then by degrees recall'd his energies, She look’d, and saw him pale, and turn'd And would have pass'd the whole off as a

as pale dream,

Herself; then hastily look'd down, and But could not wake; he was, he did surmise,

mutter'd Waking already, and return'd at length Something, but what's not stated in my tale. Back to his chamber, shorn of half his Lord Henry said, his muffin was ill butterd;

The Duchess of Fitz-Fulke play'd with her


And look'd at Juan hard, but nothing utter'd. All there was as he left it: still his taper Aurora Raby, with her large dark eyes, Burnt, and not blue, as modest tapers use, Survey'd him with a kind of calm surprise. Receiving sprites with sympathetic vapour; He rubb’d his eyes, and they did not refuse Their office; he took up an old newspaper; But seeing him all cold and silent still, The paper was right easy to peruse; And every body wondering more or less, He read an article the King attacking, Fair Adeline inquired, “If he were ill ?" And a long eulogy of “Patent Blacking." He started, and said, “Yes - no rather- yes."

The family physician had great skill,

And, being present, now began to express This savour'd of this world ; but his hand His readiness to feel his pulse and tell

The cause, but Juan said, “He was quite He shut his boor, and after having read

shook -



"Quite well; yes; no.".. These answers were | "Jest!" quoth Milor, “Why, Adeline, yon mysterious,

know And yet his looks appear'd to sanction both, That we ourselves — 'twas in the honeyHowever they might savour of delirious; Something like illness of a sndden growth Saw --” “Well, no matter, 'twas so long ago; Weigh'd on his spirit, though by no means But, come, I'll set your story to a tune."


Graceful as Dian, when she draws her bow, But for the rest, as he himself seem'd loth She seized her harp, whose strings were To state the case, it might be ta’en for

kindled soon granted

As touch'd, and plaintively began to play It was not the physician that he wanted. The air of “'Twas a Friar of Orders Gray."

Lord Henry, who had now discussid his “But add the words,” cried Henry, “which chocolate,

you made; Also the muffin whereof he complain'd,

For Adeline is half a poetess," Said, Juan had not got his usual look elate, Turning round to the rest, he smiling said. At which he marvell’d, since it had not Of course the others could not but express


In conrtesy their wish to see display'd Then ask'd her Grace what news were of By one three talents, for there were no the Duke of late?

lessHer Grace replied, his Grace was rather The voice, the words, the harper's skill, pain'd

at once With some slight, light, hereditary twinges Could hardly be united by a dunce. Of gout, which rusts aristocratic hinges.

After some fascinating hesitation,Then Henry turn’d to Juan and address’d The charming of these charmers, who seem A few words of condolence on his state:

bound, “You look," quoth he, “as if you had had I can't tell why, to this dissimulation

your rest

Fair Adeline, with eyes fix'd on the ground Broke in upon by the Black Friar of late." At first, then kindling into animation, "What Friar?” said Juan; and he did his best Added her sweet voice to the lyric sound, To put the question with an air sedate, And sang with much simplicity ,-a merit Or careless; but the effort was not valid Not the less precious, that we seldom hear it. To hinder him from growing still more


Beware! beware! of the Black Friar,

Who sitteth by Norman stone, “Oh! have you never heard of the Black For he mutters his prayer in the midnight Friar?

air, TheSpirit of these walls?"_“In truth not I.” And his mass of the days that are gone. "Why Fame--but Fame you know's some- When the Lord of the Hill, Amundeville,

times a liar

Made Norman Church his prey, Tells an odd story, of wbich by the bye: And expell’d the friars, one friar still Whether with time the Spectre has grown

Would not be driven away.

shyer, Or that our sires had a more gifted eye For such sights, though the tale is half Though he came in his might, with King believed,

Henry's right, The Friar of late has not been oft perceived. To turn church-lands to lay,

With sword in hand, and torch to light

Their walls, if they said nay, The last time was - " “I pray,” said A monk remain’d, unchased, unchaind,


And he did not seem form’d of clay, (Who watch'd the changes of Don Juan's For he's seen in the porch, and he's seen brow,

in the church, And from its context thought she could Though he is not seen by day.

divine Connections stronger than he chose to avow With this same legend), -"if you but design And whether for good, or whether for ill, To jest, you 'll choose some other theme just It is not mine to say:

But still to the house of Amundeville Because the present tale has oft been told, He abideth night and day. And is not much improved by growing old." | By the marriage-bed of their lords, 'tis vaid,


He flits on the bridal eve;

As did the Cynic on some like occasion; And 'tis held as faith, to their bed of death, Deeming the Sage would be much mortified, He comes--but not to grieve.

Or thrown into a philosophic passion,
For a spoil'd carpet - but the "Attic Bee"

Was much consoled by his own repartee. When an heir is born, he is heard to mourn,

And when aught is to befal That ancient line, in the pale moonshine Thus Adeline would throw into the shade He walks from hall to hall.

(By doing easily whene'er she chose, His form you may trace, but not his face, What dilettanti do with vast parade), 'Tis shadow'd by his cowl;

Their sort of half-profession : for it grows But his eyes may be seen from the folds To something like this when too oft disbetween,

play'd, And they seem of a parted soul. And that it is so, every body knows,

Who have heard Miss That or This, or

Lady Tother, But beware! beware! of the Black Friar, Show off-to please their company or mother.

He still retains his sway, For he is yet the church's heir Whoever may be the lay.

Oh! the long evenings of duets and trios ! Amundeville is lord by day,

The admirations and the speculations; But the monk is lord by night.

The “Mamma Mia's !” and the * Amor Nor wine nor wassail could raise a vassal

To question that friar's right.

The “Tanti palpiti’s” on such occasions :
The "Lasciami's," and quavering “Addio'x!"

Amongst our own most musical of nations; Say nought to him as he walks the hall, With “Ti mi chamasis” from Portingale, And he'll say nought to you;

To soothe our ears, lest Italy should fail. He sweeps along in his dusky pall,

As o'er the grass the dew.
Then Grammercy! for the Black Friar; In Babylon's bravuras - as the home
Heaven sain him! fair or foul,

Heart-ballads of Green Erin or Grey HighAnd whatsoe'er may be his prayer,

lands, Let ours be for his soul.

That brings Lochaber back to eyes that


O’er far Atlantic continents or islands, The lady's voice ceased, and the thrilling The calentures of music which o'ercome


All mountaineers with dreams that they Died from the touch that kindled them to

are nigh lands, sound;

No more to be beheld but in such visions,And the pause follow'd, which, when song Was Adeline well versed, as compositions.

expires, Pervades a moment those who listen round; And then of course the circle much admires, She also had a twilight tinge of Blue,Nor less applauds, as in politeness bound, Could write rhymes, and compose more The tones, the feeling, and the execution,

than she wrote ; To the performer's diffident confusion. Made epigrams occasionally too

Upon her friends, as every body ought.

But still from that sublimer azure hue, Fair Adeline, though in a careless way, So much the present dye, she was remote; As if she rated such accomplishment Waswenk enough to deem Pope a great poet, As the mere pastime of an idle day, And, what was worse, was not ashamed to Parsned an instant for her own content,

show it. Would now and then as 'twere without

display, Yet with display in fact, at times relent Aurora – since we are tonching npon taste, To such performances with hanghty smile, Which now-a-days is the thermometer To show she could, if it were worth her By whose degrees all characters are classid


Was more Shakespearian, if I do not crr.
The worlds beyond this world's perplexing

waste Now this (but we will whisper it aside) Had more of her existence, for in her Was - pardon the pedantic illustration- There was a depth of feeling to embrace Trampling on Plato's pride with greater Thoughts, boundless, deep, but silent too pride,

as space.

« PreviousContinue »