Page images

But softer far,
Like the holy song
Of angels in air,
When they sweep along,

Is the voice of the Maid of Savoy!


[ocr errors]


For thy glory is past, and thy splendour is dim, And the cup of thy sorrow is full to the brim; And where is the chief in thy realms to abide, The Monarch of Nations,' i the strength of his

pride? Like a thousand dark streams from the moun

tain they throng, With the fife and the horn and the war-beating

gong : The land like an Eden before them is fair, But behind them a wilderness dreary and bare.? The shrieks of the orphan, the lone widow's

wail, The groans of the childless, are loud on the

gale; For the star of thy glory is blasted and wan, And wither'd the tower of thy fame, Hindo



Down Savoy's hills of stainless white

A thousand currents run,
And sparkle bright in the early light
Of the slowly-rising sun:

But brighter far,
Like the glance of a star
From regions above,
Is the look of love

In the eye of the Maid of Savoy!
Down Savoy's hills of lucid snow

A thousand roebucks leap,
And headlong they go when the bugles blow,
And sound from steep to steep:

But lighter far,
Like the motion of air
On the smooth river's bed,
Is the noiseless tread

Of the foot of the Maid of Savoy!
In Savoy's vales, with green array'd,

A thousand blossoms flower, 'Neath the odorous shade by the larches made, In their own ambrosial bower:

But sweeter still,
Like the cedars which rise
On Lebanon's hill
To the pure blue skies,

Is the breath of the Maid of Savoy!
In Savoy's groves full merrily sing

A thousand songsters gay, When the breath of spring calls them forth on

the wing, To sport in the sun's mild ray: *1 Such pompous epithets the Oriental writers are accustomed to bestow on their monarchs; of which sufficient specimens may be seen in Sir William Jones's translation of the History of Nadir Shah.

We can scarcely read one page of this work without meeting with such sentences as these: Le roi de rois; 'Les étendards qui subjuguent le monde; ' 'L'âme rayon

'T is midnight o'er the dim mere's lonely bosom, Dark, dusky, windy midnight: swift are

driven The swelling vapours onward: every blossom

Bathes its bright petals in the tears of heaven. Imperfect, half-seen objects meet the sight,

The other half our fancy must pourtray; A wan, dull, lengthen'd sheet of swimming

light Lies the broad lake: the moon conceals her ray, Sketch'd faintly by a pale and lurid gleam Shot thro' the glimmering clouds: the lovely

planet Is shrouded in obscurity; the scream

Of owl is silenc'd; and the rocks of granite Rise tall and drearily, while damp and dank Hang the thick willows on the reedy bank. Beneath, the gurgling eddies slowly creep,

Blackend by foliage; and the glutting wave, That saps eternally the cold grey steep,

Sounds heavily within the hollow cave.
All earth is restless — from his glossy wing 3

The heath-fowl lifts his head at intervals;

Wet, driving, rainy, come the bursting squalls; All nature wears her dun dead covering. Tempest is gather'd, and the brooding storm Spreads its black mantle o'er the mountain's

form; And, mingled with the rising roar, is swelling, From the far hunter's booth, the blood hound's

yelling. The water-falls in various cadence chiming, Or in one loud unbroken sheet descending, Salute each other thro' the night's dark

womb; The moaning pine-trees to the wild blast

bending, Are pictured faintly thro' the chequer'd

gloom; The forests, half-way up the mountain climbing, Resound with crash of falling branches;

quiver Their aged mossy trunks: the startled doe Leaps from her leafy lair: the swelling river Winds his broad stream majestic, deep,

and slow.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors]

It is the solemn even-time,

And the holy organ 's pealing: And the vesper chime, oh! the vesper chime !

O’er the clear blue wave is stealing.
It is the solemn mingled swell

Of the monks in chorus singing:
And the vesper bell, oh! the vesper bell !

To the gale is its soft note flinging. 'Tis the sound of the voices sweeping along,

Like the wind thro' a grove of larches: And the vesper song, oh! the vesper song !

Echoes sad thro' the cloister'd arches.

AND ask ye why these sad tears stream ?

Why these wan eyes are dim with weepI had a dream lovely dream,

Of her that in the grave is sleeping. I saw her as 't was yesterday,

The bloom upon her cheek still glowing: And round her play'd a golden ray,

And on her brows were gay flowers blowing. With angel-hand she swept, a lyre,

A garland red with roses bound it;
Its strings were wreath'd with lambent fire
And amaranth was woven round it.


I saw her mid the realms of light,

In everlasting radiance gleaming; Co-equal with the seraphs bright,

Mid thousand thousand angels beaming. I strove to reach her, when, behold,

Those fairy forms of bliss Elysian, And all that rich scene wrapt in gold,

Faded in air a lovely vision !

* Neque ego nunc de vulgari aut de mediocri, quæ tamen ipsa et delectat et prodest, sed de vera et perfecta loquor (ainicitia) qualis eorum, qui pauci nominantur, fuit.' -- CICERO.

Aud I awoke, but oh! to me

That waking hour was doubly weary; And yet I could not envy thee,

Although so blest, and I so dreary,

O Thou most holy Friendship! wheresoe’er

Thy dwelling be -- for in the courts of man But seldom thine all-heavenly voice we hear,

Sweet ning the moments of our narrow span; And seldom thy bright foot-steps do we scan

Along the weary aste of life unblest, For faithless is its frail and wayward plan,

And perfidy is man's eternal guest, With dark suspicion link'd and shameless in



'Tis thine, when life has reach'd its final goal,

Ere the last sigh that frees the mind be giv'n, To speak sweet solace to the parting soul,

And pave the bitter path that leads to heav'n: 'Tis thine, whene'er the heart is rack'd and

riv'n Dy the hot shafts of baleful calumny, When the dark spirit to despair is driv'n,

To teach its lonely grief to lean on thee, And pour within thine ear the tale of misery.

One of the best of Alfred's early efforts. Here, as in “ Persia,' the metrical management of proper names is noteworthy.

• The sublime always dwells on great objects and terrible.'

BURKE, O TELL me not of vales in tenderest green, The poplar's shade, the plantane's graceful

tree; Give me the wild cascade, the rigged scene,

The loud surge bursting o'er the purple sea:

On such sad views my soul delights to pore,

By Teneriffe's peak, or Kilda's giant height, Or dark Loffoden's melancholy shore,

What time grey eve is fading into night; When by that twilight beam I scarce descry The mingled shades of earth and sea and sky. Give me to wander at midnight alone, Through some august cathedral, where, from

high, The cold, clear moon on the mosaic stone

Comes glancing in gay colours gloriously, Through windows rich with gorgeous blazonry,

Gilding the niches dim, where, side by side, Stand antique mitred prelates, whose bones lie Beneath the pavement, where their deeds of

pride Were graven, but long since are worn away By constant feet of ages day by day. Then, as Imagination aids, I hear Wild heavenly voices sounding from the

quoir, And more than mortal music meets mine ear, Whose long, long notes among the tombs ex

pire, With solemn rustiing of cherubic wings, Round those vast columns which the roof up

bear; While sad and undistinguishable things

Do flit athwart the moonlit windows there; And my blood curdles at the chilling sound Of lone, unearthly steps, that pace the hallow'd

ground! I love the starry spangled heav'n, resembling

A canopy with fiery gems o'erspread, When the wide loch with silvery sheen is trem

bling, Far stretch'd beneath the mountain's hoary

head. But most I love that sky, when, dark with

storms, It frowns terrific o'er this wilder'd earth, While the black clouds, in strange and uncouth

forms, Come hurrying onward in their ruinous wrath; And shrouding in their deep and gloomy robe The burning eyes of heav'n and Dian's lucid

globe! I love your voice, ye echoing winds, that sweep Thro the wide womb of midnight, when the

veil Of darkness rests upon the mighty deep,

The labouring vessel, and the shatter'd sail Save when the forked bolts of lightning leap

On flashing pinions, and the mariner pale

Raises his eyes to heaven. Oh! who would

sleep What time the rushing of the angry gale Is loud upon the waters ? — Hail, all hail! Tempest and clouds and night and thunder's

rending peal! All hail, Sublimity! thou lofty one,

For thou dost walk upon the blast, and gird Thy majesty with terrors, and thy throne

Is on the whirlwind, and thy voice is heard In thunders and in shakings: thy delight

Is in the secret wood, the blasted heath, The ruin’d fortress, and the dizzy height, The grave, the ghastly charnel - house of

death, In vaults, in cloisters, and in gloomy piles, Long corridors and towers and solitary aisles ! Thy joy is in obscurity, and plain

Is nought with thee; and on thy steps attend Shadows but half-distinguish'd; the thin train

Of hovering spirits round thy pathway bend, With their low tremulous voice and airy tread, What time the tomb above them yawns and

gapes: For thou dost hold communion with the dead

Phantoms and phantasies and grisly shapes; And shades and headless spectres of Saint

Mark, Seen by a lurid light, formless and still and

dark !

What joy to view the varied rainbow smile

On Niagara's flood of matchless might, Where all around the melancholy isle 3

The billows sparkle with their hues of light! While, as the restless surges roar and rave, The arrowy stream descends with awful

sound, Wheeling and whirling with each breathless

wave, 4 Immense, sublime, magnificent, profound ! If thou hast seen all this, and conld'st not feel, Then know, thine heart is fram'd of marble or

of steel.

The hurricane fair earth to darkness changing,

Kentucky's chambers of eternal gloom, 5 The swift pac'd columns of the desert ranging

Th' uneven waste, the violent Simoom, Thy snow-clad peaks, stupendous Gungotree! Whence springs the hallow'd Jumna's echo

ing tide, Hoar Cotopaxi's cloud-capt majesty,

Enormous Chimborazo's naked pride, The dizzy Cape of winds that cleaves the sky, Whence we look down into eternity,

1 According to Burke, a low tremulous intermitted sound is conducive to the sublime.

? It is a received opinion, that on St. Mark's Eve all the persons who are to die on the following year make their appearances without their heads in the churches of their respective parishes. — See Dr. LANGHORNE's Notes to Collins,

3 This island, on both sides of which the waters rush

with astonishing swiftness, is 900 or 800 feet long, and its lower edge is just at the perpendicular edge of the fall.

* 'Undis Phlegethon perlustrat ANHELIS.' – CLACDIAN.

3 See Dr. Nahum Ward's account of the great Kentucky Cavern, in the Monthly Magazine, October, 1816

6 In the Ukraine.

The pillar'd eave of Morven's giant king,
The Yanar, 2 and the Geyser's boiling foun-

The deep volcano's inward murmuring,

The shadowy Colossus of the mountain; 3 Antiparos, where sun-beams never enter;

Loud Stromboli, amid the quaking isles; The terrible Maelstroom, around his centre

Wheeling his circuit of unnuinber'd miles: These, these are sights and sounds that freeze

the blood, Yet charm the awe-struck soul which doats on

solitude, Blest be the bard, whose willing feet rejoice

To tread the emerald green of Fancy's vales, Who hears the music of her heavenly voice, And breathes the rapture of her nectar'd

gales ! Blest be the bard, whom golden Fancy loves,

He strays for ever thro' her blooming bowers, Amid tbe rich profusion of her groves, And wreathes his forehead with her spicy

flowers Of sunny radiance; but how blest is he Who feels the genuine force of high Sublimity!

His visage, as he downward trod,

Shone starlike on the shrinking crowd, With lustre borrow'd from his God:

They could not brook it, and they bow'd. The mere reflection of the blaze

That lighten'd round creation's Lord, Was too puissant for their gaze;

And he that caught it was ador'd. Then how ineffably august,

How passing wond'rous must He be, Whose presence lent to earthly dust

Such permanence of brilliancy! Thron'd in sequester'd sanctity,

And with transcendant glories crown'd; With all his works beneath his eye,

And suns and systems burning round, How shall I hymn him ? How aspire

His holy Name with song to blend, And bid my rash and feeble lyre

To such an awless flight ascend ?



Signed ‘A. T. or C. T.' in the reprint, but Lord Tennyson believes, as I do, that Charles wrote it.

Immutable - immortal - infinite!'- MILTON. WHERE is the wonderful abode,

The holy, secret, searchless shrine, Where dwells the immaterial God,

The all-pervading and benign? 0! that he were reveal'd to me,

Fully and palpably display'd In all the awful majesty

Of heaven's consuinmate pomp array'dHow would the overwhelming light

Of his tremendous presence beam! And how insufferably bright

Would the broad glow of glory stream!

Remarkable for imagination and for versifi.
cation as the work of a boy of sixteen.
I SEE the chariot, where,
Throughout the purple air,

The forelock'd monarch rides:
Arm'd like some antigue vehicle for war,
Time, hoary Time! I see thy scythed car,
In voiceless majesty,
Cleaving the clouds of ages that float by,
And change their many-colour'd sides,

Now dark, now dun, now richly bright,
In an ever-varying light.
The great, the lowly, and the brave

Bow down before the rushing force

Of thine unconquerable course; Thy wheels are noiseless as the grave, Yet fleet as Heaven's red bolt they hurry on,

They pass above us, and are gone!
Clear is the track which thou hast past;

Strew'd with the wrecks of frail renown,
Robe, sceptre, banner, wreath, and crown,

The pathway that before thee lies,
An undistinguishable waste,

Invisible to human eyes, Which fain would scan the various shapes

which glide

In dusky cavalcade, Imperfectly descried,

Through that intense, impenetrable

What tho this flesh would fade like grass,

Before th' intensity of day?
One glance at Him who always was,

The fiercest pangs would well repay.

When Moses on the mountain's brow

Had met th: Eternal face to face, While anxious Israel stood below,

Wond'ring and trembling at its base;


1 Fingal's Cave in the Island of Staffa. If the ColosBus of Rhodes bestrid a harbour, Fingal's powers were certainly far from despicable:

A chos air Cromleach druim-ard
Chos eile air Crommeal dubh
Thoga Fion le lamh mhoir
An d'uisge o Lubhair na fruth.

With one foot on Cromleach his brow,
The other on Crommeal the dark,
Fion took up with his large hand

The water from Lubhair of streams.
See the Dissertations prefixed to Ossian's Poema,

2 Or, perpetual fire.
& Alias, the Spectre of the Broken,

on !

Four grey

steeds thy chariot draw; In th'

obdurate, tameless jaw Their rusted iron bits they sternly champ; Ye may not hear the echoing tramp

Of their light-bounding, windy feet,

Upon that cloudy pavement beat.
Four wings have each, which, far outspread,

Receive the many blasts of heav'n,
As with unwearied speed,

Throughout the long extent of ether driven, Onward they rush for ever and for aye:

Thy voice, thou mighty Charioteer !

Always sounding in their ear, Throughout the gloom of night and heat of day. Fast behind thee follows Death,

Thro' the ranks of wan and weeping, That yield their miserable breath,

On with his pallid courser proudly sweeping.
Arm'd is he in full mail, 1
Bright breast-plate and high crest,

Nor is the trenchant falchion wanting :
So fiercely does he ride the gale,
On Time's dark car, before him, rest

The dew-drops of his charger's panting.
On, on they go along the boundless skies,

All human grandeur fades away
Before their flashing, fiery, hollow eyes;

Beneath the terrible control
Of those vast armed orbs, which roll

Oblivion on the creatures of a day.
Those splendid monuments alone he spares,

Which, to her deathless votaries,
Bright Fame, with glowing hand, uprears
Amid the waste of countless years.
Live ye!' to these he crieth; “live!
To ye eternity I give -
Ye, upon whose blessed birth

The noblest star of heaven hath shone; Live, when the ponderous pyramids of earth

Are crumbling in oblivion ! Live, when, wrapt in sullen shade, The golden hosts of heaven shall fade; Live, when yon gorgeous sun on high Shall veil the sparkling of his eye! Live, when imperial Time and Death himself

shall die!'

Thy strength is the flower that shall last but a

day, And thy might is the snow in the sun's burning

ray. Arm, arm from the east, Babylonia's son ! Arm, arm for the battle the Lord leads thee With the shield of thy fame, and the power of

thy pride, Arm, arm in thy glory – the Lord is thy guide. Thou shalt come like a storm when the moon

light is dim, And the lake's gloomy bosom is full to the

brim; Thou shalt come like the flash in the darkness

of night, When the wolves of the forest shall howl for

affright. Woe, woe to thee, Tanis ! 8 thy babes shall be

thrown By the barbarous hands on the cold marble

stone: Woe, woe to thee, Nile! for thy stream shall

be red With the blood that shall gush o'er thy billowy


Woe, woe to thee, Memphis! the war-cry is

near, And the child shall be toss'd on the murderer's

spear; For fiercely he comes in the day of his ire, With wheels like a whirlwind, and chariots of

fire !


Perhaps incorrectly assigned to Alfred.

HARK! how the gale, in mournful notes and

stern, Sighs thro' yon grove of aged oaks, that wave (While down these solitary walks I turn) Their mingled branches o'er yon lonely

grave! Poor soul ! the dawning of thy life was dim;

Frown'd the dark clouds upon thy natal day; Soon rose thy cup of sorrow to the brim,

And hope itself but shed a doubtful ray. That hope had fled, and all within was gloom; That hope had fled - thy woe to phrenzy


PHARAOH-HOPHRA, OR APRIES Thou beast of the flood, who hast said in thy


soul, I have made me a stream that for ever shall

roll !'2

1 I am indebted for the idea of Death's Armour to that famous Chorus in Caractacus beginning with

• Hark! heard ye not that footstep dread ?' ? 'Pliny's reproach to the Egyptians, for their vain and foonsn pride with regard to the inundations of the Nile, points out one of their most distinguishing char

acteristics, and recalls to my mind a fine passage of Ezekiel, where God thus speaks to Pharaoh, one of their kings: “Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that hath said, MY RIVER IS MINE OWN, AND I HAVE MADE IT FOR MYSELF."' ' - ROLLIN, vol. I. p. 216.

3 The Scriptural appellations are . Zoan' and Noph.'

« PreviousContinue »