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"FROM EARLIEST CHILDHOOD ALL TOO WELL AWARE OF THE UNCERTAIN NATURE OF OUR JOYS,-(L. E. L.)
MUSIC MOVES US, AND WE KNOW NOT WHY (L. E. LANDON)
And there inhabited in love and peace,
Till a strong spirit came upon men's hearts,
And roused them to avenge their many wrongs.
Yet stood they not in battle, and the arm
Of the oppressor was at first too mighty.
Albeit I have lived to see their bonds
Rent like burnt flax, yet much of blood was spilt
Or ever the deliverance was accomplished.
We fled in the dark night. At length the moon
Rose on the midnight,—when I saw the face
Of my last child was ghastly white, and set
In the death-agony, and from his side
The life-blood came like tears; and then I prayed
That he would rest, and let me staunch the wound.
He motioned me to fly, and then lay down
Upon the rock, and died! This is his grave,
His home and mine. Ask ye now why I dwell
Upon the rock, and loathe the vale beneath?
[From the "Sketches from History."-The "Solemn League and Cove-
nant" was an instrument directed against the introduction of Popery and Pre-
lacy into Scotland, ratified by the Scotch Parliament, July 15, 1644. Its ad-
herents, after the Restoration, maintained its principles against the govern-
ment of Charles II.-which sought to restore to Scotland its Episcopal Church
-and for twenty years suffered the severest persecution. Though their prin-
ciples were wholly opposed to the great cause of religious toleration, yet, by
their gallant resistance to the arbitrary measures of the Stuarts, they indirectly
favoured its advance, and contributed in no unimportant degree to the Re-
volution of 1688. Their sufferings and their heroism have been the theme
many able pens. "These people," says Lord Macaulay, "in defiance of
the law, persisted in meeting to worship God after their own fashion.
Driven from the towns, they assembled on heaths and mountains. Attacked
by the civil power, they, without scruple, repelled force by force. At every
conventicle they mustered in arms. They repeatedly broke out into open
rebellion. They were easily defeated, and mercilessly punished; but neither
defeat nor punishment could subdue their spirit. Hunted down like wild
beasts, tortured till their bones were beaten flat, imprisoned by hundreds,
hanged by scores, exposed at one time to the license of soldiers from Eng-
land, abandoned at another time to the mercy of troops of marauders from
the Highlands, they still stood at bay in a mood so savage that the boldest
and mightiest oppressor could not but dread the audacity of their despair."}
WE FEEL. THE TEARS, BUT CANNOT TRACE THEIR SOURCE. -LANDON.
IT IS DELICIOUS TO ENJOY, YET KNOW NO AFTER-CONSEQUENCE WILL BE TO WEEP."-L. E. LANDON.
I FEEL ITS TRUTH IN MY VAIN ASPIRATIONS, IN THE DREAMS-(L. E. LANDON)
WHO SAY THAT THIS WORLD LABOURS WITH A CURSE,-(LANDON)
IOLETS!-deep blue violets! *
April's loveliest coronets!
There are no flowers grow in the vale,
Kissed by the dew, wooed by the gale,-
None by the dew of the twilight wet,
So sweet as the deep blue violet !
I do remember how sweet a breath
Came with the azure light of a wreath
That hung round the wild harp's golden chords,
Which rang to my dark-eyed lover's words.
I have seen that dear harp rolled
With gems of the East and bands of gold;
But it never was sweeter than when set
With leaves of the deep-blue violet !
And when the grave shall
I care not how soon that time may be,—
Never a rose shall grow on that tomb,
It breathes too much of hope and of bloom;
But there be that flower's meek regret,
The bending and deep blue violet !
[From "The Improvisatrice, and Other Poems."]
Long as there are violets,
They shall have a place in story."
THAT IT IS FALLEN FROM ITS FIRST ESTATE?"-L. E. LANDON.
THAT ARE REVEALINGS OF ANOTHER WORLD, MORE PURE, MORE PERFECT THAN OUR WEARY ONE."-LANDON.
"WE HURRY TO THE RIVER WE MUST CROSS, AND SWIFTER DOWNWARD EVERY FOOTSTEP WENDS;-(WALTER S. LANDOR)
"" THERE ARE SOME TEARS WE WOULD NOT wish to dry,—(Landor)
Walter Savage Landor.
[OWING to certain defects of character and temperament, the fame of Walter Savage Landor will never be in proportion to his genius. He thought deeply, reasoned closely; had a powerful imagination, and a singular insight into the weaker part of our human nature; wrote a nervous and classical style, remarkable for happy turns of expression, and brightened by imagery always as graceful as it was appropriate. Yet his moody egotism, which continually committed him to the assertion of the most offensive crotchets, and his absolute want of faith in man's loftier aims and aspirations, have irretrievably marred his best works, limited his popularity, and crippled his influence.
He was born at Ipsley Court, Warwickshire, on the 30th of January 1775; educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Oxford; in 1808, joined the Spaniards in their resistance to the French; took up his residence at Florence in 1815; returned to England, and settled at Bath; and closed his long, active, and somewhat stormy career, on the 17th of September 1864.
We enumerate his principal works: "Gebir," an epic poem ; Count
Julian," a tragedy; "Imaginary Conversations," a series of dialogues
supposed to have taken place between various illustrious personages;
Last Fruit off an Old Tree;" and "Dry Sticks, fagoted by Walter Savage
Landor.' His minor poems are very numerous.]
THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM.
E are what suns, and winds, and waters make us;
The mountains are our sponsors, and the rills
Fashion and win their nursling with their smiles.
But where the land is dim from tyranny,
Their tiny pleasures occupy the place
Of glories and of duties; as the feet
Of fabled faeries, when the sun goes down,
Trip o'er the grass where wrestlers strove by day.
Then Justice, called the Eternal One above,
Is more inconstant than the buoyant form
That sprung into existence from the froth
Of ever-varying ocean; what is best
Then becomes worse; what loveliest, most deformed.
AND SOME THAT STRAY BEFORE THEY DROP AND DIE."-LANDOR.
HAPPY WHO REACH IT ERE THEY COUNT THE LOSS OF HALF THEIR FACULTIES AND HALF THEIR FRIENDS."-LANDOR.
"ALAS, HOW SOON THE HOURS ARE OVER COUNTED AS OUT TO PLAY THE LOVER!"-LANDOR.
"IMAGE THE MEMORY, AS THE EYE Itself,-(walter S. LANDOR)
The heart is hardest in the softest climes:
The passions flourish, the affections die.
O thou vast tablet of these awful truths,
That fillest all the space between the seas,
Spreading from Venice's deserted courts
To the Tarentine and Hydruntine mole,
What lifts thee up? What shakes thee? 'Tis the
Awake, ye nations! spring to life!
Let the last work of His right hand appear
Fresh with His image-Man. Thou recreant slave
That sittest afar off, and helpest not;
O thou degenerate Albion! with what shame
Do I survey thee, pushing forth the sponge
At thy spear's length, in mockery at the thirst
Of holy Freedom in his agony,
And prompt and keen to pierce the wounded side!
Must Italy then wholly rot away
Amid her slime, before she germinate
Into fresh vigour, into form again?
What thunder burst upon mine ear? some isle
Hath surely risen from the gulfs profound,
Eager to suck the sunshine from the breast
Of beauteous Nature, and to catch the gale
From golden Hermus and Malena's brow.
A greater thing than isle, than continent,
Than earth itself, than ocean-circling earth,
Hath risen there; regenerate Man hath risen.
Generous old bard of Chios! not that Jove
Deprived thee, in thy latter days, of sight,
Would I complain, but that no higher theme
Than a disdainful youth, a lawless king,
A pestilence, a pyre, awoke thy song,
When, on the Chian coast, one javelin's throw
SEES NEAR THINGS INDISTINCTLY, FAR THINGS WELL."-LANDOR.
"AND HOW MUCH NARROWER IS THE STAGE ALLOTTED US TO PLAY THE SAGE!"-LANDOR.
"THE FLAME OF ANGER, BRIGHT AND BRIEF, SHARPENS THE BARB OF LOVE."-WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.
"THE BRIGHTEST MIND, WHEN SORROW SWEEPS ACROSS,
From where thy tombstone, where thy cradle stood,
Twice twenty self-devoted Greeks assailed
The naval host of Asia,—at one blow,
Scattered it into air......and Greece was free......
And, ere these glories beamed, thy day had closed.
Let all that Elis ever saw give way,
All that Olympian Jove e'er smiled upon:
The Marathonian columns never told
A tale more glorious, never Salamis,—
Nor, faithful in the centre of the false,
Platea,- -nor Anthela, from whose mount
Benignant Ceres wards the blessed laws,
And sees the Amphictyon dip his weary foot
In the warm streamlet of the strait below.
Goddess! although thy brow was never reared
Among the powers that guarded or assailed
Perfidious Ilion, parricidal Thebes,
Or other walls whose war-belt e'er inclosed
Man's congregated crimes and vengeful pain,
Yet hast thou touched the extreme of grief and joy;
Grief upon Enna's mead and Hell's ascent,
A solitary mother; joy beyond—
Far beyond that thy woe, in this thy fane :
The tears were human, but the bliss divine.
I, in the land of strangers, and depressed
With sad and certain presage for my own,
Exult at Hope's fresh day-spring, though afar,
There where my youth was not unexercised
By chiefs in willing war and faithful song:
Shades as they were, they were not empty shades,
Whose bodies haunt our world and blear our sun;
Obstruction worse than swamp and shapeless sands.
Peace, praise, eternal gladness to the souls
That, rising from the seas into the heavens,
BECOMES THE GLOOMIEST.". -WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.
"YOUTH IS THE VIRGIN NURSE OF TENDER HOPE, and lifts HER UP AND SHOWS A FAR-OFF SCENE."—LANDOR.