Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

We oft' have tasted, till our path is dark;
Then lo! amid the gloom of hope deferred,
Breaks in a blessed light, a living day,
Like that of polar regions, glowing bright,
Unclouded, and unconscious of an end.
A group of happy faces throng the hall,
And scarce hath Emma entered, like a flower
Blushing, and beautiful, with downcast eyes,
And palpitating bosom, ere her knight,
Young Ethelrid, from holy wars returned
With laurels on his crest to part no more,
Kneels faithful at her feet in ecstasy,
And lifts her snowy fingers to his lips.

THE VISION.

Κατασχε μι σκοτος δεινον. . I CALL upon thee in the night,

The auburn hair is braided soft When none alive are near ;

Above thy snowy brow:I dream about thee with delight,

Why dost thou gaze on me so oft ! And then thou dost appear

I cannot follow now ! Fair, as the day-star o'er the hill,

It would be crime, a double death When skies are blue, and all is still. To follow by forbidden path. Thou stand'st before me silently,

But let me press that hand again, The spectre of the past ;

I oft have pressed in love, The trembling azure of thine eye,

When sauntering thro' the grassy plain, Without a cloud o'ercast;

Or summer's evening grove ; Calm as the pure and silent deep,

Or pausing, as we marked afar, When winds are hush'd and waves asleep. The twinkling of the evening star. Thou gazest on me!--but thy look

It is a dream, and thou art gone ; Of angel tenderness,

The midnight breezes sigh ; So pierces, that I less can brook

And downcast-sorrowful_alone Than if it spoke distress,

With sinking heart, I lie Or came in anguish here to me

To muse on days, when thou to me To tell of evil boding thee !

Wert more than all on earth can be ! Around thee robes of snowy white,

Oh! lonely is the lot of him, With virgin taste are thrown ;

Whose path is on the earth, And, at thy breast, a lily bright,

And when his thoughts are dark and dim, In beauty scarcely blown :

Hears only vacant mirth; Calmly thou gazest like the moon

A swallow left, when all his kind Upon the leafy woods of June.

Have crossed the seas, and winged the wind.

A.

REFLECTIONS ON A BRUMAL SCENE.

I HAVE an old remembrance-there are hours,
When clouds, that mantle о'er, with folds opaque,
The calm, clear mirror of the soul, disperse
Like icebergs from the pole; and leave behind
The pristine feelings of our youth unchanged,
Our boyish visions and romantic dreams,
Like landscapes pictured in a quiet lake.
I have an old remembrance-many a year
Hath come, and passed away; and many a smile
Been chased; and many a clamorous wo appeased;
And many a chance and change come o'er my lot,
Since then-but, from the shadows of the past,
It streams like sunbeams o'er an eastern hill,
And all its feelings thrill along my soul !

Chill is the air; the spirit of the frost
Reigns, with his icy sceptre; vale and field
Are sprinkled o'er with snowy offerings ;

And from each leafless bough--what time the wind
Low-toned sighs past- a thousand glimmering shreds
Descending, tinkle on the ground beneath.
Chained are the sluggish waters to the shore;
And icicles, from overhanging shrubs,
Gleam in the sunshine with a sparry light:
Far o'er the surface comes the shadowy depth
Of the steep mountain-banks; and from the ledge,
Over whose downward rocks the river falls,
Comes back the chastened murmur with a tone,
Whose memory conjures up departed years.---
How pale is now the sunshine, pale and soft,
And tender as the faint smiles of a child;
Not on the far blue concave of the sky
Gleams forth one fleecy cloudlet, from the depth
Above me, to the hoary mountain tops,
Far distant, that engird the horizon in.

Enough.-Between these banks precipitous,
When school hours were departed, oft-how oft,
Along the crackling ice, with glittering heel,
All eager have I glided; breathing out
The smoky breath in the clear frosty air;
When round me all was motion; and the ice
With many a winding semicerque was traced,
Whitening around, a labyrinthine clue.
Too soon gloomed twilight's feeble ray around,
Too soon the sun departed, while serene,
Above the hills, peeped forth the evening star.

How many a loved companion revelled here
Alive in every fibre to the smile,
And thrilling touch of pleasure; boisterous
And noisy in their mirth,-like ocean waves,
When winds are piping loud,—but innocent,
And all unpractised in the guileful world.
My soul recoils—I

dare not number them-
Oh ! fast, and fearfully hath the spoiler death
Thinned their young ranks ;--this, sickened at his home;
And this, in far off lands; this, like the beam
Of daylight on the western hemisphere,
Died with a slow, invisible decay!

Many yet survive;
Yea, many, but all changed ; with blackening wing,
The demon of the world hath seared their hearts
With sorrow, and with sufferings, and with guilt ;
And what they were, can be but faintly traced
In what we find them now; a grievous change
Hath shadowed them ; nor more resemblance they
Bear to themselves of yore, than doth the year,
Wrapt in the glorious garment of the spring,
To bleak November on her hill of storms !
How piercing is the air ; far distant things,
Girt by a pure translucent atmosphere,
Seem near : with hoary scalps, the mountains high
Stretch their gigantic pyramids to heaven;
So, to the Roman bard's domestic eye,
In golden ages past, Soracte stood,
White with its diadem of snow.
Who change, alas! not nature; and where I,
Now moralizing, stray, shall others stray
To moralize, when I shall be no more!

'Tis we,

NOTICES OF THE ACTED DRAMA IN LONDON

No VIII.

If the reader has any thing better to which makes it poetry--will inevitado than be idle we advise him to skip bly evaporate, and leave nothing bea over our dramatic notice this month; hind but a jargon of words, or a caput for the theatres have been more than mortuum of detail. usually dull lately; and all we pre- We are not acquainted with Mary tend to do at the best is to reflect a Stuart in the original German; but little of their light when they put are certain that it never could have forth any. The race of these rival acquired the reputation which it postheatres has been, this season, against sesses, if it had been any thing like the public as well as against each the doleful and dreary exhibition we other : And from certain symptoms have just witnessed. It was a total particularly that of both of them puf- failure. Instead of being poetry ilfing very much--we may now be pret- lustrating history, or history suggestty sure that they have nearly run ing poetry, it was neither poetry nor themselves to a stand still. The most history. Take one example: Mary friendly counsel we can offer these and Elizabeth, who never met at all, unweildy rivals who would be high- are set to fight a pitched battle of flyers, contrary to the will of " fate words together, on the green opposite and metaphysical aid”-is that they Fotheringay Castle, in a twenty-four at once relinquish their opposition foot ring kept by the courtiers and atstages, and set up a comfortable and tendants of each. As the play has convenient patent safety coach. If been withdrawn for the present, to these latter do not cut so dashing an ap- undergo alterations, we shall reserve pearance, they carry the passengers any further remarks we may have to much more commodiously—are in not make on it till it is brought forward near so great danger of being upset again. In the mean time we would and, above all, they fill much better. by no means be understood to say

The only novelty of any importance that the play is entirely without mesince our last article, has been a tra- rit. gedy at Covent Garden, called Mary There are, in particular, two very Stuart ; a translation from a very ce- interesting scenes ;--the one in which lebrated tragedy of Schiller's, of the Elizabeth hears the various opinions same name. A translator, now-a-days, of her council on the proposed death seems to think that if he understands of Mary,—and that in which she the languages out of which and into signs the death-warrant. But these which he translates, nothing more were rendered prominent chiefly by can reasonably be required of him: the admirable performance of Mrs So he takes up a poern--changes the Bunn; who conceived the character words of it from one language into in a very fine historical manner. Her their corresponding words in another acting was altogether too elaborate ; and thinks that all is done. As if but there was the ue tragic spirit poetry were a business of moods and and tone about it. We happened to tenses! If, after this, what was inspi- see this lady the first time she ever ration in one language, becomes insi- appeared on the stage ; and we shall pidity in the other, he has no notion not easily forget the effect her person that the fault lies in him. But the and voice produced upon us. They truth is, he has "rendered unto Cæsar realized our very ideal of a heroine of the things which are Cæsar's,” and romance; and sent us back at once let all the rest escape. It would be (a long journey !)—to the days of considered as a ludicrous blunder if chivalry. We could fancy her stately one unacquainted with the mathema- steps ascending to her place in the tics, should attempt to translate Eu- lists, to the sound of trumpets and clid's Elements, from the language in the shouts of admiring multitudes. which they are written, into another. We could picture her, bending from It is nothing less for one who is not her state, to place the reward of vaa poet to attempt to translate poetry. lour round the neck of an armed The essential qualities of it—that knight knceling at her feet; or lend

ing him her fair hand to kiss, as a still her own fancies, for the noisy applauses higher honour. Her voice, too! It of a public theatre and (worst of all!) was not a voice, but an echo. There imaginary love-vows, for real newspa. was a passionate and mysterious mu, per criticisms. She knows best whether sic about it that we have never heard the change is for the better.—Now before or since. It sounded at a disa that Miss O'Neil-(it goes almost as tance ; and like an enchanter's spell, much to our heart to call her the late called up an antique bower, with a Miss O'Neil as if she had died)--Now bright lady sitting in it, sighing over that she has left the stage, the prosthe strings of her own lute, “ to the pects of Mrs Bunn are entirely altervery tune of love." The gentle reader, ed. She is now, without exception, if he has ever in his boyhood set fire the best tragic actress we have : And at once to his imagination and the if she takes pains to improve the powers bed-curtains in reading himself to she possesses--if she cultivates a more sleep over a romance dreaming of it strict intimacy with nature, and cona all night-and waken at day-break to fides more implicitly in her suggestions continue it will not laugh at our and impulses-she will not disgrace folly; or if he does, it will be good- her station. naturedly. As for those who have After this it is painful to speak of. never, once in their lives, melted a- the performance of Miss Macauley in way their senses to the “ thin air” Mary Queen of Scots; and we should of fancy in this manner, we have have been loath to do so, but that she nothing to say to them; for we should is not at all loath to speak of herself. never come to an understanding with This is the lady who accused Mr Kean each other : And they would pity us of attempting to keep her from public perhaps not less sincerely than we notice. “ The attempt and not the should pity them. The vision that deed confounds us !" Miss Macauley's we speak of haunted us for five long performance was, like the rest of the years of boyhood. It flew before us piece, a translation of Mary Queen of as we pursued it, and it still flies be- Scots-though still quite " german to fore us now youth is over, and we the matter." She was not Queen pursue it stil, and ever shall, and Mary, but“ Queen Mary's lamentaever in vain : For it is nothing. It tion. We might almost say that has no real existence and never had. Mary's whole character-certainly all “ The mind has made it, as it peoples hea. the effects it ever produced-resulted ven,

from her personal beauty. In this Even with its own desiring fantasy." respect she was, without exception,

The lady who has recalled these the most romantic personage in our visions to us, has changed since we history. Fortunately we are spared first saw her, more than we ever re

the pain of saying how little Miss member any one to have changed in Macauley was qualified to represent so short a time. It is by a kind of Mary in this particular-for we find second-hand association that she has the portrait ready done to our hands. recalled these images now. What she

"Fierce, wan, is reminds us of what she was ; as

And tyrannizing was the lady's look.” • that reminded us of what she might It would be anything but friendly have been. We do not say whether to this lady to conceal from her that the change is for the better or worse. she never can succeed on the London Certain it is, however, that she is now stage. As she has obtruded herself on a much better actress than she was, public notice, she will not be angry and therefore not anything like a he- with us for saying what we have. Inroine of romance. She is now a seek- deed we hope she will have discrimier after tangible applause and profit; nation enough to attribute our appaand she will gain them:--but in ex- rent want of gallantry to the real exchange she must be content to forego cess of it. For, as we could say nothing those rapt imaginations that we can pleasant about her, we should probably conceive her to have enjoyed when she have followed our usual practice of was only la bella fornărina. She has being quite silent,—but that we do owe exchanged moon-light meditations, for her a little grudge, for stepping into the morning rehearsals solitary echoes of frame where we had hitherto kept the

• Keates' Endymion. Vol. VI.

3 C

[graphic]

picture of Mary Queen of Scots, and sionate Pilgrim ; and the other two are standing right before it—and all that not written by Shakspeare at all. The we can do, she will not go away. one beginning “ Come live with me,

We do not know that any other part &c.” is part of Kit Marlow's Milk of this tragedy requires notice, unless Maid's Song; and the other—" As it it be Mr č. Kemble in the gallant- fell upon a day, &c."—is part of a we will not call him the unfortunate delightful little lyric by an obscure Mortimer ; who perishes in endea- poetof Elizabeth's time, named Richard vouring to rescue Mary from her ene- Barnfield. We whisper these things mies. It was a delightful sketch in the manager's ears for every body breathing the buoyant spirit of youth else knows them. These same persons, and chivalry combined. This gentle too, have tried to make improvements man's noble person and air are the in the language in which Shakspeare only things left on the stage that are has thought proper to dress his poetry; worth looking at in this way, except which is as if a country clown, with Miss Foote--and her beauty has evi- his hard, horny, plough-holding findently made so much impression upon gers, should attempt to improve the herself, that other people feel nearly arrangements of a woman of fashion's absolved from its power.

toilet. The Comedy of Errors. We had nearly forgotten to mention, SHAKSPEARE's Comedy of Errors that the music which is introduced has been revived at this theatre. For into this comedy has these remarkable what reason, it is difficult to divine, circumstances about it—that it is partunless it be that the managers think ly original by Mr Bishop, and partly this the most valuable of those of selected by Mr Bishop, and yet it is Shakspeare's works which are laid on all selected, and all by Mr Bishop. the shelf—which is not unlikely,- for The explanation of the riddle is this it is without exception the least va- that that which is not original is seluable.-The revival, however, has lected by Mr Bishop, and that which been quite successful, on account of is original and by Mr Bishop, is sesome very pretty music being intro- lected by Mr Bishop also.—But it is duced into it, set to some of Shak- very pretty and appropriate neverspeare's songs and some other verses, theless. and sung in a spirit of the most delight

Mr Macready. ful and friendly rivalry by Miss Ste- Since our last notice, Mr Macready phens and Miss M. Tree. Miss Tree has gained a sudden and unexpected is really an exquisite singer. She increase of popularity, by his perfor. improves upon us every time we hear mance of Richard III.and Coriolanus. her; and is only second to Miss Ste- At the close of both these tragedies, it is phens. These two ladies sang “ Tell the fashion to hail him with shouts of me where is fancy bred?” in a most applause, waving of hats, &c., and calls delicious style, “ flowing with milk for him to come forward and give out and honey.

the play, after he is “dead in law.”The managers are very clamorous We have been prevented from seeing about the success of this their experi- any more than the last act of his ment of introducing examples of Shak- Richard III.—for it has not been acted speare's “ Sonnets” to the stage. If for several weeks. The most striking those poems wait till these gentlemen part of this is the manner in which, discover their beauties, and marry after having received his death-blow, them to music, they will “ live and die he retires to the side-scene, and then, in single blessedness.” In truth they with a super-human energy, lifts him are innocent of knowing any thing self to more than his natural height, about such trifling matters. They and comes pouring down upon his adthink that because a sonnet is a short versary till he reaches him, and then poem a short poem is a sonnet. We falls at his feet like a spent thunderassure them that this is not the case; bolt.—This is extremely fine. If this and moreover add, for their edification, performance should be repeated, we that not a line of any thing they have shall make a point of recurring to it, introduced into the Comedy of Error: for the little we did see of it, raised is to be found in Shakspeare's Sonnets. our expectations of the rest very high, Two of the four examples which they Mr Nacready's Coriolanus, if it has refer to the sonnets are from the Paso not raised our general opinion of his

« ZurückWeiter »