Imágenes de páginas
PDF

* ... t.v. wo, “... v. “” “vvv, v'. Laulu unusu 11ave uttii dullault: Lu due #1 *- of his writings, and the testimony of unany friends, prove it to have been so. He died at his residence in Islington, on the 27th of December, 1834. His personal appearance was remarkable: his figure was diminutive and ungraceful; but his head was of the finest and most intellectual cast; “his face,” writes one of his most esteemed friends, “was deeply marked and full of noble lines,—traces of sensibility, imagination, suffering, and much thought. His wit was in his eye, luminous, quick, and restless. The smile that played about his mouth was ever cordial and good-humoured.” Leigh Hunt has happily characterized both his person and his mind:—“as his frame so is his genius. It is as fit for thought as can be, and equally as unfit for action.” The Poetical productions of Charles Lamb are very limited; but they are sufficient both in quantity and quality to secure for him a prominent station among the Poets of Great Britain. He did not consider it beneath him to scribble “Album verses;” but his judgment in publishing them has been arraigned. If among them we find a few puerilities, and numerous affectations, it will not require a very close search to perceive many graceful and beautiful flowers lurking under leaves which are certainly uninviting. He loved to trifle, both in verse and prose; yet his trifling was that of a philosopher, desiring to unbend, but retaining a consciousness of power.

LAMB.

THE GIPSY'S MALISON.

“Suck, baby, suck, mother's love grows by giving,
Drain the sweet founts that only thrive by wasting ;
Black manhood comes, when riotous guilty living
Hands thee the cup that shall be death in tasting.
Kiss, baby, kiss, mother's lips shine by kisses,
Choke the warm breath that else would fall in blessings;
Black manhood comes, when turbulent guilty blisses
Tend thee the kiss that poisons 'mid caressings.
L

HESTER.

WHEN maidens such as Hester die,

Their place ye may not well supply,

Though ye among a thousand try,
With vain endeavour.

A month or more hath she been dead,

Yet cannot I by force be led

To think upon the wormy bed,
And her together.

A springy motion in her gait,

A rising step, did indicate

Of pride and joy no common rate,
That flush'd her spirit.

I know not by what name beside

I shall it call:—if 'twas not pride,

It was a joy to that allied,
She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,

Which doth the human feeling cool,

But she was train’d in Nature's school, Nature had blest her.

A waking eye, a prying mind,

A heart that stirs, is hard to bind,

A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind, Ye could not Hester.

My sprightly neighbour, gone before

To that unknown and silent shore,

Shall we not meet, as heretofore,
Some summer morning,

When from thy cheerful eyes a ray

Hath struck a bliss upon the day,

A bliss that would not go away,
A sweet fore-warning :

son NETS.

WAs it some sweet device of faëry
That mocked my steps with many a lonely glade,
And fancied wanderings with a fair hair'd maid 2
Have these things been 2 or what rare witchery,
Impregning with delights the charmed air,
Enlighted up the semblance of a smile
In those fine eyes? methought they spake the while
Soft soothing things, which might enforce despair
To drop the murdering knife, and let go by
His foul resolve. And does the lonely glade
Still court the footsteps of the fair hair'd maid :
Still in her locks the gales of summer sigh 2
While I forlorn do wander reckless where,
And 'mid my wanderings meet no Anna there.

MethINks how dainty sweet it were, reclin'd
Beneath the vast out-stretching branches high
Of some old wood, in careless sort to lie,
Nor of the busier scenes we left behind
Aught envying. And, O Anna 1 mild eyed maid
Beloved I were well content to play
With thy free tresses all a summer's day,
Losing the time beneath the greenwood shade.
Or we might sit and tell some tender tale
Of faithful vows repaid by cruel scorn,
A tale of true love, or of friend forgot;
And I would teach thee, lady, how to rail
In gentle sort, on those who practise not
Or love or pity, though of woman born.

WHEN last Iroved these winding wood walks green
Green winding walks, and shady pathways sweet,
Oft-times would Anna seek the silent scene,
Shrouding her beauties in the lone retreat.
No more I hear her footsteps in the shade :
Her image only in these pleasant ways
Meets me self-wandering, where, in happier days,
I held free converse with the fair-hair'd maid.

I passed the little cottage which she lov'd,
The cottage which did once my all contain;
It spake of days which ne'er must come again,
Spake to my heart, and much my heart was moved.
“Now fair befal thee, gentle maid!” said I,
And from the cottage turned me with a sigh.

ON AN INFANT DYING AS SOON AS BORN.

I saw where in the shroud did lurk
A curious frame of Nature's work.
A flow'ret crushed in the bud,
A nameless piece of babyhood,
Was in her cradle-coffin lying:
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below:
Shall we say, that Nature blind
Check'd her hand, and changed her mind,
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finish'd pattern without fault
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lack'd she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings sicken'd)
That should thy little limbs have quicken'd?)
Limbs so firm, they seem'd to assure
Life of health, and days mature :
Woman's self in miniature'
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry,
That babe, or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock,
And cut the branch ; to save the shock

« AnteriorContinuar »