Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

capable of affording an allegorical medium, through which might be shadowed out (as I have endeavoured to do in the following stories) the fall of the soul from its original purity, the loss of light and happiness which it suffers, in the pursuit of this world's perishable pleasures—and the punishments, both from conscience and divine justice, with which impurity, pride, and presumptuous inquiry into the awful secrets of-God, are sure to be visited. The beautiful story of Cupid and Psyche owes its chief charm to this sort of veiled meaning,' and it has been my wish (however I may have failed in the attempt) to communicate the same moral interest to the following pages.

THE LOVES OF THE ANGELS.

yet!

'Twas when the world was in its prime, Creatures of light, such as still play,

When the fresh stars had just begun Like motes in sunshine, round the Their race of glory, and young Time Lord,

Told his first birthdays by the sun ; And through their infinite array When, in the light of Nature's dawn Transmit each moment, night and day,

Rejoicing, men and angels met The echo of his luninous word!! On the high hill and sunny lawn, Ere Sorrow came, or Sin had drawn Of heaven they spoke, and, still more 'Twixt man and Heaven her curtain

oft,

Of the bright eyes that charmed them When•earth lay nearer to the skies

thence; Than in these days of criine and woe, Till, yielding gradual to the soft And mortals saw, without surprise, And balmy evening's influenceIn the mid air, angelic eyes

The silent breathing of the flowersGazing upon this worlă below.

The melting light that beamed above,

As on their first fond erring hours, Alas, that passion should profane, Each told the story of his love,

Even then, the morning of the earth! The history of that hour unblest, That, sadder still, the fatal stain When, like a bird, from its high nest Should fall on hearts of heavenly Won down by fascinating eyes, birth

For woman's smile he lost the skies. And that from woman's love should fall So dark a stain, most sad of all ! The first who spoke was one, with look

The least celestial of the three One evening, in that time of bloom, A Spirit of light mould, that took

On a hill's side, where hung the ray The prints of earth most yieldingly; Of sunset, sleeping in perfume, Who, even in heaven, was not of those

Three noble youths conversing lay ; Nearest the throne, but held a place And as they looked, from time to time, Far off, among those shining rows To the far sky, where Daylight That circle out through endless space, furled

And o'er whose wings the light from His radiant wing, their brows sublime Him

Bespoke them of that distant world— In Heaven's centre falls most dim.

I Dionysins (De Cælest. Hierarch.) is of opinion to describe those communications of the divine that when Isaiah represents the Seraphim as thought and will, which are continually passing crying out one unto the other,' his intention is from the higher orders of the angels to iho lower

one

Still fair and glorious, he but shone The tremble of my wings all o'er Among those youths the unheavenliest (For through each plume I felt the

thrill) A creature to whom light remained Startled her, as she reached the shore From Eden still, but altered, stained, Of that small lake-her mirror stillAnd o'er whose brow not Love alone Above whose brink she stood, like snow

A blight had, in his transit, sent, When rosy with a sunset glow.
But other, earthlier joys had gone, Never shall I forget those eyes !-
And left their foot-prints as they The shame, the innocent surprise
went.

Of that bright face, when in the air
Uplooking, she beheld me there.

It seemed as if each thought, and look, Sighing, as through the shadowy Past,

And motion were that minute chained Like a tomb-searcher, Memory ran,

Fast to the spot, such root she took, Lifting each shroud that time had cast And-like a sunflower by a brook, O'er buried hopes, he thus began :

With face upturned-so still re.

mained ! FIRST ANGEL'S STORY.

In pity to the wondering maid, 'Twas in a land, that far away

Though loth from such a vision Into the golden orient lies,

turning, Where Nature knows not Night's delay, Downward I bent, beneath the shade But springs to meet her bridegroom, Of my spread wings, to hide the Day,

burning Upon the threshold of the skies. Of glances which I well could feelOne morn, on earthly mission sent, For me, for her, too warmly shone ;

And midway choosing where to light, But ere I could again unseal I saw from the blue element

My restless eyes, or even steal Oh beautiful, but fatal sight ! - One side-long look, the maid was One of earth's fairest womankind,

goveHalf veiled from view, or rather Hid from me in the forest leaves, shrined

Sudden as when, in all her charms In the clear crystal of a brook ;1 Of full-blown light, some cloud receives

Which, while it hid no single gleam The moon into his dusky arms. Of her young beauties, made them look 'Tis not in words to tell the power,

More spirit-like, as they might seem The despotism, that, from that hour, Through the dim shadowing of a Passion held o'er me --day and night dream.

I sought around each neighbouring

spot, Pausing in wonder, I looked on,

And, in the chase of this sweet light, While, playfully around

her breaking All but the one, sole haunting dream

My task, and Heaven, and all forgotThe waters, that like diamonds shone, She moved in light of her

Of her I saw in that bright stream. making. At length, as slowly I descended Nor was it long, ere by her side To view more near a sight so splendid, I found myself whole happy days,

own

| This is given upon the authority, or rather disciples ; adding, ikavov yap cotl mtapayuuvov. according to the fancy, of some of the Fathers, μενον καλλος και νέους Θεου προς ηδονην γοηwho suppose that the women of earth were τευσαι, και ως ανθρωπους δια ταυτην αποθνησ. first seen by the angels in this situation ; and St. Kovtas, Orntovs atrodec&al.-De Vera Virginitat. Basil has even made it the serious foundation of tom. i. p. 747. edit. Paris, 1618. rather a rigorous rule for the toilet of his fair

own,

[ocr errors]

the sky,

Listening to words, whose music vied Wishing for wings that she might go

With our own Eden's seraph lays, Out of this shadowy world below,
When seraph lays are warmed by love, To that free glorious element !
But wanting that, far, far above-
And looking into eyes where, blue

Well I remember by her side
And beautiful, like skies seen through Sitting at rosy eventide,
The sleeping wave, for me there shone When,-turning to the star, whose head
A heaven more worshipped than my Looked out as from a bridal bed,

At that mute blushing hour,--she said, Oh what, while I could hear and see Oh that it were my doom to be Such words and looks, was heaven to The spirit of yon beauteous star,

Dwelling up there in purity, Though gross the air on earth I drew, Alone, as all such bright things are ;'Twas blessed, while she breathed it too; My sole employ to pray and shine, Though dark the flowers, though dim To light my censer at the sun,

And cast its fire towards the shrine Love lent them light, while she was

Of Him in Heaven, the Eternal One!' pigh.

So innocent the maid-so free
Throughout creation I but knew
Two separate worlds--the one, that

From mortal taint in soul and frame, small,

Whom 'twas my crime-my destinyBeloved and consecrated spot

To love, ay, burn for, with a flame Where Lea was-the other, all

To which earth's wildest fires are The dull wide waste, where she was

tame.

Had not !

you

but seen her look when first

Froin my mad lips the avowal burst! But vain my suit, my madness vain; Not angry-no- the feeling had Though gladly, from her eyes to gain No touch of anger, but most sadOne earthly look, one stray desire,

It was a sorrow, calm as deep, I would have torn the wings that hung A mournfulness that could not weep, Furled at my back, and o'er that Fire So filled the heart was to the brink, Unnamed in heaven their fragments So fixed and frozen there—to think flung ;

That angel natures—even I, 'Twas hopeless all-pure and unmoved Whose love she clung to, as the tie

She stood, as lilies in the light Between her spirit and the sky,
Of the hot noon but look more Should fall thus headlong from the

height And though she loved me, deeply loved, Of such pure glory into sin. 'Twas not as man, as mortal-no, Nothing of earth was in that glow That very night my heart had grown She loved me but as one of race

Impatient of its inward burning ; Angelic, from that radiant place The term, too, of my stay was flown, She saw so oft in dreams—that heaven, And the bright Watchersnear the To which her prayers at morn were

throne sent,

Already, if a meteor shone And on whose light she gazed at even, Between them and this nether zone,

It is the opinion of Kircher, Ricciolus etc. libus intelligitur.'- Itin. i. Isagog. Axtranom. (and was, I believe, to a certain degree, that of See also Caryl's most wordy commentary on the Origen), that the stars are moved and directed by same text. intelligences or angels who preside over them. 2. The watchers, the offspring of Hearen.'Among other passages from Scripture in support Book of Enoch. In Daniel also the angels are of this notion, they cite those words of the Book called watchers : ‘And behold, a watcher and en of Job, “When the morning stars sang together;' holy one came down from heaven.'-iv. 13. upon which Kircher remarks, ‘Non de materia

When my

Thought 'twas their herald's wing My heart was maddened-in the flush returning :

Of the wild revel I gave way Oft did the potent spell-word, given To all that frantic mirth, that rush

To envoys hither from the skies, Of desperate gaiety, which they To be pronounced, when back to heaven Who never felt how pain's excess

It is their hour or wish to rise, Can break out thus, think happinessCome to my lips that fatal day; Sad mimicry of mirth and life,

And once, too, was so nearly spoken, Whose Hashes come but from the strife That my spread plumage in the ray Of inward passions, like the light And breeze of heaven began to play, Struck out by clashing swords in fight.

heart failed, the spell was broken,

Then, too, that juice of earth, the bane! The word unfinished died away, And blessing of man's heart and brainAnd my checked plumes, ready to soar, That draught of sorcery, which brings Fell slack and lifeless as before. Phantoms of fair, forbidden things

Whose drops, like those of rainbows,

smile How could I leave a world which she,

Upon the mists that circle man,
Or lost or won, made all to me?
No matter where my wanderings were,

Brightening pot only earth, the while,

But grasping heaven, too, in their So there she looked, moved, breathed about

Then first the fatal wine-cup rained? Woe, ruin, death, more sweet with her, Its dews of darkness through my lips, Than all heaven's proudest joys Casting whate'er of light remained without!

To my lost soul into eclipse,

And filling it with such wild dreams, But to return-that very day

Such fantasies and wrong desires, A feast was held, where, full of mirth, As in the absence of heaven's beams, Came, crowding thick as flowers that Haunt us for ever, like wild-fires play

That walk this earth when day retires. In summer winds, the young and gay

And beautiful of this bright earth. Now hear the rest-our banquet done, And she was there, and ʼmid the young I sought herin the accustomed bower,

And beautiful stood first, alone : Where late we oft, when day was gone, Though on her gentle brow still hung And the world hushed, had met alone,

The shadow I that morn had thrown- At the same silent moonlight hour. The first that ever shame or woe I found her-oh, so beautiful ! Had cast upon its vernal snow.

Why, why have hapless angels eyes ?3

span !

For all that relates to the nature and written on the subject; the 9th, 10th, and 11th attributes of angels, the time of their creation, chapters, sixth book, of l'Histoire des Juifs, the extent of their knowledge, and the power where all the extraordinary reveries of the Rabbius which they possess, or can occasionally assume, about angels and demons are enumerated; the of performing such human functions as eating, questions attributed to St. Athanasius; the drinking, etc. etc., I shall refer those who are in treatise of Bonaventure upon the Wings of the quisitive upon the subject to the following works : Seraphim; and lastly, the ponderous folio of

-The Treatise upon the Celestial Hierarchy, Suarez de Angelis, where the reader will find all written under the name of Dionysius the Areopa. that has ever been fancied or reasoned, upon a gite, in which among much that is heavy and subject which only such writers could have contrifling, there are some sublime notions concern- trived to render so dull. ing the agency of these spiritual creatures; the 2 Some of the circumstances of this story were

cstions de Cognitione Angelorum of St. Thomas, suggested to me by the Eastern legend of the two where he examines most prolixly into such angels, Harut and Marut, as it is given by Mariti, puzzling points as whether angels illuminate who says that the author of the Taalim founds each other, whether they speak to each other,' upon it the Mahometan prohibition of wine. The etc. etc.; the Thesaurus of Cocceius, containing Bahardanush tells the story differently. extracts from almost every theologian that bas 3 Tertullian imagines that the words of St.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Or why are there not flowers to cull, Without one blest memorial given

As fair as woman, in yon skies? To soothe me in that lonely skyStill did her brow, as usual, turn One look like those the young and fond To her loved star, which seemed to burn Give when they're parting, which Purer than ever on that night;

would be, While she, in looking, grew more Even in remembrance, 'ar beyond bright,

All heaven hath left of bliss for me! As though that planet were an urn From which her eyes drank liquid Oh, but to see that head recline light.

Aminute on this trembling arm, There was a virtue in that scene,

And those mild eyes look up to mine A spell of holiness around,

Without a dread, a thought of harm! Which would have—had my brain not To meet but once the thrilling touch been

Of lips that are too fond to fear me,

Or, if that boon be all too much, Thus poisoned, maddened-held me bound,

Even thus to bring their fragrance As though I stood on God's own

near me ! ground.

Nay, shrink not so-a look-a word Even as it was, with soul all flame,

Give them but kindly and I fly; And lips that burned in their own

Already, see, my plumes have stirred, sighs,

And tremble for their home on high. I stood to gaze, with awe and shame- ; Thus be our parting-cheek to cheekThe memory of Eden came

One minute's lapse will be forgiven, Full o'er me when I saw those eyes;

And thou, the next, shalt hear me speak And though too well each glance of miné

The spell that plumes my wing for

heaven !' To the pale shrinking maiden proved How far, alas, from aught divinē, Aught worthy of so pure a shrine, While thus I spoke, the fearful maid,

Was the wild love with which I loved, Of me and of herself afraid, Yet must she, too, have seen- -oh

yes, Had shrinking stood, like flowers be'Tis soothing but to think she saw

neath The deep, true, soul-felt tenderness The scorching of the sonth wind's The homage of an angel's awe

breath; To her, a mortal, whom pure

love But when I named--alas, too well Then placed above him-far above- I now recall, though wildered then,And all that struggle to repress

Instantly, when I named the spell, A sinful spirit's mad excess,

Her brow, her eyes uprose again, Which worked within me at that hour, And, with an eagerness that spoke When—with a voice, where Passion The sudden light that o'er her broke, shed

“The spell, the spell!-oh, speak it now All the deep sadness of her power,

And I will bless thee!' sheexclaimed. Her melancholy power-I said, Unknowing what I did, inflamed, • Then be it so-if back to heaven And lost already, on her brow I zaust unloved, uppitied fly,

Istampedone burning kiss, and named

6

Paul, 'Woman ought to have a veil on her head, Such instances of indecorum, however, are but on account of the angels,' have an evident refe- too common throughout the Fathers; in proof of rence to the fatal effects which the beauty of which I need only refer to some passages in the women once produced upon these spiritual beings. same writer's treatise, De Anima, to the Second See the strange passage of Father (de Virgin. and Third Books of the Pedagogus of Cleinens Velandis), beginning, ' Si enim propter angelos, Alexandrinus, and to the instances which la etc., where his editor Pamelius endeavours to Mothe le Vayer has adduced from Chrysostom in save his morality, at the expense of his Latinity, his Herameron Rustique, Journée Seconde. by substituting the word 'excussat' for 'excusat.'

« AnteriorContinuar »