Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Or in the empire of thy heart,

Where I would solely be,
Another do pretend a part,

And dares to vie with me;
Or if committees thou erect,

And goest on such a score,
I'll sing and laugh at thy neglect,

And never love thee more.

But if thou wilt be constant then,

And faithful of thy word,
I'll make thee glorious by my pen,

And famous by my sword.
I'll serve thee in such noble ways

Was never heard before,
I'll crown and deck thee all with bays,

And love thee evermore.

Could it be in woman to resist such promises from such a man?

PART SECOND.

My dear and only love, take heed

Lest thou thyself expose,
And let all longing lovers feed

Upon such looks as those;
A marble wall, then, build about,

Beset, without a door,
But, if thou let thy heart fly out,

I'll never love thee more.

Let not their oaths, like volleys shot,

Make any breach at all,
Nor smoothness of their language plot

Which way to scale the wall;
Nor balls of wildfire love consume

The shrine which I adore,
For if such smoke about thee fume,

I'll never love thee more.

I think thy virtues be too strong

To suffer by surprise,
Which victual'd by my love so long,

The siege at length must rise,
And leave thee ruled in that health

And state thou wast before;
But if thou turn a Commonwealth,

I'll never love thee more.

[graphic]

But if by fraud or by consent

Thy heart to ruin come,
I'll sound no trumpet as I wont, Nor march by beat of drum;
But hold my arms like ensigns up,

Thy falsehood to deplore,
And bitterly will sigh and weep,

And never love thee more.

I'll do with thee as Nero did

When Rome was set on fire
Not only all relief forbid,

But to a hill retire;
And scorn to shed a tear to see

Thy spirit grown so poor,
And smiling sing, until I die,—

I'll never love thee more.

Yet for the love I bare thee once,

Lest that thy name should die,
A monument of marble stone

The truth shall testify,
That every pilgrim passing by

May pity and deplore
My case, and read the reason why

I can love thee no more.

The golden laws of love shall be

Upon this pillar hung,
A simple heart, a single eye,

A true and constant tongue. Let no man for more love pretend
Than he has hearts in store;True love begun shall never end,
Love one, and love no more.

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic]

Verses written by the Marquis of Montrose with the point of a

diamond upon the glass window of his prison, after receiving his sentence:

Let them bestow on every airth a limb;Then open all my veins that I may swim
To Thee, my Maker, in that crimson lake;Then place my parboil'd head upon a stake;Scatter my ashes; strew them in the air:—
Lord! since Thou know'st where all those atoms are,
I'm hopeful Thou'lt recover once my dust,
And confident Thou'lt raise me with the Just.

They who would follow the great Marquis to the last should read the fine ballad called "The Execution of Montrose," in Professor Aytouns charming volume, "The Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers."

XXIV.

POETRY THAT POETS LOVE.

WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR LEIGH HUNT PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

JOHN KEATS.

To no one can the words that I have placed at the head of this paper apply more perfectly than to Mr. Landor. No poetry was ever dearer to poets than his. Nearly fifty years ago, we find Southey writing of and to the author of " Gebir," with a respectful admiration seldom felt by one young man for another; and, from that hour to the present, all whom he would himself most wish to please have showered upon him praises that can not die. The difficulty in selecting from his works is the abundance; but I prefer the Hellenics, that charming volume, because few, very few, have given such present life to classical subjects. I begin with the Preface, so full of grace and modesty.

"It is hardly to be expected that ladies and gentlemen will leave, on a sudden, their daily promenade, skirted by Turks, and shepherds, and knights, and plumes, and palfreys, of the finest Tunbridge manufacture, to look at these rude frescoes, delineated on an old wall, high up and sadly weak in coloring. As in duty bound, we can wait. The reader (if there should be one) will remember that Sculpture and Painting have never ceased to be occupied with the scenes and figures which we venture once more to introduce in poetry, it being our belief that what is becoming in two of the fine arts, is not quite unbecoming in a third, the one which, indeed, gave birth to them."

And now comes the very first story; with its conclusion that goes straight to the heart.

THRASYMEDES AND EUNOE.

Who will away to Athens with me' Who

Loves choral songs and maidens crowned with flowers

Unenvious 1 Mount the pinnace; hoist the sail.
I promise ye, as many as are here,
Ye shall not, while ye tarry with me, taste
From unrinsed barrel the diluted wine
Of a low vineyard, or a plant ill-pruned.
But such as anciently the iBgean isles
Poured in libation at their solemn feasts;
And the same goblets shall ye grasp, emboss'd
With no vile figures of loose languid boors,
But such as gods have lived with and have led.

The sea smiles bright before us. What white sail
Plays yonder 1 What pursues it 1 Like two hawks
Away they fly. Let us away in time
To overtake them. Are they menaces
We hear1 And shall the strong repulse the weak,
Enraged at her defender 1 Hippias!
Art thou the manl 'Twas Hippias. He had found
His sister borne from the Cecropion port
By Thrasymedes. And reluctantly1!
Ask, ask the maiden; I have no reply.

"Brother! 0 brother Hippias! Oh, if love,
If pity ever touched thy breast, forbear!
Strike not the brave, the gentle, the beloved,
My Thrasymedes, with his cloak alone,
Protecting his own head and mine from harm."
"Didst thou not once before," cried Hippias,
Regardless of his sister, hoarse with wrath
At Thrasymedes, "didst thou not, dog-eyed,
Dare as she walked up to the Parthenon,
On the most holy of all holy days,
In sight of all the city, dare to kiss
Her maiden cheek V

"Ay, before all the gods,
Ay, before Pallas, before Artemis,
Ay, before Aphrodite, before Here,
I dared; and dare again. Arise, my spouse!
Arise! and let my lips quaff purity
From thy fair open brow."

The sword was up,
And yet he kissed her twice. Some god withheld
The arm of Hippias; his proud blood seethed slower
And smote his breast less angrily; he laid
His hand on the white shoulder, and spoke thus:
"Ye must return with me. A second time
Offended, will our sire Peisistratos

« AnteriorContinuar »