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them one evening while looking at a beautiful i sunset. But if he was looking at a sunset, he should have originated Occidenlales. Passing this by, we believe that his youth, spent in Spain and familiar with the architectural remnants, literary notices and traditions of the Moorish occupation, left on his mind impressions which afterwards revealed themselves. The Orientates, in fact, only refer to European scenes and characters—in Spain and part of Turkey. When we consider that they were published before he was twenty-five years old, we must hold a high opinion of Victor Hugo's poetical genius. The sentiment of these lyrics is generally true to the scene and character of their subjects, and there is a warm glow of mingled romance and orientalism in them, which took the public after the manner of Byron's and Scott's splendid poetic fragments and narratives, in English-speaking land. But with a difference. The latter possess an irregular p0wer—a fluent energy contrasting with the sentimental polish and point of the French lyrics. It is curious that, under a general view, this poetry of the Anglo-Saxon temperament should exhibit itself in narrative and movement, while the lively, subtle Gauls should diffuse themselves in the psychological and moral affections:—one would have inferred the very contrary. At all events, Victor Hugo has set forth the sentiment of his Orientalet, in a very graceful and attractive manner—" painted and chiselled" as he says himself—making them very difficult of rendering. There is truth and simplicity in the following:—
ADIEU OF THE ARAB HOSTESS.
Since nought in our fair clime can woo thy stay—
Nor tho ripe yollow maize, nor palmy abodes,
The loving bosoms of our gentle maids
Lest he should cast thee on the stony track,
Pawing the ground impatient, while his back
Still thou wilt roam :—why art thou not of thoso
Who calmly rest, to travel never won,
Who list recitals, dreamy, making none,
Perhaps, if it had pleased thy wandering thoughts,
To kneel and serve tbee in our open huts,
Weave a light fan of greenest leaves to keep
The wayward insects from thy cherished sleep.
But thou wilt go, lone journeying night and day,
Striking the sparkles from the rocky way,
The demons of the night will blindly hit
Their ghastly wings and rend them as they flit.
If thou return, come o'er yon far dark hill,
To find my faithful hut;—remember still
Its only door, still opened to the sky,
But shouldst thou not—ah! sometimes think upon
Who dance on the plateau at set of sun;
Pair passage-bird, remember, more than one
May hold thy memory dear, when thou art gone.
Adieu! thy path lies straight; avoid the sun That gilds the brown, but burns the white man's brow,
And our wide wastes impassable, and shun
The old and withered beldame, bending low; And those that with their white mysterious wands In tjhe dim eve make circles on the sands.
Coming back to the Morisco ground of Spain, Victor Hugo finds himself at home in a Gothic ballad.
A MOORISH ROMANCE.
Don Rodrigue est a la chasse, etc.
Rodrigo to the chase is gone.
But sword or corslet bears he none;
The summer's day to noon has rolled, And now, beneath the greenwood tree, On shady sward reposes he—
Reposes Don Rodrigo bold.
His heart with hate is burning sore;
Mudarra bight, his brother's son— Whose brethren seven, of kindred blood, By him had died in deadly feud,
And Lara's line had left but one.
Him to encounter, band to hand,
He would have traversed Spanish land,
From Figuer to Setuval,
Appeared a stalwart horseman tall.
"Christian or Moor, whate'er thou be, Sir Knight, beneath the greenwood tree,
God keep thee in his hand alway"— "Now Christ bis grace and benison Be thine, Sir Knight, that wendest on—
That wendest on the public way"—
M Christian or Moor, whate'er thou be, Sir Knight, beneath the greenwood tree,
Upon the shady sward at rest, Thy name and cognizance declare; That I may know if thou dost bear
A true knight's or a felon's crest"—
"If it imports thee to be told,
My plater Dona Sancha is,
"I rest beneath the greenwood tree,
Bastard Mudarra near and far—
The Moorish king, Aliatar.
"Certes, unless he shuns my wrath,
He carries with him everywhere,
While sheathless hangs tho blade and bare.
"Yes, by my Christian soul and faith,
His miscreant body doom but mine;
Rodrigo of Do Lara's line?
"Then listen, lord!—The youth who now
He is Mudarra and thy fate!
Rodrigo aaid: "thou comest late!"
"I. son of the bold renegade
The royal Moorish potentate—
Rodrigo said: "thou comest late!"
"For thee, Rodrigo, far too soon,
Of which thon'rt weary—Dost thou quake 1
Thy angel's in the burning lake!
"Now, with my true Toledo blade,
Look on my eyes—they burn and start!—
Thy life from out thy beating heart!
"Yes, Dona Sancha's nephew here
Slake all this long-devouring thirst
"Nephew, Mudarra, hear me first!
"Wait thee a moment, till I stand
"Delay, good uncle, shall bo none
Where thou didst send them first, begone!
"If to this moment, everywhere,
'Tis that I thought, and hugged the thought,
Find its red scabbard in thy throat!"
It should have found it four or five stanzas back;—though the harangue is bloody and
bitter enough; and anything in the way of prolixity has had excellent epic precedent in Homer.
Victor Hugo's sentiment is very often injured by very great extravagancies and exaggerations. He has a genius for gorgeous enumerations and graphic details. He gets a heap of grand and luxuriant images, and he "glides o'er them like a golden fish." He exhibits all the French taste for dramatio effect, and his movement sometimes, compared with Byron's— for instance—or Cowper's, is that stage carriage of which Mrs. ('rummies's gait, walking up the aisle, in Nicholas Nickleby, is the caricature—a pausing, pronounced advance on a measured stride. Every stanza has its pointed rounding—and this, to an American taste, may, in some instances, be thought amusing enough. In his Cheek Child—a boy lying amidst the ruins of Scio, which the Turks had desolated, is addressed, and asked what he looks for or mourns for; and all the beautiful and poetical attractives of childhood are poured interrogatively out, till they are completely exhausted, and then the child—"the child of the blue eyes"—a high-stomached young rogue!—cries out—no, none of these—
Jt veux de la poudre ti da bdUes.
"I want powder and ball!" In another lyric, a dervish witnesses the grief of a Pacha, and in nine stanzas sums up the probable, picturesque causes of his awful and ominous look, and you think it must be one of the finest and weightest of them, till you come to end, and find it is only
Son tigre de Nubie est mart!
His Nubian tiger is dead! In another, called Mazeppa, the poet desires to say that a fated bard is like the Ukraine chief, carried in painful transit amidst perils and discomforts, till he sinks and then becomes a king—posthumously—as it were :—
11 court, U vole, C tombe Et se releve roil
This the poet says, in twenty-three stanzas— about one hundred and forty lines. He does not leave out a bound of the animal—a rood of the long way, or a pang of the victim— making all up into stanzas with a good point —a palpable hit, at the end of each. Byron would have put the matter into three rapid lines and a hemistich—Cowper or Moore into a couplet. These exaggerations, so incompatible with an Anglo-Saxon taste, could be easily multiplied. We are apt to smile at them; but our dramatic and sentimental neighbours of the other republic are vividly touched with them. Perhaps they laugh in turn, and deservedly, at some of our own literary complacencies. These things are, however, but the weeds—as we think them—of a rich soil, the exuberances of a glowing mind leaping, in its error^ over climax into anti-climax—making that step which, Tom Paine says, divides, at times, the sublime and the ridiculous. Victor Hugo has a crowd of countervailing beauties. The following Orienlale is picturesque and natural. An Arab is made to remember the French Sultan (Bonaparte) who sent the echoes of his name from the Pyramids and Tabor all through the East:—
Lo, Bounaberdi, the Frank Sultan, oft,
A giant, on a giant mount aloft,
The world's two parts are in his sight, at once,
Stretched far below him in profound expanse.
Thus on the summit stands he, lone and high:
Its clouds of dust to charm his wandering eye;
And, on the left sends up a rolling sound,
As bays about its lord a joyous hound.
And the old chieftain, as by turns he aees
Dreams as a lover dreams, and shapes from these
Marching before his shadow—going by
Beneath the horizon's edge, eternally.
O, Bounaberdi, when to yonder height
Upon the howling sands, my tent of white;
My horse, when I shout Allah! flies and rolls
Under hia eyelids fine, two living coals I
The poem called Vocu is considered one of the most graceful of the Orientatet. Here is the wrong side of the tapestry:—
Si j'etaia la feuille que roule, etc.
Were I a leaf, swept to and fro
And borne along the river's flow,
I would all freshly flee away
In the keen breath of opening day,
Beyond the river's stormy sweep,
Beyond the forest vast and gray,
My flight should be, away, away.
Beyond the she-wolfs grim retreat,
Beyond the plain where pilgrims meet
Beyond the rocks whence rudely go
Beyond the lake where, bending low,
Beyond the sands where sternly goes,
And wrinkled forehead swarth, that shows
O'er Arta's mirror-pond, afar,
Swift as the feathered arrow strays,
Corinth's and Mykos' mutual gaze-
I'd pause, in morning's early rays,
With its fair gleaming cupolas;
And to the priest's fair daughter gay,
Who at her window sings all day,
There, fugitive light leaf, would I,
Alight upon her brow and lie
There, tho' but for an instant's flight,
Than all the plumage waving white
Five years after his Orientalet, Victor Hugo published his Feuilles (VAutomne. These are of a graver and more subdued tone—treating chiefly of domestic feelings, affections, and remembrances. Some of the best and worthiest sentiments of the poet will be found in this collection. There is a household and pathetic interest in the two following lyrics, which induces us to offer them in American, in preference to others of more profound philosophy and higher pretensions.
When baby comes, tho family circle cries
Brighten all bosoms in that happy place,
Yes, whether June has greened the sward, or whether
Sometimes we apeak, while stirring up the fire,
At night, when man sleeps and his spirit dreams,
Most like a weeping voice with stifled words;
You arc the dawning, infant I and my mind
Odours of flowers whose sweetness comes from you—
For your fine eyes are full of infinite sweetness,
For your small hands, in their soft, round completeness,
As yet have done no wrong; your footsteps white
It looks so fair, the infant with its smile,
And, gracious Lord, to all whom I hold dear,
And even unto my foes, this grace be granted;—
The next treats of a more melancholy household, and its sentiments are extremely natural and touching.
Grandmamma, wake, if you are sleeping there I
We scarce can tell your slumber from your prayer;
But now you have our stone Madonna's air,
Your head bends lower than it used to be;
Won't you caress us f—Ah! what have we done ?— The lamp goes out, the fire is smouldering, seel Oh, if you do not speak, the fire and we,
We and the lamp will all be dead and gone I
Near the dark lamp we'll both be dead, and then
We'll chafe yoar hands in ours; sing us the lay
Would win, by favour of the friendly fay,
Trophies as nosegays for his lady gay,
Tell us what sign the phantoms ever fled,
What hermit saw Sathanas in the air,
Or show us, in your Bible, pictures fine-
The child, the crib, the wise men, and the kine;
And teach us with your finger, line by line,
Mother, look up, the fire is going out,
A wisp is dancing on the embers low, Spirits, perhaps, will come into our hut; 01 stop your prayer,—why are your eyelids shut?
You who would comfort us, why scare us now?
How cold your arms are! you did lately say
There was another world, and Heaven was nigh— The grave and Heaven 1—that life soon flits away, And then death comes!—0 mother, tell us, pray, Who is that deathy—why do you not reply?
Thus mourned they long alone; at morning-tide, Their grandmother still slept; the death-bell tolled;
Through the half-open door, that eve, were spied
Before a Book, the empty bed beside,
MADAME ROLAND IN PRISON.
BY PHOEBE GARDINER.
With spirit undismayed she kneels In prayer,
Her hands are clasped, and her long, shining hair
While day's last lingering ray steals faintly by
Revealing in its flight her calm, deep agony.
With none to soothe her wo in that dark cell,
But o'er her spirit Earth can hold no spell,
And all her thoughts, imbued with light divine,
Rise like sweet incense to a holler shrine.
In chains she suffers for her country's wrong,
The burning thoughts that round her thickly throng
The matchless prido that lingers on her brow,
Tells of the daring might her soul is gathering now.
No mother with her gentle hand is near,
And to pour forth for her a fervent prayer
To cheer her soul with words of holy faith,
And stand untired, soothe and watch the dying breath.
Bnt as the eagle in its fearless flight,
And gazes with a fixed, unwavering sight,
So does her noble spirit undismayed
Look upward to that God who ever gives it aid.
'Us well 1 for hark, the fearful hour has come,
Those tones so thrilling call her to her home,
The crowd, the scaffold, one calm look on high,
And the freed spirit soars beyond the dark blue sky.
THE SPRING-SONG OF A GLAD HEART.
BY CAROLINE MAY.
Ajtd why should I he grave and sad,
And wear a mournful look, When nature teacheth joy to me,
From out her flower-wrought book? When she telleth me to sing aloud,
And singe herself to show How music ought, in sweet spring-time,
From everything to flow.
Hark I how the birds are carolling
From the boughs of every tree;
Was a fount of melody.
Over the garden bowers,
Sweet gifts from all the flowers.
Hark! how the ever-restless winds
Are singing all about,
Then bursting with a shout t
The stainless ether through— And tell me, when all nature sings,
Why should not I sing too?
Look on the blossoms of those trees,
How the sunshine smileth bright; And how each blade of young, green graas,
Seems laughing in the light; Look, how the newly-opened leaves
Quiver, and gleam, and dance, As if they were in ecstasies,
At the merry spring's first glance.
Look, how the swift breeze springs to meet
The waves upon the bay,
As they wrestle in their play;
Sail smiling o'er the blue;
Why should not I smile too?
The spirit of the blessed spring
Bids me look up, and see
On wave, and lawn, and lea.
Her care-dispelling voice: And as I look, I dearly love,
And as I love, rejoice.
THE PERPLEXED STUDENT.
A LESSON FOR BACHELOR BOOKWORMS.
BY MBS. C. H. BUTLEB.
Tea was over ere Horace came down stairs, notwithstanding the repeated summons of the housekeeper—and to his credit be it said, his appearance was now much more becoming the sooiety of suoh charming young ladies, than the negligent attire in which he paid his first devoirs.
As he drew near the open door of the parlour, a skilful hand swept over the keys of the piano, as if to test its tone and finish, and then, above the music of gay voices arose the enlivening air of a waltz, and by the time Horace entered the room, the whole bevy of fair girls were tripping it like so many fays to the lively musie,—all, except the charming musician, Qabriella, who, with her head bent archly over one shoulder, while her fingers swiftly swept the keys, nodded gaily to the dancers as they flew past her in the giddy waltz. Round and round on twinkling feet they airily glide—forms all
lightness—arms entwining, and rosy lips parted with smiles that would vanquish St. Anthony, —gently and lightly round and round they float. For a moment or two the delighted old uncle contents himself with humming the air, and beating time with hand and foot, then skimming into the circle, he throws his arm round little Meggie, and away they twirl with the rest—twirling, whirling, rising, sinking, round and round—and faster Gabriella touches the keys, and faster fly the merry waltzers. Now they take a wider circuit, and nearer— ever nearer to the spot where Horace stands entranced, they come circling on, their floating ringlets mingling with his breath, and bright eyes gazing roguishly into his, as round and round they circle past—while round and round in bewildering maze the brains of Horace are circling too 1 Are these beautiful forms real he sees before him? Do such fair beings indeed exist; and like the maidens of old who enticed the angels from their pure abode, are these