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"Hla qualities were beauteous as his form,
"Well could he ride, and often men would say,
And controversy hence a question takes,
"But quickly on his side the verdict went,
"So, on the tip of his subduing tongue
"That he did in the general bosom reign
"Many there were that did his picture get,
Like fools that in the imagination set
The goodly objects which abroad they find
Of lands and mansions, thoir's in thought assigned;
And labouring in more pleasures to bestow them,
Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them:
"So many have, that never touched his hand,
The sad maiden goes on then to describe the various arts by which her affections and her confidence had been won, and ends her woful tale with the following genuine touch of nature.
"Who, young and simple, would not be so Iover*d?
"0, that infected moisture of his eye,
The single and particular beauties in this poem are as numerous as the lines, almost as the words. It has been my object rather to give to readers who may not, be familiar with the poem—am I wrong in supposing there are such ?—some general impression of the character of the poem as a whole. I hope to resume the subject next month.
"A DREAM THAT WAS NOT ALL A DREAM."
BY MBS. M. O. HOnSFORD.
Through the half-curtained window stole
An autumn sunset's glow. As languid on my couch I lay
With pulses weak and low.
And then me thought a presence stood
With shining feet and fair, Amid the waves of golden light
That rippled through the air;
And laid upon my heaving breast—
A babe whose fair and gentle brow
A solemn joy was in my heart—
Immortal life was given
To discipline for heaven.
Strange music thrilled the quiet room— An unseen host were nigh,
Who left the infant pilgrim at
A new strange love woke In my heart
Defying all control,
That birth-hymn for a soul.
And now again the autumn skies
As on that evening shine, When from a trance of agony
I woke to joy divine.
That boundless love is in my heart,
I clasp in mine with grateful faith
And bless the God who guides my way,
I day by day am walking with
THE BLIND GIRL OF CASTEL-CUTLLE.
(From the Gascon of Jasmin.)
BY HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
At the foot of the mountain height
Where is perched Caste 1-Cuille,
In the plain below were growing white.
This is the song one might perceive
-Thr roads should blossom, the roads should bloom,
This old Te Deum, rustic rites attending,
Each one with her attendant swain,
And soon descending
The narrow sweep
Of the hill-side steep,
They wind aslant
Towards Saint Amant,
Through leafy alleys
Of verdurous valleys
With merry sallies
Singing their chant:
"The roads should blossom, the roads should bloom,
It is Baptists, and his affianced maiden,
The sky was blue; without one cloud of gloom,
And to the air the freshening wind gave lightly
When one beholds the dusky hedges blossom,
To sounds of joyous melodies,
While the bride, with roguish eyes, Sporting with them, now escapes and cries: "Those who catch me
This year shall be!"
And all pursue with eager haste,
Meanwhile, whence comes it that among
These youthful maidens fresh and fair,
So joyous, with such laughing air,
Baptiste stands sighing, with silent tongue?
And yet the bride is fair and young! Is it Saint Josoph would say to us all, That love, o'er-hasty, precedeth a fall?
0, no! for a maiden frail, I trow,
Never bore so lofty a brow I
What lovers 1 they give not a single caress!
It is, that halfway up the hill,
Took the young bride's sight away.
Returned but three short days ago,
The golden chain they round him throw,
He is enticed, and onward led
To marry Angela, and yet
Is thinking ever of Margaret.
Then suddenly a maiden cried,
It is that Jane,—the cripple Jane,
But for this once the village seer Wears a countenance severe, And from beneath her eyebrows thin and white Her two eyes flash like cannons bright Aimed at the bridegroom in waistcoat blue, Who, like a statue, stands in view; Changing colour, as well he might, When the beldame wrinkled and gray Takes the young bride by the hand, And, with the tip of her reedy wand Making the sign of the cross, doth say :— "Thoughtless Angela, beware I Lest, when thou weddest this false bridegroom, Thou dtggest for thyself a tomb I" And she was silent; and the maidens fair Saw from each eye escape a swollen tear; But on a little streamlet silver-clear, What are two drops of turbid rain? Saddened a moment, the bridal train Resumed the dance and song again; The bridegroom only was pale with fear;—
And down green alleys
Of verdurous valleys,
With merry sallies,
They sang the refrain :—
"The roads should blossom, the roads should bloom,
And by suffering worn and weary,
'• He has arrived I arrived at l&st! Tet Jane has named him not those three days past;
Arrived I yet keeps aloof so far!
For ever night 1 for ever night!
No more of grief 1 no more of lassitude!
But when alone, remember all!
I need some bough to twlno around!
What then—whon one is blind?
"Who knows? perhaps I am forsaken! Ah! wo is me I then bear me to my grave I
0 Godl what thoughts within me waken! Away I he will return! I do but rave!
He will return I I need not fear I
He swore it by our Saviour dear;
He could not come at his own will;
Is weary, or perhaps is ill!
Perhaps his heart, in this disguise,
Prepares for me some sweet surprise!
But some one comes I Though blind, my heart can see | And that deceives mo not I 'tis he I 'tis he!"
And the door ajar is set,
And poor, confiding Margaret
"Angela the brido has passed,
I saw the wedding guests go by;
Tell me, my sister, why were wo not asked f
II Angela married! and not send
0 speak! who may the bridegroom be?"
A cry the blind girl gave, but nothing said;
An icy hand, as heavy as lead,
Descending, as her brother speaks.
Upon her heart, that has ceased to beat.
Suspends awhile its life and heat.
At length, the bridal song again
"Hark! the joyous airs are ringing!
Sister, dost thou hear them singing?
How merrily they laugh and jest!
Would we were bidden with the rest!
I would don my hose of homespun gray,
And my doublet of linen striped and gay;
Perhaps they will come; for they do not wed
Till to-morrow at seven o'clock, it is said!"
"I know it !" answered Margaret; Whom the vision, with aspect black as jet,
Mastered again; and its hand of tee Held her heart crushed, as in a vice!
"Paul, bo not sad! "lis a holiday;
To-morrow put on thy doublet gay I
But leave me now for a while alone."
Away, with a hop and a jump, went Paul,
And, as he whistled along the hall,
Entered Jane, the crippled crone.
"Holy Virgin! what dreadful heat!
I am faint, and weary, and out of breath!
But thou art cold,—art chill as death;
My little friend! what ails thee, sweet?" "Nothing! I heard them singing homo the bride;
And, as I listened to the song,
I thought my turn would come ero long,
Thou knowest it is at Whitsuntide.
Thy cards forsooth can never lie,
To me such joy they prophesy, ,
Thy skill shall be vaunted far and wide
When they behold him at my side.
And poor Baptiste, what sayest thou?
Jane, shuddering, her hand doth press:
"Thy love I cannot all approve;
"The moro I pray the more I love!
Now to all hope her heart is barred and cold;
But to deceive the beldame old
She takes a sweet, contented air;
Speak of foul weather or of fair,
At every word the maiden smiles!
Thus the beguiler she beguiles;
She says, "She may be saved! she nothing knows!"
Poor Jane, thf* conning sorceress!
Thou wast so, far beyond thine art I
Now rings the hell, nine times reverberating,
Queen of a day. by flatterers caressed,
The other, blind, within herlittle room,
Has neither crown nor flower's perfume;
That in a drawer's recess doth lie,
Convulsive clasps it to her heart.
The one, fantastic, light as air,
'Mid kisses ringing,
And joyous singing,
The other, with cold drops upon her brow,
And then the orphan, young and blind,
Conducted by her brother's hand,
Towards the church, through paths unspanned,
With tranquil air, her way doth wind.
Round her at times exhale,
But brumal vapours gray.
Near that castle, fair to see,
Marvels of nature and of art,
A little chapel, almost bare
At the base of the rock, is builded there;
All glorious that it lifts aloof,
Above each jealous cottage roof,
And its blackened steeple high in air,
Round which the osprey screams and sails.
m "Paul, lay thy noisy rattle by!"
"Yes; seest thou not our journey's end?
The night wo watched beside his bed,
'0 daughter, I am weak and low; Take care of Paul; I feel that I am dying!' And thou, and he, and I, all fell to crying? Then on the roof the osprey screamed aloud; And hero they brought our father in his shroud. There is his grave; there stands the cross we set; Why dost thou clasp me so, dear Margaret?
[This poem should have been translated into lowland Scotch; for only in that dialect could the simplicity and tenderness of the Gascon be given. Jasmin is to the south
Come in! The bride will be here soon: Thoutromblest! 0 my God! thou art going to swoon!"
She could no more,—the blind girl, weak and weary!
And quick recoiled, aghast, faint-hearted;
Her steps towards the open door;
Touches the crown of filigrane
Suspended from the low-arched portal,
No more restrained, no more afraid,
She walks, as for a feast arrayed,
They both are lost to sight.
At length the bell,
In sooth, deceit maketh no mortal gay,
And Angela thinks of her cross, I wis;
To be a bride is all! The pretty lisper
Feels her heart swell to hear all round her whisper,
"How beautiful! how beautiful she is!"
But she must calm that giddy head,
For already the Mass is said;
At the holy table stands the priest;
He must pronounce one word at least!
For anguish did its work so well,
That, ere the fatal stroke descended,
At eve, Instead of bridal verse,
"The roads should mourn and be veiled in gloom,
of Franco what Burns is to tho south of Scotland,—the representative of the heart of the people,—one of those happy bards, who are born with their mouths full of birds (la bouco plcno d/aouztUms). He has written his own biography in a poetic form, and the simple narrative of his poverty, his struggles, and his triumphs, is very touching. He etUI lives at Agon on the Garonne; and long may he live there to delight his native land with native songs I
The following description of his person and way of life Is taken from the graphic pages of " Beam and the Pyre. nces," by Louisa Stuart Castello, whose charming pen has done so much to illustrate the French provinces and their literature.
"At the entrance of the promenade Du Gravier, is a row of small houses,—some cafes, others shops, the indication of which is a painted cloth placed across the way, with the owner's name in bright gold letters, in the manner of the arcades in the streets, and their announcements. One of the most glaring of these was, we observed, a bright blue flag, bordered with gold; on which, in large gold letters, appeared the name of 'Jasmin, Coiffeur.' We entered, and were weleomed by a smiling dark-eyed woman, who informed us that her husband was busy at that moment dressing a customer's hair, but he was desirous to receive us, and begged we would walk into his
parlour at the back of the shop
"She exhibited to us a laurel crown of gold of delicate workmanship, sent from the city of Clemence Isaure, Toulouse, to the poet; who will probably one day take his place in the capitoid. Next came a golden cup, with an inscription in his honour, given by the citizens of Auch; a gold watch, chain, and seals, sent by the King, Louis Philippe; an emerald ring worn and presented by the lamented Duke of Orleans; a pearl pin, by the graceful duchess, who, on the poet's visit to Paris accompanied by bis son, received him in the words he puts into the mouth of Henri Quatre:—
Approucha bous I'
A fine service of linen, the offering of the town of Pau, after its citizens had given fetes in his honour, and loaded him with caresses and praises; and nick-nacks and jewels of all descriptions offered to him by lady-ambassadresses, and great lords; English 'misses' and 'miladis;' and French, and foreigners of all nations who did or did not understand Gascon.
"All this, though startling, was not convincing; Jasmin, the barber, might only be a fashion, a furore, a caprice, after all; and it was evident that he knew how to get up a scene well. When we had become nearly tired of looking over these tributes to his genius, the door opened, and the poet himself appeared. His manner was free and unembarrassed, well-bred, and lively; he received eur compliments naturally, and like one accustomed to homage; said he was ill, and unfortunately too hoarse to read anything to us, or he should have been delighted to do so. He spoke with a broad Gascon accent, and very rapidly and eloquently; ran over the story of his successes; told us that his grandfather hod been a beggar, and all Mb family very poor; that be was now as rich as he wished to he, his son placed in a good position at Nantes; then showed us his son's picture, and spoke of his disposition, to which his brisk little wife added, that, though no fool, be had not his father's genius, to which truth Jasmin assented as a matter of course. I told him of having seen mention made of him In an English review; which he said had been sent him by Lord Durham, who had paid him a visit; and I then spoke of' Mi cal mouri' as known to me. This was enough to make him forget his hoarseness and every other evil: it would ne^cr do for mo to imagine that that little song was his best composition; it was merely his first; he must try to read to me a little of TAbuglo,'—a few verses of Francouneto.' 'You will be charmed,' said be; 'but if I were well, and you would give me the pleasure of your company for some time; if you were not merely running through Agen, I would kill you with weeping,—I would make you die with distress for my poor Margarido,—my pretty Francouneto!'
"He caught up two copies of his book, from a pile lying on the table, and making us sit close to him, he pointed out the French translation on one side, which he told us to follow while ho read in Gascon. He began in a rich soft voice, and as he advanced, the surprise of Hamlet on hearing the player-king recite the disasters of Hecuba, was but a type of ours, to find ourselves carried away by the spell of his enthusiasm. His eyes swam in tears; he became pale and red; he trembled; he recovered himself; his face was now joyous, now exulting, gay, jocose; in fact, he was twenty actors in one; he rang the changes from Rachel to Bouffe; and he finished by delighting us, besides beguiling us of our tears, and overwhelming us with astonishment.
"He would have been a treasure on the stage; for he Is still, though his first youth is past, remarkably goodlooking and striking; with black, sparkling eyes, of intense expression; a fine ruddy complexion; a countenance of wondrous mobility; a good figure; and action full of fire and grace; he has handsome hands, which he uses with in. finite effect; and, on the whole, he is the best actor of the kind I ever saw. I could now quite understand what a troubadour or jongleur might be, and I look upon Jasmin as a revived specimen of that extinct race. Such as he is might have been Gaucelm Faidit, of Avignon, the friend of Coeur de Lion, who lamented the death of the hero in such moving strains; such might have been Bernard de Vcntadour, who sang the praises of Queen Elinorc's beauty; such Geoffrey Rudel, of Blaye, on his own Garonne; such the wild Vidal: certain it is, that none of these troubadours of old could more move, by their singing or reciting, than Jasmin, in whom all their long-smothered fire and traditional magic seems reillumined.
"We found we had stayed hours instead of minutes with the poet; but he would not hear of any apology,— only regretted that his voice was so out of tune, in consequence of a violent cold, under which he was really labouring, and hoped to see us again. He told us our countrywomen of Pau had laden him with kindness and attention, and spoke with such enthusiasm of the beauty of certain 'misses,' that I feared his little wife would feel somewhat piqued; but, on the contrary, she stood by, smiling and happy, and enjoying the stories of his triumphs. I remarked that he had restored the poetry of the troubadours; asked him if he knew their songs; and said he was worthy to stand at their head. 'I am, indeed, a troubadour,' said he, with energy; 'but I am far beyond them all; they were but beginners; they never composed a poem like my Francouneto! there are no poets in France now,—there cannot be; the language does not admit of it; where is the fire, the spirit, the expression, the tenderness, the force of the Gascon? French is but the ladder to reach to the first floor of the Gascon,—-how can you got up to a height oxcept by a ladder I'
"I returned by Agen, after an absence In the Pyrenees of some months, and renewed my acquaintance with Jasmin and his dark-eyed wife. I did not expect that I should be recognised; but the moment I entered the little shop I was hailed as an old friend. 'Ah." cried Jasmin, ltnjin la voild encore." I could not but be flattered by this recollection, but soon found it was less on my own account that I was thus weleomed, than because a circumstance had occurred to the poet which he thought I could perhaps explain. He produced several French newspapers, in which ho pointed out to me an article headed 'Jasmin a Londres;' being a translation of certain notices of himself, which had appeared in a leading English literary journal, lie had, he said, been informed of the honour done him by numerous friends, and assured me his fame had been much spread by this means; and he was so delighted on the occasion, that he had resolved to learn English, in order that he might judge of the translations from his works, which, he had been told, were well done. I enjoyed his surprise, while I informed him that I knew who was the reviewer and translator; and explained the reason for the verses giving pleasure in the English dress, to be the superior simplicity of the English language over modora