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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 French, for which he has a great contempt, as unfitted for lyrical composition. He inquired of me respecting Barns, to whom he hod been likened; and begged me to tell him something of Moore. The delight of himself and his wife was amusing, at having discovered a secret which had puxsled them so long.
"He had a thousand things to tell me; in particular, that he had only the day before received a letter from the Duchess of Orleans, informing him that she had ordered a medal of her late husband to be struck, the first of which would be sent to him: she also announced to him the agreeable news of the king having granted him a pension of a thousand francs. He smiled and wept by turns, as he told all this; and declared, much as he was elated at the possession of a sum which made him a rich man for life, the kindness of the duchess gratified him even more.
"He then made us sit down while he read us two new
poems; both charming, and full of grace and naiveti; and one very affecting, being an address to the king, alluding; to the death of his son. As ho read, his wife stood by, and fearing we did not quite comprehend his language, she made a remark to that effect: to which he answered impatiently, 'Nonsense,—don't you see they are in tears.' This was unanswerable; and we were allowed to hear the poem to the end; and I certainly never listened to anything more feelingly and energetically delivered.
"We had much conversation, for he was anxious to detain us, and, in the course of it, he told me that he had been by some accused of vanity. 'Oh!' he rejoined, 'what would you have? X am a child of nature, and cannot conceal my feelings; the only difference between me and a man of refinement is, that he knows how to conceal his vanity and exultation at success, which I let everybody see.'"]
BY ANNE C.
A3 when the sun in darkness sets,
And night falls on the earth, Along the azure fields above,
The stars of heaven como forth;
So, when the sun of Liberty
Grows dim to mortal eyes,
The world's true heroes rise.
The men of human destiny,
High-priests of Freedom, in whose souls
The fire that through the wilderness
In steadfast lustre gleams,
Sheds its effulgent beams.
Thus, oh Hungarial through the night
That wraps thee in its gloom, Light from one burning soul streams forth,
A torch above thy tomb.
Thy tomb I oh no—the mouldering shroud
The worm awhile must wear,
He wings the npper air.
Thy tomb! then from its door ere long,
The stone shall roll away,
Greet the new-risen day.
That day, that prayed and waited for
So long, shall surely rise, As surely as to-morrow's sun
Again shall greet our eyes.
What though, before the shape evoked,
The coward heart has quailed,
The recreant arm has failed;
What though the apostate wields the sword
With fratricidal hand,
In exile o'er the land;
What though suspended o'er thee hangs
The Austrian's glittering steel;
The Imperial Cossack's heel.
Not to the swift is given the race,
The battle to the strong;
Is borne the mighty wrong.
From him the mandate has gone forth,
The Giant Power must fall;
The writing on the wall?
The slaves of power, the sword, the scourge,
The scaffold, and the chain, Awhile may claim their hecatombs
Of hero-martyrs slain.
But they that war with Tyranny
Still mightier weapons bear; Winged, arrowy thoughts, that pierce like light.
Impalpable as air.
Thoughts that strike through the triple mail,
That spread and burn and glow,
Rained on his Moslem foe.
Rest, rest in peace, heroic shades!
Whose blood like water ran; For every crimson drop ye shed
Shall rise an armed mariY
Rest, rest in peace! heroic hearts
Who wander still on earth; Thoughts, your immortal messengers,
Are ou their mission forth.
The pioneers of Liberty,
Invincible they throng;
And battlements of wrong.
Speak! sages, poets , patriots , speak!
And the dark pile shall fall,
Once fell the city's wall.
There is a natural alliance between genius and infancy. Simplicity is a leading characteristic of both. The sublimest poets advert to their recollections of childhood with a pleasing interest. Men like Moore and Byron go back to those "sunny hours," because they furnish to their minds the only just conceptions of purity and innocence. Their later experience would, probably, lead them to deny the existence of such qualities. Yet childhood is, to society at large, what the mission of the infant prophet was to the house of Eli, a mission of reproof. But, men love not to be rebuked, and hence, happily, none but such as have retained the simplicity and virtue of "life's young dawn," care to spend their hours amid the charms of the nursery. Wordsworth deemed it good to be there because his philosophic and gentle spirit was akin to infancy. Maria Edgeworth loved to converse with children, because she saw all noble qualities closely folded in their germs in infant minds, and waiting for some genial influence to develope them. Dr. Watts discovered all these and more. He saw that sentiments of virtue and piety were most easily infused in the very dawn of intelligence. He perceived that poetry was the most natural vehicle for introducing such sentiments, and the most efficient means of keeping the thoughts that nourish them ever green in the memory. He possessed an affinity with childhood, because he was childlike in his character; and children have a conscious affinity with him, because all children possess poetic qualities. The child who discovered that the stars were gimlet-holes bored through the solid sky, and made on purpose that streams of glory might be let down from heaven to earth, was prepared to sympathize with a poet like Watts. The little girl of four years old, who recollected distinctly an event that had occurred six years before, and who modestly combated her mother's declaration that she could not remember what had taken place previous to her birth, evinced true poetio genius, when raising her tiny hands and clasping her little neck, she exclaimed with the ardour of an undoubting faith in the visions of her own glowing imagination, "You forget, dear mother, you forget; I know I was not horn, but God had made my head, just as far down as to here, and I peeped out of that cloud and saw it. You did not see me, but I saw you, and I remember it well." Not inferior
to either of these was the confidential disclosure of a young lad to his playmates that he had discovered the use of those fleecy clouds piled up by the horizon, at nightfall, and overhung with red and blue curtains. They were couches on which the angels sleep. He had seen one who had become weary and gone to bed at an unusually early hour. He saw him at the going down of the sun stretched out in gigantic dimensions, with a bright face, having one foot and leg sheathed in a crimson stocking, the other bare, and an orange-coloured satin counterpane drawn over his shoulders. If these are extraordinary instances, still children generally are full of faith, and gifted with warm imaginings. A poet like Watts turns their own thoughts into verse, and no small portion of his power consists in doing for them what every teacher that is most skilful does for his pupils, when he makes them feel that what he has accomplished, was the expressing of their views better than they could have done it themselves.
Doctor Watts was a great man. True, he did not place himself at the head of any one department of science or literature. Yet, he was highly distinguished in more respects, perhaps, than any man of the age in which he lived. He was a general scholar; a skilful logician, a profound divine, an acute metaphysician, a sublime poet, and a charitable and devout Christian. There is not a more attractive grace in human nature than condescension, and one knows not where to find a more beautiful instance of it than in him who composed a Logic for the Universities, combated the philosophy of John Locke, framed a catechism for children in their fourth year, and wrote "Divine and Moral Songs" for the nursery. It may be justly doubted whether the world's history furnishes a parallel, except it be in Him who claimed the heavenly hierarchies as his servants, and took little children in his arms, and laid his hands upon them, and blessed them.
Isaac Watts was born in 1674 at Southampton. His father was a schoolmaster. He suffered persecution for his dissenting opinions, and tradition says that "the youthful and sorrowing mother has been known to seat herself on the steps of her husband's prisonhouse, suckling this child of promise — this child cradled in meekness amid controversial storms." He was a very precocious child, as