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Sydneian showers

Of sweet discourse, whose pow'rs

Can crown old Winter's head with flow'rs.

Soft silken hours;

Open sunnes; shady bow'rs,

'Bove all; nothing within that low'rs.

What e'er delight

Can make Day's forehead bright,

Or give down to the wings of Night,

In her whole frame,
Have nature all the name,
Art and ornament the shame.

Her flattery,

Picture and poesie:

Her counsel her own vertue be.

I wish, her store

Of worth may leave her poor

Of wishes; and I wish no more.

Now, if Time knows

That her whose radiant brows,

Weave them a garland of my vows;

Her whose just bayes
My future hopes can raise,
A trophy to her present praise;

Her that dares be,

What these lines wish to see:

I seek no further, it is she.

'Tis she, and here

Lo I uncloath and clear

My wishes cloudy character.

May she enjoy it,

Whose merit dare apply it,

But modesty dares still deny it.

Such worth as this is
Shall fixe my flying wishes,
And determine them to kisses.

Let her full glory,

My fancies, fly before ye,

Be ye my fictions; but her story."

To the "Steps to the Temple, and the Delights of the Muses," are added a collection of " Sacred Poems;" the one on the " Day of Judgment" is marked by some touches of solemnity. These are some of the best stanzas—

"O, that trump! whose blast shall run
An even round with th' circling Sun,
And urge the murmuring graves to bring
Pale mankind forth to meet his king.

Horror of nature, hell and death!
When a deep groan from beneath
Shall cry we come, we come, and all
The caves of night answer one call.

O, that book! whose leaves so bright
Will set the world in severe light.
O, that judge! whose hand, whose eye
None can indure; yet none can fly.

Ah then, poor soul, what wilt thou say?
And to what patron chuse to pray?
When stars themselves shall stagger; and
The most firm foot no more then stand."

In the verses "to the name above every name," our poet loses himself in his devotion. His genius streams through this long hymn, like the course of some river which sometimes runs brightly and copiously along its banks, sometimes disappears in subterraneous channels, and at others is swallowed up by sandy deserts, or expands itself into a broad and shallow lake, which both deforms and destroys the country through which it runs. The source of the Niger itself is not more difficult to find than the meaning of some of the verses, which are as obscure as others are noisy and tumid. The invocation to the musical sounds, which is a favorite subject with Crashaw, owing, probably, in part, to his practical skill and taste in that delightful science, possesses considerable magnificence of measure. We shall extract some passages from this poem, taking the liberty to supply the interval between them by asterisks, instead of the original links with which the poet has bound them together, as it frequently happens that a fine idea is disgraced by an unseemly companion.

"Go and request
Great Nature for the key of her huge chest
Of Heav'ns, the self-involving set of sphears
Which dull mortality more feels then hears.

Then rouse the nest
Of nimble art, and traverse round
The airy shop of soul-appeasing sound:
And beat a summons in the same

All-soveraign name,
To warn each several kind
And shape of sweetness, be they such

As sigh with supple wind

Or answer artful touch,
That they convene and come away
To wait at the love-crowned doors of that

Illustrious day.

# » * *

Wake lute and harp

And every sweet-lipp'd thing

That talks with tuneful string;
Start into life, and leap with me
Into a hasty fit-tun'd harmony.

* * # *

Come, ye soft ministers of sweet sad mirth,
Bring all your houshold-stuff of Heav'n on earth;
O you, my soul's most certain wings,
Complaining pipes, and pratling strings,

Bring all the store
Of sweets you have; and murmur that you have no more.

Come, ne'er to part,

Nature and art!

Come; and come strong,
To the conspiracy of our spacious song.

Bring all the pow'rs of praise
Your provinces of well-united worlds can raise;
Bring all your lutes and harps of Heav'n and earth;
What e'er co-operates to the common mirth

Vessels of vocal joys.

* * * *

O see the weary lids of wakeful hope
(Love's eastern windows) all wide ope

With curtains drawn,
To catch the day-break of thy dawn."

Crashaw somewhere expresses his resolution to be "married to a single life ;"—the truth is, he had no love to waste upon a " form of breathing clay." His wife really was, as many a widower's inscription has expressed, " a saint in Heaven." St. Teresa had charms for this enthusiastic divine, which no mere

mortal could pretend to, and kindled a fire in his bosom, fierce and bright enough to make the flames of profane love burn pale in the comparison. In the sacred poems we meet with more verses on this favored saint: the poet will not endure the mode of painting a seraphim by the side of her, as she is "usually expressed," with a " flaming heart."

"Painter, what didst thou understand
To put her dart into his hand!"

Again.

"Why, man, this speaks pure mortal frame;

And mocks, with female frost, Love's manly flame,

One would suspect thou meanst to print

Some weak, inferiour, woman saint.

But had thy pale-fac't purple took

Fire from the burning cheeks of that bright book,

Thou wouldst on her have heapt up all

That could be found seraphical;

What e'r this youth of fire wears fair,

Rosie fingers, radiant hair.

Glowing cheek, and glistring wings,

All those fair and flagrant things,

But before all, that fiery dart

Had fifl'd the hand of this great heart."

After a great deal more of expostulation and angry reproof, he thus finely, though perhaps inappositely, concludes:

"O thou undaunted daughter of desires!

By all thy dow'r of lights and fires;

By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;

By all thy lives and deaths of love;

By thy large draughts of intellectual day;

And by thy thirsts of love, more large than they;

By all thy brim-fill'd bowls of fierce desire;

By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire;

By the full kingdom of that final kiss

That seiz'd thy parting soul, and seal'd thee his;

By all the heav'ns thou hast in him

(Fair sister of the seraphim)

By all of him we have in thee;

Leave nothing of my self in me.

Let me so read thy life, that I

Unto all life of mine may die."

The merit of Crashaw has been chiefly acknowledged as a translator, which office, in his hands, ceases to be an humble one. Such a mastery does he assume over the work before him, so richly does he clothe the ideas prepared for him, and with such apparent ease and fluency does he recast the sentiments in a new tongue, that he makes the poem, if not the original offspring of his own brain, yet the legitimate and thriving child of his adoption. The few things which Crashaw undertook in this way are among the finest specimens of versification in the language, and fill us with regret, that his application to poetry was fitful and capricious. The brightest views, into the deep recesses of the fairy land of poetry, are sometimes laid open by the idle and restless man of genius; but, unfortunately, an unconquerable yearning after fame, or the pressing calls of necessity, are indispensable for the production of a great and lasting {>oet. Crashaw never wooed the muse but as an agreeable reaxation, or as a convenient vent for his devotional enthusiasm. Like his pursuits in music and painting, his poems were only "the exercises of his curious invention and sudden fancy, and not the grand business of his soul." The translations, scattered through the little volume before us, are from various authors; and, except one of no great length, appear to be chiefly passages which have pleased him in the reading, and tempted him to prolong that pleasure, by turning them into an English dress. The longest and most important of these is, the first book of the Sospetto d'Herode, from the Italian of Marino; a poem which Milton sometimes had in his eye, in the composition of some parts of the " Paradise Lost." In this version our author's genius expands, and fills a larger space than ordinary—it speaks in a more elevated tone, and, no longer dressed in the trickery of sparkling brilliancies, stalks forth, with a considerable air of magnificence and grandeur, in a stern and awful guise. This strain is of a higher mood. Our language gains an accession of new strength in his hands, and breathes a spirit of majesty, by no means unworthy of the study and imitation, as it probably was, of Milton himself. The original poem has great merit, and we deeply regret that Crashaw did not complete its version. After the invocation of the muses, and dedication of the poem to " Great Antony, Spain's well-beseeming pride," the first book opens with a description of Satan and his abode; who is, at the time, much perplexed by the indications of a coming Messiah, and the termination of his own power.

"Below the bottom of the great abysse,
There where one center reconciles all things,
The World's profound heart pants; there placed is
Mischiefs old master, close about him clings

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