網頁圖片
PDF

Of silver round a maiden's raiment, all
Imbounding and adorning.

There, in one
Of those most pure and happy stars which claim
Identity with heaven, high raised in bliss,
Each lofty spirit luminous with delight,

Sat God's selectest angels. Into this conclave there steps a young and shining angel from some distant orb, which he had ruled with supreme powers.

A land
It showed of fountains, flowers, and honey'd fruits,
Of cool green umbrage, and incessant sun;
The rainbow there in permanent splendour spann'd
The skies by ne'er a cloud deform’d, of hue
Sterner than amber; while on every hand
The clear blue streams, singing and sparkling, ran
The bloomy meads to fertilize; while some
With honey, nectar, manna, milk, and wine,
Fit for angelic sustenance, slow flow'd. li
Here palaces and cities, midst of groves, ..
Like giant jewels set in emerald rings; .
There, too, the bowery, coverture of wood, aja
Ancient and dense, laced with all-tinted flowers,
Wherein were wont to sojourn in all peace,
Lamb, lion, eagle, ox, dog, serpent, goat,
And snow-white hart, each sacred animal
Cleansed from all evil quality, sin-instillid,
Speaking one common tongue, and gather'd oft
In wisest parley, 'neath the sacred tree
Centering each mazy pleasance intersect
With an invisible bound ; so sweet the force
Of nature, heavenly sanctioned.

In this happy spot were two angel sisters :

Yet how unlike
Their nature and their loveliness ; in one
A soul of lofty clearness, like a night
Of stars, wherein the memory of day
Seems trembling through the meditative air-
In whose proud eye, one fix'd and arklike thought
Held only sway; that thought a mystery ;-
In one a golden aspect like the dawn

Beaming perennial in the beavenly cast
Of paly light; she ever brightening look'd
As with the boundless promise unfulfill'd
Of some supreme perfection ; in her heart
That promise aye predestinate, always sure,
Her breast with joy suffusing, and so wrought,
Her sigh seem'd happier than her sister's smile :
Yet patient she and humble.

ALFARABI. THOMAS LOVELL BEDDOES, the noted author of The Bride's Tragedy, and Death's Jest Book, was the son of Dr. Thomas Beddoes of Clifton, who was the early friend and introducer of Sir Humphrey Davy, and whose wife was the sister of the famous Maria Edgeworth. Beddoes at an early period evinced great powers of mind, and gained high reputation as a student both at Charter-House, and subsequently at Oxford, which he left on attaining his Bachelor's degree in 1825, from which time, until his recent death, he resided chiefly in various parts and universities of Germany, devoting himself most assiduously to the study of anatomy and physic, as well as of the modern sciences. His profession seems to explain the coinmand he had of anatomical similes, so thickly clustering in his dramas. His admiration seems to have been absorbed almost by Shelley alone, and he with two others guaranteed the publishing of Shelley's posthumous works. He wrote poems in the German tongue, and laughingly called himself “a popular German poet." His sympathies, both literary and political, were nestled in Germany, where his memory is held sacred, the mystic and grotesque character of its literature having so deeply imbued his own poetry, and thus gained a hold upon the German intellect.

The following passage is extracted from a short and grotesque poem called Alfarabi, belonging rather to Wonderful than to “ Beautiful Poetry," but it gives a good idea of the general style of his verse, and his love of the vast, the terrible, and the unknown, so apparent in that Stygian sepulchre of deathly thoughts,-Death's Jest Book.

BEDDOES was born in Clifton on the 20th July, 1803, and died at Basle on the 26th January, 1849, leaving no issue.

On soar'd they, like the bright thought of an eye,
Mid the infinity of elements.
First through the azure meads of night and day,
Among the rushing of the million flames,
They pass'd the bearded dragon star unchain'd,
From Hell (of old its sun), flashing its way

Upon those wings, compact of mighty clouds
Bloodshot and black, or flaring devilish light,
Whose echo racks the shrieking universe,
Whose glimpse is tempest. O'er each silent star
Slept like a tomb that dark, marmoreal bird,
That spell-bound ocean, Night,- her breast o'erwrit
With golden secresies. All these he pass'd,
One after one: as he, who stalks by night,
With the ghost's step, the shaggy murderer
Leaves pass'd the dreamy city's sickly lamps.
Then through the horrid twilight did they plunge,
The universe's suburbs ; dwelling dim
Of all that sin and suffer; midnight shrieks
Upon the water when no help is nigh;
The blood-choked curse of him who dies in bed
By torch-light, with a dagger in his heart;
The parricidal and incestuous laugh,
And the last cry of those whom devils hale
Quick into hell; deepen'd the darkness.
And there were sounds of wings, broken and swift;
Blows of wrench'd poignards, muffled in thick flesh;
Struggles and tramplings wild, splashes and falls,
And inarticulate yells from human breasts.
Nought was beheld: but Alfarabi's heart
Turn'd in his bosom, like a scorched leaf,
And his soul faded. When again he saw,
His steed had paused. He was within a space-
Upon the very boundary and brim
Of the whole universe, the outer edge
Which seem'd almost to end the infinite zone;
A chasm in the almighty thoughts, forgotten
By the Omnipotent; a place apart,
Like some great ruinous dream of broken worlds
Tumbling through heaven, or Tartarus' panting jaws
Open above the sun. Sky was there none,
Nor earth, nor water: but confusion strange;
Mountainous ribs and adamantine limbs
Of bursten worlds, and brazen pinions vast
Of planets shipwreck’d; many a wrinkled sun
Ate to the core by worms, with lightning crush'd;
And drossy bolts melting like noonday snow.
Old towers of heaven were there, and fragments bright
Of the cerulean battlements, o'erthrown
When the gods struggled for the throne of light;

And mid them all a living mystery,'
A shapeless image, or a vision wrapt
In clouds, and guess'd at by its fearful shade;
Most like a ghost of the eternal flame,
An indistinct and unembodied horror
Which prophecies have told of; not wan Death,
Nor War the bacchanal of blood, nor Plague
The purple beast, but their great serpent sire,
Destruction's patriarch (dread name to speak!)
The end of all, the Universe's Death.
At that dread, ghostly thing, the atmosphere
And light of this, the world's black charnel house,
Low bow'd the Archimage, and thrice his life
Upraised its wing for passage; but the spell
Prevail'd, and to his purposed task he rose.
He callid unto the dead, and the swart powers
That wander unconfined beyond the sight
Or thought of mortals; and, from the abyss
Of cavernous deep night, came forth the hands
That dealt the mallet, when this world of ours
Lay quivering on the anvil in its ore,
Hands of eternal stone, which would unmesh
And fray this starry company of orbs,
As a young infant, on a dewy morn,
Rends into nought the tear-hung gossamer.

FORGET THEE.

By the Rev. John MOULTRIE, whose Three Sons will never be forgotten. “ Forget thee ?”—If to dream by night, and muse on thee

by day; If all the worship deep and wild a poet's heart can pay, If prayers in absence, breathed for thee to heaven's

protecting power, If winged thoughts that flit to thee, a thousand in an hour, If busy Fancy blending thee with all my future lot, If this thou call'st “forgetting,” thou indeed shalt be forgot !

“Forget thee ?"-Bid the forest birds forget their sweetest

tune, 6 Forget thee ?"-Bid the sea forget to swell beneath the

moon; Bid the thirsty flowers forget to drink the eve's refreshing

dew; Thyself forget thine "own dear land” and its “mountains

wild and blue" Forget each old familiar face, each long-remembered spot : When these things are forgot by thee, then thou shalt be

forgot! Keep, if thou wilt, thy maiden peace still calm and fancy

free; For God forbid thy gladsome heart should grow less glad

for me : Yet, while that heart is still unwon, Oh! bid not mine to

rove, But let it muse its humble faith and uncomplaining love: If these preserved for patient years at last avail me not, Forget me then ;- but ne'er believe that thou canst be

forgot!

CONSUMPTION.
By JAMES G. PERCIVAL, one of the poets of America.
THERE is a sweetness in woman's decay,
When the light of beauty is fading away,
When the bright enchantment of youth is gone,
And the tint that glow'd and the eye that shone,
And darted around its glance of power,
And the lip that vied with the sweetest flower
That ever in Paestum's garden blew,
Or ever was steep'd in fragrant dew,
When all that was bright and fair is fled,
But the loveliness lingering round the dead.

Oh! there is a sweetness in beauty's close,
Like the perfume scenting the wither'd rose :
For a nameless charm around her plays,
And her eyes are kindled with hallow'd rays,

« 上一頁繼續 »