網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

cross

And if, in the mean time, her husband died, Young Juan wander'd by the glassy brooks, But heaven forbid that such a thought should Thinking unutterable things; he threw

Himself at length within the leafy nooks Her brain, though in a dream! (and then she Where the wild branch of the cork-forest sigh'd)

grew; Never could she survive that common loss; There poets find materials for their books, But just suppose that moment should betide, And every now and then we read them I only say snppose itinter nos,

through, (This should be entre nous, for Julia thought so that their plan and prosody are eligible, In French, but then the rhyme would go Unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unfor nought).

intelligible.

I only say suppose this supposition: He, Juan (and not Wordsworth), so pursued Juan being then grown up to man's estate His self-communion with his own high soul, WonId fully suit a widow of condition ; Until his mighty heart, in its great mood, Even seven years hence it would not be too Had mitigated part, though not the whole

late;

Of its disease; he did the best he could And in the interim (to pursue this vision) With things not very subject to control, The mischief after all, could not be great, And tnrnd, without perceiving his condition, For he would learn the rudiments of love, Like Coleridge, into a metaphysician. I mean the seraph-way of those above.

He thought about himself, and the whole So much for Julia. Now we'll turn to Juan,

earth, Poor little fellow! he had no idea

Of man, the wonderful, and of the stars, of his own case, and never hit the true one; And how the deuce they ever could have In feelings quick as Ovid's Miss Medea,

birth; He puzzled over what he found a new one, And then he thought of earthquakes and of But not as yet imagined it could be a Thing quite in course, and not at all How many miles the moon might have in alarming,

girth, Which, with a little patience, might grow of air-balloons, and of the many bars

charming To perfect knowledge of the boundless skies;

And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes.

9

wars,

[ocr errors]

Silent and pensive, idle, restless, slow,
His home deserted for the lonely wood, In thoughts like these true wisdom may
Tormented with a wound he could not know,

discern His, like all deep grief, plunged in solitude. Longings sublime, and aspirations high, I'm fond myself of solitude or so,

Which some are born with, but the most But then I beg it may be understood By solitude I mean a sultan's, not To plague themselves withal, they know not A hermits, with a haram for a grot.

why: 'Twas strange that one so young should thus

part learn

concern

“Oh Love! in such a wilderness as this, His brain about the action of the sky;
Where transport and security entwine, If you think 'twas philosophy that this did,
Here is the empire of thy perfect bliss, I can't help thinking puberty assisted.
And here thou art a god indeed divine."
The bard I quote from does not sing amiss,
With the exception of the second line, He pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers,
For that same twining “transport and And heard a voice in all the winds; and then

security

He thought of wood-nymphs and immortal Are twisted to a phrase of some obscurity.

bowers, And how the goddesses came down to men :

He miss'd the pathway, he forgot the hours, The poet meant, no doubt, and thus appeals And when he look'd upon his watch again, To the good sense and senses of mankind, He found how much old Time had been a The very thing which every body feels,

winnerAs all have found on trial, or may find,

He also found that he had lost his dinner. That no one likes to be disturbid at meals Or love:—I won't say more about “entwined" Or “transport,” as we know all that before, Sometimes he turn'd to gaze upon his book, But beg "Security” will bolt the door. Boscan, or Garcilasso ;-— by the wind

Even as the page is rustled while we look, | Till some confounded escapade has blighted So by the poesy of his own mind

The plan of twenty years, and all is over; Over the mystic leaf his soul was shook, And then the mother cries, the father swears, As if 'twere one whereon magicians bind And wonders why the devil he got heirs. Their spells, and give them to the passing

gale, According to some good old woman's tale. But Inez was so anxious and so clear

Of sight, that I must think, on this occasion,

She had some other motive much more near Thus would he while his lonely hours away For leaving Juan to this new temptation; Dissatisfied, nor knowing what he wanted; But what that motive was, I sha’n't say here; Nor glowing reverie, nor poet's lay, Perhaps to finish Juan's education, Could yield his spirit that for which it Perhaps to open Don Alfonso's eyes,

panted,

In case he thought his wise too great a prize. A bosom whereon he his head might lay, And hear the heart beat with the love it

granted,

It was upon a day, a summer's day ;With—several other things, which I forget, Summer's indeed a very dangerous season, Or which, at least, I need not mention yet. And so is spring about the end of May;

The sun, no doubt, is the prevailing reason;

But whatsoe'er the cause is, one may say, Those lonely walks and lengthening reveries And stand convicted of more truth than Could not escape the gentle Julia's eyes;

treason, She saw that Juan was not at his ease ;

That there are months which nature grows But that which chiefly may and must

more merry insurprise,

March has its hares, and May must have Is, that the Donna Inez did not tease

its heroine. Her only son with question or surmise; Whether it was she did not see, or would not, Or, like all very clever people, could not. 'Twas on a summer's day—the sixth of June:

I like to be particular in dates,

Not only of the age, and year, but moon: This may seem strange, but yet 'tis very They are a sort of post-house, where the Fates

Change horses, making history change its For instance-gentlemen, whose ladies take Leave to o’erstep the written rights of Then spur away o’er empires and o'er states,

woman,

Leaving at last not much besides chronology, And break the--Which commandment is't Excepting the post-obits of theology.

they break ? (I have forgot the number, and think no man Should rashly quote, for fear of a mistake.) Twas on the sixth of June, about the hour Isay, when these same gentlemen are jealous, of half-past six-perhaps still nearer seven, They make some blunder, which their ladies When Julia sate within as pretty a bower

tell us.

As e'er held houri in that heathcnish heaven
Described by Mahomet,and Anacreon-Moore,

To whom the lyre and laurels have been A real husband always is suspicious,

given, But still no less suspects in the wrong place, With all the trophies of triumphant songJealous of some one who had no such wishes, He won them well, and may he wear them Or pandering blindly to his own disgrace

long! By harbouring some dear friend extremely

vicious; The last indeed's infallibly the case: She sate, but not alone; I know not well And when the spouse and friend are gone How this same interview had taken place,

off wholly,

And even if I knew, I should not tellHe wonders at their vice, and not his folly. People should hold their tongues in any case;

No matter how or why the thing befel,

But there were she and Juan face to faceThos parents also are at times short-sighted; When two such faces are so, 'twould be wise, Though watchful as the lynx, they ne'er But very difficult, to shut their eyes.

discover, The while the wicked world beholds,

delighted,

How beautiful she look'd! her conscious heart Young Hopeful's mistress, or Miss Fanny's Glow'd in her cheek, and yet she felt no lover,

wrong.

common:

tune,

9

[ocr errors]

soon

Oh Love! how perfect is thy mystic art, I cannot know what Juan thought of this, Strengthening the weak and trampling on But what he did, is much what you would do;

the strong;

His young lip thank'd it with a grateful kiss, How self-deceitful is the sagest part And then, abash'd at its own joy, withdrew Of mortals whom thy lure hath led along: In deep despair, lest he had done amiss, The precipice she stood on was immense - Love is so very timid when 'tis new: So was her creed in her own innocence. She blush'd and frown'd not, but she strove

to speak,

And held her tongue, her voice was grown She thought of her own strength, and Juan's

so weak. youth And of the folly of all prudish fears, Victorious virtue, and domestic truth, The sun set, and up rose the yellow moon: And then of Don Alfonso's fifty years: The devil's in the moon for mischief; they I wish these last had not occurrd, in sooth, Who call'd her chaste, methinks, began too Because that number rarely much endears, And through all climes, the snowy and the Their nomenclature; there is not a day,

sunny,

The longest, not the twenty-first of June, Sounds ill in love, whate'er it may in money. Sees half the business in a wicked way

On which three single hours of moonshine

smileWhen people say, "I've told you fifty times,” And then she looks so modest all the while. They mean to scold, and very often do; When poets say, “I've written fifty rhymes,” They make you dread that they'll recite There is a dangerous silence in that hour,

them too;

A stillness which leaves room for the full In gangs of fifty,thieves commit their crimes;

soul At fifty love for love is rare, 'tis true; To open all itself, without the power But then, no doubt, it equally as true is, Of calling wholly back its self-control; A good deal may be bought for fifty Louis. The silver-light which, hallowing tree and

tower,

Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the Julia had honour, virtue, truth, and love,

whole, For Don Alfonso; and she inly swore, Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws By all the vows below to powers above, A loving languor, which is not repose. She never would disgrace the ring she wore, Nor leave a wish which wisdom might

reprove;

And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced And while she ponder'd this, besides much And half retiring from the glowing arm,

more,

Which trembled like the bosom where 'twas One hand on Juan's carelessly was thrown,

placed ; Quite by mistake-she thought it was her Yet still she must have thought there was no own;

harın, Or else 'twere easy to withdraw her waist;

But then the situation had its charm, Unconsciously she lean'd upon the other, And then --God knows what next-I can't Which play'd within the dangles of her hair; And to contend with thoughts she could I'm almost sorry that I e'er begun.

not smother She seem'd, by the distraction of her air. 'Twas surely very wrong in Juan's mother Oh Plato! Plato! you have paved the way, To leave together this imprudent pair, With your confounded fantasies, to more She who for many years had watch'd her son Immoral conduct by the fancied sway

Your system feigns o’er the controlless core I'ın very certain mine would not have done so. Of human hearts, than all the long array

Of poets and romancers: - You’re a bore,

A charlatan, a coxcomb- and have been, The hand which still held Juan's, by degrees At best, no better than a go-between. Gently, but palpably, confirm'd its grasp, As if it said -detain me, if you please;" Yet there's no doubt she only meant to clasp And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs, His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze; Until too late for useful conversation ; She would have shrunk as from a toad or asp, The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes, Had she imagined such a thing could rouse I wish, indeed, they had not had occasion; A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse. But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?

go on :

[ocr errors]

Not that remorse did not oppose temptation, Our coming, and look brighter when we A little still she strove, and much repented,

come; And whispering “I will ne'er consent' 'Tis sweet to be awakend by the lark,

consented.

Or lullid by falling waters; sweet the hum
Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,

The lisp of children, and their earliest "Tis said that Xerxes offer'd a reward

words; To those who could invent him a new

pleasure; Methinks the requisition's rather hard, Sweet is the vintage, when the showering And must have cost his majesty a treasure:

grapes For my part, I'm a moderate-minded bard, In Bacchanal-profusion reel to earth Fond of a little love (which I call leisure); Purple and gushing; sweet are our escapes I care not for new pleasures, as the old From civic revelry to rural mirth ; Are quite enough for me, so they but hold. Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps ;

Sweet to the father is his first-born's birth;

Sweet is revenge- especially to women, Oh Pleasure! you're indeed a pleasant thing, Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen; Although one must be damn'd for you, no

doubt; I make a resolution every spring

Sweet is a legacy; and passing sweet Of reformation ere the year run out, The unexpected death of some old lady But,somehow,this my vestal vow takes wing, Or gentleman of seventy years complete, Yet still, I trust, it may be kept throughout: Who've made “us youth” wait too, too long I'm very sorry, very much ashamed,

already And mean, next winter, to be quite reclaim'd. For an estate, or cash, or country-seat,

Still breaking, but with stamina so steady,

That all the Israelites are fit to mob its Here my chaste muse a liberty must take- Next owner for their double-damn’d postStart not! still chaster reader-she'll be

obits; nice henceForward, and there is no great cause to quake: This liberty is a poetic license,

'Tis sweet to win, no matter how,one's laurels Which some irregularity may make By blood or ink; 'tis sweet to put an end In the design, and as I have a high sense To strife; 'tis sometimes sweet to have our Of Aristotle and the Rules, 'tis fit

quarrels, To beg his pardon when I err a bit. Particularly with a tiresome friend;

Sweet is old wine in bottles, ale in barrels;

Dear is the helpless creature we defend This license is to hope the reader will Against the world; and dear the schoolboySuppose from June the sixth (the fatal day,

spot Without whose epoch my poetic skill, We ne'er forget, though there we are forgot; For want of facts, would all be thrown away), Bat keeping Julia and Don Juan still In sight, that several months have pass'd; But sweeter still than this, than these, than

all, Twas in November, but I'm not so sure Is first and passionate love-it stands alone, About the day-the era 's more obscure. Like Adam's recollection of his fall;

The tree of knowledge has been pluck’d

all's knownWe'll talk of that anon.— Tis sweet to hear And life yields nothing further to recal At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep Worthy of this ambrosial sin so shown, The song and oar of Adria’s gondolier, No doubt in fable, as the unforgiven By distance mellow'd, o'er the waters sweep; Fire which Prometheus filch'd for us from Tis sweet to see the evening-star appear;

heaven, Tis sweet to listen as the night-winds creep From leaf to leaf; 'tis sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky; Man's a strange animal, and makes strange

Of his own nature and the various arts, Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest And likes particularly to produce

bark

Some new experiment to show his parts : Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near This is the age of oddities let loose,

home;

Where different talents find their different Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

marts;

we'll say

use

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

You'd best begin with truth, and when 'Twas, as the watchmen say, a cloudy night;

you've lost your No moon, no stars, the wind was low or loud Labour, there's a sure market for imposture. By gusts, and many a sparkling hearth was

bright

With the piled wood, round which the What opposite discoveries we have seen!

family crowd ; (Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets) There's something cheerful in that sort of One makes new noses, one a guillotine,

light, One breaks your bones, one sets them in Even as a summer sky's without a cloud :

their sockets; I'm fond of fire, and crickets, and all that, But vaccination certainly has been A lobster-salad, and champagne, and chat. A kind antithesis to Congreve's rockets,

'Twas midnight - Donna Julia was in bed,

Sleeping, most probably,- when at her door Bread has been made ( indifferent) from Arose a clatter might awake the dead,

potatoes,

If they had never been awoke before-And galvanism has set some corpses grinning, And that they have been so we all have read, But has not answer'd like the apparatus

And are to be so, at the least, once more Of the Humane Society's beginning,

The door was fasten’d, but, with voice and fist, By which men are unsuffocated gratis ;- First knocks were heard, then “MadamWhat wondrous new machines have late

Madam-hist! been spinning! For God's sake, Madam-Madam - here's

my master, With more than half the city at his backWas ever heard of such a curst disaster ? 'Tis not my fault-I kept good watch

Alack !

Do, pray, undo the bolt a little fasterThis is the patent-age of new inventions They're on the stair just now, and in a crack For killing bodies, and for saving souls, Will all be here; perhaps he yet may flyAll propagated with the best intentions: Surely the window's not so very high!” Sir Humphry Davy's lantern, by which coals Are safely mined for in the mode he mentions, Tombuctoo-travels, voyages to the Poles, By this time Don Alfonso was arrived Are ways to benefit mankind, as true, With torches, friends, and servants in great Perhaps, as shooting them at Waterloo.

number; The major part of them had long been wived,

And therefore paused not to disturb the Man 's a phenomenon, one knows not what,

slumber And wonderful

beyond all wondrous of any wicked woman, who contrived measure;

By stealth her husband's temples to 'Tis pity though, in this sublime world, that

encuenber: Pleasure 's a sin, and sometimes sin 's a Examples of this kind are so contagions,

pleasure; Were one not punished, all would be Few mortals know what end they would

outrageous.

be at,

But whether glory,power,or love,or treasure,
The path is through perplexing ways, and I can't tell how, or why, or what suspicion

when

Could enter into Don Alfonso's head; The goal is gain'd, we die, you know -- and But for a cavalier of his condition

then--

It surely was exceedingly ill-bred,
Without a word of previous admonition,

To hold a levee round his lady's bed, What then ?-I do not know, no more do And summon lackeys, arm’d with fire and you

sword, And so good-night. - Return we to our story: To prove himself the thing he most abhorrd. 'Twas in November, when fine days are few, And the far mountains wax a little hoary, And clap a white cape on their mantles blue, Poor Donna Julia! starting as from sleep And the sea dashes round the promontory, (Mind -- that I do not say-she had not slept), And the loud breaker boils against the rock, Began at once to scream, and yawn, and And sober suns inust set at five o'clock.

weep;

« 上一頁繼續 »