網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

them her blessing, and solicited their prayers. She then seated herself again. Kennedy, taking from her a handkerchief edged with gold, pinned it over her eyes; the

executioners, holding her by the arms, led her to the block; 5 and the queen, kneeling down, said repeatedly, with a firm voice, “ Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

But the sobs and groans of the spectators disconcerted the headsman. He trembled, missed his aim, and inflicted

a deep wound in the lower part of the skull. The queen 10 remained motionless; and at the third stroke her head was

severed from her body. When the executioner held it up, the muscles of the face were so strongly convulsed, that the features could not be recognized. He cried as usual,

“God save queen Elizabeth.” 15 “So perish all her enemies !” subjoined the Dean of Peterborough.

“So perish all the enemies of the gospel !” exclaimed, in a still louder tone, the fanatical Earl of Kent.

Not a voice was heard to cry amen. Party feeling was absorbed in admiration and pity.

XCIV.—THE SHIPWRECK.

Wilson. [JOHN WILSON was born May 19, 1785, at Paisley, in Scotland, and died April 3, 1854. In 1812 he published a poem called the “ Isle of Palms,” which won high, though not wide, admiration, for its tenderness of feeling and beauty of sentiment. In 1816 there appeared from his pen a volume containing “ Tho City of the Plague,” a dramatic poem, and several miscellaneous pieces in verse, In 1820 he was appointed professor of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, succeeding Dr. Thomas Brown. In 1822 he published, anonymously, a volume called “ The Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life,” containing seyeral stories and sketches illustrating the traits and manners of the rural population of Scotland. A novel in the same style, called “ Margaret Lyndsay,” was published by him in 1823. But his ablest and most characteristic productions are those which he wrote from time to time for“ Blackwood's (Edinburgh) Magazine."

His intellectual powers were accompanied and enforced by the finest physical gifte. His form was cast in the noblest mould of manly beauty. He was a

keen sportsman, and excelled in all athletic exercises. In his youth and early
manhood, there was a dash of wildness and eccentricity about him, which in-
creased the interest inspired by his brilliant genius. In the collected edition
of his works, published in twelve volumes, since his death, his contributious
to“ Blackwood's Magazine” occupy ten of the volumes, under the titles of
"Noctes Ambrosianæ,” in four volumes," Essays, Critical and Imaginative,” in
four volumes, and the“ Recreations of Christopher North,” in two volumes. In
these productions the genius of Wilson appears in its full strength-rich, exu.
berant, boundless, and overflowing. Wit the most dashing and reckless, poetry
the most lavish, the most glowing eloquence, the finest descriptive power, the
most genuine pathos and tenderness, combine to throw their attractions over
his pages. His thoughts, images, and illustrations stream forth with the power
and rapidity of a mountain torrent. He is remarkable especially for descriptive
genius and critical skill. The characteristic features of Scottish scenery have
never been delineated in verse with more true poetical feeling and quick sensi.
bility than in the prose of Wilson. He is not a poet of the first class, but as a
critic of poetry he has no superior. His principles of poetical criticism are
philosophically correct; and they are applied under the guidance of the finest
appreciative faculty.
The following extract is from “ The Isle of Palms.”]

Her giant form
O'er wrathful surge, through blackening storm,
Majestically calm, would go,

Mid the deep darkness, white as snow ! 6 But gentler now the small waves glide

Like playful lambs o'er a mountain's side;
So stately her bearing, so proud her array,
The main she will traverse forever and aye.

Many ports will exult at the gleam of her mast! 10 – Hush ! hush! thou vain dreamer! this hour is her laste

Five hundred souls in one instant of dread
Are hurried o'er the deck ;
And fast the miserable ship

Becomes a lifeless wreck.
15 Her keel hath struck on a hidden rock,

Her planks are torn asunder,
And down come her masts with a reeling shock,
And a hideous crash like thunder.

Her sails are draggled in the brine, 20 That gladdened late the skies,

And her pendant that kissed the fair moonshine
Down many a fathom lies.

Her beauteous sides, whose rainbow hues
Gleamed softly from below,
And Alung a warm and sunny flush

O’er the wreaths of murmuring snow, 5 To the coral rocks are hurrying down,

To sleep amid colors as bright as their own.

Oh! many a dream was in the ship
An hour before her death;

And sights of home with sighs disturbed 10 The sleeper's long-drawn breath.

Instead of the murmur of the sea,
The sailor heard the humming tree,
Alive through all its leaves,

The hum of the spreading sycamore 15 That grows before his cottage door,

And the swallow's song in the eaves.
His arms enclosed a blooming boy,
Who listened with tears of sorrow and joy

To the dangers his father had passed ; 20 And his wife — by turns she wept and smiled,

As she looked on the father of her child
Returned to her heart at last.
- He wakes at the vessel's sudden roll,

And the rush of waters is in his soul. 25 Astounded, the reeling deck he paces,

Mid hurrying forms and ghastly faces; –
The whole ship's crew are there:
Wailings around and overhead,

Brave spirits stupefied or dead, 30 And madness and despair.

Now is the ocean’s bosom bare,
Unbroken as the floating air;
The ship hath melted quite away,

Like a struggling, dream at break of day. 35 No image meets my wandering eye,

But the new-risen sun and the sunny sky.

Though the night-shades are gone, yet a vapor dull
Bedims the waves so beautiful ;
While a low and melancholy moan
Mourns for the glory that hath flown.

XCV. - THE CONTRASTS OF ALPINE SCENERY,

BYRON.
1 ADIEU to thee, fair Rhine ! how long, delighted,
• The stranger fain would linger on his way!

Thine is a scene alike where souls united
Or lonely Contemplation thus might stray ;

And could the ceaseless vultures cease to prey
On self-condemning bosoms, it were here,

Where Nature, nor too sombre, nor too gay,
Wild, but not rude, awful, yet not austere,
Is to the mellow Earth as Autumn to the year.

2 Adieu to thee again ! a vain adieu !

There can be no farewell to scenes like thine ;
The mind is colored by thine every hue ;

And if reluctantly the eyes resign

Their cherished gaze upon thee, lovely Rhine, 'T is with the thankful glance of parting praise :

More mighty spots may rise — more glaring shine, But none unite, in one attaching maze, The brilliant, fair, and soft, — the glories of old days.

3

But these recede. Above me are the Alps,

The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,

And throned Eternity in icy halls

Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche — the thunder-bolt of snow !

All that expands the spirit, yet appals,

Gather around these summits, as to show How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.

Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake .

With the wide world I've dwelt in is a thing Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake

Earth’s troubled waters for a purer spring.

This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction: once I loved

Torn ocean's roar; but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so unovod.

5 It is the hush of night; and all between

Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear, Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,

Save darkened Jura, whose capped heights appear

Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,

Of flowers yet fresh with childhood ; on the car
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more

6 He is an evening reveller, who makes

His life an infancy, and sings his fill ;
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes

Starts into voice a moment, then is still.

There seems a floating whisper on the hill; -
But that is fancy; for the starlight dews

All silently their tears of love distil,
Weeping themselves away till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.

[ocr errors]

Ye stars ! which are the poetry of heaven,

If, in your bright leaves, we would read the fate
Of mer and empires, - 't is to be forgiven,

« 上一頁繼續 »