« PreviousContinue »
Nor spinning by the fountain-side,
green and yellow waves the corn,
St Pierre sat by, nor saw nor smiled.
leaf was turn'd in vain.
- Wouldst thou, presumptuous as thou art,
The light was on his face; and there
Now he sigh’a heavily; and now,
told me on your knea,
And true it was! And true the tale!
Nor can ye wonder. When a child,
Thy thirst for vengeance sought the snare.
Cantando lo aino! lo amo! -T Asso.
The day was named, the guests invited ;
Oh let us fly—to part no more!,
That morn ('t was in Ste Julienne's cell,
- And now the village gleams at last;
All will be well, my Jacqueline!
every cot above, below,
But what felt D'Arcy, when at length
All, all-the while-an awful distance keeping;
his little hand in hers, Who weeps to see his sister weeping.
Then Jacqueline the silence broke.
you up, but you inclined ?
young;-nor yet the other old. Oh
spurn them not-nor look so cold
He shook his aged locks of snow;
- Nor can'st thou, D'Arcy, feel resentment long;
Let each meet each as friend to friend,
shall dance to-morrow..
Had Louis' then before the gate dismounted,
generous deeds himself had done, (That night the miller's maid Colette Sung, while he supp'd, her chansonnctte) Then-when St Pierre address'd his village-train, Then had the monarch with a sigh confess'd A joy by him unsought and unpossessid, -Without it what are all the rest !-To love and to be loved again. Louis the Fourteenth. * Allading to a popular story related of Henry the Fourth of France; similar to ours of - The King and Miller of Mansfield..
The Uoyage of Columbus.
Chi se' tu, che vieni!
Yet here, in consecrated dust,
From Genoa when Columbus came,
(At once her glory and her shame) remains of it') has here and there a lyrical turn of
"T was here he caught the holy flame. thought and expression. It is sudden in its transitions,
"T was here the generous vow he made; and full of historical allusions; leaving much to be
His banners on the altar laid.imagined by the reader.
One hallow'd morn, methought, I felt The subject is a voyage the most memorable in the
As if a soul within me dwelt! annals of mankind. Columbus was a person of ex
But who arose and gave to me traordinary virtue and piety, acting under the sense of
The sacred trust I keep for thee, a divinc impulse; and his achievement the discovery of
And in his cell at even-tide a New World, the inhabitants of which were shut out
Knelt before the cross and diedfrom the light of Revelation, and given up, as they
Inquire not now. His name no more believed, to the dominion of malignant spirits.
Glimmers on the chancel-floor, Many of the incidents will not be thought extravagant;
Near the lights that ever slıine yet they were once perhaps received with something more
Before St Mary's blessed shrine. than indulgence. It was an age of miracles; and who can
To me one little hour devote, say that among the venerable legends in the library of
And lay thy staff and scrip beside thee; the Escurial, or the more authentic records which fill
Read in the temper that he wrote, the great chamber in the Archivo of Simancas, and
And may his gentle spirit guide thee! which relate entirely to the deep tragedy of America,
My leaves forsake me, one by one; there are no volumes that mention the marvellous things
The book-worm through and through has gone, here described ? Indeed the story, as already told
Oh haste--unclasp me, and unfold; throughout Europe, admits of no heightening. Such
The tale within was never told! was the religious enthusiasm of the early writers, that the Author had only to transfuse it into his verse; and he appears to have done little more; though some of the
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. circumstances which he alludes to as well known, have long ceased to be so. By using the language of that day, he has called up Columbus « in his habit as he lived;" Teere is a spirit in the old Spanish Chroniclers of the and the authorities, such as exist, are carefully given by sixteenth century that may be compared to the freslithe Translator.
ness of water at the fountain-head. Their simplicity,
their sensibility to the strange and the wonderful, their INSCRIBED ON THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT. very weaknesses give an infinite value, by giving a life UNCLASP me, Stranger; and unfold,
and a character to every thing they touch; and their
religion, which bursts out every where, addresses itself With trembling care, my leaves of gold
to the imagination in the highest degree. If they err, Rich in gothic portraiture-
their errors are not their own. They think and feel If yet, alas, a leaf endure,
after the fashion of the time; and their narratives are In RABIDA's monastic fane
so many moving pictures of the actions, manners, and I cannot ask, and ask in vain.
thoughts of their contemporaries. The language of Castile I speak; 'Mid many an Arab, many a Greek,
What they had to communicate, might well make Old in the days of Charlemain;
them eloquent; but, inasmuch as relates to Columbus, When minstrel-music wander'd round,
the Inspiration went no farther, No National Poem And Science, waking, bless'd the sound.
appeared on the subject; no Camoëns did honour to his No carthly thought has liere a place,
Genius and his Virtues. Yet the materials, that have The cowl let down on every face;
descended to us, are surely not unpoetical ; and a de
sire to avail myself of them, to convey in some instances • The Original in the Castilian language, according to the Inscrip- as far as I could, in others as far as I dared, their warnith tion that follows, was found among other NSS. in an old religions of colouring and wildness of imagery, led me to conhouse near Palos, situated on an island formed by the river Tinto, ceive the idea of a Poem written not long after his death, and dedicated to our Lady of Rabida. The Writer describes himself as baving, sailed with Columbus; but his style and mauper are evi- when the great consequences of the Discovery were bedently of an after-time.
ginning to unfold themselves, but while the minds of
men were still clinging to the superstitions of their | Him, by the Paynim bard descried of yore, (1) fathers.
And ere his coming sung on either shore, The Event here described may be thought too recent Him could not I exalt-by Heaven design'd for the Machinery; but I found them together.' A To lift the veil that cover'd half mankind! belief in the agency of Evil Spirits prevailed over both Yet, ere I die, I would fulfil my vow; hemispheres; and even yet seems almost necessary to Praise cannot wound his generous spirit now. enable us to clear up the Darkness, and, in this instance at least,
'T was night. The Moon, o'er the wide wave, disclosed
Her awful face; and Nature's self reposed;
Three white sails shone-but to no mortal eye,
Entering a boundless sea. Jn slumber cast,
Half breathed his orisons! Alone unchanged,
• Thec hath it pleasedThy will be done!, he said, (3) course by a mass of vegetation, ending as far as the Then sought his cabin; and, their capas' spread, eye can reach, and assuming the appearance of a coun Around him lay the sleeping as the dead, try overwhelmed by the sea. Alarm and despondence When, by his la...p, to that mysterious Guide, on board. He resigns himself to the care of Heaven, On whose still counsels all his hopes relied, and proceeds on his voyage; while columns of water That Oracle to man in mercy given, move along in his path before him.
Whiose voice is truth, whose wisdom is from heaven, (4) Meanwhile the deities of America assemble in coun Who over sands and seas directs the stray, cil; and one of the Zemi, the gods of the islanders, an- And, as with God's own finger, points the way, nounces his approach. - In vain,» says he, « have we le turn'd; but what strange thoughts perplex'd liis soul, guarded the Atlantic for ages. A mortal has baftled When, lo, no more attracted to the Pole, our power; nor will our votaries arm against him. The Compass, faithless as the circling vane, Yours are a sterner race. llence; and, while we have Flutter'd and fix’d, Olutter'd and fix'd again! recourse to stratagem, do you array the nations round
At length, as by some unseen hand imprest, your altars, and prepare for an exterminating war..
It sought with trembling energy the West !2 They disperse while he is yet speaking; and, in the shape
Ah no!, he cried, and calm d his anxious brow, of a condor, he directs his flight to the fleet. His journey
III, vor the signs of ill, 't is thine to show, described. He arrives there. A panic. A mutiny. Co Thine but to lead me where I wish'd to go!» lumbus restores order; continues on his voyage; and
Columbus err'd not.(5) In that awful hour, lands in a New World. Ceremonies of the first inter- Sent forth to save, and girt with God-like
power, view. Rites of hospitality. The ghost of Cazziva.
And glorious as the regent of the sun, Two months pass away, and an Angel, appearing in
An Angel came! He spoke, and it was done! a dream to Columbus, thus addresses him : * Return to
He spoke, and, at his call, a mighty Wind,(6) Europe; though your Adversaries, such is the will of Not like the fitful blast, with fury blind, Ileaven, shall let loose the hurricane against you. A But deep, majestie, in its destined course, little while shall they triumph; insinuating themselves into the hearts of your followers, and making the World, From the bright East. Tides duly ebb’d and flow'd;
Sprung with unerring, unrelenting fofce, which you came to bless, a scene of blood and slaugh- Stars rose and set; and new horizons glow'd; Yet is there cause for rejoicing. Your work is
Yet still it blew! As with primeval sway done. The cross of Christ is planted here; and, in due still did its ample spirit, night and day, time, all things shall be made perfect!,
Move on the waters ! - All, resign'd to Fate,
Some sudden change; and sought, in chill snspense,
New spheres of being, and new modes of sense;
As men departing, though not doom'd to die,
And midway on their passage to eternity.
The Voyage continued.
« Wrat vast foundations in the Abyss are there, (8) " Perhaps even a contemporary subject shvald not be rejected as sucb, however wild and extravagant it may be, if the manners be As of a former world ? Is it not where foreign and the placo distanı-major è longinquo revereotia. L'é- Atlantic kings their barbarous pomp display'd ;(9) loignement des pays,” says Racino, - répare en quelque sorte la trop Sunk into darkness with the realms they sway'd, grande proximité des temps ; car le peuple ne met guère de diffireuce entre ce qui est, si j'ose ainsi parler, á mille ans de lui, et ce
The capa is the Spanish cloak. qui eu est à mille lieues.
? Ilerrera, dec. I, lib. I, c. 9.
When towers and temples, through the closing wave, Mid pillars of Basalt, the work of fire,
That, giant-like, to upper day aspire ; And we shall rest with them.-Or are we thrown 'T was there that now, as wont in heaven to shine. (Each gazed on each, and all exclaim'd as one)
Forms of angelic mould, and grace divine, « Where things familiar cease and strange begin, Assembled. All, exiled the realms of rest, All progress barr'd to those without, within?
In vain the sadness of their souls suppress'd;
Yet of their glory many a scatter'd ray
The pilot smote his breast; the watch-man cried Each moved a God; and all, as Gods possess'd « Land!» and his voice in faltering accents died. (10) One half the globe; from pole to pole confess'd? (17) At once the fury of the prow was quell'd ;
Oh could i now-but how in mortal verseAnd (whence or wliy from many an age withleld) (1) Their numbers, their heroic deeds rehearse! Shrieks, not of men, were mingling in the blast; These in dim shrines and barbarous symbols reign, And arm'd shapes of god-like stature pass'd !
Where Plata and Maragnon meet the main. (18) Slowly along the evening-sky they went,
Those the wild hunter worships as he roves, As on the edge of some vast battlement;
in the green shade of Chili's fragrant groves; Helmet and shield, and spear and gonfalon
Or warrior-tribes with rites of blood implore, Streaming a baleful light that was not of the sun! Whose night-fires gleam along the sullen shore
Long from the stern the great Adventurer fazed Of Huron or Ontario, inland șeas, (19) With awe not fear; then high his hands he raised. What time the song of death is in the breeze! « Thou All-supreme-in goodness as in power,
"T was now in dismal pomp and order due, Who, from his birth to this eventful hour,
While the vast concave flash'd with lightnings blue, llast led thy servant(12) over land and sea,
On shining pavements of metallic ore, Confessing Thee in all, and all in Thee,
That many an age the fusing sulphur bore, Oh still»—IIe spoke, and lo, the charm accurst They held higli council. All was silence round, Fled whence it came, and the broad barrier burst! When, witli a voice most sweet yet most profound, A vain illusion! (such as mocks the cyes
A sovereign Spirit burst the gates of night, Of fearful men, whien mountains round them rise And from liis wings of gold shook drops of liquid light! From less than nothing) nothing now beheld,
Merion, commission'd with his host to sweep But scatter'd scdye-repelling, and rupeild !
From age to are the melancholy deep! And once again that valiant company
Chief of the Zemi, whom the Isles obey'd,
By Ocean sever'd from a world of shade. (20)
• Prepare, again prepare, Swift as the winds along the waters sweep,
Thus o'er the soul the thrilling accents came, 'Mid the mute nations of the purple deep.
« Thrones to resign for lakes of living flame, - And now the sound of harpy-wings they hear;
And triumph for despair. Now less and less, as vanishing in fear!
lle, on whose call afflicting thunders wait, And, see, the heavens bow down, the waters rise,
Has will'd it; and his will is fate! And, rising, shoot in columns to the skies, (14)
In vain the legions, emulous to save, That stand-and still, when they proceed, retire,
lung in the tempest o'er the troubled main;(21) As in the Desert burn'd the sacred fire;
Turn'd each presumptuous prow that broke the wave, Moving in silent majesty, till Night
And dash'd it on its shores again. Descends, and shuts the vision from their sight. All is fulld! Behold, in close array,
What mighty banners stream in the bright track of day! CANTO III.
No voice, as erst, shall in the desert rise; (22)
Nor ancient, dread solemnities
Still shall we fly, all hope of rule resign'd ?
He spoke; and all was silence, all was night! (23)
The Voyage continued. 'T was in the deep, immeasurable cave
« Au, wly look back, though all is left behind ? Of Andes, (16) echoing to the Southern wave,
No sounds of life are stirring in the wind.