Page images

Nor spinning by the fountain-side,

Now he sigh'd heavily; and now, (Some story of the days of old,

His hand withdrawing from his brow, Barbe Bleue or Chaperon Rouge half-told

He shut the volume with a frown, To him who would not be denied ;)

To walk his troubled spirit down: Not now, to while an hour away,

-When (faithful as that dog of yore! Gone to the falls in Valombrè,

Who wagg'd his tail and could no more) Where 't is night at noon of day;

Manchon, who long had snuff’d the ground, Nor vandering up and down the wood,

And sought and sought, but never found, To all but her a solitude,

Leapt up and to the casement few, Where once a wild deer, wild no more,

And look'd and bark'd and vanish'd through Her chaplet on his antlers wore,

“ 'T is Jacqueline! 'Tis Jacqueline !" And at her bidding stood.

Her little brother laughing cried.

“ I know her by her kirtle green, II.

She comes along the mountain-side ; The day was in the golden west;

Now turning by the traveller's seat, And, curtain'd close by leaf and flower,

Now resting in the hermit's cave,The doves had cooed themselves to rest

Now kneeling, where the path ways meet, In Jacqueline's deserled bower;

To the cross on the stranger's grave. The doves—that still would at her casement peck, And, by the soldier's cloak, I know And in her walks had ever flutter'd round (There, there along the ridge they go) With purple feet and shining neck,

D'Arcy, so gentle and so brave! True as the echo to the sound.

Look up-why will you not ?" he cries That casement, underneath the trees,

His rosy hands before his eyes; Half open to the western breeze,

For on that incense-breathing eve Look'd down, enchanting Garonnelle,

The sun shone out, as loth to leave. Thy wild and mulberry-shaded dell,

“See to the rugged rock she clings ! Round which the Alps of Piedmont rose,

She calls, she faints, and D'Arcy springs The blush of sunset on their shows :

D'Arcy so dear to us, to all ; While, blithe as lark on summer-morn,

Who, for you told me on your knee, When green and yellow waves the corn,

When in the fight he saw you fall, When harebells blow in every grove,

Saved you for Jacqueline and me!" And thrushes sing “I love! I love !""

And true it was! And true the tale! Within (s0 soon the early rain

When did she sue and not prevail ? Scatters, and 't is fair again;

Five years before—it was the night Though many a drop may yet be seen

That on the village-green they parted, To tell us where a cloud has been)

The lilied banners streaming bright Within lay Frederic, o'er and o'er

O’er maids and mothers broken-hearted; Building castles on the floor,

The drum-it drown'd the last adieu, And feigning, as they grew in size,

When D'Arcy from the crowd she drew. New troubles and new dangers;

“One charge I have, and one alone, With dimpled cheeks and laughing eyes,

Nor that refuse to take, As he and Fear were strangers.

My father—if not for his own,
St. Pierre sat by, nor saw nor smiled.

Oh for his daughter's sake!"
Flis eyes were on his loved Montaigne ; Inly he vow'd—“'t was all he could !"
But every leaf was turn'd in vain.

And went and seal'd it with his blood.
Then in that hour remorse he felt,

Nor can ye wonder. When a child, An his heart told him he had dealt

And in her playfulness she smiled, Unkindly with his child.

Up many a ladder-path? he guided A father may awhile refuse ;

Where meteor-like the chamois glided, But who can for another choose ?

Through many a misty grove. When her young blushes had reveal’d

They loved—but under Friendship's name The secret from herself conceald,

And Reason, Virtue fann'd the flame; Why promise what her tears denied,

Till in their houses Discord came, That she should be De Courcy's bride?

And 't was a crime to love. -Wouldst thou, presumptuous as thou art, Then what was Jacqueline to do? O'er Nature play the tyrant's part,

Her father's angry hours she knew, And with the hand compel the heart?

And when to soothe, and when persuade, Oh rather, rather hope to bind

But now her path De Courcy cross'd, The ocean-wave, the mountain-wind;

Led by his falcon through the gladeOr fix thy foot upon the ground

He turn'd, beheld, admired the maid; To stop the planet rolling round.

And all her little arts were lost! The light was on his face; and there

De Courcy, lord of Argentiere! You might have seen the passions driven- Thy poverty, thy pride, St. Pierre, Resentment, Pity, Hope, Despair

Thy thirst for vengeance sought the snare. Like clouds across the face of Heaven.

1 Argus. I Cantando "Io amo! lo amo!".-Tusso.

2 Called in the language uf the country pas de l' Echella

The day was named, the guests invited ;
The bridegroom, at the gate, alighted ;
When up the windings of the dell
A pastoral pipe was heard to swell,
And lo, an humble Piedmontese,
Whose music might a lady please,
This message through the lattice bore,
(She listen'd, and her trembling frame
Told her at once from whom it came)

Oh let us fly-to part no more!"

III. That morn ('t was in Ste Julienne's cell, As at Ste Julienne's sacred well Their dream of love began), That morn, ere many a star was set, Their hands had on the altar met Before the holy man. —And now the village gleams at last; The woods, the golden meadows pass’d, Where, when Toulouse, thy splendor shone The Troubadour would journey on Transported—or, from grove to grove, Framing some roundelay of love, Wander till the day was gone. “ All will be well, my Jacqueline! Oh tremble not-but trust in me. The good are better made by ill, As odors crush'd are sweeter still; And gloomy as thy past has been, Bright shall thy future be!" So saying, through the fragrant shade Gently along he led the maid, While Manchon round and round her play'd And, as that silent glen they leave, Where by the spring the pitchers stand, Where glow-worms light their lamps at eve, And fairies dance-in fairy-land, (When Lubin calls, and Blanche steals round, Her finger on her lip, to see; And many an acorn-cup is found Under the greenwood tree) From every cot above, below, They gather as they goSabot, and cois, and collerette, The housewife's prayer, the grandam’s blessing ! Girls that adjust their locks of jet, And look and look and linger yet, The lovely bride caressing; Babes that had learnt to lisp her name, And heroes he had led to fame.

All, all—the while—an awful distance keeping ·
Save D'Arcy, who nor speaks nor stirs;
And one, his little hand in hers,
Who weeps to see his sister weeping.

Then Jacqueline the silence broke.
She clasp'd her father's knees and spoke,
Her brother kneeling too ;
While D'Arcy as before look'd on,
Though from his manly cheek was gone
Its natural hue.
" His praises from your lips I heard,
Till my fond heart was won;
And, if in anght his Sire has err'd,
Oh turn not from the Son
She, whom in joy, in grief you nursed ;
Who climb'd and call'il you father first,
By that dear name conjures
On her you thought-but to be kind !
When look'd you up, but you inclined ?
These things, for ever in her mind,
Oh are they gone from yours?
Two kneeling at your feet behold;
One-one how young ;—nor yet the other old.
Oh spurn them not-nor look so cold-
If Jacqueline be cast away,
Her bridal be her dying day.
Well, well might she believe in you?
She listen'd, and she found it true."

He shook his aged locks of snow;
And twice he turn'd, and rose to go.
She hung; and was St. Pierre to blame,
If tears and smiles together came ?
“Oh no—begone! I'll hear no more.'
But as he spoke, his voice relenied.
“That very look thy mother wore
When she implored, and old Le Roc consented
True, I have dune as well as suffer'd wrong,
Yet once I loved him as my own!
-Nor can’st thou, D'Arcy, feel resentment long i
For she herself shall plead, and I atone.
Henceforth," he paused awhile, unmann'd,
For D'Arcy's tears bedew'd his hand;
"Let each meet each as friend to friend,
All things by all forgot, forgiven.
And that dear Saint-may she once more descend
To make our home a heaven
But now, in my hands, your's with her's unite.
A father's blessing on your heads alight!

Nor let the least be sent away. All hearts shall sing “Adieu to sorrow! St. Pierre has found his child to-day; And old and young shall dance to-morrow." Had Louis' then before the gate dismounted, Lost in the chase at set of sun; Like Henry, when he heard recounted? The generous deeds himself had done, (That night the miller's maid Colette Sung, while he supp'd, her chansonnette' Then—when St. Pierre address'd his village-traia, Then had the monarch with a sigh confess'd A joy by him unsought and unpossess'd, -Without it what are all the rest?To love and to be loved again.

I Louis the Fourteenth. 2 Alluding to a popular story related of Henry the Fourth of Fraace; sunilar to ours of “The King and Miller of Mansfield."

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

But what felt D'Arcy, when at length Her father's gate was open fung? Ah, then he found a giant's strength; For round him, as for life, she clung! And when, her fit of weeping o'er, Onward they moved a little space, And saw an old man situing at the door, Saw his wan cheek, and sunken eye That seem'd to gaze on vacancy, Then, at the sight of that beloved face, Al once to fall upon his neck she flew; But—not encouraged-back she drew, And irembling stood in dread suspense, Her tears her only eloquence!

[ocr errors]

The Voyage of Columbus.

Chi se' tu, che vieni -
Da me stesso non vegno.

I have seen the day,
That I have worn a visor, and could tell
A tale-



Yet here, in consecrated dust,

Here would I sleep, if sleep I must. The following Poem (or to speak more properly,

From Genoa when Columbus came, what remains of it') has here and there a lyrical

(At once her glory and her shame) turn of thought and expression. It is sudden in its "T was here he caught the holy flame. transitions, and full of historical allusions; leaving

'T was here the generous vow he made; much to be imagined by the reader.

His banners on the altar laid. The subject is a voyage the most memorable in the One hallow'd morn, methought, I felt annals of mankind. Columbus was a person of ex

As if a soul within me dwelt! traordinary virtue and piety, acting under the sense of

But who arose and gave to me a divine impulse; and his achievement the discovery

The sacred trust I keep for thee, of a New World, the inhabitants of which were shut

And in his cell at even-tide out from the Light of Revelation, and given up, as

Knelt before the cross and diedthey believed, to the dominion of malignant spirits.

Inquire not now. His name no more Many of the incidents will now be thought extrav

Glimmers on the chancel-floor, agant; yet they were once perhaps received with

Near the lights that ever shine something more than indulgence. It was an age of

Before St. Mary's blessed shrine. miracles; and who can say that among the venerable

To me one little hour devote, legends in the library of the Escurial, or the more

And lay thy staff and scrip beside thee; authentic records which fill the great chamber in the

Read in the temper that he wrote, Archivo of Simancas, and which relate entirely to the

And may his gentle spirit guide thee! deep tragedy of America, there are no volumes that

My leaves forsake me, one by one ; mention the marvellous things here described ? In

The book-worm through and through has gono deed the story, as already told throughout Europe,

Oh haste-unclasp me, and unfold; admits of no heightening. Such was the religious

The tale within was never told ! enthusiasm of the early writers, that the Author had only to transfuse it into his verse ; and he appears to have done little moro; though some of the circum

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. stances 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

THERE is a spirit in the old Spanish Chroniclers lived," and the authorities, such as exist, are care of the sixteenth century that may be compared to the fully given by the Translator.

freshness of water at the fountain-head. Their simplicity, their sensibility to the strange and the won

derful, their very weaknesses, give an infinite value, INSCRIBED ON THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT.

by giving a life and a character to every thing they UNCLASP me, Stranger; and unfold, touch; and their religion, which bursts out everyWith trembling care, my leaves of gold where, addresses itself to the imagination in the Rich in Gothic portraiture

highest degree. If they err, their errors are not their If yet, alas, a leaf endure,

own. They think and feel after the fashion of the In RABIDA's monastic fane,

time; and their narratives are so many moving I cannot ask, and ask in vain.

| pictures of the actions, manners, and thoughts of The language of Castile I speak;

their contemporaries. 'Mid many an Arab, many a Greek,

What they had to communicate, might well mako Old in the days of Charlemain;

them eloquent; but, inasmuch as relates to ColumWhen minstrel-music wander'd round, bus, the inspiration went no farther. No National And Science, waking, bless'd the sound. Poem appeared on the subject; no Camoëns did

No earthly thought has here a place, honor to his Genius and his Virtues. Yet the mateThe cowl let down on every face;

rials, that have descended to us, are surely not un.

poetical; and a desire to avail myself of them, to 1 The Original, in the Castilian language, according to the convey in some instances as far as I could, in others Ineeription that follows, was found among other MSS. in an old as far as I dared, their warmth of coloring and religious house near Palos, situated on an island formed by the wildness of imagery, led me to conceive the idea of river Tinto, and dedicated to our Lady of Rábida. The writer describes himself as having sailed with Columbus; but his a Poem written not long after his death, when the style and mapper are evidenty of an after-time.

great consequences of the Discovery were begining


to unfold themselves, but while the minds of men Him, by the Paynim bard descried of yore, (1 were still clinging to the superstitions of their fathers. And ere his coming sung on either shore,

The Event here described may be thought too Him could not I exalt—by Heaven design'd recent for the Machinery; but I found them together.' To lift the veil that cover'd half mankind ! A belief in the agency of Evil Spirits prevailed over Yet, ere I die, I would fulfil my vow; both hemispheres ; and even yet seems almost neces- Praise cannot wound his generous spirit now. sary to enable us to clear up the Darkness, and, in this instance at least,

'Twas night. The Moon, o'er the wide wave, dis To justify the ways of God to Men.

Her awful face; and Nature's self reposed;

When, slowly rising in the azure sky,

Three white sails shone-but to no mortal eye,

Entering a boundless sea. In slumber cast, Columbus, having wandered from kingdom to king. The very ship-boy, on the dizzy mast, dom, at length obtains three ships and sets sail on the Half breathed his orisons! Alone unchanged, Atlantic. The compass alters from its ancient direc- Calmly, beneath, the great Commander (2) ranged tion; the wind becomes constant and unremitting; Thoughtful, not sad ; and, as the planet grew, night and day he advances, till he is suddenly stop- His noble form, wrapt in his mantle blue, ped in his course by a mass of vegetation, extending Athwart the deck a deepening shadow threw. as far as the eye can reach, and assuming the ap- "Thee hath it pleased – Thy will be done!” he said, (3 pearance of a country overwhelmed by the sea. Then sought his cabin ; and, their capas' spread, Alarm and despondence on board. He resigns him- Amund him lay the sleeping as the dead, self to the care of Heaven, and proceeds on his When, by his lamp, to that mysterious Guide, voyage; while columns of water move along in his On whose still counsels all his hopes relied, path before him.

That Oracle to man in mercy given, Meanwhile the deities of America assemble in Whose voice is iruth, whose wisdom is from heaven,(4; council; and one of the Zemi, the gods of the island. Who over sands and seas directs the stray, ers, announces his approach.“ In vain,” says he,“ have And, as with God's own finger, points the way, we guarded the Atlantic for ages. A mortal has He turn'd; but what strange thoughts perplex'd his soil baffled our power; nor will our volaries arm against When, lo, no more attracted to the Pole him. Yours are a sterner race. Hence; and, while The Compass, faithless as the circling vane, we have recourse to stratagem, do you array the na- Flutter'd and fix’d, flutter'd and fix'd again! tions round your altars, and prepare for an extermi- At length, as by some unseen hand imprest, nating war.” They disperse while he is yet speaking: It sought with trembling energy the West! 2 and, in the shape of a condor, he directs his flight to Ah no,” he cried, and calm’d his anxious brow, the fleet. His journey described. He arrives there. Ill, nor the signs of ill, 't is thing to show, A panic. A mutiny. Columbus reswres order; con- Thine but to lead me where I wish'd to go!" tinues on his voyage; and lands in a New World. Columbus err'd not. (5) In that awful hour, Ceremonies of the first interview. Rites of hospitality. Sent forth to save, and girt with godlike power The ghost of Cazziva.

And glorious as the regent of the Sun, Two months pass away, and an Angel, appearing An Angel came! He spoke, and it was done! in a dream to Columbus, thus addresses him ; " Re- He spoke, and, at his call, a mighty Wind, (6) turn to Europe ; though your Adversaries, such is the Not like the fitful blast, with fury blind, will of Heaven, shall let loose the hurricane against But deep, majestic, in its destined course, you. A little while shall they triumph ; insinuating Sprung with unerring, unrelenting force, ihemselves into the hearts of your followers, and from the bright East. Tides duly ebb'd and flow'd, making the World, which you came to bless, a scene Stars rose and set; and new horizons glow'd; of blood and slaughter. Yet is there cause for re- Yet still it blew! As with primeval sway joicing. Your work is done. The cross of Christ is Still did its ample spirii, night and day, planted here; and, in due time, all things shall be Move on the waters !--All, resign'd to Fate, made perfect!'

Folded their arms and sat ;(7) and seem'd to wait

Some sudden change; and soughi, in chill suspense CANTO I.

New spheres of being, and new modes of sense,

As men departing, though not doom'd to die, Night-Columbus on the Atlantic—the Variation And midway on their passage to eternity.

of the Compass, etc.
Who the great Secret of the Deep possess'd
And, issuing through the portals of the West,

Fearless, resolved, with every sail unfurl’d
Planted his standard on the Unknown World ?

The Voyage continued.

“What vast foundations ir, the Abyss are there, (8) 1 Perhaps even a contemporary suliject should not be reject- As of a former world? Is it not where ed as such, however wild and extravagant it may be, if the Atlantic kings their barbarous pomp display'd ;(9) manners be foreign and the place distant-major e longinquo Sunk into darkness with the realms they sway'd, reverentia. "L'éloignement des pays," says Racine, "répare en quelque sorte la trop grande proxiinité des temps ; car le peuple ne met guère de différence entre ce qui est, si j'ose ainsi

1 The capn is the Spanish cloak. parier, à mile ans de lui, et ce qui en est à mille lieues."

2 Herrera, dec. 1, lib. i, c. 9.

When towers and temples, through the closing wave, 'Mid pillars of Basalt, the work of fire,
A glimmering ray of ancient splendor gave- 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;
-Soon is the doubt resolved. Arise, behold Yet of their glory many a scatter'd ray
We stop to stir no more—nor will the tale be told." Shot through the gathering shadows of decay.

The pilot smote his breast; the watchman 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 quelld;

Oh could I now—but how in mortal verseAnd (whence or why from many an age withheld)(11) Their numbers, their heroic deeds rehearse! Shrieks, not of men, were mingling in the blast; These in dim shrines and barbarous symbols reign, And armed shapes of godlike 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 biood 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 gazed

Of Huron or Ontario, inland seas, (19) With awe not fear; then high his hands he raised. What time the song of death is in the breeze! * Thou Ail-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 Hast 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"-He spoke, and lo, the charm accurst

They held high council. All was silence round, Fled whence it came, and the broad barrier burst! When, with a voice most sweet yet most profound, A vain illusion! (such as mocks the eyes

A sovereign Spirit burst the gates of night, Of fearful men, when mountains round them rise

And from his wings of gold shook drops of liquid From less than nothing) nothing now beheld,

But scatter'd sedge—repelling, and repellid! Merion, commission'd with his host to sweep
And once again that valient company

From age to age the melancholy deep!
Right onward came, plowing the Unknown Sea. Chief of the Zemi, whom the isles obey'd,
Already borne beyond the range of thought, By Ocean sever'd from a world of shade. (20)
With Light divine, with Truth immortal fraught,
From world to world their steady course they keep, (13)

1. Swift as the winds along the waters sweep,

“ Prepare, again prepare,” 'Mid the mute nations of the purple deep.

Thus o'er the soul the thrilling accents came, -And now the sound of harpy-wings they hear;

• Thrones to resign for lakes of living flame, Now less and less, as vanishing in fear!

And triumph for despair.
And, see, the heavens bow down, the waters rise, He, on whose call afflicting thunders wait,
And, rising, shoot in columns to the skies, (14) Has will'd it; and his will is fate!
That stand-and still, when they proceed, retire,

In vain the legions, emulous to save,
As in the desert burn'd the sacred fire;

Hung in the tempest o'er the troubled main; (21) Moving in silent majesty, till Night

Turn'd each presumptuous prow that broke the wave Descends, and shuts the vision from their sight.

And dash'd it on its shores again.
All is fulfillid! Behold, in close array,

What mighty banners stream in the bright track of


An Assembly of Evil Spirits.

No voice, as erst, sball in the desert rise ; (22)
Though changed my cloth of gold for amice Nor ancient, dread solemnities

With scorn of death the trembling tribes inspie In my spring-time, when every month was May, Wreaths for the Conqueror's brow the victims bind. With hawk and hound I coursed away the hour,

Yet, though we fled yon firmament of fire,
Or sung my roundelay in lady's bower.

Sull shall we fly, all hope of rule resign'd ?"
And though my world be now a narrow cell,
(Renounced for ever all I loved so well)
Though now my head be bald, my feel be bare,
And scarce niy knees sustain my book of prayer,

He spoke; and all was silence, all was night! (23 Oh I was there, one of that gallant crew,

Each had already wing'd his formidable flight.
And saw-and wonder'd whence his Power He drew,
Yet little thought, though by his side I stood,
or his great Foes in earth and air and food,

Then uninstructed.—But my sand is run,
And the Night coming-and my Task not done!

The Voyage continued "T was in the deep immeasurable cave

“Ah, why look back, though all is left behind ? Of Andes, (16) echoing to the Southern wave, No sounds of life are stirring in the wind.

« PreviousContinue »