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Or fateful hymn of those prophetic maids,
Fair cities, gallant mansions, castles old, That callid on Hertha in deep forest glades ; And forests, where beside his leafy hold Or minstrel lay, that cheer'd the baron's feast; The sullen boar hath heard the distant horn, Or rhyme of city pomp, of monk and priest, And whets his tusks against the gnarled thorn; Judge, mayor, and many a guild in long array, Palladian palace with its storied halls ; To high-church pacing on the great saint's day, Fountains, where love lies listening to their falls; And many a verse which to myself I sang, Gardens, where Aings the bridge its airy span, That woke the tear, yet stole away the pang,
And nature makes her happy home with man; Of hopes which in lamenting I renew'd.
Where many a gorgeous flower is duly fed And last, a matron now, of sober mien,
With its own rill, on its own spangled bed, Yet radiant still and with no earthly sheen, And wreathes the marble urn, or leans its head, Whom as a faëry child my childhood woo'd A mimic mourner, that with veil withdrawn E’en in my dawn of thought-Philosophy. Weeps liquid gems, the presents of the dawn, Though then unconscious of herself, pardie, Thine all delights, and every muse is thine: She bore no other name than poesy ;
And more than all, th' embrace and intertwine And, like a gift from heaven, in lifesul glee, Of all with all in gay and twinkling dance ! That had but newly left a mother's knee,
'Mid gods of Greece and warriors of romance, Prattled and play'd with bird, and flower, and stone, See ! Boccace sits, unfolding on his knees As with elfin playfellows well known,
The new-found roll of old Mæonides ;* And life reveal'd to innocence alone.
But from his mantle's fold, and near the heart,
Peers Ovid's Holy Book of Love's sweet smart It Thanks, gentle artist! now I can descry
O all-enjoying and all-blending sage, Thy fair creation with a mastering eye,
Long be it mine to con thy mazy page, And all awake! And now in fix'd gaze stand, Where, half-conceal'd, the eye of fancy views Now wander through the Eden of thy hand; Fauns, nymphs, and winged saints, all gracious to Praise the green arches, on the fountain clear
thy muse! See fragment shadows of the crossing deer, And with that serviceable nymph I stoop,
Still in thy garden let me watch their pranks,
And see in Dian's vest between the ranks
Of the trim vines, some maid that half believes
The vestal fires, of which her lover grieves, Sit on the ground-sward, and the banquet share. 'Tis I, that sweep that lute's love-echoing strings, With that sly satyr peering through the leaves ! And gaze upon the maid, who gazing sings:
* Boccaccio claimed for himself the glory of having first Or pause and listen to the tinkling bells
introduced the works of Homer to his country. From the high tower, and think that there she
+ I know few more striking or more interesting proofs dwells.
of the overwhelming influence which the study of the With old Boccaccio's soul I stand possest,
Greek and Roman classics exercised on the judgments, And breathe an air like life, that swells my chest.
feelings, and imaginations of the literati of Europe at the commencement of the restoration of literature, than the
passage in the Filocopo of Boccaccio: where the sage in. The brightness of the world, O thou once free,
strucier, Racheo, as soon as the young prince and the And always fair, rare land of courtesy !
beautiful girl, Biancafiore had learned their letters, sets 0, Florence! with the Tuscan fields and hills! them to study the Holy Book, Ovid's Art of Love. “In. And famous Arno fed with all their rills ;
comincid Racheo a mellere il suo officio in essecuzione Thou brightest star of star-bright Italy !
con intera sollecitudine. E loro, in breve tempo, inseg.
nato a conoscer le lettere, fece legere il santo libro d'Or. Rich, ornate, populous, all treasures thine,
vidio, nel quale il sommo poeta mostra, come i santi The golden corn, the olive, and the vine.
fuochi di Venere si debbano ne freddi cuori occendere."
JAMES MONTGOMERY was born in Irvine, Ayr- | by the upright and unimpeachable tenor of his life shire, in 1771. His parents belonged to the church even more than by his writings—the persuasive of the United Brethren, commonly called Mora- and convincing advocate of religion. In his pervians,-a sect by no means numerous in England, sonal appearance, Montgomery is rather below than and still more limited in Scotland. Having pre- above the middle stature: his countenance is viously sojourned for a short time at a village in the peculiarly bland and tranquil; and but for the Irish county of Antrim, they placed the future poet occasional sparklings of a clear gray eye, it could at the school of their society at Fulnick, near Leeds, scarcely be described as expressive. and embarked for the West Indies as missionaries Very early in life, Montgomery published i among the negro slaves. They were the victims of volume of poems. They were not, it would appeis, their zeal and humanity; the husband died in Bar- favourably received by the public; and he writes, badoes, and the wife in Tobago.
the disappointment of his premature poetical hopes After remaining two years at Fulnick, and, like brought with it a blight which his mind has pere other men of genius, disappointing the expectations recovered. “For many years," he adds, “I was of his friends as a student," from very indolence,” as mute as a moulting bird ; and when the power he was placed by them in a retail shop at Mirfield of song returned, it was without the energy, selfnear Wakefield. This ungenial employment he confidence, and freedom which happier minstrels considered himself-not being under indentures, among my contemporaries have manifested." The at liberty to relinquish at the end of two years, Wanderer of Switzerland was published in 1806; with a view to try his fortune in the great world. the West Indies, in 1810; the World before the After spending other two years at a village near Flood, in 1813; Greenland in 1819; the Pelican Rotherham, and a few months with a bookseller in Island, in 1827: he has since contented himself London, he engaged as an assistant with Mr. with the production of occasional verses. Joseph Gales of Sheffield, who, published a news- Those who can distinguish the fine gold from the paper ;--to the management of which, in 1794, he “ sounding brass” of poetry, must place the narke succeeded. This, though conducted with compara- of James Montgomery high in the list of British tive moderation, exposed him to much enmity-prets; and those who consider that the chiefest rather inherited from his predecessor than actually duty of such is to promote the cause of religion, incurred by himself. The liberty of the press in virtue, and humanity, must acknowledge in him those days was, like faith," the substance of things one of their most zealous and efficient advocates, hoped for ;” a sentence of condemnation, or even a He does not, indeed, often aim at bolder flights of word of reproach, against men in “high places,” imagination ; but if he seldom rises above, he never was punished as libellous. Montgomery did not sinks beneath, the object of which he desires the indeed share the fate of some of his stern sectarian attainment. If he rarely startles us, he still more forefathers; but in lieu of maiming and pillory, rarely leaves us dissatisfied; he does not attempt he had to endure fine and imprisonment. Within that to which his powers are unequal, and thereeighteen months, and when he had scarcely arrived | fore is at all times successful. To the general at manhood, his exertions in the cause of rational reader, it will seem as if the early bias of his mind freedom had twice consigned him to a jail. During and his first associations had tinged—we may not the thirty years that followed, however, he was say tainted—the source from whence he drew his permitted to publish his opinions, without being inspirations, and that his poems are « sicklied o'er" the object of open persecutions. Wearied out, at with peculiar impressions and opinions which fail length, he relinquished his newspaper, in 1825. to excite the sympathy of the great mass of marRecently one of the government grants to British kind. We should, however, recollect, that, although worthies has been conferred upon him; and-it he has chiefly addressed himself to those who think must be recorded to his honour-by Sir Robert Peel. with him, his popularity is by no means confined The poet continues to resida in Sheffield,
-to them; but that those who read poetry for the esteemed, admired, and beloved : a man of purer delight it affords them, and without any reference mind, or more unsuspected integrity, never existed. to his leading design, acknowledge his merit, and He is an honour to the profession of letters; and contribute to his fame.
THE WANDERER OF SWITZER
IN SIX PARTS.
ADVERTISEMENT. The historical facts alluded to in The Wanderer of Switzerland may be found in the supplement to Coxe's Travels, in Planta's History of the Helvetic Confederacy, and in Zschokke's Invasion of Switzerland by the French, in 1798, translated by Dr. Aikin.
SHEPHERD. “Welcome, wanderer as thou art,
All my blessings to partake ; Yet thrice welcome to my heart,
For thine injured country's sake. « On the western hills afar
Evening lingers with delight, While she views her favourite star
Brightening on the brow of night. “ Here, though lowly be my lot,
Enter freely, freely share All the comforts of my cot,
Humble shelter, homely fare. “ Spouse, I bring a suffering guest,
With his family of grief ;
Weary pilgrims! welcome here; Welcome, family of grief,
Welcome to my warmest cheer.”
A Wanderer of Switzerland and his family, consisting of
his wise, his daughter, and her young children, emigrating from their country, in consequence of its subjugation by the French, in 1798, arrive at the cottage of a shepherd, beyond the frontiers, where they are hospitably entertained.
Weary wanderer, old and gray;
In the sunset of thy day ?”
“When in prayer the broken heart
Asks a blessing from above, Heaven shall take the wanderer's part,
Heaven reward the stranger's love."
« In the sunset of my day,
Stranger! have lost my home: Weary, wandering, old, and gray
Therefore, therefore do I roam. “ Here mine arms a wife enfold,
Fainting in their weak embrace ; There my daughter's charms behold,
Withering in that widow'd face. “ These her infants, their sire,
Worthy of the race of Tell, In the battle's fiercest fire,
In his country's battle fell!"
SHEPHERD. “Haste, recruit the failing fire,
High the winter-fagots raise ; See the crackling flames aspire ;
O how cheerfully they blaze ! “Mourners, now forget your cares,
And, till supper-board be crown'a, Closely draw your fireside chairs;
Form the dear domestic round,”
SHEPHERD, “ Switzerland, then, gave thee birth ?”
WANDERER. “ Ay—'twas Switzerland of yore; But, degraded spot of earth,
Thou art Switzerland no more: “O’er thy mountains sunk in blood,
Are the waves of ruin hurl'd; Like the waters of the flood Rolling round a buried world.”
SHEPHERD. 6 Yet will time the deluge stop ;
Then may Switzerland be blest; On St. Gothard's* hoary top
Shall the ark of Freedom rest.”
WANDERER, “ Host, thy smiling daughters bring,
Bring those rosy lads of thine; Let them mingle in the ring With these poor lost babes of mine."
SHEPHERD. “ Join the ring, my girls and boys;
This enchanting circle, this Binds the social loves and joys:
'Tis the fairy ring of bliss !"
In the fairy ring of bliss,
I had once a home like this ! “ Bountiful my former lot
As my native country's rills; The foundations of my cot
Were her everlasting hills. • But those streams no longer pour
Rich abundance round my lands; And my father's cot no more
On my father's mountain stands.
On the day that made us slaves, Freedom's ark, by tempest tost,
Founder'd in the swallowing waves.”
* St. Gothard is the name of the highest mountain in the canton of Uri, the birthplace of Swiss independence.
“ By a hundred winters piled,
When the glaciers,* dark with death,
Hang-suspended by a breath:
Headlong down the steeps they fall ;
Bounding, bursting, burying all.
When the chaos breaks on high,
All that hear it coming, die:-
O’er the wretched land of Tell,
Thus the Gallic glacier fell !”
Wipe those unavailing tears.
“Stranger-friend, the tears that flow
Down the channels of this cheek,
Which no human tongue can speak. “ Not the pangs of hope deferr'd'
My tormented bosom tear:
Scowls the spectre of despair.
Height o'er height stupendous hurl'd;
Like the ramparts of the world: “Born in freedom's eagle nest,
Rock'd by whirlwinds in their rage,
Lived my sires from age to age.
Where the forest fronts the morn;
O’er a sea of mountains borne ;
Peep'd upon my father's farm :-
Rich in every rural charm!
Glid along, yet seem'd at rest;
On the waking mother's breast.
In its horrible career,
All this aching heart held dear.
Fell the Gallic thunder-stroke;
All submitted to the yoke.
Drew his sword on Brunnen's plain ;*
Reding drew his sword in vain.
Where their awful bones repose,
Thrice o’erthrew his country's foes.
Fighting on their father's graves !
Treason made the victors slaves !
“Nay-I must, I will complain ;
'Tis the privilege of years:
Thus her anguish to impart:
See the plenteous table crown'd;
Beams a rosy welcome round.
Wholesome herbs, nutritious roots,
Cheering wine and ripen'd fruits :
My paternal fields afford :-
Holy pilgrim! bless the board,”
After supper, the Wanderer, at the desire of his host,
relates the sorrows and sufferings of his country during the invasion and conquest of it by the French, in connexion with his own story.
* Brunnen, at the foot of the mountains, on the borders “ WANDERER! bow'd with griefs and years,
of the Lake of Uri, where the first Swiss patriots, Walter
Furst of Uri, Werner Stauffacher of Schwitz, and Arnold Wanderer, with the cheek so pale,
of Melchtal in Underwalden, conspired against the ty. O give language to those tears !
ranny of Austria in 1307, again in 1798, became the seat Tell their melancholy tale.”
of the diet of these three forest cantons.
† On the plains of Morgarthen, where the Swiss gained
their first decisive victory over the force of Austria, and * More properly the avalanches; immense accumula- thereby secured the independence of their country ; Aloys lions of ice and snow, balanced on the verge of the moun. Reding, at the head of the troops of the little cantons, Uri, tains in such gubile suspense, that, in the opinion of the Schwilz, and Underwalden, repeateilly repulsed the natives, the tread of the traveller may bring them down invading army of France. in destruction upon him. The glaciers are more perma- # By the resistance of these small cantons, the French nent masses of ice, and formed rather in the valleys than General Schawenbourg was compelled to respect their on the summits of the Alps.
independence, and gave them a solemn pledge to that
“ Thus my country's life retired,
“Quickly from our hastening foes,
Albert's active care removed,
Far amidst th' eternal snows,
Those who loved us,-those beloved.*
“ Then our cottage we forsook ;
Yet as down the steeps we passid,
Many an agonizing look
Homeward o'er the hills we cast.
“Now we reach'd the nether glen,
Where in arms our brethren lay;
Thrice five hundred fearless men,
Men of adamant were they!
“Nature's bulwarks, built by time, With one heart and voice they rose;
'Gainst eternity to stand,
Mountains, terribly sublime,
Girt the camp on either hand.
“ Dim behind, the valley brake
Into rocks that fled from view;
Fair in front the gleaming lake
Roll'd its waters bright and blue.
“ Midst the hamlets of the dale,
Stantz,t with simple grandeur crown'd,
Seem'd the mother of the vale,
With her children scatter'd round.
“ Midst the ruins of the dale
Now she bows her hoary head,
Like the widow of the vale
Weeping o'er her children dead.
“ Happier then had been her fate,
Ere she fell by such a fne,
Had an earthquake sunk her state,
Or ihe lightning laid her low !"
“ By the lightning's deadly flash
Would her foes had been consumed !
Or amidst the earthquake's crash
Suddenly, alive, entomb’d!
“ Why did justice not prevail ?”.
“ Ah! it was not thus to be !"
“ Man of grief! pursue thy tale
PART III. The inhabitants of the lower valley of Underwalden alone resisted the French message, which required sub- | The Wanderer continues his narrative, and describes the mission to the new constitution, and the immediate sur.
battle and massacre of Underwalden. render, alive or dead, of nine of their leaders. When the
WANDERER. demand, accompanied by a menace of destruction, was read in the assembly of the district, all the men of the « FROM the valley we descried, valley, fifteen hundred in number, look up arms, and As the Gauls approach'd our shores, devoted themselves to perish in the ruins of their country.
Keels that darken'd all the tide, 7 At the ballle of Sempach, the Austrians presented so impenetrable a front with their projected spears, that the
Tempesting the lake with oars. Swiss were repeatedly compelled to retire from the allack, till a native of Underwalden,named Arnold de Winkelried, * Many of the Underwalders, on the approach of the commending his family to his countrymen, sprung upon French army, removed their families and cattle among the enemy, and burying as many of their spears as he the higher Alps; and themselves returned to join their could grasp in his body, made a breach in their line; the brethren, who had encamped in their native valley, on the Swiss rushed in, and routed the Austrians with a terrible borders of the lake, and awaited the attack of the enemy. slaughter.
+ The capital of Underwalden.