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And if Thy will, O Lord, we pray,
Let peace and joy be ours,
Still reign amid our bowers.
'Mid gloom a cheering sun,
Thy will, not mine, be done.
Firm there my post shall be,
Or harp of poesy.
Or Thine in soft repose,
Which toil nor battle knows. — Amen.'
This, we need not say, is the highest development of Religion-Thy will be done.' Thus, from step to step, we have traced the progress of his mind,- first grasping, then contending, now suffering, and, at length, the heart tranquillized.
And now let us cast our eye upon him actively engaged in service. In 1813 he bought a sword, and was the very first of the volunteers, when all were eager to answer the King's call. From his station and age (thirty-six), he was chosen to command a company. "On a fine February morning he left his home, blessed by his wife, and held back by his weeping little daughter.' On May 2 came the Lutzen battle, and immediately after the Prussian retreat into Bohemia. In the battle Fouqué lost his horse, and was nearly drowned, receiving a shock which his constitution never entirely recovered. During this campaign he played a part, strange to our phlegmatic English minds, yet doubtless not a little serviceable to the more musical and excitable Continental. He became the Tyrtæus of the forces, and was so famous for his stirring poetry, that General Gneissenau introduced him under this character to Blucher. This notion of the warrior poet he has carried out in one of his most beautiful romances, Minstrel Love, to which we have before alluded, as illustrating his life. He depicts a young minstrel fighting as gallantly as the best, and at the same time cheering the whole army by well-timed and spirited lays. We have already said that each one of Fouqué's writings seems to mirror the poet's heart. This is the true description of them. They are not allegories, but counterparts of ideas and deep emotions of his heart, which approach or draw away from the allegorical, in proportion as these emotions and ideas are more directly, or indirectly, portrayed. But our present object is not so much to dwell upon the works themselves, as on the condition of mind which this harmonious union of theory and action shows us in the author. We see the poetical element in action. He is not the puling, sentimental, half-witted, nervous being with which so many, not unjustly, associate the name of Poet; but a bold, manly knight, turning his gift of poetry, like other of God's gifts, to its best account. And does not this of itself show that the element which gave birth to poetry in his mind must have been far other than that which inspires poets in general, of a far deeper, wholesomer, and more religious cast? Poetry lacks reality, says the world. Look at poets; they use fine words, talk much, and do little. And then instance after instance is readily adduced - Goldsmith, Dryden, Thomson, Coleridge, in some measure, and many others, whose poetry teems with fine sentiments, ennobling and true, and whose lives show indolence, if nothing worse. And surely here the world is not altogether wrong. It judges on a right principle, though haply one carried to an illogical point. Now we conceive the answer would be, to admit, in a great degree, the truth of the assertion; nay, even to admit that the want of reality in the poet's life cannot but mar, and ought to mar, the effect of his words; but to deny that the poetry of these men is the result of a high element, a principle actively working in their breast; in fact, to deny that it is fair to judge of poetry by such as these. And then we would point to men like Fouqué, Herbert, or one who will occur to most of our readers, as men whose poetry, being based on high and holy principles, shows in action just as well as words. Fouqué's poetry, inasmuch as it is of hand as well as heart, is manifestly the result of such as this. And, further, its origin in the consciousness of the invisible world is shown by his words and deeds, in contempt of danger, and soul-stirring words to others, in comforting words to himself. This is remarkably exemplified in his prayer, after the disastrous battle of Dresden, when, as he says, he even longed for death.
• O Lord, Thy holy will be done !
Alas, it may not be
Its workings here should see.
My stricken lead I rear ;
Faith here is eyesight there!' • Prayer,' he continues, "availed; submission began to heal torn soul.' Or, again, the same feeling strikes us when we read
that he consoled himself during the reverses of the campaign, by writing at all spare moments a poem called “Corona,' suggested by a vision which haunted him of a woman, half Oriental, • half European, whose face was at once attractive and repul
sive, sharp and gentle, like some of the portraits of the early • Italian school,' in which he gave a poetical account of the chief events of the war. We feel here again the practical use of the poetical faculty, how the expression of it eases the mind.
But fortune was not to be for ever against Prussia. The energy of the country, though for a time subdued, could not be long kept down, and they were not slow to take advantage of the weakness of the French. The victory of Kulm first cheered them, where the Prussians, after a desperate struggle, remained masters of the field. Then came the battles of Grossbeeren, Katsbach, and Dennewitz, and, with the interval of a few weeks, the decisive battle of Leipzig. But, before this, poor Fouqué had become thoroughly crippled. The effects of his sudden chill at Lutzen now seized on him with renewed force. Most violent cramps in the chest were continually bringing him to the verge of death. And here again, in the midst of his agony, we find him patient and self-controlling. It is no small pain, under any circumstances, to see others actively engaged in some work congenial to ourselves, and be hindered from joining them. Still more when, as in Fouqué's case, the work was to end a campaign gloriously, to recover back lost laurels from a foe so deservedly hateful as the French. Let the reader, then, judge from the following lines how far our view of his character has been founded on fact:
* Far from my dear ones shall my life depart,
Here on a foreign strand ;
I offer you, my king and fatherland.
This failing arm hath wrought;
For you one lay have sought.
Over the Poet's head,
Is numbered with the dead.
Else would my swelling breast
Which fain would be suppressed.
Haply while yet the Poet's grave is new,
An oaken twig shall spring
My fatherland and king.'
After a short recruiting at head-quarters, he returned and joined his regiment the day before the great battle. “The
General looked on my pale face, and said, “You are come too 'soon ; you must speedily sink under the fatigue; but I under'stand your feelings, and welcome.” Soon the command, “For'ward," was given. Cannonading began. We heard the French • word of command directed against our left wing. “Here goes!"
nodded one stern face to another. When suddenly we saw the • King slowly drawing near. A joyful hurrah was on our lips,
but he stopped us. Was it that the enemy might not know 'the position of his cavalry reserve? The officer went out of the ranks to receive the King's commands. With glowing and • beaming face he answered, “I congratulate you on a battle 'won.” What more was to be said ? Germany was now free to
the Rhine. In much subsequent darkness and sorrow of my ' earthly pilgrimage this ray of light has refreshed me, and • lightened my load, and stayed a murmuring thought. He who • has been permitted to rejoice in such a light, should not he
willingly hereafter take up that which is decreed him, to suffer ' in whatever troubled hours he may be?' Then followed the pursuit, and solemn enough it must have been, a ride for many miles among the dead and dying. His illness, however, increased upon him. At length he could not mount into the saddle without support, and one more bivouac would, said the army doctor, have surely brought him to the grave. In the midst of his illness, he was appointed Rittmeister to his regiment, almost, as he says, a mockery, for the Rittmeister could not ride. At length the French passed the Rhine, the pursuit was ended, and Fouqué returned to rest in Weimar, where Goëthe was
shining the central sun to many stars.' He was now so miserably weakened, that it seemed almost impossible that he could recover: yet, shattered and broken as he was, he enjoyed, he says, these hours at Weimar, which seemed his last, like a soft evening light. The King sent him the Order of S. John 'for the high love he had manifested towards his king and fatherland, and added the rank of Major of Cavalry. It seemed as if the • struggles of this earthly life were at length closed in one blissful harmony.
And here we may be permitted to set before the reader one or two passages from Minstrel Love, the produce of this gentle autumnal light at Weimar :
• It has been often said, that a slow wasting disease of the body must press heavily upon the soul, which sees its departure from the friendly world approach step by step, and counts, as it were, the leaves of bloom which drop one after the other. Where, however, no distorting pains interfere, and where the departing one does not love too much that which is called life, nor hate too much that which is called death, it may not be so bad as is imagined. If we drink the last flask of a noble wine with a pleasure which we knew not before, why not also these last drops of the earthly being? In thus quietly gliding downwards we meet with few of the cares and shocks of this lower world; we have little more to do than to pluck its flowers : a foretaste of the disembodied state is breathing round us; those who love us have more thought and more affection for the departing one ; and those who do not love us, we more lightly and easily pardon, regardful of the Scripture, 'forgive, as we would be forgiven,' mindful of the short time which we have to pilgrimage together; and where a tear flows from the eye, it flows almost visibly, as pearl-seed into the life of Paradise. Whoever has experienced this gentle suffering will not deny us his assent. At all events, it was truly so with Arnald, as slowly, slowly, he marched towards the grave ....
"" I believe," said George, “none pass into sleep so softly and gently as the poet." Amen,” said Arnald, in a subdued tone, and folded his hands ; while his friend, without observing it, continued thus, with increasing animation :-“The poet's life, as far as I can see, who myself am none,—the poet's life has long before freed itself from the fetters of the body, winged with native aspiration, and volatilized in its exalted moments into pure sunlight and rainbow brightness ; so that, without any effort, he flings off the heavy covering of earth, and floats up into the kingdom which belongs to him from the right imparted to his soul by Heaven.” Arnald shook his head in smiling denial. “If you wise people are right, who call the poet merely an inventor of pleasant tales, with which reality has seldom anything to do, then you yourself have become one in this moment. It is not so sweet and soft as you imagine. The old mother, commonly called Nature, grasps after the poet with a thousand arms; as she loves him dearly, so he in return loves her with equal warmth; and when seriously he thinks of thus parting from her, he is weak and melancholy, and she not less so. Though, in the other world, she may bloom more beautifully and unchangeably, he is yet rooted to this earth, as the earth is to each flower. Oft, indeed, he behaves as an impatient child, when a mother denies his wish, and obstiDately cries, ‘I will leave this house altogether.' But only let the mother seriously turn away, and exclaim, ‘Go; I ask no more of you,' and the obstinate heart melts. And however boldly we may bear up, she has but to take us again in her arms, and we nestle, weeping, to her breast, now doubly dear. But the voice of the Lord, -praised for it be His name to all eternity,—the voice of the Lord wakes in us, and with songs we ride out to many a glorious field, with songs we pass into eternity: or, at last, by our own hearth, we feel that our daily work is done, and lay us down with smiles to sleep : yet even then still holds