« AnteriorContinuar »
And’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
16 In Xanadu.”—I think I recollect a variation of this stanza, as follows:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-house ordain,
Down to sunless main.
The nice-eared poet probably thought there were too many ns in these rhymes; and man and main are certainly not the best neighbors : yet there is such an open, sounding, and stately intonation in the words pleasure-house ordain, and it is so superior to pleasure-dome decree, that I am not sure I would not give up the correctness of the other terminations to retain it.
But what a grand flood is this, flowing down through measureless caverns to a sea without a sun! I know no other sea equal to it, except Keats’s, in his Ode to a Nightingale; and none can
2 « Ancestral voices prophesying war.”_Was ever anything more wild, and remote, and majestic, than this fiction of the “ances. tral voices ?” Methinks I hear them, out of the blackness of
YOUTH AND AGE.
Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying,
When I was young!
When I was young ? Ah, woful when!
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like :
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old ? Ah, woful ere!
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
This is one of the most perfect poems, for style, feeling, and everything, that ever were written.
THE HEAT HEN DIVINITIES MERGED INTO ASTROLOGY.
FROM THE TRANSLATION OF SCHILLER'S PICCOLOMINI.
-Fable is Love's world, his home, his birthplace:
WORK WITHOUT HOPE.
LINES COMPOSED 21ST FEBRUARY, 1827.
All Nature seems at work. Stags leave their lair
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing-
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
I insert this poem on account of the exquisite imaginative picture in the third and fourth lines, and the terseness and melody of the whole. Here we have a specimen of a perfect style, – unsuperfluous, straightforward, suggestive, impulsive, and se
But how the writer of such verses could talk of " work without hope,” I cannot say. What work had he better to do than to write more ? and what hope but to write more still, and delight himself and the world ? But the truth is, his mind was too active and self-involved to need the diversion of work; and his body, the case that contained it, too sluggish with sedentary living to like it; and so he persuaded himself that if his writings did not sell, they were of no use. Are we to disrespect these self-delusions in such a man? No; but to draw from them salutary cautions for ourselves,-his inferiors.
BORN, 1792,—DIED, 1822.
AMONG the many reasons which his friends had to deplore the premature death of this splendid poet and noble-hearted man, the greatest was his not being able to repeat, to a more attentive public, his own protest, not only against some of his earlier effusions (which he did in the newspapers), but against all which he had written in a wailing and angry, instead of an invariably calm, loving, and therefore thoroughly helping spirit. His works, in justice to himself, require either to be winnowed from what he disliked, or to be read with the remembrance of that dislike. He had sensibility almost unique, seemingly fitter for a planet of a different sort, or in more final condition, than ours : he has said of himself,—so delicate was his organization,—that he could
"Hardly bear The weight of the superincumbent hour ;" and the impatience which he vented for some years against that rough working towards good, called evil, and which he carried out into conduct too hasty, subjected one of the most naturally. pious of men to charges which hurt his name, and thwarted his philanthropy. Had he lived, he would have done away all mistake on these points, and made everybody know him for what he was,-a man idolized by his friends,-studious, tempe. rate, of the gentlest life and conversation, and willing to have died to do the world a service. For my part, I never can mention his name without a transport of love and gratitude. I rejoice to have partaken of his cares, and to be both suffering and benefiting from him at this moment; and whenever I think of a future state, and of the great and good Spirit that must