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And chequered as
To and fro with the heavy branches sway
And fancy to myself that a sad voice,
Praying, comes moaning thro' the leaves, as 'twere
We may select the following, too, from a little fragment called "Portraits."
"Behind her followed an Athenian dame,
(The pale and elegant Aspasia)
Like some fair marble carved by Phidias' hand,
Then came a dark-brow'd spirit, on whose head
Short was the strain, but sweet: Methought it spoke
Caught well remember'd names, 'Leucadia's rock'
At last, came one whom none could e'er mistake
O, Cleopatra ! who shall speak of thee?
She moved, and light as a wood nymph in her prime,
Flash'd love and languishment: Of varying humours
As guile were to her passions ministrant.
At last she sank as dead. A noxious worm
Fed on those blue and wandering veins that lac'd
The pillow of Antony, and left behind,
In dark requital for its banquet-death."
The last poem, called "Diego de Montilla," is, like Gyges, an imitation of Don Juan, and is liable to the same remarks. It is the longest piece, we think, in the collection; extending to some eighty or ninety stanzas; and though it makes no great figure in the way of sarcasm, or lofty and energetic sentiment, it comes nearer, perhaps, than its immediate prototype, to the weaker and more innocent pleasantry of the Italian ottava rima-and may fairly match with either, as to the better qualities of elegance, delicacy, and tenderness. There is, as usual, not much of a story. Don Diego falls in love with a scornful lady, and pines on her re
jection of him; on which her younger sister falls secretly in love with him-and when he sets out on his travels to forget his passion, droops and fades in his absence, and at last dies of a soft and melancholy decline. Diego returns to mourn over her: and, touched to the heart by her pure and devoted love, sequesters himself in his paternal castle, and lives a few calm and pensive years in retirement, when he dies before middle age, for the sake of his faithful victim. There is no profligacy and no horror in all this; no mockery of virtue and honour, and no strong mixtures of buffoonery and grandeur. Most certainly there is not any thing like the power, used or misused, that we have felt in other poems in the same measure; but there is nevertheless a great deal of beauty, and a great deal of poetry and pathos.
["O, melancholy Love! amidst thy fears,
Thy darkness, thy despair, there runs a vein
The lov'd one will discover-and in vain,
And robs her bright eyes of their natural rays.
While the dark arrow canker'd at thy heart?
Yet jeer her not: if 'twere a folly, she
When rich clouds in the golden sunset lay
C. Twas like, a bard would say, the morning's blush
The girl was dying. Youth and beauty—all
The maiden to his home. At last, arraying
"He saw her where she lay in silent state,
Cold and as white as marble; and her eye,
Closed up for ever; e'en the smiles which late
And gazed awhile upon her: then he bent
And 'gainst the margin of the coffin leant,
Or sound was heard. He was alone with Death.
And spoke in soothing sorrow of the dead,
And mourn'd that one so gracious should have fled
And, cheering, said she should be 'soon forgot.'
The feeble scrawl into his hand, and told
How when she found that medicine could not save
(I think the phrase was when her hand was cold,') That they should give that letter to the Lord
Diego, her first love; or some such word.
At last, a gentle melancholy grew,
And touch'd like sorrow at its second stage,
But for the fiery passion which alone
Had stamp'd his youth with folly,-it was gone.]
And scarcely quitted his ancestral home,
"He grew familiar with the bird; the brute
And, like the Thracian Shepherd, as we read,
None were admitted would he muse, when first
Cradled within a forest's bosom, he
Would, shunning kind reproaches, steal away,
The swallow dash'd beside him, and the deer
The moon ran searching through the woodbine bowers,
We have quoted more of this than we intended, and must how turn us to our sterner work again. We hope, however, that this is not to be our last meeting with Mr. Cornwall. We are glad to see a new edition of his Dramatic Scenes advertised. We ought to have noticed that pleasing little volume before, and should have made a few extracts from it here, if we had not mislaid our copy. As it is, we can safely recommend it to all who are pleased with what has now been extracted,
[Mr. Cornwall, in a dedicatory sonnet to a lady, young and beautiful, almost insinuates that these lays may be his last. He has done nothing-and he
has done much,-nothing that he may not easily excel, much that not many will easily equal. We must not, therefore, hear him speaking seriously of giving over before he has fairly begun-every body seems to think kindly and hopefully of him-he has smoothed the raven face of periodical criticism till it has smiledhe has done more than that, he has acquired the friendship of all true lovers of poetry. We must not be unreasonable-let him write when, what, and how he chooses-but he must remember, that as the gift of inspiration has been won, so can it be retained and strengthened only by constant, devout, and severe worship.] Blackwood's Ed. Mag. March.
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