Слике страница
[blocks in formation]

Such was th' effect of twilight's hour

On the fair groups that, round and round, From glade to grot, from bank to bow'r,

Now wander'd through this fairy ground; And thus did Fancy-and champagne

Work on the sight their dazzling spells, Till nymphs that look'd, at noonday, plain,

Now brighten'd, in the gloom, to belles ; And the brief interval of time,

"Twixt after dinner and before, To dowagers brought back their prime,

And shed a halo round two-score.

A reward by some king was once offer'd, we're told,

To whoe'er could invent a new bliss for mankind; But talk of new pleasures !--give me but the old, And I'll leave your inventors all new ones they

find. Or should I, in quest of fresh realms of bliss,

Set sail in the pinnace of Fancy some day, Let the rich rosy sea I embark on be this,

And such eyes as we've here be the stars of my

Meanwhile, new pastimes for the eye,

The ear, the fancy, quick succeed ; And now along the waters fly

Light gondoles, of Venetian breed, With knights and dames, who, calm reclined,

Lisp out love-sonnets as they glideAstonishing old Thames to find

Such doings on his mortal tide.


In the mean time, a bumper—your Angels, on high, May have pleasures unknown to life's limited

span; But, as we are not Angels, why—let the flask fly

We must only be happy all ways that we can.

So bright was still that tranquil river,
With the last shaft from Daylight's quiver,
That many a group, in turn, were seen
Embarking on its wave serene ;
And, 'mong the rest, in chorus gay,

A band of mariners, from th' isles

Of sunny Greece, all song and smiles, As smooth they floated, to the play Of their oar's cadence, sung this lay:


Now nearly fled was sunsets light,

Leaving but so much of its beam As gavo to objects, late so bright,

The coloring of a shadowy dream ; And there was still whero Day had set

A flush that spoke him loath to die
A last link of his glory yet,

Binding together earth and sky.
Say, why is it that twilight best
Becomes even brows the loveliest ?
That dimness, with its soft'ning touch,

Can bring out grace, unfelt before,
And charms we ne'er can see too much,

When seen but half enchant the more ?
Alas, it is that every joy
In fulness finds its worst alloy,
And half a bliss, but hoped or guess'd,
Is sweeter than the whole possessid ;-
That Beauty, when least shone upon,

A creature most ideal grows;
And there's no light from moon or sun

Like that Imagination throws;-
It is, alas, that Fancy shrinks

Ev'n from a bright reality,
And turning inly, feels and thinks

Far hear'nlier things than e'er will be.

Our home is on the sea, boy,
Our home is on the sea ;

When Nature gave

The ocean-wave,
She mark'd it for the Free.
Whatever storms befall, boy,
Whatever storms befall,

The island bark

Is Freedom's ark,
And floats her safe through all.

Behold yon sea of isles, boy,
Behold yon sea of isles,

Where ev'ry shore

Is sparkling o'er With Beauty's richest smiles. For us hath Freedom claim'd, boy, For us hath Freedom claim'd

Those ocean-nests

Where Valor rests
His eagle wing untamed.

And shall the Moslem dare, boy, And shall the Moslem dare,

While Grecian hand

Can wield a brand, To plant his Crescent there? No_by our fathers, no, boy, No, by the Cross we show

From Maina's rills

To Thracia's hills
All Greece re-echoes “ No!"

(Such as in Russian ball-rooms sheds
Its glory o'er young dancers' heads)—

Quadrille performs her mazy rites,
And reigns supreme o'er slides and capers ;-
Working to death sach opera strain,

As, with a foot that ne'er reposes,
She jigs through sacred and profane,

From “ Maid and Magpie” up to “Moses;"! — Wearing out tunes as fast as shoes,

Till fagg’a Rossini scarce respires ; Till Mayerbeer for mercy sues,

And Weber at her feet expires.

Like pleasant thoughts that o'er the mind

A minute come, and go again, Evn so, by snatches, in the wind,

Was caught and lost that choral strain, Now full, now faint upon the ear, As the bark floated far or near. At length when, lost, the closing noto

Had down the waters died along, Forth from another fairy boat,

Freighted with music, came this song :

And now the set hath ceased the bows
Of fiddlers taste a brief repose,
While light along the painted floor,

Arm witmin arm, the couples stray,
Talking their stock of nothings o'er,

Till—nothing's left, at last, to say. When, lo!-most opportunely sent

Two Exquisites, a he and she, Just brought from Dandyland, and meant

For Fashion's grand Menagerie, Enter'd the room—and scarce were there When all flock'd round them, glad to staro At any monsters, any where.


SMOOTHLY flowing through verdant vales,

Gentle river, thy current runs, Shelter'd safe from winter gales,

Shaded cool from summer suns. Thus ow Youth's sweet moments glide,

Fenced with flow'ry shelter round; No rude tempest wakes the tide,

All its path is fairy ground.

Some thought them perfect, to their tastes ;
While others hinted that the waists
(That in particular of the he thing)
Left far too ample room for breathing:
Whereas, to meet these critics' wishes,

The isthmus there should be so small,
That Exquisites, at last, like fishes,

Must manage not to breathe at all. The female (these same critics said,)

Though orthodox from toe to chin, Yet lack'd that spacious width of head

To hat of toadstool much akinThat build of bonnet, whose extent Should, like a doctrine of dissent,

Puzzle church-doors to let it in.

But, fair river, the day will come,

When, woo'd by whisp'ring groves in vain, Thou'lt leave those banks, thy shaded home,

To mingle with the stormy main.
And thou, sweet Youth, too soon wilt pass

Into the world's unshelter'd sea,
Where, once thy wave hath mix'd, alas,

All hope of peace is lost for thee.

However-sad as 'twas, no doubt,
That nymph so smart should go about,
With head unconscious of the place
It ought to fill in Infinite Space-
Yet all allow'd that, of her kind,
A prettier show 'twas hard to find ;
While of that doubtful genus, “ dressy men,”
The male was thought a first-rate specimen.
Such Satans, too, as wish'd to traco
The manners, habits, of this race-

Next turn we to the gay saloon
Resplendent as a summer noon,

Where, 'neath a pendent wreath of lights, A Zodiac of flowers and tapers

1 In England the partition of this opera of Rossini was transferred to the story of Peter the Hermit; by which means the indecorum of giving such names as “Moise," " Pharaon,"

&c. to the dances selected from it (as was done in Paris) has been avoided.

I now have given (excuse the pun)
A vested interest in my heart.

Oh! ah! &c.
Still round and round with him I'll go.


To know what rank (if rank at all)
'Mong reas’ning things to them should fall-
What sort of notions heaven imparts
To high-built heads and tight-laced hearts,
And how far Soul, which, Plato says,
Abhors restraint, can act in stays-
Might now, if gifted with discerning,
Find opportunities of learning :
As these two creatures-from their pout
And frown, 'twas plain—had just fall'n out ;
And all their little thoughts, of course,
Were stirring in full fret and force ;-
Like mites, through microscope espied,
A world of nothings magnified.

What if, by fond remembrance led

Again to wear our mutual chain,
For me thou cutt'st Fitznoodle dead,
And I levant from Lady Jane.

Oh! ah ! &c.
Still round and round again we'll go.


But mild the vent such beings seek,
The tempest of their souls to speak:
As Opera swains to fiddles sigh,
To fiddles fight, to fiddles die,
Even so this tender couple set
Their well-bred woes to a Duet.

Though he the Noodle honors give,

And thine, dear youth, are not so high,
With thee in endless waltz i'd live,
With thee, to Weber's Stop-Waltz, die !

Oh! ah . &c.
Thus round and round through life we'll go.

[Exeunt waltzing.



Long as I waltz’d with only thee,

Each blissful Wednesday that went by, Nor stylish Stultz, nor neat Nugee Adorn'd a youth so blest as I.

Oh! ah! ah ! oh!
Those happy days are gone-heigho

While thus, like motes that dance away
Existence in a summer ray,
These gay things, born but to quadrillo,
The circle of their doom fulfil-
(That dancing doom, whose law decrees

That they should live, on the alert toe, A life of ups-and-downs, like keys

Of Broadwood's in a long concerto :-) While thus the fiddle's spell, within,

Calls up its realm of restless sprites, Without, as if some Mandarin

Were holding there his Feast of Lights, Lamps of all hues, from walks and bowers, Broko on the eye, like kindling flowers, Till, budding into light, each treo Bore its full fruit of brilliancy.


[ocr errors]

Long as with thee I skimm'd the ground

Nor yet was scorn'd for Lady Jane,
No blither nymph tetotum'd round
To Collinet's immortal strain.

Oh ! ah ! &c.
Those happy days are gone-heigho!

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

Here shone a garden-lamps all o'er,

As though the Spirits of the Air Had tak'n it in their heads to pour

A shower of summer meteors there;While here a lighted shrubb'ry led

To a small lake that sleeping lay, Cradled in foliage, but, o'erhead,

Open to heaven's sweet breath and ray; While round its rim thero burning stood

Lamps, with young flowers beside them bedded, That shrunk from such warm neighborhood ; And, looking bashful in the food,

Blush'd to behold themselves so wedded.


To Lord Fitznoodle's eldest son,

A youth renown'd for waistcoats smart,

1 It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that this Duet is a parody of the often-translated and parodied ode of Horace, “Donec gratus eram tibi," &c.

Hither, to this embower'd retreat, Fit but for nights so still and sweet;

Nights, such as Eden's calm recall
In its first lonely hour, when all

So silent is, below, on high,

That if a star falls down the sky, You almost think you hear it fall Hither, to this recess, a few,

To shun the dancers' wild'ring noise, And give an hour, ere night-time flew,

To Music's more ethereal joys,
Came with their voices—ready all
As Echo, waiting for a call-
In hymn or ballad, dirge or glee,
To weave their mingling minstrelsy.

Forms, such as up the wooded creeks

Of Helle's shore at noonday glide, Or, nightly, on her glist ning sea, Woo the bright waves with melody, Now link'd their triple league again Of voices sweet, and sung a strain, Such as, had Sappho's tuneful ear

But caught it, on the fatal steep, She would have paused, entranced, to hear,

And, for that day, deferr'd her leap.


And, first, a dark-eyed nymph, array'd—
Liko her, whom Art hath deathless made,
Bright Mona Lisa'-- with that braid
Of hair across the brow, and one
Small gem that in the centre shone-
With face, too, in its form resembling

Da Vinci's Beauties—the dark eyes, Now lucid, as through crystal trembling,

Now sost, as if suffused with sighs— Her lute, that hung beside her, took, And, bending o'er it with shy look, More beautiful, in shadow thus, Than when with life most luminous, Pass'd her light finger o'er the chords, And sung to them these mournful words :

On one of those sweet nights that oft

Their lustre o'er th' Ægean fling, Beneath my casement, low and soft,

I heard a Lesbian lover sing ;
And, list’ning both with ear and thought
These sounds upon the night breeze caught-

“ Oh, happy as the gods is he,
“Who gazes at this hour on thee !"

The song was one by Sappho sung,

In the first love-dreams of her lyre, When words of passion from her tongue

Fell like a shower of living fire. And still, at close of ev'ry strain, I heard these burning words again“Oh, happy as the gods is he, “ Who listens at this hour to thee!"


Bring hither, bring thy lute, while day is dying

Here will I lay me, and list to thy song; Should tones of other days inix with its sighing,

Tones of a light heart, now banish'd so long,
Chase them away—they bring but pain,
And let thy theme be wo again.

Sing on, thou mournful lute—day is fast going,

Soon will its light from thy chords die away ; One little gleam in the west is still glowing,

When that hath vanish'd, farewell to thy lay. Mark, how it fades see, it is fled ! Now, sweet lute, be thou, too, dead.

Once more to Mona Lisa turn'd

Each asking eye-nor turn'd in vain ; Though the quick, transient blush that burn'd

Bright o'er her cheek, and died again,
Show'd with what inly shame and scar
Was utter'd what all loved to hear.
Yet not to sorrow's languid lay

Did she her lute-song now devote;
But thus, with voice that, like a ray

Of southern sunshine, seem'd to float

So rich with climate was each note-
Calld up in every heart a dream
Of Italy, with this soft theme :-


group, that late, in garb of Greeks, Sung their light chorus o'er the tideThe celebrated portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, which he is said to have occupied four years in painting.–Vasari, vol. vii.


Oh, where art thou dreaming,

On land, or on sea ?

In my lattice is gleaming

The watch-light for theo ; And this fond heart is glowing

To welcome thee home, And the night is fast going, But thou art not come:

No, thou com'st not!

Gay caps we here of foolscap make,

For bards to wear in dog-day weather ; Or bards the bells alone may take,

And leave to wits the cap and feather Tetotums we've for patriots got,

Who court the mob with antics humble ; Like theirs the patriot’s dizzy lot, A glorious spin, and then—a tumble.

Who'll buy, &c., &c.

'Tis the time when night-flowers

Should wake from their rest; "Tis the hour of all hours,

When the lute singeth best. But the flowers are half sleeping

Till thy glance they see ! And the hush'd lure is keeping Its music for thee.

Yet, thou com'st not !

Here, wealthy misers to inter,

We've shrouds of neat post-obit paper ; While, for their heirs, we've quicksilver,

That, fast as they can wish, will caper.
For aldermen we've dials true,

That tell no hour but that of dinner;
For courtly parsons sermons new,
That suit alike both saint and sinner.

Who'll buy, &c., &c

[merged small][ocr errors]

Scarce had the last word left her lip,
When a light, boyish form, with trip
Fantastic, up the green walk came,
Prank'd in gay vest, to which the flame
Of every lamp he pass’d, or blue,
Or groen, or crimson, lent its hue ;
As though a live chameleon's skin
He had despoild to robe him in.
A zone he wore of clatt'ring shells,

And from his lofty cap, where shone A peacock's plume, there dangled bells

That rung as he came dancing on
Close aster him, a page—in dress
And shape, his miniature express-
An ample basket, fillid with store
Of toys and trinkets, laughing hore ;
Till, having reach'd this verdant seat,
He laid it at his master's feet,
Who, half in speech and half in song,
Chanted this invoice to the throng :-

While thus the blissful moments rollid,

Moments of rare and feeting light, That show themselves, like grains of gold

In the mine's refuse, few and bright; Behoid where, opening far away,

The long Conservatory's range, Stripp'd of the flowers it wore all day,

But gaining lovelier in exchange, Presents, on Dresden's costliest ware, A supper, such as Gods might share.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ПретходнаНастави »