Obrazy na stronie

it is impossible not to recollect those on the same subjects which had been just previously produced by the poet of the "English Garden;" and as a comparison of these masterly delineations, which the very nature of the art they had chosen to celebrate was calculated to suggest, cannot but be highly interesting to the reader, I shall make no apology for introducing to him, in the first place, as earliest executed, the beautiful designs of Mason.

In thy fair domain,

Yes, my loved Albion! many a glade is found,
The haunt of wood-gods only: where if Art
E'er dared to tread, 'twas with unsandal'd foot,
Printless, as if the place were holy ground.
And there are scenes, where, tho' she whilom trod,
Led by the worst of guides, fell Tyranny,
And ruthless Superstition, we now trace

Her footsteps with delight; and pleased revere
What once had rous'd our hatred. But to Time,
Not her, the praise is due: his gradual touch
Has moulder'd into beauty many a tower,
Which, when it frown'd with all its battlements,
Was only terrible; and many a fane

Monastic, which, when deck'd with all its spires,

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Served but to feed some pamper'd abbot's pride,
And awe th' unletter'd vulgar. Generous youth,
Whoe'er thou art, that listen'st to my lay,

And feel'st thy soul assent to what I sing,
Happy art thou if thou canst call thine own
Such scenes as these: where Nature and where Time
Have work'd congenial; where a scatter'd host
Of antique oaks darken thy sidelong hills;
While, rushing thro' their branches, rifted cliffs
Dart their white heads, and glitter thro' the gloom.
More happy still, if one superior rock
Bear on its brow the shiver'd fragment huge
Of some old Norman fortress; happier far,
Ah, then most happy, if thy vale below
Wash, with the crystal coolness of its rills,
Some mould'ring abbey's ivy-vested wall.

Book i. 1. 355.

Chastely coloured and exquisitely touched as are these delightful sketches of the time-worn reliques of Gothic architecture, and difficult as it must be to follow in the footsteps of such an artist, it will be allowed, I think, that the efforts of M, De Lille in bringing these striking objects before us, are neither wanting in vigour of conception, nor in their own peculiar beauties of


execution. He has, in fact, spread a wider canvass, and has given us, if not a more graceful, yet a more minute description of the scenery which he had in view. His obligations, however, to the celebrated Epistle of Pope from Eloisa to Abelard, will not escape the notice of the reader; nor can we too highly praise the masterly manner in which the translator has executed his task on this occasion, the entire version of the passage, and especially of that part of it which relates to the abbey, being worked up with the loveliest and most impressive colouring which English poetry can afford. He has, indeed, very judiciously availed himself of the diction of that unrivalled epistle to which we have just alluded.

Tantôt, c'est un vieux fort, qui du haut des collines,
Tyran de la cóntrée, effroi de ses vassaux,
Portoit jusques au ciel l'orgueil de ses creneaux;
Qui, dans ces tems affreux de discorde et d'alarmes,
Vit les grands coups de lance et les nobles faits

De nos preux chevaliers, des Baiards, des Henris;
Aujourd'hui la maison flotte sur ses débris.

Ces débris, cette mâle et triste architecture,
Qu' environne une fraîche et riante verdure,
Ces angles, ces glacis, ces vieux restes de tours,
Où l'oiseau couve en paix le fruit de ses amours,
Et ces troupeaux peuplant ces enceintes guerrières,
Et l'enfant qui se joue où combattoient ses pères.—
Plus loin, une abbaye antique, abandonnée,
Tout à coup s'offre aux yeux de bois environnée,
Quel silence! C'est là qu'amante du désert
La méditation avec plaisir se perd

Sous ces portiques saints, où des vierges austères,
Jadis, comme ces feux, ces lampes solitaires,
Dont les mornes clartés veillent dans le saint lieu,
Pâles, veilloient, brûloient, se consumoient pour

Le saint recueillement, la paisible innocence
Semble encor de ces lieux habiter le silence.
La mousse de ces murs, ce dôme, cette tour,
Les arcs de ce long cloître impénétrable au jour,
Les degrés de l'autel usés par la prière,

Ces noirs vitraux, ce sombre et profond sanctuaire
Où peut-être des cœurs en secret malheureux
A l'inflexible autel se plaignoient de leurs nœuds,

pour des souvenirs encor trop pleins de charmes, A la réligion déroboient quelques larmes ;

Tout parle, tout émeut dans ce séjour sacré.
Là, dans la solitude en rêvant égaré,

Quelquefois vous croirez, au déclin d'un jour som


D'une Héloïse en pleurs entendre gémir l'ombre.

Chant 4.

There on a lofty hill exalted high,

Crown'd with proud battlements that scale the sky,
An ancient castle lifts his frowning head,
The country's tyrant, and the vassals dread,
Which in the days of discord and alarms
Beheld the broken lance, and feats of arms;
Where Henries, Bayards, and our worthies old,
Their tilts and tournaments were wont to hold.
Where erst this gloomy architecture frown'd,
The yellow harvest laughs along the ground;
Angles and bastions now are scarcely seen,
Cloth'd with a vivid robe of smiling green.
High 'mid the ruin'd tow'rs the nests are hung,
Where birds in peace brood o'er their callow young;
Wide roam the herds among the mould'ring forts,
And where his fathers fought the infant sports.

Deep in yon wood a sudden gloom profound
Enwraps the abbey's lonely walls around.
'Tis silence all! There Contemplation loves.
To lose herself, as through the aisles she roves,
Where holy virgins check'd their young desires,
Pale as the lamps, whose solitary fires

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