Obrazy na stronie

FROM 1780



By staring in the face of all the winds,
So from the sad aspects of different things
My soul shall pluck a courage, and bear up
Against the past. And now—for Hindostan.

Henry HArt MILMAN.

The REv. HENRY HART MILMAN, vicar of St Mary, in the town of Reading, is author of several poems and dramas, recently collected and published in three volumes. He first appeared as an author in 1817, when his tragedy of Fazio was published. It was afterwards acted with success at Drury Lane theatre. In 1820 Mr Milman published a dramatic poem, the Fall of Jerusalem, and to this succeeded three other dramas, Belshazzar, the Martyr of Antioch, and Anne Boleyn, but none of these were designed for the stage. He has also written a narrative poem, Samor, Lord of the Bright City, and several smaller pieces. To our prose literature Mr Milman has contributed a History of the Jews, in three volumes, and an edition of Gibbon's Rome, with notes and corrections. Mr Milman is a native of London, son of an eminent physician, Sir Francis Milman, and was born in the year 1791. He distinguished himself as a classical scholar, and in 1815 was made a fellow of Brazen-nose college, Oxford. He also held (1821) the office of professor of poetry in the university. The taste and attainments of Mr Milman are seen in his poetical works; but he wants the dramatic spirit, and also that warmth of passion and imagination which is necessary to vivify his sacred learning and his classical creations.

[Jerusalem before the Siege.]

Titus. It must be— And yet it moves me, Romans! . It confounds The counsel of my firm philosophy, That Ruin's merciless ploughshare must pass o'er, And barren salt be sown on yon proud city. As on our olive-crowned hill we stand, Where Kedron at our feet its scanty waters Distils from stone to stone with gentle motion, As through a valley sacred to sweet peace, How boldly doth it front us! how majestically Like a luxurious vineyard, the hill-side Is hung with marble fabrics, line o'er line, Terrace o'er terrace, nearer still, and nearer To the blue heavens. There bright and sumptuous


With cool and verdant gardens interspersed;
There towers of war that frown in massy strength;
While over all hangs the rich purple eve,
As conscious of its being her last farewell
Of light and glory to that fated city.
And, as our clouds of battle, dust and smoke,
Are melted into air, behold the temple
In undisturbed and lone serenity,
Finding itself a solemn sanctuary
In the profound of heaven! It stands before us
A mount of snow, fretted with golden pinnacles!
The very sun, as though he worshipped there,
Lingers upon the gilded cedar roofs,
And down the long and branching porticos,
On every flowery-sculptured capital,
Glitters the homage of his parting beams.
# Hercules! the sight might almost win
e offended majesty of Rome to mercy.

[Hymn of the Captive Jews.] [From “Belshazzar.") God of the thunder! from whose cloudy seat The fiery winds of desolation flow: Father of vengeance 1 that with purple feet, Like a full wine-press, tread'st the world below:

The embattled armies wait thy sign to slay, Nor springs the beast of havock on his prey, Nor withering Famine walks his blasted way,

Till thou the guilty land hast sealed for wo.

God of the rainbow ! at whose ious sign
The billows of the proud their rage suppress; |
Father of mercies 1 at one word of thine |
An Eden blooms in the waste wilderness!
And fountains sparkle in the arid sands,
And timbrels ring in maidens' glancing hands, |
And marble cities crown the laughing lands,
And pillared temples rise thy name to bless.

O'er Judah’s land thy thunders broke, O Lord!
The chariots rattled o'er her sunken gate,
Her sons were wasted by the Assyrian sword,
Even her foes wept to see her fallen state; |
And heaps her ivory palaces became,
Her princes wore the captive's garb of shame,
Her temple sank amid the smouldering flame,
For thou didst ride the tempest-cloud of fate.

O'er Judah's land thy rainbow, Lord, shall beam,
And the sad city lift her crownless head;
And songs shall wake, and dancing footsteps gleam,
Where broods o'er fallen streets the silence of the
dead. |
The sun shall shine on Salem's gilded towers, |
On Carmel's side our maiden's cull the flowers, |
To deck, at blushing eve, their bridal bowers,
And angel-feet the glittering Sion tread. |

Thy vengeance gave us to the stranger's hand, |
And Abraham's children were led forth for slaves;
With fettered steps we left our pleasant land, |
Envying our fathers in their peaceful graves. |
The stranger's bread with bitter tears we steep,
And when our weary eyes should sink to sleep, | |
'Neath the mute midnight we steal forth to weep,
Where the pale willows shade Euphrates' waves. ||

The born in sorrow shall bring forth in joy;
Thy mercy, Lord, shall lead thy children home;

He that went forth a tender yearling boy,
Yet, ere he die, to Salem's streets shall come.

And Canaan's vines for us their fruits shall bear.

And Hermon's bees their honied stores prepare;

And we shall kneel again in thankful prayer, Where, o'er the cherub-seated God, full blazed the

irradiate dome.

[Summons of the Destroying Angel to the City of Babylon.]

The hour is come! the hour is come! With voice
Heard in thy inmost soul, I summon thee,
Cyrus, the Lord's anointed And thou river,
That flowest exulting in thy proud approach
To Babylon, beneath whose shadowy walls,
And brazen gates, and gilded palaces,
And groves, that gleam with marble obelisks,

Thy azure bosom shall repose, with lights
Fretted and chequered like the starry heavens:
I do arrest thee in thy stately course,
By Him that poured thee from thine ancient fountain,
And sent thee forth, even at the birth of time,
One of his holy streams, to lave the mounts
Of Paradise. Thou hear'st me: thou dost check
Abrupt thy waters as the Arab chief
His headlong squadrons. Where the unobserved
Yet toiling Persian breaks the ruining mound,
I see thee gather thy tumultuous strength;
And, through the deep and roaring Naharmalcha,
Roll on as proudly conscious of fulfilling
The omnipotent command 1 While, far away,
The lake, that slept but now so calm, nor moved,
Save by the rippling moonshine, heaves on high

Its foaming surface like a whirlpool-gulf,
And boils and whitens with the unwonted tide.
But silent as thy billows used to flow,
And terrible, the hosts of Elam move,
Winding their darksome way profound, where man
Ne'er trod, nor light e'er shone, nor air from heaven
Breathed. Oh! ye secret and unfathomed depths,
How are ye now a smooth and royal way
For the army of God's vengeance : Fellow-slaves
And ministers of the Eternal purpose,
Not guided by the treacherous, injured sons
Of Babylon, but by my mightier arm,
Ye come, and spread your banners, and display
Your glittering arms as ye advance, all white
Beneath the admiring moon. Come on 1 the gates
Are open—not for banqueters in blood
Like you ! I see on either side o'erflow
The living deluge of armed men, and cry,
Begin, begin with fire and sword begin
The work of wrath. Upon my shadowy wings
I pause, and float a little while, to see
Mine human instruments fulfil my task
Of final ruin. Then I mount, I fly,
And sing my proud song, as I ride the clouds,
That stars may hear, and all the hosts of worlds,
That live along the interminable space,
Take up Jehovah's everlasting triumph!

[The Fair Recluse.] [From ‘Samor, Lord of the Bright City."]

Sunk was the sun, and up the eastern heaven,
Like maiden on a lonely pilgrimage,
Moved the meek star of eve; the wandering air
Breathed odours; wood, and waveless lake, like man,
Slept, weary of the garish, babbling day.
Dove of the wilderness, thy snowy wing
Droops not in slumber; Lilian, thou alone,
*Mid the deep quiet, wakest. Dost thou rove,
Idolatrous of yon majestic moon,
That like a crystal-throned queen in heaven,
Seems with her present deity to hush
To beauteous adoration all the earth?
Might seem the solemn silent mountain tops
Stand up and worship ! the translucent streams
Down the hills glittering, cherish the pure light
Beneath the shadowy foliage o'er them flung
At intervals; the lake, so silver-white,
Glistens; all indistinct the snowy swans
Bask in the radiance cool. Doth Lilian muse
To that apparent queen her vesper hymn !
Nursling of solitude, her infant couch
Never did mother watch; within the grave
She slept unwaking: scornful turned aloof
ë. of those pure instinctive joys
By fathers felt, when playful infant grace,
Touched with a feminine softness, round the heart
Winds its light maze of undefined delight,
Contemptuous: he with haughty joy beheld
His boy, fair Malwyn; him in bossy shield
Rocked proudly, him upbore to mountain steep
Fierce and undaunted, for their dangerous nest
To battle with the eagle's clam’rous brood.
But she, the while, from human tenderness
Estranged, and gentler feelings that light up
The cheek of youth with rosy joyous smile,
Like a forgotten lute, played on alone
By chance-caressing airs, amid the wild
Beauteously pale and sadly playful grew,
A lonely child, by not one human heart
Beloved, and loving none: nor strange if learnt
Her native fond affections to embrace
Things senseless and inanimate; she loved
All flowrets that with rich embroidery fair
Enamel the green earth—the odorous thyme,

To mourn their fading forms with childish tears.
Gray birch and aspen light she loved, that droop
Fringing the crystal stream; the sportive breeze
That wantoned with her brown and glossy locks;
The sunbeam chequering the fresh bank; ere dawn
Wandering, and wandering still at dewy eve,
By Glenderamakin's flower empurpled marge,
Derwent's blue lake, or Greta's wildering glen.
Rare sound to her was human voice, scarce heard,
Save of her aged nurse or shepherd maid
Soothing the child with simple tale or song.
Hence all she knew of earthly hopes and fears,
Life's sins and sorrows: better known the voice
Beloved of lark from misty morning cloud
Blithe carolling, and wild melodious notes
Heard mingling in the summer wood, or plaint
By moonlight, of the lone night-warbling bird.
Nor they of love unconscious, all around
Fearless, familiar they their descants sweet
Tuned emulous; her knew all living shapes
That tenant wood or rock, dun roe or deer,
Sunning his dappled side, at noontide crouched,
Courting her fond caress; nor fled her gaze
The brooding dove, but murmured sounds of joy.

The Day of Judgment.

Even thus amid thy pride and luxury,
Oh earth! shall that last coming burst on thee,
That secret coming of the Son of Man,
When all the cherub-throning clouds shall shine,
Irradiate with his bright advancing sign:
When that Great Husbandman shall wave his fan,
Sweeping, like chaff, thy wealth and pomp away;
Still to the noontide of that nightless day
Shalt thou thy wonted dissolute course maintain.
Along the busy mart and crowded street,
The buyer and the seller still shall meet,
And marriage-feasts begin their jocund strain:
Still to the pouring out the cup of wo;
Till earth, a drunkard, reeling to and fro,
And mountains molten by his burning feet,
And heaven his presence own, all red with furnace

The hundred-gated cities then, The towers and temples, named of men Eternal, and the thrones of kings; The gilded summer palaces, The courtly bowers of love and ease, Where still the bird of pleasure sings: Ask ye the destiny of them? Go, gaze on fallen Jerusalem 1 Yea, mightier names are in the fatal roll, 'Gainst earth and heaven God's standard is unfurled; The skies are shrivelled like a burning scroll, And one vast common doom ensepulchres the world. Oh! who shall then survive? Oh! who shall stand and live? When all that hath been is no more; When for the round earth hung in air, With all its constellations fair In the sky’s azure canopy; When for the breathing earth, and sparkling sea, Is but a fiery deluge without shore, Heaving along the abyss profound and dark– A fiery deluge, and without an ark?

Lord of all power, when thou art there alone
On thy eternal fiery-wheelčd throne,
That in its high meridian noon
Needs not the perished sun nor moon:
When thou art there in thy presiding state,
Wide-sceptred monarch o'er the realm of doom:
When from the sea-depths, from earth's darkest

Wild rose, and roving eglantine; nor spared

The dead of all the ages round thee wait:

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Was a whole empire; that devoted train
Must war from day to day with storm and gloom
(Man following, like the wolves, to rend the slain),
Must lie from night to night as in a tomb,

Must fly, toil, bleed for home; yet never see that home.

To the Memory of a Lady. *Thou thy worldly task hast done."—Shakspeare. High peace to the soul of the dead, From the dream of the world she has gone! On the stars in her glory to tread, To be bright in the blaze of the throne. In youth she was lovely; and Time, When her rose with the cypress he twined, | Left the heart all the warmth of its prime, Left her eye all the light of her mind. | The summons came forth—and she died 1 Yet her parting was gentle, for those Whom she loved mingled tears at her side— Her death was the mourner's repose. Our weakness may weep o'er her bier, But her spirit has gone on the wing To triumph for agony here, To rejoice in the joy of its King. | | |


This lady, generally known as ‘L. E. L., in consequence of having first published with her initials

only, has attained an eminent place among the female poets of our age. Her earliest compositions

| were Poetical Sketches, which appeared in the Literary Gazette: afterwards (1824) she published the Improvisatrice, which was followed by two more | volumes of poetry. She also contributed largely to magazines and annuals, and was the authoress of a novel entitled Romance and Reality. From a publication of her Life and Literary Remains, edited by | Mr L. Blanchard, it appears that her history was in the main a painful one; and yet it is also asserted that the melancholy of her verses was a complete contrast to the vivacity and playfulness of her man| ners in private life. She was born at Hans Place, Chelsea, in 1802, the daughter of Mr Landon, a

partner in the house of Adairs, army agents. Lively,

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susceptible, and romantic, she early commenced writing poetry. The friendship of Mr Jerdan, of the Literary Gazette, facilitated her introduction to the

Birthplace of Miss Landon. world of letters, but it also gave rise to some reports injurious to her character, which caused her the most exquisite pain. Her father died, and she not only maintained herself, but assisted her relations by her literary labours, which she never relaxed for a moment. In 1838 she was married to Mr George Maclean, governor of Cape-Coast castle, and shortly afterwards sailed for Cape-Coast with her husband. She landed there in August, and was resuming her literary engagements in her solitary African home, when one morning, after writing the previous night some cheerful and affectionate letters to her friends in England, she was (October 16) found dead in her room, lying close to the door, having in her hand a bottle which had contained prussic acid, a portion of which she had taken. From the investigation which took place into the circumstances of this melancholy event, it was conjectured that she had undesigningly taken an over-dose of the fatal medicine, as a relief from spasms in the stomach. Having surmounted her early difficulties, and achieved an easy competence and a daily-extending reputation, much might have been expected from the genius of L. E. L., had not her life been prematurely terminated. Her latter works are more free, natural, and forcible than those by which she first attracted notice.


I would not care, at least so much, sweet Spring,
For the departing colour of thy flowers—
The green leaves early falling from thy boughs—
Thy birds so soon forgetful of their songs—
Thy skies, whose sunshine ends in heavy showers;
But thou dost leave thy memory, like a ghost,
To haunt the ruined heart, which still recurs
To former beauty; and the desolate
Is doubly sorrowful when it recalls
It was not always desolate.

When those eyes haveforgotten thesmile they wearnow,

When care shall have shadowed that beautiful brow;

When thy hopes and thy roses together lie dead,

And thy heart turns back pining to days that are fled— 449


Then wilt thou remember what now seems to pass
Like the moonlight on water, the breath-stain on glass;
Oh! maiden, the lovely and youthful, to thee,
How rose-touched the page of thy future must be!

By the past, if thou judge it, how little is there
But blossoms that flourish, but hopes that are fair;
And what is thy present a southern sky’s spring,
With thy feelings and fancies like birds on the wing.

As the rose by the fountain flings down on the wave
Its blushes, forgetting its glass is its grave;
So the heart sheds its colour on life's early hour;
But the heart has its fading as well as the flower.

The charméd light darkens, the rose-leaves are gone,
And life, like the fountain, floats colourless on.
Said I, when thy beauty's sweet vision was fled,
How wouldst thou turn, pining, to days like the dead!

Oh! long ere one shadow shall darken that brow,
Wilt thou weep like a mourner o'er all thou lov'st now ;
When thy hopes, like spent arrows, fall short of their
Or, like meteors at midnight, make darkness more dark:

When thy feelings lie fettered like waters in frost,
Or, scattered too freely, are wasted and lost:
For aye cometh sorrow, when youth hath passed by—
Ah! what saith the proverb: Its memory’s a sigh.


I looked upon his brow—no sign
Of guilt or fear was there;
He stood as proud by that death-shrine
As even o'er despair
He had a power; in his eye
There was a quenchless energy,
A spirit that could dare
The deadliest form that death could take,
And dare it for the daring's sake.

He stood, the fetters on his hand,
He raised them haughtily;
And had that grasp been on the brand,
It could not wave on high
With freer pride than it waved now ;
Around he looked with changeless brow
On many a torture nigh;
The rack, the chain, the axe, the wheel,
And, worst of all, his own red steel.

I saw him once before ; he rode
Upon a coal-black steed,
And tens of thousands thronged the road,
And bade their warrior speed.
His helm, his breastplate, were of gold,
And graved with many dint, that told
Of many a soldier's deed ;
The sun shone on his sparkling mail,
And danced his snow-plume on the gale.

But now he stood chained and alone,
The headsman by his side,
The plume, the helm, the charger gone;
The sword, which had defied
The mightiest, lay broken near;
And yet no sign or sound of fear
Came from that lip of pride;
And never king or conqueror's brow
Wore higher look than did his now.

He bent beneath the headsman's stroke
With an uncovered eye;
A wild shout from the numbers broke
Who thronged to see him die.
It was a people's loud acclaim,
The voice of anger and of shame,
A nation's funeral cry,
Rome's wail above her only son,
Her patriot and her latest one.

The Grasp of the Dead.

'Twas in the battle-field, and the cold pale moon Looked down on the dead and dying;

And the wind passed o'er with a dirge and a wail, Where the young and brave were lying.

With his father's sword in his red right hand,
And the hostile dead around him,

Lay a youthful chief: but his bed was the ground,
And the grave's icy sleep had bound him.

A reckless rover, 'mid death and doorn, Passed a soldier, his plunder seeking.

Careless he stept, where friend and foe Lay alike in their life-blood reeking.

Drawn by the shine of the warrior's sword,
The soldier paused beside it:

He wrenched the hand with a giant's strength,
But the grasp of the dead defied it.

He loosed his hold, and his English heart
Took part with the dead before him;

And he honoured the brave who died sword in hand,
As with softened brow he leant o'er him.

“A soldier's death thou hast boldly died,
A soldier's grave won by it:

Before I would take that sword from thine hand,
My own life's blood should dye it.

Thou shalt not be left for the carrion crow, Or the wolf to batten o'er thee;

Or the coward insult the gallant dead, Who in life had trembled before thee.”

Then dug he a grave in the crimson earth, Where his warrior foe was sleeping;

And he laid him there in honour and rest, With his sword in his own brave keeping!

[From ‘The Improvisatrice."]

I loved him as young Genins loves,
When its own wild and radiant heaven
Of starry thought burns with the light,
The love, the life, by passion given.
I loved him, too, as woman loves—
Reckless of sorrow, sin, or scorn:
Life had no evil destiny
That, with him, I could not have borne!
I had been nursed in palaces;
Yet earth had not a spot so drear,
That I should not have thought a home
In Paradise, had he been near !
How sweet it would have been to dwell,
Apart from all, in some green dell
Of sunny beauty, leaves and flowers;
And nestling birds to sing the hours
Our home, beneath some chestnut's shade,
But of the woven branches made:
Our vesper hymn, the low wone wail
The rose hears from the nightingale;
And waked at morning by the call
Of music from a waterfal
But not alone in dreams like this,
Breathed in the very hope of bliss,
I loved: my love had been the same
In hushed despair, in open shame.
I would have rather been a slave,
In tears, in bondage by his side,
Than shared in all, if wanting him,
This world had power to give beside!
My heart was withered—and my heart
Had ever been the world to me:
And love had been the first fond dream,
Whose life was in reality. . .
I had sprung from my solitude,
Like a young bird upon the wing, 0

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