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" I did this for another : and, behold! were, the very odour of poetry exMy work hath blood in it; but thine haling from them — all that is noble hath none:
and elevating in knightly honour, and Done for thyself, it dies in being done :
faith, and devotion-all that is tender To what thou buyest thou thyself art sold.
and beautiful in the love of fair women “Give thyself utterly away. Be lost.
and the courtesies of gallant men-all Choose someone, something : not
that strong, simple dignity of word thyself, thine own:
and action, that so finely contrasts Thou canst not perish : but, thrice
with the airs of the modern petit maigreater grown
tre — all the refined, yet formal deThy gain the greatest where thy loss was meanour of courtly breeding, which most.
accorded so well with the steed-clad
and plumed warriors, the ermine-robed " Thou in another shalt thyself new-find. and brocaded dames, at once stiff yet
The single globule, lost in the wide sea,
polished, cumbrous, yet gracefully digIs greatest in the greatness of its kind.
nified. All these rise up before the mind,
and one sees again Launcelot and Gala" Who serves for gain, a slave, by thankless
hault, Arthur and his Queen Guenevere, pelf
and all the knights and dames at tourIs paid : who gives himself is priceless, ney or banquet, in Surluse, or at Ca. free.
melot. The laureate was not slow in I give myself, a man, to God : lo, He discovering the singular suitability of Renders me back a saint unto myself." these romantic chronicles, for the pur.
poses of the poet. Who has ever read We count these last verses, which the “ Morte d'Arthure” without feelwe have just quoted, to be of a very ing this, and acknowledging the fasci. high order; they evidence power of nation which holds him spell-bound as language, as well
as vigour of thought. he reads ? Others have followed the Rising with his theme, the poet re- example thus set with various success, jects the affluence of words and ima. and amongst them let us mention, with gery, in which he has described his
honour, the name of Matthew Arnold; wanderings through the realms of and last of all, the writer whose book Beauty and of Knowledge, and gives we are now reviewing, tries his powers expression to a high truth, simple and upon a passage of old English romantic holy, as it is eternal, in words befitting his chivalry. “The parting of Launcelot theme, simple, strong, and unadorned. and Guenevere ” is an episode in the Every line has the force and terseness loves of the Knight and Queen, which, of an epigram, every sentiment the in point of execution, as well as of conpoint and condensation of an adage. ception, will bear comparison with the Had he given us nothing but this best things of the kind that have appiece, we would bave admitted his right peared in English verse. It has all to no humble place as a poet. It is the beauty and formality of the antique; not inferior to the “ Excelsior,” or all the polish and glow with which the “Ladder of St. Augustine” of Long- modern artist has invested the ancient fellow, in vigour or moral teaching, romance; and the whole scene is dewhile it exhibits a richness and variety scribed with equal delicacy and tennot to be found in either.
derness. The poem, which is between haps, more like what noble old George three hundred and four hundred lines Herbert would have written, especially in length, will not very well bear to be the latter part, though not quite so broken by partial quotation. We shall quaintly formal.
briefly describe the subject of this Amongst the many debts which we “ fragment,” with an occasional pasowe to Alfred Tennyson, perhaps not sage from the poem. the least is this, that he has been the The King is at Carlyel, and purfirst of late times to open up the trea- poses to solemnise our Lady's Day with sures of those delectable old French a joust of arms, in Camelot. Thither romances, the caskets wherein are en. came all the chiefs of Christendom :shrined all the glory and beauty of
" The King of Northgalies ; the ancient chivalry of Europe. One
Anguishe, the King of Ireland ; the Haut never opens a volume of “ The Histo
Prince, rie of Kynge Arthure," and dips into Sir Galabault ; the King o' the Hundred its pages, that he does not feel, as it Knights ; VOL. XLVI.-NO. CCLXXIV,
It is, per
The Kings of Scotland and of Britany; morse; what tenderness in her sorrow; And many more renownëd knights whereof what humility in her haughtiness; The names are glorious. Also all the earls, what gentleness in her repulse. One And all the dukes, and all the mighty men must be slow of fancy, or cold of heart, And famous heroes of the Table Round,
who cannot see before him all that From far Northumberland to where the wave
these lines so picturesquely suggest. Rides rough on Devon from the outer main. So that there was not seen for seven years,
The picture is, however, drawn for us Since when, at Whitsuntide, Sir Galahad
with a skilful pencil :Departed out of Carlyel from the court, So fair a fellowship of goodly knights."
“ About her, all anheeded, her long hair
Loos'd its warm, yellow, waving loveliness, The King desires that his Queen And o'er her bare and shining shoulder cold shall accompany him, but she is still Fell floating free. Upon one full white arm, sick, and refuses, whereupon Arthur To which the amorous purple coverlet is grieved, and in wrath breaks up his Clung dimpling close, her drooping state was court, and rides
There, half in shadow of ber soft gold curls, "To Astolat on this side Camelot.".
She lean'd, and like a rose enricht
with dew, And so, when he was ridden out
Whose heart is heavy with the clinging bee,
Bow'd down toward him all her glowing face, * With all his fellowship,"
While in the light of her large angry eyes The Queen arises, and calls to her Uprose, and rose, a slow imperious sorrow, Sir Launcelot, who had tarried behind.
And o'er the shine of still, unquivering tears Then she thus appeals to the knight:
Swam on to him." “Not for the memory of that love whereof
Then follows a fine description of No more than memory lives, but, sir, for that the war of feeling in the heart of the Which even when love is ended, yet endures knight-anger, pride, honour, love, and Making immortal life with deathless deeds, all the memory of the past—as he stands Honour-true knighthood's golden spurs, the with averted face, and speechless lips,
amid the silence of the placeAnd priceless diadem of peerless QueensI make appeal to you, that hear perchance " And the long day-light dying down the floors." The last appeal which I shall ever make. So weigh my words not lightly! for I feel
At length he breaks the silence, The fluttering fires of life grow faint and cold and speaks words of reproach, and About my heart. And oft, indeed, to me somewhat of a scornful upbraiding, Lying whole hours awake in the dead nights as he reminds her (in a passage of The end seems near, as tho'the darkness knew great beauty) of all he had done to The angel waiting there to call my soul exalt her fame, by his knightly achieve. Perchance before the house awakes ; and oft
ments. The memory of all this brings a When faint, and all at once, from far away,
tender sadness over the spirit of the The mournful midnight bells begin to sound Across the river, all the days that were
knight, that subdues his haughty (Brief, evil days!) return upon my heart,
mood; the while Guenevere musesAnd, where the sweetness seem'd, I see the
" But held her heart's proud pain superbly still." sin. For, waking lone, long hours before the dawn, The change of feeling is introduced Beyond the borders of the dark I seem and aided by an incident that shows To see the twilight of another world,
the skill of the writer :That grows and grows and glimmers on my gaze.
"Near the carven casement hung the bird, And oft, when late, before the languorous With hood and jess, that oft bad led them
forth, Thro' yonder windows to the West goes down These lovers, thro' the heart of rippling woods Among the pines, deep peace upon me falls,
At morning, in the old and pleasant time. Deep peace like death, so that I think I know
And o'er the broider'd canopies of state The blessed Mary and the righteous saints Blazed Uther's dragons, curious, wrought Stand at the throne, and intercede for me. Wherefore these things are thus I cannot tell.
Then to his mind that dear and distant dawn But now I pray you of your feälty,
Came back, when first, a boy at Arthur's, And by all knightly faith which may be left,
court, Arise and get you hence, and join the King."
He paused abasht before the youthful Queen.
And, feellng now her long imploring gaze This is, indeed, well conceived.
Holding hin in its sorrow, when he mark'd What dignity is there even in her re- How changed her state, and all unlike to her,
The most renownëd beauty of the time, Of eve, his rosy circlet trembling clear,
moats, A hundred lances in the field, he sprang Between the accumulated terraces, And caught her hand, and, falling to one Tangled a trail of fire: and all was still."
knee, Arch'd all his haughty neck to a quick kiss.
We shall not enter further into the And there was silence. Silently the West
consideration of the poems in this Grew red and redder, and the day declined.”
volume. There are
some two or The struggles in the heart of the un
three others, as “ The Wife's Trahappy Queen are finely described :
gedy,” and “ A Soul's Loss,” which
are very good, and some few of which “As o'er the hungering heart of some deep
we can say no more than that they are
such as half-a-dozen smaller people, sea, That swells against the planets and the moon
whom we could name, could write any With sad continual strife and vain unrest, day of the year. They are on the In silence rise and roll the labouring clouds staple love-themes, and thrown in, apThat bind the thunder, o'er the heaving parently, by way of filling stuff to suit, heart
we suppose, the publisher's requireOf Guenevere all sorrows fraught with love.
ments, and make up a respectableAll stormy sorrows, in that silence pass'd.
sized volume, and make the mass of And like a star in that tumultuous night
buyers satisfied with their penn'orth. Love wax'd and waned, and came and went, changed hue,
From what we have already said, and And was and was not : till the cloud came
the quotations we have made in this down,
article, it is scarcely necessary that we And all her soul dissolved in showers : and should formally announce our own estilove
mate of Owen Meredith as a poet. Rose thro' the broken storm."
We think he bas, beyond any doubt,
established his claim ; and, we believe, There is in this something that re- he will yet take a high rank. He has minds us of Dante. Yet, the differ- all the elements necessary for success ence of treatment of a somewhat simi. a quick faney, and good, imaginative lar incident, by the great Florentine power, combined with the more solid master, is world-wide--the same senti- gifts of intellect, the faculties of reflecments and emotions are introduced by tion and reasoning. He bas, too, a large each ; but what one tells simply, and measure of what all true poets have by a word, the other amplifies in the a perception and love of all beauty, nadescription by a figure. “A different tural and moral ; to these are added a issue is, however, suggested. Launce- singularly happy and vivid ability for delot obeys the injunction of Guenevere; scription, and a fine warmth of feeling; he goes and joins the King, and the nor are the mechanism of his art wantepisode closes with a charming evening ingin rich, felicitous language, at times, picture, that throws a tinting of quiet too, very vigorous. Whoever be the au. and redeeming holiness over the scene thor of this volume, he has no reason of passion :
to be ashamed of what he has written,
As we said before, we suspect he has “Before the Virgin Mother on her knees. concealed his real name. Into his moThere, in a halo of the silver shrine,
tives for so doing, if our conjecture be That touch'd and turn’d to starlight her slow
correct, we have no wish, as we have tears, Below the feet of the pale-pictur'd saint
no right, to pry; but of this we feel She lay, pour'd out in prayer.
convinced, that whenever the time
shall come, he may avow his paternity “ Meanwhile, without,
without a blush. We now bid him A sighing rain from a low fringe of cloud
farewell, we hope but for a season, Whisper'd among the melancholy hills. and we commend his volume most The night's dark limits widend : far above heartily to the notice of all who love The crystal sky lay open: and the star
It seemed to the good plain squire too bad
He said, “I wish peace, so there is my hand;
The monks with chuckle and smirk agreed ;
Time past, from Christmas to Whitsuntide,
They came to the land so long debated,
Our teeth will not ache when they're fit for mowing;
Up grew in its vigour the grove of oak,
The trees, as time still onward passed,
Still higher arose that forest dark,
THE FIRE BELL OF COLOGNE.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OP J. SEIDL.
“COLOGNE's Cathedral Bell, through lapse of time, has lost its tone ; The new one who shall cast? He were well paid by fame alone !" Before the Council comes a man of aspect wild and stern, 'Tis the bell-founder, Wolff; and he that rich reward will earn.
He is allured by thinking how the consecrated Bell,
At once to where the foundry stands with eager haste he goes,
Now all stand by and wait, as till the Bell be cool they must,
grasps the hammer, with strong arm he swings it high in air, The mould is broken-but, O Heav'n! a fatal flaw is there.
A second casting, IN THE NAME OF GOD, does Wolff begin ;
“Since, in the name of God,” he cries, “ so ill the work has sped, This time I try The Devil's NAME!" The people shrink in dread; But he no warning voice will hear ; he melts, he stirs-once more Within its clay-burnt robe is hid the red and boiling ore.