« ПредишнаНапред »
Rocky, such steep declivities did show
That towards us with a rapid course it sped,
Flank'd were its banks with perpendicular rocks.
And sometimes clad with ash and gnarled oaks,
Their tawny leaves, the sport of winters' shocks,
While, on their tops, and midway up them, seen,
Lower'd cone-like firs and yews in gloomiest green.
So many voices from this river came
In summer, winter, autumn, or the spring;
Of Nature's aspect, (whether the storm's wing
The low breeze crisp'd its waters) that, to sing
When fires gleam'd bright, and when the curtain'd room,
When children's faces, dress'd in all the bloom
Deepest delight inspir'd; when nature's gloom
(By consummate tranquillity possesst)
Contrast, that might have stirr'd the dullest breast;
Yes,—in such hour as that—thy voice I've known.
Oh, hallow'd stream!—fitly so nam'd—(since tones Of deepest melancholy swell'd upon
Tlie breeze that bore it)—fearful as the groans Of fierce night spirits! Yes, when tapers shone
Athwart the room (when, from their skiey thrones
Thy voice I've known to wake a dream of wonder 1
And absolute as is the deep-voiced thunder,
Of audibility, one scarce could sunder
Its gradual swellings from the influence ]
Of happ iEolian, when, upon the breeze,
Floats in a stream Us plaintive harmonics*
One might have thought, that spirits of the air
Warbled amid it in an undersong;
Of spirits, driven for chastisement along
All species seem'd of intonation (strong
But when the heavens are blue, and summer skies
Then thy crisp stream its course so gaily plies,
Such low sweet tone, fit for the time, does rise
The hue of flowers which decorate thy banks,
While each one's freshness seems to pay thee thanks.
Solemn the mountains that the horizon close,
From whose drear verge thou seem'st to issue forth:
Sorcery might fitly dwell, one could suppose,
Which e'en to name man's utterance not knows,)
Thither direct your eye, and you will find
All that excites the imaginative mind!
The tale of Titus and Gisippus which follows, whjle it is very interesting as a story, exhibits the same great intellectual power and ceaseless activity of thought, which characterize the Thoughts in London. Mr. Lloyd has taken the common incident of one lover resigning his mistress to another, and the names of his chief characters from Boccaccio, but in all other respects, the poem is original. Its chief peculiarity is the manner in which it reasons upon all the emotions which it portrays, especially on the progress of love in the soul, with infinite nicety of discrimination, not unlike that which Shakspeare has manifested in his amatory poems. He accounts for the finest shade of feeling, and analyzes its essence, with the same care, as though he were demonstrating a proposition of Euclid. He is as minute in his delineation of all the variations of the heart, as Richardson was in his narratives of matters of fact;—and, like him, thus throws such an air of truth over his statements, that we can scarcely avoid receiving them as authentic history. At the same time, he conducts this process with so delicate a hand, and touches his subjects with so deep a reverence for humanity, that he teaches us to love our nature the more from his masterly dissection. By way of example of these remarks, we will give part of the scene between a lover who long has secretly been agitated by a passion for the betrothed mistress of his friend, and the object of his silent affection whom he has just rescued from a watery grave—though it is not perhaps the most beautiful passage of the poem:
He is on land; on safe land is he come:
Sophronia's head he pillows on a stone:
Her head falls lapsing on his shoulder. None
Is seal'd for evermore! At last a groan
Where was he then? From death to life restored!
From hell to heaven! To rapture from despair!
And now her pulse he feels; and now—(beware.
Of perfume from her lips, which though they were
Still were they cold; her hands were also cold;
Those hands he chafd, and, perhaps to restore
He grew, he kiss'd those pale lips o'er and o'er.
Their wonted rubeous hue, he dared do more;—
Thou art undone, mad youth! The fire of love
Bum'd so intensely in his throbbing veins,
A new Pygmalion, and the icy chains
The torpor which her o'er-wrought frame sustains.—
She feels the delicate influence through her thrill,
Scarce dare she open them, when had her will
Their lights on him. No, with a lingering skill—
The bliss of that revival, by a feign'd
Or half-feign'd show of conflict still snstain'd.
At last, she look'd !—They looked!—Eye met with eye!
The whole was told! The lover, and the lov'd, The ador'd, and the adorer, ecstasy
Never till then experienced—swiftly proved !—
They were forgotten! Transport unreproved,
Then all the world was lost to them, in one
Fulness of unimaginable bliss!— Infinity was with them! and the zone
Unbound whence Venus sheds upon a kiss Nectareous essences, and raptures known
Ne'er save to moments unprepar'd as this! And in that earnest impulse did they find Peace and intensity, alike combin'd!
To frame such joy, these things are requisite;
A lofty nature; the exalting stress Of stimulating trials; which requite.
And antecedent sorrows, doubly bless. Consummate sympathies, which souls unite;
And a conjuncture, whence no longer press
This could not last! Not merely would a word;.—
Could home be mention'd nor the thought restor'd,
And manly love? Bless'd be ye with your hoard
Ye fond, fond pair! But think not joys so high
Can be inwoven with reality!
At lust a swift rcvultion through her frame
And o'er her countenance stole: a sudden pause!
Her eyes, which had imbib'd a piercing flame,
Fell at once raylcss; and her bosom draws
O'er her fine face! Titus knew well the cause
Some minutes they were silent. Night advanced;
Titus towards himself, Sophronia press'd,
A look upbraiding, and upon his breast—
No longer was happiness her guest.
They rose and crept along in silentness—
Sophronia rcach'd her home, but nothing said,
E'en to her mother, of her past distress.
Her threshold past not Titus—Thence he fled,
Soon as in safety he the maid did guess,
Like to a madman madden'd more with dread!
Nor ever of this night, or of its spell
Of mighty love, did he breathe a syllable!
We now take leave of Mr. Lloyd with peculiar gratitude for the rich materials for thought with which a perusal of his poems has endowed us. "We shall look for his next appearance before the public with anxiety;—assured that his powers are not even yet fully developed to the world, and that he is destined to occupy a high station among the finest spirits of his age.