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Morn lay on crowned Olympus' steep,
And silver Peneus' tide;
Along piled Ossa's side.
Beneath lay Tempe's vale;
And Malia's distant sail.
Like the startling trumpet's clang,,
Through the leafy branches rang.
Uppiled each teeming, wain,
Swelled out the Homeric strain.
To the babe that climbed her knee,
Sang of Thermopylæ!
of proud Platæa's day!
Echoed the glorious lay!
Ye had your Bard - ARISTIDES
LEONIDAS! - MILTIADES!
Rome's conquering cohorts poured,
Of the hostile Asian horde :
Or ere o'er fallen Illium's domes,
High blazed her funeral pyre--
Of heroes, turned the lyre.
The crowned river, lay ?
Through flowery Attica ?
With songs triumphal rang,
To the cooling breezes swang ?
Breaks from their hidden urns;
No answering sound returns.
The heroic lay might swell;
Or strike the sounding shell.
Of their old battle day;
They have passed from earth away,
'Desire to know, without the means, is given
"With the stars,
The red rays of an autumn sunset spread a halo over the turrets of Castle D which in its ruins seemed as an eloquent wreck of the mighty past appealing to the future ; a melancholy voice, telling of power and magnificence, when all had departed. Proud though in desolation, it stood like some hoary representative of a fallen house, whose lofty bearing and unconquerable spirit are all that remain of the fairy tale of life. Below lay the ancient shadows of the Black Forest; and now its paths grew dimmer, and its long vistas darker; and at last not a ray was seen over the mingled gloom, save the red glow on the western tower of the venerable castle. Passing through one of its narrow casements, the mild warm sunlight streamed along a small desolate apartment; and lighted the pale cheek of a student, who sat with brow resting on his hand, and compressed lips, and bright but restless gaze. Papers and folios lay in confusion around him, evidently flung aside in some mood of impatience or abstraction ; for his intellectual eye was fixed, now on vacancy, now on the clear and beautiful sunset; and its rapid flashes seemed movements of thought, whose energies were concentrated on some one all-absorbing subject. Yet it was not the deep and constant expression of the searcher for hidden truths ; but as if the soul felt the restraining bars of its prison-house press upon its energies, like the closing dungeon of the Italian, whose walls at last crushed its prisoner. It was the mighty struggle of a mind to whom years of patient plodding through the tomes of learning, had brought this meed of knowledge — that nothing had been learned ; that the unexplored area beyond was too vast for the term of human existence; and that if all were grasped that mind has accomplished, it were still but the superficies of things, isolated facts, or a train of circumstances whose very premises are effects; and that cause in nature or philosophy sleeps in its own unfathomed ocean.
There were other and gentler characters in the soul of Kriesler than thirst for knowledge, though this was the all-pervading passion, through every action and every dream of his quiet existence; quiet, that the world mingled not its turmoil with the occupations of the student, yet feverish and excited with the restless energies of its own unquiet and onward nature. There was extreme veneration,
* The vivid imagination, and the German spirit and imagery, which pervade 'The Student,' would doubtless have elicited warm praise from COLERIDGE, and should certainly secure the hearty applause of the author of 'Sartor Resartus. To the especial admirers of each of these writers, therefore, as well as to the general reader, we commend this tale of the past.
that passed to the Creator from all the grand and wonderful of his creation, and heard in the thunder-storm the voice of his power, and saw the light of his presence. And there were kindly sympathies and gentle affections, that clung freshly and beautifully around every object, that seemed like kindred love in the isolated life of Kriesler. And most devotedly did it cling to his desolate home, and to the one gentle being who shared the dying prayers and blessing of their mother — Annette, whose life was blended with her brother's, till every thought, and wish, and purpose, seemed incomplete, till he was the sharer. Sweet Annette ! there was somewhat of melancholy mingled with her playful smile, a light shade cast through life from the gloom that gathered round the death-bed of her mother, and darkened the hours of her early childhood with the loneliness of an orphan.
The storm of persecution, that gathering in France and Italy, spread wide over Europe, and darkened the bistory of the thirteenth century with a stain which the tide of time can never wash away, overwhelmed many a noble house, for no other crime than refusing to join the blood-hounds that were hunting down the proscribed order of the Templars. Nor would even now the hatred of the powerful accusers leave the Castle D — and its inmates in peace, had its first destroying course left aught to excite either their tears or their avarice. But the lonely widow who returned to that castle with her children, to die, and leave them no protection por patrimony, save the shades of their ruined and desolate home, and those children, whose whole world of intercourse was their ancient nurse and the grayhaired porter, were too utterly harmless for even their unprovoked malice.
Yet those old people would sit for hours and draw pictures of the future prosperity of their young master and lady; when their broad domains would be restored, and the old hall be filled with crowds such as long ago gathered round its hospitable hearth; pictures colored by their own affectionate and simple hearts, that believed not injustice could have power over those whose infancy they had watched, and whose ancestral roof had protected their own infancy; whose only wish for themselves was to live and die beneath it. They spoke of the day when he would go forth, the legal representative of his house, to claim his rights; when a hundred knightly swords would be drawn, and a hundred baronial banners unfurled in his cause; and the red cross of the Templars, for whose sake he suffered, would gleam from its snowy standard, and the black and white banner float with their allies over the gallant and united band. Then, in imagination, they saw the steel harness and gorgeous pennons glitter in the sunshine, and heard the hauberk rattle to the armor of the war-horse, as his rider sprang to the saddle. And Annette was the star of every feast, and princely gathering, and queen of every tournay. Thus they talked, till they were happy in the world of their own creation ; yet years and years were passing away, while the phantom of their hopes ever receded in the future, and each one brought surer forgetfulness for the orphan children.
The hour of retribution was not to be. The rapacity that wrested, acknowledged no obligation to restore. And though Kriesler talked VOL. XI.
to his sister of the future, and tinged it with the glow of a believing fancy, when the something would have been done to restore their place and friends and the world of enjoyment they dreamed of, yet that something was a shadow to which be vainly sought to give a form. His fathers had bled on the hills and plains of Palestine, and the battle-axe and banner in his hall had glanced proudly and fearfully through the ranks of many foes, and even that young heart sprang to the excitement of danger; but alone and powerless, even his vassals dependant on another master, what could he accomplish ? Then a hope, born in the mystic tendencies of his spirit
, and nurtured by its surpassing enthusiasm, saw in the depths of nature's mysteries the source and secret of a power, where mind might rule mind; and he turned to the lore of other days, where he saw once more the phantom of a bright future, for the glory of his father's house and for Annette.
Annette grew to girlhood, a lonely yet not unhappy being; for to her the future wore no darkness, and the past no regret. A habit of humble and daily trust for daily support, and a temperament that suffered not the heart to be troubled by that future which might never arrive, gave an evenness to her disposition, and serenity and quiet joy, that seemed like sweet sunshine over her unclouded brow. Kriesler looked on his sister, and felt strong with a superhuman strength to do all things for her; and then, in the consciousness of his utter inability, he would seek the solitude of his own apartment, and let the torrent of his emotions
yet, he asked himself, •What is it ? — what is any earthly event, that-the mighty mind should bow before it? Petty contingencies, that weigh down the balance of more worthy things; the sleeping giant chained by pigmies ! Eternal in duration, independent in existence, sufficient to itself, what has the mind to do with extrinsic circumstances, and why is it not free and powerful, whether the body, created only for its use, pines in deprivation, or writhes in pain, or rejoices in strength? Chained in a prison, and subject to laws that govern the material atoms around it; perceiving things but by their visible species, yet conscious of an innate power of knowing their very nature; conscious that in its birth-right, and as portion of the divine essence, it could see in its own light, and penetrate by its own subtilety the mysteries of things it now beholds only by the senses. Then he applied more deeply to his studies, and dreamed of a potency in wisdom; for his philosophizing mind caught that shadow in early years, and its redundant and untutored fertility ran wild in its undirected course ; as the strong and luxuriant vines of the Indies twine round the Upas that poisons their roots.
The same disposition that directed him to find in wisdom the secret of an undefined power, led him on in its paths by a fascination that often left behind the first object of his pursuit; and he passed days and nights in that western tower, poring over the secrets of the unseen ; for scarcely could sleep be called a cessation of that intel. lectual current in which his thoughts seemed flowing onward, with ever-increasing rapidity, to their ocean of boundless knowledge ; and even then, there were gleams that afterward he treasured as revealings of a higher existence. Mental philosophy pretends to explain the
phenomena of the wild yet partial action of the mind in sleep; but
The character of Kriesler was, as has been said, strongly devo-
Kriesler felt that his heaven should be where he might look through all the grand creation, and hear the music of its million spheres, as they sweep their orbits; where his spirit's burning thirst would be satisfied, or it would almost be no heaven for him. And then he knelt and offered his life for sacrifice, and his soul for torture, through all time, if at last he might be as those who pass through the boundless universe, with powers to comprehend its wonders. It was a wild and unholy prayer; for it arraigned the Being who thus wrapped his works in mystery, and prisoned the aspiring soul; who gave it capacities at once too great and too small for earth, that it might find its home and treasure in another state of existence. And yet, is it strange that, looking on the glorious and perfect creation, man should scorn the littleness of his human nature, and sigh for the freedom of the thinking, feeling, wondering soul, to mingle with the beautiful and holy things whose love, even here, exalts and purifies, and sheds over the heart the serenity and quiet joy of nature itself? No changes chill that love ; no disappointment, no delusion, no awakening to forgetfulness or to sorrow; and ever it leads upward from the perfect to the source of perfection, from the beautiful to the element of beauty, from the excellent to the pure idea of all that we call good and lovely; from the waters to the fountain of knowledge, which is Truth, increated, without error, without imperfection, which