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With words, and looks, that tigers could but rue,
Where each of us did plead the other's right; The palm-play, where despoiled for the game,
With dazed eyes oft we, by gleams of love, Have missed the ball, and got sight of our dame,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above. The gravelled ground, with sleeves tied on the helm,
On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts, With chear as though one should another whelm,
Where we here fought, and chased oft with darts; With silver drops the meads yet spread for ruth;
In active games of nimbleness and strength, Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth,
Our tender limbs, that yet shot up in length; The secret groves, which oft we made resound
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies praise, Recording soft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays; The wild forest, the clothed holts with green ;
With rains availed, and swift y-breathed horse With cry of hounds, and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force; The void walls eke that harboured us each night;
Wherewith, alas ! revive within my heart The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight,
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest, The secret thoughts imparted with such trust,
The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
Wherewith we past the winter nights away.
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue :
Up-supped have, thus I my plaint renew : “O place of bliss ! renewer of my woes !
Give me account, where is my noble fere ?
Whom in thy walls thou didst each night enclose,
To other lief, but unto me most dear." Echo, alas ! that doth my sorrow rue,
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint. Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine with bondage and restraint;: And with remembrance of the greater grief
To banish the less, I find my chief relief.”
If the muse of Surrey, the first noble English poet, be imbued with the romantic spirit of his time, perhaps in the more emphatic verse of Byron, the latest and the greatest, we may trace the chartered and fiercer energies that are supposed to have affected the moral temperament of our own time. One of the very finest passages in all his voluminous works is an address to Napoleon, the individual in whom whatever was peculiar, to the revolutionary period that has just passed, may be said to have been embodied. After adverting to the singular combination of magnanimity and meanness, which formed the brightness and the blackness of that extraordinary political phenomenon, the author proceeds:
“ Yet well thy soul hath brook'd the turning tide
With that untaught innate philosophy,
When Fortune fled her spoil'd and favourite child,
“ Sager than in thy fortunes ; for in them
Ambition steel'd thee on too far to show That just habitual scorn which could contemn Men and their thoughts. 'Twas wise to feel, not so To wear it ever on thy lip and brow, And spurn the instruments thou wert to use Till they were turn'd unto thine overthrow; 'Tis but a worthless world to win or lose ! So hath it proved to thee, and all such lot who choose.
“ But quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
“ This makes the madmen who have made men mad
By their contagion ; Conquerors and Kings,
Are theirs! One breast laid open were a school Which would unteach mankind the lust to shine or rule:
“ Their breath is agitation, and their life
A storm whereon they ride, to sink at last ;
Melt to calm twilight, they feel overcast
With its own flickering; or a sword laid by,
“ He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
Contending tempests on his naked head,
The stern sublimity of this highly-poetical and descriptive passage may be agreeably contrasted with the introduction to Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming,-a poem of rare merit and delightful beauty, but comparatively very little known, except by name, notwithstanding the celebrity of the author. The excellence of the execution, and the tenderness of feeling in this composition, should have secured it a much larger share of public admiration than it will ever obtain: the remoteness of the scene, however, and the imagery being drawn from descriptions in books, and not from impressions on the poet's sense, have impaired the effect of his power; and hence, though as a work of art, Gertrude of Wyoming will always rank high, yet it will never be in much request, notwithstanding all its numberless beauties, and the exquisite refinement of the sensibility that breathes and trembles in the pathos of every line.
GERTRUDE OF WYOMING.
“ On Susquehana's side, fair Wyoming,
“ It was beneath thy skies that, but to prune
“ Then, where of Indian hills the daylight takes ·
“ And scarce had Wyoming of war or crime