Page images
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The fig is my Giacopo's stake,

To swing the silver censer chains, And even as I dream, I take.'

Nor when to lift the wafer high, That night I dreamed of both, but chief These things, I say, are past your pains, Of figs ; yet doubtful might it seem ; My Lisa, then keep you the eye, So when I dreamed again, the leaf

But let the Padre have the brains." Was peach. The Virgin sent the dream."

Here came my thought, If I can see,

A small day-watcher on my tower, Then down I looked where in the sun Unseen, these pilgrims of the hour, Turbia lay, and at the door

It were a little thing that she, Of the old hostel, there were four

Who holds her throne with starlight pearled, Who drank,--all still as lizards : ono Should see all men in all the world ; Who in the water 'neath the wall,

Both who bides East, where, as men tell, Her kirtle like a poppy bright,

Is Genoa, who on sunny capes
Dipt her brown arms and linen white ; Sits by the palm-tree and the grapes,
Fo' there the stream, above the fall, Who fish the bays to dim Estrelle,
Broadens in a cool pause, and cleaves Who on the inland terrace lops
A basin green with burdock leaves, The olive, and sets seeds below,
Then leaps, in silver sunlight blind, And if beyond the northern tops
Then hides beneath the olives, grey, Are any shepherds in the snow,
Beneath the olives, who shall say

All things that move, of might or mcan, If it be the water or the wind ?

Are by the heavenly lady scen. And past the tower with shining tiles, And as my friends at distance stirred And down the road that, in and out, My heart, and drew me to their brink, Along the rocky mountain miles,

As in a ferry, and I heard Winds like the line on a redoubt,

Myself the thoughts of Lotta think, I saw the priest (beside him ran

So to our Lady, morn and eve, His shadow, like a sacristan),

The thoughts of men rise up, and weave Black as a raven, bent his head,

A mantle, manifold and fair ; And heavy in the dust his trcad.

And all the day, beneath her feet, I saw not, but how oft he drew

They mingle, that the large bright air The cross upon his breast I knew,

Is tremulous, and the time is sweet, I knew how many a secret sound

As with cross winds that softly meet, Pushed through his lips (like hasty

Or flutes to mountain-tops up-borne, thieves

Or birds fresh wakening in the morn. Through windows under midnight caves), Perchance my thought from the sweet stir With “ Ave !" or with “ Ora !” round. Has risen, and it pleases her, Though down he looked and scemed to Because remembrance unbesought read

Is best, and I was glad myself, Letters upon the road, indeed

When often, on the rocky shelf, Road, sea, and mountain were a blank ; At noon the Lotta shared my thought. IIc knew not, he, how many a hoof Had ringed the dust, and raised a proof Therefore, while yet we linger all, Clear as the Emperor on a franc.

Before the stars are out of sight, “ Ah well !” said I," the priest is wise, And darkened is the roof-tree light, And idle brains have busy eyes.

And Lurlei quiet in the stall ; To each a little! to the priest

Ere I be folded as the sheep Credo and psalm, the sun to me,

Within the hollows of thy sleep, To me the flock; it cannot be

And all is silent save the sea, Who keeps the flock should know the Santa Maria, hear thou me!

feast, Nor when 'tis fit in church to bow, Not much I ask, but that the grass Nor what the Latin mcans, nor how Be sweeter where my goats shall pass,

[ocr errors]

And that they pine not, nor let fail
The white milk in the evening pail ;
Upon my lambs set finer wool,
And let the fish by sweet south wind
Be driven till the nets are full,
For so the father will be kind.
To Lotta and to Sandro all
Good things, and children in due moon :
And, Lady, send to Lisa soon
A husband, twice as rich and tall
As Sandro. And that these things be,
On mountain and by terrace tree,
At noon and eve, I bend the knce,
Signora nostra Vergine !

A cross, stone-based ; and from the bay,
On every morn, in every year,
Men shall look up, and sometimes say,
“ Praise to her name! The cross is clear ;
The fishing shall be fair to-day.”
Or, sometimes, if the sail be tost
By sudden wave, and on the wind
The Ave bell be seaward lost,
When bitter salt has made them blind,
And sick with wet and hunger, then
Shall some one cry toward the coast,
“O Lady! we are sinful men,
But thou, most pitiful to save,
Send that by dawn we see once more
Our Lisa's cross, and the sweet shore !
Thine is the hour on land and wave,
And strong the wind, and weak are we,
Nor is there succour save of thee,
O Queen of Heaven ! Star of the sea !
Ora pro nobis, Verginc ! ”

W.J. C.

If any on the shore forget
To say the Ave-since the brow,
When all the limbs are weary wet,
Is full of slumber-heed not thou :
For I will on the mountain set

The Pageant at Pesth.

About the time of the birth of Constantine there rolled over the provinces watered by the Danube, which Tiberius reduced under the dominion of Rome nearly three centuries earlier, the first wave of the great barbaric ocean which inundated Europe and finally flooded the Imperial City. The Goths swarmed into Pannonia, and hustled out the toga'd warriors who, in face of these strange enemies, whose reign terminated with the life of Attila, held their swords with feeble grasp. In another century the Goths yielded in turn to the terrible Huns. Abares, Gepidae, and Lombards followed each wave that flowed westward and surged over its precursor like breakers on the sea shore. Dacia, Pannonia, and Servia owned an infinity of masters till Charlemagne included them within the limits of his Western Empire. But no power had prestige or force sufitient to avert the march of conquering hordes over the vast plains which offered such temptations to the pastoral Barbarians. The course of the Danube guided them westward, and from each great billow, as it rolled, a deposit took place, and gradually a compost of races was left, each as distinct as the strata in a geological formation. The last of these which was precipitated on the land, was the Magyar, a puzzle to ethnologists, a part of a great Arian mystery-Oriental no doubt, Turk or Scythian, a back current of the Hunic ocean which had been let loose from the now driedup reservoirs of the plains in Central Asia. Who they are and whence they came no one can decide. The theories are learned, ingenious, uncompromising, and unsatisfactory. What matters it ? Mr. Vambery could not find a trace of Magyarism in his travels; but the Emperor of Austria knows where it can be discovered in intensest development at a moment's notice. The Magyars say that when their ancestors made up their minds to move, they did so in such a complete and sweeping fashion that not a soul was left behind, consequently all efforts to throw light on the nursery of this interesting self-asserting race are not likely to avail much. Arpad and his Magyars rushed into Hungary about the period when Alfred the Great was warring with the Danes. Notwithstanding the numbers and courage of the new comers, the nations of central and western Europe, having now settled down under some sort of Government, were better able to oppose invaders than their ancestors had been, and the Magyars were checked in their endeavours to overrun Germany, and were finally forced back to the Wang, the Theiss, and the Danube. In fact they received severe defeats. Germans, Poles, Tartars, Turks, and Bohemians, overcame them in turn. They were subject to constant aggression when they were not making war on their neighbours—a turbulent energetic race, full

[ocr errors]

of life, vital force, and fidgetiness. Their history is exceedingly picturesque and animated; but to the callous Briton, or the philosophic Gaul, it is only attractive because of recent events. Are we to be grateful because many thousands of Hungarians, century after century, fell in fighting Turks and made a living wall of men to protect us from the invasion of the Mahometan? How thankful France and England, aye, and Germany, have been to the Poles for similar services ! We will probably agree in the view that they could do. no less, and that they fought very much on their own account. And besides, these Magyars were often provocative of battle. They would not let sleeping dogs lie. When the Turk was easy and somnolent they blew trumpets in his ears and walked on his slippered feet. At times when they had a fight of their own on hand they invited the Turk to take part in it, and there was a period in his history when poor “Bono Johnny” never refused any offer of the kind, but was as jubilant as an Irishman at any opportunity of stepping on the green for a friendly combat. These Magyars were often worsted, as has been said by their neighbours, and were scarred and bruised terribly, and their last "insurrectio,” or rising en masse, was put into a cocked hat by one of Napoleon's lieutenants. But they have a long roll of victories to boast of. over all sorts and conditions of nations. Nevertheless, in 1848 Europe was startled by the intelligence that Hungary in arms was putting to the rout the generals of Austria, and that the Kaiser was obliged to entreat the aid of the Czar to keep his crown on his head. In that resolution was sown the seeds of a hate which may be immortal, and a study of revenge which lasted nearly twenty years. The Emmetts, Wolfo Tones, and Fitzgeralds of Hungary did not represent the idea of a faction—they represented a nation, entire in its nobles, its bourgeoisie, and its people. Francis Joseph, in whose ears the echoes of cannon of the Vienna barricades rang for years after he had assumed the imperial purple, could not forget that the greatest enemies of his rule and dynasty were the Hungarians, who had deserted his standards, defeated his troops, and had declared a republic. He stiffened his back and hardened his heart and turned his car to men who unfolded to him the project of fusing all the masses of his empire into an Austrian amalgam, in which the leaden, solid, useful German, the lively, political, unpractical Hungarian, the stolid yet subtle Croat, the vain, imaginative, intriguing Greek, should form one placid composite. The Hungarians too would not be fused. They were submitted to a government analogous to that of the Southern States by the military commanders of the North. Their taxes were collected by force or by free quarterings; good roads were made in spite of them by the Austrians. But the Austrians were fatigued by a tremendous passivo resistance. The battle of Solferino showed the Emperor there was a weak spot in his harness, and that his armour and shield were alike vulnerable. And in 1861 a Diet was called, which was filled with the passions of 1848. It asked for what could not be granted, unless Hungary was to be cast off from the vessel of the state. The Diet was dissolved. The

« PreviousContinue »