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dull and common-place ode selected from Luis de Leon, the facile princeps of Spanish lyric poets. It seems to possess no recommendation but its rarity (being taken from an unpublished manuscript), and is in every respect inferior to those selected by Bouterwek and Sismondi, and the fine odes in Quintana's collection. We cannot resist the temptation of attempting to supply this defect by some extracts from the ode entitled "Noche Serena," which appears to us the finest of all.
"Quando contemplo el cielo."
I GAZE upon yon orbs of light-
And throne of grandeur, can it be
Awake, ye mortals! raise your eyes
With all its pomps and vanities-
Of heavenly lamps, so brightly shining,
Yet in harmonious concord joining.
Of the bright Moon; and, gliding slow,
That o'er the Gods of old held sway;
And calms the heavens beneath his ray.
From their eternal seats a stream
And pass the gulf that yawn'd between ?
Our readers will, perhaps, remark the striking coincidence between the last of these stanzas and some lines of the brilliant moonlight scene in the "Siege of Corinth."
"Who ever gazed upon them shining,
The didactic poems, which form the second division of Faber's work, are the least interesting part of the collection. And if, as the author informs us in his preface, they contain the quintessence of human wisdom, we cannot help thinking that it is here alloyed by an uncommonly liberal allowance of tediousness and common-place. We shall hardly think of extracting poems upon death, where the reader is consoled for that inevitable consummation by the assurance that Samson, Hercules, Gideon, Judas Maccabæus, Cassandra, Helen and the Virgin Mary, for such is the orthodox arrangement of Fernan Perez de Guzman, have preceded him. We are not a little tempted, however, to enlighten them by a very luminous production of Cartagena, in which the great question of man's freewill is discussed in four stanzas, the combat between our good and evil inclinations being likened to a game at rackets, and God's prescience, by a very conclusive analogy, compared to the knowledge of a spectator, who infers from the superior dexterity of one of the parties that he will be the conqueror, but whose knowledge does not in any way influence the issue of the game. This, we certainly think, sets the question at rest. One of the most poetical pieces in this department is the old poem of Don Jorge Manrique on the death of his father Don Rodrigo, which breathes a fine spirit of pathos and morality, and wears an air of venerable simplicity. We have attempted to translate the opening stanzas, following the peculiarities of the rhyme; but we fear our readers will perceive more good sense than good poetry in our translation.
And while we eye the rolling tide,
Down which our hasting minutes glide
Let us the present hour employ,
Let no vain hope deceive the mind,
Our golden dreams of yore were bright;
Our lives like hasting streams must be,
Are doom'd to fall:
The sea of death, whose waves roll on
O'er king and kingdom, crown and throne,
Alike the river's lordly tide,
Alike the humble riv❜lets glide,
To that sad wave;
Death levels poverty and pride,
And rich and poor sleep side by side
Within the grave.
The following little ode of Francesco de Medrano is written with much tenderness and simplicity.
"O mil veces con migo reducido."
O tried in good and evil hour,
My partner through life's thorny track,
O partner of my soul, how soon
Companions in calamity,
We fled the stormy ocean's roar :
Fate bore in safety to the shore.
Thy thankful tear and prayer be given.
And pour my silent thanks to Heaven.
O might we find in this repose
A home and harbour for our age,
Here, where the early roses blow,
The first to bloom, the last to die :
Then come, the hasting moments flee,
The amorous poems are in general exceedingly interesting. Though disfigured by occasional conceits or agudezas, as they are gently styled by the Spanish critics, their defects are much more than redeemed by frequent pathos, and by a constant gracefulness of conception and expression, which is very much increased by the melody of the regular recurrence of the rhymes and choruses. The following anonymous little piece affords a fair specimen of this class.
O! broad and limpid river,
O! groves in green array,
My love should hạp to be,
That in the morning ray,
My love should hap to be,
A thought of me.
O! elms that to the breeze
With waving branches play,
My love should chance to be,
A thought of me.
A thought of me.
We shall conclude our extracts with two "chanzonetas" from the
Aunque con semblance ayrado.”
Bright Eyes! though in your glances lie
Disdain and cruelty:
Bright Eyes! ye cannot now deny
That ye have look'd on me.
Though death within that frozen air,
And angry glances lay:
What woe could with the bliss
Of gazing on their ray?
Though pierced with mortal agonies
I smile amidst my pain-bright eyes!
Ye look'd on me with angry gaze,
But good for ill, those heavenly rays,
For though your angry glances shew
Fair Eyes! I cannot feel my woe,
The next forms an excellent pendant to the preceding.
"Ojos bellos no os ficis."
Fair Eyes! be not so proudly gay
In these your golden years:
The smile that gilds the cheek to-day,
My love thou knowest not, thou art
How heavy on a lover's heart
His love's unkindness lies.
Soon will thy coldness waste away
And thou, when I have pass'd away,
That thou, when I am gone for aye,
Thy mirthful mood shall change when thou
The death, alas! not distant now
Of thy too faithful lover.
Then shall the cold disdain give way
That in thine eyes appears;
Fair Eyes! although in smiles ye slay,
More deep, more bitter grows my care,
As grows thy cruelty;
My sighs are scatter'd on the air,
And can thy cheek be calmly gay
ON LIPS AND KISSING. "But who those ruddy lips can miss,
Which blessed still themselves do kiss."
As the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine inserted a paper upon Noses in one of his earlier numbers, I hope he will think I am rather advancing than receding in dignity of subject, if I request admission for a few remarks on lips, an appendage that ministers so much more copiously to our gratifications than that cartilaginous projection which in many human subjects may be defined as a mere carneous snuff-box, affixed between the two eyes. How various, delicate, and delightful, on the contrary, are the functions of the lips! I purpose not to treat them anatomically, or I might expatiate on the exquisite flexibility of those muscles, which by the incalculable modulations they accomplish, supply different languages to all the nations of the earth, and hardly ever fatigue the speaker, though they so often prove wearisome to the auditor. Nor shall I dwell upon the opposite impressions which their exercise is calculated to excite, from the ruby mouth of a Corinna "warbling immortal verse and Tuscan air," to the lean-lipped Xantippe deafening her hen-pecked mate, or the gruff voice of the turnkey