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Champs Elysées,' and in his conversation exhibited a heartiness and indulgence towards others, almost foreign to his sarcastic nature, the identity of which, however, is prominent in his compositions to the last. There, indeed, the terrible yearning for death almost supersedes other feelings. He had long ago drawn picture of the old age he aspired to attain,-age retaining the virtues of youth, its unselfish zeal, its unselfish tears. Let ' me become an old man, still loving youth, still, in spite of the 'feebleness of years, sharing in its gambols and in its dangers; 'let my voice tremble and weaken as it may, while the sense of the words it utters remains fresh with hope, and unpalsied by 'fear.' Piteously different was this life from the event, from the reality which found its true expression in the following apologue, and in the poems which we have selected as the best illustration of the power of genius to draw up treasure from the deepest abysses of human calamity.

'I will cite you a passage from the Chronicle of Limburg. This chronicle is very interesting for those who desire information about the manners and customs of the middle ages in Germany. It describes, like a Journal des Modes, the costumes both of men and women as they came out at the time. It gives also notices of the songs which were piped and sung about each year, and the first lines of many a love-ditty of the day are there preserved. Thus, in speaking of A. D. 1480, it mentions that in that year through the whole of Germany songs were piped and sung, sweeter and lovelier than all the measures hitherto known in German lands, and that young and old—especially the ladies- went so mad about them, that they were heard to sing them from morning to night. Now these songs, the chronicle goes on to say, were written by a young clerk, who was affected by leprosy, and who dwelt in a secret hermitage apart from all the world. You know, dear reader, assuredly what an awful malady in the middle ages this leprosy was; and how the poor creatures who fell under this incurable calamity were driven out of all civil society, and allowed to come near no human being. Deadalive, they wandered forth wrapt up from head to foot, the hood drawn over the face, and carrying in the hand a kind of rattle called the Lazarus-clapper, by which they announced their presence, so that every one might get out of their way in time. This poor clerk, of whose fame as poet and songster this Chronicle of Limburg has spoken, was just such a leper, and he sat desolate, in the solitude of his sorrow, while all Germany, joyful and jubilant, sang and piped

his songs.

Many a time in the mournful visions of my nights, I think I see before me the poor clerk of the Chronicle of Limburg, my brother in Apollo, and his sad, suffering eyes stare strangely at me from under his hood; but at the same moment he seems to vanish, and clanging through the distance, like the echo of a dream, I hear the sharp rattle of the Lazarus-clapper.'

And, as it were in the person of this unhappy being, he entitles the following series of poems

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'Old Time is lame and halt,

The snail can barely crawl:
But how should I find fault,
Who cannot move at all?
'No gleam of cheerful sun!
No hope my life to save!
I have two rooms, the one
I die in and the grave.
'May be, I've long been dead,
May be, a giddy train

Of phantoms fills my head,

And haunts what was my brain.
'These dear old Gods or devils,

Who see me stiff and dull,
May like to dance their revels
In a dead Poet's skull.
'Their rage of weird delight
Is luscious pain to me:
And, my bony fingers write
What daylight must not see.'


'What lovely blossoms on each side

Of my youth's journey shone neglected;

Left by my indolence or pride

To waste unheeded or respected!

'Now, when I scent the coming grave, Here, where I linger sick to death, There flowers ironically wave

And breathe a cruel luscious breath.

'One violet burns with purple fire,

And sends its perfume to my brain : To think I had but to desire,

And on my breast the prize had lain!

Lethe! Lethe! thanks to Heaven,
That your black waves for ever flow;
Thou best of balsams! freely given
To all our folly and our woe.'


"I saw them sail, I heard them prattle,—
I watched them pass away:

Their tears, life-struggle, and death-rattle,
Scarcely disturbed my day.

I followed coffin after coffin,
In different moods of mind,
Sometimes regretting, sometimes scoffing,
And then went home and dined.

'Now sudden passionate remembrance

Flames up within my heart ;

The dead are dead, but from their semblance
I cannot bear to part.

'And must one tearful recollection

Beset me, till it grows

Far wilder than the old affection
From whose decay it rose.

'A colourless, a ghastly blossom,

She haunts my fevered nights,

And seems to ask my panting bosom
For posthumous delights.

'Dear phantom! closer, closer, press me:

Let dead and dying meet:

Hold by me,- utterly possess me,

And make extinction sweet.'


'You were a fair young lady, with an air Gentle, refined, discreet and debonnaire ;

I watched, and watched in vain, to see when first

The passion-flower from your young heart would burst:

'Burst into consciousness of loftier things
Than reason reckons or reflection brings,-
Things that the prosy world lets run to seed,
But for which women weep and brave men bleed.

'Can you remember when we strolled together,
Through the Rhine vineyards, in gay summer weather?
Outlaughed the sun, and every genial flower
Shared the serene emotion of the hour.

'In many a hue the roses blushed to please,
The thick carnations kissed the morning breeze;
The very daisies' unpretending show,
Seemed into rich ideal life to blow.

While you in quiet grace walked by my side,
Dressed in white satin, that might suit a bride,
But like some little maid of Netscher's limning,
Your untried heart well hid beneath the trimming.'

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'My cause at Reason's bar was heard, -
"Your fame is clear as noon-day's sun-
The sentence ran,-"by deed or word
The fair accused no ill has done."
"Yes! while my soul was passion-torn,

She dumb and motionless stood by ;
She did not scoff, she did not scorn,

Yet "guilty, guilty," still I cry.
་ For an accusing Voice is heard,

When night is still and thought is dim,
Saying, "It was not deed or word,

"But her bad heart, that ruined him."
'Then come the witnesses and proofs,

And documents of priceless cost;
But when the dawn has touched the roofs,
All vanish, and my cause is lost:
'And in my being's darkest deep

The plaintiff seeks the shame to hide :
One sense--one memory-will not sleep-
That I am utterly destroyed!'


'My fathomless despair to show

By certain signs, your letter came:
A lightning-flash, whose sudden flame
Lit up the abyss that yawned below.
What! you by sympathies controlled!

You, who in all my life's confusion,
Stood by me, in your self-seclusion,
As fair as marble, and as cold.

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