Obrázky na stránke

If ever



sailing. Shelley and Williams made longer On the 1st of July they left us. excursions; they sailed several times to shadow of future ill darkened the present Massa. They had engaged one of the hour, such was over my mind when they

who brought her round, went. During the whole of our stay at boy, by name Charles Vivian; and they Lerici, an intense presentiment of coming had not the slightest apprehension of evil brooded over my mind, and covered danger. When the weather was unfave this beautiful place and genial summer ourable, they employed themselves with with the shadow of coming misery. I alterations in the rigging, and by building had vainly struggled with these emotions a boat of canvas and reeds, as light as they seemed accounted for by my illpossible, to have on board the other for ness; but at this hour of separation they the convenience of landing in waters too recurred with renewed violence. I did shallow for the larger vessel. When not anticipate danger for them, but a Shelley was on board, he had his papers vague expectation of evil shook me to with him; and much of the Triumph of agony, and I could scarcely bring myself Life was written as he sailed or weltered to let them go. The day was calm and on that sea which was soon to engulph him. clear; and, a fine breeze rising at twelve,

The heats set in in the middle of June; they weighed for Leghorn. They made the days became excessively hot. But the run of about fifty miles in seven hours the sea-breeze cooled the air at noon, and and a half. The Bolivar was in port; extreme heat always put Shelley in spirits. and, the regulations of the Health-office A long drought had preceded the heat; not permitting them to go on shore after and prayers for rain were being put up in sunset, they borrowed cushions from the the churches, and processions of relics for larger vessel, and slept on board their the same effect took place in every town. boat. At this time we received letters announc- They spent a week at Pisa and Leghorn. ing the arrival of Leigh Hunt at Genoa. | The want of rain was severely felt in the Shelley was very eager to see him. I was country.

The weather continued sultry confined to my room by severe illness, and fine. I have heard that Shelley all and could not move; it was agreed that this time was in brilliant spirits. Not Shelley and Williams should go to Leg. long before, talking of presentiment, he horn in the boat. Strange that no fear of had said the only one that he ever found danger crossed our minds! Living on the infallible was the certain advent of some sea-shore, the ocean became as a play- evil fortune when he felt peculiarly joyous. thing: as a child may sport with a lighted | Yet, if ever fate whispered of coming stick, till a spark inflames a forest, and disaster, such inaudible but not unfelt spreads destruction over all, so did we prognostics hovered around us. The fearlessly and blindly tamper with danger, beauty of the place seemed unearthly in and make a game of the terrors of the its excess: the distance we were at from

Our Italian neighbours, even, all signs of civilisation, the sea at our feet, trusted themselves as far as Massa in the its murmurs or its roaring for ever in our skiff; and the running down the line of ears,- all these things led the mind to coast to Leghorn gave no more notion of brood over strange thoughts, and, lifting peril than a fair-weather inland navigation it from everyday life, caused it to be would have done to those who had never familiar with the unreal. A sort of spell seen the sea. Once, some months before, surrounded us; and each day, as the Trelawny had raised a warning voice as voyagers did not return, we grew restless to the difference of our calm bay and the and disquieted, and yet, strange to say, open sea beyond; but Shelley and his we were not fearful of the most apparent friend, with their one sailor-boy, thought danger. themselves a match for the storms of The spell snapped, it was all over; an the Mediterranean, in a boat which they interval of agonising doubt-of days passed looked upon as equal to all it was put to do. I in miserable journeys to gain tidings, of hopes that took firmer root even as they


A field is spread, on which a newer band

Have pitched in heaven's smile their camp of were more baseless—was changed to the

death, certainty of the death that eclipsed all welcoming him we lose with scarce extinguished happiness for the survivors for evermore.

breath." There was something in our fate pecu

Could sorrow for the lost, and shudderliarly harrowing. The remains of those

ing anguish at the vacancy left behind, be we lost were cast on shore; but, by the soothed by poetic imaginations, there was quarantine-laws of the coast, we were not something in Shelley's fate to mitigate permitted to have possession of them—the

pangs which yet, alas! could not be so law with respect to everything cast on

mitigated; for hard reality brings too land by the sea being that such should be miserably home to the mourner all that is burned, to prevent the possibility of any lost of happiness, all of lonely unsolaced remnant bringing the plague into Italy; struggle that remains. Still, though and no representation could alter the law. dreams and hues of poetry cannot blunt At length, through the kind and unwearied grief, it invests his fate with a sublime exertions of Mr. Dawkins, our Chargé fitness, which those less nearly allied may d'Affaires at Florence, we gained permis regard with complacency. A year before sion to receive the ashes after the bodies he had poured into verse all such ideas were consumed. Nothing could equal the about death as give it a glory of its own. zeal of Trelawny in carrying our wishes He had, as it now seems, almost anticiinto effect. He was indefatigable in his exertions, and full of forethought and pated his own destiny; and, when the

mind figures his skiff wrapped from sight sagacity in his arrangements. It was a fearful task; he stood before us at last, by the thunder-storm, as it was last seen his hands scorched and blistered by the upon the purple sea, and then, as the

cloud of the tempest passed away, no sign flames of the funeral-pyre, and by touching remained of where it had been? –who but the burnt relics as he placed them in the will regard as a prophecy the last stanza receptacles prepared for the purpose. And of the Adonais ? there, in compass of that small case, was gathered all that remained on earth of him

“ The breath whose might I have invoked in whose genius and virtue were a crown of

Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven glory to the world—whose love had been Far from the shore, far from the trembling the source of happiness, peace, and good,

throng - to be buried with him!

Captain Roberts watched the vessel with his The concluding stanzas of the Adonais glass from the top of the lighthouse of Leghorn, pointed out where the remains ought to on its homeward track. They were oft Via be deposited; in addition to which our Reggio, at some distance from shore, when a

storm was driven over the sea. It enveloped beloved child lay buried in the cemetery them and several larger vessels in darkness. at Rome. Thither Shelley's ashes were When the cloud passed onwards, Roberts looked conveyed; and they rest beneath one of again, and saw every other vessel sailing on the the antique weed-grown towers that recur

ocean except their little schooner, which had

vanished. From that time he could scarcely at intervals in the circuit of the massy doubt the fatal truth; yet we fancied that they ancient wall of Rome. He selected the might have been driven towards Elba or Corsica, hallowed place himself; there is

and so be saved. The observation made as to

the spot where the boat disappeared caused it to “the sepulchre,

be found, through the exertions of Trelawny for Oh not of him, but of our joy !

that effect. It had gone down in ten fathom water; it had not capsized, and, except such

things as had floated from her, everything was And

gray walls moulder round, on which dull found on board exactly as it had been placed Time

when they sailed. The boat itself was uninFeeds, like slow fire upon a hoary brand; jured. Roberts possessed himself of her, and And one keen pyramid with wedge sublime, decked her; but she proved not seaworthy, and

Pavilioning the dust of him who planned her shattered planks now lie rotting on the shore

This refuge for his memory, doth stand of one of the Ionian islands, on which she was Like flame transformed to marble; and beneath wrecked.






Whose sails were never to the tempest given ; He began playing on the lyre at noon, The massy earth and sphered skies are riven!

And the same evening did he steal away I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar! Whilst, burning through the in most veil of Apollo's herds ;— the fourth day of heaven,

the moon The soul of Adonais, like a star, Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are." | On which him bore the venerable May, PUTNEY, May 1, 1839.

From her immortal limbs he leaped

full soon,

Nor long could in the sacred cradle TRANSLATIONS


But out to seek Apollo's herds would HYMN TO MERCURY


Out of the lofty cavern wandering
He found a tortoise, and cried out-

A treasure!” Sing, Muse, the son of Maia and of (For Mercury first made the tortoise Jove,

sing) The Herald-child, king of Arcadia

The beast before the portal at his

leisure And all its pastoral hills, whom in sweet love

The flowery herbage was depasturing,

Moving his feet in Having been interwoven, modest May


measure Bore Heaven's dread Supreme —an antique grove

Over the turf. Jove's profitable son Shadowed the cavern where the Eyeing him laughed, and laughing thus lovers lay

begun: In the deep night, unseen by Gods or Men,

“A useful god-send are you to me now, And white-armed Juno slumbered sweetly King of the dance, companion of the then.


Lovely in all your nature ! Welcome, Now, when the joy of Jove had its sul

you filling,

Excellent plaything ! Where, Sweet And Heaven's tenth moon chronicled

mountain beast, her relief,

Got you that speckled shell ? Thus She gave to light a babe all babes much I know, excelling,

You must come home with me and be A schemer subtle beyond all belief;

my guest; A shepherd of thin dreams, a cow-steal- You will give joy to me, and I will do ing,

All that is in my power to honour you. A night-watching, and door-waylaying

thief, Who 'mongst the Gods was soon about “Better to be at home than out of to thieve,

door ;And other glorious actions to achieve. So come with me, and though it has

been said

That you alive defend from magic power, The babe was born at the first peep of I know you will sing sweetly when day;

you're dead.”









Thus having spoken, the quaint infant Joyous and wild and wanton-such you bore,

may Listing it from the grass on which it | Hear among revellers on a holiday.

sed, And grasping it in his delighted hold, Ilis treasured prize into the cavern old.

He sung how Jove and May of the

bright sandal Dallied in love not quite legitimate ;

And his own birth, still scoffing at the Then scooping with a chisel of gray scandal, steel,

And naming his own

name, did He bored the life and soul out of the

celebrate; beast

His mother's cave and servant maids he Not swifter a swift thought of woe or

planned all weal

In plastic verse, her household stuff Darts through the tumult of a human

and state, breast

Perennial pot, trippet, and brazen pan,Which thronging cares annoy - not But singing, he conceived another plan.

swifter wheel The flashes of its torture and unrest Out of the dizzy eyes—than Maia's son Seized with a sudden fancy for fresh All that he did devise hath seatly done.

meat, He in his sacred crib deposited The hollow lyre, and from the cavern

sweet And through the tortoise's hard stony Rushed with great leaps up to the skin

mountain's head, At proper distances small holes he made,

Revolving in his mind some subtle And fastened the cut stems of reeds

feat within,

Of thievish craft, such as a swindler And with a piece of leather overlaid

might The open space and fixed the cubits Devise in the lone season of dun night.

in, Fitting the bridge to both, and stretched o'er all

Lo! the great Sun under the ocean's Symphonious cords of sheep-gut rhyth.

bed has mical.

Driven steeds and chariot-the child

meanwhile strode

O'er the Pierian mountains clothed in When he had wrought the lovely instru

shadows, ment,

Where the immortal oxen of the God Ile tried the chords, and made Are pastured in the flowering unmown division meet

meadows, Preluding with the plectrum, and there

And safely stalled in a remote abode went

The archer Argicide, elate and proud, Up from beneath his hand a tumult Drove fifty from the herd, lowing aloud.

sweet Of mighty sounds, and from his lips he sent

He drove them wandering o'er the A strain of unpremeditated wit

sandy way,




But, being ever mindful of his craft, And flower-paven plains, great Hermes Backward and forward drove he them

past; astray,

Till the black night divine, which So that the tracks which seemed

favouring fell before, were aft;

Around his steps, grew gray, and mornIlis sandals then he threw to the ocean spray,

Wakened the world to work, and And for each foot he wrought a kind from her cell of raft

Sea - strewn,

the Pallantean Moon Or tamarisk, and tamarisk-like sprigs,

sublime And bound them in a lump with withy Into her watch - tower just began to twigs.


ing fast




And on his feet he tied these sandals Now to Alpheus he had driven all light,

The broad - foreheaded oxen of the The trail of whose wide leaves might Sun; not betray

They came unwearied to the lofty stall His track; and then, a self-sufficing And to the water troughs which ever

wight, Like a man hastening on some distant Through the fresh fields, and when with way,

rushgrass tall, He from Pieria's mountain bent his Lotus and all sweet herbage, every

flight; But an old man perceived the infant Had pastured been, the great God made pass

them move Down green Onchestus heaped like beds Towards the stall in a collected drove.


with grass.



The old man stood dressing his sunny A mighty pile of wood the God then vine:

heaped, “Halloo ! old fellow with the crooked And having soon

conceived the shoulder !

mystery You grub those stumps ? before they Of fire, from two smooth laurel branches will bear wine

stript Methinks even you must grow a little

The bark, and rubbed them in his older:

palms,-on high Attend, I pray, to this advice of mine,

Suddenly forth the burning vapour leapt, As you would ’scape what might

And the divine child saw delightedlyappal a bolder

Mercury first found out for human weal Seeing, see not-and hearing, hear not Tinder-box, matches, fire-irons, flint and -and

steel. If you have understanding-understand.”

And fine dry logs and roots innumerous

He gathered in a delve upon the So saying, Hermes roused the oxen groundvast;

And kindled them- and instantaneous O'er shadowy mountain and resound- The strength of the fierce flame was ing dell,

breathed around :



« PredošláPokračovať »