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Glory o'er the sky:
Beautiful July !
Over meadows, moor, and valley
Pour thy amber floods ;
From the shadowy woods,
Where deep coolness broods.
Not a single cloud is drifting
O'er the far blue sky,
Languidly I lie,
Beautiful July !
When the light green -leaves are kissed
By thy matin breeze,
As thy pride she sees,
'Mong the rustling trees.
Welcome then, young lord of summer!
Beautiful July !
As thou passest by :
Beautiful July !
BISHOP.—Most delectably melodious! The words absolutely sing themselves. Wait a moment, till I get to the piano, and I will thrum you off an air incontinently to them. (Plays.) Now, then, Jonathan, what do you say to that ? Shall we not have the song for our next symposium at Sackville-street?
SLINGSBY.-Happy thought, by Apollo. How say you, most potent Poplar?
POPLAR.—Content, say I, and let it be ere we lose "beautiful July.” Jonathan shall celebrate the “lusty hay month" with a chant of his own?
SLINGSBY.—What need I, when so many bards will sing his praise ? Listen to Spenser :
“ Then comes hot July, boiling like to fire,
That all his garments he had cast away ;
He boldly rode, and made him to obey ;
The Nemean forest, till Amphytrionide
Behind his back a sithe, and by his side,
Here again is another picture-a thoroughly rural one :
“Now comes July, and with his fervid noon
Unsinews labour. The swinkt mower sleeps;
POPLAR.-Leigh Hunt, in his “ Months," paints July with the pencil of a master :
“ There is a sense of heat and quiet over all nature. The birds are silent. The little brooks are dried up. The earth is chapped with parching. The shadows of the trees are particularly graceful, heavy, and still. The oaks, which are freshest, because latest in leaf, form noble clumpy canopies, looking, as you lie under them, of a strong and emulous green under the blue sky. The cattle get into the shade or stand in the water. The active and air-cutting swallows, now beginning to assemble for migration, seek their prey about the shady places where the insects, though of differently compounded natures, fleshless and bloodless, seem to get for coolness, as they do at other times for warmth. The sound of insects is also the only audible thing now, increasing rather than lessening the sense of quiet by its gentle contrast."
SLINGSBY._" Ay, Anthony, 'tis a charming picture, and what say you to Thomson's warm description of pastoral summer sport in merry Englandi
"Now swarms the village o'er the jovial mead
The rustic youth BISHOP.-Hold hard, my dear Jonathan. Spare my, nerves, if you have any bowels of compassion. Come, Anthony, try your luck at another dive into the red box.
POPLAR.—Here goes, then. What have we got here? The handwriting is the same, and I'll be sworn the strain is not less sweet than its sister.
A TOXOPHOLITE PICTURE.
The summer waters gleam. The summer boughs
Are rich with blossoms white as alabaster.
This century-stained pilaster.
Where shines the tranquil lake through pleasant trees,
A laxen sail in the soft air is fluttering ;
Their song discordant uttering.
The Gothic shafts with silken scarfs enfolden,
Like old romance in modern metre sung:
The lancewood bow unstrung.
Ay, sister beauties! whose long lashes pendant
O'er radiant eyes a dusky shadow fling ;
Nor ever lifts his wing.
POPLAR.–A charming bit of painting, upon my word; rich, soft, glowing, and spirited. Beshrew my heart but I think the fair archers, one or both, must have sent a shaft to the heart of the poet.
SLINGSBY. I know not how that may be, but I pronounce these two little poems to be full of promise. Let us drink the bard's health, and may we soon hear again from him.
POPLAR.—Here is a bundle of papers. Let us untie it and see what's within. By the bones of Francis and shade of Smart! translations from Horace, Odes and epodes-satires and epistles.
BISHOP.-Away with them, away with them for the love of Heaven. Have they not been all done a thousand times? Ay, and of late, by an able hand in our own Maga. To the trunk-makers and tallow-chandlers with them, say I.
_" in vicum vendentum thus etodores
Besides, I have an old grudge against Flaccus ever since my schoolboy days.
" Then farewell Horace, whom I hated so,
Not for thy faults but mine."
POPLAR.–To say the truth, I am not disposed to look with much favour upon new translations of Horace. Perfect success in such an undertaking. I hold to be hopeless, in reference to the satires, at all events, though the epistles are, I think, capable of a perfect reproduction in a new language, and the lyrics nearly so. But I quite agree with a modern writer that “the Horatian satire is cast in a mould of such exquisite delicacy-uniting perfect ease with perfect elegance throughout-as has hitherto defied all the skill of the moderns."
SLINGSBY.-A great moralist; a great lyrist; a great satirist. Were his verses not so polished, the sprightliness of his wit and the keen play of his satire would redeem them, and the sterling morality of his philosophy would render him immortal were his versification not half so elegant, his wit not half so sparkling, or his satire not half so lively. I believe Pope and Byron owed much of their eminence to their admiration of Horace.
POPLAR.-What illegible pot-hooks are these? Put the candle a little nearer to me, Jack, and I will try to decipher them. “Sonnets by the sad wave."
BISHOP.-What a lack-a-daisical title-spell away, however.
SONNETS BY THE SAD WAVE.
BY CALDER CAMPBELL.
What of the sea, to-day? What of the sea ?
The rolling hearse that bears to some far strand
Yet, nor the sea, nor life, are always bearers,
SLINGSBY.—They are by no means to be despised, Anthony; there is a good deal of boldness and vigour about them, and a certain earnestness of feeling and freshness of fancy that I like. To a thoughtful mind and an imaginative spirit, there can be no finer subject of inspiration than the “deep and dark blue ocean.” Vast, fathomless, mysterious, and sublime, it fills the mind with images of awe and wonder, and suggests a thousand grand, bold, and pathetic pictures in the history of humanity and nature. Witness the sublime descriptions of David and of Job, the magnificent hymn of Byron, and the touching pictures of Falconer.
POPLAR.–And here comes opportunely enough a sonnet to illustrate your observations :
A STORM AT SEA.
Down springs the hawk-winged tempest from his lair,
Upon the slumbering sea. With wild delight
And rouses all his horrors for the fight.
Oh! woe to man, who stands on such a night
And shroud the combatants from every sight,
Up leaps the angry wave; but back again
And sweeps it o'er the bosom of the main,
Unconquered still, it dashes on the shore,
Now, I pronounce this to be a very fine composition, full of life and power. The imagery is all forcible and vivid. It is such a picture as Stanfield or Turner might be proud to create with their pencils.
BISHOP.— I am a pretty hand at a brush myself, and could knock you up a hurly burly, or a storm of thunder and lightning, in no time; and I declare I could not desire a better inspiration than these lines.
Poplar.—Here is something more upon the aqueous element; shall we essay it ?
BISHOP._Upon conditions, Anthony, upon conditions. I am a temperate man ; temperate in water as in everything else ; ne quid nimis, sir, is my motto. I have stood firm during all the mutations of quackery; I put faith neither in the water cure nor the brandy cure, but I have a strong idea that the true sanative specific consists in a due admixture of both ; so push me over the flask, old fel. low, and then I shall not be afraid of all your Naiads. “Veritas in puteo” is an old adage; but if Truth be found in a well, it is because there is then a “spirit” in the water. POPLAR.-Oh! what a villanous play upon spirit. BISHOP.- Jeu d'esprit, you mean, I suppose, Anthony? Poplar.-Worse and worse ; hold your tongue and listen. (Reads) :
TO AN EBBING RIVER.
River, art thou dreaming
Of the grandeur of the seas?
And shores so green as these.
Bare, beneath the noon-day sun,
Where thy waves were wont to run.
Thou wilt not linger, water,
One moment by my side,
Upon thy thankless tide.
Bright as eyes when hearts rejoice,
To a feeble earthly voice.
Oh! thou ambitious river,
Would'st thou pour these weak waves forth,
As it sweepeth round the earth ?
But, proud river, it is vain,
Thou must still return again.
River, I am wending
To a shore for which I pine,
With deeper waves than thine.
Still returning to thy shore,
I shall never wander more.
Well, what say ye, my masters ?
SLINGSBY.-It is well enough, Anthony. Pretty thoughts and prettily expressed. It is fluent and unforced, without any ambitious struggle to achieve great things. I would not that it were unread.' The warblings of the finch and redbreast are sweet to listen to, though they may not compare with the wondrous song of the high-soaring lark, or the gushing melody of the nightingale. Proceed, my dear Anthony.
Poplar.-Bless me what a fragrant odour exhales around. There is surely something within this envelope worth rifling. Ah! “ Roses," and culled by a