Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Till late, with wonder, grief, and awe,
Great Bourbon's relics, sad she saw.!

Truce to these thoughts !—for, as they rise,
How gladly I avert mine eyes,
Bodings, or true or false, to change,
For Fiction's fair romantic range,
Or for Tradition's dubious light,
That hovers 'twixt the day and night :
Dazzling alternately and dim,
Her wavering lamp I'd rather trim,
Knights, squires, and lovely dames to see,
Creation of my fantasy,
Than gaze abroad on reeky fen,
And make of mists invading men.-
Who loves not more the night of June
Than dull December's gloomy noon?
The moonlight than the fog of frost ?
And can we say, which cheats the most?

But who shall teach my harp to gain
A sound of the romantic strain,
Whose Anglo-Norman tones whilere
Could win the royal Henry's ear, 2

" In January 1796, the exiled Count d'Artois, afterwards Charles X. of France, took up his residence in Holyrood, where he remained until August 1799. When again driven from his country by the Revolution of July 1830, the same unfortunate Prince, with all the immediate members of his family, sought refuge once more in the ancient palace of the Stuarts, and remained there until 18th September 1832.

? Mr. Ellis, in his valuable Introduction to the “Specimens of Romance,"

Famed Beauclerk call'd, for that he loved
The minstrel, and his lay approved ?
Who shall these lingering notes redeem,
Decaying on Oblivion's stream;
Such notes as from the Breton tongue
Marie translated, Blondel sung ?-
0! born, Time's ravage to repair,
And make the dying Muse thy care ;
Who, when his scythe her hoary foe
Was poising for the final blow,
The weapon from his hand could wring,
And break his glass, and shear his wing,
And bid, reviving in his strain,
The gentle poet live again ;
Thou, who canst give to lightest lay
An unpedantic moral gay,
Nor less the dullest theme bid flit
On wings of unexpected wit;
In letters as in life approved,
Example honour'd, and beloved, -
Dear Ellis! to the bard impart
A lesson of thy magic art,
To win at once the head and heart,-

has proved, by the concurring testimony of La Ravaillere, Tressan, but especially the Abbé de la Rue, that the courts of our Anglo-Norman Kings, rather than those of the French monarch, produced the birth of Romance literature. Marie, soon after mentioned, compiled from Armorican originals, and translated into Norman-French, or romance language, the twelve curious Lays, of which Mr. Ellis has given us a precis in the Appendix to his Introduction. The story of Blondel, the famous and faithful minstrel of Richard I., needs no commentary.

At once to charm, instruct, and mend,
My guide, my pattern, and my friend !!

Such minstrel lesson to bestow
Be long thy pleasing task,—but, O!
No more by thy example teach,
-What few can practise, all can preach, -
With even patience to endure
Lingering disease and painful cure,
And boast affliction's pangs subdued
By mild and manly fortitude.
Enough, the lesson has been given :
Forbid the repetition, Heaven!

Come listen, then ! for thou hast known,
And loved the Minstrel's varying tone,
Who, like his Border sires of old,
Waked a wild measure rude and bold,
Till Windsor's oaks, and Ascot plain,
With wonder heard the northern strain.”
Come listen bold in thy applause,
The Bard shall scorn pedantic laws;
And, as the ancient art could stain
Achievements on the storied pane,
Irregularly traced and plann'd,
But yet so glowing and so grand, -

Come then, my friend, my genius, come along,
Oh master of the poet and the song!"

Pope to Bollingbroke. ? At Sunning-hill, Mr. Ellis's seat, near Windsor, part of the first two cantos of Marmion were written.

So shall he strive, in changeful hue,
Field, feast, and combat, to renew,
And loves, and arms, and harpers' glee,
And all the pomp of chivalry.

[graphic]
[merged small][graphic]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »