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Joanna Baillie ward um 1764 zu Bothwell in Schottland, wo ihr Vater Prediger war, geboren. Sie zog nach ihrer Eltern Tode nach Edinburg, dann nach London, wo sie am Längsten verweilte und darauf nach Hampstead, wo sie gegenwärtig in hohem Alter und unvermählt, noch lebt.

Ihre bedeutendste dichterische Leistung ist eine Reihe von Dramen, in welchen sie die vorherrschenden Leidenschaften der Menschen zu characterisiren sucht (A Series of Plays in which it is attempted to delineate the stronger passions of the mind. London 1798 fgde. 2 Bde., deutsch von Cramer, Leipzig 1806), welche aber nicht für die scenische Darstellung bestimmt sind. Ausserdem hat sie noch einige andere Dramen und kleine lyrische Poesieen geschrieben.

Allan Cunningham urtheilt sehr richtig von ihr (am ang. 0. S. 107): “Johanna Baillie oder Schwester Jobanna, wie Walter Scott sie gern nannte, ist eine Dichterin von grossem Verdienste und vielseitigem Talent, kräftig und mild, sarkastisch und rührend, natürlich und heroisch zu gleicher Zeit. Sie wagte sich an die Schilderung der Leidenschaften in dramatischen Gemälden und entwickelte dabei so mannichfache Kräfte, dass sie der weibliche Shakspeare genannt worden ist. In ihren anderen Gedichten herrscht viel Adel des Gefühls und ihre Lieder besitzen alle das Leben, den Humor und die Einfachheit der älteren schottischen Balladen.

To a Child.

Whose imp art thou, with dimpled cheek,

And curly pate, and merry eye,
And arm and shoulders round and sleek,

And soft and fair, thou urchin sly?

But yet, for all thy merry look,

Thy frisks and wiles, the time is coming, When thou shalt sit in cheerless nook,

The weary spell or hornbook thumbing.

What boots it, who, with sweet caresses,

First called thee his, or squire or hind? For thou in every wight that passes,

Dost now a friendly playmate find.

Well, let it be! Through weal and woe,

Thou know'st not now thy future range;
Life is a motley shifting show,

And thou a thing of hope and change.

Thy downcast glances, grave,

but cunning, As fringed eyelids rise and fall; Thy shyness swiftly from me running, 'Tis infantine coquetry all!

The Kitten.

Wanton drole, whose harmless play But far a-field thou hast not flown,

Beguiles the rustic's closing day, With mocks and threats, half lisped, half When drawn the evening fire about,


Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout, I feel thee pulling at my gown,

And child upon his three-foot stool,
Of right good will thy simple token.

Waiting till his supper cool;
And maid , whose cheek outblooms the rose,

As bright the blazing faggot glows,
And thou must laugh, and wrestle too,
A mimic warfare with me waging !

Who, bending to the friendly light,

Plies her task with busy sleight: To make, as wily lovers do,

Come, shew thy tricks and sportive graces Thy after kindness more engaging!

Thus circled round with merry faces.

Backward coiled, and crouching low, The wilding rose sweet as thyself — With glaring eye-balls watch thy foe,

And new-cropt daisies are thy treasure; The house wife's spindle whirling round, I'd gladly part with worldly pelf,

Or thread, or straw, that on the ground To taste again thy youthful pleasure. Its shadow throws, by urchin sly

Held out to lure thy roving eye;
Then, onward stealing , fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round, with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide;
Till, from thy centre starting far,
Thou sidelong rear'st, with tail in air,
Erected stiff, and gait awry,
Like Madam in her tantrums high;
Though ne'er a Madam of them all,
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall,
More varied trick and whim displays,
To catch the admiring stranger's gaze.
Doth power in measured verses dwell,
All thy vagaries wild to tell?
Ah no! the start, the jet, the bound,
The giddy scamper round and round,
With leap, and jerk, and high curvet,
And many a whirling somerset,
(Permitted be the modern Muse
Expression technical to use,)
These mock the deftliest rhymester's skill,
But poor in art, though rich in will.

The nimblest tumbler, stage-bedight,
To thee is but a clumsy wight,
Who every limb and sinew strains
To do what costs thee little pains,
For which, I trow, the gaping crowd
Requites him oft with plaudits loud.
But, stopped the while thy wanton play,
Applauses too, thy feats repay:
For then, beneath some urchin's hand,
With modest pride thou takest thy stand,
While many a stroke of fondness glides
Along thy back and tabby sides;
Dilated swells thy glossy fur,
And loudly sings thy busy pur,
As, timing well the equal sound,
Thy clutching feet bepat the ground,
And all their harmless claws disclose,
Like prickles of an early rose;
While softly from thy whiskered cheek
Thy half-closed eyes peer mild and meek.

But not alone, by cottage fire, Do rustics rude thy tricks admire; The learned sage,

whose thoughts explore The widest range of human lore, Or, with unfettered fancy, fly Through airy heights of poesy, Pausing, smiles, with altered air, To see thee climb his elbow chair; Or, struggling on the mat below, Hold warfare with his slippered toe. The widowed dame, or lonely maid, Who in the still, but cheerless shade

Of home unsocial, spends her age,
And rarely turns a lettered page;
Upon her hearth for thee lets fall
The rounded cork, or paper ball;
Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch
The ends of ravelled skein to catch,
But lets thee have thy wayward will,
Perplexing oft her sober skill.

Even he, whose mind of gloomy bent,
In lonely tower or prison pent,
Reviews the wit of former days,
And loathes the world and all its ways;
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam
Doth rouse him from his moody dream,
Feels, as thou gambol'st round his seat,
His heart with pride less fiercely beat,
And smiles, a link in thee to find,
That joins him still to living kind.

Whence hast thou, then, thou witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it, that in thy glaring eye
And rapid movements, we descry,
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney-corner snugly fill,
A lion, darting on the prey ?
A tiger, at his ruthless play?
Or, is it, that in thee we trace,
With all thy varied wanton grace,
An emblem, viewed with kindred eye,

Of tricksy, restless infancy?
Ah! many a lightly-sportive child,
Who hath, like thee, our wits beguiled,
To dull and sober manhood grown,
With strange recoil our hearts disown.
Even so, poor Kit! must thou endure,
When thou becomest a cat demure,
Full many a cuff and angry word,
Chid roughly from the tempting board.
And yet, for that thou hast, I ween,
So oft our favoured playmate been,
Soft be the change which thou shalt prove,
When time hath spoiled thee of our love;
Still be thou deemed, by housewife fat,
A comely, careful, mousing cat,
Whose dish is, for the public good,
Replenished oft with savoury food.

Nor, when thy span of life be past,
Be thou to pond or dunghill cast;
But gently borne on good man's spade,
Beneath the decent sod be laid;
And children show, with glistening eyes,
The place where poor old Pussy lies.

Welcome Bat and Owlet Gray.

O welcome bat and owlet gray,
Thus winging lone your airy way;
And welcome moth and drowsy fly,
That to mine ear come humming by;
And welcome shadows long and deep,
And stars that from the pale sky peep!
O welcome all! to me ye say,
My woodland love is on her way.

Upon the soft wind floats her hair,
Her breath is in the dewy air,
Her steps are in the whisper'd sound
That steals along the stilly ground.
O dawn of day, in rosy bower,
What art thou in this witching hour!
O noon of day, in sunshine bright,
What art thou to the fall of night!


Alfred Tennyson ward um 1816 geboren, ist der Sohn eines Predigers in Lincolnshire, studirte zu Cambridge und hat bis jetzt zwei Bände Poesieen veröffentlicht, in welchen er sich Keats zum Vorbilde genommen. Seine Leistungen zeichnen sich durch reiche Phantasie, Kraft und Leichtigkeit aus, doch hascht er oft nach eigenthümlichen Ausdrücken und Empfindungen, deren Gesuchtheit ihre Wirkung schwächt.

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He thought to quell the stubborn hearts of oak, With blackest moss the flower plots
Madman! to chain with chains, and bind Were thickly crusted, one and all;

with bands The rusted nails fell from the knots
That island queen that sways the floods and That held the peach to the garden wall.


The broken sheds looked sad and strange,
From Ind to Ind, but in fair daylight woke, Unlifted was the clinking latch,
When from her wooden walls, lit by sure hands, Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
With thunders, and with lightnings, and with Upon the lonely moated grange,


She only said, “My life is dreary, Peal after peal, the British battle broke,

He cometh not,” she said; Lulling the brine against the Coptic sands.

She said, “I am aweary, aweary,
We taught him lowlier moods, when Elsinore

I would that I were dead!”
Heard the war moan along the distant sea,
Rocking with shattered spars, with sudden fires

Her tears fell with the dews at even,
Flamed over: at Trafalgar yet once more
We taught him; late he learned humility,

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
Perforce, like those whom Gideon schooled with She could not look on the sweet heaven,


Either at morn or eventide.
After the flitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,

She drew her casement curtain by,
And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking, she heard the night fowl crow: The cock sung out an hour ere light;

From the dark fen the oxen's low Came to her: without hope of change,

In sleep she seemed to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the grey-eyed morn About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “The day is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day Down-sloped was westering in his bower.

Then, said she, “I am very dreary,

He will not come,” she said;
She wept, “I am aweary, aweary,

Oh, God, that I were dead!"

The Merman.

About a stone-cast from the wall,

A sluice with blackened waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small,

The clustered marish mosses crept. Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver green with gnarled bark,

For leagues no other tree did dark The level waste, the rounding grey.

She only said, "My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

Who would be
A merman bold,

Sitting alone,
Singing alone

Under the sea, With a crown of gold

On a throne ?

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up an' away, In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway. But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,

The shadow of the poplar fell Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

I would be a merman bold; I would sit and sing the whole of the day; I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power: But at night I would roam abroad and play With the mermaids in and out of the rocks, Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower, And, holding them back by their flowing locks, I would kiss them often under the sea, And kiss them again till they kissed me

Laughingly, laughingly; And then we would wander away, away, To the pale green sea-groves straight and high,

Chasing each other merrily.

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creaked; The blue fly sung i’ the pane; the inouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shrieked, Or from the crevice peered about.

Old faces glimmered through the doors,

Old footsteps trod the upper floors, Old voices called her from without.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;
She said, "I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

There would be neither moon nor star;
But the wave would make music above us far;
Low thunder and light in the magic night,

Neither moon nor star.
We would call aloud in the dreamy dells,
Call to each other, and whoop and cry

All night, merrily, merrily :
They would pelt me with starry spangles and

shells, Laughing and clapping their hands between,

All night, merrily, merrily;
But I would throw to them back in mine
Turkis, and agate, and almondine;
| Then, leaping out upon them unseen,

I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kissed me

Laughingly, laughingly.
Oh! what a happy life were mine
Under the hollow-hung ocean green!
Soft are the moss-beds under the sea;
We would live merrily, merrily.

From the diamond ledges that jut from the

For I would not be kiss'd by all who list,

Of the bold merry mermen under the sea;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.

The Mermaid.

Who would be
A mermaid fair,

Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,

In a golden curl,
With a comb pearl,

On a throne ?


Airy, fairy Lilian,

Flitting, fairy Lilian,
When I ask her if she love me,
Claps her tiny hands above me,

Laughing all she can;
She'll not tell me if she love me,

Cruel little Lilian.

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I combed I would sing and say,
“Who is it loves me? who loves not me?”
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall,

Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown,

Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold

Springing alone,

With a shrill inner sound,
Over the throne

In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea,
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps,
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the

With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.
But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low flowing

And lightly vault from the throne and play

With the mermen in and out of the rocks;
We would run to and fro, and hide and seek

On the broad seawolds i' the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap,

When my passion seeks

Pleasance in love-sighs,
She, looking through and through me,
Thoroughly to undo me,

Smiling, never speaks:
So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple,
From beneath her purfled wimple,

Glancing with black-beaded eyes
Till the lightning laughters dimple,

The baby roses in her cheeks,
Then away she flies.

Prythee weep, May Lilian!

Gaiety without eclipse

Wearieth me, May Lilian;
Through my very heart it thrilleth

When from crimson threaded lips
Silver treble laughter trilleth;

Prythee weep, May Lilian,

Praying all I can,
If prayers will not hush thee,

Airy Lilian,
Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,

Fairy Lilian.

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