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NATURE MORE THAN SCIENCE.
An excellent translation from RUCKERT, a poet of Germany. It is taken from an old number of the Dublin Magazine.
I HAVE a thousand thousand lays,
Yet is there one sweet song
For which in vain I pine and long!
I cannot reach that song, with all my minstrel-art.
A shepherd sits within a dell
O'er-canopied from rain and heat;
A shallow but pellucid well
Doth ever bubble at his feet.
His pipe is but a leaf,
Yet there, above that stream,
He plays and plays, as in a dream,
One air that steals away the senses like a thief.
A simple air it seems, in truth,
And who begins will end it soon; Yet, when that hidden shepherd youth it in the ear of Noon,
Tears flow from those anear.
All songs of yours and mine
Condensed in one were less divine
Than that sweet air to sing, that sweet, sweet air to hear!
'Twas yesternoon he play'd it last; The hummings of a hundred bees Were in mine ears, yet, as I pass'd,
I heard him through the myrtle trees. Stretch'd all along he lay,
Mid foliage half decay'd.
His lambs were feeding while he play'd, And sleepily wore on the stilly Summer day.
By BARRY CORNWALL.
HERE she lies whom fortune dower'd
The cold and crumbling earth is shower'd!
Not a bud, with Summer sweet,
Scotland has been eminent for her peasant poets. She has produced another who bids fair for lasting fame. A poor labourer, named ALEXANDER BETHUNE, has published a volume of poems of great merit, from which we extract the following elegant Sonnet.
THE day was dark and stormy; but the night
Making of midnight a most pleasant noon.
The balmy showers and breathing zephyrs bring;
Deformity and beauty-storm and calm—
The day-dawn and the darkness-quiet and qualm—
Then, why should man expect a fixed state,
THE CONVOY OF DAVID.
France has produced many poetasters, but few poets. It was once believed that her language, so admirably adapted for prose, was unfitted for poetry. But modern writers have practically shown that it was not the fetters of language, but the iron chain of an absurd code of criticism, that had prevented the growth of true poetry. Young France has set that antiquated code at defiance, and, following the example of the English and Germans, has turned to nature as the only safe guide in art. Among the most illustrious of these moderns is BERANGER, whose lyrics are superior to anything of the kind that has appeared since the Odes of Horace. His subjects are chiefly political, and they are handled in a strain, sometimes of profound sentiment, sometimes of playful satire, which could not fail to exercise great influence over so sensitive a people as the French. The following translation of his Ode written on the occasion of the authorities denying to the remains of the Painter David a burial in the land over which his genius has shed a lustre, merely because he was a republican, is a favourable specimen of his manner. It is very well translated.
"You cannot pass was the stern reply of the frontier
To those who bore the painter's dust to the earth he loved so well.
"O soldier!” cried the mourners then, in sad imploring
"Must stern proscription lay its ban even on his senseless bones
And can his native soil refuse a narrow resting-place
To him whose genius is the while her glory and her grace ?"
"You pass not by!" was still the cry of the frontier sentinelle.
"O soldier! ere the mist of death athwart his vision fell, Up to his latest sigh he turn'd his yearning gaze on France, And all the exile's long fond love was center'd in that glance. Oh! give a little grave to him, through whose immortal hand
All future times may see and know the grandeur of our land."
"You cannot pass!" in soften'd tones now cried the sentinelle.
"O soldier! freedom's purest glow alone in him could dwell, Whose pencil woke to life the brave, self-martyr'd in the
Of old Thermopyla, with great and good Leonidas;
And unto him his country owed the splendours of the time That saw her arts and arms revive to glorious, golden prime.”
"You cannot pass! 'tis my duty, alas!" cried the sadden'd sentinelle.
"Ah soldier! he whose hand no more shall charm us with its spell
He knew the gallant warrior's meed, for he gloried to portray
The peerless hero, whose renown can never pass away: Like Jove th' imperial conqueror seem'd to David's eye the while
Alas! that laurell'd head lies low on a far-off rocky isle!"
"You cannot pass!" was still the cry of the frontier sentinelle,
Though his faltering tones betray'd the birth of thoughts too strong to quell.
"The victor of a hundred fights was bow'd before his foes, And far from home his painter's life attained its cheerless
Oh! let not France extend to death the ban that blasted life, But give her son the last, sad home, where ends all earthly strife."
"You cannot pass! alas, alas !” cried the weeping sentinelle. "Tis well "-the mourners sadly say, as they left the bier"" 'tis well!
Retrace we now our steps to some more kindly stranger land,
And leave this cruel mother earth, made beauteous by his
For Him who raised the hearts of France till Roman stars grew dim
Come-let us seek some far-off shore, and beg a grave for him."
THE GLADNESS OF NATURE.
Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our mother nature laughs around; When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?
There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,
The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows play on the bright green vale,
There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,
And look at the broadfaced sun how he smiles
From Sir E. BULWER's Lady of Lyons we take a poetical passage. To make its meaning understood, we should premise that a poor gardener's son, a boy of singular genius, had nursed in silence and solitude an ungovernable passion for the fair Lady of Lyons. He assumes the character of a Count, and obtaining her hand, takes her to his lowly house. Her burst of passion on discovering the deception he thus attempts to soothe:
"FROM my first years my soul was fill'd with thee;