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retiring footsteps of the language of
signs. They are the traces which this
first invention of the human race has
left of its influence on the great fabric
of spoken language. To extend the
olive branch of peace, to take up the
hatchet of war, to sit down in the
chair of friendship, are all (along with
many others which will be familiar
to most readers) expressions common
in the language of early nations. It
is from this circumstance that even
the common conversation, and still
more the harangues of these nations,
are so highly poetical, and it is to this
cause, the lingering of the language
of signs in the language of expression,
that we ought to ascribe much of the
vigour and of the beautiful imagery
of early poetry. This language of
signs would, it is evident, be adopted
more extensively by those nations
whose passions were most easily rou-
sed, and the most violent in their ef-
fects. The more agitated the mind
of the speaker is, the more impatient
is he of the control of language, and
the more naturally has he recourse to
gesticulation. The nations of the
East (from whatever cause, whether
the heat of the climate, or some pecu-
liarities in their physical organization)
have always been observed to be more
violently moved by their passions, by
love, hate, revenge, than those of the
South. In proportion to this difference,
they must have resorted more naturally
at first to this language of gesture, and
have continued it longer than the na-
tions inhabiting colder climates; and
we accordingly find, that one of the
most prominent features in the East-
ern languages, is that plenitude of
metaphor which gives so characteristic
an air of beauty and brilliancy to their
poetry, a circumstance which may
be explained by the fact, that this
language of gesticulation was more
easily adopted, more commonly used,
and retained for a longer time by
them, than by their southern neigh-
bours. This early prevalence of me-
taphor will be found in the first poet-
ry even of the most northern na-
tions. What can be finer than these
words which were sung, as we may
believe, in a low plaintive voice, by
a Finland mother when rocking her
child to sleep?-

wake thee in his own good time, and he has made thee a little bough to repose thee on, a bough canopied with the leaves of the birch tree. Sleep stands at the door, and says, Is there not a little child here asleep in the cradle-a little child wrapt up in swaddling clothes-a child reposing under a coverlet of wool?" Many examples might be given to illustrate the same subject. The speech of Logan, the American Indian, whose whole family had been murdered by the British. "There flows not one drop of Logan's blood in the veins of any human being." The song of the African woman in Mungo Park's Travels, the bold expressions and magnificent imagery which pervades the early Runic poetry, all point the same way, and prove the same thing. To accumulate examples would tend to fatigue rather than to convince. Here then we close this subject, but we shall proceed, in a second Essay, to consider the early connection which took place between Poetry and Music, the marriage of Music to immortal Verse, and the effects which resulted from this noble alliance. W.

"Sleep on, sleep on, sweet bird of the meadow, take thy rest, little redbreast, take thy rest. God shall a

*

REMARKS ON MARCIAN COLONNA.

THE poetry of Barry Cornwall has It already been duly appreciated. seldom aims at any high flights, and is constructed of no very sturdy materials; but it is extremely perfect within its own range: it expresses with excellent effect all the particulars of the softer passions, and yet it is chiefly in the repose of passion, when it the point of satisfaction or of despair, can look back upon itself, either from that the genius of this elegant poet is

most at home. He is admirable in his the love that is agitated by every vapictures of love; but it is not, so much, ried emotion of hope, or jealousy, or alarm,-it is rather that state of their mutual confessions, and forgetting the passion when lovers are making all their past pains and doubts, in the blessed assurance of united hearts and

favouring fortune, or when death has put an end to every hope at once,

* An Italian Tale, with Three Dramatic Scenes, and other Poems. By Barry Cornwall. London, 1820.

and solitary melancholy is all that remains to the survivor. We think it is in sketches of this kind that Mr Cornwall's forte lies, and in these, indeed, he is, probably, unrivalled.

He dallies with the innocence of love Like the old time;

and the fine antique air of his versification and expression, borrowed from the tenderer parts of our old dramatists, and reflecting, at times, the glow of classical or Italian imagery, is admirably adapted to the simple pathos of his conceptions. We will own, therefore, that it is on such passages of his present poem, although an attempt of a higher kind, and aiming at a wider range of emotion, than any of his former productions, that we still delight to pause. We are not particularly attached to his mad hero, or to his more laboured descriptions, which are introduced with somewhat too evident an ambition. much better pleased with his Julia, and her natural tenderness-and it is rather to her than to her lover that we shall call the attention of our

We are

readers.

Marcian, the second son of a noble Italian family, was confined in a convent by his parents, who cared for nothing but their first-born, and who were very happy, from Marcian's evident tendency to insanity, to find a pretext for putting him out of the way.

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Then looks of love were seen, and many a sigh

Was wasted on the air, and some aloud Talked of the pangs they felt and swore to die :

name,

She came amidst the lovely and the proud, Peerless; and when she moved, the gallant

crowd Divided, as the obsequious vapours light Divide to let the queen-moon pass by night:

She, like the solitary rose that springs In the first warmth of summer days, and flings

A perfume the more sweet because aloneJust bursting into beauty, with a zone Half girl's half woman's, smiled and then Those gentle things to which she answered forgot

not.

But when Colonna's heir bespoke her hand, And led her to the dance, she question'd why

His brother joined not in that revelry: Careless he turned aside and did command Loudly the many instruments to sound, And well did that young couple tread the ground:

Each step was lost in each accordant note, Which thro' the palace seemed that night to float

As merrily, as tho' the Satyr-god
with his inspiring reed, (the mighty Pan,)
Had left his old Arcadian woods, and trod
Piping upon the shores Italian.

Again she asked in vain: yet, as he turned

(The brother) from her, a fierce colour

burned

Upon his cheek, and fading left it pale
As death, and half proclaimed the guilty

tale.

-She dwelt upon that night till pity grew Into a wilder passion: the sweet dew That linger'd in her eye for pity's sake,' Was (like an exhalation in the sun) Dried and absorbed by love. Oh! love can take

What shape he pleases, and when once begun

His fiery inroad in the soul, how vain
The after-knowledge which his presence
We weep or rave, but still he lives and
gives!

lives,

Master and lord, 'midst pride and tears and pain.

66

This is remarkably soft and beautiful, and although the poet immediately subjoins, now may we seek Colonna,' -we are really not disposed to seek him, nor have we any satisfaction in his maniac extravagantimes visits and soothes him; it arose cies. A heavenly vision, indeed, somefrom the dim recollection of Julia, but his own vivid imagination embodied these faint traces of remembrance, almost, into a living image. His brother, meanwhile, died, and he is sent for to cheer the solitude of his de

er tone.

spairing parents, his mind having gradually resumed a calmer and firmHis chief delight now, was in wandering about the ruins of Rome. -One morning, as he lay half listlessly Within the shadow of a column, where His forehead met such gusts of cooling air As the bright summer knows in Italy, A gorgeous cavalcade went thundering by, Dusty and worn with travel: As it passed Some said the great Count had returned, at last,

From his long absence upon foreign lands: 'Twas told that many countries he had

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Her figure came before him like a dream
Revealed at morning, and a sunny gleam
Broke in upon his soul and lit his eye
With something of a tender prophecy.
And was she then the shape he oft had seen,
By day and night, she who had such
strange power

Over the terrors of his wildest hour?
And was it not a phantom that had been
Wandering about him? Oh with what deep
fear

He listened now, to mark if he could hear The voice that lulled him,-but she never spoke ;

For in her heart her own young love awoke From its long slumber, and chained down her tongue,

And she sate mute before him: he, the while,

Stood feasting on her melancholy smile
Till o'er his eyes a dizzy vapour hung,

VOL. VII.

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And he rushed forth into the fresh'ning air, Which kissed and played about his temples bare,

And he grew calm. Not unobserved he fled,

For she who mourned him once as lost and dead,

Saw with a glance, as none but women see,
His secret passion, and home silently
She went rejoicing, till Vitelli asked
Wherefore her spirit fell,'-and then she
tasked

Her fancy for excuse wherewith to hide Her thoughts, and turn his curious gaze

aside.

There is nothing more tremendously difficult, than to get lovers in certain circumstances to speak out. They will fly from one another to the most distant points of the compass, rather than secure their happiness by a simple meeting, and one or two little words. There is certainly in the magnetic virtue, which draws them together, a great repelling power likewise,-feelings of the most extraordinary nature, which commonly occur, too, on the most mal-a-propos occasions, are for ever throwing them out, and particu larly, if there is, on one side, a vein of insanity to manage, as was the case with poor Marcian, it is almost impossible to bring them to the point. Julia, no doubt, was nothing loath, and, being a widow, we may suppose, she had no maiden bashfulness to give her lover unnecessary trouble; but Colonna would rather muse upon her image in his old odd way, in his favourite walks, than venture into her company, which he might have done, any day, merely by crossing the street.

the flame

Of love burned brightly in Colonna's breast, But while it filled it robbed his soul of rest: At home, abroad, at morning, and at noon, In the hot sultry hours, and when the moon Shone in the cool fresh sky, and shaped those dim

And shadowy figures once so dear to him,Where'er he wandered, she would come upon

His mind, a phantom like companion; Yet, with that idle dread with which the heart

Stifles its pleasures, he would ever depart And loiter long amongst the streets of Rome,

When she, he feared, might visit at his home.

A strange and sad perverseness; he did fear To part with that pale hope which shone at last

Glimmering upon his fortunes.

B

There was no moral obstacle to prevent them being together as much as they pleased. Marcian had no wife, and Julia supposed her husband at the bottom of the sea. Had there been any objection of this serious nature, we cannot but say that it would have been Marcian's duty to have carried his self-denial still farther, and to have driven her from his thoughts as well as from his eyes. It was a mere accident at last which broke the ice, and we advise all young ladies who have such beings as a Marcian to deal with, (though, if they do not wish to run ultimately the risk of being poisoned, they had much better chuse among a different class of lovers,) just to throw loose the reins, and let fortune order for them as she will. We must give our readers the scene of this eclaircissement, though somewhat long, as it is written in our poet's best manner. It is at the beginning of the second canto, and opens with a fine invocation to love.

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The red rose was in blossom, and the fair
And bending lily to the wanton air
Bared her white breast, and the voluptu-
ous lime

Cast out his perfumes, and the wilding thyme

Mingled his mountain sweets, transplanted Midst all the flowers that in those regions

low

blow.

-He wandered on: At last, his spirit subdued

By the deep influence of that hour, partook E'en of its nature, and he felt imbued With a more gentle love, and he did look At times amongst the stars, as on a book Where he might read his destiny. How

bright Heaven's many constellations shone that And from the distant river a gentle tune, night! Such as is uttered in the months of June, By brooks, whose scanty streams have languished long

For rain, was heard;—a tender, lapsing

song,

Sent up in homage to the quiet moon.

He mused, 'till from a garden, near whose wall

He leant, a melancholy voice was heard That casts unto the woods her desert call. Singing alone, like some poor widow bird It was the voice-the very voice that rung Long in his brain that now so sweetly sung. He passed the garden bounds, and lightly trod,

Checking his breath, along the grassy sod, (By buds and blooms half-hidden, which the breeze

Had ravished from the clustering orange

trees,)

Until he reached a low pavilion, where
He saw a lady pale, with radiant hair
Over her forehead, and in garments white;
Carelessly o'er the golden strings were
A harp was by her, and her fingers light

flung;

Then, shaking back her locks, with upAnd lips that dumbly moved, she seemed to try

ward eye,

To catch an old disused melody-
A sad Italian air it was, which I

Remember in my boyhood to have heard, And still (though here and there, perhaps, a word

Be now forgot)-I recollect the song, Which might to any lovelorn tale belong.

SONG.

Whither, ah! whither is my lost love straying

Upon what pleasant land beyond the sea?
Oh! ye winds now playing
Like airy spirits 'round my temples free,
Fly and tell him this from me:

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