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And in the midst of those same three were placed
Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced,
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight,
Was she to whom that shepherd pip'd alone,
She was, to weet, that jolly shepherd's lass
38 - Thy love is there advanc'd,” &c.—And there she remains, dancing in the midst of the Graces for ever, herself a Grace, made one by the ordinance of the poor but great poet who here addresses himself under his pastoral title, and justly prides himself on the power of conferring immortality on his love. The apostrophe is as affecting as it is elevating, and the whole scene conceived in the highest possible spirit of mixed wildness and delicacy.
A PLUME OF FEATHERS AND AN ALMOND TREE.
In this instance, which is the one he adduces in proof of his remark on the picturesque, the reader must agree with Coleridge, that the description (I mean of the almond tree), however charming, is not fit for a picture: it wants accessories; to say nothing of the reference to the image illustrated, and the feeling of too much minuteness and closeness in the very distance. Who is to paint the tender locks “ every one," and the whisper of
every little breath ?”
Upon the top of all his lofty crest
Whose tender locks do tremble every one,
What an exquisite last line! but the whole stanza is perfection. The word jollity seems to show the plumpness of the plume; what the fop in Molière calls its embonpoint.
Holà, porteurs, holà ! Là, là, là, là, là, là. Je pense que ces marauds-là ont dessein de me briser à force de heurter contre les murailles et les pavés.
1 Porteur. Dame, c'est que la porte est étroite. Vous avez voulu aussi que nous soyons entrés jusqu'ici.
Mascarille. Je le crois bien. Voudriez-vous, faquins, que j'exposasse l'embon point de mes plumes aux inclémences de la saison pluvieuse, et que j'allasse imprimer mes souliers en boue ?--Les Precieuses Ridicules, sc. 7.
[Mascarille (to the sedan chairmen). Stop, stop! What the devil is all this ? Am I to be beaten to pieces against the walls and pavement ? Chairman. Why you see the passage is narrow.
You told us to bring you right in.
Mascarille. Unquestionably. Would you have me expose the embonpoint of my feathers to the inclemency of the rainy season, and leave the impression of my pumps in the mud ?]
Our gallery shall close with a piece of
Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound
Was there consorted in one harmony;
The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade,
The water's fall, with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call ;
39 “ The gentle warbling wind,” &c.—This exquisite stanza is a specimen of perfect modulation, upon the principles noticed in the description of Archimago's Hermitage. The reader may, perhaps, try it
“Compare it,” says Upton, “with Tasso's Gierusalemme Liberata, canto 16, st. 12." Readers who understand Italian will gladly compare it, and see how far their countryman has surpassed the sweet poet of the south.
BORN, ACCORDING TO MALONE, ABOUT 1565,
If ever there was a born poet, Marlowe was one. He perceived things in their spiritual as well as material relations, and impressed them with a corresponding felicity. Rather, he struck them as with something sweet and glowing that rushes by ;-perfumes from a censer,-glances of love and beauty. And he could accumulate images into as deliberate and lofty a grandeur. Chapman said of him, that he stood
Up to the chin in the Pierian flood.
Drayton describes him as if inspired by the recollection :
Next Marlowe, bathèd in the Thespian springs,