Imatges de pàgina
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Virgins.
Soon a pure and sparkling light

Shall rise upon the gloom,
And all these shadows become bright,
As young Aurora's living bloom,
Scattering the night.

PRIESTS.
Thou devoted God of Love!

Cupid, the divine!
Be our guardian till above
In thy blissful sphere we shine,
Amid the Elysian grove.

VIRGINS.
Thou, the emblem of the soul !

Let our spirits be
Like thine, and bear the sweet control
Of conquering love till we be free,

And win the immortal goal.

Enter HIEROPHAnt and SOCRATES.

HIEROPHANT. Into the third and last initiation Thy venturous footstep passes. It begins In shadows, like the rest. But light will dawn Upon its darkness, and thou shalt behold The mystery of Olympian love, which binds All living beings to the Deity. That golden chain which sparkled in the dreams Of Homer shalt thou see. I will unbind The black symbolic bandage from thy eyes. (While he withdraws the bandage, a splendid light is dif

fused over the cavern-Cupid and Psyche are beheld in a flowery garden.)

Socrates.
Oh, beautiful vision! on my unveiled eyes
Thou openest like the trance of Orpheus,
The bright unstained religiousness of poetry
Made visible.

HIEROPHANT.

To the initiates,
This Cupid is another emblem of
The Apollo thou hast seen, and the Adonis
Of the Syrian orgies. Old theosophists
Hail bim as the celestial Soul-lover,
Who in his love lays down his life, to raise
His Psyche from the tomb. List, you will learn

Their story from themselves.
X. S.-VOL. VI.

20

CUPID.

Weep not, my Psyche;
'Twas for thy sake I left the Olympian palace,
That in thy pure affection I might find
Richer delight; and never will I leave thee,
Till thou too, like thy lover, art divine,

Psyche.
Ay, 'tis for that Divinity I weep :
I cannot be quite happy till made one
With thee; thy immortality is mine
Inseparably blended. I would know
All things; my knowledge of all good and evil
Would be great as thy own-until-

(She shrieks and falls.) CUPID.

Alas!
That word, my Psyche, is thy last. The serpent
Which lurks amid the flowers, hath fixed his fangs
In thy fair foot, and thou art blighted. But
I know the prophecy of eldest fate-
Cupid will die that his lost Psyche may
Live yet again. Serpent, I crush thee thus ;
Let thy sharp venom do its worst upon me,

(He falls.)
Chorus of PRIESTS and VIRGINS.
Cupid dies for love of theem
For thy sake, sweet Psyche, bears
That dark curse, mortality,
All its anguish, all its cares.
Like Adonis, he shall rise
Brighter, for the eclipse of light,
Wafting Psyche to the skies,
Triumphant from the fatal fight.

Cupid (reviving).
I've won the last achievement of pure love-
My life revives in double intensity,
And in its ecstacy, my drooping Psyche,
Thou shalt exultingly take part. I touch
Thy lips with the blest nectar and ambrosia
Of the gods. Awake, my fairest !

Psyche.

Ah, my spouse, -
My own celestial one!-Where am I ?- where ?
What change has passed upon me? I awake
From a wild dream of immortality;
And, by a secret instinct in my heart,
My immortality is not a dream
'Tis real-real-inextinguishable-

I feel it as thy own it comes from thee
It is thyself within me-soul of my soul,
Life of my life-0 take me to thy heart,
Never again to sever!

CUPID.

Never more-
In the fiery chariot of the spirit-world,
Thus with my ransomed bride I soar to heaven
For ever and ever.

(A golden chariot descends, into which they enter.)

Psyche (rising).
Ecstacy ! ecstacy!

HIEROPHANT.
Thus the invincible God of Love, the arch
Philanthropist, the Saviour of lapsed souls,
Traverses the Titanic universe-
The four great spheres—the mystical tetractys
Of Pythagoric fiction, and the twelve
Circumferential degrees of being,
On all sides rescues he the populous tribes
Of lapsed intelligences, fallen genii
And exiled demons, till he hath restored
The family of God to purest glory.

Socrates.
What is thy sign of the third mystery?

HIEROPHANT.
Over thy heart with both thy hands describe
The figure of a Cross-even thus,

Socrates.

'Tis well :
I do embrace the augury-on my knees
Do I profess my reverence for the emblem ;
It symbolizes all that I would know ;-
Such the bright dream of that philosophy
I live and die to teach. Priest! I would thank thee
For these resplendent fictions of mythology:
I will not in ingratitude betray thee,
Or wilfully reveal the mysteries
To ears profane. But yet, so much as I
May mingle their high science with the learning
Of the schools, will I seek to spread their solemn verities,
Even till the mobbing populace shall catch
A sparkle of their radiance, and, upon
The grave of Socrates, weep to remember
Sweet lessons, for whose sake they murdered him.

COGITATIONS OF A CONTEMPLATIST.

No. III.

" When they present no other treasure,

Shall I admire them for their measure?"-ANON. People have now a somewhat different idea of poetry from what they had erewhile. The reign of the word-weigher and adjuster of cadences is at an end. More essential excellencies are recognized and required; and vigour of sense is considered of greater consequence than smoothness of sound. Hence I may perhaps 'venture, without incurring the imputation of ill-taste or paradoxical affectation, to recommend the merits of two old poets, who, although once esteemed, have lately, by the vagaries of fashion, been doomed to oblivion. However much the superficial may be pleased with the elegant feebleness and polished inanity of Brady and Tate, I dare to affirm that, in all which constitutes true poetry, their “New Version of the Psalms sinks into utter insignificance when compared with the ruder one of their predecessors.

How Kirke White could have pronounced Brady and Tate's version entitled to “ an indubitable right to pre-eminence," I am at a loss to discover. The tricks and glittering ornaments of modern poetical diction are substituted by them for the unadorned grandeur of the original; while their attempts at the sublime sometimes degenerate into the absurdest fustian: No one can deny that their language possesses a certain gracefulness; but it is a gracefulness wbich smacks more of a London Poetaster than of Holy Writ. They continually sacrifice energy, to make room for a paltry antithesis or pretty expression, and admit interpolations which, from their total dissimilarity to anything in the inspired writers, are alike offensive to piety and good taste.

Sternhold and Hopkins' version, although written in an obsolete style, is full of the true spirit of poetry, and frequently emulates the simple majesty of David. If we are to condemn these writers for the occasional uncouthness of their metre, which one of our elder poets is to escape the same censure? The sublimity which Sternhold and Hopkins have in the following verses attained is universally allowed :

“ The Lord descended from above,

And bowed the Heavens high,
And underneath his feet he cast

The darkness of the sky.
On cherubs and on cherubims

Full royally he rode,
And on the wings of mighty winds

Came flying all abroad.” This passage, Kirke White adduces as “ a brilliant, yet probably accidental exception to the general character of the work;” but had he carefully compared the psalm in which it occurs, he would have

paused before he pronounced its excellence to be the effect of chance. Take the lines by which it is immediately preceded :-

“ The earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the earth moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured : coals were kindled by it."- Psalm xvii. 7, 8.

STERNHOLD AND HOPKINS.
“ Such is his power that in his wrath

He made the earth to quake,
Yea, the foundation of the mount

Of Basan for to shake;
And from his nostrils went a smoke,

When kindled was his ire ;
And from his mouth went burning coals
Of hot consuming fire."

BRADY AND Tate.
“ When God arose, my part to take,

The conscious earth was struck with fear ;
The hills did at his presence shake,
Nor could his dreadful fury bear.
Thick clouds of smoke dispersed abroad
Ensigns of wrath before him came ;
Devouring fire around him glowed,

That coals were kindled at the flame." With all their antique phraseology, the verses of Sternhold and Hopkins are vigorous; but who can endure the tinselled impotence of Brady and Tate's attempt? The expression “ my part to take" is insufferably mean; and the idea of the “conscious" earth being " struck with fear" is certainly no improvement of the originai. Thick clouds of smoke dispersing abroad and becoming ensigns of wrath, attended by a devouring fire that glowed around, form but a poor equivalent for the majestic imagery of the Psalmist: “There went a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured.” I have little doubt that the reader will concur with me in condemning Brady and Tate, even if he does not approve Sternhold and Hopkins.

In the nineteenth Psalm, the sun is thus likened to a bridegroom and a warrior : “In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."-v. 4, 5, 6.

STERNHOLD AND HOPKINS.
“ In them the Lord made for the sun

A place of great renown;
Who like a bridegroom ready trimmed

Comes from his chamber down;
And as a valiant champion

Who would to honour rise,
With joy doth haste to take in hand

His noble enterprize;

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