[ocr errors]

(6 and


with a virtue ; and by degrees, as little fits of ill temper were exchanged, and she began to think less kindly of herself, she began to be uneasy about others. Unfortunately for this return of her complaint, a little anxions busy-body, wlióin she had been accustomed to treat with contemptuous indifference, perhaps to shew it too much, of news, that Cephalus was passionately aud notoriously in love with a beautiful nymph of the name of Aura.

Aurora, y

you mean," said Procris scornfully. "No, no," said the little snappish voice ; Aura, Aura :-I know it well enough ; all Athens knows it, or else I should not have repeated it. I am no tale-bearer ; but I hate to see a man pretending to be what he is not.” Cephalus pretends nothing," said Procris. « Oh-of course," said the gossip; mighty useful it is to him no doubt, to be so wanting in pretence. But my maxim is, Be decent enough, at least,

to appear

virtuous." “ Yes, thought Procris, * and your whole life would be an exemplification of it, if you could hold your tongue." But the blow was struck. She despised the scandal, while she became its victim.

Procris, who was on a visit with Cephalus to her father, had heard of a spot in which he reposed himself every day after the chace. Here, it added, the lady as regularly met him. He was even so impatient for her sight, that if she delayed a minute beyond the usual time, he called upon her aloud, in the fondest manner. " Come, come, sweet Aura," said he," and cool this glow in my bosom."! c'Now his delight in the new spot, and the invocation also, were both very true; only the informant forget to mention, and Procris to remeinber, that although Aura was the naine of a female, it also signified the fresh air ais

One day, Cephalus went as usual into his favourite haunt, to enjoy it's freshness, verdure, and seclusion. The place has been very prettily described by Ovid, on

Est prope purpurea's colles florentis Hymetti te Fons sacer, et viridi cespite mollis hun'rs.

Sylva nemus non alta facit: tegit arbuti's herbam:

Ros maris, et lauri, nigraque myrtus elit.
Nec densæ foliis buxi, fragilesque niyricæ,

buat Nec tenues cytisi, cultaque pinus abest.

Lenibus impulsæ Zephyris, auraque salubri,
Ovi litri Tot generum frondes, herbaque summa tremunt.

Art. Amat. Lib. 111. v. 687.
Close by the flowery purple hill

Hymetus, may be found
A sacred fountain, and a plot

green and lovely ground.
'Tis in a copse. The strawberry

Grows blushing through the grass ;
And myrtle, rosemary, and bay

Quite perfume all the place.
Nor is the tamarisk wanting there ;

Nor clumps of leafy box ;
el Nor slender cytisus ; uur yet

The pine with it's proud locks


139 2003 71103 Touched by the zıphyrs and sweet airs,
od 0210. Which there in balın assemble, id

This little world of leaves, and all 12

The tops of the grass tremble.

Cephalus lay upon a slope of the velvet ground, his hands behind his head, and his face towards the balmy heaven. He little thought that Procris was near. She was lurking close to him behind some boxtrees. She listened. There was not a sound, but that of the fountain, the noise of whose splashes were softened by the trees that half encircled

She listened again, thioking she heard her husband speak. It was only the fervid bees, buzzing along from Hyıpettus, and murinuring as if disdainfully in her ear. A variety of feelings agitate her. Now she lis sorry that she came, and would have given any thing to be back again. Now she longs to know who her rival is.

Now she is sorry again, and feels that her conduct is unworthy, let her husband's be what it may. Now she reassures herself, and thinks that he should have at least been ingenious. Jealousy and curiosity prevail, and she still looks and listens. The air seems more than usually quiet; and the bees worry her with their offiçious humming. Cephalus leaps up, and plays idly with his javelin. Still nothing is said. Nobody appears. She expects the lady every minute to issue from the trees, and thinks how she shall confound her. But no one comes. At last her husband speaks. She parts the box-trees a little more, to listen the keener.

Come, gentle Aura,” aied he, as if in a tone of reproach :-" Come, and breathe refreshment upon me :--thou scarcely stirrest the poplars to day." Procris leaped up in an extacy of delight and remorse, and began tearing back the boughs to go to her husband. He starts up. He thinks it a deer hampered in the thicket, and rises his javelin to dart it. Forbear, førbear, miserable man: it is thy more miserable wife !! Alas! the javelin is thrown, and the wife pierced. Upon coming up to secure his prey, he finds with a dumb despair, that it is Procris dying. She does not reproach bim. She reproaches only herself. Forgive me," said she, “dear Cephalus," pressing her cheek against his: “I was made wise in vain once, and Lam now wise again too late. Forgive my poor jealous heart, and bless ine. It weeps blood for it's folly.” And as she spoke, she sobbed aloud ; and the penitent tears gushed away, as if to emulate the gushing of her heart. Cephalus, bewildered and agonizedy uttered what kind and remorseful words his lips.could frame, pressing her all the while gently to his heart. He saw that the wound was mortal, and it was quickly so. Her eyes faded away while looking at him ; but opening her lips, she still made a yearning movement of them towards his. It reminded hiin of paying that affectionate office to the departing spirit; and stooping with a face washed in tears, he put his mouth upon her's, a


and received at once her last kiss and breath.

Orders received by the Newsmen, by the Booksellers, and by the Publisher, Joseph Appleyard.

Printed by Joseph Appleyard, No. 19, Catherine Street, Strand.

Price ed.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]



The Spring is now complete. The winds have done their work. The shaken air, well tempered and equalized, has subsided; the genial rains, however thickly they may come, do not saturate the ground, beyond the

power of the sun to dry it up again. There are clear chrystal mornings ; noons of blue sky and white cloud; nights, in which the growing moon soems to lie looking at the stars, like a young shepherdess at her flock. A few days ago she lay gazing in this manner at the solitary evening star, like Diana, on the slope of a valley, looking up at Endymion. His young eye seemed to sparkle out upon the world; while she, bending inwards, her hands behind her head, watched him with an enamoured dumbness.

But this is the quiet of Spring. It's voices and swift movements have come back also. The swallow shoots by us, like an embodied ardour of the season. The glowing bee has his will of the honied flowers, grappling with them as they tremble. We have not yet heard the nightingale or the cuckoo ; but we can hear them with our imagination, and enjoy them through the content of those who have..

Then the young green. This is the most apt and perfect mark of the season, the true issuing forth of the Spring. The trees and bushes are putting forth their crisp fans; the lilac is loaded with bud; the meadows are thick with the bright young grass, running into sweeps of white and gold with the daisies and buttercups. The orchards announce their riches, in a shower of silver blossoms. The earth in fer-, tile woods is spread with yellow and blue carpets of primroses, violets, and hyacinths, over which the birch-trees, like stooping nymphs, hang with their thickening hair. Lilies of the valley, stocks, columbines, lady-smocks, and the intensely red piony which seems to anticipate the full glow of summer-time, all come out to wait upon the season, like fairies from their subterraneous palaces.

Who is to wonder that the idea of love mingles itself with that of this cheerful and kind time of the year, setting aside even common

associations? It is not only it's youth, and beauty, and budding life, and 6 the passion of the groves,” that exclaim with the poet,

Let those love now, who never loved before;

And those who always loved, now love the more*. All our kindly impulses are apt to have more sentiment in them, than the world suspect; and it is by fetching out this sentiment, and making it the ruling association, that we exalt the impulse into generosity and refinement, instead of degrading it, as is too much the case, into what is selfish, and coarse, and pollutes all it's systems. One of the greatest inspirers of love is gratitude,--110t merely on it's common grounds, but gratitude for pleasures, whether consciously or unconsciously, conferred. Thus we are thankful for the delight given us by a kind and sincere face; and if we fall in love with it, one great reason is, that we long to return what we have received. The same feeling has a considerable influence in the love that has been felt for men of talents, whose persons or address have not been much calculated to inspire it. In spring-time, joy awakens the heart: with joy, awakes 'gratitude and nature; and in our gratitude, we return, on it's own principle of participation, the love that has been shewn us.

This association of ideas renders solitude in spring, and solitude in, winter, two very different things. In the latter, we are better con. tent to bear the feelings of the season by ourselves :-in the former they are so sweet as well as so overflowing, that we long to share them. Shakspeare, in one of his sonnets, describes himself as so identifying the beauties of the spring with the thought of his absent mistress, that he

says he forgot them in their own character, and played with them only as with her shadow. See how exquisitely he turns a commonplace into this fancy; and what a noble brief portrait of April he gives us at the beginning. There is indeed a wonderful mixture of softness and strength in almost every one of the lines.

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing;
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in lue,
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose :
They were but sweet, butt patterns of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still; and, you away,
As with

your shadow, I with these did play. Shakspeare was fond of alluding to April. He did not allow May to have all his regard, because she was richer. Perdita, crowned with Howers, in the Winter's Tale, is beautifully compared to

[ocr errors]

Flora, Peering in April's front.

* Pervigilium Veneris.- Parnell's translation. + But sweet, but.--Quære:-But sweet-cut?

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors]

There is a line in one of his sonnets, which, agreeably to the image he had in his mind, seems to strike up in one's face, hot and odorous, like perfume in a censer.

lo process of the seasons have I seen

Three April perfumes in three hot Junies burned.
His allusions to spring are numerous in proportion, We all know
the song, containing that fine line, fresh from the most brilliant of
pallets :

When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow bue,

Do paint the meadows with delight.
We owe a long debt of gratitude to the daisy; and we take this
opportunity of discharging a millionth part of it. If we undertook to
pay it all, we should have had to write such a book, as is never very
likely to be written, –a journal of numberless happy hours in child.
hood, kept with the feelings of an infant and the pen of a man. For
it would take, we suspect, a depth of delight and a subtlety of words,
to express even the vague joy of infancy, such as our learned depar.
tures from natural wisdom would find it more difficult to put together,
than criticism and comfort, or an old palate and a young relish.-
But knowledge is the widening and the brightening road that must
conduct us back to the joys from which it led us; and which it is des-
tined perhaps to secure and extend. We must not quarrel with it's
asperities, when we can help.

We do not know the Greek name of the daisy, nor do the dictiona. ries inform us; and we are not at present in the way of consulting books that might. We always like to see what the Greeks say to these things, because they had a sentiment in their enjoyments. The Latins called it Bellis or Bellus, as much as to say, Nice One. With the French and Italians it has the same name as a Pearl, -Marguerite, Margarita, or generally, hy way of endearment, Margheretina*. The same word was the name of a woman, and occasioned infinite intermixtures of compliment about pearls, daisies, and fair mistresses. Chaucer, is his beautiful poem of the Flower and the Leaf, which is evidently imitated from some French poetess, says,

And at the laste there began anon
A lady for to sing right womanly
A bargarett in praising the daisie,
Foras me thought among hier notes sweet,

She said " Si dousct esi la llargarete.”.
<< The Margaret is so sweet.", Dur Margaret however, in this allego-
rical poem, is undervalued in comparison with the laurel; yet Chaucer
perhaps was partly induced to translate it on occount of it's making
the figure that it does; for he has informed us more than once, in a

* 1

This word is originally Greek, -Margarites; and as the Franks probably bronghi it from Constantinople, perhaps they brouglicit's association with ihe daisy also.

+ Bargaret, Berveretle, a little pastoral.

« ElőzőTovább »