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Farewell, rude reef and desert isle,
Breaker, and shoal, and quicksand drear! And syrens to whose voice erewhile
I gave a pleas’d and willing ear.
Farewell! I've anchor'd now-in vain
Fair wind and favouring breeze may blow; They shall not tempt me forth again
Enough of Fortune's mood I know.
Rodriguez Lobo has not only embodied his own feelings and sentiments on every suitable occasion in his “ Primavera,” but is also said to have made it the vehicle of covert allusions to various circumstances in his own life, which, from the lapse of time, and the scarcity of records, cannot now be traced" or understood. This work, which was dedicated to Donna Juliana de Lara, Countess of Odemira, went through many editions in Lisbon, and was translated into Spanish, and published in Madrid, in 1629.
Encouraged by its success, Lobo wrote a second part, called “Pastor Peregino, or the Wandering Shepherd,” in which character Lereno, the hero of “ Primavera," reappears, wandering in quest of adventures, and in search of a cure for the sorrows with which, by a strange inconsistency in pastoral writers, their shepherds are so frequently overwhelmed, in a state of life represented by the poets as the most tranquil, happy, and independent. The “ Pastor," like its first part, is simply a groundwork for lyrics in various measures, and for the expression of sentiment, rather than for the development of incidents. Lereno, in the course of his wanderings, meets, in a scene of deep seclusion, with an old mountaineer, in whose words Lobo takes occasion to express (in prose, however) his own opinions and feelings, and his mode of life:
to be gay, I am so, for I sing only to please myself; and when it is otherwise, I care not for it, for I do not sing to rejoice others. When the frost and the snow are on the mountains, there is wood on our hills and fire in our flints to defend me from the cold; when the weather is sultry, I find refreshing coolness under the shade of these trees, and by the side of these fountains. My food is simple, conformable with the simplicity of my life; and my apparel is always of the same colour, for changefulness (even in trifles) is hazardous. The greatest difficulty I have arises from the shepherds around me; each one has his own inclinations, and his own opinions, and I have to stand single with my own against all the rest ; but I conduct myself in such a manner that nothing painful results from our intercourse. From the avaricious man I never request anything ; neither do I advise him to give to others, nor do I commend him for not giving : thus I neither deceive him nor offend him. To the proud man I display no pride, to avoid contention with him; nor do I assume any with inferiors, for with them it would be useless and misplaced. I do not serve an ungrateful man, in order that he should not make me regret it; or if I do serve him, I remember that, from his evil disposition, I can expect no return for the work which is good in itself. With the talkative man I am silent; to the silent man I speak with circumspection. The violent man I do not exasperate ; to the fool I do not strive to impart reason. To the poor man I owe nothing ; from the rich man I ask nothing. The vain man I neither flatter nor censure ; to the flatterer I give no credence; and thus I live peaceably with all, and no one does me any injury. I speak no bitter truths, and I encourage no degrading friendship. I do not seek for possessions, that others may envy me. In these days, from the three best things in the world, the three worst are produced-from truth, hatred; from social intercourse, contempt; from prosperity, envy. I am what you see me, and what I have told you. I do not wish to appear other than I am, nor to be more than I appear. If you are satisfied with what you have heard, and will come with me, as it is late, I will offer you the hospitality of my cottage ; you may enter it without fear, sleep in it without danger, and leave it without regret."
This is intended for the speech of a single-minded and upright rural philosopher, and doubtless many of the maxims are excellent; but it seems to us a little too poco-curante and selfengrossed. The portrait is that of a harmless and amiable, but not very useful, member of the human family.
Lereno does not accept the invitation, preferring to ramble deeper into
“In my cottage you will find nothing belonging to vanity; there is nothing but what is needful in my pastoral occupation; or if there be anything more, it is but some necessary of life. I live contented, and free from care, for when I wake my thoughts are not fixed on fortune; nor when I sleep, do I dream of the pleasures and possessions that deceive, and of the evils that men choose of their own will. At night, whatever star I see it is mine for all the stars are propitious to my state of life; and by day the sun appears to me always of the same brightness, for the eyes with which I behold him are free. I have this instrument, to whose music I sing; whenever it is suitable for me
If ye would live with me, bethink ye
That with my death must sound your knell; For sorrows only last while liveth
The mortal in whose heart they dwell.
the solitude, and to spend the night in lonely meditations and in song. He personifies his sorrows, and ad. dresses to them, as sentient and intelligent, a fanciful expostulation on their persecutions and his sufferings, endeavours to bring them to reason, and asks redress.
Come, then, some sure remede revealing,
Some balmy hopes that may sustain Your life and mine, while thus I wander
O'er mountain lone, o'er silent plain.
ROMANCE OF LERENO.*
FROM THE * PASTOR PEREGRINO." Amid these trees so sad and sombre,
Now dimly veil'd by dark’ning night, Where leaves with low and gentle music
Soft melancholy thoughts invite:
But what is this !-will ye not answer ?
Another doth for you reply“'Tis vain to ask redress from Sorrow,
As seek from Fortune constancy."
Beside the stream, that rapid flowing,
Its way through crags and pebbles takes, And vocal with its pleasant murmur
The silent sleep of Nature breaks :
Within the grove, whose light, whose features,
Whose tints are lost in shadows brown, Cast downwards by th' o'erhanging moun
tains, That round this deep seclusion frown:
Here let me rest, and ask my sorrows
(For they can answer prompt and well), Have I yet borne your utmost anguish ?
Or can your power past griefs excel ?
Lobo added to his great pastoral romance a third part, called as o Desenganado" (the Disenchanted), or rather,
The Undeceived." It is divided into sections, called " discourses ;" and, like the two former parts, contains a great number of lyrics; and the author infused into it a larger amount of his own stores of information than in the two preceding parts of his work. But this sequel does not seem to have been as popular as the " Primavera” or the " Pastor Peregrino;" but the subject had been exhausted, and the tediousness was not relieved by interest or adventure.
Lobo's Eclogues, ten in number, are in a less popular style than his poetic romances and other pastoral lyrics ; they are too didactic; the shepherds meet to moralise on some particular virtues and their opposite vices ; but these bucolics are pervaded by a rustic simplicity, and a delicacy and gentleness that are very pleasing, and the verse is sweet and fluent. The eclogues are interspersed with various songs, romances, cantigas, &c., one of which we translate for its rustic quaintness. It is sung by a shepherd as an imaginary dialogue between two friends, one reasoning with the other on the inutility of complaining against Fortune :
CANTIGA. " Find'st thou no cure for pain and dole ?
Be still, and vain complaints forsake." “Leave me complaint ; it is the sole
Revenge I can on Fortune take.” "Nay, all thy murmurings and sighs
Strike vainly upon Fortune's ear; She cheats, and from her victim flies.
How think'st thou reason she would hear ?
Against me ye, and Love, and Fortune,
Are warring in united band : No friends, save mine own thoughts, are
near me; How can I, then, still firmly stand ?
* la the original, this romance is without rhyme, having only the assonance of vowels.
Then, save thou art perverse of mood,
Thy querulous complaints forbear." “Leave me complaint, my only good,
All else I yield to Fortune's share.” “But thence what fruit, I'm fain to learn,
To gather canst thou fondly dream ?" " To chafe her when she doth discern
How small her greatest boons I deem.” " Jf all men else her gifts enjoy,
What can thine accusations do ?" “ Her falsehood prove, her arts destroy,
And show, unmask'd, her visage true.” “She'll say thou'rt envious of the weal
To others given, to thee denied." “And I in vengeance will reveal
How she her favours misapplied.” "What canst thou do to guard thee well,
And thwart her when she would oppress?" “ To her my stern complainings tell,
And to myself my happiness."
How natural is this last distich! How many there are who give them. selves the habit of complaining aloud of their ill-fortune, while they secretly confess to themselves that, after all, they still have much to enjoy!
Lobo, beside his incidental lyrics, composed a great number of separate romances (many of them in Spanish), pastorals, sonnets, &c. Among the latter is one on a waterfall, possessing so much beauty that we are anxious to give it as a favourable specimen of the author's powers in sonnet-writing. It is so remarkably well translated in Sismondi's History of the Literature of the South of Europe," that we take permission to transcribe that translation, believing that the reader would prefer our so doing to giving him the trouble of referring to “Sismondi," or to our presenting him with an in. ferior version of our own.
SONNET ON A WATERFALL.
(TRANSLATED IN “SISMONDI.")
Plunge in wild falls to seek the cliffs below,
Dashing in whirling eddies as ye flow,
Waking eternal music as ye go,
Roving from rock to rock! Yet why bestow
Through suplit banks, would softly lead you on
Love's mysteries sad. Our hapless fate is one :
Lobo would have done wisely had he been content to rest his fame solely on the basis of his sonnets, pastorals, and poems of that class. But his desire to imitate Camoens (whom he so nearly approached in his lyrics) unhappily induced him to emulate the “Lusiad” by an epic, in which he failed. This work, called “O'Condestabre de Portu. gal (The Constable of Portugal*) was designed to celebrate the Lusitanian hero, Nuno Alvarez Pereira, who, in 1383, bravely assisted the Master of Avis, afterwards John I. (a natural brother of the then lately deceased King Ferdinand), to save their coun. try from the threatened yoke of Cas. tile, whose king claimed it as husband
of the only child of Ferdinand, contrary to the constitution of Portugal, which prohibited annexation to a foreign crown under such circumstances. Nuno Pereira, who made many sacrifices for the independence of Portugal, distinguished himself in the great victory at Aljubarrota (to which success he mainly contributed), which defeated Castile, and gave to Portugal a native monarch, brave, wise, and honourable. The epic, though it has some good passages, such as the description of the great battle, and of Pereira in the bosom of his family, is dry and tedious, and is, in fact, but a rhyming biography in twenty cantos. But it is remarkable in one respect,