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Welcome he played in the mid-forest glade
To the nymphs who danced nightly upon the green sod, Where the hoofs of the satyrs a circle had made,
As they trod out a measure in praise of their God.
The wind of the midnight crept under each leaf,
As if it would whisper some tale that it knew,
And slept in the cup of a lily-bell blue.
Far away in the west lay a forest of pines,
Looking over the yellow cliffs into the sea;
A Temple of Jove held his mystic decree.
Leapt out from earth's bondage beneath its tall fane
The strength of a torrent all bearded with spray,
And waved like a plume in the moonlight's bright ray.
But hark to the cymbal-clash ! Hark to the song
That steals thro' the trees like a spirit of life,
To dance on the sod in a bacchanal strife.
Ah ! how could they linger, and hear that sweet lute,
That the nightingale often had rivalled in vain, That weaned from his quarry the tawny-barred brute,
And fell on the heart like a summer-tide rain.
Oh ! lightly they press thro' the grape-laden vines,
Singing sweet snatches of silvery song,
As the polished swell rises each note to prolong?
Wrapped in a leopard skin, looped at the waist,..
Lily-bells twisted amid their dark locks,
The haunts of the satyrs amid the grey rocks.
Hark! to the hoof-tramp that beats on the ground,
As they greet the wood-beauties with many a freak. Hark! to the shout as, with hands clasped around,
The beards of the satyrs brush many a cheek. TOL. XLVII.-20. CCLXXXII.
Io! for Bacchus. Io! for the grape.
The trees seem to spin with their dance of delight, While like a bright spirit beside each rough shape
The forms of the wood-nymphsfling back the moonlight.
They tread like a shadow upon the green gward,
Leaving the dainty grape plump at their feet: Ripe for the hoof of their bacchanal lord,
To crush as they nimbly keep the time-beat.
Into the underwood, from it again,
Winning the satyrs with many a wile, Glancing like rosy lights over à plain,
Wooing the weary one many a mile.
14. Foreheads all beaded like dews on a rose,
The polish is moist on each beautiful limb, While brimful of langour their white eyelids close,
And the leopard-skin droops o'er each waist, lily-slim.
Reeling the satyr-group shout out their joy,
Flinging their cymbals away with delight, Prancing and bounding as if they'd destroy
The wine cups that mirror the Queen of the night..
16. Fiercely they clutch on each beaker of wine,
Pledging the snowy-limbed nymphs of the dance, Their horns twined around with the wreaths of the vine, And the South's sultryfire in theirquick searching glance.
Dips into the valley the white harvest moon;
A fleecy cloud sails o'er the brow of the night ; From afar on the ear comes the wild mystic rune,
Where the reeds sway together within the moonlight.
18. The stars draw around them their mantles of blue;
The red lips of morn kiss the hills in the east ; On the golden eared wheat hangs the silver white dow;
A beé flies away, from a lily released.
But alas ! to the depths of the forest unknown
Has the satyr-groupfled with the bright nymphsaway, And the scene of their revels, deserted and lone, Woos the deer to its rest in the noon of the day.
J. J. w,
SONNETS BY JAMES EDMESTOX,
Ye who, once habitant in mortal clay,
Are now from all its cumbrous fetters free,
Although unseen, unfelt, may haply be,
How sweet once were and are your loves to me!
My earthly wanderings and my sorrows see,
Aim'd at my peace by some dark-dealing foe;
And tend in love upon the way I go?
By those I dearly loved and never can forget.
Form their sepulchral chamber, low and far
Their prison vault with many a billowy bar,
There, through the green light fainter than a star,
The loud resounding waters madly jar,
Shall lead those prisoners from their rocky tomb,
Where amaranthine flowers in fields celestial bloom.
CLUB TALK IN LONDON.
PICTURES - POISON-PYROCTECHNIQS.
As a rule, nobody now makes jokes against wives. The current is all the other way, and in novels, and there, fore of course in life also, which novels invariably reflect so accurately, a wife is the healer, and the missionary, and the restorer, and the paraclete, and the Angel in the House. And this is healthy, and as it should be. Half the world, and the best, and kindest, and handsomest half, are certainly not meant to be ridiculed by the inferior and uglier moiety. But now and then, in corners of clubs, and after dinner when the ladies have retired, and in the opera stalls, and in one or two other places of safety, some elderly bache
lor with a neat wig, and a faith in King Turveydrop, deceased, will jerk out a little Joe Millerism against what the ancient creature calls “the sex.” One of these people--not that one would keep such company, but stall fifty-four is next to stall fiftyfive and there is no help for it-told us the other night, between the acts of the Barbiere, that there was once a man who had a dumb wife, of whom he was very fond. So he spent half his fortune in having her taught to speak. Thereupon she talked so much that he offered the other half to anyone who could restore her to silence. And then the old fellow took a pinch of some highly scented mixture, and thought he had uttered an epigram. whether the original Lass of RichNow nothing could atone for his mond Hill was the same lady as the recounting this venerable libel. But original Sally in Our Alley, with as the philosopher can turn the vilest other high, great, and doubtful questhing to account, let the antique slan- tions of similar vital interest. In derer's mot be appropriated. The April we were the silent lady whose fabled lady, in her two conditions, husband was spending the first half typifies the conversational position of of his fortune. London society in the months of That is all over. We have plenty April and May. We were so stupid to talk about now. April showers in London all through April. There have brought forth Mayflowers. was nothing “to put a name to." We Now our case is an embarras des richapprehended that peace was going to esses, and your friend no longer skulks break out; but this was a subject from you as if, his conversational rather evaded, especially as nobody pocket being empty, he thought you knew much more about the terms were going to ask him to stand treat. than that they were to be particularly He pours out his bounty of talk upon statesmanlike and unsatisfactory. you at once. The club is a clack and There was that Naval Review, which a clatter, and out of the vocal chaos brought out the finest crop of patrio arise ever and anon the words “fine tic adjectives ever grown on news colour," “ rockets," "strychnine," paper-soil, but which almost every “the scape-goat,” “ remember 1814," body referred to with a mild execra. “not a chance now," “ sold at the tion for the first week after its mis- private view," Temple of Concord," fortunes, and has grunted at ever "medical evidence," and so forth,since. A few people who had se- the phrases indicating that the Piccured, as they believed, good accom tures, the Poison, and the Pyrotechmodation for the day of the spectacle, nics are under busy discussion. If and what was of more consequence, one were to say that enough and to for the nights on each side of it, spare had been said upon each subtalked eagerly, and walked about ject, and that the other half of the town on the previous day with race- husband's fortune occurs to the mind, glasses hung across them; but the possibly ill-nature-for there is such masses, dubious of getting down to a thing-might hint that this present Portsmouth, dubious whether they writing was inconsistent with such should see anything when they ar. assertion. But ill-nature would be rived, and specially dubious about wrong, as it usually is,- for it is very getting home, held their tongues with meet that a record should be preextreme tenacity. And by common served of the curiously entwined consent the subject was dropped as “strands" of our London talk in this soon as possible after the impeach present stormy, chilly month of May. ment of the Ministers and the in- Shall we, therefore, disentangle them dignant declaration of the South for half an hour, and hear what peoWestern Railway people, that they ple have got to say for themselves ? ought to be publicly thanked for not Touching the Pictures. The open. having slain anybody during the ing of the eighty-eighth exhibition of whole day or night. There was the Royal Academy has, of course, really nothing else to talk about, and opened this subject. The place has the very newspapers, in despair, let been frightfully crammed ever since in correspondence of great length the public were let in, but there was and fury as to whether a lady-trans- a calm quiet Friday preceding, when lator of a French author, say M. a good many of Queen Victoria's arisMontalembert, has a right, on the tocracy, and a few of nature's, were grounds of the admirable execution admitted to the rooms, then so silent of the rest, to mistranslate certain and orderly. One “saved a good sentences of the original, if they be shilling," too, as Dean Swift says of not English enough for English a brother ecclesiastic; and perhaps it readers; and whether the Moon goes is inhospitable to find fault with the round on her axis while going round catalogue presented with a bow, inthe Earth, as a tipsy man circumro stead of sold with a snap and a tates while circumnavigating the glance at your possible bad money. table on his way to his hat; and Yet look at the motto, and ask
whether the united lore of the Academy ought not to have furnished something a little less clap-trappy and common-place. “Des artistes . . . . sont les enfans de la paix, ils sont bienfaisants comme elle, et c'est par elle qu'ils prosperent.” Of course we all know that the word “Paix,” caught the eye of the academical gentleman who was hunting for a motto, and who wanted it to be appropriate ; and as peace was to be proclaimed just as the Academy opened, here was a happy triteness ready furnished by La Harpe ; and no doubt many of the old academi. cians—such of them, at least, as understand French-remarked, “ very neat-very felicitous." And yet a national institution that assumes to teach the world what art is, ought at least have given us an art-truth, instead of telling us that artists cannot paint in a riot, or sell their pictures for good prices in war time. Even the old platitudes from Reynolds and Northcote--the fragments which, detached from their context, became foolish-were better than this; or the motto imitative thereof, to which Mr. Punch helped the Academy, “ Art is in no respects dissimilar to Nature, except in the cases in which Nature herself is unlike Art." But let us have a look at the children of peace.
Mr. Ruskin, who came forth last year like a lion, and rent in pieces the academy and its works, is this year a lamb. The “notes" wherewith he follows the catalogue announce that the Pre-Raphaelites have gained a victory like that of Inkerman, that the academical Russians are utterly routed, and that “the battle is completely and confessedly won by their opponents." And by this he means that nearly all the artists who are worth anything have studied in the school they used to scorn, and are now emulating its professors. Consequently he declines to find fault with men who, as he conceives, are struggling onwards to the very goal which he would set for them. Academicians growl in private places at this dictum, and declare that they did not need "a parcel of boys” to tell them how to paint, nor Mr. Ruskin to tell them how they have painted ; but the public has laid hold of the proposition which is compact
and comprehensible, and uses it with all the public's habitual discrimination.
Four good names are omitted from the list altogether. The President has nothing. Sir Charles may be presumed to have been too busy in furnishing a curious advocate, Mr. James Wilson, M.P., with comprehension and arguments in re the new Paul Veronese, to have had leisura to finish any of his own graceful works. Daniel Maclise his nothing ; where is the harp that once through Danish camps King Alfred's music shed ? William Mulready, auditor, has nothing for the spectators; and Thomas Creswick has nothing that places him in the list of exhibitors, though he has lent a background or two. So here are four good men and true, who have not as yet bowed the knee to Mr. Ruskin's idol. Nevertheless, saying this, let it not be supposed that we fail to recognize the incalculable services which the PreRaphaelite school has rendered to art. If it had done nothing else than taught-or rather compelledother men to let light into their pictures, it would have earned undying gratitude. But it has done far more than this though. To estimate what this is, go and look at some of the best Pre-Raphaelite atmospheres, beside the dismal dinginess of the men who still refuse to be taught; or even beside the dubious work of those who have given their allegiance, but not with a whole heart. The background of Hunt's picture, the “Scapegoat," looks from a distance, and in comparison with the surrounding works, as if a hole had been broken in the wall, and the real light of heaven were seen. Thanks to these young men, the academy tax on lightthe conventional rule which as effectually darkened and dirtied our pictures as ever parliamentary imposts did our houses—will shortly be repealed; artists are refusing to endure it. But, werepeat, the Pre-Raphaelites have done much more. They have been as the alchemists to the men of science. Pursuing an error-or, rather, erroneously pursuing a truth, they haveopened a world of discoveries. We do not, with Mr. Ruskin, desire that a group, the interest of which is human passion, should be backed by a wall whose every blade of grass, every gold-lace of moss, erery chink,