Imágenes de páginas

as it was announced in the journals. I then turned to the exquisite lines of Byron on his last birthday, and then I re-read them to myself with a melancholy alteration, which I shall give here.



"Tis time this heart should be unmoved,

Since others it hath ceased to move;
Yet though I cannot be beloved,

Still let me love.

My days are in the yellow leaf;

The flowers and fruits of love are gone;

The worm, the canker, and the grief,
Are mine alone.

The fire that in my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze-
A funeral pile!

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share;
But wear the chain.

But 'tis not thus, and 'tis not here,

Such thoughts should shake my soul nor now,
When Glory decks the hero's bier

Or binds his brow.

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece around me see;
The Spartan borne upon his shield
Was not more free.

Awake!-not Greece; she is awake-
Awake my spirit! think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then, strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood! Unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death

Is here. Up, to the field and give
Away thy breath.

Seek out-less often sought than found-
A soldier's grave-for thee the best;
Then look around and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.

[ocr errors]



This youthful heart has ne'er been moved,
And others it could never move;
Then, since I cannot be beloved,
I will not love.

My days are in their spring of leaf,

No flowers, no fruits of love they bear;

Not mine the canker and the grief,
The fond despair.

Yet in my bosom preys a fire,

Lone as of some volcanic isle;
Perchance 'twill be a death-lit pyre-
A funeral pile!

The hope and fear, the jealous care
Of toilers seizing_bread with pain,
Are manful; these I must not share,
But wear a chain.

To servile arts 'twould bind in vain,

My tongue would form to servile words
A lord must cringe, where manners reign,
To other lords.

The forge and anvil, and the glow
Of manly toil, are everywhere.
My country marks her greatness so;
I'll win my share!

Awake!-not England; she's awake-
Awake my spirit! think through whom
Thy life blood tracks its parent lake,

And then, strike home!

Strike on the anvil!

Strike with force!
Be-what the lordling's not-a man!
Help nations in their onward course-
Steam in the van!

Vapid has been thy youth. Why live ?
The toil-worn here find daily death.
Up, then!-with England's labourers give
Away thy breath!

Seek out-unsought 'tis often found-
A workman's grave: for thee the best.
Worthy thy hire. Choose thou thy ground
And take thy rest.

A melancholy alteration of the noble lines indeed!

But the simple facts of the case have true poetry in them, and are more sad than the spoiling of the heroic verses.

Grandsire and grandson are gone. Peace to their ashes! To their own Master they must stand or fall-not to us.

When Byron's daughter was laid in the vault with him, there was in it one vacant space more. His wife, consistent unto death, did not choose that it should be occupied by her remains.

There would have been something soothing to the heart could we have said that the young lord, the young engineer, had been laid in the vault of Hucknal Church with his mother and with the poet.

For then, when October embrowns the Nottinghamshire woods, and the pilgrim to Newstead has worshipped at the shrine of genius, he would turn from it to the little country church, and, reflecting on those who slept there the poet, his daughter, and his grandson-he would forget all but the strange contrarieties of life with our wishes and our purposes, as exemplified in those three existences, of such short duration, but so richly endowed by fortune and by nature.

Note. This comparison, or contrast, of two peculiar characters was written at the time when the death of Lord Byron's grandson was announced, but is now given as having a certain interest in connexion with the poet's name.


THOU art gone from a world of unrest,
Thou art gone with the faithful and few,
To a sphere where day never sets in the west,
Where pleasures are boundless and new,
And bliss in an ocean of holy delight
Rolls its golden waves through the infinite.

The portal of death overpast,

In peace where the earth-worn repose,
Beyond time's ever-withering blast-

Beyond earth's ever-varying woes—
Thy spirit, set free from a mansion of clay,
Soars in realms of delight through eternity-

And learns in that atmosphere bright
To compassionate mortals below,

Amid myriads in garments of spotless white,
Freed for ever from earthly woe,
Confessing the change in that endless rest,

Which mortality penitent shares with the blest.


3 c

There with awe heaven's armies unite,
Beneath glory's unquenchable ray,

And the Highest-His throne of embodied light-
Dims e'en angel eyes with excessive day,
And holiest songs, that know not surcease,
Resound through the realm of eternal peace.

Where in meads of undying flowers
Bliss encounters no envy from time,
And delight knows no measure of hours,
And tempest ne'er darkens the clime,
While God is the refuge, and never despair
Quenches one bright ray of the noontide there.
Thou art gone like a transient thought!
'Tis well, for the voice of tears

To the cold world avails us nought;

Affection, too, droops with a weight of years, Age deadening the sense, as clouds cover the day, For sympathies fade as the hair turns grayAnd life's eve dims the vision as moments flee,

And regret speaks their vainness; the desolate past Makes every remembrance time brings back of thee Come sad as the sigh of an autumn blast, That whispers, "The bygone no more can be Than the sepulchre share vitality."

Adieu, then, my sister! Death's mystery,

A gulf never fathomed, between us lies,

And ages to come upon ages will flee,

But never more darkness oppress thine eyes, For thou of earth weariness art free

By a covenant of immortality.

Yet regretful the thought, none survive that with me One scene can retrace of life's spring-tide hour,

One saddened remembrance in turn to be

As the vanished cloud of the summer shower;
Not a record remaining, my sister, to tell
Of thy living and dying so nobly well!

Once more, then, adieu! Soon oblivion's hand
Shall this frail memorial of thee erase-
O mournful the hour at whose stern command
Neither evil nor good leave a lasting trace!
Since affection's self nature grieves to see,
If the best thing of earth still is vanity!



Great extent of the Lake-Possible communications between the Albert N'yanza and Lake Tanganyika-Origin of the Nile-Existence of several outlets to the Albert N'yanza-The White Nile-The Jur, a tributary to the Gazelle Lake-The Bahr Bura, a tributary to Matuassat, a great Central African Lake-Outlets of the great lake of Central Africa-The Shary and Lake Tsad-The Binuwa, or Eastern Niger-The Zaire, or Congo-An Egyptian and Ethiopic Nile-The Slave Trade.

IT is understood that, influenced no doubt to some extent by the visit of the Prince of Wales, and anxious to do something which shall confirm him in the good opinion of Western nations, the Viceroy of Egypt has invited Sir Samuel Baker to take command of an expedition directed to the suppression of the slave trade on the Upper Nile, to explore fully and in detail the vast interior reservoir known as the Albert N'yanza, and to bring the hitherto untraversed districts lying around the mysterious head waters of the great river of Egypt within the sphere not only of the viceroy's authority, but also of mercantile operations.

The results of such an expedition are so full of promise to our knowledge of the face of the globe we dwell upon, in its least known and most inaccessible regions, and to the cause of a downtrodden and slave-driven people, that it is impossible not to be stirred up to our innermost heart at the bare idea of such a truly glorious and noble enterprise. It may be termed by some to be a war of annexation, and it may be said that Egypto-Turks, of a faith which tolerates slavery in certain forms, are not precisely the people to occupy Central Africa; but nothing could be worse than the state of the countries which it is proposed to open to civilisation; there was no other power that could or would do it, and the boon conveyed to the people themselves is of such vast magnitude as not only to exonerate the means that may have to be used, but to stamp them with the unquestionable seal of a truly philanthropic and humanitarian morality. No man, too, more fitted than Sir Samuel Baker to take the lead of such an expedition, and no man more likely to carry it out with the least fighting and quarrelling that is possible. True courage is always magnanimous, and Sir Samuel Baker has shown by the patient perseverance and self-devotion of himself and wife in carrying out a great purpose, that he possesses what is rarer and loftier than mere physical courage the attributes of the highest intellectual and moral courage-that kind of courage which is sure to blend mercy with strength, and to be at all times conciliating whilst carrying out its objects.

« AnteriorContinuar »