claimed her personal acquaintance. These few, being still comparatively
strangers, could not, or would not, take the liberty of introducing me
through the formality of a morning call. While I stood thus in despair,
conversing with a trio of friends upon the all absorbing subject of my
heart, it so happened that the subject itself passed by.
âAs I live, there she is!â cried one.
âSurprisingly beautiful!â exclaimed a second.
âAn angel upon earth!â ejaculated a third.
I looked; and in an open carriage which approached us, passing slowly
down the street, sat the enchanting vision of the opera, accompanied by
the younger lady who had occupied a portion of her box.
âHer companion also wears remarkably well,â said the one of my trio who
had spoken first.
âAstonishingly,â said the second; âstill quite a brilliant air, but art
will do wonders. Upon my word, she looks better than she did at
Paris five years ago. A beautiful woman still;--donât you think so,
Froissart?--Simpson, I mean.â
âStill!â said I, âand why shouldnât she be? But compared with her friend
she is as a rush-light to the evening star--a glow-worm to Antares.
âHa! ha! ha!--why, Simpson, you have an astonishing tact at making
discoveries--original ones, I mean.â And here we separated, while one
of the trio began humming a gay vaudeville, of which I caught only the
Ninon, Ninon, Ninon a bas--
A bas Ninon De LâEnclos!
During this little scene, however, one thing had served greatly to
console me, although it fed the passion by which I was consumed. As the
carriage of Madame Lalande rolled by our group, I had observed that
she recognized me; and more than this, she had blessed me, by the
most seraphic of all imaginable smiles, with no equivocal mark of the
As for an introduction, I was obliged to abandon all hope of it until
such time as Talbot should think proper to return from the country. In
the meantime I perseveringly frequented every reputable place of public
amusement; and, at length, at the theatre, where I first saw her, I had
the supreme bliss of meeting her, and of exchanging glances with her
once again. This did not occur, however, until the lapse of a fortnight.
Every day, in the interim, I had inquired for Talbot at his hotel, and
every day had been thrown into a spasm of wrath by the everlasting âNot
come home yetâ of his footman.
Upon the evening in question, therefore, I was in a condition little
short of madness. Madame Lalande, I had been told, was a Parisian--had
lately arrived from Paris--might she not suddenly return?--return
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon I heard again a tapping, somewhat louder than before.Page 23
'" But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and .Page 31
* * .Page 32
" And, veritably, Sol is right enough.Page 49
Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary Of lofty contemplation left to Time By buried centuries of pomp and power! At length--at length--after so many days Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst, (Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,) I kneel, an altered and an humble man, Amid thy shadows, and so drink within My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory! Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld! Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night! I feel ye now--I feel ye in your strength-- O spells more sure than e'er Judaean king Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane! O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee Ever drew down from out the quiet stars! Here, where a hero fell, a column falls! Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold, A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat! Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle! Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled, Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home, Lit by the wan light of the horned moon, The swift and silent lizard of the stones! But stay! these walls--these ivy-clad arcades-- These mouldering plinths--these sad and blackened shafts-- These vague entablatures--this crumbling frieze-- These shattered cornices--this wreck--this ruin-- These stones--alas! these gray stones--are they all-- All of the famed, and the colossal left By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me? "Not all"--the Echoes answer me--"not all! Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise, As melody from Memnon to the Sun.Page 57
Refuge thou hast, Sweet daughter! in Heaven.Page 82
"What is Poetry?--Poetry! that Proteus-like idea, with as many appellations as the nine-titled Corcyra!.Page 100
Samuel Johnson! Think of all that is airy and fairy-like, and then of all that is hideous and unwieldy; think of his huge bulk, the Elephant! and then--and then think of the 'Tempest'--the 'Midsummer Night's Dream'--Prospero--Oberon--and Titania! "A poem, in my opinion, is opposed to a work of science by having, for its _immediate_ object, pleasure, not truth; to romance, by having, for its object, an _indefinite_ instead of a _definite_ pleasure, being a poem only so far as this object is attained; romance presenting perceptible images with definite, poetry with _in_definite sensations, to which end music is an _essential_, since the comprehension of sweet sound is our most indefinite conception.Page 114
leap within me at the cry) The battle-cry of Victory! The rain came down upon my head Unsheltered--and the heavy wind Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.Page 128
with a quickening spell doth o'er us pass As dew of the night-time, o'er the summer grass? III.Page 135
Vacantly I walked beside her.Page 138
"Then I cursed the elements with the curse of tumult; and a frightful tempest gathered in the heaven, where before there had been no wind.Page 171
We Americans especially have patronized this happy idea, and we Bostonians very especially have developed it in full.Page 173
And thus when by Poetry, or when by Music, the most entrancing of the poetic moods, we find ourselves melted into tears, we weep then, not as the Abbate Gravina supposes, through excess of pleasure, but through a certain petulant, impatient sorrow at our inability to grasp _now_, wholly, here on earth, at once and forever, those divine and rapturous joys of which _through_ the poem, or _through_ the music, we attain to but brief and indeterminate glimpses.Page 193
For this the most natural suggestion might seem to be a forest, or the fields--but it has always appeared to me that a close _circumscription of space_ is absolutely necessary to the effect of insulated incident--it has the force of a frame to a picture.Page 199
It comes over the sweet melody of the words--over the gentleness and grace which we fancy in the little maiden herself--even over the half-playful, half-petulant air with which she lingers on the beauties and good qualities of her favorite--like the cool shadow of a summer cloud over a bed of lilies and violets, "and all sweet flowers.