A Parcel of Sonnets by Charles E. Miller
I have seen That reverend form bent down with age and pain And rankling malady. Yet not for this Ceased she to praise her maker, or withdrew Her trust in him, her faith, and humble hopeSo meekly had she learn'd to bear her crossFor she had studied patience in the school Of Christ, much comfort she had thence derived, And was a follower of the NAZARENE.
Text of W HEN last I roved these winding wood-walks green, Green winding walks, and shady pathways sweet, Oft-times would Anna seek the silent scene, Shrouding her beauties in the lone retreat. No more I hear her footsteps in the shade: Her image only in these pleasant ways Meets me self-wandering, where in happier days I held free converse with the fair-hair'd maid.
I passed the little cottage which she loved, The cottage which did once my all contain; It spake of days which ne'er must come again, Spake to my heart, and much my heart was moved. I or Text of I A timid grace sits trembling in her eye, As loth to meet the rudeness of men's sight, Yet shedding a delicious lunar light, That steeps in kind oblivious ecstasy The care-crazed mind, like some still melody: Speaking most plain the thoughts which do possess Her gentle sprite: peace, and meek quietness, And innocent loves, and maiden purity: A look whereof might heal the cruel smart Of changed friends, or fortune's wrongs unkind; Might to sweet deeds of mercy move the heart Of him who hates his brethren of mankind.
Turned are those lights from me, who fondly yet Past joys, vain loves, and buried hopes regret. Text of i If from my lips some angry accents fell, Peevish complaint, or harsh reproof unkind, 'Twas but the error of a sickly mind And troubled thoughts, clouding the purer well, And waters clear, of Reason; and for me Let this my verse the poor atonement beMy verse, which thou to praise wert ever inclined Too highly, and with a partial eye to see No blemish.
Thou to me didst ever shew Kindest affection; and would oft-times lend An ear to the desponding love-sick lay, Weeping my sorrows with me, who repay But ill the mighty debt of love I owe, Mary, to thee, my sister and my friend. The time has been, We two did love each other's company; Time was, we two had wept to have been apart. But when by show of seeming good beguil'd, I left the garb and manners of a child, And my first love for man's society, Defiling with the world my virgin heartMy loved companion dropped a tear, and fled, And hid in deepest shades her awful head.
Beloved, who shall tell me where thou artIn what delicious Eden to be foundThat I may seek thee the wide world around? Text of I In my poor mind it is most sweet to muse Upon the days gone by; to act in thought Past seasons o'er, and be again a child; To sit in fancy on the turf-clad slope, Down which the child would roll; to pluck gay flowers, Make posies in the sun, which the child's hand,. Text of The cheerful sabbath bells, wherever heard, Strike pleasant on the sense, most like the voice Of one, who from the far-off hills proclaims Tidings of good to Zion: chiefly when Their piercing tones fall sudden on the ear Of the contemplant, solitary man, Whom thoughts abstruse or high have chanced to lure Forth from the walks of men, revolving oft, And oft again, hard matter, which eludes And baffles his pursuit-thought-sick and tired Of controversy, where no end appears, No clue to his research, the lonely man Half wishes for society again.
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Him, thus engaged, the sabbath bells salute Sudden! Text of The truant Fancy was a wanderer ever, A lone enthusiast maid. She loves to walk In the bright visions of empyreal light, By the green pastures, and the fragrant meads, Where the perpetual flowers of Eden blow; By chrystal streams, and by the living waters, Along whose margin grows the wondrous tree Whose leaves shall heal the nations; underneath Whose holy shade a refuge shall be found From pain and want, and all the ills that wait On mortal life, from sin and death for ever.
Like one awakening from a trance, She met the shock of ] Lochlin's lance; On her rude invader foe Return'd an hundred fold the blow, Drove the taunting spoiler home; Mournful thence she took her way To do observance at the tomb Where the son of Douglas lay. Round about the tomb did go In solemn state and order slow, Silent pace, and black attire, Earl, or Knight, or good Esquire; Whoe'er by deeds of valour done In battle had high honours won; Whoe'er in their pure veins could trace The blood of Douglas' noble race.
With them the flower of minstrels came, And to their cunning harps did frame In doleful numbers piercing rhymes, Such strains as in the older times Had sooth'd the spirit of Fingal, Echoing thro' his father's hall. Clos'd are those eyes that shone so fair, And stain'd with blood his yellow hair. Scottish maidens, drop a tear O'er the beauteous Hero's bier!
Young light of Scotland early spent, Thy country thee shall long lament; And oft to after-times shall tell, In Hope's sweet prime my Hero fell. Text of I8 8 Alone, obscure, without a friend, A cheerless, solitary thing, Why seeks, my Lloyd, the stranger out? What offering can the stranger bring Of social scenes, home-bred delights, That him in aught compensate may For Stowey's pleasant winter nights, For loves and friendships far away? In brief oblivion to forego Friends, such as thine, so justly dear, And be awhile with me content To stay, a kindly loiterer, here: For this a gleam of random joy Hath flush'd my unaccustom'd cheek; And, with an o'er-charg'd bursting heart, I feel the thanks I cannot speak.
The voice hath spoke: the pleasant sounds In memory's ear in after time Shall live, to sometimes rouse a tear, And sometimes prompt an honest rhyme. For, when the transient charm is fled, And when the little week is o'er, To cheerless, friendless, solitude When I return, as heretofore, Long, long, within my aching heart The grateful sense shall cherish'd be; I'll think less meanly of myself, That Lloyd will sometimes think on me.
Text of I I saw a famous fountain, in my dream, Where shady path-ways to a valley led; A weeping willow lay upon that stream, And all around the fountain brink were spread Wide branching trees, with dark green leaf rich clad, Forming a doubtful twilight —desolate and sad. The place was such, that whoso enter'd in Disrobed was of every earthly thought, And straight became as one that knew not sin, Or to the world's first innocence was brought; Enseem'd it now, he stood on holy ground, In sweet and tender melancholy wrapt around.
A most strange calm stole o'er my soothed sprite; Long time I stood, and longer had I staid, When, lo! To whom when I addrest myself to speak, She lifted up fier eyes, and nothing said; The delicate red came mantling o'er her cheek, And, gath'ring up her loose attire, she fled To the dark covert of that woody shade, And in her goings seem'd a timid gentle maid. Revolving in my mind what this should mean, And why that lovely lady plained so; Perplex'd in thought at that mysterious scene, And doubting if 'twere best to stay or go, I cast mine eyes in wistful gaze around, When from the shades came slow a small and plaintive sound: "PSYCHE am I, who love to dwell In these brown shades, this woody dell, Where never busy mortal came, Till now, to pry upon my shame.
At thy feet what thou dost see The waters of repentance be, Which, night and day, I must augment With tears, like a true penitent, If haply so my day of giace Be not yet past; and this lone place, O'er-shadowy, dark, excludeth hence All thoughts but grief and penitence. And wherefore in this barren shade Thy hidden thoughts with sorrow feed? Can thing so fair repentance need? I have done a deed of shame, And tainted is my virgin fame, And stain'd the beauteous maiden white, In which my bridal robes were dight,".
Soon to these murky shades I came, To hide from the sun's light my shame.
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And still I haunt this woody dell, And bathe me in that healing well, Whose waters clear have influence From sin's foul stains the soul to cleanse; And, night and day, I them augment With tears, like a true penitent, Until, due expiation made, And fit atonement fully paid, The lord and bridegroom me present, Where in sweet strains of high consent, God's throne before, the Seraphim Shall chaunt the extatic marriage hymn. I pass not thee so lightly, well-known spire, That minded me of many a pleasure gone, Of merrier days, of love and Islington; Kindling afresh the flames of past desire.
And I shall muse on thee, slow journeying on To the green plains of pleasant Hertfordshire. Thine was the sorest malady of all; And I am sad to think that it should light Upon the worthy head: but thou art heal'd, i6. Thou, then, take up the mighty epic strain, Cowper, of England's bards the wisest and the best! December i, Was it so hard a thing? I did but ask A fleeting holiday, a little week. What, if the jaded steer, who, all day long, Had borne the heat and burthen of the plough, When ev'ning came, and her sweet cooling hour, Should seek to wander in a neighbour copse, Where greener herbage wav'd, or clearer streams Invited him to slake his burning thirst?
The man were crabbed who should say him nay; The man were churlish who should drive him thence. A blessing light upon your worthy heads, Ye hospitable pair! I may not come To catch, on Clifden's heights, the summer gale; I may not come to taste the Avon wave; Or, with mine eye intent on Redcliffe tow'rs, To muse in tears on that mysterious youth, Cruelly slighted, who, in evil hour, Shap'd his advent'rous course to London walls!
Take up, my Song, take up a merrier strain; For yet again, and lo! It were unwisely done, should we refuse To cheer our path as featly as we may, Our lonely path to cheer, as trav'llers use, With merry song, quaint tale, or roundelay; And we will sometimes talk past troubles o'er, Of mercies shewn, and all our sickness heal'd, And in his judgments God rememb'ring love; And we will learn to praise God evermore, For those glad tidings of great joy reveal'd By that sooth Messenger sent from above.
The Muse, with glance prophetic, sees her stand Forsaken, silent lady on the strand Of farthest India, sick'ning at the roar Of each dull wave, slow dash'd upon the shore; " From vales where Avon winds, tile Minstrel came. At such a time shall start the gushing tear, For scenes her childhood lov'd, now doubly dear. At such a time shall frantic mem'ry wake Pangs of remorse, for slighted England's sake; And for the sake of many a tender tie Of love, or friendship, pass'd too lightly by.
Unwept, unhonour'd, 'midst an alien race, And the cold looks of many a stranger face, How will her poor heart bleed, and chide the day, That from her country took her far away. I see a mighty arm, by man unseen, Resistless, not to be controul'd, that guides, In solitude of unshared energies, All these thy ceaseless miracles, 0 world!
Arm of the world, I view thee, and I muse On Man, who, trusting in his mortal strength, Leans on a shadowy staff, a staff of dreams. We consecrate our total hopes and fears To idols, flesh and blood, our love, heaven's due Our praise and admiration; praise bestowed By man on man, and acts of worship done To a kindred nature, certes do reflect Some portion of the glory and rays oblique Upon the politic worshipper,-so man Extracts a pride from his humility.
Some braver spirits of the modern stamp. But these are fancies of a few: the rest, Atheists, or Deists only in the name, By word or deed deny a God. They eat Their daily bread, and draw the breath of heaven Without or thought or thanks; heaven's roof to them Is but a painted ceiling hung with lamps, No more, that lights them to their purposes.
They wander "loose about," they nothing see, Themselves except, and creatures like themselves, Short-liv'd, short-sighted, impotent to save. So on their dissolute spirits, soon or late, Destruction cometh "like an armed man,' Or like a dream of murder in the night, Withering their mortal faculties, and breaking The bones of all their pride.
I thought on Lloyd; All he had been to me. And now I go Again to mingle with a world impure, With men who make a mock of holy things Mistaken, and of man's best hope think scorn. The world does much to warp the heart of man, And I may sometimes join its ideot laugh. Of this I now complain not. Deal with me, Omniscient Father! I pray not for myself; I pray for him Whose soul is sore perplex'd: shine thou on him, Father of Lights!
His own thoughts May he not think, his own ends not pursue; So shall he best perform thy will on earth. Greatest and Best, thy will be ever ours! AI gLust, I have not forgot How thou didst love thy Charles, when he was yet How did thine eye peruse him round and round, And hardly know him in his yellow coats,' Red leathern belt, and gown of russet blue! Farewell, good aunt! Go thou, and occupy the same grave-bed Where the dead mother lies. Oh my dear mother, oh thou dear dead saint! Where's now that placid face, where oft hath sat A mother's smile, to think her son should thrive In this bad world, when she was dead and gone; And when a tear hath sat take shame, O son!
When that same child has prov'd himself unkind. One parent yet is left-a wretched thing, A sad survivor of his buried wife, A palsy-smitten, childish, old, old man, A semblance most forlorn of what he was, A merry cheerful man. A merrier man, A man more apt to frame matter for mirth, Mad jokes, and anticks for a Christmas eve; Making life social, and the laggard time To move on nimbly, never yet did cheer The little circle of domestic friends.
Februany, I Where be the tears, The sobs, and forc'd suspensions of the breath, And all the dull desertions of the heart, With which I hung o'er my dead mother's corse? Where be the blest subsidings of the storm Within, the sweet resignedness of hope Drawn heavenward, and strength of filial love In which I bow'd me to my father's will?
Thou didst not leave Her soul in death! O leave not now, my Lord, Thy servants in far worse, in spiritual death! And darkness blacker than those feared shadows Of the valley all must tread. Lend us thy balms, Thou dear Physician of the sin-sick soul, And heal our cleansed bosoms of the wounds With which the world has pierc'd us thro' and thro'. Give us new flesh, new birth. Elect of heav'n May we become; in thine election sure Contain'd, and to one purpose stedfast drawn, Our soul's salvation!
Thou, and I, dear friend, With filial recognition sweet, shall know One day the face of our dear mother in heaven; And her remember'd looks of love shall greet With looks of answering love; her placid smiles Meet with a smile as placid, and her hand With drops of fondness wet, nor fear repulse. Be witness for me, Lord, I do not ask Those days of vanity to return again Nor fitting me to ask, nor thee to give , Vain loves and wanderings with a fair-hair'd maid, Child of the dust as I am, who so long My captive heart steep'd in idolatry And creature-loves. Forgive me, 0 my Maker! If in a mood of grief I sin almost In sometimes brooding on the days long past, And from the grave of time wishing them back, Days of a mother's fondness to her child, Her little one.
O my companions, 0 ye loved names Of friend or playmate dear; gone are ye now; Gone diverse ways; to honour and credit some,. I only am left, with unavailing grief To mourn one parent dead, and see one live Of all life's joys bereft and desolate: Am left with a few friends, and one, above The rest, found faithful in a length of years, Contented as I may, to bear me on To the not unpeaceful evening of a day Made black by morning storms!
September, Thy children would have tended thy gray hairs. We might have sat, as we have often done, By our fireside, and talk'd whole nights away, Old times, old friends, and old events recalling; With many a circumstance, of trivial note, To memory dear, and of importance grown. How shall we tell them in a stranger's ear? A wayward son ofttimes was I to thee; And yet, in all our little bickerings, Domestic jars, there was, I know not what, Of tender feeling, that were ill exchang'd For this world's chilling friendships, and their smiles Familiar, whom the heart calls strangers still.
A heavy lot hath he, most wretched man! Who lives the last of all his family. He looks around him, and his eye discerns The face of the stranger, and his heart is sick. Man of the world, what canst thou do for him? Wealth is a burden, which he could not bear; Mirth a strange crime, the which he dares not act; And wine no cordial, but a bitter cup. For wounds like his Christ is the only cure, And gospel promises are his by right, For these were given to the poor in heart.
Go, preach thou to him of a world to come, Where friends shall meet, and know each other's face. Say less than this, and say it to the winds. October, Now thou art gone, my own familiar friend, Companion, sister, help-mate, counsellor! That honour'd mind become a fearful blank, Her senses lock'd up, and herself kept out From human sight or converse, while so many Of the foolish sort are left to roam at large, Doing all acts of folly, and sin, and shame.
Thy paths are mystery! Yet I will not think, Sweet friend, but we shall one day meet, and live In quietness, and die so, fearing God. Or if not, and these false suggestions be A fit of the weak nature, loth to part With what it lov'd so long, and held so dear; If thou art to be taken, and I left More sinning, yet unpunish'd, save in thee , It is the will of God, and we are clay In the potter's hands; and, at the worst, are made From absolute nothing, vessels of disgrace, Till, his most righteous purpose wrought in us, Our purified spirits find their perfect rest.
Text of I have had playmates, I have had companions, In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I have been laughing, I have been carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man; Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly; Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces. Ghost-like, I paced round the haunts of my childhood. Earth seemed a desart I was bound to traverse, Seeking to find the old familiar faces.
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother, Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling? So might we talk of the old familiar faces — How some they have died, and some they have left me, And some are taken from me; all are departed; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces. Text of From broken visions of perturbed rest I wake, and start, and fear to sleep again. How total a privation of all sounds, Sights, and familiar objects, nan, bird, beast, Herb, tree, or flower, and prodigal light of heaven.
Those are the moanings of the dying man, Who lies in the upper chamber; restless moans, And interrupted only by a cough Consumptive, torturing the wasted lungs. So in the bitterness of death he lies, And waits in anguish for the morning's light. What can that do for him, or what restore? Short taste, faint sense, affecting notices, And little images of pleasures past, Of health, and active life-health not yet slain, Nor the other grace of life, a good name, sold For sin's black wages. On his tedious bed. The man of parts, Poet, or prose declaimer, on his couch Lolling, like one indifferent, fabricates A heaven of gold, where he, and such as he, Their heads encompassed with crowns, their heels With fine wings garlanded, shall tread the stars Beneath their feet, heaven's pavement, far removed From damned spirits, and the torturing cries Of men, his breth'ren, fashioned of the earth, As he was, nourish'd with the self-same bread, Belike his kindred or companions once — Through everlasting ages now divorced, In chains and savage torments to repent Short years of folly on earth.
Their groans unheard In heav'n, the saint nor pity feels, nor care, For those thus sentenced-pity might disturb The delicate sense and most divine repose Of spirits angelical. Blessed be God, The measure of his judgments is not fixed By man's erroneous standard. He discerns No such inordinate difference and vast Betwixt the sinner and the saint, to doom Such disproportion'd fates.
Compared with him, No man on earth is holy called: they best Stand in his sight approved, who at his feet Their little crowns of virtue cast, and yield To him of his own works the praise, his due. High-born Helen, plainly telling Stories of thy cold disdain; I starve, I die, now you comply, And I no longer can complain. These twenty years I've lived on tears, Dwelling for ever on a frown; On sighs I've fed, your scorn my bread; I perish now you kind are grown.
Can I, who loved my beloved But for the scorn "was in her eye," Can I be moved for my beloved, When she "returns me sigh for sigh? To that I weep, nor ever sleep, Complaining all night long to herHelen, grown old, no longer cold, Said, "you to all men I prefer. Text of I 88 The clouds are blackening, the storms threatening, And ever the forest maketh a moan: Billows are breaking, the damsel's heart aching, Thus by herself she singeth alone, Weeping right plenteously. Text of 8 8 By myself walking, To myself talking, When as I ruminate On my untoward fate, Scarcely seem I Alone sufficiently, Black thoughts continually Crowding my privacy; They come unbidden, Like foes at a wedding, Thrusting their faces In better guests' places, Peevish and malecontent, Clownish, impertinent, Dashing the merriment: So in like fashions Dim cogitations Follow and haunt me, Striving to daunt me,.
Text of i 81S8 In a costly palace Youth goes clad in gold; In a wretched workhouse Age's limbs are cold: There they sit, the old men by a shivering fire, Still close and closer cowering, warmth is their desire. In a costly palace, when the brave gallants dine, They have store of good venison, with old canary wine, With singing and music to heighten the cheer; Coarse bits, with grudging, are the pauper's best fare. In a costly palace if the child with a pin Do but chance to prick a finger, strait the doctor is called in; In a wretched workhouse men are left to perish For want of proper cordials, which their old age might cherish.
In a costly palace Youth enjoys his lust; In a wretched workhouse Age, in corners thrust, Thinks upon the former days, when he was well to do, Had children to stand by him, both friends and kinsmen too. In a costly palace Youth his temples hides With a new devised peruke that reaches to his sides; In a wretched workhouse Age's crown is bare, With a few thin locks just to fence out the cold air.
In peace, as in war, 'tis our young gallants' pride, To walk, each one i' the streets, with a rapier by his side, That none to do them injury may have pretence; Wretched Age, in poverty, must brook offence. A month or more hath she been dead, Yet cannot I by force be led To think upon the wormy bed, And her together. A springy motion in her gait, A rising step, did indicate Of pride and joy no common rate, That flush'd her spirit.
I know not by what name beside I shall it call:-if 'twas not pride, It was a joy to that allied, She did inherit. Her parents held the Quaker rule, Which doth the human feeling cool, But she was train'd in Nature's school, Nature had blest her. My sprightly neighbour, gone before To that unknown and silent shore, Shall we not meet, as heretofore, Some summer morning, When from thy cheerful eyes a ray Hath struck a bliss upon the day, A bliss that would not go away, A sweet fore-warning?
Here came " To Charles Lloyd. See vol. Here came " The Old Familiar Faces. Here came "Helen," by Mary Lamb. See page Here came " A Vision of Repentance. That line I learn'd not in the old sad song. One father is enough, alone, for me. Here came " Hypochondriacus. Or in any terms relate Half my love, or half my hate: For I hate, yet love, thee so, That, whichever thing I shew, The plain truth will seem to be A constrain'd hyperbole, And the passion to proceed More from a mistress than a weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine, Bacchus' black servant, negro fine; Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon Thy begrimed complexion, And, for thy pernicious sake, More and greater oaths to break Than reclaimed lovers take. Thou in such a cloud dost bind us, That our worst foes cannot find us, And ill fortune, that would thwart us, Shoots at rovers, shooting at us; While each man, thro' thy height'ning steam, Does like a smoking Etna seem, And all about us does express Fancy and wit in richest dress A Sicilian fruitfulness.
Thou through such a mist dost shew us, That our best friends do not know us, And, for those allowed features, Due to reasonable creatures, Liken'st us to fell Chimeras, Monsters that, who see us, fear us; Worse than Cerberus or Geryon, Or, who first lov'd a cloud, Ixion. Bacchus we know, and we allow His tipsy rites. But what art thou, That but by reflex can'st shew What his deity can do, As the false Egyptian spell Aped the true Hebrew miracle?
Some few vapours thou may'st raise, The weak brain may serve to amaze, But to the reigns and nobler heart Can'st nor life nor heat impart. Brother of Bacchus, later born, The old world was sure forlorn, Wanting thee, that aidest more The god's victories than before All his panthers, and the brawls Of his piping Bacchanals. These, as stale, we disallow, Or judge of thee meant: only thou Scent to match thy rich perfume Chemic art did ne'er presume Through her quaint alembic strain, None so sov'reign to the brain. Nature, that did in thee excel, Fram'd again no second smell.
Roses, violets, but toys For the smaller sort of boys, Or for greener damsels meant; Thou art the only manly scent. Stinking'st of the stinking kind, Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind, Africa, that brags her foyson, Breeds no such prodigious poison, Henbane, nightshade, both together, Hemlock, aconiteNay, rather, Plant divine, of rarest virtue; Blisters on the tongue would hurt you.
Or, as men, constrain'd to part With what's nearest to their heart, While their sorrow's at the height, Lose discrimination quite, And their hasty wrath let fall, To appease their frantic gall, On the darling thing whatever Whence they feel it death to sever, Though it be, as they, perforce, Guiltless of the sad divorce. For I must nor let it grieve thee, Friendliest of plants, that I must leave thee. But, as she, who once hath been A king's consort, is a queen Ever after, nor will bate Any tittle of her state, Though a widow, or divorced, So I, from thy converse forced, The old name and style retain, A right Katherine of Spain; And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys Of the blest Tobacco Boys; Where, though I, by sour physician, Am debarr'd the full fruition Of thy favours, I may catch Some collateral sweets, and snatch Sidelong odours, that give life Like glances from a neighbour's wife; A Child Model of thy parent dear, Serious infant worth a fear: In thy unfaultering visage well Picturing forth the son of TELL, When on his forehead, firm and good, Motionless mark, the apple stood; Guileless traitor, rebel mild, Convict unconscious, culprit-child!
Gates that close with iron roar Have been to thee thy nursery door; Chains that chink in cheerless cells Have been thy rattles and thy bells; Walls contrived for giant sin Have hemmed thy faultless weakness in; Near thy sinless bed black Guilt Her discordant house hath built, And filled it with her monstrous broodSights, by thee not understoodSights of fear, and of distress, That pass a harmless infant's guess!
But the clouds, that overcast Thy young morning, may not last. Soon shall arrive the rescuing hour, That yields thee up to Nature's power. Nature, that so late doth greet thee, Shall in o'er-flowing measure meet thee. She shall recompense with cost For every lesson thou hast lost. Then wandering up thy sire's lov'd hill,1 Thou shalt take thy airy fill 1 Hampstead.
Birds shall sing For thy delight each May morning. Then thy prison's lengthened bound Shall be the horizon skirting round. And, while thou fillest thy lap with flowers, To make amends for wintery hours, The breeze, the sunshine, and the place, Shall from thy tender brow efface Each vestige of untimely care, That sour restraint had graven there; And on thy every look impress A more excelling childishness.
Here came " Balladfrom the German. Probably x or I Once on a charger there was laid, And brought before a royal maid, As price of attitude and grace, A guiltless head, a holy face. It was on Herod's natal day, Who o'er Judea's land held sway. He married his own brother's wife, Wicked Herodias. She the life Of John the Baptist long had sought, Because he openly had taught That she a life unlawful led, Having her husband's brother wed. This was he, that saintly John, Who in the wilderness alone Abiding, did for clothing wear A garment made of camel's hair;.
He preached penitence and tears, And waking first the sinner's fears, Prepared a path, made smooth a way, For his diviner master's day. Herod kept in princely state His birth-day. On his throne he sate, After the feast, beholding her Who danced with grace peculiar; Fair Salome, who did excel All in that land for dancing well. The feastful monarch's heart was fired, And whatsoe'er thing she desired, Though half his kingdom it should be, He in his pleasure swore that he Would give the graceful Salome.
The damsel was Herodias' daughter: She to the queen hastes, and besought her To teach her what great gift to name. Instructed by Herodias, came The damsel back; to Herod said, "Give me John the Baptist's head; "And in a charger let it be "Hither straitway brought to me. When painters would by art express Beauty in unloveliness, Thee, Herodias' daughter, thee, They fittest subject take to be.
They give thy form and features grace; But ever in thy beauteous face They shew a steadfast cruel gaze, An eye unpitying; and amaze In all beholders deep they mark, That thou betrayest not one spark Of feeling for the ruthless deed, That did thy praiseful dance succeed. I The Lady Blanch, regardless of all her lovers' fears, To the Urs'line convent hastens, and long the Abbess hears. She looked on the rose-bud, she looked round, and thought On all her heart had whisper'd, and all the Nun had taught. Come, fair and pretty, tell to me, Who, in thy life-time, thou might'st be. Thou pretty art and fair, But with the lady Blanch thou never must compare.
No need for Blanch her history to tell; Whoever saw her face, they there did read it well. But when I look on thee, I only know There lived a pretty maid some hundred years ago. I8o5 While young John runs to greet The greater Infant's feet, The Mother standing by, with trembling passion Of devout admiration, Beholds the engaging mystic play, and pretty adoration; Nor knows as yet the full event Of those so low beginnings, From whence we date our winnings, But wonders at the intent Of those new rites, and what that strange child-worship meant.
But at her side An angel doth abide, With such a perfect joy As no dim doubts alloy, An intuition, A glory, an amenity, Passing the dark condition Of blind humanity, As if he surely knew All the blest wonders should ensue, Or he had lately left the upper sphere, And had read all the sovran schemes and divine riddles there. Lady most perfect, when thy sinless face Men look upon, they wish to be A Catholic, Madonna fair, to worship thee. Your tears have passion in them, and a grace Of genuine freshness, which our hearts avow; Your smiles are winds whose ways we cannot trace, That vanish and return we know not how — And please the better from a pensive face, And thoughtful eye, and a reflecting brow.
They shall be born at first Strong, active, graceful, perfect, swan-like able To tread the land or waters with security. Unlike poor human births, conceived in sin, In grief brought forth, both outwardly and in Confessing weakness, error, and impurity. Did heavenly creatures own succession's line, The births of heaven like to your's would shine. Here came" IVas it some sweet device. Here came " Methinks how dainty sweet. Here came" When last I roved. Here came "A timid grace. Perchance some shepherd on Lincolnian plains, In manners guileless as his own sweet flocks, Received the first amid the merry mocks And arch allusions of his fellow swains.
Perchance from Salem's holier fields returned, With glory gotten on the heads abhorr'd Of faithless Saracens, some martial lord Took HIS meek title, in whose zeal he burn'd. Whate'er the fount whence thy beginnings came, No deed of mine shall shame thee, gentle name. Of the South-Sea House John, you were figuring in the gay career Of blooming manhood with a young man's joy, When I was yet a little peevish boyThough time has made the difference disappear Betwixt our ages, which then seemed so great — And still by rightful custom you retain Much of the old authoritative strain, And keep the elder brother up in state.
Here came " 0! I could laugh. Here came " We were two pretty babes. The Dedication to Vol. My verse was offered to an older friend; The humbler prose has fallen to thy share: Nor could I miss the occasion to declare, What spoken in thy presence must offendThat, set aside some few caprices wild, Those humorous clouds that flit o'er brightest days, In all my threadings of this worldly maze, And I have watched thee almost from a child , Free from self-seeking, envy, low design, I have not found a whiter soul than thine. A Cabinet of curious porcelain, where No fancy enters, but what's rich or rare.
A Chapel, where mere ornamental things Are pure as crowns of saints, or angels' wings. A List of living friends; a holier Room For names of some since mouldering in the tomb, Whose blooming memories life's cold laws survive; And, dead elsewhere, they here yet speak, and live. Such, and so tender, should an Album be; And, Lady, such I wish this book to thee.
These should moot cases in your book, and vie To show their reading and their Serjeantry. The lack of curious Signatures I moan, And want the courage to subscribe my own. Never disproportion'd scrawl; Ugly blot, that's worse than all; On thy maiden clearness fall! In each letter, here design'd, Let the reader emblem'd find Neatness of the owner's mind. Gilded margins count a sin, Let thy leaves attraction win By the golden rules within; Sayings fetch'd from sages old; Laws which Holy Writ unfold, Worthy to be graved in gold: Lighter fancies not excluding; Blameless wit, with nothing rude in, Sometimes mildly interluding Amid strains of graver measure: Virtue's self hath oft her pleasure In sweet Muses' groves of leisure.
Riddles dark, perplexing sense; Darker meanings of offence; What but shades-be banished hence. Whitest thoughts in whitest dress, Candid meanings, best express Mind of quiet Quakeress. To give it words I feebly try; My spirits fail me to supply Befitting language for 't, and I Can only bless it! II But stop, rash verse! She'll refuse Praise sung so loudly. Of that same goodness, you admire, The best part is, she don't aspire To praise-nor of herself desire To think too proudly.
I83o Joy to unknown Josepha who, I hear, Of all good gifts, to Music most is given; Science divine, which through the enraptured ear Enchants the Soul, and lifts it nearer Heaven. Parental smiles approvingly attend Her pliant conduct of the trembling keys, And listening strangers their glad suffrage lend.
A Parcel of Sonnets by Charles E. Miller
Most musical is Nature. Birds-and Bees At their sweet labour-sing. The moaning winds Rehearse a lesson to attentive minds. But at my suit the Muse of Fiance looks sour, And strikes me dumb! Yet, what is in my power To testify respect for you, I pray, Take in plain English-our rough Enfield way. But sure I think her voice is tuneful, As smoothest birds that sing in June full; For else would strangely disagree Theflowing name of —Daubeny.
And prettiest draughts, of her design, About the curious Album shine; And therefore she shall have for me The style of-tasteful Daubeny. IV Thus far I have taken on believing; But well I know without deceiving, That in her heart she keeps alive still Old school-day likings, which survive still In spite of absence-worldly coldnessAnd thereon can my Muse take boldness To crown her other praises three With praise of-friendly Daubeny. Thy looks, tones, gesture, manners, and what not, Conjecturing, I wander in the dark.
I know thee only Sister to Charles Clarke! But at that name my cold Muse waxes hot, And swears that thou art such a one as he, Warm, laughter-loving, with a touch of madness, Wild, glee-provoking, pouring oil of gladness From frank heart without guile. And, if thou be The pure reverse of this, and I mistake — Demure one, I will like thee for his sake.
Disjointed numbers; sense unknit; Huge reams of folly, shreds of wit; Compose the mingled mass of it. My scalded eyes no longer brook Upon this ink-blurr'd thing to lookGo, shut the leaves, and clasp the book. Past midnight this poor Maid hath spun, And yet the work is not half done, Which must supply from earning scant A feeble bed-rid parent's want. In another part of the chamber, an Angel is tending a lily, the emblem of purity.
Sleep, saintly poor one, sleep, sleep on; And, waking, find thy labours done. Perchance she knows it by her dreams; Her eye hath caught the golden gleams, Angelic presence testifying, That round her every where are flying; Ostents from which she may presume, That much of Heaven is in the room. Skirting her own bright hair they run, And to the sunny add more sun: Now on that aged face they fix, Streaming from the Crucifix; The flesh-clogg'd spirit disabusing, Death-disarming sleeps infusing, Prelibations, foretastes high, And equal thoughts to live or die.
Gardener bright from Eden's bower, Tend with care that lily flower; To its leaves and root infuse Heaven's sunshine, Heaven's dews. Careful as that lily flower, This Maid must keep her precious dower Live a sainted Maid, or die Martyr to virginity. The Infant eyes the mystic scenes, Nor knows what all this wonder means; And now he smiles, as if to say " I am a Christian made this day; " Now frighted clings to Nurse's hold, Shrinking from the water cold, Whose virtues, rightly understood, Are, as Bethesda's waters, good.
But we must silently adore Mysterious truths, and not explore. Enough for him, in after-times, When he shall read these artless rhymes, If, looking back upon this day, With quiet conscience, he can say " I have in part redeem'd the pledge Of my Baptismal privilege; And more and more will strive to flee All which my Sponsors kind did then renounce for me. A flow'ret crushed in the bud, A nameless piece of Babyhood, Was in a cradle-coffin lying; Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying; So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb For darker closets of the tomb!
She did but ope an eye, and put A clear beam forth, then strait up shut For the long dark: ne'er more to see Through glasses of mortality.
Emily Dickinson | Poetry Foundation
Riddle of destiny, who can show What thy short visit meant, or know What thy errand here below? Could she flag, or could she tire, Or lack'd she the Promethean fire With her nine moons' long workings sicken'd That should thy little limbs have quicken'd? Limbs so firm, they seem'd to assure Life of health, and days mature: Woman's self in miniature!
Limbs so fair, they might supply Themselves now but cold imagery The sculptor to make Beauty by. Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry, That babe, or mother, one must die; So in mercy left the stock, And cut the branch; to save the shock Of young years widow'd; and the pain, When Single State comes back again To the lone man who, 'reft of wife, Thenceforward drags a maimed life?
The economy of Heaven is dark; And wisest clerks have miss'd the mark, Why Human Buds, like this, should fall, More brief than fly ephemeral, That has his day; while shrivel'd crones Stiffen with age to stocks and stones; And crabbed use the conscience sears In sinners of an hundred years. Mother's prattle, mother's kiss, Baby fond, thou ne'er wilt miss. Rites, which custom does impose, Silver bells and baby clothes; Coral redder than those lips, Which pale death did late eclipse; Music framed for infants' glee, Whistle never tuned for thee; Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have them, Loving hearts were they which gave them.
Let not one be missing; nurse,. Why should kings and nobles have Pictured trophies to their grave; And we, churls, to thee deny Thy pretty toys with thee to lie, A more harmless vanity? The subject? Just such a one I've found, and send it; If liked, I give-if not, but lend it. The moral?
The fable? He, silly urchin, tired of lesson, His learning lays no mighty stress on, But seems to hear not what he hears; Thrusting his fingers in his ears, 55 I From the venerable and ancient Manufactory of Carrington Bowles: some of my readers may recognise it. His working Sister, more sedate, Listens; but in a kind of state, The painter meant for steadiness; But has a tinge of sullenness; And, at first sight, she seems to brook As ill her needle, as he his book. This is the Picture. For the Frame'Tis not ill-suited to the same; Oak-carved, not gilt, for fear of falling; Old-fashion'd; plain, yet not appalling; And sober, as the Owner's Calling.
They you mention Far transcend my weak invention. White and black in him have part, Who looks not to the skin, but heart. Mary, youngest of the three, Laughing idler, full of glee, Arm in arm does fondly chain her, Thinking, poor trifler, to detain her But she's going. Vex not, maidens, nor regret Thus to part with Margaret. Charms like your's can never stay Long within doors; and one day You'll be going. How swift have flown To me thy girlish times, a woman grown Beneath my heedless eyes! Thou should'st have still Remain'd a child, and at thy sovereign will Gambol'd about our house, as in times past.
Ungrateful Emma, to grow up so fast, Hastening to leave thy friends! After some thirty years, spent in such bliss As this earth can afford, where still we miss Something of joy entire, may'st thou grow old As we whom thou hast left! That wish was cold. O far more ag'd and wrinkled, till folks say, Looking upon thee reverend in decay, " This Dame for length of days, and virtues rare, With her respected Grandsire may compare. But they have died, and left thee, to advance Thy fortunes how thou may'st, and owe to chance The friends which Nature grudg'd. And thou wilt find, Or make such, Emma, if I am not blind To thee and thy deservings.
That last strain Had too much sorrow in it. Fill again Another cheerful goblet, while I say "Health, and twice health, to our lost Isola. In thy mind seek thy beauty, and thy wealth. Sincereness lodgeth there, the soul's best health. O guard that treasure above gold or pearl, Laid up secure from moths and worldly stealth — And take my benison, plain-hearted girl.
With soft and Lady speech the first applies The mild correctives that to grace belong To her redundant friend, who her defies With jest, and mad discourse, and bursts of song. O differing Pair, yet sweetly thus agreeing, What music from your happy discord rises, While your companion hearing each, and seeing, Nor this, nor that, but both together, prizes; This lesson teaching, which our souls may strike, That harmonies may be in things unlike!
I I was not train'd in Academic bowers, And to those learned streams I nothing owe Which copious from those twin fair founts do flow; Mine have been any thing but studious hours. Yet can I fancy, wandering 'mid thy towers, Myself a nursling, Granta, of thy lap; My brow seems tightening with the Doctor's cap, And I walk gowned, feel unusual powers. Strange forms of logic clothe my admiring speech, Old Ramus' ghost is busy at my brain; And my scull teems with notions infinite.
Be still, ye reeds of Camus, while I teach Truths, which transcend the searching Schoolmen's vein, And half had stagger'd that stout Stagirite! While each blind sense, intelligential grown Beyond its sphere, performs the effect of sight: Those orbs alone, wanting their proper might, All motionless and silent seem to moan The unseemly negligence of nature's hand, That left them so forlorn.
What praise is thine, O mistress of the passions; artist fine! Who dost our souls against our sense command, Plucking the horror from a sightless face, Lending to blank deformity a grace. Who but the Being unblest, alien from good, Sabbathless Satan! LEISURE I They talk of time, and of time's galling yoke, That like a mill-stone on man's mind doth press, Which only works and business can redress: Of divine Leisure such foul lies are spoke, Wounding her fair gifts with calumnious stroke.
But might I, fed with silent meditation, Assoiled live from that fiend OccupationImnprobus Labor, which my spirits hath brokeI'd drink of time's rich cup, and never surfeit: Fling in more days than went to make the gem, That crown'd the white top of Methusalem: Yea on my weak neck take, and never forfeit, Like Atlas bearing up the dainty sky, The heaven-sweet burthen of eternity. There came across My mind an image of the cordial tone. Of our old Gentry he appear'd a stemA Magistrate who, while the evil-doer He kept in terror, could respect the Poor, And not for every trifle harass them, As some, divine and laic, too oft do.
This man's a private loss, and public too. Kiss, baby, kiss, mother's lips shine by kisses, Choke the warm breath that else would fall in blessings; Black manhood comes, when turbulent guilty blisses Tend thee the kiss that poisons 'mid caressings. Hang, baby, hang, mother's love loves such forces, Strain the fond neck that bends still to thy clinging; Black manhood comes, when violent lawless courses Leave thee a spectacle in rude air swinging. No longer then, as "lowly substitute, Factor, or PROCTOR, for another's gains," Suffer the admiring world to be deceived; Lest thou thyself, by self of fame bereaved, Lament too late the lost prize of thy pains, And heavenly tunes piped through an alien flute.
On his Tragedy of Virginius Twelve years ago I knew thee, Knowles, and then Esteemed you a perfect specimen Of those fine spirits warm-soul'd Ireland sends, To teach us colder English how a friend's Quick pulse should beat. I knew you brave, and plain, Strong-sensed, rough-witted, above fear or gain; But nothing further had the gift to espy. Sudden you re-appear. With wonder I Hear my old friend turn'd Shakspeare read a scene Only to his inferior in the clean Passes of pathos: with such fence-like artEre we can see the steel, 'tis in our heart.
Almost without the aid language affords, Your piece seems wrought. That huffing medium, words, Which in the modern Tamburlaines quite sway Our shamed souls from their bias in your play We scarce attend to. Hastier passion draws Our tears on credit: and we find the cause Some two hours after, spelling o'er again Those strange few words at ease, that wrought the pain. Proceed, old friend; and, as the year returns, Still snatch some new old story from the urns Of long-dead virtue.
We, that knew before Your worth, may admire, we cannot love you more. In whose capacious all-embracing leaves The very marrow of tradition's shown; And all that history-much that fiction-weaves. By every sort of taste your work is graced. Vast stores of modern anecdote we find, With good old story quaintly interlacedThe theme as various as the reader's mind. Rome's life-fraught legends you so truly paintYet kindly,-that the half-turn'd Catholic Scarcely forbears to smile at his own saint, And cannot curse the candid heretic.
Rags, relics, witches, ghosts, fiends, crowd your page; Our fathers' mummeries we well-pleased behold, And, proudly conscious of a purer age, Forgive some fopperies in the times of old. Verse-honouring Phcebus, Father of bright Days, Must needs bestow on you both good and many, Who, building trophies of his Children's praise, Run their rich Zodiac through, not missing any. Dan Phcebus loves your book-trust me, friend HoneThe title only errs, he bids me say: For while such art, wit, reading, there are shown, He swears, 'tis not a work of every day. Maria asks a statelier pace" Ave Maria, full of grace!
Apple with Bee doth rougher run. Paradise was lost by one; Peace of mind would we regain, Let us, like the other, strain Every harmless faculty, Bee-like at work in our degree, Ever some sweet task designing, Extracting still, and still refining. Let us great Cecilia honour In the praise we give unto them, And the merit be upon her. Cold the heart that would undo them, And the solemn organ banish That this sainted Maid invented. Holy thoughts too quickly vanish, Ere the expression can be vented.
Raise the song to Catherine, In her torments most divine! Ne'er by Christians be forgotEnvied be-this Martyr's lot. Can I thwart her wish exprest, Ev'n unseemly though the laugh Jesting with an Epitaph? On her bones the turf lie lightly, And her rise again be brightly! No dark stain be found upon herNo, there will not, on mine honourAnswer that at least I can. Would that I, thrice happy man, In as spotless garb might rise, Light as she will climb the skies, Leaving the dull earth behind, In a car more swift than wind.
All her errors, all her failings, Many they were not and ailings, Sleep secure from Envy's railings. O frown not on a stranger, who from place IV. I but report what thy Instructress Friend So oft hath told us of thy gentle heart. A pupil most affectionate thou art, Careful to learn what elder years impart. Louisa-Clare-by which name shall I call thee?
A prettier pair of names sure ne'er was found, Resembling thy own sweetness in sweet sound. Ever calm peace and innocence befal thee! Such harmony from the contention flows, That the divided ear no preference knows; Betwixt them both disparting Music's State, While one exceeds in number, one in weight,.
Nor wail'd to all in vain: some here and there, The well disposed and good, their pennies gave. I meantime at his feet obsequious slept; Not all-asleep in sleep, but heart and ear Prick'd up at his least motion, to receive At his kind hand my customary crumbs, And common portion in his feast of scraps; Or when night warn'd us homeward, tired and spent With our long day, and tedious beggary.
These were my manners, this my way of life, Till age and slow disease me overtook, And sever'd from my sightless master's side. But lest the grace of so good deeds should die, Through tract of years in mute oblivion lost, This slender tomb of turf hath Iru! One a small infant at the breast does bear; And one in her right hand her tuneful ware, Which she would vend. Their station scarce is taken, When youths and maids flock round.
His stall forsaken, Forth comes a Son of Crispin, leathern-capt, Prepared to buy a ballad, if one apt To move his fancy offers. Crispin's sons Have, from uncounted time, with ale and buns Cherish'd the gift of Song, which sorrow quells; And, working single in their low-rooft cells, Oft cheat the tedium of a winter's night With anthems warbled in the Muses' spight. Who now hath caught the alarm? Leaving his forge to cool, Pyracmon stout Thrusts in his unwash'd visage.
He stands by, Who the hard trade of Porterage does ply With stooping shoulders. What cares he? So, while the Bard of Rhodope his wrong Bewail'd to Proserpine on Thracian strings, The tasks of gloomy Orcus lost their stings, And stone-vext Sysiphus forgets his load. Hither and thither from the sevenfold road Some cart or waggon crosses, which divides The close-wedged audience; but, as when the tides To ploughing ships give way, the ship being past, They re-unite, so these unite as fast.
The older Songstress hitherto hath spent Her elocution in the argument Of their great Song in prose; to wit, the woes Which Maiden true to faithless Sailor owesAh! This Critic opes His right ear to the strain. The other hopes To catch it better with his left. Long trade It were to tell, how the deluded Maid A victim fell. And now right greedily All hands are stretching forth the songs to buy, That are so tragical; which She, and She, Deals out, and sings the while; nor can there be A breast so obdurate here, that will hold back His contribution from the gentle rack Of Music's pleasing torture.
Irus' self, The staff-propt Beggar, his thin-gotten pelf Brings out from pouch, where squalid farthings rest, And boldly claims his ballad with the best. An old Dame only lingers. To her purse The penny sticks. At length, with harmless curse, "Give me," she cries. Not Peter's monitor, shrill chanticleer, Crows the approach of dawn in notes. While night Fills half the world with shadows of affright, You with your lantern, partner of your round, Traverse the paths of Margaret's hallow'd bound.
The tales of ghosts which old wives' ears drink up, The drunkard reeling home from tavern cup, Nor prowling robber, your firm soul appal; Arm'd with thy faithful staff thou slight'st them all. Yet a few Shakespeare performances are worth mentioning. A Hamlet version, based on Francesco Gritti's — translation 24 of Ducis's adaptation, was performed in Venice in Symbolically, in Germany, is the year when the performance of Friedrich Schiller's — adaptation of Macbeth was premiered in Weimar on May Besides, at the turn of the century, Shakespeare's long forgotten sonnets suddenly became very popular all over Europe, above all because they were now interpreted in a biographical perspective.
Thus, in his Viennese lectures of , August Wilhelm von Schlegel — insisted that the sonnets contained the "confessions of his youthful errors". Shakespeare's remarkable reputation in the 19th century is testified to by the fact that his plays continued more than ever to influence illustrators and painters alike. Charles Knight's — Pictorial Edition of the Works of Shakespeare , issued in eight volumes between and , 33 relied on its visual material to attract a wide readership, and it rapidly became one of the most popular editions of the time.
In , he published a famous series of lithographs of Hamlet. Meanwhile in England, another Shakespeare Gallery was created by Charles Heath — in —, and it was far removed from Boydell's enterprise. Whereas Boydell had favoured images reproducing scenes from the plays, "Heath's were of characters — and specifically of female characters — whose relation to the scene and play from which they are drawn are interestingly ambivalent". In 19th-century Europe, Shakespeare came to be considered as "international property". From the midth century onwards, for instance, Shakespeare was widely translated into Spanish, and Michele Leoni's — translation of Shakespeare's major tragedies between and 36 provided the Italians with a more authentic Shakespeare.
The first complete translation of Shakespeare's plays was made by Carlo Rusconi — in , 37 but he was soon followed by Giulio Carcano — , who published a twelve-volume edition between and However, Shakespeare was not always welcomed by an audience who deeply resented the French military defeats in the Spanish Peninsula War in and five years later at Waterloo , and who considered the English playwright as an enemy. More than his lack of propriety, it was now the sheer Englishness of the playwright which actually disturbed the French. In a tract entitled Racine et Shakespeare , Stendhal — even reported that some members of the audience shouted "Down with Shakespeare!
He was an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington! Despite the hostility of his fellow countrymen, in the s, the French composer Hector Berlioz — did turn to Shakespeare in order to enrich his musical world. In Germany, a complete and accurate translation work was initiated by August Wilhelm von Schlegel and completed by Ludwig Tieck — in It thus comes as no surprise that the world's first academic Shakespeare society, the Deutsche Shakespeare Gesellschaft , was founded in Weimar in and continues to hold an annual Shakespeare conference.
The standard Russian translation also dates back to the 19th century. It is the work of Nikolaj V. Gerbel' — who, together with Nikolaj A. Nekrasov — , co-edited the complete edition of Shakespeare — Pushkin — , had "found Shakespeare's history plays especially appropriate to the political situation following the Decembrist Revolution of ". His contemporary, the actor Pavel Stepanovitch Mochalov — , became famous for his anti-romantic Hamlet and was highly acclaimed throughout the s and s.
In fact, Mochalov's gripping performance really made Hamlet sound Russian, thereby bringing Shakespeare's plays closer to Russian social reality. In other eastern countries, Shakespeare was not so prominent. In Bulgaria for instance, the first play to appear in print was Julius Caesar in By contrast, Scandinavia soon took part in the cult of Shakespeare that had started in England — the playwright Henrik Ibsen — himself being a great promoter of the Bard.
Macbeth was rendered into Norwegian by Niels Hauge died as early as It is needless to say that Shakespeare at this time also became strongly associated with the spirit of Romanticism, as a wave of enthusiasm for the Bard swept through the whole of Europe. Even his formerly neglected history plays were revived by actor-manager Charles Kean — in mid-Victorian London. It is remarkable that Victorian productions tended to focus more on the actors' performances than on the plays themselves.
The era featured great performers such as Sarah Siddons — [ ] , the most famous Lady Macbeth of all, her brother John Philip Kemble — , Henry Irving — , and Ellen Terry — Siddons was the most renowned actress of her days, her first stage performance being that of Ariel in the Dryden and Davenant adaptation of The Tempest. On the institutional side, the Shakespeare Memorial Company now known as the Royal Shakespeare Company was founded in and soon became attached to Stratford's Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which opened in and was destroyed by fire 47 years later.
In Southern Europe, although many people read Shakespeare, they had difficulty in seeing him performed. The case of Italy is particularly significant where "[a]ttempts were made to introduce Shakespeare to theatre audiences in Othello , Othello and Hamlet but again with no great success". The Italian composer wrote three operas on themes taken from Shakespeare's plays: Macbeth first composed in and revised in , Otello , and Falstaff Besides, the Italian actor and playwright Ernesto Rossi — started playing Shakespeare with great success, even outside Italy.
We know for instance that from the late s onwards, several internationally renowned actors or companies presented their Shakespeare productions in the main cities of Flanders. Rossi, together with Tommaso Salvini — , provided an impetus to the creation of a Shakespeare tradition in Flemish cultural life.
The first Flemish performance of a Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet , took place eight years later, in As for the Portuguese, they had to wait until before they were able to read a play directly translated from the source. King Luis I of Portugal — issued a translation of Hamlet , soon known as "the royal translation", 51 which was hailed by favourable reviews in the press. Before that, only two of Shakespeare's plays had been indirectly translated, and generally speaking, the English playwright had only been accessible to the educated elite, who were more likely to read him in the French adaptations of Ducis.
One last example will be enough to show that bardolatry had reached all European countries by the end of the 19th century. Yet it was thanks to the advocate of the revival of the Olympic Games, Demetrius Vikelas — , that Shakespeare was definitively introduced to 19th-century Greek audiences. Shakespeare's language continued to trouble the sensibilities of people. In his own country, the playwright was sometimes severely censored. If, by , only seven editions of bowdlerized Shakespeare were available to the British readership, by , there were almost fifty expurgated Shakespeare editions on the British book market.
A few years later, in , a Shakespeare statue designed by Otto Lessing — [ ] was erected in Weimar. This clearly meant that bardolatry continued, not just in Germany but throughout Europe, despite the bouts of censorship in the Bard's homeland which were mentioned above. Artists and writers in early 20th-century England engaged with the cultural traditions of Shakespeare in a variety of ways.
Harley Granville-Barker's — productions of Shakespeare's plays at the Savoy Theatre in and were highly influential. After him, Shakespeare productions came to be characterized by a great diversity of styles. Yet, more often than not, his plays were now recreated in the service of a political ideology, be it Fascism or Communism. The book purported "to create an imaginary unified community in the face of the deep, increasingly bloody divisions of the Great War" 60 as well as to invest Shakespeare with an imperial mission.
Curiously, after World War I, doubts about Shakespeare's authorship multiplied. The controversy had in fact been roused by the work of the American writer Delia Salter Bacon — , who proposed that Shakespeare was a fictitious person whose works had really been written by a group of men, one of them being the English philosopher Francis Bacon — Sigmund Freud — , Looney's ardent supporter, even thought that the early death of Oxford's father and the remarriage of his mother offered the oedipal basis Freud needed for explaining the psychological conflict in Hamlet.
From then on, the supporters of the Oxford theory never ceased reassigning the authorship of Shakespeare's plays, in spite of massive evidence proving that Shakespeare did write his own plays, and that his possible collaborations with other playwrights were part and parcel of a fairly typical practice of early modern playwrights.
In France, such controversy was easily brushed aside as Shakespeare's plays, in increasingly accurate form, were central to the French theatre of the 20th century. Similarly, in the s, some German translators tried to challenge the traditional use of translation.
The son of the mayor of Leipzig , Hans Rothe — , was a much-disputed translator taking liberties with the original text in order to cater for the demands of the modern theatre. He began publishing his translations from onwards, cutting complex passages, turning blank verse into prose, or clarifying the syntax. Rothe's translations were only used again after the Second World War.
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It is in this context that Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was performed when the actor and director Nando Tamberlani — used the theatrical space of the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome in Incidentally, in the same year the Russian Sergei Prokofiev — completed his ballet based on Romeo and Juliet , writing a score notoriously difficult for dancers to cope with. In post-war England and Germany, two international centres were promptly established, namely the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon in and the Shakespeare Bibliothek in Munich in , which implies that Shakespeare remained the backbone of theatre repertory in Germany.
In fact, he even represented something from which the German playwright Bertolt Brecht — wanted to break away. Nevertheless, Brecht purported to "grapple" with the English playwright and resorted to Shakespeare in order to fashion his "epic" later called "dialectical" theatre. At the beginning of the s, he even wrote an unfinished adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus , in which he aimed at emphasizing class struggle, attempting to show both the tribunes and the plebeians in a favourable light.
In Russia, Boris Pasternak's — idiomatic translations, which were published in the late s and early s, have remained very popular with Russian readers and audiences alike. Significantly, for both Hamlet and King Lear , the film director Grigori Kozintsev — used his translations. Meanwhile in France, the project of a popular theatre reappeared after World War II and was implemented by Jean Vilar — , the director and inventor of the Festival d' Avignon , who saw theatre as a "public service".
His successor Roger Planchon — , on the contrary, preferred to draw on Brecht's practice. European Shakespeare proved increasingly eclectic and adaptable. In , Benjamin Britten's — opera A Midsummer Night's Dream, including parodies of grand and bel canto operas, was premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival on 11 June.
One year later, the Polish theoretician Jan Kott — published Szkice o Szekspirze English edition: Shakespeare Our Contemporary , , a book revolving around the failure of ideologies, 67 which was translated into nineteen languages and had an enormous influence on modern productions of the plays. The s also marked the eastern European appropriation of a Shakespeare who was heavily politicized. In the spring of , for instance, a landmark production of a "plebeian" Hamlet trying to break with the dogmatic constraints of Socialist Bulgaria was directed by Leon Daniel — at the Theatre of the Armed Forces in Sofia.
It was only in the s that the poet and translator Valeri Petrov — decided that a full translation of Shakespeare into Bulgarian was needed, making a supreme achievement in translating the playwright's complete works between and As to Brook's experimental theatre at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris, it changed and challenged the way French people usually perceived Shakespeare, and his Timon of Athens , The Tempest , and Lear proved to be exciting and successful.
However, his shortened production of Hamlet in , starring the black actor Adrian Lester, was regarded as a failure by many critics. Her memorable five-hour production of Richard II was imbued with an orientalism that was meant to reproduce the atmosphere of a medieval court. In the s, German theatres kept reinventing Shakespeare.
An annual international Shakespeare festival has been held there since Six years later, under the impulse of the American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker — , a reconstructed Globe Theatre opened on Bankside in London, testifying to the more and more widespread need for an "authentic" Shakespeare. Generally speaking, the turn of the 21st century saw the emergence of new research groups 70 as well as of newly created festivals which all show performances around the figure of William Shakespeare. These festivals are now part of the European Shakespeare Festivals Network.
The two directors could thus share a creative understanding of the performing arts and of Shakespeare in particular. On a much broader scale, in , the Globe organized a multicultural event in which all the plays of Shakespeare were presented, each in a different language , each by a different company from around the world.
The 20th century is also the age of cinema, and Shakespeare's plays have therefore been popularized on screens from as early as the s, when they began to attract film-makers. The Taming of the Shrew , starring Douglas Fairbanks — and Mary Pickford — , was released on the silver screen in As the taste for Shakespeare became increasingly boosted by films, Laurence Kerr Olivier — whose Shakespeare trilogy, i. Henry V , Hamlet , and Richard III was a huge success , Franco Zeffirelli born with his film versions of The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet , Romeo and Juliet , and Verdi's Otello , Roman Polanski born best known for his interpretation of Shakespeare's Macbeth in , Kenneth Branagh born who first directed Henry V in and who has never wavered in his dedication to Shakespeare since then and the Russian Grigori Kozintsev who directed two gripping film versions of Shakespeare plays, namely Hamlet in and King Lear in followed suit.
The huge success of Shakespeare in Love, a British film directed by John Madden born , co-written by Marc Norman born and the playwright Tom Stoppard born , re-imagined part of Shakespeare's story and turned the playwright into a global icon as well as into a commercial good. The digital afterlife of Shakespeare films especially through DVDs teeming with interpretive guides, interviews, and additional scenes increased their impact on spectators even more. Television adaptations then flourished everywhere in Europe, but the BBC series — remains the only one to cover the whole canon.
Today, Shakespeare appears to be increasingly merchandized, and although he remains the embodiment of Englishness for European pupils, students, and tourists, he is also considered as an intercultural icon, bridging the gap between different countries, different tongues, and different religious and social values. Thus, Shakespeare has definitely become European at last. Sophie Chiari. Boye, Johannes ed. Catherine II of Russia ed.
Petersburg Gritti, Francesco ed. Francesco Gritti, Venice Luis I of Portugal ed. Shakespear: Zur Vorstellg. Capell, Edward ed. Octavo; with an Introd. Carcano, Giulio ed. Carcano: Prima edizione illustrata, Milan — Copeau, Jacques et al. Gerbel, Nikolai A. Petersburg —, vol. Heminges, John et al. Shakespeare, Paris , vol. Johnson, Samuel ed. Knight, Charles ed. Leoni, Michele ed. Le Tourneur, Pierre et al. Malone, Edmond ed.
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