« PreviousContinue »
37" A little glooming light, much like a shade."—Spenser is veryfond of this effect, and has repeatedly painted it. I am not aware that anybody noticed it before him. It is evidently the original of the passage in Milton:—
Where glowing embers through the room
Observe the pause at the words looked in.
MALBECCO SEES HELLENORE DANCING WITH THE SATYRS.
Character, Luxurious Abandonment to Mirth; Painter, JVicholas
—Afterwards, close creeping as he might,
The silly man then in a thicket lay,
*" That new honor which they redd."—Areaded, awarded.
WITH DAMSELS CONVEYING A WOUNDED SQUIKE ON HIS HORSE.
Character, Select Southern Elegance, with an intimation of fine Architecture; Painter, Claude. (Yet "mighty" woods hardly belong to him.)
Into that forest far they thence him led,
Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
Planted with myrtle trees and laurels green,
In which the birds sung many a lovely lay
Of God's high praise and of their sweet love's teen,
As it an earthly paradise had been;
In whose enclosed shadows there was pight
A fair pavilion, scarcely to be seen.
THE NYMPHS AND GRACES DANCING TO A SHEPHERD'S PIPE; Or,
APOTHEOSIS OF A POET'S MISTRESS.
Character, JVakedness without Impudency: Multitudinous and Innocent Delight; Exaltation of the principal Person from Circumstances, rather than her own Ideality; Painter, Albano.
Unto this place whereas the elfin knight
He durst not enter into the open green,
For dread of them unwares to be descry'd,
For breaking off their dance, if he were seen;
But in the covert of the wood did bide,
Beheld of all, yet of them unespied:
There he did see (that pleas'd much his sight
That even he himself his eyes envied) •
A hundred naked maidens, lily white,
All ranged in a ring, and dancing in delight.
All they without were ranged in a ring
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight,
She was, to weet, that jolly shepherd's lass
» " Thy love is there advanc'd," Sec.—And there she remains, dancing in the midst of the Graces for ever, herself a Grace, made one by the ordinance of the poor but great poet who here addresses himself under his pastoral title, and justly prides himself on the power of conferring immortality on his love. The apostrophe is as affecting as it is elevating, and the whole scene conceived in the highest possible spirit of mixed wildness and delicacy.
A PLUME OF FEATHERS AND AN ALMOND TREE.
In this instance, which is the one he adduces in proof of his remark on the picturesque, the reader must agree with Coleridge, that the description (I mean of the almond tree), however charming, is not fit for a picture: it wants accessories; to say nothing of the reference to the image illustrated, and the feeling of too much minuteness and closeness in the very distance. Who is to paint the tender locks "every one," and the whisper of "every little breath?"
Upon the top of all his lofty crest
A bunch of hairs discolor'd diversely,
With sprinkled pearl and gold full richly dress'd,
Did shake and seem to dance for jollity.
Like to an almond tree, ymounted high,
On top of green Selinis all alone,
With blossoms brave bedecked daintily,
Whose tender locks do tremble every one,
What an exquisite last line! but the whole stanza is perfection. The word jollity seems to show the plumpness of the plume; what the fop in Moliere calls its embonpoint.
Hola, porteurs, hola.! La, la, la, la, la, la.. Je pense que ces maraudsla ont dessein de me briser a force de heurter contre les murailles et les paves.
1 Porteur. Dame, e'est que la porte est etroite. Vous avez voulu aussi que nous soyons entres jusqu'ici.
Mascarille. Je le crois bien. Voudriez-vous, faquins, que j'exposasse l'embonpoint de mes plumes aux inclemences de la saison pluvieuse, et que j'allasse imprimer mes souliers en boue?—Les Precieuses Ridicules, sc. 7.
[Mascarille (to the sedan chairmen). Stop, stop! What the devil is all this? Am I to be beaten to pieces against the walls and pavement?
Chairman. Why you see the passage is narrow. You told us to bring you right in.
Mascarille. Unquestionably. Would you have me expose the embonpoint of my feathers to the inclemency of the rainy season, and leave the impression of my pumps in the mud ?]
Our gallery shall close with a piece of
Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound
The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade
a'" The gentle warbling wind," &c. This exquisite stanza is a specimen of perfect modulation, upon the principles noticed in the description of Archimago's Hermitage. The reader may, perhaps, try it upon them. "Compare it," says Upton, " with Tasso's Gierusalemme Liberata, canto 16, st. 12." Readers who understand Italian will gladly compare it, and see how far their countryman has surpassed the sweet poet of the south.