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before, the whole of Heber's poem of “ Europe” in one hour and twenty minutes, and repeated it without a single mistake or a moment's hesitation. The length of this poem is four hundred and twenty-four lines.
She had a taste for drawing, which, with time and opportunity for its cultivation, would, doubtless, have led to excellence; but having so many other pursuits requiring her attention, she seldom attempted any. thing beyond slight sketches in pencil or Indian ink. Her correctness of eye, and the length and clearness of her vision, were almost as proverbial amongst her friends as her extraordinary powers of memory. She played both the harp and piano with much feeling and expression, and at this time had a good voice, but in a very few years it became weakened by the frequent recurrence of affections of the chest, and singing was consequently discontinued. Even in her most joyous days, the strains she preferred were always those of a pensive character. The most skilful combinations of abstract musical science did not interest or please her: what she loved best were national airs, whether martial or melancholy, (amongst these the Welsh and Spanish were her favourites), and whatever might be called suggestive music, as awakening associations either traditional, local, or imaginary. There are ears in which certain melodies are completely identified with the recollection of her peculiarly soft and sostenuto touch, which gave to the piano an effect almost approaching to the swell of an organ. Amongst these may be mentioned Jomelli's Chaconne, Oginsky's well-known Polonaise, some of
the slow movements from the Ballet of Nina, and a little touching air called the Moravian Nun, brought from Germany by her eldest brother, who had learned it by ear.
In after life, when, like “a reed shaken by the wind,” her frame had been shattered by sorrow and suffering, the intensity of her perceptions was such, that music became a painful excitement, and there were times when her nerves were too much overwrought to bear it. Allusions to this state of feeling are found in many of her poems; and in one of her letters, referring to a work of Richter's, she thus expresses herself:-“What a deep echo gives answer within the mind to the exclamation of the immortal old man' at the sound of music.' • Away! away !
166 Once in dreams, I saw a human being of heavenly intellectual faculties, and his aspirations were heavenly; but he was chained, methought, eternally to the earth. The immortal old man had five great wounds in his happiness—five worms that gnawed for ever at his heart. He was unhappy in spring-time, because that is a season of hope, and rich with phantoms of far happier days than any which this Aceldama of earth can realize. He was unhappy at the sound of music, which dilates the heart of man with its whole capacity for the infinite; and he cried aloud,— Away! away! Thou speakest of things which, throughout my endless life, I have found not, and shall not find! He was unhappy at the remembrance of earthly affections and dissevered hearts; for Love is a plant which may bud in this life, but must flourish in another. He was unhappy under the glorious spectacle of the heavenly host, and ejaculated for ever in his heart— So, then, I am parted from you to all eternity by an impassable abyss ! the great universe of suns is above, below, and round about me, but I am chained to a little ball of dust and ashes ! He was unhappy before the great ideas
thou speakest of things which, throughout my endless life, I have found not, and shall not find !' All who have felt music, must, at times, I think, have felt this, making its sweetness too piercing to be sustained.
Some of the happiest days the young poetess ever passed were during occasional visits to some friends at Conway, where the charms of the scenery, combining all that is most beautiful in wood, water, and ruin, are sufficient to inspire the most prosaic temperament with a certain degree of enthusiasm; and it may therefore well be supposed, how fervently a soul, constituted like hers, would worship Nature at so fitting a shrine. With that happy versatility, which was at all times a leading characteristic of her mind, she would now enter with child-like playfulness into the enjoyments of a mountain scramble, or a pic-nic water party, the gayest of the merry band, of whom some are now, like herself, laid low, some far away in foreign lands, some changed by sorrow, and all by time; and then, in graver mood, dream away hours of pensive contemplation amidst the grey ruins of that noblest of Welsh castles, standing, as it then did, in solitary grandeur, unapproached by bridge or causeway, flinging its broad shadow across the tributary waves which washed its regal walls. These lovely scenes never ceased to retain their hold over the imagination of her whose youthful muse had so often
of virtue, of truth, and of God; because he knew how feeble are the approximations to them which a son of earth can make. But this was a dream. God be thanked that there is no such asking eye directed upwards towards heaven, to which Death will not one day bring an answer!” — From the German of Richter.
celebrated their praises. Her peculiar admiration of Mrs. Joanna Baillie's play of Ethwald was always pleasingly associated with the recollection of her having first read it amidst the ruins of Conway Castle. At Conway, too, she first made acquaintance with the lively and graphic Chronicles of the chivalrous Froissart, whose inspiring pages never lost their place in her favour. Her own little poem, " The Ruin and its Flowers,” which will be found amongst the earlier pieces in the present collection, was written on an excursion to the old fortress of Dyganwy, the remains of which are situated on a bold promontory near the entrance of the river Conway; and whose ivied walls, now fast mouldering into oblivion, once bore their part bravely in the defence of Wales; and are further endeared to the lovers of song and tradition, as having echoed the complaints of the captive Elphin, and resounded to the barp of Taliesin. A scarcely degenerate representative of that gifted bard' had, at the time now alluded to, his appropriate dwelling-place at Conway; but his strains have long been silenced, and
· Mr. Edwards, the Harper of Conway, as he was generally called, had been blind from his birth, and was endowed with that extraordinary musical genius, by which persons suffering under such a visitation, are not unfrequently indemnified. From the respectability of his circumstances, he was not called upon to exercise his talents with any view to remuneration. He played to delight himself and others; and the innocent complacency with which he enjoyed the ecstasies called forth by his skill, and the degree of appreciation with which he regarded himself, as in a manner consecrated, by being made the depositary of a direct gift from Heaven, were, as far as possible, removed from any of the common modifications of vanity or self-conceit.
there now remain few, indeed, on whom the Druidical mantle has fallen so worthily. In the days when his playing was heard by one so fitted to enjoy its originality and beauty,
“The minstrel was infirm and old;" but his inspiration had not yet forsaken him; and the following lines (written in 1811) will give an idea of the magic power he still knew how to exercise over the feelings of his auditors.
TO MR. EDWARDS, THE HARPER OF CONWAY.
Minstrel ! whose gifted hand can bring,
Thine is the charm, suspending care,
Exult, O Cambria !-- now no more,
For Genius, with divine control,