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For we were used to hunter's fare, I was the eldest of the three,
And for the like had little care : And to uphold and cheer the rest
The milk drawn from the mountain goat I ought to domand did my best
Was changed for water from the moat, And each did well in his degree.
Our bread was such as captive's tears The youngest, whom my father loved,
Hare moisten'd many a thousand years Because our mother's brow was given
Since man first pent his fellow men To him with eyes as blue as heaven,
Like brutes within an iron den : For him my scul was sorely moved;
But what were these to us or him? And truly might it be distrest
These wasted not his heart or limb, To see such bird in such a nest;
My brother's soul was of that mould For he was beautiful as day
Which in a palace had grown cold, (When day was beautiful to me
Had his free breathing been denied As to young eagles, being free)
The range of the steep mountain's side ; A polar day, which will not see
But why delay the truth he died. A sunset till its summer's gone,
I saw, and could not hold his head, Its sleepless summer of long light,
Nor reach his dying hand-nor dead, The snow-clad offspring of the sun;
Though hard I strove, but strove in vain, And thus he was as pure and bright,
To rend and gnash my bonds in twain. And in his natural spirit gay,
He died—and they unlock'd his chain, With tears for nought but others' ills,
And scoop'd for him a shallow grave And then they flow'd like mountain rills,
Even from the cold earth of our cave. Unless he could assuage the wo
I begg'd them, as a boon, to lay Which he abhorr'd to view below,
His corse in dust whereon the day
Might shine-it was a foolish thought, V.
But then within my brain it wrought, The other was as pure of mind,
That even in death his freeborn breast
In such a dungeon could not rest.
I might have spared my idle prayerWhich 'gainst the world in war had stood,
They coldly laugh'd-and laid him there :
The flat and turfless earth above
The being we so much did love;
His empty chain above it leant,
Such murder's fitting monument!
But he, the favorite and the flower,
Most cherish'd since his natal hour, To him this dungeon was a gulf,
His mother's image in fair face,
The infant love of all his race, And fetter'd feet the worst of ills.
His martyr'd father's dearest thought,
My latest care, for whom I sought
To hoard my life, that his might be Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls ;
Less wretched now, and one day free; A thousand feet in depth below
He, too, who yet had held untired Its massy waters meet and flow;
A spirit natural and inspired Thus much the fathom-line was sent
He, too, was struck, and day by day From Chillon's snow-white battlement,3
Was wither'd on the stalk away. Which round about the wave enthralls ;
Oh God! it is a fearful thing A double dungeon wall and wave
To see the human soul take wing Have made and like a living grave.
In any shape, in any mood :Below the surface of the lake
I've seen it rushing forth in blood, The dark vault lies wherein we lay,
I've seen it on the breaking ocean We heard it ripple night and day;
Strive with a swoln convulsive motion, Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd;
I've seen the sick and ghastly bed And I have felt the winter's spray
Of Sin delirious with its dread: Wash through the bars when winds were high,
But these were borrors-this was wo And wanton in the happy sky;
Unmix'd with such--but sure and slow; And then the very rock hath rock'd,
He faded, and so calm and meek, And I have felt it shake, unshock'd,
So softly worn, so sweetly weak, Because I could have smiled to see
So tearless, yet so tender-kind, The death that would have set me free.
And grieved for those he left behind :
With all the while a cheek whose bloom VII.
Was as a mockery of the tomb, I said my nearer brother pined,
Whose tints as gently sunk away I said his mighty heart declined,
As a departing rainbow's rayHe loathed and put away his food;
An eye of most transparent light, It was not that 'twas coarse and rude,
That almost made the dungeon bright,
And not a word of murmur-not
I saw the dungeon walls and floor A groan o'er his untimely lot,
Close slowly round me as before, A little talk of better days,
I saw the glimmer of the sun A little hope my own to raise,
Creeping as it before had done, For I was sunk in silence-lost
But through the crevice where it came In this last loss, of all the most;
That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame, And then the sighs he would suppress
And tamer than upon the tree; Of fainting nature's feebleness,
A lovely bird, with azure wings, More slowly drawn, grew less and less :
And song that said a thousand things, I listen'd, but I could not hear
And seem'd to say them all for me! I call'a, for I was wild with fear:
I never saw its like before, I knew 'twas hopeless, bnt my dread
I ne'er shall see its likeness more : Would not be thus admonished;
It seem'd like me to want a mate, I call'd, and thought I heard a sound
But was not half so desolate, I burst my chain with one strong bound,
And it was come to love me when And rush'd to him ;-I found him not,
None lived to love me so again, I only stirr'd in this black spot,
And cheering from my dungeon's brink, I only lived-I only drew
Had brought me back to feel and think. The accursed breath of dungeon-dew:
I know not if it late were free, . The last-the sole-thodenrest tink
Or broke its cage to perch on mine, Between me and the eternal drink,
But knowing well captivity, Which bound me to my failing race,
Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine; Was broken in this fatal place.
Or if it were, in winged guise, One on the earth, and one beneath
A visitant from Paradise; My brothers-both had ceased to breathe ; For-Heaven forgive that thought! the whilo I took that hand which lay so still,
Which made me both to weep and smile; Alas! my own was full as chill;
I sometimes deem'd that it might be I had not strength to stir, or strive,
My brothers soul come down to me: But felt that I was still alive
But then at last away it flew, A frantic feeling, when we know
And then 'twas mortal-well I knew,
For he would never thus have flown,
And left me twice sa county tone,
Lone as the corse within its shroud, I had no earthly hope-but faith,
Lone-as a solitary cloud, And that forbade a selfish death.
A single Cloud on a sunny day,
While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear I know not well-I never knew
When skies are blue, and earth is gay. First came the loss of light, and air, And then of darkness too:
XI. I had no thought, no feeling-none
A kind of change came in my fate, Among the stones I stood a stone,
My keepers grew compassionate, And was, scarce conscious what I wist,
I know not what had made them so, As shrubless crags within the mist;
They were inured to sights of wo, For all was blank, and bleak, and gray:
But so it was :--my broken chain It was not night-it was not day,
With links unfasten'd did remain, It was not even the dungeon-light,
And it was liberty to stride So hateful to my heavy sight,
Along my cell from side to side, But vacancy absorbing space,
And up and down, and then athwart, And fixedness-Without a place ;
And tread it over every part; There were no stars-no earth-no time And round the pillars one by one, No check-no change-no good-no crime- Returning where my walk begun, But silence, and a stirless breath
Avoiding only, as I trod, Which neither was of life nor death ;
My brothers' graves without a sod; A sea of stagnant idleness,
For if I thought with heedless tread Blind, boundless mute, and motionless !
My step profaned their lowly bed,
My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And my crush'd heart fell blind and sick.
XII. It ceased, and then it came again,
I made a footing in the wall, The sweetest song ear ever heard,
It was not therefrom to escape, And mine was thankful till my eyes
For I had buried one and all, Ran over with the glad surprise,
Who loved me in a human shape; And they that moment could not see
And the whole earth would henceforth be I was the mate of misery;
A wider prison unto me; ut then by dull degrees came back
No child—no sireno kin had I, My senses to their wonted track ;
No partner in my misery;
I thought of this, and I was glad,
The darkness of my dim abode For thought of them had made me mad;
Fell on me as a heavy load; But I was curious to ascend
It was as is a new-dug grave, To my barr'd windows, and to bend
Closing o'er one we sought to save, Once more, upon the mountains high,
And yet my glance, too much opprest, The quiet of a loving eye.
Had almost need of such a rest.
The only one in view;
Of gentle breath and hue.
I kept no count-I took no note,
And clear them of their dreary mote;
I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where,
I learn’d to love despair.
NOTES TO THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.
frera encore la plus vive reconnaissance dans le By Bonnivard !-may none those marks efface!
cours des Genevois qui aiment Genève. Bonnivard Page 183, line 13.
en fut toujours un des plus fermes appuis : pour as
surer la liberté de notre République, il ne craignit François de Bonnivard, fils de Louis de Bonni- pas de perdre souvent la sienne; il oublia son repos; vard, originaire de Seyssel et Seigneur de Lunes, il méprisa ses richesses ; il ne négligea rien pour naquit en 1496 ; il fit ses études à Turin: en 1510 affermir le bonheur d'une patrie qu'il honora de son Jean Aime de Bonnivard, son oncle, lui résigna le choix : dès ce moment il la chérit comme le plus Prieuré de St. Victor, qui aboutissoit aux murs de zeleė, de ses citoyens ; il la servit avec l'intrépidité Genève, et qui formoit un benefice considérable. d'un héros, et il écrivit son Histoire avec la natvete
Ce grand homme (Bonnivard mérite ce titre par d'un philosophe et la chaleur d'un patriote: la force de son âme, la droiture de son coeur, la no Il dit dans le commencement
de son histoire de blesse de ses intentions, la sagesse de ses conseils, Genève, que, des qu'il eut commencé de lire l'histoire le courage de ses démarches, l'étendue de ses con des nations, il se sentit entrainé par son goût pour les naissances et la vivacité de son esprit,) ce grand Republiques, dont il épousa toujours les intérêts : homme, qui excitera l'admiration de tous ceux c'est ce goût pour la liberté que lui fit sans douto qu'une vertu héroïque peut encore émouvoir, inspi- adopter Genève pour sa patrie.
Bonnivard, encore jeune, s'annonça hautement| Ludovico Sforza, and others. The same is ascomme le défenseur de Genève contre le Duc de serted of Marie Antoinette's, the wife of Louis XVI. Savoye et l'Evêque.
though not in quite so short a period. Grief is said En 1519, Bonnivard devient le martyr de sa to have the same effect: to such, and not to fear patrie. Le Duc de Savoye étant entré dans Genève this change in hers was to be attributed. avec eino cent hommes, Bonnivard craint le ressentiment du Duc; il voulut se retirer à Fribourg pour en éviter les suites; mais il fut trahi par deux hom
3. mes qui l'accompagnoient, et conduit par ordre du Prince à Grolée où il resta prisonnier pendant deux
From Chillon's snow-white battlement. ans. Bonnivard étoit malheureux dans ses voyages :
Page 184, line 43. comme ses malheurs n'avoient point ralenti son zèle The Chateau de Chillon is situated between pour Genève, il étoit toujours un ennemi redoutable Clarens and Villeneuve, which last is at one expour ceux qui la menaçoient, et par conséquent il tremity of the Lake of Geneva. On its left are the deroit être exposé à leurs coups. Il fut rencontre entrances of the Rhone, and opposite are the heights en 1530 sur le Jura, par des voleurs, qui le dépouil- of Meillerie and the range of Alps above Boveret lèrent, et qui le mirent encore entre les mains du and St. Gingo. Duc de Savoye: ce Prince le fit enfermer dans le Near it, on a hill behind, is a torrent; below it, Château de Chillon, où il resta sans être interrogé washing its walls, the lake has been fathomed to jusques en 1536 ; il fut alors delivré par les Ber- the depth of eight hundred feet, (French measure ;) nois, qui s'emparèrent du Pays de Vaud.
within it are a range of dungeons, in which the Bonnivard, en sortant de sa captivité, eut le plaisir early reformers, and subsequently prisoners of state, de trouver Genève libre et réformée; la République were confined. Across one of the vaults is a beam s'empressa de lui témoigner sa reconnaissance et de black with age, on which we were informed that le dedommager des maux qu'il avoit soufferts ; elle the condemned were formerly executed. In the le recut Bourgeois de la ville au mois de Juin 1536 ; cells are seven pillars, or rather, eight, one being elle lui donna la maison habitee autrefois par le half merged in the wall; in some of these are rings Vicaire-Général, et elle lui assigna une pension de for the fetters and the fettered: in the pavement 200 écus d'or tant qu'il séjourneroit à Genève. Il the steps of Bonnivard have left their traces-he fut admis dans le Conseil de Deux-Cent en 1537. was confined here several years.
Bonnivard n'a pas fini d'etre utile: appres avoir It is by this castle that Rousseau has fixed the travaillé à rendre Genève libre, il réussit à la rendre catastrophe of his Heloise, if the rescue of one of tolerante. Bonnivard engagea le Conseil à accorder her children by Julie from the water; the shock of aux Ecclésiastiques et aux paysans un tems suffi- which, and the illness produced by the immersion sant pour examiner les propositions qu'on leur is the cause of her death. faisoit : il reussit par sa douceur: on prêche tou- The chateau is large, and seen along the lake for jours le Christianisme avec succès quand on le a great distance. The walls are white. prêche avec charité.
Bonnivard fut savant; ses manuscrits, qui sont dans la Biblothéque publique, prouvent qu'il avoit
4. bien lu les auteurs classiques latins, et qu'il avoit approfondi la théologie et l'histoire. Ce grand
And then there was a little isle. homme aimoit les sciences, et il croyoit qu'elles
Page 186, line 16. pouvoient faire la gloire de Geneve; aussi il ne Between the entrances of the Rhone and Ville négligea rien pour les fixer dans cette ville nais- neuve, not far from Chillon, is a very small island; sante; en 1551 il donna sa bibliothéque au public; the only one I could perceive, in my voyage round elle fut le commencement de notre bibliotheque pub- and over the lake, within its circumference. It lique; et ces livres sont en partie les rares et belles contains a few trees, (I think not above three,) and éditions du quinzième siècle qu'on voit dans notre from its singleness and diminutive size has a pecucollection. Enfin, pendant la même année, ce bon liar effect upon the view. patriote institua la République son héritière à con- When the foregoing poem was composed I was dition qu'elle employeroit ses biens à entretnir le not sufficiently aware of the history of Bonnivard, collége dont on projettoit la fondation.
or I should have endeavored to dignify the subject Il paroit que Bonnivard mourut en 1570; mais by an attempt to celebrate his courage and his viron ne peut l'assurer, parce qu'il y a une lacune dans tues. Some account of his life will be found in a le Nécrologe depuis le mois de Juillet 1570 jusques note appended to the “Sonnet on Chillon," with en 1571.
which I have been furnished by the kindness of a 2.
citizen of that Republic, which is still proud of the In a single night
memory of a man worthy of the best age of ancient Page 183, line 17. freedom.”
A VENETIAN STORY.
Rosalind. Farewell, Monsieur Traveller; Look fou lisp, and wear strange suits : disable all the benefits of you
Annotation of the Commentatore.
V. "Tis known, at least it should be, that throughout But saving this, you may put on whate'er All countries of the Catholic persuasion,
You like by way of doublet, cape, or cloak, Some weeks before Shrove Tuesday comes about, Such as in Monmouth-street, or in Rag Fair The people take their fill of recreation,
Would rig you out in seriousness or joke; And buy repentance, ere they grow devout, And even in Italy such places are,
However high their rank, or low their station, With prettier name in softer accents spoke, With fiddling, feasting, dancing, drinking, masking, For, bating Covent Garden, I can hit on And other things which may be had for asking. No place that's callid “Piazzi” in Great Britain. II.
VI. The moment night with dusky mantle covers This feast is named the Carnival, which being
The skies, (and the more duskily the better,) Interpreted, implies “ farewell to flesh:” The time less liked by husbands than by lovers So call’d, because the name and thing agreeing,
Begins, and prudery flings aside her fetter; Through Lent they live on fish both salt and fresh And gayety on restless tiptoe hovers,
But why they usher Lent with so much glee in, Giggling with all the gallants who besct her; Is more than I can tell, although I guess And there are songs and quavers, roaring, humming, 'Tis as we take a glass with friends at parting, Guitars, and every other sort of strumming. In the stage-coach or packet just at starting. III.
Masks of all times and nations, Turks and Jews, And solid meats, and highly spiced ragouts, And harlequins and clowns, with feats gymnastical, To live for forty days on ill-dress'd fishes,
Greeks, Romans, Yankee-doodles, and Hindoos; Because they have no sauces to their stews, All kinds of dress, except the ecclesiastical, A thing which causes many “poohs" and "pishes,"
All people, as their fancies hit, may choose, And several oaths (which would not suit the Muse)
Instead of coat and small-clothes, than put on “The curious in fish-sauce," before they cross A single stitch reflecting upon friars,
The sea, to bid their cook, or wife, or friend, Although you swore it only was in fun ;
Walk or ride to the Strand, and buy in gross, They'd haul you o'er the coals, and stir the fires (Or if set out beforehand, these may send Of Phlegethon with every mother's son.
By any means least liable to loss,) Nor say one mass to cool the caldron's bubble Ketchup, Soy, Chili-vinegar, and Harvey, That boild your bones, unless you paid them double. Or, by the Lord! a Lent will well nigh starve ye;