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In some transparent ocean holiday,
Wiped with her hair the brine from Torquil's eyes,
The vault drew half her shadow from the scene.
Were there, all scooped by Darkness froin her cave.
The eye upon its seeming crucifix.
And Neuha took her Torquil by the hand,
'This may seem too minute for the general outline (in Mariner's Account) from which it is taken. But few men have travelled without seeing something of the kind-on land that is. Without adverting to Ellora, in Mungo Park's last journal (if my memory do not err, for there are eight years since I read the book) he mentions having met with a rock or mountain so exactly resembling a Gothic cathedral, that only minute inspection could convince him that it was a work of nature.'
A pine-torch pile to keep undying light,
For Torquil's safety from his countrymen.
Neuha then relates to him the history of the cavern:
With sounding conchs and joyous shouts to shore;
Was Love, though buried strong as in the grave
When Eloisa's form was lowered beneath
Their nuptial vault, his arms outstretched, and prest
The kindling ashes to his kindled breast.*
The waves without sang round their couch, their roar
Within their hearts made all their harmony,
Love's broken murmur and more broken sigh.'
Torquil's comrades, less happy than himself, are all killed; he waits safe in the grotto until the ship has sailed:
*The tradition is attached to the story of Eloisa, that when her body was lowered into the grave of Abelard (who had been buried twenty years) he opened his arms to receive her.'
The deed was over! All were gone or ta'en,
Chained on the deck, where once a gallant crew,
But the last rock left no surviving spoil.
Far o'er its face the dolphins sported on,
'Twas morn; and Neuha, who by dawn of day
It flapped, it filled, and to the growing gale
With fluttering fear, her heart beat thick and high,
While yet a doubt sprung where its course might lie
The shadow lessened as it cleared the bay.
To watch as for a rainbow in the skies.
On the horizon verged the distant deck,
Down plunged she through the cave to rouse her boy;
That happy love could augur or recal;
Sprung forth again, with Torquil following free
That eve the strangers chaced them from the shore;
An hundred fires, far flickering from the height,
The poem thus ends; but we crave permission to insert the following tribute to tobacco, which displays the noble author's humour,
A short frail pipe, which yet had blown
Its gentle odours over either zone,
And puffed where'er winds rise or waters roll,
Through every change of all the varying skies.
His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
Though not less loved in Wapping or the Strand;
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
Thy naked beauties-Give me a cigar!
We think this poem is one of the hardest blows which Lord Byron has yet struck at his own reputation, although his Muse has made many previous attempts at felo de se.
HIGH-WAYS AND BY-WAYS.
BY A WALKING GENTLEMAN.
We take some blame to ourselves for not having noticed this volume, as it deserved, at an earlier period; but better late than never' is an adage which has reconciled even graver faults than this. It consists of tales said to have been collected during a pedestrian excursion: whether this be true or not we do not know, but there is a certain good-humoured air about it which belongs peculiarly to walkers-a colloquial, easy, slow-paced manner of telling a story, which your walkers fall into: they are somewhat long, and so are all wayside stories, and so they ought to be. The first is that to which we most object: it is horrible and indelicate, and the moral hardly perceptible enough. But the last, that of La Vilaine Tête, is really a delightful one. It relates to the walking gentleman's washerwoman, from whose own mouth he received it, so that the reader need not doubt its authenticity. After describing a French cottage
* Hobbes, the father of Locke's and other philosophy, was an inveterate smoker-even to pipes beyond computation.'
to be much neater than ever French cottage was, even in La Vendee, he proceeds thus:
The owner of this humble, yet enviable mansion, was an old woman, bent down with age and infirmity. Her whole stay and solace in the world was her granddaughter, whom she had brought up-an orphan from the cradle. This poor girl was every thing that she could desire except in one respect; and possessed all that her situation required, but one advantage, with which, it must be confessed, there are few who can well entirely dispense. Jeannette was amiable, cheerful, tender-hearted; a good spinner, active in household affairs, and pious; but beauty formed no part of her possessions; for she was in appearance ugly-not simply plain, but downright ugly. This utter absence of personal advantages had procured her, among the neighbours, the title of "la vilaine tête." To let the reader judge whether or not exaggeration had suggested this epithet, the following portrait is given; and, coming from a friendly hand, its truth may be relied on.
'Jeannette was-but the pen refuses to proceed! It is, in truth, but an ungracious task, and cannot be persevered in. How different are the efforts to depict the traits of beauty! There is, indeed, cnjoyment in dwelling on their memory: in essaying, however vainly, to commit to paper with pen or pencil the impressions they stamp upon the mind: in striving to trace out those indelible, yet shadowy recollections, which flit before the fancy so fairy-like, so lovely, so evanescent; inspiring to pursuit, yet baffling every effort at detention. How I have laboured at this hopeless task! How strove to do justice by description to that face and form which are ever before my eyes! How, while I thought to fashion out one feature, has the memory of another swam upon my brain, confounding all in an overflow of blending loveliness! Even now, they seem to float before my gaze in the unfading sweetness which needs no contrast to increase it, which time and distance purify, but weaken not. But--but to return to my heroine; that is to poor Jeannette. There are cases where 'tis best to leave the reader to himself; and this is one. Imagination may complete the portrait I would have commenced, without fearing to err by extravagance: let it paint her ever so unprepossessing in appearance, and it cannot go too far.
Jeannette, unlike most people, cared but little for that which she did not possess; and was rather disposed to dwell upon those compensations which nature had given her. She knew that she was uglyvery ugly - but she felt that she was strong and healthy, and her composure was not ruffled. Her grandmother's cottage contained but little looking-glass to throw reflections on her defect, and the neighbours were too good natured to supply so unkind an office. I really believe that she thought so seldom of her face, and heard so little to make her remember it, that she only knew of its peculiarities from the faithful but officious brook in which she was accustomed to wash the linen of the cottage, and that of the neighbouring chateau, confided to her care. This was her chief employment, and, taking pride in doing it well, she was early distinguished as the best savonneuse in the village, and her own and her grandmother's caps and kerchiefs VOL. 1. July, 1823. Br. Mag.