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In some transparent ocean holiday,
When all the finny people are at play)

Wiped with her hair the brine from Torquil's eyes,
And clapped her hands with joy at his surprise;
Led him to where the rock appeared to jut
And form a something like a Triton's hut;
For all was darkness for a space, till day
Through clefts above let in a sobered ray;
As in some old cathedral's glimmering aisle
The dusty monuments from light recoil,
Thus sadly in their refuge submarine

The vault drew half her shadow from the scene.
Forth from her bosom the young savage drew
A pine-torch, strongly girded with gnatoo;
A plaintain leaf o'er all, the more to keep
Its latent sparkle from the sapping deep.
This mantle kept it dry; then from a nook
Of the same plaintain leaf a flint she took,
A few shrunk withered twigs, and from the blade
Of Torquil's knife struck fire, and thus arrayed
The grot with torchlight. Wide it was and high,
And showed a self-born Gothic canopy;
The arch upreared by nature's architect,
The architrave some earthquake might erect;
The buttress from some mountain's bosom hurled,
When the Poles crashed and Water was the World;
Or hardened from some earth-absorbing fire
While yet the globe reeked from its funeral pyre;
The fretted pinnacle, the aisle, the nave,*

Were there, all scooped by Darkness froin her cave.
There, with a little tinge of Phantasy,
Fantastic faces moped and mowed on high,
And then a mitre or a shrine would fix

The eye upon its seeming crucifix.
Thus Nature played with the Stalactites,
And built herself a chapel of the Seas.

And Neuha took her Torquil by the hand,
And waved along the vault her kindled brand,
And led him into each recess, and showed
The secret places of their new abode.
Nor these alone, for all had been prepared
Before, to soothe the lover's lot she shared:
The mat for rest; for dress the fresh gnatoo,
And sandal-oil to fence against the dew;
For food, the cocoa-nut, the yam, the bread
Born of the fruit; for board the plaintain spread
With its broad leaf, or turtle-shell, which bore
A banquet in the flesh it covered o'er ;
The gourd with water recent from the rill,
The ripe banana from the mellow hill;

'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,
And she herself, as beautiful as Night,
To fling her shadowy spirit o'er the scene,
And make their subterranean world serene.
She had foreseen, since first the stranger's sail
Drew to their isle, that force or flight might fail,
And formed a refuge of the rocky den

For Torquil's safety from his countrymen.
Each Dawn had wafted there her light canoe,
Laden with all the golden fruits that grew;
Each Eve had seen her gliding through the hour
With all could cheer or deck their sparry bower;
And now she spread her little store with smiles,
The happiest daughter of the loving isles.'

Neuha then relates to him the history of the cavern:
How a young Chief, a thousand moons ago,
Diving for turtle in the depths below,
Had risen, in tracking fast his ocean prey,
Into the cave which round and o'er them lay;
How, in some desperate feud of after-time,
He sheltered there a daughter of the clime,
A foe beloved, and offspring of a foe,
Saved by his tribe but for a captive's woe;
How, when the storm of war was stilled, he led
His island clan to where the waters spread
Their deep green shadow o'er the rocky door,
Then dived-it seemed as if to rise no more:
His wondering mates, amazed within their bark,
Or deemed him mad, or prey to the blue shark,
Rowed round in sorrow the sea-girded rock,
Then paused upon their paddles from the shock,
When, fresh and springing from the deep, they saw
A goddess rise-so deemed they in their awe;
And their companion, glorious by her side,
Proud and exulting in his Mermaid bride;
And how, when undeceived, the pair they bore

With sounding conchs and joyous shouts to shore;
How they had gladly lived and calmly died,
And why not also Torquil and his bride?
Not mine to tell the rapturous caress
Which followed wildly in that wild recess
This tale; enough that all within that cave

Was Love, though buried strong as in the grave
Where Abelard, through twenty years of death,

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
As much unheeded as if life were o'er ;

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,
The fugitive, the captive, or the slain.

Chained on the deck, where once a gallant crew,
They stood with honour, were the wretched few
Survivors of the skirmish on the isle;

But the last rock left no surviving spoil.
Cold lay they where they fell, and weltering,
While o'er them flapped the sea-bird's dewy wing,
Now wheeling nearer from the neighbouring surge,
And screaming high their harsh and hungry dirge:
But calm and careless heaved the wave below,
Eternal with unsympathetic flow;

Far o'er its face the dolphins sported on,
And sprung the flying fish against the sun,
Till its dried wing relapsed from its brief height,
To gather moisture for another flight.

'Twas morn; and Neuha, who by dawn of day
Swam smoothly forth to catch the rising ray,
And watch if aught approach'd the amphibious lair
Where lay her lover, saw a sail in air :

It flapped, it filled, and to the growing gale
Bent its broad arch: her breath began to fail

With fluttering fear, her heart beat thick and high,

While yet a doubt sprung where its course might lie
But no! it came not; fast and far away

The shadow lessened as it cleared the bay.
She gazed and flung the sea-foam from her eyes

To watch as for a rainbow in the skies.

On the horizon verged the distant deck,
Diminished, dwindled to a very speck-
Then vanished. All was ocean, all was joy!

Down plunged she through the cave to rouse her boy;
Told all she had seen, and all she hoped, and all

That happy love could augur or recal;

Sprung forth again, with Torquil following free
His bounding Nereid over the broad sea;
Swam round the rock, to where a shallow cleft
Hid the canoe that Neuha there had left
Drifting along the tide, without an oar,

That eve the strangers chaced them from the shore;
But when these vanished, she pursued her prow,
Regained, and urged to where they found it now:
Nor ever did more Love and Joy embark,
Than now was wafted in that slender ark.
Again their own shore rises on the view,
No more polluted with a hostile hue;
No sullen ship lay bristling o'er the foam,
A floating dungeon :-all was Hope and Home!
A thousand proas darted o'er the bay,
With sounding shells, and heralded their way;
The Chiefs came down, around the People poured,
And welcom❜d Torquil as a son restored;
The women thronged, embracing and embraced
By Neuha, asking where they had been chaced,
And how escaped? The tale was told; and then
One acclamation rent the sky again;
And from that hour a new tradition gave
Their sanctuary the name of "Neuha's Cave."

An hundred fires, far flickering from the height,
Blazed o'er the general revel of the night,
The feast in honour of the guest, returned
To Peace and Pleasure, perilously earned;
A night succeeded by such happy days
As only the yet infant world displays.'

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,
Had wafted smoke from Portsmouth to the Pole,
Opposed its vapour as the lightning flashed,
And reeked, midst mountain-billows unabash'd,
To Æolus a constant sacrifice,

Through every change of all the varying skies.
And what was he who bore it ?—I may err,
But deem him sailor or philosopher.**
Sublime tobacco! which from east to west
Cheers the Tar's labour or the Turkman's rest;
Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides

His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand,

Though not less loved in Wapping or the Strand;
Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,

When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress

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.



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.

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