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Dans mon état normal

Je suis fait de métal :
Quand je résonne aux bois, ma voix met en émeute

La meute.

Si vous me retournez, je deviens un grand bloc
Que Roland pourfendit d'un coup de son estoc.


En forme quadrangulaire

Je me promène sur les champs
Et quand je caresse ma mère

Je la gratte avec mes dents.


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Tout cela s'en va et il n'y aura plus de chansons."-VICTOR Hugo.

HEINRICH HEINE stands at the head of the Poets of the Romantic
School of Modern Germany. Since Goethe and Schiller, no German
Poet has arisen who draws so near to their pride of place. Even
Freiligrath must yield precedence to the author of Atta Troll and

Born of Jewish parents, educated in Germany but spending the
greater part of his life in Paris—in the early part of the present
century the haven of refuge of many liberal German writers-
Heine was in theory and practice a cosmopolite. Smitten down by
an incurable disease and passing the latter days of his life in one
long death-agony, his later poems, dictated from his mattress-
grave,' are marred by a bitter irony and sad world-wearied
scepticism. In them we see the passionate longing for peace and
rest, the nameless Weltschmerz which animates and gives its
to all his writings.

His Ballads, of which Matthew Arnold justly says that their magic is incomparable,' have an indescribable witchery of grace and expression. His language and imagery are, as is natural, Oriental; and he blends—to repeat another just criticism of the same writerthe impression of French modernism and clearness with that of German sentiment and fulness.

Heine's manner—not to say mannerism-deserves careful analysis. He possesses in an eminent degree the gift of a style elaborate, pare and forcible, admirable for precision and vigour. But with all the depth and delicacy of keen rare touches and flashes of subtle nature, there is no slackening in the energetic intensity and might of moral grasp. Though often reminding us—as in the ballads of the Lorelei and Lotos-Flower—of Horace's terse felicity of phrase, he has more of imaginative beauty and depth of poetic passion, and a tender freshness of pathos alien to the Horatian spirit. In the sweet lucidity and steady current of the style there is nothing of harsh or obscure; the delicacy and justness of the sentiment is matched by the grace of the expression. The pure clear ease of Béranger,—the French Lucilius—the plain frank qualities of grace and strength of Goethe are not so much the gift of Heine as variety of thought and form, passionate fancy and tenderness of colour, yet with no lack of force of grasp and precision of design. Behind the veil of radiant and harmonious words the thought stands out in clear well-cut relief. Perhaps no better example of this quality could be found than his Nordseebilder, a cycle of poems marvellous for stately strength and perhaps the finest production of Heine's muse.

In all that he wrote there is a deep underlying sincerity and earnestness, the only gauge by which a poet's thought and work can be tested: denn es musz von Herzen kommen, was auf Herzen wirken will. Sovereign mastery of language, unity of perfect spirit and sense, august and strenuous passion of thought, the high instinct and fine culture of the poet, mark out Heine's work as

one of the loftier landmarks of German poetry.

Heine wrote when the German ballad poetry was at its highest development. The “ Sturm and Drangperiod of Teutonic literature, the brief but passing glow of the Romantic school had given place to a new era of song. True in the main to the popular origin of German poetry, yet the ballad with Heine was not the mere unfettered expression of impulsive thought, but a creation of the highest artistic consciousness. Under his hands it became the exponent of intensest passion and deepest suffering. Though in the Germany of his time many were the stars of song, each bright and powerful in his individual sphere, none was so fit as he to grapple with the great problems of humanity. His no less than Béranger's was the true song of the people. No nation possesses such beautiful

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Lieder as the German, and among these Heine's hold the first rank. Of the two great English Lyrists of the beginning of the present century, Shelley and Keats, Shelley on one side of his head and heart is Heine's closest parallel.

Beyond all question the crown of Heine's genius is his marvellous series of poems on The North Sea” containing passages which have passed into the very life-blood of German thought, the very core and conscience of its memory. These wild, fragrant, fantastic flowerets of imagination are the very incarnation of Heine's stormy spirit. Shot through and transfused with the hues of his bright fancy, softened and saddened by the gleam of the dying sun, they have a golden ring and resonance which the ear would not fain forget.

A sort of Hellenic atheist, a mocker from his boyhood to his death, a man who seemingly knew not what the religious sentiment meant, on yet another side of his character does he suggest the parallel of Shelley. Through the clear bright flow of his verse-purior electroruns a dash of Greek scepticism, a touch of the old mocking paganism. “Heir of all the ages," he has no less of Homeric simplicity—the crystal mirror of an antique world—than of Goethe's subtle and fastidious culture.

Nothing in Heine is so worthy of admiration as the scope and range of his power. Despite the many stains and scars upon his intellectual life, Heine and his “bright-gleaming sorrow," Heine with his ringing wit and his delicate esprit, his Oriental imagination has won unto himself a place amid the first rank of poets. He is after Goethe, perhaps the most notable man of his nation.

“He died young," was said of Schubert, “rich in what he gave, richer in what he promised;" with even more truth might these words have been said of Heine. “He was a great man, good at many things, and now he has attained this also, to be at rest."

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BERANGER, the Burns of France, was, like his great prototype, essentially a poet of the people, though unlike Burns in this respect that patriotism and not passion inspired his muse. With little of the culture and range of thought of Heine, his work is characterized throughout by a more masculine vigour and a more healthy tone. The bitter mockery which he unceasingly poured upon the Bourbon monarchy and the worm-eaten institutions of old France, sunk deep into the life and language of the people.

His strong common sense served him more than his very genius. He has nothing in common with the morbidezza of Alfred de Musset or the spurious sentimentality of Lamartine : the poet of the people speaks their language, shows their feelings, and gives utterance to their ideas and emotions. Gifted with a style at once ample and simple, inferior to Heine in depth and pathos, in subtlety of imagination, in power of expressing the delicate nuances of thought, Béranger's poetry as compared with Heine's, has more of a charm if less of a spell. Whether his theme is patriotic, amatory or bacchantic, he is always gay and bright. And this is the note of Béranger's work. A chansonnier and nothing more; but a chansonnier of unrivalled merit.



know not what it may mean to day,

That I am to grief inclined,
There rings in my ears an old-world lay,

That I cannot get out of my mind.
Cool blows the breeze: thick forms the mist,

Fleet speeds the Rhine-stream wide;
The bill-tops shine with glory kist

In sheen of eventide.
A maiden rare, on rocky crest,

Gleameth in beauty's might,
In pearls and glitt'ring raiment drest,

Fair vision of delight.
With grace she trims her golden locks,

Clear thrills her witching rhyme;
Her eyes' bright blue the sky bemocks,

With glamour of olden time.
Glides past the fisher in his skiff,

He throbs with yearning sighs,
He seeth not the treach'rous cliff,

His glances skyward rise.
With clasping arms and spells that slay,

She grips : he gasps for breath,
Mid sound and shine of storm her prey
The Lorelei lures to death.

G. F.

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