Imágenes de páginas

ther in heaven nor in earth, such an ele- patible with the character of a truly great ment as the spiritual. They rear no altars man, the creature of circumstancesto any unknown divinity.. Cui bono, in the most secular sense of the phrase, is

“ A pipe for fortune's finger their test of the beautiful. They would, To play what stops she please;" without compunction, convert the Parthenon into a Fourierite quadrangle, and put and it is well for his reputation that his up the field of Marathon at auction, in life flowed on in a smooth and even curlots to suit purchasers.

rent, exposed to few of those dangers and It is not in a literary point of view trials that call forth the exercise of the alone, that the name of Uhland deserves loftiest and most self-denying virtues. honorable mention : his services in the Uhland has withdrawn entirely from cause of freedom have been neither few public life, and now enjoys a competency nor unimportant, and the universal admi- which renders him independent of the ration in which he is held throughout smiles and frowns of princes. His resiGermany, is a tribute of praise to the dence is thus described by Howitt, in bis virtues of the citizen, as well as to the

“Rural and Domestic Life in Germany :” genius of the poet. A patriot in the war

“ He lives in a house on the hill-side overof 1813, he has proved himself, since the looking the Necker bridge, as you go out overthrow of the common enemy of the toward Ulm; above lie his pleasure garden German Confederation, a vigilant guardian and vineyard, and here he has a full view of of the popular liberties from the encroach the distant Swabian Alps, shutting in with of |

their varied outlines one of the most rich, 1815, a period of great political excite- beautiful and animated landscapes in that

pleasant Swabian land.” ment in Wurtemburg, his songs were echoed from every tongue ; and from the Professor Wolff, of the University of time of his election as a member of the Jena, in a paper on German Literature Diet of that principality, in 1809, until his contributed to the London Athenæum for resignation, which occurred a few years 1835, says, in reference to Uhland : ago, in consequence of the liberal complexion of his political views, and the

“I could write through whole pages and yet boldness with which he expressed them, tion, for his patriotism, his love of mankind, his

not praise him thoroughly to my own satisfache was the constant and unwavering ad- noble nature, and all the beautiful qualities Focate of those great and important con- of his character. Never was a man so unistitutional rights which despotism is always versally loved and revered in Germany, and I most eager to suppress. In this respect never read or heard his name mentioned, withhe manifests a vast moral superiority over

out demonstrations of respect, and declarations the great oracle of German literature, the of sincerest affection.”

” , disposition led him to regard with com- Germany, as belonging to the Romantic parative indifference the dangers that School of poetry, which numbers among threatened his country both from hostile its followers the Schlegels, Tieck, Novalis, armies without, and arbitrary rulers with Gleim, Chamisse, and a host of others of in its borders, provided only that his indi- less distinction. The characteristics of vidual quiet remained undisturbed and his this class, which dates its origin from the literary pursuits uninterrupted. He viewed German War of Liberation in 1813, are everything from an artistical point of view; described by Dr. Wolff as a true percepeven the most momentous interests, pres- tion of the nature of romantic poetry, and ent and future, of humanity, seem to have its relation to that of the classical school, been regarded by him merely as subjects a more thorough recognition of the intelof philosophical speculation, Indeed, lect and the poetry of the German middle his character and principles were none age, a more profound understanding of of the strictest, nor was his temperament Shakspeare's greatness, and of the rich capable of enduring those restraints to treasures of Spanish and Italian poetry, which men of sterner mould easily sub- for a true and noble estimation of the nit. He was, far more than is com- treasures of which Germany was indebted to Lessing and Goethe, and for an unre- poems, selected chiefly from his ballads lenting warfare against characterlessness and romances, in order that our readers in literature, wherever it appeared. may form some estimate of his poetical

The works of Uhland consist of a col- powers. Should a feeling of disappointlection of poems published in 1815, which ment be experienced in reading them, we are the most popular and well known pro- beg that some allowance may be made for ductions of his pen, and two dramas which the difference between American or Engappeared in 1818 and 1819, in which his lish and German taste, as well as for the powers are displayed to less advantage. obvious disadvantage presented by the He has also written a commentary on the appearance of an author under a foreign works of Walter Von Dervogelweide, one garb. Other specimens may be found in of the ancient Minnesingers; an " Essay

Essay “Longfellow's Poets and Poetry of Euon the Scandinavian Myth of Thor,” and rope,” in “ Gostick's Survey of German “ Researches concerning Poetical Tradi- Poetry," and in the “Foreign Quarterly tions.” For the last twenty-five years, Review” for 1837. The “ Democratic his poetical energies seem to have been Review” for 1846, also contains “some allowed to slumber, either according to translations from the Songs and Ballads of Goethe's prediction, because the politician Uhland,” by W. A. Butler, prefaced by has swallowed up the poet, or because his some introductory verses of considerable civic and professional duties have occupied merit. his time to the exclusion of more congenial The following ballad, which is among pursuits. Without entering into a critical the best of the collection, has lately furanalysis of the character of his writings, nished the subject of a beautiful painting we shall give translations of a few of his from the pencil of Munchen.


In olden times, erect and proud, a lofty castle stood,
It shone afar, across the land, to Ocean's dark blue flood,
And in the fragrant garden round--a belt of bloom outspread--
Clear sparkling fountains far aloft their rainbow splendors shed.

Therein a haughty monarch dwelt, in lands and conquests great,
And on his regal throne he sat in dark and gloomy state ;
His every thought was horror still --each glance with vengeance shone ;
A curse was in his ev'ry word-he wrote with blood alone.

Once at the castle bounds appear'd a noble minstrel pair,
The one with golden ringlets bright, the other with gray hair ;
The elder, with his treasur'd lyre, a well trimmed palfrey rode,
And nimbly by the old man's side his youthful partner strode.
The old man to the younger spake : “My son, thou must prepare !
Recall to mind our deepest lays—attune thy fullest air,
Together summon all thy powers; first love, then sorrow's smart
Behooves us try to-day to touch the Monarch's stony heart.”

Within the lofty pillar'd hall, the minstrels twain are seen,
And seated on the throne appear the monarch and his queen-
He, wrapt in dread magnificence, like the red northern light,
His queen with glance as mild and sweet, as beam of full moon bright.
The hoary minstrel struck the strings—he played so wondrous well,
That on the ear more richly still each note appear'd to swell ;
In tones of heavenly clearness streamed the youth's sweet voice along,
Like mournful strains from parted souls, amid the old man's song.

They sing of spring-tide and of love--the age ere wo began-
Of freedom, faith, of holiness—the dignity of man ;
All lovely things they celebrate, that heave the human breast,
They chant of all high themes that rouse the human heart from rest.
The troop of courtiers gather round, their scorn forgotten now-
Before the throne of God above the king's brave warriors bow ;
The queen, entranced in ecstacy, with strange sweet grief oppress’d,
Throws to the tuneful singers down the rose-bud from her breast.

“My people he has led away, will he corrupt my wife ?"

The furious monarch cries aloud, his frame with frenzy rife;
Swift at the younger minstrel's breast his gleaming sword he flings,
And thence, instead of golden songs, a blood-red torrent springs.
As if a storm had scattered them, the hearers fled away.
All faint within his master's arms, the youthful singer lay ;
He wraps him in his mantle broad, he seats him on the horse,
Erect and firm he binds him there, and with him takes his course.

But now before the lofty gates the hoary minstrel stands,
His own dear harp, the best of harps, he seizes in his hands ;
He strikes it 'gainst a column stone--'tis now a broken shell ;

Thro' castle-hall and garden then, his dreadful accents swell:
"Wo, wo to you, ye lofty halls, no sweet and soothing tone
Of lyre or song, within your walls, shall ever more be known.
No! sighs and groans alone be yours, and slavery's cringing pace,
Till 'neath the stern avenger’s tread, dark ruins fill your place.
“Wo to you all, ye gardens sweet, in the May month's pleasant light-
This dead youth's pallid countenance I here expose to sight;
For this your beauty shall decay-your every spring be dry,
And ye yourselves, in future days, despoiled and desert lie.
“Wo to thee, ruthless murderer ! of minstrelsy the pest;
In vain be all thy deeds of arms for glory's blood-stain'd crest;
Thy name shall be forgotten quite, in endless darkness veiled,
And like a sick man's dying gasp, in empty space exhaled.”
The old man's voice has died away, but Heav'n has heard his cry;
The walls become a ruined heap, the halls dismantled lie;
One only column still remains, to tell of former might,
And that, already tottering, may fall perchance by night.
Around, where once the garden smiled, is now a desert land,
No tree casts there its grateful shade, no fountain threads the sand,
No history tells the monarch's name, nor line of lofty verse-

Departed and forgotten all ! such is the Minstrel's Curse. ** The Ferry” is a little poem which , and comparing the pictures which hope res a very fair impression of some of the and fancy then portrayed, with the harsh ist marked peculiarities of Uhland's realities into which experience has since nner. He delights in summoning from transmuted them. As the contrast of the he dim mysterious past ” the scenes, present with the past generally suggests

thoughts and feelings of that happier reflections of a somewhat mournful chare, when the vivid imagination of youth acter, inasmuch as the advancing footsteps I power to clothe

of time are constantly crushing some flower

that bloomed in our pathway, whose frail “ the palpable and the familiar life we fondly deemed of perennial duraWith golden exhalations of the dawn," tion, the heart of the poet whose sympa'OL. I. NO. II. NEW SERIES. 10

thies and feelings lie garnered up among “The Shepherd " is a lay of the middle the records of departed years, of which ages, short and simple—its moral the his song is but the echo, must often be motto of all things earthly—“passing touched with a sentiment of sadness at the away." retrospect.

'Twas near a kingly castle wall,

A fair young swain pass’d by ;

A maiden from the window look'd
Many a year is past and o'er,

He caught her longing eye.
Since I cross'd this stream before ;
Gleams yon tower in evening's glow,

“Oh! might I venture down with thee,” Sounds, as erst, the river's flow.

With kindly voice she said;
“ How white do yonder lambkins seem,

The blossoms here, how red."
Then our passengers were three-
Two, my friends, and dear to me;
One with grave, paternal air,

The youth, in answer, thus replied :
One in youthful promise fair.

“ Oh! would'st thou come with me?

Fair glow those rosy cheeks of thine,
One a life of quiet pass'd,

Those arms—can wbiter be ?"
And in quiet breath'd his last;
But the youth, in foremost rank,

And now each morn, in silent grief,
In the storm of battle sank.

He came, and looked above,

Till from the casement, far aloft,
So, when o'er those happy days,

Appear'd his gentle love.
Distant far, I dare to gaze,
Still I mourn companions dear,

This friendly greeting then he sent :
Reft away, ʼmid life's career.

“ Hail ! maid of royal line."

A gentle answer echoed soon-
That which ev'ry friendship binds,

"Thanks, gentle shepherd mine."
Is, the sympathy of minds;
Spirit-hours the past appear,

The winter pass'd, the spring appear'd,
Spirit forms are with me here.

The flow'rs bloomed rich and fair;
The castle bounds he sought again,

But she no more was there.
Take, then, boatman, thrice thy fee-
Willingly I give it thee :
Two whom thou hast ferried o'er,

In sorrowing tones, he cried aloud,
Earthly bodies wear no more.

“ Hail ! maid of royal line."

A spirit voice beneath replied, “ The Ride by Night” exhibits the same

“Adieu! thou shepherd mine." peculiarity.

“The Wreath” is a charming little

fairy story, told with exquisite delicacy I ride thro' the darksome land afar, and simplicity. Though the “sterne Uncheer'd by moonbeam or twinkling star, stuff ” of manhood may pass it by as a

Cold tempests around me lowering; idle fable, destitute of sense or signifi Often before have I pass'd this way, When the golden sunshine smiling lay

cance, it will, in all probability, be regard Among roses freshly flow'ring.

ed with favor by the fairer portion of ou

readers, whose quick perception will so I ride to the gloomy garden ground,

enable them to unveil its meaning, thoug I hear the blasts through the brancuès sound, expressed in allegorical language.

And the withered leaves descending; "Twas here I wander'd in summers flown,

THE WREATH. When love had made all the scene his own, A maiden on a sunny glade, The steps of my fair one tending.

Was gath'ring flow'rs of varied hue ;

There came from out the greenwood shade Extinguished now is the sun's glad ray,

A lady fair to view. The roses have wither'd and died away,

And the grave my belov'd is holding; She join'd the maid, in friendly guise, My darksome journey I now purske,

And twined a wreathlet in her hair: In the wintry storm, with no star in view, “ Tho' barren now, flow?rs hence will rise My mantle around me folding.

Oh! wear it ever there."

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When lightnings flash, and thunders roll,

And howls the forest broad, 'Tis said the aged chief is known

In dreams to grasp his sword.

The “Dream” is decidedly Uhlandish.


Join'd hand in hand, a loving pair

A garden wander'd round; They sat like spectres, pale with care,

Within that flowery ground.

With martial train did Harald ride,

A hero bold and good;
Aronnd his march the moonbeams shone,

Within the wild greenwood.
Oh! many a gorgeous banner there

Flings to the breeze its fold,
And many a battle song is heard,

That echoes thro' the wold.
What lurks and rustles in each bush ?

Moves upon ev'ry spray ?
Drops from the clouds above, and dives

Where foaming streamlets play ?
What throws the blossoms here and there?

What sings ? glad notes indeed ! What dances thro' the armèd ranks,

Or mounts the warlike steed? Whence come these kisses, soft and sweet ?

These arms so gently prest ? What from the scabbard steals the sword,

And leaves nor peace nor rest ? It is a sprightly band of fays;

'No arms their spells withstand Already ev'ry warrior there

Is in the fairy land.

Each kissed the other's pallid face,

Sweet mutual kisses sped ; They stood entwined in close embrace;

Then grief and languor fled.

Two little bells rang sharp and clear-

Swift did the vision flee;
She lay within the cloister drear,

A far-off exile he.

The “ Monk and the Shepherd " has a certain picturesqueness about it, which brings the scene depicted as vividly before the eye as if it had been portrayed by the sister art.

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