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iNever again that interchange of looks,
The key-note of two souls in unison.
"Out • puling mourner," cries the moralist:
"Is it a 'crumpled rose-leaf in thy path'
O'er which thou wailest ?—what is youth and love 1—
Hast thou not in thee something more than these—
Thy soul, immortal, indestructible?"
The words are hut too true; though 'tis no "leaf;"
'Tis the whole flower I mourn, and mourn alone.
A young rose, dewy, budding in the morn—
I weep its fragrance lost, its beauty gone.
Life without love is naught,—'tis even as
The body without soul—a fleshy case
To carry aches and pains in. Soon will come
The first white hair, the harbinger of change,
To say, Time is, Time was, and Time is past.
Ay, past; for, love extinct, our life remains
(As 'twere a hearth where fire had blazed anon)
In ashes, and my youth is left to me
Like a pressed violet in a folded book;
A remnant of its fragrance breathing still,
To tell of spring-time past, ne'er to return.
Last May I roved with her into the woods:
Who calls 1 "Good brother, you are new as yet;
Thos. Herbert Lewis.
SHADOW OF DEATH/
BY FRANCES POWER COBBE.
On Mona's desolate shore, in a cavern by the sea, there dwelt long ages ago the last of the Druids. None knew whence he came or how long he had lived there alone; some said it was for a hundred years, and others that it was for a time far beyond the age of man, and that the Druid was no other than Merlin himself, who had seen Arthur die, and had dwelt in the halls of Caerleon, and worshipped in yet remoter time in the sun-temple of Stonehenge. Men and women travelled far to visit the solitary cavern where the Druid dwelt, and to ask him to reveal to them the mysteries of life and death; and kings came to consult him regarding war and the polity of states, and priests asked him concerning eternal things; and to all of them the Druid made response, and his words were wise and deep, and were treasured in many souls.
Now it came to pass one evening in the later autumn, when the air was still and shrouded, and the sere leaves were slowly dropping from the trees, and the salt green sea cast its tribute of wrack and shells at the door of the Druid's cave, that there camo up together from different lands many suppliants, and they all entered into the cavern to entreat the seer to answer their questions and give them counsel. And behold the Druid sat on a stone in the depths of the cave, and the red firelight shone on his white raiment, and his hair and beard were white as snow, but his eye was blue and calm and sweet, and none who looked on him felt any more fear. And the suppliants drewnear and saluted him reverently; and he bowed his head in token that they should speak, and each of them in turn spake; and the first said unto him :—
"O Druid! I am a queen of far-off
well, loves me no more, nor seemeth to heed me, and I have given him my father's crown, and loved him with my whole heart. What must I do to awaken his love?"
And the second suppliant spake and said :—
"O Druid! I am a knight and I loved a lady who once gave me her troth; and I have borne it on my helm through many a bloody field, and I have brought her back glory and fame; yet she loves me no more. What must 1 do to awaken her love 1"
And the third suppliant spake and said :—
"O Druid! I am a rich man, and I loved my brother, and divided with him my lands and gold; but he loves me no more. What must I do to awaken his love 1"
And the fourth suppliant spake and said :—
"O Druid! I am a bard, and I loved not one man only, but all the good and wise, and I poured out my soul in song; but they loved me not, nor responded to my words. What must I do to awaken their love 1"
And the fifth suppliant spake and said :—
"O Druid! I am a seeker of knowledge, and I love my race, and have imparted to them the truths I have read in the stars and gathered from the ends of the earth; but they love me not, nor regard my lessons. What must I do to awaken their love?"
And the sixth suppliant spake and said :—
"O Druid! I am not great, nor wise, nor rich, nor beautiful; I am but a poor maiden, and I love not only the good and learned, but also the weak and the ignorant, and I give them all my tears, and, because they love me not, I cannot serve them as I would. What must I do to awaken their love 1"
And the seventh suppliant spake and said:—
"O Druid! I am a mother, and I love my only son; and I had no crown, or honour, or lands, or art, or wisdom, to give him • but I gave him what was more precious than them all—a mother's love. Yet he loves me not. AVhat must T do to awaken his love 1"
Then the seven suppliants stood silent, and the Druid sat still for a little space. And the night had fallen while they spake, and the fire had burned low, and the cave of the Druid was dark. And it came to pass, as they waited patiently, that the depth of the cavern seemed to become light, as if a luminous mist were filling it. And, as they gazed at the mist, behold! as if reclining on clouds, lay a form as of a beautiful youth, more beautiful than any of the children of men; and he lay asleep. And the Druid spake to the suppliants and said :— "Behold now, and see howLove sleepeth; and how heavy are his slumbers; and who is he that shall awaken him?" And lo! there came through the mist a train of beautiful forms, and
each of them passed by the couch of Love, and strove to waken him with kisses and with tears. And some tried hollow smiles, though their eyes were dim; and others were seen to wring their hands and kneel at his feet in agony; and others brought him crowns, and sceptres, and gold, and gems, and stars of honour, and wreaths of fame, and they cried with exceeding bitter cries, "O Love, awake! awake!" But Love slumbered on, nor heeded any, and his sleep was unbroken alike by their kisses, or gifts, or tears.
Then there came forth from the mist another form, pale and cold, and dressed in the cerements of the grave; and it passed slowly nearer and nearer to the couch, till its shadow fell like the shadow of a cloud over Love as he slept.
Then Love sprang up with a wild and terrible cry, and held forth his arms for those to return who had striven to waken him so long, but who now were passed away beyond his reach for ever. And the Druid turned mournfully to the suppliants and said :—" Only this solace have I for your aching hearts, Sleeping Love Will Waken When Over Him Falls The Shadow Of Death!"
BY THE AUTHOR OF "DOCTOR ANTONIO."
Happening last autumn to make a short stay in the Riviera, one of my first thoughts was to go and pay a visit to Sanremo. I never fail to do so when I am in the neighbourhood.
I am very fond of Sanremo. I hope you have already an acquaintance with it; if not, let me tell you that it is as lovely a bit of land as any that graces the iovely western Riviera of Genoa; full at all seasons of sun, of warmth, of colour, of palm, and lemon, and orange
when, describing the voyage of Gano's galley, he brings it in sight of—
• • • "i monti Ligustici, e Riviera
Sanremo's patent of beauty, you see, does not date from yesterday, nor is it signed by an obscure name. Between you and me, the verses quoted above are not among the most felicitous of the poet, but they are to the point, and therefore I transcribe them. What greater praise can be bestowed upon any spot spring? By-the-bye, do not look for my quotation in the pages of the farfamed Orlando Furioso, but rather in the first of the less-known Cinque Canti, which Ariosto intended as a continuation of his celebrated poem.
Sanremo was the first romance of my boyhood. To it I owe some of the strongest and pleasantest emotions of my young life. My uncle, the canon, had a friend there, to whom he occasionally paid a visit, taking me with him. Now from Taggia to Sanremo it is only an hour-and-a-half's drive; but such was the fuss made about it, and the time of it, and the mode of it—so multifarious were the conditions to which its realization was subjected—that it could not but assume very remarkable proportions in the rather excitable imagination of a boy of eight years old. Indeed, had I had to cross the great Desert, I could not have set out with a keener sense of travelling in right earnest, that delight of all delights at my age, than I did on these occasions, especially the first two or three of them. Habit lessened, but did not wear out the impression.
Each of the trips formed quite an epoch in my life. I dreamed of nothing else for a whole fortnight previous— and oh! how my heart would leap into my mouth at every cloud that rose on the sky, lest it might interfere with our starting; and I dreamed of nothing else for a whole fortnight after. I can still imagine what must have been the peculiar joys of the road—the glory of a seat by the side of Bacciccin, the vetturino—a glory bought at the price of a fib (the fib that I felt sick inside); then the possession of the aforesaid Bacciccin's whip, and the consequent sweet delusion that I was really driving; the patronizing of the respectful peasant boys, who acknowledged my superiority as they passed, and the pulling faces at the disrespectful ones, who refused any such homage—nay, who dared to make fun of me; and last, not least, the trying my skill in making ducks and drakes in the sea during the frequenthalts of Bacciccin, who was continually struggling tomend the harness, which
As for the joys which I found at Sanremo—our stay there varied from a minimum of two to a maximum of four days—at this distance of time I am sorely puzzled to determine the elements of which they were composed. The palms certainly must have been one of the principal—the palms, the sight of which stirred within me all the poetic feelings of which I was possessed—the palms, on which I doated. As for the rest of the components of my happiness, they were most likely the excitement of novelty, the break in a dreary routine, the exemption from all scholastic tasks, and a quant, stiff, of liberty of movement. Had the picturesqueness of the landscape, the glorious expanse of the sea, the soft mellowness of the air, anything to do with my enjoyment of Sanremo 1 I suppose they had, though I might not be conscious of it; the conditions of climate, and the natural beauties of the cosy valley close by—my temporary home—were too little inferior, if so at all, to those of Sanremo, for me to feel the difference; and, as to the sea, of which we had only a distant glimpse from our house, it was too familiar an object to the eyes of one born and brought up in a sea-port town, to produce any overpowering impression on me. I took it for granted, in my innocence, that the whole world was made in the same image as our infinitesimal one. It was only after a long tasting of the piercing fogs of the Thames, and of the bitter blasts of the Seine, that, restored to the land of the myrtle and orange-tree, the boy, now a mature man, could appreciate thoroughly the blessings of these mild Italian skies, and sunny bowers, where winter is only a name, and where, if one was wise, one ought to settle, and refresh both body and mind during at least six months of the year.
'Would I might say that I had been that wise man, as I should now be spared the mortification of confessing that my last visit to Sanremo dates as far back as 1857, full seven years ago! The fact is, we do not shape our lives: force of circumstances and habit do it for us, not thus we arrive at the end of our journey with a sense of bitter wonderment at not having chosen better the stages of it.
Be this as it may, the Sanremo I visited in 1857 had as much improved on that of my boyhood, as the Sanremo of 1864 has improved on that of 1857. Wonderful, is it not, that the little town should have found seven years suffice for a stride forwards, to accomplish the like of which had previously cost her a period equal to that of the wandering of the Jews after their escape from bondage! Surely, to account for this result, there must have been something else at work besides the law of progress, some strong impellent motive. And it was so.
Have you never seen a beauty, strong in her native charms, disdain the aid of all ornaments so long as her heart is yet silent? Well, see that same beauty the moment her heart has spoken, and you will find her abounding in devices for pleasing. This was the case with Sanremo. Her heart, yet mute in 1857, suddenly began to speak in the following year, or thereabouts, and she grew coquettish at once. Yes, Sanremo fell in love with .... But I am betraying a secret before the proper time.
Let us return instead to the Sanremo of 1857. The change which struck me most was its new approach. Formerly you entered it by a narrow, irregular road; now it was by what the French would call a broad boulevart, running parallel to the sea, through the whole length of the town. The fashionables of the locality had chosen it, as well they might, for their favourite walk. But even the word boulevart does not give a just idea of its charms. Who knows of another boulevart flanked on both sides by such gardens as flourish there !—smiled upon by such a sky and sea as shine and sparkle there !—and which wears in its cap two such fine feathers as the two secular palm-trees waving yonder! Therefore allow me to say that the entrance, or boulevart, of Sanremo is indeed worth looking at.
The other welcome novelty which
street, which, starting at right angles from the Boulevart of the Palms, goes straight towards the sea. The Sanremaschi have called it Via Gioberti—one of those excellent ideas which carry along with them their reward, for by doing honour to the memory of a great Italian they have done honour to themselves. I noticed, too, with pleasure, a good sprinkle of freshly-built houses—I was almost tempted to call them palaces, they were so large and handsome. Some were already finished, some only in course of construction. I remarked one, if not two caffes, of which I had no recollection; they seemed as clean as they were smart. Most of the shops looked as if they had lately adopted the habit of washing their faces: some few aimed even at elegance. The town had gained an unknown aspect of cleanliness—relative cleanliness, you understand.
But as to hotels it had remained sadly stationary ; which, after all, was quite as it ought to be. At the time of which I am speaking, Sanremo was not yet in love—consequently had no desire to please anybody but itself. The improvements which it had realized had had exclusively in view its own comfort and pleasure, and not that of others; now, what could it care about hotels, to which it never went 1
So the only hotel of Sanremo continued to be that kept by Signora Angelinin, the hotel "della Palma"—that very same, with the exception of some few microscopic changes for the better, to which in times of yore I had more than once accompanied my uncle, the canon, not to take up our quarters there, but to pay a visit to the landlady. The most that could be said in behalf of the hotel "della Palma" was, that it was decent. One certainly would not have chosen it as a place of abode for any length of time; but the traveller detained by business or stress of weather might easily have passed a week or so there, without being too much to be pitied. The cooking department of " La Palma" enjoyed a well-deserved renown, and