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Count Holm enters, returning from the rocks:
Count. Where is that shape gone, that even now I saw
Here moving on the shore? What burden, too,
Was that he laid upon the sand ?-Oh Heaven !
Matilda ! Do I see thee yet again?
[Seeing the body.
Sleep on ! --Sleep spares thee many a eruel pang
Of sorrow !-Has the sea then given thee back
To earth again, refusing to deface
That beauteous form,--that, when I live no more
To weep thy fate, one grave might yet unite us ?
Ulrick returns with some green branches.
Ulr. A way! Wake not my wife!
Count. (Starting up.)
Ha! who has dared?
Ulr. Hush! speak more softly-See, how calm she sleeps !
Count. Ay, truly! Would that rest were mine! But now
I am awake indeed, and horribly,
All things are clear'd to me. Fit termination
It were, if thou, since I am at the goal,
Fulfill'dst thy just revenge. Too well I know
Those features now. They tell me who thou art,
And all that thou hast suffer'd.
Look not thus,
So stiff and sternly on me. Looks like these
Strike deeply to the heart. It seems almost
As if I knew thee-almost as if I once
Rashly ran chances with thee. Tell me, then,
What is thy name?
Oh madness, from him veil
Ulr. It must have once been dear to ine;
For while I look on thee, I feel, methinks,
As in old times, when I had just received
The greeting of a distaut friend. Hear then,
My name is Ulrick. Tell me thine, and I
Perchance may recollect more.
Count. (Much moved.). Oh, my Ulrick !
Ulr. Nay, thou art Holm !Where have you tarried, then,
So long and silently? My heart was grieved,
And miss'd you sadly. Therefore be at last
Heartily welcomed! When she wakes again,
My wife, I mean,--she too will greet you kindly...
How shall 1, meanwhile, play alone the part
Of hospitable courtesy? There, take
This green bough,'tis an olive branch,ma token
Of peace betwixt us.
[ Gives him a branch. Count.
Ulrick ! and to me Thou givest this token ?-Oh too noble heart, Whose grace and mildness Madness cannot conquer ! Wouldst thou thus from the Book of Crimes efface My name so lovingly, that the last Judge May not observe or hear it? And dost thou, Even o'er the dear remains of her whom once I sever'd from thine arms, reach to me now The pledge of friendship? Oh for her sake, then, And for our child's, forgive me! [Suddenly recollecting himself.
Must he be summon'd. Fearful would it be,
If unprepared, he found his parents thus !
[Erit. The Count having thus gone in search of Walter, Ulrick is left alone with the body. With the following scene we close our extracts :
Wherefore,--for whose sake now,
Has he departed ? -Fled? - How then? Did not
Some one already leave me? Was I not
Long time deserted and forlorn ? If I
Could rightly call to mind,--no, here it was not,
'That our dear cottage stood.-Wake, wake, Matilda,
And let us go from hence! What ! hear'st thou not
That scream of terror from our son ? Even now
They steal him from us.--Ah! she hears me not.
Heavy as lead, that slumber rests upon her.
Holm, too, tried to awake her ;-but why, then,
When I pronounce that name, should I thus tremble?
Count Holm--departed! Holm-elopement-flight!
Fear comes on me; we must away! Home, home!
No moment must be lost. The weltering sea
Is mine old trusty friend, and safely now
Will bear us thither. (Joyfully) Would’st thou ask what ship
Waits for us here? Know, then, I am a songster ;
And dolphins merrily through the blue waves
Will bear us on.. Come, come Matilda, courage!
Here must we not remain; for Holm again
Would rouse thee from thy slumber. Then the harp
Must we bear with us; nobly shall we travel
With music and with song to cheer the way.
Come, come, let's mount the steps, and from on high
Summon our gallant fleet. He takes the harp, and ascends boldly to a jutting abutment of the precipice, then strikes some full deep chords.
They do perceive my notes. Joyfully now
Their bands are greeting me. Hark, then, good friends
I bring to you my beauteous wife; for you
I do confide in wholly, and to you
Will sing celestial music, if you but
Can bring us safely, softly home.-Take, then,
These verdant boughs, with them adorn your heads;
As for a festival.
(Throws them into the sea.
Throng more and
more together" Come,” they cry,
" Come down !" Then I'll be there anon ;
But first the harp I give you !
(Throws it down, and then hastily returns to the body.
Wilt thou not
Awake, Matilda ?Well !-so slumber on
In peace ;-our journey will be quickly past,
And thou shalt wake more joyfully at home,
There press me to thy bosom once again,
With a bride's ardour.-
(Lifts her up.
I raise thee up, and gently give thee, too,
To the gay comrades of our watery way,
And all the while thou know'st not what is done.
(He mounts with her to the brink of the precipice.
Sleep, sweetest wife !--sleep on !-Ha, there he comes -
Nimbly and rapidly, ye dolphins, now,
Will you receive us. How the waters foam
And roar !-Away !-why should we tarry here?
Home let the songster go-home, home!
(He leaps with the body into the sea. After this catastrophe, remain eight are both provided for; but to imitate pages of the tragedy, in the course of such rhythm in our language would, which Count Holm is persuaded to of course, never do; for productions
ive, though but for penitence and re- bearing the name of dramatic must be pentance; and the attachment of Do- written like those that are acted, and rothea and Walter receives the sanc- rhyme is very properly banished from tion and blessing of their surviving our stage. Yet a literal translation relations.
of these rhymes into English blank The success of this hasty sketch on verse, however inadequate, and in the German stage depends, no doubt, some respects unjust to the original as much on the mere action and scenery, author, bears generally a considerable as on any more intrinsic merit; but it resemblance to the style of our old must be observed, that the extreme English writers, such as Marlow, accuracy and elegance of Houvald’s Webster, &c., and by their admirers, rhymed versification atones in great our “Horæ Germanica” will be read measure to the reader or auditor for with most indulgence and interest. many deficiencies. The ear and eye
They speak, though dead, of life once bright and gay,
(When o'er their dusky heaps in mockery,
Comes floating through the clouds a transient ray,)
And therefore too, unto my watchful eye,
Even like the faint gleams of a wintry day,
Come visions of the past. Ere yet they fly,
Oh, might I, with a rash and hurried grasp,
One leaf amid the blooming scenery clasp !
* We have received a translation of a poem of considerable length by this author, from which these introductory lines are copied. It is entitled “A Winter Night's Dream,' and is to be found in the “ Phosphoros," for November, 1814.
It was a lovely autumn morn,
So indistinctly bright,
So many-hued, so misty clear,
So blent the glitt'ring atmosphere,
A web of opal light!
The morning mist, from the hill-top,
Sail'd off—a silv'ry flake ;
But still in the under vale it lay,
Where the trees peer'd out, like islands grey,
Seen dimly at the dawn of day,
On a waveless, pearly lake.
And, again, where we climb’d the woody rise,
That Boldre Church doth crown,
The filmy shrowd was wafted by,
And, rejoicing in his victory,
The dazzling sun look'd down.
We reach'd the church, (a two-mile walk)
Just as the bell begun-
Only the clerk was station’d there,
And one old man, with silver hair,
Who warm’d him in the sun.
A grave-stone for his seat; one hand
On his old staff leant he:
The other fondly dallyed
With the bright curls of a young head,
That nestled on his knee.
The child look'd up in the old man's face
Look'd up and laugh'd the while.
Methought, 'twas a beautiful thing to see,
The reflected light of its innocent glee,
(Like the sunbeam on a wither'd tree)
In the old man's quiet smile.
That simple group well harmonized
With the surrounding sceneThe old grey church, with its shadows deep, Where the dead seem'd hush'd in a sounder sleep, And all beyond, where the sun shone bright, Touching the tombstones with golden light,
And the graves with emerald green.
And a redbreast, from the oaks hard by,
His joyous matins sung ;
That music wild, contrasting well
The measured sound of the old church-bell,
In its low square tower that swung.
I look’d, and listen’d, and look'd again,
But word spake never a one; And I started like one awakened From a trance, when my young companion said,
" Let's walk till the bell has done." So we turn'd away, by the path he chose,
At the impulse of boyish will Leaving the church-yard to the right, High up, it brought us soon in sight Of the deep stream so sparkling bright,
That turns old Hayward Mill.
A lovely spot! but not, therefore,
Young Edmund's choice I doubt ;
No, rather that with barbed snare,
For sport he oft inveigled there
The perch and speckled trout.
Stopt was the noisy mill-wheel now,
Snareless the rippling brook,
And up the finny people leapt,
As if they knew that danger slept,
And Edmund, he had well nigh wept
For lack of line and hook.
“ Look what a fish !-the same, I'll swear,
That I hook'd yesterday-
He's a foot long from head to tail-
The fellow tugg'd like any
And broke my line.-It's very true,
Though you laugh, Miss You always do,
At every thing I say."
Nay, gentle Coz! I did but smile
But—was he a foot long?”.
Ay, more-a foot and half, near two.
There, there—there's no convincing you,
One might as well, to an old shoe,
Go whistle an old song.”— “ Gramercy, Coz! I only ask'd
In admiration strong.”-
“ Ay, but you look at one so queer,-
Oh! that I had my tackle here,
You should soon see.- -Well, never fear,
I'll have him yet, ere long.”-
“Ay, doubtless--but, dear Edmund! now
Be murd'rous thoughts far hence ;
This is a day of peace and rest,
And should diffuse in every breast,
Its holy influence.”
Such desultory chat we held,
Still idly sauntering on
T'wards the old crazy Bridge, that led
Across the stream by the mill-head ;-
“ Hey day!” said I, " 'tis gone !” And gone
it was- - but planks and piles
Lay by, a fresh-brought load;
And, till a better bridge was made,
Flat stones across the stream were laid,
So one might pass dry-shod
One with firm foot, and steady eye,
Dry-shod might cross the brook ;
But now, upon the further side,
A woman and a child we spied ;
And those slippery stones the woman eyed,
With vex'd and angry look.
And the child stood there--a pretty boy
Some seven years old seem'd he;
Limber and lithe as a little fawn,
And I marvell’d much, that he sprang not on
With a boy's activity,