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he had probably long kept back in the hope of being able to complete it, he might naturally be unwilling to destroy, yet afraid to hazard his established reputation by its publication. He died the same year the book was published : had he lived a little longer, the success of the work and the applauses of his friends might have induced him to lay aside his disguise; and John Chalkhill might have been expunged from the list of authors.

The following commendatory lines, by Thomas Flatman, are prefixed to Thealma and Clearchus.

To my worthy Friend, Mr. Izaak Walton, on the publication of

this poem.

Long had the bright Thealma lain obscure,
Her beauteous charms, that might the world allure,
Lay, like rough diamonds in the mine, unknown,
By all the sons of folly trampled on,
Till your kind hand unveil'd her lovely face,
-And

gave her vigour to exert her rays.
Happy old man whose worth all mankind knows
Except himself, who charitably shows
The ready road to virtue and to praise,
The road to many long and happy days;
The noble arts of generous piety,
And how to compass true felicity;
Hence did he learn the art of living well,
The bright Thealma was his oracle:
Inspir'd by her, he knows no anxious cares,
Through near a century of pleasant years;
Easy he lives, and cheerful shall he die,
Well spoken of by late posterity.
As long as Spenser's noble flames shall burn,
And deep devotions throng about his urn;
As long as Chalkhill's venerable name
With humble emulation shall inflame
Ages to come, and swell the floods of fame;
Your memory shall ever be secure,
And long beyond our short liv'd praise endure;
As Phidias in Minerva's shield did live,
And shar'd that immortality be alone could give.

Tho. FLATMAN."
June 5, 1683.

If these lines have any meaning, we must infer from them,

that Walton had some inheritance in the fame of Thealma. If applied merely to the writer of the scanty preface which we have extracted, they are little better than absurd; but, if written in the belief that Walton was the real, but concealed author, if not very apposite, they are, at least, intelligible.

The internal evidence in the poem itself is strongly corroborative of our opinion. The simplicity and bon-hommie which characterised the life and writings of Walton are every where perceptible. The kindliness, the pastoral taste, the keen enjoyment of rural sights and sounds, the tolerant piety, of the author of the Angler, pervade equally the Thealma and Clearchus. It is just such a poem as Walton might be expected to write : it has no turbulent energy of thought or action—it has no strongly marked characters-it displays no insight into the darker passions of the soul-it is modest, gentle, unambitious

-and glides along as calmly and unobtrusively, as one of those placid streams by which old Izaak loved to sit and ruminate

“ with his Bryan and his book.” To prove that Walton had enough of the poet in him to produce the Thealma, we need only appeal to his Angler, a work instinct with the pure spirit of unconscious poetry, and which

scents all the year long of June, like a new-made haycock;" a work which has delighted thousands who never handled a fishing-rod, imparting dignity and interest to the minutest details of a pursuit, singularly barren of excitement, and cloth

an ineffable charm which cannot be effaced.” The data on which we have founded our opinion of the identity of Chalkhill and Walton, it may be said

ing it with

are all Supposures hypotheticall"

but, taken together, we think they almost amount to demonstration. The non-existence of the author of Thealma, distinct from Walton; the mysterious silence of his editor, and the guardedness of his praise; the exact similarity of their tastes, feelings, and sentiments; their mutual extravagant passion for angling; altogether-in the absence of even a shadow of proof to the contrary-satisfy us, that Chalkhill is no other than our old piscatory friend incognito.

But to escape from controversy to the more refreshing part of our task, the examination of the poem itself. As the story is without a conclusion, we shall not enter at much length into its details, but content ourselves with giving a slight outline, which may serve to connect and explain the extracts we intend

age

!

to make. The scene of the Thealma and Clearchus is laid in Arcadia, the primitive state of which country is thus beautifully described :

Arcadia was, of old, a state,
Subject to none but their own laws and fate :
Superior there was none, but what old
And hoary hairs had rais'd; the wise and sage,
Whose gravity, when they are rich in years,
Begat a civil reverence more than fears
In the well manner'd people; at that day
All was in common, every man bare sway
O'er his own family; the jars that rose
Were soon appeas'd by such grave men as those :
This mine and thine, that we so cavil for,
Was then not heard of; he that was most poor
Was rich in his content, and liv'd as free
As they whose flocks were greatest, nor did he
Envy his great abundance, nor the other
Disdain the low condition of his brother,
But lent him from his store to mend his state,
And with his love he quits him, thanks his fate;
And taught by his example, seeks out such
As want his help, that they may do as much.
Their laws, e'en from their childhood, rich and poor
Had written in their hearts by conning o'er,
The legacies of good old men, whose memories
Outlive their monuments, the grave advice
They left behind in writing :-this was that
That made Arcadia then so blest a state,
Their wholesome laws had link'd them so in

one,
They liv'd in peace and sweet communion.
Peace brought forth plenty, plenty bred content,
And that crown'd all their pains with merriment.
They had no foe, secure they liv'd in tents,
All was their own they had, they paid no rents ;
Their sheep found clothing, earth provided food,
And labour drest them as their wills thought good;
On unbought delicates their hunger fed,
And for their drink the swelling clusters bled :
The vallies rang with their delicious strains,
And pleasure reveld on those happy plains,
Content and labour gave them length of days,

And peace serv'd in delight a thousand ways."
An iron age succeeds to this golden one. Ambition, ava-

rice, and luxury, introduce tyranny; and at the time the story commences, the sceptre is swayed by “ a hot-spur'd youth, hight Hylas.” Thealma, the daughter of the King of Lemnos, flying from her father's court with her lover, Clearchus, is shipwrecked on the Arcadian coast. Clearchus is supposed to be drowned; and Thealma, taking refuge in the house of a shepherd, employs herself in tending his flocks.

“Scarce had the ploughman yoked his horned team,
And lock'd their traces to the crooked beam,
When fair Thealma with a maiden scorn,
That day before her rise, out-blush'd the morn:
Scarce had the sun gilded the mountain tops,
When forth she leads her tender ewes.-

Down in a valley, 'twixt two rising hills,
From whence the dew in silver drops distills
T'enrich the lowly plain, a river ran
Hight Cygnus ; (as some think from Leda's swan
That there frequented) gently on it glides,
And makes indentures in her crooked sides,
And with her silent murmurs rocks asleep
Her wat’ry inmates : 'twas not very deep,
But clear as that Narcissus look'd in, when
His self-love made him cease to live with men.
Close by the river was a thick leafʼd grove,
Where swains of old sang stories of their love ;
But unfrequented now, since Colin died,
Colin, that king of shepherds, and the pride
Of all Arcadia :-here Thealma used
To feed her milky droves, and as they brows'd
Under the friendly shadow of a beech,
She sate her down; grief had tongue-tied her speech,
Her words were sighs and tears; dumb eloquence :
Heard only by the sobs, and not the sense.
With folded arms she sate, as if she meant
To hug those woes which in her breast were pent.
Her looks were nail'd to earth, that drank
Her tears with greediness, and seem'd to thank
Her for those briny showers, and in lieu
Returns her flow'ry sweetness for her dew.

O, my Clearchus,' said she, and with tears
Embalms his name:-'0! if the ghosts have ears,

Or souls departed condescend so low,
To sympathize with mortals in their woe;
Vouchsafe to lend a gentle ear to me,
Whose life is worse than death, since not with thee.
What privilege have they that are born great
More than the meanest swain? The proud waves beat
With more impetuousness upon high lands,
Than on the flat and less resisting strands :
The lofty cedar, and the knotty oak,
Are subject more unto the thunder-stroke,
Than the low shrubs, that no such shocks endure,
Ev’n their contempt doth make them live secure.
Had I been born the child of some poor swain,
Whose thoughts aspire no higher than the plain,
I had been happy then ; t have kept these sheep,
Had been a princely pleasure; quiet sleep
Had drown'd my cares, or sweeten’d them with dreams :
Love and content had been my music's themes ;
Or had Clearchus liv'd the life I lead,
I had been blest! ”

While she is discoursing of her griefs with her maid, Caretta,

a fell boar
Rush'd from the wood, enrag'd by a deep wound
Some huntsman gave him: up he ploughs the ground,
And whetting of his tusks, about’gan roam
Champing his venom's moisture into foam.

The sheep ran bleating o'er the pleasant plain,
And airy Echo answers them again."

They are rescued from destruction by the arrival of a huntsman, who kills the enraged savage.

“ He was but young, scarce did the hair begin
In shadows to write man upon his chin :
Tall and well set, his hair a chesnut brown,
His looks majestic, 'twixt a smile and frown."

This stranger turns out to be her brother Anaxus, who had left his native land in search of his mistress Clarinda, whose father had been banished from Lemnos by the king.

the fiery sun
Went blushing down at the short race he run;

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