Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

In many climes, without avail,
Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail;
Behold, it is here, — this cup which thou
Didst fill at the streamlet for me but now;
This crust is my body broken for thee,
This water His blood that died on the tree.
The Holy Supper is kept indeed,
In whatso we share with another's need;
Not what we give, but what we share —
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.”

IX.

Sir Launfal awoke as from a swound : 1
“ The Grail in my castle here is found !
Hang my idle armor up on the wall,
Let it be the spider's banquet-hall:
He must be fenced with stronger mail
Who would seek and find the Holy Grail.”

X.

The castle gate stands open now,

And the wanderer is welcome to the hall As the hang-bird ? is to the elm-tree bough;

No longer scowl 3 the turrets tall, The Summer's long siege 4 at last is o'er; When the first poor outcast went in at the door,

I swound=swoon.

2 the hang-bird, the Baltimore oriole.

3 scowl. What is the figure?

4 Summer's siege. What is the figure of speech?

She entered with him in disguise,
And mastered the fortress by surprise:
There is no spot she loves so well on ground,
She lingers and smiles there the whole year round.
The meanest serf on Sir Launfal's land
Has hall and bower at his command;
And there's no poor man in the North Countree
But is lord of the earldom as much as he.

1

2. – THE COURTIN'. [The Courtin' — "the only attempt I had ever made at any thir.g like a pastoral,” as the author states — is the most genuine of our native idyls. The first sketch of the poem comprised only six stanzas, which, curiously enough, were written and inserted merely to fill a vacant page in the introduction to the Biglow Papers. These being greatly admired, the author added stanzas from time to time till the poem assumed its present form of twenty-four stanzas.]

God makes sech nights, all white an' still

Fur'zo you can look or listen,
Moonshine an’snow on field an' hill,

All silence an' all glisten. 1 The biographer of Mr. Lowell | al purists may raise to the use of says of The Vision of Sir Launfal : these colloquialisms in literature, “This noble poem was composed in we should hesitate in condemning a kind of fury, substantially as it such use until we have learned Mr. now appears, in the space of about Lowell's defense in a masterly essay forty-eight hours, during which the prefixed to the Biglow Papers. In poet scarcely ate or slept. It was this essay he shows that many of almost an improvisation, and its these supposed “provincialisms' effect upon the reader is like that have the authority of the best Eng. of th outburst of an inspired lish riters of the sixteenth and singer.”

seventeenth centuries. 2 sech. It will be noted that The 3 Fur'z=for as, in order that. Courtin' is written in the "Yankee The form “fur" has the authority dialect.” Whatever objections verb- 1 of Sir Philip Sidney.

Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown,

An' peeked in thru' the winder, An' there sot Huldy all alone,

'ith no one nigh to hender.

A fireplace filled the room's one side

With half a cord o' wood in There warn't no 2 stoves (tell 3 comfort died)

To bake ye to a puddin'.

The wa’nut logs shot sparkles out

Towards the pootiest, bless her! An' leetle 4 flames danced all about

The chinys on the dresser.

Agin 6 the chimbley' crook-necks 8 hung,

An' in amongst 'em rusted The ole queen's-arm thet gran’ther 10 Young

Fetched 11 back from Concord busted.

The very room, coz

12 she was in, Seemed warm from floor to ceilin',

1 unbeknown=unknown. In 5 chiny=china, china-ware. early English, be was a common 6 Agin=against. The form has prefix marking past participles. the authority of the poet Donne

2 warn't no. Of course modern (seventeenth century). English permits no defense of such 7 chimbley=chimney, the old solecisnis, but the double negative sense of which is fireplace. was freely used by Shakespeare and 8 crook-necks: that is, crookother writers ofthe Elizabethan age. neck squashes.

8 tell= till: the form was in good 9 queen's-arm, a musket belong use in the eighteenth century. ing to the time of Queen Anne.

4 leetle: this phonetically repre- 10 gran' ther= grandfather. sents the old English pronuncia- 11 fetched. Meaning ? tion of little.

12 coz= cause: that is, because.

An' she looked full ez rosy agin 1

Ez the apples she was peelin'.

'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look

On sech a blessed cretur;
A dogrose blushin' to a brook

Ain't modester nor sweeter.

He was six foot o' man, A 1,

Clean grit an' human natur'; None couldn't quicker pitch a ton,

Nor dror 3 a furrer4 straighter.

He'd sparked it 5 with full twenty gals,

Hed squired 6 'em, danced 'em, druv 'em, Fust? this one, an' then thet, by spells —

All is, he couldn't love 'em.

But 'long o'8 her his veins 'ould run

All crinkly 9 like curled maple,
The side she breshed 10 felt full o' sun

Ez 11 a south slope in Ap'il.

1 agin= again.

6 squired, attended as a squire 2 kingdom-come. An untrans- or beau. latable colloquialism, the mean- 7 Fust=first. The form has the ing of which is more easily felt sanction of Prior (eighteenth centhan expressed.

tury). 3 dror=draw.

8 'long o'= along of, beside. 4 furrer= furrow.

9 crinkly, from crinkle, a twist 5 sparked it, played the lover. or turn. To spark, in the sense of to court, 10 breshed, brushed against. is used by Washington Irving. 11 Ez, etc. Figure?

She thought no v'ice 1 hed sech a swing

Ez hisna in the choir;
My! when he made Ole Hunderd ring,

She knowed the Lord was nigher.

An' she'd blush scarlit, right in prayer,

When her new meetin’-bunnet
Felt somehow thru' its crown a pair

O’ blue eyes sot upon it.

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked some ! 3

She seemed to’ve gut a new soul,
For she felt sartin 4-sure he'd come,

Down to her very shoe-sole.

She heered a foot, an' knowed it tu,

A-raspin' on the scraper, —
All ways to once her feelin's flew

Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,

Some doubtf'l o' the sekle,
His heart kep’ goin' pity-pat,

But hern went pity Zekle.

I v'ice=voice.

2 hisn=his. An old English dialectic form.

3 some. Another expressive untranslatable colloquialism.

4 sartin=certain. The form has the sanction of Dryden.

5 to once=at once.

6 like sparks ... paper. What is this droll figure?

i l'itered = loitered.
8 sekle=sequel.

9 pity-pat ... pity Zekle. Explain this drollery.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »