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Julia Alpinula; with The captive of Stamboul and other poems online

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CORNELL

UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY




THE
WORDSWORTH COLLECTION




The original of tiiis book is in
the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924104001999



JULIA ALPINULA.



%



JULIA ALPINULA;



WITH



THE CAPTIVE OF STAMBOUL



AND OTHER



POEMS.



BY J. H. WIFFEN.

AUTHOR OF "AONIAN HOURS5&C.



9>



" Futurity!
We hail thee safely by the name of grief.
He who doth paint our untrod pilgrimage
In colours darker than e^en fear hath feigned.
Shall be no lying prophet. — ^'



SECOND EDITION.



LONDON :

JOHN WARREN, OLD BOND STREET.

1820.






GREEN, PRINTER,



LEICESTER STREET, LEICESTER SQUARE



.\>



1



The stoiy of Julia Alpinula has been so stre-
nuously recommended to the pubUc notice by Lord
Byron, both in the text and notes to the Third Canto
of ^' Childe Harold/' as to obviate the necessity of an
apolog-y for my having made it the subject of the prin-
cipal poem in this volume. With regard to any objec-
tion that may arise in the mind of the reader from the
paucity of incident in this little History, it may not
be irrelevant to remark, that although the mind may
be amused by the vivid and various delineation of
fictitious events, the better sympathies of the heart
are much more likely to be excited by the simplest
narrative, founded on real circumstance, and the
play of the sweet and amiable affections, than by the
most complicated tissue of situations that have no
basis beyond the imagination. To do full justice to
so beautiful a character would require, I am aware,



vi PREFACE.

the creations of a mind gifted with far greatei powers
than any I can lay claim to : I shall consider it a
sufficient achievement if I be thought not to have
disgraced it. With little light from history beyond
a knowledge of the catastrophe and its cause^ the
colouring I have given to the timesj and the tracings
I have drawn of the events and characters of the
piece, will yet, I tiaist, be found to harmonize with
the spirit of reality rather than with that of fiction-

In the other Tale — filled up from the Annal of
Gibbon, I have taken such liberty with the name of
the principal personage, as well as of the scene of
action, as best suited the structure of my verse.



-**■».



TO ALARIC A. WATTS, ESQ.



I HEAR a voice in this deep hour
Of midnight ; it is true my friend,

That unsubstantial things have power
The settled spirit's strength to bend.
And to our aspirations lend

The mystic key of smiles and tears ;
A shaken harp — a gust of wind,
Can thus unlock within my mind

The spells of vanished years.

I hear the' inhospitable rain

Against the illumined casement beat,

With somewhat like a sense of pain.

That the ripe woodbines, young and sweet.
Which over-arch this summer. seat,

Should on insurgent winds be driven,
When June, if only for their sake,
Should send her fine stars forth to make

A blue and brilliant heaven.



viii DEDICATION.

Perchance it has been ours to view
With a like promise, like decay

Of powers, that freshly as they blew,
Were worn by pining griefs away.
However it be — whatever the sway

With which my spirit droops, I cast
A mournful eye on figures fled,
Those apparitions of the dead,

The Passions of the Past!

Mine were rich visions of the bright

And beautiful ! sweet thoughts that ran

Through many a change, and made Delight
In all — the bounteous bride of man j

A fascinated eye — whose scan

Was fixed in overweening quest
On angel-forms that go and come
With sympathy, that make their home

The enthusiast's virgin breast.

The hills — the woods — I trod with awe,
I peopled solitude with dreams

Of Oread, Dryad, Faun, and saw
Naiads by brooks and babbling streams',
Whilst solemn and romantic themes,

And antique fables, swarmed around
By Greek or Tuscan Prophet poured,
From lyric strings, and I adored

In strong entrancement bound.



DEDICATION. ix

I gazed within the glass of Hope ;

I saw her dazzling suns, and laid
My hands upon her telescope

To grasp the images displayed :

It shivered at my touch — betrayed
And baffled, from her world I drew ;

Each wonted impulse lost its force,

From sorrow, as a slight resource,
To Poesy I flew. —

She acts no false dissembler's part,

Her accents, merciful and mild,
Fall sweet upon the wounded heart.

As Beauty's o'er her weaning child.

Amid her valleys, green and wild,
At summer-eves loose loitering.

With daring hand I sought to strip

Some flowers that bore a kindredship
With day-dreams of my spring.

When gathered, they were soon thrown by,

The lightly won are lightly lost,
And sorrow has a wayward eye

That soon forgets what pleased it most.

Of what remains I ill can boast j
In hours of gloom and mental strife.

Thou cam'st across my solitude,

(Apollo to a wintry wood)
And warmed the leaves to life.



X DEDICATION.

These reliques thus, with grateful heart.
To thee, dear Alaric, I bring",

To whose fine hand the Nine impart
The concords of a sweeter string/
Familiar access to their spring

Of starry visions thou canst vaunt ;
Enough for me if not denied,
A chance-brought votary by thy side

To tread their hallowed haunt.

Wohurn^ June 23, 1820.



CONTENTS.



PAGE

PREFACE V

DEDICATION vii

JULIA ALPINCLA 1

NOTES TO JULIA ALPINULA 77

CAPTIVE OF STAMBOUL, CANTO 1 95

CANTO II 139

NOTES TO CAPTIVE OF STAMBOUL 181

THE RUSSELL 187

LINES WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF THE ^' PLEASURES OF HOPE" 208

WRITTEN BENEATH A MINIATURE • 211

LEGEND OF THE STATUE . • 216

^' I TOOK THE harp'" 220

TO WITH A SEAL BEARING THE INSCRIPTION " CON TE

SONO^' 221

AFTER THE SPANISH 225

WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM 229

^^ THIS SCORN OF ALL THE GLORIOUS stir'" 230

SONNET TO W, WORDSWORTH, ESQ 233

TO 234

TALIESSIN 235

THE CASCADE ON RAVEN CRAG, NEAR LAKE CONISTON . . . . .^ 236

NEWSTEAD ABBEY 237



" I know of no human composition so affecting as this, nor a
history of deeper interest : these are the names and actions that
ought not to perish.**'

Note on the Epitaph of Julia Alpinula. Childe Harold >



ERRATA.



Page line

G, 3,

7, 13,

9, 5,

13, 9,

32, 1 1 ,

34, 20,

37, 3,

40, 20,

45, 2,

54, 20,

5(3, 3,

64, 7, & 11,

66, 20,

74, 12,



^for tyrants'

iu

air

vexing



read



sinnews
sun's

misanthropliy
heroes

y
Priest God

shape

shall

Content

view



tyrant's,

is.

hair.

waxing.

sinews.

suns.

misanthropjr.
heroes'.


Priest of God,
shade*
shah.
Consent,
I view.



JULIA ALPINULA.



*^ I never heard
Of any true affection but 'twas nipt
With care, that, like the caterpillar, eats
The leaves of the springe's sweetest book, the rose.'*

Thomas Middleton.



I.



With rapid wing, in ceaseless flight.

Time sweeps along, and leaves in night.

Each brilliant aim of lifers short span.

The joys and agonies of man.

The storied arch that Glory rears.

He mantles with the moss of years j

O'er Beauty^s urn in ivy creeps ;

Shatters the tomb where Valour sleeps ;

And quenches, ne'er to bum again.

The fire in Freedom's awful fane. V'^



2 JULIA ALPINULA.

He sends the beating wind and shower
Proudly to battle with the tower.
And when in ruin they have rent
Frieze, portico, and battlement.
With scoffing lip he seems to say,

Weak worm ! thou too shalt be as they j

Soon passion^s fire, shall leave thine eye ;
^* Ambition fade, and feeling die ;

Hope faithless find its splendid trust.

Thy pride claim kindred with the dust, 20

And nothing more of thee remain,
*^ Than what remembrance views with pain,
*^ A startling Vision, void and vain.^^









n.



As fast and forward flies his car,.

His ministers the Seasons are ;

If now he sends the Spring with dew

Earth^s flowery borders to renew.

Summer, with sunbeam and with song.

To lead the dance of life along.

And viny Autumn's horn to call 30

Guests to his gorgeous festival, —

It is but with a smile to gild

The ruui which his wrath has willed.



JULIA ALPINULA. ^

Soon tyrant Winter's whirlwinds urge
The' assault of earthquake, cloud, and surge ;
And pestilence and fever^s flame
Suck up the breath, or fire the frame.
The rich sun of delight goes down
In his annihilating frown.

And we but add — of things destroyed, 40

One atom to the mighty void.
Thus, unregretted, let decay
Our mortal rehques roll away.
To where the wrecks of ages sleep
Unconscious in the' eternal deep ;
The glorious Soul its power shall mock :
Whirled into whiteness round the rock.
That pearl of pearls shall issue bright,
A gem of love, a drop of light^

By Mercy's smile from its abode 50

Drawn to instar the throne of God !
Sorrow and trial in all time
Assault the spirit to sublime ;
Even from our very virtues spring
Thoughts which the heart with anguish wring ;
Of one so chastened, one whose love
Was such as angels feel above ;
Of one who, thus by anguish tried.
O'er him she could not succour, died,—

B 2



4 JULIA ALPINULA.

My lute in pity would essay 60

To frame a melancholy lay.
For never yet were wept or told
Truths sad as those its strings unfold.



III.



Time has but touched, not sealed in gloom

The turrets of almighty Rome ;

The same deep stream which tossed of yore

The infants in their ark ashore,*

Whose power, since deified, has piled

This seven-hilled city in the wild.

Yet in its yellow lustre roves 70

By marble halls and holy groves.

Yet on its mount, the pillared shrine

August, of Jove Capitoline,

Rich vnth the spoils which war translates.

The plunder of a thousand states.

Though grey with age or thunder's scars,

Looks in proud triumph to the stars.

Its portals passed, its thresholds trod,

By white-robed Flamens of the God.

* Romulus and Remus : vide Plutarch,



JULIA ALPINULA. 5

Ascended by its hundred stairs, 80

The rough Tarpeian yet declares

His fate who freed its fane too well,

AMio vainly watched, and sternly fell.

Structures of piety and prayer.

Domes, towering over temples, there

The busy Forum overlook, —

The scene where Junius Brutus shook

Fiercely his imprecating sword.

And smiled on liberty restored.

And here the Rostrum, at whose foot 90

Grief rose to rage, and rage grew mute.

As Pity dropt, or Passion flung

Honey, or gall from Tully^s tongue.

There, where the great and glorified

On marble pedestals abide,

With Gods that make the skies their home.

The vast Pantheon^s pillared dome

Heaves into heaven. With shout and song.

As rushing cars urge cars along.

There the live Circus hums, and spreads 100

Its gladness o'er ten thousand heads, —

Sons of a race once armed with power

Omnipotent in danger's day.
And siill commanding, though their hour

Of earlier worth has passed away :



e JULIA ALPINULA.

Though wronged Camillus wars not now.

Nor Cincinnatus leaves his plough,

Mutius a tyrants^ wrath disarms,

Fabricius awes, nor Scipio charms.

Nor Regulus his pangs defies, 1 10

Looks back on Rome, and grandly dies.



IV.



From infancy a child of guilt.

In blood by evil passions spilt,

Man lays his own foundations deep.

And crime and violence must keep

His stormy height, contested power j —

His bride Ambition — Strife his dower:

By fresh gradations he must win

The apotheosis of sin :

And Priestcraft comes in slavery's aid' 120

To deify the wretch they made;

His evil angel then denies.

Or grants him as a curse, the prize,

A happier minion soon shall strip

That laurelled brow to bind his own.
And smile, with satire on his lip.

To slay the slayer on his throne^



*i



JULIA ALPINULA.

Thence in an hour of darkness hurled.

His earthquake-exit rocks the world;

So rose in clouds of crime and war, 130

The splendour of the Julian star.

And such the shock, which in thy fall,

O Galba ! strikes, and startles all.

An awful gulf was that between ;

There one red river rolls away
To darkness evermore; a scene

Dreadful to image and pourtray ;
As battle, rapine, faction, rage.
Revolt and murder shook the age ;
Defiled in pure Religion's robe, 140

And Peace, if Peace yet lingering near.
Sends forth her turtle o'er the globe

In promise of a lovelier year, —
With far-averted eye bewails
Her vines uprooted in the vales.
And her fired towns, whose ashes fly
To the four quarters of the sky.
Whence, scenting from his northern towers
Warm, warm Campania's orange bowers.
The future Alaric shall sound 160

His trumpet to the Goths around.
In mirth, through the triumphal slirines
Of Trajan and the Antonines.



(



8 JULIA ALPINULA,

Abroad where lioary Ocean smiles.

Fear fills with fugitives the isles.

Flight is security no more.

Blood stains the waters and the shore :

There is no loved remembrance, none.

Of valour fled, and virtue gone;

Senates, once awful and adored, 160

Are meek and supple to their lord.

And his worst actions glorify

With flattering tongue, and quailing eye.



V.



All, all is changed ! age, manhood, youth.

The soul of honour, lip of truth;

The manners of the ages past.

Simple, severe, confiding, chaste.

Are told, if told of, with a sneer^

Fit only for a Cato's ear;

The matron-shade, in which of yore 1 7^^

Volumnia charmed, Cornelia grew.
Whom Romans loved, who Romans bore.

Is fled — almost forgotten too.
To sun themselves in public view.

Is now the pride of Beauty's daughterSj^



JULIA ALPINULA- 9

Or at the tesselated bath.

To chide in their capricious wrath.

The slaves who gather from the waters^
And lightly braid with delicate care^
The flow of their redundant air. 180

In sweeping vestures they depart^
So gently discomposed by art.
That it may seem the wind's delight
To give the embroidered hues to sight ;
And when in summer they forsake
Their villas by the Lucrine lake.
And seek the blue, delicious sky
Of Capri or Puteoli,
In galleys, golden at the prows.

On Syrian couches theyrecline^ 190

The fan of cedar cools their brows,.

And roses blush round cups of wine.
While instruments of silver sound
Make glad the waters, dancing round.
Discord dethrones, and household wrath.
The chaste Penates of the hearths
The charities of kindred fly
Like old Astrea to the sky.
By home-bred faction, slave or son,.
Each high-born Lady is undone ; 200



B a



IQ JULIA ALPINULA.

Those whom their pride has piqued, with hate
On them have wreaked a harsher fate.
And they whom no accusing foe
Impleads, have friends to deal the blow*



-/\



VI.



Some there are yet who wear, unawed.

Nor slavery's chain, nor murder's sword j- .. -

Whose hearts, like harps, have brilliant tones^

If feeling touch, or valour waken.
The sweetnesses an angel owns.

In life devoted, death unshaken. 210

But when beneath a despot lord
Crime, like a giant walks abroad.
Law's fruitless fences trampling down.
To seize on Power's unstable crown.
The hearts that truth and freedom send —

Her failing fortress to defend.
Strive against fate a little while, '

Then sink with a despairing smile.
To ruin with the ruined pile

Whilst Love — the daughter, or the bride, 220

Who clung in life to Valour's side.



JULU ALPINULA. H

Survives, as thought and feeling cast ^^

Their lovely blossoms on the past, ^ *

O^er memories of a former day.

To bleed a broken heart away.

Like a young vine, whose tendrils lone

Embrace some heroes funeral stone:

Fixed in a fatal soil, it pines.

Even whilst the season sweetest shines i

In vain the wind, the sun, the dew, 230

Its weeping beauty would renew j

Faithful to death, its leaf defiles

The light of suns, and balm of skies j

The lively colours are defaced;

The boughs run verdantly to waste j

Every day more faint and frail.

It wears in the caressing gale;

Hour by hour the wan leaves strewing.

Hour by hour it hastes to ruin;

And soon its little life is spent 240

Upon the warlike monument.



VII.

In far Helvetia's mountain land,—
Realm of the torrent and the pine,*



12^ JULIA ALPINULA.

Aventicum^s proud turrets stand,

Wliere lake Moratium's waters shine-
Ere Ceesar yet had overrun
The climes that front the setting sun.
In full defiance of his power.
This splendid City sent its flower, —
A high, severe, heroic race 260^

Who scorned their narrow dwelling place,—
Their seats in lovelier lands to fix.
Beneath the proud Orgetorix;
In dazzling arms that braved the sky".
Rushed forth her Alpine chivalry.
Led onward by the eagle's screams
O'er snowy Jura's sky-bom streams.
The sullen Arar groaning, roars
Tormented by their thousand oars ;
But, swiftly-footed as the wind, 260-

The deadly Roman hung behind.
And, leagued with the tempestuous Gaul,
Repelled them from Bibracte's \vallv
Her bravest slain, her spirit broke.
She bowed her proud neck to the yoke:
Then Roman rites, and Roman rods.
Scourged from their shrines, her Celtic Gods -y
New priests were given, new temples rose>
Glittering amid her Alpine snows>



JUUA ALPINULA. X^

Those virgin snows Diana loved, 270

The mountain's misty paths she roved^

Rousing with her sonorous horn

The chamois from its couch at mom i

To her a splendid fane was raised^

The altar smoked, the incense blazed.

And mystic hymns were framed, of skill

To charm her from the Aventine hill ,

Then rose in light her vexing planet ;

Then shook the eternal hills of granite j

The tutelary Goddess came, 280^'

And gave the town its Roman name.



VIII,



Though thus her ancient pride was quelPd,

Successive Caesars lightly held

The golden chains she wore, and Time

Beheld her spirit still sublime

Amid her mountains, far apart

From monarchy, she heard the roar
Of storms that shook its mighty heart.

But felt, herself, the shock no more.
When steady Galba planned the doom- 290^

Of Nero,, bloody wolf of Rome^



7' "



14 JULIA ALPINULA.

A native .Chief with just applause _

Guarded her liberties and laws :

Julius Alpinus had bewailed

The sufferings of the state, and hailed

Galba who hushed its fierce alarms^ j y. :

With ready faith and open arms. • i sa^ii.

Freedom, and fire, and sovereignty.

Were sphered in his majestic eye; i..^^'.

Simplicity of soul, the thirst 300.

That fired the early Romans* veins.

That stir of thousand hearts which burst
With passion at the name of chains ;

PixA the high worth of better days.

Which wreathes the head with glory's rays.

But which in times of evil gloom.

Herald the hero to the tomb.

One only daughter charmed away

His cares from anxious day to day ;

For Julia was his life of life, < 310

His star of hope in hours of strife.

His flower of innocence and love.

That drew the sunsliine down from Jove. > ^

Gazing on her, a smile and sigh

Would strive with him, she knew not why.

She knew not why — she could not know

How bitter thoughts on sweet ones grow,/



JULU ALPINULA. 15

When in the daughter's face, we kiss u k.

The mother's charms, those charms which lighted
Our young, romantic hearts with bliss. 320

The long caressed, the quickly blighted j
When that dear love of early years
Lies low, and cannot heed our tears !



IX.



Pure as the morning's virgin dew

Falling upon the vines of spring.
In blest seclusion Julia grew,

A fairy shape — a spotless thing.
Her home she deemed a little heaven ;

She had heard nought of crime and sorrow.
Save in her father's tales at even, 330

And their remembrance had no morrow.
Till thoughts maturer fixed a trace
Of pensiveness on her sweet face.
And then, as to his neck she clung.
With curious, fond, familiar tongue.
Much would she question of the scar

Wliich his sagacious forehead bore.
And of the nodding plumes of war.

And why those nodding plumes he wore.



Ig JULIA ALPINULA.

Then wonder at the acts of men, 340

And pause, and think, and ask again ;

But infancy flew lightly on.

And the mind took another tone ;

Now gaily gathering vernal flowers.

Now dancing out the summer hours,

Naw stripping the autumnal vines,,

And now as winter eve declines,.

Passing her fairy hand along

The lyre, or in Virgilian song.

Chanting the verse, so sweet and clear, 360

Wliich thrills her father's soul to hear.

Where Alpine glaciers, rough and rude.

Hung in an icy solitude 5

On lonely hills, beneath the frown

Of pines, that bending o'er the steep.
Sent their prophetic murmurs down.

In inspiration wild and deep j
Where some romantic fountain played.

Or lake spread out its waters blue^
Or valley flowered, or old cascade 36ft

Dashed down its waters into dew ;
Erewhile she loved to rove, and made

Her soul familiar with the face
Sublime of universal Pan ;^
Nor mountain soarM, nor river ran,,

But iu her pure eye wore the trace



JULIA ALPINULA. 17

Of Godhead, conversant with man.

In thunder, night, the wind's wild swells.

She heard mysterious oracles.

And strained her spirit to the key 370

Of their unearthly minstrelsy.

Thus from her infancy, she was

A pupil in the school of dreams,
A gazer in the magic glass,

Wlierein the curtained future seems
A spectacle, and a survey.
Half coloured with the hues of day.



X.



And she was beautiful ! her face

Was flushed with an angelic grace ;

The amorous sun had wooed it too, 380

And touched it with a richer hue ;

But those who gazed might well declare

They could not wish that face more fair.

Her locks of hyacinthine brown,

O^er the wliite brow hung loosely doAvn,

Contrasting in the shades they tlirow.

With the blue, loving eyes below.



Ig JULIA ALPINULA.

And in those eyes there shone a ray.

That like a sweet, consuming fire.

Thrilled every soul with chaste desire, 390

Yet kept all evil things away.
They who but slightly viewed, had said

Pride was her intimate, for tall
She was — and in her lightest tread

Moved like a princess, but of all
That seeming loftiness, the key
Was an inborn nobility ;

The spirit's fire, the crowning charm ^

Of a mind exquisitely warm :

In whose unsullied leaf was wrought 400

All that was delicate in thought.
And beautiful in deed, with these.
She sought all living things to please.
But most to act a daughter's part
Was the Aurora of her heart.

So grateful for a kindness ! kind i

Herself in act, and thought, and mind ;
Tis true, the assurance was not loud.

But those who heard might more than guess
The resolution deeply vowed ; 410

Her fine eyes swam with tenderness.
And spoke appeal more eloquent
Than words can breathe, or fancy paint.



JULIA ALPINULA. 19

Their passionate orbs such brilliance haunted.
As soothed by turns, by turns enchanted ;
They seemed to chain the gazer^s soul

As if with an electric link.
And most he felt their strong controul.

When most their timid glance would slu'ink.
Like sunshine somewhat spent in shade, 420

The smile upon her features played ;
A glory, bursting half from gloom.

So vividly, and yet so swift.
We cannot fix its transient bloom.

For pleasure's, or for sorrow's gift.
But deem it heaven's own Cherubin,
Lighting the lamp of soul within.
From little less can rise the trance

Of spirit glowing to embrace
Celestial presences, the glance 430

Which looks abroad through time and space
For one to whom the heart's young glow
Of early love may overflow ;
Such glance as Julia loved to cast.
When childhood's rosy hours were past.



20 JULIA ALPINULA



XL

Calm flew those pleasant hours along ;

And when with dance, and festal song.

She came in meekness to resign

Youth's girdle at Diana's shrine.

For woman's high and sacred Zone, 440

Whose clasp, thenceforth, of whitest pearl.
Should temper with reserve, the tone
And fearless frankness of the girl.
Much she admired her statue, much
The stoiie no mortal's hand might touch ;
The horns which cast a lunar glow
O'er forehead, chaste as driven snow ;
The lips which breathed of bashfulness.

And that full, uninsculptured eye.
By Genius' most divine excess, 460

Fixed in the Vision of Virginity :
And though at times her pulse began
With new imaginings to stir.
As if a flood of music ran
Warm through the enthusiast worshipper^
She there remained before the shrine^.
To offer to the Power Divine^



JULIA ALPINULA,


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