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ETHICAL SONNETS.

1.

THE SPRING AND THE BROOK.

It may be that the Poet is as a Spring,
That, from the deep of being, pulsing forth,
Proffers the hot and thirsty sons of earth
Refreshment unbestow'd by sage or king.
Still is he but an utterance-a lone thing-
Sad-hearted in his very voice of mirth,—
Too often shivering in the thankless dearth
Of those affections he the best can sing.
But thou, O lively Brook! whose fruitful way
Brings with it mirror'd smiles, and green, and flowers-
Child of all scenes, companion of all hours,
Taking the simple cheer of every day,
How little is to thee, thou happy Mind,
That solitary parent Spring behind !

2.

GOOD INTENTIONS.

Fair thoughts of good, and fantasies as fair!
Why is it your content to dwell confined
In the dark cave of meditative mind,
Nor show your forms and colours otherwhere?
Why taste ye not the beautiful free air
Of life and action ? If the wintry wind
Rages sometimes, must noble growth be pined,
And fresh extravagant boughs lopt off with care?
Behold the budding and the flowering flowers,
That die, and in their seed have life anew;
Oh! if the promptings of our better hours
With vegetative virtue sprung and grew,
They would fill up the room of living Time,
And leave the world small space to nourish weeds of crime.

3.

GRAVE TEMPERAMENTS.

To live for present life, and feel no crime
To see in life a merry-morrice craft,
Where he has done the best who most has laugh'd,
Is Youth's fit heaven, nor thus the less sublime:
But not to all men in their best of prime,
Is given by Nature this miraculous draught
Of inward happiness, which, hourly quaff'd,
Seems to the reveller deep beyond all time.
Therefore encumber not the sad young heart
With exhortations to impossible joy,
And charges of morose and thankless mood;
For there is working in that girl or boy
A power which will and must remain apart-
Only by Love approach'd and understood.

4.

ACTION AND THOUGHT.

THERE is a world where struggle and stern toil
Are all the nurture of the soul of man-
Ordain'd to raise, from life's ungrateful soil,
Pain as he must and pleasure as he can.
Then to that other world of thought from this
Turns the sad soul, all hopeful of repose ;
But round in weirdest metamorphosis,
False shapes and true, divine and devilish, close.
Above these two, and resting upon each
A meditative and compassionate eye,
Broodeth the Spirit of God: thence evermore,
On those poor wanderers cast from shore to shore,
Falleth a voice, omnipotent to teach
Them that will hear Despair not! it is I."

5.

PRAYER.

22

In reverence will we speak of those that woo
The ear Divine with clear and ready prayer ;
And, while their voices cleave the Sabbath air,
Know their bright thoughts are winging heavenward too.
Yet many a one-" the latchet of whose shoe”
These might not loose—will often only dare
Say some poor words between him and despair-
" Father, forgive! we know not what we do.”
For, as Christ pray'd, so echoes our weak heart,
Yearning the ways of God to vindicate;
But worn and wilder'd by the shows of fate,
Of good oppress'd and beautiful defiled,
Dim alien force, that draws or holds apart
From its dear home that wandering spirit-child.

6.

LESSON TO POETS.

Try not, or murmur not if tried in vain,
In fair rememberable words to set
Each scene or presence of especial gain,
As hoarded gems in precious cabinet.
Simply enjoy the present loveliness ;
Let it become a portion of your being ;
Close your glad gaze, but see it none the less,
No clearer with your eye, than spirit, seeing.
And, when you part at last, turn once again,
Swearing that beauty shall be unforgot:
So in far sorrows it shall ease your pain,
In distant struggles it shall calm your strife,
And in your further and serener life,
Who says that it shall be remember'd not?

R. M. MILNES.

PROPOSED GALLERIES FOR PICTURES AND STATUES AT THE UNIVERSITY

OF OXFORD.

We rejoice greatly that the Uni. ably to this sum, and to be able to versity of Oxford will, in the course erect galleries which shall not be disof the year, probably in the spring, creditable to them. It is contemplacommence building a Picture and a ted, therefore, that the two buildings Statue Gallery. We sincerely con. --that to arise from Sir R. Taylor's gratulate the lovers of art and of liter- bequest, and the gallery-should be ature, and indeed we may say all combined in external appearance, ranks of the community, upon this though totally distinct in their interoccasion, persuaded as we are that a nal arrangement, and supported by deep study of the fine arts will engen- distinct funds. It is said that Sir R. der a taste which has been long want Smirke has given the preference to ed, and which must tend to make every the plan of Mr Cockerell, and that it is other study more effectual. But be in the Italian Palladian style. fore we enlarge upon the advantages, As the buildings are pot yet comlet us lay before the public some slight menced, we venture to throw out one statement of the plan proposed. or two remarks, which may practically

After much trouble, the University be found useful. That external aphas succeeded in obtaining, after M. pearance is of great importance, we A. Taylor's death, the wreck of Sir R. would by no means deny ; but in galTaylor's fortune bequeathed to it, sube leries that have been erected, the purject to the life-interest of M. A. Taylor. pose of their erection seems to have This legacy amounts to about £63,000 been forgotten in attempts to make three per cent consols; and the pur fine exteriors, which attempts have poses specified by the donor, who was nevertheless woefully failed. The an architect, are, in the first place, to great object should be unquestionably erect an edifice within the precincts of the entire fitness of the galleries for the University with the proceeds, (i.e. the exhibition of pictures and statues. the interest thereof ;) and afterwards, We will therefore begin with the picwith the same interest, to pay teach- ture-gallery, and state its 'requisites. ers or professors of some European And here it will be manifest at the languages. The first object will ab- first, that as pictures vary in size and sorb all the proceeds for some years to character, they must require to be

This is the whole case, as far seen at different distances and lights ; as Sir R. Taylor's benefaction is con and that therefore one gallery will not cerned, excepting that a purchase has suffice. For however the eye may be been made for the site of the edifice. gratified by the long range and general But this bequest and purchase is con display, this of itself may be said to be nected with picture and statue gal. but one picture, to which it is absurd leries in the following manner :- The to sacrifice the rest. We would, if University have purchased ground possible, have for every picture of spacious enough to embrace an ob- great value and of striking interest, ject long entertained, viz. statue and but one room; this may not be very picture galleries, and have advertised practicable, but still a building may be for plans embracing both objects. We judiciously erected with this view. understand that the plans sent in have One'great advantage in single rooms been submitted to Sir R. Smirke, that is the capability they afford of adaptis, five out of the number; set apart by ing the light to the picture, and of a committee of gentlemen. About the even toning it. To those who are year 1790, a Dr Randolph left £1000, only accustomed to see filled galleries to accumulate in order to aid the Uni or private rooms, the effect of a good versity in building a picture-gallery; picture transferred to a single room, and this benefaction, which has in- and its peculiar light and position, creased to about L.5000, constitutes would be quite magical. A picture the immediate occasion for the addi- probably never looks so well as upon tional purchase. The University, we the painter's easel. He has chosen are'glad to hear, hope, from the sources his light, subdues or modifies it to his within their control, to add consider

purpose, and has placed his picture

come.

where his eye can best direct his hand. him much of his capability of receiving Now, if this be so, it must be that we pleasure, and therefore his true judgshould study and imitate this art of ment and relish. And besides this, the painter; we say art, for with him the eye is subjected to a light to which it is an art. We have some old pic. it is by no means accustomed. When tures of painters' rooms of Ostade, it sees objects upon a level with it, it we remember, and others, and it is is under the softening shelter of the curious to note their management of brow, the eyelids, and the delicate the light. Artists now attend to the sieve-like curtain of the eyelashes ; same thing. They do not allow cross and when it is forced to look upand distracting lights; and we believe wards, especially for a continuance, the old masters painted in very low it receives a shock and a painful sen. lights, (we mean not in position, for sation which the mind may unreason. they were from above,) reduced even ably refer to the object surveyed as by blinds. Their finest works were for the cause. We would therefore lay churches and chapels, and to be seen it down as a general rule, that pictures in that “dim religious light;" and not should be hung rather below than only on this account were they painted above the eye. It will be said that in such, but because by this manager many fine works are too large so to ment a greater power was acquired, a be treated, and that many have been greater strength in the lights and painted expressly for high positions, shades to bring them out; and it will even cielings and cupolas. As to the be observable, that the Italian schools first objection, we would rather have particularly are actually more seen the spectator raised than the picture; in reduced than in strong lights. as to the latter, it is and has been

We think there is a great error in the great defect, and consequence of the modern views of this matter. The degrading art to the merely ornaobject of making rooms as light as mental, by which pictures became possible, is neither advantageous to mere accessories, adjuncts, and not pictures, nor agreeable nor conducive the principal objects. Let us take, to that repose which the eye requires for example, the large Sebastian del for pleasurable continuance in Piombo in the National Gallery. Is

If these observations are just, it not evident that that picture cannot the management of light, and power be justly seen ?—the horizontal line of of varying it, must be of great import the picture being one, and that of the ance; and it will likewise follow that spectator's eye another. Could that an appropriate management can only picture be brought down, and the be perfectly attained, for pictures of spectator be upon a platform, so that the highest value especially, in single his eye should be on the horizontal

The size and proportions of line in the picture, we are quite persuch rooms will likewise be a subject suaded that the effect would be wonof much consideration. There is derfully heightened, and the whole an old practice, likewise to be avoid- picture more immediately taken in, ed—the hanging one picture above comprehended in one view, than it another; sometimes, indeed, we see can possibly be in its present or inthem three or four deep, in which deed any other position. And then, case they all suffer. We maintain as we before observed, could it have that no picture is seen to advantage a managed and subdued light, so when the spectator is obliged to that no raw rays should bodily instrain his neck into a most uncom terpose between the eye and the picfortable position to look at it: the ture, the grand and solemn awfulness looking at a picture is, or should be, of the picture would be, as it should a continuous action, not like the survey be, of the miraculous. of a building, in which case the eye In the examination of the architect without fatigue changes, and at a mo of the New National Gallery before ment receives the impression, and the Committee of the House of Compasses on.

To place the spectator in mons, we remember it was stated an uncomfortable position, is injudi- what space a picture should be raised cious, and not only indisposes him to above the floor, and what space

should that calm and constant survey which terminate it below the cieling. This the work requires; but by making him we considered absurd, and not the reuncomfortable in himself, removes from sult of any rule. As much as may

a

room.

rooms.

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