Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hamburg, May 6, 1758. : ....My heart is very able to esteem the favour, that So you, my dear Sir, in your venerable age, are so conde

scending good, to answer so soon the letters of an un

known young woman, who has no other merit than a * heart full of friendship-and of all those sentiments

which a reasonable soul must feel for you, Sir, though

at so many miles of distance. It is a great joyful thought, - that friendship can extend herself so far, and that friend:- ship has no need of seeing, though this seeing would be

celestial joy to hearts like ours (shall I be so proud as to say ours!) and what will it be, when so many real good souls, knowing or not knowing in this world, will

see another in the future, and be then friends! bet It will be a delightful occupation for me, to make s you more acquainted with my husband's poem. No:

body can do it better than I, being the person who knows the most of that which is not yet published;

being always present at the birth of the young verses, & which being always by fragments here and there, of a

subject of which his soul is just then filled. He has

many great fragments of the whole work ready. You i may think that persons who love as we, have no need

of two chambers; we are always in the same. I, with my little work, still, still, only regarding my husband's sweet face, which is so venerable at that time, with tears of devotion and all the sublimity of the subject. My husband reading me his young verses and suffering my criticisms. Ten books are published, which I think probably the middle of the whole. I will, as soon as I can, translate you the arguments of these ten books, and what besides I think of them. The verses of the poem are without rhymes, and are hexameters, which sort of, verses my husband has been the first to introduce in our language; we being still closely attached to rhymes and iambics....

......I am very glad, Sir, that you will take my English as it is. I knew very well that it may, not always be English, but I thought for you it was intelligible: my husband asked, as I was writing my first letter, if I would not write French. No, said I, I will not write in that pretty but fude language to Mr. Richardson, (though so polite, so cultivated, and no longer fade in the mouth of a Bossuet). As far as I know, neither we, nor you, nor the Italians have the word fade. How have the French found this characteristic word for their nation? Our German tongue, which only begins to be cultivated, has much more conformity with the English than the French.

I wish, Sir, I could fulfil your request of bringing you acquainted with so many good people as you think of. Though I love my friends dearly; and though they are good, I have, however, much to pardon, except in the single Klopstock alone. He is good, really good, good at the bottom in all his actions, in all the foldings of his heart. I know him; and sometimes I think, if we knew others in the same manner, the better we şhould find them. For it may be that an action displeases us which would please us, if we knew its true aim and whole extent. No one of my friends is so happy as I am; but no one has had the courage to marry as I did. They have married-as people marry; and they are happy, as people are happy....

How long a letter is this again! but I can write no short ones to you....

Hamburg, August 26, 1758. ....Have not you guessed that I, summing up all my happinesses, and not speaking of children, had none? Yes, Şir, this has been my only wish ungratified for four years. I have been, more than once, unhappy with disappointments: but yet, thanks to God! I am in full hopes to be mother in the month of November.

.... I am still in Hamburg, for properly we dwell in Copenhagen. I not being able to travel, my husband has been obliged to make a little voyage alone to Copenhagen, He is yet absent-a cloud over my happiness! But he will soon return.....But what does that help? he is equally absent! We write to each other every post...But what are letters to presence? But I will speak no more of this cloud; I will only tell my happiness! But I cannot tell how I rejoice! A son of my dear Klopstock! Oh, when shall I have him! It is long since that I have made the remark that geniuses do not engender geniuses. But a daughter or a son, only with a good heart, without genius, I will nevertheless love dearly.... ..... You will think that I shall be not a mother only, but à nurse also; though the latter (thank God! that the former is not so too) is quite against fashion and good breeding, and though nobody can think it possible to be always with the child at home*.

* Mrs. Klopstock is buried near Hamburg, and an epitaph in versę, of twenty lines, composed by her husband, is inscribed on her tomb, Mr. Klopstock never married again, till, in his old age, a few years before his death, he had the ceremony performed between himself and a kinswoman, who lived with him,

Original

. FOR THE FLOWERS OF LITERATURE.

Original Poetry. CONTINUATION OF COLLIN'S "ODE TO EVENING*

“ The mind untuned for joy!"
And, even Woe, thy pensive “influence, owns,"
Mixt with the rippling of the oozing cave;

While from the threat’ning rock
The boding raven croaks:

Or, when the maniac hears the owls' dire shriek,
The fragrance of the vale and fairy tones,

Ah, solemn maid! in vain
Thy hushing zephyrs bear.

in order to entitle her, as his widow, to the pensions he enjoyed from different courts: Klopstock died on the 28th of March, 1803. The remains of this sublime poet were solemnly interred at Ottensen, a village adjoining Altona, in the grave of his first wife, who had been buried there thirty years ago. The funeral was attended by the senate of Hamburgh, and many of the foreign ministers and most distinguished inhabitants of that city, a selection of sacred music taken from the poet's own works, and composed by the greatest masters, was performed on the occasion, the vocal parts entirely executed by upwards of eighty young ladies of the first families of Hamburgh and Al. tona. Innumerable crowds of spectators showed the interest they took in this last tribute to this most distinguished orna. ment of their country. The weather was highly favourable, and the sun, which the deceased had sung in immortal strains, shone serene and cheerful on his coffin,

* We have been favoured with the following pathetic effu. sions by Mr. Thomas White, master of the mathematical school at Dumfries, whose Martial Odes, &c. graced several pages of our last volume.

Save visions drear, what marks the unattund,
When village bells proclaim the dying hour;

Be it when winter howls,
Or summer's tribes buzz round:

Nor aught, grave Eve! avail thy soften'd scenes,
If Melancholy shall perchance bear sway; "

The heart thy coming hails,
And deepens still its woe:

While on the sunken tomb and letter'd floor,
Still shifting yew-shades trembling melt in gloom,

As o'er the moon the breeze.
Drifts wild the sable clouds;

And from the ruin'd aisle and yawning vault,'.
The varying voice of horror whispering creeps,

Oft as the neighb'ring grove
With awful'rustling waves: ' .

Or, on the promontory's shaggy verge,
Hung o'er the ceaseless boiling pool below,

While from the beetling cliff
Collected torrents pour.

. If hideous spectre glare, and paly gleams Flash round and frequent on the frenzied eye!

Lost are thy charms, 0 Eve! ..

Upon the maddening soul. Yet, “gentle Evening mild!” sweet is thy power, · When peace and feeling meet; thy sombrous sounds

In cooling breezes borne,
With all thy soothing train.

« PreviousContinue »