Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810
by Edward Ziegler Davis
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New Amer. Mag., No. XI-283, Nov. 1758, Woodbridge in N. J.

[Footnote 38: This alludes to the new order instituted by his Prussian Majesty, the badge of which is a gold medal with this inscription, For Merit.]

[Footnote 39: This alludes to the king's allowing liberty to the tall soldiers his father forced into his service.]


Voltaire, believe me, were I now In private life's calm station plac'd, Yet heav'n for nature's wants allow, With cold indifference would I view Departing fortune's winged haste, And at the goddess laugh like you. Th' insipid farce of tedious state, Imperial duty's real weight, The faithless courtier's supple bow, The fickle multitude's caress, And flatt'rers wordy emptiness, By long experience well I know; And, tho' a prince and poet born, Vain blandishments of glory scorn. For when the ruthless sheers of fate Have cut my life's precarious thread, And rank me with th' unconscious dead, What will't avail that I was great, Or that th' uncertain tongue of fame In mem'ry's temple chants my name? One blissful moment whilst we live Weighs more than ages of renown; What then do potentates receive Of good peculiarly their own? Sweet ease, and unaffected joy, Domestic peace, and sportive pleasure, The regal throne and palace fly, And, born for liberty, prefer Soft silent scenes of lovely leisure To what we monarchs buy so dear, The thorny pomp of scepter'd care. My pain or bliss shall ne'er depend On fickle fortune's casual flight, For, whether she's my foe or friend, In calm repose I'll pass the night; And ne'er by watchful homage own I court her smile, nor fear her frown. But from our stations we derive Unerring precepts how to live, And certain deeds each rank calls forth By which is measur'd human worth. Voltaire, within his private cell, In realms where ancient honesty Is patrimonial property, And sacred freedom loves to dwell, May give up all his peaceful mind, Guided by Plato's deathless page, In silent solitude resigned To the mild virtues of a sage; But I 'gainst whom wild whirlwinds wage Fierce war with wreck-denouncing wing, Must be to face the tempest's rage, In thought, in life, in death a king.

New Amer. Mag., No. XVII-470, May 1759, Woodbridge in N. J.


Fire, water, woman, are man's ruin Says wise Professor Vander Bruein By flames a house I hir'd was lost Last year; and I must pay the cost. This spring the rains o'erflow'd my ground; And my best Flanders mare was drown'd. A slave I am to Clara's eyes: The gipsy knows her power and flies. Fire, water, woman, are my ruin: And great thy wisdom Vander Bruein.

Boston Mag., III-81, Feb. 1786, Boston.

ODE TO DEATH By Frederick II, King of Prussia. From the French, by Dr. Hawkesworth.

Yet a few years or days perhaps, Or moments pass with silent lapse, And time to me shall be no more; No more the sun these eyes shall view, Earth o'er these limbs her dust shall strew, And life's fantastick dream be o'er.

Alas! I touch the dreadful brink, From nature's verge impell'd I sink, And endless darkness wraps me round! Yes, Death, is ever at my hand, Fast by my bed he takes his stand, And constant at my board is found.

Earth, air and fire, and water join Against this fleeting life of mine, And where for succour can I fly? If art with flattering wiles pretend To shield me like a guardian friend, By Art, ere Nature bids, I die.

I see this tyrant of the mind, This idol Flesh to dust consigned, Once call'd from dust by power divine: Its features change, 'tis pale, 'tis cold— Hence dreadful spectre! to behold Thy aspect, is to make it mine.

And can I then with guilty pride, Which fear nor shame can quell or hide, This flesh still pamper and adorn? Thus viewing what I soon shall be, Can what I am demand the knee, Or look on aught around with scorn?

But then this spark that warms, that guides, That lives, that thinks, what fate betides? Can this be dust, a kneaded clod! This yield to death! the soul, the mind, That measures heaven, and mounts the wind, That knows at once itself and God?

Great Cause of all, above, below, Who knows thee must forever know, Immortal and divine! Thy image on my soul imprest, Of endless being is the test, And bids Eternity be mine.

Transporting thought!—but I am sure That endless life will joy secure? Joys only to the just decreed! The guilty wretch expiring goes, Where vengeance endless life bestows, That endless mis'ry may succeed.

Great God, how awful is the scene! A breath, a transient breath between; And can I jest, and laugh and play? To earth, alas! too firmly bound, Trees, deeply rooted in the ground, Are shiver'd when they're torn away.

Vain joys, which envy'd greatness gains, How do ye bind with silken claims, Which ask Herculean strength to break! How with new terrours have ye arm'd The power whose slightest glance alarm'd! How many deaths of one ye make!

Yet, dumb with wonder, I behold Man's thoughtless race in errour bold, Forget or scorn, the laws of death; With these no projects coincide, Nor vows nor toils, nor hopes they guide, Each thinks he draws immortal breath.

Each blind to fate's approaching hour, Intrigues, or fights for wealth or power, And slumb'ring dangers dare provoke: And he who tott'ring scarce sustains A century's age, plans future gains, And feels an unexpected stroke.

Go on, unbridled desp'rate band, Scorn rocks, gulfs, winds, search sea and land, And spoil new worlds wherever found. Seize, haste to seize the glittering prize, And sighs, and tears and prayers despise, Nor spare the temple's holy ground.

They go, succeed, but look again, The desperate hand you seek in vain, Now trod in dust the peasant's scorn. But who, that saw their treasures swell, That heard th' insatiate rebel, Would e'er have thought them mortal born?

See the world's victor mount his car, Blood marks his progress wide and far, Sure he shall reign while ages fly; No, vanish'd like a morning cloud, The hero was but just allow'd To fight, to conquer, and to die.

And is it true, I ask with dread, That nations heap'd on nations bled Beneath his chariot's fervid wheel, With trophies to adorn the spot, Where his pale corse was left to rot, And doom'd the hungry reptile's meal?

Yes, fortune weary'd with her play, Her toy, this hero, casts away, And scarce the form of man is seen: Awe chills my breast, my eyes o'erflow, Around my brows no roses glow, The cypress mine, funereal green.

Yet in this hour of grief and fears, When awful Truth unveil'd appears, Some power unknown usurps my breast; Back to the world my thoughts are led, My feet in folly's labyrinth tread, And Fancy dreams that life is blest.

How weak an empress is the mind, Whom Pleasure's flowery wreaths can bind, And captive to her altars lead! Weak Reason yields to Frenzy's rage, And all the world is Folly's stage, And all that act are fools indeed.

And yet this strange and sudden flight, From gloomy cares to gay delight, This fickleness so light and vain, In life's delusive transient dream, Where men nor things are what they seem, Is all the real good we gain.

New Haven Gaz. and Conn. Mag., I-339, Dec. 7, 1786, New Haven.

NARCISSA [A poem, the third stanza of which is as follows:]

Perhaps, like Werter[40], pensive in the shade, I mourn in vain, and curse relentless fate Or while I love the sympathetic maid, Adversity's black clouds around me wait.

Columbian Mag. or Mo. Misc., I-245, Jan. 1787, Phila.

[Footnote 40: An unfortunate lover.]


Why, Werter, dost thou leave me so? I wander through the gloom: And with the tears of silent woe, Each night bedew thy tomb.

Why, Werter, dost thou leave me so? Thy friends, thy kindred flee? Dost thou no longer Charlotte know? Have friends no charms for thee?

Why, Werter, dost thou leave me so, All lonely, full of fears? Behold thy friends are left to woe, And Charlotte left in tears.

Why, Werter, dost thou leave me so, To wander round thy tomb? Alas! presentiments of woe Foretold thy fatal doom.

Why Werter didst thou leave me so, In terrible despair? Those pistols did thy fate foreknow: Ah! why was Charlotte there!

Why, Werter, didst thou leave me so? Alas! thou wrong'dst my love, To leave me weeping here below, While thou art blest above.

Werter, thou shalt not leave me so: We must not parted be: I quit the world—to heav'n I go! Werter, I fly to thee.

Amer. Museum, I-180, Feb. 1787, Phila.



And say, did Charlotte's hand these pistols give? Come, ye dear pledges, sacred to my love— Since giv'n by her, 'twould be a crime to live— No; come ye pistols; all your death I prove.


But first one kiss, for there did Charlotte touch, Ye sacred relics, now are ye most dear; Tho' o'er your deeds will Charlotte sorrow much, And even Albert drop a pitying tear.


May heav'n forgive the unconsider'd deed! It gave me passions, nor could I controul: But if, poor Werter, 'tis a crime to bleed, The God of heav'n have mercy on thy soul.


Charlotte I go!—my pistols have their load: My last, my dying thoughts are fix'd on you! I go! I go thro' death's untrodden road; Once, and for ever, Charlotte—Oh! adieu!

Amer. Museum, I-474, May 1787, Phila.



Stranger! whoe'er thou art, that from below This grass-green hill, with steady steps dost press; Shed sympathetic tears; for stranger know, Here lies the son of sorrow and distress.


Although his soul with ev'ry virtue mov'd, Tho' at his birth deceitful fortune smil'd, In one sad hour, too fatally he lov'd; False fortune frown'd, and he was sorrow's child.


Heav'n gave him passions, as she virtue gave, But gave not pow'r those passions to suppress: By them subdu'd he slumbers in the grave— The soul's last refuge from terrene distress.


Around his tomb, the sweetest grass shall spring; And annual flowers shall ever blossom here; Here fairy forms their loveliest gifts shall bring, And passing strangers shed the pitying tear.

Amer. Museum, I-474, May 1787, Phila.

[Dr. Ladd, Werter's Epitaph.]


New Haven Gaz. and Conn. Mag., III-No. 21, May 29, 1788, New Haven.

[Thomas Gray, Poems. Publ. by Dodsley—London, July 1768. Publ. by Foulis—Glasgow, Sept. 1768.

Both editions contain the Descent of Odin. "The poem was written at Cambridge in 1761. It is a paraphrase of the ancient Icelandic lay called Vegtams Kvida, and sometimes Baldrs draumar. The original is to be found in Bartholinus, de causis contemnendae mortis; Hafniae, 1689, quarto. Gray has omitted to translate the first four lines." Cf. Works of Thomas Gray, ed. by Edmund Gosse. N. Y., 1885. I-60.]


Still on those plains their num'rous race survive, And, born to labour, still are found to thrive; Through rain and sunshine, toiling for their heirs, They hold no nation on this earth like theirs. Where'er they fix, all nature smiles around— Groves bend with fruit, and plenty clothes the ground; No barren trees to shade their domes, are seen; Trees must be fertile, and their dwellings clean; No idle fancy dares its whims apply, Or hope attention from the master's eye. All tends to something that must pelf produce, All for some end, and ev'ry thing its use. Eternal scow'rings keep their floors afloat, Neat as the outside of the Sunday coat. The wheel, the loom, the female band employ,— These all their pleasure, these their darling joy. The strong-ribb'd lass no idle passions move, No nice ideas of romantic love; He to her heart the readiest path can find, Who comes with gold, and courts her to be kind. She heeds not valour, learning, wit, or birth, Minds not the swain—but asks him, what he's worth? No female fears in her firm breast prevail, The helm she governs, and she trims the sail; In some small barque the way to market finds, Hauls aft the sheet, or veers it to the winds: While, lac'd ahead, subservient to her will, Hans smokes his pipe, and wonders at her skill. Health to their toils—thus may they still go on— Curse on my pen! what virtues have I drawn! Is this the gen'ral taste? No—truth replies— If fond of beauty, guiltless of disguise, See (where the social circle meant to grace) The handsome Yorker shades her lovely face; She, early led to happier talks at home, Prefers the labours that her sex become; Remote from view, directs some fav'rite art, And leaves to hardier man the ruder part.

Amer. Museum, VII, Jan.-June 1790, Appendix I-42, Phila.


Mistaken youth! thy love, to frenzy wrought, Spurn'd calm reflection and each sober thought. A little time had shewn e'en Charlotte's charms Had shrunk and faded in a Werter's arms: For guilt and meanness ne'er could dwell with thee; And virtuous friendship soon had set thee free. But hadst thou triumph'd o'er the fair one's fall, Thou then, as now, hadst met the fatal ball; Still keener anguish had attack'd thy mind Than e'en now dying thy stung soul did find. None dare say Mercy wont extend its aid; } But who of that would not have been afraid, } If with a kiss thou Charlotte hadst betray'd. }


Universal Asylum and Columbian Mag., V-269, Oct. 1790, Phila.

WERTER'S EPITAPH By the late Dr. Ladd.

Mass. Mag., III-114, Feb. 1791, Boston.

[Also in Amer. Museum, I-474, May 1787, Phila.]


History says that Sivard, King of Sweden, entered Norway with a numerous army, and committed the greatest enormities; but was at last overthrown, his army routed, and himself slain by one of those women whom he had brutally abused.

Between Norwegian hills wide spreads a plain, By nature form'd for sport; The Vet'ran warrior here, and hardy swain, To annual games resort.

High o'er their heads was hung the hoary brow, Which cast an ample shade; From thence these words majestic seem'd to flow— "Fierce foes your sports invade!"

They upward gaze—a warrior struck their sight; He bore aloft his lance, All sheath'd in arms, unsufferably bright, Where beamy splendors dance.

The western sun-beam round his helmit flies, He more than man appears; And more than mortal seem'd to sound the voice That rang upon their ears.

"Ye sons of Norway! harken to my tale, "Your rural games oh cease; "Sivard is marching thro' Dulvellon's vale, "Break off the sports of peace!

"The bloody Sivard leads his conqu'ring Swedes, "He riots in our shame; "The man, the matron, and the infant bleeds— "Norway is but a name!

"The husband sees—curse on the tyrant's lust— "He sees his beauteous bride— "Her virtue, worth, and honor in the dust— "Oh where is Norway's pride!

"Rouse! rouse Norwegians! take your arms amain, "Let helms o'ershade each brow; "Let's meet these Swedish daemons in the plain, "And lay their triumphs low.

"O had you seen what these poor eyes have seen! "'Twas Sivard done the deed— "Our hoary monarch, and our helpless queen, "I—yes, I saw them bleed.

"Their daughter Ella—no, I will not tell! "Norwegians ne'er enquire— "Ne'er hear it—what the royal maid befel; "I see your souls on fire.

"Oh seize your swords, your spears, helms, and shields! "Oh vindicate your fame! "Sivard and Sweden glare on Norway's fields; "Remember Norway's name."

He said—tears flow apace, fierce glow the swains, Rage fills each honest breast; In Swedish blood to wipe away their stains, Was ev'ry thought address'd.

Then red-hair'd Rollo, fierce advancing cri'd,— "Who'er thou art, come down, "We live on hills, to ev'ry toil we're tri'd, "And war is all our own.

"Let Sivard come, we'll meet the tyrant here: "But stranger come thou down." He came—Old Athold gaz'd with look severe;— He gaz'd—but ceas'd to frown.

"Or Athold has forgot his monarch's face, "Or sure thou art his son! "Eric, of mighty Norway's royal race!"— Full quick the tidings run.

With shouts they press to see the beauteous chief; The aged kiss his hand: On either side, fast roll'd the marks of grief, Then Athold spoke the band—

"Ye sons of Norway, to your homes repair, "There seize the sword and shield, "And ere the morning's purple streaks the air, "Meet Eric in the field.

"Oh prince! do you with aged Athold go, "And take refreshing sleep; "Athold will sing and soothe the rising woe, "Or break his harp and weep!"

'Twas night—in Athold's hall each took his place; Of other times he sung; Fast stream'd the tears adown the hero's face, And groans responsive rung.

Bright came the morn; and bright in batter'd arms, The rustic vet'rans came: And many a youth, untri'd in rough alarms, Now hop'd a patriot's name.

They heard from far the hum of Sivard's host; Young Eric struck his shield; Then high in air his heavy spear he tost, And blaz'd along the field.

Next aged Athold follow'd; Rollo strong; Black Calmar lifts his mace; Culullin, Marco, Streno, rush along, And all the rugged race.

Fierce came the Swede;—in strength of numbers proud; He scorn'd his feeble foe; But soon the voice of battle roar'd aloud, And many a Swede lay low.

Strong Rollo struck the tow'ring Olaus dead, Full fifteen bleed beside: Old Athold cleft the brave Adolphus head, In all his youthful pride.

But Eric! Eric! rang'd the field around, On Sivard still he cri'd; The gasping Swedes lay heap'd upon the ground— Sivard! the hills repli'd.

In fury Sivard seiz'd his shining shield, His mail, his helm, and spear; He mounts his car, and thunders o'er the field; Now Norway knows no fear.

Great Rollo falls beneath his dreadful arm, His steeds are stain'd with blood; Young Eric smil'd to hear the loud alarm, And flew to stop the flood.

He rag'd, he foam'd—fierce flew the thirsty spear, Down fell the foremost steed: Astonish'd Sivard felt unusual fear, "Tyrant thou'rt doom'd to bleed!"

Up sprang the youth—deep fell the sword, Sunk in the tyrant's brow: Fast fly the Swedes, and leave their hated lord, His mighty pride laid low.

Now Norway's sons their great deliv'rer hail, But lo! he bleeds! he falls! Old Athold strips the helm and beamy mail, And on his Gods he calls.

He lifts the helm, and down the snowy neck Fast falls the silky hair— And could those limbs, the conq'ring Sivard check! Oh pow'r of great despair!

Life ebbs apace—she lifts her languid head, She strives her hand to wave; Confess to all, the beauteous Ella said— "Thanks, thanks companions brave:

"Freedom rewards you—naught can Ella give, "Low, low poor Ella lies; "Sivard is dead! and Ella wou'd not live." She bleeds—she faints—she dies!

N. Y. Mag. or Lit. Repos., II-235, Apr. 1791, N. Y.


Where cliffs arise by Winter crown'd, And through dark groves of pine around, Down the deep chasms, the snowed torrents foam, Within some hollow, shelter'd from the storms, The PEASANT of the ALPS his cottage forms, And builds his humble, happy home.

Unenvied is the rich domain, That far beneath him on the plain, Waves its wide harvests and its olive groves; More dear to him his hut, with plantain thatch'd, Where long his unambitious heart attach'd, Finds all he wishes, all he loves.

There dwells the mistress of his heart, And Love who teaches ev'ry art, Has bid him dress the spot with fondest care; When borrowing from the vale its fertile soil, He climbs the precipice with patient toil, To plant her fav'rite flow'rets there.

With native shrubs, a hardy race, There the green myrtle finds a place, And roses there, the dewy leaves decline; While from the crags' abrupt and tangled steeps, With bloom and fruit the Alpine berry peeps, And, blushing, mingles with the vine.

His garden's simple produce stor'd, Prepared for him by hands ador'd Is all the little luxury he knows: And by the same dear hands are softly spread, The Chamois' velvet spoil that forms the bed, Where in her arms he finds repose.

But absent from the calm abode Dark thunder gathers round his road, Wild raves the wind, the arrowy light'nings flash, Returning quick the murmuring rocks among, His faint heart trembling as he winds along; Alarm'd he listens to the crash.

Of rifted ice!—Oh, man of woe! O'er his dear cot—a mass of snow, By the storm sever'd from the cliff above, Has fall'n—and buried in its marble breast, All that for him—lost wretch—the world possest, His home, his happiness, his love!

Aghast the heartstruck mourner stands! Glaz'd are his eyes—convuls'd his hands, O'erwhelming anguish checks his labouring breath; Crush'd by Despair's intolerable weight, Frantic he seeks the mountain's giddiest height, And headlong seeks relief in death.

A fate too similar is mine, But I—in ling'ring pain repine, And still my last felicity deplore; Cold, cold to me is that dear breast become, Where this poor heart had fondly fix'd its home, And love and happiness are mine no more.

N. Y. Mag., or Lit. Repos., III-443, July 1792, N. Y.


Lady's Mag. and Repos., I-97, Jan. 1793, Phila.

[Also in N. Y. Mag. or Lit. Repos., II-235, Apr. 1791, N. Y.]


* * * * *

But to return to our Alps. Here, savage rocks of an inaccessible height; there, torrents bursting, as it were, from the clouds, and rolling down the rugged precipices:

The gay train, Of fog, thick roll'd into romantic shape,

may, perhaps, excite your wonder, but not exceed the compass of your imagination. But how shall I convey to you an idea of the ever-varying and accidental beauties of this majestic scenery! Sometimes the vapour-winged tempest, flitting along some lonely vale, embrowns it with a solemn shade, whilst every thing around glitters in the fullness of meridian splendour. On a sudden, all is dark and gloomy; the thunder rolls from rock to rock, till echo seems tired with the dreadful repetition: add to this, the gradual approach of the evening, the last gleam of sunshine fading on the mountain-brow, the lingering twilight still warding off the veil of night, till the rising moon just continues, in vision, a glimmering of its faded glories:

Now all's at rest—and ere the wearied swain Rise to his labour on the upland lawn, Shall not the muse from nature catch a strain, To wake, and greet him at the morning dawn?

Oh! let her tell him that the feeling heart, Oft to the mountain side by memory led, Shall seek those blessings wealth can ne'er impart, And wish to share the quiet of his shed:

Where ev'ry sordid passion lull'd to rest, Man knows each gift of nature how to prize: Flies from the storm unto his fair one's breast, And there reposing waits serener skies.

Say, ye proud sons of fortune and of power, Can aught the joys you feel, with these compare? Can the full triumph of ambition's hour, When tempests threaten, sooth your anxious care?

Or shall the tenant of yon lonely cot, That smiles with pity on your pageant state, Pleas'd with his poor but independent lot, Expose the wretchedness of being great?

Unknown to you, the houseless child of woe, The friendless pilgrim, or the hungry poor; Unleft the good ye carelessly bestow, The hand that feeds them, drives them from your door.

Here cruel charity no off'ring makes, That whilst it aids, insults the big distress, The heart that welcomes, ev'ry grief partakes, And only pities where it can't redress.

Such are the scenes, my dear Lord, such the hospitality I am now going to quit. I know not why I wished to jingle their virtues into rhyme, unless it was, that my prose began to run upon stilts, or that I mistook a momentary enthusiasm for a poetical inspiration. In fact, every thought and conception is so far raised above the common train of ideas, that the error is excusable, especially too when the imaginary poet sets out with

Sublimi seriens sidera vertice.

* * * * *

Adieu, Ever your's.

Lady's Mag. and Repos., I-253, May 1793, Phila.


Weekly Museum, VII, Mar. 14, 1795, N. Y.

[Also in Boston Mag., III-81, Feb. 1786, Boston.]


Phila. Minerva, I, May 16, 1795, Phila.

[Also in Boston Mag., III-81, Feb. 1786, Boston.]


Rural Mag. or Vt. Repos., I-494, Oct. 1795, Rutland.

[Same as The Relaxation of War in Amer. Mag. or Mo. Chron., I-440, June 1758, Phila.]

For the Weekly Museum. THE GOTHIC CASTLE.

"The Days of Chivalry are gone." Burke's Letter on the French Revolution.

See! now the landscape fades away, As westward flies the orb of day: See the solemn night appear, With silence her sedate compeer.

Hark! the surgy shore resounds, As from the rocks the wave rebounds: Rocks, on whose o'er-hanging brows, The ragged surf-fed samphire grows.

Lo! the beacon's distant rays O'er the waste of water plays, Friendly to the port-bound bark, On his watch, the seaman's mark.

Mark! yon dreary Gothic pile, —Where murder oft did glut and smile,— Dungeons dire of vanquish'd hosts, —Hark! the screams of wandering ghosts!—

Now a double gloom is spread O'er each turret's murky head, While from th' Owlet's dismal cry Intruding joys affrighted fly.

Ye vengeful walls for ruin built! Scenes accurs'd of hell-born guilt! Direful were your fierce alarms— Hist! the sentry calls—"To arms!"

How many barons here were slain, In coats of armour lock'd in vain!— How many feudal vassals dy'd, Ebbing here life's crimson tide!

What secret woes lay close immur'd! What anguish wretches erst endur'd! When in your sable cells confin'd Oppression's chosen victims pin'd.

How sullen stands yon rugged tow'r! Seems it not on the cot to low'r? As it looks, with proud disdain, O'er the wide-extended plain.

Here the feudal times I trace; The lordling's power—the poor's disgrace— Here while it moulders, all may see "A Monument of Chivalry."

Aug. 13, 1796. ORLANDO.

Weekly Museum, IX, Aug. 13, 1796, N. Y.


Phila. Minerva, III, Aug. 19, 1797, Phila.

[Also in N. Y. Mag. or Lit. Repos., III-443, July 1792, N. Y.]


Rural Mag., I, July 21, 1798, Newark.

[Same as The Relaxation of War in Amer. Mag. or Mo. Chron., I-440, June 1758, Phila.]


A Danish Ballad. By the Author of Alonzo the Brave.

[The poem follows.]

Since writing these stanzas, I have met with two old Scotch ballads which have some resemblance with "The Water King"; one is called "May Colvin," and relates the story of a king's daughter who was beguiled from her father's house by a false Sir John; the other, intitled "Clerk Colvil," treats of a young man who fell into the snares of a false mermaid; the latter, indeed, bears a still stranger resemblance to the Danish tradition of "The Erl-King's Daughter." The fragment of "The Water King" may be found in "Herder's Volkslieder."

Many inquiries have been made respecting the elementary monarchs mentioned a few pages back; I must inform my readers that all I know respecting the Water King (called in the German translation "Der Wasser-Mann") and the Erl-King (called in German Erlkoenig) is gathered from the foregoing ballad and two others which I shall here insert. With respect to the Fire King and the Cloud King, they are entirely of my own creation; but if my readers choose to ascribe their birth to the "Comte de Gabalis," they are very welcome.

Weekly Mag., III-92, Aug. 18, 1798, Phila.

[J. G. Herder, Der Wassermann in the Fourth Book (Nordische Lieder) of Stimmen der Voelker in Liedern. Trans. from the German.

M. G. Lewis, The Monk and Tales of Wonder. Cf. note to The Erl-King in Weekly Mag., III-93, Aug. 18, 1798.]


"Sunt lacrimae rerum; et mentem mortalia tangunt."

Virg. Ae. I-466.

The conflict's o'er—ah! lovely maid, adieu! Before these sad, these parting lines, you view; Before the fields with early dawn shall bloom, Your Werter rests beneath the silent tomb: No more to view the beauties of the day, No more to listen to thy heavenly lay, To sit, in transport, and to hear thee talk, Or with thee wander, in an ev'ning walk, Along the margin of the winding flood, Thro' the green fields, or in the shady wood. O! Charlotte! when you see the floods arise, And wintry storms descending from the skies, The wat'ry gloom that fills the plain below, And all around one dreary waste of snow; Will you not then, a sigh in sorrow heave, For the lost pleasures of a summer's eve, Recall the time when you so oft have seen Thy hapless lover on the verdant green, Or thro' the vale approaching from the grove, To view thy charms and pine in hopeless love, Gaze on thy angel form, for without she, The world appear'd a boundless blank to me. As when to seamen, from the midnight skies The moon's bright beams in brilliant glory rise, To guide them wand'ring thro' the wat'ry plain, Or land them on their native shores again; Thus, Charlotte, I no other joy could see, Than pass the vacant day, and gaze on thee, Live in thy joys, or in thy sorrows die, "And drink delicious poison from thine eye," As the lost insect round the taper flies, And courts the fatal flame by which it dies. But, Charlotte, now those fleeting joys are fled, And Werter sinks among the silent dead From the bright hopes of life forever gone, His mem'ry lost, and e'en his name unknown, The time shall come, when in the vacant mind, The fondest friend no trace of me shall find; When e'en my kindred my sad fate shall hear, And view my mould'ring grave without a tear, Think on the light impressions of the mind, Which flee as midnight dreams, and leave no trace behind. This eve I wander'd thro' each beauteous scene, Each fertile valley, and each level green, Pensive and sad I view'd the foaming flood; And the wild winds disturb the silent wood. Beheld the sun's great orb, in glory bright, Descend behind the western surge in night; While on the hill to see its beams, I stood, And view'd it sinking in the briny flood, I felt my heart with double sorrows prest, And life's last hope desert my throbbing breast; The world's vast scene forever clos'd from sight, And all involv'd in one eternal night. Ah! shall I ne'er again thy image know, In these sad realms of misery and woe, Or is there yet a place in heaven design'd, For hapless mortals by th' eternal mind, Some winding valley, or some shady grove, Some blissful mansions in the realms above, Where Charlotte's shade and mine may one day meet, Our suff'rings ended and our bliss complete, In the bright regions of eternal light, Where all is perfect joy and pure delight. When in the summer's eve you chance to stray Thro' the low vale, or on the broad highway, Or in the churchyard, thro' the shady trees, You hear the whistling of the midnight breeze, Wave high the grass, in solitary gloom, Around the heap that shews thy lover's tomb— Ah, then will you not one sad thought bestow, On him who could no greater blessing know Than pass the hour with fleeting joys with thee, Gaze on thy charms and watch thy wand'ring eye, Observe the beauteous image of thy mind, Disclose a soul for heaven alone design'd, Or view thy distant form amidst the trees, And thy white tresses floating in the breeze; Or see thy fingers strike, with tender lays, Such notes as bards in heaven alone can raise; Such notes as Orpheus' self might lean to hear, And force from Pluto's soul the melting tear. Yes, Charlotte's self, my sad remains shall see, And Charlotte's tender heart will heave a sigh for me.

Dessert to the True American, I-No. 20, Nov. 24, 1798, [Phila.].

The following burlesque on the style, in which most of the German romantic ballads are written, is replete with wit and humour; and we trust will prove amusing even to the greatest admirers of that style of writing. It is only necessary to premise that Lord Hoppergallop has left his servant maid at his country mansion, where she has fallen with the gardener.

Cold blows the blast:—the night's obscure: The mansion's crazy wainscots crack: The sun had sunk:—and all the moor, Like ev'ry other moor—was black.

Alone, pale, trembling, near the fire, The lovely Molly Dumpling sat, Much did she fear, and much admire, What Thomas, gard'ner could be at.

Listening, her hand supports her chin, But, ah! no foot is heard to stir: He comes not, from the garden, in; Nor he, nor little Bobtail cur.

They cannot come, sweet maid, to thee! Flesh, both of cur and man, is grass! And what's impossible, can't be; And never, never, comes to pass!

She paces through the hall antique, To call her Thomas from his toil; Opes the huge door;—the hinges creak,— Because the hinges wanted oil.

Thrice on the threshold of the hall, She "Thomas" cried, with many a sob; And thrice on Bobtail did she call, Exclaiming sweetly—"Bob! Bob! Bob!"

Vain maid! a gard'ners corpse, 'tis said In answers can but ill succeed; And, dogs that hear when they are dead Are very cunning dogs, indeed!

Back through the hall she bent her way, All, all was solitude around! The candle shed a feeble ray— Though a large mould of four to th' pound.

Full closely to the fire she drew; Adown her cheek a salt tear stole, When, lo! a coffin out there flew, And in her apron burnt a hole!

Spiders their busy death watch tick'd; A certain sign that fate will frown; The clumsy kitchen clock, too, click'd; A certain sign it was not down.

More strong and strong her terrors rose;— Her shadow did the maid appal;— She trembled at her lovely nose— It look'd so long against the wall.

Up to her chamber, damp and cold, She clim'd lord Hoppergallop's stair;— Three stories high, long, dull and old— As great lords' stories often are.

All Nature now appear'd to pause; And "o'er the one half world seem'd dead;" No "curtain'd sleep" had she;—because She had no curtains to her bed.

Listening she lay;—with iron din, The clock struck twelve; the door flew wide; When Thomas grimly glided in, With little Bobtail by his side.

Tall, like the poplar, was his size; Green, green his waistcoat was, as leeks, Red, red as beet root, were his eyes; And, pale, as turnips, were his cheeks!

Soon as the spectre she espied, The fear struck damsel faintly said, "What would my Thomas?"—he replied, "O! Molly Dumpling! I am dead."

"All in the flower of youth I fell, Cut off with health's full blossom crown'd; I was not ill—but in the well I tumbled backwards, and was drown'd.

"Four fathom deep thy love doth lie; His faithful dog his fate doth share; We're friends;—this is not he and I; We are not here—for we are there.

"Yes;—two foul water fiends are we; Maid of the moor! attend us now! Thy hour's at hand;—we come for thee! The little fiend cur said "bow wow!"

"To wind her in her cold grave, A Holland sheet a maiden likes; A sheet of water thou shalt have; Such sheets there are in Holland dykes."

The fiends approach; the maid did shrink; Swift through the night's foul air they spin; They took her to the green well's brink, And, with a souse, they plump'd her in.

Dessert to the True American, I-No. 27, Jan. 12, 1799, Phila.

[The author evidently had Buerger's Lenore in mind when writing the above.]

[Burlesque on the Style, in which most of the German romantic Ballads are written.]

Phil. Repos., I-328, Aug. 22, 1801, Phila.

[Also in Dessert to the True American, I-No. 27, Jan. 12, 1799, Phila.]

For the Port Folio. AN AUTHOR'S EVENINGS. From the shop of Messrs. Colon and Spondee.

Among the newest and most delightful miscellanies, lately received from England, may be ranked a poetical work, entitled "Tales of Terror." This is partly intended as a burlesque of the various ballads in Lewis's celebrated romance, "The Monk." We well remember, that this member of the British parliament has amused himself, and alarmed his readers, by resorting to the cells of Gothic superstition, and invoking all the forms of German horror, to appal every timid heart. Hence, we have been haunted by ghosts of all complexions; and "Cloud Kings," and "Water Kings," and "Fire Kings," have been crowned by this poetical magician, to rule with despotism in the realms of Fancy. A lively satirist, endowed with the gifts of Genius, easy in versification, pleasant in his humour, and inimitably successful in parody, has, in some of his "Tales of Terror" undertaken to mock the doleful tones of Mr. Lewis's muse, or shall we rather say the hoarse caw of the German raven. The midnight hour has been beguiled, by transcribing the following sarcasm, founded on a well-known nursery story, and our readers will thank us for sitting up so late for their amusement.


Veteres avias tibi de pulmone revello Persius.

Translated from the Danish of the author of the Water King, etc., and respectfully inscribed to M. G. Lewis, Esq., M.P., as an humble attempt to imitate his excellent version of that celebrated ballad.

The birds they sung, the morning smil'd The mother kiss'd her darling child, And said ... "My dear, take custards three, And carry to your grandmummie."

The pretty maid had on her head A little riding hood of red, And as she pass'd the lonely wood, They call'd her small red riding hood.

Her basket on her arm she hung, And as she went thus artless sung: "A lady lived beneath a hill, Who if not gone, resides there still."

The wolf king saw her pass along, He ey'd her custards heard her song, And cried "That child and custards three This evening shall my supper be!"

Now swift the maid pursu'd her way, And heedless trill'd her plaintive lay; Nor had she pass'd the murky wood, When lo! the wolf king near her stood.

"Oh! stop my pretty child so gay! Oh! whither do you bend your way?" "My little self and custards three Are going to my grandmummie."

"While you by yonder mountain go, On which the azure blue bells grow, I'll take this road; then haste thee, dear, Or I before you will be there.

"And when our racing shall be done, A kiss you forfeit, if I've won; Your prize shall be, if first you come, Some barley sugar and a plumb."

"Oh! thank you, good sir Wolf," said she, And dropt a pretty courtesie: The little maid then onward hied, And sought the blue bell mountain side.

The wolf sped on o'er marsh and moor, And faintly tapp'd at granny's door: "Oh! let me in, grandmummy good, For I am small red riding hood."

"The bobbin pull (the grandam cried), The door will then fly open wide." The crafty wolf the bobbin drew, And straight the door wide open flew.

He pac'd the bed room eight times four, And utter'd thrice a hideous roar; He pac'd the bed room nine times three, And then devour'd poor grandmummie.

He dash'd her brains out on the stones, He gnaw'd her sinews, crack'd her bones; He munch'd her heart, he quaff'd her gore, And up her lights and liver tore.[41]!!!!

Grandmummy's bed he straight got in, Her night-cap tied beneath his chin; And, waiting for his destin'd prey, All snug between the sheets he lay.

Now at the door a voice heard he, Which cried ... "I've brought you custards three; Oh! let me in, grandmummy good, For I am small red riding hood."

"The bobbin pull (the wolf king cried), The door will then fly open wide." The little dear the bobbin drew, And straight the door wide open flew.[42]

She plac'd the custards on the floor, And sigh'd ... "I wish I'd brought you four.[43] I'm very tir'd, dear grandmummie; Oh! may I come to bed to thee?"

"Oh come! (the wolf king softly cried), And lie, my sweet one, by my side:" Ah! little thought the child so gay The cruel wolf king near her lay!

"Oh! tell me, tell me, granny dear, Why does your voice so gruff appear?" "Oh! hush, sweetheart (the wolf king said), I've got a small cold in my head!"

"Oh! tell me, grandmummie so kind, Why you've a tail grows out behind?" "Oh! hush thee, hush thee, pretty dear, My pincushion I hang on there!"

"Why do your eyes so glare on me?" "They are your pretty face to see." "Why do your ears so long appear?" "They are your pretty voice to hear."

"Oh! tell me, granny, why to-night Your teeth appear so long and white?"[44] Then, growling, cried the wolf so grim, "They are to tear you limb from limb!"

His hungry teeth the wolf king gnash'd, His sparkling eyes with fury flash'd, He op'd his jaws all sprent with blood, And fell on small red riding hood.

He tore her bowels out one and two, "Little maid, I will eat you!" But when he tore out three and four, The little maid she was no more!

Take warning hence, ye children fair; Of wolves' insidious arts beware; And, as you pass each lonely wood, Ah! think of small red riding hood!

With custards sent, nor loiter slow, Nor gather blue bells as you go; Get not to bed with grandmummie, Lest she a ravenous wolf should be!

Port Folio, II-173, June 5, 1802, Phila.

[Footnote 41: This stanza is borrowed from an affecting and sanguinary description in a German ballad by Professor Von Spluttbach, called Skulth den Balch, or Sour Mthltz; in English, as far as a translation can convey an idea of the horror of the original, "The Bloody Banquet, or the Gulph of Ghosts!!!" a very terrible and meritorious production.]

[Footnote 42: Repetition is the soul of ballad writing.]

[Footnote 43: The reader will do my heroine the justice to remember that she set out with only three, consequently her wish that another had been added, arose from a motive purely affectionate and characteristic. This benevolent trait, ingeniously insinuated, excites the interest of the reader for her, and adds horror to the catastrophe.]

[Footnote 44: Our heroine is here lost in double astonishment; not only the length, but the whiteness of her grandmother's teeth excites her wonder and suspicion.]

The following piece of singular and original composition was found amongst the papers of an old Dutchman, in Albany. The manuscript has suffered considerably from the tooth of time, and from several marks of antiquity about it, it may be safely inferred, that a century at least has elapsed since it was written. It is hardly necessary to inform the judicious reader, that this piece is no other than a billet doux, or love epistle, sent by some Dutch swain in the country, to the girl of his heart, who, it seems, had gone to reside some time in the city of Albany.


Mine Cot, vat vose does Hans se feel, Vile lufly Notchie is avay, Vat is de matter, vat de deel, Does make you zo vorever stay.

I sleep none in de day, nor nite, Mit such impashuns I duz burn, Zo, when de shell drake vings hur vlite, Pore Frow she mornes vor his return.

Zo owls will hoot, und cats will mew, Und dogs will howl; und storms will ney, Und zhall not I more anguish sho, Vile lufly Notchie is avay.

A shacket I has lately bot, Und brokenbrooks zo zoft as zilk, Stripd as your under petticote, Und vite as any buttermilk.

Make hase, mine dere, und quikly cum, Mine vaders goin to di, you zee, Und Yacups cot his viddle home, Und we shall haf a daring bee.

I feres zum Yanky vull uv art, More cunnin, as de ferry dele, Vill git away yorn little hart, Zo as da will our horshes stele.

If any wun yore hart shool blunder, Mine horshes Ill do vaggon yoke, Und ghase him quickly by mine dunder, I vly zo zwift as any zpoke.

Vhen yonk Vontoofen, my coot frend Zhall cum to zee you vhare you be, Dese skarlet carters I zhall zend, O die dem on, und dink on me.

Port Folio, II-176, June 5, 1802, Phila.

["se feel" (stanza I). "se" is no Dutch word and the verb "feel" (voelen) is not reflexive in Dutch. In stanzas III and VI "mill" appears in the place of "will." This is most likely a misprint, since "w in Dutch is a particularly tenacious sound" and is not replaced by m, as is sometimes the case in German. "Brokenbrooks" is a coined word.

The author is indebted for the above information to Professor Wm. H. Carpenter, of Columbia University, and to Arnold Katz, the Dutch vice-consul at Philadelphia.]


I shall not soon tire of copying ballads from the "Tales of Terror." They are the legitimate offspring of genius. We are conducted by a versatile guide, sometimes into the vale of tears, and sometimes into the hall of mirth. But let him lead us where he will, we cheerfully follow and always find ourselves with a sensible and tuneful companion. I am half inclined to suspect that Mr. Lewis himself is the concealed author. We know how he brilliantly travestied his own ballad, Alonzo the Brave, and it is probable that in this collection he is alter et idem.

[The poem follows.]

Port Folio, II-195, June 26, 1802, Phila.

[M. G. Lewis, Tales of Terror, 1799, Kelso. Cf. p. 18.]


Port Folio, II-199, June 26, 1802, Phila.

[M. G. Lewis, Tales of Terror. Cf. p. 18.]

ON THE DEATH OF A BELOVED ONLY SON. Translated from a Danish Inscription. By T. CAMPBELL, Esq.

Port Folio, II-352, Nov. 1802, Phila.


Hail, deadly Autumn, and thy fading leaf, I love thee, drear and gloomy as thou art; Not joyful Spring, like thee can soften grief, Nor gaudy Summer soothe the aching heart; But in thy cheerless, solitary bower, Beneath the varied shade, I love to lie, When dusky Evening's melancholy hour With boding clouds obscures the low'ring sky, And tuneless birds and fading flowers appear In grief to hang their heads, and mourn the parting year.

'Tis not the gloomy sky, the parting year, 'Tis not the Winter's dreary reign I mourn, But absent friends—and one than life more dear, And joys departed, never to return! O gentle Hope, that 'mid Siberia's snows, Can cheer the wretched exile's lingering year, And where the sun on curs'd Oppression glows, Can check the sigh, and wipe the falling tear, Thy gentle care—thy succour I implore; O raise thy heavenly voice, and bid me weep no more.

Thou hears't my prayer—I feel thy holy flame— And future joys in bright succession rise, And mutual love and friendship—sacred name! And home and all the blessings that I prize. Thou, Memory, lendst thy aid, and to my view Each friend I love, and every scene most dear, In forms more bright than ever painter drew, Fresh from thy pencil's magic tint appear. Roll on, ye lingering hours, that lie between, Till Truth shall realize, and Virtue bless, the scene.


N. E. Quarterly Mag., No. III-271, Oct.-Dec. 1802, Boston.


Nocturnus occurram furor. Hor.

Port Folio, IV-334, Oct. 20, 1804, Phila.

[M. G. Lewis, Tales of Terror, 1799, Kelso.]


In the midst of the performance of his Lent Oratorio, (1759) of the Messiah, nature exhausted, he dropt his head upon the keys of the organ he was playing upon, and with difficulty raised up again. He recovered his spirits, and went on with the performance until the whole was finished. He was carried home, and died.

To melt the soul, to captivate the ear, (Angels such melody might deign to hear,) To anticipate on earth the joys of heav'n, 'Twas Handel's task: to him that pow'r was giv'n.

Ah, when he late attuned Messiah's praise, With sound celestial, with melodious lays: A last farewell, his languid looks express'd, And thus, methinks, th' enraptur'd crowd addrest.

"Adieu, my dearest friend, and also you, "Joint sons of sacred harmony, adieu! "Apollo whispering, prompts me to retire, "And bids me join the bright seraphic choir:

"Oh! for Elijah's car!" great Handel cry'd: Messiah heard his voice, and Handel died.

Boston Weekly Mag., II-208, Oct. 20, 1804, Boston.


Port Folio, IV-342, Oct. 27, 1804, Phila.

[William Wordsworth, idem.

"The Reader must be apprised, that the stoves in North Germany generally have the impression of a galloping horse upon them, this being part of the Brunswick arms."]


'A fig for your languages, German and Norse, Let me have the song of the kettle And the tongs and the poker.'—W. W.

[The poem, which contains no references to Germany, follows.]

Port Folio, IV-342, Oct. 27, 1804, Phila.


In scorn of writers, Faustus still doth hold, Nought is now said, but hath been said of old; Well, Faustus, say my wits are gross and dull, If for that word I give thee not a Gull: Thus then I prove thou holdst a false position; I say thou art a man of fair condition, A man true of thy word, tall of thy hands, Of high descent and left good store of lands; Thou with false dice and cards hast never play'd, Corrupted never widow, wife or maid, And, as for swearing, none in all this realm, Doth seldomer in speech curse or blaspheme. In fine, your virtues are so rare and ample, For all our Song thou mayst be made a sample. This, I dare swear, none ever said before, This, I may swear, none ever will say more.

Port Folio, IV-383, Dec. 1, 1804, Phila.


"This air, so dear to the Swiss," says Rousseau, "was forbidden by the French government to be played among the Swiss soldiers, employed in the service of France, under pain of death; because it excited such a fond remembrance of the scenes they had witnessed in their own native country, and such a strong desire of seeing them again, that it caused them to shed tears, to desert, or, if they despaired of this, to commit suicide."

Quand reverrai-je, en un jour, Tous les objets de mon amour? Nos claires ruisseaux, Nos couteaux [sic], Nos hameaux, Nos montagnes, Et l'ornament de nos campagnes, La si gentille Isabeau? A l'ombre d'un ormeau, Quand danserai-je au son du chalumeau?

Quand reverrai-je, en un jour, Tous les objects de mon amour? Mon pere, Ma mere, Mon frere Ma soeur, Mes agneaux Mes troupeaux, Ma bergere? Quand reverrai-je, en un jour, Tous les objet de mon amour?


When shall I behold again, in one day, all the pleasing objects of my affection?—our clear streams, our cottages [sic], our hamlets, our mountains, and the ornament of our fields, the gentle Isabelle?—Under the shade of a spreading elm, when shall I dance again to the sound of the tabor?

When shall I behold again, in one day, all pleasing objects of my love?—my father, mother, brothers, sisters, my lambs, my flocks, and my faithful shepherdess?—When shall I behold again, in one day, all the pleasing objects of my affection?

Boston, Jan. 30, 1805.

Boston Weekly Mag., III-60, Feb. 2, 1805, Boston.



From midst the dusty fields of war To realms beyond the northern star, To loud Valhalla's echoing halls, I bear the hero ere he falls; The valiant dwell in those abodes, And sit amid carousing gods; Not goblets rich, nor flasks of gold, But skulls of mantling mead they hold; The coward while he gasps for breath, Sinks darkling to Hela beneath.


O be it mine, from conflict borne, To reach the realms of endless morn; At Odin's board my lips I'll lave In the foam'd bev'rage of the brave.


Who breaks the dusty fields of war, Death travels by his clattering car; Perch'd on the whirlwind's thund'ring tower, On comes the sable tempest's power; Ye warriors rise, ye chiefs give room, A godlike guest in youthful bloom, Harold from fields of battle see, Begin th' immortal revelry.


Port Folio, V-120, Apr. 20, 1805, Phila.


Phila. Repos., V-164, May 25, 1805, Phila.

[Also in Amer. Museum, I-474, May 1787, Phila.]


Ye Gods! from whom each favour'd bard Receives those talents verse requires, O teach them truth! for sure 'tis hard They should be all such wicked liars.

Boston Mag., I-12, Nov. 9, 1805, Boston.


The sun-beams streak the azure skies, And line with light the mountain's brow; With hounds and horns the hunters rise, And chase the roebuck through the snow.

From rock to rock, with giant-bound, High on their iron poles they pass; Mute, lest the air, convuls'd by sound, Rend from above a frozen mass.

The goats wind slow their wonted way, Up craggy steeps and ridges rude; Mark'd by the wild wolf for his prey, From desert cave or hanging wood.

And while the torrent thunders loud, And as the echoing cliffs reply, The huts peep o'er the morning cloud, Perch'd, like an eagle's nest, on high.

Evening Fireside, II-74, Feb. 8, 1806, Phila.

In the following exquisite Parody, the sentiments are not less admirable than the talents of the author. We have often expressed our contempt for German plays, and we are happy to fortify our opinion of the Teutonic Muse, with the wit of a man of genius, and a polite scholar.

ODE TO THE GERMAN DRAMA, By Mr. SEWARD. A Parody of Gray's Ode to Adversity.

Daughter of night, chaotic Queen! Thou fruitful source of modern lays, Whose turbid plot, and tedious scene, The monarch spurn, the robber raise. Bound in thy necromantic spell The audience taste the joys of hell, And Briton's sons indignant grown With pangs unfelt before, at crimes before unknown.

When first, to make the nation stare, Folly her painted mask display'd, Schiller sublimely mad was there, And Kotz'bue lent his leaden aid. Gigantic pair! their lofty soul Disdaining reason's weak control, On changeful Britain sped the blow, Who, thoughtless of her own, embraced fictitious woe.

Aw'd by thy scowl tremendous, fly Fair Comedy's theatric brood, Light satire, wit, and harmless joy, And leave us dungeons, chains and blood. Swift they disperse, and with them go, Mild Otway, sentimental Rowe; Congreve averts the indignant eye, And Shakespeare mourns to view the exotic prodigy.

Ruffians, in regal mantle dight, Maidens immers'd in thoughts profound, Spectres, that haunt the shades of night, And spread a waste of ruin round. These form thy never-varying theme, While, buried in thy Stygian stream, Religion mourns her wasted fires And Hymen's sacred torch low hisses, and expires.

O mildly on the British stage, Great Anarch! spread thy sable wings; Not fired with all the frantic rage, With which thou hurl'st thy darts at kings. As thou in native garb art seen, With scattered tresses, haggard mien, Sepulchral chains and hideous cry By despot arts immur'd in ghastly poverty.

In specious form, dread Queen! appear; Let falsehood fill the dreary waste; Thy democratic rant be here, To fire the brain, corrupt the taste. The fair, by vicious love misled, Teach me to cherish and to wed, To low-born arrogance to bend, Establish'd order spurn, and call each outcast friend.

Port Folio, I-92, Feb. 15, 1806, Phila.

THE SWEDISH COTTAGE. From Carr's Northern Summer.

Here, far from all the pomp ambition seeks, Much sought, but only whilst untasted prais'd, Content and Innocence, with rosy cheeks, Enjoy the simple shed their hands have rais'd.

On a gay rock it stands, whose fretted base The distant cataract's murm'ring waters lave; Whilst, o'er its grassy roof, with varying grace, The slender branches of the white birch wave.

Behind, the forest fir is heard to sigh, On which the pensive ear delights to dwell; And, as the gazing stranger passes by, The grazing goat looks up and rings his bell.

Oh! in my native land, ere life's decline, May such a spot, so wild, so sweet, be mine!

Weekly Visitant, I-63, Feb. 22, 1806, Salem.

[Sir John Carr, A Northern Summer; or Travels round the Baltic in 1804, London, 1805.]

ODE TO DEATH. By Frederick II, King of Prussia. Translated from the French by Dr. Hawkesworth.

Polyanthos, I-270, Mar. 1806, Boston.

[Also in New Haven Gaz. and Conn. Mag., I-339, Dec. 7, 1786, New Haven.]


[Perhaps suggested by Gellert's fable of the same title, but differing much in content. Cf. Port Folio, I-400, Dec. 12, 1801, Phila., where a translation of Gellert's poem is given.]

Emerald, I-118, July 5, 1806, Boston.

The following song by M. G. Lewis Esq. is, as we are apprized by that gentleman, derived from the French, though the swain who figures in it appears to be a German. The thought is pretty and the measure flowing.

A wolf, while Julia slept, had made Her favorite lamb his prize; Young Casper flew to give his aid, Who heard the trembler's cries. He drove the wolf from off the green, But claim'd a kiss for pay. Ah! Julia, better 'twould have been, Had Casper staid away.

While grateful feelings warm'd her breast, She own'd she loved the swain; The youth eternal love professed, And kiss'd and kiss'd again. A fonder pair was never seen; They lov'd the live long day: Ah! Julia, better 'twould have been, Had Casper staid away.

At length, the sun his beams withdrew, And night inviting sleep, Fond Julia rose and bade adieu, Then homeward drove her sheep. Alas! her thoughts were chang'd, I ween, For thus I heard her say; Ah! Julia, better 'twould have been, Had Casper staid away.

Port Folio, II-94, Aug. 16, 1806, Phila.

EXTRACTS FROM "THE WANDERER OF SWITZERLAND" by James Montgomery, London, 1806.

Port Folio, II-369, 412, Dec. 20, 31, 1806, Phila.

[James Montgomery, The Wanderer of Switzerland and Other Poems, London, 1806. The first American edition from the second London edition—N. Y., 1807.

Extracts from Parts VI and I respectively. Cf. Preface.]


Son of Angrym, warrior bold, Stay thy travel o'er the wold; Stop, Havardur, stop thy steed; Thy death, thy bloody death's decreed. She, Coronzon's lovely maid, Whom thy wizard wiles betray'd, Glides along the darken'd coast, A frantic, pale, enshrouded ghost. Where the fisher dries his net, Rebel waves her body beat; Seduc'd by thee, she toss'd her form To the wild fury of the storm. Know thou feeble child of dust, Odin's brave, and Odin's just; From the Golden Hall I come To pronounce thy fatal doom; Never shall thou pass the scull Of rich metheglin deep and full: Late I left the giant throng, Yelling loud thy funeral song; Imprecating deep and dread Curses on thy guilty head. Soon with Lok, thy tortur'd soul, Must in boiling billows roll; Till the God's eternal light Bursts athwart thy gloom of night; Till Surtur gallops from afar, To burn this breathing world of war. Bold to brave the spear of death, Heroes hurry o'er the heath: Hasten to the smoking feast— Welcome every helmed guest, Listen hymns of sweet renown, Battles by thy fathers won; Frame thy face in wreathed smiles, Mirth the moodiest mind beguiles.— Yet I hover always nigh, Bid thee think,—and bid thee sigh; Yet I goad thy rankling breast;— Never, never, shalt thou rest. What avails thy bossy shield? What the guard thy gauntlets yield? What the morion on thy brow? Or the hauberk's rings below? If to live in anguish fear, Danger always threatening near: Lift on high thy biting mace, See him glaring in thy face; Turn—yet meet him, madd'ning fly, Curse thy coward soul, and die. Not upon the field of fight Hela seals thy lips in night; A brother, of infernal brood, Bathes him in thy heart's hot blood; Twice two hundred vassals bend, Hail him as their guardian friend; Mock thee writhing with the wound, Bid thee bite the dusty ground; Leave thee suffering, scorn'd alone, To die unpitied and unknown. Be thy nacked carcase strew'd, To give the famish'd eagles food; Sea-mews screaming on the shore, Dip their beaks, and drink thy gore. Be thy fiend-fir'd spirit borne, Wreck'd upon the fiery tide, An age of agony abide. But soft, the morning-bell beats one, The glow-worm fades; and, see, the sun Flashes his torch behind yon hill. At night, when wearied nature's still, And horror stalks along the plain, Remember—we must meet again.

Port Folio, II-415, Dec. 31, 1806, Phila.

Buerger's beautiful ballad,

Earl Walter winds his bugle horn, To horse! to horse! halloo! halloo!.

has given rise in England to a very humorous

PARODY. Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

Earl Walter kicks the waiter's rump, Down stairs! down stairs! halloo, halloo! They sally forth, they wheel, they jump, And fast the scampering watch pursue.

The jolly bucks from tavern freed, Dash fearless on through thick and thin, While answering alleys, as they speed, Loudly re-echo to their din.

Saint Dunstan's arm, with massy stroke The solemn midnight peal had rung, And bawling out, "Past twelve o'clock," Loud, long and deep the watchman sung.

The clamorous Earl Walter guides, Huzza, Huzza, my merry men, When, puffing, holding both their sides, Two strangers haste to join his train.

The right-hand stranger's locks were grey, But who he was I cannot tell; The left was debonnair and gay, A dashing blood I know full well.

He wav'd his beaver hat on high, Cried, "Welcome, welcome, noble lord! What joys can earth, or sea, or sky, To match our midnight sports afford?"

"Methinks," the other said, "'twere best To leave, my friends, your frantick joys, And for the balmy sweets of rest, Exchange such rude discordant noise."

But still Earl Walter onward hies, And dashing forward, on they go, Huzza, huzza, each toper cries, "Hark forward, forward, hollo ho!"

The jovial band Earl Walter guides, Along the Fleet, up Ludgate-Hill, And puffing, holding both their sides, His boon companions follow still.

From yonder winding lane out springs A phantom, white as snow, And louder still Earl Walter sings, "Hark forward, forward, hollo, ho!"

A quaker prim has crossed the way, He sprawls their nimble feet below, But what care they for yea-and-nay, Still forward, forward, on they go.

See, at the corner of yon street, A humble stall, with apples crown'd! See, scatter'd by Earl Walter's feet, The woman's apples rolling round.

"O Lord! have mercy on my stall, Spare the hard earnings of the poor, The helpless widow's little all, The fruit of many a watchful hour."

Earnest the right hand stranger pleads, The left still pointing to the prey, The impatient Earl no warning heeds, But furious holds the onward way.

"Away, thou poor old wither'd witch, Or dread the scourge's echoing blow!" Then loud he sung and wav'd his switch, "Hark forward, forward, hollo ho!"

So said, so done; one single bound Clears the green grocer's humble stall; While through the apples scatter'd round, They hurry, hurry, one and all.

And now behold the tim'rous prey, Beyond the reach of Comus' crew, Still lightly trip along the way, Unconscious who her steps pursue.

Again they wheel, their nimble feet The devious way still quickly trace, Down Ludgate-Hill, along the Fleet, The unwearied Earl pursues the chase.

The watch now muster strong and dare Dispute the empire of the field; They wave their cudgels high in air, "Now yield thee, noble Baron yield."

"Unmanner'd vagabonds! in vain You strive to mar our nightly game; Come on! come on! my merry men, The raggamuffins we can tame."

In heaps the victims bite the dust, Down sinks Earl Walter on the ground, Now run who can, and lie who must, For loud the watchmen's rattles sound.

Now to the justice borne along, In sullen majesty they go; The place receives the motley throng, And echoes to their hollo ho!

All mild amid the rout profane, The justice solemn thus began: "Forebear your knighthood thus to stain, Revere the dignity of man.

The meanest trull has rights to plead, Which wrong'd by cruelty or pride, Draw vengeance on thy guilty head, Howe'er by titles dignified."

Cold drops of sweat in many a trill, Adown Earl Walter's temples fall, And louder, louder, louder still, The surly watch for vengeance call.

The right-hand stranger anxious pleads; The clamours of the mob increase, The riot act the justice reads, And binds the Earl to keep the peace.

The court broke up, they sally out, And raise a loud, a last huzza; Then sneak'd away and hung his snout, Each disappointed dog of law.

Muttering full many a curse, and fast Homeward to slumber now they go; Yet spite of all that now has passed, You'll hear next night their hollo ho!

This is the Earl, and this his train, That oft the awaken'd Cockney hears; With rage he glows in every vein When the wild din invades his ears.

The dreaming maid sighs sad and oft, That she her visions must forego, When waken'd from her slumbers soft, She hears the cry of hollo ho!

Port Folio, III-44, Jan. 17, 1807, Phila.

[Parody on G. A. Buerger's poem Der wilde Jaeger. Cf. pp. 34, 85.]


Emerald, II-108, Feb. 28, 1807, Boston.

[James Montgomery, op. cit. Extracts given. Cf. Preface.]


Turn we, to survey Where rougher climes a nobler race display; Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread, And force a churlish soil for scanty bread, Yet still, e'en here, Content can spread a charm, Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm. Though poor the peasant's hut his feast though small, He sees his little lot, the lot of all; Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, Breathes the keen air, and carrols as he goes. At night returning, every labour sped, He sits him down, the monarch of his shed; Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys, His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze; While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard, Displays her cleanly platter on her board; And haply too, some pilgrim, hither led, With many a tale repays the nightly bed.

Emerald, II-119, Mar. 7, 1807, Boston.


Balance and Columbian Repos., VI-144, May 5, 1807, Hudson, N. Y.

[Also in Port Folio, II-415, Dec. 31, 1806, Phila.]



* * * * * Still like a Bur she clings and sticks; To Russia tho she grins and kicks, Holds by the fur, which yet may fail, For bears, alas, have got no tail. * * * * *


Let Mynheer Vanderschoffeldt flout, And swear and rave for sour krout; Nay kick his frow with solemn phiz, To make her feel how goot it ish. Yet after he has gorg'd his maw With puttermilks and goot olt slaw, Let him remember times are such, The French have Holland, not the Dutch.


With roaring blunderbuss and thunder All Germany is torn asunder; How num'rous circles near and far Encircl'd in the arms of war; Her Hessian bullies one and all, Pay homage to the spurious Gaul; And John Bull's farm, a goodly station, Makes soup to please the Gallic nation.

Norfolk Repos., II-232, May 26, 1807, Dedham, Mass.


Weekly Inspector, II-272, June 20, 1807, N. Y.

[Thomas Campbell, idem.

Battle of Hohenlinden, Bavaria, was fought Dec. 3, 1800, between the Austrians under Archduke John and the French under General Moreau.]


Helvetian vales! Where freedom fix'd her sway; And all the social virtues lov'd to stray; Soft blissful seats of undisturb'd repose, Rever'd for ages by contending foes, What envious demon, ranging to destroy, Has marr'd your sports, and clos'd your song of joy? What horrid yells the affrighted ear assail! What screams of terror load the passing gale! See ruffian hordes, with tiger rage advance, The shame of manhood, and the boast of France! See trampled, crush'd and torn in lustful strife The loathing virgin and indignant wife! While wanton carnage sweeps each crowded wood, And all the mountain torrents swell with blood! Lo! Where yon cliff projects its length of shade O'er fields of death, a wounded chief is laid! Around the desolated scene he throws A look, that speaks insufferable woes: Then starting from his trance of dumb despair, Thus vents his anguish to the fleeting air: "Dear native hills, amidst whose woodland maze, I pass'd the tranquil morning of my days, On whose green tops malignant planets scowl, Where hell hounds ravage, and the furies howl; Though chang'd, deform'd, still, still ye meet my view, Ye still are left to hear my last adieu! My friends, my children, gor'd with many a wound, Whose mangled bodies strew the ensanguin'd ground, To parch and stiffen in the blaze of day, Consign'd to vultures, and to wolves a prey, Your toils are past; no more ye wake to feel Lust's savage gripe, or rapine's reeking steel! And Thou, to whom my wedded faith was given, On earth my solace, and my hope in heaven, Approv'd in manhood, as in youth ador'd, Belov'd while living, as in death deplor'd, O stay thy flight! Around this dreary shore A moment hover, and we part no more— On thy poor corpse, thy bleeding husband hangs, Counts all thy wounds, and feels thy ling'ring pangs— O righteous fathers! Thou whose fostering care Sustains creation, hear my dying prayer! Look down, look down on this devoted land, O'er my poor country stretch thy saving hand! O let the blood that streaming to the skies, Still flows in torrents—let that blood suffice! To thee the dreadful recompense belongs— To thy just vengeance I consign my wrongs; O vindicate the rights of nation's sway, And sweep the monsters from the blushing day!"

Weekly Inspector, II-288, June 27, 1807, N. Y.

POETRY. Original.


It has been remarked, that the poetick department of the Anthology abounds rather in selected than original productions; whether this be the result of choice or necessity, the following lines will not be considered inapplicable since they partake the nature of both characters, and hence, if in other respects worthy to appear, it is presumed they will not be rejected.


'The power of Musick is thus hyperbolically commemorated in one of the songs of the Runic Bards.'[45]

I know a Song, by which I soften and enchant the arms of my enemies, and render their weapons of no effect.

I know a Song, which I need only to sing when men have loaded me with bonds, for the moment I sing it, my chains fall in pieces, and I walk forth at liberty.

I know a Song, useful to all mankind, for as soon as hatred inflames the sons of men, the moment I sing it they are appeased.

I know a Song of such virtue, that were I caught in a storm, I can hush the winds and render the air perfectly calm.

Mo. Anthology, IV-602, Nov. 1807, Boston.

[Footnote 45: See Godwin's Life of Chaucer.]


Imitated in English verse.


I know a Song, the magick of whose power Can save the Warrior in destruction's hour; From the fierce foe his falling vengeance charm, And wrest the weapon from his nervous arm.


I know a Song, which, when in bonds I lay, Broke from the grinding chain its links away. While the sweet notes their swelling numbers rolled, Back flew the bolts, the trembling gates unfold; Free as the breeze the elastic limbs advance, Course the far field, or braid the enlivening dance.


I know a Song, to mend the heart design'd, Quenching the fiery passions of mankind; When lurking hate and deadly rage combine, To charm the serpent of revenge is mine; By heavenly verse the furious deed restrain, And bid the lost affections live again.


I know a Song, which when the wild winds blow To bend the monarchs of the forests low, If to the lay my warbling voice incline, Waking its various tones with skill divine, Hush'd are the gales, the spirit of the storm Calms his bleak breath, and smooths his furrow'd form, The day look up, the dripping hills serene Through the faint clouds exalt their sparkling green.


Mo. Anthology, IV-602, Nov. 1807, Boston.


A tale imitated from the German, according to the true and genuine principles of the horrifick.

The wind whistled loud! farmer Dobbin's wheat stack Fell down! The rain beat 'gainst his door! As he sat by the fire he heard the roof crack! The cat 'gan to mew and to put up her back! And the candle burnt—just as before! The farmer exclaimed with a piteous sigh, "To get rid of this curs'd noise and rout, "Wife gi'e us some ale." His dame straight did cry, Hemed and coughed three times three, then made this reply— "I can't mun! Why? 'cause the cask's out!" By the side of the fire sat Roger Gee-ho Who had finished his daily vocation, With Cicely, whose eyes were as black as a Sloe, A damsel indeed who had never said No, And because she ne'er had an occasion! All these were alarmed by the loud piercing cries, And were thrown in a terrible state, Till open the door, with wide staring eyes, They found to their joy, no less than surprise, "'Twas the old sow fast stuck in a gate!"

Charms of Lit. in Prose and Verse, p. 350, 1808, Trenton.


Port Folio, V-406, June 25, 1808, Phila.

[In a review of Odes from the Norse and Welch Tongues by Thomas Gray.

Also in New Haven Gaz. and Conn. Mag., III-No. 21, May 29, 1788, New Haven.]


Port Folio, VI-55, 57, July 23, 1808, Phila.

[Thomas Gray, idem. A literal trans.; not the same as the above. Criticism and reprint.]


Gleaner, I-78 etc., Oct. 1808, Lancaster (Penn.).

[James Montgomery, op. cit. Entire poem reprinted. Cf. Preface.]

The following imitation of the celebrated Swiss air "Ran des Vaches," in which there is great simplicity and sweetness, is from the pen of the Editor of the Sheffield Iris, author of the Wanderer of Switzerland.


O when shall I visit the land of my birth, The loveliest land on the face of the earth? When shall I those scenes of affection explore, Our forests, our fountains, Our hamlets, our mountains, With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore? O when shall I dance on the daisy white mead, In the shade of an elm, to the sound of the reed?

When shall I return to thy lowly retreat, Where all my fond objects of tenderness meet? The lambs and the heifers that follow my call; My father, my mother, My sister, my brother, And dear Isabella, the joy of them all? O when shall I visit the land of my birth? 'Tis the loveliest land on the face of the earth.

—J. M.

SHEFFIELD, June 1808.

Emerald, n. s., I-624, Oct. 15, 1808, Boston.

[Ranz des Vaches.

James Montgomery, The West Indies and Other Poems, 3rd. ed., Phila., 1811 (London, 1810).

P. 84, The Swiss Cowherd's Song, in a Foreign Land. "Imitated from the foregoing," i. e., the French verses.]


Lit. Mirror, I-148, Oct. 29, 1808, Portsmouth, N. H.

[Also in Emerald, n. s., I-624, Oct. 15, 1808, Boston.]


Balance and Columbian Repos., VII-176, Nov. 1, 1808, Hudson, N. Y.

[Also in Emerald, n. s., I-624, Oct. 15, 1808, Boston.]


Norfolk Repos., III-392, Nov. 8, 1808, Dedham, Mass.

[Also in Emerald, n. s., I-624, Oct. 15, 1808, Boston.]


By the Author of "The Wanderer of Switzerland."

Lady's Weekly Misc., VIII-128, Dec. 17, 1808, N. Y.

[Also in Emerald, n. s., I-624, Oct. 15, 1808, Boston.]


An Englishman invited once A German friend to dine On plain pot luck,—for such his phrase— And drink some good port wine.

Mein Herr repaired at proper time With stomach for the treat: The viands on the table placed, Von Schlemmer took his seat.

Soup, turkey, beef, by turns were serv'd, Mein Herr declin'd each one: Fowls, turtle, sauce, they follow'd next, Von Schlemmer tasted none.

His host at length, by kindness urged, Press'd him to taste some duck: "Ach nein!" with groans Von Schlemmer said, "I vait for de POT LUCK."


Select Reviews, I-71, Jan. 1809, Phila.

On singing to a piano with a friend, the pathetic ballad of Mozart's "Vergiss me nicht,"[46] a few days previous to quitting my native country.

"Forget me not," nor yet the song, Its plaintive notes our tears beguiling, The fatal words died on my tongue, And as you touch'd the trembling keys along, Through lucid gems I saw you sadly smiling.

"Forget me not," ah! song of wo! For never more our joys uniting, With Sorrow's sigh no more to glow; No more shall Pity's tear together flow, Our love, our hopes, our joys forever blighting.

"Forget me not," oh! ever dear, Let thrilling mem'ry o'er my fancy stealing, As next you sing "Forget me not," a tear Shall gently fall, my beating heart to cheer; I'll never thee forget while I have life and feeling.

Julia Francesca.

Port Folio, VII (n. s. I)-272, Mar. 1809, Phila.

[Footnote 46: The German of "Forget me not."]


In the vallies yet lingered the shadows of night, Though red on the glaciers the morning sun shone, When our moss-covered church-tower first broke on my sight, As I cross'd the vast oak o'er the cataract thrown.

For beyond that old church-tower, embosomed in pines, Was the spot which contained all the bliss of my life, Near yon grey granite rock, where the red ash reclines, Stood the cottage where dwelt my loved children and wife.

Long since did the blasts of the war-trumpet cease, The drum slept in silence, the colours were furled, Serene over France rose the day-star of Peace, And the beams of its splendour gave light to the world.

When near to the land of my fathers I drew, And the drawn light her features of grandeur unveiled, As I caught the first glimpse of her ice-mountains blue, Our old native Alps with what rapture I hailed.

"Oh! soon, I exclaimed, will those mountains be passed, And soon shall I stop at my own cottage door, There my children's caresses will greet me at last, And the arms of my wife will enfold me once more.

"While the fulness of joy leaves me powerless to speak, Emotions which language can never define, When her sweet tears of transport drop warm on my cheek, And I feel her fond heart beat once more against mine.

"Then my boy, when our tumults of rapture subside, Will anxiously ask how our soldiers have sped, Will flourish my bay'net with infantile pride, And exultingly place my plumed cap on his head.

"Then my sweet girl will boast how her chamois has grown; And make him repeat all his antics with glee, Then she'll haste to the vine that she claims as her own, And fondly select its ripe clusters for me.

"And when round our fire we assemble at night, With what interest they'll list to my tale of the war, How our shining arms gleamed on St. Bernard's vast height, While the clouds in white billows rolled under us far.

"Then I'll tell how the legions of Austria we braved, How we fought on Marengo's victorious day, When the colours of conquest dejectedly wave Where streamed the last blood of the gallant Dessaix."

'Twas thus in fond fancy my bosom beat light As I crossed the rude bridge where the wild waters roll, When each well-known scene crowded fast on my sight, And Hope's glowing visions came warm to my soul.

Through the pine-grove I hastened with footsteps of air Already my lov'd ones I felt in embrace, When I came—of my cot not a vestige was there— But a hilloc of snow was heap'd high in its place.

The heart-rending story too soon did I hear— An avalanche, loosed from the near mountain's side, Our cottage o'erwhelmed in its thundering career, And beneath it my wife and my children had died.


Port Folio, VII (n. s. I)-350, Apr. 1809, Phila.


Visitor, I-47, Apr. 22, 1809, Richmond.

[Also in Weekly Inspector, II-272, June 20, 1807, N. Y.]


Sweet, regretted, native shore; Shall I e'er behold thee more, And all the objects of my love: Thy streams so clear, Thy hills so dear, The mountain's brow, And cots below, Where once my feet were wont to rove?

There with Isabella fair, Light of foot, and free from care, Shall I to the tabor bound? Or at eve, beneath the dale, Whisper soft my artless tale, And blissful tread on fairy ground?

Oh! when shall I behold again My lowly cot and native plain, And every object dear; My father, and my mother, My sister and my brother, And calm their anxious fear.

(European Mag.)

[The above is preceded by the music and the French words of the Ranz des Vaches. Cf. p. 156.]

Visitor, I-72, June 3, 1809, Richmond.


Gleaner, I-471, June 1809, Lancaster (Penn.).

[Also in Emerald, n. s., I-624, Oct. 15, 1808, Boston.]


With sorrow of heart I draw near, The tomb where my Werter's at rest, Soft pity oh, give me a tear I will lighten the woes of my breast.

Sleep on thou dear shade, rest in peace, Undisturbed by the woes of my breast, For sure the soft slumber would cease If with grief you know me opprest.

The meadow, the valley, the field, Recesses that once gave delight, Alas now how changed! for they yield Nothing gayful or joyous to sight.

On the terrace I often remain, And the loss of my Werter deplore, While by the pale moon I complain, Her beams, his loved image restore.

It was here the fond hope was inspired, That with gladness enlivens my heart That when this dull life is expired We shall meet again never to part.

Yes, Werter, thy presage was just; To cherish the hope be my care, For should it forsake me, how must I combat with grief and despair.


Visitor, I-136, Sept. 23, 1809, Richmond.

THE SQUEAKING GHOST. A tale imitated from the German.

Select Reviews, II-357, Nov. 1809, Phila.

[Also in Charms of Lit. in Prose and Verse, p. 350, 1808, Trenton.]

To those who have admired the singular poems of Lewis, Walter Scott, and others, under the whimsical titles of "The Cloud-King," "The Fire-King," etc., the following burlesque ballad may afford some amusement.


Fair Ellen, was once the delight of the young; No damsel could with her compare; Her charms were the theme of the heart and the tongue, And bards without number in extacies sung The beauties of Ellen, the Fair.

But Ellen, though lovers in regiments threw The darts of their eyes at her heart, From the sorrow no pitying sympathy knew; For, cold as an icicle-shower, they drew Not a drop from that petrified part.

Yet still did the heart of fair Ellen implore A something that could not be found; Like a sailor it seem'd on a desolate shore, With nor house, nor a tree, nor a sound, but the roar Of breakers high-dashing around.

From object to object, still, still would she stray Yet nothing, alas! could she find; Through Novelty's mazes she rambled all day, And even at midnight, so restless, they say, In sleep would run after the wind.

Nay, rather than sit like a statue so still, When the rain made her mansion a pound, Up and down would she go like the sails of a mill, And pat every stair, like a wood-pecker's bill, From the tiles of the roof to the ground.

One morn, as the maid from her casement reclin'd, Pass'd a youth with a frame in his hand. The casement she clos'd; not the eye of her mind; For do all she could, no, she could not be blind; Still before her she saw the youth stand.

"And what can he do," said the maid with a sigh, "Ah! what with that frame can he do? I wish I could know it." When suddenly by The youth pass'd again; and again did her eye The frame, and a sweet picture view.

"Oh! sweet, lovely picture!" the fair Ellen sigh'd, "I must see thee again or I die;" Then under her white chin her bonnet she tied, And after the youth and the picture she hied, Till the youth, looking back, met her eye.

"Fair damsel," said he (and he chuckled the while), "This picture, I see, you admire; Then take it, I beg you, perhaps 'twill beguile Some moments of sorrow: (pray pardon my smile) Or, at least, keep you home by the fire."

Then Ellen the gift, with delight and surprise, From the cunning young stripling receiv'd. But she knew not the poison that enter'd her eyes, When beaming with rapture they gazed on her prize: Yet thus was fair Ellen deceiv'd!

'Twas a youth o'er the form of a statue inclin'd; And the sculptor he seem'd of the stone; Yet he languish'd, as though for its beauty he pin'd, And gaz'd, as the eyes of the statue so blind Reflected the beams of his own.

'Twas the tale of the sculptor, Pygmalion of old; Fair Ellen remember'd and sigh'd, "Ah! could'st thou but lift from that marble so cold, Thine eyes so enchanting, thy arms should enfold, And press me this day as thy bride."

She said: when, behold, from the canvass arose The youth ... and he stepp'd from the frame; With a furious joy, his arms did enclose The love-plighted Ellen; and, clasping, he froze The blood of the maid with his flame!

She turn'd and beheld on each shoulder a wing "Oh! heaven!" cried she, "who art thou?" From the roof to the ground did his fierce answer ring, When frowning, he thunder'd, "I am the Paint-King! And mine, lovely maid, thou art now!"

Then high from the ground did the grim monster lift The loud-screaming maid, like a blast; And he sped through the air, like a meteor swift, While the clouds, wand'ring by him, did fearfully drift To the right and the left as he pass'd.

Now, suddenly sloping his hurricane flight, With an eddying whirl he descends; The air all below him becomes black as night, And the ground where he treads, as if mov'd with affright, Like the surge of the Caspian bends.

"I am here!" said the fiend, and he thundering knock'd At the gates of a mountainous cave: The gates open'd wide, as by magick unlock'd, While the peaks of the mount, reeling to and fro, rock'd, Like an island of ice on the wave.

"Oh! mercy!" cried Ellen, and swoon'd in his arms. But the Paint-King, he scoff'd at her pain. "Prithee, love," said the monster, "what mean these alarms?" She hears not, she sees not the terrible charms That wake her to horror again.

She opens her lids; but no longer her eyes Behold the fair youth she would woo: Now appears the Paint-King in his natural guise; His face, like a palette of villainous dies, Black and white, red and yellow, and blue.

On a bright polish'd throne, of prismatical[47] spar, Sat the mosaick fiend like a clod; While he rear'd in his mouth a gigantick cigar Twice as big as the light-house, though seen from afar, On the coast of the stormy Cape Cod.

And anon, as he puff'd the vast volumes, were seen, In horrid festoons on the wall, Legs and arms, head and bodies, emerging between; Like the drawing room grim of the Scotch Sawney Beane, By the Devil dress'd out for a ball.

"Ah me!" cried the damsel, and fell at his feet, "Must I hang on these walls to be dried?" "Oh, no!" said the fiend, while he sprung from his seat, "A far nobler fortune thy person shall meet; Into paint will I grind thee, my bride!"

Then, seizing the maid by her dark auburn hair, An oil-jug he plung'd her within. Seven days, seven nights, with the shrieks of despair Did Ellen in torment convulse the dim air, All cover'd with oil to the chin.

On the morn of the eighth on a huge sable stone Then Ellen, all reeking, he laid; With a rock for his muller, he crush'd every bone; But though ground to jelly, still, still did she groan; For life had forsook not the maid.

Now reaching his palette with masterly care, Each tint on the surface he spread; The blue of her eyes, and the brown of her hair, The pearl and the white of her forehead so fair And her lips' and her cheeks' rosy red.

Then stamping his foot, did the monster exclaim, "Now I brave, cruel Fairy, thy scorn!" When lo! from a chasm unfathom'd there came A small tiny chariot of rose-colour'd flame, By a team of ten glowworms upborne.

Enthron'd in the midst on an emerald bright, Fair Geraldine sat without peer; Her robe was the gleam of the first blush of light, And her mantle the fleece of a noon-cloud white, And a beam of the moon was her spear.

In a voice that stole on the still charmed air, Like the first gentle accent of Eve, Thus spake from her chariot the Fairy so fair: "I come at thy call ... but, oh Paint-King! beware, Beware if again you deceive."

"'Tis true," said the monster, "thou queen of my heart! Thy portrait I oft have essay'd; Yet ne'er to the canvass could I with my art The least of thy wonderful beauties impart; And my failure with scorn you repaid.

"Now I swear, by the light of the Comet-King's tail!" And he tower'd with pride as he spoke, "If again with these magical colours I fail, The crater of Etna shall hence be my jail, And my food shall be sulphur and smoke.

"But if I succeed, then, oh! fair Geraldine! Thy promise with rapture, I claim, And thou, queen of Fairies, shalt ever be mine The bride of my bed; and thy portrait divine Shall fill all the earth with my fame."

He spake; when, behold the fair Geraldine's form On the canvass enchantingly glow'd; His touches, they flew like the leaves in a storm; And the pure, pearly white, and the carnation warm, Contending in harmony, flow'd.

And now did the portrait a twin-sister seem To the figure of Geraldine fair: With the same sweet expression did faithfully teem Each muscle, each feature; in short, not a gleam Was lost of her beautiful hair.

'Twas the Fairy herself! but, alas! her blue eyes Still a pupil did ruefully lack; And who shall describe the terrifick surprise That seized the Paint-King, when, behold, he descries Not a speck on his palette of black.

"I am lost!" said the fiend, and he shook like a leaf; When, casting his eyes to the ground, He saw the lost pupils of Ellen with grief In the jaws of a mouse, and the sly little thief Whisk away from his sight with a bound.

"I am lost!" said the fiend, and he fell like a stone: Then rising the Fairy in ire, With a touch of her finger she loosen'd her zone, (While the limbs on the wall gave a terrible groan!) And she swell'd to a column of fire.

Her spear now a thunder-bolt flash'd in the air, And sulphur the vault fill'd around: She smote the grim monster; and now by the hair High lifting, she hurl'd him in speechless despair Down the depths of the chasm profound.

Then waving, with smiles, o'er the picture her spear, "Come forth!" said the good Geraldine; When, behold, from the canvass fair Ellen appear! In feature, in person more lovely than e'er, With grace more than ever divine!

Mo. Anthology, VII-391, Dec. 1809, Boston.

[Washington Allston, idem. Cf. pp. 18, 19.]

[Footnote 47: This being a free country, I have taken the liberty, for the sake of the metre, to alter the word prismatick, as above!]

THE SQUEAKING GHOST. A tale imitated from the German.

Boston Mirror, II-96, Jan. 6, 1810, Boston.

[Also in Charms of Lit. in Prose and Verse, p. 350, 1808, Trenton.]


Something, I-151, Jan. 20, 1810, Boston.

[Also in Mo. Anthology, VII-391, Dec. 1809, Boston.]


Many references to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, etc., are to be found in the news sections of the magazines, but they are too numerous and too brief to be noted in the following list.

The General Mag. & Hist. Chronicle for all the British Plantations in America.—B. Franklin, Phila.

I—Jan.-June, 1741.

News from Germany.

Amer. Mag. & Hist. Chronicle.—Boston.

I—Sept. 1743-Dec. 1744.

499—A Description of the City of Hamburg, with several observations on the Hamburghers, and other Germans, &c.


373—Ld. P——l's Speech, upon the Report of the Hanoverian Troops, 1744.

492—The Dutch method of manning fleets.


311—Description of the City of Antwerp.

406—King of Prussia—his character.

[Foreign affairs—many paragraphs on Vienna, Hague, Utrecht, Stockholm in Sweden, Denmark, etc.]

Independent Reflector.—N. Y.

Nos. 1-52, Nov. 30, 1752-Nov. 22, 1753.

21—A Vindication of the Moravians, against the aspersions of their enemies.

Amer. Mag. & Mo. Chronicle.—Phila.

I—Oct. 1757-Oct. 1758.

136—Character of the King of Prussia.

[Many paragraphs giving news of Germany.]

The New Amer. Mag.—Woodbridge in N. J.

Nos. XIII-XXIV, 1759.

418—The following remarkable curiosities of Denmark are inserted as an agreeable amusement.

462—On a very useful custom established in Holland; from the French of Voltaire.

The Royal Amer. Mag.—Boston.

Jan.-Dec. 1774.

416—An account of a topical Remedy for the cure of ulcerated Cancer. By M. I. Soultzer, first Physician to his Royal Highness the Duke of Saxe Gotha.

Penna. Mag.—Phila.


471—The Law of Liberty; a Sermon on American affairs, preached at the opening of the Provincial Congress of Georgia. With an appendix giving a concise account of the struggles of Swisserland, to recover their Liberty. By John J. Zubly, D.D. (Select passages from new British Publications.)

II—Jan.-June, 1776.

63—Some account of the Lives of Eminent Persons.—Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden.

169—Extraordinary Heroism of the ancient Scandinavians.

The U. S. Mag.—Phila.


136—Origin of the Debate between the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Germany. Trans. from the Journal Historique & Politique.

186—Particulars relative to the debate between the Emperor and Prussia.

472—Thoughts on the necessity of War. Trans. from the German.

474—Singular Adventures of a German Princess, consort of Alexis, the unfortunate son of the Czar Peter the Great. By Crito.

The Boston Mag.—Boston.

I—Oct. 1783-Dec. 1784.

55—Description (with an elegant engraving) of the celebrated tomb of Madame Langhans, executed by Mr. John Augustus Nahl, late sculptor to the King of Prussia, and which is to be seen in the choir of the parish church of Hindlebanck 2 leagues from Berne, [Prose article containing a trans. of a German poem from Haller. Cf. p. 21.]

545—An account of the commencement of the Liberty of Switzerland.


72, 65, 66, 67—New description of Zurich in Switzerland.

[In a letter from an English gentleman to his friend. Pages of vol. III are misnumbered after p. 72.]

The Worcester Mag.—Worcester (Mass.).

I—First week in Apr.—third week in Aug. 1786.

140—Treaty of Commerce between the U. S. and the King of Prussia.

235—Droll adventure of a Silesian priest, related in the King of Prussia's Campaigns.

III—First week in Apr.—2nd week in Aug. 1787.

5—On the Dutch Loan. From a late N. Y. paper.

IV.—First week in Oct. 1787—4th week in Mar. 1788.

121—Emperour of Germany's Prayer. A small work has lately appeared in Germany under the title of "Joseph Gebetbux" [sic], (the Emperour's Prayer Book) from which the following is extracted.

Columbian Mag.—Phila.

I—Sept. 1786-Dec. 1787.

442—Anecdote of the Siege of Leyden.


31—A genuine Letter from a Member of the Society called Dunkards to a Lady of the Penn Family, with her Answer.

40—A remarkable Hermitage. From Keysler's Travels.

323—Account of a very extraordinary Eruption of Fire in Iceland, in 1783.

621—Account of the great Revolution in Denmark, in the year 1660.

688—Observations made in a Tour in Swisserland, in 1786, by Monsieur De Lazowski.


38—Anecdote extracted from "The Life of Frederic III late King of Prussia," published at Paris and Strassburg in the summer of 1788, and now translating in Philadelphia.

548—Anecdotes—of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

IV—Jan.-June 1790.

26—An Allegory on the Dispute respecting Precedency between the Belles Lettres and the Fine Arts. By Mr. Klopstock. Trans. from the German.

32—Extracts from an Essay on the Form of Government, and the Duties of Kings. By the late King of Prussia. Sent, in 1781, to his Secretary of State, de Hertsberg; but written in 1776, or 1777, as appears from his Letters to Voltaire.

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