to many severe trials, but, assisted by the gods his protectors, he triumphs over the snares of Love, as well as the hate of Mercury, and leads his companions, innocently and successfully, to the term of their journey.

“ The action of the poem concludes on the fifth day; the different stages of the travellers constitute its the tre, and it is entitled the Partheneid, in allusion not only to the innocence of the pilgrims, but to the name of the spot where their travels end. Such is, abstracting its ornaments, details, and accessories, the subject out of which Mr. Baggessen has composed a poem, of more than four thousand verses.”

This analysis is copied literally, from the preliminary discourse of the translator. It merely requires some little amplification. The place of destination for the pilgrims is the best known, and most beautiful, of the lofty mountains I have mentioned. It is called the Virgin, and the poet feigns, that there exists, with respect to it, among the inhabitants of the country, a tradition, of the following purport. “ Formerly, the gods inhabited the valleys of Helvetia; but, at length, indignant at the growing wickedness of men, they withdrew to the inaccessible summits of the mountains, and ceased to be visible to mortal eyes. Urania alone, the goddess of innocence and pure love, through tenderness for children, and young girls, whom she continues to protect, suffers herself still to be seen, resplendent with whiteness, in the azure regions of the sky."

It is upon this simple fiction, that the author has grounded the intervention, of some of the gods of the ancient mythology, in the business of his poem. The propriety of using such machinery, in treating a modern subject, is a question, which the translator has discussed with particular care. I shall recur to this topic in the sequel. I shall merely subjoin here, that Mercury, the god of vulgar interests, has chosen for his residence, the lofty summit of the Niesen, and that Love, whose co-operation he had solicited for his enterprise, had retired to the most pleasant of the hills, which skirt the valley of Hasly; while the two tutelary divinities, Urania and Apollo, hold their empire, one upon the highest peak of the Virgin, the other upon the inaccessible suminits of the Eigger.

That Vénus-Urania should defend three young virgins, against the gods of vile interest and gross sensuality, is altogether natural. Apollo lends his aid, but chiefly on account of Norfrank, their companion and guide, who is under his immediate protection. What, then, is the cause of this especial favour? It is this. Norfrank is a poet: not one of those pretenders, who assume the name, because likely to produce sensation and effect, in the

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world, but one of those rare beings, whom Nature has truly inspired; whose imagination is always stretched towards what is great; whose soul is always intent on moral beauty; who abstract themselves from the vulgar things of life, in order to adore on the earth, the beauties of nature, and the charms of virtue alone, and who consecrate, to the description and celebration of these, all the fruits of their industry, and all the energy of their genius.

An individual of this character travelling, in the midst of the most sublime exhibitions, and beautiful imagery of nature, with three young and lovely girls, in that early age of innocence, which presents so strong a temptation, even to the virtuous, and which it is the first wish of the vitious man to blast;--the passion which is kindled in the heart of the youthful poet, and the efforts made by the two Divinities of interest and sensual pleasure, in order thát that passion may cease to be pure, and become offensive to Vénus-Urania;-athe succour which this chaste goddess yields to her favourites, to preserve them incorrupt, and the help which they also find in Apollo, represented as the god of enthusiasm, in reference to moral beauty;

such, together, are the theatre, action, and actors of this poem, of which the conception must be regarded as entirely new, although it belongs to a department, already illustrated by two chefs-d'auvre emi. nently popular. Poetical descriptions of the most magnificent objects; paintings of pure, simple, and virginal manners; passions worthy of those manners; in fine, an ingenious application of the fictions of mythology, enriched by new creations, these are what the mere exposition oi such a subject authorizes us to expect, and what, indeed, we find united, in the present work. To begin with the descriptions. There are few

poems that can boast of any, more rich and captivating. which the author had to depict is, without doubt, admirable, and fitted to impart inspiration; but, whatever may be the charms of the model, it is the skill of the painter, which gives life and attraction to the picture. Moreover, he does not confine himself to the face of the country. He dwells on scenes in which he introduces his personages; in the manner of the great landscapepainters, who animate the beauties of rural nature, by the presence of man, either in action or contemplation. At one time, we have before us three young sisters, overcome by heat and fatigue, grouped on the top of a verdant hill, around a salient fountain, drinking eagerly out of its basin, plunging their fine arms in it, as a refreshment, and, with all the gaiety and security of innocence, suffering their young guide to quench his thirst out of the palms of their hands. At another, you are presented with

The scenery

a tempest on the lake of Thuna, which the poet describes in a style equally natural and terrible; but he places a small skiff in the midst of the lake, and in it, the three sisters, and Norfrank, already a prey to the agitations of love. Thus, what would other. wise be merely a grand and appalling spectacle, is imbued with interest, as well as terror.

The fine cascade of Staubach must have been often depicted by the German poets. It has been minutely so by Haller. But no antecedent description can equal that which is given in the work before us. And it is not the presence of the young pilgrim and his companions which constitutes, although it no doubt heightens, the charm; it is the skill, the imagination, and the colouring of the


I could cite many other instances, of extraordinary merit; among the rest, the description of the rugged rocks which lead to the peak of the Virgin, in the sixth book, the ascent of the travellers to the summit of Tschugen, in the eighth, &c. &c.

Pictures of pure, and, in some sort, primitive manners, are almost every where to be found, when the actors of the scene know no other, and have remained inaccessible to the corruption spread over the earth, as is the highest summit of Eiger, to the foot of the traveller. Such pictures abound in the Partheneid, and are recommended by the most delightful and animated poetry. You see the three sisters, fresh as the


and the morning ray, sleeping in the same bed at an inn, while their young companion lies in the next room. You hear the virginal hymn, which they sing by turns, on perceiving, at the dawn of day, the summit of the queen of mountains; a hymn composed for them, on the way, by Norfrank, and which he accompanies with his melodious flute. “O youth,” says the first of the sisters,“ smiling morn of the day of life, dispose our minds to the duties of the age which follows thee; may virtue and wisdom, together with the graces, flourish in us!”—“Be for ever our guide,” exclaims the second,“O thou goddess of innocence! Never suffer the carnation which embellishes thy virginal cheek, to fade on ours, and let it be the only tint ever mingled with our native roses!"--" May innocence and happiness," adds the third," unite in our souls, as do the images of the god of light, and the queen of the mountains, in the limpid mirror of the lake of Thuna! May our days flow on as tranquil as these waters, filled with beatific dreams, and celestial prelibations! May our whole life be but a long pilgrimage to the residence of Urania!"

The reader will be particularly delighted with the naïveté of the scene, where the three sisters are exhibited as drenched with rain, and Norfrank is made to leave them to themselves, from a

pure as

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motive of delicacy, and under the pretext of a visit to another declivity of the mountain. Seeing themselves at liberty, they take off most of their garments, spread them in the sun to dry, and thus, half-clad, dance round them, with their arms encircling each other, in the manner of the Graces. We were ravished with the exquisite picture, of the bathing of their feet together, in a wooden vase, not far from the hard and awkward bed, which Norfrank had made for himself, spent, like them, with fatigue, and then buried in a profound sleep.

“The daughters of Andros, raising the vase by a common effort, bring it, without noise, into their chamber, and place it as far as possible from the bed of Norfrank. Seating themselves about it, they begin by throwing into the smoking water, a few grains of salt, and pouring in, drop by drop, a salutary and odoriferous essence distilled from the cherry, which is regarded as precious, by the inhabitants of the Alps. Arranging, afterwards, with modest caution, the floating skirts of their robes, they first loosen the latches of their sandals, then untie the easy garter, and, bending towards each other, draw from the ancles the white, elastic tissue which pictures its admirable shape; at this instant, there are placed on the edge of the vase, three pair of feet, comparable to those of the goddesses of Praxiteles. Cynthia first essays the temperature of the bath. Oh, how delightful!' does she exclaim; how pleasantly this water caresses the afflicted feet. I feel myself, as it were, born anew. At these words, Myris and Daphne, plunging, also, their feet into the waveg mix their expressions of delight with those of Cynthia. While thus refreshing themselves, and conversing in a low voice, the three nymphs, at the same time, throw off their light hats of straw, and remove the curious tortoise-shell, that confines their beautiful tresses, which then fall back, and float, at full length, in natural ringlets.”

They continue to talk freely among themselves, about the oddness of their situation, the adventures of the day, and the innocent pleasures of their journey. But Norfrank awakes. Violently assailed by Love, he catches a glimpse of the mysterious proceeding; he resists, however, the temptations of the god: he remains immoveable, and with his eyes closed; he scarcely dares to breathe, lest he should disturb the security of the sisters. “ In the mean time, the latter withdraw their feet, one after another, from the wooden vase, and, placing them on the edge, bend repeatedly, and with great caution, to dry them, not, however, without silently and archly comparing their size and form. Overjoyed, and almost astonished, 10 find themselves no longer oppressed by fatigue, they rise together, and, becoming less uneasy and fearful, they entwine, mutually, their arms, with an affectionate and playful air; forming thus an enchanting groupe, in which the charms of each are heightened and embellished, by those of the other; as the pink, the lily, and the rose, interwoven in the garland of a young bride, by mixing their perfume and their colours, seem to double their separate sweetness and lustre.”

The reader will here perceive, that the uniformly powerful effect, of these delightful pictures, is still increased, by the contrast of violent emotions, which might dash, in an instant, ali the enjoyments of the scene. This contrast was, no doubt, intended by Mr. Baggessen, and is maintained throughout the whole course of his poem. For this purpose, he employs the intervention of terrestrial and sensual Lore. It is this god, who, disguised in the shape of a butterfly, while Mercury is concealed under that of a beetle, agitates the air about the head of the young poet, and awakens him, while the sisters are engaged in the manner just described. It is he who, metamorphosed into a Humming-bird, at the inn of Thun, kindles such lively sensations in the breast of Norfrank, as he enters the chamber of the sisters, and sees them yet asleep. The young man, forgetting himself more and more, is, at length, worked into ecstacy, in the contemplation of the beauty of the nymphs, in the midst of their slumbers. The son of Venus, resuming his celestial form, and bending his bow, watches the moment, when Norfrank rivets his eye upon the mouth of Myris, to discharge at him a goldenheaded shaft, which buries itself in his heart. Pierced with the cruel dart, the youth is scarcely able to stifle, by halves, an outcry of pain. The gay dreams of the sisters take flight at the noise, and all three awake at the same moment, in equal alarm. But Norfrank recollects himself, retires without being perceived, and returns, afterwards, more composed, to apprize them, that it is ti:ne for them to set out."

It is in a similar disguise, that Love makes another and more dangerous attack upon Norfrank and Myris, in the grotto of Mount Béat. The young man had penetrated into it, on the excursion which he had taken, in order to give the sisters an opportunity, of drying their garments at ease. Seated at the entrance of the grotto, on the point of a rock, near a rivulet, which purls through the moss, and over the pebbles, with his head reclined on his hands, and dreaming of Myris, he watches the lapse of the stream, and sheds a torrent of tears, which mitigates, in a slight degree, the passion that consumes him. Love undertakes to conduct Myris to the spot. Under the form of a small bird, of a brilliant plumage, he captivates her attention, and

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