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315 Brothers, forgive my wayward fancy. Who

Can guess beforehand what his pen will do ?
Too light my strain for listeners such as these,
Whom graver thoughts and soberer speech sball

please. Is he not here whose breath of holy song 320 Has raised the downcast eyes of faith so long?

Are they not here, the strangers in your gates,
For whom the wearied ear impatient waits, -
The large-brained scholars whom their toils re-

lease, The bannered heralds of the Prince of Peace ? 325 Such was the gentle friend whose youth un

blamed
In years long past our student-benches claimed;
Whose name, illumined on the sacred page,
Lives in the labors of his riper age;

Such he whose record time's destroying march 330 Leaves uneffaced on Zion's springing arch:

Not to the scanty phrase of measured song,
Cramped in its fetters, names like these belong;
One ray they lend to gild my slender line, –

Their praise I leave to sweeter lips than mine. 335

Home of our sires, where learning's temple rose, While yet they struggled with their banded foes, 319. One of the visitors present was the Rev. Dr. Ray Palmer, suthor of the well-known hymn :

“My faith looks up to Thee." 325. Dr. Holmes in a pleasant paper of reminiscences, Cinders from the Ashes has dwelt at length on his boyish recollections of Horatio Balch Hackett, a schoolmate, and known later as the learned Biblical scholar and student of Palestine explorations.

329. The reference is to Edward Robinson, the pioneer of scientific travel in the Holy Land, one of whose best known discoveries was of the remains of an arch of an ancient bridge thereafter called “Robinson's Arch."

As in the west thy century's sun descends,
One parting gleam its dying radiance lends.

Darker and deeper though the shadows fall 340 From the gray towers on Doubting Castle's wall,

Though Pope and Pagan re-array their hosts,
And her new armor youthful Science boasts,
Truth, for whose altar rose this holy shrine,

Shall fly for refuge to these bowers of thine; 345 No past shall chain her with its rusted vow,

No Jew's phylactery bind her Christian brow,
But faith shall smile to find her sister free,
And nobler manhood draw its life from thee.

Long as the arching skies above thee spread, 350 As on thy groves the dews of heaven are shed,

With currents widening still from year to year,
And deepening channels, calm, untroubled, clear,
Flow the twin streamlets from thy sacred hill
Pieria's fount and Siloam's shaded rill!

354. Pieria was the fabled home of the Muses and the birthplace of Orpheus; Siloam, a pool near Jerusalem, often mentioned by the prophets and in the New Testament, has passed into poetry through Milton's lines :

“Or if Sion-bill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook, that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God.”

Paradise Lost, Book I., 1. 10. And through the first two lines of Reginald Heber's hymn:

“ By cool Siloam's shady rill
How sweet the lily grows."

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL,

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

JAMES

AMES RUSSELL LOWELL was born February

22, 1819, at Elmwood, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the house which he still occupies. His early life was spent in Cambridge, and he has sketched many

of the scenes in it very delightfully in Cambridge Thirty Years Ago, in his volume of Fireside Travels, as well as in his early poem, An Indian Summer Reverie. His father was a Congregationalist minister of Boston, and the family to which he belongs has had a strong representation in Massachusetts. His grandfather, John Lowell, was an eminent jurist, the Lowell Institute of Boston owes its endowment to John Lowell, a cousin of the poet, and the city of Lowell was named after Francis Cabot Lowell, an uncle, who was one of the first to begin the manufacturing of cotton in New England.

Lowell was a student at Harvard, and was grad uated in 1838, when he gave a class poem, and in 1841 his first volume of poems, A Year's Life, was published. His bent from the beginning was more decidedly literary than that of any contempo rary American poet. That is to say, the history and art of literature divided his interest with the production of literature, and he carries the unusual gift of rare critical power, joined to hearty, spontaneous creation. It may indeed be guessed that the keenness of judgment and incisiveness of wit which characterize his examination of literature have sometimes interfered with his poetic power, and made him liable to question his art when he would rather have expressed it unchecked. In connection with Robert Carter, a litterateur who has lately died, he began, in 1843, the publicatiou of The Pioneer, a Literary and Critical Magazine, which lived a brilliant life of three months. A volume of poetry followed in 1844, and the next year he published Conversations on Some of the Old Poets, a book which is now out of print, but interesting as marking the enthusiasm of a young scholar, tread. ing a way then almost wholly neglected in America, and intimating a line of thought and study in which he has since made most noteworthy ventures. Another series of poems followed in 1848, and in the same year The Vision of Sir Launfal. Perhaps it was in reaction from the marked sentiment of his poetry that he issued now a jeu d'esprit, A Fable for Critics, in which he hit off, with a rough and ready wit, the characteristics of the writers of the day, not forgetting himself in these lines :" There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme, lle might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders, But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders;

The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching
Till he learns the distinction twixt singing and preaching;
His lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well
But he'd rather by half make a drum of the shell,
And rattle away till he's old as Methusalem,
At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem."

This, of course, is but a half serious portrait of himself, and it touches but a single feature; others can say better that Lowell's ardent nature showed itself in the series of satirical poems which now made him famous, The Biglow Papers, written in a spirit of indignation and fine scorn, when the Mexican War was causing many Americans to blush with shame at the use of the country by a class for its own ignoble ends. The true patriotism which marked these and other of his early poems, burut with a steady glow in after years, and illumined poems of which we shall speak presently.

After a year and a half spent in travel, Lowell was appointed in 1855 to the Belles Lettres professorship, lately held at Harvard by Longfellow. When the Atlantic Monthly was established in 1857 he was editor, and a year or two after relinquishing the post he assumed part editorship of the North American Review. In these two magazines, as also in Putnam's Monthly, he published poems, essays, and critical papers, which have been gathered into volumes. His prose writings, besides the volumes already mentioned, include two series of Among my Books, historical and critical studies chiefly in Eng. lish literature; and My Study Windows, including with similar subjects observations of nature and

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