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of weeds and foliage. I do not maintain that quick conceptions are not a sign of genius, but that to connect glorious thoughts with words fit to enshrine and represent them, is a difficulty only to be overcome by assiduous toil and study. It is justly remarked by Shenstone, that fine writing is the result of spontaneous thoughts and laboured composition. Burns has acknowledged, that though his ideas were easy and rapid, the necessary correction of his verses was a heavy task. The great Milton well knew the advantage of condensation, and after dictating about forty lines would reduce them to half that number. It was the custom of Virgil “to pour out his verses in the morning, and pass the day in retrenching exuberances and correcting inaccuracies." A French author happily illustrated the comparative facility of a diffuse style, when he apologized for the length of a letter by stating that he had not time to write a shorter one.
The writers of the present day, both in prose and verse, possess perhaps, taken as a body, more energy of thought and passion, and more of the genuine spirit of inspiration than their predecessors in the time of Queen Anne ; and if they were only half as careful and condensed, their great superiority would be evi. dent. But too many of them are prodigal of their intellectual wealth, and waste their powers.
Now slowly sails the gray mist o'er the plain;
The busy “hum of men' is heard afar,
Whose tremulous bosom glimmers with the star
And hark! the nightingale's melodious lay!
The soft notes rise, and fall, and melt away!
They tell me health's transparent flower glows freshly on thy
cheek, They say that in the festal hall thy looks of rapture speak; They know that boundless love is mine, but do not read my heart, And little dream their friendly words awake an inward smart.
I well might weep to learn that care had blanched thy lovely brow,
I should not thus forget, dear girl, that early years are bright, That hearts so young and pure as thine, are touched with holy
light, And like the fountain's crystal streams, that through spring mea
dows run, Reflect alone the fairest things that kindle in the sun.
They tell me too, that ʼmid the crowd thou hast a smile for all,
And yet 'tis selfish thus to grieve—'tis base to doubt thy truth,
In fancy's trance I kiss thy brow, and clasp thee to my breast,But ah! how soon that dream departs, like sun-light in the west ! And then my path is dark as their’s who wander through the
night When suddenly the fitful winds have quenched a cheering light.
And yet not wholly comfortless is home's deserted cell,
And still around my neck is hung, that last dear gift of thine,
SONNET-TO MY TWIN BOYS.
Your stainless years depart
On! now glad Nature bursts upon mine eye!
[WRITTEN IN INDIA.]
The skies are blue as summer seas—the plains are green and
brightThe groves are fair as Eden's bowers—the streams are liquid lightThe sun-rise bursts upon the scene, like glory on the soul, And richly round the couch of Day the twilight curtains roll.
But oh! though beautiful it be, I yearn to leave the land, -
I gaze upon the stranger's face-I tread on foreign ground,
around My spirit may not mingle yet with scenes so wild and strange, And keeps in scorn of fleshly bonds its old accustomed range.
In that sweet hour when Fancy's spell inebriates the brain,