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ability. About this time a more complete collection of his lyrical compositions
was published under the title of Lore's Calendar.
For many years Mr. Hoffman has written very little. His residence is in the
city of New York.
A MORNING HYMN.
“Let the RE BE Light!” The Eternal spoke;
“Let there be light !” O'er heaven and earth,
Then come, when in the orient first
INDIAN su MMER, 1828.
Light as love's smiles, the silvery mist at morn
I love thee, Autumn, for thy scenery ere
That richly deck the slow-declining year;
The gorgeous hues that tinge each failing leaf,
0, Nature' still I fondly turn to thee, With feelings fresh as eler my childhood's were;— Though wild and passion-toss'd my youth may be, . Toward thee I still the same devotion bear; To thee—to thee—though health and hope no more Life’s wasted verdure may to me restore— I still can, childlike, come as when in prayer I bow'd my head upon a mother's knee, And deem'd the world, like her, all truth and purity.
WE PARTED IN SADNESS.
We parted in sadness, but spoke not of parting:
Long years have gone by, and the spring-time smiles ever,
SPARKLING AND BRIGHT.
Sparkling and bright in liquid light
Oh! if Mirth might arrest the flight
To drink to-night, with hearts as light,
As bubbles that swim on the beaker's brim,
But since delight can't tempt the wight,
WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMs.
William Gilwore SIMMs, the novelist, historian, and poet, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on the 17th of April, 1806. It was at first intended that he should study medicine; but, his inclinations having led him to the law, he devoted himself to the study of that profession, not, however, allowing it to absorb his whole time, for from his earliest years he possessed a strong love for literature and poetry. At the age of eighteen, he published his first volume, entitled Lyrical and other Poems; which was followed in the next two years by Early Lays, and The Vision of Cortez and other Pieces; and in 1830 by The Tricolor, or the Three Days of Blood in Paris.
At the age of twenty-one he was admitted to the bar; but, feeling a deep interest in political matters, he purchased the “Charleston City Gazette,” and edited it for many years with great ability. Finally it failed, and by it he lost much of his property. Having now no ties to bind him to Charleston, (his wife and his father both being dead,) he visited the North in 1832, and, making a temporary residence in Hingham, Massachusetts, he there prepared for the press his principal poetical work, Atalantis, a Story of the Sea, which was published in New York. It met with a cordial reception, and was spoken of in terms of high praise by some of the leading English journals. In 1837, he brought out his first novel. Martin Faber, which was also favorably received. His other novels are, Guy Rirers; Yemassee; The Partisan; Mellichampe; Pelayo; Carl Werner; Richard Hurdis ; Damsel of Darien; Beauchamp; The Kinsman; Katharine Walton; Confession, or the Blind Heart, &c. His principal biographical and historical works consist of Lives of Captain John Smith, General Marion, Chevalier Bayard, and a History of South Carolina. In 1853, he made selections from his poetry, which were published in two beautiful volumes by Redfield, New York.
The above by no means comprise all Mr. Simms's published volumes: he has written besides a great deal for magazines, reviews, and other periodicals; and in 1849 he became the editor of the “Southern Quarterly Review,” which was revived by his influence and contributions. It will thus be seen that he is one of
the most prolific and versatile writers of the day, and whatever comes from his pen is characterized by earnestness and sincerity. “In all that he has written, his excellencies are unborrowed: their merits are the development of original native germs, without any apparent aid from models. His thoughts, his diction, his arrangement, are his own; he reminds you of no other author; even in the lesser graces of literary execution, he combines language after no pattern set by other authors, however beautiful.”
Mr. Simms now resides on his plantation at Midway, a town about seventy miles southwest of Charleston.
THE MAIDEN AND THE RATTLESNAKE.”
“He does not come, he does not come,” she murmured, as she stood contemplating the thick copse spreading before her, and forming the barrier which terminated the beautiful range of oaks which constituted the grove. How beautiful was the green and garniture of that little copse of wood | The leaves were thick, and the grass around lay folded over and over in bunches, with here and there a wild flower gleaming from its green and making of it a beautiful carpet of the richest and most various texture. A small tree rose from the centre of a clump around which a wild grape gadded luxuriantly; and, with an incoherent sense of what she saw, she lingered before the little cluster, seeming to survey that which, though it seemed to fix her eye, yet failed to fill her thought. Her mind wandered,—her soul was far away; and the objects in her vision were far other than those which occupied her imagination. Things grew indistinct beneath her eye. The eye rather slept than saw. The musing spirit had given holiday to the ordinary senses, and took no heed of the forms that rose, and floated, or glided away, before them. In this way, the leaf detached made no impression upon the sight that was yet bent upon it; she saw not the bird, though it whirled, untroubled by a fear, in wanton circles around her head, and the black snake, with the rapidity of an arrow, darted over her path without arousing a single terror in the form that otherwise would have shivered at its mere appearance. And yet, though thus indistinct
• In Roorbach’s “Bibliotheca Americana” is a list of his works, comprising fifty-three volumes of poetry, fiction, history, and biography. Mr. Simms cannot expect that in this “fast age” all his works can be generally read: but if he, or if some friend for him, would make a selection from his prose and poetry, to be comprised in five or six volumes, it would be a very choice contribution to our literature, and one which posterity “would not willingly let die.” * “Homes of American Authors.” * From Yemassee, a Romance of Carolina. The heroine, Bess Matthews, is in the woods, waiting the coming of her lover.
were all things around her to the musing mind of the maiden, her eye was yet singularly fixed,—fastened, as it were, to a single spot, gathered and controlled by a single object, and glazed, apparently, beneath a curious fascination.
Before the maiden rose a little clump of bushes, bright tangled leaves flaunting wide in glossiest green, with vines trailing over them, thickly decked with blue and crimson flowers. Her eye communed vacantly with these; fastened by a star-like shining glance,—a subtle ray, that shot out from the circle of green leaves, seeming to be their very eye, -and sending out a fluid lustre that seemed to stream across the space between, and find its way into her own eyes. Very piercing and beautiful was that subtle brightness, of the sweetest, strangest power. And now the leaves quivered and seemed to float away, only to return, and the vines waved and swung around in fantastic mazes, unfolding ever-changing varieties of form and color to her gaze; but the star-like eye was ever steadfast, bright and gorgeous gleaming in their midst, and still fastened, with strange fondness, upon her own. How beautiful, with wondrous intensity, did it gleam, and dilate, growing larger and more lustrous with every ray which it sent forth ! And her own glance became intense, fixed also; but, with a dreaming sense that conjured up the wildest fancies, terribly beautiful, that took her soul away from her, and wrapt it about as with a spell. She would have fled, she would have flown; but she had not power to move. The will was wanting to her flight. She felt that she could have bent forward to pluck the gem-like thing from the bosom of the leaf in which it seemed to grow, and which it irradiated with its bright white gleam; but ever as she aimed to stretch forth her hand and bend forward, she heard a rush of wings and a shrill scream from the tree above her, —such a scream as the mock-bird makes, when, angrily, it raises its dusky crest and flaps its wings furiously against its slender sides. Such a scream seemed like a warning, and, though yet unawakened to full consciousness, it startled her and forbade her effort. More than once, in her survey of this strange object, had she heard that shrill note, and still had it carried to her ear the same note of warning, and to her mind the same vague consciousness of an evil presence. But the star-like eye was yet upon her own, a small, bright eye, quick like that of a bird, now steady in its place and observant seemingly only of hers, now darting forward with all the clustering leaves about it, and shooting up towards her, as if wooing her to seize. At another moment, riveted to the vine which lay around it, it would whirl round and round, dazzlingly bright and beautiful, even as a torch waving hurriedly by night in the hands of some playful boy; but, in all this time, the glance was never taken from her own: there it