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Past, while she looked at him with meaning meek,
Played with their hold; then, letting him depart,
“Mourn not for her; for what hath life to give
That should detain her ready spirit here?
Oh, who would keep her soul from being free?
“She hath passed away, and on her lips a smile
When, lifting up her dying arms, she said,
I might exhibit yet another phase of Southey's poetry in his humorous pieces. No man has better shown that one trait of genius,—the carrying forward the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood :
“My days have been the days of joy,
Time, which matures the intellectual part,
This natural and cultivated cheerfulness 'has vented itself in his playful poetry, to relieve his own berant feelings and to gladden his happy household group. There is something 'exceedingly fine in hearing him at one time uttering strains that sound from Arabia, or Gothic Spain, or the wilds of America, or from the magic supernatural caverns under the night of the ocean, —at another time sounding one of those tremendous imprecations on the head of Bonaparte,-and then to find him writing, from the fulness of a father's heart, poetic stories for his children. This he deemed part of his vocation; for, as he sings in one of his sportive lyrics
“I am laureate
No man ever clung with deeper or manlier devotion to bis household gods. For his children's sake, and for the sake of his own moral nature, he ever kept the young heart alive within him. There was wisdom in this, as he has shown in the plea that he has appended to one of his wild ballads :
“I told my tale of the Holy Thumb,
That split the dragon asunder;
Which were full of delight and wonder.
“With listening lips and looks intent,
There sate an eager boy,
And could not sit still for joy.
“But when I looked at my mistress' face,
It was all too grave the while, And when I ceased, methought there was more
Of reproof than of praise in her smile.
Reprovingly, said she :-
But give little content to me.
Some sober, sadder lay,-
Before those locks were grey.'
«« Nay, mistress mine,' I made reply ;
• The autumn hath its flowers, Nor ever is the sky more gay
Than in its evening hours.
From all intemperate gladness,
Of playful themes to sing :
Than summer or than spring;
Such hues hath nature thrown,
A sunshine of their own.
The source from whence we weep
In age it lies too deep.
««• Enough of foresight sad, too much
Of retrospect, have I;
Can put those feelings by.
“From public ills and thoughts that else
Might weigh me down to earth;
For healthful, hopeful mirth.""
It only remains for me to show that that spirit of mirth was healthful,—a help to his moral strength, and consistent with a profound spirit of meditation. Let us turn, therefore, to the sublime closing strains of the most spiritual of his lyrical poems,— the noble ode on the portrait of Bishop Heber. They had been friends; and, when India's saintly bishop was no longer upon the earth, Southey's heart was strongly stirred as he gazed upon his portrait :
“Hadst thou revisited thy native land,
Mortality, and Time,
Hath chilled his faculties
A light for those who follow him,
Of good, prolific still!
“Yes, to the Christian, to the heathen world,
Heber, thou art not dead,—thou canst not die
The breaking of a shell,
Oh, when that leaf shall fall,
My spirit be with thine!"