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son with the simplicity of Cobbett !" Here | Thou hold'st me by a spell; and on thy beach

are some stanzas:

At Eutaw Springs the valiant died;
Their limbs with dust are covered o'er-
Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide;
How many heroes are no more!

If, in this wreck of ruin, they

Can yet be thought to claim the tear, O smite your gentle breast, and say,

The friends of freedom slumber here! Stranger, their humble graves adorn;

You too may fall, and ask a tear, etc.

I feel all soul and thoughts unmeasured reach
Far back beyond all date. And, O! how old
Thou art to me. For countless years thou hast


Before an ear did hear thee, thou didst mourn,
Prophet of sorrows, o'er a race unborn;
Waiting, thou mighty minister of death,
Lonely thy work, ere man had drawn his breath.
At last thou didst it well! The dread command
Came, and thou swept'st to death the breathing

And then once more, unto the silent heaven
Thy lone and melancholy voice was given.

And though the land is thronged again, O Sea!
Strange sadness touches all that goes with thee.
The small bird's plaining note, the wild, sharp call,
Share thy own spirit: it is sadness all!
How dark and stern upon thy waves looks down
And see! those sable pines along the steep,
Are come to join thy requiem, gloomy deep!
Like stoled monks they stand and chant the dirge
Over the dead, with thy low beating surge.

Yonder tall cliff-he with the iron crown.

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Wohin, woher,"

But we would willingly, out of the selected specimens, ourselves select the best, although it would be perhaps only fair, since the country has itself passed favorable judgment on what is here given us, to scan them strictly, or at least take them indiscriminately. Dana is one of the few names which has reached this country, and "The Buccaneer," a clever imitation of it deservedly holds a high place on the roll Coleridge's style, is his principal poem, of American genius. Dana is, we are in- and it gains, perhaps, as much as his other formed, of a fair English descent; William Dana, Esq., having been sheriff of Middle- poems lose, by being less wild and extrav agant than what it is modelled upon; but sex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in such a piece as the following, we look and the republican editor adds, "Thus it in vain for the true picturesque—it is near will be seen our author has good blood in being pretty, almost good-no more. his veins an honor which no one pretends little German ballad, to despise, who is confident that his grand-comes nearest to it :father was not a felon or a boor." He, like all the other literary men of America, was a magazine writer and editor, though he has escaped, more completely than most of them, the faults of style, diction, and sentiment, which such an occupation must have a tendency to create. There is a sustained feeling through his compositions, which do not seem to be thrown at the public in fragments, in order that they may stick the more readily and immediately. But there is wanting, too, the bold and fierce energy, the hardihood of thought and language, which constitute at once the faults and the interest of a vigorous mind. Take, for instance, the following good lines from "Factitious Life," which are only a weakened reflection of the more burning thoughts of another poet:

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Ho! how the giant heaves himself, and strains
And flings to break his strong and viewless chains:
Foams in his wrath; and at his prison doors,
Hark! hear him! how he beats and tugs and roars,
As if he would break forth again and sweep
Each living thing within his lowest deep.
Type of the infinite! I look away

Over thy billows, and I cannot stay
My thought upon a resting-place, or make
A shore beyond my vision, where they break;
But on my spirit stretches, till it's pain

To think; then rests, and then puts forth again.


Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Why takest thou its melancholy voice?
And with that boding cry
Along the waves dost fly?
rather, bird, with me
Through the fair land rejoice!


Thy flitting form comes ghostly dim and pale,
As driven by a beating storm at sea;
Thy cry is weak and scared,
As if thy mates had shared


doom of us; Thy wail

What doth it bring to me?

Thou call'st along the sand, and haunt'st the surge,
Restless and sad as if in strange accord
With the motion and the roar
Of waves that drive to shore,
One spirit did ye urge—

The Mystery-the Word.

Then turn thee, little bird, and take thy flight
Where the complaining sea shall sadness bring
Thy spirit never more.

Come, quit with me the shore,
For gladness and the light

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Where birds of summer sing.

William Cullen Bryant, the most popu lar of American poets, somewhere about the year 1821 presented his principal poem, Thanatopsis," for insertion in "The North American Review," while Dana was one of its managers. It was agreed by the whole directory that the unknown author

"could not be an American," the poem was so good. He was, however; and to show that now at least the nation appreciates the powers of its author, we need only extract from the notice prefixed to the extracts the following passage

Of Sabbath worshippers. The low of herds
Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain
A fresher wind sweeps by, and breaks my dream,
Over the dark-brown furrows. All at once
And I am in the wilderness alone.

gent; and then close again, like the buzzing of a bee about our ears: and we have no doubt that all this is a merit in America, though she cannot of course expect that we should feel any very lively emotions of interest when we find that what its shores are ringing with is only the echo of what shook our ears at home long ago. Observe in the passage we have extracted the expressions

Here we are perpetually getting sight of "This (The Ages, a poem) is the only Lord Byron. There is ever and anon an poem he has written in the stanza of Spen-approximation, and then off again at a tanser. In its versification it is not inferior to the best passages of the 'Fairie Queene' or 'Childe Harold,' and its splendid imagery and pure philosophy are as remarkable as the power it displays over language:" that is, in versification it is equal to the best parts of the best poems of this class that have ever been written, and in every thing else vastly superior. But it really is good, in spite of this fulsome stuff; and indeed "Thanatopsis" may vie with poems Still this great solitude is quick with lifeof a very high class in English literature." A populous solitude of bees and birds," The tone is solemn, sustained, and digni- Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers, fied-not so much thought as Young, but "And fairy-formed and many-colored things." less of epigrammatic quaintness. The folThen again (of the bee)lowing is a fine admonition :

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave, at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one that draws the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

I listen long
To his domestic hum. From the ground
Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn, ete.
"The hum

Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,
The lisp of children, and their, earliest words."

Here are the disjecta verba poetæ ; and, be it remembered, the passage is not seYet even in this fine poem, and in the lected, but simply adduced. There are other compositions of Bryant, are to be detected constant imitations of what has gone plenty of other similarities, bearing the before-a want of originality and indepen-in English poetry; and we should find it same shadowy resemblance to archetypes dence. We only admit such resemblances difficult to show a passage quite original in where the ancient classics are drawn upon. In America we can plainly see that English any one of this author's poems. We wish poetry of every age is admittedly set up for to offer the best specimens of this the best modelling from, and that it pleases instead of American poets-so we give the followof offends a trans-Atlantic ear to perceive ing pretty piece entire :—

that the (in another sense) fontes remotos mix with the julep of their verse.

Take as an instance part of a description of the prairies

Still this great solitude is quick with life.
Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers
They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,

And birds, that scarce have learned the fear of man,
Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground,
Startlingly beautiful. The graceful deer
Bounds to the wood at my approach. The bee,
A more adventurous colonist than man,
With whom he came across the eastern deep,
Fills the savannas with his murmurings,
And hides his sweets, as in the golden age,
Within the hollow oak. I listen long
To his domestic hum, and think I hear
The sound of that advancing multitude
Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground
Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn


The melancholy days are come,
The saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods,
And meadows brown and sear.
Heap'd in the hollows of the grove,
The wither'd leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust,
And to the rabbit's tread.

The robin and the wren are flown,

And from the shrubs the jay,

And from the wood-top calls the crow,
Through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers,
That lately sprang and stood

In brighter light and softer air,
A beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves;
The gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds,
With the fair and good of ours.

The rain is falling where they lie,
But the cold November rain
Calls not, from out the gloomy earth,
The lovely ones again.

The wind-flower and the violet,

They perish'd long ago,

And the brier rose and the orchis died,
Amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the golden-rod,

And the aster in the wood,

And the yellow sun-flower by the brook

In autumn beauty stood,

Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven,
As falls the plague on men,

And the brightness of their smile was gone
From upland, glade, and glen.

And now, when comes the calm, mild day,
As still such days will come,

To call the squirrel and the bee

From out their winter home;
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard,
Though all the trees are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light

The waters of the rill,

The south wind searches for the flowers
Whose fragrance late he bore,
And sighs to find them in the wood
And by the stream no more.

And then I think of one who in

Her youthful beauty died,

The fair, meek blossom that grew up
And faded by my side;

In the cold, moist earth we laid her,
When the forest cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely
Should have a life so brief:
Yet not unmeet it was that one,
Like that young friend of ours,
So gentle and so beautiful,

Should perish with the flowers.

The following are perhaps the best lines in the collection. They occur in an address to the evening wind :

Languishing to hear thy welcome sound,

Lies the vast inland, stretched beyond the sight. Go forth, into the gathering shade; go forth,GOD's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth! Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest, Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse The wide, old wood from his majestic rest,

Summoning, from the innumerable boughs, The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast.

It will not be expected by the reader that we should pretend even to enumerate the names of the first-class American poets. If we adduce a few, it is without prejudice to those we omit to mention, and almost without assigning any superiority in those we notice over the rest. The volume before us embraces extracts from at least one hundred writers, and some of the poems given run to a considerable length. Certain names, however, are better known here than others, and have attained higher celebrity; and such is the case, too, with our own writers in America. For instance, Kirke White, instead of being classed with

those geniuses who are more eminent for their promise than their performance, is perhaps more quoted and imitated in America than any modern English poet. We could easily multiply examples; and hence we may not, perhaps, fall in with American feeling or public judgment in the remarks we make, or the authors we quote. Lucretia and Margaret Davidson, accordingly, we dismiss without notice. They were written into popularity by a popular author, and never would have attracted interest by their writings, or, indeed, by their history, which, as we have remarked in a former number of this Magazine, is, in its manufacture, but an affected imitation of a literary history published in the parent country years ago.

The most remarkable poem that has ever appeared from an American pen, is undoubtedly "Zophiel," by Mrs. Brooks, a lady who, in publishing, assumed the name of Maria Del' Occidente. This poem was published in London in 1833, at a time when Mrs. Brooks was the guest of Southey, and that eminent man honored it by correcting the proof-sheets as they passed through the press. He has himself borne testimony to the genius of the author in that strange book of his, "The Doctor," in which he styles her "the most impassioned and the most imaginative of all poetesses;" and the Quarterly Review, in denying her the full benefit of the laureate's praise, admits the poem to be "altogether an extraordinary performance." The germ of the story is to be found in the sixth, seventh, and eighth chapters of the apocryphal book of Tobit, and the mysterious obscurity of the text admits of the full play of her imagination, or fancy, as the reviewer would have it called, which involves and evolves itself in the most extraordinary, and at times magnificent flights. The observations of the editor of the collection upon the merits and defects of this performance are impartial and sound, and unbiassed by the leaning which in some instances misleads him into undue panegyric. He says, "in some of her descriptions she is perhaps too minute; and, at times, by her efforts to condense, (or rather we should say, by the over-rapidity of her thoughts,) she becomes obscure. The stanza of Zophiel' will probably never be very popular, and though the poem may, to use the language of Mr. Southey, have a permanent place in the literature of our language, it will never be generally admired."

It is impossible for us to give more than a single passage out of the third canto of the

poem, the whole of which is quoted in the rer," both of which, our editor tells us, collection:


"Tis now the hour of mirth, the hour of love,
The hour of melancholy; night, as vain
Of her full beauty, seems to pause above,
That all may look upon her ere it wane.
The heavenly angel watch'd his subject star,
O'er all that's good and fair benignly smiling;
The sighs of wounded love he hears from far,
Weeps that he cannot heal, and wafts a hope be-

The nether earth looks beauteous as a gem';
High o'er her groves in floods of moonlight laving,
The towering palm displays his silver stem,

The while his plumy leaves scarce in the breeze are waving.

The nightingale among his roses sleeps;

The soft-eyed doe in thicket deep is sleeping; The dark-green myrrh her tears of fragrance weeps, And every odorous spike in limpid dew is steeping.

Proud, prickly cerea, now thy blossom 'scapes

Its cell; brief cup of light: and seems to say, "I am not for gross mortals; blood of grapesAnd sleep for them. Come, spirits, while ye may!"

A silent stream winds darkly through the shade, And slowly gains the Tigris, where 'tis lost; By a forgotten prince, of old, 'twas made,

And in its course full many a fragment cross'd Of marble fairly carved; and by its side

Her golden dust the flaunting lotos threw
O'er her white sisters, throned upon the tide,
And queen of every flower that loves perpetual

Gold-sprinkling lotos, theme of many a song,
By slender Indian warbled to his fair!

Still tastes the stream thy rosy kiss, though long
Has been but dust the hand that placed thee


The little temple where its relics rest

Long since has fallen; its broken columns lie Beneath the lucid wave, and give its breast A whiten'd glimmer as 'tis stealing by. Here, cerea, too, thy clasping mazes twine The only pillar time has left erect; Thy serpent arms embrace it, as 'twere thine, And roughly mock the beam it should reflect.

We add a few lines, quoted by "The Doctor," from a smaller poem, which to us ap. pear eminently beautiful

And as the dove to far Palmyra flying,

From where her native founts of Antioch beam, Weary, exhausted, longing, panting, sighing, Lights sadly at the desert's bitter stream;

So many a soul, o'er life's drear desert faring, Love's pure, congenial spring unfound, unquaff'd, Suffers, recoils, then, thirsty and despairing

Of what it would, descends and sips the nearest draught.

N. P. Willis, so well known to us as a flippant and amusing prose writer, is also a poet, and we had occasion lately to extract some pretty passages from his drama of "Bianca Visconti." He is also the author of another drama, "Tortesa the Usu

have been the most successful works of their kind produced in America.

His "Lines on leaving Europe" begin well:

Bright flag at yonder tapering mast,
Fling out your field of azure blue;
Let star and stripe be westward cast,

And point as Freedom's eagle flew!
Strain home! O lithe and quivering spars!
Point home, my country's flag of stars!

The wind blows fair, the vessel feels
The pressure of the rising breeze,
And, swiftest of a thousand keels,
She leaps to the careering seas!
O, fair, fair cloud of snowy sail,

In whose white breast I seem to lie,
How oft, when blew this eastern gale,

I've seen your semblance in the sky, And long'd, with breaking heart, to flee On such white pinions o'er the sea!

Adieu, O lands of fame and eld!

I turn to watch our foamy track,
And thoughts with which I first beheld
Yon clouded line come hurrying back;
My lips are dry with vague desire,

My cheek once more is hot with joy;
My pulse, my brain, my soul on fire!

O, what has changed that traveller-boy! As leaves the ship this dying foam, His visions fade behind his weary heart speeds home!

In the following he is a little less affected than usual, and we wish him to have the benefit of so rare a perfection :—


On the cross-beam under the Old South bell
The nest of a pigeon is builded well.
In summer and winter that bird is there,
Out and in with the morning air;
I love to see him track the street,
With his wary eye and active feet;
And I often watch him as he springs,
Circling the steeple with easy wings,
Till across the dial his shade has pass'd,
And the belfry edge is gain'd at last.
And the trembling throb in its mottled throat;
"Tis a bird I love with its brooding note,
There's a human look in its swelling breast,
And the gentle curve of its lowly crest;
And I often stop with the fear I feel,
He runs so close to the rapid wheel.

Whatever is rung on that noisy bell-
Chime of the hour, or funeral knell-
The dove in the belfry must hear it well.
When the tongue swings out to the midnight moon,
When the clock strikes clear at morning light,
When the sexton cheerily rings for noon,
When the chime plays soft in the Sabbath air,
When the child is waked with "nine at night,"
Filling the spirit with tones of prayer-
Whatever tale in the bell is heard,
He broods on his folded feet unstirr'd,
Or, rising half in his rounded nest,
He takes the time to smooth his breast,
Then drops again, with filmed eyes,
And sleeps as the last vibration dies.
Sweet bird! I would that I could be
A hermit in the crowd, like thee.

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For man to strike his plaintive lyre and fail,
As fail he must, if he attempt thy praise.
The little plant that never sang before,
Save one sad requiem, when its blossoms fell,
Sighs deeply through its drooping leaves for thee,
As for a florist fallen. The ivy, wreath'd
Round the gay turrets of a buried race,
And the tall palm that like a prince doth rear
Its diadem 'neath Asia's burning sky,
With their dim legends blend thy hallow'd name.
Thy music, like baptismal dew, did make
Whate'er it touched most holy. The pure shell,
Laying its pearly lip on ocean's floor,

Interpreted. Therefore we will not say
Farewell to thee; for every unborn age
Shall mix thee with its household charities,
The sage shall greet thee with his benison,
And woman shrine thee as a vestal flame
In all the temples of her sanctity,
And the young child shall take thee by the hand
And travel with a surer step to Heaven.

We confess we neither see the meaning nor melody of the following, entitled


A butterfly bask'd on an infant's grave,
Where a lily chanced to grow;
Why art thou here with thy gaudy dye?
Where she of the bright and sparkling eye
Must sleep in the churchyard low.

Then it lightly soar'd through the sunny air,
And spoke from its shining track;

I was a worm till I won my wings,

And she whom thou mourn'st like a seraph sings—
Would thou call the blest one back!

Let us leave a favorable impression by the following few lines, which have merit, in spite of the "dashed it out" of the second line, which would almost ask a change in

first line from "on" to "neath" to make the image presented perfect:


Death found strange beauty on that polish'd brow,
And dash'd it out. There was a tint of rose
On cheek and lip. He touch'd the veins with ice,
And the rose faded. Forth from those blue eyes
There spake a wishful tenderness, a doubt
Whether to grieve or sleep, which innocence
Alone may wear. With ruthless haste he bound
The silken fringes of those curtaining lids
For ever. There had been a murmuring sound
With which the babe would claim its mother's ear,
Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set
The seal of silence. But there beam'd a smile,
So fixed, so holy, from that cherub brow,
Death gazed, and left it there. He dared not steal
The signet-ring of heaven

The cloister'd chambers where the sea-gods sleep,the
And the unfathom'd melancholy main,
Lament for thee through all the sounding deeps.
Hark! from snow-breasted Himmaleh to where
Snowdon doth weave his coronet of cloud,
From the scathed pine tree near the red man's hut,
To where the everlasting banian builds
Its vast columnar temple, comes a moan
For thee, whose ritual made each rocky height
An altar, and each cottage-home the haunt
Of Poesy. Yea, thou didst find the link
That joins mute nature to ethereal mind,
And make that link a melody. The couch
Of thy last sleep was in thy native clime
Of song, and eloquence, and ardent soul,
Spot fitly chosen for thee. Perchance that isle
So loved of favoring skies, yet bann'd by fate,
Might shadow forth thine own unspoken lot.
For at thy heart the ever-pointed thorn
Did gird itself, until the life-stream oozed
In gushes of such deep and thrilling song,
That angels poising on some silver cloud
Might linger 'mid the errands of the skies,
And listen, all unblamed. How tenderly
Doth Nature draw her curtain round thy rest!
And like a nurse, with finger on her lip,
Watch, lest some step disturb thee, striving still
From other touch thy sacred harp to guard.
Waits she thy waking, as the mother waits
For some pale babe, whose spirit sleep hath stolen,
And laid it dreaming on the lap of Heaven?
We say not thou art dead. We dare not. No.
For every mountain, stream, and shadowy dell
Where thy rich harpings linger, would hurl back
The falsehood on our souls. Thou spak'st alike
The simple language of the freckled flower,
And of the glorious stars. God taught it thee.
And from thy living intercourse with man
Thou shalt not pass away, until this earth
Drops her last gem into the doom's-day flame.
Thou hast but taken thy seat with that bless'd

Whose hymns thy tuneful spirit learn'd so well
From this sublunar terrace, and so long

The sentiment reminds us faintly of that beautiful idea of Martial's

Mors vocis iter properavit cludere blandæ,
Ne posset duros flectere lingua deos.

Theodore S. Fay is known in these countries as the author of "Norman Leslie," "The Countess Ida," etc., and is now secretary of legation at Berlin. He is a native of New-York. The following is the spirited commencement of a poem, which, as it proceeds, becomes heavy with scenery descriptions, the ballast which sinks most of the American versifiers :


Columbia, was thy continent stretch'd wild,
In later ages, the huge seas above?
And art thou Nature's youngest, fairest child,
Most favor'd by thy gentle mother's love?

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