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ings amidst the wreck and desolation of his fortunes at Abbotsford :
The shade of youthful hope is there,
That lingered long, and latest died ;
With phantom honours by his side.
They once were Friendship, Truth, and Love !
Since lifeless to my heart ye prove ! Mr Spencer translated the Leonora of Bürger with great success, and in a vein of similar excellence composed some original ballads, one of which, marked by simplicity and pathos, we subjoin :
Beth Gélert, or the Grave of the Greyhound. The spearmen heard the bugle sound,
And cheerly siniled the morn ;
Obeyed Llewelyn's horn.
And gave a lustier cheer,
Llewelyn's horn to hear.
The flower of all his race;
A lion in the chase ?
The faithful Gelert fed ;
And sentineled his bed.
The gift of royal John ;
And all the chase rode on.
The gallant chidings rise,
The many-mingled cries !
The chase of hart and hare;
For Gelert was not there.
When, near the portal seat,
Bounding his lord to greet.
Aghast the chieftain stood ;
His lips, his fangs, ran blood.
Unused such looks to meet,
And crouched, and licked his feet.
And on went Gelert too;
Fresh blood-gouts shocked his view.
With blood-stained covert rent ;
With recent blood besprent.
He searched with terror wild;
But nowhere found his child.
* Hell-hound! my child's by thee devoured,'
The frantic father cried ;
He plunged in Gêlert's side.
No pity could impart;
Passed heavy o'er his heart.
Some slumberer wakened nigh:
To hear his infant's cry!
His hurried search had missed,
The cherub boy he kissed.
But, the same couch beneath,
Tremendous still in death.
For now the truth was clear;
To save Llewelyn's heir :
* Best of thy kind adieu !
This heart shall ever rue.'
With costly sculpture decked ;
Poor Gelert's bones protect.
Or forester unmoved ;
Llewelyn's sorrow proved.
And there, as evening fell,
Poor Gelert's dying yell.
And cease the storm to brave,
Wife, Children, and Friends.
(The list of what fate for each mortal intends), At the long string of ills a kind goddess relented, And slipped in three blessings-wife, children, and
friends. In vain surly Pluto maintained he was cheated,
For justice divine could not compass its ends; The scheme of man's penance he swore was defeated, For earth becomes heaven with-wife, children, and
friends. If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hands vested,
The fund ill secured, oft in bankruptcy ends; But the heart issues bills which are never protested, When drawn on the firm of--wife, children, and
friends. Though valour still glows in his life's dying embers,
The death-wounded tar, who his colours defends, Drops a tear of regret as he dying remembers How blessed was his home with-wife, children, and
friends. The soldier, whose deeds live immortal in story,
Whom duty to far distant latitudes sends, With transport would barter old ages of glory
For one happy day with-wife, children, and friends.
Though spice-breathing gales on his caravan hover, No bloodless shape my way pursues,
No sheeted ghost my couch annoys ;
The shade of youthful hope is there,
Ambition all dissolved to air, But drear is the twilight of age, if it borrow
With phantom honours by his side. No warmth from the smile of-wife, children, and What empty shadows glimmer nigh! friends.
They once were Friendship, Truth, and Love! Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish
Oh! die to thought, to memory die,
Since lifeless to my heart ye prove !
LEIGH HUNT, a poet and essayist of the lively Let us drink, for my song, growing graver and graver,
and descriptive, not the intense school, was born at To subjects too solemn insensibly tends ;
Southgate, in Middlesex, October 19, 1784. His Let us drink, pledge me high, love and virtue shall father was a West Indian, but being in Pennsylvania
flavour The glass which I fill to—wife, children, and friends.
Unheeded few the hours;
That only treads on flowers !
The ebbing of the glass,
That dazzle as they pass !
Time's happy swiftness brings,
Their plumage for his wings !
Epitaph upon the Year 1806. 'Tis gone, with its thorns and its roses!
With the dust of dead ages to mix ! Time's charnel for ever encloses
The year Eighteen Hundred and Six! Though many may question thy merit,
I duly thy dirge will perform, Content if thy heir but inherit
Thy portion of sunshine and storm. My blame and my blessing thou sharest,
For black were thy moments in part; But oh! thy fair days were the fairest
That ever have shone on my heart ! If thine was a gloom the completest
That death's darkest cypress could throw, Thine, too, was a garland the sweetest
That life in full blossom could show! One hand gave the balmy corrector
Of ills which the other had brewedOne draught from thy chalice of nectar
All taste of thy bitter subdued. 'Tis gone, with its thorns and its roses !
With mine, tears more precious may mix To hallow this midnight which closes
The year Eighteen Hundred and Six!
at the time of the American war, he espoused the British interest with so much warmth, that he had to leave the new world and seek a subsistence in the old. He took orders in the church of England, and was sometime tutor to the nephew of Lord Chandos, near Southgate. His son (who was named after his father's pupil
, Mr Leigh) was educated at Christ's Hospital, where he continued till his fifteenth year. 'I was then,' he says, 'first deputy Grecian; and had the honour of going out of the school in the same rank, at the same age, and for the same reason as my friend Charles Lamb. The reason was, that I hesitated in my speech. It was understood that a Grecian was bound to deliver a public speech before he left school, and to go into the church afterwards ; and as I could do neither of these things, a Grecian I could not be.' Leigh was then a poet, and his father collected his verses, and published them with a large list of subscribers. He has himself described this volume as a heap of imitations, some of them clever enough for a youth of sixteen, but absolutely worthless in every other respect. In 1805, Mr Hunt's brother set up a paper called the News, and the poet went to live with him, and write the theatrical criticisms in it. Three years afterwards, they established, in joint partnership, the Examiner, a weekly journal still conducted with distinguished
Her pall of transient death has spread,
And nought is wakeful but the dead :
ability. The poet was more literary than politi- plebeian a partnership; and Hunt found that the cal in his tastes and lucubrations; but unfortu- noble poet, to whom he was indebted in a pecuniary nately he ventured some strictures on the prince sense, was cold, sarcastic, and worldly-minded. Still regent, which were construed into a libel, and he more unfortunate was it that Hunt should afterwas sentenced to two years' imprisonment. The wards have written the work, Lord Byron and Some poet's captivity was not without its bright side. of his Contemporaries, in which his disappointed feel. He had much of the public sympathy, and his ings found vent, and their expression was construed friends (Byron and Moore being of the number) into ingratitude. His life has been spent in struggling were attentive in their visits. One of his two rooms with influences contrary to his nature and poetical on the ground-floor' he converted into a picturesque temperament. The spirit of the poet, however, is and poetical study :- I papered the walls with a still active and cheerful, as may be readily contrellis of roses ; I had the ceiling coloured with ceived from perusing the following set of blithe clouds and sky; the barred windows were screened images in a poem written in December 1840, on the with Venetian blinds; and when my bookcases were birth of the Princess Royal. set up, with their busts and flowers, and a pianoforte made its appearance, perhaps there was not
Behold where thou dost lie, a handsomer room on that side the water. I took a Heeding naught, remote on high! pleasure, when a stranger knocked at the door, to Naught of all the news we sing see him come in and stare about him. The surprise
Dost thou know, sweet ignorant thing; on issuing from the borough, and passing through
Naught of planet's love nor people's; the avenues of a jail, was dramatic. Charles Lamb
Nor dost hear the giddy steeples declared there was no other such room except in a Carolling of thee and thine, fairy tale. But I had another surprise, which was
As if heaven had rained them wine; a garden. There was a little yard outside, railed
Nor dost care for all the pains off from another belonging to the neighbouring ward.
Of ushers and of chamberlains, This yard I shut in with green palings, adorned it
Nor the doctor's learned looks, with a trellis, bordered it with a thick bed of earth
Nor the very bishop's books, from a nursery, and even contrived to have a grass
Nor the lace that wraps thy chin, plot. The earth I filled with flowers and young
No, nor for thy rank a pin. trees. There was an apple-tree from which we
E’en thy father's loving hand managed to get a pudding the second year. As to
Nowise dost thou understand,
When he makes thee feebly grasp my flowers, they were allowed to be perfect. A poet from Derbyshire (Mr Moore) told me he had seen
His finger with a tiny clasp ; i no such heart's-ease. I bought the “ Parnaso
Nor dost thou know thy very mother's Italiano" while in prison, and used often to think of
Balmy bosom from another's,
Though thy small blind eyes pursue it; a passage in it, while looking at this miniature piece
Nor the arms that draw thee to it; of horticulture :
Nor the eyes that, while they fold thee,
Never can enough behold thee!
In 1840 Mr Hunt brought out a drama entitled My little garden, To me thou’rt vineyard, field, and wood, and meadow. A Legend of Florence, and in 1842 a narrative poem,
The Palfrey. His poetry, generally, is marked by a Here I wrote and read in fine weather, sometimes profusion of imagery, of sprightly fancy, and aniunder an awning. In autumn, my trellises were mated description. Some quaintness and affectation hung with scarlet runners, which added to the in his style and manner fixed upon him the name of flowery investment. I used to shut my eyes in my a Cockney poet; but his studies have lain chiefly in arm-chair, and affect to think myself hundreds of the elder writers, and he has imitated with success miles off. But my triumph was in issuing forth of the lighter and more picturesque parts of Chaucer a morning. A wicket out of the garden led into the and Spenser. Boccaccio, and the gay Italian authors, large one belonging to the prison. The latter was appear also to have been among his favourites. His only for vegetables, but it contained a cherry-tree, prose essays have been collected and published under which I twice saw in blossom.'*
the title of The Indicator and the Companion, a MisThis is so interesting a little picture, and so fine cellany for the Fields and the Fireside. They are an example of making the most of adverse circum- deservedly popular-full of literary anecdote, poestances, that it should not be omitted in any life of tical feeling, and fine sketches both of town and Hunt. The poet, however, was not so well fitted to country life. The egotism of the author is undisbattle with the world, and apply himself steadily to guised; but in all Hunt's writings, his peculiar worldly business, as he was to dress his garden and tastes and romantic fancy, his talk of books and nurse his poetical fancies. He fell into difficulties, flowers, and his love of the domestic virtues and and has been contending with them ever since. On charities (though he has too much imagination for leaving prison he published his Story of Rimini, an his judgment in the serious matters of life), impart a Italian tale in verse, containing some exquisite lines particular interest and pleasure to his personal disand passages.
He set up also a small weekly paper closures. called the Indicator, on the plan of the periodical essayists, which was well received. He also gave to
[May Morning at Ravenna.] the world two small volumes of poetry, Foliage, and The Feast of the Poets. In 1822 Mr Hunt went to
[From “Rimini.] Italy to reside with Lord Byron, and to establish the The sun is up, and 'tis a morn of May Liberal, a crude and violent melange of poetry and Round old Ravenna's clear-shown towers and bay. politics, both in the extreme of liberalism. This con- A morn, the loveliest which the year has seen, nexion was productive of mutual disappointment Last of the spring, yet fresh with all its green ; and disgust. The 'Liberal' did not sell; Byron's For a warm eve, and gentle rains at night titled and aristocratic friends cried out against so Have left a sparkling welcome for the light,
And there's a crystal clearness all about ; * Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries, vol. ii. p. 258. The leaves are sharp, the distant hills look out;
A balmy briskness comes upon the breeze ;
I sit me down, and think
That I had less to praise.
Thy thanks to all that aid,
The little trembling hand That wipes thy quiet tears, These, these are things that may demand
Dread memories for years.
I will not think of now;
But when thy fingers press
The tears are in their bed.
When life and hope were new,
My light, where'er I go,
My prayers shall hold thee round.
*His voice'-' his face'-'is gone;' To feel impatient-hearted, Yet feel we must bear on;
Ah, I could not endure
That it will not be so.
This silence too the while
Something divine and dim Seems going by one's ear, Like parting wings of cherubim,
Who say, 'We've finished here.'
[Funeral of the Lovers in 'Rimini.'] The days were then at close of autumn still, A little rainy, and, towards nightfall, chill; There was a fitful moaning air abroad; And ever and anon, over the road, The last few leaves came fluttering from the trees, Whose trunks now thronged to sight, in dark varieties. The people, who from reverence kept at home, Listened till afternoon to hear them come; And hour on hour went by, and nought was heard But some chance horseman or the wind that stirred, Till towards the vesper hour; and then 'twas said Some heard a voice, which seemed as if it read; And others said that they could hear a sound Of many horses trampling the moist ground. Still, nothing came-till on a sudden, just As the wind opened in a rising gust, A voice of chanting rose, and as it spread, They plainly heard the anthem for the dead. It was the choristers who went to meet The train, and now were entering the first street. Then turned aside that city, young and old, And in their lifted hands the gushing sorrow rolled. But of the older people, few could bear To keep the window, when the train drew near; And all felt double tenderness to see The bier approaching slow and steadily, On which those two in senseless coldness lay, Who but a few short months—it seemed a dayHad left their walls, lovely in form and mind, In sunny manhood hemshe first of womankind. They say that when Duke Guido saw them come, He clasped his hands, and looking round the room, Lost his old wits for ever. From the morrow None saw him after. But no more of sorrow. On that same night those lovers silently Were buried in one grave under a tree; There, side by side, and hand in hand, they lay In the green ground: and on fine nights in May Young hearts betrothed used to go there to pray.
To the Grasshopper and the Cricket.
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon, When even the bees lag at the summoning brass ; And you, warnı little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
To T. L. H., Sic Years Old, During a Sickness. Sleep breathes at last from out thee,
My little patient boy ; And balmy rest about thee
Smooths off the day's annoy.
Oh, sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,
I bad forgotten; and, alas ! One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Fancied myself in heaven, not where I was; Both have your sunshine ; both, though small, are And from that time till this, I bear · strong
Such love for the green bower, I cannot rest elsewhere. At your clear hearts; and both were sent on earth To sing in thoughtful ears this natural songIn-doors and out, summer and winter, mirth.
John CLARE, one of the most truly uneducated of The Celebrated Canzone of Petrarch— Chiare, fresche, e English poets, and one of the best of our rural dedolce acque.'
scribers, was born at Helpstone, a village near Clear, fresh, and dulcet streams,
Peterborough, in 1793. His parents were peasants Which the fair shape, who seems
- his father a helpless cripple and a pauper. John To me sole woman, haunted at noontide;
obtained some education by his own extra work as Bough, gently interknit
a ploughboy: from the labour of eight weeks he (I sigh to think of it),
generally acquired as many pence as paid for a Which formed a rustic chair for her sweet side;
month's schooling. At thirteen years of age he And turf, and flowers bright-eyed,
met with Thomson's Seasons, and boarded up a O'er which her folded gown
shilling to purchase a copy. At daybreak on a Flowed like an angel's down;
spring morning, he walked to the town of StamAnd you, O holy air and hushed,
ford-six or seven miles off-to make the purWhere first my heart at her sweet glances gushed;
chase, and had to wait some time till the shops were Give ear, give ear, with one consenting,
opened. This is a fine trait of boyish enthusiasm, To my last words, my last and my lamenting.
and of the struggles of youthful genius. Returning
to his native village with the precious purchase, If ’tis my fate below,
as he walked through the beautiful scenery of And Heaven will have it so,
Burghley Park, he composed his first piece of That love must close these dying eyes in tears, poetry, which he called the Morning Walk. This May my poor dust be laid
was soon followed by the Evening Walk, and some In middle of your shade,
other pieces. A benevolent exciseman instructed While my soul, naked, mounts to its own spheres.
the young poet in writing and arithmetic, and he The thought would calm my fears,
continued his obscure but ardent devotions to his When taking, out of breath,
rural muse. Most of his poems,' says the writer The doubtful step of death;
of a memoir prefixed to his first volume, 'were For never could my spirit find
composed under the immediate impression of his A stiller port after the stormy wind:
feelings in the fields or on the road sides. He could Nor in more calm abstracted bourne,
not trust his memory, and therefore he wrote them Slip from my travailed flesh, and from my bones out-down with a pencil on the spot, his hat serving him
for a desk; and if it happened that he had no opPerhaps, some future hour,
portunity soon after of transcribing these imperfect To her accustomed bower
memorials, he could seldom decipher them or reMight come the untamed, and yet the gentle she;
cover his first thoughts. From this cause several And where she saw me first,
of his poems are quite lost, and others exist only in Might turn with eyes athirst,
fragments. Of those which he had committed to And kinder joy to look again for me ;
writing, especially his earlier pieces, many were Then, O the charity !
destroyed from another circumstance, which shows Seeing betwixt the stones
how little he expected to please others with them : The earth that held my bones,
from a hole in the wall of his room where he stuffed A sigh for very love at last
his manuscripts, a piece of paper was often taken Might ask of Heaven to pardon me the past;
to hold the kettle with, or light the fire.' In 1817, And Heaven itself could not say nay,
Clare, while working at Bridge Casterton, in RutAs with her gentle veil she wiped the tears away. landshire, resolved on risking the publication of a
volume. By hard working day and night, he got How well I call to mind
a pound saved, that he might have a prospectus When from those bowers the wind
printed. This was accordingly done, and a CollecShook down upon her bosom flower on flower ; And there she sat, meek-eyed,
tion of Original Trifles was announced to subscribers,
the price not to exceed 3s. 6d. 'I distributed my In midst of all that pride,
papers,' he says ; 'but as I could get at no way of Sprinkled and blushing through an amorous shower. Some to her hair paid dower,
pushing them into higher circles than those with
whom I was acquainted, they consequently passed And seemed to dress the curls,
off as quietly as if they had been still in my possesQueen-like, with gold and pearls ;
sion, unprinted and unseen.' Only seven subscribers Some, snowing, on her drapery stopped; Some on the earth, some on the water dropped ;
came forward! One of these prospectuses, however,
led to an acquaintance with Mr Edward Drury, While others, fluttering from above, Seemed wheeling round in pomp, and saying "Here bookseller, Stamford, and
through this gentleman reigns Love.
the poems were published by Messrs Taylor and
Hessey, London, who purchased them from Clare How often then I said,
for £20. The volume was brought out in January Inward, and filled with dread,
1820, with an interesting well-written introduc"Doubtless this creature came from Paradise!' tion, and bearing the title, Poems Descriptive of For at her look the while,
Rural Life and Scenery, by John Clare, a NorthampHer voice, and her sweet smile,
tonshire peasant. The attention of the public was And heavenly air, truth parted from mine eyes :
instantly awakened to the circumstances and the So that, with long-drawn sighs,
merits of Clare. The magazines and reviews were I said, as far from men,
unanimous in his favour. This interesting little How came I here and when ?'
volume,' said the Quarterly Review, ' bears indubit