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Oh! I could wail in lonely fear,
dust, without a shroud,
The cold wan light that glimmers here,
house of prayer,
[From the Isle of Palms. ] But list! a low and moaning sound At distance heard, like a spirit's song, And now it reigns above, around, As if it called the ship along. The moon is sunk; and a clouded gray Declares that her course is run, And like a god who brings the day, Up mounts the glorious sun. Soon as his light has warmed the seas, From the parting cloud fresh blows the breeze; And that is the spirit whose well-known song Makes the vessel to sail in joy along. No fears hath she; her giant form O'er wrathful surge, through blackening storm, Majestically calm would go 'Mid the deep darkness white as snow! But gently now the small waves glide Like playful lambs o'er å mountain's side. So stately her bearing, so proud her array, The main she will traverse for ever and aye. Many ports will exult at the gleam of her mast ;Hush! hush ! thou vain dreamer! this hour is her last. Five hundred souls in one instant of dread
Are hurried o'er the deck;
Becomes a lifeless wreck.
Her planks are tom asunder,
And a hideous crash like thunder.
That gladdened late the skies,
Down many a fathom lies.
Gleamed softly from below,
O'er the wreaths of murmuring snow,
An hour before her death;
acquiring several languages, and still cultivating poetry. In 1818 Captain Hemans removed to Italy for the benefit of his health. His accomplished wife remained in England, and they never met again. In
Instead of the murmur of the sea,
Alire through all its leaves,
And the swallow's song in the eaves.
To the dangers his father had passed ;
Returned to her heart at last.
The whole ship's crew are there!
And madness and despair.
new-risen sun and the sunny sky.
• MRS HEMANS. MRS HEMANS (Felicia Dorothea Browne) was born
Rhyllon-the residence of Mrs Hemans in Wales. at Liverpool on the 25th September 1793. Her 1819 she obtained a prize of £50 offered by some
patriotic Scotsman for the best poem on the subject
O vale and lake, within your mountain urn
On golden clouds from spirit lands remote
Isles of the blest—and in our memory keep
Their place with holiest harmonies. father was a merchant; but, experiencing some re- Wordsworth said to her one day, 'I would not give verses, he removed with his family to Wales, and up the mists that spiritualise our mountains for all there the young poetess imbibed that love of nature the blue skies of Italy'-an original and poetical which is displayed in all her works. In her fifteenth expression. On her return from the lakes, Mrs year she ventured on publication. Her first volyme Hemans went to reside in Dublin, where her brother, was far from successful; but she persevered, and in Major Browne, was settled. The education of her 1812 published another, entitled The Domestic Affec- family (ive boys) occupied much of her time ard tions, and other Poems. The same year she was mar- attention. ni health, however, pressed heavily on ried to Captain Hemans; but the union does not seem her, and she soon experienced a premature decay to have been a happy one. She continued her studies, I of the springs of life. In 1834 appeared her little volume of Hymns for Childhood, and a collection of I have breathed on the South, and the chestnutScenes and Hymns of Life. She also published some flowers sonnets, under the title of Thoughts during Sickness. By thousands have burst from the forest-bowers : Her last strain, produced only about three weeks And the ancient graves, and the fallen fanes, before her death, was the following fine sonnet dic- Are veiled with wreaths on Italian plains. tated to her brother on Sunday the 26th of April:- But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb ! How many blessed groups this hour are bending, Through England's primrose meadow-paths, their way I have passed o'er the hills of the stormy North, Toward spire and tower, 'midst shadowy elms as. And the larch has hung all his tassels forth, cending,
The fisher is out on the sunny sea, Whence the sweet chimes proclaim the hallowed day! And the reindeer bounds through the pasture free, The halls, from old heroic ages gray,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green, Pour their fair children forth; and hamlets low, And the moss looks bright where my step has been. With whose thick orchard blooms the soft winds play, I have sent through the wood-paths a gentle sigh, Send out their inmates in a happy flow,
And called out each voice of the deep-blue sky, Like a freed vernal stream. I may not tread With them those pathways—to the feverish bed
From the night bird's lay through the starry time, Of sickness bound; yet, O my God! I bless
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-bough into verdure breaks.
From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main, This admirable woman and sweet poetess died on They are flashing down from the mountain-brows, the 16th May 1835, aged forty-one. She was in. They are flinging spray on the forest-boughs, terred in St Anne's church, Dublin, and over her They are bursting fresh from their sparry cares, grave was inscribed some lines from one of her own And the earth resounds with the joy of waves. dirges
Come forth, Oye children of gladness, come!
Where the violets lie may now be your home.
Ye of the rose-cheek and dew-bright eye,
And the bounding footstep, to meet me ily;
With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay, Dust to its narrow house beneath !
Come forth to the sunshine, I may not stay.
Away from the dwellings of careworn men,
The waters are sparkling in wood and glen;
Away from the chamber and dusky hearth, A complete collection of the works of Mrs The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth; Hemans, with a memoir by her sister, has been Their light stems thrill to the wild-wood strains, published in six volumes. Though highly popular, And Youth is abroad in my green domains. and in many respects excellent, we do not think that much of the poetry of Mrs Hemans
will descend to The
summer is hastening, on soft winds borne, posterity. There is, as Scott hinted, too many for me I depart to a brighter shore
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the com; Howers for the fruit more for the ear and fancy, Ye are marked by care, ye are mine no more. than for the heart and intellect. Some of her shorter i go where the loved
who have left you dwell, pieces and her lyrical productions are touching and And the flowers are not Death's—fare ye well, farebeautiful both in sentiment and expression. Her
well! versification is always melodious; but there is an oppressive sameness in her longer poems which
The Homes of England. fatigues the reader; and when the volume is closed, the effect is only that of a mass of glittering images
The stately Homes of England, and polished words, a graceful melancholy and femi
How beautiful they stand ! nine tenderness, but no strong or permanent im- Amidst their tall ancestral trees, pression. The passions are seldom stirred, however O'er all the pleasant land. the fancy may be soothed or gratified. In description, The deer across their greensward bound Mrs Hemans had considerable power ; she was both Through shade and sunny gleam, copious and exact; and often, as Jeffrey has ob- And the swan glides past them with the sound served, 'a lovely picture serves as a foreground to Of some rejoicing stream. some deep or lofty emotion.' Her imagination was chivalrous and romantic, and delighted in picturing
The merry Homes of England ! the woods and halls of England, and the ancient
Around their hearths by night, martial glory of the land. The purity of her mind
What gladsome looks of household love is seen in all her works; and her love of nature, like
Meet in the ruddy light! Wordsworth’s, was a delicate blending of our deep
There woman's voice flows forth in song, inward emotions with their splendid symbols and
Or childhood's tale is told, emblems without.
Or lips move tunefully along
Some glorious page of old.
The blessed Homes of England !
How softly on their bowers I come, I come! ye have called me long,
Is laid the holy quietness I come o'er the mountains with light and song;
That breathes from Sabbath-hours ! Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth
Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
Floats through their woods at morn; By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
All other sounds, in that still time, By the green leaves opening as I pass.
Of breeze and leaf are born.
The cottage Homes of England !
Yet more, the depths have more! Thy waves have By thousands on her plains,
rolled They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,
Above the cities of a world gone by! And round the hamlet-fanes.
Sand hath filled up the palaces of old, Through glowing orchards forth they peep,
Sea-weed o’ergrown the halls of revelry! Each from its nook of leaves,
Dash o'er them, Ocean ! in thy scornful pluy, And fearless there the lowly sleep,
Man yields them to decay! As the bird beneath their eaves.
Yet more ! the billows and the depths have more! The free, fair Homes of England !
High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast ! Long, long, in hut and hall,
They hear not now the booming waters roarMay hearts of native proof be reared
The battle-thunders will not break their rest. To guard each hallowed wall!
Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave! And green for ever be the groves,
Give back the true and brave! And bright the flowery sod,
Give back the lost and lovely! Those for whom Where first the child's glad spirit loves
The place was kept at board and hearth so long ; Its country and its God !
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless
gloom, The Graves of a Household.
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song!
But all is not thine own!
To thee the love of woman hath gone down;
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head, By mount, and stream, and sea.
O'er youth's bright locks, and beauty's flowery crown!
Yet must thou hear a voice-Restore the Dead ! The same fond mother bent at night
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee !
Restore the Dead, thou Sea!
BERNARD BARTON, one of the Society of Friends, The Indian knows his place of rest,
published in 1820 a volume miscellaneous poems, Far in the cedar shade.
which attracted notice both for their elegant sim
plicity, and purity of style and feeling, and because The sea, the blue lone sea, hath one,
they were written by a Quaker. "The staple of the He lies where pearls lie deep;
whole poems,' says a critic in the Edinburgh ReHe was the loved of all, yet none
view, is description and meditation-description of O’er his low bed may weep.
quiet home scenery, sweetly and feelingly wrought One sleeps where southern vines are dressed
out-and meditation, overshaded with tenderness,
and exalted by devotion—but all terminating in Above the noble slain : He wrapt his colours round his breast,
soothing and even cheerful views of the condition
and prospects of mortality' Mr Barton was emOn a blood-red field of Spain.
ployed in a banking establishment at Woodbridge, And one-o'er her the myrtle showers
in Suffolk, and he seems to have contemplated Its leaves, by soft winds fanned;
abandoning his profession for a literary life. On She faded 'midst Italian flowers
this point Charles Lamb wrote to him as follows: The last of that bright band.
Throw yourself on the world, without any rational
plan of support beyond what the chance employ of And parted thus they rest, who played
booksellers would afford you ! Throw yourself Beneath the same green tree;
rather, my dear sir, from the steep Tarpeian rock Whose voices mingled as they prayed
slap-dash headlong upon iron spikes. If you have Around one parent knee !
but five consolatory minutes between the desk and
the bed, make much of them, and live a century in They that with smiles lit up the hall,
them, rather than turn slave to the booksellers. And cheered with song the hearth
They are Turks and Tartars when they have poor Alas ! for love, if thou wert all,
authors at their beck. Hitherto you have been at And nought beyond, on earth !
arm's length from them—come not within their
grasp. I have known many authors want for breadThe Treasures of the Deep.
some repining, others enjoying the blessed security
of a counting-house-all agreeing they had rather What hidest thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,
have been tailors, weavers—what not?-rather than Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main ?
the things they were. I have known some starved, Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-coloured shells,
some go mad, one dear friend literally dying in a Bright things which gleam unrecked of and in vain. I workhouse. Oh, you know not-may you never Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea !
know—the miseries of subsisting by authorship!' We ask not such from thee.
There is some exaggeration here. We have known
authors by profession who lived cheerfully and Yet more, the depths have more! What wealth un- comfortably, labouring at the stated
sum per told,
sheet as regularly as the weaver at his loom, or Far down, and shining through their stillness, lies! the tailor on his board; but dignified with the Thou hast the starry gems, the burning, gold,
consciousness of following a high and ennobling Won from ten thousand royal Argosies.
occupation, with all the mighty minds of past ages Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main! as their daily friends and companions. The bane Earth claims not these again! of such a life, when actual genius is involved, is its uncertainty and its temptations, and the almost And thus, while I wandered on ocean's bleak shore, invariable incompatibility of the poetical tempe- And surveyed its vast surface, and heard its waves roar, rament with habits of business and steady ap- I seemed wrapt in a dream of romantic delight, plication. Yet let us remeniber the examples of And haunted by majesty, glory, and might? Shakspeare, Dryden, and Pope — all regular and constant labourers-and, in our own day, of Scott, Southey, Moore, and many others. The fault is Power and Gentleness, or the Cataract and the more generally with the author than with the book
Streamlet. seller. In the particular case of Bernard Barton,
Noble the mountain stream, however, Lamb counselled wisely. He has not the vigour and popular talents requisite for marketable Bursting in grandeur from its vantage-ground; literature; and of this he would seem to have been
Glory is in its gleam conscious, for he abandoned his dream of exclusive of brightness-thunder in its deafening sound ! authorship. Mr Barton has since appeared before Mark, how its foamy spray, the public as author of several volumes of miscella- Tinged by the sunbeams with reflected dyes, neous poetry, but without adding much to his repu- Mimics the bow of day tation. He is still what Jeffrey pronounced him Arching in majesty the vaulted skies ; ' a man of a fine and cultivated, rather than of a bold and original mind.' His poetry is highly honourable Thence, in a summer-shower, to his taste and feelings as a man.
Steeping the rocks around-0! tell me where
Could majesty and power
Be clothed in forms more beautifully fair?
Yet lovelier, in my view,
Traced by the brighter hue,
And livelier growth it gives—itself unseen!
It flows through flowery meads,
Gladdening the herds which on its margin browse ; To thee, and to this pensive hour,
Its quiet beauty feeds
The alders that o'ershade it with their boughs.
Gently it murmurs by
The village churchyard : its low, plaintive tone, Thy scattered blossoms’ lonely light,
A dirge.like melody,
For worth and beauty modest as its own.
More gaily now it sweeps
By the small school-house in the sunshine bright;
And o'er the pebbles leaps,
May not its course express,
In characters which they who run may read,
The charms of gentleness,
Were but its still small voice allowed to plead ! In sorrow's dark’ning shade.
What are the trophies gained
By power, alone, with all its noise and strife,
To that meek wreath, unstained,
Won by the charities that gladden life?
Niagara's streams might fail,
And human happiness be undisturbed :
But Egypt would turn pale,
Were her still Nile's o'erflowing bounty curbed!
The Solitary Tomb.
Not a leaf of the tree which stood near me was stirred,
Though a breath might have mored it so lightly :
Bade adieu to the sun setting brightly.
The sky was cloudless and calm, except
In the west, where the sun was descending; When first I beheld it, the glow of iny heart;
And there the rich tints of the rainbow slept, The wonder, the awe, the delight that stole o'er me,
As his beams with their beauty were blending. When its billowy boundlessness opened before me.
And the evening star, with its ray so clear,
So tremulous, soft, and tender,
Had lit up its lamp, and shot down from its sphere And my spirit was mute in the presence of power !
Its dewy delightful splendour.