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To meet the arrow; so I met
Besides her dramatic writings, to be noticed in
another section, Miss BAILLIE has presented to the
world at different times a sufficient quantity of misLorenzo !-all seemed vowed to thee,
cellaneous poetry, including songs, to constitute a To passion, and to misery !
single volume, which was published in 1841. The
pieces of the latter class are distinguished by a pecu(Last Verses of L. E. L.]
liar softness of diction, which makes them fall melt[Alluding to the Pole Star, which, in her voyage to Africa, ingly on the ear; yet few of them have become she had nightly watched till it sunk below the horizon.] favourites with vocalists or in the drawing-room.
A star has left the kindling sky
A lovely northern light; How many planets are on high,
But that has left the night. I miss its bright familiar face,
It was a friend to me; Associate with my native place,
And those beyond the sea.
Shone o'er our English land, *
And many a gentle hand.
It called the past to mind,
All I had left behind.
Soon on a foreign shore;
That I may see no more!
How could I bear the pain ?
That says—We meet again.
For absence shows the worth
Friends, home, and native earth.
Still turned the first on thee, Till I have felt a sad surprise, That none looked up with me.
Miss Baillie's House, Hampstead. But thou hast sunk upon the wave,
Her poem entitled The Kitten, which appeared in an Thy radiant place unknown;
early volume of the Edinburgh Annual Register, I seem to stand beside a grave,
has a truth to nature which ranks it among the best And stand by it alone.
pieces of the kind in our language. Farewell ! ah, would to me were given
Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting till his supper cool;
And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose, Oh, fancy vain, as it is fond,
As bright the blazing fagot glows,
Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces. * These expressions, it is almost unnecessary to say, are not Backward coiled, and crouching low, true to natural facts, as the Pole Star has not a quotidian With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe, rising anywhere, and it shines on the whole northern hemi- The housewife's spindle whirling round, sphere in common with England. -Ed.
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly
The featest tumbler, stage-bedight,
But not alone by cottage-fire
pride less fiercely beat,
Whence hast thou, then, thou witless Puss, The magic power to charm us thus ? Is it, that in thy glaring eye, And rapid movements, we descry, While we at ease, secure from ill, The chimney.corner snugly fill, A lion, darting on the prey, A tiger, at his ruthless play?
Or is it, that in thee we trace,
Nor, when thy span of life is past,
A long perspective to my mind appears, Looking behind me to that line of years; And yet through every stage I still can trace Thy visioned form, from childhood's morning grace To woman's early bloom-changing, how soon! To the expressive glow of woman's noon; And now to what thou art, in comely age, Active and ardent. Let what will engage Thy present moment—whether hopeful seeds In garden-plat thou sow, or noxious weeds From the fair flower remove, or ancient lore In chronicle or legend rare explore, Or on the parlour hearth with kitten play, Stroking its tabby sides, or take thy way To gain with hasty steps some cottage door, On helpful errand to the neighbouring poorActive and ardent, to my fancy's eye Thou still art young, in spite of time gone by. Though oft of patience brief and temper keen, Well may it please me, in life's latter scene, To think what now thou art and long to me hast been.
* The Manse of Bothwell was at some considerable distance from the Clyde, but the two little girls were sometimes sent there in summer to bathe and wade about.
'Twas thou who woo'dst me first to look
And he above them all, so truly proved Upon the page of printed book,
A friend and brother, long and justly loved, That thing by ine abhorred, and with address There is no living wight, of woman born, Didst win me from my thoughtless idleness,
Who then shall mourn for me as thou wilt mourn. When all too old become with bootless haste In fitful sports the precious time to waste.
Thou ardent, liberal spirit! quickly feeling Thy love of tale and story was the stroke
The touch of sympathy, and kindly dealing At which my dormant fancy first awoke,
With sorrow or distress, for ever sharing And ghosts and witches in my busy brain
The unhoarded mite, nor for to-morrow caringArose in sombre show a motley train.
Accept, dear Agnes, on thy natal day, This new-found path attempting, proud was I An unadorned, but not a careless lay. Lurking approval on thy face to spy,
Nor think this tribute to thy virtues paid Or hear thee say, as grew thy roused attention,
From tardy love proceeds, though long delayed. • What! is this story all thine own invention?'
Words of affection, howsoe'er expressed,
The latest spoken still are deemed the best : Then, as advancing through this mortal span,
Few are the measured rhymes I now may write; Our intercourse with the mixed world began;
These are, perhaps, the last I shall indite.
lent, who died in Edinburgh in 1825, aged thirty-six, And now, in later years, with better grace,
was author of The Lonely Hearth; Songs of Israel; The Thou help’st me still to hold a welcome place Harp of Zion, &c. Sir Walter Scott thus mentions With those whom nearer neighbourhood have made Knox in his diary :— His father was a respectable The friendly cheerers of our evening shade.
yeoman, and he himself succeeding to good farms
under the Duke of Buccleuch, became too soon his With thee my humours, whether grave or gay, Or gracious or untoward, have their way.
own master, and plunged into dissipation and ruin. Silent if dull-oh precious privilege!
His talent then showed itself in a fine strain of I sit by thee; or if, culled from the
pensive poetry. Knox spent his latter years in page
Edinburgh, under his father's roof, and, amidst all Of some huge ponderous tome which, but thyself, None e'er had taken from its dusty shelf,
his errors, was ever admirably faithful to the domes
tic affections--a kind and respectful son, and an Thou read'st me curious passages to speed The winter night, I take but little heed,
attached brother. He experienced on several occaAnd thankless say, 'I cannot listen now,'
sions substantial proofs of that generosity of Scott
towards his less fortunate brethren, which might 'Tis no offence; albeit, much do I owe
have redeemed his infinite superiority in Envy's To these, thy nightly offerings of affection, Drawn from thy ready talent for selection;
own bosom. It was also remarkable of Knox, that, For still it seemed in thee a natural gift
from the force of early impressions of piety, he was The lettered grain from lettered chaff to sift.
able, in the very midst of the most deplorable dissi
pation, to command his mind at intervals to the By daily use and circumstance endeared,
composition of verses alive with sacred fire, and Things are of value now that once appeared
breathing of Scriptural simplicity and tenderness. Of no account, and without notice passed,
The feelings of the poet's heart, at a particular Which o'er dull life a simple cheering cast;
crisis of his family history, are truly expressed in To hear thy morning steps the stair descending, the two first of the following specimens :Thy voice with other sounds domestic blending ; After each stated nightly absence, met To see thee by the morning table set,
[Opening of the 'Songs of Israel.'] Pouring from smoky spout the amber stream Which sends from saucered cup its fragrant steam;
Harp of Zion, pure and holy, To see thee cheerly on the threshold stand,
Pride of Judah's eastern land, On summer morn, with trowel in thy hand
May a child of guilt and folly For garden-work prepared ; in winter's gloom
Strike thee with a feeble hand? From thy cold noonday walk to see thee come,
May I to my bosom take thee, In furry garment lapt, with spattered feet,
Trembling from the prophet's touch, And by the fire resume thy wonted seat ;
And with throbbing heart awake thee
To the strains I love so much ?
I have loved thy thrilling numbers,
Since the dawn of childhood's day; In magnitude and beauty, which, bereaved
Since a mother soothed my slumbers Of such investment, eye had ne'er perceived.
With the cadence of thy lay;
Since a little blooming sister The change of good and evil to abide,
Clung with transport round my knee, As partners linked, long have we, side by side,
And my glowing spirit blessed her
With a blessing caught from thee!
Mother-sister-both are sleeping
Where no heaving hearts respire, If thou art taken first, who can to me
Whilst the eve of age is creeping Like sister, friend, and home-companion be?
Round the widowed spouse and sire. Or who, of wonted daily kindness shorn,
He and his, amid their sorrow, Shall feel such loss, or mourn as I shall mourn?
Find enjoyment in thy strain : And if I should be fated first to leave
Harp of Zion, let me borrow This earthly house, though gentle friends may grieve,
Comfort from thy chords again !
Her song comes o'er my thrilling breast
Even like the harp-string's holiest measures, When dreams the soul of lands of rest
And everlasting pleasures.
Or where hath fled my youthful folly--
Hath made my spirit holy.
[Conclusion of the Songs of Israel.'] My song bath closed, the holy dream
That raised my thoughts o'er all below, Hath faded like the lunar beam,
And left me 'mid a night of woTo look and long, and sigh in vain For friends I ne'er shall meet again. And yet the earth is green and gay;
And yet the skies are pure and bright; But, ʼmid each gleam of pleasure gay,
Some cloud of sorrow dims my sight: For weak is now the tenderest tongue That might my simple songs have sung. And like Gilead's drops of balm,
They for a moment soothed my breast;
My spirit in forgetful rest,
Of anxious doubt and chilling fear;
With scarce a hope to linger here:
Dirge of Rachel.
(Genesis, xxxv. 19.] And Rachel lies in Ephrath's land,
Beneath her lonely oak of weeping; With mouldering heart and withering hand,
The sleep of death for ever sleeping. The spring comes smiling down the vale,
The lilies and the roses bringing; But Rachel never more shall hail
The flowers that in the world are springing. The summer gives his radiant day,
And Jewish dames the dance are treading; But Rachel on her couch of clay,
Sleeps all unheeded and unheeding: The autumn's ripening sunbeam shines,
And reapers to the field is calling; But Rachel's voice no longer joins
The choral song at twilights falling. The winter sends his drenching shower,
And sweeps his howling blast around her; But earthly storms possess no power
To break the slumber that hath bound her.
THOMAS PRINGLE was born in Roxburghshire in 1788. He was concerned in the establishment of Blackwood's Magazine, and was author of Scenes of Teviotdale, Ephemerides, and other poems, all of which display fine feeling and a cultivated taste. Although, from lameness, ill fitted for a life of roughness or hardship, Mr Pringle, with his father, and several brothers, emigrated to the Cape of Good Hope in the year 1820, and there established a little township or settlement named Glen Lynden. The poet afterwards removed to Cape Town, the capital ; but, wearied with his Caffreland exile, and disagreeing with the governor, he returned to England, and subsisted by his pen. He was some time editor of the literary annual, entitled Friendships Offering. His services were also engaged by the African Society, as secretary to that body, a situation which he continued to hold until within a few months of his death. In the discharge of its duties he evinced a spirit of active humanity, and an ardent love of the cause to which he was de voted. His last work was a series of African Sketches, containing an interesting personal narrative, interspersed with verse. Mr Pringle died on the 5th of December 1834.
A Virtuous Woman.
[Proverbs, xii. 4.] Thou askest what hath changed my heart,
And where hath fled my youthful folly?
Hath made my spirit holy.
When day and night are calmly meetingBeams on my heart like light from heaven,
And purifies its beating.
Like dewdrops from the rose-leaf dripping, When honey-bees all crowd to sip,
And cannot cease their sipping.
For ever coming-erer going,
That sets the stream aflowing.
Afar in the Desert. Afar in the Desert I love to ride, With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side: When the sorrows of life the soul o'ercast, And, sick of the present, I turn to the past; And the eye is suffused with regretful tears, From the fond recollections of former years; And the shadows of things that have long since fled, Flit over the brain like the ghosts of the deadBright visions of glory that vanished too soonDay-dreams that departed ere manhood's noonAttachments by fate or by falsehood reftCompanions of early days lost or leftAnd my Native Land! whose magical name Thrills to my heart like electric flame; The home of my childhood—the haunts of my prime; All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time, When the feelings were young and the world was new, Like the fresh bowers of Paradise opening to view ! All-all now forsaken, forgotten, or gone ; And I, a lone exile, remembered of none, My high aims abandoned, and good acts undoneA weary of all that is under the sun ; With that sadness of heart which no stranger may
scan, I fly to the Desert afar from man. Afar in the Desert I love to ride, With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side ; When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life, With its scenes of oppression, corruption, and strife ; The proud man's frown, and the base man's fear; And the scorner's laugh, and the sufferer's tear; And malice, and meanness, and falsehood, and folly, Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy; When my bosom is full, and my thoughts are high, And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh
Oh, then! there is freedom, and joy, and pride,
The Rev. ROBERT MONTGOMERY has obtained a And to bound away with the eagle's speed,
numerous circle of readers and admirers. His works, With the death-fraught firelock in my hand
The Omnipresence of the Deity, Satan, Luther, &c., (The only law of the Desert land);
display great command of poetical language and But 'tis not the innocent to destroy,
fluent versification, but are deficient in originality For I hate the huntsman's savage joy.
and chasteness of style. The literary labours of
Mr Montgomery seem to have been wholly devoted Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
to the service of religion, of the truths of which he With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side;
is an able and eloquent expounder in the pulpit. Away-away from the dwellings of men,
[Description of a Maniac.] By the wild deer's haunt, and the buffalo's ģlen; By valleys remote, where the oribi plays;
Down yon romantic dale, where hamlets few Where the gnoo, the gazelle, and the hartebeest graze; Arrest the summer pilgrim's pensive view And the gerasbok and eland unhunted recline The village wonder, and the widow's joyBy the skirts of gray forests o’ergrown with wild vine; Dwells the poor mindless, pale-faced maniac boy: And the elephant browses at peace in his wood;
He lives and breathes, and rolls his vacant eye, And the river-horse gambols unscared in the flood;
To greet the glowing fancies of the sky; And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will
But on his cheek unmeaning shades of wo In the Vley, where the wild ass is drinking his fill.
Reveal the withered thoughts that sleep below!
A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods, Afar in the Desert I love to ride,
He loves to commune with the fields and floods : With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side:
Sometimes along the woodland's winding glade, O'er the brown Karroo where the bleating cry
He starts, and smiles upon his pallid shade; Of the springbok's fawn sounds plaintively;
Or scolds with idiot threat the roaming wind, Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane,
But rebel music to the ruined mind! In fields seldom freshened by moisture or rain ;
Or on the shell-strewn beach delighted strays, And the stately koodoo exultingly bounds,
Playing his fingers in the noontide rays: Undisturbed by the bay of the hunter's hounds;
And when the sea-waves swell their hollow roar, And the timorous quagha's wild whistling neigh
He counts the billows plunging to the shore; Is heard by the brak fountain far away ;
And oft beneath the glimmer of the moon, And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste
He chants some wild and inelancholy tune; Speeds like a horseman who travels in haste;
Till o'er his softening features seems to play And the culture in circles wheels high overhead,
A shadowy gleam of mind's reluctant sway. Greedy to scent and to gorge on the dead ;
Thus, like a living dream, apart from men, And the grisly wolf, and the shrieking jackal,
From morn to eve he haunts the wood and glen ; Howl for their prey at the evening fall ;
But round him, near him, wheresoe'er he rove, And the fiend-like laugh of hyenas grim,
A guardian angel tracks him from above ! Fearfully startles the twilight dim.
Nor harm from flood or fen shall e'er destroy
The mazy wanderings of the maniac boy.
[The Starry Heavens.] Away-away in the wilderness vast,
Ye quenchless stars ! so eloquently bright, Where the white man's foot hath never passed, Untroubled sentries of the shadowy night, And the quivered Koranna or Bechuan
While half the world is lapped in downy dreams, Hath rarely crossed with his roving clan :
And round the lattice creep your midnight beams, A region of emptiness, howling and drear,
How sweet to gaze upon your placid eyes, Which man hath abandoned from famine and fear; In lambent beauty looking from the skies ! Which the snake and the lizard inhabit alone, And when, oblivious of the world, we stray And the bat flitting forth from his old hollow stone; At dead of night along some noiseless way, Where grass, nor herb, nor shrub takes root,
How the heart mingles with the moonlit hour, Save poisonous thorns that pierce the foot :
As if the starry heavens suffused a power!
Full in her dreamy light, the moon presides,
And far around, the forest and the stream
Bathe in the beauty of her emerald beam; Nor reedy pool, nor mossy fountain,
The lulled winds, too, are sleeping in their caves, Nor shady tree, nor cloud-capped mountain,
No stormy murmurs roll upon the waves ; Are found—to refresh the aching eye:
Nature is hushed, as if her works adored, But the barren earth and the burning sky,
Stilled by the presence of her living Lord! And the black horizon round and round,
And now, while through the ocean-mantling haze Without a living sight or sound,
A dizzy chain of yellow lustre plays, Tell to the heart, in its pensive mood,
And moonlight loveliness hath veiled the land, That this is–Nature's Solitude.
Go, stranger, muse thou by the wave-worn strand :
Centuries have glided o'er the balanced earth, And here—while the night-winds round me sigh, Myriads have blessed, and myriads cursed their birth; And the stars burn bright in the midnight sky, Still, yon sky-beacons keep a dimless glare, As I sit apart by the caverned stone,
Unsullied as the God who throned them there! Like Elijah at Horeb's cave alone,
Though swelling earthquakes heave the astounded And feel as a moth in the Mighty Hand
world, That spread the heavens and heaved the land- And king and kingdom from their pride are hurled, A still small voice' comes through the wild
Sublimely calm, they run their bright career, (Like a father consoling his fretful child),
Unheedful of the storms and changes here. Which banishes bitterness, wrath, and fear- We want no hymn to hear, or pomp to see, Saying. Man is distant, but God is near !
For all around is deep divinity!