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Past, while she looked at him with meaning meek,
And for a little while, as loth to part,
Detaining him, her fingers lank and weak

Played with their hold; then, letting him depart,
She gave him a slow smile, that touched him to the heart.

“Mourn not for her; for what hath life to give

That should detain her ready spirit here?
Thinkest thou that it were worth a wish to live,
Could wishes hold her from her proper sphere
That simple heart, that innocence sincere
The world would stain. Fitter she ne'er could be
For the great change; and, now that change is near,

Oh, who would keep her soul from being free?
Maiden beloved of Heaven, to die is best for thee !

“She hath passed away, and on her lips a smile
Hath settled, fixed in death. Judged they aright,
Or suffered they their fancy to beguile
The reason, who believed that she had sight
Of heaven before her spirit took its flight?-
That angels waited round her lowly bed,
And that, in that last effort of delight,

When, lifting up her dying arms, she said,
'I come,' a ray from heaven upon her face was shed ?”

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,
And all my paths are paths of pleasantness;
And still my heart, as when I was a boy,
Doth never know an ebb of cheerfulness.

Time, which matures the intellectual part,
Hath tinged my hairs with grey, but left untouched my heart."


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
To them and the king."

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;
And my daughters made great eyes as they heard,

Which were full of delight and wonder.

“With listening lips and looks intent,

There sate an eager boy,
Who shouted sometimes and clapt his hands,

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.
That smile I read aright, for thus,

Reprovingly, said she :-
Such tales are meet for youthful ears,

But give little content to me.
From thee far rather would I hear

Some sober, sadder lay,-
Such as I oft have heard, well pleased,

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.
That sense which held me back in youth

From all intemperate gladness,
That samo good instinct bids me shun

Unprofitable sadness.
Nor marvel you if I prefer

Of playful themes to sing :
The October grove hath brighter tints

Than summer or than spring;
For o'er the leaves, before they fall,

Such hues hath nature thrown,
That the woods wear in sunless days

A sunshine of their own.
Why should I seek to call forth tears?

The source from whence we weep
Too near the surface lies in youth;

In age it lies too deep.

««• Enough of foresight sad, too much

Of retrospect, have I;
And well for me that I sometimes

Can put those feelings by.

“From public ills and thoughts that else

Might weigh me down to earth;
That I can gain some intervals

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 :

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“Hadst thou revisited thy native land,

Mortality, and Time,
And Change, must needs have made
Our meeting mournful. Happy he
Who to his rest is borne,
In sure and certain hope,
Before the hand of age

Hath chilled his faculties
Or sorrow reached him in his heart of hearts !
Most happy if he leave in his good name

A light for those who follow him,
And in his works a living seed

Of good, prolific still!


“Yes, to the Christian, to the heathen world,

Heber, thou art not dead,—thou canst not die
Nor can I think of thee as lost.
A little portion of this little isle
At first divided us; then half the globe :
The same earth held us still; but when,
0 Reginald! wert thou so near as now?
'Tis but the falling of a withered leaf,

The breaking of a shell,
The rending of a veil !

Oh, when that leaf shall fall,
That shell be burst, that veil be rent, may then

My spirit be with thine!"

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