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“ Spare them—each mouldering relic spare,

Of God's own image: let them rest,
Till not a trace shall speak of where

The awful likeness was impressed."

There is more of curious thought than truth or simplicity in the following, although it has been highly praised by some critics.

“ For he was fresher from the hand

That formed of earth the human face,
And to the elements did stand

In nearer kindred than our race.”

We repeat, that there is more of “fancy” than “truth” in this stanza. We do not see the natural force of Mr Bryant saying that, being born a century ago, brings us nearly related to either fire, air, earth, or water. This is, in our humble opinion, a very false species of poetry,

“ In many a flood to madness tost,

In many a storm has been his path,
He hid him not from heat or frost,
But met them, and defied their wrath.”

* * * * * *

But we must forgive this probable error when we remember these lines.

“ The stars looked forth to teach his way,

The still earth warned him of the foe.”

To those who know the nature of a Red Indian these two lines are perfect in their portraiture. Even to us, an Englishman, we feel the force and beauty of the description, but then we confess to a long and careful study of Cooper, the best substitute for nature. While these sheets have been passing through the press, we have observed how inadequately we have expressed our admiration of this great novelist's scenes from nature. We lately met one who had been a dweller in the woods, and a roamer over the prairies of this magnificent country, and he declared that next to having been in those scenes was the study of Cooper. He concluded by declaring that Mr. Irving's description of the prairie was a mere “pic-nic” account of an amateur visit ; if we are wrong here, the American public will very properly correct us.

To return to Mr. Bryant. How gloriously the poet recovers himself, and throws his whole force into the concluding verse.

“A noble race, but they are gone,

With their old forests wide and deep,
And we have built our homes upon

Fields where their generations sleep.
Their fountains slake our thirst at noon,

Upon their fields our harvest waves,
Our lovers woo beneath their moon-

Ah! let us spare at least their graves !"

We cannot resist the temptation of quoting two stanzas from “ The Lapse of Time,” merely to avow our firm conviction in the truth of the prophecy.

“ The years, that o'er each sister land,

Shall lift the country of my birth
And nurse her strength-till she shall stand

The pride and pattern of the earth!

“ Till younger commonwealths for aid

Shall cling about her ample robe,
And from her frown shall shrink afraid

The crowned oppressors of the globe !"

It may be safely predicated, by any one accustomed to look philosophically at the movements of time, that it is reserved for the American republic to shield her great parent, England herself, from the assaults of the old despotisms.

From this historical glance into the future, let us turn to a pleasant page in Mr. Bryant's present. It is a short description of an American nymph.

“ Oh! fairest of the rural maids !

Thy birth was in the forest shades;
Green boughs, and glimpses of the sky,
Were all that met thy infant eye.
Thy sports—thy wanderings—when a child,
Were ever in the sylvan wild:
And all the beauty of the place
Is in thy heart, and in thy face.
The twilight of the trees and rocks
Is in the light shade of thy locks;
Thy step is in the wind that weaves
Its playful way among the leaves ;
Thine eyes are springs, in whose serene
And silent waters heaven is seen ;
Their lashes are the herbs that look
On their young figures in the brook.”

We cannot help breaking off, in this otherwise beautiful poem, to remark that unfortunate taste which compelled Mr.

Bryant to spoil the fine natural effect of his entire poem, by comparing a lady's eyelashes into herbs hanging down Narcissus-like, and admiring themselves in the “gutta serena” of her own eyes. As usual, however, he rallies, and winds up the whole poem nobly and appropriately.

“ The forest depths, by foot unprest,
Are not more sinless than thy breast :
The holy peace that fills the air
Of those calm solitudes is there.”

The companion picture to the American maiden of Bryant is Wordsworth's beautiful verses to the English wife. A poet seldom succeeds when he praises one of his own family, but here Mrs. Wordsworth has inspired the poet of Rydal. These are well known to be addressed to his wife.


“ She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair ;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair ;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

“I saw her upon nearer view,

A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her household motions light and free

And steps of virgin-liberty ;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food ;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

“ And now I see with eye serene

The very pulse of the machine ;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command:
And yet a spirit still, and bright

With something of angelic light.” In our foregoing extracts we have endeavored to illustrate every opinion and observation we have made by characteristic extracts from the poet's writing. It is impossible to rise from the study of Mr. Bryant's poems without feeling more in harmony with nature and man than the spirit generally feels. We know that we have been calmly, kindly reasoned with by a good, calm, sad, Christian man, who, having no turbulence in himself, endeavors to throw the quiet mantle of his own reflective spirit over his companions.

He looks upon nature with the platonic admiration of a sage, and not with the disturbing passion of a lover; he feels towards all visible beauty more as a friend than as a wooer, and in this spirit realizes the thought of Shakspeare :

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