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While thy low murmurs sooth'd his pensive ear;
The earliest nightingale delight to sing:
It now became necessary for her to exert her faculties as a means of support, and she translated two or three stories from the French. Her husband being again obliged to leave the country, she removed with her children to a small cottage in another part of Sussex, and, while residing here, published a new edition of her Sonnets, with additions. She then tried her powers in another line of literature, and in 1788 gave to the public her Emmeline, or the Orphan of the Castle," which novel was exceedingly popular. In the following year, she published another novel, entitled "Ethelinde;" and to this succeeded, in very rapid succession, "Celestina," "Desmond," "The Old Manor House," "The Wanderings of War"The Banished Man,' wick,' Montalbert," and others, besides several beautiful little volumes for young persons, entitled, "Rural Walks," "Rambles Farther," "Minor Morals;"-in all about forty volumes! During all this time, she suffered severe family afflictions, in the loss of three children, as well as pecuniary trials in the adjustment of her husband's affairs. But the hour was arriving when grief was to subdue this long-tried victim. Her husband, it is said, died in legal confinement in March, 1806; and on the 28th of October following, she died herself, after a lingering and painful illness, which she bore with the utmost patience, retaining her faculties to the last.
As a poetess, Charlotte Smith has been excelled by few of her countrywomen. Her Sonnets are "most musical, most melancholy, and abound with touches of tenderness, grace, and beauty; and her descriptions of rural scenery are particularly fresh and vivid." "But while we allow," says Sir Walter Scott, "high praise to the sweet and sad effusions of Mrs. Smith's muse, we cannot admit that by these alone she could ever have risen to the height of eminence which we are disposed to claim for her for her prose narratives." But, however this might have been during her life, and when Walter Scott included her in his library of British Novelists, Charlotte Smith is now most known and valued for her poetry.
SONNET-TO THE MOON.
Queen of the silver bow! by thy pale beam,
And watch thy shadow trembling in the stream,
Or mark the floating clouds that cross thy way
Sheds a soft calm upon my troubled breast;
And oft I think, fair planet of the night,
That in thy orb the wretched may have rest:
Releas'd by death, to thy benignant sphere,
Forget, in thee, their cup of sorrow here.
SONNET ON THE DEPARTURE OF THE NIGHTINGALE.
Sweet poet of the woods, a long adieu!
Farewell, soft minstrel of the early year!
And pour thy music on the night's dull ear.
Thro' the lone brake that shades thy mossy nest;
The gentle bird who sings of pity best:
SONNET THE HAPPINESS OF CHILDHOOD.
Sighing, I see yon little troop at play,
By sorrow yet untouch'd, unhurt by care,
"Content and careless of to-morrow's fare."
Lights their green path, and prompts their simple mirth,
To wound the wretched pilgrims of the earth,
And threw them on a world so full of pain,
And to deaf pride misfortune pleads in vain!
I once was happy, when, while yet a child,
And when, elastic as the mountain air,
And childhood scarcely past, I was condemn'd,
And dark and stifling streets, the southern hills
Advancing higher still, The prospect widens, and the village church But little o'er the lowly roofs around Rears its gray belfry, and its simple vane; Those lowly roofs of thatch are half conceal'd By the rude arms of trees, lovely in spring, When on each bough the rosy-tinctur'd bloom Sits thick, and promises autumnal plenty. For even those orchards round the Norman farms, Which, as their owners mark the promis'd fruit, Console them for the vineyards of the south, Surpass not these.
Where woods of ash, and beech, And partial copses, fringe the green hill foot, The upland shepherd rears his modest home; There wanders by a little nameless stream, That from the hill wells forth, bright now and clear, Or, after rain, with chalky mixture gray, But still refreshing in its shallow course The cottage garden; most for use design'd, Yet not of beauty destitute. The vine Mantles the little casement; yet the brier Drops fragrant dew among the July flowers; And pansies ray'd, and freak'd and mottled pinks Grow among balm, and rosemary, and rue; There honeysuckles flaunt, and roses blow
Almost uncultur'd: some with dark green leaves
From "Beachy Head," a Poem.
MARY TIGHE, 1774-1810.
MRS. MARY TIGHE was the daughter of the Rev. William Blackford, of the county of Wicklow, Ireland. Her history seems to be but little known to the public, as I have tried in vain to find some account of her; but her early death, after six years of protracted suffering, has been commemorated by Moore, in a most beautiful lyric.'
Mrs. Tighe is chiefly known by her poem of "Psyche," in six cantos, written in the Spenserian stanza, founded on the classic fable of Apuleius, of the loves of Cupid and Psyche, or the allegory of Love and the Soul (4x). Many of the pictures in this, the chief production of her muse, are conceived in the true spirit of poetry, while over the whole composition is spread the richest glow of purified passion. Some of her minor pieces, also, are exceedingly beautiful; and the lines "On Receiving a Branch of Mezereon," are scarcely exceeded, for beauty and pathos, by anything of the kind in the language.
LOVE MUST BE FONDLY CHERISHED.
When vexed by cares and harassed by distress,
See this lyric in the Selections from Thomas Moore.
The fable, it is said, is a representation of the soul, here in its prison house, subjected to error. Trials are set before it to purify it; two loves meet -the earthly, to draw it down to sensuous things; and the heavenly, who, directing its view above, gains the victory, and leads off the soul as his bride.
His downy plumage, o'er thy pillow spread,
Oh! fondly cherish then the lovely plant, Which lenient Heaven hath given thy pains to ease; Its lustre shall thy summer hours enchant, And load with fragrance every prosperous breeze; And when rude winter shall thy roses seize, When naught through all thy bowers but thorns remain, This still with undeciduous charms shall please, Screen from the blast and shelter from the rain, And still with verdure cheer the desolated plain.
Through the hard season, Love with plaintive note
Guard thy best treasure from the venomed sting
How soon ill-temper's power can banish gentle Love!
The tears capricious beauty loves to shed,
The pouting lip, the sullen silent tongue,
May wake the impassioned lover's tender dread,
He shuns contention, and the gloomy throng
And flies when discord shakes her brand with quarrels rife.
Oh! he will tell you that these quarrels bring
The ruin, not renewal, of his flame:
If oft repeated, lo! on rapid wing
He flies to hide his fair but tender frame;
Indifference comes the abandoned heart to claim,
Indifference, dreaded power! what art shall save