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Speak it not lightly! oh! beware, beware!
'Tis no vain promise, no unmeaning word;
And by the High and Holy One 'tis heard.
THE CHRISTIAN GRACES.
The poetry that springs from a mind possessed by the purest piety is JAMES MONTGOMERY's. This predominant character breathes in every line that falls from his pen, and while it aids bis poetical inspirations, it endears him in an especial manner to his readers, who cannot fail to feel for him as a dear friend, or to love as much as they admire the virtue of which his poems are only the natural language. Here is a delightful little piece, the authorship of which would have been instantly discovered, though the name had not been affixed. No living poet but he could have composed these verses.
Faith, Hope, and Charity,—these three,
Faith, that in prayer can never fail ;
The morning star is lost in light;
But Charity, serene, sublime,
The quaintness of the metre in which this poem is written will, we fear, rather prejudice the reader against it, and deter many a one from proceeding further than the first stanza. We pray them not to heed this oddity, but to go through it with care, not once, but twice, and mark the many beauties with which it abounds. It is the production of an American poet, a man eminent in other walks, Professor LONGFELLOW. It is somewhat strange that the spirit of poetry, which seems to be hastening to extinguishment in England, should be rapidly advancing in power and splendour in the New World on the other side of the Atlantic. America promises to repay with interest all that she has borrowed of us.
SPAKE full well, in language quaint and olden,
One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
Stars that in earth's firmament do shine.
Stars they are wherein we read our history,
As astrologers and seers of eld;
Like the burning stars which they beheld.
Wondrous truths, and manifold as wondrous,
God hath written in those stars above;
Stands the revelation of His love.
Bright and glorious is that revelation,
Written all over this great world of ours,
In these stars of earth,—these golden flowers.
And the poet, faithful and far-seeing,
Sees, alike in stars and flowers, a part
Which is throbbing in his brain and heart.
Gorgeous flowrets in the sunlight shining,
Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day,
Buds that open only to decay:
Brilliant hopes all woven in gorgeous tissues,
Flaunting gaily in the golden light; Large desires with most uncertain issues,
Tender wishes blossoming at night :
These in flowers and men are more than seeming;
Workings are they of the self-same powers, Which the poet, in no idle dreaming,
Seeth in himself and in the flowers. Everywhere about us are they glowing,
Some like stars to tell us spring is born; Others, their blue eyes with tears o'erflowing,
Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn. Not alone in Spring's armorial bearing,
And in Summer's green emblazon'd field, But in arms of brave old Autumn's wearing,
In the centre of his brazen shield.
Not alone in meadow and green alleys,
On the mountain-top, and by the brink Of sequester'd pools in woodland valleys,
Where the slaves of nature stoop to drink ;
Not alone in her vast dome of glory,
Not on graves of bird and beast alone ; But in old cathedrals, high and hoary,
On the tombs of heroes carved in stone ;
In the cottage of the rudest peasant,
In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers, Speaking of the past unto the present,
Tell us of the ancient graves of flowers.
In all places, then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and sun-like wings, Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin they are to human things.
And with child-like, credulous affection,
We behold their tender buds expand ; Emblems of our own great resurrection,
Emblems of the bright and better land.
WILLIAM ALLINGHAM is a young poet of remarkable promise. He is a native of Ireland and dwells among some of its most enchanting scenery, from which he has manifestly caught much of the inspiration of the volume of Poems (London : Chapman and Hall), whence the following is extracted. Two or three obvious defects in composition scarcely disturb the pleasure that will be derived from the truly poetical conception of these stanzas, which have a supernatural and dream-like tone, like a strain of ghostly music.
I HEARD the dogs bark in the moonlight night,
On they pass'd, and on they pass'd ;
Straight and handsome folk ; bent and weak too;
How long since I saw that fair pale face;
On, on, a moving bridge they made
And first there came a bitter laughter;
WITH A GUITAR.
The conception of this poem by SHELLEY is most happy, and it is written with that perfect delicacy both of thought and language, in which he surpasses all other British poets.
THE artist who this idol wrought