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If thus my heart stop beating,
My spirits lose their tone,
And a gloom, like night, surround me,
The moment he is gone.
Like the false fruit of the lotos,
Love alters every taste;
We loathe the life we are leading,
The spot where we are placed ;
We live upon to-morrow,
Or we dream the past again ;
But what avails that knowledge ?--
It ever comes in vain.


The following very beautiful poem appeared in The Times newspaper of November 22, 1852. The author is not known. It well deserves preservation in a collection of the best British poetry.

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No sounds of labour vex'd the quiet air
From morn till eve. The people all stood still,
And earth won back a Sabbath. There were none
Who cared to buy and sell, and make a gain,
For one whole day. All felt as they had lost
A father, and were fain to keep within,
Silent, or speaking little. Such a day
An old man sees but once in all his time.

The simplest peasant in the land that day
Knew somewhat of his country's grief. He heard
The knell of England's hero from the tower
Of the old church, and ask'd the cause, and sigh’d.
The vet'ran who had bled on some far field
Fought o'er the battle for the thousandth time
With quaint addition, and the little child,
That stopp'd his sport to run and ask his sire
What it all meant, pick'd out the simple tale,
How he who drove the French from Waterloo,
And crush'd the tyrant of the world, and made
His country great and glorious, -he was dead !

All, from the simplest to the stateliest, knew
But one sad story: from the cotter's bairn
Up to the fair-hair'd lady on the throne,
Who sat within and sorrow'd for her friend;
And every tear she shed became her well,
And seem'd more lovely in her people's eyes
Than all the starry wonders of her crown.

But, as the waters of the Northern Sea (When one strong wind blows steady from the pole) Come hurrying to the shore, and far and wide As eye can reach the creaming waves press on Impatient; or, as trees that bow their tops One way, when Alpine hollows bring one way The blast whereat they quiver in the vale,So millions press’d to swell the general grief One way ;-for once all men seem'd one way drawn. Or if, through evil hap and unforeseen, Some stay'd behind, their hearts, at least, were there The whole day through,—could think of nothing else, Hear nothing else, see nothing !

In his cell The student saw the pageant : spied from far The long-drawn pomp which reach'd from west to east, Slow moving in the silence; casque and plume, And banner waving sad ; the marvellous state Of heralds, soldiers, nobles, foreign powers, With baton, or with pennon ; princes, peers, Judges, and dignities of church and state, And warriors grown greyheaded ;-every form Which greatness can assume or honour name, Peaceful or warlike,-each and all were there; Trooping in sable sorrow after him Who slept serene upon his funeral car In glorious rest! . . . A child might understand That 'twas no national sorrow; but a grief Wide as the world. A child might understand That all mankind were sorrowing for one ! That banded nations had conspired to pay This homage to the chief who drew his sword At the command of Duty; kept it bright Through perilous days; and soon as Victory smiled, Laid it, unsullied, in the lap of Peace.

Such things, and more, the student spied : as dull
Of heart were he who, hearing through the day
The doleful clang from many a tower and spire,
(As if in every College one were dead!)
Could sit with slumbering fancy; bear no strains
Of melancholy music: see no shade
Cast (as by nodding plumes) across his book,
And hiding all the sense : yea, pour no prayer
Voiceless, yet hearty as ineloquent;
Unconscious to himself of what he said :-

“God, rest his gallant spirit! give him peace!
" And crown his brows with amaranth, -and set
“ The saintly palm-branch in his strong right-hand!
“ Amid the conquering armies of the skies
“ Give him high place for ever! let him walk
66 O'er meads of better asphodel; and be
" Where dwell the single-hearted and the wise,
“ The saviours of their country !-faithful men,
" And loyal to their Prince, and true and brave;
“Men like himself, severely, simply good,
" Who scorn'd to be ambitious,-scorn'd the snares
“Of office, station, rank; but stood sublime
“In natural greatness... O Eternal King,

“O Father of all Spirits,-give him peace !" Oriel College, Nov. 18, 1852.


This is one of the most beautiful of the compositions of WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, an American poet, who is said to be more popular in England than in his own country. We know not if it be so ; but we can readily understand why his calm, reflective compositions,-distinguished more for gracefulness than spirit, for purity than energy, for good taste than lofty genius, and breathing more of the retreats of nature than of the haunts of man,-should not be so popular with the “ go-a-head" generation on the other side of the Atlantic as poets who utter strange wild thoughts in burning words, and stir the heart instead of soothing it. The following poem is one of the choicest of BRYANT'S productions, eminently characteristic of his genius, and will be read and probably committed to memory by all thoughtful readers. There is a solemn sadness about it which must impress the most careless.

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms she speaks
A various language ; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart,
Go forth under the open sky and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around
Earth and her waters and the depths of air,
Comes a still voice-Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourish'd thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again :
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to th’ insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thy eternal resting place
Shalt thou retire alone-nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth, the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,-the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between ;
The venerable woods-rivers that move

In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, pour'd round all,
Old ocean's grey and melancholy waste,-
Are but the solemn declarations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.-Take the wings
Of morning-and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings-yet-the dead are there,
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep-the dead reign there alone.--
So shalt thou restand what if thou withdraw
Unheeded by the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His fav’rite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
And the sweet babe, and the grey-headed man,-
Shall one by one be gather'd to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain'd and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch

About him and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Is not that beautiful? Read it again—it will bear repetition.

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