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The whole range of English lyrical poetry contains nothing finer than this, we believe nothing so fine. JOHN KEATS, to whom the lovers of poetry are indebted for it, was one of the contemporaries of Lord Byron. He possessed a genius of the very highest order, and before he was twenty-one he published poems that have already taken their station among our national literature. A bitter attack in the Quarlerly Review is said to have so grieved him as to hasten the approach of an hereditary disease, and at the early age of twenty-four death deprived the world of one of its master spirits. Had he lived, it is probable that he would have produced works second to none in our language. The following ode was his last composition, written upon his death-bed. To feel its full beauty, the reader must have in his mind's eye the entire scene. An Italian evening—the night wind coming through the window-sill, fanning the brow of the dying poet, the young moon setting over the sea, the odour of night flowers stealing into the feverish chamber, the rich voice of the nightingale flooding the else silent world. On the bed of death lies the poet, his frame wasted, his cheeks hectic, bis eyes lighted up with all the fire of his undying soul. In such a position he breathes the following "most musical, most melancholy address to the merry songster in the garden below. It opens with a painful description of his own sad state.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk ;
"Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,

In some melodious plot
Of beechen green and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

Here is a rich array of ideas clothed in the choicest words. But mark the wonderful voluptuousness of the next verse. Was ever a goblet of wine so deliciously described as this with which the poet longs to slake his fever and die in the luxury of the draught?

Oh! for a draught of vintage that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth!
Oh! for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrenė,

With beaded bubbles winking at the brim

And purple-stained mouth!
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim !
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget,
What thou amid the leaves hast never known,-
The weariness, the fever, and the fret,
Here where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few sad, last, grey hairs;
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies ;
Where still to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs ;
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Nor young Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards :
Already with thee! Tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry fays;

But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown

Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. How exquisitely, in the next verse, he imagines the beauties of flower and field at that delightful season which he, poor dying mortal, shut up in his dark sick chamber, cannot see and may only dream of. What a multitude of pleasant country thoughts are condensed in this single verse.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows

The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild:
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves;

And Mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose full of dewy wine,

The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. On such a night, he thinks, how sweet to die—to end this troublous wayward life and burst into a higher and happier being. He who in sad youthful fancies had often wished to die, when death seemed something impossible, now when it is in sight remembers this. Never was a calm death described with such delicacy of touch as in the lines in italics.

Darkling I listen; and,- for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful death,
Cail'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath-
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain,

To thy high requiem become a sod. And that remembrance leads him to compare his lot with the nightingale's. That self-same tune had been heard for ages past, and would be heard for centuries to come, while his song was poured forth in a rich strain for three or four short years, to be stified in death, and its like never more to be heard.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird !
No hungry generations tread thee down:
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown;
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;

The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in fairy lands forlorn.-
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self.
Adieu ! the Fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf!
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill side ; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley glades.
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ?

Fled is that music :-do I wake or sleep? Poor Keats! the world in thee lost a treasure. Thy foes little knew what a rare flower they were trampling to death.


It has been objected to Moore that he scatters similes too profusely; that he surfeits his readers with sweets; that his verses are gems of fancy, but wanting in imagination. Well, if they be but fancy, the play of it is very beautiful play; and if not poetry, it is so like it that the world will probably continue to accept and value it as poetry, spite of the critics. We certainly look upon the following as genuine poetry. It is from Lalla Rookh.

THERE's a beauty for ever unchangingly bright,
Like the long sunny lapse of a summer day's light,
Shining on, shining on, by no shadow made tender,
Till love falls asleep in its sameness of splendour.
This was not the beauty-oh! nothing like this,
That to young Nourmahal gave such magic of bliss ;
But that loveliness, ever in motion, which plays
Like the light upon autumn's soft shadowy days,
Now here and now there, giving warmth as it flies
From the lips to the cheek, from the cheek to the eyes,
Now melting in mist, and now breaking in gleams,
Like the glimpses a saint hath of heaven in his dreams!
When pensive, it seem'd as if that very grace,
That charm of all others was born with her face;
And when angry-for e'en in the tranquillest climes
Light breezes will ruffle the flowers sometimes,
The short, passing anger but seem'd to awaken
New beauty, like flowers that are sweetest when shaken.
If tenderness touch'd her, the dark of her eye
At once took a darker, a heavenlier dye,
From the depth of whose shadow, like holy revealings
From innermost shrines, came the light of her feelings !
Then her mirth-oh! 'twas sportive as ever took wing
From the heart with a burst, like the wild bird in spring;
Illumed by a wit that would fascinate sages,
Yet playful as Peris just loosed from their cages.
While ber laugh, full of life, without any control
But the sweet one of gracefulness, rang from her soul;
And where it most sparkled no glance could discover,
In lip, cheek or eyes, for she brighten'd all over,-
Like any fair lake that the breeze is upon,
When it breaks into dimples and laughs in the sun.


Į This beautiful ballad by COLERIDGE is probably familiar 10 every

reader; but familiarity will not, in this instance, perform its prover

bial function and breed contempt. The more it is read the more it ! will be loved for its simplicity, its feeling, its imagery, its completeness

as a poem. There is not a more perfect composition in our language, and it will live as long as the language in which it is breathed.

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of love,

And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I

Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay

Beside the ruin'd tower.

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,

Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,

My own dear Genevieve!

She leant against the armed man,

The statue of the armed knight;
She stood and listen'd to my lay,

Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope ! my joy ! my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene'er I sing

The songs that make her grieve.
I play'd a soft and doleful air,

I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well

That ruin wild and hoary.

She listen'd with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes, and modest grace ;
For well she knew I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.

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