Obrazy na stronie

Beneath that beggar's roof,
Lo! Death doth keep his state:

Enter—no crowds attend—

Enter—no guards defend
This palace-gate.

That pavement damp and cold No smiling courtiers tread;

One silent woman stands

Lifting with meagre hands
A dying head.

No mingling voices sound-
An infant wail alone;

A sob suppressed—again

That short deep gasp, and then The parting groan.

Oh! change-oh ! wondrous changeBurst are the prison bars—

This moment there, so low,

So agonised, and now
Beyond the stars!

Oh! change—stupendous change | There lies the soulless clod:

The sun eternal breaks—

The new immortal wakes—
Wakes with his God.


The first production of MR READE was a drama entitled Cain, the Wanderer, 1830. It was followed by The Revolt of the Angels, Italy, Revelations of Life, &c. The poem of Italy, in the Spenserian stanza, recalls Byron's Childe Harold, while the Revelations resemble Wordsworth’s Excursion. We subjoin a few lines of description:

We looked toward The sun, rayless and red: emerging slow From a black canopy that lowered above. O'er a blue sky it hung where fleecy clouds Swelled like low hills along the horizon's verge, Down slanting to a sea of glory, or O'er infinite plains in luminous repose. Eastward the sulphurous thunder-clouds were rolled: While on the lurid sky beneath was marked The visibly falling storm. The western rays Braided its molten edges, rising up Like battlemented towers their brazen fronts Changing perturbedly: from which, half seen, The imaginative eye could body forth Spiritual forms of thrones and fallen powers, Reflecting on their scarred and fiery fronts, The splendours left behind them.

Cataline, a drama by Mr Reade, is well conceived and executed; but here also he follows another poetical master, Ben Jonson. In 1852 Mr Reade collected his various productions, the careful product of many years.


This gentleman (1802–1839) was early distinguished for scholarship and poetic talent. In conjunction with a school-fellow—the Rev. John Moultrie, who also wrote some pleasing poetryMr Praed set up a paper called The Etonian; and he was associated with Macaulay as a writer in Knight's Quarterly Magazine. The son of a wealthy London banker, Praed entered public life as a Conservative politician, sat in the House of Commons for #ish boroughs, and for a short period in 1835

held the office of Secretary of the Board of Control. His poetical pieces were contributed to periodicals, and were first collected by an American publisher. They are light, fashionable sketches, yet executed with great truth and sprightliness. The following is an excellent portrait of a wealthy English bachelor and humorist:


Near a small village in the West,
Where many very worthy people
Eat, drink, play whist, and do their best
To guard from evil church and steeple,
There stood—alas, it stands no more !—
A tenement of brick and plaster,
Of which, for forty years and four,
My good friend Quince was lord and master.

Welcome was he in hut and hall,
To maids and matrons, peers and peasants;
He won the sympathies of all
By making puns and making presents.
Though all the parish was at strife,
He kept his counsel and his carriage,
And laughed, and loved a quiet life,
And shrunk from Chancery-suits and marriage.

Sound was his claret and his head,
Warm was his double ale and feelings;
His partners at the whist-club said
That he was faultless in his dealings.
He went to church but once a week,
Yet Dr Poundtext always found him
An upright man, who studied Greek,
And liked to see his friends around him.

Asylums, hospitals, and schools
He used to swear were made to cozen;
All who subscribed to them were fools—
And he subscribed to half a dozen.
It was his doctrine that the poor
Were always able, never willing;
And so the beggar at the door
Had first abuse, and then a shilling.

Some public principles he had,
But was no flatterer nor fretter;
He rapped his box when things were bad,
And said: ‘I cannot make them better.’
And much he loathed the patriot's snort,
And much he scorned the placeman's snuffle,
And cut the fiercest quarrels short
With, “Patience, gentlemen, and shuffle!'

For full ten years his pointer, Speed,
Had couched beneath his master's table,
For twice ten years his old white steed
Had fattened in his master's stable.
Old Quince averred upon his troth
They were the ugliest beasts in Devon;
And none knew why he fed them both
With his own hands, six days in seven.

Whene'er they heard his ring or knock,
Quicker than thought the village slatterns
Flung down the novel, smoothed the frock,
And took up Mrs Glasse or patterns.
Alice was studying baker's bills;
Louisa looked the queen of knitters;
Jane happened to be hemming frills;
And Nell by chance was making fritters.

But all was vain. And while decay
Came like a tranquil moonlight o'er him,

And found him gouty still and gay,
With no fair nurse to bless or bore him;

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THOMAs HooD (1798–1845) appeared before the public chiefly as a comic poet and humorist, but several of his compositions, of a different nature, shew that he was also capable of excelling in the grave, pathetic, and sentimental. He had thoughts ‘too deep for tears, and rich imaginative dreams and fancies, which were at times embodied in continuous strains of pure and exquisite poetry, but more frequently thrown in, like momentary shadows, among his light and fantastic effusions. His wit and sarcasm were always well applied. This ingenious and gifted man was a native of London, son of one of the partners in the bookselling firm of Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe. He was educated for the counting-house, and at an early age was placed under the charge of a city merchant. His health, however, was found unequal to the close confinement and application required at the merchant's desk, and he was sent to reside with some relatives in Dundee, of which town his father was a native. While resident there, Mr Hood evinced his taste for literature. He contributed to the local newspapers, and :* to the Dundee Magazine, a periodical of

considerable merit. On the re-establishment of his health, he returned to London, and was put apprentice to a relation, an engraver. At this employment he remained just long enough to acquire a taste for drawing, which was afterwards of essential service to him in illustrating his poetical productions. About the year 1821 he had adopted literature as a profession, and was installed as regular

Thomas Hood. assistant to the London Magazine, which at that time was left without its founder and ornament, Mr John Scott, who was unhappily killed in a duel. On the cessation of this work, Mr Hood wrote for various periodicals. He was some time editor of the New Monthly Magazine, and also of a magazine which bore his own name. His life was one of incessant exertion, embittered by ill health and all the disquiets and uncertainties incidental to authorship. When almost prostrated by disease, the government stepped in to relieve him with a small pension; and after his premature death in May 1845, his literary friends contributed liberally towards the support of his widow and family. The following lines, written a few weeks before his death, possess a peculiar and melancholy interest:

Farewell Life! my senses swim,
And the world is growing dim:
Thronging the shadows cloud the light,
Like the advent of the night—
Colder, colder, colder still,
Upwards steals a vapour chill;
Strong the earthy odour grows—
I smell the mould above the rose !

Welcome Life! the spirit strives:
Strength returns, and hope revives;
Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn
Fly like shadows at the morn-
O'er the earth there comes a bloom;
Sunny light for sullen gloom,
Warm perfume for vapour cold-
I smell the rose above the mould !
April, 1845.

Mr Hood's productions are in various styles and forms. His first work, Whims and Oddities, *::ined 57


to great popularity. Their most original feature was the use which the author made of puns—a figure generally too contemptible for literature, but which, in Hood's hands, became the basis of genuine humour, and often of the purest pathos. He afterwards (1827) tried a series of National Tales, but his prose was less attractive than his verse. A regular novel, Tylney Hall, was a more decided failure. In poetry he made a great advance. The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies is a rich imaginative work, superior to his other productions. As editor of the Comic Annual, and also of some of the literary annuals, Mr Hood increased his reputation for sportive humour and poetical fancy; and he continued the same vein in his Up the Rhine—a satire on the absurdities of English travellers. In 1843, he issued two volumes of Whimsicalities, a Periodical Gathering, collected chiefly from the New Monthly Magazine. His last production of any importance was the Song of the Shirt, which first appeared in Punch, and was as admirable in spirit as in composition. This striking picture of the miseries of the poor London sempstresses struck home to the heart, and aroused the benevolent feelings of the public. In most of Hood's works, even in his puns and levities, there is a ‘spirit of good’ directed to some kindly or philanthropic object. He had serious and mournful jests, which were the more effective from their strange and unexpected combinations. Those who came to laugh at folly, remained to sympathise with want and suffering. The ‘various pen’ of Hood, said Douglas Jerrold, “touched alike the springs of laughter and the sources of tears.” Charles Lamb said Hood carried two faces under his namesake, a tragic one and a comic. Of Hood's graceful and poetical puns, it would be easy to give abundant specimens. The following stanzas form part of an inimitable burlesque, Iament for the Decline of Chivalry:

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In cavils when will cavaliers
Set ringing helmets by the ears,
And scatter plumes about?
Or blood—if they are in the vein?
That tap will never run again—
Alas, the casque is out !

No iron-crackling now is scored
By dint of battle-axe or sword,
To find a vital place;
Though certain doctors still pretend,
Awhile, before they kill a friend,
To labour through his case!

Farewell then, ancient men of might !
Crusader, errant-squire, and knight !
Our coats and customs soften;
To rise would only make you weep;
Sleep on in rusty iron sleep,
As in a safety-coffin |

The grave, lofty, and sustained style of Hood is much more rare than this punning vein; but a few verses will shew how truly poetical at times was his imagination—how rapt his fancy. The diction of the subjoined stanzas is rich and musical, and may recall some of the finest flights of the Elizabethan poets. We quote from an Ode to the Moon.

Mother of light! how fairly dost thou go
Over those hoary crests, divinely led !
Art thou that huntress of the silver bow
Fabled of old? Or rather dost thou tread
Those cloudy summits thence to gaze below,
Like the wild chamois on her Alpine snow,
Where hunter never climbed—secure from dread?
A thousand ancient fancies I have read
Of that fair presence, and a thousand wrought,
Wondrous and bright,
Upon the silver light,
Tracing fresh figures with the artist thought.

What art thou like? Sometimes I see thee ride
A far-bound galley on its perilous way;
Whilst breezy waves toss up their silvery spray:
Sometimes behold thee glide,
Clustered by all thy family of stars,
Like a lone widow through the welkin wide,
Whose pallid cheek the midnight sorrow mars:
Sometimes I watch thee on from steep to steep,
Timidly lighted by thy vestal torch,
Till in some Latinian cave I see thee creep,
To catch the young Endymion asleep,
Leaving thy splendour at the jagged porch.

0 thou art beautiful, howe'er it be?
Huntress, or Dian, or whatever named—
And he the veriest Pagan who first framed
A silver idol, and ne'er worshipped thee;
It is too late, or thou shouldst have my knee-
Too late now for the old Ephesian vows,
And not divine the crescent on thy brows;
Yet, call thee nothing but the mere mild moon,
Behind those chestnut boughs,
Casting their dappled shadows at my feet;
I will be grateful for that simple boon,
In many a thoughtful verse and anthem sweet,
And bless thy dainty face whene'er we meet.

In the Gem, a literary annual for 1829, Mr Hood published a ballad, entitled The Dream of Eugene Aram, which is also remarkable for its exhibition of the secrets of the human heart, and its deep and powerful moral feeling. It is perhaps to be regretted that an author, who had undoubted command of the higher passions and emotions, should so seldom have

frequented this sacred ground, but have preferred | Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove,
the gaieties of mirth and fancy. He probably saw (I'll tell you what, my love,
that his originality was more apparent in the latter, I cannot write, unless he's sent above )
and that popularity was in this way more easily
attained. Immediate success was of importance to

him; and until the position of literary men be ren- The Song of the Shirt.
dered more secure and unassailable, we must often With fingers weary and worn,
be content to lose works which can only be the With eyelids heavy and red,
“ripened fruits of wise delay.’ A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
The following is one of Hood's most popular Plying her needle and thread.
effusions in that style which the public identified as Stitch—stitch—stitch !

peculiarly his own: In poverty, hunger, and dirt;
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the ‘Song of the Shirt!”

A Parental Ode to my Son, aged Three Years and Five

Months. While the cock is crowing aloof!
Thou happy, happy elf And work—work—work |
(But stop—first let me kiss away that tear) Till the stars shine through the roof?
Thou tiny image of myself! It’s oh! to be a slave,
(My love, he’s poking peas into his ear!) Along with the barbarous Turk,
Thou merry, laughing sprite! Where woman has never a soul to save,
With spirits feather light, If this is Christian work!
Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin,
(Good heavens ! the child is swallowing a pin ) ‘Work—work—work |
Till the brain begins to swim;
Thou little tricksy Puck! Work—work—work!

Till the eyes are heavy and dim
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream |

With antic toys so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air,
(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he’ll set his pinafore afire!)

Thou imp of mirth and joy! • - - - -
In love's dear chain so strong and bright a link, 9:£ wives
Thou idol of thy parents (Drat the boy! It is not linen you're wearing out'

There goes my ink!) But human creatures lives!

Stitch—stitch—stitch !

Thou cherub—but of earth; In poverty, hunger, and dirt;
Fit playfellow for Fays by moonlight pale, Sewing at once, with a double thread,

In harmless sport and mirth, A shroud as well as a shirt.
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail )
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey “But why do I talk of Death?
From every blossom in the world that blows, That phantom of grisly bone;
Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny, I hardly fear his terrible shape,
(Another tumble—that’s his precious nose!) It seems so like my own.

Thy father's pride and hope It seems so like my own,
(He’ll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!) Because of the fasts I keep,
With pure heart newly stamped from nature's mint, Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
(Where did he learn that squint?) And flesh and blood so cheap!

- g - —work |
Thou young domestic dove : Y: flags;

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Thou enviable being ! ‘Work—work—work :
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing, From weary chime to chime,

Play on, play on, Work—work—work—

My elfin John! As prisoners work for crime!

Band, and gusset, and seam,

Toss the light ball—bestride the stick, Seam, and gusset, and band,
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!) Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumbed,
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down, As well as the weary hand.
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk

With many a lamb-like frisk, ‘Work—work—work : .
(He’s got the scissors, snipping at your gown!) In the dull December light,

Thou pretty opening rose! And work—work-work, • (Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!) When the weather is warm and brightBalmy, and breathing music like the south, While underneath the eaves (He really brings my heart into my mouth !) The brooding swallows cling, Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star, As if to shew me their sunny backs (I wish that window had an iron bar!) And twit me with the spring. 579

“Oh ! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet—

With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet,

For only one short hour

To feel as I used to feel,

Before I knew the woes of want,
And the walk that costs a meal!

‘Oh, but for one short-hour !
A respite however brief
No blessed leisure for love or hope,
But only time for grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread.’

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread.
Stitch-stitch—stitch !
In poverty, hunger, and dirt;
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the rich !
She sang this ‘Song of the Shirt!”

The following stanzas possess a sad yet sweet reality of tone and imagery:

The Death-bed.

We watched her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low,

As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seemed to speak,
So slowly moved about,

As we had lent her half our powers
To eke her living out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied—

We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came dim and sad,
And chill with early showers,

Her quiet eyelids closed—she had
Another morn than ours.

Hood's works have been collected into four volumes: Poems (now in their tenth edition); Poems of Wit and Humour (in their seventh edition); Hood's Own, or Laughter from Year to Year; and Whims and Oddities in Prose and Verse.


Under the signature of the Greek letter Delta, DAvro MACBETH MoIR (1798–1851) was a large poetical contributor to Blackwood's Magazine. His best pieces are grave and tender, but he also wrote some lively jeux d'esprit, and a humorous Scottish tale, The Autobiography of Mansie Wauch, which was published in one volume, in 1828. His other works are, The Legend of Genevieve, with other Tales and Poems, 1824; Outlines of the Ancient History of Medicine, 1831; Domestic Verses, 1843; and Sketches of the Poetical Literature of the Past Half-century, 1851. His poetical works, edited by Thomas Airdwho prefixed to the collection an excellent memoir ":- were published in two volumes in 1852.

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