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DURING THE CONFLAGRATION IN NEW-YORK, DECEMBER 16Th, 1835.

THERE was a marriage, and the fair

young

bride
Stood in her white robes, ready for that vow
Which only Love can sanctify, and Death
Alone may loose. Amid her glossy hair,
There was one simple lily of the vale,
Sweet emblem of her innocence and truth.
- The fire-bells strike -- the frantic shouts resound -
The tumult swells !

Proceed, thou holy man!
Heed not a false alarm.'

So spake the youth
Whose fondest hopes through many a sleepless night
Had vision'd forth that hour, while fear and doubi,
The company of love, with their cold breath
Did ofttimes whisper that it ne'er would come.

- And so the priest, with solemn voice inquir'd
Who to this man the blooming maiden gave,
In nuptial rite. And when the father rose
To place within another's grasp the hand
Which ever in its childish pastime lov'd
To hide itself among his clustering locks,
Making him glad, methought to his proud eye,
Though her lip trembled like a breeze-swept rose,
His darling ne'er had look'd so beautiful.
What was the din without ? They heard it not.
Their world was in the heart, and all beside
Was a forgotten echo.

Lo, the tide
Of fire rolls on! Even from the parting lip
The plighted faith is snatch'd. Hoarse through the door
Rush a wild crowd, and scarce the bridegroom's brow
Hath space to kindle with a moment's ire,
Ere the dense smoke pours in, and the fierce flames,
Already climbing toward the pillar'd roof,
Warn them to 'scape for life.

Ah! who can tell
The unmeasur'd miseries of that fearful night?
A sick babe lay within its mother's arms -
The half-loos'd soul hung quivering on its lips,
Longing for freedom. The small veins stood forth
In purple tenseness round the tiny neck,
And where the temples met the golden hair,
While each fair feature sharp and rigid grew,
So strong did Nature struggle for her hold
In that frail tenement.

Still hope was there;
Such desperate hope, as roots in deathless love -
Hope that a mother nurtures, though her son
Plunge headlong through the darkest depths of guilt.
Even so this lone one trusted that her God
Would not bereave her utterly, and sate
Nursing a fond belief that sleep's soft balm
Would heal the anguish of her restless child.
She was a widow, and her only wealth
Was garner'd up in that pale piece of clay.
The chamber of her watching long so dim
With one faint taper's waning ray, grew bright
With the red flashes of approaching flame.
She mark'd it not. Her brooding sorrow dwelt
With its drear watch-light in her inmost soul,

And noon and midnight were to her the same.
Sighs rent the bosom of the failing babe,
And its thin hands, with faint, convulsive clasp,
Sought for some prop.

Hark! 't is the mother's cry,
So shrill, imploring His high help who met
A sad procession at the gates of Nain,
And from the bier gave back the quicken'd dead,
A widow's only son. But stranger feet
Break up her privacy, and hurried tones
Give warning in her ear-Away!- away!'
The flames are o'er her threshold.

Torpid Grief
Still shakes its leaden sceptre o'er her soul,
As in her bosom gathering up her dead,

She passed out homeless, on that bitter night.
Hartford, (Conn.,) Dec. 1837.

L. H. S.

ST ANZAS.

Long, long the theme of every past delight,
And still to last, my vision of the night!

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever!'

I had a dream - a dream, but that is o'er,
Thy charms can move, thy beauty blind no more;
Thy spell is broke, thy fascination past,
And I can see thee as thou art, at last;
Unshackled once again, and proud, my soul
Now spurns, as once it courted, thy control.
No longer Beauty wears alone thy form,
No longer 't is alone ihy smile can warm;
Almost I dare to think that there may be
Another, lovely as I pictured thee,
When, fondly bending at thy feet in prayer,
I deemed that more than woman's soul was there;
Oh wert thou still as then my fancy thought,
The world beside to me, the world were nought!

I own the light, the glory of thy brow;
Il dazzles, but it cannot warm me now!
No longer now it bids me bend the knee,
And think religion is — 10 worship thee;
Condemned thyself a suppliant to bow,
My knee denies to do thee homage now;
And as thy spirit to its idol turns,
With shame of thee, my cheek indignant burns;
But yesterday so peerless! - and to-day-
Oh what thou art, my lips refuse to say !

Farewell !--- and though the thought of thee may gleam
Perchance athwart my fancy's wayward dream,
When, present things forgoi, my soul shall dwell
On one 'it loved, not wisely, but too well;'
Though sometimes in my secret breast shall rise
The memory of thy subduing eyes,
The magic music of thy voice, and all
That held the pulses of my heart in thrall,
Yet shall not these suffice again to move
The steadfast purpose of my soul to love.

L. L. D. P.

LITERARY NOTICES.

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SCRIPTURAL ANTHOLOGY : OR, Biblical ILLUSTRATIONS. Designed as a Present for all

Seasons. By Nathan C. BROOKS, A. M. In one volume. pp. 180. Philadelphia : William MARSHALL AND COMPANY. Baltimore: BAYLY AND BURNS.

On opening this volume, the first thing which meets the eye of the reader is the 'publishers' preface,' evidently written by the author, wherein the succeeding pages are en of, as ' blending exalted sentiment and devotional fervor with the enchantments of poetry. This modest verdict is followed by this farther declaration :

While we must claim for our author a high degree of poetic excellence, we would by no means insist that his productions will be found superior to criticism; as they are merely the relaxation of a scholar, while laboriously engaged as superintendent of one of our largest and most respectable literary institutions.' Here two or three birds are killed with one stone. Mr. Brooks is not only a poet of the first order, but he is a scholar, and moreover, preceptor of a very superior academy; and his faults as a writer are to be excused, on the ground that he is engaged in literary occupations! As we perused this advance critique and academy advertisement, we could not help calling to mind the economical inscription upon a tomb-stone in Père La Chaise, Paris:

Here lies the body of M—R an affectionate parent and kind husband. His disconsolate widow still keeps the shop, No.-, Rue -, where may be found, at all times, a superior assortment of gloves, hosiery, linens,' etc. But waiving the diffident introduction to the volume under notice, and bearing in mind, that while the elephant is always drawn smaller than life, a flea must be represented larger, let us pass to a few remarks upon the egg which is heralded by so much cackling.

Having read the 'Scriptural Anthology' through, (for which feat we trust to become distinguished, in like manner with that long, low, 'dark-complected individual, who is pointed out on a sunny day in Broadway, as 'the man who has read. The Monnikins,') we are prepared to speak our opinion of its merits; and since we neither know, nor have ever seen, the author, we cannot be accused of being influenced in our comments by personal considerations. Sooner shall the surges of the sandiferous sea ignify and evaporate,' ('style is style,' and we have caught the infection) than we be justly chargeable with such disingenuous motives !

The first features of Mr. Brooks' writings, which we have to notice, are their inflation and redundance. He is ever on stilts — aiming to petrify the reader in a single stanza — and 'winnowing the air with wingéd words.' Heconceives nothing too high for him to mount; nor does he ever seem aware, in reducing his aspirations to practice, of the pressure about his heels. He tosses his splendid epithets around him, and hammers out hard sentences on the anvil of his brain, with untiring perseverance. This may be necessary, however, for the purposes of amplification,' mentioned in the publishers' preface.' He tells us how the 'opalled sun-beams' shone, and the moon-beams leaped from heaven's urn of blue;' how the sun played prompter, and 'rolled up the curtain of the world's theatre;' the winds are described as

'strong-lunged heralds of the storm,' while the thunder 'booms from pole to pole.' His personal similes are numerous. Take, for example, one feature. We have the

cheek of heaven' turning pale, 'ocean's cheek,' the 'cheek of earth,'' night's starry cheek,' and the 'cheek of day;' the loud winds' seize the giant billows' Samson locks;' the veil of darkness hangs in 'foldings' over the face of earth; and there are dark 'foldings' in the tempest's robe. If a line is not sufficiently full, nothing is easier than to remedy the defect by elongating a proper name-as ‘Babylon-ia's waters,' or ' Egypt-ia's soil' - after the manner of that famed university poet, who, (embodying a sentiment worthy of Mr. Brooks' attention,) wrote:

"A man cannot make himself a poet,

No more 'n a sheep can make itself a go-at!' Subjoined are a few specimens of amplification. The first is taken from Abrahain's Sacrifice:

• The waren neck
And ivory wrists were dented with the cords,
Until the purple blood seemed bursting through

The tissue of the pure, transparent skin.'
Elsewhere, he says:

· The moon
Pours from her beamy urn a silver tide

Of living rays upon the slumbering earth.' The annexed is from the 'Beheading of John the Baptist.' It is a fair specimen of our author's general style and taste :

. The man of blood bore in the gory head
On reeking platter, while the pallid lips
With life still quivered, and the blanching cheek,
Aud o'er his dying eyes the lids were drawn
Like faded violets. In the gasp of death -
lu all its lividness - in all its writhe
of mortal agony — with gouts of blood
Stiffening the beard! - clotting the mangled locks,
The youthful maiden, with complacent smile,
And step of triumph, bore the bleeding bead
Unto her mother.

How much better than poor prose is the following ? - always excepting the electro-magnetic simile, so unaffected and so clear. Abraham is here spoken of:

• Strengthened and composed,
With holy resignation on his brow,
He left his tent; and saddling up his beast,
Clave, in obedience to the word of God,
Wood for a holocaust whereon his son
Should, to the Lord, an offering he made :
Sped on his journey to the distant hills
Of Mount Moriah.
And now the patriarch behelj, far off',
The place appointed. Then the clectric flash
Of anguish ran, like lightning, down the wires

Of strong paternal feeling.' We must protest against reducing touching and beautiful passages of Scripture to such verse as is in this volume turned to small account, in paraphrasing the captivity of Zion, our Saviour's lamentation over Jerusalem, the melting pathos of the 'Man of Uz,' or re-painting, in lines of tedious vapidity, a scene like that of Belshazzar's feast, what time his guests gazed at the hand-writing on the wall, * Until their thought-strained eyes

dilated He must needs be largely gifted, who kindles adequately at the flame of the sacred writers. It requires something more than one who contents his ideas with the 'films and images that fly off upon his senses from the superfices of things,' to beautify, or render more poetical, some of the finest scenes recorded in Holy Writ.

Our author, we are sorry to perceive, has not at all times a proper regard for the VOL. XI.

grew!'

10

laws of mëum and tüum. He has borrowed, if not' line upon line,' yet here a little, and there a great deal. CamPBELL's noble line,

* And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky,' he has metamorphosed, for instance, into

* Beneath the night-watch of the sentinel stars ;' and that admirable conceit which SHAKSPEARE puts into the mouth of Richard III.,

"And e'en the stars do wink,

As 't were with over-watching,' is altered to

* The pale stars grow dim with watching.' We have pencilled several other lines, equally glaring with the foregoing.

Now and then, we are struck with a few stanzas of a simple or sublime character, which convince us that were Mr. Brooks to cease altogether to write ad ostentationem, he might hope for very respectable success. Witness the following lines, which are spirited and unaffected :

"The God Omnipotent, who rolled
The chariots of the crystal spheres,
To circle rouud their course of years,
Made the green earth, at his command,
Arise with all its mounts sublime,
And from the hollow of his hand
Poured out the inmeasurable sea,
And bade its waves' eternal chime

Hymn his own vast immensity!' And that is a good simile, which describes the marks of the deluge upon high mountains

• As a memorial of the curse of sin,
The cicatrices of the scourge of God

Upon its giant sides.' But such passages are rare, amidst frequent trickeries of phrase, and examples of verbose bombast, and diluted thoughts, encumbered with tinsel and frippery. Our author does not lack words; and, being born of few ideas, they flow freely enough from his mind and pen ; just as people come faster out of a church when it is empty, than when a crowd is at the door. Hence, it is needless to add, he is a prëeminent mannerist.

Mr. Brooks may be a scholar; he may be well versed in the Greek and Roman story; he may be a competent principal of one of our largest and most respectable literary institutions;' but whatever his 'publishers' preface' may insinuate to the contrary, he is no poet ; and, as a volume of poetry, 'to compare his book with a bottle of small beer, would be greatly to belie that fluid.' He might, indeed, we have reason to believe -- judging from his idea of the horrid, as manifested in the extract above, describing the head in a charger,' and other passages of a kindred description – concoct a melo-drama, that, in popular parlance, would'take' well. Let him therefore study some of the higher flights of SUMNER LINCOLN FAIRFIELD, (whom he resembles, as a writer, in his worst points,) and become familiar with his night-riding incubi, Abaddon, etc., and then, being ripe for his task, write a play; call it. The Unknown Spirit of the Mysterious Grotto, or the Immense Vacuum of the Solitude of the Desert,' or designate it by some such euphonious and mysterious title, and we will use our influence with ‘Mr. George Jones, the Great American Tragedian'— par nobile fralrum! - to take the part of the Unknown Spirit.' So shall the fame of the author of 'Scriptural Anthology' be fully established.

The typographical execution of the volume is creditable to the publishers; although little can be said in favor of the 'embellishments,' so ostentatiously set forth; espocially the 'minor embellishments, or tail-pieces' — small, coarse wood-cuts, an inch or two square. The persevering reader will be pleased, however, with one of these, at the close of the book. It is termed in the catalogue, 'FINIA !!

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