Obrazy na stronie

volumes. rality pervades all the writings of this poet. He was

| possesses more of the power and fertility of the | master than any other of the author's works.

Besides the works we have enumerated, Mr Montgomery has thrown off a number of small effusions, published in different periodicals, and short translations from Dante and Petrarch. On his retirement in 1825 from the ‘invidious station' of newspaper editor, which he had maintained for more than thirty years, through good report and evil report, his friends and neighbours of Sheffield, of every shade of political and religious distinction, invited him to a public entertainment, at which the present Earl Fitzwilliam presided. There the happy and grateful poet ‘ran through the story of his life even from his boyish days, when he came amongst them, friendless and a stranger, from his retirement at Fulneck among the Moravian brethren, by whom he was educated in all but knowledge of the world. He spoke with pardonable pride of the success which had crowned his labours as an author. “Not, indeed,” he said, “with fame and fortune, as these were lavished on my greater contemporaries, in comparison with whose

magnificent possessions on the British Parnassus | my small plot of ground is no more than Naboth's vineyard to Ahab's kingdom; but it is my own; it

is no copyhold; I borrowed it, I leased it from none. Every foot of it I enclosed from the common myself; and I can say that not an inch which I had once gained have I ever lost. * * I wrote neither to suit the manners, the taste, nor the temper of the age; but I appealed to universal principles, to unperishable affections, to primary elements of our common nature, found wherever man is found in civilised society, wherever his mind has been raised above barbarian ignorance, or his passions purified from brutal selfishness.” In 1830 and 1831 Mr Montgomery was selected to deliver a course of lectures at the Royal Institution on Poetry and General Literature, which he prepared for the press, and published in 1833. A pension of £200 per annum

| has since been conferred on Mr Montgomery. A collected edition of his works, with autobiographical

and illustrative matter, was issued in 1841 in four A tone of generous and enlightened mo

the enemy of the slave trade and of every form

of oppression, and the warm friend of every scheme

of philanthropy and improvement. The pious and devotional feelings displayed in his early effusions have grown with his growth, and form the staple of his poetry. In description, however, he is not less

happy; and in his “Greenland' and “Pelican Island’

there are passages of great beauty, evincing a refined

taste and judgment in the selection of his materials.

His late works have more vigour and variety than those by which he first became distinguished. Indeed, his fame was long confined to what is termed the religious world, till he showed, by his cultivation of different styles of poetry, that his depth and sincerity of feeling, the simplicity of his taste, and the

picturesque beauty of his language, were not re

stricted to purely spiritual themes. His smaller poems enjoy a popularity almost equal to those of

| Moore, which, though differing widely in subject,

they resemble in their musical flow, and their compendious happy expression and imagery.


'Tis sunset; to the firmament serene
The Atlantic wave reflects a gorgeous scene;
Broad in the cloudless west, a belt of gold
Girds the blue hemisphere; above unrolled
The keen clear air grows palpable to sight,
Embodied in a flush of crimson light,

Through which the evening star, with milder gleam,
Descends to meet her image in the stream.
Far in the east, what spectacle unknown
Allures the eye to gaze on it alone
Amidst black rocks, that lift on either hand
Their countless peaks, and mark receding land;
Amidst a tortuous labyrinth of seas,
That shine around the Arctic Cyclades;
Amidst a coast of dreariest continent,
In many a shapeless promontory rent;
O'er rocks, seas, islands, promontories pread,
The ice-blink rears its undulated head,
On which the sun, beyond the horizon shrined,
Hath left his richest garniture behind;
Piled on a hundred arches, ridge by ridge,
O'er fixed and fluid strides the alpine bridge,
Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye
Hewn from cerulean quarries in the sky;
With glacier battlements that crowd the spheres,
The slow creation of six thousand years,
Amidst immensity it towers sublime,
Winter's eternal palace, built by Time:
All human structures by his touch are borne
Down to the dust; mountains themselves are worn
With his light footsteps; here for ever grows,
Amid the region of unmelting snows,
A monument ; where every flake that falls
Gives adamantine firmness to the walls.
The sun beholds no mirror in his race,
That shows a brighter image of his face;
The stars, in their nocturnal vigils, rest
Like signal fires on its illumined crest;
The gliding moon around the ramparts wheels,
And all its magic lights and shades reveals;
Beneath, the tide with equal fury raves,
To undermine it through a thousand caves;
Rent from its roof, though thundering fragments oft
Plunge to the gulf, immovable aloft,
From age to age, in air, o'er sea, on land,
Its turrets heighten and its piers expand.

* +

Hark! through the calm and silence of the scene, Slow, solemn, sweet, with many a pause between, Celestial music swells along the airl No 1 'tis the evening hymn of praise and prayer From yonder deck, where, on the stern retired, Three humble voyagers,” with looks inspired, And hearts enkindled with a holier flame Than ever lit to empire or to fame, Devoutly stand : their choral accents rise On wings of harmony beyond the skies; And, 'midst the songs that seraph-minstrels sing, Day without night, to their immortal king, These simple strains, which erst Bohemian hills Echoed to pathless woods and desert rills, Now heard from Shetland's azure bound—are known In heaven ; and he who sits upon the throne In human form, with mediatorial power, Remembers Calvary, and hails the hour When, by the Almighty Father's high decree, The utmost north to him shall bow the knee, And, won by love, an untamed rebel-race Kiss the victorious sceptre of his grace. Then to his eye, whose instant glance pervades Heaven's heights, earth's circle, heli’s profoundest


Is there a group more lovely than those three
Night-watching pilgrims on the lonely seat

* The term ice-blink is generally applied by mariners to the nocturnal illumination in the heavens, which denotes to them the proximity of ice-mountains. In this place a description is attempted of the most stupendous accumulation of ice in the known world, which has been long distinguished by this peculiar name by the Danish navigators.

* The first Christian missionaries to Greenland.


Or to his ear, that gathers, in one sound,
The voices of adoring worlds around,
Comes there a breath of more delightful praise
Than the faint notes his poor disciples raise,
Ere on the treacherous main they sink to rest,
Secure as leaning on their Master's breast
They sleep; but memory wakes; and dreams array
Night in a lively masquerade of day;

| The land they seek, the land they leave behind,

Meet on mid-ocean in the plastic mind;
One brings forsaken home and friends so nigh,
That tears in slumber swell the unconscious eye :
The other opens, with prophetic view,
Perils which e'en their fathers never knew
(Though schooled by suffering, long inured to toil,
Outcasts and exiles from their natal soil);
Strange scenes, strange men; untold, untried distress;
Pain, hardships, famine, cold, and nakedness,
Diseases; death in every hideous form,
On shore, at sea, by fire, by flood, by storm ;
Wild beasts, and wilder men—unmoved with fear,
Health, comfort, safety, life, they count not dear,
May they but hope a Saviour's love to show,
And warn one spirit from eternal wo:
Nor will they faint, nor can they strive in vain,
Since thus to live is Christ, to die is gain.
'Tis morn: the bathing moon her lustre shrouds;
Wide over the east impends an arch of clouds
That spans the ocean; while the infant dawn

| Peeps through the portal o'er the liquid lawn,

That ruffled by an April-gale appears,
Between the gloom and splendour of the spheres,
Dark-purple as the moorland heath, when rain
Hangs in low vapours over the autumnal plain:
Till the full sun, resurgent from the flood,
Looks on the waves, and turns them into blood;
But quickly kindling, as his beams aspire,
The lambent billows play in forms of fire.
Where is the vessel ? Shining through the light,
Like the white sea-fowl's horizontal flight,
Yonder she wings, and skims, and cleaves her way
Through refluent foam and iridescent spray.


Night is the time for rest;
How sweet, when labours close,
To gather round an aching breast
The curtain of repose,
Stretch the tired limbs, and lay the head
Upon our own delightful bed!

Night is the time for dreams;
The gay romance of life,
When truth that is and truth that seems,
Blend in fantastic strife ;
Ah! visions less beguiling far
Than waking dreams by daylight are :

Night is the time for toil ;
To plough the classic field,
Intent to find the buried spoil
Its wealthy furrows yield ;
Till all is ours that sages taught,
That poets sang or heroes wrought.”

Night is the time to weep;
To wet with unseen tears
Those graves of memory where sleep
The joys of other years;
Hopes that were angels in their birth, .
But perished young like things on earth!

Night is the time to watch;
On ocean's dark expanse
To hail the Pleiades, or catch
The full moon's earliest glance,
That brings unto the home-sick mind
All we have loved and left behind.

Night is the time for care;
Brooding on hours misspent,
To see the spectre of despair
Come to our lonely tent;
Like Brutus, 'midst his slumbering host,
Startled by Caesar's stalwart ghost.
Night is the time to muse ;
Then from the eye the soul
Takes flight, and with expanding views
Beyond the starry pole,
Descries athwart the abyss of night
The dawn of uncreated light.

Night is the time to pray;
Our Saviour oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away;
So will his followers do ;
Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.
Night is the time for death;
When all around is peace,
Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease:
Think of heaven's bliss, and give the sign
To parting friends—such death be mine !

[Picture of a Poetical Enthusiast.] [From the “World Before the Flood.] Restored to life, one pledge of former joy, One source of bliss to come, remained—her boy! Sweet in her eye the cherished infant rose, At once the seal and solace of her woes ; When the pale widow clasped him to her breast, Warm gushed the tears, and would not be repressed ; In .. anguish, when the truant child Leaped o'er the threshold, all the mother smiled. In him, while fond imagination viewed Husband and parents, brethren, friends renewed, Each vanished look, each well-remembered grace That pleased in them, she sought in Javan's face ; For quick his eye, and changeable its ray, As the sun glancing through a vernal day; And like the lake, by storm or moonlight seen, With darkening furrows or cerulean mien, His countenance, the mirror of his breast, The calm or trouble of his soul expressed. As years enlarged his form, in moody hours His mind betrayed its weakness with its powers; Alike his fairest hopes and strangest fears Were nursed in silence, or divulged with tears; The fulness of his heart repressed his tongue, Though none might rival Javan when he sung. He loved, in lonely indolence reclined, To watch the clouds, and listen to the wind. But from the north when snow and tempest came, His nobler spirit mounted into flame; With stern delight he roamed the howling woods, Or hung in ecstacy over headlong floods. Meanwhile, excursive fancy longed to view The world, which yet by fame alone he knew; The joys of freedom were his daily theme, Glory the secret of his midnight dream ; That dream he told not; though his heart would ache, His home was precious for his mother's sake. With her the lowly paths of peace he ran, His guardian angel, till he verged to man ; But when her weary eye could watch no more, When to the grave her lifeless corse he bore, Not Enoch's counsels could his steps restrain; He fled, and sojourned in the land of Cain.

* Without any wish to make pedantic objections, we may be allowed to remark, that this stanza is inconsistent with natural truth and a just economy of life. Day is the time for toil– night is more proper for repose, and, if spent in mental labour, in addition to other duties pursued during the day, must re

| dound to the injury of health.-Ed.


FROM 1780
There, when he heard the voice of Jubal's lyre,
Instinctive genius caught the ethereal fire;
And soon, with sweetly-modulating skill,
He learned to wind the passions at his will;
To rule the chords with such mysterious art,
They seemed the life-strings of the hearer's heart!
Then glory's opening field he proudly trod,
Forsook the worship and the ways of God,
Round the vain world pursued the phantom Fame,
And cast away his birthright for a name.
Yet no delight the minstrel's bosom knew,
None save the tones that from his harp he drew,
And the warm visions of a wayward mind,
Whose transient splendour left a gloom behind,
Frail as the clouds of sunset, and as fair,
Pageants of light, resolving into air.
The world, whose charms his young affections stole,
He found too mean for an immortal soul;
Wound with his life, through all his feelings wrought,
Death and eternity possessed his thought :
Remorse impelled him, unremitting care
Harassed his path, and stung him to despair.
Still was the secret of his griefs unknown ;
Amidst the universe he sighed alone ;
The fame he followed and the fame he found,
Healed not his heart’s immedicable wound;
Admired, applauded, crowned, where'er he roved,
The bard was homeless, friendless, unbeloved.
All else that breathed below the circling sky,
Were linked to earth by some endearing tie ;
He only, like the ocean-weed uptorn,
And loose along the world of waters borne,
Was cast, companionless, from wave to wave,
On life's rough sea—and there was none to save.

[The Pelican Island.]

Light as a flake of foam upon the wind,
Keel-upward from the deep emerged a shell,
Shaped like the moon ere half her horn is filled;
Fraught with young life, it righted as it rose,
And moved at will along the yielding water.
The native pilot of this little bark
Put out a tier of oars on either side,
Spread to the wafting breeze a twofold sail,
And mounted up and glided down the billow
In happy freedom, pleased to feel the air,
And wander in the luxury of light.
Worth all the dead creation, in that hour,
To me appeared this lonely Nautilus,
My fellow-being, like myself alive.
Entranced in contemplation, vague yet sweet,
I watched its vagrant course and rippling wake,
Till I forgot the sun amidst the heavens.
It closed, sunk, dwindled to a point, then nothing;
While the last bubble crowned the dimpling eddy,
Through which mine eyes still giddily pursued it,
A joyous creature vaulted through the air–
The aspiring fish that fain would be a bird,
On long, light wings, that flung a diamond-shower
Of dewdrops round its evanescent form,
Sprang into light, and instantly descended.
Ere I could greet the stranger as a friend,
Or mourn his quick departure, on the surge
A shoal of dolphins, tumbling in wild glee,
Glowed with such orient tints, they might have been
The rainbow’s offspring, when it met the ocean
In that resplendent vision I had seen.
While yet in ecstacy I hung o'er these,
With every motion pouring out fresh beauties,
As though the conscious colours came and went
At pleasure, glorying in their subtle changes—
Enormous o'er the flood, Leviathan
Looked forth, and from his roaring nostrils sent
Two fountains to the sky, then plunged amain
In headlong pastime through the closing gulf.



The Recluse.

| A fountain issuing into light Before a marble palace, threw To heaven its column, pure and bright, Returning thence in showers of dew; But soon a humbler course it took, And glid away a nameless brook.

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That joy, and grief, and hope, and fear,
Alternate triumphed in his breast;

His bless and wo—a smile, a tear !
Oblivion hides the rest.

The bounding pulse, the languid limb, The changing spirits’ rise and fall;

We know that these were felt by him, For these are felt by all.

He suffered—but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoyed—but his delights are fled;

Had friends—his friends are now no more ;
And foes—his foes are dead.

He loved—but whom he loved the grave Hath lost in its unconscious womb:

0 she was fair! but nought could save Her beauty from the tomb.

He saw whatever thou hast seen;
Encountered all that troubles thee :

He was—whatever thou hast been;
He is—what thou shalt be.

The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.

The annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began,

Of him afford no other trace
Than this—there lived a man!


Prayer is the soul's sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed;

The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burthen of a sigh, The falling of a tear;

The upward glancing of an eye, When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant lips can try;

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, The Christian's native air;

His watchword at the gates of death: He enters heaven by prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice Returning from his ways;

While i. in their songs rejoice, And say, ‘Behold he prays I’

The saints in prayer appear as one, In word, and deed, and mind,

When with the Father and his Son Their fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made on earth alone: The Holy Spirit pleads;

And Jesus, on the eternal throne, For sinners intercedes.

O Thou, by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,

The path of prayer thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray!


There is a land, of every land the pride,
Beloved by heaven o'er all the world beside;
Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
And milder moons emparadise the night;
A land of beauty, virtue, valour, truth,
Time-tutored age, and love-exalted youth:
The wandering mariner, whose eye explores
The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores,
Views not a realm so bountiful and fair,
Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air;
In every clime the magnet of his soul,
Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
For in this land of heaven's peculiar grace,
The heritage of nature's noblest race,
There is a spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
While in his softened looks benignly blend
The sire, the son, the husband, brother, friend;
Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
Strew with fresh flowers the narrow way of life!
In the clear heaven of her delightful eye,
An angel-guard of loves and graces lie;
Around her knees domestic duties meet,
And fireside pleasures gambol at her feet.

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The Hon. WILLIAM Robert SPENCER (1770-1834) || published occasional poems of that description named vers de société, whose highest object is to gild the social hour. They were exaggerated in compliment and adulation, and wittily parodied in the 'Rejected || Addresses.'. As a companion, Mr Spencer was much prized by the brilliant circles of the metropolis; but falling into pecuniary difficulties, he removed to Paris, where he died. His poems were collected and published in 1835. Sir Walter Scott, who knew and osteemed Spencer, quotes the following “fine lines' from one of his poems, as expressive of his own feel. .

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