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And then we thought on vengeance, and all along our
“Remember st Bartholomew,’ was passed from man to Inan
But out spake gentle Henry, “No Frenchman is my foe:
Down, down with every foreigner, but let your brethren go.”
Oh! was there ever such a knight, in friendship or in war
As our overeign lord, King Henry, the soldier of Navarrel
Ho! maidens of Vienna Ho! matrons of Lucerne ! Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those who never shall return. Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles, That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen's souls' Ho! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be bright ! Ho! burghers of Saint Genevieve, keep watch and ward to-night ! For our God hath crushed the tyrant, our God hath raised the slave, And mocked the counsel of the wise, and the valour of the brave. Then glory to his holy name, from whom all glories are; And glory to our sovereign lord, King Henry of NaYarte.
But ah! from them to thee I turn,
They'd make me loathe mankind,
Far better lessons I may learn
From thy more holy mind.
The love that gives a charm to home, I feel they cannot take:
We'll pray for happier years to come, For one another's sake.
This amiable poet died of jaundice in 1839. His songs contain the pathos of a section of our social system ; but they are more calculated to attract attention by their refined and happy diction, than to melt us by their feeling. Several of them, as “She wore a wreath of roses,” “Oh no, we never mention her,’ and ‘We met—'twas in a crowd,’ attained to an extraordinary popularity. Of his livelier ditties, ‘I’d be a butterfly' was the most felicitous: it expresses the Horatian philosophy in terms exceeding even Horace in gaiety. What though you tell me each gay little rover Shrinks from the breath of the first autumn day: Surely ’tis better, when summer is over, To die when all fair things are fading away. Some in life's winter may toil to discover Means of procuring a weary delay— I’d be a butterfly, living a rover, Dying when fair things are fading away!
What was’t awakened first the untried ear
Of that sole man who was all humankind?
Was it the gladsome welcome of the wind,
Stirring the leaves that never yet were sere?
The four mellifluous streams which flowed so near,
Their lulling murmurs all in one combined
The note of bird unnamed ! The startled hind
Bursting the brake—in wonder, not in fear,
Of her new lord? Or did the holy ground
Send forth mysterious melody to greet
The gracious presence of immaculate feet?
Did viewless seraphs rustle all around,
Making sweet inusic out of air as sweet?
Or his own voice awake him with its sound !
When we were idlers with the loitering rills,
The need of human love we little noted:
Our love was nature; and the peace that floated
On the white mist, and dwelt upon the hills,
To sweet accord subdued our wayward wills:
One soul was ours, one mind, one heart devoted,
That, wisely doting, asked not why it doted,
And ours the unknown joy, which knowing kills.
But now I find how dear thou wert to me;
That man is more than half of nature's treasure,
Of that fair beauty which no eye can see,
Of that sweet music which no ear can measure;
And now the streams may sing for other's pleasure,
The hills sleep on in their eternity.
In the great city we are met again,
Where many souls there are that breathe and die,
Scarce knowing more of nature's potency
Than what they learn from heat, or cold, or rain—
The sad vicissitude of weary pain:
For busy man is lord of ear and eye,
And what hath Nature but the vast void sky,
And the thronged river toiling to the main :
Oh! say not so, for she shall have her part
In every smile, in every tear that falls,
And she shall hide her in the secret heart,
Where love persuades, and sterner duty calls:
But worse it were than death, or sorrow's smart,
To live without a friend within these walls.
We parted on the mountains, as two streams
From one clear spring pursue their several ways;
And thy fleet course hath been through many a maze
In foreign lands, where silvery Padus gleams
To that delicious sky, whose glowing beams
Brightened the tresses that old poets praise;
Where Petrarch's patient love and artful lays,
And Ariosto's song of many themes,
Moved the soft air. But I, a lazy brook,
As close pent up within my native dell,
Have crept along from nook to shady nook,
Where flowrets blow and whispering Naiads dwell.
Yet now we meet, that parted were so wide,
O'er rough and smooth to travel side by side.
- To Certain Golden Fishes.
Restless forms of living light,
Quivering on your lucid wings,
Cheating still the curious sight
With a thousand shadowings;
Various as the tints of even,
Gorgeous as the hues of heaven,
Reflected on your native streams
In flitting, flashing, billowy gleams.
Harmless warriors clad in mail
Of silver breastplate, golden scale;
Mail of Nature's own bestowing,
With peaceful radiance mildly glowing;
Keener than the Tartar's arrow,
Sport ye in your sea so narrow.
Was the sun himself your sire?
Were ye born of vital fire?
Or of the shade of golden flowers,
Such as we fetch from eastern bowers,
To mock this murky clime of ours?
Upwards, downwards, now ye glance,
Weaving many a mazy dance;
Seeming still to grow in size,
When ye would elude our eyes.
Pretty creatures 1 we might deem
Ye were happy as ye seem,
As gay, as gamesome, and as blithe,
As light, as loving, and as lithe,
As gladly earnest in your play,
As when ye gleamed in fair Cathay;
And yet, since on this hapless earth
There's small sincerity in mirth,
And laughter oft is but an art
To drown the outcry of the heart,
It may be, that your ceaseless gambols,
Your wheelings, dartings, divings, rambles,
Your restless roving round and round
The circuit of your crystal bound,
Is but the task of weary pain,
An endless labour, dull and vain;
And while your forms are gaily shining,
Your little lives are inly pining !
Nay—but still I fain would dream
That ye are happy as ye seem.
At the present time the greater poets of the age have passed either beyond the bourne of life, or into the honoured leisure befitting an advanced period of life. For twenty years, there have arisen no lights of such fresh and original lustre as Southey, Scott, Wordsworth, Campbell, and Byron; nor do we readily detect in those which exist any aspirant likely to take the high ground occupied by these names. This is a phenomenon in literary history by no means unexampled ; for, after the age of Pope and his associates, there likewise followed one in which no stars of primary magnitude appeared. It must, however, be admitted, that the present time, if not marked by any greatly original poet in the bloom of his reputation, is remarkable for the wide diffusion of a taste for elegant verse-writing; insomuch that the most ordinary periodical works now daily present poetry which, fifty years ago, would have formed the basis of a high reputation. It is only unfortunate of these compositions, that they are so uniform in their style of sentiment, and even in their diction, that a long series of them may be read with scarcely any impression at the end beyond that of an abundance of pleasing images and thoughts, and fine phraseology.
It has been thought proper here to advert, in brief terms, to some of the younger of our living
poets, in combination with those whom worldly duties and the little encouragement given to the
publication of poetry, may be supposed to have prevented from cultivating their powers to a high degree. Amongst the former may be cited John
STERLING, author of a volume of miscellaneous
poems, published in 1839; W. Monckton MILNEs, M.P., who has given two small volumes of poems to the world; and CHARLEs MACKAY, author of The Hope of the World (1840), and The Salamandrine (1842). Mr Sterling has formed himself more peculiarly on the genius and style of Coleridge; Mr Milnes on that of Wordsworth; and Mr Mackay belongs to the school of Pope and Goldsmith. All are men of undoubted talents, from whom our poetical literature may yet look for rich and varied contributions. In this class may also be included MR D. M. Mora (the Delta of Blackwood's Magazine), author of the Legend of Genevieve and other Poems, 1825, and Domestic Verses, 1843, besides a vast number of contributions to the periodical literature of the day. Mr Moir is a poet of amiable and refined feeling, who has only been prevented by causes which redound to his honour, from taking that more conspicuous place in our literature to which his | talents are entitled. Of the other class, the most noted are, MR. N. T. CARRINGToN, MAJort CALDER CAMPBELL, MR ALARIC A. WATTs, MR WILLIAM KENNEDY, MR THoMAs AIRD, MR CHARLEs Swain, and MR. T. K. HERVEY. | The late MR John MALcolm may be added to this series. From a scarcely less extensive list of female poetesses, may be selected the names of ELIZA Cook, LADY EMMELINE Wortley, MRs HENRY ColeRIDGE,
Joan of Arc. [From Sterling's Poems.] Faithful maiden, gentle heart Thus our thoughts of grief depart; Wanishes the place of death; Sounds no more thy painful breath; | O'er the unbloody stream of Meuse i Melt the silent evening dews, And along the banks of Loire Rides no more the armed destroyer. But thy native waters flow Through a land unnamed below, And thy woods their verdure wave In the vale beyond the grave, Where the deep-dyed western sky Looks on all with tranquil eye, And on distant dateless hills Each high peak with radiance fills, There amid the oak-tree shadow, And o'er all the beech-crowned meadow, Those for whom the earth must mourn, In their peaceful joy sojourn. Joined with Fame's selected few, Those whom Rumour never knew, But no less to Conscience true: Each grave prophet soul sublime, Pyramids of elder Time; | Bards with hidden fire possessed, Flashing from a wo-worn breast; Builders of man's better lot, Whom their hour acknowledged not, Now with strength appeased and pure, Feel whate'er they loved is sure. These and such as these the train, Sanctified by former pain, "Mid those softest yellow rays Sphered afar from mortal praise; Peasant, matron, monarch, child, Saint undaunted, hero mild, Sage whom pride has ne'er beguiled; And with them the Champion-maid Dwells in that serenest glade; Danger, toil, and grief no more Touch her life's unearthly shore; Gentle sounds that will not cease, Breathe but peace, and ever peace; While above the immortal trees Michael and his host she sees Clad in diamond panoplies; And more near, in tenderer light, Honoured Catherine, Margaret bright, Agnes, whom her loosened hair Robes like woven amber air— Sisters of her childhood come To her last eternal home.
The Men of Old. [From Milnes's Poems.]
I know not that the men of old
Were better than men now,
Of heart more kind, of hand more bold,
Of more ingenuous brow:
I heed not those who pine for force
A ghost of time to raise,
As if they thus could check the course
Of these appointed days.
Still is it true, and over true,
That I delight to close
This book of life self-wise and new,
And let my thoughts repose
On all that humble happiness
The world has since foregone—
The daylight of contentedness
That on those faces shone!
With rights, though not too closely scanned,
Enjoyed, as far as known—
With will, by no reverse unmanned—
With pulse of even tone—
They from to-day and from to-night |
Expected nothing more,
Than yesterday and yesternight
Had proffered them before.
To them was life a simple art
Of duties to be done,
A game where each man took his part,
A race where all must run;
A battle whose great scheme and scope
They little cared to know,
Content, as men at arms, to cope
Each with his fronting foe.
Man now his virtue's diadem
Puts on, and proudly wears—
Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them,
Like instincts unawares:
Blending their souls’ sublimest needs
With tasks of every day,
They went about their gravest deeds,
As noble boys at play.
+ * +
A man's best things are nearest him,
Lie close about his feet,
It is the distant and the dim
That we are sick to greet:
For flowers that grow our hands beneath
We struggle and aspire—
Our hearts must die, except they breathe
The air of fresh desire.
But, brothers, who up reason's hill
Advance with hopeful cheer— |
O ! loiter not, those heights are chill,
As chill as they are clear;
And still restrain your haughty gaze,
The loftier that ye go,
Remembering distance leaves a haze
On all that lies below.
The Long-ago. [From the same.]
On that deep-retiring shore
Frequent pearls of beauty lie,
Where the passion-waves of yore
Fiercely beat and mounted high:
Sorrows #: are sorrows still
Lose the bitter taste of wo;
Nothing's altogether ill
In the griefs of Long-ago. 473
Tombs where lonely love repines,
Ghastly tenements of tears,
Wear the look of happy shrines
Through the golden mist of years:
Death, to those who trust in good,
Vindicates his hardest blow;
Oh! we would not, if we could,
Wake the sleep of Long-ago I
Though the doom of swift decay
Shocks the soul where life is strong,
Though for frailer hearts the day
Lingers sad and overlong—
Still the weight will find a leaven,
Still the spoiler's hand is slow,
While the future has its heaven,
And the past its Long-ago.
[From the “Hope of the World, and other Poems, by
Pauvre feuille dessechée! oil vas-tu ?–Arnault.
Poor autumn leaf down floating
Upon the blustering gale;
Torn from thy bough,
Where goest now,
Withered, and shrunk, and pale?
“I go, thou sad inquirer,
As list the winds to blow,
Sear, sapless, lost,
I go where all things go.
The rude winds bear me onward
As suiteth them, not me,
O'er dale, o'er hill,
Through good, through ill,
As destiny bears thee.
What though for me one summer,
And threescore for thy breath—
I live my span,
Thou thine, poor man
And then adown to death?
And thus we go together;
For lofty as thy lot,
And lowly mine,
My fate is thine,
To die and be forgot!”
[The Parting of Lovers.] [From “The Salamandrine,' by Charles Mackay.] Now, from his eastern couch, the sun, Erewhile in cloud and vapour hidden, Rose in his robes of glory dight; And skywards, to salute his light, Upsprang a choir, unbidden, Of joyous larks, that, as they shook The dewdrops from their russet pinions, Pealed forth a hymn so glad and clear, That darkness might have paused to hear (Pale sentinel on morn's dominions), And envied her the flood of song Those happy minstrels poured along.
The lovers listened. Earth and heaven Seemed pleased alike to hear the strain; And Gilbert, in that genial hour, Forgot his momentary pain: “Happy,” said he, ‘beloved maid, Our lives might flow 'mid scenes like this; Still eve might bring us dreams of joy, And morn awaken us to bliss. I could forgive thy jealous brother; And Mora's quiet shades might be Blessed with the love of one another, A Paradise to thee and me.
Yes, Peace and Love might build a nest
For.us amid these vales serene,
And Truth should be our constant guest
Among these pleasant wild-woods green.
My heart should never nurse again
The once fond dreams of young Ambition,
And Glory's light should lure in vain,
Lest it should lead to Love's perdition;
Another light should round me shine,
Beloved, from those eyes of thine!”
“Ah, Gilbert happy should I be
This hour to die, lest fate reveal
That life can never give a joy
Such as the joy that now I feel.
Oh! happy! happy! now to die,
And go before thee to the sky;
Losing, maybe, some charm of life,
But yet escaping all its strife;
And, watching for thy soul above,
There to renew more perfect love,
Without the pain and tears of this—
Eternal, never palling bliss!”
And more she yet would say, and strives to speak,
But warm, fast tears begin to course her cheek,
And sobs to choke her; so, reclining still
Her head upon his breast, she weeps her fill:
And all so lovely in those joyous tears
To his impassioned eyes the maid appears;
He cannot dry them, nor one word essay
To soothe such sorrow from her heart away.
At last she lifts her drooping head,
And, with her delicate fingers, dashes
The tears away that hang like pearls
Upon her soft eyes' silken lashes:
Then hand in hand they take their way
O'er the green meadows gemmed with dew,
And up the hill, and through the wood,
And by the streamlet, bright and blue,
And sit them down upon a stone
With mantling mosses overgrown,
That stands beside her cottage door,
And oft repeat,
When next they meet,
That time shall never part them more.
He's gone ! Ah no! he lingers yet,
And all her sorrow, who can tell ?
As gazing on her face he takes
His last and passionate farewell?
‘One kiss” said he, “and I depart
With thy dear image in my heart:
One more—to soothe a lover's pain,
And think of till I come again!
One more.” Their red lips meet and tremble,
And she, unskilful to dissemble,
Allows, deep blushing, while he presses,
The warmest of his fond caresses.
The Piries of Devon. [By N. T. Carrington.] [The age of pixies, like that of chivalry, is gone. There is, perhaps, at present, scarcely a house which they are reputed to visit. Even the fields and lanes which they formerly frequented seem to be nearly forsaken. Their music is rarely heard; and they appear to have forgotten to attend their ancient midnight dance.—Drew's Cornwall.] They are flown, Beautiful fictions of our fathers, wove In Superstition's web when Time was young, And fondly loved and cherished: they are flown Before the wand of Science 1 Hills and vales, Mountains and moors of Devon, ye have lost The enchantments, the delights, the visions all, The elfin visions that so blessed the sight In the old days romantic. Nought is heard,
| Heard ravished oft, are flown
| Now, in the leafy world, but earthly strains—
Voices, yet sweet, of breeze, and bird, and brook,
| And waterfall; the day is silent else,
| And night is strangely mute! the hymnings high—
| The immortal music, men of ancient times
O ye have lost,
Mountains, and moors, and meads, the radiant throngs
That dwelt in your green solitudes, and filled
| The air, the fields, with beauty and with joy
Intense; with a rich mystery that awed
The mind, and flung around a thousand hearths
Divinest tales, that through the enchanted year
Found passionate listeners :
The very streams
Brightened with visitings of these so sweet
Ethereal creatures' They were seen to rise:
From the charmed waters, which still brighter grew
As the pomp passed to land, until the eye
Scarce bore the unearthly glory. Where they trod,
Young flowers, but not of this world's growth, arose,
And fragrance, as of amaranthine bowers,
Floated upon the breeze. And mortal eyes
Looked on their revels all the luscious night;
And, unreproved, upon their ravishing forms
Gazed wistfully, as in the dance they moved,
Voluptuous to the thrilling touch of harp
And by gifted eyes were seen
| Wonders—in the still air; and beings bright
And beautiful, more beautiful than throng
Fancy's ecstatic regions, peopled now
The sunbeam, and now rode upon the gale
Of the sweet summer noon. Anon they touched
The earth's delighted bosom, and the glades
Seemed greener, fairer—and the enraptured woods
Gave a glad leafy murmur—and the rills
Leaped in the ray for joy; and all the birds
Threw into the intoxicating air their songs,
All soul. The very archings of the grove,
Clad in cathedral gloom from age to age,
| Lightened with living splendours; and the flowers,
Tinged with new hues and lovelier, upsprung
By millions in the grass, that rustled now
To gales of Araby!
The seasons came
In bloom or blight, in glory or in shade; The shower or sunbeam fell or glanced as pleased These potent elves. They steered the giant cloud Through heaven at will, and with the meteor flash Came down in death or sport; ay, when the storm Shook the old woods, they rode, on rainbow wings, | The tempest; and, anon, they reined its rage In its fierce mid career. But ye have flown, Beautiful fictions of our fathers —flown | Before the wand of Science, and the hearths
Of Devon, as lags the disenchanted year, | Are passionless and silent!
[By Delta—D. M. Moir.] Langsyne !—how doth the word come back With magic meaning to the heart, As memory roams the sunny track, From which hope's dreams were loath to part! No joy like by-past joy appears; For what is gone we fret and pine. Were life spun out a thousand years, It could not match Langsyne !
Langsyne!—the days of childhood warm,
When, tottering by a mother's knee,
Each sight and sound had power to charm,
And hope was high, and thought was free.
Langsyne!—the merry schoolboy days—
How sweetly then life's sun did shine !
Oh! for the glorious pranks and plays, -
The raptures of Langsyne. .
Langsyne!—yes, in the sound I hear
The rustling of the summer grove;
And view those angel features near
Which first awoke the heart to love.
How sweet it is in pensive mood,
At windless midnight to recline,
And fill the mental solitude
With spectres from Langsyne!
Langsyne !—ah, where are they who shared
With us its pleasures bright and blithet
Kindly with some hath fortune fared;
And some have bowed beneath the scythe
Of death; while others scattered far
O'er foreign lands at fate repine,
Oft wandering forth, 'neath twilight's star,
To muse on dear Langsyne!
Langsyne !—the heart can never be
Again so full of guileless truth;
Langsyne –the eyes no more shall see,
Ah no! the rainbow hopes of youth.
Langsyne —with thee resides a spell
To raise the spirit, and refine.
Farewell!—there can be no farewell
To thee, loved, lost Langsyne:
Casa Wappy. [By the same.]
[Casa Wappy was the self-conferred pet name of an infant
son of the poet, snatched away after a very brief illness.]
And hast thou sought thy heavenly home,
Our fond, dear boy—
The realms where sorrow dare not come,
Where life is joy!
Pure at thy death as at thy birth,
Thy spirit caught no taint from earth;
Even by its bliss we mete our death,
Despair was in our last farewell,
As closed thine eye;
Tears of our anguish may not tell
When thou didst die;
Words may not paint our grief for thee,
Sighs are but bubbles on the sea
Of our unfathomed agony,
Thou wert a vision of delight
To bless us given;
Beauty embodied to our sight,
A type of heaven:
So dear to us thou wert, thou art
Even less thine own self than a part
Of mine and of thy mother's heart,
Thy bright brief day knew no decline,
‘Twas cloudless joy;
Sunrise and night alone were thine,
This morn ... thee blithe and gay,
That found thee prostrate in decay,
And e'er a third shone, clay was clay,
Gem of our hearth, our household pride,
Could love have saved, thou hadst not died,
Our dear, sweet child!
Humbly we bow to Fate's decree;
Yet had we hoped that Time should see
Thee mourn for us, not us for thee,
- Casa Wappy!