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It seems so like my own, because of the fasts I keep,—

Oh, God! that bread should be so dear, and flesh and blood so

cheap!

What exquisite delicacy and force characterize his Bridge of Sighs:

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Alas! for the rarity of Christian charity

Under the sun!

Oh! it is pitiful! near a whole city full,
House she had none !

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The bleak wind of March made her tremble and shiver;
But not the dark arch, or the black flowing river :
Mad from life's history, glad of death's mystery,
Swift to be hurled-

Anywhere, anywhere out of the world!

In she plunged boldly, no matter how coldly
The rough river ran;

Over the brink of it,-picture it, think of it,
Dissolute man!

Lave in it, drink of it, then, if you can!

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Now two or three stanzas from the Lady's Dream :

Of the hearts that daily break, of the tears that hourly fall,
Of the many, many troubles of life that grieve this earthly ball-
Disease, and hunger, and pain, and want; but now I dreamt of

them all.

For the blind and the cripple were there, and the babe that pined for bread,

And the houseless man, and the widow poor, who begged-to bury the dead:

The naked, also, that I might have clad, the famished I might have fed!

The sorrow I might have soothed, and the unregarded tears;
For many a thronging shape was there, from long-forgotten years,
Ay, even the poor rejected Moor who raised my children's fears!

The wounds I might have healed! the human sorrow and smart!
And yet it never was in my soul to play so ill a part:
But evil is wrought by want of thought, as well as want of heart!

*

An illustration of the effect of antithesis, and grotesqueness of fancy, we have in his Ode to his Son:

Thou happy, happy elf!

(But stop, first let me kiss away that tear—)
Thou tiny image of myself!

(My love, he's poking peas into his ear!)

Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather-light,

Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin,-
(Good heavens! the child is swallowing a pin!)
Thou cherub-brat of earth!

Fit playfellow for fays, by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and mirth!

(That dog will bite him, if he pulls its tail ;)

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Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star-
(I wish that window had an iron bar)-

Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove—
(I tell you what, my love,

I cannot write, unless he's sent above).

His Dame Eleanor Spearing, like his many other pieces, including Young Ben, Nelly Gray, and Ben Battle, exhibit his irresistible fond

ness for playing upon words. Here is a passage from the firstnamed:

She was deaf as a nail-that you cannot hammer
A meaning into, for all your clamour-
There never was such a deaf old Gammer'
Deaf to sounds, as a ship out of soundings,
Deaf to verbs, and all their compoundings,
Adjective, noun, and adverb, and particle,
Deaf to even the definite article-
No verbal message was worth a pin,
Though you hired an earwig to carry it in!
Of course the loss was a great privation,
For one of her sex-whatever her station-
And none the less that the Dame had a turn
For making al families one concern,
And learning whatever there was to learn
In the prattling, tattling Village of Tringham-
As who wore silk? and who wore gingham?
And what the Atkins' shop might bring 'em?
How the Smiths contrived to live? and whether
The fourteen Murphys all pigg'd together?
The wages per week of the Weavers and Skinners,
And what they boiled for their Sunday dinners?

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Was all a sealed book to Dame Eleanor Spearing;
And often her tears would rise to their founts-
Supposing a little scandal at play

'Twixt Mrs. O'Fie and Mrs. Au Fait

That she couldn't audit the Gossips' accounts.

*

The Dream of Eugene Aram has been regarded as one of Hood's finest productions; but a high critical authority thinks his Haunted House bears the palm, it is so wonderfully full of creative power.

"It required the finest mental apprehension, the white heat of imagination, the most sensitive perception, to take such a picture as this, wherein the indefinite is caught and fixed so definitely:a living, lonely human being is thus isolated and suspended betwixt the spirit-world of the air overhead and the reptile-world of crumbling ruin at the feet :” '____

The centipede along the threshold crept,

The cobweb hung across in mazy tangle,
And in its winding-sheet the maggot slept,

At every nook and angle.

The keyhole lodged the earwig and her brood,
The emmets of the steps had old possession,
And marched in search of their diurnal food

In undisturbed procession.

Such omens in the place there seemed to be,
At every crooked turn, or on the landing,
The straining eye-ball was prepared to see
Some apparition standing!

The dreary stairs, where with the sounding stress
Of every step so many echoes blended,

The mind, with dark misgivings, feared to guess
How many feet ascended.

Even the ancestral portraits on the walls are filled with no mere simulated life,—

Their souls were looking through their painted eyes
With awful speculation.

At the sound of the door creaking on its rusty hinges, it seems as though the murder would out at last. The screech-owl appears to "mock the cry that she had heard some dying victim utter :”

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A shriek that echoed from its joisted roof,

And up the stair, and further still and further, Till in some ringing chamber far aloof

It ceased its tale of murther!

The wood-louse dropped and rolled into a ball, Touched by some impulse, occult or mechanic; And nameless beetles ran along the wall,

In universal panic.

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The subtle spider, that from overhead

Hung like a spy on human guilt and error, Suddenly turned, and up its slender thread Ran with a nimble terror.

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O'er all there hung the shadow of a fear,
A- sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
"The place is haunted!"

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