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The forest tops are lowly cast o'er breezy hill and glen,
I love the old melodious lays
Which softly melt the ages through,
The songs of Spenser's golden days,
Sprinkling o'er the noon of Time with freshest morning dew.
Whittier's style is characterized by its pure, strong Saxon: it is said that he engenders his stirring and beautiful thoughts while walking abroad, and subsequently commits them to paper. One of his graver pieces, The Reward, commences thus :
Who, looking backward from his manhood's prime,
And, through the shade
Of funeral cypress, planted thick behind,
Who hears no trace of Passion's evil force?
Half of his future from him, but to win
Alas! the evil, which we fain would shun,
Is but to-morrow's weakness, prone to fall;
Are we alway.
Yet who, thus looking backward o'er his years,
Permitted, weak and sinful as he was,
To cheer and aid, in some ennobling cause,
His Dream of Summer is eminently poetic
Bland as the morning breath of June the southwest breezes play,
The Night is mother of the Day, the Winter of the Spring,
Behind the cloud the starlight lurks, through showers the sunbeams
For God, who loveth all His works, has left His hope with all.
What a grace and exquisite delicacy of touch characterize these lines :
A beautiful and happy girl, with step as soft as summer air,
Shadowed by many a careless curl of unconfined and flowing hair: A seeming child in every thing, save thoughtful brow and ripening charms,
As Nature wears the smile of Spring when sinking into Summer's
A mind rejoicing in the light which melted through its graceful bower, Leaf after leaf serenely bright
And stainless in its holy white, unfolding like a morning flower:
And, even when the tongue was mute, from eye and lip in music spoke.
How thrills once more the lengthening chain of memory at the thought of thee !
Old hopes which long in dust have lain,
Old dreams come thronging back again, and boyhood lives again in
I feel its glow upon my cheek, its fulness of the heart is mine,
As when I leaned to hear thee speak, or raised my doubtful eye to thine.
I hear again thy low replies, I feel thy arm within my own,
The fringed lids of hazel eyes with soft brown tresses overblown. Ah! memories of sweet summer eves, of moonlit wave and willowy
Of stars, and flowers, and dewy leaves, and smiles and tones more dear than they!
KEBLE'S lines on The Lilies of the Field are well worthy our reciting :
Sweet nurslings of the vernal skies, bathed with soft airs, and fed with dew,
What more than magic in you lies, to fill the heart's fond view? In childhood's sports, companions gay,
In sorrow, on life's downward way,
How soothing in our last decay,
Memorials prompt and true.
Relics ye are of Eden's bowers, as pure, as fragrant, and as fair, As when ye crowned the sunshine hours of happy wanderers there. Fallen all beside,—the world of life,
How is it stained with fear and strife!
In Reason's world what storms are rife,
What passions rage and glare!
But cheerful and unchanged the while your first and perfect form ye show,
The same that won Eve's matron smile in the world's opening glow.
BURBIDGE's lines on a Mother's Love are very charming :—
A little in the doorway sitting, the mother plied her busy knitting; And her cheek so softly smiled,
Wherever through the ages rise The atters of self-sacrifice, Where love its armes has opened with Orman for man has calmly died I see the fence white wings outspread That hovered ver the Master's head Lip from undated time they conce The martyr snels of heathend in and to this cross and passion bring Their fellowship of suffering. The Glokith