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What would we give to our beloved?
The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep-
"Sleep soft, beloved"-we sometimes say,
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep;
How prophetic of her own history were the closing lines:
And friends, dear friends, when it shall be
And round my bier ye come to weep;
Say, "Not a tear must o'er her fall,—
Her fine poem on Cowper is one of the happiest illustrations of her power of pathos: witness these stanzas:
Like a sick child, that knoweth not his mother while she blesses, And drops upon his burning brow the coolness of her kisses;
That turns his fevered eyes around-" My mother! where's my mother?"
As if such tender words and looks could come from any other!
The fever gone, with leaps of heart he sees her bending o'er him; Her face all pale from watchful love, the unweary love she bore him!
Thus woke the poet from the dream his life's long fever gave him, Beneath those deep, pathetic eyes, which closed in death to save him.
Thus! oh, not thus! no type of earth could image that awaking,
Wordsworth and Rogers much admired this stanza, in a poem on Life, by MRS. BARBAULD:—
Life! we've been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Say not good-night, but in some brighter clime
Her beautiful lines, on the Death of the Virtuous, were signally illustrated by her own tranquil decease :
Sweet is the scene when Virtue dies! when sinks a righteous soul
How softly beam the closing eyes, how gently heaves the expiring breast!
So fades a summer cloud away, so sinks the gale when storms are o'er,
So gently shuts the eye of day, so dies the wave along the shore. Triumphant smiles the victor brow, fanned by some angel's purple
Where is, O Grave! thy victory now? and where, insidious Death, thy sting?
Here are LOVER'S beautiful lines, founded upon the Irish conceit, that when a child smiles in its sleep it is talking with the angels:
A baby was sleeping,—its mother was weeping,
For her husband was far on the wild raging sea; And the tempest was swelling round the fisherman's dwelling, And she cried, "Dermot, darling, oh, come back to me!"
Her beads while she numbered, the baby still slumbered,
And smiled in her face as she bended her knee;
Oh, blest be that warning, my child, thy sleep adorning,
“And while they are keeping bright watch o'er thy sleeping,
The dawn of the morning saw Dermot returning,
And the wife wept for joy her babe's father to see : And closely caressing her child with a blessing,
Said, "I knew that the angels were whispering with thee!"
Our own poet PEABODY's description of The Backwoodsman is very graphic and picturesque :
The silent wilderness for me! where never sound is heard,
Alone (how glorious to be free!), my good dog at my side,
My palace, built by God's own hand, the world's fresh prime hath
While stretch its living halls away, pillared and roofed with green.
And in these solitary haunts, while slumbers every tree
STERLING, the friend of Carlyle, who placed a high estimate on his genius, has not left us a large poetic legacy; but here is one of his poems, full of music and cheerful philosophy :
Earth, of man the bounteous mother, feeds him still with corn and wine;
He who best would aid a brother, shares with him these gifts divine. Many a power within her bosom, noiseless, hidden, works beneath; Hence are seed, and leaf and blossom, golden ear and clustered wreath.
These to swell with strength and beauty is the royal task of man; Man's a king; his throne is duty, since his work on earth began. Bud and harvest, bloom and vintage-these, like man, are fruits of earth;
Stamped in clay, a heavenly mintage, all from dust receive their birth.
Barn and mill, and wine-vat's treasures, earthly goods for earthly lives,
These are Nature's ancient pleasures; these her child from her derives.
What the dream but vain rebelling, if from earth we sought to Alee?
'Tis our stored and ample dwelling; 'tis from it the skies we see. Wind and frost, and hour and season, land and water, sun and shade,
Work with these, as bids thy reason, for they work thy toil to aid. Sow thy seed, and reap in gladness! man himself is all a seed; Hope and hardness, joy and sadness-slow the plant to ripeness lead.
ERNEST JONES is the author of the following stanzas; and very beautiful they are:
What stands upon the highland? what walks across the rise,
What makes the trees so golden? what decks the mountain-side,