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-The bards sublime,

Whose distant footsteps echo
Down the corridors of Time.

The idea of the last quartrain is also very effective. The poem, on the whole, however, is chiefly to be admired for the graceful insouciance of its metre, so well in accordance with the character of the sentiments, and especially for the ease of the general manner. This "ease," or naturalness, in a literary style, it has long been the fashion to regard as ease in appearance alone—as a point of really difficult attainment. But not so:—a natural manner is difficult only to him who should never meddle with it—to the unnatural. It is but the result of writing with the understanding, or with the instinct, that the tone, in composition, should always be that which the mass of mankind would adopt-and must perpetually vary, of course, with the occasion. The author who, after the fashion of "The North American Review," should be, upon all occasions, merely "quiet," must necessarily upon many occasions, be simply silly, or stupid; and has no more right to be considered "easy," or "natural," than a Cockney exquisite, or than the sleeping Beauty in the wax-works.

Among the minor poems of Bryant, none has so much impressed me as the one which he entitles "June." I quote only a portion of it:

There, through the long, long summer hours,

The golden light should lie,

And thick, young herbs and groups of flower.
Stand in their beauty by.

The oriole should build and tell
His love-tale, close beside my cell;

The idle butterfly

Should rest him there, and there be heard

The housewife-bee and humming bird.

And what, if cheerful shouts, at noon,
Come, from the village sent,

Or songs of maids, beneath the moon,
With fairy laughter blent?
And what if, in the evening light,
Betrothed lovers walk in sight
Of my low monument?

I would the lovely scene around

Might know no sadder sight nor sound

I know, I know I should not see

The season's glorious show,

Nor would its brightness shine for me,
Nor its wild music flow;

But if, around my place of sleep,
The friends I love should come to weep,
They might not haste to go.

Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom
Should keep them lingering by my tomb.
These to their soften'd hearts should bear
The thought of what has been,
And speak of one who cannot share
The gladness of the scene;
Whose part in all the pomp that fills
The circuit of the summer hills,

Is-that his grave is green;

And deeply would their hearts rejoice
To hear again his living voice.

The ryhthmical flow, here, is even voluptuous-nothing could be more melodious. The poem has always affected me in a remarkable manner. The intense melancholy which seems to well up, perforce, to the surface of all the poet's cheerful sayings about his grave, we find thrilling us to the soul-while there is the truest poetic elevation in the thrill. The impression left is one of a pleasurable sadness. And if, in the remaining compositions which I shall introduce to you, there be more or less of a similar tone always apparent, let me remind you that (how or why we know not) this certain taint of sadness is inseparably connected with all the higher manifestations of true Beauty. It is, nevertheless, A feeling of sadness and longing That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only

As the mist resembles the rain.

The taint of which I speak is clearly perceptible even in a poem. so full of brilliancy and spirit as the "Health" of Edward Coote Pinkney:

I fill this cup to one made up

Of loveliness alone,

A woman, of her gentle sex

The seeming paragon;
To whom the better elements

And kindly stars have given
A form so fair, that, like the air,
"Tis less of earth than heaven.

Her every tone is music's own,
Like those of morning birds,
And something more than melody
Dwells ever in her words;

The coinage of her heart are they,
And from her lips each flows
As one may see the burden'd bee
Forth issue from the rose.

Affections are as thoughts to her,
The measures of her hours;
Her feelings have the fragrancy,
The freshness of young flowers;
And lovely passions, changing oft,
So fill her, she appears

The image of themselves by turns,—
The idol of past years!

Of her bright face one glance will trace
A picture on the brain,

And of her voice in echoing hearts
A sound must long remain;

But memory, such as mine of her,
So very much endears,

When death is nigh my latest sigh
Will not be life's, but hers.

I fill'd this cup to one made up
Of loveliness alone,

A woman, of her gentle sex

The seeming paragon

Her health! and would on earth there stood,

Some more of such a frame,

That life might be all poetry,

And weariness a name.

It was the misfortune of Mr. Pinkney to have been born too far south. Had he been a New Englander, it is probable that he would have been ranked as the first of American lyrists, by that magnanimous cabal which has so long controlled the destinies of American Letters, in conducting the thing called "The North American Review." The poem just cited is especially beautiful; but the poetic elevation which it induces, we must refer chiefly to our sympathy in the poet's enthusiasm. We pardon his hyperboles for the evident earnestness with which they are uttered.

It was by no means my design, however, to expatiate upon the merits of what I should read you. These will necessarily speak for themselves. Boccalini, in his "Advertisements from Parnassus," tells us that Zoilus once presented Apollo a very caustic criticism upon a very admirable book:-whereupon the god asked him for the beauties of the work. He replied that he only busied himself about the errors. On hearing this, Apollo, hand

ing him a sack of unwinnowed wheat, bade him pick out all the chaff for his reward.

Now this fable answers very well as a hit at the critics—but I am by no means sure that the god was in the right. I am by no means certain that the true limits of the critical duty are not grossly misunderstood. Excellence, in a poem especially, may be considered in the light of an axiom, which need only be properly put, to become self-evident. It is not excellence if it require to be demonstrated as such :—and thus, to point out too particularly the merits of a work of Art, is to admit that they are not merits altogether.

Among the "Melodies" of Thomas Moore, is one whose distinguished character as a poem proper, seems to have been singularly left out of view. I allude to his lines beginning-" Come rest in this bosom." The intense energy of their expression is not surpassed by anything in Byron. There are two of the lines in which a sentiment is conveyed that embodies the all in all of the divine passion of Love-a sentiment which, perhaps, has found its echo in more, and in more passionate, human hearts than any other single sentiment ever embodied in words:

Come, rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer,

Though the herd have fled from thee, thy home is still here;
Here still is the smile, that no cloud can o'ercast,
And a heart and a hand all thy own to the last.

Oh! what was love made for, if 't is not the same

Through joy and through torment, through glory and shame?
I know not, I ask not, if guilt's in that heart,

I but know that I love thee, whatever thou art.

Thou hast call'd me thy Angel in moments of bliss,
And thy Angel I'll be, 'mid the horrors of this,-
Through the furnace, unshrinking, thy steps to pursue,
And shield thee, and save thee,- -or perish there too!

It has been the fashion, of late days, to deny Moore Imagination, while granting him Fancy-a distinction originating with Coleridge than whom no man more fully comprehended the great powers of Moore. The fact is, that the fancy of this poet so far predominates over all his other faculties, and over the fancy of all other men, as to have induced, very naturally, the idea that he is fanciful only. But never was there a greater mistake. Never was a grosser wrong done the fame of a true poet. In the compass of

the English language I can call to mind no poem more profoundly-more wierdly imaginative, in the best sense, than the lines commencing "I would I were by that dim lake❞—which are the composition of Thomas Moore. I regret that I am unable to remember them.

One of the noblest-and, speaking of Fancy, one of the most singularly fanciful of modern poets, was Thomas Hood. His "Fair Ines" had always, for me, an inexpressible charm:

O saw ye not fair Ines?

She's gone into the West,

To dazzle when the sun is down,
And rob the world of rest:
She took our daylight with her,
The smiles that we love best,
With morning blushes on her cheek,
And pearls upon her breast.

O turn again, fair Ines,
Before the fall of night,

For fear the moon should shine alone,

And stars unrivall'd bright;

And blessed will the lover be

That walks beneath their light,

And breathes the love against thy cheek

I dare not even write!

Would I had been, fair Ines,

That gallant cavalier,

Who rode so gaily by thy side,

And whisper'd thee so near!

Were there no bonny dames at home,
Or no true lovers here,

That he should cross the seas to win
The dearest of the dear?

I saw thee, lovely Ines,
Descend along the shore,
With bands of noble gentlemen,
And banners wav'd before;

And gentle youth and maidens gay,
And snowy plumes they wore;

It would have been a beauteous dream,
-If it had been no more!

Alas, alas, fair Ines,

She went away with song,

With Music waiting on her steps,

And shoutings.of the throng;

But some were sad and felt no mirth,

But only Music's wrong,

In sounds that sang Farewell, Farewell,

To her you've loved so long.

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