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"There went a swift bird singing past my cell-
O Love and freedom! ye are lovely things;
With you the peasant on the hills may dwell,
And by the streams; but I the blood of kings,
A proud unmingling river, through my veins.
Flows in lone brightness, and its gifts
and its gifts are chains!
— Kings! — I had silent visions of deep bliss,
Leaving their thrones far distant! and for this
I am cast under their triumphal car,

An insect to be crush'd!

"Thou hast forsaken me!

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There would be rescue if it were not so.

Thou'rt at the chase, thou'rt at the festive board,
Thou'rt where the red wine free and high is pour'd,
Thou'rt where the dancers meet!-

a magic glass
Is set within my soul, and proud shapes,
Flushing it o'er with pomp from bower and hall!

I see one shadow, stateliest there of all,

Thine! — What dost Thou amidst the bright and fair,
Whisp'ring light words, and mocking my despair?"

The following, though it has no very distinct object or moral, breathes, we think, the very spirit of Poetry, in its bright and vague picturings, and is well entitled to the name it bears" An Hour of Romance:"

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There were thick leaves above me and around,

And low sweet sighs, like those of childhood's sleep,
Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound

As of soft showers on water! Dark and deep

Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still

They seem'd but pictured glooms: a hidden rill
Made music, such as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern-tufts and a tender gleam
Of soft green light as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring thro' the woven beech-boughs down,
And steep'd the magic page wherein I read
Of royal chivalry and old renown;

A tale of Palestine. Meanwhile the bee
Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle wafting thoughts of flowers,
Blue skies and amber sunshine: brightly free
On filmy wing the purple dragon-fly
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell
Where sat the lone wood pigeon:

But ere long

All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale grew strong


On my chain'd soul ! - 'Twas not the leaves I heard -
A Syrian wind the Lion-banner stirr'd,

Thro' its proud, floating folds!— 'twas not the brook,
Singing in secret thro' its grassy glen;-

A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen

Peal'd from the desert's lonely heart, and shook
The burning air! - Like clouds when winds are high,
O'er glitt'ring sands flew steeds of Araby;

And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees! Then the shout
Of merry England's joy swell'd freely out,

Sent thro' an eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue!
And harps were there; I heard their sounding strings,
As the waste echo'd to the mirth of kings..

The bright masque faded!- Unto life's worn track,
What call'd me from its flood of glory back?
A voice of happy childhood!-

and they pass'd, Banner, and harp, and Paynim trumpet's blast; Yet might I scarce bewail the splendours gone,

My heart so leap'd to that sweet laughter's tone."


There is great sweetness in the following portion of a little poem on a "Girls' School:"

"Oh! joyous creatures! that will sink to rest,
Lightly, when those pure orisons are done,
As birds with slumbers honey-dew opprest,
'Midst the dim folded leaves, at set of sun-
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
Is woman's tenderness how soon her woe!


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'Her look is on you silent tears to weep,

And patient smiles to wear, through suff'ring's hour;
And sumless riches, from affection's deep,

To pour on broken reeds - a wasted show'r !
And to make idols, and to find them clay,
And to bewail that worship!- therefore pray!


Her lot is on you! to be found untir'd,

Watching the stars out by the bed of pain,
With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspir'd

And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain;

Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay,

And oh! to Love through all things!-therefore pray!"

There is a fine and stately solemnity, too, in these lines on "The Lost Pleiad:"


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Hath the night lost a gem, the regal night?
She wears her crown of old magnificence,
Though thou art exiled thence

No desert seems to part those urns of light,
Midst the far depths of purple gloom intense.
They rise in joy, the starry myriads, burning
The shepherd greets them on his mountains free;
And from the silvery sea

To them the sailor's wakeful eye is turning

Unchang'd the rise; they have not mourn'd for thee!
Couldst thou be shaken from thy radiant place,
E'en as a dew-drop from the myrtle spray,
Swept by the wind away?

Wert thou not peopled by some glorious race?
And was there power to smite them with decay?
"Then who shall talk of thrones, of sceptres riv'n?
Bow'd be our hearts to think on what we are!

When from its height afar

A World sinks thus

- and yon majestic heav'n Shines not the less for that one vanish'd star!"

The following, on "The Dying Improvisatore," have a rich lyrical cadence, and glow of deep feeling:

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On thy Rome's purple heaven mine eye shall dwell,
Or watch the bright waves melt along thy shore-
My Italy, farewell!

"Alas! - thy hills among,

Had I but left a memory of my name,

Of love and grief one deep, true, fervent song,
Unto immortal fame!

"But like a lute's brief tone,

Like a rose-odour on the breezes cast,
Like a swift flush of dayspring, seen and gone,
So hath my spirit pass'd!

"Yet, yet remember me!

Friends! that upon its murmurs oft have hung,
When from my bosom, joyously and free,
The fiery fountain sprung!

"Under the dark rich blue

Of midnight heav'ns, and on the star-lit sea,
And when woods kindle into spring's first hue,
Sweet friends! remember me!

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Where life's full glow the dreams of beauty wear,
And poet-thoughts embodied light the walls,
Let me be with you there!




“Fain would I bind, for you,

My memory with all glorious things to dwell;
Fain bid all lovely sounds my name renew
Sweet friends! bright land! farewell!"

There would be no end of

But we must stop here. our extracts, if we were to yield to the temptation of noting down every beautiful passage which arrests us in turning over the leaves of the volumes before us. We ought to recollect, too, that there are few to whom our pages are likely to come, who are not already familiar with their beauties; and, in fact, we have made these extracts, less with the presumptuous belief that we are introducing Mrs. Hemans for the first time to the knowledge or admiration of our readers, than from a desire of illustrating, by means of them, that singular felicity in the choice and employment of her imagery, of which we have already spoken so much at large;-that fine accord she has established between the world of sense and of soul-that delicate blending of our deep inward emotions with their splendid symbols and emblems without.

We have seen too much of the perishable nature of modern literary fame, to venture to predict to Mrs. Hemans that hers will be immortal, or even of very long duration. Since the beginning of our critical career we have seen a vast deal of beautiful poetry pass into oblivion, in spite of our feeble efforts to recall or retain it in remembrance. The tuneful quartos of Southey are already little better than lumber:- and the rich melodies of Keats and Shelley,—and the fantastical emphasis of Wordsworth, and the plebeian pathos of Crabbe, are melting fast from the field of our vision. The novels of Scott have put out his poetry. Even the splendid strains of Moore are fading into distance and dimness, except where they have been married to immortal music; and the blazing star of Byron himself is receding from its place of pride. We need say nothing of Milman, and Croly, and Atherstone, and Hood, and a legion of others, who, with no ordinary gifts of taste and fancy, have not so properly survived their fame, as been excluded by some hard fatality, from what seemed their just inherit



ance. The two who have the longest withstood this rapid withering of the laurel, and with the least marks of decay on their branches, are Rogers and Campbell; neither of them, it may be remarked, voluminous writers, and both distinguished rather for the fine taste and consummate elegance of their writings, than for that fiery passion, and disdainful vehemence, which seemed for a time to be so much more in favour with the public.

If taste and elegance, however, be titles to enduring fame, we might venture securely to promise that rich boon to the author before us; who adds to those great merits a tenderness and loftiness of feeling, and an ethereal purity of sentiment, which could only emanate from the soul of a woman. She must beware, however, of becoming too voluminous; and must not venture again on any thing so long as the "Forest Sanctuary." But if the next generation inherits our taste for short poems, we are persuaded it will not readily allow her to be forgotten. For we do not hesitate to say, that she is, beyond all comparison, the most touching and accomplished writer of occasional verses that our literature has yet to boast of.


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