Page images
PDF
EPUB

The loved, the near of kin, could do no more, Yet every poet hopes that after-times Who changed not with the gloom of vary- Shall set some value on his votive lay, ing years,

And I would fain one gentle deed record But clung the closer when I stood forlorn, Among the many such with which thy life And blunted Slander's dart with their indig

is stored. nant scorn.

So, when these lines, made in a mournful For they who credit crime are they who feel hour,

Their own hearts weak to unresisted sin; Are idly opened to the stranger's eye, Mem’ry, not judgment, prompts the thoughts A dream of thee, aroused by Fancy's power, which steal

Shall be the first to wander floating by, O’er minds like these an easy faith to win, And they who never saw thy lovely face And tales of broken truth are still believed Shall pause to conjure up a vision of its grace. Most readily by those who have themselves

CAROLINE E. S. NORTON. deceived.

But like a white swan down a troubled

A HUNDRED YEARS TO COME. stream, Whose ruffling pinion hath the power to

W

HO'LL press for gold this crowded fling

street, Aside the turbid drops which darkly gleam A hundred years to come ?

And mar the freshness of her snowy wing, Who'll tread yon church with willing feet, So thou, with queenly grace and gentle pride, A hundred years to come ? Along the world's dark waves in purity dost Pale, trembling age and fiery youth, glide.

And childhood with his brow of truth,

The rich and poor, on land, on sea,Thy pale and pearly cheek was never made Where will the mighty millions be To crimson with a faint, false-hearted A hundred years to come ?

shaine ; Thou didst not shrink, of bitter tongues We all within our graves shall sleep, afraid,

A hundred years to come; Who hunt in packs the object of their No living soul for us will weep,

, blame;

A hundred years to come. To thee the sad denial still held true,

But other men our land will till, For from thine own good thoughts thy heart And others then our streets will fill, its mercy drew.

And other words will sing as gay,

And bright the sunshine as to-day, And though my faint and tributary rhymes A hundred years to come.

. Add nothing to the glory of thy day,

WILLIAM GOLDSMITH BROWN.

WHAT IS POETRY?

FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF A Busy LIFE.

(4

UNDERSTAND by poetry so fitted to abide and exert influence for
that mode of expression or ever: that is a prosaic statement of an
averment that lifts the soul obvious fact. Let us note how Byron pre-
above the region of mere sents it in poetry :
sense—which reaches beyond
the merely physical or me-

The beings of the mind are not of clay;

Essentially immortal, they create
chanical aspects of the truth

And multiply in us a brighter ray;
affirmed and apprehends that And more beloved existence-that which Fate
truth in its universal charac- Prohibits to dull life in this our state

Of mortal bondage—by these spirits supplied,
ter and all-pervading rela-

First exiles, then replaces, what we hate, tions, so that our own na- Watering the hearts whose early flowers have died,

tures are exalted or purified And with a greener growth replenishing the void." by its contemplation.

For instance, I affirm that the creation was Or I observe that the midnight thunder a wondrous, beneficent work which all intel- during a violent summer tempest is echoed ligent moral beings cognizant thereof must from mountain-top to mountain-top, forming have regarded with admiration, but that a chorus of awful sublimity; but the poet the plans and purposes of God are entirely seizes the thought and fuses it in the glowabove the comprehension of man: that is ing alembic of his numbers thus : plain prose. Now let us see a poetic state

· Far along, ment of that same truth, and mark its im

From crag to crag, the rattling peaks among, mensely superior vividness and force :

Leaps the live thunder--not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue;

And Jura answers, through his misty shroud, Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said,

Back to the joyous Alps, that call to her aloud.” Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding ! Who hath laid the measures thereof? If thou knowest ? Such instances speak more clearly than the Or who hath stretched the line upon it?

plainest or the sublest definitions. They show Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened ?

that to the poetic conception Nature is no huge Or who laid the corner-stone thereof, When the morning stars sang together,

aggregation of senseless matter warmed into And all the sons of God shouted for joy ?"

fitful vitality by sunbeams only to die and be

resolved into its elements, but a living, conOr I am

impelled to observe that the scious, vital universe quivering with deathless creations of the mind, unlike all corporeal aspiration because animated by the breath of existences, are essentially indestructible, and God.

[ocr errors]

V

FROM A SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF REP

inevitably, the friend of virtue and merit, the How far the minority, in a state of war,

Nor must we regard poetry merely as an

DUTY OF A MINORITY IN A STATE intellectual achievement—a trophy of human

OF WAR. genius, an utterance from the heart of Nature fitted to solace its votaries and strengthen them

RESENTATIVES, FEBRUARY 25, 1814. for the battle of life. Poetry is essentially,

,

W foe of wrong,

may justice and freedom. Wherever the good suf- government is a question of the greatest fer from the machinations and malevolence of delicacy. On the one side, an honest man, the evil, wherever vice riots or corruption fes- if he believe the war to be unjust or unwise, ters or tyranny afflicts and degrades, there will not disavow his opinion. But, on the Poetry is heard as an accusing angel, and other hand, an upright citizen will do no act, her breath sounds the trump of impending whatever he may think of the war, to put doom. She cannot be suborned nor per- his country in the power of the enemy. It verted to the service of the powers of dark- is this double aspect of the subject which ness: a Dante or a Körner lured or bribed indicates the course that reason approves. to sing the praises of a despot or glorify the Among ourselves, at home, we may contend; achievements of an Alva or a Cortes could but, whatever may be requisite to give the only stammer out feeble, halting stanzas, reputation and arms of the republic a supewhich mankind would first despise, then riority over its enemy, it is the duty of allcompassionately forget. But to the patriot the minority no less than the majority—to in his exile, the slave in his unjust bondage, support. Like the system of our State and the martyr at the stake, the voice of Poetry general governments—within they are many, comes freighted with hope and cheer, giving to the world but one--so it ought to be with assurance that, while evil is but for a moment, parties : among ourselves we may divide, but good is for ever and ever; that all the forces in relation to other nations there ought to be of the universe are at last on the side of jus- only the American people. In some cases it tice; that the seeming triumphs of iniquity may possibly be doubtful, even to the most are but a mirage divinely permitted to test conscientious, how to act. This is one of the our virtue and our faith; and that all things misfortunes of differing from the rest of the work together to fulfil the counsels and es- community on the subject of war. Governtablish the kingdom of the all-seeing and ment can command the arm and hand, the omnipotent God.

HORACE GREELEY.

bone and muscle, of the nation ; but these

are powerless, nerveless, without the conWOMEN.

curring good wishes of the community. TO 10 the disgrace of men, it is seen that He who, in estimating the strength of a

there are women both more wise to people, looks only to their numbers and judge what evil is expected, and more physical force, leaves out of the reckoning constant to bear it when it is happened. the most material elements of power

union and zeal. Without these the former

Sir PHILIP SIDNEY.

is inert matter ; without these a free people | The firing continued, the famine began ; is degraded to the miserable rabble of a des- For all had good appetites there to a man, potism; but with these they are irresistible. And, because of the noise, as they slept not a

John C. CALHOUN.

wink, They had more time remaining to eat and to

drink. CONJUGAL LOVE. I READ of the emperor Conrad the Third That Conrad would conquer, the ladies knew

As pleasing a story as ever I heard ; As it may not have happened to come in For the women oft see twice as far as the

men; your way, Perhaps you'll allow me to tell it to-day.

So their tongues and their heads then to

gether they laid, “ The city of Wensburg I mean to besiege,

And an active and eloquent senate they made. He said ; and his soldiers said, “Do you, my They remained full two hours in close conliege?

sultation, We are all at your service; command, we

And during the whole of their confabulation obey."

No noise did they hear of ram, mortar or So blockade and bombard" was the rule of

ball : Could it be the fair council was louder than

all ? I can't avoid saying I think it a pity A king should seek fame by destroying a No, bless their kind hearts! not a word let What a very sınall portion of glory he shares!

Against ladies whose memories all must And how it deranges the city's affairs !

revere ;

These excellent women, my story will show, Think of peaceable citizens all at their duties, All talked to some purpose (most women do Their wives at their needlework (bless 'em!

so). the beauties !), To be frightened and have the house broken To Conrad they sent a well-written petition to bits,

To beg him to pity their hapless condition ; And, maybe, the little ones thrown into fits, Their city (and welcome) to take and to sack,

So each lady pass free—with a load on her For the purpose of raising an emperor's fame!

back. I hope 'tis no treason to say, “It's a shame." You will pardon, I trust, this parenthesis “ Yes, dear little creatures,” the emperor

long, But one cannot be silent when people do “To be sure: let each load both her back wrong

the day.

city;

us hear

and her head.

said ;

so!

cree."

man :

The contents of their bandboxes cannot be

KIT CARSON'S RIDE. much;

UN? Now, you
RUN

bet I rather
you,

guess Let them take what they will: not a thing will I touch ;

But's he's as blind as a badger.—Whoa, They may take their whole wardrobe, and

Paché boy, whoa ! welcome, for me;

No, you wouldn't believe it, to look at his All shall pass unmolested. I sign the de

eyes, But he is badger-blind, and it happened this

wise. In beautiful order, the army, arrayed In two lines, a magnificent spectacle made;

We lay in the grasses and the sunburnt clover Impatient, the emperor cried out, “Who That spread on the ground like a great brown waits ?

cover A flourish of trumpets, and open the gates !" Northward and southward, and west and

away The gates were thrown wide; the procession To the Brazos, to where our lodges laybegan

One broad and unbroken sea of brown, Five hundred fair ladies, each bearing a Awaiting the curtains of night to come down

To cover us over and conceal our flight 'Twas her husband, her person thus proud to With my brown bride, won from an Indian bedeck,

town With his arms—where they ought to be. That lay in the rear the full ride of a night. round his wife's neck.

We lounged in the grasses ;

her 'Tis said that the emperor, melted to tears mine, At the sight of these ladies thus saving their And her hands on my knee, and her hair was dears,

as wine Relinquished his spoils, spared the citizens' In its wealth and its flood, pouring on and

lives, And pardoned the men for the sake of their Her bosom wine-red, and pressed never by wives.

one; And her touch was as warm as the tinge of

the clover My story is finished; I must not impair

Burnt brown as it reached to the kiss of the The beautiful truth 'tis intended to bearThat the "wealth of the mind” is all other And her words were as low as the luteabove,

throated dove, And the richest of treasures is conjugal love. And as laden with love as the heart when it

beats R. S. SHARPE.

eyes were in

all over

sun;

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »