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LINES TO A LADY SINGING.
A voice divine is echoing in my
heartThe tears are in mine eyes ;-oh! never, never Did holier tones from worldly cares dissever The dreamer's soul! I feel myself depart From life's dim land. Enchantress as thou art, Oh! that thy magic spells could last for ever! But bliss eternal owns no mortal giver :The song hath ceased !-I wake with sudden start, Like one half-sleeping on a murmuring river, When the bark strikes the shore :—the trance is broken !
Hark!-sweeter sounds than aught e’er sung or spoken
As glad birds dart
While charmed Aurora stealeth o'er the height
More sweet than bloom.
THE VOICE OF LOVE.
Oh! if there is a magic charm, amid this desert drear,
Oh! dread would be the rugged road, and sad the wanderer's heart,
LONDON, IN THE MORNING. The morning wakes, and through the misty air In sickly radiance struggles-like the dream Of sorrow-shrouded hope. O’er Thames' dull stream, Whose sluggish waves a wealthy burden bear From every port and clime, the pallid glare Of early sun-light spreads. The long streets seem Unpeopled now, but soon each path shall teem With hurried feet, and visages of care ; And eager throngs shall meet where dusky marts Resound like ocean-caverns, with the din Of toil and strife and agony and sin. Trade's busy Babel ! Ah! how many hearts By lust of gold to thy dim temples brought In happier hours have scorned the prize they sought!
VIEW OF CALCUTTA.
SIR EGERTON BRYDGES*.
For half a century Sir Egerton Brydges has struggled to obtain a name in Literature. His success has not been in proportion to the length and earnestness of his labour. It is only to those who follow literature as a profession, and the few readers who, not satisfied to confine themselves to an acquaintance with the idols of the public, keep an eye upon all who have any claims whatever to the honors of authorship, that the reputation and the works of Sir Egerton Brydges are at all familiar. No living writer who has been equally industrious and prolific has excited so little general notice. The books that he has written, edited or compiled amount to about sixty voli es !! When to these are added his contributions to almost every kind of review and magazine, one is naturally surprised at the extent of his labours and the obscurity of his name.
If his accomplishments were superficial, or his learning abstruse—or if his style were dull and his subjects unpopular, it would be more easy to account for the neglect that he has experienced. But his characteristics are the reverse of these. His manner is always lively; his knowledge is elegant and extensive, rather than profound; and he has often handled topics of general interest with energy and truth.
He has never opposed the stream of popular opinion. During the rage for poetry from the time of Cowper to Byron, he courted the Muses with toil and ardour; and when the Minerva Press was the fashionable emporium for sentimental and romantic prose fictions, Sir Egerton supplied the public with novels adapted to the prevailing taste. His Sonnets, though published at a time when that form of composition was extremely fashionable, and when those of Charlotte Smith were running rapidly through new and large editions, attracted but very slight attention; while his novels of Mary de Clifford and Fitz-Albini were equally unfortunate. The “ Letters on the Character and Poetical Genius of Lord Byron,” published in one volume octavo, in 1824, the year of the poet's death, were perhaps more success. ful than any of his previous works; but even these made no deep or lasting impression on the public mind, though the subject and the style were of a highly popular nature. Mr. Moore speaks very respectfully of these letters; and observes, that “ they contain many just and striking views.” Lord Byron himself had a favorable opinion of the talents of Sir Egerton Brydges, and made the following entry in his journal—“ Redde the Ruminator-a collection of Essays, by a strange but able old man (Sir E. B.)." This strange but able old man" seems to have met with more kindness and respect from eminent individuals than from the public. He congratulates himself on the good opinion of Wordsworth and Southey, and he has just reason to do so. Of the precise nature of Wordsworth’s praise we are not afforded the means of judging ; but there are some passages in the two or three beautiful letters from Southey which, whether with or without his consent, Sir Egerton has published at full length, that must have afforded him the most exquisite gratification. I do not wonder at his eagerness to print them; for, as far as individual testimony extends, they are extremely valuable. The public, however, are, after all, the final and the least fallible judges of literary merit. Their last and deliberate decisions are almost always right, and have an authority far superior to that of any individual, however eminent. Byron's contempt for Spenser, and his estimation of Pope above
* This article was written after the perusal of the work entitled “ The Autobiography, Times, Opinions, and Contemporaries of Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart. (per legem terræ) Baron Chandos of Sudely, &c.”