Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

wing?"

dig on the side, that drives the breath *** Then thou canst picture-aye, in sober out of their body, and keeps them truth, speechless for the rest of the night, In real, unexaggerated trath,— while the stream of conversation, if it The constant, galling, festering chain that may be called so, keeps issuing in jets

binds and jerks, from the same inexhaustible Captive my mute interpreter of thought; source, pausing but to become more

The seal of lead enstamped upon my lips,

The load of iron on my labouring chest, poient, and delivering, per hour, we fear to say how many imperial gallons Haunts me - and spurs me on—to burst

The mocking demon, that at every step into the reservoir.

in silence." Therefore, we cannot but smile at - the Stammerer's Complaint"-as

Heaven preserve us! is the world so

ill off for woes-are they so scantput into his lips by Mr Tupper. He that a Poet who indites blank verse to is made to ask us

Imagination, can dream of none wor“Hast ever seen an eagle chained to earth? thier his lamentations than the occa A restless panther to his cage immurd ?

sional and not unfrequent inconveA swist trout by the vily fisher check d?

niences that a gifted spirit experiences A wild bird hopeless strain its broken

from a lack of fluency of words?

“I scarce would wonder, if a godless man, We have; but what is all such sights (I name not him whose hope is heavento the purpose ? An eagle chained

ward,) cannot fly an inch-a panther in a cage A man whom lying vanities hath scath'd can prowl none-a trout “checked". And harden'd from all fear,-if such an one basketted, we presume—is as good as By this tyrannical Argus goaded on, gutted—a bird winged is already dish- Were to be wearied of his very life, ed—but a stammerer, “ still begin. And daily, hourly foiled in social converse, ping, never eading," is in all his glory By the slow simmering of disappointment, when he meets a consonant whom he Become a sour'd and apathetic being, will not relinquish till he has conquer

Were to feel rapture at the approach of ed him, and dragged him in captivity

death, at the wheels of his chariot,

And long for his dark hope,--annihila.

tion," " While the swift axles kindle as they What if he were dumb ? roll."

Mr Tupper is a father-and some Mr Tupper's Stammerer then is made of his domestic verses are very pleas

ing-such as his sonnet to little Ellen, “ Hast ever felt, at the dark dead of night, and his sonnet to little Mary ; but we Some undefined and horrid incubus prefer the stanzas entitled “ Children," Press down the very soul,--and paralyse and quote them as an agreeable sample, The limbs in their imaginary flight premising that they would not have From shadowy terrors in unhallowed been the worse of some little tincture

of imaginative feeling-for, expressive We have; but what is all that to the as they are of mere natural emotion, purpose, unless it be to dissuade us they cannot well be said to be poetry. from supping on pork-chop? Such op- We object, too, to the sentiment of pression on the stomach, and through the close, for thousands of childless it on all the vital powers, is the men are rich in the enjoyment of life's effect of indigestion, and is horrible; best affections; and some of the hapbut the Stammerer undergoes no such piest couples and the best we have rending of soul from body, in striving ever known, are among those from to give vent to his peculiar utterance whom God has withheld the gift of -not he indeed--'tis all confined to offspring. Let all good Christian peo. his organs of speech_his agonies are ple be thankful for the mereies graapparent not real- and he is conscious ciously vouchsafed to them; but bebut of an enlivening empbasis that, ware of judging the lot of others by while all around him are drowsy, keeps their own, and of seeking to confine him wide awake, and banishes Sleep either worth, happiness, or virtue, to his native land of Nod. We our: within one sphere of domestic life, selves have what is called an impedi- however blessed they may feel it to be ; ment in our speech--and do “ make “ For the blue sky bends over all,' wry faces,” but we never thought of and our fate here below is not deterexclaiming to ourselves,

to say,

mined by the stars.

sleep?"

[blocks in formation]

" Yours the natural curling tresses,

“ All unkiss'd by innocent beauty, Prattling tongues, and shyness coy,

All unlov'd by guileless heart, Tottering steps, and kind caresses, All uncheer'd by sweetest duty,

Pure with health and warm with joy. Childless man, how poor thou art !"

We like the following lines still better—and considered “ as one of the moods of his own mind,” they may be read with unmingled pleasure.

WISDOM's wish.
“ An, might I but escape to some sweet spot,

Oasis of my hopes, to fancy dear,
Where rural virtues are not yet forgot,

And good old customs crown the cireling year;
Where still contented peasants love their lot,

And trade's vile din offends, not nature's ear,
But hospitable hearths, and welcomes warm
To country quiet add their social charm;

“ Some smiling bay of Cambria's happy shore,

A wooded dingle on a mountain side,
Within the distant sound of ocean's roar,

And looking down on valley fair and wide,
Nigh to the village church, to please me more

Than vast cathedrals in their Gothic pride,
And blest with pious pastor, who has trode
Himself the way, and leads his flock to God;

“ There would I dwell, for I delight therein !

Far from the evil ways of evil men,
Untainted by the soil of others' sin,

My own repented of, and clean again :
With health and plenty crown'd, and peace within,

Choice books, and guiltless pleasures of the pen,
And mountainrambles with a welcome friend,
And dear domestic joys, that never end.

“ There, from the flowery mead, or shingled shore,

To cull the gems that bounteous nature gave,
From the rent mountain pick the brilliant ore,

Or seek the curious crystal in its cave;
And learning nature's Master to adore,

Know more of Him who came the lost to save;
Drink deep the pleasures contemplation gives,
And learn to love the meanest thing that lives.

ELLEN GRAY.

“ No envious wish my fellows to excel,

No sordid money-getting cares be mine ;
No low ambition in high state to dwell,

Nor meanly grand among the poor to shine :
But, sweet benevolence, regale me well

With those cheap pleasures and light cares of thine,
And meek-eyed piety, be always near,
With calm content, and gratitude sincere.
“ Rescued from cities, and forensic strife,

And walking well with God in nature's eye,
Blest with fair children, and a faithful wife,

Love at my board, and friendship dwelling nigh,
Oh thus to wear away my useful life,

And, when I'm called in rapturous hope to die,
Thus to rob heav'n of all the good I can,

And challenge earth to show a happier man !" But the best set of stanzas in the « • And for a home,- would I had none ! volume are those entitled Ellen Gray. The home I have, a wicked one, The subject is distressing, and has They will not let me in, been treated so often—perhaps too

Till I can fee my jailor's hands often-as to be now exhausted-or if With the vile tribute she demands, not so, nothing new can be expected The wages of my sin : on it, except either from original ge

I see your goodness on me frown; nius, or from a spirit made creative

Yet hear the veriest wretch on town, by profoundest sympathy and sorrow

While yet in life she may for the last extremities of human

Tell the sad story of her grief,misery

Though heav'n alone can bring relief

To guilty Ellen Gray. A starless night, and bitter cold;

My mother died when I was born : The low dun clouds all wildly roll'd And I was flung, a babe forlorn, Scudding before the blast,

Upon the workhouse floor; And cheerlessly the frozen sleet

My father,—would I knew him not !
Adown the melancholy street

A squalid thief, a reckless sot,
Swept onward thick and fast;

- I dare not tell you more. “ When crouched at an unfriendly door,

"" And I was bound an infant-slave, Faint, sick, and miserably poor,

With no one near to love, or save
A silent woman sate ;

From cruel sordid men,
She might be young, and had been fair,

A friendless, famish'd, factory child, But from her eye look'd out despair,

Morn, noon, and night I toil'd and toil'd, All dim and desolate.

Yet was I happy then ;

“My heart was pure, my cheek was fair, Was I to pass her coldly by,

Ah, would to God a cancer there
Leaving her there to pine and die,

Had eaten out its way!
The live-long freezing night?

For soon my tasker, dreaded man,
The secret answer of my heart

With treacherous wiles and arts began Told me I had not done my part

To mark me for his prey.
In flinging her a mite.

“ • And month by month he vainly strove “ She look'd her thanks,--then droop'd To light the flame of lawless love her head;

In my most loathing breast; • Have you no friend, no home?' I said. Oh, how I fear'd and hated him,

. Get up, poor creature, come, So basely kind, so smoothly grim, You seem unhappy, faint, and weak,

My terror and my pest !
How can I serve or save you,-speak,
Or whither help you home?'

« « Thenceforward droop'd my stricken "" Alas, kind sir, poor Ellen Gray

head; Has had no friend this many a day, I liv'd,- I died, a life of dread, And, but that you seem kind,

Lest they should guess my shame ; She has not found the face of late

But weeks and months would pass away, That look'd on her in aught but hate, And all too soon the bitter day And still despairs to find :

Of wrath and ruin came;

"I could not hide my alter'd form: " • And little can the untempted dream, Then on my head the fearful storm While gliding smoothly on life's stream Of gibe and insult burst:

They keep the letter-laws,
Men only mocked me for my fate,

What they would be, if, tost like me
But women's scorn and women's hate Hopeless upon life's barren sea,
Me, their poor sister, curst.

They knew how hunger gnaws.

[blocks in formation]

" • Ah, lightly heed the righteous few “ Her eye was fixed; she said no more, How little to themselves is due,

But propp'd against the cold street-door But all things given to them ;

She leaned her fainting head ; Yet the unwise because untaught,

One moment she look'd up and smil'd, The wandering sheep, because unsought, Full of new hope, as Mercy's child, They' heartlessly condemn :

-And the poor girl was dead.” We do not think the idea very happy of “ Contrasted Sonnets"-such as, Nature-Art; The Happy Home-The Wretched Home ; Theory--Practice ; Ritches-PovertyPhilanthropic- Misanthropic; Country—Town; and so on—and 'tis an ancient, nay, a stale idea, though Mr Tupper,evidently thinks it fresh and new, and luxuriates in it as if it were all his own. Sometimes he chooses to shew that he is ambidexter-and how much may be said on both sides-leaving the reader's mind in a state of indifference to what may really be the truth of the matter—or disposed to believe that he knows more about it than the Sonnetteer. The best are Prose and Poetry-and they are very good-so is “ Ancient,” but Modern is very bad and therefore we quote the three

PROSE.

“ That the fine edge of intellect is:

And mortal ken with cloudy fi
And the numb'd heart so deep

That virtue's self is weak its love to lure,

But pride and lust keep all the gates secure,
This is thy fall, O man; and therefore those
Whose aims are earthly, like pedestrian prose,

The selfish, useful, money-making plan,
Cold language of the desk, or quibbling bar,

Where in hard matter sinks ideal man :
Still, worldly teacher, be it from me far

Thy darkness to confound with yon bright band
Poetic all, though not so named by men,
Who have swayed royally the mighty pen,

And now as kings in prose on fame's clear summit stand."

POETRY

« To touch the heart, and make its pulses thrill,

To raise and purify the grovelling soul,
To warm with generous heat the selfish will,

To conquer passion with a mild controul,
And the whole man with nobler thoughts to fill,

These are thine aims, o pure unearthly power,
These are thine influences ; and therefore those
Whose wings are clogged with evil, are thy foes ;

And therefore these, who have thee for their dower,
The widowed spirits with no portion here,

Eat angels' food, the manda thou dost shower :
For tbine are pleasures, deep, and tried, and true,

Whether to read, or write, or think, or hear,
By the gross million spurn’d, and fed on by the few."

ANCIENT.

My sympathies are all with times of old,
I cannot live with things of yesterday,

Upstart, and flippant, foolish, weak, and gay,
But spirits cast in a severer mould,
Of solid worth, like elemental gold :

I love to wander o'er the shadowy past,
Dreaming of dynasties long swept away,

And seem to find myself almost the last

Of a time-honoured race, decaying fast ;
For I can dote upon the rare antique,

Conjuring up what story it might tell,
The bronze, or bead, or coin, or quaint relique ;

And in a desert could delight to dwell
Among vast ruins,— Tadmor's stately halls,
Old Egypt's giant fanes, or Babel's mouldering walls."

Mr Tupper has received much praise bation of the public. Perhaps our from critics whose judgment is gene. rough notes may help him to discover rally entitled to great respect-in the where his strength lies ; and, with his Atlas--if we mistake not_in the right feelings, and amiable sensibili. Spectator-and in the Sun. If our ties, and fine enthusiasm, and healthy censure be undeserved—let our copious powers when exercised on familiar quotations justify themselves, and be and domestic themes, so dear for. our condemnation. Our praise may ever to the human heart, there seems seem cold and scanty ; but so far no reason why, in good time, he from despising Mr Tupper's talents, may not be among our especial we have good hopes of him, and do favourites, and one of the Swans not fear but that he will produce many of Thames"--whicb, we believe, are far better things than the best of as big and as bright as those of the those we have selected for the appro- Tweed.

Alas! for poor Nicol! Dead and gone_but not to be forgotten—for aye to be remembered among the flowers of the forest, early wede away!

« ForrigeFortsæt »