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His ancient halls than his hundred friends,
His ancient halls than thee.
That the fair stars did fail:
Still calm her smile, albeit the while . . .
Nay, but she is not pale!
'I have a more than friend
Across the mountains dim: No other's voice is soft to me, Unless it nameth him.
"Though louder beats mine heart, I know his tread again,
And his far plume aye, unless turn'd away, For the tears do blind me then.
We brake no gold, a sign
Of stronger faith to be,
But I wear his last look in my soul,
"It trembled on the grass
With a low shadowy laughter;
Were sped by church-bell after,
And shadows, 'stead of light,
Fell from the stars above,
In flakes of darkness on her face,
"He loved but only thee!
That love is transient too.
The wild hawk's bill doth dabble still
I' the mouth that vow'd thee true. Will he open his dull eyes
When tears fall on his brow?
Behold, the death-worm to his heart
"Her face was on the ground
None saw the agony ;
But the men at sea did that night agree
They heard a drowning cry.
And when the morning brake,
Fast roll'd the river's tide,
With the green trees waving overhead,
"A knight's bloodhound and he The funeral watch did keep;
With a thought o' the chase he stroked its face, As it howl'd to see him weep.
A fair child kiss'd the dead,
But shrank before its cold;
And alone, yet proudly, in his hall
"Hang up my harp again!
I have no voice for song ;
Not song, but wail, and mourners pale,
Not bards, to love belong.
O failing human love!
O light, by darkness known!
O false, the while thou treadest earth!
O deaf, beneath the stone!"
The above, I imagine, cannot but be admitted as the very essence of poetry. It is superlatively excellent throughout; steeped in brilliancy, and possessing a serene and sombre beauty totally irresistible. It is read with a shivering delight: it has an inexpressible charm. The mute wretchedness of Magret-" her face was on the ground-none saw the agony;" she could not live without him,-is as admirably, as grandly depicted as the affliction of Niobe, or the veiled countenance of Agamemnon at his daughter's sacrifice; and the passionate apostrophe concluding transcends all praise: honour to Elizabeth Barret Browning.
With regard to another department, the "pleasures of Poetry," pleasures that,
like some cottage beauty, strike the heart
Quite unindebted to the tricks of art".
pleasures that resemble numerous brilliants, which may
be set with endless variety,—the field is so extended that it would demand far, far more scope than the necessarily limited compass of a lecture; the dimensions of a folio would be unequal to the theme. Yet, as there is occasionally some kind of charm in alliteration, let it bear at this time upon the word "pleasures ;" and I gladly make allusion to three dulcet poems-the "Pleasures of Hope," the "Pleasures of Memory," and the "Pleasures of Imagination "—all of which are clothed in highly poetic dress, and teem with passage and description of the most varied and exalted beauty. In all these instances the Muse, like Elijah, has cast her mantle upon meritorious aspirants. Lamartine asserts poetry to be the guardian-angel of humanity in every age. As in Mr W. S. Walker's sweet stanza,
"From midnight darkness she can wake
A glory bright as summer sea,
And can of utter silence make
A vast and solemn harmony."
Sincerely cherished and cultivated, she is a friend for life. For it must be ever borne in mind that the composition of poetry ceaselessly requires the love of invention and untiring exertion : it is by no means the product of mental inactivity-just as, when one who
desired to experiment on his bees, clipped their wings and placed before them the choicest flowers he could collect, the poor insects made no honey. Nothing can with greater facility raise the drooping spirits upwards, and enable us to recognise so little of the pettiness, the strife, the bustle, which pollute and agitate the ordinary inhabitants of earth. Amid the dim gold and the rusted steel, the green laurels of the poet alone remain unchanged. Of all writers, he becomes the most fascinated with his gentle vocation: his eye is tremblingly alive to beauty, and his ear hungering for melody. He must possess intense passions, for these, properly reined and guided, draw the car of genius up the immortal mount. The flood-gates of his fancy, unlike the temple of Janus, are ever open, and the aroma and inspiration of his song are still a cause of wonder and delight. What, it might be asked, are the elements which induce the true poetical effect in the poet himself? He views nature as a book, in which he reads a language unknown to common minds, as astronomers sweep with their telescopes the boundless field of heaven, therein discovering objects that escape the vulgar ken; and, doth he not recognise the ambrosia, the divine essence, that penetrate and nourish his inmost soul, in the glittering planets