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ors are they responding to his 'voice
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Be not like dumb, driven cattle! no poet can be loved, as well as admired,
But a hero in the strife! who does not speak from the broad level of humanity. If we dare apply the language,
Trust no future, howe'er pleasant !
· Let the dead Past bury its dead! "he must be touched with a fellow-feeling
Act-act in the living Present ! of our infirmities, and have been tempted in
Heart within, and God o'erhead I all points as we are." . He must have fallen and risen, been sick
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, and sad, been joyful and pensive, drank of
Aud, departing, leave behind us the full cup of man's lot, ere he can so write
Footprints on the sands of time, that man will take his writings to his heart,
Footprints, that perhape another, and appropriate them as part of the great | Sailing o'er life's solemn main, general human stock. A prophet may wrap . A forlord and shipwrecked brother.' himself up in austere and mysterious soli
Seeing, shall take heart again. tude; a poet must come "eating and drink
Let us, thén, be up and doing, ing.” Thus came Shakspeare, Dryden,
With a heart for any fnte; Burns, Scott, Goethe; and thus have come in Still achieving, still pursuing, our day, Dickens, Hood, and Longfellow.
Learn to labor and to wait." Besides this quality of generous, genial| Glancing again critically at Longfellow's manhood, he is distinguished by a mild
poems, we find that his genius is essentially teligious earnestness. We do not vouch for lyrical. Neither the severity of epic power the orthodoxy of his creed, but we do vouch vor the subtlety of the dramatic genius are
for the fine Christianity of his spirit. No his. But how swiftly and surely does he re• poet has more beautifully expressed the spond to those passing impulses which come depth of his conviction, that life is an earnest upon his soul, like winds from the forest. reality—a something with eternal issues and and which like sudden gusts, are brief, mų. dependencies; that this earth is no soene of sical,-now gwelling into high rapture, and revelry, or market of sale, but an arena of now dying away in tremulous pathos! Mrs. contest, and a hall of doom. This is the in- | Hemans and Sır Walter Scott once coincided spiration of his “Psalm of Life,” than which in remarking, that each tree gives forth a We have few things finer, in moral tone, peculiar cadence to the wind; and we have since those odes by which the millions of Is- ourselves noticed, that from the willow there rael tuned their march across the wilderness, issues a dry hissing cery sound; from the and to which the fiery pillar seemed to listen sycamore a full murmur, as if the tree were with complacency, and to glow out a deeper one vast bee-hive; from the pine a deep, crimson in silent praise. To man's nowmellow, lingering sound, as though each cono wilder, more straggling, but still God-guided I were an ivory key; and from the oak a strong and hopeful progress toward a land of fairer sturdy, reluctant rustle, as if it were an unpromise, Longfellows's “Psalm” is a noble willing instrument in the hand of the blast accompaniment:
Thus do Longfellow's finer poems play them
selves off upon the autumn trecs of the "Life is real! Life is earnest 1 And the grave is not its goal;
Western forest, as upon harps of gold-One Dust thou art, to dust returnest;'
being sad and stern-another quiet and full, Was not spoken of the soul.
as of many murmurs rounded into one calm; For enjoyment and not sorrow,
a third, soft and long-drawn—a fourth, rough, Is our destined end of way;
I abrupt, and tormented into music.
Ere speaking of some of his poems in de- of intellectual travelers. He typifies all that tail, we must permit ourselves a word on the is heroic, and high, and disinterested in the only prose work of his with which we are age. “Excelsior !” cries the student, as be acquainted—“Hyperion.” We shall never climbs the steep ascent of science. “Exforget the circumstances of its first perusal. celsior !" cries the poet, who takes up Par, We took it as our pocket companion with nassus as a little thing. “Excelsior !" cries
on our first' walk down the Tweed, by the thinker ; "I have passed the transcenInverleithen, Clovenford, Ashestiel, and Ab- dental, let me have at the divine.” “Excelbotsford. It was fine, at any special bend sior l” cries the liver ; let me reach virtue, of the stream, or any beautiful spot along not merely as a law, but as a life." : “Exits brink, taking it out, and finding in it a celsior !!' cries every where the young time ; conductor to our surcharged emotions. In "let us onward and upward, though it be solitude we felt “ve were not alone, for these into the regions of the storm; we are weary pages can sympathise with us.” The course of the past, let us try what the future will of " Hyperion," indeed, is that of a river, do for us.” “Excelsior !" cry the dying. vinding at its own sweet will now laugh- who feel that death is but a door to the ining and singing to itself, in its sparkling finite; “let us up and breath the atmosProgress, and now slumbering in its own phere of the stars.” More than one brave deep pools-here laving cornfields and vine- ' spirit has departed singing this noble battle yards, and there lost in wooded and soumd- burst of " Excelsior !” ing glens. Interest it has much-incident, “Excelsior" is Life and its Psalm personiBittle ; its charm is partly in the “Excelsior” fied. Longfellow has written in it his glowprogress of the hero's mind, partly in the ing hopes of the future, as well as his the &etches of the Great German authors, and ory of the past. That figure, climbing the principally in the sparkling imagery and evening Alps, in defiance of danger, of man's waving, billowy language of the book.— remonstrance, and the far deeper fascination Longfellow, in this work, is Jean Paul of woman's love, is a type of man strugRichter, without his grotesque extravagances, 'gling, triumphing, purified by suffering, per& riotous humor, or turbulent orce. He fected in death. Avd it insinuates strongly kens a lesser and more 3 mple form of the the poet's belief in that coming era in hu-, samne genus, sprung from bim, as the ele- man history, when the worth and grandeur phant from the mammoth.
of man's regenerated life will cast a calm We have just alluded to.“ Excelsior," one and beauty, at present inconceivable, around of those happy thoughts which seem to drop his death, and when the roses and chaplets down like fine days, from some serener re- and premature rejoicings of his bridal, shall gion, or. like moultings of the celestial dove, more worthily await his marriage with the which meet instantly the ideal of all minds, infinite. Who pants and prays for the are and run on afterwards, and for ever, in the rival of such a day, when the sting of death current of the human heart. We can now shall thus be taken out-when its grand no more conc ive of a world without “Ex- meaning and poreh-like position shall be celsior," than a world without the “Iliad,” fully disclosed and vividly realized ? the "Comug," or the “Midsummer Night's Next to the “Excelsior," and the “Psalm Dream” It has expressed in the happiest of Life," we are disposed to rank “Evanand briefest way what minds in the age had geline." Indeed, as a work of art, it is subeen trying in vain to express. Thousands,perior to both, and to all that Longfellow therefore, were ready to cry out, “That's has written in verse. Save “ Hyperion,” it my thought ; that's my desire; that's my- is his only piece of pure and elaborate art, self; I bear that banner; I fear not to die We began to read it under a certain degree that death!" *** Excelsior" is the Ledyard of prejudice at the measure, which has been
so vulgarized by Southey, in his lamentable at last oppressive and painful. We cry oug * Vision of Judgment.” But soon Southey, in our sorrow and disappointment, for Aca. * Vision of Judgment, and all were forgot-dia, with its crowing cocks, bursting barng, ten. Acadia-Arcadia it might be called flowery meadows, and happy hearts back and the sweet moonlight of Evangeline's again. face, crowded the whole sky of our imagin- A striking little copy of verses he has enation. Notbing can be more truly conceiv- titled "The Light of Stars." His “bright ed, or more tenderly expressed, than the pic- particular star" is not the "star of Jove, 80 ture of that primitive Nova Scotia, and its beautiful and large," nor the star of lovers, warm-hearted, hospitable, happy, and pious Venus, nor the star of suicides, Saturn. It inhabitants. We feel the air of the “ Fore- is the star of warriors, “the red light of world" around us. The light of the Golden Mars.” We share with him in his feelings Age-itself, joy, musie, and poetry,-is Mars has, to men, more points of interest shining above. There are evenings of sum- and sympathy than almost any other planet mer or autumn tide so exquisitely beauti-One frozen band at least binds us to it. One ful, só complete in their own charms, that white signal has been bung out by this near the entrance of the moon is felt almost as yessel ;, snow and winter are there. And if, e painful and superfluous addition ; it is like as analogy would plead, there be inhabib a candlc dispelling the weird darkness of a ants, these inhabitants must be somewhat a twilight room. So we feel at first, as if like ourselves. . There are fires, there are Evangeline, when introdueed, were an excess hearths, there are homes in Mars! There is of lovelines 3-an amiable eclipser of the struggle, there may be sin, there may be surrounding beauties. But even as the death--there is contest, there is mystery, moon, by and by, vindicates her intrusion, there may be victory! What home sounds, and creates her own "holier day," so with what thrilling tones, what an array of sig. the delicate and lovely heroine of this sim-nals, what a sheaf of telegraphic rays, from ple story-she becomes the centre of the that red planet Hear Longfellowentire scene. She is the noblest of charac
"Earnest thoughts wil zin me riso, ters, a lady in grain. She has borrowed her
When I behold afar, motions and attitudes from the wind-bent | Suspended in the evening skies, trees ; her looks have kindled at the stars ;| . The shield of that red star. her steps she had unwittingly learned from
O star of strength! I's ee thee stand the moving shadows of the clouds, On her
And smile upon my pain; way home from confession, “when she had
Thou bockotiest with thy mailed banda passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exqui And I am strong again. dte music.” Thus should all lives be led,
Within my breast there is no light, all steps be tuned ; and thus they shall, | whenever Love, instead of Law, shall lead
I gave the first watch. dhe great dance of human life. Purest of To the red planet Mars." virgins, art thou to be sacrificed! Finest of vessels, art thou to be dashed in pieces ! It! We must not overlook a poem entitled seems almost cruel in the poet to try her so
her / "Footsteps o f Angels." Who are the angels painfully, and to send her to seek her sole
is who visit and imprint his heart ? · No cher
ubim-dim to him amid all their blaze of redress in heaven.
intelligence. N trange seraphs-cold to We think that every reader must feel that him amid all their flames of fire. They are the first part of “Evangeline” is far superior
the friends of his youth—the loved of his to the second. Evangeline's search after her
early heart—now sons and daughters of the lover is beautifully described, but becomes grave. The eye of his heart sees them; the ear of his heart hears their soft footsteps, and decorated with chaste image, and shadowed their voices so low and sweet. Have all of with peusive sentiment, like the hand of us not at times such angel visits! Are we manhood laid gently upon the billowing not at this moment summoned to look up, head of a child. and see and hear them? Ah! we know The character of a translator's own genius that strong, deep-furrowed face, that lofty may be gathered with considerable accuracy brow, those locks sprinkled with gray, that from his selection of pieces to translate. In eye, restless with the fire of intelligence, and general, the graceful bends to the graceful with the light of paternal affection. We the pensive sighs back to the pensive, and know too, too well, that young form, that the strong shadows the strong. Longfellow step ligbt as the roe's upon the mountains, I has not dared any lofty heights, or sounded that clear blue eye, tha brown curling head, any dark hollows, of foreign poetry. The that forehead so high, that face so pale and exquisite patriarchal simplicities of the Swebeautiful, over which, ere her ten winters dish ballad have attracted his kindred spirit. had passei, death had spread a ghastlier It is not “deep calling unto deep.” It is paleness-it is our Agnes, at once sister and one corn-field responding to another, across child! And we cry
the hedge, under one soft westerly breeze.«O God! if it be thus, and thou
Need we do more than allude to “The Chii
. Art not a madness and a mockery,
dren of the Lord's Supper," which, both in We yet might be most happy."
verse and spirit, is the inodel of “Evange
line.” Thus he characterizes himself as a Longfellow's writings are in general pro- translator :-"The translation is literal, perpbetie of, and prepatatory for, the grand rec-, laps to a fault. In no instance have I done onciliation of man, both as regards man the
o the author a wrong, by introducing into his individual, and man the species. In his
work any supposed improvements or embel* Arsenal," and his "Occultation of Orion,”
lishments of my own. I have preserved even be shadows forth the “coming of the miller the measure, that inexorable hexameter in day," when there is
which, it must be confessed, the motions of "Peace! and ro longer from its brazen portals,
the English inuse are not unlike those of a The blast of War's great organ shakes the skies! prisoner dancing to the music of his chairs ; But beautiful as songs of the immortals,
and perhaps, as Dr. Jolanson said of the danThe holy melodies of love arise."
cing dog, the wonder is not that she should And both in “Hyperion” and “Evangeline," do it so well, but that she should do it at the agency of sorrow, in purging the eye, all." subduing the senses, watering all the strong-1 We close our paper with feelings of gratier plants in the soul's garden, is abundantly tude and respect for our transatlantic author. recognized. Perhaps still another"Pilgrim's It is pleasant, in this melancholy world, to Progress," cut out through rougher ways, "light upon such certain places,” where darkened by deeper shadows, and exhibiting beautiful dreams, and lofty, generous aspiramore the teaching of error than either "Hy- tions, lift us up, on a ladder, into ideal reperion" or "Sartor," is still desiderated by gions, which are yet to become real; for ep. the age
ery such aspiration is a distinct step upwards We cannot linger much longer with this to meet our expected New Jerusalem of man, delightful writer. He has scattered many “coming down as a bride adorned for her other deicious drops of song along his husband.” Every volume of genuine poetry, course. Such are—“Rain in Sutomer," "To besides, constitutes a cool grotto of retreat, a Child," «To the Driving Cloud," and "The with the altar of a bloodless sacrifice standOld Clock on the Stairs." These are all ing in the midst. We love, too, eren bette amiable carols, inspirited with poetic life, than the poetry of this volume, its sunny,
Vol. 6, No. 2-5.
genial, human, and hopeful spirit. Perhaps ally, and still be an ignoramus. We can no there are more depth and power, certainly more estimate the value of a man's intellecthere are more peculiarity and strangeness, tual acquirements by the number of volumes in Emerson's volume, but over many parts he has read, than we can the amount of his of it is suspended a dry rainless cloud of wealth by the number of his days of toil. gloom, which chills and withers you. You True, a reading man should be a man of inbecome, it may be, a wiser, but certainly a telligence-should be as noted for his wissadder man. Longfellow sheds a chequered dom, for his knowledge of men and things, autumnal light, under which your soul, like as for his attention to books. But every a river, flows forward, serene, glad, strong, day's observation and experience convince and singing as it flows
us that such is not the fact. “Bookish and
| foolish" are epithets that may not un fre"Let us then be up and doing,
quently be applied with equal justice to the With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing,
same individual. Learn to labor and to wait."
It becomes, then, an important inquiry
| why are these things so? Why so much For the Miscellany.
reading, and so little wisdom as the result ?
Why are not great readers always well inTHOUGHTS ON READING.
formed ? BY DE WITT O. LEACH.
Now it is usually much easier to ask ques
tions than satisfactorily to answer them; yet The people of the United States are a na- I apprebend, that, in this case, there are mation of readers. Men, women, and children, ny obvious reasons why so little good reof all ranks, and of all grades of intelligence,' sults from so much reading-to a few of devour books, pamphlets, periodicals, and which, I invite the reader's attention. newspapers, with an avidity that would seem Among them are reading too much--reading to indicate that health and happiness, if not carelessly, without aim or method-and life itrelf, depend upon the amount of their | reading improper works. reading. At home and abroad, in the rail- 1 That an individual may read too much, is car and in the packet, in the stage-coach and very evident. The mind, as well as the on board the steamboat--wherever there is a stomach, may be overloaded ; and as overmoment's leisure from the demands of busi- loading the latter deranges, and, if persisted ness, reading is resorted to, either with a de-in, fipally destroys the energy and vigor of sire to inform and cultivate the intellect, or the physical system, so overloading the forto while pleasantly away time which would mer deranges the mental faculties, and, if otherwise hang heavily on our hands. carried too far, sometimes dethrones reason
The truth is--as a people, we cannot bear itself, and then “the dome of thought, the idleness. We may despise labor-wo may palace of the soul,” becomes the abode of resort to every expedient to escape toil--yet will fancies, if not of ungovernable furies. idlene-> is equally insupportable, and, as a Not only way an individual read too consequence, we rend, if for no other or much, but he may rend carelessly, without higher purpose, merely to “kill time.” Now aim or method, and with no object in view, this babit of reading, if controlled by reason, save the passing away of the present hour. is one of the best traits in American charac- Such reading, if it becomes habitual, is unter-one which may be turned to profitable profitable in the highest degree. He who account, and the tendency of which to im- reads thus is none the wiser for his reading, prove the intellectual condition of our peo- He seeks nothing but amusement, and he is ple, is all-powerful. Yet it is a lamentable profitel nothing. No matter how pleasing fact, that a person may read almost continu- the style of his author, or how brilliant his