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LOULA KENDALL ROGERS.
EOLA, a well-known nom de plume, falls on the ear softly, musically, "as if the very personification of that ideality which extracts inspiration from the whispering wind, the song of birds, the blush of flowers, the lightning's flash, and the thunder's roar."
Miss Kendall is a graduate of the Wesleyan Female College, of Macon. In the home of her childhood, a charming country-seat in Upson County, Ga., there are so many lovely spots in her native county, so many "glen echoes" where one might imagine her a nymph "calling to sister spirits of the greenwood," we do not wonder that the gift of poesy is hers.
Her ancestors were from North Carolina, and there is probably no family whose authentic history can be more closely traced through every period of the annals of that State. Her great-great-grandfather, who signed his name Joseph Lane, Jr., as far back as 1727, died at his residence on the Roanoke, in 1776. His youngest son, Jesse Lane, emigrated to Wilkes, near Oglethorpe County, Ga., and his descendants are dispersed through all the Western and Southern States; Gen. Joseph Lane, a candidate for the Vice-Presidency of the United States in 1860, and ex-Governor Swain, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, being among the number. One of his daughters married John Hart, son of Nancy Hart, the famous heroine of the Broad River Settlement, and one of his grand-daughters was wife of Judge Colquitt, Senator from Georgia in 1847. Thus brought into close relationship with many of the highest families of the South, the subject of this sketch inherited the spirit of patriotism that prompted them to make any sacrifice, however great, for the welfare of their country. We do not know that we can introduce her in a more acceptable manner than by inserting here the following extract of a letter written by her without any thought of its publication, (1862.) Speaking of herself, she says:
"I have always been a child of nature and lover of poetry ever since I can remember, though it is pleasure enough for me to lurk among flowers, to
listen to their heart-voices, and remain silent while drinking with intoxicating delight the sweets of far more gifted worshippers. Occasionally I cannot resist an inclination to snatch my own little harp from its favorite bed of violets; but its rustic strains are simple, and not worthy of being placed among the productions of those whose gifted pens have gained for them a reputation more enduring than gold. My first poem was written at eight years of age, a grand attempt, which mamma carefully preserved. At dreaming fourteen, I went to Montpelier Institute, once under the supervision of Bishop Elliott, and its fairy groves, sparkling streams, and 'moonlit palaces' grew more dear when I fancied them the abode of viewless beings who told me of all things holy and beautiful. My composition-book was filled with wild, weird imagery, and the geometrical figures on my slate frequently alternated with impromptu verses, which are still kept as souvenirs of that dear old place. Two years in Macon College (where prosaical studies and life's sterner realities crossed my path) almost obliterated the silly dream of my childhood; a dream of fame, which now has utterly departed, for I have long since ceased to pursue a shadow so far beyond my reach. I write for those who love me - that is all; but if these wild flowers, gathered among the hills and streams of my native land these untutored voices that speak to me from each nestling leaf, are able to dispel one single cloud among the many that overshadow our country, I have no right to withhold them.
"There is no lack of talent in our bright Southland; but, under the sunlight of prosperity, it has never yet been brought out in all its strength."
Of these "wild flowers and these untutored voices" we shall have but little to say, preferring to let them speak for themselves. She writes prose and poetry with equal facility, and her letters are models of literary composition; for here she expresses herself with that gentle warmth and modest freedom that characterizes her conversation. As Mrs. Le Vert somewhere expresses it: "She seems to dip her pen in her own soul and write of its emotions." In company she is plain and unassuming, being wholly free from pedantry and pretension; and yet she possesses great enthusiasm of character the enthusiasm described by Madame De Staël, as "God within us, the love of the good, the holy, and the beautiful."
"Leola" was quite a student, and accomplished much, though her advancement would probably have been greater had she possessed such a literary guide and friend as G. D. Prentice was to Amelia Welby. But, as has been said of another, when we consider the great disadvantages she must have labored under on an isolated plantation, far from public libraries, and far from social groups of literary labor
ers and artists, it seems to us that her writings reveal the aspirations of a richly endowed genius and the marks of a good culture.
“Leola" is also exceedingly domestic, being, as she says, gifted with a taste for the substantial as well as the poetry of life;" a proof that poetry and the larder are not always separate companions, but may exist together on very amicable terms. The productions of "Leola consist of fugitive pieces dashed off under the inspiration of the moment, many of them being published in the newspapers of the day. We would " as soon think of sitting down to dissect the bird whose song has charmed us, as to break upon the wheel of criticism poems springing so much from the heart-side of the author."
Since the "end of the war," Miss Kendall has become a wife, and is now Mrs. Rogers.
THE HEALING FOUNTAIN.*
"A nameless unrest urged me forward; but whither should I go? My loadstars were blotted out: in that canopy of grim fire shone no star. I was alone, alone! A feeling I had that there was and must be somewhere a Healing Fountain. From the depths of my own heart it called to me, Forward! The winds, and the streams, and all nature sounded to me, Forward!" ____ CARLYLE'S Sartor Resartus.
On, on she wandered all alone, o'er deserts vast and dim,
No hopeful ray to light the gloom, no spirit-soothing hymn ; The wearied heart no goal had found, all dark the future seem'd; “There must be rest somewhere,” she cried, and nought the toil deem'd.
Black shadows clung around the heart once filled with childlike trust,
If the spirit's voice must ever cease, with life's dull care and pain;
Yon lofty mountain's gilded height looks upward to the sky,
*Written after reading "Beulah," 1859.
But onward still, O child of toil! by storm and tempest tossed;
Till words of confidence and trust her parching lips express'd;
The Healing Fountain! Pure and bright those ripples near us gleam;
NO NIGHT THERE.
On hearing a sermon by Rev. A. M. Wynn, on the text, "There shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Rev. xxii. 5.
No night there! Bright sunlight is streaming
And chaplets of beauty the angels unfold;
No night there! Soft zephyrs are gliding
And beautiful streamlets, 'neath laurel-shades hiding,
And flowers are scatt'ring their fragrance abroad;
No night there! No angels are moaning
O'er lost ones enveloped in the white shroud;
Oh, is it not blissful to think of the meeting
No night there! The day-king is spreading
His mantle of sunlight o'er meadow and grove, Where wind the gold pathways that spirits are treading, . And song-birds are chanting of God and his love. No curses and shouting, no midnight of horror,
No shrieks of the wounded, no reveller's bowl:
THE LOST SOUL.
"When earth a woful wreck
Through the sea of space shall roll,
No tears will be shed in heaven like those
O'er one lost human soul!"- MARY E. BRYAN.
Gone! gone! gone!
The dreams of sunny years,
Their vacancy is filled with nought
Oh! who can paint the anguish
Dead! dead! dead!
To virtue and its goal;
The reeling, wretched sight,
Woe! woe! woe!
A "still small voice" repeats,