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taining a dismissal on his own application, he turned his attention to the law. After completing the usual studies, he was admitted to the bar at Plymouth, in 1815. He removed to New York in 1820, and was one of the editors of the United States Review and Literary Gazette. In 1828, he became associate editor of the New York Evening Post.

Mr Bryant published in 1808, at Boston, a volume of poems with the title of “ The Embargo, or Sketches of the Times." Although the author was but fourteen years of age, the book was so well received, that it was reprinted the next year. In 1821, appeared the volume containing The Ages, Thanatopsis and other pieces. He also furnished many of the poetical articles in the United States Literary Gazette.

As a poet, he is entitled to rank with the most eminent among us for originality, and finished, chaste execution. He does not offend us by abruptness and inequality. He presents us with here and there a bold image, but the tenor of his poetry is even and sustained. He shows good judgment, and a careful study of the materials of his verse. He does not aim with an over-daring attempt at those lofty and bewildering flights which too often fills the poet's pages with cloudy and confused representations. His delineations are clear and distinct, and without any indications of an endeavor to be startling and brilliant by strange metaphors, or unlicensed boldness of phraseology. His writings are marked by correct sentiment and propriety of diction.

Mr Bryant stands high in the general estimation, and his works have been the subject of frequent notice. of our periodical criticism show the manner in which he is appreciated by the highest literary authorities. has been so justly estimated in the North American Review, that were we to go into a further analysis of it, we should but repeat in another shape the opinions which that journal has given upon the subject. We shall take the liberty, therefore, of concluding this notice by an extract from the fiftyfirst number of that work. We subscribe fully to the judgment therein contained.


The pages

His poetry


“ His poetry has truth, delicacy, and correctness, as well as uncommon vigor and richness; he is always faithful to nature , his delineations are accurate, vivid, and forcible ; he selects his groups and images with judgment, and sketches with spirit and exactness. He writes as one, “who, in the love of nature, holds communion with her visible forms. Nothing is borrowed, nothing artificial; his pictures have an air of freshness and originality, which could come from the student of nature alone. He is alive to the beautiful forms of the outward world. These forms hold a language to his heart. Nature to him is not an inert mass, mere dead matter; it is almost a feeling, and a sentiment. His poetry is always refreshing; the scenes of stillness and repose, into which he introduces us, seem fitted to exclude care and sorrow; he draws us from the haunts of men, where we become familiar with loathsome forms of vice and misery, where our hearts are torn with anxiety, or wounded by neglect and ingratitude, and makes us “partake of the deep contentment, which the mute scenes of earth breathe. He is less the poet of artificial life, than of nature and the feelings. There is something for the heart, as well as for the understanding and fancy, in all he writes; something which touches our sensibility, and awakens deep toned, sacred reflections.

Again, Mr Bryant charms us by his simplicity. Like all true lovers of nature, he is fond of those chaste beauties, which strike on the heart at once, and are incapable of being heightened by any extraneous ornament. His pictures are never overcharged. Nothing is turgid or meretricious, strange or fantastic. His heart is open to the healthful influences of nature; he muses among her gay and beautiful forms, and throws out upon the world his visions and feelings in a garb of attractive simplicity and grace. His strains, moreover, are exquisitely finished. He leaves nothing crude and imperfect; he throws off no hasty sketches, no vague, shadowy, and ill assorted images. His portraits have a picturesque distinctness; the outlines are accurately traced, and the colors laid on with delicacy and skill. We are never disgusted with


grossness; nothing appears overstrained or feeble, deformed, misshapen, or out of place.

“To write such poetry at any time would be no trifling distinction. Mr Bryant deserves the greater praise, as he has exhibited a pure and classical standard in an age, the tendency of which is, in some respects, toward lawless fanaticism and wildness. There is a fashion in literature, as in everything else. The popular style is now the rapid, the hasty, the abrupt, and unfinished. The age is certainly not a superficial one. It is distinguished beyond any former period for habits of deep, earnest thought. But one of its characteristics seems to be an impatience of restraint. It is fond of strong excitement, however produced. Whatever excites the mind into a state of fervor, whatever powerfully awakens the feelings, is listened to and applauded. It may be vague, fantastic, and shapeless, produced by a sort of extemporaneous effort, and sent abroad without the labor of revision. It will not have the less chance of becoming, for a time at least, popular. The press was never more prolific than at present. A great deal is written, and, as might be naturally supposed, much is written in haste. The mass of popular literature is swelling to an overgrown bulk; but much of it is crude, coarse, and immature. Mr Bryant has not been seduced by the temptations to slovenliness and negligence, which the age holds out to view; but, on the contrary, he affords a happy specimen of genuine, classical English. We are gratified to meet with such examples, especially among the distinguished and favored poets of our own country. It augurs well for the interests of taste and letters.

“We cannot express in too strong terms our approbation of the moral and devotional spirit, that breathes from all which Mr Bryant writes. Poetry, which is conversant with the deeper feelings of the heart, as well as the beautiful forms of outward nature, has, we conceive, certain affinities with devotion. It is connected with all our higher and holier emotions, and should send out an exalting, a healing, and sustaining influence. We are pleased to find such an influence pervading

every strain, uttered by a poet of so much richness of fancy, of so much power and sweetness, as Mr Bryant. No sentiment or expression ever drops from him, which the most rigid moralist would wish to blot. His works we may put into the hands of youth, confident, that in proportion as they become familiar with them, the best sympathies of their nature will be strengthened, and the moral taste be rendered more refined and delicate. Much of his poetry is description ; but his descriptions are fitted to instruct our piety,' and impart a warmth and glow of moral feeling."

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WHEN, to the common rest that crowns our days,
Call'd in the noon of life, the good man goes,
Or full of years, and ripe in wisdom, lays
His silver temples in their last repose ;
When, o'er the buds of youth, the death-wind blows,
And blights the fairest; when our bitterest tears
Stream, as the eyes of those that love us close,

We think on what they were, with many fears
Lest Goodness die with them, and leave the coming years.

And therefore, to our hearts, the days gone by,–
When lived the honor'd sage whose death we wept,
And the soft virtues beam'd from many an eye,
And beat in many a heart that long has slept,-
Like spots of earth where angel-feet have stept,
Are holy; and high-dreaming bards have told
Of times when worth was crown'd, and faith was kept,
Ere friendship grew a snare, or love wax'd cold-
Those pure and happy times—the golden days of old.

Peace to the just man's memory, let it grow
Greener with years, and blossom through the flight
Of ages; let the mimic canvas show
His calm benevolent features; let the light
Stream on his deeds of love, that shunn’d the sight
Of all but heaven, and, in the book of fame,
The glorious record of his virtues write,

And hold it up to men, and bid them claim
A palm like his, and catch from himn the hallow'd flame.

But oh, despair not of their fate who rise
To dwell upon the earth when we withdraw;
Lo! the same shaft, by which the righteous dies,
Strikes through the wretch that scoff’d at mercy's law,
And trode his brethren down, and felt no awe
Of him who will avenge them. Stainless worth,
Such as the sternest age of virtue saw,

Ripens, meanwhile, till time shall call it forth
From the low modest shade, to light and bless the earth.

Has Nature, in her calm majestic march, Falter'd with age at last? does the bright sun Grow dim in heaven? or, in their far blue arch, Sparkle the crowd of stars, when day is done, Less brightly? when the dew-lipp'd spring comes on, Breathes she with airs less soft, or scents the sky With flowers less fair than when her reign begun? Does prodigal autumn, to our age, deny The plenty that once swell’d beneath his sober eye?

Look on this beautiful world, and read the truth
In her fair page; see, every season brings
New change, to her, of everlasting youth;
Still the green soil, with joyous living things,
Swarms, the wide air is full of joyous wings,
And myriads, still, are happy in the sleep
Of ocean's azure gulfs, and where he flings

The restless surge. Eternal love doth keep
In his complacent arms, the earth, the air, the deep.

Will then the merciful One, who stamp'd our race
With his own image, and who gave them sway
O'er earth, and the glad dwellers on her face,
Now that our flourishing nations far away
Are spread, where'er the moist earth drinks the day,
Forget the ancient care that taught and nursed
His latest offspring ? will he quench the ray

Infused by his own forming smile at first,
And leave a work so fair all blighted and accursed ?

Oh no! a thousand cheerful omens give
Hope of yet happier days whose dawn is nigh
He, who has tamed the elements, shall not live
The slave of his own passions; he whose eye
Unwinds the eternal dances of the sky,



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