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“With breathless speed, like a soul in chace,
I took him up and ran ;-
Before the day began;
I hid the murder'd man !
“And all that day I read in school,
But my thought was other-where;
In secret I was there;
And still the corse was bare !
“ Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep;
That earth refused to keep;
Ten thousand fathoms deep.
" So wills the fierce avenging Sprite,
Till blood for blood atones!
And trodden down with stones,
The world shall see his bones!
" Oh, God! that horrid, horrid dream
Besets me now awake!
The human life I take;
Like Cranmer's at the stake.
“And still no peace for the restless clay,
Will wave or mould allow;
It stands before me now !".
Huge drops upon his brow.
That very night, while gentle sleep
The urchin eyelids kiss'd,
Through the cold and heavy mist;
With gyves upon his wrist.
We watch'd her breathing through the night,
Her breathing soft and low, As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.
So silently we seem'd to speak,
So slowly moved about,
To eke her living out.
Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied-
And sleeping when she died.
For when the morn came dim and sad,
And chill with early showers, Her quiet eyelids clos'd-she had
Another morn than ours.
The author of “The Course of Time” adds one more to the list of minds too early quenched by the very ardour of their pursuit of greatness. He was born at Muirhouse, in the parish of Eaglesham, in Renfrewshire. Destined for the dissenting Presbyterian ministry of Scotland, he passed with reputation through his curriculum of study. But the severity of his application induced consumption, which cut off the young poet at the age of twentyseven ; he died in the south of England, to which he had been removed for the recovery of his health, shortly after his license to the ministry and the publication of his great poem. Among the dissenting population of Scotland, “ The Course of Time" is extolled as rivalling the sublimity of Milton; it has gone through many editions. Its plan is original ; the history of the world is supposed to have been wound up, and young angels in heaven inquire of an “ Ancient Bard of earth” its eventful history. The Bard proceeds to relate the destinies of mankind till the judgment sealed up their story. The poem is pregnant with spiritual hope, but overshadowed by gloomy views of merely human objects and pursuits. The style is often turgid, without the epigrammatic vividness of Young. As the production of a youth, “ The Course of Time” must rank among the most wonderful efforts of genius.
FROM " THE COURSE OF TIME.”
True Liberty was Christian, sanctified,
" He was the freeman whom the truth made free ;"
Who heard temptation sing, and yet turned not
This, this is freedom, such as angels use,
THE GENIUS OF BYRON.
He touched his harn, and nations heard, entranced.
1 Byron appeared as Scott's poetical reputation declined. 2 Childe Harold, Canto iv. St. 184; The Foscari, Act i. Sc. L. 3 Maaired: Childe Haroid, Canto iii.
Then turned, and with the grasshopper, who sung
As some tierce comet of tremendous size,
JAMES SHERIDAN KNOWLES.
MR KNOWLES is a dramatic writer who has attempted to revive the style of the age of Elizabeth and James I. In the effort he occasionally degenerates into bombast, sometimes into littleness ; but his writings abound with admirable scenic pictures, and frequently rise into impassioned poetry. His dramas consist of tragedies, and of that semi-comedy denoted by the term “ play." His plots and characters are generally interesting and truthful, though the reader often feels painfully the imitation of an “ age." The
I See the extracts from Byron, p. 451, supra. Pollok seems to have deeply admired the literature of Byron's poetry; indeed, there is considerable resemblance between the idea of the “Course of Time" and that of “Childe Harold." Both are views of conspicuous points in the world's history.
Mr Knowles has perhaps injured his genius by sometimes writing with a view to tho representation of a particular actor. This is said with the utmost deference to Mr Mau ready's genius; but imagination, which “bodies forth the forms of things that are not," must be stinted in her fight by a process which reverses the order of the two departments of the drainatic art.