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And loves to see the shades of grey,
That feed his melancholy:
Finding sweet speech and thought in all-
Star, leaf, wind, song, and waterfall.
We take this charming composition, so full of poetry and so truthful in its philosophy, from a volume entitled Revelations of the Beautiful, by EDWIN HENRY BURRINGTON (Pickering, 1848), a gentleman to whom the readers of THE CRITIC are indebted for some of the reviews they have most enjoyed.
WALK with the Beautiful and with the Grand,
Let nothing on the earth thy feet deter;
Sorrow may lead thee weeping by the hand,
But give not all thy bosom-thoughts to her:
"The Beautiful! what is it ?"
O, thou art darkly ignorant! Be sure
'Tis no long weary road its form to visit,
For thou canst make it smile beside thy door:
Ay, love it; 'tis a sister that will bless,
And teach thee patience when the heart is lonely;
The Angels love it, for they wear its dress,
And thou art made a little lower only:
Sigh for it!-clasp it when 'tis in thy way!
Be its idolator, as of a maiden!
Thy parents bent to it, and more than they;
Be thou its worshipper. Another Eden
Comes with the Beautiful!
Some boast its presence in a Grecian face;
Some, on a favourite warbler of the skies:
But be not fool'd! where'er thine eye might trace,
Seeking the Beautiful, it will arise:
Then seek it everywhere.
Thy bosom is its mint, the workmen are
Thy thoughts, and they must coin for thee: believing The Beautiful exists in every star,
Thou makest it so; and art thyself deceiving
Thou seest Beauty in the violet's cup;-
I'll teach thee miracles! Walk on this heath,
And say to the neglected flower "Look up
And be thou Beautiful!" If thou hast faith
It will obey thy word.
One thing I warn thee: bow no knee to gold;
Less innocent it makes the guileless tongue,
It turns the feelings prematurely old;
And they who keep their best affections
Every reader is familiar with this fine passage in BYRON's Childe Harold. But not the less is it entitled to a place in a collection of the BEAUTIFUL POETRY of the English language; certainly, wanting this, it would be imperfect.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
Her beauty and her chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look'd love, to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell ;-
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.
Did ye not hear it ?-No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined!
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But hark!-that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is-it is-the cannon's opening roar!
Ah! then and there were hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise.
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering, with white lips-"The foe! they come, they
And wild and high the "Cameron's gathering" rose !
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard-and heard, too, have her Saxon foes:
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain-pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring, which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years;
And Evan's, Donald's, fame rings in each clansman's ears!
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Grieving-if aught inanimate e'er grieves-
Over the unreturning brave,—alas !
Ere evening to be trodden like the grass
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure; when this fiery mass
Of living valour rolling on the foe,
And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low!
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life ;
Last eve, in beauty's circle proudly gay;
The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife;
The morn the marshalling in arms; the day
Battle's magnificently-stern aray!
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which, when rent,
The earth is cover'd thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover-heap'd and pent,
Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent!
This Sonnet is from the graceful pen of one of our earliest and sweetest poets, SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
COME sleep, O sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof, shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts despair at me doth throw;
O make in me those civil wars to cease:
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.
Take thou of me sweet pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,
A rosy garland, and a weary head.
And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Lovelier than elsewhere, Stella's image see.
There is a joyousness in the very strain of these verses, accordant with their subject, which pleases the ear and stirs the spirits, apart from the beauty of the thoughts they embody. Mrs. HEMANS is the author.
I COME, I come! ye have call'd me long,
I come o'er the mountains with light and song;
Ye may trace my step o'er the waking earth
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.
I have breathed on the South, and the chesnut flowers,
By thousands, have burst from the forest-bowers;
And the ancient graves, and the fallen fanes,
Are veil'd with wreaths on Italian plains.
-But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb!
I have pass'd o'er the hills of the stormy North
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth;
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the rein-deer bounds through the pasture free,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,
And the moss looks bright where my step has been.
I have sent through the wood-paths a gentle sigh,
And call'd out each voice of the deep-blue sky,
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-bough into verdure breaks.
From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain-brows,
They are flinging spray on the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.
Come forth, O ye children of gladness, come!
Where the violets lie may be now your home.
Ye of the rose-cheek and dew-bright eye,
And the bounding footstep, to meet me fly,
With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay:
Come forth to the sunshine, I may not stay.
Away from the dwellings of care-worn men,
The waters are sparkling in wood and glen;
Away from the chamber and dusky hearth,
young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth ;