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Oh! well is me,” she saith when day
Draws on to eventide.
Hark! hark! the shepherd's voice. Oh, sweet!
Her tears drop down like rain.
And tend the flock full fain;
Till I shall come again.”
And my reward thy grace!”
Withdrawn his goodly face ;
The daylight wanes apace.
Feedeth her flock at noon;
Where the small rivulets croon.
Her eyes outwatch the moon.
She sings when life doth wane: “My longing heart is full of love,
Nor shall my watch be vain. My shepherd lord, I see him not,
But he will come again.”
(A WOMAN SPEAKS.) O SLEEP, we are beholden to thee, sleep, Thou bearest angels to us in the night, Saints out of heaven with palms. Seen by thy light Sorrow is some old tale that goeth not deep; Love is a pouting child. Once I did sweep
Through space with thee, and, lo, a dazzling sightStars! They came on, I felt their drawing and
might; And some had dark companions. Once (I weep
When I remember that) we sailed the tide,
And met there my lost love, who said to me,
Sleep, in the world to come how strange 'twill be
Her fair full lips were silent on that smart,
The meaning of a life was known; for art
Is often foiled in playing nature's part,
Flung to the keeping of unfathomed seas :
And golden apples on the mystic trees
Though watched of the divine Hesperides.
VOL. XII. - 21
WASHINGTON IRVING, a popular American historian and novelist, born at New York, April 3, 1783; died at Irvington, near New York, Nov. 28, 1859. He was placed in a law office, and was in time admitted to the bar, but he never entered into practice. In 1804 he set out on a tour in Europe, from which he returned in 1806. In conjunction with his brother William and James K. Paulding, he set up Salmagundi, a periodical modeled somewhat upon Addison's Spectator. His “ History of New York," by Diedrich Knickerbocker, was published in 1809. In 1815 he went to England. In 1819 appeared the first number of his “SketchBook,” which was continued for about two years.
In 1826 he became United States Secretary of Legation at Madrid. He there commenced the translation of Navarete's “Voyages of Columbus,” but he abandoned the mere work of translation, and wrote instead his own “Life and Voyages of Columbus.” In 1829 he was appointed United States Secretary of Legation at London, where he remained until 1832, when he returned to America after an absence of seventeen years.
Soon afterward he purchased a cottage on the banks of the Hudson, which he partly rebuilt, and named “Sunnyside." In 1842 he was appointed Minister to Spain. He resigned this post in 1846, and returned to America, where the remaining thirteen years of his life were pa sed. He now set himself seriously to work upon the “Life of Washington,” which he had had in contemplation for several years.
The following is a list of the works of Irving: “Salmagundi,” only in part by Irving (1807); “Knickerbocker's History of New York” (1809); “The Sketch-Book” (1819-1820); “Bracebridge Hall" (1822); “Tales of a Traveler" (1824); “Life and Voyages of Columbus" (1828); “ The Conquest of Granada” (1829); “Voyages of the Companions of Columbus” (1831); “The Alhambra ” (1832); “A Tour on the Prairies” (1835); “ Astoria” (1836); “ Adventures of Captain Bonneville" (1837); “ Oliver Goldsmith” (1849); “Mahomet and His Successors ” (1850); “Wolfert's Roost, and Other Sketches,” mostly written some years earlier (1855); “Life of Washington " (1855–1859). The standard “Life of Irving” is that by his nephew, Pierre M. Irving, which includes his “Letters” (4 vols., 1862-1863). Besides this is Charles Dudley Warner's “ Life of Irving,” in “ American Men of Letters ” (1881).
RIP VAN WINKLE.
A POSTHUMOUS WRITING OF DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER. WHOEVER has made a voyage up the Hudson, must remember the Kaatskill mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains; and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory.
At the foot of these fairy mountains, the voyager may have descried the light smoke curling up from a village, whose shingle roofs gleam among the trees, just where the blue tints of the upland melt away into the fresh green of the nearer landscape. It is a little village of great antiquity, having been founded by some of the Dutch colonists, in the early times of the province, just about the beginning of the government of the good Peter Stuyvesant (may he rest in peace !) and there were some of the houses of the original settlers standing within a few years, built of small yellow bricks brought from Holland, having latticed windows and gable fronts, surmounted with weathercocks.
In that same village, and in one of these very houses (which to tell the precise truth, was sadly time-worn and weatherbeaten), there lived many years since, while the country was yet a province of Great Britain, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him to the siege of fort Christina. He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of his ancestors. I have observed that he was a simple good-natured man; he was moreover a kind neighbor, and an obedient henpecked husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers, doubtless, are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation, and a curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects, be considered a tolerable blessing; and if so, Rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed.
Certain it is, that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squabbles, and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle. The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long stories of ghosts, witches, and Indians. Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him with impunity; and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood.
The great error in Rip's composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor. It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance; for he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and heavy as a Tartar's lance, and fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble. He would carry a fowling-piece on his shoulder for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons. He would never refuse to assist a neighbor, even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics for husking Indian corn or building stone fences. The women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them ; – in a word, Rip was ready to attend to anybody's business but his own; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible.
In fact, he declared it was of no use to work on his farm ; it