Page images
PDF
EPUB

We must give a portion also of the beautiful stanzas “ To the Dandelion.”

“ Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,

First pledge of blithesome May,
Which children pluck, and, full of pride, uphold,

High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoyed that they
An Eldorado in the grass have found,

Which not the rich earth's ample round
May match in wealth, thou art more dear to me

Than all the prouder summer-blooms may be.
“ Gold such as thine ne'er drew the Spanish prow
Through the primeval hush of Indian seas,

Nor wrinkled the lean brow
Of age, to rob the lover's heart of ease ;

'T the spring's largess, which she scatters now
To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand,

Though most hearts never understand
To take it at God's value, but pass by

The offered wealth with unrewarded eye.
“ Thou art my tropics and mine Italy;
To look at thee unlocks a warmer clime ;

The

eyes thou givest me
Are in the heart, and heed not space or time:

Not in mid June the golden-cuirassed bee
Feels a more summer-like, warm ravishment

In the white lily's breezy tent,
His conquered Sybaris, than I, when first

From the dark green thy yellow circles burst.
" Then think I of deep shadows on the grass,
Of meadows where in sun the cattle graze,

Where, as the breezes pass,
The gleaming rushes lean a thousand ways,

Of leaves that slumber in a cloudy mass,
Or whiten in the wind, of waters blue

That from the distance sparkle through
Some woodland gap, - and of a sky above,
Where one white cloud like a stray lamb doth move."

- pp. 118 - 120. Of the poems of feeling and fancy, “ The Changeling” is our favorite.

“I had a little daughter,

And she was given to me To lead me gently backward

To the Heavenly Father's knee, That I, by the force of nature,

Might in some dim wise divine The depth of his infinite patience

To this wayward soul of mine. “ I know not how others saw her,

But to me she was wholly fair, And the light of the heaven she came from

Still lingered and gleamed in her hair ; For it was as wavy and golden,

And as many changes took,
As the shadows of sun-gilt ripples

On the yellow bed of a brook. 6 To what can I liken her smiling

Upon me, her kneeling lover?
How it leaped from her lips to her eyelids,

And dimpled her wholly over,
Till her outstretched hands smiled also,

And I almost seemed to see
The very heart of her mother

Sending sun through her veins to me! “ She had been with us scarce a twelvemonth,

And it hardly seemed a day, When a troop of wandering angels

Stole my little daughter away; Or perhaps those heavenly Zincali

But loosed the hampering strings, And when they had opened her cage-door,

My little bird used her wings.
" But they left in her stead a changeling,

A little angel child,
That seems like her bud in full blossom,

And smiles as she never smiled :
When I wake in the morning, I see it

Where she always used to lie, And I feel as weak as a violet

Alone 'neath the awful sky; “ As weak, yet as trustful also ; For the whole year long I see

All the wonders of faithful Nature

Still worked for the love of me ;
Winds wander, and dews drip earthward,

Rain falls, suns rise and set,
Earth whirls, and all but to prosper
A
poor

little violet.
66 This child is not mine as the first was,

I cannot sing it to rest,
I cannot lift it up fatherly

And bliss it upon my breast ;
Yet it lies in my little one's cradle

And sits in my little one's chair,
And the light of the heaven she's gone to

Transfigures its golden hair." - pp. 160 - 163. We have quoted enough to show that Mr. Lowell possesses extraordinary powers as a poet, and has arrived at the free and vigorous use of them, his finished work no longer falling behind his fresh and beautiful conceptions. If his future publications should show the constant improvement that has thus far distinguished his career, he may yet scale heights which at present, perhaps, he is hardly bold enough to measure. His readers, we are very sure, will join us in urging him to go on, but to publish sparingly. The world is tired of mediocrity in verse, and will give a joyous reception, now, only to the most carefully matured results of the poet's happiest hours.

H.W. Torrey: Art. XI. – 1. Journal of an Overland Expedition in

Australia, from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a Distance of upwards of 3000 Miles, during the Years 1844, 1845. By Dr. Ludwig LEICHHARDT. Lon

don: T. & W. Boone. 1947. 8vo. pp. 544. 2. Cooksland in Northeastern Australia ; the Future

Cotton-field of Great Britain : its Characteristics and
Capabilities for European Colonization. With a Dis-
quisition on the Origin, Manners, and Customs of the
Aborigines. By John DUNMORE LANG, D. D., A.M.
London : Longman & Co. 1847. 16mo. pp. 496.

The work of colonization and maritime discovery seems to have fallen, with the tacit acquiescence of the rest of the

world, to Great Britain ; nor have all the mistakes and misdemeanours of home and colonial administrations been able to eclipse the lustre of her success. So entirely have other nations been driven from the field, that, whenever a new sea is explored or a new settlement established, it is next to certain that British enterprise and capital have taken the lead. The few exceptions only prove the rule. France, indeed, has at last caged the fugacious Emir of the desert, and exhibits him in proof of the success of the Algerian experiment; though a menagerie of such captives would reduce the kingdom to the brink of bankruptcy. Our own interest, too, in the Antarctic continent may prove stable enough to warrant a future reannexation of it, and a consequent defensive war with the natives of the South Pole ; and we may yet, to the astonishment of the world, find Sodom and Gomorrah at the bottom of the Dead Sea. But even then, England will be a respectable rival. As to the Portuguese, they seem to hover with a retrospective affection about their early haunts on the African coast, though not precisely for colonizing purposes. The Spanish flag is a stranger_on shores where it once waved alone ; and the plodding Dutchman finds the known world already large enough for himself and his pipe.

In no quarter of the earth has the irrepressible energy of the British character been more strikingly displayed than in Australia. In the annals of colonization no chapter is more wonderful than that which records the rapid steps by which the English have acquired the now indisputable possession of a vast continent, nearly equal in extent to the whole of Europe. Sixty years ago, a band of convicts landed on the eastern coast of New Holland and founded the colony of New South Wales. In spite of the taint of its origin, the infant establishment grew apace. The country was found to be admirably adapted to pastoral purposes, and a hardy race of squatters soon pushed the outposts of the colony to the foot of the mountain barrier which for a long time excluded them from the plains beyond. In a few years, Van Diemen's Land, or, as it is now beginning to be called, in honor of Abel Tasman, its discoverer, Tasmania, the insularity of which had recently been established by the daring enterprise of Bass, was settled. And the tide of emigration was not yet checked; the Swan River settlement, on the western coast, was undertaken, and has struggled through the fearful obstacles which obstructed

its early progress. Between the two colonies of New South Wales and Western Australia, room was found for an establishment on the southern coast, which bears the name of Southern Australia. The occupation, but a few years ago, of Port Essington on the northwest, has completed the girdle of English posts, and connected the Australian with the Asiatic possessions of Great Britain.

A few of those mellifluous parts of speech which distinguish the Low Dutch alone remain, to attest the early enterprise and later apathy of the people who scattered them along the northern and western coasts ; and even the empty compliment implied in the misnomer of New Holland, which always reminds one of the inverse classification of the lion under the cat kind, is fast growing obsolete. The great infrequency of native names is one of the melancholy proofs of the gradual decay and disappearance of their authors before the civilization, the violence, the vices, and the diseases of the white races ; nor in respect to euphony is the loss to be deeply lamented, if such names as the “ Morrumbidgee” are a fair sample of them. The supremacy of British power appears in the abundance of English and Scotch names, both in Australia and Tasmania. Ben Lomond and the Esk bear witness to the patriotic regrets of the Caledonian exile, and a family of Wellingtons and Waterloos proclaim the origin of those who transplanted them. * The presiding genii of Downing street, and their host of colonial Pucks and Ariels, are immortalized in Arrowsmith's maps ; and so far has the progress of discovery outrun the stock of notables, that one and the same worthy

#

Though the French have learned to acknowledge the vast ability displayed by their British neighbours in the management of their colonial territories, their wounded vanity sometimes appears. We quote an amusing in. stance of this from Lesson's Voyage round the World, published at Paris in 1839. The author visited Sydney in 1824, and made an excursion into the interior of the colony. The following passage occurs in a note to his book : :-“The name of Waterloo has been lavished by the English with such profusion, that it will become synonymous with false glory. How can a nation, so civilized as the English people, disfigure its trophies (if trophies they are, for Blücher has a better claim to them) by the tinsel and gold-lace which indicate poverty and bad taste? A swarm of places in New South Wales bears this name and that of Wellington. When the day comes for the Russians to attack India and assume an undisputed preponderance in Europe, the English, chased from their vast possessions, will appreciate the true value of the battle of Waterloo, with which they are so besotted, although the sounder portion of the nation can already form a mature judgment of its results."

« PreviousContinue »