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them to the world. There are many things in Holmes' humorous pieces which bear strong resemblance to the similar productions of our English satirists, Swift, Pope, and Thomas Hood. He possesses Swift's quaintness and motley merriment, Pope's polish and graceful point, and the solemn pathos and allied excruciating mirth of Hood. In addition to these he has a certain originality of his own, which would be difficult to define, but which would seem to consist in freedom and facility, engrafted on the broad, hearty nature of Brother Jonathan. No matter how earnestly the mock philanthropist may deprecate his irony, or how gravely the sanctimonious sophist may censure his light-hearted and innocuous mirth, Holmes may reasonably console himself with the reflection, that his objects have been for the promotion of good, and that the results of his labors have been duly and generously appreciated by his countrymen at home, and by all his benevolent readers in the mother country.

Poetry contains many fine passages: taking a retrospective glance, the author alludes to the universality of the object of his panegyric; he points out how all human beings are either more or less embued with poetic feelings:

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The poem contains two excellent lyrics, a fine eulogium on Shakspere, and a scathing denunciation of the poetry of Despair. The poet most beautifully shews us how all things afford us subjects for poetry. The warrior is incited to battle by song, and the sweets of peace are chaunted by the muse. He evidently cherishes the theory regarding Homer and the old poets, namely, that they have conceived all the poetical ideas which it was possible for man to originate, and concludes by shewing

that although States rise and fall, temples are upreared, and topple to their bases, an earthquake may render useless a "century's toil," Poetry can make a name reverberate through the world during its existence. Terpsichore, contains much wit, humour, and sound judgment. It is written in a strictly classical spirit. A Rhymed Lesson, commences in a humorous vein, and goes on to show that God brought us into the world, not that he might tyrannize over us, but that we might possess the world for our enjoyment, having evinced our gratitude to him by our obedience to his laws, thus giving us an opportunity of working out our welfare.

The poem is especially intended for the uneducated poor, whom it instructs in those essential moral principles, and social virtues, with which, from their utter ignorance, they are necessarily unacquainted; it points out the necessity of holding our passions in check, inculcates christian toleration, and recommends dispassionate judgment: it winds up with a patriotic eulogium on America, well adapted to the poor and uneducated youth. The instruction is given in a vein, semi serious and semi comic, and is consequently most likely to be generally


How beautifully Holmes can indite a ballad, may be judged from,


The sun stepped down from his golden throne,

And lay in the silent sea,

And the Lily had folded her satin leaves,
For a sleepy thing was she;
What is the Lily dreaming of?
Why crisp the waters blue?

See, see, she is lifting her varnished lid!
Her white leaves are glistening through!
The Rose is cooling his burning cheek
In the lap of the breathless tide;-
The Lily hath sisters fresh and fair,

That would lie by the Rose's side;
He would love her better than all the rest,
And he would be fond and true;-
But the lily unfolded her weary lids,
And looked at the sky so blue.
Remember, remember, thou silly one,
How fast will thy summer glide,
And wilt thou wither a virgin pale,
Or flourish a blooming bride?
"Oh the Rose is old, and thorny, and cold,
And he lives on earth," said she;
"But the Star is fair and he lives in the air,
And he shall my bridegroom be."

But what if the stormy cloud should come,
And ruffle the silver sea?

Would he turn his eye from the distant sky,
Ts smile on a thing like thee?

O no, fair Lily, he will not send

One ray from his far-off throne; The winds shall blow and the waves shall flow,

And thou wilt be left alone.

There is not a leaf on the mountain top,
Nor a drop of evening dew,

Nor a golden sand on the sparkling shore,
Nor a pearl in the waters blue,
That he has not cheered with his fickle smile
And warmed with his faithless beam,
And will he be true to a pallid flower,
That floats on the quiet stream?

Alas for the Lily! she would not heed,
But turned to the skies afar,
And bared her breast to the trembling ray
That shot from the rising Star;
The cloud came over the darkened sky,
And over the waters wide:

She looked in vain through the beating rain,
And sank in the stormy tide.

The Last Leaf, is decidedly the oddest of his productions,

and the one perhaps which is most calculated to display his idiosyncrasies: we here insert it :


I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,

And again

The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o'er the ground
With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning knife of Time
Cut him down,

Not a better man was found
By the crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,

And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said
"They are gone."

The mossy marbles rest

On the lips that he had pressed
In their bloom,

And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year

On the tomb.

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But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,

And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here:

But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,-

Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.

Exquisite satire, and marvellous fidelity, are evidenced in the following:


My aunt! my dear unmarried aunt!
Long years have o'er her flown;
Yet still she strains the aching clasp
That binds her virgin zone;

I know it hurts her, though she looks
As cheerful as she can;

Iler waist is ampler than her life,
For life is but a span.

My aunt my poor deluded aunt!
Her hair is almost grey;

Why will she train that winter curl
In such a spring-like way?
How can she lay her glasses down,
And say she reads as well,
When through a double convex lens,
She just makes out to spell?
Her father;-grandpapa! forgive
This erring lip its smiles,-
Vowed she should make the finest girl
Within a hundred miles;

He sent her to a stylish school;
"Twas in her thirteenth June;
And with her, as the rules required,
"Two towels and a spoon."

They braced my aunt against a board,
To make her straight and tall;

They laced her up, they starved her down,
To make her light and small;

They pinched her feet, they singed her hair,
They screwed it up with pins;

O never mortal suffered more

In penance for her sins.

So, when my precious aunt was done,
My grandsire brought her back;
(By daylight, lest some rabid youth
Might follow on the track;)

"Ah!" said my grandsire, as he shook
Some powder in his pan,
"What could this lovely creature do
Against a desperate man!"

Alas! nor chariot, nor barouche,
Nor bandit cavalcade,

Tore from the trembling father's arms,
His all accomplished maid.
For her how happy had it been!
And Heaven had spared to me
To see one sad, ungathered rose
On my ancestral tree.

In the next quotation, we are furnished with a most extraordinary instance of appropriate imagery: we are astonished at the happy manner in which every line bears reference to the Tailor's calling, and by the wonderful facility with which all external objects, be they great or small, are compared to the humble technicalities which characterize his profession.


Day hath put on his jacket, and around His burning bosom buttoned it with stars. Here will I lay me on the velvet grass, That is like padding to earth's meagre ribs, And hold communion with the things about


Ah me! how lovely is the golden braid, That binds the skirt of night's descending robe!

The thin leaves, quivering on their silken threads,

Do make a music like to rustling satin,
As the light breezes smooth their downy nap,
Ha! what is this that rises to my touch,
So like a cushion? can it be a cabbage?
It is, it is that deeply injured flower
Which boys do flout us with;-but yet I
love thee,

Thou giant rose, wrapped in a green surtout,
Doubtless in Eden thou didst blush as bright
As these, thy puny brethren; and thy breath
Sweetened the fragrance of her spicy air;
But now thou seemest like a bankrupt beau,
Stripped of his gaudy hues and essences,
And growing portly in his sober garments.
Is that a swan that rides upon the water?
O no, it is that other gentle bird,
Which is the patron of our noble calling.
I well remember, in my early years,
When these young hands first closed upon
a goose;

I have a scar upon my thimble finger, Which chronicles the hour of young ambition.

My father was a tailor, and his father, And my sire's grandsire, all of them were tailors;

They had an ancient goose,—it was an heirloom

From some remoter tailor of our race.
It happened I did see it on a time
When none was near, and I did deal with it,
And it did burn me,-oh, most fearfully!

It is a joy to straighten out one's limbs,
And leap elastic from the level counter,
Leaving the petty grievances of earth,
The breaking thread, the din of clashing

And all the needles that do wound the spirit, For such a pensive hour of soothing silence. Kind Nature, shuffling in her loose undress, Lays bare her shady bosom :-I can feel With all around me;-I can hail the flowers That sprig earth's mantle, and yon quiet bird,

That rides the stream, is to me as a brother. The vulgar know not all the hidden pockets, Where Nature stows away her loveliness. But this unnatural posture of the legs Cramps my extended calves, and I must go Where I can coil them in their wonted fashion.

The following is in Holmes' best style :


There was a young man in Boston town,
He bought him a Stethoscope nice and

All mounted and finished and polished down,
With an ivory cap and a stopper too.
It happened a spider within did crawl,
And spun him a web of ample size,
Wherein there chanced one day to fall
A couple of very imprudent flies.
The first was a bottle-fly, big and blue,
The second was smaller, and thin and long,
So there was a concert between the two,
Like an octave flute and a tavern gong,
Now being from Paris but recently,

This fine young man would show his skill;
And so they gave him, his hand to try,
A hospital patient extremely ill.
Some said that his liver was short of bile,
And some that his heart was over size,
While some kept arguing all the while,
He was crammed with tubercles up to
his eyes.

This fine young man then up stepped he,
And all the doctors made a pause;
Said he,-The man must die, you see,
By the fifty-seventh of Louis's laws.
But, since the case is a desperate one,
To explore his chest it may be well;
For, if he should die and it were not done,
You know the Autopsy would not tell.

Then out his Stethoscope he took,

And on it placed his curious ear; Mon Dieu! said he, with a knowing look, Why here is a sound that's mighty queer! The bourdonnement is very clear,

Amphorie buzzing, as I am alive! Five Doctors took their turn to hear; Amphorie buzzing, said all the five. There's empyema beyond a doubt; We'll plunge a trocar in his side,The diagnosis was made out,

They tapped the patient: so he died

Now such as hate new-fashioned toys
Began to look extremely glum;
They said that rattles were made for boys,
And vowed that his buzzing was all a


There was an old lady had long been sick, And what was the matter none did know: Her pulse was slow, though her tongue was quick;

To her this knowing youth must go.

So there the nice old lady sat,

With phials and boxes all in a row;
She asked the young Doctor what he was at,
To thump her and tumble her ruffles so.

Now, when the Stethoscope came out,
The flies began to buzz and whiz;
O ho! the matter is clear, no doubt,
An aneurism there plainly is.

The bruit de rape and the bruit de scie
And the bruit de diable all are combined;
How happy Bouilland would be,

If he a case like this could find!
Now, when the neighbouring doctors found
A case so rare had been descried,
They every day her ribs did pound

In squads of twenty; so she died.
Then six young damsels, slight and frail,
Received this kind young Doctor's cares;
They all were getting slim and pale,

And short of breath on mounting stairs. They all made rhymes with "sighs" and "skies,"

And loathed their puddings and buttered rolls,

And dieted, much to their friends' surprise, On pickles, and pencils, and chalk, and coals.

So fast their little hearts did bound,

The frightened insects buzzed the more;
So over all their chests he found
The rale sifflant, and rale sonore.

He shook his head;-there's grave disease,
I greatly fear you all must die;
A slight post-mortem, if you please,
Surviving friends would gratify.

The six young damsels wept aloud,
Which so prevailed on six young men,
That each his honest love avowed,
Whereat they all got well again.

This poor young man was all aghast;
The price of Stethoscopes came down!
And so he was reduced at last

To practise in a country town.
The Doctors being very sore,

A Stethoscope they did devise,
That had a rammer to clear the bore,
With a knob at the end to kill the flies.

Now use your ears, all you that can,
But don't forget to mind your eyes,
Or you may be cheated like this young man,
By a couple of silly abnormal flies.

We close this first paper on American Poets, and our second, and concluding, portion, shall be devoted to a review of the works of Dana, Willis, Lowell, Poe, Whittier, and Read. We have not in this, our present division of the subject, written critically of the poets specially noticed, or of the probable effects which their productions may have upon the literature of America; we consider that such a disquisition belongs to the concluding section of our paper.

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