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II.

" Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

A mother was dying,
Her babe by her side,
The sole thing on earth
That her thoughts could divide;
She trusted in Jesus,
God's own undefiled;
But she thought too of this,
Her poor, fatherless child.

“Their angels," a voice said,
“Do always behold
The face of my Father,
And his mercies unfold."
'Twas enough for that mother,
She trustingly smiled,
And died as she lay
By her fatherless child.

Her spirit, set free
From its garment of clay,
Abode in God's light,
Where her baby still lay.
She watched by its bedside,
Its sorrows beguiled,
An angel of love
By her fatherless child.

And on through life's journey
He cheerily trod,
His footsteps on earth,
And his thoughts with his God;
For she her own spirit,
So trusting and mild,
Had breathed in on him,
Her poor, fatherless child.

III.

“ For I am in a straight betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

I lay as on the confines of three worlds.
Life, death and sleep were there ; now this, now all;
Yet blended so in one, where they approached,
That to this hour I may not say how far
I dreamed, and how far saw with that clear sight,
Which to the disembodied soul is given.

And one there met me whom I had known on earth,
But now men numbered her as with the dead.
Deep joy was in her face, but overspread
By a thin veil of sadness, like the moon,
Its brightness softened in the autumnal haze.
With smile thus shaded, thoughtful more than sad,
She led me on through tombs all damp and chill,
And through the tombs and the embowering trees
She pointed, and would have me go with her.
But I remembered him to whom was given
My dearest earthly love ; — and she was not.

Then came, I knew not whence, a spirit fair
Beyond what mortals can conceive or dream,
Clothed in the freshness of her early bloom,
No lingering half regrets to shade her brow,
But radiant in the unclouded joy of heaven.
She led me on through fields, and by a stream
Peaceful and calm as is the river of God,
Where dwellings were and children at their play.
But she, with eye and finger pointing up,
As one in holiest vision all entranced,
Pressed on, and drew me with her as she went,
Till I bethought me of my child. Then she,
An orphan once, who had known, through many a pang,
How dear the mother to her child, left me,
And passed, as hastes the solitary bird
To join his mates that fill the air with song.

Then one appeared, who, while sojourning here,
A being of a holier race had seemed,
His soul a rapturous anthem where were joined
The harmonies of this our human life
And the divine within. “Come up,” he said,

gone

- To where the wise of every age are met,
There to discourse of what the loftiest mind
Can scarcely guess while in its crib of clay.”
I looked, and lo! a bright society,
And in their midst were those, unknown while here,
Who, humbly following the Lamb of God,
By meek submissiveness of will made wise,
Had before life's noon as ripe for heaven.
Earth had no more to teach. They now, among
The world's great sages none more wise than they,
Discoursed on themes which saints adoring heard.
A longing to be with them filled my heart,
And to behold the mystery of life,
In the glorious issues of that loftier state,
Rise up in silvery brightness till absorbed
In light; but the thought of duties not yet done,
And of the mother whom I owed so much,
Came over me; and then that reverend form,
Meekly, but with majestic grace, replied,
“Go thou, my child, and when, in God's own time,
Thou art called from training thine immortal soul
In that the darkness of its being, come
Thou up, and join with us among the blessed."
With such subduing gentleness he spoke,
And such a melting tenderness of love,
That I could not but weep.

He passed away,
And I returned to what is here called life.
But never shall the deep and solemn joy,
And high communion of that hour be lost ;
But in the weary interval of life,
Amid its pleasures and its woes, those forms
And voices, and that sweet majestic love,
Shall be with me to strengthen, soothe, exalt.
And when the hour of death is come, I go
As one that's called to scenes not all unknown,
But more than half revealed.

J. H. M.

VOL. XXXVIII.

- 4TH S. VOL. III. NO. II.

18

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Here we have a fine armful of poetry, much of it real poetry, fresh from the fountain of inspiration of deep feeling, or high thought, or both. One of the best descriptions of the composition of true poetry which we have ever seen is the motto prefixed to a collection of his poems by Sterling, (who seems to us, by the way, to fulfil his own idea better than almost any other living poet:-)

“Feeling, thought, and fancy be
Gentle sister-graces three :
If these prove averse to me,

They will punish - pardon ye." This, (understanding “ thought” to include imagination) we consider sound. Mere rhymed or versified feeling, or fancy, or philosophy alone, soon grows tedious or trivial, and the critic Nature within us says, “that is not poetry:' Tried by Sterling's standard, we think the collection of verse indicated by the titles prefixed to this article approves itself, in great part, as genuine poetry.

We propose first to express our general opinion of these several volumes and writers, and then to present some favorite notions of our own on the great subject they open before us, which have long been floating in our mind, and which are at once called out and confirmed by the books before us.

Miss Barrett we have put first on our list, as being in some important respects the most remarkable poetic genius of this day.

We place her in the centre of that con

* 1. A Drama of Exile : and other Poems. By ELIZABETH B. BARRETT. 2 vols. New York: H. G. Langley. 1845. 12mo.

2. Poems. By FRANCES ANNE BUTLER. Philadelphia : J. Penington. 1844. 12mo. pp. 152.

3. Poems. By CHRISTOPHER PEARSE Cranch. Philadelphia : Carey & Hart. 1844. 12mo. pp. 116.

4. Irish Girl: and other Poems. By SARAH Ellis. New York: J. Langley. 1844. 12mo. pp. 263. 5.

Gonzalvo : or the Fall of Grenada. By CHARLES Hood. Boston: Ticknor & Co. 1845. 16mo.

6. The Waif : a Collection of Poems. Cambridge : John Owen. 1845. 16mo. pp. 144.

7. Conversations on Some of the Old Poets. BY JAMES RUSSELL LowELL. Cambridge : John Owen. 1845. 16mo. pp. 263.

pp. 378.

stellation of our favorites, Keats, Hood, Sterling, Tennyson, Emerson, Lowell, and a few others; of whom she reminds us by her old and antique freshness; by the quaintness, originality and unexpectedness of her rhymes ; by the delicacy, not sinking into daintiness, of her mind's ear; by her power of condensing a poem in a word, not always a rare word, nor one in itself remarkable, but by its manner of introduction and application showing itself fresh from the mint of genius; and, finally, by that union of bold imagination, beautiful fancy, and tender humanity in which she surpasses all other living writers. Elizabeth Barrett is herself, and not another or others. A genius at once so daring in its undertakings and so child-like in the simplicity of its execution we rarely

Amidst the most unearthly flights of her imagination, the wildest horrors of her subterranean passages, she retains the same deep, sweet humanity, of which she had given an earnest in that exquisite dedication to her father and in her preface to the American edition, and which disarms us of the heart to criticise as mere purists. Her very bluntnesses and prosaisms of expression have to our credulous souls the grace and impress of genius. We are sorry not to be able to quote from these volumes. We should be glad to give entire, at least her picture of the whole of that awful company of buried poets she saw in the mystic church around

see.

the altar,

“pale and crowned, With sovran eyes of depth profound," or the close of her “Rhyme of the Duchess May,” which we think will bear to be named in the same breath with the dirge in Shakespeare's Cymbeline.

We do not presume to say that Miss Barrett has reached the ideal of poetry, but if, as we begin to think) that is the greatest poetry which grasps and moves in the greatest degree the greatest proportion of the feelings and energies of the human soul, then must this sweet singer take a high place in our admiration --- a deep place in our affections. It is inspiring to meet such lofty genius blended with such meek simplicity of Christian faith — such purity — such peace.

Mrs. Butler seems to us, without having attained the deep religious peace that murmurs so sweetly through Miss

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