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" 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,
“Their angels," a voice said,
Her spirit, set free
And on through life's journey
“ 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.
And one there met me whom I had known on earth,
Then came, I knew not whence, a spirit fair
Then one appeared, who, while sojourning here,
- To where the wise of every age are met,
He passed away,
J. H. M.
- 4TH S. VOL. III. NO. II.
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
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.
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
“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