Imágenes de páginas

and the “Siege of Valentia.". It is in of restless radiance, but the still, unher charming relation of striking inci- troubled shining of the star. Consedents and in her shorter lyrics that Mrs. quently her muse is invariably of a Hemans particularly excels. Her poetry deliciously soothing character. She is is ever elegant, true and tender in sen- unsurpassed in graceful and felicitous timent, perfect in harmony, and some expression, and in true and tender senwhat mournful in tone. It is the aspira- timent, especially where she has refertion after a higher and holier sphere ; ence to the domestic affections. Take the soul weary and dissatisfied with as an example, the “ First Grief,” or earth; the exile sighing for its home;

THE GRAVES OF A HOUSEHOLD. and the heartfelt longing for the love

They grew in beauty side by side, and the truth divine. In common with

They fill'd one home with glee; all high souls Mrs. Hemans often gives Their graves are severed far and wide

By mount, and stream, and sea. utterance to feelings similar to those which prompted Margaret Davidson to The same fond mother bent at night exclaim :

O'er each fair sleeping brow;

She had each folded flower in sight-
Earth! thou hast nought to satisfy

Where are those dreamers now?
The cravings of an immortal mind!

One midst the forests of the West,
And it is this sentiment, together with By a dark stream is laid;
the deep thirst for some true fountain of

The Indian knows his place of rest,

Far in the cedar shade, affection, which may be said to form the key-note of her poetry. Her music is a The sea, the blue lone sea hath one,

He lies where pearls lie deep; soft bird-like melody; low and plaintive, He was the loved of all, yet none sometimes rising into strains of ge

O'er his low bed may weep. nerous enthusiasm; and as the zephyr

One sleeps where Southern vines are amid the forest greenery, it ever breathes

drest, if not of gladness, of all that is fair and Above the noble slain; free. The “vision and the faculty di

He wrapt his colours round his breast,

On a blood-red field of Spain. vine” appear seldom to have oppressed Mrs. Hemans as with a woe and a bur

And one-o'er her the myrtle showers

Its leaves, by soft winds fann'd; den, and a strange joy, which must She faded midst Italian flowers, break forth in a wail of impassioned

The last of that bright band. music or in a gush of wild exultation. And parted thus they rest who play'd The realm of poetic enchantment in

Beneath the same green tree;

Whose voices mingled as they pray'd which she delighted to wander was en

Around one parent knee ! wreathed with a kind of dreamy beauty, like one of Turner's landscapes; it was

They that with smiles lit up the hall,

And cheered with song the hearth; the home of all sweet and tender

Alas! for Love! if thou wert all, remembrances; of high and noble

And nought beyond, oh earth? hopes; of warm patriotism and of un- Few poets have more beautifully dying love. A land moreover filled to adapted their style of versification to overflowing with the whispers of se- the sentiment they wish to convey, than raphic song; those “ lays of Paradise," Felicia Hemans. Her “Song of the o'er which as they vibrate amid his Battle of Morgarten,” and that sublime spirit chords, the poet vainly weeps, in little lyric, “The Trumpet," seem to his inability to interpret them more ring like some martial music; and fully.

solemn and touching as the thought The serene repose of Mrs. Hemans they express, is the flow of the following world of thought was seldom disturbed stanzas from the “Hour of Death :"by the voice of the “rushing winds of inspiration.”


Leaves have their time to fall,

And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, seldom bear the impress of intense ex- And stars to set-but all citement, of strong and fervent impulses; Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death! they are more the expression of habitual Day is for mortal care, states of mind and feeling; hence they Eve for glad meetings round the joyous hearth, have been charged with exhibiting a

Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of

prayer; tinge of monotony. Theirs is not the But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth. fall of a mountain torrent, but the silvery

The banquet hath its hour, murmuring of a rill amid the light and Its feverish hour of mirth, and song, and wine; shade, the hills and the meadows. The

There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming

power, light of genius with her was not a flash A time for softer tears—but all are thine.

Her poems,

Youth and the opening rose,

of “Gertrude, or Fidelity till Death,” May look like things too glorious for decay,

And smile at thee: but thou art not of those is strongly told. That wait the ripen bloom to seize their prey. Beautiful and touching are the last Leaves have their time to fall,

lines composed by Mrs. Hemans, the And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, “ Sabbath Sonnet," written a few days And stars to set-but all

before her decease, a fitting finale to her Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

literary labours :And, as strikingly illustrative of our

How many blessed groups this hour are bending previous observations, we would point Through England's primrose meadow-paths their to the "Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers," Towards spire and tower, midst shadowing elms What a picture is contained in the first

ascending two verses. The séa, and the storm, Whence the sweet chimes proclaim the hallow'd and the wild, dark night!

The halls from old heroic ages gray

Pour their fair children forth; and hamlets low The breaking waves dashed high,

With whose thick orchard blooms the soft winds On a stern and rock-bound coast,

play, And the woods against a stormy sky,

Send out their inmates in a happy flow, Their giant branches toss'd;

Like a freed vernal stream, I may not tread

With them those pathways—to the feverish bed And the heavy night hung dark

Of sickness bound; yet, O my God! I bless The hills and waters o'er;

Thy mercy, that with Sabbath peace hath filled When a band of exiles moored their bark, My chastened heart, and all its throbbings stillid On the wild New England shore.

To one deep calm of lowliest thankfulness! Not as the conqueror comes,

Sweet and touching is the spirit of They the true-hearted came ; Not with the roll of the stirring drums,

cheerful resignation breathing through And the trumpet that sings of fame. the above. The idea presented in the And truly beautiful are the stanzas fol- commencement of the sonnet is as fair lowing. "The deep bush, the whispers, and truthful, as the conclusion is redoas it were, of the first two lines, and lent of the serenest repose. then the shout and the exultant music:

We experience a sensation of pure

and unmixed delight in the contemplaNot as the flying come,

tion of genius, where, as in the case of In silence and in fear;

Mrs. Hemans, the service of song is They shook the depths of the desert gloom, With their hymns of lofty cheer.

united to solemn and entire consecration

of soul to the best interests of time and Amidst the storm they sang, And the stars heard, and the sea:

eternity. Poetry should ever have a And the sounding voice of the dim woods definite purpose. It should be a thing rang,

not merely to gladden our idle hours, To the anthem of the free!

though that is well; but, further, it The ocean eagle soared,

should be devoted to higher ends, and From his nest by the white wave's foam; And the rocking pines of the forest roared,

to all great and holy uses. This is not This was their welcome home!

the place for us to dilate upon the poet's

work and mission. We would, bowever, It is such noble strains as these, and have him to remember that the power as the “ Treasures of the Deep,” the and the gift divine were not bestowed "Voice of Spring,” the “Spirit's Re- upon him to be wasted merely on the turn," the “Better Land," and many things of earth. It is through genius others, which must ever haunt our me that the spirit of inspiration speaks; and mories, like some beloved melody, and assuredly, the “light that never was on which the world “will not willingly let sea nor shore," is not wont to be kindled die.” There are some nice portraits in in vain ; and woe be to those who disthe “Records of Woman,” the work in regard the warning voice within, and which, according to the authoress her- who permit that celestial radiance to self," she had put her heart and indi- gild the roses of earth alone, instead of vidual feeling more than in anything ascending to its native heaven. else she had written.” The noble story

M. J. E.




The situation of the United States is | republican propagandism, not only carone of growing importance. Their po- ried on by words, but also, if need be, litical influence is growing as rapidly as by the sword, seems to be a fixed idea of their material prosperity and strength. the Americans. They not only sell to Europe their cot- General Franklin Pierce has been ton and their tobacco, but have also begun elected president of the United States, to export their ideas. The citizens of the purposely to give a greater force to the United States are coming to act more and tendencies of these ideas. He is the more each day upon the mind of Eng- representative of the party which most lishmen, just as the English act upon violently desires their triumph. The the minds of the people of the Continent. question presents itself, therefore, If we reproach them with their excesses What are the character and antece and injustice, they retort upon us by dents of this man?” and it will be adpointing to the abuses which have been mitted to be a question both of interest engendered by our own more ancient and importance. Is he a man more civilization. Thus, for example, if we sensible than passionate, or more vehein England hold public meetings, and ment than firm? Is he weak or strongdraw up addresses in condemnation of minded, and will he resist or yield to the iniquitous system of slavery, they the pressure which will certainly be draw up others protesting against the thrown upon him, by that large and imunfortunate condition in which the portant section of his party forming Irish nation has now been placed for that portion of the American public ages, and, pointing triumphantly to the which is the most extreme in its opinmiseries which for centuries have been ions, and the most violent in its disaccummulating in the old world, pro- position? Which will he care most claim themselves the patrons of the for, the public good, or his own popupeoples of the future, and the models larity? According to his biographer, which must be followed by all the na- Nathaniel Hawthorn, the great novelist, tions of the earth.

these questions all admit of a most faIf we pass from the influence which vourable solution; and, in truth, modeis exercised by the Americans over our ration, good common sense, a complete selves, as a brother people, to the consi- absence of vanity, together with firmderation of what has been the nature ness of character, and something very of their connection with the states of opposite to the impetuosity with which the European Continent, we shall find some members of his party advocate everywhere the trace of their towering their exalted patriotic ideas and exambition: Austria has been insulted, treme political opinions, are qualities Russia snubbed, and Spain threatened by which we cannot deny to Franklin them; and these menaces cannot possibly Pierce. There is plenty of room, therebe looked upon as any thing but forerun- fore, to hope that his advent to power ners of conflicts of far greater importance. will not prove to have been that of The doctrine of President Monroe re- republican excess, and patriotic intemspecting the legitimacy and necessity of perance. excluding in future all the powers of General Pierce was born in 1804, Europe from setting foot in the New at Hillsborough, in the state of New World, is now more in favour amongst Hampshire, which was also the natal the Americans than ever. The speech State of Daniel Webster, and which has lately pronounced before the senate by produced several other most eminent General Cass, given birth to by the mere statesmen. His father, Benjamin Pierce, rumour of the occupation of the Penin- came originally from Massachussets, sula of Sawana by the French, bears and, like his son, hore the title of abundant witness to the great disquie- General. He was strongly attached to tude with which the citizens of the the democratic party, and un-like the United States survey the slightest at- present General Pierce, a democratic de tempt made by Europeans to gain a foot-condition, as the French would word it; ing on their Continent. An universal that is to say, a member of the industrial

classes. Altogether, Benjamin Pierce But in reality the military period of was a remarkable character. He lost his life did not come to an end until his parents at an early age, and was his death ; for in 1789 he was made brought up by his uncle, with strict General of Brigade in the militia corps economy, and after the severe fashion of his adopted country, and this post ħe which anciently prevailed in the continued to fill until he died, educating Northern States of the Union. Two in arms several generations of the young generations ago, we may remark in pas- Americans of the County of Hillsbosing, the life of the Americans was very rough. Under the presidency of John different from what it is to-day. It was Adams he refused an important and lua life of hardship, labour, and priva- crative command in the army-raised tions ; simple, reserved, and without in consequence of the then existing fear show, as are always the lives of the of a war with the French Republicfounders of new states, and even new which was offered to him, because his houses, provided the latter be of any political opinions would not allow him power or importance.

to accept it. “No, gentlemen,” he reIn 1775, at the commencement of the plied, to the deputation of senators, Revolution, Benjamin Pierce forsook which was sent to try to induce him to his plough, enrolled himself in the army, accept it,“ No, gentlemen, I am poor, assisted at the battle of Bunker's Hill, it is true, and under ot circumstances and was made commander of a com- your proposition might have been acpany. When the war was ended, in ceptable; but rather than give my sup1785, he bought fifty acres of uncleared port, however humble, to the design for land at Hillsborough, of which he which this army has been levied, I will formed one of the first settlers. There retire to the most distant mountains of he built himself a house, cleared' his my country, find myself a cabin, and ground, married, and gradually caused live solely upon potatoes!” He thus sterility and solitude to fly from the refused to make war upon a republican vicinity of his dwelling. Under his government, and against a country which roof grew up nine children, the fruit of had rendered aid to the United States at two successive marriages. Even in the their foundation. This occasion, howmidst of his rustic labours, he did not, ever, was the sole one on which he rehowever, forget his ancient trade of a fused to serve his country by the sword, soldier. The recollections of the military and he brought up both his two sonsin the period of his life were always present army in which his son-in-law, General with him, and formed the pride of his MacNeil also served. The old patriot old age. He had the happiness of being died in 1839, after having been Goable to associate with a great human vernor of New Hampshire, and a memand patriotic interest, the emotions of ber of the legislature of his own State youth, the birth of the first strong sen- for thirty consecutive years. timents, and the first important episodes This old Benjamin Pierce suggests to of life-in short all those things which us a reflection which does not apply only we look back upon in old age with so to the United States, but also to the much gentle, pleasant sadness, or so whole of Europe ; it is that in several much deep regret, which are the eternal countries the generations of the eigh objects of our pride or our remorse. teenth century, with all their faults and Hawthorn, on this head, relates some comparitively deep ignorance, were far anecdotes which are truly touching. superior to those of the present century. We will speak here of but one. One We are not so fond of the men of the past day, the old Benjamin Pierce gathered century, as to be in the least degree round his table all his old brother-in- tempted to be unjust to others for their arms, who were then living, and, in the sake. They knew that they owed themevening, at the moment of separation, he selves to their country; that it was their addressed to them these pathetic words: duty to die for it, if necessary; and al“We are about to separate, after what ways to sacrifice to its welfare their own will probably be our last meeting upon private fortunes and interests. This earth. We shall all soon be called by was most especially the case in America, the rolling of drums, veiled with crape, and upon the Continent: alas! the idea to rejoin our beloved Washington, and was sometimes carried to such an exall the other noble comrades who once tent as to induce some individuals to fought and bled by our sides.”

believe that it was also their duty to sacrifice even their souls unto their private man.” He objected to the grant country, and that it was excusable for ing of these revolutionary pensions, not them to appear before God charged because he was ungrateful to the vetewith all manner of crimes, provided, rans of the war of independence, but they were only committed, as they be- upon ground which will be gathered lived, for the public good. No genera- from the following extract from his tions of men have ever been more at- speech :-"I am not insensible, Mr. tached to the things of this world, to President, of the advantages with which mundane pleasures, and to dreams of claims of this character always come perfect happiness, than those of the last before Congress. They are supposed to century; but none ever forsook them be based upon services for which no more nobly when it was necessary, man entertains a higher estimate than or exhibited less regret at parting with myself-services beyond all praise, and them. We have spoken in this last above all price, But, while warm and sentence more especially of the inhabi- glowing with the glorious recollections tants of continental Europe, for those which a recurrence to that period of our of America of that period were of history can never fail to awaken; wbile plain and simple habits, as befitted we cherish with emotions of pride, rethe first descendants of the founders verence, and affection, the memory of of a republic. There is a story told those brave men who are no longer of one of them—a contemporary of with us; while we provide with a liberal Benjamin Pierce — which illustrates hand, for such as survive, and for the the position we have asserted. It is re- widows of the deceased; while we would lated by N. P. Willis, who tells us that accord to their heirs, whether in the he once encountered, living in the utmost second or third generation, every dollar poverty in a village of Massachusets, a to which they can establish a just claim centenarian who had been several times — I trust we shall not, in the strong offered a pension by the government in current of our sympathies, forget what reward of his past services—for he had become us as the descendants of such fought in nearly all the battles of the men. They would teach us to legislate l'evolution, and fought bravely too- upon our judgment, upon our sober which pension he had as often refused sense of right, and not upon our imto accept. People had never been able pulses or our sympathies. No, sir; we to make him understand that he had any may act in this way if we choose, when right to any pension. “My country," dispensing our own means; but we are he used to say, “when I was younger, not at liberty to do it when dispensing claimed my services and my blood, and, the means of our constituents. in duty bound, I responded to its call “If we were to legislate upon our It was simply natural and right that I sympathies-yet, more, I will admit-if should do so, why, therefore, trouble we were to yield to that sense of just and with such offers the peace of my last grateful remuneration which presses day?" It is true that to-day, as of old, itself upon every man's heart, there

nd great numbers of Americans would scarcely be a lir for our bounty. who are capable of devoting themselves The whole exchequer would not answer to their country; but how few are capa- the demand. To the patriotism, the ble of refusing all recompense for their courage, and the sacrifices of the people devotion!

of that day, we owe, under Providence, It was by a father imbued with such all that we now so highly prize, and principles that Franklin Pierce was what we shall transmit to our children brought up; and, in truth, it is not dif- as the richest legacy they can inherit. ficult to recognise in several acts of his The war of the revolution, it has been past life the traces of his early educa- justly remarked, was not a war of armies tion. The most memorable example merely-it was the war of nearly a which we are able to cite is that of his whole people, and such a people as the speech upon the subject of revolutionary world had never before seen, in a deathpensions, which, as Mr. Hawthorn says, struggle for liberty.

is a good exponent of his character; The losses, sacrifices, and sufferings full of the truest sympathy, but, above of that period, were common to all all things, just, and not to be misled, classes and all conditions of life. Those on the public behalf

, by those impulses who remained at home suffered hardly which would be most apt to sway the less than those who entered on the



« AnteriorContinuar »