« AnteriorContinuar »
IPRAY THEE LET ME WEEP TO-NIGHT.
I PRAY thee let me weep to-night,
The friends I loved in early youth,
My feelings, once the kind, the warm,
But now the hard, the frozen; The errors I've too long pursued,
The path I should have chosen ;
For what avails to know how false
I would give worlds, could I believe One half that is profess'd me; Affection! could I think it thee,
When Flattery has caress'd me?
I cannot bear to think of this,
Oh, leave me to my weeping; A few tears for that grave, my heart, Where hope in death is sleeping.
WEAKNESS ENDS WITH LOVE.
I SAY not, regret me;
You will try to forget me,
We shall hear from each other,
Those names from another
Which once were so dear! But deep words shall sting thee, That breathe of the past; And many things bring thee Thoughts fated to last; The fond hopes that center'd
In thee are all dead, The iron has enter'd
The soul where they fed.
Of the chain that once bound me, The memory is mine,
But my words are around thee,
Their power is on thine;
My weakness is o'er,
THERE is in life no blessing like affection: It soothes, it hallows, elevates, subdues, And bringeth down to earth its native heaven. It sits beside the cradle patient hours, Whose sole contentment is to watch and love; It bendeth o'er the death-bed, and conceals Its own despair with words of faith and hope. Life has naught else that may supply its place; Void is ambition, cold is vanity,
And wealth an empty glitter, without love.
AGE AND YOUTH.
"I'LL tell thee," said the old man, "what is life. A gulf of troubled waters-where the soul, Like a vex'd bark, is toss'd upon the waves Of pain and pleasure, by the wavering breath Of passions. They are winds that drive it on, But only to destruction and despair. Methinks that we have known some former state More glorious than our present; and the heart Is haunted by dim memories-shadows left By past felicity. Hence do we pine For vain aspirings-hopes that fill the eyes With bitter tears for their own vanity. Are we then fallen from some lovely star, Whose consciousness is as an unknown curse?"
How often, in this cold and bitter world, Is the warm heart thrown back upon itself! Cold, careless, are we of another's grief; We wrap ourselves in sullen selfishness; Harsh-judging, narrow-minded, stern and chill In measuring every action but our own. How small in some men's motives, but how mean! There are who never knew one generous thought; Whose heart-pulse never quicken'd with the joy Of kind endeavour, or sweet sympathy. There are too many such!
THE POET'S FIRST ESSAY.
IT is a fearful stake the poet casts, When he comes forth from his sweet solitude Of hopes, and songs, and visionary things To ask the iron verdict of the world. Till then his home has been in fairyland, Shelter'd in the sweet depths of his own heart; But the strong need of praise impels him forth; For never was there poet but he craved That golden sunshine of secure renown, That sympathy which is the life of fame. It is full dearly bought: henceforth he lives Feverish and anxious, in an unkind world, That only gives the laurel to the grave.~
CHARLES SWAIN was born in Manchester, | embracing all he had written which he deemed in October, 1803. In his fourteenth year he worthy of preservation. The Mind is his was apprenticed to a dyer, but he is now, I longest and most finished production. believe, an engraver and lithographer, in his native city. When about twenty years of age, he made his first appearance as a writer in the Manchester Iris, then edited by JAMES MONTGOMERY. In 1827 he published his contributions to this and other periodicals, under the title of Metrical Essays on Subjects of History and Imagination. In 1841 he printed, in a beautiful volume, illustrated in the style of ROGERS's Italy, The Mind and other Poems,
SOUTHEY said of SWAIN, that " if ever man was born a poet, he was;" and he merited the praise far better than many others the encomiums which the laureate so liberally bestowed. He has earnestness, tenderness, and a refined taste. He addresses himself to the heart and the imagination, in poems remarkable for their sincerity and simplicity, which are as melodious as MOORE's and as pure as CowPER's.
ONE I knew
Whose semblance painter's pencil never drew; Droop, fall!-as from the rose fades soft the dew. Dying in tints of beauty-leaf by leaf! "Twas whisper'd love first call'd the canker there; But if she grieved, none ever saw her grief, The thought were torture: should a breath declare That unkind love had left her cheek less fair! And thus she fed on hope, who said away From scenes too dear; that 'neath a foreign air No more the worm within her breast should prey; No more her spirit faint, her little strength decay! Love? I will tell thee what it is to love! It is to build with human thoughts a shrine, Where hope sits brooding like a beauteous dove; Where time seems young-and life a thing divine. All tastes, all pleasures, all desires combine To consecrate this sanctuary of bliss. Above, the stars in shroudless beauty shine; Around, the streams their flowery margins kiss: And if there's heaven on earth, that heaven is surely this.
Yes, this is love-the steadfast and the true; The immortal glory which hath never set; The best, the brightest boon the heart e'er knew; Of all life's sweets the very sweetest yet! O, who can but recall the eve they met, [vow, To breathe in some green walk their first young While summer flowers with evening dews were wet And winds sigh'd soft around the mountain's brow. And all was rapture then, which is but memory now.
Hers was a form to dream of-slight and frail; As though too delicate for earth-too fair To meet the worldly conflicts which assail Nature's unhappy footsteps everywhere! There was a languor in her pensive air, A tone of suffering in her accents weak, The hectic signet, never known to spare, Darken'd the beauty of her thoughtful cheek, And omen'd fate more sad than even tears might
The angel-rapt expression of her eyeThe hair descending, like a golden wing, Adown her shoulders' faded symmetry; Her moveless lip, so pined and perishing,The shadow of itself;-its rose-like spring Blanch'd ere its time; for morn no balm might wake; Nor youth with all its hope, nepenthe bring! She look'd like one whose heart was born to break; A face on which to gaze made every feeling ache!
The peasant, hastening to the vine-ripe fields, Oft turn'd with pity towards the stranger maid, Whose faltering steps approach'd yon mount, which yields
A view from shore to farthest sea display'd; And there, till setting day, the maiden stray'd; Watching each sail, if haply she might find The distant ship which her dear friends convey'd ; And still hope gave her wings to every wind, And whisper'd, "See, they come !" till ached her wearied mind.
SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON.
of character; and in the works of both may be found isolated passages of genuine poetry. KNOWLES has the deepest feeling and purest sentiment; LYTTON the most sparkling wit and most poetical expression. Altogether they are nearly equal in merit as in success.
EDWARD LYTTON BULWER, now Sir EDWARD | produced fine acting plays and clever analyses BULWER LYTTON, is the youngest son of General BULWER of Heydon Hall, Norfolk, and ELIZABETH, daughter of HENRY W. Lytton, Esquire, Herts. He was born in 1803, and his father dying during his infancy, the care of his youth devolved upon his mother, who sent him to Cambridge to complete his education. His first appearance as an author was in 1826, when he published a volume of verses entitled Weeds and Wild Flowers, including a Poem on Sculpture which obtained the chancellor's medal at the Cambridge commencement in 1825. In the following year appeared O'Neil or the Rebel and other Poems, and his first prose work, Falkland. Neither of these books attracted much attention, but Pelham, which was printed in 1828, placed him in the front rank of living novelists. It was rapidly followed by The Disowned, Devereux, Paul Clifford, Eugene Aram, The Student, England and the English, Athens, The Pilgrims of the Rhine, The Last Days of Pompeii, Rienzi, Ernest Maltravers, Alice, Night and Morning, Zanoni, The Last of the Barons, and three or four volumes of critical and miscellaneous articles, originally pubin The New Monthly Magazine and The Monthly Chronicle while he was editor of those periodicals. These, with a few political tracts, constitute, I believe, all his acknowledged works in prose.
Sir BULWER LYTTON is the greatest of living English novelists, and it is probable that he will always be ranked among the classic writers of his country. In the Lady of Lyons he well expresses his cardinal maxim, "There is a future left to all men who have the virtue to repent and the energy to atone." It had been well if in many instances he had illustrated this beneficent idea by better examples. The general tendency of his works is immoral, and they are nearly all imbued with a sickly and shallow philosophy. He has no faith in humanity. He breaks down the barriers between right and wrong. By presenting vice divested of its grossness he renders it attractive. Instead of holding up virtue as the only source of felicity, he makes his criminals happy men, and challenges for them in every condition our admiration.
Besides his poems already mentioned, and his dramas, Sir BULWER LYTTON has written The Siamese Twins, Isinael an Oriental Tale, Leila or the Siege of Grenada, Historical Odes, The Ill-omened Marriage, Eva and other Tales and Poems, and a Translation of the Poems and Ballads of Schiller, the last of which appeared in the spring of 1844. His dramatic writings are the Lady of Lyons, The Duchess de la Valliere, Richelieu, The Sea Captain, Money, and Cromwell, all of which but the last have been acted successfully in the British and American theatres.
Sir BULWER LYTTON and JAMES SHERIDAN KNOWLES, though not the best, are the most popular dramatic poets of the age. Both have
The novels in which he has shown most originality and power are Eugene Aram, The Last Days of Pompeii, Night and Morning, Ernest Maltravers, Zanoni, and Paul Clifford, the last of which is among the most depraving books produced in this age. Athens, its Rise and Fall, is a work in which he has exhibited more scholarship and perhaps a higher order of talent than in any thing else. A sequel to the two volumes already published is to follow, comprising a history of Athenian philosophy, manners, and customs.
He has added very little to his reputation by any of his poetical writings except his dramas. Some of his shorter pieces, however, have simplicity and epigrammatic point.
BULWER entered the House of Commons at an early age, and has been a liberal and consistent politician. He was made a baronet under the Melbourne administration, and assumed the name of LYTTON on the death of a relative in 1844.