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AMERICAN readers have as yet seen but few of the productions of this lady, but she has already made herself a home in the hearts of the people; a proof that the popular taste does not lie altogether in the direction of singsong echoes, sickly sentiment, or empty blank verse; and a proof, too, in her own case, that the most varied acquirements of learning do not impair the subtlest delicacy of thought and feeling.

Miss BARRETT, in her earlier works and first adventurous attempts, is the poetess of angels and seraphim, breathing a rare and elevated atmosphere, too rare for habitual contemplation. In her later style, she is the sweet poetess of meditation and thought, of a deep and pure spirituality, of

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Philosophy, baptized

In the pure fountain of eternal love.

Compare the eloquence of her poem entitled "Cowper's Grave," with what generally passes for Byronic eloquence, and mark the difference. Here is thought compact and close, enthusiasm fresh from the heart, noble domestic incident, and sorrow as gentle and as mild as ever breathed from a human bosom. Mark the pathos, the tenderness, the deep sympathy in the poem, "The Sleep."

Miss BARRETT's productions are unique in this age of lady authors. They have the "touch of nature," in common with the best; they have, too, sentiment, passion, and fancy in the highest degree, without any imitation of NORTON, HEMANS, or LANDON.

Her ex

cellence is her own; her mind is coloured by what it feeds on; the fine tissue of her flowing style comes to us from the loom of Grecian thought. She is the learned poetess of the day, familiar with HOMER and ESCHYLUS and SOPHOCLES; and to the musings of Tempe she has added the inspiration of Christianity, "above all Greek, all Roman fame." She has translated the Prometheus, to the delight of scholars, and has contributed a series of very valuable prose papers "On the Poetry of the Early Church," to the London "Athenæum." Her reading Greek recalls to us ROGER ASCHAM's anecdote of Lady JANE

GREY; but Lady JANE GREY has left us no such verses.

A striking characteristic of Miss BARRETT'S verse, is its prevailing seriousness, approaching to solemnity-a garb borrowed from the "sceptred pall" of her favourite Greek drama of fate. She loses much with the general reader, by a dim mysticism; but many of her later poems are entirely free from any such defect. The great writers whom she loves will teach her the plain, simple, universal language of poetry.

Her dreams and abstractions, though "caviàre to the generale," have their admirers, who will ever find in pure and elevated philosophy, expressed in the words of enthusiasm, the living presence of poetry. On Parnassus there are many groves: far from the dust of the highway, embosomed in twilight woods, that seem to symbol Reverence and Faith trusting on the unseen, we may hear, in the whispering of the trees, the wavering breath of insect life, the accompaniment of our poet's strain. Despise not dreams and reveries. With COWLEY, Miss BARRETT vindicates herself. The father of poets tells us, even dreams, too, are from God."

Miss BARRETT has published two volumes of poetry, "Prometheus Bound, and Miscellaneous Poems," in 1833, and "The Seraphim and other Poems," in 1838; and we understand that she has a forthcoming volume in the press. It will be a welcome one to all lovers of true poetry.

In our judgment, Miss BARRETT is destined, in due time, to take her place at the head of the female poets of Great Britain. The noble ardour with which she writes, makes us believe that this new volume will go far toward determining the question.

Of her personal history, we know very little. She resides in London, and is one of the stars in a brilliant constellation of scholars, philosophers, and poets. She was a contributor, with WORDSWORTH, HUNT, and HORNE, to "Chaucer Modernized," and besides her prose writings in "The Athenæum," has written for that admirable gazette some of her finest poems.


I will invite thee, from thy envious herse
To rise, and 'bout the world thy beams to spread,
That we may see there's brightnesse in the dead.

It is a place where poets crown'd
May feel the heart's decaying-
It is a place where happy saints

May weep amid their praying-
Yet let the grief and humbleness

As low as silence languish ; Earth surely now may give her calm To whom she gave her anguish.

O poets! from a maniac's tongue

Was pour'd the deathless singing!
O Christians! at your cross of hope
A hopeless hand was clinging!
O men, this man in brotherhood,

Your weary paths beguiling,
Groan'd inly while he taught you peace,
And died while ye were smiling!

And now, what time ye all may read
Through dimming tears his story
How discord on the music fell,

And darkness on the glory

And how, when, one by one, sweet sounds And wandering lights departed,

He wore no less a loving face,

Because so broken-hearted.

He shall be strong to sanctify

The poet's high vocation,

And bow the meekest Christian down
In meeker adoration:

Nor ever shall he be in praise
By wise or good forsaken;
Named softly, as the household name
Of one whom God hath taken!

With sadness that is calm, not gloom,
I learn to think upon him;
With meekness that is gratefulness,

On God, whose heaven hath won him―
Who suffer'd once the madness-cloud
Towards His love to blind him;
But gently led the blind along,

Where breath and bird could find him; And wrought within his shatter'd brain Such quick poetic senses,

As hills have language for, and stars
Harmonious influences!

The pulse of dew upon the grass
His own did calmly number;
And silent shadow from the trees
Fell o'er him like a slumber.

The very world, by God's constraint, From falsehood's chill removing, Its women and its men became

Beside him true and loving!

And timid hares were drawn from woods
To share his home-caresses,
Uplooking to his human eyes,

With sylvan tendernesses.

But while in blindness he remain'd,
Unconscious of the guiding,
And things provided came without
The sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth,

Though frenzy desolated,-
Nor man nor nature satisfy

Whom only God created!

Like a sick child, that knoweth not
His mother while she blesses,
And droppeth on his burning brow

The coolness of her kisses;

That turns his fever'd eyes around

"My mother! where's my mother?"As if such tender words and looks

Could come from any other!

The fever gone, with leaps of heart
He sees her bending o'er him;
Her face all pale from watchful love,

Th' unweary love she bore him—
Thus, woke the poet from the dream
His life's long fever gave him,
Beneath those deep pathetic eyes

Which closed in death to save him!

Thus! oh, not thus! no type of earth
Could image that awaking,
Wherein he scarcely heard the chant
Of seraphs round him breaking-
Or felt the new immortal throb
Of soul from body parted;
But felt those eyes alone, and knew
"My Saviour! not deserted!"

Deserted! who hath dreamt that when

The cross in darkness rested, Upon the Victim's hidden face

No love was manifested?

What frantic hands outstretched have e'er
Th' atoning drops averted-

What tears have washed them from the soul-
That one should be deserted?

Deserted! God could separate

From His own essence rather:
And Adam's sins have swept between
The righteous Son and Father-
Yea! once, Immanuel's orphan'd cry
His universe hath shaken-
It went up single, echoless,
"My God, I am forsaken!"

It went up from the Holy's lips
Amid his lost creation,

That of the lost, no son should use

Those words of desolation;

That earth's worst frenzies, marring hope,
Should mar not hope's fruition:
And I, on Cowper's grave, should see
His rapture, in a vision!


NAPOLEON! years ago, and that great word,
Compact of human breath in hate and dread
And exultation, skied us overhead-
An atmosphere, whose lightning was the sword,
Scathing the cedars of the world, drawn down
In burnings, by the metal of a crown.

Napoleon! Foemen, while they cursed that name,
Shook at their own curse; and while others bore
Its sound, as of a trumpet, on before,
Brass-fronted legions follow'd, sure of fame-
And dying men, from trampled battle-sods,
Near their last silence, utter'd it for God's.

Napoleon! Sages with high foreheads droop'd,
Did use it for a problem; children small
Leapt up as hearing in't their manhood's call:
Priests bless'd it from their altars, overstoop'd
By meek-eyed Christs,-and widows with a moan
Breathed it, when question'd why they sate alone.

And this name brake the silence of the snows
In Alpine keeping, holy and cloud-hid!
The mimic eagles dared what nature's did,
And over-rush'd her mountainous repose
In search of eyries: and th' Egyptian river
Mingled the same word with its grand "for ever."

Yea! this, they shouted near the pyramidal
Egyptian tombs, whose mummied habitants,
Pack'd to humanity's significance,

Motion'd them back with stillness! Shouts as idle
As the hired artists' work-in myrrh and spice,
Swathing last glories round the Ptolemies.

The world's face changed to hear it. Kingly men
Came down, in chidden babes' bewilderment,
From autocratic places-each content
With sprinkled ashes for anointing!—then
The people laugh'd, or wonder'd for the nonce,
To see one throne a composite of thrones.

Napoleon! The cavernous vastitude
Of India felt, in motions of the air,

The name which scatter'd in a ruining blare
All Europe's landmarks, drawn afresh in blood!
Napoleon! from the Russias, west, to Spain!
And Austria trembled-till we heard her chain.

And Germany was 'ware-and Italy
Forgot her own name so-her laurel-lock'd,
High-ghosted Cæsars passing uninvoked,—
She crumbled her own ruins with her knee,
To serve a newer ! But the Gaulmen cast
A future from them, nobler than her past.

For, verily, though Gaul augustly rose
With that raised name, and did assume by such
The purple of the world, none gave so much
As she, in purchase-to speak plain, in loss—
Whose hands to freedom stretch'd, dropp'd para-


To wield a sword, or fit an undersized

King's crown to a great man's head! And though along

Her Paris streets, did float on frequent streams
Of triumph, pictured or enmarbled dreams,
Dreamt right by genius in a world gone wrong,
No dream of all, was beautiful to see,
As the lost vision of her liberty.

Napoleon! 't was a high name lifted high !
It met at last God's thunder,-sent to clear
Our compassing and covering atmosphere,
And open a clear sight, beyond the sky,
Of supreme empire! This of earth's was done-
And kings crept out again to feel the sun.

The kings crept out the people sate at home,-
And finding the long-advocated peace
A pall embroider'd with worn images
Of rights divine, too scant to cover doom,-
Gnawed their own hearts, or else the corn that grew
Rankly, to bitter bread, on Waterloo !

A deep gloom center'd in the deep repose—
The nations stood up mute to count their dead-
The bearer of the name which vibrated
Through silence,-trusting to his noblest foes,
When earth was all too gray for chivalry-
Died of their mercies, midst the desert sea.
O wild St. Helen! very still she kept him,
With a green willow for all pyramid,
Stirring a little if the low wind did,—
More rarely, if some pilgrim overwept him
And parted the lithe boughs, to see the clay
Which seem'd to cover his for judgment-day.

Nay! not so long! France kept her old affection,
As deeply as the sepulchre the corse,-
And now,
dilated by that love's remorse
To a new angel of the resurrection,
She cries, "Behold, thou England, I would have
The dead thou wottest of, from out that grave."

And England answers in the courtesy
Which, ancient foes turn'd lovers, may befit—,
"Take back thy dead! and when thou buriest it,
Throw in all former strifes 'twixt thee and me."
Amen, mine England! 'tis a courteous claim-
But ask a little room too... for thy shame!

Because it was not well, it was not well,
Nor tuneful with thy lofty-chanted part
Among the Oceanides, that heart

To bind and bare, and vex with vulture fell.
O mine own England! would, we had to seek
All crimson stains upon thy breast--not cheek!
Would hostile fleets had scarr'd thy bay of Tor,
Instead of the lone ship, which waited here
Until thy princely purpose should be clear,
Then left a shadow-to pass out no more!
Not for the moonlight,-not for a noontide sun!
Green watching hills, ye witness'd what was done!
But since it was done,-in sepulchral dust,
We fain would pay back something of our debt
To Gaul, if not to honour, and forget
How, through much fear, we falsified the trust

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Of a fall'n foe and exile! We return Orestes to Electra... in his urn!

A little urn-a little dust inside,
Which once outbalanced the large earth, albeit
To-day, a four years child might carry it,
Sleek-brow'd, and smiling "Let the burden 'bide!"
Orestes to Electra! O fair town

Of Paris, how the wild tears will run down,

And run back in the chariot-marks of time,
When all the people shall come forth to meet
The passive victor, death-still in the street
He rode through mid the shouting and bell-chime
And martial music,-under eagles which
Dyed their ensanguined beaks at Austerlitz!
Napoleon! he hath come again-borne home
Upon the popular ebbing heart,—a sea
Which gathers its own wrecks perpetually,
Majestically moaning. Give him room!
Room for the dead in Paris!

Welcome solemn

And grave-deep, 'neath the cannon-moulded column !

There, weapon spent and warrior spent may rest
From roar of fields! provided Jupiter
Dare trust Saturnus to lie down so near
His bolts! And this he may do, since possess'd
(To wave th' imperial phantom from the throne)
Of that one capable sword... Napoleon's own!
Napoleon! Once more the recover'd name
Shakes the old casements of the world! and we
Look out upon the passing pageantry,
Attesting that the dead makes good his claim
To a Gaul grave,-another kingdom won-
The last of few spans by Napoleon!
Blood fell like dew beneath his sunrise-sooth!
But also glitter'd dew-like in the slanted
High-rayed light. He was a tyrant-granted!
But th' Autos of his autocratic mouth
Said "Yea" i' the people's French! He multiplied
The image of the freedom he denied.

And if they ask'd for "rights," he made reply,
"Ye have my glory!" and so, drawing round them
His ample purple, glorified and bound them
In an embrace that seem'd identity.

He ruled them like a tyrant-true! but none
Were ruled like slaves! Each felt Napoleon!

I do not praise this man-the man was flaw'd, For Adam-much more, Christ!-his knee, unbent


His hand, unclean-his aspiration, pent
Within a sword-sweep.-Pshaw!-But since he
The genius to be loved, why let him have
The justice to be honour'd in his grave.

I think a nation's tears, pour'd thus together,
More rare than shouts! I think this funeral [all,
More grand than crownings, though a Pope bless
I think this grave more strong than thrones! But

The crown'd Napoleon or his senseless dust
Be worth more, I discern not-angels must.


Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers! Ere the sorrow comes with years? mothers, They are leaning their young heads against their And that cannot stop their tears.

The young lambs are bleating in the meadows, The young birds are chirping in the nest, The young fawns are playing in the shadows,

The young flowers are blowing from the west; But the young, young children, O my brothers! They are weeping bitterly!

They are weeping in the playtime of the others, In the country of the free.

Do you question the young children in their sorrow,
Why their tears are falling so?

The old man may weep for his to-morrow
Which is lost in long ago.

The old tree is leafless in the forest,

The old year is ending in the frost;
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
The old hope is hardest to be lost!
But the young, young children, O my brothers!
Do you ask them why they stand
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers,
In our happy fatherland!

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their looks are sad to see;

For the man's grief untimely draws and presses
Down the cheeks of infancy.

"Your old earth," they say, "is very dreary;"
"Our young feet," they say, "are very weak!
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary-
Our grave-rest is very far to seek!

Ask the old why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold,
And we young ones stand without, in our bewild-
And the graves are for the old."

"True," say the young children, "it may happen That we die before our time!

Little Alice died last year, the grave is shapen Like a snow-ball, in the rime.

We look'd into the pit prepared to take her,

Was no room for any work in the close clay! From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her, Crying-Get up, little Alice, it is day!'

If you listen by that grave in sun and shower,

With your ear down, little Alice never cries; Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her, [eyes.

For the new smile which has grown within her For merry go her moments, lull'd and still'd in The shroud, by the kirk chime!

It is good when it happens," say the children,
That we die before our time!"

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Laugh aloud to feel your fingers let them through! But the children say, "Are cowslips of the meadows Like the weeds anear the mine ?* Leave us quiet in the dark of our coal shadows From your pleasures fair and fine.

"For oh!" say the children, "we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap:

If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,

We fall on our face trying to go;
And underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,

The reddest flowers would look as pale as snow; For all day, we drag our burden tiring,

Through the coal-dark underground, Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iror In the factories round and round.

"All day long the wheels are droning, turning, Their wind comes in our faces! [burning, Till our hearts turn, and our heads with pulses And the walls turn in their places! [ing, Turns the sky in the high window blank and reelTurns the long light that droopeth down the wall, Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling, Are all turning all the day, and we with all! All day long, the iron wheels are droning,

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And sometimes we could pray,

O ye wheels (breaking off in a mad moaning,) Stop! be silent for to-day!'"

Ay, be silent let them hear each other breathing, For a moment, mouth to mouth; [wreathing Let them touch each other's hands, in a fresh Of their tender human youth;

Let them feel that this cold metallic motion

Is not all the life God giveth them to feel; Let them prove their inward souls against the notion That they live in you, or under you, O wheels! Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,

As if fate in each were stark!
And the children's souls, which God is calling sun-
Spin on blindly in the dark.

Now tell the weary children, O my brothers!
That they look to Him and pray,

For the bless'd One who blesseth all the others,
To bless them another day.
They answer-"Who is God that He should hear
While this rushing of the iron wheels is stirr'd?
When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us
Pass unhearing-at least, answer not a word;
And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding)
Strangers speaking at the door.

Is it likely God with angels singing round Him,
Hears our weeping any more?

Two words, indeed, of praying we remember;
And at midnight's hour of harm,
"Our Father!" looking upward in our chamber,
We say softly for a charm.

* A commissioner mentions the fact of weeds being thus confounded with the idea of flowers.

The report of the commissioners present repeated instances of children, whose religious devotion is confined to the repetition of the two first words of the Lord's Prayer.

We say no other words except " Our Father!” And we think that, in some pause of angels' song, He may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather,

And hold both in His right hand, which is strong. Our Father! If He heard us, He would surelyFor they call Him good and mildAnswer, smiling down the steep world very purely, "Come and rest with me, my child."

"But no," say the children, weeping faster,
"He is silent as a stone;

And they tell us, of His image is the master
Who commands us to work on."

"Go to!" say the children; "up in Heaven,

Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find!
Do not mock us! we are atheists in our grieving,
We look to him-but tears have made us blind!”
Do you hear children weeping and disproving,
O my brothers, what ye teach?

For God's possible is taught by His world's loving,
And the children doubt of each!
And well may the children weep before ye,
They are weary ere they run!

They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun!

They know the grief of men, but not the wisdom, They sink in their despair, with hope at calm, Are slaves without liberty in Christdom,

Are martyrs by the pang without the palm!
Are worn as if with age; yet unretrievingly
No joy of memory keep,

Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly,
Let them weep, let them weep!

They look up, with their pale and sunken faces,
And their look is dread to see;

For you think you see their angels in their places, With eyes meant for Deity.

"How long," they say, "how long, O cruel nation! Will you stand, to move the world, on a child's heart?

Trample down with mailéd heel its palpitation,
And tread onward to your throne amid the mart!
Our blood splashes upward, O our tyrants!
And your purple shows your path,"
But the child's sob curseth deeper in the silence
Than the strong man in his wrath!


THE seraph sings before the manifest

God-one, and in the burning of the Seven; And with the full life of consummate heaven. Heaving beneath him, like a mother's breast, Warm with her first-born's slumber in that nest:

The poet sings upon the earth, grave-riven, Before the naughty world, soon self-forgiven For wronging him, and in the darkness prest

From his own soul by worldly weights. Even so, Sing, seraph, with the glory! Heaven is high! Sing, poet, with the sorrow! Earth is low! The universe's inward voices cry "Amen" to either voice of joy and wo. Sing, poet, seraph-sing on equally.

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