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MacKay's heroic tribute to Valour and Virtue is excellent :
Who shall be fairest? who shall be rarest ?
Who shall be first in the songs that we sing?
Bearing through winter the blossoms of spring :
Angel of life, when its pleasures take wing !
She shall be first in the songs that we sing !
Named but with honour and pride evermore?
On glory's high ramparts and battlements hoar ;
Looking not back when there's duty before !
He shall be first in our hearts evermore!
Much of Mackay's healthful verse is freighted with excellent counsel ; for instance, the following :
What might be done if men were wise
What glorious deeds, my suffering brother,
And cease their scorn for one another !
With kindling drops of loving-kindness,
Light on the eyes of mental blindness.
All vice and crime, might die together,
The meanest wretch that ever trod,
The deepest sunk in guilt and sorrow,
And share the teeming world to-morrow.
And more than this, my suffering brother-
If men were wise and loved each other.
PENDLETON Cooke, another of our American bards, thus chants his love-lay :
I loved thee long and dearly, Florence Vane !
But fairest, coldest wonder! Thy glorious clay
The lilies of the valley by young graves weep,
A Scottish bard, David VEDDER, is the author of those sublime lines which Dr. Chalmers was so fond of rehearsing to his theological pupils :Talk not of temples—there is one built without hands, to mankind
given : Its lamps are the meridian sun, and all the stars of heaven. Its walls are the cerulean sky, its floor the earth, serene and fair ; The dome is vast immensity—all Nature worships there! The Alps arrayed in stainless snow, the Andean ranges yet untrod, At sunrise and at sunset, glow like altar-fires to God! A thousand fierce volcanoes blaze, as if with hallowed victims rare ; And thunder lifts its voice in praise—all Nature worships there!
The cedar and the mountain pine, the willow on the fountain's brim,
middle air ;
One of N. P. Willis's masterpieces is his Parrhasius, yet the subject is not one that ministers pleasure to the reader. His Melanie must be perused entire in order to its due appreciation. The poem on Idleness is a fine illustration of poetic skill; but we must content ourselves with his little cabinet picture of a Child Tired of Play :
« Tired of play! Tired of play!”
“ Playing ?” But what hast thou done beside,
Very beautiful are his lines, commencing
My mother's voice! how often creep its accents on my lonely
hours ! Like healing sent on wings of sleep, or dew to the unconscious
Aowers. I can forget her melting prayer while leaping pulses madly fly, But in the still, unbroken air, her gentle tones come stealing by.
And years, and sin, and folly fee,
And leave me at my mother's knee. The evening hours, the birds, the fowers, the starlight, moonlight,
all that's meet For heaven, in this lost world of ours,—remind me of her teachings
sweet. My heart is harder, and perhaps my thoughtlessness hath drunk up
tears ; And there's a mildew in the lapse of a few swift and checkered years—
But Nature's book is, even yet,
His lines on Dawn are very choice--dewy and fragrant :
Throw up the window. 'Tis a morn for life
And the south wind is like a gentle friend,