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BOLD JACK.

WHILE up the shrouds the sailor goes,
Or ventures on the yard;

The landsman, who no better knows,
Believes his lot is hard.

Bold Jack, with smiles, each danger meets,
Casts anchor, heaves the log,

Trims all the sails, belays the sheets,
And drinks his can of grog.

When mountains high the waves that swell
The vessel rudely bear,

Now sinking in a hollow dell,—
Now quivering in the air:

Bold Jack, with smiles, &c.

When waves 'gainst rocks and quicksands roar,
You ne'er hear him repine;
Freezing near Greenland's icy shore,
Or burning near the line:

Bold Jack, with smiles, &c.

If to engage they give the word,
To quarters all repair;
While splinter'd masts go by the board,
And shot sing through the air:

Bold Jack, with smiles, &c.

JOANNA BAILLIE is a native of Scotland, and of noble Scottish descent; but the greater part of her life has been spent in London. She resides at Hampstead; and has remained unmarried. No living writer has received from contemporaries higher tokens of admiration and respect; and her genius has been largely and generally appreciated by the public. As a lyric Poet, she cannot be said to occupy a prominent station; but she has achieved that which must be considered the loftiest effort of the mind:-her "Tragedies" will be classed among the most admirable in the English language. Mr. Hazlitt, in some MS. notes upon the productions of Miss Baillie, of which we shall make liberal use, objects to her "Plays of the Passions," on the ground that they have not been acted, and may not be acted: "they are only," he adds, "chef-d'œuvres for the closet." They are elegant, classical, stately, with occasional touches (and some of them fine ones) of nature and passion; but her tragedy, with every advantage of taste and study, has the port and flexure of female genius. She has not UNSEXED the Muse! There is excessive decorum, refinement, skill: we have a graceful and expanded commentary on nature; not the naked, unadorned, and rugged text itself. The bosom is seldom probed, the brain rarely maddened. There is so much methodical preparation for the catastrophe, with so many softening gradations interposed, "so much temperance assumed to give smoothness," to the effect, that we scarce feel the struggle when it comes; there is so much good sense, and calm reflection, and elegant declamation put into the mouths of the speakers, that passion is swallowed up in sentiment, and we begin to be as philosophical as themselves: instead of the lightning and the dread thunderstroke issuing from the dark cloud, we perceive only a soft, glittering vapour of words; and are, as it were, suspended on the edge of a precipice, instead of being hurled down it,-in a word, tragedy here utters chiefly muffled sounds, has her agonized features thinly but gracefully veiled, and, for the bleeding wounds and mangled fibres of the heart, we are shown the learned prescriptions and gauze bandages that have been applied with a skilful and tender hand to assuage and heal them. The authoress of a "Series of Plays," assumes the part of a charitable or guardian angel, that foresees disasters, suggests reflections, and proposes remedies,—

not that of the destroying demon, that tears off every disguise of evil, cuts off hope, drives passion to frenzy, and makes this world a hell, from which there is no resource but in the silent grave. Her style is a little effeminate; her plan is somewhat pedantic. When you expect her to touch the goal of perfection (and she is frequently near it,) she suddenly falters, and turns aside from want of resolution to seize the golden prize; some trifling scruple impedes her course-some idle ornament diverts her attention; she expands a simple interjection into a lecture, or tacks a system to a common incident, till, between the grandeur of the design and the littleness of the means, she almost unavoidably fails of natural and striking effect. Fear and niceness, the handmaids of all women, or, rather, woman its pretty self,' may be said to ruin the tragic Poet. So far from precipitating the tide of passion, and letting it boil and rage in the troubled gulf below, she dallies, she tampers with it, tries to keep it back, and make it play in gentle eddies, or strains it through artificial sluices to form fairy cascades and jets d'eaux, to display the rainbow hues of fancy, or drains it to overflow the neighbouring plains and fertilize the fields of reflection. This is but natural. Women in their writings are beset with doubts, and hampered with difficulties, and dare not take a decisive step, any more than in real life. Neither are women taught to give way to, or express, their passions, but to do all they can to suppress and conceal them. A tragic author must speak out; a woman is sworn to secrecy and silence. Action and passion (both of them forbidden ground) being then the chief ingredients of tragedy, a female author in attempting it must be hard beset. Nay, farther, women are generally taught not only not to harbour or give utterance to the fiercer passions in their own breasts, but not to witness the outward signs of them, or sympathize with their inward workings in others. They turn from the subject with shrinking sensitiveness, and consider whatever shocks their delicacy as a crime. This reserve and caution is an excellent discipline of manners and virtue,—but a bad school for imagination and passion. Is it to be wondered at that we find in these plays, by one inured from her childhood to the severest lessons of prudence and propriety, instances of refinement verging on imbecility, and of casuistry substituted for the unvarnished truth of

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BAILLIE.

TO A CHILD.

WHOSE imp art thou, with dimpled cheek,
And curly pate, and merry eye,
And arm and shoulders round and sleek,
And soft and fair, thou urchin sly?

What boots it, who, with sweet caresses,

First called thee his, or squire or hind?
For thou in every wight that passes,
Dost now a friendly playmate find.

Thy downcast glances,―grave, but cunning,
As fringed eyelids rise and fall;
Thy shyness swiftly from me running,-
'Tis infantine coquetry all!

But far a-field thou hast not flown,

With mocks and threats, half lisped, half spoken;

I feel thee pulling at my gown,—
Of right good will thy simple token.

And thou must laugh, and wrestle too,
A mimic warfare with me waging!
To make, as wily lovers do,

Thy after kindness more engaging!

The wilding rose-sweet as thyself—
And new-cropt daisies are thy treasure;
I'd gladly part with worldly pelf,

To taste again thy youthful pleasure.

But yet, for all thy merry look,

Thy frisks and wiles, the time is coming, When thou shalt sit in cheerless nook,

The weary spell or hornbook thumbing.

Well, let it be! Through weal and wo,

Thou know'st not now thy future range; Life is a motley shifting show,And thou a thing of hope and change.

THE KITTEN.

WANTON drole, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting till his supper cool;

And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose,
As bright the blazing faggot glows,
Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight:
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces
Thus circled round with merry faces.

Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe,
The housewife's spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground

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