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Little dost thou think, thou busy, busy Bee !
What is the end of thy toil.
Thy master comes for the spoil :
O God! have mercy in this dreadful hour
On the poor mariner! in comfort here
Safe shelter'd as I am, I almost fear
What were it now to toss upon the waves,
And the wild sea that to the tempest raves : To gaze
amid the horrors of the night, And only see the billow's gleaming light;
And in the dread of death to think of her, Who, as she listens, sleepless, to the gale, Puts up a silent prayer and waxes pale?
O God ! have mercy on the mariner !
Thomas Moore was born in Dublin, on the 28th of May, 1780. At the age of fourteen, he entered the University of his native city, where he took his degree. In 1799, he became a member of the Middle Temple, and was called to the bar. Before he had completed his twentieth year, he published his Translations of the Odes of Anacreon; and, at once, “ became famous." The work was dedicated to the Prince of Wales,—and led to an introduction to his royal highness, and a subsequent intimacy of which a variety of anecdotes are related ; but that it terminated disadvantageously for both, we have unquestionable proof in the pages of some of the Poet's later writings. In 1803, Mr. Moore obtained an official situation at Bermuda; he filled it but for a short period, and returned to England. In 1806, he published the “Odes and Epistles;" in 1808, Poems, under the assumed name of Thomas Little ; in 1817, Lallah Rookh; and in 1823, the Loves of the Angels. Besides these Poems, Mr. Moore has printed a variety of light political squibs,—the value of which naturally ceased with the topics that called them forth.
Mr. Moore resides in the vicinity of Bowood,—the seat of his friend Lord Lansdowne, near Calne. He has preferred retirement to celebrity-except that which the Muses have so lavishly bestowed upon him; and he resists all attempts to lure him into the arena of public life. It will be readily believed that he is the idol of the circle in which he moves. A finer gentleman, in the better sense of the term, is nowhere to be found : his learning is not only extensive, but sound; and he is pre-eminent for those qualities which attract and charm in society, His voice though not of large compass, is wonderfully sweet and effective, and he is a good musician ;-to hear him sing one of his own melodies, is, indeed, a rich treat. In person he is “ Little," and the expression of his countenance is rather joyous than dignified; there is, however, a peculiar kindliness in his look and manner which in no way de. tracts from the enthusiasm his presence cannot fail to excite.
It is scarcely necessary to comment on the poetry of Thomas Moore. It has been more extensively read than that of any existing author; those who might not have sought it otherwise, have become familiar with it through the medium of the delicious music to
which it has been wedded; and it would be difficult to find a single individual in Great Britain unable to repeat some of his verses. No writer, living or dead, has enjoyed a popularity so universal : and if an author's position is to depend on the delight he produces, we must class the author of “ Lallah Rookh,” and the “ Irish Melodies," as "chiefest of the Bards” of modern times. His poetry, however, is deficient in those higher and more enduring materials which form the groundwork of imperishable fame. Its leading attribute is grace. The Poet rarely attempts, and more rarely succeeds, in fathoming the depths of the human heart, and laying open the rich vein that has been hidden by the dull quarry: he is always brilliant, but seldom powerful; he is an epicurean in poetry, and turns away from all objects which do not yield enjoyment. His fancy is perpetually at play ;-things which please the senses are more contemplated than those which excite or control the passions; and while he
“Lives in a bright little world of his own"we must not mistake the dazzling and brilliant light which surrounds him, for the animating and invigorating sun.
His poetry is exquisitely finished : we never encounter a line or even a word that grates upon the ear ; it is “ harmony, delicious harmony," unbroken by a single jarring note.
We are ly no means singular in thinking that the “ Irish Melodies" must be considered as the most valuable and enduring of all his works; they
“ Circle his name with a charm against death ;" and as a writer of song he stands without a rival. Mr. Moore found the national music of his country, with very few exceptions, debased by a union with words that were either unseemly or unin. telligible. It was, therefore, comparatively lost to the world; and time was rapidly diminishing that which memory alone preserved. The attempt to combine it with appropriate language, was commenced in 1807. Its success almost without parallel in the history of literature. The music of Ireland is now known and appreciated all over the world ;—and the songs of the Irish Poet will endure as long as the country,—the loves and glories of which they commemorate.
WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM.
They say that Love had once a book
(The urchin likes to copy you), Where all who came the pencil took,
And wrote, like us, a line or two.
'Twas Innocence, the maid divine,
Who kept this volume bright and fair, And saw that no unhallow'd line,
Or thought profane, should enter there.
And sweetly did the
fill With fond device and loving lore, And every
leaf she turn'd was still More bright than that she turn'd before !
Beneath the touch of Hope, how soft,
How light the magic pencil ran! Till Fear would come, alas! as oft,
And trembling close what Hope began.
A tear or two had dropp'd from Grief,
And Jealousy would, now and then, Ruffle in haste some snowy leaf, Which Love had still to smooth again!
But, oh, there was a blooming boy,
Who often turn'd the pages o'er, And wrote therein such words of joy,
As all who read still sigh'd for more!
And Pleasure was this spirit's name,
And though so soft his voice and look, Yet Innocence, whene'er he came,
Would tremble for her spotless book!
For still she saw his playful fingers
Fill'd with sweets and wanton toys: And well she knew the stain that lingers
After sweets from wanton boys!
And so it chanced, one luckless night
He let his honey goblet fall
And sullied lines, and marge and all!
In vain he sought, with eager lip,
The honey from the leaf to drink, For still the more the boy would sip,
The deeper still the blot would sink!
Oh, it would make you weep, to see
The traces of this honey flood Steal o'er a page, where Modesty
Had freshly drawn a rose's bud !
And Fancy's emblems lost their glow,
And Hope's sweet lines were all defaced, And Love himself could scarcely know
What Love himself had lately traced !