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Love is the fountain of life and bliss,
Love is the valley of joyfulness;
A garden of roses,

Where rapture reposes,—
A temple of light
All heavenly bright;

O, virtuous love is the soul's delight!


FELICIA DOROTHEA BROWNE was born in Liverpool, on the 21st of September, 1793. Her father was Irish, and her mother German : -much of the romance which pervaded her character from earliest childhood may be traced to this mixed descent. Her first youth was passed among the mountains and valleys of North Wales; scenes so fertile in sublimity and beauty produced their natural effects; the earnest and continual study of Shakspeare led to the power of giving language to thought,-and before she had entered her thirteenth year, a printed collection of her Juvenile Poems was actually before the world. From this period to the close of her life she continued to send forth volume after volume,-each surpassing the other in sweetness and power: it seemed as if the intellectual mine was inexhaustible, and perhaps her last production, of any length, will be considered her best. She married early: her marriage was not a happy one. Into the cause of her husband's estrangement, after she had borne him five sons, it is not our province to inquire; but it is impossible not to feel that the circumstance contributed to produce that sadness, which, as an under-current, runs through all her works :

"Have I not tried, and striven, and failed to bind
One true heart unto me, whereon my own
Might find a resting-place?"

She resided several years at St. Asaph, then removed to Wavertree, near Liverpool, and finally to Dublin, where she died on the 16th of May, 1835.

The character of Mrs. Hemans is in beautiful keeping with her poetry. Like the sweetest of all singing birds she was often heard but rarely seen. After her name became familiar to every reader in England, she shrunk from the public gaze,—and, we believe, never visited the Metropolis. We have, however, the testimony of more than one intimate and loving friend, that her unwillingness to enter general society arose from no unworthy disrelish for it. All her sympathies were in common with mankind. She is said to have possessed considerable beauty in youth; but thought and anxiety had done the work of years,—and it had passed long before its time. Her form was exceedingly delicate; her countenance was gentle, yet full of expression and intelli

gence; and her long hair of silken auburn continued to the last remarkably profuse. Her manners were unassuming: she was reserved to strangers-but among her friends cheerful even to playfulness. We have heard one of the most beloved of all her familiar associates-a kindred spirit, also too early lost-speak of her with the most earnest and devoted affection. She described her conversation as singularly fascinating,-full of rich poetry; and Mr. Chorley, who loved her when living, and honoured her memory when dead, relates that some of her poems were printed almost exactly as they were spoken.

The poetry of Mrs. Hemans will endure as long as the language in which it is written. It is essentially feminine. A tone of gentle, unforced, and persuasive GOODNESS pervades it: it displays no fiery passion, and resorts to no vehement appeal ;-it touches upon nothing degraded or unnatural: it is often sad, but never exhibits "a discontented or repining spirit;" and though it affords continual proofs of an eager longing for a "better land," and a mournful consciousness that her “soul's lofty gifts" were insufficient

"To quench its panting thirst for happiness;"

it manifests no unwillingness to bear meekly, patiently, and trust. ingly, the thousand ills that flesh is heir to. Few Poets, living or dead, have written so much, and written so well. There is not, indeed, one among her productions that we might cast from us with indifference, or "willingly let die." Her diction is harmonious and free; her themes, though infinitely varied, are all happily chosen, and treated with grace, originality, and judgment. Her poetry is full of images-but they are always natural and true it is studded with ornaments-but they are never unbecoming; she selected and distributed them with singular felicity. Though rarely energetic, she is never languid,—her tenderness never wearies; her piety-one of the chief sources of her power and her success-never degenerates into bitterness, but is at all times fervid and humanizing. The poetry of Mrs. Hemans, indeed, may be likened to a cathedral chaunt,-deep, solemn, and impressive; entrancing rather than exciting-and depressing rather than elevating the spirits of those whose “spirits are attentive."



A DIM and mighty minster of old Time!
A temple shadowy with remembrances
Of the majestic past!—the very light
Streams with a colouring of heroic days
In every ray, which leads through arch and aisle
A path of dreamy lustre, wandering back

To other years;—and the rich fretted roof,
And the wrought coronals of summer leaves,
Ivy and vine, and many a sculptured rose-
The tenderest image of mortality—
Binding the slender columns, whose light shafts
Cluster like stems in corn-sheaves,—all these things
Tell of a race that nobly, fearlessly,

On their heart's worship poured a wealth of love!
Honour be with the dead!—the people kneel
Under the helms of antique chivalry,

And in the crimson gloom from banners thrown,
And midst the forms, in pale proud slumber carved
Of warriors on their tombs.-The people kneel
Where mail-clad chiefs have knelt; where jewelled crowns
On the flushed brows of conquerors have been set;

Where the high anthems of old victories

Have made the dust give echoes. Hence, vain thoughts!
Memories of power and pride, which, long ago,
Like dim processions of a dream, have sunk
In twilight depths away. Return, my soul!

The cross recalls thee.-Lo! the blessed cross!
High o'er the banners and the crests of earth,
Fixed in its meek and still supremacy!

And lo! the throng of beating human hearts,
With all their secret serolls of buried grief,
All their full treasures of immortal Hope,
Gathered before their God! Hark! how the flood
Of the rich organ harmony bears up

Their voice on its high waves !—a mighty burst !-
A forest-sounding music!-every tone
Which the blasts call forth with their harping wings
From gulfs of tossing foliage there is blent :
And the old minster-forest-like itself—
With its long avenues of pillared shade,
Seems quivering all with spirit, as that strain
O'erflows its dim recesses, leaving not
One tomb unthrilled by the strong sympathy
Answering the electric notes.-Join, join, my soul!
In thine own lowly, trembling consciousness,
And thine own solitude, the glorious hymn.


I COME to thee, O Earth!

With all my gifts :-for every flower, sweet dew,
In bell, and urn, and chalice, to renew
The glory of its birth.

Not one which glimmering lies

Far amidst folding hills or forest-leaves,
But, through its views of beauty, so receives

A spirit of fresh dyes.

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