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She knows no worldly guile or art, but Love and Joy have made

her fair : And so I keep her in my heart, and bless her in my silent prayer.


Pass we now to the serio-comic Hood,—a poet whose memory is “ emblazoned with a halo of light-hearted mirth and pleasantry,” but whose coruscations of wit and fancy do not more charm us, than do the genial charities and deep human sympathies which characterize his graver productions. If he was the “prince of punsters,” he was also pre-eminently the poet of pathos ; for, as a portrayer of life in its various phases, his rich and graceful imagery, and vivid descriptions of sorrow and suffering, were no less conspicuous than the kindly spirit with which his sarcasms and satires are tempered, so that while they cauterize, they cure. How much of human suffering has been mitigated, how many a home of sadness consoled, by the pleadings of his powerful pen! The spirit of his playful productions, so chaste, and so glittering with sportive gayety and humour, are yet enriched with the pure gold of wisdom, so that while they charm the imagination, they also benefit the heart.

Hood’s fragile constitution was invaded, during his whole life, by a slow wasting disease, and it was terminated by protracted suffering. Referring to his own physical debility, he thus writes :—“That man who has never known a day's illness is a moral dunce,-one who has lost the greatest moral lesson in life,—who has skipped the finest lecture in that great school of humanity, the sick-chamber. Let him be versed in metaphysics, profound in mathematics, a ripe scholar in the classics, a bachelor of arts, or even a doctor in divinity, yet he is one of those gentlemen whose education has been neglected. For all his college acquirements, how inferior he is in wholesome knowledge to the mortal who has had a quarter's gout, or a half-year of ague,-how infinitely below the fellow-creature who has been soundly taught his tic-douloureux, thoroughly grounded in rheumatism, and deeply red in the scarlet fever !"

It was while suffering from bodily sickness that poor Hood composed those touching and immortal poems,—The Bridge of Sighs, The Lady's Dream, The Lay of the Labourer, and The Song of the Shirt. It was the last-named that his wife at once pronounced one of the best things he ever wrote.

Her verdict turned into a prophecy, for it obtained an immediate and long-continued popularity, and was also translated into several foreign languages :


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O, men, with sisters dear! O, men, with husbands and wives !
It is not linen you're wearing out, but human creatures' lives !

Stitch, stitch, stitch, in poverty, hunger, and dirt ;
Sewing at once, with a double thread, a shroud as well as a shirt !
But why do I talk of death—that phantom of grisly bone ?
I hardly fear his terrible shape, it seems so like my own;

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It seems so like my own, because of the fasts I keep,-
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear, and flesh and blood so


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What exquisite delicacy and force characterize his Bridge of Sighs :

Alas! for the rarity of Christian charity

Under the sun!
Oh! it is pitiful! near a whole city full,

House she had none !

The bleak wind of March made her tremble and shiver ;
But not the dark arch, or the black Aowing river:
Mad from life's history, glad of death's mystery,

Swift to be hurled

Anywhere, anywhere out of the world!
In she plunged boldly, no matter how coldly

The rough river ran;
Over the brink of it,--picture it, think of it,

Dissolute man !
Lave in it, drink of it, then, if you can !


Now two or three stanzas from the Lady's Dream:

Of the hearts that daily break, of the tears that hourly fall,
Of the many, many troubles of life that grieve this earthly bali-
Disease, and hunger, and pain, and want ; but now I dreamt of

them all. For the blind and the cripple were there, and the babe that pined

for bread, And the houseless man, and the widow poor, who begged—to bury

the dead :

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