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Of the earth, to return with no to-morrow;
All changes have chequer'd mortality's lot;
But this is the darkest-for knowledge and truth
Are but golden gates to the temple of sorrow! "


This is one of the many beautiful compositions of Mrs. HEMANS, whose poetry has this remarkable character, that, beautiful as it is in portions, it will not bear to be read continuously in a volume. Perhaps this is the consequence of the perfection of its mechanism, for in rhythm and rhyme-in the music of verse-she is unrivalled. Pleasing at first, this unbroken smoothness palls by repetition and becomes monotony. Nevertheless, many of her minor poems are full of the truest poetry of thought, and the strain is in exquisite harmony with the sentiment. Such a poem is the following.

HUSH! 'tis a holy hour-the quiet room

Seems like a temple, while yon soft lamp sheds A faint and starry radiance through the gloom

And the sweet stillness, down on bright young heads,
With all their clustering locks, untouch'd by care,
And bow'd, as flowers are bow'd at night, in prayer.

Gaze on,-'tis lovely!-childhood's lip and cheek,
Mantling beneath its earnest brow of thought-
Gaze-yet what seest thou in those fair, and meek,
And fragile things, as but for sunshine wrought?
Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky,
What Death must fashion for eternity!

Oh! joyous creatures, that will sink to rest

Lightly, when those pure orisons are done,
As buds with slumber's honey-dew oppress'd,
'Midst the dim folded leaves at set of sun-
Lift up your hearts! though yet no sorrow lies
Dark in the summer heaven of those clear eyes.

Though fresh within your breasts th' untroubled springs
Of hope make melody where'er ye tread;

And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings
Of spirits visiting but youth, be spread;
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
Is woman tenderness-how soon her woe!

Her lot is on you-silent tears to weep,

And patient smiles to wear through suffering's hour,
And sunless riches, from affections deep,

To pour on broken reeds a wasted shower;
And to make idols, and to find them clay,
And to bewail that worship—therefore pray!

Her lot is on you-to be found untired,

Watching the stars out by the bed of pain,
With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspired,
And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain—
Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay,
And oh ! to love through all things-therefore pray!

And take the thought of this calm vesper time,
With its low murmuring sounds of silvery light,
On through the dark days fading from their prime,
As a sweet dew to keep your souls from blight.
Earth will forsake-oh! happy to have given
The unbroken heart's first fragrance unto Heaven.



EDGAR ALLAN POE, an American, is the author of this fanciful lyric, which is thoroughly original in its structure, turn of thought and expression-a sportive and almost careless composition, but a flash of true genius.

Ir was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea:

But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee-

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came,
And bore her away
from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me--

Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-

Of many far wiser than we

And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.


Under this title we purpose to string together short passages of peculiar beauty, scattered among the larger productions of the poets. Where italic is used it is with intent to direct the particular attention of the reader to some fine thought for which it is remarkable.


On his shoulders Night

Throwing his ebon mantle rent with storms

Grimly retired, as up th' ethereal steep
The heavenly coursers mounted of the sun
And bade the stars withdraw.



'Twas one of those ambrosial eves
A day of storm so often leaves
At its calm setting-when the west
Opens her golden bowers of rest,
And a moist radiance from the skies
Shook trembling down, as from the eyes
Of some meek penitent, whose last
Bright hours atone for dark ones past,
And whose sweet tears, o'er wrong forgiven,
Shine, as they fall, with light from heaven.


She was a form of life and light
That seen, became a part of sight,
And rose where'er I turn'd my eye,
The morning star of memory.




Among the ruin'd temples there,
Stupendous columns, and wild images

Of more than man, where marble demons watch
The Zodiac's brazen mystery, and dead men
Hang their mute thoughts on the mute walls around.



No tear

Hath fill'd his eye save that of thoughtful joy
When, in the evening stillness, lovely things
Press'd on his soul too busily: his voice,
If, in the earnestness of childish sports,
Raised to the tone of anger, check'd its force,
As if it fear'd to break its being's law,
And falter'd into music: when the forms
Of guilty passion have been made to live,

In pictured speech, and others have wax'd loud
In righteous indignation, he hath heard

With sceptic smile, or from some slender vein
Of goodness, which surrounding gloom conceal'd,
Struck sunlight o'er it: so his life hath flow'd
From its mysterious urn a sacred stream,
In whose calm depth the beautiful and pure
Alone are mirror'd; which, though shapes of ill
May hover round its surface, glides in light,
And takes no shadow from them.



Let music

Charm with her excellent voice an awful silence
Through all this building, that her sphery soul
May (on the wings of air) in thousand forms
Invisibly fly, yet be enjoy'd.


'Tis a ditty


Not of these days; but long ago 'twas told
By a cavern wind unto a forest old:

And then the forest told it in a dream

To a sleeping lake, whose cool and level gleam
A poet caught as he was journeying

To Phoebus shrine.



Graceful, when it pleased him, smooth and still
As the mute swan that floats adown the stream,
And on the waters of th' unruffled lake

Anchors her quiet beauty.



Never was known a noise of such distraction!
Noise so confused and dreadful; justling crowds
That run and know not whither; torches gliding,
Like meteors, by each other in the street.


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