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We buried him darkly, at dead of night,
The sod with our bayonets turning,
And the lantern dimly burning.
Nor in sheet, nor in shroud we bound him;
With his martial cloak around him.
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
And we far away on the billow.
And o'er the cold ashes upbraid him;
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
When the clock toll'd the hour for retiring;
That the foe was sullenly firing.
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
But left him alone in his glory. The lesser Ode is the appropriate vehicle for detached thoughts and reflections, whether suggested by some external object, or arising within the mind. Numerous examples of both may be found in our periodical literature. The former is beautifully portrayed in the following poem, by an unknown writer:
And weeping birch swept far adown the vale;
Save the light whispering of the spring-tide gale
Of woodmen at their toil; the feeble wail
The sun had set; but his expiring beams
Yet linger'd in the west, and shed around
With coming night's first tinge of shade embrown'd.
Of glory, as the seraph-shapes surround,
Of twilight and serenity, which steal
Making more pure and tender all we feel,
The thirsty glebe of summer. We reveal
And earth itself looks heavenly; the sleep
Are beings that eternal vigils keep.
With sorrow once, and fled from crowds to weep
Fast deepening into darkness, as the rays
Stars of the brightest beam illume the blaze,
The veil that shadows it in vain; we gaze
By those we love, in that all-softening hour,
And the faint moon-rays streaming through our bower
Of night rolls duskier onward, and each flower
Seems dropping fragrance more and more intense. There are many Odes of Reflection in our language; and many Lyrical pieces, which express the thoughts that memory suggests to the imagination. We shall quote, as an instance, the following brief Ode, by Professor Wilson :
One long deep heavy sigh,
Are faintly glittering by!
Dissolves at once in snow.
Then, like a dream, are gone!
We scarce believe it shone!
And we wish they ne'er may fade;
Where music never play'd!
Each lovelier than the last;
That gorgeous world flies past;
Glides by us on this earth;
In sadness, or in mirth!
We have dwelt at what may seem disproportionate length on this species of lyric poetry; but the reason of this is, that no other species of poetry admits so many varieties of style and metre. Having now given three specimens of the serious Ode, we shall quote one of the sportive; and scarcely could we select a better than the following, written by Mrs. Gilman, an American lady:
THE CHILD'S WISH IN JUNE,
See, how slowly the streamlet glides ;
But I'd come and float, dear mother, o'er thee! Of the Satirical Ode, one stanza will be a sufficient specimen; it is descriptive of a pretended patriot, remarkable for inconsistency in temper and conduct.
Each hour a different face he wears,
Now langhing, now in sorrow:
And roars for power to-morrow. The Ballad is a simpler species of lyric composition than the Ode; it is sometimes confounded with a common song; but, in general, the ballad contains some plain narrative, in which there are but few incidents. Mrs. Hemans' song of. the Cid, and Casabianca, in this collection, are beautiful specimens of the lyrical ballad. Of the hymn and song, it is scarcely necessary to speak; for the reader's recollection will easily supply him with sufficient examples of both.
Pastoral poetry is descriptive of rural life, not as it really exists, but as it might have existed, if the world was an Eden. It is, consequently, more valuable for its descriptions of external nature and scenery, than for accuracy in the delineation of
character. It is, perhaps, owing to the love of excitement, which forms part of our national character, that purely pastoral poetry has never been popular in England.
Descriptive poetry is closely allied to pastoral, and of this species our literature possesses a great abundance: from Thomson's Seasons we have selected several passages purely descriptive; from Cowper's Task specimens of the descriptive, mixed with the didactic.
Of minor species of poetry, the most remarkable are, the Elegy, the Epitaph, the Epigram, and the Sonnet. The elegy is, properly speaking, a species of the lesser ode; its requisites are, perfect simplicity, and a careful avoidance of affected elegancies; it is, for the most part, used only for mournful or funeral subjects.
The Epitaph is an inscription for a tomb. We find both illustrated in Gray's beautiful Elegy in a Country Churchyard, to which an epitaph is subjoined.' ELEGY, WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD. The curfew' tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea>,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
I curfew, a bell rung in the evening; | 2 lea, a field. it was anciently the signal for extin. 3 clarion, a kind of trumpet; here, guishing fires.
I a sound like that of the trumpet.