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utterly forgotten. In the meantime, as I have just spent a pleasant half-hour over her little volume, let me show my gratitude to her gentle spirit, by such praises as I can conscientiously award her, and refresh the



readers with a few favourable extracts.

The following little poem, on seeing some children at play, has been quoted both by Bowles and Leigh Hunt, (poets of very different tastes and habits,) with considerable praise :

“Sighing I see yon little troop at play,

By sorrow yet untouched, unhurt by care ;
While free and sportive they enjoy to-day,
Content and careless of to-morrow's fare.
O happy age ! when hope's unclouded ray
Lights their green path, and prompts their simple mirth,
Ere yet they feel the thorns that lurking lay*
To wound the wretched pilgrims of the earth,
Making them rue the hour that gave them birth,
And threw them on a world so full of pain.
Where prosperous folly treads on patient worth,
And to deaf pride, misfortune pleads in vain !
Ah!—for their future fate how many fears
Oppress my heart and fill mine eyes with tears.”

Mrs. Smith's knowledge of Botany, to which science, by the way, she has addressed a sonnet, is displayed in a very pleasing manner in several of her poems; and she rarely speaks of flowers without a minute fidelity of description, and the use of very graphic epithets. The following couplet is a specimen of the curious felicity of her botanical allusions.

“ From the mapped lichen to the plumed weed;

From threudy mosses to the veinéd flower.”

* This is a sad sacrifice of grammar to rhyme. Byron has made a similar one in his fourth Canto of Childe Harold :

“And dashest him again to earth; there let him lay.

The “Sonnet written at the close of Spring" offers further illustrations of this peculiar character of her verse.

“ The garlands fade that Spring so lately wove,

Each simple Aower, which she had nurs'd in dew,
Anemonies, that spangled every grove,
The primrose wan, and harebell mildly blue.
No more shall violets linger in the dell,
Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
Till Spring again shall call forth every bell,
And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.
Ah, poor humanity, so frail, so fair,
Are the fond visions of thy early day,
Till tyrant passion and corrosive care,
Bid all thy fairy colours fade away!
Another May new buds and flowers shall bring ;
Ah! why has happiness-no second Spring?”

Mrs. Smith's study of flowers led her much into the open

fields, and she has shown herself to be a very minute and delicate observer of external nature. The following brief passage taken from one of her sonnets is picturesque.

“ And sometimes when the sun with parting rays

Gilds the long grass that hides my silent bed,
A tear shall tremble in my Charlotte's eyes.”

It reminds me of a beautiful touch of Coleridge's pencil in the annexed lines.

“But the dell,
Bathed by the mist, is fresh and delicate
As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,
When through its half-transparent stalks at even,
The level sunshine glimmers with green light.

There is an expression in the following line, which has been borrowed by a living poet.

The night-flood rakes upon the stony shore."

Bowles, in describing a night-scene (in his Grave of the last Saxon), says:

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The following from an address to the North Star has rather more vigour than Mrs. Smith usually displays :

“Now nightly wandering 'mid the tempests drear
That howl the woods and rocky steeps among,
I love to see thy sudden light appear
Through the swift clouds-driven by the wind along ;
Or in the turbid water, rude and dark,
O'er whose wild stream the gust of Winter raves,
Thy trembling light with pleasure still I murk,
Gleam in fuint radiance on the fouming waves!

The following verse is tender and melodious :

" Oh!


lost love! no tomb is placed for thee
That may to stranger's eyes thy worth impart;
Thou hast no grave but in the stormy sea,
And no memorial but this breaking heart!”

I quote a part of the Sonnet to Fancy, for the sake of the neat turn of its concluding couplet :

Through thy false medium then no longer viewed,
May fancied pain and fancied pleasure fly;
And I, as from me all thy dreams depart,
Be to my wayward destiny subdued;
Nor seek perfection with a poet's eye,
Nor suffer anguish with a poet's heart."

It may perhaps appear from these extracts, that though not to be placed in the first class of British Female Poets, Mrs. Smith

deserves more attention from the public than she is now likely to obtain. She is not to be compared to the Lady Minstrels of the present day, (to the powerful Joanna Baillie, the fanciful L. E. L., the tender and pathetic Caroline Bowles*, or the refined and spirited Hemans,) but her poems may, nevertheless, be occasionally referred to with pleasure as the effusions of a chaste and cultivated mind.



A GLORIOUS sight! The sun is in the sea,
But o'er its liquid cell yon cloud-arch gleams
With lambent fire-fit bridge for forms of air !
On either side, like green paths dropped with gold,
Or cowslip-covered fields in dewy light,
The glittering vapours lie.—But ah ! how vain
To breathe this feeble language o'er a scene,
So like a gorgeous vision ! Every tint
And shadowy form that charms the poet's eye
Now mocks his failing art !

* Now Mrs. Southey.



'Tis sweet on this far strand, When

memory charms the fond reverted eye, To view that hallowed land Where early dreams like sun-touched shadows lie!


The dear familiar forms,
That caught the fairest hues of happier hours,

Flash forth through after storms,
As bursts of light between autumnal showers.


The green-wood's loveliest spot~
The summer walk--the cheerful winter fire

The calm domestic cot
The village church with ivy-covered spire-


Each scene we loved so well
With faithful force the mind's true mirror shows;

As Painting's mighty spell
Recals the past, and lengthened life bestows.


But though so brightly beam,
These distant views, they make the present drear ;

By Youth's departed dream,
Life's onward paths but desolate appear.

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