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The midnight blast shall howl

The dews his cold limbs steep
The jackal shriek, the wild dog growl-

Nor wake his dreamless sleep!

Yet vain the dirge of woe,

Where mortal relics rest,-
His earth-freed spirit triumphs now,

In regions of the blest !

SONNET_THE SUTTEE.

Her last fond wishes breathed, a farewell smile

Is lingering on the calm unclouded brow

Of yon deluded victim. Firmly now
She mounts, with dauntless mien, the funeral pile
Where lies her earthly lord. The Brahmin's guile

Hath wrought its will—fraternal hands bestow

The quick death-flame--the crackling embers glowAnd flakes of hideous smoke the skies defile !

The ruthless throng their ready aid supply, And pour the kindling oil. The stunning sound

Of dissonant drums--the priest's exulting cryThe failing martyr's pleading voice have drowned ; While fiercely-burning rafters fall around,

And shroud her frame from horror's straining eye!

STANZAS.

1.

The brighter hours of life are past,

The sun of hope is set :
Though its lingering beam as it glowed its last

Woke a tear of too fond regret;
It hath left a solemn twilight sadness,
I would not change for the glare of gladness.

II.

I've known the weary weight of grief,

The throb of wild despair ; Though hushed is the tone that would breathe relief,

And the sigh that my pang would shareThough the breast is cold—the voice departedThey haunt the dreams of the lonely-hearted.

III.

I linger in the stranger's land

I share the stranger's bowl-
Yet the thought of his own dear native land

Is a star to the wanderer's soul ;
And of Memory's chain-Love's farewell token-
Each hallowed link hath remained unbroken.

ON THE ART OF READING.

I was lately dipping into “ A Catalogue of Five Hundred celebrated Living Authors of Great Britain*,” published in 1788, and on coming to the article on Anna Seward, was struck with the singularity of one of the points of commendation. She is described as “a lady of considerable accomplishments, beautiful in her person, lively and entertaining in her conversation, and celebrated for her great excellence in the art of reading.The mention of Miss Seward's poetry follows as a secondary matter; and indeed if she had not read poetry better than she wrote it, she would scarcely have merited such particular praise. Not that her poetry was invariably bad. Some of her sonnets have both beauty of thought and harmony of metre, though I fear that the world will "willingly let them die.” In fact they are almost forgotten already. There are lines in them, however, that deserve to live. The following is an example. It finely represents the heat and stillness of a summer noon.

And sultry silence brooded o'er the hills.” The following Stanza on the dog in a wild state, is taken from her poem on the “ Future Existence of Brutes."

“When unattached, and yet to man unknown,
Wolfish and wild, the wilderness le roves,
Bays with his horrid howl, the silent moon,

And stalks the terror of the desert groves."
The following couplet is pretty and picturesque :-

“And tossing the green sea-weed o'er and o'er
Creeps the hushed billow on the shelly shore.”

* I have a vague recollection that Lord Byron once noticed and laughed at this book, being much amused at the notion of there being at any time in one country 500 celebrated living writers.

Her description of a winter morning is extremely true.

“I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light,

Winter's pale dawn :--and as warm fires illume
And cheerful tapers shine around the room,
Through misty windows bend my musing sight,
Where, round the dusky lawn, the mansions white,
With shutters closed, peer faintly through the gloom,
That slow recedes, while yon gray spires assume,
Rising from their dark pile, an added height
By indistinctness given.”

Miss Seward's poetry is sometimes florid and affected, and a great deal more attention seems paid to the expression and the sound than to the sentiments. She was admired, however, as a poetess and esteemed as a friend by Darwin and Hayley, and even Sir Walter Scott and the learned Dr. Parr. Sir Egerton Brydges fancies that the hand of Darwin is to be traced in many of her early poems. I think not. She was too self-satisfied to receive such assistance. The querulous and passionate strain of her correspondence with Henry Hardinge, who occasionally ventured to suggest improvements in her verses and to differ with her on certain points of poetical criticism, shows that she was not easily led by the advice or influenced by the judgment of others. Darwin, in fact, is more indebted to her than she was to him, for he is known to have used some lines of her composition as the introduction to his “ Botanic Garden,” and that without any acknowledgment.

As to Miss Seward's posthumous letters, which in obedience to her last will were edited by Sir Walter Scott, they are certainly the most artificial compositions of the kind in the English language, though they are at the same time anongst the most amusing, on account of their poetical criticisms and their literary anecdotes.

Nothing, however, can be more ludicrous than her extravagant admiration of the circle of Lilliputian poets, by whom she was surrounded. I do not allude to Hayley and Darwin, for though now out of fashion they were really eminent men in their day; but to that little clan of versifiers whose very names are now forgotten, though their productions, according to Anna's friendly predictions, were to last with the language. It was because Hardinge would not admire these sprats of Helicon that she was so exasperated at what she called his want of candour. What most surprises us, in the midst of her violent eulogies, is the quickness and accuracy of her microscopic eye in picking out the minutest beauties of these small writers. It is true that she always exaggerates the value of her discoveries to a most unconscionable extent; but she exhibits at the same time the nicest judgment in selection. If a critic of the severest taste were compelled to praise the same writers, he would inevitably fix upon the same passages for commendation. This seems to show extreme partiality rather than a want of critical acumen. Many of her remarks upon Milton are exceedingly judicious, and she enthusiastically maintained his claim to be considered a richly harmonious poet, when it was the fashion to pronounce his versification harsh and unpleasing.

Miss Seward's success as a reader argues her possession of a great delicacy of ear and quickness of apprehension, for without these qualities it is impossible she could have recited Shakspeare and Milton with even tolerable effect. If her reputation as a reader was well founded, and there is no reason to doubt that it was so, we need not wonder at the earnest entreaties of her friends (which she mentions in her letters) for the repeated exercise of her talent for recitation ; for nothing is more delightful than to hear fine poetry delivered by a reader perfectly equal to the task.

It is assumed that poets, from their peculiar sensibility to the beauties of verse and their more intimate familiarity with its harmonies, are better readers of poetry than other men. This is generally the case, but not always. A man may write

very

harmoni. ous verses, and yet be quite unable to do them justice by an accurate and pleasing recitation. Goldsmith once remarked in company, that poets were more likely to read verses well than other

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