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"Your old earth,” they say, "is very dreary;
Our young feet,” they say, "are very weak !
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary,

Our grave rest is very far to seek!
Ask the old why they weep, and not the children,

For the outside earth is cold, -
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering,

And the graves are for the old !"

“For oh,” say the children, "we are weary,

And we cannot run or leap,—
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely

To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping, -

We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,

The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring,

Through the coal-dark underground, Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron

In the factories, round and round. "For, all day, the wheels are droning, turning,

Their wind comes in our faces ; Till our hearts turn-our heads, with pulses burning,

And the walls turn in their places, Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling,

Turns the long light that droppeth down the wall, — Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,

All are turning, all the day, and we with all! And all day the iron wheels are droning;

And sometimes we could pray, 'O ye wheels,' (breaking out in a mad moaning)

•Stop! be silent for to-day !!”

“And well may the children weep before you ;

They are weary ere they run;
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory

Which is brighter than the sun;
They know the grief of men, but not the wisdom;

Are bitter with despairing, but not calm,-
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom,-

Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm,-
Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly

No dear remembrance keep,-
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly;

Let them weep! let them weep!
“They look up, with their pale and sunken faces,

And their look is dread to see; 22

VOL. VII.-NO. 14.


think you see their angels in their places,
With eyes meant for Deity;
How long,' they say, 'how long, O cruel nation,

Will you stand, to move the world, on a child's heart,
Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation,

And tread onward to your throne amid the mart?
Our blood splashes upwards, ( our tyrants,

And your purple shows your path ;
But the child's sob curseth deeper in the silence

Than the strong man in his wrath!'” Many of the remaining poems in the volume deserve especial notice ; but we can only mention the names of such gems as "Loved Once,” “Bertha in the Lane," "The House of Clouds," "A Portrait ;" leaving others unnoticed. “The Cry of the Human," and "A Rhapsody of Life's Progress," record in melancholy harmony the changes of human life, and its "mild mystery,"--all tending towards the life beyond. In "The Dead Pan,” the author has once more placed herself, and this time not favorably, in association with Milton. This lyric is founded on a tradition mentioned by Plutarch, "according to which, at the hour of the Saviour's agony, a cry of 'Great Pan is dead ! swept across the waves in the hearing of certain mariners,—and the oracles ceased.” The verses of Miss Barrett, breathing a gorgeous lament for the "gray old gods' of heathen story, instantly remind us of the poem of the bard of Paradise Lost, celebrating the departure of these pretended deities, on the eve of the blessed Nativity. The spirit and tone of Milton's lines are scarce surpassed by any thing even in his later works :

“The oracles are dumb,

No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving ;

Apollo from his shrine

Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving;
No nightly trance or breathed spell
Inspires the pale-eyed priest froin the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er,

And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;

From haunted spring and dale,

Edged with poplar pale,
The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn,” etc.

But we condemn not the poem of our author, because it does not equal Milton's ! It has much beauty of imagery and thought, in spite of the measure, which we cannot but regard as peculiarly unsuitable to a stately subject.

“Crowned and Wedded,” is a piece on the subject of Victoria; “Crowned and Buried,' of Napoleon; and of this we need say no more than that it is well sustained, and worthy a place among the lyrics of other poets who have chosen the same theme; even though of these are Byron and Manzoni. In glancing over the poems of Miss Barrett

, we are struck by her frequent and abrupt mention of the great name of Deity. The same fault was charged on her first published work; she has replied by a vindication in her preface to the present: and it is but fair to refer the reader to this defence, as otherwise an unfavorable impression might be produced in the minds of devout persons. Certainly, no one can suppose Miss Barrett guilty of want of reverence; but, secluded from the world, and having her daily life in woven with her spiritual creed, she obeys the impulse of her own feelings, unconscious that those of others may be startled.

To conclude; it cannot be doubted that Miss Barrett is a woman of high and original genius. Her manner of thought, her style of writing, are altogether her own. Her boldness is sustained by a consciousness of power. Her poems have her heart and life in them. If she is sometimes wanting in the faculty of construction, it is because her conception is vaster and higher than can readily be expressed. She is inspired with the love of Truth; and she loves Nature because she associates it with spiritual truth. All the force of her powerful imagination, all the treasures of her intellect, are employed to this end. The things unseen, which are eternal, fill her mental vision. Yet her poetry does not want true and deep human feeling; that exists in earnestness and strength, though colored always with that profound religious sense, which pervades her whole poetic being.

The distinctness of character belonging to these poems, gives promise that they will not be the last we may expect from the author's pen. She herself announces her intention of going forward. It is our interest to hope that she may be enabled to do so; and that sufficient measure ot health and enjoyment may be granted to her, to fulfil her own idea of duty. Should that be the case, what treasures of poetry

may we not expect in future, from one who has already proved herself

"strong to sanctify The poet's high vocation.”


Art. III.- A New Spirit of the Age.* Edited by R. H. Horne, Author of "Orion,” “Gregory VII.” etc.

"It is an easy thing to praise or blame;

The hard task, and the virtue, to do both.” New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1844.

THERE is some little pretension in the title chosen for this volume, of the propriety of which we are far from certain. To our notion, it is a misnomer. What constitutes the spirit of our age,-of any age? Is it the literary genius by which it is distinguished, or its intrinsic triumphs of morality and art ?-Its quiet, inner, unobtrusive evidences of a contemplative soul in letters ;-or its open, outward progress in strength and civilization,-those characteristics, no matter of what sort, in which a race exhibits the most earnest action, and to which the living communities declare the most decided tendency? Does the literary genius of the age, at any time, govern, or, to any great degree, influence its living and working spirit? Are men moved to action, led to performance, swayed in their passions and achievements, by the words of the poets and novelists, their contemporaries ? This is the question upon which must depend the propriety of the title chosen for this volume. It is a question which would lead us, very far aside, from our course, in philosophical investigation. If we could establish the propriety of this title, as suited to a performance wholly surrendered to contemporaneous literary biography, it would have the effect of greatly raising the value of literary stocks. The mart would become busy with a new class of persons. Poets might then, with some decency of face, present themselves at the offices of "Discount and Deposit,” craving accommodations. They

• There are two American editions of this work before us, one of which is illustrated with portraits. Both come from the press of Harper & Brothers.

might be quoted in the three per-cents, be heard of in consols, and even rise into authorities among the lordly potentates on 'Change. But the age quickens with no such wonders. Its spirit exhibits itself in other signs than those which declare for its Genius. In England, from whence this book proceeds, we are delighted with no such revelations. It is only where the literary man adapts himself, as in the case of Lord Brougham, to what are called, by a narrow judgment, the practical or merely useful wants of the community, that he is admitted to be an authority, and to any degree influences the working spirit of the nation. In France, there is, to be sure, a greater apparent proximation of the one thing to the other;- but the appearance is delusive. It is a fact only to the eye. There, we do occasionally behold the poet and the novelist in power ;-the sentimentalist Chateaubriand; the orientalist La Martine; the subtle and speculative novelist Hugo ;-busy in the toil of wielding the politics of the nation, stirring, with the rest, in its everyday necessities,-and, if we may so style them, every-day philosophies. But how little is it the case, even in France, when we take into the estimate the vast and wholly disproportionate influence possessed, in the same departments, by other classes, in whose number and poetical insensibility, Schiller found such epigrammatic occasion for marvel.* Besides, where we do find literary men in power, exercising authority, swaying the popular judgment, or wielding its will,- whether in England or upon the Continent,-it is rather in spite, than because, of their literary endowments. These are yielded to the occasion,—are sacrificed to what appears the popular requisition. Ambitious of the time, such authors deliver themselves to its daily uses. Their labors regard political objects merely, and these generally of temporary expediency. They write for parties. They philosophize for factions. Their very songs are about grain, and rents, and cattle, and corn-laws. Their books are political systems, and problems, allegorized for effect;-a cunning mode by which to salt and season those political propositions, which might otherwise offend the vulgar swallow. Such

• The apostrophe to the Muse, --which may be rendered thus :

“I know not well what I should be,
Wert thou nought, sweet Muse, to me;
But much I wonder when I see,
The thousands who are nought to thee."

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