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Fair Spring ! whose simplest promise more delights The lowliest children of the ground,
And lily of the vale.
O say what soft propitious hour
And court thy gentle sway?
When autumn, friendly to the Muse,
And shed thy milder day.
MRS OPIE-MRS HUNTER-MRS GRANTAnd flowery wreaths consenting lovers wear.
MRS TIGHE. Flowers, the sole luxury which nature knew,
MRS AMELIA OPIE (1769-1853) was the In Eden's pure and guiltless garden grew. To loftier forms are rougher tasks assigned ;
daughter of a popular physician, Dr Alderson, The sheltering oak resists the stormy wind,
of Norwich, and widow of John Opie, the celeThe tougher yew repels invading foes,
brated artist. In 1802 she published a volume of And the tall pine for future navies grows :
miscellaneous poems, characterised by a simple But this soft family to cares unknown,
and placid tenderness. She is more celebrated for Were born for pleasure and delight alone.
her novels-to be afterwards noticed--and for her Gay without toil, and lovely without art,
general literary merits and association with all the They spring to cheer the sense and glad the heart. eminent persons of her day.-MRS ANNE HUNTER Nor blush, my fair, to own you copy these ;
(1742-1821) was a retired but highly accomplished Your best, your sweetest empire is—to please. lady, sister of Sir Everard Home, and wife of
John Hunter, the celebrated surgeon. Having Ilymn to Content.
written several copies of verses, which were
extensively circulated, and some songs that even Natura beatos
Haydn had married to immortal music, Mrs Omnibus esse dedit, si quis cognoverit uti.-CLAUDIAN.
Hunter was induced, in 1806, to collect her pieces O thou, the nymph with placid eye!
and commit them to the press.—MRS ANNE O seldom found, yet ever nigh!
GRANT (1755-1838) in 1803 published a volume of Receive my temperate vow :
miscellaneous poems, chiefly in illustration of the Not all the storms that shake the pole Can e'er disturb thy halcyon soul,
people and manners of the Scottish Highlands. And smooth the unaltered brow.
She was widow of the minister of Laggan in
Inverness-shire. Mrs Grant was author of several O come, in simple vest arrayed,
interesting prose works. She wrote Letters from With all thy sober cheer displayed,
the Mountains, giving a description of Highland To bless my longing sight;
scenery and manners, with which she was conversThy mien composed, thy even pace,
ant from her residence in the country; also Thy meek regard, thy matron grace,
Memoirs of an American Lady (1810); and Essays And chaste subdued delight.
on the Superstitions of the Highlanders, which
appeared in 1811. The writings of this lady disNo more by varying passions beat,
play a lively and observant fancy, and considerable O gently guide my pilgrim feet
powers of landscape-painting. They first drew To find thy hermit cell ;
attention to the more striking and romantic Where in some pure and equal sky,
features of the Scottish Highlands, afterwards so Beneath thy soft indulgent eye,
fertile a theme for the genius of Scott. The modest virtues dwell.
An Irish poetess, MRS MARY TIGHE (1773Simplicity in Attic vest,
1810), evinced a more passionate and refined And Innocence with candid breast,
imagination than any of her tuneful sisterhood. And clear undaunted eye ;
Her poem of Psyche, founded on the classic fable And Hope, who points to distant years,
related by Apuleius, of the loves of Cupid and Fair opening through this vale of tears,
Psyche, or the allegory of Love and the Soul, is A vista to the sky,
characterised by a graceful voluptuousness and
brilliancy of colouring rarely excelled. It is in There Health, through whose calm bosom glide six cantos, and wants only a little more concenThe temperate joys in even-tide,
tration of style and description to be one of the That rarely ebb or flow;
best poems of the period. It was privately printed And Patience there, thy sister meek,
in 1805, and after the death of the authoress, Presents her mild unvarying cheek
reprinted, with the addition of other poems, in To meet the offered blow.
1811. Mrs Tighe was daughter of the Rev. W. Her influence taught the Phrygian sage
Blackford, county of Wicklow, and was married A tyrant master's wanton rage
to Henry Tighe, M.P., county of Wicklow. Her With settled smiles to wait :
history seems to be little known, unless to private Inured to toil and bitter bread,
friends ; but her early death, after six years of He bowed his meek submissive head,
protracted suffering, has been commemorated by And kissed thy sainted feet.
Moore, in his beautiful lyricBut thou, O nymph retired and coy!
I saw thy form in youthful prime. In what brown hamlet dost thou joy
We subjoin some selections from the works of To tell thy tender tale ?
each of the above ladies :
The fleeting shadows of delight,
In memory I trace;
And all the past replace :
Song.-- From the same.
Still vibrate on my heart;
When we were doomed to part.
And round your orbits play ;
That it may ne'er decay !
The Orphan Boy's Tale.
From Mrs Opie's Poems.
And hear a helpless orphan's tale ;
'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale.
And my brave father's hope and joy ;
And I am now an orphan boy.
When news of Nelson's victory came,
And see the lighted windows flame!
She could not bear to see my joy ;
And made me a poor orphan boy.
My mother, shuddering, closed her ears ;
My mother answered with her tears.
While others laugh and shout with joy ?" She kissed me—and, with such a sigh !
She called me her poor orphan boy.
As in her face I looked, and smiled ;
"You 'll know too soon, ill-fated child !'
And I'm no more a parent's joy ;
What 'tis to be an orphan boy!
Nay, gentle lady, do not chide-
The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
You'll give me clothing, food, employ?
Your happy, happy, orphan boy!
The Death-song, written for, and adapted to, an
Original Indian Air.-From the same. The sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day, But glory remains when their lights fade away, Begin, you tormentors ! your threats are in vain, For the son of Alknomook will never complain. Remember the arrows he shot from his bow, Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low. Why so slow? Do you wait till I shrink from the
pain? No; the son of Alknomook shall never complain. Remember the wood where in ambush we lay, And the scalps which we bore from your nation away. Now the flame rises fast ; you exult in my pain ; But the son of Alknomook can never complain. I go to the land where my father is gone, His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son ; Death comes, like a friend, to relieve me from pain ; And thy son, O Alknomook ! has scorned to complain.
From the same.
New friends, new hopes, new joys to find ! Yet sometimes deign, 'midst fairer maids,
To think on her thou leav'st behind.
Must never be my happy lot ;
Forget me not! forget me not!
Too painful to thy feelings be,
Nor ever deign to think on me : But oh! if grief thy steps attend,
If want, if sickness be thy lot, And thou require a soothing friend,
Forget me not ! forget me not !
The Lot of Thousands - From the same.
By secret sorrow close concealed,
What must not be revealed. 'Tis hard to smile when one would weep;
To speak when one would silent be ; To wake when one should wish to sleep,
And wake to agony.
Who wander in this world of care,
To save them from despair.
Where disappointment cannot come ;
The weary wanderers home.
From Mrs Hunter's Poems. The season comes when first we met,
But you return no more ;
Which time can ne'er restore ?
Are you indeed for ever past?
On a Sprig of Heath.-
From Mrs Grant's Poems.
For thee the brake and tangled wood-
Thy tender buds supply her food;
Flower of the desert though thou art !
Let those to wealth and proud distinction born, The deer that range the mountain free,
With the cold glance of insolence and scorn The graceful doe, the stately hart,
Regard the suppliant wretch, and harshly grieve Their food and shelter seek from thee;
The bleeding heart their bounty would relieve : The bee thy earliest blossom greets,
Far different these ; while from a bounteous heart And draws from thee her choicest sweets.
With the poor sufferer they divide a part,
Humbly they own that all they have is given
A boon precarious from indulgent Heaven ;
And the next blighted crop or frosty spring,
Themselves to equal indigence may bring.
From Mrs Tighe's . Psyche.'
The marriage of Cupid and Psyche in the Palace of Love. Adorns the dusky mountain's side,
Psyche afterwards gazes on Love while asleep, and is banished from
the Island of Pleasure. Not the gay hues of Iris' bow, Nor garden's artful varied pride,
She rose, and all enchanted gazed With all its wealth of sweets, could cheer,
On the rare beauties of the pleasant scene : Like thee, the hardy mountaineer.
Conspicuous far, a lofty palace blazed
Upon a sloping bank of softest green;
A fairer edifice was never seen ;
The high-ranged columns own no mortal hand, To pluck.thy blossoms in the wild,
But seem a temple meet for beauty's queen; And deck his bonnet with the wreath,
Like polished snow the marble pillars stand, Where dwelt of old his rustic sires,
In grace-attempered majesty, sublimely grand. Is all his simple wish requires.
Gently ascending from a silvery flood,
Above the palace rose the shaded hill,
The lofty eminence was crowned with wood,
And the rich lawns, adorned by nature's skill, Looks homeward through the blinding tear, The passing breezes with their odours fill ; How must his aching heart deplore,
Here ever-blooming groves of orange glow, That home and thee he sees no more!
And here all flowers, which from their leaves distil
Ambrosial dew, in sweet succession blow,
And trees of matchless size a fragrant shade bestow.
The sun looks glorious, 'mid a sky serene,
And bids bright lustre sparkle o'er the tide ; Where yonder ridgy mountains bound the scene,
The clear blue ocean at a distance seen, The narrow opening glens that intervene
Bounds the gay landscape on the western side, Still shelter, in some lowly nook obscure,
While closing round it with majestic pride, One poorer than the rest—where all are poor;
The lofty rocks ’mid citron groves arise ;
Sure some divinity must here reside,'
As tranced in some bright vision, Psyche cries, And lonely muses all the summer day:
And scarce believes the bliss, or trusts her charmed
From unseen lips proceeds the heavenly sound; Or sunk beneath the unfathomable main ;
Psyche, approach, dismiss thy timid fears, In vain her eyes the watery waste explore
At length his bride thy longing spouse has found, For heroes-fated to return no more!
And bids for thee immortal joys abound; Let others bless the morning's reddening beam,
For thee the palace rose at his command, Foe to her peace—it breaks the illusive dream
For thee his love a bridal banquet crowned ; That, in their prime of manly bloom confessed,
He bids attendant nymphs around thee stand, Restored the long-lost warriors to her breast;
Prompt every wish to serve-a fond obedient band. And as they strove, with smiles of filial love, Their widowed parent's anguish to remove,
Increasing wonder filled her ravished soul, Through her small casement broke the intrusive day,
For now the pompous portals opened wide, And chased the pleasing images away!
There, pausing oft, with timid foot she stole No time can e'er her banished joys restore,
Through halls high domed, enriched with sculptured For ah! a heart once broken heals no more.
pride, The dewy beams that gleam from pity's eye,
While gay saloons appeared on either side, The still small voice of sacred sympathy,
In splendid vista opening to her sight; In vain the mourner's sorrows would beguile,
And all with precious gems so beautified, Or steal from weary woe one languid smile;
And furnished with such exquisite delight, Yet what they can they do—the scanty store,
That scarce the beams of heaven emit such lustre So often opened for the wandering poor,
bright. To her each cottager complacent deals,
The amethyst was there of violet hue, While the kind glance the melting heart reveals ; And there the topaz shed its golden ray, And still, when evening streaks the west with gold, The chrysoberyl, and the sapphire blue The milky tribute from the lowing fold
As the clear azure of a sunny day, With cheerful haste officious children bring,
Or the mild eyes where amorous glances play ; And every smiling flower that decks the spring :
The snow-white jasper, and the opaľs flame, Ah ! little know the fond attentive train,
The blushing ruby, and the agate gray, That spring and flowerets smile for her in vain :
And there the gem which bears his luckless name Yet hence they learn to reverence modest woe,
Whose death, by Phoebus mourned, insured him And of their little all a part bestow.
There the green emerald, there cornelians glow
Yes, hide beneath the mouldering heap And rich carbuncles pour eternal light,
The undelighting slighted thing ; With all that India and Peru can shew,
There in the cold earth buried deep,
In silence let it wait the spring.
Oh! many a stormy night shall close
In gloom upon the barren earth, Of fair attire, the last recess displays,
While still, in undisturbed repose, And all that luxury can ask, her eye surveys.
Uninjured lies the future birth : Now through the hall melodious music stole,
And Ignorance, with sceptic eye, And self-prepared the splendid banquet stands;
Hope's patient smile shall wondering view : Self-poured, the nectar sparkles in the bowl ;
Or mock her fond credulity,
As her soft tears the spot bedew.
Sweet smile of hope, delicious tear!
The sun, the shower indeed shall come ; For sweet refreshment all inviting seems
The promised verdant shoot appear, To taste celestial food, and pure ambrosial streams.
And nature bid her blossoms bloom. But when meek eve hung out her dewy star,
And thou, O virgin queen of spring! And gently veiled with gradual hand the sky,
Shalt, from thy dark and lowly bed, Lo! the bright folding doors retiring far,
Bursting thy green sheath's silken string,
Unveil thy charms, and persume shed;
Unfold thy robes of purest white,
Unsullied from their darksome grave, Divinely formed, a downy couch arose,
And thy soft petals' silvery light While alabaster lamps a milky light disclose.
In the mild breeze unfettered wave. Once more she hears the hymeneal strain ;
So Faith shall seek the lowly dust Far other voices now attune the lay :
Where humble Sorrow loves to lie, The swelling sounds approach, a while remain,
And bid her thus her hopes intrust,
And watch with patient, cheerful eye ;
And bear the long, cold, wintry night,
And bear her own degraded doom; When through the obscuring gloom she nought can And wait till Heaven's reviving light, spy,
Eternal spring ! shall burst the gloom.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD (1766-1823), author of Attends the unexpected voice of love :
the Farmer's Boy, and other poems illustrative Above the lyre, the lute's soft notes above, of English rural life and customs, was born at With sweet enchantment to the soul it steals, Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. And bears it to Elysium's happy grove;
His father, a tailor, died whilst the poet was a You best can tell the rapture Psyche feels, child, and he was placed under his uncle, a When Love's ambrosial lip the vows of Hymen seals. farmer. Here he remained only two years, being ''Tis he, 'tis my deliverer ! deep imprest
too weak and diminutive for field-labour, and he Upon my heart those sounds I well recall,' was taken to London by an elder brother, and The blushing maid exclaimed, and on his breast brought up to the trade of a shoemaker. His A tear of trembling ecstacy let fall.
two years of country service, and occasional But, ere the breezes of the morning call
visits to his friends in Suffolk, were of inestimable Aurora from her purple, humid bed,
importance to him as a poet, for they afforded Psyche in vain explores the vacant hall;
materials for his Farmer's Boy, and gave a freshHer tender lover from her arms is fled,
ness and reality to his descriptions. It was in While sleep his downy wings had o'er her eyelids the shoemaker's garret
, however, that his poetry spread.
was chiefly composed; and the merit of intro
ducing it to the world belongs to Mr Capel Lofft, The Lily.-By Mrs Tighe.
a literary gentleman residing at Troston, near How withered, perished seems the form Bury, to whom the manuscript was shewn, after Of yon obscure unsightly root !
being rejected by several London booksellers. Yet from the blight of wintry storm,
Mr Lofft warmly befriended the poet, and had It hides secure the precious fruit.
the satisfaction of seeing his prognostications of
success fully verified. At this time Bloomfield The careless eye can find no grace,
was thirty-two years of age, was married, and had No beauty in the scaly folds,
three children. The Farmer's Boy immediately Nor see within the dark embrace
became popular; the Duke of Grafton patronised What latent loveliness it holds.
the poet, settling on him a small annuity, and Yet in that bulb, those sapless scales,
through the influence of this nobleman, he was The lily wraps her silver vest,
appointed to a situation in the Seal-office. In Till vernal suns and vernal gales
1810, Bloomfield published a collection of Rural Shall kiss once more her fragrant breast. Tales, which fully supported his reputation; and
to these were afterwards added Wild Flowers, No stripes, no tyranny his steps pursued, Hazlewood Hall, a village drama, and Mayday His life was constant, cheerful servitude ; with the Muses. The last was published in the
Strange to the world, he wore a bashful look, year of his death, and opens with a fine burst of The fields his study, nature was his book ; poetical, though melancholy feeling.
And as revolving seasons changed the scene
From heat to cold, tempestuous to serene,
Yet each new duty brought its share of joy.
It is interesting to contrast the cheerful tone of Though bleak November's fogs oppress my brain, Bloomfield's descriptions of rural life in its hardest Shake every nerve, and struggling fancy chain; and least inviting forms, with those of Crabbe, Though time creeps o'er me with his palsied hand, also a native of Suffolk. Both are true, but And frost-like bids the stream of passion stand. coloured with the respective peculiarities, in
their style of observation and feeling, of the two The worldly circumstances of the author seem to poets. "Bloomfield describes the various occupahave been such as to confirm the common idea as tions of a farm-boy in seed-time, at harvest, to the infelicity of poets. His situation in the tending cattle and sheep, and other occupations. Seal-office was irksome and laborious, and he was in his tales, he embodies more moral feeling and forced to resign it from ill-health. He engaged painting, and his incidents are pleasing and well in the bookselling business, but was unsuccessful.
arranged His want of vigour and passion, In his latter years he resorted to making Æolian joined to the humility of his themes, is perhaps harps, which he sold among his friends. We the cause of his being now little read; but he is have been informed by the poet's son-a modest one of the most characteristic and faithful of our and intelligent 'man, á printer—that Mr Rogers national poets. exerted himself to procure a pension for Bloomfield, and Mr Southey also took much interest in
Harvest. his welfare ; but his last days were embittered by ill-health and poverty. So severe were the suf
A glorious sight, if glory dwells below,
Where heaven's munificence makes all things shew, ferings of Bloomfield from continual headache
O'er every field and golden prospect found, and nervous irritability, that fears were enter
That glads the ploughman's Sunday-morning's round; tained for his reason, when, happily, death stepped When on some eminence he takes his stand, in, and released him from the world's poor strife.' To judge the smiling produce of the land. He died at Shefford, in Bedfordshire, on the 19th Here Vanity slinks back, her head to hide ; of August 1823. The first remarkable feature in What is there here to flatter human pride? the poetry of this humble bard is the easy smooth The towering fabric, or the dome's loud roar, ness and correctness of his versification. His ear And steadfast columns may astonish more, was attuned to harmony, and his taste to the Where the charmed gazer long delighted stays, beauties of expression, before he had learned any
Yet traced but to the architect the praise ; thing of criticism, or had enjoyed opportunities
Whilst here the veriest clown that treads the sod, for study: This may be seen from the opening of
Without one scruple gives the praise to God; his principal poem :
And twofold joys possess his raptured mind,
Here midst the boldest triumphs of her worth,
Nature herself invites the reapers forth ;
Dares the keen sickle from its twelvemonth's rest, O come, blest Spirit! whatsoe'er thou art,
And gives that ardour which in every breast
No rake takes here what Heaven to all bestowsBe thou my Muse, and faithful still to me,
Children of want, for you the bounty flows ! Retrace the steps of wild obscurity.
And every cottage from the plenteous store No deeds of arms my humble lines rehearse ;
Receives a burden nightly at its door. No Alpine wonders thunder through my verse,
Hark! where the sweeping scythe now rips along; The roaring cataract, the snow-topt hill
Each sturdy mower, emulous and strong, Inspiring awe till breath itself stands still :
Whose writhing form meridian heat defies, Nature's sublimer scenes ne'er charmed mine eyes, Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries; Nor science led me through the boundless skies; Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet, From meaner objects far my raptures flow :
But spares the rising clover, short and sweet. O point these raptures ! bid my bosom glow,
Come Health! come Jollity! light-footed come; And lead my soul to ecstacies of praise
Here hold your revels, and make this your home. For all the blessings of my infant days !
Each heart awaits and hails you as its own; Bear me through regions where gay Fancy dwells ; Each moistened brow that scorns to wear a frown: But mould to Truth's fair form what memory tells. The unpeopled dwelling mourns its tenants strayed :
E'en the domestic laughing dairymaid Live, trifling incidents, and grace my song,
Hies to the field the general toil to share. That to the humblest menial belong :
Meanwhile the farmer quits his elbow-chair, To him whose drudgery unheeded goes,
His cool brick floor, his pitcher, and his ease, His joys unreckoned, as his cares or woes :
And braves the sultry beams, and gladly sees Though joys and cares in every path are sown,
His gates thrown open, and his team abroad, And youthful minds have feelings of their own
The ready group attendant on his word Quick-springing sorrows, transient as the dew,
To turn the swath, the quivering load to rear, Delights from trifles, trifles ever new.
Or ply the busy rake the land to clear. 'Twas thus with Giles, meek, fatherless, and poor, Summer's light garb itself now cumbrous grown, Labour his portion, but he felt no more ;
Each his thin doublet in the shade throws down : 36