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Full of a nature nothing can tame,
Darkness or sunshine thy element :
Glorious Fountain! let my heart be
Fresh, changeful, constant, upward, like thee!
Ah me! the little battle's done,
Full many a move, since then, have we
And many a game with Fortune played,-
This, this at least,-if this alone ;
That never, never, never more,
Shut out the world and wintry weather,
And, eyes exchanging warmth with eyes,
Play chess, as then we played, together!
ARTHUR CLEVELAND COXE, author of Christian Ballads, thus pays tribute to historic Old England :
Land of the rare old chronicle, the legend, and the lay,
Where deeds of fancy's dream are truths of all thine ancient day;
And I have wooed thy poet-tide from fountain-head along,
And thou art no strange land to me, from Cumberland to Kent,
Fair isle thy Dove's wild dale along with Walton have I roved,
I've seen thy beacon-banners blaze our mountain coast along,
Thy holy Church-the Church of God—that hath grown old in
Since there the ocean-roving Dove came bleeding from the sea; When pierced afar, her weary feet could find no home but thine, Until thine altars were her nest, thy fanes her glory's shrine!
These opening stanzas of The Ballad of Babie Bell-describing a little life that "was but three Aprils long"-is by our American poet, ALDRICH :—
Have you not heard the poets tell
The gates of heaven were left ajar :
She saw this planet, like a star,
Hung in the glistening depths of even-
She touched a bridge of flowers-those feet,
They fell like dew upon the flowers,
Into this world of ours!
She came, and brought delicious May!
The lily swung its noiseless bell,
And o'er the porch the trembling vine
How sweetly, softly, twilight fell!
And opening Spring-tide flowers,
When the dainty Babie Bell
Came to this world of ours!
The poet-laureate of England, ALFRED TENNYSON, whose MayQueen, Idyls of the King, and In Memoriam, have won for him such high fame, has also enriched our English poetry with numerous lyrics of exquisite beauty. That fine outburst of philosophy and feeling, In Memoriam, has been compared to "a stream of song and sorrow, flowing deeply and calmly, and in the light of peaceful memories and tranquil hopes." Here is the opening stanza :—
This truth came borne with bier and pall,
I felt it when I sorrowed most,
'Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all.
His last poem of Enoch Arden is the most touchingly beautiful of all his later productions. It is a simple story of two rival suitors for the hand and heart of Annie Lee, who all grew up from childhood together. Enoch, the sailor, at length becomes the accepted lover: he marries her, and subsequently goes on a distant voyage. Years intervene, and no tidings of him reach his wife, who mourns him as dead. Philip, the miller, meanwhile becomes wealthy, seeks again his early love-Annie, who, after many delays, and misgivings as to the fate of Enoch,
At last, one night it chanced.
That Annie could not sleep, but earnestly
Prayed for a sign, "My Enoch, is he gone?"
Then, compassed round by the blind wall of night,
Brooked not the expectant terror of her heart,
Started from bed, and struck herself a light,
Then desperately seized the Holy Book,
Suddenly put her finger on the text
"Under a palm-tree." That was nothing to her :