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With thousand spheres illumined ; each perchance
The powerful centre of revolving worlds!
Until hy strange excitement stirred, the mind
fath longed for dissolution, so it might bring
Knowledge, for which the spirit is athirst,
Open the darkling stores of bidden time,
And shew the marvel of eternal things,
Which, in the bosom of immensity,
Wheel round the God of nature. Vain desire! ..
To work in trembling my salvation here,
Waiting thy summons, stern mysterious Power,
Who to thy silent realm bast called away
All those whom nature twined around my heart
In my fond infancy, and left me here
Denuded of their love!
Where are ye gone,
And shall we wake from the long sleep of death,
To know each other, conscious of the ties
That linked our souls together, and draw down
The secret dew-drop on my cheek, whene'er
I turn unto the past ? or will the change
That comes to all renew the altered spirit
To other thoughts, making the strife or love
Of short mortality a shadow past,
Equal illusion? Father, whose strong mind
Was my support, whose kindness as the spring
Which never tarries! Mother, of all forms
That smiled upon my budding thoughts, most dear!
Brothers! and thou, mine only sister! gone
To the still grave, making the memory
Of all my earliest time a thing wiped out,
Save from the glowing spot, which lives as fresh
In my heart's core as when we last in joy
Were gathered round the blithe paternal board!
Where are ye? Must your kindred spirits sleep
For many a thousand years, till by the trump
Roused to new being ? Will old affections then
Burn inwardly, or all our loves gone by
Seem but a speck upon the roll of time,
Unworthy our regard ? This is too hard
For mortals to unravel, nor has He
Vouchsafed a clue to man, who bade us trust
To Him our weakness, and we shall wake up
After his likeness, and be satisfied.
EBENEZER ELLIOTT, sprung from the manufacturing classes of England, and completely identified with them in feelings and opinions, was born at Masborough, in Yorkshire, March 7, 1781. His father was an iron-founder, and he himself wrought at this business for many years. He followed Crabbe in depicting the condition of the poor as miserable and oppressed, tracing most of the evils he de. plores to the social and political institutions of his country. He was not, however, a 'destructive, as the following epigram shews:
What is a Communist ? One who has yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings.
The laws relating to the importation of corn were denounced by Elliott as specially oppressive, and he inveighed against them with a fervour of manner and a harshness of phraseology which ordinary minds feel as repulsive, even while acknowledged as flowing from the offended benevolence of the poet. His vigorous and exciting political verses helped, in no small degree, to swell the cry which at length compelled the legislature to abolish all restrictions on the importation of corn.
For thee, my country, thee, do I perform,
Sternly, the duty of a man born free,
Heedless, though ass, and wolf, and venomous worm,
Shake ears and fangs, with brandished bray, at me. Fortunately, the genius of Elliott redeemed his errors of taste : his delineation of humble virtue and affection, and his descriptions of English scenery, are excellent. He wrote from genuine feelings and impulses, and often rose into pure sentiment and eloquence.
The Corn-law Rhymer, as he was popularly termed, appeared as a poet in 1823, but it was at a later period—from 1830 to 1836—that he produced his 'Corn-law Rhymes' and other works, which stamped him as a true genius, and rendered his name famous. He was honoured with critical notices from Southey, Bulwer, and Wilson, and became, as has justly been remarked, as truly and popularly the poet of Yorkshire—its heights, dales, and broad towns'—as Scott was the poet of Tweedside, or Wordsworth of the Lakes. His career was manly and honourable, and latterly he enjoyed comparatively easy circumstances, free from manual toil. He died at his house near Barnsley on the 1st of December, 1849. Shortly after his death, two volumes of prose and verse were published from his papers.
To the Bramble Flower.
Thy fruit full well the school-boy knows, While silent showers are falling slow,
Wild bramble of the brake!
And 'mid the general hush,
So put thou forth thy small white rose; A sweet air lifts the little bough,
I love it for his sake.
Lone whispering through the bush! Though woodbines flaunt and roses glow The primrose to the grave is gone; O'er all the fragrant bowers,
The hawthorn flower is dead; Thon needst not be ashamed to shew The violet by the mossed gray stone Thy satin-threaded flowers ;
Hath laid her weary head; For dull
the eye, the heart is áull, But thou, wild bramble ! back dost bring, That cannot feel how fair,
In all their beauteous power. Amid all beauty beautiful,
The fresh green days of life's fair spring, Thy tender blossoms are !
And boyhood's blossomy hour. How delicate thy gauzy frill!
Scorned bramble of the brake ! once more How rich thy branchy stem !
Thou bidd'st me be a boy,
How soft thy voice when woods are still, To gad with thee the woodlands o'er,
And thou sing'st hymns to them: In freedom and in joy.
Bone-weary, many-childed. trouble-tried !
Wife of my bosom, wedded to my soul !
Mother of nine that live, and two that died !
This day, drink health from nature's mountain-bowl;
Nay, why lament the doom which mocks control ?
The buried are not lost, but gone before.
Then dry thy tears, and see the river roll
O'er rocks, that crowned yon time-dark heights of yore,
Now, tyrant-like, dethroned, to crush the weak no more.
The young are with us yet, and we with them :
Oh, thank the Lord for all he gives or takes-
The withered bud, the living flower, or gem!
And He will bless us when the world forsakes!
Lo! where thy fisher-born, abstracted, takes,
With his fixed eyes, the trout he cannot see!
Lo! starting from his earnest dream, he wakes !
While our glad Fanny, with raised foot and knee,
Bears down at Noe's side the bloom-bowed hawthorn tree.
Dear children! when the flowers are full of bees;
When sun-touched blossoms shed their fragrant snow;
When song speaks like a spirit, from the trees
Whose kindled greenness hath a golden glow;
When, clear as music, rill and river flow,
With trembling hues, all changeful, tinted o'er
By that bright
pencil which good spirits know
Alike in earth and heaven-'tis sweet, once more,
Above the sky-tinged hills to see the storm-bird soar.
'Tis passing sweet to wander, free as air,
Blithe truants in the bright and breeze-blessed day,
Far from the town—where stoop the sons of care
O'er plans of mischief, till their souls turn gray,
And dry as dust, and dead-alive are they-
Of all self-buried things the most unblessed :
O Morn! to them no blissful tribute pay !
O Night's long-courted slumbers ! bring no rest
To men who laud man's foes, and deem the basest best !
God I would they handcuff thee? and, if they could,
Chain the free air, that, like the daisy, goes
To every field; and bid the warbling wood
Exchange no music with the willing rose
For love-sweet odours, where the woodbine blows
And trades with every cloud and every beam
Of the rich sky! Their gods are bonds and blows,
Rocks, and blind shipwreck; and they hate the stream
That leaves them still behind, and mocks their changeless dream.
They know ye not, ye flowers that welcome me,
Thus glad to meet, by trouble parted long!
They never saw ye-never may they see
Your dewy beauty, when the throsile's song
Floweth like starlight, gentle, calm, and strong!
Still, Avarice, starve their souls! still, lowest Pride,
Make them the meanest of the basest throng !
And may they never, on the green hill's side,
Embrace a chosen flower, and love it as a bride!
Blue Eyebright !* loveliest flower of all that grow
In flower-loved England ! Flower, whose hedge-side gaze
Is like an infant's ! What heart doth not know,
Thee, clustered smiler of the bank! where plays
The sunbeam with the emerald snake, and strays
The Germander Spoed well.
The dazzling rill, companion ol the road
Which the lone bard most loveth, in the days
When hope and love are young? Oh, come abroad,
Blue Eyebright! and this rill shall woo thee with an ode.
Awake, blue Eyebright, while the singing wave
Its cold, bright, beauteous, soothing tribute drops
From many a gray rock's foot and dripping cave;
While yonder, lo, the starting stone-chat hops!
While here the cotter's cow its sweet food crops;
While black-faced ewes and lambs are bleating there:
And, bursting through the briers, the wild ass stops-
Kicks at the strangers—then turns round to stare-
Then lowers his large red ears, and shakes his long dark hair.
Pictures of Native Genius.
O faithful love, by poverty embraced !
Thy heart is fire amid a wintry waste;
Thy joys are roses born on Hecla's brow;
Thy home is Eden warm amid the snow;
And she, thy mate, when coldest blows the storm,
Clings then most fondly to thy guardian form;
E'en as thy taper gives intensest light,
When o'er thy bowed roof darkest falls the night. ]
Oh, if thou e'er hast wronged her, if thou e'er
From those mild eyes hast caused one bitter tear
To flow unseen, repent, and sin no more!
For richest gems, compared with her, are poor;
Gold, weighed against her heart, is light-is vile;
And when thou sufferest, who shall see her smile ?
Sighing, ye wake, and sighing, sink to sleep,
And seldom smile without fresh cause to weep
(Scarce dry the pebble, by the wave dashed o'er,
Another comes, to wet it as before);
Yet while in gloom your freezing day declines,
How fair the wintry sunbeam when it shines !
Your foliage, where no summer leaf is seen,
Sweetly embroiders earth's white veil with green;
And yonr broad branches, proud of storm-tried strength,
Stretch to the winds in sport their stalwart length.
And calmly wave, beneath the darkest hour,
The ice-born fruit, the frost-defying flower.
Let luxury, sickening in profusion's chair,
Unwisely pamper his unworthy heir,
And, while he feeds him, blush and tremble too!
But love and labour, blush not, fear not you !
Your children-splinters from the mountain's side
With rugged hands, shall for themselves provide.
Parent of valour, cast away thy fear!
Mother of men, be proud without a tear !
While round your hearth the woe-nursed virtues move,
And all that manliness can ask of love;
Remember Hogarth, and abjure despair;
Remember Arkwright, and the peasant Clare.
Burns, o'er the plough, sung sweet his wood-notes wild,
And richest Shakspeare was a poor man's child,
Sire, green in age, mild, patient, toil-inured,
Endure thine evils as thou hast endured.
Behold thy wedded daughter, and rejoice!
Hear hope's sweet accents in a grandchild's voice
See freedom's bulwarks in thy sons arise,
And Hampden, Russell, Sidney in your eyes !
And should some new Napoleon's curse subdue
All hearths but thine, let him behold them too,
And timely shun a deadlier Waterloo. Y
Northumbrian vales! ye saw in silent pride,
The pensive brow of lowly Akenside,
When, poor, yet learned, he wandered young and free,
And felt within the strong divinity.
Scenes of his youth, where first he wooed the Nine,
His spirit still is with you, vales of Tyne!
As when he breathed, your blue-belled paths along,
The soul of Plato into British song.
Born in a lowly hut an infant slept,
Dreamful in sleep, and sleeping, smiled or wept:
Silent the youth-the man was grave and shy:
His parents loved to watch his wondering eye:
And lo! he waved a prophet's hand, and gave,
Where the winds soar, a pathway to the wave!
From hill to hill bade air-hung rivers stride,
And flow through mountains with a conqueror's pride:
O'er grazing herds, lo! ships suspended sail,
And Brindley's praise hath wings in every gale!
The worm came up to drink the welcome shower;
The redbreast quaffed the raindrop in the bower;
The flaskering duck through freshened lilies swam;
The bright roach took the fly below the dam;
Ramped the glad colt, and cropped the pensile spray ;
No more in dust uprose the sultry way;
The lark was in the cloud; the woodbine hung
More sweetly o'er the chaffinch while he sung;
And the wild rose, from every dripping bush,
Beheld on silvery Sheaf the mirrored blush ;
When calmly seated on his panniered ass,
Where travellers hear the steel hiss as they pass,
A milk-boy, sheltering from the transient storm,
Chalked, on the grinder's wall, an infant's form;
Young Chantrey smiled; no critic praised or blamed;
And golden Promise smiled, and thus exclaimed:
'Go, child of genius! rich be thine increase;
Go-be the Phidias of the second Greece!'
A Poet's Prayer.
Almighty Father! let thy lowly child,
Strong in his love of truth, be wisely bold-
A patriot bard by sycophants reviled,
Let him live usefully, and not die old !
Let poor men's children, pleased to read his lays,
Love, for his sake, the scenes where he hath been.
And when he ends his pilgrimage of days,
Let him be buried where the grass is green,
Where daisies, blooming earliest, linger late
To hear the bee his busy note prolong;
There let him slumber, and in peace await
The dawning morn, far from the sensual throng,
Who scorn the wind-flower's blush, the redbreast's lovely song.
MR. BAYLY (1797-1839) was, next to Moore, the most successful song-writer of our age, and he composed a number of light dramas. He was the son of a solicitor, near Bath. Destined for the church,