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against her many of her friends and readers, but she regained the public favour by her tale, the ‘Old Manor-house,' which is the best of her novels. Part of this work was written at Eartham, the residence of Hayley, during the period of Cowper's visit to that poetical retreat. * It was delightful,' says Hayley, 'to hear her read what she had just written, for she read, as she wrote, with simplicity and grace.' Cowper was also astonished at the rapidity and excellence of her composition. Mrs Smith continued her literary labours amidst private and family distress. She wrote a valuable little compendium for children, under the title of • Conversations; A History of British Birds;' a descriptive poem on ‘Beachy Head,' &c. She died at Tilford, near Farnham, on the 28th of October 1806. The poetry of Mrs. Smith is elegant and sentimental, and generally of a pathetic cast.
Sonnets.—On the Departure of the Nightingale.
Farewell, soft minstrel of the early year!
And pour thy music on the night's dull ear.
Or whether silent in our groves you dwell,
And still protect the song she loves so well.
Through the lone brake that shades thy mossy nest;
The gentle bird who sings of pity best:
Written at the Close of Spring.
Each simple flower, which she had nursed in dew,
The primrose wan, and harebell mildly blue.
Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.
Are the fond visions of thy early day,
Bid all thy fairy colours fade away!
Rest for a moment of the sultry hours,
Pluck the wild rose or woodbine’s gadding flowers;
The sense of sorrow he a while may lose;
So charmed my way with friendship and the Muse.
Dark'with new clouds of evil yet to come;
Her pencil sickening Fancy throws away,
And weary Hope reclines upon the tomb,
Where the pale spectre Care pursues no more! Recollections of English Scenery. From ' Beachy Head.
Haunts of my youth !
Advancing higher still,
Where woods of ash and beach,
and the clasping woodbine.
MISS BLAMIRE. Miss SUSANNA BLAMIRE (1747–1794), a Cumberland lady, was distinguished for the excellence of her Scottish poetry, which has all the idiomatic ease and grace of a native minstrel. Miss Blamire was born of a respectable family in Cumberland, at Cardew Hall, near Carlisle, where she resided till her twentieth year, beloved by a circle of friends and acquaintance, with whom she associated in what were called merry neets, or merry evening-parties, in her native district. Her sister becoming the wife of Colonel Graham of Duchray, Perthshire, Susanna accompanied the pair to Scotland, where she remained some years, and imbibed that taste for Scottish melody and music which prompted her beautiful lyrics, The Nabob,' • The. Siller Croun,' &c. She also wrote some pieces in the Cumbrian dialect, and a descriptive poem of some length, entitled 'Stocklewath, or the Cumbrian Village. Miss Blamire died unmarried at Carlisle, in her forty-seventh year, and her name had almost faded from remembrance, when, in 1842, her poetical works were collected and published in one volume, with a preface, memoir, and notes by Patrick Maxwell.
The Nabob. When silent time, wi’ lightly foot,
Some penny chiels, a new-sprung race Had trod on thirty years,
Wad next their welcome pay, I sought again my native land
Wha shuddered at my Gothic wa's, Wi' mony hopes and fears.
And wished my groves away. Wha kens gin the dear friends I left Cut, cut,' they cried, 'those aged elms; May still continue mine?
Lay low yon mournfu' pine.' Or gin I e'er again shall taste
Na! na! our fathers' names grow there, The joys I left langsyne ?
Memorials o' langsyne. As I drew near my ancient pile
To wean me frae these waefu' thoughts, My heart beat a' the way;
They took me to the town; Ilk place I passed seemed
yet to speak
But sair on ilka weel-kenned face
I missed the youthfu' bloom. l'hose days that followed me afar,
At balls they pointed to a nymph Those happy days o' mine,
Wham a' declared divine; Whilk nade me thilik the present joys But sure her mother's blushing cheeks A’ naething to langsynel
Were fairer far langsyne ! The ivied tower now met my eye,
In vain I sought in music's sound
To find that magic art,
Has thrilled through a' my heart.
The song had mony an artfu' turn; Wham I left in his prime,
My ear confessed 'twas fine; And grat to see the lad return
But missed the simple melody He bore about langsyne.
I listened to langsyne. I ran to ilka dear friend's room,
Ye sons to comrades o' my youth, As if to find them there,
Forgie an auld man's spleen, (mourns I knew where ilk ane used to sit,
Whamidst your gayest scenes still And hang o'er mony a chair;
The days he ance has seen.
Your hearts will feel like mine;
That minds ye o' langsyne!
What Ails this Heart o' Mine ? * This song seems to have been a favourite with the authoress, for I have met with it in various forms among her papers; and the labour bestowed upon it has been well repaid by the popularity it has all along enjoyed.—Maxwell's Memoir of Miss Blamire. What ails this heart o' mine?
Then I'll sit down and cry, What ails this watery ee?
And live aneath the tree,
I'll ca't a word frae thee.
I'll hie me to the bower
And where wi' mony a blushing bud
I strove myself to hide. When I gae out at e'en,
I'll doat on iska spot Or walk at morning air,
Where I hae been wi' thee; Ilk rustling bush will seem to say
And ca’ to mind some kindly word I used to meet thee there.
By ilka burn and tree,
Auld Robin Forbes.
The lasses aw wondered what Willy cud see
I mind when I carried my wark to yon steyle,
When the clock had struck eight, I expected him heame,
ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD, the daughter of Dr. John Aikin, was born at Kibworth Harcourt, in Leicestershire, in 1743. Her father at this time kept a seminary for the education of boys, and Anna received the same instruction, being early initiated into a knowledge of classical literature. In 1758, Dr. Aikin undertaking the office of classical tutor in a dissenting academy at Warrington, his daughter accompanied him, and resided there fifteen years. In 1773, she published a volume of miscellaneous poems, of which four editions were called for in one year. In May 1774, she was married to the Rev. Rochemont Barbauld, a French Protestant, who was minister to a dissenting congregation at Palgrave, near Diss, and who had just opened a boarding-school at the
neighbouring village of Palgrave, in Suffolk. The poetess participated with her husband in the task of instruction. In 1775 she came forward with a volume of devotional pieces compiled from the Psalms, and another volume of ‘Hymns in Prose' for children. In 1786, Mr. and Mrs. Barbauld established themselves at Hampstead, and there several tracts proceeded from the pen of our authoress on the topics of the day, in all which she espoused the principles of the Whigs. She also assisted her father in preparing a series of tales for children, entitled Evenings at Home,' and she wrote critical essays on Akenside and Collins, prefixed to editions of their works. În 1803, Mrs. Barbauld compiled a selection of essays from the Spectator,' "Tatler,' and 'Guardian,' to which she prefixed a preliminary essay; and in the following year she edited the correspondence of Richardson, and wrote a life of the novelist. She afterwards edited a collection of the British novelists, published in 1810, with an introductory essay, and biographical and critical notices. Mrs. Barbauld died on the 9th of March 1825. Some of her lyrical pieces are flowing and harmonious, and her “Ode to Spring' is a happy imitation of Collins. Charles James Fox is said to have been a great admirer of Mrs. Barbauld's songs, but they are by no means the best of her compositions, being generally artificial, and unimpassioned in their character.
A Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld, including Notices of her Family and Friends, was published in 1874 by her grand-niece, Anna Le Breton.
The following stanza in a poem entitled 'Life,' was much admired by Wordsworth and Rogers :
Life! we've been long together,
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
Choose thine own time,
Bid me 'Good-morning.'