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HENRY HART MILM A N.
Henry Hart Milman was born in London | subject is one of the noblest and most poetical on the tenth of February, 1791, and was the in the Scriptures, but Mr. MiLMAN failed, as youngest son of Sir Francis Milman, physi- / signally as some writers of less pretension, cian to the king. In 1801 he was sent to in its treatment. The characters are the DeEton, and in 1810 he entered Brazen Nose stroying Angel from Heaven, sent to complete College, Oxford, where he gained the first the annihilation of Babylon; Belshazzar, his honours in examinations, and received many mother, Kalassan high-priest of Bel, the Capprizes for English and Latin poems and es- tain of the Guard, and the eunuch Sabaris, says. In 1815 he became a fellow of his Chaldeans; with Daniel, Imlah, his wife, his college, and two years afterward entered into daughter Benina, and her betrothed lover, Heholy orders. The living of St. Mary's, in brews. The story is that of the Handwriting Reading, was bestowed upon him in 1817, on the Wall, with an underplot, in which Beand he devoted much of his attention to the nina is seized as the virgin devoted to the duties of his profession, until he was elected pagan deity, but in fact destined for the chamProfessor of Poetry at Oxford, in 1821. bers of Kalassan. The fall of the city inter
Mr. MILMAN commenced his course as a venes to save her; the Chaldeans perish, and poet with the Judicium Regale, in which the the Jews are restored to happiness. The time is people of the different nations of Europe pro- one day, from the morning to the conflagration nounce their judgment against NAPOLEON. of the Assyrian capital. These actors and cirThis was followed by the tragedy of Fazio, cumstances demand earnestness, force, tenderwhich was performed before crowded houses ness, the grandest and most beautiful imagery, at Drury Lane, and is still occasionally played and a sustained enthusiasm; but the piece is in the British and American theatres.
tame and monotonous, inferior, even its lyrical His next work, The Fall of Jerusalem, ap- portions, to the earlier works of the author. peared in 1820. The basis of the story is a The latest of his dramas is Anne Boleyn, in passage in JOSEPHUS, and the events, occupy which the characters of King Henry and the ing a considerable time in the history, are in Jesuit Angelo Caraffa are well delineated and the play compressed into a period of thirty-six sustained, though the work has no great merit hours. The object of the author was to show as a play or a poem. the full completion of prophecy in the great! Besides his dramatic works, Mr. MILMAN event which he commemorates.
is the author of Samor, the Lord of the Bright The Martyr of Antioch, published in 1822, | City, an epic in twelve books; and a volume is founded on a legend related in the twenty- of minor poems, none of which are equal to third chapter of GIBBON, of the daughter of a passages in his tragedies. He has likewise priest of Apollo at Antioch, who was beloved written the best History of the Jews in our by Olybius, prefect of the East in the reign language, and a History of Christianity, both of PROBUS, converted to the Christian religion, of which have been republished by Messrs. and sacrificed to the unrelenting spirit of | Harper of New York. He now resides in offended heathenism. It is an attempt to pre- London, and is prebendary of St. Peter's, and sent in contrast the simple faith of Jesus and minister of St. Margaret's, Westminster. the most gorgeous yet most natural of pagan Mr. Milman's poems contain some spirited superstitions, the worship of the sun. The lyrics, and much vigorous declamation and tale is similar to that of Lockhart's fine ro- fine description; but, though he is not permance of Valerius, by which it was probably | haps a plagiarist, they embrace nothing new, suggested ; and, except in its tragical termina- and nothing to entitle him to the appellation of tion and some minor characteristics, the plot of a great poet. They are simply the verses of a the drama is inferior to that of the novel. In well-educated gentleman, who has little symthe same year he finished Belshazzar. The pathy with humanity.
As eager 'twere to touch so fair a lip.
A moment, and the apparition bright CEASED the bold strain, then deep the Saxon | Had parted; as before, the sound of harps drain'd
Was wantoning about the festive hall.
LAMENTATION OVER JERUSALEM.
There have been tears from holier eyes than mine Its rich excess of pleasure; softer sounds (felt
Pour'd o'er thee, Zion! yea, the Son of Man Melt never on the enchanted midnight cool,
This thy devoted hour foresaw and wept. By haunted spring, where elfin dancers trace
And I-can I refrain from weeping? Yes,
| My country, in thy darker destiny Green circlets on the moonlight dews; nor lull Becalmed mariner from rocks, where basks
Will I awhile forget mine own distress, At summer noon the sea-maid ; he his oar
I feel it now, the sad, the coming hour; Breathless suspends, and motionless his bark
The signs are full, and never shall the sun Sleeps on the sleeping waters. Now the notes Shine on the cedar roofs of Salem more; So gently died away, the silence seem'd
Her tale of splendour now is told and done: Melodious; merry now, and light and blithe Her wine-cup of festivity is spilt, They danced on air : anon came tripping forth And all is o'er, her grandeur and her guilt. In frolic grace a maiden troop, their locks
O! fair and favour'd city, where of old Flower-wreathed, their snowy robes from clasped
The balmy airs were rich with melody, zone
That led her pomp beneath the cloudless sky Fell careless drooping, quick their glittering feet
In vestments naming with the orient gold; Glanced o'er the pavement. Then the pomp of sound
Her gold is dim, and mute her music's voice; Swell'd up, and mounted ; as the stately swan, Her milk-white neck embower'd in arching spray,
The heathen o'er her perish'd pomp rejoice. Queens it along the waters, entered in
How stately then was every palm-deck'd street, The lofty hall a shape so fair, it lullid
Down which the maidens danced with tinkling feet! The music into silence, yet itself
How proud the elders in the lofty gate! Pour'd out, prolonging the soft ecstasy,
How crowded all her nation's solemn feasts The trembling and the touching of sweet sound. With white-robed Levites and high-mitred priests! Her grace of motion and of look, the smooth
How gorgeous all her temple's sacred state, And swimming majesty of step and tread, Her streets are razed, her maidens sold for slaves, The symmetry of form and feature, set
Her gates thrown down, her elders in their graves; The soul afloat, even like delicious airs
Her feasts are holden mid the gentile's scorn, Or flute or harp: as though she trod from earth, By stealth her priesthood's holy garments worn; And round her wore an emanating cloud
And where her temple crown'd the glittering rock, Of harmony, the lady moved. Too proud
The wandering shepherd folds his evening flock. For less than absolute command, too soft
When shall the work, the work of death begin? For aught but gentle, amorous thought: her hair
When come the avengers of proud Judah's sin ? Closter'd, as from an orb of gold cast out
Aceldama! accursed and guilty ground, A dazzling and o'erpowering radiance, save Gird all the city in thy dismal bound; Here and there on her snowy neck reposed
Her price is paid, and she is sold like thou; In a soothed brilliance, some thin, wandering tress.
Let every ancient monument and tomb The azure flashing of her eye was fringed
Enlarge the border of its vaulted gloom, With virgin meekness, and her tread, that seem'd
Their spacious chambers all are wanted now. Earth to disdain, as softly fell on it As the light dew-shower on a tuft of flowers.
But never more shall yon lost city need The soul within seem'd feasting on high thoughts,
| Those secret places for her future dead; That to the outward form and feature gave
Of all her children, when this night is pass'd, A loveliness of scorn, scorn that to feel
Devoted Salem's darkest, and her last, Was bliss, was sweet indulgence. Fast sank back
Of all her children none is left to her, Those her fair harbingers, their modest eyes,
Save those whose house is in the sepulchre. Downcast, and drooping low their slender necks Yet, guilty city, who shall mourn for thee? In graceful reverence; she, by wondering gaze Shall Christian voices wail thy devastation? Unmoved, and stifled murmurs of applause, Look down! look down, avenged Calvary, Nor yet unconscious, slowly won her way
Upon thy late yet dreadful expiation. To where the king, amid the festal pomp,
0! long foretold, though slow accomplish'd fate, Sate loftiest; as she raised a fair-chased cup, “ Her house is left unto her desolate;" Something of sweet confusion overspread | Proud Cæsar's ploughshare, o'er her ruins driven, Her features ; something tremulous broke in Fulfils at length the tardy doom of Heaven; On her half-failing accents, as she said fup, Tho wrathful vial's drops at length are pour'd “Health to the king!"—the sparkling wine laugh'd On the rebellious race that crucified their Lord!
HYMN BY THE EUPHRATES.
Forgive, forgive-even should our full hearts break,
The broken heart thou wilt not, Lord, despise: O Thou that wilt not break the bruised reed, Ah! thou art still too gracious to forsake,
Nor heap fresh ashes on the mourner's brow Though thy strong hand so heavily chastise. Nor rend anew the wounds that inly bleed, Hear all our prayers, hear not our murmurs, Lord; The only balm of our afflictions thou,
And, though our lips rebel, still make thyself adored. Teach us to bear thy chastening wrath, O God! To kiss with quivering lips-still humbly kiss thy
rod! We bless thee, Lord, though far from Judah's land,
JEWISH HYMN IN BABYLON. Though our worn limbs are black with stripes and chains;
God of the thunder! from whose cloudy seat Though for stern foes we till the burning sand;
The fiery winds of Desolation flow: And reap, for others' joy, the summer plains;
Father of vengeance! that with purple feet, We bless thee, Lord, for thou art gracious still,
Like a full wine-press, tread'st the world below. Even though this last black drop o'erflow our cup
The embattled armies wait thy sign to slay, of ill!
Nor springs the beast of havoc on his prey, We bless thee for our lost, our beauteous child; Nor withering Famine walks his blasted way,
The tears, less bitter, she hath made us weep; Till thou the guilty land hast seald for wo. The weary hours her graceful sports have 'guiled,
And the dull cares her voice hath sung to sleep! God of the rainbow! at whose gracious sign She was the dove of hope to our lorn ark;
The billows of the proud their rage suppress : The only star that made the strangers’ sky less dark ! Father of mercies! at one word of thine Our dove is fallen into the spoiler's net;
An Eden blooms in the waste wilderness ! Rude hands defile her plumes, so chastely white;
And fountains sparkle in the arid sands, To the bereaved their one soft star is set,
And timbrels ring in maidens' glancing hands, And all above is sullen, cheerless night!
And marble cities crown the laughing lands, But still we thank thee for our transient bliss
And pillar'd temples rise thy name to bless. Yet, Lord, to scourge our sins remain'd no way but
O'er Judah's land thy thunders broke-O Lord ! this!
The chariots rattled o'er her sunken gate, As when our Father to Mount Moriah led
Her sons were wasted by the Assyrian sword, The blessing's heir, his age's hope and joy, Even her foes wept to see her fallen state; Pleased, as he roam'd along with dancing tread, And heaps her ivory palaces became,
Chid his slow sire, the fond, officious boy, Her princes wore the captive's garb of shame, And laugh'd in sport to see the yellow fire Her temple sank amid the smouldering flame, Climb up the turf-built shrine, his destined funeral For thou didst ride the tempest cloud of fate.
pyre— Even thus our joyous child went lightly on;
O'er Judah's land thy rainbow, Lord, shall beam,
And the sad city lift her crownless head;
And songs shall wake, and dancing footsteps gleam,
Where broods o'er fallen streets the silence of Like some light bird from off the quivering spray;
the dead. And back she glanced, and smiled in blamless glee, The cars, and helms, and spears, and mystic dance
The sun shall shine on Salem's gilded towers.
On Carmel's side our maidens cull the flowers, to see.
To deck, at blushing eve, their bridal bowers, By thee, O Lord, the gracious voice was sent
And angel feet the glittering Sion tread. That bade the sire his murderous task forego: When to his home the child of Abraham went, Thy vengeance gave us to the stranger's hand,
His mother's tears had scarce begun to flow. And Abraham's children were led forth for slaves; Alas! and lurks there, in the thicket's shade, With fetter'd steps we left our pleasant land, The victim to replace our lost, devoted maid ? Envying our fathers in their peaceful graves. Lord, even through thee to hope were now too bold;
The stranger's bread with bitter tears we steep, Yet 'twere to doubt thy mercy to despair.
And when our weary eyes should sink to sleep, 'Tis anguish, yet 'tis comfort, faint and cold,
'Neath the mute midnight we steal forth to weep, To think how sad we are, how blest we were !
Where the pale willows shade Euphrates' waves. To speak of her is wretchedness, and yet
The born in sorrow shall bring forth in joy; It were a grief more deep and bitterer to forget!
Thy mercy, Lord, shall lead thy children home; O Lord our God! why was she e'er our own? He that went forth a tender yearling boy,
Why is she not our own-our treasure still ? Yet, ere he die, to Salem's streets shall come. We could have pass'd our heavy years alone. And Canaan's vines for us their fruits shall bear, Alas! is this to bow us to thy will ?
And Hermon's bees their honied stores prepare; Ah! even our humblest prayers we make repine, And we shall kneel again in thankful prayer, Nor prostrate thus on earth, our hearts to thee | Where, o'er the cherub-seated God, full blazed resign.
the irradiate dome.
ODE, TO THE SAVIOUR.
Then calmly, slowly didst thou rise
For thou wert born of woman! thou didst come,
And not by thunders strew'd
Was thy tempestuous road;
But thee, a soft and naked child,
From off her virgin breast.
A single silent star
Came wandering from afar,
The eastern sages leading on,
THE MERRY HEART. I would not from the wise require
The lumber of their learned lore; Nor would I from the rich desire
A single counter of their store. For I have ease, and I have wealth,
And I have spirits light as air; And more than wisdom, more than wealth,
A merry heart that laughs at care. At once, 'tis true, two witching eyes
Surprised me in a luckless season, Turn'd all my mirth to lonely sighs,
And quite subdued my better reason. Yet 'twas but love could make me grieve,
And love you know's a reason fair, And much improved, as I believe,
The merry heart, that laugh’d at care. So now, from idle wishes clear,
I make the good I may not find; Adown the stream I gently steer,
And shift my sail with every wind. And half by natare, half by reason,
Can still with pliant heart prepare, The mind, attuned to every season,
The merry heart, that laughs at care. Yet, wrap me in your sweetest dream,
Ye social feelings of the mind, Give, sometimes give your sunny gleam,
And let the rest good-humour find. Yes, let me hail and welcome give
To every joy my lot may share, And pleased and pleasing let me live
With merry heart, that laughs at care.
The earth and ocean were not hush'd to hear
From all the cherub choirs,
And seraphs' burning lyres,
That soft hosanna's tone.
Nor didst thou mount on high
From fatal Calvary,
In Paradise with thee.
A few dim hours of day
The world in darkness lay;
Upon the sealed stone.
But thou didst haste to meet
Thy mother's coming feet, And bear the words of peace unto the faithful few.
MARRIAGE HYMN. To the sound of timbrels sweet Moving slow our solemn feet, We have borne thee on the road To the virgin's blest abode ; With thy yellow torches gleaming, And thy scarlet mantle streaming, And the canopy above Swaying as we slowly move. Thou hast left the joyous feast, And the mirth and wine have ceased; And now we set thee down before The jealously-unclosing door, That the favour'd youth admits Where the veiled virgin sits In the bliss of maiden fear, Waiting our soft tread to hear; And the music's brisker din At the bridegroom's entering in, Entering in a welcome guest To the chamber of his rest.
EVENING SONG OF MAIDENS.
Brief our twilight dance must be Underneath the cypress tree. Come away, and make no stay, Youth and maiden, come away.
Come away, with willing feet
Come away, the heavens above
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Thus we move, our sad steps timing
To our cymbals' feeblest chiming,
The branches of thy fruitful vine,
O’er all the hills of Palestine.
On exulting Egypt came,
And her cars on wheels of flame,