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Till life's last pulse, O triply dear,
A loftier strain is due to thee; But constant memory's votive tear
Thy sacred epitaph must be.
TO THE MANITTO OF DREAMS.
Spirit! Thou Spirit of subtlest air,
Whose power is upon the brain,
As the film from the eyes
At thy bidding flies,
'Thou sighest in woodland gale;
And when stars are bright,
At still midnight,
Is waving to and fro,
Dimly to come and go.
Beside the brawling brook,
Fleet from thy lonely nook.
When the light fades away,
The heaven and the earth,
The things that have birth, And the embryos that float in the future are plending. From the land, on whose shores the billows break The sounding waves of the mighty lake; From the land where boundless meadows be, Where the buffalo ranges wild and free; With silvery coat in his little isle, Where the beaver plies his ceaseless toil ; The land where pigmy forms abide, Thou leadest thy train at the eventide ;
And the wings of the wind are left behind,
WILLIAM B. 0. PEABODY.
(Born, 1799. Died, 1847.)
WILLIAM B. O. PEABODY was born at Exeter, Massachusetts, where he resided until his death, New Hampshire, on the ninth of July, 1799 ; was on the twenty-eighth of May, 1847. He was a graduated at Cambridge in 1816; and in 1820 be- voluminous and elegant writer in theology, natural came pastor of a Unitarian Society in Springfield, I history, literary and historical criticism, and poetry.
- HYMN OF NATURE.
For every fire that fronts the sun,
And every spark that walks alone Around the utmost verge of heaven,
Were kindled at thy burning throne.
God of the world! the hour must come,
And nature's self to dust return; Her crumbling altars must decay;
Her incense fires shall cease to burn; But still her grand and lovely scenes
Have made man's warmest praises flow; For hearts grow holier as they trace
The beauty of the world below.
God of the earth's extended plains !
The dark, green fields contented lie; Tne mountains rise like holy towers,
Where man might commune with the sky; The tall cliff challenges the storm
That lowers upon the vale below, Where shaded fountains send their streams,
With joyous music in their flow. God of the dark and heavy deep!
The waves lie sleeping on the sands, Till the fierce trumpet of the storm
Hath summon's up their thundering bands; Then the white sails are dash'd like foam,
Or hurry, trembling, o'er the seas, Till, calm'd by thee, the sinking gale
Serenely breathes, Depart in peace. Gon of the forest's solemn shade!
The grandeur of the lonely tree, That wrestles singly with the gale,
Lifts up admiring eyes to thee; But more majestic far they stand,
When, side by side, their ranks they form, To wave on high their plumes of green,
And fight their battles with the storm.
TO WILLIAM. WRITTEN BY A BEREAVED FATHER.
It seems but yesterday, my love,
Thy little heart beat high ; And I had almost scorn'd the voice
That told me thou must die. I saw thee move with active bound,
With spirits wild and free; And infant grace and beauty gave
Their glorious charm to thee.
Gon of the light and viewless air !
Where summer breezes sweetly flow, Or, gathering in their angry might,
The fierce and wintry tempests blow; All—from the evening's plaintive sigh,
That hardly lifts the drooping flower, To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry,
Breathe forth the language of thy power. Gop of the fair and open sky!
How gloriously above us springs The tented dome, of heavenly blue,
Suspended on the rainbow's rings ! Each brilliant star, that sparkles through,
Each gilderd cloud, that wanders free In evening's purple radiance, gives
The beauty of its praise to thee.
Thy name is written clearly bright
Far on the sunny plains, I saw
Thy sparkling footsteps fly,
That cleaves the morning sky;
Waved back thy shining hair, Thy cheek display'd the red rose-tint
That health had painted there. And then, in all my thoughtfulness,
I could not but rejoice
The music of thy voice,
Now sad, almost to tears, "T was like the sounds I used to hear,
In old and happier years.
My little, lovely boy,
Which time would fuin destroy.
W. B. 0. PEABODY.
I listen'd, as the mariner
Suspends the out-bound oar, To taste the farewell gale that breathes
From off his native shore.
With trembling hand, I vainly tried
Thy dying eyes to close;
Thy calm and deep repose ;
With pain and grief oppress'd, And thou wast with the sainted,
Where the weary are at rest.
Yes, I am sad and weary now;
But let me not repine, Because a spirit, loved so well,
Is earlier bless'd than mine; My faith may darken as it will,
I shall not much deplore, Since thou art where the ills of life
Can never reach thee more.
So gentle in thy loveliness!
Alas! how could it be,
His icy hand on thee;
In childhood's opening bloom,
Was longing for the tomb!
For erring man to krow?
My paradise below?
It sunk away as soon
The sun grows dark at noon.
But, ere the day was spent,
In drooping illness bent,
Upon thy fainting head; The mournful cloud was gathering there,
And life was almost fled.
Upon the far-off mountain's brow
The angry storm has ceased to beat; And broken clouds are gathering now
In sullen reverence round his feet; I saw their dark and crowded bands
In thunder on his breast descending; But there once more redeem'd he stands,
And heaven's clear arch'is o'er him bending,
I've seen him when the morning sun
Burn'd like a bale-fire on the height; I've seen him when the day was done,
Bathed in the evening's crimson light. I've seen him at the midnight hour,
When all the world were calmly sleeping Like some stern sentry in his tower,
His weary watch in silence keeping.
Days pass'd; and soon the seal of death
Made known that hope was vain;
Would never burn again;
Were gently thrown apart;
Seem'd gushing from the heart. I knew those marble lips to mine
Should never more be press'd, And floods of feeling, undefined,
Roll'd wildly o'er my breast;
Seem'd moving in the gloom,
To bear thee to the tomb.
And there, forever firm and clear,
His lofty turret upward springs; He owns no rival summit near,
No sovereign but the King of kings. Thousands of nations have pass'd by,
Thousands of years unknown to story, And still his aged walls on high
He rears, in melancholy glory.
Live but an age before they fall;
Outlasts the mightiest of them all. And man himself, more frail, by far,
Than even the works his hand is raising, Sinks downward, like the falling star
That flashes, and expires in blazing.
And when I could not keep the tear
From gathering in my eye, Thy little hand press'd gently mine,
In token of reply;
Thy look was upward cast,
Thy happy spirit pass'd.
To bid farewell to thee,
It ought not so to be; I hoped that thou within the grave
My weary head shouldst lay, And live, beloved, when I was gone,
For many a happy day.
And all the treasures of the heart,
Its loves and sorrows, joys and fears, Its hopes and memories, must depart
To sleep with unremember'd years. But still that ancient rampart stands
Unchanged, though years are passing o'er hını ; And time withdraws his powerless hands,
While ages melt away before him.
So should it be--for no heart beats
Within his cold and silent breast; To him no gentle voice repeats
The soothing words that make us blest. And more than this—his deep repose
Is troubled by no thoughts of sorrow; He hath no weary eyes to close,
No cause to hope or fear to-morrow. Farewell! I go my distant way;
Perchance, in some succeeding years, The eyes that know no cloud to-day,
May gaze upon thee dim with tears. Then may thy calm, unaltering form
Inspire in me the firm endeavour Like thee, to meet each lowering storm,
Till life and sorrow end forever.
Lift high the curtain's drooping fold.
And let the evening sunlight in;
Before its better years begin.
So calm and pure, a sinking ray Should shine into the heart, with power
To drive its darker thoughts away. The bright, young thoughts of early days
Shall gather in my memory now, And not the later cares, whose trace
Is stamp'd so deeply on my brow, What though those days return no more?
The sweet remembrance is not vain, For Heaven is waiting to restore
The childhood of my soul again. Let no impatient mourner stand
In hollow sadness near my bed, But let me rest upon the hand,
And let me hear that gentle tread Of her, whose kindness long ago,
And still, unworn away by years, Has made my weary eyelids flow
With grateful and admiring tears. I go, but let no plaintive tone
The moment's grief of friendship tell : And let no proud and graven stone
Say where the weary slumbers well. A few short hours, and then for heaven!
Let sorrow all its tears dismiss ; For who would mourn the warning given
Which calls us from a world like this?
THE WINTER NIGHT.
'Tis the high festival of night!
Beyond the western evening light'
It melts in deepening gloom; So calmly Christians sink away,
Descending to the tomb. The wind breathes low; the withering leaf
Scarce whispers from the tree; So gently flows the parting breath,
When good men cease to be. How beautiful on all the hills
The crimson light is shed !
To mourners round his bed.
The sunset beam is cast'
When loved ones breathe their last.
The yellow star appears;
Whose eyes are bathed in tears.
Its glory shall restore;
Shall wake, to close no more.
The idler, on his silken hed,
[Born, 1799. Died, 1811.)
GrenVILLE MELLEN was the third son of the iate Chief Justice PrestISS MELLEY, LL. D., of Maine, and was born in the town of Biddeford, in that state, on the nineteenth day of June, 1799. He was educated at Harvard College, and after leaving that seminary became a law-student in the office of his father, who had before that time removed to Portland. Soon after being admitted to the bar, he was married, and commenced the practice of his profession at North Yarmouth, a pleasant village near his native town. Within three years—in October, 1828_his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached, died, and his only child followed her to the grave in the succeeding spring. From this time his character was changed. He had before been an ambitious and a happy man. The remainder of his life was clouded with melancholy.
I believe Mr. MELLES did not become known as a writer until he was about twenty-five years old. He was then one of the contributors to the Cambridge United States Literary Gazette." In the early part of 1827, he published a satire entitled “Our Chronicle of Twenty-six," and two years afterward, “Glad Tales and Sad Tales," a collection of prose sketches, which had previously been printed in the periodicals. «The Martyr's Triumph, Buried Valley, and other Poems," appeared in 1834. The principal poem in this volume is founded on the history of Saint Alban, the first Christian martyr in England. It is in the measure of the “ Faery Queene," and has some creditable passages; but, as a whole, it hardly rises above mediocrity. In the “Buried Valley” he describes the remarkable avalanche near the Notch in the White Mountains, by which the Willey family were destroyed, many years ago. In a poem entitled “The Rest of Empires,” in the same collection, he laments the custom of the elder bards to immortalize the deeds of conquerors alone, and contrasts their prostitution of the influence of poetry with the nobler uses to which it is applied in later days, in the following lines, which are characteristic c! his best manner :
“We have been taught, in oracles of old, or the enskied divinity of song; That Poetry and Music, hand in hand, Came in the light of inspiration forth, And claim'd alliance with the rolling heavens. And were those peerless bards, wb se strains have come In an undying echo to the world, Whose numbers floated round the Grecian isles, And made melodious all the hills of Rome, Were they inspired 1-Alas, for Poetry! That her great ministers, in early time, Bung for the brave alone--and bade the soul Battle for heaven in the ranks of war! It was the treason of the godlike art That pointed glory to the sword and spear, And left the heart to moulder in its mail :
It was the menial service of the bard -
“But other times have strung new lyre
After spending five or six years in Boston, Mr. MELLEx removed to New York, where he resided nearly all the remainder of his life. He wrote much for the literary magazines, and edited several works for his friend, Mr. ColMax, the publisher. In 1839, he established a Monthly Miscellany, but it was abandoned after the publication of a few numbers. His health had been declining for several years; his disease finally assumed the form of consumption, and he made a voyage to Cuba, in the summer of 1840, in the hope that he would derive advantage from a change of climate, and the sea air. He was disappointed; and learning of the death of his father, in the following spring, he returned to New York, where he died, on the fifth of September, 1841.
Mr. MELLEx was a gentle-hearted, amiable man, social in his feelings, and patient and resigned in the long period of physical suffering which precoded his death. As a poet, he enjoyed a higher reputation in his lifetime than his works will preserve. They are without vigour of thought or language, and are often dreamy, mystic, and unintelligible. In his writings there is no evidence of creative genius; no original, clear, and manly thought ; no spirited and natural descriptions of life or nature; no humour, no pathos, no passion; nothing that appeals to the common sympathies of mankind. The little poem entitled « The Bu. gle,” although “it whispers whence it stole its spoils,” is probably superior to any thing else he wrote. It is free from the affectations and unmeaning epithets which distinguish nearly all his works.