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by possibility growing in the slightest imaginable degree prosy and stupid: but we turn over a few pages of the Souvenir, and again Miss Montagu speaks for us:-did ever youthful poetess speak more divinely?


"And can it be?-must it at length depart,

The wond'rous life that dwelt with me so long?
And shall the dust reclaim this breathing heart,
With all its burthen of unuttered song?
'Tis well! that kindred life with me had grown
Like some poor house-mate, unbeloved of all;
One at whose coming, welcome never shone-
One at whose parting, tear did never fall!
But ah! ungrateful, whither do I stray,
Forgetting thus the gentle hearts around me?
Behold! I smile my peaceful days away

As though the touch of grief had never found me ;
And, like a storm-hushed eve's divine repose,

My calmest days are loveliest at their close."

The calm of celestial abodes falls upon us as we read those soothing and truly noble lines. It is given to such minds as that of Miss Montagu to look as deeply within the mysterious temple of this thoughtful life as is permitted to human beings. Yet the far gaze sees but an unillumined depth, the secrets of which may not be fathomed by human thought. It is felt that the dust cannot claim the sensible and inquiring soul; yet death breaks in, with rude hand, and destroying the outward image, leaves us almost in despair. We believe, yet our unbelief requireth help. At length there cometh resignation. The ever active intellect gathers from all around it proofs of an intelligent goodness on which we consent to rely, and our days, as the sweet poetess has told us, are hushed into a holy calm.

All wayward are poets. Tyrants are they, against whom appeal is vain. We thought our calmness had become quite philosophic, and that nothing would disturb us more; but we turn to another page, and "The Deserted," written by the same fair authoress, transfixes us with hopeless melancholy. The painter, too, is an accomplice. There sits the deserted; a lovely young creature; her face beauteous in its dejection; her fair hands crossed, and a fading rose-bud held droopingly in them. All the hope of that sweet girl on earth is gone: her thoughts are but of death and the grave. Listen to her Scottish lament; or that of Miss Montagu for her—

"Oh, never weep when I am gane, nor sigh to hear my name,
But fauld my hands upo' my breast, an' bear me to my hame;
An' yonder by the wide, wide sea, oh lay me cauld an' low,
That saftly ower my gowden hair the bonnie waves may flow."

Heaven forbid, say we! No, sweet mourner, we foresee that thy lover is but trying thy affections, although we do not pretend

to justify him. He will return some bright morning, if he lives, which we have every reason to believe he does, and those pensive features will be re-illumined with the smiles of which we can see the traces through thy now hopeless tears. But should we be mistaken, and thy love be dead, then hallowed be thy tears, for they are precious in a fickle world, amidst selfish thoughts which suffocate young hearts, and give to youthful faces the sordid air of calculating age. Besides, might he not have changed again? The world might have soiled his untried purity of mind; and when he returned, his ill-concealed selfishness would have caused pangs in a breast unwilling to admit the evidence it could not refuse. Talk not of burial, then, young lady, but awake, and live to hope and joy. Death will come, and burial will follow it; but death and burial must not precede life; and what dost thou yet know of life, where many joys, and doubtless sorrows some, yet await thee, and in the coming years of which the long perspective of the past will more and more withdraw the sorrows which have shaded thy young days.

Turning over the charmed leaves, with a perfect disregard of the gentlemen poets, we come next to a singular contribution of the same sweet authoress, entitled "The Confessions of an Improvisatrice," a fiction no doubt, but somewhat painfully like truth. There is both strength and beauty in its opening

"Behold a breast that could the world defy
At length laid open to thy searching eye!
As springs a plant from out its parent's mould,
My soul's first bloom shall leaf by leaf unfold;
A soul once filled with dews of early truth,
And love, the fragrance of the flower of youth!
All now is withered, the last leaf is gone,
And the bloom lives in memory alone:
Alas! the gift of song hath but the power

To raise the ashes of each buried flower!"

We have not room to quote the remainder, but the reader will turn to it with expectation, and will not be disappointed.

Again the pencil and the pen unite to sway our feelings. The song of the Sea Fowler! A tall o'erhanging cliff frowns over the broad and placid sea. Over the very edge of it, on treacherous grass and weeds, a boy hath adventured: he plants his staff before he sets down his descending foot, where a false step would plunge him down to certain death. Yet he seems as unconcerned as if he were treading the level turf of a plain, although his very dog throws his fore feet before his head, and draws back the centre of gravity as carefully as possible whilst he cautiously advances his sagacious nose over the precipice. But the seafowler is without fear, for he was, he tells us, trained to take the sea-fowl ere he was five years old;-an infant school of a stern description. Listen to the free language of the boy thus trained:

April, 1835.-VOL. II. NO. IX.

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"The baron hath the landward park;
The fisher hath the sea;

But the rocky haunts of the sea-fowl
Belong alone to me!

"The baron hunts the running deer;
The fisher nets the brine;

But every bird that builds its nest
On the ocean-cliffs is mine!"

The prince of poachers is he, where no spring-guns can reach him, or keepers follow him! Small are the earthly domains where baronial power cannot reach; it claims the earth and the sea, and includes with park palings all but the wild cliffs and wilder sky. These none dispute with the boy who was cradled in storms; and fearlessly sings he:

"The wild sea roars and heaveth

On the granite crags below;

And round about the misty isles,

The fierce, wild tempests blow.

"And let them blow! roar wind and wave,

They shall not me dismay;

I've faced the eagle in her nest,

And snatched her young away!

"The eagle shall not build her nest,
Proud bird although she be;

Nor the strong-winged lordly cormorant,
Without the leave of me!

"The eider-duck hath laid her eggs;

The tern doth hatch her young;

And the merry gull screams o'er her brood ;-
But all to me belong!"

Right wonderful is the power of imagination. It taketh Mary Howitt, a mild female, living in the heart of a town, perhaps, and untried by adventurous mischances or perils rude, and for awhile she is the sea-fowler, and wears a leathern cap, and carries a staff some seven feet long, and her soul is one-third of the way down the giddy cliff beneath which the sea roars, whilst the rocking winds are piping loud above her head, and the gulls and eagles are screaming and whirling with a wild delight. Nor is she there alone. We are ourselves transported thither by her power. It is in vain that we say to ourselves that we are sitting in a warm parlour, the shutters closed, the scarlet curtains drawn, the fire and candles in good humour, and all the family still. The March wind is blowing, and the rain is falling; but to us the wind blows upon the cliff with the sea-fowler, and the driven rain suspends our breath in mid-air, and the sweeping career of the gull renders our very brain giddy, and the long flight of the eagle speaks of the eternity into which a leap would carry us; for below us are sharp and untrodden ledges, and clefts un

fathomed, and blank smooth walls of profound rock which lead to horrid shades: but over clear and high above us is the merry song of the sea-fowler, who is quite in his element.

Miss L. E. L.,--object of our long and faithful affection!— pure and poetic spirit, if ever there was one pure and poeticalbeit the critical air of Brompton hath by fits benumbed thy fancies, and dimmed thy glittering and precious thoughts with the mirage of a pert, doubting, unimaginative world! Wherefore hast thou profaned thy virgin pen to celebrate the privileged offences of that prince of kingly coxcombs, Henry the IVth ? A tired horseman stops at an honest man's gate, and demands refreshment, which is brought to him by a lovely female, veiled, behind whom stands a gentleman whom we take to be her respectable father. The tired traveller is a king, and he therefore lifts the veil from the maiden's blushing face, for which impertinence the old gentleman, evidently much more astonished than delighted, longs to punish him as he deserves. There is a coarse look of impudence in the king, very true, we doubt not, to nature, but over which L. E. L. has triumphed by making him say what he was never, we are sure, able to feel. There is no great grace or beauty in the beginning, but it suits the rudeness of the action :

"Nay, fling back that veil, 'tis a shame to the sky
The sight of such beauty as thine to deny !
Nay, fling back that veil,-were it but to disclose
A cheek that is reddening to rival the rose."

And in this strain the fair poetess goes on for a time, sore oppressed with the subject. Yet listen to her reviving harp in the concluding stanzas:

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"The trumpet soon summons the soldier from rest,
He has brief while to gaze on the face he loves best;
My foot in the stirrup, my hand on my sword,
I must live on a look, I must woo with a word.

"My idol, farewell!-But ah! give me to wear
One curl from thy ringlets of long golden hair;
It will cheer me when lonely, will lead me in war,

And in death will be found next the heart of Navarre."

In truth Miss Landon triumphs over every kind of difficulty: for pass we Henri Quatre, and "all his trumpery," and we come to a picture of a plump little school-girl, standing on the top of a house which overlooks the sea, and holding in her hand what we ignorantly conceived to be her French exercise, until enlightened by the words "The Billet-Doux." We are ashamed to say that we were predetermined not to like Miss Landon's lines on this picture; and that we read the first and second stanzas very sternly, and without sob or sigh; but not so the third and fourth. Alas! the stout young lady is no school-girl,

but has come out" to all the woes of parted love. Upon the sea her lover sails for foreign lands, and when he may return, or whether he will ever return, who can say? She is full of sweet confidence:-how charming is the language of those who, conscious of no guile, suspect none, and who still believe, what never yet did happen, that the course of true love may run smooth. Thus sings the dear girl. What endearing images she conjures up from her own true heart!

"He will think, when summer weather

Lights some foreign forest glade,

How we used to roam together

In the green-wood's golden shade.

When strange flowers are round him blowing,

Purple in their eastern pride;

He'll recall the wild ones growing

By his native river's side."

We sincerely hope he will, for his own credit. The images which follow are more homely, and perhaps for that very reason more affecting.

"On some stranger's hearth when gazing

With a home-awakened heart,

He'll but see the wood-fire blazing

Where we wont to sit apart."

Such lines speak to the heart, which answers them with tears; and criticism becomes an impertinence.

The following lines are inappropriately attached to a picture of two men and a boy, fishermen they may be, but on shore, and the tide out. They speak of the dancing wave, and the wild evening gale, and the rising foam, and the fisherman's fear, and the fisherman's faith. They are indeed a gem.



Briskly blows the evening gale,
Fresh and free it blows;
Blessings on the fishing-boat-

How merrily she goes!

Brave and bold's the fisherman
Peril never heeding,

Yet with steady heart and hand,
For the time of needing.

"Christ he loved the fishermen
Walking by the sea,

How he blest the fishing-boats
Down in Galilee !

Dark the night, and wild the wave,

Christ the boat is keeping,
Trust in him and have no fear,
Though he seemeth sleeping!"

Before we take leave of Mary Howitt, let us counsel the reader to peruse her lofty lines on the "Spirit of Poetry"-lines which

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