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We quote from the poem,
compact, but the links are not seen. entitled “The Eve of Election:"
“ Around I see
The powers that be;
And princes meet
In every street,
Apart from these excellencies, which some may regard as merely external, though we think they come from the inmost depths of the soul itself, we recognize in these poems the products of a genuine poetical genius. Intellect and imagination and feeling are embodied in them, and in fine proportions. But we speak only of the last. It is the feelings which give a graceful fluency to poetry, by fusing thoughts and imaginations into one continuous stream. It is feeling, too, which permeating the whole body of the poem, gives it universal interest for the human heart. Poetry may be precise and profound in thought, and as such carefully studied; it may be beautiful and brilliant, and admired as such; but it is some feeling or affection of the heart interwoven with this depth of thought, or beauty of imagination, which permanently interests the reader. And this feeling is something more than that which comes from a sense of propriety, something more than admiration for good morals, something more than sentiment; it is the natural out-gushing of a well regulated heart, conversant with the high principles of duty. The poems before us are instinct with such feelings.
But as New Englanders, we must not omit to speak of Mr. Whittier as a true New England poet.
The Home Ballads are founded upon events and traditions of our olden time. “The Witch's Daughter," " The Garrison of Cape Ann,” “The Prophecy of Samuel Sewall," "Skipper Ireson's Ride," each and every one of these, and the other ballads, must awaken a deep interest in every true New England heart. Mr. Whittier, with a poet's instinct, has seen the poetry which lies under the coarse exterior of the olden times.
“ Dear to me these far, faint glimpses of the dual life of old,
Inward, grand with awe and reverence! outward, mean and coarse and cold;
But our poet not only sees the "gleams of mystic beauty,” “the golden threads of romance," but he comprehends the lofty character of our New England ancestry. He approaches their faults with reverence, and is ready to see palliations in the times and circumstances in which they lived. It is none of his call, to laugh and sneer and exult; but with true sympathy, to mete to them their meed of honor. We sincerely exhort Mr. Whittier to pursue these topics farther, feeling assured he has found out where the true subjects of New England poetry are to be found. It is a long time since any book of poems has been published, which surpasses this.
CROSWELL'S POEMs.*—Most of the poems in this volume will be read with pleasure, by every person of taste and religious feelings. We find not, indeed, the struggles of a soul contending with the great questions of life and eternity, nor the highest flights of faith and enthusiasm; we meet rather with a calm and habitual Christian temper, a serious, thoughtful view of the present life in its relations to the immortal life, and withal a poetical temperament which sheds a mild and sobered light over the whole of this mortal scene.
It is the poetry of one who, withdrawn from the hard and coarse conflicts of life, aloof from harassing care and passions, looks out, as it were, from a scholastic retirement, and himself sustained by unwavering faith, contemplates what is going on around him, in the spirit of the Christian pilgrim who is calmly advancing on his way to the world to come. There are multitudes, we trust, in the Christian churches of our land, who will find much in these poems to gratify a Christian taste, and to elevate and purify the heart. We will content ourselves with the quotation of a single sonnet; that entitled “Saint LUKE.”
“Blessed Physician! from thy ancient scroll
Poems, Sacred and Secular. By the Rev. WILLIAM CROSWELL, D. D. Edited, with a memoir, by A. CLEVELAND Coxe. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1861. (For Bale in New Haven by T, H, Pease, 16mo. pp. 284. Price $1.]
The bleeding bosom staunch the wound, and win
Restore the hopeless in their languishing.” There are a few things in the present edition of these poems, we regret to say, which show that the editor, Rev. A. Cleveland Coxe, looked for readers only within the bounds—to use his own favorite phrase-of "a narrow sectarianism.” We thought at first we would remark upon these unbecoming slants against good men and true Christians, who prefer other forms of worship, but it so happened we read the poems themselves before the memoir and notes of the editor, and we will be more just to the spirit and wishes of the author, and to the example of his venerated father, than has been his friend and editor.
Rose Terry's POEMS.*_We have read these poems with much pleasure. We find in them proofs of genuine poetical genius. They have been published heretofore, we believe, in the periodical literature of the day, and it will be a gratification to many readers to have them collected in a single volume for preservation. It is difficult to criticize such a number of poems, written in different moods of mind and on a great variety of subjects. We will only say, then, that we find manifested in them a true poetic sensibility, a genuine love of nature, and an ethical vein of thought, which moralizes on the lessons which nature teaches.
KORMAK.4–We have here a little poem,
verse, acknowledged authorship, telling of deeds which are supposed to have been done in the earliest period of the history of Iceland. The story is one of hasty love, reckless daring, hate, violence, craft, and blood, and it ends, like the lay of the Nibelungen, with the total destruction of all parties concerned. A laudable and partially successful attempt is made in it to catch and reflect the spirit of the old Norse sagas. One of its prettiest passages, to our mind, is the greeting to the Christmas festival, with which the second canto begins. The verse halts a little, occasionally. The fitting out of the book, on tinted paper, and in old style letter, is quite unexceptionable.
* Poems. By Rose TERRY. Boston: Ticknor and Fields. 1861. 12mo. pp. 206. (For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price 75 cents.)
| Kormak, an Icelandic Komance of the Tenth Century. In Six Cantos. Bos. ton; Walker, Wise & Co. 1861. 12mo.
HYMNS OF THE AGES.—SECOND SERIES.* _The compilers of the first series of “Hymns of the Ages,” that truly Catholic book of selections from the best sacred poetry of all branches of the Christian church, have felt encouraged to offer to the public another volume, which has been prepared on something of the same plan. If we may judge from the warm expressions of interest with which we have often heard the first collection praised, the present volume will be even more popular. The selections in the first book were chiefly from the Lyra Catholica, Lyra Germanica, Lyra Apostolica, Lyra Innocentium. Being to a large extent either translations of Hymns which were written in foreign tongues, or the compositions of the English lyrical writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the interest with which they were received was dependent less upon their merit as poetical compositions, than upon the tender devotional spirit which they breathed. No translation can entirely obscure the effect of this. Wherever there is the outpouring of genuine and deep religious feeling, even though the medium through which it is conveyed is rude, it cannot fail to reach and move the heart of the sincere Christian. At a late meeting of the American Oriental Society, we listened to a missionary from India who translated into English some of the hymns which have recently been composed by native converts among the Tamil people. The translation was off-hand, and of the most literal kind, without any attempt to reflect the beauties of the original composition, or do anything more than give the bare thoughts. The ideas were all obvious and simple as in a song of Burns; but they had come from a heart which was overflowing with deep religious and poetic feeling, and every one who listened was electrified by the
* Hymns of the Ages. Second Series. Being selections from Wither, Crashaw, Southwell, Habington, and other sources. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1860. 12mo. pp. 336. (For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price $1.25.)
sweetness and tenderness of these new expressions which were given to the emotions of Christian faith, and hope, and love, and confidence, and joy. It may be that some who are not yet acquainted with the first series of “Hymns of the Ages,” will find in both volumes many of the translations and many of the older English poetical compositions, which will at first repel them, if they have been accustomed to consider beauty and smoothness of metrical arrangement as all important; but we can assure them that if they will carefully read these hymns, which for centuries were “ breathed by dying lips, traced on the walls of prisons, sung with hushed voices in catacombs, joyfully chanted on the battle march, and fearlessly at the stake,” they will find that the elevated spirit with which they are written is most inspiring, and that they are rich in consolation and nourishment for the inner life. We can make room only for the briefest extracts from some selections that are made from gems of Oriental poetry:
“ Diving and finding no pearls in the sea,
Blame not the ocean, the fault is in thee!"
Fit in the wall, is not left in the way."
HYMNS FOR MOTHERS AND CHILDREN.*_This is a book of most inviting typographical appearance, which will soon be welcomed in thousands of pleasant homes where there are children to call forth a mother's and a father's love. It is full of rare gems song and verse, which give beautiful expression to many of the holiest feelings which can fill the heart. Some of these hymns we recognize as choice morceaux which friends of ours have kept for years past in manuscript, and supposed to be their own special treasures. Parents and children owe many thanks to the fair compiler who has laid up such a store of hymns for them and for their little ones.
PICTURES AND FLOWERS FOR Child-Lovers.f—This is a volume of selections, in prose as well as in verse, on themes
Hymns for Mothers and Children. Compiled by the Author of “ Violet,” “ Daisy," &c. Boston: Walker, Wise & Co. 1861. 12mo. pp. 287. [For sale in New Haven by Peck, White & Peck. Price $1.25.]
† Pictures and Flowers for Child-Lovers. Boston: Walker, Wise & Co. 1861. 24m0. pp. 211. (For sale in New Haven by Peck, White & Peck. Price 50 cents.]