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With the exception, perhaps, of "The Broken Heart," (which forms a portion of the volume now before us) the best of Mrs. Lewis' earlier poems are included, for the most part, in "The Records of the Heart.” "Florence" is the opening composition in that collection; and is strongly characteristic embodying nearly all the author's peculiarities of subject, manner, and turn of thought. It is a tale of fervid romance, instinct with the poetic sentiment and spirit, although neither so accurately finished nor so elaborate as some of her late productions. "Laone," "Melpomene," "Zenel," "The Bride of Guayaquil " and "The Last Hour of Sappho," are the most important of the remaining poems in the volume. They all breathe, however, the same spirit and are distinguished by the glow, the enthusiasm, the dreamy romance and apparent (or perhaps real) abandon of expression. To quote individual passages from poems so long as are all those just mentioned, would be to render the author a disservice-but we will make our readers amende by the citation of two of her shorter pieces-each exquisite in a different way.
Thou'rt gone from this cold world of ours,
A resident above
An angel midst unfading flowers
And songs of changeless love;
And com'st no more at eventide
More than the living all can be-
I ne'er shall hear again on Earth
Thy footstep's blithesome bound,
There must be something more than ordinarily impressive, both in the sentiment and expression, as well as in the cadence, of a refrain, to enable us to admire it, or even to tolerate it, unaltered in its phraseology, through the whole of even a brief poem. We must therefore consider the lines "And thus, lost one," &c., &c., as essentially poetical; and they are. Throughout the whole composition there is a sustained and quiet dignity which is very impressive. But in terse, natural, passionate expression they are not to be compared with
We can never speak or think of these lines without enthusiasm. They are supremely beautiful in their natural pathos. The passages italicised fill us with a shuddering delight in which we recognize the earnest power of the poet. This poem could not have been written without first being profoundly-despairingly-felt.
The "Child of the Sea" is a tale of romantic adventure-of love, sorrow and crime. It most fully exemplifies the peculiar tone of the author's mind-its romance first-its enthusiasm-its abandon. It is more skilfully executed, however,-better versified and more artistically constructed as a tale, than "Florence" or any other similar narrative by this author. The story is
deeply interesting-full of adventure, passion and imagination. It would not be doing Mrs. Lewis justice to give any digest of the story; and we must content ourselves with a merely general expression of admiration, and the citation of some passages at random.
Oh Crime! thou mayst escape the Laws of Earth;
The priceless mines of Ophir mayst unfold,
The brightest gems from coral caves upcast;
But Heaven's avenging hand will seek thee out at last!
Death touched his heart, and every pulse grew still,
As ice that clings around the Boreal Pole;
LOVE AND MADNESS.
Ye Powers! that rule the destinies of men!
On Earth! yet not to earthly things allied!