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Foot-prints, that perhaps another,
Let us, then, be up and doing,
The Ladder of St. Augustine.
We have not wings, we cannot soar;
The mighty pyramids of stone
The distant mountains that uprear
The heights by great men reached and
Were not attained by sudden flight,
Standing on what too long we bore
We may discern-unseen before-
Nor deem the irrevocable Past
As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
In the sure faith that we shall rise again
With that of flowers which never bloomed on earth.
With thy rude ploughshare. Death, turn up the sod,
This is the field and Acre of our God.
This is the place where human harvests grow!
Autumn in America.
With what a glory comes and goes the year!
There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
A winter bird comes with its plaintive whistle,
Oh, what a glory doth this world put on
To his long resting-place without a tear
A cold, uninterrupted rain. That washed each southern pane,
A Rainy Day.
Full late they slept. They did not hear
And made a river of the road;
Like phantom ships went drifting by;
Dawned on the silent Sudbury Inn,
And stopped beside the tavern door;
Plunged forward through the sea of fog,
A native of Manchester, and carrying on business there as an engraver, CHARLES SWAIN (1803-1874) became known as a poet in the pages of the 'Literary Gazette' and other literary journals. His collected works are: Metrical Essays,' 1827; The Mind and other Poems,' 1831; Dramatic Chapters, Poems, and Songs,' 1847; 'English Melodies,' 1849; Art and Fashion,' 1863; and · Songs and Ballads,' 1868. Some of Mr. Swain's songs and domestic poemswhich are free from all mysticism and exaggerated sentiment-have been very popular both at home and abroad. They have great sweetness, tenderness, and melody.
The Death of the
There are noble heads bowed down and
Deep sounds of woe arise,
And tears flow fast around the couch
And the arm of might and valour falls,
I saw him 'mid the battling hosts,
And flew the bolts of war.
I saw the routed Saracens
Flee from his blood-dark brand.
I saw him in the banquet hour
To seek his favourite minstrel's haunt,
He loved that spell-wrought strain
Swept by his visioned sight!
But battle shout and waving plume,
It was the hour of deep midnight,
When, with sable cloak and 'broidered
A funeral train swept by;
On many a stately crest-
SYDNEY DOBELL-ALEXANDER SMITH-GERALD MASSEY.
Under the pseudonym of Sydney Vendys,' SYDNEY DOBELL (1824-1874) published several elaborate poetical works. He was born at Cranbrook, Kent, in 1824, but spent the greater part of his youth in the neighbourhood of Cheltenham, where his father was engaged in business as a wine-merchant. In his intervals of leisure the young poet -whose regular employment was in his father's counting-house-contrived to write a dramatic poem, 'The Roman,' published in 1850. In 1854 appeared Balder, Part the First;' in 1855, Sonnets on the
War,' written in conjunction with Mr. A. Smith; and in 1856, 'England in Time of War.' A man of cultivated intellectual tastes and benevolence of character, Mr. Dobell seems to have taken up some false or exaggerated theories of poetry and philosophy, and to have wasted fine thoughts and conceptions on uncongenial themes. The great error of some of our recent poets is the want of simplicity and nature. They heap up images and sentiments, the ornaments of poetry, without aiming at order, consistency, and the natural development of passion or feeling. We have thus many beautiful and fanciful ideas, but few complete or correct poems. Part of this defect is no doubt to be attributed to the youth of the poets, for taste and judgment come slowly even where genius is abundant, but part also is due to neglect of the old masters of song. In Mr. Dobell's first poem, however, are some passages of finished blank
The Italian Brothers.
I had a brother:
We were twin shoots from one dead stem. He grew
And I, within the shadow of my thoughts,
Pined at his side and loved him. He was brave,
Gallant and free. I was the silent slave
Of fancies; neither laughed, nor fought, nor played,
And loved not morn nor eve for very trembling
At their long wandering shades. In childhood's sports
He won for me, and I looked on aloof;
And when perchance I heard him called my brother,
Within our dwelling by the desert plain,
Where the roe leaped,
And from his icy hills the frequent wolf
Gave chivalry to slaughter. Here and there
Rude heaps, that had been cities, clad the ground
With history. And far and near, where grass
Which winds had emptied of their dust, but left
Full of their immortality. In shrouds
Of reverent leaves, rich works of wondrous beauty
The Ruins of Ancient Rome.
The boar unconscious walls, bisson and bare,
Where the sky rests, from broken niches-each
Wore out the stone, strange hermit birds croaked forth
And lying, through the chant of psalm and creed,
Rank weeds and grasses,
Where Romans trembled Where the wreck was saddest,
With conscious mien of place rose tall and still,
And bent with duty Like some village children
In 1871 Mr. Dobell published a spirited political lyric, entitled 'England's Day.'
The day has gone by when the public of this country could be justly charged with reglect of native genius. Any manifestation of original intellectual power bursting from obscurity is instantly recognised, fostered, and applauded. The ever-open periodical press is ready to welcome and proclaim the new comer, and there is no lack of critics animated by a tolerant and generous spirit. In 1853 appeared Poems' by ALEXANDER SMITH (1830-1867), the principal piece in the collection being a series of thirteen dramatic scenes, entitled A Life Drama.' The manuscript of this volume had been submitted to the Rev. George Gilfillan, and portions of it had been laid before the public by that enthusiastic critic, accompanied with a strong recommendation of the young author as a genuine poet of a high order. Mr. Smith (born in Kilmarnock) had been employed as a designer of patterns in one of the Glasgow factories, but the publication of his poems marked him out for higher things, and he was elected to the office of Secretary to the Edinburgh University. Thus placed in a situation favourable for the cultivation of his talents, Mr. Smith continued his literary pursuits. He joined with Mr. Dobell, as already stated, in writing a series of War Sonnets; he con tributed prose essays to some of the periodicals; and in 1857 he came