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forward with a second volume of verse, 'City Poems,' similar in style to his first collection. In 1861 appeared Edwin of Deir.' Nearly all Mr. Smith's poetry bears the impress of youth-excessive imagery and ornament, a want of art and regularity. In one of Miss Mitford's letters we read: 'Mr. Kingsley says that Alfred Tennyson says that Alexander Smith's poems shew fancy, but not imagination; and on my repeating this to Mrs. Browning, she said it was exactly her impression.' The young poet had, however, a vein of fervid poetic feeling, attesting the genuineness of his inspiration, and a fertile fancy that could form brilliant pictures. With diligent study, simplicity, distinctness, and vigour might have been added, had the poet not been cut down in the very flower of his youth and genius. His prose works, Dreamthorp,' 'A Book of Essays, 'A Summer in Skye, and Alfred Hagart's Household,' are admirably writA Memoir of Smith, with some literary remains, was published in 1868, edited by P. P. Alexander.
The lark is singing in the blinding sky.
Hedges are white with May. The bridegroom sea
Is toying with the shore. his wedded bride,
All is fair
All glad. from grass to sun! Yet more I love
It seems a straggler from the files of June,
It joined November's troop, then marching past;
A few half-withered flowers.
Unrest and Childhood.
Unrest! unrest! The passion-panting sea
Break and dissolve. then gather in a mass,
And float like mighty icebergs through the blue.
Heaven yearns in stars. Down comes the frantic rain;
In their strange penance. And this wretched orb
[A child runs past.]
O thon bright thing, fresh from the hand of God;
Nearer I seem to God when looking on thee.
Whence all things flow. O bright and singing babe,
GERALD MASSEY, born at Tring, in Hertfordshire, in the year 1828, has fought his way to distinction in the face of severe difficulties. Up to his seventeenth or eighteenth year he was either a factory or an errand boy. He then tried periodical writing, and after some obscure efforts, produced in 1854 the Ballad of Babe Christabel, and other Poems.' a volume that passed through several editions; in 1855, 'War Waits;' in 1856, Craigcrook Castle, and other Poems.' Mr. Massey is author also of Havelock's March,' 1861; Tale of Eternity,' 1869; and of various other pieces in prose and verse. By these publications, and with occasional labours as a journalist and lecturer, he has honourably established himself in the literary profession. His poetry possesses both fire and tenderness, with a delicate lyrical fancy, but is often crude and irregular in style. It is remarkable that the diligence and perseverance which enabled the young poet to surmount his early troubles, should not have been employed to correct and harmonize his verse. Of all the self-taught English poets, Bloomfield seems to have been the most intent on studying good models and attaining to correct and lucid composition. A prose work, Shakspeare and his Sonnet,' by Mr. Massey, is ingenious and well written.
Conclusion of Babe Christabel.
In this dim world of clouding cares,
See white wings lessening up the skies,
The angels with us unawares.
And thon hast stolen a jewel. Death!
Our light of love, and fainting faith.
Through tears it gleams perpetually,
And glitters through the thickest glooms,
To light us o'er the jasper sea.
With our best branch in tenderest leaf,
We've strewn the way our Lord doth come;
His reapers bind our ripest sheaf.
Our beautiful bird of light hath fled:
Then straightway into glory sped.
And white-winged angels nurture her;
With heaven's white radiance robed and crowned,
And all love's purple glory round,
Till life's highway broke bleak and wild;
To the great ocean; on whose shore
For precious pears and relics rare,
Strange glory streams through life's wild rents,
To the beloved going hence.
God's ichor fills the hearts that bleed;
The best fruit loads the broken bough;
In 1862 appeared a small volume, 'The Luggie, and other Poems,' by DAVID GREY (1838-1861), with a memoir of the author by James Hedderwick, and a prefatory notice by R. M. Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton. Gray was born on the banks of the Luggie,* and reared in the house of his father, a handloom weaver at Merkland, near Kirkintillock. David was one of a large family, but he was intended for the church, and sent to Glasgow, where he supported himself by teaching, and attended classes in the university for four seasons. The youth, however, was eager for literary fame; he had written thousands of verses, and published from time to time pieces in the Glasgow Citizen,' a journal in which Alexander Smith had also made his first appearance in all the glory of print. In his twenty-second year Gray started off for London, as ambitious and self-confident, and as friendless as Chatterton when he left Bristol on a similar desperate mission. Friends, however, came forward. Gray
The luggie flows past Merkland, at the foot of a precipitous bank, and shortly after wards loses itself among the shadows of Oxgang, with its fine old mansion-house and rookery, and debouches into the Kelvin one of the tributaries of the Clyde. celebrated in Scottish song. It is a mere unpretending rivulet - HEDDERWICK's Memoir of Gray.
had corresponded with Sidney Dobell and Mr. Monckten Milnes, and he became acquainted with Mr. Lawrence Oliphant, and with two accomplished ladies-Miss Coates, Hampstead, and Miss Marion James, an authoress of considerable reputation. Assistance in money and counsel was freely given, but consumption set in, and the poor poet, having longed to return to his native place, was carefully sent back to Merkland. There he wrought hopefully at his poems, and when winter came, it was arranged that he should remove to the south of England.
Mr. Milnes, the kind ladies at Hampstead, and some Scottish friends (Mrs. Nichol, widow of Professor Nichol, Mr. William Logan, and others), supplied the requisite funds, and Gray was placed in a hydropathic establishment at Richmond. Thence he was removed, through the kindness of Mr. Milnes, to Devonshire; but the desire for home again returned, and in the middle of January 1861, the invalid presented himself abruptly at Merkland. 'Day after day,' says Mr. Hedderwick-week after week-month after month-life was now ebbing away from him for ever.' But even under the strong and touching consciousness of an early doom-with the dart of death, like the sword of Damocles, continually suspended over him and visible-Gray continued to weave, in glory, if not in joy, his poetic fancies.' His ardent wish was to see his poems in print, and they were sent to the press. One page was immediately put in type, and the dying poet had the inexpressible gratification of seeing and reading it on the day preceding his death. This was part of a description of a winter scene on the banks of the Luggie:
A Winter Scene.
How beautiful! afar on moorland ways,
Bosomed by mountains, darkened by huge glens
Let fall soft beauty, till each green fir branch
Of boughs, are draped with silver. All the green
Of summer sunshine never more confessed
Out in the snowy dimness, half revealed,
Like ghosts in glimpsing moonshine, wildly run
The young poet received this specimen page as good news,' and said he could now subside tranquilly without tears into his eternal A monument was erected to his memory at Kirkintilloch in 1865, Mr. Henry Glassford Bell, the sheriff of Glasgow, delivering an
interesting speech on the occasion. The monument bears the following inscription, from the pen of Lord Houghton: This monument of affection, admiration, and regret, is erected to DAVID GRAY, the poet of Merkland, by friends from far and near, desirous that his grave should be remembered amid the scenes of his rare genius and early death, and by the Luggie, now numbered with the streams illustrious in Scottish song. Born 29th January 1838; died 3d December 1861.' Three of the most active of the literary friends of David Gray-namely, Lord Houghton, Mr. Hedderwick (the accomplished and affectionate biographer of the poet), and Sheriff Bell (whose latest literary task was editing a new edition of Gray's Poems) -have borne testimony to the rich though immature genius of this young poet, and to the pure and noble thoughts which fired his ambition, and guided his course through the short period of his life. Besides his principal poem, The Luggie,' Gray wrote a series of Sonnets entitled 'In the Shadow,' which are no less touching than beautiful in composition, and greatly superior to the poetry of Michael Bruce, written under similarly affecting circumstances. An Autumnal Day.
Beneath an ash in beauty tender leaved,
And through whose boughs the glimmering sunshine flowed
In rare ethereal jasper, making cool
A chequered shadow in the dark green grass,
I lay enchanted. At my head there bloomed
A hedge of sweet-brier, fragrant as the breath
Met the keen sky. Oh, in that wood, I know,
In their own season; with the bilberry
Of dim and misty blue, to childhood dear.
Here on a sunny August afternoon,
A vision stirred my spirit half-awake
To fling a purer lustre on those fields
That knew my boyish footsteps; and to sing
If it must be that I Die young.
If it must be; if it must be, O God!
That I die young, and make no further moans;