Зображення сторінки

gerer from its busy scenes. Still, he did not com- / scheme planned for his future course, which seemplain. Though it was painfully evident that his ed very unreasonable, and from which we endeamind was not fully in unison with the quietude of his vored to dissuade him. There was a mystery about situation, yet Hope cheered him with her whisper-him. Something weighed like lead upon his spiings of brighter days to come. Beside, he found rits; but we thought it a morbid mood which would many ingredients of happiness in his cup. Of a pass away. We urged him to return home, but warm and social disposition-he was surrounded apparently in vain. He seemed bent on his wild by a family which he loved : a devotee of Litera- enterprise, and bade us adieu with the design of ture-time and opportunity enabled him to indulge engaging in it. Little thought we that his melanin his favorite pursuits, though under some dis- choly assertion was true! Little thought we that couragements it is true : a child of Nature-he his warm hand would soon be cold in death, and could rove at will amid her most wild and enchant- bis warm heart be still beneath the clods of the ing scenes. As our acquaintance ripened to inti- valley! His hearty " God bless you!" lingered in macy, we found as much to admire in his poetical our ears, and we felt that we were parting with taste and talents, as we had already found to love our best and truest friend. A few days went by, in his social temperament and virtues. His chief and we were again surprised by the reception of a fault as a poet-and it is a common one with young letter from Bacon, dated at his home, in Simsbury. writers was a redundancy of Fancy. Against It was brief and hurried, and some part of it was this—for he soon became sensible of it-he was entirely unintelligible. We attributed such part very careful to guard. He composed with enthu- however to a merry mood, rather than to any more siasm, and then in cooler moments gave himself serious cause. We gathered from it that the to the task of severe revision. He would write matter which had weighed so heavily upon his spiand re-write a piece with great care, and even rits, when we had last seen him, was satisfactorily then seemed loth to part with it. He published removed, and all was well with him. We wonder but little. He shrunk instinctively from notoriety, now at our blindness. The very assurance be and when he did publish, he gave no clue to the gave of the removal of his difficulty, so singular authorship of his pieces. We doubt if he ever were many circumstances connected with it, should published too articles over the same signature. have given us alarm. But we were satisfied, and Consequently, to the great public he was unknown. the epistle was laid aside to await the leisure of a Beyond the circle of his own personal friends, future day. Bacon was not recognized as a poet. Yet his When we reached our place of destination, rawas a genius of no common order, and we confi- rious causes conspired to make us for a time nego dently looked forward to the day when his name lectful of our distant friends. At length, our neg. would hold a proud place among the talented ones lected duty was undertaken. It was New-Year's of our country, and that day a no far distant one. and our thoughts were busy with Bacon. He had Who that then knew him could have thought that not been forgotten, though for a time neglected.

hat voice would so soon be tuneless, and that mind Ere the holidays had gone we determined to greet so soon have its full development in a better world. him with a hearty remembrance. Alas! we recked

During our collegiate days, we were separated not of the trial in store for us! Before those holibut a short distance from our friend. Scarcely a days were ended, and while our heart was reveiling week went by without bringing him to our lodg- in the past, and memory was busy with its scenes ings, or taking ourself to his own "happy val- so dear, and with him, the dearest object of those ley.” Those winged hours of social converse, scenes-we received an unwelcome letter from the and those rambles over hill and dale, are, and ever father of our friend.

Bacon was no more! He will be, among the greenest spots in the waste of whom we loved with more than a brother's love, memory. But time separated us. Business at was slumbering unconscious of our sorrow! Nerer last called him away on a distant tour; and, soon sunk our heart as at these sad tidings; and we after we had left college, our face was tarned wept like a broken-hearted child ! southward. While waiting in New-York the sail- Poor Bacon! There was too much truth in his ing-day of our packet, we were agreeably sur-mournful assertion.

He was indeed deranged! prised by meeting unexpectedly with our old friend It might be, as he stated in his letter before aliuded again. We had thought him many an hundred 10—probably the last he wrote-that the cause of miles away, and the meeting was consequently his mental difficulty, whatever it might be, was rethe more cheering. After a hurried conversation moved. But it had done a fearful work, and its upon topics of mutual interest, he abruptly ex-l effects were fatal. His family had hoped that pressed a fear“ that he was becoming deranged "repose and quiet would restore him. But each It seemed a strange assertion, and we gave no succeeding day only increased his malads. His heed to it. We wonder now that our own fears noble mind was unhinged his Fancy ranged with were not excited : fur there certainly was much frantic wildness and the sands of Life hastered that was unusual in his manner, and he had a wild' to their last. His mental sufferings were intense ;


and his imagination,—too skilfully cultivated !- some of these have already appeared in print, (and became his tormentor.

one was published in the pages of the Messenger,) “ Then the haunting visions rose,

the reader may recognize some of them as familiar. Spectres round his spirit's throne:

He will not however deem it an objection to meet Poet! what can paint thy woes,

them again. They will richly repay a re-perusal. But a pencil like thine own!"

The greater part of the articles, however, have He had conceived the plan of a majestic poem, never before appeared in print. We shall not enwhich he never executed, entitled “The Death-deavor to arrange them in the order of their merit, Bed of Hope," and now he spoke of it with feel- but select them at random. The first with which ings of agony. Strange!” he would exclaim ; we present the reader is a simple and touching de“was it not strange, I should have thought of that scription of a pleasant scene in domestic life : subject ? Now I see it all : I am without hope !"

THE YOUNG MOTHER. Thus did he suffer, and thus did his malady in- Mark yonder scene! a cheruh boy, crease, that in a few weeks his family deemed it With lisping shout and frolic glee, advisable to remove him to the “Insane Retreat,”

Which well betoken childhood's joy, at Hartford. Poor Bacon! what sufferings were

Is climbing to his mother's knee. thine! Unconscious of the Past—yet conscious of

And radiant is that mother's face the madness which was destroying thee! But his

With all the charms which beauty lends ;

And hers the form of seraph grace, sufferings were not long protracted. On the 29th

Which o'er the sculptor's slumber bends. Dec., 1838, not three weeks from the day of his admission to the Institution, his spirit passed gently

And smiles are o'er her beauty stealing,

Irradiate with the light of thought, and composedly away—and in full possession of

Unuttered tones, yet well revealing its former powers--we may trust, to an everlasting

The love with which her heart is fraught. rest. His remains were brought back to Simsbury; and on the 1st of Jan. 1839, amid the scenes of

The roguish boy! his sportive hands

Have torn the roses from her hair, his pleasant boyhood, attended by a weeping throng

And loosed her tresses from their bands of friends and kindred," he made his cold bed with

Upon a bosom snowy fair! the grave of the year!"

And she has only pressed a kiss Thus perished, at the age of twenty-four, one of

Of burning fervor on his brow, the noblest hearts that ever went down to death in

As if she felt too much of bliss the pride of manhood. Our own feelings it were To give one word of chiding now! vain to describe. All other griefs which we had

Oh, if thine heart be weighed with sadness, known seemed trifling in comparison with this.

Which makes the spirit pine to go,
“ We had lived and loved together

Then gaze upon this scene of gladness,
Through many changing years:"

And learn that there is bliss below.

The next we select is the “ Mountain Brook." and now that our friend was snatched away, and

We have traced the stream which we suppose gave in so mournful a manner-dwelling in the dreary loneliness of a maniac's habitation-unable fully

occasion to the lay, in company with the minstrel, to realize the rich blessings of his fond parents'

to its very source. It is a wild, picturesque brook,

which descends through a ravine in a mountain sympathy, and his brothers' and sisters' sorrowand thus, by the peculiar sadness of his disease, that forms the eastern boundary of the valley dying, as it were, alone, in solitary anguish,-it where Bacon made his home. The description is

in excellent keeping with the scene. The “ river" was hard, hard indeed to bear! The burden of our

alluded to is “ The Farmington,” which winds grief was like the boy's sorrow for his first play

gracefully through the valley :

THE MOUNTAIN BROOK. Oh call my brother back to me--I cannot play alone !"

Hail beautiful brook! thou truant child, But vain is grief, for the dead will come no more. Dancing along with a step so wild, If they have run their course well on earth, it is And voice breaking forth in shout and glce, well they should not return. For them henceforth As if warbling fairies rose from thee. there is eternal rest--for us, the memory of their Say, why dost thou turn from thy home away ?

And whither, O wanderer, dost thou stray ?
pilgrimage to incite us to duty. Oh it is a happy Have the birds told thee of their southern home,
thought, that if we live aright, we shall meet the To lure thee from thine own to roam,-
loved and lost in a better land, where the blessed Wbere their nests are rocked by the balmy breeze,
inhabitants never sorrow-never say farewell !

Which sighs through the leaves of the cinnamon trecs ?
Or dost thou list to some mermaid's call

To come to her in her ocean hall,
A pleasant though mournful duty devolves upon And wake thy strains in the coral bowers,
us—that of doing justice to the literary merit of To lull her to rest in her weary hours?
our friend. We have obtained possession of all

In my boyish days I have loved to stray the articles which were written by Bacon. As'Among thy hills on a summer day,


And have left unlearned a river's course,

Friends, when I leave life's darksome dell To trace thine own to thy lonely source.

No costly marble rear ; And now I am old, my pulses go,

The record of my life to tell
Within my breast with a quicker flow,

My epitaph is here.
When I hear thy voice, which seems to tell
What wakes my thonghts, like a magic spell.

The following article was originally contributed

for the Messenger. It will not compare in poetic Beautiful stream. In a mountain cave

merit with many of the others, but it is certainly To thee thy being the storm-spirit gave;

superior to the mass of poems contributed to pe. And thou hast leaped from thy cradle there

riodical literature. To wander forth in the fragrant air, And make love to the flowers, which stoop to trace

Leaves of an evergreen plant, is written upon with a Their own fair forms in thy glassy face.

metallic point, retain the impression. The following lines With an infant step thou turn'st to glide,

were addressed to a fair cousin of the writer's, on her reThrough the tangled grass, to the mountain side,

questing him to place his name upon a beautiful plant of And seek'st a glen where nothing is heard,

this genus, which grew among her flowers, and bore the Save thy own blithe voice and the song of bird;

names of those whose friendship she most valued. As if those sweet tones had filled the air,

And lured the spirit of silence there;
And now away, with a quickened tread,

Permit me Coz, a dream to tell :
Thou boundest over thy rocky bed,

'Twas conjured for an hour As if the sunshine glittering bright,

Around my pillow by the spell
Had filled thy breast with a wild delight:

Of some strange wizard power,
And now thou rushest down the steep,
Like the startled lawn at a single leap,

Ambition sat upon a throne

of gold, and sparkling gem : Nor stay'st thy course till a blooming flower, Invites thy steps to her shady bower;

And brilliantly the halo shone And there thou swell'st to a mimic bay,

Around bis diadem. Where the speckled trout come forth to play;

He cast on me a glance of light, Where in childhood's days, my tiny boat

Then raised his shadowy hand, With its kerchief sail, I used to float.

And lo! upon a towering height
Art thou lingering with that flower to tell

I saw a column stand.
Of her sisters, that live far up in the dell?
For she bends o'er thee, intent to hear

To earth I bowed my forehead then,
The tale thou givest to her delicate ear.

My every pulse beat high ; Tby tale is told and thy course again

That marble bore the names of men, Is onward to the grassy plain,

Whose fame can never die! Where the river rolleth to the main.

I marked a pathway rough and steep,

Which to the column led, New-England, here may thy children view

And though I had but strength to creep,
An emblem of themselves most true ;

I turned that path to tread.
Like the truant brook they are prone to roam,
And leave their own for the stranger's home.

Just then a maiden caught my sight,
Perchance they go where other skies

From all this pomp apart, With lovelier tints of beauty rise;

Whose eyes so sweetly shone, their light To other realms, where the flower-plumed spring,

Seemed incense from the heart. Broods o'er the earth with a fairer wing;

She sat within a verdant bower, But they ne'er will meet with hearts more free,

Bespangled with the dew, Than those which beat with a pride of thee!

And on the air full many a flower We next select a sentiment prepared seemingly

Its balmy fragrance threw. for an album. We perceive a note in the manu- Methought she had been sent to bless script, pencilled in a delicate character, accompa

The thorny paths of earth,

And teach the flowers that loveliness, nying the first stanza- -“ His prayer is answered!"

Which with herself had birth. Yes! but not alone does he live in the hearts of devoted sisters : there are many who deplore his

On me, methought, her glance and smile

In blended radiance fell; doom :

She pointed to a plant the while
"To live in hearts we leave behind

Which told her meaning well.
Is not to die."

Upon its leaves of changeless green,
I ask of Him on high,

Pure Friendship's emblem true,
This prayer to give;-

The names of those she loved were seen
That when I come to die

A chosen, favored sew.
I thus may live;

With rapture thrilling in my breast,
When to our God on bended knee

I joined my humble name;
You bow in pure devotion,

Ambitious thoughts were lulled to rest;
Should billows dark

What cared I then for fame!
Roll round my bark
On being's stormy ocean,

We next select the “ Stanzas written at Sun-
Remember me.

set.” They are not faultless—but they are touched by the same pencil which was guided by the hand to call them “ The Madhouse Papers.” The of Fancy:

first of the series was "The Captive Flower.” It STANZAS WRITTEN AT SUNSET. is vigorous in its conception and execution. We Look yonder-'tis a gorgeous sight!

will insert it, with the author's own preface, and O'er all the West the sun is throwing

the reader can judge of its merit: A brilliant stream of liquid light;

The stanzas following, are selected from papers found in Whose broken waves, still brightly glowing,

a portfolio left some years since in a madhouse. From Roll upward, as 't were blazing brands

some incoherent sentences written in blotted characters Borne through the air by unseen hands,

prefacing the lines, it appears that they were intended for To light the lamps, which burn on high,

the Album of a lady, who forgetful that light is necessary to When sunlight leaves the vaulted sky.

vegetable being, incarcerated her exotics during the Winter May it not be that orb of light,

in a cellar where “all was black.” Now sinking 'neath the horizon,

The writer appears to have attempted something like a Is Nature's altar--pure and bright,

parody on Byron's Darkness. Angels are pouring incense on,

THE CAPTIVE FLOWER. Which goeth up like earthly fires,

I had a dream: and yet methought Amid the music of their lyres ;

It was not all a dream : To form a balo round the brow

'Mid darkness brooding wide I sought, Of Him to whom the seraphs bow?

But found no cheering beam.
Oh! I have thought, that those of old,

At first there was one flickering ray
Who vainly strove by art to change

Which shot athwart the gloom;
The baser ores to virgin gold,

Like ghastly smile on rotting clay,
First caught the hope, so wildly strange,

Within the cold, damp lomb!
While gazing with enraptured eye,

Long hours I strove with painful gasp, At such an hour-on such a sky!

To catch one breath of light! They might have thought alchemic power

But at my throat a demon's grasp, Had wrought the glorious golden shower!

Seemed laid with deadly might!
Imbued with crimson, fleecy clouds,

That glimmer fled; I cursed my birth,
Are through the depths of ether driven,

I cursed the sun that gave,
As if they were enfolding shrouds

For darkness pressed like trodden earth
Or blessed spirits bome to Heaven.
Oh! it may be they're Angel's wings,

Upon a live man's grave!
Beaming above the offerings,

Cold on my limbs as on the dead Which rise from hearts like perfume thrown

A clammy mould there came! Upon a burning altar-stone.

Foul, slimy worms crawled there and sed;

They gnawed my wasting frame !
Who has not selt, at such an hour,
A wave of thoughts gush up and roll,

A fire-fly once came flitting by-
Like Passion, with resistless power,

A moment-it was gone :
Which seemed to break and food the soul!

I saw (and prayed that I might die)
With such a feeling, men have bowel

A sister's skeleton ! And sung their pæans, long and loud!

That was the last! like guilty men, Which echoed through the vaulted shrine,

To black perdition hurled, Raised to yon orb, they deemed divine.

No ray of hope was left me then, Here is another pleasant scene in domestic life.

For darkness was the world! The reader will acknowledge its interest and

We have before spoken of the “ Death-bed of fidelity:

Hope.” We have the analysis of it as conceived LEARNING TO COUNT.

by our author. But it was not completed : and When morning breaketh, faint the beam,

though the design was a noble one, and the "sketch” Precursor of the burning ray! In childhood's morn, one golden gleam

before us reflects great credit upon the mind which Is token of a radiant day.

designed it, we deem it best not to present it in its

unfinished state. "Oh hear me !" cries a lisping one,

The next article which we give the reader, is And proudly tells his little lore, “ I've counted ten! and all alone!

entirely unlike the preceding. It is a humorous My dear, dear mother learn me more !"

parody upon Campbell's Last Man.” For drol“I'll count the stars all o'er the sky,

lery of design and grace of execution, it is inimiWhich burn at nighit so bright and small;

table among its class of writings:
Oh, can't I count them by-and-by,

When, moiber, you have learned me all ?”

Vain thoughts will cling to latest breath-

A truth the wise attest;
Boy, thou hast crept to Learning's spring,

“A Ruling Passion Strony in death"
And does the taste give such delight?

Holds empire in the breast.
Mother, young genius plumes its wing,
Look heavenward for its future flight !

" I saw a vision in my sleep"

Thus runs Tom Campbell's rhyme, Our author wrote some wild effusions, which he

“Which gave my spirit strength to sweep designed to publish consecutively. He intended Adown the gulph of Time."

My spirit too hath swept in flight

time after the publication of the Souvenir, the EdiThe gulph Time's sentries guard;

tor visited her unhappy correspondent in the “InA maid thou saw'st not met my sight

sane Retreat." She strove to awaken his ambiThy pardon deathless bard!

tion, and requested an article for a future volume The glory of the sun was fled,

of the Annual. But his harp was unstrung, and All Nature shrunk aghast,

would resound no more upon earth:
And midst whole nations of the dead,
The last man breathed his last!

That maiden stood, the last to die,

Gladness within a cottage home!
With pride upon her lip:

Gladness upon the breezy main!
And rouge that hid the tutored sigh,

Yon gallant bark, that rides the foam,
Was there in fellowship.

Is near her native port again.
A treasured volume open there

There's one for days hath watch'd the gale,
Revealed of things to come--

From earliest mom to latest even;
How low a bosom maids could wear

Her eye first caught yon snowy sail,
For“ evening dress at home."

A speck upon the far-off heaven.
Her dearest treasures round her strown--

And now her many fears are o'er,
A whalebone vesture here-

Thou wouldst not blame her frantic joy!
Pearls, plumes, puffs, patches, things unkown-

Her bosom's treasure comes once more!
Lo! there a broad cashmere.

Thy father comes thou cherub-boy!
The last of lap-dogs, hushed in death,

But speed thee, husband-speed thy bark,
On gauzy night-gowns lay;

Bethink thee of the setting sun;
Cosmetic powders flung their breath,

And see the clouds are gathering dark;
From jars in long array.

Now speed thee ere the day is done!
Vases of odor-curling tongs-

Fierce lightnings flash athwart the sky,
But vain the whole to tell :

The tempest, in its fearful wrath,
Such store to Moslem's heaven belongs-

Listing the billows mountain-high,
Such things the Jew, men sell.

Is out upon the seaman's path.
An arsenal sure, well stored with charms,

Now heaven be with that plunging bark !
For heart-siege or blockade;

Almighty power alone can keep;
That lone one stood in muslin charms,

Hark to the rolling thunder! bark !
With flounce de fleurs arrayed.

O! mercy! still the raging deep!
Upon a mirror's silver face

O, God! 0, God! this awful night!"
She shot an arrowy glance,

And she who spoke was ghastly pale-
Restored a ringlet to its place,

“0, hush thee, boy !--Can human might
Then eye'd pale Sol askance.

At hour like this, can aught avail?" “Ha! Sun, forever Beauty's dread"

“ Yes, He who hears a raven cry, She shook her jewelled hand

The raging of the storm can stay;
Ha! now thy fearful power is filed!

Our God! our God! to thee on high!
See all unveiled I stand!

Kneel down, my child, kneel down and pray!" “ The haughty of the earth have bowed;

“0, hear us, Father, from above!
Ay, Kings have bent the knee,

He sure will hear thy sinless prayer-
And all in awe the smitten crowd

Have mercy, Heaven, on him we love!
Have poured their praise to me.

O, grant him thine almighty care!"
“But I have wept for wounded pride

A fearful crash went up to heaven!
As on my shame I thought;

That fated bark was seen no more!
And vainly strove with paste to hide
The mischief thou hast wrought!

One splintered mast to shore was driven,

Which one alone to safety bore.
“Discrownéd King! no more I flee

Eternal Truth himself hath spoken!
With trembling from thy frown:

Then, mortal, hold! nor rashly dare
Strange that a power should ever be
To change the lily, brown.

To think His promise can be broken!

Our Heavenly Father heareth prayer!
“My noblest conquest now is won-
Would that the dead could see-

We stated at first that we should not select our
Like dying lover, lo ! the sun

author's articles in the order of merit. We have Gives his last look to me!

also disregarded the order of the time of their “Go, tell the night that robs thy face'

composition. We shall select but one more, and Of charms can nought restore,

that one almost the first of his writing-certainly Thou saw'st the last of Fashion's race'

the first of his publication. We think it decidedly Go, tell the dress she wore !"

one of his best : The following appeared in the Religious Souve

THE WINDS. nir for 1839, and was pronounced, by no mean Waves of an ocean viewless yet sublime! judge, the best article in the volume. A short Which finds no strand save starry isles ye lave,

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »