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When through the peaceful parish swells
And oh! where'er your days be passed,
Abroad, at home, in weal, in wo,
Mrs. HEMANS was born in Liverpool on the 21st of September, 1793. Her history is well known. An unhappy marriage embittered the larger part of her life, and after an illness singularly protracted and painful, she died, in Dublin, on the 16th of May, 1835. The most remarkable characteristics of Mrs. Hemans's poetry are a religious purity and a womanly delicacy of feeling, never exaggerated, rarely forgotten. Writing less of love, in its more special acceptation, than most female poets, her poems are still unsurpassed in feminine tenderness. Devotion to God, and quenchless affection for kindred, for friends, for the suffering, glow through all her writings. Her sympathies were not universal. They appear often to be limited by country, creed, or condition; and she betrays a reverent admiration for rank, power, and historic renown. Yet as the poet of home, a painter of the affections, she was perhaps the most touching and beautiful writer of her age. The tone of her poetry is indeed monotonous; it is pervaded by the tender sadness which forever preyed upon her spirit, and made her an exile from society; but it is all informed with beauty, and rich with most apposite imagery and fine descriptions. Many editions of the works of Mrs. Hemans have appeared in this country, of which the best, indeed the only one that has any pretensions to completeness, is that of Lea and Blanchard, in seven volumes, with a preliminary notice by Mrs. Sigourney.
THE AGED PATRIARCH.
Of life's past woes, the fading trace
Years o'er his snowy head have passed,
And those high hopes, whose guiding star
On earth by naught but pity's tie,
CHRIST STILLING THE TEMPEST.
FEAR was within the tossing bark,
When stormy winds grew loud ; And waves came rolling high and dark,
And the tall mast was bowed.
And men stood breathless in their dread,
And baffled in their skill ;
To the wild sea, “ Be still !"
Passed through the gloomy sky; The troubled billows knew their Lord,
And sank beneath his eye.
And silence on the blast :
When death's fierce throes are past.
Thou, that didst rule the angry hour,
And tame the tempest's mood, Oh! send thy Spirit forth in power,
O'er our dark souls to brood.
Thou, that didst bow the billow's pride,
Thy mandates to fulfil,-
Speak and say,—“Peace, be still !"
A DOMESTIC SCENE.
'Twas early day—and sunlight streamed
Soft through a quiet room
Still, but with naught but gloom,
Whose hope is from above,
Of heaven's recorded love.
Pure fell the beam, and meekly bright
On his gray holy hair,
As if its shrine were there ;
With something lovelier far-
Caught not from sun or star.
Some word of life e'en then had met
His calm benignant eye;
Of quenchless faith survives ; For every feature said, “I know
That my Redeemer lives.”
And silent stood his children by,
Husbing their very breath
Of thoughts o'ersweeping death ;
With love and reverence melt ?
That home where God is felt.
THE BETTER LAND.
“I hear thee speak of the better land,
“Not there, not there, my child !"
“ Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,
“Not there, not there, my child!"
“ Is it far away in some region old, Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold ? Where the burning rays of the ruhy shine, And the diamond lights up the secret mine, And the pearl gleams forth from the coral strand, Is it there, sweet mother, that better land ?”.
“Not there, not there, my child !
"Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy! Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy!