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In looking back upon the opinions of Chat- interred, with scanty honors, in the pauper terton's contemporaries, we cannot help re- burial-ground in Shoe-lane. Mr. Chalmers, ferring to those expressed by the literary in his notice of Chatterton, in the Biographgiant of those days, Dr. Samuel Johnson. In ical Dictionary, remarks, that “there could his wholesome horror of precocious genius not be a more decisive proof of the little reand juvenile prodigies, Johnson had ventured gard he attracted in London, than the secrecy to declare his unmitigated contempt for the and silence that accompanied his death. Bristol poet. "Don't talk to me of the This event, although so extraordinary-for powers of a vulgar, uneducated stripling," young suicides are surely not common—is not he said to Boswell; “no man can coin even mentioned in any shape in the Gentleguineas but in proportion as he has gold." man's Magazine, the Annual Register, the Yet, when prevailed upon to look into the Saint James' or London Chronicle, nor in any, volume, he retracted his opinion in language of the respectable publications of the day." equally characteristic : “This is the most Notwithstanding the indifference of contemextraordinary young man that has encoun-porary journalists, and the silence of the tered my knowledge. It is wonderful how "respectable publications," the life and the whelp has written such things."
death of Thomas Chatterton, his career of It is not our province to write a biography misfortune, and death of ignomir of Chatterton, or to linger on the “last scene since become world-celebrated, and the creof all, that ended that strange eventful his- ator of Rowley is ranked with names that tory." It is enough to say that, having the world will not willingly let die. perished by his own hands, his corpse was
From Blackwood's Magazine.
THE COVENANTERS' NIGHT-HYMN.
Making all allowances for the many over- , nobling arts of architecture, sculpture, and colored pictures, nay, often one-sided state- painting, as adjuncts of idol-worship--still it ments of such apologetic chroniclers as Knox, is to be remembered, that the aggression Melville, Calderwood, and Row, it is yet emanated r.ot from them; and that the rights difficult to divest the mind of a strong leaning they contended for were the most sacred and towards the old Presbyterians and champi- invaluable that man can possess—the freedom ons of the Covenant-probably because we of worshipping God according to the dictates believe them to have been sincere, and know of conscience. They sincerely believed that them to have been persecuted and oppressed. the principles which they maintained were Nevertheless, the liking is as often allied to right; and their adherence to these with unsympathy as to approbation ; for a sifting of alterable constancy, through good report and motives exbibits, in but too many instances, through bad report; in the hour of privation a sad commixture of the chaff of selfishness and suffering, of danger and death; in the with the grain of principle—an exhibition of silence of the prison-cell, not less than in the the over and over again played game, by excitement of the battle-field; by the bloodwhich the gullible many are made the tools stained hearth, on the scaffold, and at the of the crafty and designing few. Be it al- stake-forms a noble chapter in the history lowed that, both in their preachings from the of the human mind—of man as an accountapulpit and their teachings example, the ble creature. Covenanters frequently proceeded more in Be it remembered, also, that these religious the spirit of fanaticism than of sober religious persecutions were not mere things of a day, feeling; and that, in their antagonistic ardor, but were continued through at least three they did not hesitate to carry the persecu- entire generations. They extended from the tions of which they themselves so justly com accession of James VI. to the English throne, plained into the camp of the adversary-- (testibus the rhymes of Sir David Lyndsay, sacrificing in their mistaken zeal even the en- and the classic prose of Buchanan,) down to
the Revolution of 1688–almost a century,
'Twas seeming peace by field and flood : ing that tenacity of purpose, or subduing that we woke, and on our lintels found perfervidum ingenium, which, according to The cross of wrath-the mark of blood. Thuanus, have been national characteristics. Lord ! in thy cause we mocked at fears,
As in almost all similar cases, the cause of We scorned the ungodly's threatening words.the Covenanters, so strenuously and unflinch Beat out our pruning-hooks to spears, ingly maintained, ultimately resulted in the
And turned our ploughshares into swords ! victory of Protestantism--that victory, the fruits of which we have seemed of late years so readily inclined to throw away; and, in Degenerate Scotland ! days have been its rural districts more especially, of nothing when mountain-crag and valley green
Thy soil when only freemen trodare the people more justly proud than
Poured forth the loud acclaim to God !
The fire which liberty imparts, " the tales
Refulgent in each patriot eye, Of persecution and the Covenant,
And, graven on a nation's hearts, Whose echo rings through Scotland to this hour.”
The Word-for which we stand or die ! So
says Wordsworth. These traditions have been emblazoned by the pens of Scott, M‘Crie, Galt, Hogg, 'Wilson, Grahame, and Unholy change! The scorner's chair Pollok, and by the pencils of Wilkie, Harvey Tortures, and bonds, and death, the share
Is now the seat of those who rule ; and Duncan, each regarding them with the
Of all except the tyrant's tool. eye of his peculiar genius.
That faith in which our fathers breathed, In reference to the following stanzas, it And had their life, for which they diedshould be remembered that, during the hold - That priceless heir-loom they bequeathed ing of their conventicles, which frequently, in Their sons—our impious foes deride ! the more troublous times, took place amid mountain solitudes, and during the night, a sentinel was stationed on some commanding So We have left our homes behind, height in the neighborhood, to give warning And We have belted on the sword, of the approach of danger.
And We in solemn league have joined,
Yea! covenanted with the Lord,
Never to seek those homes again, Ho! plaided watcher of the hill,
Never to give the sword its sheath, What of the night ?—what of the night ?
Until our rights of faith remain
Unfettered as the air we breathe !
The countless stars are sparkling bright;
O Thou, who rulest above the sky,
Begirt about with starry thrones, To Thee—an omnipresent God !
Cast from the heaven of heavens thine eye
Down on our wives and little ones
From hallelujahs surging round, Jehovah! though no sign appear,
Oh! for a moment turn thine ear,
The famished orphan's cries to bear!
For ever in thy people's sight,
And Thou wilt hear! it cannot be,
That Thou wilt list the raven's brood, When from their nest they scream to Thee,
And in due season send them food; Whence came the summons forth to go ?
It cannot be that thou wilt weave
The lily such superb array, From Thee awoke the warning sound ! “Out to your tents, O Israel! Lò!
And yet unfed, unsheltered, leave The heathen's warfare girds thee round.
Thy children—as if less than they! Sons of the faithful! up—away!
The lamb must of the wolf beware; The falcon seeks the dove for prey;
We have no hearth—the ashes lie The fowler spreads his cunning snare !"
In blackness where they brightly shone ;
WAOEVER I am, wherever my lot,
Whatever I happen to be,
That Providence orders for me;
One feverish step in advance-
To hazard a change and a chance !
No honor that is not my due ;
The will of my Master to do:
And set me my business here,
My heart shall be found in my sphere !
If poor, as the friend of my Lord,
If stalwart, my pen or my sword;
If simpleness, bask in His love,
If joy, I will throne it above!
I gratefully gather and prize;
But only a good in disguise ;
No duty can ever be mean,
As well as a king or a Queen!
For Duty's bright livery glorifies all
With brotherhood, equal and free,
That places us where we should be ;
As a jewel invested by heaven;
Much service, where so much is given !
Though“ bettering” trips from your tongue;
That round my proud poverty hung :
Though peril and hardship was there,
Is—" Leave it;-do better elsewhere."
I might go ahead with the rest,
And many a grief for the best:
I pine not for praise or for pelf,
My better or worse for myself !
Where God has ordained me to be,
He fitted my calling for me:
With honor, or sweat, on my face,
I stand, like a star, in my PLACE.
From Tait's Magazine.
POEMS BY THOMAS AIRD.
BY GEORGE GILFILLAN.
We have rarely felt more at a loss than in Besides this power of minute, knotty, and criticising this volume of genuine and trans- picturesque description, Mr. Aird has a highcendent poetry ; because, in the first place, er and rarer gift, that of imaginative combialmost all the enthusiastic minds of Scotland nation. We find this creative quality best are long and intimately acquainted with a exhibited in his “ Devil's Dream on Mount great part of its contents; and yet, in the Aksbeck,” his “Demoniac,” and his “Nesecond place, the general mind of the country buchadnezzar.” Than the first of these, the knows little, and is disposed to believe less, English language possesses no more unique, of the merit, power, originality, and genius of sustained, and singular flight of imagination. the author. In such a case, it becomes some So such critics as Wilson, Delta, De Quinwhat difficult to adjust our phrases of com cey, and Samuel Brown, have agreed. We mendation so as not to offend some party, shall never forget the pleasure we had either by what seems depreciation or by ex- and gave, in introducing this marvellous poaggeration.
em, at different times, to the two last menMr. Aird's most striking qualities are tioned.
tioned. “That man should write poetry,” originality, truth to nature, richness of im was De Quincey's emphatic comment. There agery, and power of language. He possesses are three lines in it, any one of which is an eye of his own, a forging mint of his own, enough to make the poem immortal. One is a spirit and a style of his own.
the picture of the sky of hell : trace him in the track of any other author. He is no echo, but a native voice. He has “ Till, like a red bewildered map, the sky was been most minute in his observations of na
scribbled o'er." ture; and not Thomson in his “Seasons,”
The second is : nor Cowper in his “ Task,” has given more faithful, literal, yet ideal transcripts of scene “The silent magnanimity of Nature and her God.” ry. His “Summer's Day," his “Winter's
The third : Day," and his “Mother's Blessing,” remind you of first-rate daguerrotypes; every fea
“ And thou shalt summer high in bliss upon the
hills of God." ture of the sly old dame's expressive countenance is caught, and caught with perfect ease and mastery. Mr. Aird, along with a poet's though far inferior in original genius, when
A poet more popular than Mr. Aird, love, retains a boy's love for nature. He knows more birds' nests than any boy in
pressed recently with the “Dream," if it was Dumfries, and prizes the fascination which not a powerful poem, asked, “ But where is
• Mount Aksbeck?' And where, Mr. A. is dwells in a bush of broom or furze, laden with its golden crop. Notwithstanding the Wood of his Hermit? and where Bunyan's
Coleridge's Silent Sea ?' and where the slight snow which years have shed
· Mount Marvel ?' Perhaps, too, you can tell head, his heart is all burning with boyhood ; his tastes, enthusiasms, and joys, are all young.
us where · Mount Prejudice' is ?”
The “Demoniac” is another beautiful, in The scenery of Scotland has never had a
parts powerful, and, throughout, melting more devoted worshipper, a keener observer,
ballad. What can be finer than the followor a more faithful describer. There are pas
ing description of the entrance of the Demon sages, both in in his Poems and in his “Old
into his victim ? Bachelor," which rank with such descriptions as that in “ Halloween” of the burnie, in per
“ The Fiend ! the Fiend! hush,' Herman cried, fect correctness, blended with ideal beauty, he left me here at noon, or with the finer pictures in the Waverley Hungry and sick among the brakes, and comes he Novels.
ihen so soon ? VOL. XVI. NO. IV.
Up from the shores of the Dead Sea came a dull | gotten his “ Belshazzar," or his “Mother's booming sound;
Grave ?" No one can read this last without The leaves shook on the trees; thin winds went wailing all around.
tears. Since Cowper's “Mother's Picture,' Then laughter shook the sullen air. To reach nothing so pathetic has been written in his mother's hand
rhyme. The young man grasped, but back was thrown Having mentioned Cowper, we may take convulsed upon the sand.
this opportunity of apprising the public that No time was there for Miriam's love. He rose; an ardent admirer of his genius and Christian
a smothered gleam Was on his brow; with fierce motes rolled his erection of a monument to his memory in
character is organizing a subscription for the eye's distempered beam. He smiled—'twas as the lightning of a hope with gladness. So long as he has no memo
Westminster Abbey. We hail the motion about to die For ever from the furrowed brows of Hell's eter- rial there, it is a vital blank in that magnifinity.
cent pile. No name nearly so great and Like sun-warmed snakes, rose on his head a storm good is there omitted. We call upon every of golden hair,
reader of the “ ask” to come forward in Tangled; and thus on Miriam fell hot breathings this cause. It is the cause of all his ad
of despair· Perish the breasts that gave me milk; yea, in mirers ; and who, except Charles Dickens, is thy mouldering heart
not? We happen to know that the moveGood thristy roots l'll plant, to stay, next time, my ment has attracted the peculiar interest, and hunger's smart.
is under the special patronage, of William Red-veined derived apples I shall eat with savage Wordsworth. Mr. Adam White, of the haste,
British Museum, Bloomsbury, London, will And see thy life-blood blushing through, and glory supply all other information required. * in the taste.'
To return to Mr. Aird-he has, in this
present edition, adventured a tragedy entiWhere can this amiable poet have over iled the “ House of Wold.” It is certainly heard and retained, as he has here repro- a very bold, peculiar, and powerful effort. duced, the red Alphabet of Hell? Why the The characters and incidents are amazingly “ Devil's Dream” has not been generally numerous and diversified ; rich and poetical popular, can be easily explained.
passages are not so much inserted as rained guarded and fenced from common apprehen- down from a profound source. Fate sits sion and appreciation by the thick burs of visibly holding all the reins of the funeral beauty and grandeur which surround it. It car; and, as if her silent presence were not is inscrutable as an elf-knot-mysterious as enough, a singular being, named Afra, apa meteoric stone. It bears for inscription-pears ever and anon, like a bird of night, "to those whom it may concern.” But why singing of approaching doom, and gives a “ Nebuchadnezzar” has not gained a wider dark choral unity to the play. The canvas acceptance we cannot understand. It has, chosen is of the broadest, and the execution besides its peculiar originality, all the exter- of the boldest. Mr. Aird has had in his eye nals of a popular poem. It is clear as crys- the great tragedy of " Lear,” where the tal, and, as crystal, faultless.
It has an
wide stream of the passion sucks into itself a interesting story, a burnished classical polish; and, since Byron's “ Corsair,” or “ Lara,” the heroic rhyme never was more gracefully han * We saw, when in London the other day, a letter dled, nor ever moved to more heroic senti- of Mr. Dickens to the gentleman referred to, refusing ment. One sickens to absolute nausea at
to contribute to this object~lst, because there were the thought of the popularity of “Silent many greater than Cowper to whom no monuments
had been erected; and 2ndly, because he could counLove”-of many of Mrs. Hemans' poems tenance no such proposal as long as the public were of L. E. L.'s musical maudlin, while such not gratuitously admitted to the Abbey. Now, this manly and powerful strains as Dr. Croly's is very contemptible, because, in the first place, the “ Cataline,” Browning's “Paracelsus,” and public are gratuitously admitted to the Poet's CorAird's “ Nebuchadnezzar,” are overgrown by and, secondly, who are the poets excluded greater
ner, where, of course, the monument would be placed; the rank nettles of neglect.
than Cowper, except Coleridge and Byron ? And we Besides these, Mr. Xird has written certain all know why Byron has no place. No matter. The
“ Task” will outlive the "Haunted Man." Dickens poems—some longer and some shorter-of
is but a “Cricket on the Hearth.” Cowper was an great merit. Among the former are, “ The
Eagle of God, and his memory shall be cherished, Captive of Fez,” “Othuriel,” the “ Christian and his poems read, after the “ Pickwick Papers” Bride;" and, among the latter, who has for are forgotten.