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ignorant depreciation, of Words- and repose,-the attempered glory worth, deprives his opinion of the of a summer's eve, disturbed only sincerity or consistency which can by one of those transitory storms alone render an opinion valuable); which leave the face of nature more and the honest avowal of James beautiful than ever ; whilst the Hogg, that such an impression did other is a narrative of alternate pity the perusal of the Isle of Palms and suffering—tears and terrormake
upon him, and “so completely imbued throughout with an energy did it carry him off his feet, that for almost supernatural—and producing some days afterwards he felt him- upon the mind of the reader an imself as in a land of enchantment, pression which, like the recollection and could with difficulty bring down of a storm at sea, is never afterhis feelings to the business of ordi- wards obliterated. Although dra
matic in its form, there is little that At the distance of about four is dramatic in either its plot, or the years from the publication of the manner in which it is developed. Ísle of Palms, Mr. Wilson produc- It consists in a great measure of a ed his best and most popular work, series of impassioned dialogues on “The City of the Plague,”—a po- natural loveliness--a vernal picture em of first-rate excellence, amply of all that is serene, gentle and fas realizing the anticipations to which cinating in human nature, here and his maiden effort had given birth. there chastised by those “sabler To the exalted merits of this pro- tints of woe,” duction, which is of a severer order,
“ Which blended form, with artful strife, and for the most part free from The strength and harmony of life.” those exuberances of youthful ge
The selection of so awful a subnius which had in some measure deformed its predecessor, gratifying ject as the great plague in London, testimony has been borne by sever of the abiding strength and loveli
as a groundwork for the delineation ral of Mr. Wilson's distinguished contemporaries; and, among others, additional evidence of the power
ness of our best affections, affords by Lord Byron and Mr. Moore, and versatility of Mr. Wilson's getwo writers whose genius is as op- nius. Yet this he has attempted; posite in character to that of the object of their eulogy as can well and, notwithstanding the apparently be imagined. In the preface to his antithetical nature of the subject, “Doge of Venice," "Lord Byron The following passages from his
has achieved most triumphantly. mentions the City of the Plague, as one of the very few evidences that poem, we select, not less for their dramatic power is not yet extinct intrinsic beauty than that they strike among us. If that poetry deserves us as being peculiarly characteris
tic of his powers. to rank the highest, which excites the most vivid emotions in the mind
SIGNS OF THE PLAGUE. of the reader, Mr. Wilson's tragedy will certainly be found amply to yellow 'mid the sunshine, on the Minster-clock,
Why does the finger, deserve his Lordship’s generous Point at that hour? It is most horrible, tribute ; for we know of no work, of a Speaking of midnight in the face of day. purely imaginative character, which During the very dead of night it stoppa,
Even at the moment when & hundred hearts is calculated to make so deep an
Paused with it suddenly, to beat no more. impression upon a person of even Yet, wherefore should it run its idle round? ordinary feeling and intelligence, as
There is no need that men should count the this. It assumes a loftier tone of of time, thus standing on eternity. inspiration than the Isle of Palins. It is a death-like image. How can I, Indeed, the two poems will scarcely When round me silent nature speaks of death, admit of a comparison in any res
Withstand such monitory impulses?
When yet far off I thought upon the Plague, pect. One is a tale of love, beauty Sometimes my mother's image struck my soul
In unchanged meekness and serenity, And many a rosy visage smiling still; And all my fears were gone. But these green Bodies in the noisome weeds of beggary wrapt, banks,
With age decrepit, and wasted to the bone; With an unwonted flush of flowers o'ergrown, And youthful frames, august and beautiful, Brown, when I left thein last, with frequent In spite of mortal pangs - there lie they all, feet
Embraced in ghastliness! But look not long, From morn till evening hurrying to and fro, For haply 'mid the faces glimmering there, In mournful beauty seem encompassing The well-known cheek of some beloved friend A still forsaken city of the dead.
Will meet thy gaze; or some snall saowO unrejoicing Sabbath ! not of yore
white hand, Did thy sweet evenings die along the Thames Bright with the ring that holds her lover's "Thus silently! Now every sail is furl'd,
hair. The oar hath dropt from out the rower's hand, And on thou flow'st in lifeless majesty,
How beautiful is the following River of a desart lately fill'd with joy! out-pouring of the spirit, that clings O'er all that mighty wilderness of stone
to heaven in its desolation : The air is clear and cloudless, as at sea Above the gliding ship. All fires are dead, Oh! let me walk the waves of this wide And not one single wreath of smoke ascends
world Above the stillness of the towers and spires. Through faith unsinking;-stretch Thy saving How idly hangs that arch magnificent
hand Across the idle river ! Not a speck
To a lone castaway upon the sea, Is seen to move along it. There it hangs, Who hopes no resting-place, except in heaven. Still as a rainbow in the pathless sky.
And oh! this holy calm,—this peace pro
found, THE PLAGUE IN THE CITY. That sky so glorious in infinitude, Old Man. Know ye what ye will meet with
That countless host of softly-burning stars, in the city ?
And all that floating universe of light, Together will ye walk through long, long And tell me that my prayers are heard in
Lift up my spirit far above the grave, streets,
heaven; All standing silent as a midnight church.
I feel the Omnipotent is merciful ! You will hear nothing but the brown red grass Rustling beneath your feet ; the very beating How finely do these lines contrast or your own hearts will awe you ; the small
with the following: voice of that vain bauble, idly counting time,
0! 'tis the curse of absenco, that our love Will speak a solemn language in the desart. Becomes loo sad-too tender-too profound Look up to heaven, and there the sultry clouds, Towards all our far-off friends. "Home we Still threatening thunder, lower with grim
And find thein dead- for whom we often wept, As if the Spirit of the Plague dwelt there,
Needlessly wept, when they were in their joy! Darkening the city with the shades of death. Then goes the broken-hearted mariner Know ye that hideous hubbub ? Hark, far off Back to the sea that welters drearily A tumult like an echo! on it comes,
Around the homeless earth. Weeping and wailing, shrieks and groaning prayer ;
We will now add a specimen or And, louder than all, outrageous blasphemy. two of another kind-sketches of The passing storm hath lefi the silent streets,
silence and serenity : But are these houses near you tenantless ? Over your heads from a window, suddenly O look upon her face ! eternity A ghastly face is thrust, and yells of death Is shadow'd there ! a pure immortal calm, With voice not human. Who is he that lies, Whose presence makes the tumult of this As if a demon dogg'd him on his pach?
world With ragged hair, white face, and bloodshot Pass like a fleeting breeze, and through the eyes,
soul Raving, he rushes past you; till he falls, Breathes the still ether of a loftier climate, As if struck by lightning, down upon the stones, Or, in blind madness, dash'd against the wall, Sinks backward into stillness. Stand aloof,
0! might I say And let the Pest's triumphal chariot
Thy beauty is immortal ! but a ghost, Have open way advancing to the tomb.
In all the loveliness on earth it wore, See how he mocks the pomp and pageantry Walks through the moonlight of the cemetery, Of earthly kings! a miserable cari,
And I know the shadow of the mortal creature Heap'd up with human bodies; dragg’d along Now weeping at my side. By pale steeds, skeleton-anatomies ! And onwards urged by a wan meagre wretch, Doom'd never to return from the foul pit,
She knew not Whither, with oaths, he drives his load of In other days, to what a lofty pitch horror.
Her gentle soul could soar, For I have heard Would you look in ? Grey hairs and golden She was an only child, and in the light tresses,
Of her fond parents' love was fosterd, Wan shrivel'd cheeks, that have not smiled Like a flower that blooms best shelter'd in the for years,
And only placed beneath the open air supposed criminal, visits the wretchIn hours of sunshine.
ed woman, for the purpose of preHow sweetly have I felt the evening calma
paring her mind for the message, Come o'er the tumult of the busy day
which arrives soon afterwards, anIn a great city! When the silent stars nouncing her husband's condenaStole out so gladsome through the dark blue nation. "Scene the second, is the
heavens, All undisturb’d by any restless noise
Condemned Cell, a few days previSent from the domes and spires that lay be ous to that appointed for the execu
neath, Hush'd as the clouds of night. Ev'n now
tion. The first scene of the second
part of the poem is the same cell, Didst thou e'er sec a more resplendent moon ? on the morning of the execution ; A sky more cloudless, thicker set with stars? The night is silent-- silent was the day.
the clergy man praying by the doomBut now methinks the sky's magnificence
ed man, and endeavoring to inspire Darkeneth the desolation on the earth ! him with fortitude to endure the Er'n such the silenee of a beautiful sea
horrors that await him. The second Rulling o'er a thousand wrecks.
scene changes again to the prison
er's cottage, where his wife is sitMagdalene. I hope thou feel'st no cruel pain?
ting with her friend, surrounded by Frankfort. Thy soft, white, spotless bo- her little ones. The third scene is som, like the plumes
a field, in which several laborers Of some compassionate angel, meets my heart, And all therein is quiet as the snow
are reposing. The following powAt breathless midnight.
erful description of the appalling Magdalıne. No noise within thy brain ?
spectacle is put into the mouth of Frankfort. A sweet mild voice is echoing
one of the bystanders : In the remotest regions of my soul. "l'is clearer now-and now again it dies,
Master. Methinks I see the hill-side all And leaves a silence smooth as any sea,
alive, When all the stars of heaven are on its breast.
With silent faces gazing steadfastly
Who views not in the darkness of his trouble In the volume which contains the One human face among the many thousands City of the Plague, we meet with All staring towards the scaffold! Some are
there two poems which are deserving of
Who have driven their carts with bis unto the especial remark, as being strikingly market, characteristic of the genius of their Have shook liands with him meeting at the author ; we allude to “ The Con
Have in his very cottage been partakers vict," a dramatic fragment, in
Of the homely fare which rev’rently he bless'd, which, from a combination of natu- Yea! who have seen his face in holter places, ral touches,
the catastrophe is · And in the same seat boen 21. worship with wrought to the highest possible within the house of God. May God forgive pathos : and “The Scholar's Fu them! neral,” a sketch, justly celebrated Mary. He is not guilty. for the lofty, reposing, serene, and Last in the company of the murder'd man-,
Everything is dark. beautiful train of imagery and senti- Biood on his hands-a bloody knife conceald ment which pervade it. The story The coin found on him which the widow swore of the former poem is that of an in- His fears when apprehended--and the falsenocent man, who has been tried, hoods and convicted, upon strong oircum- Which first he utter'd-all perplex my mind! stantial evidence, of a murder of And then they say the murderd body bled,
Soon as he touch'd it--Let us to our work, which he is wholly innocent. The Poor people oft must work with heavy hearis. first scene is laid in his cottage, -Oh! doth that sunshine smile as cheerfully where his wife and a friend are wait Upon Lea-side as o'er my happy fields ! ing, in momentary expectation of [The Scene changes to a little Field comhearing the result of his trial. The manding a view of the place of Execution. alternations of hope and despair are
Two YOUNG MEN looking towards it.] most pathetically described. The Ist Man. I dare to look no longer. What
dost thou see? clergyman, who has passed the
2d Man. There is a stirring over all the preceding night in prayer with the crowd.
All heads are turn'd at once. O God of hea- the most touching and powerful of ven!
all Mr. Wilson's productions. There Francis Russel comes upon a cart, For which a lane is open'd suddenly !
Among the minor poems, which On, on it goes—and now it has arrived in the new edition of Mr. Wilson's At the scaffold foot.
poetical works occupy the second 18t Man. Say! dost thou see his face? 2d Man. Paler than ashes.
volume, our prime favorites are 1st Man, (coming forward). Let me have the Scholar's Funeral-Address to
one look, O what while cheeks! see, see-his upward Trout-beck Chapel--the Hearth
a Wild Deer-To a Sleeping Child eyes Esen at this distance have a ghastly glare. -Peace and Solitude, and the I fear that he is guilty. Fear has baihed Children's Dance. The pieces In clammy dew his long lank raven hair, His countenance seems convulsed--it is not
which are the , most intrinsically paleness
characteristic of the writer's genius That dims his cheeks--but a wild yellow hue arema Lay of Fairy Land-Edith Like that of mortal sickness or of death.
and Nora--the Desolate VillageOh! what the soul can suffer when the Devil Sits on it, grimly laughing o'er his prey,
the Ass in a Storm Shower-PicLike a carrion-bird beside some dying beast, ture of a Blind Man-My Cottage Croaking with hunger and ferocity.
-and Church-yard Dreams. We
[He turns away.) are compelled to curtail the follow. 22 Man. He is standing on the scaffolding poem, in order to adapt it to our he looks round,
narrow limits : But does not speak—some one goes up to him
ADDRESS TO A WILD DEER. He whispers in his ear-he kisses himHe falls on his knees-now no one on the Magnificent Creature ! so stately and bright ! scaffold
In the pride of thy spirit pursuing thy flight; But he and that old wretch !' a rope is hanging For what hath the child of the desart to dread, Right over his head--and as my Maker liveth, Wafting up his own mountains that far-beamThat demon as he grasps it with his fingers
ing head; Hath laughter in his face.
Or borne like a whirlwind down on
vale ! 2d Man. I saw them dot-but now ten -Hail! King of the wild and the beautiful! thousand faces
--hail ! Are looking towards him with wide-open eyes! Hail ! Idol divine !-whom nature halh borne Uncover'd every head-and all is silent O’er a hundred hill tops since the mists of the And motionless, as if 'twere all a dream.
morn, 1st Man. Is he still praying?
Whom the pilgrim lone wandering on moun2d Man. can look no more,
tain and moor, For death and horror round his naked neck As the vision glides by him may blameless Are gathering! Curse those lean and shri. adore; vel'd fingers
For the joy of the happy, the strength of the That calmly-slowly-and without a tremble
free, Are binding unto agony and shame
Are spread in a garment of glory o'er thee. One of God's creatures with a human soul. Up! up to yon cliff! like a king to his throne! -Hark! hark! a sudden shriek—a yell-a O'er the black silent forest piled lofty and shout!
lone-The whole crowd tosses like a stormy sea. A throne which the eagle is glad to resign But oh! behold how still and motionless .Unto footsteps so fleet and so fearless as thine. That figure on the scaffold !
There the brighit heather springs up in love of Ist Man. What can it mean?
thy breast2d Man. Perhaps with one soul all the Lo ! the clouds in the depth of the sky are at
crowd rise up To rescue him from death.
And the race of the wild winds is o'er on the Ist Man.
hill! And know what happens. Hark! another shout In the hush of the mountains, ye a.ntlers lie That rends the silent ský. See, hats are still !-waved !
Though your branches now toss in the storm And every face is bright-deliverance
of delight, in that peal of joy-he shall not die. Like the arms of the pine on yon shelterless
height, He is reprieved at this very cri- Then mele o'er the crags, like the sun from
One moment--thou bright Apparition !-delay! • al juncture ; and the real mur the day. er confesses his guilt, and deli
Aloft on the weather-gleam, scorning the earth, vers himself up to justice. We are
The wild Spirit hung in majestical mirth; disposed to consider this fragment In dalliance with danger, he bounded in bliss,
Let us away
O'er the fathomless gloom of each moaning Where the creature al rest can his image be abyss;
hold, O'er the grim rocks careering with prosperous Looking up through the radiance, as bright and
motion, Like a ship by herself in full sail o'er the ocean!
Yes ! berce looks thy nature, er'n hush'd in Then proudly he turn'd ere he sank to the
In the depths of thy desart regardless of foes. And shook from his forehead a haughty fare- Thy bold antlers call on the hunter afar, well,
With a haughty defiance to come to the war. While his horns in a crescent of radiance No outrage is war to a creature like thee ; shone,
The bugle. horn fills thy wild spirit with glee, Like a flag burning bright when the vessel is As thou bearest thy neck on the wings of the gone.
And the laggardly gaze-hound is toiling beThe ship of the desart hath pass'd on the hind. wind,
In the beams of thy forehead, that glitter with And left the dark ocean of mountains behind !
death, But my spirit will travel wherever she fee,
In feet that draw power from the touch of the And behold her in pomp o'er the riin of the
In the wide-raging torrent that lends thee its Her voyage pursuetill her anchor be cast In some cliff-girdied haven of beauty at last.
In the cliff that once trod must be trodden Do From his eyrie the eagle hath soar'd with a
Thy trust --'mid the dangers that threaten thy
reign : And I wake on the edge of the cliff from my
-But what if the stag on the mountain be dream;
slain? -Where now is the light of thy far-beaming On the brink of the rock-lo! he standeth a:
brow? Fleet son of the wilderness ! where art thou Like a victor that falls at the close of the day
While the hunter and hourd in their terror --Again o'er yon crag thou return'st to my sight,
From the death that is spurn'd from his furious Like the horns of the moon from a cloud of the
feet :night! Serene on thy travel-as soul in a dream
And his last cry of anger comes back from the
skies, Thou needest no bridge o'er the rush of the
As Nature's fierce son in the wilderness dies. With thy presence the pine-grove is fill'd as with light,
We quote also a part of the Act And the caves, as thou passest, one moment dress to a Sleeping Child :
are bright. Through the arch of the rainbow that lies on Art thou a thing of mortal birth, the rock,
Whose happy hoine is on our earth? Mid the mist stealing up from the cataract's Does human blood with life embue shock,
Those wandering veins of heavenly blue,
Oh! can that light and airy breath
Steal from a being doom'd to death ;
The phantom of a blessed dream?
We love them with a transient love;
At once into my inmost soul, Which, awoke by the sun, thou can'st clear at With feelings as thy beauty fair, a bound.
And left no other vision there. 'Mid the fern and the heather kind nature doth Oh! that my spirit's eye could see keep
Whence burst those gleams of ecstasy ! One bright spot of green for her favorite's That light of dreaming soul appears sleep;
To play from thoughts above thy years. And close to that covert, as clear as the skies Thou smil'st as if thy soul were soaring When their blue depths are cloudloss, a little To heaven, and heaven's God adoring! lake lies,
And who can tell what visions high