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THE BLESSÉD DAMOZEL.
“He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:
Then will I lay my cheek
Not once abashed or weak:
My pride, and let me speak.
“Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
To Him round whom all souls
Bowed with their aureoles:
To their citherns and citoles.
“There will I ask of Christ the Lord
Thus much for him and me:-
With Love,- only to be
Together, I and he.”
She gazed and listened and then said,
Less sad of speech than mild,“ All this is when he comes." She ceased.
The light thrilled towards her, fill'd With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes prayed, and she smil'd.
(I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres;
The golden barriers,
D. G. Rossetti.
THE SEA LIMITS,
THE SEA LIMITS.
CONSIDER the sea's listless chime;
Time's self it is, made audible,
The murmur of the earth's own shell.
Is the sea's end: our sight may pass
No furlong further. Since time was,
No quiet, which is death's,-it hath
The mournfulness of ancient life,
Enduring always at dull strife.
Its painful pulse is in the sands.
Last utterly, the whole sky stands,
Listen alone beside the sea,
Listen alone among the woods;
Those voices of twin solitudes
Hark where the murmurs of thronged men
Surge and sink back and surge again,Still the one voice of wave and tree.
Gather a shell from the strown beach
And listen at its lips: they sigh
The same desire and mystery,
And all mankind is thus at heart:
Not anything but what thou art:
D. G. Rossetii.
Page 3. “JOHN ANDERSON "-R. Burns. Line 1. "jo," sweetheart. L.4. brent, smooth, bright. L. 7. “ pow" pole, or head.
Page 4. “OH, WERT THOU IN THE CAULD BLAST Line 3. “airt" quarter of the heavens. L. 7. "bield" shelter.
Page 6. “MY JEAN"-Line 5. “row" roll. L. 6. Verse 2. "shaw," a small wood in a hollow, a copse. The four short songs by Burns with which the Second Part opens may be cited as almost faultless models of the class of poetry they represent. Page 9.
“HIGHLAND MARY"-R. Burns. Line 4. Verse 1. "Drumlie,” muddy. L. I. V. 2. “birk" birch.
Page 12. “THE PROMISE OF CHILDHOOD.” Ibid. Line 4. Verse 5. " tents" guards, tends. Page 18.
“NIGHT AND DEATH"-7. B. White. Coleridge pronounced this sonnet “the best in the English language," and L. Hunt adds that “in point of thought, it stands supreme, perhaps above all in any language.” Our admiration is almost exceeded by our wonder when it is remembered that the author was born and brought up in Spain, was no longer young when he came to England, and then spoke English like a foreigner.
Page 20. “THE IDEAL HERMITAGE"-W.Wordsworth. Line 13. “thorp”. a hamlet. Ibid. “vill" village.
Page 22. “FOR A Grotto.” This little-known and seldom-quoted Inscription for a grotto” is exquisitely Greek in sentiment, and might have been written by Theocritus. Page 23.
“ODE TO CONTEMPLATION"-H. K. White. An undeniable imitation of the “Penseroso" of Milton; but a charming poem. Line 2. “Lapponian" Laplandish. L. 29. “Singing of one that died for love” a delicious touch, that puts the whole ballad before us in a line.
Page 27. “Kubla KHAN"-S. T. Coleridge. Of this poem, the writer himself narrates how it came to him in a dream, as he was sleeping one day in his chair. Waking, he seized the pen and wrote thus far from memory, when, being interrupted by a visitor, he lost the frail thread of recollection and never remembered the rest. The dream was suggested by a passage in Purchas's travels, over which he had fallen asleep.
“THE ISLES OF GREECE"-Lord Byron. Line 5. Verse 3. Persians' grave,” the tumulus raised over the Persian slain. L. 1. Verse 4. "a king sat on the rocky brow" Xerxes. L. 1. Verse 1o. “ You have the Pyrrhic dance" Dodswell, in his Tour in Greece, relates that the Greek mountaineers still preserved a kind of Pyrrhic dance which they performed, armed with swords and muskets. L. 5. Verse 10. “ the letters Cadmus gave” Cadmus, a Phoenician prince, said to have introduced into Greece an alphabet of 16 letters from either Phoenicia or Egypt. L. 6. Verse 13. "Heracleidan" the descendants of Hercules. L. 1. Verse 16. “Sunium's marbled steep"--the promontory of Sunium forms the S. extremity of Attica, and is crowned by the marble ruins of a splendid temple to Athena. This poem and the two which follow it strike the same note of sympathy with the struggle for Greek liberty that possessed Europe from commencement of the war of independance in 1821 till the evacuation of the Morea by the Turks in 1828.
Page 35. “THE BOWL OF LIBERTY"--Mrs. Hemans. The Platæans held an anniversary solemnity to the memory of those who fell fighting for their country's liberty. At break of day, on the 16th of the month called Mæmacterion, they went out in procession to the sepulchres-a trumpeter going first; then three chariots laden with garlands and myrrh; then a black bull for the sacrifice; then a body of free-born youth bearing jars of wine, oil, and precious ointments; lastly the chief magistrate of Platæa clothed in purple. Arrived at the sepulchres, the magistrate sprinkled and anointed them, sacrificed the bull, and in a loud voice invited the Souls of the Heroes to this funereal feast. He then filled a bowl of wine, and said “I drink to those who lost their lives for the liberty of Greece.” Plutarch states that these august and ancient ceremonies were observed in his day.
Page 41. “Love LEFT SORROWING"—W. Wordsworth—a poem peculiarly Wordsworthian; abounding in characteristic beauties of feeling and style, and not without that touch of simplicity, almost approaching to grotesqueness, which stamps certain of the poet's rural pieces. We seem to see a sort of gentle modern Polyphemus in the big man, able to dance "equipped from head to foot in iron mail.'
Page 57. “BANNOCKBURN"-R. Burns. The army of Edward II. was totally routed at Bannockburn near Stirling, by Robert Bruce, King of Scots, June 24th 1314. Page 59
“The Battle Of Ivry"_Lord Macaulay. Henry IV. de feated the League army at Ivry, near Evreux, March 14th A.D. 1590.
Page 62. “HOHENLINDEN"-T. Campbell. The Austrians, commanded by the Archduke John, were defeated at Hohenlinden by the French and Bavarian army under Moreau, Dec. 3th A.D. 1800. Page 63. “PIBROCH OF DONALD Dhu"-Sir W. Scott.
Founded on a very ancient Pibroch supposed to relate to the expedition of Donald Balloch who, in 1431, at the head of a greatly inferior force defeated and routed the Earls of Mar and Caithness at Inverlochy.
Page 65. “CORONACH.” Ibid. The coronach of the Highlanders, like the ululatus of the Romans and the ululoo of the Irish, was a wild cry of lamenta.
tion raised over a dead body. Line 1. Verse 3. “correi” covert on the hill side. L. 2. ibid. “cumber" trouble. L. 3. ibid. “ foray" fight.
Page 66. “THE BURIAL OF SIR John MOORE"-C. Wolfe. The battle of Corunna was fought (N.W. Spain) between 15000 English under Sir J. Moore and 20,000 French, Jan. 16th 1809. The English achieved a complete victory, but at the cost of immense losses, among which the greatest was that of Sir J. Moore. Page 70.
“AFTER BLENHEIM"-R. Southey. A masterpiece of simple and pathetic irony.
Page 72. “OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT"-P. B. Shelley. Ozymandias and Sesostris are names erroneously given by the Greeks to Rameses II. surnamed the Great, the most illustrious conqueror, temple-builder and art-patron of Egyptian history. This fine sonnet could scarcely have been more beautiful or impressive if written under the influence of a Theban sky; but it would cer, tainly have been more true to facts if the writer had ever visited in person the scene he so poetically describes. The great fallen statue (greatest of all known monolithic colossi) lis shattered out of form and recognition at the SW. side of the ruins of the Memnonium, on the edge of the cultivated land and close against the foot of the Theban mountains. The legs do not stand; they are split into innumerable fragments, and lie in heaped-up ruin. The desert-sands do not surround them. And the face of the statue is wholly gone, having been sawn away for millstones by the Arabs any time within the last two or three hundred years. Page 73.
“THE NILE"-L. Hunt. Take it altogether, this is perhaps the finest poem that Hunt ever wrote; the second line is absolutely perfect. Line 8. “the laughing queen that caught the world's great hands.” Cleopatra, who succeeded in captivating both Antony and Cæsar.
Page 75. “ROMAN ANTIQUITIES DISCOVERED"--W. Wordsworth. Line 12. “the Wolf, whose suckling Twins" &c. Romulus and Remus, fabled to have been suckled by a wolf.
Page 77. "FANCY IN NUBIBUS” -S. T. Coleridge. Line 11. that blind bard" Homer was supposed by the ancient to have born at Chios, though several other places claimed the honour of his birth. Page 80.
“THE MEMORY OF GREAT POETS"-T. Hood. Might have been written by Charles Lamb, for the fine Elizabethan flavour of the style.
Page 81. “THE WORLD OF Books"—W. Wordsworth.-Observe the little touch of personal information in the two last lines. It is pleasant to know that Desdemona and the Una of Spenser were his two favorite ideals.
Page 83. “ODE TO THE WEST WIND”-P.B. Shelley. Line 21. "Mænad" -a Bacchante, or wild Nymph attendant on Bacchus. Had Shelley left nothing but this magnificent Ode, it would have been enough to vindicate his claim to the rank of a great poet. Page 91.
“COME DOWN, O Maid”-A. Tennyson. Perhaps the most beautiful and splendid of all his shorter poems.
Page 92. "CHORAL HYMN TO ARTEMIS”—A.C. Swinburne. Line 6. Verse 1. "Itylus" see note to Barnefield's "nightingale." Notes to ELDER ENGLISH POETS (First Series), p. 277. L. 6. Verse 5. "the oat is heard above the lyre" i. e. it is the season for the piping of shepherds, rather than for the singing of bards in palace-halls. L. 4. Verse 6. “Bassarid” a Bacchante, Modern Poets,