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There is pleasant preaching in the following “discourse," and withal somewhat practical, to a certain class of hearers. The article, as a whole, is too long for our purpose, but we shall take the liberty to select some stanzas:
Guiling to the midway ocean
Barques that tremble by the shore ; But I hush the dark emotion
And would punish thee no more.
“Can I bless thee? Doth a blessing
Lighten from the hall of death? Is the tomb a power possessing
To give kindly thoughts a breath? Can a heart, despoiled and broken,
Yield an incense as before ?But I leave thee with a token,
I will trouble thee no more.”
“SERMON TO ANN. “When I saw thee first, I loved thee
As an eagle loves the sun;
For a false and heartless one :
From the zenith to the west,
As a warning to the rest. “ Thou wast born a thing of passion,
Which a smile to flame could turn; Thou wast moulded in a fashion
Angels might look on and learn ; With an eye as blue as heaven,
In its utmost beauty spread, And a lip like sunset riven
When the sunset is most red.
The following article was evidently hastily written, yet there are many beautiful passages in it, and the opening stanza is peculiarly bold and imposing:
“A battle-gun on the mighty sea
A tone to shake the main !
And thunders back again!
The cannon's mouth is o'er,And the smoke, like incense, goes away
To slumber on the shore.
"Pure I thought thee--so I found thee,
And I left thee all as pure, Thou hadst fickle hearts around thee
Bowing to a heart no truer ; Yes-thy passion was an altar
Where the adorer made the flame, Which, unfanned by him, would falter,
And be vanished with his name. “Thou wast as a lake that lieth
In a bright and sunny wayI was as a bird that flieth
O'er thee of a pleasant day; When I looked upon thy feature,
Presence then a semblance lent; But thou knowest, thou fickle creature,
With the form the image went.
“The setting sun looks goldenly,
Upon the ocean's breast, And the waters leap like living things
To meet their burning guest;
Uprises blue and steep,
And dancing o'er the deep. “ And ever as a moving surge
Its form before her flings,
As one of living wings;
And sails toward the sun,
Is seen the fearful one !
“With a kiss my vow was greeted,
As I knelt before thy shrine; But I saw that kiss repeated
On another lip than mine; And a binding vow was spoken
That thy heart should not be changed ; But that binding vow was broker.,
And thy spirit was estranged.
“ And now each sailor's eye is bent
Toward that threatening form, Which neareth to them, as a pent
And sudden coming storm : And every cannon teems with death,
And every flag unfurled, As they would waste in but a breath
The strength of half the world!
“I might call a blight upon thee,
But I only let it come;
But again my tongue is dumb;
Overruns its trembling cup, And another worship borrow
For the love by thee called up. “ I could blame thee for awaking
Thoughts the world will but derideCalling out, and then forsaking
Flowers the winter wind will chide;
“The hungry waves are climbing up
The ship's o'er-leaning deck, And for the hardy seaman's form
They seem to look and beck. The sun is gone? the twilight sky
Is prodigal of cloud, And the war-star glimmers fitfully
Beyond its misty shroud.
“But where was he-the Rover,
Who had held such fearful reign?
When the thunder's tone was over,
This statement is true, so far as it goes. In justice to He was travelling on the main ;
our author, however, we will quote part of the article And the moon came out—the stars were bright, in question, that the reader may see what Rockwell And gemmed the whole blue sky,
does say. The first line is an unfortunate one, though And he went upon his way that night
appearing much worse when separated from its conAs 'one not born to die.'”
nection with the stanza. Among the many “ welcomes” of the returning
“LIFE AND DEATH. Spring, we rarely meet with one more beautiful than “When Life is gone, Death hastens on the following:
As evening when the sun is set ;
But to the sun there is a dawn, “ SPRING.
Then wherefore should our life forget, “ Again upon the grateful earth,
Though dim in death, to rise again?
If alway on death's silent plain
The parted soul be left--
Whence come those generations forth,
That grow and wane upon the earth,
“Life is a year—a changeful year,
Its bland and spring-time hour of youth, "Thou gentle Spring !-the brooding sky
Its early loves in feeling dear,
Its passion for the shrine of truth;
At such a time, how hope steals on,
With freshened wing from being's dawn,
Far down through distant years,
Nor thinks the brightness in that gloom
Is scattered from her own fair plume,
And that all else is tears!
"Then comes life's autumn-season-and "Thou smiling Spring!-again thy praise
Fade all the glories of all things;
A sallow hue pervades the land,
And frozen are the sea's blue wings:
The glories of the forest fall,
And cluster over nature's pall-
While in life's western sky,
The gathering mists come up to shed
Oblivion on the weary head
Or him who wished to die!"
Rockwell has written better lines than the followThe ivy climbs the cedar tree,
ing—but, to our mind, the article has some very good The tallest in the grove ;
stanzas. They possess a tenderness, too, not always And on the moss-grown rock, the rose
characteristic of our author's poems : Is opening to the sun, And the forest trees are putting forth
“MARY. Their green leaves, one by one.
“I saw a tear run down her fading cheek, “As thou to earth, so to the soul
Like to a dew-drop from the red-rose shaken ;
It seemed a pearl of sorrow's own, to speak
What yet her tongue could not—'I am forsaken!'
“I saw her in that dreary lapse of doubt, And then, as yonder opening flower
When shades of wo and night were spread above her, Smiles to the smiling sun,
When every gleam of hope was prisoned out, Be mine the fate to smile in heaven,
And none but me was left on earth to love her. When my weary race is run.”
“I would not own that she had ever sinned, The reader may have observed, in our quoted article That heaven's pure veil had there been rentand broken. above, on Rockwell's death, an allusion to one who I gave those dreamings to the idle wind, had attacked him “in witless, but malignant satire." And the sad girl my trusting heart in token. The reference is to a work entitled “Truth-a Gift for Scribblers,” in which Rockwell is abused shamefully, "Heaven blessed the thought; her spirit's dimness went, and in a note accompanying his scurrility, the author
Like evening shadows from the sun's adorning; says, “This writer (R.) has an article commencing
And smiles and tears were in her blue eyes blent,
Like sun and dew on violets in the morning. “When life is gone, death hastens on.”
“And she was nearer than a mother's love:
“I had a child, and it grew like a vine If but my slightest feature told dejection,
Fair as the rose of Damascus, was mine ; She hovered by me like a summer dove,
Fair-and I watched o'er her innocent youth, And clad me in the sunlight of affection.
As an angel from heaven would watch over truth.
She grew like her mother, in feature and form“Two swift and sunny years she lingered here, Her blue eye was languid, her cheek was too warm:
As a light flower on autumn's withering bosom; Seventeen summers had shone on her browAnd then she drooped without a pang, a fear,
The seventeenth winter beheld her laid low! And slept in earth—a seed for heaven's pure blossom. Yonder they sleep in their graves, side by side,
A father—a mother-a daughter-a bride ! “Sleep, Mary, for the summer dews lie soft, In the bright turf above thy lonely pillow;
“When they had left me I stood here alone The summer winds blow sweetly there, and oft
None of my race or my kindred were known ! And long their grass waves, like a sea-green billow. Friends all forsaken, and hope all departed
Sad and despairing, and desolate-hearted “Angel-for now thou art—if ever thou
Feeling no kindness for aught that was humanAmong the stars art one--in distance trembling
Hated by man, and detested by womanLet thy sweet radiance fall upon my brow,
Bankrupt in fortune and ruined in nameLike a bright drop-thy joyous tear resembling.
Onward I kept in the pathway of shame!
And till this hour, since my father went down, “Come, and be near me in my evening dreams,
My brow has but known a continual frown! Around my heart-strings, like faint music, hover
“Go to your children, and tell them the tale: Flit not away in morning's golden beams,
Tell them his cheek, too, was lividly pale : But alway light the bosom of thy lover!"
Tell them his eye was all bloodshot and cold : The following wild article, for vivid conception, faith. Tell them he passed through the world they are in,
Tell them his purse was a stranger to gold : ful description, and thrilling versification, merits all the victim of sorrow and misery and sin : praise, though some would doubtless deem the first
Tell them when life's shameful conflicts were past, stanza too rough.
In horror and anguish he perished at last !" « THE INTEMPERATE.
"The Prisoner for Debt” we have never seen. But in “Pray, Mr. Dramdrinker, how do you do!
an editorial notice of Willis's old“ Monthly Magazine," What in perdition's the matter with you!
we find the following extracts : How did you come by that bruise on the head !
“When the summer sun was in the west, Why are your eyes so infernally red!
Its crimson radiance fell,
Some on the blue and changeful sea,
And some in the prisoner's cell.
And then his eye with a smile would beam, And let the offender be pelted with stone!
And the blood would leave his brain, And the Dramdrinker said, if you listen to me
And the verdure of his soul relurn, You shall hear what you hear, and shall see what you
Like sere grass after rain ! “I had a father-the grave is his bed :
“But when the tempest wreathed and spread
A mantle o'er the sun, I had a mother-she sleeps with the dead :
He gathered back his woes again,
And brooded thereupon :
And thus he lived, till time one day
Led death to break his chain: And I left them to sleep till the last trumpet blew !
And then the prisoner went away,
And he was free again !" “Fortune was mine, and I mounted her carPleasure from virtue had beckoned me far:
We must pass by the “CONVERSATION WITH THE Onward I went, like an avalanche down,
CLOUDS,” and address “TO THE COMET," &c. &c. And the sunshine of fortune was changed to a frown.
though there are fine things in each of them. But we
cannot leave the “ICEBERG” so hastily. Though it has “Fortune was gone, and I took to my side
faults, we think its many beauties fully compensate A young, and a lovely, and beautiful bride!
for them. Her I entreated with coldness and scorn, Tarrying back till the break of the morn;
“THE ICEBERG. Slighung her kindness, and mocking her fears- “'Twas night-our anchor'd vessel slept Casting a blight on her tenderest years;
Out on the glassy sea; Sad and neglected and weary 1 left her
And still as heaven the waters kept, Sorrow and care of her reason bereft her
And golden bright--as he, Till, like a star, when it falls from its pride,
The setting sun, went sinking slow She sunk on the bosom of misery, and died !
Beneath the eternal wave :
And the ocean seemed a pall to throw
Over the monarch's grave!
The following is one of Rockwell's most popular effusions, and one with which, perhaps, the reader is already familiar.
" THE SUM OF LIFE.
" There was no motion of the air
To raise the sleeper's tress,
On ocean's loveliness;
With such an equal hue,
To part their gold and blue.
"And ne'er a ripple of the sea
Came on our steady gaze,
To bathe in the woven blaze,-
All over the resting main,
" Yet while we gazed, that sunny eve,
Across the twinkling deep,
And rending his holy sleep:
Our fixed, half-fearful gaze;
And its robe of sunny rays.
"Searcher of gold, whose days and nights
All waste away in anxious care,
Unlearned in all that is most fair,
And strugglest in the foam-
And mark thee out thy home. “ Lover of woman, whose sad heart
Wastes like a fountain in the sun,
Dies by the light it lives upon-
Gathered in holy trust;
Their glory turned to dust.
Steals onward from the wave of time--
Atoning for that restless crime ?
The absent soul in fear-
Searcher of fame, look here!
That goest to the bugle's call--
Shall hold thee and thy glories all:
Are trophies but for death!
Does glory lend them breath ?” Our last selection is from the “Specimens of American Poetry,” before referred to. There is more originality of thought in the first line of the article, than in many self-styled "poems” which daily meet our eyes :
“ TO THE ICE MOUNTAIN.
" It seemed like molten silver, thrown
Together in floating flame;
The fount whence colors came :
And the brightest red that glows; The purple amethyst there had place,
And the hues of the full blown rose ;
And the vivid green, as the sunlit grass,
Where the pleasant rain bath been;
Through the minds of fanciful men;
Like one from a burning grave;
But for the rustling wave.
" The sun just lingered in our view,
From the burning edge of ocean, When by our barque that bright one passed,
With a deep, disturbing motion : The far down waters shrank away,
With a gurgling rush upheaving, And the lifted waves grew wildly pale,
The ocean's bosom leaving.
Yet as it passed our bending stern,
In its throne-like glory going,
uptorn waves rolled hoar,-and huge The far-thrown undulations Swelled out in the sun's last, lingering smile,
And fell, like battling nations !"
“ Grave of waters gone to rest !
Jewel, dazzling all the main!
Wandering on the trackless plain,
Sailing 'mid the angry storm,
Piling to the clouds thy form!
Prisoned by the sullen north!
But to melt thy hated chain,
And fever of an uncongenial strife, had left
Their traces on his aspect!
Peace to him!--
He wrestled nobly with the weariness
And trials of our being-smiling on,
While poison mingled with his springs of life,
Anguish was resting, like a hand of fire“Roamer in the hidden path,
Until at last the agony of thought
Darkly upon him,--and the sufferer died !
“ Nor died he unlamented! To his grave
The beautiful and gifted shall go up,
And muse upon the sleeper. And young lips
Shall murmur, in the broken tones of grief,
His own sweet melodies. And if the ear “ Floating steep! who in the sun,
Of the freed spirit heedeth aught beneath
The brightness of its new inheritance,
It may be joyful to the parted one,
To feel that earth remembers him in love!"
The poet, in his plaintive dirge, has said all that can
be said, of praise and of sorrow. We can only resBend to God thy melting kneeMingle with the wave again !"
pond, in the prayer which the pious catholic breathes
over the grave of his sleeping friend-requiescat in pace. We shall conclude our “Sketch," already protracted
C. W. E beyond its designed limits, with a feeling tribute to Rockwell's memory, from the pen of J. G. WHITTIER, Esq., at the time editor of the " New England Weekly Review," from which we made an extract above.
NOTES AND ANECDOTES, "TO THE MEMORY OF J. O. ROCKWELL. Political and Miscellaneous--from 1798 to 1830. — Drawn from
the Portfolio of an Officer of the Empire-and translated (roma “ The turf is smooth above him! and this rain
the French for the Messenger, by a gentleman in Paris, Will moisten the rent roots, and summon back
I have stated that the Court of Peers condemned Smilingly unto heaven, as if it kept
five of the prisoners to imprisonment; it had afterwards No vigil with the dead !
to assemble for the trial of one of the accused, who had Well! it is meet
suffered himself to be arrested after having been conThat the green grass should tremble, and the flowers
demned to death for contumacy. This person was the Blow wild about his resting-place. His mind old lieutenant-colonel of the imperial guard, who was Was in itself a flower, but half disclosed-
to have directed the movement at Cambray. Thanks A bud of blessed promise, which the storm
to the provoking agents, and the open intervention of Visited rudely, and the passer by
the police in the conspiracy, the penalty of death was Smote down in wantonness. But we may trust reduced to an imprisonment for five years. That it hath found a dwelling where the sun
The principal result of the trial of the lieutenantOf a more holy clime will visit it,
colonel, was to procure the escape of one of those preAnd the pure dews of mercy will descend
viously condemned. This evasion was accompanied by Through heaven's own atmosphere upon its head. circumstances truly original. The individual who had
been condemned, was the captain of infantry, Lamothe, “ His form is now before me, with no trace
a talented, bold and handsome fellow. He was cogOf death in his fine lineaments, and there
fined in the prison of Sainte-Pélazie, where he was Is a faint crimson on his youthful cheek,
to remain five years. He had been treated with great And his free lip is softening with the smile,
kindness. The trial of the lieutenant-colonel lasted Which in his eye is kindling; and the veins
four days, and on each day, the captain, who had been Upon his ample forehead wear the sign
summoned as a witness, was taken from his prison, by Of healthful energy. And I can feel
an officer of the Court of Peers, for the purpose of being The parting pressure of his hand, and hear
conducted to the Luxembourg, in a carriage, and under His last “God bless you!”-Strange--that he is there, the guard of a gendarme. Distinct before me, like a breathing thing,
The captain devoted the three first trips to securing Even when I know that he is dead,
the good will of the officer of the court and of the gen• And that the damp earth hides him. I would not darme. He appeared gay and communicative-related Think of him otherwise his image lives
anecdotes of the garrison, praised the proceedings of Within my memory, as he seemed, before
the Court of Peers towards him, declared that he had The curse of blighted feeling, and the toil
never been happier than he was since his confinement