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When Susan was in sight, and utter'd sounds
Most strange and strangely sweet, that nothing meant
But merely joy, as in the green-wood tree
The merry merle awakes his thrilling song,
Soon as the cool breath of the vernal dawn
Stirs the light leaflets on the motionless boughs.
Mute as the shadow of a passing bird
On glassy lake, the gentle Susan lay,
Hush'd in her meek delight. A dimpled smile
Curl'd round her tiny, rosy mouth, and seem'd
To sink, as light, into her soft full eyes-
A quiet smile, that told of happiness
Her infant soul investing, as the bud
Enfolds the petals of the nascent rose.
“Born in one week, and in one font baptized,
On the same festal day-they grew together;
And their first tottering steps were hand in hand,
While the two fathers, in half earnest sport,
Betroth'd them to each other. Then 'twas sweet
For mother's ears, to hear them lisp and try
At the same words, each imitating each;
But Leonard was the babe of nimbler tongue,
And 'Sister Susan' was the first plain phrase
His utterance master'd-by that dear kind name
He call’d the maid, supplying so a place,
Which nature had left void. An only child
Of a proud mother and a high-born sire,
Full soon he learn’d to mount a palfrey small,
Of that dwarf race that prance unclaim'd and free
O'er the bleak pastures of the Shetland Isles.
And who may tell his glory or his pride
When Susan, by her mother's arms upheld,
Sat, glad though fearful, on the courser's rear,
While he, exulting in his dauntless skill,
Rein'd its short testy neck, and froward mouth,
Taming its wilful movement to the pace
That palfrey suits of wandering lady fair.
Bold were his looks, his speech was bold and shrill,
His smooth round cheeks glow'd with a ruddy brown,
And dark the curls that cluster'd o'er his head,
Knotty and close. In every pliant limb
A noble boy's ambitious manliness
Elastic sprung. Yet child more loving, fond,
Ne'er sought the refuge of a parent's side.
But Susan was not one of many words
Nor loud of laughter; and she moved as soft
As modest nymphs, in work of artist rare,
Seem moving ever. In her delicate eye
And damask cheek there dwelt a grace retired,
A prophecy of pensive womanhood.
And yet, in sooth, she was a happy child;
And, though the single treasure of her house,
She neither missed a brother's love, nor lack'd
The blest emotions of a sister's soul.
She thought no sister loved a brother more
VOL. XX.--NO. 40.
Than she her brother Leonard-him who show'd
The strawberry lurking in the mossy sbade,
The nest, in leafy thicket dark embower'd,
The squirrel's airy bound. No bliss he knew,
No toy had heno pretty property-
No dog-no bird-no fit of childish wrath,
That was not hers. The wild and terrible tales
His garrulous old nurse o'er night had told,
He duly in the morning told to her,
With comments manifold; and when seven years
Made him a student of learn’d Lilly's page,
With simple, earnest, kindly vanity,
He fill'd her wondering ear with all his lore
of tense, and conjugation, noun and verb;
Searching the word-book for all pretty names,
All dainty, doating, dear diminutives,
Which the old Romans used to woo withal." Imagination and fancy do not of themselves make up the poet's nature; they are elements which are to be animated by quick and natural feeling. Has Hartley Coleridge the heart as well as the intellect of a poet? The motto, from Chaucer, upon his title page, conveys a sort of profession that the volume is a collection of love poems, and on many of its pages there are indications of a deep susceptibility to the attractions of female character, under the impulse of which he has given some very finished delineations of true womanly nature. From a number of more passionate pieces, the following may be selected as an exquisite portrait of female dignity and sorrow:-
"She was a queen of noble nature's crowning,
A smile of hers was like an act of grace;
She had no winsome looks, no pretty frowning,
Like daily beauties of the vulgar race:
But if she smiled, a light was on her face,
A clear, cool kindliness, a lunar beam
of peaceful radiance, silvering o'er the stream
of human thought with unabiding glory;
Not quite a waking truth, not quite a dream,
A visitation, bright and transitory.
“But she is changed,,hath felt the touch of sorrow,
No love hath she, no understanding friend;
Oh, grief! when Heaven is forced of earth to borrow,
What the poor piggard earth has not to lend;
But when the stalk is snapt, the rose must bend.
The tallest flower that sky ward rears its head,
Grows from the common ground, and there must shed
Its delicate petals. Cruel fate, too surely,
That they should find so base a bridal bed,
Who lived in virgin pride, so sweet and purely.
“She had a brother, and a tender father,
And she was lov'd, but not as others are
From whom we ask return of love,—but rather
As one might love a dream; a phantom fair
Of something exquisitely strange and rare,
Which all were glad to look on, men and maids,
Yet no one claim'd—as oft, in dewy glades
The peering primrose, like a sudden gladness,
Gleams on the soul-yet unregarded fades-
The joy is ours, but all its own the sadness.
“'Tis vain to say—her worst of grief is only
The common lot, which all the world have known,
To her 'tis more, because her heart is lonely,
And yet she hath no strength to stand alone,-
Once she had playmates, fancies of her own,
And she did love them. They are past away,
As fairies vanish at the break of day-
And like a spectre of an age departed,
Or unsphered angel wofully astray-
She glides along—the solitary hearted." We have rarely met with any thing more felicitous than that closing line; the being, described with such self-restraining power-never too much revealed from the cloud of mystery that envelopes it-passes away an object of admiration more than of love--too sacred for common human sympathy. The same pure feeling towards the sex pervades the volume, and finds expression in some elegiac pieces of a very touching character. There is evidence in the volume of a susceptibility to other emotions than the passion of love, and we are glad of it, for we have no great partiality for the poet amatory, exclusively, whom we are tempted to fancy a sort of Master Slender,-"a softly sprighted man, with a little yellow beard,” who has but one thought, “Sweet Anne Page !” and no other recollections than “stewed prunes” and the bear garden. Love pocts find their profit in the easy access they gain to the soft hearts that abound all the world over. But the true poet must deal with other feelings beside the one master passion--kindly affections, and calm and placid impulses. As far as a writer's character may be conjectured from his writings, Hartley Coleridge must be a gentle and right-hearted being. Omitting those instances in which he speaks dramatically, there is an air of sincerity in his expressions of feeling which mightily wins his readers' good will. We must except his expressions of mirth, which have not a real or healthy tone; and although there are in the volume words, which, as Jeremy Taylor says,
as light as the skirt of a summer garment,” yet they seem to be rather the relief of a heavy heart than the ventings of a light one. Passing them by, the beauty of sincerity is not the least of the beauties of the following lines :
SENSE, IF YOU CAN FIND IT.
“Like one pale, flitting, lonely gleam
Of sunshine on a winter's day,
There came a thought upon my dream,
I know not whence, but fondly deem
It came from far away.
“Those sweet, sweet snatches of delight
That visit our bedarken'd clay
Like passage birds, with hasty flight,
It cannot be they perish quite,
Although they pass away.
They come and go, and come again ;
They ’re ours, whatever time they stay ;
Think not, my heart, they come in vain,
If one brief while they soothe thy pain
Before they pass away.
“But whither go they ? No one knows
Their home,—but yet they seem to say,
That far beyond this gulf of woes
There is a region of repose
For them that pass away." We feel as if we should be missing a rare opportunity for appropriate quotation, considering the approaching season, if we passed by the stanzas on New-Year's day; we are pretty confident that the year will come to its close without producing any thing conceived in better feeling, and that many a NewYear sermon will be preached to duller ears; at all events the stanzas will be less likely than the sermons to be applied by those to whom they are addressed, away from themselves, to their neighbours. We have ventured to call attention by means of italics to some of the lines which show the exuberance of the poet's fancy:
“ While the bald trees stretch forth their long lank arms,
And starving birds peck nigh the reeky farms:
While houseless cattle paw the yellow field,
Or coughing shiver in the pervious bield,
And nought more gladsome in the hedge is seen,
Than the dark holly's grimly glistening green-
At such a time, the ancient year goes by
To join its parents in eternity-
At such a time the merry year is born,
Like the bright berry from the naked tħorn.
“The bells ring out; the hoary steeple rocks-
Hark! the long story of a score of clocks;
For, once a year, the village clocks agree,
E'en clocks unite to sound the hour of glee-
And every cottage has a light awake,
Unusual stars long flicker o'er the lake,
The moon on high, if any moon be there,
May peep, or wink, no mortal now will care ;
For 'tis the season, when the nights are long.
There's time, ere morn, for each to sing his song.
“ The year departs, a blessing on its head,
We mourn not for it, for it is not dead;
Dead? What is that? A word to joy unknown,
Which love abhors, and faith will never own.
A word, whose meaning sense could never find,
That has no truib in matter, nor in mind.
The passing breezes gone as soon as felt,
The flakes of snow that in the soft air melt,
The wave that whitening curls its frothy crest,
And falls to sleep upon its mother's breast,
The smile that sinks into a maiden's eye-
They come, they go, they change, they do not die.
So the old year—that fond and formal name,
Is with us yet, another and the same.
“And are the thoughts, that ever more are fleeing,
The moments that make up our being's being,
The silent workings of unconscious love,
Or the dull hate which clings and will not move,
In the dark caverns of the gloomy heart,
The fancies wild and horrible, which start
Like loathsome reptiles from their crankling holes,
From foul, neglected corners of our souls,
Are these less vital than the wave or wind,
Or snow that melts and leaves no trace behind ?
Oh! let them perish all, or pass away,
And let our spirits feel a New-Year's day.
"A New-Year's day—'tis but a term of art,
An arbitrary line upon the chart
Of time's unbounded sea-fond fancy's creature,
To reason alien, and unknown to nature.
Nay—'tis a joyful day, a day of hope !
Bound, merry dancer, like an antelope;
And as that lovely creature, far from man,
Gleams through the spicy groves of Hindostan,
Flash through the labyrinth of the mazy dance,
With foot as nimble, and as keen a glance-
“And we, whom many New-Year's days have told
The sober truth, that we are growing old-
For this one night-aye-and for many more,
Will be as jocund as we were of yore.
Kind hearts can make December blithe as May,
And in each morrow find a New-Year's day." Hartley Coleridge is an egotist, and gracefully does his egotism sit upon him; it is one of the poet's privileges. There are expressions throughout the volume calculated to excite commiseration and somewhat of curiosity in some breasts-murmur