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“ And, oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath parted ! Will it not seem as if the sunny day
Turned from its door away, While, through its chambers wandering, weary-hearted, I languish for thy voice, which past me still,
Went like a singing rill ?
“ Under the palm-trees thou no more shall meet me,
With the full water-urn !
And watch for thy dear sake!
“ And thou, wilt slumber's dewy cloud fall round thee,
Wilt thou not vainly spread
A cry which none shall hear?
“ What have I said, my child ?_will He not hear thee
Will He not guard thy rest,
Thou shalt sleep soft, my boy!
“ I give thee to thy God !—the God that gave thee,
And, precious as thou art,
And thou shalt be His child !
“ Therefore, farewell !—I go! my soul may fail me,
Yearning for thy sweet looks!
The Rock of Strength, farewell !"
THE CAPTIVE KNIGHT.
'Twas a trumpet's pealing sound ! And the knight look'd down from the Paynim's tower, And a Christian host, in its pride and power,
Through the pass beneath him wound. Cease awhile, clarion! clarion wild and shrill, Cease ! let them hear the captive's voice,-be still !
“ I knew 'twas a trumpet's note! And I see my brethren's lances gleam, And their pennons wave, by the mountain stream,
And their plumes to the glad wind float ! Cease awhile, clarion! clarion wild and shrill, Cease! let them hear the captive's voice,—be still !
“I am here, with my heavy chain ! And I look on a torrent, sweeping by, And an eagle, rushing to the sky,
And a host, to its battle plain ! Cease awhile, clarion ! clarion wild and shrill, Cease ! let them hear the captive's voice,-be still !
" Must I pine in my fetters here? With the wild wave's foam, and the free bird's flight, And the tall spears glancing on my sight,
And the trumpet in mine ear? Cease awhile, clarion ! clarion wild and shrill, Cease! let them hear the captive's voice,—be still !
“ They are gone! they have all pass’d by! They in whose wars I had borne my part, They that I loved with a brother's heart,
They have left me here to die !
The trumpet's voice hath roused the land,
Light up the beacon-pyre!
And waved the sign of fire!
A hundred banners to the breeze
Their gorgeous folds have cast ;
A king to war went past!
The chief is arming in his hall,
The peasant by his hearth ;
And rises from the earth !
Looks with a boding eye ;
Whose young hearts leap so high.
The bard hath ceased his song, and bound
The falchion to his side ;
The lover quits his bride!
By earthly clarion spread !
The blast that wakes the dead ?
THE RETURN TO POETRY.
ONCE more the eternal melodies from far,
THE TREASURES OF THE DEEP.
What hid'st thou in thy treasure caves and cells ?
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main ! Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow colour'd shells,
Bright things which gleam unrecked of and in vain. Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea !
We ask not such from thee.
Yet more, the depths have more !-what wealth untold,
Far down, and shining through their stillness, lies ! Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal argosies.
Earth claims not these again!
Yet more, the depths have more !—thy waves have rolled
Above the cities of a world gone by! Sand hath filled up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry! Dash o'er them, ocean! in thy scornful play,
Man yields them to decay!
Yet more, the billows and the depths have more !
High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast !
Give back the true and brave!
Give back the lost and lovely !-those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long ; The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song! Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown,
But all is not thine own!
To thee the love of woman hath gone down ;
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,O'er youth's bright locks and beauty's flowery crown!
Yet must thou hear a voice, -Restore the dead ! Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee!
Restore the dead, thou sea!
ALLAN CUNNINGHAM was born at Blackwood, a place of much natural beauty, on Nithside, a few miles above Dumfries, on the 7th of December, 1784. His father and grandfather were farmers; and one of his ancestors, an officer under the great Montrose, shared in his leader's good and evil fortune at Kilsythe and Philiphaugh. Some hopes held out by a relative of a situation in India, having, it appears, failed, Allan, at eleven years of age, was removed from school, to learn, under an elder brother, his business of a mason. This he did not dislike, and soon became a skilful workman; but he loved still better to pore over old books-listen to old songs and tales—and roam among his native glens and hills. A thirst for knowledge came early; but a love of writing, as we have heard him say, came late. Some of his lyrics, however, found their way into a singular book,-Cromek's “ Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song," and, passing for ancient, were received with an applause which at once startled and amused the writer. Dr. Percy boldly declared they were too good to be old; and the author of " Marmion” has more than once said, that not even Burns himself had enriched Scottish song with more beautiful effusions. In 1810, Mr. Cunningham was allured from the Nith to the Thames. For some years he attached himself to the public press; and in 1814, entered the studio of Sir Francis Chantrey, the distinguished sculptor, as superintendant of his works,-a station which he continues to occupy. The first volume he ventured to publish was "Sir Marmaduke Maxwell," a dramatic poem, named after one of the heroes of his native district. critics; and Sir Walter Scott generously
“ Handed the rustic stranger up to fame," by a kind notice of his first attempt in the Preface to the “ Fortunes of Nigel.” Thenceforward Mr. Cunningham took his place among the Poets of Great Britain. He has since supplied us with but occasional proofs of his right to retain it; having devoted much of his leisure to the production of prose works of fiction; and commenced an undertaking of vast magnitude and importance,-the " Lives of the Poets from Chaucer to Coleridge;"-a task for which he is eminently qualified.
Few modern writers are more universally respected and esteemed than Mr. Cunningham; he numbers among his personal friends all the most eminent and accom plished of his contemporaries : in private life he has ever been irreproachable :-an early and a happy marriage probably preserved him from the erros ties which too generally mark the career of a youth of genius, upon entering the perilous maze of the metropolis ;—where hundreds of as rare promise have sunk under the effect of dissipation or despondency; and whose names are to be found only in the terrible records of “Calamities of Authors." Cunningham, in person, seems better fitted to deal with huge blocks of marble than with creations of fancy. His frame is of vigorous proportions; his countenance highly expressive of mental as well as physical power; his eye keen and searching, but peculiarly gentle and winning. He combines industry with genius, and a rigid integrity with both. His biographies have been objected to on the ground that he has seen more to censure than to praise in the subjects of them: if, however, such contributions are valuable only as they are TRUE, and in proportion to their distance from the imaginative and the misleading, they are the best, and will be the most enduring of his works.
The Poems of Cunningham, as we have intimated, are not numerous; his last poetical production of any length,-the Maid of Elvar,-is, perhaps, his best : the scene of this little rustic epic, as he correctly styles it, is laid in his native vale ; and many of the delicious pictures it contains, with a true vein of poetry throughout, are drawn from rural life. It is, however, written in a measure ill calculated to become extensively popular. The poetical reputation of Allan Cunningham has been made, and is sustained, by his ballads and lyrical pieces. They are exquisite in feelingchaste and elegant in style-graceful in expression, and natural in conception: they seem, indeed, the mere and unstudied out-pourings of the heart; yet will bear the strictest and most critical inspection of those who consider elaborate finish to be at least the second requisite of writers of song. His own country has supplied him with his principal themes; and the peculiar dialect of Scotland-in which he frequently writes-his good taste prevents him from ever rendering harsh, or even inharmonious, to Southern ears.