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Say, did you give the thrilling transport way?
Did your eye brighten, when young lambs at play
Leap'd o'er your path with animated pride,
Or grazed in merry clusters by your side?
Ye who can smile, to wisdom no disgrace,
At the arch meaning of a kitten's face;
If spotless innocence, and infant mirth,
Excites to praise, or give reflection birth;
In shades like these pursue your favorite joy,
Midst Nature's revels, sports that never cloy;
A few begin a short but vigorous race,
And indolence abash'd soon flies the place:
Thus challenged forth, see thither, one by one,
From every side assembling playmates run;
A thousand wily antics mark their stay,
A starting crowd, impatient of delay.

Like the fond dove, from fearful prison freed,
Each seems to say, "Come, let us try our speed;"
Away they scour, impetuous, ardent, strong,
The green turf trembling as they bound along;
Adown the slope, then up the hillock climb,
Where every molehill is a bed of thyme;
There panting stop; yet scarcely can refrain;
A bird, a leaf, will set them off again;
Or, if a gale with strength unusual blow,
Scattering the wildbrier roses into snow,
Their little limbs increasing efforts try,
Like the torn flower the fair assemblage fly.
Ah, fallen rose! sad emblem of their doom;
Frail as thyself, they perish while they bloom!
Though unoffending innocence may plead,

Though frantic ewes may mourn the savage deed,
Their shepherd comes, a messenger of blood,

And drives them bleating from their sports and food.

Spring, 1. 309.

Giles, having fatigued himself by his endeavors to frighten a host of sparrows from the wheat-ears, retires to repose beneath the friendly shelter of some projecting boughs; and, while with head upon the ground he is gazing upon the heavens, he suddenly hears


Just starting from the corn she cheerly sings,
And trusts with conscious pride her downy wings;
Still louder breathes, and in the face of day
Mounts up, and calls on Giles to mark her way.
Close to his eyes his hat he instant bends,

And forms a friendly telescope, that lends
Just aid enough to dull the glaring light,
And place the wandering bird before his sight;
Yet oft beneath a cloud she sweeps along,
Lost for a while, yet pours her varied song.
He views the spot, and as the cloud moves by,
Again she stretches up the clear blue sky;

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Her form, her motion, undistinguish'd quite,
Save when she wheels direct from shade to light:
The fluttering songstress a mere speck became,
Like fancy's floating bubbles in a dream:
He sees her yet, but, yielding to repose,
Unwittingly his jaded eyelids close.

Delicious sleep! From sleep who could forbear,
With no more guilt than Giles, and no more care?
Peace o'er his slumbers waves her guardian wing,
Nor conscience once disturbs him with a sting;
He wakes refresh'd from every trivial pain,
And takes his pole and brushes round again.'

Summer, 1. 63.


Where's the blind child so admirably fair,
With guileless dimples, and with flaxen hair
He's often seen
That waves in every breeze?

Beyond yon cottage wall, or on the green
With others, match'd in spirit and in size,
Health in their cheeks and rapture in their eyes.
That full expanse of voice, to children dear,
Soul of their sports, is duly cherish'd here.
And hark! that laugh is his-that jovial cry-
He hears the ball and trundling hoop brush by,
And runs the giddy course with all his might-
A very child in every thing but sight-
With circumscribed, but not abated powers,
Play the great object of his infant hours.
In many a game he takes a noisy part,
And shows the native gladness of his heart;
But soon he hears, on pleasure all intent,
The new suggestion, and the quick assent;
The grove invites delight, thrills every breast
To leap the ditch, and seek the downy nest.
Away they start, leave balls and hoops behind,
And one companion leave-the boy is blind!
His fancy paints their distant paths so gay,
That childish fortitude awhile gives way;
He feels his dreadful loss-yet short the pain-
Soon he resumes his cheerfulness again.
Pondering how best his moments to employ,
He sings his little songs of nameless joy,

"The most beautiful part in the description of this bird, and which is at once curiously faithful and expressively harmonious, I have copied in italics. Milton and Thomson have both introduced the flight of the skylark, the first with his accustomed spirit and sublimity; but probably no poet has surpassed, either in fancy or expression, the following prose narrative of Dr. Goldsmith, in his History of the Earth and Animated Nature:- Nothing,' observes he, 'can be more pleasing than to see the lark warbling upon the wing, raising its note as it soars, until it seems lost in the immense heights above us; the note continuing, the bird itself unseen; to see it then descending with a swell as it comes from the clouds, yet sinking by degrees as it approaches its nest, the spot where all its affections are centredthe spot that has prompted all this joy. This description of the descent of the bird, and of the pleasures of its little nest, is conceived in a strain of the most exquisite delicacy and feeling."-DR. DRAKE.

Creeps on the warm green turf for many an hour,
And plucks, by chance, the white and yellow flower;
Smoothing their stems, while resting on his knees,
He binds a nosegay which he never sees;
Along the homeward path then feels his way,
Lifting his brow against the shining day,
And, with a joyful rapture round his eyes,
Presents a sighing parent with the prize!'

News from the Farm.


-Naught her rayless melancholy cheers,
Or soothes her breast, or stops her streaming tears.
Her matted locks unornamented flow,

Clasping her knees, and waving to and fro;

Her head bow'd down, her faded cheek to hide;

A piteous mourner by the pathway side.

Some tufted molehill through the livelong day

She calls her throne; there weeps her life away:
And oft the gayly-passing stranger stays
His well-timed step, and takes a silent gaze,
Till sympathetic drops unbidden start,

And pangs quick springing muster round his heart;
And soft he treads with other gazers round,

And fain would catch her sorrow's plaintive sound:
One word alone is all that strikes the ear,
One short, pathetic, simple word—“O dear!”
A thousand times repeated to the wind,
That wafts the sigh, but leaves the pang behind!
For ever of the proffer'd parley shy,
She hears the unwelcome foot advancing nigh;
Nor quite unconscious of her wretched plight,
Gives one sad look, and hurries out of sight.-

Fair promised sunbeams of terrestrial bliss,
Health's gallant hopes-and are ye sunk to this?
For in life's road, though thorns abundant grow,
There still are joys poor Poll can never know;
Joys which the gay companions of her prime
Sip, as they drift along the stream of time;
At eve to hear beside their tranquil home
The lifted latch, that speaks the lover come:
That love matured, next playful on the knee
To press the velvet lip of infancy;

To stay the tottering step, the features trace;
Inestimable sweets of social peace!

"When we consider the circumstances under which the early poetry of Bloomfield was composed-in a bare grim garret, by a feeble-constitutioned man approaching middle life, and amid the fatigues of mechanical labor, which yet scarcely sufficed to satisfy the clamant necessities of a wife and three children- The Farmer's Boy' ought not to be regarded otherwise than as a wonderful production. Few are its errors in taste, either as to matter or manner; and its style is simple, chaste, unaffected, nay, occasionally elegant."-D. M. MOIR.

It presents as finished a specimen of versification as can be extracted from the pages of our most polished poets; and its pathos is such as to require no comment of mine."DRAKE's Literary Hours, ii. 467.

O Thou! who bidst the vernal juices rise,

Thou, on whose blasts autumnal foliage flies!

Let Peace ne'er leave me, nor my heart grow cold,
Whilst life and sanity are mine to hold.'

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"From the review we have now taken of the 'FARMER'S BOY,' it will be evident, I think, that, owing to its harmony and sweetness of versification, its benevolence of sentiment, and originality of imagery, it is entitled to rank very high in the class of descriptive and pastoral poetry, and that, most probably, it will descend to posterity with a character and with encomia similar to what has been the endeavor of these essays to attach to it.”—DR. DRAKE.

THOMAS ERSKINE, 1750-1823.

THOMAS (Lord) ERSKINE, third son of the Earl of Buchan, was born in the year 1750, and was educated at the University of St. Andrews. After serving six years in the navy and army, he was induced, at the earnest request of his mother, who saw his talents, and jestingly said "he must be Lord Chancellor," to quit the military profession and prepare himself for the law. In 1778, he was called to the bar, where his success was immediate and remarkable. In a case of libel, in which he advocated the cause of the defendant, Captain Baillie,' he displayed so much eloquence and talent that the legal world was astonished, and nearly thirty briefs were put into his hands before he left the court. In 1781, he appeared as counsel for Lord George Gordon, in what was called a case of constructive treason, and by his wonderful skill, and eloquence, and legal learning, procured the acquittal of his client, and thus, for the time, gave the deathblow to the tremendous doctrine of constructive treason.

But there is nothing in the life of this eminent man which reflects so much honor on his memory as his exertions in defence of the privileges of juries. The rights of those pro tempore judges he strenuously maintained upon all occasions, particularly in the celebrated trial of the Dean of St. Asaph for libel, in 1784, when Justice Buller refused to receive the verdict of "guilty of publishing only," as returned by the jury.2 In 1789, he again displayed his wonderful powers in the defence of Mr. Stockdale, a bookseller, who was tried by the government for publishing what was charged as a libellous pamphlet in favor of the celebrated Warren Hastings. This is one of the very best, if not the best of all his speeches; and, "whether we regard the wonderful skill with which the argument is conducted, the soundness of the principles laid down, and their happy application to the case, the vividness of fancy with which these are illustrated, and the touching language in which they are conveyed, it is justly to be regarded as a consummate specimen of the art of addressing a jury." This masterly defence procured an acquittal for Stockdale, though the fact of publication was admitted. But the most arduous effort of his professional life arose out of the part he

On this occasion, he showed that the courage which marked his professional life was not acquired after the success which rendered it a safe and a cheap virtue; but, being naturally inherent in the man, was displayed at a moment when attended with great risks. In the course of his eloquent argument, he was inveighing very strongly against a certain "noble lord," when the judge, Lord Mansfield, interrupted him, and remarked that "the Lord was not before the court." "I know he is not," was the bold reply, "but, for that very reason. I will bring him before the court. I will drag him to light who is the dark mover behind this scene of iniquity."

The following is a part of the spirited dialogue that ensued when the jury returned their verdict. It shows the noble daring and courage of Erskine.

Mr. Erskine.-Is the word only to stand part of your verdict?

A Juror. Certainly.

Mr. Justice Buller-Then the verdict must be misunderstood; let me understand the jury. Mr. Erskine (With great spirit.) The jury do understand their verdict.

Mr. Justice Buller-Sir, I will not be interrupted.

Mr. Erskine.—I stand here as an advocate for a brother citizen, and I desire that the word only may be recorded.

Mr. Justice Buller.-Sit down, sir; remember your duty, or I shall be obliged to proceed in a ther manner.

Mr. Erskine. Your lordship may proceed in what manner you think fit. I know my duty as well as your lord. hip knows yours. I shall not alter my conduct.

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