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A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea,
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.


Scorn not the Sonnet: Critic, you have frown'd,
Mindless of its just honors; with this key
Shakspeare unlock'd his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
Camöens soothed with it an exile's grief;
The sonnet glitter'd a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crown'd
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,

It cheer'd mild Spenser, call'd from faery-land

To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp

Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand

The thing became a trumpet, whence he blew
Soul-animating strains-alas, too few!


Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour;
England hath need of thee; she is a fen

Of stagnant waters; altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower

Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart;
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea;
Pure as the naked heavens-majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way

In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself didst lay.


Clarkson! it was an obstinate hill to climb:
How toilsome-nay, how dire it was, by thee
Is known, by none, perhaps, so feelingly;
But thou, who, starting in thy fervent prime,
Didst first lead forth this pilgrimage sublime,

Hast heard the constant voice its charge repeat,
Which, out of thy young heart's oracular seat,

First roused thee. O true yoke-fellow of time,
With unabating effort, see, the palm

Is won, and by all nations shall be worn!

The bloody writing is for ever torn,

And thou henceforth shalt have a good man's calm,
A great man's happiness; thy zeal shall find
Repose at length, firm friend of human kind!

JOANNA BAILLIE, 1762-1851.

THIS distinguished female poet, whose literary life stretches back into the last century, and whose early recollections were of the days of Burke, Johnson, Goldsmith, and Reynolds, was the daughter of a Scottish clergyman, and was born at Bothwell, on the banks of the Clyde, in the year 1762. She always lived in retirement, and latterly in strict seclusion, in her retreat at Hampstead. The literary fame which she had acquired by her own works, aided in no small degree by the long and loudly expressed admiration of Sir Walter Scott, who always visited her when in London, never succeeded in drawing her into general society.!

During the greater part of her life, she lived with a maiden sister, Agnes-also a poetess-to whom she addressed her beautiful "Birthday" poem. She ear removed with her sister to London, where their brother, the late Sir Matthew Baillie, was settled as a physician, and there her earliest poetical works appeared anonymously. Her first dramatic efforts were published in 1798, under the title of "A Series of Plays: in which it is attempted to Delineate the Stronger Passions of the Mind, each Passion being the subject of a Tragedy and a Comedy." To the volume was prefixed a long and interesting "Introductory Discourse," in which the authoress discusses the subject of the drama in all its bearings, and asserts the supremacy of simple nature over all decoration and refinement. "Let one simple trait of the human heart," says she," one expression of passion, genuine and true to nature, be introduced, and it will stand forth alone in the boldness of reality, whilst the false and unnatural around it fades away upon every side, like the rising exhalations of the morning." This theory the accomplished dramatist illustrated in her plays, the merits of which were so quickly recognized that a second edition was called for in a few months. Miss Baillie was then in her thirty-fourth year. A second volume was published in 1802, and a third in

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1812. During the interval, she gave the world a volume of miscellaneous dramas in 1804, and the "Family Legend" in 1810, a tragedy founded on Highland tradition, and which, principally through the efforts of Sir Walter Scott, was brought out at the Edinburgh Theatre. The only "Play of the Passions" ever represented on the stage was "De Montfort," which was brought out by the celebrated actor John Kemble, and played for eleven nights. In fact, like all the dramatic efforts of our authoress, it was a poem-a poem full of genius and the true spirit of poetry-but not a play. Though the best of her dramatic productions, it is deficient in those lifelike, stirring scenes, and in that variety and fulness of passion, the "form and pressure" of everyday life, which are so essential to success on the stage.

In 1823, our authoress published a long-promised collection of "Poetic Miscellanies," and in 1836 three more volumes of plays. Besides these poetic productions, she is the author of "A View of the General Tenor of the New Testament regarding the Nature and Dignity of Jesus Christ." She also published “Metrical Legends of Eminent Characters," "Fugitive Verses," and some less important publications. She died on the 22d of February, 1851, retaining her faculties till the last. Gentle and unassuming to all, with an unchangeable simplicity of manner and character, she counted among her friends many of the most celebrated for talent and genius; nor were those who resorted to her modest home confined to the natives of her own country, but many from various parts of Europe, and especially from our own land, sought introduction to one whose fame is commensurate with the knowledge of English Literature.2

But a short time before her death, Miss Baillie completed an entire edition of her dramatic works. Upon these she laid out her chief strength. In their general character, they are marked by great originality and invention. Her knowledge of the human heart, of its wide range for good or evil, of its multifarious, changeful, and wayward nature, was great, and her power of portraying character has rarely been excelled. Her female portraits are especially beautiful, and possess an unusual degree of elevation and purity. But though distinguished chiefly for her dramatic writings, her lyric and miscellaneous poetry takes a very high rank

1 The following is a portion of the account, in "Chambers' Journal," of her interview with Lord Jeffrey, of the "Edinburgh Review." "It was in the autumn of 1820 that Miss Baillie paid her last visit to Scotland, and passed those delightful days with Sir Walter Scott, at Ab botsford, the second of which is so pleasantly given in Mr. Lockhart's life of the bard. Her friends again perceived a change in her manners. They had become blander and much more cordial. She had probably been now too long admired and reverently looked up to, not to understand her own position, and the encouragement which, essentially unassuming as she was, would be necessary from her to reassure the timid and satisfy the proud. She had magnanimously forgiven and lived down the unjust severity of her Edinburgh critic, and now no longer refused to be made personally known to him. He was presented to her by their mutual friend, the amiable Dr. Moorehead. They had much earnest and interesting talk toge ther, and from that hour to the end of their lives entertained for each other a mutual and cordial esteem. After this, Jeffrey seldom visited London without indulging himself in a friendly pilgrimage to the shrine of the secluded poetess: and it is pleasing to find him writing of her in the following cordial way in later years: London, April 28, 1840.—1 forgot to tell you that we have been twice out to Hampstead, to hunt out Joanna Baillie, and found her the other day as fresh, natural, and amiable as ever-and as little like a Tragic Muse. Since old Mrs. Brougham's death, I do not know so nice an old woman.' And again, in January 7, 1842: We went to Hampstead, and paid a very pleasant visit to Joanna Baillie, who is mar vellous in health and spirits, and youthful freshness and simplicity of feeling, and not a bát deaf, blind, or torpid.'"

2 Read articles on Miss Baillie's Plays, in the 24 and 67th volumes of "Edinburgh Review."

among similar productions of the present century. To great simplicity and womanly tenderness of feeling, she unites at times a conciseness and vigor of expression which are not often surpassed. A good idea of her various styles may be gathered from the following pieces :—


Whose imp art thou, with dimpled cheek,
And curly pate, and merry eye,
And arm and shoulder round and sleek,
And soft and fair?-thou urchin sly!
What boots it who with sweet caresses

First call'd thee his-or squire or hind?
Since thou in every wight that passes
Dost now a friendly playmate find.

Thy downcast glances, grave, but cunning,
As fringed eyelids rise and fall;

Thy shyness, swiftly from me running,

Is infantine coquetry all.

But far afield thou hast not flown;

With mocks, and threats, half-lisp'd, half-spoken,

I feel thee pulling at my gown,

Of right good-will thy simple token.

And thou must laugh and wrestle too,
A mimic warfare with me waging;
To make, as wily lovers do,

Thy after kindness more engaging.

The wilding rose, sweet as thyself,
And new-cropt daisies are thy treasure:
I'd gladly part with worldly pelf

To taste again thy youthful pleasure.

But yet, for all thy merry look,

Thy frisks and wiles, the time is coming
When thou shalt sit in cheerless nook,

The weary spell or horn-book thumbing.
Well, let it be!-through weal and woe,
Thou know'st not now thy future range;
Life is a motley, shifting show,

And thou a thing of hope and change.


Now in thy dazzled, half-oped eye,
Thy curled nose and lip awry,
Uphoisted arms and noddling head,
And little chin with crystal spread,
Poor helpless thing! what do I see
That I should sing of thee?

From thy poor tongue no accents come,
Which can but rub thy toothless gum:
Small understanding boasts thy face;
Thy shapeless limbs nor step nor grace:
A few short words thy feats may tell;
And yet I love thee well.

When wakes the sudden bitter shriek,
And redder swells thy little cheek;
When rattled keys thy woes beguile,
And through thine eyelids gleams the smile:
Still for thy weekly self is spent

Thy little silly plaint.

But when thy friends are in distress,
Thou'lt laugh and chuckle ne'ertheless;
Nor with kind sympathy be smitten,
Though all are sad but thee and kitten;
Yet, puny varlet that thou art,

Thou twitchest at the heart.

Thy smooth round cheek so soft and warm;
Thy pinky hand and dimpled arm;
Thy silken locks that Scantly peep,
With gold-tipp'd ends, where circles deep
Around thy neck in harmless grace
So soft and sleekly hold their place,
Might harder hearts with kindness fill,
And gain our right good-will.

Each passing clown bestows his blessing,
Thy mouth is worn with old wives' kissing:
E'en lighter looks the gloomy eye
Of surly sense when thou art by ;
And yet, I think, whoe'er they be,
They love thee not like me.

Perhaps when time shall add a few

Short months to thee, thou'lt love me too;
And after that, through life's long way,

Become my sure and cheering stay;
Wilt care for me and be my hold,
When I am weak and old.


Wanton droll, whose harmless play Beguiles the rustic's closing day, When drawn the evening fire about, Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout, And child upon his three foot stool, Waiting till his supper cool;

And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose,
As bright the blazing fagot glows,

Who, bending to the friendly light
Plies her task with busy sleight;

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