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One of the most important characteristics of the literary world in the present day is, the universality with which literature is cultivated. Readers are no longer composed of the select few, but of the many, so that the expression of “the reading public," is almost tantamount to that of the public at large. And such is also the case with authorship. It is no longer the exclusive vocation of him who has devoted the greater part of his life to retirement and study, or of the poor and unbefriended scholar to whom no other of the numerous outlets of active life is patent. But people of both sexes, and of every occupation—the soldier, the sailor, the senator, the merchant, the artisan-all write, print, publish, and add their peculiar forms of thought to the general mass of intellect, which thus grows and expands beyond all former conception. And one of these novel additions to be found in the walks of literature is, the author of The Pleasures of Memory. A hundred years ago it would have been deemed an astounding phenomenon for a wealthy banker to be also an eminent poet.

Samuel Rogers was born in London, in 1762. Little or nothing is known of the manner in which he spent his early days. That his education was carefully attended to, and conducted upon the most liberal scale, is evident, from his taste and acquirements. During his youth, he enjoyed the society of the talented men of the last age—of Sheridan, Fox, Windham, and their renowned compeers, as at a latter period he was the companion of Byron and the illustrious of the present century. As poetry had occupied much of his early attention, Rogers had naturally composed verses, and at last he ventured before the public in his Ode to Superstition, and other Poems, which was published in 1786. This work was so favourably received, that the author was encouraged to persevere, and in 1792 appeared his principal poem, The Pleasures of Memory, which was received by the public with extraordinary approbation. In 1798, he published An Epistle to a Friend, and other Poems; and in 1812, The Voyage of Columbus. It will be seen, from these dates, that the works of Rogers appeared after considerable intervals; but this was owing to that fastidious delicacy of taste which appears in every line of his writings, and which forms one of the principal qualifications of his works. Two years afterwards he published, in the same volume with Byron's Lara, the poem of Jacqueline poem in itself possessing considerable merit, but which showed to great disadvantage on account of the splendid production with which it was associated. Indeed, no two authors could have been more strongly contrasted than Rogers and his noble friend; and the fastidious delicacy and cautious smoothness of the former appeared almost ludicrous, when contrasted with the dashing, fearless energy, and powerful light and shade, of the latter. Jacqueline, therefore, came into the world a dead twin in company with its vigorous, long-lived brother. This failure, however, was amply redeemed by Rogers' next poem, entitled Human Life, and by his subsequent work, Italy, the last and also the best of his pro. ductions, which was published in 1823. This last poem was also published in 1830, in a very splendid form, illustrated with numerous engravings from Turner and Stothard, and, on account of the expense of such a bold experi. ment, it was feared that the work would prove a complete failure. But, contrary to all expectation, it became one of the most profitable literary speculations of modern times. His other poems were therefore published on a similar plan in 1834. This zealous subserviency of painting and sculpture as faithful handmaids to poetry, is one of the grateful indications of improving taste, which are so abundant in the present day.

As a poet, Rogers is scarcely entitled to the praise of boldness and vigour. For this he is too scrupulous and careful, and he never ventures beyond sight of his land-mark. Such, indeed, were the extreme care and labour which he bestowed upon The Pleasures of Memory, that not satisfied with his own corrections, he read the poem many times over with a learned friend, and in every variety of mood and situation, before he ventured to commit it to the press. But if correctness, delicacy, and tenderness, can compensate for those high flights of imagination which constitute the chief requisite of poetry, and in which he is wanting, Rogers in these minor qualities will be found superior to any poet of the present day.

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'Tis over; and her lovely cheek is now
On her hard pillow—there, alas, to be
Nightly, through many and many a dreary hour,
Wan, often wet with tears, and (ere at length
Her place is empty, and another comes)
In anguish, in the ghastliness of death;
Hers never more to leave those mournful walls,
Even on her bier.

'Tis over; and the rite,
With all its pomp and harmony, is now
Floating before her. She arose at home,
To be the show, the idol of the day;
Her vesture gorgeous, and her starry head-
No rocket, bursting in the midnight-sky,
So dazzling. When to-morrow she awakes,

She will awake as though she still was there,
Still in her father's house; and lo, a cell
Narrow and dark, nought through the gloom discernd,
Nought save the crucifix, the rosary,
And the grey kabit lying by to shroud
Her beauty and grace.

When on her knees she fell,
Entering the solemn place of consecration,
And from the latticed gallery came a chant
Of psalms, most saint-like, most angelical,
Verse after verse sung out, how holily!
The strain returning, and still, still returning,
Methought it acted like a spell upon her,
And she was casting off her earthly dross;
Yet was it sad as sweet, and ere it closed
Came like a dirge. When her fair head was shorn,
And the long tresses in her hands were laid,
That she might fling them from her, saying, “ Thus,
Thus I renounce the world and worldly things!"
When, as she stood, her bridal ornaments,
Were, one by one, removed, even to the last,
That she might say, flinging them from her, “ Thus,
Thus I renounce the world !" When all was changed,
And, as a nun, in homeliest grise she knelt,
Veil'd in her veil, crown'd with her sil- r crown,
Her crown of lilies as the spouse of Christ,
Well might her strength forsake her, and her knees
Fail in that hour! Well might the holy man,
He, at whose feet she knelt, give as by stealth
('Twas in her utmost need; nor, while she lives,
Will it go from her, fleeting as it was)
That faint but fatherly smile, that smile of love
And pity!

Like a dream the whole is fled;
And they, that came in idleness to gaze
Upon the victim dress'd for sacrifice,
Are mingling in the world; thou in thy cell
Forgot, Teresa. Yet, among them all,
None were so form’d to love and to be loved,
None to delight, adorn; and on thee now
A curtain, blacker than the night, is dropp'd
For ever! In thy gentle bosom sleep
Feelings, affections, destined now to die,
To wither like the blossom in the bud,
Those of a wife, a mother; leaving there
A cheerless void, a chill as of the grave,
A languor and a lethargy of soul,

Death-like, and gathering more and more, till Death
Comes to release thee. Ah, what now to thee,
What now to thee the treasure of thy youth?
As nothing!

But thou canst not yet reflect
Calmly; so many things, strange and perverse,
That meet, recoil, and go but to return,
The monstrous birth of one eventful day,
Troubling thy spirit—from the first, at dawn,
The rich arraying for the nuptial feast,
To the black pall, the requiem.

All in turn
Revisit thee, and round thy lowly bed
Hover, uncall’d. The young and innocent heart,
How is it beating! Has it no regrets?
Discoverest thou no weakness lurking there?
But thine exhausted frame has sunk to rest.
Peace to thy slumbers !


The sunbeams streak the azure skies,
And line with light the mountain's brow:
With hounds and horns the hunters rise,
And chase the roebuck through the snow.

From rock to rock, with giant-bound,
High on their iron poles they pass;
Mute, lest the air, convulsed by sound,
Rend from above a frozen mass.

The goats wind slow their wonted way
Up craggy steeps and ridges rude;
Mark'd by the wild wolf for his prey,
From desert cave or hanging wood.

And while the torrent thunders loud,
And as the echoing cliffs reply,
The huts peep o'er the morning cloud,
Perch'd, like an eagle's nest, on high.


“Say, what remains when Hope is fled?"
She answer'd, "Endless weeping !"
For in the herdsman's eye she read
Who in his shroud lay sleeping.

At Embsay rung the matin-bell,
The stag was roused on Barden-fell;
The mingled sounds were swelling, dying,
And down the Wharfe a hern was flying;
When near the cabin in the wood,
In tartan clad and forest green,
With hound in leash and hawk in hood
The Boy of Egremond was seen.
Blithe was his song, a song of yore;
But where the rock is rent in two,
And the river rushes through,
His voice was heard no more!
'Twas but a step! the gulf he pass’d;
But that step-it was his last !
As through the mist he wing'd his way
(A cloud that hovers night and day),
The hound hung back, and back he drew
The master and his merlin too.
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of life!

There now the matin-bell is rung;
The “ Miserere!" duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless lord!
Thou didst not shudder when the sword
Here on the young its fury spent,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer groan for groan,
The child before thee is thy own.
And she who wildly wanders there,
The mother in her long despair,
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping,
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping;
Of those who would not be consoled
When red with blood the river roll’d.

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