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"EVENING HOURS:" a collection of poems, by Thomas R. Whitney. New York: Leavitt, Trow & Co., 194 Broadway. 12mo, pp. 112.
In his preface, the author of this book says "If the elements of poetry are in its pages, they will be found and appreciated." he has unconsciously pronounced in that sentence the truest judgment on the volume. It contains on every page the elements of poetry -- but, poet though he undoubtedly is, he has published, in many instances, with too little mechanical finish. His thoughts are beautiful, and many passages are wholly and unexceptionably musical, but there are lines of defective rhythm here and there which mar the beauty of his poems -- read critically. Frankly -- we should recommend the careful rewriting of some of the poems in this book. The material is worth it.
The longest poem in the volume is a dramatic sketch, entitled "Love, or the Heart's Ordeal," which contains many passages of great beauty, and from which we would quote such lines as we have marked in its perusal, did our space permit.
The allegory of "Virtue and Pleasure" is a production of much excellence, and the same may be said of the story of a "Maniac," the meditations of a "Mourner," the "Requiem," written on the occasion of the burning of the streamer Lexington, the "Vision of Life," and a number of other pieces.
The "widower" has already appeared in the columns of the "Mirror," and has been widely copied by the periodical press throughout the country.
The following stanzas, from the "Miscellaneous Pieces," are a fair specimen of the author's style and manner:
OH, where shall the heart turn for solace, when griefWe make room, also, for the Separation:
Seems bearing it down to despair?
When sinking with anguish, where turn for relief
from its load of despondence and care?
From the blossom of life even down to its close,
Dear WOMAN our sorrows will share;
In her bosom we pour the dark flood of our woes,
Not in vain seek for sympathy there.
As we leave some dear spot where attachment has wovenOne more selection, and we must lay the volume aside for graver but less pleasant avocations. The following lines would make a delightful serenade, and we recommend them to the notice of Mr. Loder:
Those ties round the heart, which affection requites,
How sadly we turn to the joys that are cloven,
And cling to the wreck of our shattered delights.
Every thought is recalled, every word, every look:
Every scene that hath gladdened our hearts and our eyes;
Every hour we have passed; every pleasure partook.
In fragments of memory sweetly arise.
Sure, sure there are spirits unseen that attend us,
Who watch o'er our happiness, temper our woes,
And from the dread efforts of sorrow defend us,
From life's early morn, even down to its close,
With the sorest regret there's a feeling comes o'er us,
That mingles delight with each thought of the past,
And as bright, cheering hope spreads her flowers before us,
Our ills we forget, and smile on the last.
See my love the day is breaking,The volume is neatly printed, with an appropriate frontispiece, and would be an acceptable present for the approaching holidays.
The purple east is tinged with red.
See, the glorious sun awaking.
Draws the curtains from his bed.
See the twinkling stars expiring;
One by one they fade from sight,
As the shades of night retiring,
Fly before the morning light.
Rise, my love, and hail the morning,
As the light proclaims its birth;
See its mellow tints adorning
Every cavern of the earth!
Rise and leave thy downy pillow;
See, the stars have left the skies;
Morn has dawned o'er earth and billow --
Wake, my love, in beauty rise!
[This review is attributed to Poe, somewhat equivocally, by T. O. Mabbott in his notes at the University of Iowa, with the final comment "Accept Oct. 66." W. D. Hull denies Poe as author, noting, "I am certain that this review of Whitney's poems is not Poe's" but admitting, "nor is there anything to suggest Willis as the author."]
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[S:0 - NYEM, 1844]