Text: Edgar Allan Poe, Critical Notices, Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. II, no. 2, January 1836, 2:112-117


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


CRITICAL NOTICES.

MRS. SIGOUNEY — MISS GOULD — MRS. ELLET.

Zinzendorff, and other Poems. By Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, New York: Published by Leavitt, Lord & Co. 1836.

Poems — By Miss H. F. Gould, Third Edition. Boston: Hilliard, Gray & Co. 1835.

Poems; Translated and Original. By Mrs. E. F. Ellet. Philadelphia: Key and Biddle. 1835.

Mrs. Sigourney has been long known as an author. Her earliest publication was reviewed about twenty years ago, in the North American. She was then Miss Huntley. The fame which she has since acquired is extensive; and we, who so much admire her virtues and her talents, and who have so frequently expressed our admiration of both in this Journal — we, of all persons — are the least inclined to call in question the justice or the accuracy of the public opinion, by which has been adjudged to her so high a station among the literati of our land. Some things, however, we cannot pass over in silence. There are two kinds of popular reputation, — or rather there are two roads by which such reputation may be attained: and it appears to us an idiosyncrasy which distinguishes mere fame from most, or perhaps from all other human ends, that, in regarding the intrinsic value of the object, we must not fail to introduce, as a portion of our estimate, the means by which the object is acquired. To speak less abstractedly. Let us suppose two writers having a reputation apparently equal — that is to say, their names being equally in the mouths of the people — for we take this to be the most practicable test of what we choose to term apparent popular reputation. Their names then are equally in the mouths of the people. The one has written a great work — let it be either an Epic of high rank, or something which, although of seeming littleness in itself, is yet, like the Christabelle of Coleridge, entitled to be called great from its power of creating intense emotion in the minds of great men. And let us imagine that, by this single effort, the author has attained a certain quantum of reputation. We know it to be possible that another writer of very moderate powers may build up for himself, little by little, a reputation equally great — and this, too, merely by keeping continually in the eye, or by appealing continually with little things, to the ear, of that great, overgrown, and majestical gander, the critical and bibliographical rabble.

It would be an easy, although perhaps a somewhat disagreeable task, to point out several of the most popular writers in America — popular in the above mentioned sense — who have manufactured for themselves a celebrity by the very questionable means, and in the very questionable manner, to which we have alluded. But it must not be thought that we wish to include Mrs. Sigourney in the number. By no means. She has trod, however, upon the confines of their circle. She does not owe her reputation to the chicanery we mention, but it cannot be denied that it has been thereby greatly assisted. In a word — no single piece which she has written, and not even her collected works as we behold them in the present volume, and in the one published some years ago, would fairly entitle her to that exalted rank which she actually enjoys as the authoress, time after time, of her numerous, and, in most instances, very creditable compositions. The validity of our objections to this adventitious notoriety we must be allowed to consider unshaken, until it can be proved that any multiplication of zeros will eventuate in the production of a unit.

We have watched, too, with a species of anxiety and vexation brought about altogether by the sincere interest we take in Mrs. Sigourney, the progressive steps by which she has at length acquired the title of the “American Hemans.” Mrs. S. cannot conceal from her own discernment that she has acquired this title solely by imitation. The very phrase “American Hemans” speaks loudly in accusation: and we are grieved that what by the over-zealous has been intended as complimentary should fall with so ill-omened a sound into the ears of the judicious. We will briefly point out those particulars in which Mrs. Sigourney stands palpably convicted of that sin which in poetry is not to be forgiven.

And first, in the character of her subjects. Every unprejudiced observer must be aware of the almost identity between the subjects of Mrs. Hemans and the subjects of Mrs. Sigourney. The themes of the former lady are the unobtrusive happiness, the sweet images, the cares, the sorrows, the gentle affections, of the domestic hearth — these too are the themes of the latter. The Englishwoman has dwelt upon all the “tender and true” chivalries of passion — and the American has dwelt as unequivocally upon the same. Mrs. Hemans has delighted in the radiance of a pure and humble faith — she has looked upon nature with a speculative attention — she has “watched the golden array of sunset clouds, with an eye looking beyond them to the habitations of the disembodied spirit” — she has poured all over her verses the most glorious and lofty aspirations of a redeeming Christianity, and in all this she is herself glorious and lofty. And all this too has Mrs. Sigourney not only attempted, but accomplished — yet in all this she is but, alas! — an imitator.

And secondly — in points more directly tangible than the one just mentioned, and therefore more easily appreciated by the generality of readers, is Mrs. Sigourney again open to the charge we have adduced. We mean in the structure of her versification — in the peculiar turns of her phraseology — in certain habitual expressions (principally interjectional,) such as yea! alas! and many others, so frequent upon the lips of Mrs. Hemans as to give an almost ludicrous air of similitude to all articles of her composition — in an invincible inclination to apostrophize every object, in both moral and physical existence — and more particularly in those mottos or quotations, sometimes of considerable extent, prefixed to nearly every poem, not as a text for discussion, nor even as an intimation of what is to follow, but as the actual subject matter itself, and of which the verses ensuing are, in most instances, merely a paraphrase. These were all, in Mrs. Hemans, mannerisms of a gross and inartificial nature; but, in Mrs. Sigourney, they are mannerisms of the most inadmissible kind — the mannerisms of imitation.

In respect to the use of the quotations, we cannot conceive how the fine taste of Mrs. Hemans could have admitted the practice, or how the good sense of Mrs. Sigourney could have thought it for a single moment worthy of her own adoption. In poems of magnitude the mind of the reader is not, at all times, enabled to include in one comprehensive survey the proportions and proper adjustment of the whole. He is pleased — if at all — with particular passages; and the sum of his pleasure is compounded of the sums of the pleasurable sensations inspired by these individual passages during the progress of perusal. But in pieces of less extent — like the poems of Mrs. Sigourney — the pleasure is unique, in the proper acceptation of that term — the understanding is employed, without difficulty, in the contemplation of the picture as a whole — and thus its effect will depend, in a very great degree, upon the perfection of its finish, upon the nice adaptation of its constituent parts, and especially upon what is rightly termed by Schlegel, the unity or totality of interest. Now it will readily be seen, that the practice we have mentioned as habitual with Mrs. Hemans and Mrs. Sigourney is utterly at variance with this unity. By the initial motto — often a very long one — we are either put in possession of the subject of the poem; or some hint, historic fact, or suggestion is thereby afforded, not included in the body of the article, which, without the suggestion, would be utterly incomprehensible. In the latter case, while perusing the poem, the reader must revert, in mind at least, to the motto for the necessary explanation. In the former, the poem being a mere paraphrase of the motto, the interest is divided between the motto and the paraphrase. In either instance the totality of effect is annihilated.

Having expressed ourselves thus far in terms of nearly unmitigated censure, it may appear in us somewhat equivocal to say that, as Americans, we are proud — very proud of the talents of Mrs. Sigourney. Yet such is the fact. The faults which we have already pointed out, and some others which we will point out hereafter, are but dust in the balance, when weighed against her very many and distinguishing excellences. Among those high qualities which give her, beyond doubt, a title to the sacred name of poet are an acute sensibility to natural loveliness — a quick and perfectly just conception of the moral and physical sublime — a calm and unostentatious vigor of thought — a mingled delicacy and strength of expression — and above all, a mind nobly and exquisitely attuned to all the gentle charities and lofty pieties of life.

The volume whose title forms the heading of this article embraces one hundred and seventy-three poems. The longest, but not the best, of these is Zinzendorff. “It owes its existence,” says the author, “to a recent opportunity of personal intercourse with that sect of Christians who acknowledge Zinzendorff as their founder; and who, in their labors of self-denying benevolence, and their avoidance of the slight, yet bitter causes of controversy, have well preserved that sacred test of discipleship ‘to love one another.’ “ Most of the other pieces were “suggested by the passing and common incidents of life,” — and we confess that we find no fault, with their “deficiency in the wonderful and wild.” Not in these mountainous and stormy regions — but in the holy and quiet valley of the beautiful, must forever consent to dwell the genius of Mrs. Sigourney.

The poem of Zinzendorff includes five hundred and eighty lines. It relates, in a simple manner, some adventures of that man of God. Many passages are very noble, and breathe the truest spirit of the Muse. At page 14, for example.

—————— The high arch

Of the cloud-sweeping forest proudly cast (casts)

A solemn shadow, for no sound of axe

Had taught the monarch Oak dire principles

Of Revolution, or brought down the Pine

Like haughty baron from his castled height.

Thus dwelt the kings of Europe — ere the voice

Of the crusading monk, with whirlwind tone

Did root them from their base, with all their hosts,

Tossing the red-cross banner to the sky.

Again at page 21, we have something equally beautiful, in a very different way. The passage is however much injured by the occurrence of the word ‘that’ at the commencement of both the sixth and seventh line.

———— Now the infant morning raised

Her rosy eyelids. But no soft breeze moved

The forest lords to shake the dews of sleep

From their green coronals. The curtaining mist

Hung o’er the quiet river, and it seemed

That Nature found the summer night so sweet

That ‘mid the stillness of her deep repose

She shunned the wakening of the king of day.

All this is exquisite, and in Zinzendorff there are many passages of a like kind. The poem, however, is by no means free from faults. In the first paragraph we have the following:

———— Through the breast

Of that fair vale the Susquehannah roam’d,

Wearing its robe of silver like a bride.

Now with a noiseless current gliding slow,

Mid the rich velvet of its curtaining banks

It seemed to sleep.

To suppose the Susquehannah roaming through the breast of any thing — even of a valley — is an incongruity: and to say that such false images are common, is to say very little in their defence. But when the noble river is bedizzened out in robes of silver, and made to wash with its bright waters nothing better than curtains of velvet, we feel a very sensible and a very righteous indignation. We might have expected such language from an upholsterer, or a marchande des modes, but it is utterly out of place upon the lips of Mrs. Sigourney. To liken the glorious objects of natural loveliness to the trappings and tinsel of artificiality, is one of the lowest, and at the same time, one of the most ordinary exemplifications of the bathos. At page 21, these verses occur:

No word was spoke,

As when the friends of desolated Job,

Finding the line of language all too short

To fathom woe like his, sublimely paid

That highest homage at the throne of grief,

Deep silence.

The image here italicized is striking, but faulty. It is deduced not from any analogy between actual existences — between woe on the one hand, and the sea on the other — but from the identity of epithet (deep) frequently applied to both. We say the “deep sea,” and the expression “deep woe” is certainly familiar. But in the first case the sea is actually deep; in the second, woe is but metaphorically so. Sound, therefore — not sense, is the basis of the analogy, and the image is consequently incorrect.

Some faults of a minor kind we may also discover in Zinzendorff. We dislike the use made by the poetess of antique modes of expression — here most unequivocally out of place. For example.

Where the red council-fire

Disturbed the trance of midnight, long they sate.

 

What time, with hatred fierce and unsubdued,

The woad-stained Briton, in his wattled boat,

Qualied ’neath the glance of Rome.

The versification of Zinzendorff is particularly good — always sweet — occasionally energetic. We are enabled to point out only one defective line in the poem, and in this the defect has arisen from an attempt to contract enthusiasm into a word of three syllables.

He who found

This blest enthusiasm nerve his weary heart.

There are, however, some errors of accentuation — for example:

So strong in that misanthrope’s bosom wrought

A frenzied malice.

Again —

He would have made himself

A green oasis mid the strife of tongues.

We observe too that Mrs. Sigourney places the accent in Wyoming on the second syllable.

’Twas summer in Wyoming. Through the breast, &c.

———— And the lore

Of sad Wyoming’s chivalry, a part

Of classic song.

But we have no right to quarrel with her for this. The word is so pronounced by those who should know best. Campbell, however, places the accent on the first syllable.

On Susquehannah’s banks, fair Wyoming!

We will conclude our remarks upon Zinzendorff with a passage of surpassing beauty, energy, and poetic power. Why cannot Mrs. Sigourney write always thus?

———— Not a breath

Disturbed the tide of eloquence. So fixed

Were that rude auditory, it would seem

Almost as if a nation had become

Bronzed into statues. Now and then a sigh,

The unbidden messenger of thought profound,

Parted the lip; or some barbarian brow

Contracted closer in a haughty frown,

As scowled the cynic, ‘mid his idol fanes,

When on Mars-Hill the inspired Apostle preached

Jesus of Nazareth.

These lines are glowing all over with the true radiance of poetry. The image in italics is perfect. Of the versification, it is not too much to say that it reminds us of Miltonic power. The slight roughness in the line commencing “When on Mars-Hill,” and the discord introduced at the word “inspired,” evince an ear attuned to the delicacies of melody, and form an appropriate introduction to the sonorous and emphatic closing — Jesus of Nazareth.

Of the minor poems in the volume before us, we must be pardoned for speaking in a cursory manner. Of course they include many degrees of excellence. Their beauties and their faults are, generally, the beauties and the faults of Zinzendorff. We will particularize a few of each.

On page 67, in a poem entitled Female Education, occur the following lines:

———— Break Oblivion’s sleep,

And toil with florist’s art

To plant the scenes of virtue deep

In childhood’s fruitful heart!

To thee the babe is given,

Fair from its glorious Sire;

Go — nurse it for the King of Heaven,

And He will pay the hire.

The conclusion of this is bathetic to a degree bordering upon the grotesque.

At page 160 is an error in metre — of course an oversight. We point it out merely because, did we write ourselves, we should like to be treated in a similar manner. For ‘centred’ we should probably read ‘con centred.’

The wealth of every age

Thou hast center’d here,

The ancient tome, the classic page,

The wit, the poet, and the sage,

All at thy nod appear.

At page 233, line 10, the expression “Thou wert their friend,” although many precedents may be found to justify it — is nevertheless not English. The same error occurs frequently in the volume.

The poem entitled The Pholas, at page 105, has the following introductory prose sentence: “It is a fact familiar to Conchologists, that the genus Pholas possesses the property of phosphorescence. It has been asserted that this may be restored, even when the animal is in a dried state, by the application of water, but is extinguished by the least quantity of brandy.” This odd fact in Natural History is precisely what Cowley would have seized with avidity for the purpose of preaching therefrom a poetical homily on Temperance. But that Mrs. Sigourney should have thought herself justifiable in using it for such purpose, is what we cannot understand. What business has her good taste with so palpable and so ludicrous a conceit? Let us now turn to a more pleasing task.

In the Friends of Man, (a poem originally published in our own Messenger,) the versification throughout is of the first order of excellence. We select an example.

The youth at midnight sought his bed,

But ere he closed his eyes,

Two forms drew near with gentle tread,

In meek and saintly guise;

One struck a lyre of wondrous power,

With thrilling music fraught,

That chained the flying summer hour,

And charmed the listener’s thought —

For still would its tender cadence be

Follow me! follow me!

And every morn a smile shall bring,

Sweet as the merry lay I sing.

The lines entitled Filial Grief, at page 199, are worthy of high praise. Their commencement is chaste, simple, and altogether exquisite. The verse italicized contains an unjust metaphor, but we are forced to pardon it for the sonorous beauty of its expression.

The love that blest our infant dream,

That dried our earliest tear,

The tender voice, the winning smile,

That made our home so dear,

The hand that urged our youthful thought

O’er low delights to soar,

Whose pencil wrote upon our souls,

Alas, is ours no more.

We will conclude our extracts with “Poetry” from page 57. The burden of the song finds a ready echo in our bosoms.

Morn on her rosy couch awoke,

Enchantment led the hour,

And Mirth and Music drank the dews

That freshened Beauty’s flower —

Then from her bower of deep delight

I heard a young girl sing,

“Oh, speak no ill of Poetry,

For ’tis a holy thing!”

 

The sun in noon-day heat rose high,

And on with heaving breast

I saw a weary pilgrim toil,

Unpitied and unblest —

Yet still in trembling measures flow’d

Forth from a broken string,

“Oh, speak no ill of Poetry,

For ’tis a holy thing!”

 

’Twas night, and Death the curtains drew,

Mid agony severe,

While there a willing spirit went

Home to a glorious sphere ——

Yet still it sighed, even when was spread

The waiting Angel’s wing,

“Oh, speak no ill of Poetry,

For ’tis a holy thing!”

We now bid adieu to Mrs. Sigourney — yet we trust only for a time. We shall behold her again. When that period arrives, having thrown aside the petty shackles which have hitherto enchained her, she will assume, at once, that highest station among the poets of our land which her noble talents so well qualify her for attaining.

————

The remarks which we made in the beginning of our critique on Mrs. Sigourney, will apply, in an equal degree, to Miss Gould. Her reputation has been greatly assisted by the frequency of her appeals to the attention of the public. The poems (one hundred and seventeen in number,) included in the volume now before us have all, we believe, appeared, from time to time, in the periodicals of the day. Yet in no other point of view, can we trace the remotest similarity between the two poetesses. We have already pointed out the prevailing characteristics of Mrs. Sigourney. In Miss Gould we recognize, first, a disposition, like that of Wordsworth, to seek beauty where it is not usually sought — in the homelinesses (if we may be permitted the word,) and in the most familiar realities of existence — secondly abandon of manner — thirdly a phraseology sparkling with antithesis, yet, strange to say, perfectly simple and unaffected.

Without Mrs. Sigourney’s high reach of thought, Miss Gould surpasses her rival in the mere vehicle of thought — expression. “Words, words, words,” are the true secret of her strength. Words are her kingdom — and in the realm of language, she rules with equal despotism and nonchalance. Yet we do not mean to deny her abilities of a higher order than any which a mere logocracy can imply. Her powers of imagination are great, and she has a faculty of inestimable worth, when considered in relation to effect — the faculty of holding ordinary ideas in so novel, and sometimes in so fantastic a light, as to give them all of the appearance, and much of the value, of originality. Miss Gould will, of course, be the favorite with the multitude — Mrs. Sigourney with the few.

We can think of no better manner of exemplifying these few observations, than by extracting part of Miss G’s little poem, The Great Refiner.

’Tis sweet to feel that he, who tries

The silver, takes his seat

Beside the fire that purifies;

Lest too intense a heat,

Raised to consume the base alloy,

The precious metal too destroy.

 

’Tis good to think how well he knows

The silver’s power to bear

The or deal to which it goes;

And that with skill and care,

He’ll take it from the fire, when fit

For his own hand to polish it.

 

’Tis blessedness to know that he

The piece he has begun

Will not forsake, till he can see,

To prove the work well done,

An image by its brightness shown

The perfect likeness of his own.

The mind which could conceive the subject of this poem, and find poetic appropriateness in a forced analogy between a refiner of silver, over his crucible, and the Great Father of all things, occupied in the mysteries of redeeming Grace, we cannot believe a mind adapted to the loftier breathings of the lyre. On the other hand, the delicate finish of the illustration, the perfect fitness of one portion for another, the epigrammatic nicety and point of the language, give evidence of a taste exquisitely alive to the prettinesses of the Muse. It is possible that Miss Gould has been led astray in her conception of this poem by the scriptural expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

From the apparently harsh strictures we have thought it our duty to make upon the poetry of Miss Gould, must be excepted one exquisite little morceau at page 59 of the volume now under review. It is entitled The Dying Storm. We will quote it in full.

I am feeble, pale and weary,

And my wings are nearly furled;

I have caused a scene so dreary,

I am glad to quit the world!

With bitterness I’m thinking

On the evil I have done,

And to my caverns sinking

From the coming of the sun.

 

The heart of man will sicken

In that pure and holy light,

When he feels the hopes I’ve stricken

With an everlasting blight!

For widely, in my madness,

Have I poured abroad my wrath,

And changing joy to sadness,

Scattered ruin on my path.

 

Earth shuddered at my motion,

And my power in silence owns;

But the deep and troubled ocean

O’er my deeds of horror moans!

I have sunk the brightest treasure —

I’ve destroyed the fairest form —

I have sadly filled my measure,

And am now a dying storm.

We have much difficulty in recognizing these verses as from the pen of Miss Gould. They do not contain a single trace of her manner, and still less of the prevailing features of her thought. Setting aside the flippancy of the metre, ill adapted to the sense, we have no fault to find. All is full, forcible, and free from artificiality. The personification of the storm, in its perfect simplicity, is of a high order of poetic excellence — the images contained in the lines italicized, all of the very highest.

———

Many but not all of the poems in Mrs. Ellet’s volume, likewise, have been printed before — appearing, within the last two years, in different periodicals. The whole number of pieces now published is fifty seven. Of these thirty-nine are original. The rest are translations from the French of Alphonse de Lamartine and Beranger — from the Spanish of Quevedo and Yriarte — from the Italian of Ugo Foscolo, Alfieri, Fulvio Testi, Pindemonte, and Saverio Bettinelli, — and from the German of Schiller. As evidences of the lady’s acquaintance with the modern languages, these translations are very creditable to her. Where we have had opportunities of testing the fidelity of her versions by reference to the originals, we have always found reason to be satisfied with her performances. A too scrupulous adherence to the text is certainly not one of her faults — nor can we yet justly call her, in regard to the spirit of her authors, a latitudinarian. We wish, however, to say that, in fully developing the meaning of her originals, she has too frequently neglected their poetical characters. Let us refer to the lady’s translation of the Swallows. We have no hesitation in saying, that not the slightest conception of Pierre Jean de Beranger, can be obtained by the perusal of the lines at page 112, of the volume now before us.

Bring me, I pray — an exile sad —

Some token of that valley bright,

Where in my sheltered childhood glad,

The future was a dream of light.

Beside the gentle stream, where swell

Its waves beneath the lilac tree,

Ye saw the cot I love so well —

And speak ye of that home to me?

We have no fault to find with these verses in themselves — as specimens of the manner of the French chansonnier, we have no patience with them. What we have quoted, is the second stanza of the song. Our remarks, here, with some little modification, would apply to the Sepulchres of Foscolo, especially to the passage commencing

Yes — Pindemonte!

The aspiring soul is fired to lofty deeds

By great men’s monuments, &c.

They would apply, also, with somewhat less force, to Lamartine’s Loss of the Anio, in the original of which by the way, we cannot perceive the lines answering to Mrs. E’s verses

All that obscures thy sovereign majesty

Degrades our glory in degrading thee.

Quevedo’s Sonnet Rome in Ruins, we happen to have by us at this moment. The translation in this instance is faultless, and combines, happily, a close approximation to the meaning of the original, with its quaint air and pompous rhythm. The Sonnet itself is a plagiarism entire, from Girolamo Preti. The opening lines of Quevedo,

Pilgrim! in vain thou seekest in Rome for Rome!

Alas! the Queen of nations is no more!

Dust are her towers, that proudly frowned of yore,

And her stern hills themselves have built their tomb,

are little else than the

Roma in Roma non è

In se stessa cadeo morta e sepolta, &c.

of Girolamo. But this is no concern of Mrs. Ellet’s.

Of the original poems, which form the greater part of the volume, we have hardly been able to form an opinion, during the cursory perusal we have given them. Some of them have merit. Some we think unworthy of the talents which their author has undoubtedly displayed. The epigram, for example, at page 102 is rather a silly joke upon a threadbare theme, and, however well it might have suited Mrs. Ellet’s purpose to indite it, she should have had more discretion than to give it permanency in a collection of her poems.

Echo was once a love sick maid

They say: the tale is no deceiver.

However a woman’s form might fade

Her voice would be the last to leave her!

The tragedy (Teresa Contarini) at the end of the volume, “is founded,” says the authoress, “upon an incident well known in the history of Venice, which has formed the material for various works of fiction.” Mrs. E. has availed herself of a drama of Nicolini’s in part of the first scene of the first act, and in the commencement of the fifth act. The resemblance between the two plays is, however, very slight. In plot — in the spirit of the dialogue — and in the range of incidents they differ altogether. Teresa Contarini was received with approbation at the Park Theatre in March 1835, — Miss Philips performing the heroine. We must confine ourselves to the simple remark, that the drama appears to us better suited to the closet than the stage.

In evidence that Mrs. Ellet is a poetess of no ordinary rank, we extract, from page 51 of her volume, a little poem rich in vigorous expression, and full of solemn thought. Its chief merits, however, are condensation and energy.

Hark — to the midnight bell!

The solemn peal rolls on

That tells us, with an iron tongue,

Another year is gone!

Gone with its hopes, its mockeries, and its fears,

To the dim rest which wraps our former years.

 

Gray pilgrim to the past!

We will not bid thee stay;

For joys of youth and passion’s plaint

Thou bear’st alike away.

Alike the tones of mirth, and sorrow’s swell

Gather to hymn thy parting. — Fare thee well!

 

Fill high the cup — and drink

To Time’s unwearied sweep!

He claims a parting pledge from us —

And let the draught be deep!

We may not shadow moments fleet as this,

With tales of baffled hopes, or vanished bliss.

 

No comrade’s voice is here,

That could not tell of grief —

Fill up! — We know that friendship’s hours,

Like their own joys — are brief.

Drink to their brightness while they yet may last,

And drown in song the memory of the past!

 

The winter’s leafless bough

In sunshine yet shall bloom;

And hearts that sink in sadness now

Ere long dismiss their gloom.

Peace to the sorrowing! Let our goblets flow,

In red wine mantling, for the tears of wo!

 

Once more! A welcoming strain!

A solemn sound — yet sweet!

While life is ours, Time’s onward steps

In gladness will we greet!

Fill high the cup! What prophet lips may tell

Where we shall bid another year farewell!

With this extract, we close our observations on the writings of Mrs. Ellet — of Miss Gould — and of Mrs. Sigourney. The time may never arrive again, when we shall be called upon, by the circumstances of publication, to speak of them in connexion with one another.

 


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Notes:

None.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

[S:0 - SLM, 1836] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Criticism - Criticial Notices (January 1836)