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tranquil, lovely rural scene, like a carved framework, in. vests a still more quiet and charming love-story; but since the poem is too lengthy for insertion entire, and too vital throughout to allow of dismemberment, we present instead, as the most beautiful and religious of the miscellaneous poems of the volume,

The Rabbi Nathan, twoscore years and ten,
Walked blameless through the evil world, and then,
Just as the almond blossomed in his hair,
Met a temptation all too strong to bear,
And miserably sinned. So, adding not
Falsehood to guilt, he left his seat, and taught
No more among the elders, but went out
From the great congregation girt about
With sackcloth, and with ashes on his head,
Making his gray locks grayer. Long he prayed,
Smiting his breast; then, as the Book he laid
Open before him for the Bath-Col's choice,
Pausing to hear that Daughter of a voice,
Behold the royal preacher's words: “A friend
Loveth at all times, yea, unto the end;
And for the evil day thy brother lives.”
Marveling, he said: “It is the Lord who gives
Counsel in need. At Ecbatana dwells
Rabbi Ben Isaac, who all men excels
In righteousness and wisdom, as the trees
Of Lebanon the small weeds that the bees
Bow with their weight. I will arise, and lay
My sins before him.”

And he went his way
Barefooted, fasting long, with many prayers;
But even as one who, followed unawares,
Suddenly in the darkness feels a hand
Thrill with its touch his own, and his cheek fanned
By odors subtly sweet, and whispers near
Of words he loathes, yet cannot choose but heai,
So, while the Rabbi journeyed, chanting low
The wail of David's penitential woe,

Before him still the old temptation came,
And mocked him with the motion and the shame
Of such desires that, shuddering, he abhorred
Hinself; and, crying mightily to the Lord
To free his soul and cast the demon out,
Smote with his staff the blackness round about.

At length, in the low light of a spent day,
The towers of Ecbatana far away
Rose on the desert's rim; and Nathan, faint
And footsore, pausing where for some dead saint
The faith of Islam reared a domèd tomb,
Saw some one kneeling in the shadow, whom
He greeted kindly: "May the Holy One
Answer thy prayers, O stranger!” Whereupon
The shape stood up with a loud cry, and then,
Clasped in each other's arms, the two gray men
Wept, praising Him whose gracious providence
Made their paths one. But straightway, as the sense
Of his transgression smote him, Nathan tore
Himself away :

O friend beloved, no more
Worthy am I to touch thee, for I came,
Foul from my sins, to tell thee all my shame.
Haply thy prayers, since naught availeth mine,
May purgę my soul, and make it white like thine.
Pity me, O Ben Isaac, I have sinned!”

Awestruck, Ben Isaac stood. The desert wind Blew his long mantle backward, laying bare The mournful secret of his shirt of hair. “I too, O friend, if not in act,” he said, “In thought, have verily sinned. Hast thou not read, ‘Better the eye should see than that desire Should wander'? Burning with a hidden fire That tears and prayers quench not, I come to thee For pity and for help, as thou to me. Pray for me, O my friend !” But Nathan cried, Pray thou for me, Ben Isaac!”

Side by side In the low sunshine by the turban stone They knelt; each made his brother's woe his own,

Forgetting, in the agony and stress
Of pitying love, his claim of selfishness ;
Peace, for his friend besought, his own became;
His prayers were answered in another's name;
And, when at last they rose up to embrace,
Each saw God's pardon in his brother's face!

Long after, when his headstone gathered moss,
Traced on the targum-marge of Onkelos
In Rabbi Nathan's hand these words were read:
Hope not the cure of sin till Self is dead;
Forget it in love's service, and the debt
Thou canst not pay the angels shall forget ;
Heaven's gate is shut to him who comes alone;
Save thou a soul, and it shall save thy own !

The latest products of our poet's pen are John Wool. man's Journal, Poems of Childhood, and Miriam, and other Poems. They fully sustain the author's previous reputation. Whittier's poetic life has been divided by a very able critic of the day* into three epochs. The first begins and ends with his Voices of Freedom, and is called the oratorical or didactic, during which Whittier gave merely poetic expression to thoughts and feelings not poetic in themselves.

The transition to the second epoch is reached in his Songs of Labor and other Poems, and is more perfectly realized in his Chapel of the Hermits. This is the epoch of Culture, in which themes pertaining rather to the inner life of manits experiences and its aspirations-employ the poet's vision

and pen.

The Panorama, and other Poems constitute his passage to the third epoch, which fully dawns with the appearing of Home Ballads. This is the period of poetic realism, in which subject and form alike assume the ideal and poetic nature. “He states God and inward experience as he would state sunshine and the growth of grass. This, with the devout depth of his nature, makes the rare beauty of his hymns

* D. A. Wasson, in Atlantic Monthly, vol. xiii., pp. 333–338.


and poems of piety and trust. He does not try to make thu facts by stating them; he does not try to embellish them; he only seeks to utter, to state them; and even in his most perfect verse they are not half so melodious as they were in his soul.” *

This, then, is the general statement about Whittier. His genius is Hebrew, biblical, more so than that of any other poet now using the English language. In other words, he is organically a poem of the Will.

“Imagination exists in him, not as a separable faculty, but as a pure vital suffusion. Hence he is an inevitable poet. There is no drop of his blood, there is no fibre of his brain, which does not crave poetic expression. ... He is intelligible and acceptable to those who have little either of poetic culture or of fancy and imagination. Whoever has common sense and a sound heart has the power by which he may be appreciated.

“And yet he is not only a real poet, but he is all poet. The Muses have not merely sprinkled his brow; he was baptized by immersion. His notes are not many, but in them Nature herself sings. He is a sparrow that half sings, half chirps on a bush, not a lark that floods with Orient hilarity the skies of morning; but the bush burns, like that which Moses saw, and the sparrow herself is part of the divine flame."* (See Supplement F.)

* D. A. Wasson.


OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES was born August 29, 1809, at Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the age of twenty he graduated at Harvard University. For a year succeeding hig graduation he studied law, but practiced poesy; his earliest effusions appearing in “The Collegian,” a periodical published in 1830 by a number of the University students. Among these earliest poems were The Spectre Pig, EveningBy a Tailor, and The Meeting of the Dryads. This last, which as we are told in a late edition of our author's poems, was “written after a general pruning of the trees around Harvard College," we present :

It was not many centuries since,

When gathered on the moonlit green,
Beneath the Tree of Liberty,

A ring of weeping sprites was seen.

The Freshman's lamp had long been dim,

The voice of busy day was mute,
And tortured Melody had ceased

Her sufferings on the evening flute.

They met not, as they once had met,

To laugh o'er many a jocund tale:
But every pulse was beating low,

And every cheek was cold and pale.

There rose a fair but faded one,

Who oft had cheered them with her song;
She waved a mutilated arm,

And silence held the listening throng.

“Sweet friends,” the gentle nymph began,

“From opening bud to withering leaf, One common lot has bound us all,

In every change of joy and grief.

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