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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 TWO RABBIS.
And he went his way
Before him still the old temptation came,
At length, in the low light of a spent day,
O friend beloved, no more
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
Long after, when his headstone gathered moss,
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
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,
A ring of weeping sprites was seen.
The Freshman's lamp had long been dim,
The voice of busy day was mute,
Her sufferings on the evening flute.
They met not, as they once had met,
To laugh o'er many a jocund tale:
And every cheek was cold and pale.
There rose a fair but faded one,
Who oft had cheered them with her song;
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.