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Of his poems, the same authority remarks, “Their elaboration is minute, their metre exquisite, both in its adaptation and polish. In this, indeed, lies their principal power; and perhaps a great part of the charm which they have is a kind of ear-jugglery. They do not move the heart, for of feeling there is an essential want. His poetry, as he himself tells us, is the result of cold, mathematical calculation.”
“But it is through his tales that Poe is best known, and in them is displayed the real bent of his genius. Their chief characteristic is a grim horror—sometimes tangible, but usually shadowy and dim. He revelled in faintly sketching scenes of ghastly gloom, in imagining the most impossible plots, and in making them seem real by minute detail. His wild and weird conceptions have great power; but they affect the fears only, rarely the heart; while sometimes his morbid creations are repulsive and shocking; yet in the path he has chosen he is unrivalled." *
* Cleveland's Compendium of American Literature.
FITZ-GREENE HALLECK was born at Guilford, Connecticut, in August, 1790. In boyhood the poetical faculty mani. fetted itself, and so genuine and deep-rooted was its planting that not even the prosaic and distracting employments of a life spent mainly in mercantile pursuits could prevent the divine germ from growing into a goodly perfection.
From his eighteenth year until his fifty-fourth he resided in New York City. Here it was he achieved his earliest celebrity as a town wit and as a political and social satirist under the pseudonym of “Croaker & Co.,” J. R. Drake being the other member of this literary firm. The death of this early and beloved associate, in 1820, gave birth to the fol. lowing tender elegy from our poet's pen:
GREEN be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days !
Nor named thee but to praise.
Tears fell, when thou wert dying,
From eyes unused to weep,
Will tears the cold turf steep.
When hearts, whose truth was proven,
Like thine, are laid in earth,
To tell the world their worth;
And I, who woke each morrow
To clasp thy hand in mine,
Whose weal and wo were thine;
It should be mine to braid it
Around thy faded brow,
And feel I cannot now.
While memory bids me weep thee,
Nor thoughts nor words are free,
That mourns a man like thee.
Fanny, his longest poem, was published in 1821. “It is a satirical squib, in Don Juan measure, at the fashionable literary and political enthusiasms of the day.”* The next year our author visited England and the Continent, and as a reminiscence of the tour has left us Alnwick Castle. This poem, together with Burns, Marco Bozzaris, and several others, were gathered into a volume. published in 1827. As one of the noblest and most imperishable lyrics in the language we quote, unmutilated,
The Turk was dreaming of the hour
Should tremble at his power:
In dreams his song of triumph heard;
As Eden's Garden bird.
At midnight, in the forest shades,
Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,
Heroes in heart and hand. Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature. † Marco Bozzaris, one of the bravest of the modern Greek chieftains, Sell in a night attack upon the Turkish camp at Laspi, the site of the ancient Platæa, August, 1823, and expired at the moment of victory.
There had the Persian's thousands stood,
On old Platæa's day;
As quick, as far as they.
An hour passed on-the Turk awoke;
That bright dream was his last; He woke-to hear the sentries shriek, “To arms! they come! the Greek! .the Greek!”
He woke-to die midst flame and smoke,
And death shots falling thick and fast
Bozzaris cheer his band:
God-and your native land!”
They fought-like brave men, long and well;
They piled that ground with Moslem slain, They conquered—but Bozzaris fell,
Bleeding at every vein.
And the red field was won;
Like flowers at set of sun.
Come to the bridal-chamber, Death!
Come to the mother's, when she feels,
Come when the blessed seals
Cone when the heart beats high and warm,
With banquet song, and dance, and wine;
Of agony, are thine.
But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Come in her crowning hour—and then
Of sky and stars to prisoned men:
To the world-seeking Genoese,
Blew o'er the Haytian seas.
Bozzaris! with the storied brave
Greece nurtured in her glory's time,
Even in her own proud clime.
Nor bade the dark hearse wave its plume,
The heartless luxury of the tomb: