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All green was vanished save of pine and yew, In 1819 appeared . Human Life,' and in 1822 'Italy,' That still displayed their melancholy hue;
a descriptive poem in blank verse. The collected Save the green holly with its berries red,
works of Mr Rogers have been published in various And the green moss that o'er the gravel spread. forms—one of them containing vignette engravings
from designs by Stothard, and forming no inconsiderable trophy of British art. The poet has been
enabled to cultivate his favourite tastes, to enrich There is a poetry of taste as well as of the pas- his house in St James's Place with some of the sions, which can only be relished by the intellectual classes, but is capable of imparting exquisite pleasure to those who have the key to its hidden mysteries. It is somewhat akin to that delicate appreciation of the fine arts, or of music, which in some men amounts to almost a new sense. MR SAMUEL ROGERS, author of the Pleasures of Memory, may be considered a votary of this school of refinement. We have everywhere in his works a classic and graceful beauty ; no slovenly or obscure lines ; fine cabinet pictures of soft and mellow lustre; and occasionally trains of thought and association that awaken or recall tender and heroic feelings. His diction is clear and polished—finished with great care and scrupulous nicety. On the other hand, it must be admitted that he has no forcible or otiginal invention, no deep pathos that thrills the soul, and no kindling energy that fires the imagination. In his shadowy poem of Columbus, he seems often to verge on the sublime, but does not attain it. His late works are his best. Parts of Human Life possess deeper feeling than are to be found in the * Pleasures of Memory ;' and in the easy half conversational sketches of his Italy, there are delightful glimpses of Italian life, and scenery, and old traditions. The poet was an accomplished traveller, a lover of the fair and good, and a worshipper of the classic glories of the past. The life of Mr Rogers has been as calm and felicitous as his poetry : he has for more than half a century maintained his place in our national literature. He was born at Newington Green, a village now included in the growing vastness of London, in the year 1762. His father (well-known and respected among the dissenters) was a banker by profession; and the poet, after a careful private education, was introduced
House of Mr Rogers in St James's Place. into the banking establishment, of which he is still finest and rarest pictures, busts, books, and gems, a partner. He was fixed in his determination of be- and to entertain his friends with a generous and coming a poet by the perusal of Beattie's Minstrel, unostentatious hospitality. His conversation is rich when he was only nine years of age. His boyish enthusiasm led him also to sigh for an interview and various, abounding in wit, eloquence, shrewd with Dr Johnson, and to attain this, he twice pre- has been familiar with almost every distinguished
observation, and interesting personal anecdote. He sented himself at the door of Johnson's well-known author, orator, and artist for the last forty years. house in Bolt Court, Fleet Street. On the first occasion the great moralist was not at home; and dedicated to him as memorials of friendship or ad
Perhaps no single individual has had so many works the second time, after he had rung the bell, the
miration. heart of the young aspirant misgave him, and he benevolence is equal to his taste : his bounty soothed
It is gratifying to mention, that his retreated without waiting for the servant. Rogers and relieved the deathbed of Sheridan, and is now
exerted to a large extent, annually, in behalf of suffering or unfriended talent.
Jam e Rogeno
Nature denied him much, was then in his fourteenth year. Notwithstanding
But gave him at his birth what most he values: the proverbial roughness of Johnson's manner, we
A passionate love for music, sculpture, painting, have no doubt he would have been flattered by this
For poetry, the language of the gods, instance of youthful admiration, and would have For all things here, or grand or beautiful, received his intended visitor with fatherly kindness
A setting sun, a lake among the mountains, and affection. Mr Rogers appeared as an author in The light of an ingenuous countenance, 1786, the same year that witnessed the glorious And, what transcends them all, a noble action. advent of Burns. The production of Rogers was a
Italy. thin quarto of a few pages, an Ode to Superstition, and other poems. In 1792 he produced the ‘Plea
(From the . Pleasures of Memory.'] sures of Memory ; in 1812 the · Voyage of Colum- Twilight's soft dews steal o'er the village green, bus” (a fragment); and in 1814 Jacqueline, a tale, With magic tints to harmonise the scene, published in conjunction with Byron's Lara
Stilled is the hum that through the hamlet broke,
The peasants flocked to hear the minstrel play, What different spheres to human bliss assigned! And games and carols closed the busy day.
What slow gradations in the scale of mind / Her wheel at rest, the matron thrills no more
Yet mark in each these mystic wonders wrought; With treasured tales and legendary lore.
Oh mark the sleepless energies of thought ! All, all are filed; nor mirth nor music flows
The adventurous boy that asks his little share, To chase the dreams of innocent repose.
And hies from home with many a gossip's prayer, All, all are fled; yet still I linger here!
Turns on the neighbouring hill, once more to see What secret charms this silent spot endear?
The dear abode of peace and privacy; Mark yon old mansion frowning through the trees, And as he turns, the thatch among the trees, Whose hollow turret woos the whistling breeze. The smoke's blue wreaths ascending with the breeze, That casement, arched with ivy's brownest shade, The village-common spotted white with sheep, First to these eyes the light of heaven conveyed. The churchyard yews round which his fathers sleep; The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court, All rouse Reflection's sadly pleasing train, Once the calm scene of many a simple sport;
And oft he looks and weeps, and looks again. When nature pleased, for life itself was new,
So, when the mild Tupia dared explore And the heart promised what the fancy drew. Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before,
See, through the fractured pediment revealed, And, with the sons of Science, wooed the gale Where moss inlays the rudely sculptured shield, That, rising, swelled their strange expanse of sail ; The martin's old hereditary nest.
So, when he breathed his firm yet fond adieu, Long may the ruin spare its hallowed guest!
Borne from his leafy hut, his carved canoe, Childhood's loved group revisits every scene,
And all his soul best loved-such tears he shed,
While each soft scene of summer-beauty fled.
Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast,
Long watched the streaming signal from the mast; Thou first, best friend that Heaven assigns below,
Till twilight's dewy tints deceived his eye, To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know;
And fairy forests fringed the evening sky. Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm,
So Scotia's queen, as slowly dawned the day,
Rose on her couch, and gazed her soul away.
Her eyes had blessed the beacon's glimmering height, The sage's precept and the poet's song.
That faintly tipped the feathery surge with light;
But now the morn with orient hues portrayed
All touched the talisman's resistless spring,
And lo, what busy tribes were instant on the wing! Long on the wave reflected lustres play;
Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire, Thy tempered gleams of happiness resigned, Glance on the darkened mirror of the mind.
As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire. The school's lone porch, with reverend mosses gray,
And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth,
Warm as the life, and with the mirror's truth.
Hence home-felt pleasure prompts the patriot's
sigh; Quickening my truant feet across the lawn:
This makes him wish to live, and dare to die.
For this young Foscari, whose hapless fate
Venice should blush to hear the Muse relate, Up springs, at every step, to claim a tear,
When exile wore his blooming years away,
To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey,
When reason, justice, vainly urged his cause,
For this he roused her sanguinary laws; Down by yon hazel copse, at evening, blazed
Glad to return, though Hope could grant no more, The gipsy's fagot—there we stood and gazed;
And chains and torture hailed him to the shore. Gazed on her sun-burnt face with silent awe,
And hence the charm historic scenes impart; Her tattered mantle and her hood of straw;
Hence Tiber awes, and Avon melts the heart.
Aerial forms in Tempe's classic vale
Glance through the gloom and whisper in the gale;
In wild Vaucluse with love and Laura dwell,
'Twas ever thus. Young Ammon, when he sought When in the breeze the distant watch-dog bayed:
Where Ilium stood, and where Pelides fought,
Sat at the helm himself. No meaner hand
Steered through the waves, and when he struck the As o'er my palm the silver piece she drew,
Such in his soul the ardour to explore,
Pelides-like, he leaped the first ashore.
We bless the shade, and bid the verdure bloom : This truth once known—to bless is to be blest!
So Tully paused, amid the wrecks of Time, We led the bending beggar on his way
On the rude stone to trace the truth sublime ;
When at his feet in honoured dust disclosed, (Bare were his feet, his
tresses silver-gray), Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt,
The immortal sage of Syracuse reposed. And on his tale with mute attention dwelt:
And as he long in sweet delusion hung
Where once a Plato taught, a Pindar sung;
Who now but meets him musing, when he roves
His ruined Tusculan's romantic groves ? He breathed his prayer, “Long may such goodness live! In Rome's great forum, who but hears him roll 'Twas all he gave'twas all he had to give.
His moral thunders o'er the subject soul? Survey the globe, each ruder realm explore;
And hence that calm delight the portrait gives : From Reason's faintest ray to Newton soar.
We gaze on every feature till it lives!
Still the fond lover sees the absent maid;
What though the iron school of war erase
The intrepid Swiss, who guards a foreign shore, Condemned to climb his mountain-cliffs no more, If chance he hears the song so sweetly wild Which on those cliffs his infant hours beguiled, Melts at the long-lost scenes that round him rise, And sinks a martyr to repentant sighs.
Ask not if courts or camps dissolve the charm: Say why Vespasian loved his Sabine farm? Why great Navarre, when France and freedom bled, Sought the lone limits of a forest-shed? When Dioclesian's self-corrected mind The imperial fasces of a world resigned, Say why we trace the labours of his spade In calm Salona's philosophic shade? Say, when contentious Charles renounced a throne, To muse with monks unlettered and unknown, What from his soul the parting tribute drew? What claimed the sorrows of a last adieu? The still retreats that soothed his tranquil breast Ere grandeur dazzled, and its cares oppressed.
Undamped by time, the generous Instinct glows Far as Angola's sands, as Zembla’s snows; Glows in the tiger's den, the serpent's nest, On every form of varied life impressed. The social tribes its choicest influence hail : And when the drum beats briskly in the gale, The war-worn courser charges at the sound, And with young vigour wheels the pasture round.
Oft has the aged tenant of the vale Leaned on his staff to lengthen out the tale; Oft have his lips the grateful tribute breathed, From sire to son with pious zeal bequeathed. When o'er the blasted heath the day declined, And on the scathed oak warred the winter-wind; When not a distant taper's twinkling ray Gleamed o'er the furze to light him on his way ; When not a sheep-bell soothed his listening ear, And the big rain-drops told the tempest near; Then did his horse the homeward track descry, The track that shunned his sad inquiring eye; And win each wavering purpose to relent, With warmth so mild, so gently violent, That his charmed hand the careless rein resigned, And doubts and terrors vanished from his mind.
Recall the traveller, whose altered form Has borne the buffet of the mountain-storm; And who will first his fond impatience meet? His faithful dog's already at his feet! Yes, though the porter spurn him from the door, Though all that knew him know his face no more, His faithful dog shall tell his joy to each, With that mute eloquence which passes speech. And see, the master but returns to die! Yet who shall bid the watchful servant fly? The blasts of heaven, the drenching dews of earth, The wanton insults of unfeeling mirth, These, when to guard Misfortune's sacred grave, Will firm Fidelity exult to brave.
Led by what chart, transports the timid dove The wreaths of conquest or the vows of love?
Say, through the clouds what compass points her
flight? Monarchs have gazed, and nations blessed the sight. Pile rocks on rocks, bid woods and mountains rise, Eclipse her native shades, her native skies : 'Tis vain! through ether's pathless wild she goes, And lights at last where all her cares repose.
Sweet bird! thy truth shall Harlem's walls attest, And unborn ages consecrate thy nest. When, with the silent energy of grief, With looks that asked, yet dared not hope relief, Want with her babes round generous Valour clung, To wring the slow surrender from his tongue, 'Twas thine to animate her closing eye ; Alas ! 'twas thine perchance the first to die, Crushed by her meagre hand when welcomed from the
sky. Hark! the bee winds her small but mellow horn, Blithe to salute the sunny smile of morn. O'er thymy downs she bends her busy course, And many a stream allures her to
As the stern grandeur of a Gothic tower
Hail, Memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
[From "Human Life.'] The lark has sung his carol in the sky, The bees have hummed their noontide lullaby; Still in the vale the village bells ring round, Still in Llewellyn hall the jests resound; For now the caudle-cup is circling there, Now, glad at heart, the gossips breathe their prayer, And, crowding, stop the cradle to admire The babe, the sleeping image of his sire.
A few short years, and then these sounds shall hail
And soon again shall music swell the breeze ;
And once, alas! nor in a distant hour, Another voice shall come from yonder tower; When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen, And weeping heard where only joy has been ; When, by his children borne, and from his door, Slowly departing to return no more, He rests in holy earth with them that went before.
And such is human life; so gliding on, It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone! Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange, As full, methinks, of wild and wonderous change, As any that the wandering tribes require, Stretched in the desert round their evening fire; As any sung of old, in hall or bower, To minstrel-harps at midnight's witching hour !
The day arrives, the moment wished and feared ; The child is born, by many a pang endeared, And now the mother's ear has caught his cry; Oh grant the cherub to her asking eye! He comes—she clasps him. To her bosom pressed, He drinks the balm of life, and drops to rest.
Her by her smile how soon the stranger knows ! How soon by his the glad discovery shows! As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy, What answering looks of sympathy and joy! He walks, he speaks. In many a broken word His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard. And ever, ever to her lap he flies, When rosy Sleep comes on with sweet surprise. Locked in her arms, his arms across her flung (That name most dear for ever on his tongue), As with soft accents round her neck he clings, And, cheek to cheek, her lulling song she sings, How blest to feel the beatings of his heart, Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart; Watch o'er his slumbers like the brooding dove, And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love!
But soon a nobler task demands her care. Apart she joins his little hands in prayer, Telling of Him who sees in secret there ! And now the volume on her knee has caught His wandering eye—now many a written thought Never to die, with many a lisping sweet, His moving, murmuring lips endeavour to repeat.
(Emblem of Truth divine, whose secret ray
Slowly, bareheaded, through the surf we bore
stood As worshipped forms, the Genii of the Wood!
At length the spell dissolves! The warrior's lance Rings on the tortoise with wild dissonance ! And see, the regal plumes, the couch of state! Still where it moves the wise in council wait! See now borne forth the monstrous mask of gold, And ebon chair of many a pent-fold; These now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass The wondrous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass. What long-drawn tube transports the gazer home, Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome! 'Tis here: and here circles of solid light Charm with another self the cheated sight; As man to man another self disclose, That now with terror starts, with triumph glows! Then Cora came, the youngest of her race, And in her hands she hid her lovely face ; Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast, And now with playful step the mirror passed, Each bright reflection brighter than the last ! And oft behind it flew, and oft before ; The more she searched, pleased and perplexed the
more! And looked and laughed, and blushed with quick
But soon the telescope attracts her view;
(From The Voyage of Columbus.'] The sails were furled; with many a melting close, Solemn and slow the evening anthem rose, Rose to the Virgin. 'Twas the hour of day, When setting suns o'er summer seas display A path of glory, opening in the west To golden climes and islands of the blest ; And human voices, on the silent air, Went o'er the waves in songs of gladness there!
Chosen of men!'Twas thine, at noon of night, First from the prow to hail the glimmering light:
Her ivory-tooth imprinted on his finger. [Ginevra.]
But now, alas ! she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could anything be guessed [From ‘Italy.')
But that she was not! Weary of his life, If thou shouldst ever come by choice or chance Francesco flew to Venice, and forthwith To Modena, where still religiously
Flung it away in battle with the Turk. Among her ancient trophies is preserved
Orsini lived; and long mightst thou have seen Bologna's bucket (in its chain it hangs
An old man wandering as in quest of something, Within that reverend tower, the Guirlandine), Something he could not find-he knew not what Stop at a palace near the Reggio-gate,
When he was gone, the house remained awhile Dwelt in of old by one of the Orsini.
Silent and tenantless——then went to strangers. Its noble gardens, terrace above terrace,
Full fifty years were past, and all forgot,
When on an idle day, a day of search
'Why not remove it from its lurking place! Perhaps the two, for groves were their delight, 'Twas done as soon as said; but on the way That in the spring-time, as alone they sat,
It burst, it fell; and lo, a skeleton, Venturing together on a tale of love,
With here and there a pearl, an emerald-stone, Read only part that day. A summer sun
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold! Sets ere one half is seen; but, ere thou go,
All else had perished—-save a nuptial ring, Enter the house-prithee, forget it not
And a small seal, her mother's legacy, And look awhile upon a picture there.
Engraven with a name, the name of both, 'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth,
*Ginevra.' There then had she found a grave! The very last of that illustrious race,
Within that chest had she concealed herself, Done by Zampieri—but by whom I care not.
Fluttering with joy the happiest of the happy; He who observes it, ere he passes on,
When a spring-lock that lay in ambush there,
Fastened her down for ever!
An Italian Song.
Dear is my little native vale,
Close by my cot she tells her tale And on her brow, fairer than alabaster,
To every passing villager. A coronet of pearls. But then her face,
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree, So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth,
And shells his nuts at liberty. The overflowings of an innocent heart
In orange groves and myrtle bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours
With my loved lute's romantic sound; Over a mouldering heir-loom, its companion,
Or crowns of living laurel weave
For those that win the race at eve.
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danced in twilight glade, The ducal robes of some old ancestor.
The canzonet and roundelay That by the way-it may be true or false
Sung in the silent greenwood shade; But don't forget the picture; and thou wilt not,
These simple joys that never fail, When thou hast heard the tale they told me there. Shall bind me to my native vale.
She was an only child; from infancy The joy, the pride of an indulgent sire.
To the Butterfly. Her mother dying of the gift she gave,
Child of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight, That precious gift, what else remained to him?
Mingling with her thou lov'st in fields of light; The young Ginevra was his all in life,
And, where the flowers of paradise unfold, Still as she grew, for ever in his sight;
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold. And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening sky, Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
Expand and shut with silent ecstacy ! Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.
Yet wert thou once a worm, a thing that crept Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept. She was all gentleness, all gaiety,
And such is man; soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day.
Written in the Highlands of Scotland—1812.
Blue was the loch, the clouds were gone,
Ben-Lomond in his glory shone, Great was the joy; but at the bridal feast,
When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze When all sat down, the bride was wanting there.
Bore me from thy silver sands, Nor was she to be found! Her father cried,
Thy kirkyard wall among the trees, « 'Tis but to make a trial of our love!'
Where, gray with age, the dial stands; And filled his glass to all; but his hand shook,
That dial so well-known to me! And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
Though many a shadow it had shed, 'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Beloved sister, since with thee Laughing and looking back, and Aying still,
The legend on the stone was read.