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“Would she were mine, and I to-day, Like her, a harvester of hay;
“No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs, Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,
“But the low of cattle and song of birds, And health and quiet and loving words.”
But he thought of his sister, proud and cold, And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.
So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
And the young girl mused beside the well,
He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow, He watched a picture come and go;
And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms, To dream of meadows and clover blooms.
And the proud man sighed with a secret pain “Ah, that I were free again!
“Free as when I rode that day, Where the barefoot maiden raked the hay!"
She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
But care and sorrow, and child-birth pain,
And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
And she heard the little spring-brook fall
In the shade of the apple-tree again
And, gazing down with a timid grace,
Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
A manly form at her side she saw,
Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
Ah! well for us all, some sweet hope lies
And, in the hereafter, angels may
The clear, bright morning, the burning noon, the still, calm evening, the rocky mountains of New England, the broad prairies of the west, and the gorgeous scenery of the south, have each and all been the theme of his song. There is a quiet beauty, a half-sad gentleness in many of his poems, which contrasts strangely with the fiery eloquence which characterizes others. No American poet has, in our opinion, equaled Whittier in all that is intensely passionate, impetuous and warlike, and there are few that equal him in the pathetic and the beautiful. His sarcasm is terribly keen-as a sample of this, we refer the reader to his poem upon the publisher of a popular magazine, who took such exceeding pains to let the south know that he employed no anti-slavery writers upon his namby-pamby monthly. One of the most memorable of his poems, is that upon Daniel Webster. It is like the wildly solemn wind in late autumn, moaning through the pines over the desolateness of Nature. No ordinary poet could write a poem, meet even for the fall of such a great man as Webster-but “Ichabod” is a poem which, in grandeur, is fit to commemorate the downfall of such a collossal man! But we will not attempt a
criticism upon Whittier—we have intended only to point out what are to us some of his most striking characteristics, illustrating these by a few specimens of his reform-poetry. We know of no man more worthy of the name Agitator than he, and few there are living in the world, more sure to live in the hearts of future generations.
H ORACE BUSHNELL, D. D.
It is our intention in these sketches of modern agitators, not to be confined to one class of reformers. We shall endeavor to draw the portraits of agitators in church as well as in state ; of some of those noble men who have battled manfully the slavery of: intemperance, as well as of the agitators against negro;slavery. But we have been struck with surprise to find that the modern agitator is usually an advocate of all the just reforms of the day. It is very difficult to find a man of original and reformatory ideas in the church, who is an opponent of the cause of temperance, or who withholds his sympathy from the friends of freedom. The leading enemies of rum are generally friendly to the cause of the slave, and the antislavery men of the land are almost unanimously devoted temperance advocates.
The reader will perhaps naturally suppose that when we placed Dr. Bushnell's name at the head of this article, we had in mind the theological agitation caused throughout the country, and especially in Connecticut, by his somewhat celebrated volume, entitled, “ God in Christ.” Such was not the case. As