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HOGG.

THE POET AND HIS POETRY.

JAMES Hoog, the Ettrick Shepherd, was born on the banks of the river Ettrick, and passed his early years as a shepherd. Here among the wild mountain scenery of his native county, he partook of education from God and nature. He consulted few other books beside the volume of creation, and the book of inspiration ; from these he drew some of that “celestial fire,” which never dies, and thus became a poet. His first publication was the “ Mountain Bard,” this was followed by the “Queen's Wake,” the “Witch of Fife,” and “Queen Hynde.” He also wrote several prose works which have been favorably received by the public. There are few names of greater honor to his country; he stands next to Burns as a self educated poet, and while one is remembered the other will not be forgotten.)

EXTRACTS FROM HOGG,

THE SKY-LARK.

Bird of the wilderness,

Blithesome and cumberless,
Light be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!

Emblem of happiness !

Blessed is thy dwelling-place!
O to abide in the desert with thee!

Wild is thy lay and loud,

Far in the downy cloud!
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth,

Where, on thy dewy wing,

Where art thou journeying?
Thy lay is heaven, thy love is on earth.

O'er fell and fountain sheen,

O'er moor and mountain green,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day;

Over the cloudlet dim,

Over the rainbow's rim,
Musical cherub, hie, hie thee away.

Then when the gloaming comes,

Low in the heather blooms,
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!

Emblem of happiness!

Bless'd is thy dwelling-place!
O to abide in the desert with thee!

INTERPRETATION OF THE LARK'S SONG.

Oh, my love is bonny and mild to see,
As sweetly she sits on her dewy lea,
And turns up her cheek and clear grey eye
To list what's saying within the sky!
For she thinks my morning hymn so sweet,
Wi' the streamers of heaven aneath my feet,
Where the proud goshawk hath never won,
Between the grey cloud and the sun,-
And she thinks her love a thing of the skies,
Sent down from the holy paradise,
To sing to the world, at morn and even,
The sweet love-songs in the bowers of heaven,

O, my love is bonny, and young, and chaste,
As sweetly she sits in her mossy nest;
And she deems the birds on bush and tree
As nothing but dust and dross to me.
Though the robin warble his weasome chirl,
And the merle gar all the green wood dir),
And the storm-cock touls on his towering pine,
She trows their song's a mock to mine :
The linty's cheip a ditty tame,
And the shiltfa's * everlasting rhame;
The plover's whew a solo drear,
And the whilly-whaup's ane shame to hear ;
And whenever a lover comes in view
She covers beneath her screwn of dew.

O, my love is bonny: her virgin breast
Is sweeter to me nor the dawning east;
And well do I like, at the gloaming still,
To dreep from the lift or the lowering hill,
And press her nest as white as milk,
And her breast as soft as the downy silk.

. * Chaffinch.

KEATS.

'THE POET AND HIS POETRY.

[JOHN KEATS was of very humble origin; he however received the rudiments of a Classical Education. His poetry first appeared in the Examiner newspaper, and the author having thus identified himself with party became the victim of literary persecution, and his death which happened at an early age is attributed in part to the ungenerous way in which he was assailed. Keats was the friend of Shelley, who admired him both on account of his generous disposition and his extraordinary genius, and it is said that the latter died with a volume of Keats's poetry in his bosom. The poetry of Keats is in the strictest sense of the word beautiful, it is a perpetual feast of intellectual enjoyment to the reader, and breathes with every thing that is elevating, cheering, and heavenly.]

EXTRACTS FROM KEATS.

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,
That thou, light-winged dryad of the trees,

In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been

Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,

Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,

And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,

Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards :
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry fays;

But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown

Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet

Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves ;

And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,

The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen ; and, for many a time,

I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,

To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstacy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain

To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird !

No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown :
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;

The same that ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn ! the very word is like a bell

To toll me back from thee to my sole self !
Adieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu ! adieu ! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill side; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley glades :
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ?

Fled is that music :-Do I wake or sleep?

TO AUTUMN.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness !

Close bosom friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

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