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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,
Bird of the wilderness,
Blithesome and cumberless,
Emblem of happiness !
Blessed is thy dwelling-place!
Wild is thy lay and loud,
Far in the downy cloud!
Where, on thy dewy wing,
Where art thou journeying?
O'er fell and fountain sheen,
O'er moor and mountain green,
Over the cloudlet dim,
Over the rainbow's rim,
Then when the gloaming comes,
Low in the heather blooms,
Emblem of happiness!
Bless'd is thy dwelling-place!
INTERPRETATION OF THE LARK'S SONG.
Oh, my love is bonny and mild to see,
O, my love is bonny, and young, and chaste,
O, my love is bonny: her virgin breast
. * Chaffinch.
'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
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
In some melodious plot
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,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth!
And purple-stained mouth;
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;
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards :
But here there is no light,
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
And mid-May's eldest child,
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,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
In such an ecstacy!
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 :
The same that ofttimes hath
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 !
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
In the next valley glades :
Fled is that music :-Do I wake or sleep?
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;