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rhyme, have disappeared from our poetry, and how our blank verse in the hands of the most popular writers has dropped its stiff Latinisms and all the awkward distortions resorted to by those who thought that by putting a sentence out of its proper shape they were writing like Milton.
I have now brought this brief survey of the progress of our poetry down to the present time, and refer the reader, for samples of it in the different stages of its existence, to those which are set before him in this volume.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
The very tones in which we spake
had somothing strange I could but mark,
blemy W. Longfellow
State Slouggling tiled of difertat Vem
es warwará ainlesí coarte to tend Arv eddies of the roughly elecom Tratsales to te'appoiuled lud
Pilliam Cellen Bryanto
POEMS OF CHILDHOOD.
PHILIP, MY KING.
What is the little one thinking about ?
Very wonderful things, no doubt ;
Unwritten history !
Unfathomed mystery !
Yet he chuckles, and crows, and nods, and winks, Of babyhood's royal dignities.
As if his head were as full of kinks Lay on my neck thy tiny hand
And curious riddles as any sphinx ! With Love's invisible sceptre laden ;
Warped by colic, and wet by tears, I am thine Esther, to command
Punctured by pins, and tortured by fears, Till thou shalt find thy queen-handmaiden, Our little nephew will lose two years ; Philip, my king!
And he'll never know
Where the summers go ; 0, the day when thou goest a-wooing,
He need not laugh, for he 'll find it so.
Who can tell what a baby thinks?
Who can follow the gossamer links Thou dost enter, love-crowned, and there
By which the manikin feels his way Sittest love-glorified ! — Rule kindly,
Out from the shore of the great unknown,
Blind, and wailing, and alone,
Out from the shore of the unknown sea,
Tossing in pitiful agony;
Of the unknown sea that reels and rolls,
Specked with the barks of little souls,
Barks that were launched on the other side, May rise like a giant, and make men bow And slipped from heaven on an ebbing tide! As to one Heaven-chosen amongst his peers.
What does he think of his mother's eyes ? My Saul, than thy brethren higher and fairer, What does he think of his mother's hair ? Let me behold thee in future years!
What of the cradle-roof, that flies
Forward and backward through the air ?
What does he think of his mother's breast,
Bare and beautiful, smooth and white,
Seeking it ever with fresh delight,
Cup of his life, and couch of his rest ?
What does he think when her quick embrace Thorny, and cruel, and cold, and gray ;
Presses his hand and buries his face Rebels within thee and foes without
Deep where the heart-throbs sink and swell, Will snatch at thy crown. But march on, / With a tenderness she can never tell, glorious,
Though she murmur the words Martyr, yet monarch ! till angels shout,
Of all the birds, –
Now he thinks he 'll go to sleep!