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HAGAR IN THE WILDERNESS.
The morning broke. Light stole upon the clouds
All things are dark to sorrow; and the light,
How cruelly it tries a broken heart
To see a mirth in any thing it loves.
She stood at ABRAHAM's tent. Her lips were press'd
of fine qualities. He possesses an understanding quick, acute, distinguishing even in excess; enriched by culture, and liberalized and illuminated by much observation. He commands all the resources of passion, at the same time that he is master of the effects of manner. The suggestions of an animated sense are harmonized by feeling, and are adorned by a finished wit. His taste is nice, but it is not narrow or bigoted, and his sympathies with his reader are intimate and true. His works exhibit a profusion of pointed and just comment on society and life; they sparkle with delicate and easy humor; they display a prodigality of fancy, and are fragrant with all the floral charm of sentiment. He possesses surprising saliency of mind, which in his hasty effusions often fatigues, but in his matured compositions is controlled to the just repose of art. But distinct from each of these, and sovereign over them all, is the vivifying and directing energy of a fine poetical talent,--that prophetic faculty in man whose effects are as vast as its processes are mysterious; whose action is a moral enchantment that all feel, but none can fathom. This influence it is which, entering into and impregnating all his other faculties, gives force to some, elevation to others, and grace and interest to them all."-Literary Criticisms, by Horace Binney Wallace.
Read a good review of Willis's writings-prose and poetry-in the "North American Review," xliii. 384, in which he is ably defended from the attack in the fifty-fourth volume of the "London Quarterly." This paper was written by Lockhart, who, in condemning Willis for his personalities in his Pencillings by the Way, forgot that he himself was far more open to the same charge in his "Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk," in which he makes very free with the society at Edinburgh.
Into his mother's face until he caught
The spirit there, and his young heart was swelling
Why bends the patriarch as he cometh now
Oh! man may bear with suffering: his heart
He gave to her the water and the bread,
Should HAGAR weep? May slighted woman turn, And, as a vine the oak hath shaken off, Bend lightly to her leaning trust again? Oh, no! by all her loveliness,-by all That makes life poetry and beauty, no! Make her a slave; steal from her cheek the rose, By needless jealousies; let the last star Leave her a watcher by your couch of pain; Wrong her by petulance, suspicion, all That makes her cup a bitterness, yet give One evidence of love, and earth has not An emblem of devotedness like hers.
But oh! estrange her once,-it boots not how,-
A change has come upon your tenderness,-
She went her way with a strong step and slow,— Her press'd lip arch'd, and her clear eye undimm'd, As it had been a diamond, and her form
Borne proudly up, as if her heart breathed through.
The morning pass'd, and Asia's sun rode up In the clear heaven, and every beam was heat.
The cattle of the hills were in the shade,
She kept her weary way, until the boy
Ghastly and faint, as if he would have died.
And, shrouding up her face, she went away,
Till he should die; and, watching him, she mourn'd:—
"God stay thee in thine agony, my boy:
I cannot see thee die; I cannot brook
And could I see thee die?
"I did not dream of this when thou wast straying,
By the rich gush of water-sources playing,
"Oh, no! and when I watch'd by thee the while,
"And now the grave for its cold breast hath won thee!
She stood beside the well her God had given
I am willing to die when my time shall come,
For the world at best is a weary place,
But the grave is dark, and the heart will fail
And it wiles my heart from its dreariness
Love knoweth every form of air,
Like thought's mysterious birth. The moonlit sea and the sunset sky
Are written with Love's words, And you hear his voice unceasingly, Like song, in the time of birds.
He peeps into the warrior's heart
From the tip of a stooping plume,
And the serried spears, and the many men,
May not deny him room.
He'll come to his tent in the weary night,
And he'll float to his eye in the morning light,
He hears the sound of the hunter's gun,
And sighs in his ear like a stirring leaf,
The shade of the wood, and the sheen of the river,
He will haunt them all with his subtle quiver,
The fisher hangs over the leaning boat,
For Love is under the surface hid,
And a spell of thought has he:
Till the bait is gone from the crafty line,
He blurs the print of the scholar's book,
In the darkest night, and the bright daylight,
In every home of human thought,
REVERIE AT GLENMARY.
I have enough, O God! My heart to-night
Rich, though poor!
Thou, who look'st Upon my brimming heart this tranquil eve,