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To the mossy way-side tavern
Comes the noisy throng no more,
Swings, unnoticed, at the door;
Waiting for the few who pass,
In the thickly-springing grass.
The usurper of the vale
Exultations on the gale.
But the good which thou hast done,
Shall be deathless as the sun.
Though neglected, gray, and grassy,
Still I pray that my decline
And as blest a calm as thine.
At length the long leave-taking is all o'er;
Bid adieu to the homestead, adieu to the vale,
MARGARET MILLER DAVIDSON, 1823—1838.
MARGARET MILLER DAVIDSON, the sister of Lucretia,' and quite as remarkable for precocity of intellect, was born at Plattsburg, New York, on the 26th of March, 1823. Like her sister, she was of delicate and feeble frame from her infancy, and, like her, she had an early passion for knowledge. Her mother rather restrained than incited her; but, before she could even read well, she would talk in the language of poetry,—of "the pale, cold moon," of the stars " that shone like the eyes of angels,” &c. At six years old, she was so far advanced in literature and intelligence as to be the companion of her mother when confined to her room by protracted illness. She read not only well, but elegantly: her love of reading amounted to a passion, and her intelligence surpassed belief. Strangers viewed with astonishment a child, not seven years old, reading with enthusiastic delight Thomson's “Seasons," the “ Pleasures of Hope, " Cowper's “ Task," and even Milton, and marking with taste and discrimination the passages that struck her. But the Bible was her daily study, over which she
See p. 600.
did not hurry as a task, but would spend an hour or two in commenting with her mother on the contents of the chapter she had read.
In 1833, when she was ten years old, she had a severe attack of scarlet fever, from which she recovered but slowly; and her father, thinking that the climate and situation of Saratoga would benefit her, removed thither in that year. But she showed her love for the wilder scenes of her “ Native Lake” in the following sweet verses—remarkable for one so young-op the charms of
Thy verdant banks, thy lucid stream,
In 1834, she was again seized by illness,-a liver-complaint, which üy sympathy affected her lungs, and confined her to her room for four months. On ber recovery, her genius, which had seemed to lie dormant in sickness, broke forth with a brilliancy that astonished her friends; and she poured out, in rapid succession, some of her best pieces. But her health was evidently declining. The death of a beloved brother, in 1835, affected her deeply; and, with short and transient gleams of health amid dark and dismal prospects, this amiable and gifted child slept, as she herself trusted, in the arms of her Redeemer, on the 25th of November, 1838, aged fifteen years and eight months.'
1 Read an article in the “London Quarterly Review," by the poet Southey, vol. Ixix. p. 91. In commenting upon Washington Irving's charming Memoir of this wonderful child, the “ Democratic Review" for July, 1841, thus remarks: "This is a record, by one of the finest writers of the age, of one of the most remarkable prodigies that the poetical literature of any country has produced.”
In 1833, while on a visit to New York, she expressed, in the following beautiful lines, her
YEARNINGS FOR HOME.
I would fly from the city, would fly from its care,
TO HER MOTHER.'
O mother! would the power were mine
To wake the strain thou lovest to hear,
Within thy fondly listening ear,
Athwart my brightest visions here;
The remnant of my brief career:
And fancy spreads her wings no more;
The pleasures that I prized before!
Is struggling on through doubt and strife;
The pathway to eternal life!
This was the last poem she ever wrote.
I said that Hope had pass'd from earth,
'Twas but to fold her wings in heaven,
Of sinners saved and sins forgiven:
GEORGE H. BOKER.
The following is the dedication to “Songs of Summer:”—
TO GEORGE H. BOKER. Not mine the tragic poet's art,
Anon your bitter Fool appears, His empire of the human heart:
Masking in mirth his cynic eneers;
Wo hear his bells, and smile,
But long to weep the while.
A narrower range to me belongs,
A little land of summer songs,
A realm of thought apart
From all that wrings the heart,
To win you to my small estate,
Old friend, I greet you at the gate,
And from its fairest bower
Bring you this simple flower.
RICHARD HLENRY STODDARD.
George HENRY BOKER was born in the city of Philadelphia in 1824, and was graduated at Princeton College in 1841. After travelling some time in Europe for literary improvement, he returned home “to devote a life of opulent leisure to the cultivation of letters and to the enjoyment of the liberal arts and of society.” In 1847 appeared his first publication, under the title of The Lesson of Life, and other Poems; and the next year, Calaynos, a Tragedy, which was well received. The scene is laid in Spain, and the plot is designed to illustrate the hostile feeling between the Spanish and Moorish races. His next production was Anne Boleyn, a Tragedy, which shows more maturity of thought than Calaynos, and a finer vein of poetical feeling. These were followed by The Betrothal, Francesca da Rimini, and other plays. In 1856 appeared a collection of his dramatic and miscellaneous poems, in two beautiful volumes, from the press of Ticknor & Fields.
1 “The glow of his images is chastened by a noble simplicity, keeping them within the line of human sympathy and natural expression. He has followed the masters of dramatic writing with rare judgment. He also excels many gifted