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For ye waft me to summers of old,
Like treasures of silver and gold.” How beautiful is a field of these flowers ! Well might the poet say “ ye waft me to summers of old.” Many are the thoughts they conjure up in the mind of our boyhood's days, when we gambolled among them, and too, of the rich cream, fine cheese, and the yellow dairy butter; they look so pretty, sprinkling the pastures, and exhibiting their hues of " silver and gold” in the rays of the sun, one could fancy it a pity to disturb them, whose mute eloquence convey deep feelings to the soul ; but nature's fairest flowers must die. In all ages have the simple wild-flowers been made the representatives of innocence and of purity; as children, many times we have plucked the buttercup and held it to each other's face to prove who was the fondest of butter by the deepness of the colour represented under the chin. How many are there who sigh for summer, to look upon the green trees, the mossy banks of rivers, the valleys waving with flowers, the rich clover-fields, whose sweet fragrance is wafted along by the lazy breeze ; to watch the bee and the butterfly at their feet, and listen to the melody of the lark-companion of the sun, just risen heavenwards,carolling forth his minstrel song, until lost amid the silvery tipped clouds.
“ Hail, bird of melody! Heaven is thy home!
And lures to the woodland the poet and maid." Now nearing earth, like quivering aspen leaves, fluttering just the tip of his wings; and at length, as if singing to amuse himself only, and feeling annoyed that his amusement should be broken in upon by strangers,
“He shuts close his pinions to his breast"
And dropping like a stone from a sling, conceales his little body amid the fragrant clover we have just be admiring,
Lute of the sky! farewell, till I again
Above the curling of my smoky home.
G. K. M.
KING CHARLES THE FIRST!.
To the Editor.
WHATEVER may be the religion or politics of the reader of Mr. Gurney's work, he must, if an honest man, say with the Chartist “ Labourer," that it is “magnificent as a poem.” Mr. Gurney has shown in this piece that if as a poet and a dramatist he falls considerably short of Schiller, and, in saying this, one must make due allowance for the inferiority of the language in which he writes, and his strict adherence to history; he equals him in knowledge of the world, and surpasses him in the study of the human heart. Compare, for instance, the powerful exposure which the German poet makes of the workings of self-accusation in the bosom of Elizabeth, whom he supposes to have no principle whatever, with the distinctions taken by Mr. Gurney between the sound of “ the still small voice” in Cromwell's breast, and the sophistries suggested by his passions, and evidently prompted by a seducing spirit. After Cromwell's wife and children have vainly besought him for the king's life, and left him alone, he exclaims
A Dramatic Poem, in Five Acts; by Archer Gurney, (now the Reverend Archer Gurney,) Curate of St. Mary's, Exeter. Pickering: London.
“ The world
Act V. Scene 1. The moral precepts, too, are most beautifully and justly expressed. Thus Hyde, arguing with the time-serving policy of Falkland and Godolphin, who quote public opinion against Strafford, says
“ Can a thousand voices change
Falkland then urges the imminent danger of the king, the queen, and the constitution itself, which will be incurred by resistance; but he is at once cut short. Hyde.
"No! Our slavish fears create the dangers, Falkland, From which those fears would fly."
The following is a bitter cut at our modern school of politicians.
HYDE.—" Ay, when the sole defences of the state
Crumble away as ye do, then concession-
Where now is the sovereign who abandoned the hereditar peerage, and the rights of the Church to please his suzerait the mob of Paris ?
“ There is no bigotry," says the English Churchman, great as that of men calling themselves “ liberal,” And thi Mr. Gurney has ably shown.
6. You think In
your most inmost heart Earl Strafford traitor.
Seek not from your King What would disgrace his meanest lowest subject.” The scenes between Charles and Henrietta, and his inter view with Pym, are ably drawn. Those between Charles and Strafford, whom he visits in prison, and between the King
under sentence, and his four faithful peers, who come to bid a long farewell to their Sovereign, are very touching. The battle scene is spirited, and the character of the Martyr is beautifully kept up throughout. The loyalty of Richmond, who sets the mob of disaffected lords at defiance, is admirable; while with bitter sarcasm, he moves that the House do proceed to examine the charge of high treason against Lord Digby, for driving in a coach and six !
The excesses of the cavaliers are not spared, while allowance is made for the Puritans; though, I think Mr. Gurney might have found some honest men amongst them. Perhaps Hollis is meant as such, but he is not sufficiently prominent to serve the purpose. I am unwilling to take such a dark view of Hampden as Mr. Gurney, who paints him in the blackest colours. He should remember, that even were it granted (what I should be very sorry to yield to him) that ship-money was a lawful tax, there were so many laws at that time so utterly repugnant to Christianity, and subversive of liberty, that a man might, with the best intentions; if misguided by education or prejudice, strike at some things which were right in getting rid of those which were wrong.
In defending King Charles, too, he entirely passes over the whippings and ear-clippings of Nonconformists; the various oppressions in the Star Chamber; his marriage with a Romanist, which entailed the apostacy of his children, and frequently, against his will, influenced his counsels; his in difference to the aggressions of the House of Austria against the liberties of Europe and the Protestant faith, and his actually sending a fleet (as appears from Mr. Hume) against the Huguenots at La Rochelle, when to the eternal honor of the British Navy 'only a single gunner was found base enough to obey the royal command. His attack on Lord Ashley too, seems rather uncalled for; but it was made at a moment when party-spirit aroused against him the condemnation of many