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A single grave !-we half forget
How sunder human ties,
A gathered kindred lies.
And watch each quiet tomb;
Solemnity, not gloom :
The place is purified with hope,
The hope that is of prayer ;
And pious faith, are there.
And many a stone appears,-
Wet with affection's tears.
The golden chord which binds us all
Is loosed, not rent in twain ;
To bring the past again.
With no remembering stone; No fellow-graves for sympathy,
"Tis utterly alone.
I do not know who sleeps beneath,
His history or name, -
He is in death the same :
The last leaf on the bough;
Is weeping for him now.
Perhaps this is too fanciful :
Though single be his sod,
The presence of his God.
But yet its kindliest, best :
It could be less represt.
Those gentler charities which draw
Man closer with his kind ;
The music which they find.
How many a pang 'twould save,
Which sanctify the grave!
The moon is sailing o'er the sky,
But lonely all, as if she pined
And felt it were in vain she shined :
Are as the court around her throne;
But what is this? she is alone.
Thy glorious royalty on high?
Thou lovely orphan of the sky.
That grows, my mother earth, on thee,
But with these better could I bear,
And be a solitary there.
Morn on the Adriatic, every wave
The morning-timeThe summer time, how beautiful they are ! A buoyant spirit fills the natural world, And sheds its influence on humanity; Man draws his breath more lightly, and forgets The weight of cares that made the night seem long. How beautiful the summer, and the morn, When opening over forest and green field, Waking the singing birds, till every leaf Vibrates with music; and the flowers unfold, Heavy and fragrant with their dewy sleep. But here they only call to life and light The far wide waste of waters, and the walls Of a proud city,—yet how beautiful ! Not the calm beauty of a woodland world, Fraught with sweet idleness and minstrel-dreams : But beauty which awakes the intellect More than the feelings ; that of power and mindMan's power, man's mind—for never city raised A prouder or a fairer brow than Venice, The daughter and the mistress of the sea.
Far spread the ocean,—but it spread to bear Her galleys o'er its depths, for war or wealth ; And raised upon foundations, which have robbed The waters of its birthright, stand her halls.
Now enter in her palaces : a world Has paid its tribute to their luxury; The harvest of the rose, on Syria's plains, Is reaped for Venice; from the Indian vales The sandal-wood is brought to burn in Venice; The ambergris that floats on eastern seas, And spice, and cinnamon, and pearls that lie Deep in the gulf of Ormus, are for Venice ; The Persian loom doth spread her silken floors; And the clear gems from far Golconda's mines Burn on the swanlike necks of her proud daughtersFor the fair wife of a Venetian noble Doth often bear upon her ivory arm The ransom of a kingdom. By the sword, Drawn by the free and fearless ; by the sail, That sweeps the sea for riches, which are power, The state of Venice is upheld : she is A Christian Tyre,-save that her sea-girt gates Do fear no enemy, and dread no fall.
Morn on the Adriatic, bright and glad ! And yet we are not joyful; there is here A stronger influence than sweet Nature's joy : The scene hath its own sorrow, and the heart Ponders the lessons of mortality Too gravely to be warmed by that delight Born of the sun, and air, and morning prime. For we forget the present as we stand So much beneath the shadow of the past : And here the past is mighty. Memory Lies heavy on the atmosphere around; There is the sea,—but where now are the ships That bore the will of Venice round the world? Where are the sails that brought home victory And wealth from other nations ? No glad prows Break up the waters into sparkling foam : I only see some sluggish fishing-boats. There are the palaces,-their marble fronts Are grey and worn; and the rich furniture Is stripped from the bare walls ; or else the moth Feeds on the velvet hangings. There they hang, The many pictures of the beautiful, The brave, the noble, who were once Venetians : But hourly doth the damp destroy their colours, And Titian's hues are faded as the face From which he painted. With a downcast brow, Drawing his dark robe round him, which no more Hides the rich silk or gems, walks the Venetian ; Proud, with a melancholy pride which dwells Only upon the glories of the dead; And humble, with a bitter consciousness Of present degradation.
These are the things that tame the pride of man; The spectral writings on the wall of time,Warnings from the Invisible, to show Man's destiny is not in his own hands. Cities and nations, each are in their turn The mighty sacrifice which Time demands, And offers up at the eternal throne,Signs of man's weakness, and man's vanity.
GEORGE CROLY was born in Ireland, towards the close of the last century. Being intended for the Church, he entered the Irish University, Trinity College, Dublin, at an early age,-obtained a scholarship, and successively proceeded to the degrees of A. B. and A.M. He was ordained by O'Beirne, Bishop of Meath-the friend of Edmund Burke-and put in charge of a parish in his diocese. His residence was favourable to the study of his profession: the village church stood on the borders of an immense lake, imbedded in mountains; and the solitude amid which the Poet thought and wrote, strengthened his mind, and prepared it to contest for eminence in the great world he was to enter. After remaining some years in this retirement, he visited London ;-it was at the animating period when England first embarked in the Spanish war. Sharing the general impulse of the time, and intending to see, in person, the land whose sudden achievements restored almost her old days of romance, he applied himself vigorously to acquire the Spanish language. On the first announcement that the Elbe was open, he went to Germany. No moment could have been more interest. ing to a British observer. The Continent had been a sealed book since the short peace of Amiens. During the interval the most singular changes had been wrought in every Continental state. The three great capitals of the Continent had been entered by the French armies. The population had been alternately broken down by military severity, and roused to resistance by foreign extortion. Men and manners had changed; half a generation had gone down into the grave ;-all was now strange, and impressed with the character of the great convulsion. Dr. Croly has given some account of this aspect of things, in a lately published volume, entitled, the “ Year of Liberation,”_ formed from his recollections of the time. He resided chiefly in Hamburgh,—the return of the French troops preventing all intercourse with the interior of Germany. Napoleon had flooded the Continent again with his conscripts, and all was confusion. In 1815, Paris was opened to the world. The lost army of France capitulated behind the Loire, and the conqueror of Waterloo replaced the old family of the French kings on the throne. The curiosity of the English led them to Paris in multitudes; and Dr. Croly remained there for some time. But his chief interest seems to have been excited by the localities and monuments of the Revolution; while the generality of the visiters occupied themselves with the later memorials of the empire which abound in Paris, and which form some of the most striking ornaments of that capital, he was engrossed by the scenes which had been distinguished in the revolutionary period and reign of terror,-the Temple, the Carmes, the site of the Bastille, the prison of the Abbaye, &c. With those impressions on his mind, on his return to England, he produced his first poem, entitled, “ Paris in 1815." It was successful, and was followed at intervals by other poems,—"The Angel of the World," a Tragedy on the subject of the Catilinarian Conspiracy,—"Gems from the Antique," &c.
Dr. Croly is, thus, a writer of tragedy and comedy ;-an almost universal Poet; a painter of rich and glowing romance; a daring interpreter of the darkest mystery of the Scriptures,—the Apocalypse of St. John ; a skilful and searching critic; and an eloquent and accomplished preacher. His poems have not obtained a popularity adequate to their merit-perhaps because he manifests but little sympathy with his kind. He is grand and gorgeous, but rarely tender and affectionate; he builds a lofty and magnificent temple, but it is too cold and stately to be a home for the heart. In several of his minor productions, he is exceedingly vigorous and animated,—and from his " Gems" may be selected some of the boldest and most striking compositions in the language.
A few years since he published his first work in prose, “ Salathiel, a story of the Past, the Present, and the Future,” founded on the legend of the “Wandering Jew."
But, as we have intimated, in subjects of this order, which are, indeed, analogous to his profession, Dr. Croly had not neglected the more direct studies of theology. He has produced several works on the chief matters of divinity; among the rest, a New Interpretation of the Apocalypse of St. John,-which has arrived at a third edition. In the year 1831, Lord Brougham, on taking the seals, gave him one of the livings in his gift as Chancellor. In 1835, Lord Lyndhurst, then Chancellor, gave him the rectory of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, which involved the surrender of his former living. A few years previously he had received from his own University, what he probably felt as scarcely a less gratifying mark of recollection, the unsolicited degree of LL.D.