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From the Reader.
So to the heart that knows thy love, O Purest, RECENT POETRY, AMERICAN AND ENG
There is a temple, sacred evermore,
And all the babble of life's angry voices
Dies in hushed stillness at its peaceful door." Lyra Americana: Hymns of Praise and
Faith from American Poets. (The Reli- Far, far away, the roar of passion dieth, gious Tract Society.)
And loving thoughts rise calm and peacefully, Versions and Verses. By Charles Dexter. And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er he flieth,
Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord, in thee. (Cambridge, Massachusetts : Sever & Francis)
0, rest of rests! 0, peace serene, eternal ! Claudia. By Mrs. Frederic Prideaux.
Thou ever livest; and thou changest never, (Smith, Elder, & Co.)
And in the secret of thy presence dwelleth Village Bells, Lady Gwendoline, and other Fulness of joy - for ever and for ever. Poems. By John Brent, Jun., F. S. A., Author of “Battle Cross,” “ Canterbury The following poem is more vigorous in exin the Olden Time,” &c. (Hamilton, pression, but lacks the rhythmical sweetness Adams, & Co.; Canterbury: Hal. Drury.) characteristic of Mrs. Stowe's versification.
It is by Bishop Doane: IF America can claim no great poem,
she possesses the materials for a most respectable Fling out the Banner ! let it float anthology. In sweet and unpretending The sun, that lights its shining folds,
Sky-ward and sea ward, high and wide ; lyrics her literature is singularly. rich, and The Cross, on which the Saviour died. the religious verse she has given us during the few years of her activity may rank with Fling out the Banner ! Angels bend, that which England has produced during a In anxious silence, o'er the sign; corresponding period. Reading the “Lyra And vainly seek to comprehend Americana we are struck with the very
The wonder of the love divine. small portion of its contents, amounting to less than one-fifth of the whole, which is Fling out the Banner! Heathen lands contributed by the few American poets who
from far, the glorious sight, have made themselves a name in England.
And nations, crowding to be born, Mrs. Sigourney is most adequately represent
Baptize their spirits in its light. ed, eight of her poems being given. Long- Fling out the Banner! Sin-sick souls, fellow and Lowell contribute each three
That sink and perish in the strife, poems, and W. C. Bryant and Mrs. Stowe Shall touch in faith its radiant hem, four. Whittier is responsible for five, and And spring immortal into life. Oliver Wendell Holmes for one only. The rest of the volume is due to authors whose Fling out the Banner! Let it float names, at least, as poets are unfamiliar to us, Sky.ward and sea-ward, high and wide ; but
many of whom are gifted with consider-Our glory, only in the Cross; able powers. The versification is as a rule Our only hope the Crucified. correct, and some force of poetic expresof the more obscure contributors are J. W. Nor skill, nor might, nor merit ours ; sion is at times discernible. Among the best Fling out the Banner ! Wide and high,
Sea-ward and sky-ward, let it shine: Alexander, W. H. Burleigh, Sarah F.
We conquer only in that sign. Adams, and Jones Very. The “ Nearer my God, to thee” of Miss Adams is already The volume is a pleasant addition to our popular in this country, though we were stores of devotional verse. It is elegantly unaware of the name of its author. The printed and bound. A short preface gives following, by Mrs. Stowe, is very happy in a glance at the growth and establishment of expression, and may be deemed fairly repre- religious poetry in America. sentative of what is best in the volume :- With the modest title of “ Versions and When winds are raging o'er the apper ocean,
Verses" Mr. Dexter puts forth a volume of And billows wild contend with angry roar,
poetry of much more than average merit. 'Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion, The principal portion of its contents conThat peaceful stillness reigneth evermore.
sists of translations from the German lyrical
poets. A few original poems at the end are Far, far beneath, the noise of tempest dieth,
chiefly on subjects connected with angling. And silver waves chime ever peacefully,
In no branch is our literature so deficient And no rudo storm, how fierce soe'er he flieth,
as in that which Mr. Dexter has cultivated. Disturbs the Sabbath of that deeper sea.
We have no instance we can deem success
ful of translations into English of the lyric- They would cheer my misery lonely, al treasures of another language. Here With their notes so tuneful and glad. and there we meet with a single poem rendered with spirit and fidelity — witness one If the golden stars high o'er ug or two versions from Goethe by Scott or But knew of my bitter woc, Theodore Martin, and a few translations They would speak words of comfort in from Heine by Mr. George Macdonald;
chorus, but all attempts at a series of translation
Descending hither below. must be deemed failures, and the volumes of Bulwer, Martin, and Aytoun are no ex
Not one of these can allay it,
One only knows of my smart; ception to the rule. The attributes of the
'Tis she, I grieve to say it, versions of Mr. Dexter which particularly Who thus hath wounded my heart. arrest the attention are ease and delicacy. They have this excellent quality: they read In these two renderings the merit of poetry like original poems, and not like transla- is on the side of Mr. Dexter, but that of tions. We cannot affirm that Mr. Dexter fidelity must be ascribed to his predecessor. has not been successful in his effort, but he Turning to the original, we find the first has failed only where failure seems inevita- stanza, literally translated, runs as follows: ble. He can reproduce in English all ex-* And if the flowers, the good little flowers, cept what is most precious in the lyrics he knew how deeply my heart is wounded, translates. Metre, music, humour, pathos, they would shed in my wound the balm of are all preserved, but the subtle and poeti- their perfumes.” In both versions the beauty cal spirit escapes. To take his versions of of the idea is lost. In that of Mr. Dexter Heine. By the side of the only existing it is not easy to see how the flowers weeptranslations of the collected poems,* Mr. ing would impart comfort; and in the other, Dexter's verses show to great advantage, the “ tears falling to cure the smart” is and it needs a reference to the original to weak, expressionless, and commonplace. see that what is most characteristic, weird, Similarly, in the third stanza, Mr. Dexter or fanciful in Heine's profoundly original misses the point in Heine, which is, if the poetry has evaporated :
stars (“golden,” and not “meek-eyed ”)
knew of the bitterness of his grief, they Knew the tender'ittle flowers Of the wound deep in my heart,
would quit their places in heaven to come They would weep within their bowers,
and minister comfort to him. In other atAud a comfort would impart.
tempts to render Heine in English the same
imperfectness is noticeable. The translaCould the nightingales imagine
tions from A. Grün and from Ubland are Half my sorrow, grief, and wrong, the best, and those from Bürger the least They wou d softly, sweetly warble successful. Occasionally exceeding ineleIn a more melodious song.
gant and incorrect words are introduced for
the sake of forcing a rhyme. Witness the Knew the meek-eyed stars in heaven
first stanza of Bürger's " Leonore :
At dawn Lenore rose from bed,
From horrid dream awakened
“ Art faithless, Wilhelm, or art dead, Ah! but these — they cannot know it!
Thus long am I forsakened ?"
The “ Claudia” of Mrs. Prideaux is a The version contained in the English trans- son, the flow of whose verse is very cleverly
long poem, written in imitation of Tenny. lation referred to above runs as follows:
mimicked. Deficiency of imagination and 0, if the tiny flowers
originality is fatal to this work, which yet But knew of my wounded heart, possesses some of the attributes of poetry. Their tears, like mine, in showers
If Mrs. Prideaux had the poetic invention Would fall, to cure the smart.
of which she is entirely destitute, she
would have no difficulty in finding approIf knew the nightingales only
priate language in which to clothe it. That I'm so mournful and sad,
Village Bells and other Poems" is a
volume of verse which is so good as to ** The Poems of Heine; Complete, Translated make us regret it is not better. There in the Original Mitres." By Edgar Alfred Bow. ring. (Bolin's Standard Library.)
is thought in the poems, as well as power.
From The Examiner,
A GREAT change has certainly come over cana in Tue Reader for Oct. 21, the the political habits of Napoleon the Third. name of Sırah F. Adams is given among Some years back he evinced great eagerthe contributors to that volume, and the re- ness to meet his brother sovereigns. He viewer adds: “ The . Nearer, my God, to besought personal interviews, and went out Thee' of Miss Adams is already popular in of his way to find them. He was fond of this country, though we were unaware of congresses, conventions, diplomatic meetthe name of its author.” Permit me, as aings, wbich used to set the world a talking. friend of the late Surah Flower Adams, to The Emperor seems by this time to have explain who she really was. Although she become blasé. He no longer seems to think bad American relations, she was herself an that there is anything either to learn or to English woman, and, so far as I know, she enjoy in personal converse with his brother never visited America in her life. She was sovereigns. He no longer seeks their conthe younger daughter of Mr. Benjamin cert, or cares for their visits. He goes to Flower, of Harlow, in Essex, the editor of the Arenenberg, and whilst they are not far off Cumbridge Intelligencer, a man well known at Gastein disposing of provinces and emin the days of Hırdy and Horne Tooke for pires, Napoleon is lost in forming reminishis sturdy r«publicanism. She was married cences, and in the enjoyment of sentiment to Mr. W. Bridges Adams in 1834, and and solitude. died in 1848. Her hymn, “ Nearer, my It may be that he has seen and judged God, to Thee,” was one of twelve which his brother sovereigns, and does not require she contributed to the collection of Hymns to know any more about them. It is reportand Ant ens” published in 1842 by C. Fox ed that the other day, at Biarritz, where (67 Paternoster Row), and edited by the von Bismark had gone for the purpose of late W.J. Fox, for the use of the congrega- either conciliating or tempting Napoleon the tion of South Place Chapel, Moorfields. Third, Napoleon observed that he thought She also wrote several tales and poems the King of Prussia was far too young for (signed - S. Y.”) in the Monthly Repository, him. during the years 1833–36; and, sowe year In a word, the prosperous Emperor has later, she contributed occasional poetiral turned philosopher, and clearly expatiates notices and criticisms to the Westminster on the vanity of human wishes. He has Review. I remember one of these, on The gained a brilliant throne, sublued, as AlexPoems of Elizabeth Barrett,” which was ander did Bucephalus, a most spirited peosigned “S. F. A.," and which must have ple, by turning their regard from the sun to appeared about 1844 or 1845. But her the shade. He has been a conqueror in the greatest literary effort was a dramatic poem, field, nay, in the classic fields of Lombardy, called “ Vivia Perpetua,” founded on the and has written a book, which nobody feels martyrdom of St. Perpetua. (This was bold enough to censure. He has had, in published in 1841, by C. Fox.) It mani- fact, prosperity enough to disenchant any fests all the religious fervour of her hymns, one. And his aim seems to be repose. His with the addition of dramatic genius and an policy is certainly a serious effort to withintellectual power rarely to be found in fe. draw from vast enterprises and perilous po
sitions, to evacuate Rome, and leave Mexico Nearly all Mrs. Allams's lyrics (including to itself. What the Emperor strives is, as " Nearer, my God, to Thee") have been set the French say, de tirer son épingle du jeu, to music by her sister, the laté Eliza Flower, to quit the great political gaming table, and in her“ Songs of the Seasons," " Songs of no longer throw dice for crowns and provinthe Months," Hymns and Anthems,” &c., ces. &c. It may be worth wlule to correct an- Such at least is the appearance, with the other misapprehension which I have some- language. Is it time, is it time? We will times encountered, and which has arisen not swear that it is, nor undertake to say very naturally from the coincidence of that it is not. The Emperor does not de
I will therefore add that those two -pair, indeed, of getting the frontier of the sisters were not the Eliza and Sarah Flow- Rhine as far as Mayence. But his policy is er•so well known as English vocalists, some to get it without war. Prussia, which has years ago. -Yours respectfully,
swallowed Slesvig, could certainly not say Sophia Dobson Collet. him way. Austria has always shown itself London, October 23, 1865.
reckless about traps-Rhenish provinces.
England, who opposed only in word the We do not know what either the writer transference of Savoy and of Slesvig, would or the subjects of this volume would say to not go to war for the Bavarian Palatinate. our confession that, before we opened it, Even that, however, could only be annexed we set it down as a novel. “ The Fells of to France at the moment of a break up and Swarthmoor Hall” — the only portion of a war in Germany: That this is on the the above long title-page which appears cards, who can doubt ? Everything there outside — had a romantic sound about it. looks Nke the prelude to a scramble. A The Fells” might either be rocks or men, morsel having tallen, Austria and Prussia but in either case our carnal mind looked struggled for it, and Prussia carried it off, for a story: On opening the volume we Austria being determined to be more alert saw our mistake. The Fells are a family the next time. A short time must elapse in of that name, and Swarthmoor Hall is no tha tesselated country before new frag. creation of romance, but a genuine English ments will fall out of that shaky old fabric, manor-house, in which the Fells dwelt. It the Confederation. The scramble will be- is situated in the district of Furness, that gin again, and France may then condescend detached part of Lancashire which looks as to pick up the prize on which she has long if it ought naturally to belong to Cumberfixed her regards.
land. Swarthmoor had been part of the It is thus we would interpret the conver- possessions of Furness Abbey, but in the sation which has just taken place between middle of the seventeenth century belonged the Prussian Minister and the French Em- to Thomas Fell, called Judge Fell. His peror at Biarritz.. France and England principal judicial office (for be held several) made their respective observations on the was that of one of the Judges of North appropriation of Slesvig in identical lan- Wales and Chester. He married Margaret guage, which plainly impugns the right of Askew, described as a descendant of Anne Prussia to keep that province. Bismark Askew the martyr. Margaret became a does not come to England to expostulate. Quaker, and, after her husband's death, she It would be idle. But he goes to France, married George Fox, the apostle of her sect. and can have said, “ You have taken Savoy, The history of the Fell family thus becomes why sbould we not take Slesvig ?” It closely connected, or rather identical, with would be easy to point out the difference the early history of the Society of Friends. between the two cases. But if such prece- To members of that Society the book must dents are to be quoted, where is the security have all the charm of a martyrology. To for any possession in Europe? The entire the ordinary reader it is apt to get weariof it is at the mercy of the strong. Where some in parts, for of course no special interfore it is the interest of dynasties at the est is felt in the Fells as Fells, but only so present moment to base their tenure of pow- far as their doings and sufferings throw any er and lands, if not on hereditary property, light on the history of the time. To the auat least on the choice of the people. Other- thor the book is in every way creditable. wise there is a double door open for destruc- She naturally writes as a partisan, and is tion, that of military enterprise and that of anxious to make the best case she can for her popular insurrection. To obviate one or own people. But she never falls into the the other is not always possible. For ar- least degree of cant or extravagance. mies levied from the people partake in some Dealing, as she does, with the saints and measure of the people's feelings, and the heroes of her own persuasion, she has the multitude of soldiers may one day be found good sense to keep her admiration within to be nothing but an armed democracy. the bounds of discretion. Impartiality we The King of Prussia may have no idea of do not look for in such a case, but it is this. Napoleon the Third must be fully something to find a book on such a subject aware of it.
which never becomes silly or offensive. It would be well if ecclesiastical biography had always been written in as rational and
moderate a style. From the Saturday Review,
Two or three recent books have called some THE EARLY QUAKERS. *
degree of attention to the present state of
“people called Quakers." It is not long since * The Fells of Svar/hmoor Hall and their a prize was offered, we forget by whom, for Friends, with an Account of their Ancestor, Anne Askew the Martyr. A Portraiture of Religt the best essay on the causes of their religious and Family Life in the Seventeenth Century, ous decay. The Society then, we suppose, compiled chietly from Original Letters and other is, by the admission of its own most zealous Documents, bever before published. By Maria Webb. London: A. W. Bennett. 1805.
members, confessedly failen fiom its first
love. Such a fall is not to be wondered at. she had reached the age of fifty-five. The Quakerism, as a theological system, consists elder and the younger Barclay, the soldier mainly in the refusal to conform to certain and the scholar, were proselytes still more practices which other sects of Christians look honourable, and the fame of 'William Penn on as always innocent, and in some cases is known to all men.
A system which such obligatory. The Quaker sees deadly sins people adopted could not have been so in various legal and social usages which do irrational as it looks to us at first sight. To not trouble the conscience of anybody else. be sure, as Lord Macaulay says, Fox prophHe objects to all religious ceremonies, even esied nonsense, and Barclay translated it to those two Sacraments which Christians of into sense; but there must have been someall other ways of thinking hold to be of di- thing more than one sees at first to make vine appointment. But the very denial of such a man as Barclay undertake such an ceremony has itself become ceremonial. Office. Were men so utterly sick of the Other people take off their hats and say disputes of Popes, Bishops, and Presbyters,
you," as a matter of course, without think- of controversies about transubstantiation ing about it, and without any consciousness and consubstantiation, that they were ready, that they are performing a ceremony. The to seek refuge in a system which relieved Quaker, who makes a conscience of wearing them from such questions even at the cost of his hat and saying “thou,” is the real cere- giving up all priesthood and all sacraments mony-monger. If it really be true that a whatsoever?' However this be, we have Quaker and his wife, when at a distance the fact that Quakerism, a system now purefrom any other of the faithful, hold a re- ly stagnant, did then make many proselytes, ligious meeting by sitting for a while in and many of them proselytes of whom no their own dining-rooin, hatted, bounetted, religious communion need be ashamed. But and silent, we can only say that such a this proselytizing spirit made a wide difsystem does, in point of attachment to cere- ference between Quakers then and Quakers mony, fairly, beat anything devised by now. The Quakers now are the most monks, Pharisees, or Brahmins. Quaker- harmless of sects. Their peculiarites hurt ism, no doubt, in its first estate, had other nobody, and they are now so familiar that elements in it besides these negative ones. we hardly laugh at them. They are the But these negative usages are what most last sect whom anybody would wish to perforcibly strike the outsider, and it is hardly secute.
When Mr. Froude bas at last possible but that the ordinary Quaker must, made up bis mind who are the right people
say the least, lie under a great temptation burn, we feel sure that the inoffensive to prefer them to the weightier matters of wearers of broad brims and close bonnets the Law. A system of which doctrines of will still be quite safe. The law has long this kind form, at all events, a prominent looked on them with special tenderness, portion, is apt, when it becomes at all dead, and has rewarded their inflexible obstinacy to become very dead indeed.
with exceptional privileges. But proseThe early Quakers were no doubt widely lytizing Quakers must have been quite andifferent, and that their system had some other sort of people. They were essentially thing attractive about it is plain from the men who turned the world upside down. fact that they made proselytes in abun- Papists and Protestants, Churchmen and dance. Nowadays we hear of people turn- Dissenters, chose to break one another's ing Quakers about as often as we hear of heads about their several dogmas, but there their turning Jews. Indeed, we are not was nothing that really need have hindered sure whether modern Quakerism has so them from joining together in the ordinary much as a solitary Lord George Gordon to business and intercourse of life. But the boast of. It was very different in the seven- Quaker was like an early Christian among teenth century. Mad as George Fox seems a nation of worshippers of Jupiter. Every to us, mad as he probably was, his teaching action, every word, of daily life, public or was acepted by people who certainly were private, contained something to offend him. not mad. It was accepted by several | A man who went over to such a sect cat clergymen, both Episcopal and Presbyte- himself off from the rest of mankind far rian, who gave up their preferments to em- more completely than if he simply went brace a system which knocked every sort of wrong about Justification by Faith or the priestly privilege on the head. It was ac- jurisdiction of Bishops. And, in those days, cepted by men and women of good position i he Quakers made it their duty not only to and of otherwise rational behaviour. Mar- abstain from what they thought wrong, but garet Fell herself gives no sign of lunacy, to protest against those who thought otherunless it be in marrying her prophet when I wise. In such a record as the one before us,