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"For pleasure hath not ceased to wait

On these expected annual rounds;
Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate

Call forth the unelaborate sounds,
Or they are offer'd at the door
That guards the lowliest of the poor.
“ How touching, when, at midnight, sweep

Snow-muffled winds, and all is dark,
To hear—and sink again to sleep!

Or, at an earlier call, to mark,
By blazing fire, the still suspense
Of self-complacent innocence.
" The mutual nod,—the grave disguise

Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er ;
And some unbidden tears that rise

For names once heard, and heard no more ; Tears brighten'd by the serenade For infant in the cradle laid. "Ah! not for emerald fields alone,

With ambient streams more pure and bright Than fabled Cytherea's zone

Glittering before the Thunderer's sight, Is to my heart of hearts endear'd The ground where we were born and rear'd ! “ Hail, ancient Manners! sure defense,

Where they survive, of wholesome laws; Remnants of love whose modest sense

Thus into narrow room withdraws; Hail, Usages of pristine mold, And ye that guard them, Mountains old ! * Bear with me, Brother ! quench the thought

That slights this passion, or condemns ;
If thee fond Fancy ever brought

From the proud margin of the Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,
To humbler streams and greener bowers.

“Yes, they can make, who fail to find,

Short leisure even in busiest days; Moments, to cast a look behind,

And profit by those kindly rays That through the clouds do sometimes steal, And all the far-off past reveal. “ Hence, while the imperial City's din

Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,
A pleased attention I may win

To agitations less severe,
That neither overwhelm nor cloy,
But fill the hollow vale with joy !"

Here is a good old homely contrast to this splendid picture—from “Poor Robin's Almanac,” 1700 :"Now that the time is come wherein

Our Saviour Christ was born, The larders full of beef and pork,

And garners fill'd with corn;

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“HEAP on more wood; the wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will We'll keep our Christmas merry still.


And well our Christian sires of old
Loved, when the year its course had rollid,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all his hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honor to the holy night:
On Christmas-eve the bells were rung,
On Christmas-eve the mass was sung.
That only night in all the year
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn'd her kirtle sheen ;
The hall was dress'd with holly green;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go
To gather in the mistletoe.
Then open'd wide the baron's hall
To vassal, tenant, serf, and all ;
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And Ceremony doff"d his pride;
The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village-partner choose:
The lord, underogating, share
The vulgar game of " post and pair.”
All hail'd, with uncontroll'd delight
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.
The fire, with well-dried logs supplied,
Went roaring up the chimney wide ;
The huge hall-table's oaken face,
Scrubb'd till it shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon its massive board
No mark to part the squire and lord.
Then was brought in the lusty brawn,
By old blue-coated serving man;
Then the grim boar's-head frown'd on

Crested with bays and rosemary.

Well can the green-garb'd ranger tell How, when, and where the monster fell;

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MERICA as yet has produced nothing more than ten or twelve years ago—N. P.

cal or humorous poetry, though we have had satirists, made a failure with Lady Jane, no lack of it, such as it is. For the last an unfinished satire in the style of Don seventy or eighty years our bards have Juan. pertinaciously tried to be funny, but have Besides these, our principal writers in only succeeded in making the critics so, this line, Lowell, Benjamin, and Saxe at their expense.

have written and published satirical poems In the year 1772, or thereabouts, John of various degrees of excellence. But not Trumbull, one of our pioneer poetasters, till we come to Oliver Wendell Holmes published a satire entitled The Progress do we find much humorous poetry really of Dullness, (it did not belie its title,) and worthy of the name, or anything more than another entitled M'Fingal. The first was a local or temporary reputation. In written to advance the cause of Education, Holmes we recognize, we think, a genuine (we sincerely hope it effected its object ;) and original humorist-one whose works and the last that of Liberty, which was then are destined to live after him. At any in a doubtful state. We have never heard rate, such is our hope ; and if anything of any sane person reading either of these that we can write will help to bring about poems, though the last, which is written a consummation so devoutly to be wished, after the manner of Hudibras, is not with it will only be a labor of love to write it. out some clever lines. In 1793, while OLIVER WENDELL Holmes was born on residing at Chamberry, France, Joel Bar- the twenty-ninth of August, in the year of low, the once famous author of The our Lord 1809, at the town of Cambridge, Colombiad, wrote (we had almost said in the State of Massachusetts. His father, mixed) his Hasty Pudding, according to who was a D. D., and we know not what Dr. Griswold the most popular of his besides in the way of capital letters, deterpoems. In 1819, Halleck, as we have mined to give him a good education; so already noticed in his life, published when he was large enough he was sent to Fanny; and since then—we fancy not the Phillips Exeter Academy, and in his

sixteenth year to Harvard University, from be-littling most of his experiences, it is which he graduated with honor. Leaving very apt to divert the current of his poetry college, he began to look around him for a from its original channels, and make the profession, as was proper for a young poet a mocker and unbeliever, or, at best, gentleman beginning the world, and the only “ a good fellow," instead of a thoughtfirst which suggested itself as likely ful and earnest man. May we not trace suit him was the law. He commenced to this cause the comic and satirical cast the study of law, and pursued it diligently of much of Holmes's poetry? for a year; not finding it agree with him, In his twenty-second year Holmes made (perhaps it was not as funny as he ex- his first appearance, in book form, in pected,) he relinquished it and devoted a volume entitled Ilustrations of the himself to medicine, in which his troubled Athenæum Gallery of Paintings. It was spirit seems to have found rest.

edited by himself and Epes Sargent, and At what period of his life he began to composed of metrical pieces, most of write verses we know not. The spirited them satirical. To more thoroughly perpoem Old Ironsides, written when it was fect himself in his profession, he sailed for proposed to break up the frigate Constitu- Europe in 1833. His residence abroad tion as unfit for further service, is said to seems to have been chiefly in Paris, where be the production of his sixteenth year. he walked the hospitals, learned la belle If so, he ranks high among the genuine language, and became acquainted with juvenile prodigies. Be this as it may, he the most eminent French physicians.

Of was an acknowledged contributor to The this tour there remain among his poems Collegian, a monthly magazine published two records : Qui Vive and La Grisette, by the undergraduates at Cambridge ; and the latter the sweetest and saddest of his his articles therein attracted attention, and poems. Returning to Boston in 1835, he were copied in the other magazines and commenced the practice of medicine in newspapers. Only a few, it is said, have that city, and in the autumn of that year been printed under his proper signature; delivered a poem before the Phi Beta and as his volume fails to distinguish them Kappa Society of Harvard. It was enfrom his later poems, we can only con titled Poetry, a Metrical Essay, and jecture which they are.

stands first in the collected edition of his The study of medicine seems to be poems. Scattered through the volume about as uncongenial to poetry as that of are occasional pieces, read from this time the law-time out of mind the bane of forward at centennial celebrations and anpoets. Poring over volumes of anatomy niversary dinners; and one or two long and physiology, illustrated with explana- satirical poems, such as poets are wont to tory plates, upon which are served up spout before public bodies. We have not slices of the “ human form divine ;" heads much faith in this sort of thing ourselves; cruelly split in two, to show the different but if any man ever succeeded in making structures of the brain; tangled skeins of it respectable, it is Holmes. blood-vessels, sanguineous Niles with no In 1838 the medical institution of Dartvisible source; fragmentary arms and legs mouth College elected Holmes Professor bared to the bones and muscles, and what- of Anatomy and Physiology, which situaever else is therein contained ; attending tion he held till his marriage in 1840. lectures in the stifled basements of sus His attention to business was strict and thorpicious-looking medical colleges, and ough; and what with the unhealthy symptaking voluminous notes of the same, (the toms of the New-Englanders, and his lectures, not the colleges,) occasionally really fine talents in his profession, he acdiversifying the latter occupation by dis- quired a large and, what was just then secting somebody's distant relation, ob- still better, a paying practice. But he still tained no one knows how: being, in fact, clung to the Muses, and found time to "a general deputy saw-bones," as Sam write some of his best poems, among Weller would say, is not exactly the way which were Terpsichore, read in 1843 at to become or to remain a poet; unless, the annual dinner of the Phi Beta Kappa indeed, as in the case of Holmes, the poet Society, and Urania, a Rhymed Lesson, is born, and not made—“a joy forever.” pronounced in 1846 before the Mercantile But even then, so thoroughly material are Library Association of Boston. Still all the surroundings of an M. D., and so rising in his profession, in 1847 he suc

ceeded Dr. Warren as Professor of Anat- mon life, is in the drama ; individual traits omy in Havard University, and added to or scenes, however masterly, can never his medical reputation by the Boylston satisfy us. The Roman satire, therefore, Prize Essays, Lectures on Popular Delu- | in the hands of such a writer as Horace, sions in Medicine, and Theory and Prac- is merely a substitute for that comedy tice, the work of himself and Dr. Bigelow; which the Roman people ought to have besides which he wrote several fine papers possessed. With regard to the Satires of in The North-American Review, and de- Juvenal, their chief interest depends on livered occasional addresses. In 1850 he the vehement expression of scorn and inread his Astræa, or the Balance of Ilu- dignation excited by the contemplation of sions, before the Phi Beta Kappa Society execrable vices; the spirit in which they of Yale College; and almost every winter are conceived may be morally sublime, we hear of his lecturing in our principal but they can scarcely receive the name of cities, and convulsing his audiences with poetical. laughter.

In many respects agreeing with Schlegel, Boston, we believe, is the nominal resi- (but of that hereafter,) we are disposed to dence of Dr. Holmes, at least during the doubt the correctness of his opinion that winter months ; but in the summer he may satire is of Roman origin. For our part be found at his country-seat in Berkshire, we date it back to the early ages of anrusticating among his pigs and chickens, tiquity, the very dawn of civilization : and the literati in the neighborhood. Her- almost as soon as poets began to sing, man Melville is one of his neighbors, or they began to be satirists; provided, inlives somewhere in his vicinity; as, till deed, that there was anything to be savery recently, did G. P. R. James, the tirized, of which there can be but little novelist.

doubt-man, in the abstract, is such a The literary attainments of Holmes are mauvais sujet. The earliest poets of all, many, and he is thorough and excellent if we may credit tradition, sung of agriin all; excellent, it is said, as a medical cultural matters, and the wars of heroes lecturer, and excellent, we know, as a poet. and demi-gods. We have a fair specimen But it is neither as a poet nor lecturer that of their style in The Works and Days of his genius exhibits its most distinctive Hesiod. After these came Thespis and traits, but rather as a satirist,—the almost his fellow-comedians, jolting from town to neglected walk of satire being the field of town in rude carts, and playing their queer his fairest triumphs, and, without doubt, satirical plays. “The comic poets," says the site of his future renown. As the the scholiast on Aristophanes, “rubbed satirical poets have not always had fair their faces with the lees of wine, that they play shown them, and as satire itself is might not be known, and sung their poems not commonly criticised, a few preliminary on the highways ;” and impudent, abusive paragraphs may not be uninteresting. The poems they were too. And some of the origin of satire seems to be involved in later poets have followed their example in considerable obscurity, and many conjec- the wine part of the business, only that the tures have been formed thereon.

wine has got into their heads, and the lees Schlegel, in his Lectures on the History into their songs. After Thespis and his of Literature, gives it a comparatively comedians came the mad wag Aristophanes, modern date ; for he considers it an ex- the greatest of the Greek comic poets, a clusively Roman species of composition, satirist of the first water ; to him we are both in the spirit with which it is animated, said to owe the death of the divine Socrates. and the subject of which it treats. Roman Then came the early Roman poets, Ensatire, which attained to eminence in the nius and Pacuvius, and then Horace and days of Horace and Juvenal, was entirely Juvenal, the world's acknowledged masters confined to the capital itself, the social of this species of writing. Hence we habits and customs, amusements, specta- see the erroneousness of the idea that satcles and assemblies of its inhabitants. But ire is of Roman origin. But what Schleperhaps its most favorite topic was the gel probably meant was, that its present corruption of Roman manners, then dayly form was Roman, its spirit belonging alike approaching the last stage of possible vi- to all nations and ages. Be this as it may, ciousness. The only perfect picture which however, it is with its spirit alone that we poetry itself can set before us of com- have to do; and this, as Schlegel observes,

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