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The proper name of this writer is Bryan Waller Proctor; but this he couverted into the anagram of Barry Cornwall, by which he is best known as a poet. He was born in London, and was educated at Harrow, where, among other school-fellows who gained a high name in society, he numbered Lord Byron and Sir Robert Peel. Having finished his classical education, he was placed with a solicitor at Calne, in Wiltshire, to be educated for the bar; but after studying the elements of the law at this place for four years, he changed his purpose, and became the pupil of a conveyancer at Lincoln's Inn, in which profession be finally settled. The poetical tastes and studies of Proctor lay among the great dramatic authors of the Elizabethan period, and accordingly his first publication, which appeared in 1815, consisted of a series of dramatic sketches in which he caught in a great measure the tenderness and gentleness, although not the sublimity and strength, of those great master-spirits. Towards the end of the same year, he published his Sicilian Story. In 1820 appeared his Marcian Colonna, and in the following year his tragedy of Mirandola. He now became a favourite poet with the public, not only on account of the intrinsic merits of his writings, but also in consequence of that charm of deep melancholy with which they are imbueda melancholy too deep and sustained to be fictitious. In him, also, this natural bias seems determine selection of his subjects, which are exclusively themes of tenderness and sadness. In private life, as in his poetry, he blends with pensiveness of spirit and gentleness of manners those virtuous and amiable qualities, which have secured for him through life the affection and esteem of every class of society.
THE LAST SONG.
Must it be?
For me, my days are gone :
THE LAST DAY OF TIPPOO SAIB.
That day he 'rose Sultan of half the East.
-The guards awoke each from his feverish dream Of conquest or of fear: the trumpet plain'd Through the far citadel, and thousands troop'd Obedient to its mournful melody, Soldier and chief and slave: and he the while Traversed his hall of power, and with a look Deeply observant glanced on all: then, waving His dusky arm, struck through the listening crowd Silence and dumb respect: from his fierce tongue Stream'd words of vengeance: fame he promised, And wealth and honours to the brave, but woe To those who fail'd him.—There he stood, a king Half-circled by his Asian chivalry, In figure as some Indian god, or like Satan, when he beneath his bwening dome Marshallid the fiery cherubim, and call d All hell to arms. The sun blazed into day: Then busy sights were seen, and sounds of war Came thickening: first the steed's shrill neigh; the drum Rolling at intervals; the bugle note, Mix'd with the hoarse con nd; then (nearing on) The soldiers' silent, firm, and regular tread; The trampling horse; the clash of swords; the wheel "That, creaking, bore the dread artillery. How fierce the dark king bore him on that day! How bravely! like a common slave he fought, Heedless of life, and cheer'd the soldier on ;Deep in his breast the bullets sank, but he Kept on, and this look’d nobly—like a king. That day he earn'd a title with his life,
And made his foes respect him.—Towards night
wounds: His soldiers bore him in: they wept: he was Their old commander, and, whate'er his life, Had led them on to conquest. Then it was His wish) they placed him on his throne.—He sate Like some dark form of marble, with an eye Staring, and strain'd with pain, and motionless, And glassy as with death: his lips compress’d Spoke inward agony, yet seem'd he resolute To die a king. An enemy came, and strove To tear away his regal diadem: Then turn’d his eye; he rose-one angry blush Tinted his cheek, and fled. He grasp'd his sword, And struck his last, faint, useless blow, and then Stood all defenceless-Ah! a flash, and quick Fled the dark ball of death; right through the brain It went (a mortal messenger), -and all That then remain’d of that proud Asian king, Who startled India far and wide, and shook The deserts with his thunder, was-a name.
Whither, ah! whither is my lost love straying?
ye winds! now playing
DESCRIPTION OF PLUTO.
Behold, behold, Proserpina!
As they would veil the burning blush of day.
SEMICHORUS , Cyane).
He comes, indeed. How like a god he looks—
From The Rape of Proserpine, TRANSFORMATION OF CYANE INTO A FOUNTAIN.
They are gone afar-afar,
(Cyanc is gradually transformed.)
From The Rape of Proserpine.