« ZurückWeiter »
This accomplished lady, who has written such beautiful and touching poetry, was born of a family in which genius may be said to be hereditary, being granda daughter to the celebrated Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Having lost her father at an eariy period of life, the education of Caroline, the future poetess, was chiefly conducted by her mother, who devoted herself to the happiness of her children with a zeal and affection, of which none but a woman and a mother can be susceptible. Her cares were nobly repaid by the genius and accomplish. ments of her daughters, and especially of the subject of this notice; and such was their early proficiency, that Caroline and her sister, before the age of twelve, had filled two manuscript volumes with their verses. As Mrs. Sheridan, however, was a mother who studied the solid happiness rather than the celebrity of her children, she kept works of fiction carefully out of their way, and rather discouraged than promoted these efforts of genius; so that when Mrs. Norton published her poem, entitled The Undying One, she had read fewer novels and romances than most young people of her age.
At the age of nineteen, Miss Sheridan became the Honourable Mrs. Norton, by her marriage with the brother of Lord Grantley; but the infelicity of this union, and the unfortunate results, are too well known to require further men. tion. Of her poetry, it is almost impossible to speak in terms of sufficient commendation. It is not enough to say, that it possesses all the elegance and ten. derness which are to be expected from a female pen; it also exhibits, with these qualities, a strength of thought, and a depth of feeling, which are generally looked for in the other sex only. As the charms of intellectual exertion, next to the duties of religion, form the chief solaces of the afflicted and persecuted, we trust that a still brighter literary career than the past is to be fulflled by the future productions of Mrs. Norton.
And be not thou cast down, because thy lot The glory of thy dream resembleth not. Not for herself was woman first create, Nor yet to be man's idol, but his mate. Still from his birth his cradled bed she tends, The first, the last, the faithfullest of friends; Still finds her place in sickness or in woe, Ilumble to comfort, strong to undergo; Still in the depth of weeping sorrow tries To watch his death-bed with her patient eyes! And doubt not thou-(although at times deceived, Outraged, insulted, slander'd, crush'd, and grieved ; Too often made a victim or a toy, With years of sorrow for an hour of joy; Too oft forgot ’midst Pleasure's circling wiles, Or only valued for her rosy smiles-) That, in the frank and generous heart of man, The place she holds accords with Heaven's high plan; Still, if from wandering sin reclaim'd at all, He sees in her the angel of recall;
Still, in the sad and serious hours of life,
From The Dream,
Do you remember all the sunny places, Where in bright days, long past, we play'd together? Do
you remember all the old home faces That gather'd round the hearth in wintry weather ? Do you remember all the happy meetings, In summer evenings round the open doorKind looks, kind hearts, kind words, and tender greetings, And clasping hands whose pulses beat no more?
Do you remember them? Do you remember all the merry laughter; The voices round the swing in our old garden: The dog that, when we ran, still follow'd after; The teasing frolic sure of speedy pardon? We were but children then, young happy creatures, And hardly knew how much we had to loseBut now the dreamlike memory of those features Somes back, and bids my darken'd spirit muse.
Do you remember them? Do you remember when we first departed From all the old companions who were round us, How very soon again we grew light-hearted, And talk'd with smiles of all the links which bound us? And after, when our footsteps were returning, With unfelt weariness, o'er hill and plain; How our young hearts kept boiling up, and burning, To think how soon we'd be at home again:
Do you remember this ? Do
you remember how the dreams of glory Kept fading from us like a fairy treasure;
How we thought less of being famed in story,
Do you remember this? Do
you remember when no sound 'woke gladly, But desolate echoes through our home were ringing, How for a while we talk d—then paused full sadly, Because our voices bitter thoughts were bringing? Ah me! those days—those days! my friend, my brother, Sit down and let us talk of all our woe, For we have nothing left but one another;Yet where they went, old playmate, roe shall go
Let us remember this.
Warriors and statesmen have their meed of praise,
And what they do or suffer men rec But the long sacrifice of woman's days
Passes without a thought-without a word;
Of duties sternly, faithfully fulfill'd-
And the strong feelings of the heart be stilld-
In one meek heart which braves an adverse fate,
Warm’d by the fight, or cheer'd through high debate: The soldier dies surrounded;—could he live Alone to suffer, and alone to strive?
Answer, ye graves, whose suicidal gloom Shows deeper horror than a common tomb! Who sleep within? The men who would evade An unseen lot of which they felt afraid. Embarrassment of means, which work'd annoyA past remorsea future blank of joyThe sinful rashness of a blind despairThese were the strokes which sent your victims there.
Oh! dear to him, to all, since first the flowers Of happy Eden's consecrated bowers Heard the low breeze along the branches play, And God's voice bless the cool hour of the day. For though that glorious Paradise be lost, Though earth by blighting storms be roughly cross’d, Though the long curse demands the tax of sin, And the day's sorrows with the day begin, That hour, once sacred to God's presence, still Keeps itself calmer from the touch of ill, The holiest hour of earth. Then toil doth ceaseThen from the yoke the oxen find releaseThen man rests pausing from his many cares, And the world teems with children's sunset prayers ! Then innocent things seek out their natural rest, The babe sinks slumbering on its mother's breast; The birds beneath their leafy covering creep, Yea, even the flowers fold up their buds in sleep; And angels, floating by, on radiant wings, Hear the low sounds the breeze of evening brings, Catch the sweet incense as it floats along, The infant's prayer, the mother's cradle song, And bear the holy gifts to worlds afar, As things too sacred for this fallen star.
From The Dream.
MOSES AMONG THE BULRUSHES.
When the mournful Jewish mother
Laid her infant down to rest,
On the water's changeful breast;
Should bring the sorely tried:
Was the babe she sought to hide.
She hurried on her path;
Of woman's helpless wrath;
When we seek to shield from ill
Who seem more helpless still!
Ah! no doubt, in such an hour,
Her thoughts were harsh and wild; The fiercer burn'd her spirit,
The more she loved her child ; No doubt, a frenzied anger
Was mingled with her fear, When that prayer arose for justice
Which God hath sworn to hear. He heard it! From His heaven,
In its blue and boundless scope,
And that fragile ark of hope;
Her weeping eyes of love,
His angels watch'd above!
Of her young child's early death,
To draw his distant breath;
From the well-springs of her heart,