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THE PILGRIM BALL.

Written upon the occasion of the celebration, at Plymouth, of the two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims—being the twenty-second of Dec., 1845—which day was concluded with a “ Pilgrim Ball."

The moon shone cold and brightly,

But brighter still within,
The lights beamed full on jeweled head,

And blazed from diamond pin.
Gay music rings upon the ear,

The beating pulses thrill,
And, hand locked close in twininghand,

The heart beats faster still.
And low the silvery laugh went round,

And loud the prompter's call,
And gaily gleamed the twining dance,

It was the “ Pilgrim Ball."
The moon shone cold and brightly

In the church-yard on the hill,
But there, within that blazing hall,

The lamps shone brighter still: -
But now, why is the music hushed ?

Why stops the woven dance-
And maids and youths stand still and gaze,

As they were in a trance ?-
Wide swings the door--a ghastly train

Slow sweeps along the hall-
I wot they were strange guests to see

Gracing the “ Pilgrim Ball."
The moon shone cold and brightly

On the hill-top and the plain;
But no man watched their coming thence,

Nor saw from whence they came.
Dim forms they were, of ancient days,

As living eyes ne'er saw,
Save in the Pictures grim and old

That cunning limners draw.
“Give way !”-in hollow tone sounds out,

“Give way now, one and all,
And we will dance an olden dance :

It is the · Pilgrim Ball !""
And then those dusky figures,

Moved mournfully around;
And broad-brimmed hat and matron's hood

Bent, as in sorrow, down.
A strain of music, low and deep,

Went with their solemn tread ;
And words, unbreathed, were mingling in,

As by the music bred.
Though almost lost in that deep strain,

Those words were heard by all-
« We tread the Exiles' march !--It is

Fit step for • Pilgrim Ball !'”

Then sank that solemn music,

The pageant ceased to move,
And knelt those forms with upraised hands,

As sending thanks above.
In vain the chorded strings began

A fresh and lively air;
Strange husky words were mingling in,

“ We pray the Exiles' prayer !”
They prayed -—their hollow voices rose

Above the prompter's call,
Then rising, noiselessly they went

Forth from the “ Pilgrim Ball.”
The moon shone cold and brightly,

On the hill-top and the plain ;
But no man saw from whence they came,

Nor wbither went again.
Those dusky forms passed like a dream,

That low strain died away,
And as the strange sight vanished thus,

Moonlight gave place to day.
God's mercy now!-I think it would,

A brave man's heart appall,
To see the sight that awed the Night,

And hushed the “ Pilgrim Ball.”

RELIGIOUS POETRY (ENGLISH) OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

All true poetry is a consecrated thing classic imitations of Mason and Akenin one sense, but by the above caption side, the turgid bombast of Dr. Johnson we intend to express a portion (the only (we refer, particularly, to Irene and even genuine department of poesy) of the to many passages in his otherwise expoetry of the seventeenth century, which cellent versions of Juvenal), the absurd, deals expressly in a recognition of the pedantic phrases of Darwin, the sentigreat facts of Christian morality, and mentalities of Miss Seward ? Gone, gone which is especially devoted to the service to the same place where soon will follow of Religion. The religious element is very much of the voluminous ballad imithe predominant element in the poetry of tations of Scott (which a revival of the fine the present age; not perhaps in the old ballads themselves will cast into the fashionable poetry of the day, but in the shade, where whole cantos and pages sterling poetry, that is to last, at least numberless out of Lord Byron's storethrough the coming age. Those who house of exaggerated passion and superare advanced in years at the present time ficial philosophy have gone, where all have survived more than one school of of Moore but a few songs, his satirical verse and if they live but a little longer, and political squibs, and a few passages will outlive another. Where now is in Lalla Rookħ, will go, and where a Hayley, the so-called Pope of his day, shoal of inferior minor poets, with very and placed by some stupid critic (Dr. superior professions and assumption, Aikin or Mrs. Chapone, we believe) at however, must inevitably follow. The the head of English poetry, merely be- true poets of the age, Wordsworth, Campcause he was a good man, a nobler title bell in his smaller poems, Keats, Coleridge, than a Poet, but very far from being even sceptical Shelley, Southey in his miidentical with it? Where are the cold nor poems, Hunt, Lamb, Elliott, Keble,

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Miss Barrett, and a few similar spirits, ignorance, or else from a minuteness of who have only published occasionally,are poetical and critical vision, that can see essentially and distinctively spiritual. a world of Poetry in Shelley and Moore, True poetry in its highest forms (its only and nothing but prosaic boldness in real forms, for when it descends lower it Wordsworth and Milton. Milton is the is mere verse, however witty, sensible, most serious and impressive of uninspired tender or fanciful) is based on that in- lyrists. The whole cast of his mind was stiuctive reverence in man for the good eminently religious. The Hebrew poets and the beautiful, is coeval with the were his favorite reading, and after them highest aspirations of the soul, is seen the Greek tragedians and Shakspeare. manifestly in the religious adoration of His personal bearing is said to have been a grateful and reverential worship, as grave and austere. Even in youth he visibly as in any other act.

was like his own Archangel, “severe in Faith is the highest speculative as youthful beauty." Charity is the noblest active principle of He was religious in his taste. He human nature: speculative only, how. played anthems daily on the organ. What ever, in the degree of relation. It is con- other instrument could have filled his cerned with diviner things than the mind with those magnificent ideas of social virtue of Charity. Charity is ex space and sound of which his poetry is ercised towards equals and inferiors— full? Faith towards our superiors; and, as an The poet, then, as priest and prophet, honest and worthy man, sees no object of in an early age ; so also, as a Christian reverence in this world, not even the and as the world's teacher, must be a highest types of human perfection, he man of purity and holiness. He must must, it follows of course, direct his re have clean hands and a pure heart that gard to a diviner and an immortal Father. would hymn the glories of the Almighty. He cannot evince his faith so directly in Besides the great poets we have action as he can show his charity. He mentioned, whose motto is, 'Holiness to can still indirectly display the effects of the Lord,' there is a galaxy of lesser this faith in his conduct, and honor his lights-a poetic host, just before and Maker in obeying his commands. Some after the Restoration in England, prothing german to these remarks are the fessedly religious—Herbert, and Donne, following passages from an article, by the and Vaughan, and Wotton, and Fletcher, writer of this paper, and which he will and Southwell. It may be remarked not attempt re-writing, as he has ex further, that the most irreligious poets pressed his views pretty freely already. discover instinctively at times a vein of

“ The imagination should, therefore, devotion, and even the lightest versifiers be cultivated, if only as an aid to the have their images of fear and terror. The strengthening of virtuous resolves and the gloomiest painters occasionally describe heightning of religious aspirations. The à fairer scene; and through the pitchy effect of a pure imagination on the heart darkness are seen gleams of light as from is one of the most cheering evidences of a heavenly country. the real nobility of man. The highest “ This arises out of a very natural poetry, we repeat, is religious; and the cause. Religion, its hopes and fears, the greatest poets must be necessarily de- grandeur and gentleness of the supreme vout. The common opinion sanctioned intellect; the beauty of divine love; the is against this position : yet the true view hallowed influences of the Spirit, form sanctioned by still higher authority, is the noblest themes of the poet, painter directly in its favor. For who will place and musician. It is from interest, if from Dr. Johnson, Byron, and the sensual no other reason, then, the poet should be school, against Milton, Wordsworth and religious. Not only is the grandest Coleridge, to say nothing of the grandest poetry religious, but also the finest music, poetry--the poetry of the Hebrews? The and the immortal master-pieces of paintold-fashioned critics thought, or said that ing. The souls of Milton, Raphael and dullness or insipidity were the genuine Handel could not be touched by common ingredients in religious verse. This is loves, or vexed by common cares. They very true in its application to some re- required something vast and awful, or ligionists; but it is very far from true exquisitely tender and sweet, to fill their when we come on the Muse's hill.—when minds and move their hearts. High we reach the enchanted city of poets. fancies, rich colors, pealing harmoniesTheir error could have arisen only from Paradise Lost, the Holy Family, the

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Messiah. No themes have inspired such finest poetry is of the reflective and medi-
eloquence as religion. In fact every art tative cast; and this is one of the finest
has laid its richest offerings at that shrine. traits of the American character. To go
The noblest cathedrals have been erected no further, our three finest poets are
for the worship of the Most High; and deeply religious—Dana, Bryant and Long-
in those temples the choicest paintings are fellow. The poetry and prose of Dana
hung, the most solemn music is played, is overspread with a grave and solemn
accompanied by voices almost cherubic. hue befitting a teacher of men and a
The most admirable verses have been spiritual thinker. The Thanatopsis of
written for its psalmody—what poem is Bryant, alone, is, after the poetry of
finer than that Rembrandt strain of min Wordsworth, perhaps the finest sacred
gled golden and gloomy fancies—that poem since the time of Milton ; and the
rich, monkish canticle, Dies iræ, dies Psalms of Life, by Longfellow, are rich
illa ” and the wisest powers of discrimi- harmonies from a soul deeply touched
native piety and judicious devotion have with the sad notes of humanity, but
been exhausted in the preparation of a cheered and invigorated by consolations
perfect liturgy. It must be confessed, from a superior source.
then, the imagination is the most religious In the present paper, we shall devote
of our faculties, and consequently the our attention chiefly to reviving the
grandest.”

memory of two rare poets, now quite
These general considerations have led forgotten by the mass of even cultivated
us off from the main design, and have oc- readers, and barely known to literary,
cupied so much of the space we had antiquary and poetical students—Quarles
assigned to the subject, that we must and Crashaw. "Geo. Herbert, the Fletch-
conclude after a very brief survey of the ers, Donne and Vaughan, have been so
appearance of the present age, in regard admirably commented upon by the most
to poetry. In England, the religious poet delicate critic of poetry, especially of
of the day, and for all times, is Words old English minor verse, in this country,
worth. In him a natural piety is the char that we shall not attempt a critical
acteristic trait of his genius. The follow- rivalry. To the readers of the early
ers of Wordsworth constitute a class by numbers of the New York Review,
themselves, and have universally substi. Arcturus and the " Democratic,” we
tuted a spiritual tone for the light and need not mention a name so well-known
fleeing spirit of the Byronic school. and highly cherished, as the author of the
Coleridge and Southey, the early and late several articles on the poets just men.
friends and fellow-poets of Wordsworth, tioned, in the first two journals.
are distinguished by the same reverential The author of the “ Emblems” is truly
spirit, and a host of minor poets, (most a neglected Poet. The sometime darling
of them writing on secular themes,) as of the plebeian judgments is now known
Cornwall, Elliott, Mrs. Southey, Miss to most readers only by name, as one of
Barrett, and names even superior to these the victims of Pope's satire. But like
are strongly tinged with this same feeling certain others of those about whom Pope
of reverence and awe in sacred matters. wrote, rather as a malignant, foe than as
There is, besides these, a new and small a keen critic, Quarles has strong grounds
class of professedly religious poets of the of desert to prefer as a claim on our at-
school of Herbert and Donne, altered and tention. Cibber was no less a brilliant
accommodated to suit the spirit of the comic writer than Quarles a deep and
age. The head-quarters of ihis body is earnest religious Poet, yet both are en-
Oxford, whence have emanated some of balmed in the Dunciad a monument of
the sweetest strains the Church of Eng- elaborate malice, and in their cases, at
land has ever breathed. We say no- least, unjust satire.
thing of the particular doctrinal views The best argument for the worth of
of these writers—defenders of the Ox- any man, is a knowledge of his intimate
ford Tracts, and in some instances among associates and assured friends : next to
the writers of them—but we adınire, that the strongest proof is, the good report
generally, some of their finest efforts as of those good men amongst his contem-
worthy of true poets. We refer, more par- poraries to whom he was personally un-
ticularly, to Mr. Keble, the Poetry Pro- known, and whose disinterested applause
fessor and author of the Christian Year; is the fruit of his irreproachable life and
and to the author of the Cathedral. Here, fair actions. If we allow this, we must
at home, it has been noticed that our concede the noblest qualities of the man,

66

and the genius of the Poet, to one who other worthy: “Mr. Quarles was a very could unite the suffrage of such men in good man.” One of the nearest friends his favor as Drayton the Poet, Fuller the of Quarles was a Doctor Aylmer, ArchChurch Historian, Dr. Hammond the elo. deacon of London, “ a great favorer and quent Divine, and Archbishop Usher. fast friend to the Muses,” who died of His wife, also, was his warm eulogist, the plague in 1625. We introduce this and she should have known his domestic name for the sake of the anecdotes concharacter best. It is delightful from time nected with it. Being asked on his deathto time to read the affectionate memorials bed how he felt, he exclaimed, “I thank of the wives and daughters of men of God heart-whole.” He also declared in genius. We have lately seen pleasing that solemn hour that his own eyes “ had instances of this kind, in the wife of ever been his overseers;" and it is reShelley and the daughter of Coleridge; corded that

he shut his own eyes of a similar nature is the sisterly regard with his own hands." for the fame of her admirable brother in A man and poet possessed of such the case of Mary Lamb.

friends in such an age, can hardly deserve Francis Quarles was descended from a the contempt of modern witlings, who respectable family of some wealth and affect to speak of the trash of Quarles. local reputation. At an early age, he There is, undoubtedly, a great proportion entered the University of Cambridge, of worthless poetry in his works, but where he is said to have surpassed all his there is also a genuine vein. Quarles mates, and was graduated from the same was often quaint, sometimes coarseCollege at which Milton and Henry More, never weak or effeminate. He has subthe Platonist, studied.

limity with his barshness, force with his This fact is alluded to in a line by distortion, energy with his extravagance. George Dyer, the friend of Charles Lamb, The Muse of Quarles is dedicated wholly in his History of Cambridge. On leaving to the service of religion. He wrote College, Quarles read Law for the same none but devotional poetry, and all his reason that Shelley walked the Hospitals, strains are inspired by a sincere, affecrather to learn how to defend the rights tionate piety. as the greater Poet, to ease the lives of His Emblems is his chief work; a his fellow creatures, than from any mo- species of illustrated poetry and piety tive of profit or advantage. Though a that forms a rather heterogeneous mixture. lover of quiet, and of a retired way of Some years ago we had a copy in our life, yet so strong was his loyalty and possession—the only one we ever met almost romantic devotion to the most with. From our recollection of that, we celebrated woman of her day, that he should infer it to be a work in which it became cup.bearer to the Queen of Hun. is hard to tell whether piety or an abgary. We next hear of Quarles as Sec- surdity of pictorial conception predomiretary to Archbishop Usher, who valued nate. The Hieroglyphics, “ an Egyptian him very highly. At the breaking out dish dressed after an English fashion,” of the rebellion Quarles left Ireland for forms an appropriate companion-piece London, where, at the request of the to the Emblems. The eccentricities of Earl of Dorset, he was created “ City's Quarles' fancy are here paralleled by the Chronologer,” an office supposed to re

eccentricities of his measure. semble that of Master of Ceremonies. From Cattermole's Religious Poetry Quarles held this situation until his of the Seventeenth Century, we select death.

the most favorable specimens of the best We have selected the following con manner of Quarles. These are sententemporary notices of our Poet. Fuller tious and dogmatical, full of thought and says of him, that if Quarles had been serious feeling. The style is as hard as contemporary with Plato, he would not enamel and as polished, pointed to cononly have allowed him to live, but also ciseness, and weighty with the dignity advanced him to an office in his com of religious truth. monwealth. The same quaint author speaks of Quarles making Mount Zion

VANITY OF THE WORLD.
his Parnassus, and allows him the just
praise of uttering strains of a very differ- False world thou liest, thou canst not lend
ent character from those the Poets

gene The least delight;
rally gave birth to in his time. Aubrey Thy favors cannot gain a friend,
adds, in a sentence to a notice of some They are so slight;

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