« ZurückWeiter »
of virtue: the advocacy, too, of whatever is exalted in art or admirable in nature. It may, perhaps, be a disputed point to which of the capacities he displays precedence should be given; whether the merit of his prose be not greater than the merit of his verse, or vice versa. It must be confessed that his poetry does not always display the same uniformity of excellence which is discoverable in his prose. "Kavanagh," for instance, may be opposed to "Hyperion," or "Hyperion" to "Outre-Mer," without in the least degree detracting from each other's merits. But to compare the " Courtship of Miles Standish" with “Hiawatha,” or his devotional poems with some of his translations, and with some of his secular verses, is to place "Hiawatha " and the secular verses first and the rest nowhere at all.
Taking him for all in all, the Americans are indeed justified of being proud of Longfellow; and their chief poets, of which Longfellow and Bryant are the most admirable examples, do well to cultivate the emotions of their fellow-countrymen, and to refine the national character. The indoctrination of art is always synonymous with the progress of art—at least when its appeals are directed to such an intellect as the American. There may come a time when America shall cease for a while her mighty activity; when the repose of arms and arts shall fall upon her as it has fallen, each in its turn, upon the eastern empires of the world. Then shall commence the era of retrospection. The future that has been gained shall then be a glory of the past. From this glory, meditation may evolve those secrets of original and unique intellectual greatness which it has been the business of every national poet to supply to every reflective nation.
Now you droop your eyes completely,
If you must smile, smile this way!
Ah! the rosebud fingers flitting
Kitty, do you know or care
"Tis my heart you're winding there?
Kitty, I am in a vision !
All the world to mist doth die;
Only, in an air Elysian,
Little fairy fingers fly:
Surely, if they flit too near,
I shall catch and kiss them, dear!
Tangled! pout not, frown not, Kitty!
For your anger is so pretty,
It may make me sin again.
There! 'tis well! Now, wind and wind,
Now, 'tis done! the last thread lingers
Sadly from me, slow to part;
Can'st thou see that in my fingers
I am holding up my heart? Wind and wind! I do not care! Smile or frown! and I will bear!
Ah! so fast and quick you wind it, I no more can keep it mine; you wonder that you find it
Throbbing now, close, close to thine:
Tangled, tangled are the twain;
Kiss, kiss, kiss them free again!
From Regent Street to Broadway.
BY HENRY SEDLEY,
Editor of "The New York Round Table."
TRAVELLERS on our Western waters who have observed the confluence of two great streams, have sometimes seen and described a strange and beautiful sight. Owing to diversities of soil, which, made up of deposits from forests, mountains, and marshes they have visited and absorbed in their devious careers, the colour of the two streams is often in vivid contrast. Thus one may be, and often is, a deep, pellucid green; the other an opaque, brownish red. It might be supposed that, on rushing together, these hues would mingle like those of wine and soda water poured into the same glass; but such is not the fact. Chiefly from their velocity, but partly, perhaps, from the cohesive ingredients held in solution, and partly from the submerged bar which is continually precipitated between them, to be as constantly washed away, the great masses of water keep jealously asunder, and often plunge on for miles, divided by a sharp opposing line, their colours on either side as definite and homogeneous as before the first contact. The junction of the two streams makes a single greater one, but each retains one of its own proper banks, and, as if scorning to lose its individuality, dashes forward in pristine green or red, until its obstinacy is at last overcome, and the rivers are one, in composite hue as well as in name. It is a singular and attractive spectacle, and suggests, aptly enough, the analogy exhibited by the swelling populations of the country itself-different races from different climes thrown abruptly together in a common channel, struggling as long as possibleto retain national characteristics, but yielding at last to irresistible pressure, and helping to form the new and complex race which is called the American.
Now, could we bring together the two famous thoroughfares of Regent Street and Broadway, which may naturally be accepted as types of the two great Anglo-Saxon nationalities, it might plausibly be supposed that the picturesque phenomenon just described would be happily illustrated. We should look to see the distinctive features of each, for some time at least, religiously preserved. We should expect to find the American characteristics and the English ones so marked and opposite as to require an assimilating process of some duration to obliterate their variety and blend the mass into a uniform colour. But