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although, perhaps, at the present day, she is surpassed by Mrs. Hemans, the sweetness, delicacy, and rich imagery of her
poetical productions make them very delightful reading, and give her no mean rank among contemporary authors. Her prose writings, also, are distinguished for just thoughts, expressed in a style of great animation, and a sort of unaffected brilliancy of manner, which renders them exceedingly engaging. It is too often the case, that the task of selecting and arranging posthumous works, falls into injudicious hands, or, more properly speaking, that no selection whatever is made. The desire of getting up a large book, in order to increase the profit of the publication, or the indiscriminate admiration of friends, frequently give to the world, along with some things perhaps truly valuable, a great deal that cannot be read, and the unauthorized publication of which, in the life-time of the writer, would have been considered by him as an offence hardly to be forgiven. In this present instance, no danger of this sort need be apprehended. The good sense, and cool, steady judgment of Miss Lucy Aikin, who has undertaken the task of selecting the papers to be published, are the best possible pledge that nothing will be included among them which would tend, in the least degree, to impair the literary reputation of her excellent and venerable relation. The following is an extract of a letter from that lady to a gentleman in this city, who had offered to dispose of her History of Charles I., a work she is now preparing for the press, to some American bookseller.
66. Mrs. Barbauld left behind her a considerable number of manuscripts, both in verse and prose, and I am now closely occupied in preparing a complete edition of her works.. This publication will not, I apprehend, extend beyond two moderate octavos; one verse, the other prose. The verse, to which I shall prefix a short memoir, is already in the press, and will be printed, I hope, by the end of next month. It is still matter of doubt with me, whether the second volume can be brought out during the present London book-season, which does not extend beyond the month of June; for I wish some specimens of her epistolary talent, which was very striking, and some time must elapse before all the contributions of her correspondents can be collected. If we cannot be ready with both volumes at once, the prose must be deferred till November or December. Now, sir, I am so well persuaded that the products of Mrs. Barbauld's genius will be cordially received by your American public, that I will venture to transmit to you a copy of the first volume, some time before publication, and beg of you the favor to perform the same kind office which you have so obligingly offered with respect to my intended work. Nearly two thirds of the volume will consist of matter entirely new, and certainly not inferior, in intrinsic merit, to any thing of hers with which the public is acquainted. Old age has no power to quench in her the light of fancy. She wrote several charming little pieces in the course of the last year.
Stoke Newington, March 31, 1825."
THE DYING RAVEN.
Come to these lonely woods to die alone ?
Thus mutual love brings mutual delight-
Thou Prophet of so fair a revelation !
'Midst wastes and snows, and silent, lifeless trees,
More Thou said'st,
Preacher to man's spirit! Emblem of Hope! Companion ! Comforter! Thou faithful one! is this thine end ? 'Twas Thou, When summer birds were gone, and no form seen In the void air, who cam'st, living and strong, On thy broad, balanced pennons, through the winds. And of thy long enduring, this the close ! Thy kingly strength brought down, of storms Thou Conqueror!
The year's mild, cheering dawn Upon thee shone a momentary light. The gales of spring upbore thee for a day, And then forsook thee. Thou art fallen now; And liest amongst thy hopes and promises ; Beautiful flowers, and freshly springing blades, Gasping thy life out.-Here for Thee the grass Tenderly makes a bed; and the young buds In silence open their fair, painted foldsTo ease thy pain, the one to cheer thee, these. But thou art restless; and thy once keen eye Is dull and sightless now. New blooming boughs, Needlessly kind, have spread a tent for thee. Thy inate is calling to the white, piled clouds, And asks for thee. No answer give they back. As I look up to their bright angel faces, Intelligent and capable of voice They seem to me. Their silence to my soul Comes ominous. The same to thee, doom'd bird, Silence or sound. For thee there is no sound, No silence :near thee stands the shadow, Death, And now he slowly draws his sable veil Over thine eyes. Thy senses soft he lulls Into unconscious slumbers. The airy call Thou'lt hear no longer. Neath sun-lighted clouds, With beating wing, or steady poise aslant, Thou'lt sail no more. Around thy trembling claws Droop thy wings' parting feathers. Spasms of death Are on Thee.
Laid thus low by age? Or is't
I needs must mourn for thee. For I, who have
And, now, farewell! The falling leaves ere long
Who scoffs these sympathies,
And surely it is so.
A SONG OF PITCAIRN'S ISLAND.
Come, take our boy, and we will go
Before our cabin door ;
The murmurs of the shore ;
Songs that were made of yore:
And thou, while stammering I repeat,
Thy country's tongue shalt teach ;
Than my own native speech.
Upon Tahete's beach,
Thou cam'st to woo me to be thine,
My eyes, my locks of jet ;
But tbine were fairer yet!
And when my sight is met
Whose necks and cheeks, they tell,
White foam and crimson shell.
A sight to please thee well;
Come, for the soft, low sunlight calls,
We lose the pleasant hours ;
That seat among the flowers.
A lot so blest as ours-
TO THE EDITORS OF THE NEW-YORK REVIEW.
I regret to be obliged to resume the subject of your review of the late “ spurious" edition, as you term it, of Alexander Hamilton's Report on Manufactures. The task is unpleasant, but justice to myself requires it—and I have too much reliance on your honor to doubt your willingness to let the public hear the accused, as well as the accusers. Any other supposition would be an impeachment of your candor and impartiality.
I did hope that I had placed the matter in such a point of view, as would have induced you to retract your accusations. But I have been mistaken. They are repeated, and urged in stronger form. As editor of the edition in question, I am expressly charged with an attempt at imposition, by