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And birds shall build their small nests 'mid the leaves.
Cannon shall lie along the grass, and flowers
Shall twine around them in long, starry wreaths;
Ball pyramids shall scatter, and each shot
Shall be encradled tenderly in moss,
'Mid cowslips and young purple violets.
O cease not, Lady, thy low voiced prayers,
For this morn's advent companied with joy,
And songs, and smiles, and glad thanksgiving words :
Surely it shall come though it tarry long.”

There is fine appreciation exhibited in the following lines, as well as noble sentiment:

“I thank Him daily for the wise, the brave,

The true, the loving and the beautiful,
With whom He glorifies and gladdens Life.
The earth is fair and rich with lustrousness,
The sweet reflection of God's holy smile
Yet lingers on blue sea, and rippling strean,
And lake surrounded by deep summer green,
Aye shining with a wondrous loveliness.
Iach full-blown flower seems as if wrought in Heaven,
In presence of the splendoured sanctities,
And the sweet budding of the trees in spring
Might make glad flushes light a seraph's cheek.
But richer, rarer than each glorious thing
Which glows and glitters on this rounded earth,
Is man's great, deathless soul. Therefore the heart
Exulteth more at meeting of an heir
Of immortality, than at the sight
Of earth's most fair and beauty-lighted scenes,
Fields flushed with roses on a summer's morn,
White lilies floating on a dark, deep pool,
A herd of red deer in a forest's gloom,-
Long, western shadows in a wooded park, -
Stars shining near a mountain's white-snowed peak,-
Palm-shaded islands in a sapphire sea, -
Pure springs encircled with green, mossy stones,-
And valleys among mountains rainbow-arched.'

But perhaps Miss Leslie will be more fairly judged by the miscellaneous pieces prefixed to “Ina.” Embodying as they do single incidents or special thoughts, she has not to contend with the difficulty of conceiving an elaborate plan, and her attention being fixed chiefly on the partial treatment of a simple subject, she is more at liberty to display her power. These miscellaneous pieces exhibit more diversified ability than the mere readers of "Ina” would expect. The descriptiveness of several passages in “ the Death of Moses,” the pathos of “ Died at Sea," and “ Tintoretto and his Daughter”—which we think one of the best of Miss Leslie's productions ;—the quiet imaginativeness of “ the Ruined house;" the war-like vigour of “ Christmas night' and “the War-farewell," and the bold symbolism of “Eastern


give proof of genuine poetic power. We regret that all these pieces are too long to be extracted.

But we will enter somewhat more particularly into the characteristics exhibited in this volume. Its author's forte is evidently the descriptive. Had she possessed the power of narrating, we think she would have seized the opportunities of displaying it, which often occur in “ Ina.” Perhaps she may hereafter disclose, what she certainly has not yet exhibited, a power to pourtray individual character; experience and observation may do this and much more, but recording what we observe, it strikes us that Miss Leslie's mind runs strongly in the direction we have indicated, and we are the more assured of this from the marvellous instinct with which she can describe scenes with which she cannot be familiar, and of which we suspect she can know little by means of analogy and inference. Everywhere we meet with fine touches like the following

Look, father, at my basket heaped with flowers,
And half-oped buds, and green leaves feathery,
I've sought for them in still and hidden nooks,
* Neath over-shadowing trees, in corners known
Only to little birds which on the mould
Have left faint traces of their small, red feet,
And from their leaf enshrined nests have won
The sweetest treasures of this golden morn.
See these white wax-like buds, and spicy flowers,
Ringed as the royal tiger of the woods;
So purely are they fashioned, that the light
Of angel-fingers seems yet visible

In their surpassing beauty-moulded forms." This volume exhibits great imaginativeness on the part of its author. She writes as if she often looked at objects not so much to see what they are in themselves, as to observe what they resemble, and how many analogies they can suggest. Hence it is that she is not content with one figure, but must have several : occasionally indeed she seems so intent on their multiplication, as to forget the idea which suggested them; the stalk of the tree is almost hidden beneath the rich foliage, and the golden blossoms which it supports. This love of imagery exhibits itself often in a delight in personification, thus :

“ Summer, with large and jetty eyes steals on,
Bearing upon her head a loose thick crown
Of open roses white and golden-hued
And tinged with pink, and crimson as the sky
After the gorgeous setting of the sun.
Evening, a maiden with a rosy flush
Upon her rounded cheeks, her golden hair
Falling about her in long glossy curls,
Her purple robe thrown round her in rich folds,
Comes up the west with a majestic tread.

Morning brings with her a rich urn of gold,
Filled with clear dew-drops, which she scatters round
On flower and leaf, and her high brow is wreathed
With rosebuds washed in dew and glittering stems.
Twilight, a matron with a diadem
Of large, dim planets, and a countenance
Ethereal in its beauty, and a look
Of solemn tenderness in her grey eyes.
Night, with a black veil o'er her star-crown flung,
In mean disguise comes to the silent earth,
As to a foeman's camp a fearless queen :
Yet through the shrouding dark her jewels shine,

And men confess the present majesty'.” More frequently it is seen in the creation of what are termed figures. Some of them are so fine that we cannot forego the pleasure of laying two or three of them before our readers :

“O rich, rich gist of life, white marble block !
Why hast thou been entrusted to my hand ?
I am too weak to hew grand statuary
For earth's bright golden halls, wherewith the souls
Of gazers-on may throb with spirit-joy.
Eternity is as the marriage-ring
Pure, bright, and golden, where with God unites
For ever more his ransomed to Himself.

Death comes unto us, as at midnight came
The angel to the guarded prison-house,
Where calmly the apostle doomed to death
Slept dreaming dreams of beauty, and he bids
Our clay chains drop adown, and with a touch
Flings wide the massy portals of the earth,
And leading our still wondering spirits out
Into the star-streets of the universe
Departs, and leaves us to seek out our own.
Oft-times I feel like to a little child,
Aboard some huge black ship upon the sea ;
The vessel rocks, the billows dash and moan,
The sea-bird screams, around me dismally,
And I -I know not what the crash and stir,
The straining of the masts and cordage mean ;

But terrified I sit me down and weep. Occasionally the imagery is obscure, and now and then it is drawn from sources that are too familiarly known; but we should withhold from Miss Leslie her just meed, if we did not add that it is always such as a refined and cultivated taste will approve. A similar remark indeed will apply to the whole volume ; it exhibits great purity of taste and of feeling. We may not always be able to approve of the mere language as an exhibition of rhythmic power, though usually it is harmonious and very musical, but the sentiments and the thoughts it clothes are never at variance with what a woman should think and feel. Would that the healthy moral tone and the purity of feeling here exhibited, were more prevalent amongst our existing English poets ; Dobell, Smith, Gerald Massey, and James Bailey are more defective in this respect than they are even in Wordsworthian repose and Grecian chasteness and simplicity.

There are one or two points on which we will venture to give Miss Leslie a word of warning. We do this the more readily, because we fully recognize her merit, and believe that her faults are neither numerous nor ineradicable. Let her then, first of all, be careful in the use of adjectives. A poet, we are aware, can no more do without them than without flowers, stars and rhythm ; but, like many other things, they are good or bad according as they are used; now if they are used too frequently, or inappropriately, they greatly weaken style. In our younger days, we had a fellow-student who could not express his approval of the most ordinary things without declaring that the loaf before him was superb, the coffee magnificent, and the tea glorious! Now if De Quincy is right-and no living writer has a deeper knowledge of the significance and fitness of words-in saying that he only knows one object on earth made by the hand of man which can appropriately be called sublime, then what an offence to good taste must that have been, of which we have just spoken! Had not its excess rendered it ridiculous, it would have grated on the ears with the offensiveness of fifty hackery wheels. We distinctly wish it to be understood that Miss Leslie is never guilty of the extreme inappropriateness to which we have alluded, but could she write the words “ forehead” and “brow” without appending the adjectives “pale,” or “white ?" Does not the word “fingers," always suggest the other word,

tapering ?” Such iterations and common places are by all means to be avoided.

A similar tendency to that we have just indicated, is seen in the very frequent combination of words, which occasionally weakens her lines, and sometimes violates the usage of the English language. Such as the following are open to one objection or the other, “large-souled,” “stiff-jewelled,” “Eden-land," “Soul-father,” « gladly-guested,” “ sigh-companioned,” “valelily,” “ fondness-full.”

We think it more important still to caution Miss Leslie against too great a love of word-painting, lest it should weaken her inclination for originality of thought and conception. Words are often mistaken for thoughts, and by none so frequently as by young poets. It is a very natural and therefore a pardonable error; but yet it is an error. True poetry is found not so much

in words as in ideas. Miss Leslie is sometimes beguiled from what she should say, by reflecting too much on the best manner in which she can say it; she is therefore occasionally too stiff and artificial, and her lines move onward, not with the free impulsiveness with which a child walks, but with the deliberateness of one who is obliged to pick his way, or who marches in some slow and stately procession. However, time will give her more thoughts, and experience will increase her power of varied expression. Her reading may have much to do with this attribute of her poetry. We suspect she has read much more extensively in the field of modern than of old English poetry. This is matter for regret. Our best recent poets have been the deepest students of the old masters of song, not of their cotemporaries. They have discovered where the gold mines are. Any one conversant with Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Tennyson, cannot fail to perceive at whose feet they sat and learned, learned, so far as genius admits of being taught. However much there may be that is admirable in the best modern poetry, we take it to be an important thing that a writer bring himself frequently into close converse with minds most diverse from his own, both in their forms of thought and of expression. The result is both instructive and invigorating.

We cannot close our remarks without a definite expression of our opinion. This volume contains indubitable proofs of considerable poetic power. It is full of promise for the future. She who can utter some of the fine and beautiful things here written, should continue to write. Its fair authoress has no small store of that wealth of language and imagery, and that enthusiasm in behalf of her noble art, of which true poets are made; may she live to fulfil the promise which her book justifies us in cherishing !

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