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own Thalaba, ever faithful, hopeful alike in seasons of victory and of doubt, and to hear him at last raising the exultant strain of triumph, as over the disastrous retreat from Moscow :
" Witness that dread retreat,
When God and nature smote
The tyrant in his pride!
On every side he met
Invincible in arms.
There where the soldiers' blood
And nightly the cold moon
Whom there the morning found
The highest and most impetuous of these strains is the ode written during the negotiations with Napoleon in 1814. Since Milton's tremendous imprecation against the Papal tyranny on occasion of the Piedmontese massacre, I know of no piece of political invective equal to it. It is hurled with the force and the fire of a thunderbolt, one burst of indignation following another, and closing with an accumulation of all the deeds of blood identified with the name of him who had been at once the terror and the wonder of Europe. Let me give the opening and ending stanzas of the ode :
“Who counsels peace at this momentous hour,
And to the injured power?
When innocent blood,
Follow the avenging sword ?
“Woe, woe to England! woe and endless shame,
If this heroic land,
Be suffered still to stand !
“ Franco! if thou lovest thine ancient fame,
Revenge thy sufferings and thy shame.
Of frozen Moscovy;
By the widows' and the orphans' cry;
By the ruin he hath spread;
Open thine eyes! Too long hast thou been blind !
By those horrors which the night
By murdered Hofer's martyrdom;
From these notes, tuned in tumultuous times, and fit to cope with the tempest's swell, let me further illustrate the varied power of Southey's genius by turning to a passage in his pleasing poem, " The Tale of Paraguay." It is an exquisite specimen of purely pathetic poetry, full of the truth of feeling and of fancy,—the description of the death-bed of a young and innocent female. What can be more beautiful or more touching than the line which actually pictures to your imagination the sweet smile of the dying one?—
“Who could dwell Unmoved upon
the fate of one so young, So blithesome late ? What marvel if tears fell
From that good man, as over her he hung, And that the prayers he said came faltering from his tongue ?
“She saw him weep, and she could understand
The cause thus tremulously that made him speak.
Past, while she looked at him with meaning meek,
Played with their hold; then, letting him depart,
“Mourn not for her; for what hath life to give
That should detain her ready spirit here?
Oh, who would keep her soul from being free?
“She hath passed away, and on her lips a smile
When, lifting up her dying arms, she said,
I might exhibit yet another phase of Southey's poetry in his humorous pieces. No man has better shown that one trait of genius,--the carrying forward the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood:
“My days have been the days of joy,
Time, which matures the intellectual part,
This natural and cultivated cheerfulness has vented itself in his playful poetry, to relieve his own exu-. berant feelings, and to gladden his happy household group. There is something exceedingly fine in bearing him at one time uttering strains that sound from Arabia, or Gothic Spain, or the wilds of America, or from the magic supernatural caverns under the night of the ocean, -at another time sounding one of those tremendous imprecations on the head of Bonaparte,—and then to find him writing, from the fulness of a father's heart, poetic stories for his children. This he deemed part of his vocation; for, as he sings in one of his sportive lyrics :
“I am laureate
No man ever clung with deeper or manlier devotion to his household gods. For his children's sake, and for the sake of his own moral nature, he ever kept the young heart alive within him. There was wisdom in this, as he has shown in the plea that he has appended to one of his wild ballads :
“I told my tale of the Holy Thumb,
That split the dragon asunder;
Which were full of delight and wonder.
“With listening lips and looks intent,
There sate an eager boy,
And could not sit still for joy.