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He strove with none; for none was worth his strife.
Nature he loved ; and next to Nature, Art.
He warm'd both hands before the fire of life :

It sinks ; and he is ready to depart. It is hardly worth while to be a poet, and, as it were, the spoiled child of fortune-to be so hard to please, and so ungrateful.

George Crabbe is one of those didactic and somewhat prosy poets, whom younger men will hardly allow to be poets at all. Born before all those last mentioned, he belonged to a former school of literaturethat of Goldsmith, Johnson, and Parnell, and wrote in the same exact ten-syllabic measure, but with an originality all his own. Born of humble parents, Crabbe was educated for the medical profession, but being unsuccessful, applied to Edmund Burke, the statesman, who advised him to take orders in the Church of England, and who afterwards opened the path for his preferment. Dr. Johnson revised his poem of the “ Village ;” and at a later period of his life Mr. Murray, the publisher, gave him £3,000 for his poem, or series of poems, called.“ Tales of the Hall.” Those were golden days for poets; but the public were eager for such works ; and truly they contain beautiful passages and much pathos, tenderness, minuteness, and careful writing. Byron calls Crabbe

Nature's sternest painter, yet the best. There is a simplicity and directness in Crabbe's lines which make them easily remembered ; and the truth, plot, and character in his “Tales” make them pleasant and instructive reading. His fault is that he seldom rises above a respectable level, and his lack of broad and warm sympathy with mankind causes him too often CRABBE-PROCTER.


to sit in severe judgment on slight offenders. Such quaintnesses as these are not readily forgotten

Old Jonas Kindred, Sibyl Kindred's sire,

Was six feet high, and look'd six inches higher. When an old lady falls down stairs she has

Heaven in her eye, and in her hand her keys. And similar lines might be cited in abundance.

After classic Landor, whose best poetry is his prose Imaginary Conversations,” and whose best verse is in Latin, let us mention Mr. Procter (Barry Cornwall, as he has preferred to be known), a man who was amongst great men-Keats, Lamb, and Coleridgebut not of them, but who is an elegant poet, and a reproducer, in the form of fragments, of many of the excellencies of the Elizabethan dramatists. Graceful, tender, finished, and with the true spirit of a high-class gentleman in all he writes and does, there are few pleasanter books than Barry Cornwall's “Songs and Dramatic Scenes ;” few more fit to place in the hands of the highly-cultured and pure of both sexes. The last fruit that Mr. Procter has borne is a “ Biography of Charles Lamb”- book which should live, and will live, as a tender masterpiece, descriptive of a sadly noble life. Nor should this enumeration of the poets of a late period be without mention of Lamb himself, whose poetic efforts are few and imperfect, but sparkle in places with the true poetic flame; and whose

Essays" will ever endear him to the lovers of their fellow-men.

The poet to whom a few words will be devoted in closing this chapter, is one not yet properly recognized. Great, especially human and tender, and original, he is


thoroughly a poet of the people; and yet in his highest flights he reaches the farthest heaven of true poetry. And this man (unhappily perhaps for himself) begining in comic literature peculiarly modern, and of a fashion which is now passing away, was for years looked upon as a droll and a jester rather than a poet. Thomas Hood was the son of a publisher of the firm of Vernor and Hood, and was brought up as a silver engraver, but soon left the stool and sand-bag of the artist for the pen of the periodical writer, and for many years waged a bold war with fate, poverty, and the public, until he succumbed to ill health and incessant work in 1845. He was an author entirely sui generis; he is of his own school; he was like none other, and he left many who strove to imitate him, he left none like him. “What shall be said of him ? " writes a critic. “Everything that is laughable, or everything that is sorrowful; for either can be indulged in with equal truth. To say that he has a perfect command over our smiles or our tears, is to express his powers very inadequately. Pathos and deep tenderness, lovely fancies and an elegant taste -or extravagant merriment, grotesque ugliness, and most ridiculous and irresistible absurdities—all these were within the range of his genius and his talent, and all have at different times been displayed.” But after that sentence has been written, how inadequately it expresses our opinion of Hood! A genius of a high class cutting capers and making jokes, an author of the humour and deeper calibre of the highest Elizabethan poets, and with the gentle satire of Touchstone, an essayist in his way as subtile as Charles Lamb, a tale-maker with the drolatique power and capability of



Rabelais, and a poet with much of the sweetness and more than the pathos of Keats ;-these together would make up Thomas Hood. Worn out as a magazine writer, and as he said with a pathetic pun, the eating cares of a family, with the brain-work which hard writing, which alone produces easy reading, induces, this great author died, leaving no equal, but leaving a world only then ready to know and love him. He had often pleaded the cause of the poor, and in “Punch” he made a powerful appeal in behalf of poor needle-women, called “ The Song of the Shirt.” Dying full of Christian faith and hope, and comforted by love and deep humility, he desired to have engraved upon his tombstone, as an epitaph, this simple memorial of the one little act that had most graced his life—“ He sang the Song of the Shirt;” and under this memorial the man who excited so much merriment in his lifetime, and who did so much good, the fellow of infinite goodness and infinite jest, this poor Yorick of our poets, lies.

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JONQUERORS,” says Thomas Carlyle,

“are a class of men with whom, for the
most part, the world can well dispense

.. but a true poet, a man in whose

heart resides some of the effluence of tone of the 'eternal melodies,' is the most precious gift that can be bestowed upon a nation.” Such a gift was bestowed when Robert Burns was born, and happily upon a people who prized the precious gift at its true value. Demoralized by the exodus of some of their bravest and their best men, rendered poorer by the union with a richer country, Scotland might have fallen into the querulous temper and the periodical poverty of Ireland; but God sent the Scots a true singer, and he aroused them to a sense of their own dignity and worth. Afterwards came another man of genius; and he, too, exalted the nation ; for what prophets were unto Israel, so the true poets are to modern nations ; and it is not too much to say, that more than to any politician or inventor, more than to any abstruse

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