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after Smith; but, I thought, very unjustly. Smith, I fancy, was more airy, and took the eye with a certain gayety of person. He brought with him no somber recollections of tragedy. He had not to expiate the fault of having pleased beforehand in lofty declamation. He had no sins of Hamlet or of Richard to atone for. His failure in these parts was a passport to success in one of so opposite a tendency. But, as far as I could judge, the weighty sense of Kemble made up for more personal incapacity than he had to answer for. His harshest tones in this part came steeped and dulcified in good humor. He made his defects a grace. His exact declamatory manner, as he managed it, only served to convey the points of his dialogue with more precision. It seemed to head the shafts to carry them deeper. Not one of his sparkling sentences was lost. I remember minutely how he delivered each in succession, and cannot by any effort imagine how any of them could be altered for the better. No man could deliver brilliant dialogue — the dialogue of Congreve or of Wycherley - because none understood it, half so well as John Kemble. His Valentine, in "Love for Love," was to my recollection, faultless. He flagged sometimes in the intervals of tragic passion. He would slumber over the level parts of an heroic character. His Macbeth has been known to nod. But he always seemed to me to be particularly alive to pointed and witty dialogue. The relaxing levities of tragedy have not been touched by any since him; the playful courtbred spirit in which he condescended to the players in Hamlet, the sportive relief which he threw into the darker shades of Richard, disappeared with him. He had his sluggish moods, his torpors; but they were the halting-stones and resting-place of his tragedy-politic savings and fetches of the breathhusbandry of the lungs, where nature pointed him to be an economist — rather, I think, than errors of the judgment. They were, at worst, less painful than the eternal tormenting unappeasable vigilance, the "lidless dragon eyes," of present fashionable tragedy.


JANUARY, 1798.

I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions,

In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days

All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies-
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I loved a love once, fairest among women:
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her -
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;

Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces. Ghost-like, I paced round the haunts of my childhood: Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse, Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother!
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces.

For some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed:
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.


WHEN maidens such as Hester die,
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try,
With vain endeavor.

A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed
And her together.

A springing motion in her gait,
A rising step, did indicate
Of pride and joy no common rate,
That flushed her spirit.

I know not by what name beside
I shall it call: if 'twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied,

She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool;
But she was trained in Nature's school-
Nature had blest her.

A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;

A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind,
Ye could not Hester.


I SAW where in the shroud did lurk

A curious frame of Nature's work.

A floweret crushèd in the bud,

A nameless piece of Babyhood,
Was in a cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying;

So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb!

She did but ope an eye, and put

A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?

Shall we say that Nature blind

Checked her hand and changed her mind,
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finished pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,

Or lacked she the Promethean fire

(With her nine moons' long workings sickened)
That should thy little limbs have quickened?
Limbs so firm they seemed to assure

Life of health, and days mature:
Woman's self in miniature!
Limbs so fair they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe or mother- one must die:
So in mercy left the stock,
And cut the branch, to save the shock
Of young years widowed; and the pain,
When single state comes back again
To the lone man who, 'reft of wife,
Thenceforwards drags a maimèd life?
The economy of Heaven is dark;

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And wisest clerks have missed the mark,
Why Human Buds, like this, should fall,
More brief than fly ephemeral,

That has his day; while shriveled crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones,
And crabbed use the conscience sears
In sinners of an hundred years.
Mother's prattle, mother's kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne'er wilt miss.
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells and baby clothes;
Coral redder than those lips,
Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infant's glee,
Whistle never tuned for thee:

Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have them,

Loving hearts were they which gave them.
Let not one be missing; nurse,

See them laid upon the hearse
Of infant slain by doom perverse.
Why should kings and nobles have
Pictured trophies to their grave;
And we, churls, to thee deny
Thy pretty toys with thee to lie,
A more harmless vanity?

IN MY OWN Album.

FRESH clad from heaven in robes of white,
A young probationer of light,
Thou wert my soul, an album bright,

A spotless leaf: but thought and care,
And friend and foe, in foul or fair,
Have "written strange defeatures" there;

And Time with heaviest hand of all,
Like that fierce writing on the wall,
Hath stamped sad dates he can't recall;

And error gilding worst designs

Like speckled snake that strays and shines -
Betrays his path by crooked lines;

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