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BY HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
[From the June Lippincott.]
What an image of peace and rest
Is this little church among its graves!
See how the ivy climbs and expands
And seems to caress with its little hands
You cross the threshold, and dim and small
Is the space that serves for the Shepherd's fold:
The narrow aisle, the bare white wall,
The pews, and the pulpit quaint and tall,
Herbert's chapel at Bemerton
Hardly more spacious is than this, But Poet and Pastor, blent in one, Clothed with a splendor, as of the sun, That lowly and holy edifice.
It is not the wall of stone without
That makes the building small or great,
And the love that stronger is than hate.
More than a bishop's diocese
Should I prize this place of rest and release
Here would I stay, and let the world
With its distant thunder roar and roll: Storms do not rend the sail that is furled, Nor like a dead leaf, tossed and whirled
In an eddy of wind, is the anchored soul.
HESE latest productions of the genius of LONGFELLOW will be accepted as worthy of his great reputation and as fitting successors of those works which have made him so eminent among the poets whom England, as America, is proud to claim.
No writer of the New World has sympathized so completely with the spirit and traditions of the Old World, or felt so intensely and realized so perfectly the meaning of some of the beautiful old religious legends current among the simple, unlettered, but faithful folk of the Middle Ages; and "The Legend Beautiful" of this volume is a not unworthy companion of some of the more exquisite passages of the "Golden Legend" of the same author. "Monte Cassino " and "Castles in Spain" exhibit that power of recalling the memories of the past, when visiting localities made famous by association with great spirits, which in its wide sympathy and subtle
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appreciation of picturesque accessories is almost peculiar to LONGFELLOW.
"Kéramos" is a poem worthy of the beautiful ceramic art which suggested it. Graceful in form, delicate in colouring, varied in details, it appropriately reflects the characteristics of the productions which are now collected with such eagerness; and the refrain of the artist-worker, intermingled with the vivid descriptions, is another embodiment of the old Scripture metaphors in which "clay in the hand of the potter" is so profoundly suggestive.
A word of explanation may be necessary in reference to the quaint title, "Wapentake," prefixed to the sonnet, so full of generous appreciation, addressed to TENNYSON. Ordinarily the word is only used to signify a local division in the north of England, and in that sense would be without meaning in the present connexion. But the older meaning, according to some authorities, is that of "weapon-touching," and refers to the homage accorded by a knight to his superior in rank, by reverentially touching the lance of the other with his own. In this sense, Longfellow says to the English Laureate, "Poet! I come to touch thy lance with mine."