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lately have entirely enjoyed the monopoly of the English market; now they will be obliged to join the body of native authors, and hurry to the rescue. So long as they could trespass on the mistaken courtesy of the British publishers, and get four thousand guineas for this Life of Columbus, and two hundred guineas for that Typee, there was no occasion for any interference; in fact, they were materially benefited by this crying injustice to the great body of authors. Now their own rights are in jeopardy, and they must join the ranks of International Copyright.

We cannot help here remarking that if we were an American author, we should compel certain writers to account for their past apathy and their present activity; as, however, we wish to close these remarks with good-humor, we shall quote a little anecdote which has gone the round of society in England. It also evidences that Janus-faced figure which every fact and fiction possesses for the human thought.

Owing to some accident there are two portraits of an author in Mr. Murray's private office, in Albemarle street. A friend inquiring of him one day the cause of this superabundant reverence for the great writer, received for reply: “Really, I cannot account for it on any other ground than the fact that I have lost twice as much by that author as by any other.”

Although somewhat irrelevant the mention of Mr. Murray's name reminds us of a joke played off by Byron upon that prince of publishers. Mr. Leigh Hunt was our informant.

The “ moody Childe” had given to Murray as a birthday present a Bible magnificently bound, and which he enriched

by a very flattering inscription. This was laid by the grateful publisher on his drawing-room table, and somewhat ostentatiously displayed to all comers. One evening, as a large company were gathered around the table, one of the guests happened to open the Testament, and saw some writing in the margin. Calling to Murray, he said: “Why, Byron has written something here !” Narrower inspection proved that the profane wit had erased the word “ robber" in the text and substituted that of "publisher,” so that the passage read thus : “Now, Barabbas was a publisher !” The legend goes on to state that the book disappeared that very night from the drawing-room table.

After this digression we must return to our poet's fortunes.

Mr. Poe abandoned the “Southern Literary Messenger” to assist Professors Anthon, Henry, and Hawks in the conducting of the “New York Quarterly Review.” Here he came down pretty freely with his critical axe, and made many enemies. At the end of a year he went to Philadelphia, and amused himself by writing for the “Gentleman's Magazine," since merged into Graham's. His criticisms here, as usual, occasioned mnch discussion.

Mr. Poe's first volume of poems was a modest pamphlet, called “ Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems, by a Virginian.” It was published at Boston, in his fifteenth year. The following lines were written two years previous ; they exhibit great promise for a boy of thirteen.


“ Helen, thy beauty is to me,

Like those Nicean barks of yore,

That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,

The weary, way-worn wanderer bore,
To his own native shore.

"On desperate seas long wont to roam,

Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy naiad airs have brought me home,

To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

“Lo! in yon brilliant window niche,

How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which

Are Holy Land.”

There is a confused and misty classic reminiscence about these lines which shows the poetical mind in its first dreamy efforts to realize.

A second edition of this volume was published in Baltimore in 1827; and a third, we are informed, during the author's cadetship at West Point.

We are much struck with a poem entitled “Ligrea.” It is intended as a personification of music. It is too long to quote entire ; we must, however, find space for a few stanzas. For a boy of fourteen it is certainly a singular production, and evidences a psychological development painfully precocious, and indicative of future sorrow.

There is a peculiarity of rhythm in all Mr. Poe's verses which is attractive, although occasionally exhibiting too much of their mechanical nature.

This is the “Spirit's Invocation.”

“ Spirit, that dwellest where

In the deep sky
The terrible and fair

In beauty vie.
Beyond the line of blue,

The boundary of the star,
That turneth at the view
Of thy barrier and thy bar.

* * *
Bright beings that ponder

With half-closing eyes,
On the stars which grave wonder
Hath drawn from the skies.

* * *
Up! shake from your wings
All hindering things,
The dew of the night
Will weigh down your flight,
And true-love caresses-

Oh! leave them apart,
They are light on the tresses,

But lead on the heart.

The sound of the rain,

That leaps down to the flower,
And dances again

In the rhythm of the shower.

The murmur that springs

From the growing of grass,
Are the music of things,

But are modelled_alas !"

It is evident to all that the melody of the young poet was here, and only required study and opportunity to come out in glorious and enduring shapes.

In the ensuing extract we have a singular phase of the youthful mind-dreamy, confused; yet in this misty vision we see a world of order forming. It is evidently inspired by some of Keats.

“Ours is a world of words: Quiet we call
Silence, which is the veriest word of all.
Here nature speaks, and evil ideal things
Flap shadowy hands for visionary wings.
A dome, by linked light from heaven let down,
Sat gently on these columns as a crown,
And rays from God shot down that meteor chain,
And hallowed all the beauty twice again,
Save when between the empyrean and that ring
Some eager spirit flapped his dusky wing.
Within the centre of this hall to breathe
She paused, and panted Zanthe! all beneath
The brilliant light that kissed her golden hair,
And long to rest, yet could not sparkle there.
From the wild energy of wanton haste
Her cheek was flushing, and her lips apart,
And zone, that clung about her gentle waist,
Had burst beneath the heaving of her heart."

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