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ART. VIII.-WESTERN POETRY-No. V.

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HAVING a little leisure the other day, we undertook to trace out the time and place of the first glimmering of the star of Poesy in the West. It was an interesting, and part of the time, a really intellectual amusement; and we are happy to say, that our antiquarian researches were crowned with sucFor a time we feared we should have to pause upon the rude boat-songs and wild choruses of Mike Fink, and his redoubtable companions: "Hard upon the beach oar," "All the way to Shawneetown," "Row! row! on the bright 'Hio!" &c. &c. But at length our eye discerned something glimmering -but, neglected, and "alone in its glory"-away back in the dim shadows of half a century. We very soon had it safely deposited in our case of antique gems, for future examination; and we now exhibit it to our friends, with considerable pride at having rescued a thing so worthy of preservation, from the oblivion to which it had been so long consigned. It is a fragment of a poetical address, which was delivered at Marietta, on the Fourth of July, 1789, "by Return Jonathan Meigs, Esq., Attorney and Counsellor at Law." It is of the old school class of poetry: the imagery is pleasant, and the versification very beautiful. We doubt if Independence Day has called forth anything among us, superior to this extract, from that time to the present.

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ENOUGH of tributary praise is paid;
To virtue living, or to merit dead:
To happier themes, the rural muse invites,
To calmnest pleasures, and serene delights.
To us, glad fancy, brightest prospects shows,
Rejoicing Nature, all around us glows;
Here late the Savage hid in ambush lay,
Or roam'd th' uncultur'd valleys for his prey;
Here frowned the forest with terrific shade,
No cultur'd fields expos'd the opening glade.
How chang'd the scene! See Nature cloth'd in smiles
With joy repays the laborer for his toils:
Her hardy gifts rough industry extends,
The groves bow down, the lofty forest bends;
On every side the cleaving axes sound,

The oak and tall beach thunder to the ground.
And see the spires of MARIETTA rise,
And domes and temples swell into the skies:
Here Justice reigns, and foul dissensions cease!
Her walks be pleasant, and her paths be peace!

Here swift Muskingum rolls his rapid waves;
There fruitful valleys fair Ohio laves;
On its smooth surface gentle zephys play,
The sun-beams tremble with a placid ray.
What future harvests on his bosom glide,
And loads of commerce swell the 'downward tide,"
Where Mississippi joins in length'ning sweep,
And rolls majestic to the Atlantic deep.

Along our banks, see distant villas spread;
Here waves the corn, and there extends the mead;
Here sound the murmurs of the gurgling rills;
There bleat the flocks upon a thousand hills.
Fair opes the lawn-the fertile fields extend,
The kindly showers from smiling Heaven descend;
The skies drop fatness on the blooming vale,
From spicy shrubs ambrosial sweets exhale;
Fresh fragrance rises from the flow'ret's bloom,
And ripening vineyards breathe a "glad perfume."
Gay swells the music of the warbling grove,
And all around is melody and love.

Here may religion fix her blest abode,
Bright emanation of creative God;
Here charity extend her liberal hand,
And mild benevolence o'erspread the land;
In harmony the social virtues blend;
Joy without measure, rapture without end!

One of the earliest Western writers, whose poetical efforts won any share of public attention, was Mr. John B. Dillon.The "Prophet's Dream," "Burial of the Beautiful," and "Orphan's Harp," of this gentleman, have been widely circulated, and greatly admired. They are indeed very creditable to our literature, and worthy of their author's fine genius.The "Orphan's Harp" was first published in the "Western Souvenir for 1828," and from that really superior but neglected annual we copy it.

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Perhaps the "Prophet's Dream" gives better evidence than the above, of a cultivated and poetical mind. It is greatly to our liking; but we are aware that others do not appreciate it so highly. The versification, though varied, is easy throughout; and the language is always strong and appropriate. We regard parts of it as very superior; and we think it but seldom, indeed, that better justice is done a scripture subject.

THE PROPHET'S DREAM.

"The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled. "-Isaiah xxiv, 3.

WHERE fell the palm-tree's clustering shade,
The aged and weary Prophet lay,
And o'er his fevered temples played
The freshness of the primal day.
He slept and on his spirit fell

A vision of the flight of Time-
He saw upon the future dwell

A dark'ning cloud of sin and crime.

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"Let the sword go forth"-and forth it went,
And gleamed o'er tower and battlement,
And glanced in the tented field,

And helms were cleft, and shields were broke,
And breasts were bared to the battle stroke,
Only in death to yield:

The warriors met--but not to part

And the sun glared redly on the scene;
And the broken sword, and the trampled heart,
Might tell where the battle steed had been.
Dark and still, by the moon's pale beam,

Lay mouldering heaps of slaughtered men-
The fountain of a sanguine stream-

Earth drank the blood of her offspring then.

"Go forth Disease "-and at the word,
The groans of a stricken world were heard,
And the voice of woe rose high-
And myriads yielded up their breath
As the haggard form of the tyrant Death,
On the rotten breeze swept by.
And the lovely green that overspread
The world in its guiltless day,

Grew as deeply dark, and sear'd and dead,
As the parched earth, where it lay.
With lifeless limbs the livid trees

Stood locked in the arms of Death,
Save one, that still to the withering breeze
Could lend its poisonous breath.
Deeply the world, in that drear time,
Felt the deadly curse of sin and crime.

"Famine go forth "--and at the name,

Rose a feeble shriek, and a fearful laugh, And a tottering fleshless monster came,

The lingering stream of life to quaff-
And he stalk'd o'er the earth, and the languid crowds
Were crush'd to the dust in their mildew'd shrouds ;
Then rose the last of human groans,

As the shrivelled skin hung loose on the bones,
And the stream of life was gone-
And Death expired on that awful day,
Where his slaughtered millions round him lay,
For his fearful task was done.

Old Earth was lone--for her offspring lay
Mouldering dark on her bosom of clay-

All tones of life were hushed-
And the brazen tombs of sepulchred men,
That battled the might of Time till then,
Atom by atom were crushed-
And desolate round in its orbit whirl'd
The peopleless wreck of a worn out world.

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The dreamer woke, and the glorious day
Broke calmly on his dream-

And the joyous birds from each green spray
Caroll'd their morning hymn-
The Earth still moved in beauty there,

With its clustering groves and emerald plains,
And the pure breeze bore the Prophet's prayer,

To the throne where the Rock of Ages reigns.

The "Burial of the Beautiful" is one of those delightful productions, which strike upon the feelings like the mellow notes of distant music, or the calm breathings of the sweet southwest at eventide. We shall always feel great respect for that One canmind, which furnishes us with such reading as this. not but be a better member of society, after communing for a time with such a spirit--for the kindlier sympathies of his nature are awakened, and his heart feels a yearning towards whatever is beautiful and lovely in existence. We experience this feeling whenever we bend over the pages of Mrs. Hemans, or Wordsworth, or Bishop Heber; and it is this which gives their poetry one of its greatest charms.

BURIAL OF THE BEAUTIFUL.

WHERE shall the dead, and the beautiful sleep?
In the vale where the willow and cypress weep;
Where the wind of the west breathes its softest sigh;
Where the silvery stream is flowing nigh,
And the pure, clear drops of its rising sprays
Glitter like gems in the bright moon's rays-
Where the sun's warm smile may never dispel
Night's tears o'er the form we loved so well-
In the vale where the sparkling waters flow;
Where the fairest, earliest violets grow;
Where the sky and the Earth are softly fair,
Bury her there-bury her there!

Where shall the dead, and the beautiful sleep?
Where wild flowers bloom in the valley deep;
Where the sweet robe of spring may softly rest,
In purity, over the sleeper's breast;

Where is heard the voice of the sinless dove,
Breathing notes of deep and undying love;
Where no column proud in the sun may glow,
To mock the heart that is resting below;.
Where pure hearts are sleeping, forever blest;
Where wandering Perii love to rest;
Where the sky and the Earth are softly fair,
Bury her there-bury her there!

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