« PreviousContinue »
WILLIAM G. CROSBY.
Hon. WILLIAM G. CROSBY, the present Whig Governor of this State, is a native of the city of Belfast, where he now resides, engaged in the practice of law. He is an alumnus of Bowdoin College and one of the • Bowdoin Poets,' spoken of in our sketch of Mr. Weston. While a member of this institution he devoted himself quite successfully to the Muses, and we believe published a small volume of poems, although he writes us that he never meets any of his old productions without a strong desire to disclaim their authorship, and cast them into oblivion. Notwithstanding this, we feel obliged, owing to the superior merit of his poetry, and the prominent positions which he has occupied in the literary world, to place him among the Native Poets of Maine. Of late years, he has written but very little, and that prose, although his poetry is of a higher order, and is better calculated to show the true character and depth of his talent.
The works to which Mr. Crosby contributed, when devoting his unoccupied moments to literary recreation, were of the most popular kind then published. Among others, were • The Token,' a Boston Annual, edited by Nathaniel P. Willis, and other distinguished literary men. • The Legendary,' a work illustrating scenes, manners, and legends of our country, and of which we have alluded to more fully in our other sketches; and the · Bowdoin Poets.' He is introduced into • Specimens of American Poetry,' a work in three volumes, edited by Samuel Kettell, and published by S. G. Goodrich & Co., Boston, in 1829. In the · Biographical Sketch,' of a few lines only, the editor introduces him as the author of Poetical Illustrations of the Atheneum Gallery, besides various other performances in verse.' The poem
given in that work as a specimen of Mr. Crosby's poetry,was one entitled, “ To a Lady, with a Withered Leaf,' which we have included in this volume.
For several years Mr. Crosby has been engaged in political matters, and filled several offices of importance and trust connected with the affairs of State, and public movements. It cannot be expected that a man, however gifted and however highly and delicately cultivated his mind may be, who goes into the arena of political strife, amid its calumnies, intrigues, and debasing influences, can retain, to any honorable extent a companionship with the Muse. A man whose mind has been cultivated, as his has been, should find a sphere of greater usefulness far removed from such scenes, where he could do honor to himself, to his friends, and to the noble gifts which nature has endowed him with. How much happier, and more peacefully would his pathway down the slope of declining years be made, and how much more calmly and resignedly would he go down into his grave, over which the voice of calumny, enmity, and political wrongs would never be breathed.
TELLING THE DREAM.
'Tis a most beauteous night! Ianthe, come !
Is't not beautiful !
Glory, dominion for a wanton's smile!
Come, rest within this bower, And I will tell thee, though thy lips may chide, And call me ‘ Dreaming Boy.' Yes, I have dreamed — Perchance am dreaming now; but thou shalt hear :
I had lain down to slumber on a bank Sprinkled with violets. The plaintive moan Of far-off waters, mingling with the hum Of thousand busy insects, gathering in Each its own store of sweets, filling the air With melody, spread its sweet influence O’er my lulled senses, and methought that I Was wandering here, with thee! 'Twas strange, Ianthe! But then the time, the place, so like to this, I cannot but remember. 'Twas a night Like this, save that it wore the loveliness And richness of a dream o'er all its charms. The sporting moonbeams twined themselves around The leaves and branches of the o'erhanging trees, Like ivy round the mouldering monument Half seen, half hid and from their azure depths, The stars were looking out with eyes that watch O'er Nature's slumbering. We had left the hall To lighter hearts, and arm in arm had strayed Through the long winding mazes of the grove, Until, at length, we reached this bower. One beam Of moonlight, streaming through its trellised roof, Fell on thy cheek; methought it never looked
One half so lovely — and, indeed, till now,
brain should dream what my tongue fears To utter even now! 'Twas but a dream, However, and the masquers are not gone, So I'll e'en finish it - well then, methought, I told thee, though 'twas in a whispered breath, And softer than the night wind's gentlest sigh, How I did love- that was the word - did love, And even worship thee! And then I swore, By Venus, and the starry train above — By thy bright eyes, which did outrival them By all love's fond remembrances, that I Would guard and cherish thee, wouldst thou but be My own, my own Ianthe! And then — thenHeed not my passionate dreaming — I did seal My vow upon thy lips; and then I watched To see them open, and to hear thy voice, Stcal forth in gentle murmuring, like the tone Of a sigh that hath found utterance. Then I twined Mine arm around thee - thus; and placed thy cheek Upon my boscm thus; and bade thee tell, Though 'twere but with a glance, or place thy heart Upon thy lips, and breathe it in a kiss, If I might dare to love; and then thine eyes Peered up through their dark lashes, with a look So tender, yet so melancholy, and Thy lips parted with a sigh- and then And then
Do dreams always prove true, Ianthe?