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VISions of silent lake and hill,
Bids once again the pageant rise;
Once more before these weary eyes.
The lamb lone bleating on the crag,
And then from all these memories sweet,
• The cuckoo is heard all the year round on the lake.
With eager look and beaming eye,
And oh, how glorious was the scene,
When up June's sky of sapphire hue;
The moon sailed up the welkin blue,
And then, as all the scene we eyed,
When manhood's ardent struggles past,
At night around the blazing hearth,
July 2, 1848.
THE INSPIRED POETESS.
BY C. A. M. W.,
Author of the “Fairy's Gifts," “ The Requiem of the St. Evremonds,” &c.
A few years ago, there came to reside in a pretty embowered country town, famed alike for its salubrity and dullness, a lady who was evidently a new made widow, bringing with her a daughter apparently about twenty years of age.
There was nothing remarkable in this lady's history, in short, it was an every-day one; her deceased husband had held an appointment of a few hundreds a year in a government office, and no pension being awarded to the widows or children of the employed, he had ensured his life for a trifling sum, leaving his wife and child totally dependent on its proceeds for subsistence; and they soon found that even their former small means were affluent when compared to this pittance.
Mrs. Forest was imbued, fortunately for herself at this juncture, with the most straightforward, business-like principles; so that she did not allow her grief to retard the necessary disposition of her affairs; but having some knowledge of the locality, she was induced from various circumstances to take up her abode in the before-named town, a small house being secured for her future residence, by friends residing in the vicinity; and the transportation of such articles of furniture as she needed to fill it, being all the expense incurred, the sale of the remainder, from the far grander home of her married life, served to defray the expense of removal.
But although Mrs. Forest's story was a common-place one, and she herself had nothing remarkable to characterise her, yet she exhibited one trait, perhaps not very much out of the common way either-only in her case it was carried to an excess; and this was, her overweening opinion of the excellencies, both of mind and person, displayed by her daughter. This young lady had received the usual education afforded to girls in her position and circumstances; but from whom she inherited the romantic propensities, and strongly marked desire to render herself an object of notoriety, by various eccentric and fanciful proceedings, it was impossible to guess : her deceased father having been one of the most plodding and quietly disposed sons
of the desk, with no thought or wish beyond the daily monotonous routine of social existence; and her mother's unbounded astonishment and admiration at the fair Laura's "sayings and doings,” sufficiently evincing her simple and single-heartedness. She was indeed a worthy and kind soul, and the one pardonable weakness of her nature is sometimes very touching and sweet to behold, in a lesser degree, and when tempered with a proper degree of authority and judgment.
Miss Laura Forest's freaks had been displayed at an early age, when on being taken for the first time to witness a theatrical representation, she had expressed her incontrovertible and lasting decision of becoming an actress ; not in the high tragic line, or the genteel comedy, but amid clouds and stars, angels and enchanted castles, to float earthwards in aerial dances, entwined by flowery bands, and enchaining all hearts. But after this fancy had actually lasted for some months, and her peaceful home had been often turned upside down, by ropes fastened across odd corners, to the staircases, or wherever they could be ren. dered eligible, for the purpose of the young lady practising her fairy-like descents, a sudden stop was put to the hallucination ; for with crushed wings (paper ones, be it certified) and a bleed. ing, broken arm, she was picked up at the foot of the stairs, after an unpre meditated, and somewhat ungraceful flight downwards.
Yet the partial mother, albeit thankful that the matter ended here, and was no worse, the cure as to stage exhibitions being complete, whispered to some of her intimate friends, “That certainly her Laura bade fair to rival Taglioni, if her demonstrative genius had not received so decided a check !"
One fancy rapidly followed another; fits of musical enthu. siasm, for instance—when she was seized with a passionate desire to make a pilgrimage on foot to Germany, for the purpose of gazing on the immortal Beethoven. Why could she not accomplish this feat? Elizabeth, in the “ Exiles of Siberia," had done far more, and was not that true?
Long rambles and incessant sketching from nature came next in succession, when the imprudent artist caught a cold which nearly cost her her life, from sitting on damp grave stones in the early spring season, drawing the outlines of an old grey church. Mediocre in all, steadfast in none, the enthusiasm evaporated from natural causes, but the lurking vanity and unsettled mind remained, fostered and fed by the injudicious praise of the mother, who knew not that patient, arduous, and unremitting study, even where the bent of genius is decided, alone could procure for the wavering Laura, a moderate and just meed of praise.
But notwithstanding all these absurdities, Laura was a fond