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and publication of the paper. He soon got himself into trouble, being prosecuted for printing a ballad, written by a clergyman of Belfast, in commemoration of the destruction of the Bastile, which was, in that period of great political agitation, interpreted into a seditious libel. He was convicted, and sentenced to a fine of twenty pounds, and three months' imprisonment in York Castle.
On returning to his editorial duties, he abstained, as much as possible, from politics; but in January, 1795, he was tried for a second imputed political offence —a paragraph in his paper which reflected on the conduct of a magistrate in quelling a riot at Sheffield. He was again convicted, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment, to pay a fine of thirty pounds, and to give security to keep the peace for two years. "All the persons,” says the amiable poet, writing in 1840, “who were actively concerned in the prosecutions against me in 1794 and 1795, are dead, and, without exception, they died in peace with me. I believe I am quite correct in saying, that from each of them distinctly, in the sequel, I received tokens of good-will, and, from several of them, substantial proofs of kindness. I mention not this as a plea in extenuation of offences for which I bore the penalty of the law; I rest my justification, in these cases, now on the same grounds, and no other, on which I rested my justification then. I mention the circumstance to the honor of the deceased, and as an evidence that, amidst all the violence of that distracted time, a better spirit was not extinct, but finally prevailed, and, by its healing influence, did indeed comfort those who had been conscientious sufferers.”
In the spring of 1797 he printed his “Prison Amusements,"—the production of his pen during his recent confinement. In 1805 he published “The Ocean," and the next year “The Wanderer of Switzerland, and other Poems,” which, in spite of a very ill-natured criticism in the “ Edinburgh Review," I soon rose into popularity, and completely established the reputation of the author as a poet. His next work was the “West Indies," which appeared in 1809, written in honor of the abolition of the African slave trade by the British legislature in 1807. In vigor and freedom of description, and in fine pathetic painting, this poem is much superior to any thing in his first volume. In 1812 appeared “The World beforo the Flood," a poem in the Euglish heroic couplet, and extending to ten short cantos, of which a writer in the “Monthly Magazine" justly remarkod, that “ No man of taste or feeling can possibly read it without wishing to make others participate in the pleasure he has derived from it.” He next published (1817) “ Thoughts on Wheels," directed against lotteries; and “The Climbing Boy's Soliloquies," to enlist the sympathies of the public in favor of the chimney-sweeps. In 1819 appeared “Greenland,” containing a sketch of the ancient Moravian church and its missions in Greenland. The only other long poem of Mr. Montgomery is “The Pelican Island,” describing the haunts of the pelican in the
small islands on the coast of New Holland.' Besides these, he has written a number of sacred lyrics, which rank among the best in the language.
In 1825, Mr. Montgomery retired from the editorship of the Sheffield newspaper, which post he had filled for more than thirty years. On this occasion his friends and neighbors invited him to a public entertainment. “There the happy and grateful poet 'ran through the story of his life oven from his boyish days,' when he came among them friendless and a stranger, from his retirement at Fulneck among the Moravian brethren, by whom he was educated in all but knowledge of the world. He spoke with pardonable pride of the success which had crowned his labors as an author. “Not, indeed,' he said, “with fame and fortune, as these were lavished on my greater contemporaries--in comparison with whose magnificent possessions on the British Parnassus my small plot of ground is no more than Naboth's vineyard to Ahab's kingdom; but it is my own; it is no copyhold; I borrowed it, I leased it from none. Every foot of it I enclosed from the common myself; and I can say that not an inch which I had once gained have I ever lost.
I wrote neither to suit the manners, the taste, nor the temper of the age; but I appealed to universal principles, to unperishable affections, to primary elements of our common nature, found wherever man is found in civilized society, wherever his mind has been raised above barbarian ignorance, or his passions purified from brutal selfishness.””
In 1830 and 1831, our author was selected to deliver a course of lectures at the Royal Institution, on Poetry and General Literature. This he prepared for the press, and it appeared in 1833; and a more interesting and instructive work on general literature, in the same compass, cannot, I think, be found. “A collected edition of his works, with autobiographical and illustrative matter, was issued in 1841, in four volumes. A tone of generous and enlightened morality pervades all the writings of this poet. He was the enemy of the slave trade and of every form of oppression, and the warm friend of every scheme of philanthropy and improvement. The pious and devotional feelings displayed in his early effusions have grown with his growth, and form the staple of his poetry. In description, however, he is not less happy; and in his ó Greenland' and · Pelican Island' there are passages of great beauty, evincing a refined taste and judgment in the selection of his materials. His late works have more vigor and variety than those by which he first became distinguished. Indeed, his fame was long confined to what is termed the religious world, till he showed, by his cultivation of different styles of poetry, that his depth and sincerity of feeling, the simplicity of his taste, and the picturesque beauty of his language, were not restricted to purely spiritual themes. His smaller poems enjoy a popularity almost equal to those of Moore, which, though differing widely in subject, they resemble in their musical flow, and their compendious happy expression and imagery." 2
THE LOVE OF COUNTRY AND OF HOME.
There is a land, of every land the pride,
The West Indies.
IIOME DEAR TO TIIE AFRICAN. Man, through all ages of revolving time, Unchanging man, in every varying clime, Deems his own land of every land the pride, Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside ; His home the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest. And is the Negro outlaw'd from his birth? Is be alone a stranger on the earth ? Is there no shed whose peeping roof appears So lovely, that it tills his eyes with tears ? No land, whose name, in exile heard, will dart Ice through his veins, and lightning through his heart?
1 " As the vine, which has long twined its graceful foliage about the onk, and been lifted by it into sunshine, will. when the hardy plant is rified by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattere bouchs: so is it beantifully oneral by
Ah, yes! beneath the beams of brighter skies,
Night is the time for rest;
How sweet, when labors close,
The curtain of repose,
The gay romance of life,
Blend in fantastic strife;
To plough the classic field,
Its wealthy furrows yield;
To wet with unseen tears
The joys of other years;
Night is the time to watch;
On ocean's dark expanse
The full moon's earliest glance,
Brooding on hours misspent,
Come to our lonely tent;
Then from the eye the soul
Beyond the starry pole,
Our Saviour oft withdrew
So will his followers do ;
When all around is peace, Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease: Think of heaven's bliss, and give the sign To parting friends--such death be mine!
ASPIRATIONS OF YOUTH.
Higher, higher will we climb,
Up to the mount of glory, That our names may live through time
In our country's story; Happy, when her welfare calls, He who conquers, he who falls. Deeper, deeper let us toil
In the mines of knowledge; Nature's wealth and learning's spoil
Win from school and college; Delve we there for richer gems Than the stars of diadems. Onward, onward may we press
Through the path of duty;
Excellence true beauty.