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‘ [144] of a diamond depends upon its diaphanous translucency, so does the beauty of a poem upon its rhythmical crystallization of the Divine Idea.’ One cannot turn a page of Chivers without recognizing that he at his best was very closely allied to Poe at his worst. Such a verse as the following was not an imitation, but a twin blossom:—
On the beryl-rimmed rebecs of Ruby
     Brought fresh from the hyaline streams,
She played on the banks of the Yuba
     Such songs as she heard in her dreams,
Like the heavens when the stars from their eyries
     Look down through the ebon night air,
Where the groves by the Ouphantic Fairies
     Lit up for my Lily Adair,
For my child-like Lily Adair,
     For my heaven-born Lily Adair,
For my beautiful, dutiful Lily Adair.

It is easy to guess that Longfellow, in his North American Review article, drew from Dr. Chivers and his kin his picture of those ‘writers, turgid and extravagant,’ to be found in American literature. He farther says of them: ‘Instead of ideas, they give us merely the signs of ideas. They erect a great bridge of words, pompous and imposing, where there is hardly a drop of thought to trickle beneath. Is not he who thus apostrophizes the clouds, “ Ye posters of the wakeless air! ” quite as extravagant as the Spanish poet, who calls a star a ’

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Yuba River (Idaho, United States) (1)

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Lily Adair (4)
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