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even as truth is its own light and evidence, discovering at once itself and falsehood, so is it the prerogative of poetic genius to distinguish by parental instinct its proper offspring from the changelings, which the gnomes of vanity or the fairies of fashion may have laid in its cradle or called by its names. Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It

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IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words, to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A

deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and

colors may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths. We find no difficulty in admitting as excellent, and the legitimate language of poetic fervor self-impassioned, DoNNE's apostrophe to the Sun in the second stanza of his “Progress of the Soul.”

“Thee, eye of heaven this great soul envies not:
By thy male force is all, we have, begot.
In the first East thou now beginn'st to shine,
Suck'st early balm and island spices there;
And wilt anon in thy loose-rein'd career
At Tagus, Po, Seine, Thames, and Danow dine,
And see at night this western world of mine :
Yet hast thou not more nations seen, than she,
Who before thee one day began to be,

And, thy frail light being quenched, shall long, long outlive thee l’”

Or the next stanza but one :

“Great destiny, the commissary of God,
That hast marked out a path and period -
For ev'rything! Who, where we offspring took,
Our ways and ends see'st at one instant: thou
Knot of all causes Thou, whose changeless brow
Ne'er smiles or frowns ! O vouchsafe thou to look,
And shew my story in thy eternal book, &c.”

As little difficulty do we find in excluding from the honors of unaffected warmth and

elevation the madness prepense of Pseudo

poesy, or the startling hysteric of weakness over-exerting itself, which bursts on the un

prepared reader in sundry odes and apostrophes

to abstract terms. Such are the Odes to Jea-
lousy, to Hope, to Oblivion, and the like in
Dodsley's collection and the magazines of that
day, which seldom fail to remind me of an
Oxford copy of verses on the two Suttons,
commencing with
“INoculation, heavenly maid descend I"

It is not to be denied that men of undoubted talents, and even poets of true, though not of first-rate, genius, have from a mistaken theory deluded both themselves and others in the opposite extreme. I once read to a company of sensible and well-educated women the introductory period of Cowley's preface to his “Pindaric Odes, written in imitation of the style and manner of the odes of Pindar. “If (says

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Cowley) a man should undertake to translate Pindar, word for word, it would be thought that one madman had translated another; as may appear, when he, that understands not the

original, reads the verbal traduction of him into .

Latin prose, than which nothing seems more raving.” I then proceeded with his own free version of the second Olympic composed for the charitable purpose of rationalizing the Theban Eagle.

“Queen of all harmonious things,
Dancing words and speaking strings,
What God, what hero, wilt thou sing 2
What happy man to equal glories bring?
Begin, begin thy noble choice,
And let the hills around reflect the image of thy voice.
Pisa does to Jove belong,
Jove and Pisa claim thy song.
The fair first-fruits of war, th’ Olympic games,
Alcides offer'd up to Jove ;
Alcides too thy strings may move 1
But oh! what man to join with these can worthy prove?
Join Theron boldly to their sacred names;
Theron the next honor claims;
Theron to no man gives place ;
Is first in Pisa's and in Virtue's race;
Theron there, and he alone, -
Ev’n his own swift forefathers has outgone.”

One of the company exclaimed, with the full assent of the rest, that if the original were madder than this, it must be incurably mad. I then translated the ode from the Greek, and as nearly as possible, word for word ; and the

impression was, that in the general movement of the periods, in the form of the connections and transitions, and in the sober majesty of lofty sense, it appeared to them to approach more nearly, than any other poetry they had heard, to the style of our bible in the prophetic books. The first strophe, will suffice as a specimen :

“Ye harp-controuling hymns ! (or) ye hymns the sovereigns

of harps!

What God? what Hero !

What Man shall we celebrate 2

Truly Pisa indeed is of Jove,

But the Olympiad (or the Olympic games) did Hercules establish,

The first-fruits of the spoils of war.

But Theran for the four-horsed car,

That bore victory to him,

It behoves us now to voice aloud :

The Just, the Hospitable,

The Bulwark of Agrigentum,

Of renowned fathers

The Flower, even him

Who preserves his native city erect and safe.”

But are such rhetorical caprices condemnable only for their deviation from the language of real life? and are they by no other means to be precluded, but by the rejection of all distinctions between prose and verse, save that of metre? Surely good sense, and a moderate insight into the constitution of the human mind, would be amply sufficient to prove, that

such language and such combinations are the native produce neither of the fancy nor of the imagination ; that their operation consists in the excitement of surprize by the juxta-position and apparent reconciliation of widely different or incompatible things. As when, for instance, the hills are made to reflect the image of a voice. Surely, no unusual taste is requisite to see clearly, that this compulsory juxta-position is not produced by the presentation of impressive or delightful forms to the inward vision, nor by any sympathy with the modifying powers with which the genius of the poet had united and inspirited all the objects of his thought; that it is therefore a species of wit, a pure work of the will, and implies a leisure and self possession both of thought and of feeling, incompatible with the steady fervour of a mind possessed and filled with the grandeur of its subject. To sum up the whole in one sentence. When a poem, or a part of a poem, shall be adduced, which is evidently vicious in the figures and contexture of its style, yet for the condemnation of which no reason can be assigned, except that it differs from the style in which men actually converse, then, and not till then, can I hold this theory to be either plausible, or practicable, or capable of furnishing either rule, guidance, or precaution, that might not, more easily and more safely, as well as more natu

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