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In another place Bacchus is introduced, as if he really existed, and is mentioned in the same passage with Angels.
So sung he, (angels, hear that angel sing !
N. II. 1. 576.
Wit calls the Graces the chaste zone to loose ;
Sleep's dewy wand
Will pay, 'ere long, and bless me with repose. N. IX. 1. 2173.
In life embark’d, we smoothly down the tide
Our brittle bark is burst on Charon's shore. N. V. 1. 411.
What groan was that, Lorenzo ? Furies, rise,
N. V. 1. 434.
Lorenzo's admiration, pre-engaged,
* In the Chorus at the end of the first Act of The Battle of Hexham, Mars is made the God of the White Rose Party:
Strike!- the God of Conquest sheds
Mars, with fury-darting eye,
Hand in hand, with victory, &c,
Least correspondence with one single star;
1. 1642. This is
very remarkable. The Israelites were exhorted (Deut. iv. 15. 19.) “Take ye good heed unto yourselves,-lest thou lift up thine eyes
unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them ; which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven." And, accord. ingly, we find Job, in clearing his innocence to his friends, say, “ If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge, for I should have denied the God that is above." Xxxi. 26-28.
I am aware that these expressions of Young's are figurative, but we should not introduce as figures, those things which would be wrong in reality, and to adopt them first in play, may lead to the - practice of them in earnest ; at least they divert the mind from the proper object.
SKELTON (the Rev. Philip) in his 2nd Reflection, on Bigotry, speaking of Superstition, says, that it " is the foible of weak minds, and consists in laying too great a stress on trifles, or things foreign to Teligion. In such minds the infinite importance of religion itself is apt to communicate some share of its own weight and dignity to all its circumstances, and to every thing, that but seems to second its good purposes, to raise its ardours, or promote its effects. In this light, superstition looks like the harmless, but simple child of religion, and passes unsuspected, till, grown up to a degree of strength, it steals the reins from its mother's hands, and drives her out of the house. It begins with observations on spilling salt, on meeting a red-haired woman in the morning, on the flight of a bird; but proceeds to an adoration of the moon, and to offering human sacrifices to a fancied deity." (See Clapham's Edition of Skelton's Sermons, vol. i. p. 402.)
Accordingly in The Tragedy of Douglas, we hear Douglas, a Christian, addressing the stars as his Deity.
Ye glorious stars ! high heav'n's resplendent host!
Hear and record my soul's unalter'd wish!
We consider it one of the errors of popery to pray to Angels, and, I must confess, I have frequently wondered at hearing the air,
Angels, ever bright and fair,
Take, O take me to your care ; &c. from the Oralorio of Theodora, sung in our Churches.
I should by no means think it an unlikely error for a mind, versed in our popular airs, and but moderately informed in religion, to fall into, to make use of this on a death bed. There is a similar air in Jephtha,
Waft her, Angels, through the skies, &c. The old Song of Guardian Angels is, of course, familiar to every one. It contains a strange mixture of popery and heathenism,
Guardian Angels, now protect me,
Send, Oh! send the youth I love;
Lead me through the myrtle grove: &c.
Spirit of my Sainted Sire,
The inspiration now I feel, &c.
And You, the brightest of the stars above,
A. I. S. 2.
* It is some years since I read the Play of The Robbers, but I think I remember that Charles Moor makes his friend swear by his father's grey hairs, A. Y.
It is true, that the period of the Play of Jane Shore is during the times of Popery; but still, as prayers, even at that time, were offered to the Deity himself, it is not necessary, even in a critical point of view, to make the characters address Saints and Angels. They should either be addressed to the true object, or entirely omitted.
At the beginning of Act III. of Douglas, Anna, after speaking of Lady Randolph sleeping, says,
skies and on her couch descend!
The blest above upon their golden beds.
Oh! may the rwhite robed angel,
Cast his protecting mantle round thee. And the idea of the protecting mantle is afterwards treated with levity by another of the characters.
In the lines on Mrs. Unwin's monument, in East Dereham Church, is the following address,
Her spotless dust, angelic guards, defend!
Oh! if, sometimes, thy spotless form descend,
Till bliss shall join, nor death can part us more. MR. WRANGHAM, in the beginning of his Seaton's Prize Poem of The Holy Lund, invokes the Spirit of CowPER.
Spirit so lately fled of Him, whose lyre
Oft sounded, and for Sion's songs renounc'd
And guide to Palestine her destin'd way.
Immortal Pitt ascends his native skies;
It then proceeds to suppose him.either roving through boundless -space, or admitted into the councils of the Almighty, and concludes with these lines :
Whate'er in those bright realms thine high employ,
Oh! from those bright abodes of bliss look down,
And guard that empire which THOU DIEDST TO save!
Who know the chords of harmony to sweep;