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countenance, whether in joy or sadness, health or decay—there is profoundly interfused a sense of the soul's spirituality, which silently sheds over the emotion something celestial and divine, rendering it not only different in degree, but altogether distinct in kind, from all the feelings that things merely perishable can inspire-so that the spirit is fully satisfied, and the feeling of beauty is but a vivid recognition of its own deathless being and ethereal essence. This is a feeling of beauty which was but faintly known to the human heart in those ages of the world when all other feelings of beauty were most perfect; and accordingly we find, in the most pathetic strains of their elegiac poetry, lamentations over the beauty intensely worshipped in the dust, which was to lie for ever over its now beamless head. But to the Christian who may have seen the living lustre leave the eye of some beloved friend, there must have shone a beauty in his latest smile, which spoke not alone of a brief scene closed, but of an endless scene unfolding ; while its cessation, instead of leaving him in utter darkness, seemed to be accompanied with a burst of light.
Much of our most fashionable Modern Poetry is at once ludicrously and lamentably unsuitable and unseasonable to the innocent and youthful creatures who shed tears “such as angels weep” over the shameful sins of shameless sinners, crimes which, when perpetrated out of Poetry, and by persons with vulgar surnames, elevate their respective heroes to that vulgar altitude—the gallows. The darker—the stronger passions, forsooth! And
what hast thou to do—my dove-eyed Margaret-with the darker and stronger passions ? Nothing whatever in thy sweet, still, serene, and seemingly almost sinless world. Be the brighter and the weaker passions thinė-brighter indeed—yet say not weaker, for they are strong as death ;-Love and Pity, Awe and Reverence, Joy, Grief, and Sorrow, sunny smiles and showery tears-be these all thy own and sometimes, too, on melancholy nights, let the heaven of thy imagination be spanned in its starriness by the most celestial Evanes
-a Lunar Rainbow. There is such perfect sincerity in the “ Christian Year," sueh perfect sincerity, and consequently such simplicity, that though the production of a fine and finished scholar, we cannot doubt that it will some day or other find its way into many of the dwellings of humble life. Such descent, if descent it be, must be of all receptions the most delightful to the heart of a Christian poet. As intelligence spreads more widely over the land, why fear that it will deaden religion? Let us believe that it will rather vivify and quicken it; and that in time true poetry, such as this, of a character somewhat higher than probably can be yet felt, understood, and appreciated by the people, will come to be easy and familiar, and blended with all the other benign influences breathed over their common existence by books. Meanwhile the Christian Year" will be finding its way into many houses where the inmates read from the love of reading—not for mere amusement only, but for instruction and a deeper delight; and we shall be happy if our
recommendation causes its pages to be illumined by the gleams of a few more peaceful hearths, and to be rehearsed by a few more happy voices in the “parlour twilight.”
We cannot help expressing the pleasure it has given us to see so much true poetry coming from Oxford. It is delightful to see that classical literature, which sometimes, we know not how, certainly has a chilling effect on poetical feeling, there warming it as it ought to do, and causing it to produce itself in song. Oxford has produced many true poets; Collins, Warton, Bowles, Heber, Milman, and now Keble—are all her own_her inspired sons.
Their strains are not steeped in “port and prejudice;" but in the — Isis. Heaven bless Iffley and Godstow—and many another sweet old ruined place—secluded, but not far apart from her own inspiring Sanctities. And those who love her not, never may the Muses love !
In his Poem, entitled, “ The Omnipresence of the Deity,” Mr Robert Montgomery writes thus :
“ Lo! there, in yonder fancy-haunted room,
What mutter'd curses trembled through the gloom,
Turns to his God, and sighs his soul away.” First, as to the execution of this passage. haunted” inay do, but it is not a sufficiently strong expression for the occasion. In every such picture as. this, we demand appropriate vigour in every word intended to be vigorous, and which is important to the effect of the whole.
“ From his parch'd tongue no sainted murmurs fell,
No bright hopes kindled at his faint farewell.” How could they ? — The line but one before is,
“ What mutter'd curses trembled through the gloom.” This, then, is purely ridiculous, and we cannot doubt that Mr Montgomery will confess that it is so; but independently of that, he is describing the death-bed of a person who, ex hypothesi, could have no bright hopes, could breathe no sainted murmurs. He might as well, in a description of a negress, have told us that she had no long, smooth, shining, yellow locks—no light-blue eyes -no ruddy and rosy cheeks-nor yet a bosom white as
The execution of the picture of the Christian is not much better—it is too much to use, in the sense here given to them, no fewer than three verbs—“ pales"
— “ rolls”_" starts,” in four lines.
“ The hope Religion pillows on the heart," is not a good line, and it is a borrowed one.
“ When with a dying hand he waves adieu," conveys an unnatural image. Dying men do not act so. Not thus are taken eternal farewells. The motion in the sea-song was more natural
“ She waved adieu, and kiss'd her lily hand.” “ Weeps so true," means nothing, nor is it English. The grammar is not good of,
“ He pants for where congenial spirits" — Neither is the word pants by any means the right one; and in such an awful crisis, admire who may the simile ·