« ForrigeFortsæt »
image? Then here is one and on its That intensifies the idea and its wings you may either sink or soar. emotion-and no poet need speak" To man's false optics (from his folly unless he chooses-of a sun-dial again. false),
But Young is not done with the Time, in advance, behind him hides his image-or rather the image is not wings,
done with Young-it haunts him still, And seems to creep, decrepit with his age; and tells him Behold him when past by; what then is " That all mankind mistake the time of
seen, But his broad pinions swifter than the Even age itself." wind ?"
And then he illustrates that truth told Oh! the dark days of vanity ! cries him by the gnomon, in simpler lanthe Poet; while here how tasteless--and guage and less scientific, the originahow terrible when gone! You—J- ting idea of the whole recurring soany one could have said that-but that lemnly at the close. is prose- not poetry-the poetry is to
“ Fresh hopes are hourly sown come—and here it comes
In furrowed brows. To gentle life's de" When gone!
scent Gone ! they ne'er go; when past, they We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain. haunt us still ;
We take fair days in winter for a spring, The spirit walks of every day deceased; And turn our blessing into bane. Since And smiles an Angel, or a Fury frowns.”
Man must compute that age he cannot feel, We live in a world of spirits—for
He scarce believes he's older for his there are three hundred and sixty-five
years." ghosts in the year.
The world used to have by heart But every hour is an angel-a mes.
one celebrated passage on friendship senger.
and we shall not quote, as we hope “ 'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past she has not forgotten it; but we call hours;
on single lines--though we trust she And ask them what report they bore to remembers them too Heaven,
“ Poor is the friendless master of a world." And how they might have borne more welcome news.
Almost as immense as Shakspeare'sTheir answers form what men experience
“ One touch of nature makes the whole call.”
world kin." There can be no experience, worth Do this and be happythe name, without communion with " Judge before friendship, then confide heaven. The worldly-wise man is a till death.” mere mole-or at the best a bat.
“ When such friends part, • Should not each dial strike us as we 'Tis the survivor dies.” pass,
Friendship has been called many Portentous, as the written wall which struck,
million times a flower-and it is a O'er midnight bowls, the proud Assyrian
flower; but Young asks you for whom pale ?"
it blossoms ? and seeing you hesitate
-in the multitude of the thoughts Many men might have said that, within him he sums up them all in but few could have said this
“ Abroad they find who cherish it at “ That solar shadow, as it measures life, home.” It life resembles too; life speeds away From point to point, though seeming to
Who was Philander? We know stand still.
not. But how the poet must have The cunning fugitive is swift by stealth :
loved him, who thus lamented his Too subtle is the moment to be seen,
loss Yet soon man's hour is up, and we are
« Thy last sigh
Dissolved the charm; the disenchanted What more could be said ? No
earth more ?-Ay-listen
Lost all her lustre. Where her glittering
towers ? “ In reason's eye
Her golden mountains where ? All darkThat sedentary shadow travels hard."
To naked waste ; a dreary vale of tears; Or turn from that august spectacle The great magician's dead !”.
to this the saddest—and but for the The great poet is true to nature written promise unsupportablehere-if too often-and we fear it is “ And oh! the last-last what? Can so—he plays her false—and wilfully words express ? follows phantasies when imaginations Thought reach it? the last silence of a were ready to crowd into his arms. friend.” And true to her is he in another place These are the speechless griefs that - far away from the above_but hal. justify the Poet in sayinglowed by the same spirit of grief.
“ Scorn the proud man that is ashamed to “I loved him much, but now I love him weep."
more, Like birds, whose beauties languish, balf
Je And we now call to mind another concealed;
strain, in which he sings of some Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy
strange, wild, sudden accumulation of plumes
sorrows-such as often befalls the chil. Expanded shine with azure, green and dren of men-and when heard of gold ;
strike us all with dismay _“because How blessings brighten as they take their that we have all one human heart." flight !."
“ This hoary cheek a train of tears bedews; Call not that image fanciful_but And each tear mourns its own distinct if it affects you not as assuredly it af. distress; fected the Poet, sympathize with the And each distress, distinctly shown, doawe that for a while held him back mands from depicting the deathbed of such a Of grief still more, as heightened by the friend.
whole. “ Yet am I struck; as struck the soul,
A grief like this proprietors excludes;
Not friends alone such obsequies deplore ; beneath
They make mankind the mourner ; carry Aērial groves' impenetrable gloom ;
sighs Or, in some mighty ruin's solemn shade ;
Far as the fatal fame can wing her way; Or, gazing by pale lamps on high-born And turn the gayest thought of gayest age
dust, In vaults ; thin courts of poor unflattered
Down the right channel through the vale
of death." kings ; Or at the midnight altar's hallowed flame. From whom of all our living Poets Is it religion to proceed ? I pause
could we select such pregnant lines as And enter, awed, the temple of my theme. many of the above? We glance over Is it his deathbed ? No: it is his shrine; the pages, and how thick the gems! Behold him there just rising to a God.”
“ When gross guilt interposes, labouring earth,
Pleasure, lark like, nests upon the ground.'
The world's infectious ; few bring back at eve, Immaculate, the manners of the morn." 11 How wretched is the man who never mourned." “ Truth shows the real estimate of things, Which no man, unafflicted, ever saw.” “ But some reject this sustenance divine ; To beggarly vile appetites descend ; Ask almş of earth for guests that come from heaven.” I! Irrationals all sorrow are beneath, That noble gift ! that privilege to man." “ Early, bright, transient, chaste, as morning dew, She sparkled, was exhaled, and went to heaven.” ļ' Like damaged clocks, whose hand and bell dissent, Folly rings six while nature points at twelve."
“ Like our shadows, Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines."
Age should......... Walk thoughtful on the silent, solemn shore : Of that vast ocean it must sail so soon." “ Our needful knowledge, like our needful food, Unhedged lies open in life's common field; And bids all welcome to the vital feast.” “ Like other tyrants, Death delights to smite, What, smitten, most proclaims the pride of power, And arbitrary nod. His joy supreme To bid the wretch survive the fortunate; The feeble wrap the athletic in his shroud; And weeping fathers build their children's tomb, Me thine, Narcissa.” 44 Our morning's enyy, and our evening's sigh.” “ Man's lawful pride includes humility; Stoops to the lowest; is too great to find Inferiors; all immortal, brothers all! Proprietors eternal of thy love." 44 Who lives to Nature never can be poor ; Who lives to Fancy never can be rich.” “ Resolve me why the Cottager and King, He whom sea-severed realms obey, and he Who steals his whole dominion from the waste, Repelling winter blasts with mud and straw, Disquieted alike, draw sigh for sigh, Io fate so distant, in complaint so near ?' “ His grief is but his grandeur in disguise ; And discontent is immortality.” “ Man's misery declares him born for bliss."
“ If man can't mount He will descend -he starves on the possest. “ Shall we, this moment, gaze on God in man? The next, lose man for ever in the dust ?” “ Heaven starts at an annihilating God." “ A Christian dwells, like Uriel, in the Sun." “ Too low they þuild, who build beneath the stars." “ Truth never was indebted to a lie." “No man e'er found a happy life by chance,"
“ And, without breathing, man as well might hope
“Is it greater pain
on Though tempest frowns,
Ah! dear Thomas Campbell! Thou “I will thank you in the grave." hast dealt out scant and scrimp praise
But Silence and Darkness are but the to the Bard of Night-but it was of
angels of God. And the Poet, insuch lines as these that thou said'st
spired by them, ventures another inwith thy native felicity, “ he has in. dividual passages which Philosophy
vocationmight make her texts, and experience “But what are ye? - Thou who didst put select for her mottos.”
to flight Gloomy indeed! Is not the Poem Primeval silence, when the morning star, called “ The Complaint?" If “ Night Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball! Thoughts” are not gloomy - then o Thou ! whose word from solid darkness nothing is gloomy on this side of the struck grave. There is a Poem, you know, That spark the sun, strike wisdom from called “ The Grave,” and a noble
my soul, one_“ Gloomy it stood as Night.” My soul which flies to Thee !”. Who? Death.
Assuredly the opening strain is mag. We have been familiar with Young's nificent; and what farther, is his Night Thoughts from boyhood-and prayer ? half a century ago the volume was to
“ Through this opaque of nature and of
in be seen lying-with a few others of
soul, kindred spirit-beside the Holiest-in
This double night, transmit one pitying many a cottage in the loneliest places
ray, in Scotland. The dwellers there were To lighten and to cheer. O lead my mind, grave_not gloomy-but they loved A mind that fain would wander from its to look into deep waters, which, though
wo, clear, are black because of their depth Lead it through varied scenes of life and and their overshadowings--yet show death; the stars.
And from each scene the noblest truths “ Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters!
Nor less inspire my conduct than my song. From ancient Night, who nurse the tender Teach my best reason reason; my best thought,
will To reason, and on reason build resolve
Teach rectitude, and fix my firm resolve That column of true majesty in man,
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear; Assist me!”
Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured To sing a cheerful song-a merry
On this devoted head, be poured in vain." roundelay ? No-such a song as may Compare this with the opening of any help to save his soul alive—the souls other Great Poem in our language, of some-many-of his brethren-and and its sublimity will not sink in the if the Powers he invokes do hear comparison.
Perhaps there may be some exag- bert Croft, the frog, that, with that geration in the sentiment as well as in bull in his eye, putted himself up till the imagery, in parts of this noble in- he realized the fable. Thomas Camptroduction. But a great poet has bell somehow or other missed it-the dread thoughts at the dead of night, only miss he ever made—and when ruminating on the destinies of the one poet goes wrong about another, race, and collecting all his powers to he is neither to “ haud nor to bin',"' sing them, within the shadow of the and flings the stones and gravel from grave.
his heels in a style that shows it would
be the height of imprudence to attempt “ Silence, how dead! and darkness, how
to follow. Bulwer alone has written profound ! Nor eye, nor listening ear an object finds;
worthily about “one among the highCreation sleeps !”
est, but not the most popular of his
Country's Poets." And with a crowThe bell strikes and “ 'tis as if an quill delicately nibbed by Mrs Genangel spoke.”
tle, two years ago, we copied in “ I feel the solemn sound—if heard aright,
our Oberonic calligraphy, on the fly, It is the knell of my departed hours :
leaf of this our Diamond Edition, this Where are they? . With the hours before fine and philosophic criticism from the flood !”
“ The Student."
“ Standing upon the grave - the Young, they say, was a disappointed creations of two worlds are round man, and was world-sick because of him, and the grey hairs of the mourunsuccessful ambition. Well he might ner become touched with the halo of be—for his talents, learning, elo- 'the prophet. It is the time and spot quence, genius, and virtue ought to heh
he has chosen wherein to teach us,
eheson whoroin have elevated him to a conspicuous
that dignify and consecrate the lesstation in the Church. But has he
son: it is not the mere human and pictured the world worse than it is?
earthly moral that gathers on his Nor is it of the world in the vulgar
tongue. The conceptiou hallows the sense—that he sings—though with a
work, and sustains its own majesty in bitter scorn he sometimes exposes its
every change and wandering of the follies and its mockeries. His poem is
verse. And there is this greatness “Of man, of nature, and of human life” in his theme_dark, terrible, severe
Hope never deserts it! It is a deep as they are by the necessity of their
and gloomy wave, but the stars are being—and who can blacken beyond the truth the character of sin and
glassed upon its bosom. The more guilt “that makes the nature's groan?”
sternly he questions the World, the We are not among the number of
more solemnly he refers its answer to
Heaven. Our bane and antidote are those, who from “ golden urns draw
both before him; and he only arlight,” and then make a display of
raigns the things of Time before the their borrowed lustre-an audacious
tribunal of Eternity. It is this, which, trick of many a mean-spirited thief, imagining that the world will admire
to men whom grief or approaching
death can divest of the love and hanhis head as if it shone like that of
kerings of the world, leaves the great Christopher among the Mountains,
monitor his majesty, but deprives him while children, at first scared by the
of his gloom. Convinced with him glimmer in the hedge, soon scorn the
of the vanities of life, it is not an unilluminated turnip. We steal from no
gracious or unsoothing melancholy man
which confirms us in our conviction, “ But like Prometheus draw the fire from
and points with a steady hand to the Heaven."
divine soMETHING that awaits us beBut at times we delight to borrow yond; from the rich-that, by scattering the
· The darkness aiding intellectual light, treasure abroad, we may exalt the fame of its creator and owner, and
ind And sacred silence whispering truths di
vine, thereby enlarge the sphere of his empire, and increase the number of his
And truths divine converting pain to subjects. Who has written on the
peace.' genius of Young? Johnson-poorly “I know not whether I should say --very very poorly indeed ; and Her too much of this great poem if I should