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MODERN CRITICS.*

No private grudge they need, no personal spite :

The viva sectio is its own delight ! All enmity, all envy, they disclaim, Disinterested thieves of our good name : Cool, sober murderers of their neighbours' fame!

THE poet in his lone yet genial hour

Gives to his eye a magnifying power :
Or rather he emancipates his eyes
From the black shapeless accidents of size-
In unctuous cones of kindling coal,
Or smoke upwreathing from the pipe's trim bole,

His gifted ken can see
Phantoms of sublimity. +

actions, is applied figuratively in the following passage of the Aids to Reflection (p. 220) :

“Pindar's, fine remark respecting the different effects of music, on different characters, holds equally true of Genius; as many as are not delighted by it are disturbed, perplexed, irritated. The beholder either recognises it as a projected form of his own being, that moves before him with a glory round its head, or recoils from it as a spectre."

* Biographia Literaria (Lond. 1817.), vol. ii. p. 118.

+ Historie and Gests of Maxilian, Blackwood's Magazine, January, 1822.

INSCRIPTION FOR A TIME-PIECE.* NOW! it is gone.—Our brief hours travel post,

Each with its thought or deed, its Why or

How :
But know, each parting hour gives up a ghost
To dwell within thee-an eternal now !

1830.

FANCY IN NUBIBUS :

OR THE POET IN THE CLOUDS.

A Sonnet composed on the Sea-Coast.* O! IT is pleasant, with a heart at ease,

Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies, To make the shifting clouds be what you please,

Or let the easily persuaded eyes Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould

Of a friend's fancy; or with head bent low And cheek aslant see rivers flow of gold

'Twixt crimson banks; and then, a traveller, go From mount to mount through Cloudland, gorgeous

land ! Or listening to the tide, with closed sight, Be that blind bard, who on the Chian strand

By those deep sounds possess'd with inward light, Beheld the Iliad and the Odyssee Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.

* Printed at the end of Specimens of the Table-talk of S.T.C. Lond. 1835, ii. 360.

of Blackwood's Magazine, November, 1819.

THE BLOSSOMING OF THE SOLITARY

DATE-TREE.

A LAMENT.

[I SEEM to have an indistinct recollection of having read either in one of the ponderous tomes of George of Venice, or in some other compilation from the uninspired Hebrew writers, an apologue or Rabbinical tradition to the following purpose :

While our first parents stood before their offended Maker, and the last words of the sentence were yet sounding in Adam's ear, the guileful false serpent, a counterfeit and a usurper from the beginning, presumptuously took on himself the character of advocate or mediator, and pretending to intercede for Adam, exclaimed : “Nay, Lord, in thy justice, not so! for the man was the least in fault. Rather let the Woman return at once to the dust, and let Adam remain in this thy Paradise.” And the word of the Most High answered Satan : “ The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Treacherous Fiend ! if with guilt like thine,

had been possible for thee to have the heart of a Man, and to feel the yearning of a human soul for its counterpart, the sentence, which thou now counsellest, should have been inflicted on thyself.”

The title of the following poem was suggested by a fact mentioned by Linnæus, of a date-tree in a nobleman's garden which

year had put forth a full show of blossoms, but never produced fruit, till a branch from another date-tree had been conveyed from a distance of some hundred leagues. The first leaf of the MS. from which the poem has been transcribed, and which contained the two or three introductory stanzas, is wanting : and the author has in vain taxed his memory to repair the loss. But a rude draught of the poem contains the substance of the stanzas, and the reader is requested to receive it as the substitute. It is not impossible, that some congenial spirit, whose years do not exceed those of the Author at the time the poem was written, may find a pleasure in restoring the Lament to its original integrity by a reduction of the thoughts to the requisite metre.]

year after

I.

BENEATH the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are the thrones of frost, through the absence of objects to reflect the rays. What no one with us shares, seems scarce our own.” The presence of a one,

The best beloved, who loveth me the best,

is for the heart, what the supporting air from within is for the hollow globe with its suspended car. Deprive it of this, and all without, that would have buoyed it aloft even to the seat of the gods, becomes a burthen and crushes it into flatness.

II.

The finer the sense for the beautiful and the lovely, and the fairer and lovelier the object presented to the sense ; the more exquisite the individual's capacity of joy, and the more ample his means and opportunities of enjoyment, the more heavily will he feel the ache of solitariness, the more unsubstantial becomes the feast spread around him. What matters it whether in fact the viands and the ministering graces are shadowy or real, to him who has not hand to grasp nor arms to embrace them?

III.

Imagination; honourable aims;
Free commune with the choir that cannot die;
Science and song ; delight in little things,
The buoyant child surviving in the man;
Fields, forests, ancient mountains, ocean, sky,
With all their voices—0 dare I accuse
My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen,
Or call my destiny niggard ! O no! no !
It is her largeness, and her overflow,
Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so !

IV.

For never touch of gladness stirs my heart,
But timorously beginning to rejoice
Like a blind Arab, that from sleep doth start
In lonesome tent, I listen for thy voice.
Beloved ! 'tis not thine ; thou art not there !
Then melts the bubble into idle air,
And wishing without hope I restlessly despair.

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The mother with anticipated glee
Smiles o'er the child, that, standing by her chair

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