« PoprzedniaDalej »
“ Still is the toiling hand of care,
The panting herds repose,
The poetry of noon is noon, in the circumstances which give it interest to the imagination and the heart.
“ Poetry has been cultivated in the coldest and bleakest regions,” says the critic. Hear a poet utter the same fact:
" In climes beyond the solar road,
· This is a picture of the arctic regions for the fancy and the affections. « Beyond the solar road,” « ice-built mountains," 6 shaggy forms," the twilight gloom," “ the shivering native,” are poetic lights of the subject.
“When evening came," says prose. The poet speaks, and we hear,
“When Evening's dusky car, k i bi
“ It is night,” says prose. How the poet sings this simple truth:
“Eve saddens into night,
Sorceress of the ebon throne."
“Sleep, softly breathing god, his downy wing
Was fluttering now, as, quickly, to depart.” Poetry can thus dispose of almost any object so as to give the beholders its best, its loveliest aspect—that aspect which puts the imagination into an animated and delightful exercise.
To the ordinary mind a butterfly is a gay creature, and nothing more. What is it to the poet?
“Stay near me ; do not take thy flight;
A little longer stay in sight.
The dust from off its wings.”
“My stockings there I often knit,
This is simple, childlike prose, except that it is metre. A beautiful child is represented as insisting on it, that they were seven, though two of the number were dead.
“ Then did the little maid reply,
And, often, after sunset, sir,
In this case, the most unpoetical facts, hemming and knitting, and eating from a porringer, receive a picturesque and pathetic interest, which raises them to the dignity of poetry, by the circumstances in which they are presented, as the acts of juvenile simplicity and affection, on the green turf of a brother's and a sister's grave, at the solemn, suggestive hour of evening twilight.
“I love you, sweet Genevieve,” says the writer of prose, “not for your beauty, but for your benevolence.”
“Maid of my love, sweet Genevieve,
In the 14th chapter of Exodus is an historical account of the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and, in the 15th chapter, the same event is poetically represented in the song of Moses.
Says the history, “ Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” “With the blast of thy nostrils," says the poet, - the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright in an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.” The “ strong east wind” beconies“ the blast of the Almighty's nostrils;" the “ divided waters” “ stand upright,” 6. congealed,” “ in the heart of the sea.”
“ The Egyptains pursued,” says the historian," and went in after them.” The poet is dramatic: “ The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be SECOND SERIES, VOL. VII. NO. II.'.
satisfied upon them; I will draw the sword, my hand shall destroy them.”
“The waters returned,” says the historian,“ and covered the chariots and the horsemen, and all the hosts of Pharaoh, that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.”
“ Thou didst blow with thy wind,” says the song of Moses ; “ the sea covered them; they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders ?”
In the 4th chapter of Judges is a plain narrative of the discomfiture and death of Sisera; and, in the next chapter, the same events are celebrated in the song of Deborah.
In these examples the poetic spirit is exhibited, in the circumstances with which it clothes ideas that do not, in themselves, necessarily, excite the imagination, or move the heart deeply. It would be easy to multiply and vary the illustrations of the principles laid down in this chapter; but enough have been adduced to enable the reader to judge of the propriety of those principles, and to suggest other and, perhaps, more pertinent examples. The beautiful lectures of Montgomery on general literature will extend his acquaintance with the subject, and amply reward a careful perusal. I will only add an instance where the simplest expression of a natural sentiment is endued with that poetical power, which genius alone can exercise over the soul. When Lady Macbeth is represented, by Shakspeare, as waiting, near by, in anxious solicitude, the return of her husband from the murder of Duncan, she is alarmed by a noise within, and, in her fear lest the deed had not been done, exclaims :
"Had he not resembled My father, as he slept, I had done 't.” What a picture of humanity is suggested to the heart by this touching sentiment of filial piety yet blooming in the scorched and desolate bosom of this unnatural woman!
"Lo to multiply and n, or move Meht in then
REVIEW OF PROFESSOR TAPPAN'S WORKS ON THE WILL.
By Rev. George B. Cheever, Pastor of the Allen-street Presb. Church, New-York.
The editors of the Repository have ever not only welcomed, but solicited, the free discussion of all biblical subjects and theological doctrines, whether fundamental, and essential to the Christian system, or merely secondary and explanatory. Of the latter class are the several theories which have been broached on the subject of the Will. These, in their tendencies, affect, more or less, the power of fundamental truths, and, on this account, possess a high relative importance.
We have noticed the successive volumes of Professor Tappan on the Will, as they have appeared, and have commended them to our readers as worthy of a candid perusal. It has not been our intention, however, to indicate, by these notices, our own position in respect to his system as a whole. We have been willing to sit as learners at the feet of those who are better prepared than ourselves to search to the bottom a subject which, in all ages of the world, has so perplexed, and often bewildered,—the minds of the most profound and original thinkers. And we were willing to see the system of Edwards, so long and so extensively adopted in this country -by a sort of common consent, -again subjected to a new and thorough examination. But the reviewer of Edwards could by no means expect to escape an equally searching re. view, from some friend of the system which he had so fear. lessly assailed ; and we have been disappointed that no such review has been offered for our pages.
In the mean time the following article has been submitted ; and, though it fails to express our own views, on several points, it possesses so many excellences, is so rich in imagery, so playful and attractive, and contains so many striking, pointed and just sayings about philosophy, -as well as some important sentiments and positions on philosophy,—that we cannot find it in our hearts to deny our readers the pleasure we have derived from its perusal. We present it, therefore, as the