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" All that's good and great with thee

Works in close conspiracy;
Thou hast bribed the dark and lonely
To report thy features only,
And the cold and purple morning,
Itself with thoughts of thee adorning :
The leafy dell, the city mart,
Equal trophies of thy art:
E’en the flowing azure air
Thou hast touched for my despair.
And if I languish into dreams,
Again I meet thy ardent beams,
Queen of things. I dare not die
In Being's deep, past ear and eye,
Lest thee I find the same deceiver,
And be the sport of fate for ever.
Dread Power, but dear! if God thou be,
Unmake me quite, or give thyself to me.”

There is nothing puling in these verses. A thorough mastery of the meaning contained in them is as good a lesson of mental logic as we need desire, and sharpens the intellect, as well as delights the poetical taste.

Mr. Emerson has, in some bold, clear lines, summed up his definition of true poetry.


“ Thy trivial harp will never please,

Or fill my craving ear:
Its chords should ring as blows the breeze,

Free, peremptory, and clear.
No jingling serenader's art,

Nor treble of piano strings,
Can make the wild blood start

In its mystic springs!
The kingly bard

Must strike the chords rudely and hard,
As with hammer, or with mace,

That they may render back.
Chide me not, laborious band,

For the idle flowers I brought;
Every aster in my hand

Goes home loaded with a thought.
There was never mystery,

But 'tis figured in the flowers;
Was never secret history,

But birds told it in the bowers.
The harvest from the field,

Homeward brought the oxen strong ;
A second crop thine acres yield,

Which I gather in a song."

We are quite aware how seldom casual readers pause long enough over poetry to find out all its meaning; but the meaning and the power are there, and the reader, not the poet, is deficient.

Mr. Emerson's power has not its foundation in the human heart : the roots of his being are in the intellect. Consequently he is deficient in one of the two great elements of genius. That this narrows his scope is too evident to need anything beyond the mere statement.

We will give a remarkable instance of this want of power to rouse the feelings. It is some verses he has written on the death of a little child. Surely, few things. are so susceptible of pathos as this ; but mark how hard, dry, and metaphysical the poet is.


“ Returned this day, the south wind searches,
And finds young pines and budding birches,

But finds not the budding man;
Nature who lost him, cannot remake him,
Fate let him fall, fate can't retake him;

Nature, fate, men, him seek in vain.”

An American critic well observes on this, " that the voice of lamentation is lost in a vague speculation on fate, interesting only to the intellect.” It is difficult to find a subject more capable of touching regrets than the death of a child, and still more difficult to find a poet who has so completely failed in awaking one tender memory.

We shall take advantage of this circumstance to contrast several poets under the same inspiration, and mark how different are all their moods. Nevertheless, all except Emerson have the chief weight on the human heart.

Wordsworth, in his lament for a daughter “Dead and gone,” puts the regrets of memory into an old man's mouth. Although years have passed since the blow fell, how fresh the wound still remains !

“ Our work, said I, was well begun,

Then from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,

So sad a sigh has brought.

“ A second time did Matthew stop,

And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain top,

To me he made reply:

“ Yon cloud with that long purple cleft

Brings fresh into my mind,
A day like this which I have left

Full thirty years behind.

« With rod and line I 'sued the sport,

Which that sweet season gave,
And coming to the church, stopped short,

Beside my daughter's grave.

“Nine summers had she scarcely seen,

The pride of all the vale,
And then she sang-—she would have been

A very nightingale.

“ Six feet in earth my Emma lay,

And yet I loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day

I e'er had loved before."

And in another poem, how truly he touches the tenderest portion of the heart, when he says :

“ If there is one who need bemoan

His kindred laid in earth,
The household hearts that were his own,

It is the man of mirth.”

We turn from this strain of pure musical pathos,

“ Bringing the tears to the dim eyes,”

to another fine burst of natural sorrow; more sorrowful, inasmuch as Byron mixed up less natural objects than Wordsworth in his laments.

“ There have been tears, and breaking hearts for thee,

And mine were nothing had I such to give;
But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree,
Which living waves where thou didst cease to live,
And saw around me the wide field revive,
With fruits and fertile promise, and the spring
Came forth her work of gladness to contrive,
With all her reckless birds upon the wing,
I turned from all she brought, to all she could not bring.”

An English poet has touched upon the same subject; as another illustration of the subject we quote it. We cannot here avoid remarking, that a very interesting volume might be made of selections from the works of the most eminent poets containing the expression of parallel feelings.


“Oh, wondrous power of thought,

This faded flower has brought,

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