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ceive that we have been doing some her little lay by beautifully saying of service to the cause of piety—and pomp and splendourpoetry-by thus attempting to widen « Yet could they no more sound content. the sphere of their circulation. They
ment bring, seem to be fast going through editions Than star-light can make grass or flowers -the Christian Psalmist having reached a fifth-nor is there any person of
spring !” any persuasion--if he be a Christian
And can, he asks, the very humble — who will not be the better of having
stanzas of poor Anne Askew, made and such volumes often in his hands.
sung in Newgate, while waiting for Mr Montgomery's critical remarks,
her crown of martyrdom, be read withit will have been seen, are often emin out emotions more deep and affecting, nently beautiful, and very profound. and far more powerful than poetry His common-places are always those
could awaken on a subject of fictiti
could au of a poet, whose genius is ever felt to ous woe? be in subservience to his piety. The
“ Not oft I use to wryght simplest of his sentences has often the deepest meaning; and though he
In prose, nor yet in ryme ;
Yet wyl I shewe one syght, sometimes loves to diffuse himself over
That I sawe in my tyme. a subject that is dear to him, he often says much in few words. There may to “ I sawe a royall throne, some-nay to many minds, be some Where Iustyce shulde have sytte ; thing startling in his sentiments-ex But in her steade was One pressed as they often are, with no de Of moody cruell wyue. ference to the authority of old opie nions, or of new, come from what
“ Absorpt was ryghtwysness, quarter they will; but there is never
As by the ragynge floude;
Sathan, in his excess any thing-judging by our own feel.
Sucte up the guiltlesse bloude. ings on certain occasions when we could not entirely sympathize with
“ Then thought I,-lesus, Lorde, them-never any thing repulsive; and When thou shalt judge us all, if there be any differences in his creed
Harde is it to recorde from ours--so fervent and sincere is On these men what wyll fall. every word and every look of the man, (we speak of him, from his writings, “ Yet, Lorde, I Thee desyre, as if he were a personal friend
For that they doe to me, though we have never seen his thought
Let them not taste the hyre ful face but in a picture,) that we
Of their iniquytie.” trust these differences are neither ma
In like manner, can any of the ny nor great-for we should suspect
“ Prison Poems” in the volume-Sir our own Christianity, were it not,
Thomas More's, Sir Walter Raleigh's, in essentials, the Christianity which,
Sir Thomas Overbury's, Sir Francis in much noble verse, and much plea
Wortley's, George Wither's, John sant prose, has, for twenty years past and more too, been issuing from the
Bunyan's—can any of them be read pure spirit of the Bard of Sheffield.
with ordinary sympathy, such as the There is a fine humanity in all his cri.
verses themselves, if written in other
circumstances, would have excited ? ticism. Thus, in alluding to the rough
“ Surely not; the situation of the unstyle and harsh metre of some ancient
fortunate beings, wbo thus confessed on poems-or verses rather, in the Chris
the rack of personal and mental torture, tian Psalmist—to their forbidding as
or in the immediate prospect of eternity, pect-he says that every piece has
gives intense and overwhelming interest some peculiar merit and interest of its
to lines, which have no extraordinary poeown-and he asks, who would think
tic fervour to recommend them. With his time misemployed in conning over
what strange curiosity do we look even eleven dull lines by Anne Collins, for
on animals driven to the slaughter, which the sake of meeting, in the twelfth, we should have disregarded had we seen an original and brilliant emanation of
them grazing in the field! Who can fancy? Anne Collins, in one of her turn away his eyes from a criminal led Divine Songs and Meditations (1653), to execution, yet who can fix them on in telling us that happiness is not to his amazed and bewildered countenance? be found in the creation, concludes The common place,' of the gallows,
his last dying speech and confession,' spare minutes they are peculiarly adapte though consisting of a few hurried, bro- ed. They will not glide over a vacant ken words, which almost every felon mind, as sing-song verse is wont to do, repeats, and hardly understands their like quicksilver over a smooth table, in meaning himself while he utters them, glittering, minute, and unconnected glo. may produce feelings which all the bules, hastily vanishing away, or when breath of eloquence, from lips not about detained, not to be moulded into any fixed to be shut for ever, would fail to awa- shape. They will rather supply tasks and ken. But a good man struggling with themes for meditation; tasks, such as adversity, which even the heathen deem- the eagle sets her young when she is ed & spectacle worthy of the Gods to teaching them to Ay; themes, such as contemplate with admiration, becomes are vouch safed to inspire poets, in their an oracle in bis agony; and to know how happiest moods. Nor can the inexpert he looked, and spoke, and felt, for the reader be aware till he has tried, how last time, does literally elevate and pu. much the old language improves upon farify the soul by terror, -terror in which miliarity; and how the productions of the just so much compassion is mingled as old poets, like dried spices, give out their to identify him with ourselves in sensie sweetness the more, the more they are bility to suffering, while we are identi handled. The fine gold may have befied with him in exaltation of mind above come dim, and the fashion of the plate the infirmity of pain and the fear of may be antiquated, but the material is fine death. No eccentricity or perversity of gold still, and the workmanship as pertaste, manifested in literary effusions un- fect as it came from the tool of the artist; der such circumstances, can destroy the nor is it barbarous, except to eyes that force of nature, or render her voice un- cannot see it as it was intended to be intelligible in them, though speaking a seen, in connexion with the whole state strange language, provided it be the lan- of human society and human intellect at guage of the times, and not the affected the time. Changes have taken place, style of the individual, assumed to ex. within the last century, in the style of repress sentiments equally affected." ligious poetry, which formerly was too How much of the pleasure which
much assimilated to the character of Sowe derive from poetry does indeed de
lomon's song,-a portion of Scripture ofpend upon contingent circumstances,
ten paraphrased, and, it may be added, which confer on the writer or the sub
always unhappily. In judging of our
poets of the middle age, from Elizabeth ject a peculiar, local, personal, or temporary interest and importance! Such
to James the II., we are bound to make
the same allowances which we do naturinterest and importance, says Mr Mont
ally, in reading the works of our divines gomery, belong to all the subjects of
of the same period, who, with many exthis small volume,- for all the writers
travagances, bave left monuments of geare dead!
nius and piety in prose, unexcelled by “ These thoughts, then, of the depart. later theologians, in powerful argument, ed, expressed in their own words, and splendid eloquence, and learned illustrabrought to our ears in the very sounds tion. With such a preparation of mind, with which they uttered them, and affect the reader, sitting down to this volume, ing our hearts even more than they affect will find every page improve to his taste, ed their own, by the consideration that in proportion as his taste improves, to they are no longer living voices, but relish what is most råre and exquisite in voices from beyond the tomb, from in- our language, the union of poetry with visible beings, somewbere in existence, at piety, in the works of men distinguished, this moment,-these thoughts, thus aw. in their generation, for eminence in the fully associated, will prove noble, strength. one or the other of these, and frequently ening, and instructive exercises of mind, for pre-eminence in both. It is, howfor us to read and to understand ; for the ever, greatly to be lamented, that the heapplication required to comprehend them terogeneous compositions of the most duly, will heighten the enjoyment of the popular of the Authors, even in the prepoetry when it is thus understood; the sent muster-roll, (with few exceptions,) obscurity and difficulty, not arising from cannot be indiscriminately recommended. the defects of the composition, but from Few, indeed, of the poets of our Christian the unacquaintedness of the reader with country, previous to the era of Cowper, the models in vogue, when the author have left such manuscripts of their waywrote. These specimens of 'pious verse' ward minds, as would be deemed altowill not be idle amusements for a few gether unexceptionable, even by men of spare minutes, yet for the delight of the world, who had no particular rere
INDEX TO VOLUME XXIV.
Affairs, on the present state of, 475. Eng.
lish policy as it was and as it is, ib.
to Ireland, 478
No. xxxviii.512_No. xxxix. 640_No.
128, 400, 797
the sea-side, 335
to the siege of, 94
dence at Bremhill, 226
Cardo's Legend, 715-Chap. iii. 717-
732-Chap. vii. 735
oath in reference to the, 1-On a late
-On the state of Ireland in relation to
-- Substance of Sir R. Inglis's two
-State of the Ilinistry, ib.-Catholic
King's College, ib.-Grub street, 331
Catholics, remarks on the, 1-On Dr
the Edinburgh Review combated, 11
the state of Ireland, 412
103_To lanthe, in absence, by, 176 —
zas by, 498
Years' War," 541
Review of, 155
Golden Fleece, 155
ous ballandebe, 177--Ane most strainge
and treuthfulle ballande, made be, 561
tion of place, and his correspondence
with the Duke of Wellington, 107
upon the Catholic Question, 811
lic question, 410_Effects of the " sys.
nals, 699_Catholics of Ireland, 781-
and Irish affairs, ib.-708
a late long debate on the Catholic Ques.
- in his sporting jacket,
- Speech of, on proposing
Value of the securities offered by the
to be adopted to quiet the country, 434
Chap. ii., 456_Chap. iii. Its politi.
life of Mansie Wauch, 909 .
on the Clare election, 219
on the close of the London season,
remarks on, 36
128, 400, 797
Montgomery's sacred poetry, review of,
the fall of, 36
sian and Turkish war, ib. The Greeks,
Notices, travelling and political, by a
Whig-hater, 184_Of the Catholic As.
and Liberals, ib.-House of Commons,
on the, 370
their pamphlets on the coronation oath, I
Beauty,30_Evening, an Ode, 37_Nor-
123, 398, 791
593_Chap. i, ib. Chap. ii, 603_Note
ence to the exclusion of Catholics froin