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WRITTEN IN EXILE.
SONNET-WRITTEN IN A LADY'S ALBUM.
The page is laid before me, and a voice
SONNET_ON TWO LOVERS. Theirs was a hallowed flame; for they had met In childhood's sunny path, ere tempest-showers Had passed their shadows o'er the glittering hours Of Life's fresh morn;–ere came one vain regret, Or grief's malignant dews could coldly wet The blooms of early joy, when in the bowers Of innocence and love, 'mid fair spring-flowers They little dreamed the sun of hope would set ! Oh ! sweet and brief delusion 1 Fierce and soon The bleak storm howled; the gathering clouds were rife; With death and desolation ; in the noon Of life and love, amid the gloom and strife, Those fond impassioned lovers wildly parted;
She in the cold grave sleeps—He lingers broken-hearted!
WRITTEN IN INDIA. The lord of day, with fierce resistless might, Clad in his robes of glory, reigned on high, And checked the timid gaze of mortal eye With the refulgence of his forehead bright. I marked with fevered brow his form of light Glare on the silver wave that slumbered nigh, And sought the dryad's haunt, where zephyr's sigh Came like a hallowed tone of sad delight To soothe the wanderer's soul.—Beneath the shade Of wide root-dropping banians, fit to be, At such a time, the dreaming minstrel's bower, On bright-winged visions flew the noon-tide hour; While Fancy's hand those dear home-scenes pourtrayed
Whose living charms I never more may see!
Prejudice apart, the game of Pushpin is of equal value with the arts of music and poetry. If the game of Pushpin furnish more pleasure, it is more valuable than either. Every body can play at Pushpin ; poetry and music are relished only by a few. The game of Pushpin is always innocent ; it would be well if the same could always be asserted of poetry. Indeed between poetry and truth there is a natural opposition; false morals; fictitious nature. The poet always stands in need of something false.—Bentham.
Touchstone.—Truly I would the gods had made thee poetical.
Audrey.—I do not know what poetical is: Is it honest in deed and word Is it a true thing 2—As You like it.
It is lamentable when philosophers are enemies to poetry.—Voltaire. The coincidence of Mr. Bentham's school with the ancient Epicureans in the disregard of the pleasures of taste and of the arts dependent on imagination, is a proof both of the inevitable adherence of much of the popular sense of the words interest and pleasure, to the same words in their philosophical acceptation, and of the permicious influence of narrowing “utility” to mere visible and tangible objects, to the exclusion of those which form the larger part of human enjoyments.-Sir James Mackintosh. Do they (the Utilitarians) not abuse Poetry, Painting and Music —Hazlitt. For song is but the eloquence of truth.--Campbell. Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.—Wordsworth.
Truth may dwell more clearly in an allegory or a moralled fable than in a bare narration.—Feltham’s Resolves.
It is very wrong to represent it (philosophy) to youth as a thing inaccessible, and
with such a frowning, grim, and terrible aspect. Who is it that has put this pale and hideous mask upon it 2–Montaigne.
BENTHAM has asserted that “there is a natural opposition between poetry and truth.” The case is directly the reverse; for truth is the soul of poetry. As well might it be said that there is a natural opposition between a portrait and the living model. Poetry, like painting, is an imitative art: the latter, however, is more limited in its range and tendency than the former. Poetry is not conversant with external forms alone, but with the mind of man. Fiction is but one of the means by which the poet conveys his truths. Poetry is the image of human nature and the material world ; fiction is the glass of which the poet's mirror is composed. The reflection of an object in a mirror is not the
less true, because a child might touch the glass with his hand, and prove that the image of a thing is not the thing itself. Are the landscapes of Claude to be condemned as colored false. hoods, because they are full of cattle and human figures and trees and flowers that never actually existed but in the painter's mind? These are the fictions of painting, and they are analogous to the fictions of a still higher art. Such particular fictions are the vehicles of general truth. Is Shakespeare opposed to truth in his life-like representations of human nature Bentham, and those who think with him that there is “a natural opposition between poetry and truth,” and complain of the inaccuracy of the poet's FACTs, cannot consistently pronounce him innocent. Shakespeare was not on his oath when he told us of the murder of Desde. mona. He was not in the witness box. If the scene had been put on canvass instead of into a book, perhaps the Utilitarians would have been less severe upon the painter than they have been upon the poet, and yet where is the difference? It is a picture in words instead of colours”. I cannot understand how any man of ordinary acuteness should so confound the most positive distinctions, as to identify the spirit of poetry with its mere accompaniments. It is a truism, that metre and fiction are not the constituent parts of poetry. There may be these without poetry, and poetry without these. It appears to be necessary, however, to repeat so simple a fact for the enlightenment even of Philosopherst
* “We were not aware till the other day, that Mr. Bentham had really evinced his want of universality to so puerile an extent; but we find the words in Mr. Richardson's ‘Literary Leaves,’ with a good many more, refuting themselves at every step. And he thinks poetry contradictory to “truth!" This specimen of an amazing ignorance of the very essence of things, of the spiritual wants of mankind, and of the whole world of ideal beauty, is happily followed up by Mr. Richardson, among other quotations by the two following:” (those from Voltaire and Sir James Mackintosh.)—Leigh Hunt's Monthly Repository.
+ I may perhaps be expected to give a definition of poetry. This is difficult indeed. Dr. Johnson has said, that the attempt to limit poetry by a definition would only shew the narrowness of the definer. I dare not pretend to offer a