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pleasure as that end is or is not attained. But the case is perfectly different with the poet.” If this be not a crude, false, and narrow doctrine, I should like to know what is.
The writer, who undertakes the defence of poetry against the aspersions of the literal and coarse-minded, has a difficult task to perform, because in its very nature it is so subtle and intangible, that however mighty its influence, it is impossible to indicate the precise character and extent of its effects. They therefore who have to place it in opposition to grosser and more palpable objects, can only trust for the effect of their arguments to men of kindred minds, who are able to understand that there are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in the philosophy of cold and unimaginative reasoners.
Though this article is already so full of quotations, I make room with particular pleasure for a grateful tribute to poetry from the pen of Coleridge.
“ I expect neither profit, nor general fame by my writings ; and I consider myself as having been amply repaid without either. Poetry has been to me its own 'exceeding great reward.' It has soothed my afflic. tions ; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments ; it has endeared solitude; and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me."
Sir James Mackintosh once remarked, that in most vexations he successfully applied to poetry for consolation. Amidst all his active struggles in public life, Mr. Fox was always sighing for an opportunity to turn to the perusal of his favorite poets; and even in his latest years he was perpetually talking to his friends of his intention to write a treatise on " the three arts of Poetry, History, and Oratory.” Burke in a letter to Professor Richard. son, the author of the Essays on Shakespeare's dramatic characters, observes, that “
poetry is the study of human nature ; and as this is the first object of philosophy, poetry will always rank first among human compositions.” If poetry were to be struck out of the literature of a nation, how bare it would leave it!
When we reckon up the literary honours of a country, how large and conspicuous a share is divided amongst the poets! Let us turn either to the ancients or to the moderns, and the truth of this remark will be sufficiently obvious.
When o'er this glimmering land of dreams
Life's morning meteors brightly play,
With hues celestial light the way,
How like Enchantment's fair array !
Alas ! full soon those glories fade,
Like rays that orient skies adorn,
O’er all their azure depths are borne,
A darkened path-a heart forlorn!
Ah, yes ! though brightly Fancy glows,
And fair the light by young Hope shed,
When o'er the past, by Memory led,
And see the faces of the dead !
THE THREE SONS*.
Close on the green marge of a lonely river
* Suggested by a German story.
But life is fraught with change;—the stillest pool
At such an hour How strangely dissonant or unusual sounds Flutter the dreaming soul! The silence deep Was broken, as when frighted birds arise From some still forest bower. A steed's quick tramp Rang through the rural solitude around, And MAGDALINE, up-starting with surprise, Her pale hands folded on her heaving breast, Peered through the verdant vista, lone and dim That fronts her Cottage-home ; when swift as thought,
Her strained eyes met the well-remembered form
“ Kind Heaven,” she cried,