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(2) Win's-winds. The final consonant is often omitted as an' for and, o' for

of, &c.

(3) Big-build.

(5) Snell-bitter.

(7) Hald-abiding place, home.

(9) Cranreuch-hoar-frost.

(11) Gang aft a-gley-often go wrong.

(4) Foggage-long grass.

(6) But-without.

(8) Thole-endure.

(10) No thy lane-not alone.

A COMPARISON.1

THE lapse of time and rivers is the same,
Both speed their journey with a restless stream:
The silent pace with which they steal away,
No wealth can bribe, no prayers persuade to stay:
Alike irrevocable both when past,

And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
Though each resembles each in every part,

A difference strikes, at length, the musing heart:
Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound,
How laughs the land with various plenty crowned!
But time, that should enrich the nobler mind,2
Neglected, leaves a dreary waste behind.

Cowper.

THE MESSIAH.3

A SACRED ECLOGUE.

YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more-O Thou my voice inspire,
Who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire!

(1) A similar thought is found in the piece entitled the "Thames" (see p. 9), but there it is merely suggested, here it is amply developed.

(2) Nobler mind- the soil of the mind, which is far nobler and more important than that of the land.

(3) "The idea of uniting the sacred prophecies and grand imagery of Isaiah with the mysterious visions and pomp of numbers in the Pollio of Virgil, thereby combining both sacred truth and heathen mythology, in predicting the coming of the Messiah, is one of the happiest subjects for producing emotions of sublimity that ever occurred to the mind of a poet."-Roscoe.

(4) Solyma-same as Salem, supposed to be the ancient name of Jerusalem. (5) Sublimer-i. e. than those required by common subjects. A comparative sometimes, in English as well as in Latin, has the force of an emphatic positive; "sublimer" therefore means, truly sublime.

(6) Mount Pindus, in Thessaly, and Aonia, a district of Boeotia, are celebrated as "haunts of the muses." This fanciful designation thus arises :-the lovely scenery of many parts of Greece suggested beautiful conceptions to the minds of the poets, who, in their turn, personified the influences which thus affected themselves, and gave them the name of muses. Hence, the muses are said to inspire the poet-that is, to sing his song to him-while he merely wrote it down.

(7) O Thou, &c.-i. e. the classic muses of Greece are unequal to such a subject, therefore, do Thou, &c.

Rapt into future times, the bard1 begun :-
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,

Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies;
The etherial Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descend the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens ! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,*
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale;

Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,

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See nodding forests on the mountains dance :
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way!7 a God, a God appears!"
"A God, a God!" the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains! and ye valleys, rise!
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold !8

(1) The bard-i. e. Isaiah, or the poet supposed to be endowed from above with the same inspiration.

(3) Isaiah xlv. 8.

(4) Isaiah xxv. 4.

(2) Isaiah xi. 1. (5) Returning Justice-Astrea, the goddess of justice, according to the fable, left the earth in the iron age, being unable to endure the sinfulness of mankind; in this new golden age she will return. See also Isaiah ix. 7.

(6) Carmel's flowery top-" The good qualities of the soil of Carmel," says a modern traveller, "are apparent from the fact that many odoriferous plants and flowers, as hyacinths, jonquils, tazettos, anemonies, &c., grow wild upon the mountain." (7) Isaiah xl. 3, 4

(8) Hear him, &c.—so striking an expression that it were to be wished that the next four lines had been omitted, as they only tamely repeat the same idea.

G

A COMPARISON.1

THE lapse of time and rivers is the same,
Both speed their journey with a restless stream:
The silent pace with which they steal away,
No wealth can bribe, no prayers persuade to stay:
Alike irrevocable both when past,

And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
Though each resembles each in every part,

A difference strikes, at length, the musing heart:
Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound,
How laughs the land with various plenty crowned!
But time, that should enrich the nobler mind,2
Neglected, leaves a dreary waste behind.

Cowper.

THE MESSIAH.3

A SACRED ECLOGUE.

YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more— -O Thou my voice inspire,
Who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire!

(1) A similar thought is found in the piece entitled the "Thames" (see p. 9), but there it is merely suggested, here it is amply developed.

(2) Nobler mind-the soil of the mind, which is far nobler and more important than that of the land.

(3) "The idea of uniting the sacred prophecies and grand imagery of Isaiah with the mysterious visions and pomp of numbers in the Pollio of Virgil, thereby combining both sacred truth and heathen mythology, in predicting the coming of the Messiah, is one of the happiest subjects for producing emotions of sublimity that ever occurred to the mind of a poet."-Roscoe.

(4) Solyma-same as Salem, supposed to be the ancient name of Jerusalem. (5) Sublimer-i.e. than those required by common subjects. A comparative sometimes, in English as well as in Latin, has the force of an emphatic positive; "sublimer" therefore means, truly sublime.

(6) Mount Pindus, in Thessaly, and Aonia, a district of Boeotia, are celebrated as "haunts of the muses." This fanciful designation thus arises: the lovely scenery of many parts of Greece suggested beautiful conceptions to the minds of the poets, who, in their turn, personified the influences which thus affected themselves, and gave them the name of muses. Hence, the muses are said to inspire the poet-that is, to sing his song to him--while he merely wrote it down.

(7) O Thou, &c.-i. e. the classic muses of Greece are unequal to such a subject, and, therefore, do Thou, &c.

On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,

The green reed trembles,1 and the bulrush2 nods.
Waste sandy valleys,3 once perplexed with thorn,
The spiry fir and stately box adorn;

To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall grace the verdant mead,
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead.*
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet.5
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake;
Pleased, the green lustre of their scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.

Rise, crowned with light, Imperial Salem rise!"
Exalt thy towerys head, and lift thy eyes!
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;"
See future sons, and daughters, yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,10
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars thronged with prostrate kings,
And heaped with products of Sabæan11 springs!
For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,

And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.

(1) Isaiah xxxv. 1, 7.

rush.

(2) Bulrush-The prefix bul, for bull, is augmentative-a bulrush is a large "Horse" is used in the same manner, see note 3, page 76. It may be remarked that the Greeks employed the corresponding words, Bous and πо, in a similar way; thus the epithet Bowπic, ox-eyed, applied by Homer to Juno and others, means, having large and beautiful eyes.

(3) Isaiah xli. 19; lv. 13.

(4) Isaiah xi. 6, 7, 8.

(5) Isaiah lxv. 25. (6) Basilisk-from the Greek Baoiλiokoç, a little king-a serpent with a crest, which was fancifully thought like a crown. Some think the spectaclesnake of India is the species intended. A glance from the basilisk's eyes was vulgarly said to be fatal. (7) Isaiah lx. 1.

(8) Towery-may either mean literally fortified with towers, or figuratively, rising like a tower; lofty.

(9) Isaiah Ix. 4.

(10) Isaiah lx. 3.

(11) Sabaan-Sabea was a district of Arabia Felix, noted for its frankincense, myrrh, balsam, &c. It is supposed to be the Sheba of Scripture.

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