Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

ment of a truth, we are led to perceive a harmony where none was apparent before, we experience, at once, the true poetical effect—but this effect is referable to the harmony alone, and not in the least degree to the truth which merely served to render the harmony manifest.

We shall reach, however, more immediately a distinct conception of what the true Poetry is, by mere reference to a few of the simple elements which induce in the Poet himself the true poetical effect. He recognises the ambrosia which nourishes his soul, in the bright orbs that shine in Heaven -in the volutes of the flower-in the clustering of low shrubberies—in the waving of the grain-fields-in the slanting of tall, Eastern trees-in the blue distance of mountains-in the grouping of clouds-in the twinkling of half-hidden brooks-in the gleaming of silver rivers-in the repose of sequestered lakes-in the star-mirroring depths of lonely wells. He perceives it in the songs of birds-in the harp of Eolus-in the sighing of the night-wind-in the repining voice of the forest-in the surf that complains to the shore-in the fresh breath of the woods-in the scent of the violet-in the voluptuous perfume of the hyacinth-in the suggestive odour that comes to him, at eventide, from far-distant, undiscovered islands, over dim oceans, illimitable and unexplored. He owns it in all noble thoughts -in all unworldly motives-in all holy impulses-in all chivalrous, generous, and self-sacrificing deeds. He feels it in the beauty of woman-in the grace of her step-in the lustre of her eye-in the melody of her voice-in her soft laughter-in her sigh-in the harmony of the rustling of her robes.

He deeply feels it in her winning endearments-in her burning enthusiasms -in her gentle charities-in her meek and devotional endurances-but above all-ah, far above all-he kneels to it-he worships it in the faith, in the purity, in the strength, in the altogether divine majesty-of her love.

Let me conclude-by the recitation of yet another brief poem-one very different in character from any that I have before quoted. It is by Motherwell, and is called "The Song of the Cavalier." With our modern and altogether rational ideas of the absurdity and impiety of warfare, we are not precisely in that frame of mind best adapted to sympathise with the sentiments, and thus to appreciate the real excellence of the poem. To do this fully, we must identify ourselves, in fancy, with the soul of the old cavalier.

Then mounte! then mounte, brave gallants, all!

And don your helmes amaine :

Deathe's couriers, Fame and Honour, call

Us to the field againe.

No shrewish teares shall fill our eyes

When the sword-hilt's in our hand,

-

Heart-whole we'll part, and no whit sighe

For the fayrest of the land;

Let piping swaine, and craven wight,

Thus weepe and puling crye;
Our business is like men to fight,

And hero-like to die!

[graphic][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »