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vain, he bowed, laid his hand upon his heart, and improvised the following lines :

Thus Adam looked, when from the garden driven,
And thus disputed orders sent from heaven:
Like him, I go, but yet to go I'm loath ;
Like him, I go, for angels drove us both :
Hard was his fate, but mine still more unkind, -
His Eve went with him, but mine stays behind!

Notwithstanding the morbid spirit which pervades and overshadows most of his poetry, depriving it of much of its potency, yet it abounds with grand imagery, and is sustained by splendor of conception. The genius of Christianity is the patron of all that is joyous ; she gilds the pathway of the present life with Heaven's own brightness, and makes even the clouds and darkness which hang over the grave, luminous with the rainbow of Hope. If the poet and moralist had but infused a little starlight into his Night Thoughts, they would have possessed a tenfold charm. It is said that his friend, the Duke of Wharton, sent him a human skull with a candle fixed in it, as the most fitting lamp for him during his nocturnal lucubrations. But we must cull a few passages from our author : and here is an apostrophe to Night :

O majestic night!
Nature's great ancestor! day's elder-born!
And fated to survive the transient sun!
By mortals and immortals seen with awe!
A starry crown thy raven brow adorns,
An azure zone thy waist ; clouds, in heaven's loom
Wrought through varieties of shape and shade,
In ample folds of drapery divine,
Thy flowing mantle form, and, heaven throughout,
Voluminously pour thy pompous train :

Thy gloomy grandeurs-nature's most august,
Inspiring aspect !---claim a grateful verse;
And, like a sable curtain starred with gold,
Drawn o'er my labours past, shall clothe the scene.

Here are his impressive lines on Procrastination :

Be wise to-day: 'tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead :
Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still!
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm,—that all men are about to live-
Forever on the brink of being born:
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel, and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise.


There are some noble thoughts in the following passage :

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful is man!
How passing wonder He who made him such !
Who centred in our make such strange extremes,
From different natures marvellously mixt,
Connection exquisite of distant worlds !
Distinguished link in being's endless chain!
Midway from nothing to the Deity!

A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt!
Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine !
Dim miniature of greatness absolute !
An heir of glory—a frail child of dust!

One more passage, for the sake of its striking metaphor :

Hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close ; where passed the shaft no trace is found,
As from the wing no stain the air retains.

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Our last selection is from his Love of Fame, which Johnson so highly eulogizes :

What will not men attempt for sacred praise ?
The love of praise, howe'er concealed by art,
Reigns more or less, and glows in every heart :
The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure ;
The modest shun it but to make it sure.
O’er globes and sceptres, now on thrones it swells—
Now trims the midnight lamp in college cells.


It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head,
And heaps the plain with mountains of the dead:
Nor ends with life, but nods in sable plumes,
Adorns our hearse, and flatters on our tombs.

Thus conclude we our second evening's entertainment with the Minstrels; and since it has been questioned, from his gravity, whether the author of The Night Thoughts was ever Young, we shall regard him as the last of the old poets. With regret we bid adieu,

then, to these great masters of the lyre, whose magnificent melodies, quaint imagery, and rich cadences, fall upon the ear like a benediction

“Or like those maiden showers

Which, by the peep of day, do strew
A baptism o'er the flowers.”

Justly has it been said, that with them “the imaginative ruled and reigned ; poetry lived much in the upper air, and, like the lark, sang best as it soared to heaven.” A bigh, chivalrous spirit marked the Elizabethan age of song; its pomp of diction and stateliness of measure often challenging the curious interest of the reader, by the subtle obscurity and inversion of its style, as well as by its rich cadences. What a galaxy of illustrious names then shed lustre upon literature and life! It was, indeed, the golden age of letters, with its registered glories in philosophy, science, and song.

It was the

age of contemplation and devotion to study, as ours is of action. Although poets are mortal, poetry is immortal; the muse's priesthood still lives in a line of illustrious succession, “to enrich her galleries with glowing and beautiful creations, embodied in deathless and glorified forms:” and the noble inheritance is ours to stimulate us in the highways of wisdom and virtue. We need not, therefore,

· Sigh the old heroic ages back; These worthies were but brave and honest men ; Let us their spirit catch,-pursue their track ;

Striving, not sighing, brings them back again.”


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