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Lives one in all this scene below,
With spirits lighter than the play
A mind in whose gigantic grasp
A memory whose tenacious clasp
A soul where blazing genius breaks
And ever thinking fancy wakes
No! such exuberance of bliss
MORAL reflections are not easily clothed in the smiling robes of poetry, because they possess neither the levity of its lighter graces, nor the pathos of its deeper tones. When they are grafted, however, upon a pathetic subject, they are capable of producing an admirable effect. The piety that arises from sympathy is of a much higher order than that which emanates from a cold sense of duty. We have seldom_met with moral reflections so happily introduced, or which leave a more pleasing impression on the mind, than those which occur in the following lines. They render us pious, and so far from resisting the hallowed emotion, we yield to it with pleasure, an effect entirely arising from our sympathy with the Maniac, or rather from our fears of that mental anarchy to which our nature is exposed. The effect, however, would have been stronger had the reflections been grafted on the story of some particular maniac.- -ED.
To see the human mind o'erturn'd,-- -
And reason's lamp, which brightly burn'd,
It is a painful, humbling thought
To know the empire of the mind,
To-day he sits on Reason's throne,
And bids his subject powers obey;
Yet think not, though forlorn and drear
The Maniac's doom,---his lot the worst; There is a suffering more severe
Than these sad records have rehears❜d : "Tis his---whose virtue struggles still In hopeless conflict with his will.
There are before whose mental eye
Truth has her chastest charms display'd, But gaudier phantoms, fluttering by,
The erring mind have still betray'd; "Till gathering clouds, in awful might, Have quench'd each beam of heavenly light.
There are whose mental ear has heard
The "still small voice!" yet, prone to wrong, Have proudly, foolishly preferr'd
The sophist's creed, the syren's song ;---
There are, in short, whose days present
One constant scene of painful strife; Who hourly for themselves invént.
Fresh conflicts;---'till this dream of Life
With theirs compared, the Maniac's doom,
At times may know a vacant rest:---
O THOU! Whose cause they both espouse,
In mercy bid such conflict cease;
The dark'ning clouds of madness roll.
By a Person who never could write one.
THIS person could have written a sonnet had he recollected these two lines in the Dunciad ;
"How here he sipped, how there he plundered snug, And sucked all o'er like an industrious bug."-ED.
Sonnets are things I never yet could write :
Come, try another.
Truly, a pretty piece of business of it; scrawling,
THE RHINE VISITED.*
THIS Sonnet is beautifully picturesque, but we must say that, for our own parts, we could never relish this prosaic, tame, monotonous, and creeping structure of verse. It may have charms, however, for other ears, particularly those who find a charm in every thing that is in fashion and request.-ED.
'Twas yet a dream!-The golden light of day
Shone with so tranquil loveliness around, O'er the blue waters, cliffs, and ruins grey,
There reign'd a thoughtful stillness so profound, All seem'd a vision that might fade away,
A fleeting spell that magic art had wound; No sunlight, 'twas the moon whose lustre lay,
So sweet and silent on that fairy ground!
* Vide Wordsworth's "Yarrow Unvisited."