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The snow-white jasper, and the opal's flame,
“all imperceptible to human touch, his wings The blushing ruby, and the agate grey,
display celestial essence light;" she is riveted And there the gem which bears his luckless name Whose death by Phæbus mourned ensured him
deathless by the beauty of his form, and drops the lamp. Now through the hall melodious music stole, [fame. Thunders moan and crash. She falls into a And self-prepared the splendid banquet stands,
swoon; and when she recovers, the palace and Self-poured the nectar sparkles in the bowl,
the luxuriant gardens are gone, and she finds The lute and viol touched by unseen hands Amid the soft voices of the choral bands;
herself in a cheerless desert and beneath a sky O'er the full board a brighter lustre beams
heavy with rain. Than Persia's monarch at his feast commands:
Psyche prays : she is desired to appease the For sweet refreshment all inviting seems
wrath of Venus by seeking her shrine in lowly To taste celestial food, and pure ambrosial streams. But when meek eve hung out her dewy star,
penitence. The sun bursts gloriously out, and And gently veiled with gradual hand the sky,
reveals a splendid temple shaded by a grove Lo! the bright folding-doors retiring far,
of palms. She approaches and ascends the Display to Psyche's captivated eye All that voluptuous ease could e'er supply
steps, but is rudely repulsed by the priest : To soothe the spirits in serene repose:
she perseveres, and finally receives the oracle :-Beneath the velvet's purple canopy
To raise an altar on that spot where perfect Divinely formed a downy couch arose,
happiness is found, and on it to "place an urn While alabaster lamps a milky light disclose. Once more she hears the hymeneal strain;
filled from immortal beauty's sacred spring.' Far other voices now attune the lay ;
She listens to her doom, and ventures no The swelling sounds approach, a while remain,
reply ; but seeks the forest-grove to hide her And then retiring faint dissolved away : The expiring lamps emit a feebler ray,
grief. Cupid sends her food and a dove, which And soon in fragrant death extinguished lie:
leads her on the way till, wearied, she falls Then virgin terrors Psyche's soul dismay,
down in quiet repose. When through the obscuring gloom she nought can spy, When she awakes a knight offers his proBut softly rustling sounds declare some Being nigh.
tection ; and they proceed together. Various Oh, you for whom I write ! whose hearts can melt At the soft thrilling voice whose power you prove,
are their dangers and temptations, but they You know what charm, unutterably felt,
triumph over all, and reach the silvery bowers Attends the unexpected voice of love : Above the lyre, the lute's soft notes above,
of joy and happiness. The knight raises the With sweet enchantment to the soul it steals,
altar, and she places thereon the urn of beauty. And bears it to Elysium's happy grove ;
Psyche looks upwards, and with “her fond eye You best can tell the rapture Psyche feels
her promised love demands :". When love's ambrosial lips the vows of Hymen seals.
Scarce on the altar had she placed the urn, Psyche awakes in the morning, but finds
When, lo ! in whispers to the ravished ears her Čupid gone. She wanders sad and lonely Speaks the soft voice of love! “ Turn, turn, Psyche,
And see at last released from every fear, through the gorgeous hall; dreamlike melodies and violet-scents the while arising. But these Thy spouse, thy faithful knight, thy lover here!"
From his celestial brow the helmet fell, she heeds not; nor is the voice of her attendant
In joy's full glow, unveiled his charms appear, maids of any avail in soothing the troubled Beaming delight and love unspeakable, anguish of her soul.
While in one rapturous glance their mingling souls they tell.
Two tapers thus with pure converging rays, Night dims the world with gloom, then looks
In momentary flash their beams unite, upon it with her million stars. The feast is Shedding but one inseparable blaze spread, the lyre resounds, the soft light of the Of blended radiance and effulgence bright,
Self-lost in mutual intermingling light: alabaster lamps expires, and Psyche is again in
Thus in her lover's circling arms embraced, the embraces of love.
The fainting Psyche's soul, by sudden flight, Dawns the opal-morning then ; and he is With his its subtler essence interlaced ; gone. Thus day breaks and fades as usual. Oh, bliss too vast for thought! by words how poorly traced ! Psyche is now seized with a longing desire to Venus descends in gracious smiles, embraces behold her parents: after much persuasion, her son, and receives his bride. Immortal she obtains his consent to visit them. The bloom and blest inheritance are bestowed on balmy, myrtle-perfumed zephyrs bear her to Psyche. The tuneful hymn arises, million the paternal palace. She relates her wondrous voiced; the Graces and Hours scatter ambrosial story, which moves the envy of her sisters, flowers ; and love is crowned with everlasting who plan her destruction. They endeavour to joy. fill her mind with suspicions of her lord ; and urge her on to assassinate him while sleeping. Her soul becomes the prey of the two conflicting
WORDSWORTH. passions; but she yields at last to the dreadful alternative. They hide in her vest a poignard, WORDSWORTH's poems are remarkable for and Psyche departs, floated by gentle gales to their clear spirituality: this is their characterthe beautiful isle.
istic. Perhaps we may get a better idea of Soft, slumbrous melody, rich and balmy as their tone and manner from the material unia southern eve, steals on the air, hymning her verse. They are not like nature, when the sun welcome. The stars come out one by one, and first glimmers in the orient, and when there is night again covers the earth. Cupid whispers a fresh awakening of birds and perfumes and a more tenderly his affection, and almost wins coolness and a sweetness cast around everyback her heart to its former purity. He falls thing: they are not like the time when the king into dreamy-sleep golden and purple-lighted ; of day glows splendour in the zenith, and when while she is agitated as to her resolve. Sighs the whole creation welters in golden glory breathe sadness through the marble halls, and -when every tarn is lighted up, and every the lamp glimmers doubtfully while she lifts forest looks greener verdure, when stillness it to gaze on her lover. It was her first sight: reigns on moor and mountain: they are not
like the dim evening stealing over the universe And hence we cannot conceive anything better
We think this high spirituality may be dis- inward consciousness; he cannot gaze upon a
I have seen
Of inland ground, applying to his ear
The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell;
To which in silence hushed, his very soul ing century, the affectation, conceit, bombast,
Listened intensely; and his countenance soon glitter, and show, we needed something simple Brightened with joy; for murmurings from within and beautiful; we needed the soul once more, Were heard sonorous cadences! whereby, and not the mere adorned body. And Cowper
To his belief, the monitor expressed
DI ysterious union with its native sea. in his pure English strains, and Coleridge in his
Even such a shell the universe itself dreaminess, and Southey, and Wilson, and other, Is to the ear of faith; and there are times, memorable ones, in their fine and lofty measures,
I doubt not, when to you it doth impart did much to exalt the mind once more to its
Authentic tidings of invisible things;
Of ebb and flow, and ever-during power ; legitimate sovereignty. They were all different
And central peace, subsisting at the heart men, sang different hymns, awoke different Of endless agitation. thoughts ; but all they wrote tended to one And again in his noble lines on Tintern great object, even this, of bringing back the Abbey, written if we remember rightly in 1798, spirit to its ancient realm. And perhaps, after this consciousness of some all-pervadingspiritual Cowper, Wordsworth's muse has had the great- essence is very perceptible :est influence in achieving the victory; its pierceing spirituality and its pure and exquisite
For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour language have more or less powerfully worked
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes a change in the minds of our present writers. The still, sad music of humanity, Besides this, there is another and perhaps Nor harsh, nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt greater good which his poems have produced ;
A presence that disturbs me with the joy indeed it has already been strikingly remarked Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime by one fine spirit of the New World : and that something far more deeply interfuse is, the doctrine he has taught or again brought
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, back, of looking into the spirit, and not the
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man; literality of a thing. How this pervades all
A motion, and a spirit that impels ranks now; and yet it was our poet who first All thinking things, all objects of all thought, began the movement : until his time the letter And rolls through all things. was all-so long as that was obeyed, no matter Like the deep-glancing, spiritual breathing how fared the other. But Wordsworth, like significance of the stars is this; high and lofty, the beautiful and pure glancing stars of night, pure and holy; looking so brightly down upon pierced deeper the significance of man's heart, the upturned eye, and entering so powerfully and spoke again in giant tones of the workings into every corner of the heart. · In this transof the soul.
cendental region of poetry, Wordsworth is Indeed this would naturally proceed from his rather a listener than a seer. He hears unlofty spirituality ; it was the necessary conse. earthly tones, rather than sees unearthly quent, the sequence immediately following. shapes: the vagueness and indistinctness of the
impression which the most beautiful and sub- book so well fitted to purify the passions. A lime passages of his works leave upon the mind, polluted heart cannot breathe in this intense is similar to that which is conveyed by the most spiritual atmosphere ; it is a region into which exquisite music.” And thus it is with the two none can enter, who loves not with the holiest quotations we have made; a certain undefined affection. Humanity becomes elevated in his meaning is left on the mind; but we feel it to pages, and in the exquisite delicacy of his perbe a meaning vast as the universe itself, and as ceptions of the heart's immunities. There is grand as the throne of God.
no grade of life or being, which does not rise in Indeed subtle music, when most spiritual and our estimation and love, after it has been conintensely piercing, is not unlike star-light; both secrated by his feelings. The beauty, dignity, produce a vague feeling of infinity and a certain and worth of human nature are more powerfully emotion of untainted purity. We seem as it impressed upon our minds, after being taught were to cease from existence; to lose our own the greatness and tenderness of which it is being. We are rather listeners than speakers. capable, in the exercise of the most common The universe moves round us, and we float amid attributes.” And thus does the soul, longing the stillness or the melody. Every part of the after perfect love and striving to obtain the most body becomes a sense of hearing, and there is hallowed purity, feel that one man has been an undefined and limitless feeling of lofty and given to earth in this nineteenth century, who highest spirituality. Just so is it with these may lead it onwards, and bear it upwards into poems: the heart is as strangely moved, and those realms where spiritual beauty and inviothe influence is not less powerful.
late affection grow beneath the influence of the As a consequence to all this, there is no other Highest and the Best.