« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
"Why sleepest thou, Eve'? Now is the pleasant time, "The cool, the silent, (save where silence yields "To the night-warbling-b'ird, th'at/ no'w aw'ake "Tunes sweetest his lo've-la'boured-song) now reigns "Full-orbed the mo'on, an'd/ with more pleasing ligh't/ Sha'dowy sets off/ the fa'ce of thin`gs; in vai`n,
"If none regard: Heaven w'akes/ with all his eyes; "Whom to behold bu^t the'e, N'ature's desir'e ? "In whose sight/ all things jo'y, delighted, "Attracted by thy b'eauty/ still to gaze." I rose as at thy-call, but fou'nd-thee no`t: T'o find th ́ee/ I directed then my wal`k: And o'n (metho'ught) alone I passed, through wa'ys/ That brought-me/ on a sud'den/ to the tree Of interdicted kno'wledge: fai'r it seemed, (Much fairer to my fan'cy/ than by daˇy :) And as I wondering lo'oked, beside it stood One sha'ped and win'ged/ like one of those from he'aven By u's/ oft see'n; his dewy locks dist ́illed Ambros`ia; on that tr'ee/ he also gaz`ed;
And, "O fair pl'ant," (said he,) "with fruit surch'arged, Deigns non'e to ease thy loa'd, and tas'te thy sweet, "Nor Go'd, nor m'an? Is knowledge so desp ́ised? "Or en^vy, or whaˇt-reserve/ forbi'ds to tas'te ? "Forbi'd who wi'll, non'e/ shall from m'e withh'old "Lon'ger thy offered g'ood; why el'se set here?" This s'aid, he pa'used not, but/ with venturous ar'm/ He plucked, he ta^sted: me^/ damp horror chilled At such bold wor'ds, (vou'ched with a deed so b'old.) But he thus overjoy`ed: “O fruit divi'ne,
"Sweet of thyself, but much mor'e-sweet/ thus cro'pped; "Forbidden her'e, it seems, as only fit
"For go'ds, yet able to make go`ds of m'en:
"And why not go'ds of men, since g'ood, (the more "Comm'unicated,) more abu'ndant grows,
"The author not imp'aired, but honoured mo`re? He're, happy-creature, fa'ir/ angelic E've,
"Partake thoˇu al'so; happy though thou a'rt, Happier thou mayst be, wor thier/ can'st-not-be: "Taste thi's, and be/ hencefor'th/ among the gods
Thy self a god'dess; not to earth confi'ned,
"But sometimes in the ai'r, as w^e; sometimes
"Ascend to h ́eaven, (by merit th ́ine,) and see
(Even to my mouth) of that same fruit held pa'rt/
Could n'ot/ but tas'te. Forthwith up to the clou'ds/
My gu'ide was go`ne, and I' (metho'ught) sunk do'wn,
MILTON'S INTELLECTUAL POWERS.
IN speaking of the intellectual qualities of M'ilton,* we may begin with observing, that the very splendour of his poetic fam'e has tended to obsc'ure or conceal the extent of his mi'nd, and the variety of its energies and attainments. ma'ny/ he seems only a po'et, when/ in truth/ he was a profound sch^olar, a man of vast compass of thought, imb'ued thoroughly/ with all an'cient and modern-learning, and able to master, to mo'uld, to impre^gnate/ with his own intellectual po'wer, his great and various-acquisitions. He had not learned the superficial doctrine of a later day,-that p'oetry/ flourishes mo`st/ in an uncultivated s'oil, and that ima'gination/ shapes its brightest-visions/ from the mists of a superstitious a'ge; and he had no dread of accumulating knowledge, lest it should oppr'ess and smother his ge'nius. He was conscious of th`at/†
*It may be considered as a general rule that the concluding word of a portion of a sentence commencing with a preposition, “in, on, of," &c., (as in the case of the adverb and conjunction) requires the rising inflection.
+ When "that" occurs as a demonstrative pronoun (as in this instance,) it uniformly requires accentual force; when as a conjunction or relative, it requires no force,-the "a" being merged almost into the sound of u :-Example, "I recollect that (1) the same circumstance that(1) occurred to me, occurred also to that individual."
(1) Pronounced nearly as if spelt thut.
with in him/ which could quicken a'll kno'wledge, and wie'ld-it with ease and mi'ght; which could give freshness to old tru'ths, and harmony to discordant thoughts; which could bind together (by living ties and mysterious affi'nities*) the most remote disc'overies; and rear fabrics of glo`ry and beauty/ from the rude materials/ which other minds/ had colle'cted. Milton had that universality/ which marks the highest-order of in'tellect. Though accu'stomed (almost from infancy) to drink at the fountains of classical literature, he had nothing of the p'edantry and fastidiousness/ which disda'in all other dra'ughts. His' healthy mind/ delighted in ge'nius, on whatever so'il or in whatever a'ge-it-burst-forth/ and poured out its fulness. He understood/ too well/ the rights and dignity, and pri'de of creative imagin'ation, to lay on it the laws of the Greek or Roman-school. Parnassus/ was not/ to him/ the o'nly/ ho`ly ground of g'enius. He felt that poetry/ was as a universal presence. Great minds were everywhere/ hi's kindred. He felt the enchantment of Oriental fic'tion, surrendered himself to the strange creations of "Araby the Ble'st," and delighted still more in the romantic spirit of chivalry, and in the tales of wo ́nder/ in which it was embodied. Accordingly/ hi's poetry/ reminds us of the o`cean, which a'dds/ to its own boundlessness contributions from all regions/ under hea`ven. Nor was it only in the department of imagina^tion/ that his acquisitions were v'ast. He travelled over the whole-field of knowledge, (as far as it had then been expl'ored). His various philological attainments/ were used to put him in possession of the wisdom/sto`red in all countries where the intellect/ had been cultivated. The natural philo'sophy, metaphysics, e'thics, history, theo'logy, and political s'cience of his/ ow'n and former-times, were fami`liar-to-him. Never was there a more unconfined mind, and we could cite Milton/ as a practical example of the benefits of that universal culture of in'tellect, which forms on'e distinction of our times, but which so'me dre'ad/ as unfrie'ndly to original tho'ught. Let such remember, that MIND is in its own n'ature/ diffu'sive. Its
* Let me here repeat, for the subject is of paramount importance, that every portion of a sentence in the form of a simile or comparison,-every illustrative adverbial phrase, and every clause directly or collaterally descriptive, or explanatory, may be read parenthetically with great advantage.
object is the universe, which is strictly o'ne, (or bound together by infinite conn'ections and corresp'ondencies); and accordingly/ its natural progress is from o'ne/ to ano^ther-field of thought; and/ wherever original po'wer (creative genius) ex'ists, the mind (far from being distracted or oppressed by the variety of its acquisitions) will see more and more co'mmon bearings/ and hidden and beautiful an'alogies in all the o'bjects of kno'wledge-will see mutual light/ shed from tru`th to truth, and will comp'el-us (with a kingly-power, whatever it understands,) to yield some tribute of proof, or illustration, or splendour, to whatever to'pic/ it would unfo`ld.
ESTIMATE OF POETRY-MILTON'S OPINION, DR. CHANNING.
OF a'll God's gifts of i'ntellect, Milton esteemed poˇeticalgenius the m'ost transcendent. He esteemed it/ in himself/ as a kind of inspir'ation, and wrote his great works with something of the conscious dig'nity of a prophet. We agree with M'ilton/in his e'stimate of poetry. It seems to us the divi`nest of all a'rts, fo`r/ it is the brea'thing or expres`sion-of that principle or se'ntiment, which is de'epest and subli'mest in human n'ature; we mean of that thi'rst or aspira`tion, to which no mind is who'lly a stra'nger, for something pu'rer and lo`velier, something more powerful, lo'fty, and thr'illing, than ordinary and real-life affo'rds. No doctrine is more com ́mon/ among Christians/ than that of ma'n's immort'ality, but/ it is not so generally understo`od, that the ger'ms or prin`ciples of his whole f'uture-being/ are now' wrapped up in his s'oul, (as the ru'diments of the future plant in the se'ed.) As a necessary result of this constitution, the soul (possessed and moved by these mighty/ though i'nfant e'nergies) is perpetually stretching beyond/ what is present and visible, struggling against the bounds of its earthly prison-h'ouse, and seeking reli'ef and jo'y in imaginings of unse'en and ide`al-being. Thi'sview of our n'ature (which has never been fully developed, and which goes further/ towards explaining the contradictions of human life/ than all others) carries us to the very found'ation and so'urces-of-poetry. He/ who cannot interpret (by his own co'nsciousness) what we have now sa'id, wants the
tru'e key to wo'rks of ge`nius. He has not penetrated those sacred recesses of the so'ul, where poetry is bo'rn and no'urished, and inhales immortal vi`gour, and wings herself for her Leavenward-flight. In an intellectual na'ture, (framed for rogress and for higher-modes of b'eing,) there must be creative e'nergies, powers of original and e'ver-growing thought; and poetry is the fo'rm/ in which these e'nergies/ are chiefly ma`nifested. It is the glorious prerogative of this ar't, that it "makes all things ne'w," for the gratification of a di'vine instinct. It inde'ed finds its elements/ in what it actually se'es and experiences, (in the worlds of ma'tter and mind:) but/ it combines and blen'ds-these/ into new for'ms/ and according to n'ew a'ffinities; breaks down (if we may so s'ay) the distin'ctions and bou'nds of n'ature; imparts to material o'bjects life, and se'ntiment, and emo'tion, and invests the mind with the po'wers and splendours-of the outward cre ́ation; describes the surrounding u'niverse in the colours/* which the passions throw o'ver it, and depicts the min'd/ in those modes of repo'se or agita'tion, of ten'derness or sublime emotion, which manifests its thirst/ for a more powerful and jo'yful existence. To a man of a literal and prosa'ic ch'aracter, the mind may seem law'less/ in these wo'rkings; but/ it observes higher-laws/ than it transgreˇsses, (the law's of the immortal in'tellect ;) it is trying and developing its best fa'culties; a'nd/ in the o'bjects/ which it describes, or in the emo`tions/ which it awakens, anticipates those states of progressive power, splendour, bea`uty and ha'ppiness, for whi'ch/ it was created.
We accordingly believe that p'oetry (far from injuring soc'iety) is one of the great instruments of its refi'nement and exaltation. It lifts the mind above o'rdinary-life, gives it a respite from pressing ca'res, and awakens the consciousness of its affi'nity/ with what is p'ure and no'ble. In its legitimate and highest efforts, it has the same t'endency and ai`m/ with Christianity; that is, to spiritualize our nature. True; poetry has been made the in'strument of v'ice, the pan'der of ba'd-passions; b'ut/ when genius thus sto'ops/, it dim's its fi'res, and parts with mu'ch of its power; and/ even when poetry is enslaved to licentiousness or misanthropy, she cannot who'lly forget her
*The relative pronouns, in whatever case they occur, require a paus before them, except when preceded by of; as "of whom,' of which," &