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“ And, without breathing, man as well might hope
“ Is it greater pain
Though tempest frowns,
Ah! dear Thomas Campbell! Thou "I will thank you in the grave." hast dealt out scant and scrimp praise
But Silence and Darkness are but the to the Bard of Night—but it was of
angels of God. And the Poet, in. such lines as these that thou said'st with thy native felicity, “ he has in.
spired by them, ventures another in
vocation dividual passages which Philosophy might make her texts, and experience “ But what are ye? - Thou who didst put select for her mottos.”
to flight Gloomy indeed! Is not the Poem Primeval silence, when the morning star, called " The Complaint?" If “ Night Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball ! Thoughts” are not gloomy - then
O Thou ! whose word from solid darkness
struck nothing is gloomy on this side of the grave. There is a Poem, you know, That spark the sun, strike wisdom from called « The Grave," and a noble
my soul, one – Gloomy it stood as Night.” My soul which flies to Thee !" Who? Death.
Assuredly the opening strain is magWe have been familiar with Young's nificent; and what farther, is his Night Thoughts from boyhood—and prayer? half a century ago the volume was to
“ Through this opaque of nature and of be seen lying_with a few others of
soul, kindred spirit-beside the Holiest-in
This double night, transmit one pitying many a cottage in the loneliest places
ray, in Scotland. The dwellers there were
To lighten and to cheer. O lead my mind, grave—not gloomy—but they loved
A mind that fain would wander from its to look into deep waters, which, though
wo, clear, are black because of their depth Lead it through varied scenes of life and and their overshadowings-yet show death; the stars.
And from each scene the noblest truths “ Silence and Darkness ! solemn sisters! inspire. twins
Nor less inspire my conduct than my song. From ancient Night, who nurse the tender
Teach my best reason reason; my best thought,
will To reason, and on reason build resolve, Teach rectitude, and fix my firm resolve That column of true majesty in man,
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear ; Assist me!"
Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured To sing a cheerful song—a merry
On this devoted head, be poured in vain." roundelay ? No-such a song as may Compare this with the opening of any help to save his soul alive—the souls other Great Poem in our language, of some-many-of his brethren—and and its sublimity will not sink in the if the Powers he invokes do hear comparison.
Perhaps there may be some exag- bert Croft, the frog, that, with that geration in the sentiment as well as in bull in his eye, puffed himself up till the imagery, in parts of this noble in- he realized the fable. Thomas Camptroduction. But a great poet has bell somehow or other missed it—the dread thoughts at the dead of night, only miss he ever made—and when ruminating on the destinies of the
one poet goes wrong about another, race, and collecting all his powers to he is neither to “ haud nor to bin'," sing them, within the shadow of the and flings the stones and gravel from grave.
his heels in a style that shows it would
be the height of imprudence to attempt “ Silence, how dead ! and darkness, how
to follow. Bulwer alone has written profound ! Nor eye, nor listening ear an object finds;
worthily about “one among the highCreation sleeps !”
est, but not the most popular of his
Country's Poets." And with a crowThe bell strikes—and “ 'tis as if an quill delicately nibbed by Mrs Genangel spoke.”
tle, two years ago, we copied in “ I feel the solemn sound—if heard aright,
our Oberonic calligraphy, on the flyIt is the knell of my departed hours :
leaf of this our Diamond Edition, this Where are they? With the hours before fine and philosophic criticism from the flood !”
“ The Student.'
the Young, they say, was a disappointed creations of two worlds are round man, and was world-sick because of him, and the grey hairs of the mourunsuccessful ambition. Well he might
ner become touched with the halo of be—for his talents, learning, elo
the prophet. It is the time and spot quence, genius, and virtue ought to he has chosen wherein to teach us, have elevated him to a conspicuous that dignify and consecrate the les, station in the Church, But has he
son : it is not the mere human and pictured the world worse than it is ?- earthly moral that gathers on his Nor is it of the world—in the vulgar tongue. The conceptiou hallows the sense—that he sings—though with a
work, and sustains its own majesty in bitter scorn he sometimes exposes follies and its mockeries. His poem is every change and wandering of the
And there is this greatness “ Of man, of nature, and of human life". in his theme_dark, terrible, severeas they are by the necessity of their Hope never deserts it! It is a deep
and gloomy wave, but the stars are being—and who can blacken beyond the truth the character of sin and glassed upon its bosom. The more guilt “that makes the nature's groan?” sternly he questions the World, the We are not among the number of Heaven. Our bane and antidote are
more solemnly he refers its answer to those, who from “ golden urns draw both before him; and he only arlight,” and then make a display of their borrowed lustre—an audacious raigns the things of Time before the trick of many a mean-spirited thief,
tribunal of Eternity. It is this, which,
to men whom grief or approaching imagining that the world will admire his head as if it shone like that of kerings of the world, leaves the great
death can divest of the love and hanChristopher among the Mountains, monitor his majesty, but deprives him while children, at first scared by the
of his gloom. Convinced with him glimmer in the hedge, soon scorn the
of the vanities of life, it is not an unilluminated turnip. We steal from no
gracious or unsoothing melancholy man
which confirms us in our conviction, “ But like Prometheus draw the fire from
and points with a steady hand to the Heaven."
divine somETHING that awaits us beBut at times we delight to borrow yond ; from the rich—that, by scattering the treasure abroad, we may exalt the
• The darkness aiding intellectual light, fame of its creator and owner, and
And sacred silence whispering truths di
vine, thereby enlarge the sphere of his empire, and increase the number of his
And truths divine converting pain to subjects. Who has written on the
peace. genius of Young ? Johnson--poorly « I know not whether I should say - very very poorly indeed ; and Her. too much of this great poem if I should
call it a fit Appendix to the Paradise inspiration never slacken or grow faLost.' It is the Consolation to that tigued. Even the humours and conComplaint. Imagine the ages to have ceits are of a piece with the solemnity rolled by since our first parents gave of the poem-like the grotesque masks earth to their offspring, who sealed carved on the walls of a cathedral, the gift with blood, and bequeathed it which defy the strict laws of taste, to us with toil :-imagine, after all that and almost inexplicably harmonise experience can teach-after the hoard with the whole. The sorrow, too, of ed wisdom and the increasing pomp the poet is not egotistical, or weak in of countless generations-an old man, its repining. It is the great one sorone of that exiled and fallen race, row common to all human nature- the standing among the tombs of his an- deep and wise regret that springs from cestors, telling us their whole history, an intimate knowledge of our being in his appeals to the living heart, and and the scene in which it has been holding out to us, with trembling cast. That same knowledge, operathands, the only comfort which earth ing on various minds, produces various has yet discovered for its cares and results. In Voltaire it sparkled into sores — the anticipation of Heaven! wit; in Goethe, it deepened into a To me, that picture completes all that humour that belongs to the sublime ; Milton began. It sums up the human in Young it generated the same high history, whose first chapter he had and profound melancholy as that chronicled ; it preacheth the great which excited the inspirations of the issues of the Fall; it shows that the Son of Sirach, and the soundest porburning light then breathed into the tion of the philosophy of Plato.” soul, lives there still ; it consummates Here is a passage that itself justithe mysterious record of our mortalfies even such an eulogy-for where sadness and our everlasting hope. is its superior-we had almost said its But if the conception of the Night equal-either in poetry or philosophy Thoughts' be great, it is also uniform -throughout the whole range of the and sustained. The vast wings of the creation of English genius ?
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
" 'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof,
Of subtler essence than the trodden clod ;
Dull sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain." The last paragraph is admirable- stirred up from its unfathomed depths but the first is wondrous—and would by the voice of the dead disclosing have entranced Hamlet. “ I have of deeds that changed the face of the late (but, wherefore, I know not) lost firmament, and into
than all my mirth, foregone all custom of “ beasts that want discourse of reaexercises : and, indeed, it goes so hea- son," turned the creatures God had vily with my disposition, that this formed after his own likeness, “mag. goodly frame, the earth, seems to me nanimous to correspond with Heaa sterile promontory ; this most ex.
ven.” cellent canopy, the air, look you, But not Shakspeare-not Young, this brave, o'erhanging firmament, ever drew such a picture of Man as this majestical roof fretted with gold- the one now emerging from the still en fire, why, it appears no other deep waters of our memory-by whom thing to me than a foul and pesti- painted? One of the Masters in lent congregation of vapours.
What Israel. a piece of work is man! How noble “ And first, that he hath withdrawn in reason ! how infinite in faculties ! himself, and left this his temple desoin form and moving, how express and late, we have many sad and plain admirable! in action, how like an proofs before us. The stately ruines angel! in apprehension how like a are visible to every eye, that bear in god! the beauty of the world! the their front (yet extant) this doleful paragon of animals! And yet, to me, inscription : “ Here God once dwelt." what is this quintessence of dust ?" Enough appears of the admirable The ghost of one, “ in form and mo- frame and structure of the soul of ving, how express and admirable,” man, to show the divine presence did was gliding through his imagination sometime reside in it, more than -and he knew that what was once
enough of vicious deformity, to pro« its smooth body,"
claim he is now retired and gone. “ A most instant tetter barked about
The lamps are extinct, the altar Most lazar-like with vile and loathsome
overturn'd. The light and love are crust;'
now vanisht, which did the one shine his mother, whom that ghost, when in with so heavenly brightness, the other the body
burn with so pious fervour. The gol
den candlestick is displac't, and thrown " Would not beteem the wind of heaven Visit her face too roughly
away as an useless thing, to make
room for the throne of thə Prince of now forgetful of “ the buried Majesty Darkness. The sacred incense, which of Denmark," and soaking “in the sent rowling up in clouds its rich perrank sweat of an incestuous bed ; fumes, are exchang’d for a poisonous “ the serpent that did sting his fa- hellish vapour, and here is, instead of ther's life now wearing his crown; a sweet savour, a stench. The comely « confusion
confounded order of this house is turn'd all into among all the holiest thoughts and confusion. The beauties of holiness things that had made to him the reli- into noisom impurities. The house of gion of his being—beneath all that prayer, to a den of thieves, and that horrible and hideous oppression—and of the worst and most horrid kind, for in the revealed knowledge of possibi- every lust is a thief, and every theft, lities of wickedness in nature, other- sacrilege ; continual rapine and robwise “ beyond the reaches of his bery is committed upon holy things. soul,” he thought of heaven and earth, The noble powers which were deand man—and spoke of them still as sign'd and dedicated to divine conglorious and godlike—while there templation and delight, are alienated was quaking in his soul an ineffable to the service of the most despi. trouble never more to be appeased, cable idols, and employ'd unto vilest
intuitions and embraces ; to behold they cannot be wrought in, so as to and admire lying vanities ; to indulge take hold of the soul, but hover as and .cherish lust and wickedness. faint, ineffectual notions, that signify What, have not the enemies done nothing. Its very fundamental powers wickedly in the sanctuary! How have are shaken and disjointed, and their they broken down the carved work order, towards one another, confoundthereof, and that too with axes and ed and broken. So that what is judg'd hammers; the noise whereof was not considerable is not consider'd. What to be heard in building, much less in is recommended as eligible and lovely, the demolishing this sacred frame. is not loved and chosen. Yea, the Look upon the fragments of that cu- truth which is after godliness, is not rious sculpture which once adorn'd so much disbeliev'd, as hated, held in the palace of that great king : The unrighteousness, and shines as too reliques of common notions; the lively feeble a light in that malignant darkprints of some undefaced truth; the ness which comprehends it not. You fair idæas of things; the yet legible come amidst all this confusion, as into precepts that relate to practice. Be- the ruin'd palace of some great prince, hold! with what accuracy the broken in which you see here the fragments of pieces shew these to have been engra- a noble pillar, there the shatter'd pieces ven by the finger of God, and how they of some curious imagery, and all lying now lie torn, and scatter'd, one in this neglected and useless among heaps of dark corner, another in that, buried in dirt. He that invites you to take a heaps of dirt and rubbish. There is view of the soul of man, gives you but not now a system, an entire table of such another prospect, and doth but coherent truths to be found, or say to you, behold the desolation, all frame of holiness, but some shive things rude and wast. So that should er'd parcels. And if any, with there be any pretence to the divine great toil and labour, apply them- presence, it might be said, If God be selves to draw out here one piece, here, why is it thus ? The faded glory, and there another, and set them to the darkness, the disorder, the impugether, they serve rather to show rity, the decay'd state in all respects how exquisite the Divine workman- of this temple, too plainly show the ship was in the original composition Great Inhabitant is gone.' than for present use, to the excel. com “ The Living Temple” of lent purposes for which the whole John How! was first design'd. Some pieces agree, Sometimes we have fears about and own one another ; but how soon our memory — that it is decaying ; are our enquiries and endeavours non- for, lately many ordinary yet inteplust and superseded! How many resting
and events, attempts have been made since that which we regarded at the time with fearful fall and ruin of this fabrick, to pain or pleasure, have been slipping compose again the truths of so many away almost into oblivion, and have several kinds into their distinct orders, often alarmed us of a sudden by their and make up frames of science, or use- return, not to any act of recollection, ful knowledge; and, after so many but of themselves, sometimes wretchages, nothing is finisht in any one edly out of place and season, the kind. Sometimes truths are mis- mournful obtruding upon the merry, plac'd, and what belongs to one kind and, worse, the merry upon the mournis transferred to another, where it will ful—confusion, by no fault of ours, of not fitly match ; sometimes falsehood piteous and of gladsome faces-tears inserted, which shatters or disturbs the where smiles were a duty as well as a whole frame. And what is with much delight, and smiles where nature defruitless pains done by one hand, is manded and religion hallowed a sacridasht in pieces by another; and it is fice of tears. the work of a following age to sweep Yet we forget no beautiful or gloaway the fine-spun cobwebs of a for- rious passage-in prose or verse-that
And those truths which are of had been committed to memory, either greatest use, though not most out of by the heart or by the soul-and, like sight, are least regarded. Their ten- another star stealing through the sky dency and design are overlookt; or to join its constellation-lo! another they are so loosen'd and torn off, that Light of Song.