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Lives one in all this scene below,
With spirits lighter than the play
A mind in whose gigantic grasp
A soul where blazing genius breaks
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, --
Its loftiest heights in ruin laid,
Obscur'd or quench'd in frenzy's shade;
It is a painful, humbling thought
To know the empire of the mind,
Is fleeting as the passing wind;
To-day he sits on Reasott's-throne,
And bids his subject powers obey; .. Thought, memory, will,---all seem his owni,
Come at his bidding; list his sway ;--To-morrow from dominion hurld, Madness pervades the mental world!
Yet think not, though forlorn and drear
The Maniac's doom;---his lót the worst; There is a suffering more severe .
Than these sad records have rehears'a : '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,
The erring mind have still betray'd;
The “still small voice!” yet, prone to wrong, Have proudly, foolishly preferr'd
The sophist's creed, the syren's song ;---
One constant scene of painful strife;
Fresh confticts';---'till this dream of Life
With theirs compared, the Maniac's doom,
Though abject, must be counted blest ;
At times may know a vacant rest:---
In mercy bid such conflict cease;
And grant him penitence and peace :---
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. Scritch-scratch---Poh! you're
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 Wordswortli's “ Yarrow Unvisited.”