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4. Nor were his political' his only' talents. His eloquence was an era in the senate; peculiar, and spontaneous'; familiarly expressing gigantic sentiments and instructive wisdom'; not like the torrent of Demosthenes, or the splendid conflagration of Tully; it resembled sometimes the thunder', and sometimes the music' of the spheres. He did not conduct the understanding through the painful subtilty of argumentation, nor was he ever on the rack of exertion'; but rather lightened' upon the subject, and reached the point by the flashings of the mind, which, like those of the eye, were felt, but could not be followed.
5. Upon the whole, there was in this man something that could create', subvert', or reform'; an understanding', a spirit', and an eloquence', to summon mankind to society, or to break the bonds of slavery asunder, and to rule the wildness of free minds with unbounded authority; something that could establish', or overwhelm' empires, and strike a blow' in the world that should resound through the universe'. ROBERTSON.
LESSON XXVIII. È S
VANITY OF LIFE.
1. MAN, born of woman,
Is of few days,
And full of trouble.
He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down`;
And continueth not.
2. Upon such dost thou open thine eye,
3. Are his days so determined??
Hast thou numbered his months",
Turn then from him that he may rest,
4. The tree' hath hope, if it be cut down';
And new shoots are put forth.
If even the root is old in the earth,
5. But man dieth, and his power is gone:
6. Till the waters waste from the sea,
7. Oh! that thou wouldst conceal me
But alas'! if a man die',
8. So long, then, as my toil endureth',
9. Yet alas! the mountain falleth and is swallowed up,
The waters hollow out the stones,
The floods overflow the dust of the earth,
10. Thou contendest with him, till he faileth`,
Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.
Yet he knoweth it not;
If they come to shame and dishonor`,
HERDER'S HEBREW POETRY.
EXERCISES IN POETRY.
Some lessons will now be given for the purpose of illustrating the principles applicable to the reading of poetry. It will be recollected that these have already been stated as follows, viz:
1. The rising inflection and monotone are used more frequently in poetry than in prose.
2. Avoid changing the accent or emphasis for the sake of accommodating the meter.
3. At the end of each line, there should generally be a slight pause, especially in rhyme.
4. In most kinds of poetry, there should be, somewhere near the middle of each line, a slight pause, which is called a cesura, and sometimes there should be one or two additional pauses still slighter than the cesura. These latter are called demi-cesuras. The cesura is marked thus, ( || ), and the demi-cesura, thus, ( [ ). 5. A simile in poetry should be read in a lower tone than the rest of the passage.
In this lesson, the cesural pauses are all marked. Let it be remembered that these should never be permitted to interfere, in any considerable degree, with the proper expression of the sense, however much the melody may be thereby increased. A word should never be divided by the cesura. It is desirable also to avoid separating a noun from its preceding adjective or article, and a verb from its adverb. These pauses must be very slight, especially the demi-cesura, which indeed should be scarcely perceptible. For more particular directions upon the subject, see Kaimes' Elements of Criticism.
1. But most by numbers || judge | a poet's song,
And smooth or rough, || with them | is right or wrong;
In the bright muse, I though thousand | charms conspire,
Who haunt | Parnassus || but to please | the ear,
2. These, equal syllables || alone | require,
With some unmeaning || thing they call | a thought,
That, like a wounded snake, || drags | its slow length along.
3. Leave such to tune || their own dull rhymes, ❘ and know
Where Denham's | strength, || and Waller's | sweetness join.
4. True ease in writing || comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest, who have learned to dance.
'Tis not enough || no harshness | gives offense,
REMARKS. In the third line, the melody would require that the cesural pause should be after "though," but the sense is more fully expressed by placing it after "muse." In the eighth line, the cesura would come after the first syllable in the word "syllables;" but it is desirable to avoid dividing a word, and therefore it is removed to the end of the word. For the same reason, in the twentieth line, to avoid dividing the word "Alexandrine," the cesura is removed three syllables beyond its natural place.
BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.
In the two succeeding lessons, the cesuras are all marked, but the demi-cesuras are but partially noted.
1. Nor a drum | was heard, || not a funeral note,
3. No useless coffin || enclosed | his breast,
Not in sheet | nor in shroud || we wound him;
4. Few and short' || were the prayers we said,
And we steadfastly gazed || on the face of the dead,
5. We thought, || as we hollowed his narrow bed,
That the foe and the stranger would tread | o'er his head,
6. Lightly they'll talk || of the spirit that's gone',
7. But half of our heavy task || was done,
When the clock || struck the hour for retiring;
8. Slowly and sadly | we laid him down,
From the field of his fame || fresh and gory;
THE MARINER'S DREAM.
1. IN slumbers of midnight || the Sailor-boy lay, His hammock swung loose | at the sport of the wind; But watch-worn | and weary, || his cares | flew away, And visions of happiness || danced | o'er his mind. 2. He dreamed of his home, || of his dear native bowers, And pleasures that waited || on life's merry morn; While Memory each scene || gayly covered with flowers, And restored every rose, but secreted the thorn. 3. Then Fancy her magical pinions || spread wide,
And bade the young dreamer | in ecstasy rise; Now, far, far behind him || the green waters glide, And the cot of his forefathers || blesses his eyes. 4. The jessamine clambers || in flower o'er the thatch, And the swallow sings sweet || from her nest in the wall; All trembling with transport || he raises the latch, And the voices of loved ones || reply to his call.
5. A father bends o'er him || with looks of delight;
His cheek is impearled || with a mother's warm tear; And the lips of the boy || in a love-kiss unite
With the lips of the maid whom his bosom holds dear. 6. The heart of the sleeper || beats high in his breast,
Joy quickens his pulse, all his hardships seem o'er; And a murmur of happiness || steals through his rest"O God! thou hast blest me, || I ask for no more." 7. Ah! whence is that flame || which now bursts on his eye? Ah! what is that sound that now larums his ear? 'Tis the lightning's red glare || painting hell on the sky! 'Tis the crashing of thunders, the groan of the sphere!