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It is by amplification that those nicely discriminated features are given, which enchant the spirit, by bringing the scene described to the eye, or the passion described to the heart, and this more forcibly than it is in the power of any broad and general idea to effect, given with the bold conciseness of the elder poets. The Hebrew bards are often striking and poetic, when they speak of the preparation of armies for battle, and of the dread of superior force in the martial contests : yet Shakespeare's description of the night preceding the battle of Agincourt, produces greater effect by copious discrimination, even than they do by brevity. The neighing of the steeds; the darkened face of either army, just visible to the other through the pale gleam of the night-fires ;the crowing of the village-cocks at distance, announcing the approach of a morning so full of fate ;-and, above all, the dreadful notes of preparation from the hammers of the artificers, clos

the rivets of the armour !-Ah, surely no brief condensing into one general image-10 single comparison, however bold and exalted, could so deeply impress the mind as these felicities of poetic amplification !

It is by them that the morning hymn in Paradise Lost, is rendered so much more poetically

ing up

beautiful than the Psalm from which it is evidently taken.

“O! all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord, praise him, and magnify him for ever!”

“ These are thy glorious works, parent of good,
Almighty!--thine this universal frame,
Thus wond'rous fair ;-thyself how wond'rous then,
Unspeakable ;—who sit’st above these Heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works ;- yet all declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine."

“O! all ye angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord, praise him, and magnify him for ever!"

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels,- for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day, without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing. Ye in Heaven ;
On earth-join all ye creatures to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end."

« O! all ye stars of Heaven, bless ye the Lord, praise him, and magnify him for ever!"

“ Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime."

It is thus that, by filling up what are mere outlines in the Hebraic poetry, Milton, through the whole course of the Paradise Lost, proves that amplification may be, and very frequently is, the leading excellence of poetry, and that the poetry of a much later day can do more than approach the acknowledged excellence of the Hebrew bards.

I was beyond measure astonished at the Professor's note, vol. ii. p. 242, upon the sublime exclamation of David, sung in chorus, by the priests and Levites, when the ark had arrived at the top of Mount Sinai :

“ Lift up your heads, O ye gates! and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in !"

With a literality most miserably groveling, does this annotator endeavour to extract all the noble enthusiasm from this soul-exalting address—first, by changing the word everlasting to ancient; and then by telling us that the real meaning of the passage is, “ The gates, which were mean and narrow before, and unworthy of Jehovah, should be heightened and extended.” The plain sense of which intepretation is," send for the carpenter to widen the door-place, or the ark will never

get in.

But if, in general, I do not think Professor

Michaelis, by any means a just or feeling decider upon the constituent excellencies of poetry, I am charmed by his historic and geographic elucidations of several parts of our Bible, particularly with those in the first volume, which conimence page 140.

A note of your's entirely does away his conclusion upon the imaginary astronomic ignorance of the Hebrew bards, drawn from their poetry being so little stellar. The stars are certainly too monotonous in their appearance to form a fruitful resource of poetic imagery.

Amongst a number of Mr Henly's admirable notes, I am particularly pleased with the sensible comments upon Virgil's eclogue to Pollio. Most rationally do they account for the similarity of its passages to the prophecies of our Saviour, and for their being applied to the expected, though yet unborn son of Augustus, which, unfortunately for the poet and his prophecy, proved a daughter. The Bishop, however, seems to lean to the strange fancy of some enthusiasts, that Virgil was writing he knew not what, about he knew not whom, which proved an unconscious inspiration from the true God, shadowing forth the birth of the Messiah, and the blessings of his reign.

Your poetic translation of the 42d psalm is eminently beautiful :yet I think you will agree with

me, that, in general, our prayer-book translation of those Hebraic hymns, I mean the reading one, unfettered by rhyme and measure, is the best vehicle for the bold, sublime, yet wild ideas, and shadowy, rather than distinct resemblances, of the Jewish lyrists. To have put the whole of Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Job, or their twin spirit in poetry, Ossian, into measure, and especially if rhyme were added, would have been as injudicious as to drape the Pharneze Hercules, or the Apollo Belvidere. The graceful flow of the vestments could not have recompensed the inevitable diminution of strength and elegance, resulting from an injudicious attempt to increase them.

But your version, mentioned above, has acquired heightened beauty by the change, and I often repeat to myself two of its lines,

“ Say where is now thy great deliverer fled,
Thy mighty God, deserted wanderer, where?"

The repetition of those harmonious and pathetic lines towards the close, has a sweet effect.

David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan, makes a fine poem in verse-yet I think it wholly impossible, that it should not, beneath any hand, however masterly, lose much of its grace and spirit, from the restrictions of measure and rhyme.

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