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upon which they are constructed, and alloded to other matters, let me add in conclusion, that it is the interest as well as the duty of the proprietor of mines, to use every means that science and practical skill can devise for the safety of their workmen. There is no fear of having too much of these qualifications in the officers of mines. A manager of a colliery employing a thousand men engaged in a fiery mine, has far more responsibility, and surely requires as much skill and science, as the colonel commanding as many men above ground in the open air; and if intelligence, sobriety, and discipline are essentially requisite for officers and men in the army, how much more necessary are these qualities in a mine amongst invisible and intangible enemies like gases? It is not now my business to urge on masters what they ought to do, but I do say to the workmen that much of their safety will always depend on strictly observing the orders of their officers, and doing all they can to preserve discipline; for without this there can be no safety in a mine, Of all men in the world a collier ought to be a sober, steady, careful, and observant man.
THE CHARMS OF LIFE.—There are a thousand things in this world to afflict and sadden--but oh, how many that are beautiful and good! The world teems with beauty-with objects that gladden the eyes and warm the heart. We might be happy if we would. There are ills which we cannot escape -the approach of disease and death, of misfortunes, sundering of earthly ties, and the canker worm of grief, but a vast majority of the evils that beset us might be avoided. Let wars come to an end, and let friendship, charity, love, purity, and kindness, mark the intercourse between man and man. We are too selfish, as if the world was made for us alone. How much happier should we be were we to labour more earnestly to promote each other's good. God has blessed us with a home which is not all dark. There is sunshine everywhere -in the sky, upon the earth-there would be in most hearts if we would look around us. God reigns in Heaven, Mur. mur not at a creation so beautiful.-Bishop Hall,
BURNS, AS A POET.
BY JAMES FINLAYSON.
(The Burns Centenary Festival suggested the desirability of a
lecture on Scotland's national poet, but a suitable essay has not come into our hands till now. “Burns, as a Poet,” is a sequel to “Burns, as a Man :" the latter we hope to print in a future number. Mr. Finlayson has a poetic appreciation of the genius of Burns, and utters his judicious criti. cism and fervent admiration eloquently. Our readers will remember Mr. Finlayson's excellent lectures on “Shakspere” and “Self-Culture," in the “Popular Lecturer” for 1857 and 1858.)
What is a Poet? What are the peculiar characteristics of the highest poets? What position does Burns occupy among the poets? Full and satisfactory answers to these questions would lead us into a very wide and a very attractive field; but as time presses, I must lead you across by as short a path, and at as rapid a pace, as is consistent with a comprehensive and an intelligent survey. My remarks on the first and second questions will be brief, as those are but preliminary to the last question, which is more particularly the subject before us, viz., the place and powers of Burns as a poet.
1st. What is a poet? God, the infinite One, has manifested Himself in two ways unto men-directly, by His Word, who was in the beginning with God; and indirectly, through His works, which were created by Him. The first mentioned form of manifestation I shall drop, as it lies out of the scope of my present purpose. The second form is closely rela
ted, yea, is the subject before us. A German philosopher has laid down as a principle in his philosophy, that the universe is merely the extended thought of God. This philosophical error is part of a profound and beautiful truth; for while the world of matter is something separate and distinct from God, His creation and not His essence; it is the manifestation of the Divine mind, the inarticulate expression of the Divine thought and feeling. Now as the human mind is created in the image of the divine, and as the divine mind is manifested thiough the natural world, it must follow that there are analogies and correspondences between the material objects and the elements of human thought and feeling. Men of dull hearts and dim eyes look upon natural objects like Wordsworth's Peter Bell, of whom it is said
“A primrose by the river's brim
And it was nothing more.” They can see no further than the bare fact that that object is called a flower, a tree, a river, a mountain, a man, a woman. They never get hold of the thought and feeling which those several objects were by the Divine mind intended to convey. But when a man of peculiar construction of head and heart, keen vision, and broad sympathy comes into this strange world, he reads the riddle with a different eye, he detects the hidden meaning wrapped up in every natural object, the objects are lifted out of the narrow material sphere into the region of imagination, they become transfigured before us, filled and flashing with divine thought and feeling. This man thus gives intelligible expression to the inarticulate creation, and utterance and form to the corresponding thoughts and feelings slumbering in the hearts of all men, but which few are able adequately to express. Such a man is a poet. The poet is thus the revealer of the Divine mind, indirectly manifested through the works of nature, and is also the expresser of the
analogous thought and feeling awakened in the human mind when brought into contemplative contact with external nature. Listen to Shakspere as he gives atterance to his profound sympathy with the external works of God, and to the striking analogies which obtain between the natural and spiritual worlds:
“There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it." Listen to Wordsworth's magnificent lines, unfolding the same profound truth:
“I have learned
Of all my moral being." Listen to Burns giving expression to the same thought and feeling, in simpler but equally poetic strains :
“Oh nature ! a' thy shows and forms
To feeling pensive hearts hae charms :
Wi' life and light,
The lang dark night:
And no think lang ;
A heart-felt sang." This power of revealing, distinguishing, and depicting the varied and changing forms of nature to the apprehensions of ordinary men, is only one side of the poet's mind, one mode of its activity. This is the side on which he stands related to nature, and interprets its lessons to men. But there is another side by which he is touched and touches human nature, through which he experiences all the emotions that rejoice or lacerate human hearts; feeling with greater intensity than ordinary men, he becomes the fit organ of utterance to our common feelings, whether these be the exultant tremour of hope, or the restless extacy of despair, the sterner sentiment of patriotism, or the softer sentiment of love.
Some poets have a greater love for nature and a keener glance into the truths which it presents. Others have a stronger sympathy with human life, with its conspiring and conflicting feelings and pur. suits. While each province is most important, and each teaches its peculiar lessons, yet an exclusive or undue attention to the one or the other leads to onesided opinions, and unfolds only a part of the poet's power. For instance, Wordsworth was impelled by his strong love of nature to the partial neglect, not perhaps of man in the abstract, but of the concrete or individual man, and thus in fine poetry taught that which, if not error, is at least an imperfect statement of the truth:
“One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach us more of man,
Than all the sages can."