« ZurückWeiter »
Othou that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
We cannot leave Milton, without pointing out other paffages that are as sublime as those we have already quoted : for fuch are his undrawn chariots that inove by instinét; his everlasting gates of heaven, that felf-open'd wide on golden hinges moving ; and the Mefiah attended by angels, looking down into Chaos, calming its confusion, and drawing the first out-lines of the creation ; which is thus happily described.
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
This universe, and all created things:
The description he has given us of the angel Raphael is likewife nobly conceived, and finely delineated.
Six wings he wore, to fhade
There is fomething fingularly sublime and beautiful in the following paflage, transcribed from a poem, entituled, The Omni/cience of the divine Being, by Mr. Szaart.
When Philomela, ere the cold domain
Of man's vast genius, and the foaring foul !
* The Longitude.
wrote the following lines:
It would here be unpardonable to pass over all those sublime and animated descriptions we have of the Morning; which the writers of heroic and tragic poetry have labour'd fo much to heighten and variegate, that one would think they had exerted their utmost skill and genius, to fee who could render that feason the most endearing.
Homer leads the way, and by a beautiful and well-conceived fiction, describes the morning as a goddess arrayed in a faffron robe, flying in the air, and with her rosy fingers unbarring the gates of light. She leaves the bed of Tithon her lover, arises from the fea in a golden throne to usher in the fun, or in a chariot drawn by celestial horfes, bearing with her the day, and is preceded by a star, which is her harbinger, and gives fignal of her approach.
Virgil follows Homer, and never loses fight of him, as will appear by the following descriptions.
Taffo had most probably Homer or Virgilin view when he
The purple morning left her crimfon bed,
Her amber locks she crown'd with rofes red,
And Spenser, who excels in description, has the fame fort of images diverfified.
Now when the rosy-finger’d morning fair,
and though he has departed as much as posible from the beaten track, yet fome traces of the former poets may be
Now morn her rofy steps in th’ eastern clime
Unbarr'd the gates of light
Such as in highest heav'n, array'd in gold Empyreal; from before her vanish'd night, Shot thro’ with orient beams No descriptions of the morning can be more animated and sublime than those of SHAKESPEAR ; yet his thoughts bear great affinity to the preceding. Look where the morn in ruffet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill.
Do lace the fevering clouds in yonder east:
These pastages may be justly rank'd among grand and fublime thoughts; and though the out-lines seem to have been drawn by Homer, on which they have run their feveral divisions, yet they have all acquitted themselves, fo as to obtain the applaufe of the learned and judicious ; for men of judgment will ever confider that nature is still the fame, and that where the fame objećt is to be described, the fame thoughts, and often the fame words, will occur, if the descriptions are just and natural. We have attributed the first instance of describing the morning in this beautiful manner to Homer, yet it is to be observ'd, that there is much of this fublime imagery in the sacred writings, from whence fome hints may probably have been taken. Thus it is faid of the fun, that He cometh forth out of his chamber as a bridegroom, and exulteth as a giant who is to run his race. Befides these thoughts, which captivate with their grandeur and sublimity, there are others that equally affect us by their agreeableness or beauty. The first please, because they lave fomething great, which always charms the mind, Whereas these please only because they are agreeable.– Comparisons and descriptions, taken from florid and delightful subjećts, form agreeable thoughts, in the fame manmer as those we take from grand fubjećts form those that are sublime. - The writings of the holy penmen are replete with these thoughts; but as the beauties of the bible are in every
hand, and to be feen every day, we shall felećt what ex
amples we have room to admit from our Engli/b poets. The description, however, which Solomon has given us of Wisdom, ought not to be omitted, because it is sufficient, One would think, to make every man in love with her. Length of days are in her right band, and in ber left band riches and honour. Her ways are ways of plea/aniness, and all her paths are peace. , , , , There are many paffages in Mr. Smart's poem on the Immensity of the Supreme Being, which contain agreeable thoughts; but that of the Ring-dove's nest is, I think, remarkably fo : -* |- , 1 ( , , , ' ' ' · , : n : · · What are yon tow’rs, . . . . . . . . . . . The work of lab’ring man, and clumsy art,