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Art. 1.- The Poetical Works of S. T. Coleridge, Esq. 3 vols. 8vo.
who having, as they think, compassed the comprehension of one idea, cannot by any means expand their minds to its combination with a second idea, and who therefore sturdily deny that any body else can. These are the people who, having had woeful experience that Utilitarians are somewhat logical, hold as downright heresy, or flat blasphemy, the notion that possibly the gods have made them poetical also. And truly their own poetry is as destitute of logic, as their logic is of poetry.
But that is no rule for the world; nature having made many minds by a much ampler measuré. Nay, so far from there being any natural incongruity between the reasoning and imaginative faculties, as dunces have always been delighted to believe, it may rather be affirmed that they have a mutual affinity, and rarely attain their full development but when they exist in union.--Produce who can the name of any first-rate poet who was not a sound reasoner. Not Milton; for his defence of the people of England, the worthy oration of a nation's advocate pleading for his country at the world's bar, and for the verdict of posterity, his · Areopagitica,' and his Treatises on Divorce,' would have made his name great, though he had never dreamed that delicious dream of Paradise, nor set off its placid loveliness by the double contrast of Celestial splendors and Tartarean horrors. Not Shakespeare; for he would, in half an hour, have created half a dozen senators, lawyers, or cardinals, and given them life and logic enough of themselves to silence all the oracles of all the schools that then were flourishing in their Aristotelian pride.
VOL. XII.-Westminster Review.
Not Jeremy Taylor; for he was a poet too,-no mean one either; a poet whose name indeed may be transplanted among the logicians, and it will take root and flourish there, like one of his own metaphors so rich and redolent of beauty, and twining gracefully about the intellect which could cut so finely in casuistry as to be a qualified Ductor Dubitantium, and lay down principles so broad as those which yet sustain unshaken the liberty of prophesying. Not Wordsworth; for he makes syllogisms of odes and odes of syllogisms, and his "song is but the eloquence of truth”—the truth of our inmost souls the truth of humanity's essence, brought up from those abysses which exist in every bosom, and just moulded into metre without being concealed or disfigured by the workmanship. No, it is not among great poets that we are to look for men who cannot handle the foils of logical fence, well enough to disarm in a trice the dullest dog that ever tumbled over the dry bones of Aristotle. They are all of them at home in the business. They have keen swords beneath their myrtle garlands. They can despatch an opponent and then chant his dirge. They can win a fight and then sing the
song of victory; Pity that they are not always on the right side. But that misfortune befalls the philosophers as well as the poets. And that reminds us, that we have to summon from among them, too, witnesses to the position, that the higher degrees of the ratiocinative and imaginative powers are usually found together. And here it is fit to begin with the first and highest name upon the roll, even with the founder of the reformed philosophy, Lord Bacon. Let any man read his Essays, and say if they be not abundant in the materials of the richest and purest poetry. How beautifully he often bodies forth a principle in an image; and what an eye he had for nature's paintings,—what an ear for nature's melodies. There is nothing in Thomson's Seasons half so good as Bacon's Essay of Gardens. How true his perception that “the breath of Mowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand,” because there "it comes and goes like the warbling of music;” and what a “royal ordering” does he make of " gardens for all the months of the year,” "that you may have ver perpetuum, as the place affords."
Hobbes's great work, tough as it is, is but the amplification of a poetical conception. The Leviathan is only a personification filling a folio. He could versify too ; and that seldom without vigour-sometimes with a good deal of beauty. The eloquence both of South and Barrow often rises into poetry. The one strikes off a beautiful thought at a heat; the other elaborates it into perfection, by the faithful and complete accumulation of particulars. It is enough to name Burke, the most splendid example of an