Puslapio vaizdai
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curiously elaborate in the structure of his own poetic diction.

In vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
And reddening Phæbus lifts his golden fire:
The birds in vain their amorous descant join,
Or cheerful fields resume their green attire.
These ears, alas! for other notes repine;
A different olject do these eyes require;
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine;
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire;
Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men;
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear;
'To warm their little loves the birds complain.
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hèar,
And weep the more because I recep in vain.

It will easily be perceived that the only part of this Sonne! which of any value is the lines printed in Italics : it is equally obvious, that, except in the rhyme, and in the use of the single word “fruitless" for fruitlessly, which is so far a defect, the language of these lines does in no respect differ from that of prose.

"By the foregoing quotation I have shown that the language of Prose may yet be well adapted to Poetry; and I have previously asserted that a large portion of the language of every good poem can in no respect differ from that of good Prose. I will go further. I do not doubt that it may be safely affirmed, that there neither is, nor can be, any essential difference between the language of prose and metrical composition. We are fond of tracing the resemblance between Poetry and Painting, and, accordingly, we call them Sisters : but where shall we find bonds of connection sufficiently strict to typity the affinity betwixt metrical and prose composition? They both speak by and to the same organs; the bodies in which both of them are clothed

may

be said to be of the same substance, their affections are kindred, and almost identical, not necessarily differing even in «legree; Poetry* sheds no tears " such as Angels weep," but natural and human tears; she can boast of no celestial Ichor that distinguishes her vital juices from those of prose; the same human blood circulates through the veins of them

both.

If it be affirmed that rhyme and metrical arrange ment of themselves constitute a distinction which overturns what I have been saying on the strict

* I here use the word “ Poetry” (though against my own judgment) as opposed to the word Prose, and synonymous with metrical composition. But much confusion has been introduced into criticism by this contradistinction of Poetry and Prose, instead of the more philosophical one of Poetry and Matter of fact, or Science. The only strict antithesis to Prose is Metre; nor is this, in truth, a strict antithesis ; because lines and passages of metre so naturally occur in writing prose, that it would be scarcely possible to avoid them, even were it desirable.

affinity of metrical language with that of prose, and paves

for other artificial distinctions which the mind voluntarily admits, I answer that the language of such Poetry as I am recommende ing is, as far as is possible, a selection of the language really spoken by men; that this selection, wherever it is made with true taste and feeling, will of itself form a distinction far greater than would at first be imagined, and will entirely separate the composition from the vulgarity and meanness of ordinary life; and, if metre be superadded thereto, I believe that a dissimilitude will be produced altogether sufficient for the gratification of a rational mind. What other distinction would we have ? Whence is it to come ? And where is it to exist ? Not, surely, where the Poet speaks through the mouths of his characters : it cannot be necessary here, either for elevation of style, or any of its supposed ornaments : for, if the Poet's subject be judiciously chosen, it will naturally, and upon fit occasion, lead him to passions the language of which, if selected truly and judiciously, must necessarily be dignified and variegated, and alive with metaphors and figures. I forbear to speak of an incongruity which would shock the intelligent Reader, should the Poet interweave any foreign splendour of his own with that which the passion naturally suggests : it is sufficient to say that such addition is unnecessary. And, surely, it is more probable that those passages, which with propriety abound with metaphors and figures, will have their due effect, if, upon other occasions where the passions are of a milder character, the style also be subdued and

the way

temperate.

But, as the pleasure which I hope to give by the Poems I now present to the Reader must depend entirely on just notions upon this subject, and, as it is in itself of the highest importance to our

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