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'HE sentiments of poets are the sentiments of the human
heart, embodied into words by superior sensibility and genius; poetical ideas are the pure feelings of the soul, of which every one is conscious, but which few can express ; consequently every human being, endued with sensibility, and feeling, must be highly interested in, and greatly influenced by poetry.
There can be little doubt, that, if the works of the best poets were more generally studied and comprehended than they now are, the human character would not be so degraded by that callous coldness of heart, nor polluted by that vile vulgarity of vice, which, now, so often obtrude themselves upon our sight, in all the loathsomeness of their deformity ; because the sentiments to be found in those books, if they are felt and understood, raise the mind to such a state of pure and of pleasurable excitement, that it cannot, possibly, while under their influence, descend to the contaminating degradation of grovelling and sensual iniquity, or to the despicable meanness of pitiful chicanery and fraud. Let any one observe the movements of his heart, while he feels the thrill of sublime delight, or of pathetic emotion, excited by some of the strains of Burns, of Beattie, of Thomson, of Milton, or of Young, and he will find, that they are all tuned to benevolence, to affection, to gratitude, to love, and to adoration of him, who rideth upon the wings of the wind; and that no base, selfish, or unworthy sensation can find its way into a mind occupied by such noble and exalted views.
He who acquires an early habit of delighting in and of studying the best poets, will never know that fatal hour when his heart-chords shall cease to vibrate to the sweet impulses of benevolence and of kindness. The sentiments of the poets are the most exalted and the most dignified sentiments of humanity, arrayed in the splendid garb of language the most forcible and impressive ; whence all the emotions, which melt the glowing heart, or chain the soul in speechless pleasure, or dart rapture through each thrilling nerve, or raise the sigh. of sorrow, and bedew the cheek with pity's tear at the prayer of want, and the plaint of woe, or lift up the mind to all the elevated feelings, which adorn and ennoble man, which render him a blessing to his fellow-men, and a zealous, faithful servant
to his God, are called forth and roused into action, by the strains of our bards of higher fame.
“ Then hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!.
Amus'd my childhood, and inform'd my youth.
Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings guide!
For, well I know, wherever ye reside,
Since such is the opinion, which we entertain of poetry, and of its beneficial effects, we shall always select from the communications of our correspondents, or from the best poets, which have adorned the republic of letters, those effusions, which have a direct tendency to inspire sentiments of magnanimity and of grandeur, tò breathe into the heart emotions, tender as the first smile of love, and pure as its noblest fires, to heighten the lustre of moral honour, to chasten the passions, and to invigorate the understanding. The selection for this month, is follows:
The eye of sorrow can illume,
Can fling o'er all a transient gloom.
Can, thus, depress, or cheer the mind;
To love the wife he ne'er must see ;
The silent babe, that climbs his knee.
With pain the passing meal to find?
Are ills that oft await the blind.
At noon, or blushing eve, or morn,
While round him breathes the scented thorn.
Hills, dales, and woods, and streams combin'd,
'Midst countless thousands pines unblest,
Bows to the earth, where all must rest.
To chilling penury are consign'd,
Oh! think what woes await the blind.".
High o'er the headlong torrent's foamy fall, Whose waters howl along the rugged steep, On the loose jutting rock, or mouldering wall, See where gaunt danger lays him down to sleep; The piping winds his mournful vigils keep; The lightnings blue his stony pillow warm ; Anon incumbent o’er the dreary deep, The fiend enormous strides the labouring storm, And 'mid the thunderous strife expands his giant form."
What time the wan moon's yellow horn