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been rented as pasture-ground for twenty crowns with its crowd of Ionian islanders who came a year!
there with their spirits steadfastly gazing forward Poetry sees and shows and sings Delos rising into the then very imperfectly explored realms of from the depths of the ocean, drifting in the human art and intellectual beauty, its bands of Ægean sea, and at length fixed in its place, at a Ionian maidens at length collected on the day critical period, as a receptacle for that unpopu- and at the place for which their highest odes and lar courtezan of the gods, the unwedded mother the sweetest melodies of their voices had been of Apollo. But the sterner pages of Herodotus reserved, on the occasion of their purest worship and Thucydides exhibit scenes in Delos, in more offered to those of their divinities for whom, sober colors, and more sober times, which we alone of all the pantheon, the purest cheeks would rather have toiled to some high place to among them need not blush. Suddenly there is to witness, than even the emergence of the a pause in their measured tread. They incline seeming leviathan, and the smack of the per- their ears to catch a new voice breathing through turbed waves against the sands of Rhenea and the song, as wild souls stricken with the music of Myconos, and the drifting about of the unsteady the spheres are fabled to incline their ears to the float, and the air-borne Latona alighting upon it, stars at night, and listen to catch more surely the trembling lest so frail a floor should yet careen strange melody-and in their own partial silence with her weight, and again go down; the stroke it is now distinctly audible “new as if brought of Lothario Jupiter's sceptre which made it fast; from other spheres,” sweet as if from the lips of the relinquished pursuit of foiled Juno, and the Apollo himself, easily confessed to be the voice scene beneath the sacred olive-tree which gave of a prince of singers. Rather than any secrets Apollo and Diana to Greek adoration. Let us of the Hyperborean mysteries on which Heroderather look upon the Delos of historic times. tus so expatiates, we would have heard the voice
There was an annual day, in later times, when of that question-it was doubtless one of the the trailing-tuniced Ionians with their children most queenly of the island maidens who uttered and their modest spouses, from many an Ægean it—"who can this prince of singers be, who was island, assembled at Delos in great, joyous, bust- announced here as a poor stranger ?” Rather ling festal crowds, for contests of pugilism and than the blazing wheat-straw of the Hyperboorchestry and song ;* when, among others things rean mysteries themselves, we would see that which awoke the spirits and gave light to the brorpivasde euphuws," that courteous, artful, smieyes of the assembly, choirs of the brightest ling evasion of the others of the choir, as if they maidens of the islands, arrayed in the most im- would make sign that the strange voice itself posing forms of Greek dress, walked in graceful must answer; and more than all, the pausing order through the crowd, and uttered the purest step and voice and the reverting head of the blind sentiments of Greek imagination in tones of the man of Chios himself, his sightless eye-balls upwildest and richest music of the Greek islands. turned, and their lost cunning transferred to the
It was on one of such days we have a hint portals of the keen ear, while, with half sad, of it from the chief actor himselft—while these half smiling face, and in the same gentle kind bands of the fairest maidens were moving through voice which had called forth the question, be the great crowd with measured step and voice, answers: "A blind old man, and he dwells in that suddenly a voice was heard which was none rugged Chios.” That scene did linger in the of theirs, blending with their notes, and a half spirit of him who was the jewel of it—HOMERjoy and half surprise arose among them, and although it reached him only through the portals looks of enquiry and wreathed smiles were ex- of the ear. changed, and one said to another among them : Delos on another day within the light of as"O girls, what prince of singers is this man who sured history would be worth seeing. It is a has come among us he ?" And when they scene reminding us of the visions of the beings have seen from whence the voice comes : “ This of the world above, which came to the Hebrew man was announced as a poor stranger and we patriarchs of old, and the significant names and are all so delighted with his singing !" And monumental places connected with those viswhen no answer is returned to the enquiry, and ions—their Nissi, their Bethel, their Mahanaim. the stranger himself has heard the gossip of the It seems a visible motion, among the mysteries merry maidens, he answers for himself: "A of this life, of a spirit greater than human, greatblind man and he dwells in rugged Chios." er than Apollo, or Jupiter, or Fate. Rather than any of the scenes of a cloudy my- It was not lawful either to be born or to die in thology, we would see the assembly of that day, Delos. Both were held impure. The couch of
Latona might be the couch of no one else; in * Thucydides, lib. iii, 104.
the birth-place of Apollo and Diana, no one else + Homer's Hymn to Apol., 466-176.
might be born. Those who were approaching
either of the two forbidden events were to em- the minds of the Attic statesmen, that all is not bark immediately for the neighboring island of right between themselves and the Immortal ImRhenia, which had been devoted to these purpo- personations of truth and purity. They are puses by a solemn bond. Death and burial in De-rifying this soil, that they may thus purify the los had been sometimes winked at when fortune spirit of the Attic confederacy, and prepare it to smiled on the Athenians and adverse fate seemed enter with firm heart into the struggle for existafar off. Pisistratus had undertaken to purify ence with proud Sparta. They stand in the the island before the Peloponessian war, but Ana- sight of all future ages testifying by the singular nias-like, he had deceived the Latoides, and done and significant action in which they are employthe work but partially. He had disinterred and ed that there is an innate moral sense in man, removed only the dead bodies which were buried bearing reference to his weal or his woe, distribwithin reach of the eye from the Temple. The uted by Invisible Powers above. So let every conscience of Attic Greece was only partially nation purify its Delos. purified. Thucydides tells us,* that when the Peloponessian war broke out, there was a headlong rush to arms on both sides, each seizing their sharpest weapons, because there were many youths both at Athens and at Sparta who had never seen war, and thought of it only in the hues of its romantic glory, not in those of its crimsoned
THE MESSAGE TO THE DEAD. battle-fields. But at that time a prodigy occurred which checked even the martial fury of the Athenian warriors. Delos was shaken by an earthquake !-as it had not been, in the memory I heard a lovely legend. It had birth of man, and as it had been supposed that the stroke
Amid that race, that swarthy warlike race of Jupiter's trident secured it from ever being.
Once proud Columbia's kings; but over whom
A tempest's wrath has swept, and given to earth This shook the hearts of the Athenians. Delos
The crested warrior and his gentle wife, then was not acceptable to the gods. The con- Children and parent, friend and foe alike, duet of Pisistratus came into remembrance. De- Save a few stricken hearts that still beat on; los was not perfectly purified! And rashly as they
Aud which like seeds before that tempest swept, were rushing to battle, this earthquake, together
Are scattered far in distant covert spots with a “certain oracle" to the same effect, ar
To bloom in stealthy loneliness and die!
That race upon whose sepschre we rear rested their steps, and they sent a solemn depu- Our temples and our bearth-stones, and whose names tation to purify the soil of Delos of all the dead Written in water, still as Time rolls on, who had been permitted there to sleep in the dust
Are deep ingulphed within the rushing stream of the earth. Perhaps classic antiquity hardly
Whose sweep is onward to Eternity.
But this I heard was in the olden time presents another scene in which the mysteries of
When still the azure lake reflected back the moral life of the Greeks stand out so palpa- To Indian maids, their dark-eyed loveliness. bly, as on that strange day of resurrection at Then, in the sweet spring-tide's bright breezy hours Delos. It is not summer; the forests are bare
They wandered forth, and sought an unfledy'd dove
And caged his callow limbs with gentlest care. except the gloomy cypresses ; the fields are not
With dewy Aowers, and fruits, and daintiest things, waving with ripe grain, that these groups of men They slored his ozier prison, till the down which appear in them, should be thought to be Lengthened upon his pinions, and his heart Delian harvesters. Nor are they sportsmen;
Throbb’d with quick pulse for native liberty. the precincts are too sacred to permit the rude
But not yet must be go, nor till there came revelry of field sports. Nor are they funeral pro
At nightsall or at morn, some unseen thing
And gave the gist of song. Then when it gushd cessions employed in those solemn ceremonies of
From his full throubing throat, they bore him forth respect for the dead, which will release their Warbling the while his untaught melodiesmanes from an hundred years of vagrancy on And on that spot in wild and shaded dell the bither shore of the Styx. They are not in
Or flow'ry field begirt with murmuring stieam, deed Delians at all; but Attic men, reversing fu
Their place of graves, they oped the pain:ed bars
And gave the panting captive to the skies. Deral obsequies, disinterring the dead, taking
But ere they said " be free," with soft caress away from this island the odor of death which
They pressed him to their lips, and whisper'd low may offend those Immortal Powers who preside Fond messages of love and tales of grief over the destinies of men; obeying the dictate of And yearning wishes, hopes and joys and lears, last summer's earthquake, complying with that
And all that made life lovely, all that gare
To their dark sky its gloom; while fond tears fell deep and strange conviction which has seized on
Spangling his pinions as they fain essayed
To try their new-born strength. Then when each heart 11-8.
Had voiced its deep revealings, the restraint
My infant footsteps. Those who made earth bright Once to my eyes as Eden's holy light!
Sudden was loosed, and lo! to the far heaven
Yes-yes I send to thee
Thou youthful dweller by the heavenly streams. Oh! how we miss thy beauty and thy glee,
Thy ringing. laugh, thy smile like moonlight gleams, Thou whose soft eyes could charm us like a spell, Chou the bright angel one, ibe golden-baired Estelle !
Then on and softly sing,
Oh! gentle bird, and seek amid those bowers A little, lovely, laughing, fairy thing,
Who fell asleep one day among the flowers, Beneath whose bloom we laid her. Go, thou dore! And find that spotless one, in yonder land of love.
And thou my ardent soul
What message would'st thou give the white-winged dove If far away to yon eternal goal
In hope and yearning love,
And shall I name thee now,
Thou whose dear memory moves me like a spell; Oh! how I must have loved thee, though my bros
Was youth's glad throne, and childhood's citadel. For every look of thine, and every tone Is graven on the heart, for thee now lone.
Go tell the aged there
(Now in the vigor of immortal youth But whose brows here were white with hoary hair)
Their wisdom and their truth The lights from heaven with which our paths they bless'd Have still been with us, now they are at rest.
Long years have passed,
But yet I cannot “cannot make thee dead." The deep entrancing love around thee cast,
Has not my parent with thy spirit fled. Nay, seek him not beyond Life's distant bourn For my heart's yearning cry would be “ return!"
Cease my too trusting soul.
No messenger is thine to speed away With thy vain wishes to the eternal goal.
A little while in hope and faith yet stay, And thou earth-freed, and wearing wings of light, May take thine onward, upward, heavenly flight.
Go tell the sons of song,
They are not dead, that even on this earth The music deep and strong
Of their great strains immortal from their birth, Still stirs our hearts, and all the songs we raise Are but faint echoes of their mightier lays ! Tell them that lovely things
Born of their breathings linger still around; That in the wood, and by the gushing spring,
Shapes of bright beauty, angels may be found Which they drew down, and all the starry night Is holy with their visions of delight.
BY EDGAR A. POE.
Go tell the Brave
Who battled in the council or the field, No son of freemen now can be a slave.
Tell them they cannot yield. That they can die to save or to deliver But live to know oppression-never! never!
Tell him, Columbia's sage,
Who turned indignant from the proffered crown, The proudest record on his country's page
Is that which she which proves his fame our own, And though soul discord every bosom claimed, Brother would brother clasp, if he were named. Tell him his home has grown,
Fanned by the northern and the southern breeze, That here wing'd Liberty has made her throne
Wash'd by the billows of two subject seas, And they her vassals sounding night and day Bear her free notes to distant isles away.
If ever mortal “wreaked his thoughts upon expression," it was Shelley. If ever poet sangas a bird sings-earnestly-impulsively-with utter abandonment to himself solely—and for the mere joy of his own song-that poet was the author of “The Sensitive Plant." Of Artbeyond that which is instinctive with Geniushe either had little or disdained all. He really disdained that Rule which is an emanation from Law, because his own soul was Law in itself. His rhapsodies are but the rough notes—the stenographic memoranda of poems—memoranda which, because they were all-sufficient for his own intelligence, he cared not to be at the trouble of writing out in full for mankind. In all his works we find no conception thoroughly wrought. For this reason he is the most fatiguing of poets. Yet he wearies in saying too little rather than too
And now forgetful heart!
Hast thou no message for thy gentler dead, Those whom Fame knew not; but whose holy part
In silent faith was acted? Those who led
much. What, in him, seems the diffuseness of seen the noblest poem which, possibly, can be one idea, is the conglomerate concision of many : composed. and this species of concision it is, which renders him obscure. With such a man, to imitate was
In my ballad called “ Lenore" I have these out of the question. It would have served no lines : purpose ; for he spoke to his own spirit alone, which would have comprehended no alien tongue. Avaunt! to night my heart is light. No dirge will I upThus he was profoundly original. His quaint- But wast the angel on her flight with a Pæan of old days. ness arose from intuitive perception of that truth to which Bacon alone has given distinct utter- Mr. William W. Lord, author of “Niagara," ance : -" There is no exquisite Beauty which &c., has it thus : has not some strangeness in its proportions."
- They, albeit with inward pain, But whether obscure, original, or quaint, Shelley
Who thought to sing thy dirge, must sing thy Pæan. had no affectations. He was at all times sincere. From his ruins, there sprang into existence,
The commencement of
“ Haunted Palafronting the Heavens, a tottering and fantastic ace” is as follows: pagoda, in which the salient angles, tipped with
In the greenest of our valleys mad jangling bells, were the idiosyncratic faults
By good angels tenanted, of the original-faults which cannot be consider
Once a fair and stately palace ed such in view of his purposes, but which are
(Radiant palace !) reared its head.
In the monarch Thought's dominionmonstrous when we regard his works as addressed
It stood there. to mankind. A "school” arose-if that absurd
Never seraph spread a pinion termo must still be employed-a school-a system
Over fabric half so fair.
Banners, yellow, glorious, golden, of rules—upon the basis of the Shelley who had
On its roof did float and flownone. Young men innumerable, dazzled with
This-all this-was in the olden the glare and bewildered by the bizarrerie of the
Time long ago. lightning that flickered through the clouds of * Alastor," had no trouble whatever in heaping
Mr. Lord writesup imitative vapors, but, for the lightning, were
On the old and haunted mountain forced to be content with its spectrum, in which
(There in dreams I dared to climb,)
Where the clear Castalian fountain the bizarrerie appeared without the fire. Nor
(Silver fountain !) ever tinkling, were mature minds unimpressed by the contem
All the green around it sprinkling, plation of a greater and more mature ; and thus,
Makes perpetuai rhymegradually, into this school of all Lawlessness,
To my dream, enchanted, golden, of obscurity, quaintness and exaggeration--were
Came a vision of the olden
Long-forgotten time. interwoven the out-of-place didacticism of Wordsworth, and the more anomalous metaphysicianist of Coleridge. Matters were now fast ver
This* is a thin pamphlet of thirty-two pages; ging to their worst ; and at length, in Tennyson each containing about a hundred and forty words. poetie inconsistency attained its extreme. But The hero, Alla-Ad-Deen, is the son of Alladdin It was precisely this extreme (for the greatest of wonderful lamp memory; and the story is in truth and the greatest error are scarcely two the “Vision of Mirza" or "Rasselas” way. The points in a circle) which, following the law of all design is to reconcile us with evil on the ground zitremes, wrought in him (Tennyson) a natural that, comparatively, we are of little importance and inevitable revulsion; leading him first to con- in the scale of creation. This scale, however, temn, and secondly to investigate, his early man- the author himself assumes as infinite ; and thus ter, and finally to winnow, from its magnificent his argument proves too much: for if evil is to be elements
, the truest and purest of all poetical regarded by man as unimportant because, comstyles. But not even yet is the process complete; paratively, he is so, it must be regarded as unand for this reason in part, but chiefly on account important by the angels for a similar reasonof the mere fortuitousness of that mental and and so on in a never-ending ascent. In other moral combination which shall unite in one per- words, nothing is proved beyond the bullish propson (if ever it shall) the Shellyan abandon and the osition that evil is no evil at all. Tennysonian poetic sense, with the most profoand Art (based both in Instinct and Analysis) * “ The Dream of Alia-Ad-Deen, from the Romance of and the sternest Will properly to blend and rigo-|· Anastasia. By Charles Erskine White. D. D. Charles rously to control all-chiefly, I say, because such Erskine White” is Laughton Osborn, author of "The Viscombination of seeming antagonisms will be only Jeremy Levis," and several other works-among which I
ion of Rubeta," “ Consessions of a Poet," Adventures of a " happy chance"-the world has never yet must not forget " Arthur Onrryl.”
I hardly know how to account for the repeat the ratio of our un prosaicalness at these points. ed failures of John Neal as regards the construc- Even while employing the phrase "poetie lition of his works. His art is great and of a high cense,"-a phrase which has to answer for an character—but it is massive and undetailed. He infinity of sins-people who think in this way seems to be either deficient in a sense of com- seem to have an indistinct conviction that the lipleteness, or unstable in temperament; so that cense in question involves a necessity of being he becomes wearied with his work before get- adopted. The true artist will avail himself of ting it done. He always begins well—vigorous- no “ license" whatever. The very word will ly—startlingly-proceeds by fits—much at ran- disgust him; for it says" Since you seem una. dom—now prosing, now gossiping, now running ble to manage without these peccadillo advantaaway with his subject, now exciting vivid inter-ges, you must have them, I suppose ; and the est; but his conclusions are sure to be hurried world, half-shutting its eyes, will do its best not and indistinct; so that the reader, perceiving a to see the awkwardness wbich they stamp upon falling-off where he expects a climax, is pained, your poem.” and, closing the book with dissatisfaction, is in Few things have greater tendency than interno mood to give the author credit for the vivid sion, to render verse feeble and ineffective. I sensations which have been aroused during the most cases where a line is spoken of as “foreiprogress of perusal. Of all literary foibles the ble," the force may be referred to directness of most fatal, perhaps, is that of defective climax. expression. A vast majority of the passages Nevertheless, I should be inclined to rank John which have become household through frequent Neal first, or at all events second, among our men quotation, owe their popularity either to this die of indisputable genius. Is it, or is it not a fact, rectness, or, in general, to the scorn of “ poetic that the air of a Democracy agrees better with license." In short as regards verbal constriemere Talent than with Genius ?
tion, the more prosaic a poetical style is the bet ter. Through this species of prosaicism, Cowe
per, with scarcely one of the higher poetical ele It is not proper, (to use a gentle word,) nor ments, came very near making his age fancy him does it seem courageous, to attack our foe by name the equal of Pope ; and to the same cause art in spirit and in effect, so that all the world shall attributable three-fourths of that unusual point know whom we mean, while we say to ourselves, and force for which Thomas Moore is distinguisha “I have not attacked this man by name in the ed. It is the prosaicism of these two writers to eye, and according to the letter, of the law"- which is owing their especial quotability. yet how often are men who call themselves gentlemen, guilty of this meanness! We need reform at this point of our Literary Morality :
“The Reverend Arthur Coxe's · Saul, a Mysters,' ha7
ing been condemned in no measured terms by Poe, of 'The very sorely, too, at another—the system of ano-Broadway Journal,' and Green of "The Emporium,' stri nymous reviewing. Not one respectable word ter in the Hartford Columbian' retorts as follows: can be said in defence of this most unfair—this most despicable and cowardly practice.
An entertaining history,
Entitled Saul, A Mystery,'
Has recently been published by the Reverend Artbar Cere.
The poem is dramatic,
And the wit of it is attic,
And its teachings are emphatic of the doctrines orthodsz.
But Mr. Poe, the poet, This putting the adjective after the noun is,
Declares he cannot go itmerely, an inexcusable Gallicism; but the put- That the book is very stupid, or something of that sert: ting the preposition after the noun is alien to all
And Green, of the Emporilanguage and in opposition to all its principles.
Um, tells a kindred story, Such things, in general, serve only to betray the And swears like any tory that it is'nt worth a groat. versifier's poverty of resource; and, when an
But maugre all the croaking inversion of this kind occurs, we say to ourselves,
of the Raven and the joking “ Here the poet lacked the skill to make out his of the verdant little fellow of the used to be review, line without distorting the natural or colloquial
The People, in derision order of the words.” Now and then, however, Have declared, without division, that the Mystery will de.
of their impudent decision, we must refer the error not to deficiency of skill, but to something far less defensible—to an idea The truth, of course, rather injures an epic that such things belong to the essence of poetry-gram than otherwise ; and nobody will think the that it needs them to distinguish it from
prose- worse of the one above, when I say that, at the that we are poetical, in a word, very much in date of its first appearance, I had expressed na