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The drops that tip the melting icicles.
Oh, enter now his temple gate !
Towards the empyreal heaven,
As if the fretted roof were riven." But, in fine, we notice the Ode on Immortality. It is a glorious development of the lines, with which we set out, and which he has taken for his motto. They might well be the first strophé; only that this ode is rather the old man looking back on the race, which in the lines we have quoted, he contemplates as before him. The student, who reads this ode for the first time, may understand it, but he will, probably, not appreciate it. One needs to be fully imbued with the spirit of it, before he can love it; and hence an exception should perhaps be made, in case of a student of high and deeply exercised virtuous genius. He will probably, at once, appreciate it, for he will see in it the traces of kindred ;-a mysterious brotherhood that calls out bis inmost soul. Once, truly felt, it will never
Yet to many, who call themselves finished BellesJettres scholars, the existence of this ode is almost unknown. Others have read it; and others have looked at it, but content with calling it Platonism, have abandoned it, with that learned epithet, to be no more a task to their imbecility. We believe, however, that any mind accustomed to look into itself, will, when once it is fully comprehended, truly luxuriate in it ever afterward. How happy then is the noble mind that loves it, with the first sound of its syllables, and that comes to it, in Lord Bacon's way, as if he had thought it all before. To the mass of men it will never be known. Like Gray's Pindarics, it requires some thought to be understood; and who does not know that the mad thousand have no such property! Coleridge remarked, that its author might well have prefixed to it, the words of Dante
Canzon! io credo, che saranno radi
And he has elsewhere adopted Pindar's majestic Greek in its desence: not scrupling, in his heartfelt scorn of Wordsworth's opponents, to apply to them the Theban’s indignant epithet of crows that croak and chatter against the divine bird of Jove.”
The ode is a philosophical rhapsody. We are not to attribute its sentiments to the poet, as a creed, but only as inquiries, well expressed, as to the dark enigma of our being. Have we lived before? Did our existence commence but yesterday? Have we lived in other worlds ? Do we not, by living here, alienate ourselves from a society with things unseen, which we once enjoyed? These are the misgivings on which the poet dwells. In the sober years of philosophy, he looks back to the years of his first arrival on our earth, and doubts whether he did not then possess a knowledge that has left him. He is sure, that, with regard to things eternal, he has lost a delicacy of enjoyment which he once was endowed with. A glory from the grass and the flower, has departed long since. “It is not now as it hath been before.” Here the poet begins : and, would that we could quote each mighty strophe, that swells from this natural key-note. But hear a little of the next strophe. He still retains a love for nature—a glow of enthusiastic admiration—but with all, a sense, that his perception of its beauty is diminished.
“The moon doth, with delight,
Look round her, when the heavens are bare,
That there hath passed away, a glory from the earth.” In the third strophe, he pictures the joy of earth and of youth, and of happy animals, in all which, though his hairs are now gray, his heart still mingles. In the fourth, he thus addresses them “Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make : I see
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel, I feel it all.” Oh, how blessed is this delight, in the happiness of others ! Is it not such as angels feel, when they see God's creatures innocently merry! But the transition to the fifth strophe is wonderful ; and this is more so !
“ Heaven lies about us in our infancy,
Shades of the prison house begin to close
Upon the growing boy, etc.” The eighth strophe must be particularized, as a remarkable triumph of poetry. An address to a baby—but awful as the
“Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul's immensity, etc. Perhaps Milton has sublimer scenes than what follows : he certainly takes us up to heaven: but there is a stupendous moral grandeur in this, and a mystery that sets us, at once, into eternity
the eternal deep Haunted forever by the Eternal Mind !" Then where was ever a finer stroke of art, than in the transition from this slow, solemn, organ-like passage, to the lively fute notes that follow !
Oh, joy that in our embers
Is something that doth live !" Passing from this, we thrill along the ninth and tenth strophes, and rejoice in the
"faith that looks through death,
“The clouds that gather round life's setting sun
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." We love to contemplate Wordsworth in the hallowed light of this glorious ode; and to be thankful that he still remains with us, in green old age, to bless the land of his sojourning. When we consider this truly great and good man's history; and compare his present condition with the fearful blank, with which we regard the names of the twain who have been associated with him in the present article, we cannot but feel, how true is the word of inspiration, that godliness is profitable, for the world to come, not only, but even for this. Shelly perished poetically, and poets built his funeral pile in the most beautiful part of the world, on the banks of the dark blue sea. Like an old Grecian, he was burned, with incense and wine, and spices: a heathen in his entombient, as he had been in his life. Byron died in tumult, disheartened, and alone, worn out with debauchery and prematurely gray. Both of these were cut down in the prime of life, and ended ere they begun. During their reign, there was no reproach which Wordsworth did not receive from their bitter lips. But he lived along, unreplying, and in dignified silence; ever comforted by his religion ; and so impressed with the sweet influence of lovely things, that “neither evil tongues, nor slanders, nor the sneers of selfish men,” were of any avail to break the peace of his moonlit walk, or the joy of his morning hymn. And they have gone away, despised by all good men ; while Wordsworth lives out all his days, and looks forward to heaven, with no foe on earth, except the wicked. Our little planet is rolling on to her golden age, and to the millennial glory of the Church. In that pure day, who can doubt that Wordsworth shall be still better beloved and appreciated; while, in the case of the unhappy many, shall be terribly exemplified, the adage," the name of the wicked shall roti
How grateful must it be to the feelings of the poet now, to read the triumph of principle in his own chequered biography. Unknown and unfriended, and without any meretricious adornment, he appeared on the stage long ago, only to be pilloried there for the annusement of cold-hearted critics. Still, he pursued his steady way, long neglected, and long eclipsed by the false glories that were blazing about him. But the straw has burned out, and the smoke is disappearing, and men of intellect and of soul are turning towards bin, in every land, “ like the Parsee to the sun.” The splendid eulogium lately pronounced on bis writings, in the British Parliament, by Sergeant Talfourd, was but the echo of the voice of all who speak the English tongue ; and certainly of that of our own great Empire, from whose distant shores he hears, as from another world, the benediction,
Serus, in cælum redens."
1.-Concordantiae Librorum Veteris Testamenti Sacrorum Hebrai.
cæe atque Chaldaicae secundum literarum ordinem et vocabu. lorum origines distincte ordinateque dispositae, lexico utrius. que linguae tum rabbinico tum latino, hoc est, interpretatione omnium vocabulorum completa locupletatae, atque, fructibus, quos instituta et nostrå et patrum memoriâ linguarum orientalium investigatio ac collatio praebuit, industrie comparatis et conditis, accuratissima cum diligentia absolutae, auctore Julio Fürstio, doctore philosophiae. Lipsiae: sumptt. et
typp. C. Tauchnitii. Sect. I-VI. This is a work whose appearance cannot fail to be greeted with the most lively satisfaction as well by Hebrew students in general as by the grammarian and lexicographer of the sacred language, whose inquiries it is so admirably calculated to facilitate. The immense improvements it exhibits both in comprehensiveness of plan and in beauty and accuracy of execution, are such as to place it far in advance of all preceding works of the kind, to largely augment the fame of its indefatigable author and enterprising publisher, and in fine, to rank it as one of the most remarkable literary productions of
A Hebrew Concordance, i.e. a book exhibiting with some unimportant exceptions all the words found in the Hebrew Bible, together with the various forms they assume and the connections in which they occur, has always been and will always continue to be regarded as an immense storehouse of facts which form the basis of many of the conclusions of the biblical interpreter as well as of the Hebrew philologist. Such being the case, it may to many appear matter of surprise that more than two centuries have been suffered to elapse since the publication of Buxtorf's Hebrew Concordance, (although from its rarity this has long been difficult of acquisition,) without producing any work of the kind which can be compared to it either for extent or usefulness. The obstacles which opposed themselves to the realization of the many plans for a new and improved edition to which the increasing scarcity of the work and its acknowledged imperfections from time to time gave rise, arose, not from the want of a conviction of the great benefit to Hebrew literature which would result from it, but from the enormous amount of labor which its proper execution would demand even from the most accomplished oriental scholar, together with the great pecuniary outlay it would necessarily involve.