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" Or a metaphorical description of poetry, if you prefer it, my dear," said Mr. C., laughing at the eager tone in which Clara spoke. “Then you have not forgotten the conversation we had a few mornings ago?” added he, turning towards her. :." Forgotten it!-oh, no indeed, papa! I have been reading over several of my most favourite poems since that time, and have discovered many beauties in them which I had never discovered before, many metaphorical expressions which I never rightly understood till you so kindly explained the meaning of a metaphor..
“ But after all, papa, I do not know but what I like plain descriptive poetry as well as that which is metaphorical.”
“Very probably, my dear; and I shall not be sorry to find that you do prefer it, for the present at least. It is better for young people to acquire a
taste for plain, simple and unadorned truth--for a simple description of natural objects -- before they enter much upon that which requires so great an exercise of the imagination as good metaphorical poetry necessarily does.”
“ I think, papa, that beauty consists in truth," said "little Rosina, who was a year or two younger than her sister Clara. “I am sure I like the poetry that I do understand, a great deal better than that which I do not understand, and I do so because it contains a true description of real objects." 1. “ You smile at Rosina, Maria," said Mr. C.; “but what she has said is perfectly right:
- for truth and good are one, ". And beauty dwells in them, and they in her ; * With like participation.'' Beauty does consist in truth, in a great measure, my dear little girl," continued he, taking her upon his knee, ** at least
if that truth be expressed in proper language. I wish all my children to acquire a taste for such poetry as is calculated to form the judgment, rectify the understanding, and improve the heart, rather than for such as is designed only to amuse the fancy and please the imagination. By way of distinction we may call the one truth, the other fiction: these are sometimes happily united, but of the two the former is always preferable. . “Now, my dear Rosina, repeat one of your favourite little poems, and con vince me that you do understand what you learn."
Thy tuneful song this wintry day! ...
Thy music is as charming now,
And all the woods are robed in green.
Thou dost not droop thy merry' wing:.
A crumb or two of bread for thee.” * " I understand all this, and I like it too, papa ; when I first learned it I did not know the meaning of pinions, but Maria told me that they were only another name for wings, and then I understood it perfectly."
“Now let me convince you that I do not merely learn poetry by rote," said Helen. “I will repeat my favourite lines, addressed to a 'Sprig of Heath.'”
(Helen repeats.) “Flower of the waste! the heath-fowl shuns For thee the brake and tangled wood,
Poems, by a Family Circle.