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All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view;

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves :

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine;
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphal chaunt,
Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt, —
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain ?

With thy clear keen joyance,

Languor cannot be:
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:
Thou lovest-but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream;
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream ?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,—
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

This, again, is true poetry, yet he who wrote these exquisite verses wrote also passages too blasphemous to be read by any religious man without a shudder ;-another proof that poetry itself has no relationship to religious feeling Let me

now give you one or two examples of poetry joined with religious feeling ; but this is not because poetry has any connection with it, but because the mind of the poet is religious, and consequently everything connected with him becomes so. Take the verses of Keble for Christmas Day :

What sudden blaze of song

Spreads o'er th' expanse of heaven?
In waves of light it thrills along,

Th' angelic signal given,-
"Glory to God!" from yonder central fire
Flows out the echoing lay beyond the starry quire ;

Like circles widening round

Upon a clear blue river,
Orb after orb, the wondrous sound

Is echoed on for ever:
Glory to God on high, on earth be peace,

And love towards men of love-salvation and release. Here we have not only expanding light and spreading waves, but we have them as the messengers of God, carrying the glad tidings of salvation through the world. And with true poetic feeling the cold grey garb of winter is taken from the river by the introduction of the little word “ blue," which represents it to us as sleeping beneath a sky of June. In the third line of the first verse, had the word “swells” been substituted for “thrills," so that the line would have read “In waves of light it swells along," it would have given us a truer representation of the motion of the waves, and also of that rapturous yet dreamy joy which music and song can produce in the soul.

Again: take the following verses from the same author :

The Pascal moon above

Seems like a saint to rove,
Left shining in the world with Christ alone;

Below, the lake's still face

Sleeps sweetly in th' embrace
Of mountains terrac'd high with mossy stone.

Or choose thee out a cell

In Kedron's storied dell,
Beside the springs of love that never die;

Among the olives kneel,

The chill night blast to feel,

And watch the moon that saw thy Master's agony. This is not the moon of the man without religious feeling, that “looks a spirit or a spirit's world,” nor the “orbed maiden” treading with unseen feet the great fields of space; but it becomes the saint watching with the Redeemer, and pouring soothing light upon his agony, Here again, perhaps, the substitution of the word “moaning" for chill night” would have been an improvement. The fifth line of the second verse would then read thus —“The moaning blast to feel ;” and the cold uncomfortable feeling of the chill night would be removed, and we should have in its stead the breath of the universe expressing audibly its grief for its suffering Lord.

Again, there is much poetry, as well as religious feeling, in the “Evening Hymn:"

Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear!
It is not night if Thou be near;
Oh! may no earth-born cloud arise

To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes: for we have the clear and “dewy morn” vividly imaged, as well as the cloudless life of the Christian, bright with the Sun of Righteousness.

My last quotation shall be from Pollok, one full of the deepest religious feeling and the truest poetry : it is from his Course of Time." Book 5.

It was an eve of autumn's holiest mood;
The corn fields, bathed in Cynthia's silver light,
Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand;
And all the winds slept soundly. Nature seemed
In silent contemplation to adore
Her Maker. Now and then, the aged leaf
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground;
And, as it fell, bade man think on his end.

On vale and lake, on wood and mountain high,
With pensive wing outstretch'd sat heavenly Thought,
Conversing with itself. Vesper look'd forth
From out her western hermitage, and smiled;
And up the East, unclouded rode the moon,
With all her stars, gazing on earth intense,

As if she saw some wonder walking there. I would say a few words, ere I close, to those who feel the spirit of poetry within giving them a keen relish for the beautiful. Mistake it not for religious feeling ; it is not that, and has no relationship to it. Cultivate it for the innocent natural feelings it can inspire. The earth will be like another earth to you, if you look upon it with a poet's eye. Is it nothing to gaze on the starry heavens until the soul is filled with wonder-to float on the crimson hues of sunset—to rest on that one lone cloud-at eventide—to leap with the morning's lightning-to ride on the crest-wave of the ocean-to listen to the music of the wild waves, or the dash of the breakers ? Is it nothing to climb the “trackless mountain all alone"—to hang above the chasm and look down into its depths—to see the spanning rainbow, and hear the rush of the cataract—to tread the ledge-path of the precipice till the brain is well nigh sick, not with giddiness, but delight; and, while there is yet a height untrodden, to hear the whispers of that mysterious voice which cries “Excelsior!” and to feel a spirit within answering to the call ; and then at last to stand upon that mountain top surrounded only by immensity and God ? Is it nothing to hear music in the brook's murmurs--to see a smile in the bending flower, and feel nature speaking to the inmost soul ? Is there no joy to you in all this, or any of this ? Ah! then you know not what poetry means; and probably you never will. If these feelings are not implanted by nature, they cannot be acquired, for the poet is born, not made.

But there is something you may have which is not yours by nature-something nature has not implanted, but which yet may be acquired, and it is something better than all that of which I have been speaking; for that of which I have spoken will pass away, but this will not. What, then, is this something better which may be acquired --this something which is better than the grand, and

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