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Full on my mind one pleasant day in spring.
Once more the wind's sweet breath
Wakes from its silent death,
And that long-perished bird once more I hear it sing.
"I feel a bright form stand,
One of the seraph band,
Close at my side as in the times gone by.
Once more his little feet
With my long steps compete,
I walk along, nor turn aside mine eye.
"And now a mist of light
Grows stronger in my sight,
Shaping itself into a form most dear.
Features I deemed had gone
Once more I gaze upon,
My child-my buried child-I know that you are here.”
In subjects partaking of a more artificial nature our poet is more at home, and there we can award him high praise. There is a spirit in the following worthy Herrick, we had almost said Anacreon.
66 THE HUMBLE BEE.
“Burly, dozing, humble bee,
Thou animated torrid zone!
Zigzag steerer, desert cheerer,
"Insect lover of the sun,
Silvers the horizon wall,
And with softness touching all,
Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure,
Firmest cheer, and hid-like pleasure.
Aught unsavory, or unclean,
Hath my insect never seen:
But violets, and bilberry bells,
Maple sap, and daffodils,
Grass with green flag half-mast high,
"Wiser far than human seer,
Sipping only what is sweet,
This quotation, somewhat too long for our plan, we really had not the heart to shorten. It is a fine collection of images, admirably strung together, appealing too much certainly to
the fancy; but, nevertheless, this will always be considered a gem of delightful composition.
We must now turn from Mr. Emerson's poetry to his prose, if we may use such a word, for the peculiarity of his mind is almost always to be poetical. Many of his critics contend that his finest thoughts are in his essays, and that the tone of his mind is essentially rhapsodical. If we concede this, we must bargain for our definition of a rhapsody. Many persons class Pindar's odes in that category, but Coleridge and others have declared that they only appear so to feeble and illogical minds. It is granted that the links of connexion from thought to thonght are at longer intervals, just as giants take greater strides than dwarfs, but the sequence is as regular as the pace of a tortoise. It is very usual to hear common-place men accuse loftier intellects of being flighty and disconnected; but it would be as absurd for the snail to charge the race-horse with irregularity in its steps, because its bounds are too wide for its microscropic vision. The connecting relations are also so subtle, in many arguments, that the gross-sighted mass of readers cannot see them; and, under the blinding influence of their defective vision, they deny the existence of the chain.
We remember Coleridge once illustrated this very happily by the first Olympiad, and established the point to the satisfaction of several distinguished critics.
When another accuses a man of being unintelligible, it generally only means that he does not understand him. So far from being a reproach to the poet, it is a confession of ignorance on the part of the critic. Were it not so,
the mysteries of the Trinity might be turned against itself; the secret of existence would be considered as conclusive evidence against vitality, and all the spiritual creation ignored at a blow.
Judging Emerson by this standard, we feel bound to say that we consider him a consistent and logical writer. That his style is somewhat involved we readily admit, but there is a force and condensation about it that fixes it on the mind. To be sure, we cannot run and read it as we run, but it was not intended for a novel or a book of gossip. It is a serious attempt to pass his knowledge into the masses; to give to the million who do not and will not think, the result of labors of the one who does. We must not look for flippancy of style, any more than frivolity of thought. Philosophy is a solemnity, not a jest; and Emerson has very little of Rabelais or Democritus in his composition.
Mr. Emerson's first speech to the public was a small volume called " 'Nature," which he, in setting out, defines as, "All which philosophy distinguishes as the 'NOT ME;' that is, both nature and art, all other men, and my own body." He defines a lover of nature as one whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other, who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood."
The following description of his own feelings in the presence of Nature is very characteristic.
"In good health, the air is a cordial of incredible virtue. Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence