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To you 't is given
To wake sweet nature's untaught lays;
Then spread each wing,
Far, far above, o'er lakes and lands,
In yon blue dome not rear'd with hands.
Or if ye stay,
To note the consecrated hour,
Above the crowd,
On upward wings could I but fly,
'T were heaven indeed,
CURIOSITY IN CHILDHOOD.
In the pleased infant see its power expand,
Nor yet alone to toys and tales confined,
Arched the broad heavens and spread the rolling earth,
Who formed a pathway for the obedient sun,
GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE.
THAT SILENT MOON.
THAT silent moon, that silent moon,
Have pass'd beneath her placid eye, Since first, light this wayward earth,
She walk'd in tranquil beauty forth.
How oft has guilt's unhallow'd hand,
And superstition's senseless rite,
Profaned her pure and holy light:
With sights like these, that virgin queen,
But dear to her, in summer eve,
By rippling wave, or tufted grove,
And heart meets heart in holy love,
And hear each whisper'd vow, and bless.
Dispersed along the world's wide way,
When friends are far, and fond ones rove,
And start the tear for those we love!
How powerful, too, to hearts that mourn,
The happy eves of days gone by;
And oft she looks, that silent moon,
Or couch, whence pain has banish'd sleep:
But beam on whomsoe'er she will,
And fall where'er her splendour may, There's pureness in her chasten'd light,
There's comfort in her tranquil ray: What power is hers to soothe the heart— What power, the trembling tear to start!
The dewy morn let others love,
Or bask them in the noontide ray;
From dawning light to dying day:-
WHAT IS THAT, MOTHER?
WHAT is that, Mother?
The lark, my child! The morn has but just looked out and smiled, When he starts from his humble, grassy nest And is up and away, with the dew on his breast* And a hymn in his heart, to yon pure, bright sphere, To warble it out in his maker's ear.—
Ever, my child, be thy morning lays
What is that, Mother?
The dove, my son!
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love!
What is that, Mother?
The eagle, boy!
*The lav'rock in the morning she 'll rise frae her nest, And mount to the air wi' the dew on her breast.-Burns.
His wing on the wind, and his eye in the sun,
What is that Mother?
The swan, my love!
Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
THE HEBREW POETS.
THE Bible should never be studied for the mere gratification of cultivated taste or literary curiosity. It contains a record of the mind and will of Jehovah, communicated to man in order to teach him the way to everlasting life, and the means of preparation for that future and eternal existence. If we peruse the sacred volume for the pleasure it may afford the intellect or the imagination, and at the same time neglect to obey its commands and imbibe its spirit, or refuse to implore its Divine Author that he would sanctify us through his truth, we are guilty indeed of a great and criminal perversion. It is as if we should take the last, best gift of parental affection, and sell it for selfish amusement, or avaricious gain; only the religious sacrilege is infinitely more wretched and ungrateful. This is the error into which some of the ablest critics have fallen, and it is an error against which we should always guard ourselves, when we come to the critical or literary examination of the inspired writings.
With this caution before us, and with the spirit of religious veneration in our hearts, we shall experience the purest pleasure and the highest benefit, in whatever shape we undertake their investigation; and it is certainly desirable that we, to whom they are addressed, and for whose use they were intended, should possess a right conception of their intellectual as well as their moral character. Indeed the former is abso
lutely essential to the latter. Yet to this day the greater portion of those who read the Old Testament, are ignorant that it contains anything but prose, and few are aware, when they open its pages, that they are in the midst of the sublimest and most beautiful poetry in the world. If there be any portion of Hebrew poetry, in regard to which this mistake is not general,
it is the Psalms. These make their short and affecting ap peals directly to the heart, and we feel their poetical spirit. They exhibit, besides, the peculiar characteristics of the Hebrew poetry with so much sustained regularity and entireness, and the form of the original is in most cases so remarkably, though unintentionally, preserved by the literal English translation, that the dullest reader cannot but be sensible, at least that what he is reading is something in its nature different from prose.
In addition to this part of the Holy Scriptures, the books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and all the prophetical books, with the exceptions of Daniel and Jonah, may be mentioned as possessing the characteristics of Hebrew poetry; some with a greater, some with a less degree of vividness and regularity, but all so evidently, that it is undoubtedly proper to rank them together, under the poetical division of the Old Testament. The four first are altogether and unequivocally poetical, except the two introductory chapters of Job; but several of the prophetical books, are made up of poetry, and prose intermingled; and some of the minor prophets do not possess the spirit of poetry, (even in those portions which exhibit its form) in any remarkable degree. Some parts also of the sublime Isaiah are prose,—much of the Lamentations is historical, and so is nearly half the book of Jeremiah. Isaiah and Jeremiah, among the prophets are the most elevated in the spirit and power of their poetry, but it is impossible here to notice in detail their individual characteristics.
The books of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, are what in our language would be called didactic poetry. The first has been translated, within a short period, in a very beautiful and accurate manner, by the Rev. George R. Noyes. From this translation even those, who are totally ignorant of the original language, may gain some adequate conception of the deep spirit of Hebrew poetry, and some correct knowledge of its true, peculiar nature. The following paragraph from Lowth, in regard to the Schools of the Prophets, will not be uninteresting to the pupil.
"The prophets were chosen by God himself, and were certainly excellently prepared for the execution of their office. They were in general taken from those, who had been educated from childhood in a course of discipline adapted to the ministerial function. It is evident, from many parts of the sacred history, that even from the earliest times of the Hebrew republic, there existed certain colleges of prophets, in which the candidates for the prophetic office, removed altogether from an intercourse with the world, devoted themselves entirely to the exercises and study of religion: over each of these some prophet of superior authority, and more peculiarly under the divine influence, presided, as the moderator and preceptor of the whole assembly. Though the sacred history affords us but little information,and that in a cursory manner, concerning