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things-sometimes-in heartfelt sincerity. The leaven of earlier corruption has, however, not yet done its work, and while we gladly acknowledge, that a good influence is apparently active in separating the pure from the impure principles within him, we may regret, that the dregs still rise so frequently to contaminate the whole. We would however do him justice, and therefore admit, that he often seems to strive to give his poetry-as he has given the Hinda of his Fire-worshippersA soul, too, more than half divine,

Where through some shades of earthly feeling,
Religion's softened glories shine,

Like light through summer foliage stealing.'

It is unfortunate, that he does not oftener succeed in the attempt; but tastes and habits confirmed by long indulgence are not to be overthrown in a moment, and he is himself as yet, if we may use such a comparison, but as a fallen angel; with a voice attuned to celestial melodies, singing the songs of this lower sphere, and a wing, which should have borne him up to the empyrean, folded in weakness, and glittering, but with the night dews of earth; aspiring to reascend to heaven, but doomed by his own depravity to wander here.

The name of this poem has been long before the public, and with some seemed of itself to be quite proof enough, that the poem must be absurd and ridiculous. We confess we were

not disposed to think so. It seemed to us not impossible, that Mr Moore had been induced to choose this subject by the consciousness, that he could touch it without profanation, or by the hope, that the contemplation of such things would purify and elevate his mind. We did venture to hope, the poet would have been borne upward by his theme from the licentiousness of his prevalent imaginations, into loftier and purer feelings. We have been disappointed. His thoughts seem to have wandered to heaven, only to seek and find there new luxuries for the revelling of passion, and fresh aliment for sensuality. Still we impute his failure not to any unfitness in his subject to become the theme of the loftiest song, but to his inability to attain unto it.

Few poets have dared to pass the flaming bounds of space and time,' and give their imaginations leave to range among the endless and boundless existences of an imperishable world. There are, however, instances, in which authors of imagina

tion have essayed to lift themselves above 'the smoke and stir of this dim spot, which men call earth.' All the beauty of Hogg's most beautiful poem arises from the conceptions of spiritual existence, with which it is stored, and which, whether correct or false, are distinct and glowing. To come nearer home, our own Irving has written few things so sweet and touching, so solemn and yet so delightful, as his reflections on St Mark's eve.

Why is it that subjects of this kind are so rarely attempted? Is it thought, that, as the flowers which bloom where spirits live, do not wither, no descant of lamentation can there be sung over the decay of the dying or the ruins of the dead ;— that nothing of contrast is there ;—the brightness of noon is not preceded by the awakening beauty of the dawn, or followed by the dying hues of sunset ;-and no clouds are there to arrest the sunbeams, and clothe themselves with its glory? It may seem, that this stern necessity of our nature compels us to rest in the belief, that nothing can have to us any distinctness or life, that nothing is placed within the grasp of our conception, but the things which grow and perish on the surface of the earth; it is, however, most certainly any thing but pleasant to believe this.

In exact proportion as the brutal parts of our nature are enthralled by the nobler attributes of humanity, we are dissatisfied with the littleness and worthlessness of all things about us, and, refusing to regard the objects of this life, as an adequate end to our endeavors, or the pleasures this world offers, as enough, we lift ourselves in imagination and in hope to heaven. There are moments in the life of most men, when there is a feeling, as if darkness and chains had broken away; when the affections are pure and peaceful, and the thoughts are ranging free and high; when the existence, the love, and the presence of God are borne in upon our souls, with a power, that will not be withstood, and the heart is swelling, as if it would open to receive the whole influence of the Deity. We may well believe it is at such times, that man is most like to that which his spirit may be; and how idle would it seem to him, or rather what a loathing horror would it excite to tell him then, that his mind could not wander beyond the grave, and must rest satisfied with the belief, that they, whom he had loved and lost, were spiritual essences, without form or substance,

which his hands might as well lay hold of, as his imagination or his faith attempt to approach. Every thing in his heart and in his mind would rise up to refute the falsehood; there would be a voice within him too loud and too distinct to be misunderstood or disregarded, and it would tell him, that the world of spirits is not an unimaginable abyss of nothingness, but the home of sentient, active beings, as conscious of individuality, and as full of thought and of affection, as they were before they went from time into eternity.

The doctrines of a future state are not to be proved by logical deductions from the truths our senses teach. It was well said by the author of the Light of Nature,' that not one in a hundred was ever satisfied with the arguments brought to prove the existence of God and another life, unless he was convinced, that these propositions were true, before he began to reason about them; because they, whose hearts and intellects are shrouded in a darkness, which is not penetrated by the higher proof to be derived from the direct perception of these first truths-from the intuition of the soul- -can scarcely be enlightened by the feebler ray of reason. All knowledge and all belief rests, of course, upon intuition, as its first and necessary foundation; but is it therefore true, that the belief of spiritual truths must be referred to sensual perceptions, as its only primary source? There is an intuition of the soul, as of the eye. Man does not believe in his Maker, because he can institute a train of reasoning, a series of exact and logical inferences, and then feel his mind persuaded by his own arguments; but because he sees him ;- sees him in clouds, and hears him in the wind ;'-and though argument and inference may afterwards sustain and confirm him in this belief, it could scarcely have originated from them, for it is only to those who already believe and feel, that there is a God, that his power and love are borne upon every sunbeam, and uttered in the breathing of every wind.

It is scarcely too much to say, that human reasoning can do no more to prove the reality of the sanctions of a future state, than is done in Butler's Analogy; yet all that is done there is to show, that the probability of this truth is sufficiently strong to warrant our acting upon it. Reasoning, mere argument, can do no more; but is there not in the heart of every man, who has any religion, a deep conviction, that far more than New Series, No. 14.


this is true? When infidelity denies the infinite and eternal attributes of God, and urges, that the power, and wisdom, and love manifested in the universe prove the existence and operation of a cause adequate to the effects that appear-that is, of a God, if we please to say so, clothed with enough of divine attributes to make the world as it is, but that they do not prove, that there is one with sufficient love, or wisdom, or power, to make the world better than it is, it is not reason, but something higher than reason, it is not the head, but the heart that replies, for all the sin and suffering, the weakness and the wretchedness of man, and for all the disorder and desolation, which man has inflicted like a curse upon the world, we know that he who made it is love and wisdom.

We know then that God is illimitable, and that we live again, not because we can go back logically from effects through causes to a first cause, and not because we can gather from a world of ceaseless change, where every change of every thing is but a step towards decay and dissolution, proof of a coming state, which shall be eternal and absolute; but because, whenever earthly feelings do not so close around us, as to shut out every glimpse of heaven, we can see and feel, that there is a power somewhere, which can be limited and controlled by no other power, and that, while our bodies perish, the life that is in us dieth not. This is the highest proof of the highest truth; but this evidence asserts with as much force the character and condition of the eternal world, as its existence. We are driven by the necessity of our nature, to give a form and an individual existence to every thing, which we would make the subject of thought. There is not a sermon written from the heart, or preached with power, that does not speak of departed spirits, as perfectly retaining their recollections, their affections, their consciences, their identity. We cannot speak to a child, of heaven, and bid him be good, that he may go up from the grave and live there happily, but we give him at once an idea of another life, differing little from this in its external and apparent circumstances. We cannot stand by the bed of the dying, and comfort him who is convulsed with the agonies and trembling with the horrors of death, but by awakening within his soul the hope and the belief, that his being 'is sown a natural body, to rise a spiritual body;' and therefore that he is still to be, still to be a man with all the thoughts and feel

ings, which make him such, unharmed, untouched by the disease, which restores the frame he no longer needs to its original elements. Now these imperious, these unavoidable convictions of the mind and heart, upon which rest all the truths that dignify, and all the hopes which cheer humanity, should scarcely be considered as nothing more than the necessary weaknesses and wanderings of imperfect beings. Are they not rather glimpses of light permitted to shine upon our upward path, that we may not be in utter ignorance whither it shall lead ? At any rate, who will deny, that impressions of an individual and substantial existence in another life are sufficiently strong and universal to give the most profound and spirit-stirring interest to poetry adequate to them?

It seems from the preface, that the Loves of the Angels was originally much more limited in extent, and somewhat different in its character. It was intended as an episode to a larger poem, which the author was or is preparing, but finding that lord Byron had chosen the same subject for a drama, he chose to come first before the public, that he might-to use his own words- give himself the chance of a heliacal rising, before the luminary, in whose light he was to be lost, should appear.'

The Loves of the Angels is hardly as interesting as Lalla Rookh. There are in it no very striking passages, at least none that strike us as exhibiting so much power as many in the different tales of his larger work, though it contains much beautiful poetry, together with an abundance of conceits, which are generally more remote and obscure, than Moore's images are apt to be. There is not enough of story, and what little there is of it is not very well imagined or very well told; upon the whole, we should say it had fewer beauties and fewer faults, rather less nonsense, and decidedly more dulness, than any thing he has written.

The story is as follows:-and Moore shall begin it himself—

"Twas when the world was in its prime,
When the fresh stars had just begun
Their race of glory, and young Time
Told his first birth-days by the sun;
When, in the light of Nature's dawn
Rejoicing, men and angels met
On the high hill and sunny lawn,-
Ere Sorrow came, or Sin had drawn

"Twixt man and heaven her curtain yet!

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