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to that title and renown. Spring has been sung by many poets, but who can exhaust the wondrous variety of her charms and the emotions with which she charges the soul? N. C. has scarcely succeeded in connecting his “Lesson" directly with the several elements brought into the verses as premises. He seems to have forgotten that there is a logic of emotion as well as of thought, and that the sequences of poetry must be as carefully elaborated as those of severer exercises of reflection. There are good things in the lines, but the general feeling left on us when reading them was one of heaviness. The rhythm has not been always correctly kept up.
A LESSON FROM SPRING.
Of night's dull mists have chased away :
And twittering birds salute the rise of day;
Their music fills the scented air;
With nestling young, or eggs, mottled but fair.
In rain-swollen stream ; while little buds-
Green all the branches of the wavy woods.
[mead's fresh With subtle life from sunshine and from showers;
The violet springs beside the slender fir ;
And ramble slowly through the dells,
The wild flowers button into hope
And trees take on their green along its slope.
And gives rich thought to guide our way:
To grow in joy and worth, to watch and pray. N. C. [grace The same objection as to confusedness of idea appears even more applicable to the lines of " Diamond,” a nom de plume which, before all things, suggestą clearness and brilliancy as well as purity. The sacredness of the theme, and the tone of fervent piety which characterizes the piece, disincline us to be severe in our strictures. We think the lines much less objectionable on the score of their aim than of their execution. The gravest error we have to condemn, in by far the larger proportion of verses sent to us, is the possession of the idea by the authors that a first draft will ever provide a faultless poem. This scarcely ever occurs. Constant, careful, laborious revision is requisite above all things in poetry. It is the perfection of the facets that gives its distinct value to the diamond. True poetry, like the diamond, takes on elaborate work, and is all the better for the pains taken in its setting. Let us counsel our young writers not to send us " the first attempts they have ever made in poetical expression,” with hopes that we may, on that account
excuse the errors they contain.” Let them give rather careful reconsideration to every word and phrase, and to the general outline of the topic. They may rest assured that though poetry is the product of genius, it is always of genius in partnership with industry. But here are “ Diamond's" verses :
I LOVE TO PRAY AND WEEP.
"Enter into thy closet.”
and I recall my boyhood's dreams.
Of the two poems J. S. sends us, we give “ The Preference” to "The Prospect”-which is a fair one. J. S. has lyric talent, and gives music to thought. He possesses, apparently, a fluency of rhyme which injures the value of his verses by not enforcing compression. Poetry which allows of a larger pumber of words to be
as it is.
used in the expression of the ideas than would be required in prose -unless it be redeemed by some peculiar excellence in phraseology -is faulty. This, indeed, is a fact in criticism to which versemakers should give heed and credence ; for too many expand the expression so much that the idea is scarcely observable in the midst of the verbosity. J. S. has a facility which seems to be likely to lead to a mistake of that sort. We cannot say that any such fault is committed in these lines; but we think that some compression might have been employed advantageously in the former of those two pieces which we are about to quote. On the former we have endeavoured to suggest a few verbal alterations, but the latter we like “excellently well
A proud ancestral line,
In robes of grandeur shine :
The flag of Liberty !
Can hardly gain their bread; [Sore-toiling, scant
In balmy slumbers press,
And squalid wretchedness.
May celebrate my praise,
From his immortal bays !
Their dazzling lustre shed
Nor Fame her trumpet blow;
[Which I repose The prize I fondly would secure,
In worth surpasses far
For deeds of kindness done,
In peaceful conquest won.
With love's divinest words!
The promise of a day
With undisputed sway.
And pride of power and place,
And brutalize the race :
His friendly aid impart,
As feel's a brother's heart.
Her spotless banner wave ;
Or buy, or sell a slave :
And Calamny be dumb;
One brotherhood become.
The sword no longer slay,
Her banners hang for aye :
Shall in sweet union bind
And nations ut' mankiud.
Ye dauntless patriot-band,
Your favoured fatberland :
Shall yet victorious prove,
J. S. With the foregoing quotations from our collection of MS. verse we must now pause for a time. We have other “
thoughts in rhyme " yet in our hands, to the consideration of which we hope shortly to direct the attention of those who feel interested in our Poetic Critique.
The Philosophy of Ethics : an Analytical Essay. By SIMON S.
LAURIE. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas. SIMON S. LAURIE has for a long time held the honourable and responsible offices of secretary and treasurer to the Education Committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; inspector of the General Assembly Schools in the Highlands and islands of Scotland ; and examining visitor of the schools in the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray, receiving benefit from the Dick bequest. He is a gentleman of great general intelligence and industrial gifts. With him “labour is pleasure.” He has distinguished himself as an authority on the science of education, and would probably have gained “the chair of Paideutics,” which it was understood that Professor Pillans had proffered funds to endow, if Government could have been prevailed upon to inaugurate a true training system for the teachers of Scotland, by making a session's attendance at the university, under a professor of the philosophy of teaching, imperative upon all public schoolmasters. By an ingenious "application of psychology to language" he contrived to construct a theory of * The Fundamental Doctrine of Latin Syntax;" and he is understood to have been the suggesting editor of that excellent series of school-books which was for some time known as “ Constable's Series,” but which have now been absorbed into several other series of educational works. In this work he appears in a more ambitious character-as the Paley of Scotland,
,-an expositor of morals consistent with the common and current notions of men, and yet based on a philosophy given in human nature and issuing from the personality of man. The author endeavours to collate into a philosophic synthesis the ideas regarding the immutability of morality entertained by Plato and Cudworth, the selfish system of Epicurus and Hobbes, the intui. tionalism of Butler, the sympathy of Smith, and the utilitarianism of J. S. Mill. He certainly does succeed in showing that there are forms of ethical thought which to some extent justify each of these views. His own system, howerer, affiliates itself more to the ethical schools of Aristotle and Kant than to either of the foregoing. His clear verbal distinctions, and his careful logical severance of cognate ideas into their several species, and his peculiarly lucid phraseology, prove him to be a logically acute thinker, as well as a deep-seeking student of human nature. If the