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turning upon insanity, he alluded to Smart, who showed, he said "the disturbance of his mind, by falling upon his knees, and saying his prayers in the street, or in any other unusual place." Boswell has recorded a dialogue between Johnson and Dr. Burney, respecting the same individual. "Burney. How does poor Smart do, sir? is he likely to recover? Johnson. It seems as if his mind had ceased to struggle with the disease, for he grows fat upon it. Burney. Perhaps, sir, that may be from want of exercise. Johnson. No, sir; he has as much exercise as he used to have, for he digs in the garden. Indeed, before his confinement, he used to walk to the alehouse; but he was carried back again. I did not think he ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. He insisted on people praying with him; and I'd as lief pray with Kit Smart as any one else. Another charge was, that he did not love clean linen; and I have no passion for it."
Smart undoubtedly possessed considerable genius; as a satirist, he anticipated the poignant vein of Churchill ; and his Fables often recall the graceful facility of Fontaine. His Sacred Poetry is recommended by an air of sincerity and enthusiasm. His Seatonian Poems are not destitute of passages conceived in a lofty and poetical spirit, but the structure of his verse is usually negligent and inharmonious:
Arise, divine Urania, with new strains
To hymn thy God, and thou immortal Fame,
And with thy choicest stores the altar crown.
A living sacrifice before His throne:
And may the eternal high mysterious tree,
Bears the rich fruit of knowledge, with some branch,
Stoop to my humble reach, and bless my toil!
On the Omniscience of the Supreme Being.
He comes! He comes! the awful trump I hear!
I see; He comes! the archangel from above,
Awake, ye incorruptible―arise;
From east to west, from the antarctic pole
Ye sons of Adam, and ye heirs of Heaven,
'Tis then, nor sooner, that the restless mind
Eternity of the Supreme Being.
Southey has reprinted his Hymn upon recovering from a dangerous illness; a distinction merited by the grandeur of some of the thoughts, and the general harmony of the composition. I can only quote three stanzas:
When Israel's ruler on the royal bed
In anguish and in perturbation lay,
And rest gave place to horror and dismay:
Fast flowed the tears, high heaved each gasping sigh,
When God's own prophet thundered-Monarch, thou must die!
But, O immortals! what had I to plead,
When Death stood o'er me with his threatening lance;
And sense was lost in terror, or in trance;
My sinking soul was with my blood inflamed,
The virtuous partner of my nuptial bands
Beckon me back to them, to life, to light.
I come, ye spotless sweets! I come again,
Nor have your tears been shed, nor have ye knelt in vain.
Of his version of the Psalms, the 148th offers a very favourable specimen*:
Hallelujah! kneel and sing
Praise Him, arch-angelic band,
Praise Him, sun, at each extreme
Praise Him, O ye heights, that soar,
Higher yet, and purer still.
Let them praise his glorious name,
And they first began to be
As He gave the great decree.
This Psalm is copied from the quarto edition of 1765. Mr. Chalmers has injured the sense in his transcript by departing from the author's punctuation.
Their constituent parts He founds
Praise the Lord in earth's domains;
Battering hail, and fires that glow,
Mountains of enormous scale,
Beasts that haunt the woodland maze,
Nibbling flocks, and droves that graze;
Feathered millions formed for speed;
Kings, with Jesus for their guide,
Age and childhood, youth and maid,
Far above his crown and throne.
He shall dignify the crest
Of his people raised and blest,
While we serve with praise and prayers,
But in none of his poems has he poured out his thoughts with the vehement passion and energy that characterize the Song to David, a composition, under all the circumstances, without a parallel in our language:
Sublime invention, ever young,
O'er meaner strains supreme:
His muse, bright angel of his verse,
Blest light still gaining on the gloom,
He sang of God, the mighty source
From whose right arm, beneath whose eyes,
The world, the clustering spheres He made, The glorious light, the soothing shade,
Dale, champaign, grove, and hill;
The multitudinous abyss,
Where secresy remains in bliss,
And Wisdom hides her skill.
“Tell them, I AM," Jehovah said
Replied, "O Lord, THOU ART."