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that oppresses distinction and disdains expres

sion.” *

Of the languor and extension here noticed, no reader of the “ Last Day” of Young can be insensible ; for it is, in fact, only in the third book of his poem that the subject properly commences; but I cannot yield assent to the opinion, that, however awful and sacred be the theme, it is on that account the more insusceptible of poetical imagery. The aversion of Dr. Johnson to scriptural and devotional poetry is well known, and the example of Milton is of itself sufficient to prove, that, let the subject be ever so exalted, it may, where grandeur of conception and simplicity in design are united, admit, if we exclude the too daring attempt at personifying the Deity, of additional interest when embodied in the colours of poetic inspiration.

A more condensed, and, therefore, a more vivid and energetic representation of the scene, has been given us by Ogilvie, and often in versification of great sweetness and brilliáncy, but

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* Lives of the most eminent English Poets. Sharpe's Edition, vol. vii. p. 112.

with less perhaps of simplicity and pathos than may

be found in the more diffuse delineations of Young

The short sketch by Glynn is struck off with spirit and vigour, and in some of its imagery approaches the true character of the lofty and sublime; while the Vision of Bruce, on the same subject, more copious and narrative in its detail, is, as might be expected from the youth and circumstances of the poet, inferior in classical strength of diction and splendor of effect.

Like the productions of Glynn and Bruce, the poem of Mr. Hillhouse is written in blank verse, and with a skill in its construction, which evidently proves him to have studied the best masters in this difficult style of versification with singular assiduity and success. In the grouping and management of his subject, however, he has a claim to originality, and has given to his poem a character, which, as distinguishing it from the works of his predecessors, may

be termed the picturesque. So fully and so forcibly, indeed, has he brought forth his figures from the canvass, and frequently, with such grace and beauty of effect, as to impart an interest to


the subject which the general and overwhelming nature of its detail, as exhibited in the efforts of preceding writers, had altogether failed to produce.

The American bard opens his poem, by representing himself, while meditating, during the evening of Christmas-day, on the actions, the precepts, and promises of our Saviour, as seized with a trance-like sleep, under the influence of which, he conceives himself journeying at sunrise over a boundless plain, save that in its apparent centre there arose a verdant mount adorned with flowers of every varied hue and fragrance. Whilst light of heart, and full of joy, he travelled onward, his attention was arrested by an effulgence which surpassed the sun, by the murmur of many voices, and the rush of wings, and, gazing upward, he beheld amid the opening heavens a throne surrounded by myriads of immortal spirits, and heard the mingling tones of hymns, and harps, and hallelujahs


Sudden, a seraph that before them flew,
Pausing upon his wide-unfolded plumes,

Put to his mouth the likeness of a trump, And toward the four winds four times fiercely breathed.

The mighty peal To Heaven resounded, Hell returned a groan, And shuddering Earth a moment reeled, confounded, From her fixed pathway, as the staggering ship, Stunn'd by some mountain billow, reels. The isles, With heaving ocean rocked: the mountains shook Their ancient coronets : the Avalanche Thundered : silence succeeded through the nations. Earth never listened to a sound like this. It struck the general pulse of nature still, And broke, for ever, the dull sleep of death.

The throne now descending, rests upon the summit of the mount, and is encircled by the heavenly host, amongst whom, pre-eminent in majesty and beauty, are se n the seven glorious spirits who for ever stand in the presence of the Almighty. Amidst these, says the poet,


I saw Emmanuel, seated on his throne;
His robe, methought, was whiter than the light;
Upon his breast the Heavenly Urim glowed
Bright as the sun, and round such lightnings flashed,
No eye could meet the mystic symbol's blaze. -

Resplendent in his face the Godhead beamed,
Justice and mercy, majesty and grace,
Divinely mingling. Celestial glories played
Around with beamy lustre; from his eye
Dominion looked; upon his brow was stamped

power. Yet, over all, the touch
Of gracious pity dwelt, which erst, amidst
Dissolving nature's anguish, breathed a prayer
For guilty man. Redundant down his neck
His locks rolled graceful, as they waved, of old,
Upon the mournful breeze of Calvary.

The close of this passage, as included in the last six lines, is conceived and executed in a style which discloses the hand of a master. It is followed by a description of the throne of the filial deity, and by two highly-coloured pictures of archangelic majesty and wisdom. These last, as ably supported and finely contrasted, and as presenting very fair specimens of the author's talents in the delineation of superhuman power and intelligence, I conceive it but justice to transcribe. They will be found, like the portraits of a similar kind in Milton, to derive a large portion of their beauty and effect, not only from the exquisite propriety of the

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