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opportunity of placing the writer's ingenuity in a favourable light. Yet what does it all amount to ? That Mr. William Ball is a plain, ugly, weak-bodied man, with a turn for idleness, yet without a fortune ; whom the world very ungenerously has treated with no extraordinary respect, because, perhaps, though he does not say so, it never knew there was such a being as Mr. Ball in existence; and if any body did, nobody would care whether his face was like Apollo's or Robinson Crusoe's, or whether his pocket was as heavy as the First Lord of the Treasury's, or as light as a parish apprentice's. We really cannot see what right Mr. Ball has to complain of the public, because he happens to be plain, and ugly, and so forth; he should remember what Ovid says

Non formosus erat, sed erat facundus Ulysses, and therein be content. As, however, we do not call in question his beauty, or his abilities, we will state a few concise ideas respecting his book, and bid him farewell. Where, however, to begin our critique, we know not. There is so much to puzzle us, and so little that is available to the immediate purpose of a theological work like ours, that we fear we can do but little towards marking out the thread of the story.

Several passages, in what he is pleased to call the “ Induction," cause us to suppose, that the subject of the work is not “ the Creation”-its wonders and its glories—as commonly understood, but the creations of the author's mind. Yet have we a great deal of fine writing about the origin of the earth, and so forth, in which a struggle is depicted between the Almighty and the realm of " reluctant Nought," wherein, certainly, the victory is assigned to the triumphal Creator, but achieved by ways quite incomprehensible to our uninitiated faculties.

Ages innum'rable have rolled between
The hour in which thou livest, and the time
When first our God shot forth his influence
On his immortal mate; from his misrule
Wrested a space immense, and pressing on,
From victory to victory, won and wins,
For ever and for aye. The sullen king,
His opposite impassive, shrinks, not yields;
And sees, with tranquil eye, a universe
Invade his endless realms : his secret throne,
In motionless security, abides
Within the gulf of darkness uttermost;
Invincibly quiescent. Tell me then,
Oh, thou, my secret mind! canst thou not rove
Back, through the lapse of unrecorded time,
To when the conflict first began between

Th’ Almighty Highest and reluctant Nought ?


Eternal Godhead sate in the abyss :
He will'd creation, and effulgent, straight,
Oceans of lightning rent the savage void,
And scourging thunders, such as God alone
Might hear and be, shook the wide gloom inert.
The rushing flames divine, the rule of Night,
Precursors clamorous and keen, first brake :
Fast following, and more resistless still,
A shrieking wind ploughed round a hollow sphere,
And fill'd the womb of darkness with a power
Unfelt before. The pregnant mother, soon,
Conceiv'd and bore a wondrous progeny
Of whirling eddies, frozen and condens'd
To multitudinous and pond'rous stars,
Dark rolling round and round; submissive all,
To the relentless gale. The breath divine,
Contrariwise effus’d, anew swept forth,
Disrupting wide, and into countless parts,
The marvels of all time, this aggregate
Unbounded, cleft. The sev'ring orbs, forth with,
To diff'rent centres cling; with double curve
Some roll, with treble others, and with more,
With numberless inflexions some; till all,
Remote or near, in various vassalage,
And multifold dependence, hold their way
Around the concave night that all contains.

Again th' all-working thought is full in act,
Not as before of terror and of might,
Enorinous and victorious; but grand,
Coercive, wise: light clave unto the stars ;
To their attendant orbs, darkness and air. Pp. 49–52.

Having created the elements, the earth, vegetation, and the animal kingdom, he breaks out into reflections upon man, birds, fishes, insects, quadrupeds, and death, preceded by the following :

Yet even my faint voice, in thy great name
Uplifted, may, unto the farthest shore
Of rolling earth, far echoing resound;
Imperishable, by its deathless theme,
Long as the tongue I speak shall live,
Among Earth's many nations; hence I dare,
Though conscious of defect, again resume,
In feeble notes unworthy my bold hymn. P. 66.

In this creation, the animals, &c. are represented with their passions excited, and in the act of preying on each other. The orthodoxy of this may justly be questioned ; for the Scripture teaches us, that death did not come into the world till Adam fell. Here, however, we have death, and all its horrors, produced, before there is a word said about the primal cause of earth's universal curse, or even the creation of man. Having thus shaped the scripture narrative into a poetical form, we find the author sinking into the depths of fiction and popular superstition, and bringing back with him therefrom all that tradition or old wives' fables can furnish. Surely, this is at least heterogeneous ; for though God created all things, did he create things which do not exist, save in the wild imaginations of man? Why, then, is it, that we have, as argument of the second book of this poem, “ The super-human world, angels, sylphs, elves, fays, genii, and gnomes ?” Why is it, at the creation of the world, that we are to be taught such things occurred as are enumerated herein ?

Enough of these ; to a still fouler race,
The howling elves, I turn ; * *

Fulvid and lean they are, froward, perverse,
Ghastly. Sometimes, they trundle, on the ground
Like sever'd heads with goggling eyes infixed,
And gape and mow and gibber as they roll ;
Or from a quickset or a bramble fence,
Or thick green flags that hide a muddy stream
They stare like village giglot, and aloud
Laugh to the mocking echoes, till, full seen,
On slender shanks they rise, with dragon's tail,
And griffin's claws, and harpy's leathern wing;
Or with swag bellies monstrous crawl along,
Down rugged steeps, or through green lanes, light bound,
Hardly distinguished from a formless clod;
Or lie, like wayward urchin, in a rut
And wail with finger in the eye, and moan;
Or on high wall or ivied gothic tower,
In seeming danger, sit alone and shout,
Or scream amain when evening shades grow grey.
Despiteful unto man, with spectral forms,
The homeward clown, late plodding from the fair,
Or wedding, trimm'd in holyday attire,
When qualms of tardy conscience shake him sore,
As the dread hour unfolds night's broadest wing,
And mem'ry tells of former sports impure,
They harass, and compel to break through thorn,
Or wade through mire, or jump into deep slough;
Avenging thus some unwise fair betray'd,
Or cheat effected in his traffic mean,
Or rule of sage sobriety transgressed.

Sometimes the goodwife they pursue and vex,
As forth alone she hies, at foggy morn,
To distant market bound, in serious mood,
On honest gain intent, and how to use
In needful purchases her future store.
Are, graceless, rifling all her rural wealth.
Or to her home they go, and near the cot
Carelessly left without a benison,
Where sleeps her harmless child, they sit and mark
How they may steal a grace, a blemish fix:
One from the open mouth snatches, in haste,
Its pearls and roses, leaving, in their stead,

A hare-lip, or fang-teeth, or bristly mole;
Another in a dimple plants a wart,
Freckles the cheek, or blears the light blue eye,
Or squints the vision that he cannot quench;
A third then pricks the ear, the fingers webs,
Contracts the leg, straightens the curly locks,
Or ties the tongue; a fourth, a fifth, advance,
To heap deformities upon the babe,
Till holy word, uttered by chance, thereby,
Or good deed done around, or tolling bell,
That calls to morning prayer, scares them away
In pain and rage, and fear; yet to their homes
They bear the plunder'd comeliness with pride,
And to their urchins these stolen charms bequeath

In rich exchange for ugliness resigned. Pp. 121--126. Now, “ mirabile dictu," after all this, we have Book III. thus ushering us into a new and more important scene:

· Lo! man appears; last labour of the whole,
Form'd when the dying glory smote the earth,
With evanescent brightness, flick'ring, grand,
Straight swallowed up in nought; a symbol true
And sad of its imperfect work, of man,
Th' uncertain lord, for a brief cloudy day,
Of powers sublime but fleeting ; fleeting good
Which ill employed leaves him a sordid clod,
Akin to senseless earth; yet, wisely used,
May lift him to the seraph's ranks of fire,
And glory everlasting. Not to me,
Erring and frail, beseems to tell the tale,
In holy writ recorded : weak, my voice,
And faltering, from sacred song forbears ;
I humbly pass to when the race diffused
In savage woods, abode, or 'mid wild plains
Or up on dreamy mountains wreathed with storms,
Naked, uncivilized, and uncorrupt;
Contending with the reptile and the beast,
Or the dark things of air, for life, repast,

And home and habitation, and respect.—Pp. 131, 132. In this extract lies hidden all that is said of the fall of man, although the rest of the book is taken up with diversions upon“ savage lifethe origin of language-society -war-ambition-false glory-grandeur.” We take what is said of language as a sample of the whole ; there has been mention made of the first cries expressive of pain and pleasure:

Thus are the bases cast of early tongues
Unlike or uniform as oak to oak,
Or tree to sapling, or as flame to flame,
Which, all arising from resembling roots,
Of speech original inspired, a strange,
Vague notion vain, obscure, first gave the hint,
To those who seek beyond the powers of dust,
A flatt'ring scheme of lofty gifts conferred.

Nor such I blame, but hold not to their creed;
I leave them free, yet my own path I choose

Where greater light appears and less pretence.--Pp. 145, 146. If this be not blank heresy, as well as blank verse, we do not know what is.

In Book IV. there is more prating of himself, the history of a vision which he beheld ; plenty of sonorous cadences about the progress of evil, avarice, &c. &c.; “ the train” being closed by Hope, Fear, and Superstition, when the vision changes, and “ Philosophy and Religion came to assuage the world's sorrows.” Odd as all this is, we shall do ourselves injustice if we quote not the conclusion; it is beautiful, very beautiful:

Last of the train, a radiant shape was seen
That, dove-like, hovered with expanded wings,
From heaven descended and, still, glancing back
To her own grand abode ;-yet, earthward, slow,
Her tardy flight was bound. She lighted now,
And sacred peace from far diffused around,
And meekness, humbleness and piety;
Then men embraced as brothers, and all heaven
Shed balm upon the earth, and, under foot,
Sprang flowers of paradise, and, arching high,
Green, pleasant bowers of true and holy rest
Arose in verdant honour : in the midst
The glorious figure stood, and oped a book,
Time-tried and mighty, and, persuasive, read,
With firm voice heard afar, in sound divine,
The will of nature's Author, and the end
Of human duties, labours and desires.

Above her head a beaming halo played,
And, in th' incumbent air, was, distant seen,
Faintly, ʼmid ambient flames, an ancient cross,
Round which full many kneeling nations prayed :
Mercy and charity and love were there,
Forgiving, helping, blessing all by turns,
Light'ning all burdens, binding up all wounds,
And kissing off, from eyes that look'd to heaven,
Bright but not bitter tears, that flowed like rain

In sweet repentance joyful and sincere. Pp. 197—199. . Book V. resumes the subject, and introduces a tale of death, descriptive of the fate of a hunter's young daughter, and two fishermen, who fell in love with her. Book VI. closes this strange eventful history, winding up, with a few reflections about life, and the author's future labours.

Would any one have supposed that such a collection of verses aşthis deserved such a title as “ Creation?” or that any author would have selected such a theme to write on, had he set out with the determination of refusing the aid which Scripture and religion can alone afford? Where is the proof that the author actually believes in the God of the Old, or the Saviour of the New Testament? Is there

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