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,^/tA**l^'TMI!'S FOURTH READER. 17J
The powerful of the earth, — the wise, the good,
6. The hills,
Kock-ribbed and ancient as the sun, — the vales,
Stretching in pensive quietness between, —
The venerable woods, — rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks,
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste, —
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man.
7. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
8. Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings,—yet — the dead are there!
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep, — the dead reign there alone!
9. So shalt thou rest; — and what if thou shalt fall Unnoticed by the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
10. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men, —
The innumerable caravan that moves Cr \ t'lat mysteri°us realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave, at night, Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams!
1. Methinks, when on the languid eye
Grows fainter on the tuneless ear,
2. It were not sad to feel the heart
To feel those longings to depart
That cheered the good of old;
To clasp the faith which looks on high,
Which fires the Christian's dying eye.
And makes the curtain-fold,
That falls upon his wasting breast,
The door that leads to endless rest.
3. It were not lonely thus to lie
On that triumphant bed, -
* A happy death.
4. And, though the way to such a £
1. He is gone on the mountain, He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,
2. The hand of the reaper
3. Fleet foot on the correi,*
How sound is thy slumber!
* Or carri, the hollow side of a hill, where game lies, t Chamber. * Battle.
Parallel between Pope and Dryden. —Johnson.
1. Pope professed to have learned his poetry from Dryden, whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised, through his whole life, with unvaried liberality; and, perhaps, his character may receive some illustration, if he be compared with his master. Integrity of understanding and nicety of discernment were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poetical prejudices, and the rejection of unnatural thoughts and rugged numbers.
2. But Dryden never desired to apply all the judgment that he had. He wrote, and professed to write, merely for the people; and when he pleased others, he contented himself. He spent no time in struggles to rouse latent powers; he never attempted to make that better which was already good, nor often to mend what he must have known to be faulty.
3. He wrote, as he tells us, with very little consideration; when occasion or necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present moment happened to supply, and, when once it had passed the press, ejected it from his mind; for when he had no pecuniary interest, he had no further solicitude.
4. Pope was not content to satisfy; he desired to excel, and therefore always endeavored to do his best: he did not court the candor, but dared the judgment, of his reader; and, expecting no indulgence from others, he showed none to himself.
5. He examined lines and words with minute and punctilious observation, and^ retouched every part with indefatigable
reason, he kept his pieces very long in his hands, while he considered and reconsidered them.
6. The only poems which can be supposed to have been written with such regard to the times as might hasten their publication were the two satires of "Thirty-eight," of which Dodsley told me that they were broughtto him by the author that they might be fairly copied. "Almost every line," he said, "was then written twice over; I gave him a clean transcript, which he sent, some time afterwards, to me for the press, with almost every line written twice over a second time."
7. His declaration, that his care for his works ceased at their publication was not strictly true. His parental attention
nothing to be forgiven. For this never abandoned them; what he found amiss in the first edition, he silently corrected in those that followed.
8. He appears to have revised the " Iliad," and freed it fron\ some of its imperfections; and the " Essay on Criticism" received many improvements after its first appearance. It will seldom be found that he altered without adding clearness, elegance, or vigor.
9. Pope had perhaps the judgment of Dryden, but Dryden certainly wanted the diligence of Pope. In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Dryden, whose education was more scholastic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science.
10. Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope. Poetry was not the sole praise of either; for both excelled likewise in prose ; but Pope did not borrow his prose from his predecessor. TJie style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of imposition.
11. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and leveled by the roller.
12. Of genius, — that power which constitutes a poet, that quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert, that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates,—the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden.
13. It is not to be inferred that of this poetical vigor Pope had only a little, because Dryden had more; for every other writer since Milton must give place to Pope; and even of Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems.
14. Dryden's performances were always hasty, either excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic necessity; he composed without consideration, and published without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or