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who are observant in this way, have nearly an equally acute perception of the expression of speech, they have no language for designating those delicate discriminations which are every day unconsciously made even by the popular ear.



HAIL, HOLY MAIDS! who haunted once the steep,
That hangs o'er Delphi's old prophetic fane ;
Hail, holy maids ! who still your influence keep,
Still claim the poet's vows, and bless his strain :
Pass'd of all others is the fabled reign,
Which faith and genius once had made divine ;
The cavern breathes its omens all in vain,

No suppliants bow, no votive altars shine,
No trembling priestess chants, nor God protects the


The wandering Dryad has forgot her bower,
The Naiads all have left the lonely spring,
Fair Dian sports not at her twilight hour,
The bird of Venus plumes no more her wing,
No more Apollo strikes the heavenly string,
Mars' fiery helm, Saturnia's angry frown,
E'en Jove's dread thunders, now no terrors bring;

All, save in ancient story, are unknown-
But yet, as then, YE reign-yet worshipp'd, though


Hail, holy maids ! in many a ruder clime
Than that of fairy Greece, ye linger still-
Still proudly triumph o'er the spell of time,
O’er war, o'er glory, gain'd from human ill;
And they, who once fame's loudest blast could fill,

Less than the humblest votary of your smile,
Now in some narrow grave forgotten dwell-

But He, the gathering wrinkle can beguile
From Time's old brow, and seize immortal youth the


Are not these turrets symbols of your power ?
From whom the pomp of that sepulchral cell ?
Warriors, and priests, and sages that their hour,
Their passing hour, have fill'd and fill'd it well;
Warriors, who tamed the proud, the infidel;
Priests, who have led the erring soul to God;
Sages admired-yea loved ; long tablets tell

Their fame, and gaudy scutcheons their abode-
Yet who for thought of them, these halls and aisles hath

trod ?

No! no! they do not give these towers their charms,
"Tis not for them, that wandering strangers come,
That genius lingers, beauty's bosom warms
They warm, they linger, o'er a poet's tomb.
Yes! holy maids ! that poet's hallow'd doom-
Hallow'd if generous virtues may atone
For human frailty--shall your lamp relume,

Your shrine restore, in scenes to fame unknown,
And many a breast, now cold, the potent spell shall own,




It has been asserted, that the love of Poetry is one of the most absorbing and general principles of the human soul, and in investigating its assimilation with character, its effects upon the history and manners of nations, and more especially its prevailing influences in the ruder ages, we see that the characteristics of a people may be more accurately deduced from their practical literature, than their constitutional laws. It is the vehicle of those emotions, which spring directly from the heart, untrameled by the cold dictates of policy and scorning the adventitious barriers of prudence, infuses into contiguous objects a portion of its own fire, and while elevating the standard of language also serves to convey a lasting spiritual impression. Whether considered as the agent of genius in giving birth to its glowing conceptions, or drilled in the imitative, artificial school of the last two centuries, we find it exercising unlimited sway over the mind, tempering the earlier ages with those beneficial influences which gradually dispelled the mists of barbarism from the ancient world, and causing civilisation to spring like a well sinewed giant into universal dominion, strong in its most essential elements, the thirst for chivalrous deeds, and the consequent desire for their portraiture in song. “I would rather be the author of the national songs

of a people, than of their laws”-is the truism of a writer

of our own times, while commenting upon the enthusiasm with which the French people chanted the celebrated Marsellois hymn, which awoke in the bosom of France, a fire of erring patriotism, so phrenzied, and powerful, that crowns were trampled under foot and sceptres broken, told that a new spirit now animated the people who, for centuries, had borne with their slavery as though it was a household god, a familiar spirit, handed down from their sires.--The lament of the Jewish captives, the song of the Barmecides-the war chant of the Cid Rodrigo-the Rule Brittania of the British people, and our own thrilling anthem of Hail Columbia are cases in point—the former affecting to tears the wandering children of Judah and the degenerate sons of the gallant Spaniard—the latter awaking to ecstasy the love of country, and rendering us the playthings of ardent, subjective feelings, which are the very essence of lyric poetry.

Nor should the Ranz des Vaches of the Switzer be forgotten in this enumeration, the feelings wrought out by hearing it, afford a striking illustration of the power of song. The mercenary bands of Swiss, who are to be met with, fighting under any, and every banner, are, it may be fairly presumed, less gifted with excitable feelings of national enthusiasm, than the inhabitants of Northern Europe, yet even their sluggish natures have been at times aroused, as the uncouth strains of the Alpine horn has told of home and its associations, and the soldier of fortune has-flagged in the midst of the fight_his fiery nature quelled as though a spirit had withered its daring, while his mind was wandering far away to his snow crested mountains, and the cot of his childhood. How beautifully has Mrs. Hemans expressed the idea in her song of the Exile of Scio.

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