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the poets and orators. Thus Milton's apostrophe to
light is eminently beautiful:
Hail, holy light! offspring of heaven, first-born,
May I express thee unblam'd, since God is light,
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee!
The rising world of waters, dark and deep,
PARADISE LOST, b. iii
Young apostrophizes night:
"O majestic night!
Nature's great ancestor! Day's elder born!
By mortals and immortals seen with awe!
An azure zone thy waist; clouds in heaven's loom,
Thy flowing mantle form, and heaven throughout
Byron apostrophizes the ocean thus:
"Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form Glasses itself in tempests! In all time,
Calm or convulsed, in breeze, in gale, or storm,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime!
Of the invisible !"
Thomson addresses the shades and thickets by the
"Welcome, ye shades! ye bowery thickets, hail!
Ye lofty pines! ye venerable oaks !
Ye ashes wild resounding o'er the steep!
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,
Or stream full flowing, that his swelling sides
And ear resume their watch; the sinews knit;
And life shoots swift through all the lighten'd limbs."
Young's address to the lilies is a fine example of the figure:
"Queen lilies! and ye painted populace
Who dwell in fields, and lead ambrosial lives!
In morn and evening dew your beauties bathe,
You gladlier grew, ambitious of her hand,
The figure differs from the metaphor. 1. In that it is an address to the person or object which is its subject. The metaphor is not an address to its subject, but affirms something respecting it. 2. That which the apostrophe declares of its subject is in harmony with its nature, and literally true of it;
that which the metaphor ascribes to its subject is not literally true, but only resembles that which is literally true of it.
The figure thus admits of a bold and full portraiture of the persons or objects addressed, in a highly poetic form, employing the metaphor, comparison, metonymy, hyperbole, and hypocatastasis as its auxiliaries, as freely as though the discourse were a description or narrative.
What is an apostrophe! Does it admit a description of the person or object, addressed? Are the properties and acts it ascribes to its subjects such as accord with their nature? How does it differ from the metaphor? What is its influence on a composition!
Where does the pause fall in the lines from Milton, "Hail, holy light, offspring of heaven first-born"? Which of the lines commence with a trochee? Where does the casura fall in Young's lines, “Queen lilies! and ye painted populace" }
There are in the first twelve lines of Milton's apostrophe to light, eight metaphors, and one comparison. Which are they? There are in the other lines several metaphors. Which are
There are in Young's apostrophe to night, fourteen metaphors, counting such expressions as elder-born, starry-crown, and ravenbrow as one. Point them out.
Let the scholar give an example of the figure from the Scriptures. Let one be given from a poet.
THE Prosopopoeia, or Personification, is an ascription of intelligence to an impersonal thing, material or mental, by addressing it as though it had the organs of hearing, sight, or motion; or ascribing to it the passions and actions of men. Thus Moses, in his prophetic song to the congregation of Israel (Deut. xxxii. 1-43), summoned the heavens and the earth to listen to his words:
"Give ear, 0 ye heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
My doctrine shall drop as the rain;
My speech shall distil as the dew;
As the small rain upon the tender herb,