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gravity in the material world; which, in respect to men, is rather what should be than what is:

"As flame ascends,

As bodies to their proper centre move,
As the proud ocean to the attracting moon
Obedient swells, and every headlong stream
Devolves its winding waters to the main,
So all things which have life aspire to God,
The sun of being, boundless, unimpaired,
Centre of souls."


Goldsmith compares the minister of his Deserted Village to a cliff towering above the clouds, and basking in perpetual sunshine :

"The service past, around the pious man,

With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
F'en children followed, with endearing wile,

And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed,

Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distrest;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,

Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm;
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head."

"The quality of mercy is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blest,

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”


In some similes, like one already quoted, several objects are presented as resembling that which is the subject of comparison.

"As from the wing no scar the sky retains,

The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
So dies in human hearts the thought of death."


"Like a boat on the wave
When a storm's in the sky;

Like the rose o'er a grave

When the winter is nigh;
Like a star when it streams

Through the blue heavens bright;

Like the fabric of dreams

'Mid the slumbers of night;

Like the lamp that is lit

In the mist o'er the moor,

Or the bubbles that flit

By the rude, rocky shore,

Is the vision of life in this tempest-tost clime;
A shadow fast fleeting—a moment of time."

“Like foam on the crest of the billow,

Which sparkles and sinks from the sight;
Like leaf of the wind-shaken willow,
Though transiently, beauteously bright;
Like dew-drops, exhaled as they glisten;
Like perfume, which dies soon as shed;
Like melody, hushed while we listen,
Is memory's dream of the dead."


Many of the comparisons of natural objects are very beautiful:

"The sea is like a silvery lake,

And o'er its calm the vessel glides
Gently, as if it feared to wake

The slumbers of the silent tides."

Night is in her wane; day's early flush
Glows like a hectic on her fading cheek,
Wasting its beauty."



"The dawning shines
Above the misty mountains, and a hue
Of vermil blushes in the cloudless blue,
Like health disporting on the downy cheek:
It is time's fairest moment. As a dove,
Shading the earth with azure wings of love,
The sky broods o'er us, and the cool winds speak
The peace of nature."


The comparisons of intelligent beings and their actions to natural objects, are often eminently elegant :

"They are as gentle

As zephyrs blowing below the violet,

Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchafed, as the rud'st wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
And make him stoop to the vale."

"She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and light
Meet in her aspect and her eyes."



"As when devouring flames soine forest seize
On the high mountains, splendid from afar
The blaze appears; so moving on the plain
The steel-clad host innumerous flashed to heaven."
ILIAD, b. ii.

"The flaming myriads quick their gleamy crowns In awe presented; as when mighty winds, Sweeping a bloomy forest, lowly bend

The towering shapes, and wide their flowers bestrew
Over the verdrous earth. So stooped the host,
And sang adoring."

Byron's comparison of the writhings of the mind under the stings of conscience, to the tortures of a scorpion surrounded by fire, is one of the most impressive pictures ever drawn by a human pencil :

"The mind that broods o'er guilty woes
Is like the scorpion girt by fire,

In circle narrowing as it glows;
Till inly searched by thousand throes,
And maddening in her ire,

One sole and sad relief she knows-
The sting she nourished for her foes,
Whose venom never proved in vain,
Gives but one pang, and cures all pain,
And darts it into her desperate brain.
So do the dark in soul expire,

Or live, like scorpion, girt by fire.
So writhes the soul remorse hath riven,
Unloved of earth, unblessed of heaven;
Darkness above, despair beneath,
Around it flame, within it death."

These specimens exemplify the rules which should be observed in forming comparisons. 1. The resemblance on which they are founded should be obvious and striking; 2. They should be expressed with distinctness and brevity; 3. In those in which the nature of the resemblance is specified, only such

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