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"The theme', the song', the joy' was new
To each' angel'ic tongue;
Swift'-through the realms' of light' it flew,
And loud' the echo rung.
"Down' through the por'tals of the sky
The peal'ing an'them ran;
"Hark"-the cherubic ar'mies shout,
"With joy' the chor'us we repeat,
Glory to God on high;
Goodwill' and peace' are now complete,
The movement of seven syllable lines, formed of two trochees and an amphimacer, and with the accent usually thrown chiefly on two syllables, is very fine:
"Rock' of Ages cleft' for me,
From thy wound'ed side' which flowed,
Save' from wrath, and make' me pure."
The modulation of the lines is sometimes rendered so expressive and vivacious, by the words of the feet of which they are constructed, that it is taken as the basis of the air that is composed for them, and made the vehicle of a most graphic representation of the acts they describe, and impassioned utterance of the sentiments they express. That was undoubtedly the origin of the spirited tune to which Moore's version of Miriam's song, consisting principally of anapests, is set:
"Sound' the loud timʼbrel o'er E'gypt's dark sea', Jehovah has tri'umphed, his peo'ple are free'! Sing', for the pride' of the ty'rant is bro'ken!
His cha'riots, his horse'men, all splen'did and brave, How vain' was their boast! for the Lord' hath but spoken, And cha'riots and horse'men are sunk' in the wave! Sound' the loud tim'brel o'er E'gypt's dark sea', Jehovah has tri'umphed, his peo'ple are free'!
If the tones in which the successive syllables of these lines are naturally uttered, when pronounced with emotion, are written on a musical staff, it will
be found that they present the outline of the beautiful air in which they are usually sung, and form a more graphic delineation of the great acts that are described in the words, and expression of the emotions with which the song should be recited, than any others that can be chosen.
An intimate knowledge of the several figures is requisite also to a full appreciation of the images of the psalms and hymns, and the grace and force with which they invest the sentiments they are employed to express and illustrate. Many of them are made up almost entirely of figures, and often of the greatest delicacy, power, and dignity. The following, by Cowper, is an example :
"O, for a closer walk with God,
"Where is the blessedness I knew
Of Jesus and his word?
"What peaceful hours I then enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But now I find an aching void
The world can never fill.
66 Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest;
I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
"The dearest idol I have known,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
"So shall my walk be close with God;
And purer light shall mark the road
Many persons, probably, who read this hymn feel that it is highly poetic and beautiful, and yet are unable to tell distinctly what it is that constitutes its peculiar charm; and would be surprised if informed that the principal of the figures with which it abounds are of a class (the hypocatastasis) the very name of which they had never met in any book on rhetoric or poetry, and the principle of which they had never heard explained. Yet the figures that set forth the poet's thoughts with so much point and strength, and like the glow of sunset, shed a bright irradiance over the path the Christian is to pursue, are all of that class. Thus, in the first verse, walking with God, an external act, is put for
living conformably to his will; and having a light to shine upon a road that leads to Christ, an external gift, is put for having a knowledge of the duties which he enjoins, or the things that are to be done in order to salvation. In the second verse, seeing the Lord, and having a view of Jesus, which are acts of the eye, are put by substitution for having just and refreshing thoughts of him. Feeling a void that gives pain, which is a corporeal affection, is .put, in the third verse, for an analogous mental feeling of the loss or the absence of cheering thoughts of him. In the fourth verse, returning as a dove, an external act, is put for a return of the Spirit, by his influences to the mind; and his being driven from the breast, is put for his being driven from the soul. In the fifth verse, idol, an external object, is put by substitution for the object of unreasonable love; and tearing it from the throne, for removing it from its place in the affections, or causing that it shall no longer be the object of sinful attachment. And in the last stanza, walking with God, an external act, is again put for living conformably to his will; and having a light to shine upon a road that leads to the Lamb, having a full knowledge of what he requires in order to salvation;-images of great strength and beauty, and that invest the thoughts they are employed to express