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Another string of rhymes, entitled Mithridates, seems to be founded on the old myth respecting that monarch, that having discovered a sure antidote, he was able to subsist entirely on the most active poisons. After babbling for a time about dogwood, hemlock, "the prussic juice," and upas boughs, the poet breaks out into the following witty and coherent apostrophe :

"O doleful ghosts, and goblins merry!
O all you virtues, methods, mights,
Means, appliances, delights,

Reputed wrongs and braggart rights,
Smug routine, and things allowed,
Minorities, things under cloud!
Hither! take me, use me, fill me,

Vein and artery, though ye kill me!
God! I will not be an owl,

But sun me in the Capitol."

We commend Mr. Emerson's intention not to be an owl, though when he utters such dismal screeches as these, one may doubt whether the transformation has not already been effected. We never before felt the whole force of Horace's exclamation, aut insanit homo, aut versus facit. Is the man sane who can deliberately commit to print this fantastic nonsense?

Another of these effusions is called Hamatreya. The word sounds like Sanscrit ; we frankly confess our ignorance of its meaning, and have not time to hunt through lexicons and encyclopædias, from one of which it was probably fished up, for a solution of the enigma. The reader may discover Mr. Emerson's drift, if he can, in the following introductory lines.

"Minott, Lee, Willard, Hosmer, Meriam, Flint

Possessed the land which rendered to their toil
Hay, corn, roots, hemp, flax, apples, wool, and wood.
Each of these landlords walked amidst his farm,
Saying, ''T is mine, my children's, and my name's:
How sweet the west wind sounds in my own trees!
How graceful climb those shadows on my hill!
I fancy these pure waters and the flags
Know me, as does my dog: we sympathize;
And, I affirm, my actions smack of the soil.""

We have not room to quote the whole of this delectable

stuff. After proceeding for a while, in a similar strain, the poet breaks out into what he calls the Earth-Song.

what the earth says."

"Mine and yours;

Mine, not yours.

Earth endures;

Stars abide

Shine down in the old sea;

Old are the shores;
But where are old men?
I who have seen much,
Such have I never seen.

"The lawyer's deed

Ran sure,

In tail,

To them, and to their heirs

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Those who think this Earth-Song is unparalleled are mistaken; we can produce a very similar passage in prose, which the poet possibly had in view, and endeavoured to imitate. That witty buffoon, Foote, happening to hear a person boast of the facility with which he could commit any passage to memory, undertook to write a few lines which the other would not be able to remember accurately, even after repeated perusal. The challenge was accepted, and Foote immediately produced the following, which we will match, for coherency of ideas, with any thing that Mr. Emerson has ever written.

"And she went into the garden to cut a cabbage to make an apple pie; and a she-bear, walking up the street, pops his head into the shop,- What! No soap! and he died; and she very imprudently married the barber, and at the wedding were the Hoblillies and the Joblillies, and the great Panjandrum, with the little button at top, and they all danced till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their boots."

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We mean to be fair with the poet. Having read attentively horresco referens! - the whole book, we affirm that the specimens now laid before our readers fairly represent far the larger portion of it. Here and there, a gleam of light intrudes, and we find brief but striking indications of the talent and feeling which Mr. Emerson unquestionably possesses. But the effect is almost instantly marred by some

mystical nonsense, some silly pedantry, an intolerable hitch in rhythm or grammar, or an incredible flatness and meanness of expression. In one of the longer poems, Monadnoc, one may cull a few single lines, and occasionally a couplet, or a quatrain, of great poetic beauty. But these are like a few costly spices flung into a tub full of dirty and greasy water; they are polluted by the medium in which they Áoat, and one cannot pick them out without soiling his fingers. Here is a couplet containing one of the best, and one of the worst, lines in the piece. The poet, addressing the mountain, exclaims with inimitable bathos,

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Thou grand expresser of the present tense!

The greater part of the poem is made up of such senseless jingle as this:

"For the world was built in order,

And the atoms march in tune;

Rhyme the pipe, and Time the warder,

Cannot forget the sun, the moon.
Orb and atom forth they prance,
When they hear from far the rune;
None so backward in the troop,
When the music and the dance
Reach his place and circumstance,
But knows the sun-creating sound,
And, though a pyramid, will bound."

We can find no nominative to "cannot forget," there is no word to rhyme with "troop," and, in the last four lines, subject and object are mingled in inextricable confusion. Mr. Emerson is evidently one of those poets

"Who, free from rhyme or reason, rule or check,
Break Priscian's head and Pegasus's neck."

The following pretty and graceful lines form the only tolerable entire piece in the book.

“O fair and stately maid, whose eyes

Were kindled in the upper skies

At the same torch that lighted mine;

For so I must interpret still

Thy sweet dominion o'er my will,
A sympathy divine.

"Ah! let me blameless gaze upon
Features that seem at heart my own;
Nor fear those watchful sentinels,
Who charm the more their glance forbids,
Chaste-glowing, underneath their lids,
With fire that draws while it repels."

The publication of a volume of such poetry at the present day is a strange phenomenon; but a stranger, still, is the eagerness with which it is received by quite a large circle of neophytes, who look down with pitying contempt on all those who cannot share their admiration of its contents. It is stereotyped, and we hear that one or two thousand copies of it have been sold. How far the taste may be perverted by fashion, prejudice, or the influences of a clique or school, it is impossible to say; but there must be limits to all corruptions of it which come short of insanity. It is possible to profess admiration which one does not feel; or for the faculties to be so impaired by disease as to become insensible to their appropriate gratifications. The ear may lose its perception of the finest harmonies, the olfactory nerve may no longer be gratified by the most delicious perfumes; these would be mere defects, a loss of the sources of great enjoyment. But we cannot conceive of enjoyments being created of an opposite character. The ear cannot be trained to receive pleasure from discords, nor the sense of smell to enjoy a stench. As with the pleasures of sense, so is it with intellectual gratifications. We may never have acquired a relish for them, or we may lose it by neglect. But one cannot change the nature of things, and derive positive pleasure from that which is distasteful and odious by its original constitution. Incoherency of thought and studied obscurity of expression, an unmeaning jumble of words and a heap of vulgar and incongruous images, cannot, as such, be agreeable objects to contemplate. If praised by a sect, it must be because each one relies on the opinion of his fellows, so that there is not one independent judgment among them. If the hierophant of the sect be a shrewd humorist, it is most likely that he is mocking the weakness of his admirers.

We pass on to the second Muse on our list. After turning over the leaves of Mr. Channing's volume, one is tempted to exclaim, Why, this is more excellent foolery than the other. His poetry is a feeble and diluted copy of Mr.

Emerson's, not so mystical and incoherent, but far more childish and insipid. The two publications come together very naturally, as cause and effect; the one is a commentary on the other, the pupil following very closely his master's principles of taste and composition, and carrying them out even more boldly to their legitimate results. Their peculiarities of style are matters of choice and not of accident; their diction is slovenly upon system, and they strive after dulness and imbecility, as for hidden treasures. They have inverted the poetical decalogue, and strive to commit literary suicide with as much eagerness as others labor for literary immortality. We do not conceive, therefore, that we are doing them. any disservice by holding up their peculiarities to the world; they are anxious to be expelled from the ranks of other poets, and court no honors but those of martyrdom.

If it were not for this consideration, we should hesitate about taking any notice of Mr. Channing's effusions. It is no pleasure to us, certainly, and will probably yield no gratification to our readers, to cover our pages with citations from such a work. Criticism is thrown away upon it, so far as the author is concerned. But example is contagious, and a school of admirers and imitators is easily formed under certain influences, which may have a great effect in corrupting the public taste, unless a vigorous protest be uttered in behalf of sound principles and common sense. Novelties are

always captivating, and the old standards of poetry are in danger of being neglected and forgotten, the old landmarks in the realm of taste of being swept away, by the mere force of numbers and impudence on the part of the innovators. Something may be gained by reaction, if the full extent of the evil be exposed at one view, and the public be enabled to view the brass and clay that compose the new literary idols which they are invited to worship.

First Love is the title of one of Mr. Channing's more remarkable poems. It is a story about young Henry, who went to church, "an old, a celebrated church"; yet he went "not as a worshipper," or rather to worship only a young and fair-haired girl.

"Her name was Hester, lovely as the Spring.
To them, this reverend building was a fane,
Whereon the God of love, fair Cupid laid
Two youthful hearts, then kindled into flame."

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