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to leave behind it a disrelish for all other? A false taste may exist amongst the few, from partial impressions, and local prejudices; but a false taste can only exist amongst the many, from the universality of the same impressions false to the principles of nature, and the same prejudices opposed to the principles of good sense; a phenomenon which it is not often our misfortune to behold; and I should account for the extraordinary bias given to the public taste by the works of Byron, as arising from the power of his genius rather than the peculiarity of his style: and the generality of readers not giving themselves trouble to make the distinction, they are still thirsting for the same style, in the vain hope of finding it connected with the same genius. Happy would it be for mankind, for public taste, and public morals, if the same mind, purified from all alloy, could return again to earth, to prove to the world that the same power may be directed to higher purposes without losing its influence, and the same beauty, and the same harmony, be touched by a hand more true to the principles of eternal happiness.

In looking for instances of the display of taste in poetry, it is necessary to confine our

observation to the present times; for as we have before remarked, that which was in strict accordance with good taste a century ago, is not so now; because the different customs and manners of mankind have introduced different associations; and expressions which formerly conveyed none but elevated and refined ideas, are now connected with those of a totally different nature. We are inclined to think that the works of Milton would have afforded the finest example of taste, as well as power, in the age in which he lived, because in cases where the senses have dominion-the accordance of sense with sound, for instance-he is inimitable. But the language of Milton is sometimes too quaint for modern ears, and in his pages we occasionally meet with single words that startle us with associations foreign to what is now considered as poetical.

We cannot quote a more perfect example of taste in modern language, than the writings of our poet Campbell, in which, especially his Pleasures of Hope, it would be difficult to find an ill-chosen word, or an idea not in strict accordance with the principles of harmony and grace. The presence of taste being, however, imperceptible, except by the absence of faults,

it is difficult to bring forward instances in particular passages of the influence of this powerful but still indefinable charm. The following lines, familiar to every reader, or rather every admirer of poetry, are remarkable for their adaptation of language, and harmony of sound. "Primeval Hope, the Aönian muses say,

"When man and nature mourn'd their first decay;
"When every form of death, and every woe,
"Shot from malignant stars to earth below,
"When Murder bared her arm, and rampant War
"Yoked the red dragons of her iron car,
"When Peace and Mercy, banish'd from the plain,
"Sprung on the viewless winds to Heaven again;
"All, all forsook the friendless guilty mind,
"But Hope, the charmer, linger'd still behind."

And in the description of the fate of the "hardy Byron," how perfectly does the sound of each line correspond with its sense, flowing on like a continued stream of melody, without interruption from any word or idea not purely poetical.

"And such thy strength-inspiring aid that bore
"The hardy Byron to his native shore-
"In horrid climes, where Chiloe's tempests sweep
"Tumultuous murmurs o'er the troubled deep,
"'Twas his to mourn misfortune's rudest shock,
"Scourg'd by the winds, and cradled on the rock,
"To wake each joyless morn, and search again
"The famish'd haunts of solitary men;

"Whose race, unyielding as their native storm,
"Know not a trace of nature but the form ;
"Yet, at thy call, the hardy tar pursued,
"Pale, but intrepid, sad, but unsubdued,
"Pierced the deep woods, and hailing from afar,
"The moon's pale planet, and the northern star :
"Paused at each dreary cry, unheard before,
"Hyænas in the wild, and mermaids on the shore;
"Till, led by thee o'er many a cliff sublime,
"He found a warmer world, a milder clime,
"A home to rest, a shelter to defend,
"Peace and repose, a Briton and a friend !"

The idea conveyed in the following lines, is well worthy of a poetic mind. Others seem to have felt the same, but none have done more ample justice to the feeling, than the elegant bard from whom we quote.

"Who that would ask a heart to dulness wed,
"The waveless calm, the slumber of the dead?
"No; the wild bliss of nature needs alloy,
"And fear and sorrow fan the fire of joy!
"And say, without our hopes, without our fears,
"Without the home that plighted love endears,
"Without the smile from partial beauty won,
"Oh! what were man?-a world without a sun."

And when the poet exclaims,

"Cease, every joy, to glimmer on my mind,
"But leave-Oh! leave the light of Hope behind!
"What though my winged hours of bliss have been,
"Like angel visits, few and far between,-"

We feel that to such a mind, hope would come as a blessed messenger, whose tidings would be of things sublime, and pure, and elevated above the low wants and wishes of a material existence.

We know of but one word in the whole of this beautiful poem which is at variance with good taste, and we quote the line, not from the pleasure of pointing out a single fault in the midst of a thousand merits, but for the purpose of showing how forcibly an error in taste strikes upon the attention and the feelings of the reader.

"The living lumber of his kindred earth.”

We are ready to imagine from this line, that the author has scarcely been aware of the high degree of beauty and refinement which pervades his work. "Lumber," in the poetical writings of Pope, might have occurred without any breach of taste, because his concise and forcible style is more characterised by power, than elegance; and lumber might, therefore, have been in keeping with the general tone of his expressions. But here,

where all is music to the ear, and harmony to the mind, this uncouth word is decidedly out of place; and while longing to exchange it for

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