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serve only to convert the simplicity of the Hebrew into the more artificial forms of expression, which belong to the classick poetry of more modern times. It was a matter of course, therefore, in giving a translation of Herder, to consider this as the part of his work, which he would most value himself, and to preserve, as far as possible, his peculiar views of the sentiment of the original Hebrew. Yet, in so regarding it, I have thought it necessary also to' have reference to the language of the English translation, and have always preferred it, where it could be done without misrepresenting the sense of Herder. Regard to this has led me also to be less careful of metrical arrangement, than I should otherwise have been. Herder has for the most part, though not uniformly, adhered to the lambic measure, though with little regard to the length of the lines. When this could not be done without giving the translation a more artificial colouring than suits our notions of simplicity in such things, I have in most cases merely preserved the parallelisms, and aimed only at the most simple rhythm. In translating other poetical effusions, than those from the Hebrew, a few of which the author has inserted in the work, I have merely followed the form of the original. My aim has been in all things of importance, to give a faithful representation of the author's work in regard both to matter and form. I could not learn till quite recently, that a version of any portion of the work had been previously made either in England or this country; but within a few days have received a copy of a work under the title of “ Oriental Dialogues,” which is a translation of a part of the first volume of this work. Several of the dialogues are omitted, and

the order of the remainder changed by the translator, so that it can hardly be considered a satisfactory account of the original, and, had I known of its existence, would not have saved me the labour which I have bestowed upon the work.

The first volume, which is now ready for publication, it will be observed by comparison with the plan of the work, contains only the introduction and a brief account of the life and character of Moses. The other volume, containing the first and second parts of the work itself, will be prepared for publication, as soon as the pressure of other duties will permit. That it may do something to promote a genuine taste for ancient learning, and the simplicity of primitive antiquity generally, and more especially love for those inspired records of Hebrew antiquity, which have so many and so peculiar claims upon the regard of every student, is the sincere wish of the


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The beautiful and justly celebrated work of Bp. Lowth, de sacra poesi Hebracorum, is universally known, and might seem to preclude, the necessity of the present undertaking. A nearer comparison of its contents, however, will show, that the present work is neither a translation, nor an imitation of it. Whether the sphere, which it occupies, be of equal or inferior importance, it is at least sufficiently distinct, and cannot be without its interest and use to the lovers of the most ancient, simple, and sublime poetry in general, nor indeed to all, who cherish a liberal curiosity respecting the progress of knowledge, divine, and human, as connected with the earlier history of our race.

In a prolonged introduction are investigated three principal particulars, from which in its origin the character of the poetry of the Hebrews was derived. In the first place, are exhibited the poetical characteristics of their language in its structure and copiousness; then the primitive conceptions, which they had received as a legacy from the most ancient times, and which constitute, as it were, a cosmology as sublime as it is poetical; and third, the history of their putriarchs down to their great law-giver, and whatever in it was fitted to distinguish, as well the whole nation generally, as more particularly their writings and the spirit of their poetry.

The work itself properly commences with Moses, the law-giver of the nation ; and proceeds to show what influence he exerted, or failed to exert, on the spirit of the people, and of their posterity, by his deeds, by his legislation, and by the exhibition of both in his history and in his own poetical effusions. It points out what conceptions, transmitted from more ancient times, he adopted and practically applied, and what he altered in this legacy of the patriarchs; what view of their promised land, and of the nations around them, he aimed to impress upon their minds; and finally, by what means he formed the poetry of the nation, gave it its pastoral and rural character, and consecrated it to the uses of the sanctuary and of the prophets of Jehovah. The causes by which these effects were brought about are unfolded out of the history of the race, and their influence exhibited in the most striking examples of later times.

In the next place, the history itself is carried forward from Moses to the period of the highest national prosperity, and of the most powerful king, under whom and his son occurred the second marked development of national poetry. The most beautiful specimens of it, produced during this period, are explained from the causes, which gave rise to them, are placed in that true Oriental light, which is necessary to a perception of their beauties, and the effects produced by them in after times unfolded. It is implied of course, that some of the most interesting and instructive of these specimens are inserted in the work, in a translation both intelligible, and capable of exhibiting something of their true spirit.

The work then passes to the third period of the art,

as it existed among this people long before their downfall,—to the voice of the prophets. The characters of these patriotick and divinely prompted leaders of the people are unfolded, an introduction given to their writings, and some of their most touching, beautiful, and sublime passages here and there embodied in the work.

Next come the sorrowful tones of lamentation, which accompanied and followed the downfall of the nation ; and those which breathed hope and admonition in regard to its re-establishment; the effects produced by the writings of this people, when collected together, and made known in other languages, especially the Greek, and their influence through the writings and teachers of christianity down to our own times.

A few chapters at the end of the work investigate the history of the mode, in which this poetry has been regarded and treated by the Jews and other nations ; the different success, with which it has been imitated at different times, and in different languages, and finally, what may have been the result of these writings and of their spirit in the whole history of cultivation, and of revolutions in the world, so far as known to us.

This annunciation, it is hoped, will be received not as ambitious pretension and high-sounding phrase, but simply as the purpose, which the author of the work bas ventured to form and place before him. In magnis voluisse sat est, is here his chosen motto.


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