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POETRY OF LIFE.
THE POETRY OF LOVE.
On entering upon the poetry of the human mind, the passions naturally present themselves as a proper subject of interesting discussion ; because as poetry belongs not so much to the sphere of intellect, as to that of feeling, we must look to the passions, as to the living principle, which gives intensity to perception, and vividness to thought. All mankind who are gifted with common sense, are capable of writing verses, but all cannot feel, and still less can all write poetically. In order to do this it is necessary to feel deeply. By the exercise of intellectual power we may learn what are the component parts of a flower, but this alone will never make us sensible of its
beauty. The same power may collect and disseminate the truths most important to the well being of society, but it cannot enforce their reception. In short, though it may instruct, improve, invigorate, and supply the mind with a perpetual fund of information, intellectual power alone can never make a poet, nor excité that love of poetry—that ardent desire in the soul for what it feeds on, which gives to the poetic mind a refinement, an energy, and a sense of happiness unknown to that which subsists merely upon knowledge. Hence we may fairly conclude, that the man who is wholly dispassionate himself, and who has neither observed, nor studied the nature of passion in others, can never be a poet; any more than the artist who has never felt the exhilaration of joy, nor witnessed its effects, can represent in painting or marble a personification of delight.
To examine the passions individually would be a work of time and patience, or rather of impatience. We will therefore dismiss those which are malevolent or injurious to the peace of society; for though rage, envy, malice, jealousy, and above all the master passion of revenge, may supply the poet with images of majesty, and horror, which give to the pro