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β'.

Οτοτοι τι γραμμ' απ' αυτης
καλος άγγελος γενοιτ' αν".
αποροισι δ' αν πλοκαισ
σοφια νιν άγχοννη.
'Οτοτοι' τα γραμματ’ ουδεις
έδιδαξε μ', ή 8 Ιουδιθ
γραφιδ' ουτι και σιδηρον
πυροσειςικον διεγνω"
μελι και το νεκταρ αμoν
απαλη πεφυκ’ Ιουδιθ:

ουδ' ευφρονως έγωγε
καταλειψομαι ποτ' αυτην
εφανη γαρ, ως σεληνη,
παναληθινη νεανις.
αλλ', εσπερας πεσoυσης,
έχησαμην ποτ' αυτην
υποδεμνιαν ξυνευνον
σκολιω γε βυρσοδεψη

χαριεσσα δ ή πεφήνε, κ. τ. λ.

PATRICK O'CONNOR.

Port St. Dermid, near Ballinocrasy, Dec. 28, 1820.

LE BLANC'S SOBER ESSAY ON LOVE.

“ And Love is still an emptier sound,

The modern fair one's jest ;
On earth unknown, or only found.
To warm the turtle's nest."

GOLDSMITH.

LOVE is a theme which has received a due share of importance in literature in every age and clime; but, like

; the ocean from whence its own presiding goddess is fabled to have sprung, is as inexhaustible in its nature as universal in its prevalence. Conjointly with the praises of heroism and warlike achievements, it has inspired as well the earliest rhapsodies of the wandering minstrels of Greece and Araby, as the noblest works of the most accomplished authors of the present day. Though frequently prostituted and debased to its lowest dregs by

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certain panders to lust, ycleped novel-writers, it is a subject which has all along had, and still has, the most decided claims on the pens of the metaphysician and the poet; nay, I will venture to add, without fear of controversy—the divine.

The metaphysician loses himself in abstruse disquisitions on the doctrine of assimilation, or what other theory he may please to adopt, as explanative of the mysterious influence by which the mind is propelled to that congeniality of sentiment, which exists between the sexes, and what is worthy of observation, in the case of individuals of opposite tempers and habits ; as if it was necessary for the composition of the most perfect unanimity, which can exist on earth, that the ingredients should be of contrary qualities. In developing that sensation, or source of sensations, which we term “ Love," some argue that it is a compound of feelings, a union of various propensities, or, to speak more technically, a co-operation of different organs ; while others cut the gordian knot at a blow, and assert that it is a self-sufficient, distinct principle. This they might as well denominate at once the principle of amativeness. They have but acted in imitation of the old Stoics, who, when they had found themselves at a loss to account for the nature of the soul, by referring its composition to either fire, air, earth, or water, determined upon having an additional element, or primary cause, to which they could exclusively ascribe its existence. For myself, I cannot help thinking that, on this point in particular, there is a striking analogy between physics and metaphysics. The investigation of natural philosophy was a complete chaos of doubt and learned ignorance, till the superintending providence of a Deity-a Being like the omnipotent and omniscient Jehovah-was established from revelation in the creed of the philosopher: this it was which proved the only true clue to conduct him safely through the intricacies of the labyrinth. And such is the case with our philosophy of the mind : clouds and thick darkness are round about us, and it requires no spirit of prophecy to pronounce that the veil will never be removed, till the nature of the soul's action is understood by us as a primal invisible cause, from whence all the visible effects, with which we are well acquainted, may be educed; and this cannot take place till the time when that particle of the divine breath, which is at present like an elastic spring coiled and confined, hath been emancipated from its earthly trammels, and restored to the full grasp of intellect which it is capable of ;-aan attainment, towards which even a New'ton and a Locke made but slight advances.

The Divine has a much easier task ;--his views of the subject are clear and express, as far as scriptural authority warrants his investigation, and it may well excite in us a doubt and hesitation whether that is not the point.

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Thus far shalt thou go and no further.”

in man.

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The last and best gift with which the “ Lord of the Creation" was presented by his Divine Benefactor was female society, as an antidote for that solitude of heart which must otherwise have proved intolerable to a being formed with such capacities for enjoyment as are found

The “aching void” was soon discovered, or, as it is expressed, in the beautiful simplicity of holy writ, 6 for Adam, there was found no help meet for him,” but no sooner discovered than provided against ; as if it had been the intention of the “Giver of all Good,” that the value of the blessing might be the more appreciated from its not having been bestowed till a deficiency had been felt. And is it not this aching void” that exists in the breast of youth, when it pants after an object on which to lavish its affections? In the days of Paradise, it is true, the impulse was pure and chaste in all its bearings-it is now, alas ! debased and adulterated from its

pristine perfection.

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«« Poor race of men

Dearly ye pay for your primal fall,
Some flow'rets of Eden ye still inherit,

But the trail of the serpent is over them all."

The rose, however, still looks lovely in the midst of a garden of weeds, whose contiguity is contaminating:

Love is the very essence of poetry in general, and the keystone of interest on which the chef d'auvres of Melpomene and Thalia are chiefly constructed. Yet the office of the poet is quite distinct from those of the two former I have mentioned. His business is not to attempt the developement of original principles, but to pourtray their consequences in all the vivid colours of the imagination. I am aware that some men of gigantie intellect, like Wordsworth, have succeeded in uniting " for better or worse,” metaphysics and poetry. But I am now speaking of Love Poetry, in a simple sense, as describing the effects of the passion, or principle, or impulse, or whatever it may be, and contenting itself with leaving that passion, or principle, or impulse, without a definition,-or even pronouncing it undefinable. When the subject has undergone the process which an inspired imagination performs upon it, it issues forth in a shape intelligible to the humblest, and yet by no means on that account rendered contemptible to the highest capacity; for human nature is the same throughout all its empire, from the palace to the cottage. It is true that the productions of an ardent fancy are apt to transgress the limits of the ordinary occurrences of life; but still there are bounds of probable reality, that cannot be passed without destroying the very illusion which it is the great art of Poetry to create and support in the minds of its audience; and this check is our sure warrant against extravagance. “ Love” has now become personified, though under the most contradictory appearances. It assumes, as circumstances bear

the

sway,

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gentleness of the dove, the crafty wiliness of the serpent, and the ferocity of the tiger. There is no delusion here; the praetical doctrines which are offered for our belief are readily, I had almost said instinctively, accepted by our understanding, confirmed by our experience, and sanctioned by our reason. They are spoken home to us, and we feel them. We enjoy the evening fragrance of the summer' zephyr, we behold and tremble at the consequences of the tempest's wrath : but we cannot say whence come they-tħe zephyr or the tempest. And such is Love: we may understand and describe the pangs of jealousy, and the silent despair of the broken heart, or the consummate bliss of a mutual and felicitous attachment;-we know that these all proceed from one and the same source, but this is the utmost of our knowledge.

I cannot close my dissertation on this theme better than by requesting the attention of my readers to a quotation from the late work of an author, whose reputation is by no means of small magnitude in the bright galaxy of the talents of the present day. The sentiments of the extract coincide perfectly with those of mine, which have dictated the above remarks, and will in some respects, perhaps, serve to elucidate any obscurities I may have been guilty of :

Beauty, what art thou, that thy slightest gaze

Can make the spirit from its centre roll
Its whole long course, a sad and shadowy maze ?

Thou midnight, or thou noontide of the soul;

One glorious vision, lighting up the whole
Of the wide world, or one deep wild desire,

By day and night consuming, sad and sole ;
Till hope, pride, genius, nay, till Love's own fire
Desert the weary heart, a cold and mouldering pyre.
Enchanted sleep, yet full of deadly dreams;

Companionship divine, stern solitude ;
Thou serpent, colour'd with the brightest gleams,

That e'er hid poison, making hearts thy food;

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