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COURSE OF TIME,
A POEM, IN TEN BOOKS.
BY ROBERT POLLOK, A. M.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED,
MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR,
ANALYSIS OF THE POEM,
TO THE PRINCIPAL PASSAGES, SENTIMENTS,
BY REV. WILLIAM JENKS, D. D.
CUSHING AND JEWETT, BALTIMORE.
Stereotyped at the Boston Type and Stereotype Foundry.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit :
District Clerk's Office. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the sixteenth day of October, A.D 1828, in the fifty-third year of the Independence of the United States of America, Crocker and Brewster, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit :
“The Course of Time, a Poem, in ten Books. By Robert Pollok, A. M. To which are prefixed, a brief Memoir of the Author, an Analysis of the Poem, and an Index to the principal Passages, Sentiments, or Descriptions. By Rev. Willianı Jenks, D. D.”
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to an act, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
JNO. W. DAVIS,
The interest which we feel in any literary production is easily transferred to its author. And if such production be of uncommon character, the desire to know the circumstances which distinguished the individual, who has in it portrayed the image of his mind, is proportionally strong. Such curiosity has undoubtedly been felt by those who have perused the Course of Time.' The poem is indeed of an uncommon character. This its claim is grounded on two things—the position it gives the reader, from which to take his view of the affairs of time—and its simplicity, freshness, and freedom from the pedantry and common-place of mere learning.
Before introducing the following brief memoir, a word or two shall be said on these characteristics. With regard to the former : the annunciation of the
title which the poem bears is apt, at first, to excite the undefined idea of the concerns of the world in general as forming its subject. We speak from experience, having found the perception uncomfortable, seemingly indicating a design to make up in extent of matter what might he wanting in force of thought, or power of minute observation and accurate description. But, as we read the work, this anticipation vanishęs. We find ourselves far advanced in the measureless course of Eternity itself; and are taught the distant transactions of a world we soon recognise as our own, not in the didactic strain of dull moralizing, but in the animated narrative of one, who had been an observant actor, deeply and holily interested in the consummation. And this narrative strain is continued through the work.
The latter characteristic feature, of freedom from scholastic and literary pedantry, is also striking. The Paradise Lost, for instance, cannot be fully relished but by one well acquainted with the mythology of the ancient polished nations. The same is true of several other invaluable productions of poetic genius. But here the language is that of one, in whom the idea of eternity and its all-important interests leaves no time or inclination to search for recondite allusions, flowers of rhetoric, or learned phraseology The author seems to enjoy a holy, humble intimacy with his glorious but beloved Creator and Redeemer, and to desire and labour that the same views and feelings should be shared by all His human offspring. This must render the work peculiarly dear to all such as draw their religious views simply and penitently from the Bible. For its descriptions of the character and conse