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Art. IX.-CHILDHOOD, Illustrated in a Selection from the
Poets. By H. M. R. London: Harvey and Darton. 1841.
CHILDHOOD illustrated by the Poets ;-the golden age in the golden light of genius;—those whose souls are ever fresh, sitting by that freshest “well” of living water and discoursing ;—the heavenliest minds, telling all they feel and know of the heavenliest form of human nature;—from such a combination of “divine subject," with “ the vision and the faculty divine," we must have a collection of the truest poetic things. The title of the book announces the treasures it contains ;-Childhood, as regarded, not by this poet nor by that, but-by The Poets !
The very idea of such a work was singularly graceful and happy, just such an idea as secured its own most successful realization, and which, when it came into the mind of one wishing to contribute something to the lovely and holy influences of domestic life, must have stirred it with a sensation of sudden joy, with the consciousness of the EUREKA, 'I have found it !' There is no other period of life that could thus have concentrated upon itself the Poetic Mind, for there is no other period that has a unity. The fountains of all rivers have a common Genius,—the Nymph might be characterized, but the Rivers,who will characterize them, or reduce them to a unity ? the arrowy Rhone, the muddy Rhine, the yellow Tiber, the majestic Thames. And so with Man,-he presents one aspect, one character only near the fountain. Let the stream run, and then we get out of Poetry into Potamology.
It was quite impossible that such a Book should not be as beautiful in execution as it was in conception, for it summoned to its aid, throughout all times, the genius of the Poets. At the same time we must express our feeling that THE POETS have not done their duty by so choice a subject. They have not turned their deep eyes into the heart of Childhood. Wordsworth is the only one of THE POETS who has studied childhood; who has dwelt upon it with the steadfast, loving, reverential gaze which could alone see into its depths, or do justice to the nature of childhood, so profound yet so elastic, so simple yet so mysterious. In this volume there are only a few lines from Shakspeare, and nothing from Milton, Spenser, Chaucer, Pope.
It is significant of its spiritual beauty, that for the most poetic things ever said of Childhood, we must go to the Saviour of Mankind, -to him who had the deepest insight into
hood, well, that cer, por Shak
Humanity. “ Their Angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” “Unless ye become as a little child, ye shall not enter the kingdom of God.” “ Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” “Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me."
In selecting one or two Specimens of this rich volume, we shall take, as most interesting, those that are most likely to be new to our readers.
There are some lines, bearing the initials of the editor, addressed to her firstborn son, which are in every way beautiful. We especially admire the holy maternal feeling rising into more elevated sentiment, the mother yielding her son from her loving breast, to purchase for himself a nobler love, by a strenuous life of true service to God and Man. The generosity of the last four lines, the willing surrender of her place to a stranger, is perhaps a little beyond even “mother's love.” Has the distance of the day, and the imaginary nature of the vision, not contributed to that self displacement ?
To my firstborn.
My fond heart whispers oft when none can hear :
Thy glowing cheek, where childhood's transient tear
The untaught gladness springing in thy breast ;
Breathes from thy parted lips, when gently press'd
With kiss of holiest love, she lays thee down to rest.
Are lightly closed, lingering, I love to gaze
Bright visions o'er my soul of future days,
Of boyhood's fearless truth and well-earned praise,
The good and beautiful in nature found,-
Her freedom to defend, and see unbound
Chains which too long have borne her children to the ground.
The bright perspective of approaching years ;
And think Care's withering touch or Sorrow's tears
I know that thou in life's distress must share,
But at thy side, the cherished of thy love,
Whose gentle voice each sorrow shall remove,
Or lead thy chastened heart to rest in God above !" There is great repose and finish in the following sonnet by the Rev. J. Johns :
On a Child sleeping in a Thunder Storm.
While the sky flushes pale, like hate in ire ;
The thunder's roar fills up the chasms of fire!
Thou art a Type of that we should desire,
Centred within, that no commotion dire
Or thou, beneath the thunder, gentle child,)
Itself with its own heavenly dreams, though wild
Yes, the true fearless is the guiltless soul." Our last extract must be the following extremely sweet and graceful “ Baby's Song,” by the Editor :
" Low-murmured words I hear, mother!
When I am fast asleep,
And almost make me weep.
Warm on my lips and eyes,
That on thy bosom lies.
My soul with them would keep,
And I waken from my sleep.
Thine eyes look into mine-
Sweet mother! they are thine."
Art. 1.-SKETCHES OF PAULUS.
Skizzen aus meiner Bildungs—und Lebens-Geschichte zum
Andenken an mein 50 jähriges Jubiläum von Dr. Heinr. Eberh. Gottlob Paulus, grosherzogl. Badischen Geh. Kirchenrath, Professor der Theologie und Philosophie. Heidelberg und Leipsig. 1839. Sketches of my Life and Literary History. By Dr. H. E. G.
This small volume was published by Dr. Paulus in commemoration of the 17th April 1839, the fiftieth anniversary of his appointment to the Professor's chair : a day celebrated among the Germans as a jubilee. A choir, accompanied by some of Dr. Paulus's friends, surrounded his house before sun-rise, and ushered in the day by singing a hymn of welcome composed for the occasion. During the morning various deputations waited on Dr. Paulus and presented him with congratulatory addresses, not only from the several faculties of the University of Heidelberg, but likewise from the theological professors of almost all the Universities of Germany.* These addresses were signed by men entertaining and advocating the most opposite religious views. Dogmatic differences were lost sight of, and Dr. Paulus's warmest friends and his most strenuous opponents seemed alike anxious to express their sympathy with one whose life had been devoted to the investigation and elucidation of truth :-to testify
• We regret to say Berlin was an exception. Dr Marheinecke wished and proposed an address, but his vote was negatived by two of the Professors. Dr. Hengstenberg wrote a letter to Dr. Paulus, alleging as a reason, that it was not usual for the Professors of the University of Berlin to make any public demonstration of their sympathy on such occasions.
VOL. III. No. 13.—New Series.
their admiration of his candid avowal of opinion, and unswerving adherence to the convictions of his own mind :-and, whilst in many instances dissenting altogether from his conclusions, to acknowledge their full appreciation of the invaluable services rendered by him to theology and to philosophy. On the following day a deputation was sent from the chief magistrate, council, and a committee of the citizens of the town of Heidelberg, to testify their feelings of high esteem and veneration for Dr. Paulus, and their sense of his great merit, and of the services he had rendered to the town and University. This deputation represented the expressed feeling of five hundred of his fellow citizens, who had subscribed a petition to that effect.
On the 2nd of July a deputation arrived, consisting of four gentlemen, of whom two were clergymen, bearing an address from one hundred and eighty-two clergymen and lay members of the Synod, in the twelve Dioceses of Rhenish Bavaria.
We give a few sentences of this address. " Rare are the instances in which to uninterrupted exertion in scientific pursuit, conducted with unusual force of mind, an extraordinary length of duration is also conceded. So much the greater, then, is the gratification experienced by ourselves, and by all who are sincerely devoted to the cause of evangelical light, that this so rare felicity=highly venerated Professor-it has pleased divine Providence to confer upon you.”........“A very large part of the Protestants in Rhenish Bavaria, and amongst them very many of the clergy, who reflect with pride on the privilege they have enjoyed of attending your public instructions, unites with the very numerous body of your admirers, to acknowledge with heartfelt gratitude their sense of your distinguished and meritorious exertions for the extension and advancement of theological science, and of your long combat in the cause of light, of truth, and of justice.”
The many addresses received by Dr. Paulus are given at length in this volume. Some of them are in Latin, some in German. They are all written in the same strain of ardent admiration, and breathe the same spirit of grateful love and reverence towards one who seems to be universally recognized by his countrymen as the Master-mind of his age, as well as the most sincere, the most excellent of men.
Dr. Paulus's answers and warm acknowledgments are touchingly beautiful, from the genuine feeling and simplicity they exhibit. The subjoined sketch of his literary history—dedicated by him to all who took part in his jubilee-will be found full of interest by those who are acquainted with the views and writings of this “ Apostle of Rationalism."