Imagens das páginas


As in the present performance the Supreme Being is at one time made mention of, and Jupiter at another, it may possibly happen that the scrupulous, yet well-meaning critic, will take alarm, and exclaim against that which he will consider as a mixture of Paganism and Christianity, a blending of false religion and true. But on this I must be allowed to observe, that such objection would be by no means valid, as the Pagan Deities (so denominated) are regarded typically, even by the ancients themselves; and that, in composition, the influence said to belong to each is merely intended to signify, and according to the ordinary language of poetry, the attributes of the Godhead. This censure, as to what is called the intermingling of Christianity and Heathenism, which, by the way, has very injudiciously been passed on some of our most esteemed authors, and which has arisen with persons who have not sufficiently reflected on the causes that have led to it, I think right to invalidate. A more beautiful system than that of the Greek mythology could not be invented for the use of the poet. To suppose that it must necessarily include the worship of idols, is truly absurd; yet such is commonly the idea annexed to it.

However, and to remove all objection in this matter, we may fairly conclude, that the imaginary Deities are nothing more than the several powers of Nature personified. The fancied being which thus is given to Nature's operations, in the character of immortal agents, is that which constitutes the great beauty of the ancient machinery, and which, as I before remarked, it is not very easy to equal in

See the Preface to Bacon "On the Wisdom of the Ancients."

any other allegorical scheme which might be devised, and certainly impossible to surpass.

In this production, some few lines will be found which were formerly printed with proposals for a dramatic poem intitled LAVINIA, and by way of specimen of the work: a work, however, which I never had an opportunity of giving to the world. As the lines in question (about fifty in number) were better suited to my present purpose; they are accordingly made use of: a circumstance I thought adviseable to mention, lest any person should perchance have recollected them, and thence have charged me (as they appeared anonymously) with printing verses which were not my own.




ZEPHON, and attendant Spirits.





Captain of the Guard belonging to Dionysius of




A Masque.

SCENE I. The Confine of a Wood.
The GOOD GENIUS enters.

IN that bright region of the middle air,
Abode of chosen beings who partake
Of the celestial nature-Genii call'd→
My proper station is: for of the order
Of these, the lesser deities, I am :
And veritable it is, though men think fabled,
That unto each of the whole human race
Two dæmons are assign'd, of equal power,

The one to virtue, the other to vice inciting them;
(True legitime progeny they of Heaven and Hell,)
Who, from the first breath to the last, attendant
Are ever found, or by their agency influencing.
Now I on earth, with human form invested,
Am come as man's Good Genius, friendship's name
And office bearing, while I mark the path
That to the consecrated temple leads

Of honor, truth, and justice.-Glorious goal!
A goal which whoso attains at once perceives
A more than mortal animation warm


Rej. Th.

No. IV.

2 L


His full-swoln, throbbing bosom. Native dignity,
A perfect sense of the high rank he holds

In vast creation's round, still more ennobled

By his own virtuous deeds, awakes such consciousness,
That worldly limitations seem to him

But made for worldly men. Through all the barriers,
By these set up, his ardent soul would break;
Fain would it soar, fain reach the ethereal space,
Or higher empyreum, where the Hierarchy,
The host of Angels, met in holy synod,
And deep revolving on eternal mind,
Prepare to execute the sov'reign will.-
Yes, to that place his eager eye is turn'd,
That blissful place, where man's belighted spirit,
All clear, all comprehensive-once so bounded!
And with still purer essences communing,
Loses in love divine all sensual pleasures.
For this he panted whom 'twas mine to lead
Through the drear mazes of this nether world.
(And now, supremely blest, on seraph wing
He gains the glorious mansion of the skies;
Meet recompense for goodness next to Heaven's.)
Yet even on earth his joys were all sublime,
For those of mind alone he knew to cherish.
By me embolden'd, too, he calmly travers'd
The vasty desart, haunt of savage men—
A new Alcides, emulous of good-
Nor fear'd more potent, nor more subtle foe,
Clos'd in his coat of steel, the gift of Truth!
In vain the Evil Genius spread his wiles,
His glittering baits, to draw him to the springe:
Onward he mov'd contemptuous; for the arts
Of vice he saw, though gloss'd with virtue's seeming.
Him, and all such superior genii honor.

But oh! sad case, when he who thwarts me ever,

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