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When the wind god frowns in the murky skies,
8. Then, far below, in the peaceful sea,
The purple mullet and goldfish rove,
Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.
James G. Percival.
FOR PREPARATION.-I. The manners and habits of the coral insect (or polyp rather; it is not an insect): Does it build its "groves" in the frigid zone? (It is incorrect to say "build," for it merely leaves its skeleton when it dies, and this skeleton is the "coral formation.") What temperature must the water be for the coral insect to flourish? What is the mullet ?dulse? (reddish seaweed, sometimes used for food.) Have you seen the "fan coral"?
II. €ŏr'-al, boughş (bouz), pearl (pērl), slạugh'-ter (slaw'-), wräth'-ful (räth'), change'-ful (why not changful?), peace'-ful (why not peacful ?), trăn-quil-ly (trănkwil-) (n=ng).
III. Correct: "I seen the animal who done it"; "The lady which gave me my dinner has did me a kindness"; "He warn't there"; "You won't do it." IV. Spangle, lea, myriad, murky, brine, "pearl shells," sea flower,"
"bowers of stone."
V. "Flinty snow" (the deposit of flint sand on the bottom of the ocean, resembling snow). "Scarlet tufts of ocean" (tuft head of flowers). How deep down (5) do the largest waves affect the ocean? (A wave twenty feet high, according to theory, should produce slight effects two hundred feet deep.) "Wind god" (6) (Æolus). Note the return to the lines, "The purple mullet,” etc. (7), near the end, and the last line brings us back to "coral grove," the ending of the first. Repetition of the same, or of the like, is the principle of poetic form. Repetition of time and accent and their combinations = rhythm, meter, and stanzas; repetition of sound = rhyme; repetition of a phrase or line: refrain; repetition of sense is the Hebraic rhythm. (See CIII., note.) What is the tone of this piece-gay, or solemn? Is there anything human about it? or is it only inanimate matter-vegetable and brute life, and that, too, a low order of brute lifethat is spoken of? Is not the beauty described by the poet as existing in the deep sea, and the peace and tranquillity there, a very melancholy affair, without human beings, or even their semblance in the form of mermaids or sea nymphs?
CIII THE GLORY OF GOD.
1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4. Their line is, gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
FOR PREPARATION.-I. The words in italics in this piece are printed as they are in King James's version of the Bible, and were supplied by the translators to make the sense complete.
II. Hǎnd'-y-work = handiwork, knowl'-edge (nōl'ej), çîr'-euit (-kit).
III. The prefix dis (di) denotes movement asunder or apart; mis, moral divergence, error, or defect. Make a list of words with these prefixes. Mult (or multi) means many; semi, demi, mean half of, or in part; bi (and bis), twice. Form a list of words having these prefixes.
IV. Declare, uttereth, line, tabernacle, converting, testimony, statutes, enduring, desired, warned, reward, errors, presumptuous, dominion, transgression, meditation, acceptable, redeemer.
V. "The fear of the Lord is clean" (free from corrupt ceremonies). Note the rhythm of Hebrew poetry. It has no rhyme, nor rhythm of syllabic feet, like European poetry. The poetic form consists in the rhythm of thoughts, or a parallelism of stanzas, which produces symmetry, and answers in the place of the rhythmical beat which we enjoy in our poetry. Tautology (repetition of the same word, or of the same idea in different words) and synonyms are frequently used to produce this species of internal rhythm. The English translation of the Bible accordingly presents the poetic aroma of the Hebrew poetry better than the versification of Addison (see II.) or Watts. Note the parallelism which constitutes the rhythm: (1.) Synonyms: heavens-firmament. (2.) Tautology: glory of God-his handiwork; day unto day-night unto night. (3.) Correspondence of expression and thing expressed: uttereth-sheweth; speech-knowledge. Apply this rhythmical analysis to the remaining verses of this psalm. (See CII., note, and CXLV., note. Later English poetry, and also German poetry, has caught the spirit of this rhythm of sense from the Bible, and betrays
its influence in the use of parallelisms, of tautology, synonyms, and correspondence, especially in compositions of a stately and elevated character. See Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington, CXLIV.; also CXXIV., CXXX., CXIX., CXV., and even in the prose piece of Tyndall, C., and Bunyan's writings, LXX., LXI., LXII.)
CIV. THE HAPPY VALLEY.
1. The place which the wisdom or policy of antiquity had destined for the residence of the Abyssinian princes was a spacious valley in the kingdom of Amhara, surrounded on every side by mountains, of which the summits overhang the middle part. The only passage by which it could be entered was a cavern that passed under a rock, of which it has been long disputed whether it was the work of Nature or of human industry.
2. The outlet of the cavern was concealed by a thick wood, and the mouth, which opened into the valley, was closed with gates of iron forged by the artificers of ancient days, so massy that no man could, without the help of engines, open or shut them.
3. From the mountains, on every side, rivulets descended, that filled all the valley with verdure and fertility, and formed a lake in the middle, inhabited by fish of every species, and frequented by every fowl which Nature has taught to dip the wing in water. This lake discharged its superfluities by a stream, which entered a dark cleft of the mountain on the northern side, and fell, with dreadful noise, from precipice to precipice, till it was heard no more.
4. The sides of the mountains were covered with trees.
The banks of the brooks were diversified with
flowers. Every blast shook spices from the rocks, and every month dropped fruits upon the ground. All animals that bite the grass or browse the shrub, whether wild or tame, wandered in this extensive circuit, secured from beasts of prey by the mountains which confined them.
5. On one part were flocks and herds feeding in the pastures; on another, all the beasts of chase frisking in the lawns; the sprightly kid was bounding on the rocks, the subtle monkey frolicking in the trees, and the solemn elephant reposing in the shade. All the diversities of the world were brought together; the blessings of nature were collected, and its evils extracted and excluded.
6. The valley, wide and fruitful, supplied its inhabitants with the necessaries of life; and all delights and superfluities were added at the annual visit which the Emperor paid his children, when the iron gate was opened to the sound of music, and during eight days every one that resided in the valley was required to propose whatever might contribute to make seclusion pleasant, to fill up the vacancies of attention, and lessen the tediousness of the time.
7. Every desire was immediately granted. All the artificers of pleasure were called to gladden the festivity; the musicians exerted the power of harmony, and the dancers showed their activity before the princes, in hope that they should pass their lives in this blissful captivity, to which those only were admitted whose performance was thought capable of adding novelty to luxury.
8. Such was the appearance of security and delight which this retirement afforded, that they to whom it was new always desired that it might be perpetual; and as