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The Philosophy of Love. [A Plea in Defence of Virtue and Truth!] A Poem in Six Cantos, with Other Poems

The Picture of a Poet

page 174“Philosophy of Love”: Page 174.

The Picture of a Poet.

Poetry; Love; Religion; Music and SongHis head is crown’d with a halo of love,
Smiling in holiness, strong in faith;
The light in his eyes is calm, and sweet:
He roams from the earth to the realms above,
To seek for the glory of love, he saith;
And rests his song at God’s own feet!

W. J. Milligan.

Oh! what a curious mortal is a Poet!
No matter though the world around may know it
As all his ways, his words and deeds will show it,
Betok’ning what’s within,
Implied or known:
Poetry; Joy; SadnessHe puts himself in ev’ry body’s skin,
And with glad rapture sings their joys,
Or, mournfully their sorrows sighs,
As such were all his own!

Poetry; NatureEv’n bestial tribes, in Nature’s family,
Will in him find, (like some anomaly)
A good interpreter, who can apply
His powers of good address,
Or other mood
In their behalf, their feelings to express,
As sense of joy, or vexing cares;
Propounding views of man’s affairs,
As such they understood!

page 175“Philosophy of Love”: Page 175.

Poetry; Perception; Religion; Society; MoralityBut who can blind the poet’s marking eye?
To him, ’tis of an order, as t’ imply
His Maker’s special grace; in which descry
He must, a certain duty
To be perform’d.
So, ever is his soul in quest of beauty;
No matter, if on Nature’s face,
Or human works he such can trace,
Such make him feel as charm’d!

So that his bosom’s made to beat with joy
Nor can he other than his powers employ
To teach, the blinded, how they might descry
God’s goodness to the world,
And render praise:
That all around may gladly have unfurl’d
The banner of sweet brotherhood;
Averting ills, enhancing good,
Man’s nature prone to raise!

Thus, Poetrybeauty is the idea of his mind,
Which, fain with outward things he ’d match, and find
There comfort when aggrievd, although resign’d
To bear such ills, averse
To beauty’s rule;
Poetry; Joy; ReligionThings lovely makes him still rehearse
In song his feelings, and rejoice,
As hearing Heaven’s cheering voice,
Which would no heart befool!

page 176“Philosophy of Love”: Page 176.

Poetry; PerceptionWhen ruling falsehoods, ’mong his fellow-men,
Obtrude upon his observation, then
He feels impell’d to bring such to their ken
Who witless such may own,
As Nature’s woe!—
Poetry; JoyBut Truth as beauty’s duplicate, when shewn;
Will make his heart with pleasures high
Beat gladly— fell an ecstacy,
Which no one else can know!

Poetry; FriendshipHow much it pains his friendship-loving mind,
When deeds occur of an unseemly kind,
In friends esteem’d. What pleasure can he find
In any disposition,
He can’t admire,
When cropping out, where he had no suspicion
Such could exist?— It grieves the Muse,
To think, on old friends she must use
Her chastisement,—Satyre!

Poetry; SufferingBeauty and Truth are his trine sisters fair,
As with him born, to glad his heart when care
Assails him, as he through the world must fare,
Encountering trials sad,
Much to appal:—
When all resources, outward, fail to glad
His aching heart;—these, in a trice,
Come forward with their inly joys
To make him sing withal!

page 177“Philosophy of Love”: Page 177.

Poetry; ReligionThough ’mid the stern realities of life
He is obliged to move, and in their strife
Be actively engaged; though troubles rife
Involve him ’mid their cares;
Yet even then,
Another life he leads, which still declares,
He is not wholly of this world;
While proving oft like Heaven’s herald
Among his fellow-men!

Poetry; Nature; ReligionHis nature chiefly is composed of love;
Though his the shrinking meekness of a dove;
Yet fervent are—as kindled from above—
Th’ emotions of his soul;
While Nature round
Would stir his latent raptures, which control
His actions chief; oft void of care,
The world would draw him in some snare,
As many would surround!

Love; Joy; SufferingLove?—Yes, its raptures greatly swell his heart,
Yea, ev’ry thing of Beauty’s counterpart,
Can there a sweet response obtain, as part
And parcel of his being;
It is his joy,
To feel its impulse, him from sorrows freeing,
Which th’ world inflicts; oft to surprise,
Sweet inly music will arise
Griefs painful to destroy!

page 178“Philosophy of Love”: Page 178.

Poetry; JoyHow sad indeed, when his susceptive mind
Must aught endure, averse to beauty’s kind,
As, some deformity of soul to find,
Where joy he would expect;
Thus forced to roam
As urged by social ties in disrespect.
When seeking with regardless aim
That sympathy he craves, whose name
He finds ignored at home!

As be must love, ’tis hard to be reserve
To what is loveable, or may deserve
His best esteem, affections to conserve
From all corruptions sore,
That might affect
Life’s comforts, so must he, in truth, deplore
Hypocrisy descried in those,
Where he, confiding, would repose
His personal respect!

Poetry; Nation; LibertyIn patriotic virtues he ’ll excell:
He tunes his lyre his country’s praise to tell,
Or of heroic deeds his numbers swell,
T’ exalt each hero’s fame:
Nay, even he
Will forward stand, defensive, in her name—
In all which may affect her cause,
Her priv’liges, or freedom’s laws
Resisting knavery!

page 179“Philosophy of Love”: Page 179.

Poetry; MoralitySuch are but a few features of the Poet.
That’s worth the name; and all traditions shew it;
Whatever be his history, all may know it,
He’s not of common lot.
Though human born:
Yet be it not in any wise forgot,
He has his whims, and frailties too;
Feels hard some passions to subdue,
And sometimes feels forlorn!

Whate’er may the true poet’s lot betide,
His aspirations are on virtue’s side:
Although through strong temptations he may slide
Aback, yet ’tis his grief;
With pious care
Himself recovering, ’tis his heart’s relief;
So, by experience grave, thus taught,
His precepts are with wisdom fraught,
While crying out “Beware!”

Who would not mourn his lot, who is the heir
Of cross misfortunes—prey of dark despair;
With harp unstrung, as if he had no share
Of sympathy;—distress’d
By fate’s cold breath;
Then, who can tell the feelings of his breast,
Which, pent up, can no outlet find?—
He, world-abhorrent, grieved in mind,
Would crave the aid of Death!

page 180“Philosophy of Love”: Page 180.

One reason why we seldom find him rich,
He has a gen’rous temp’rament, not much
Inclin’d to low suspicion; or like such,
That makes the worldling wise,
With jealous care:
He, oft imposed on in his charities,
With poverty must oft contend,
As fails he worldly ears to lend,
When Prudence cries—“Forbear!”

Poetry; Work; ProsperityNo idleness is his: oft double toil
His industry engages; though the while
Bland Fortune may not on his efforts smile,
To make him independent;
His labours shew it,
As urged by implied duty as th’attendant
On his career; so wilt thou find
His works declare a lib’ral mind,
No sluggard is a Poet!