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be the right one. His poetry, to use his own language in the preface of one of his books, is very far from bearing “the marks of the file and burnisher.” It is, as he further says he likes to see poetry, “ in the full ebullition of feeling and fancy, foaming up with the spirit of life, and glowing with the rainbows of a glad inspiration.” This characteristic of poetry, it may be observed, however, is attended with its disadvantages, as well as its felicities. The neglect of “ the file and burnisher,” cannot be excused on the plea which the poet has set forth: for poetry ought, if possible, to be a perfect thing in letter and expression, as well as in spirit, for the sake of the memory, and the feelings also.

A considerable proportion of Dr Percival's poetry deals in the description of the visible world and the beauties of nature, or in the impressions which these objects make on his own mind: but this is done in no commonplace manner.

His delineations are in general, very happy and original, and his colors are fresh and glowing. We meet occasionally in our author with bursts of strong and genuine passion; and sometimes the softer and gentler tones of sentiment breathe in his numbers; there is also often an attempt to affect the heart by the splendor of diction merely. We could point out many overwrought representations of humarr feelings and conductdelineations much beyond life and nature, and bordering on the fictitious and extravagant. We believe nevertheless that these aberrations of taste are mostly to be attributed to the ardor of youth.

With a few readers, it is doubtless an excellence of some of Dr Percival's poetry, that it details and embodies so fully his own feelings and character: and yet these are so peculiar, and partake so largely of idiosyncrasy, that with a greater number of readers, this feature of his poetry will not be deemed an excellence. Many minds probably cannot entirely sympathise with him, in this portion of his productions. We refer to those numerous pieces, the sentiments of which are those of solitude and soliloquy—of lofty musing, and impassioned sensibility. So far, our author's compositions

are designed for a particular class, and for a chosen few, and not for that great world which requires the multiplication of books for its entertainment or instruction. But the whole of his effusions are not embraced in these remarks, since there are among them, those, which, touching the more common, yet refined, feelings of the human heart, have made their way through the bosoms of his countrymen, and are destined to descend to posterity.

The volume of Dr Percival's selected poetry consists of some 80 or 100 poems of various lengths and descriptions, from the philosophical and discursive Prometheus, to the lightest sonnets and erotics. Besides these he has since published many poems in the United States Literary Gazette, and other periodicals, which have been duly noticed in the public prints, and are highly esteemed by his countrymen; and also a poem of some length delivered by him before the Phi Beta Kappa society of Yale College at New Haven. This last has been elaborately reviewed in the North American Review. We cannot better close this notice than by subjoining some very just remarks extracted from that article. It exbibits freely and forcibly the faults of the poet, but none can better bear such an exhibition than a man of true genius.

“ We think that there is an excessive diffuseness in the style of Mr Percival. It is not sufficiently compact. It wants pith and joint ; it lacks the energy, which conciseness imparts. Everything is drawn out as far as possible, always flowing and sweet, and therefore sometimes languid and monotonous. His poetry is too much diluted. It consists too much in words, which are music to the ear, but too often send a feeble echo of the sense to the mind. There is also a superabundance of images in proportion to the thoughts; they skip about the magical scene in such numbers, that they stand in the way of one another and of the main design. He is too careless in selection; whatever occurs to him he puts down and lets it remain. He is not master of

• That last, the greatest art,--the art to blot.'

Writing, as he evidently does, from the fulness of an excited mind, upon the impulse of the moment; his thoughts crowd one another, and cannot always fall at once into their places and in the happiest expression. There will be confusion sometimes in their ranks, and want of due proportion. This can only be remedied by the free use of the pruning knifecutting down sentences, changing epithets, rejecting superfluities, expelling parentheses, and various other mechanical operations, to which a less gifted but more patient author would resort. By the neglect of this, he does the greatest injustice to his own powers. Everything wears an extemporaneous and unfinished appearance. Strength and weakness are most strangely combined, and passages of surpassing elegance and magnificence crowded in amongst slovenly and incomplete. Hence it is rare to meet with a paragraph of any length equally sustained throughout. Flaws show themselves in the most brilliant, and the reader is compelled to stop with a criticism in the midst of his admiration. Instead of giving us, like other poets, the finished work, he gives us the first rough draft; as if Phidias should have ceased laboring on his statues as soon as the marble assumed a human semblance. It is the last touches, which create perfection. It is in them that immortality lies. It is they that remove the last corruptible particles, and leave the mass indestructible. Without them, Virgil, Pope, and Milton, would have gone down to forgetfulness, and Demosthenes and Bossuet have been remembered only by tradition. But Dr Percival, through impatience of labor or some false notions, declines the necessary toil, and takes his chance of immortality in company with imperfection.

For this reason, his powers are displayed to greater advantage in particular passages and short pieces, than in any extended composition. At a single heat he may strike out a fine conception, and give it the happiest shape. But when his thoughts and pen run on through successive parts of a subject, he easily loses himself in a wilderness of words, beauti

ful and musical, bút conveying indistinct impressions, or rather conveying impressions instead of ideas; reminding us of poetry read while we are falling asleep, sweet and soothing, but presenting very shadowy images. Yet no man has more felicity in expression, or more thoroughly delights and fascinates in his peculiar passages. He has a superior delicacy and richness of imagery, together with an extraordinary affluence of language, of which he can well afford to be, as he is, lavish. It is probably a consciousness of this opulence, which betrays him so often into verbiage. He throws away images and words with a profusion which astonishes more economical men, and which would impoverish almost any one else. He may possibly afford it, yet a discreet frugality of expenditure would be far more wise ; as a simple, chastened elegance is far preferable to a wasteful display, which exhibits its whole wardrobe and furniture without selection or arrangement.

NIGHT WATCHING.

She sat beside her lover, and her hand
Rested upon his clay-cold forehead. Death
Was calmly stealing o'er him, and his life
Went out by silent flickerings, when his eye
Woke up from its dim lethargy, and cast
Bright looks of fondness on her. He was weak,
Too weak to utter all his heart. His eye
Was now his only language, and it spake
How much he felt her kindness, and the love
That sat, when all had fled, beside him. Night
Was far upon its watches, and the voice
Of nature had no sound. The pure blue sky
Was fair and lovely, and the many stars
Look'd down in tranquil beauty on an earth
That smiled in sweetest summer. She look'd out
Through the raised window, and the sheeted bay
Lay in a quiet sleep below, and shone
With the pale beam of midnight-air was still,
And the white sail, that o'er the distant stream
Moyed with so slow a pace, it seem'd at rest,

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VOL. III.

Fix'd in the glassy water, and with care
Shunn'd the dark den of pestilence, and stole
Fearfully from the tainted gale that breathed
Softly along the crisping wave—that sail
Hung loosely on its yard, and as it flapp'd,
Caught moving undulations from the light,
That silently came down, and gave the hills,
And spires, and walls, and roofs, a tint so pale,
Death seem'd on all the landscape—but so still,
Who would have thought that anything but peace
And beauty had a dwelling there ! The world
Had gone, and life was not within those walls,
Only a few, who linger'd faintly on,
Waiting the moment of departure; or
Sattending at their pillows, with a love
So strong it master'd fear--and they were few,
And she was one—and in a lonely house,
Far from all sight and sound of living thing,
She watched the couch of him she loved, and drew
Contagion from the lips that were to her
Still beautiful as roses, though so pale
They seem'd like a thin snow-curl. All was still,
And even so deeply hush'd, the low, faint breath
That trembling gasp'd away, came through the night
As a loud sound of awe. She pass'd her hand
Over those quivering lips, that ever grew
Paler and colder, as the only sign
To tell her life still linger'd—it went out!
And her heart sank within her, when the last
Weak sigh of life was over, and the room
Seem'd like a vaulted sepulchre, so lone
She dared not look around: and the light wind,
That play’d among the leaves and flowers that grew
Still freshly at her window, and waved back
The curtain with a rustling sound, to her,
In her intense abstraction, seem'd the voice
Of a departed spirit. Then she heard,
At least in fancy heard, a whisper breathe
Close at her ear, and tell her all was done,
And her fond loves were ended. She had watch'd
Until her love grew manly, and she check'd
The tears that came to flow, and nerved her heart
To the last solemn duty. With a hand
That trembled not, she closed the fallen lid,
And press’d the lips, and gave them one long kiss

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