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16. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
17. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
18. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
19. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
20. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
21. Who knoweth the power of thine anger ? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
22. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Psalms XXIV. and XC.
FOR PREPARATION.—I. Compare these passages with Psalms CIV., XXIII., XIX. (See LXXXIX., II., CIII.)
II. In-iq'-ui-tiēş, strength, de-çēit'-ful-ly, doorş.
III. The forms thereof, therein, thereto, etc., are not used as much now as they were when the Bible was translated. What other words in this piece characteristic of "solemn style” ?
IV. Destruction, “watch in the night,” withereth.
XXII.-THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.
1. The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars
the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
2. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen ;
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown. 3. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed ;
4. And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf. . 5. And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
6. And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And their idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
FOR PREPARATION.-I. Where was Assyria ? (Ashur= Assyria.)-Galilee? Who were the "widows of Ashur"?-Baal?_The Gentile ? Read 2 Kings xix. 35 for the biblical account of this incident.
II. Hēaved, nos'-tril, bằn'-ners, mor'-row, for'-est, foe.
III. “Idols are broke” (broken); unsmote (un and smote or smitten); strown (and strewn); separate the lines of the 1st stanza into feet, and mark the accented syllables. (See XC., Poetic Reading, iii. and iv.) With what do you begin a sentence or line of poetry, a name of a person or object personified, the name of God, the name of a particular place, or the name given to any special individual animal or thing ?
IV. Cohorts, sheen, “purple and gold” (who wore purple ?).
V. Do you observe anything in the rhythm of the first line that reminds you of the movement of a wild beast as it bounds toward its prey ? What things are contrasted in the 2d stanza ?-in the 4th (nostrils wide, but no breath). Note the order of description: (1st stanza) Glorious onset of Assyrian cavalry. (2) Their Summer becomes Autumn. (3) Sleep turned to death by the angel. (4) The horses. (5) The riders. (6) The mourning; Breaking down of their religion-Baal. The progress of the description is from the vague statement to the vivid picture with all its details, and from the brute to the human ; and finally it ends in the intensely human relations of the family (widows) and religion.
XXIII.-HOW TO RENDER NOBLE IDEAS.
Such ideas as are represented by the words great and good, honorable, heroic, grand, sublime, glorious, magnificent, mighty, royal, kingly, manly, womanly, reverential, holy, heavenly, Godlike, etc., are included in this class.
“QUALITY” and “VOLUME” of voice are essential elements in the finer work of emotional expression.
QUALITY, as here used, refers to the kind of tone, as "pure” or “aspirated.” When all the breath exhaled in making a vowel sound is vocalized, the tone is "pure” in quality. When only a part of the breath thus used is vocalized, the tone is “ aspirated” in quality.
PURE QUALITY, like smooth stress of voice, is pleasing, and therefore naturally expresses what is pleasing in spirit, such as joyous and noble ideas.
ASPIRATED QUALITY, like abrupt stress of voice, is displeasing, and so as naturally expresses what is disagreeable or ignoble in spirit.
VOLUME of voice refers to the fullness or thinness of tone. “FULL VOLUME” naturally magnifies, and “THIN VOLUME” minifies expression. Hence the great use of full volume in expressing noble ideas.
The chief characteristic in the vocal expression of this noble spirit is “full volume” and “long quantity” on the open emphatic vowels, and “smooth," swelling (median) “stress." The "force” varies from “moderate” to “loud," and the "time" from "moderate” to “slow.” The “slide” is “long," as in the utterance of earnest ideas, and the quality "pure.”
“And had he not high honor ?
The hill-side for his pall;
With stars for tapers tall ;
Over his bier to wave;
(From “ The Burial of Moses," by Mrs. Alexander.)
Analysis.—Keep in mind that the poet is describing the burial of “Moses," and that whatever is common to all burials of the great cannot be characteristic of this special burial, and so cannot be emphatic; while the points of difference between this and other great burials do give it a distinct individuality, and therefore are emphatic.
“ And had he not high honor ?” “ High, as something greater than the customary honors, is a distinctive, emphatic idea. The writer does not ask in doubt, but in confident assurance of the fact; this is, therefore, a positive appeal, and should be read with the falling slide.
To have [something] “for his pall”; “to lie in state while [mortals] wait;” “ with tapers tall;” and “like tossing plumes over his bier to wave;” “and [some kind] hand, in that lonely land, to lay him in the grave;"
—these are all common ideas, which do not distinguish this burial of Moses from the burials of other great men, and so are not emphatic.
But the “ HILL'-SIDE for his pall,” in place of the ordinary covering, while “ ANGELS'”—(not mortals)— wait, with “STARS'” for tapers, and “dark rock-pines” for tossing plumes, and “God's' own hand”—these are the great distinctive ideas which characterize this particular burial and distinguish it from all others, and are therefore most emphatic.
“ This was the noblest Roman of them all.
All the conspirators, save only he',
And say to all the world, This was a MAN'!'" (From "Julius Cæsar," “ Mark Antony on the Death of Brutus," by Shakespeare.)
Directions.—Read the first example according to the analysis, and give any reasons you can for the marking in the second example. Observe the use of “gentle” in its old English sense of noble; as in “Henry V.," speaking of any soldier who should fight in the battle of Agincourt:
“ Be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition”. that is, ennoble—make a gentleman of him. Why is “ man" so emphatic ?