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painful shapes had a soul of humanity; and the poet does not see why she should not have her pleasures accordingly, merely because a phiJosopher saw that she was not a mathematical truth. This is fine and good. It is vindicating the greater philosophy, of poetry. At the same time, we wish that for the purpose of his story he had not appeared to give into the common-place of supposing that Apollonius's sophistry must always prevail, and that modern experiment has done a deadly thing to poetry by discovering the nature of the rainbow, the air, &c.: that is to say, that the knowledge of natural history and physics, hy shewing us the nature of things, does away the imaginations that once adorned them. This is a condescension to a learned vulgarism, which so excellent a poet as Mr. Keats ought not to have made. The world will always have fine poetry, as long as it has events, passions, affections, and a philosophy that sees deeper than this philosophy. There will be a poetry of the heart, as long as there are tears and smiles: there will be a poetry of the imagination, as long as the first causes of things remain a mystery. A man who is no poet, may think he is none, as soon as he finds out the physical cause of the rainbow; but he need not alarm himself:-he was none before. The true poet will go deeper. He will ask himself what is the cause of that physical cause; whether truths to the senses are after all to be taken as truths to the imagination; and whether there is not room and mystery enough in the universe for the creation of infinite things, when the poor matterof-fact philosopher has come to the end of his own vision. It is remarkable that an age of poetry has grown up with the progress of experiment; and that the very poets, who seem to countenance these notions, accompany them by some of their finest effusions. Even if there were nothing new to be created,-if philosophy, with its line and rule, could even score the ground, and say to poetry “ Thou shalt go no further,” she would look back to the old world, and still find it inexhaustible. · The crops from its fertility are endless. But these alarms are altogether idle. The essence of poetical enjoyment does Hot consist in belief, but in a voluntary power to imagine.
The next story, that of the Pot of Basil, is from Boccaccio. After the narrative of that great writer, we must make as short work of it as possible in prose. To turn one of his stories into verse, is another thing. It is like setting it to a more elaborate music. Mr. Keats is so struck with admiration of his author, that even while giving him this accompaniment, he breaks out into an apology to the great Italian, asking pardon for this
-Echo of him in the worth-wind sung. We might waive a repetition of the varrative altogether, as the public have lately been familiarized with it in the Sicilian Story of Mr. Barry Cornwall: but we cannot help calling to mind that the hero and heroine were two young and happy lovers, who kept their love a secret from her rich brothers; that her brothers, getting knowledge of their intercourse, lured him into a solitary place, and murdered him; that Isabella, informed of it by a dreary vision of her lover, found out where he was buried, and with the assistance of her nurse, severed the head from the body that she might cherish even that ghastly memo.
Upon the murderous spot she seem'd to grow,
Like to a native lily of the dell:
Her silk had play'd in purple phantasies,
And put it in her bosom, where it dricy
Those dainties made to still an infant's cries:
Until her heart felt pity to the core
And so she kneeled, with her locks all hoar,
Tliree hours they labour'd at this travail sore;
And Isabella did not stamp and rave.
For Isabel, sweet Isabel, will die;
Asking for her lost Basil amorously;
Of her lorn voice, she oftentimes would ery
To ask him where her Basil was; and wliy
Imploring, for her Basil to the last.
In pity of her love, so overcast.
From mouth to mouth through all the country passid:
“ To steal my Basil-poe away from me!"