Excerpt from Musings of a Bachelor, or the Farmer Poet
The divine, historian, jurist, and philosopher have no higher sanction for their work. Indeed, it is generally con ceded by cultivated people that among mere human employ ments the very highest and rarest is this divine g... ift of song. The wise old Roman sang in the dead past, Oraz'o'rfil, poeta which, being intepreted,-reads, The ora tor is made, the poet, born. It was then Ho'race's belief that the great declaimers are the handiwork of teachers; but on the other hand the poet's inspiration must be the gift of God. The school, together with diligent application, can take the boy of good mental grasp and make almost anything of him it may be desired, except in this enchanted land of fantasy. It is locked fast against the approach of all intruders whb lack nature's original beauty. Then, too, this gift is like angel visits. Very few men and women in the world's history have had their lips touched by live coals from the altar of Parnassus. If this be true, then what right has a man who feels the throes of soul which prompt him to their expression in verse to refuse compliance? What if he fail to awake to ecstasy the living lyre? He can yet, if he loves truth and beauty, lift a voice in their com mendation that may prove of lasting benefit. Who can estimate the joy and profit of the myriads who have min gled their smiles and tears as they have read and sung the simple and deathless hymns of Dr. Isaac Watts?
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