Open main menu

Page:Samuel Johnson (1911).djvu/199

This page needs to be proofread.




No, all is hush'd and still as death. "Pis dreadful ! How reverend is the face of this tall pile, Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads, To bear aloft its arch'd and pond'rous roof, By its own weight made steadfast and immoveable, Looking tranquillity ! it strikes an awe And terror on my aching sight ; the tombs And monumental caves of death look cold, And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart. Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice, Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear Thy voice my own affrights me with its echoes.

He who reads these lines enjoys for a moment the powers of a poet ; he feels what he remembers to have felt before ; but he feels it with great increase of sensibility ; he recog- nizes a familiar image, but meets it again amplified and expanded, embellished with beauty and enlarged with majesty.


THAT affluence and power, advantages ex- trinsic and adventitious, and therefore easily separable from those by whom they are pos- sessed, should very often flatter the mind with expectations of felicity which they cannot give, raises no astonishment; but it seems

�� �