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OLY THOUGHTS clothed in

beauteous words form the essence of all true Poetry.

It must, however, be admitted that two qualifications are essentially necessary for a right understanding of this, viz. fpirituality of mind, and a due cultivation of the intellectual powers. Cowper has well observed respecting him who confessedly ranks supreme in the realm of song—far above all Poets, ancient and modern, save the inspired singer of Israel, – that “none but Christians can fully enter into the beauties of Milton." Of Milton's poetry we must confess

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that it would require an intellect of similar capacity adequately to comprehend it, and a tongue like his own suitably to speak the praise. The effect of a proper reception of the breathings of this master mind is to invigorate the understanding, purify the affections, uplift the heart, and lead the mind a willing captive, skyward, homeward, and to God. Ever will it endure, as a noble effort of intellectual power of the highest order, fanctified by sorrow, to put to shame those who pervert the noblest gift of Heaven to low and sensual abuse. Ever will it remain a triumphant memorial, as it has been somewhere remarked that “the lamp of genius shines with the brightest lustre when it is fed with the purest oil.”

With regard to that portion of the Lyra Sacra, entitled Hymns, Ancient and Modern, the Editor wishes it to be understood that the term Ancient is used with some latitude, including Authors from times previous to the Christian era down to the beginning of the last century; his object being to combine some of Zion's Songs, wherewith the faithful of Christ's Holy Catholic Church were wont in ancient days to fing the praises of “ Christ our King," with the choicest specimens of Hymns, which the compositions of modern times afford.

As all Ancient Hymns must necessarily be translations, the Editor desires to acknowledge

that he is chiefly indebted to “the Rev. J. Neale” and to “Catherine Winkworth," for their admirable rendering of the Mediaeval and German Hymns respectively, which are introduced into this work. In the following collection of Hymns, Odes, and Fragments of Sacred Poetry, the Editor indulges himself in the hope that there will be found other Poems, some of which have never before been seen in print, which are not unworthy of appearing in such sacred companionship as that of the seraphic Milton. And if it be lawful to make a selection, where all by their names may be considered more or less worthy of approval, he would specify in particular the opening Hymn in the Lyra Sacra, composed more than four centuries before the Christian era by Eupolis, one of “ Great Socrates”” pupils, so remarkable as being the production of one who enjoyed not the advantage of a Revelation from on High, though evidently of that class of heathen fo forcibly described by the Apostle, as

seeking the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him though he be not far from every one of us; ” that thrilling Hymn of Medieval times, by Peter Damian, on “ The Last Day," so awfully descriptive of the Judgment to come; the noble Morning Hymn before Sunrise, by Coleridge ; the magnificent Hymn in,


praise of God, by Derzhazen, a Russian poet of

mean celebrity ; a translation of the 148th Pfalm, by Ogilvie, said to have been composed when only fixteen, and very fuperior to those versions of the Psalms which are sung in our Churches ; and last but not least, a most remarkable Ode on “The Burial of Mofes,” by the wife of an Irish clergyman, though published, as it appears in this collection, under initial letters, which, for the beauty of its composition, is equal, while, for the loftiness of its subject, it is necefsarily superior, to the well-known and deservedly admired Ode on « The death of Sir John Moore,” which has been read and approved by all lovers of true Poetry wherever the English tongue is known.

As it will be seen in the present collection that there are

a few other Odes, besides the one alluded to above, which cannot be said to belong to what is usually termed “ Sacred Poetry,” the Editor wishes to avow that his constant aim and endeavour has been to introduce nothing but what may tend to raise the heart from Nature up to Nature's God. This blessed tendency is specially manifest in the works of such gentle spirits as those of our own George Herbert and Reginald Heber, whose second and therefore better nature seems unconsciously to reflect in their writings that chief characteristic of Deity, which is

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