Page:A Voice from the Nile, and Other Poems. (Thomson, Dobell).djvu/18

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JAMES THOMSON.


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"You would have kept me from the Desert sands
    Bestrewn with bleaching bones,
 And led me through the friendly fertile lands,
    And changed my weary moans
 To hymns of triumph and enraptured love,
 And made our earth as rich as Heaven above."

A Poem, a Drama, or a Novel, the perusal of which has moved our admiration, or affected our feelings, can hardly fail to make us desire to know something of its creator. We feel that the powers developed by the author must correspond with the faculties inherent in the man, and that the man must be at least as interesting as his work. It is not by insignificant or commonplace natures that works of enduring merit can be produced. Only by virtue of possessing unusual depth of feeling, intensity of aspiration, or wealth of intellect, does an author produce a masterpiece; and his success is always in direct proportion to the fineness and richness of his own personality. Sometimes, indeed, the character of an author will impart a factitious importance to his works. How dim and shadowy a figure would Dr. Johnson now appear, had his reputation depended solely upon his writings!