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The Philosophy of Love. [A Plea in Defence of Virtue and Truth!] A Poem in Six Cantos, with Other Poems

A Brief Analysis of the Poem

page break“Philosophy of Love”: Page ix.

A Brief Analysis of the Poem.

Canto First.

The Theme proposed. Invocation. Origin of Love. Its influence in Heaven. The endless theme of praise. Love’s great contrasts in Heaven. Its lesser powers in creation. Its great influence on man. The grand relationship. The soul of man composed largely of love, as proof of divine authorship. The bond of union between man and his Maker. Man’s request. His happiness yet incomplete. Pleasant work. The first meeting. Adam’s ecstatic expression of his joy. Eve’s happy reply. Nature’s joy at the first marriage feast!

Canto Second .

The test of the affections. Ruling principles in man’s uature. What is Love? A special invocation. An answer advanced.—Love’s beauty often marred. True love’s pleasures unsurpassable. True, and false love, distinguished, and contrasted. Counterfeits detected. Deception’s vileness reprimanded. Sympathy for the unfortunate. JESU’s grand example. The joys of reciprocated affections. An exemplification in the magnate. Clarinda, and her trials. When the value of blessings are known. Adversity. An exemplification in the electric fluid; such, as affecting man; the same, as affecting women. A summing up for the verdict!

page X“Philosophy of Love”: Page x.

Canto Third.

True love’s pleasures, even amidst trilas. Affections under restraint. An unacountable difficulty overcome. Imprudence punished; a conrast. A pleasant view, and forboding change. Hopes and disappointments. Hector’s return from India; his fortunes and misfortunnes; sorrows and unforseen joys. Lovely Hariot’s story, her sickness and blindness; her Arthur’s return; a scene which angels might admire! The unconquerable nature of true-love, as seen in the story of Emma and Laura. Love in a death-bed scene; sad reverses; a loving resignation.

Canto Fourth.

An incalculable blessing. Love in truth, and that in romance contrasted. Amelia’s courtship, nuptials decided on; an unpleasant discovery of her Henry’s secret fault; a cutting reproof; her lover’s flight; reactions; both sides of the question examined; her employment and faithfulness; the old lover with a new heart returned. Another illustration of true love’s wisdom, in the story of Matilda and the favoured ploughman; the first ten minute’s interview, and her estate saved from ruin; her prudence greatly admired. A contrasting pourtrait of love in romance. Helen the family pet; her education, and parental expectations; her pride, and self-will; her choice; the favoured one’s attainments Remonstrances. The elopement. Fancy reversed, and unhappy results!

page XI“Philosophy of Love”: Page xi.

Canto Fifth.

Time personified. His first employment. Fresh additions to his commission. His budget of dispensations. Man’s duty in regard to such he receives. Love the greatest blessing on earth, and the source of all others. Youth expectanat. Fanciful passion, and reason, antagonistic. The spell dissolved. Reactions. Illustrations offer’d. The miseries attending domestic divisions. Contrasted advantages arising from domestic unanimity. Woman’s influences. Malcolm’s happy lot; his wife’s prudence; her second courtship, which wins him from evil habits; his first attempt at family worship, and happy result. Reflection on the lives of an aged couple. The influence of true love, though in the minority, upon the world at large, with contrary consequence without it. Moral reflections on true love’s influences.

Canto Sixth .

Man’s responsibility in the management of his affections. Reasons why affections are misplaced. Our several duties in our appointed lots considered. The crossed in love. How to solve a hard problem. Examples drawn from life. Strange extremes Jealousy, and its twofold nature. The story of Lorenza’s trials. Grand results arising from disappointments. The rejected gift. Self-revenge repremanded. Woman’s influences. A thoughtless game discovered. Dissappointments reversed. Safety valves for vexed feelings. A look over the lottery of life. New inventions page XII“Philosophy of Love”: Page xii. required for the benefit of mankind. Good dispensations held at discount. The reason why, True Love’s cultivation. The results of neglects in love-culture. True life and its reverse. A blank in the affections. Sympathy for the lone deserving. The pernicious nature of diseased affections. Their activity in healthful state. The Poet’s safety valve. Employments for the affections. Life’s first request. The use of bestial pets. An apostrophe to the unengaged. Conclusion.