Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/188

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Detdiar sidj as efterluket wurden.


when, to use your own language, you were but a hollow
shell, and yet that, after such a confession, you should
be satisfied to entertain longer such shallow views
which are, as you say; truly nothing more than mere
thoughtlessness ; that I can not understand. I fear
that God will some day lay a still heavier hand upon
you, or rather, I shall hope that he will."
  "Then you must pardon me," said Oswald, smiling,
"that I do not offer you my thanks for your pious
  Hold now turned the conversation upon other sub-
jects, and as they were both familiar with the little
poem from which the above stanzas have been quoted,
poetry now became the topic of their discussion. Here
they agreed almost entirely. Oswald's extensive read-
ing in this department of literature had not injured his
correct taste, but rather rendered it more discriminat-
ing. No dazzling imagery bribed him, no poetic
thought escaped him, for want of the proper dress. Os-
sian, the bard who knew how to give strength and
grace to the cloud, was his favorite, and he maintained,
with Hold's entire assent, that he must be a critic of
gross perceptions who could suppose that Ossian's
poems could be the forgery of a later age. The more
animatedly Oswald spoke, the more he unfolded his ex-
tensive and varied knowledge of literature, the more he
separated the shallow from the profound, the artificial
from genuine inspiration, the greater was Hold's sur-
prise that a person of so acute and just a judgment
could live so thoughtlessly; that one who could feel so
truly and so profoundly, should be so insensible to the
Spirit of God. It was incomprehensible to him how