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ORIGINAL POETRY.

THE DESOLATE VILLAGE.

All nature sinks opprest,

And labour shuts his weary eye
A Reverie.

In the mid-day hour of rest.
SWEET Village ! on thy pastoral hill

Yet let the soul think what it will, Arrayed in sunlight sad and still,

Most dirge-like mourns that moorland rill! As if beneath the harvest-moon,

How different once its flow ! Thy noiseless homes were sleeping !

When with a dreamy motion gliding It is the merry month of June,

Mid its green fields in love abiding, And creatures all of air and earth

Or leaping o'er the mossy linn, Should now their holiday of mirth

And sporting with its own wild din,
With dance and song be keeping.

Seemed water changed to snow.
But, loveliest Village ! silent Thou, Beauty lies spread before my sight,
As cloud wreathed o'er the Moming's brow, But grief-like shadows dim its light,
When light is faintly breaking,

And all the scene appears
And Midnight's voice afar is lost,

Like a church-yard when a friend is dying, Like the wailing of a wearied ghost,

In more than earthly stillness lying, The shades of earth forsaking.

And glimmering through our tears ! 'Tis not the Day to Scotia dear,

Sweet Woodburn ! like a cloud that name A summer Sabbath mild and clear ! Comes floating o'er my soul ! Yet from her solemn burial-ground

Although thy beauty still survive, The small Kirk-Steeple looks around,

One look hath changed the whole. Enshrouded in a calm

The gayest village of the gay Profound as fills the house of prayer,

Beside thy own sweet river, E'er from the band of virgins fair

Wert Thou on Week or Sabbath day ! Is breathed the choral psalm.

So bathed in the blue light of joy, A sight so steeped in perfect rest

As if no trouble could destroy Is slumbering not on nature's breast

Peace doomed to last for ever. In the smiles of earthly day!

Now in the shadow of thy trees, "Tis a picture floating down the sky, On a green plat, sacred to thy breeze, By fancy framed in years gone by,

The fell Plague-Spirit grimly lies And mellowing in decay !

And broods, as in despite That thought is gone !--the Village still Of uncomplaining lifelessness, With deepening quiet crowns the hill, On the troops of silent shades that press Its low green roofs are there !

Into the church-yard's cold recess,
In soft material beauty beaming,

From that region of delight.
As in the silent hour of dreaming
They hung embowered in air !

Last summer, from the school-house door,

When the glad play-bell was ringing, Is this the Day when to the mountains What shoals of bright-haired elves would The happy shepherds go,

pour, And bathe in sparkling pools and fountains Like small waves racing on the shore, Their flocks made white as snow ?

In dance of rapture singing! Hath gentle girl and gamesome boy, Oft by yon little silver well, With meek-eyed mirth or shouting joy, Now sleeping in neglected cell, Gone tripping up the brae ?

The village-maid would stand, Till far behind their town doth stand, While resting on the mossy bank, Like an image in sweet Fairy Land, With freshened soul the traveller drank When the Elves have flown away!

The cold cup from her hand ; - sure if aught of human breath

Haply some soldier from the war, Within these walls remain,

Who would remember long and far Thus deepening in the hush of death, That Lily of the Land. 'Tis but some melancholy crone,

And still the green is bright with flowers, Who sits with solemn eyes

And dancing through the sunny hours, Beside the cradle all alone,

Like blossoms from enchanted bowers And lulls the infant with a strain

On a sudden wafted by, Of Scotia's ancient melodies.

Obedient to the changeful air,

And proudly feeling they are fair, What if these homes be filled with life? Glide bird and butterfly. "Tis the sultry month of June,

But where is the tiny hunter-rout And when the cloudless sun rides high That revelled on with dance and shout Above the glittering air of noon,

Against their airy prey ?

Alas! the fearless linnet sings,

As o'er the dewy turf of Morn,
And the bright insect folds its wings Where the virgin, like a woodland Fa
Upon the dewy flower that springs

On wings of joy was borne.
Above these children's clay.

-Even now a soft and silvery haze And if to yon deserted well

Hill-VillageTree is steeping Some solitary maid,

In the loveliness of happier days,
As she was wont at eve, should go Ere rose the voice of weeping!
There silent as her shade

When incense-fires from every hearth
She stands a while then sad and slow To heaven stole beautiful from earth.
Walks home, afraid to think
Of many a loudly-laughing ring

Sweet Spire! that crown'st the house of God!
That dipped their pitchers in that spring, To thee my spirit turns,
And lingered round its brink.

While through a cloud the softened light

On thy yellow dial burns. On--on-through woful images

Ah, me! my bosom inly bleeds
My spirit holds her way!

To see the deep-worn path that leads
Death in each drooping flower she sees : Unto that open gate!
And oft the momentary breeze

In silent blackness it doth tell
Is singing of decay.

How oft thy little sullen bell -So high upon the slender bough

Hath o'er the village toll'd its knell,
Why hangs the crow her nest ?

In beauty desolate.
All undisturbed her young have lain Oft, wandering by myself at night,
This spring-time in their nest;

Such spire hath risen in softened light
Nor as they flew on tender wing

Before my gladdened eyes, E'er feard the cross-bow or the sling. And as 'I looked around to see Tame as the purpling turtle dove, The village sleeping quietly That walks serene in human love,

Beneath the quiet skies,The magpie hops from door to door ; Methought that mid her stars so bright, And the hare, not fearing to be seen, The moon in placid mirth, Doth gambol on the village green

Was not in heaven a holier sight
As on the lonely moor.

Than God's house on the earth.
The few sheep wandering by the brook Sweet image! transient in my soul !
Have all a dim neglected look,

That very bell hath ceased to toll
Oft bleating in their dumb distress When the grave receives its dead
On her their sweet dead shepherdess. And the last time it slowly swung,
The horses pasturing through the range 'Twas by a dying stripling rung
Of gateless fields, all common now, O'er the sexton's

hoary head ! Free from the yoke enjoy the change, All silent now from cot or hall To them a long long Sabbath-sleep! Comes forth the sable funeral ! Then gathering in one thunderous band, The Pastor is not there! Across the wild they sweep,

For yon sweet Manse now empty stands,' Tossing the long hair from their eyes.com Nor in its walls will holier hands Till far the living whirlwind flies Be e'er held up in prayer. As o'er the desart sand.

N.
From human let their course is free
No lonely angler down the lea
Invites the zephyr's breath
And the beggar far away doth roam,

ITALY.
Preferring in his hovel-home
His penury to death.

EARTH's loveliest land I behold in my On that green hedge a scattered row

dreams, Now weather-stained.once white as snow- All gay in the summer, and drest in sunOf garments that have long been spread,

beams And now belong unto the dead,

In the radiance which breaks on the purified Shroud-like proclaim to every eye, “ This is no place for Charity!"

Of the thin-bodied ghosts that are fitting

from hence. O blest are ye ! unthinking creatures ! The blue distant Alps, and the blue distant Rejoicing in your lowly natures

main, Ye dance round human tombs !

Bound the far varied harvests of Lombardy's Where gladlier sings the mountain lark

plain : Than o'er the church-yard dim and dark ! The rivers are winding in blue gleaming Or where, than on the churchyard wall,

lines From the wild rose-tree brighter fall Round the Ruins of Old-round the Hill of Her transitory blooms !

the Vines What is it to that lovely sky

Round the grove of the orange the green If all her worshippers should die !

myrtle bowerAs happily her splendours play

By Castle and Conventorby Town and by On the grave where human forms decay,

Tower.

sense

very tone

Through the bright summer azure the north And equally sweet is her lip of the roses, breezes blow,

When it opens in smiles, or in silence reThat are cooled in their flight over regions poses.

of snow, Or westerly gales, on whose wandering wings O sooner the bird shall escape from the snare The wave of the ocean its silver dew flings. Of the fowler, than man from her thraldom Bright, bright is the prospect, and teeming beware ! the soil

If you meet but one glance of her magical With the blessings of promise with corn, eye, wine, and oil,

From your bosom for ever must liberty fly! Where the cypress, and myrtle, and orange Let there breathe but one thrilling and sil.

combine, And around the dark olive gay wantons the From the syren--your heart is no longer vine.

your own. Woods leafy and rustling o'ershadow the

scene, With their forest of branches and changes of green ;

VERSES And glossy their greenness where sunshine is glistening,

Recited by the Author, in a Party of his And mellow their music where Silence is Countrymen, on the Day that the News listening,

arrived of our final Victory over the And the streamlets glide through them with French.

glassier hue, And the sky sparkles o'er them with heaven- Now, Britain, let thy cliffs o’ snaw lier blue.

Look prouder o'er the merled main ! How deep and how rich is the blush of the The bastard Eagle bears awa, rose,

And ne'er shall ee thy shores again. That spreading and wild o'er the wilderness grows!

Bang up thy banners red an' riven! What waftures of incense are filling the The day's thy ain--the prize is won ! air!

Weel may thy lions brow the heaven, For the bloom of a summer unbounded is An' turn their gray beards to the sun. there.

Lang hae I bragged o' thine and thee, The soft and voluptuous Spirit of Love Even when thy back was at the wa'; Rules in earth and in ether, below and a. An' thou my proudest sang sall be, bove,

As lang as i hae breath to draw. In the blue of the sky, in the glow of the beam,

Gae hang the coofs wha boded wae, In the sigh of the wind, and the flow of the An' cauldness o'er thy efforts threw, stream!

Lauding the fellest, sternest fae, At his presence the rose takes a ruddier Frae hell's black porch that ever flew.

bloom, And the vine-bud exhales a more wanton O he might conquer idiot kings, perfume ;

These bars in nature's onward plan; E'en the hoarse surging billows have sof. But fool is he the yoke that flings tened their roar,

O'er the unshackled soul of man. And break with a musical fall on the shore.

'Tis like a cobweb o'er the breast, But less in this Eden has young Love his That binds the giant while asleep, dwelling,

Or curtain hung upon the east, Than in that virgin's bosom, wild throbbing The day-light from the world to keep!

and swelling, That bounds 'gainst her zone, and will not Come, jaw your glasses to the brim ! be represt,

Gar in the air your bonnets flee ! Whilst full of the god that possesses her “Our gude auld king!” I'll drink to him, breast.

As lang as I hae drink to pree. Love has kindled her cheek with his deep crimson dye,

This to the arms that well upbore And lit with his radiance her eloquent eye, The Rose and Shamrock blooming still Ever restless and changing, and darkening, An' here's the burly plant of yore, and brightening,

The Thristle o' the Norlan' hill !Now melting in dew, and now flashing in lightning.

Auld Scotland !land o' hearts the wale ! 0, black is her eye,--black intensely; and Hard thou hast fought, and bravely won : black

Lang may thy lions paw the gale, Are the ringlets luxuriant that float down And turn their dewlaps to the sun ! her back;

H.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

A Series of Discourses on the Christiun magnificent and beautiful in itself, is Revelation, viewed in Connexion in danger of being considered as fitted with the Modern Astronomy. By only to be the creed of less enlightened THOMAS CHALMERS, D. Ď. 8vo. minds, and of failing in some measure, pp. 275. Third edition. Glasgow, from this unfortunate opinion, to Smith & Son ; Edinburgh, William produce those important effects upon Whyte; 1817.

mankind, for the accomplishment of

which it is so pre-eminently adapted. ONE of the worst features of the The volume before us is calculat. present times is the separation that ed, we think, in no common degree, has taken place between science and to counteract this unhappy deelenreligion. During the early part of the sion. It is written with an enthuhistory of English literature, we find siasm, and an eloquence, to which great talents combined with a sublime we scarcely know where to find any piety, and the most enlightened phi- parallel ; and there is, at the same Iosophy with a fervent and glowing time, so constant a reference to the devotion; and they who explained to improved philosophy of modern times, us the system of nature, defended the that it possesses an air of philocause, and venerated the authority, of sophical grandeur and truth, which revelation. The piety of Milton, of the productions of a more popular and Boyle, and of Newton, was not less declamatory eloquence can never atremarkable than the superiority of tain. Were the taste of the author their other endowments; and it will equal to his genius, and his judgment ever be regarded as a striking circum- always sufficient to control the fervours stance, that those giant minds, who of his imagination, the labours of Dr have exalted the glory of English li- Chalmers could not fail to be infinitely terature above that of all other na- beneficial. But here lies our author's tions, and whom we are accustomed chief deficiency. His genius is of to consider as an honour to the species the kind that is marked by its pecuitself, were distinguished above all liarities as much as by its superiority; other men for their habitual and so- and this circumstance, we think, is the lemn veneration of religion.

more to be regretted, as there is maniSince the age of these distinguished festly no necessary connexion between writers the connexion between sci- the excellencies and defects by which ence and religion seems gradually to his works are characterised. The have been becoming less intimate. natural relations of the intellectual We are unwilling to arrange ourselves powers might have been more correctly with those gloomy individuals who maintained in his mind, while all his are found in every age to declaim a- faculties continued to be exerted with gainst the peculiar depravity of their the same constancy and vigour, own times; but it is impossible not to and the same originality and invensee, that the profound reverence for tion might have been combined with sacred things, which distinguished the greater dignity, and more uniform eleillustrious characters of a former age, gance. We have therefore but a short is not now the characteristic of those process to institute, in order to admit by whom science is promoted, and our readers into a knowledge of the knowledge extended. An enlarged character of our author's mind. In acquaintance with the works of nature our intercourse with the world, we oftis no longer the assured token of that en meet with persons in whom what deep-toned and solemn picty, which we call genius predominates over every elevated the character, and purified the feature; and who, though not manners, of the fathers of our philo- superior to their fellows in taste, judgsophy. Science is now seen without ment, or understanding, are yet infinreligion, and religion without science; itely superior to them in the capacity and the consequence is, that the sa- of forming striking combinations of cred system of revelation, however ideas, or in the endowments of an exeurVOL. I.

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sive or elevated imagination. This is Lord High Commissioner and for the
precisely the case with the author whose sons of the clergy, made known his
works we are considering. Genius in merits to most of the eminent men in
him shines paramount to every other this part of the kingdom, and will be
quality of his mind. In every page long remembered in this quarter as the
of the volume, which has suggested most brilliant display of eloquence and
these observations, there is something of genius which we have ever had the
bold, original, and striking; and yet good fortune to witness.
there is every now and then some pe- Such is our author's brief and simple
culiarity of expression that offends a story, previous to the publication of
cultivated taste, or some wildness of the present volume. We must not
sentiment that excites astonishment induce our readers, however, to be-
and wonder rather than sympathy:

lieve that the public were as yet all aThe author of these discourses is so greed in their opinion of Dr Chalmers' well known to our readers in this part merits. His former publications had of the island, that it would be quite been distinguished rather by a fertility superfluous on their account to say of imagination than by a deliberate and any thing of his private history, but cool judgment. He had been accusfor the sake of our readers in the south, tomed, it was said, to take up an opiwe suspect it may be necessary to tell, nion as it were by accident, and to dein a single sentence, who Dr Chalmers fend it with enthusiastic ingenuity and is, and how he has attained that un- energy, though at the same time he was common celebrity he now enjoys a- overlooking something so obvious and mong us.

palpable, that the most simple novice Tiil within these few years, Dr might detect the fallacy of his argu, Chalmers was scarcely known beyond ment. He had written on the national the circle of his personal friends. He resources, and had attributed every obtained, at an early period, a living thing to agriculture, demonstrating in an obscure part of the country; and our perfect independence of the luxus being naturally of an inquisitive and ries of trade and commerce. He had active disposition, he devoted himself, published a treatise on the Evidences in the leisure of his professional en- of Christianity, and had denied that the gagements, to an ardent prosecution of internal evidence was of any imporscientific knowledge. Accident, ac

Some detached sermons which cording to report, led him, some few he had given to the public had been years ago, to examine with more than deformed by an austerity at which the ordinary attention the foundations of polite world revolted ; and it was the Christian faith; and as the result thought that the new work which was of his investigations was a deep im- announced would be found obnoxious pression of the strength of the evidence to the same censures. With respect by which it is supported, he now to this work, now that it has been brought to the illustration and defence published, we conceive that there of religion a double portion of the en- can be but one opinion—that it is thusiasm he had already devoted to a piece of splendid and powerful science. Hitherto he had been at- eloquence, injured indeed by many tached to that party in our church peculiarities of expression, by provinwhich aspires to the title of moderate cial idioms and colloquial barbarisms, or liberal-he now connected himself but, at the same time, more free from with those who wish to be thought more the author's peculiar blemishes than strict and apostolic. His reputation as a any of his former productions, and preacher, as might have been expected forming, notwithstanding its many from the warmth and fervour of his faults, a work likely to excite almost eloquence, began now rapidly to extend universal admiration. That it would itself; and the whole country was soon be improved, we think, every one will filled with the fame of his eloquence likewise allow, were there less sameand his merits. The reputation he had ness of sentiment and of expressionthus acquired was not diminished but were there fewer words of the author's enhanced, by his occasional appear own invention-were the purity of the ances in the congregations of this me- English language, in short, as much tropolis. His speeches last year in the attended to as its power and energy. General Assembly of the Scottish If the author would only cultivate his Church, and his sermons before the taste as much as his imagination, he

tance.

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