Графични страници
PDF файл

usually so gentle in his convivialities, has actually broken forth into a song, such as these walls never heard; our respected senior sits trying to preserve his solemn look, but unconsciously smiling; and Mr. B-1, the founder of the banquet, is sedulously doing the honours with only intenser civility, and calling out for fresh store of ham-sandwiches and broiled mushrooms, to enable us to do justice to the liquid delicacies before us. The usual order of wines is disregarded; no affected climax, no squeamish assortment of tastes for us here; we despise all rules, and yield a sentimental indulgence to the aberrations of the bottle. “Riches fineless" are piled around us; we are below the laws and their ministers; and just lo! in the furthest glimmer of the torches lies outstretched our black Mercury, made happy by our leavings, and seeming to rejoice that in the cellar, as in the grave, all men are equal.

How the soul expands from this narrow cell and bids defiance to the massive walls! What Elysian scenes begin to dawn amidst the darkness! Now do I understand the glorious tale of Alladin and the subterranean gardens. It is plain that the visionary boy had discovered just such a cellar as this, and there eagerly learned to gather amaranthine fruits, and range in celestial groves, till the Genius of the Ring, who has sobered many a youth, took him in charge, and restored him to the common air. Here is the true temple, the inner shrine of Lacchus. Feebly have they understood the attributes of the benignant god who have represented him as delighting in a garish bower with clustering grapes; here he rejoices to sit, in his true citadel, amidst his mightier treasures. Methinks we could now, in prophetic mood, trace the gay histories of these bis embodied inspirations, among those who shall feel them hereafter; live at once along a thousand lines of sympathy and thought which they shall kindle, reverse the mel. ancholy musing of Hamlet, and trace that which the bung-hole stopper confines to "the noble dust of an Alexander,” which it shall quicken, and, peeping into the studies of our brother contributors, see how that vintage which flushed the hills of France with purple, shall mantle afresh in the choice articles of the New Monthly Magazine.

But it is time to stop, or my readers will suspect me of a more recent visit to the cellar. They will be mistaken. One such descent is enough for a life; and I stand too much in awe of the Powers of the Grave to venture again so near to their precincts.

How delicious that conversation is which is accompanied with mutual confidence, freedom, courtesy, and complaisance! how calm the mind, how com. posed the affections, how serene the countenance, how melodious the voice, how sweet the sleep, how contentful the whole life is of him that neither deviseth mischief against others, nor suspects any to be contrived against himself! And contraiwise, how ungrateful and loathsome a thing it is to abide in a state of enmity, wrath, dissension: having the thoughts distracted with solicitous care, anxious suspicion, en vious regret; the heart boiling with choler, the face over-clouded with discontent, the tongue jarring and out of tune, the ears filled with discordant noises of contradiction, clamor and reproach; the whole frame of body and soul distempered and disturbed with the worst of passions! How much more comfortable it is to walk in smooth and even paths, than to wander in rugged ways overgrown with briers, obstructed with rubs, and beset with snares; to sail steadily in a quiet, than to be tossed in a tem. pestuous sea; to behold the lovely face of heaven smiling with a cheerful serenity, than to see it frowning with clouds, or raging with storms; to hear harmonious consents, than dissonant janglings; to see objects correspondent in graceful symmetry, than lying disorderly in confused heaps; to be in health; and have the natural humors consent in moderate temper, than-as it happens in diseases-agitated with tumultuous commotions: how all senses and faculties of man unanimously rejoice in those emblems of peace, order, harmony, and proportion. Yea, how nature universally delights in a quiet sta. bility or undisturbed progress of motion; the beauty, strength, and vigor of everything requires a concurrence of force, co-operation, and contribution of help; all things thrive and flourish by communicating reciprocal aid; and the world subsists by a friendly conspiracy of its parts; and especially that political society of men chiefly aims at peace as its end, depends on it as its cause, relies on it for its support. How much a peaceful state resembles heaven, into which neither complaint, pain, nor clamor do ever enter; but blessed souls converse together in perfect love, and in perpetual concord; and how a condition of enmity represents the state of hell, that black and dismal region of dark hatred, fiery wrath, and horrible tumult. How like a par. adise the world would be, flourishing in joy and rest, if men would cheerfully conspire in affection, and helpfully contribute to each other's content; and how like a savae wilderness now it is, when, like wild beasts, they vex and persecute, worry and devour each other. How not only philosophy hath placed the supreme pitch of happiness in a calmness of mind and tranquility of life, void of care and trouble, of irregular passions and perturbations; but that Holy Scripture itself, in that one term of peace, most usually comprehends all joy and content, all felicity and prosperity: so that the heavenly



How good and pleasant a thing it is, as David saith, for brethren--and so we are all at least by nature-to live together in unity. liow that, as Sol. omon saith, better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices, with strife.



consort of angels, when they agree most highly to is shallow, and of litile understanding; and in bless, and to wish the greatest happiness to man- nothing more blind and ignorant than in things kind, could not better express their sense than by

sacred or divine; he falls down before a stock or a saying; •Be on earth peace, and good-will among stone, and says, "hou art my God: he can believe men.'

nonsense and con'radictions, and make it his religion Almighty God, the most good and beneficent

to do so. And this is the great creature which God Maker, gracious Lord, and merciful Preserver of all hath made by the might of his power, and for the things, infuse into their hearts those heavenly graces honour of his maje-ty? upon whom all things must of meekness, patience, and benignity; grant us and

wait, to whom all things must be subservient? Mehis whole church, and all his creation, to serve him thinks we have noted weaknesses and follies enough quietly here, and a blissful rest to praise and magnify

in the nature of man; this need not be added as the him for ever.

top and accomplishment, that with all these he is so vain as to think that all the rest of the world was

made for his sake. THE VASTNESS OF THE UNIVERSE.

HUMAN CHARACTER. We must not, by any means, admit or imagine that all nature, and this great universe, was made only I now see more good and more evil in all men than for the sake of man, the meanest of all intelligent heretofore I did. I see that good men are not so creatures that we know of; nor that this little planet good as I once thought they were, but have more where we sojourn for a few days, is the only habit. imperfections; and that nearer approach and fuller able part of the universe: these are thoughts so trial doth make the best appear more weak and faulty groundless and unreasonable in themselves, and also

than their admirers at a distance think. And I so derogatory to the infinite power, wisdom, and find that few are so bad as either malicious enemies goodness of the First Cause, that as they are absurd

or censorious separating professors du imagine. In in reason, so they deserve far better to be marked

some, indeed, I find that human nature is corrupted and censured for heresies in religion, than many into a greater likeness to devils than I once thought opinions that have been censured for such in former

any on earth had been. But even in the wicked, ages. How is it possible that it should enter into

usually there is more for grace to make advantage the thoughts of vain man to believe himself to be

of, and more to testify for God and holiness, than I the principal part of God's creation; or that all the once believed there had been, rest was ordained for him, for his service or pleas- I less admire gifts of utterance, and bare profession ure? Man, whose follies we laugh at every day, or of religion, than I once did; and have much more else complain of them; whose pleasures are vanity, charity for many who, by the want of gifts, do make and his passions stronger than his reason; who sees an obscurer profession than they. I once thought himself every way weak and impotent; hath no that alınost all that could pray movingly and power over external nature, little over himself; can

fluently, and talk well of religion, had been saints. not execute so much as his own good resolutions; But experience hath opened to me what odious mutable, irregular, prone to evil. Surely, if we made

crimes may consist with high profession; and I have the least reflection upon ourselves with impartiality, met with divers obscure persons, not noted for any we should be ashamed of such an arrog int thought. extraordinary profession, or forwardness in religion, How few of these sons of men, for whom, they say, but only to live a quiet blameless life, whom I have all things were made, are the sons of wisdom; how

after found to have long lived, as far as I could dis. few find the paths of life! They spend a few days in cern, a truly godly and sanctified life; only, their folly and sin, and then go down to the regions of prayers and duties were by accident kept secret from death and misery. And is it possible to believe that other men's observation. Yet he that upon this all Nature, and all Providence, are only, or prin- pretence would confound the godly and ungodly, cipally, for their sake? Is it not a more reasonable may as well go about to lay heaven and hell to. character or conclusion which the prophet hath

gether. made, Surely every man is vanity? Man that comes into the world at the pleasure of another, and goes

IMPOSSIBILITIES. out by a hundred accidents; his birth and education generally determine his fate here, and neither of It is idleness that creates impossibilities; and those are in his own power; his wit, also, is as where men care not to do a thing, they shelter themuncertain as his fortune; he hath not the moulding selves under a persuasion that it cannot be done. of his own brain, however a knock on the head The shortest and the surest way to prove a work makes him a fool, stupid as the beasts of the field; possible, is strenuously to set about it; and no won. and a little excess of passion or melancholy makes der if that proves it possible that for the most para aim worse, mad and frantic. In his best senses he makes it so.



joyful hour, when to our longing home The long-expected wheels at length drew nigh! When the first sound went forth, “ They come! they

come!” And hope's impatience quickened every eye! * Never had man, whom Heaven would heap with

bliss, More glad return, more happy hour than this."

Alost on yonder bench, with arms dispread,

My boy stood shouting there his father's name, Waving his hat around his happy head;

And there, a younger group, his sisters came: Smiling they sluod, with looks of pleased surprise, While tears of joy were seen in elder eyes.

But there stood one whose heart could entertaini

And comprehend the fulness of the joy; The father, teacher, playmate, was again

Come to his only and his studious boy; And he beheld again that mother's eye, Which with such ceaseless care had watched his iis

fancy. It was a group which Richter, had he viewed,

Might have deemed worthy of his perfect skill; The keen impatience of the younger brood,

Their eager eyes and fingers never still; The hope, the wonder, and the restless joy Of those glad girls, and that vociferous boy! The aged friend serene with quiet smile,

Who in their pleasure finds her own delight; The mother's heartfelt happiness the while;

The aunts, rejoicing in the joyful sight; And he who, in his gaiety of heart, With glib and noisy tongue performed the showman's

part. Scoff ye who will! but let me, gracious Heaven,

Preserve this boyish heart till life's last day! For so that inward light by nature given

Shall still direct and cheer me on my way; And brightening as the shades of age descend, Shine forth with heavenly radiance at the end.

Soon each and all came crowding round to share

The cordial greeting, the beloved sight; What welcomings of hand and lip were there!

And when those overflowings of delight
Subsided to a sense of quiet bliss,
Life hath no purer, deeper happiness.

Here silently between her parents stood

My dark-eyed Bertha, timid as a dove; And gently oft from time to time she wooed

Pressure of hand, or word, or look of love, With impulse shy of bashful tenderness, Soliciting again the wished caress.



The younger twain in wonder lost were they,

My gentle Kate, and my sweet Isabel: Long of our promised coming day by day

It had been their delight to hear and tell; And now, when that long-promised hour was come, Surprise and wakening memory held them dumb.

Drink and be glad; to-morrow what may be,
Or what thereafter, none of us can see.
Haste not nor fret: but now as well's you may,
Feast and be merry; freely give away;
Remember joys can last but with the breath,
And think how short a space parts life and deat...
An instant:-seize what good may now befall;
Dead, thou hast nothing, and another all.
To die is due by all; no mortal knows
Whether to-morrow's dawn his life may close.
Knowing this well, O man, let cheering wine,
That sweet forgetfulness of death, be thine.
Give way to love too; live from day to day,
And yield to fate o'er all things else the sway.

For in the infant mind, as in the old,

When to its second childhood life declines,
A dim and troubled power doth memory hold:

But soon the light of young remembrance shines Renewed, and influences of dormant love Wakened within, with quickening influence move.

O happy season theirs, when absence brings

Small feeling of privation, none of pain, Yet at the present object love re-springs,

As night-closed flowers at morn expand again! Nor deem our second infancy unbless'd, When gradually composed we sink to rest.

[ocr errors][merged small]


BENJAMIN MARSDEN. I ask'd an Aged Man, a man of cares, Wrinkled, and curved, and white with hoary hairs “Time is the warp of life,” he said, “O tell The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well!” I ask'd the aged Venerable Dead, Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled: From the cold grave a hollow murmur flow'd, “ Time sowed the seed we reap in this abode."

dil asked a ciying Sinner, ere the tide
Of life had left his veins: “ Time," he replied-
* I've lost it! Ah, the treasure!”—and he died.
I asked the Golden Sun and Silver Spheres,
Those bright Chronometers of days and years:
They answer'd, “ Time is but a meteor glare.
And bids us for Eternity prepare.”
I asked the Seasons in their annual round,
Which beautify and desolate the ground;
And they replied (no oracle more wise),
“ 'Tis folly's loss, and virtue's highest prize."
I ask'd a Spirit Lost; but oh! the shriek
That pierced my soul! I shudder while I speak.
It cried—“A particle, a speck, a mite
Of endless years, duration infinite!”
Of things Inanimate my dial I
Consulted, and it made me this reply:
“ Time is the season fair of living well,
The path of vlory, or the path of Hell.
I ask'd my Bible, and methinks it said,
* Time is the present hour, the past is fled:
Live! live to-day! To-morrow never yet
On any human being rose or set.”

Thou first and chief, scle sovr

vran of the vale!
Oh, struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink!
Companions of the morning star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald! wake, O wake, and utter praise!
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

And you, ye five wild torrents, fiercely glad!
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
For ever shattered, and the same for ever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam!
And who commanded -and the science came-
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?

Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,

And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of the loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?
"God!' let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, 'God!'
‘God!' sing,ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sound!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!'




Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost! Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest! Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm! Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds! Ye signs and wonders of the element! Utter forth God,' and fill the hills with praise!

Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc!
The Arvé and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above,
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass; methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought; entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy;
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing-there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven!

Awake, my soul! not only passive praise Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, Mute thanks and secret ecstacy. Awake, Voice of sweet song! awake, my heart, awake! Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointed peaks. Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene, Into the depths of clouds that veil thy breastThou too, again, stupendous mountain! thou, That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low In adoration, upward from the base Slow traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears, Solemnly seemest like a vapory cloud To rise before me-Rise, oh, ever rise; Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth! Thou kindly spirit throned among the hills, Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven, Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky, And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.




WALL'd securely in the ground,

Stands the mould of well-bak'd clay : Comrades, at your task be found! We must cast the bell to-day!

From the burning brow

Sweat must run, I trow, Would we have our work commendedBlessings must be heaven-descended. A solemn word may well befit

The task we solemnly prepare; When goodly converse hallows it,

The labor flows on gladly there. Let us observe with careful eyes

What thro' deficient strength escapes, The thoughtless man we must despise

Who disregards the thing he shapes. This forms a man's chief attribute,

And Reason is to hiin assign'd, That what his hand may execute,

Within his heart, too, he should find. Heap ye up the pinewood first,

Yet full dry it needs niust be,
That the smother'd flame may burst
Fiercely through the cavity!

Let the copper brew!

Quick the tin add too,
That the tough bell-metal may
Fuse there in the proper way!
The Bell that in the dam's deep hole

Our hands with help of fire prepare, From the high belsry-tower will toll,

And witness of us loudly bear. "Twill there endure till distant days,

On many an ear its sounds will dwell, Sad wailings with the mourner raise.

The chorus of devotion swell. Whatever changeful fate may bring

To be man's portion here below, Against its metal crown will ring,

And through the nations echoing go. Bubbles white I see ascend;

Good! the heap dissolves at last; Let the potash with it blend, Urging on the fusion fast.

Foam and bubble-free

Must the mixture be, That from metal void of stain Pure and full may rise the strain. For in a song with gladness rife

The cherish'd child it loves to greet, When first he treads the path of life,

Wrapt in the arms of slumbers sweet; His coming fate of joy or gloom Lies buried in the future's womb; The tender care that mothers prove

His golden morning guard with love:

The years with arrowy swiftness fleet
The proud boy bids the maid adieu,

And into life with wildness flies,
The world on pilgrim's-staff roams through

Then as a stranger homeward hies;
And gracefuly, in beauty's pride,

Like to some heavenly image fair,
Her modest cheeks with blushes dyed,

He sees the maiden standing there.
A nameless yearning now appears

And fills his heart; alone he strays,
His eyes are ever moist with tears,

He shuns his brother's noisy plays;
Her steps he blushingly pursues,

And by her greeting is made blest,
Gathers the flowers of fairest hues,

With which to deck his true love's breast.
Oh, tender yearning, blissful hope,

Thou golden time of love's young day!
Heav'n seems before the eye to ope,

The heart in rapture melts away.
Oh may it ever verdant prove,
That radiant time of early love!
Dusky-hued becomes each pipe!

Let me plunge this rod in here:
All for casting will be ripe
When we see it glaz'd appear.

Comrades, stand ye by!

Now the mixture try,
If the brittle will combine
With the soft-propitious sign!
For there is heard a joyous sound
Where sternness is with softness bound,

Where joins the gentle with the strong
Who binds himself for ever, he
Should prove if heart and heart agree!

The dream is short, repentance long.
Through the bride's fair locks so dear

Twines the virgin chaplet bright,
When the church-bells, ringing clear,

To the joyous feast invite.
Ah! life's happiest festival

Needs must end life's happy May;
With the veil and girdle, all

Those sweet visions fade away.
Though passion may fly,

Yet love must remain;
Though the flow'ret may die,

Yet the fruit scents the plain,
Man must gird for his race

Thro’ the stern paths of life,
Midst turmoil and strife,
Must plant and must form,
Gain by cunning or storm;
Must wager and dare,

Would he reach fortune c'er.
Then wealth without ending upon him soon pours,

« ПредишнаНапред »