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Or when the winds lift up their voice on high,
Say, in what mood of loftiest ecstacy,
Could human genius frame sublimer chorus?
And music dwells, homely indeed, yet sweet,
In many a household sound of gentle meaning—
The quiet voice that in our childhood's dreaming
The cricket's note: the kettle's cheerful humming;
The fire, fresh heaped to wait her master's coming.
These, and those softened rural sounds that seem
To make the summer stillness only deeper—
The soothing hum that lulls the noontide sleeper
The long-wound horn, the labourer's toil suspending,
In one sweet praiseful concord ever blending.
Years may pass over our heads without affording an opportunity for acts of high beneficence, or extensive utility: whereas not a day passes, but in common transactions of life, and especially in the intercourse of domestic society, gentleness finds place for promoting the happiness of others, and for strengthening in ourselves the habit of virtue. There are situations not a few in life, when the encouraging reception, the courteous manner, and the look of sympathy, bring greater relief to the heart, than the most bounteous gift.
Pompeii! disentombed Pompeii! Here
Wrenched from the gulf of ages—she whose bier
Sad, but not silent! Thrilling in my ear,
And sudden drama mustering through the air,
Seems to rehearse the day of her despair!
Joyful she feasted 'neath her olive tree,
Then rose to " dance and play;" and if a cloud
O'ershadowed her thronged circus, who could see The impending deluge brooding in its shroud 1
On went the games! mirth and festivity
Increased, prevailed: till, rendingly and loud
The earth and sky with consentaneous roar,
Denounced her doom—that time should be no more.
Shook to its centre, the convulsive soil
Closed round the flying: Sarno's tortured tide
O'erleapt its channel—eager for its spoil!
Thick darkness fell, and wasting far and wide,
Wrath opened her dread flood-gates! Brief the toil And terror of resistance: art supplied
No subterfuge! the pillared crypt, and cave
That proflered shelter, proved a living grave!
It seems but yesterday! Half sculptured there,
Waits but the workman to resume his care,
The chips struck from his chisel, fresh and fair,
Lie scattered round: the acanthus leaves ingraft
The streets are hollowed by the rolling car
Retains, deep grooved, the frequent axle's scar.
Here warriors bore the glittering spoils of war,
With wreath and pean!—gay as those who drink
The draught of pleasure on destruction's brink.
The frescoed wall, the rich mosaic floor,
Elaborate, frosh, and garlanded with flowers
Of ancient fable :—crypt,—and lintelled door
That still in strength aspire, as when they bore
That formed their grave—return, like spectres risen,
To solve the mysteries of their fearful prison!
Dr. W. Beattie.
Cowper is dead, but the golden apples are still as fresh, as when newly gathered in the silver baskets of the 'Olney Hymns.' Elliot is dead: but the missionary enterprise is young. Henry Martyn is dead; but who can count the apostolic spirits, who phoenix-wise, have started from his funeral pile. Howard is dead: but modern philanthropy is only commencing its career.
Raikes is dead: but the Sabbath schools go on. Wilberforce is dead: but the negro will find for ages, a protector in his memory.
He was one of those uncommon men who are destined to give lustre to their age ; and who do equal honour to human nature by their virtues, and to literature by their superior talents. He was affable in his deportment, and luminous in his discourse: the peculiar qualities of which were a rich, delicate and powerful imagination: but which never let its power be felt. His eloquence had more of mildness in it than of vehemence: and he triumphed as much by the charms of his conversation, as by the superiority of his talents. He always brought himself to the level of his company: he never entered into disputation: and he sometimes appeared to yield to others at the very time that he was leading them. Grace dwelt upon his lips. He discussed the greatest subjects with facility: the most trifling were ennobled by his pen: and upon the most barren he scattered the flowers of rhetoric. The peculiar, but unaffected mode of expression which he adopted, made many persons believe that he possessed universal knowledge, as if by inspiration. It might, indeed, have been almost said, that he rather invented what he knew than learned it. He was always original and creative: imitating no one, and himself inimitable. A noble singularity pervaded his whole person: and a certain undefinable and sublime simplicity gave to his appearance the air of a prophet.
Fenelon, who added ardent piety to the highest order of talents, and to the graces of expression and manner which so arrested the attention of the historians and biographers of his times, had formed the purpose, under the inspiration of that great Power who is the life of all holy purposes, to live and act solely for what he deemed the cause of God. His first plan was to go as a missionary to Canada, at that time a province of France; and which could not possible furnish any
attractions to a person of his turn of mind, separate from what are found in religion. In the simplicity and love of his heart, he was willing to spend the splendid powers which God had given him, in instructing a few ignorant savages in the way of life.
Disappointed in this, he next turned his attention to Greece; and he indulged the hope that he might be permitted to preach the gospel in a land which could not fail to be endeared to him by many classical and historical recollections. There is a letter extant, written at this time, which would be interesting if in no other light than as a memorial of the youthful Fenelon, in which the warmth of his heart blends with the vividness of his imagination. It is dated at Sarlot and was probably addressed to Bossuet.
"Several trifling events have hitherto prevented my return to Paris: but I shall at length set out, sir, and I shall almost fly thither. But, compared with this journey, I meditate a much greater one. The whole of Greece opens before me ; and the Sultan flies in terror:—the Peloponnesus breathes again in liberty, and the Church of Corinth shall flourish once more :— the voice of the apostle shall be heard there again. I seem to be transported into those enchanting places and those inestimable ruins, where, while I collect the most curious relics of antiquity, I imbibe also its spirit. I seek for the Areopagus, where St. Paul declared to the sages of the world the unknown God. I kneel down, Oh happy Patmos! upon thy earth, and kiss the steps of the apostle: and I shall almost believe that the heavens are opening on my sight. Once more, after a night of such long darkness, the day-spring dawns in Asia. I behold the land which has been sanctified by the steps of Jesus, and crimsoned with his blood. I see it delivered from its profaneness, and clothed anew in glory. The children of Abraham are once more assembling together from the four quarters of the earth, over which they have been scattered, to acknowledge