Графични страници
PDF файл

Logan's Lament.

'Twas the blessing of love: oh it twined round his heart,
As joy which he fancied would never depart:
His children and wife were more dear in his eye,
Than the bloom of the earth, or the glow of the sky.

I had long loved the white man—I gave him my hand,
I refused 'gainst his nation to lift up the brand:
My hut was his home, and my hearth was his bed;
And my food and my raiment before him were spread:
When hungry and naked and weary of limb, V
The cabin of Logan was open to him.

The men of my nation when passing, would say,

"Lo, the friend of the white man!" and pass on their way

I thought to have built me my tent on their plain,

And peacefully cultured my little domain.

But woe to the hand which the strong link can sever,

And make Logan the foe of the white man forever!

When I sat in the shade of mine own Alder tree,
And saw the young scions surrounding my knee,
No chief of my tribe wa's more happy than I,
Sitting there in the light of my own native sky;
As pure as the air that was whispering above,
And owning no bond but the sweet tie of love.

But the angel of Death was abroad on the blast,

And over the flock of my bosom he passed:

I had not the power his pinions to stay,

And with one fatal flap they were hurried away:

At the voice of destruction they sank in the flood,

And the waves of Kanawa were red with their blood.

Revenge was my watchword! for it I have fought,
And the boon is obtained which so dearly I bought:

Logan's Lament.

I have sent forth my wrath for the souls of the slain,
And peace to my country is welcome again.
Yet think not I fear, 'tis a passion unknown,
To him who now walks through the forest, alone:
For life is a thing without value to me,
I stand like the blackened and storm-beaten tree,
Which the fury and scathe of the tempest hath torn,
And who is there now for poor Logan to mourn?

Not one! not a creature on earth owns a part,

In the life-drops that flow from his agonised heart:

No one comes to succour and pity his state;

No one comes to sigh o'er the gloom of his fate.

Desolation sits brooding upon his hearth stone,

And Logan the Mingo is left all alone!

Yes I wander alone, like the deer on the hill,

And a thousand wild fancies my dark bosom thrill.

Like the light breeze that wafts the brown autumn leaf hither,

So Logan goes forth, and no mortal knows whither.

A spirit comes over the mountain afar—

Like the lovely mild glow of the evening star,

Her robe is of white, and is streaming behind,

And she comes floating slow o'er the wings of the wind.

It is she,—my companion in love, it is she!

And the bright angel group round her bosom I see!

The whisper of breezes ! she calls me away!
Oh why should I linger—oh why should I stay?
Yes, take me fair spirit away to thy sky,
When joy is no more, tis a blessing to die.
On earth there is nothing to banish my pain,
For pleasure to Logan returns not again.

C. W. Thomson.

[ocr errors]

Providence, which has ends innumerable to answer, in the conduct of the physical and intellectual, as of the moral world, sometimes permits the great discoverers fully to enjoy their fame; sometimes to catch but a glimpse of the extent of their achievements; and sometimes sends them dejected and heart broken to the grave, unconscious of the importance of their own discoveries, and not merely undervalued by their contemporaries, but by themselves. It is plain that Copernicus, like his great contemporary, Columbus, though fully conscious of the boldness and the novelty of his doctrine, saw but a part of the changes it was to effect in science. After harboring in his bosom for long, long years, that pernicious heresy,—the solar system,—he died on the day of the appearance of his book from the press. The closing scene of his life, with a little help from the imagination, would furnish a noble subject for an artist. For thirty-five years he has revolved and matured in his mind, his system of the heavens. A natural mildness of disposition, bordering on timidity, a reluctance to encounter controversy, and a dread of persecution, have led him to withhold his works from the press ; and to make known his system but to a few confidential disciples and friends. At length he draws near his end; he is seventy-three years of age, and he yields his work on "the Revolutions of the heavenly orbs" to his friends for publication. The day at last has come, on which it is to be ushered into the world. It is the twenty-fourth of May, 1543. On that day,—the effect no doubt of the intense excitement of Jiis mind, operating upon an exhausted frame,—an effusion of blood brings him to the gates of the grave. His last hour has come; he lies stretched upon the couch, from which he will never rise, in his apartment at the Canonry at Frauenberg, East Prussia.

The beams of the setting sun glance through the gothic win

I 6* 85

[ocr errors][merged small]

dows of his chamber: near his bed-side is the armillary sphere, which he has contrived to represent the theory of his heavens, —his picture painted by himself, the amusement of bis earlier years, hangs before him ; beneath it his Astrolabe and other imperfect astronomical instruments ; and around him are gathered his sorrowing disciples. The door of the apartment opens;— the eye of the departing sage is turned to see who enters; it is a friend, who brings him the first printed copy of his immortal treatise. He knows that in that book he contradicts all that had ever been distictly taught by former philosophers :—he knows that he has rebelled against the sway of Ptolemy, which the scientific world had acknowledged for a thousand years;— he knows that the popular mind will be shocked by his innovations ; he knows that the attempt will be made to press even religion into the service against him; but he knows that his book is true. He is dying, but he leaves a glorious truth, as his dying bequest to the world. He bids the friend, who has brought it, place himself between the window and his bed-side, that the sun's rays may fall upon the precious volume, and he may behold it once, before his eyes grow dim. He looks upon it, takes it in his hands, presses it to his breast, and expires.—But no, he is not wholly gone! A smile lights upon his dying countenance; a beam of returning intelligence kindles in his eye ;—his lips move ;—and the friend, who leans over him, can hear him, faintly murmer the beautiful sentiments, which the Christian lyrist, of a later age, has so finely expressed in verse:

"Ye golden lamps of heaven! farewell, with all your feeble light,

Farewell, thou ever-changing moon, pale empress of the night!

And thou, refulgent orb of day, in brighter flames arrayed,

My soul, which springs beyond thy sphere, no more demands thy aid.

Ye stars, are but the shining dust of my divine abode,

The pavement of those heavenly courts, where I shall reign with God."

% City.

Not in the solitude
Alone may man commune with Heaven, or see,

Only in savage wood
And sunny vale, the present Deity:

Or only hear his voice
Where the winds whisper, and the waves rejoice.

Even here do I behold
Thy steps, Almighty! here, amidst the crowd

Through the great city rolled
With everlasting murmur, deep and loud,

Choking the ways that wind
'Mongst tho proud piles, the work of human kind.

Thy golden sunshine comes
From the round heaven, and on their dwellings lies

And lights their inner homes:
For them thou fillest with air the unbounded skies—

And givest them the stores
Of ocean, and the harvests of its shores.

Thy spirit is around,
Quick'ning the restless mass that sweep along;

And this eternal sound,
Voices and footfalls of the numberless throng,

Like the resounding sea,
Or like the rainy tempest, speaks of Thee!

And when the hours of rest,
Come, like a calm upon the mid-sea brine,

Flushing its billowy breast,
The quiet of that moment too is thine:

It breathes of Him who keeps
The vast and helpless city while it sleeps. Bryant.

« ПредишнаНапред »