« AnteriorContinuar »
There let the shepherd's fute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of Seasons as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams,
Or winter rises in the blackening east.
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat f
Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barb'rous climes,
Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles ; 'tis nought to me
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full-
And where HE vital spreads, there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey—there with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing— I cannot go,
Where Universal Love smiles not around.
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns-
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression—but I lose
Myself in Him, in Lir I INEFFABLE!
Come, then, expressive Silence, muse nis praise.
I.— The Camelion.—MERRICE.
FT has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark, Returning from his finish'd tour, Grown ten times perter than before ; Whatever word you chance to drop, The travell'd fool your mouth will stop“Sir, if my judgment you'll allow I've seen--and sure I ought to know."So begs you'd pay a due submission, And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast, As o'er Arabia's wilds they pass'd ; And on their way in friendly chat, Now talk'd of this and then of that— Discours'd awhile 'mongst other matter, Of the Camelion's form and nature. “ A stranger animal," cries one, “ Sure never liv'd beneath the sun : A lizard's body, lean and long, A fish's head, a serpent's tongue, Its tooth with triple claw disjoin'dAnd what a length of tail behind ! How slow its pace 1 and then its hueWho ever saw so fine a blue ?"
“ Hold there," the other quick replies, "'Tis green—I saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay, And warmi'd it in the sunny ray: Stretchi'd at its ease the beast I view'd, And saw it eat the air for food."
“ I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue.
At leisure I the beast survey'd,
Extended in the cooling shade."
"'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye," 6 Green !" cries the other in a fury
Why sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes ?" ""'were no great loss," the friend replies* " For if they always serve you thus, You'll find them but of little use."
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows
When luckily, came by a third ;
T« him the question they referred,
And begg'd he'd tell them if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.
Sirs," cries the umpire, “ cease your potheK,
The creature's neither one nor t'other.
I caught the animal last night,
And view'd it o'er by candlelight :
I mark'd it well—'twas black as jet-
You stare—but sirs, I've got it yet,
And can produce it.”-“Pray sir do :
I'll lay my life the thing is blue."
" And I'll be sworn that when you've seen
The reptile, you'll pronounce it green.".
- Well then, at once to end the doubt,"
Replies the man, “ I'll turn him out :
And when before your eyes I've set him,
If you don't find him black, I'll eat him."
He said—then full before their sight
Froduc'd the beast—and lo, 'twas white.
II.—On the Order of Nature.—Pope. SEE, through this air, this ocean and this earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth. Above, how high progressive life may go, Around how wide ! how deep extend below! Vast chain of being, which from God began Natures etherial, human ; angel, man ; Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see, No glass can reach ; from Infinite to thee. From thee to nothing. Oh superior powers Were we to press, inferior might on ours ; Or in the full creation leave a void, Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroyed: From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ! Just as absurd for any part to claim To be another, in this gen'ral frame. Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains, The great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul : That, chang'd through all, and yet in all the same, Great in the earth, as in th' etherial frame, Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars and blossoms in the trees, Lives through all life, extends through all extent, Spreads undivided, operates unspent,
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart :
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns :
To him no high, no low, no great, no small,
He fills, he bounds, connects and equals all.
Cease, then, nor. Order, imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point ; this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear;
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art unknown to thee ;
All Chance, Direction which thou canst not see,
All Discord, Harmony not understood ;
All partial Evil, universal Good ;
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever Is, Is Right."
Jiii—Description of a Country Alehouse,—Goldsmith.
NEAR yonder thorn that lifts its head on high,
Where once the signpost caught the passing eye ;
Low lies that house, where nut brown draughts inspird ;
beard mirth, and smiling toil retird;
Where village statesmen talk'd, with looks profound,
And news, much older than their ale, went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlor splendors of that festive place ;
The whitewash'd wall ; the nicely sanded floor ;
The varnish'd clock, that click'd behind the door ;
The chest, contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day ;
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose ;
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gax:
While broken teacups, wisely kept for show,
Rang'd o'er the chimney glisten'd in a row.
Vain transitory splendors! could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall!
Obscure it sinks ; nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart.
Thither no more the peasant shall repair,
To sweet oblivion of his daily care ;
No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail ;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
Relax his pond'rous strength, and lean to hear,
The host himself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round ;
Nor the coy maid, half willing to be press'd,
Shall kiss the cup, to pass it to the rest.
IV. Character of a Country School Master.—Ib.
BESIDE yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossom'd furze, unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school.
A man severe he was, and stern to view ;
I knew him well, and every truant knew.
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face :
Full well they laugh'd and counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes for many a joke had he
Full well the busy whisper circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd..
Yet he was kind ; or, if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault. ·
The village all declar'd how much he knew,
'twas certain he could write and cypher too ;
Lands he could meası're, times and tides presage ; :
And e'en the story ran that he sould guage.
In arguing too the parson own'd his skill;
For, e'en though vanquish'd he could argue still ;
While words of learned length and thund'ring sound,
Amaz'd the gazing rustics rang'd around ;
And still they gaz'd—and still the wonder grew,
I. at one small head could carry all he knew.
V.Story of Palemon and Lavinia.Thomson.
THE lovely young Lavinia once had friends,
And fortune smild, deceitful, on her birth.
For in her helpless years, depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven,
She with her widow'd mother, feeble, old-
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale ;
By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty conceald.
Together, thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn,
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion and low minded pride :
Almost on nature's common bounty fed ;
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of tomorrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves ; unstain'd and pure.
As is the lily, or the mountain snow,