Imágenes de páginas

them. As I mused, I looked abroad, and sud-
denly I felt what a great thing it was to live
and look out with intelligence on this world of
grandeur and beauty. I did not ask for the my-
thology of heathenism to give meaning, poetry
and music to the forest scene, but found myself
murmuring the rapt numbers of her who sang :
The beautiful idolatry is dead,
Which made the poetry of classic times.
Earth's deities have fled. The fountains tell
No tales of sporting naiads, and the flowers,
By the redundant fragrance in their bells
Weighed down, like lowly vestals at their prayers,
Pour forth their incense at an empty shrine.
No virgin archer, with her silver bow,
Molests the fawn that linger by the stream
To taste the sweet refreshment of the waves.
The rustic swain may wander thro' the wild,
Nor wake a dryad from the velvet sward,
Though with his reckless tramp he crush the

That make the pillow of her fabled couch.
The Druid, too-the venerable priest,
Who made the grove the temple of his rites,
Ev'n he no longer lights the fatal flame,
And binds his brother to the wicker pyre.
The ancient oak yields to the soft embrace
of reverend mistletoe, and yet receives
No homage for the union. Earth's deities
Have flown-divinity is dead.

My God!
Thou who art dwelling in the humblest flower,
Existent in the mightiest and the least
Of all created loveliness, whose home
Has no locality-Thou art the love,
The ever-present Deity! There are,
Oh Spirit of the Universe ! there are
No empty shrines, no wasted offerings !
All shrines are filled, all gifts received by Thee !
And fountains have a voice to speak of Thee-
A theme eternal as thy nature, God,
And wasteless as thy goodness!

One visible fraction of thy goodness !
Here on this sod, made beautiful by Thee,
And fragrant with thine all-pervading love,
I bend my knee and bow my contrite heart,
Assured that never Druid lit a flame
So sweet to Thee, as the pure glow of love
Which thy own breath has kindled. But I kneel
Not lonely at thy footstool ; by my side,
Bend, in this chastened beauty, a sweet group
Of vestal forest flowers ; their tearful eyes
Upturned to Heaven ; their fragile, sylph-like

Bowed like young Magdalens ; and on their lips
Rich with an eloquence approved by Thee,
Their only auditor, rest radiant smiles
Of pure, confiding, all-beseeching love.
Beloved Father, while I pray with them,
To be a child of grace, and seek the crown
Of hope and peace-give me to wear with them
That small white pearl, more rare than Ceylon

Known as humility. Aid me to be
Humble and lowly hearted as the flowers ;
That I may turn away from earth, right glad
To seek their sister-hood ! weary with pomp
And gaudy pageantry ; with strife for rank
And worldly precedence ; content to pass
My blessed hours of worship here, where pride,
The evil tempter of our innocence,
Has no admittance. Father, hear my plea!

When I read the Memoirs of Mrs. Mayo, and the Selections from her Writings, (did I ever | thank you for the book ? I meant to-it is a heart-book, a pillow-book, a book for the twilight that will make Heaven nearer when the stars come out,) I was sorry not to find “Forest Devotions” in the Selections, but every one cannot have their favorites in a selection made ! by one mind, and so I went and borrowed the sixth volume of the Repository from one of your stand-by subscribers, committed that poem to memory, and now it's among the “Selections' as I read them.

What a Spirit that was whose songs go now singing through our souls like pure-hearted children in their homes! I don't know that I ever felt what she was till the morning my memory kept recalling one after another of her poems; and I found she had written a great deal for me. What a sweetness it is far away from the murmurs of the town, deep in the “grey old woods," to find a spirit with us who can give our thoughts expression, and celebrate for us the loveliness of Nature, the greatness of the soul, the grandeur and majesty of God! She really is giving us

Let me quote the whole of this Forest Derotions,” for it came to my lips and was made audible, as the waters leap from the fountain and will not be stayed singing in the air. O how I do love it!

Earth may praise With all her magic tongues, and human lips And human hearts may swell their eloquence ; The kneeling choir of seraphim may join With cherubim and angels round thy throne ; But never, Oh, Jehovah King of Hosts ! Shall mortal or celestial voices show

[blocks in formation]

Toddling near a parent's knee,

Crowing forth its winsome glee,
Laughing dimples peeping out from each rosy

cheek ;-
Eyes that take the violet's hue,

Glist’ning 'mid starlight and dew ;
Balmy, rosy, pouting lips, that truant mirth be-


Now to chase the butterfly

Springs she with a joyous cry ;
Sportive as the romping lambs, nimble as the

fawn ;-
Restless are her twinkling feet,

Pattering on so quick and feet,
Tripping and skipping tirelessly o’er the grassy


It is not the decree of destiny that the wings of the immortal soul should trail forever in the dust, and be forever pressed down and crippled by the work-day things of life. Beyond the world's din and strife, far from the hurrying, restless crowd, there is a land fair as the Christian's dream of heaven.

Into this land, escaping from the dull prison-house of the Present, where chained to the ever turning wheel, she toils day after day for others, or for her own bread, raiment and fame, comes the soul at times seeking repose and joy. Here, shut in no more from the great and blessed light that falls so gloomily upon the dusty windows of her “breathing house," she sits with folded wings and a clear eye, while the past-all that hath been, both of joy and sorrow-- the noble deeds, the lofty thoughts and sweet faces, of other days-rising, as at the sound of a silver trump from the graves of her forgetfulness, not shadowy and indistinct as midnight spectres, but fair and life-like, pass hefore her in solemn, sad review.

In this land death has no sting, and the grave no victory. Time and decay also are powerless. Every thing is immortal, as if from beneath the deep roots of each ever-blossoming tree, and from the cold lips of each crystal rock, gushed forth unfailing streams of water like unto that of the fabled fountain so long sought after by De Leon and his comrades amid the everglades of the New World, and which had the power of bestowing immortal youth and felicity

[blocks in formation]

on all who bathed in its magic tide. Here af- Spring, that fair type of our immortality, is, fection never dies, and love never grows cold, perhaps, more than any other season, calculated but live forever fresh and fair as at their birth. to lead the soul back into the land of memory; It is a realm of endless Summer, perennial while Fall and Winter lead her orward as it graves and unclouded suns; a realm where, were, to the cloudy verge and into the very though there is no night, the stars thrill with shadow of a clime whose beauties she can but their mild radiance, and the moon with her pen- dimly see. Fall crushes the gentle flowers besive smile; while ever across life's stormy sea, neath her sandals, and they perish. Before the filling our hearts and homes, comes a gale laden blast of her breath the landscape grows pale and with the fragrance of the unfading flowers that the turf cold. Following fast in her path, Winfringe its far-off shores, as across the track of the ter comes, gaunt and grim as death himself-as heart-desponding mariner, long tost amid dark the Angel of all Desolation-shouting with a and dangerous shoals, glides a bird of passage, hoarse voice on the barren plain and in the leafbearing pearly dews upon her wing and a green less forest, while with one hand be swings his leaf in her beak, telling of Indian seas and isles keen and glittering scythe, and with the other, of Palm.

gloved in ice, points sternly towards the grove. It is to us the land of transfiguration. As we But not such is the mission of Spring. With all enter in through its golden portals, old age

with her beautiful bopes and urgent warnings-her his trembling palsy, grey hairs and deep fur- serene countenance and heavenly beauty-like a rows, glides from us as if beneath the touch of mermaid from the briny deep, or an angel from the enchanter's wand; and we are again young; the shadowy sepulchre, she rises up from the and again we feel the bounding puise, the flush- dark bosom of the Past. Her flower-embroidered cheek, and the struggling of the winged de- ed garments trail musically on the earth's floor, sires of earlier and happier years.

We are in and with her white arms, wreathed in sunshine, the green meadows, where we were wont to lovingly doth she clasp the grey old mountains gather the daisies and butter-cups, those choicest to her bosom. And it is Spring that she loves flowers of childhood; and our feet print, as of best to follow into the fair land of memory; for old, the yielding moss in silent dells sacred unto she is herself a child of that land. the forget-me-not and pale primrose. There is

Thrice blessed are the long bright days of our diamond maker the glittering cascade - Spring! They are with us now—and we are no there the gray rocks on which we have so often

longer what we were. Old age and care and sat, and the broad, sunny openings in the forest hopeless grief, have fallen from us like a gar-the beautiful wild rose, the sweet honeysuckle,

We are again young; and again we lire and the red berries, almost as brilliant as stars,

over the checkered past. The land of which I clustering amid the dark boughs of the moun

have been speaking, is all around us. We live tain-ash. There, too, are the pine-clad hills

no more in the Present; but for a season our around our early home, the far-off, dim moun- daily companions are saints and angels. That tains and the blue lake. All seems distinct and indescribable longing to behold once more the real. There they live whom we call dead. From faces of our departed friends—for some heaven. that green and silent sbore they gaze upon us ly messenger to come and roll away the stone with their star-like eyes, and tenderly they speak from the sepulchre's mouth-which. possessed to us in the sweet, familiar tones of other days; us in the winter days, has become less strong and day after day, even amid the din and tumult and ardent. Few now are our thoughts of of a great city, and above the noise and bustle death and decay; while the glory of the resurof the ever-moving crowd, do we hear, in fancy,

rection is round about us as a living presence. the glad song of the summer birds, or the music We think and feel that inmortality is ours. Age, of the mountain torrent, or the wind moaning and tribulation and death, what are ye to our among the trees, which we have so often listen- | bounding hearts, to’our souls, all abroad beneath ed to in the quiet of our childhood days.

the sunny heavens and the

starry skies! There are times and seasons, when the soul The light rests on the mountains like a crown loves best to roam in this land-times when she of gold; so it rested when we were young. The goes forth, day after day, from the dusty streets sunbeams bridge the meadow brooks with sil. and dark dwellings of the Present to its green ver; so were they bridged when we were young! groves and meadows; yet half unconsciously, Yet, since the last advent of Spring, eren, and as if following the sound of unseen {eet. many are the changes that have taken place in


our midst; broader has grown the land of men- To them he will never grow old; but forever ory, and more thickly is it populated. Death will be as fair, as young and as light-hearted, with his invisible scythe, has been busy in the and filled with as ardent longings and as noble fields of life. In the resting place of the dead, aspirations as when he breathed his last farewell there are new graves over which the first green by the threshold of home with the world and a grass is growing and the first buds expanding life of usefulness and honor before him! into blossoms; by the hearth-stone there are Thus far, fair is the representation of the land more vacant seats; and the shepherds of a thous- of memory,—for I have spoken of it as it ap. and focks are counting anew their dead lambs. pears unto the good and pure of heart-unto

Before me as I write--and it shall be sacred those whose lives have been fair and honorable. forevermore-lies an unfolded letter, written one I now turn to speak of it briefly as a land of year ago this May. It is full of affection and

remorse and terror-as it rises to the troubled hope-full of the longings and aspirations of an vision of those who have trodden the paths of ardent and expectant heart-but the hand that crime and error. To them, though a golden penned it is now but dust. How little did I

streak may still, and forever, bind the far-off think when I broke the tiny seal bearing the horizon of youth, such fountain is as a mirror reimage of an angel poiniing towards heaven, vealing the soul's deformity, and its every stain, with the motto, " HOPE ON AND FOREVER,” that distinct and indelible as that on the hand of a the author, ere another year had passed, would Macbeth. From each thicket and grove, as if be numbered no longer among the living-that they had taken life and form, rise, and glide to even then disease was stealing into that gener- and fro before the soul's guilty vision, the evil ous heart, and death darkening the light of that deeds and crimes of a dark and fearful life. flashing eye. But so it was.

There the victim of intemperance is again a Some time during the bright evenings of last fair-haired boy-and again he sees the cruel Spring-time seems but a dream since then- tempter nestling in his path, and a fond mother, there was one who was wont to meet with us full of sad misgivings, sitting at midnight by the in this chapel on occasions like the present. desolate hearth, waiting his return from scenes Eren now I fancy that I can see that fair form of mirth and debauchery; and again he lives and pleasant face, in our midst, as in those holy over the dark days of the breaking of her heart. and never-to-be-forgotten hours. But he will be There the hardened thief sees temptation glidwith os no more. In the spirit he will be with ing like a subtle serpent over the crystal walls us often, but no more as a living, tangible pres- of his departed honor; and feels once more, ence. In a sad and unexpected hour, far from burning into his very soul, the first glance of home and kindred, with only the surging billows suspicion. There the extortioner wrings again of the great sea beneath, and God's blue sky with his bony hand the life blood from the hearts above, bis immortal soul without warning, and of the poor; and again he rears his stately palalnost in the twinkling of an eye, was called by ace on the skulls of men. There in each gloomy, the star-eyed angels into the presence of its Ma- silent dell, before the shrinking murderer, springs ker; and evermore, in the language of the cold up his murdered victim, with his bleeding and heartless world, it shall be said that he is wounds and his dying curse. There a Belshaz. dead. But to those who loved him best, who zar sees again and again, the fiery hand-writing were nearest and dearest unto his heart, he still on his palace wall; and hears the exultant lives. They cannot think of him as dead. In shouts of the foe, as through the drained riverthe holy silence of the land of memory, he rises bed, legion afier legion, bearing swords and to their view from amid the undying flowers, flaming torches, they come pouring into his dearer and more beautiful than ever.

fair city. There the warrior, with a nation's day will they meet him there -and day after laurels fresh upon his brow, beholds once more !! day will they listen to bis gentle voice, unheard

the trampled plain, the smoke of sacked and by other ears. By the golden light of fancy, they burning villages; and hears the awful din of shall witness the gradual unfolding of his soul carnage, the shouts and oaths of his ruthless solwithout one taint of this world's dubious love.

diery, the groans of the dying, and the wail of 1 A son of Professor Folsom of thc Meadville

the mourner. Again before him rises the widSchool. He fell from the main-mast to the deck,

owed mother, the orphaned child, the outraged | of the ship in which he was sailing, and died maiden, and the childless father. within a few hours,

There in every lower and on every leaf are

Day after

M. S. L.



recorded, never to be effaced, the thoughts and Who truly, as story books always have said, words and deeds of every man, as in the Book of Once spared his fair bride for the stories she told. God's Remembrance; and there, day after day, and in the watches of the lemn night, must

For if that old monster should come back to us, the guilty, trembling soul go, led on by an in

And take thee, my sister, to be his fair wife, visible power, to meet its stern accusers; and

And then draw his sword, love, to put thee to wander with scorched and bleeding feet, over

death, burning deserts, and through gloomy forests,

I know that one story would buy thee thy life. haunted by all that is terrible.

Don't start nor look round thee, no Arab is here, Forever, shall the land of memory be as we The wind was but stirring the branches above ; forin it-forever shall its beauty, or its gloom And now I'll be silent-the birds are all stilldepend upon the lives we live; therefore, should

They, too, may be listening to hear thee, my every man walk with cautious feet and build

love. with a careful hand-remembering that each Smithville, R. I. thought and word and deed will live forever. If so he lives, then, from the far-off turrets of the heaven towards which he is journeying, as he

A WEEK IN PROVIDENCE. lays aside his worn staff and unbinds his dusty sandals for the peace and repose of his eternal

A LETTER TO A FRIEND. home, and turns to look back upon the road over which he has passed, fair unto his eye shall ap

Providence, May 8, 1851. pear the land of memory, with its groves bathed

MY DEAR MARY:-A desire has seized me in sunshine, and its fields robed in living green,

this dull rainy morning which I am unable to as to the enraptured vision of the weary patri- resist, to sit down and write you of the many arch, from the serene heights of Pisgah, appear

pleasant things I have seen and enjoyed, since ed the promised Canaan.

parting with you a week ago in Boston. This

is my first visit to Providence, and every feature Erie, Pa.

of the city, its scenery, its inhabitants, its handsome buildings, and its pleasant gardens of flowers, shrubbery and fruit trees already in blossom,

are all new and interesting to me,-adding to TELL ME STORIEN, ABBY.

these the society of my much esteemed friends

Mr. and Mrs. B-, you may imagine how See, sister, how softly the green branches wave

swiftly and happily the hours slip away. While sunlight is turning each leaflet to gold,

I am greatly pleased with the locality of the And see how the blue arches gloriously o’er,

town, and with the fine taste of the people, as Like a banner of love far above us unroll’d.

displayed in adorning it with trees and garden Dost hear how the birds are now singing away,

plats, bringing into the very heart of the city As if they would pour their whole soul into song?

the beauties of the surrounding country. The Dost see how the water that flows at our feet,

buildings do not crowd upon each other's heels, Now dimples and smiles as it wanders along?

and push their bold red faces into their neigh

bors' windows, as in New York and Boston. We'll off our hats, and we'll sit on the

Yet the occupants are unusually social in their ground,

feelings and habits. A pleasant country familiAnd each for the other weave coronets, dear,

arity prevails, which we rarely find in a town of From out the bright blossoms and clustering like dimensions. A common bond of sympathy vines

brings together persons of different tastes, sects, All scattered about us so lavishly here.

and positions in life. The ladies here are pret. And then, for thou see'st I'll have my own way,

tier, and dress with a better, because simpler And thou must be quiet nor dare to rebel,

style, than in many of our New England cities. I'll sit all attention, good child as I am,

The Spring is much earlier here than on the And list to the tales thou, sister, shalt tell.

sea-shore. They escape the blasting influence

of the cold east winds, that freeze up the warm I wonder not now as I did long ago,

blood that longs to leap out at the approach of At that fierce Arabian monarch of old,

sunny days, and nips with cruel frosty hands,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »