Abbildungen der Seite

Of proofs and reasons ye preclude-in those For opportunity presented, thence
Who to your dull society are born,

Far forth to send his wandering eye o'er land And with their humble birthright rest content. And ocean, and look down upon the works, Would I had ne'er renounced it !”

The habitations, and the ways of men,

A slight flush Himself unseen! But no tradition tells Of moral anger previously had tinged

That ever hermit dipp'd his maple dish The old man's cheek ; but, at this closing turn In the sweet spring that lurks ’mid yon green fields; Of self-reproach, it pass'd away. Said he, And no such visionary views belong “ That which we feel we utter; as we think To those who occupy and till the ground, So have we argued ; reaping for our pains

And on the bosom of the mountain dwellNo visible recompense. For our relief

A wedded pair in childless solitude. You,” to the pastor turning thus he spake, A house of stones collected on the spot, “ Have kindly interposed. May I entreat By rude hands built, with rocky knolls in front, Your further help? The mine of real life Back'd also by a ledge of rock, whose crest Dig for us; and present us, in the shape

Of birch trees waves upon the chimney top: Of virgin ore, that gold which we, by pains A rough abode-in colour, shape, and size, Fruitless as those of aëry alchymists,

Such as in unsafe times of border war
Seek from the torturing crucible. There lies Might have been wish'd for and contrived, telude
Around us a domain where you have long

The eye of roving plunderer-for their need
Watch'd both the outward course and inner heart; Suffices and unshaken bears the assault
Give us, for our abstractions, solid facts ;

Of their most dreaded foe, the strong south-west
For our disputes, plain pictures. Say what man In anger blowing from the distant sea.
He is who cultivates yon hanging field;

Alone within her solitary hut;
What qualities of mind she bears, who comes, There, or within the compass of her fields,
For morn and evening service, with her pail, At any moment may the dame be found
To that green pasture ; place before our sight True as the stock-dove to her shallow nest
The family who dwell within yon house

And to the grove that holds it. She beguiles
Fenced round with glittering laurel ; or in that By intermingled work of house and field
Below, from which the curling smoke ascends. The summer's day, and winter's; with success
Or rather, as we stand on holy earth,

Not equal, but sufficient to maintain, And have the dead around us, take from them E’en at the worst, a smooth stream of content, Your instances ; for they are both best known, Until the expected hour at which her mate And by frail man most equitably judged.

From the far-distant quarry's vault returns ; Epitomise the life ; pronounce, you can,

And by his converse crowns a silent day Authentic epitaphs on some of these

With evening cheerfulness. In powers of mind,
Who, from their lowly mansions hither brought, In scale of culture, few among my flock
Beneath this turf lie mouldering at our feet. Hold lower rank than this sequester'd pair;
So, by your records, may our doubts be solved; But humbleness of heart descends from heaven;
And so, not searching higher, we may learn And that best gift of beaven hath fall’n on them;

To prize the breath we share with human kind; Abundant recompense for every want.
And look upon the dust of man with awe.

Stoop from your height, ye proud, and copy these ! The priest replied. “ An office you impose Who, in their noiseless dwelling place, can hear For which peculiar requisites are mine;

The voice of wisdom whispering Scripture texts Yet much, I feel, is wanting-else the task For the mind's government, or temper's peace; Would be most grateful. True indeed it is And recommending, for their mutual need, That they whom death has hidden from our sight Forgiveness, patience, hope, and charity!" Are worthiest of the mind's regard ; with these “Much was I pleased,” the gray-hair'd wanderer The future cannot contradict the past:

said, Mortality's last exercise and proof

“ When to those shining fields our notice first Is undergone ; the transit made that shows You turn'd; and yet more pleased have from your The very soul, reveal'd as she departs.

lips Yet, on your first suggestion, will I give, Gather'd this fair report of them who dwell Ere we descend into these silent vaults,

In that retirement; whither, by such course One picture from the living

Of evil hap and good as oft awaits

“ You behold, A lone wayfaring man, I once was brought. High on the breast of yon dark mountain-dark Dark on my road th' autumnal evening fell With stony barrenness, a shining speck

While I was traversing yon mountain pass, Bright as a sunbeam sleeping till a shower And night succeeded with unusual gloom: Brush it away, or cloud pass over it;

So that my feet and hands at length became And such it might be deem'd—a sleeping sunbeam ; Guides better than mine eyes ; until a light But 'tis a plot of cultivated ground,

High in the gloom appear'd, too high, methought, Cut off, an island in the dusky waste ;

For human habitation ; but I long'd And that attractive brightness is its own.

To reach it, destitute of other hope. The lofty site, by nature framed to tempt

I look'd with steadiness as sailors look Amid a wilderness of rocks and stones

On the north star, or watch-tower's distant lamp, The tiller's hand, a hermit might have chosen, And saw the light-now fix'd-and shifting nowNot like a dancing meteor, but in line

And, through Heaven's blessing, thus we gain the Of never-varying motion, to and fro:

bread It is no night-fire of the naked hills,

For which we pray; and for the wants provide Thought I, some friendly covert must be near. Of sickness, accident, and helpless age. With this persuasion thitherward my steps Companions have I many; many friends, I turn, and reach at last the guiding light; Dependants, comfortors-my wheel, my fire, Joy to myself! but to the heart of her

All day the house-clock ticking in mine ear, Who there was standing on the open bill,

The cackling hen, the tender chicken brood, The same kind matron whom your tongue hath And the wild birds that gather round my porch. praised,)

This honest sheep-dog's countenance I read: Alarm and dissappointment! The alarm

With him can talk ; nor blush to waste a word Ceased, when she learn'd through what mishap 1 On creatures less intelligent and shrewd. came,

And if the blustering wind that drives the clouds
And by what help had gaind those distant fields. Care not for me, he lingers round my door,
Drawn from her cottage, on that open height, And makes me pastime when our tempers suit;
Bearing a lantern in her hand she stood,

But, above all, my thoughts are my support.
Or paced the ground, to guide her husband home, The matron ended-nor could I forbear
By that unwearied signal, kennd afar;

To exclaim, “O happy! yielding to the law
An anxious duty! which the lofty site,

Of these privations, richer in the main ! Traversed but by a few irregular paths,

While thankless thousands are opprest and clogg'd Imposes, whensoe'er untoward chance

By ease and leisure, by the very wealth Detains him after his accustom'd hour

And pride of opportunity made poor ; Till night lies black upon the ground. “But come, While tens of thousands falter in their path, Come,' said the matron, 'to our poor abode ; And sink, through utter want of cheering light; Those dark rocks hide it!' Entering, I beheld For you the hours of labour do not flag: A blazing fire, beside a cleanly hearth

For you each evening hath its shining star, cate down; and to her office, with leave ask'd, And every Sabbath day its golden sun.'» The dame return'd. Or ere that glowing pile

“ Yes !” said the solitary with a smile of mountain turf required the builder's hand That seemd to break from an expanding heart, Its wasted splendour to repair, the door

“ The untutor'd bird may found, and so construct Open'd, and she re-enter'd with glad looks, And with such soft materials line her nest, Her helpmate following. Hospitable fare, Fix'd in the centre of a prickly brake, Frank conversation, made the evening's treat: That the thorns wound her not: they only guard. Need a bewilder'd traveller wish for more ? Powers not unjustly likend to those gifts But more was given; I studied as we sate

Of happy instinct which the woodland bird By the bright fire, the good man's face; composed Shares with her species, nature's grace sometimes Y features elegant; an open brow

Upon the individual doth conser, í undisturb'd humanity; a cheek

Among her higher creatures born and train'd soffused with something of a feminine hue ; To use of reason. And, I own, that tired Eyes beaming courtesy and mild regard ;

Of th’ ostentatious world—a swelling stage But, in the quicker turns of the discourse,

With empty actions and vain passions stuft'd, Expression slowly varying, that evinced

And from the private struggles of mankind A tardy apprehension. From a fount

Hoping for less than I could wish to hope, Lost, thought I, in th' obscurities of time, Far less than once I trusted and believed But honour'd once, these features and that mien I loved to hear of those, who, not contending, May have descended, though I see them here, Nor summon’d to contend for virtue's prize, In such a man, so gentle and subdued,

Miss not the humbler good at which they aim ; Withal so graceful in his gentleness,

Blest with a kindly faculty to blunt A race illustrious for heroic deeds,

The edge of adverse circumstance, and turn Humbled, but not degraded, may expire.

Into their contraries the petty plagues This pleasing fancy (cherish'd and upheld And hinderances with which they stand beset. By sundry recollections of such fall

In early youth, among my native hills, From high to low, ascent from low to high, I knew a Scottish peasant who possessid As books record, and e'en the careless mind A few small crofts of stone-encumber'd ground; Cannot but notice among men and things) Masses of every shape and size, that lay Went with me to the place of my repose. Scatter'd about under the mouldering walls

" Roused by the crowing cock at dawn of day, Of a rough precipice ; and some, apart, I yet had risen too late to interchange

In quarters unobnoxious to such chance, A morning salutation with my host,

As if the moon had shower'd them down in spite; Gone forth already to the far-off seat

But he repined not. Though the plough was scared of bis day's work. * Three dark mid-winter By these obstructions, “ round the shady stones months

A fertilizing moisture,' said the swain, Pass,' said the matron, and I never see,

• Gathers, and is preserved; and feeding dews Save when the Sabbath brings its kind release, And damps, through all the droughty summer day, My helpmate's face by light of day. He quits From out their substance issuing maintain His door in darkness, nor till dusk returns. Herbage that never fails : no grass springs up

So green, so fresh, so plentiful, as mine !! Tyrants who utter the destroying word,
But thinly sown these natures; rare, at least, And slaves who will consent to be destroy'd-
The mutual aptitude of seed and soil

Were of one species with the shelter'd few,
That yields such kindly product. He, whose bed Who, with a dutiful and tender hand,
Perhaps yon loose sods cover, the poor pensioner Did lodge, in an appropriated spot,
Brought yesterday from our sequester'd dell This file of infants ; some that never breathed
Here to lie down in lasting quiet-he,

The vital air ; and others, who, allow'd If living now, could otherwise report

That privilege, did yet expire too soon,
Of rustic loneliness; that gray-hair'd orphan- Or with too brief a warning, to admit
So call him, for humanity to him

Administration of the holy rite
No parent was-feelingly could have told, That lovingly consigns the babe to th' arms
In life, in death, what solitude can breed

Of Jesus, and his everlasting care.
Of selfishness, and cruelty, and vice;

These that in trembling hope are laid apart; Or, if it breed not, hath not power to cure. And the besprinkled nursling, unrequired But your compliance, sir, with our request Till he begins to smile upon the breast My words too long have hinder'd.”

That feeds him; and the tottering little one

Undeterr'd, Taken from air and sunshine when the rose Perhaps incited rather, by these shocks,

Of infancy first blooms upon his cheek; In no ungracious opposition, given

The thinking, thoughtless schoolboy: the bold To the confiding spirit of his own

Experienced faith, the reverend pastor said, Of soul impetuous, and the bashful maid
Around him looking, “Where shall I begin? Smitten while all the promises of life
Who shall be first selected from my flock,

Are opening round her: those of middle age, Gather'd together in their peaceful fold ?”

Cast down while confident in strength they stand, He paused, and having lifted up his eyes

Like piliars fix'd more firmly, as might seem, To the pure heaven, he cast them down again And more secure, by very weight of all Upon the earth beneath his feet; and spake. That, for support, rests on them ; the decay'd “ To a mysteriously-consorted pair

And burdensome: and lastly, that poor few This place is consecrate; to death and life, Whose light of reason is with age extinct ; And to the best affections that proceed

The hopeful and the hopeless, first and last, From their conjunction ;-consecrate to faith The earliest summond and the longest sparedIn him who bled for man upon the cross ;

Are here deposited, with tribute paid Hallow'd to revelation; and no less

Various, but unto each some tribute paid ; To reason's mandates: and the hopes divine As if, amid these peaceful hills and groves, of pure imagination ;-above all,

Society were touch'd with kind concern: To charity, and love, that have provided

And gentle · Nature grieved, that one should die; Within these precincts, a capacious bed

Or, if the change demanded no regret, And receptacle, open to the good

Observed the liberating stroke_and bless'd. And evil, to the just and the unjust;

And whence that tribute ? wherefore these regards ? In which they find an equal resting-place: Not from the naked heart alone of man, E'en as the multitude of kindred brooks

(Though claiming high distinction upon earth And streams, whose murmur fills this hollow vale, As the sole spring and fountain-head of tears, Whether their course be turbulent or smooth, His own peculiar utterance for distress Their waters clear or sullied, all are lost

Or gladness.) No," the philosophic priest Within the bosom of yon crystal lake,

Continued, “ 'tis not in the vital seat And end their journey in the same repose ! Of feeling to produce them, without aid “ And blest are they who sleep; and we that From the pure soul, the soul sublime and pure; know,

With her two faculties of eye and ear, While in a spot like this we breathe and walk, The one by which a creature, whom his sins That all beneath us by the wings are cover'd Have render'd prone, can upward look to heaven; Of motherly humanity, outspread

The other that empowers him to perceive And gathering all within their tender shade, The voice of deity, on height and plain, Thongh loath and slow to come! A battle field, Whispering those truths in stillness, which the In stillness left when slaughter is no more,

WORD, With this compared, is a strange spectacle ! To the four quarters of the winds, proclaims. A rueful sight the wild shore strewn with wrecks, Not without such assistance could the use And trod by people in afflicted quest

Of these benign observances prevail. Of friends and kindred, whom the angry sea Thus are they born, thus foster'd and maintain'd; Restores not to their prayer! Ah! who would And by the care prospective of our wise think

Forefathers, who, to guard against the shocks, That all the scatter'd subjects which compose The fluctuation and decay of things, Earth's melancholy vision through the space Imbodied and establish'd these high truths of all her climes ; these wretched, these depraved, In solemn institutions; men convinced To virtue lost, insensible of peace,

That life is love and immortality,
From the delights of charity cut off,

The being one, and one the element.
To pity dead, th' oppressor and th' opprest; There lies the channel, and original bed,


From the beginning, hollow'd out and scoop'd Of pious sentiment diffused afar,
For man's affections; else betray'd and lost. And human charity, and social love.
And swallow'd up ʼmid deserts infinite !

Thus never shall th' indignities of time
This is the genuine course, the aim, and end Approach their reverend graces, unopposed;
Of prescient reason ; all conclusions else

Nor shall the elements be free to hurt
Are abject, vain, presumptuous, and perverse, Their fair proportions; nor the blinder rage
The faith partaking of those holy times.

Of higot zeal madly to overturn;
Life, I repeat, is energy of love

And, if the desolating hand of war Divine or human; exercised in pain,

Spare them, they shall continue to bestowIn strife, and tribulation; and ordain'd,

Upon the throng'd abodes of busy men If so approved and sanctified, to pass,

(Depraved, and ever prone to fill their minds Through shades and silent rest, to endless joy." Exclusively with transitory things)

An air and mien of dignified pursuit;
Of sweet civility-on rustic wilds.

The poet, fostering for his native land

Such hope, entreats that servants may abound

Of those pure altars worthy; ministers THE CHURCHYARD AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.

Detach'd from pleasure, to the love of gain

Superior, insusceptible of pride,
Poet's address to the state and church of England. The And by ambitious longings undisturbid;

pastor not inferior to the ancient worthies of the church. Men, whose delight is where their duty leads
He begins his narratives with an instance of unrequited | Or fixes them; whose least distinguish'd day
love. Anguish of mind subdued, and how. The lonely | Shines with some portion of that heavenly lustre
miner, an instance of perseverance, which leads by which makes the Sabbath lovely in the sight
contrast to an example of abused talents, irresolution, of blessed angels, pitying human cares.
and weakness. Solitary, applying this covertly to his
own case, asks for an instance of some stranger, whose And, as on earth it is the doom of truth
dispositions may have led him to end his days here. To be perpetually attack'd by foes
Pastor, in answer, gives an account of the harmonizing Open or covert, be that priesthood still,
influence of solitude upon two men of opposito princi. For her defence, replenish'd with a band
ples, who had encountered agitations in public life of strenuous champions, in scholastic arts
The rule by which peace may be obtained expressed,
and where. Solitary hints at an overpowering fatality. Thoroughly disciplined; nor (if in course
of the pastor.

What subjects he will exclude of the revolving world's disturbances from his narratives. Conversation upon this. Instance Cause should recur, which righteous heaven avert! of an unamiable character, a female, and why given: To meet such trial) from their spiritual sire Contrasted with this, a meek sufferer, from unguarded and betrayed love. Instance of heavier guilt, and its Degenerate; who, constrain’d to wield the sword consequences to the offender. With this instance of a Of disputation, shrunk not, though assail'd marriage contract broken is contrasted one of a wi. With hostile din, and combating in sight dower, evidencing his faithful affection towards his of angry umpires, partial and unjust ; deceased wife by his care of their female children,

And did, thereafter, bathe their hands in fire, Hail to the crown by freedom shaped, to gird So to declare the conscience satisfied : An English sovereign's brow! and to the throne Nor for their bodies would accept release ; Whereon he sits! Whose deep foundations lie But, blessing God and praising him, bequeathed In veneration and the people's love ;

With their last breath, from out the smouldering Whose steps are equity, whose seat is law.

flame, Hail to the state of England ! And conjoin

The faith which they by diligence had earn'd, With this a salutation as devout,

Or, through illuminating grace, received, Made to the spiritual fabric of her church:

For their dear countrymen, and all mankind. Founded in truth; by blood of martyrdom

O high example, constancy divine ! Cemented; by the hands of wisdom rear'd

E’en such a man (inheriting the zea) In beauty of holiness, with order'd pomp,

And from the sanctity of elder times Decent, and unreproved. The voice, that greets Not deviating,-a priest, the like of whoin, The majesty of both, shall pray for both;

If multiplied, and in their stations set,
That, mutually protected and sustain'd,

Would o'er the bosom of a joyful land
They may endure long as the sea surrounds Spread true religion, and her genuine fruits)
This favour'd land, or sunshine warms her soil.

Before me stood that day; on holy ground
And O, ye swelling hills, and spacious plains ! Fraught with the relics of mortality,
Besprent from shore to shore with steeple-towers, Exalting tender themes, by just degrees
And spires whose“ silent finger points to heaven;" To lofty raised; and to the highest, last;
Nor wanting, at wide intervals, the bulk

The head and mighty paramount of truths ;
Of ancient minster, lifted above the cloud Immortal life, in never-fading worlds,
Of the dense air, which town or city breeds For mortal creatures, conquer'd and secured.
To intercept the sun's glad beams,-may ne'er That basis laid, those principles of faith
That true succession fail of English hearts, Announced, as a preparatory act
Who, with ancestral feeling can perceive

Of reverence to the spirit of the place ;
What in those holy structures ye possess

The pastor cast his eyes upon the ground, Of ornamental interest and the charm

Not, as before, like one oppress'd with awe,

But with a mild and social cheerfulness,

To tinge his cheek ; and through his frame it crept Then to the solitary turn'd, and spake.

With slow mutation unconcealable;
“At morn or eve, in your retired domain, Such universal change as autumn makes
Perchance you not unfrequently have mark'd In the fair body of a leafy grove
A visiter-in quest of herbs and flowers ;

Discolour'd, then divested. "Tis affirm'd
Too delicate employ, as would appear

By poets skill'd in nature's secret ways For one, who, though of drooping mien, had yet That love will not subrnit to be controll'd From nature's kindliness received a frame By mastery: and the good man lack'd not friends Robust as ever rural labour bred.”

Who strove t’instil this truth into his mind, The solitary answer'd: “Such a form

A mind in all heart mysteries unversed. Full well I recollect. We often cross'd

Go to the bills,' said one, remit a while Each other's path ; but, as th' intruder seem'd This baneful diligence : at eariy morn Fondly to prize the silence which he kept, Court the fresh air, explore the heaths and woods ; And I as willingly did cherish mine,

And, leaving it to others to foretell, We met, and pass’d, like shadows. I have heard, By calculations sage, the ebb and now From my good host that he was crazed in brain Of tides, and when the moon will be eclipsed, By unrequited love ; and scaled the rocks, Do you, for your own benefit, construct Dived into caves, and pierced the matted woods A calendar of flowers, pluck'd as they blow In hope to find some virtuous herb of power Where health abides, and cheerfulness, and peace." To cure his malady!”

The attempt was made ; 'tis needless to report The vicar smiled,

How hopelessly : but innocence is strong, “ Alas! before to-morrow's sun goes down An an entire simplicity of mind, His habitation will be here: for him

A thing most sacred in the eye of heaven, That open grave is destined.”

That opens, for such sufferers, relief

“ Died he then Within their souls, a fount of grace divine ; Of pain and grief?” the solitary ask'd,

And doth commend their weakness and disease “ Believe it not-oh! never could that be !” To nature's care, assisted in her office

“ He loved,” the vicar answerd, “ deeply loved, By all the elements that round her wait
Loved fondly, truly, fervently; and dared To generate, to preserve, and to restore ;
At length to tell his love, but sued in vain ; And by her beautiful array of forms
Rejected-yea repell'd-and, if with scorn Shedding sweet influence from above, or pure
Upon the haughty maiden's brow, 'tis but

Delight exhaling from the ground they tread.” A high-prized plume which female beauty wears “ Impute it not to impatience, if,” exclaim'd In wantonness of conquest, or puts on

The wanderer, “ I infer that he was heal'd To cheat the world, or from herself to hide By perseverance in the course prescribed.” Humiliation, when no longer free.

“You do not err: the powers, that had been lost That he could brook, and glory in ;—but when By slow degrees, were gradually regain'd; The tidings came that she whom he had wood The fluttering nerves composed; the beating heart Was wedded to another, and his heart

In rest establish'd ; and the jarring thougbts Was forced to rend away its only hope,

To harmony restored. But yon dark mould Then, pity could have scarcely found on earth Will cover him, in the fulness of his strength, An object worthier of regard than he,

Hastily smitten, by a fever's force; In the transition of that bitter hour!

Yet not with stroke so sudden as refused Lost was she, lost; nor could the sufferer say Time to look back with tenderness on her That in the act of preference he had been

Whom he had loved in passion,-and to send Unjustly dealt with ; but the maid was gone ! Some farewell words--with one, but one, request, Had vanish'd from his prospects and desires ; That, from his dying hand, she would accept Not by translation to the heavenly choir

Of his possessions that which most he prized; Who have put off their mortal spoils—ah no! A book, upon whose leaves some chosen plants She lives another's wishes to complete,

By his own hand disposed with nicest care,
Joy be their lot, and happiness,' he cried, In undecaying beauty were preserved ;
• His lot and hers as misery is mine!

Mute register, to him, of time and place,
“ Such was that strong concussion ; but the man, And various fluctuations in the breast;
Who trembled, trunk and limbs, like some huge oak To her, a monument of faithful love
By a fierce tempest shaken, soon resumed

Conquer'd, and in tranquillity retain'd!
The steadfast quiet natural to a mind

“ Close to his destined habitation, lies Of composition gentle and sedate,

One who achieved a humbler victory,
And in its movements circumspect and slow. Though marvellous in its kind. A place there is
To books, and to the long forsaken desk,

High in these mountains, that allured a band
O'er which enchain'd by science he had loved Of keen adventurers to unite their pains
To bend, he stoutly readdress'd himself,

In search of precious ore: who tried, were foil'd-
Resolved to quell his pain, and search for truth And all desisted, all, save him alone.
With keener appetite (if that might be)

He, taking counsel of his own clear thoughts, And closer industry. Of what ensued

And trusting only to his own weak hands, Within the heart no outward sign appear'd Urged unremittingly the stubborn work, Till a betraying sickliness was seen

Unseconded, uncountenanced; then, as time

« ZurückWeiter »