« AnteriorContinuar »
Through crystal water, smoothly as a Hawk,
Whose ends are gained ? Behold an emblem bere That, disentangled from the shady boughs
Of one day's pleasure, and all mortal joys!
Of that which is no longer needed, see * Observe,» the Vicar said, « yon rocky Isle
The common course of human gratitude !»
Of the still evening. Right across the Lake
Our pinnace moves: then, coasting creek and bay, Supporting gracefully a massy Dome
Glades we behold-and into thickets peepOf sombre foliage, seem to imitate
Where couch the spotted deer; or raised our eyes A Grecian Temple rising from the Deep.»
To shaggy steeps on which the careless goat
Browsed by the side of dashing waterfalls. «Turu where we may,» said I, « we cannot err Thus did the Bark, mcandering with the shore, la this delicious Region.»—Cultured slopes,
Pursue her voyage, vill a natural pier Wild tracts of foresl-ground, and scattered groves, Of jutting rock invited us to land. And mountains bare-or clothed with ancient woods, -Alert to follow as the Pastor led, Surrounded us; and, as we beld our way
We clomb a green bill's side; and as we clomb, Along the level of the glassy flood,
The Valley, opening out her bosom, gave They ceased not to surround us; change of place, Fair prospect, intercepted less and less, From kindred features diversely combined,
Of the Gat meadows and indented coast Producing change of beauty ever new.
Of the smooth lake-io compass seen :- far off, Ah! that such beauty, varying in the light And yet conspicuous, stood the old Church-lower, Of living nature, cannot be pourtrayed
In majesty presiding over fields By words, nor by the pencil's silent skill;
And habitations, seemingly preserved But is the property of him alone
From the intrusion of a restless world
By rocks impassable and mountains huge.
Soft heath this elevated spot supplied,
Or sat reclined - admiring quietly
Not seldom over anxious to make known
His own discoveries; or to favourite points By acquisition of sincere delight,
Directing potice merely from a wish The same should be continued to its close.
To impart a joy, imperfect while unshared.
That rapturous moment ne'er shall I forget One spirit animating old and young,
When these particular interests were effaced A gypsy fire wc kindled on the shore
From every mind! already bad the sun, Of the fair Isle with birch-trees fringed-and there, Sinking with less than ordinary state, Merrily seated in a ring, partook
Attained his westero bound; but rays of light
By the dense air-shot upwards to the crowa
And multitudes of little tloating clouds,
Through their ethereal texture, had become Toto our hearts; and charmed the peaceful flood. Vivid as fire-clouds separately poised, Rapaciously we gathered flowery spoils
Innumerable inulitude of Forms From land aud water; Lilies of each hue
Scattered through half the circle of the sky; Golden and wbite, that thoat upon the waves
And giving back, and shedding each on cach, And court the wind; and leaves of that shy Plant, With prodigal communion, the bright hues (Her flowers were shed) the Lily of the Vale,
Which from the unapparent Fount of glory
Repeated; but with unity sublime!
While from the grassy mountain's open side
We gazed, in silence hushed, with eyes intent Of that wild Spot, the Solitary said
On the refulgent spectacle--diffused lo a low voice, yet careless who might bear,
Through earth, sky, water, and all visible space
« Eternal Spirit! universal God! Revive its ashes. What care we (or this,
Power inaccessible to buman thought,
Save by degrees and steps which Thou hast deigned On us the Venerable Pastor turned
His beaming eye that had been raised to Heaven, To the infirmity of mortal sense
« Once, while the Name Jehovah, was a sound, Vouchsafed, this local, transitory type
Within the circuit of this sea-girt isle, Of thy paternal splendours, and the pomp
Unheard, the savage nations bowed the head Of those who fill thy courts in highest heaven, To Gods delighting in remorseless deeds ; The radiant Cherubim ;-accept the thanks
Gods which themselves had fashioned, to promote Which we, thy humble Creatures, here convened, purposes, and flatter foul desires. Presume to offer; we, who from the breast
Then in the bosom of yon mountain cove, Of the frail earth, permitted to behold
To those inventions of corrupted Man The faint reflections only of thy face,
Mysterious rites were solemnized ; and there, Are yet exalted, and in soul adore!
Amid impending rocks and gloomy woods, Such as they are who in thy presence stand
Of those terrific Idols, some received Unsullied, incorruptible, and drink
Such dismal service, that the loudest voice Imperishable majesty streamed forth
Of the swola cataracts (which now are heard From thy empyreal Throne, the elect of Earth Soft murmuring) was too weak to overcome, Sinall be-divested at the appointed hour
Though aided by wild wiods, the groans and shrieks Of all dislonour--cleansed from mortal stain.
Of human Victims, offered up to appease – Accomplish, then, their number; and conclude Or to propitiate. And if living eyes Time's weary course! Or, if, by thy decrec
tad visionary faculties to see The consummation that will come by stealth
The thing that hath been as the thing that is, Re yet far distant, let thy Word prevail,
Aghast we might behold this crystal Mere Ob! let thy Word prevail, to take away
Bedimmed with smokc, in wreaths voluminous, The sting of human nature. Spread the Law,
Flung from the body of devouring fires, As it is written in thy holy Book,
To Taravis erected on the heights Throughout all Lands: Jet every nation lear
By priestly hands, for sacrifice, performed The high behest, and every heart obey;
Exultingly, in view of open day Both for the love of purity, and hope
And full assemblage of a barbarous Host; Which it affords, to such as do thiy will
Or to Andates, Female Power! wlio gave And persevere in good, that they shall rise,
(For so they fancied) glorious Victory. To have a nearer view of Thee, in heaven.
-A Few rude Monuments of mountain-stone -Father of Good ! this prayer in bounty grant,
Survive ; all else is swept away.---llow bright In mercy grant it to thy wretched Sons.
The appearances of things! From such, how changed Then, nor till then, shall persecution cease,
The existing worship ; and, with those compared, And cruel Wars expire. The way is marked,
| The Worshippers low innocent and blest! The guide appointed, and the ransom paid.
So wide the difference, a willing mind, Alas! the Nations, who of yore received
At this affecting hour, might almost think These tidings, and in Christian Temples meet
That Paradise, the lost abode of maa, 'The sacred truth to acknowledge, linger still;
Was raised again : and to a happy Few, Preferring bonds and darkness to a state
In its original beauty, here restored. Of boly freedom, by redeeming love
Whence but from Thee, the true and only God, Proferred to all, while yet on earth detained.
And from the faith derived througlı Him who bleu
Upon the Cross, this marvellous advance « So fare the many; and the thoughtful few, Of good from evil; as if one extreme Whoin the anguish of their souls bewail
Were left-the other gained.-0 Ye, who come This dire perverseness, cannot chuse but ask,
To kneel devoutly in yon reverend Pile, Shall it endure?-Shall enmity and strife,
Called to such office by the peaceful sound Falsehood and guile be left to sow their seed;
Of Sabbath bells ; and Ye, who sleep in earth, And the kind never perish 1-Is the hope
All cares forgotten, round its hallowed walls! Fallacious, or shall righteousness obtain
For You, in presence of this little Band A peaceable dominion, wide as earth,
Gathered together on the green bill-side, And ne'er to fail ? Shall that blest day arrive Your Pastor is emboldened to prefer When they, whose choice or lot it is to dwell Vocal thanksgivings to the Eternal King ; In crowded cities, without fear shall live
Whose love, whose counsel, whose commands have made Studious of mutual benefit ; and he,
Your very poorest rich in peace of thought Whom morning wakes, among sweet dews and flowers And in good works ; and Him, who is endowed Of every clime, to till the lonely field,
With scantiest knowledge, Master of all truth Be happy in himself !—The Jaw of faith
Which the salvation of his soul requires. Working through love such conquest shall it gain, Conscious of that abundant favour showered Such triumplı over sin and guilt achieve ?
On you, the Children of
humble care, Almighty Lord, thy further grace impart !
And this dear Land, our country while on Earth And with that help the wonder shall be seen
We sojourn, have I lifted up my soul, Fulfilled, the hope accomplished ; and thy praise Joy giving voice to fervent gratitude. Be sung with transport and unceasing joy.»
These barren rocks, your stero inheritance ;
These fertile fields, that recompense your pains, « Once,» and with mild demeanour, as he spake, The shadowy vale, the sunny mountain top;
Woods waving in the wind their lofty heads,
lificial society, I have ever been ready to pay homage Or hushed; the roaring waters and the still;
10 the Aristocracy of Nature; under a conviction that They see the offering of my lifted hands
vigorous human-heartedness is the constituent prinThey hear my lips present their sacrifice
ciple of true taste. It may still, however, be satisfactory They know if I be silent moro or even :
to have prose testimony how far a Character, employed For, though in whispers speaking, the full heart for
purposes of imagination, is founded upon general Will find a vent; and Thought is praise to Him, fact. I therefore subjoin an extract from an author Audible praise, to Thee, Omniscient Mind,
who had opportunities of being well acquainted with From Whom all gifts descend, all blessings flow!» a class of
from wliom my own personal know
Iedge emboldened me to draw this Portrait. This Vesper service closed, without delay,
« We learn froni Cæsar and other Roman Writers, From that exalted station to the plain
that the travelling merchants who frequented Gaul and Descending, we pursued our bomeward course, other barbarous countries, either newly conquered by In mule composure, o'er the shadowy lake,
the Roman arms, or bordering on the Roman conquests, Beneath a faded sky. No trace remained
were ever the first to make the inhabitants of those Of those celestial splendours; grey the vault,
countries familiarly acquainted with the Roman modes Pure, cloudless ether; and the Star of Eve
of life, and to inspire them with an inclination to follow Was wanting;- but inferior Lights appeared
the Roman fashions, and to enjoy Roman conveniences. Faintly, too faint almost for sight; and some
In North America, travelling merchants from the SetAbove the darkened hills stood boldly forth
lements have done and continue lo do much more In twinkling lustre, ere the Boat attained
towards civilizing the Indian natives, than all the Misller mooring-place;-where, to the sheltering tree
sionaries, Papist or Protestant, who have ever been sent Our youthful Voyagers bound fast her prow
among them. With prompt yet careful hands. This done, we paced « It is farther to be observed, for the credit of this The dewy fields; but ere the Vicar's door
most useful class of meu, that they commonly conWas reached, the Solitary checked his steps ;
tribute, by their personal inanners, no less than by the Then, intermingling thanks, on each bestowed
sale of their wares, to the refinement of the people A farewell salutation,-and, the like
among whom they travel. Their dealings forın them Receiving, took the slender path that leads
to great quickness of wit and acuteness of judgment. To the one Cottage in the lonely dell;
Having constant occasion to recommend themselves and But turned not without welcome Promise given, their goods, they acquire babits of the most obliging alThat he would share the pleasures and pursuits tention, and the most insinuating address. As in their peOf yet another summer's day, consumed
regrinations they have opportunity of contemplating the In wandering with us through the Valleys fair,
manners of various men and various Cities, they become And o'er the Mountain-wastes. « Another sud,»
eminently skilled in the knowledge of the world. As Said he, « shall shine upon us, ere we part,
they wander, euch alone, through thinly-inhabited disAnother sun, and peradventure more; If time, with free consent, is yours to give, —
tricts, they form habits of reflection and of sublime
contemplation. With all these qualifications, no wonder, And season favours. »
that they should often be, in remote parts of the counTo enfeebled Power,
try, the best mirrors of fashion, and censors of manFrom this communion with uninjured Minds,
ners; and should contribute much to polish the roughWhat renovation had been brought; and what Dess, and soften the rusticity of our peasantry. It is Degree of healing to a wounded spirit,
not more than twenty or thirty years, since a young Dejected, and habitually disposed
man going from any part of Scotland to England, on To seek, in degradation of the Kind, Excuse and solace for her own defects;
purpose to carry the pack, was considered, as going to
Jead the life, and acquire the Fortune, of a Gentleman. How far those erring potions were reformed;
When, after twenty years' absence, in that honourable And whether aught, of tendency as good
line of employment, he returned with his acquisitions And pure, from further intercourse ensued;
to his native country, he was regarded as a Gentleman This-(if delightful hopes, as heretofore,
to all intents and purposes.» Jospire the serious song, and gentle Hearts
Heron's Journey in Scotland, Vol. i, p. 89. Cherish, and lofty Minds approve the past) My future Labours may not leave untold.
Page 278, col. 2.
Lost in unsearchable Eternity!
Since this paragraph was composed, I have read with so much pleasure, in Burnet's Theory of the Earth, a
passage expressing correspondent sentiments, excited by PREFACE. Page 262, col. 1.
objects of a similar pature, that I cannot forbear to Descend, prophetic Spirit, that inspir'st
transcribe it. The human soul, etc.
« Siquod verò Natura nobis dedit spectaculuni, in Not ruine owu fears, nor the propbetic Soul
hàc tellure, verè gratum, et philosopho dignum, id semel Of the wide world dreaming on things to come.
mihi contigisse arbitror; cum ex celsissima rupe spe. SaaksrEARE' Sonnets.
culabundus ad oram maris Mediterranei, hinc æquor Page 265, col. 1.
cæruleum, illinc tractus Alpiuos prospexi ; nihil quidem much did be see of Men.
magis dispar aut dissimile, nec iu suo genere, magis At the risk of viving a shock to the prejudices of ar- egregium et singulare. lloc thcatrum ego facilè pric
tulerim Romanis cunctis, Græcisve ; atque id quod na- | His emotions of tenderness keep pace with his elevation tura bîc spectandum exhibel, scenicis ludis omnibus, of sentiment; for he says, “These were made by a good aut amphitheatri certaminibus. Nihil bic elegans aut Being, who, unsought by me, placed me here to enjoy venustum, sed ingens et magnificum, et quod place them.' He becomes at once a Child and a King His ; magnitudine suâ et quâdam specic immensitatis. Hinc mind is in himself; from hence he argues, and from intuebar maris æquabilem superficiem, usque et usque hence he acts, and he argues unerriagly, aod aets diffusam, quantum maximum oculorum acies ferri po- magisterially: Bis mind in himself is also in his God; i tuit ; illinc disruptissimam terræ faciem, et vastas moles and therefore he loves, and therefore he soars. »–From ! variè elevatas aut depressas, erectas, propendentes, re the notes upon The Hurricane, a Poem, by Willian clinatas, coacervatas, omni situ inæquali et turbido. Gilbert. Placuit, ex hâc parte, Naluræ unitas et simplicitas, ci The Reader, I am sure, will thank me for the above inexhausta quedam planities; ex altera, multiformis Quotation, which, though from a strange book, is one confusio magnorum corporum, et insanæ rerum stra- of the finest passages of modern Englislı prose. ges: quas cùm intuebar, non urbis alicujus aut oppidi, sed confracti mundi rudera, ante oculos habere mihi
Page 286, col. 2. visus sum.
'T is, by comparison, an easy task
Earth to despise, etc. « In singulis ferè montibus erat aliquid insolens et mirabile, sed præ cæteris mihi placebat illa, qua sede See, upon this subject, Baxter's most interesting rebam, rupes; erat maxima et altissima, el quà terram view of his owu opinions and sentiments in the dechiae respiciebat, molliori ascensu altitudinem suam dissimu- of life. It may be sound (lately reprioted) in Dr Wordslabat: quà verò mare, horrendum præceps, et quasi ad worth's Ecclesiastical Biography. perpendiculum facta, instar parietis. Praetereà facies illa marina adeò erat lævis ac uniformis (quod io rupi
Page 287, col. 1. bus aliquando obscrvare licet) ac si scissa fuisset à
Alas! the endowment of immortal Power,
Is matcbod unequally with custom, time, ete. summo ad imum, in illo plano ; vel terræ motu aliquo, aut fulmine, divulsa.
This subject is treated at leogth in the Ode al page « Ima pars rupis crat cava, recessusque habuit, et 249. saxcos specus, euntes in vacuum montem ; sive naturâ pridem factos, sive exesos mari, et undarum crebris
Page 288, col. 1. ictibus: Io hos enim cum impetu ruebant et fragore,
Knowing the heart of Man is set to be, etc. estuantis maris fluctus ; quos iterum spumantes red
The passage quoted from Daniel is taken from a poem didit antrum, et quasi ab imo ventre evomuit. « Dextrum latus montis erat præruptum, aspero saxo land, and the two last lines, printed in Italics, are by
addressed to the Lady Margaret, Countess of Cumberet nudâ caule ; sinistrum nou adeò neglexerat Natura, him translated from Seneca. The whole Poem is very arboribus utpote ornatum : et prope pedem montis rivus beautiful. I will transcribe four stanzas from it, as limpide aquæ prorupit ; qui cùm vicinam vallem irriga- they contain an admirable picture of the state of a vise verat, lento motu serpens, et per varios meandros, Man's mind in a time of public commotion. quasi ad protrahendanı vitam, in maguo mari absorptus subito periit. Denique in summo vertice promontorii, Nor is he moved with all the thunder-cracks commodè eminebat saxum, cui insidebam contempla
Of Tyrants' threata, or with the surly brow bundus. Vale augusta sedes, Rege digna : Augusta
or Power, that proudly sits on others' crimes :
Cbarged with more crying sios than those he checks. rupes, semper mihi memorandi!» Pag. 89. Telluris
The storms of sad confusion that may grow Theoria sacra, etc. Editio secunda.
Up in the present for the coming times,
Appal not him ; ibai hath no side at all,
But of himself, and knows the worst can fall.
Although his heart (so near allied to earth)
Of troublous and distressed mortality,
That thus make way unto the ugly Birth he extends with his sphere; but, alas ! that sphere is
Of their own Sorrows, and do still begot microscopic: it is formed of minutix, aud he surren Alfiction upon Imbecility: Gers his genuine vision to the artist, in order to embrace Yet seeing thus the course of things must run, it in his ken. His bodily senses grow acute, even to
He looks thereon not strange, but as fore-done. barren and in human pruriency; while his mental be
And whilst distraught Ambition compasses, come proportionally obtuse. The reverse is the Man of
And is encompassod, while as Craft deceives, Mind : Ile who is placed in the sphere of Nature and of And is deceived: whilst Man doch ransack Man, God, might be a mock at Tattersall's and Brookes's;
And builds on blood, and rises by distress;
And ih loberitance of desolation leaves and a sneer at Si James's: he would certainly be swal
To great-expecting Hopes : He looks thereon, lowed alive by the first Pizarro that crossed lim :-But As from the sbore of Peace, with uswet eye, when he walks along the River of Amazons; when he And bears no venture in Impiety. rests his eye on the unrivalled Andes; when he measures
Thus, Lady, fares that Man that hath prepared the long and watered Savannah; or contemplates from
A Rest for his desires; and sees all things a sudden Promontory, the distant, vast Pacitic-and Beneath him; and hath learned this Book of Man, feels himself a Freeman in this vast Theatre, and com Full of the potes of (railıy; and compared
The best of Glory with ber sufferings: mandiny cach ready produced fruit of this wilderness,
By whom, I see, you labour all you can and eachi progeny of this stream-His exaltation is not
To plant your heart; and set your thoughts as near less than Imperial. He is as geutle, 100, as he is great : Itis glorious Mansion as your powers can bear.
Page 305, col. 1.
ing of Kind towards Kind, could not have produced is. Or rather, as we stand on boly earth,
The Dog or Horse perishes in the field, or in the stall, And have the Dead around us.
by the side of his companions, and is incapable of antiLeo. You, Sir, would help me to ibe History
cipating the sorrow with which his surrounding AssoOf ball these Graves!
ciates shall bemoan his death, or pine for his loss; le Pries. For eight-score winters past,
cannot pre-conceive this regret, he can form no thought With wbat I've witnessed, and witb what I've heard, Perbape I might ;
of it; and therefore cannot possibly have a desire to By turning o'er these hillocks one by one,
ieave such regret or remembrance behind him. Add We two could travel, Sir, through a strange round;
to the principle of love, which exists in the inferior Yet all in the broad highway of ibe world.
animals, the faculty of reason which exists in Man See page 35.
alone; will the conjunction of these account for the Page 303, col. 2.
desire? Doubtless it is a necessary consequence of this And suffering Naturo grieved that one should die. conjunction; yet not I think as a direct result, but only
SOUTREX'. Retrospect. to be come at through an intermediale thought, viz. Page 303, col. 2.
That of an intimation or assurance within us, that And whence that tribute ! wherefore these regards ?
some part of our nature is imperishable. At least the
precedence, in order of birth, of one feeling to the The sentiments and opinions here uttered are in uni. Other, is unquestionable. If we look back upon the son with those expressed in the following Essay upon days of childhood, we shall find that the time is not in
Epitaphs, which was furnished by the author for Mr remembrance when, with respect to our own individua | Coleridge's periodical work, the Friend ; and as they are being, the mind was without this assurance; whereas, ! dictated by a spirit congenial to that which pervades the wish to be remembered by our Friends or Kindred
this and the two succeeding books, the sympathising after Death, or even in Absence, is, as we shall discover," reader will not be displeased to see the Essay here an- a sensation that does not form itself till the social feelnexed.
iogs have been developed, and the Reason has connect. 1 ESSAY UPON EPITAPIS.
ed itself with a wide range of objects. Forlorn, and
cut off from communication with the best part of his Ir needs scarcely be said, that an Epitaph presup- nature, must that Man be, who should derive the sense poses a Monument, upon wbich it is to be engraven. of immortality, as it exists in the mind of a Child, from Almost all Nations bave wished that certain external the same unthinking gaicty or liveliness of animal Spi
signs should point out the places where their Dead are rits with which the Lamb in the meadow, or any other i interred. Among savage Tribes upacquainted with irrational Creature, is endowed; who should ascribe it,
Letters, this has mostly been done either by rude stones in short, to blank ignorance in the Child ; to an inabiplaced near the Graves, or hy Mounds of earth raised lity arising from the imperfect state of his faculties to over them. This custom proceeded obviously from a come, in any point of his being, into contact with a twofold desire, first, to guard the remains of the notion of Death; or to an uoreflecting acquiescence in deceased from irreverent approach or from savage! what had been ins:illed into him! las such an unfolviolation : and, secondly, to preserve their memory. der of the mysteries of Nature, though he may liave « Never any,” says Camden, peglected burial but' forgotten his former self, ever noticed the early, obstisome savage Nations; as the Bactrians, which cast
and usappeasable inquisitiveness of Children upon their dead to the dogs; some varlet Philosophers, as the subject of origination? This single fact proves outDiogenes, who desired to be devoured of fishies; some , wardly the monstrousness of those suppositions: for, if dissolute Courtiers, as Mæcenas, who was wont to say, we had no direct external testimony that the minds of Non tumulum curo ; sepelit natura relictos.
very young Children meditate feclingly upon Death and I'm careless of a Grave:- Nature her dead will save.
Inmortality, these inquiries, which we all know they
are perpetually making concerning the whence, do neAs soon as Nations had learned the use of letters, cessarily include correspondent habits of interrogation Epitaphs were inscribed upon these Monuments; in concerning the whither. Origin and tendency are noorder that their intention might be more surely and tions inseparably co-relative. Never did a Child stand adequately fulfilled. I have derived Monuments and by the side of a running Stream, pondering within Epitaphs from two sources of feeling : but these do in himself what power was the ferder of the perpetual fact resolve themselves into one. The invention of current, from what never-wearied sources the body of Epitaphs, Weever, in his Discourse of Funeral Monu- water was supplied, but he must have been inevitably ments, says rightly, proceeded from the presage or propelled to follow this question by another: « towards
fore-feeling of Immortality, implanted in all mea na what abyss is it in progress! what receptacle can con| lurally, and is referred to the Scholars of Linus the tain the mighty influx ? » And the spirit of the answer
Theban Poet, who tlourished about the year of the must have been, though the word might be Sea or World two thousand seven hundred; who first bewailed Ocean, accompanied perhaps with an image gathered this Lious their Master, when he was slain, in doleful from a Map, or from the real object in Nature-these rerses, Iben called of him Odlina, afterwards Epitaphia, might have been the letter, but the spirit of the answer for that they were first sung at burials, after encraved must have been as inevitably,-a receptacle without upon the Sepulchres.»
bounds or dimensions ;- nothing less than infinity And, verily, without the consciousness of a principle we may, then, be justified in asserting, that the sense of Immortality in the human soul, Man could never of Immortality, if not a co-existent and twin birth with isave had awakened in bim the desire to live in the Reason, is among the earliest of her Offspring: and we remembrance of his fellows: mere love, or the yearn- may further assert, that from these conjoined, and un