« AnteriorContinuar »
Until then, not a word had been spoken by any but Sutherland. The attention of every one was rivetted upon his own impending danger; but when that terror had been allayed, a universal buzz of admiration burst from the crew, as they beheld the strange ship, with all her yards and masts aloft, sweeping beautifully before the gale, under a close-reefed foresail.
In the young Spring's maidenliest hour,
When the ploughman furrowing o'er the
She is heard on the dying Autumn's
Music's rich, undulating chime
The wave beneath and the sky above,
Less gentle than his ladye-love.
Above, beneath, far off and near,
Or in that slumber-luring breeze,
To the rapt soul of Pericles.
She spoke in the blast of that wild horn,
She was heard by many a breathless line,
In many a scene, where lance and sword
When the queen-huntress issued forth,
From the ducal halls of Kenilworth :
clang, Long shout and bugle-note, that drew Echo to double their balloo, 'Till the whole liie-awakened air Stormed with the hunter's chorus there.
Her voice wailed down the holy aisle,
When an organ requiem slowly rolled, And a inighty minster-bell the while
Sternly and lingeringly tolled, As hoary bards, with brother-tear,
And roundel rites of a druid day,
Were met with saintly men to pray O'er elfin-circled Spenser's bier.
Elizabethtown, N. J.
She wailed a dirgc down the narrow dell,
She came with strange, mysterious art,
To rouse to its proudest bent, the heart!
H. L. B.
With what heartfelt satisfaction, the mother smiles upon the tender boy, playing beneath the lilies of her chaste bosom! No she raises her enraptured gaze on bigh, while mental from her inmost heart to the All-powerful: then again ii sinks upon the babe, in whose countenance the first dawn of a beautiful soul appears to glow. Long does she gaze upon him, as a guardian angel, clothed with an ethereal glory, might gaze upon you, lovely reader, when free from guile you slumber at a solitary fountain, and calmly admire the delightful majesty of a pious female soul, beaming from a beautiful person, as if from a crystal. So does the virtuous mother smile upon the child of her heart, and rejoice that by her means the number of those who honor their Creator, of Christians and future angels, shall be increased. Then she imagines, how, as soon as his tender limbs become stronger, and his young soul shall arouse from its partial slumber, and become conscious of its existence, she will unravel and direct the propensities which his Creator has implanted in him. How she will elevate his benevolence to philanthrophy, his pride to fortitude, his curiosity to love of truth! She muses upon agreeable fables, and exciting tales, in which the truth shall be concealed, in order that its brilliant splendor may not dazzle the inexperienced soul. She prays to be ever vigilant over herself, that no gesture, no word, no action, may disfigure, by its injurious impression, the formation of this tender heart. Her life shall show him what virtue is, and how worthy it is of being loved.
Ah! with what delighted astonishment,' thus meditates this worthy mother, ' will he listen to me, when I tell him what man is, in what a world he is placed, and that an unspeakably beneficent Being has placed him there. When I guard his infantile footsteps in the flowery fields, when all things seem to smile upon him, and he springs with
light, joyful activity from one flower to another, comparing their manifold forms and colors with speechless astonishment; when, full of pleasure, he breathes the sweet odor of the rose, then will I seat myself among the flowers, and pressing the tender boy to my heart, say to him: "Behold! my child ; these beautiful meadows were not many weeks since covered with snow ; these green trees stood unadorned, as if withered; the whole horizon appeared to have perished with cold, and looked as if we too must finally perish. But a good spirit, rich in love, who lives above yon sky, and who finds his pleasure in filling all living creatures with joy, has had compassion on us, and has led hither the warm, enlivening sun. Soon as he smiled upon the earth, the trees became green, and a thousand flowers sprang from the tender grass, to please our senses, and to furnish innumerable animals with food. And wherefore does the great Lord of the heavens love us so dearly? Hear, my child, how greatly we are blessed. All that you see around you, the heavens and the earth, belong to God, for it is by that holy name we know our great invisible benefactor. All these delightful things
these meadows, these green woods, these warbling birds, these animals, and man himself — all that you see, all that is, and lives, at one time had no being: we also would not have existed, just as you a few years since were not in existence, had not that Being created us, and all around us. And now, he loves us because he is our parent, and he has promised us to increase the measure of our joys unceasingly, so that we but love him in return. He has placed us in this agreeable habitation, and here gives us every day new proofs of his goodness, so that we may love him, and continually exert ourselves to become better, in order that he may ever continue to do good unto us ; for being himself complete excellence, he abhors that which is evil.'
* In this manner will I nourish his young and inquiring mind; but only with the milk of truth, as is meet for his tender age. I will accustom his heart to love truth and goodness only: such is the best preparation of the human soul for religion, which is the highest perfection of our nature, and the fountain of happiness. Whosoever loves goodness, must love him who is its source, and despise every thing that opposes his progress toward perfection, because his capacity for loving him is increased, the more perfect he becomes. And so will I form you to each perfection, dear darling of my heart! when from your earliest years | direct you toward truth, and order, and goodness. In this respect, my maternal love shall have no limits. It will not, like that of childish girls, who become mothers too early, inasmuch as they themselves are in some measure uneducated, it will not, from a weak indulgence, gratify your inclinations, if, in their most distant consequences, they could tend to your injury. It will be firm in controlling the infirmities of your disposition, and in suppressing the slightest display of our natural wickedness of heart. I will not forget that you are not a creation of my own, although I am called your mother; but will remember that a higher power has confided you to my care, that I may lead you to him.
What a triumph will it be to me, to offer you, upon the great day, to that Creator whose graciousness has supported my exertions, and has made me a useful instrument to advance his glory upon the earth!'
In such reflections are the mental emotions of that maternal heart
poured forth. To be such a mother, is the pinnacle of female glory. Renounce vanity and extravagance, ye fair ones! Cultivate your understandings, and enlarge your hearts, that the noble thought of becoming useful members of society may have place therein. By such means, you will do greater honor to the stations which you desire to occupy; our children will be less like apes, and the world justly entertain the hope of a better race of men.
What is that you read, Ædon, which excites so pleasant a smile upon your countenance, and drives sleep from your senses, although the stars already begin to disappear? The odes of Anacreon! You are charmed with this favorite of Nature, in whose songs the most refined voluptuousness and unaffected simplicity are united. A smiling reverie betrays to me what is now passing in your mind. You see the world from a luxurious point, apparently composed of groves of myrtles, beds of roses, and eternal spring ; smiling maidens, fawns, and dancing nymphs, and nightingales, whose delightful warbling invites to love. It was, romantic youth, a vision like this, which the rival of virtue displayed to Hercules, as he sat at the threshhold of life, and reflected, as you have not yet done, upon the rules by which he should govern his conduct. Hear, (if phantasies have not led you so far from the path of wisdom as to transform Anacreon into a sage in your eyes,) hear the voice of a friend, who at an early period escaped from the concealed and alluring dangers to which you are now exposing yourself. A youth of a poetical temperament, to whom Nature has granted a refined taste for her beauties, and a superfluity of imagination, more than any other person needs the monitions of some cautious friend. The more extended the dominion of imagination, the more confined is the authority of reason. And the understanding must of necessity rule in a creature, who is superior to the most exquisite animal. The advice that I will give has nothing harsh in it. You shall roam through every region of beauty, and confess that there are charms more alluring than rosy cheeks, and milk-white bosoms; that there are joys more elevated than those which spring from the lips of maidens, or from the clattering of goblets; that wisdom, virtue, and innocence, deserve our highest admiration and love.
But what do I say? What do these names signify? What is wisdom? What is innocence? A new language has been invented in our times! Anacreon is a sage, and Leontius innocent! It was not thus that men acted, and thought, when Plato and Xenophon were teachers. Learn from these, from a Plato, or a Shaftsbury, the real essence of truth and nature, and give yourself — I conjure you, by that love of pleasure which rules your breast, by the undying struggle of your heart for happiness --- give yourself but half as much trouble to learn to think understandingly, as one of your innocent nymphs takes to array her charms to the best advantage. Shall wit, shall politeness, and good humor, be loved, without inquiring whether a good use is made of these gifts of nature ! Shall Ovid cease to be detestable for his faults, because his beauties are numerous ? What a confusion of ideas ! What a perversion of nature, and the true condition of things ! Wit, when it is not the handmaid of virtue, is a demon, clothed in the garments of an angel of light. It robs with a guilty
hand the chaste beauties of nature, that it may waste them in adorning the deformities of folly. If, Ædon, you are so sensitive to the pleasures of imagination, have innocence, integrity, and religion, no graces? Or is it impossible to consider them in a pleasing view; in their most advantageous light, and delightful colors ? But these thoughtless teachers of the art of eating and drinking, these Anacreons, have imbued you with a taste for frivolous gayety, which makes you indifferent to the serious and pious muse. Shame upon your unnatural and degraded taste! Enlarge your mind, and learn to be serious, if you wish to view the world in its true and most excellent light. A pious ancient designated immoral poetry justly, when he called it the wine of the devil, wherewith he intoxicates thoughtless souls, and changes them, as if with a magic potion, into the most degraded beings. But eloquence and wit, if they are employed in wise hands, for the service of truth, are ambrosial fruits, a pleasant and wholesome nourishment to the mind.
How great an obligation does he not confer upon mankind, who discovers new charms in virtue ; who induces us to love the severest duties for their own sake? Who replaces our phantasies with great, useful, and divine lessons, soothes our passions, and by that inclination for pleasure which usually urges us from virtue, leads us back to its practice? If you feel within your bosom a poetical fire, let
your ambition excite you to the attainment of laurels like these, or remain silent. For a time will come, when the voluptuous sages will think more justly, and desire that they might have been deprived of their genius, when they composed their sensual odes, inviting, in Lydian tones, to softness and slumber upon the bosom of Venus. Let the sentiment of the wise Greek influence you, Ædon. The muses are never more beautiful, than when they are the handmaids of Virtue,
In the still hours of midnight, as my soul, clothed in shadows, wandered abroad, I overheard, with that inner sense wherewith we hear the hymns of nature, and the yet lower voice, which applauds or condemns each thought and action, a contest between two genii, who bovered over the head of the slumbering Maïa. One, it was easy to discover, was a good angel, and her guardian ; but infernal splendor, and a mien of malicious wickedness, betrayed the other to be one of those spirits who roam abroad during the hours of darkness, seeking to contaminate the pure hearts of the innocent. Each soul, O Maïa ! is watched by two genii
. One, its friend and faithful guardian, is unceasingly engaged to guide it unharmed through the mazes of life. He operates by means of a secret influence in the noblest part of the soul, where he strengthens the understanding, and from thence sways the willing heart. The voice of his beloved to the youth enslaved hy her charms, or the stammering of the infant which smiles at her bosom to the doting mother, conveys not so much delight, as does his heavenly, soft-breathing voice excite in the heart, when he rewards a good deed with internal applause, or sings to the soul, wrapped up reflection, a song of triumph. To rest under the shadow of his wings in the consciousness of innocence, is more grateful than to bathe in an ocean of sinful pleasures. From him it comes, O Maïa! when by VOL. XIII.