« AnteriorContinuar »
While through this fleeting life's short, various day,
The tender affections.
Who, that bears A human bosom, hath not often felt, How dear are all those ties which bind our race In gentleness together; and how sweet Their force ; let Fortune's wayward hand, the while, Be kind or cruel ?
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms;
Homage at the altar of Truth.
Before thy mystic altar, heavenly Truth,
The succession of human beings.
Like leaves on trees the life of man is found,
Time never returns.
Mark how it snows! how fast the valley fills,
And the sweet groves the hoary garment wear; Yet the warm sun-beams, bounding from the hills,
Shall melt the veil away, and the young green appear.
But when old age has on your temples shed
Her silver frost, there's no returning sun: Swift flies our summer, swift our autumn 's fled,
When youth and love and spring and golden joys are gone.
How reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Now, shield with shield, with helmet helmet clos'd,
Lo, kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father and the husband prays : Hope springs exulting on triumphant wing
That thus they all shall meet in future days: There ever bask' in uncreated
In such society yet still more dear;
The Chinese Prisoner.-PERCIVAL. A CERTAIN emperor of China, on his accession to the throne of his ancestors, commanded a general release of all these who were confined in prison for debt. Amongst that number was an old man, who had fallen an early victim to adversity, and whose days of imprisonment, reckoned by the notches which he had cut on the door of his gloomy cell, expressed the annual circuit of more than fifty suns.
With trembling limbs and faltering steps, he departed from his mansion of sorrow: his eyes were dazzled with the splendor of the light; and the face of nature presented to his view a perfect paradise. The jail in which he had been imprisoned, stood at some distance from Pekin, and to that city he directed his course, impatient to enjoy the caresses of his wife, his children, and his friends.
Having with difficulty found his way to the street in which his decent mansion had formerly stood, his heart became more and more elated at every step he advanced. With joy he proceeded, looking eagerly around; but he observed few of the objects with which he had been formerly con'versant. A magnificent edifice was erected on the site of the house which he had inhabited; the dwellings of his neighbors had assumed a new form; and he beheld not a single face of which he had the least remembrance.
An aged beggar who with trembling knees stood at the gate of a portico, from which he had been thrust by the insolent domestic who guarded it, struck his attention. He stopped, therefore, to give him a small pittance out of the bounty with which he had been supplied by the emperor, and received, in return, the sad tidings, that his wife had fallen a lingering sacrifice to penury and sorrow; that his children were gone to seek their fortunes in distant or unknown climes; and that the grave contained his nearest and most valuable friends.
Overwhelmed with anguish, he hastened to the palace of his sovereign, into whose presence his hoary locks and mournful visage soon obtained admission; and casting himself at the feet of the emperor, “Great Prince," he cried, “send me back to that prison from which mistaken mercy has delivered me! I have survived my family and friends, and even in the midst of this populous city I find myself in a dreary solitude. The cell of my dungeon protected me from the gazers at my wretchedness; and whilst secluded from society, I was the less sensible of the loss of its enjoyments. I am now tortured with the view of pleasure in which I cannot participate ; and die with thirst, though streams of delight surround me.”
The Contrast : or Peace and War.-ATHENÆUM.
LOVELY art thou, O Peace! and lovely are thy children, and lovely are the prints of thy footsteps in the green valleys.
Blue wreaths of smoke ascend through the trees, and betray the half-hidden cottage: the eye contemplates wellthatched ricks, and barns bursting with plenty : the peas. ant laughs at the approach of winter.
White houses peep through the trees; cattle stand cooling in the pool; the casement of the farm-house is covered with jessamine and honey-suckle; the stately green-house exhales the per'fume of summer climates.
Children Climb the green mound of the rampart, and ivy holds together the half demolished buttress.
The old men sit at their doors; the gossip leans over her counter; the children shout and frolic in the streets.
The housewife's* stores of bleached linen, whiter than snow, are laid up with fragrant herbs; they are the pride of the matron, the toil of many a winter's night.
The wares of the merchant are spread abroad in the shops, or stored in the high-piled ware houses; the labor of each profits all; the inhabitant of the north drinks the frāgrant herb of China; the peasant's child wears the webs of Hindostan.
The lame, the blind, and the aged, repose in hospitals; the rich, softened by prosperity, pity the poor; the poor, disciplined into order, respect the rich.
Justice is dispensed to all. Law sits steady on her throne, and the sword is her servant.
They have rushed through like a hurricane ; like an army of locusts they have devoured the earth; the war has fallen like a water spout, and deluged the land with blood.
* Pron. hůz'-wif's.
The smoke rises not through the trees, for the honors of the grove are fallen; and the hearth* of the cottager is cold; but it rises from villages burned with fire, and from warm ruins, spread over the now naked plain.
The ear is filled with the confused bellowing of oxen, and sad bleating of over-driven sheep; they are swept from their peaceful plains; with shouting and goading are they driven away; the peasant folds his arms, and resigns his faithful fellow-laborers.
The farmer weeps over his barns consumed by fire, and his demolished roof, and anticipates the driving of the win
On that rising ground, where the green turf looks black with fire, yesterday stood a noble mansion; the owner had said in his heart, here will I spend the evening of my days, and enjoy the fruit of my years of toil: my name shall descend with mine inheritance, and my children's children shall sport under the trees which I have planted. The fruit of his years of toil is swept away in a moment; wasted, not enjoyed; and the evening of his days is left desolate.
The temples are profaned: the soldier's curse resounds in the house of God: the marble pavement is trampled by iron hoofs : horses neigh beside the altar.
Law and order are forgotten : violence and rapine are abroad: the golden cords of society are loosed.
Here are the shriek of wo and the cry of anguish; and there is suppressed indignation bursting the heart with silent despair.
The groans of the wounded are in the hospitals, and by the road-side, and in every thicket; and the housewife's web, whiter than snow, is scarcely sufficient to stanch the blood of her husband and children.--Look at that youth, the first-born of her strength; yesterday he bounded as the roe-buck; was glowing as the summer-fruits; active in sports, strong to labor; he has passed in one moment from youth to age; his comeliness is departed; helplessness is his portion, for the days of future years. He is more decrepit than his grandsire, on whose head are the snows of eighty winters; but those were the snows of nature; this is the desolation of man.
Every thing unholy and unclean comes abroad from its lurking-place, and deeds of darkness are done beneath the eye of day. The villagers no longer start at horrible
* Pron. harth.