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And we can almost think we gaze
Through opening vistas into heaven;
Those hues that make the sun's decline
So soft, so radiant, Lord, are thine.

When night, with wings of starry gloom,
O'ershadows all the earth and skies,

Like some dark, beauteous bird, whose plume

Is sparkling with unnumber'd eyes;

That sacred gloom, those fires divine,
So grand, so countless, Lord, are thine.

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And

When youthful Spring around us breathes,
Thy spirit warms her fragrant sigh;
every flower that Summer wreathes
Is born beneath that kindling eye:
Where'er we turn thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are thine.

LESSON LXXXIV.

The Coral Grove.-J. G. PERCIVAL. DEEP in the wave is a Coral grove, Where the purple mullet and gold-fish rove, Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue That never are wet with the falling dew, But in bright and changeful beauty shine, Far down in the green and glassy brine. The floor is of sand, like the mountain's drift, And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow; From coral rocks the sea-plants lift

Their boughs where the tides and billows flow. The water is calm and still below,

For the winds and waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of upper air.
There, with its waving blade of green,

The sea-flag streams through the silent water, And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen

To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter. There, with a light and easy motion,

The fan-coral sweeps through the clear deep sea; And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean

Are bending, like corn on the upland lea.

And life, in rare and beautiful forms,

Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,
And is safe, when the wrathful spirit of storms
Has made the top of the wave his own:
And when the ship from his fury flies,

Where the myriad voices of ocean roar
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies,

And dæmons are waiting the wreck on the shore; Then, far below, in the peaceful sea,

The purple mullet and gold-fish rove, There the waters murmur tranquilly

Through the bending twigs of the coral grove.

LESSON LXXXV.

SONNET

Written in a church-yard.-BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.
A SWEET and soothing influence breathes around
The dwellings of the dead. Here on this spot,
Where countless generations sleep forgot,
Up from the marble tomb and grassy mound,
There cometh on my ear a peaceful sound,
That bids me be contented with my lot,
And suffer calmly. O! when passions hot,
When rage or envy doth my bosom wound;
Or wild designs-a fair deceiving train-
Wreathed in their flowery fetters me enslave;
Or keen misfortune's arrowy tempests roll
Full on my naked head,-O, then, again
May these still, peaceful accents of the grave,
Arise like slumbering musick on my soul.

LESSON LXXXVI.

Night.-DENNIE'S LAY PREACHER.

"Watchman, what of the night?"
Isaiah xxi. 11.

To this query of Isaiah, the watchman replies, "That the morning cometh, and also the night." The brevity

of this answer has left it involved in something of the obscurity of the season when it was given. I think that night, however sooty and ill-favoured it may be pronounced by those who were born under a day-star, merits a more particular description. I feel peculiarly disposed to arrange some ideas in favour of this season. I know that the majority are literally blind to its merits; they must be prominent indeed to be discerned by the closed eyes of the snorer, who thinks that night was made for nothing but sleep. But the student and the sage are willing to believe that it was formed for higher purposes; and that it not only recruits exhausted spirits, but sometimes informs inquisitive, and amends wicked ones.

Duty, as well as inclination, urges the Lay Preacher to sermonize, while others slumber. To read numerous volumes in the morning, and to observe various characters at noon, will leave but little time, except the night, to digest the one or speculate upon the other. The night, therefore, is often dedicated to composition, and while the light of the paly planets discovers at his desk the Preacher, more wan than they, he may be heard repeating emphatically with Dr. Young,

"Darkness has much Divinity for me."

He is then alone, he is then at peace. No companions near, but the silent volumes on his shelf, no noise abroad, but the click of the village clock, or the bark of the village dog. The deacon has then smoked his sixth, and last pipe, and asks not a question more, concerning Josephus, or the church. Stillness aids study, and the sermon proceeds. Such being the obligations to night, it would be ungrateful not to acknowledge them. As my watchful eyes can discern its dim beauties, my warm heart shall feel, and my prompt pen shall describe, the uses and the pleasures of the nocturnal hour.

Watchman, what of the night? I can with propriety imagine this question addressed to myself; I am a professed lucubrator, and who so well qualified to delineate the sable hours, as

"A meagre, muse-rid mope, adust and thin ?"

However injuriously night is treated by the sleepy moderns, the vigilance of the ancients could not overlook its benefits and joys. In as early a record, as the book of Genesis, I find that Isaac, though he devoted his assiduous days to action,

reserved speculation till night. "He went out to meditate in the field at the eventide." He chose that sad, that solemn hour, to reflect upon the virtues of a beloved, and departed mother. The tumult and glare of day suited not with the sorrow of his soul. He had lost his most amiable, most genuine friend, and his unostentatious grief was eager for privacy and shade. Sincere sorrow rarely suffers its tears

to be seen. It was natural for Isaac to select a season to weep in, which should resemble the colour of his fate." The darkness, the solemnity, the stillness of the eve, were favourable to his melancholy purpose. He forsook, therefore, the bustling tents of his father, the pleasant "south country," and well of Lahairoi," he went out and pensively meditated at the eventide.

The Grecian and Roman philosophers firmly believed that "the dead of midnight is the noon of thought." One of them is beautifully described by the poet, as soliciting knowledge from the skies, in private and nightly audience, and that neither his theme, nor his nightly walks were forsaken till the sun appeared and dimmed his "nobler intellectual beam." We undoubtedly owe to the studious nights of the ancients most of their elaborate and immortal productions. Among them it was necessary that every man of letters should trim the midnight lamp. The day might be given to the forum or the circus, but the night was the season for the statesman to project his schemes, and for the poet to pour his verse.

Night has likewise with great reason been considered in every age as the astronomer's day. Young observes, with energy, that " an undevout astronomer is mad." The privilege of contemplating those brilliant and numerous myriads of planets which bedeck our skies is peculiar to night, and it is our duty, both as lovers of moral and natural beauty, to bless that season, when we are indulged with such a gorgeous display of glittering and useful light. It must be confessed that the seclusion, calmness, and tranquillity of midnight, is most friendly to serious, and even airy contemplations.

I think it treason to this sable power, who holds divided empire with day, constantly to shut our eyes at her approach. To long sleep, I am decidedly a foe. As it is expressed by a quaint writer, we shall all have enough of that in the grave. Those, who cannot break the silence of night by vocal throat, or eloquent tongue, may be permitted to disturb it by a snore. But he, among my readers, who possesses

the power of fancy and strong thought, should be vigilant as a watchman. Let him sleep abundantly for health, but sparingly for sloth. It is better, sometimes, to consult a page of philosophy than the pillow.

LESSON LXXXVII.

Midnight Musings.-W. IRVING.

1 AM now alone in my chamber. The family have long since retired. I have heard their steps die away, and the doors clap to after them. The murmur of voices and the peal of remote laughter no longer reach the ear. The clock from the church, in which so many of the former inhabitants of this house lie buried has chimed the awful hour of midnight.

I have sat by the window and mused upon the dusky landscape, watching the lights disappearing one by one from the distant village; and the moon, rising in her silent majesty, and leading up all the silver pomp of heaven. As I have gazed upon these quiet groves and shadowing lawns, silvered over and imperfectly lighted by streaks of dewy moonshine, my mind has been crowded by "thick coming fancies" concerning those spiritual beings which

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-Walk the earth

Unseen both when we wake and when we sleep."

Are there, indeed, such beings? Is this space between us and the Deity filled up by innumerable orders of spiritual beings, forming the same gradations between the human soul and divine perfection, that we see prevailing from humanity down to the meanest insect? It is a sublime and beautiful doctrine inculcated by the early fathers that there are guardian angels appointed to watch over cities and nations, to take care of good men, and to guard and guide the steps of helpless infancy. Even the doctrine of departed spirits returning to visit the scenes and beings which were dear to them during the bodies' existence, though it has been debased by the absurd superstitions of the vulgar, in itself is awfully solemn and sublime.

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