Imágenes de páginas

whole descent of the river is 384 feet.-"Just below the falls," says Captain Lewis, "is a little island in the river, well covered with timber. Here, on a cotton-wood tree, an eagle had fixed its nest, and seemed the undisputed mistress of a spot, to invade which neither man nor beast could venture across the gulf that surrounds it; while it is farther secured by the mist that rises from the falls. This solitary bird has not escaped the observation of the Indians, who made the eagle's nest a part of their description of the falls which they gave us, and which proves now to be correct in almost every particular, except that they did not do justice to their height."

The river above the falls is quite unruffled and smouth, with numerous herds of buffaloes feeding on the plains around it. These plains open out on both sides, so that it is not improbable that they mark the bottom of an ancient lake, the outlet of which the river is still in the act of cutting down, and will require many ages to accomplish its work, or to reduce the whole to a moderate and uniform declivity. The eagle may then be dispossessed of his ancient and solitary domain.


On early rising.-HURDIS.

RISE with the lark, and with the lark to bed.
The breath of night's destructive to the hue
every flower that blows. Go to the field,
And ask the humble daisy why it sleeps,
Soon as the sun departs; Why close the eyes
Of blossoms infinite, ere the still moon
Her oriental veil puts off? Think why,
Nor let the sweetest blossom be exposed
That nature boasts, to night's unkindly damp.
Well may it droop, and all its freshness lose,
Compelled to taste the rank and poisonous steam
Of midnight theatre, and morning ball.
Give to repose the solemn hour she claims;
And, from the forehead of the morning, steal
The sweet occasion. O! there is a charm
That morning has, that gives the brow of age
A smack of youth, and makes the lip of youth

Breathe perfumes exquisite. Expect it not,
Ye who till noon upon a down-bed lie,
Indulging feverish sleep, or, wakeful, dream
Of happiness no mortal heart has felt,
But in the regions of romance. Ye fair,
Like you it must be wooed or never won,
And, being lost, it is in vain ye aşk
For milk of roses and Olympian dew.
Cosmetick art no tincture can afford,
The faded features to restore: no chain,
Be it of gold, and strong as adamant,
Can fetter beauty to the fair one's will.


A summer morning.-THOMSON,

THE meek-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews, At first faint gleaming in the dappled east: Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow; And, from before the lustre of her face, White break the clouds away. With quickened step, Brown Night retires: Young Day pours in apace, And opens all the lawny prospect wide. The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top, Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn. Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine; And from the bladed field the fearful hare Limps awkward: while along the forest glade The wild deer trip, and often, turning, gaze At early passenger. Musick awakes The native voice of undissembled joy; And thick around the woodland hymns arise. Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells; And from the crowded fold, in order, drives His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.

Falsely luxurious, will not Man awake; And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, To meditation due and sacred song?

For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half


The fleeting moments of too short a life;
Total extinction of the enlightened soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,
Wildered, and tossing through distempered dreams?
Who would in such a gloomy state remain
Longer than Nature craves; when every Muse,
And every blooming pleasure wait without,,
To bless the wildly devious morning walk?

But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow
Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo, now, apparent all,
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and coloured air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad,
And sheds the shining day, that burnished plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,
High-gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer, Light!
Of all material beings first, and best!
Efflux divine! Nature's resplendent robe !
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
In unessential gloom; and thou, O Sun!
Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee?

'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
As with a chain indissoluble bound,
Thy system rolls entire; from the far bourn
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round
Of thirty years, to Mercury, whose disk
Can scarce be caught by philosophick eye,
Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze.
Informer of the planetary train!

Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orbs
Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead,
And not, as now, the green abodes of life;
How many forms of being wait on thee,
Inhaling spirit! from the unfettered mind,
By thee sublimed, down to the daily race,
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam.
The vegetable world is also thine,
Parent of Seasons! who the pomp precede
That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain,
Annual, along the bright ecliptic road,

In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime.

[ocr errors]

Mean-time the expecting nations, circled gay
With all the various tribes of foodful earth,
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up
A common hymn; while, round thy beaming car,
High-seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance
Harmonious knit, the rosy-fingered Hours,
The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains,
Of bloom ethereal, the light-footed Dews,
And, soften'd into joy, the surly Storms.
These, in successive turn, with lavish hand,
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower,
Herbs, flowers, and fruits; till, kindling at thy touch,
From land to land is flushed the vernal year.


Importance of Literature.-LORD Lyttleton.



Do you pretend to sit as high on Olympus as Hercules? Did you kill the Nemean lion, the Erymanthian boar, the Lernean serpent, and Stymphalian birds? Did you destroy tyrants and robbers? You value yourself greatly on subduing one serpent: I did as much as that while I lay in my cradle.

Cadmus. It is not on account of the serpent, that I boast myself a greater benefactor to Greece than you. Actions should be valued by their utility, rather than their splendour. I taught Greece the art of writing, to which laws owe their precision and permanency. You subdued monsters; I civilized men. It is from untamed passions, not from wild beasts, that the greatest evils arise to human society. By wisdom, by art, by the united strength of a civil community, men have been enabled to subdue the whole race of lions, bears, and serpents; and, what is more, to bind by laws and wholesome regulations, the ferocious violence and dangerous treachery of the human disposition. Had lions been destroyed only in single combat, men had had but a bad time of it; and what, but laws, could awe the men who killed the lions? The genuine glory, the proper distinction of the rational species, arises from the perfection

of the mental powers. Courage is apt to be fierce, and strength is often exerted in acts of oppression: but wisdom is the associate of justice. It assists her to form equal laws, to pursue right measures, to correct power, protect weakness, and to unite individuals in a common interest and general welfare. Heroes may kill tyrants, but it is wisdom and laws that prevent tyranny and oppression. The operations of policy far surpass the labours of Hercules, preventing many evils which valour and might cannot even redress. You heroes regard nothing but glory; and scarcely consider whether the conquests which raise your fame, are really beneficial to your country. Unhappy are the people who are governed by valour not directed by prudence, and not mitigated by the gentle arts!

Hercules. I do not expect to find an admirer of my strenuous life, in the man who taught his countrymen to sit still and read; and to lose the hours of youth and action in idle speculation and the sport of words.

Cadmus. An ambition to have a place in the registers of fame, is the Eurystheus which imposes heroick labours on mankind. The Muses incite to action, as well as entertain the hours of repose; and I think you should honour them for presenting to heroes so noble a recreation, as may prevent their taking up the distaff, when they lay down the club.

Hercules. Wits as well as heroes can take up the distaff. What think you of their thin-spun systems of philosophy, or lascivious poems, or Milesian fables? Nay, what is still worse, are there not panegyrics on tyrants, and books that blaspheme the gods, and perplex the natural sense of right and wrong ? I believe if Eurystheus were to set me to work again, he would find me a worse task than any he imposed; he would make me read over a great library; and I would serve it as I did the Hydra, I would burn as I went on, that one chimera might not rise from another, to plague mankind. I should have valued myself more on clearing the library, than on cleansing the Augean stables.

Cadmus. It is in those libraries only that the memory of your labour exists. The heroes of Marathon, the patriots of Thermopylæ, owe their fame to me. All the wise institutions of lawgivers, and all the doctrines of sages, had perished in the ear, like a dream related, if letters had not preserved them. O Hercules! it is not for the man who preferred Virtue to Pleasure, to be an enemy to the Muses.

« AnteriorContinuar »