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It would not be strange, if the illusion vanished with that first glance; if with an irrepressible feeling of disappointment he should exclaim, “is that Niagara ? He might wonder at the inspiration it had awakened in many a bosom; he might feel it in his heart to blame those narrators, whose descriptions, more from their acknowledged imperfection, more from what they left untold than from what they actually delineated, had lured him on a pilgrimage to the spot.
He would look again and again, but it would only be after long contemplation, when he saw how the tall trees, tall, I mean, in their native woods, were dwarfed in the mighty contrast; it would only be, when he had climbed its towering cliffs, and descended its steep declivities; when from above, he had looked into the yawning chasm, and convulsively thrown himself back upon the earth, as if to thwart the mysterious power that almost charmed him from its verge; when from below, he had looked up the foaming flood till his brain reeled; then only, would his feeble powers begin to comprehend the majesty of the scene; then begin to feel that this is Niagara, sublime indeed beyond all that he had ever heard or imagined; THEN, he would know something of that language which can be felt, but not translated into the set phrase of speech.
Seeking an illustration, I undesignedly selected a noble specimen of the language of nature; one however which loses half its power in being told, and which to be felt, must 'be both seen and heard.
It is with that portion of the Universe which night discloses, as it is with the cataract; to a casual observer, stars seem so many bright gems in the sapphire floor of heaven, brilliant and beautiful, without being sublime; but to him who studies them, who by various calculations determines their magni.
tude, multitude and distance, they assume their own true as. pect, and seem what they really are-worlds!
Many a star 'is at such an inconceivable distance, that it produces no physical effect upon our globe, and yet its light just trembles on the upturned eye; as if God had written there in the bright blazonry of heaven, the immensity of the Universe, His own infinity; and yet our powers can come, only by slow degrees, if ever, to a developement which will enable us to grasp the thought.
Conceive, if you can, what fields of space untraversed yet by human thought, flung out by the Almighty's hand, extended, lie this side that twinkling world. Send earth on towards it; earth, moving at the rate of a million and a half miles every day. Hurry it on; suns rise and set; moons and wane; snows fall and melt and disappear; men grow old, and turn their blinded eyes away, wearied with watching the distant star that twinkles yet, a lucid point !
Still earth speeds on; men wondering, lay them down and die, and dying, tell their children; they gaze too, and calculate; calculate and gaze, and then they die. That star shines dimly yet, as the lamp of some far light-house, struggling with the night!
Send light express; light, which each tick of clock finds far. ther on its way, almost two hundred thousand miles. The swiftwinged messenger grows old and gray, its journey yet undone!
If this be not enough, send thought. Take Herschel's tel. escope; turn it towards the gauze-light curtain of the Milky Way,
“Which nightly, as a circling zone, thou seest
Powdered with stars.” That wondrous fabric wove in Creation's loom, is rent! Its parting threads resolving into worlds, disclose still other
tems, blocking up the vast highway, "whose dust is gold," but opening still to thought's progressive flight, the bright retainers of the halls of heaven; as the distant wood, seeming so deep and tangled, presents an opening vista as we
Onward still, till wearied thought, lost in the wilderness of worlds, that closing far behind, seem cutting off retreat, adoring, trembling thought, flies humbled back to earth!
What awful language has the stars. WHO wonders that the bard, with voices such as these, resounding in his spirit's ear, should say,
“Divine Instructor! Thy first volume this,
-and open'd Night! by thee." What will more appropriately close our view of this illumined page, than the almost triumphant interrogation of Mrs. Barbauld?
“Is there not a longue in every star,
Language of the seasons— The voice of Spring_Of Summer
Of Autumn-Of Winter-Definition of language as ab
"There is a voice with spring's sweet music blending!
every Icaf and opening bud, a line;
Listen! they breathe of life”.
“Cold in the dust, thy perish'd heart may lie,
But that which warm'd it once, shall never die." The lowly Liver-leaf, hearing that breezy call, unfurls its triple banner of pale blue; in the deep woods, the sweet Anemone catches it, and blooms., The Maple and the Elm are clothed again, and the glossy-leaved Willows line the streams; the yellow violets peep out, here and there, at the life-giving word; the roaming strawberry sends forth its tendril-scouts, and the gray, velvet mosses too, are touched with a new coat of green. The brooks loosed from their icy chains, flow carelessly along the pebbly channel, with a sil. very sound of joy.
“The time of the singing of the birds hath come,” and they, you know, make music for the silent host, redeemed from winter and death, and singing on, they keep the chorus up, for the flowers to grow by; so the birds keep tune, and the flowers keep time! Singing and springing! Who does not love the morning of the year? Then, rainbows are born about this time, for an April day is a childish thing, all smiles and tears, sunshine and showers; and when the flowers fling off their little gray shrouds, there hangs the bow, and straight, their discs reflect its colored light; some, like the Lily, blend its hues in one; some crimson as the rose; some sport a mantle of light green, but all are daughters of the Bow and Hope ! So will it be, in that great waking hour, when all the just shall stand arrayed in light reflected from above; so in that hour will shine their bow of promise in a cloudless sky!
Every thing goes by music in these days; the birds build their nests to some merry measure; the dawn is ushered in
with a song.
Have you never been by, when the winds “turned out' from their thousand leafy berths? If not, I say to you,
“Up! up, arise! haste, haste ! the vernal morn
Quick, quick !” Hasten to some neighboring wood; how still is every leaf, but hush! hark,, what sound is that like distant voices, coming up from the deep, dim vale ? Nearer, clearer! The winds are turning out now; see how their little couches rock and swing. On they come to greet the morning with the earliest song; just in time for hear, the deep note of some waking bird rings from the thicket. The brooks play a prelude; the winds and the wooded vales together, make the bass, and the birds put in the variations. All the parts in the great anthem are filled, but one; and that is yours, reader; join then, in the gushings of gratitude, the true, unwritten melody of the heart !