صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

What shall I do to be for ever known?

Thy duty ever.

This did full many who yet slept unknown

Oh! never, never!

Think'st thou, perchance, that they remain unknown
Whom thou know'st not?

By angel-trumps in heaven their praise is blown,
Divine their lot.

What shall I do to gain eternal life?
Discharge aright

The simple dues with which each day is rife ;
Yea, with thy might.

Ere perfect scheme of action thou devise

Will life be fled,

While he, who ever acts as conscience cries,
Shall live, though dead.


BRYANT has caught some inspiration from the peculiar features of the scenery of America. He is not so entirely cosmopolitan as his brethren. He only who has felt the solemn grandeur of the huge primæval forest could have given utterance to this beautiful hymn.

THE groves were God's first temples. Ere man learn'd
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,

And spread the roof above them,-ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back

The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offer'd to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences
Which, from the stilly twilight of the place,
And from the grey old trunks that high in heaven
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the invisible breath that sway'd at once
All their green tops, stole over him, and bow'd
His spirit with the thought of boundless power
And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why

Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
Only among the crowd, and under roofs
That our frail hands have raised.

Let me, at least,

Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn-thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in His ear.

Father! thy hand

Hath rear'd these venerable columns, thou

Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and forthwith rose

All these fair ranks of trees. They in thy sun
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
Among their branches, till at last they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults,
These winding aisles, of human pomp or pride
Report not. No fantastic carvings show
The boast of our vain race to change the form
Of thy fair works. But thou art here-thou fill'st
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds,
That run along the summit of these trees

In music;-thou art in the cooler breath

That from the inmost darkness of the place

Comes, scarcely felt;—the barky trunks, the ground, The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee. Here is continual worship;-Nature here,

In the tranquillity that thou dost love,

Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly around
From perch to perch the solitary bird

Passes; and yon clear spring, that 'midst its herbs
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
Thyself without a witness, in these shades,

Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength and grace
Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak-
By whose immoveable stem I stand and seem
Almost annihilated-not a prince,

In all that proud old world beyond the deep

E'er wore his crown as loftily as he

Wears the green coronal of leaves with which
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower,
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation from the indwelling life,
A visible token of the upholding love
That are the soul of this wide universe.

My heart is awed within me when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on
In silence round me-the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finish'd yet renew'd
For ever. Written on thy works I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.

Lo! all grow old and die-but see, again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay
Youth presses-ever gay and beautiful youth
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost
One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,
The freshness of her far beginning lies,
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch-enemy Death-yea, seats himself
Upon the tyrant's throne-the sepulchre,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe

Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.

There have been holy men who hid themselves Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived The generation born with them, nor seem'd Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks Around them; and there have been holy men Who deem'd it were not well to pass life thus. But let me often to these solitudes Retire, and in thy presence reassure My feeble virtue. Here its enemies, The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink,

And tremble, and are still. O God! when thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill
With all the waters of the firmament

The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep, and throws himself
Upon the continent and overwhelms
Its cities-who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride and lays his strifes and follies by?
Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad unchain'd elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of thy works
Learn to conform the order of our lives.


We suspect that few of our readers are acquainted with the Isle of Palms, by JOHN WILSON, who is better known as CHRISTOPHER NORTH of Blackwood's Magazine, where he has published, in the form of prose, as much true poetry as any of his contemporaries. So thoroughly poetical is his temperament, that he cannot write half a dozen sentences without some flash of genius that reveals the poet. Withal, the Isle of Palms, his longest and best poem, has not achieved popularity; but it contains many fine passages, of which the following is a specimen.

Ir is the midnight hour :-the beauteous Sea,
Calm as the cloudless heaven, the heaven discloses,
While many a sparkling star, in quiet glee,
Far down within the watery sky reposes.

As if the Ocean's heart were stirr'd

With inward life, a sound is heard,

Like that of dreamer murmuring in his sleep;
'Tis partly the billow, and partly the air,
That lies like a garment floating fair

Above the happy Deep.

The Sea, I ween cannot be fann'd

By evening freshness from the land,

For the land it is far away;

But God hath will'd that the sky-born breeze
In the centre of the loneliest seas
Should ever sport and play.

The mighty Moon she sits above,
Encircled with a zone of love,
A zone of dim and tender light
That makes her wakeful eye more bright:
She seems to shine with a sunny ray,
And the night looks like a mellow'd day!
The gracious mistress of the main
Hath now an undisturbed reign.

And from her silent throne looks down,
As upon children of her own,

On the waves that lend their gentle breast

In gladness for her couch of rest!

My spirit sleeps amid the calm

The sleep of a new delight;

And hopes that she ne'er may wake again,

But for ever hang o'er the lovely main

And adore the lovely night.

Scarce conscious of an earthly frame,

She glides away like a lambent flame,

And in her bliss she sings;

Now touching softly the Ocean's breast,
Now mid the stars she lies at rest,

As if she sail'd on wings!

Now bold as the brightest star that glows

More brightly since at first it rose,

Looks down on the far-off flood;

And there all breathless and alone,

As the sky where she soars were a world of her own, She mocketh the gentle Mighty One

As he lies in his quiet mood.

"Art thou," she breathes, "the tyrant grim

That scoffs at human prayers,

Answering with prouder roaring the while,

As it rises from some lonely isle,

Through groans raised wild, the hopeless hymn

Of shipwreck'd mariners?

Oh! thou art as harmless as a child

Weary with joy and reconciled

For sleep to change its play;

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