صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

mountains fall: the mountains themselves decay with years; the ocean shrinks and grows again: the moon herself is lost in heaven; but thou art for ever the same, rejoicing in the brightness of thy course. When the world is dark with tempests; when thunder rolls, and lightning flies; thou lookest in thy beauty, from the clouds, and laughest at the storm. But to Ossian, thou lookest in vain; for he beholds thy beams no more; whether thy yellow hair flows on the eastern clouds, or thou trernblest at the gates of the west. But thou art perhaps, like me, for a season, and thy years will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult then, o sun, in the strength of thy youth! Age is dark and unlovely; it is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines through broken clouds, and the mist is on the hills; the blast of the north is on the plain, the traveller shrinks in the midst of

his journey.

LESSON CXXX.

Apostrophe to the Sun.-J. G. PERCIVAL. Centre of light and energy! thy way

Is through the unknown void ; thou hast thy throne, Morning, and evening, and at noon of day,

Far in the blue, untended and alone :

Ere the first-wakened airs of earth had blown, On didst thou march, triumphant in thy light;

Then didst thou send thy glance, which still hath flown Wide through the never-ending worlds of night, And yet thy full orb burns with flash unquenched and bright

*

Thy path is high in heaven ;-we cannot gaze

On the intense of light that girds thy car; There is a crown of glory in thy rays,

Which bears thy pure divinity afar

To mingle with the equal light of star ;
For thou, so vast to us, art, in the whole,

One of the sparks of night, that fire the air;
And, as around thy centre planets roll,
So thou, too, hast thy path around the Central Soul.

Thou lookest on the earth, and then it smiles ;

Thy light is hid, and all things droop and mourn; Laughs the wide sea around her budding isles,

When through their heaven thy changing car is borne ;

Thou wheel'st away thy flight,-the woods are shorn Of all their waving locks, and storms awake;

All, that was once so beautiful, is torn By the wild winds which plough the lonely lake, And in their maddening rush the crested mountains shake. The earth lies buried in a shroud of snow;

Life lingers, and would die, but thy return Gives io their gladdened hearts an overflow

Of all the power, that brooded in the urn

Of their chilled frames, and then they proudly spurn All bands that would confine, and give to air

Hues, frāgrance, shapes of beauty, till they burn,
When, on a dewy morn, thou dartest there
Rich waves of gold to wreath with fairer light the fair.
The vales are thine :--and when the touch of Spring

Thrills them, and gives them gladness, in thy light
They glitter, as the glancing swallow's wing

Dashes the water in his winding flight,

And leaves behind a wave, that crinkles bright, And widens outward to the pebbled shore ;

The vales are thine; and when they wake from night, The dews that bend the grass tips, twinkling o'er Their soft and oozy beds, look upward and adore. The hills are thine :- they catch thy newest beam,

And gladden in thy parting, where the wood Flames out in every leaf, and drinks the stream,

That flows from out thy fulness, as a flood

Bursts from an unknown land, and rolls the food
Of nations in its waters ; so thy rays

Flow and give brighter tints, than ever bud,
When a clear sheet of ice reflects a blaze
Of many twinkling gems, as every glossed bough plays.
Thine are the mountains,—where they purely lift

Snows that have never wasted, in a sky
Which hath no stain ; below the storm may drift

Its darkness, and the thunder-gust roar by it
Aloft in thy eternal smile they lie

Dazzling but cold ;-thy farewell glance looks there

And when below thy hues of beauty die,
Girt round them, as a rosy belt, they bear
Into the high dark vault, a brow that still is fair.
The clouds are thine; and all their magic hues

Are pencilled by thee; when thou bendest low,
Or comest in thy strength, thy hand imbues

Their waving folds with such a perfect glow

Of all pure tints, the fairy pictures throw Shame on the proudest art ;

These are thy trophies, and thou bend'st thy arch,

The sign of triumph, in a seven-fold twine, Where the spent storm is has:ing on its march;

And there the glories of thy light combine,

And form, with perfect curve, a lifted line Striding the earth and air ;-man looks and tells

How Peace and Mercy in its beauty shine, And how the heavenly messenger impels Her glad wings on the path, that thus in ēther swells. The ocean is thy vassal ;-thou dost sway

His waves to thy dominion, and they go Where thou, in heaven, dost guide them on their

way Rising and falling in eternal flow :

Thou lookest on the waters, and they glow, And take them wings and spring aloft in air,

And change to clouds, and then, dissolving, throw Their treasures back to earth, and, rushing, tear The mountain and the vale, as proudly on they bear.

* In thee, first light, the bounding ocean smiles,

When the quick winds uprear it in a swell, That rolls in glittering green around the isles,

Where ever-springing fruits and blossoms dwell.
Oh! with a joy no gifted tongue can tell,
I hurry o'er the waters when the sail

Swells tensely, and the light keel glances well
Over the curling billow, and the gale
Comes off from spicy groves to tell its winning tale.

LESSON CXXXI.

Apostrophe to the Ocean.-BYRON.

THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes

By the deep sea, and music in its roar.

I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal

From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll !

Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain, Man marks the earth with ruin-his control

Stops with the shore upon the watery plair

The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain. A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,

When for a moment, like a drop of rain, He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

*

The armaments which thunderstrike the walls

Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, And monarchs tremble in their capitals;

The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make

Their clay creator the vain title take Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;

These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, They melt into thy yěst of waves, which mar Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.

Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee

Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage,—what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free,

And inany a tyrant since ; their shores obey

The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay Has dried up realms to deserts :-not so thou,

Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' playTime writes no wrinkles on thine āzure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now,

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form

Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,

Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark heaving ;-boundless, endless, and sublime
The image of Eternity--the throne

Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone
Obeys thee-thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy

Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be Borne, like thy bubbles, onward ;--from a boy

I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me Were a delight; and if the freshening sea Made them a terror,-'twas a pleasing fear;

For I was, as it were, a child of thee, And trusted to thy billows far and near, And laid

my hand upon thy mane-as I do here.

LESSON CXXXII.

On the use and abuse of amusements.--ALISON. It were unjust and ungrateful to conceive that the amuos, ments of life are altogether forbid by its beneficent Author. They serve, on the contrary, important purposes in the economy of human life, and are destined to produce important effects, both upon our happiness and character. They are, in the first place, in the language of the Psalmist, “ the wells of the desert;" the kind resting-places in which toil may relax, in which the weary spirit may recover its tone, and where the desponding mind may resume its strength and its hopes.

They are, in another view, of some importance to the dignity of individual character. In every thing we call amusement, there is generally some display of taste and imagination,--some elevation of the mind from mere animal indulgence, or the baseness of sensual desire. Even in the scenes of rělaxation, therefore, they have a tendency to preserve the dignity of human character, and to fill up the vacant and unguarded hours of life with occupations innocent, at least, if not virtuous. But their principal effect,

« السابقةمتابعة »