« السابقةمتابعة »
Such as the youthful bard in fancy's dream,
And some discourse there too shall be,
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
You did not like my lay uncouth,
No doubt I should have won your trust,
I said I doubted if the bard
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
TO NARIA, ON HER RESTORATION TO ALALTA.
From the rude hand of Pain and Wo,
Thanks to the power that made thee wholc,
'Tis bliss to find those eyes relume
Since Spring now visits all the land,
Come then, and let us tread the greens
Come, and we'll breathe this grateful air,
I long to see thee taste the sweets,
Then to my eye these hills and vales
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.
It has been long and justly lamented, that while almost every nation of Europe, however miserable its condition or humble its political importance, has a traditionary music, and national airs, our country alone does not yet possess these important characteristics. This is, indeed, a great and prominent defect in our social and political existence. Blest as we unquestionably are with more individual and general prosperity, than is enjoyed by any other people, and as strenuously attached to our national institutions, we yet in this country want an undefined something of national feeling, and of general sympathy which unites societies more powerfully than the mutual enjoyment of all these advantages. It is not the casual vicinity of our homes that makes a nation. It is not a cold and prudent calculation of the benefits of union and the dangers of dissension, which binds states together. It is a higher, and a more generous sentiment, the kindred feelings, the resembling habits, the consciousness of mutual esteem, the sense of common dangers, all these more than the calm deliberations of wisdom, come warm and rushing from the heart to make us not merely know, but feel that we have a country. It is this, noble sentiment, which reason can neither form, nor control, nor even sometimes approve, which thrills through our breasts at the remembrance of our country—which identifies our pride, with its glory-which makes us blush for its failings, or weep for its misfortunes, or swell with its triumphs, and fixing on that country, our undivided affections, surrounds its institutions with the sacred enthusiasm of the passions. In no manner can these feelings be inspired or preserved, more effectually, than by national and characteristic poetry. They thus approach us with all the fascinations of genius, at an age when the generous passions are alone awakened, and connecting themselves with our earliest and dearest associations, establish over our bosoms, a seductive and durable empire. Their influence need not be told to those who know the power of physical sounds, in union with endearing recollections, or who remember, that since the time of Tyrtæus to the days of Dibdin, the songs and poetry of a nation have always prepared or accompanied its triumphs. “Let me make the ballads of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws,” was the observation of a judicious and profound statesman, which is peculiarly applicable to the popular institutions of our own country.
During the long interval of repose in which this nation has slumbered, the feelings of mutual kindness, and conciliation, which should attach us to each other, have, unhappily, lost too much of their influence. The national sentiment has been wasted in the natural improvidence of prosperity; or, sometimes, lost in the violence of our political animosities; till, at length, we have become too indifferent to the blessings, and almost strangers to the feelings which distinguish, and should endear our country. This may have many causes; but not the least, in our estimation, is the want of certain rallying points in our habits and manners: where, for a moment at least, we might forget the divisions which distract us, and remember only our native land certain shaded and holy spots, where the verdure of patriotism might be always fresh, and where should never be seen the noxious weeds of faction. Such might be the national songs, in which the value of our intitutions, the blessings of our condition, the peculiarities of our manners, and the triumphs of our arms, embellished by the graces
of poetry, could be familiarized to our ordinary amusements, and entwined with our best and most natural feelings of patriotism. Instead of being condemned, as we now are, on our public theatres, and even in our domestic festivities, to hear and to sing the praises of foreign countries, and the triumphs of foreign heroes, we might then, all of us, of all parties, and of all classes, unite in celebrating our own institutions, our own manners, our own statesmen, our own soldiers.
Surely that degradation should not long be suffered. Seven millions of people-of such people too, intelligent, active, and enlightened, beyond all former example;born to higher destinies than were ever yet opened to any nation--the career of whose greatness and glory is rapid, constant, and almost irresistible; whose annals, though recent, are already splendid and glorious.-Such a people have every claim to a high and bold expression of their feelings, their habits, and their affections. To encourage that expression, to cherish those feelings, and thus to form a new moral bond among us, is an object of great national advantage, and of much individual honor. Nor could any moment be more propi. tious than the present. The whole sympathy of our countrymen, all that remained of national sentiment since the revolution, has recently burst forth to honor the glorious achievements of our navy, which have kindled a new and holy spirit of nationality