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has impelled us to look for higher gratification; when long possession of the useful has excited a demand for the ornamental, and ease has left us leisure for elegance.
Great poets, like the stars of the morning, are often seen to shine in the early dawn of cultivation, great painters gild the horizon of society only in its meridian blaze.
The influence of the poet is more general, more commanding, more important in the great concerns of life; but the task of the painter appears more arduous, is more out of the high road of human ability, and demands a more extraordinary combination of natural and acquired powers.
The painter may be said to unite the talents of the poet and the actor; he composes the scene, and fills up the characters of the drama; he realizes the visions of Fancy, and not only recalls the exploits of antiquity, but revives the heroes by whom they were performed.
His are the superiorities of Imitation over Description, of Sensation orer Reflection: he writes in the characters of Nature the language of Action and Expression, and approaches nearest to the powers of the Creator in the noblest imitation of his works.
Descriptive of a Pedestrian Journey to the Falls of Niagara,
In the autumn of 1803.
By the Author of American Ornithology.
(Continued from page 278.)
All day up winding solitudes we past,
Steep hung o'er steep, as if at random cast;
Through every opening tow’ring groups were seen
Pil'd to the clouds, with horrid gulfs between;
Thus (as the bard of old creation sings,
'Mongst other marvellous scenes and mighty things),
When squabbling angels rais'd in heav'n a rout,
And hills, uprooted, flew like hail about,
Thus look’d, in those tremendous days of yore,
Their field of battle when the fight was o'er,
Impending cliffs, with ruin'd woods o’ergrown,
And mountains headiong over mountains thrown.
One vast pre-eminent ascent we scald,
And high at last its level summit hail'd,
There, as we trod along fatigued and slow,
Through parting woods the clouds appear'd below,
And lo! at once before our ravish'd view,
A scene appear'd astonishing and new.
Close on the brink of an abyss we stood,
Concealid till now by the impending wood,
Below, at dreadful depth, the river lay,
Shrunk to a brook ʼmidst little fields of hay;
From right to left, where'er the prospect led,
The reddening forest like a carpet spread,
Beyond, immense, to the horizon's close,
Huge amphitheatres of mountains rose.
Charm’d with this spot, our knapsacs we resign'd,
And here, like gods, in airy regions din’d;
Like gods of old the cordial cup we quaff’d,
Sung songs to Liberty, and jok'd and laugh’d;
Huzza'd aloud-then listen’d from on high
If haply slumbering Echo would reply,
A long dead pause ensued at once the sound
In tenfold shouts from distant hills rebound;
Not Polyphemus' self e'er louder road,
When burning goads his monstrous visage gor’di.
Huzza! huzza! the echoing mountains cry;
Huzza! huzza! more distant hills reply,
And still more distant, till the faint huzza,
In lessening shouts, successive, died away,
Surpriz'd, astonish’d! heedless of our meal
We seiz'd our muskets for a nobler peal,
Fill’d their dark bowels with the glistening grain,
And, facing, pointed to the extended scene,
Then at the word their fiery thunders pour’d,
That through the wide expanse impetuous roar’d.
Deep silence hung, -The loud returning roar
From bellowing mountains thunders o'er and o’er;
Peal after peal successive bursts away,
And rolls tremendous o'er the face of day;
From hill to hill the loud responses fly,
And in the vast horizon lessening die.*
Thus from Olympus, o'er a prostrate world,
The fabl’d Jove his bolts imperious hurl'd;
Earth heard, and echoed back the peals profound,
And heaven's exalted regions shook around.
With deep reluctance, ne'er to be forgot,
And many a lingering look, we left this spot,
Since callid Olympus, worthier of the name
Than that so blazon’d by the trump of fame.
Ye souls! whom nature's glorious works deliglit,
Who chance to pass o'er this stupendous height,
Here turn aside; and, if serene the day,
This cliff sublime will all your toils repay,
Here regions wide your ravish'd eye will meet,
Hills, rivers, forests, lying at your
Here to COLUMBIA make your muskets roar,
While heaven's artillery thunders back encore.
'Twas now dull twilight, trudging on we keep,
Where giddy Breakneck nods above the steep;
And down the darkening forest slowly steer,
Where woods, receding, show'd a dwelling near,
A painted frame, tall barracks filled with hay,
Clean white-wash'd railings rais'd along the way,
Young poplars, mix'd with wecping willows green,
Rose o'er the gate, and fring’d the walk within;
An air of neatness, gracing all around,
Bespoke that courtesy we so quickly found ;
The aged Judge, in grave apparel dress’d,
To cushion'd chairs invites each weary guest;
* This echo may be considered as one of the greatest curiosities of this part of the country. After more than a quarter of a minute bad elapsed, the sound was reverberated with astonishing increase, at least ten successive times, each time more and more remote, till at last it seemed to proceed from an irnmense distance. The word, or words were distinctly articulated; as if giants were calling to one another froin mountain to mountain. When our guns were discharged at once, the effect was still more astonishing, and I scarcely believe, that a succession of broadsides from a train of seventyfours, at like distances, in any other place, would have equalled it. The state of the atmosphere was very favourable; and the report roared along the clouds in one continued peal.
O’er the rich carpet bids the table rise,
With all the sweets that India's clime supplies;
And supper served with elegance, the glass,
In sober circuit was allowed to pass.
The reverend sire, with sons and grandsons round,
Ruddy as health, by summer suns embrown'd,
Inquires our road and news with modest mein,
Tells of the countries he himself had seen;
His Indian battles, midnight ambuscades;
Wounds and captivity in forest glades,
And with such winning, interesting store,
Of wild-wood tales and literary lore,
Beguiied the evening and engaged each heart,
That though sieep summoned, we were loathe to part;
And ev’n in bed reposed, the listening ear
Seem'd still the accents of the sage to hear.
The morning came; ye gods! how quickly hies
To weary folks the hour when they must rise !
Groping around we fix our various load,
And full equipp'd forth issue to the road;
Inured to toil, the woods slide swiftly past;
O’er many an opening farm our eyes we cast.
Here rich flat meadows most luxuriant lie,
Some glowing orchards gladly we espy,
Full-loaded peach trees drooping hung around,
Their mellow fruit thick scatter'd o'er the ground;
Six cents procured us a sufficient store,
Our napkins crammed and pockets running o'er;
Delicious fare! Nor did we prize them less
Than Jews did manna in the wilderness.
Still journeying on, the river's brink we keep,
the Narrow's high and dangerous steep,
That to the clouds like towering Atlas soars
While deep below the parted river roars,
Beyond its eastern stream, on level lands,
Tliere Athens (once Tioga) straggling stands ;
Unlike that Athens known in days of old,
Where Learning found more worshippers than gold,
Here waste, unfinished, their sole school-house lies,
While pompous taverns all around it rise.
Now to the left the ranging mountains bend,
And level plains before us wide extend,
Where rising lone, old Spanish-Hill, t appears,
The post of war in ancient unknown years;
Its steep and rounding sides with woods embrowned,
Its level top with old entrenchments crowned
Five hundred paces thrice we measure o'er,
Ere all their circling boundaries we explore ;
Now overgrown with woods, alone it stands,
And looks abroad o'er open fertile lands.
Here on the works we ruminating lay,
Till sudden darkness mulled up the day;
The threatening storm soon drove us to the plain),
And on we wandered through the woods again.
For many a mile through forests deep we pass’d,
Till girdled trees rose to the view at last;
The fence and field successively appear,
And jumbling cowbells speak some cottage near;
Anon the sounding axe, the yelping dogs,
The ploughman's voice, the sight of snorting hogs,
And sudden opening on the ravish'd eye,
Green fields, green meadows, gardens, orchards, lie
In rich profusion round the cottage neat,
Log-built ; but Peace and Industry's retreat.
Here down green glades, the glittering streams descend ;
Here loaded peach trees o’er the fences bend;
Deep flowery pastures clothe the steeps around,
Where herds repose, and playful coursers bound,
The groaning cider-press is busy heard,
The fowls loud cackling swarm about the yard,
The snowy gcese harangue their numerous brood,
The fapping Nail re-echoes through the wood,
And all around that meets the eye or ear,
Proclaims the power that spreads its influence here.
Hail Rural Industry, man's sturdiest friend,
To thee each virtue must with reverence bend,
To thee what heart denies spontaneous praise,
From gloomy woods such glorious scenes to raise !
Great giver of God's gifts to man below!
Through whose rough hand all human blessings flow,
† This detached mountain stands near the line which separates New. York from Pennsylvania, not far from the public road, is of a conical form, and may be between two and three hundred feet high.