Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[graphic]

THE LADIES' REPOSITORY.

CINCINNATI, JULY, 1842.

SABBATH DAY POINT.

Original. (SEE ENGRAVING.)

THE HAPPY DEAD. * This view is about twenty miles from the head of Blest spirit, where art thou this Sabbath eve? Lake George. The point is said to have received its | Amid the fields of glory dost thou range? name from an English peer, who, one Sabbath morning, || Or, pausing, dost thou drink the crystal stream landed there for breakfast. The Catholics have denom- | That flows beneath the throne, and eat the fruit inated this beautiful sheet of water, Lake Sacrament. Of life’s immortal tree, and wear the palm Nature, in some of her aspects, seems to be sacrament- || Of victory? This moment dost thou bow al—as, for instance, the tree of life, in the garden of Before the Lamb, and plunge into the beams Eden, which, though its fruit was prohibited on com- || That from the uncreated Sun break forth? mon occasions, would doubtless, but for the fall, have Dost thou look down on us who toil below, subserved a peculiar and sacred purpose. The rain- || And feel a sympathy at our distress? bow is one of nature's sacraments, being especially Or dost thou hover, in the sable night, adopted as the seal of a covenant between the patri- || Above our sleeping pillow, breathing peace, arch Noah and Jehovah. But such significant names || And guarding, with celestial vigilance, as sacrament and Sabbath should betoken sacred things. The beings that were dear to thee on earth? The scene of secular life in this engraving is therefore Methinks I see thee move in all the grace, in bad taste. The associations are too modern; that is, And bloom, and beauty of that world of life. too irreverent of holy themes. The aspects of nature, I hear thee sing the song of the redeemed; in the picture, seem sacred enough; and if those forms And from the heights of paradise I see of life represented a Sabbath day gathering to God's Thee beckon us, with smiles of holy joy, sanctuary, for religious devotion and the holy euchar- To hasten up the steeps, and join you there. ist, we should wholly admire the application of the Then I recall the days, for ever gone, names, Lake Sacrament, and Sabbath Day Point, toWhen those same smiles were wont to gild our paththe Lake and the promontory. These moral criticisms When those same eyes that so regard us now, have nothing to do with the skill of the artists. The Looked through the vail of flesh to catch our glance; picture is well drawn, and the engraver has done it | And when those hands, which now thou wav'st in light, justice.

Grasp'd ours, and helped us to pursue our way.
I now bethink me of the bliss you gave-
The sorrows that you shared—the pains you soothed

The hours that you beguiled—the lights you threw
Original.

Across this shadowy scene! And then the change! THE GREAT PROMISE.

O, here the heart recoils! Darkness and death How precious are God's promises! Under the se- Close in upon us--yet we turn again verest temptations and most pressing wants, they pledge To where you dwell, and, with a zeal renewed to us support and consolation. They are set forth By your example, conquest, and your crown, in the most alluring language, and reiterated in the Address us to our way. We ask the aid plainest terms, that we need not fear to rest in them, Of Him whom you adore, and pledge ourselves, and seize the blessings which they proffer us. To en- To tread, unfaltering and untired, the length courage trust, and nearly render distrust impossible, | Of the celestial road, and meet thee there. they are addressed to us with almost an exuberance of And wilt thou hail us over Jordan's stream, phrases and variations. Amongst these promises, one or meet us in the wave, and guide our flight is so comprehensive in its brevity, that it should be Up to the presence of your heaven and ours ? treasured up in our heart of hearts, and remembered O, sainted one! thy holy life-thy death daily and hourly. It is the sum of all promises—“My Shall draw our hearts from earth and all its charms! grace is sufficient for thee.” No sense of weakness, Then still attract; but let those cords of love, want, or misery, can carry the soul beyond the purview Which almost call our spirits from their clay, of that precious promise. It meets every possible state Draw us more closely to each other still, of depression and destitution, and leaves the doubting Till, mingled into one, our kindred souls soul without excuse. Take it, Christian, and set it as Aspire, and soar, and lose themselves with thine a seal upon thine arm. Never forget, wherever and In the abyss of life, and heaven, and God! however you may be assailed by want, or adversity, or

GERTRUDE. persecution, that God has pledged you sufficient gracehas said, “As thy day is, so shall thy strength be.”

* Mrs. Morris.

[blocks in formation]

BY T. G. BLAIR.

SHELLEY.

Original.

soars calmly and serenely forth into the bright heaven SPIRIT OF POETRY.

of fancy. The voice that called us in our youth, breathing from the quiet sky, from the blue misty hills,

the clashing waters, like some half forgotten strain of “O! there are spirits of the air,

music, is familiar now. We hear it in the early And genii of the evening breeze,

spring-time, when the sound of the streams is like a And gentle ghosts with eyes as fair

thousand silvery voices calling to each other from all As star-beams among twilight trees.”

the hills, or when the murmur of the summer woods is l 'Twas night-and death the curtains drew 'mid agony secure,

like deep answering unto deep, or when the hues of While there a willing spirit went home to a glorious shore;

autumn's boughs rival the fiery clouds of her sunset, Yet still it sighed, e'en where was spread the waiting angel's or when all the wintry winds clap their hands, and the wing,

snow flakes come down like the white blossoms of earO, speak no ill of poetry, for 'is a holy thing."

ly summer showering from the branches. We have MRS. SIGOURNEY.

learned that the spell is in our own hearts, and we Our first recollections of this bright and breathing are blessed in the knowledge. world are rather of feelings than of thought. They There comes a time when this rich strain of music come back to us visions of bright sunshine and dancing in the heart, answering to all that is grand or beautiful shadow-long wanderings for many a sunny day, in the moral or material world, seems the last remnant hours of sport, whose very remembrance sends the of childhood and youth. The eye grows dim, the blood thrilling through our veins, and day dreams, cheek pale-worse, the heart grows cold. When the whose vividness and beauty will sometimes return long thought of death comes over our weariness, it brings a after life's stern realities have quenched the fire of the cold shuddering; for the heart is not so near heaven as eye, and wrought deep lines upon the forehead. Welit once was. We here come to know we are not what were too happy and too busy then for sober thought; we have been, and to feel we are not what we should be; but sometimes, perchance in the midst of our most and when we look back upon the high and noble resolves boisterous mirth, there would come a sudden thrill, as with which we first commenced the struggle of life, we we looked upon the blue sky, or far hills, and we are humbled to the dust, for we ask ourselves how have would pause, with the jocund shout yet upon our lip, we kept them? And that humiliation, though bitter, and gaze as if our very soul were lost in that silent is most salutary. Then the purer and holier feelings and cloudless space. Over all the wild mirth of the of our youth, blended with its poetry, came back to us. heart there would come soft sadness, like the shadow Blessed be that spirit which is as an electric chain to of a fair cloud chasing the golden sunshine from the refresh the weary soul of later life with the fresh and earth. A joyous feeling, and yet it moved us almost unworldly thoughts of earlier years! Whence is the to tears! The heart was overflowing with new and spirit of poetry, whose office seems to be to cheer us indefinable emotions, and it seemed as if we beheld along the rugged way of life, and to elevate the mind the exceeding beauty of the earth for the first time. above the petty vexations that lie in our path? It is The eye has now a deeper and more chastened glad | that loving sense of the grand and the beautiful which ness, and the smile of the lip is softened with sensibil- makes it a glorious boon but to live in the free air and ity. Youth is now calling home the wild affections, the smiling sunlight—it is that deep sensibility to the causeless emotions, the overflowing joy which whatever is good or noble or beautiful in moral nature, childhood has scattered on the world, and gathering which causes the sudden swelling up from the heart, them into itself, as if the heart foresaw the wearing and flushes the cheek, and brightens the eye—it is that struggle of life, and called home its resources for the which makes the cheek early pale with visions of lovecombat. The spirit hovers upon the verge of an un- liness that is not, and extending over all around us, by tried life-behind, bathed in purple light, lie the years | a blessed alchymy converts every thing into the prethat have glided away. The future stretches far off in cious metal of the heart. Where this spirit dwells, it the distance, filled with a thousand indistinct forms of is gentleness to man and strength to woman. We surpassing beauty.

meet it in daily life; for poetry is not confined to the But we have learned by experience that the world is page of the schoolman alone. Here it prompts kindnot all it seems. A sense of its selfishness, its heart-ness, and affection, and generous self-sacrifice, with lessness, has breathed over us like an icy wind; but we many a thought and act, which, though unknown and have, as it were, beheld afar off, that the pinion of the unsung on earth, shall be written with the sunbeam on soul is not yet soiled or torn in the contest. The little that day when the deeds of conquerers shall make their knowledge we have gained has served to awaken the actors pale with shame and affright. sensibilities, to give a tinge of sadness to our anticipa It is sometimes doubted whether a high degree of tions, and to call reflection to the little world of our the poetic spirit is conducive to the happiness of its own hearts.

possessor. Why, we would ask, should it not be so? This is a temperament highly favorable to poetry. If the poet feel intensely the evils of life—if his heart Now the spirit revels in the beauty of the material cre- be deeply wounded by treachery, unkindness, and negation, and the imagination, unwearied and unworn, lect—if his soul be daily disgusted with cold selfish

THE UNATTENDED HEARSE.

195

ness, does he not receive a rich compensation when his

Original. heart thrills at those purer and more generous acts, THE UNATTENDED HEARSE. which, amid so much that is evil in this world, still

At the approach of the sickly season in New Orleans, it is no gleam like light through the clouds ? Is he not

uncommon thing to see the hearse bearing away its dead withprivileged to find, in this glorious universe, a delight out a single follower. The victim of death has perhaps been which others can never realize? If he be true to the some respectable, poor young man, who has been lured to this monitions of that spirit which God has imparted, has commercial city by the delusive hope of making a fortune. he not the soul-cheering assurance of benefiting his Alas! he l.as found only a grave. kind? Alas! that the poet should ever barter his high No funeral pomp, with lengthened sweep privileges for the smiles of the great, or the polluting Of mourning coaches in

array, pleasures of sense! - Then only can man be miserable E'er struck with pathos half so deep, when he has devoted the blessings of God to the ser And caused my very heart to weep, vice of his foe.

As the lone hearse upon its way. The present, amid the din of political contests, and To fancy's eye, it lifts the vail between the jarring of mammon's devotees, is not an age of The sick’ning and the dying scene. poetry. This is an age of stern reality.

It tells of suffering in a stranger land, “In these last days, what sounds salute the ear,

Far, far away from household friends;
While taste and reason stand aghast to hear ?

There lov'd ones round him used to stand,
Who o'er the lyre a hand presumptuous flings,
And grinds harsh discords from the creaking strings ?

And smooth his pillow with affection's hand; Far off the wise retire to deepest glades;

Here but a hireling nurse attends. A pollo wrathful at the sound upbraids--

Love and skill were powerless now to save
Who to the world such noisy nonsense gave,

His wasting body from an early grave.
Ne'er drank, sweet Helicon, thy limpid wave!"
If a wreath is to encircle our history, which shall go

There is a spell, of soul-subduing power, blooming down

Within the sacred name of home“To the last syllable of recorded time,"

Breathing its fragrance, like a flower, the hands of an inquisitive philosophy are surely des

O'er our lorn spirit, till its latest hour, tined to weave it. Ancient fairy land has vanished

Where'er our footsteps roam. from the earth—the days of visions are past-no

It still, amid severest pain, nymphs or naiads people our woods and fountains,

Will paint its pictures on the brain. the tales of enchanted islands far away over the blue His bosom's agony, ah! who can tell, deep have grown things of yore. We have realized As round that home his memory lingers, wonders, the very prediction of which would have con And gushing from his heart's deep well, demned any unfortunate beldam in the days of witch Come thoughts that burning there will dwell, craft. We have machines—strange looking monsters Till wiped away by death's cold fingers. moving, as it were, by magic, which, in days of old, How little reck they of his mournful fate, would have subjected their inventors to the fiery ordeal. Who his return with fond expectance wait. We have grown wise in our generation—we believe no

The scene has closed_his spirit's fled! dreams but golden ones. Money is all now—Allad

His wandering feet no more shall roam. din's lamp—the wishing cap—the carpet of the prince

What anguish will the tidings spread, in the fairy tale. The fairies have gone from the green When the death letter first is read, grassy knowls where they were wont to dwell. The

In that bereaved home. stealthy step of the midnight ghost visits no more the

0, may the lost one they possessed, chambers of the guilty or the loved. The sound of

Be found again amidst the blest! the axe and the hammer has broken in upon the haunts of the poet, the silent dells, and the airy hill tops. But

Tho' stranger friends, that to him clung poetry, driven from her ancient haunts, is avenging her

In gay and heartless mirth, self by ennobling and refining the objects for which

While health and hope around him flung

Those secret charms that win the youngshe is sacrificed. Nor is her voice silent in the land; they who will listen may hear it rising at times like the

Love's living things of earthvoice of distant waters through the hush of evening;

Yet o'er his fresh and lonely bed and they who have learned to judge of the future by

Their eye no pitying tear will shed. the past tell us that the time is not far distant when And though no prayer ascend to God, one shall rise to fill the vacant throne in the realm of

Ere they shall lay him in the dust, song.

No gentle hand e'er place the sod,
But by rude feet the earth be trod,

Yet still in heaven, we trust,
Let those who would affect singularity with success, For him the “righteous” household prayer
first determine to be very virtuous, and they will be May have secured his entrance there.
very singular,

CORNELIA AUGUSTA.

« PoprzedniaDalej »