Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

will infallibly generate the base vermin of spies and inforijers, and a still more pestilent race of political tools and retainers of the meanest and most odious description ; - while the prodigious patronage which the collecting of this splendid revenue will throw into the hands of Government will invest it with so vast an influence, and hold out such means and temptations to corruption, as all the virtue and public spirit, even of Republicans, will be unable to resist. Every wise Jour than shouid remember this!

[ocr errors]

63. THE PRESS. --Adaptation from Ebenezer Elliot. Born, 1781; died, 1849

God said “Let there be light!”
Grim darkness felt His might,

And fled away:
Then startled seas and mountains cold
Shone forth, all bright in blue and gold,

And cried — “ 'Tis day! 't is day!”
“Hail, holy light!” exclaimed
The thunderous cloud that flamed

O’er daisies white;
And lo! the rose, in crimson dressed,
Leaned sweetly on the lily's breast,

And, blushing, murmured – Light
Then was the skylark born;
Then rose the embattled corn ;

Then floods of praise
Flowed o'er the sunny hills of noon;
And then, in stillest night, the moon

Poured forth her pensive rays.
Lo, Heaven's bright bow is glad'
Lo, trees and flowers, all clad

In glory, bloom!
And shall the immortal sons of God
Be senseless as the trodden clod,

And darker than the tomb ?

No, by the mind of man!
By the swart artisan !

We will aspire!
Our souls have holy light within,
And every form of grief and sin

Shall see and feel its fire.

By all we hope of Heaven,
The shroud of souls is riven!

Mind, mind alone

Is light, and hope, and life, and power!
Earth's deepest night, from this blessed hour, --

The night of mind, - is gone!
“ The Press !” all lands shall sing;
The Press, the Press we bring,

All lands to bless.
0, pallid Want! 0, Labor stark !
Behold! we bring the second ark !

The Press, the Press, the Press!

61. A DEFENCE OF POETRY.- Rev. Charles Wolfe. Born, 1791; died, 1823. BELIEVE not those who tell you that Poetry will seduce the youth. ful mind from severe occupations. Didactic Poetry not only admits, but requires, the coöperation of Philosophy and Science. And true Poetry must be always reverent. Would not an universal cloud settle upon all the beauties of Creation, if it were supposed that they had not emanated from Almighty energy? In works of art, we are not content with the accuracy of feature, and the glow of coloring, until we have traced them to the mind that guided the chisel, and gave the pencil its delicacies and its animation. Nor aan we look with delight on the features of Nature, without hailing the celestial Intelligence that

gave them birth. The Deity is too sublime for Poetry to doubt His existence. Creation has too much of the Divinity insinuated into her beauties to allow Poetry to hesitate in her creed. She demands no proof. She waits for no demonstration. She looks, and she believes. She admires, and she adores. Nor is it alone with natural religion that she maintains this intimate connection; for what is the Christian's hope, but Poetry in her purest and most ethereal essence ?

From the beginning she was one of the ministering spirits that stand round the Throne of God, to issue forth at His word, and do His errands upon the earth. Sometimes she has been the herald of an offending nation's downfall. Often has she been sent commissioned to offending man, with prophecy and warning upon her lips. At other times she has been intrusted with “ glad tidings of great joy." Poetry was the anticipating Apostle, the prophetic Evangelist, whose feet “were beautiful upon the mountains; ” who published salvation wbɔ said unto Zion, “ Thy God reigneth!”

65. GREAT IDEAS. - Rev. W. E. Channing. Waar is needed to elevate the soul is, not that a man should know all that has been thought and written in regard to the spiritual nature, not that a man should become an Encyclopedia, but that the Great Ideas in which all discoveries terminate, which sum up all sciences which the philosopher extracts from infinite details, may be comprehended and felt. It is not the quantity, but the quality of knowl. edge, which determines the mind's dignity. A man of immense information may, through tie want of large and comprehensive ideas, be far inferior in intellect to a laborer, who, with little knowledge, has yet seized on great truths. For example, I do not expect the laborer to study theology in the ancient languages, in the writings of the Fathers, in the history of sects; nor is this needful. All theology scattered as it is through countless volumes, is summed up in the idea of God; and let this idea shine bright and clear in the laborer's soul and he has the essence of theological libraries, and a far higher light than has visited thousands of renowned divines. A great mind is formed by a few great ideas, not by an infinity of loose details.

I have known very learned men who seemed to me very poor in intellect, because they had no grand thoughts. What avails it that a man has studied ever so minutely the histories of Greece and Rome, if the Great Ideas of Freedom, and Beauty, and Valor, and Spiritual Energy, have not been kindled, by those records, into living fires in his soul? The illumination of an age does not consist in the amount of its knowledge, but in the broad and noble principles of which that knowledge is the foundation and inspirer. The truth is, that the most laborious and successful student is confined in his researches to a very few of God's works; but this limited knowledge of things may still suggest universal laws, broad principles, grand ideas; and these elevate the mind. There are certain thoughts, principles, ideas, which by their nature rule over all knowledge, which are intrinsically glorious, quickening, all-comprehending, eternal !

66. ENGLAND.-Ebenezer Elliot. Nurse of the Pilgrim Sires, who sought, beyond the Atlantic foam, For fearless truth and honest thought, a refuge and a home! Who would not be of them or thee a not unworthy son, That hears, amid the chained or free, the name of Washington ? Cradle of Shakspeare, Milton, Knox! King-shaming Cromwell's

throne! Home of the Russells, Watts, and Lockes. Earth's greatest are thine

own! And shall thy children forge base chains for men that would be free? No!' by the Eliots, Hampdens, Vanes Pyms, Sidneys, yet to be! No! For the blood which kings have gorged hath made their victims

wise; While every lie that Fraud hath forged veils wisdom from his eyes. But time shall change the despot's mood ; and Mind is mightiest then, When turning evil into good, and monsters into men. If round the soul the chains are bound that hold the world in thrall, – If tyrants laugh when men are found in brutal fray to fall, Lord! let not Britain arm her hands, her sister states to ban; But bless through her all other lands — Thy family of Man'

For freedom if thy Hampden fought, for peace if Falkland fell, -
For peace and love if Bentham wrote, and Burns sang wildly well,
Let Knowledge, strongest of the strong, bid hate and discord cease
Be this the burden of her song, — “Love, Liberty, and Peace!'
Then, Father, will the Nations all, as with the sound of seas,
In universal festival, sing words of joy, like these :
Let each love all, and all be free, receiving as they give;
Lord! Jesus died for Love and Thee ! So let Thy children live!

67 TILAT'S IIALLOWED GROUND?—Thomas Campbell. Born, 1777; died, 1844.

What 's hallowed ground? Has earth a clod
Its Maker meant not should be trod
By man, the image of his God,

Erect and free,
Unscourged by Superstition's rod

To bow the knee?
What hallows ground where heroes sleep?
T is not the sculptured piles you heap:
In dews that Heavens far distant weep,

Their turf may bloom ;
Or Genii twine beneath the deep

Their coral tomb.
But strew his ashes to the wind,
Whose sword or voice has saved mankind,
And is he dead, whose glorious mind

Lifts thine on high?
To live in hearts we leave behind,

Is not to die !
Is 't death to fall for Freedom's right?
He's dead alone that lacks her light!
And murder sullies, in Heaven's sight,

The sword he draws:
What can alone ennoble fight ? -

A noble cause!
Give that; and welcome War to brace
Her drums! and rend Heaven's welkin space
The colors planted face to face,

The charging cheer,
Though Death's pale horse lead on the chase,

Shall still be dear!
And place our trophies where men kneel
To Heaven !- But Heaven rebukes my zeal
The cause of truth and human weal, -

O God abovel

Transfer it from the sword's appeal

То peace and love !
Peace, Love, - the cherubim that join
Their spread wings o'er devotion's shrine,
Prayers sound in vain, and temples shine.

When they are not;
The heart alone can make divino

Religion's spot!
What 's hallowed ground ? T is what gives birth
To sacred thoughts in souls of worth !
Peace! Independence! Truth! go

forth
Earth's
compass

round;
And your high priesthood shall make earth

All hallowed ground!

68. NATURE PROCLAIMS A DEITY.-Chateaubriand. Born, 1769; diel, 1848

THERE is a God! The herbs of the valley, the cedars of the mountain, bless Him; the insect sports in His beam; the bird sings Him in the foliage; the thunder proclaims Him in the Heavens, the ocean declares His immensity; man alone has said, there is no God!

Unite in thought at the same instant the most beautiful objects in nature. Suppose that you see, at once, all the hours of the day, and all the seasons of the year: a morning of spring, and a morning of autumn; a night bespangled with stars, and a night darkened by clouds; meadows enamelled with flowers; forests hoary with snow; fields gilded by the tints of autumn, – then alone you will have a just conception of the universe !

While you are gazing on that sun which is plunging into the vault of the West, another observer admires him emerging from the gilded gates of the Fust. By what inconceivable power does that aged star, which is sinking fatigued and burning in the shades of the evening, reäppear at the same instant fresh and humid with the rosy dew of the morning? At every hour of the day, the glorious orb is at once rising, resplendent as noon-day, and setting in the west; or, rather, our senses deceive us, and there is, properly speaking, no East or West, no North or South, in the world.

69. WHAT WE OWE TO THE SWORD.- T. S. Grimké. Born, 1778; died, 1834.

To the question, “what have the People ever gained but by Revolution,” I answer, boldly, If by Revolution be understood the law of the Sword, Liberty has lost far more than she has ever gained by it. The Sword was the destroyer of the Lycian Confederacy and the Achæan league. The Sword alternately enslaved and disenthralled Thebes and Athens, Sparta, Syracuse and Corinth. The Sword of Rome conquered every other free State, and finished the murder of

« AnteriorContinuar »