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the liberties of myself and fellow-subjects. But whatever may be the separate polity of our two constitutions, one thing is certain — they are not the work of chance, theory, or imitation; but formed upon the hard anvil of patient fortitude, by the oft-repeated and well-tempered stroke of practical experience.
12. In this circumstance lies the secret of the tranquillity and power which we both enjoy. If valor and learning could alone form a free and strong government, it might have been planted, and be at this day enjoyed, in those neighboring states to which you, sir, alluded, [to Mr. Webster,] founded as colonies by the majesty of ancient Spain, and which are now denominated republics.
13. If wit, ingenuity, philosophy, and the spirit of a noble chivalry, sufficed to establish such a government firmly, we should be relieved from the fears with which we sometimes watch the tremulous position of civil authority in that country which we all admire an'd love, and with which the peace and civilization of Europe are so inseparably connected. If metaphysical lore, honest and great designs, the general diffusion of education, and the profound study of military tactics, could fit a people at once for such a government, we should not be perplexed by the varying accounts which each packet brings us from the ancient Germany, in whose fate, as Anglo-Saxons, we cannot but feel the deepest interest. But, gentlemen, I grieve, whilst I rejoice, to say that it is amidst the general confusion of crude experiments, terrible uncertainties, mystic dreams, and ripening convulsions, that alone and singly is to be seen towering the common genius of Albion and of Albion's transatlantic children.—No tempest, raised in the heated atmosphere of fantastic theory, clouds her brow; no blood, spilt in civil butchery, bedaubs her garments; no poisons, corroding the principles of public and domestic morality, tear her vitals. Serene and Undisturbed, she moves onward firmly.
14. Trade and agriculture strew her way with plenty; law and religion march in her van; order and freedom follow her footsteps. Here, at this solemn moment, whilst pouring out our libations to the sacred memory of our sainted fathers,— here, I invoke that genius to bless the union of our kindred races, to keep steadfast in our hearts the pleasant recollections of the past, to blend gratefully in our minds the noble aspirations of the future, to hallow in one breath the twin altars we will raise in common to Memory and to Hope! — "to old England and young America!"
1. Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore; —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
2. Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
Nameless here forevermore.
3. And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain, Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating "Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door— Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door,
That it is and nothing more."
4. Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, " or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you'' — here I opened wide the door ;
Darkness there, and nothing more.
5. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
6. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
'T is the wind, and nothing more."
7. Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door — .
Perched and sat, and nothing more.
8. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, " art sure no craven,
Ghastly, grim and ancient Raven, wandering from the nightly shore — Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night's Plutonian shore?"
Quoth the Raven, " Nevermore."
9. Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning — little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing, that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such a name as " Nevermore."
10. Startled at the stillness, broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I,-" what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore — Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore,
Of— " Never — nevermore."
11. But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door, Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to Unking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
12. This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
She shall press, ah ! nevermore!
13. Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
Respite — respite and nepenthe* from thy memories of Lenore!
Quoth the Raven, " Nevermore."
14. "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil !— prophet still, if bird or
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
15. "Prophet!" said I, " thing of evil!— prophet still, if bird or
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore —
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
16. "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked,
"Get thee back into the tempest, and the night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
* Nepenthe is a drug or medicine that alleviates pain and exhilarates.
Tjeave thy loneliness unbroken !— quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, " Nevermore." 17. And the Raven,-never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!
1. We of America have here an advantage over our English brethren, in that keen enthusiasm which we feel for the famous spots and abodes that are consecrated to both alike, by the great names associated with them. To them the constant presence and familiarity of the scene blunt the edge of the feelings it excites in us, and Westminster Abbey and Stratford on Avon awaken an enthusiasm in an American fancy, .which the Englishman smiles at, as a sort of provincial rawness.
2. Instead of assenting to those, on both sides of the water, who have spoken of America as unfortunate in the want of ancient associations, — as condemned to a kind of matter-offact, unpoetical newness of national character, — we maintain that never nation, since the world began, had so rich a treasure of traditional glory.
3. Is it nothing to be born, as it were, with the birthright of two-native lands; to sail across the world of waters, and be hailed beyond it by the sound of your native tongue? Is it nothing to find in another hemisphere the names, the customs and the dress, of your own; to be able to trace your ancestry back, not to the ranks of a semi-barbarous conqueror, or the poor mythology of vagrants and fugitives of fabulous days, but to noble, high-minded men, in an age of glory, than which a brighter never dawned on the world?
4. Is it nothing to be able, as you set your foot on the English soil, and with a heart going back to all the proud emotions which bind you at the moment to the happy home you have left,— to be able still, nevertheless, to exclaim, with more than poetical, with literal natural truth.
"Salve ! magna Parens
Frugum, Saturnia tellus, magna, virum !" *
5. If there be any feeling, merely national, which can compare with this, it should be that which corresponds to it: the complacency with which, it were to be hoped, the wise and good friends of British glory in England would regard this flourishing off-set of their own native stock; the pride with which they should witness the progress of their language, their manners, their laws, and their literature, over regions wider than the conquests of Alexander, — and that, not by a forced and military imposition on a conquered land, but by fair and natural inheritance, and still more by voluntary adoption and choice; the joy with which they should reflect that not a note is struck at the center of thought and opinion in the British capital, but is heard and propagated by our presses, to the valley of the Missouri; and that, if the day should come, in the progress of national decline, when England shall be gathered with the empires that have been, when her thousand ships shall have disappeared from the ocean, and the mighty chain of her wealth shall be broken, with which she has so long bound the European world to her chariot-wheels, and mustered the nations, from the banks of the Tagus to the banks of the Don, to march beneath the banner of her coalitions, — that then there will be no unworthy descendant to catch her mantle; and that the rich treasure of her institutions and character, instead of becoming the unrescued prey of Huns and Vandals, and whatever uncouth name of barbarism laid waste of old the refinements of the world, will be preserved, upheld and perfected, in the western world of promise.
* Hail, illustrious mother country! rich in thy productions, renowned for thy distinguished sons!