« ZurückWeiter »
THE DESOLATE VILLAGE.
A Reverie. SWEET village ! on thy pastoral hill Arrayed in sunlight sad and still, As if beneath the harvest-moon, Thy noiseless homes were sleeping! It is the merry month of June, And creatures all of air and earth Should now their holiday of mirth With dance and song be keeping. But loveliest Village ! silent Thou, As cloud wreathed o'er the Morning's brow, When light is faintly breaking, And Midnight's voice afar is lost, Like the wailing of a wearied ghost, The shades of earth forsaking.
All nature sinks opprest,
Sweet Woodburn ! like a cloud that name
'Tis not the Day to Scotia dear,
Last summer, from the school-house door,
What if these homes be filled with life?
Alas! the fearless linnet sings,
As.o'er the dewy turf of Morn, And the bright insect folds its wings sho Where the virgin, like a woodland Fay Upon the dewy flower that springs On wings of joy was borne. Above these children's clay.
-Even now a soft and silvery haze And if to yon deserted well
Hill-Village Tree is steeping Some solitary maid,
In the loveliness of happier days,
When incense-fires from every hearth,
Sweet spire! that crown'st the house of God!
While through a cloud the softened light
On thy yellow dial burns. On-on-through woful images
Ah, me! my bosom inly bleeds
To see the deep-worn path that leads
In silent blackness it doth tell
How oft thy little sullen bell
In beauty desolate.
Such spire hath risen in softened light
Before my gladdened eyes, E'er feared the cross-bow or the sling.
And as I looked around to see Tame as the purpling turtle-dove,
The village sleeping quietly That walks serene in human love,
Beneath the quiet skies, The magpie hops from door to door ; Methought that mid her stars so bright, And the hare, not fearing to be seen, The moon in placid mirth, Doth gambol on the village green
Was not in heaven a holier sight
Than God's house on the earth.
That very bell hath ceased to toll
When the grave receives its dead On her their sweet dead shepherdess,
And the last time it slowly swung, The horses, pasturing through the range
'Twas by a dying stripling rung Of gateless fields, all common now,
O'er the sexton's hoary head ! Free from the yoke enjoy the change,
All silent now from cot or hall To them a long long Sabbath-sleep!
Comes forth the sable funeral ! Then gathering in one thunderous band, The Pastor is not there! Across the wild they sweep,
For yon sweet Manse now empty stands, Tossing the long hair from their eyes
Nor in its walls will holier hands
Be e'er held up in prayer.
EARTH's loveliest land I behold in my On that green hedge a scattered row
dreams, Now weather-stained once white as snow- All gay in the summer, and drest in sunOf garments that have long been spread,
beams. And now belong unto the dead,
In the radiance which breaks on the puriShroud-like proclaim to every eye,
fied sense “ This is no place for Charity !"
Of the thin-bodied ghosts that are fitting
from hence. O blest are ye ! unthinking creatures ! The blue distant Alps, and the blue distant Rejoicing in your lowly natures
main, Ye dance round human tombs!
Bound the far varied harvests of Lombardy's Where gladlier sings the mounting lark
plain : Then o'er the churchyard dim and dark ! The rivers are winding in blue gleaming Or where, than on the churchyard wall,
lines From the wild rose-tree brighter fall Round the Ruins of Old-round the Hill of Her transitory blooms !
the Vines What is it to that lovely sky
Round the grove of the orange
the green If all her worshippers should die !
myrtle bower As happily her splendours play
By Castle and Convent by Town and by On the grave where human forms decay,
Through the bright summer azure the north And equally sweet is her lip of the roses, breezes blow,
When it opens in smiles, or in silence re-
If you meet but one glance of her magical
eye, wine, and oil, Where the cypress, and myrtle, and orange Let there breathe but one thrilling and si].
From your bosom for ever must liberty fly! combine,
very tone And around the dark olive gay wantons the
From the syren-your heart is no longer vine Woods leafy and rustling o'ershadow the
your own. scene, With their forest of branches and changes
of green ; And glossy their greenness where sunshine Recited by the Author, in a Party of
is glistening, And mellow their music where Silence is his Countrymen, on the Day that the listening,
News arrived of our final Victory And the streamlets glide through them with over the French,
glassier hue, And the sky sparkles o'er them with heaven. Now, Britain, let thy cliffs o' snaw lier blue.
Look prouder o'er the merled main ! How deep and how rich is the blush of the The bastard Eagle bears awa, rose,
And ne'er shall ee thy shores again, That spreading and wild o'er the wilderness grows !
Bang up thy banners red an' riven ! What waftures of incense are filling the The day's thy ain--the prize is won ! air!
Weel may thy lions brow the heaven, For the bloom of a summer unbounded is An' turn their grey beards to the sun. there.
Lang hae I bragged o' thine an' thee,
As lang as I hae breath to draw.
Gae hang the coofs wha boded wae,
Lauding the fellest, sternest fae,
These bars in nature's onward plan ; F'en the hoarse surging billows have sof- But fool is he the yoke that flings tened their roar,
O'er the unshackled soul of man. And break with a musical fall on the shore.
'Tis like a cobweb o'er the breast, But less in this Eden has young Love his That binds the giant while asleep, dwelling,
Or curtain hung upon the east,
Gar in the air your bonnets flee! Whilst full of the god that possesses her “ Our gude auld king!” I'll drink to him, breast.
As lang as I hae drink to pree.
This to the arms that well upbore
“ The Thristle o' The Norlan? hill !”
Auld Scotland !-land o’ hearts the wale! O, black is her eye, black intensely ; and Hard thou hast fought, and bravely won: black
Lang may thy lions paw the galc,
her back ;
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
A Series of Discourses on the Christian magnificent
and beautiful in itself, is Revelation, viewed in Connexion
in danger of being considered as fitted with the Modern Astronomy. By ed minds, and of failing in some mea
only to be the creed of less enlightenThomas CHALMERS, D. D. 8vo. pp. 275. Third edition. Glasgow, sure, from this unfortunate opinion, Smith & Son; Edinburgh, William to produce those important effects upWhyte ; 1817.
on mankind, for the accomplishment of
which it is so pre-eminently adapted. ONE of the worst features of the The volume before us is calculata present times is the separation that ed, we think, in no coinmon degree, has taken place between science and to counteract this unhappy declena religion. During the early part of the sion. It is written with an enthuhistory of English literature, we find siasm and an eloquence, to which great talents combined with a sublime we scarcely know where to find any piety, and the most enlightened phi- parallel ; and there is, at the same losophy with a fervent and glowing time, so constant a reference to the devotion; and they who explained to improved philosophy of modern times, us the system of nature, defended the that it possesses an air of philocause, and venerated the authority, of sophical grandeur and truth, which revelation. The piety of Milton, of the productions of a more popular and Boyle, and of Newton, was not less declamatory eloquence can never atremarkable than the superiority of tain. Were the taste of the author their other endowments; and it will equal to his genius, and his judgment ever be regarded as a striking circum- always sufficient to control the fervours stance, that those giant minds, who of his imagination, the labours of Dr have exalted the glory of English li- Chalmers could not fail to be infinitely terature above that of all other na- beneficial. But here lies our author's tions, and whom we are accustomed chief deficiency. His genius is of to consider as an honour to the species the kind that is marked by its pecuitself, were distinguished above all liarities as much as by its superiority; other men for their habitual and so- and this circumstance, we think, is the lemn veneration of religion.
more to be regretted, as there is maniSince the age of these distinguished festly no necessary connexion between writers the connexion between sci- the excellencies and defects by which ence and religion seerns gradually to his works are characterised. The have been becoming less intimate. natural relations of the intellectual We are unwilling to arrange ourselves powers might have been more correctly with those gloomy individuals who maintained in his mind, while all his are found in every age to declaim a- faculties continued to be exerted with gainst the peculiar depravity of their the same constancy and vigour,-own times, but it is impossible not to and the same originality and invensee, that the profound reverence for tion might have been combined with sacred things, which distinguished the greater dignity, and more uniform eleillustrious characters of a former age, gance. We have therefore but a short is not now the characteristic of those process to institute, in order to admit by whom science is promoted, and our readers into a knowledge of the knowledge extended. An enlarged character of our author's mind. In acquaintance with the works of nature our intercourse with the world, we ofta is no longer the assured token of that en meet with persons in whom what deep-toned and solemn piety, which we call genius predominates over every elevated the character, and purified the other feature; and who, though not manners, of the fathers of our philo- superior to their fellows in taste, judgsophy. Science is now seen without ment, or understanding, are yet infinreligion, and religion without science; itely superior to them in the capacity and the consequence is, that the sa- of forming striking combinations of iered system of revelation, however deas, or in the endowments of an excurVol. I.
sive or elevated imagination. This is Lord High Commissioner and for the
The author of these discourses is so greed in their opinion of Dz Chalmers' well known to our readers in this part merits. His former publications had of the island, that it would be quite been distinguished rather by a fertility superfluous on their account to say of imagination than by a deliberate and any thing of his private history; but cool judgment. He had been accusfor the sake of our readers in the south, tomed, it was said, to take up an opis we suspect it may be necessary to tell, nion as it were by accident, and to dein a single sentence, who Dr Chalmers fend it with enthusiastic ingenuity and is, and how he has attained that un- energy, though at the same time he was common celebrity he now enjoys a- overlooking something so obvious and mong us.
palpable, that the most simple novice Till within these few years, Dr might detect the fallacy of his arguChalmers was scarcely known beyond ment. He had written on the national the circle of his personal friends. He resources, and had attributed every obtained, at an early period, a living thing to agriculture, demonstrating in an obscure part of the country; and our perfect independence of the luxubeing naturally of an inquisitive and ries of traile and commerce. He had active disposition, he devoted himself, published a treatise on the Evidences in the leisure of his professional en- of Christianity, and had denied that the gagements, to an ardent prosecution of internal evidence was of any imporscientific knowledge. Accident, ac
Some detached sermons which cording to report, led him, some few he had given to the public had been years ago, to examine with more than deformed by an austerity at which the ordinary attention the foundations of polite world revolted; and it was the Christian faith; and as the result thought that the new work which was at his investigations was a deep im- announced would be found obnoxious pression of the strength of the evidence to the same censures. by which it is supported, he now to this work, now that it Has been brought to the illustration and defence publishedl, we conceive that there of religion a double portion of the en- can be hut one opinion--that it is thusiasm he had already devoted to a piece of splendid and powerful science. Hitherto he had been at- eloquence, injured indeed by many tached to that party in our church peculiarities of expression, by provinwhich aspires to the title of moderate cial idioins and colloquial barbarisms, or liberal--he now connected himself but, at the same time, more free froin with those who wish to be thonght more the author's peculiar blemishes than strict and izpostolic. His reputation as any of his former productions, and a preacher, as might have been expected forming, notwithstanding its many from the warmth and fervour of his clo- fults, a work likely to excite alınost quence, began now rapidly to extend universal admiration. That it would itselt; and the whole country was soon be improved, we think, every one will filled with the time of his cloquence and likewise allow, were there less samehis merits. The reputation he had ness of sentiment and of expressionthus acquired was not diminishıcd but were there fewer words of the author's enhanced, by liis occasional appear- own invention--were the purity of the ances in the congregations of this me- English langua e, in short, as much tropolis. His speeches last year in the attended to as its power and energy. General Assembly of the Scottish If the author would only cultivate his Church, and his sermons before the taste as much as his imagination, he