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Several other appearances of spirits might be pointed out as among the most sublime passages of Ossian's poetry. The circumstances of them are considerably diversified ; and the scenery always suited to the occasion.

“ Oscar slowly ascends the hill. The meteors of night set on the heath before him. A distant torrent faintly roars. Unfrequent blasts rush through aged oaks. The half-enlightened moon sinks dim and red behind her hill. Feeble voices are heard on the heath. Oscar drew his sword.”

Nothing can prepare the fancy more happily for the awful scene that is to follow. “ Trenmor came from his hill, at the voices of his mighty son. A cloud, like the steed of the stranger, supported his airy limbs. His robe is of the mist of Lano, that brings death to the people. His sword is a green mēteor, half-extinguished. His face is without form, and dark. He sighed thrice' over the hero: And thrice, the winds of the night roared around. Many were his words to Oscar. He slowly vanished, like a mist that melts on the

suny

hill." To appearances of this kind, we can find no parallel among the Greek or Roman poets. They bring to mind that noble description in the book of Job: “In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes

- There was silence, and I heard a voice-Shall mortal man be more just than God ?"*

:

LESSON XC.

The Dungeon.-LYRICAL BALLADS.
And this place our forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom,
To each poor brother who offends against us-
Most innocent, perhaps :— And what if guilty ?
Is this the only cure ? Merciful God!
Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up
By ignorance and parching poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart,

* Job iv. 13-17.

And stagnate and corrupt; till, changed to poison,
They break out on him like a loathsome plague-spot.
Then we call in our pampered mountebauks-
And this is their best cure !

-uncomforted
And friendless solitude, groaning and tears,
And savage faces, at the clanking hour
Seen, through the steams and vapor of his dungeon,
By the lamp's dismal twilight !-So he lies
Circled with evil, till his very soul
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By fellowship with desperate deformity!

With other ministrations thou, O Nature ! Healest thy wandering and distempered child. Thou pourest on him thy soft influences, Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets, Thy melodies of woods, and winds and waters, Till he relent, and can no more endure To be a jarring and discordant thing, Amid this general dance and minstrelsy; But, bursting into tears wins back his way; His angry spirit healed and humanized By the benignant touch of love and beauty.

LESSON XCI.

To the Rosemary.-H. K. WHITE.

SWEET scented flower! who'rt wont to bloom
On January's front severe,
And o'er the wintry desert drear
To waft thy waste perfume !
Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now,
And I will bind the round my brow;
And, as I twine the mournful wreath,
I'll weave a melancholy song,
And sweet the strain shall be, and long
The melody of death.

Come funeral flower! who lov'st to dwell
With the pale corse in lonely tomb,
And throw across the desert gloom
A sweet, decaying smell-

Come, press my lips and lie with me
Beneath the lowly alder tree:
And we will sleep a pleasant sleep
And not a care shall dare intrude,
To break the marble solitude,
So peaceful and so deep.
And hark! the wind-god, as he flies,
Moans hollow in the forest trees,
And sailing on the gusty breeze,
Mysterious music dies.
Sweet flower, that requiem wild is mine;
It warns me to the lonely shrine,
The cold turf altar of the dead ;
My grave shall be in

yon
Where, as I lie by all forgot,
A dying fragrance thou wilt o'er my ashes shed.

lone spot,

LESSON XCII.

A Sabbath in Scotland.-Persecution of the Scottish Covenan

ters.—GRAHAME.
It is not only in the sacred fane,
That homage should be paid to the Most High:
There is a temple, one not made with hands-
The vaulted firmament: far in the woods,
Almost beyond the sound of city-chime,
At intervals heard through the breezeless air;
When not the limberest leaf is seen to move,
Save where the linnet lights upon the spray;
When not a floweret bends its little stalk,
Save where the bee alights upon the bloom ;-
There, rapt in gratitude, in joy, and love,
The man of God will pass the Sabbath noon;
Silence, his praise ; his disembodied thoughts,
Loosed from the load of words, will high ascend
Beyond the empyre'an.-

Nor yet less pleasing at the heavenly throne,
The Sabbath service of the shepherd-boy,
In some lone glen, where every sound is lulled
To slumber, save the tinkling of the rill,
Or bleat of lamb, or hovering falcon's* cry,

* Pron. faw'-kns.

Stretched on the sward, he reads of Jesse's son,
Or sheds a tear o'er him to Egypt sold,
And wonders why he weeps; the volume closed
With thyme*-sprig laid between the leaves, he sings
The sacred lays, his weekly lesson conned
With meiklet care beneath the lowly roof,
Where humble lore is learnt, where humble worth
Pines unrewarded by a thankless state.

Thus reading, hymning, all alone, unseen,
The shepherd-boy the Sabbath holy keeps,
Till on the heights he marks the straggling bands
Returning homeward from the house of prayer.
In peace they home resort.

O blissful days!
When all men worship God as conscience wills.
Far other times our fathers' grandsires knew,
A virtuous race, to godliness devote.

*

*

*

*

They stood prepared to die, a people doomed To death ;-old men, and youth, and simple maids, With them each day was holy ; but that morn On which the angel said, See where the Lord Was laid, joyous arose ; to die that day Was bliss. Long ere the dawn, by devious ways, O'er hills, through woods, o'er dreary wastes, they sought The upland moors, where rivers, there but brooks, Dispart to different seas.

Fast by such brooks A little glen is sometimes scooped, a plat With green sward

and flowers that stranger seem. Amid the heathery wild, that all around Fatigues the eye: in solitudes like these Thy persecuted children, Scotia, foiled A tyrants and a bigot's bloody laws: There, leaning on his spear (one of the array, Whose gleam, in former days, had scathed the rose On England's banner, and had powerless struck The infatuate monarch and his wavering host) The lyarti veteran heard the word of God By Çameron thundered, or by Renwick poured In gentle stream; then rose the song, the loud Acclaim of praise; the wheeling plover ceased * Her plaint; the solitary place was glad;

gay,

* Pron. time. † Pron. meekle-much. Mounted, belonging to the cavalry.

And on the distant cairns the watcher's ear*
Caught doubtfully at times the breeze-borne note.

But years more gloomy followed; and no more
The assembled people dared, in face of day,
To worship God; or even at the dead
Of night, save when the wintry storm raved fierce,
And thunder-peals compelled the men of blood
To couch within their dens; then dauntlessly
The scattered few would meet, in some deep dell
By rocks o'er-canopied, to hear the voice,
Their faithful pastor's voice: he, by the gleam
Of sheeted lightning, oped the sacred book,
And words of comfort spake : over their souls
His accents soothing came, -as to her young
The heathfowl's plumes, when, at the close of eve,
She gathers in, mournful, her brood dispersed
By murderous sport, and o'er the remnant spreads
Fondly her wings; close nestling 'neath her breast,
They, cherished, cower amid the purple blooms.

LESSON XCIII.

The Baptism.-Wilson. It is a pleasant and impressive time, when at the close of divine service, in some small country church, there take place the gentle stir and preparation for a baptism. A sudden air of cheerfulness spreads over the whole congregation; the more solemn expression of all countenances fades away; and it is at once felt, that a rite is about to be performed, which, although of a sacred and awful kind, is yet connected with a thousand delightful associations of purity, beauty, and innocence. Then there is an eager bending of smiling faces over the humble gallerįes—an unconscious rising up in affectionate curiosity-and a slight murmuring sound in which is no violation of the Sabbath sanctity of God's house, when in the middle passage of the church the party of women is seen, mātrons and maids, who bear in their bosoms, or in their arms, the helpless beings about to be made members of the Christian communion.

* Sentinels were placed on the surrounding hills, to give warning of the apa proach of the military.

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