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Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;Go forth under the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings, while from all aroundEarth and her waters, and the depths of air,Comes a still voice-Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course ; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again; And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thy eternal resting place Shalt thou retire alone--nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With pātriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre.—The hills Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods-rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste,Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that treat The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning--and the Barcan desert pierce, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregan, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings-yet-the dead are there,
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
Charity to Orphans.-STERNE. THEY whom God hath blessed with the means, and for whom he has done more, in blessing them likewise with a disposition, have abundant reason to be thankful to him, as the Author of every good gift, for the measure he hath bestowed to them of both : it is the refuge against the stormy wind and tempest, which he has planted in our hearts ; and the constant fluctuation of everything in this world, forces all the sons and daughters of Adam to seek shelter under it by turns. Guard it by entails' and settlements as we will, the most affluent plenty may be stripped, and find all its worldly comforts, like so many withered leaves, dropping from us ;—the crowns of princes may be shaken; and the greatest that ever awed the world have looked back and moralized upon the turn of the wheel.
That which has happened to one, may happen to every man: and therefore that excellent rule of our Savior, in acts of benevolence, as well as every thing else, should govern us; that whatsocver ye would that men should do to you, do ye also unto them.
Hast thou ever lain upon the bed of languishing, or labored under a distemper which threatened thy life? Call to mind thy sorrowful and pensive spirit at that time, and say, What it was that made the thoughts of death so bitter ?
-If thou hast children, I affirm it, the bitterness of death lay there! If unbrought up, and unprovided for, What will become of them? Where will they find a friend when I am gone? Who will stand up for them, and plead their cause against the wicked ?
Blessed God! to thee, who art a father to the fatherless, and a husband to the widow,—I entrust them.
Hast thou ever sustained any considerable shock in thy fortune ? or has the scantiness of thy condition hurried thee into great straits, and brought thee almost to distraction? Consider what was it that spread a table in that wilderness of thought,—who made thy cup to overflow? Was it not a friend of consolation who stepped in, saw thee embarrassed with tender pledges of thy love, and the partner of thy cares,—took them under his protection-Heaven! thou wilt reward him for it and freed thee from all the terrifying apprehensions of a pārent's love?
-But how shall I ask a question which must bring tears into so many eyes ?-Hast thou ever been wounded in a more affecting manner still, by the loss of a most obliging friend,—or been torn away from the embraces of a dear and promising child by the stroke of death? Bitter remembrance ! nature droops at it--but nature is the same in all conditions and lots of life.—A child thrust forth in an evil hour, without food, without raiment, bereft of instruction, and the means of its salvation, is a subject of more tender heart-aches, and will awaken every power of nature :-as we have felt for ourselves, let us feel--for Christ's sake, let us feel for theirs.
Remarks on the perishable nature of poetical fame.-
JEFFREY. [From a Review of Campbell's Specimens of British Poets.] Next to the impression of the vast fertility, compass, and beauty of our English poetry, the reflection that recurs most frequently and forcibly to us, in accompanying Mr. Campbell through his wide survey, is the perishable nature of poetical fame, and the speedy oblivion that has overtaken so many of the promised heirs of immortality. Of near two hundred and fifty authors, whose works are cited in these volumes, by far the greater part of whom were celebrated in their generation, there are not thirty, who now enjoy any thing that can be called popularity—whose works are to be found in the hands of ordinary readers—in the shops of ordinary booksellers—or in the press for republication. About fifty more may be tolerably familiar to men of taste or literature—the rest sluniber on the shelves of collectors, and are partially known to a few antiquaries and scholars.
Now, the fame of a poet is popular, or nothing. He does not address himself, Kke the man of science, to the learned, or those who desire to learn, but to all mankind; and his purpose being to delight and to be praised, necessarily extends to all who can receive pleasure, or join in applause. It is strange, and somewhat humiliating, to see how great a proportion of those who had once fought their way successfully to distinction, and surmounted the rivalry of contemporary envy, have again sunk into neglect. We have great děference for public opinion; and readily admit that nothing but what is good can be permanently popular.-But while we would foster all that it bids to live, we would willingly revive much that it leaves to die. The very multiplication of works of amusement necessarily withdraws many from notice that deserve to be kept in remembrance; for we should soon find it labor, and not annusement, if we were obliged to make use of them all, or even to take all
As the materials of enjoyment and instruction accumulate around us, more and more must thus be daily rejected and left to waste: for while our tasks lengthen, our lives remain as short as ever; and the calls on our time multiply, while our time itself is flying swiftly away. This superfluity and abundance of our treasures, therefore, necessarily renders much of them worthless ; and the veriest accidents may, in such a case, determine what part shall be preserved, and what thrown away and neglected. When an army is decimated, the very bravest may fall ; and many poets, worthy of eternal remembrance, have been forgotten, merely because there was not room in our memories for all.
By such a work as the " Specimens,” however, this injustice of fortune may be partly redressed—some small fragments of an immortal strain may still be rescued from oblivion--and a wreck of a name preserved, which time appeared to have swallowed up for ever. There is something pious, we think, and endearing, in the office of thus gathering up the ashes of renown that has passed away; or rather, of calling back the departed life of a transitory glow, and enabling those great spirits which seemed to be laid for ever, still to draw a tear of pity, or a throb of admiration, from the hearts of a forgetful generation. The body of their poetry, probably, can never be revived; but some sparks of its spirit may yet be preserved in a narrower and feebler frame.
When we look back upon the havoc which two hundred years have thus made in the ranks of our immortals,—and, above all, when we refer their rapid disappearance to the quick succession of new competitors, and the accumulation of more good works than there is time to peruse,--we canngt help being dismayed at the prospect which lies before the writers of the present day. There never was an age so prolific of popular poetry as that in which we now live ;and as wealth, population, and education extend, the pro'duce is likely to go on increasing.
The last ten years have produced, we think, an annual supply of about ten thousand lines of good staple poetrypoetry from the very first hands that we can boast of—ibat runs quickly to three or four large editions
and is as likely to be permanent as present success can make it. Now, if this goes on for a hundred years longer, what a task will await the poetical readers of 1919! Our living poets will then be nearly as old as Pope and Swift are at present, but there will stand between them and that generation nearly ten times as much fresh and fashionable poetry as is now interposed between us and those writers :-and if Scott, and Byron, and Campbell, have already cast Pope and Swift a good deal into the shade, in what form and dimensions are