Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Your Eagles took their lordly ease
On folded wing,
After disporting with the braggart Breeze,
And Thunder watching by his cloudy spring
Whose cool stream tumbled to the thirsty seas.
The birds went all asleep on their high rocks
Nor ruffled a feather in the rude fire-shocks.
Millions ! a lesson ye can learn from these.
And see ! the great woods slumber, and the lake
No longer is awake
Beneath the stars, that nod and start with sleep
In their white-clouded deep:
Fitfully the moon goes nodding through
The vallies of the vapory blue,
And dreams, forgetting all her queenly ills,
Of angels sleeping on Elysium's hills:
The drowsy lake,
So sweet is slumber, would not yet awake;
But, like an infant two years old,
Before whose closéd eyes
Dreamily move the boys of Paradise
A-singing little psalms
Under the stately palms-
It stirreth softly lest rough motion might
Shake rudely and put out each heavenly light.
So rest! and Rest shall slay your many woes ;
Motion is god-like-god-like is repose,
A mountain-stillness, of majestic might,
Whose peaks are glorious with the quiet light
Of suns when Day is at his solemn close.
Nor deem that slumber must ignoble be.
Jove labored lustily once in airy fields;
And over the cloudy lea
He planted many a budding shoot
Whose liberal nature daily, nightly yields
A store of starry fruit:
His labor done, the weary god went back
Up the new mountain-track
To his great house; there he did while away
With lightest thought a well-won holiday ;
For all the Powers crooned softly an old tune
Wishing their Sire might sleep
Through all the sultry noon
And cold blue night;
And very soon
They heard the awful Thunderer breathing low and deep.
And in the hush that dropped adown the spheres,
And in the quiet of the awe-struck space,
The worlds learned worship at the birth of years :
They looked upon their Lord's calm, kingly face,
And bade Religion come and kiss each starry place.
Then, Millions! pause and keep a Sabbath-time !
Your work is partly done!
And lo! a setting sun-
Which tells that the o'er-labored frame
In sweet repose may find a fresher flame.
Angels may visit ye;
And surely all will better be,
A-listening to a well-tuned chime

From musical bells;
Or to a quaint and holy rhyme
Which softly swells and sinks and swells
Under the listening trees,
Where men removed from the cathedral's blaze
Of altar-fires,
Are praising God in modest ways
After the simple manner of their sires ;
Or go and print the sands with humble knees,
Without a fear,
And in a contrite spirit hear
The far-off hallelujahs of the central seas.

II.

At least, I must have peace, afar from strife-
No motion save enough to leave me life.
And I shall lay me gently in a nook
Where a small bay the sluggish tide receives,
And, reading, bear some bland old poet's hook
Shake delicate music from its mystic leaves,
While under drowsy clouds the dull waves go,
And echo softly back the melody in their flow.

Will

ye not also lend your souls to Song ?
Ye! of the land where Nature's noblest rhyme,
Niagara, sounds the solemn myth of Time;
And where the Mississippi darkly goes
Amid the trembling woods,
Gloomily murmuring legends of the floods
That troubled space before the worlds arose.
Give for a time your souls to song-
Song of the dædal birth,
The earth's first language, wooing heaven to earth,
Whose glens were filled with many a heavenly throng:
Sweet song, that cheers the mariner on the seas
When fitfully blows the home-returning breeze
Over a wide, long deep;
That lulls at eve the little child asleep
Upon its mother's knees;
That lights a flame within the maiden's eyes
Where all was cold before;
That gives a southern glow to northern skies,
And roses to a frozen shore !
Song ! with her bright hands crashing on her lyre

Which bids the sleeping patriot start,
Song ! that has winged with an avenging fire

The shaft he hurried to the tyrant's heart :
Proud Song! that tops the Poet's airy brow

With true Nobility's enduring crown, Before whose blaze enraptured nations bow,

And boasted heraldries are melted down : Weird song, which is the pallid prophet's speech, Whose shivering harmonies the nations teach Of wo or bliss, and through the ETERNAL reach : Dear song! that musically lifts above, That teaches love, and only love, Showing the Universe a single throne Where towers the Immortal Lord of changeless love alone.

III.
Or sleep? why lose its wondrous world?
Look on its valleys, on its mountains look,
And cloudy streams;
Behold the arabesque Land of Dreams !
The

very mists are lazily curled;
And see in yonder glen,
Beside a little brook
Mid sleeping flocks some sleeping men :
And One who tries to watch, for danger's sake,
Nods and winks,
And yainly hums a tune to keep awake;
And now beside his brethren slowly sinks.
Yes, sleep! why lose its lovely world?
The garish banners of the day are furled
And safely put away;
See what a languid glory binds
The long dim chambers of the darkling West,
While far below yon azure river winds
Like a blue vein on sleeping Beauty's breast.
Ioné sleepeth in her bower,
Whose leaves are glittering with the dewy shower
Which softly falls by turns
From Dian's vase and Vesta's starry urns.
She sleeps ! her rosy lips somewhat apart,
Showing the curvéd line of pearl ;
She smiles! a dream of pure young love
Is sitting like a brooding dove
Upon the innocent heart
of the delighted girl :
The passionate vision of her lover stands
Before her with imploring hands ;
And now he seems reposing by her side,
And with her brow upon his breast
The manly bridegroom and his beauteous bride
Like Parian statues lie and take their lovely rest.
Millions ! will ye not rest or dream with me?
Let not the STRUGGLE thus forever be !
Not from the gold that wounded Earth reveals :
Not from the shouting of your fiery wheels
That shake the mountains with their thunder-peals;
Not from the oceans pallid with your wings;
Not from the power which only labor brings-
The enduring grandeur of a nation springs.
The wealth may perish as a fleeting breath-
The bannered armament may find a death
Deep in the hungry waters--and the crown
Of empire from your tall brows topple down:
But that which rains true glory o'er
The low or lofty, and the rich or poor,
Shall never die
Daughter of Truth and Ideality,
Large VIRTUE towering on the throne of Will!
The nations drink the Heroic from her eye
And march triumphing over every ill.
Therefore with Silence sometimes sit apart
From rude Turmoil, and dignify the Heart
With thoughts that brood like stars in a dark sky~
Showing that Heaven may still be hovering nigh.

IV.

Rest, Nation ! rest! and in that blissful hour,
All Hates shall be forgotten, and sweet Love
Shall gently win us like a mild-eyed dove
That shames the storm to silence; and a power,
Unknown before shall lap us in delight,
As troubled waves are soothed by starry night.
Then Manhood shall forget the vengeful thought
Fiercely in Action's hot volcano wrought:
The poor old man shall bow his snow-white head
To bless the Past, forgiving all his wrongs;
And feel the breathing of his childhood's songs
Once more around him shed.
The weary slave shall rest upon the chain,
And woo to his shut eyes
The ardent aspect of his native skies—
The forms of wife and children once again,
Watching for his return along the palmy plain.
So Battle then will lean on his red blade,
And sorrowfully look
On all the direful wo which he hath made
In all the bleeding lands ;
Then bending over a crystal brook
Will wash his crimson hands.
The altar of Humanity shall tower
Without a victim, mid the waste of tombs :
And incense shall be tossed and curled,
At last, around a tearless world,
From all its silver fires and bloodless soft perfumes.

[ocr errors]

Nor in REPOSE a tentless desert fear,
The gardenless wide waste of a blank heart :
Full many a cool Oasis then shall start
Between horizons to illume and cheer:
Time's misty Nile shall wander slowly through
The slumberous plain that never knoweth storms;
Eternity's calm pyramidal forms
Shall meet our dreamy view,
Duskily towering mid the hazy blue,
And freezing contemplation in the giddy air.
Then all the weary myriads resting there-
Quiet beneath the hollow sky
As shapes that in a pictured landscape lie-
Shall know that bliss, that perfect, heavenly bliss,
Which falls as moonlight-music on a moveless scene like this.

New York, United States Hotel.

HAS THE STATE A RELIGION?

Has the State any religion ? This is notwithstanding a writer, in a late numthe great question we propose to discuss ber of the Democratic Review, has proin the present article. "Has the State any nounced him shallow, for maintaining the religion, or anything to do with religion ? doctrine of a Particular Providence. No With a certain class of minds, the mere man was more free from all prejudice, proposal of such a question is enough to arising from peculiar position, than Dr. determine the political character, and the Arnold. We have no reason to sup. political predilections of the one who asks pose that his opinions were more opposed it. He will certainly be set down at once to true liberty, or had any undue leaning as the enemy of free institutions, of the against republicanism, or were, in any rights of man, and, of course, of the rights essential respect, different, on account of of conscience. It is easy to imagine the his being born in England, from what real or affected alarm which some, who they would have been in almost any other belong to the extreme left of the democ. locality. Indeed, we may rather believe, racy, may be supposed to exhibit, at the on the contrary, that if any difference bare suggestion of such a topic. You are could be imagined, he would have been for Church and State, then, it seems, as more conservative in this country than well as for monarchy and aristocracy. in his native land, where he sustained You really dare, in this nineteenth cen the relation of a subject of a monarchy, tury, to mention the word religion in and minister of an established Church. connection with politics.

You would re But why should we apologize for quoting vive the fires of Smithfield, and all the Dr. Arnold on a question like this? horrors of the Inquisition. You would Where, in our democracy, or in any other take away our precious rights of con- democracy, can there be found a truer science. We would, however, beg our friend to humanity, a more faithful and good democratic friend not to be so easily laborious advocate of the highests rights frightened. We mean to discuss a very and interests of his fellow-beings-who, serious question in a serious tone, and among us, ever possessed a larger liberaliwith a genuine feeling of regard, as we ty--who was ever more freefrom bigotry-trust, for rational liberty, for the highest who ever exhibited a warmer philanthro. interests, and the most sacred rights of py, or was more opposed to all tyranny, man, as man, and not a mere animal. This whether of soul or body, than this most matter may not be so very plain as you admirable scholar and most excellent have been led to believe. There may,

man ? after all, be more than one side to the “ The moral character of government,” question. It is not absolutely clear, to a says he “ seems to follow necessarily certainty, that the State has no religion. from its sovereign power; this is the

The question resolves itself into these : simple ground of what I will venture to Is the State a moral as well as a physical call the moral theory of its objects. For, agent?

Has it, in any sense, a con as in each individual man, there is a science? Is it accountable to a higher higher object than the preservation of his invisible power? Does it sustain any body and goods, so if he be subjected, in relations to an invisible world, and does the last resort, to a power incapable of it derive any sanctions from the immuta appreciating this higher object, his social ble and eternal ? In a word—is it to be and political relations, instead of being guided in determining the duties and re the perfection of his being, must be its lations of men, solely by considerations corruption ; the voice of law can only of their physical well-being, or must it agree accidentally with that of his conalso, in connection with this, have some science, and yet, on this voice of law his reference to those truths and those obli life and death are to depend ; for its sovgations, that concern the spiritual and ereignty over him must be, by the namoral health ? The affirmative of this ture of the case, absolute.Again he may be found admirably stated in the

says (page 79): “ If the legislator has Appendix to Dr. Arnold's Inaugural Lec anything to do with morality, the whole lure on History (p. 65). We venture to question is conceded; for morality is quote from this most admirable author, surely not another name for expediency,

18

VOL. IIJ.NO. III.

« ElőzőTovább »