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ON THE PUBLICATION OF CHILDE HAROLD.
Cold is the breast, extinct the vital spark,
That kindles not to flame at Harold's muse;
The mental vision, too, how surely dark,
Which, as the anxious wanderer it pursues,
Sees not a noble heart, that fain would choose
The course to heaven, could that course be found;
And, since on earth it nothing fears to lose,
Would joy to press that bless'd etherial ground,
Where peace, and truth, and life, and friends, and love abound.
I“deem not Harold's breast a breast of steel,"
Steel'd is the heart that could the thought receive,
But warm, affectionate, and quick to feel,
Eager in joy, yet not unwont to grieve;
And sorely do I view his vessel leave
Like erring bark, of card and chart bereft -
The shore to which his soul would love to cleave;
Would, Harold, I could make thee know full oft,
That, bearing thus the helm, the land thou seek'st is left.
Is Harold “satiate with worldly joy ?"
• Leaves he his home, his land, without a sigh ?"
'Tis half the way to heaven !- oh! then employ
That blessed freedom of thy soul, to fly
To him, who, ever gracious, ever nigh,
Demands the heart that breaks the world's hard chain;
If early freed, though by satiety,
Vast is the privilege that man may gain ; -
Who early foils the foe, may well the prize obtain.
Thon lovest Nature with a filial zeal,
Cansı riy mankind to brood with her apart;
Unutterabie sure, that inward feel,
When swells the soul, and heaves the labouring heart
With yearning throes, which nothing can impart
But Nature's majesty, remote from man!
In kindred raptures, I have borne my part;
The Pyrennean mountains loved to scan,
And from the crest of Alps peruse the mighty plan.
“'Tis ecstasy to brood o'er flood and fell,”
“ To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,"
Where things that own nol man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With thc yvild flocks that never need a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude! - 't is but to hold
Converse with Nature's God, and see His stores unroll?d.*
Forget we not the Artist in the art,
Nor overlook the Giver in the grace;
Say, what is Nature, but that little part
Which man's imperfect vision can embrace
Of the stupendous whole, which fills all space;
The work of Him by whom all space is bound !
Shall Raphael's pencil Raphael's self efface?
Shall Handel's self be lost in Handel's sound?
Or, shall not Nature's God in Nature's works be found?
But Harold “through sin's labyrinth has run,"
Nor “made atonement when he did amiss ;"
And does the memory of that evil done
Disturb his spirit, or obscure his bliss !
'T is just; 't is Harold's due — yet let not this
Press heavier on his heart than heaven ordains;
What mortal lives, not guilty nor remiss ?
What breast that has not felt remorse's pains ?
What human soul so pure, but mark'd by sin's dark stains ?
And can this helpless thing, pollute, debased,
Its own disfigured nature e'er reform?
Say, can the sculptured marble, once defaced,
Restore its lineament, renew its form?
That can the sculptor's hand alone perform,
Else must the marr'd and mutilated stone
For ever lie imperfect and deform;-
So man may sin and wail, but not atone ;
That restorative power belongs to God alone.
Yet is atonement made: -- Creation's Lord
Deserts not thus the work his skill devised;
Man, not his creature only, but his ward,
Too dearly in his Maker's eye is prized,
Than thus to be abandon'd and despised.
Atonement is the Almighty's richest dole,
And ever in the mystic plan comprised,
To mend the foul defacements of the soul,
Restore God's likeness lost, and make the image whole.
Oh! "if, as holiest men have deem'd, there be,
A land of souls beyond death's sable shore,”
How would quick-hearted Harold burn to see
The much-lovd objects of his life once more,
And Nature's new sublimities explore
In better worlds! - Ah! Harold, I conjure,
Speak not in ifs ;-to him whom God hath taught, If aught on earth, that blessed truth is sure; All gracious God, to quiet human thought, Has pledged his sacred word, and demonstration wrought. Did Babylon, in truth, by Cyrus fall, Is 't true that Persia stain'd the Grecian land ? Did Philip's son the Persian host enthrall ? Or Cæsar's legions press the British strand ? Fell Palestine by Titus' sword and brand ?-Can Harold to such facts his faith intrust? Then let him humbly learn, and understand:
“ Then Christ is risen from the dead !” — the first Dear pledge of mortal frames yet mouldering in the dust. But Harold " will not look beyond the tomb,” And thinks" he may not hope for rest before :" Fie! Harold, fie! unconscious of thy doom, The nature of thy soul thou know'st not more ; Nor know'st thy lofty mind, which loves to soar; Thy glowing spirit, and thy thoughts sublime, Are foreign to this flat and naked shore,
And languish for their own celestial clime, Far in the bounds of space, — beyond the bounds of time
There must thou surely live — and of that life
Ages on ages shall no part exhaust :
But with renew'd existence ever rife,
No more in dark uncertainty be toss'd,
When once the teeming barrier is crossd;
(The birth of mortals to immortal day)
Olet not then this precious hour be lost,
But humbly turn to Him who points the way
To ever-during youth, from infinite decay!
Such, such the prospect, --such the glorious boon,
The last great end in Heaven's supreme design ;
Deem not thy cloud continuous, for soon
Must truth break in upon a soul like thine,
Yearning, unconscious, for the light divine;
Oh! hear the gracious word to thee address'd
By Him, thy Lord, almighty and benign
“Come unto me, all ye by care oppress'd!
Come to my open arms, and I will give you rest!"
Would thou hadst loved through Judah's courts to stray ;
Would Sion Hill Parnassus' love might share;
What joy to hear thy muse's potent lay
The sacred honours of that land declare,
And all that holy scene engage her care ;
Where poets harp'd ere Homer's shell was strung,
Where heavenly wisdom pour’d her treasures rare,
Long, long ere Athens woke to Solon's song,
And truth-inspired seers of after ages sung.
But, thanks for what we have; and for the more
Thy muse doth bid the listening ear attend,
Nor vainly bids those whom she charm'd before;
Oh! let not then this humble verse offend,
Her skill can judge the speaking of a friend;
Not zeal presumptuous prompts the cautious strain,
But Christian zeal, that would to all extend
The cloudless ray and steady calm that reign,
Where evangelic truths their empire due maintain.
HERE'S TO THEE, MY SCOTTISH LASSIE.
BY THE REV. JOHN MOULTRIE.
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie! here's a hearty health to thee,
For thine eye so bright, thy form so light, and thy step so firm and free;
For all thine artless
elegance, and all thy native grace,
For the music of thy mirthful voice, and the sunshine of thy face;
For thy guileless look and speech sincere, yet sweet as speech can be,
Here's a health my Scottish lassie! here's a hearty health to thee!
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie! - though my glow of youth is o’er ;
And I, as once I felt and dream'd, must feel and dream no more ;
Though the world, with all its frosts and storms, has chill'd my soul at last,
And genius, with the foodful looks of youthful friendship past ;
Though my path is dark and lonely now, o'er this world's dreary sea,
Here's a health, my Scottish lassie! here's a hearty health to thee!
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie! -- though I know that not for me
Is thine eye so bright, thy form so light, and thy step so firm and free
Though thou, with cold and careless looks, wilt often pass me by,
Unconscious of my swelling heart, and of my wistful eye;
Though thou wilt wed some Highland love, nor waste one thought on me,
Here's a health, my Scottish lassie! here's a hearty health to thee !
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie! when I meet thee in the throng
Of merry youths and maidens, dancing lightsomely along,
I'll dream away an hour or twain, still gazing on thy form,
As it flashes through the baser crowd, like lightning through a storm ;
And I, perhaps, shall touch thy hand, and share thy looks of glee,
And for once, my Scottish lassie! dance a giddy dance with thee.
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie! I shall think of thee at even,
When I see its first and fairest star come smiling up through heaven;
I shall hear thy sweet and touching voice, in every wind that grieves,
As it whirls from the abandon'd oak its wither'd autumn leaves;
In the gloom of the wild forest, in the stillness of the sea,
I shall think, my Scottish lassie! I shall often think of thee.,
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie!-in my sad and lonely hours,
The thought of thee comes o'er me, like the breath of distant flowers;
Like the music that enchants mine ear, the sights that bless mine eye,
Like the verdure of the meadow, like the azure of the sky;
Like the rainbow in the evening, like the blossoms on the tree,
Is the thought, my Scottish lassie! is the lonely thought of thee.
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie ! -- though my muse must soon be dumb,
(For graver thoughts and duties, with my graver years, are come,
Though my soul must burst the bonds of earth, and learn to soar on high,
And to look on this world's follies with a calm and sober eye;
Though the merry wine must seldom flow, the revel cease for me,
Still to thee, my Scottish lassie! still I'll drink a health to thee.
Here's a health, my Scottish lassie ! here's a parting health to thee;
May thine be still a cloudless lot, though it be far from me!
May still thy laughing eye be bright, and open still thy brow,
Thy thoughts as pure, thy speech as free, thy heart as light as now!
And, whatsoe'er my after fate, my dearest toast shall be, –
Still a health, my Scottish lassie! still a hearty health to thee!
I am never merry when I hear sweet music
MERCHANT OP VERICB.
OR! joyously, triumphantly, sweet sounds! ye swell and float,
A breath of hope, of youth, of spring, is pour’d on every note;
And yet my full o'erburthen'd heart grows troubled by your power,
And ye seem to press the long past years into one little hour.
If I have look'd on lovely scenes, that now I view no more
A summer sea, with glittering ships, along the mountain shore,
A ruin, girt with solemn woods, and a crimson evening sky,-
Ye bring me back those images fast as ye wander by.
If in the happy walks and days of childhood I have heard,
And into childhood's memory link'd the music of a bird ;
A bird that with the primrose came, and in the violet's train,
Ye give me that wild melody of early life again.
Or if a dear and gentle voice, that now is changed, or gone,
Hath left within my bosom deep the thrilling of its tone,
I find that murmur in your notes they touch the chords of thought,
And a sudden flow of tenderness across my soul is brought.
If I have bid a spot farewell, on whose familiar ground
To every path, and leaf, and flower, my soul in love was bound:
If I have watch'd the parting step of one who came not back,
The feeling of that moment wakes in your exulting track.
Yet on ye float! the very air seems kindling with your glee!
Oh! do ye fling this mournful spell, sweet sounds ! alone on me?
Or, have a thousand hearts replied, as mine doth now, in sighs,
To the glad music breathing thus of blue Italian skies?
I know not !-only this I know, that not by me on earth,
May the deep joy of song be found, untroubled in its birth ;
It must be for a brighter life, for some immortal sphere,
Wherein its flow shall have no taste of the bitter fountains here.