« ПретходнаНастави »
Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst Some such resemblances, methinks, I find not be :
Of our last evening's talk in this thy Taste this, and be henceforth among the dream, gods,
But with addition strange; yet be not Thyself a goddess; not to earth confined, But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes Evil into the mind of God or Man Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and May come and go, so unapproved; and leave
No spot or blame behind : which gives me What life the gods live there, and such hope live thou !'
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to So saying he drew nigh, and to me held,- dream, Even to my mouth, -of that same fruit Waking thou never wilt consent to do. held part
Be not disheartened then; nor cloud those Which he had plucked : the pleasant looks, savoury smell
That wont to be more cheerful and serene So quickened appetite, that I, methought, Than when fair Morning first smiles on Could not but taste. Forth with up to the the world: clouds
And let us to our fresh employments rise, With him I flew, and underneath beheld Among the groves, the fountains, and the The earth outstretched immense,-a pros- flowers, pect wide
That open now their choicest bosomed And various,—wondering at my flight and smells, change
Reserved from night, and kept for thee in To this high exaltation : suddenly
store.” My guide was gone; and I, methought, So cheered he his fair spouse, and she sunk down,
was cheered; And fell asleep: but, О how glad I waked But silently a gentle tear let fall To find this but a dream !” Thus Eve From either eye, and wiped them with her her night
hair: Related, and thus Adam answered sad : Two other precious drops, that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they ADAM REPLIES.
fell Best image of myself, and dearer half! Kissed, as the gracious signs of sweet reThe trouble of thy thoughts this night in morse, sleep
And pious awe, that feared to have of. Affects me equally; nor can I like
fended. This uncouth dream,—of evil sprung, I fear: So all was cleared, and to the field they Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour haste. none,
But first, from under shady arborous roof Created pure. But know, that in the soul Soon as they forth were come to open sight Are many lesser faculties, that serve Of day-spring, and the Sun, who, scarce Reason as chief; among these Fancy next uprisen, Her office holds; of all external things, With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean. Which the five watchful senses represent, brim, She forms imaginations, airy shapes, Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray, Which Reason joining, or disjoining, Discovering in wide landskip all the east frames
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains, All what we affirm, or what deny, and Lowly they bowed adoring; and began call
Their orisons, each morning duly paid Our knowledge or opinion; then retires In various style: for neither various style Into her private cell, when nature rests. Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes,
sung, Wild work produces oft, and most in | Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence dreams,
Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerIl matching words and deeds long past or ous verse; late.
More tunable than needed lute or harp
To add more sweetness ;—and they thus “Air, and ye elements! the eldest birth began:
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless These are thy glorious works, Parent change of good!
Vary to our great Maker still new praise. Almighty! Thine this universal frame, “Ye mists and exhalations ! that now Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous rise then!
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray, Unspeakable ! who sitt’st above these Till the Sun paint your fleecy skirts with heavens,
gold, To us invisible, or dimly seen
In honour to the world's great Author rise; In these thy lowest works; yet these de- Whether to deck with clouds the unclare
coloured sky, Thy goodness beyond thought, and power or wet the thirsty earth with falling showdivine.
ers, "Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of | Rising or falling still advance his praise. light,
His praise, ye winds ! that from four Angels ! for ye behold him, and with songs quarters blow, And choral symphonies, day without night, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, Circle his throne rejoicing :ye in Heaven;
ye pines, On Earth join all ye creatures to extol With every plant, in sign of worship, wave. Him first, him last, him midst, and with- “Fountains ! and ye that warble, as ye out end !
flow, “Fairest of stars ! last in the train of | Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his night,
praise. If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Join voices, all ye living souls! Ye birds, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smil- That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend, ing Morn
Bear on your wings, and in your notes, his With thy bright circlet,-praise him in praise. thy sphere,
“Ye that in waters glide, and ye that While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. walk
Thou Sun! of this great world both The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep! eye and soul,
Witness if I be silent, morn or even, Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade, praise
Made vocal by my song, and taught his In thy eternal course, both when thou praise. climb'st,
“Hail, universal Lord! be bounteous And when high noon hast gained, and still when thou fall'st.
To give us only good; and, if the night Moon! that now meet'st the orient Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed, sun, now fliest,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark !" With the fixed stars,--fixed in their orb So prayed they innocent, and to their that flies;
thoughts And ye five other wandering fires ! that Firm peace recovered soon, and wonted
calm. In mystic dance, not without song, resound On to their morning's rural work they His praise, who out of darkness called up haste, light.
Among sweet dews and flowers.
Milton's Paradise Lost.
BEAUTIFUL are the heralds
That stand at Nature's door, Crying, “O traveller, enter in,
And taste the Master's store !” One or the other always crying
In the voice of the summer hours, In the thunder of the winter storm, Or the song
fresh spring flowers. Enter,” they cry, “to a kingly feast,
Where all may venture near ; A million beauties for the eye,
And music for the ear:
Upon the threshold fall,
"To Him who gives thee all.!”
So some kneel down and enter
With reverent step and slow;
Breathe round them as they go:
And the sunshine round them sleeping,
The inner gates are keeping.
That hides the secret place,
In the brighter realms of grace :
Will smile at this my story;
W. E. LITTLEWOOD.
THE LLANOS OF SOUTH AMERICA.
In South America the features of Nature are traced on a gigantic scale. Mountains, forests, rivers, plains, there appear in far more colossal dimensions than in our part of the world. Many a branch of the Amazon surpasses the Danube in size. In the boundless primitive forests of Guiana more than one Great Britain could find room. The Alps would seem but of moderate elevation if placed beside the towering Andes; and the plains of Northern Germany and Holland are utterly insignificant when compared with the Llanos of Venezuela and New Grenada, which cover a surface of more than 250,000 square miles.
Nothing can be more remarkable than the contrast which these immeasurable plains present at various seasons of the year—now parched by a long-continued drought, and now covered with the most luxuriant vegetation. When, day after day, the sun, rising and setting in a cloudless sky, pours his vertical rays upon the thirsty Llanos, the calcined grass-plains present the monotonous aspect of an interminable waste. Like the ocean, their limits melt in the hazy distance with those of the horizon; but here the resemblance ceases, for no refreshing breeze wafts coolness over the desert, and comforts the drooping spirits of the wanderer. In the wintry solitudes of Siberia the skin of the reindeer affords protection to man against the extreme cold; but in these sultry plains there is no refuge from the burning sun above, and the heat reflected from the glowing soil, save where, at vast intervals, small clumps of the Mauritia palm afford a scanty shade. The water-pools which nourished this beneficent tree have long since disappeared; and the marks of the previous rainy season, still visible on the tall reeds that spring from the marshy ground, serve only to mock the thirst of the exhausted traveller. The long-legged jabiru and the scarlet ibis have forsaken the dried-up swamp, which no longer affords them any subsistence; and only here and there a solitary Caracara falcon lingers on the spot, as if meditating on the vicissitudes of the season. Yet even now the parched savannah has some refreshment to bestow, as Naturewhich in the East Indian forests fills the pitcher-plant with a grateful liquid, and in the waterless Kalahari in South Africa, causes many juicy roots to thrive under the surface of the desert
-here also displays her bounty; for the globular melon-cactus, which flourishes on the driest soil, and sometimes measures a foot in diameter, conceals a juicy pulp under its tough and prickly skin. Guided by an admirable instinct, the wary mule strikes off with his fore-feet the long, sharp thorns of this remarkable plant, the emblem of good nature under a rough exterior, and then cautiously approaches his lips to sip the refreshing juice. Yet, drinking from these living sources is not unattended with danger, and mules are often met with that have been lamed by the formidable prickles of the cactus. The wild horse and ox of the savannah, not gifted with the same sagacity, roam about a prey to hunger and burning thirst, the latter hoarsely bellowing, the former snuffing up the air with outstretched neck, to discover by its moisture the neighbourhood of some pool that may have resisted the general drought.
As in the arctic regions the intense cold during winter retards pulsation, or even suspends the operations of life, so in the Llanos the long coutinuance of drought causes a similar stagnation in animated nature. The thinly scattered trees and shrubs do not,
indeed, cast their foliage, but the grayish yellow of their leaves announces that vegetation is suspended. Buried in the clay of the dried-up pools, the alligator and the water-boa lie plunged in a deep summer sleep, like the bear of the North in his long winter slumber; and many animals which, at other times, are found roaming over the Llanos—such as the peccary, and the timid deer of the savannah-have left the parched plains and migrated to the forest or the river. The large maneless puma, and the spotted jaguar, following their prey to less arid regions, are now no longer seen in their former hunting-grounds; and the Indian has also disappeared with the stag he pursued with his poisoned
In Siberia, the reindeer and the migratory birds are scared away by winter; here life is banished and suspended by an intolerable heat.
Sometimes the ravages of fire are added to complete the image of death on the parched savannah.
“We had not yet penetrated far into the plain,” says Sir Robert Schomburgh, “when we saw to the south-east high columns of smoke ascending to the skies, the sure signs of a savannah fire, and at the same time the Indians anxiously pressed us to speed on, as the burning torrent would most likely roll in our direction. Although at first we were inclined to consider their fears exaggerated, yet the next half hour served to convince us of the extreme peril of our situation. In whatever direction we gazed, we nowhere saw a darker patch in the grass-plain announcing the refuge of a water-pool; we could already distinguish the flames of the advancing column, already hear the bursting and crackling of the reeds, when fortunately the sharp eye of the Indians discovered some small eminences before us, only sparingly covered with a low vegetation, and to these we now careered as if Death himself was behind us.
Half a minute later and I should never have lived to relate our adventures. With beating hearts we saw the sea of fire rolling its devouring billows towards us: the suffocating smoke, striking in our faces, forced us to turn our backs upon
the advancing conflagration, and to await the dreadful decision with the resignation of helpless despair.