« ПретходнаНастави »
cinity around him,-oh! would not the combination of so much grace with so much loftiness, only serve the more to aggrandise him ? Would not the one ingredient of a character so rare, go to illustrate and to magnify the other? And would not you pronounce him to be the fairest specimen of our nature, who could so call out all your tenderness, while he challenged and compelled all your veneration ?
EXTRACT FROM "THE GRAVE.”
A rest for weary pilgrims found :
Low in the ground !
No more disturbs their deep repose
That shuts the rose.
* This amiable man and exquisite poet was born at Irving, in Ayrshire, in 1771; but, from his long residence in Sheffield, and his poetry being written exclusively in English, his origin is generally considered as such. His father was a Moravian Missionary, and died in the Island of Tobago. The poet was educated at Fulneck, near Leeds.
Notwithstanding the fulminating oracular tirade that disgraced an early Number of the Edinburgh Review, “ written,” (as Mr. Robt. Chamberst justly observes) " in the worst style of that Journal, when all the sins of its youth were full-blown and unchecked,"—Mr. Montgomery has lived to see his denounced poem, “The Wanderer of Switzerland," reach its 13th or 14th Edition; and his fame--for some time confined to the religious world—as a genuine English poet, universally and indisputably established.
Mr. Montgomery has outlived all his political enemies ; and, though he suffered much from their malignity-having been twice confined in York Castle for imputed libel-he has nobly recorded his forgiveness of them! It is curious and instructive to mark the course of truth;-Mr. Montgomery has for some time enjoyed a pension of £200. a-year!
+ We are rejoiced to have an opportunity of paying our humble tribute of heart-felt admiration to the ability, and unwearied invaluable exertions, of this worthy gentleman and his brother, who have done more towards the spread of general literature in the English reading world, than any score of authors whom we could name!
I long to lay this painful head,
And aching heart, beneath the soil ;
O'erwhelming tempests drown thy bark ?
Misfortune's mark ?
Condemned in wretchedness to roam,
A quiet home!
Confess thy folly—kiss the rod ;
The hand of God !
Affliction,—all his children feel!
He wounds to heal!
Low in the ground;-
God's glorious image, freed from clay,
A star of day!
A transient meteor in the sky;
Shall never die !
* When a simile is expressed in the former part of a sentence, the word which terminates this part, requires the rising inflexion. Examples : 1st.
“ He perceived The unequal
onflict, and, as angels look
With love illumined high."
Like jarring friends', I and my country parted."
stainless bosom's swell
every woe-suffused eye
* These affecting stanzas-supposed to have been written on the death of the Princess Charlotte,-appeared originally in “ The Tyne Mercury,” and were written by a young man of the name of THOMPSON.
RURAL FUNERALS—THE GRAVE.
WASHINGTON IRVING. I HAVE dwelt upon this beautiful rural custom, because, as it is one of the last, so it is one of the holiest offices of love. The grave is the ordeal of true affection. It is there that the Divine passion of the soul manifests its superiority to the instinctive impulse of mere animal attachment. The latter must be continually refreshed and kept alive by the presence of its object : but the love that is sealed in the soul can live on long remembrance. The mere inclinations of sense languish and decline with the charms which excited them, and turn with shuddering disgust from the dismal precincts of the tomb; but it is thence that truly spiritual affection arises, purified from every sensual desire, and returns like a holy flame to illuminate and sanctify the heart of the survivor.
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal – every other affliction to forget ; but this wound we consider as a duty to keep open—this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang ? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns ? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved ; when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal ; would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness ? -No; the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul ; if it has its woes, it likewise has its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved, is softened away into pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness—who would root out such a sorrow from the heart ? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom ; yet who would exchange it, even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No; there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh the grave! the grave !-it buries every error, covers every defect~extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave, even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him !
But the grave of those we loved - what a place for meditation! There it is that we call up, in long review, the whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the thousand endearments lavished upon us almost unheeded in the daily intercourse of intimacy—there it is that we dwell upon the tenderness, the solemn, awful tenderness of the parting scene.
The bed of death, with all its stifled griefs—its noiseless attendance—its mute, watchful assiduities,—the last testimonies of expiring love! The feeble, fluttering, thrilling-oh! how thrilling !pressure of the hand. The last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon us even from the threshold of existence ! the faint, faltering accents, struggling in death to give one more assurance of affection !
Ay! go to the grave of buried love, and meditate ! There settle the account with thy conscience for every past benefit unrequited-every past endearment unregarded, of that departed being, who can never-never-never return to be soothed by thy contrition !
If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul or a furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent–if thou art a husband, and hast ever caused the fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms, to doubt one moment of thy kindness or thy truth—if thou art a friend, and hast ever wronged, in thought, or word, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee if thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited
to the true heart that now lies cold and still beneath thy feet ;—then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul—then be sure that thou wilt lie down sorrowing and repentant on the grave, and utter the unheard
the unavailing tear ; more deep, more bitter, because unheard and unavailing!
Then weave thy chaplet of flowers, and strew the beauties of nature about the grave; console thy broken spirit, if thou canst,