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THE DESOLATE VILLAGE.
A Reverie. SWEET village ! on thy pastoral hill Arrayed in sunlight sad and still, As if beneath the harvest-moon, Thy noiseless homes were sleeping ! It is the merry month of June, And creatures all of air and earth Should now their holiday of mirth With dance and song be keeping. But loveliest Village ! silent Thou, As cloud wreathed o'er the Morning's brow, When light is faintly breaking, And Midnight's voice afar is lost, Like the wailing of a wearied ghost, The shades of earth forsaking.
All nature sinks opprest, -
'Tis not the Day to Scotia dear,
Sweet Woodburn ! like a cloud that name
Is this the Day when to the mountains
Last summer, from the school-house door, When the glad play-bell was ringing, What shoals of bright-haired elves would
pour, Like small waves racing on the shore, , In dance of rapture singing! Oft by yon little silver well, Now sleeping in neglected cell, The village maid would stand, While resting on the mossy bank, With freshened soul the traveller drank The cold cup from her hand; Haply some soldier from the war, Who would remember long and far That Lily of the Land. And still the green is bright with flowers, And dancing through the sunny hours Like blossoms from enchanted bowers On a sudden wafted by, Obedient to the changeful air And proudly feeling they are fair Glide bird and butterfly. But where is the tiny hunter-rout That revelled on with dance and shout Against their airy prey ?
What if these homes be filled with life?
Alas! the fearless linnet sings, .
As o'er the dewy turf of Morn, And the bright insect folds its wings oor Where the virgin, like a woodland Fay Upon the dewy flower that springs
On wings of joy was borne. Above these children's clay.
-Even now a soft and silvery haze And if to yon deserted well i
Hill-Village-Tree-is steeping Some solitary maid.
In the loveliness of happier days, As she was wont at eve, should go
Ere rose the voice of weeping !
When incense-fires from every hearth,
Sweet spire! that crown'st the house of God!
While through a cloud the softened light
On thy yellow dial burns. On-on-through woful images
Ah, me! my bosom inly bleeds
To see the deep-worn path that leads
In silent blackness it doth tell
How oft thy little sullen bell -So high upon the slender bough
Hath o'er the village tolled its knell, · Why hangs the crow her nest ?
In beauty desolate. * All undisturbed her young have lain
Oft, wandering by myself at night, This spring-time in their nest,
Such spire hath risen in softened light
Before my gladdened eyes,
The village sleeping quietly
Beneath the quiet skies, The magpie hops from door to door ; Methought that mid her stars so bright, And the hare, not fearing to be seen, The moon in placid mirth, Doth gambol on the village green
Was not in heaven a holier sight
Than God's house on the earth.
That very bell hath ceased to toll
'Twas by a dying stripling rung Of gateless fields, all common now,
O'er the sexton's hoary head !,
For yon sweet Manse now empty stands,
Be e'er held up in prayer. As o'er the desert sand.
EARTH's loveliest land I behold in my On that green hedge a scattered row
dreams, Now weather-stained once white as snow- All gay in the summer, and drest in sunOf garments that have long been spread,
beams And now belong unto the dead,
In the radiance which breaks on the puriShroud-like proclaim to every eye,
fied sense “ This is no place for Charity !”
Of the thin-bodied ghosts that are flitting
from hence. O blest are ye ! unthinking creatures ! The blue distant Alps, and the blue distant Rejoicing in your lowly natures
main, Ye dance round human tombs!
Bound the far varied harvests of Lombardy's Where gladlier sings the mounting lark
plain : Then o'er the churchyard dim and dark ! The rivers are winding in blue gleaming Or where, than on the churchyard wall,
lines From the wild rose-tree brighter fall Round the Ruins of Old-round the Hill of Her transitory blooms !
the Vines What is it to that lovely sky
Round the grove of the orange the green If all her worshippers should die !
myrtle bower As happily her splendours play . By Castle and Convent-by Town and by On the grave where human forms decay,
Through the bright summer azure the north And equally sweet is her lip of the roses, breezes blow,
When it opens in smiles, or in silence reThat are cooled in their flight over regions poses.
of snow, Or westerly gales, on whose wandering wings
18 O sooner the bird shall escape from the share The wave of the ocean its silver dew flings.
Of the fowler, than man from her thral. Bright, bright is the prospect, and teeming the soil
dom-beware! With the blessings of promise_with com,
If you meet but one glance of her magical
eye, wine, and oil,
From your bosom for ever must liberty fly! Where the cypress, and myrtle, and orange
Let there breathe but one thrilling and sil. combine,
very tone And around the dark olive gay wantons the per
e-dark ouve gay wantons the From the syren-your heart is no longer vine. Woods leafy and rustling o'ershadow the
your own. scene, With their forest of branches and changes of green ;
VERSES And glossy their greenness where sunshine
Recited by the Author, in a Party of is glistening, And mellow their music where Silence is his Countrymen, on the Day that the listening,
News arrived of our final Victory And the streamlets glide through them with over the French
glassier hue, And the sky sparkles o'er them with heaven. Now, Britain, let thy cliffs o' snaw lier blue.
Look prouder o'er the merled main ! How deep and how rich is the blush of the The bastard Eagle bears awa, rose,
And ne'er shall ee thy shores again, That spreading and wild o'er the wilderness
Bang up thy banners red an riven! What waftures of incense are filling the The day's thy ain--the prize is won ! air!
Weel may thy lions brow the heaven, For the bloom of a summer unbounded is An' turn their grey beards to the sun. there.
Lang hae I bragged o' thine an' thee, The soft and voluptuous Spirit of Love Even when thy back was at the wa'; Rules in earth and in ether, below and a. An' thou my proudest sang sall be, bove,
As lang as I hae breath to draw. In the blue of the sky, in the glow of the beam,
Gae hang the coofs wha boded wae, In the sigh of the wind, and the flow of the An' cauldness o'er thy efforts threw, stream!
Lauding the fellest, sternest fae, At his presence the rose takes a ruddier Frae hell's black porch that ever flew.
bloom, And the vine-bud exhales a more wanton O he might conquer idiot kings, perfume;
These bars in nature's onward plan ; F'en the hoarse surging billows have sof. But fool is he the yoke that flings tened their roar,
O'er the unshackled soul of man. And break with a musical fall on the shore.
'Tis like a cobweb o'er the breast, But less in this Eden has young Love his That binds the giant while asleep, dwelling,
Or curtain hung upon the east, Than in that virgin's bosom, wild throbbing The day-light from the world to keep !
and swelling, That bounds 'gainst her zone, and will not Come, jaw your glasses to the brim! be represt,
Gar in the air your bonnets flee ! Whilst full of the god that possesses her “Our gude auld king!” I'll drink to him, breast.
As lang as I hae drink to pree. Love has kindled her cheek with his deep crimson dye,
This to the arms that well upbore And lit with his radiance her eloquent eye, The Rose and Shamrock blooming still Ever restless and changing, and darkening, An' here's the burly plant of yore, and brightening,
“ The Thristle of the Norlan? hill!” Now melting in dew, and now flashing in lightning.
Auld Scotland !---land o’ hearts the wale! O, black is her eye,--black intensely ; and Hard thou hast fought, and bravely won: black
Lang may thy lions paw the galc, Are the ringlets luxuriant that float down And turn their dewlaps to the sun ! .. her back ;
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
i Serice of Discourses on the Christian magnificent and beautiful in itself, is Revelation, viewed in Connexion
in danger of being considered as fitted ** with the Modern Astronomy. By
only to be the creed of less enlightenThomas CHALMERS, D. D. 8vo.
ed minds, and of failing in some meapp. 275. Third edition. Glasgow,
sure, from this unfortunate opinion, * Smith & Son; Edinburgh, William
to produce those important effects up
on mankind, for the accomplishment of Whyte ; 1817.
which it is so pre-eminently adapted. ONE of the worst features of the The volume before us is calculata present times is the separation that ed, we think, in no coinmon degree, has taken place between science and to counteract this unhappy declena religion. During the early part of the sion. It is written with an enthuhistory of English literature, we find siasm and an eloquence, to which great talents combined with a sublime we scarcely know where to find any piety, and the most enlightened phi- parallel ; and there is, at the same losophy with a fervent and glowing time, so constant a reference to the devotion; and they who explained to improved philosophy of modern times, us the system of nature, defended the that it possesses an air of philocause, and venerated the authority, of sophical grandeur and truth, which revelation. The piety of Milton, of the productions of a more popular and Boyle, and of Newton, was not less declamatory eloquence can never atrernarkable than the superiority of tain. Were the taste of the author their other endowments; and it will equal to his genius, and his judgment ever be regarded as a striking circum always sufficient to control the fervours stance, that those giant minds, who of his imagination, the labours of Dr have exalted the glory of English li- Chalmers could not fail to be infinitely terature above that of all other na- beneficial. But here lies our author's tions, and whom we are accustomed chief deficiency. His genius is of to consider as an honour to the species the kind that is marked by its pecuitself, were distinguished above all liarities as much as by its superiority; other men for their habitual and so- and this circumstance, we think, is the lemn veneration of religion.. . more to be regretted, as there is mani
Since the age of these distinguished festly no necessary connexion between writers the connexion between sci- the excellencies and detects by which ence and religion seems gradually to his works are characterised. The have been becoming less intimate natural relations of the intellectual We are unwilling to arrange ourselves powers might have been more correctly with those gloomy individuals who maintained in his mind, while all his are found in every age to declaim a. faculties continued to be exerted with gainst the peculiar depravity of their the same constancy and vigour, own times; but it is impossible not to and the same originality and invensee, that the profound reverence for tion might have been combined with sacred things, which distinguished the greater dignity, and more uniform eleillustrious characters of a former age, gance.We have therefore but a short is not now the characteristic of those process to institute, in order to admit by whom science is promoted, and our readers into a knowledge of the knowledge extended. An enlarged character of our author's mind. In acquaintance with the works of nature our intercourse with the world, we ofta is no longer the assured token of that en meet with persons in whom what deep-toned and solemn piety, which we call genius predominates over every elevated the character, and purified the other feature; and who, though not manners, of the fathers of our philo- superior to their fellows in taste, judgsophy. Science is now seen without ment, or understanding, are yet infinreligion, and religion without science; itely superior to them in the capacity and the consequence is, that the sa- of forming striking combinations of iered system of revelation, however deas, or in the endowments of an excur
sive or elevated inagination. This is Lord Iligh Commissioner and for the precisely the case with the author whose sons of the clergy, made known his works we are considering. Genius in merits to most of the eminent men in him shines paramount to every other this part or the kingdom, and will be quality of his mind. In every page long remembered in this quarter as the of the volume, which has suggested most brilliant cisplay of cloquence and these observations, there is something of genius which we have ever had the bold, original, and striking ; and yet good fortune to witness. there is every now and then some pe- Such is our author's brief and simple culiarity of expression that offends a story, previous to the publication of cultivated taste, or some wildness of the present volume. We must not sentiment that excites astonishment induce our readers, however, to be. and wonder rather than syinpathy. lieve that the public were as yet all a
The author of these discourses is so greed in their opinion of Dr Chalmers' well known to our readers in this part merits. His former publications had of the island, that it would be quite been distinguished rather by a fertility superfluous on their account to say of imagination than by a deliberate and any thing of his private history; but cool judgment. He had been accusfor the sake of our readers in the south, tomed, it was said, to take up an opis we suspect it inay be necessary to tell, nion as it were by accident, and to dein a single sentence, who Dr Chalmers fend it with enthusiastic ingenuity and is, and how he has attained that un- energy, though at the same time he was common celebrity he now enjoys a- overlooking something so obvious and mong us.
palpable, that the most simple novice Till within these few years, Dr might detect the fallacy of his arguChalmers was scarcely known beyond ment. He had written on the national the circle of his personal friends. He resources, and had attributed every obtained, at an early period, a living thing to agriculture, demonstrating in an obscure part of the country; and our perfect independence of the luxubeing naturally of an inquisitive and ries of trade and commerce. He had active disposition, he devoted himself, published a treatise on the Evid-nces in the leisure of his professional en- of Christianity, and had denied that the gagements, to an ardent prosecution of internal evidence was of any imporscientific knowledge. Accident, ac- tance. Some detached sermons which cording to report, led him, some few he had given to the public had been years ago, to examine with more than deformed by an austerity at which the ordinary attention the foundations of polite world revolted; and it was the Christian faith; and as the result thought that the new work which was of his investigations was a deep im- announced would be found obnoxious pression of the strength of the evidence to the same censures. With respect by which it is supported, he now to this work, now that it has been brought to the illustration and defence published, we conceive that there of religion a double portion of the en- can be but one opinion--that it is thusiasın he had already devoted to a piece of splendid and powerful science. Hitherto he had been at- eloquence, injured indeed by many tached to that party in our church peculiarities of expression, by provinwhich aspires to the title of moderate cial idioins and colloquial barbarisms, or liberal-he now connected himself but, at the same time, more free from with those who wish to be thought more the author's peculiar blemishes than strict and apostolic. His reputation as any of his former productions, and a preacher, as might have been expected forming, notwithstanding its many from the warmth and fervour of his clo- fuults, a work likely to excite alınost quence, began now rapidly to extend universal admiration. That it would itselt'; and the whole country was soon be improved, we think, every one will filled with the fame of his eloquence and likewise allow, were there less samehis merits. The reputation he had ness of sentiment and of expression thus acquired was not diminished but were there foter words of the author's enhanced, by his occasional appear own invention--were the purity of the ances in the congregations of this me English language, in short, as much tropolis. His specches last year in the attended to as its power and energy. General Assembly of the Scottish If the author would only cultivate his Church, and his sermons before the taste as much as his imagination, he