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Nor does he need even this. The republic may perish; the wide arch of our ranged Union may fall; star by star its glories may expire; stone by stone its columns and its capitol may nivulder and crumble; all other names which adorn its annals may be forgotten; but as long as human hearts shall any where pant, or human tongues shall any where plead, for a true, rational, constitutional liberty, those hearts shall enshrine the memory, and those tongues prolong the fame, of George WASHINGTON !
145. Prevalence of Poetry.
The world is full of poetry — the air
Is living with its spirit; and the waves
Dance to the music of its melodies,
And sparkle in its brightness. Earth is veiled
And mantled with its beauty; and the walls,
That close the universe with crystal in,
Are eloquent with voices, that proclaim
The unseen glories of immensity,
In harmonies too perfect and too high
For aught but beings of celestial mould,
And speak to man in one eternal hymn,
Unfading beauty, and unyielding power.
The year leads round the seasons, in a choir
Forever charming, and forever new,
Blending the grand, the beautiful, the gay,
The mournful, and the tender, in one strain,
Which steals into the heart, like sounds that rise
Far off, in moonlight evenings, on the shore
Of the wide ocean, resting after storms;
Or tones that wind around the vaulted roof,
And pointed arches, and retiring aisles
Of some old, lonely minster, where the hand,
Skilful, and moved with passionate love of art,
Plays o'er the higher keys, and bears aloft
The peal of bursting thunder, and then calls,
By mellow touches, from the softer tubes,
Voices of melting tenderness, that blend
With pure and gentle musings, till the soul,
Commingling with the melody, is borne,
Rapt, and dissolved in ecstasy, to heaven.
'Tis not the chime and flow of words, that move
In measured file, and metrical array;
'Tis not the union of returning sounds,
Nor all the pleasing artifice of rhyme,
And quantity, and accent, that can give
This all-pervading spirit to the ear,
Or blend it with the movings of the soul.
'Tis not the noisy babbler, who displays,
In studied phrase, and ornate epithet,
Aud rounded period, poor and vapid thoughts,
Which peep from out the cumbrous ornaments
That overload their littleness. Its words
Are few, but deep and solemn; and they break
Fresh from the fount of feeling, and are full
or all that passion, which, on Carmel, fired
The holy prophet, when his lips were coals,
His language winged with terror, as when bolts
Leap from the brooding tempest, armed with wrath,
Commissioned to affright us, and destroy.
Passion, when deep, is still; the glaring eye,
That reads its enemy with glance of fire;
The lip, that curls and writhes in bitterness,
The brow contracted, till its wrinkles hide
The keen, fixed orbs that burn and flash below;
The hand firm clinched, and quivering, and the foot
Planted in attitude to spring, and dart
I vengeance, - are the language it employs.
So the poetic feeling needs no words
To give it utterance; but it swells, and glows,
And revels in the ecstasies of soul,
And sits at banquet with celestial forms,
The beings of its own creation, fair
And lovely as e'er haunted wood and wave,
When earth was peopled, in its solitudes,
With nymph and naiad.
Its spirit is the breath of Nature, blown
Over the sleeping forms of clay, who else
Doze on through life in blank stupidity,
Till by its blast, as by a touch of fire,
They rouse to lofty purpose, and send out,
In deeds of
within. Its seat is deeper in the savage
Than in the man of cities; in the child
Than in maturer bosoms. Art may prune
Its rank and wild luxuriance, and may train
Its strong out-breakings, and its vehement gusts,
To soft refinement and amenity;
But all its energy has vanished, all
Its maddening and commanding spirit gone,
And all its tender touches, and its tones
Of soul-dissolving pathos, lost and hid
Among the measured notes, that move as dead
And heartless as the puppets in a show.
Well I remember, in my boyish days,
How deep the feeling, when my eye looked forth
On Nature, in her loveliness and storms;
Ilow my heart gladdened, as the light of spring
Came from the sun, with zephyrs, and with showers,
Waking the earth to beauty, and the woods
To music, and the atmosphere to blow
Sweetly and calmly, with its breath of balm.
O, how I gazed upon the dazzling blue
Of summer's heaven of glory, and the waves,
That rolled, in bending gold, o'er hill and plain ;
And on the tempest when it issued forth,
In folds of blackness, from the northern sky,
And stood above the mountains, silent, dark,
Frowning, and terrible; then sent abroad
The lightning, as its herald, and the peal,
That rolled in deep, deep volleys, round the hills,
The warning of its coming, and the sound
That ushered in its elemental war!
And, O, I stood, in breathless longing fixed,
Trembling, and yet not fearful, as the clouds
Heaved their dark billows on the roaring winds,
That sent, from mountain top, and bending wood,
A long, hoarse murmur, like the rush of waves
That burst, in foam and fury, on the shore.
Nor less the swelling of my heart, when high
Rose the blue arch of autumn, cloudless, pure
As Nature, at her dawning, when she sprang
Fresh from the hand that wrought her; where the eye
Caught not a speck upon the soft serene,
To stain its deep cerulean, but the cloud,
That floated, like a lonely spirit, there,
White as the snow of Zemla, or the foam
That on the mid-sea tosses, cinctured round,
In easy undulations, with a belt
Woven of bright Apollo's golden hair.
These I have seen,
And felt to madness; but my
No utterance to the ineffable within.
Words were too weak; they were unknown; but stil,
The feeling was most poignant: it has gone;
And all the deepest flow of sounds, that e'er
Poured, in a torrent fulness, from the tongue
Rich with the wealth of ancient bards, and stored
With all the patriarchs of British song
Hallowed and rendered glorious, cannot tell
Those feelings, which have died, to live no more.
JAMES G. PERCIVAL.
146. Bunker Hill Monument.
We know that the record of illustrious actions is mossafely deposited in the universal remembrance of mankind. We know that, if we could cause this structure to ascend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surface could still contain but part of that, which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the earth, and which History charges herself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription, on entablatures less broad than the earth itself, can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone; and that no structure which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men, can prolong the memorial.
But our object is, by this edifice, to show our deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a similar regard to the principles of the revolution. Human beings are composed not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied, which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart.
Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate national hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon it forever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of the unmeasured benefit which has been conferred on our land, and of the happy influences which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests of mankind.
We come, as Americans, to mark a spot which must be forever dear to us and our posterity. We wish that who.