« PreviousContinue »
'Yes; and he gave me to you.' and bending his face to hers, sealed the
He strode up and down the room, and contract which was to bind their future came at last to her, folded his arms lives. about her, looked into her eyes steadily,
THE DEAD HEART.
BY DENRY ASTEN.
You cannot see it, oh! no,
As she's gliding gaily along,
While on her lips is a song;
could but fathom the woe
Could be made such a terrible place;
Is it well to talk of reform
With a pharisaical face,
If her weary steps she 'll retrace ?
She scoffs at pardon and peace,
And mocks your preaching with sneers;
She's not even the solace of tears.
THE RESTORATIVE PRINCIPLE IN NATURE.
Perhaps there is nothing in the on- treasures and imparts her instruction, goings of Nature more clearly discerni- for all can experiment in her laboratory ble, or that strikes the reflecting mind and search out her hidden wealth; but as a greater display of infinite wisdom it is those who labor assiduously, under and power, than the Restorative Prin- the combined light of science and inciple. Nature never ceases her silent spiration, that receive those manifestawork. Amid wars and rumors of wars, tions of her wisdom, her exhaustless the fall of empires and establishment of resources, and her grandeur. dynasties, her course remains the same. Every individual views his own art or And though continual and innumerable science as more admirable in proportion changes are progressing throughout her as he attains eminence in that art or vast domain, the results are always con. science. The charms of music are most ditioned by her unchangeable laws, and inspiring to the musician; the flower the lessons which they convey are those seems most beautiful to the botanist; of economy, combined with utility and the bird to the ornithologist; earth, sea, beauty.
and air most entertaining to the natural While contemplating the processes of philosopher; and the revolutions and combustion and reduction, the adapta- transits of the heavenly bodies to the tion of each to the wants of the other, astronomer, as the ultimatum of pre. the elements necessary for their mainte- cision and harmony. A knowledge of nance, the mutual dependencies of ani- these sciences, and far more than these, mal and vegetable life, we cannot help is necessary to an adequate idea of the perceiving the economy which Nature riches of the natural world. In beauty employs, and admiring the greatness of Nature surpasses all else. The lovely her works. The plant, first pointing expanse of landscape adorned with verdthrough the earth, then spreading its ant covering; the placid waters with leaves to procure nourishment, then their delightful scenery tinged by the rearing its stately stalk bearing blos- rays of the setting sun; the majestic som and fruit, and finally withering forest waving under the western breeze; and sinking to the earth, is a fit em- the hill with its gentle acclivity, where blem of the routine ever progressing in shadows play as if in childish sport; the all her thousand departments. Nor are valley with its meandering stream and these changes uninstructive to the at- grazing herd, are scenes of which the tentive student who minutely observes orator can give only a very imperfect their bearings and reciprocal influences, description. The pen of the artist fails who traces effects to their true causes, in the attempt; nor can the brush of the and judges of the adequacy of causes painter do justice to the original. The from their respective effects. He that poet, whose imagination glows with unviews, only in the light of the physical asual brilliancy as he expatiates on the sciences, the successive changes in the beauteous realms of Nature, depicting plant, its growth, decay, recombination, every thing grand, every thing bold, and and the effect produced upon it by the every thing remote, only sets forth his imponderable bodies, must derive useful inadequacy to perform the task. Æslessons, and be impressed with the truth thetic sentiments are embodied in her of the existence of that wonderful and picturesque forms, elegance in her rudeto us incomprehensible agency, the Re- ly-finished workmanship, and her labstorative Principle. Neither is it to the yrinthian wilds evince grace, the image learned alone that Nature discloses her of freedom ever speaking to the cultured soul that moral element of a rational turies, as it spreads its branches heavenmind. Yet there is a principle of econo- ward, asserting its strength, proclaims, my underlying the very foundation of in inaudible accents, the Restorative her beauty ; a law fixed, unchangeable, Principle. The little brook that winds and inexorable, governing every process beneath the hill flows onward over the of development, and providing for the pebbles which line its channel; yet, in support of one by the dissolution of an- the low sound of its distant murmurings, other. This is the law that sustains Na- is heard the Restorative Principle. The ture in her onward course. This is the raging tempest that sweeps along, leavlaw that maintains her vegetation and ing desolation in its path, sinks gradupreserves her beauty in pristine purity, ally to the gentle breeze which cautiousenabling her not only to afford us the ly approaches to whisper in our ear : bodily comforts of food and shelter Restorative Power. Do you ask why which necessity has bound us to re- the birds, singing among the leaves, quire, but also, when war has departed pour forth such joyous and enchanting from our land, and our hearts and hands strains ? they answer, by the sweetness are turned to peace, neglecting and suf- of their notes, Restorative Principle. Or fering to die the rude arts of violence and why the lightning bursts from the darkbarbarity, to minister to the wants of the ened cloud, tearing asunder every thing spirit, spreading over her extensive sur- that opposes its rapid velocity ? the anface images of what is true and sacred, swer comes in tones of thunder, Restothus making earth itself a present Para- rative Power. Every blade of grass dise.
sparkling with the morning dew, every The water in its circulating system, flower whose fragrance perfumes the passing from earth to sea and from sea surrounding air, every form of existence, to earth, affords a proof of the existence animate or inanimate, which bears the of this law. The tall oak, whose stately impress of Nature's hand, is the material trunk has endured the storms of cen- expression of this all-pervading law.
AN ORIE N T A L POET. During the thirteenth century of our pilgrimage to Mecca; and this wide era lived and died Shekh Sadi, of Shi- knowledge of the world leaves its traces raz, one of Persia's most memorable in every page that he wrote. “Long,' he sons. While Europe was sunk in bar- tells us in one of his poems, have I barism, or rather was just beginning to wandered in the various regions of the emerge from her long sleep, as 'the ten earth, and everywhere I have spent my dumb centuries' which were to make days with every body: I have found a *the speaking Dante,' drew to their gain in every corner, and gleaned an ear close, Sadi, with his keen sense and from every harvest.' His long* life was poet's heart, was wandering in his der- checkered with every variety of fortune; wish dress from city to city throughout for in those days war was abroad in the the Mohammedan world, everywhere earth, and rapid changes were sweeping studying manners and mankind, and over the fair face of Asia. The Franks everywhere gathering wisdom and expe- still held part of Palestine, though the rience. He travelled in Barbary, Egypt, enthusiasm of the early Crusades had Palestine, Asia Minor, Arabia, Tartary,
* SADI was born at Shiraz, A.D. 1175, and died and India ; fourteen times he made the there, A.D. 1290.
long since passed away; and the fierce the two on which his fame chiefly rests hordes of the Tartars and Moguls, which are the Gulistan,' or Rose-Garden, and had burst forth under Zingis Khan from the ‘Bostan,' or Orchard. The former, the wilds of Scythia, were laying waste, to which we would invite our readers to under his generals or successors, the accompany us, is one of those books fairest seats of Asiatic civilization ; and which are thoroughly Eastern in every in 1258 his grandson, Holagou Khan, part. Its form, its matter, its style, its took Bagdad by storm, and put to death thoughts, all wear an Oriental coloring; the feeble Mostasem, whose name closes everywhere we breathe in an Oriental the long and glorious line of the Abbas- atmosphere. In itself it is a book of side dynasty of the Caliphs.
morals; but this description could never Amidst this shaking of empires, indi- convey to the American reader the faintviduals of course could not escape. Life est idea of its real character. It is a book and property were fearfully insecure, of morals, but written for the story-lovand a shadow must have darkened every ing East, that native home of romance home. Sadi, who long resided at Bag. in every age; and instead of labored dad, where he held a fellowship in the disquisitions and logical systems, we Nizamiah College, has commemorated in have everywhere life and human interone of his elegies the devastation of the est. Morality descends from the unicity by Holagou; and in his travels in versal to the individual; she steps from Syria he fell into the hands of the Cru- the schools to the bazaar; and, instead saders, who set him to work with other of dealing with words and abstractions, slaves in repairing the fortifications of clothes her thoughts with flesh and Tripolis. But Sadi carried a brave heart blood in the forms of living men. in his bosom, which no threats of ad- The work is divided into eight secverse fortune could subdue. The dan- tions, seven of which are so many segers of travel but added a keener zestries of stories and apologues to illustrate to his enjoyment; for the world in those some leading point, which gives the title days was still fresh to the traveller, and to the section, and unites, as by a thread, every forest and every hill had its ad- the otherwise unconnected series of venture and its romance. Science had which it is composed. The book is not then mapped out sea and land, and written in prose; but distichs and stripped travel of its wonder and dan. tetrastichs, and sometimes longer poems, ger; and Nature rewarded her votary are continually introduced to vary the with a far deeper relish for her charms. narrative, and also to give force and Life to the traveller was fuller and rich- piquancy to the lessons which it may er, and his feelings were stronger and be intended to convey. In no other deeper; nor was it merely the hills and book is the beauty of the Persian lanthe woods that breathed their fuller life guage so fully displayed; no other auinto his heart, but he learned a deeper thor has ever wielded the instrument so sympathy with his fellow-man. The well, or tried, like Sadi, all its capabilifellow-travellers of the caravan were ties to their full. And yet the style is linked by their community of hardship generally simple, and singularly free and danger, and heart answered to heart from that rank luxuriance of ornament in their intercourse; for the desert soli- which in later times disfigured Persian tudes annihilate fashions, and leave men poetry, and which indeed is the chief bare as nature around them. These in- characteristic that the bare mention of fluences wrought deeply on Sadi's char. Oriental poetry, alas ! too often suggests acter, and it is these which lend such a to the English reader. From this fault living charm to his books.
Sadi is generally free, and his language Sadi has written many works, but is usually pointed and concise; indeed, one of his peculiar characteristics is the Adown the Tigris was I borne, poignant brevity of many of his sayings, By Bagdat's shrines of fretted gold, which stamps them with a kind of pro
High-walled gardens green and old;
True Mussulman was I and sworn, verbial significance. His poetry is al
For it was in the golden prime ways graceful and easy, with no great
Of good HAROUN AL RASCuid.' * power of imagination, but an inexhaust
Yet not the less did it need the seeing ible flow of imagery and fancy; and we frequently find that tender pathos which eye in Sadi to portray so vividly these wins its way to the reader's heart by no familiar scenes around him — to catch forced appeals of rhetorical art, but by their evanescent features as they flitted its native simplicity and home-felt truth. past in life's quick procession, and da
But one great charm of the book, as guerreotype them forever in his book. ve said, is its being so thoroughly un- And not the less was it the poet's inWestern and new. The characters who sight which detected under this everydit before us in its stories, and the scen- day disguise the latent beauty and truth,
and thus made ery which forms the background as they move, are alike Oriental; the moment "The barren commonplaces break we open the volume we find ourselves in To full and kindly blossom.' another clime. It reminds us of the
The 'Gulistan' is one of those books view which Mr. Curzon describes from which are never written but by the the window of the Alexandrian hotel, poetic temperament, when saddened when he gazed on the street and bazaar (shall we say darkened ?) by a deeper below: 'Here my companion and I sta- insight into life and the world. The tioned ourselves, and watched the novel glowing visions of genius in its youth and curious scene; and strange indeed have faded in life's cold daylight; the to the eye of the European, when for Philoctetes, with his chivalrous generthe first time he enters an Oriental city, osity, has himself become the Ulysses is all he sees around him. The pictur- whose voice he once refused to hear ; esque dresses, the buildings, the palm- yet with the cold wisdom of the world, trees, the camels, the people of various some gleams of his former self still nations, with their long beards, their linger, and shed a softening hue on arms and turbans, all unite to form a what would else be stern and repulsive picture which is indelibly fixed in the in his character. It is not the old age memory.'*
* To Sadi indeed these were of one who has never known a genial but the every-day scenes in the midst of youth, for this were indeed gloomy to which his life was passed ; and much the heart's core; but here, under all that now charms us with its beauty the mask of cynicism, if we pierce may have been but commonplace to through the incrustation which years him, for the distance of time and space have left, we shall find the warm true alike 'lend enchantment to the view;' heart beating as of old. Thus the Hor: and the very events and scenes which ace who in his youth had sung of Lalage were so familiar to him, it requires now and Cinara, in his riper years writes of the true poet's imagination to recover man and the world; the poet's gift of from the past:
insight, which had once seen Bacchus When the breeze of a joyful dawn blew and his satyrs among the hills, now free
turns to life and society, and gazes with In the silken sail of infancy,
an Apollonius-like eye on the Lamia The tide of time flowed back with me,
The forward-flowing tide of time; * TENNYSON'S "Recollections of the Arabian And many a sheeny summer-morn,
Nights.' Perhaps in 'Maud' we have a still more
striking instance, where the hero is recalling that * CORZON'S 'Monasteries in the Levant,' p. 8. dreamy memory of infancy, and hears his father