Page images
PDF
EPUB

Fairy! had she spot or taint,
Bitter had been thy punishment.
Tied to the hornet's shardy wings;
Tossed on the pricks of nettles' stings;
Or seven long ages doomed to dwell
With the lazy worm in the walnut shell;
Or every night to writhe and bleed
Beneath the tread of the centipede;
Or bound in a cobweb dungeon dim,

a
Your jailor a spider huge and grim,
Amid the carrion bodies to lie,
Of the worm, and the bug, or the murdered fly; -
These it had been your lot to bear,
Had a stain been found on the earthly fair.
Now list, and mark our mild decree
Fairy, this

your

doom must be :

Dr. Wa Schenecta Andover Cnion Co for less the a Union. where he curses, I

jects, he

THE sculptur of the i generat works that the centuri

“ Thou shalt seek the beach of sand, Where the water bounds the elfin land; Thou shalt watch the

oozy

brine
Till the sturgeon leaps in the bright sunshine,
Then dart the glistening arch below,
And catch a drop from his silver bow.
The water-sprites will wield their arms,

And dash around, with roar and rave,
And vain are the woodland spirit's charms-

They are the imps that rule the wave.
Yet trust thee in thy single might;
If thy heart be pure, and thy spirit right,
Thou shalt win the warlock fight.
“If the spray-bead gem be won, ,
The stain of thy wing is washed

away ; But another errand must be done

Ere thy crime be lost for aye;
Thy flame-wood lamp is quenched and dark,
Thou must reillume its spark.
Mount thy steed, and spur him high
To the heaven's blue canopy;

Acrop

the ma

and th colum hands create down surely the er name lived

And when thou seest a shooting star,
Follow it fast, and follow it far-
The last faint spark of its burning train
Shall light the elfin lamp again.
Thou hast heard our sentence, Fay;
Hence! to the water-side away!”

[ocr errors]

FRANCIS WA YLAND. 1796-. Dr. Wayland was born in the city of New York, and graduated at Schenectady. He studied medicine three years; was a member of Andover Theological Seminary one year; was some time tutor in Union College ; five years he was pastor of a church in Boston ; was for less than a year Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, at Union, and then, in 1827, became President of Brown University, where he remains at the present time. Besides publishing many Discourses, The Elements of Moral Science, and other works on moral subjects, he has written largely for the public journals.

[From a Discourse on N. Brown.”]

GLORY. The crumbling tombstone and the gorgeous mausoleum, the sculptured marble and the venerable cathedral, all bear witness of the instinctive desire within us to be remembered by coming generations. But how short-lived is the immortality which the works of our hands can confer! The noblest monuments of art that the world has ever seen are covered with the soil of twenty centuries. The works of the age of Pericles lie at the foot of the Acropolis, in indiscriminate ruin. The ploughshare turns up the marble which the hand of Phidias had chiseled into beauty, and the Mussulman has folded his flock beneath the falling columns of the temple of Minerva. But even the works of our hands too frequently survive the memory of those who have created them. And, were it otherwise, - could we thus carry down to distant ages the recollection of our existence,

- it were surely childish to waste the energies of an immortal spirit in the effort to make it known to other times that a being whose name was written with certain letters of the alphabet once lived, and flourished, and died. Neither sculptured marble nor

*

stately column can reveal to other eyes the lineaments of the spirit; and these alone can embalm our memory in the hearts of a grateful posterity. As the stranger stands beneath the dome of St. Paul's, or treads, with religious awe, the silent aisles of Westminster Abbey, the sentiment which is breathed from every object around him is the utter emptiness of sublunary glory. *

* * The fine arts, obedient to private affection or public gratitude, have here embodied, in every form, the finest conceptions of which their age was capable. Each one of these monuments has been watered by the tears of the widow, the orphan or the patriot. But generations have passed away, and mourners and mourned have sunk together into forgetfulness. The aged crone, or the smooth-tongued beadle, as now he hurries you through aisle and chapel, utters, with measured cadence and unmeaning tone, for the thousandth time, the name and lineage of the once honored dead; and then

l gladly dismisses you, to repeat again his well-conned lesson to another group of idle passers-by. Such, in its most august form, is all the immortality that matter can confer. * It is by what we ourselves have done, and not by what others have done for us, that we shall be remembered by after ages. It is by thought that has aroused my intellect from its slumbers, which has “given lustre to virtue, and dignity to truth," or by those examples which have inflamed my soul with the love of goodness, and not by means of sculptured marble, that I hold communion with Shakspeare and Milton, with Johnson and Burke, with Howard and Wilberforce.

*

CATHARINE M. SEDGWICK. 17-. Miss Sedgwick is a native of the beautiful village of Stockbridge, Massachusetts ; and there she has resided, with the exception of the last ten years, which have mostly been passed in Lenox. From the publication of her first work, in 1822, she has held a distinguished rank among the writers of our country. Her style is entirely her own, and her object in writing is to improve, rather than to amuse, her readers. She draws from every day experience, and selects her characters from among the virtuous poor. Her delineations of New England manners are considered the best that have been given to the public.

*

[From " Hope Leslie.”] THE PURITAN SABBATH IN NEW ENGLAND. The observance of the Sabbath began with the Puritans, as it still does with a great portion of their descendants, on Saturday night. At the going down of the sun on Saturday, all temporal affairs were suspended; and so zealously did our fathers maintain the letter, as well as the spirit, of the law, that, according to a vulgar tradition in Connecticut, no beer was brewed in the latter part of the week, lest it should presume to work on Sunday.

* * On Saturday afternoon, an uncommon bustle is apparent. The great class of procrastinators are hurrying to and fro to complete the lagging business of the week. The good mothers, like Burns' matron, are plying their needles, making “auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;" while the domestics, or help, we prefer the national distinctive term, are wielding, with might and main, their brooms and mops, to make all tidy for the Sabbath.

As the day declines, the hum of labor dies away; and, after the sun is set, perfect stillness reigns in every well-ordered household, and not a footfall is heard in the village street. It cannot be denied, that even the most scriptural, missing the excitement of their ordinary occupations, anticipate their usual bed-time.

The Sabbath morning is as peaceful as the first hallowed day. Not a human sound is heard without the dwelling; and, but for the lowing of the herds, the crowing of the cocks, and the gossiping of the birds, animal life would seem to be extinct, till, at the bidding of the church-going bell, the old and young issue from their habitations, and, with solemn demeanor, bend their measured steps to the meeting-house; - the families of the minister, the squire, the doctor, the merchant, the modish gentry of the village, and the mechanic and laborer, all arrayed in their best, all meeting on even ground, and all with that consciousness of independence and equality which breaks down the pride of the rich, and rescues the poor from servility, envy and discontent. If a morning salutation is reciprocated, it is in a suppressed

*

a

voice ; and if, perchance, Nature, in some reckless urchin, burst forth in laughter — "My dear, you forget it's Sunday!” is the ever-ready reproof.

Though every face wears a solemn aspect, yet we once chanced to see even a deacon's muscles relaxed by the wit of a neighbor, and heard him allege, in a half-deprecating, halflaughing voice, “She is so droll, that a body must laugh, though it be Sabbath-day!"

The farmer's ample wagon, and the little one-horse vehicle, bring in all who reside at an inconvenient walking distance, that is to say, in our riding community, half a mile from the church. It is a pleasing sight, to those who love to note the happy peculiarities of their own land, to see the farmers' daughters, blooming, intelligent, well-bred, pouring out of these homely coaches, with their nice, white gowns, prunella shoes, Leghorn hats, fans and parasols; and the spruce young men, with their plaited ruffles, blue coats, and yellow buttons. The whole community meet as one religious family, to offer their devotions at the common altar. If there is an outlaw from the society, a luckless wight, whose vagrant taste has never been subdued, - he may be seen stealing along the margin of

some little brook, far away from the condemning observation and troublesome admonition of his fellows.

Towards the close of the day, - or, to borrow a phrase descriptive of his feelings who first used it, -"when the Sabbath begins to abate," the children cluster about the windows. Their eyes wander from their catechism to the western sky, and, though it seems to them as though the sun would never disappear, his broad disk does slowly sink behind the moun. tain; and, while his last ray still lingers on the eastern summits, many voices break forth, and the ground resounds with bounding footsteps. The village belle arrays herself for her twilight walk; the boys gather on the green;" the lads and girls throng to the "singing-school;" while some coy maiden lingers at home, awaiting her expected suitor; and all enter upon the pleasures of the evening with as keen a relish as if the day had been a preparatory penance.

[ocr errors]

a

« PreviousContinue »