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THE TRUE DEATH.

BY WILLIAM WALLACE.

GLOOMILY strikes the coward Blast,

On the sad face of the Mere ;
To and fro are the poor leaves cast,

To and fro:
The Year will soon be a dying year,

As He goes, We must go.

I.

All day, the melancholy day,

Where wept the mountain-rills
And Autumn sobbed her soul away

Amid the solemn hills-
All day, the dark November day,

His feet went rustling over the leaves,
His hands were clasped together :

Alas! that One so wildly grieves In this the wildest weather.

II.

I watched him through the weary day

That made perpetual moan:
I could not, dared not let him stray

In the grim wood all alone ;
I watched until the gloaming time;

His forehead wore a stedfast calm,
His eyes were without motion ;

Sometimes he seemed to murmur a psalm Like a hermit at devotion.

III.

The sere grass sighed along the ground,

The sere boughs grieved on high,
A single cloud lay half-way round

A solitary sky,
A dim sea tossed and wailed afar :
He looked below-he looked around,

But never spoke a word ;
He only heard the wind's low sound

Forever sighing, sighing,
Like the mournful voice of a mateless bird

Through the dark wood slowly flying.

IV.

Suddenly over all the scene

Fell down a spectral glare,
And swarthy forms of giant mien

Peopled the wood and air
An instant, looked at him, and cried

“ Lost ! Lost !” then, silent, sank from sight, Like clouds a moment swelling,

And then as quickly taking flight Back to their unknown dwelling.

At eve the wind went down.-The Stars

Came out serene and cold:
He passed across the forest-bars

Into his mansion old,
A noble pile five centuries old :

It stood as ancient great Thoughts stand, Though somewhat dim and hoary,

Forever flooding all the land
With sanctifying glory.

VI.
I'followed him: he sate him down

Within the Western room ;
The Darkness loured like a frown

On the rough brow of Doom;
The Silence leaned her filmëd ear

And brooded in the breathless hall Never a death-sound hearing,

And the shadows clung along the wall As if the Silence fearing.

VII.

So passed an hour, a weary hour

When opened the antique door,
And music from an unseen power

Rolled softly over the floor-
An hundred fire-eyes filled the gloom.

He started up and cried — Away!
Spirits! why throng ye round me?

Ah, vainly breaks a bond of clay! The Death has won and bound me "

VIII.

The eyes moved not. “I die ! I die !

My heritage is lost-
The glorious sea of yonder sky

Lined by a starry coast :
The very Life of Life hath fled.

Ah! once my sail was sheeting home,
Wind and Tide together flowing,

And I saw the broad, eternal Dome In the shadowy distance glowing.

IX.

I sa w the Mighty of the earth,

The Thoughtful and the Fair-
The Stars of Dust, the Souls of Worth

In dread assembly there ;
It seemed the Bard of Paradise

Was harping to a stately throng,
And from the throned places,

Enraptured by the wondrous song, Leaned listening angel-faces:

x. And ever at the pauses rolled,

From all the silver thrones Down through the Deeps of cloud and gold,

These solemn undertones• At last did HE unveil His form

Over the long expectant Space; From Chaos passed the deadly curse,

And like a mirror to His face It sparkled back the Universe.'

XI.

Far in a rosy bower's shade,

Where twilight hues were cast,
I saw the form of One that made

A music when she passed
In light amid the conscious flowers:

How, like a star, she looked at me
Between the parted leaves,

And cried, I still shall watch for thee In Heaven's golden eves.'

XII.

All these I heard and those beheld,

Though married to the dust; Another realm before me swelled

The Beautiful--the Just: Imagination pointed there,

She only of the eye serene, Who glorifies the Lower ;

She of the bright melodious mein,World-Maker and World-Shewer !

XIII.
But Evil fell on me and Pride.

-What Evil and what Pride?
I looked below-I looked above,
I saw not-would not see The Love;

As yet a Tenant of the sod,

Poor worm! I dreamed myself a God, When Gods lose half of Paradise ;

For Love and Power divide the Zone, And each a pillar of the ThroneMajestically side by side. Even at their base I wedded Pride: The very Life of Life grew weak;

For Life is only of the Soul; The Body has a being

This gives the crimson tide its roll; To Soul belongs the Seeing.

XIV.

I loved no more the song of Birds ;

No more the chant of Seas; And swept the sound of Childrens' words

Like curses on the breeze, But sweetly shrilled the savage trump:

I loathed the Nations and the Days Through Time's Abysses going;

For they seemed to me majestic Lays To God forever flowing.

XV.
I stood and saw the sea of Crime

Plunge over all the land : • Plunge on!' I cried, take every clime !

I never lift a hand!'
The Lovely sunk before my gaze;

The Worthy wailed alone for bread,
The Feeble fed the Stronger-

I laughed to see their charnel bed,
And smiled upon the Wronger.

XVI.

And others smiled when I did smile;

I cannot know their fate :
Death builds for me the avenging pile;

His lands are my estate :-
I thought the Thought that hath no name. —

Then Spirits ! leave me in the gloom
Around me fitly lying-

I cannot go beyond the tomb-
Body and Soul are dying.”

XVII.

A sudden wail ! the fire-eyes closed;

Soft music filled the air:
Again the Western room reposed,

Silent as tired Despair.--
Then burst the round fire of the moon

From out the clouds; a lustrous face

Still fondly lingered in the place,-
A gentle face, with tearful eyes,

That looked at him-again--again

Then faded, like a tender strain,
Into its far-off Paradise.

XVIII.

He did not stir :-To him I spoke;
No answer came :-all night I stood

A watcher in that solitude ;
But when the pilgrim Sun walked o’er

Morn's azure bridge, and men awoke
Beneath his stately stride,

A form lay pallid on the floor,-
A something rested by its side-

A featured something cold and bare

That seemed a semblant shadow there-
Feet to feet and head to head:

It moved not when I moved the frame,

But lay all rigidly the same :-
BODY AND SOUL WERE DEAD.

Gloomily struck the coward Blast

On the sad face of the Mere ;
To and fro were the poor leaves cast,

To and fro:
The year will soon be a dying year;
He is but the heir of a coal-black bier ;

As He goes, We must go.
November.

This poem

is an attempt to work out the mere ideal conception of the utter loss of the life of a Soul which from intense and chronic (if I may be permitted to use the phrase,) wickedness, had forfeited its right to a future existence-or, in other words, which had absolutely destroyed, by its own action, its power of being. Readers will permit the author to enter his protest against “a theological aspect.”

THE FRENCH MORALISTS,

LA BRUYERE, MONTAIGNE, NICOLE.

The French are perfect masters of the lightest and most agreeable on gay topics, philosophy of manners, or as they term are on grave subjects the most stupid and it, “science du monde ;" whether they tiresome. It has been said of such an are equal proficients in the philosophy of one, that “his hawk's eye, which sparkled morals or of mind, may admit of a ques- at a jest, looked blank at a speculation." tion. To account for this is by no means Besides this, they are greatly deficient in difficult. It arises from their social dis- fancy, and therefore are without that position and natural readiness of appre- which gives life and spirit to philosophic hension. Commerce with the world sharp- writing—the power of illustration. Fig. ens their original acuteness, and renders ures, metaphors and similes never appear them expert in detecting the nice shades in their writings; but everything is deof character and the more visible peculi- livered in an oracular manner, never rearities of manner. Though mannerists lieved by the embellishments of composithemselves, yet are they extremely skill, tion. ful in analyzing and painting the manners Yet it is on the score of originality that of others. This national trait is observa- they are mostly wanting. There is no ble in most of their celebrated writers. It boldness or freedom in their theorizing, shines brilliantly in the pages of Molière no variety or marked expression in their and Le Sage, and forms the staple of their phraseology-all is correct, classic and writings. In fact, their authors are per- borrowed." Such a writer as Berkely, for fect men of the world, and cannot be other. instance, would make the whole nation wise than shrewd and knowing. We stare (maugre their politeness) by the know not how it is, but there seems to be poetry of his style and the brilliancy of something in the very atmosphere of his paradox. All this we think true of France imparting vivacity and a full flow their attempts in moral writing. In the of animal spirits. Such men cannot real- ranks of highly civilized society, as well ize a character like that of the old-fash as of common life, they reign supreme. ioned scholar of whom we read--a man Their best novels and comedies are full burying himself amidst his folios, and of just and striking pictures of life, and turning his library into a living tomb are the best specimens of their every day who was willing, for the sake of convers- philosophy. Of the French writers, howing with the mighty dead, to surrender his ever, who not employing fiction for the right to the society of the living great ; a purposes of instruction, have spoken out monkish idolator at the shrine of books, the truth plainly in works of sober reawho, striking off his name from the roll of son, La Bruyère stands foremost. To the world's citizens, resigned his place to estimate his writings and ability with jussome more enterprising and bustling indi- tice, we should consider when he wrote, vidual. This presents an anomaly no and his topics of discussion. In his time Frenchman can ever resolve. In litera- there had appeared no Spectator, no Tatture this spirit has not only pervaded their tler; there were no manuals of popular phi. lighter writings, but it also mingles with losophy and criticism, nor any general obtheir graver speculations. Shrewdness server and censor of the characters and is the distinguishing feature of their ethi- manners of the age. For having been cal philosophy, as delivered by Rochefou- among the first of his nation to note down, cault and La Bruyère. With this shrewd- discriminate, and reflect upon, persons ness is mingled a scholastic formality, and occurrences passing before him, and derived from their avowed imitation of the the thoughts and observations of his own ancients, giving their productions an air mind, he certainly deserves high considerof great stiffness and rigor. They want ation. It is true many opinions, then the ease, the familiar tone, and the natu new and lately discovered, are mere trural logic of the English writer in the same isms now; this, though it diminishes the department. And here we may see the value of his book, by no means lessens best proof of the axiom, that they, his own merit. The same might be aswhether writers or speakers, who are the serted of all the old writers, yet would it

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