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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:
As He goes, We must go.
All day, the melancholy day,
Where wept the mountain-rills
Amid the solemn hills-
His feet went rustling over the leaves,
Alas! that One so wildly grieves In this the wildest weather.
I watched him through the weary day
That made perpetual moan:
In the grim wood all alone ;
His forehead wore a stedfast calm,
Sometimes he seemed to murmur a psalm Like a hermit at devotion.
The sere grass sighed along the ground,
The sere boughs grieved on high,
A solitary sky,
But never spoke a word ;
Forever sighing, sighing,
Through the dark wood slowly flying.
Suddenly over all the scene
Fell down a spectral glare,
Peopled the wood and air
“ 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:
Into his mansion old,
It stood as ancient great Thoughts stand, Though somewhat dim and hoary,
Forever flooding all the land
Within the Western room ;
On the rough brow of Doom;
And brooded in the breathless hall Never a death-sound hearing,
And the shadows clung along the wall As if the Silence fearing.
So passed an hour, a weary hour
When opened the antique door,
Rolled softly over the floor-
He started up and cried — Away!
Ah, vainly breaks a bond of clay! The Death has won and bound me "
The eyes moved not. “I die ! I die !
My heritage is lost-
Lined by a starry coast :
Ah! once my sail was sheeting home,
And I saw the broad, eternal Dome In the shadowy distance glowing.
I sa w the Mighty of the earth,
The Thoughtful and the Fair-
In dread assembly there ;
Was harping to a stately throng,
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.'
Far in a rosy bower's shade,
Where twilight hues were cast,
A music when she passed
How, like a star, she looked at me
And cried, I still shall watch for thee In Heaven's golden eves.'
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 !
-What Evil and what Pride?
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.
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.
Plunge over all the land : • Plunge on!' I cried, take every clime !
I never lift a hand!'
The Worthy wailed alone for bread,
I laughed to see their charnel bed,
And others smiled when I did smile;
I cannot know their fate :
His lands are my estate :-
Then Spirits ! leave me in the gloom
I cannot go beyond the tomb-
A sudden wail ! the fire-eyes closed;
Soft music filled the air:
Silent as tired Despair.--
From out the clouds; a lustrous face
Still fondly lingered in the place,-
That looked at him-again--again
Then faded, like a tender strain,
He did not stir :-To him I spoke;
A watcher in that solitude ;
Morn's azure bridge, and men awoke
A form lay pallid on the floor,-
A featured something cold and bare
That seemed a semblant shadow there-
It moved not when I moved the frame,
But lay all rigidly the same :-
Gloomily struck the coward Blast
On the sad face of the Mere ;
To and fro:
As He goes, We must go.
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