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THE SONG OF THE BEL L.
Vivos voco. Mortuos plango.
EE the mould, of clay well heated,
From the glowing brow,
Sweat must freely flow, So the work the master showeth; Yet the blessing Heaven bestoweth.
The years they fly like arrows fleet.
The work, we earnestly are doing, Befitteth well an earnest word; Then Toil goes on, more briskly flowing, When good discourse is also heard. So let us then with care now ponder What through weak strength originates ; To him no rey'rence can we render, Who never heeds what he creates. 'Tis this indeed that man most graceth, For this 'tis his to understand, That in his inner heart he traceth, What he produces with his hand.
See how brown the pipes are getting !
Now, my lads, enough!
Prove me now the stuff, The brittle with the tough combining, See if they be rightly joining.
Take the wood, from pine trunks riven, Dry it must be through and through, That the flame, straight inward driven, Fiercely strike into the flue!
Boil the copper now!
Quick the tin add too, That the thick bell-metal flowing, Through the mould be rightly going.
What in the pit, by help of fire, The hand of man is forming thus, High in the belfry of the spire, There will it tell aloud of us. Still will it last while years are rolling, And many hearts by it be stirred, With all the mourner's woes condoling, And with Devotion's choir accord. Whate'er this changing life is bringing, Here deep below, to Earth's frail son, Strikes on this metal crown, which, ringing, With warning tone, will sound it on.
Bubbles white I see are starting;
Clean too from the scum
Must the mixture come, That, composed of metal merely, Full the Bell may sound, and clearly.
For when the Strong and Mild are pairing, The Manly with the Tender sharing. Then is the concord good and strong. See ye, who join in endless union, If heart with heart be in communion ! For Fancy's brief, Repentance long. Lovely in her ringlets straying Is the wreath that crowns the bride, When the merry church bells playing Call to pleasure far and wide. Ah! the hour of Life most festal Ends the May of Life also, With the veil and girdle vestal Breaks the lovely charm in two. The passion it flies, Love must be enduring, The flower it dies, Fruit is maturing. The man must be out In hostile life toiling, Be toiling and moiling, And planting, obtaining, Devising and gaining, And daring, enduring, So fortune securing; Then streameth in wealth, all untold in its measure, And filled is the garner with costliest treasure ; The chambers increase, the house---it spreads out. And in it presides The chaste gentle housewife, The mother of children, And ruleth meetly The household discreetly, And teacheth the maidens, The boys she restraineth, And keeps ever moving Hands busy and loving, And adds to the gains With ordering pains, And sweet-scented presses with treasures is filling, And thread round the swift humıning spindle is reel
For with Joy's festive music ringing, The child beloved it soon will greet Upon his life's first walk, beginning In the soft arms of Slumber sweet;* For him rest yet in Time's dark bosom Funereal wreath and joyous blossom; A mother's tender cares adorning With watchful love his golden morning
* The allusion here is to the custom of carrying the child to church, a few days after birth, to be christened. See Retzsch's Outlines, No. 6.
And the neat burnished chests-she gathers them full |
And the father with look elate, From the high, far-seeing gable Surveys his blooming, broad estate, Seeth his buildings forest-like growing, And the barns with their lofts o'erflowing, And the granaries, bent with the blessing, And the corn as it waves unceasing; Boasts he with pride-lit face : Firm as the Earth's own base "Gainst all misfortune's might Stand now my riches bright! Yet with thy great laws, 0 heaven, Can no endless bond be woven, And Misfortune strideth fast.
All is fleeing, saving, running,
Be the casting now beginning;
Let the metal go!
God protect us now! Through the bending handle hollow Smoking shoots the fire-brown billow.
All burnt out Are the places, Where the tempest wild reposeg. In the hollow windows dreary, Horror's sitting, And the clouds of heaven, flitting High, look in.
Ere he goes, On the ashes, Where his riches Buried lie, one look man throwsHis pilgrim's staff then gladly clutches. Whate'er the fire from him has torn, One comfort sweet is ever nearest, The heads he counteth of his dearest, And lo! not one dear head is gone.
Earth our work is now entombing, And the mould is filled right well; Will it, fair to light forthcoming, Recompense our pains and skill?
If the casting crack?
If the mould should break? Ah! perhaps, while we have waited, Mischief hath its work completed.
Benignant is the might of Flame, When man keeps watch and makes it tame. In what he fashions, what he makes, Help from this heaven's force he takes. But fearful is this heaven's force, When all unfettered in its course, It steps forth on its own fierce way, Thy daughter, Nature, wild and free. Wo! when once emancipated, With nought her power to withstand, Through the streets thick populated, Waves she high her monstrous brand ! By the elements is hated What is formed by mortal hand. From the heavens Blessings pour, Streams the shower; From the heavens, all the same, Lightnings gleam. Dost hear it from the tower moan? "Tis th' alarm! Blood-red now Heaven is flushing; That is not the daylight's glow! What a rushing, Streets all up! Smoke rolls up! Flick’ring mounts the fire-column, Through the long streets onward growing, Going swift as winds are going; As from out a furnace rushing, Glows the air, and beams are crashing, Pillars tumble, children crying, Windows breaking, mothers flying, 'Mid the ruin Beasts are lowing;
To holy Earth's dark, silent bosom We our handiwork resign, The husbandmen the seed consign, And hope that it will swell and blossom And bless the sower, by laws divine. Still costlier seed, in sorrow bringing, We hide within the lap of Earth, And hope that, from the coffin springing, "Twill bloom in brighter beauty forth.
From the tower, Heavy, slow, Tolls the fun'ral Note of wo. Sad and solemn, with its knell attending Some new wand'rer, on the last way wending.
* This line is obscure in the original. Literally: * Seeth the projeeting beams (or trees) of the pillars.” Perhaps the line is elucidated by reference to the method of constructing the outhouses on German farms. It is said that the framework is left visible, and the pillars or supporters, the spaces between whieh are filled in with bricks or stone, bear a resemblance to trees. See Retzech's Outlines, No. 26. Whatever may be the precise meaning of the line, Schiller probably intended to describe the farmer as taking satisfaction in the number and substantial character of his outhouses.
Ah! the wife it is, the dear one, Ah! it is the faithful mother, Whom the angel dark is bearing From the husband's arms endearing, From the group of children far, Whom she, blooming, to him bare. Whom she on her faithful breast Saw with joy maternal rest :Ah! the household ties so tender Broken are for evermore, For the shadow-land now holds her, Who the household ruled o'er! For her faithful guidance ceases, No more keepeth watch her care,
In the void and orphaned places Rules the stranger, loveless there.
Till the bell is cooled and hardened,
Once the stars appear,
From all duty clear, Hear the lads the vespers ringing; To the master care 's still clinging.
That the work, without a fracture,
Swing the hammer, swing,
Tin the top shall spring!
The master wise alone is knowing
Light of heart, his footsteps telling
Holy Order, rich in blessing,
Busy hands, by thousands stirring,
Wol if, heaped up, the fire-tinder
“Equality and Freedom” howling,
Peace, thou gentle Sweetest grace, Hover, hover, Ever friendly round this place! Never may that day be dawning When the horrid sounds of battle Through this gilent vale shall rattle; When the heavens, Which, with evening blushing mildly, Softly beam, Shall with flames consuming wildly Town and cities, fearful gleam!
Joy to me now God hath given!
Bright from top to rim,
Like the sun's own beam.
Come all! come all!
And this its office be henceforth,
Break me up the useless structure, It has now fulfilled its part,
SOCIETY IN THE AMERICAN METROPOLIS.
BY FRANCIS J. GRUND.
London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Ber-, city. These alternate invasions give to the lin, and Madrid, have each their peculiar people of Washington & warlike character attractions, and represent an epitome of the which is not altogether unbecoming in gentleempires, of which, respectively, they are the men; but the arts of peace are not apt to capitals. Not so with Washington, which, flourish under such a regime. Mars and Venus independently of the personale of the govern- may be conjoined; but the Graces and the ment, conveys to the stranger no idea whatever eternal Nine do not willingly dwell amid carof the magnitude, wealth and progress of the nage and plunder. United States. If it were not for the presence But, with all these drawbacks, Washington of Congress, and the disbursements of the still contains, at all times, a sufficient number treasury department, Washington would be a of agreeable and educated people to constitute rotten borough—662 finished town”: were the a pleasant visiting circle, though the persons seat of government removed, it would sink whom you there meet in first places, would into absolute insignificance. And yet Washing- probably be at a reasonable discount in other ton is a delightful place in the winter and parts of the Union. It stands to reason that spring of the year; at least so says everybody Washington should be the focus of the strong who has been there without being grievously and original mind of the country; but strength disappointed in politics.
and originality, though at all times attractive, One disadvantage of Washington which, are not all that constitutes agreeable society. however, may in other respects be considered | The most essential element of pleasant coman advantage (at least to some people), con- pany is ease, and that cannot very well prevail sists in the absence of what may be termed a where positions are so adventitious and prefunded society, serving as a means of per- carious, as in Washington. Our country is petuating and distributing refinement as well | young and vigorous, and these leading characas the proprieties and elegancies of social life teristics are reflected in the official and “conon the Lancasterian principle of mutual in-gressional” gentry of the metropolis; but struction. The few agreeable families who vigour, intelligence, and originality, though at make Washington their permanent home, are no time insipid (as society is often found in the people of official standing, or deriving con- most elevated spheres), are but too often the sequence principally from their connexion cause of mortification in others, unless joined with the government. Wealth and refinement to great social tact and that habitual urbanity are, as yet, not sufficient to balance political of manners which, if it do not exclude, at least power; much less can either of them alone run does not invite comparison. The prerequisite a successful career against the official dispen- of agreeable society is equality, and that cansers of power and patronage. Thomas Jeffer- not exist where its members, as in Washington, son delighted in this prospect of the city, and are labelled “senators," "members," "cabinet his beau-ideal of a political capital without officers," "auditors," “ clerks,” &c. There is influence, has probably been exceeded by the | probably no place in the world where people reality.
are more strictly classified, or more exclusively Washington, apart from its official stamp, composed of sets, according to power and inpresents, as yet, no social characteristics, and Auence, than in Washington. The “upper is, in this respect, vastly inferior to Boston, crust” in Washington seem to be entirely abPhiladelphia, Charleston, and New Orleans, solved from any effort to please or to be agree
-the four cities of the United States which able. They are everything from position, and may boast of the most original elements of | as that is dependent, for the most part, on society in the country. Washington is a sort their standing and popularity in other comof frontier town, taken alternately by the munities, they but too often use the freedom of Huns and Goths, as this or that political party travellers in hotels, and make themselves comis in the ascendency; with feudal lords and fortable at the expense of their neighbours. their retinue surrounding the conqueror, till The disagreeable, shocking scenes which are so the latter, in turn, is obliged to evacuate the often witnessed in both Houses of Congress,