ePub 版

the performance of those conditions on little prudence and forethought as to prowhich, he was told, his future welfare de- vide only for their necessities and pleasures pended; but, in so doing, he had an opposi- for that short part of their existence in which tion to encounter wholly unexpected, and they were to remain in this planet, he could for which he was even at a loss to account. consider only as the effect of disordered inBy thus devoting his chief attention to his tellect ; so that he even returned their incichief interests, he excited the surprise, the vilities to himself, with affectionate exposcontempt, and even the enmity of most of tulation, accompanied hy lively emotions of the inhabitants of the city; and they rarely compassion and amazeinent. mentioned him but with a term of reproach, If ever he was tempted for a moment to which has been variously repdered in all the violate any of the conditions of his future modern languages.

happiness, he bewailed his own madness with Nothing could equal the stranger's sur- agonizing emotions : and to all the invitaprise at this circumstance; as well as that of tions he received from others to do any thing his fellow citizens appearing, generally, so inconsistent with his real interests, he had but extremely indifferent as they did to their one answer ---"Oh," he would say, own interests. That they should have so to die.I am to die."

“ I am

The Honourable Mr. Spencer's elegant poetical dialogue between How d'ye do and Good bye, probably suggested the beautiful stanzas entitled,


In distant days of wild romance,

Of magic mist and fable;
When stoves could argue, trees advance,

And brutes to talk were able;
When shrubs and flowers were said to preach,
And manage all the parts of speech:
'Twas then, no doubt, if 'twas at all,

(But doubts we need not mention,)
That Tyen and Now, two adverbs small,

Engaged in sharp contention ;
But how they made each other hear,
Tradition doth not make appear.
THEN was a sprite of subtile frame,

With rainbow tints invested ;
On clouds of dazzling light she came,

And stars her forehead crested ;
Her sparkling eye of azure hue,
Seem'd borrow'd from the distant blue,
NOW rested on the solid earth,

And sober was her vesture;
She seldom either grief or mirth

Express'd by word or gesture;
Composed, sedate, and firm she stood,
And look'd industrious, calm, and good.
Then, sang a wild fantastic song,

Light as the gale she flies on :
Still stretching, as she sail'd along,

Towards the fair horizon ;
Where clouds of radiance, fringed with gold,
O’er bills of emerald beauty rolld.
Now, rarely rais'd her sober eye

To view that golden distance;
Nor let one idle minute fly

In hope of Then's assisiance ;
But still, with busy hands, she stood,
Intent on doing present good.
She ate the sweet but homely fare

That passing moments brought her ;
While Taen, expecting dainties rare,

Despised such bread and water :
And waited for the fruits and flowers
Or future, still receding hours.
Now, venturing once to ask her why,

She answer'd with invective ;
ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.

And pointed, as she made reply,

Towards that long perspective
Of years to come, in distant blae,
Whereio she meant to live and do.
“Alas,” says she, “how hard your toil,

With undiverted sadness :
Behold yon land of wine and oil,---

Those sunny hills of gladness ;
Those joys I wait with eager brow,"
“ And so you always will," said Now.
“ That fairy land, that looks so real,

Recedes as you pursue it ;
Thus while you wait for times ideal,

I take my work and do it;
Intent to form, when time is gone,
A pleasant past to look upon."
" Ah, well," said TAEN, “ I envy not

Your dull fatiguing labours;
Aspiring to a brighter lot,

With thousands of my neighbours,
Soon as I reach that golden bill;' -.
“But that,” says Now, “ you never will."
“And e'en suppose you should,” said she,

(Though mortal ne'er attain'd it,)---
Your nature you must change with me

The moment you had gained it:
Since hope fulfill'd, (you must allow,)
Turpsnow to tren, and then to now."

We must not indulge in further citations; and yet, there is one poen which, equally on account of the theme, and the manner in which it is treated, we cannot pass over. It is the tender and touching effusion of a congenial spirit on visiting the garden and summer-house of Cowper. On VISITING COWPER'S GARDEN, and SUMMER HOUSE at OLNEY.

Are these the trees !--- Is this the place?
Tbese roses, did they bloom for bim?
Trod he these walks with thoughtful pace ?
Pass'd he amid these borders trim!
Is this the bower!...a humble shed
Methinks it seems for such a guest ?
Why rise not columns, dome-bespread,
By art's elaborate fingers drest?
Art waits on wealth ;---there let her roam---
Her fabrics rear, her temples gild:
But Genius, when he seeks a home,
Must send for Nature's self to build.

This quiet garden's humble buuod,
This homely roof, this rustic fane,
With playful tendrils twiping round,
And woodbipes peeping at the pane :---
That tranquil, tender sky of blue,
Where clouds of golden radiance skim,
Those ranging trees of varied hue---
These were the sights that solaced bim.
We stept within :---at once on each
A feeling steals, so undefined;
In vain we seek to give it speech---
'Tis silent homage paid to Mind.
They tell us here he thought and wrote,
On this low seat---reclining thus;
Ye gardeo breezes, as ye float,
Why bear ye no such thoughts to us?

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Reclining on a couch of fallen leaves, wrap- to bestow. Alas! how lightly liave they
ped in fleecy mantle, with withered limbs, been esteemed !” Here, opon referring back
hoarse voice, and snowy beard, appears a to certain old memorandums, he found a long
venerable old man. His pulse heats feebly, list of vows and resolutions, which had a
his breath becomes shorter ; he exhibits eve particular reference to these fifty-two Sun-
ry mark of approaching dissolution.

days. This with a mingled emotion of grief
This is old Eighteen Hoodred and Seven- and anger, he tore into a hundred pieces,
teen ; and as every class of readers must re and threw them on the embers, by which
member bim a young man, as rosy and he was endeavouring to warm his shivering
blithesome as themselves, they will, per- limbs.
haps, feel interested in hearing some of his “ I feel, however,” said lie, "more pity
dying expressions, with a few particulars than indignation towards these offenders,
of bis past life. His existence is still likely since they were far greater enemies to them-
to be prolonged a few days by the presence selves than to me. But there are a few out-
of his daughter December, the last and sole rageous ones, by whom I have been defraud-
survivor of his twelve fair children, but it is ed of so much of my substance, that it is dif-
thought the father and daughter will expire ficult to think of them with patience, parti-
together. The following are some of the ex- cularly that notorious thief Procrastination,
pressions which have been taken down as of whom every body has heard, and who is
tbey fell from his dying lips :-

well known to have wronged my venerable
“'lam," said he, « the son of old father father of much of his property. There are
Time, and the last of a numerous progeny ; also three noted ruffians, Sleep, Sloth, and
for he has had no less than five thousand Pleasure, from whom I have suffered
eight hundred and seventeen of us; but it much; besides a certain busy-body called
has ever been his fate to see one child expire Dress, who, under pretence of making the
before another was born. It is the opinion most of me, and taking great care of ine,
of some, that his own constitution is begin- steals away more of my gifts than any two of
oing to break up, and that, when he has them.
given birth to a hundred or two more of us, “ As for me, all must acknowledge that I
his family will be complete, and then be bave performed my part towards my friends
himself will be no more.'

and foes. I have fulfilled my utmost prom-
Here the Old Year called for his account ise, and been more bountiful than many of
book, and turned over the pages with a sor my predecessors. My twelve fair children
rowful eye. He has kept, it appears, an ac- have, each in their iurn, aided iny exer-
curate account of the moments, minutes, tions; and their various tastes and disposi-
bours, and months which he has issued, and tions have all conduced to the general good.
subjoined, io some places, memorandums of Mild February, who sprinkled the naked
the uses to which they have been applied, boughs with delicate buds, and brought her
and of the losses he has sustained. These wonted offering of early flowers, was not of
particulars it would be tedious to detail, and more essential service than that rude bluster-
perhaps the recollection of the reader may ing boy, March, who, though violent in his
furoish them as well or better; but we must temper, was well-intentioned and useful...
potice one circumstance ; upon turning to a April a gentle tender-hearted girl, wept for
certaio page in nis accounts, the old man bis loss, vet cheered me with many a smile.
was mocbo affected, and the tears streamed June came crowned with roses, and spark-
down his forrowed cheeks as he examined ling in sunbeams, and laid up a store of cost-
it. This was the register of the forty-eight lv orgaments for her luxuriant successors:
Sundays which he had issued : and which, But I cannot stop to enumerate the good
of all the wealth he had to dispose of, ha qualities and graces of all my children.
bero, it appears, the most scandalously You, my poor December, dark in your com-
wasted. “ These," said he, “were my most plexion, and cold in your temper, greatly
precious gifts. l'had but afty-two of the resemble my first-born January, with this

difference, that he was most prone to antici- waste time in unavailing regret; all their pation, and you to reflection.

wishes and repentance will not recal me to “If there should be any, who, upon hear- life. I shall never, never return! I would ing my dying lamentation, may feel regret rather earnestly recommend to their regard that they have not treated me more kindly, I my youthful successor, whose appearance is would heg leave to hint, that it is yet in their shortly expected. I cannot ho, e to survive power to make some compensation for their long enough to introduce him, but I would past conduct, by rendering me, during any faio hope that he will meet with a favourable few remaining days, as much service as is in reception; and that, in addition to the flai. their power ; let them testify the sincerity tering honours which greeted my birth, and of their sorrow by an immediate alteration the fair promises which deceived my bopes, in their behaviour. It would give me parti. more diligent exertion and more perx vering cular pleasure to see my only surviving child efforts may be expected. Let it be rementreated with respect : let no one slight her bered, that one honest endeavour is worth offerings: she has a considerable part of iny ten fair promises." property still to dispose of, which, if well Having thus spoken, the old Year fell employed, will turn to good account. Not back on his couch, nearly exbausted, and to mention the rest, there is one precious trembling so violently as to shake the last Sunday yet in her gift ; it would cheer my shower of yellow leaves from bis canopy. last inoments to know that this had been bet. Let us all hasten to testify our gratitude for tor prized than the past.

his services, and repentance for the abes of “It is very likely that, at least after my them, by improving the remaining days of decease, mauy may reflect upon themselves his existence, and by remembering the sofor their misconduct towards me : to such Í Jemo promises we made him in his youth. would leave it as my dyiog injunction, not to

How swiftly pass our years!

How soon their pight comes on !
A train of hopes and fears,

And human life is gone!
See the fair SUMMER now is past ;

The foliage late that clad the trees,
Stript by the equinoxial blast,
Falls, like the dewdrops on the breeze !

Cold WINTER hastens op!

Fair Nature feels his grasp;
Weeps o'er all her beauties gone,

And sigbs their glory past
So, Life, thy Sumuner soon will end,

Tbine Autumn too will quick decay,
And Winter come, when thou shalt bend
Within the tomb to mould away.

But Summer will return,

In all her beauties dressed !
Nature shall rejoice again,

And be by man caressed !
But, oh! Life's sumider passed away,

Cao pever, never hope return !
Cold winter comes, with cheerless ray,
To beam upon its dreary urn!
Then may we daily seek

A mansion in the skies,
Where Summers pever cease,

And glory never dies!
There an eternal SPRING sball bloom,

With joys as vast as angels' pow'rs!
And thrice ten thousand barps in tune

Shall praise the love that made it ours.


A CIRCUMSTANCE took place phical readers, and therefore com;

on a part of the maritime coast of municate to you the details I received this county, on Wednesday or Thurs- of this phenomenon from the respectaday, the 13th or 15th July (for my in- ble person above mentioned, who seems formant, though an intelligent seaman, to have observed it with peculiar accould not recollect the exact day), curacy. which you will, no doubt, think de The weather had been fine for some serving the attention of your philoso- days preceding this event, the winds

being light and variable, but princi- the same nature as that above describpally blowing from the South-east and ed took place, to the great dismay and South-west quarters, as is usual on the terror of the village, immediately prewestern coast in all this season of the vious to the destruction of Lisbon. An year. The atmosphere seemed to be interest was excited in the event which charged with electric matter, but no fastens on the memory whatever seemevolution of it had taken place in the ed to have any connexion with it; neighbourhood whence my report is though in that day it was little suspectmade ; though from the South-wested that any physical cause acting upon and at a considerable distance, a con- a place so remote as Lisbon, was likely tinual peal of thunder was heard, which to evince its influence, and that in a lasted for many hours. From nine manner so simultaneous as to put all to eleven o'clock A. M. being a few doubt out of the question, upon plahours before low water of neap-tide, a ces so far removed out of its hemreflux of the tide took place with such isphere. great rapidity, that large boats of nine

A circumstance of a similar kind is and ten tons burden, which were, to related, I think, by Swinburne, either use the seaman's phrase, “high and in the History of his Travels in Naples, dry” upon the beach of the river Dart, &c. or in some subsequent production : at about four miles from its embouchure, he states, that the late Mr. Brydone and at fourteen or fifteen paces from author of that beautiful work, entitled the verge of the river, were set afloat va Tour through Sicily and Malta”) in the space of a few seconds. This was on a visit to him at his house in reflux of the tide came up the river in Northumberland or Durham, and rethe form of a huge wave, called by marked to him on a certain day “ that the fisherman a boar (or bore), which such were the extraordinary variations moved with so much velocity than of his barometer, as to convince him some small boats exposed to its action that some considerable derangement of were in imminent danger of being the order of nature was taking place at upset. A succession of this flux took the time in some part of Europe.” It place after the space of some minutes, afterwards proved to be the day when and it continued to recur, though in a that dreadfùl earthquake took place in slight degree, at intervals of ten mi. Sicily and Calabria, of which Sir Wilnutes, or a quarter of an hour, till low liam Hamilton has given so accurate water, and for an hour or two after the and interesting account, and to which flood-tide.

the destruction of a great part of the The occurrence above related will fine city of Messina and of Taormina, awaken in the minds of some of your together with that of Reggio, Scilla, and older Correspondents (who may recol- other small towns in Ultra-Calabria, lect the disastrous convulsions of the was owing. earth and sea, which devastated Lisbon The incident of the “huge wave," in 1756, and more lately the earth- an expression, I believe, borrowed quakes by which Sienna and its neigh- from Sir William Hamilton, as applybourhood in Italy, Messina in Sicily, ing to the boar (bore), which my Devand all the contiguous coasts of Cala- onshire fisherman has described to me, bria were visited,) the apprehension of is remarked in Sir William's account similar diasters in some parts of Eu- of this disaster, as taking place on the rope; for I believe there are no in- coast of Calabria. Not many years stances upon record of the electrical after its occurrence, travelling into these influences having been extended to countries, I passed some time at Reggreater distances than the confines of gio and Scilla, which then bore the that quarter of the world. An octo- marks of the ruin they had been ingenarian with whom I have conversed, volved in. At the latter place I met and who has served the office of the with a respectable and sensible apoclerk of the parish whence this re- thecary, who was one of the comparaport comes upwards of 53 years, per- tively few of its inhabitants that had fectly remembers that appearances of escaped the destruction which this

« 上一頁繼續 »