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4 We gazed on the scenes, while around us they glowed, When a vision of beauty appeared on the cloud; — 'T was not like the Sun, as at mid-day we view, Nor the Moon, that rolls nightly through star-light and blue.
5 Like a spirit, it came in the van of the storm I
And the eye, and the heart, hailed its beautiful form ,
4 In the hues of its grandeur, sublimely it stood,
7 'T was the bow of Omnipotence; bent in His hand
8 Not dreadful, as when in the whirlwind He pleads,
9 In the breath of his presence, when thousands expire, And seas boil with fury, and rocks burn with fire,
And the sword and the plague-spot, with death strew th«
plain, And vultures, and wolves, are the graves of the slain:
10 Not such was the Rainbow, that beautiful one!
Whose arch was refraction, its key-stone — the Sun;
11 Awl ile, and it sweetly bent over the gloom,
Like Love o'er a death-couch, or Hope o'er the tomb;
12 I gazed not alone on that source of my song;
Each full heart expanded, — grew warm, and adored.
13 Like a visit — the converse of friends — or a day,
Like that visit, that converse, that day — to my heart,
14 'T is a picture in memory distinctly defined,
Beheld on that cloud, and transcribed on my souL
LXV. —INCENTIVES TO DUTY
[charles Sumne* was born in Boston, January 6,1811, and was graduated at Harvard College in .830. He was admitted to the bar in 1834, and in 1837 visited Europe, where he remained till 1840, travelling in Italy, Germany, and France, and residing nearly a year in England. On the Fourth of July, 1845, he pronounced before the municipal authorities of Boston an oration on " The True Grandeur of Nations," which was an eloquent argument against the war system of nations, and in favor of peaceful arbitration in the settlement of international questions. This oration was widely circulated, both in America and England. Having become earnestly engaged in the anti-slavery cause, he was chosen to the senate of the United States from the state of Massachusetts^ in the winter of 1851, and still continues a member of that body, having been twice re-elected. He is well known for the energy and eloquence with which he has assailed the institution of slavery. His works, consisting of speeches and occasional addresses, have been published in three volumes, and are remarkable for fervid eloquence and abundant illustration.
The following extract is the conclusion of a discourse pronounced before the Phi-Beta-Kappa Society of Harvard College, at their anniversary, August 27,1846, entitled "The Scholar, the Jurist, the Artist, the i'luliUiUiropist," and in commemoration of four deceased members of the society, John Pickering, Joseph Story, AVasliington Allstou, and William Ellery Channing.]
Thus have I attempted, humbly and affectionately, to bring before you the images of our departed brothers, while I dwelt on the great causes in which their lives were made manifest. Servants of Knowledge, of Justice, 5 of Beauty, of Love, they have ascended to the great Source of Knowledge, Justice, Beauty, Love. Each of our brothers is removed; but though dead, yet speaketh, informing our understandings, strengthening our sense of justice, refining our tastes, enlarging our sympathies. The body
10 dies; but the page of the Scholar, the interpretation of the Jurist, the creation of the Artist, the beneficence of the Philanthropist, cannot die.
I have dwelt upon their lives and characters, less in grief for what we have lost, than in gratitude for what we
15 so long possessed, and still retain, in their precious example. In proud recollection of her departed children, Alma Mater might well exclaim, in those touching words of paternal grief, that she would not give her dead sons for any living sons in Christendom. Pickering, Story, Alls
20 ton, Channing! A grand Quaternion! Each, in his peculiar sphere, was foremost in his country. Each might have said, what the modesty of Demosthenes did not forbid him to boast, that, through him, his country had been crowned abroad. Their labors were wide as the
25 Commonwealth of Letters, Laws, Art, Humanity, and have found acceptance wherever these have found dominion.
Their lives, which overflow with instruction, teach one persuasive lesson, which speaks alike to all of every calling and pursuit, — not to live for ourselves alone. They lived
80 for Knowledge, Justice, Beauty, Humanity. Withdrawing from the strifes of the world, from the allurements of office, and the rage for gain, they consecrated themselves to the pursuit of excellence, and each, in his own vocation, to beneficent labor. They were all philanthropists; for the labors of all promoted the welfare and happiness of mankind. In the contemplation of their generous, unselfish lives, 5 we feel the insignificance of office and wealth, which men so hotly pursue. What is office? and what is wealth? They are the expressions and representatives of what is present and fleeting only, investing their possessor, perhaps, with a brief and local regard. But let this not be
10 exaggerated; let it not be confounded with the serene fame which is the reflection of important labors in great causes. The street lights, within the circle of their nightly scintillation, seem to outshine the distant stars, observed of men in all lands and times; but gas-lamps are
15 not to be mistaken for the celestial luminaries.
They, who live only for wealth and the things of this world, follow shadows, neglecting the great realities which are eternal on earth and in heaven. After the perturbations of life, all its accumulated possessions must be re
20 signed, except those alone which have been devoted to God and mankind. What we do for ourselves, perishes with this mortal dust; what we do for others, lives in the grateful hearts of all who feel or know the benefaction. Worms may destroy the body; but they cannot consume
25 such a fame. It is fondly cherished on earth, and never forgotten in heaven.
The selfish struggles of the crowd, the clamors of a false patriotism, the suggestions of a sordid ambition, cannot obscure that great commanding duty which enjoins
30 perpetual labor, without distinction of country, of color, or of race, for the welfare of the whole Human Family. In this mighty Christian cause, Knowledge, Jurisprudence, Art, Philanthropy, all are blessed ministers. More puissant than the Sword, they shall lead mankind from the
85 bondage of error into that service which is perfect freedom. Our departed brothers join in summoning you to this gladsome obedience. Their examples speak for them. Go forth into the many mansions of the house of life: scholars! store them with learning; jurists! build them with justice; artists! adorn them with beauty; philanthropists! 5 let them resound with love. Be servants of truth, each in his vocation; doers of the word and not hearers only. Be sincere, pure in heart, earnest, enthusiastic. A virtuous enthusiasm is always self-forgetful and noble. It is the only inspiration now vouchsafed to man. Like Pickering,
10 blend humility with learning. Like Story, ascend above the Present, in place and time. Like Allston, regard fame only as the eternal shadow of excellence. Like Channing, bend in adoration before the right. Cultivate alike the wisdom of experience and the wisdom of hope. Mindful
15 of the Future, do not neglect the Past: awed by the majesty of Antiquity, turn not with indifference from the Future. True wisdom looks to the ages before us, as well as behind us. Like the Janus of the Capitol, one front thoughtfully regards the Past, rich with experience, with
20 memories, with the priceless traditions of virtue; the other is earnestly directed to the All Hail Hereafter, richer still with its transcendent hopes and unfulfilled prophecies.
We stand on the threshold of a new age, which is pre25 paring to recognize new influences. The ancient divinities of Violence and Wrong are retreating to their kindred darkness.
There's a fount about to stream, There's a light about to beam, There's a warmth about to glow, There's a flower about to blow;There's a midnight blackness changing Into gray;
Men of thought, and men of action, Clear the way.
Aid the dawning, tongue and pen;