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Next it assails him in his top's strange hum,
Breathes in his whistle, echoes in his drum; It came from Heaven—its power archangels Each gilded toy, that doting love bestows, knew,
He longs to break, and every spring expose.
Though gentle sleep sit waiting on his lids,
Nor yet alone to toys and tales confined,
While all you know, or think you know, you trace; On all, by turns, his charter'd glance was cast, Tell him who spoke creation into birth, While each pleased best as each appear’d the last; Arch'd the broad heavens, and spread the rolling But when She came, in nature's blameless pride,
earth; Bone of his bone, his heaven-anointed bride, Who formed a pathway for the obedient sun, All meaner objects faded from his sight,
And bade the seasons in their circles run; And sense turn'd giddy with the new delight; Who fill'd the air, the forest, and the flood, Those charm’d his eye, but this entranced his soul, And gave man all, for comfort, or for food; Another self, queen-wonder of the whole !
Tell him they sprang at God's creating nodRapt at the view, in ecstasy he stood,
He stops you short with, “ Father, who made God!" And, like his Maker, saw that all was good.
Thus through life's stages may we mark the power It reign’d in Eden-in that heavy hour That masters man in every changing hour. When the arch-tempter sought our mother's bower, It tempts him from the blandishments of home, In thrilling charm her yielding heart assail'd, Mouptains to climb and frozen seas to roam; And even o'er dread JEHOVAH's word prevail'd. By air-blown bubbles buoy'd, it bids him rise, There the fair tree in fatal beauty grew,
And hang, an atom in the vaulted skies; And hung its mystic apples to her view:
Lured by its charm, he sits and learns to trace Eat,” breathed the fiend, beneath his serpent guise, The midnight wanderings of the orbs of space; “ Ye shall know all things; gather, and be wise!” Boldly he knocks at wisdom's inmost gate, Sweet on her ear the wily falsehood stole,
With nature counsels, and communes with fate; And roused the ruling passion of her soul. Below, above, o'er all he dares to rove, “Ye shall become like Gon,”-transcendent fate! In all finds God, and finds that God all love. That God's command forgot, she pluck'd and ate; Turn to the world-its curious dwellers view, Ate, and her partner lured to share the crime, Like Paul's Athenians, seeking something new. Whose wo, the legend saith, must live through time. Be it a bonfire's or a city's blaze, For this they shrank before the Avenger's face, The gibbet's victim, or the nation's gaze, For this He drove them from the sacred place; A female atheist, or a learned dog, For this came down the universal lot,
A monstrous pumpkin, or a mammoth hog, To weep, to wander, die, and be forgot.
A murder, or a muster, 'tis the same, It came from Heaven-it reigned in Eden's Life's follies, glories, griefs, all feed the flame. shades
Hark, where the martial trumpet fills the air, It roves on earth, and every walk invades:
How the roused multitude come round to stare; Childhood and age alike its influence own; Sport drops his ball, Toil throws his hammer by, It haunts the beggar's nook, the monarch's throne; Thrift breaks a bargain off, to please his eye; Hangs o'er the cradle, leans above the bier, Up fly the windows, even fair mistress cook, Gazed on old Babel's tower—and lingers here. Though dinner burn, must run to take a look.
To all that's lofty, all that's low it turns, In the thronged court the ruling passions read, With terror curdles and with rapture burns; Where Storr dooms, where Wirt and WEBSTER Now feels a seraph’s throb, now, less than man's,
plead; A reptile tortures and a planet scans;
Yet kindred minds alone their flights shall trace, Now illy joins in life's poor, passing jars, The herd press on to see a cut-throat's face. Now shakes creation off, and soars beyond the stars. Around the gallows' foot behold them draw, 'Tis CeniOSITY—who hath not felt
When the lost villain answers to the law; Its spirit, and before its altar knelt ?
Soft souls, how anxious on his pangs to gloat, In the pleased infant see the power expand, When the vile cord shall tighten round his throat; When first the coral fills his little hand;
And, ah! each hard-bought stand to quit how Throned in its mother's lap, it dries each tear,
grieved, As her sweet legend falls upon his ear;
As the sad rumour runs--" The man's reprieved !" * Delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Har
See to the church the pious myriads pour, vard University, in 1829.
Squeeze through the aisles and jostle round the door,
Does Langdor preach ?-(I veil his quiet name Perchance the listeners, to their instinct true,
thing new. Who thumps he desk, that should have trod the Turn to the Press—its teeming sheets survey, stage;
Big with the wonders of each passing day; Cant's veriest ranter crams a house, if new, Births, deaths, and weddings, forgeries, fires, and When Paul himself, oft heard, would hardly fill
wrecks, a pew.
Harangues, and hail-storms, brawls, and broken Lo, where the stage, the poor, degraded stage,
necks; Holis its warp'd mirror to a gaping age;
Where half-Nedged barus, on feeble pinions, seek There, where, to raise the drama's moral tone, An immortality of near a week ; Fool Harlequin usurps Apollo's throne;
Where cruel eulogists the dead restore, There, where grown children gather round, to praise In maudlin praise, to martyr them once more; The new-vamp'd legends of their nursery days; Where russian slanderers wreak their coward spite, Where one loose scene shall turn more souls to And need no venom'd dagger while they write: shame,
There, (with a quill so noisy and so vain, Then ten of CHANNING's lectures can reclaim; We almost hear the goose it clothed complain,) There, where in idiot rapture we adore
Where cach hack scribe, as hate or interest burns, The herded vagabonds of every shore :
Toad or toad-eater, stains the page by turns;
Lauds a mock Guido, or a mouthing player;
. lisping girls, who, still in childhood's fetters, Viceroys it o'er the realms of prose and rhyme, Babble of love, yet barely know their letters; Now puffs pert “ Pelham,” now “The Course of Neat-jointed mummers, mocking nature's shape,
Time;" To prove how nearly man can match an ape; And, though ere Christmas both may be forgot, Vaulters, who, rightly served at home, perchance Vows this beats Milton, and that Walter Scott; Had dangled from the rope on which they dance;
With Samsox's vigour feels his nerves expand, Dwarfs, mimics, jugglers, all that yield content, To overthrow the nobles of the land; Where Sin holds carnival and Wit keeps Lent; Soils the green garlands that for Otis bloom, Where, shoals on shoals, the modest million rush, And plants a brier even on Cabot's tomb; One ser to laugh, and one to try to blush, As turn the party coppers, heads or tails, When mincing Ravexor sports tight pantalettes, And now this faction and now that prevails; And turns fops' heads while turning pirouettes ; Applauds to-day what yesterday he cursed, There, at each ribald sally, where we hear Lampoons the wisest, and extols the worst; The knowing giggle and the scurrile jeer;
While, hard to tell, so coarse a daub he lays, While from the intellectual gallery first
Which sullies most, the slander or the praise. Rolls the base plaudit, loudest at the worst.
Yet, sweet or bitter, hence what sountains burst, Gods! who can grace yon desecrated dome, While still the more we drink, the more we thirst When he may turn his SHAKSPEARE O'er at home? Trade hardly deems the busy day begun, Who there can group the pure ones of his race,
Till his keen eye along the page has run; To see and hear what bids him veil his face? The blooming daughter throws her needle by, Ask ye who can ? why I, and you, and you ;
And reads her schoolmate's marriage with a sigh, No matter what the nonsense, if 'tis new.
While the grave mother puts her glasses on, To Doctor Logic's wit our sons give ear;
And gives a tear to some old crony gone; They have no time for HAMLET, or for LEAR; The preacher, too, his Sunday theme lays down,
Our daughters turn from gentle JULIET's wo, To know what last new folly fills the town; | To count the twirls of ALMAVIVA's toe.
Lively or sau, life's meanest, mightiest things, Not theirs the blame who furnish forth the treat, The fate of fighting cocks, or fighting kings; But ours, who throng the board and grossly eat;
Naught comes amiss, we take the nauseous stuff, We laud, indeed, the virtue-kindling stage,
Verjuice or oil, a libel or a puff. prate of ShakSPEARE and his deathless page; 'Tis this sustains that coarse, licentious tribe But go, announce his best, on Coopen call, Of tenth-rate type-men, gaping for a bribe ; Cooper, “the noblest Roman of them all;" That reptile race, with all that's good at strife, Where are the crowds, so wont to choke the door? Who trail their slime through every walk of life, "T is an old thing, they've seen it all before. Stain the white tablet where a great man's name
Pray Heaven, if yet indeed the stage must stand, Stands proudly chisell’d by the hand of Fame; With guiltless mirth it may delight the land;
Nor round the sacred fireside fear to crawl, Far better else each scenic temple fall,
But drop their venom there, and poison all. And one approving silence curtain all.
'T is Curiosity—though, in its round, Despots to shame may vield their rising youth, No one poor dupe the calumny has found, But Freedom dwells with purity and truth; Still shall it live, and still new slanders breed; Then make the effort, ye who rule the stage What though we ne'er believe, we buy and read, With novel decency surprise the age;
Like Scotland's war-cries, thrown from hand to Even Wit, so long forgot, may play its part,
hand, And Nature yet have power to melt the heart; To rouse the angry passions of the land.
So the black falsehood flies from ear to ear, So with each new-born nothing rolls the day, While goodness grieves, but, grieving, still must Till some kind neighbour, stumbling in his way, hear.
Draws up his chair, the sufferer to amuse, All are not such? O no, there are, thank Heaven, And makes him happy while he tells the news. A nobler troop, to whom this trust is given; The news! our morning, noon, and evening Who, all unbribed, on Freedom's ramparts stand,
cry, Faithful and firm, bright warders of the land. Day unto day repeats it till we die. By them still lifts the Press its arm abroad, For this the cit, the critic, and the fop, To guide all-curious man along life's rồad; Dally the hour away in Tonsor's shop; To cheer young Genius, Pity's tear to start, For this the gossip takes her daily route, In Truth's bold cause to rouse each fearless heart; And wears your threshold and your patience out; O'er male and female quacks to shake the rod, For this we leave the parson in the lurch, And scourge the unsex'd thing that scorns her Gon; And pause to prattle on the way to church; To hunt Corruption from his secret den,
Even when some coffin’d friend we gather round, And show the monster up, the gaze of wondering We ask, “What news?" then lay him in the
ground; How swells my theme! how vain my power I To this the breakfast owes its sweetest zest, find,
For this the dinner cools, the bed remains unTo tra the windings of curious mind;
See the pert housemaid to the keyhole fiv,
When husband storms, wife frets, or lovers sigh; The crusted medal rub with painful care,
See Tom your pockets ransack for each note, To spell the legend out—that is not there; And read your secrets while he cleans your coat; With dubious gaze, o'er mossgrown tombstones See, yes, to listen see even madam deign, bend,
When the smug seamstress pours her ready strain.
Caught by Paul Pry and carried home to Polly;
And nods and hints the villany he means;
A warmer throb than if a Dexter spoke; If like a martyr Captain Mongan died.
And he, o'er EVERETT's periods who would nod, Its aim oft idle, lovely in its end,
To track a secret, half the town has trod. We turn to look, then linger to befriend;
O thou, from whose rank breath nor sex can The maid of Egypt thus was led to save
save, A nation's future leader from the wave;
Nor sacred virtue, nor the powerless grave,New things to hear, when erst the Gentiles ran, Felon unwhipp'd! than whom in yonder cells Truth closed what Curiosity began.
Full many a groaning wretch less guilty dwells, How many a noble art, now widely known, Blush-if of honest blood a drop remains, Owes its young impulse to this power alone; To steal its lonely way along thy veins, Even in its slightest working, we may trace Blush-if the bronze, long harden'd on thy cheek, A deed that changed the fortunes of a race: Has left a spot where that poor drop can speak; Bruce, bann'd and hunted on his native soil, Blush to be branded with the slanderer's name, With curious eye survey'd a spider's toil: And, though thou dreau'st not sin, at least dread Six times the little climber strove and fail'd;
shame. Six times the chief before his foes had quail'd; We hear, indeed, but shudder while we hear “Once more,” he cried, “in thine my doom I The insidious falsehood and the heartless jeer; read,
For each dark libel that thou lick'st to shape, Once more I dare the fight, if thou succeed;" Thou mayest from law, but not from scorn escape; 'T was done—the insect's fate he made his own, The pointed finger, cold, averted eye, Once more the battle waged, and gain'd a throne. Insulted virtue's hiss—thou canst not fly. Behold the sick man, in his easy chair,
The churl, who holds it heresy to think, Barr'd from the busy crowd and bracing air, Who loves no music but the dollar's clink, How every passing trifle proves its power
Who laughs to scorn the wisdom of the schools, To while away the long, dull, lazy hour.
And deems the first of poets first of fools; As down the pane the rival rain-drops chase, Who never found what good from science grew, Curious he'll watch to see which wins the race; Save the grand truth that one and one are two; And let two dogs beneath his window fight, And marvels Bowditcu o'er a book should pore, He'll shut his Bible to enjoy the sight.
Unless to make those two turn into four;
Who, placed where Catskill's forehead greets the There would you drink each drowning seaman's sky,
cry, Grieves that such quarries all unhewn should lie; As wild to heaven he cast his frantic eye; Or, gazing where Niagara's torrents thrill, Though vain all aid, though Pity's blood ran cold, Exclaims, “A monstrous stream-to turn a mill!" The mortal havoc ye would dare behold; Who loves to feel the blessed winds of heaven, Still Curiosity would wait and weep, But as his freighted barks are portward driven: Till all sank down to slun in the deep. Even he, across whose brain scarce dares to creep Nor yet appeased the spirit's restless glow: Aught but thrift's parent pair—to get, to keep: Ye would explore the gloomy waste below; Who never learn'd life's real bliss to know There, where the joyful sunbeams never fell, With Curiosity even he can glow.
Where ocean's unrecorded monsters dwell, Go, seek him out on yon dear Gotham's walk, Where sleep earth's precious things, her rifle Where traffic's venturers meet to trade and talk:
golu, Where Mammon's votaries bend, of each degree,
Bones bleach'd by ages, bodies hardly cold, The hard-eyed lender, and the pale lendee;
Of those who bow'd to fate in every form, Where rogues, insolvent, strut in white-wash'd By battle-strife, by pirate, or by storm; pride,
The sailor-chief, who Freedom's foes defied, And shove the dupes, who trusted them, aside. Wrapp'd in the sacred flag for which he died; How through the buzzing crowd he threads his way, The wretch, thrown over to the midnight foam, To catch the flying rumours of the day,–
Stabb'd in his blessed dreams of love and home; To learn of changing stocks, of bargains cross'd,
The mother, with her fleshless arms still clasp'd Of breaking merchants, and of cargoes lost ;
Round the scared infant, that in death she grasp'd; 1 The thousand ills that traffic's walks invade,
On these, and sights like these, ye long to gaze, And give the heart-ache to the sons of trade. The mournful trophies of uncounted days; How cold he hearkens to some bankrupt's wo,
All that the miser deep has brooded o'er, Vods his wise head, and cries, “ I told you so:
Since its first billow roll'd to find a shore. The thriftless fellow lived beyond his means, Once more the Press,—not that which daily He must buy brants—I make my folks eat beans;"
flings What cares he for the knave, the knave's sad wife, Its fleeting ray across life's fleeting things, The blighted prospects of an anxious life?
See tomes on tomes of fancy and of power, The kindly throbs, that other men control, To cheer man's heaviest, warm his holiest hour. Ne'er melt the iron of the miser's soul;
Now Fiction's groves we tread, where young RoThrough life's dark road his sordid way he wends, An incarnation of fat dividends;
Laps the glad senses in her sweetest trance; But, when to death he sinks, ungrieved, unsung, Now through earth's cold, unpeopled realms we Buoy'd by the blessing of no mortal tongue,
range, No worth rewarded, and no want redress'd, And mark each rolling century's awful change; To scatter fragrance round his place of rest, Turn back the tide of ages to its head, What shall that hallow'd epitaph supply
And hoard the wisdom of the honour'd dead. The universal wo when good men die ?
'Twas Heaven to lounge upon a couch, said Cold Curiosity shall linger there,
GRAY, To guess the wealth he leaves his tearless heir; And read new novels through a rainy day: Perchance to wonder what must be his doom, Add but the Spanish weed, the bard was right; In the far land that lies beyond the tomb; 'T is heaven, the upper heaven of calm delight; Alas! for him, if, in its awful plan,
The world forgot, to sit at ease reclined, Heaven deal with him as he hath dealt with man. While round one's head the smoky perfumes wind, Child of romance, these work-day scenes you
Firm in one hand the ivory folder grasp'd, spurn;
Scott's uncut latest by the other clasp'd ; For loftier things your finer pulses burn;
'T is heaven, the glowing, graphic page to turn, Through Nature's walk your curious way you take, And feel within the ruling passion burn; Gaze on her glowing bow, her glittering Aake,– Now through the dingles of his own bleak isle,
Her spring's first cheerful green, her autumn's last, And now through lands that wear a sunnier smile, | Born in the breeze, or dying in the blast;
To follow him, that all-creative one, You clinb the mountain's everlasting wall;' Who never found a “brother near his throne." You linger where the thunder-waters fall;
Look, now, directed by yon candle's blaze, You love to wander by old ocean's side,
Where the false shutter half its trust betrays, And hold communion with its sullen tide; Mark that fair girl, reclining in her bed, Wash'd to your foot some fragment of a wreck, Its curtain round her polish'd shoulders spread , Fancy shall build again the crowded deck
Dark midnight reigns, the storm is up in power, That trod the waves, till, mid the tempest's frown, What keeps her waking in that dreary hour ? The sepulchre of living men went down.
See where the volume on her pillow liesYet Pancy, with her milder, tenderer glow, Claims Radcliffe or CuapoyE those frequent But dreams what Curiosity would know;
sighs ? Ye would stand listening, as the booming gun 'T is some wild legend,—now her kind eye fills, Proclaim'd the work of agony half-done;
And now cold terror every fibre chills;
Still she reads on-in Fiction's labyrinth lost "Tis he, the husband, father, lost in care,
O'er that sweet fellow in his cradle there:
War's bloodiest plain and Wisdom's greenest She shuts the dear, dear book, that made her weep,
bower; Puts out her light, and turns away to sleep. All that his wonder woke in school-boy themes, Her bright, her bloody records to ol,
All that his fancy fired in youthful dreams: See History come, and wake th' inquiring soul: Where SOCRATES once taught he thirsts to stray, How bounds the bosom at each wondrous deed Where Homer pour'd his everlasting lay; Of those who founded, and of those who freed; From Virgil's tomb he longs to pluck one flower, The good, the valiant of our own loved clime, By Avon's stream to live one moonlight hour; Whose names shall brighten through the clouds To pause where England “garners up” her great, of time.
And drop a patriot's tear to Miltos's fate; How rapt we linger o'er the volumed lore
Fame's living masters, too, he must behold, That tracks the glories of each distant shore;
Whose deeds shall blazon with the best of old : In all their grandeur and in all their gloom, Nations compare, their laws and customs scan, The throned, the thralld rise dimly from the tomb; And read, wherever spread, the book of man; Chiefs, sages, bards, the giants of their race, For these he goes, self-banish'd from his hearth, Earth's monarch men, her greatness and her grace; And wrings the hearts of all he loves on earth. Warm'd as we read, the penman's page we spurn, Yet say, shall not new joy these hearts inspire, And to each near, each far arena turn;
When grouping round the future winter fire, Here, where the Pilgrim's altar first was built, To hear the wonders of the world they burn, Here, where the patriot's life-blood first was spilt; And lose his absence in his glad return?There, where new empires spread along each spot Return ! alas! he shall return no more, Where old ones fleurish'd but to be forgot, To bless his own sweet home, his own proud shore. Or, direr judgment spared to fill a page,
Look once again--cold in his cabin now, And with their errors warn an after age.
Death's finger-mark is on his pallid brow; And where is he upon that Rock can stand, No wife stood by, her patient watch to keep, Nor with their firmness feel his heart expand, To smile on him, then turn away to weep; Who a new empire planted where they trod, Kind woman's place rough mariners supplied, And gave it to their children and their God? And shared the wanderer's blessing when he died. Who yon immortal mountain-shrine hath press'd, Wrapp'd in the raiment that it long must wear, With saintlier relics stored than priest e'er bless'd, His body to the deck they slowly bear; But felt each grateful pulse more warmly glow, Even there the spirit that I sing is true; In voiceless reverence for the dead below ?
The crew look on with sad, but curious view; Who, too, by Curiosity led on,
The setting sun flings round his farewell rays; To tread the shores of kingdoms come and gone, O’er the broad ocean not a ripple plays; Where Faith her martyrs to the fagot led, How eloquent, how awful in its power, Where Freedom's champions on the scaffold bled, The silent lecture of death's Sabbath-hour: Where ancient power, though stripp'd of ancient One voice that silence breaks the prayer is said, fame,
And the last rite man pays to man is paid ; Curb'd, but not crushed, still lives for guilt and The plashing waters mark his resting-place, shame,
And fold him round in one long, cold embrace; But prouder, happier, turns on home to gaze, Bright bubbles for a moment sparkle o'er, And thanks his God who gave him better days ? Then break, to be, like him, beheld no more; Undraw yon curtain; look within that room,
Down, countless fathoms down, he sinks to sleep,
What spreading scenes of rapture and of wo,