Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

4.

Ay,
Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,

[An eagle passes.
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
Well mayest thou swoop so near me, I should be
Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou art gone
Where the eye cannot follow thee; but thine
Yet pierces downward, onward, or above,

With a pervading vision. 5.

Beautiful!
How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!
But we, whą name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar,

with our mixed essence make
A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty will
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are—what they name not to themselves,

And trust not to each other. 6.

Hark! the note, [The shepherd's pipe in the distance is heard. The natural music of the mountain reedFor here the patriarchal days are not A pastoral fable-pipes in the liberal air, Mixed with the sweet balls of the sauntering herd; My soul would drink those echoes—Oh, that I were The viewless spirit of a lovely sound, A living voice, a breathing harmony, A bodiless enjoyment-born and dying With the blest tone which made me!

LESSON XXXIV.

THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT..

WEBSTER

1. The society whose organ I am, was formed for the pur pose of rearing some honorable and durable monument to the memory of the early friends of American independence. They have thought, that for this object no time could be more propitious than the present prosperous and peaceful period; that no place could claim preference over this memorable spot; and that no day could be more auspicious to the undertaking, than the anniversary of the battle which was here fought.

2. The foundation of that monument we have now laid. With solemnities suited to the occasion, with prayers to Almighty God for his blessing, and in the midst of this cloud of witnesses, we have begun the work. We trust it will be pros ecuted, and that, springing from a broad foundation, rising high in massive solidity and unadorned grandeur, it may remain as long as Heaven permits the works of man to last, a fit emblem, both of the events in memory of which it is raised, and of the gratitude of those who have reared it.

3. We know, indeed that the record of illustrious actions is most safely deposited in the universal remeinbrance of mankind. We know, that if we could cause this structure to as cend, not only till it reached the skies, but till it pierced them, its broad surfaces could still contain but part of that which, in an age of knowledge, hath already been spread over the earth, and which history charges itself with making known to all future times. We know that no inscription on entablatures less broad than the earth itself, can carry information of the events we commemorate where it has not already gone; and that no

[ocr errors]

structure, which shall not outlive the duration of letters and knowledge among men, can prolong the memorial.

4. But our object is, by this edifice to show our own deep sense of the value and importance of the achievements of our ancestors; and, by presenting this work of gratitude to the eye, to keep alive similar sentiments, and to foster a constant regard for the principles of the revolution. Human beings are composed, not of reason only, but of imagination also, and sentiment; and that is neither wasted nor misapplied which is appropriated to the purpose of giving right direction to sentiments, and opening proper springs of feeling in the heart.

5. Let it not be supposed that our object is to perpetuate national hostility, or even to cherish a mere military spirit. It is higher, purer, nobler. We consecrate our work to the spirit of national independence, and we wish that the light of peace may rest upon it forever. We rear a memorial of our conviction of that unmeasured benefit which has been conferred on our own land, and of the happy influences which have been produced, by the same events, on the general interests of mankind.

6. We come as Americans, to mark a spot which must for. ever be dear to us and our posterity. We wish that whosoever, in all coming time, shall turn his eye hither, may beholi that the place is not undistinguished where the first great bai tle of the revolution was fought. We wish that this structure may proclaim the magnitude and importance of that event to every class and every age. We wish that iufancy may learn the purpose of its erection from maternal lips, and that weary and withered age may behold it, and be solaced by the recol. lections which it suggests. We wish that labor may

look

up here, and be proud, in the midst of its toil.

7. We wish that, in those days of disaster, which, as they come upon all nations, must be expected to come upon us also, desponding patriotism may turn its eyes hitherward, and be

F

assured that the foundations of our national power still stand strong. We wish that this column, rising toward heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may contribute also to produce, in all minds, a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude.

8. We wish, finally, that the last object on the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden his who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and the glory of his country. Let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of the morning gild it, and parting day linger and play on its summit.

LESSON XXXV.

THE VOICES AT THE THRONE.

ANONYMOUS

1.

A LITTLE child,
A little meek-faced, quiet, village child,
Sat singing by her cottage door at eve,
A low, sweet, Sabbath song. No human ear
Caught the faint melody--no human eye
Beheld the upturned aspect, or the smile
That wreathed her innocent lips the while they breathed
The oft repeated burden of the hymn,

Praise God! praise God! 2.

A seraph by the throne,
In full glory stood. With eager hand,
He smote the golden harp-string, till a flooa
Of harmony on the celestial air
Welled forth, unceasing. There with a great voice,
He
sang

the “ Holy, holy evermore,

Lord God Almighty !” and the eternal courts Thrilled with the rapture, and the hierarchies, Angel, and rapt archangel, throbbed and burned

With vehement adoration. 3.

Higher yet Rose the majestic anthem, without pause, Higher, with rich magnificence of sound, To its full strength; and still the infinite heavens Rang with the “ Holy, holy, evermore!” Till trembling with excessive awe and love, Each sceptered spirit sank before the throne,

With a mute hallelujah. 4.

But even then,
While the ecstatie song was at its height,
Stole in an alien voice-a voice that seemed
To float, float upward from some world afar-
A meek and childlike voice, faint, but how sweet.
That blended with the spirits' rushing strain,
Even as a fountain's music, with the roll
Of the reverberate thunder.

Loving smiles
Lit up the beauty of each angel's face
At that new utterance, smiles of joy that grew
More joyous yet, as ever and anon
Was heard the simple burden of the hymn,

“ Praise God ! praise God !” 6.

And when the seraph's song Had reached its close, and o'er the golden lyre Silence hung brooding—when the eternal courts Rang with the echoes of his chant sublime, Still through the abysmal, that wandering voice Came floating upward from its world afar, Still murmured sweet on the celestial air, “ Praise God! praise God!”

5.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »