« AnteriorContinuar »
I have looked up at the solemn old trees in awe, mingled with strange delight; the awe and delight have both deepened at the blaze of the lightning and bellowing of the thunder amid the wild, echoing rocks of Astonroga; and now, in this strange uproar, they come upon my heart, and make it bound like the arrow from the bended bow.
1. The trees were the temples built by the Almighty for His worship, and there is something awfully beautiful in their
hadows; the lightnings “ go and say unto Him, here we are !” and “He shut up the sea with doors, and made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness the swaddling band for it.” And here, as I stand poised up by the wild elements, I feel myself near, very near to the only Protector who has a hand to save, and, in the hollow of that all-powerful hand, I rest in perfect security
5. God, my God, I go forth at Thy bidding, and, in the words of Thine own inspired poet,—“Thou art my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” The sea cannot separate Thee from me, the darkness of midnight cannot hide Thy face, nor can the raging of the storm drown Thy still small voice. My heart leaps joyfully as I trust in Thee.
6. On, brave little wrestler with the elements! On, right gallantly! I love the bounding, the dashing, and the roaring, and my heart shall know no faltering while “my Father is at the helm.” Hurra! Gallantly ride we in this skeleton ship, while the sunlight glints gayly on white bare mast and slender spar. Gallantly ride we over wave and hollow, over foam and rainbow; now perched upon the white ridge, poising doubtfully and trembling like a frighted steed; now plunging down, down into the measureless trough, which seems yawning to ingulf us forever.
7. Wildly blows the gale, more and more wildly bound the mighty billows, with a roaring as though all the monsters of the deep were swarming around us. But not so. Neither the wide mouth of the shark, the brown back of the porpoise, nor the spouting nostril of the whale is visible; the brilliant dclphin, in his opal jacket, has retreated to his own haunts below the storm, and the little “ Portuguese man-of-war” has drawn in the pink and purple fringes of his silver sail, and rolls, like a cunning beetle, from wave to wave, as light as the bubble from which he cannot be distinguished.
8. Even the albatross flapped his strong pinion, and wheeled away when he saw the winds gathering dark in the heavens; the Cape pigeon lingered a little, as though caring lightly for the rufling of his mottled plumage, and then spread his butterfly. embroidered wings, and hurried after; but the stormy petrel, though small and delicate as the timid wren, (I will take a lesson from thee, busy, daring little spirit that thou art, bright velvetwingid petrel), scorns to seek safety, but by breasting the gale.
9. And here he remains, carousing amid the foam, as though those liquid pearls, leaping high in air, and scattering themselves upon the wind, had a magic in them to shield him from danger. He dips his wing in the angry tide as daintily as though it were stirred but in silver ripples; then he darts upward, and then plunges and is lost in the enshrouding foam. But, no; he is again in air, whirling and balancing, wheeling and careering, up and down, as though stark mad with joyousness, and now he vaults upon the back of the nearest foam bank, and disappears to rise again as before.
10. And still the billows roar and bound, and lash the sides of the trembling ship, and sweep with strange force her decks ; and still we reel and plunge, down, down, down, sarely. No; we are up again, leaping skyward; we pause a moment-andwhat a fearful pitch was that! Ah, my brain grows giddy, but still I can not hide myself in my dark cabin. Thank God, that He has spread the land before our eyes at last, that He has shielded us, when wrath was stirring in the heavens, and darkness was upon the waters; that He has pinioned the wings of the wind, and said to the waves—". Thus far shalt thou go, and no further !”
CAARLES MACKAY, one of the most popular British authors of the present day, was born in Perth, Scotland, in the year 1812. He is mainly remarkable as a writer of lyric poetry, though his other productions are not without extraordinary merit. Much of his literary labor has been performed, in the regular discharge of his duties, as a journalist: he having been connected for nine years, commencing in 1834, with the editorial staff of the London “Morning Chronicle,” for three years with the “Glasgow Argus," and, for a long time, also, with the “Illustrated London News." His style is simple, yet stirring, and exactly adapted to his predominant aim, which is to make powerful appeal to the better feelings and instincts of mankind, to point to the high hopes discoverable in “the good time coming," and so to quicked and strengthen the spirit of progress.
DAYS THAT ARE GONE.
1. Who is it that mourns for the days that are gone, When a noble could do as he liked with his own? When his serfs, with their burdens well filled on their backs, Never dared to complain of the weight of a tax ? When his word was a statute, his nod was a law, And for aught but his “order” he cared not a straw ? When each had his dungeon and rack for the poor, And a gibbet to hang a refractory boor ?
II. They were days when a man with a thought in his pate Was a man that was born for the popular hate; And if 'twere a thought that was good for his kind, The man was too vile to be left unconfined; The days when obedience, in right or in wrong, Was always the sermon and always the song; When the people, like cattle, were pounded or driven, And to scourge them was thought a king's license from heaven
They were days when the sword settled questions of right,
When the fighter of battles was always adored,
They were days when the headsman was always prepared
They were days when the gallows stood black in the way
RICHARD LALOR SHEIL was born near Waterford, in Ireland, August 17th, 1791. He died in Florence, May 23d, 1851. After taking his degree at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1811, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1814. For a long time, however, his income being slender, and his tastes inclined to the drama, he ministered to both, in the intervals of professional service, by composing a number of plays. Most of these bad remarkable success. In 1822 he began a series of “Sketches of the Irish Bar,” which is regarded as one of his best literary efforts. About that time, also, he came prominently before the public, as a political and forensic orator. In 1830 he became a member of the British House of Commons, which connection he held for twenty years. Among the many brilliant achievements of his parliamentary career, is a speech on the Irish Municipal Bill, delivered in February, 1837, of which speech the following splendid appeal is a part.
1 Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, surnamed Strongbow, landed in Ireland with an invading force of English troops, in the year 1169.
Sir Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, was an eminent statesman in the time of Charles I. He was first sent to Ireland, as Lord-deputy, in 1632, where he exercised a very arbitrary sway He was tried and executed on a charge of treason in his forty-ninth year.
8 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, the celebrated hero of Waterloo, was by birth an Irishman, having been born in that country in May, 1769.
4 Assaye (assi/), a little town in Hindostan, memorable as the place where the Duke of Wellington-then General Wellesley-commenced his victorious career (September 23d, 1803), by defeating an enemy immensely superior in numbers.
5 Waterloo, a village of Belgium, the scene of Wellington's crowning achievement, the defeat of the French under the first Napoleon, June 18th, 1815.
THE IRISH NOT ALIENS.
RICHARD LALOR SHEIL.
1. I should be surprised, indeed, if, while you are doing us wrong, you did not profess your solicitude to do us justice. From the day on which Strongbowl set his foot upon the shore of Ireland, Englishmen were never wanting in protestations of their deep anxiety to do us justice ;-even Strafford, the deserter of the people's cause,—the renegade Wentworth, who gave evidence in Ireland of the spirit of instinctive tyranny wbich predominated in his character,—even Strafford, while he trampled upon our rights, and trod upon the heart of the country, protested