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The twilight dew hath vailed the sun,

And hope's sweet dreamings shaded;
And the thoughts of joy that were planted deep,

From our heart of hearts are riven;
And what is left us when we wee, ?

O, what is left—but Heaven ?


RALPA WALDO EMERSON was born in Boston, on the 25th of May, 1803. Though passable, as a pupil, he does not appear ever to have been solicitous about distinction in his school and college career. In 1826, after having taught school for some four or five years, he was licensed to preach in the Unitarian Church; which connection, however, in 1832, was dissolved at his own request. Since that time, his life has been devoted mainly to literature. He is the author of many brilliant lectures, many admirable essays, and many beautiful poems.

“As a writer,” says one who seems to us to have reached a full appreciation of his character, “he is distinguished for a singular union of poetic imagination with practical acuteness. His vision takes a wide sweep in the realms of the ideal; but is no less firm and penetrating in the sphere of facts. His common sense shrewdness is vivified by a pervasive wit. He seldom indulges in the expression of sentiment, and, in his nature, emotion seems to be less the product of the heart than of the brain. His style is in the nicest harmony with the character of his thought. It is condensed almost to abruptness. His merits, as a writer, consist rather in the choice of words than in the connection of sentences. But the great characteristic of his intellect is the perception and sentiment of beauty."





Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown,
Of thee from the hill-top looking down;
The heifer that lows in the upland farm,
Far-heard, lows not thine ear to charm;
The sexton, tolling his bell at noon,
Deems not that great Napoleon
Stops his horse, and lists with delight,
Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine hight;
Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.

All are needed by each one-
Nothing is fair or good alone!
I thought the sparrow's note from Heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home, in his nest, at even,
He sings the song, but it pleases not now ;
For I did not bring him bome the river and sky;
He sang to my earthey sang to my eye.


The delicate shells lay on the shore ;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam-
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore,
With the sun,

and the sand, and the wild uproar

The lover watched his graceful maid,
As 'mid the virgin train she strayed;
Nor knew her beauty's best attire
Was woven still by that snow-white choir;
At last, she came to his hermitage,
Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage ;
The gay enchantment was undone-
A gentle wife, but fairy none.


Then I said, "I covet truth ;
Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat-
I leave it behind with the games of youth."
As I spoke, beneath my feet
The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
Running over the club-moss burrs ·

I inhaled the violet's breath;
Around me stood the oaks and firs;
Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
Over me soared the eternal sky,
Full of light and of deity;
Again I saw, again I heard,
The rolling river, the morning bird ;
Beauty through my senses stole-
I yielded myself to the perfect WHOLE.


Homer, the great father of epic poetry, was born, according to the best accounts, in Smyrna, and flourished about nine hundred years before Christ. His chief works are the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” The former has for its subject the wrath of Achilles, a great Grecian warrior, who, in retaliation for a wrong done him by the Commander-in-chief of the Grecian forces, with. draws from the contest, and thereby brings the most calamitous consequences upon the armies of his countrymen. The latter is an account, full of strange incidents, of the return of Ulysses, another Grecian hero, to Ithaca, his native place, after the overthrow of Troy. The “Iliad” is allowed to be the superior work; but both of them bear the impress of a master hand, such, indeed, as seldom appears in the lapse of centuries.

Hector, the chief hero of the Trojans, in their ten years' war with the Greeks, was the eldest son of Priam, king of Troy. The scene which we have given below, is justly regarded as one of the most delicate and beautiful in the whole Iliad. He has just left the field of contest for a brief space, at a moment when the onset of the Greeks seems almost irresistible, in order to request the queen, his mother, to pray to the goddess Minerva for assistance. This done, he seeks a momentary interview with his wife, the fair and virtuous Andromache, whose touching appeal is, perhaps, without a parallel in tender, Qatural solicitude.




Too daring prince! ah, whither dost thou run ?
Ah! too forgetful of thy wife and son !
And think'st thou not how wretched we shall be,
A widow I, a helpless orphan he!

For sure such courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain,
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain !
O, grant me, gods ! ere -Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of Heaven, an early tomb !
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrrows as they first begun.


No parent now remains my grief to share,
No father's.aid, no mother's tender care.
The fierce Achilles * wrapped our walls in fire,
Laid Thebé waste, and slew my warlike sire !
His fate compassion in the victor bred;
Stern as he was, he yet revered the dead.
His radiant arms preserved from hostile spoil,
And laid him decent on the funeral pile :
Then raised a mountain where his bones were burned
The mountain nymphs the rural tomb adorned :
Jove's sylvan daughters bade their elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honor grow.


By the same urm my seven brave brothers fell;-
In one sad day beheld the gates of hell;
While the fat herds and snowy flocks they fed,
Amid their fields the hapless heroes bled !
My mother lived to bear the victor's bands,
The queen of Hypoplacia's † silver lands;
Redeemed too late, she scarce beheld again
Her pleasing empire and her native plain,
When, ah! oppressed by life-consuming woe,
She fell a victim to Diana's bow.

* Achilles (a kill lès), greatest of all the Grecian warriors.

† Hypoplacia (hy po plā' cia) is but another name for Thebe (thê' be) in Asia Minor, the birthplace of Andromache.


Yet, while my Hector still survives, I see
My father, mother, brethren, all in thee;
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all
Once more will perish, if my Hector fall.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share;
0, prove a husband's and a father's care !
That quarter most the skillful Greeks annoy,
Where yon wild fig-trees join the walls of Troy;
Thou from this tower defend the important post;
There Agamemnon * points his dreadful host;
That pass Tydides, Ajax,t strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from Heaven
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy.


The chief replied : That post shall be my care, Not that alone, but all the works of war. How would the sons of Troy, in arms renowned, And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground, Attaint the luster of my former name, Should Hector basely quit the field of fame! My early youth was bred to martial pains, My soul impels me to the embattled plains; Let me be foremost to defend the throne, And guard my father's glories and my own.


Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates ;
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates !)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.

* Agamemnon (ag a mem! non) was the commander-in-chief of th. Greek forces.

+ Tydides (ty di' dēs), or Di' o mede, son of Tydeus (ty' duce), and Ajax, were two Grecian heroes, next in courage to Achilles.

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