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phant—an insect and a man-of-war, both sailing in the sun—a little lucid well in which the fairies bathe, and the Polar Sea in which Leviathan is “ wallowing unwieldy, enormous in his gait”—the jewelled finger of a virgin bride, and grim Saturn with his ring—the upward eye of a kneeling saint, and a comet, “that from his horrid hair shakes pestilence and war.” But let the rose bloom on the mouldering ruins of the palace of some great king-among the temples of Balbec or Syrian Tadmor—and in its beauty, methinks, 'twill be also sublime. See the antelope bounding across a raging chasm -up among the region of eternal snows on Mont Blanc -and deny it, if you please—but assuredly we think that there is sublimity in the fearless flight of that beautiful creature, to whom nature grudged not wings, but gave instead the power of plumes to her small delicate limbs, unfractured by alighting among the pointed rocks. All alone, by your single solitary self, in some wide, lifeless desert, could you deny sublimity to the unlooked-for hum of the tiniest insect, or to the sudden shiver of the beauty of his gauze-wings ? Not you, indeed. Stooping down to quench your thirst in that little lucid well where the fairies bathe, what if you saw the image of the evening star shining in some strange subterranean world? We suspect that you would hold in your breath, and swear devoutly that it was sublime. Dead on the very evening of her marriage day is that virgin bride whose delicacy was so beautiful — and as she lies in her white wedding garments that serve for a shroud —that emblem of eternity and of eternal love, the ring,
upon her finger—with its encased star shining brightly now that her eyes, once stars, are closed—would, methinks, be sublime to all Christian hearts. parison with all these beautiful sublimities, Mount Ætna, the elephant, the man-of-war, Leviathan swimming the ocean-stream, Saturn with his ring, and with his horrid hair the comet-might be all less than nothings. Therefore beauty and sublimity are twin-feelings-one and the same birth—seldom inseparable ;—if you still doubt it, become a fire-worshipper, and sing your morning and evening orisons to the rising and the setting sun.
THE HOLY CHILD.
Tuis House of ours is a prison—this Study of ours a cell. Time has laid his fetters on our feet-fetters fine as the gossamer, but strong as Samson's ribs, silken-soft to wise submission, but to vain impatience galling as cankered wound that keeps ceaselessly eating into the bone. But while our bodily feet are thus bound by an inevitable and inexorable law, our mental wings are free as those of the lark, the dove, or the eagle—and they shall be expanded as of yore, in calm or tempest, now touching with their tips the bosom of this dearly beloved earth, and now aspiring heavenwards, beyond the realms of mist and cloud, even unto the very
core of the still heart of that otherwise unapproachable sky which graciously opens to receive us on our flight, when, disencumbered of the burden of all grovelling thoughts, and strong in spirituality, we exult to soar
“ Beyond this visible diurnal sphere,” nearing and nearing the native region of its own incomprehensible being.
Now touching, we said, with their tips the bosom of
this dearly beloved earth! How sweet that attraction to imagination's wings ! How delightful in that lower flight to skim along the green ground, or as now along the soft-bosomed beauty of the virgin snow! We were asleep all night long_sound asleep as children—while the flakes were falling, “and soft as snow on snow all the descendings of our untroubled dreams. The moon and all her stars were willing that their lustre should be veiled by that peaceful shower; and now the sun, pleased with the purity of the morning earth, all white as innocence, looks down from heaven with a meek unmelting light, and still leaves undissolved the stainless splendour. There is Frost in the air—but he does his spiriting gently,” studding the ground-snow thickly with diamonds, and shaping the tree-snow according to the peculiar and characteristic beauty of the leaves and sprays, on which it has alighted almost as gently as the dews of spring. You know every kind of tree still by its own spirit showing itself through that fairy veil—momentarily disguised from recognition—but admired the more in the sweet surprise with which again your heart salutes its familiar branches, all fancifully ornamented with their snowfoliage, that murmurs not like the green leaves of summer, that like the yellow leaves of autumn strews not the earth with decay, but often melts away into changes so invisible and inaudible, that you wonder to find that it is all vanished, and to see the old tree again standing in its own faint-green glossy bark, with its many million buds, which perhaps fancy suddenly expands into a power of umbrage impenetrable to the sun in Scorpio.
A sudden burst of sunshine! bringing back the pensive spirit from the past to the present, and kindling it, till it dances like light reflected from a burning mirror. A cheerful Sun-scene, though almost destitute of life. An undulating Landscape, hillocky and hilly, but not mountainous, and buried under the weight of a day and night's incessant and continuous snow-fall. The weather has not been windy—and now that the flakes have ceased falling, there is not a cloud to be seen, except some delicate braidings here and there along the calm of the Great Blue Sea of Heaven. Most luminous is the sun, yet you can look straight on his face, almost with unwinking eyes, so mild and mellow is his large light as it overflows the day. All enclosures have disappeared, and you indistinctly ken the greater landmarks, such as a grove, a wood, a hall, a castle, a spire, a village, a town—the faint haze of a far off and smokeless city. Most intense is the silence; for all the streams are dumb, and the great river lies like a dead serpent in the strath. Not dead-for, lo ! yonder one of his folds glitters—and in the glitter you see him moving -while all the rest of his sullen length is palsied by frost, and looks livid and more livid at
distant and more distant winding. What blackens on that tower of snow ? Crows roosting innumerous on a huge tree—but they caw not in their hunger. Neither sheep nor cattle are to be seen or heard—but they are cared for;— the folds and the farm-yards are all full of life-and the ungathered stragglers are safe in their instincts. There has been a deep fall—but no storm—and the