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of a tempest. It is for the same reason, that I prefer the following description of a ship in a storm, which the psalmist has made, before any other I have ever met with. "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters: these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waters thereof; they mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad, because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."
By the way, how much more comfortable as well as rational, is this system of the Psalmist, than the pagan scheme in Virgil, and other poets, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it? Were we only to consider the sublime in this piece of poetry, what can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being thus raising a tumult among the elements, and recovering them out of their confusion, thus troubling and becalming nature?
Great painters do not only give us landscapes of gar. dens, groves, and meadows, but very often employ their pencils upon sea-pieces. The following divine Ode has been made by a gentleman upon the conclu sion of his travels.
How are thy servants bless'd, O Lord!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help, Omnipotence.
In foreign realms and lands remote,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
Thy mercy sweeten'd ev'ry soil,
Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,
When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
For though in dreadful whirls we hung
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,
The sea that roar'd at thy command,
In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
And praise thee for thy mercies past,
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
And death, if death must be my doom,
A MOONLIGHT CONTEMPLATION.
Frigora mitescunt zephyris, ver proterit æstas
The cold grows soft with western gales,
But yields to autumn's fruitful rain,
Each loss the hasting moon repairs again.
THERE is hardly any thing gives me a more sensible delight, than the enjoyment of a cool still evening after the uneasiness of a hot sultry day. Such a one I passed not long ago, which made me rejoice when the bour was come for the sun to set, that I might enjoy the freshness of the evening in my garden, which then affords me the pleasantest hours I pass in the whole four-and-twenty. I immediately rose from my couch, and went down into it. You descend at first by twelve stone steps into a large square divided into four grass-plots, in each of which is a statue of white marble. This is separated from a large parterre by a low wall, and from thence, through a pair of iron gates, you are led into a long broad walk of the finest turf, set on each side with tall yews, and on either hand bordered by a canal, which on the right divides the walk from a wilderness parted into variety of allies and arbours, and on the deft from a kind of amphitheatre, which is the receptacle of a great number of oranges and myrtles. The moon shone bright, and seemed then most agreeably to supply the place of the sun, obliging me with as much light as was necessary to discover a thousand pleasing objects, and at the same time divested of all power of heat. The reflection of it in the water, the fanning of
the wind rustling on the leaves, the singing of the thrush and nightingale, and the coolness of the walks, all conspired to make me lay aside all displeasing thoughts, and brought me into such a tranquillity of mind, as is I believe the next happiness to that of hereafter. In this sweet retirement I naturally fell into the repetition of some lines out of a poem of Milton's, which he entitles Il Penseroso, the ideas of which were exquisitely suited to my present wanderings of thought.
Sweet bird! that shun'st the noise of folly,
I woo, to hear thy evening song:
Then let some strange mysterious dream
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
I reflected then upon the sweet vicissitudes of night and day, on the charming disposition of the seasons, and their return again in a perpetual circle; and, ob! said I, that I could from these my declining years, return again to my first spring of youth and vigour; but that, alas! is impossible: all that remains within my power, is to soften the inconveniencies 1 feel with an
easy contented mind, and the enjoyment of such delights as this solitude affords me. In this thought I sate me down on a bank of flowers and dropped into a slumber, which whether it were the effect of fumes and vapours, or my present thoughts, I know not; bnt methought the Genius of the garden stood before me, and introduced into the walk where I lay this drama and different scenes of the revolution of the year, which whilst I then saw, even in my dream, I resolved to write down.
The first person whom I saw advancing towards me, was a youth of a most beautiful air and shape, though he seemed not yet arrived at that exact proportion and symmetry of parts which a little more time would have given him; but however, there was such a bloom in his countenance, such satisfaction and joy, that I thought it the most desirable form that F had ever seen. He was clothed in a flowing mantle of green silk, interwoven with flowers: he had a chaplet of roses on his head, and a narcissus in his hand; primroses and violets sprang up under his feet, and all nature was cheered at his approach. Flora was on one hand, and Vertumnus on the other in a robe of changeable silk. After this I was surprised to see the moon-beams reflected with a sudden glare from armour, and to see a man completely armed advancing. with his sword drawn. I was soon informed by the Genius it was Mars, who had long usurped a place among the attendants of the Spring. He made way for a softer appearance, it was Venus, without any ornament but her own beauties, not so much as her own cestus,' with which she had eucompassed a globe, which she held in her right hand, and in her left she had a sceptre of gold. After her followed the Graces with their arms intwined within one another, their girdles were loosed, and they moved to the sound of soft music, striking the ground alternately with their feet: then came up the three months which belong to this season. As March advanced towards me, there