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By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
SCENES OF YOUTH REVISITED.
As soon as Saville could man his feelings for the task, he set out for the mountains of Cumberland, to view the graves of his parents, and the scenes of his own boyish days. In entering on such a journey, there comes a tinge of romance over almost
any mind; and, in so far as regards the latter, there are few things not immediately connected with relationship and affinity, which dash the cup of anticipated pleasure more rudely from the hand. When we leave in early youth the scenes of our infancy, these scenes remain upon the mind in all the freshness of infant pleasure. Pass where we may, or happen to us what will,—though half the circumference of the globe should stretch its vast curve between, and though misfortune should roll over us its deepest and most turbid wave,-still the calm and clear light of morning plays on that fairy-land of life, and reflects a pleasing ray over its gloomiest prospects. But then, if we are to enjoy this pleasure unbroken, we must not return. We forget not. the scenes of our youth, but the scenes of our youth forget us; and while we sit by the rivers of Babel, thinking with delight on the promised land, the inhabitants of that land think not of us. The grey-haired rustics, whom in our boyhood we regarded as the oracles of wisdom, sleep each beneath his green sod; our playmates are scattered, or have forgotten us; and the hearths around which we laughed and talked the winter's evening, are either razed and gone, or in the hands of strangers, who have no feeling and no sympathy in common with us.
Saville felt in this manner; for, through all the sorrow which had settled down upon him, his pulse was beating quicker and more strongly as he approached the mountains of Cumberland. The contour of those grand features of nature struck a counterpart in his bosom, which no grief could altogether hide. He rode alone over the hills which he had once hoped to call his own; he looked for the house in which he had drawn his first breath, the pickaxe of an old labourer was rooting out the last stone.
THE FOURTH OF JUNE-WRITTEN IN THE
[This piece seems pretty near a-kin to that species of literary composition
commonly called, “ Prose run mad.” The writer, no doubt, imagines it as truly “ poetical prose," as the critics pronounced Mr. Southey's Vision of Judgment to be “prosaic verse." It is the sentiment which pervades it that has secured it a place in this volume.]
The Fourth of June ! What a crowd of associations of times long past arise at the bare mention of that day! How many thousand young hearts have bounded in transport at its near approach! How many have passed their sleepless nights watching its first peep of dawn, till the clamours of their little artillery made the walls of our chambers to echo,
Sleep no more to all the house." And how does its now altered scene offer matter of reflection to every thinking mind. So lately known but as a day of tumult and rejoicing, of festivity and revellinga day on whieh the cares and anxieties of life were overawed by the splendour of its parade and pageantry. Now, like Hamlet over the skull of Yorick, we may say of it, where be now
flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar ? quite chop-fallen—and to this complexion all worldly grandeur must come.
How many of our kindred rose from infancy to manhoodstarted in and 66 won the race that led to “glory's goal"-conferred honours upon their country and themselves and now no more, who still knew the Fourth of June as no other than a day singled from the annual round, and rendered sacred to and inseparable from public rejoicing. As such, Fergusson and Burns have celebrated it in imperishable lays; but, now for it, is hushed alike the laureat's lay, and the cannon's roar. For it the sempstress no more plies her needle—no more for it the court butterfly trims his airy trappings, and longs in breathless expectation to mingle in the fluttering crowd; and heedless now is the man of office to prepare the civic feast, and preface bumpers to the monarch, the statesman, and the hero. The Fourth of June, now only in name, presents a sullen monument that such things were. It is as the pale cold marble over the tomb of him who once swayed the domains of the empire and the palace. Now the busy hum of every-day life is uninterrupted by its maddening noise, and the sober path of industry pursued, as if such a day had been heretofore unnoticed and unhonoured. The Fourth of June now reminds us of the transitory nature of all sublunary concerns--that the highest honours of human attainment, and life, and honours, prolonged to the latest period, exhibit only 66 Man dressed in a little brief authority.” It now enforces the solemn truth, that the longest life will have an end ; and, over the grave of an aged and a beloved monarch, proclaims that the highest pitch of worldly grandeur bars not against its wearer the portals of the tomb, where king and peasant repose on equal terms.
The Fourth of June this year passed over us in the tranquillity of a Sabbath-day, betokening as it were an earnest of a day of rest henceforth, after its bustle and turmoil during the lapse of threescore years.
DEATH ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE.
Day glimmers on the dying and the dead,