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SPECIMEN OF COMPOSITION BY STEAM. manufacturers, and stupified by the united energies of

Persian salrapies, and universal annihilation.
To the Editor of The Edinburgh Literary Journal."

The Patentee begs to solicit the attention of the pubYOUR“ Proposals for an Entire Change in the Nature which the above specimen was composed.

lic to the terms on which he hires out the machine by of Things,” suggested to me a variety in the adaptation of stean, which I consider of the very greatest import. stanza.

Love songs, and poems in the style of Moore, 6d. per ance, and by which the labour of mental exertion will

Waverley novels, 10s. per cwt. be superseded for ever. I have invented, sir, a self-com

Fashionable and sentimental novels, such as “ Treposing steam-engine, which is capable of producing se- maine,

," “ Almack's," “ The Disowned,” &c., by the ven hundred sentences per hour, on any given subject ; hour or piece. and, as a specimen of its efficiency, I have now the plea- Tragedies, 71d. per act. sure of transmitting you a short essay, on a highly inte

Essays on phrenology, gratis. resting and difficult subject, composed by my steam-en- Puffs of all descriptions executed on the shortest nogine, in the unusually short space of two minutes and a tice. half.-I have the honour to be, Sir,

Articles for the Reviews and Magazines on very rcaYour obedient servant,

sonable terms. JAMES Watt, Secundus. Speeches, upon any side of the question, from 2d. to

4d. each.

Liberal discount allowed to Irish Orators, and Mem

bers of Parliament who make it a rule to vote in the SURROUNDED by the fawning puerilities of celestial minority. conglomerations, the human intellect betrays its deto. nating quality by the genial origin of obstetric hyænas. Do we dread the corroding tooth of immoral jointure.

LETTERS FROM OXFORD. houses, or the fanatical vehemence of Indian jugglers,— how easy it is to repose ourselves on the crater of Mount

No. I. Hecla, or amalgamate with the cupidities of thunder. struck archbishops. Away, then, with the iniquities of

MR EDITOR,—The last term at this great seat of despotic washerwomen! Away with the devouring ten- learning has not been productive of much which is likely derness of Black wood's menstrual Magazine! For this to attract your Scottish readers. An English Univers did George the Fourth lead on the Renfrewshire militia sity is so different in its whole form and system from into so many monastic nuisances ? For this did Sir any thing to which they have been accustomed, that Walter Scott rebel against the concatenated vicissitudes they would neither understand nor relish the academic

details which excite interest here. of paper currency, and oppress, with nosological exac

Even of the place tions, the inhabitants of Annandale? Let the timid Wel. and its external aspect they can form but a slight conlington but plant his foot upon the summit of Port Hope- ception, till they have seen it. There is something toun, and the cemeteries of Parisian volcanoes will prove which no other place can give an idea ; and, least

of all,

overpoweringly imposing and venerable about it, ut the ablest guarantees of our national expenditure. In sober truth, done but irrational antipodes, or Rosicrucian any of our Scoich Universities, with their onu or two fishmongers, would ever prognosticate the ruin of Semi. Colleges, and the character which they bear upon their ramis, or forebode the downfall of anatomy.

fronts, of being intended entirely for use. At Oxford, But to return to the subject. Granting that the Mo- twenty-four Colleges and Halis, besides the numerous saical stenography exhibits all the turbulence of fashion and splendid University buildings, with their groves and able entities ; granting that an ephemeral eternity can gardens, and avenues of majestic trees, and branches isolate the fragrance of obstreperous parallelograms,

and windings numberless of classic streams, give the does it follow, from such parenthetical premises, that the place an indescribable aspect of lordliness and repos:, crural coincidences must refrigerate the longitudinal vis- and make the town appear as if less intended for the ortas of Turkish Ambassadors ? On the contrary, I ap- with. The same idea which the aspect of the city ex

dinary uses of humanity, than any other you can meet prehend it to be demonstratively interpenetrated, that every peripatetic symposium must coagulate the far- cites is reflected from the appearance of the population, fetched hyperboles that spring from vernal desolation, of which, the most striking feature to a stranger is the of irradiate the centrifugal beauty of Circassian oligarmultitude of strange and obsolete dresses which meet the chies. Who can deny the justness of this conclusion, if eye in all their mystical variety of forms and ornaments, the symmetrical ordinances of clerical contiguity are once

more unintelligible than those contained in “ Aaron's brought into contrast with the Presbyterian stocking- wardrobe, or the old Haman's vestry.” holders, rioting in luxurious contumacy, or irritated by

But I must not entertain you with the picturesque antenuptial fumigations? It has been said by a learned when you ask for the literary.' I fear that you in Scotauthor, that the repertories of Iconoclastical enthusiasm land have rather an exaggerated idea of the general litehad been syncopated by exasperating effluvia, and tri- rature and erudition of Oxford. To say the truth, the turated by epicurean paradoxes; but I contemn this com- Oxonian system of education, viewed merely as a process mentary upon syntactical phenomena, and abominate the of general instruction, abstractedly from its endowments granulating excoriations that converge from terselated and means of learned leisure, is, as the world is beginning renegadoes. As the magniloquent poet has carnivorously of the matter and the manner of education. In regard to

to find out, exceedingly deficien—and that both in respect observed, " Wherever life its varied essence throws,

the former point, there are absolutely not the means in

Oxford of a complete and liberal education, even for those There is satiety when lobsters come; Hydras are swallowed faster than the rose,

who are inclined to make use of them—the only branch of Beauty expires, and artichokes are dumb !"

study for which there are at all adequate appliances

provided, being the classical department. And even in To conclude, then, I shall simply remark, that never this department the celebrity of Oxford does not seem to did the parietal gastronomy more illustriously salivate depend on any peculiar efficiency

in the mechanism of the apathies of ghastly aldermen than upon that brilliant instruction viewed in itself ; but on the inducements occasion, when all eyes were mystified by convolving held out in the way of distinctions and rawards to pro

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ficiency in the first instance, and then to the establish- following topics inmin what respect this branch can be ments which it possesses for the support of a number of ranged in a subordinate class of art ;-and to what ex. individuals, whose sole profession is literature, among

tent the assertion so often repeaicu is just, that portrait whom it were strange if one or two should not be found disqualifies for the attaivment of eminence in the histowho turned out enthusiasts in their profession ; and ha- rical ur grand style of painting. ving nothing else 10 attend to, at length became really With regard to the first subject of investigation ; if profound and erudite scholars. This seems the true the merit, and consequent rauk, of any work of art, is to secret ot'Oxonian erudition__not ibat, as a body, the men be estimatcd by the effect produced upon the mind, it brought up at Oxford are more learned, far less better will admit of question whiciler portraiture be not supeinformed, ilian the men educated at Étlinburgh-out rior to history. Nor is this morle of decision an apthat 0:ford does not, like Edinburghi, let hice choice peal fiom principle, as might be said, to the voice of the scholars go just at the moment when they have got many. It is an appenl fiom the trammels of conven. over the preliminaries, when they have acquired the con- tional criticism,—-rom the mazes of metaphysical taste, mand of their tools-and might, if they were not called to natural feeling and unsophisticated judgment,—to away to active service in lite, begin to explore tlıe ar

common sense, cana, and become initiated into the greater mysteries. Set up a hundred or two fat sinccures in Edinburgh for

Quem penes abitrium est, et jus, et norma. learned men as such, and out of the hundred you will But to obviate entirely, this supposed and only objec. certainly find one or two in a generation, who will turn tion; the feelings addressed in a well-painted portrait these sinecures to their iniended use—the undisturbed are the best and the most rafined of the human heart. The cultivation of erudite research, and acquisition of deep canvass, breathing with those lineaments on which we scholarship. Whether the gain be worilly of the price lave lung with respect and affection—with veneration is another question ; but that is the way, if the Royal and love, presents an object grateful and affecting be. Commission will have it so, to turn Edinburgh into an yond every other that art can exhibit. Oxford let then endow a score or two of rich fellow

“ And while the wings of fancy still are free, ships--and make the passport to them a distinguished

While I can view this mimic show of thee, degree. The examinations for degrees this terin at Ox

Time has but half succeeded in his thett: ford have either been very scarce, or the examinees very ill-prepared. Out of more than a hundred who

Thyself removed-thy power tu sulace left." went up 10 ihe schools, only four have taken a first class, Nor are these partial feelings awakened merely by -a smaller proportion tbau is recollected for many years individual circunstances. When a portrait belongs back. The vacant chair of Oriental languages has been to posterity, the feelings too belong to immortality ; the filled up with a Mr Pusey, fellow of Oriel,-a young pencil then employs an universal language, addressing man of wonderful acquirements as a liguist. He wrote the taste, the energy, the virtue of each succeeding age. an account lately of the German thcology, in which lie Supposing it now possible to recover some master. is profoundly versed, in answer to the work of Mr Rose piece of Grecian art, which single picture would enjoy of Cambridge, on the same subject. This book contains the general preference? We apprehend not a tablet, a vast quantity of valuable information ; but its author enriched even by the cxquisite finish of Zeusis, or the is rather too much Teutonicised to suit an English glowing colours of Parrhasius, or the deep pathos of

Timanthes, or the beauty and grandeur of Apelles him. The only publications of any note wliich have issued sell. The earlier labours in the pæcile would raise the from the Oxford press during the last term are Cramer's general wish; for here Polygnotus had depicted, from Geography of Greece,—a work, like his Italy, of great the living originals, the heroes wlio defended)—the legis. research and minuteness ;—and Mills' Universiiy Ser- lators who enlightened united Greece, during the most mons,-a set of rather learned and ingenious disquisi. glorious period in her moral history. Or to put a case tions on the belief of a future state. The Oriel inen, yet more home-felt: When centuries shall have harmoas you have no doubt heard, are getiing up a review, nised the jarring elements of history into the brief nar. which they intend to pitch aguinst the Quarterly. What rative which will embalın whatever is truly great and their ground of dissatisfaction with the latter is, I do not precious in the events or characiers of these our times know, unless it be, that it is edited by a Scotchuman, and when, it may be, the splendour of art and the light of that it has of late been rather less opposed to innovations liberty have arisen on a new hemisphere, leaving in igthan of old. Blanco White is to be the nominal editor norance and despotism those regions of Europe once in. of the new Review, though the principal manageinent, structed and free, what collection of English art will it is supposed, will belong to Dr Wlately, Principal of then be most regretted ? Would it not be such an ore Alban Hall,-one of the ablest men in 0 tord, whose as is now forming by liis Majesty-a design worthy of defence of Aristoile against the Scoich metaplıysicians, royal munificence and taste—where, as withiin sovie con. by the by, ought to be known in Scotland, and either secrated shrine-a school of future viriue and enterprise answered, or acknowledged to be triumphant.

-are to be assembled the silent, yet eloquent forms, Oxford, Dec. 17, 1823.

representatives of the valour, the learning and patriot. ism, the wisdom and genius, of our native land ?

We need advocate no farther the moraldigniiy ofan art, FINE ARTS.

which inultiplies the eterniiy of that which cannot die which addresses the tenderest and the noblest principles

of our nature. Nor are these emotions, as has been said, ON PORTRAIT PAINTING.

separate and apart from the object that calls them forth. By Dr Memes, Author of the Life of Canova," &c.

An historical painting, a group of sculpiure,-every

effort of art capable of touching the feelings, derives “ Blessed be the Art that can immortalize,

this power from association ; and that work is the most The Art that baffies Time's tyrannic claim."

perfect which most cordially sympathises with the as. Among the causes, real or imaginary, assumed as ad- sociated sentiment—which Aings its instant brightness verse to the progress of British art, that most frequent- or gloom over the imagery of memory. ly brought forward is the prevalence of portait painting. Now, in the dignity and legitimacy of the means, the It may prove, then, not altogether uninteresting can- second subject of inquiry, by which its effects are wrought, didly to inquire how far this opinion is well founded. portrait painting is neither interior nor opposed to hisThis examination must necessarily embrace the two tory. Anch io son pittore, may with justice be the boast



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0, NATURE ! holy, meek, and mild,
Thou dweller on the mountain wild ;
Thou haunter of the lonesome wood;
Thou wanderer by the secret flood;
Tbou lover of the daisied sod,
Where Spring's white foot hath lately trod;
Finder of flowers fresh-sprung and new,
Where sunshine comes to seek the dew;
Twiner of bowers for lovers meet ;
Smoother of sods for poets' feet;
Thrice-sainted matron! in whose face,
Who looks in love will light on grace;
Far-worshipp'd goddess ! one who gives
Her love to him who wisely lives ;-
O! take my hand, and place me on
The daisied footstool of thy throne;
And pass before my darken'd sight
Thy hand, which lets in charmed light;
And touch my soul, and let me see
The ways of God, fair dame, in thee.

of the artist in either department. The means which imitative art employs are twofold; peculiar to individual modes of imitation, and dependent on the precepts of universal taste. In the first, the colouring, the drawing. the management of light and shaile, the grandeur of the masses, the breadth of parts-all the essentials, in short, of the grand in practical art, a portrait, admi. rable as a work of genius, exhibits the same excellences, and these produced by observance of the same principles, as a piece of history. An opinion opposite to this fact, and which confounils greatness of extent with grandeur of effeci, appears to be ai ilie boitom of much of the irrelevant remark on tlie subject now considered. True grandeur in a work of ari, however, is a principle pure and independent, which must exist, and will be found, in every work of excellence, of whatever maynitude.

In those beauties, again, common to all the modes of imitation, which in all constitute the “ To vadov nao ayafor" of universal art, portrait, in its true excellence, must partake equally with historical works. If intellectuality and expression--the animating, the inforining principles of painting—be regarded, where are these more finely developed, than in the countenance of genius or feeling, when touched by the hand of a master ? Such a picture is the portraiture of the soul..the nearest approach which the material can make to the intellectual world. Here the pencil must be guided by the most exquisite science, and the loftiest enthusiasm. Perhaps even more acute discernment, more refined knowledge, of the human heart, is required, thus to embody the calm habi. tudes of the mind in serenity and repose, than to express the more turbulent effects of passion, the frequent theme of history.

But, after all, what is historical painting? Is it not portraiture ? and are not its merits in proportion to the Lidelity of the delineation in the manners, the characters, the general spirit of the times to wbich it belongs ? Does fancy claim the subject ? still the constituents are portraits of nature, and the whole is combined by the laws of this very imitation. Here, intleed, in the composition and arrangement of his materials, the historical painter exerts a greater latitude of creative power. This, however, arises from the greater variety, not the superior excellence, of materials or of his principles. Grace more frequenily bounds the simple composition of the porirait. Both, however, are essentially the same art--the art of representing nature ; and each attains this, its scope and aim, as this initation is accomplished. And it is more immediate intercourse with this, the sole and primitive source of all beauty and truth, which renders the science of portrait painting the most valuable corrective of all conventional art_ihe best preparative for the loftiest exercises of imagination. This the whole history of art evinces. The only approaches to nature, in the arts of Egypt, are to be found in the colossal heads-as that of Memnon—which there is every reason to believe were portraits. In Greece, their theory of the ideal, and their canons of proportion, were deduced from the study of individual nature, as in portraits. Sculpture, in fact, began to advance with ease and certainty only after the introduction of Iconic statues, or portraits. The Roman school attained originality, and came in contact with truth and beauty, only in portraits. In modern times, with the exception of Michael Angelo, the best portrait have been the best liistorical painters. Raphael's Transfiguration belongs not more to the grand style of art, than his portrait of Julius. In the schools, now, of France and Italy, we find every thing which theory and the antique can give-fine drawing, correct proportion -but that which portrait could give, feeling and the graces of natural expression are wanting. In the Eng. lish school there is feeling—there is truth-character all the inexpressible charms of nature. Let patrons do the rest, and we shall have historical paintings, like our portrnits, superior to every thing in living art.

Or lead me forth o'er dales and meads,
Even as her child the mother leads;
Where corn, yet milk in its green ears,
The dew upon its shot blade bears;
Where blooming clover grows, and where
She licks her scented foot, the hare;
Where twin-nuts cluster thick, and springs
The thistle with ten thousand stings;
Untrodden flowers and unpruned trees,
Gladden'd with songs of birds and bees;
The ring where last the fairies danced-
The place where dank Will latest glanced
The tower round which the magic shell
Of minstrel threw its lasting spell-
The stream that steals its way along,
To glory consecrate by song :
And while we saunter, let thy speech
God's glory and his goodness preach.

Or, when the sun sinks, and the bright
Round moon sheds down her lust'rous light;
When larks leave song, and men leave toiling;
And hearths burn clear, and maids are smiling;
When hoary hinds, with rustic saws,
Lay down to youth thy golden laws;
And beauty is her wet cheek laying
To her sweet child, and silent praying :
With Thee in hallow'd mood I'll go,
Through scenes of gladness or of woe;
Thy looks inspired, thy chasten'd speech,
Me more than man hath taught, shall teach ;
And much that's gross, and more that's vain,
As chaff from corn, shall leave my strain.

I feel thy presence and thy power,
As feels the rain yon parched flower ;
It lifts its head, spreads forth its bloom,
Smiles to the sky, and sheds perfume.
A child of woe, sprung from the clod,
Through Thee seeks to ascend to God.


By John Malcolm, Esq.
When Reason sleeps, and Fancy wakes,

Far over mount and sea,
My soul-a nightly wanderer-takes

Her lonely walks with thee ;-
And meets thee, as we met of yore,

By whispering woods and silvery streams, Upon the calm and shadowy shore

That rises on my dreams.
There-while in visions of the night

With thee my spirit strays,
Amid the land, and in the light

Of long-lost yesterdays-
Fair things that fled life's early path,

And left a desert gap around-
The flowers and feelings sunk in death,

And mourn'd as lost-are found.


And there, thy sad sweet smile still glows,

And doth thy cheek illume, That wcars the image of the rose,

Now blench'd within the tomb ; And thy soft voice, to silence long

Gone down from earth, my spirit hearsLike the sweet memory of a song,

Echoed from other years.

Oh, why are dreams so blissful given

To charm the hours of sleep To soothe us with a gleam of Heaven,

Then leave to wake and weep? Why is the lost one's memory dear,

If it but haunts the heart in vainIf friends by death are sever'd here,

Never to meet again?

THE VALE OF PEACE! and it was Sabbath-morn! And at my side, pausing whene'er I paused, And moving on whene'er I moved, a Spirit Lovelier than Nymph or Goddess of the Dawn, Created in his sleep by some young Greek, Beside that famous fount of Castaly Stretched in day-dreams beneath the olive shade O! lovelier far that Spirit! For her face, Composed of mortal beauty, seemed immortal! So felt her father, as the holy light Of that still Sabbath-morn, so sad and sweet, Visited her eyes, her cheeks, her brow, her hair, And, to my heart, seemed all reflected back On the green earth, and on the blue profound Of God's own gracious skies !

« THE VALE OF PEACE!" Breathed she, with that low voice so musical, That voice of hers, so like an echo brought From far,-yet as familiarly distinct As words ot' fancy-fraught soliloquy By wandering poet murmured in the woods To his own ear, none other by to hear The fragments of his song, but forest-birds, The rustling robin redbreast near his nest, In spring and summer shy of human life By the sweet ingrate through the snows beloved ! Or cushat moaning, is it joy or grief?) Hid in some yew-tree many centuries old! “ The Vale of Peace !" my rose-lipped Margaret

breathed Once more, so close unto my heart I felt The fine faint fragrant sigh from Paradise ; Nor ever floated up and down the air, In sunshine shivering to the zephyr's wing, Rose-leaves more lightly, in their balminess, Than did the tones of her repeated voice, Rising and falling,wavering and away, Each time more eloquent of innocent bliss ! On a soft sofa of the unhewn rock We sat us down, within a natural niche, O'ergrown with emerald velvet, such a depth Of moss had gathered there from year to year, While overhead, and but few yards aside, Kept dinning ceaseless in the solitude, The tiny cataract of a lucid rill Breathed from a clear loch, up among the braes,Whose spray, like pearls in mist, empurpled bright The flowers, on which tbe mountain-bees hung mute Amid that watery murmur,—or at once Capriciously forsaking their sweet prisons In the many-celled foxglove, boomed away, Through sunshine, like to fairy humming-birds, To their ground hives, or other balmier wilds.

With her, the loved, the good, the beautiful,
Sitting by my side, almost within my arms,-
A desert had been Eden, and the spring
Buried the winter in a flush of flowers;
But Sabbath-morn shone on Tue VALE OF PEACE;
Nor in broad Scotland a more pleasant place
Wakes to the rising sun; nor, as he sets,
Fades lovelier in the fading light--though wind
Away away ten thousand glorious glens
With their long sounding hollows up among
The regions of the everlasting snow,
Enclosing many a nameless nook, unknown
But to the hunter, as he stalks the deer,
Or poet seeking in the farthest depth
Of solitude remoteness farther still
Nooks of such perfect beauty, that one tree,
One rock where broom and heather glow together,
One grove of the wide-waving lady-fern,
Would there be missed, if by some magic wand
Wafted off dreamily from his musing eyes,
And the whole spirit of the wilderness
Changed, because that was gone !

She gazed and gazed,
My happy child, and, in her happiness
Deepen'd the beauty of THE VALE OF PEACE!



By Professor Wilson.
DIVINELY silent as a picture steep'd
In dewy morning-prime, by heavenly art
Of some great poet-painter, while he wooed,
As if she were a spirit who felt his love,
Hush'd Nature, as she slumber'd beautiful
Dreaming, or waking beautiful from dreams!
Even so divinely silent in the sun,
Who had dropt his cloud-retinue in the sea,
And up the blue vault journey'd lingeringly,
Mild as the moon to homeward reapers dear,
And all undazzling, though the dawn grew day,
As unto lover's eyes the evening-star !
Even so divinely silent, while my soul
Lived in mine eyes, all other senses shut
In short oblivion, with its Sabbath-calin
Of lights and shadows lay the Vale or Peace!

THE VALE OF PEACE! A tranquillizing sound !
Haply so named in the old forgotten time,
By pensive minstrel, harping his glad way
Through the thin solitudesnow at the door
Of hut or shieling on the mountain-side,
With verse to some romantic roundelay
Accordant, voice and hand in unison,
Charming the solitary mother, left
With her mute infant, while her husband plied
His work in far-off woods ;-now in the inidst
Of numerous merriment on the village green,
Throned, a magician, on the topmost step
Of all the flight, beneath the old Stone-Cross
That grandly cleaved in twain the golden mass
Of sunset, with a deeper mystery
Than hangs round all the luminous orbs of Heaven!

Not many tears, and they were tears of joy,
Or pity,—for her fellow-Christians seen
Smiling or weeping, or for creatures dumb
In their mysterious passion, had her eyes
Ever bedimm'd; and then the dewy rays,
In their large orbs, a more delightful kiss
Diffused upon her father's lips, that touch'd
Those holy shrines of feeling and of thought.
But now fast fell her tears,—she knew not why,
And a long sigh betray'd th' excess of bliss
Disturbing her young heart! Up rose the lark,
And with it carried Margaret's hymns to heaven,
While she herself was mute! Watching the bird,
She held her pale face up to the blue skies,
Bright in its paleness, as the sunshine fell
Lovingly on those delicate lineaments;
And I might be forgiven, if then I saw
In that her trance of rapt beatitude,
A radiant angel in a child of clay.

With the descending lark her soul return'd
To earth; and, as beneath a tufted clod
Of the young braird, alighting by its nest,
The song of that aèrial chorister
Ceased on a sudden, to the homes of earth
My Margaret's heart, with all its sympathies,
Went yearning, while her glistening eyes did range
The VALE OF PEACE, from the first house that smiled
On the green mount beneath it's sheltering tree,
A few gay fields beyond the light-railed bridge,
To the dim hut, that, almost like a haze
Of steady vapour, ʼmid the heathery copse,
Speck'd the far mountain side.

“ Yes, my dear child!
To your young eyes that farm is beautiful,
That Farm-house cresting there the sunny knoll
With its old ivied chimneys, its green roof
Shelter'd beneath a roof far greener still,
The Plane-tree's roof, whose honied umbrage hums
(We hear it now) with many a hive of bees,
Come from afar ; yet loud as is the hum,
Like soften'd thunder, hark! you hear the cooing
Of the glad doves, and lo! you see them move
With purpling necks, and bosoms swelling proud
Upon the shaded thatch! The streamlet Hows
Round and all round that sweet Peninsula,
Bathing the low holms in undying green,
Where the slow cattle feed; or needful grain,
Greener than greenest herbage, soothes the eye
And heart together, promising to man,
Who prays for it to God, his daily bread!
Yet sorrow visiteth this world of Sin
In the most peaceful places; and the dews,
At morn and evening dropping from that tree
On the rich mosses of that burnish'd roof,
Have fallen not so frequent or so fast
As human tears, around the dying beds
Spread on those lowly floors! The mother brought
Consumption in her blood, while yet a Bride,
To that delightful dwelling; and the veins
Of all her family kept the mortal taint,
Both sons and daughters, hid beneath a skin
As pure as snow, while auburn ringlets waved
O'er every manly, every feminine brow,
A household, by the hearth or in the air,
The Glory and the Beauty of the Vale!
For many years she linger'd still reviving
As the wild flowers revived, but every spring
Beheld her weak and weaker, as she walked
Down to the kirk with her bright family,
On the mild Sabbaths, or on working days
Tending the house-affairs, or sitting calm
Among her offspring round the blinking hearth,
At evening, with the Bible on her knees !
She died ! and of her duteous children grown
To prime of life's estate, one every year,
For five years following, to the same lown spot,
In the eastern nook of the small burial-place,
Where all their kindred slept, were duly borne !
Three stately sons, two daughters fair as morn,
As glad May-day came round! A Festival,

Long, long ago, still held with dance and song,
When they were girls and boys! The father lives,
A grey-hair'd man, but yet not miserable,
Say rather happy, for two sons survive,
And one meek daughter, meek as summer eve
When dews are falling, and the linnet sings,
Beyond his hour, to hail the Evening Star!
The old man looks unto a lonely life
In th' unbefriended future! Say it not!
Not unbefriended-since, for such as he,
And others who in guilt have found their grief,
(His life has still been blameless before men,
Though frail in purer eyes,) that Infant lay
Within the lowly manger, while from the East
The wise men came with offerings, and the voice
Of angels sang o'er holy Bethlehem !
And often as they walk across the graves,
Unto the house of God, the sickly Three,
To stranger's eye they all look beautiful
In health, for nought deceitful as decay,
Will steal a look, all unobserved by him
Whose heart quakes ever for his children dear,
At the low mounds, where many a daisy grows,
Ere long to smile in dew above their heads,
Laid by their brothers' and their sisters' sides,
Their mother in the midst! And if a tear
Will sometimes fall, it is not for then selves,
But the grey head then stooping 'neath the porch
Of the small kirk soon fill'd with sound of psalms !
Transient that trance! for holier hopes arise
The kirk is fill’d with worship Jesus speaks-
And all vain sorrow dies beneath the Cross !"

I ceased, and a low sobbing by my side
Was all I heard, -when, turning round her head,
My Margaret strove to hide her face; then rising,
She walk'd towards the waterfall, and dipp'd
Her small hands in the murmur, o'er her brow
Pouring the liquid coolness; then came back,
With a faint smile, and sat down on the rock
Beside me happy in her sweet return;
A smile that in its faintness seem'd to say,
“ O Father! and is this THE VALE OF PEACE ?"


I laid my arm around my daughter's neck,
And then the natural tears began to flow
Faster than ever,—but her grief was gone,
And she was weeping in strong filial love;
Happy as the young linnet in the broom,
On leaving first its nest, and on the spray,
Swinging in sunshine near its parent-bird.

“Look, Margaret, towards the sun-the joyous cast !
Lo ! on the birken brink of yonder rill
So rocky, that no larger tree may grow
On the thin soil, though sweetest pasturage
Creeps round each crevice of the cliffs, and sheep,
Goatlike, are passing to and fro the heights,
Even as wild creatures. Lo! an airy hut,
Perched on the very summit, one huge stone
Alone behind it, and some stunted shrubs,
Poor shelter—so it seems to the green plat
Before the door; and yet, when storms are up,
And winds are piping loud, the soften'd blast
Strikes through these shrubs upon the little pane
In the clay wall,—and that gigantic pillar
Becalms the roof, even as a little skiff
From tempests sacred in some waveless bay.
There dwells a crone-the oldest of the old !
Her life has past its hundredth year—how long
No one can tell not she herself-the grave-stones
Of all her children, and her children's children,
In green obliteration long have lain
Sunk in the kirk-yard, and no chronicler
Can point the place-no chronicler but one,
Even she herself, who, bed-rid long ago,
With dim eyes sometimes visits in her dreams
The headstone of the husband of her youth,
And reads the text thereon, for long long years
Still legible, till over all that pook
The matted brambles and rank hemlock rose;
And in the midst a bird-sown seedling thorn,

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