Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

5. The sound of anthems, in the darkling wood,

Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And + supplication. For his simple heart

Might not resist the sacred influences,
10. That, from the stilly twilight of the place,

And from the gray old trunks, that high in heaven
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the +invisible breath, that swayed at once

All their green tops, stole over them, and bowed 15. His spirit, with the thought of boundless Power

And +inaccessible Majesty. Ah, why
Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore

Only among the crowd, and under roofs 20. That + our frail hands have raised ! Let me, at least

Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn; thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in His ear.

Father, thy hand Hath reared these venerable + columns. Thou 25. Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down

Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,

And shot toward heaven. The century-living crow, 30. Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died

Among their branches; till, at last, they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshiper to hold

Communion with his Maker. Here are seen 35. No traces of man's pomp, or pride; no silks

Rustle, no jewels shine, nor envious eyes
+Encounter; no fantastic carvings show
The boast of our vain race to change the form

Of thy fair works. But thou art here; thou fill'st 40. The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds,

That run along the summits of these trees
In music; thou art in the cooler breath,
That, from the inmost darkness of the place,

Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground, 45. The fresh, moist ground, are all instinct with thee.

Here is continual worship; nature, here,
In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird

50. Passes; and yon clear spring, that, 'mid its herbs,

Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left

Thyself without a witness, in these shades, 55. Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace,

Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak,
By whose immovable stem I stand, and seem
Almost annihilated, not a prince,

In all the proud old world beyond the deep,
60. E'er wore his crown as + loftily as he
Wears the

green coronal of leaves, with which Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare

Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower, 65. With scented breath, and look so like a smile,

Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mold,
An emanation of the indwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,

That are the soul of this wide +universe. 70. My heart is awed within me, when I think

Of the great miracle that still goes on,
In silence, round me; the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed

Forever. Written on thy works, I read 75. The lesson of thy own eternity.

Lo! all grow old and die: but see, again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay
Youth presses, ever gay and beautiful youth,

In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees 80. Wave not less proudly than their #ancestors

Molder beneath them. O, there is not lost
One of earth's charms : upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,

The freshness of her far beginning lies,
85. And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate

Of his arch enemy, Death; yea, seats himself
Upon the + sepulcher, and blooms and smiles;
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe

Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth 90. From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.

There have been holy men, who hid themselves
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived

The generation born with them, nor seemed 95. Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks

Around them; and there have been holy men,

Who deemed were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these + solitudes

Retire, and in thy presence, reässure 100. My feeble virtue. Here, its enemies,

The passions, at thy plainer footsteps, shrink,
And tremble, and are still. O God! when thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire

The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill 105. With all the waters of the + firmament,

The swift, dark whirlwind, that uproots the woods
And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep, and throws himself

Upon the continent, and overwhelms
110. Its cities ; — who forgets not, at the sight

Of these + tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by ?
O, from these sterner aspects of thy face

Spare me and mine; nor let us need the wrath 115. Of the mad, unchained elements, to teach

Who rules them. Be it ours to + meditate,
In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of thy works,
Learn to + conform the order of our lives.

W. C. BRYANT.

QUESTIONS.-What are the most ancient temples of worship? What meditations become the forest scenes? How are the forests a witness for God? (See line 55 and onward.) What is the poetic measure of this piece ?

Parse “stole,” in the 14th line. “Shrine,” in the 33d line. “Encounter,” in the 37th. “Oak,” in the 56th. Parse “be,” the first word of the last sentence in the lesson. Parse “majesty,” in the same sentence. Which are the adjectives in this sentence? Which are the prepositions ? What is a preposition ? Why are they so called ?

ARTICULATION.

Struggld, strict, strode, stroll’d, clock, strikes. They struggld through all difficulties. The rules are unnecessarily strict. He strode proudly on. They strolld through thickets, and briars, and brambles, and thorns, till they reached the road. The clock strikes twelve.

[ocr errors]

LESSON XLIII. PRONOUNCE correctly, and ARTICULATE distinctly. -Ir-reg-u-lar, (pro. ir-reg-yu-lar), not ir-reg-gy-lar, nor ir-reg-eu-lar: sem-i-cir-cle, not sim-i-cir-cle: per-pen-dic-u-lar, not per-pen-dic-ky-lar, nor per-pen-die'lar; which, not wich: cat-a-racts, not cat-rac's : ex-act, not ex-ac: be-yond, not be-yend: ap-påll-ing, not ap-pål-ing: dis-cover-a-ble, not dis-cocer ble.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

1, Cat'-a-ract, n. a great fall of water | 10. Spi'-ral, a. winding like a screw. over a precipice.

An'-gu-lar, a. having corners, Cas-cades', 1, waterfalls.

11. Fos'-sil, a. dug out of the earth,
3. Am-phi-the'-a-ter, n. a circular build- Or-gan'-ic, a. having organs for

ing having the rows of seats around growth and nourishment. Organic
it rising one above another. It is here remains are the remains of living
used figuratively, to indicate the ap- bodies changed into stone.
pearance of the falls.

[tangle. 12, En-vel'-op, v. to inclose, to surround
Ex'-tri-cate, v. to set free, to disen- entirely.
4. Chasms, n. (pro. kazm) a gap, an 13. Im'-pe-tus,n.force of motion, impulse.
opening

[pyramid. 14. Co-los'-sal, a. very large, huge. 5. Py-ram'-id-al, a. having the form of a 16. Gor'-geous, a. splendid, showy. A-byss', n. a deep pit or gulf.

Dec-o-ra'-tions, n. ornaments. 6. Lu'-min-ous, a. bright, shining.

Re-ful'-gent, a. shining, splendid. Ir-ra'-di-ate, v. to illuminate. [back. 18. Ex-plo'-sion, n. a bursting with noise. 7. Re-coil'-ing, a. shrinking, starting

Ha'·lo, n. (pro, hah'-lo) a bright cir. 8. Per-turb'-ed, a. agitated, disturbed. cle around the sun. 9. Com-mi-nu'-tion, n. the state of being 19. E'-gress, n. the act of going out.

separated into very small particles. Her'-alds, n. fore-runners.

NIAGARA FALLS.

1. The form of the Niagara Falls is that of an irregular + semicircle, about three quarters of a mile in extent. This is divided into two distinct cascades by the intervention of Goat Island, the extremity of which is perpendicular, and in a line with the precipice, over which the water is projected. The cataract on the Canada side of the river, is called the Horse-shoe, or Great Fall, from its peculiar form; and that next the United States, the American Fall.

2. The Table Rock, from which the Falls of the Niagara may be * contemplated in all their grandeur, lies on an exact level with the edge of the cataract on the Canada side, and, indeed, forms a part of the + precipice, over which the water rushes. It derives its name from the circumstance of its projecting beyond the cliffs that support it, like the leaf of a table. To gain this position, it

is necessary to descend a steep bank, and to follow a path that winds

among shrubbery and trees, which entirely conceal from the eye the scene that awaits him who traverses it.

3. When near the termination of this road, a few steps carried me beyond all these obstruetions, and a magnificent amphitheater of cataracts burst upon my view with + appalling suddenness and majesty. However, in a moment, the scene was concealed from my eyes by a dense cloud of spray, which involved me so completely, that I did not dare to extricate myself.

4. A mingled and thunder-like rushing filled my ears. I could see nothing, except when the wind made a chasm in the spray, and then tremendous cataracts seemed to encompass me on every side; while, below, a raging and foaming gulf, of +undiscoverable extent, lashed the rocks with its hissing waves, and swallowed, under a horrible obscurity, the smoking foods that were precipitated into its bosom.

5. At first, the sky was obscured by clouds, but, after a few minutes, the sun burst forth, and the breeze, subsiding at the same time, permitted the spray to ascend perpendicularly. А host of pyramidal clouds rose + majestically, one after another, from the abyss at the bottom of the Fall; and each, when it had ascended a little above the edge of the cataract, displayed a beautiful rainbow, which, in a few moments, was gradually transferred into the bosom of the cloud that immediately succeeded.

6. The spray of the Great Fall had extended itself through a wide space directly over me, and, receiving the full influence of the sun, exhibited a luminous and magnificent rainbow, which continued to overarch and irradiate the spot on which I stood, while I enthusiastically contemplated the indescribable scene.

7. Any person who has nerve enough, may plunge his hand into the water of the Great Fall, after it is projected over the precipice, merely by lying down flat, with his face beyond the edge of the Table Rock, and stretching out his arm to its utmost extent. The +experiment is truly a horrible one, and such as I would not wish to repeat; for, even to this day, I feel a shuddering and recoiling sensation when I recollect having been in the posture above described.

8. The body of water, which composes the middle part of the Great Fall, is so immense, that it descends nearly two thirds of the space without being ruffled or broken; and the solemn calmness, with which it rolls over the edge of the precipice, is finely contrasted with the perturbed appearance it assumes after having reached the gulf below. But the water, toward each side of the Fall, is shattered the moment it drops over the rock, and loses as

a

« AnteriorContinuar »