Imágenes de páginas

Give me the being of “i etherial mind”

Who soars superior to the vulgar throng, Thro' boundless realms of fancy unconfined,

And nature's vast varieties among-
Leaving a dear and deathless name behind,

To live in science, history or song,
And float triumphant on the stream of time
Imperishable !

-as will be my rhyme!

The next a sober citizen and wife

And only child, a daughter, took their places, No lines of angry passion or of strife

O'erspread the mild expression of their faces. They mov'd along the humble vale of life,

Loving, belov'd. Contentment, which embraces. Each source of happiness, their journey bless'd,, Smil'd as they rose, and pillow'd them to resto

They were proceeding down to Cove to see

His sister—who had lately given “ her lord" Another pledge of love,- they then had three,

And a small basket they had brought on board With wildfowl, fruit, and other rarity;

And the child carried a wax doll and sword,. Which cost of tenpennies at least some dozens,, As presents to her favourite little cousins.

Who next appear? two dandies! pretty creatures!

Gay tropic birds of fashion-poppinjays, Assuming ev'ry air, but human nature's,

And seeking for existence in the blaze Of public admiration! on whose features

So unaffected and so mild we gaze, Delighted; while the feather'd tribe they follow Spurs from the cock, and coat tail from the swallow.

Flying the city's pestilential air,

Its unswept paving stones, its smoke and fume, Its sameness, dulness, deadness, ev'ry where,

Its tolling bells – momentos of the tomb !
They join'd the Steam Boat passengers to share

The day's amusement, and dispell the gloom
Attendant on a Sunday in a City
To those not given to praying—what a pity!

They wish'd besides, to see the magazine

On Rocky-Island, the fortification Spread over Spike --where happily is seen

The wise economy that rules the nation,
In leaving thus unfinish'd what has been

So dear a job---yet rais'd to elevation
Some old cast colonels and pet enginoers,
And thousands of plebeans---and some peers!

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

'Tis contrast creates beauty---hill and dale

Smile in the landscape, by each others aid, The placid lake unruffled by the gale

Shines with more splendour thro' the vista's shade; Ocean' looks cheerless, 'till the swelling sail

Bounds o'er its bosom. But each rule, 'tis said, Has its exception :---and 'twas here prodigious, For these two were, by contrast, downright hideous. Next a fond mother and her darling boy,

An ugly, Waspish, restless, giddy brat, Contriving all around him to annoy,

Whining for this thing, trying to snatch that, Bursting away---at length to crown our joy

Up went bis heels---and tumbling he fell flat Upon old gouty's toe---who screech'd and roar'd * Oh!!! dm the devil, throw him overboard!”

In gout 'tis deem'd allowable to swear

At wife or child, or father, sister, brother, It sooths the anguish of the pain, as air

Relieves from suffocation, and the mother
As she snatch'd the urchin, thought it fair

To offer some apology or other;
So hoping that he suffer'd little pain,
Vow'd the dear child should not be bold again!

Dark scowlid his angry brow---the crimson glow

Of writhing torture all his face o'erspread,
Occasion'd by the burning fire below

Raging so furiously by being fed
So lately with more fuel. But the blow

To various merriment on all sides led,
Some smild, some titter'd, others laughed--but T;
Lately a fellow sufferer, -heav'd a sigh!

A scene - but of a different kind

Was acting opposite by a young pair,
Who, blind themselves, conceived all others blind;

And the fond youth breath'd in his “ Ladye's" ear Vows of eternal constancy-that bind

Firmly as debtors' promises, and are
Oaths of allegiance to the ruling power-
The French-sad traitors broke them every hour!

Deep blushed the maiden, and with downcast eye

She look'd, or seemed to look, upon the chain She wound upon her finger-but a sigh

Stole softly from her bosom--and 'twas plain Her heart responsive breathed the sweet reply

To love's ambassador. Few could refrain From smiling at the pair-yet love's a passion Tho' born with Eve, will always be in fashion.


[blocks in formation]


The love of the marvellous, which may be considered the primary source of romance, does not form as has been erroneously suppo ed, the peculiar characteristic of the dark ages. It is perhaps under those awful visitations of mental darkness, which have occasionally overshadowed the earth that we find this propensity of the human mind in its greatest vigour; but however changed or modified its results may be, the principle still continues active and unsubdued, even at the brightest periods of intellectual illumination. The proposition we think may be familiarly illustrated. The Londoner of the present day would laugh very heartily at the adventures of the renowned Guy Earl of Warwick, or Jack the Giant-Killer, which afforded such entertainment to his forefather, but we question very much whether his scepticism would extend to a well-told ghost story, and at all events we are pretty certain that his taste for dwarfs and giants for mermaids and rattle snakes—for monsters and abortions of every description still continues to exist in a state of classic purity. Under the discipline of a good education this principle is found very favourable to the advancement of the human understanding; it contributes essentially to those undefinable emotions of pleasure which we derive from contemplating whatever is sublime and majestic in the aspects of nature, and affords no mean evidence of our capacity and adaptation for a higher state of existence. Whether the extravagant phantoms which figure as the dramatis persone in the legendary lore of every country, be the exelusive offspring of a predominant superstition-ör derive their origin from the allegories of a barbarous age-or can claim a lineal descent from the ancient mythologies, we leave to the speculations of the curious, satisfied at the same time, that the universal belief in a spiritual or supernatural agency, which the subject reveals, contains philosophy enough to interest a materialist. For our own parts, in referring the rise of romance, to à principle which has been uniformly active in the human breast, rather than to the inventive powers of any particular tribe or nation, although we may shock the prejudices of some orthodox believers by our latitudenarian notions, we cannot help feeling that we approximate more closely to the truth, and render the question of more easy solution than by adopting either the American, the Scaldic or the Saracenic theory of its origin. As to the similarity of incidents, which is said to characterize the generality of goblin stories—we can easily conceive that any two nations, living under a similar climate and cultivating a similar mythology, should exhibit some very curious analogies in their traditionary lore. În adopting this hypothesis, however, we do not mean to exclude the agency of those collateral causes, which may tend to give the appearance of identity to these popular fictions.

The migratory disposition of the Asiatic and European barbarians, producing an intercourse between the most distant nations, must have tended to propagate and blend those romantic fables; and the

circuniscribed bounds of human invention, must have necessarily limited the recreations of fancy. Of course, the proposition we have advanced, always assumes a certain degree of ignorance-and although we admit that the empire of knowledge has been greatly extended in modern times, it will

« AnteriorContinuar »