« AnteriorContinuar »
" I miss that voice of waves, the first
All nations, no matter how small their numbers, or insignificant their political positions, have musical associations, and by rude, and unlettered verse keep alive the love of country. The roving Ishmaelite, who treads the soil, consecrated as the birthplace of the Muse, is rich in poetical imagery, the barbarian of the North, the savage child of the wilderness, and even the degraded islander of the South Seas, have their legendary recollections, embodied in song, uncouth, yet true to nature, giving to each tribe or nation, a character for virtue and greatness, in a proportionable ratio with the ability of the poet.
THE BLUE BIRD.
BY ALEXANDER WILSON.
WHEN winter's cold tempests aud snows are no more, Green meadows and brown furrow'd fields re-appearing,
The fishermen hauling their shad to the shore, And cloud-cleaving geese to the Lakes are a-steering;
When first the lone butterfly flits on the wing; When red glow the maples, so fresh and so pleasing,
0, then comes the Blue-bird, the HERALD OF SPRING ! And hails with his warblings the charms of the season.
Then loud piping frogs make the marshes to ring , Then warm glows the sunshine, and fine is the weather ;
The blue woodland flowers just beginning to spring, And spicewood and sassafras budding together :
0, then to your gardens, ye housewives, repair; Your walks border up; sow and plant at your leisure;
The Blue-bird will chant from his box such an air That all your hard toils will seem truly a pleasure.
He flits through the orchard, he visits each tree, The red flowering peach and the apple’s sweet blossoms;
He snaps up destroyers wherever they be, And seizes the caitiffs that lurk in their bosoms;
He drags the vile grub from the corn he devours; The worms from their webs where they riot and welter;
His song and his services freely are ours, And all that he asks is, in summer a shelter,
The ploughman is pleased when he gleans in his train, Now searching the furrows-now mounting to cheer him;
The gardener delights in his sweet simple strain, And leans on his spade to survey and to hear him;
The slow ling'ring schoolboys forget they'll be chid, While gazing intent as he warbles before 'em
In mantle of sky-blue, and bosom so red, That each little loiterer seems to adore him.
When all the gay scenes of the summer are o'er And autumn slow enters so silent and sallow;
And millions of warblers, that charmed us before, Have fled in the train of the sun-seeking swallow;
The Blue-bird, forsaken, yet true to his home, Still lingers, and looks for a milder to-morrow,
Till forced by the horrors of winter to roam, He sings his adieu in a lone note of sorrow.
While spring's lovely season, serene, dewy, warm, The green
face of earth, and the pure blue of heav'n, Or love's native music have influence to charm, Or sympathy's glow to our feelings are giv'n,
Still dear to each bosom the Blue-bird shall be; His voice, like the thrillings of hope is a treasure;
For, through bleakest storms if a calm he but see, He comes to remind us of sunshine and pleasure !
HENRY MAC KENZIE.
BY W. R. JOHNSON.
“ There is no idea, perhaps, more pleasing to an ingenuous mind, than that the sentences which it dictates in silence and obscurity, may give pleasure and entertainment to those by whom the writer has never been seen, to whom even his name is unknown. There is something peculiar. ly interesting in the hope of this intercourse of sentiment, this invisible sort of friendship, with the virtuous and the good; and the visionary warmth of an author may be allowed to extend it to distant places and to future times.”—Mac Kenzie.
Among the multitude of honoured names with which the great northern capital of the British isles is decorated, few, perhaps, deserve a brighter scutcheon than that which is affixed to the above sentiment. It is not, therefore, so much with a view to respond to the general truth, as to furnish in regard to the author himself, a suitable illustration of the last clause in the quotation, that I have selected it for the motto of this paper.
When speaking of Henry Mac Kenzie, it is to be understood that I refer solely to his lịterary character. The recent announcement of his death, at a very advanced age, has recalled to my mind the delight often experienced, in the perusal of his charming sketches and more elaborate productions, written half a century ago; and has excited a desire to know something of his personal history. But at this distance it is nearly impossible to collect, at once, any thing which would be satisfactory; and after all, his mind, not his person—his sen
timents, not his manners-his style and not his outward personal adornments, are what we of this country are most concerned to know.
His own countrymen will, no doubt, in due time do justice to his biography, and on their province I would by no means intrude. But intellect is of no peculiar country; it asks no passports when it leaves the land where its corporeal dwelling is situated, and it heeds neither the flattery of obsequious friends, nor the malice of local enemies—however these may, at home, affect the temporary prosperity, and may elevate or depress the spirits, of the possessor. Neither do the literary and scientific productions, to which that intellect gives birth, depend for their acceptance on the whims and caprices of the veering goddess fashion. While therefore, we leave the personal history of an individual to his own friends and countrymen, we may without arrogance, venture to invite the attention of those who admire intellectual worth, to a renewal of their acquaintance with such personages as the “ Lounger,” “the Man of Feeling” and “ Julia de Roubigné." I would hold up the untarnished Mirror," both to vice and to virtue, as reflecting with equal fidelity the hideousness of the former, and the gracefulness of the latter.
The first trait of mind to which I would advert as characteristic of Mac Kenzie, is that of ardent and delicate feeling;--not the rapture which evaporates in verbosity and which grows turgid where it would seem impassioned, but the glowing and sympathetic elevation of soul which springs from, and flows to, the “godlike of earth;” which with natural sensibility for its basis, has been fostered by dwelling on the glorious and the lovely whether of the physical or of the moral world. The sentiments conveyed by his more serious reflections and