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And oft, with his accustom'd call,
Now on the settle all but Bess
Kires White. WATEE LILIES.
A SUMMER EVENING UPON A LAKE.
The sun sinks in the west: rich orange lines
Egyptian Isis rising from the flower—
And old Hindoo mythologies, wherein
The Lotus attribute of Ganga—embling
The world's great reproductive power—was held
Ah! fair lilies now We may not linger, paddling to and fro Among ye—
Farewell !—for lo!
A. J. Symington.
"It is a strange thing how little, in general, people know about the sky. It is the part of the creation in which nature has done more for the sake of pleasing man, more for the sole and evident purpose of talking to him and teaching him, than in any other of her works, and it is just the part in which we least attend to her. There are not many of her dim works in which some more material or essential purpose than the mere pleasing of man is not answered by every part of their organisation; but every essential purpose of the sky might, so far as we know, be answered if once in three days, or thereabouts, a great, ugly, black, rain-cloud were brought up over the blue, and everything well watered, and so all left blue again till the next time, with perhaps a film of morning and evening mist for dew. And instead of this, there is not a moment of any day of our lives, when nature is not producing scene after scene, picture after picture, glory after glory, and working still upon such exquisite and constant principles of the most perfect beauty, that it is quite certain it is all done for us, and intended for our profit, not pleasure. And every man, wherever placed, however far from other sources of interest or beauty, has this doing for him constantly. The noblest scenes of the earth can be seen and known but by few; it is not intended that man should live always in the midst of them; he injures them by his presence; he ceases to feel them if he be always with them; but the sky is, for all; bright as it is, it is not
Too bright, nor good
it is fitted in all its functions for the perpetual comfort and exalting of the heart, for soothing it and purifying it from its dross and dust. Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious,
sometimes awful, never the same for two moments together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost divine in its affinity; its appeal to what is immortal in us, is as distinct as its ministry of chastisement or of blessing to what is moral is essential. And yet we never attend to it, we never make it a subject of thought, but as it has to do with our animal sensations; we look upon all which bears witness to the intention of the Supreme, that we are to receive more from the covering vault than the light and the dew which we share with the weed and the worm, only as a succession of meaningless and monotonous accidents, too common and too vain to be worthy of a moment of watchfulness, or a glance of admiration. If in our moments of utter idleness and insipidity we turn to the sky as a last resource, which of its phenomena do we speak of? One says, it has been wet; and.another, it has been windy; and another, it has been warm. Who, among the whole chattering crowd, can tell me of the forms and the precipices of the chain of tall white mountains that girded the horizon at noon, yesterday? Who saw the narrow sunbeam that came out of the south, and smote upon their summits until they melted and mouldered away in a mist of blue rain? Who saw the dance of the dead clouds when the sunlight left them last night, and the west wind blew them before it like withered leaves? All has passed unregretted as unseen; or if the apathy be ever shaken off even for an instant, it is only by what is gross, or what is extraordinary; and yet it is not in the broad and fierce manifestations of the elemental energies, not in the crash of the hail, nor the drift of the whirlwind, that the highest characters of the sublime are developed. God is not in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still small voice. They are but the blunt and the low faculties of his nature, which can only be addressed through lampblack and lightning. It is in quiet and subdued passages of unobtrusive majesty, the deep and the calm, and the perpetual; that which must be sought ere it can be seen, and loved ere it is understood; things which the angels work out for us daily, and yet vary eternally; which are never wanting and never repeated; which are to be found always, yet each found but once; it is through these that her lesson of
devotion is chiefly taught, and the blessing of beauty given."—Ruskin's Modekn Paiwters.
THE LONGEST DAT.
Let us quit the leafy arbour,
Sol has dropp'd into his harbour,
Evening now unbinds the fetters
All that breathe are thankful debtors
Yet by some grave thoughts attended
For the day that now is ended
Laura ! sport, as now thou sportest,
Who would check the happy feeling
Who would stop the swallow wheeling
Yet at this impressive season,
Words which tenderness can speak,
From the truths of homely reason,
And, while shades to shades succeeding
I would urge this moral pleading,
Summer ebbs;—each day that follows
Is a reflux from on high,
Where the frosts of winter lie.
He who governs the creation,
In his providence, assign'd
To the life of human kind.