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Or if some nightingale impress'd
Against thy branching top her breast
Heaving with passion,
And in the leafy nights of June
Outpour'd her sorrows to the moon,
Thy trembling stem thou didst attune
To each vibration.

Thou grew'st a goodly tree, with shoots
Fanning the sky, and earth-bound roots
So grappled under,

That thou whom perching birds could swing,
And zephyrs rock with lightest wing,
From thy firm trunk unmoved didst fling
Tempest and thunder.

Thine offspring leaves-death's annual prey,
Which Herod Winter tore away
From thy caressing,

In heaps, like graves, around thee blown,
Each morn thy dewy tears have strown,
O'er each thy branching hands been thrown,
As if in blessing.

Bursting to life, another race

At touch of Spring in thy embrace
Sported and flutter'd ;

Aloft, where wanton breezes play'd,
In thy knit-boughs have ringdoves made
Their nest, and lovers in thy shade
Their vows have utter'd.

How oft thy lofty summits won
Morn's virgin smile, and hail'd the sun
With rustling motion;

How oft in silent depths of night,
When the moon sail'd in cloudless light,
Thou hast stood awestruck at the sight,

In hush'd devotion

"Twere vain to ask; for doom'd to fall,

The day appointed for us all

O'er thee impended:

The hatchet, with remorseless blow,
First laid thee in the forest low,

Then cut thee into logs-and so
Thy course was ended-

But not thine use-for moral rules,
Worth all the wisdom of the schools,
Thou may'st bequeath me;

Bidding me cherish those who live
Above me, and the more I thrive,
A wider shade and shelter give
To those beneath me.

So when death lays his axe to me,
I may resign as calm as thee

My hold terrestrial;

Like thine my latter end be found
Diffusing light and warmth around,
And like thy smoke my spirit bound
To realms celestial.


Nihil est dulcius his literis, quibus coelum, terram, maria, cognoscimus.

THERE is a noble passage in Lucretius, in which he describes a savage in the early stages of the world, when men were yet contending with beasts the possession of the earth, flying with loud shrieks through the woods from the pursuit of some ravenous animal, unable to fabricate arms for his defence, and without

art to staunch the streaming wounds inflicted on him by his four-footed competitor. But there is a deeper subject of speculation, if we carry our thoughts back to that still earlier period when the beasts of the field and forest held undivided sway; when Titanian brutes, whose race has been long extinct, exercised a terrific despotism over the subject earth; and that "bare forked animal," who is pleased to dub himself the Lord of the Creation, had not been called up out of the dust to assume his soi-disant supremacy. Geologists pretend to discover in the bowels of the earth itself indisputable proofs that it must have been for many centuries nothing more than a splendid arena for monsters. We have scarcely penetrated beyond its surface; but, whenever any convulsion of Nature affords us a little deeper insight into her recesses, we seldom fail to discover fossil remains of gigantic creatures, though, amid all these organic fragments, we never encounter the slightest trace of any human relics. How strange the surmise, that for numerous, perhaps innumerable centuries, this most beautiful pageant of the world performed its magnificent evolutions, the sun and moon rising and setting, the seasons following their appointed succession, and the ocean uprolling its invariable tides, for no other apparent purpose than that lions and tigers might retire howling to their dens, as the shaking of the ground proclaimed the approach of the mammoth, or that the behemoth might perform his unwieldy flounderings in the deep! How bewildering the idea, that the glorious firmament and its constellated lights, and the varicoloured clouds, that

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hang like pictures upon its sides; and the perfume which the flowers scatter from their painted censers— and the blushing fruits that delight the eye not less than the palate—and the perpetual music of winds, waves, and woods,-should have been formed for the recreation and embellishment of a vast menagerie!

And yet we shall be less struck with wonder-that all this beauty, pomp, and delight, should have been thrown away upon undiscerning and unreasoning brutes, if we call to mind that many of those human bipeds, to whom Nature has given the "os sublime," have little more perception or enjoyment of her charms than 66 a cow on a common, or goose on a green." Blind to her more obvious wonders, we cannot expect that they should be interested in the silent but stupendous miracles which an invisible hand is perpetually performing around them-that they should ponder on the mysterious, and even contradictory metamorphoses, which the unchanged though change-producing earth is unceasingly effecting. She converts an acorn into a majestic oak, and they, heed it not, though they will wonder for whole months how harlequin changed a porter-pot into a nosegay: she raises from a little bulb a stately tulip, and they only notice it to remark, that it would bring a good round sum in Holland ;-from one seed she elaborates an exquisite flower, which diffuses a delicious perfume, while to another by its side she imparts an offensive odour: from some she extracts a poison, from others a balm, while from the reproductive powers of a small grain she contrives to feed the whole populous earth: and

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yet these matter-of-course gentry, because such magical paradoxes are habitual, see in them nothing more strange than that they themselves should cease to be hungry when they have had their dinners; or that two and two should make four, when they are adding up their Christmas bills. It is of no use to remind such obtuse plodders, when recording individual enthusiasm, that

"My charmer is not mine alone; my sweets,

And she that sweetens all my bitters too,
Nature, enchanting Nature, in whose form
And lineaments divine I trace a hand

That errs not, and find raptures still renew'd,
Is free to all men-universal prize;"

for though she may be free to them, she sometimes presents them, instead of a prize, "an universal blank." The most astounding manifestations, if they recur regularly, are unmarked; it is only the trifling deviations from their own daily experience that set them gaping in a stupid astonishment.

For my own part, I thank Heaven that I can never step out into this glorious world—I can never look forth upon the flowery earth, and the glancing waters, and the blue sky, without feeling an intense and evernew delight;-a physical pleasure that makes mere existence delicious. Apprehensions of the rheumatism may deter me from imitating the noble fervour of Lord Bacon, who, in a shower, used sometimes to take off his hat, that he might feel the great spirit of the universe descend upon him; but I would rather gulp down the balmy air than quaff the richest ambrosia that was ever tippled upon Olympus: for while it

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