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ascending with solemn splendour, although the rival luminary was yet more than half visible.
Such was the transparency of the atmosphere, that notwithstanding this plenitude of light, the planets and constellations already began to sparkle in their blue depths with a fullness of brilliancy unknown in our northern latitudes. One might have thought it was a jubilee in heaven-that all its glorious magnificence was put forth; and as I contemplated the sky, and sea, and earth, and all the sublime pageant of creation, I felt lifted above humanity and its petty thoughts, and brought into a holy and ineffable communion with the great Creator.
Descending on the opposite side of the hill, whose broken and uneven declivity presently reconducted me towards the shore, I sat myself down at the foot of a projecting rock, from which a cascade fell into a beautiful little lake, and flowing out again at the other extremity in the form of a meandering runnel, was presently lost in the sea. Tufts of scattered water-lilies alternately caught and lost the brightness of the moonbeam as they danced upon the troubled surface of the waves in the vicinity of the cascade; and towards the centre of the lake there was a pigmy island of not more than twenty yards diameter. Nature seemed to have wrought every thing in miniature, yet with a surpassing beauty and exquisite proportion. Notwithstanding the rich verdure of the little floating garden, and the garland of flowers with which it was belted round, I observed in the middle one of those barren circles denominated Fairy-rings; and while I was wondering
whether those tiny elves ever visited this sequestered and romantic nook, and in what language they would be found to discourse if their parleyings became audible to mortal ears, I heard a low and mellow sympho ny, as if of Eolian harps, but withal more musical and delicate. Looking round to discover its source, I could behold nothing but the serene and silent moon, from whose full orb a bar of rippling light ran along the sea, appearing to terminate at my very feet. A schoolboy might have fancied that he was holding an illuminated kite by a cord of silver, and Endymion would gladly have favoured the same imagination that he might send his heart up as a messenger to the goddess whom it adored. For myself, I could only dream that I was brought by that connecting stream of light into some sort of communication with the inhabitants of the moon, if such indeed there be, or at all events with the traditionary old man who sits in that desolate sphere with no other accompaniments than his lantern and bush.
Again the same symphony breathed around me, appearing now to proceed from the little island, towards which I turned; and as I beheld the hyacinths and snowdrops, campanulas and lilies of the valley, all shaking their little white bells in the breeze, I could not help conceiting that from their silvery turrets they had rung out that floral music upon the wind, so liquid was it, so sweet and gracious, so like some rich spontaneous modulation of the air. But who shall describe my astonishment when, in the midst of the magic circle I have before mentioned, and in the full
lustre of the moonbeams, I beheld a company of fairies surrounding one who lay extended as if in death, and who, from the crown upon his head which shook out a dazzling splendour, appeared to have been their king. She whom I conjectured to be their queen, advancing before the others, knelt down beside the body, and placing her hand upon its bosom, exclaimed in a birdlike voice, but infinitely more tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,"
"Feel his heart,-'tis cold as stone!
He's dead-dead-quite dead and gone!
Down came the mountain-torrent sweeping,
Dash'd him on the rocks-to die!"
Hereupon the symphony was renewed, and the rest of the company gathering round the mourner, endeavoured to console her in the following choral dirge:
"Mourn no longer his mishap,―
All our fairy troops shall hover
Round the hearse that bears thy lover,
And his bright remains shall be
Sepulchred right royally."
But the widowed Queen of Shadows ejaculated in a tone of still more impassioned grief—
"From these arms he shall not stir,
Come, my love-look up-behold,—
Thy cheek is press'd:
Oh! how cold-how shuddering cold !”
No sooner had she ceased than the attendants resumed their consolatory chaunt.
“For a winding-sheet we'll take
Shall his coffin be-and thus
And for banners he shall have
Tulips waving o'er his grave.
Thus shall he enshrined be,
Gazing upwards with a look of appealing grief, the disconsolate Queen exclaimed
"Must I leave him?-Never, never!
Heaved a sigh-and all was over!
Methought a wailful cry was uttered by the whole assemblage, followed by a sad and strange funereal mu
sic, which was suddenly interrupted by the loud barking of a dog; when I found that the volume of Shakspeare in which I had been reading the Midsummer Night's Dream, having fallen from my hand upon my pointer's head, he had instantly dissipated my reverie, and most unwelcomely hurried me back from the Pacific Ocean, and the dreams of imagination, to the I dull and dusty reality of my chambers in Gray's Inn Square.
A SPRIG OF SPLEENWORT.
"A fancy would sometimes take a Yahoo to retire into a corner, to lie down and howl and groan, and spurn away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, wanted neither food nor water; nor did the servant imagine what could possibly ail him. And the only remedy they found was to set him to hard work; after which he would infallibly come to himself." SWIFT.
If the only rational animal were not by far the most unreasonable of beings, we should never have heard so many lugubrious complaints about the wretched lot and miserable destiny of man. Moralists and divines, with the intention of impressing the probationary nature of our existence, have harped upon this strain usque ad nauseam; for it may be doubted whether their doctrine be perfectly salutary in its tendency, while it is clear that it is by no means tenable as to truth. Ingratitude and discontent can never be the constituents of virtue, nor can our unhappiness in this world confer upon us the smallest