Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

you can,” said he, " and the money is yours.”_"I can't,” said the other. “ Then the money is mine,” said Jack; and putting it very deliberately into his pocket, advised his antagonist to contend with his equals another time.

FOR THE MIRROR OF TASTE.

ODE TO MEDITATION.

By William Moore Smith, Esq.
Oh, thou! who lov'st to dwell
Within some far sequester'd cell,
Unknown to Folly's noisy train,
Untrod by Riot's step profane,
Meek Meditation! silent maid,
To thee, my votive verse be paid;
To thee! whose mildly pleasing pow'r
Could check wild youth's impetuous flight;
And, in affliction's gloomy night,
Could soothe the “torturing hour,”
To thee the strains belong;
But say what pow'rful spell,
What magic force of song,
Can lure thy solemn steps to my uncultur'd bower?

By night's pale orb, beneath whose ray,
With thee thy Plato oft would stray;
By the brilliant star of morn,
That saw thee bend o'er Solon's urn;
By all the tears you shed
When Numa bow'd his languid head;
By the mild joys that in thy breast would swell
When ANTONINE, by grateful realms adord,
Majestic Rome's immortal lord,
Would leave the toils, the pomp of state,
The crimson splendors of the victor's car,
The painful pleasures of the great,
The shouts of triumph, and the din of war,
In Tiber's hallow'd groves with thee to dwell!

But ah!-on Grecian plains, no more
Exists the taste for ancient lore,-
Far, from Oppression's scourge, the Muses fled,
And Tiber's willow'd banks along,
Where Maro pour'd the classic song,

Grim Superstition stalks with giant tread!
VOL. IV.

2 M

Yet can Columbia's plains afford
The magic spell, the potent word;--
A spell, to charm thy sober ear, -
A name, to thee, to Freedom dear!-
By the soft sighs that stole o’er Schuylkill's wave,
When he, around whose urn
Dejected nations mourn,
Immortal FRANKLIN, sunk into the grave;
By his thoughts, by thee inspir'd,
By his works, by worlds admir'd;
By the tears by Science shed
O'er the patriot's dying head;
By the voice of purest Fame,
That gave to Time his deathless name:
By these, and ev'ry pow'rful spell,
Oh! come, meek nymph, with me to dwell!
The garland weave for FRANKLIN's head,
Wreaths of oak from Runnymead, -
Where the British Barons bold
Taught their king, in days of old,
To tremble at insulted Freedom's frown,
And venerate the rights her children deem'd their own:
For he, like them, intrepid rose
Against insulted Freedom's foes;
Fix'd the firm barrier 'gainst Oppression's plan,
And dar'd assert the sacred rights of man!

And in the wreath, which Freedom's hands shall twine,
To deck her champion's ever honour'd shrine,
The victor's laurel shall be seen
In folds of never-dying green;
The Muses, too, shall bring
Each flow'ret of the spring,
Wet with the beamy tears of morn;
And there, with all her tresses torn,
What time meek twilight's parting ray
Sinks lingʻring in night's dun embrace,
Pale-eyed Philosophy shall stray
In hopes his awful form to trace,
Hov'ring on some pregnant cloud,
From whence, while thunders burst aloud,
From whence, while through the trembling air,
In lurid streams the lightnings glare,
His rod her head she'll wave around,
And lead the harmless terrors to the ground.

But should milder scenes than these
Thy sober, pensive bosom please,
We'll seek the dark embrowning wood
That frowns on dark Ohio's food;
And while, amid the gloom of night,
No twinkling star attracts the sight;
And while beneath the sullen tide
Shall in majestic silence glide,
We'll listen to the notes of wo,
By Echo borne from plains below;
Where Genius droops his laureld head,
And Honour mourns a CLYMER dead!

Thou sullen flood, whose dreary shore
Has oft been stain'd with streams of gore,
Ah! never did a meeker tear
Impearl thy banks from Virtue's eye;
Ah! never did thy breezes bear
A purer breath than Clymer's sigh.

Ye plains, that saw Sedition wave
Her impious banners to the wind,
With you the youth has found his grave,
To you is Virtue's friend consign'd;
Yet still as each succ ing race
Through time to fate shall pass away,
Ah! never shall your sons embrace
A dearer pledge than Clymer's clay.

Oft o'er the spot that wraps his head
Shall Pity's softest tear be shed;
There Friendship’s sacred form shall come,
To strew with Aow'rs his Clymer's tomb.
And while the queen of night shall shroud
Her beams behind some threat'ning cloud,
And wbile the western mountains' brow
The star of eve shall sink below;
And while the consecrated ground
Mute Melancholy stalks around,
There, Meditation!-shalt thou find
A scene to suit thy sober mind;
In which thou long shalt love to dwell:
And, undisturb'd by wild Sedition's tread,
Muse o'er the virtues of the silent dead!

IMPROPER USE OF THE BIBLE. HENRY KNYGhton, a canon of Leicester, complained heavily of Wickliffe, his neighbour and contemporary,* “for having translated out of Latin into English the Gospel, which Christ had entrusted with the clergy and doctors of the church, that they might minister it to the laity and weaker sort, according to the exigency of times, and their several occasions; so that by this means the gospel jewel, or evangelical pearl, was made vulgar was thrown about and trodden under foot of swine.”+

The Mahomedans have been very careful to preserve their Koran from the profanation here complained of. “ It is,” says Mr. Sale, the translator, “ in the greatest reverence among them. They dare not so much as touch it, without being first washed, or legally purified; which, lest they should do inadvertently, they write these words on the cover, “Let none touch it but who are clean.' They read it with a superstitious reverence, never holding it below their girdles: they adorn it with gold and the most precious stones, &c."1–Henry Knyghton would have approved and commended all this as just and decent, and in order: but what would Henry Knyghton have said, if he had seen the Bible thumped and dirtied in our schools, thrown by the boys at one another's heads, and consigned perhaps at length to the most humiliating offices?

It should seem from lord Bacon, that this familiarity with the Bible might lead by degrees to an actual privation of all religion, yea even of a sense of God's existence: for, reckoning up the sorts of atheists, he lays little stress upon the contemplative, sophistical, philosophical atheists, as they are called. “ Among these,” says he, “ atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart: these will ever be talking of their opinion, as if they were wavering about, and would gladly be strengthened by the consent of others. These seem to be more than they are: but the great atheists indeed are hypocrites, who are ever handling holy things, without the least sense or feeling of their being so; so that these must needs be

Wickliffe was rector of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, and died in the year 1384. f Lewis's History of translations of the Bible.

Sale's preliminary discourse to the Koran.—The Jews had the same veneration for their Law, not daring to touch it with unwashen hands, nor then neither without a cover. Vide Millium de Mohamedism ante Mohamed.

cauterized in the end."* Now, according to these ideas, may not the constant official handling of holy things make men atheists, by making them gradually lose a sense of their holiness?—Look at sextons, parish clerks, singing boys, choir men, (I need go no higher,) and see what sense or feeling they have of the holiness of the things about them. Boys are taught to read in the Bible, because the Bible is a good book;t the school-house is often a part of the church, because the church is a holy place. Surely our pious ancestors did not know that familiarity breeds contempt; for more effectual means could not be contrived to extinguish all sense of holiness.

There is yet another reason why boys should not be taught to read by the use of the Bible, if there be any such thing as association of ideas. The Bible, distinct from its religious importance, is certainly a very curious as well as useful book: but the Bible is usually the last book men take up either for instruction or amusement. Why?_because they have formerly been teazed, and buffeted, and flogged about it; and because they hate the scenery which it naturally revives.--'Tis a pity but a little knowledge of human nature had been cultivated by these good people, together with their piety and learning.

Essays, 16. The benefit or utility arising from these unions is altogether imaginary. “Wanting an English book for my scholars to translate,” says a learned schoolmaster," which might improve them in sense and Latin at once (two things that should never be divided in teaching) I thought nothing more proper for that purpose than Bacon's Essays.” As if a schoolboy would attend to, (or if he would) could comprehend the strong, deep sense of Bacon: just as well might it be said that boys should be taught in the Bible, and at the church, because religion and learning should never be di. vided. Preface to Bacon's Essays, translated by Willymot.

By this means the churchyard, which is also consecrated, and must certainly have some degree of holiness, as well as the church, becomes as it were a licensed play-ground for the schoolboys, and at the same time a bear garden for the parish.

2

« PredošláPokračovať »