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I have a son, a second son, a simple child of three;
RING OUT, WILD BELLS.
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
For those that here we see no more ;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
THE SONG OF STEAM.
Hurrah! hurrah! the waters o’er
The mountain's steep decline:
The world! the world is mine!
Or those where his beams decline,
Or the orient floods divine.
The ocean pales where'er I sweep,
To hear my strength rejoice,
Cower trembling at my voice.
The thoughts of the god-like mind,
The lightning is left behind.
In the darksome depths of the fathomless mine
My tireless arm doth play,
Or the dawn of the glorious day.
From the hidden cave below,
With a crystal gush overflow.
I blow the bellows, I forge the steel
In all the shops of trade;
Where my arms of strength are made;
I carry, I spin, I weave:
On every Saturday eve.
I've no muscle to weary, no breast to decay,
No bones to be laid on the shelf;
While I manage the world by myself.
Be sure of your curb and rein, For I scurn the strength of your puny hands,
As the tempest scorns a chain.
THE BEAUTIES, SUBLIMITIES,
BENIGN INFLUENCES OF NATURE.
ON A TASTE FOR THE BEAUTIES OF NATURE.
"In contemplation of created things,
That sensibility to beauty, which, when cultivated and improved we term taste, is universally diffused through the human species; and it is most uniform with respect to those objects, which, being out of our power, are not liable to variation from accident, caprice, or fashion. Thé verdant lawn, the shady grove, the variegated landscape, the boundless ocean, and the starry firmament, are contemplated with pleasure by every attentive beholder. But the emotions of different spectators, though similar in kind, differ widely in degree: and to relish with full delight the enchanting scenes of nature, the mind must be uncorrupted by avarice, sensuality, or ambition ; quick in her sensibilities; elevated in her sentiments; and devout in her affections. He who possesses such exalted powers of perception and enjoyment, may almost say wit! the poet :
"I care not, Fortune, what you me deny;
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
The woods and lawns by living streams, at eve;
And I their toys to the great children leave
Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave!" Perhaps such ardent enthusiasm may not be compatible with the necessary toils and active
offices which Providence has assigned to the generality of men. But there are none to whom some portion of it may not prove advantageous; and if it were cherished by each
individual in that degree which is consistent with the indispensable duties of his station, the felicity of human life would be considerably augmented. From this source the refined and vivid pleasures of the imagination are almost entirely derived; and the elegant arts owe their choicest beauties to a taste for the contemplation of nature. Painting and sculpture are express imitations of visible objects; and where would be the charms of poetry, if divested of the imagery and embellishments which she borrows from rural scenes? Painters, statuaries and poets, therefore, are always ambitious to acknowledge themselves the pupils of nature; and, as their skill increases, they grow more and more delighted with every view of the animal and vegetable world. But the pleasure resulting from admiration is transient; and to cultivate taste without regard to its influence on the passions and affections, “is to rear a tree for its blossoms, which is capable of yielding the richest and most valuable fruits." Physical and moral beauty bear so intimate a relation to each other, that they may be considered as different gradations in the scale of excellence; and the knowledge and relish of the former should be deemed only a step to the nobler and more permanent enjoyment of the latter.
Whoever has visited the Leasowes in Warwickshire, must feel the force and propriety of an inscription which meets the eye at the entrance into these delightful grounds :
“Would you, then, taste the tranquil scene,
To cherish love for all man's race." Now, such scenes contribute powerfully to inspire that serenity which is necessary to enjoy and heighten their beauties. By a sweet contagion, the soul catches the harmony which she contemplates; and the frame within assimilates itself to that which is without. For
“ Who can forbear to smile with nature?
Is melody ?" In this state of composure we become susceptible of virtuous im. pressions from almost every surrounding object; an equal and extensive benevolence is called forth into exertion: and—having felt a common interest in the gratifications of inferior beings-we shall be no longer indifferent to their sufferings, or become wantonly instrumental in producing them.
But the taste for natural beauty is subservient to higher purposes than those which have been enumerated; and the cultivation of it not only refines and humanizes, but dignifies and exalts the affections. It elevates them to the admiration and love of that Being who is the Author of all that is fair, sublime and good in the creation. Scepticism and irreligion are hardly compatible with the sensibility of heart which arises from a just and lively relish of the wisdom, harmony, and order subsisting in the world around us ; and emotions of piety must spring up spontaneously in the bosom that is in unison with all animated nature. Actuated by this divine inspiration, man finds a fane in every grove; and, glowing with devout fervour, he joins his song to the universal chorus, or muses the praise of the Almighty in more expressive silence. Thus they
“Whom nature's works can charm, with God himself
GOD THE AUTHOR OF NATURE.
There lives and works