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SPRING.-"Lo! the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear upon the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”-Song of Solomon.
SUMMER.—“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness; and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with corn. They shout for joy; they also sing.”—Psalm lxv.
AUTUMN.-"Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter in his season; he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest."-Jeremiah.
WINTER.—“He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?"-Psalms.
What an astonishing world is this which we inhabit! How great the number, the magnificence, the variety, and the beauty of the creatures it contains ! What other hand than that of the Omnipotent could have placed in this immense expanse the sun and stars, whose magnitude and prodigious distance from us astonish the imagination? Who has assigned them the path they have walked in for so many thousand years? Who has calculated so exactly the respective powers of all these globes, and who has established so perfect a balance between them and the ether which supports them? Who has placed the earth at such a due distance from the sun, that it is neither too near nor too far off? The vicissitudes of day and night, the revolutions of the seasons, the innumerable multitude of animals, reptiles, trees, and plants, which the earth produces, are all the work of God. If a world so admirable were now created before our eyes, who would not consider it as one of the greatest miracles of the Divine omnipotence ?”
HYMN OF THE SEASONS.
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Nature, attend ! join every living soul, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join; and, ardent, raise One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales, Breathe soft, whose Spirit in your freshness breathes. Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound; Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze Along the vale; and thou, majestic main, A secret world of wonders in thyself, Sound His stupendous praise; whose greater voice Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers, In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts, Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints : Ye forests, bend, ye harvests, wave, to Him; Ye constellations, in bright concert strike, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. Great source of day! best image here below, Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round, On Nature write with every beam His praise.. The thunder rolls : be hush'd the prostrate world; While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. Bleat out afresh, ye hills : ye mossy rocks, Retain the sound: the broad responsive low, Ye valleys, raise; for the Great Shepherd reigns; And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come. Ye woodlands all, awake: a boundless song Burst from the groves! and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Above me are the Alps, The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps, And throned eternity in icy halls Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls The avalanche-the thunderbolt of snow! All that expands the spirit, yet appals, Gather round these summits, as to show How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.
BYRON. Dark in colour, robed with everlasting mourning, for ever tottering like a great fortress shaken by war, fearful as much in their weakness as in their strength, and yet gathered after every fall into darker frowns and unhumiliated threatening; for ever incapable of comfort or healing from herb or flower, nourishing no root in their crevices, touched by no hue of life on buttress or ledge, but to the utmost desolate; knowing no shaking of leaves in the wind nor of grass beside the stream-no other motion but their own mortal shivering, the dreadful crumbling of atom from atom in their corrupting stones; knowing no sound of living voice or living tread, cheered neither by the kid's bleat nor the marmot's cry; haunted only by uninterrupted echoes from afar off, wandering hither and thither among their walls, unable to escape, and by the hiss of angry torrents, and sometimes the shriek of a bird that flits near their face, and sweeps frightened back from under their shadow into the gulf of air. And sometimes, when the echo has fainted, and the wind has carried the sound of the torrent away, and the bird has vanished, and the mouldering stones are still for a little timea brown moth, opening and shutting its wings upon a grain of dust, may be the only thing that moves or feels in all the waste of weary precipice, darkening five thousand feet of the blue depth of heaven.
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNY.
Hast thou a charm to stay the Morning-star
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale !
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
THE INFLUENCE OF MOUNTAINS.
“O Liberty! the pris'ner's pleasing dream,
The poet's muse, his passion, and his theme;
Thanks be to God for mountains! From age to age they have been the best friends of man. In a thousand extremities they have saved him. What great hearts have throbbed in their defiles, from the days of Leonidas to those of Tell and Hofer !
The variety which they impart to the glorious bosom of our planet is no small advantage: the beauty which they spread out to our vision in their woods and waters, their crags and slopes, their clouds and atmospheric hues, is a splendid gift: the sublimity which they pour into our deepest souls from their majestic aspects: the poetry which breathes from their streams, dells, and airy lieights; the songs and legends which have arisen in them is a proud heritage to imaginative minds: but what are all these when the thought comes, that without mountains the spirit of man must have bowed to the brutal and the base, and probably have sunk to the monotonous level of the unvaried plain!
When I turn my eyes upon the map of the world and behold how wonderfully the countries-in which our faith was nurtured, our liberties obtained, and in which our philosophy and literature originated—were all distinctly walled out by God's hand with mountain ramparts, from the eruptions and interruptions of bar