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Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
We thought—as we hollow'd his narrow bed,
How the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head, And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
But nothing he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock toll'd the hour for retiring, And we heard by the distant and random gun, That the foe was suddenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory! We carved not a line, we raised not a stone, But we left him-alone with his glory!
THE YEW-TREE SEAT.
Who he was
That piled these stones, and with the mossy sod
A favour'd being, knowing no desire
The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper:
Till his eye stream'd with tears. In this deep vale
If thou be one whose heart the holy forms
Of young imagination have kept pure,
Howe'er disguised in its own majesty,
Which he has never used—that thought, with him,
Is ever on himself, doth look on one,
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love,
THE EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY AND BEAUTY.
THE emotions of sublimity and beauty are uniformly ascribed, both in popular and in philosophical language, to the imagination. The nature of any person's taste, is, in common life, generally determined by the nature or character of his imagination; and the expression of any deficiency in this power of mind, is considered as synonymous with the expression of a similar deficiency in point of taste.
When any object, either of sublimity or beauty is presented to the mind, every man is conscious of a train of thought being immediately awakened in his imagination, analogous to the character or expression of the original object. The simple perception of the object, we frequently find, is insufficient to excite these emotions, unless it is accompanied with this operation of mind,—unless, according to common expression, our imagination is seized, and our fancy busied in the pursuit of all those trains of thought which are allied to this character or expression.
Thus, when we feel either the beauty or sublimity of natural scenery-the gay lustre of a morning in spring, or the mild radiance of a summer evening-the savage majesty of a wintry storm, or the wild magnificence of a tempestuous ocean,—we are conscious of a variety of images in our minds, very different from those which the objects themselves can present to the eye. Trains of pleasing or of solemn thought arise spontaneously within our minds; our hearts swell with emotions, of which the objects before us seem to afford no adequate cause; and we are never so much satiated with delight, as when, in recalling our attention, we are unable to trace either the progress or the connexion of those thoughts, which have passed with so much rapidity through our imagination.
The effects of the different arts of taste is similar. The landscapes of Claude Lorraine, the music of Handel, the poetry of Milton, excite feeble emotions in our minds when our attention is confined to the qualities they present to our senses, or when it is to such qualities of their composition that we turn our regard. It is then only we feel the sublimity or beauty of their productions, when our imaginations are kindled by their power, when we lose ourselves amid the number of images that pass before our minds, and when we waken at last from this play of fancy, as from the charm of a romantic dream.
THE FIELD OF WATERLOO.
STOP!-for thy tread is on an empire's dust!
And is this all the world has gain'd by thee, Thou first and last of fields! king-making Victory?
There was a sound of revelry by night,
Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
Did ye not hear it?—No; 'twas but the wind,
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet To chase the glowing hours with flying feetBut hark!—that heavy sound breaks in once more, As if the clouds its echo would repeat; And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before! Arm! Arm! it is!-it is!-the cannon's opening roar!
Within a window'd niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,