Puslapio vaizdai
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Unheard, the savage nations bowed the head
To Gods delighting in remorseless deeds;
Gods which themselves had fashioned, to promote
Ill purposes, and flatter foul desires.

Then, in the bosom of yon mountain cove,
To those inventions of corrupted Man
Mysterious rites were solemnized; and there,
Amid impending rocks and gloomy woods,
Of those terrific Idols, some received
Such dismal service, that the loudest voice
Of the swoln cataracts (which now are heard
Soft murmuring) was too weak to overcome,

Though aided by wild winds, the groans and shrieks Of human Victims, offered up to appease

Or to propitiate. And, if living eyes

Had visionary faculties to see

The thing that hath been as the thing that is,
Aghast we might behold this crystal Mere
Bedimmed with smoke, in wreaths voluminous,
Flung from the body of devouring fires,
To Taranis erected on the heights
By priestly hands, for sacrifice performed
Exultingly, in view of open day

And full assemblage of a barbarous Host;
Or to Andates, Female Power! who gave
(For so they fancied) glorious Victory.

A few rude Monuments of mountain-stone Survive; all else is swept away. How bright The appearances of things! From such, how changed The existing worship; and with those compared, The Worshippers how innocent and blest! So wide the difference, a willing mind, At this affecting hour, might almost think That Paradise, the lost abode of man, Was raised again; and to a happy Few,

In its original beauty, here restored.

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Whence but from Thee, the true and only God, And from the faith derived through Him who bled Upon the Cross, this marvellous advance

Of good from evil; as if one extreme

Were left the other gained? O Ye, who come
To kneel devoutly in yon reverend Pile,

Called to such office by the peaceful sound
Of Sabbath bells; and Ye, who sleep in earth,
All cares forgotten, round its hallowed walls!
For You, in presence of this little Band
Gathered together on the green hill-side,
Your Pastor is emboldened to prefer
Vocal thanksgivings to the Eternal King;

Whose love, whose counsel, whose commands have made

Your very poorest rich in peace of thought

And in good works; and Him, who is endowed
With scantiest knowledge, Master of all truth
Which the salvation of his soul requires.
Conscious of that abundant favor showered
On you, the Children of my humble care,
And this dear Land, our Country, while on Earth
We sojourn, have I lifted up my soul,
Joy giving voice to fervent gratitude.
These barren rocks, your stern inheritance;
These fertile fields, that recompense your pains;
The shadowy vale, the sunny mountain-top;
Woods waving in the wind their lofty heads,
Or hushed; the roaring waters, and the still;
They see the offering of my lifted hands
They hear my lips present their sacrifice-
They know if I be silent, morn or even:
For, though in whispers speaking, the full heart
Will find a vent; and Thought is praise to Him,

Audible praise, to Thee, Omniscient Mind,

From Whom all gifts descend, all blessings flow!"

This Vesper service closed, without delay,
From that exalted station to the plain

Descending, we pursued our homeward course,
In mute composure, o'er the shadowy lake,
Beneath a faded sky. No trace remained
Of those celestial splendors; gray the vault,
Pure, cloudless ether; and the Star of Eve
Was wanting;— but inferior Lights appeared
Faintly, too faint almost for sight; and some
Above the darkened hills stood boldly forth
In twinkling lustre, ere the Boat attained
Her mooring-place; - where to the sheltering tree,
Our youthful Voyagers bound fast her prow,
With prompt yet careful hands. This done, we paced
The dewy fields; but ere the Vicar's door
Was reached, the Solitary checked his steps;
Then, intermingling thanks, on each bestowed
A farewell salutation, — and, the like

Receiving, took the slender path that leads
To the one Cottage, in the lonely dell;
But turned not without welcome promise given,
That he would share the pleasures and pursuits
Of yet another summer's day, consumed
In wandering with us through the Valleys fair,
And o'er the Mountain-wastes. "Another sun,"
Said he, "shall shine upon us, ere we part,
Another sun, and peradventure more;
If time, with free consent, is yours to give, -
And season favors."

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To enfeebled Power,

From this communion with uninjured Minds,

What renovation had been brought; and what
Degree of healing to a wounded spirit,
Dejected, and habitually disposed

To seek, in degradation of the Kind,
Excuse and solace for her own defects;
How far those erring notions were reformed;
And whether aught, of tendency as good
And pure, from further intercourse ensued;
This (if delightful hopes, as heretofore,
Inspire the serious song, and gentle Hearts
Cherish, and lofty Minds approve the past)
My future Labors may not leave untold.

PETER BELL:

A TALE.

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