Page images

ized heroism. — Not one of all these aids did or could come in use for them. Their character and their situation both excluded them. Their enemies were disease walking in darkness, and destroying at noonday; famine which, more than all other calamities, bows the spirit of a man, presses his radiant form to the dust, and teaches him what he is; the wilderness; spiritual foes on the high places of the unseen vorld. Even when the first Indian was killed, the exclamasion of Robinson was, “ Oh! that you had converted some, before you had slain any."

Now, I say, the heroism which can look, in a great cause, all the more terrible ills that flesh is heir to, calmly in the face, and can tread them under its feet, as sparks, without these aids, — is at least as lofty a quality as that which cannot. To my eye, as I look back, it looms on the shores of the past with a more towering and attractive grandeur. It seems to me to speak from our far ancestral life, a higher lesson to a nobler nature.




[An example of sublimity and grandeur of “expression," demanding

full orotund quality,through the greater part of it, but commen. cing in the 6 pure tone” of “ pathos," with deep utterance and a pectoral quality.” In the description of the fate of the Egyptians, the o movement” becomes a rapid," from intensity of emotion, and again sinks to the low note and slow utterance of awe. The concluding stanza returns to the bold style of exultation.]

King of kings! and Lord of lords!

Thus we move, our sad steps timing

To our cymbal's feeblest chiming,
Where thy house its rest accords.
Chased and wounded birds are we,
Through the dark air fled to Thee;
To the shadow of Thy wings,
Lord of lords! and King of kings!

Behold, O Lord! the Heathen treads

The branches of thy fruitful vine,

That its luxurious tendrils spreads

O'er all the hills of Palestine.
And now the wild boar comes to waste
Even us, the greenest boughs and last,
That drinking of thy choicest dew,
On Zion's hill in beauty grew.
No! by the marvels of thine hand,
Thou still wilt save thy chosen land !
By all thine ancient mercies shown,
By all our fathers' foes o’erthrown;
By the Egyptian's car-borne host,
Scattered on the Red Sea coast,
By that wide and bloodless slaughter
Underneath the drowning water !
Like us in utter helplessness,
In their last and worst distress, –
On the sand and seaweed lying,
Israel poured her doleful sighing;
While, before, the deep sea flowed,
And behind, fierce Egypt rode: –
To their fathers' God they prayed,
To the Lord of Hosts, for aid.

On the margin of the flood,
With lifted rod, the Prophet stood;
And the summoned east wind blew :
And aside it sternly threw
The gathered waves, that took their oland,
Like crystal rocks, on either hand,
Or walls of sea-green marble piled
Round some irregular city wild.

Then the light of morning lay
On the wonder-pavėd way,
Where the treasures of the deep
In their caves of coral sleep.
The profound abysses, where
Was never sound from upper air,
Rang with Israel's chanted words,
King of kings! and Lord of lords !
Then with bow and banner glancing,
On exulting Egypt came,

With her chosen horsemen prancing,

And her cars on wheels of flame,
In a rich and boastful ring
All around her furious king.
But the Lord, from out his cloud,
The Lord looked down upon the proud;
And the host drave heavily
Down the deep bosom of the sea.

With a quick and sudden swell
Prone the liquid ramparts fell;
Over horse and over car,
Over every man of war,
Over Pharaoh's crown of gold,
The loud thundering billows rolled.
As the level waters spread,
Down they sank, they sank as lead,
Down without a cry or groan.
And the morning sun that shone
On myriads of bright-armed men,

Its meridian radiance then
Cast on a wide sea, heaving, as of yore,
Against a silent solitary shore !

Then did Israel's maidens sing,

Then did Israel's timbrels ring, To Him, the King of kings, that in the sea, The Lord of Hosts, had triumphed gloriously :

Shall they not attuned be
Once again to victory?
Lo! a glorious triumph now!

Lo! against thy people come
A mightier Pharaoh! — Wilt not Thou

Craze the chariot wheels of Rome?
Will not, like the Red Sea wave,

Thy stern anger overthrow ?
And from worse than bondage save,

From sadder than Egyptian woe,
Those whose silver cymbals glance,
Those who lead the suppliant dance,

Thy race, — the only race that sings
“ Lord of lords ! and King of kings!”

[blocks in formation]

[The following piece is an example of tenderness and repose, requiring

"pure tone,” in its “subduedform, a gentle “ median stress," " middle pitch," "slow movement,” and long pauses.]

A BEAUTIFUL and happy girl,

With step as soft as summer air,
And fresh young lip, and brow of pearl,
Shadowed by many a careless curl

Of unconfined and flowing hair :
A seeming child in every thing

Save thoughtful brow, and ripening charms, –
As Nature wears the smile of Spring,

When sinking into Summer's arms.

A mind rejoicing in the light

Which melted through its graceful bower,-
Leaf after leaf, serenely bright,
And stainless in its holy white,

Unfolding like a morning flower :
A heart, which, like a fine-toned lute,

With every breath of feeling woke,
And, even when the tongue was mute,

From eye and lip in music spoke.

How thrills, once more, the lengthening chain

Of memory, at the thought of thee! —
Old hopes, which long in dust have lain,
Old dreams, come thronging back again;

And boyhood lives again in me :
I feel its glow upon my cheek;

Its fulness of the heart is mine,
As when I leaned to hear thee speak,

Or raised my doubtful eye to thine.

I hear again thy low replies;

I feel thy'arm within my own ;
And timidly again uprise
The fringed lids of hazel eyes,

With soft brown tresses overblown.

Ah! memories of sweet summer eves,

Of moonlit wave and willowy way, Of stars, and flowers, and dewy leaves,

And smiles and tones more dear than they!

Ere this thy quiet eye hath smiled,

My picture of thy youth to see, When half a woman, half a child, Thy very artlessness beguiled,

And folly's self seemed wise in tirev I too can smile, when o'er that hour

The lights of memory backward streatu, Yet feel, the while, that manhood's power

Is vainer than my boyhood's dream.

Years have passed on, and left their trace

Of graver care and deeper thought;
And unto me, the calm, cold face
Of manhood, and to thee the grace

Of woman's pensive beauty brought.
On life's rough blast, for blame or praise

The schoolboy's name has widely flown; Thine, in the green and quiet ways

Of unobtrusive goodness known.

And wider yet, in thought and deed,

Our still diverging paths incline; Thine the Genevan's sternest creed, While answers to my spirit's need,

The Yorkshire peasant's simple line. For thee the priestly rite and prayer,

And holy day and solemn psalm ; — For me the silent reverence where

My brethren gather, slow and calm.

Yet hath thy spirit left on me,

An impress Time has worn not out;
And something of myself in thee, -
A shadow from the past, — I see

Lingering, even yet, thy way about :
Not wholly can the heart unlearn

That lesson of its better hours,
Not yet has Time's dull footstep worn

To common dust that path of flowers.

« PreviousContinue »