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Nor stooped their lamps the enthroned fires on high:
A single silent star
Came wandering from afar,
As at a kingly throne,
Before thy infant feet.
The earth and ocean were not hushed to hear
From all the cherub quires,
And seraphs' burning lyres,
Of all the race of man
That soft hosanna's tone.
And when thou didst depart, no car of flame
Nor didst thou mount on high,
From fatal Calvary, .
But one of human birth;
In paradise with thee.
Nor o'er thy cross the clouds of vengeance brake:
A few dim hours of day
The world in darkness lay,
Consenting to thy doom;
Upon the sealėd stone.
And when thou didst arise, thou didst not stand
Plaguing the guilty city's murtherous crew;
But thou didst haste to meet
Thy mother's coming feet,
Into thy native skies,
In its own radiancy.
[This example of blank verse requires attention to the full, slow, and
stately utterance, which is its appropriate characteristic. The style of the piece, throughout, is that of sublimity, mingled with solemnity. Deep notes, prolonged “quantity," and full “ median stress," sustained by perfectly distinct articulation, are the main elements of erpressive effect, in the reading of this piece. The “quality” is “effusive orotund.”
The sea is mighty; but a Mightier sways His restless billows. — Thou, whose hands have scooped His boundless gulfs and built his shore, Thy breath, That moved in the beginning o'er his face, Moves o'er it evermore. The obedient waves, To its strong motion roll, and rise, and fall. Still from that realm of rain Thy cloud goes up, As at the first, to water the great earth, And keep her valleys green. A hundred realms Watch its broad shadow warping on the wind, And, in the dropping shower, with gladness hear Thy promise of the harvest. I look forth Over the boundless blue, where, joyously, The bright crests of innumerable waves Glance to the sun, at once, as when the hands Of a great multitude are upward flung In acclamation. I behold the ships. Gliding from cape to cape, from isle to isle, Or stemming toward far lands, or hastening home From the old world. It is Thy friendly breeze That bears them, with the riches of the land,
And treasure of dear lives, till, in the port,
But who shall bide Thy tempest, who shall face
These restless surges eat away the shores
(An example of perfect tranquillity and " pure tone,” in its “ subdued”
form. A soft, but clear and distinct utterance prevails, throughout
O’er the broad vault of heaven, so calmly bright,
Fair empress of the sky! while viewing thee,
Thy rays are dancing on the gentle river,
There, on its banks, I view the dear old home,
Listless remain, unknowing and unknown!--
THE RHINE. Anon. [The following extract is an example of lively and beautiful descrip
tion: it requires the “animated” utterance of “pure tone, in its moderate force. The “ movement” is varied with the character of the scene, — slow, where it is majestic, — rapid, where it is abrupt.]
My second day upon the Rhine was more interesting than my first. The scenery was wilder; the castles were gloomier. The rush of water was more rapid, and in a narrower bed, through narrower defiles.
An excellent road runs all along the banks of the river, at the foot of the mountains. The Englishman's coach was often seen upon it. The bugle of the Prussian postilion would sound now and then, and echo from hill to hill. Here and there was a cross, with some woman kneeling at its foot. The church bell would strike at times; the drum of the soldier was often rolled. Here, a chateau; there, the thickly clustering vineyards. Here, peeping over the cliffs on the plains above, the rich golden harvests waving in the breeze; - and there, the hills feathered with little trees. Now the Rhine would branch off into the broad lake in quiet beauty, and, pent up ainong the mountains, hiding its ingress and egress too, quite deceive you ; — and anon it would foam, and fret, and chafe, in anger as it were, that it was passing in such a wild defile.
Glorious river! - glorious in fact, and in fancy, too. Of all the things around, thou art alone unchanged. Castle has fallen ; nations have thrown their flags upon thy cliffs; war has often vexed thy bosom; — but thou art the same as ever, in perpetual youth and beauty; and one does not marvel why feudal lord and fiery chief should seek thy sweet repose.
All now is ruins, ruins, on the peak of almost every lofty cliff, — prettier, lighter, more classic, than the Gothic ruins of English castles. What dens for robbery on the far-reaching Rhine, its petty lords threw up! What a state of society,