Page images


Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouny.—

HAST thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course?-so long he seems to pause
On thy bald, awful head, O sovereign Blanc !
The Arve and Arveiron, at thy base,
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form,
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee, and above,
Deep is the air, and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity.

O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,

Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer,
I worshipped the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet, beguiling melody,

So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,

Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thoughts,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy,—
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
Into the mighty vision passing-there,

As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul! Not only passive praise
Thou owest; not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy. Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

Thou, first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale!
O struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,

Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink,

• Companion of the morning star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald,-wake! O wake! and utter praise!
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

And you, ye five wild torrents, fiercely glad!
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
Forever shattered and the same forever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,

Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam?

And who commanded-and the silence came-
"Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?"

Ye ice-falls! ye, that, from the mountain's brow,
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-

Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts !—

Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?—
“God !” let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer; and let the ice-plains echo, "God!"
"God!" sing the meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!

Ye pine groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And, in their perilous fall, shall thunder, "God !"
Ye living flowers, that skirt the eternal frost!
Ye wild goats, sporting round the eagle's nest!
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the elements !

Utter forth" God!" and fill the hills with praise!

Thou, too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast—
Thou, too, again, stupendous mountain! thou
That,- -as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base

Slow travelling, with dim eyes suffused with tears,—
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,

To rise before me,-rise, O ever rise!

Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth.
Thou kingly spirit, throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great hierarch, tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
"Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God!"


Calista, or Spiritual-Mindedness.-CHRISTIAN OBserver.

CALISTA was born of pious parents, and early imbibed, from their lessons and examples, the best principles of Christianity. These gradually matured with her understanding; and, in the midst of friendship and domestic happiness, life seemed to be opening upon her with unclouded brightness. Calista was entering upon her nineteenth year, when she was suddenly attacked by an alarming epidemic disorder. Its violence soon exhausted itself, and she revived; but the functions of life were fatally disturbed, and the vigor of her constitution annihilated. She lived, indeed, during several years; but life was little more than a protracted disease, tending slowly to its consummation. Thus, as it were in an instant, at that period when both our powers and our expectations of enjoyment are generally

the most lively, the face of nature was suddenly obscured, and a funeral pall thrown over the whole of her earthly existence. All the bright visions that play before a young imagination, the day-dreams of hope, that please and occupy, even while they deceive us, were for her at once blotted out. The delighted and delightful activity of youthful gaiety, the animated pleasures of social intercourse, the endearments of conjugal tenderness, she was forbid to share. Surely, under such privations, her spirit quickly sunk into a deep and settled sadness! Far otherwise. The gay and sprightly vivacity of her early years was succeeded by a gentle serenity, which silently took possession of her bosom. Her eye no longer sparkled with rapture; her countenance was lighted up no more to radiant happiness; yet a gleam of softened joy was shed upon her features, and an expression, dearer even than beauty, of love, resignation and thankfulness, spoke the sunshine of a pure and angel spirit. Her sufferings, though great, appeared but little to distress, and scarcely at all to occupy her. Those who saw her only occasionally did not immediately discover that she was ill; and they who were constantly with her would hardly have perceived it, if her faint voice and feeble step had not too clearly indicated what no impatient or querulous emotion ever betrayed. It was only a few weeks before her death, that, to a friend who inquired after a sick relative, she spoke of the state of his improvement with a sensible delight, and, being at length obliged to say something of her own health, alluded to it slightly, with that unaffected ease which showed that she considered it only as a subject of very secondary interest. At length the symptoms of her disorder began to assume a decisive character; her pains increased, and her strength diminished. At the visible approach of death, the feebleness of her nature trembled. Of acute feelings, quickened by disease to an agonizing sensibility, she was unable to anticipate the pangs of dissolution without experiencing a silent terror, which she in vain struggled to conceal.


friends beheld the conflict, and wept in secret. They had no power to sustain her weakness, nor any counsel to impart, which her own piety and experience had not rendered familiar to her. The struggle continued and increased till the second day before her death, and then it ceased for ever! What passed within her bosom at that hour, what blessed consolations descended to her from above, He only knows who sees her soul; but from that time anxiety and terror fled away; even her bodily sufferings appeared to be suspended, and a smile of heavenly gladness animated her countenance. She could converse but little, for nature was nearly exhausted; yet she cheered with the accents of piety and affection those who were gathered round her. She remembered every one that was dear to her, and distributed little mementos of love and gratitude. She listened with tranquil devotion to the sacred offices of the church, and partook of the memorials of that blessed sacrifice to which alone she trusted for acceptance. She sunk softly into a gentle slumber, and slept to wake no more! Her parents followed her to the grave, shed over her the tears of mingled thankfulness and affliction, and marked with a simple stone the turf that lies lightly on her.

"There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow;
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
And angels, with their silver wings, o'ershade
The spot now sacred by the relics made."


Lament for Mary.-CHARLES WOLFE.

IF I had thought thou couldst have died,
I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,

That thou couldst mortal be:

« PreviousContinue »