Page images

“I winna gie up my house, my dear,

To nae sic traitor as he ; Come weel, come wae, my jewel fair,

Ye maun tak share wi' me."

Oh then bespake her daughter deir;

She was baith jimp and sma'; “ Oh row me in a pair o'sheets,

And tow me ower the wa'."

They row'd her in a pair o' sheets,

And tow'd her ower the wa'; But on the point o' Edom's speir

She gat a deidly fa'.

Oh bonnie, bonnie was her mouth,

And cherry were her cheeks ;
And cleir, cleir was her yellow hair,

Whereon the red blude dreips.

Then wi' his speir he turn’d her ower,

Oh gin her face was wan!
He said, “ You are the first that eir

I wist alyve again.”

He turn’d her ower and ower again,

Oh gin her skin was whyte ! He said, “ 1 micht hae spared thy lyse,

To been some man's delyte.

“ Backe and boun, my merrie men all;

For ill dooms I do guess ;
I canna luik on that bonnie face,

As it lies on the grass !”

“ Them luiks to freits, my master deir,

Them freits will follow them; Let it ne'er be said brave Edom of Gordon

Was dauntit by a dame.”

Oh, then he spied her ain deir lord,

As he came o'er the lea; He saw his castle in a fyre,

As far as he could see.

“Put on, put on, my michtie men,

As fast as ye can drie ;
For he that's hindmost o' my men,

Sall ne'er get gude o' me.”

And some they rade, and some they ran,

Fu’ fast out ower the plain ;
But lang, lang ere he could get up,

They a' were deid and slain.

But mony were the mudie men,

Lay gasping on the grene;
For o' fifty men that Edom brought

There were but fyve gaed hame.

And mony were the mudie men,

Lay gasping on the grene; And mony were the fair ladyes,

Lay lemanless at hame.

And round and round the wa's he went,

Their ashes for to view :
At last into the flames he flew,

And bade the world adieu.


To the natural philosopher there is no natural object unimportant or

trifling. From the least of nature's works he may learn the greatest lessons. The fall of an apple to the ground may raise his thoughts to the laws which govern the revolutions of the planets in their orbits; or the situation of a pebble may afford him evidence of the state of the globe he inhabits, myriads of ages ago, before his species became its denizens. And this is, in fact, one of the great sources of delight which the study of natural science imparts to its votaries. A mind which has once imbibed a taste for scientific inquiry, and has learnt the habit of applying its principles readily to the cases which occur, has within itself an inexhaustible source of pure and exciting contemplations: one would think that Shakespeare had such a mind in view when he describes a contemplative man as finding

“Tongues in trees-books in the running brooks

Sermons in stones—and good in everything."

Accustomed to trace the operation of general causes, and the cxemplification of general laws, in circumstances where the uninformed and uninquiring eye perceives neither novelty nor beauty, he walks in the midst of wonders : every object which falls in his way elucidates some principle, affords some instruction, and iropresses him with a sense of harmony and order. Nor is it a mere passive pleasure which is thus communicated. A thousand questions are continually arising in his mind, a thousand subjects of inquiry presenting themselves. which keep his faculties in constant exercise, and his thoughts perpetually on the wing, so that lassitude is excluded from his life, and that craving after artificial excitement and dissipation of mind, which leads so many into frivolous, unworthy, and destructive pursuits, is altogether eradicated from his bosom. It is not one of the least advantages of these pursuits, which, however, they possess in common with every class of intellectual pleasures, that they are altogether independent of external circumstances, and are to be enjoyed in every situation in which a man can be placed in life. The highest degrees of worldly prosperity are so far from being incomparable with them, that they supply additional advantages for their pursuit, and that sort of fresh and renewed relish which arises partly from the sense of contrast, partly from experience of the peculiar pre-eminence they possess over the pleasures of sense in their capability of unlimited increase and continual repetition without satiety or distaste. They may be enjoyed, too, in the intervals of the most active business; and the calm and dispassionate interest with which they fill the mind renders them a most delightful retreat from the agitations and dissensions of the world, and from the conflict of passions, prejudices, and interests in which the man of business finds himself continually involved. There is something in the contemplation of general laws which powerfully persuades us to merge individual feeling, and to commit ourselves unreservedly to their disposal ; while the observation of the calm, energetic regularity of nature, the immense scale of her operations, and the certainty with which her ends are attained, tends irresistibly to tranquillise and reassure the mind, and render it less accessible to repining, selfish, and turbulent emotions. And this it does, not by debasing our nature into weak compliances and abject submission to circumstances, but by filling us, as from an inward spring, with a sense of nobleness and power which enables us to rise superior to them, by showing us our strength and innate dignity, and by calling upon us for the exercise of those powers and faculties by which we are susceptible of the comprehension of so much greatness, and which form, as it were, a link between ourselves and the best and noblest benefactors of our species, with whom we hold communion in thoughts and participate in discoveries which have raised them above their fellow-mortals, and brought them nearer to their Creator.

Sir John Herschel



From the German of Salis.
INTO the Silent Land !

Ah! who shall lead us thither ?
Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather,
And shatter'd wrecks lie thicker on the strand.
Who leads us with a gentle hand
Thither, oh, thither,
Into the Silent Land ?

Into the Silent Land !
To you, ye boundless regions
Of all perfection! Tender morning visions
Of beauteous souls! The Future's pledge and band !
Who in Life's battle firm doth stand,
Shall bear Hope's tender blossoms
Into the Silent Land !

O Land! O Land !
For all the broken-hearted
The mildest herald by our fate allotted
Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand
To lead us with a gentle hand
Into the land of the great Departed,
Into the Silent Land!

Long fellow

« PreviousContinue »