« ForrigeFortsæt »
vantage; the beauty which they spread out to our vision in their woods and waters; their crags and slopes, their clouds and atmospheric hues, were a splendid gift; the sublimity which they pour into our deepest souls from their majestic aspects; the poetry which breathes from their streams, and dells, and airy heights, were a proud heritage to imaginative minds; but what are all these when the thought comes, that without mountains, the spirit of man must have bowed to the brutal and the base, and probably have sunk to the . monotonous level of the unvaried plain.
When I turn my eyes upon the map of the world, and behold how wonderfully the countries, where our faith was nurtured, where our liberties were generated, where our philosophy and literature, the fountains of our intellectual grace and beauty, sprang up, were as distinctly walled out by God's hand, with mountain ramparts from the eruptions and interruptions of barbarism, as if at the especial prayer of the early fathers of man's destinies, I am lost in an exulting admiration.
Look at the bold barriers of Palestine! see how the infant liberties of Greece, were sheltered from the vast tribes of the uncivilized north by the heights of Hæmus and Rhodope! behold how the Alps describe their magnificent crescent, inclining their opposite extremities to the Adriatic and Tyrrhine Seas, locking up Italy from the Gallic and Teutonic hordes, till the power and spirit of Rome had reached their maturity, and she had opened the wide forest of Europe to the light, spread far her laws and language, and planted the seeds of many mighty nations!
Thanks to God for mountains! Their colossal firmness seems almost to break the current of time itself; the Geologist in them searches for traces of the earlier world, and it is there too that man, resisting the revolutions of lower regions, retains through innumerable years his habits and his rights.
While a multitude of changes has remoulded the people of Europe, while languages and laws and dynasties, and creeds, have passed over it like shadows over the landscape, the children of the Celt and the Goth, who fled to the mountains a thousand years ago, are found there now, and show us in face and figure, in language and garb, what their fathers were; show us a fine contrast with the modern tribes dwelling below and around them; and show us, moreover, how adverse is the spirit of the mountain to mutability, and that there the fiery heart of Freedom is found forever.
PERHAPS no scene, or situation, is so intensely gratifying to the naturalist as the shore of the ocean. The productions of the latter element are innumerable, and the majesty of the mighty waters lends an interest unknown to an inland landscape.
The loneliness too of the sea-shore is much cheered by the constant changes arising from the ebb and flow of the tide, and the undulations of the water's surface, sometimes rolling like mountains, and again scarcely murmuring on the beach. As you gather there
Each flower of the rock and each gem of the billow, you may feel with the poet, that there are joys in solitude, and that there are pleasures to be found in the investigation of nature of the most powerful and pleasing influence.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods ;
By the deep sea, and music in its roar. But nothing can be more beautiful than a view of the bottom of the ocean, during a calm, even round our own shores, but particularly in tropical climates, especially when it consists alternately of beds of sand and masses of rock.
The water is frequently so clear and undisturbed, that, at great depths, the minutest objects are visible; groves of coral are seen expanding their variously-colored clumps, some rigid and immovable, and others waving gracefully their flexile branches. Shells of every form and hue glide slowly along the stones, or cling to the coral boughs like fruit; crabs and other marine animals
their preys in the crannies of the rocks, and sea-plants spread their limber leaves in gay and gaudy irregularity, while the most beautiful fishes are on every side sporting around.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain-drift,
And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow;
Their boughs, where the tides and billows flow;
For the winds and waves are absent there ;
In the motionless fields of the upper air :
There, with its waving blade of green, :
The sea-flag streams through the silent water, And the crimson leaf of the dulse is seen
To blush like a banner bathed in slaughter; There with a light and easy motion
The fan-coral sweeps through the clear deep sea, And the yellow and scarlet tufts of ocean
Are bending like corn on the upland lea; And life in rare and beautiful forms
Is sporting amid those bowers of stone,
And is safe when the wrathful spirit of storms
Where the myriad voices of ocean roar,
When the wind-god frowns in the murky skies, And demons are waiting the wreck on shore,
Then far below in the peaceful sea The purple mullet and gold-fish rove,
Where the waters murmur tranquilly Through the bending twigs of the coral-grove.
Roar of the Sea.- ANON.
Voice of the mighty deep,
Piercing the drowsy night,
Whose pinions will not light
Peal of unwonted things;
The hollow music rings,
I cannot sleep,
Of thy great majesty,
Thou art a spirit, Ocean, thou!
Giant of earth and air,
While making music here,
Thunders upon the shore
Beneath their angry sway,
In their triumphant way,
Are hush'd in lair and rest-
Hath never needed rest: Thou dost not tire-thou feel'st not toilThou art not formed, like me, of soil. Why dost thou thunder so?
What in thy depths profound, Thus as a strong man with his foe,
Gives out that angry sound; On earth no foe can ever be, Prince of creation, worthy thee! Age thou hast never known Thou shalt be
and free, Till God command thee give thine own,
And all is dumb save thee;
Salmon River.- BRAINARD.
'Tis a sweet stream; and so, 't is true, are all,
By night and day.
Something in its pure wave and sloping bank, : Where the deer sported, and the young fawn drank
With unscared look;
In that small brook.
Havoc has been upon its peaceful plain,
And many a quiver,
From Salmon river.
Or tangled dell.
And here the black fox roved, that howled and shook
For earthly fox;