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And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car, Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war; And the deep thunder peal on peal afar,
And near, the beat of the alarming drum Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering with white lips—“The foe! They come! they
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass,
Over the unreturning brave—alas !
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
Of living valor, rolling on the foe And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low.
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The morn, the marshaling in arms—the day,
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent, The earth is covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, Rider and horse, friend, foe, in one red burial blent.
LXXXVIII.—THE PROBLEM OF CREATION.
F we look out upon the starry heavens by which we are
surrounded, we find them diversified in every possible way. Our own mighty Stellar System takes upon itself the form of a flat disc, which may be compared to a mighty, ring breaking into two distinct branches, severed from each other, the interior with stars less densely populous than upon the exterior. But take the telescope and go beyond this; and here you find, coming out from the depths of space, universes of every possible shape and fashion; some of them assuming a globular form, and, when we apply the highest possible penetrating power of the telescope, breaking into ten thousand brilliant stars, all crushed and condensed into one luminous, bright, and magnificent center.
2. But look yet farther. Away yonder, in the distance, you behold a faint, hazy, nebulous ring of light, the interior almost entirely dark, but the exterior ring-shaped, and exhibiting to the eye, under the most powerful telescope, the fact that it may be resolved entirely into stars, producing a universe somewhat analogous to the one we inhabit. Go yet deeper into space, and there you will behold another universe-voluminous scrolls of light, glittering with beauty, flashing with splendor, and sweeping a curve of most extraordinary form and of most tremendous outlines.
3. Thus we may pass from planet to planet, from sun to sun, from system to system. We may reach beyond the limits of this mighty stellar cluster with which we are allied. We may find other island universes sweeping through space. The great unfinished problem still remains—Whence came this universe ? Have all these stars which glitter in the heavens been shining from all eternity? Has our globe been rolling around the sun for ceaseless ages? Whence, whence this magnificent Architecture, whose architraves rise in splendor before us in every direction? Is it all the work of chance ? I answer, No. It is not the work of chance.
4. Who shall reveal to us the true cosmogony of the universe by which we are surrounded? Is it the work of an Omnipotent Architect? If so, who is this August Being ? Go with me to-night, in imagination, and stand with old Paul, the great Apostle, upon Mars' Hill, and there look around you as he did. Here rises that magnificent building, the Parthenon, sacred to Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom. There towers her colossal statue, rising in its majesty above the city of which she was the guardian—the first object to catch the rays of the rising, and the last to be kissed by the rays of the setting sun. There are the temples of all the gods; and there are the shrines of every divinity.
5. And yet I tell you these gods and these divinities, though created under the inspiring fire of poetic fancy and Greek imagination, never reared this stupendous structure by which we are surrounded. The Olympic Jove never built these heavens. The wisdom of Minerva never organized these magnificent systems. I say with St. Paul, “O Athenians, in all things I find you too superstitious; for in passing along your streets, I find an altar inscribed, To the Unknown God-Him whom ye ignorantly worship; and this is the God I declare unto you—the God that made heaven and earth, who dwells not in temples made with hands."
6. No, here is the temple of our Divinity. Around us and above us rise Sun and System, Cluster and Universe And I doubt not that in every region of this vast Empire of God, hymns of praise and anthems of glory are rising and reverberating from Sun to Sun and from System to System-heard by Omnipotence alone across immensity and through eternity!
O. M. MITCHEL.
ORD of the winds! I feel thee nigh,
I know thy breath in the burning sky, And I wait with a thrill in every vein, For the coming of the hurricane! And lo! on the wing of the heavy gales, Through the boundless arch of heaven he sails; Silent and slow, and terribly strong, The mighty shadow is borne along, Like the dark eternity to come; While the world below, dismayed and dumb, Through the calm of the thick, hot atmosphere, Look up at its gloomy folds with fear.
They darken fast; and the golden blaze
He is come! he is come! do ye not behold
Darker-still darker! the whirlwinds bear
And hark to the crashing, long and loud,
What roar is that?—'tis the rain that breaks
W. C. BRYANT.
CHEERFUL man is pre-eminently a useful man. He
knows that there is much misery, but that misery is not the rule of life. He sees that in every state people may be cheerful; the lambs skip, birds sing and fly joyously, puppies play, kittens are full of joyance, the whole air is full of careering and rejoicing insects—that everywhere the good outbalances the bad, and that every evil that there is has its compensating balm.
2. Then the brave man, as our German cousins say, possesses the world, whereas the melancholy man does not ezen possess his share of it.
3. Exercise, or continued -ployment of some kind, will make a man cheerful; but sitting at home, brooding and thinking, or doing little, will bring gloom. The reaction of this feeling is wonderful. It arises from a sense of duty done, and it also enables us to do our duty.