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Dark heaving;—boundless, endless, and sublime—
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror, 'twas a pleasing fear;
For I was, as it were, a child of thee,
CXXV.—REVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE.
IT was long known as one of the most elementary truths of astronomy, that the earth and the planets revolve around the sun; but the question recently began to be raised among astronomers, "Does the sun stand still, or does it move round some other object in space, carrying its train of planets and their satellites along with it in its orbit?"
2. Attention being thus specially directed to this subject, it was soon found that the sun had an appreciable motion, which tended in the direction of a lily-shaped group of small stars, called the constellation of Hercules. Toward this constellation the stars seem to be opening out; while at the opposite point of the sky their mutual distances are apparently diminishing, as if they were drifting away, like the foaming wake of a ship, from the sun's course.
3. When this great physical truth was established beyond the possibility of doubt, the next subject of investigation was the point of center round which the sun performed this marvelous revolution; and after a series of elaborate observations and most ingenious calculations, this intricate problem was also satisfactorily solved—one of the greatest triumphs of human genius.
4. Madler, of Dorpat, found that Alcyo'ne, the brightest star of the Pleiades, is the centre of gravity of our vast solar system—the luminous hinge in the heavens round which our sun and his attendant planets are moving through space.
5. Vast as is the distance which separates our sun from this central group—a distance thirty-four millions of times greater than the distance between the sun and our earth— yet so tremendous is the force exerted by Alcyo'ne, that it draws our system irresistibly around it at the rate of four hundred and twenty-two thousand miles a day, in an orbit which it will take many thousands of years to complete.
6. What a lofty significance does the question of the Almighty receive from this interpretation!" Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades?" Canst thou arrest, or in any degree modify, that attractive influence which it exerts upon our sun and all its planetary worlds, whirling them around its pivot in an orbit of such inconceivable dimensions, and with a velocity so utterly bewildering?
7. Silence the most profound can be the only answer to such a question. Man can but stand afar off, and in awful astonishment and profound humility exclaim with the Psalmist, "0 Lord my God, Thou art very great!"
Eev. H. Mcmillan.
CXXVI— EXILE OF THE ACADIANS.
PLEASANTLY rose one morn the sun on the village of
anchor. Life had long been astir in the village, and clamorous labor Knocked with its hundred hands at the golden gates of the morning.
Now from the country around, from the farms and the neighbor-
greensward, Group after group appeared, and joined, or passed on the highway.
Long ere noon, in the village all sounds of labor were silenced. Thronged were the streets with people; and noisy groups at the
house-doors Sat in the cheerml sun, and rejoiced and gossipped together. Every house was an inn, where all were welcomed and feasted; For with this simple people, who lived like brothers together, All things were held in common, and what one had was another's,
Under the open sky, in the odorous air of the orchard,
Not far withdrawn from these, by the eider-press and the beehives, ,
Michael the fiddler was placed, with the gayest of hearts and of waistcoats.
Shadow and light from the leaves alternately played on his snow-white
Hair, as it waved in the wind; and the jolly face of the fiddler
Glowed like a living coal when the ashes are blown from tha embers.
Gayly the old man sang to the vibrant sound of his fiddle,
So passed the morning away. And lo! with a summons sonorous Sounded the bell from its tower, and over the meadows a drum
beat. Thronged ere long was the church with men. Without, in the
churchyard, Waited the women. They stood by the graves, and hung on the
head-stones Garlands of autumn-leaves and evergreens fresh from the forest.
Then came the guard from the ships, and marching proudly among them
Entered the sacred portal. With loud and dissonant clangor
Echoed the sound of their brazen drums from ceiling and casement,—
Echoed a moment only, and slowly the ponderous portal
Closed, and in silence the crowd awaited the will of the soldiers.
Then uprose their commander, and spake from the steps of the altar,
Holding aloft in his hands, with its seals, the royal commission.
"You are convened this day," he said, "by his Majesty's orders. Clement and kind has he been; but how you have answered his
kindness, Let your own hearts reply! To my natural make and my temper Painful the task is I do, which to you I know must be grievous. Yet must I bow and obey, and deliver the will of our monarch; Namely, that all your lands, and dwellings, and cattle of all kinds Forfeited be to the crown; and that you yourselves from this
province Be transported to other lands. God grant you may dwell there Ever as faithful subjects, a happy and peaceable people! Prisoners now I declare you; for such is his Majesty's pleasure!"
x. As, when the air is serene in the sultry solstice of summer, Suddenly gathers a storm, and the deadly sling of the hailstones Beats down the farmer's corn in the field and shatters his windows, Hiding the sun, and strewing the ground with thatch from the
house-roofs, Bellowing fly the herds, and seek to break their inclosures; So on the hearts of the people descended the words of the speaker.
Silent a moment they stood in speechless wonder, and then rose
the others Bose, with his arms uplifted, the figure of Basil the blacksmith, As, on a stormy sea, a spar is tossed by the billows.
Flushed was his face and distorted with passion; and wildly he
shouted.— "Down with the tyrants of England! we never have sworn them
allegiance! Death to these foreign soldiers, who seize on our homes and our