« AnteriorContinuar »
7. But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair?;
And I to my cabin repair.
And mercy, encouraging thought!
1 HY-MĂN'I-Ty. The nature of man; | 4 KNĚLL. Sound of a bell rung at a the human race; mankind.
funeral, or announcing a death, 2 AŞ-SUĀĢE' (-swāj'). Soften; allay; | 5 CÖRD'IAL. Comforting ; hearty. moderate; soothe.
6 RÉC-OL-LÉC'TỊon. Act of recalling 8 SXL'LỊEŞ. Quick or sprigftly exer I to mind things once known. tions or sayings; frolics.
17 LAIR. Bed or couch of a wild beast.
XXXVIII. — THE AMERICAN INDIAN.
CHARLES SPRAGUE. [Charles Sprague was born in Boston, October 25, 1791, and has constantly resided here. His longer poems are fervid and brilliant, and polished in their versification. He has written many charming small pieces. The following extract is taken from a fourth of July oration.]
1. Not many generations ago, where you now sit, circled with all that exalts and embellishes civilized life, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the same sun that rolls over your heads, the Indian hunter pursued the panting deer; gazing on the same moon that smiles for you, the Indian lover wooed his dusky' mate.
2. Here the wigwamo blaze beamed on the tender and helpless, the council fire glared on the wise and daring. Now they dipped their noble limbs in your sedgyJakes, and now they paddled the light canoe along your rocky shores. Here they warred; the echoing whoop, the
hipped; ne Great of ston che po the
bloody grapple, the defying death-song, all were here; and when the tiger strife was over, here curled the smoke of peace.
3. Here, too, they worshipped; and from many a dark bosom went up a pure prayer to the Great Spirit. He had not written his laws for them on tables) of stone, but he had traced them on the tables of their hearts. The poor child of nature knew not the God of revelation, but the God of the universe he acknowledged in every thing around.
4. He beheld him in the star that sunk in beauty behind his lonely dwelling; in the sacred orb that flamed on him from his midday throne; in the flower that snapped in the morning breeze; in the lofty pine, that defied a thousand whirlwinds; in the timid warbler, that never left its native grove; in the fearless eagle, whose untired pinion was wet in clouds; in the worm that crawled at his feet; and in his own matchless form, glowing with a spark of that light, to whose mysterious source he bent, in humble, though blind adoration.
5. And all this has passed away. Across the ocean came a pilgrim bark, bearing the seeds of life and death. The former were sown for you; the latter sprang up in the path of the simple native. Two hundred years havo changed the character of a great continent, and blotted forever from its face a whole peculiar people. Art has usurped the bowers of nature, and the children of education have been too powerful for the tribes of the ignorant.
6. Here and there a stricken few remain; but how unlike their bold, untamed, untamable progenitors! The Indian, of falcon glance and lion bearing, the theme of the touching ballad, the hero of the pathetic tale, is gone! and his degraded offspring crawl upon the soil where he walked in majesty, to remind us how miserable is man when the foot of the conqueror is on his neck.
7. As a race, they have withered from the land. Their arrows are broken, their springs are dried up, their cabins are in the dust. Their council-fire has long since gone out on the shore, and their war-cry is fast dying to the untrodden west. Slowly and sadly they climb the distant mountains, and read their doom in the setting sun. They are shrinking before the mighty tide which is pressing them away; they must soon hear the roar of the last wave, which will settle over them forever.
I DUSK'y. Dark colored.
| 4 WHÔÔP. A loud shout or cry. 2 WIG'WÂM. An Indian but or cabin. 5 TĀ'BLEş. Tablets; plane surfaces. : SEDO'Y. Filled with or having sedge, 6 PRO-GEN'I-TORŞ. Ancestors ; fore
a grass-like or rush-like plant. I fathers,
STORY. [Joseph Story was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, September 18, 1779, and died in Cambridge, September 10, 1845. He was a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 till his death. He was eminent as a judge, a juridical writer, and a teacher of law. The following extract is from an address delivered at the consecration of the cemetery of Mount Auburn, September 24, 1831.]
1. We stand here upon the borders of two worlds; and, as the mood of our minds may be, we may gather lessons of profound wisdom by contrasting the one with the other, or indulge in the dreams of hope and ambition, or solace our hearts by melancholy meditations.
2. Who is there, that, in the contemplation of such a scene, is not ready to exclaim, with the enthusiasm of the poet:
« Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down 1,
Where a green, grassy turf is all I crave,
Fast by a brook, or fountain's murmuring wave;
ites of this solitary stong lineage lasted es
3. What a multitude of thoughts crowd upon the mind in the contemplation of such a scene! How much of the future, even in its far-distant reaches?, rises before us with all its persuasive realities! Take but one little, narrow space of time, and how affecting are its associations! Within the flight of one half century, how many of the great, the good, and the wise will be gathered here!
4. How many in the loveliness of infancy, the beauty of youth, the vigor of manhood, and the maturity of age, will lie down here, and dwell in the bosom of their mother earth! The rich and the poor, the gay and the wretched, the favorites of thousands, and the forsaken of the world, the stranger in his solitary grave, and the patriarch surrounded by the kindred of a long lineage 3! How many will here bury their brightest hopes, or blasted expectations! How many bitter tears will here be shed! How many agonizing sighs will here be heaved! How many trembling feet will cross the pathways, and, returning, leave behind them the dearest objects of their reverence or their love!
5. And if this were all, sad indeed, and funereal, would be our thoughts; gloomy indeed would be these shades, . and desolate these prospects.
6. But — thanks be to God — the evils which He permits have their attendant mercies, and are blessings in disguise. The bruised reed will not be utterly laid prostrate. The wounded heart will not always bleed. The voice of consolation will spring up in the midst of the silence of these regions of death. The mourner will revisit these shades with a secret, though melancholy pleasure. The hand of friendship will delight to cherish the flowers and the shrubs that fringe the lowly grave or the sculptured monument. The earliest beams of the morning will play upon these summits with a refreshing cheerfulness, and the lingering tints of evening hover on them with a tranquillizing glow.
7. Spring will invite hither the footsteps of the young by its opening foliage, and autumn detain the contemplative by its latest bloom. The votary of learning and science will here learn to elevate his genius by the holiest studies. The devout will here offer up the silent tribute of pity, or the prayer of gratitude. The rivalries of the world will here drop from the heart; the spirit of forgiveness will gather new impulses; the selfishness of avarice will be checked; the restlessness of ambition will be rebuked; vanity will let fall its plumes; and pride, as it sees “what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue,” will acknowledge the value of virtue as far, immeasurably far, beyond that of fame.
8. But that which will be ever present, pervading these shades like the noonday sun, and shedding cheerfulness around, is the consciousness, the irrepressible consciousness, amidst all these lessons of human mortality, of the higher truth, that we are beings, not of time, but of eternity; that “this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality;” that this is but the threshold and starting point of an existence, compared with whose duration the ocean is but as a drop — nay, the whole creation an evanescent* quantity.
i Dön. A tract of poor, naked, hilly | 3 LYN'-AGE. Descendents in a direct land.
I line. 2 REACH'EŞ. Extent; extension ; 4 ÉV-A-NÈS'CENT. Vanishing; fleet
spaces of considerable extent. I ing; transitory.