Imágenes de páginas

a cataract and a fearful storm. The very storm to tell a story; and in the rudderless bark is just about to plunge fourth, with the management of the into the abyss below, while the Voy- light, and the apparent reality of those ager (now in the prime of manhood) rays of glory. These pictures were is imploring the only aid that can avail painted for the late Samuel Ward, of him in the trying hour, that of heaven. New York, and the price received for Demoniacal images are holding forth them was five thousand dollars. their temptations in the clouds around Thus have we attempted to describe him, but he heeds them not. His con- the prominent imaginative paintings of fidence in God supports him, the pre- Thomas Cole, with the object in view, vious agony of his soul is dispelled or of making the public at large acquaintsubdued by a reflection of immortal ed with the fact that great acquisitions light stealing through the storm, and have been and are being made to the by the smiles of his guardian angel, Fine Arts, even in our own country. visibly stationed in the far-off sky. His is a name which we should not

The Voyage of Life is ended, and willingly let die. A man of fine, exour voyager, now white with hoary alted genius, by his pencil he has done hairs, has reached that point where the a great deal of good, not only to his waters of time and eternity mingle to chosen art, by becoming one of its masgether-a bold conception, which is ters, but also in a moral point of view. finely embodied by the daring genius And this reminds us of ihe influences of the painter. The hour-glass is gone, wbich may be exerted by the landscape and the shattered bark is ready to dis- painter. That these are of importance solve into the fathomless waiers be- no one can deny. Is not paio tiog as neath. The old man is on his knees, weli - the result and expression of with clasped hands and his eyes turned thought as writing? What though, heavenward, for the greepness of earth instead of pen, ink and paper, ibe is for ever departed, and a gloom is upon painter uses canvass, a pencil, and the the ocean of Eternity. But just above colors of the rainbow, yet these, if he the form of our good voyager is hover. is a poet in his soul, can display his ing his angel, who is about to trans- power to scarcely less effect ihan port him to his home; and, as the eye though, to give utterance to his wanders upward, an infinite host of “thoughts that glow," his means were heavenly ministers are seen ascending the “words that burn." With these, and descending the cloudy steps which if he is a wise and good man, he may lead to the bosom of God. Death is portray, to every eye that rests upon his swallowed up in life, the glory of heaven canvass, the loveliness of virtue and rehas eclipsed that of the earih, and our ligion, or the deformity and wretchedvoyager is safe in the haven of eternal ness of a vicious life. He may warn rest. And thus endeth the allegory of the worldling of his folly and impendHuman Life.

ing doom, and encourage the Christian With regard to the mechanical exe in his pilgrimage to heaven. He may cution of these paintings, we consider delineate the marvellous beauty of nathem not equal io some of the earlier ture, so as to lead the mind upward to efforts of the same pencil. They are its Creator, or proclaim the ravages of deficient in atmosphere, and have too time, that we may take heed to our much the appearance of paint. The ways and prepare ourselves for a safe water in the first, second and third pic- departure from this world in to that betures, is superior, and the knowledge yond the Valley of the Shadow of of perspective in the last of them is Death. A goodly portion of all these masterly. In all of them the figures things have been accomplished by are very fine, considering the difficulty Thomas Cole. As yet, he is the only of managing such peculiar characters. landscape painter in this country who In the first we are pleased with the has atiempted imaginative painting, simplicity of the composition; in the and the success which has followed second with the variety, there being him in his career, even in a pecuniary portrayed the elm of England, the point of view, affords great encourageplane of Tuscany, the palm of tropic ment to our young painters in this declimes, the mountains of Switzerland partment of the art. Cole has indeed and the oak of America; in the third, done some great things, but a thousandwith the genius displayed in using the fold more he has left undone. He has

but set a noble example, which ought imagination. No other country ever to be extensively followed. Mind, we offered such advantages as our own. do not mean by this that his subjects Let our young painters use their penought to be imitated. Far from it, be- cils to illustrate the thousands of scenes, cause they are not stamped with a na- strange, wild and beautiful, of our early tional character, as the production of history. Let them aim bigh, and their all painters should be. Excepting his achievements will be distinguished. actual views of American scenery, the Let them remember that theirs is a nopaintings of Cole might have been ble destiny. What though ancient produced had he never set foot upon wisdom and modern poetry have told our soil. Let our young painters aspire us that “art is long and time is fleetto something above a mere copy of na. ing !":—let them toil and toil with nature, or even a picture of the fancy; ture as their guide, and they will aslet them paint the visions of their suredly have their reward.



“Let there be light."
Light to the darkened mind
Bear like the sun the world's wide circle round,
Bright messengers that speak without a sound !

Sight on the spirit-blind
Shall fall where'er ye pass; your living ray
Shall change the night of ages into day ;

God speed ye on your way!

In closet and in hall,
Too long alone your message hath been spoken ;
The spell of gold that bound ye there is broken,

Go forth and shine on all!
The world's inheritance, the legacy
Bequeathed by Genius to the race are ye;

Be like the sunlight, free!

A mighty power ye wield!
Ye wake grim

centuries from their deep repose,
And bid their hoarded treasuries unclose,

The spoils of time to yield.
Ye hold the gift of immortality;
Bard, sage, and seer, whose fame shall never die,

Live through your ministry.

Noiseless upon your path,
Freighted with love, romance, and song, ye speed,
Moving the world in custom and in creed,

Waking its love or wrath.
Tyrants, that blench not on the battle-plain,
Quail at your silent coming, and in vain

Would bind the riven chain.

Shrines that embalm great souls !
Where yet the illustrious dead high converse hold,
As gods spake through their oracles of old;

Upon your mystic scrolls
There lives a spell to guide our destiny;
The fire by nighi, the pillared cloud by day,

Úpon our upward way!

Providence. R. I.



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Balay Spring-weeks later than we Except in streaks here and there upon expected, and months later than we the hill-sides, the whole visible unilonged for her-comes at last, to revive verse was then covered with deep the moss on the roof and walls of our snow, the nethermost layer of which old mansion. She peeps brightly into had been deposited by an early Decemmy study-window, inviting me to throw ber storm. It was a sight to make the it open, and create a summer atino- beholder torpid, in the impossibility of sphere by the intermixture of her ge- imagining how this vast white napkin nial breath with the black and cheer. was to be removed from the face of the less comfort of the stove. As the case. corpse-like world, in less time than had ment ascends, forth into infinite space been required to spread it there. But fly the innumerable forms of thought who can estimate ihe power of gentle or fancy that have kept me company influences, whether amid material de in the retireinent of this little chamber, solation, or the moral winter of man's during the sluggish lapse of wintry heart! There have been po tempestuweather;-visions, gay, grotesque, and ous rains-even no sultry days—but a sad; piciures of real life, iinted with constant breath of southern winds, with nature's homely grey and russet; scenes now a day of kindly sunshine, and now in dream-land, belizened with rain. a no less kindly mist, or a soft descent bow hues, which faded before they of showers, in which a smile and a were well laid on;-all these may blessing seemed to have been steeped. vanish now, and leave me to mould a The snow has vanished as if by magic; fresh existence out of sunshine. Brood- whatever heaps may be hidden in the ing meditation may flap, her dusky woods and deep gorges of the hills, only wings, and take her owl-like flight, two solitary specks remain in the landblinking amid the cheerfulness of noon- scape; and those I shall almost regret tide. Such companions befit the season to miss, when, to-morrow, I look for of frosted window-panes and crackling them in vain. Never before, methinks, fires, when the blast howls through has spring pressed so closely on the the black ash-trees of our avenue, and footsteps of retreating winter. Along the drifting snow-storm chokes up the ihe road-side, the green blades of grass wood-paths, and fills the highway from have sprouted on the very edge of the stone-wall to stone-wall. In the spring snow-drifts. The pastures and mowing and summer time, all sombre thoughts fields have not yet assumed a general should follow the winter northward, aspect of verdure; but neither have with the sombre and thoughtful crows. they the cheerless brown tint which The old paradisiacal economy of life is they wear in latt autumn, when veagain in force; we live, not to think, gelation has entirely ceased; there is nor to labor, but for the simple end of now a faint shadow of life, gradually being happy; nothing, for the present brightening into the warm reality. hour, is worthy of man's infinite capa. Some tracts, in a happy exposure—as, city, save to imbibe the warm smile of for instance, yonder south-western slope heaven, and sympathize with the re- of an orchard, in front of that old red viving earth.

farm-house, beyond the river-such The present spring comes onward patches of land already wear a beautiwith fleeter footsteps, because winter ful and tender green, to which no future lingered so unconscionably long, that luxuriance can add a charm. It looks with her best diligence she can hardly unreal-a prophecy--a hope-a tranretrieve half the allotted period of her sitory effect of some peculiar light, reign. It is but a fortnight since I which will vanish with the slightest stood on the brink of our swollen river, motion of the eye. But beauty is never and beheld the accumulated ice of four a delusion; not these verdant tracts, frozen months go down the stream. but the dark and barren landscape, all

around them, is a shadow and a dream. trees of Paradise, and therefore not Each moment wins some portion of the subject to decay, by their original naearth from death to life; a sudden ture, but have lost that precious birthgleam of verdure brightens along the right by being transplanted to an sunny slope of a bank, which, an instant earthly soil. There is a kind of ludiago, was brown and bare. You look crous unfitness in the idea of a timeagain, and behold an apparition of green stricken and grandfatherly lilac-bush. grass!

The analogy holds good in human life. The trees, in our orchard and else- Persons who can only be graceful and where, are as yet naked, but already ornamental—who can give the world appear full of life and vegetable blood. nothing but flowers--should die young, It seems as if, by one magic touch, and never be seen with grey hair and they might instanianeously burst into wrinkles, any more than the flowerfull foliage, and that the wind, which shrubs with mossy bark and blighted now sighs through their naked branch- foliage, like the lilacs under my wines, might make sudden music amid dow. Not that beauty is worthy of innumerable leaves. The moss-grown less than immortality,—no, the beauwillow-tree, which for forty years past tisul should live for ever,--and thence, has overshadowed these western win- perhaps, the sense of impropriety, dows, will be among the first to put on when we see it triumphed over by its green attire. There are some ob- time. Apple-trees, on the other hand, jections to the willow; it is not a dry grow old without reproach. Let them and cleanly tree, and impresses the live as long as they may, and contort beholder with an association of slimi. themselves into whatever perversity of ness. No trees, I think, are perfectly shape they please, and deck their agreeable as companions, unless they withered limbs with a spring-time gauhave glossy leaves, dry bark, and a firm diness of pink-blossoms, still they are and hard texture of trunk and branches. respectable, even if they afford us only But the willow is almost the earliest an apple or two in a season. Those to gladden us with the promise and few apples-or, at all events, the rereality of beauty, in its graceful and membrance of apples in by-gone years delicate foliage, and the last to scatter -are the atonement which utilitarianits yellow yet scarcely withered leaves ism inexorably demands, for the priviupon the ground. All through the lege of lengthened life. Human flowwinter, too, its yellow twigs give it a er-shrubs, if they will grow old on sunny aspect, which is not without a earth, should, beside their lovely bloscheering influence, even in the greyest soms, bear some kind of fruit that will and gloomiest day. Beneath a clouded satisfy earthly appetites; else neither sky, it faithfully remembers the sun- man, nor the decorum of nature, will shine. Our old house would lose a deem it fit that the moss should gather charm, were the willow to be cut

on them. down, with its golden crown over the One of the first things that strikes the snow-covered roof, and its heap of attention, when the white sheet of summer verdure.

winter is withdrawn, is the neglect The lilac-shrubs, under my study- and disarray that lay hidden beneath windows, are likewise almost in leaf; it. Nature is not cleanly, according to in two or three days more, I may put our prejudices. The beauty of precedforth my hand, and pluck the topmost ing years, now transformed to brown bough in its freshest green. These and blighted deformity, obstructs the lilacs are very aged, and have lost the brightening loveliness of the present. luxuriant foliage of their prime. The Our avenue is strewn with the whole heart, or the judgment, or the moral crop of autumn's withered leaves. sense, or the taste, is dissatisfied with There are quantities of decayed their present aspect. Old age is not branches, which one tempest after venerable, when it embodies itself in another has flung down, black and lilacs, rose-bushes, or any other orna. rotten; and one or two with the ruin mental shrubs; it seems as if such of a bird's nest clinging to them. In plants, as they grow only for beauty, the garden are the dried bean-vines, ought to flourish only in immortal the brown stalks of the asparagus-bed, youth, or, at least, to die before their and melancholy old cabbages which sad decrepitude. Trees of beauty are were frozen into the soil before their

unthrifty cultivator could find time to wave in the wind. I observe, that gather them. How invariably, through- several weeds—and, most frequently, out all the forms of life, do we find a plant that stains the fingers with its these intermingled memorials of death! yellow juice—have survived, and reOn the soil of thought, and in the gar- iained their freshness and sap throughden of the heart, as well as in the out the winter. One knows not how sensual world, lie withered leaves; the they have deserved such an exception ideas and feelings that we have done from the common lot of their race. with. There is no wind strong enough They are now the patriarchs of the deto sweep them away; infinite space parted year, and may preach mortality will not garner them from our sight. io the present generation of flowers What mean they? Why may we not and weeds. be permitted to live and enjoy, as if Among the delights of spring, how this were the first life, and our own is it possible to forget the birds! Even the primal enjoyment, instead of tread- the crows were welcome, as the sable ing always on these dry bones and harbingers of a brighter and livelier mouldering relics, from the aged accu race. They visited us before the snow mulation of which springs all that now was off, but seem mostly to have deappears so young and new ? Sweet parled now, or else to have belaken must have been the spring-time of themselves !o remote depths of the Eden, when no earlier year had strewn woods, which they haunt all summer its decay upon the virgin turf, and no long. Many a time shall I disturb former experience had ripened into them there, and feel as if I had insummer, and faded into autumn, in the truded among a company of silent worhearts of its inhabitants! That was a shippers, as they sit in sabbath-stillworld worth living in! Oh, thou mur ness among the tree-tops. Their voices, murer, it is out of the very wanton- when they speak, are in admirable acness of such a life, that thou feignest cordance with the tranquil solitude of these idle lamentations! There is no a summer afternoon; and, resounding decay. Each human soul is the first so far above the head, their loud clamor created inhabitant of its own Eden. increases the religious quiet of the We dwell in an old moss-covered man- scene, instead of breaking it. A crow, sion, and tread in the worn foot-prints however, has no real pretensions to reof the past, and have a grey clergy, ligion, in spite of his gravity of mien man's ghost for our daily and nightly and black' attire; he is certainly a inmate; yet all these outward circum- thief

, and probably an infidel. The stances are made less than visionary, gulls are far more respectable, in a by the renewing power of the spirit. moral point of view. These denizens Should the spirit ever lose this power of sea-beaten rocks, and haunters of -should the withered leaves, and the the lonely beach, come up our inland rotten branches, and the moss-covered river, at this season, and soar high house, and the ghost of the grey past, overhead, flapping their broad wings ever become its realities, and the ver- in the upper sunshine. They are dure and the freshness merely its faint among the most picturesque of birds, dream-then let it pray to be released because they so float and rest upon the from earth. It will need the air of air, as to become almost stationary heaven, to revive its pristine ener. parts of the landscape. The imaginagies !

tion has time to grow acquainted with What an unlooked-for flight was them; they have not flitted away in a this, from our shadowy avenue of moment. You go up among the black-ash and Balm of Gilead trees, clouds, and greet these losiy-fighted into the infinite! Now we have our gulls, and repose confidently with them feet again upon the turf. Nowhere upon the sustaining atmosphere. Ducks does the grass spring up so indus- have their haunts along the solitary triously as in this homely yard, along places of the river, and alight in flocks the base of the stone-wall, and in the upon the broad bosom of the oversheltered nooks of the buildings, and flowed meadows. Their flight is too ra. especially around the southern door- pid and determined for the eye to catch step; a locality which seems particu- enjoyment from it, although it never larly favorable to its growth, for it is fails to stir up the heart with the already tall enough to bend over, and sportsman's ineradicable instinct. They

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