Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

TITE HOMES OF ENGLAND.

The stately Homes of England,

How beautiful they stand,
Amidst their tall ancestral trees,

O’er all the pleasant land !
The deer across their greensward bound,

Through shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound

Of some rejoicing stream.
The merry Homes of England !

Around their hearths by night,
What gladsome looks of household love

Meet in the ruddy light!
There woman's voice flows forth in song,

Or childhood's tale is tola,
Or lips move tunefully along

Some glorious page of old. The blessed Homes of England!

How softly on their bowers Is laid the holy quietness

That breathes from Sabbath hours ! Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime

Floats through their woods at morn; All other sounds, in that still time,

Of breeze and leaf are born.
The Cottage Homes of England !

By thousands on her plains,
They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,

And round the hamlet fanes.
Through glowing orchards forth they peep,

Each from its nook of leaves,
And fearless there the lowly sleep,

As the bird beneath their eaves.
The free, fair Homes of England !

Long, long in hut and hall,
May hearts of native proof be rear'd

To guard each hallow'd wall!
And green for ever be the groves,

And bright the flowery sod,
Where first the child's glad spirit loves

Its country and its God!

THE HOUR OF PRAYER.

Traveller, in the stranger's land,
Far from thine own household band;.
Mourner, haunted by the tone
Of a voice from this world gone;
Captive, in whose narrow cell
Sunshine hath not leave to dwell;
Sailor on the darkening sea-
Lift the heart and bend the knee!
Warrior, that from battle won
Breathest now at set of sun;
Woman, o'er the lowly slain
Weeping on his burial-plain ;
Ye that triumph, ye that sigh,
kindred by one holy tie,
Heaven's first star alike ye see-
Lift the heart and bend the knee !

BRING FLOWERS.

Bring flowers, young flowers, for the festal board,
To wreathe the cup ere the wine is pour'd:
Bring flowers ! they are springing in wood and vale:
Their breath floats out on the southern gale;
And the touch of the sunbeam hath waked the rose,
To deck the hall where the bright wine flows.
Bring flowers to the captive's lonely cell,
They have tales of the joyous woods to tell;
Of the free blue streams, and the glowing sky,
And the bright world shut from his languid eye:
They will bear him a thought of the sunny hours,
And the dream of his youth-bring him flowers, wild flowers !
Bring flowers, fresh flowers, for the bride to wear!
They were born to blush in her shining hair.
She is leaving the home of her childhood's mirth,
She hath bid farewell to her father's hearth;
Her place is now by another's side-
Bring flowers, for the locks of the fair young briile!
Bring flowers, pale flowers, o'er the bier to shed,
A crown for the brow of the early dead!
For this through its leaves hath the white rose burst,
For this in the woods was the violet nursed !
Though they smile in vain for what once was ours,
They are love's last gift-bring ye flowers, pale flowers !
Bring flowers to the shrine where we kneel in prayer-
They are nature's offering, their place is there!
They speak of hope to the fainting heart,
With a voice of promise they come and part;
They sleep in dust through the wintry hours,
They break forth in glory-bring flowers, bright flowers !

EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL.

“Now, in thy youth, beseech of Him

Who giveth, upbraiding not,
That his light in thy heart become not dim,

And his love be unforgot;
And thy God, in the darkest of days, will be
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee."

BERNARD BARTON.

Hush! 'tis a holy hour--the quiet room

Seems like a temple, while yon soft lamp sheds A faint and starry radiance through the gloom

And the sweet stillness down on fair young heads, With all their clustering locks, untouch'd by care, And bow'd, as flowers are bow'd with night, in prayer. Gaze on—'tis lovely!-childhood's lip and cheek,

Mantling beneath its earnest brow of thought
Gaze-yet what seest thou in those fair, and meek,

And fragile things, as but for sunshine wrought ?
Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky,
What death must fashion for eternity!
O joyous creatures ! that will sink to rest

Lightly, when those pure orisons are done,
As birds with slumber's honey-dew opprest,

Midst the dim folded leaves, at set of sun-
Lift up your hearts! though yet no sorrow lies
Dark in the summer-heaven of those clear eyes.
Though fresh within your breast the untroubled springs

Of hope make melody where'er ye tread,
And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings

Of spirits visiting but youth, be spread;
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
ls woman's tenderness-how soon her wo!
Her lot is on you--silent tears to weep,

And patient smiles to wear through suffering's hour, And sumless riches, from affection's deep,

To pour on broken reeds—a wasted shower!
And to make idols, and to find them clay,
And to bewail that worship-therefore pray!
Her lot is on you—to be found untired,

Watching the stars out by the bed of pain,
With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspired,

And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain ; Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay, And, oh! to love through all things—therefore pray! And take the thought of this calm vesper-time,

With its low murmuring sounds and silvery light,
On through the dark days fading from their prime,

As a sweet dew to keep your souls from blight!
Earth will forsake-Oh ! happy to have given
The unbroken heart's first fragrance unto Heaven.

HYMN OF THE VAUDOIS MOUNTAINEERS IN TIMES OF

PERSECUTION.

“Thanks be to God for the mountains!"

Howitt's Book of the Seasons.

For the strength of the hills we bless thee,

Our God, our fathers' God!
Thou hast made thy children mighty,

By the touch of the mountain sod.
Thou hast fix'd our ark of refuge,

Where the spoiler's foot ne'er trod;
For the strength of the hills we bless thee,

Our God, our fathers' God !
We are watchers of a beacon

Whose light must never die;
We are guardians of an altar

Midst the silence of the sky:
The rocks yield founts of courage,

Struck forth as by thy rod;
For the strength of the hills we bless thee,

Our God, our fathers' God!
For the dark resounding caverns,

Where thy still, small voice is heard;
For the strong pines of the forests,

That by thy breath are stirr’d;
For the storms, on whose free pinions

Thy spirit walks abroad;
For the strength of the hills we bless thee,

Our God, our fathers' God!
The royal eagle darteth

On his quarry from the heights,
And the stag that knows no master

Seeks there his wild delights;
But we, for thy communion,

Have sought the mountain sod;
For the strength of the hills we bless thee,

Our God, our fathers' God.
The banner of the chieftain

Far, far below us waves ;
The war-horse of the spearman

Cannot reach our lofty caves;
Thy dark clouds wrap the threshold

Of freedom's last abode ;
For the strength of the hills we bless thee,

Our God, our fathers' God!

29

NATHAN DRAKE, 1766—1836.

Dr. Natian DRAKE, the distinguished essayist, was born in the city of York, on the 15th of January, 1766, and, after completing his collegiate and professional education at the University of Edinburgh, finally settled at Hadleigh, in the county of Suffolk, in 1792, where he practised as a physician for forty-four years. In 1807, he married Miss Rose, of Brenttenham, in Suffolk, by whom he had several children, three of whom died young. He himself departed this life, on the 7th of June, 1836, in his seventy-first year.

As a medical practitioner, Dr. Drake was deservedly respected and esteemed by his professional brethren for his courtesy and skill; and yet more endeared to all whom he attended by the urbanity of his manners and the unaffected kindness of his heart. It may be said of him,” remarks a contemporary,1 “ with perfect truth, that, in a professional and literary career of near half a century, annid all the turmoils of mere party strife and ten rivalry, he so pursued the even tenor of his way as never to have lost, by estrangement, a single friend, or made one enemy."

But it is with the literary character of Dr. Drake that we have mainly to do in this work; and here I must express my deep and lasting gratitude to him for the great entertainment and the valuable instruction his writings afforded me in years long gone by. Indeed, if I were called to name the writer in the lighter walks of English literature who, by his essays and ingenious illustrations of our standard authors, is most calculated to refine the taste and to excite an ardent thirst for reading and literary pursuits, I should name Dr. Nathan Drake.2 His "Literary Hours,” in three volumes, contain a series of most instructive papers upon various authors and subjects of a literary character; while his “Essays on the “Tatler,'Guardian,' Spectator,' Rambler,' and 'Idler,'” embody a mass of interesting and valuable information, such as can nowhere else, to my knowledge, be found in our language. Another of his valuable works is entitled "Shakspeare and his Times:" this includes a biography of the poet; criticisms on his genius; a new chronology of his plays; and throws much light upon the manners, customs, amusements, superstitions, poetry, and elegant literature of that age. His “Winter Nights,” in two volumes; “Evenings in Autumn,” two volumes; and “Mornings in Spring,” two volumes, contain essays of a miscellaneous character-critical, narrative, biographical, and descriptive. They are pleasing and elegant in their style, and evince great delicacy and discrimination of taste, unvarying kindness of heart, and purity of moral feeling. In all his criticisms, he secmed to look chiefly at what was beautiful or pleasing, deeming it quite as much the province of the critic to hold up the beauties of an author for

« AnteriorContinuar »