Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

God of the dark and heavy deep!

The waves lie sleeping on the sands, Till the fierce trumpet of the storm

Hath summoned up their thundering bands; Then the white sails are dashed like foam,

Or hurry, trembling, o'er the seas, Till, calmed by thee, the sinking gale

Serenely breathes, Depart in peace.

God of the forest's solemn shade!

The grandeur of the lonely tree, That wrestles singly with the gale,

Lifts up admiring eyes to thee; But more majestic far they stand,

When, side by side, their ranks they form, To wave on high their plumes of green,

And fight their battles with the storm.

God of the light and viewless air!

Where summer breezes sweetly flow, Or, gathering in their angry might,

The fierce and wintry tempests blow; All—from the evening's plaintive sigh,

That hardly lifts the drooping flower, To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry

Breathe forth the language of thy power. God of the fair and open sky!

How gloriously above us springs The tented dome, of heavenly blue,

Suspended on the rainbow's rings; Each brilliant star, that sparkles through,

Each gilded cloud, that wanders free In evening's purple radiance, gives

The beauty of its praise to thee.

God of the rolling orbs above!

Thy name is written clearly bright In the warm day's unvarying blaze,

Or evening's golden shower of light. For every fire that fronts the sun,

And every spark that walks alone Around the utmost verge of heaven,

Were kindled at thy burning throne

God of the world! the hour must come,

And nature's self to dust return! Her crumbling altars must decay!

Her incense fires shall cease to burn ! But still her grand and lovely scenes

Have made man's warmest praises flow; For hearts grow holier as they trace

The beauty of the world below.

LESSON CXXV.

Lines on revisiting the Country.--BRYANT.

I STAND upon my native hills again,

Broad, round, and green, that, in the southern sky, With garniture of waving grass and grain,

Orchards and beechen forests, basking lie; While deep the sunless glens are scooped between, Where brawl o'er shallow beds the streams unseen.

A lisping voice and glancing eyes are near,

And ever-restless steps of one, who now Gathers the blossoms of her fourth bright year:

There plays a gladness o'er her fair young brow As breaks the varied scene upon her sight, Upheaved, and spread in verdure and in light: For I have taught her, with delighted eye,

To gaze upon the mountains; to behold,
With deep affection, the pure, ample sky,

And clouds along the blue abysses rolled;
To love the song of waters, and to hear
The melody of winds with charmed car
Here I have 'scaped the city's stifling heat,

Its horrid sounds and its polluted air;
And, where the season's inilder fervours beat,

And gales, that sweep the forest borders, bear
The song of bird and sound of running stream,
Have come awhile to wander and to dream.

Ay, flame thy fiercest, sun! thou canst not wake,

In this pure air, the plague that walks unseen ; The maize leaf and the maple bough but take

From thy fierce heats a deeper, glossier green ; The mountain wind, that faints not in thy ray, Sweeps the blue streams of pestilence away.

The mountain wind-most spiritual thing of all

The wide earth knows—when, in the sultry time, He stoops him from his vast cerulean hall,

He seems the breath of a celestial clime, As if from heaven's wide-open gates did flow Health and refreshment on the world below.

LESSON CXXVI.

Lines on a Bee-Hive.-MONTHLY REPOSITORY.

Ye musical hounds of the fairy king,

Who hunt for the golden dew,
Who track for your game the green coverts of spring,
Till the echoes, that lurk in the flower-bells, ring

With the peal of your elfin crew!

How joyous your life, if its pleasures ye knew,

Singing ever from bloom to bloom !
Ye wander the summer year's paradise through,
The souls of the flowers are the viands for you,

And the air that you breathe perfume.
But unenvied your joys, while the richest

And before you no brighter life lies: Who would part with his cares for enjoyment like this, When the tears, that imbitter the pure spirit's bliss,

May be pearls in the crown of the skies !

you miss,

LESSON CXXVII.

Account of the Battle of Bunker's IIill, 17th June, 1775..

ВотТА. .

The succours that the British expected from England had arrived at Boston, and, with the garrison, formed an army of from ten to twelve thousand men,-all excellent troops. Three distinguished generals, Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne, were at the head of these re-enforcements. Great events were looked for on both sides,

The English were inflamed with desire to wash out the stain of Lexington: they could not endure the idea, that the Americans had seen them fly: it galled them to think, that the soldiers of the British King, renowned for their brilliant exploits, were now closely imprisoned within the walls of a city. They were desirous, at any price, of proving that their vaunted superiority over the herds of American militia, was not a vain chimera.

Above all, they ardently desired to terminate, by some decisive stroke, this ignominious war; and thus satisfy, at once, their own glory, the expectations of their country, the orders, the desires, and the promises, of the ministers. But victory was exacted of them still more imperiously by the scarcity of food, which every day, became more alarming; for, if they must sacrifice their lives, they chose rather to perish by the sword than by famine. The Americans, on their part, were not less eager for the hour of combat to arrive : their preceding successes had stimulated their courage, and promised them new triumphs.

In this state of things, the English generals deliberated maturely upon the most expedient mode of extricating themselves from this difficult position, and placing themselves more at large in the country.

* Accordingly, they directed their views towards the peninsula and neck of Charlestown. The American generals had immediate notice of it, and resolved to exert their most strenuous endeavours to defeat this new project of the enemy. Nothing was better suited to such a purpose, than to fortify diligently the heights of Bunker's Hill, which commanded the whole extent of the peninsula of Charlestown. Orders were, therefore, given to Colonel William Prescott, to occupy them with a detachment of a thousand men, and to intrench himself there by the rules of art.

But here an error was committed, which placed the gar rison of Boston in very imminent danger, and reduced the two parties to the necessity of coming to action immediately. Whether he was deceived by the resemblance of name, or from some other motive unknown, Colonel Prescott, instead of repairing to Bunker's Hill, to fortify himself there, advanced farther on in the peninsula, and iminediately commenced his intrenchments upon the summit of Breed's Hill, another eminence, which overlooks Charlestown, from the north-east, and is situated towards the extremity of the peninsula, nearer to Boston.

The works were pushed with so much ardour, that, the following morning, the 17th of June, by day-break, the Americans had already constructed a square redoubt, capable of affording them some shelter from the enemy's fire. The Jabour had been conducted with such silence, that the Eng. lish had no suspicion of what was passing. It was about four in the morning, when the captain of a ship of war first perceived it, and began to play his artillery. The report of the cannon attracted a multitude of spectators to the shore.

The English generals doubted the testimony of their senses. Meanwhile, it appeared important to dislodge the provincials, or at least prevent them from completing the fortifications commenced : for, as the height of Breed's Hill absolutely commands Boston, the city was no longer tena. ble, if the Americans erected a battery upon this eminence.

The English, therefore, opened a general fire of artillery from the city, the fleet, and the floating batteries stationed around the peninsula of Boston. It hailed a tempest of bombs and balls upon the works of the Americans: they were especially incommoded by the fire of a battery planted upon an eininence named Copp's Hill, which, situated within the city, overlooks Charlestown from the south, and is but three fourths of a mile distant from Breed's Hill.

But all this was without effect. The Americans continu. ed to work with unshaken constancy; and, by noon, they had much advanced a trench, which descended from the redoubt to the foot of the hill, and almost to the bank of Mystic River. The fury of the enemy's artillery, it is true, had prevented them from carrying it to perfection.

In this conjuncture, there remained no alternative for the English generals, but to drive the Americans, by dint of force, from this formidable position. This resolution was taken without hesitation; and it was followed by the action of Breed's known also by the name of Bunker's Hill; much renowned for intrepidity, not to say the temerity, of the two parties; for the number of the dead and wounded; and for the effect it produced upon the opinions of men, in regard to the valour of the Americans, and the probable issue of the whole war.

« AnteriorContinuar »