Imágenes de página

Rememb'ring him who gave it, from their sins
May turn, and by well-doing raise my name
Among the heathen round. Go therefore thou,
My servant, and to Modin's walls repairing,
Stir up the spirit of him, whom 'midst his sons
Fast sleeping thou wilt find, Mattathias, green
In hardy age, to me and to my laws
From youth devoted; he with hope and zeal
New fir'd, shall in the wilderness set up
My standard, and around him many flock;
So shall he stoutly wage unequal war
Against th' oppressive Syrian; till with years
And honours crown'd, he dies, and from him dying
Judas his son, for might and feats of arms
Preferr'd above his brethren, next receives
The pow'r transmissive: he in many a fight
Conqu'ring, shall crown the labours which his sire
So well began, and to his brethren leave
The easier part, to 'stablish what he rais'd.
So shall not yet the sceptre from the hand
Of Judah pass, nor from his line the law ;
Till in due lapse of years the promis'd seed,
Messiah, mine Anointed, come on earth.
To finish my whole counsel, and proclaim
To Israel first, and then to all mankind,
Tidings of love and mercy without end."

He spake, and at his bidding Michael From out the heav'nly orders, where he stood Succinct for flight, advanc'd; and first, as wont The ministers of heav'n, ere on their high Commissions they set forth, before the throne In sign of acquiescence bow'd, then spread His starry wings, and through the pure white air Of Heav'n pursu'd his flight; him all the host Follow'd with acclamation, and sweet sound Of praises to their God; till at the gates

[ocr errors]

Arriv'd, the crystal gates, self-op'ning gave
Easy descent adown the range adjoin'd
Of ample golden stairs, into the vast
Subjected universe: he on the verge

Of outmost Heav'n, poising for downward flight
His pinions, stood, then spread, and thro' the void
Descending, while all gaz'd around, with speed
By man immeasurable, tow'rd this earth,
Scarce visible in distance, though to eye
Of angel prime, so many and far between
Worlds interjected lay, he steers his flight.
As when from some far-potent land a ship
Swift tilting scuds the midmost brine, despatch'd
On weightiest errand to some foreign shore,
Island, or colony, or hostile port,
To subjugated realms some mandate high
Bearing, or what in senate full free states
To adverse states determine, peace or war:
Thus, but on higher quest, and with no track
Prest on th' etherial softness, flew the pow'r
Commission'd; and at length with slacken'd wing
On earth alighting, his appointed goal,
Paus'd, as from rapid flight, awhile, then spread
Refresh'd his plumes, and to the well-known realm
Of Judah steer'd his flight. Deep midnight yet
Slept on the earth, so swift had been through space
His passage, and the moon with placid light
Bath'd Modin's village cots, when on the roof
Of old Mattathias lighting, with quick glance
Inward directed (eye of angel prime

Interposition checks not,) he beheld,

Ev'n as foretold, the sons around their sire
Each on his couch compos'd. They, when they rose
From that sad converse, nought resolv'd, the meal
Of ev'ning shar'd, and the due rites perform'd,
Their inward souls by adoration calm'd,
Now in profoundest sleep (sleep comes profound

[ocr errors]

After sad thought) lay stretch'd; amidst them lay
Their sire, he too asleep, though not, like them,
Calm, but with troubled fancies vext, exhal'd
From daily thoughts: of wars and conquer'd fields
His dreams were, and of God's high law restor'd,
And vengeance for his violated fane
Exacted of the impious foe, who seem'd

Flying, while his flight with purple dropt the plain.
Him on such thoughts intent when Michael
Discern'd, with speed intuitive his plan
He form'd, and with exerted pow'r (such pow'r
Hath Heaven to its ministers of good
Committed,) chang'd the current of his thoughts,
Into new channels turn'd. [Such passion then
Arose, as when sweet music heard afar
Recalls past pleasant thoughts; or when the form
Of whom we early lov'd, and lov'd in vain,
Comes after day-light travail, to our sleep *.]



* The concluding lines bear marks of interpolation.



PERISH the Coxcomb who united first
To these vain whimsies, hatch'd beyond the seas,
Old Caledonia's touching melodies!
Wedding the follies of that land accurst

To strains whose high or soothing fancies nurst
Heroic spirits, or had power to ease
The poor man's heart with blest remembrances
Of rapture, when his griefs were at the worst.
Oh ye sweet notes, ye were not fram'd to lead
The measured steps of Fashion; ye should tell
Of highland glen, wild rock, and pastoral dell,
And scenes like those of which the world doth read
In that bright page which many a wondrous deed
Of Scottish story hath embalmed so well.


The Anniversary.

THERE is a MYSTERY about this, the Fifth Number of our invaluable Work, which must invest it with an immense interest (if any interest were wanting to mark those æras in literature which are created by our periodical appearance)—an interest which has excited the reading world to a greater extent than any circumstance whatever since the suppression of the celebrated "Book."

[ocr errors]

We cannot, at this moment, presume to solve this mystery: but we may venture to affirm, that the circumstances which have delayed the publication of this Number, will have conferred upon mankind the benefit of reading the narrative we are about to write, of one of the most singularly agreeable and important meetings that has ever been held in this age of public dinners, with the exception of the anniversaries of the Literary Fund, and of the worshipful society of the Licensed Victuallers.

There are none living but those enlightened few, who possess not only the soul of an Editor, but his thews and sinews,-his powers of enduring both exhaustion and repletion-his capacity to struggle against a foul proof and a fair invitation-his ability to grapple with a burning thought and a cool tankard-there are none but these who can understand the joy of reading the last revise of a work so elaborate and so varied as the Quarterly Magazine. We must, however, in justice to our worthy contributors, state that our labours are very much lightened by the excellence of their calligraphy. With one exception, that shall be nameless, each writes

"A fair hand

Fit for a secretary.”

We know that there is a ridiculous opinion afloat in the world, that all men of genius are execrable scribblers. This is just as absurd a notion as that all men of genius are of irregular habits. For the refutation of the one theory we have only to look at the types of Burke and Porson, and of the other at the lives of Milton and Cowper-but this is supererogation. We never find it necessary to enforce any position illustrative of the characteristics of genius, other than by a reference to our own beloved associates. Who can write ac learer hand,- -as clear as Pica itself,-than Mr. Vyvyan Joyeuse, Mr. Edward Haselfoot, or Mr. Hamilton Murray? Who can be more exemplary in their lives and conversation, and hold themselves more unspotted from the world, than Mr. Gerard Montgomery or Mr. Martin Danvers Heaviside? We are so satisfied of the fact that clever men write legible

hands, that if a stray contribution arrive (thanks to our inflexibility the quantity of this ballast amazingly diminishes,) and the superscription should not be so plain that it might have been decyphered by a postman in Cornwall, before the invention of national schools, we return it to the unhappy writer forthwith, though he may have learnt his running hand under Mr. Carstairs. In this matter we quite agree with Cobbett, who very properly boasted how much time he had saved through life by burning all letters that he found the slightest difficulty in reading. We hate the fops who practice their free hands on gilt wire-wove; we dismiss them with a very brief audience, in spite of their embossed and scented name-cards. Wretched wights!

“Think not your verses sterling, Though with a ruby pen you scrawl."

This is digressive.

We were saying that no combination of mind and matter but that which makes the soul and body of a real Editor, (we do not mean the Editor of such a kickshaw as "The European Review, or Mind, and its productions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, &c.") but a real spick and span Editor of the new school, (not a scissors-and-paste fellow of the old leaven)—we were saying, that none but such a true brother can imagine the almost extra-mundane bliss of reading the last revise. It is possible to conceive of the joy of Baron Trenck, when he breathed the free air, after twenty years vegetation in the donjon-keep of Magdeburgh; or of a toad when he escapes to light, after being enclosed in a chalk-pit since the deluge-but it is not possible to conceive the elasticity, the light-heartedness, the bounding gaiety which we feel, when, for a month at least, our mountain of care is once fairly shoved off. It is the awful responsibility of our station which weighs us down. That is the night-mare which even the morning freshness and the noon-tide glare cannot dissipate: but let us once fairly cast off our load, and not even the Chancellor, when he exchanges his robe and seals for his shooting-jacket and shot-belt, and bags his ten brace instead of "taking home the papers," can leap hedges, or swim rivers, or get sixty notches, or drink half pints of Champaign, or do any thing, in short, that shews the exuberance of youth and lustihood, half so ardently as ourselves. In such a mood it is a matter of indifference to us whether we shoot London Bridge, or our Aunt Bridget's monkey, or ascend with Mr. Graham into a cloud when the thermometer stands ten degrees below zero, or with Mr. Joyeuse into the "brightest heaven of invention," when the marines stand ten bottles above prudence. In such a mood (alas it only comes once a quarter) "the world is all before us where to choose," and

« AnteriorContinuar »