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human blood, almost suspended, we are laid asleep in body, and become a living soul; while, with an eye made quiet by the
power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
If this be but a vain belief-yet, oh! how oft, in darkness, and amid the many shapes of joyless daylight, when the fretful stir unprofitable, and the fever of the world, have hung upon the beatings of my heart, how oft in spirit have I turned to thee, O sylvan Wye !—thou wanderer through the woods; how often has my spirit turned to thee! And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought, with many recognitions dim and faint, and somewhat of a sad perplexity, the picture of the mind revives again; while here I stand, not only with the sense of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts that in this moment there is life and food for future years. And so I dare to hope, though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first I came among these hills; when like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides of the deep rivers and the lonely streams—wherever nature led; more like a man flying from something that he dreads, than one who sought the thing he loved. For nature then (the coarser pleasures of my boyish days, and their glad animal movements all gone by) to me was all in all. I cannot paint what then I
The sounding cataract haunted me like a passion; the tall rock, the mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, their colours, and their forms, were then to me an appetite; a feeling and a love, that had no need of a remoter charm by thought supplied, or any interest unborrowed from the eye. That time is past, and all its aching joys are now no more, and all its dizzy raptures. Not for this faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other gifts have followed—for such loss, I would believe, abundant recompense. For I have learned to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes the still sad music of humanity, nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power to chasten and subdue. And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts; à sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of man; a motion and a spirit that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things. Therefore am I still a lover of the meadows, and the woods, and mountains, and of all that we behold from this green earth; of all the mighty world of eye and ear, both what they half create,
and what perceive; well pleased to recognise, in nature and the language of the sense, the anchor of my purest thoughtsthe nurse, the guide, the guardian of my heart and soul of all my moral being
XXXV.-ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN.- Byron. THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudesby the deep Sea,—and music in its roar. I love not Man the less, but Nature more, from these our interviews; in which I steal from all I may be, or have been before, to mingle with the Universe—and feel what I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on! thou deep and dark blue Ocean-roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; man marks the earth with ruin-his control stops with the shore: upon
the watery plain the wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain a shadow of man's ravage-save his own, when, for a moment, like a drop of rain, he sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown! His steps are not upon thy paths; thy fields are not a spoil for him; thou dost arise and shake him from thee: the vile strength he wields for earth's destruction thou dost all despise, spurning him from thy bosom to the skies: and send'st him, shivering, in thy playful spray, and howling, to his Gods, where haply lies his petty hope in some near port or bay; then dashest him again to earth—there let him lay! -The armaments which thunderstrike the walls of rockbuilt cities, bidding nations quake, and monarchs tremble in their capitals; the oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make their clay creator the vain title take of lord of thee, and arbiter of war,—these are thy toys; and, as the snowy flake, they melt into thy yeast of waves—which mar alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar. Thy shores are empires, changed in all, save thee: Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters wasted them while they were free, and many a tyrant since; their shores obey the stranger, slave, or savage; their decay has dried up realms to deserts :—not so thou, unchangeable, save to thy wild waves' play; time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow—such as Creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form glasses itself in tempests; in all time,-calm or convulsed; in breeze, or gale, or storm; icing the pole, or in the torrid clime darkheaving-boundless, endless, and sublime; the image of Eternity, the throne of the Invisible: even from out thy slime the monsters of the deep are made; each zone obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless—alone!
XXXVI.—THE HOSTAGE. DAMON AND PYTHIAS.-J. C. Mangan. THEY seize in the tyrant of Syracuse' halls a youth with a dagger in’s vest: he is bound by the tyrant's behest: the tyrant beholds him-rage blanches his cheek: “Why hiddest yon dagger, conspirator? Speak!"-"To pierce to the heart such as thou !"-"Wretch! Death on the cross is thy doom even now!”—“It is well,” spake the youth; “I am harnessed for death, and I sue not thy sternness to spare; yet would I be granted one prayer :three days would I ask, till my sister be wed: as a hostage, I leave thee my friend in my stead; if I be found false to my truth, nail him to thy cross without respite or ruth !”—Then smiled with a dark exultation the king, and he spake, after brief meditation :—"I grant thee three days' preparation; but see thou outstay not the term I allow, else by the high thrones of Olympus I vow that if thou shalt go scathless and free, the best blood of thy friend shall be forfeit for thee!”
And Pythias repairs to his friend—“I am doomed to atone for my daring emprize, by Death in its shamefullest guise ; but the monarch three days ere I perish allows, till I give a loved sister away to her spouse; thou, therefore, my hostage must be, till I come the third day, and again set thee free.” And Damon in silence embraces his friend, and he gives himself up to the despot; while Pythias makes use of his respite:and ere the third morning in orient is burning, behold the devoted already returning to save his friend ere it be later, by dying himself the vile death of a traitor!
But the rain, the wild rain, dashes earthwards in floods, upswelling the deluging fountains; strong torrents rush dowr from the mountains, and lo! as he reaches the deep river's border the bridgeworks give way in terrific disorder; and the waves, with a roaring like thunder, sweep o’er the rent wrecks of the arches, and under. To and fro by the brink of that river he wanders ;-in vain he looks out through the offingthe fiends of the tempest are scoffing his outcries for aid ;from the opposite strand no pinnace puts off to convey him to land; and made mad by the stormy commotion, the river. waves foam like the surges of Ocean. Then he drops on his knees, and he raises his arms to Jupiter, Strength-and-Help giver—" O, stem the fierce force of this river! The hours are advancing—noon wanes—in the west soon Apollo will sinkand my zeal and my best aspirations and hopes will be baffled—and Damon, my Damon, will die on the scaffold !"
But the tempest abates not, the rapid flood waits not; on, billow o'er billow comes hasting; day, minute by minute, is wasting-and, daring the worst that the desperate dare, he casts himself in with a noble despair, and he buffets the tyrannous waves; and Jupiter pities the struggler-and saves. The hours will not linger: his speed is redoubled—“Forth, faithfullest! bravest, exert thee! The gods cannot surely desert thee!" Alas! as Hope springs in his bosom renewed,
! a band of barbarians rush out of the wood, and they block up the wanderer's path, and they brandish their weapons in clamorous wrath. “What will ye ?” he cries; “I have nought but my life, and that must be yielded ere night: force me not to defend it by fight!” But they swarm round him closer, that truculent band: so he wrests the huge club from one savage's hand, and he fells the first four at his feet; and the remnant, dismayed and astounded, retreat.
The storm-burst is over-low glows the red sun, making earth and air fainter and hotter; the knees of the fugitive totter—"Alas!” he cries, “have I then breasted the flood, have I vanquished those wild men of rapine and blood, but to perish from languor and pain; while my hostage, my friend, is my victim in vain ?" When, hark! a cool sound, as of murmuring water! he hears it-it bubbles-it gushes;-hark! louder and louder it rushes! he turns him, he searches, and lo! a pure stream ripples forth from a rock, and shines out in the beam of the sun 'ere he fireily sinks; and the wanderer bathes his hot limbs and he drinks.
The sun looks his last !On the oft-trodden pathway hies homeward the weariful reaper; the shadows of evening grow deeper, when, pressing and hurrying anxiously on, two strangers pass Pythias—and list! he hears one to the other exclaiming, “O shame on the wretch that betrayed the magnanimous Damon!” Then Horror lends wings to his faltering feet, and he dashes in agony onward; and soon a few roofs, looking sunward, gleam faintly where Syracuse' suburbs extend ; and the good Philodemus, his freedman and friend, now comes forward in tears to his master, who gathers despair from that face of. disaster. “Back, master! Preserve thine
own life at the least! His, I fear me, thou canst not redeem, for the last rays of eventide beam: 0! though hour after hour travelled on to its goal, he expected thy coming with confident soul; and, though mocked by the king as forsaken, his trust in thy truth to the last was unshaken !"
“ Eternal Avenger! and is it too late ?” cried the youth with a passionate fervour; "and dare not I be his preserver ? Then Death shall unite whom not Hell shall divide!—we will die, he and I, on the rood, side by side; and the bloody Destroyer shall find that there be souls whom friendship and honour can bind !"
And on, on, unresting, he bounds, like a roe:-see! they lay the long cross on the ground! See! the multitude gathei all round! See! already they hurry their victim along! When, with giant-like strength, a man bursts through the throng, and—“Oh stay, stay your hands!” is his cry ;-“I am come!I am here!—I am ready to die!” And astonishment masters the crowd at the sight, while the friends in the arms of each other weep tears that they struggle to smother. Embarrassed, the lictors and officers bring the strange tidings at length to the ear of the king; and a human emotion steals o'er him, and he orders the Friends to be summoned before him. And, admiring, he looks at them long ere he speaks :—“You have conquered, 0 marvellous pair, by a friendship as glorious as rare! You have melted to flesh the hard heart in my
breast! go in peace !—you are free! But accord one request to my earnest entreaties and wishes-accept a third friend in your king, Dionysius.
XXXVII.—THE LEGEND OF HORATIUS.—Macaulay. MEANWHILE the Tuscan army, right glorious to behold, came flashing back the noonday light, rank behind rank, like surges bright of a broad sea of gold. Four hundred trumpets sounded a peal of warlike glee; as that great host, with measured tread, and spears advanced, and ensigns spread, rolled slowly towards the bridge's head, where stood the dauntless Three. The Three stood calm and silent, and looked upon the foes, and a great shout of laughter from all the vanguard rose: and forth three chiefs came spurring before that mighty mass; to earth they sprang, their swords they drew, and lifted high their shields, and flew to win the narrow pass.
But all Etruria's noblest felt their hearts sink to see on the earth the bloody corpses, in the path the dauntless Three: and, from the ghastly entrance where those bold Romans stood, all