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He now determined to abandon the law, and zealously prepared bin

with bis family in Shipton, in Gloucestershire. This year he published his

JAMES GRAHAME, 1765–1811.

and died there on the 14th of September, 1811, in the forty.seventh year of his age, most sincerely and deeply lamented by a large circle of warmly attached friends."

Of the character of Grahame's poetry there is now scarcely but one opinion. Its great charms are, its elevated moral tone, and its easy, simple, and unaffected description. " His Sabbath' will always hold its place among those poems which are, and deserve to be, in the hands of the people.''2 He exhibits great tenderness of sentiment, which runs through all his writings, and sometimes deepens into true pathos. “We do not know any poetry, indeed, that lets us in so directly to the heart of the writer, and produces so full and pleasing a conviction that it is dictated by the genuine feelings which it aims at communicating to the reader. If there be less fire and elevation than in the strains of some of his contemporaries, there is more truth and tenderness than is commonly found along with those qualities.''3

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JAMES GRAHAME, the author of the "Sabbath," was the son of a respeto able attorney in Glasgow, and was born in that city on the 22d of Apra 1765. He was educated at the excellent public schools of that cilj, 22. had a very early and strong desire to enter the clerical profession; tot was the long.cherished wish of his father that he should be bred tobis on calling. Accordingly, our poet sacrificed his own wishes to those of les parent, and studied the law. Many irksome years—the best years of his life-were wasted in this, to him, most uncongenial pursuit, and in a finally abandoned. For many years, however, he toiled on in it, and, from a sense of what he owed to his family, he gave to it all the attention of which a mind devoted to higher purposes was capable.

In 1804, he published anonymously his poem of "The Sabbath." He had kept from all his friends, and even from his wife, who was postett of fine literary taste, all knowledge of what he had been engaged in, und laid a copy of his poem silently on his parlor table, as soon as it appeared Mrs. Grahame was led by curiosity to examine it, and, while doing so, te was walking up and down the room, awaiting some remark from her, ki length, she burst into enthusiastic admiration of the performance, and we knowing her husband's weak side, very naturally added, " Ah, Jantes, you could produce a poem like this !” Longer concealment was impusă ble, and Mrs. Grahame, justly proud of her husband's genius, no longer checked its bent.

The Sabbath" was warmly received throughout Scotland.' It came from the heart; and it spoke to the heart of the nation. Grahame's rock tion was now confirmed; and, in the following two years, during the in

? recess of the Scottish courts, he retired with his family to a cottage 4 hirkhill, on the classic banks of the Esk, and gave

himself up to " Calm contemplation and poetic ease."

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How still the morning of the hallowed day!
Mute is the voice of rural labor, hushed
The ploughboy's whistle and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreatlı
Or tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yester-morn bloomed waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear-the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating midway up the bill.
Calmness seems throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland Icas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep.sunk glen;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard at intervals
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise.

With dove-like wings Peace o'er yon village broods;
The dizzying mill-wheel rests; the anvil's din
Hath ceased; all, all around is quietness.
Less fearful on this day, the limping hare
Stops, and looks back, and stops, and looks on man,
Her deadliest soe. The toil-worn horse, set free,
Unhecdful of the pasture, roams at large;
And, as bis stiff unwieldy bulk be rolls,
His iron-arm'd hoofs gleam in the morning ray.

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for the ministry. This had been his early, his constant wish. His de pearance, voice, manner, as well as his talents and his piety, keeping with that calling. He was ordained in 1809, and soon after series

British Georgics," a didactic agricultural poem. His health had los been delicate, and he was induced, in 1811, to go to Edinburgh fat : change of air and for medical advice. But it was apparent to all that bo days on earth could not be long. He had a natural desire of breathing last in his own native city, and Mrs. Grahame set out with him, on the 111h of September, for Glasgow. He was barely able to reach the plate

· Notwithstanding a rather severe criticism in the in Edinburgh Review, vol. 1, p. 137. But, subsequently, in reviewing the author's "Georgies," ? same Review made amends for its former severity. See vol. xvi p.

· Professor Wilson has written some beautiful lines to his memory, a portion of which will be found under the author's name.

Quarterly Review, vol. iii. p. 457. 3* Edinburgh Review," vol. xvi. p. 216.

213.

But chiefly man the day of rest enjoys. Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day! On other days, the man of toil is doomed To eat his joyless bread, lonely, the ground Both seat and board, screened from the winter's cold And summer's heat by neighboring hedge or tree; But on this day, embosomed in his home, He shares the frugal meal with those he loves; With those he loves he shares the heartfelt joy Of giving thanks to God—not thanks of form, A word and a grimace, but reverently, With covered face and upward earnest eye. Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day! The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe The morning air pure from the city's smoke; While wandering slowly np the river side, He meditates on Him whose power he marks In each green tree that proudly spreads the bough, As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom Around the roots; and while he thus surveys With elevated joy each rural charm, He hopes (yet fears presumption in the hope) To reach those realms where Sabbath never ends.

A SUMMER SABBATH WALK.

Delightful is this loneliness; it calms
My heart: pleasant the cool beneath these elms
That throw across the stream a moveless shade.
Here nature in her midnoon whisper speaks ;
How peaceful every sound !-the ring dove's plaint,
Moaned from the forest's gloomiest retreat,
While every other woodland lay is mute,
Save wben the wren flits from her down-coved nest,
And from the root-sprigs trills her ditty clear-
The grasshopper's oft pausing chirp-the buzz,
Angrily slırill, of moss.entangled bee,
That soon as loosed booms with full twang away
The sudden rushing of the minnow shoal,
Scared from the shallows by my passing tread :
Dimpling the water glides, with here and there
A glossy fly, skimming in circlets gay
The treacherous surface, while the quick-eyed trout
Watches his time to spring; or from above,
Some feathered dam, purveying 'mong the boughs,
Darts from her perch, and to her plumeless brood
Bears off the prize. Sad emblem of man's lot!
He, giddy insect, from his native leaf
(Where safe and happily he might have lurked),
Elate upon ambition's gaudy wings,

But chiefly man the day of rest enjoys. Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day! On other days, the man of toil is doomed To eat his joyless bread, lonely, the ground Both seat and board, screened from the winter's cold And summer's heat by neighboring hedge or tree; But on this day, embosomed in his home, He shares the frugal meal with those lae loves; With those he loves he shares the heartfelt joy Of giving thanks to God-hot thanks of form, A word and a grimace, but reverently, With covered face and upward earnest eye. Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day! The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe The morning air pure from the city's smoke; While wandering slowly up the river side, He meditates on Him whose power he marks In each green tree that proudly spreads the bougly, As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom Around the roots; and while he thus surveys With elevated joy each rural charm, He hopes (yet fears presumption in the hope) To reach those realms where Sabbath never ends.

Forgetful of his origin, and worse,
Unthinking of his end, flies to the stream,
And if from hostile vigilance he 'scape,
Buoyant he flutters but a little while,
Mistakes the inverted image of the sky
For heaven itself, and, sinking, meets his fate.

Now, let me trace the stream up to its source
Among the hills, its runnel by degrees
Diminishing, the murmur turns a tinkle.
Closer and closer still the banks approach,
Tangled so thick with pleaching bramble shoots,
With brier and hazel branch, and hawthorn spray,
That, fain to quit the dingle, glad I mount
Into the open air: grateful the breeze
That fans my throbbing ternples! smiles the plain
Spread wide below: how sweet the placid view!
But, oh! more sweet the thought, heart-soothing thought,
That thousands and ten thousands of the sons
Of toil partake this day the common joy
Of rest, of peace, of viewing hill and dale,
Of breathing in the silence of the woods,
And blessing him who gave the Sabbath-day.
Yes! my heart flutters with a freer throb,
To think that now the townsman wanders forth
Among the fields and meadows, to enjoy
The coolness of the day's decline, to see
His children sport around, and simply pull
The flower and weed promiscuous, as a boon
Which proudly in his breast they smiling fix.

Again I turn me to the hill, and trace
The wizard stream, now scarce to be discerned,
Woodless its banks, but green with serny leaves,
And thinly strewed with beath-bells up and down.

Now, when the downward sun has left the glens,
Each mountain's rugged lineaments are traced
Upon the adverse slope, where stalks gigantic
The shepherd's shadow thrown athwart the chasm,
As on the topmost ridge he homeward hies.
How deep the hush! the torrent's channel dry,
Presents a stony steep, the echo's haunt.
But hark a plaintive sound floating along!
'Tis from yon heath-roofed shieling; now it dies
Away, now rises full; it is the song
Which He, who listens to the hallelujahs
Of choiring seraphim, delights to hear;
It is the music of the heart, the voice
Of venerable age, of guileless youth,
In kindly circle seated on the ground
Before their wicker door. Behold the man!
The grandsire and the saint ; his silvery locks
Beam in the parting ray ; before him lies,
Upon the smooth-cropt sward, the open book,
His comfort, stay, and ever-new delight;

A SUV.VER SABBATH WALK.

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Delightful is this loneliness; it calms My heart: pleasant the cool beneath these elms That throw across the stream a moveless shade. Here nature in her midnoon whisper speaks; How peaceful every sound!--the ring dove's plaint, Moaned from the forest's gloomiest retreat, While every other woorlland lay is mute, Save when the wren flits from her down-coved nesi, And from the root-sprigs trills her ditty clearThe grasshopper's ost pausing chirp-the buzz, Angrily slırill, of moss-entangled bee, That soon as ļoosed booms with full twang away The sudden rushing of the minnow shoal, Scared from the shallows by my passing tread: Dimpling the water glides, with here and there A glossy Ay, skimming in circlets gay The treacherous surface, while the quick-eyed trout Watches his time to spring; or from above, Some leathered dans, purveying '

mong the boughs, Darts from her perch, and to her plumeless brood Bars off the prize. Sad emblem of man's lot!

He, giddy insect, from his native leaf (Where safe and happily he might have lurked), Flate upon ambition's gaudy wings,

While heedless at a side, the lisping boy
Fondles the lamb that nightly shares his couch.

A WINTER'S SABBATH WALK.

How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep
The stillness of the winter Sabbath day-
Not even a footfall heard. Smooth are the fields,
Each hollow pathway level with the plain :
Hid are the bushes, save that here and there
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom.
High-ridged the whirled drift has almost reached
The powdered keystone of the churchyard porch.
Mute hangs the hooded bell; the tombs lie buried;
No step approaches to the house of prayer.

The flickering fall is o'er: the clouds disperse,
And show the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge,
Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam
On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time
To visit nature in her grand attire.
Though perilous the mountainous ascent,
A noble recompense the danger brings.
How beautiful the plain stretched far below,
Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream
With azure windings, or the leafless wood !
But what the beauty of the plain, compared
To that sublimity which reigns enthroned,
Holding joint rule with solitude divine,
Among yon rocky fells that bid defiance
To steps the most adventurously boid?
There silence dwells profoundl; or if the cry
Or high-poised eagle break at times the hush,
The mantled echoes no response return.

But let me now explore the deep-sunk dell.
No footprint, save the covey's or the flock's,
Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs
Still rear the grassy blade of vivid green.
Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts,
Nor linger there too long: the wintry day
Soon closes; and full oft a heavier fall,
Heaped by the blast, fills up the sheltered glen,
While, gurgling deep below, the buried rill
Mines for itself a snow-coved way! Oh, then,
Your helpless charge drive from the tempting spot,
And keep them on the bleak hill's stormy side,
Where night.winds sweep the gathering drift away:
So the great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock
From faithless pleasures, full into the storms
Of life, where long they bear the bitter blast,

While heedless at a side, the lisping boy Fondles the lamb that niglıtly shares his couch.

Until at length the vernal sun looks forth,
Bedimmed with showers; then to the pastures green
He brings them, where the quiet waters glide,
The stream of life, the Siloah of the soul.

A WINTER'S SABBATH WALK.

PERSECUTION OF THE COVENANTERS.

How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep
The stillness of the winter Sabbath day-
Not even a footfall heard. Smooth are the fields,
Each hollow pathway level with the plain :
Hid are the bushes, save that bere and there
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom.
High-ridged the whirled drift has almost reached
The powdered keystone of the churchyard porch,
Mule langs the hooded bell; the tombs lie buried;
No step approaches to the house of prayer.

The flickering fall is o'er: the clouds disperse,
And show the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge,
Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam
On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time
To visit nature in her grand attire.
Though perilous the mountainous ascent,
A noble recompense the danger brings.
How beautiful the plain stretched far below,
Invaried though it be, save by yon stream
With azure windings, or the leafless wood!
But what the beauty of the plain, compared
To that sublimity which reigns enthroned,
Holding joint rule with solitude divine,
Among yon rocky fells that bid defiance
To steps the most adventurously boid?
There silence dwells profound; or if the cry
Of bigli-poised eagle break at times the hush,
The mantled echoes no response return.

But let me now explore the deep-sunk dell.
No footprint, save the covey's or the flock's,
Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs
Still rear the grassy blade of vivid green.

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With them each day was holy, every hour They stood prepared to die, a people cloom'd To death ;-old men, and youths, and simple maids. With them each day was holy; but that morn On which the angel said, See where the Lord Was laid, joyous arose; to die that day Was bliss. Long cre the dawn, by devious ways, O'er hills, through woods, o'er dreary wastes, they sought The upland muirs, where rivers, there but brooks, Dispart to different seas: Fast by such brooks A little glen is sometimes scoop'd, a plat With green sward gay, and flowers that strangers seem Amid the heathery wild, that all around Fatigues the eye. In solitucles like these, Thy persecuted children, Scotia, foil'd A tyrants and a bigot's bloody laws: There, leaning on his spear (one of the array, Whose gleam, in former days, hath scathed the rose On England's banner, and had powerless struck The infatuate monarch and bis wavering host), The lyart veteran heard the word of God By Cameron thunder'd, or by Renwick pour'd In gentle stream; then rose the song, the loud Acclaim of praise. The wheeling plover ceased Her plaint. The solitary place was glad, And on the distant cairns the watcher's ear Caught doubtsully at times the breeze-borne note. But years more gloomy follow'd; and no more The assembled people dared, in face of day, To worship God, or even at the dead Of. night, save when the wintry-storm raved fierce, And thunder-peals compelld the men of blood To couch within their dens: then dauntlessly The scatter'd few would meet, in some deep dell By rocks o'er-canopied, to hear the voice, Their faithful pastor's voice: He by the gleam Of sheeted lightning oped the sacred book, And words of comfort spake: Over their souls His accents soothing cameras to her young The heath fowl's plumes, when, at the close of eve, She gathers ili, mournful, hier brood dispersed By murderous sport, and o'er the remnant spreads Fondly her wings; close nestling 'neath her breast, They, cherish d, cower amid the purple blooms.

Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts, Nor linger there too long: the wintry day Soon closes; and full of a heavier fall, Heaped by the blast, fills up the sheltered glen, While, gurgling deep below, the buried rill Vines for itself a snow-coved way! Oh, then, Your helpless charge drive from the tempting spot, And keep them on the bleak hill's stormy side, Where night winds sireep the gathering drift away: So the great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock From faithless pleasures, full into the storms Of life, where long they bear the bitter vlasi,

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