« AnteriorContinuar »
Fleet steeds, and two unwavering, faithful
Within a neighbouring grove await con
Come, then, my fair, repose thy trust in Heaven,
And haste to leave impending ills behind. 'I go,' she said, 'for firmly I believe, Thy mission is from God, whose gracious hand
Thus aids me in the extremity of peril.'” Captain Ellam-who had planned the escape kills the giant sentinel on his post at the outer harem gate, and they soon arrive at a grove, where Irad is ready with "four noble steeds," for fleetness all unmatched, even by the fleetest in the royal stalls (probably stolen therefrom), "each mounted one," and Ellam, who " knew well the country," led the way.
“O'er many a hill, and dale, and flowery plain,
And mountain high, and roaring river wide,
All unimpeded, on they hold their way, For thrice seven days with unrelaxing speed;
Till in the province nearest to the west, Of the broad realms o'er which Shalmazar ruled,
They reached the rocky summit of a mount, Which overlooked a region large and rich, And gay with numerous populous villages.
But, to their startled and abhorrent sight, Not far remote a multitude appear'd, In midst of which a blazing pile efused Its gray and crimson columns to the sky." They save Jotham from the flames -but where is Isamell? A captive in a neighbouring tower, under orders to be sent without delay to the capital "with her surpassing beauty to adorn the harem of Shalmazar.” Japhet remains to guard Hadallah among the rocks-and Irad and Ellam rush to the rescue. The guards are few, and off their guard, and are easily cut to pieces-Irad makes her get up behind-and in ten minutes they are in the mountain-refuge. "A short repast and short repose they take;" and pursue their journey westwards for three days ere they get clear of the Cainite empire.
Passing through a well-cultivated country, they reach the city of Sabbatah, the eastward bulwark of Armonia-and who should be reigning there but "Shem, Prince Japhet's brother!"
"This was the asylum of those faithful
Who fled Shalmazar's realm for conscience sake.
Here in defiance of the tyrant's threats Shem gave them welcome, and supplied their wants
With hospitable care. The city hence Was called Sabbatah, or their place of rest."" Japhet beholds again the Temples of the Living God, and longs once more in consecrated halls to worship his Creator, as in youth he oft had done in manner of his vows." ·99 These lines seem to indicate that he had been among the Cainites for many years. But it could not well have been so-and hitherto the action of the poem seems to have included not many months. Be that as it may. Book seventh has a happy termination-and so has the July number of Blackwood's Maga
"Japhet resumes his journey; but not
As late he wandered in a foreign land,
And songs resound his virtues and his fame.
"At length paternal Noah to his breast Strains his long-absent son, and blesses him And his fair bride won so triumphantly, And for them craves the eternal care of Heaven."
We have got but little further than halfway through the poem, but our article comes, at this stage, to a pleasant pause, and the devil is at our
elbow. We are only sorry that Ham, too, was not in Sabbatah; for three is the best number in this life for the meeting of brothers. Japhet had been so long missing that he seemed "as from death restored," and he did well to go to church on his first day in Sabbatah-better still to make Hadallah his wife. We could not help feeling sorry rather for Ellam-but on consideration believe it better for himself that he should remain for a
year a bachelor. We have only to hope that Japhet's head will not be turned by all these triumphal arches, flowery wreaths, and songs resounding his virtues and his fame-and would whisper in his ear that after all his exploits were no great matter, and that he had never gained Hadallah but for the Crutch. We shall keep an eye upon his future proceedings-and perhaps report progress in August.
Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work.
No. CCLXXXVI. AUGUST, 1839.
OUR POCKET COMPANIONS.
CALL them, rather, our Bosom Friends-for we have them one and all by heart; and, as we shut our eyes in solitude, be it in parlour twilight or mountain gloom-at a word, at a wish, it is gradually overflowing with spiritual music, divinely intermingled with its own mysterious echoes!
The word even now happened to be -HOPE. It slid into our soul like an angel's whisper, and forthwith, "In long procession calm and beautiful," were deploying before our inward eye multitudes of harmonious images along
the mental heaven-within our inward ear a continuous succession of hymns, and odes, and elegies-the birth of genius, inspired by that immortal Passion-and eternized by song. "Her faithful Knight fair Una brings To House of Holiness; Where he is taught Repentance, and The way to heavenly bliss."
Silent as our shadow, with them we walk in reverence through those peaceful courts and look upon the faces of the loveliest Two of all the Spirits that dwell on this side of Heaven.
"Thus as they 'gan of sondrie thinges devise,
Like sunny beams threw from her christall face,
That could have dazed the rash beholder's sight,
And round about her head did shine like Heaven's light.
"She was arraied all in lilly white,
And in her right hand bore a cup of gold,
With wine and water fill'd up to the height,
In which a serpent did himselfe enfold,
But she no whitt did chaunge her constant mood:
And in her other hand she fast did hold
A book, that was both sign'd and seal'd with blood;
Wherein darke things were writt, hard to be understood.
Or anguish in her hart, is hard to tell;
And ever up to Heaven, as she did pray,
It seems as if they and Una had been friends even from her very childhood -that she had often visited before that "Ancient house not far away, Renowned through the world for sacred lore,
And pure unspotted life;"
for, soon as they recognise one another,
"Many kind speeches they between them spend;
And greatly joy, each other for to see!"
And then," at Una's meek request," they turn themselves to the Knight— "Who fair them quites as him beseemed best,
And goodly 'gan discourse of many a noble gest.
Fidelia and Speranza heard him speak-but of "nobler gests" than of mortal prowess, he was about to hear in the house of Holiness.
"Now when their wearie limbes with kindly rest,
To have her knight into the schoolhouse plaste,
And open'd his dull eyes, that light mote in them shine.
"And that, her sacred booke, with blood ywritt,
That none could reade except she did them teach,
And heavenly documents thereout did preach,
"And, when she list poure out her larger spright,
"The faithfull knight now grew in little space,
"But wise Speranza gave him comfort sweet,
That is, in good truth, Sacred Poetry -call it Scripture-for it is Bibleborn.
And now we hear the strain of another great Christian Poet-humbler perhaps at first-yet winning its way into the depths of the heart, "with amplest power to soften and subdue"and finally uplifting us heavenward to an assured home. How simple-how strong-how beautiful those few lines of Cowper on Life!
"Transient indeed, as is the fleeting hour,
And for its woes what remedy? One, he says,
"Not hid in deep profound, Yet seldom sought where only to be found; While passion turns aside from its due scope The enquirer's aim-that remedy is HOPE." He tells us in words that lie somewhat confused but intelligible in our memory-that the Creator condescends to write in inextinguishable characters
"His names of wisdom, goodness, power, and love,
On all that blooms below, or shines above." In them may be read all his gracious attributes; and now again the Natural Theology of the bard distinctly rearranges itself in our mind, and we rejoice to recite to ourselves-and, Christian brother or sister, to theethe elevating words
"If led from earthly things to things divine, His creature thwart not the august design; Then praise is heard instead of reasoning pride,
And captious cavil and complaint subside.
And bliss not seen, by blessings understood : That bliss, reveal'd in Scripture, with a glow
Bright as the covenant-ensuring bow,
These surely are noble lines-and the world-wearied heart rests beneath their shadow, as of a rock.
"AND THUS HOPE IS BORN!" Shall the Poet be inspired to speak of her power as gloriously as of her birth? Judge.
Hope sets the stamp of vanity on all That men have deem'd substantial since the Fall,
Yet has the wond'rous virtue to educe
And while she takes, as at a father's hand,
What health and sober appetite demand, From fading good derives, with chemic art,
That lasting happiness, a thankful heart. Hope, with uplifted foot set free from earth,
Pants for the place of her ethereal birth, On steady wings sails through th' immense abyss,
Plucks amaranthine flowers from bowers of bliss ;
And crowns the soul, while yet a mourner here,
With wreaths like those triumphant spirits