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off gently-oh more gently than if she had been asleepa lifeless ringlet from her temples, to put within the leaves of the Bible at the very place she had read her last --that every morning, every mid-day, every evening, and many a midnight too-they might see it, and kiss it, and weep over it-on, on, for ever-till they both were dead!
When their friends were asked to 'the funeral, I was not forgotten. Neither of them had any blood-relations, and some lived at too great a distance for poor men to come; so I was one of the chief mourners, and stood close to her father, when we let her down into her grave. In the midst of my sore weeping, his pale face seemed to bid me restrain my tears; but when all was over, and we had reached the churchyard gate, it was my turn to be the comforter. Methinks I hear that groan at this very silent moment; but deep as it was, as deep a groan as ever rended a human breast, what matters it now, more than a sigh of the wind through a crevice,-for twenty long years have had their flight, since the heart that uttered it ceased to quake with any mortal passion.
By what inscrutable causes are we led to fasten thus upon some one long-ago event, that had lain year after year in utler oblivion? Why thus will some one single solitary idea, some momentary event of our past life, all of itself flash upon us, and haply never be thought of more? A sweet voice once heard,-a face that past by, -a tune,-a rose-tree that hore a thousand blossoms,a ship in full sail,- ;-a sunset,
hope,-an agony, -an ecstacy,—the light of an assured virtue,—the shadow of an assured sin! Oh! my little Lucy-my beautiful, my beloved-thou who hast so long been dead and often, for years at a time, by me utterly forgottenthou and the morning are before me, looking just as did thy face, and heaven's, when first I beheld thee at thy cottage-door!
Which is the best poem--Grahame's Birds of Scotland, or his Sabbath ?-Both are full of pathos--but the “ Birds" is the most poetical. Why do the birds sing on Sunday?" said once a little boy to us,—and we answered him in a lyrical hallad, which we have lost, otherwise we had intended to have sent it--without solicitation
-to Alaric Watts's Souvenir, for the pleasure (who is without vanity ?) of seeing our name shining, or even obscured, in that splendid galaxy of stars. But although the birds certainly do sing on Sunday,-behaviour that with our small gentle Calvinist who dearly loved them, caused some doubts of their being so innocent as during the week day's they appeared to be,—we cannot set down their fault to the score of ignorance. It is in the holy superstition of the world-wearied heart that man believes the inferior creatures to be conscious of the calm of the Sabbath, and that they know it to be the day of our rest? Or is it that we transfer the feeling of our inward calm to all the goings-on of Nature, and thus embue them with a character of reposing sanctity existing only in our own spirits ? Both solutions are true. The instincts of those creatures we know only in their symptoms and their effects--and the wonderful range of action over which they reign. Of the instincts themselves—as feelings or ideas-we know not any thing-nor ever can know; for an impassable gulf separates the nature of those that are to perish from ours that are to live for
But their power of memory, we must believe, is not only capable of minutest retention, but also stretches back to afar--and some power or other they do possess that gathers up the past experience into rules of conduct that guide them in their solitary or gregarious life. Why, therefore, should not the birds of Scotland know the Sabbath-day? On that day the water-ouzel is never disturbed by angler among the murmurs of his own waterfall and as he fits down the banks and braes of the burn, he sees no motion-he hears no sound about the cottage that is the boundary of his farthest flight-for “the dizzying mill-wheel rests.” The merry-nodding rooks, that in spring-time keep following the very heels of the ploughman-may they not know it to be Sabbath, when all the horses are standing idle in the field, or taking a gallop by themselves round the head-rigg? Quick of bearing are birds--one and all-and in every action of their lives are obedient to sounds. May they not, then, do they not connect a feeling of perfect safety with the tinkle of the small kirk-bell? The very jay himself is not shy of people on their way to worship. The magpie, that never sits more than a minute at a time in the same place on a Saturday, will on the Sabbath remain on the kirkyard wall with all the composure of a dove. The whole feathered creation know our hours of sleep. They awake before us, and ere the earliest labourer has said his prayers, have not the woods and valleys been ringing with their hymns? Why, therefore, may not they, who know, each week-day, the hour of our lying down, and our rising up, know also the day of our general rest? The animals, whose lot is labour, shall they not know it? Yes; the horse on that day sleeps in shade or sunshine without fear of being disturbed; his neck forgets the galling collar, " and there are forty feeding like one,” all well knowing that their fresh meal on the tender berbage will not be broken in upon before the dews of next morning, ushering in a new day to them of toil or travel.
So much for our belief in the knowledge, instinctive or from a sort of reason, possessed by the creatures of the inferior creation of the heaven-appointed Sabbath to man and beast. But it is also true, that we transfer our inward feeling to their outward condition, and with our religious spirit embue all the ongoings of animated and even inanimated lise. There is always a shade of melancholy, a tinge of pensiveness, a touch of pathos, in all profound rest. Perhaps because it is so much in contrast with the turmoil of our ordinary being. Perhaps because the soul, when undisturbed, will, from the impulse of its own divine nature, have high, solemn, and awful thoughts. In such state, it transmutes all things into a show of sympathy with itself. The church-spire, that rising high above the smoke and stir of a town, when struck by the sun-fire, seems, on a market-day, a tall building in the air that may serve as a guide to people at a distance flocking into the bazaars-the same church-spire, were its loud-tongued bell to call from aloft on the gathering multitude below, to celebrate the anniversary of some great victory, Waterloo, or Trafalgar, would appear to stretch up its stature triumphantly into the sky-so much the more triumphantly—if the standard of England were floating from its upper battlements. But to the devout eye of faith, doth it not seem to express its own character, when on the Sabbath it performs no other office than to point to heaven!
So much for the second solution. But independently of both, no wonder that all nature seems to rest on the Sabbath. For it doth rest-all of it, at least, that appertains to man and his condition. If the second command. ment be kept-at rest is all the household—and all the fields round it are at rest. Calm flows the current of human life, on that gracious day, throughout all the glens and valleys of Scotland, as a stream that wimples in the morning sunshine, freshened but not flooded with the soft-falling rain of a summer-night. The spiral smokewreath above the cottage is not calmer than the motion within. True, that the wood warblers do not cease their songs; but the louder they sing, the deeper is the stillness. And, oh! what perfect blessedness, when it is only joy that is astir in rest!
Loud-flapping cushat! it was thou that inspired'st these paragraphs; and instead of being paid at the rate of fifty guineas a sheet, we have only to wish thee, for thy part contributed to this article, now that the acorns of autumn must be well nigh consumed, many a plentiful repast, amid the multitude of thy now congregated comrades, in the cleared stubble lands,-as severe weather advances, and the ground becomes covered with snow, regales undisturbed by fowler, on the tops of turnip, rape, and other cruciform plants, which all of thy race affect so passionately,--and soft blow the sea-breezes on thy unruffled plumage, when thou takest thy winter's walk with kindred myriads on the shelly shore, and sor a season minglest with gull and seamew,-apart every tribe, one from the other, in the province of its own peculiar instinct —yet all mysteriously taught to feed or sleep together within the roar or margin of the main.
Sole-sitting cushat! I see thee through the yew-tree's shade, on some day of the olden time, but when or where I remember not-for what has place or time to do with the vision of a dream? That I see thee is all I know, and serenely beautiful thou art! Oh, pleasant is it to dream, and to know we dream. By sweet volition we keep ourselves half asleep and half awake, and all our visions of thought, as they go swimming along, partake at once of reality and imagination. Fiction and truth-clouds, shadows, phantoms, and phantasms-ether, sunshine, substantial forms and sounds that have a being, blending together in a scene created by us, and partly impressed upon us, and that one motion of the head on the pillow inay dissolve, or deepen into more oppressive delight! In some such dreaming state of mind are we now; and, gentle reader, if thou art broad awake, lay aside the visiouary volume, or read a little longer, and likely enough is it, that thou mayst fall half asleep. If so, let thy drowsy eyes still pursue the glimmering paragraphs -and wafted away wilt thou feel thyself to be, with Maga in thy hand, into the heart of a Highland forest, that knows no bounds but those of the uncertain sky!
Away from my remembrance fades the noisy world of men into a silent glimmer-and now it is all no more than a mere saint thought. On-on-on through briary brake-matted thicket-glassy glade-on-on-on farther into the forest. What a confusion of huge stones, rocks, knolls, all tumbled together into a chaos—not without its stern and sterile beauty! Still are there, above, blue glimpses of the sky-deep though the umbrage be, and wide-fung the arms of the oaks, and of pines in their native wilderness, gigantic as oaks, and extending as broad a shadow. Now the firmament has vanished and all is twilight. Immense stems "in number without number numberless," bewildering eye and soul-all still -silent-steadfast- and so would they be in a storm. For what storm-let it rage aloft as it might-till the surface of the forest toss and roar like the sea-could force its path through these many million trunks? The thunder-stone might split that giant there-how vast ! how magnificent! but the brother by his side would not tremble-and the sound in the awful width of the silence
- what more would it be than that of the woodpecker, alarming the insects of one particular tree !
Poor wretch that I am !-to me the unaccompanied silence of the solitude hath become terrible. More dreadful is it than the silence of the tomb; for there, often