Page images
PDF
EPUB

part of the day, and in the fullest mind, again, alive to the visitings of exposure to the sun. It is found in the spirit of beauty that goes glimpsmossy bogs, and on the borders of ing over the earth, can never be at ponds and rivulets in moorland dis- a loss for joy as long as the daisies tricts.

dance in the sunshine. Gentle To the Round-leaded Sunder.

reader ! perhaps you never saw a

daisy dance ? Then are you much * By the lone fountain's secret bed, Where human footsteps rarely tread,

to be pitied. They go dancing up 'Mid the wild moor or silent glen,

hill and down brae, in no regular The Sundew blooms unseen by men ; figure, but oversprcading the whole Spreads there her leaf of rosy hue,

green floor in one indistinguishable A chalice for the morning dew, And, ere the summer's sun can rise,

gallopade. The sunbeams in which Drinks the pure waters of the skies.

they swim along, settle ; and lo ! in « Wouldst thou that thy lot were given,

an instant all the dancers are moThus to receive the dews of heaven,

tionless on their seats. They seem With heart prepared, like this meek flower ? Come, then, and hail the dawning hour;

absolutely rooted to the groundSo shall a blessing from on high,

and all their faces covered with Pure as the rain of sumnier's sky,

blushes. But here is a cowslip, Unsullied as the morning dew, Descend, and all thy soul imbue.

and we absolutely smell the sweet

scented pale yellow blossom. But “ Yes ! like the blossoms of the waste Would we the sky-born waters taste,

listen to a little lay in honor of the To the High Fountain's sacred spring

flower. The chalice let us humbly bring :

The Couslip.
So shall we find the streams of heaven
To him who seeks are freely given ;

Unfolding to the breeze of May, The morning and the evening dew

The Cowslip greets the vernal ray; Shall still our failing strength renew.”

The topaz and the ruby gem,

Her blossom's simple diadem; The common furze, gorse, whins, And, as the dew-drops gently fall, is not a bank of it beautiful, They tip with pearls her coronal. gleaming goldenly amid the summer

“ In princely halls and courts of kings

Its lustrous ray the diamond flings; woods, and scenting the thin mists Yet few of those who see its beam, that in morning hour float over the Amid the torch-light's dazzling, gleam, murmurs of the awakened river ? As bright as though a meteor shone,

Can call the costly prize their own. Here are three feeling quatrains to that bank-and-brae-brightener-and- " But gems of every form and hue

Are glittering here in morning dew; sweetener.

Jewels that all alike may share « 'Mid scatter'd foliage, pale and sere,

As frecly as the common air ; Thy kindly floweret cheers the gloom ;

No niggard hand, or jealous eye, And offers to the waning year

Protects them from the passer by. The tribute of its golden bloom.

“ Man to his brother shuts his heart, “ Beneath November's clouded sky,

And Science acts a miser's part; In chill December's stormy hours,

But Nature, with a liberal hand, Thy blossom meets the traveller's eye,

Flings wide her stores o'er sea and land. Gay as the buds of summer bowers.

If gold she gives, not single grains

Are scatter'd far across the plains; “ Flower of the dark and wintry day!

But lo, the desart streams are rollid Emblem of friendship! thee I hail !

O’er precious beds of virgin gold. Blooming when others fade away,

If flowers she offers, wreaths are given, And brightest when their hues grow pale.” As countless as the stars of heaven :

Or music-'tis no feeble note All the verses that ever were She bids along the valleys float; written on flowers, are good—at Ten thousand nameless melodies

In one full chorus swell the breeze. least, we remember no bad ones. So spiritual in their balmy beauty, "Oh, art is but a scanty rill they inspire not only clods but That genial seasons scarcely fill.

But nature needs no tide's return clod-hoppers. A bunch of flowers to fill afresh her flowing urn: suddenly held up before the eyes She gathers all her rich supplies and nose of the veriest blockhead, Where never-failing waters rise. makes him for a moment a bard-a But let us now pensively turn poet. The delicate and sensitive over the leaves of the

“ Sacred 7 ATHENEUM, vol. 5, 3d series.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Melodies." Some of them are tru- Take thou, and bind that token
ly beautiful and will bear to be Then where his bow he spreadeth,

Around thine awe-struck brow. read after the hymns of James Behold him dark no more ; Montgomery, of Heber, or of Kee- Him, who the wild waves treadeth, ble. Oh ! that people who take pen

Seek now on yon green shore. in hand would but write from the “ Around his footsteps springing,

What wreaths embalm the air! heart! All men, women, and child

While hills break forth in singing, ren, have hearts—and we would

Go, trace those footsteps there : fain believe not bad hearts either When morn's first beam from slumbers nay, good hearis,-till the Prince or with that bird whose numbers

Awakes the dewy flowers ; of the Air, feeling himself called on

Charm starry midnight hours. by thoughts, by incipient sinners

“ To Him let rapture wing thee, unexpressed, alights before them

From heights where eagles dwell ; unseen,

Or let the glad bee bring thee

Home to her thymy cell.
“ And then a wicked whisper turns Where'er thou wilt, observe him
Their hearts as dry as dust.

In things that fairest shine ;

Then, joyful, fly to serve him, Then the corrupt become stupid

For He-that God-is thine." and great prosers. Poetry breathes not, brightens not for such ; yet the pathos of the lines addressed

There is something profound in once there was music in their souls, and in dim memory of the past they

“ To the Magdalen.” become versifiers- poetasters, “ Yes, weep, 0 woman frail and fair ; and without meaning to be impious,

Though tears that fall so fast

Amid that bright up-braided hair they tag-rag-and-bobtail the very Can ne'er efface the past. verses of the Bible. But a truly

“ Though other drops, whose power divine pious man or woman always writes

Can wash thy stains away, well on sacred subjects, for they al- Must plead e'en more than tears like thine ; ways write from the heart; and in More holy still than they. song the heart of a Christian justi- " Had He who pardons bid thee bring fieth itself before men and angels. That word had ne'er unscal'd the spring

Those tears his love to buy, Samuel Miller Waring was a pious That fills thy streaming eye. Had he not been so, never

“Ah 'twas not Sinai's flash that taught could he have written the following That frozen fount to glow; lines :

No-milder, mightier rays it caught;

And lo, the waters flow! “ Thou, dear enthusiast, sayest,

“ Pour then thine odors-poor, and see, None can like nature preach ;

In Him on whom they fall,
That in her fane thou prayest ;
That woods and rills can teach;

The vase of clay that holds for theo

Balm costlier far than all.
Yes, more than e'er llyssus
Taught sages by his stream;

“ More fragrant unction on that brow Or groves beside Cephissus,

Rests, where his father smiled : That waved o'er Plato's dream.

He bears a brother's name ; for thou, “ Then leave these vales below thee;

Thou too art call'd a child. Conie, stretch thine eagle eye,

“ () wondrous !-pour a heaven of tears : And nature more will show thee

When sin's erased above, Of Him thou canst not spy:

How dark that record torn appears,
Gaze on the fire-stream, pouring

In the full light of love!
Down Etna's viny steep;
Go where the billow's roaring

We have room for one other Is loudest on the deep.

strain. It is not without majesty• Where earthquakes mutter deadly,

and would do honor to a far higher And domes and turrets reel; Where camel-bells pause dreadly,

name than that of Samuel Miller Quench'd in the hot Samiel;

Waring.
Where thunders roll before him,
And where his lightnings shine,

“ Peace! peace! swelling trump that repeatest Bow, tremble, and adore him;

The praises to victory given ! For this--this God is thine.

Let the harp with the chords that are sweetest,

Sound softly~' The banner of heaven ! « Yet see, through clouds storm-broken,

Oh bring forth the cross-bearing banner! The dove-borne olive bough!

The banner ! the banner of heaven!'

man.

little poem.

“ Never blood of the vanquish'd imbrued it : season stealing into existence, not

Those drops from the Victor did Row ; And the tears that alone have bedewid it

transitory, since it lives in many Were shed o'er the wounds of a foe. gentle hearts, breathing its balm in

There is victory dwells in the banner quiet homes, like that of the favorof the Leader that bled for his foe.

ite flowers that bloom in their par“ Yon standard, inwoven with flowers lor windows—even like the ever

From the groves where sages have trod, And from Paradise too-how it towers !

blossoming rose that often sheds its Tis all, save the banner of God.

beauty unheeded, but every now Oh give us the banner !- the banner !

and then, both in gloom and sunBring forth the true banner of God!

shine, suddenly attracts the eyes of “Whence came that fierce zeal that is glowing the inmates, and often wakes a si

That would call down the fame from above? lent blessing, almost a prayer. Such Proud spirits their missiles are throwing :Ah, where is the banner of love ?

poems as these, of which the world The banner !-oh bring forth the banner ! takes little or no heed, are felt

peBring forth the mild banner of love !

culiarly to belong to those who have “ There are songs that break forth at its beam- been so fortunate-so happy-as to

ing, As of warblers when dawning is bright;

meet with them by accident perhaps, And hark ! lo, the night-bird is screaming,

or to have received them from the As he flies from the banner of light. hand of some chance-acquaintance, 'Tis holiness beams from the banner :

who, after the pleasant gift, is It breathes round the banner of light.

thenceforth considered to be a “ Hurl it not where the trampler hath found it: friend. Albums might be reposito

Serene to the breeze be it given; And soft airs shall whisper around it, ries for such productions. By the « This sure is the banner of heaven!'

way, speaking of Albums—thanks Unfurl then-unfurl all the banner;

to Charles Lamb for his Album Every fold !-'tis the banner of heaven!”

verses, so beautifully printed and Nay, we must quote yet another

got up by his young friend Edward What shall it be ?

Moxon, himself gifted with much Peter Weeping.

poetical feeling and fancy, witness

his “O strong in purpose-frail in power,

« Christmas.” Charles! we Where now the pledge so lately given ? love the following strain :Coward-to creatures of an hour; Bold to the challenged bolts of heaven!

Angel Help. “ Shall that fierce eye e'er pour the stream

« This rare tablet doth include Of heart-wrung tears before its God? Thus did the rock in Horeb seem,

Poverty with sanctitude. One moment ere it felt the rod.

Past midnight this poor maid hath spun,

And yet the work is not half done, “ But Jesus turns :-mysterious drops

Which must supply from earnings scant
Before that kindly glance flow fast;

A feeble bed-rid parent's want.
So melt the snows from mountain tops, Fler sleep-charged eyes exemption ask,
When the dark wintry hour is past. And holy hands take up the task ;

Unseen the rock and spindle ply, “What might it be that glance could paint ?

And do her earthly drudgery. Did one deep-touching impress blend

Sleep, saintly poor one, sleep, sleep on ; The more than sage--the more than saint

And, waking, find thy labors done. The more than sympathizing friend?

Perchance she knows it by her dreams; “ Was it, that lightning thought retraced

Her eye hath caught the golden gleams, Some hallow'd hour beneath the moon ?

Angelic presence testifying, Or walk, or converse high, that graced

That round her everywhere are flying ; The temple's column'd shade at noon ?

Ostents from which she may presume,

That much of Heaven is in the room. “ Say, did that face to memory's eye, Skirting her own bright hair they run,

With glearns of Tabor's glory shine ? And to the sunny add more sun : Or did the dews of agony

Now on that aged face they fix, Still rest upon that brow divine ?

Streaming from the crucifix ; « I know not :--but I know a will

The flesh-clogg'd spirit disabusing,

Death-disarming sleeps infusing,
That, Lord! might frail as Peter's be!
A heart that had denied thee still,

Prelibations, foretastes high,
E'en now-without a look from Thce!”

And equal thoughts to live or die.

Gardener bright from Eden's bower, It is delightful to know that much Tend with care that lily flower!

To its leaves and root infuse poetry such as this is almost every Heaven's sunshine, Heaven's dews.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small]

The town of Achaquas, situated on ver-failing appendage of a “Llañethe banks of the river Apure, derives ro”—the “ sombrero de pallo," or some importance from the fact that immense-rimmed straw hat, with a it has ever been the habitual and white feather, the party emblemfavorite residence of “ El Gefe de and the massive silver

spurs,

attachlos Llañeros." Here the ferocious ed to the naked heel by thongs cut Paez has erected a house, which, from a bullock's hide—complete by the bare-legged natives, may be this singular but picturesque cosdeemed a specimen of architectural tume.* Thus accoutred, and mountmagnificence, as compared with the ed on one of his best-trained horses, mud-built hovels that compose the would Paez seek an encounter with residue of the town ; with the ex- the fiercest bull that could be proception, however, of the church and cured, his surprising agility and “ Caza del Cura,” which entirely consummate skill in horsemanship occupy one side of a large though enabling him to avoid the incessant irregular square. “ La Grande attacks of the furious animal, whom Plaza," as it is called, was, during he goads into unbounded rage, by the revolutionary struggle, the the- turns pursuing and pursued, till at atre of many sanguinary scenes. length, tired of the sport, he seizes Hither were the prisoners of Paez the beast by the tail, and, with Herand his followers led, and, underculean strength, throws it upon its the scowling brow of the chief, in- back ; then leaping from the saddle,

; humanly massacred ; and although (amid the cheering acclamations of in just retaliation, perhaps, of Spa- the spectators,) with his “cuchillo ” nish cruelty, yet the refined barba- puts a speedy termination to its rity with which these reprisals were sufferings and life together. This conducted baffles description, and and cock-fighting, a sport of which would indeed be deemed apocryphal Paez is an enthusiastic admirer, by all save those who had the mis- (having an immense number of these fortune to witness them. Here, too, birds in constant training,) are the would Paez occasionally indulge principal amusements, and tend to his faithful adherents with the gra- foed the bloodthirsty propensities of tifying spectacle of a bull-fight, and this lawless militia during the temthe exhibition of his own wonderful porary suspensions of their predatoprowess. On these occasions the ry warfare. I here apply the term chieftain would appear dressed in " militia," such being, correctly his native garb. The large white speaking, the collective appellation, “ calçonzillos,” or drawers, loose at and attributes, of those more immethe knee, and not extending below diately under Paez's command. it-a check shirt, open at the neck, body of three hundred men, half of and confined at the waist with a red whom have the rank of officers, and or blue scarf, worn like our military form a separate corps, bearing the sashes, and which supported the denomination of “ Los bravos de la “cuchillo," or large knife, the ne- guardia de honore,”\ are in con

* On duty, or on the march, a blanket of different colors (red or blue, being, however, the most prevalent), with a hole cut in the centre to admit the head, is usually worn, and forms a striking and not ungraceful upper garment.

t“El Gefe de los Llaneros," --Chief of the inhabitants of the Plains. « Caza del cura," -Curate's house. “ La Grande Plaza,”—Great square. “ Calconzillos,”-Short, loose

stant attendance on the person of and privates, and even women, all the chief; and the gallant achieve- engaged in sacrificing to the blind ments which he has performed at goddess, amid the blasphemous their head, as also the individual curses of those whom Fortune befeats of intrepidity displayed by this trayed. Paez himself, perambulatsmall band, (however well they may ing the town, would frequently minbe attested,) would, to the generali- gle with one or other of these party of readers, appear incredible. In ties, and, by his presence, sanction the event of

any
sudden

emergency, a vice, the demoralizing effects of an intended attack upon the enemy, which eventually produced the most or the necessity of acting upon the pernicious consequences, and which defensive, (by the by, a rare occur- proved, indeed, the primary cause rence with Paez, he could, at a of the melancholy catastrophe which very short notice, assemble three it will shortly be my painful task to thousand men, who, from the facility record. which the plains afford him of pro- Ere I pursue the thread of my curing horses, form one of the most narration, however, it may prove formidable and efficient cavalry agreeable to my reader to learn forces ever embodied. Each man, something of the personal appearwhilst engaged even in the culture ance, character, and acquirements, of his small plantation of Indian corn of a chief whose present station, as and sugar-cane, keeps his docile head of the Venezuelan confederacharger ready for instant action; cy, and opposition to the misnamed and those who might neglect this “Washington of Colombia," ren

, precautionary measure — so asto- ders an object of public interest. nishing is the power which the Lla- José Antonio Paez is of robust ñero has obtained by practice in the though diminutive stature : his manege-would, in the short space shoulders, of extraordinary breadth, of an hour or two, be enabled to support a short neck of unusual tame the unruly spirit of the wildest thickness (not unlike that of the enstallion, and render him fully ade- raged bull he delights in combating), quate to all the purposes of guerilla and which probably occasions those service. Paez himself has a reserve fits which any strong excitement is of five hundred horses, which follow sure to produce. This neck, in its in the rear of all his expeditions, as turn, sustains a head of dispropora remount to himself and staff; and tionate dimensions, in which small so jealous is he of his right of exclu- dark eyes of uncommon brilliance sive possession, that he has been light up a countenance where cunknown to refuse Bolivar (the then ning seems the predominant expressupreme chief of Venezuela) a sin- sion : but cruelty lies concealed in gle horse for his personal accommo- bis heart. Like the tiger crouching dation !

to spring on its prey, Paez is to be In addition to the amusements most dreaded when he evinces least already described as forming the anger. His features afford no intiprincipal recreation of the motley mation to the victim whose doom he inhabitants of the town and vicinity meditates ; and many a Spanish priof Achaquas, each leisure moment soner, lulled into fancied security was devoted to gambling; and so by his smile, has found it but the addicted were all classes to this vi- harbinger to death. Brave even to cious enjoyment, that tables were to temerity—if the savage ferocity of be seen by day and night at the cor- a wild beast may be termed couners of the different streets, round rage—he dreads no foe, and will which stood mixed groups of officers rush, unattended, into the midst of

ܪ ܪ

>

"

drawers. “ Cuchillo,”-Large knife. “ Llanero,”—Man of the plains. “Sombrero de pal10,"_Straw hat. “ Los bravos de la guardia de honore,”—The “bravos” of the guard of honor.

« PreviousContinue »