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Hark to the sweet-lipped humming bees; BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
The soaring lark's clear bell;
The linnet and the oriole -
What wordless tales they tell !
Now, hear the trump and clarionet
Come sounding from afar : No, land of Hope and Blessing, No !
The organ grand, and love-toned flute, And we who wear thy glorious name,
The harp and the guitar ! Shall we like cravens stand apart,
I bathe in ecstasies within When those whom thou hast trusted aim
This mystic sea of sound ! The death-blow at thy generous heart?
The atmosphere is vibrating Forth goes the battle-cry, and lo!
With music all around ! Hosts rise in harness, shouting, No !
Sweet symphonies and melodies And they who founded, in our land,
And cadences I hear, The power that rules from sea to sea,
Which vary as they fall upon
My ravished, listening ear!
0, words for us are all too weak, Send up the thrilling murmur, No !
And language is too poor !
But words may cease, and language fail, Knit they the gentle ties which long
Yet sound shall aye endure !
DELIGHT IN DISORDER.
A SWEET disorder in the dresse
Kindles in cloathes a wantonnesse. Our wind-tossed woods on mountain crest,
A lawn about the shoulders thrown The hoarse Atlantic, with his bays,
Into a fine distraction; The calm, broad Ocean of the West,
An erring lace, which here and there And Mississippi's torrent flow,
Enthralls the crimson stomacher; And loud Niagara, answer, No !
A cuffe neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly; Not yet the hour is nigh, when they
A winning wave (deserving note) Who deep in Eld’s dim twilight sit,
In the tempestuous petticote; Earth's ancient kings, shall rise and say,
, A careless shoe-string, in whose tye Proud country, welcome to the pit !
I see a wild civility; – So soon art thou, like us, brought low?"
Doe more bewitch me than when art No, sullen groups of shadows, No!
Is too precise in every part. behold, the arm that gave The victory in our fathers' day,
THE AMERICAN FLAG. Strong, as of old, to guard and save,
That mighty arm which none can stay, - A Contribution to Mr. Grant White's Collection of On clouds above and fields below,
“Impossible National Hymns." Writes, in men's sight, the answer, No!
Fling out the Starry Flag,
Men of the kingless land,
The hour of duty is tolling,
Be ready, heart and hand.
Face all who dare deride it,
Clasp all who seek its shade,
If need be, die beside it
For the country it has made.
They come to you in millions
As once they came to Rome;
Give every man a welcome,
Give each and all a home.
But read them all this lesson
They in return must stand,
Ready to slay for the Starry Flag,
Or to die for the kingless land.
A few days ago we read at the Athenæum an Eng, narrow streak of the moon emerges from the lish copy of the following work. It was tirst issued shadow of an eclipse, nearly a second and more than 20 years ago, and has been through many English editions. Much interested by speculations a quarter elapses before we see it; for the akin to some of our own; we wrote to England for a light takes this time to pass from the moon copy of the book, that we might reprint it for the benefit of our readers, and afterwards discovered
to our eyes. The moon, therefore, makes that it had been already published by Messrs. Crosby each of her changes a second and a quarter & Ainsworth, of Boston. Their edition has a pre- before it becomes visible to us.* face by Mr. Hill, late President of Harvard University, in which he says:
The sun, ninety-five millions of miles dis“The circulation of this book would be, I am con- tant, four hundred times farther than the vinced, of benefit both to science and religion. To moon, requires a period four hundred times religion, by showing, so far as it goes, that science longer than the moon (i. e., four hundred leads to faith. younger students the true spirit in which she should times five quarters of a second) to send its be wooed; still more, by presenting her in a lovely light upon our earth. Hence, when any and attractive garb to the notice of men. It is a book of sublime poetry; and it will be a happier day change takes place in the sun, when, for infor all men, when they have learned that, as poesy stance, a solar spot creeps round the eastsignifies creation, so is the creation poesy; and sci- ern limb, about eight minutes elapse before ence causes the heart of its faithful student to sing a perpetual hymn of praise and joy."
the light reaches our eyes; and the spot re
mains visible to us eight minutes after it has THE STARS AND THE EARTH;
passed behind the western limb. OR, THOUGHTS UPON SPACE, TIME, AND The distance of the planet Jupiter from our ETERNITY.
earth, at the time when it is the greatest, is It is a well-known proposition, that a nearly six hundred and seventeen millions luminous body arising at a certain distance of miles. This is six times and a half as cannot be perceived in the very same in- great as the distance of the sun, and therestant of time in which it becomes luminous, fore the light requires fifty-two minutes to but that a period of time, although infi- penetrate from Jupiter to us. Lastly, Uranitely short, exists whilst the light, our nus runs his solitary course at a distance of only medium of vision, passes through the eighteen hundred millions of miles from us : space between the object and our eyes.
his light requires, therefore, twenty times as The rate at which the light travels is so long a period to travel to us as that of the exceedingly rapid, that it certainly has sun, i. e., more than two hours; so that, for never been observed, nor have any attempts two hours, he has been past that point of to measure it been made, in the insignificant his orbit in which we see him. distances at which objects upon the earth
No planet has bitherto been discovered are visible to us. But since we see bodies more distant than Uranus; but an infinite at a distance immeasurably greater than the space exists beyond, separating our sun and compass of terrestrial dimensions (namely, its system of planets from the nearest fixed in viewing the stars above), the most acute stars.f calculations and observations have enabled
The distance of the fixed stars from our astronomers to measure the speed of light, earth was, until a very recent time, when and to find that it travels at a rate of about the measurements of Struve and Bessel two hundred and thirteen thousand miles in were crowned with such glittering results, a second.
a deep, inscrutable secret; but now This number is not quite accurate; but, know that the nearest fixed star, namely, as we now only propose to lay down a gen
the brightest star in the constellation of eral idea, for which the close reckoning of Centaur, is about eighteen billions of miles astronomical calculation is not necessary,
distant. Its rays of light, therefore, penewe will content ourselves here, and in the trate to us in about three years; that is, the following pages, with adducing a general ray of light which meets our eyes from this average number.
star was not developed and emitted at the Thus light travels two hundred and thir- same moment, but three years ago. teen thousand miles in a second; and, as
* We take no notice of the refraction of the light. the moon is two hundred and forty thousand ered at nearly double the distance of Uranus from
† Since this was written a planet has been discov. miles distant, it follows that, when the first the sun.
Struve has calculated, with respect to the having the form of two watch-glasses placed well-known bright star Vega, in the constel- with the concave surfaces towards eacả lation of the Lyre, that its light consumes other. The surfaces of this canopy are twelve years and one month in reaching the studded tolerably equally with fixed stars. earth; and, according to the measurements But as we are a thousand times nearer those of Harding and the inquiries of recent as- situated above and below than those at the tronomers, the following numbers have been edges of this hollow lens, so the distances deduced as the average distance of the fixed between the stars immediately above us stars from us.
seem greater, whilst the legions of those A ray of light requires, before it reaches distributed at the edge are seen in densely the earth, from a star of the
crowded masses. We may consider the 1st magnitude
3 to 12 years.
Milky Way as the edge and furthermost
limit of this set of fixed stars, where the in2d 3d
finitely distant crowds of stars are collected 4th
in such masses that their light flows together 5th
into a whitish cloud, and no longer permits 6th
us to isolate one star from another. 7th 180
Beyond this our lens, Herschel and the
most recent astronomers imagine that the Moreover, Struve, from the dimensions spots of clouds which appear like oval flakes of his telescope, and from the observation of in the sky are other entirely distinct and the fact that a star of the twelfth magnitude, independent systems, which float at such an seen through it, has as much light as a star immeasurable distance from us, that the of the sixth magnitude seen with the naked light has to wander millions of years in eye, concludes that the distance of a star of reaching us. the twelfth magnitude is forty-one times It is, however, as we before remarked, greater than that of one of the sixth magni- sufficient for our purpose to take into contude; and, consequently, that the smallest sideration only the stars of the twelfth magof these stars visible to him is at a distance nitude, from which the light can travel to us of twenty-three thousand billions of miles, in four thousand years. From what we and requires a period of time, for the travel- have already said, viz., that the ray of light ling of the light to the earth, as great as meeting our eye is not sent forth from the four thousand years. That is, the ray of star at the same moment, but arrives here light from a star of the twelfth magnitude, according to the corresponding and requisite which, we may mention, is only perceptible number of seconds, minutes, or years, it by means of a very good telescope, has, at follows that we do not see the star as it is, the time it meets our eyes, already left the but as it was at the time when the ray
of star four thousand years, and since that light was emitted. time has wandered on its own course, un- Thus, we see the star in Centaur as it connected with its origin.
was three years ago, Vega as it was twelve We have hitherto confined our consider- years and one month ago, and so on to the ations to our system of fixed stars ; and we star of the twelfth magnitude, which we look will not at present overstep this limit, al- upon as it shone four thousand years ago. though it would be easy, were we to enter Hence follows the conclusion, which has freinto hypotheses, to multiply indefinitely quently been made by astronomers, and these enormous proportions hitherto ad- which in its results has become popular, viz., duced.
that a star of the twelfth magnitude may According to a conjecture first made by have been extinguished or set four thousand the great Herschel, and afterwards further years ago, whilst we, nevertheless, continue developed and rendered intelligible by Mäd- to see its light shining. ler, this entire system of fixed stars forms, This conclusion, when applied to each of if we may use the expression, a single lens- the former positions, gives the following shaped canopy. That is, we, with our sun, results. are situated nearly in the middle of a space, We do not see the moon as it is, but as it was a second and a quarter before; i. e., year 1840, made the cities of our native the moon may already have been dispersed country shine with the brightness of day into atoms for more than a second, and we during the darkness of night. An observer should still see it entire and perfect. in Vega would see what happened with us
We do not see the sun as it now is, but twelve years ago; and so on, until an inas it was eight minutes before; Jupiter as habitant of a star of the twelfth magnitude, it was fifty-two minutes, Uranus as it was if we imagine him with unlimited power of more than two hours before; the star in vision contemplating the earth, sees it as it Centaur as it was three years ago; Vega as was four thousand years ago, when Memit was nine and a quarter years, and a star phis was founded, and the patriarch Abraof the twelfth magnitude as it was four thou- ham wandered upon its surface. sand years ago.
In the immeasurably great number of These propositions are well known, and fixed stars which are scattered about in the have already been published in popular universe, floating in ether at a distance of works upon astronomy.
between fifteen and twenty billions of miles It is really marvellous that nobody has from us, reckoning backwards any given thought of reversing them, and of drawing number of years, doubtless a star could be the very remarkable and astonishing con- found which sees the past epochs of our earth clusions which pour upon us in a full stream as if existing now, or so nearly corresponding from the converse; and it is our intention to the time, that the observer need wait no here to examine the converse, and the in- long time to see its condition at the required ferences which may thence be drawn. moment.
The following is the relative view of the matter. As we have before remarked, we Let us here stop for a moment to make see the disc of the moon, not in the form in one of the inferences to be drawn from these which it now is, but as it was five quarters propositions, which we have laid down, and of a second before the time of observation. which are so clear and evident to every rea
In exactly the same way, an imaginary sonable mind. observer in the moon would not see the earth We have here a perfectly intelligible peras it was at the moment of observation, but ception of the idea of the omniscience of God as it was five quarters of a second before. with relation to past events. If we imagine An observer from the sun sees the earth as the Deity as a man with human powers, but it was eight minutes before. From Uranus in a far superior degree, it will be easy for the time between the reality and the per- us to attribute to Him the faculty and power ception by the eye being two hours and a of really overlooking and discerning, even balf apart, – if, for example, the summit of in the most minute particulars, every thing the Alps on a certain morning was illumined which may be sensibly and actually overby the first ray of the sun at six o'clock, an looked and seen from a real point of obserobserver in this planet, who was provided vation. either with the requisite power of vision or Thus, if we wish to comprehend how any a sufficiently good telescope, would see this past earthly deed or occurrence, even after indication of the rising of the sun at half thousands of years, is as distinctly and impast eight of our time.
mediately in God's presence as if it were An observer in Centaur can, of course, actually taking place before his eyes, it is never see the Northern hemisphere of the sufficient for our purpose to imagine Him earth, because this constellation never rises present at a certain point, at which the above our horizon. But supposing it pos- light and the reflection of the circumstance sible, and that an observer were standing in is just arriving. this star with sạch powerful vision as to be Supposing that this result is established; able to distinguish all particulars upon our Omniscience, with respect to the past, belittle earth, shining but feebly luminous in comes identical and one and the same thing its borrowed light, he would see, in the year with actual Omnipresence with regard to 1843, the public illuminations which, in the space. For, if we imagine the eye of God have indubitably the following result, attribute to a higher or the highest spirit that before the eye of this observer the en- the power of distinguishing and compretire history of the world, from the time of hending with accuracy every individual Abraham to the present day, passes by in wave in this astonishing stream. the space of an hour. For, when the mo- Hence, the notion, that the Deity makes tion commenced, he viewed the earth as it use of no measurement of time, is become was four thousand years ago; at the half-clear and intelligible to us. way, i. e., after half an hour, as it was two When it is written, “Before God a thouthousand years ago; after three quarters of sand years are as one day,” it is a mere an hour, as it was one thousand years ago; empty word, unless the idea is rendered and after an hour, as it now is.
perceptible to our senses. But when, as We want no further proof, and it is evi- we have done, by sensible and actual supdent, beyond the possibility of contradic- positions, we are enabled to show that it is tion, that if an observer were able to com- possible for a being simply endowed with prehend with his eye the whirling proces- a higher degree of human power to live sion of these consecutive images, he would through the history of four thousand years have lived through the entire history of the in a second, we think we have materially world, with all the events and transactions contributed to render intelligible the philowhich have happened in the hemisphere of sophical statement, that time is nothing exthe globe turned towards him, in a single isting for itself, but only the form and rehour. If we divide the hour into four thou- pceitory, without which we cannot imagine sand parts, so that about a second corre- its contents, viz., the series of consecutive sponds to cach, he has seen the events of a events. whole year in a single second. They have If time was something real and actually passed before him with all the particulars, existing, and necessary to the occurrence of all the motions and positions of the persons events, it would be impossible for that to occupied, with the entire changing scenery, take place in a shorter time which occurs and he has lived through them all, - every in a longer time. But here we see the enthing entire and unshortened, but only in tire contents of four thousand years concenthe quickest - succession, — and one hour trated into one second, and not mutilated was for him crowded with quite as many or isolated, but every event completely surevents as the space of four thousand years rounded with all its individual particulars. upon earth. If we give the observer power and collateral circumstances. The duration also to halt at pleasure in his path, as he is of time is, therefore, unnecessary for the tlying through the ether, he will be able to occurrence of events. Beginning and end represent to himself as rapidly as he pleases may coalesce, and still inclose every thing that moment in the world's history which intermediate. he wishes to observe at leisure; provided be remains at a distance when this moment Having thus laid our contemplations beof history appears to have just arrived; al- fore the reader, we will express a hope that lowing for the time which the light con- the images may appear as poetical and subsumes in travelling to the position of the lime to him as to us, and that an hitherto observer.
unknown clearness and insight has been Here again we leave to the fancy of the given to his ideas of the omniscience, omnipoet the prosecution of further details, and presence, and eternity of God. come to the conclusions which we intend to In conclusion, we must acknowledge 3 make.
slight deception practised on the reader, of As we imagined an observer from a star which we have rendered ourselves guilty of the twelfth magnitude capable of ap- with a quiet conscience. For the images proaching the earth in an hour, we will now of human and earthly events are not caronce more suppose that he can fly through ried forward into the universe upon the the space in a second; or, like the electro- wings of the light in so complete a manner, magnetic power, in an immeasurably short and without any exception, as we have time.
represented. For example, what takes He would now live through the period of place within the houses cannot be seen, four thousand years, with all their events, because the roofs and walls impede the completely, and as exactly in a moment of passage of rays, &c. time as he did before in the space of an Nevertheless, as we have frequently and hour.
expressly declared, we do not treat of a The human mind, it is true, grows giddy corporeal view, but of one indicated by at the thought of such a consecutive train possibility in the sense in which we have of images and events; but we can easily explained it; and we therefore consider