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had withered in its embrace. It seemed like Laöc'oön' struggling ineffectually in the hideous coils of the monster Python." It was the liön of trees perishing in the embraces of a vegetable Boa.

3. I am fond of listening to the conversation of English gentlemen on rural concerns, and of noticing with what taste and discrimination, and what strong, unaffected interest, they will discuss topics, which, in other countries, are abandoned to mere woodmen or rustic cultivators. I have heard a noble earl descant on park and forest scenery, with the science and feeling of a painter. He dwelt on the shape and beauty of particular trees on his estate with as much pride and technical precision as though he had been discussing the merits of statues in his collection. I found that he had gone considerable distances to examine trees which were celebrated among rural amateurs'; for it seems that trees, like horses, have their established points of excellence, and that there are some in England which enjoy very extensive celebrity from being perfect in their kind.

4. There is something nobly simple and pure in such a taste. It argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature, to have this strong relish for the beauties of vegetation, and this friendship for the hardy and glorious sons of the forest. There is a grandeur of thought connected with this part of rural economy. It is, if I may be allowed the figure, the heroic line of husbandry. It is worthy of liberal, and free-born, and aspiring men. He who plants an oak looks forward to future ages, and plants for posterity. Nothing can be less selfish than this. He can not expect to sit in its shade nor enjoy its shelter; but he exults in the idea that the acorn which he has buried in the earth shall grow up into a lofty pile, and shall keep on flourishing, and increas


La ŏco on, a Trojan, and a priest of Apollo, who tried to dissuade his countrymen from drawing into the city the wooden horse of the Greeks, which finally caused the overthrow of Troy. When preparing to sacrifice a bull to Neptune, two fearful serpents suddenly rushed upon him and his two sons, and strangled them. His death formed the subject of many ancient works of art; and a magnificent group, representing the father

and his two sons entwined by the two serpents, is still extant, and preserved in the Vatican, at Rome.

'Python, a celebrated serpent that lived in the caves of Mount Parnassus, but was slain by Apollo, who founded the Pythian games in commemoration of his victory, and received, in consequence, the surname Pythius. This, however, was not one of the serpents that destroyed Laocoon.

ing, and benefiting mankind, long after he shall have ceased to tread his paternal fields.

5. Indeed, it is the nature of such occupations to lift the thought above mere worldliness. As the leaves of trees are said to absorb all noxious qualities of the air, and breathe fōrth a purer atmosphere, so it seems to me as if they drew from us all sordid and angry passions, and breathed forth peace and philănthropy. There is a serene and settled majesty in woodland scenery that enters into the soul, and dilates and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations. The ancient and hereditary groves, too, that embower this island, are most of them full of story. They are haunted by the recollections of the great spirits of past ages, who have sought for relaxation among them, from the tumult of arms, or the toils of state, or have wooed the muse beneath their shade.

6. It is becoming, then, for the high and generous spirits of an ancient nation to cherish these sacred groves that surround their ancestral mansions, and to perpetuate them to their descendants. Brought up, as I have been, in republican habits and principles, I can feel nothing of the serv'ile reverence for titled rank, merely because it is titled. But I trust I am neither churl nor bigot in my creed. I do see and feel how hereditary distinction, when it falls to the lot of a generous mind, may elevate that mind into true nobility.

7. It is one of the effects of hereditary rank, when it falls thus happily, that it multiplies the duties, and, as it were, extends the existence of the possessor. He does not feel himself a mere individual link in creation, responsible only for his own brief term of being. He carries back his existence in proud recollection, and he extends it forward in honorable anticipation. He lives with his ancestry, and he lives with his posterity. To both does he consider himself involved in deep responsibilities. As he has received much from those that have gone before, so he feels bound to transmit much to those who are to come after him.

8. His domestic undertakings seem to imply a longer existence than those of ordinary men. None are so apt to build and plant for future centuries, as noble-spirited men who have received their heritages from foregoing ages. I can easily imagine, therefore, the fondness and pride with which I have noticed English gentlemen, of generous temperaments, but high aristo

cratic feelings, contem'plating those magnificent trees, which rise like towers and pyramids from the midst of their paternal lands. There is an affinity between all natures, animate and inanimate. The oak, in the pride and lustihood of its growth, seems to me to take its range with the lion and the eagle, and to assimilate, in the grandeur of its attributes, to heroic and intellectual man.

9. With its mighty pillar rising straight and direct toward heaven, bearing up its leafy honors from the impurities of earth, and supporting them aloft in free air and glorious sunshine, it is an emblem of what a true nobleman should be; a refuge for the weak,—a shelter for the oppressed,—a defence for the defenceless; warding off from them the peltings of the storm, or the scorching rays of arbitrary power. He who is this, is an ornament and a blessing to his native land. He who is otherwise, abuses his eminent advantages ;-abuses the grandeur and prosperity which he has drawn from the bosom of his country. Should tempests arise, and he be laid prostrate by the storm, who would mourn over his fall? Should he be borne down by the oppressive hand of power, who would murmur at his fate?" WHY CUMBERETH HE THE GROUND?" IRVING.




HE groves were God's first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them,―ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems,-in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences,
That, from the stilly twilight of the place,
And from the gray old trunks, that, high in heaven,
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the invisible breath, that swayed at once

All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
His spirit with the thought of boundless Power



And inaccessible Majesty. Ah! why

Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect

God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore

Only among the crowd, and under roofs

That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least,
Here, in the shadow of this agèd wood,

Offer one hymn; thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in his ear.

Father, thy hand

Hath reared these venerable columns: thou

Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose

All these fair ranks of trees. They in thy sun
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
And shot toward heaven. The century-living crow,
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
Among their branches; till, at last, they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshiper to hold
Communion with his Maker.

Here are seen

No traces of man's pomp or pride; no silks
Rustle, no jewels shine, nor envious eyes
Encounter; no fantastic carvings show

The boast of our vain race to change the form
Of thy fair works. But thou art here; thou fill'st
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds

That run along the summits of these trees

In music; thou art in the cooler breath,

That, from the inmost darknèss of the place,

Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground, The fresh, moist ground, are all instinct with thee. 4. Here is continual worship; nature, here,

In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird

Passes; and yon clear spring, that, midst its herbs,
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale

Of all the good it does.


Thou hast not left

Thyself without a witness, in these shades,

Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace,
Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak-
By whose immovable stem I stand, and seem
Almost annihilated-not a prince,

In all the proud old world beyond the deep,
E'er wore his crown as loftily as he

Wears the green coronal of leaves, with which
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower,
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mold,
An emanation of the indwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,
That are the soul of this wide universe.

6. My heart is awed within me, when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on,
In silence, round me-the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
Forever. Written on thy works, I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.


Lo! all grow old and die but see, again,
How, on the faltering footsteps of decay,
Youth presses-ever gay and beautiful youth-
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
Mölder beneath them.

One of earth's charms

Oh! there is not lost

upon her bosom yet,

After the flight of untold centuries,

The freshness of her far beginning lies,
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch enemy Death; yea, seats himself
Upon the sepulcher, and blooms and smiles,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe

Makes his own noŭrishment. For he came forth
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.

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