Images de page

Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the elements!

Utter forth "GOD!" and fill the hills with praise.

7. Once more, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peak, Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,

[ocr errors]

Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast,-
Thou, too, again, stupendous mountain! thou,
That, as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow-traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemèst, like a vapory cloud,
To rise before mc-rise, oh ever rise,

Rise, like a cloud of incense, from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises GOD!





ASSING out through a forest of larches, whose dark verdure

is peculiarly appropriate to it, and going up toward the baths' of Leuk,' the interèst of the landscape does not at all diminish. What a concentration and congregation of all elements of sublimity and beauty are before you! what surprising contrasts of light and shade, of form and color, of softness and ruggedness! Here are vast heights above you, and vast depths below, villages hanging to the mountain sides, green pasturages and winding paths, lovely meadow slopes enameled with flowers, deep immeasurable ravines', torrents thundering down them; colossal, overhanging, castellated' reefs of granite; snowy peaks with the setting sun upon them.

2. You command a view far down over the valley of the

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

Rhöne, with its villages and castles, and its mixture of rich farms and vast beds and heaps of mountain fragments, deposited by furious torrents. What affects the mind very powerfully on first entering upon these scenes, is the deep dark blue, so intensely deep and overshadowing, of the gorge at its upper end, and at the magnificent proud sweep of the granite barrier, which there shuts it in, apparently without a passage. The mountains rise like vast supernatural intelligences taking a material shape, and drawing around themselves a drapery of awful grandeur; there is a forehead of power and majesty, and the likeness of a kingly crown above it.

3. Amidst all the grandeur of this scenery, I remember to have been in no place more delighted with the profuse richness, delicacy, and beauty of the Al'pine flowers. The grass of the meadow slopes, in the gorge of the Dala, had a depth and power of verdure, a clear, delicious greenness, that in its effect upon the mind was like that of the atmosphere in the brightest autumnal morning of the year; or rather, perhaps, like the colors of the sky at sunset. There is no such grass-color in the world as that of these mountain meadows. It is just the same at the verge of the ice oceans of Mount Blanc. It makes you think of one of the points chosen by the Sacred Poët to illustrate the divine benevolence (and I had almost said, no man can truly understand why it was chosen, who has not traveled in Switzerland), "Who maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains.”

[ocr errors]

4. And then the flowers, so modèst, so lovely, yet of such deep ex'quisite hue, enameled in the grass, sparkling ǎmidst it, a starry multitude,” underneath such awful brooding mountain forms and icy precipices-how beautiful! All that the poets have ever said or sung of daisies, violets, snow-drops, king-cups, primroses, and all modest flowers, is here outdone by the mute poëtry of the denizens of these wild pastures. Such a meadow slope as this, watered with pure rills from the glăciërs, would have set the mind of Edwards' at work in contemplation on the

1 Jonathan Edwards, one of the first metaphysicians of his age, author of an "Essay on the Freedom of the Will," was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, October 5th, 1703. He entered Yale College in

his thirteenth year; graduated with the highest honors; and continued his residence in the institution for two years, for the study of theol. ogy. He first preached to a congregation in New York, in his nine

beauty of holiness. He has connected these meek and lowly flowers with an image, which none (nun) of the poets of this world have ever thought of.

5. To him the divine beauty of holiness "made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers; all pleasant, delightful, and undisturbed; enjoying a sweet calm, and the gentle, vivifying beams of the sun. The soul of a true Christian appears like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the year; low and humble on the ground; opening its bosom to receive the pleasant beams of the sun's glory; rejoicing, as it were, in a calm rapture; diffusing around a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and lovingly in the midst of other flowers round about; all in like manner opening their bosoms to drink in the light of the sun."

6. Věry likely such a passage as this, coming from the soul of the great theölögiän (for this is the poëtry of the soul, and not of the artificial sentiment, nor of the mere worship of nature), will seem to many persons like viölets in the bosom of a glac'iër. But no poet ever described the meek, modest flowers so beautifully, rejoicing in a calm rapture. Jonathan Edwards himself, with his grand views of sacred theology and history, his living piëty, and his great experience in the deep things of God, was like a mountain glacier, in one respect, as the "par'ent of perpetual streams," that are then the deepèst, when all the fountains of the world are the driest; like, also, in another respect, that in climbing his theology you get very near to heaven, and are in a very pure and bracing atmosphere; like, again, in this, that it requires much spiritual labor and discipline to surmount his heights, and some care not to fall into the crevuss'es; and like, once more, in this, that when you get to the top, you have a vast,' wide, glorious view of God's great plan, and see things in their chains and connections, which before you only saw separate and piecemeal.


GEORGE B. CHEEVER was born at Hallowell, Maine, on the 17th of April, 1807. He was graduated at Bowdoin College, September, 1825, studied theology at Andover, was licensed to preach in 1830, and was first settled as pastor over Howard Street church of Salem, Massachusetts. He went to Europe in 1836, teenth year. He preached in North- stalled president of Princeton College ampton twenty-three years: was in January, 1758; and died on the missionary to the Indians near Stock- 22d of March of the same year. bridge, Mass., for six years; was in- 1 Vast, (våst), see Note 3, p. 22.

where he spent two years and six months. In 1839 he became pastor of the Allen Street church, New York, and in 1846 of the Church of the Puritans, a position which he still retains. In 1844 he again visited Europe for a year. Dr. Cheever is celebrated as a logician. He has a keen analytical mind, and combining fancy with logic, succeeds equally well in allegory and in argumentation. Ilis numerous and valuable works have gained him an enviable position in American literature. He has written extensively for our ablest reviews and periodicals. He was a valuable correspondent of the "New York Observer," when in Europe, and editor of the "New York Evangelist" during 1845 and 1846. He is now a contributor of "The Independent." His "Lectures on Pilgrim's Progress," published in 1843, and "Voices of Nature," 1852, are among the ablest of his productions, and indicate most truly his mode and range of thought. "Wanderings of a Pilgrim in the Shadow of Mont Blanc and the Yungfrau Alp," from which the above extract is taken, published in 1846, on his return from his second visit to Europe, met with a very favorable reception. As a writer he is always clear and unimpassioned; he sees and hears and describes, never falling, through excess of feeling, into confusion, or figure, or redundancy of expression. The reader is strengthened by his power, calmed by his tranquillity, and incited to self-denying and lofty views, by his earnest and vigorous presentation of truth.




BOVE me are the Alps-most glorious Alps

The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
And throned Eternity in icy halls

Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche-the thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet appalls,
Gather around these summits, as to show

How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.
2. Lake Lēman' woos me with its crystal face,-

The mirror, where the stars and mountains view
The stillness of their aspect in each trace

Its clear depth yields of their far height and hue.
There is too much of man here, to look through,
With a fit mind, the might which I behold;

But soon in me shall loneliness renew

1Le' man or Geneva, a crescentshaped lake of Europe, between Switzerland and the Sardinian States. Length, forty-five miles; breadth, from one to nine and a half miles; and greatest depth, nine hundred and

eighty-four feet. Its waters, which are never entirely frozen over, have a peculiar deep-blue color, are very transparent, and contain a great variety of fish. Steam navigation was introduced in 1823.

Thoughts hid, but not less cherished than of old,
Ere mingling with the herd that penned me in their fold.
3. Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake

With the wide world I've dwelt in is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing

To waft me from distraction; once I loved

Tōrn ocean's roar; but thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,

That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moved.
4. It is the hush of night; and all between

Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,

Save darkened Jura,' whose capped heights appear
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,

There breathes a living fragrance from the shōre,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,

Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol mōre.
5. He is an evening reveler, who makes

His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill ;-
But that is fancy; for the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love distill,
Weeping themselves away till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.
6. Ye stars! which are the poëtry of heaven,
If, in your bright leaves, we would read the fate
Of men and empires,-'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,

'Jura, (jo' ra), a chain of mountains which separates France from Switzerland, extending for one hundred and eighty miles in the form of a curve, from S. to N. E., with a mean

breadth of thirty miles. One of the culminating points, and the highest, is Mount Molesson six thousand five hundred and eighty-eight feet above the level of the sea.

« PrécédentContinuer »