Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Chain down the winged thought, scoffing ascent,
Proud in their meanness; and themselves they cheat
With noisy emptiness of learned phrase,
Their subtle fluids, impacts, essences,
Self-working tools, uncaused effects, and all
Those blind omniscients, those almighty slaves,
Untenanting creation of its God.

But properties are God: the naked mass
(If mass there be, fantastic guess or ghost)
Acts only by its inactivity.
Here we pause humbly. Others boldlier think
That as one body seems the aggregate
Of atoms numberless, each organized ;
So by a strange and dim similitude
Infinite myriads of self-conscious minds
Are one all-conscious Spirit, which informs
With absolute ubiquity of thought
(His one eternal self-affirming act !)
All his involved Monads, that yet seem
With various province and apt agency
Each to pursue its own self-centring end.
Some nurse the infant diamond in the mine :
Some roll the genial juices through the oak:
Some drive the mutinous clouds to clash in air,
And rushing on the storm with whirlwind speed,
Yoke the red lightnings to their volleying car.
Thus these pursue their never-varying course,
No eddy in their stream. Others, more wild,
With complex interests weaving human fates,
Duteous or proud, alike obedient all,
Evolve the process of eternal good.

And what if some rebellious o'er dark realms
Arrogate power ? yet these train up to God,

And on the rude eye, unconfirmed for day,
Flash meteor-lights better than total gloom.
As ere from Lieule-Oaive's vapory head
The Laplander beholds the far-off sun
Dart his slant beam on unobeying snows,
While yet the stern and solitary night
Brooks no alternate sway, the Boreal Morn
With mimic lustre substitutes its gleam,
Guiding his course or by Niemi lake
Or Balda Zhiok,* or the mossy stone
Of Solfar-kapper, while the snowy blast
Drifts arrowy by, or eddies round his sledge,
Making the poor babe at its mother's backs
Scream in its scanty cradle; he the while
Wins gentle solace as with upward eye

* Balda Zhiok ; i. e. mons altitudinis, the highest mountain in Lapland.

+ Solfar Kapper; capitium Solfar, hic locus omnium quotquot veterum Lapponum superstitio sacrificiis religiosoque cultui dedicavit, celebratissimus erat, in parte sinus australis situs semimilliaris spatio a mari distans. Ipse locus, quem curiositatis gratia aliquando me invisisse memini duobus præaltis lapidibus, sibi invicem oppositis, quorum alter musco circumdatus erat, constabat.Leemius de Lapponibus.

# The Lapland women carry their infants at their back in a piece of excavated wood, which serves them for a cradle. Opposite to the infant's mouth there is a hole for it to breathe through.—Mirandum prorsus est et vix credibile nisi cui vidisse contigit. Lapones hyeme iter facientes per vastos montes, perque horrida et invia tesqua, ee presertim tempore quo omnia perpetuis nivibus obtecta sunt et nives ventis agitantur et in gyros aguntur, viam ad destinata loca absque errore invenire posse, lactantem autem infantem si quem habeat, ipsa mater in dorso bajulat, in excavato ligno (Gieed’k ipsi vocant) quod pro cunis utuntur: in hoc infans pamnis et pellibus convolutus colligatus jacet. - Leemius de Lapponibus.

He marks the streamy banners of the North,
Thinking himself those happy spirits shall join
Who there in floating robes of rosy light
Dance sportively. For Fancy is the power
That first unsensualizes the dark mind,
Giving it new delights; and bids it swell
With wild activity ; and peopling air,
By obscure fears of beings invisible,
Emancipates it from the grosser thrall
Of the present impulse, teaching self control,
Till Superstition with unconscious hand
Seat Reason on her throne. Wherefore not vain,
Nor yet without permitted power impressed,
I deem those legends terrible, with which
The polar ancient thrills his uncouth throng ;
Whether of pitying Spirits that make their moan
O’er slaughtered infants, or that giant bird
Vuokho, of whose rushing wings the noise
Is tempest, when the unutterable* shape
Speeds from the mother of Death, and utters once
That shriek, which never murderer heard, and lived.

Or if the Greenland Wizard in strange trance Pierces the untravelled realms of Ocean's bed Over the abysm, even to that uttermost cave By mis-shaped prodigies beleaguer'd, such As earth ne'er bred, nor air, nor the upper sea; Where dwells the Fury Form, whose unheard name With eager eye, pale cheek, suspended breath, And lips half-opening with the dread of sound, Unsleeping Silence guards, worn out with fear Lest haply 'scaping on some treacherous blast, The fateful word let slip the elements

* Jaibme Aibmo.

And frenzy Nature. Yet the wizard her,
Armed with Torngarsuck’s* power, the Spirit of

Good,
Forces to unchain the foodful progeny
Of the Ocean stream ;—thence through the realm of

Souls,
Where live the Innocent, as far from cares
As from the storms and overwhelming waves
That tumble on the surface of the Deep,
Returns with far-heard pant, hotly pursued
By the fierce Warders of the Sea, once more,
Ere by the frost foreclosed to repossess
His fleshly mansion, that had staid the while
In the dark tent within a cow'ring group
Untenanted.—Wild phantasies ! yet wise,
On the victorious goodness of high God
Teaching reliance, and medicinal hope,
Till from Bethabra northward, heavenly Truth
With gradual steps, winning her difficult way,
Transfer their rude Faith perfected and pure.

If there be beings of higher class than Man, I deem no nobler province they possess, Than by disposal of apt circumstance To rear up kingdoms; and the deeds they prompt,

They call the Good Spirit Torngarsuck. The other great but malignant spirit is a nameless Female; she dwells under the sea in a great house, where she can detain in captivity all the animals of the ocean by her magic power. When a dearth befalls the Greenlanders, an Angekok or magician must undertake a journey thither. He passes through the Kingdom of souls, over a horrible abyss into the Palace of this phantom, and by his enchantments causes the captive creatures to ascend directly to the surface of the ocean.-See Crantz's History of Greenland, vol. i. 206.

Distinguishing from mortal agency,
They choose their human ministers from such

states
As still the Epic song half fears to name,
Repelled from all the minstrelsies that strike
The palace-roof and soothe the monarch's pride.

And such, perhaps, the Spirit, who (if words
Witnessed by answering deeds may claim our faith)
Held commune with that warrior-maid of France
Who scourged the Invader. From her infant days,
With Wisdom, mother of retired thoughts,
Her soul had dwelt; and she was quick to mark
The good and evil thing, in human lore
Undisciplined. For lowly was her birth,
And Heaven had doomed her early years to toil,
That pure from tyranny's least deed, herself
Unfeared by fellow-natures, she might wait
On the poor laboring man with kindly looks,
And minister refreshment to the tired
Way-wanderer, when along the rough hewn bench
The sweltry man had stretched him, and aloft
Vacantly watched the rudely pictured board
Which on the mulberry-bough with welcome creak
Swung to the pleasant breeze, Here, too, the

Maid
Learnt more than schools could teach : Man's shift-

ing mind,
His vices and his sorrows! And full oft
At tales of cruel

wrong and strange distress
Had wept and shivered. To the tottering eld
Still as a daughter would she run: she placed
His cold limbs at the sunny door, and loved
To hear his story, in his garrulous sort,
Of his eventful years, all come and gone.

« VorigeDoorgaan »