Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

theology, which would puzzle the rudest peasant. We have observed several pages which do not contain a single word of more than two syllables. Yet no writer has said more exactly what he meant to say. For magnificence, for pathos, for vehement exhortation, for subtle disquisition, for every purpose of the poet, the orator, and the divine, this homely dialect, the dialect of plain working men, was perfectly sufficient. There is no book in our literature on which we would so readily stake the fame of the unpolluted English language, no book which shows so well how rich that language is in its own proper wealth, and how little it has been improved Macaulay. by all that it has borrowed.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][graphic]

THE LAST MAN.

ALL worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,

The sun himself must die,

Before this mortal shall assume

Its immortality!

I saw a vision in my sleep

That gave my spirit strength to sweep
Adown the gulf of Time!

I saw the last of human mould,
That shall creation's death behold,
As Adam saw her prime!

The sun's eye had a sickly glare,
The earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were

Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight,-the brands
Still rusted in their bony hands;

In plague and famine some!

Earth's cities had no sound nor tread;
And ships were drifting with the dead

To shores where all was dumb!

Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,
With dauntless words and high,

That shook the sere leaves from the wood

As if a storm pass'd by

Saying, We are twins in death, proud sun, Thy face is cold, thy race is run,

'Tis mercy bids thee go;

For thou ten thousand thousand years
Hast seen the tide of human tears,

That shall no longer flow.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« VorigeDoorgaan »