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Thou hast been out upon the deep at play, Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray.
Nor I alone-a thousand bosoms round
Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse
The faint old man shall lean his silver head
To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep,
His temples, while his breathing grows more deep;
And softly part his curtains to allow
Go-but the circle of eternal change,
Which is the life of nature, shall restore,
O, WITH what glory comes and goes the year!The buds of spring-those beautiful harbingers Of sunny skies and cloudless times-enjoy Life's newness, and earth's garniture spread out; And when the silver habit of the clouds Comes down upon the autumn sun, and, with A sober gladness, the old year takes up His bright inheritance of golden fruits, A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.
There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
O, what a glory doth this world put on
Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings.
To his long resting-place without a tear.
Studies of Nature.-MUDIE.
THE cheapest, the most accessible, and, at the same time, the most instructive and delightful, of all studies, is the study of Nature. The student of literature must have his library, the natural philosopher or the chemist his apparatus, and the student of man his annals and records, which are always imperfect, and the greater part of his time must be spent in establishing their truth or detecting their falsehood.
All these must be out of the living world, as it were— must abstract themselves from the sun, the sky, the earth, and the sea, and keep aloof from the charms and fascinations of that world of wonders, that creation of beauties and utilities, which is so abundant, so universal, and so fitted for the gratification of the human mind, that the very first time that an infant exercises its feet upon the sward, or stretches its arms in the open air, it is to chase butterflies or cull wild flowers. And, unless where the enchantments of society allure, or the hardships of life compel, this the first and fondest attraction, retains its freshness to the last.
If pleasure, unmixed with forecastings of retributive, bitterness, is sought-if the body is to be recruited after the exhaustion of disease-if the wounded spirit is to be healed after the anguish of privation or the agony of misfortune— nay, if there is any hope that reason shall resume her power, after the pressure on the mind has been more than its strength, the 'joy that bringeth no sorrow '-the medicine for the disease--the balm for the wounded spirit--the asylum for the wandering mind—are found nowhere but in the sunny glades, the green canopies, and the life-imparting breezes of nature.
So, also, when the strength has failed, and the common occupations of life can no longer be followed, and its common amusements can no longer give pleasure-when wealth becomes uneasiness, honor a burden, the banquet palls on the appetite, and the ear is dull to the sounds of music, and the eye dim to all the panoply of grandeur-place but the sufferer in society upon a green slope, where the landscape spreads wide and full before him, with its clustering woods, its opening glades, its blue uplands, and its varied and varying lights and shadows; with its sparkling cataracts, its
glittering streams, and glassy lakes; with its flocks, its herds, and its wild animals, roaming from pasture to pasture, or bounding from cover to cover; with its flowers of every spot; and on every spray, its living inhabitants, from the eagle that dashes heavenward, defying the ardors of the sun, to the eel that leaves not the ooze at the bottom of the water, save to perform its curious migration to the sea: when the inspiring breath of the sweet southwest just puts the twigs and leaves into life, and the light summer clouds, flinging their shadows, now here, now there, make the one view a thousand, ere the throbs of the renovated heart have counted the half of that number; when, in short, all nature is 'beauty to the eye, music to the ear,' essence to the smell, and life to the spirit;-there comes a new lustre on the eye, a young perception on all the senses; the arteries have more elasticity; the whole system, that was withering in art, waxes green in nature; and even near the brink of the grave inan feels a triumph over death-a consciousness of immortality which no skepticism can shake, and no mortal misery cloud. But this study is as important in fact as it is delightful in feeling. All that the human race can possess, or enjoy, or know, and the foundations or the proofs of all that they can believe, are contained in the existence, the appearances, and the laws (that is, the successions of appearances,) of that vast and wonderful structure to which we give the name of Nature.
It is at once the building and the book of the living God:' the elder volume as compared with the book of Revelation, above all price as that is, and inestimable as are the blessings which it confers on man. That sacred volume is, as it were, only a special statute, given in the most beneficent mercy, but given only to one race, and for one purpose-a grand and paramount purpose, I grant, but still only one. It is the law and the testimony' to man, for virtue in the present life, for hope in the life to come, and for enjoyment, for the only secure happiness and bliss, in both. But that which is written on the earth and the sea, and of which the lines extend farther into the sky than wing can cleave or imagination penetrate, is the law and the testimony' to more races of beings than human arithmetic or even human fancy can number.
Those which can be observed, with little trouble and no artificial aid, amount to many thousands of distinct tribes and races, each having appearances and characters by which
it is distinguished from the others, and exhibiting at one time, even in a small space, more individuals than could be counted. Who, for instance, would undertake to number the stalks of wheat in one field, the blades of grass that carpet one meadow, the plants on one heath, the fishes in one shoal, the sea birds that fly and scream round one rock, or the flies which, in one sunny hour after the rain has beaten to the earth or cast on the water all their ancestors, wanton over the surface of one pool? But these extents are but as so many mere points, compared with the whole surface of the earth; and the time during which they can be observed, even though it were extended to the whole life of the observer, is not as a moment to a year, compared with the duration of recorded time.
The Love of our Country strengthened by the Observation of Nature.-MUDIE.
THE Author of the Creation has so tempered the productions of the earth and the waters, and the changes and the appearances of the atmosphere, to the wants of man in every zone, from the burning equator to the icy pole, that, amid all the varieties of season and climate, the man, who knows and loves his country (and knowing it he cannot but love it), thinks his own country the very best; and would migrate in sorrow from the ice-clad rocks of Labrador, to the perpetual spring and unchanging verdure of the Atlantic isles.
The Bedouin, who careers over the sandy plain, fleet as the whirlwind, carrying his handful of dates for his day's repast, and marching twenty miles to the palm-encircled pool, at which he is to quench his thirst, would not give up the joy of the wilderness for the fattest plains and the most gorgeous cities. cities. He has known nature, and seen the working of nature's God in the desert, and beyond that, or higher than that, the very excess and perfection of man's working cannot give him pleasure.
And who are they, whose ancestry in their present localities stretches backward, till its fading memorials out-measure, not only all that has been written, but all that has been