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His banks are hoary with the whistling reeds,
The waving willows fringe his borders still,
Where the poor captive Israelites would sit,
And weep for Zion;-where their silent harps
Hung o'er the stream, nor gave one plaintive sound,
Save when the wind swept o'er their broken chords,
And made wild music as the captives wept.
And these are all that tell of Babylon!
The foot of man hath rarely trodden there,
And never staid. These fragments scattered round,
These birds and savage beasts, this solitude,
This death-like stillness, and this widowed stream,
All witness to the world the awful fate
Of her, whose crimes had mounted up to heaven,
And drawn the vengeance down which seers foretold,
And long has been accomplished. She shall be—
That mighty Babylon, Chaldea's pride,
Glorious among the kingdoms of the earth-
No more inhabited forever;-nor
Shall the Arabian's tent be fastened there:
Serpents shall fill her houses, beasts shall roam
Free in her temples and wide palaces;
They that pass by shall hiss at all her plagues,
And in astonishment exclaim, "How changed
Is Babylon! how lone and desert now
Among the nations!"...None shall build her up;
Forever she shall lie, wasted, and spoiled,
And desolate---The Lord hath spoken it!'
I HAD a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came, and went-and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings-the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanoes, and their mountain torch.
A fearful hope was all the world contained:
Forests were set on fire-but hour by hour
They fell and faded-and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash—and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnashed their teeth and howled: the wild birds shrieked,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawled
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless-they were slain for food:
And war, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again;—a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought--and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails-men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured.
Even dogs assailed their masters-all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws! himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress-he died.
The crowd was famished by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place,
Where had been heaped a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they raked up,
And shivering scraped, with their cold skeleton hands,
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects-saw, and shrieked, and died—
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was, upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—
A lump of death-a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean, all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropped,
They slept on the abyss without a surge
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perished; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them-She was the universe.
The Philosopher's Scales.-JANE TAYLOR.
WHAT were they?-you ask: you shall presently see;
These scales were not made to weigh sugar and tea;
O no;-for such properties wondrous had they,
That qualities, feelings, and thoughts they could weigh,
Together with articles, small or immense,
From mountains or planets to atoms of sense;
Nought was there so bulky but there it could lay,
And nought so ethereal but there it would stay;
And nought so reluctant but in it must go:-
'All which some examples more clearly will show.
The first thing he tried was the head of Voltaire,
Which retained all the wit that had ever been there;
As a weight he threw in a torn scrap of a leaf,
Containing the prayer of the penitent thief;
When the skull rose aloft with so sudden a spell,
As to bound like a ball on the roof of his cell.
Next time he put in Alexander the Great,
With a garment that Dorcas had made—for a weight;
And though clad in armor from sandals to crown,
The hero rose up, and the garment went down.
A long row of alms-houses, amply endowed
By a well-esteemed Pharisee, busy and proud,
Now loaded one scale, while the other was prest
By those mites the poor widow dropped into the chest;
Up flew the endowment, not weighing an ounce,
And down, down, the farthing's worth came with a bounce.
By further experiments (no matter how)
He found that ten chariots weighed less than one plough
A sword, with gilt trappings, rose up in the scale,
Though balanced by only a tenpenny nail.
A lord and a lady went up at full sail,
When a bee chanced to light on the opposite scale.
Ten doctors, ten lawyers, two courtiers, one earl,—
Ten counsellors' wigs full of powder and curl,—
All heaped in one balance, and swinging from thence,
Weighed less than some atoms of candor and sense;—
A first-water diamond, with brilliants begirt,
Than one good potato just washed from the dirt;-
Yet not mountains of silver and gold would suffice,
One pearl to outweigh-'t was 'the pearl of great price!'
At last the whole world was bowled in at the grate, With the soul of a beggar to serve for a weight;When the former sprung up with so strong a rebuff, That it made a vast rent, and escaped at the roof—
While the scale with the soul in 't so mightily fell,
That it jerked the philosopher out of his cell.
Character of Martin Luther.-ROBERTSON.
As Luther was raised up by Providence to be the author of one of the greatest and most interesting revolutions recorded in history, there is not any person perhaps whose character has been drawn with such opposite colors. In his own age, one party, struck with horror and inflamed with sage, when they saw with what a daring hand he overturned every thing which they held to be sacred, or valued as beneficial, imputed to him not only all the defects and vices of a man, but the qualities of a demon.
The other, warmed with the admiration and gratitude which they thought he merited as the restorer of light and liberty to the Christian church, ascribed to him perfections above the condition of humanity, and viewed all his actions with a veneration bordering on that which should be paid only to those, who are guided by the immediate inspiration of Heaven. It is his own conduct, not the undistinguishing censure or the exaggerated praise of his contemporaries, that ought to regulate the opinions of the present age concerning him.
Zeal for what he regarded as truth, undaunted intrepidity to maintain his own system, abilities, both natural and acquired, to defend his principles, and unwearied industry in propagating them, are virtues which shine so conspicuously in every part of his behavior, that even his enemies must allow him to have possessed them in an eminent degree. To these may be added, with equal justice, such purity of manners, as became one who assumed the character of a reformer; such sanctity of life as suited the doctrine which he delivered, and such perfect disinterestedness as affords no slight presumption of his sincerity.
His extraordinary qualities were alloyed with no inconsiderable mixture of human frailty and human passions. These however were of such a nature, that they cannot be imputed to malevolence or corruption of heart, but seem to