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SOLITUDE.

saw

The autumnal sun, with melancholy ray
Towards the approach of twilight, from the west
Faintly shown out; some specks of fleecy cloud,
Scarce coloured by his glory, hovered round;
The wind was not; and, as the shadows threw
Their darkness far, the pausing spirit felt
The deep impressive stillness of that hour !
Sure never place was more forlorn : -I
Sole image of existence, the grey hawk,
Perched on an antique stone, once charactered
With figures, now all lichen overgrown.
Four sided rose the walls around me, dark,
And sprinkled with the moss of many a year,
Gray mouldering lime, and iron weather stains,
Piled in old times remote, by artisans
Long perished, leaving not a trace behind.
Hard by, in ancient times, a hamlet stood
Fair as tradition tells :its habitants
Sequestered from the busy scenes of life
Were simple and were peaceful, like the men
Of patriarchal days ; in love they dwelt,
In hope they died, and here were laid to rest.
Arising with the lark, at morn they drove
Their team afield; or, on the neighbouring hills
From wanderings and from danger kept their flocks,
The long blue summer through; and when the shows
D'erspread the verdant pasture, by the hearth

'Twas theirs to sing amid their household tasks;
Friendship together knit their willing hearts ;
Nor was love distant, with her rosy smile,
And laughing eyes, to bless the younger train:
Now where the hamlet stood, the fern and moss
Spread thick; with prickles armed, the bramble throws
Its snake like branches round; the broad leaved dock
Shoots rankly; and uncheck'd the nettles spring
Luxuriant with their tufts of hanging seed.
Silent--alone, one melancholy tree,
With rifted rind, and long, lean, hanging boughs,
Like skeleton arms, upon the withered heath
Stands desolate; and with its quivering leaf,
That, as in mockery, saws the twilight sky,
Whispers, how spareless time hath triumphed there!
How silent !-even the beating of my heart,
Feels an intrusion here:- the sward is dim
With moss and danky weeds, and lichened stones
That seem, as if from immemorial time,
Upon the same spot, to have lain untouched.
The very graves have mouldered to decay,
Tenantless-boneless,-clods of common earth:
The storms, the piercing winds, and splashing rains,
So long have beat upon them, and the snows,
Melting in spring, so often soaked them through
And through, that every undulating swell
Is levelled.

ERSKINE, ON THE TRIAL OF THE PUBLISHER OF PAINE'S “AGE OF REASON.”

The publication appears to me to be as cruel and mischievous in its effects, as it is manifestly illegal in its principles; because it strikes at the best-sometimes, alas! the only refuge and consolation amidst the distresses and afflictions of the world. The poor and the humble, whom it affects to pity may be stabbed to the heart by it. They have more occasion for firm hopes beyond the grave, than the rich and the prosperous, who have other comforts to render life delightful. I can conceive a distressed but virtuous man, surrounded by his chlidren, looking up to him for bread, when he has none to give them sinking under the last day's labour, and unequal to the next, yet, still supported by confidence in the hour when all tears shall be wiped from the eyes of affliction, bearing the burden laid on him by a mysterious Providence whom he adores, and anticipating, with exultation the revealed promises of his Creator,'when he shall be greater than the greatest, and happier than the happiest of mankind. What a change in such a mind might be wrought by such a merciless publication ! How any man can rationally vindicate the publication of such a book, in a country where the christian religion is the very foundation of the law, I am at a loss to conceive. How is a tribunal, whose whole jurisdiction is founded upon the solemn belief and practice of what is here denied as falsehood, and reprobated as impiety, to deal with such an anomalous defence? If tlie

religion proposed to be called in question, is not previously adopted in belief and solemnly acted upon, what authority has the Court to pass any judgment at all of acquittal or condemnation? Why am I now, or upon any other occasion, to submit to your Lordship’s authority ? Under what sanction are the witnesses to give their evidence, without which their can be no trial? Under what obligations can I call upon you, the Jury representing your country, to administer justice ? Surely upon no other than that you Are Sworn To Administer It Under The Oaths You Have Taken.The whole judicial fabric, from the King's sovereign authority to the lowest office of the magistracy, has no other foundation. The whole is built, both in form and substance, upon the same oath of every one of its ministers to do justice, as God Shall Help Them Hereafter ? What God? and What Hereafter? That God, undoubtedly, who has commanded Kings to rule ; and Judges to decree justice; who has said to witnesses, not only by the voice of nature, but by revealed religionThou Shalt Not Bear False Testimony Against Thy Neighbour ;—and who has enforced obedience to them by the revelations of the unutterable blessings which shall attend their observance, and the awful punishments which shall await their transgressions.

PSALM CII.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when

I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call, answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as a hearth. My head is smitten, and withered like

grass ; so that I forget to eat my bread. By the reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. . I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. Miné enemies reproach me all the day, and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, because of thine indignation and thy wrath; for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow that declineth ; and I am withered like grass. But thou, Ō Lord, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord : and all the Kings of the earth thy glory.When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in all his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.

This shall be written for generations to come : and the people which shall be created, shall praise the

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