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Still they were faithful ;1 like two vessels launch'd
But turn we rather, let my spirit turn
O gift divine of quiet sequestration!
Fob ever hallow'd be this morning fair,
Blest be th' unconscious shore on which ye tread,
. Since the publication of Talfoiml's Final, Memorials of Chariot Lamb, in 1848, the 1M tier hei e referred to has become well known. Mary Lamb was subject to dreadfnl turns of insanity, during which she had to be separated from her brother, and kept in close confinement. In a letter to Coleridge, dated September 27, ]79!>, Lamb has the following: " My poor dear, dearest sister, in a tit of msanity, has been the death of her own mother. I was at hand only time enough to snatch the knife out of her giasp. She is at present in a madhouse, from whence I fear she must be moved to an hospital."
2 Of this series of Sonnets, much the greater number are not pariicularly suited to the purpose of this volume. But some of them, besides being exceedingly beautiful in themselves, are fully in keeping with that purpose, and are withal so mellow with Christian gentleness and w isdom, thut J could not make up my mind to leavi llicm out.
And blest the silver Cross, which ye, instead
Of martial banner, in procession bear ;
The Cross preceding Him who floats in air,
The pictured Saviour ! — By Augustin led,
They come, and onward travel without dread,
Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayer, —
Sung for themselves, and those whom they would freel
Rich conquest waits them : — the tempestuous sea
Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high,
And heeded not the voice of clashing swords,
These good men humble by a few bare words,
And calm with fear of God's divinity.
But, to remote Northumbria's royal Hail,
Where thoughtful Edwin, tutor'd'in the school
Of sorrow, still maintains a heathen rule,
Who comes with functions apostolical ?
Mark him, of shoulders curved, and stature tall,
Black hair, and vivid eye, and meagre cheek,
His prominent feature like an eagle's beak;
A Man whose aspect doth at once appal
And strike with reverence.* The Monarch leans
Toward the pure truths this Delegate propounds ;
Repeatedly his own deep mind he sounds
With careful hesitation ; then convenes
A synod of his Councillors: — give ear,
And what a pensive Sage doth ntter, hear!
"man's life is like a Sparrow, mighty King!
The person of Pnulinus is thus described by Berte, from the memory of an eyeq. «' Longae statursa, paululum incurvus. nigro capillo. flacio macileut^, niiso ^erteuui, venerabilis simtil et terribilis aspectu."
This mystery if the Stranger can reveal,
Prompt transformation works the novel Lore:
The Council closed, the Priest in full career
Rides forth, an armM man, and hurls a spear
To deseerate the Fane which heretofore
He served in folly. Woden falls, and Thor
Is overturn'd; the mace, in battle heaved
(So might they dream) till victory was achieved,
Drops, and the God himself is seen no more.
Temple and Altar sink, to hide their shame
Amid oblivious weeds. — O, come to me,
Ye heavy laden! such th' inviting voice
Heard near fresh streams;6 and thousands, who rejoice
In the new Kite, — the pledge of sanctity, —
Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim.
PRIMITIVE SAXON CLERGY.*
How beantiful your presence, how benign,
Servants of God! who not a thought will share
With the vain world; who, outwardly as bare
As winter trees, yield no fallacious sign
That the firm soul is clothed with fruit divine!
Such Priest, when service worthy of his care
lias call'd him forth to breathe the common air,
Might seem a saintly Image from its shrine
Descended: — happy are the eyes that meet
The Apparition ; evil thoughts are stay'd
At his approach, and low-bow'd necks entreat
A benediction from his voice or hand;
Whence grace, through which the heart can imderstand,
And vows, that bind the will, in silence made.
Lance, shield, and sword relinquish'!!, at his side
4 Tiie original of this speech is given by Bcile; and the Conversion of Ei 1 win as I elated by him is highly interesting.
5 The early propagators of Christianity were accustomed to preach near rivers, for tho convenience of baptism.
(i Having spoken of the zeal, disinterested those Limes, IJedc thus proceeds: " Undo et ii religionis habitus, ita ut ubh'imque clerici gaudcnter al, omnibus tan(|uam Dei famul porgcns invenlretnr, nccurrebant, et llexa. ce
less, and temperance of the clergy of magna erat veneratione tempore illo s iujqnis, ant immachus adveniret, i8 exciperetur. Ktiam si in itinere vice, vcl maim siguari, vel ore illius
ee bcnedici, gandebuut. Verbis quoquu horum exhortatoriis diligenter audituui priebebant."
Or staff more harmless than a shepherd's erook,
But what if One, through grove or flowery mead,
Indulging thus at will the ereeping feet
Of a voluptuous indolence, should meet
Thy hovering Shade, O venerable Bcde !
The saint, the scholar, from a circle freed
Of toil stupendous, in a hallow'd seat
Of learning, where thou heard'st the billows beat
On a wild coast, — rough monitors, to feed
Perpetual industry. Sublime Recluse !
The reereant soul, that dares to shun the debt
Imposed on human kind, must first forget
Thy diligence, thy unrelaxing use
Of a long life ; and, in the hour of death,
The last dear service of thy passing breath!T
MISSIONS AND TRAVELS.
Not sedentary all: there are who roam
To scatter seeds of life on barbarous shores;
Or quit with zealous step their knee-worn floors
To seek the general mart of Christendom;
Whence they, like richly-laden merchants, come
To their beloved cells: — or shall we say
That, like the Red-cross Knight, they urge their way,
To lead in memorable triumph home
Truth, their immortal Una? Babylon,
Learned and wise, hath perish'd utterly.
Nor leaves her Speech one word to aid the sigh
That would lament her; — Memphis, Tyre, are gone
With all their Arts, — but classic lore glides on
By these Religious saved for all posterity.
T He expired dictating the last words of a translation of St. John's Gospel. ALFRED.
Behold a pupil of the monkish gown,
The pious Alfred, King to Justice dear!
Lord of the harp and liberating spear;
Mirror of Princes ! Indigent Renown
Might range the starry ether for a crown
Equal to Ms deserts, who, like the year,
Pours forth his bounty, like the day doth cheer,
And awes like night with mercy-temper'd frown.
Ease from this noble miser of his time
No moment steals; pain narrows not his cares.*
Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem,
Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem,
And Christian India, through her wide-spread clime.
In saered converse gifts. with Alfred shares.
When thy great soul was freed from mortal chains,
Darling of England ! many a bitter shower
Fell on thy tomb; bnt emulative power
Flow'd in thy line through undegenerate veins.
The Race of Alfred covet glorious pains
When dangers threaten, dangers ever new!
Black tempest bursting, blacker still in view!
But manly sovereignty its hold retains;
The root sincere, the branches bold to strive
With the fierce tempest, while, within the round
Of their protection, gentle virtues thrive;
As oft, 'mid some green plot of open ground,
Wide as the oak extends its dewy gloom,
The foster'd hyacinths spread their purple bloom.
A Pleasant music floats along the Mere,
From Monks in Ely chanting service high,
While-as Canute the King is rowing by:
"My Oarsmen," quoth the mighty King, "draw near,
That we the sweet song of the Monks may hear!"
He listens, (all past conquests and all schemes
Of future vanishing like empty dreams,)
Heart-touch'd, and haply not withont a tear.
The Royal Minstrel, ere the choir is still,
While his free Barge skims the smooth Hood along,
Gives to that rapture an accordant Rhyme.
i Through the whole of his life, Alfred was subject to grievous mala'lioB.