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Unworthy our regard?—This is too hard
AETIUS THE UN BELIEVER.
As he who sails aloof Upon the perilous Atlantic, vex'd By baffling gales, what time his gallant bark Or on the summit of some dark blue wave Storm-beaten rides, or plunges into the chasm From that tremendous altitude, and straight Lies in his trough becalm’d, as if the grave Had swallow'd her; nathless undaunted sets His fix’d regard upon the starry vault, And notes the hour, and frequent calculates Distance and bearings, and with skill corrects The errors of his course. So darkling steer'd Aëtius, through the shoals and fearful blasts Of his tempestuous time, but never found That anchorage, secure from every change Of fitful gales, that haven, which the just Alone inherit: for the sons of earth, Who, vex'd with vain disquietude, pursue Ambition's fatuous light, through miry pools That yawn for their destruction, stray foredoom'd Amid delusive shadows to their end. That certain hope, which shineth evermore A beacon to the righteous, over them Its peaceful radiance never shall diffuse; And bitterness shall be the bread they chew, While striving to devour the portion snatch'd By strong injustice from their fellow men, A baneful meal; and their satiety Shall be a curse, more fatal than the void Of meager famine, an unwholesome weight, That haply shall bring dreams beyond the grave To the charged soul, and phantoms of the things Which have been on this earth, and which shall be Hereafter, when the trumpet wakes the dead.
FAIR Est and loveliest of created things, By our great Author in the image form'd Of his celestial glory, and design'd To be man's solace " Undefiled by sin How much dost thou exceed all earthly shapes Of beautiful, to charm the wistful eye, Bland to the touch, or precious in the use ! His treasure of delight, while the fresh prime Adorns his forehead with the joy of youth, His comfort in the winter of the soul! Chaste woman' thou art e'en a brighter gem To him, who wears thee, than e'er shone display'd Upon the monarch's diadem; a charm More sweet to lull all sorrow, than the tint Of spring's young verdure in the dewy morn, Or music's mellow tones, which floating come
Over the water like a fairy dream :
ReAn ER, whoe'er hast travell'd to the goal Through this long chant unwearied, if my verse, Tuned to no trivial strain, hast lent thee aught Of pleasure or of profit, o'er the work Wrought by the chaste artificer of song Bend kindly, yielding such small meed of praise Earn'd by high musing, as may send his name Not ill-esteem'd upon the wings of Time Unto his children's children, when the sod Shall lie upon the hand that gave it life, Calling the soul's unborn imaginings [forms From thought's deep fountain; like the glowing Of Eros and his brother, who uprose From their wet cradle at the wizard's voice, This mournful, o'er his neck the jetty locks With hyacinthine ringlets clustering, That blythe and golden as the god of day.
Perchance I shall not walk with thee again Along the Muse's haunt, and we shall both Be number'd with the countless things that lie O'ershadow’d by oblivion; hearts that beat High in the noontide of ambitious hopes, And forms of loveliest symmetry, that once Delighted the beholder, by the hand, Which deals just measure unto all that tread This changeful world, o'ertaken in their dream Of summer joy. Calm reason throws a cloud O'er the enchantment of aspiring thoughts Which whisper of a life beyond the tomb Upon the lips of men, and tells how vain The shadow of such glory, nothing worth To him who hath his dwelling with the worm. But that Almighty will, which placed man here To labour in his calling, hath set deep Within his bosom an undying hope, An aspiration unto nobler ends Than he hath compass'd yet; a stirring thirst For praise beyond the term that nature's law Has granted to his brief mortality,
This, ever of the gloomy monitor
Inshrined upon the lip of praise, shall be
A BETTER prize There is for man, a glory of this world Well worth the labour of the blessed, won By arduous deeds of righteousness, that bring Solace, or wisdom, or the deathless boon Of holy freedom to his fellow men, And praise to the Almighty. Such a wreath Encircled late the patriotic brows Of him, who, greater than the kings of earth, To young Atlantis in an upright cause Gave strength and liberty, and laid the stone Whereon shall rise, if so Jehovah will, An empire mightier than the vast domain Sway'd once by vicious Cæsars.
Since BAcon, no man has exhibited so wonderful a combination of the highest powers of science with the faculties of the poet, as Sir HuMPHRY DAvy. Coleridge said to Mr. Poole, “Had not DAvy been the first chemist, he probably would have been the first poet of his age;” and the “Consolations in Travel,” and the notes and poems recently given to the world by his brother, Dr. John Davy, are sufficient to prove that that opinion was not extravagant. “Who that has read his sublime quatrains on the doctrine of SPINoza,” says Lockh ART, the soundest critic of our times, “can doubt that he might have united, if he had pleased, in some great didactic poem, the vigorous ratiocination of DRydex and the moral majesty of Wordsworth " Even taking his effusions as we find them, it would not be difficult to vindicate their superiority to a vast deal of the most popular poetry of the age.
The life and scientific career of Sir HUMphry are so fully before the world in the biographies of Dr. PARIs and Dr. DAvy, that it is unnecessary here to do more than refer to a few dates. He was born at Penzance, on the shore of Mount's Bay, in Cornwall, the 17th December, 1778. His faculties were developed very early : he made rhymes and dis. played a fondness for drawing when scarcely five years old. In 1798, Dr. Beddoes conferred upon him the situation of superintendent of the Pneumatic Institution at Clifton, and he accordingly removed to that place. In 1802, he was appointed professor of chemistry in the Royal Institution, London. From this post he retired upon his marriage, in 1812, with Mrs. APREEcE. In the following year he went abroad, and remained there till 1815. In 1818, he made a second visit to the continent. Two
The tempest has darken'd the face of the skies, The winds whistle wildly across the waste plain,
The fiends of the whirlwind terrific arise, (main. And mingle the clouds with the white foaming
All dark is the night and all gloomy the shore, Save when the red lightnings the ether divide;
Then follows the thunder with loud sounding roar, And echoes in concert the billowy tide.
years after, on the death of Sir Joseph BANRs, he was elected President of the Royal Society. Towards the close of 1826, he experienced an attack of paralysis; but so far recovered as to be able to undertake a journey to the continent early in the next year. He died at Geneva, 29th May, 1829. His remains were deposited in the burying-ground of that city. The poetry now printed is a selection from the pieces published by his brother. It was written at various periods. Some of his poems appeared in 1799, in the Annual Anthology, an interesting miscellany, of which two of the volumes were edited by South Ey, and the third by Tobin. One of these poems, “The Tempest,” is printed below; it bears the date 1796. The poem alluded to by Mr. LockHART, is that entitled “Written after Recovery from a dangerons Illness.” There is a remark in one of Sir HUMPHRy DAvy's memorandum-books, exhibiting so singular a coincidence, in feeling and perception, with one of Mr. Wordsworth's admired passages, that it will probably interest the reader to see it extracted.—“To-day, for the first time in my life, I have had a distinct sympathy with nature. I was lying on the top of a rock to leeward; the wind was high, and every thing in motion; the branches of an oak tree were waving and murmuring to the breeze; yellow clouds, deepened by gray at the base, were rapidly floating over the western hills; the whole sky was in motion; the yellow stream below was agitated by the breeze; everything was alive, and myself part of the series of visible impressions; I should have felt pain in tearing a leaf from one of the trees.” The poem entitled “Nutting” will occur to every reader of Wordsworth.