Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Come to my bosom, come!
The bird hath left his eradle in the tree,
The summer breeze and showers their harmony -

Come to your home!

Come, find a tranquil rest!
Hark! the chill north wind stirs among the boughs
The cold, white frost holds o'er the mountain brows

His glearning erest.

Come to your winter home!
And I will hide you in the warm south vale,
Where ye shall never feel the wintry gale —

Come, children, come!

Come to your mother's breast !
Earth that hath given, must e'en now call away;
Heaven cannot charm you now – ye cannot stay

Come to your rest !
Mortals ! doth not earth call to you? Like leaves
Silently falling in the frosty air,
Or while the sun smiles warmly down once more,
Or when the fitful winds come rushing through
The patient boughs: like these frail, fading leaves
Ye too are falling : ye too find your graves,
Whether the sun be warm, or wild winds blow,
Or nipping frosts steal o'er the countless throng
Of men. Death cometh in his might to all,
And many a bright hope scatter'd, vanisheth.

So teach me, Father of our destinies !
To number every day thou lendest here,
That when the hour of dissolution comes,
Like autumn leaves — as calmly, and as bright,
And beautiful - I too may pass away,
And the mild sun still shine upon my grave,
And the sweet spring of youth still come to man.

C. P. C.

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.

A SKETCH.

BY THE AUTHOR OF 'JACK MARLINSPIKE's yarn,' 'THE ESCAPE,' ETC.

The sun was setting in a sea of clouds, while his yellow beams glared forth through their many embrazures like the rays of some mighty conflagration through the walls that enclosed it. Huge masses of heavier and darker vapor were piling up to windward, and lighter scuds were seen hurrying wildly across the heavens. The sea grew blacker, and dashed against the firm sides of the Great Frederick with a deep, hollow hoarseness, and the breeze came fresher and colder across the agitated expanse. Still the gallant ship continued to move along under her top-gallant canvass, and it was not until every thing indicated a heavy and instant blow, that the veteran skipper concluded to take another reef in the top-sails.

There was one fair being on board the ship who had never before beheld the elements in so terrible a convulsion. Leaning on the arm of her father, she stood upon the quarter-deck, listening with awe to the roaring of the wind, as it howled through the cordage, and the thunders of the deep, as each wave rolled over its precur

sor.

light up

At times, a vivid flash from some overcharged cloud would

the scene with terrible splendor; and it was then that all the fearful magnificence of the tempest became apparent; and the fair girl would tremble with affright, as she saw each giant wave above her threatening to all certain destruction in its descent.

*We are now off the Cape of Good Hope,' said the father, and it is in these latitudes that one of our unhappy ancestors is doomed to cruise until the last day.'

The daughter shuddered at the recollection of her mysterious relative, and only grasped her parent's arm in reply.

All this while the Great Frederick had been before the wind, dashing onward at a tremendous rate. The commander himself was at the wheel, watching each coming wave with anxiety, and disposing the rudder to receive its shock without prejudice to the huge fabric it guided. The braces were kept manned fore and aft, so that in case the ship broached to, she might be restored to her former course with the necessary promptitude. The pumps, too, were rigged, the hatches battoned down, and, in short, every precaution was taken which the safety of the ship required. At length the gale increased to a perfect hurricane, and the commander determined to bring the ship by the wind, as he was fearful of her being brought by the lee, which must have proved her immediate destruction. This delicate manæuvre was successfully performed, and the Great Frederick was now placed with her huge bows toward the direction of the wind and sea, in comparative security for the remainder of the night.

One of those long-continued gleams of lightning, that seems to make every thing as brilliant as itself, flashed over the heavens, and discovered to the startled crew another and a heavier ship to windward, and close aboard. The information was conveyed by twenty voices at the same moment, and every one strained his vision to observe more closely the form of the stranger. Four or five successive flashes showed her to be a heavy Dutch East Indiaman, under her maintop-sail, close reefed, fore-top-mast, stay-sail, and mizzen. It was observable, too, that her construction was of a more ancient order of naval architecture. Her stern rose unusually high from the level of the sea, and her bow-sprit had a more than ordinary steeve; but what most added to the surprise of those on board of the Great Frederick, was seeing a boat push from the side of the stranger, and row in the direction of their own ship, although the sea was running with a fearfulness that threatened certain destruction to those who, in so frail a thing, should dare attempt to cross its surface. Every moment was looked for as productive of death to those in the boat; but the little vessel rose and fell with safety, and in a few moments was seen pulling up under the quarter of the Frederick. Not a word had been spoken on board of the latter, so intense was the astonishment and anxiety of every one; but now, the commander gave the order : ' A line there for'ard for the boat!' and twenty dark forms moved to obey. The ready cordage was cast and caught, and a tall form sprang from the stern-sheets of the boat, and ascended the gangway. The stranger, on gaining the deck, paused for a moment, and by the light of the side-lanterns, it was observed that he was attired in a costume as antique in fashion as the construction of the

a

a

a

[ocr errors]

ship to which he belonged. His features were perceived to be dark and stern, although but imperfectly seen, as he wore a slouched hat.

•Where are you bound ? asked he, in a deep and hollow voice. * To Amsterdam,' answered the commander of the Great Frederick. • Will you do me the favor to deliver this packet at Amsterdam ?'

The captain replied in the affirmative; and taking the proffered bundle, invited the stranger below.

If there was any thing appalling in the features of the stranger, as seen by the dim and transient glare of the lanterns on deck, it was rendered doubly so by his removing his hat, and exposing them to the glare of the cabin lamp. His eyes were black and glowing, though sunken far in his head, and his face was of a bluish tinge : his whole countenance was supernatural, and each feature betrayed excess of sorrow and fatigue. The father started back aghast, and the daughter shrieked in terror. The commander of the Great Frederick, too, retreated apace, and looking alternately from the stranger to the packet which he still held, exclaimed, in a voice of horror:

• ’T is Vanderdecken, and we are lost !'

The mysterious visitant spake not a word, but uttering a deep sigh, lifted the fainting maiden, and gazed long and earnestly in her face. At length he spake, in a voice soft yet sepulchral:

* That face,' said he, 'was just like her's when I left her long, long ago. That dark hair, her very tresses

and those blue eyes, by my soul! were hers.'

The stranger paused a moment, as if retracing the records of memory: at length, shaking his head as if he had been disappointed in the search, he asked the terrified maiden her name. She replied, and the mysterious inquisitor started as if a thunder-bolt had fallen at his feet. A softer expression came over his brow--and gazing earnestly at her features, he seemed to read with avidity each line of her countenance. Long and anxiously he gazed ; and at length, stooping down, he said : « Ellen, I am your ancestor, and have one favor - one blessing—to ask of you. "I am doomed to a horrible destiny, but you may save me.'

• What shall I do?' asked the terrified girl.

The stranger was about to reply, but a fierce growl of thunder rolled across the heavens. Again he essayed to speak, but the same fearful warning interrupted him. He wrung his hands for a moment in agony, and listening until the last reverberation had died

away, turned once more to address the shrinking maiden : but now, crash after crash of heavy thunder broke above their heads, flashes of blue lightning sported through the skies, and the wind howled with tenfold violence through the cordage.

'I come ! I come!' shrieked the stranger : and turning a last look of melancholy fondness toward the lovely being before him, he seized the packet which he had given the commander of the Great Frederick, and rushing up the ladder, threw himself into his boat, and was a moment after seen rising and sinking with the motion of the billows.

Suddenly the sea went down — the rain ceased — the wind abated—the clouds broke up in the heavens, and the elements were again at peace.

R. B.

a

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

A SERIOUS ARGUMENT

AGAINST THE USE OF

CLOTHING: ADDRESSED TO TAILORS.

'Some were for the utter extirpation
Of linsey-woolsey in the nation.'

HUDIBRAS.

I trust I shall not be suspected of the purpose, in this paper,

of putting an insult upon the respectable fraternity to whom it is addressed. On the contrary, I have hopes, built upon the justice of my object and the purity of my wishes, to win them over to the view I intend to take, and to convince them that a refined and nice moral sense, as well as a lofty and philosophical comprehension of the fitness of things, requires at their hands an immediate abandonment of the profession in which they are at present engaged. I trust to be able to prove to them that it is their duty to break in pieces their lap-boards, take down their signs, give their iron geese the wing, and bid a long farewell to skein and needle.

Beside the urgent necessity resting upon them to restore themselves, physically, to that erect posture from which they have fallen, I shall bring before them reasons more purely addressed to their understanding.

It is clear, then, in the first place, that tailors came in with the fall. Adam, in his primitive condition, ennobled by the complete development of every power of the mind and nerve of the bodya profounder philosopher than Bacon - superior (in all probability) in imagination to Shakspeare-as a musician, sweeter than Mozart, and in fact, as a universal handicraftsman, to all the world since Adam — what was the secret or at least the development of all his power? HE WENT UNDRESSED ! If I may so speak, without irreverence to the founder of our family, he was the Great Shirtless.

His descendants degenerated. They were trowsered and coated. And this was the first sad symptom of the fall. Had not pantaloons been introduced, there had been hope for man. The downfall was not complete — the destruction was not irremediable the last chain was not irrevocably bound upon us - 'till Adam drew on his first pair of indispensables. Of immorality

the primitive tradition reaches

As far as Adam's first green breeches.' In making up the account of our depravity, we inust halt here. Farther backward we cannot journey.

Adam, before this, might have perpetrated the indecency of talking Dutch in the garden : but we have no records — no authentic history of that absurdity. We begin with the surmounting of the articles set forth in the couplet.

He drew them on, not like a modern juvenile, with exultant eyes and eager limbs, (though they were his first suit,) but with sorrowing and tears. Through the two narrow vistas down which his legs descended, as through the tubes of a telescope, he saw the degradation of his race. Bloody-visaged War and hypocritic Peace, Pestilence VOL. VIII.

71

« AnteriorContinuar »