« AnteriorContinuar »
Nothing can be more beautiful than these little bottoms, upon which these emigrants deposit, if I may so say, their household gods.
Springs burst forth in the intervals between the high and low grounds. The trees and shrubs are of the most beautiful kind. The brilliant red-bird as seen flitting among the shrubs, or perched on a tree, seems welcoming, in her mellow notes, the emigrant to his abode. Flocks of paroquets are glittering among the trees, and gray squinels ate skipping from branch to branch.
In the midst of these primeval scenes, the patient and laborious father fixes his family. In a few weeks they have reared a comfortable cabin and other outbuildings. Pass this place in two years, and you will see extensive fields of corn and wheat, a young and thrifty orchard, fruit trees of all kinds,—the guarantee of present abundant subsistence, and of future luxury.
Pass it in ten years, and the log buildings will have disappeared. The shrubs and forest trees will be gone. The Arcadian aspect of humble and retired abundance and comfort,will have given place to a brick house, with accompaniments like those that attend the same kind of house in the older countries. ■
By this time, the occupant, who came there, perhaps with a small sum of money, and moderate expectations, from humble life,and with no more than a common school education, has been made, in succession, member of the assembly, justice of the peace, and finally county judge. I admit that the first residence among the trees affords the most agreeable picture to my mind; and that there is an inexpressible charm in the pastoral simplicity of those years, before pride and self-consequence have banished the repose of their Eden, and when you witness the first strugglings of social toil) with the barren luxuriance of nature.
Mont Blanc in the Gleam of Sunset.—Griscom.
We arrived, before sundown, at the village of St. Martin, where we were to stay for the night. The evening being remarkably fine, we crossed the Awe on a beautiful bridge, and walked over to Salenche, a very considerable village, opposite to St. Martin, and ascended a hill to view the effect of the sun's declining light upon Mont Blanc. The scene was truly grand.
The broad range of the mountain was fully before us, of a pure and almost glowing white, apparently to its very base; and which, contrasted with the brown tints of the adjoining mountains, greatly heightened the novelty of the scene. We could scarcely avoid the conclusion, that this vast pile of snow was very near us, and yet its base was not less than fifteen, and its summit, probably, more than twenty miles from the place where we stood.
The varying rays of light produced by reflection from the snow, passing as the sun's rays declined, from a brilliant white through purple and pink, and ending in the gentle light, which the snow gives after the sun has set, afforded an exhibition in optics upon a scale of grandeur, which no other region in the world could probably excel.
Never in my life have my feelings been so powerfully affected by merely scenery, as they were in this day's excursion. The excitement, though attended by sensations awfully impressive, is nevertheless so finely attempered by the glow of novelty,incessantly mingled with astonishment and admiration, as to produce on the whole a feast of delight.
A few years ago, I stood upon Table Rock, and placed my cane in the descending flood of Niagara. Its tremendous roar almost entirely precluded conversation with the friend at my side; while its whirlwind of mist and foam, filled the air to a great distance around me. The rainbow sported in its bosom; the gulf below exhibited the wild fury of an immense boiling caldron; while the rapids above, for the space of nearly a mile, appeared like a mountain of billows, chafing and dashing against each other with thundering impetuosity, in their eager strife to gain the precipice, and take the awful leap.
In contemplating this scene, my imagination and my heart were filled with sublime and tender emotions. The soul seemed to be brought a step nearer to the presence of that incomprehensible Being, whose spirit dwelt in every feature of the cataract, and directed all its amazing energies. Yet in the scenery of this day.there was more of a pervading sense of awful and unlimited grandeur: mountain piled upon mountain in endless continuity throughout the whole extent, and crowned by the brightest effulgence of an evening sun. upon the everlasting snows of the highest pinnacle of Europe.
Passage of the Red Sea.—Heber
'Mid the light spray their snorting camels stood,
With limbs that falter, and with hearts that swell,
Yet not from Israel fled the friendly light,
'Fly, Misraim, fly!' —The ravenous floods they see, And, fiercer than the floods, the Deity.
'Fly, Misraim, fly!'—From Edom's coral strand
Hour of an empire's overthrow?
The princes from the feast were gone— The idle flame was burning low—
'T was midnight upon Babylon.
That night the feast was wild and high;
That night was Zion's God profaned;
The last deep cup of wrath was drained.
'Mid jewelled roof and silken pall,
Belshazzar on his couch was flun;*;—
A burst of thunder shook the hall—
He heard—but %was no mortal tongue'
'King of the east! the trumpet calls,
'A surge is in Euphrates bed,
That never filled its bed before;—
'Behold a tide of Persian steel—
Belshazzar gazed—the voice was past—
But echoed on the sudden blast
He listened—all again was still;
He heard no clarion's iron clang;
The breeze that through the roses sang.
He slept;—in sleep wild murmurs came—
A visioned splendor fired the sky;
He heard again the prophet cry—
1 Sleep, Sultan! 't is. thy final sleep;
He started:— 'mid the battle's yell,
He saw the Persian rushing on;—
Thou 'rt ashes, King of Babylon!
Storm on the midnight waters! The vast sky
Shook by some warning spirit from the high
And terrible wall of Heaven. The mighty wave
Upheavings of a giant from the grave,