Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

a

See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !

Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand !
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain

Inglorious on the plain.
Give the

vengeance due
To the valiant crew.
Behold how they toss their torches on high,

How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods !
The princes applaud, with a furious joy ;
And the King seized a flambeau, with zeal to destroy ;

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,

While organs yet were mute;
Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast, from the sacred store,

Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,
With nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.

Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown :
He raised a mortal to the skies ;
She drew an angel down.

DRYDEN.

SATIN BOWER-BIRDS. The Satin Bower-Bird was one of the earliest known species in the Australian fauna, and probably received the name of Satin Grakle, by which it was described in Latham's "General History of Birds," from the intensely black glossy plumage of the adult male. But, although the existence of this bird was noticed by most of the writers on the natural history of Australia subsequent to Latham, it appears that no suspicion of its singular economy had extended beyond the remotest settlers, until Mr. Gould, whose great work on the "Birds of Australia" is known to every one, unravelled the history of the bowers, which had been discovered in many parts of the bush, and which had been attributed to almost every possible origin but the right one.

The bower, as will be seen by the Illustration, is composed of twigs woven together in the most compact manner, and ornamented with shells and feathers, the disposition of which the birds are continually altering. They have no connexion with the nest, and are simply playing-places, in which the birds divert themselves during the months which precede nidification.

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors]

The birds themselves are nearly as large as a jackdaw. The female in green in colour, the centre of the breast feathers yellowish; the unmoulted plumage of the male is similar: the eyes of both are brilliant blue.

[ocr errors]

a

THE POOL OF SILOAM. HE fountain and pool of Siloam, whose surplus waters flow in a little streamlet falling into the lake Kedron, is situate near the ancient walls of the city of Jerusalem. Mr. Wild tells us "that the fountain of Siloam is a mineral spring of a brackish taste, and somewhat of the smell of the Harrowgate water, but in a very slight degree." It is said to possess considerable medicinal properties, and is much frequented by pilgrims. "Continuing our course," says he, "around the probable line of the ancient walls, along the gentle slope of Zion, we pass by the King's gardens, and arrive at the lower pool of Siloam, placed in another indentation in the wall. It is a deep square cistern lined with masonry, adorned with columns at the sides, and having a flight of steps leading to the bottom, in which there was about two feet of water.

It communicates by a subterraneous passage with the fountain, from which it is distant about 600 yards. The water enters

[graphic]
[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

the pool by a low arched passage, into which the pilgrims, numbers of whom are generally to be found around it, put their heads, as part of the ceremony, and wash their clothes in the purifying stream that rises from it." During a rebellion in Jerusalem, in which the Arabs inhabiting the village of Siloam were the ringleaders, they gained access to the city by means of the conduit of this pool, which again rises within the inosque of Omar. This passage is evidently the work of art, the water in it is generally about two feet deep, and a man may go through it in a stooping position. When the stream leaves the pool, it is divided into numbers of little aqueducts, for the purpose of irrigating the gardens and pleasure-grounds which lie immediately beneath it in the valley, and are the chief source of their fertility, for, as they are mostly formed of earth which has been carried from other places, they possess no original or natural soil capable of supporting vegetation. As there is but little water in the pool during the dry season, the Arabs dam up the several streams in order to collect a sufficient quantity in small ponds adjoining each garden, and this they all do at the same time, or there would be an unfair division of the fertilizing fluid. These dams are generally made in the evening and drawn off in the morning, or sometimes two or three times a day; and thus the reflux of the water that they hold gives the appearance of an ebb and flow, which by some travellers has caused a report that the pool of Siloam is subject to daily tides.

There are few towns, and scarcely any metropolitan town, in which the natural supply of water is so inadequate as at Jerusalem ; hence the many and elaborate contrivances to preserve the precious fluid, or to bring it to the town by aqueducts.

WINTER THOUGHTS.

H! little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, pow'r, and affluence

surround-
They who their thoughtless hours in

giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste ;
Ah! little think they, while they dance

along,
How
many
feel this

very

moment death,
And all the sad variety of pain :
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame! how many

bleed
By shameful variance betwixt man and

man!
How many pine in want and dungeon glooms,
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs! how many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery! Sore pierced by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty! How many

shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse,
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the Tragic Muse !
Even in the vale where Wisdom loves to dwell,

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »