Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

But the daughters are governesses now, and the pictures in their place,
And the struggling Count is dead and gone,-and so there's no disgrace.
There's many a little trait like this, among the worldlings here,
Whom my cousin is so civil to, though she's so kind and dear;
And I really marvel at the ease with which these things pass by,
As if, in very great folks indeed, they did'nt signify,
Though if meaner men should do such things, upon a minor scale,
It's odds but the culprit finds himself within the four walls of a jail.

God help us ! while the people raise their wild terrific cry
Against the toys of lounging wealth, and “the aristocracy;"
For they only see the spangled booths, -and not the better homes,-
The

pomp, and show, and arrogance—the carelessness that comes
Jostling the poor man's poverty, whene'er they chance to meet,
With a flaunting flourish down the road, and a rattle down the street.
Who shall preach patience? They who feel their means have been an aid;
A talent lent from Heaven's own hand, and not a trust betray'd ;
A staff to lean on in the hour of their severe distress,-
A store of leisure, to work out the plan of their redress.
These are among our noblest names—the others, like a blot,
Fall blurring on the peerage page--stain-but efface them not.

Dear me ! how late and cold it is; the morning dawns, I see,
I'll try to sleep, and put an end to this long Reverie !

THE CLOISTERS, FOUNTAINS A B B E Y.

There is something very solemn in a ruin-especially in an ecclesiastical ruin-something which wonderfully affects the imagination. How many lowly litanies, how many choral services, have ascended to heaven from amid the now ruined arches of Fountains' Abbey! How many solemn festivals have been celebrated within its venerable walls ! and how often have its towers and arches re-echoed the triumphant Hallelujah ! Now stoléd monk and mitred abbot pace its aisles no more! Its chants and anthems are silenced; no voice save that of the night-wind sighs in its deserted cloisters ; and the swallow makes her nest near its once consecrated altars !

Such reflections naturally suggest themselves to the spectator who visits a ruined abbey; and if they be but tempered by just views of the religious condition of England during the period in which these ecclesiastical establishments were in their “palmy state,” and of the real good and evil attendant upon monastic institutions, they may be innocently indulged. While, however, we acknowledge the vast power which these solemn relics of the past have upon the imagination, and feel in its fullest extent the inexpressible charm which lingers around them; while we enjoy their picturesque beauty, and labour to protect them against the further ravages of the great spoiler, Time, let us not forget the blessings which we owe to that Reformation, which, while it led to the suppression of the monasteries which had become the strongholds of spiritual tyranny and religious error, and, in too many instances, of indolence and vice, revived among the people of England the pure doctrines of Christianity, and conferred upon them the priceless boon of civil and religious liberty. It may be added, that this mortal life is, or ought to be, a scene of labour as well as of rest; a truth which the gifted writer of the following beautiful verses would seem to have overlooked or forgotten.

LINES ON FOUNTAINS' ABBEY.

BY L. E. L.

Alas, alas ! those ancient towers,
Where never now the vespers ring,
But lonely at the midnight hours,
Flits by the bat on dusky wing.

No more beneath the moonlight dim,
No more beneath the planet-ray,
Those arches echo with the hymn
That bears life's meaner cares away.

No more within some cloister'd cell,
With windows of the sculptur'd stone,
By sign of cross, and sound of bell,
The world-worn heart can beat alone.

How needful some such tranquil place,
Let many a weary one attest,
Who turns from life's impatient race,
And asks for nothing but for rest.

How many, too heart-sick to roam
Still longer o'er the troubled wave,
Would gladly turn to such a home,
A home already half a grave.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »