Page images

18. The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,

To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride,

With incense kindled at the muse's flame. 19. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray:
Along the cool, sequester'd vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. 20. Yet e'en these bones, from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still, erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. 21. Their names, their years, spell’d by the unletter'd muse,

The place of fame and elegy supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die. 22. For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind? 23. On some fond breast the parting soul relies;

Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries;

E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
24. For thee, who,'mindful of the unhonor'd dead,

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate,
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,

Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
25. Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
“Oft have we seen him at the


of dawn, Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,

To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
26. “There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech,

That wreathes its old, fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,

And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 27. “Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful, wan, like one forlorn,

Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

was he.

28. “One morn I miss'd him on the accustom'd hin,

Along the heath, and near his favorite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

up the lawn, nor at the wood,
10). “The next, with dirges due, in sad array,

Slow through the churchway-path we saw him borne: Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay

Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”


30. Here rests his head upon the lap of earth

A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown:
Fair science frown'd not on his humble birth

And melancholy mark'd him for her own 31. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;

Heaven did a recompense as largely send :
He gave to misery all he had,- ,-a tear;

He gain’d from Heaven—'twas all he wish'd—a friend. 32. No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)

The bosom of his father and his God.




PAIDIAS and PRAX IT'E LES, distinguished sculptors and statuaries of ancient Greece. The former flourished about 464 B.C., the latter about 364 B.C.

APOLLO BELVIDERE, a celebrated statue of Apollo in the Belvidere Gallery of the Vatican Palace at Rome,-esteemed one of the noblest representations of the human frame.

1. The physical necessity of mental activity, in every practical sense, confers upon the mind the power to determine our stature, strength, and longevity, to multiply our organs of sense, and increase their capacity, in some cases to thirty million times their

This capacity of the mind is not a mere prospective possibility; it is a fact,-a tried, practical fact; and the human mind is more busy than ever in extending this prero gative.

natural power:

2. Let us look in upon man while engaged in the very act of adding to his natural strength these gigantic faculties. See him yonder, bending over his stone mortar, and pounding, and thumping, and sweating, to pulverize his flinty grain into a more esculent form. He stops and looks a moment into the precipitous torrent thundering down its rocky channel. There! a thought has struck him. He begins to whistle; he whittles some, for he learned to whittle soon after he learned to breathe. He gears together, some horizontally, and others perpendicularly, a score of little wooden wheels. He sets them a-going, and claps his hands in triumph to see what they would do if a thousand times larger.

3. Look at him again. How proudly he stands, with folded arms, looking at the huge things that are working for him! He has made that wild, raging torrent as tame as his horse. He has taught it to walk backward and forward; he has given it hands, and put the crank of his big wheel into them, and made it turn his ponderous grindstone. What a taskmaster!

4. Look at him again! He is standing on the ocean-beach, watching the crested billows as they move in martial squadrons over the deep. He has conceived or heard that richer productions, more delicious fruits and flowers, may be found on yonder invisible shore. In an instant his mind sympathizes with the yearnings of his physical nature.

5. See! there is a new thought in his eye. He remembers how he first saddled the horse: he now bits and saddles the mountain wave. Not satisfied with subduing this proud element, he breaks another into his service. Remembering his mill-dam, he constructs a floating dam of canvas in the air, to harness the winds to his ocean-wagon. Thus, with his water-borse and airhorse harnessed in tandem, he drives across the wilderness of waters with a team that would make old Neptune hide his diminished head for envy, and sink his clumsy chariot beneath the waves.

6. See now! he wants something else; his appetite for something better than he has grows by what he feeds on. The fact is, he has plodded about in his one-horse wagon till he is disgusted with his poor capacity of locomotion. The wings of Mercury, modern eagles, and paper kites, are all too impracticable for models. He settles down upon the persuasion that he can make a great Iron Horse, with bones of steel and muscles of brass, that will run against time with Mercury, or any other winged messenger of Jove,-the daring man!

7. He brings out his huge leviathan hexaped upon the track. How the giant creature struts forth from his stable, panting to be gone! His great heart is a furnace of glowing coals; his lymphatic blood is boiling in his veins; the strength of a thousand horses is nerving his iron sinews. But his master reins him in with one finger, till the whole of some Western village,-men, women, children,--and half their horned cattle, sheep, poultry, wheat, cheese, and potatoes, have been stowed away in that long train of wagons he has harnessed to his foaming steam-horse.

8. And now he shouts, interrogatively, ALL RIGHT? and, appiying a burning goad to the huge creature, away it thunders over the iron road, breathing forth fire and smoke in its indignant haste to outstrip the wind. More terrible than the war-horse in Scripture, clothed with louder thunder, and emitting a cloud of flame and burning coals from his iron nostrils, he dashes on through dark mountain-passes, over jutting precipices and deep ravines. His tread shakes the earth like a traveling Niagara, and the sound of his chariot-wheels warns the people of distant towns that he is coming. Coming whither? To Boston, of course.

9. These are a few of the faculties which the human mind has invented to increase our physical capacity and improve our physical condition. And they are the personal property of every individual

, and ever ready and able to put him into communication with all the comforts and conveniences they can procure. The steam-engine, the packet-ship, are my own personal faculties, as much, yea, more than they would be if they were an inseparable part of my being.

10. They are far more available to me than if my feet were welded to each of them. Therefore, all these artificial faculties, every invention and implement to give it a new capacity to labor, every inch of progress in the arts and sciences, every degree of intellectual development that has been made since the birth of humanity, have all been the result of that impulse of perpetual activity which the yearning necessities of man's physical nature have communicated to his mind.

11. To ameliorate our physical condition has been the inspiring object of every intellectual attainment. It has led to the discovery of every principle of natural philosophy and science; it has inspired every conception of taste, prompted every act of patriotism and Christian philanthropy. It was not to indulge a few mere intellectual abstractions, that the ancient shepherds and sailors clambered up into the blue heavens, and constellated the stars; they wanted them for guide-boards to guide them by night over the vast plains of the East and the uncharted waters of the 12. If Phidias and Praxiteles were only bent on a mere diversion of the imagination, neither of them needed to have touched a chisel.


The man who created the Apollo Belvidere looked into the mountain-side, and saw the silver-bowed deity, invested in all his Godlike attributes, in the unquarried marble. But he could not bear to see him hampered there in his lapideous shroud before his mind's eye; he seized his chisel, and with indignant strokes he tore away the ceremental marble, and let out the god before his body's eye, to be worshiped by millions, who, if they dared, might even touch his marble flesh.

13. All the beautiful orders of architecture and creations of the pencil, all the conceptions of the beautiful in nature, and art, and humanity, are inventions extorted, as it were, from the mind, to extend and increase the pleasures of sense. All the institutions of human government, the principles of political economy, the aspirations of patriotism, and the efforts of philanthropy, have been called forth by the necessities of our physical nature, which Divine Wisdom ordained should never be supplied without the busy occupation of the mind.




EDGAR A. POE was born at Baltimore in 1811, and died in 1849. His poems are few, but his sketches, tales, and criticisms are quite numerous.

1. ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I ponder'd, weak and

weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber-door. “'Tis some visitor,” I mutter'd, "rapping at my chamber-door:

Only this, and nothing more. 2. Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor! Eagerly. I wish'd the morrow; vainly I had tried to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow,-sorrow for the lost Lenore, For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore,

Nameless here for evermore.

« PreviousContinue »