Page images
PDF
EPUB

XI.

Seth heard ; and like a swift, fond bird he flew,
By filial love impelled; yea, lessened dread
Even of the guardian Fiery Angel knew-
And through the flowery plains untiring sped-
And upwards, onwards to the river-head-
Where, high to heaven, the verdant barriers towered
Of Eden; when be sank-o'ercanopied

With sudden lightning, which around him showered,
And in its vivid womb the midday sun devoured.

XII.

And in his ear and on his heart was poured, While there entranced he lay, an answer meet; And, gradually, as Thought came back restored, Uprising, forth he hied with homeward feet. Sweet to the world's grey Father, oh how sweet His coming on the nearest hill-top shone! For now all feebly of his heart the beat Returned ; and of his voice the faltering tone, Meeting the listener's ear, scarce made its purpose known.

XIII.

“ Beloved father!” thus 'twas through his grief

Impassioned spake the son, “ it may not be,
Alas! that, for thy misery's relief
Wells now the promised balsam from Life's Tree.
And must I say farewell-yea, part with thee?
Droop not thus all despairing: breath may fail,
And days and years and ages onward flee

Ere that day dawn; but Thou its beams shalt hail, And earth give up its dead, and Life o'er Death prevail.

XIV.

“ Astounding are the visions I have seen :

The clouds took shapes, and turned them into trees
And men and mountains; and the lands between
Seemed cities, dun with crowds; and on the seas
Dwelt men, in arks careering with the breeze;
And shepherds drave their flocks along the plain;
And generations, smitten with disease,

Passed to the dust, on which tears fell like rain ;
Yet fathers, in their sons, seemed age grown youth again!

xv. " And the wide waters rose above the tops

Of the high hills, and all looked desolateSea without shore ! Anon appeared the slopes, Glowing with blossoms, and a group elate Eying an arch, bright with earth's future fate, In heaven; and there were wanderings to and fro; And, while beneath the multitudes await, Tables, by God's own finger written, show The Law by which He wills the world should walk below :

XVI.
“ And ever passed before me clouds of change,

Whose figures rose, and brightened, and declined ;
And what was now familiar straight grew strange,

And, melting into vapours, left behind
No trace; and, as to silence sank the wind,
Appeared in heaven a beautiful bright star,
Under whose beams an Infant lay reclined;

And all the wheels of nature ceased their jar,
And choiring angels hymned that Presence from afar.

XVII.

"And then, methought, upon a mountain stood

The Tree, from which, as shown to thee, should flow
That Oil of Mercy—but it looked like blood!
And, to all quarters of the earth below,
It streamed, until the desert ceased to know
Its curse of barrenness; the clouds away
Passed in their darkness from the noon; and lo!

Even backwards flowed that brightness to this day, And, Father, showed me thee, encircled by its ray :

XVIII.

“It showed me thee, from whom mankind had birth,
And myriads—countless as the sere leaves blown
From wintry woods—whose places on the earth,
Even from the burning to the icy zone,
Were to their sons' sons utterly unknown,
Awakening to a fresh, eternal morn :
Methinks I list that glad Hosannah's tone,

From shore to shore on all the breezes borne!
Then, Father, droop not thus, as utterly forlorn ;

XIX.

A long, long future, freaked with sin and strife,
The generations of the world must know;
But surely from that Tree—the Tree of Life-
A healing for the nations yet will flow,
As God foretold thee."

“ Freely then I go, For steadfast is the Lord his word to keep,' Said Adam, as his breathing, faint and slow,

Ceased ; and like zephyr dying on the deep, In hope matured to faith, the First Man fell asleep !

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

There are who say this wondrous world And wheresoe'er the broad moon's rays Is but the work of chance ;

In matchless beauty fall, That earth, like some huge scroll, unfurled, They mirror forth to thoughtful gaze And wrought its own advance ;

The Hand that fashioned all. That senseless atoms blindly grew There's not a plant upon the earth, Into a world of light ;

There's not a tree nor flower, That creatures no Creator knew

But bears the stamp of heavenly birth, That death's eternal night!

The proof of heavenly power. O Man, with aspirations high,

The very leaf on which you tread Is this the end you crave ?

Was wrought with wondrous hand, Oh Man, with soul that cannot die, A fragment of a volume dread And perish in the grave

That speaks to every land : Are all the wonders prophets told

A book unchanged from age to ageBut wild delusive dreams ?

The same since time began : And can it be that human mould

For Nature is a living page Is but the clay it seems ?

That preaches God to man !

CHARLES WILTON.

BRITISH LABOUR AND FOREIGN RECIPROCITY. We hear a great deal at the present our wealth, the iron trade, is in a state day, not only from pretended philan- of lamentable prostration. Labour thropists, but from well-meaning in England, by far the richest country and conscientious people, about the of the three, is scarcely better re" Rights of Labour.” In fact, the munerated. In the rural districts, we term has become so hackneyed that hear of lowered agricultural wages very rarely is any popular speech de and growing discontent; in the towns, livered from a hustings, or elsewhere, we are told of mills closed or put upon without its occurrence as a marked short time; and, from the metropolis and leading principle, which the and the larger cities, we have accounts speaker is determined to uphold. of misery and destitution which, did they

But general terms are almost al- reach us from missionaries in a heathen ways susceptible of wide and contra- land, would fill our souls with horror, dictory construction; and when we come and our hearts with righteous indigna to analyse this phrase, “the rights of tion. labour," and to consider the differ- To that call, proceeding from the ent interpretations which have been labourers themselves, we cannot and passed upon it, we are forced to arrive we dare not turn a deaf ear. We at the conclusion, that very few of must listen to it, appalling as it is ; those who use the words have any and examine into the cause of it, if we distinct idea of the meaning which wish society to remain as it has been. they ought to convey. One man We must allow no preconceived ideas or considers "the rights of labour" as impressions, generated, perhaps, by identical with the operation of the the delusions of the last few years, maxim which exhorts us “ to buy in or of many years, to stand in our the cheapest, and to sell in the dearest way when so frightful a calamity apmarket." Another defines those proaches as the destitution and derights to mean, “a fair day's wage moralisation of the working and profor a fair day's labour.” Aud so the ducing classes of this mighty empire ; term is bandied about among us, re- for we may as well expect a fabric to peated and reiterated, until it has stand after its foundations have been fairly lost the semblance of anything worn away, as suppose that a state like clear significance.

can exist without the support of those Meanwhile labour, in this country who are, in reality, the artificers of at least, is loudly calling for the re- its whole wealth and produce. cognition of its rights, whatever Would to heaven we could persuade those rights may be — not for the men to throw aside, not for a time, shadow, but the substance; not for but for ever, their party notions, and, the name, but for the reality. Labour what is still more difficult, their selfish in Ireland is struck down and para, interests; and induce them to look lysed—paralysed in its first natural this great question broadly and fairly function and duty, the production of in the face ! They will not find it food, although millions of acres, capable treated of in their politico-economical of yielding large returns of cercal pro- treatises--those wretched collections, duce, are either unbroken or with- of sophisms compiled by the dullest drawn from the tillage of the plough. and most blear-eyed of mankind, Labour in Scotland is becoming daily which have been accepted in our day less remunerative; the northern popu- as monuments of transcendant wislation is driven to emigrate by thou- dom. They will not find the question sands, or to take refuge in the cities mooted at all in the tomes of their and towns already redundantly sup- conceited statists: but if they step plied. Wages are decreasing in the beyond that dreary range, and go Lowlands; the poor-rate is multiply. forth into the scenes of busy life, they ing fast; and the greatest source of will hear it discussed, always eagerly,

The Ilarmony of Interests, Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Commercial. Skinner, Philadelphia.

sometimes ably, sometimes incompe- an evil to which governments, based tently, in the workshop, the forge, the on the popular representative prinfactory, the cottage, and the mine; ciple, are peculiarly liable; and the and they may then form some idea of skill and prescience of the modern the importance which the working- statesman will be more conspicuously classes attach to that much-abused shown in restraining than in encouterm—“the Rights of Labour." raging the spirit of change. Why

The mere general discussion of such complain of want of activity, or of a point implies that there is some- culpable negligence, when the fact is thing amiss, either in our social or before us that, during the last few in our commercial and national sys- years, the whole of our commercial tem. With regard to the first, we

system has undergone a radical think there can be no argument. change, which has affected, more or Unless some totally new evangel has less, every source of labour, every been reserved for these latter days, branch of industry, every application Socialism, as it is understood on the of capital throughout the British Continent, and even partially among empire? We have been the reverse ourselves, is a wild and miserablc of idle, both at home and abroad. delusion. It has been tried, over At home, not one single interest has and over again, under circumstances escaped the ordeal of experiment; far more favourable for its develop- abroad, we have subjected the coloment than any which are likely to nies to forced operations, from the occur again, and has invariably effects of which it is exceedingly failed. Nay, the tendency of Liberal- doubtful if they can ever rally, at ism has been to sweep what modified least under our tutelary care. Socialism might exist in a civilised These alterations and changes were community away. Guilds, corpora- no doubt intended by their devisers tions, the chartered privileges of to be productive of good, but they burgbs, have all vanished, or been may in reality have been productive reduced to shadows, and nothing is of evil. It is impossible to foretell now permitted to stand between the with certainty the effect of any sweepemployer and the employed. Social- ing change, even when the elements ism, through the law, can have no of calculation appear to be within existence. It may, indeed, lawfully our own control. When they are rear and extend itself, if it can, on its beyond it—as must be the case whenown simple merits ; but, tried by that ever we assume the co-operation of test, it simply resolves itself into a foreign independent powers, without new form of labour, liable to compe- securing it by treaty-the uncertition as before, and powerless to tainty is still greater. It cannot be affect prices, by which labour must denied that the late commercial ever be estimated.

changes proceeded upon the assumpOur firm and fixed belief is, that tion of reciprocity, and that this what are termed social grievances are assumption has been proved by expesimply the consequence of a faulty or rience to be utterly wrong. So far, erroneous commercial and national then, they have not answered_the system. Vapid and superficial writers expectations of their framers. Free have talked a great deal about what imports may be advantageous or the they are pleased to call the “ Laissez- reverse ; but they have at all events faire" tendencies of modern states- failed in producing reciprocity, and in men-intending thereby to convey the converting foreign nations to our insuimpression that Government is not lar commercial doctrines. It would be, active enough in its regulating and to say the least of it, becoming in those modifying functions. According to who advocate the maintenance of the our view, this is a most unfounded present system to remember this, and charge, as against either the Govern- to mitigate the arrogance of their ment or the Legislature.

We can

tone; for, undeniably, the most imdiscern no lack of activity-no want portant half of their prophecy has of interference: on the contrary, we

fallen to the ground. are inclined to complain that changes Still it remains to be seen whether, are too common and rapid. This is in spite of the absence of the pro

VOL. LXIX.-XO. CCCCXXIII.

H

« PreviousContinue »