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« Mrs. E. Groves. “ Not particularly, my love."

Mr. James. “ Poor old creature! I pity the widow; I think I shall go and see her ; [turning short as he was going ont of the door.] Agnes, child, I hope that bell-tolling did not depress your spirits ?"

Mrs. E Groves. [Looking very earnestly at him.] “ My dear, who is Agnes Groves, that she is never to hear a bell toll? Do not spoil a child who is really disposed to modesty and humility. So far from viewing this circumstance as unfavourable on her first entrance here, I think it may prove of the greatest use to her." • Mr. James. “ I really cannot see it in that light."

Agnes. “ I can, uncle. I understand my aunt completely." • She rose, and fondly slipping her arm within his, led him up and down the library. “Shall I tell you ?” Mr. James. Yes, if you will."

Agnes. “ She thinks her Agnes very likely to be spoiled by a kind uncle, and many more indulgent friends ; she thinks it probable she may look too low for happiness; and the tolling of that bell may serve to remind her that this is not her rest."

Mr. James. Child, why don't you hold your head up? Do you think it necessary to stoop to me? or is it a mere act of condescension, whilst you are informing my judgment? If so, condescend no more ; but let me see if you are grown since we parted."

Agnes. “ There uncle ; [drawing herself to her full height.] There, you see."

Mr. James. Well, my dear, you are quite tall enough, so that will do; and I will go and see this poor woman.”

"“ What a dear excellent creature that is, Aunt Groves !” said Agnes, as she saw him pass the window. He is one that does good by stealth, and blushes to find it fame." “ My love, I differ from you; but I should not express this difference, were it not for your sake, Agnes. I do not wish you to get a taste for an extreme of secrecy, even in the kind acts you perform. We are to · let our light shine before men;' certainly not for our own glory : but there is danger in this studied secrecy. There is danger of our attaching to it some idea of merit. You would see no peculiar beauty in slighting the commands of your dear earthly friends openly, and in secretly performing them ; let all your conduct be natural, Agnes. When once obedience to God is your delight, you will no longer think of the opinion of man.” “But is there not a text, my dear Aunt, “Let not your left hand know what your right hand doeth"" "Undoubtedly; and I think it is like many other texts, a guard against the opposite extreme. Your dear uncle James is a most improving character ; but this feature is so strong in him, that his originality appears in every act; and though in him we expect it, for us to imitate would be both awkward and atfected. We have but one safe model, and that is our Saviour. Let us endeavour, my child, to follow him earnestly and sincerely. I remember an observation of a wise and pious friend of mine. that in Jesus nothing was prominent; no excellence pre-eminent but goodness. He was remarkable for nothing. Every attribute of his character was in harmony, and none predominated.”

Art. VI. Idolatry; a Poem in Five Parts. By the Rev. William

Swan, Missionary at Selenginsk. Part V. 12mo. pp. 68. Glasgow.

1832. W E hope that the time will come round in which the poet

shall again stand a fair chance of being listened to, if he charm wisely ;' when manly sentiment, and sterling sense, and natural description, such as gave to the poetry of Cowper at one time its charm and its authority, will redeem verse from the depreciation and powerlessness into which it appears to have sunk; when readers will again have leisure to feel and to sympathize, and to cultivate those sentiments which are of slow growth, but which alone bear the purest pleasures. We should regard it as a most encouraging indication of a return to a healthy state of public feeling, were Cowper as much read, and as frequently cited, as Lord Byron. But the fact is, the age is too busy to think, and, amid the din of the ten thousand wheels of the world's machinery, has no car for music, no heart for poetry. That we are not slandering the times, the state of general literature will, we think, sufficiently evince. Yet, surely, those lose much who do not sometimes allow themselves to be conducted to the higher elevations of thought, which are above the reach of the grosser atmosphere. The style of thought proper to poetry, and which is the essence of poetry, is one that is adapted to soothe the restlessness of the passions, as well as to refine the sentiments; and we know of no substitute for it. Poetry is so natural to the mind as a mode of thought, that the feelings, when in a healthy and vigorous state, will always be susceptible of poetical influence. The love of nature, the domestic sentiments, philosophic or devout meditation, all find their most appropriate expression in the language of poetry; and where this language is foreign to the feelings, it indicates that a certain kind of mental cultivation has been neglected, which is requisite to the complete formation of the character.

But is Idolatry a subject for poetry? What else is the grand theme, the staple material, of all that is deemed classical in ancient poetry ? Idolatry is the very religion of imagination, and poets have been its priests. But when a Christian Missionary chooses such a theme, he may seem to invade the region of the

loves and the luxuries,' only as an iconoclast,-a ruthless violater of the fanes consecrated by art and venerable prescription. It is so; and yet, Mr. Swan has sufficiently shewn in the former Parts of his poem, that Truth is able to foil fiction with its own weapons, and that the simplest tones of the harp of prophecy are of more genuine inspiration than the music of Orpheus himself. All figure apart, Mr. Swan has chosen a subject which Cowper had already touched with a master hand, but only incidentally, so as to encourage the attempt to exhibit it more distinctly in all its horrid lineaments, for the purpose of deepening impressions of its true character. This has been the Author's purpose, worthy of the sacred character which he bears; and ‘for the sake

of this, he will be well content,' he says, 'to bear the self-complacent sneer of the men whose taste is too refined-or not re

fined enough—for such things.' Contempt, Mr. Swan can hardly have to fear. His poetry must command the approbation of those whom it may fail to move or to delight. It describes what the Author has seen, reports what he knows to be true, expresses no feigned or sickly feelings, but being evidently inspired by the purest and most elevated sentiments of the heart, makes an eloquent appeal to the heart of the reader. The former portion of the poem of which this is the concluding part, was noticed by us on its first appearance. It is written in the Spenserian stanza, the best, perhaps, that could have been adopted, but to manage which with uniform felicity, so as to satisfy the fastidious ear, requires a very practised and skilful hand. Mr. Swan has evidently been sometimes more intent on communicating his sentiments and feelings, than on polishing his lines. And yet, his versification is, upon the whole, smooth, flowing, and energetic, though not straining with the intensity of energy. Our readers shall, however, judge for themselves, both of his talent for description and his skill in versification.

-The traveller o'er India's sultry plains,
Sees in the north a filmy cloud of light,
Skirting th' horizon.-Day by day he gains
Upon it.—What is there?-Lo! calmly bright,
The snowy mountains towering in their height,
Above the storms of time that roll beneath -
No path is there—nor soaring birds alight

On those eternal snows. No sound-no breath
Is heard! There all is cold and motionless as death!

Kingdoms are at their feet, and from their sides
Rush rivers that those kingdoms fertilize ;
Their shadow points to Lassa, where resides
A man-a god in his fond votaries' eyes.
And they are found from hence, where rivers rise,
Far as these roll their many-branching streams;
And, as yon sky-invading ridge defies

The sun to melt its snows-the lama deems
That he has nought to fear from truth's directest beams.


s 'Tis time— full time the experiment were tried ;
He gathers courage by our long delay ;-

Nor is he idle while we stand aside,
But o'er new realms extends his ghostly sway.;
And drains their wealth as well as faith away.'

• But of the scatter'd family of man,
Behold another tribe !—the outskirts of the world
Their home-inhospitable, proud Japan :-
Unknown until the mountain waves that curl'd
Their heads round Pinta's bark, him headlong hurl'd
Upon her shores. Then first that tempting mine
Of wealth was open'd, and then first unfurl'd

Their flags, the prows that ploughed the brine,
From distant Europe, where Truth own'd her fairest shrine.

• The merchants crowded to the new-found strand;
And Missionaries hied with cross and bead,
And soon was reckon'd there a numerous band
Of converts-but, of course, the Romish breed :
And whether they were “wholly a right seed,”
One day will show.-Yet, from a root unsound,
'Twere hard to credit that there could proceed

Fair trees of righteousness, on which were found
Such fruits as made Japan's plantations holy ground.

· But the bears came, and tore up branch and root,

And made those fields a wilderness again;
God will'd not that that tribe should kiss the fout
Of Rome, and reverence her saintly train.
His majesty, whose right it is to reign,
Must be asserted there in other form,
And what if, o'er the island-studded main,

Some voyager, hurried by another storm,
May to a paradise that land of weeds transform.'

.-There the Cordilleras their white heads raise ;

A sea of clouds breaks on their mighty sides,
As ocean's self beats harmless at their base.
Their lengthen'd ridge a continent divides-
Their snows the source of many a stream that glides
In various volume to the distant main :
The Condor, nested in their crags, derides

The mortals he sees toiling on the plain,
Digging with bloody hands for base, unholy gain.

• Woe to the Incas—woe to their Peru,
When a Pizarro to that land was led !
Surely that day the sun his light withdrew,
And left his votaries to their speechless dread,
Who, ere their rites were done, the altars fled ;
But why ?—These Spaniards bear the holy cross,
And that bless'd sign will there erect, instead

Of Idol vanities and symbols gross —
And God's will be the gain—and hell's will be the loss.

• Vain fantasy !-where'er th' invader's foot

Brush'd off the dew, it left a bloody stain-
Why- they were sportsmen !-and as sportsmen shoot
The golden-plumaged bird, nor heed its pain,
If they can but the shining spoil obtain-
So that inhuman crew their cross adorn'd,
First with the Inca's head—then with the chain

They forged for his Peruvians, who mourn'd
Their fallen chief, and wore a yoke their spirits scorn'd!

• But now that chain is rotting, and the limbs

It bound, erewhile, are struggling to be free-
And he who now the Andes' summits climbs,
Could he survey the land from sea to sea,
Might count how few are left who bow the knee
To their oppressors; and from that proud height,
Perceive the spreading boughs of Freedom's tree-

The clouds retiring, and Religion's light,
Calm rising through the gloom--and shining still more bright.'

cxiv. "-But hush !-here comes a Persian ; his air Is mild but noble, and his meaning eye Bespeaks an audience. Some deep-brooding care He would reveal, is prefaced by that sigh“ Speak, Persian ! thou hast gain'd our sympathy; We would assuage, or share thy sorrows deep; Our hearts acknowledge the mysterious tie

That binds us, for we, too, can sigh and weep; And, giving words to grief, thou mayest some comfort reap."

cxy. "2" The first of men—too sacred is his name For his mean slave to utter-too revered To be forgotten-from your country came.

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