Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

A man of letters by profession, he was totally free from literary jealousy; but, severe only to himself, and apparently unconscious of his own superiority, he gave to every one the fullest measure of applause. On his own high and scrupulous honour, his life was a practical commentary. His religious convictions were steadfast and uniform. His faith equally removed from intolerance and levity, was of that amiable cast which renders religion the guide of prosperity, and the solace of misfortune, and on his own death bed he derived from it those consolations which his writings have so often taught they were capable of imparting.

To his private virtues let those who have long known himlet that wide circle of whom he was the delight and the ornament, bear testimony. So full of urbanity and gentleness were his manners—50 amiable his deportment, that none could approach, without loving a man from whom there never escaped an unkind expression-who, in his graver mood, was an instructive friend; and in his social hours, a most gay, and captivating companion. However, therefore, his writings may be received by the world, or with whatever harshness its colder eye may regard the weaknesses incident to his nature, there are many who will long see with affectionate regret, the tomb which incloses a being once distinguished by all that can endear our sympathies, or excite our admiration.

These hasty and imperfect lines convey but faintly the feelings which his death has suggested. They do not aspire to delineate his character. That task is committed to abler hands; nor would the writer have permitted himself even this melancholy indulgence, were it not necessary in some way to introduce a topic, on which he could neither be silent with propri. ety, nor trust his feelings with safety.

MONODY ON THE DEATH OF JOSEPH DENNIE, ESQ.

MYSTERIOUS Nature, at whose shrine I bow,
How passing strange! how wonderful art thou!
When on the couch the extended body lies,
Lost to the world-incompetent to rise;
A breathing måss-insensible of breath,
The senses touch'd with temporary death;
Then active Fancy haunts the slumberer's bed,
And pours terrific visions round his head.
Soft smile the hours of rest-we close our eyes
On placid moonbeams and on sparkling skies;
When horrid Fancies, worse than poets feign,
Rise from the grave of sleep, and haunt the brain.

Such fearful thoughts my drooping soul opprest,
When calm Oblivion sooth'd each sense to rest
Methought the cloudless moon, in lustre bright,
Alike the queen of Silence and of Night;
Was rising to her full meridian tour,
And bath'd the landscape with a silver shower.
Heedless what course my wandering feet might take,
I wandered by the margin of a lake.

Delighted with a prospect so serene,
I stood and gaz’d on night's majestic queen;
And mark'd her streaming rays of pallid white,
That on the foilage fell with touch so light,
As fearful Silence from her haunt should flee,
And wake the quiet slumber of the tree-

Sudden methought in tones distinct and clear,
The welcome voice of Friendship caught mine ear.
I follow'd, and a form arose to view,
Beneath the shade the baneful cypress threw.
At such an hour of night I could not bear
To tread that gloom and hold communion there.

And canst thou in this gloomy shade sojourn,
This cold and dreary shadow of the urn;
Whom Friendship, Genius, and the Muse caress,
And whom each gentler spirit joys to bless?

Behold! how beautiful the moonbeams break
On the smooth bosom of this crystal lake;
Or when the Zephyr o'er the surface trips,
And strives to touch the shadow with his lips;
Chaste Dian's image flies from place to place,
And thus eludes that wanton boy's embrace.
Come then, my friend, and wander forth with me,
O leave the shade of that unhallow'd tree!

At such an hour, the spirit stirring Muse
Delights to wander in these peaceful dews;
She waits thy coming, with a smile serene,
To walk with thee and bless the moon-light green.
And has that voice, which thou has't lov'd so long,
That always bound thee by a spell so strong,
No longer power, to charm thy tardy feet,
And woo thee from that cold and dark retreat?
Come then, my friend, and wander forth with me,
O quit the shadow of the cypress tree.

Lo, ev'ry gentle spirit is awake!
Beside the margin of this peaceful lake.
They call thy footsteps, from that tree of death,
In cheerful whispers, mild as Mercy's breath.
Yes, all thy guardian spirits hover round,
And chide thy steps, on such unhallow'd ground,
They wait thoe, to participăte their bliss,
And bid thee *welcome, to an hour like this.
Come then, my friend, and wander forth with me,

quit the shadow of the cypress tree.-
Lo! Friendship calls, in sorrow and dismay,
That voice so sacred, summons thee away,
That sound was ever fraught with magic power,
To charm the sorrows of thy saddest hour,
And drive away those fiends that haunt thy brain,
That very voice, alas! is heard in vain.
Come then, my friend, O! wander forth with me,
And quit the shadow of the cypress tree.

• The amiable traits in the character of the late editor of The Port Folio are not probably so generally known as his genius.

This hour has sainted Melancholy blest,
And does she claim thee as her ancient guest?
O how unfit, beneath this shadow drear,,
To taste those joys so holy and so dear.
He who frequents the placid moon-beam finds,
A sacred luxury, for pensive minds.
'Tis his alone, to relish with delight
The solemn, awful, mysteries of night.
This shade affords thee no such hallow'd spell,
Here sprites unblest, and wicked demons dwell;
No sympathy here wounds with gen'rous pain,
Unholy forms arise, that tear the brain;
Come then, my friend, and wander forth with me,
O quit the shadow of the cypress tree.

Does Contemplation bid thy soul expand,
Behold this arch, magnificent and grand!
This noble arch--the cincture of the sight,
And strew'd so plenteous with the fires of night.
Thus does high Heav'n hold intercourse with men,
And thus Devotion sparkles from the pen.
'Tis this unveils Religion's awful shrine,
And kindles rapture in a soul like thine.*

Here Madness raves, Despair and every sprite,
That haunt the sober quietude of night.
Chill hang the dews upon the cypress leaves,
Loud and more loud the boding raven grieves;
Mournful the gale of midnight murmurs by,
And through the deep'ning foilage heaves a sigh,
Come then, my friend, and wander forth with me,
O leave the shadow of the cypress tree.

He came-how chang'd was DenniE to my sight!
His garment glow'd a robe of silver white!
Fairer than life-majestic was his tread,
A star of glory twinkled on his head
He turn's and paus'd—then eying me awhile,
Said nought, but vanish'd with a placid smile.

It is unnecessary to dwell on the popularity of Mr. Dennie's Lay Preacber.

I turn'd again—the cold, ungenial shade,
The midnight dews-the horror haunted glade
Were seen no more, and where the cypress threw
Its dismal gloom—the smiling olive grew
Where the soft moonbeam tipt the branch above,
With silver light sat Mercy's snow-white dove.
I gaz'd awhile transported, but the dream
Fled with the shades of night, before the beam.

TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.

Though afflicted and embarrassed by the lamented death of the late editor of this Journal, his successors are not unmindful of the duties of their station. In all its difficulties, whether assailed by enemies, or occasionally weakened by the relaxing diligence of friends, The Port Folio has been cordially greeted by the distinct and audible voice of public approbation. To a kindness at once so indulgent and flattering, it were worse than ingratitude to be insensible. An union has therefore been formed, among some of the oldest and most steadfast contributors to this Journal, who have determined that no exertion shall be omitted, no assistance in their power withheld to support the literary reputation of The Port Folio. Unwilling to rely on the casual aid of strangers, their association is strengthened by a direct and immediate interest in the success of their own labours, the safest pledge of their sincerity and diligence. Of their own pretensions to the public favour it is not for them to speak, nor will they tempt the unwary by splendid promises which may hereafter reproach their negligence. But animated as they are, by all the motives which can stimulate the exertions of men-a zealous care that an establishment which they have so long cherished, shall not be suffered to decay—an ardent desire of literary distinction, and the impulse of interest, they may venture to hope that those who have been accustomed to look to this Journal for

« EdellinenJatka »