Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Flowers, and shells, and landscapes fair,
May unite to charm thee there ;
Here a cheek's vermilion dye,
There the lustre of an eye ;
Here a cottage in a grove,
There a fountain or alcove ;
All, in truth, that can invite
Passing glance of brief delight.
Toys like these we may not show,
For our theme is fraught with woe:
And the graver's mimic skill
Finds it-leaves it-wretched still :
Never could the painter's art
To the eye its griefs impart ;
Nor can artful prose or verse
Half its miseries rehearse ;-
Heads that think and hearts that feel
Only can our book upseal.
• Fathers ! unto you we speak;
Mothers! your support we seek ;
Britons ! holding freedom dear,
Abject slavery greets you here;
Home-bred slavery !--dire disgrace !
Borne by childhood's helpless race ;
Friendless outcasts of our laws,
Having none to plead their cause,
Save the people, struggling few,
Who solicit aid from you.

Christians! of each sect and name,
You who feel the awful claim
Of our high and holy creed,
Suffer us with you to plead.
May we not, in truth, command
Your assistance, heart and hand ?
Join, then, in this work of love,
For His sake who reigns above,
Nor be sympathy denied
Unto those for whom He died.'

Bernard Barton. We know not how to characterize the song given from Blake's “ Songs of Innocence.” It is wild and strange, like the singing of a “maid in Bedlam in the spring;" but it is the madness of genius.

« THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER. • When

my

Mother died, I was very young,
And my Father sold me, while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry, Weep! weep! weep!
So your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep.

6

[ocr errors]

• There's little Tom Toddy, who cried when his head,
That curl'd like a lamb's back was shaved, so, I said,
“ Hush, Tom, never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."
• And so he was quiet, and that very night,
As Tom was asleeping, he had such a sight,
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black,
• And by came an angel, who had a bright key,
And he open'd the coffins, and set them all free ;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.
· Then naked and white, all their bags left behicd,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind;
And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his Father, and never want joy.
• And so Tom awoke, and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work ;
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm,

So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.'
The pen of the Editor has supplied the following touching

[ocr errors]

little poem.

• A WORD WITH MYSELF. I know they scorn the Climbling-Boy, The gay, the selfish, and the proud;

, ; I know his villanous employ

Is mockery with the thoughtlesy crowd.
• So be it ;-brand with every name

Of burning infamy his art,
But let his Country bear the shame,

And feel the iron at her heart,
• I cannot coldly pass him by,

Stript, wounded, left by thieves half-dead;
Nor see an infant Lazarus lie

At rich men's gates, imploring bread.
"A frame as sensitive as mine,

Limbs moulded in a kindred form,
A soul degraded, yet divine,

Endear to me my brother-worm.
• He was my equal at his birth,

A naked, helpless, weeping child;
And such are born to thrones on earth,

On such hath every mother smiled.

My equal he will be again,

Down in that cold oblivious gloom,
Where all the prostrate ranks of men

Crowd, without fellowship, the tomb.
• My equal in the judgement day,

He shall stand up before the throne,
When every veil is rent away,

And good and evil only known.
• And is he not mine equal now?

Am I less fall’n from God and truth,
Though “ Wretch” be written on his brow,

And leprosy consume his youth?
. Ir holy Nature yet have laws

Binding on man, of woman born,
In her own court I'll plead his cause,

Arrest the doom, or share the scorn.
• Yes, let the scorn that haunts his course,

Turn on me like a trodden snake,
And hiss and sting me with remorse,
If I the fatherless forsake.'

J. Montgomery. As it is not our wish to exhaust by our extracts the interest and novelty of the work, we refrain from making any other citations, but cordially recommend the purchase of the volume, the profits of which will go in aid of a small fund for bettering the condition of Climbing Boys.

Philanthropy is sometimes 'not a little capricious. People claim the right, and it seems reasonable, to be benevolent and charitable in their own way. And never had they so many and various ways afforded them, from which to choose the least troublesome, most reputable, or most pleasing method of doing good. Schools, prisons, Bible societies, missionary societies, hospitals, asylums, the Greeks, the Irish, the Jews, the Gipsies, the Negroes, the Hindoos-how, it may be said, can a man attend to them all? A feeling of this kind has sometimes, we are afraid, led persons to shut their hearts and their purses against the claims of bounden duty. And they have almost been afraid to listen to any fresh appeal, lest it should force its way to their sympathy. But, with regard to that long neglected and injured class of infant bondsmen for whom this volume eloquently pleads, these English negroes, we were going to call' them, there is no possibility of remaining neutral. Every man must take part, practically, either for them or against them. Every housekeeper, at least, has a chimney or chimneys which require to be swept. By what means are they swept ? There are machines by wkch the employment of these poor little Vol. XXI. N.S.

2 T

children may be superseded in nine cases out of ten: are they in such cases employed ? Is it made an object, to discourage as far as possible the inhuman degradation of children? We put the question to the conscience of every reader. If any one has any specious argument to urge in defence or extenuation of his connivance at the evil, short of absolute necessity, it is at least his duty to read this volume, if not for the poetry, for the fucts.

[ocr errors]

Art. IX. Conversations on the Bible. By a Lady. 12mo. pp. 438.

London, 1824. 'To

O talk of Scripture doctrines in our social circles now,'

we are told in the Preface to these “ Conversations, is just as fashionable as it is to be a member of a Bible

Society; for in our age of wonders, we are all philosophers • and philanthropists. From this we are to infer, we presume, that to talk of Scripture doctrines, is to affect to be a philosopher; to be a member of a Bible Society, is to be a philanthropist. But this Writer disclaims being either. The flip

pancy and temerity,' it is added, with which the most ab• truse questions of Scripture are introduced into familiar con• versation, is as irreverent as it it is absurd, and ought to be

discouraged. Our readers will learn with surprise, that too large an infusion of theology into familiar conversation, is one of the crying sins of the day ; but the Author must be allowed to have hit upon a curious antidote, in composing Conversa tions on the Bible !

This work is, we doubt not, well meant, and we regret that we cannot commend the execution. The style is very deficient in simplicity, and the young ladies converse in a language which sounds much too lofty for their years. What I want, ' says Miss Fanny to her Mother, “is a synoptical elucidation of • the story, with its general relation to the several parts of the • Bible.' A young lady who could understand the use of these terms, ought to have read her Bible. ller Mamma replies :

• I will endeavour to give you such a view, though I may not accomplish it as well as I could desire. The subject is exceed ingly interesting, for the Bible is not only the oldest book in existence, but it contains an account of the creation of all things, and a history of mankind from the beginning.'

It is but just to add, that other and better reasons for studyng the Bible, are afterwards intimated. But Mrs. M. is evidently not at home on the subject of religion. The design

6

seems to have been, to present the Old Testament history in a connected and unexceptionable form. Mrs. Trimmer and Miss Neale have anticipated the idea; but, had the present work been competently executed, we should not the less have given it our cordial approbation. In a work for young persons, we look at least for correct and intelligible composition ; yet, what can we say for such sentences as the following?

Prophecy is unquestionably the most obscure portion of the Scriptures; yet is it sufficiently plain to form the great palladium of their origin, the chief argument of their divinity. Its predictions are so far beyond the penetration of human intellect, and the accom. plishment of these predictions are so multiplied and exact, as no art of man or combinations of men could achieve. The most hardened infidelity is compelled to refer both the prescience and the power to something more than human.'

Art. X. The Star in the East ; with other Poems. By Josiah Conder.

12mo. pp. 195. Price 6s. London. 1824. C YIRCUMSTANCES probably well known to the majority of

our readers, embarrass us exceedingly in the criticism of this publication. Conscious that our warm admiration is the result of impartial and even of severe examination, we feel that there is something almost unmanly in shrinking from the full responsibility of avowing and sustaining it; nor should we suffer, in such a case, any thing short of a specific injunction to interfere between our feelings and their entire expression. Happily, there is an alternative, far more satisfactory in the present instance, than in others more doubtful: if we are forbidden to praise, we can at least produce examples, and we may venture on these somewhat the more largely, since we shall, though most reluctantly, abstain from every thing in the shape of eulogy, and confine ourselves to simple analysis and extract.

The first and principal poem The Star in the East,' commemorates the progress of the Gospel, and anticipates its final triumph. It opens with the Song of the Angels at the Messiah's advent.

O to have heard the unearthly symphonies,
Which o'er the starlight peace of Syrian skies
Came floating like a dream, that blessed night
When angel songs were heard by sinful men,
Hymning Messiah's Advent! O to have watch'd
That night with those poor shepherds, whom, when first
The glory of the Lord shed sudden day, -
Day without dawn, starting from midnight, day
Brighter than morning, -on those lonely hills,
Strange fear surprised-fear lost in wondering joy,

« ZurückWeiter »