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STRANGER. "Tis true that the wight is a reverend man, And long did he live ere our journey began ; And yet though the season be far, far away, In sooth he shall come to his reckoning day! For he is a mortal of this humble earth, And here, like ourselves, must he own he had birth. But though he is ancient and hoary with years, Though his foot on the mountain so cautious appears, I trow 'tis as steady as when it first trod, With the step of a pilgrim, the earth's lowly sod! Though slow, he is certain, and never will slack In the course which he plods in, nor ere miss the track. By the men of this sojourn his name is callid Time, And his journey leads on to a far brighter clime. Ob, then, be not idle! for when he comes by, He will look upon thee with a soul-piercing eye; For his office on earth is to summon mankind To the work which for them was by Heaven design'd.
PILGRIM. And who is that being that after him walks Like a goblin, that over the sepulchres stalks ? All muffled and hid in a horrible shroud, That darkens the sky like a sulphurous cloud : It heavily flaps as the light breezes breathe, And discovers a skeleton figure beneath! On his white bony cheek is a terrible grin; No features are there, no complexion nor skin! And it seems that some spirit, hid under the guise, Looks forth from the sockets that once held his eyes; And he grasps in his marrowless fingers a dart Which is clotted with gore reeking red from the heart ! Oh! what is his name? for, whatever it be, A murderer vile and relentless is he! This moment I witness'd him butcher and slay An innocent infant that sat in his way! And his truculent arm, without sorrow or ruth, Strikes the head of the aged and heart of the youth !
His brow and his face are both comely and mild,
That Death comes behind, and is anxious to strike,
The Stranger evanish'd, and left me alone,
THE AURORA BOREALIS. The Aurora Borealis is a lumi. frequently covering the whole atnous appearance, generally observed mosphere, exhibiting the most roin high northern latitudes, and com- mantic forins and the most beautimonly to the north of the observer, ful appearance. According to Muschwhence it has got the name of North- enbroek, in that region of the air ern Lights ; it is known also among which is directly towards the north, the vulgar, by the name of “ the or which stretches from the north streamers," or the “ merry-dancers.” towards the east or west, there at first
The Aurora Borealis may be di appears a cloud in the horizon, which vided into two kinds, the tranquil rarely rises to the heightof 40 degrees. and the varying. The tranquil shines This cloud is sometimes contiguous with a mild and steady light, similar to the horizon, sometimes detached to the different stages of moon-light, froin it, in which last case the ineither as it appears near the time of termediate sky appears of a bright new moon, or as it gradually in- blue colour. The cloud occupies a creases when the moon becomes more portion of the heavens, extending in enlightened ; sometimes it is more length to 100 degrees, and somevivid than the light of the moon times still farther. It is generally when full; and it often preserves, white and shining, but sometimes for a considerable time, the form in black and thick. Its upper edge which it first appeared, with little or is parallel to the horizon, bordered no variation. Muschenbroek has paid by a long train of light, which rises much attention to this kind of me- higher in some places than in others. teor, and has given it several names, It appears also bent in the form of a according to the form which it as- bow, or like the segment of a sphere sumes; butas these names are founded which has its centre considerably only in fancy, and are not necessary beneath the horizon; and sometimes to an explication of the theory, we a large white or luminous band is shall omit them. The varied Au- visible, skirting the upper edge of rora is more remarkable in its ap the black cloud. The dark part of pearance, and occasionally exhibits the cloud becomes white and lumithe most brilliant and rapidly diver. nous when the Aurora has shone sified forms. The following are some for some time, and after it has sent of its very interesting properties: It forth several bright and fiery rays. is usually of a reddish colour, in- Then, from the superior edge of the clining to yellow, and it frequently cloud, rays issue in the form of jets, sends out corruscations of pale light, which are sometimes many, somewhich seem to rise from the horizon times few in number,--sometimes in pyramidal undulating forms, shoot close together, sometimes removed ing with great velocity towards the several degrees asunder. These jets zenith. This kind of meteor, which diffuse a very brilliant light, as if a is less frequent as we go towards the luminous or fiery liquor were driven Equator, is almost constant during with impetuosity from a syringe. the long winter nights in the Polar The jet increases in brightness, and Regions. In the Shetland Isles they has less bulk when it at first issues afford the inhabitants great relief, from the cloud; but it dilates and amid the gloomy darkness of their grows dimmer as it goes farther off. long and dreary nights. They com. There then arises, from a large openmonly appear at twilight, near the ing in the cloud, a luminous train, horizon, of a dun colour, approach- or column, of which the motion is at ing to yellow, and continue in that first gentle and uniform, and which state for several hours ; they aftere increases in size as it advances. The wards break into streams of stronger dimensions and duration of these light, spread into columns, then columns vary considerably; their slowly alter into innumerable shapes, light is sometimes white, sometimes and vary their colours from all the reddish, sometimes of a blood colour; yellow tints to an obscure russet; and as they advance, their colours
change, till they form a kind of arch assumed all the tints of violet and in the heavens. When several of blue, it formed a dome, the summit these columns, issuing from different of which was near the zenith in the places, encounter each other in the south-west. Its splendour was so zenith, they intermingle with cach great as not to be affected by the other, and form, at their junction, a strong light of the moon. He adds, small thick cloud, which seems, as it that he only observed two of these were, to kindle, and sends forth a red northern ligbts while he was in light considerably more brilliant Lapland, and thinks that they are than any of the separate columns. of rare occurrence in that country, This light changes to green, blue, although the Aurora there assumes and purple; and, quitting its origi- a great variety of tints; he moreover nal station, it directs itself towards observes, that they are considered the south, in the form of a small by the poor ignorant natives as omi. bright cloud. When no more con nous, and the forerunners of calalumns are seen to issue, the cloud mity. assumes the appearance of the morn- The accounts of noises attending ing dawn, and insensibly dissipates the Aurora Borealis are sufficiently itself. Sometimes the Aurora is corroborated; they have been heard formed and disappears in the course by numerous persons, and in various of a few minutes ; at other times places. They have been heard in it continues the whole night ; and Hudson's Bay, in Sweden, Norway, one that was observed by Muschen- and Lapland. Muschenbroek menbroek in 1734, lasted for ten days tions, that the Greenland whale-fishand nights successively. The lucid ers assured him that they had frecolumns are often so transparent, quently heard the noise of the Authat stars of the first and second rora ; but he adds, that no person in magnitudes are visible through them; Holland ever heard any noise occathese also shine through the white sioned by them. Mr Cavallo, howborder of the horizontal cloud, and ever, declares, that being in Northsometimes, though rarely, through ampton at the time when the northern the opaque cloud itself. But many lights were remarkably bright, he is parts are so thin, that the smallest confident that he heard a hissing or stars which are visible to the naked a whizzing sound. In the Orkney eye may be seen through them. A and Shetland Isles they are frequentmore beautiful spectacle than what ly heard. The writer of this article is very frequently presented to us has been told by more than one in these meteoric appearances, can- gentleman from Orkney, that the not easily be imagined ; the specta- noise made by the Aurora is often cle is often grand and terrific, and is heard by the natives ; and one of sometimes attended with a hissing, them assured him that he had somecrackling noise, which rushes through times heard it himself. They have the air, and is similar to a display of also been heard in Canada. As we large fire-works. The hunters who might very naturally expect, the pursue the white and blue foxes, Aurora Borealis is by no means conon the confines of the icy sea, are fined to the northern hemisphere ; often overtaken by these northern for similar appearances, and like lights, at which times their dogs are noises, have been observed and heard so much frightened that they will in high southern latitudes. If the not move, but crouch upon the existence of the Aurora Australis was ground till the noise has passed by at any time doubtful, it was comthem. Maupertuis observed a re- pletely ascertained by Captain Cooke markable Aurora at Oswer-Zornca, in his second voyage round the world. which excited his admiration ; an "On February the 19th, in 1773," extensive region of the heavens to says Mr Foster, who accompanied wards the south appeared tinged Cooke in the capacity of Naturalist, with so lively a red, that the whole “ in south latitude 58 degrees, a of the constellation Orion seemed to beautiful phenomenon was observed be dyed in blood. This light was for during the preceding night, which some time fixed, but it was soon in appeared again on this and several motion, and after having successively following nights. It consisted of