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THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

He ceased; for at his very feet

In mild rebuke, a floweret smiledHow thrilled his sinking heart to greet

The Star-flower of the Virgin's child! Sown by some wandering Frank, it drew

Its life from alien air and earth, And told to Paynim Sun and Dew

The story of the Saviour's birth. From scorching beams, in kindly mood,

The Persian plants its beauty screened ; And on its pagan sisterhood,

In love, the Christian floweret leaned. With tears of joy the wanderer felt

The darkness of his long despair Before that hallowed symbol melt,

Which God's dear love had nurtured there. From Nature's face, that simple flower

The lines of sin and sadness swept ; And Magian pile and Paynim bower

In peace like that of Eden slept. Each Moslem tomb, and cypress old,

Looked holy through the sunset air; And angel-like, the Muezzin told

From tower and mosque the hour of prayer. With cheerful steps, the morrow's dawn

From Shiraz saw the stranger part; The Star-flower of the Virgin-Born

Still blooming in his hopeful heart!

Where time the measure of his hours

By changeful bud and blossom keeps, And like a young bride crowned with flowers,

Far Shiraz in her garden sleeps ; Where, to her poet's turban stone,

The Spring her grateful gifts impart, Less sweet than those his thonghts have sown

In the warm soil of Persian hearts ; There sat the stranger, where the shade

Of scattered date-trees thinly lay, While in the hot clear heaven delayed

The long, and still, and weary day. Strange trees and fruits above him hung,

Stiange odors filled the sultry air, Strange birds upon the branches swung,

Strange insect voices murmured there. And strange bright blossoms shone around,

Turned sunward from the shadowy bowers, As if the Gheber's soul had found

A fitting home in Iran's flowers. Whate'er he saw, whate'er he heard,

Awakened feelings new and sad, No Christian garb, nor Christian word,

Nor church with Sabbath bell chimes glad, But Moslem graves, with turban stones,

And mosque-spires gleaming white, in view, And grey-beard Mollahs in low tones

Chanting their Korar, service through. As if the burning eye of Baal

The servant of his Conqueror knew, From skies which knew no cloudy veil,

The Sun's hot glances smote him through, The flowers which smiled on either hand

Like tempting fiends, were such as they Which once, o'er all that Eastern land,

As gists on demon altars lay. si Ah me!" the lonely stranger said,

• The hope which led my footsteps on, And light from Heaven around them shed,

O’er weary wave and waste, is gone! " Where are the harvest fields all white,

For Truth to thrust her sickle in ? Where flock the souls, like doves in flight

From the dark hiding place of sin ? " A silent horror broods o'er all

The burden of a hateful spellThe very flowers around recall

The hoary magi's rites of hell! " And what am I, o'er such a land

The banner of the Cross to bear? Dear Lord uphold me with thy hand,

Thy strength with human weakness share!"

SONG.

BY FELICIA D. HEMANS.

What woke the buried sound that lay

In Memnon's harp of yore?
What spirit on its viewless way

Along the Nile's green shore?
Oh! not the night, and not the storm,

And not the lightning's fire-
But sunlight's touch, the kind—the warm

This woke the mystic lyre !
This, this, awoke the lyre!

What wins the heart's deep chords to pour

Their music forth on life,
Like a sweet voice, prevailing o'er

The sounds of torrent strife?
Oh! not the conflict midst the throng,

Nor e'en the triumph's hour;
Love is the gifted and the strong

To wake that music's power!
His breath awakes that power!

FOREFATHERS' DAY.

My wonder, then, was not unmixed The 225th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims With merciful suggestion, was celebrated at Plymouth on the 22d inst. with the When, as my musing eye grew fixed usual empty declamation about their virtues, sufferings Upon the chair in question, and sacritices. Among those who made speeches at I saw its trembling arms enclose the dinner given on the occasion were Edward Everett and Rufus Choate, -men who have not an atom of | A figure grim and rusty, moral heroisin in their composition, and who stand in Whose doublet plain and plainer hose this evil generation, where the time-serving and pusil. Were somewhat worn and musty. lanimous in all ages have s'ood. Respecting this mat

Now even those men whom nature forms ter, we find in the Boston Courier, of Tuesday last, the following original lines, which cut to the quick,' Only to fill the street with, and which, though unaccompanied by any name or Once changed to ghosts by hungry worms, signature, we are almost certain were written by that Are serious things to meet with. true poet of Humanity and Freedom, James Russell Your penitent spirits are no jobes, LOWELL.- Liberalor, for 2nd mo. 2, 1846.

And, though I'm not averse to

A cheerful ghost, they are not folks AN INTERVIEW WITH MILES STANDISH. One chooses to speak first to. "I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pounds."- Hamlet. Who knows, thougnt I, but he has come, I sate one evening in my room

By Charon kindly ferried, In that sweet hour of twilight,

To tell me of some mighty sum When mingling thoughts,-half light, half gloom,- Behind the wainscot buried ? Throng through the spirit's skylight;

There is a buccaneerish air The flames by fits curl'd round the bars,

About that garb outlandishAnd up the chimney crinkled,

Just then the ghost drew up his chair While embers dropped, like falling stars,

And said, - My name is Standish.” And in the ashes tinkled.

There was a bluntness in his way I sate and mused; the fire burned low,

That pleased my taste extremely; And, o'er my senses stealing,

The native man had fullest play, Crept something of that ruddy glow

Unshackled by the seemly : Which bloomed on wall and ceiling;

His bold, gray eye could not conceal My pictures (they are very few,

Some flash of the fanatic, The heads of ancient wise men,)

His words, like doughty blows on steel, Smoothed down their knotty fronts, and grew Rang sharply through my attic. As rosy as excisemen.

“I come from Plymouth, deadly bored Mine ancient, high-backed Spanish chair

With songs and toasts and speeches Felt thrills through wood and leather

As long and flat as my old sword, That had been strangers long since, while,

As threadbare as my breeches; 'Mid Andalusian heather,

They understand us Pilgrims! they, The oak, that made its sturdy frame,

Smooth men with rosy faces, His happy arms stretched over

Strength's knots and gnarls all pared away, The ox, whose fortunate hide became

And varnish in their places ! The bottom's polished cover.

- We had some roughness in our grain; It came out in that famous bark That brought our sires intrepid,

The eye to rightly see us is Capacious as another ark

Not just the one that lights the brain For furniture decrepid ;

Of drawing-room Tyrtæuses ;

Such talk about their Pilgrim blood,
For as that saved of bird and beast
A pair for propagation,

Their birthrights high and holy !-
So has the seed of these increased,

A inountain stream that ends in mud And furnished half the nation.

Methinks is melancholy. Kings sit, they say, in slippery seats;

He had stiff knees, the Puritan, But those slant precipices

That were not good at bending; Of ice, the northern sailor meets,

The homespun dignity of Man Less slippery are than this is;

He thought was worth defending ; To cling therein would pass the wit

He did not, with his pinchbeck ore, of royal man or woman,

His country's shame forgotten, And whatsoe'r can stay in it

Gild Freedom's coffin o'er and o'er Is more or less than human.

While all within was rotten.

These loud ancestral boasts of yours,
How can they else than vex us?
Where were your patriot orators
When Slavery grasped at Texas ?
Dumb on his knee was every one
That now is bold as Cæsar ;-
Mere pegs to hang an office on
Such stalwart men as these are !"

" Child of our travail and our woe,
Light in our day of sorrow,
Through my rapt spirit I foreknow
The glory of thy morrow;
I hear great footsteps through the shade
Draw nigher still and nigher,
And voices call like that which bade
The prophet come up higher."
I looked, no form my eyes could find,
I heard the cock just crowing,
And through the window.cracks the wind
A dismal tune was blowing;
Thought I, my neighbour Buckingham
Hath somewhat in him gritty,
Some Pilgrim stuff that hates all sham,-
Perchance he'll print my ditty.

FROM "DREAM LOVE."

“Good sir," I said, "you seem much stirred,
The sacred compromises”—
- Now God confound that dastard word,
My gall thereat arises !
Northward it has this sense alone,
That you, your conscience blinding,
Shall bow your fool's nose to the stone,
When Slavery feels like grinding.
" While knaves are busy with their charts
For new 'man-markets seeking,
You want some men with God-stirred hearts
And good at downright speaking.
The soul that uttets the North should be
Too wide for self to span it,
As chainless as her wind-roused sea,
As firm-based as her granite.
c'Tis true we drove the Indians out
From their paternal acres,
Then for new victims cast about,
And hung a score of Quakers ;
But, if on others' rights we trod,
Our own, at least, we guarded,
And with the shield of faith in God
The thrusts of danger warded.
• () shame, to see such painted sticks
In Dane's and Winthrop's places,
To see your · Spirit of Seventy-six'
Drag humbly in the traces,
With Slavery's lash upon her back,
And herds of office holders
To shout huzzas when, with a crack,
It peels her patient shoulders !
« We, forefathers to such a rout?
No, by my faith in God's word !!!
Half rose the ghost, and half drew out
The ghost of his old broad-sword;
Then thrust it slowly back again,
And said, with reverent gesture,

No, Freedom, no ! blood should not stain
The hem of thy white vesture.
" I feel the soul in me draw near
The hill of prophesying;
In this bleak wilderness I hear
A John the Baptist crying;
Far in the East I see npleap
The first streaks of forewarning,
And they who sowed the light shall reap
The golden sheaves of morning.

How slight is a smile or a kind word to the giverhow much it may be to the receiver. So little do we know of the thoughts and feelings of those who move about us, so little does the inward and hidden world correspond with the outward and apparent, that we cannot calculate our influence, and when we think that trivial offices of kindness, which cost us nothing, may make flowers to spring up in another's heart, we should be slow to refuse them. This passing jest may have built the climax to an argument, which shall turn a struggling soul from out the path of duty-that word of encouragement afforded the prompting impulse which shall last forever. We cannot help the bias which others take from us. No man can live for himself, though he bury himself in the most eremitical caverns. We, as it were, are an illimitable and subtly entangled chain in the vast mechanism of Nature. The vibration of one link sounds along the whole line.

Life is after all just what we choose to make it—and no man is so poor that he can not shape

whole world for himself even out of nothing. When I stand under the trees of another, and see the yellow morning gleaming through their tall shafts, and broken into a magnificent, illuminated oriel by the intervening leaves; when I look down the forest's sombre aisles, and hear the solemn groaning of the oaks, wrestling with the night blast, as if they struggled in prayer against an evil spirit, is it not my world that I behold, do I not own the silent stars that seem to fly through the clouds—and is not the large and undulating stretch of summer landscape mine, which my moving eye beholds? The power of enjoyment is the only true ownership that man can have in nature, and the landed proprietor may walk landless as MacGregor, though the world

may call him the wealthy owner of a thousand acres. | shone steadily—and the rest had withdrawn behind The poorest painter 1 hat ever passes his estate owns the veil of the moonlight into their fathomless blue more of it than he ; the little school-girl who stops chambers. No! Science is not opposed to Poetry, to list his robin's song, or to dabble in his running it only opens a wider field. When I think that each brook, or to chase his butterfly, or to pluck his dan- of those sparkling points that I see above me sprinkled delion, owns more of all his land than he ever knew over the blue shell of the sky, is a distant world that there was to own. I do not covet your broad wood spins alorg its meted course forever, and that its lands, they are mine now— here from my window, twinkling is but the incessant obscuration caused by all, as far as I can see, is mine, - I pay no taxes. the passage of invisible atoms across its disk; when

Habit steals the sweetness out of our pleasures. I know that some of them are double, and of com. The hard drudgery of a week's work makes the plementary color, though they seem to us as one, do silence of the seventh day its blessing. To the city I not find a lofty truth therein, which is full of man of business, the few free hours in which he can Poetry? We need not fear that science shall crowd smell the fresh air of the country, are by far poetry out of nature, by depriving it of mysterypleasanter for the tedious routine of his common for ever the web grows more complicate, and the life. Sleep is sweetened by labor. The poor stu- secret more unfathomable. Yet the imaginative dent whose hard earned dollar was pressed out of may well sear, for it is our stand point, that enables aching needs and privations, and given for the book us to find poems in the common life of every day. he coveted, sweetens his life and soul by it—but the This dry muscle-shell which lies beside me, will rich virtuoso has no dark vista of expectation and grow translucent and veined with a thousand curidesire, to heighten the charm of the object he pur- ous hues and prismatic lights, as soon as the salt chases. Never was play so good as in the quarter spray touches it. And so when the commonest fact hour at recess, hemmed in between the walls of of nature is wet from the fountain of inspiration, it study. Too much tasting vitiates the palate. We shows its thousand radiant, yet hidden beauties. artists live the best lives. We are like children, lured Custom and convention alone kill the poetry out of on by the scent of flowers in a green and pleasant nature. Laws of society, which are barren forms, meadow, which, though they are seldom found, make hang lead weights upon the young enthusiastic the seeking a delight. Art thus entices us gently on. Apollo. Every youthful heart, which in its first flush The mechanical is so harmoniously connected with of hope would clasp the world to its bosom, finds the intellectual, that mind and body are both satis. that it clasps a cold mailed body-stuffed with a fied. We smell a perfume after which all common trite commonplace, instead of the genial glowing things, dusty and scentless in themselves, seem spirit that it sought. Enthusiasm is unfashionablevivified and transfigured. The old barn-yard, the the ideal, a bore-high projects are foolish transcengnarled oak and the stunted willow, and every sun- dentalism-and when the bewhipped heart, after it set and sunrise, and all the clouds, and all human has run its gauntlet, turns and asks, what is true faces, become full of interest for us. They are no and good ? "Our forms,” says the world, and be longer tame and prosaic, but filled with an ever consents for sake of peace. shifting beauty. Had we only the ideal, we should

I have been looking out of my window soon give up, but the constant contact of the actual, into the moon-light. The fresh air as it blew in, from which our problem is to shape out the ideal, futtered the flame of my candle, which stood on the gives a sincerity and truth to all our aspirations and mantel, and threatened momentarily to extinguish it. Jabors. Our brushes and paints lie between the Being in a superstitious mood, I determined not to picture and our hands, and between the conception move it, but to try my fate by it. If it were and its embodiment there is a great deal of actual blown out, my love would also melt away. If it work. Thus a pleasant vibration is constantly kept resisted the wind and burned on, my love was not a up between the spirit and the sense. Along the foolish fancy, but would live to shed light and happencil runs the thought to bury itself in the can. piness around me. I have watched with curiosity, vass, as the lightning from heaven flashes along the for some time, the struggle between the wind and iron rod to seek the earth. We are kept from being the candle. Now it seems as if the wind would get too visionary by a constant necessity of reducing all the better, for the flame hangs fluttering around the our feelings and emotions and ideas, to something wick, and seems barely to keep its hold. And now actual and visible. Thus we can sit and realize our agażn the wind flags, and the flame burns brightly ideal world-and is not this the greatest joy? and steadily. So it is with me. Love, the flame,

I wandered out into the moonlight to be alone. Inow burning brightly, and now threatened with sat down upon a rock beside the water. The waves doubt and distrust. How universally this desire of beat gently around its base, and the gleaming path snatching an intimation of the future out of the passof flickering light, paved with myriads of sparkles, ing facts of the present, possesses the mind of man. seemed to invite me to walk over the bosom of the Do we not, when anxious for an undetermined result, sea into the distant horizon. The few large stars endeavor to strengthen our belief in what we hope,

THE POOR MAN'S DEATH BED.

BY CAROLINE SOUTHEY.

Tread softly-bow the head-
In reverent silence bow!
No passing bell doth toll,
Yet an immortal soul

Is passing now.
Stranger ! how great soe'er,
With lowly reverence bow!
There's one in that poor shed,
One by that wretched bed,

Greater than thou.

by watching the chance ending of trivial facts then pending, and attaching an encouraging and significant interpretation to one of the two issues. Yes we cannot build up so strong a wall of confidence, that it needs no prop to sustain it. And we are will. ing but too often that chance shall decide, when reason and judgment are wavering. And yet our destiny is almost the creation of our will—and often when a peculiar providence seems to have directed the result, and to have aided the individual, he in fact has created the circumstances and fashioned the event. When we are broken down in hope, and drowning, we grasp at straws. If a chance happen in our favor it gives us faith—and belief in our abi. lity is the touchstone to success. When we have taken counsel in moments of hesitation, front chance throws of dice, from fates cut in a book, and the result has proved fortunate as thereby indicated, is it not the faith which the chance decision has inspired, that decided the issue? When Robert Bruce lay on his pallet watching the spider, and saw him make six unsuccessful attempts to fasten its web to a beam above his head, and then determined, that if the insect succeeded in his seventh attempt, he also, who had six times failed in his efforts for the freedom of his country, would make one more trial; was it not the faith which the final success of the indefatigable insect inspired, that was the guaranty of victory, and under the guidance of which, defeat and failure were next to impossible? We can do, what we do not doubt that we can do. All great minds have a settled fearlessness and confidence, which looks like inspiration. Napoleon conquered and intimidated all Europe, by his sublime faith in himself. After marshalling all his resources and omitting no precaution which pointed even dimly to success, he had over and above this, a fiery faith, which spread like wildfire over his whole army, which conquered the most fearful odds, and which strode over and crushed all doubt to the earth. No army could withstand that desperate resolution, which never harbored a doubt of its own ability. Without this faith, he might have possessed his eagle insight, his quick instinct, his rapid combination, his subtle calculation and foresight, still never have grasped the hydra of anarchy, and famed it to submission, even while its fangs were dripping with gore, nor have waded through the blood of Europe to an imperial throne. If we have no faith in ourselves, who is to have faith in us? No great man is astonished at his own success.

Beneath that beggar's roof,
Lo! Death doth keep his state;
Enter-no crowds attend;
Énter--no guards defend

This palace-gate.
That pavement, damp and cold,
No whispering courtiers tread ;
One silent woman stands,
Listing with pale thin hands

A dying head. No mingling voices soundAn infant wail alone; A sob suppressed-agen That short, deep gasp—and then

The parting groan. O change, oh, wondrous change! Burst are the prison bars ! This moment there, so low, So agonized, -and now

Beyond the stars! O change! stupendous change! There lies the senseless clod; The soul from bondage breaks, The new immortal wakes

Wakes with his God.

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I thank ye, oh ye ever noiseless 'stars !

That ye do move so silent, in your high

Eternal marches through the voiceless sky. When Earth's loud clamor on the spirit jars, -The Captive's groans, the victor's loud huzzas,

And the worn toilers' deepening hunger cry,

Then from your height ye gaze so placidly, That the low cares whose fretful breathing scars Life's holy deeps, shrink back abashed before

The love-sad meekness of your still rebuke, And the calmed soul forgets the earth storm's roar

In the deep trust of your majestic look, Till through the heart by warring passions torn, Some pulse of your serener life is born.

For dubious meanings learned polemics strove, And words on faith prevented works of love.

CRABBE

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