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utility. Let not an intention be supposed, of depreciating the
value of the more abstruse sciences; they afford an honour-
able employment to those whose taste leads them to such
studies, and their progress is a glorious monument to the
powers of human intellect: but morals, and general literature,
with some of the most popular and interesting branches of the
study of nature, will even have greater attractions for the ma-
jority of mankind, and it is to be desired that they should :
they are more generally captivating, because they come home
to the bosoms of all; they are more extensively useful, be-
cause they are more intimately connected with the business
“For not to know at large of things remote
From use obscure and subtle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life
Is the prime wisdom.”
If it be desirable to encourage men to cultivate their
minds, and to open to them the fountains of knowledge, -to
animate diffident ability, and cherish unobtrusive merit, -to in-
spire men with a zeal for truth, and enable them to reason
with accuracy and precision, to teach the indolent to labour,
the careless to attend, and the obtuse to discriminate; if it be
praiseworthy to substitute candour and charity in the place
of prejudice and intolerance, and to strengthen the ties which
bind man to man, literary institutions have solid and sub-
stantial claims to the tribute of our applause.
BLEST Scrence! proudest daughter of the sky;
Sent from the blissful seats above,
Robed in unfading light to move;
To shed effulgence on the mental eye:
Piercing the desert tracks of earth,
And waking to her nobler birth,
'Th' immortal mind of man,
Since thou hast visited the world below
Since first thy glorious beams began
To chase the shades of ignorance and woe-
O'er renovated earth a brighter day
Kas dawned, and bigot gloom has fled before thy ray.
Increasing splendour hath thy path illumed;
As Phæbus from the eastern hills,
With floods of light the valley fills,
That in the shades of night had slept entomb'd;
And gilding, with his welcome beam,
The field, the forest, and the stream,
Arrays the joyous world in living light-
So hast thou risen on the sight!
Yet brighter does thy glory seem;
For that yields not to dim succeeding night;
Upon thy path no darkness falls;
Nor clouds nor winter mar thy reign;
Thy form no deepening twilight palls ;
But life, and light, and love are there,
A happiness unknown to paio;
A hope unbroken by despair.
Eternal and increasing day is thine;
And round thy heavenly brows immortal glories shine.
And thou hast breathed into the soul of man
Tbine own etherial fire,
That never can expire,
Nor leave him wrapt in clouds again :
The power of thy spirit is in him ;
In him, whose mind before was chain'd and dim-
In error's mazes almost lost;
In storms of barbarous passion toss'd;
A bark upon the foaming tide,
Without a rudder that might guide
The vessel on its lone benighted way,
When not a star bestow'd its welcome ray,
To point its wish'd, but dubious track,
Across the pathless desert of the sea ;
Or lead it to its haven bark.
'Twas thine to set man's prison'd spirit free-
The best of freedom thou hast given,
The freedom of the soul!
That aims her flight from pole to pole, And on unearthly wings, sweeps the blue vault of heaven.
When first thy foot alighted on the earth,
The midnight crew-the bigot train,
That brooding Superstition hatch'd to birth,
Fled howling, never more to reign ;
Fled to their own congenial night,
Never again to blast the sight;
Their rule o'er earth and man was done;
Their midnight sceptre dash'd
And upward from the earth there flash'd
A blaze of glory never known before !
Darkness, despair, and fear, were gone;
And fancy felt their spell-bound chains no more.
From pagan temple and monastic cell,
Where, thron’d in shadows, they had lov'd to dwell,
From caves of earth, and realms of air,
Whence they had shed abroad despair ;
Or flash'd in fire upon the sight,
Phantoms of horror and affright;
Where they had claini'd the lightning's beam,
And call'd the thunder burst their own;
And made the powers of nature seem
But as the guardians of their parent's throne-
Before thy gaze, from mortal sight they fled;
While, by thy voice arous'd, man woke as from the dead.
What rich, what countless, blessings hast thou given!
The sun of life, and joy, and light,
Thou hast been, and shalt be;
Unfolding to our raptur'd sight,
What else we ne'er had hop'd to see,
Making this once dark earth a type of heaven.
Where thou alightest in thy majesty,
Purer comforts smile around,
Richer works adorn the ground;
Here majestic temples rise,
Glittering in the golden skies;
Fram'd in vast and towering form,
To triumph in the war with time,
And breast unscath'd the fiery storm,
In whom fair beauty clothes the huge sublime.
There the bridge, in giant stride,
Stretches o'er the rushing tide;
Chains the flood in massive links,
While downward to its bed it sinks;
And rising o'er the waves in grand repose,
Uniting shore to shore, its mountain shadow throws.
And most 'tis thine to pierce the secret ways
Of Nature, where, with magic land,
She hides her deeds from vulgar gaze;
And, when unveil'd, is seen to stand
The subject of her Author's power and praise.
The means by which she works her spells,
The wisdom that in darkness dwells ;
That but for science ne'er had been
By mortal understood nor seen,
Wrapt in the womb of night;
The simply beauteous, and sublime,
Still unreveal'd to sight,
Shut from the eye, as in the olden time:
But now her wonders shine
In power and depth divine,
With matchless foresight, and unerring skill,
Potent each destin'd purpose to fulfil.
Science can soar aloft as far
As earth's aërial mantle spreads;
And when its wrath the tempest sheds,
Surveys the elemental war;
Investigates the meteor-star;
Nor fears to trace the cause of that wild strife,
Tbat, when it smites, arrests the pulse of life:
Nor shrinks from grasping at the beam
Of lightning; midst its fiercest gleam,
And turns it from its course,
To spend innoxious on the ground,
Its else destroying force;
Disarm'd and hurtless in the deep profound.
High on the air upborne she wheels her flight,
While clouds majestic sail below,
Where the sun shines, but yields no glow,
And cities fade from view;
Herself beyond the reach of sight,
Lost in the boundless fields of blue,
Fears not to dare a flight so vent'rous and so new.
Descending from her airy sweep,
She turns to darker scenes her eye;
Within earth's bosom, lone and deep,
She dives to trace the stores that lie,
As in eternal sleep.
Thence by arm of giant might,
She drags the hidden gems and ores;
And piercing to earth's secret stores,
Reveals them to the dazzled' sight.
Where strata, ranged on strata, spread,
The grave of many an age gone by ;
There, amidst the cavern’d dead,
Petrified in stony bed,
Relicks by her hand unfurld,
Seem to speak a former world;
Species never known to breathe,
Tomb'd the solid rock beneath,
In their marble coffins sleep,
Downward fathoms dark and deep:
Where not a token of the lord of earth,
Is found to prove him of coeval birth;
Unless he trod sonje other plain,
Beyond all record, whelm'd beneath the main.
Buried forests spring to view,
Cemented in their coal.black hue;
And fields of shells by ocean ranged,
Ere the sea her bed had changed:
And granite rocks of elder birth;
Where no organic rempants tell,
That foot of living thing had trod the earth,
Or fish been form'd in watery depths to dwell,
Or wing to cleave the air, when they assumed
Their crystallizing forms, but nought of life entomb’d.
Time was, when on the sea the timid bark,
Scarce dared to bound beyond the ken of land,
But cautious sail'd beside the devious strand,
And fear'd to breast the surge, when Heaven was dark.
The mighty world of waters then,
Rolld in majestic waves,
Over unfathom'd caves;
Unplow'd by keel, untrack'd by men;
Fate seem'd to spread a barrier there,
Betwixt earth's distant shores;
"The twinkling stars the only guide
To those who stemm’d the midnight tide
Now led by science, ev'n when ocean roars, Tbe vessel braves the wrath of sea and air ; And by the faithful compass led,
When deepest blackness robes the sky,
She ventures, free from doubt or dread,
Without one guiding star on high,
To earth's remotest verge :
Fearless attempts to reach the Pole,
Firing a Briton's dauntless soul,
Perchance ev'n now has gain'd that goal*,
Long clos'd from mortal eye,
Where icy islands breast the dangerous surge.
• Written during Captain Parry's second voyage.