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dividual, it may be, who took an interest in our infancy; and who, amidst the infirmities and languishment of declining years, found, it is probable, some degree of refreshment in our very ignorance and inexperience. It is exceedingly pleasing to run up, in meditation, to the state of our very earliest impressions—to penetrate, as it were, that November darkness which is ever deepening over the first stage of our journey to live, as it were, anew, amidst the scenes, and the incidents, and the companions of earlier years
“ To mark each form that pleased our stripling prime, By distance hallowed, and endeared by time."
And it is over these objects which have passed away, over the sainted images of those who have gone down to the dust, that the heart now hovers with an intense and solemn feeling! But old age is not only a subject of natural retrospection in regard to others; it is likewise one of serious anticipation in respect of ourselves.
We look back on the period of our life that is past-on the measurement of thirty or forty years, by which the field of our recollection is bounded, and we are struck, not only with the shortness, but with the ever-increasing velocity, of our years. How long to us, in early life, did a summer day of our varied amusements appear—what an infinity of pleasure, what a multitude of events, what a rapidity of transition from hope to possession, from aim to attainment, from purpose to
of so many
performance! But if a single day, at this period,
up months—those months broken down into so many weeks—and those weeks, again, composed of days -every one of them so protracted in duration ! But has not every year, as it passed, taken something from the apparent duration of its successor, as well as from the actual measurement of life? It is but a tale, as it were, of yesterday--our childhood, our boyhood, our youth! And however lengthened our future lives may be, that
period which is yet to come will appear to us, one day, comparatively shorter still. Thus are we every day descending into the vale of years-into the seared November being, with an every day increased philosophy.
This season forcibly reminds us of the mutability of those forms under which vegetable, and, by analogy, animal, life appears to us. ceive of nature, indeed, strictly speaking, respects her forms alone-of her “essences,” if any
idea at all can be attached to the term, we know nothing. It is with “forms,” however, and not
essence,” that we are conversant and connected. It is of little value to the being, whose form is about to be completely changed by dissolution, to be assured that the essence, or original elements of his frame, are imperishable. It is with a particular combination of substance, a form
All we per
designated “Man," that we are conversant, and it is respecting this combination that our anxiety exists. And what is the demonstration of November on this subject? It points expressly to the waste, and the “wear” around—to the surface of the earth, so much changed in its aspect, and invested with a new and death-like character; and it bids us discover into what secret recesses are retired those pleasing and variegated “forms,” with which were associated so lately our hopes of plenty-our sensations of beauty and beneficence. And it carries us still onward, on the wings of Faith, and on those alone, to the "spring which shall visit the mouldering urn,”—to that eventful period when dissolution shall give place to reunion, and the affections and sympathies of the heart shall reestablish their claim over all that was once virtuous, and lovely, and interesting.
Behold the western evening light!
It melts in deepening gloom;
Descending to the tomb.
The winds breathe low, the withering leaf
Scarce whispers from the tree ;
So gently flows the parting breath,
When good men cease to be. How beautiful on all the hills,
The crimson light is shed ! 'Tis like the peace the Christian gives
To mourners round his bed.
How mildly on the wandering cloud
The sunset beam is cast! "Tis like the memory left behind,
When loved ones breathe their last.
And now above the dews of night,
The yellow star appears;
Whose eyes are bathed in tears.
Its glory shall restore,
Shall wake, to close no more.
THE MUSIC OF NATURE.
All the sounds that nature utters are delightful, at least in this country. I should not, perhaps, find the roaring of lions in Africa, or of bears in Russia, very pleasing; but I know no beast in
England, whose voice I do not account musical, save and except always the braying of an ass. The notes of all our birds and fowls please me, without one exception. I should not, indeed, think of keeping a goose in a cage, that I might hang him up in the parlour for the sake of his melody, but a goose upon a common, or in a farm-yard, is no bad performer: and as to insects, if the black beetle, and beetles, indeed, of all hues, will keep out of my way, I have no objection to any of the rest ; on the contrary, in whatever key they sing, from the gnat's fine treble, to the bass of the humble bee, I admire them all. Seriously, however, it strikes me as a very observable instance of providential kindness to man, that such an exact accord has been contrived, between his ear, and the sounds with which, at least in a rural situation, it is at almost every instant visited. All the world is sensible of the effect that certain sounds have
nerves, and consequently upon the spirits. And if a sinful world had been filled with such as would have curdled the blood, and made the sense of hearing a perpetual inconvenience, I do not know that we should have had a right to complain. But now the fields, the woods, the gardens, have each their concert; and the ear of man is for ever regaled by creatures, who only seem to please themselves. Even the ears that are deaf to the Gospel, are continually entertained, though without knowing it, by sounds for which they are