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Thou ’rt standing on thy legs, above ground, Mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon, Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones, and flesh, and limbs, and features.
Tell us, for doubtless thou canst recollect,
To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame?
Of either pyramid that bears his name?
Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden
By oath to tell the mysteries of thy trade; Then say what secret melody was hidden
In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played ? Perhaps thou wert a priest, and hast been dealing In human blood, and horrors past revealing.
Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,
Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass ;
Or doffed thine own to let Queen Di'do pass;
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,
Has any Roman soldier mauled or knuckled ;
Ere Rom’ulus and Re’mus had been suckled !
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen, How the world looked when it was fresh and young,
And the great deluge still had left it green. Or was it then so old that history's pages Contained no record of its early ages ?
Still silent, incommunicative elf?
Art sworn to secrecy ? — then keep thy vows; But prithee tell us something of thyself,—
Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house! Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen, what strange adventures numbered ? Since first thy form was in this box extended,
We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; The Roman empire has begun and ended,- .
New worlds have risen,- we have lost old nations,
When the great Persian conqueror, Camby'ses,
O’erthrew 0-si'ris, O'rus, A'pis, I'sis,
And tears adown thy dusty cheek have rolled.
Imperishable type of evanescence! — Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,
And standest undecayed within our presencel-
If its undying guest be lost forever ?
In living virtue ; that, when both must sever,
1. Of all miracles the most wonderful is that of life — the common, daily life which we carry with us, and which every where surrounds us. The sun and stars, the blue firmament, day and night, the tides and seasons, are as nothing compared with it. Life — the soul of the world, but for which creation were not! It is life which is the grand glory of the world. It was, indeed, the consummation of creative power, at which the morning stars sang together for joy. Is not the sun glorious, because there are living eyes to be gladdened by his beams? Is not the fresh air delicious, because there are living creatures to inhale and enjoy it? Are not odors fragrant, and sounds sweet, and colors gorgeous, because there is the living sensation to appreciate them?
2. Without life, what were they all? What were a Creator himself, without life — intelligence — understanding — to know and to adore Hiin, and to trace his finger in the works that he hath made? Boundless variety and perpetual change are exhibited in the liv. ing beings around us. Take the class of insects alone. Of these, not fewer than one hundred thousand distinct species are already known and described; and every day is adding to the catalogue. Wherever you pene. trate, where life can be sustained, you find living be. ings to exist, -- in the depths of ocean, in the arid desert, or at the icy polar regions. The air teems with life. The soil, which clothes the earth all round, is swarming with life, vegetable and animal.
3. During how many thousands of years has the vitality of seeds been preserved deep in the earth's bosom! Not less wonderful is the fact stated by Lord Lindsay, who took from the hand of an Egyptian mummy a tūber, which must have been wrapped up more than two thousand years before. It was planted, was rained and dewed upon, the sun shone on it again, and the root grew, and budded, bursting forth and blooming into a beauteous dahlia !
4. Take a drop of water, and examine it with the microscope. Lo ! it is swarming with living creatures. Within life exists other life, until it recedes before the powers of human vision. The parasitic animalcule, which preys upon or within the body of a larger ani. mal, is itself preyed upon by parasites peculiar to itself. Each of these monads is endowed with its appropriate organs, possesses spontaneous power of motion, enjoys an independent vitality!
5. Here is a drop of stagnant water magnified six hundred times its original size. These living beings appear too close together to admit of the existence of a greater number; and yet science affirms that such a
drop contains forms of life which - to whatever perfection microscopic power may attain-human perseverance will never accurately detect. A cubic inch of stagnant water is calculated to contain more than five hundred millions of living, active, and organized beings.
6. With lime and soda we may manufacture glass out of invisible animalcules. The hone, by which we
give an edge to the razor and to mechanical tools, is composed of myriads of these little beings, in a petri. fied state. Yea, every grain of dust on which we set our feet may have been a living creature.
7. Here, then, we pause in our study of these minute beings. We call them minute; but before the eye of Omnipotence all such distinctions vanish. The small and the weak are regarded by Him with the same be. nignity as the massive and the mighty. We, therefore, have the most powerful inducement to the exercise of an implicit confidence in Him, who not only caused the mountains to rise, the seas to flow, and the planets to revolve in their orbits, but has also created, with various animal functions, points of life far beyond the reach of our unassisted vision, and provides for them their daily food.
OXXXII. — THE WINDS.
STRAIGHT, ad., directly.
| CATA-RACT, n., a large waterfall. WHIRL'POOL, n., an eddy.
| Wail'ING, ppr., lamenting. Avoid saying cataraks for cat'a-racts. The th in beneath is vocal as in breatha, nor aspirate as in breath.
Ye winds, ye unseen currents of the air,
Softly ye played a few brief hours ago ;
O’er maiden 'cheeks, that took a fresher glow;
Light blossoms, dropping on the grass like snow.
How are ye changed! Ye take the cataract's sound;
Ye take the whirlpool's fury and its might;
The valley woods lie prone beneath your flight.