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unintelligible catechisms and injudicious instructions , we say " Come forward and teach something better . " To the idle and listless it is useless to say any thing , or we might remind them that rest is not always refreshment : and
that ten yean of Sundays dreamed or trifled away is a fearful amount . * With those who are detained by domestic duties we cordially sympathize ; but we would ask , " In a large family could not one often be spared ? " u Would it not rather enliven the social circle ,
that one had returned from useful exertion , and had his or her little story to tell , in the very spirit of sabbath and fire-side enjoyment ? " If these questions were honestly answered , and the result put into practice , we should have little reason to complain of the want of teachers ; the scholars , it may be presumed , would increase in proportion , and Sunday-schools would become indeed " a powerful means of benefiting society . "
Art . III . —Hymns on the Works of Nature , for the use of Children . By Mrs . Felicia Hemans . Boston , U . S . 1827 . This pretty little book has not , that we know of been re-published in England , which is rather strange , considering how much really gooo books for children are needed , and how
popular Mrs . Hemans's poetry deservedly is . It contains hymns on the following subjects : —The Rainbow , the Sun , the Rivers , the Stars , the Ocean , the Thunder-storm , the Birds , the Sky-lark , the Nightingale , the Northern Spring , and a Paraphrase of the 148 th Psalm , besides some " introductory verses , and two birth-day poems to her children , ( which
have been published before ) , for whose use the Hymns were originally composed . If not equal to Dr . Watts's Hymns for Children in simplicicy of diction and metre , nor to those of Mrs . Barbauld in propriety and beauty of sentiment , they are yet very sweet and satisfactory compositions , and such as a parent ' s heart
may rejoice in . We only wish she would re-publish them , and give us manr more such . The Sky-lark is our favourite ; but as " some affect the sun and some the shade / ' it shall not be patted from the Nightingale . Our young friends will thns have both the matin and the vesper song .
• Every one who has reached the age of seventy has lived ten years of Sabbaths ( as Orahatne remarks ) .
Critical Notices . 711
"THE SKY-LARK . The sky-lark , when the dews ef morn Hang tremulous on flower and thorny And violets round his nest exhale ; i - Their fragrance on the early gale * ¦ ¦ To the first sunbeam spreads bia ^ vinga , Buoyant with joy , and soars and sings * , i
He rests not on the leafy spray , To warble his exulting lay ; ) . But high above the morning cloud Mounts in triumphant freedom proud , And swells , when nearest to the sky , His notes of sweetest ecstacy .
Thus , my Creator ! thus the more My spirit's wing to thee can soar , The more she triumphs to behold Thy love in all thy works unfold , And bids her hymns of rapture be Most glad when rising most to thee [" P . 26
" TUB NIGHTINGALE . When twilight ' s grey and pensive hour Brings the low breeze , and shuts the flower , And bids the solitary star Shine in pale beauty from afar ; When gathering shades the landscape veil , And peasants seek their village dale , And mists from river-wave arise , And dew in every blossom lies ;
When evening ' s primrose opes , to shed Soft fragrance round her grassy bed ; When glow-worms in the wood-walk light Their lamp , to cheer the traveller ' s sight ; At that calm hour , so still , so pale , Awakes the lonely nightingale ; And from a hermitage of shade Fills with her voice the forest glade .
And sweeter far that melting voice Than all which through the day rejoice j And still shall bard and wanderer love The twilight music of the grove . Father iii heaven ! oh ! thus when day With all its cares hath passed away , And silent hours waft peace on earth , And hush the louder strains of mirth ;
Thus may sweet songs of praise and prayer To thee my spirit ' s offering bear ; Yon star , my signal , set on high , For vesper hymns of piety . So may thy mercy and thy power Protect me through the midnight hour j And balmy sleep and visions blest Smile on thv servant ' s bed of rest . " Pp . 27 , 28
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1828, page 711, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2565/page/55/