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3. We have passed from planet to planet, from sun to sun, from system to system. We have reached beyond the limits of this mighty stellar cluster with which we are allied. We have found other island universes sweeping through space. The great unfinished problem still remains-Whence came this universe ? Have all these stars which glitter in the heavens been shining from all eternity ? Has our globe been rolling around the sun for ceaseless ages ? Whence, whence this magnificent architecture, whose architraves rise in splendor before us in every direction? Is it all the work of chance ?

4. I answer, No! It is not the work of chance. Who shall reveal to us the true cosmogony of the universe by which we are surrounded? Is it the work of an Omnipotent Architect? If so, who is this August Being? Go with me to night, in imagination, and stand with old Paul, the great Apostle, upon Mars-hill, and there look around you as he did. Ilere rises that magnificent building, the Parthenon, sacred to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. There towers her colossal statue, rising in its majesty above the city of which she was the guardian--the first object to catch the rays of the rising, and the last to be kissed by the rays of the setting, sun. There are the temples of all the gods; and there are the shrines of every divinity. And yet, I tell you these gods and these divinities, though created under the inspiring fire of poetic fancy and Greek imagination, never reared this stupendous structure by which we are surrounded. The Olympic Jove never built these heavens. The wisdom of Minerva never organized these magnificent systems. I say, , with St. Paul, “Oh, Athenians, in all things I find you too superstitious; for, in passing along your streets, I find an altar inscribed, To the Unknown God — Him whom ye ignorantly worship; and this is the God I declare unto you the God that made heaven and earth, who dwells not in temples made with hands."

5 No, here is the temple of our Divinity. Around us and above us rise sun and system, cluster and universe. And I doubt not that in every region of this vast empire of God, hymns of praise and anthems of glory are rising and reverberating from sun to sun and from system to system—heard by Omnipotence alone across immensity and through eternity!

XXVIII.—THE COMET.

THOMAS Hood.
1. Amongst professors of astronomy,
Adepts in the celestial economy,
The name of Herschel's

very

often cited;
And justly so, for he is hand and glove
With every bright intelligence above;
Indeed, it was his custom so to stop,

Watching the stars upon the house's top,
That once upon a time he got benighted

2. In his observatory thus coquetting

With Venus, or with Juno gone astray,
All sublunary matters quite forgetting
In his flirtations with the winking stars,
Acting the spy,- it might be upon

Mars
A new Andre;
Or, like a Tom of Coventry, sly peeping
At Dian sleeping;
Or ogling through his glass
Some heavenly lass
Tripping with pails along the Milky Way;
Or looking at that wain of Charles, the Martyr's.

Thus he was sitting, watchman of the sky,

When lo! a something with a tail of flame
Made him exclaim,

* My stars !” — he always puts that stress on my-
My stars and garters !

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3. “A comet, sure as I'm alive!

A noble one as I should wish to view;

It can 't be Halley's though, that is not due
Till eighteen thirty-five.
Magnificent !- how fine his fiery trail !

Zounds ! 'tis a pity, though, he comes unsought-
Unasked - unreckoned,- in no human thought-
He ought-he ought—he ought

To have been caught
With scientific salt upon his tail !

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4. “I looked no more for it, I do declare, Than the Great Bear!

As sure as Tycho Brahe is dead,

It really entered in my head
No more than Berenice's Hair!”
Thus musing, heaven's grand inquisitor
Sat gazing on the uninvited visitor,
Till John, the serving man, came to the upper
Regions, with,“ Please your honor, come to supper."

5. “Supper ! good John, to-night I shall not sup,
Except on that phenomenon -- look up!”
“Not sup!” cried John, thinking with consternation
That supping on a star must be star-vation,
Or ev'n to batten
On ignes fatui would never fatten.
His visage seemed to say,

that
very

odd is,But still his master the same tune ran on,

1

1

“I can't come down,-go to the parlor, John, And say I'm supping with the heavenly bodies."

6. "The heavenly bodies!" echoed John, "ahem!”

His mind still full of famishing alarms, “Zounds! if your honor sups with them,

In helping, somebody must make long arms !He thought his master's stomach was in danger,

But still in the same tone replied the knight,

“Go down, John, go, I have no appetite, Say I'm engaged with a celestial stranger." Quoth John, not much au fait in such affairs, “Would n't the stranger take a bit down stairs ?”

7. "No," said the master, smiling—and no wonder,
At such a blunder,
“ The stranger is not quite the thing you think.
He wants no meat or drink,
And one may doubt quite reasonably whether

He has a mouth,
Seeing his head and tail are joined together.

Behold him ! there he is, John, in the south." John looked up with his portentous eyes,

Each rolling like a marble in its socket.
At last the fiery tadpole spies,
And, full of Vauxhall reminiscence, cries,

A rare good rocket!

9

8. "A what? A rocket, John! Far from it !
What you behold, John, is a comet;
One of those most eccentric things

That in all ages

Have puzzled sages And frightened kings :

With fear of change, that flaming meteor, John,

Perplexes sovereigns throughout its range.”
“Do hc," cried John;
Well, let him flare on,
I have n't got no sovereigns to change!”

ANALYSIS OF THE COMET. What kind of poetry is this? Give the reason for calling it poetry. [See Gray Old Man of the Mountain.] With what tone of voice should it be read ? [Humorous pieces require a lively and brisk utterance, a comparatively high pitch, rapid rate, quick turns, numerous circumflexes, and varying force or loudness.]

First and Second Stanzas. What are "professors of astronomy"? What is "the cclestial economy”? What is it to be an “adept”? What is it to be "cited’?? Who was "Herschel”? What is it to be "hand and glove"? How came this phrase to be used in this sense ? Meaning of “every bright intelligence"? [In this selection the pua is occasionally used. This is “

an expression in which two different applications of a word present an odd or ludicrous idea.” Now, many of the heavenly bodies are called by the names of the ancient heathen deities, and hence the poet calis them intelligences. Thus he is enabled more easily to introduce the idea of intercourse between them and the astronomer. "Bright" is applicable to both ideas, that of shining stars and planets, and that of minds; hence, in this word we have a pun. The pupil should detect all these double seuses, else much of the inimitable vit of the piece will escape him.) Is there any jest in the word“ benighted”? At what time can observations best be made upon the stars? Would the peculiarity shown here in punctuation be admissible in grave composition ? What is

observatory”? What has he called it before ? Give the two meanings of “Venus." To which would the idea of *coquetting" be applicable? The two meanings of "Juno"? What "sublunary matters”? Double meaning of "winking"? of "acting the spy"? Why " upon Mars”? Why

a new Andre”? Give the story of Andre. Under what

an

are

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