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forever! Let the column which we are about to construct, be at once a pledge and an emblem of perpetual union! Let the foundations be laid, let the superstructure be built up and cemented, let each stone be raised and rivetted, in a spirit of national brotherhood! And may the earliest ray of the rising sun — till that sun shall set to rise no more - draw forth from it daily, as from the fabled statue of antiquity, a strain of national harmony, which shall strike a responsive chord in every heart throughout the republic !
Proceed, then, fellow-citizens, with the work for which you have assembled. Lay the corner-stone of a monument which shall adequately bespeak the gratitude of the whole American people to the illustrious Father of his country! Build it to the skies; you cannot outreach the loftiness of his principles ! Found it upon the massive and eternal rock; you cannot make it more enduring than his fame! Construct it of the peerless Parian marble; you cannot make it purer than his life! Exhaust upon it the rules and principles of ancient and of modern art; you cannot make it more proportionate than his character !
But let not your homage to his memory end here. Think not to transfer to a tablet or a column the tribute which is due from yourselves. Just honor to Washington can only be rendered by observing his precepts and imitating his example. He has built his own monument. We and those who.come after us, in successive generations, are its appointed, its privileged guardians.
The wide-spread republic is the true monument to Washington. Maintain its independence. Uphold its constitution. Preserve its union. Defend its liberty. Let it stand before the world in all its original strength and beauty, securing peace, order, equality and freedom to all within its boundaries, and shedding light, and hope, and joy, upon the thway of human liberty throughout the world; and Washington needs no other monument. Other structures may fitly testify our veneration for him; this, this alone, can adequate ly illustrate his services to mankind.
Nor does he need even this. The republic may perish; the wide arch of our ranged Union may fall; star by star its gories may expire; stone by stone its columns and its capitol may nioulder and crumble; all other names which adorn its annals may be forgotten; but as long as human hearts shall any where pant, or human tongues shall any where plead, for a true, rational, constitutional liberty, those hearts shall enshrine the memory, and those tongues prolong the fame, of GEORGE WASHINGTON !
145. Prevalence of Poetry.
The world is full of poetry the air
Is living with its spirit; and the waves
Dance to the music of its melodies,
And sparkle in its brightness. Earth is veiled
And mantled with its beauty; and the walls,
That close the universe with crystal in,
Are eloquent with voices, that proclaim
The unseen glories of immensity,
In harmonies too perfect and too high
For aught but beings of celestial mould,
And speak to man in one eternal hymn,
Unfading beauty, and unyielding power.
The year leads round the seasons, in a choir
Forever charming, and forever new,
Blending the grand, the beautiful, the gay,
The mournful, and the tender, in one strain,
Which steals into the heart, like sounds that rise
Far off, in moonlight evenings, on the shore
Of the wide ocean, resting after storms;
Or tones that wind around the vaulted roof,
And pointed arches, and retiring aisles
Of some old, lonely minster, where the hand,
Skilful, and moved with passionate love of art,
Plays o'er the higher keys, and bears aloft
The peal of bursting thunder, and then calls,
By mellow touches, from the softer tubes,
Voices of melting tenderness, that blend
With pure and gentle musings, till the soul,
Commingling with the melody, is borne,
Rapt, and dissolved in ecstasy, to heaven.
'Tis not the chime and flow of words, that move
In measured file, and metrical array;
'Tis not the union of returning sounds,
Nor all the pleasing artifice of rhyme,
And quantity, and accent, that can give
This all-pervading spirit to the ear,
Or blend it with the movings of the soul.
'Tis not the noisy babbler, who displays,
In studied phrase, and ornate epithet,
And rounded period, poor and vapid thoughts,
Which peep from out the cumbrous ornaments
That overload their littleness. Its words
Are few, but deep and solemn; and they break
Fresh from the fount of feeling, and are full
Of all that passion, which, on Carmel, fired
The holy prophet, when his lips were coals,
His language winged with terror, as when bolts
Leap from the brooding tempest, armed with wrath,
Commissioned to affright us, and destroy.
Passion, when deep, is still; the glaring eye, That reads its enemy with glance of fire; The lip, that curls and writhes in bitterness, The brow contracted, till its wrinkles hide The keen, fixed orbs that burn and flash below; The hand firm clinched, and quivering, and the foot Planted in attitude to spring, and dart In vengeance,- are the language it employs. So the poetic feeling needs no words To give it utterance; but it swells, and glows,
And revels in the ecstasies of soul,
And sits at banquet with celestial forms,
The beings of its own creation, fair
And lovely as e'er haunted wood and wave,
When earth was peopled, in its solitudes,
With nymph and naiad.
Its spirit is the breath of Nature, blown
Over the sleeping forms of clay, who else
Doze on through life in blank stupidity,
Till by its blast, as by a touch of fire,
They rouse to lofty purpose, and send out,
In deeds of energy,
Its seat is deeper in the savage breast
T'han in the man of cities; in the child
Than in maturer bosoms. Art may prune
Its rank and wild luxuriance, and may train
Its strong out-breakings, and its vehement gusts,
To soft refinement and amenity;
But all its energy has vanished, all
Its maddening and commanding spirit gone,
And all its tender touches, and its tones
Of soul-dissolving pathos, lost and hid
Among the measured notes, that move as dead
And heartless as the puppets in a show.
Well I remember, in my boyish days,
How deep the feeling, when my eye looked forth
On Nature, in her loveliness and storms;
How my heart gladdened, as the light of spring
Came from the sun, with zephyrs, and with showers,
Waking the earth to beauty, and the woods
To music, and the atmosphere to blow
Sweetly and calmly, with its breath of balm.
0, how I gazed upon the dazzling blue
Of summer's heaven of glory, and the waves,
That rolled, in bending gold, o'er hill and plain ;
And on the tempest when it issued forth,
In folds of blackness, from the northern sky,
And stood above the mountains, silent, dark,
Frowning, and terrible; then sent abroad
The lightning, as its herald, and the peal,
That rolled in deep, deep volleys, round the hills,
The warning of its coming, and the sound
That ushered in its elemental war!
And, O, I stood, in breathless longing fixed,
Trembling, and yet not fearful, as the clouds
Heaved their dark billows on the roaring winds,
That sent, from mountain top, and bending wood,
A long, hoarse murmur, like the rush of waves
That burst, in foam and fury, on the shore.
Nor less the swelling of my heart, when high
Rose the blue arch of autumn, cloudless, pure
As Nature, at her dawning, when she sprang
Fresh from the hand that wrought her; where the eye
Caught not a speck upon the soft serene,
To stain its deep cerulean, but the cloud,
That floated, like a lonely spirit, there,
White as the snow of Zemla, or the foam
That on the mid-sea tosses, cinctured round,
In easy undulations, with a belt
Woven of bright Apollo's golden hair.
These I have seen,
And felt to madness; but my full heart gave
No utterance to the ineffable within.
Words were too weak; they were unknown; but still
The feeling was most poignant: it has gone;
And all the deepest flow of sounds, that e'er
Poured, in a torrent fulness, from the tongue
Rich with the wealth of ancient bards, and stored
With all the patriarchs of British song
Hallowed and rendered glorious, cannot tell
Those feelings, which have died, to live no more.
JAMES G. PERCIVAT