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Or noble Elgin beats the heavenward flame,
The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise,
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme:
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed, How He who bore in Heaven the second name, Had 'not on earth whereon to lay his head ;' How his first followers and servants sped;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
How he who lone in Patmos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand;
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's command.
Then kneeling down to Heaven's eternal King,
No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear,
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.
Compared with this how poor religion's pride,
The Power incensed the pageant will desert,
May hear well pleased the language of the soul,
These are the elements of a people's greatness. These are the perennial sources of their ruth and loyalty, their freedom and virtue. These guard the domestic graces, these bind the commonwealth in holy and enduring bands. Better than splendid mausoleums and gorgeous temples, better than costly altars and a pompous ritual, better than organ blasts and rolling incense, better by far than mass and breviary, confessional and priestly absolution ! For while the most imposing forms of Religion are often heartless and dead, these sacred rites of a Christianity pure and practical, ever possess a vital power, a power to quicken and save.
"From scenes like these auld Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her loved at home, revered abroad;
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
'An honest man's the noblest work of God?
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent,
Be blest with health and peace and sweet content!
A virtuous populace may rise the while,
And stand a wall of fire around their much loved Isle."
But we have dwelt long enough on general
topics. If the reader will accompany us, we will ramble together in some particular scenes, meditating, as we go, on things new and old, and chatting, in lively or in sombre mood, as the humor may seize us. First of all then, let us visit "Auld Reekie," as the inhabitants often call it, or more classically, "the modern Athens," the beautiful and far famed metropolis of Scotland.
The city of Edinburgh-Views from Authur's Seat-The Poems of Richard Gall-"Farewell to Ayrshire"-"Authur's Seat, a Poem"-Extracts-Craigmillar Castle The Forth, Roslin Castle and the Pentland Hills-Liberty.
WE will enter the city on the west side, as if we were coming from Glasgow, pass through Prince's Street, with its elegant buildings and fine promenades, skirting that enclosure of walks and shrubbery, just under the frowning battlements of the Castle, and adorned with the superb statue of Sir Walter Scott, rising rapidly to its completion; then turn the corner at right-angles, cross the North Bridge, enter High Street, and thence plunge down the hill into the old Canongate; and without waiting to look at "the Heart of Midlothian," or even the beautiful ruins of Holyrood House, at the foot of the hill, let us turn to the right, and climb the rocky sides of "Arthur's Seat," with its summit of verdure overlooking the city and the neighboring country. For there the whole panorama of the city will spread itself before us, surrounded with magnificent scenery, stretching far and wide from the Pentland Hills on the one side to the Firth of Forth on the other, from Stirling Castle on the west to the German Ocean on the east. Here we are then, on the very highest point of the mountain, with the warm sunshine
around us, tempered as it is by the fresh "westlin wind," at once so sweet and bland. Aye, aye! this is beautiful! What a landscape! How varied and yet how harmonious! Not only beautiful exceedingly, but ineffably grand and striking! Beneath us is the fine old city-new and old at the same time, lying nearly square, with its lofty buildings and elegant monuments, handsome parks and green shrubberies. To the left is the older part of the city, rising gradually from the palace of Holyrood at our feet, and crowned by the Castle, which is built upon a granite rock, whose rough sides, terminating abruptly to the north and west, hang over Prince's Street and the lower part of the city.
"There watching high the least alarms,
Thy rough rude fortress gleams afar;
And oft repelled the invader's shock."-BURNS.
Before us and stretching away towards the Forth and the city of Leith is "the new town," surmounted on this side by the Calton Hill, on which stand the monuments of Dugald Stewart and Admiral Nelson, the unfinished Parthenon, and the monument of Robert Burns,-beautiful and imposing objects, reminding us of the Acropolis of Athens, and affording fine relief to the long ranges of smooth and polished buildings beyond. Behind us