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Sabbath Morning-'The Sabbath,' by James Grahame-Sketch of his Life-Extracts from his Poetry-The Cameronians— 'Dream of the Martyrs,' by James Hislop-Sabbath Morning Walk-Country Church-The old Preacher-The Interval of Worship-Conversation in the Churchyard-Going Home from Church-Sabbath Evening.

SABBATH morning dawns upon us, bright and clear, and all around a hushed stillness pervades the air.

"With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,

That scarcely wakes while all the fields are still;
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne,
A graver murmur echoes from the hill,
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn;
The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
Hail, light serene! hail, sacred Sabbath morn!
The sky a placid yellow lustre throws;
The gales that lately sighed along the grove
Have hushed their drowsy wings in dead repose;
The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move,
So soft the day when the first morn arose."

Thus sang Leyden, the celebrated scholar, poet, and traveller, who, like all true sons of Scotland, revered the holy Sabbath, regarding it as the best of days, the sweetest, purest, calmest of the seven! The same images, borrowed not from Leyden, but from nature and his own heart, are used by Grahame, in his delightful poem of The Sabbath,' a

production not without defects, but one of the most

popular in Scotland.

"How still the morning of the hallowed day!
Mute is the voice of rural labor, hush'd

The ploughboy's whistle and the milkmaid's song.
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yestermorn bloomed waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear-the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating, midway up the hill.
Calmness seems throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heaven-tuned song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-sunk glen;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard at intervals

The voice of psalm, the simple song of praise."


The Rev. James Grahame, the author of 'The Sabbath,'The Birds of Scotland,' Biblical Pictures,' and so forth, was born in 1765, in the city of Glasgow. He studied law, but afterwards took orders in the Church of England, and officiated as curate in the counties of Gloucester and Durham. He is said to have been a popular and useful preacher. Possessed of great simplicity of character, purity of morals, and kindness of heart, he won the affections of all his parishioners. Suffering from ill health, he gave up his curacy, and returned to Scotland, where he acted, we believe, as a school-teacher. His poems, particularly that of The Sabbath,' attracted much attention in his native land, which he dearly loved. A deep re


ligious vein pervades the whole. Attached to the ritual of his own church, he could yet. appreciate the solemn hill worship' of the Covenanters. His descriptions of Scottish scenery are accurate and beautiful. His Sabbath is the Sabbath of Scotland. All its pictures are drawn from real life. His verse may seem prosaic at times, but it is melodious as a whole. Nothing can be more natural or agreeable, in its easy gentle flow. Moreover, it often sparkles with original turns of thought, and felicitous expressions.

An interesting anecdote is told of Grahame in connection with the publication of 'The Sabbath.' He had finished the poem, and sent it to the press unknown to his wife. When it was issued he brought her a copy, and requested her to read it. As his name was not prefixed to the work, she did not dream that he had anything to do with it. As she went on reading, the sensitive author walked up and down the room. At length she broke out in praise of the poem, and turning to him said: "Ah! James, if you could but produce a poem like this." Judge then of her delighted surprise when told that he was its author. The effect upon her is said to have been almost overwhelming.

After describing the solemn and delightful worship of God's house, particularly the music, ascending in a thousand notes symphonious,' he touchingly adds:

"Afar they float,

Wafting glad tidings to the sick man's couch:
Raised on his arm, he lists the cadence close,

Yet thinks he hears it still: his heart is cheered;
He smiles on death; but, ah! a wish will rise-
Would I were now beneath that echoing roof!
No lukewarm accents from my lips would flow;
My heart would sing and many a Sabbath day
My steps should thither turn; or wandering far
In solitary paths, where wild flowers blow,
Then would I bless his name who led me forth
From death's dark vale, to walk amid those sweets
Who gives the bloom of health once more to glow
Upon this cheek, and lights this languid eye."

His description of the shepherd boy's Sabbath worship among the hills is a passage of great beauty.

"It is not only in the sacred fane

That homage should be paid to the Most High;
There is a temple, one not made with hands,
The vaulted firmament. Far in the woods,
Almost beyond the sound of city chime,

At intervals heard through the breezeless air;
When not the limberest leaf is seen to move,
Save when the linnet lights upon the spray
When not a flow'ret bends its little stalk,
Save when a bee alights upon the bloom-
Then rapt in gratitude, in joy, and love
The man of God will pass his Sabbath noon;
Silence his praise; his disembodied thoughts
Loosed from the load of words, will high ascend
Beyond the empyrean.

Nor yet less pleasing at the heavenly throne,
The Sabbath service of the shepherd boy!
In some lone glen, when every sound is lulled
To slumber, save the tinkling of the rill,
Or bleat of lamb, or hovering falcon's cry,
Stretched on the sward, he reads of Jesse's Son;
Or sheds a tear o'er him to Egypt sold,

And wonders why he weeps: the volume closed,
With thyme sprig laid between the leaves, he sings

The sacred lays, his weekly lesson conned
With meikle care beneath the lowly roof,

Where humble love is learnt, where humble worth
Pines unrewarded by a thankless state.
Thus reading, hymning, all alone, unseen,
The shepherd boy the Sabbath holy keeps,
Till on the heights he marks the straggling bands
Returning homeward from the house of prayer.”

The hill worship of the Covenanters is also described with much beauty and pathos.

"With them each day was holy, every hour
They stood prepared to die, a people doomed

To death-old men, and youths, and simple maids.
With them each day was holy; but that morn

On which the angel said, 'See where the Lord

Was laid,' joyous arose-to die that day

Was bliss. Long ere the dawn, by devious ways,

O'er hills, through woods, o'er dreary wastes, they sought

The upland moors, where rivers, there but brooks
Dispart to different seas. Fast by such brooks

A little glen is sometimes scooped, a plat

With greensward gay, and flowers that strangers seem
Amid the heathery wild, that all around
Fatigues the eye: in solitudes like these
Thy persecuted children, Scotia, foiled
A tyrant's and a bigot's bloody laws;
There, leaning on his spear, (one of the array
That in the times of old had scathed the rose
On England's banner, and had powerless struck
The infatuate monarch and his wavering host,
Yet ranged itself to aid his son dethroned,)
The lyart veteran heard the Word of God
By Cameron thundered, or by Renwick poured
In gentle stream: then rose the song, the loud
Acclaim of praise; the wheeling plover ceased
Her plaint; the solitary place was glad.
And on the distant cairns, the watcher's ear
Caught doubtfully at times, the breeze-borne note.

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