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EXTRACTS FROM NICHOL'S PLANETARY SYSTEMS. 13!
pleasing variety, is in the inclination of the axis around which the Earth daily rotates to the path or orbit through which it moves annually. The inclination of the axis, to the orbit, causes, the Sun's rays to fall more or less directly on the same part of the Earth, in different parts of its orbit, and hence, the variety of their heating effects. How exquisite the adjustment of our world to such variety! Think of the action of winter as a season of sleep and refreshment to vegetation,—the bursting of its dormant powers in spring,-its manhood and health in summer,--and in gentle autumn, the time of the sere and yellow leaf! Though observation informs us that there are spheres in which little of this change is seen, and where doubtless, all arrangements are equally beautiful ; we may be pardoned for contemplating with especial interest so much of the course of our own world, and permit our sympathies to flow freely with the poet, who thus opens his fervent, but somewhat pantheistic hymn :
“ These as they change, Almighty Father,
FROM THE SPANISH OF JOSE MARIA HEREDIA.
My lyre! give me my lyre! my bosom feels
Thou flowest on in quiet, till thy waves Grow broken midst the rocks; thy current then Shoots onward, like the irresistible course Of destiny. Ah, terribly they rage ! The hoarse and rapid whirlpools there! My brain Grows wild, my senses wander, as I gaze
Upon the hurrying waters, and my sight
They reachấthey leap the barrier—the abyss
What seeks my restless eye? Why are not here,
But no, Niagara, thy forest pines
God of all truth! in other lands I've seen
To my ear,
Dread torrent! that with wonder and with fear
The Lord hath opened his omnipotent hand,
Che Object of Life.
BY JOHN TODD.
How many beautiful visions pass before the mind in a single day, when the reins are thrown loose, and fancy feels no rostraints! How curious, interesting and instructive would be the history of the workings of a single mind for a day! How many imaginary joys, how many airy castles, pass before it, which a single jostle of this rough world at once destroys! Who is there of my readers who has not imagined a summer fairer than ever bloomed,-scenery in nature more perfect than was ever combined by the pencil,-abodes more beautiful than were ever reared,-honours more distinguished than were ever bestow-. ed,-homes more peaceful than were ever enjoyed,-companions more angelic than ever walked this earth,--and bliss more completé, and joys more thrilling than were ever allotted to man? You may call these the dreams of imagination, but they are common to the student. To the man who lives for this world alone, these visions of bliss, poor as they are, are all that ever
But good men have their anticipations.--not the paintings of fancy, but the realities which faith discovers. Good men have the most vivid conceptions. Witness those of old. As they look down the vale of time, they see a star arise,--the everlasting bills do bow, the valleys are raised, and the moon puts on the brightness of the sun. The deserts and the dry places gush with waters. Nature pauses. The serpent forgets his fangs ; the lion and the lamb sleep side by side, and the hand of the child is in the mane of the tiger. Nations gaze till they forget the murderous work of war, and the garments rolled in blood. The whole earth is enlightened, and the star shines on till it brings in everlasting day. Here are glowing conceptions, but they are not the work of a depraved imagination. They will all be realized.