Page:The American Review Volume 02.djvu/475

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1845.]
457
Elfland.

discover on the next page of the Constitution a provision broad enough to have resolved all their doubts, and saved them from all their misgivings. Great honor to the lights of modern democracy!

The annexation of Texas to this Union, per fas aut per nefas, seems now to be inevitable. The consummation of a scheme of treachery without a parallel in the history of the intercourse of civilized nations, unless we except that most atrocious of national crimes, the dismemberment of Poland—and the last suicidal act in the drama which shall manifest to our own citizens and to the world that the Federal Constitution, whenever its provisions or its restrictions stand in the way of executive or party purposes, is worthless parchment merely, and of no controlling force—are evidently at hand. The act of Congress by which the measure is to be effected is undoubtedly a nullity as unauthorized by the Constitution; and it would be the duty of the Supreme Court, should the question be presented to it in any of the various ways in which it is capable of being so presented, to declare it a nullity. What might be the effect on the country of such a decision of that high tribunal, were it to be made, it is, perhaps, not easy to foretell. Probably it would be disregarded, as the adjudications of that court have before now been disregarded when they have come in conflict with the interests or the determinations of sovereign states.

But our country is our country still—and Whigs are Whigs still; and, while Whigs, patriots, reverencing their country, and always ready to aid in sustaining and defending that country, and the Union, and the broken but still honored Constitution. If, in the approaching session of Congress, in any unexpected concurrence of circumstances, there shall seem to be a reasonable prospect of averting, even now, the consummation of the outrageous measure by Whig opposition and Whig exertion, that opposition and those exertions will unquestionably be made. Otherwise, and in the present aspect of the business, it is presumed the representatives in that body of the Whigs—representatives in fact of the genuine, unbiased opinions, upon that point, of a large majority of the whole people of the country—having already in past sessions exposed and denounced with surpassing ability, the bad faith, the impolicy, and the unconstitutionality of the measure, will bestow their exertions and their counsels in rendering the final arrangements of the business as little hurtful as may be to the common welfare.



ELFLAND.

Into the pleasant Land
 My portals open wide,
Where life is all a Holiday
 From morn to even tide.
A soft purpureal atmosphere
 Above its plains is hung,
A summer Noon and Twilight fused
 And mingled into one.

From all its bounds the turbaned Cock
 Is banished far away.
As erst he was from Sybaris,[1]
 Where drowsy people Jay,
Indulging drowsy phantasies.
 Long after break of day.
The Cricket's wiry song by night,
 By day the Humble Bee's,
The loudest noises are that float
 Upon the Elfin breeze.

Within this land, a multitude
 Of shadowy people dwell.
Whose words and deeds, in upper air,
 Men never cease to tell.

  1. The Sybarites, who lived in a hollow, were late risers, and they ostracised Chanticleer as a nuisance. It was unlawful in the same city, for braziers and smiths, of all kinds, to work, except with muffled hammers.