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E'en as the sacred memory of the past
Illumes life's evening hour ! - Again! Again!
He proudly comes ! and lo ! resplendent sight!
Bursts through the cloud-formed hill, whose shattered sides
Are edged with mimic lightning !-his red beams
Concentrating at last in one full blaze,
Bright as a flaming bark, his fiery form
Sinks in the cold blue main !
The golden clouds
Fade into gray—the broad cerulean tide
A darker tint assumes. In restless throngs
Phosphoric glow-worms deck with living gems
The twilight wave, as Orient fire-flies gleam
In dusky groves,—or like reflected stars,
When evening zephyrs kiss the dimpled face
Of that far lake whose crystal mirror bears
An image of my home! Ah those white walls,
Now flash their silent beauty on my soul,
And, like a cheerful sun-burst on my way,
Revive a transient joy!
The day-beams slowly fade, and shadowy night,
Soft as a gradual dream, serenely steals
Over the watery waste. Like low-breathed strains
Of distant music on the doubtful ear,
When solitude and silence reign around,
The small waves gently murmur.
Calm and pale-
A phantom of the sky—the full-orbed moon
Hath glided into sight. The glimmering stars
Now pierce the soft obscurity of heaven
In golden swarms, innumerous and bright
As insect-myriads in the sunset air.
The breeze is hushed, and yet the tremulous sea,
As if by hosts of unseen spirits trod,
Is broken into ripples, crisp and clear
As shining fragments of a frozen stream
Beneath the winter sun. The lunar wake
Presents to rapt imagination's view
A pathway to the skies !
In such a scene
Of glory and repose, the rudest breast
Is pure and passionless,—the holy calm
Is breathed at once from heaven, and sounds and thoughts
Of human strife a mockery would seem
Of Nature's mystic silence. Sacred dreams
Unutterable, deep, and undefined,
Now crowd upon the soul, and make us feel
An intellectual contact with the worlds
Beyond our mortal vision.
[LIGHTS AND SHADOWS.)
Profusely scattered o'er the fields of air,
Float the thin clouds, whose fleecy outlines dim,
Fade, like departing dreams, from mortal sight-
So gradually with heaven's deep blue they blend
Their paler tints.-
Now on the vessel's deck,
Luxuriously reclined in idle ease,
I mark the varied main. From either side
I gaze alternate, and strange contrasts find
Of light and shade. The scene divided seems.
Sun-ward, the noon-tide rays almost o’erpower
The ocean's azure hue, like glittering stars
Too richly on some regal garment wrought.-
I turn from fierce intolerable light,
And lo! the darker side a prospect shows,
On which the dazzled eye delights to rest;
For not a sun-beam glances on the sea.
The long blue waves seem, cord-like, twisted round,
And slide away, as if by viewless hands
Drawn slowly past. At intervals, far off,
A small and solitary breaker throws
A snow-wreath on the surface; and I hear
A low crisp sound, as through the glassy plain
The gallant vessel cuts her glorious way!
Behold that bridge of clouds !
Upraised beyond, an air-wrought precipice
Appears stream-mantled,---kindled vapours form
The radiant torrent, touched with every tint
That mingles on the vest of parting day.
Beneath that shadowy bridge the broad red sun,
Its outline undefined, continues still
The same celestial flood, that downward dashed
Breaks into fiery foam !
That scene is o'er-
The hill, the bridge, the stream have passed away !
The sun hath changed its hue, and now presents
A silvery globe, floating on fervid skies
That gleam like seas of gold. Its glorious disk
As if with insect-clouds thin speckled seems,
Yet glitters on the burning front of heaven,
Bright as a crystal spar, or quivering wave
Beneath the glare of noon!
(SEA-FOAM.] The breeze is gentle, yet the gliding ship Wins not her tranquil way without a trace, But softly stirs the surface of the sea. 'Tis pleasant now, with vacant mind, to watch The light foam at her side.
Awhile it seems Most like a tattered robe of stainless white, Whose rents disclose a verdant vest beneath. Then, suddenly, wild Fancy wanders home For wintry images of snow-patched plains That prove a partial thaw. E'en school-days dear Return, if haply on the idle brain Remembrance of the pictured map presents The world's irregular bounds of land and wave! Nor less beguilement for the lingering hours Of life at sea, the backward track may yield. How beautiful the far seen wake appears ! Resplendent as the comet's fiery tail In Heaven's blue realms ! Beneath the proud ship’s stern A thousand mimic whirlpools chafe and boil, While fitfully up-sent from lucid depths Thick throngs of silver bubbles sparkle bright, Like diamonds in the pale beam of the moon.
Ah! that once more I were a careless child.
Coleridge. He plays yet like a young prentice the first day, and is not come to his task of melancholy.
EVERY thing new or young has a charm for human eyes. The rosy light of dawn—the spring of the year—the haunts of our childhood-our earliest companions and our first amusements, are connected with associations infinitely more enchanting than all later scenes and objects. It is partly owing to this law of our nature, that the sight of children thrills and softens the heart in maturer life with such indescribable sensations of sadness and delight. They remind us of our sweetest hours, revive our most hallowed affections, and bring into our eyes those tears of luxurious tenderness that are more precious than springs in a sandy desert. At the pure smile of childhood the baser impulses and more sordid cares of life suddenly betray their genuine aspects of deformity, and vanish from the heart. “A change comes over the spirit of our dreams.”
All men of sensibility and imagination, occasionally travel back through the mist of dreams to the scenes of their own happy childhood. The fondly reverted eye is charmed with images of peace and beauty. When contrasted with these delightful retrospections, how dreary and barren seems our onward path! Every step that we take but increases our distance from the regions of enchantment. 'Tis a melancholy journey into unknown landsan eternal exile from the home of innocence and joy. The atmosphere of existence thickens as we advance, and all things assume a sombre aspect, till at last we reach the dread goal of our