A WORD with thee, white daughter of the sun !

I pause and wonder whether earth or sky

Keeps thee so beautiful to human eye.
Hast thou no sister-solemn as a nun,

And serious as a mourner—who could make
A dwelling on this grave ? for thou dost grow

Too like the likeness of a bride to take
A place so near dark death. And yet not so!

Thou never couldst in holier beauty wake
To grace the home of one who sleeps below.

Who sleeps below was truthful while he lived,
And is it sympathy which draws thee here?

If I were sure an angel ever grieved,
Then I would prize thee as an angel's tear.

THE FALL OF NINEVEH. The conclusion of EDWIN ATHERSTONE's fine epic poem with this


The work was done.
The fitful whirlwind, like a bird of prey
Full gorged, soared upwards, bearing on its wings
Dense smoke, and clouds of fire. Far off it flew,
Angrily murmuring; and in distance died.
The earth no more was shaken : save the voice
Of the great conflagration, all was still.

When from the ground the millions rose, behold!
No stone upon another seemed to stand !
Where, in the pride of power, and boundless pomp,
Long ages had been throned the Eastern Queen,
Raged now a sea of flame unquenchable !

Awe-struck, and sad, the gathered nations gazed ;
Then, as one soul had ruled them, turned aside,
And bowed the head, and wept. The crown of earth,
Her glory and her sunshine, seemed at once
Shattered, and quenched! the brightest star of heaven
Darkened, and fallen!

As through forest vast,
The plaintive moaning of the wintry wind,
Pervading far and wide, through midnight sounds,
So, from that countless multitude, the voice
Of wailing, and of lamentation deep,
Rose on the stirless air.

One man alone,
Erect, exulting, on the ruin gazed-
The priest Belesis ; for, accomplished now,
The visions and the prophecies of years
He saw before him. On the arm he touched
The sorrowing Mede; and, with an eye of fire,
And countenance of triumph glowing bright,
Pointed, and proudly smiled. Arbaces looked,
Yet breathed no word; but shook the head, and wept.

Throughout the night was heard the voice of woe :
None to his fellows, save in whisper, spake;
None from his place removed.

Day dawned at length;
And then, like mourners who long time have bent
O'er the dark grave, and bid the last farewell,
To needful tasks they went.

Nine days, and nights,
Streamed up the flames; and still the downcast hosts
Lingered to watch and weep. But on the morn
Of the tenth day, tow'rds Babylon, new seat
Of Eastern power, 'gan flow the human sea.

On the broad summits of the southern hills,
At eve the army camped ; still full in view
Of that great burning. But no more the flames
Their hands triumphant lifted. One vast sheet
As 'twere a lake of molten iron, lay,
Voiceless, and motionless; with glare intense
Dying eve's sober raiment.

At deep night,
Heaven's flood-gates wide were opened ; and came down
Heavy, unceasing rain. Down, down, still down,
Straight as a plummet's course, the broad, close drops
Unceasingly came down.

Day rose ; but dark
As winter's twilight; still was heard no sound,
Save the great boiling of the ponderous flood.
Noon came,-a deep eclipse ! yet stirred no man.

Eve passed ; and night-a pitchy blackness-fell;
Yet still down, down, the unremitting rain
Poured in thick torrents down!

Tow'rds break of day
Again heaven's flood-gates closed ; and when grey light
Was in the sky, from their close shelter came
The wearied millions, and looked forth. But lo!
The spacious plain seemed now an inland sea :
In midst thereof an island, low, and dark,
And like a caldron steaming. Where, so late,
Palace, and tower, and temple; battlement,
And rock-like wall, deemed everlasting, stood
Now, yon black waste of smouldering ashes lay!
So sank, to endless night, that glorious Nineveh !

THE POWER OF THE BARDS. This spirited ballad is taken from a volume of American poems, by P. P. COOKE.

WISDOM, and pomp, and valour,

And love and martial glory-
These gleam up from the shadows

Of England's elder story.

If thou wonld'st pierce those shadows

Dark on her life of old,
Follow where march her minstrels,

With music sweet and bold.
Right faithfully they guide us

The darksome way along,
Driving the ghosts of ruin

With joyous harp and song.
They raise up clearest visions,

To greet us everywhere-
They bring the brave old voices

To stir the sunny air.
We see the ships of conquest

White on the narrow sea ;
We mark from Battle Abbey,
· The plumes of Normandy.

We see the royal Rufus

Go out the chase to leadWat Tyrrel's flying arrow

The dead king's flying steed. We go with gallant Henry,

Stealing to Woodstock bower, To meet bis gentle mistress,

In twilight's starry hour. We see Blondel and Richard,

We hear the lays they sing; We mark the dames adjudging

Betwixt the bard and king. We join the iron barons,

Doing that famous deedWringing the great old charter

From John at Runnymede.

We ride with Harry Monmouth, .

On Shrewsbury's bloody bounds; We hear the fat knight's moral,

On Percy Hotspur's wounds. We mark the banner'd roses

The red rose, and the white, And Crookback's barbed charger

Foaming in Barnet fight.

We see bluff Harry Tudor,

To royal Windsor ride,
With fair-neck'd Bullen reining

A palfrey at his side.
We join Queen Bess, the virgin,

And prancingly go forth,
To hold that stately revel,

At stately Kenilworth. We join the ruder revels,

Under the greenwood tree, Where outlaw songs are chanted,

And cans clink merrily.

We join the curtal friar,

And doughty Robin Hood, And Scathelock, and the Miller,

At feast in green Sherwood.

We greet Maid Marian bringing :

The collops of the deer, And pitchers of metheglin

To crown the woodland cheer.

We lie down with the robbers

At coming of the dark, We rise with their uprising,

At singing of the lark,

And, blending with his matins,

We hear the abbey chimesThe chimes of the stately abbeys

Of the proud priestly times.

And owe we not these visions

Fresh to the natural eyeThis presence in old story

To the good art and high ?—

The high art of the poet,

The maker of the lays ? Doth not his magic lead us

Back to the ancient days ?

For evermore be honour'd

The voices sweet and bold, That thus can charm the shadows

From the true life of old.

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