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There are thoughts which ye cannot reach,
-Passing shadows 'twixt me and heaven ;—
There are feelings none else can know,
That trouble my secret breast,
As the waters at midnight flow,
And know not a moment's rest.
Lo! dreams of the wildest romance,
Glide over my pensive soul;
So meteor fires deceiving glance,
Oh trust not their airy control!"
By the forest-girt mountains afar,
And the isles in blue distance seen;
By the light of each angel star
Smiling down from its throne serene ;-
By the beauty which breathes around me,
power that I cannot quell,
With a syren charm hath bound me,
Yet I curse not her magic spell;
On this rocky and wave-beaten coast,
May her form not be hovering nigh?
To thy sight 'tis for ever lost,
So forget her, although with a sigh !”
let me turn in despair,、
Hope's light from its beacon is gone;
My bosom to darkness laid bare,
Shall suffer-but not be undone !
As stillness steals over the ocean,
When the fiend of the storm is laid ;—
As the winds from their savage commotion
Die away in the moonlight glade ;-
As the calmness that hallows this night
Descends like a dream upon me;——
So will visions of other light,
Set thy soul from its troubles free!'
When night sits on the earth, and tower and town
Are sleeping in the sea of silvery light,
That poureth from the moon who gazeth down,
Bathing earth's emerald wheels in glory bright;
When e'en the night wind and the restless sea
Wander in silence, by the hour spell-bound ;
When e'en the rustling of the shadowy tree
Is hushed-the welkin bringeth forth a sound ;-
It is not in the sea, nor in the air;
It is not on the valley, nor the hill;
There comes no warning from the sepulchre,
And yet the wing of silence is not still!
Is it the music of some distant sphere
Upon the lonely moonshine clearly borne ?
For faintly comes the wild sound on my ear,
As when together sung the stars of morn.
I look around-still is each gloomy tree
The waves at rest—the wind's dread flag is furled ;
As if,-so still the aery minstrelsy,
It were the day-sounds of another world.
So once the holy bird sang all night-long,
Till broke the day-star's beam on Bethlehem ;
His red uprising stayed the fearful song,
Blazing on dewy morning's diadem.
Is it the rushing sound of years to come,
Thrown from the bosom of the endless sea,
Billows of time, that on the outskirts roam
Of the dread ocean of eternity?
Is it the fairy band's unearthly sound?
Or spirits whispering in the middle air?
Or swinging chains by which the stars are bound,
To guide their golden chariots every where?
Perchance 'tis Fancy's voice-the sound of dreams,
Or the fiend slumbering in the aconite;
We may not know-yet to the bard it seems
The voice of conscience in the ear of night.
I paused-then, turning back the heavy bolt,
The door unbarred, which grated hoarse and low
Upon its rusty hinge. A glimmering lamp,
In one dim corner, pale and feebly burned,
As if to make a mockery of light;
And the white moon, with its thin silvery beams,
Flooded the blackened floor. 'Twas deathly still :The light grey spider's thread clung to the roof, And the dank dew was clotted on the wall.
On a rush mattress, in a tattered robe,
Slept she upon whose furrowed cheek
A bright cold tear had, fading, left a stain;
Her long dishevelled hair hung loosely round,
Shrouding the snowy whiteness of her neck,
And a faint smile, convulsed between her lips,
Greeted the shade of her departing hope.
All night I sat in silence by her side,
And, listening, heard at times the playful mice
Leap lightly in their foolish midnight sport.
How many a captive in this dreadful cell
Has knelt in agony to look on heaven,
Lifting his chained hands in vain
To breathe a prayer of penitent remorse !
How many an injured spirit here
Lest I upbraid.
I must not think of this, -I see the moon
In midnight grandeur roll
Upon her cloudless course;
And through those narrow bars
Her beams fall lightly on that sleeping breast.