The tempest, in its blackest form.
Is beauty to the bosom’s storm;
The ocean, lashed to fury loud,
Its high wave mingling with the cloud,
Is peaceful, sweet serenity
To passion’s dark and boundless sea.

There sleeps no calm, there smiles no rest,
When storms are warring in the breast;
There is no moment of repose
In bosoms lashed by hidden woes;
The scorpion sting the fury rears,
And every trembling fibre tears;
The vulture preys with bloody beak
Upon the heart that can but break"

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

THou brightly glittering star of even,
Thou gem upon the brow of heaven!
Oh! were this fluttering spirit free,
How quick 'twould spread its wings to thee!

How calmly, brightly, dost thou shine,
Like the pure lamp in virtue’s shrine !
Sure the fair world which thou may’st boast
Was never ransomed, never lost.

There, beings pure as heaven's own air,
Their hopes, their joys, together share;

While hovering angels touch the string,
And seraphs spread the sheltering wing.

There, cloudless days and brilliant nights,
Illumed by heaven's refulgent lights;
There, seasons, years, unnoticed roll,
And unregretted by the soul.

Thou little sparkling star of even,
Thou gem upon an azure heaven!
How swiftly will I soar to thee,
When this imprisoned soul is free!

[ocr errors]

To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language. For his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings with a mild
And gentle sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart, "
Go forth unto the open sky, and list
To nature's teachings, while from all around—
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
Comes a still voice—Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course. Nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist

* This poem, so much admired, both in England and America, was first published in 1817, in the North American Review. The following verses Meie then prefixed to it ; they are in themselves beautiful, but more so as An introduction to the solemn grandeur of the piece which they preceded.

“Not that from life, and all its woes,
The hand of death shall set me free ;

Not that this head shall then repose,
In the low vale, most peacefully.

Ah, when I touch time's farthest brink,
A kinder solace must attend ;

It chills my very soul to think
On that dread hour when life must end.

In vain the flattering verse may breathe
Of ease from pain, and rest from strife;

There is a sacred dread of death,
Inwoven with the strings of life.

This bitter cup at first was given,
When angry Justice frowned severe,

And 'tis the eternal doom of Heaven,
That man must view the grave with fear.”

Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again;
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thy eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone; nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills, -
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales,
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty; and the complaining brooks,
That make the meadow green; and, poured round all,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste,_
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce;
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings; yet—the dead are there ;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure ? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh -
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come,
And make their bed with thee. As the long train

Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid,
The bowed with age, the infant, in the smiles
And beauty of its innocent age cut off—
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side,
By those, who, in their turn, shall follow them.
So live, that, when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

Sacred Melody.—NEw York AMERICAN.

“Sing to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rid. er hath he thrown into the sea.” Exodus xv. 26.

YE daughters and soldiers of Israel, look back!
Where—where are the thousands who shadowed your track—
The chariots that shook the deep earth as they rolled—
The banners of silk, and the helmets of gold 2

Where are they—the vultures, whose beaks would have fed
On the tide of your hearts ere the pulses had fled 2
Give glory to God, who in mercy arose,
And strewed mid the waters the strength of our foes!

When we travelled the waste of the desert by day,
With his banner-cloud’s motion he marshalled our way;
When we saw the tired sun in his glory expire,
Before us he walked, in a pillar of fire!

But this morn, and the Israelites’ strength was a reed,
That shook with the thunder of chariot and steed:
Where now are the swords and their far-flashing sweep?
Their lightnings are quenched in the depths of the deep.

O thou, who redeemest the weak one at length,
And scourgest the strong in the pride of their strength-
12 *

[merged small][ocr errors]

Who holdest the earth and the sea in thine hand,
And rulest Eternity’s shadowy land—

To thee let our thoughts and our offerings tend,
Of virtue the Hope, and of sorrow the Friend;
Let the incense of prayer still ascend to thy throne,

The Graves of the Patriots.—PERc1v AL.

HERE rest the great and good—here they repose
After their generous toil. A sacred band,
They take their sleep together, while the year
Comes with its early flowers to deck their graves.
And gathers them again, as Winter frowns.
Theirs is no vulgar sepulchre; green sods
Are all their monument; and yet it tells
A nobler history than pillared piles,
Or the eternal pyramids. They need
No statue nor inscription to reveal
Their greatness. It is round them; and the joy
With which their children tread the hallowed ground
That holds their venerated bones, the peace
That smiles on all they fought for, and the wealth
That clothes the land they rescued,—these, though mute,
As feeling ever is when deepest,-these
Are monuments more lasting than the sanes
Reared to the kings and demigods of old.

Touch not the ancient elms, that bend their shade
Over their lowly graves; beneath their boughs
There is a solemn darkness, even at noon,
Suited to such as visit at the shrine
Of serious Liberty. No factious voice
Called them unto the field of generous fame,
But the pure consecrated love of home.
No deeper feeling sways us, when it wakes
In all its greatness. It has told itself
To the astonished gaze of awe-struck kings,
At Marathon, at Bannockburn, and here,
Where first our patriots sent the invader back
Broken and cowed. Let these green elms be all
To tell us where they fought, and where they lie.
Their feelings were all nature, and they need

« 上一頁繼續 »