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Boundless and deep, the forests weave
Their twilight shade thy borders o'er,
And threatening cliffs, like giants, heave
Their rugged forms along thy shore.
Pale Silence, mid thy hollow caves,
With listening ear, in sadness broods;
Or startled Echo, o'er thy waves,
Sends the hoarse wolf-notes of thy woods
Nor can the light canoes, that glide
Across thy breast like things of air,
Chase from thv lone and levél tide
The spell of stillness reigning there.
Yet round this waste of wood and wave,
Unheard, unseen, a spirit lives,
That, breathing o'er each rock and cave,
To all a wild, strange aspect gives.
The thunder-riven oak, that flings
Its grisly arms athwart the sky,
A sudden, startling image brings
To the lone traveller's kindled eye.
The gnarled and braided boughs, that show
Their dim forms in the forest shade,
Like wrestling serpents seem, and throw
Fantastic horrors through the glade.
The very echoes round this shore
Have caught a strange and gibbering tone;
For they have told the war-whoop o'er,
Till the wild chorus is their own.
Wave of the wilderness, adieu !
Adieu, ye rocks, ye wilds and woods!
Roll on, thou element of blue,
And fill these awful solitudes 1
Thou hast no tale to tel' of man—
God is thy theme. Ye sounding caves—
Whisper of Him, whose mighty plan
Deems as a bubble all your waves |
Oriental Mysticism.—LEoNARD Woods.
The following passage is translated from a German version of the Dschau har Odsat, a Persian poem of the thirteenth century, and is here offered as a specimen of the mystic writings of the East-a single sprig brought to town from a distant and unfrequented garden. These writings are characterized by wildness of fancy, a philosophy extremely abstruse, and especially by a deep spiritual life. They prove, as will be seen in the lines which follow, that the human mind has strong religious instincts; which, however, unless guided by a higher wisdom, are liable to great perversion.—Extravagant as the conception of the passage here selected must appear to us, it has still its foundation in truth. That the ideas of infinite and divine things, which slumber in the mind, are often violently awakened by external objects, is what every one has experienced. Says a modern poet, in prospect of “clear, placid Leman,” “It is a thing Which warns me, by its stillness, to forsake Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.”
And what is the story of Rudbari and Hassan, but an exhibition, a la mode orintale, of the same truth?
IN ancient days, as the old stories run,
Strange hap befell a father and his son.
Rudbari was an old sea-faring man,
And loved the rough paths of the ocean;
And Hassan was his child,—a boy as bright,
As the keen moon, gleaming in the vault of night.
Rose-red his cheek, Narcissus-like his eye,
And his form might well with the slender cypress vie.
Godly Rudbari was, and just and true,
And Hassan pure as a drop of early dew.—
Now, because Rudbari loved this only child,
He was feign to take him o'er the waters wild.
The o is on the strand—friends, brothers, parents, there Take the last leave with mingled tears and prayer. The sailor calls, the fair breeze chides delay, The sails are spread, and all are under way. But when the ship, like a strong-shot arrow, flew, And the well known shore was fading from the view, Hassan spake, as he gazed upon the f. Such mystic words as none could understand:— “On this troubled wave in vain we seek for rest. Who builds his house on the sea, or his palace on its breast? Let me but reach yon fixed and steadfast shore, And the bounding wave shall never tempt me more.” Then Rudbari spake:—“And does my brave boy fear The Ocean's face to see, and his thundering voice to hear?
He will love, when home returned at last,
To tell, in his native cot, of dangers past.”
Then Hassan said: “Think not thy brave boy fears
When he sees the Ocean’s face, or his voice of thunder hears.
But on these waters I may not abide;
Hold me not back; I will not be denied.”
Rudbari now wept o'er his wildered child:
“What mean these looks, and words so strangely wild 7
Dearer, my boy, to me than all the gain
That I’ve earned from the bounteous bosom of the main!
Nor heaven, nor earth, could yield one joy to me,
Could I not, Hassan, share that joy with thee.”
But Hassan soon, in his wandering words, betrayed
The cause of the mystic air that round him played:
“Soon as I saw these deep, wide waters roll,
A light from the INFINITE broke in upon my soul!”
“Thy words, my child, but ill become thine age,
And would better suit the mouth of some star-gazing sage.”
“Thy words, my father, cannot turn away
Mine eye, now fixed on that supernal day.”
“Dost thou not, Hassan, lay these dreams aside,
I’ll plunge thee headlong in this whelming tide.”
“Do this, Rudbari, only not in ire,
*Tis all I ask, and all I can desire.
For on the bosom of this rolling flood,
Slumbers an awful mystery of Good;
And he may solve it, who will self expunge, * -
And in the depths of boundless being plunge.”
He spake, and plunged, and as quickly sunk beneath
As the flying snow-flake melts on a summer heath.
A moment Rudbari stood, as fixedly bound
As the pearl is by the shell that clasps it round. -
Then he followed his Hassan with a frantic leap,
And they slumber both on the bottom of the deep !
To a Sister about to embark on a JMissionary Enterprise.— B. B. THATc HER.
O sistER! sister! hath the memory
Of other years no power upon thy soul,
That thus, with tearless eye, thou leavest me—
And an unfaltering voice—to come no more ?
Hast thou forgot, friend of my better days,
Hast thou forgot the early, innocent joys
Of our remotest childhood; when our lives
Were linked in one, and our young hearts bloomed out
Like violet bells upon the self-same stem,
Pouring the dewy odors of life's spring
Into each other's bosom—all the bright
And sorrowless thoughts of a confiding love,
And intermingled vows, and blossoming hopes
Of future . and infant dreams of bliss,
Budding and breathing sunnily about them,
As crimson-spotted cups, in spring time, hang
On all the delicate fibres of the vine 2
And where, O, where are the unnumbered vows
We made, my sister, at the twilight fall,
A thousand times, and the still starry hours
Of the dew-glistening eve—in many a walk
By the green borders of our native stream,
And in the chequered shade of these old oaks—
The moonlight silvering o'er each mossy trunk,
And every bough, as an Eolian harp,
Full of the solemn chant of the low breeze 2
Thou hast forgotten this—and standest here,
Thy hand in mine, and hearest, even now,
The rustling wood, the stir of falling leaves,
And-hark —the far off murmur of the brook!
Nay, do not weep, my sister!—do not speak—
Now know I, by the tone, and by the eye
Of tenderness, with many tears bedimmed,
Thou hast remembered all. Thou measurest well
The work that is before thee, and the joys
That are behind. Now, be the past forgot—
The youthful love, the hearth-light and the home,
Song, dance, and story, and the vows—the vows
That we change not, and part not unto death—
Yea, all the spirits of departed bliss,
That even now, like spirits of the dead,
Seen dimly in the living mourner’s dreams,
And trilling, ever and anon, the notes
Long loved of old—O hear them, heed them not.
Press on 1 for, like the fairies of the tale,
That mocked, unseen, the tempted traveller,
With power alone o'er those who gave them ear,
They would but turn thee from thy high resolve.
Then look not back O, triumph in the strength
Of an exalted purpose ! Eagle-like,
Press sunward on. Thou shalt not be alone.
Have but an eye on God, as surely God
Will have an eye on thee—press on! press on!
The Pilgrim Fathers.-SPRAGUE.
THEY come—that coming who shall tell?
The eye may weep, the heart may swell,
But the poor tongue in vain essays
A fitting note for them to raise.
We hear the after-shout that rings
For them who smote the power of kings;
The swelling triumph all would share;
But who the dark defeat would dare,
And boldly meet the wrath and wo,
That wait the unsuccessful blow 2
It were an envied fate, we deem,
To live a land’s recorded theme,
When we are in the tomb.
We, too, might yield the joys of home,
And waves of winter darkness roam,
And tread a shore of bloom,
Knew we those waves, through coming time,
Should roll our names to every clime;
Felt we that millions on that shore
Should stand, our memory to adole.
But no glad vision burst in light
Upon the pilgrims' aching sight;
Their hearts no proud hereafter swelled;
Deep shadows veiled the way they held;
The yell of vengeance was the trump of fame; Their monument, a grave without a name.
Yet, strong in weakness, there they stand,
. . On yonder ice-bound rock,
Stern and resolved, that faithful band,
To meet fate’s rudest shock.
Though anguish rends the father's breast,
For them, his dearest and his best,