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Not now, on Zion's height alone,
Nor where, at sultry noon, thy Son
From every place below the skies,
The incense of the heart—may rise
In this thy house, whose doors we now
To thee the suppliant throng shall bow,
To thee shall age, with snowy hair,
And childhood lisp, with reverend air,
O thou, to whom, in ancient time,
To thee, at last, in every clime, -
—oEvening Music of the Angels.-HILLHouse.
Low warblings, now, and solitary harps, Were heard among the angels, touched and tuned As to an evening hymn, preluding soft To cherub voices. Louder as they swelled, Deep o struck in, and hoarser instruments, Mixed with clear silver sounds, till concord rose Full as the harmony of winds to heaven; Yet sweet as nature's springtide melodies To some worn pilgrim, first, with glistening eyes, Greeting his native valley, whence the sounds Of rural gladness, herds, and bleating flocks, The chirp of birds, blithe voices, lowing kine, The dash of waters, reed, or rustic pipe, Blent with the dulcet distance-mellowed bell, Come, like the echo of his early joys.
In every pause, from spirits in mid air,
WITH sonorous notes
* He was a true poet, and deeply interesting in his character, both as a man and a Christian. He resembled Cowper in many respects;--in the gentleness and tenderness of his sensibilities—in the modest and retiring disposition of his mind—in its fine culture, and its original poetical cast—and not a little in the character of his poetry. It has been said with truth, that, if he had given himself to poetry as his chief occupation, he might have been the Cowper of New England. We pretend not to place his unfinished and broken compositions on a level with the works of the author of the Task; but they possess much of his spirit, and, at the same time, are original. Like Cowper, “he left the ambitious and luxuriant subjects of fiction and passion, for those of real life and simple nature and for the developement of his own earnest feelings, in behalf of mo and religious truth.” Amidst the throngs of imitators, whose names have crowded the pages of the annuals and magazines, his is never to be seen; and the merits of his poetry are almost unknown to those who regulate the criticisms of the public journals. But it is both a proof and a consequence of his original powers and his elevated feelings, that, instead of devoting his mind to the composition of short, artificial pieces for the public eye, he started at once upon a wide and noble subject, with the outline in his mind of a magnificent moral poem. The history, the scenery, and the public and domestic manners in this country, anoided scope for the composition of another Task, which, if the powers of the writer were equal to his subject, would be more for America, and the religious world, than even Cowper's was for England and his fellow men. Mr. Wilcox did not live to execute his design; but the fragments he has left us are so rich, in a vein of unaffected poetry and piety, that they make us sorrowful for what we have lost, and indignant that his merits are so little known and appreciated beyond a small circle of affectionate Christian friends.-Ed.
Adding new life and sweetness to them all.
—oClose of the Vision of Judgment.—HILLHouse.
As when, from some proud capital that crowns Imperial Ganges, the reviving breeze Sweeps the dank mist, or hoary river fog, Impervious, mantled o'er her highest towers, Bright on the eye rush Brahma's temples, capped § spiry tops, gay-trellised minarets, Pagods of gold, and mosques with burnished domes, Gilded, and glistening in the morning sun, So from the . the cloudy curtains rolled, And, in the lingering lustre of the eve, Again the Savior and his seraphs shone. Emitted sudden in his rising, flashed Intenser light, as toward the right hand host Mild turning, with a look ineffable, The invitation he proclaimed in accents Which on their ravished ears poured thrilling, like The silver sound of many trumpets heard Afar in sweetest jubilee; then, swift Stretching his dreadful sceptre to the left, That shot forth horrid lightnings, in a voice Clothed but in half its terrors, yet to them Seemed like the crush of Heaven, pronounced the doom The sentence uttered, as with life instinct, The throne uprose majestically slow; Each angel spread his wings; in one dread swell Of triumph fingling as they mounted, trumpets, And harps, and golden lyres, and timbrels sweet, And many a strange and deep-toned instrument
Of heavenly minstrelsy unknown on earth,
Down from the lessening multitude came faint And fainter still the trumpet’s dying peal, All else in distance lost, when, to receive Their new inhabitants, the heavens unfolded. Up gazing, then, with streaming eyes, a glimpse The wicked caught of Paradise, where streaks Of splendor, . gleamings, radiance shone, Like the deep glories of declining day, When, washed by evening showers, the huge-orbed sun Breaks instantaneous o'er the illumined world. Seen far within, fair forms moved graceful by, Slow turning to the light their snowy wings. A deep-drawn, agonizing groan escaped The hapless outcasts, when upon the Lord The glowing portals closed. Undone, they stood Wistfully gazing on the cold gray heaven, As if to catch, alas! a hope not there. But shades began to gather, night approached, Murky and lowering; round with horror rolled On one another their despairing eyes, That glared with anguish; starless, hopeless gloom Fell on their souls, never to know an end. Though in the far horizon lingered yet A lurid gleam; black clouds were mustering there; Red flashes, followed by low, muttering sounds, Announced the fiery tempest doomed to hurl The fragments of the earth again to chaos. Wild gusts swept by, upon i. hollow wing Unearthly voices, yells, and ghastly peals Of demon laughter came. Infernal shapes Flitted along the sulphurous wreaths, or plunged Their dark, impure abyss, as sea-foul dive Their watery element.—O'erwhelmed with sights And sounds of horror, I awoke; and found For gathering storms, and signs of coming wo, The midnight moon gleaming upon my bed Serene and peaceful. Gladly I surveyed her Walking in brightness through the stars of heaven, And blessed the respite ere the day of doom
WHEN adverse winds and waves arise,
When, with sad footstep, memory roves
How slow yon tiny vessel ploughs the main!
—Moons wax and wane,
But still that lonely traveller treads the deep.–