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Rapt to the shrine where motion first began,
And light and life in mingling torrent ran; From whence each bright rotundity was hurl'd,
The throne of God, the centre of the world!
Oh! vainly wise, the moral Muse hath sung
That suasive Hope hath but a Syren tongue !
True; she may sport with life's untutor'd day,
Nor heed the solace of its last decay,
The guileless heart her happy mansion spurn,
And part, like Ajut-never to return ! &
But yet, methinks, when Wisdom shall assuage
The grief and passions of our greener age,
Though dull the close of life, and far away
Each flower that hail'd the dawning of the day;
Yet o'er her lovely hopes, that once were dear,
The time-taught spirit, pensive, not severe,
With milder griefs her aged eye shall fill,
And weep their falsehood, though she love them still!
Thus, with forgiving tears, and reconciled,
The king of Judah mourn’d his rebel child !
Musing on days, when yet the guiltless boy,
Smiled on his sire, and fill'd his heart with joy!
My Absalom! the voice of Nature cried !
Oh! that for thee thy father could have died !
For bloody was the deed, and rashly done,
my Absalom my son !—my son!
Unfading Hope ! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return !
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes ! Immortal Power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin
And all the phoenix spirit burns within !
Oh! deep-enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes !
Yet half I hear the panting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die !
Mysterious worlds, untravell’d by the sun!
Where Time's far wandering tide has never run,
From your unfathom'd shades, and viewless spheres,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears.
'Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud !
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod
The roaring waves, and call'd upon his God,
With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss !
Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb ;
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul !
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er-the pangs of nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of Heaven undazzled by the blaze,
On Heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallow'd anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hush'd his waves, and midnight still
Watch'd on the holy towers of Zion hill !
Soul of the just! companion of the dead!
Where is thy home, and whither art thou fled ?