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The beauteous, seraph sister-band,
With earnest tears I pray,
Thou know'st the snares on every hand-
Guide Thou their steps alway.
When soon or late they reach that coast,
O’er life's rough ocean driven,
May they rejoice, no wanderer lost,
A family in heaven!
The lark has sung his carol in the sky;
The bees have hummed their noontide lullaby.
Still in the vale the village bells ring round,
Still in Llewellyn-hall the jests resound :
For now the caudle-cup is circling there,
Now, glad at heart, the gossips breathe their prayer,
And, crowding, stop the cradle to admire
The babe, the sleeping image of his sire.
A few short years—and then these sounds shall hail The day again, and gladness fill the vale ; So soon the child a youth, the youth a man, Eager to run the race his fathers ran. Then the huge ox shall yield the broad sirloin ; The ale, now brewed, in floods of amber shine ; And, basking in the chimney's ample hlaze, 'Mid many a tale told of his boyish days, The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled, “ 'Twas on these knees he sate so oft and smiled.”
And soon again shall music swell the breeze;
Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees
Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung,
And violets scattered round; and old and young,
In every cottage-porch with garlands green,
Stand still to gaze, and gazing, bless the scene;
While, her dark eyes declining, by his side
Moves in her virgin-veil the gentle bride.
And once, alas! nor in a distant hour,
Another voice shall come from yonder tower;
When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen,
And weepings heard where only joy has been;
When by his children borne, and from his door
Slowly departing, to return no more,
He rests in holy earth with them that went before.-
And such is Human Life; so gliding on,
It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone!
TO A BUTTERFLY.
CHILD of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight;
Mingle with her thou lov❜st in fields of light;
And where the flowers of paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold :
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening sky,
Expand and shut with silent ecstasy!
Yet wert thou once a worm-a thing that crept
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb, and slept !
And such is man; soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day!
DEAR is my little native vale,
The ring-dove builds and murmurs there;
Close to my cot she tells her tale,
To every passing villager.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange groves and myrtle bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours,
With my loved lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave,
For those that win the race at eve.
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danced in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay
Sung in the silent green-wood shade;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.
THE RUINS OF PESTUM.
THEY stand between the mountains and the sea;
Awful memorials, but of whom we know not!
The seaman, passing, gazes from the deck;
The buffalo-driver, in his shaggy cloak,
Points to the work of magic, and moves on.
Time was, they stood along the crowded street,
Temples of gods! and on their ample steps
What various habits, various tongues beset
The brazen gates for prayer and sacrifice !-
How many centuries did the sun go round
From Mount Alburnus to the Tyrrhene sea,
While by some spell rendered invisible,
Or, if approached, approached by him alone
Who saw as though he saw not, they remained
As in the darkness of a sepulchre,
Waiting the appointed time! All, all within
Proclaims that Nature had resumed her right,
And taken to herself what man renounced;
No cornice, triglyph, or worn abacus,
But with thick ivy hung, or branching fern,
Their iron-brown o'erspread with brightest verdure!
From my youth upward have I longed to tread
This classic ground.—And am I here at last?
Wandering at will through the long porticoes,
And catching, as through some majestic grove,
Now the blue ocean, and now, chaos-like,
Mountains and mountain-gulfs, and, half-way up,
Towns like the living rock from which they grew?
A cloudy region, black and desolate,
Where once a slave withstood a world in arms.
The air is sweet with violets running wild,
'Mid broken sculptures and fallen capitals;
Sweet as when Tully, writing down his thoughts,
Sailed slowly by two thousand years ago,
For Athens,—when a ship, if north-east winds
Blew from the Pastan garden, slacked her course.
The birds are hushed awhile; and nothing stirs,
Save the shrill-voiced cigala flitting round
On the rough pediment to sit and sing;
Or the green lizard rustling through the grass,
And the fluted shaft with short quick motion,
To vanish in the chinks that time has made.
In such an hour as this, the sun's broad disk
Seen at his setting, and a flood of light
Filling the courts of these old sanctuaries,
(Gigantic shadows, broken and confused,
Across the innumerable columns flung) --
In such an hour he came, who saw and told,
Led by the mighty Genius of the Place !
Walls of some capital city first appeared,
Half razed, half sunk, or scattered as in scorn ;-
And what within them? what but in the midst
These Three in more than their original grandeur,
And, round about, no stone upon another?
As if the spoiler had fallen back in fear,
And, turning, left them to the elements.
'Tis over; and her lovely cheek is now
On her hard pillow—there, alas, to be
Nightly, through many and many a dreary hour
Wan, often wet with tears, and (ere at length
Her place is empty, and another comes),
In anguish, in the ghastliness of death;
Hers never more to leave those mournful walls,
Even on her bier.
'Tis over; and the rito
With all its pomp and harmony is now
Floating before her. She arose, at home
To be the show, the idol of the day;
Her vesture gorgeous, and lier starry lead-