ePub 版

for the last time, to visit his friends in Boston. He characteristic of his writings is their classical returned, apparently benefited by the excursion, beauty. Every passage is polished to the utmost, and no immediate danger was apprehended until yet there is no exuberance, no sacrifice to false the beginning of the following January. On the and meretricious taste. He threw aside the giudy second of that month his disorder assumed an and affected brilliancy with which too many set alarming form, and the next day was passed in forth their poems, and left his to stand, like the intense agony. On Monday, his pain was alle doric column, charming by its simplicity. Writing viated ; yet his skilful medical attendants beheld not for present popularity, or to catch the sensein this but the precursor of death ; and it became less applause of the multitude, he was willing to their duty, on the following morning, to impart commit his works—as Lord Bacon did his memoto him the news that his hours were few and ry—“ to the next ages.” And the result is proving numbered.

how wise were his calculations. The tit audi“Of the events of this solemn day, when he ence,” which at first hailed his poems with pleabeheld the sands of life fast running out, and sure, from realizing their worth, has been steadily girded up his strength to meet the King of Ter- increasing. The scholar studies them as the prorors," says the writer to whom I have before al ductions of a kindred spirit, which had drunk luded, " I cannot speak. The loss is still too deeply at the fountains of ancient lore, until it recent to allow us to withdraw the veil and had itself been moulded into the same form of tell of his dying hours. Yet touching was the stern and antique beauty, which marked the old scene, as the warm affections of that noble heart Athenian dramatists. The intellectual and the gathered in close folds around those he was about gifted claim him as one of their own sacred broto leave, or wandered back in reinembrance to the therhood ; and all who have a sympathy with opening of life, and the friends of childhood who genius, and are anxious to hold communion with had already gone. It was also the Christian's it as they travel on the worn and beaten path of death. The mind which had conceived so vividly life, turn with ever renewed delight to his pages. the scenes of the judgment, must often have They see the evidences of one, who wrote not belooked forward to that hour, which he now could cause he must write, but because he possessed a meet in an humble, trusting faith. And thus the mind crowded and glowing with images of beauty, day wore on, until, about eight o'clock in the eve and therefore, in the language of poetry, he poured ning, without a struggle, he fell asleep."

forth its hoarded treasures. Much as we must As a poet, he possessed qualities seldom found lament the withdrawal of that bright mind, at an united: a masculine strength of mind, and a age when it had just ripened into the maturity of most delicate perception of the beautiful. With its power, and when it seemed ready for greater an imagination of the loftiest order-with the efforts than it yet had made, we rejoice that vision and the faculty divine" in its fullest exer the event did not happen until a permanent cise, the wanderings of his fancy were chastened rank had been gained among the noblest of our and controlled by exquisite taste. The grand | poets.




The rites were past of that auspicious day
When white-robed altars wreath'd with living green
Adorn the temples ;-when unnumber'd tongues
Repeat the glorious anthem sung to harps
Of angels while the star o'er Bethlehem stood ;-
When grateful hearts bow low, and deeper joy
Breathes in the Christian than the angel song,
On the great birthday of our Priest and King.
That night, while musing on his wondrous life,
Precepts, and promises to be fulfill’d,
A trance-like sleep fell on me, and a dream
Of dreadful character appallid my soul.
Wild was the pageant:-face to face with kings,
Heroes, and sages of old note, I stood;
Patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles saw,
And venerable forms, ere round the globe
Shoreless and waste a weltering flood was rollid,
With angels, compassing the radiant throne
Of Mary's Son, anew descended, crown'd
With glory terrible, to judge the world.

Methought I journey'd o'er a boundless plain,
Unbroke by vale or hill, on all sides stretch'd,
Like circling ocean, to the low-brow'd sky;
Save in the midst a verdant mount, whose sides
Flowers of all hues and fragrant breath adorn'd.
Lightly I trod, as on some joyous quest,
Beneath the azure vault and early sun;
But while my pleased eyes ranged the circuit green,
New light shone round; a murmur came, confused,
Like many voices and the rush of wings.
Upward I gazed, and, 'mid the glittering skies,
Begirt by flying myriads, saw a throne
Whose thousand splendours blazed upon the earth
Refulgent as another sun. Through clouds
They came, and vapours colour'd by Aurora,
Mingling in swell sublime, voices, and harps,
And sounding wings, and hallelujahs sweet.
Sudden, a seraph that before them flew,
Pausing upon his wide-unfolded plumes,
Put to his mouth the likeness of a trump,
And toward the four winds four times fiercely

Doubling along the arch, the mighty peal



To heaven resounded; hell return'd a groan, That, like a zodiac, thick with emblems set,
And shuddering earth a moment reelid, confounded, Flash'd wondrous beams, of unknown character,
From her fixed pathway as the staggering ship, From many a burning stone of lustre rare,
Stunn'd by some mountain billow, reels. The isles, Stain'd like the bow whose mingling splendour
With heaving ocean, rock'd: the mountains shook

stream'd Their ancient coronets: the avalanche

Confusion bright upon the dazzled eye. Thunder'd: silence succeeded through the nations. Above him hung a canopy whose skirts Earth never listen'd to a sound like this.

The mount o'ershadow'd like an evening cloud. It struck the general pulse of nature still,

Clouds were his curtains : not like their dim types And broke, forever, the dull sleep of death. Of blue and purple round the tabernacle,

That waving vision of the lonely wild,

By pious Israel wrought with cherubim;
Now, o'er the mount the radiant legions hung, Veiling the mysteries of old renown,
Like plumy travellers from climes remote

Table, and altar, ark, and mercy-seat,
On some sequester'd isle about to stoop.

Where, 'twixt the shadow of cherubic wings, Gently its flowery head received the throne;

In lustre visible JEHOVAH shone.
Cherubs and seraphs, by ten thousands, round
Skirting it far and wide, like a bright sea,
Fair forms and faces, crowns, and coronets,

In honour chief, upon the Lord's right hand
And glistering wings furld white and numberless. His station Michael held: the dreadful sword
About their LORD were those seven glorious spirits That from a starry baldric hung, proclaim'd
Who in the Almighty's presence stand. Four The Hierarch. Terrible, on his brow

Blazed the archangel crown, and from his eye On golden wands, with folded wings, and eyes Thick sparkles flash'd. Like regal banners, waved Fix'd on the throne: one bore the dreadful books, Back from his giant shoulders his broad rans, The arbiters of life: another waved

Bedropt with gold, and, turning to the sun, The blazing ensign terrible, of yore,

Shone gorgeous as the multitudinous stars, To rebel angels in the wars of heaven :

Or some illumined city seen by night, What seem'd a trump the other spirit grasp'd, When her wide streets pour noon, and, echoing Of wondrous size, wreathed multiform and strange.

through Illustrious stood the seven, above the rest

Her thronging thousands, mirth and music ring. Towering, like a constellation glowing,

Opposed to him, I saw an angel stand What time the sphere-instructed huntsman, taught In sable vesture, with the Books of Life. By Atlas, his star-studded belt displays

Black was his mantle, and his changeful wings Aloft, bright-glittering, in the winter sky.

Gloss'd like the raven's; thoughtful seem'd his


Sedate and calm, and deep upon his brow Then on the mount, amidst these glorious shapes, Had Meditation set her seal; his eyes Who reverent stood, with looks of sacred awe, Look'd things unearthly, thoughts unutterable, I saw EMMANUEL seated on his throne.

Or utter'd only with an angel's tongue. His robe, methought, was whiter than the light; Renown'd was he among the seraphim Upon his breast the heavenly Urim glow'd For depth of prescience, and sublimest lore; Bright as the sun, and round such lightnings flash'd, Skill'd in the mysteries of the ETERNAL, No eye could meet the mystic symbol’s blaze. Profoundly versed in those old records where, Irradiant the eternal sceptre shone

From everlasting ages, live God's deeds; Which wont to glitter in his Father's hand : He knew the hour when yonder shining worlds, Resplendent in his face the Godhead beam'd, That roll around us, into being sprang ; Justice and mercy, majesty and grace,

Their system, laws, connexion; all he knew Divinely mingling. Celestial glories play'd But the dread moment when they cease to be. Around with beamy lustre ; from his eye

None judged like him the ways of God to man, Dominion look'd ; upon his brow was stamp'd Or so had ponder'd; his excursive thoughts Creative power. Yet over all the touch

Had visited the depths of night and chaos,
Of gracious pity dwelt, which, erst, amidst Gathering the treasures of the hoary deep.
Dissolving nature's anguish, breathed a prayer
For guilty man. Redundant down his neck
His locks rollid graceful, as they waved, of old, Like ocean billows seem’d, ere this, the plain,
Upon the mournful breeze of Calvary.

Confusedly heaving with a sumless host
From earth's and time's remotest bounds: a roar

Went up before the multitude, whose course His throne of heavenly substance seem'd com The unfurld banner guided, and the bow, posed,

Zone of the universe, athwart the zenith Whose pearly essence, like the eastern shell, Sweeping its arch. In one vast conflux rolld, Or changeful opal, shed a silvery light.

Wave following wave, were men of every age, Clear as the moon it look'd through ambient clouds Nation, and tongue; all heard the warning blast, Of snowy lustre, waving round its base,

And, led by wondrous impulse, hither came.



Mingled in wild confusion, now, those met
In distant ages born. Gray forms, that lived
When Time himself was young, whose temples

The hoary honours of a thousand years,
Stood side by side with Roman consuls :-here,
Mid prophets old, and heaven-inspired bards,
Were Grecian heroes seen :—there, from a crowd
Of reverend patriarchs, tower'd the nodding

plumes, Tiars, and helms, and sparkling diadems of Persia’s, Egypt's, or Assyria's kings; Clad as when forth the hundred gates of Thebes On sounding cars her hundred princes rush'd; Or, when, at night, from off the terrace top Of his aerial garden, touched to soothe The troubled monarch, came the solemn chime Of sackbut, psaltery, and harp, adown The Euphrates, floating in the moonlight wide O'er sleeping Babylon. For all appear'd As in their days of earthly pride; the clank Of steel announced the warrior, and the robe Of Tyrian lustre spoke the blood of kings. Though on the angels while I gazed, their names Appeared not, yet amongst the mortal throng (Capricious power of dreams!) familiar seem'd Each countenance, and every name well known.

Near him, for wisdom famous through the east, ABRAHAM rested on his staff; in guise A Chaldee shepherd, simple in his raiment As when at Mamre in his tent he sat, The host of angels. Snow-white were his locks And silvery beard, that to his girdle rollid. Fondly his meek eye dwelt upon his LORD, Like one, that, after long and troubled dreams, A night of sorrows, dreary, wild, and sad, Beholds, at last, the dawn of promised joys.

With kindred looks his great descendant gazed. Not in the poor array of shepherds he, Nor in the many-coloured coat, fond gift Of doating age, and cause of direful hate; But, stately, as his native palm, his form Was, like Egyptian princes', proudly deck'd In tissued purple sweeping to the ground. Plumes from the desert waved above his head, And down his breast the golden collar hung, Bestow'd by PHARAOH, when through Egypt word Went forth to bow the knee as to her king. Graced thus, his chariot with impetuous wheels Bore him toward Goshen, where the fainting heart Of Israel waited for his long-lost son, The son of RACHEL. Ah! had she survived To see him in his glory!- As he rode, His boyhood, and his mother's tent, arose, Link'd with a thousand recollections dear, And Joseph's heart was in the tomb by Ephrath.



Nearest the mount, of that mix'd phalanx first, Our general parent stood: not as he look'd Wandering, at eve, amid the shady bowers And odorous groves of that delicious garden, Or flowery banks of some soft-rolling stream, Pausing to list its lulling murmur, hand In hand with peerless Eve, the rose too sweet, Fatal to Paradise. Fled from his check The bloom of Eden; his hyacinthine locks Were changed to gray; with years and sorrows

bow'd He seem'd, but through his ruined form still shone The majesty of his Creator: round Upon his sons a grieved and pitying look He cast, and in his vesture hid his face.


Close at his side appear'd a martial form, Of port majestic, clad in massive arms, Cowering above whose helm with outspread wings The Roman eagle flew; around its brim Was character'd the name at which earth's queen Bow'd from her seven-fold throne and owned her

lord. In his dilated eye amazement stood; Terror, surprise, and blank astonishment Blanch'd his firm cheek, as when, of old, close

hemm'd Within the capitol, amidst the crowd Of traitors, fearless else, he caught the gleam Of Brutus' steel. Daunted, yet on the pomp Of towering seraphim, their wings, their crowns, Their dazzling faces, and upon the LORD He fix'd a steadfast look of anxious note, Like that PARS Alia's hurtling squadrons drew When all his fortunes hung upon the hour.

At hand, a group of sages mark'd the scene. Plato and SOCRATES together stood, With him who measured by their shades those piles Gigantic, 'mid the desert seen, at eve, By toiling caravans for Memphis bound, Peering like specks above the horizon's verge, Whose huge foundations vanish in the mist Of earliest time. Transfix'd they seem'd with

wonder, Awe-struck,—amazement rapt their inmost souls. Such glance of deep inquiry and suspense They threw around, as, in untutor'd ages, Astronomers upon some dark eclipse, Close counselling amidst the dubious light If it portended Nature's death, or spoke A change in heaven. What thought they, then,

of all Their idle dreams, their proud philosophy, When on their wilder'd souls redemption, CARIST, And the ALMIGHTY broke? But, though they err'd When all was dark, they reason'd for the truth. They sought in earth, in ocean, and the stars, Their maker, arguing from his works toward God; And from his word had not less nobly argued, Had they beheld the gospel sending forth Its pure effulgence o'er the farthest sea, Lighting the idol mountain-tops, and gilding The banners of salvation there. These men Ne'er slighted a REDEEMER; of his name They never heard. Perchance their late-found

harps, Mixing with angel symphonies, may sound In strains more rapturous things to them so new,






When old Persepolis was wrapp'd in flame ! Nearer the mount stood Moses; in his hand

Fear over all had flung a livid tinge. The rod which blasted with strange plagues the

A deeper awe subdued him than amazed realm

Parmenio and the rest, when they beheld Of Misraim, and from its time-worn channels

The white-stoled Levites from Jerusalem, Upturn'd the Arabian sea. Fair was his broad,

Thrown open as on some high festival, High front, and forth from his soul-piercing eye

With hymns and solemn pomp, come down the hill Did legislation took; which full he fix'd

To meet the incensed king, and wondering saw, Upon the blazing panoply, undazzled.

As on the pontift's awful form he gazed, No terrors had the scene for him who, oft,

Glistering in purple with his mystic gems, Upon the thunder-shaken hill-top, veil'd

Jove's vaunted son, at JadDUA's foot, adore. With smoke and lightnings, with Jehovau talk’d, And from his fiery hand received the law. Bevond the Jewish ruler, banded close,

Turn, now, where stood the spotless Virgin:

sweet A company full glorious, I saw The twelve apostles stand. 0, with what looks

Her azure eye, and fair her golden ringlets; Of ravishment and joy, what rapturous tears,

But changeful as the hues of infancy W'hat hearts of ecstasy, they gazed again

Her face. As on her son, her Gon, she gazed, On their beloved Master! what a tide

Fix'd was her look,-earnest, and breathless ;Of overwhelming thoughts press'd to their souls, When now, az he so frequent promised, throned,

Suffused her glowing cheek; now, changed to And circled by the hosts of heaven, they traced

pale;The well-known lineaments of him who shared First, round her lip a smile celestial play'd, Their wants and sufferings here! Full many a day Then, fast, fast rain'd the tears.—Who can inOf fasting spent with him, and night of prayer,

terpret?Rush'd on their swelling hearts. Before the rest,

Perhaps some thought maternal cross'd her heart, Close to the angelic spears, had Peter urged,

That mused on days long past, when on her breast Tears in his eye, love throbbing at his breast,

He helpless lay, and of his infant smile; As if to touch his vesture, or to catch

Or, on those nights of terror, when, from worse The murmur of his voice. On him and them

Than wolves, she hasted with her babe to Egypt. Jesc's beam'd down benignant looks of love.

Girt by a crowd of monarchs, of whose fame How diverse from the front sublime of Paul,

Scarce a memorial lives, who fought and reign'd Or pale and placid dignity of bim

While the historic lamp shed glimmering light, Who in the lonely Isle saw heaven unveil'd,

Above the rest one regal port aspired,
Was his who in twelve summers won a world! Crown'd like Assyria's princes; not a crest
Not such his countenance nor garb, as when

O’ertopp'd him, save the giant seraphim.
Ke foremost breasted the broad Granicus,

His countenance, more piercing than the beam Dark-rushing through its steeps from lonely Ida, Of the sun-gazing eagle, earthward bent His double-tufted plume conspicuous mark

Its haught, fierce majesty, temper'd with awe. Oi every arrow; cheering his bold steed

Seven years with brutish herds had quell’d his Through pikes, and spears, and threatening axes, up

pride, The slippery bank through all their chivalry,

And taught him there's a mightier king in heaven. Princes and satraps link'd for Cyrus' throne, His powerful arm founded old Babylon, With cuirass pierced, cleft helm, and plumeless

Whose bulwarks like the eternal mountains heaved head,

Their adamantine heads; whose brazen gates To youthful conquest: or, when, panic-struck, Beleaguering nations foil'd, and bolts of war, Daries from his plunging chariot sprang,

Unshaken, unanswer'd as the pelting hail. Away the bow and mantle cast, and fled.

House of the kingdom! glorious Babylon ! His rohe, all splendid from the silk-worm's loom,

Earth's marvel, and of unborn time the theme! Floated effeminate, and from his neck

Say where thou stood'st :-or, can the fisherman Hung chains of gold, and gems from eastern mines.

Plying his task on the Euphrates, now, Delight with many-colour'd plumage, flamed

A silent, silver, unpolluted tide, His proud tiara, plumage which had spread Point to thy grave, and answer? From a sash Its glittering dyes of scarlet, green, and gold,

O’er his broad shoulder hung the ponderous sword, suns by Indus' stream: around Fatal as sulphurous fires to Nineveh, Twined careless, glow'd the white and purple band,

That levell’d with her waves the walls of Tyrus, The imperial, sacred badge of Persia's kings.

Queen of the sea; to its foundations shook
Thas his triumphal car in Babylon

Jerusalem, and reap'd the fields of Egypt.
Display'd him, drawn by snow-white elephants,
Whose feet crush'd odours from the flowery wreaths
Boy-Cupids scatter'd, while soft music breathed Endless the task to name the multitudes
And incense fumed around. But dire his hue, From every land, from isles remote, in seas
Bloated and bacchanal as on the night

Which no adventurous mariner has sail'd :



To evening


From desert-girdled cities, of whose pomp
Some solitary wanderer, hy the stars
Conducted o'er the burning wilderness,
Has told a doubted tale: as Europe's sons
Describing Mexic', and, in fair Peru,
The gorgeous Temple of the Sun, its priests,
Its virgin, and its fire, forever bright,
Were fablers deem'd, and, for belief, met scorn.
Around while gazing thus, far in the sky
Appear*d what look'd, at first, a moving star;
But, onward, wheeling through the clouds it came,
With brightening splendour and increasing size,
Till within ken a fiery chariot rush'd,
By flaming horses drawn, whose heads shot forth
A twisted, horn-like beam. O'er its fierce wheels
Two shining forms alighted on the mount,
Of mortal birth, but deathless rapt to heaven.
Adown their breasts their loose beards floated, white
As inist by moonbeams silver'd ; fair they seem'd,
And bright as angels; fellowship with heaven
Their mortal grossness so had purified.
Lucent their mantles; other than the seer
By Jordan caught; and in the prophet's face
A mystic lustre, like the Urim's, gleamed.

Constrain d by conscience, down the path of death,
Knells horrible.-On all the hurrying throng
The unerring pen stamp'd, as they pass'd, their fate.
Thus, in a day, amazing thought! were judged
The millions, since from the Almighty's hand,
Launch'd on her course, earth roll'd rejoicing.

The doom to penal fires, and whose to jov,
From man's presumption mists and darkness veil.
So pass'd the day; divided stood the world,
An awful line of separation drawn,
And from his labours the Messiau ceased.

XVIII. By this, the sun his westering car drove low; Round his broad wheel full many a lucid cloud Floated, like happy isles, in seas of gold: Along the horizon castled shapes were piled, Turrets and towers, whose fronts embattled gleam'd With yellow light: smit by the slanting ray, A ruddy beam the canopy reflected; With deeper light the ruby blush'd; and thick Upon the seraphs' wings the glowing spots Seem'd drops of fire. Uncoiling from its staff With fainter wave, the gorgeous ensign hung, Or, swelling with the swelling breeze, by fits, Cast off upon the dewy air huge flakes Of golden lustre. Over all the hill, The heavenly legions, the assembled world, Evening her crimson tint forever drew.



Now for the dread tribunal all prepared: Before the throne the angel with the books Ascending kneel'd, and, crossing on his breast His sable pinions, there the volumes spread. A second summons echoed from the trump, Thrice sounded, when the mighty work began. Waved onward hy a seraph's wand, the sea Of palpitating bosoms toward the mount In silence roll'd. No sooner had the first Pale tremblers its mysterious circle touched Than, instantaneous, swift as fancy's flash, As lightning darting from the summer cloud, Its past existence rose before the soul, With all its deeds, with all its secret store Of embryo works, and dark imaginings. Amidst the chaos, thoughts as numberless As whirling leaves when autumn strips the woods, Light and disjointed as the sibyl's, thoughts Seatter'd upon the waste of long, dim years, Pass'd in a moment through the quicken'd soul. Not with the glozing eye of earth beheld; They saw as with the glance of Deity. Conscience, stern arbiter in every breast, Decided. Self-acquitted or condemned, Through two broad, glittering avenues of spears They cross'd the angelic squadrons, right, or left The judgment-seat; by power supernal led To their allotted stations on the plain. As onward, onward, numberless, they came, And touch'd, appall’d, the verge of destiny, The heavenly spirits inly sympathized :When youthful saints, or martyrs scarr’d'and white, With streaming faces, hands ecstatic clasp'd, Spranz to the right, celestial beaming smiles A ravishing beauty to their radiance gave; But downcast looks of pity chill'd the left. What clench'd hands, and frenzied steps were there! Yet, on my shuddering soul, the stifled groan, Wrung from some proud blasphemer, as he rush'u,

XIX. But while at gaze, in solemn silence, men And angels stood, and many a quaking heart With expectation throbb’d; about the throne And glittering hill-top slowly wreathed the clouds, Erewhile like curtains for adornment hung, Involving Shiloh and the seraphim Beneath a snowy tent. The bands around, Eyeing the gonfalon that through the smoke Tower'd into air, resembled hosts who watch The king's pavilion where, ere battle hour, A council sits. What their consult might be, Those seven dread spirits and their Lord, I mused, I marvell’d. Was it grace and peace ?-or death? Was it of man?— Did pity for the lost His gentle nature wring, who knew, who felt How frail is this poor tenement of clay?* — Arose there from the misty tabernacle A cry like that upon Gethsemane ?What pass’d in Jesus' bosom none may know, But close the cloudy dome invested him; And, weary with conjecture, round I gazed Where, in the purple west, no more to dawn, Faded the glories of the dying day. Mild twinkling through a crimson-skirted cloud, The solitary star of evening shone. While gazing wistful on that peerless light, Thereafter to be seen no more, (as, oft, In dreams strange images will mix,) sad thoughts Pass'd o'er my soul. Sorrowing, I cried, “ Farewell, Pale, beauteous planet, that displayest so soft

* For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.--Iep. iv. 15.

« 上一頁繼續 »