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From the deep shade, that round the cloister lies,
Soon after the publication of the "Airs of Palestine," Mr. PIERPONT entered seriously upon the study of theology, first by himself, in Baltimore, and afterward as a member of the theological school connected with Harvard College. He left that seminary in October, 1818, and in April, 1819, was ordained as minister of the Hollis Street Unitarian Church, in Boston, as successor to the Reverend Doctor HOLLEY, who had recently been elected to the presidency of the Transylvania University, in Kentucky.
In 1835 and 1836, in consequence of impaired health, he spent a year abroad, passing through the principal cities in England, France, and Italy, and extending his tour into the East, visiting Smyrna, the ruins of Ephesus, in Asia Minor, Constantinople, and Athens, Corinth, and some of the other cities of Greece; of his travels in which, traces will occasionally be found in some of the short poems which he has written since his
Mr. PIERPONT has written in almost every metre,
Was it the chime of a tiny bell,
That came so sweet to my dreaming ear,— Like the silvery tones of a fairy's shell
That he winds on the beach, so mellow and clear, When the winds and the waves lie together asleep, And the moon and the fairy are watching the deep, She dispensing her silvery light,
And he, his notes as silvery quite,
While the boatman listens and ships his oar,
Hark! the notes, on my ear that play,
But no; it was not a fairy's shell,
Blown on the beach, so mellow and clear; Nor was it the tongue of a silver bell,
Striking the hour, that fill'd my ear, As I lay in my dream; yet was it a chime That told of the flow of the stream of time. For a beautiful clock from the ceiling hung, And a plump little girl, for a pendulum, swung; (As you've sometimes seen, in a little ring That hangs in his cage, a Canary bird swing;) And she held to her bosom a budding bouquet, And, as she enjoy'd it, she seem'd to say, "Passing away! passing away!"
and many of his hymns, odes, and other brief poems, are remarkably spirited and melodious. Several of them, distinguished alike for energy of thought and language, were educed by events connected with the moral and religious enterprises of the time, nearly all of which are indebted to his constant and earnest advocacy for much of their prosperity.
In the preface to the collection of his poems published in 1840, he says, "It gives a true, though an all too feeble expression of the author's feeling and faith,-of his love of right, of freedom, and man, and of his correspondent and most hearty hatred of every thing that is at war with them; and of his faith in the providence and gracious promises of God. Nay, the book is published as an expression of his faith in man; his faith that every line, written to rebuke high-handed or under-handed wrong, or to keep alive the fires of civil and religious liberty,-written for solace in affliction, for support under trial, or as an expression, or for the excitement of Christian patriotism or devotion; or even with no higher aim than to throw a little sunshine into the chamber of the spirit, while it is going through some of the wearisome passages of life's history,—will be received as a proof of the writer's interest in the welfare of his fellowmen, of his desire to serve them, and consequently of his claim upon them for a charitable judgment, at least, if not even for a respectful and grateful remembrance."
While yet I look'd, what a change there came! Her eye was quench'd, and her cheek was wan: Stooping and staff'd was her wither'd frame,
Yet, just as busily, swung she on; The garland beneath her had fallen to dust; The wheels above her were eaten with rust; The hands, that over the dial swept Grew crooked and tarnish'd, but on they kept, And still there came that silver tone From the shrivell'd lips of the toothless crone,— (Let me never forget till my dying day The tone or the burden of her lay,)— Passing away! passing away!
FOR THE CHARLESTOWN CENTEN. NIAL CELEBRATION.
Two hundred years! two hundred years!
How much of human power and pride, What glorious hopes, what gloomy fears
Have sunk beneath their noiseless tide!
The red man at his horrid rite,
Seen by the stars at night's cold noon, His bark canoe, its track of light
Left on the wave beneath the moon;
His dance, his yell, his council-fire,
The altar where his victim lay, His death-song, and his funeral pyre, That still, strong tide hath borne away. And that pale pilgrim band is gone,
That on this shore with trembling trod, Ready to faint, yet bearing on
The ark of freedom and of God.
And war-that since o'er ocean came,
And thunder'd loud from yonder hill, And wrapp'd its foot in sheets of flame,
To blast that ark-its storm is still.
Chief, sachem, sage, bards, heroes, seers,
That live in story and in song, Time, for the last two hundred years,
Has raised, and shown, and swept along.
"Tis like a dream when one awakes, This vision of the scenes of old; "Tis like the moon when morning breaks, "T is like a tale round watchfires told. Then what are we? then what are we?
Yes, when two hundred years have roll'd O'er our green graves, our names shall be A morning dream, a tale that's told. God of our fathers, in whose sight
The thousand years that sweep away Man and the traces of his might
Are but the break and close of day— Grant us that love of truth sublime,
That love of goodness and of thee, That makes thy children in all time To share thine own eternity.
FOR A CELEBRATION OF THE MASSA-
LOUD o'er thy savage child,
He bow'd him and adored.
As to the sky
He raised his eye In fear and prayer.
Thine inspiration came!
He built beneath the shade:
Till in a sylvan fane
Went up the voice of prayer, And music's simple strain Arose in worship there. The arching boughs,
The roof of leaves
On Salem's hill,
Along those rocky shores,
Along those olive plains, Where pilgrim Genius pores O'er Art's sublime remains, Long colonnades
Of snowy white
Look'd forth in light Through classic shades.
Forth from the quarry stone
The marble goddess sprung; And, loosely round her thrown, Her marble vesture hung; And forth from cold
And sunless mines
The Star of Bethlehem burn'd!
To honour thee, dread Power!
Our strength and skill combine;
For pride they gild,
By these our fathers' host
Great Source of every art!
These, and the breathing forms
In countless ways
HER CHOSEN SPOT.
WHILE yet she lived, she walked alone
This spot was hallow'd from that hour;
And spirit-like-these walks she trod;
Went up from the young mother's bed: So, heavenward, soars the lark and sings. She's lost to earth and earthly things;
But "weep not, for she is not dead, She sleepeth!" Yea, she sleepeth here,
The first that in these grounds hath slept. This grave, first water'd with the tear
That child or widow'd man hath wept,
The babe that lay on her cold breast-
And often shall he come alone,
When not a sound but evening's sigh
Shall say, "This was my mother's choice
THE PILGRIM FATHERS.
THE Pilgrim Fathers,-where are they?—
Still roll in the bay, and throw their spray
Still roll in the bay, as they roll'd that day
The mists, that wrapp'd the Pilgrim's sleep,
And his rocks yet keep their watch by the deep,
But the snow-white sail, that he gave to the gale
The Pilgrim exile,-sainted name!
Still lies where he laid his houseless head ;-
The Pilgrim Fathers are at rest;
On that hallow'd spot is cast;
PLYMOUTH DEDICATION HYMN.
THE winds and waves were roaring;
The music of their psalm.
Not thus, O God, to praise thee,
Do we, their children, throng;
Gives back our choral song.
Their worship and their prayers,
From hearts as true as theirs!
To this, the Pilgrims' shore!-—
Their watery way before,
Forsake this hallow'd spot,
Where graves and griefs are not;
Than that of love divine.
THE EXILE AT REST.
His falchion flash'd along the Nile;
His hosts he led through Alpine snows;
Of all the kings whose crowns he gave,
Hath ever seen or sought his grave,
That led him on from crown to crown
Gazed as it faded and went down.
That night hangs round him, and the breath
That wraps his mortal form in death.
The Pilgrim spirit has not fled;
High is his couch; the ocean flood
It walks in noon's broad light;
As round him heaved, while high he stood,'
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,
Till the waves of the bay, where the Mayflower lay, And Europe's fields, a voice that bids
Shall foam and freeze no more.