Page images
PDF
EPUB

And pointing to the west, cried—“ there!” They looked!
Fair shone the sky—sunbright — without a cloud:
And then they laughed, and then they clapped their hands.
But ah! did their eyes mock them? or, in truth,
Suddenly did the crystal sky grow dim?
It did !— the sunlight filed — a mighty shade ,
Gathered, and blackened, and came on a pace,
Shooting forth, momently, on every side,
Titanian arms, that stretched athwart the heavens,
Then swelled, recoiled, and with a whirling blaze
Fell back into the mass with sullen roar!
Onward it came! and on before it flew
Tempestuous wind, that, with a deafening rage
And stifling vehemence did toss the crowd.
Up with one vast, terrific shriek they rose
And would have fled—but, even then, the ground
Heaved ’neath their tread — the giant turrets rocked,
And fell: and instantly black night rushed down,
And from its bosom burst a thunderous crash,
Stunning and terrible. Fast, followed fast
The livid flames that o'er the city glared
And shewed its prostrate millions still as death!

Oh! fierce and fearful was that visitation
Of the Most High; and had it long endured,
All life had perished; but it passed, and lo!
Forth broke the sun, and o’er the cheerful earth
Cast cheerful beams : the 'wildered crowd arose,

And gazed around; and saw their mighty lower
All thunder smitten, shattered, and with flames,
And the last lingering shafts of vengeance, scorched.
There stood their king, and the wild prophet there, --
Who, with uplifted arm and solemn voice,
Cried,—“Now behold thy work! Thy realm is rent!
Confusion and Dispersion are at work,
Scattering thy millions. Even now, behold
How different tribes through different portals press,
Driven by the arm of God to different lands.
And lo! thy tower !— as it has been thy boast,
So let it bear, to latest time, thy shame!”

Back! back! I glide-I float as in a dream
From the far ages. O'er the ancient earth
The tide of many thousand years has rolled,
And mighty realms have withered to a name;
And mighty men have stalked across the globe,
Whose giant shadows are fung down the vale
Of time, sublimely terrible ;--and now
In these last days, forth goes the traveller,
In melancholy quest of old renown,
And finds alone this scathed and spectral tower,
Man's earliest work, and truest monument !

ENDSLEIGH.*

BY THE AUTHOR OF “DARTMoor.'

ENDSLEIGH! the vernal spirit of the year
Renews the world, and voices ever dear,
Sweet, well-known, welcome sounds, are floating by-
Lays of the wood, and hymnings of the sky,
And leap of brook, and sigh of western breeze,
And flutterings of glad wings among the trees.
A mighty Influence around, above,
Awakes the breathing world to life and love;
A mighty Power unseen— that not alone
Girds Nature with a rich and flowery zone,
And prompts a million melodies, but fills
The human bosom with ecstatic thrills
And longings infinite! For while the Spring
Forms every leaf, and flushes every wing

* A beautiful cottage of His Grace the Duke of Bedford, . situated on the Tamar.

With a new joyous being, on the soul
Of Man, renewed, the inspirations fall,
Reviving heart and hope ;- new pulses born
Even of the gales that bless the vernal morn;
For health, and joy, and life, and music, come
With the soft hours from their immortal home.

Endsleigh, sweet Endsleigh! Spring has wreathed her

brow, Her frank, young brow, with garlands green, and now It is thy hour of bloom, though Winter still, In climes less favoured, sweeps the shrinking hill; And o'er yon northern fields with sullen sway Holds lingering empire through the doubtful day. It is thy hour of bloom ;-her cinque-rayed breast The primrose opens to the whispering West, While on some southern bank, in verdurous pride, Blooms the victorious myrtle by her side ; And that all-constant daisy—from her sleep That starts while yet the Winter-spell is deepFor scarcely on Devonia’s genial sky . The faithful daisy shuts her watchful eye! All these are thine, sweet Endsleigh! and the green Of earliest budding trees; and, strown between Their roots, amid the ever-living grass, Scenting the morning breezes as they pass, The all-prized violet, dear gem of earth! Blue as the heavens that smiled it into birth!

And many a bud, by rainbow and by ray
Nursed into bloom throughout the varied day;
While breezes of the ocean, hour by hour,
Waft soft the fragrance of our western bower.

A bower of sweets-of mirth and melodyLoved by the early butterfly and bee: Beautiful Endsleigh! when on rainbow wing Floats o'er thee, thus, the angel of the Spring, Still let me wander in thy breathing woods, Still let me linger near thy murmuring floods, And list as brook and river rush along; Of brook and river that soft liquid song, Which ceases not at Winter's voice severe, But falls for ever on Devonia's ear;—. Mingled with woodland melodies that run From bough to bough incessant, and anon His voice that gives to all things else a charm, Poured ’mid the fickle shower and sun-glance warm --The voice of the frank lark. But I must stray Far from thy smiling fields and golden day; Farewell, ye matchless scenes !— the world hath power To call me hence,- and Care will have his hour.

« PreviousContinue »