« PreviousContinue »
Wisest, he* first who mark'd the ideal tribes
Up the fine fibres thro' the sentient brain.
Lo! Priestly there, Patriot, and Saint, and Sage,
Him, full of years, from his lov'd native land
Statesmen blood-stain'd and Priests idolatrous
By dark lies mad'ning the blind multitude
Drove with vain hate. Calm, pitying he retir'd,
And mus'd expectant on these promis'd years.
O Years ! the blest pre-eminence of Saints !
Ye sweep athwart my gaze, so heavenly-bright.
The wings that veil the adoring Seraph's eyes,
What time he bends before the Jasper Thronet
Reflect no lovelier hues! yet ye depart,
And all beyond is darkness! Heights most strange,
Whence Fancy falls, fluttering her idle wing.
For who of woman born may paint the hour,
When seiz'd in his mid course, the Sun shall wane
Making noon ghastly! Who of woman born
May image in the workings of his thought,
How the black-visag'd, red-eyed Fiend outstretch'd I
Beneath the unsteady feet of Nature groans,
In feverish slumbers—destin'd then to wake,
When fiery whirlwinds thunder his dread name
And Angels shout Destruction ! How his arm
The last great Spirit lifting high in air
Shall swear by Him, the ever-living One,
Time is no more!
+Rev. Chap. iv. v. 2, 8.-And immediately I was in the Spirit : and behold, a Throne was set in Heaven, and one sat on the Throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and sardine stone, &c.
Believe thou, O my soul, * Life is a vision shadowy of Truth; And vice, and anguish, and the wormy grave, Shapes of a dream! The veiling clouds retire, And lo! the Throne of the redeeming God Forth flashing unimaginable day Wraps in one blaze earth, heaven, and deepest hell.
Contemplant Spirits ! ye that hover o'er
With untir'd gaze th’immeasurable fount
Ebullient with creative Deity!
And ye of plastic power that interfus'd
Roll thro' the grosser and material mass
In organizing surge! Holies of God!
(And what if Monads of the infinite mind ?)
I haply journeying my immortal course
Shall sometime join your mystic choir ! Till then
I discipline my young noviciate thought
In ministeries of heart-stirring song,
And aye on Meditation's heaven-ward wing
Soaring aloft I breathe th' empyreal air
Of Love, omnific, omnipresent Love,
Whose day-spring rises glorious in my soul
As the great Sun, when he his influence
Sheds on the frost-bound waters—The glad stream
Flows to the ray and warbles as it flows.
The piteous sobs that choak the Virgin's breath
For him, the fair betrothed Youth, who lies
Cold in the narrow dwelling, or the cries
With which a Mother wails her Darling's death,
These from our Nature's common impulse spring
Unblam'd, unprais'd; but o'er the piled earth,
Which hides the sheeted corse of grey-hair'd Worth,
If droops the soaring Youth with slacken'd wing;
If he recall in saddest minstrelsy
Each tenderness bestow'd, each truth impress'd;
Such Grief is Reason, Virtue, Piety!
And from the Almighty Father shall descend
Comforts on his late Evening, whose young breast Mourns with no transient love the aged friend.
My honor'd Friend ! whose verse concise yet clear
Tunes to smooth melody unconquer'd sense,
May your fame fadeless live, as “never-sere"
The Ivy wreathes. yon Oak, whose broad defence
Embow'rs me from Noon's sultry influence !
For, like that nameless Riv'let stealing by,
Your modest verse to musing Quiet dear
Is rich with tints heav'n-borrow'd: the charm'd eye
Shall gaze undazzled there, and love the soften'd sky.
Circling the base of the Poetic mount
A stream there is, which rolls in lazy flow
Its coal-black waters from Oblivion's fount:
The vapor-poison's Birds, that fly too low,
Fall with dead swoop, and to the bottom go.
Escap'd that heavy stream on pinion fleet
Beneath the mountain's lofty-frowning brow,
Ere aught of perilous ascent you meet,
A mead of mildest charm delays th' unlab'ring feet.
Not there the cloud-climb'd rock, sublime and vast,
That like some giant king, o'er glooms the hill;
Nor there the Pine-grove to the midnight blast
Makes solemn music! But th' unceasing rill
To the soft Wren or Lark's descending trill
Murmurs sweet undersong 'mid jasmin bowers.
In this same pleasant meadow, at your will,
I ween, you wander'd—there collecting flow'rs
Of sober tint, and herbs of med'cinable powers !
There for the monarch-murder'd Soldier's tomb
You wove th' unfinish'd* wreath of saddest hues;
And to that holier + chaplet added bloom
Besprinkling it with Jordan's cleansing dews.
But lo! yourf Henderson awakes the Muse
His Spirit beckon’d from the mountain's height!
You left the plain and soar'd ʼmid richer views !
So nature mourn'd when sank the first Day's light,
With stars, unseen before, spangling her robe of night!
Still soar my Friend those richer views among,
Strong, rapid, fervent, flashing Fancy's beam!
* War, a Fragment. + John the Baptist, a Poem. Monody on John Henderson.
Virtue and Truth shall love your gentler song;
But Poesy demands th' impassion'd theme:
Wak'd by Heaven's silent dews at Eve's mild gleam
What balmy sweets Pomona breathes around!
But if the vex'd air rush a stormy stream,
Or Autumn's shrill gust moan in plaintive sound,
With fruits and flowers she loads the tempest honor'd
ON AN AUTUMNAL EVENING. WRITTEN IN EARLY YOUTH,
O Thou wild Fancy, check thy wing! No more
Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore !
Nor there with happy spirits speed thy flight
Bath'd in rich amber-glowing floods of light ;
Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day,
With western peasants hail the morning ray !
Ah! rather did the perish'd pleasures move,
A shadowy train, across the soul of Love!
O'er Disappointment's wintry desert fling
Each flower, that wreath'd the dewy locks of Spring,
When blushing, like a bride, from Hope's trim bower
She leap'd, awaken'd by the pattering shower.
Now sheds the sinking Sun a deeper gleam,
Aid, lovely Sorceress! aid thy Poet's dream!
With fairy wand O bid the Maid arise,
Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright blue eyes;
As erst when from the Muse's calm abode
I came, with Learnings meed not unbestow'd: