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This memory brightens o'er the past,
As when the sun, concealed Behind some cloud that near us hangs, Shines on a distant field.
FOOTSTEPS OF ANGELS.
When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
To a holy, calm delight;
Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
And, like phantoms grim and tall, Shadows from the fitful fire-light
Dance upon the parlour wall;
Then the forms of the departed
Enter at the open door;
Come to visit me once more ;
He, the young and strong, who cherished
Noble longings for the strife,
Weary with the march of life !
They, the holy ones and weakly,
Who the cross of suffering bore, Folded their pale hands so meekly,
Spake with us on earth no more !
And with them the Being Beauteous,
Who unto my youth was given, More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven.
With a slow and noiseless footstep,
Comes that messenger divine, Takes the vacant chair beside me,
Lays her gentle hand in mine.
And she sits and gazes at me.
With those deep and tender eyes, Like the stars so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies.
Uttered not, yet comprehended,
Is the spirit's voiceless prayer, Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,
Breathing from her lips of air.
0, though oft depressed and lonely,
All my fears are laid aside,
Long fellow THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS.
It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintry sea; And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company,
Blue were her eyes, as the fairy-flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day, And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.
The skipper he stood beside the helm,
With his pipe in his mouth;
The smoke now West, now South.
Then up and spake an old Sailor,
Had sailed the Spanish Main : “ I pray thee, put into yonder port,
For I fear a hurricane.
“ Last night, the moon had a golden ring,
And to-night no moon we see !" The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe, And a scornful laugh laughed he.
Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the North-east;
And the billows frothed like yeast.
Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength; She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable's length.
“Come hither! come hither ! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
That ever wind did blow."
He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat,
Against the stinging blast;
And bound her to the mast.
“O father! I hear the church-bells ring,
O say, what may it be?” “ 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!”–
And he steered for the open sea.
“ O father! I hear the sound of guns,
O say, what may it be?”. “ Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea !”
“O father! I see a gleaming light,
O say, what may it be ?”
A frozen corpse was he.
Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face to the skies ; The lantern gleamed through the gleaming
snow On his fixed and glassy eyes.
Then the maiden clasped her hands, and prayed
That saved she might be; And she thought of Christ, who stilled the waves,
On the Lake of Galilee.
And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.
And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
On the rocks and the hard sea-sand.
The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
Like icicles from her deck.