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Spirits of fire, that will shine out at last, And blaze, and kindle others. These delight In the lone musing hour to roam the earth ; To listen to the music of the trees; Or if perchance the nightingale be near, Pouring her sweet and solitary song, They love to hear her lay. With such as these ”T is sweet to hold communion. Though the world And fates of life forbid a closer tie, Yet we can gaze upon the selfsame stars As Byron in his Grecian skiff was wont To view at midnight, or which livelier Moore Translates into his soft and glowing song. Nay, more — those very stars in elder time, Sparkling with purer light in the clear sky Of Greece, perhaps were those that Homer saw, And deemed so beautiful, that even the gods Might dwell in them with pride. O holy Night! If thou canst wake so many luminous dreams, Call up such recollections; bring the past, The present, and the future, into one Immortal feeling ; from thine influence Let me draw inspiration ; let me mount Thy mystic atmosphere ; and let the shapes Of heroes, gods, and poets, in the clouds Meet my impassioned gaze! My soul is dark, And wild, and wayward; and the silver moon Shooting her rays upon the misty deep, Or sleeping on the frowning battlement Of some time-stricken solitary tower That rises in the desert, seems more bright, And grand, and glorious, than the glaring sun Shining upon the open haunts of men.
BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh
The orb of day,
the vessel finds a grave Beneath its jagged gulf.
Ah! whence yon glare That fires the arch of heaven?-- that dark red smoke Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round ! Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals In countless echoes through the mountains ring, Startling pale Midnight on her starry throne ! Now swells the intermingling din; the jar, Frequent and frightful, of the bursting bomb; The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout, The ceaseless clangour, and the rush of men Inebriate with rage!— Loud and more loud The discord grows; till pale Death shuts the scene, And o'er the conqueror and the conquered draws His cold and bloody shroud. Of all the men Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there, In proud and vigorous health — of all the hearts That beat with anxious life at sunset there How few survive, how few are beating now! All is deep silence, like the fearful calm That slumbers in the storm's protentous pause; Save when the frantic wail of widowed love Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay Wrapt round its struggling powers.
The grey morn Dawns on the mournful scene ; the sulphurous smoke Before the icy wind slow rolls away, And the bright beams of frosty morning dance Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood, Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms, And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments Death’s self could change not, mark the dreadful path Of the outsallying victors : far behind Black ashes note where their proud city stood. Within yon forest is a gloomy glen — Each tree which guards its darkness from the day, Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.
FROM THE GERMAN OF GLÜCK.
MeThinks it were no pain to die
O'ercanopies the west;
On earth, my mother's breast.
There's peace and welcome in yon sea
These clouds are living things;
Their soft and fleecy wings :
These be the angels that convey
Life's tedious nothing o'er,
On Death's majestic shore.
No darkness there divides the sway
But gloriously serene
O'er the wide silent scene!
I cannot doff all human fear,
To this poor shell of clay;
I would I were away.
THE MARINER'S DREAM.
BY W. DIMOND.
In the slumbers of midnight the sailor boy lay,
His hammock swung loose at the sport of the wind ; But, watch-worn and weary, his cares flew away,
And visions of happiness danced o'er his mind!
He dreamt of his home, of his dear native bowers,
Of the pleasures that waited on life's merry morn; While memory each scene gaily covered with flowers,
And restored every rose, but secreted its thorn.
Then Fancy her magical pinions spread wide,
And bade the young dreamer in ecstasy rise ; Now far, far behind him the green waters glide,
And the cot of his forefathers blesses his eyes.
The jessamine clambers in flower o'er the thatch,
And the swallow chirps sweet from her nest in the wall; All trembling with transport, he raises the latch,
And the voices of loved ones reply to his call.
A father bends o'er him with looks of delight;
His cheek is bedewed with a mother's warm tear; And the lips of the boy in a love-kiss unite
With the lips of the maid whom his bosom holds dear.
The heart of the sleeper beats high in his breast,
Joy quickens each pulse, all his hardships seem o'er; And a murmur of happiness steals through his rest—
• O God! thou hast blessed me, I ask for no more!
Ah! whence is that flame which now glares on his eye?
Ah! what is the sound which now bursts on his ears? 'T is the lightning's red gleam, painting hell on the sky!
'T is the crashing of thunders, the groan of the spheres!