ページの画像
PDF
ePub

“ Thus hath her father will’d, that so

A life of rigour here below

May fit her for the skies ;
And Heaven acceptably receive

His costliest sacrifice.

“ The admiring people say of this
That Angels, or that Saints in bliss,

The holy thought inspire;
And she is call'd a blessed Maid,

And he a happy Sire.

“ Through Cappadocia far and wide

The news hath found its way,
And crowds to Cæsarea flock

To attend the solemn day.

[ocr errors]

2

“ The robes are ready, rich with gold,

Even like a bridal dress,
Which at the altar she will wear
When self-devoted she stands there 3

In all her loveliness.

2

And that coarse habit too, which she

Must then put on, is made,
Therein to be for life and death

Unchangeably array’d.

“ This night, . . this precious night is ours,

Late, late, I come to you;
But all that must be dared, or done,

Prepared to dare and do."

“ Thou hast hesitated long !” said Abibas,

" And thou hast done amiss,
In praying to Him whom I name not,

That it never might come to this !

“ But thou hast chosen thy part, and here thou art ;

And thou shalt have thy desire;

And tho' at the eleventh hour Thou hast come to serve our Prince of Power,

He will give thee in full thine hire.

“ These Tablets take;" (he wrote as he spake,)

“My letters, which thou art to bear,

Wherein I shall commend thee
To the Prince of the Powers of the Air.

“Go from the North Gate out, and take

On a Pagan's tomb thy stand;
And, looking to the North, hold up

The Tablets in thy hand ;

“ And call the Spirits of the Air, That they my messenger may

bear To the place whither he would pass, And there present him to their Prince

In the name of Abibas.

66 The

passage will be swift and safe,

No danger awaits thee beyond;
Thou wilt only have now to sign and seal,

And hereafter to pay the Bond.”

II.

SHUNNING human sight, like a thief in the night,

Eleëmon made no delay,
But went unto a Pagan's tomb

Beside the public way.

Inclosed with barren elms it stood,

There planted when the dead
Within the last abode of man

Had been deposited.

And thrice ten years those barren trees,

Enjoying light and air,
Had grown and flourish’d, while the dead

In darkness moulder'd there.

Long had they overtopt the tomb ;
And closed was now that upper room
Where friends were wont to pour,
Upon the honour'd dust below,

Libations thro' the Aoor.

There on that unblest monunient

The young man took his stand,
And northward he the tablets held

In his uplifted hand.

A courage not his own he felt,

A wicked fortitude,
Wherewith bad influences unseen

That hour his heart endued.

1

The rising Moon grew pale in heaven

At that unhappy sight;
And all the blessed Stars seem'd then

To close their twinkling light;
And a shuddering in the elms was heard,

Tho' winds were still that night.

He call’d the Spirits of the Air,

He call'd them in the name
Of Abibas; and at the call
The attendant Spirits came.

A strong hand which he could not see

Took his uplifted hand;
He felt a strong arm circle him,
And lift him from his stand ;

Y A whirr of unseen wings he heard

About him every where, Which onward with a mighty force,

Impell’d him through the air.

4 3

Fast through the middle sky and far

It hurried him along,
The Hurrican is not so swift,
The Torrent not so strong ;

The Lightning travels not so fast,

The Sunbeams not so far;
And now behind him he hath left

The Moon and every Star.

And still erect as on the tomb

In impious act he stood, Is he rapt onward ... onward . still

In that fix'd attitude.

But as he from the living world
Approach'd where Spirits dwell,
His bearers there in thinner air

Were dimly visible;

[ocr errors]

1 Shapeless, and scarce to be descried

În darkness where they flew; But still as they advanced, the more

And more distinct they grew:

And when their way fast-speeding they

Thro' their own region went, Then were they in their substance seen, The angelic form, the fiendish mien,

Face, look and lineament.

Behold where dawns before them now,

Far off, the boreal ray,
Sole daylight of that frozen zone,

The limit of their way.

« 前へ次へ »