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Throws o'er thy morn a ray of fire
From the pure fountains of the skyThat ray which glows and brightens still
Unchanged_eternal, and divineWhere seraphs own its holy thrill,
And bow before its gleaming shrine.
Thou desolate and dying year,
Prophetic of our final fall ! Thy buds are gone,thy leaves are sere,
Thy beauties shrouded in the pall ; And all the garniture that shed
A brilliancy upon thy prime, Hath, like a morning vision, fled
To the expanded grave of Time.
Time! Time ! In thy triumphal flight
How all life's phantoms fleet away !The smile of Hope—and young Delight
Fame's meteor beam_and Fancy's ray ;
Rolling its stormy waves afar,
The broken wrecks of Fortune's war.
There, in disorder dark and wild,
Are seen the fabrics once so high, Which mortal vanity had piled
As emblems of Eternity ! And deemed the stately domes, whose forms
Frowned in their majesty sublime, Would stand unshaken by the storms
That gathered round the brow of Time.
Thou desolate and dying year!
Earth's brightest pleasures fade like thine ; Like evening shadows disappear,
And leave the spirit to repine.
The stream of life, that used to pour
Its fresh and sparkling waters on-
And numbered all the moments gone
Where hath the morning splendour flown
Which danced upon that crystal stream ?
When life is an enchanted dream ?
Which destiny hath overspread
Where the dark wing of Time had sped.
Oh! thus hath life its even tide
Of sorrow, loneliness, and grief;
It withers like the yellow leaf!
When plundered of its summer bloom !
Which heralds man unto the tomb.
THE LAST DAY.
BY WILLIAM BECKFORD, ESQ.
HARK ! Heard ye not that deep, appalling sound ?
1-a voice of ire
Eternal Justice ! Judgment ! Heaven! Hell ! Britton's Fonthill Abbey.
THE HALL OF EBLIS.*
BY BARRY CORNWALL.
THEY took their way (Vathek and his young bride,
But these days passed by: And then they journeyed among perilous sands, Which the hot blast of the desert swept at times To figures columnar; these subsiding, left Open to view the wide horizon, where Lifting their heads, like mountains, to the skies, 'Rose the dark towers of Istakar.—The moon Hid her pale face eclipsed, and sore afraid Lest that the baleful atmosphere might shroud Her light for ever; and interlunar stars Shrank and grew dim, as when the morning shews His grey eye in the East.–Forward they passed 'Midst crumbling walls, and shaking minarets, Where even the ivy grew not, and at last Stood ’neath the mighty palace of those kings Who ruled before the flood. It seemed as built For all eternity; and its pillars threw On the black platform, long, large lines of shadow, That lay upon the marble, like to things Substantial–Countless and sky-touching towers ( Whose architecture was unknown amidst The records of the earth') stood there, like that
* Vide Beckford's History of the Caliph Vathek.
Vast pile our ancestry once dared to raise
The stars now shone anew ; and right against
At last they saw The Hall of Eblis : vaulted 'twas and high So none might mark the roofs ! The pillars that Stood like supporting giants, verged away In long innumerable avenues, but Met at a point bright as the sun, when he Looks flaming on the sands of Palestine. Each column bore a different character, And by the lambent flames that played about Like snakes, and pointed their ethereal spires Towards the stupendous capitals (which seemed Wrought in the finer times of Greece, when men Struck armed Pallas from a senseless stone To life, and shaped those matchless Deities, Venus, and stern Apollo, and the rest) Strange letters might be seen their import known To none but the immortals.--The sad pair Traversed a scene of luxury and woe; They trod on gold and flowers, while from the ground Voluptuous odours steamed, whose breath was sweet As hers whom story fabled once the queen Of beauty; there saffron, and citron boughs, Cedar, and sweet perfuming sandal woods Were burning ; and distilled and fragrant waters Sparkled in crystal ;—but around them stalked Figures like men—all silent--with despair On every face, and each did press his hand Against his heart, and shunned his fellow wretch.
Upon a globe of fire sat Eblis. He