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All ages and all nations rise,

And every grain of earth
Beneath my feet, before mine eyes,

Is startled into birth.

Like gliding mists the shadowy forms

Through the deep valley spread, And like descending clouds in storms

Lower round the mountain's head.

O'er the wide champaign while they pass,

Their footsteps yield no sound, Nor shake from the light trembling grass

A dew-drop to the ground.

Among the undistinguished hosts,

My wondering eyes explore Awful, sublime, terrific ghosts,

Heroes and kings of yore;

Tyrants, the comets of their kind,

Whose withering influence ran Through all the promise of the mind,

And smote and mildewed man;

Sages, the Pleiades of earth,

Whose genial aspects smiled, And flowers and fruitage sprang to birth

O'er all the human wild.

Yon gloomy ruffian, gashed and gored,

Was he whose fatal skill
First beat the ploughshare to a sword,

And taught the art to kill.

Behind him skulks a shade, bereft

Of fondly-worshipped fame; He built the Pyramids, but left

No stone to tell his name.

Who is the chief, with visage dark

As tempests when they roar?-
The first who pushed his daring bark
Beyond the timid shore.

Through storms of death and seas

of

graves He steered with steadfast eye; His path was on the desert waves,

His compass in the sky.

The youth who lifts his graceful hand,

Struck the unshapen block,
And Beauty leaped, at his command,

A Venus from the rock.

Trembling with ecstacy of thought,

Behold the Grecian maid,
Whom love's enchanting impulse taught

To trace a slumberer's shade.

Sweet are the thefts of love :-she stole

His image while he lay, Kindled the shadow to a soul,

And breathed that soul through clay.

Yon listening nymph, who looks behind

With countenance of fire,
Heard midnight music in the wind,

And framed the Æolian lyre.

All hail !-the Sire of Song appears,

The Muse's eldest-born;
The sky-lark in the dawn of years,
The poet of the morn.

He from the depth of caverned woods,

That echoed to his voice, Bade mountains, valleys, winds, and floods,

And earth and heaven rejoice.

Though charmed to meekness while he sung,

The wild beasts round him ran, This was the triumph of his tongue

It tamed the heart of man.

Dim through the mist of twilight times

The ghost of Cyrus walks ;
Behind him, red with glorious crimes,
The son of Ammon stalks.

Relentless Hannibal, in pride

Of sworn, fixed hatred, lowers; Cæsar--t is Brutus at his side

In peerless grandeur towers.

With moonlight softness Helen's charms

Dissolve the spectred gloom,
The leading star of Greece in arms,

Portending Ilion's doom.

But Homer ;-see the bard arise ;

And hark !-he strikes the lyre ; The Dardan warriors lift their eyes,

The Argive chiefs respire.

And while his music rolls along,

The towers of Troy sublime, Raised by the magic breath of song,

Mock the destroyer Time.

For still around the eternal walls

The storms of battle rage ;
And Hector conquers, Hector falls,

Bewept in every age.

Genius of Homer! were it mine

To track thy fiery car,
And in thy sunset course to shine

A radiant evening star,

What theme, what laurel might the muse

Reclaim from ages fled ?
What realm-restoring hero choose

To summon from the dead?

Yonder his shadow flits away:

Thou shalt not thus depart;
Stay, thou transcendent spirit, stay,

And tell me who thou art.

'Tis Alfred :-In the rolls of Fame,

And on a midnight page, Blazes his broad refulgent name, The watch-light of his age.

A Danish winter, from the north,

Howled o'er the British wild,
But Alfred like the spring brake forth,

And all the desert smiled.

Back to the deep he rolled the waves,

By mad invasion hurled ;
His voice was liberty to slaves,

Defiance to the world.

And still that voice o'er land and sea

Shall Albion's foes appal ;
The race of Alfred will be free:

Hear it and tremble, Gaul !

But lo! the phantoms fade in flight,

Like fears that cross the mind, Like meteors gleaming through the night,

Like thunders on the wind.

The vision of the tomb is past;

Beyond it, who can tell
In what mysterious region cast

Immortal spirits dwell?

I know not, but I soon shall know,

When life's sore conflicts cease, When this desponding heart lies low,

And I shall rest in peace.

For see, on Death's bewildering wave,

The rainbow Hope arise,
A bridge of glory o'er the grave,

That bends beyond the skies.

From earth to heaven it swells and shincs,

The pledge of bliss to man; Time with eternity combines,

And grasps them in a span.

A HERMITAGE. Whose is this humble dwelling-place, The flat turf roof with flowers o'ergrown? Ah! here the tenant's name I trace, Moss-covered, on the threshold stone. Well, he has peace within and rest, Though nought of all the world beside; Yet, stranger, deem not him unblest, Who knows not avarice, lust, nor pride. Nothing he asks, nothing he cares For all that tempts or troubles round; He craves no feast, no finery wears, Nor once o'ersteps his narrow bound. No need of light, though all be gloom, To cheer his eye,-that eye is blind; No need of fire in this small room, He recks not tempest, rain, or wind. No gay companion here; no wife To gladden home with true-love smiles; No children,-from the woes of life To win him with their artless wiles. Nor joy nor sorrow enter here, Nor throbbing heart nor aching limb; No sun, no moon, no stars appear, And man and brute are nought to him. This dwelling is a hermit's cave, With space alone for one poor bed; This dwelling is a mortal's grave,Its sole inhabitant is dead.

ROBERT BURNS.
WHAT bird, in beauty, flight, or song,

Can with the Bard compare,
Who sang as sweet, and soared as strong,
As ever child of air ?

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