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Thou art not dead,—thou couldst not die;
To nobler life new-born,
Thou look’st in pity from the sky
Upon a world forlorn,
Where glory is but dying flame,
And immortality a name.
Yet didst thou prize the poet's art;
And when to thee I sung,
How pure, how fervent from the heart,
The language of thy tongue !
In praise or blame alike sincere,
But still most kind when most severe.
When first this dream in ancient times
Warm on my fancy glowed,
And forth in rude spontaneous rhymes
The song of wonder flowed ;
Pleased but alarmed, I saw thee stand,
And checked the fury of my hand.
That hand with awe resumed the lyre,
I trembled, doubted, feared,
Then did thy voice my hope inspire,
My soul thy presence cheered:
But suddenly the light was flown, -
I looked, and found myself alone.
Alone, in sickness, care, and woe,
Since that bereaving day,
With heartless patience, faint and low,
I trilled the secret lay,
Afraid to trust the bold design
To less indulgent ears than thine.
'Tis done ;-nor would I dread to meet
The world's repulsive brow, Had I presented at thy feet
The muse's trophy now,
And gained the smile I longed to gain,
The pledge of labour not in vain.
Full well I know, if thou wert here,
A pilgrim still with me, -
Dear as my theme was once, and dear
As I was once to thee,-
Too mean to yield thee pure delight,
The strains that now the world invite..
Yet, could they reach thee where thou art,
And sounds might spirits move,
Their better, their diviner part
Thou surely wouldst approve,
Though heavenly thoughts are all thy joy,
And angel songs thy tongue employ.
My task is o'er; and I have wrought,
With self-rewarding toil,
To raise the scattered seed of thought
Upon a desert soil:
Oh for soft winds and clement showers !
I seek not fruit, I planted flowers.
Those flowers I trained, of many a hue,
Along thy path to bloom,
And little thought that I must strew
Their leaves upon thy tomb;
Beyond that tomb I lift mine eye,
Thou art not dead,—thou couldst not die.
Farewell, but not a long farewell ;
In heaven may I appear,
The trials of my faith to tell
In thy transported ear,
And sing with thee the eternal strain-
Worthy the Lamb that once was slain !"
January 23, 1813.
THE WORLD BEFORE THE FLOOD.
The invasion of Eden by the descendants of Cain-The flight of Javan from the
camp of the invaders to the valley where the patriarchs dwelt-The story of Javan's former life.
EASTWARD of Eden's early-peopled plain,
When Abel perished by the hand of Cain,
The murderer from his Judge's presence fled:
Thence to the rising sun his offspring spread;
But he, the fugitive of care and guilt,
Forsook the haunts he chose, the homes he built ;
While filial nations hailed him sire and chief,
Empire nor honour brought his soul relief;
He found, where'er he roamed, uncheered, unblest,
No pause from suffering, and from toil no rest.
Ages ineanwhile, as ages now are told,
O'er the young world in long succession rolled ;
For such the vigour of primeval man,
Through numbered centuries his period ran,
And the first parents saw their hardy race,
O’er the green wilds of habitable space,
By tribes and kindreds, scattered wide and far,
Beneath the track of every varying star.
But as they multiplied from clime to clime,
Emboldened by their elder brother's crime,
They spurned obedience to the patriarchs' yoke,
The bonds of nature's fellowship they broke ;
The weak became the victims of the strong,
And earth was filled with violence and wrong.
Yet long on Eden's fair and fertile plain
A righteous nation dwelt that knew not Cain;
Their fruits and flowers, in genial light and dew,
Luxuriant vines, and golden harvests grew;
By freshening waters flocks and cattle strayed,
While youth and childhood watched them from the shade;