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Till all the air around
Mysterious murmurs fill,
Most heavenly sweet,—yet mournful still. O! snatch the Harp from Sorrow's hand,
Hope! who hast been a stranger long; O! strike it with sublime command,
And be the Poet's life thy song. Of vanish'd troubles sing,
Of fears for ever fled, of flowers that hear the voice of Spring.
And burst and blossom from the deadOf home, contentment, health, repose,
Serene delights, while years increase ; And weary life's triumphant close
In some calm sun-set hour of peace :Of bliss that reigns above,
Celestial May of Youth, Unchanging as Jehovah's love,
And everlasting as his truth: Sing, heavenly Hope and dart thine hand
O'er my frail Harp, untuned so long; That Harp shall breathe, at thy command,
Immortal sweetness through thy song Ah! then, this gloom control,
And at thy voice shall start A new creation in my soul,
A native Eden in my heart.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
The annals of the human race,
THE HARP OF SORROW. I GAVE my Harp to Sorrow's hand,
And she has ruled the chords so long, They will not speak at my command ;
They warble only to her song. of dear, departed hours,
Too fondly loved to last, The dew, the breath, the bloom of flowers,
Snapt in their freshness by the blast :
Verses written for an Urn, made out of the trunk of the Weer
ing Willow, imported from the East, and planted by Pape in his grounds at Twickenham, where it flourished many years; but, falling into decay, it was lately cut down.
Of long, long years of future care,
Till lingering Nature yields her breath, And endless ages of despair,
Beyond the judgment-day of death :The weeping Minstrel sings,
And, while her numbers flow, My spirit trembles with the strings,
Responsive to the notes of woe.
Would gladness move a sprightlier strain,
And wake this wild Harp's clearest tones, The chords, impatient to complain,
Are dumb, or only utter moans.
With luxury of grief,
In sorrow's music feels relief.
The winds of dark November stray, Touch the quick nerve of every wire,
And on its magic pulses play ;
ERE POPE resign'd his tuneful breath,
And made the turf his pillow,
Upon the drooping Willow;
From youth to age it flourish'd;
By showers and sunbeams nourishd; And while in dust the Poet slept, The Willow o'er his ashes wept. Old Time beheld his silvery head
With graceful grandeur towering, Its pensile boughs profusely spread,
The breezy lawn embowering, Till arch'd around, there seem'd to shoot A grove of scions from one root. Thither, at summer noon, he view'd
The lovely Nine retreating, Beneath its twilight solitude
With songs their Poet greeting,
Whose spirit in the Willow spoke, Like Jove's from dark Dodona's oak.
Yet, fallen Willow! if to me
Such power of song were given,
And call down fire from heaven,
By harvest moonlight there he spied
The fairy bands advancing; Bright Ariel's troop, on Thames's side,
Around the Willow dancing; Gay sylphs among the foliage play'd, And glow-worms glitter'd in the shade.
One morn, while Time thus mark'd the tree
In beauty green and glorious, a The hand," he cried, “ that planted thee
O'er mine was oft victorious ;
He spake, and struck a silent blow
With that dread arm whose motion Lays cedars, thrones, and temples low,
And wields o'er land and ocean
A WALK IN SPRING.
A little mountain stream
Beneath the morning beam.
From cottage roofs conceal'd, Below a rock abruptly broke,
In rosy light reveald.
While from the ranging eye,
To meet the bending sky.
Deep to the Willow's root it went,
And cleft the core asunder, Lake sudden secret lightning, sent
Without recording thunder: -From that sad moment, slow away Began the Willow to decay.
"T is sweet in solitude to hear The earliest music of the year,
The Blackbird's loud wild note, Or, from the wintry thicket drear,
The Thrush's stammering throat.
In vain did Spring those bowers restore,
Where loves and graces revellid, Autumn's wild gales the branches tore,
The thin grey leaves dishevell’d, And every wasting Winter found The Willow nearer to the ground.
Hoary, and weak, and bent with age,
At length the ax assail'd it:
-The swans of Thames bewail'd it. With softer tones, with sweeter breath, Than ever charm'd the ear of death.
O Pore! hadst thou, whose lyre so long
The wondering world enchanted,
This Weeping Willow planted ;
In rustic solitude 't is sweet
The violet from its tomb,
The sorrel's simple bloom.
Fresh-opening bells I see ;
Hope buds on every tree.
As yet unheard, unseen,
Of days that once had been ;-
Or, on more curious quest,
To see the linnet's nest.
And mock'd the cuckoo's call;
The evening rainbow fall.
The plant whose pensile flowers
Thy chosen Tree had stood sublime,
The storm of ages braving, Triumphant o'er the wrecks of Time
Its verdant banner waving, While regal pyramids decay'd, And empires perish'd in its shade.
An humbler lot, O Tree! was thine,
-Gone down in all thy glory; The sweet, the mournful task be mine,
To sing thy simple story; Though verse like mine in vain would raise The fame of thy departed days.
Lone on a mossy bank it grew,
Among the verdure crept;
The breezes lightly swept.
Then Alcd in airy rings;
Glancing his glorious wings.
Nor ever sought in vain,
Is dancing on the plain.
In calm delicious hours,
'Midst love-awakening showers. Scatter'd by Nature's graceful hand, In briery glens, o'er pasture-land,
Thy fairy tribes we meet; Gay in the milk-maid's path they stand,
They kiss her tripping feet. From winter's farm-yard bondage freed, The cattle bounding o'er the mead,
Where green the herbage grows,
Upon thy tufts repose.
Sports with thy flexile stalk,
To crop it in his walk.
O'er coppice lawns and dells,
To pluck thy nectar'd bells;
Nor envy France the vine, While many a festal cup they fill
With Britain's homely wine.
Yet, lowly Cowslip, while in thee
Fresh in perennial prime,
The woes and waste of Time.
Since more and more estranged,
Through Folly's wilds I ranged.
And woo'd the enchantress Art; Yet while for her my fancy burn'd,
Cold was my wretched heart,
My peace untimely slain,
To fields and woods again. "T was Spring ;-my former haunts I found, My favorite flowers adorn'd the ground,
My darling minstrels play'd ;
The valleys dun with shade.
My infant hopes and fears
Of retrospective years.
With mellowing tints, portray
For ever fallin away.
The future good to find;
For bliss we look behind.
A DEED OF DARKNESS.
Unchanging still from year to year,
With undiminish'd rays,
The dawn of lengthening days. Perhaps from Nature's earliest May, Imperishable 'midst decay,
Thy self-renewing race
In this neglected place.
From scythe and plow secure,
While earth and skies endure!
The body of the Missionary, John Smith, (who died February 6, 1824, in prison, under sentence of death by a court-martial in Demerara), was ordered to be buried secretly at night, and no person, not even his widow, was allowed to follow the corpse. Mrs. Smith, however, and her friend Mrs. Ellot, so companied by a free Negro, carrying a lantern, repaired be forehand to the spot where a grave had been dog, and there they awaited the interment, which took place accordingly. His Majesty's pardon, annulling the condemnation, is paid to have arrived on the day of the unfortunate Missionary's death, from the rigors of confinement, in a tropical climate, and under the slow pains of an inveterate malady, previously afflicting him.
COME down in thy profoundest gloom,
Without one vagrant fire-fly's light, Beneath thine ebon arch entomb
Earth, from the gaze of Heaven, O Night! A deed of darkness must be done, Put out the moon, hold back the sun.
Are these the criminals, that flee
Like deeper shadows through the shade ? A flickering lamp, from tree to tree,
Betrays their path along the glade, Led by a Negro ;-—now they stand, Two trembling women, hand in hand.
0, when shall I dance on the daisy-white mead,
My father, my mother,
My sister, my brother, And dear Isabella, the joy of them all ? O, when shall I visit the land of my birth! 1-'T is the loveliest land on the face of the earth.
Imitated from the Italian of Metastasio.
A grave, an open grave, appears ;
O'er this in agony they bend, Wet the fresh turf with bitter tears;
Sighs following sighs their bosoms rend: These are not murderers these have known Grief more bereaving 'than their own. Oft through the gloom their straining eyes
Look forth, for what they fear to meet: It comes; they catch a glimpse ; it flies :
Quick-glancing lights, slow-trampling feet, Amidst the cane-crops,—seen, heard, gone,Return,-and in dead-march move on. A stern procession !-gleaming arms,
And spectral countenances, dart, By the red torch-flame, wild alarms,
And withering pangs through either heart; A corpse amidst the group is borne, A prisoner's corpse, who died last morn. Not by the slave-lord's justice slain,
Who doom'd him to a traitor's death;
O'er land and sea to save his breath :
Were impotent to spare or kill;
Nor turn its edge aside, at will : Here, by one sovereign act and deed, God cancell'd all that man decreed.
THE tall Oak, towering to the skies,
That steals from day to day,
Moments, and months, and years away; This shadow, which, in every chime,
Since light and motion first began, Hath held its course sublime
What is it?-Mortal Man!
Yet, in its calm career,
And still, through each succeeding year,
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
That corpse is to the grave consign'd; The scene departs: this buried trust,
The Judge of quick and dead shall find, When things which Time and Death have seal'd Shall be in flaming fire reveal'd.
The fire shall try Thee, then, like gold,
Prisoner of hope await the test; And 0, when truth alone is told,
Be thy clear innocence confess'd! The fire shall try thy foes ;- may they Find mercy in that dreadful day.
Nor only o'er the Dial's face,
This silent phantom, day by day, With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,
Steals moments, months, and years away; From hoary rock and aged tree,
From proud Palmyra's mouldering walls, From Teneriffe, towering o'er the sea,
From every blade of grass it falls. For still, where'er a shadow sweeps,
The scythe of Time destroys, And man at every footstep weeps
O'er evanescent joys; Like flow'rets glittering with the dews of morn, Fair for a moment, then for ever shorn.
Ah! soon, beneath the inevitable blow, I too shall lie in dust and darkness low.
THE SWISS COWHERD'S SONG,
IN A FOREIGN LAND.
Imitated from the French.
0, when shall I visit the land of my birth,
Our forests, our fonntains,
Our hamlets, our mountains, With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore !
Then Time, the Conqueror, will suspend
His scythe, a trophy, o'er my tomb, Whose moving shadow shall portend Each frail beholder's doom.
O'er the wide earth’s illumined space,
Though Time's triumphant flight be shown, The truest index on its face
Points from the church-yard stone.
Addressed to a Friend on the Birth of his first Child.
Then listen, Agnes, friendship sings;
Seize fast his forelock grey,
A feather every day.
And bid him plow your face,
Shall be a line of grace.
Most lovely she appears,
Down in the vale of years. Beyond that vale, in boundless bloom,
The eternal mountains rise ; Virtue descends not to the tomb,
Her rest is in the skies.
ART thou a man of honest mould,
With fervent heart, and soul sincere? A husband, father, friend -Behold,
Thy brother slumbers here.
Two Roses on one slender spray,
In sweet communion grew, Together hail'd the morning ray,
And drank the evening dew;
They open'd into bloom,
Their beauty and perfume ;
They faded in the wind,
The loveliest of their kind,
The bud unfolding rose,
From dawn to sun-rise glows,
The golden age of man,
-Life's little, less'ning span;
The sun that wakes yon violet's bloom,
Once cheer'd his eye, now dark in death, The wind that wanders o'er his tomb
Was once his vital breath.
The roving wind shall pass away,
The warming sun forsake the sky; Thy brother, in that dreadful day,
Shall live and never die.
And in the infant bud that blows
In your encircling arms.
The pledge of future charms,
THE OLD MAN'S SONG. SHALL man of frail fruition boast?
Shall life be counted dear,
A momentary year?
When, youth! I bloom'd like thee!
When thou shalt fade like me : Like me through varying seasons range,
And past enjoyments mourn ;The fairest, sweetest spring shall change
To winter in its turn.
Till, planted in that realm of rest
Where Roses never die, Amidst the gardens of the blest,
Beneath a stormless sky, You flower afresh, like Aaron's rod, That blossom'd at the sight of God.
In infancy, my vernal prime,
When life itself was new, Amusement pluck'd the wings of time,
Yet swifter still he flew.
Reply to some Lines, beginning, "Arrest, 0 Time, thy fleeting |
Summer my youth succeeded soon,
My sun ascended high, And pleasure held the reins till noon,
But grief drove down the sky.
TIME will not check his eager flight,
Though gentle Agnes scold, For 't is the Sage's dear delight
To make young ladies old.
Like autumn, rich in ripening corn,
Came manhood's sober reign ; My harvest-moon scarce fill'd her horn, When she began to wane.