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With his white locks uncover'd. 'Tis his wont
To gaze upon the gorgeous orient;
And at that hour the awful majesty
Of man who talketh often with his God,
Is wont to come again and clothe his brow
As at his fourscore strength. But now, he seemeth
To be forgetful of his vigorous frame,
And boweth to his staff as at the hour
Of noontide sultriness. And that bright sun
He looketh at his pencil'd messengers
Coming in golden raiment, as if all
Were but a graven scroll of fearfulness.
Ah, he is waiting till it herald in
The hour to sacrifice his much lov'd son!
Light poureth on the world. And Sarah stands,
Watching the steps of Abraham and her child .
Along the dewy sides of the far hills.
And praying that her sanny boy faint not-
Would she have watch'd their path so silently,
If she had known that he was going up,
Ev’n in his fair hair'd beauty, to be slain
As a white lamb for sacrifice? They trod
Together onward, patriarch and child-
The bright sun throwing back the old man's shade
In straight and fair proportions, as of one
Whose years were freshly number'd. He stood up
Even in his vig'rous strength, and like a tree
Rooted in Lebanon, his frame bent not;
His thin white hairs had yielded to the wind,
And left his brow uncover'd; and his face,
Impress’d with the stern majesty of grief,
Nerved to a solemn duty, now stood forth
Like a rent rock, submissive, yet sublime.
But the young boy-he of the laughing eye
And ruby lip, the pride of life was on him.
He seemed to drink the morning. Sun and dew,
And the aroma of the spicy trees.
And all that giveth the delicious east
Its fitness for an Eden, stole like light
Into his spirit, ravishing his thoughts
With love and beauty. Every thing he met
Buoyant or beautiful, the lighest wing
Of bird or insect, or the palest dye
Of the fresh flowers, won him from his path,
And joyously broke forth his tiny shout
As he flung back his silken hair, and sprung
Away to some green spot, or clust'ring vine,
To pluck his infant trophies. Every tree
And fragrant shrub was a new hiding place,
And he would crouch till the old man came by-
Then bound before him with his childish laugh
Stealing a look behind him playfully,
To see if he had made his father smile.
The sun rode on in heaven. The dew stole up
From the fresh daughters of the earth, and heat
Came like a sleep upon the delicate leaves,
And bent them with the blossoms to their dreams.
Still trod the patriarch on with that same step
Firm and unfaltering, turning not aside
To seek the olive shades, or lave their lips
In the sweet waters at the Syrian wells,
Whose gush hath so much music. Weariness
Stole on the gentle boy, and he forgot
To toss the sunny hair from off his brow,
And spring for the fresh flowers on light wings,
As in the early morning; but he kept
Close by his father's side, and bent his head
Upon his bosom like a drooping bud,
Lifting it not, save now and then to steal
A look up to the face whose sternness awed
His childishness to silence.
It was noon
And Abraham on Moriah bow'd himself,
And buried up his face, and pray'd for strength.
He could not look upon his son and pray,
But with his hand upon the clustering curls
Of the fair, kneeling boy, he pray'd that God
Would nerve him for that hour. Oh man was made
For the stern conflict. In a mother's love
There is more tenderness; the thousand cords
Woven with every fibre of her heart,
Complain like delicate harp-strings, at a breath;
But love in man is one deep principle,
Which, like a root grown in a rifted rock,
Abides the tempest. He rose up, and laid
The wood upon the altar. All was done,
He stood a moment and a deep, quick flush
Pass'd o'er his countenance; and then he nery'd
His spirit with a bitter strength, and spoke-
“ Isaac! my only son"-The boy looked up,
And Abraham turn'd his face away, and wept.
“ Where is the lamb, my father ?"-oh the tones,
The sweet, the thrilling music of a child'
How it doth agonize at such an hour!
It was the last deep struggle--Abraham held
His lov'd, his beautiful, his only son,
And lifted up his arm, and call'd on God
And lo! God's Angel staid him and he fell
Upon his face and wept.
NIGHT BEFORE AND BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage-beil;
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.
Did ye not hear it?-no; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet-
But hark !-that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! Arm! it is—it is the cannon's opening roar
Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deem'd it near
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell::
le rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess
· If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise?
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb, Or whispering, with white lips—". The foe! They come!
they come !"
And wild and high the 'Cameron's gathering' rose!
The war-note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard, and heard, too, have her saxon foes :
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring which instills
The stirring memory of a thousand years,
And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears!
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves, Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass, Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves, Over the unreturning brave,-alas! Ere evening to be trodden like the grass Which now beneath them, but above shall grow In its next verdure, when this fiery mass Of living valor, rolling on the foe And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low.
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life, Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay, The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife, The morn the marshalling in arms,—the day Battle's magnificently-stern array! The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which when rent The earth is cover'd thick with other clay, Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent, Rider and horse,-friend, foe,-in one red burial blent!
LINES ADDRESSED TO A SKULL,
Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul :
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit,
And passion's host, that never brook'd control;
Can all, saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?
A STORM AT NIGHT AMID THE ALPS.
The sky is chang'd!—and such a change! Oh night
And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in woman! Far along,
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!
And this is in the night:-Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,-
A portion of the tempest and of thee!
How the lit Jake shines, a phosphoric sea,
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black,mand now the glee
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth,
As if they did rejoice o’er a young earthquake's birth.
THE CATARACT OF VELINO.
The roar of waters!—from the headlong height
Velino cleaves the wave.worn precipice;
The fall of waters! rapid as the light
The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss;
The hell of waters! where they howl and hiss,
And boil in endless torture; while the sweat
Of their great agony, wrung out from this
Their Phlegethon, curls round the rocks of jet
That gird the gulf around, in pitiless horror set,
And mounts in spray the skies, and thence again
Returns in an unceasing shower, which round,
With its unemptied cloud of gentle rain,
Is an eternal April to the ground
Making it all one emerald :-how profound
The gulf! and how the giant element
From rock to rock leaps with delirious bound,
Crushing the cliffs, which, downward worn and rent With his fierce footsteps, yield in chasms a fearful vent
To the broad column which rolls on, and shows
More like the fountain of an infant sea