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EMBRACED by mountains of precipitous rock,
Embosoming fair Flora's sweet domain,
Perfumed with all her starlit fragrant train, Cloistered in silence which a breath could shock, Awful Ravine ! and yet most tranquil glen!
Long since the shattering earthquake's womb has burst Which gave Thee life, the mighty throes which then
Brought forth this River-child, which thou hast nurst ! Well hast thou kept it! Thou dost brave the blast,
Nor let it rudely visit its clear face,
On which thou fondly mayst, as mothers, trace
O foster-parent, sure such child of love
Hail peaceful, living, most pellucid, stream !
Placid and murmuring as Thine emblem-name, Glancing still onward 'neath the sunny beam,
As with an undiverted, solemn, aim !
Peace be through all thy vale! I would not maim, With murderous art, the warbler on thy side
Who trills its lay in tribute to thy fame,Nor the just peeping tenants of thy tide, Which make instinct thy crystal waters glide !
E'en now the fragrance of thy margent sod Breathes on my brow a rich and freshening balm,
A pilgrim I, who streamless wastes have trod,These heights, the Zion ! thou the river calm
Which makest glad the Sanctuary of God !
I ross upon the ebb of rolling time,–
Backward my spirit cleaves the impetuous stream,As I behold these monuments sublime,
Unearthly as the columns of a dream !
Are these the roots of some primæval Mount,
Evulsed, and shattered, by the Deluge-surge ? That earth's new-born sojourners may recount
The doom of sin in that “ o'erflowing scourge ?"
Are they the buttresses on which was built
Some mighty City of a towering state? Which sunk in ruins for egregious guilt,
It's name e'en buried in its dreadful fate?
Are they devices of some Gymnic ground
Where giants met and held their Titan-sport ? Along whose reach their mirth-shouts would rebound,
While their fierce gambols shook this trysting court ?
Are they the types of the round Zodiac,
A rude but well-adjusted Calendar ?
Or mark the circuit of each planet-star?
Are they the models of the World's huge frame,
That its inhabitants may dwell secure ? Left on its surface mutely to proclaim
That its foundation still abideth sure ?
Are they spontaneous Rafter, Prop, and Shaft,
As in their first formations shaped and hewn ? To teach the savage the first homestead craft,
And as its earliest alphabet thus strewn ?
Are they the Tombs of some old Burying-place,—
Date, name, and heraldry for ever fled ? The fearful cromlech of some blotted race,
The record blank of the forgotten dead ?
Or are ye, rather, the once-hallowed stones
Which gave wild pomp to the Druidic Fane ? Whose Genius, like a troubled spirit, moans
In this chill, eddying, wind's most dirge-like strain ?
How art Thou fallen! Like this tumbled heap,
And with it thy long, cruel, sway is past ! Thy crown is rent, like this coronal sweep,
And down to shameful sacrilege is cast !
Here didst thou rise, Metropolitic Shrine !
Here nations bent before thine Adytum ! Thy priests the mistletoe no longer twine,
Thy bardic harps of prophecy are dumb !
Here human victims shuddered, altar-bound,
Here magic orgies held their darkling spell ! Now tranquil scenes and flowers dispread around,
The flock lies down lulled by its tinkling bell !
Still is there grandeur in this Votive Pile,
Seeking no dome but in the azure vault ! Setting to earth’s far corners every aisle !
Which thousand storms and years in vain assault !
The Cross has conquered! The dread Esus falls !
The awful Cella every foot profanes :
And silence o'er the desolation reigns !
A FAMILY IN HEAVEN.
'Tis blest, when families survive,
E’en though their members widely part : Their oneness ne'er can distance rive,
A circling pulse swells every heart : That pulse to nether lands can dive,
And from the pole to tropic dart !
And still more blest, the roof-tree round,
When households praise, that have not felt The anguish and the bitter wound
Which severment and death have dealt : These lift to God a joyful sound,
As ʼneath their palms the Patriarchs dwelt !
But oh, most blest, when households stand
On the calm shore of endless peace, Not like a frighted shipwrecked band, But such who well outrode the
seas, Pile their memorial on the strand,
And pour their triumph to the breeze!
Yet not at once they gained that Port:
Many the storms their prows have driven,Their toils were neither few nor short,
Long days and starless nights they ’ve striven,But one by one that passage wrought,
Parent, and child whom God has given !
Barks of the same course separate,
By currents warped, by tempest tossed ·
And each may fear its fellow lost,-
All speed, howe'er their track was crossed.
And such our lot ! launched on the deep,
Fitful and louring is our day,-
In company we cannot stay,-
There meet! Not one a castaway!
The Sun now sinks beneath the western wave,
His radiance melts away from yonder sky,
And now has disappeared the latest dye
grows, And shadows gloom like a sepulchral pile,
With streams of light the opposing heavens smile, And lambent splendour all the east o'erflows. Yet 't was that setting sun which bade the sphere
Of silvery lustre gleam upon the earth ; And hidden though that sun, fair orbs appear
In glories borrowed from his fulgent birth. So dies the Christian ! From his parting bier
Far distant worlds reflect his radiant worth !