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Fly on the enchanted cord in syllables !
The fabled chain connecting Earth with Heaven, -
Its links may circle the great globe itself;
And o'er its surface weave a mystic web
Of tissued wire-work, like to human nerves, -
On which volition, passion, feeling ily,
Electrifying, by magnetic spells,
All nations, and all kindreds, and all tongues, -
'Till Commerce, slave no more to sordid gain,
Shall civilize and christianize a world!
Man's mind with necromantic art hath plucked
The sunbeam from his home by magic touch
To paint his visions; and, with Heaven's lightnings
Swift he pens his thoughts, or telegraphs o'er seas,
And State, and continents, his secret wish
To the wide brotherhood of human-kind !
E'en now - e'en now, the hoarse Atlantic surge
Reverberates from Mississippi's shores;
And Neptune's trident by the Sire of Floods
Is grasped’d in friendship! In the far-off East,
Lake Erie, from her iron crag, sends forth
Her greeting to the Ocean! The North!
The frozen North salutes the sunny South,
And thy blue peaks, proud Alleghany, shout
Unto the summits of the Rocky Range ;
While prairie, forest, city, mountain-height,
And the sweet valley of La Belle Riviere,
Like voice of many waters, join their song!
And the dread question of God's ancient seer, -
“Canst thou send lightnings that they go and come,
And say, — 'Here, — here, we are?” – is answer'd !
I KNEW they would perish!
Those beautiful flowers As the hopes that we cherish
In youth's sunny bowers : I knew they'd be faded !
Though with fond, gentle care Their bright leaves were shaded,
Decay still was there.
So all that is brightest
Ever first fades away,
And the joys that leap lightest,
The earliest decay.
The heart that was nearest,
The wildest will rove,
And the friend that was dearest,
The first cease to love.
And the purest, the noblest,
The loveliest — we know Have e'er been the surest,
And the soonest to go.
The birds that sing sweetest,
The flowers most pure,
In their beauty are fleetest,
In their fate the most sure.
Yet still though thy flowers
Are withered and gone,
They will live like some hours
In memory alone.
In that hallowed shrine, only,
Sleep things we would cherish, Pure, priceless, loved, lonely,
They never can perish.
Then I'll mourn ye no more,
Ye pale leaves that are shed, Though your brightness is o'er,
Your perfume is not fled; And like thine aroma
The spirit of flowers — Remembrance will hover
O'er the grave of past hours.
The saddest heart oft gayest seems,
And joins the merry glee,
While breaking are its tender chords,
By griefs we cannot see.
Then trust not to a smiling face,
Or heart that merry seems,
For in that heart may sorrow be,
Though joy from out it beams.
Ai, do not say the heart is light,
And free from every care,
Because the eye beams calm and bright,
And only peace is there.
Around the monumental stone
The gayest flowers may creep -
The breast may wither chill and lone,
Yet smiles the brow may keep.
Unseen — unknown — the electric dart
Sleeps in the rolling cloud —
So sleeps within the stricken heart
The grief it most would shroud.
The sunniest smile may often glow
Where sorrows gloomiest lower Upon the sky will hang the bow,
Though all is shade and shower.