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Oh! there are moments when the winged mind, Free and unshackled as the viewless wind, In full poetic pride goes gloriously With cherubim in concert up the sky; Counts ev'ry planet as it rolls away In bold relief into eternity! Joins the full choir which sings along the spheres, Among the star-crowned circles of the years ! In strains that e'en the Eternal stoops and hears ! Or vent'rous soars above the thrice-arched sky, And bends exulting through infinity. In that vast space where unknown sunbeams sleep, Or hidden stars their glorious night-watch keep; Whose light still trav'ling since time first began, Through the immense, has never shone on man — In those far regions, where no baleful beam Shoots on the soul its dark and vap’ry gleam; Where sinless angels play along the air, And hymn their loves, or bend in holy pray’r; Here can the mind expatiate unrestrained O'er beauties such as fancy never feigned ; Or higher still, bow at th' Eternal shrine, Where seraphim with veiled faces shine! Nay lift the curtain from before the throne, And gaze with wond'ring awe upon the Great Unknown! So once in Eden's ground, that blissful scene, Where fear was not, for guilt had not yet been, Man sought the temple where his Maker trod, And fearless held communion with his God. Surely, if heav’nly wisdom e'er designed One peerless gift in mercy to mankind, One noble proof in the creative plan,
Which stamps his high original on man;
'Tis that poetic fire which bids him rise,
And claim his home, his kindred in the skies ;
Which rides in safety o'er life's troublous storms,
And smiles on death in all its untried forms.
'Tis a mysterious ardor none can tell,
And which but few of favored mortals feel;
An emanation from the Deity,
That claims and proves its immortality;
A part of being subtle and refined,
and hallowed element of mind ;
A flame which burns amidst the darkest gloom,
Shines round the grave, and kindles in the tomb.
When fainting nature trembles on her throne,
And the last spirit to the heav'ns has flown;
In that dread hour, when hushed in deep repose,
The prelude of creation's dying throes —
The dead lie slumb’ring shrouded in their pall,
And wait unconscious for the angel's call;
'Tis this shall sound the vivifying strain,
And wake mortality to life again ;
Shall snatch her harp, when circling flames arise,
And soar and sing eternal in the skies !
LAND of my birth! my natal soil farewell :
The winds and waves are bearing me away
Fast from thy shores; and I would offer thee
This sincere tribute of a swelling heart.
I love thee: witness that I do, my tears,
Which gushingly do flow, and will not be restrained
At thought of seeing thee, perchance no more.
Yes, I do love thee; though thy hills are bleak,
And piercing cold thy winds; though winter blasts
Howl long and dreary o'er thee; and thy skies
Frown oftener than they smile; though thine is not
The rich profusion that adorns the year in sunnier climes ;
Though spicy gales blow not in incense from thy groves :
For thou hast that, far more than worth them all.
Health sits upon thy rugged hills,and blooms in all thy vales;
Thy laws are just, or if thy ever lean,
'Tis to sweet mercy's side at pity's call.
Thy sons are noble, in whose veins there runs
A richer tide than Europe's kings can boast,
The blood of freemen : BLOOD WHICH OF
IN FREEDOM'S HOLIEST CAUSE ; AND READY YET TO FLOW,
IF NEED SHOULD BE, ERE IT WOULD CURDLE DOWN
TO THE SLOW SLUGGISII STREAM OF SLAVERY.
Thy daughters too are fair, and beauty's mien
Looks still the lovelier, graced with purity.
For these I love thee; and if these were all,
Good reason were there, that thou shouldst be loved.
But other ties, and dearer far than all,
Bind fast my heart to thee.
Who can forget the scenes, in which the doubtful ray
Of reason, first dawned o’er him? Can memory e'er
Forsake the home where friends, where parents dwell?
Close by the mansion where I first drew breath,
There stands a tree, beneath whose branching shade
I've sported oft in childhood's sunny hours ;-
A lofty elm; — I've carved my name thereon ;
There let it grow, a still increasing proof,
That time cannot efface, nor distance dim
The recollection of those halcyon days.
My father too; I've grieved his manly heart,
Full many a time, by heedless waywardness;
While he was laboring with a parent's care,
To feed and clothe his thoughtless, thankless boy.
And I have trembled, as with frown severe
He oft has checked me, when perhaps I meant
To do him pleasure, with my childish mirth ;
And thought how strange it was, he would not smile.
But oh! my mother ! she whose every look
Was love and tenderness, that knew no check;
Who joyed with me; whose fond maternal eye
Grew dim, when pain or sorrow faded mine.
But time is speeding; and the billowy waves
Are hurrying me away. Thy misty shores
Grow dim in distance; while yon setting sun
Seems lingering fondly on them, as 't would take
Like me, a last adieu. I go to tread
The western vales, whose gloomy cypress tree
Shall haply soon be wreathed upon my bier :
Land of my birth! my natal soil, FAREWELL!
I would I were on yonder little star,
That looks so modest in the silver sky,
Removed in boundless space so very far,
That scarce its rays can meet the gazer's eye,
Yet there it hangs all lonely, bright and high.
O could I mount where fancy leads the way,
How soon would I look down
Rest my tired wing upon his upward ray,
And go where never yet his beams have shone,
Light on that little star and make it all my own.
Love dwells not with us, in some happier sphere,
It makes its angel heaven to innocence so dear:
There is beyond this sublunary ball,
A land of souls, a heaven of peace and joy,
Whose skies are always bright, whose pleasures never cloy.
And if to souls released from earth 'tis given,
To choose their home through bright infinity,
Then yonder star shall be my happy heaven,
And I will live unknown, for I would be
The lonely hermit of Eternity.