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From yonder deck ; where, on the stern retired
Three humble voyagers, with looks inspired,
And hearts enkindled with a holier flame
Than ever lit to empire or to fame,
Devoutly stand their choral accents rise
On wings of harmony beyond the skies ;
And ’midst the songs, that Seraph-Minstrels sing,
Day without night, to their immortal King,
These simple strains, which erst Bohemian hills
Echoed to pathless woods and desert rills;
Now heard from Shetland's azure bound, are known
In heaven; and He, who sits upon the throne
In human form, with mediatorial power,
Remembers Calvary, and hails the hour,
When, by th’ Almighty Father's high decree,
The utmost north to Him shall bow the knee,
And, won by love, an untamed rebel-race
Kiss the victorious Sceptre of His grace.
Then to His eye, whose instant glance pervades
Heaven's heights, Earth's circle, Hell's profoundest
Is there a group more lovely than those three
Night-watching Pilgrims on the lonely sea ?
Or to His ear, that gathers in one sound
The voices of adoring worlds around,
Comes there a breath of more delightful praise
Than the faint notes his poor disciples raise,
Ere on the treacherous main they sink to rest,
Secure as leaning on their Master's breast?
They sleep: but memory wakes ; and dreams array
Night in a lively masquerade of day;
The land they seek, the land they leave behind,
Meet on mid-ocean in the plastic mind :
One brings forsaken home and friends so nigh,
That tears in slumber swell th' unconscious eye ;
The other opens, with prophetic view,
Perils, which e'en their fathers never knew,
(Though schooled by suffering, long inured to toil,
Outcasts and exiles from their natal soil ;)
-Strange scenes, strange men; untold, untried distress;
Pain, hardships, famine, cold, and nakedness.
Diseases ; death in every hideous form,
On shore, at sea, by fire, by flood, by storm ;
Wild beasts and wilder men ;-unmoved with fear,
Health, comfort, safety, life, they count not dear,
May they but hope a Saviour's love to show,
And warn one spirit from eternal woe;
Nor will they faint; nor can they strive in vain,
Since thus—to live is Christ, to die is gain.
'Tis morn :—the bathing moon her lustre shrouds ;
Wide o'er the East impends an arch of clouds,
That spans the ocean ;-while the infant dawn
Peeps through the portal o'er the liquid lawn,
That ruffled by an April gale appears,
Between the gloom and splendour of the spheres,
Dark-purple as the moorland-heath, when rain
Hangs in low vapours o'er the autumnal plain :
Till the full Sun, resurgent from the flood,
Looks on the waves, and turns them into blood ;
But quickly kindling, as his beams aspire,
The lambent billows play in forms of fire.
-Where is the Vessel ? _Shining through the light,
Like the white sea-fowl's horizontal flight,
Yonder she wings, and skims, and cleaves her way
Through refluent foam and iridescent spray.
The boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but he had fled ;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck,
Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm; A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though child-like form.
The flames rolled on he would not go,
Without his Father's word ;
That Father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud :-“Say, Father, say,
If yet my task is done ?”
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.
“Speak, Father !” once again he cried,
• If I may yet be gone ! “ And”--but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death,
In still, yet brave despair.
And shouted but once more aloud,
“ My Father! must I stay?”. While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.
There came a burst of thunder sound
The boy-oh! where was he? Ask of the winds, that far around
With fragments strewed the sea !
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part-
But the noblest thing which perished there,
Was that young faithful heart !
Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps,
Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps;
She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies,
Smiles on her slumbering child with pensive eyes,
And weaves a song of melancholy joy-
“ Sleep, image of thy father, sleep, my boy:
No lingering hour of sorrow shall be thine;
No sigh that rends thy father's heart and mine;
Bright as his manly sire the sun shall be
In form and soul; byt, ah! more blest than he!
Thy fame, thy worth, thy filial love, at last,
Shall soothe his aching heart for all the past
With many a smile my solitude repay,
And chase the world's ungenerous scorn away.
" And say, when summoned from the world and thee, I lay my head beneath the willow tree, Wilt thou, sweet mourner! at my stone appear, And soothe my parted spirit lingering near? Oh, wilt thou come, at evening hour to shed The tears of Memory o'er my narrow bed; With aching temples on thy hand reclined, Muse on the last farewell I leave behind, Breathe a deep sigh to winds that murmur low, And think on all my love, and all my woe ?"
So speaks affection, ére the infant eye
Can look regard, or brighten in reply ;
But when the cherub lip hath learnt to claim
A mother's ear by that endearing name;
Soon as the playful innocent can prove
A tear of pity, or a smile of love,
Or cons his murmuring task beneath her care,
Or lisps with holy look his evening prayer,
Or gazing, mutely pensive, sits to hear
The mournful ballad warbled in his ear;
How fondly looks admiring Hope the while
At every artless tear, and every smile!
How glows the joyous parent to descry
A guileless bosom, true to sympathy!
THE PALM TREE.
It waved not through an Eastern sky,
Beside a fount of Araby;
It was not fanned by Southern breeze
In some green isle of Indian seas,
Nor did its graceful shadow sleep
O'er stream of Afric, lone and deep.
But fair the exiled Palm-tree grew
Midst foliage of no kindred hue; .
Through the laburnum's dropping gold
Rose the light shaft of orient mould,
And Europe's violets faintly sweet,
Purpled the moss-beds at its feet. en
Strange looked it there !—the willow streamed
Where silvery waters near it gleamed;
The lime-bough !ured the honey-bee
To murmur by the desert's tree,
And showers of snowy roses made
A lustre in its fan-like shade.
There came an eve of festal hours-
Rich music filled that garden's bowers :
Lamps, that from flowering branches hung,
On sparks of dew-soft colours Aung,
And bright forms glanced—a fairy shew-
Under the blossoms to and fro.