Sidor som bilder
PDF

But one, a lone one, midst the throng,
Seemed reckless all of dance or song:
He was a youth of dusky mien,
Whereon the Indian sun had been,
Of crested brow, and long black hair-
A stranger, like the Palm-tree there.
And slowly, sadly, moved his plumes,
Glittering athwart the leafy glooms :
He passed the pale green olives by,
Nor won the chestnut-flowers his eye;
But when to that sole Palm he came,
Then shot a rapture through his frame!
To him, to him, its rustling spoke,
The silence of his soul it broke!
It whispered of its own bright isle,
That lit the ocean with a smile ;
Aye, to this ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-wave's moan!
His mother's cabin home, that lay
Where feathery cocoas fringed the bay;
The dashing of his brethren's oar,
The conch-note heard along the shore;
All through his wakening bosom swept:
He clasped his country's Tree and wept !
Oh! scorn him not!—the strength, whereby
The patriot girds himself to die,
The unconquerable power, which fills
The freeman battling on his hills,
These have one fountain deep and clear
The same whence gushed that child-like tear!

WILLIAM PENN, NATHAN, AND THE BAILIFF.

As well as I can recollect,
It is a story of famed William Penn,
By bailiffs oft beset without effect,
Like numbers of our lords and gentlemen.

William had got a private hole to spy
The folk who oft with writs, or “ How d’ye do ?”
Possessing too a penetrating eye,
Friends from his foes the Quaker quickly knew.
A Bailiff in disguise, one day,
Though not disguised to our friend Will,
Came to Will's mansion compliments to pay,
Concealed the catchpole thought with wond'rous skill.
Boldly he knocked at William's door,
Dressed like a gentleman from top to toe,
Expecting quick admittance to be sure
But-

noWill's servant, Nathan, with a straight haired head, Unto the window gravely stalked, not ran, -66 Master at home?”—the Bailiff sweetly said, “ Thou canst not speak to him," replied the man. " What !” said the Bailiff, “ won't he see me then ?” “ Nay," snuffled Nathan, “ let it not thus strike thee, “ Know, verily, that William Penn “ Hath seen thee, but he doth not like thee."

DEATH OF ADAM. “ Ere noon, returning to his bower, I found Our father labouring in his harvest ground (For yet he tilled a little plot of soil, Patient and pleased with voluntary toil ;) But O how changed from him, whose morning eye Outshone the star, that told the sun was nigh! Loose in his feeble grasp the sickle shook ; I marked the ghastly dolour of his look, And ran to help him ; but his latest strength Failed ;-prone upon his sheaves he fell at length: I strove to raise him ; sight and sense were fled, Nerveless his limbs, and backward swayed his head.

Seth passed ; I called him, and we bore our Sire
To neighbouring shades from noon's afflictive fire :
Ere long he 'woke to feeling, with a sigh,
And half unclosed his hesitating eye;
Strangely and timidly he peered around,
Like men in dreams whom sudden lights confound :
-" Is this a new Creation ?-Have I passed
The bitterness of death ?”—He looked aghast,
Then sorrowful !-“ No; men and trees appear ;
'Tis not a new Creation-pain is here :
From Sin's dominion is there no release ?
Lord; let thy servant now depart in peace.”
-Hurried remembrance crowding over his soul,
He knew us; tears of consternation stole
Down his pale cheeks :-"Seth!-Enoch! Where is

Eve?
How could the spouse her dying consort leave ?

“Eve looked that moment from their cottage-door In quest of Adam, where he toiled before; He was not there ; she called him by his name; Sweet to his ear the well-known accents came; - Here am I,' answered he, in tone so weak, That we who held him scarcely heard him speak; But, resolutely bent to rise, in vain He struggled till he swooned away with pain. Eve called again, and turning towards the shade, Helpless as infancy, beheld him laid ; ; She sprang, as smitten with a mortal wound, Forward, and cast herself upon the ground At Adam's feet; half rising in despair, Him from our arms she wildly strove to tear; Repelled by gentle violence, she pressed His powerless hand to her convulsive breast, And kneeling, bending o'er him, full of fears, Warm on his bosom showered her silent tears. Light to his eyes at that refreshment came, They opened on her in a transient flame;

- And art thou here, my Life! my Love!' he cried • Faithful in death to this congenial side? Thus let me bind thee to my breaking heart, One dear, one bitter moment, ere we part. —Leave me not, Adam ! leave me not below ; With thee I tarry, or with thee I go.' She said, and yielding to his faint embrace, Clung round his neck, and wept upon his face. Alarming recollection soon returned, His fevered frame with growing anguish burned : Ah! then, as Nature's tenderest impulse wrought, With fond solicitude of love she sought To soothe his limbs upon their grassy bed, And make the pillow easy to his head, She wiped his reeking temples with her hair; She shook the leaves to stir the sleeping air ; Moistened his lips with kisses : with her breath Vainly essayed to quell the fire of Death, That ran and revelled through his swollen veins With quicker pulses, and severer pains.

“ The sun, in summer majesty on high, Darted his fierce effulgence down the sky; Yet dimmed and blunted were the dazzling rays, His orb expanded through a dreary haze, And, circled with a red portentous zone, He looked in sickly horror from his throne : The vital air was still; the torrid heat Oppressed our hearts, that laboured hard to beat. When higher noon had shrunk the lessening shade, Thence to his home our father we conveyed, And stretched him, pillowed with his latest sheaves, On a fresh couch of green and fragrant leaves. Here, though his sufferings through the glen were known, We chose to watch his dying bed alone, Eve, Seth, and I.- In vain he sighed for rest, And oft his meek complainings thus expressed :

- Blow on me, Wind ! I faint with heat! O bring Delicious water from the deepest spring ;

Your sunless shadows o'er my limbs diffuse,
Ye Cedars! wash me cold with midnight dews.
-Cheer me, my friends! with looks of kindness cheer;
Whisper a word of comfort in mine ear;
Those sorrowing faces fill my soul with gloom;
This silence is the silence of the tomb.
Thither I hasten; help me on my way;
O sing to soothe me, and to strengthen pray!
We sang to soothe him,-hopeless was the song ;
We prayed to strengthen him,-he grew not strong.
In vain from every herb, and fruit, and flower,
Of cordial sweetness, or of healing power,
We pressed the virtue; no terrestrial balm
Nature's dissolving agony could calm.
Thus as the day declined, the fell disease
Eclipsed the light of life by slow degrees :
Yet while his pangs grew sharper, more resigned,
More self-collected, grew the sufferer's mind;
Patient of heart, though racked at every pore,
The righteous penalty of sin he bore;
Not his the fortitude that mocks at pains,
But that which feels them most, and yet sustains.

-“ 'Tis just, 'tis merciful,' we heard him say;
" Yet wherefore hath He turned his face away?
I see Him not; I hear Him not; I call ;
My God ! my God! support me, or I fall.'

“The sun went down, amidst an angry glare Of flushing clouds, that crimsoned all the air ; The winds brake loose ; the forest boughs were torn And dark aloof the eddying foliage borne; Cattle to shelter scudded in affright; The florid evening vanished into night : Then burst the hurricane upon the vale, In peals of thunder, and thick-vollied hail ; Prone rushing rains with torrents whelmed the land, Our cot amidst a river seemed to stand ; Around its base, the foamy-crested streams Flashed through the darkness to the lightning's gleams,

M

« FöregåendeFortsätt »