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This spirit shall return to Him
That gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim
When thou thyself art dark 1
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,
By Him recall’d to breath,
Who captive led captivity,
Who robb'd the grave of Victory, -
And took the sting from Death!
Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up
On Nature’s awful waste,
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste—
Go, tell that night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam’s race, .
On Earth’s sepulchral clod,
The dark’ning universe defy
To quench his Immortality,
Or shake his trust in God!
THE evening was glorious, and light through the trees Play’d in sunshine, the rain-drops, the birds, and the breeze; The landscape, outstretching, in loveliness lay On the lap of the year, in the beauty of May. For the bright queen of spring, as she pass'd down the vale, Left her robe on the trees, and her breath on the gale; And the smile of her promise gave joy to the hours, And fresh in her footsteps sprang herbage and flowers. The skies, like a banner in sunset unroll’d, O'er the west threw their splendor of azure and gold; But one cloud at a distance rose dense, and increas'd, *Till its margin of black touch'd the zenith and east. We gaz'd on these scenes, while around us they glow’d, When a vision of beauty appeared on the cloud; 'Twas not like the sun, as at mid-day we view, Nor the moon, that rolls lightly through star-light and blue, Like a spirit it came in the van of a storm, And the eye and the heart hailed its beautiful form; For it look’d not severe, like an angel of wrath, But its garments of brightness illumed its dark path. In the hues of its grandeur sublimely it stood, O'er the river, the village, the field, and the wood; And river, field, village, and woodland grew bright, As conscious they felt and afforded delight.
'Twas the bow of Omnipotence, bent in His hand,
Whose grasp at creation the universe spann’d;
'Twas the presence of God, in a symbol sublime,
His vow from the flood to the exit of time;
Not dreadful as when in a whirlwind he pleads,
When storms are his chariot, and lightning his steeds;
The black cloud of vengeance his banner unfurl’d,
And thunder his voice to a guilt-stricken world;
In the breath of his presence, when thousands expire,
And seas boil with fury, and rocks burn with fire,
And the sword and the plague-spot with death strew the
And vultures and wolves are the graves of the slain.
Not such was that rainbow, that beautiful one!
Whose arch was refraction, its key-stone—the sun;
A pavillion it seem’d, with a deity graced,
And justice and mercy met there and embraced.
Awhile, and it sweetly bent over the gloom,
Like love o'er a death-couch, or hope o'er the tomb;
Then left the dark scene, whence it slowly retired,
As love had just vanished, or hope had expired.
I gazed, not alone on that source of my song,
To all who beheld it these verses belong;
Its presence to all was the path of the Lord!
Each full heart expanded, grew warm and adored.
Like a visit—the converse of friends—or a day,
That bow from my sight pass'd forever away;
Like that visit, that converse, that day, to my heart,
That bow from remembrance can never depart.
'Tis a picture in memory, distinctly defined,
With the strong and imperishing colors of mind: , "
A part of my being beyond my control,
Beheld on that cloud, and transcribed on my soul.
THE SACRIFICE OF ABRAHAM.
MoRN breaketh in the East. The purple clouds
Are putting on their gold and violet,
To look the meeter for the sun's bright coming.
Sleep is upon the waters and the wind;
And nature, from the weary forest-leaf
To her majestic master, sleeps. As yet
There is no mist upon the deep blue sky,
And the clear dew is on the blushing blossoms
Of crimson roses in a holy rest.
How hallowed is the hour of morning! meet,
Aye—beautifully meet, for the pure prayer.
The patriarch standeth at his tented door,
With his white locks uncover'd. 'Tis his wont
To gaze upon the gorgeous orient;
And at that hour the awful majesty
Of man who talketh often with his God,
Is wont to come again and clothe his brow
As at his fourscore strength. But now, he seemeth
To be forgetful of his vigorous frame,
And boweth to his staff as at the hour
Of noontide sultriness. And that bright sun-
He looketh at his pencil’d messengers
Coming in golden raiment, as if all
Were but a graven scroll of fearfulness.
Ah, he is waiting till it herald in
The hour to sacrifice his much lov’d son!
Light poureth on the world. And Sarah stands,
Watching the steps of Abraham and her child
Along the dewy sides of the far hills.
And praying that her sunny boy faint not–
Would she have watch'd their path so silently,
If she had known that he was going up,
Ev’n in his fair hair’d beauty, to be slain
As a white lamb for sacrifice? They trod
Together onward, patriarch and child—
The bright sun throwing back the old man’s shade
In straight and fair proportions, as of one
Whose years were freshly number'd. He stood up
Even in his vig'rous strength, and like a tree
Rooted in Lebanon, his frame bent not;
His thin white hairs had yielded to the wind,
And left his brow uncover'd; and his face,
Impress'd with the stern majesty of grief,
Nerved to a solemn duty, now stood forth
Like a rent rock, submissive, yet sublime.
But the young boy—he of the laughing eye
And ruby lip, the pride of life was on him.
He seemed to drink the morning. Sun and dew,
And the aroma of the spicy trees,
And all that giveth the delicious east
Its fitness for an Eden, stole like light
Into his spirit, ravishing his thoughts
With love and beauty. Every thing he met
Buoyant or beautiful, the lighest wing
Of bird or insect, or the palest dye -
Of the fresh flowers, won him from his path,
And joyously broke forth his tiny shout
As he flung back his silken hair, and sprung
Away to some green spot, or clustring vine,
To pluck his infant trophies. Every tree
And fragrant shrub was a new hiding place,
And he would crouch till the old man came by-
Then bound before him with his childish laugh
Stealing a look behind him playfully,
To see if he had made his father smile.
The sun rode on in heaven. The dew stole up
From the fresh daughters of the earth, and heat
Came like a sleep upon the delicate leaves,
And bent them with the blossoms to their dreams.
Still trod the patriarch on with that same step
Firm and unfaltering, turning not aside
To seek the olive shades, or lave their lips
In the sweet waters at the Syrian wells,
Whose gush hath so much music. Weariness
Stole on the gentle boy, and he forgot
To toss the sunny hair from off his brow,
And spring for the fresh flowers on light wings,
As in the early morning; but he kept - -
Close by his father's side, and bent his head
Upon his bosom like a drooping bud,
Lifting it not, save now and then to steal
A look up to the face whose sternness awed
His childishness to silence.
It was noon—
And Abraham on Moriah bow’d himself, -
And buried up his face, and pray’d for strength.
He could not look upon his son and pray,
But with his hand upon the clustering curls
Of the fair, kneeling boy, he pray'd that God
Would nerve him for that hour. Oh man was made
For the stern conflict. In a mother’s love
There is more tenderness; the thousand cords
Woven with every fibre of her heart,
Complain like delicate harp-strings, at a breath;
But love in man is one deep principle,
Which, like a root grown in a rifted rock,
Abides the tempest. He rose up and laid
The wood upon the altar. All was done,
He stood a moment—and a deep, quick flush
Pass'd o'er his countenance; and then he nerv’d
His spirit with a bitter strength, and spoke—
“Isaac' my only son”—The boy looked up,
And Abraham turn’d his face away, and wept.
“Where is the lamb, my father ?”—oh the tones,
The sweet, the thrilling music of a child'
How it doth agonize at such an hour!
It was the last deep struggle—Abraham held
His lov’d, his beautiful, his only son,
And lifted up his arm, and call’d on God—
And lo! God's Angel staid him—and he fell
Upon his face and wept.
NIGHT BEFORE AND BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night, And Belgium’s capital had gathered then Her beauty and her Chivalry, and bright The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men A thousand hearts beat happily; and when Music arose with its voluptuous swell, Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again, And all went merry as a marriage-bell; But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.
Did ye not hear it?—no; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet—
But hark!—that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than beforel
Arm! Arm it is—it is—the cannon’s opening roar
Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick’s fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deem’d it near
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretch’d his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell:
He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro, And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress, And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness; And there were sudden partings, such as press The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs Which ne'er might be repeated; who could guess If ever more should meet those mutual eyes, Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise?
And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
- And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;