صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Clad in the garb of battle, and their chief,
The mighty Joab, stood beside his bier
And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly,
As if he fear'd the slumberer might stir.
A slow step startled him. He grasp'd his blade
As if a trumpet rang; but the bent form
Of David enter'd, and he gave command
In a low tone to his few followers,

And left him with his dead. The king stood still
Till the last echo died; then throwing off
The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child,
He bow'd his head upon him, and broke forth
In the resistless eloquence of wo.

́Alas! my noble boy, that thou shouldst die!
Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair!
That death should settle in thy glorious eye,
And leave his stillness in this clustering hair!
How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,
My proud boy, Absalom!

'Cold is thy brow, my son! and I am chill

When to my bosom I would try to press thee;

How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,

Like a rich harp string, yearning to caress thee, And hear thy sweet "My Father!" from these dumb And cold lips, Absalom!

The grave hath won thee; I shall hear the gush Of music and the voices of the young;

And life will pass me in the mantling blush,

And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung; But thou no more with thy sweet voice shalt come To meet me, Absalom!

'And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart Like a bruised reed is waiting to be broken; How will its love for thee, as I depart,

Long for thine ear to catch its dying token! It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom, To see thee, Absalom!

And now farewell! 't is hard to give thee up, With death so like a gentle slumber on thee;And thy dark sin-oh! I could drink the cup,

If from this wo its bitterness had won theeMay God have call'd thee like a wanderer home, My erring Absalom!"

He cover'd up his face, and bow'd himself
A moment on his child; then giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasp'd
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer;
And as a strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
About him decently, and left him there
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.


My mother's voice! how often creeps
Its cadence on my lonely hours!
Like healing sent on wings of sleep,

Or dew to the unconscious flowers.
I can forget her melting prayer
While leaping pulses madly fly,
But in the still unbroken air
Her gentle tone comes stealing by,

And years, and sin, and manhood flee,
And leave me at my mother's knee.
The book of nature, and the print

Of beauty on the whispering sea,
Give aye to me some lineament

Of what I have been taught to be.
My heart is harder, and perhaps
My manliness hath drunk up tears,
And there's a mildew in the lapse
Of a few miserable years-
But nature's book is even yet
With all my mother's lessons writ.
I have been out at eventide

Beneath a moonlight sky of spring,
When earth was garnish'd like a bride,
And night had on her silver wing-
When bursting leaves and diamond grass,
And waters leaping to the light,
And all that makes the pulses pass

With wilder fleetness, throng'd the night

When all was beauty-then have I

With friends on whom my love is flung Like myrrh on winds of Araby,

Gazed up where evening's lamp is hung.
And when the beautiful spirit there,
Flung over me its golden chain,
My mother's voice came on the air
Like the light dropping of the rain-
And resting on some silver star
The spirit of a bended knee,
I've pour'd her low and fervent prayer
That our eternity might be

To rise in heaven like stars at night!
And tread a living path of light

I have been on the dewy hills,

When night was stealing from the dawn, And mist was on the waking rills,

And tints were delicately drawn

In the gray East-when birds were waking
With a low murmur in the trees,
And melody by fits was breaking

Upon the whisper of the breeze,
And this when I was forth, perchance
As a worn reveller from the dance-

And when the sun sprang gloriously
And freely up, and hill and river

Were catching upon wave and tree
The arrows from his subtle quiver-
I say a voice has thrill'd me then,
Heard on the still and rushing light,
Or, creeping from the silent glen
Like words from the departing night-
Hath stricken me, and I have press'd
On the wet grass my fever'd brow,
And pouring forth the earliest

First prayer, with which I learn'd to bow,
Have felt my mother's spirit rush

Upon me as in by-past years,

And yielding to the blessed gush

Of my ungovernable tears,

Have risen up-the gay, the wild-
As humble as a very child.


Wo! for my vine-clad home!
That it should ever be so dark to me,

With its bright threshold, and its whispering tree!
That I should ever come,
Fearing the lonely echo of a tread,

Beneath the roof-tree of my glorious dead!

Lead on! my orphan boy!

Thy home is not so desolate to thee,
And the low shiver in the linden tree

May bring to thee a joy;

But, oh how dark is the bright home before thee, To her who with a joyous spirit bore thee!

Lead on! for thou art now

My sole remaining helper. God hath spoken,
And the strong heart I lean'd upon is broken;
And I have seen his brow,

The forehead of my upright one, and just,
Trod by the hoof of battle to the dust.

He will not meet thee there

Who bless'd thee at the eventide, my son!
And when the shadows of the night steal on,
He will not call to prayer.

The lips that melted, giving thee to God,
Are in the icy keeping of the sod!

Aye, my own boy! thy sire

Is with the sleepers of the valley cast,
And the proud glory of my life hath past,
With his high glance of fire.

Wo! that the linden and the vine should bloom
And a just man be gather'd to the tomb!

Why, bear them proudly, boy!
It is the sword he girded to his thigh,
It is the helm he wore in victory!
And shall we have no joy?

For thy green vales, O Switzerland, he died!
I will forget my sorrow-in my pride!


Ir was a gentle eve in Hindoostan.

The rains were past, and the delighted earth
Was beautiful once more, and glittering leaves
Were lifting lightly on their beaten stems,
And glancing to the pure, transparent sky,
Like a pleased infant smiling through its tears.
Clouds linger'd in the west, and tints were drawn
By sunset fingers on their skirts of gold,
And they were floating as serenely there,
As if the children of the restless storm
Could sleep upon the azure floor of heaven.
Deep ran the holy Ganges, for the rain
Had swollen it from Thibet to the sea.
Its flow was turbid; and, as if the winds
Were not forgotten by the multitude
Of its strange waters, they were leaping up,
And with a wondrous glory gathering
The mantle of the sunset over them.
How frequently these living passages
Of nature's book are opened, and how few
Are the high hearts that know them, and can feel
Their eloquence and beauty!


Meina stood

Upon the breathing carpet of the shore,
Gazing on the sky and river. There was much
In the dark features of the young Hindoo,
That should have won a gentler history.
She had the Eastern eye, with its dark fringe
And shadowy depth of lustre ; but, beyond
The elements of beauty, there was writ
A something that the wounded roe would trust
For shelter from its hunters. Her closed lips
Were delicate as the tinted pencilling
Of veins upon a flower; and on her cheek
The timid blood had faintly melted through,
Like something that was half afraid of light.
There was no slighter print upon the grass
Than her elastic step; and in her frame
There was a perfect symmetry, that seem'd
Aerial as a bird's. It was the hour

worship in her land; and she had come,
the religion of a high, pure heart,
w herself in prayer. A darker mind

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